THE ANGRY DOVES
By Dorian Scott Cole
Copyright 1980, 1987, by Dorian Scott Cole
This book is copyright material, not public domain, and all rights are reserved. This book may not be reproduced in any form, in any media. This book may not be sold or included in any collection. The reader may make a printed copy of this book for his personal use.
All characters in this book are a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental
At the Army base near Munich, Gerald introduced William to Major Saunders. The Major motioned for them to sit down. "Welcome to the Government Weapons Pool," he said sarcastically. "What can I do for you, Willy?"
William could see the man resented cooperating with them. "Look, I'm easy to get along with. If you're not pleased to work with us, I'll go elsewhere."
The Major snorted. "Yes, try the Army/Navy store next door. I'm sure you'll find all the lasers you want."
William rose to leave. "I'll do that."
The Major leaned forward. "I didn't say I wouldn't give you what you want. I just don't appreciate just anyone walking in here and playing with our weapons and appropriating whatever they want like this was the interagency motor pool. Besides, I don't know what you want, but I can't let you have any of these anyway. We don't want US built laser weapons scattered across the countryside. These are high tech gadgets that can't fall into enemy hands."
William looked quizzically at Gerald. "I thought you said... "
Gerald winked at him. "Later."
C'mon," the Major said gruffly. He led them through a door into a workshop and testing area. He paused at the entrance and seemed to loosen up a little. He began a long spiel about how useful lasers are to the military.
Finally William asked, "I don't understand, Major. If lasers are as
useful as you say, why aren't they bread and butter weapons for every serviceman?"
The Major pursed his lips and began another discourse. "Cost, primarily. Cost of training. Cost of re-outfitting. Cost of repairs, batteries, chargers, and on and on. It's a major transition from conventional weapons and communications."
William could see Major Saunders was a man sold on his product, but blind to its deficiencies. "Any other problems?" he asked, giving Gerald a wary glance.
"A few. We can't perfect it without commitment money from Congress... money again. Then, too, we're well into the development of advanced weapons superior to the laser. We have prototype particle beams - lightning bolts - working now. Lasers may have been an essential step in the development of better weapons, but a step that was bypassed for field use."
The Major stepped over to a test bench. "Sergeant Foster, set up a human dummy and show these gentlemen what a laser can do."
The Sergeant went to an asbestos backed area and rolled a dummy on wheels to the center. He returned, aimed a hand held laser that looked something like a pistol with a telephone cord attached to a belt battery pack. He fired. A burst of flame appeared on the dummy, followed by smoke. They examined the dummy and saw a charred hole inches deep where the heart would have been.
"Whew," William exclaimed. "What's the range?"
"As far as you can see. A laser beam diffuses very little over extremely long distances. It wouldn't be any wider or weaker than this pencil lead thickness, three miles from here," the Sergeant answered.
William raised his eyebrows incredulously.
"In practical terms, as far as you can hold it steady on the target."
"What if I want to stop someone without hurting them?"
The Sergeant waved the laser quickly back and forth over the dummy's chest. The clothes smoldered and burst into flame, leaving a Z pattern. William laughed at the modern day Zoro.
"I thought you would like that." The Sergeant laughed. "If that doesn't stop them, they're not very smart." He picked up a larger bench mounted laser and put it on a tripod mount next to the bench. "This one is a little more potent," he said, and he swung its beam across the dummy, cutting it in half.
"That could start a war," William remarked.
"We were developing this into an array to be used like a cannon until we lost funding," the Major added. "If they decide to try to put lasers in space to melt nuclear missiles, we may go ahead with development."
"What if I didn't want to kill anyone? Maybe just start a fire."
"The Major looked around for a moment thoughtfully. "You see that communications laser there?" He picked it up and set it on the tripod. "We're designing it to aim at a satellite way out in stationary orbit. It will bounce the beam back, and you can communicate over that channel. It will be totally private, secure communications. No one will be able to pick it up, like you can a radio, or even be able to see it. It's ultraviolet light. You'll be able to use it from anywhere in the world."
"I'm impressed, but what if it's foggy or cloudy?"
"It's got enough power to get through a mist, light clouds, or light rain."
The Sergeant fired the laser at an asbestos board at the end of the bench. It scorched a piece of white paper and lit a fluorescent bulb.
"How did it light that bulb?" William asked.
"The inside of the bulb is coated with a fluorescent material. When a
particular frequency of light hits it, it converts it to visible light. We use it as a safety precaution to let us know if the laser is on. This laser is powerful enough to burn you."
"So that light will always tell you where the beam is?"
"If it's hit by it, it tells you."
"Major, I appreciate your demonstration. The only limitation I can see is from rain or fog. They stop a laser, but not a bullet."
The Major smiled. "That sounds bad, but did you ever try to shoot someone you couldn't see because of dense fog? Nine out of ten times, close enough for a gun is close enough for a laser and this thing is going to work."
"I'm sold. I'll take them all."
The Major smiled. "I'm sorry. Restricted Army use only."
William looked at Gerald.
"Later," Gerald said pointedly.
William turned back to the Sergeant. "Well, just have them wrapped and delivered. I just couldn't be bothered with carrying them," William said, borrowing one of Kenza's flip British phrases.
"Don't shoot any mirrors," the Sergeant replied.
Back in the car, William asked, "What was all that about? I thought we could get a laser."
Gerald nodded. "Black market. These people demonstrate them well, but can't sell them. But I know where to get the same things. Which ones do you want?"
"I'm beginning to get an idea. Kenza said the gas could be released by heat. Those lasers are invisible, but produce heat. But you can tell when they're on target if the target fluoresces. If we could get the gas in place,
then heat it all up from outside, we would have excellent control over it."
Gerald shrugged. "But having a woman on the trip is a big limitation."
