|Jason Powell: Zero Hour
Author: Jason Alexander PM
When a Russian ultra nationalist breaks into the CERN nuclear research facility in Switzerland, getting away with twenty kilograms of antimatter for use in a new weapon project, a team of US Navy Seals headed by Jason Powell is called upon. Please R&R!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Suspense - Chapters: 9 - Words: 25,938 - Published: 12-24-08 - id: 2612547
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Where the hell is he?" asked Monroe. "Why can't we get a signal?"
"I don't know, sir," replied Lieutenant Walter, the radar officer, helplessly. They were onboard the U.S.S. Ronald Regan, CVN-76, which was currently stationed in the Western Pacific. The Black Hawk was due to return over an hour ago and they failed to locate it on radar or to contact it via radio.
Monroe walked around the bridge of the ship. He was becoming frustrated, which was an emotion that he rarely felt, but this time he had a feeling. It had been against his better judgment to send Jason into this evil man's lair alone, but he couldn't risk sending in eight men to do the same, either- too much publicity.
He walked over to Captain Rogue. The two men had worked together before, several times, in fact. Rogue was an older man, mostly bald, and had a regulation mustache growing. He carried a pipe, which he chain-smoked when nobody else was around.
"What are our options?"
"Limited, at this point."
"Is it possible to prep Team Six for SAR?"
"Not is it legal, is it possible?"
"If you put it that way, yes."
"Can we do it without alerting Congress?"
"I'm not going to go behind my country's back," said Rogue. He turned and looked out the window momentarily. Captain John Rogue had known Jason for seven years. His Seal team, Team Six, had often been deployed from Rogue's carrier. He liked Jason, and so did many of his colleagues. He reconsidered. "Tell them something has come up, Commander," he said. "Tell them to be ready for departure at a minute's notice."
"Thank you, Captain."
Rogue nodded. "I'm not giving the green light yet, Commander."
Jason awoke. He was extremely groggy, but forced his eyes open anyway. The light was an odd color, orange, as if it had been shone through a filter. There seemed to be something extremely close to his face. What was it?
Jason reached out with his hand and felt it press against cool Plexiglas. Where was he? "Hey!" he yelled. Panic set in. This was the one thing he hated: enclosed spaces. Everything else he could deal with, but he hated not being able to move.
He forced himself to calm down, to think about the situation he was in. Okay, he thought. You're alive. You're in somewhere small, but there's obviously air coming from somewhere. Given, it had a foul metallic smell, but it was breathable air. Jason looked around. He was laying down on a slight incline in an enclosed, padded cylinder with an orange Plexiglas covering. It was one of the hibernation berths!
Then why wasn't he asleep?
He could make out a shadow suddenly falling on the Plexiglas. The outline of a man in a military dress suit was visible from the other side. He spoke with a strong Russian accent.
"Lieutenant," said Garushmav, "it's good to see you."
"Where the hell am I?"
"Somewhere safe. Now, the procedure is about to begin, but first, I have a question to ask you."
"I ask the questions here, Powell.
"How do you know my name?"
"I have my ways. Now, tell me, and just maybe I will let you go. I need a set of codes. You know what codes I am talking about."
Jason shook his head.
"The Ronald Reagan is prowling the waters just outside the Sea of Japan. It is becoming an annoyance. I want the codes to its mainframe."
"Why would I know them?"
"Lieutenant, I know what you do. You have codes that grant at least rudimentary access to the ship's main computer."
"Good luck getting them."
"Don't worry. You have already cracked. You have already given me the codes."
"What do you mean?"
"At least, that's what it will look like."
"What do you mean?" He asked the same question again.
"You'll find out in due time… five years' worth."
"What are you going to do to me?" Jason knew he sounded like a weak kitten, asking so many questions, but the strange thing was that for the first time, he felt like one. He felt absolutely helpless inside this plastic and metal cage, about to have some procedure performed upon him.
"Jason," said Garushmav, hating the name as he spoke it, "Hitler was a great man. He did many great things for the scientific community. However, he lacked one thing: tactics. He drew himself into a two-front war with the United States and gave them time to build up an army before he did so.
"I plan to pick up where he left of, overhauling his legacy and transforming it to better the Motherland. Russia, too, was a great country. It, too, had one weakness: greed. Communism could, and would, work, if everybody shared the same principles. But humans don't. We get greedy. We want things for ourselves, and not others. This is where I come in. Once things fall into place, the U.S.S.R. will be a great nation once again. We will be a great community. We will, once again, be the dominant superpower in the world."
Things were beginning to fall into place once again, but that left one thing out of order. "Then what is this hibernation technology for?"
"The final part of my plan, Lieutenant."
"And that is?"
"Hitler's downfall was what I am learning form. He built his legacy, he had his empire, but he had no means of enforcing it for a thousand years, as he had planned. The United States and all of the other allied forces were too strong, too resourceful.
"The average infantryman is largely underestimated, but is still lacking. He has his limits. He requires sleep, food, water, and is no stronger than a normal man. He has a rifle, but is only as accurate as a human can be. These are the errors that I plan to fix."
"How?" Jason was still toying with the idea that he would be able to escape eventually and give all of this information to his superiors so they could stop Garushmav.
"Why do you need hibernation?"
"That is why it is so brilliant, Lieutenant! If we were to go through and change the DNA while the cells were dividing, we would end up with much too high a rejection rate. Cells would divide while they are undergoing modification; they would divide before they had been modified; it would be impossible to change all of the cells. However, if you put a man in hibernation, you eliminate that factor! Your body slows down, Lieutenant. It doesn't need to repair itself; it doesn't need to produce new cells! And when you wake up, you will be superhuman! And you'll be all mine."
"Why me? I wouldn't work for you in a thousand years."
"Yes you will, Lieutenant. Yes, you will."
Jason shook his head. Panic was setting in, now. There was no prospect of escaping. What could he do?
Nothing. He was helpless.
"Are you ready to begin?" Garushmav asked.
Jason said nothing.
"So be it." He turned and looked at something that Jason couldn't see. "Solyervsky!" he said. "Let us begin." He turned back to Jason. "Have a nice nap." Garushmav walked out of sight.
Suddenly, Jason was in a blind rage. He couldn't be trapped in here! How long had Garushmav said? Five years? No! He pounded on the Plexiglas that resided mere inches from his face, dug his fists into the steel lining of the hibernation berth. It was useless. It might as well have been his tomb.
The air began to smell different. What was it? It began to tingle in the back of his throat. He held his breath. It took him a moment to realize that it wasn't the air. There was an IV in his arm, and a cool feeling was spreading from it. He reached over with his right arm to remove the IV from his left, but stopped short. He was getting tired. Very, very tired.
Jason struggled to keep his eyes open. There was nothing he could do now. His body was already metabolizing the sedatives. Sleep was calling him. He closed his eyes and was consumed by blackness…