Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A test of Divinity - Part I - Contact - Chapter 7

"The Thing" happened a minute before the end of the speech. In the first second the colonel noticed the moving of the crowd in front, and the next in his ears sounded the voice of a soldier:
- Colonel, look back.
What he saw surpassed all expectations. A huge black sphere with a diameter of perhaps five hundred meters just came up from the ground, leaving a hole of the same diameter. Although the hole was not the main problem now, the officer instinctively looked at her, expecting to follow a flow of lava. Nothing like this happened. Instead the sphere moved towards the grandstand.- Helicopter 4 to me immediately - his voice boomed in the transmitter - Helicopters from one to three and five to seven to take positions to cover number 4. From eight to ten to circle the area and look for wounded. And no shooting.
Then he turned to Kotov:
- Mr. President, hide between the shields. In seconds we will take you out of here.
While waiting the helicopter Krolin turned to see what happens to the rally. As expected, the panic had become indescribable. He did not try to control it - his subordinates would be simply stamped down if they tried to stop the fleeing people or establish any order. In fact around the podium it was free of people. Just part of the soldiers were still here, together with some brave and curious spectators. If the black ball had appeared on the other side of the stand it would simply be swept away by the crowd.
- Operational commanders to take over and isolate the area - he ordered - no one to pass to this side of the hills. With me to remain only a group 14.
With this last order the colonel from now would have for a fast action only the commandos from the scene.
Meanwhile the totally silently approaching ball had reached ten meters from the rear edge of the platform and has swallowed part of a staircase. Just then however, the helicopter hovered two feet from the surface and Krolin helped The President to go in.
- Go directly to the airport - he said to the pilot, and then turned to the soldiers - Lieutenant Hai Chi and you five - he set out five commandos - you will guard The President. You will not get away from him, no matter what happens, until you receive a cancel of this order from me.
- Colonel Krolin, the rules require you to personally accompany The President - Chi objected.
- Do not dispute the orders. There is no time. I have to take care of the briefcase. Takeoff.
The armored door closed and the helicopter began to rise. The colonel ran to the back of the stage, which had already begun to be "eaten" from the ball. "A little more will affect the struts" - thought the officer and said into the microphone:
- All to leave the platform.
When he got to the curtain and pulled it, he faced with the President's aide. He had instructions not to leave the place without an explicit order of Kotov and now was going to stay here until the end, if the colonel had not come:
- Come, I'll get you out of here.
- I can not leave this post without an order from The President.
- The President flew and you must follow him. I'm the shortest way.
- Nevertheless I must stay. I only accept orders from Kotov and these must be direct orders - face to face. So do not bother to contact the helicopter.
The situation was a stalemate. The aide truly obeyed only the president and was firm in his intentions. If he wanted to take his briefcase, Krolin had to do it by force. But he was not convinced that this even be possible to happen. The man was a super soldier, and his left hand suspiciously did not go out of pocket. Additionally the time was expiring.
- If being sucked out of this thing - the colonel pointed behind him, The President will lose for a few days the full control over Russian nuclear missiles. There will be no benefit.
- Only Kotov can assess what is and what is not useful. Sorry Colonel, I'm staying.
The Chief of security had no desire to share the duty of aide's suicide, but he had to stay, at least until he was convinced with certainty that he and briefcase were irreversibly destroyed.
Meanwhile, the nearest point of the ball had reached ten meters away and rear struts surely have gone. Another five or six meters and after disappearing the next struts, the platform would collapse. The colonel's were at breaking point...
Then the shots sounded like wildfire and circumstances rapidly have changed.
Krolin looked right and saw Helicopter 4 to take two shots from a rocket launcher, being at the same time under a heavy machine-gun fire. The pilot suddenly gained altitude and rose above the ball, hoping to pass on the other side to use it as a cover. It was an extreme violation of any instructions because it was banned for the vehicles of statesmen to pass over uncertain objects. But in this case, there was simply no choice. The machine had just started to go down on the other side, when the third shot grenade hit the propeller. Both men felt the horror before the thought has come. Then the helicopter plunged into blackness.
A few seconds they stood speechless, then the aide realized:
- Let's get out of here - he said and ran to the far end of the platform. The colonel followed him.

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