"I didn't say Kenza was going!" William grew angry. "Pull this damned car over! I've had enough of this crap!"
Gerald pulled the car over and they got out and faced each other.
"I run this mission." William began intensely. "If you're not willing to accept that, then you're out of it."
"I thought we were a team," Gerald said hotly. "I've only been giving you my best advice. If you can't take advice, maybe I should leave."
"Fine. I want your advice, and I've heard your advice. Is there anything else you want to say regarding Kenza? Get it said, then that's all I want to hear."
"Look, damn it, I feel like every time I throw up a problem about your girlfriend, I'm attacking you. It's really bad if I have to talk in front of her. I don't want to hurt her feelings."
William wondered what kind of feelings Gerald could possibly have that he he hadn't already expressed. "What are your feelings?"
"If you want a porta-pussy, that's up to you. Take her wherever you go. But, charming as she is, I don't want to depend on her. She's not even trained, not that that would make any difference to me."
Gerald's tone set William on edge. "Why wouldn't it make a difference if she was trained?" he asked, with growing hostility.
"Look, you know as well as I do, this women's lib stuff is political crap just to get votes. It's men who run the world and make it go. Men have the gut determination and courage to change things. Women? They're the spice of life. They're not important, just interesting - the icing on the cake. They're not strong enough to take care of themselves, and they don't have what
it takes to protect someone else. They just make extra work and danger for me in the field. Field work is no place for them. They belong in the bedroom, doing what they do best."
William clenched his fists and saw Gerald do the same. Gerald's remarks were disgusting. He turned away from Gerald and walked down the road to cool off and think. He returned and decided to be tactful.
"I understand your opinion. I can promise you Kenza won't be placed in any situation where there will be confrontation or without a quick way of escape."
Gerald looked at William, full of surprise. "You didn't tell me I was wrong. You're not defending her. How come?"
"She'll never be a military combat soldier like yourself, so why argue. You're right. But I don't intend for any of you to be put into a combat situation. If that does come about, it's up to you and I to protect the other two.
Gerald looked frustrated. "I'm not a knight playing rescue the princess."
"You are what you are, Gerald. I respect what you can do. Just remember, this isn't the Army and our long range assignment isn't with armies - this is an assignment in the governmental and civilian world."
"I guess," Gerald said noncommittally. "So she's going?"
"I don't know. We may be able to keep her secure enough at the base camp. But I won't take her if it isn't absolutely necessary."
William wasted no time before talking to Kenza about the laser back at the hotel. "I want to use a laser to heat the gas. Can it be done?"
"Give me the output power on the laser, and I'll find out how quickly the gas will escape. One of Mike's friends, a military man, would be glad to help us without asking questions."
"Good. Please do that. And I'm going to try to contact Cecil and see if he can at least get the materials you need through Technical Services."
Kenza looked at her watch. "Mind if I slip out and do some shopping before dinner? I haven't nearly enough clothes."
"We'll stay here again tonight, so go ahead. We'll move tomorrow morning."
"Want to come, too, Gerald?" Kenza asked.
Gerald waved her away.
As her footsteps faded, Gerald said, "I think we should follow her. This is her first time out without us. See if she contacts anyone."
"I think we can trust her," Paul disagreed.
"But she comes from an Arab country. For all we know, she may side with Syria or Russia. We don't know her political leanings."
William looked at him incredulously, but decided it wasn't worth arguing about. "Go ahead, Gerald, I want you to be very comfortable with this. But if she catches you, you take the heat."
Gerald thought it over for a moment, and then left. William smiled to himself and shook his head. "Viet Nam really did a number on him. He wouldn't trust his own mother."
"Yeah, he's something, all right. But tell me something. Are you being totally objective about all this stuff with Kenza. Can you make the right decisions if she's in danger?"
William smiled again. "Don't worry, Paul, Gerald will keep me straight."
A moment later Gerald returned with a sheepish look on his face.
Paul's smile grew larger. "What's the matter, Green Beret? Action get a little too tough for you out there? Is the little jungle poo too much for you."
"Shove it!" He sat down.
"C'mon, big bad Special Forces tough guy. Out with it! You can tell us, we're your friends. We won't laugh - hee hee, hee hee."
"I couldn't find her... "
"Oh, is that all?"
Gerald turned red. "Well, I was running around like crazy looking for her, you see, and I ... I entered the lobby from the stairs and I backed into a corner to watch for her coming off the elevator."
Paul rubbed his hands together. "Yes, yes, go on. We're still listening."
Paul snickered. "What?"
"I stepped on her foot."
"That's what I thought you said." He was hardly able to contain himself. "How could you step on her foot?"
"She was behind me."
Paul laughed aloud. "How did she get behind you? Weren't you backing into a corner?"
"The door to the lady's room was in the corner. She was just coming out as I backed up."
Paul exploded with laughter. "How did she look? What did she say? What did you say?"
Gerald rubbed his jaw. "She hit me on the jaw. She packs a hell of a right hook. That damned little fist of hers hurts."
Paul sank to the floor in laughter. "I told you I would get you back! I told you! Jungle tiger outdone by pussycat! Ha ha ha ha! You deserve it."
* * *
Kenza reappeared in time for dinner. She dragged her packages in and put them away, unopened. William knew something was wrong, but she wouldn't say what. She was quiet all through dinner. After dinner she and William took in a movie with English subtitles, but Kenza remained uptight about something. Her usual sassy, bright spirit was missing.
When they arrived back in the hotel room, William questioned her about it. He pulled her next to him on the sofa. "Ok, what's wrong?"
She shrugged. "Nothing."
"Look, I can tell something's wrong. Now what is it?"
She moved away from him. "You're not my husband," she said stubbornly. "You can't order me around and make me tell anything."
William calmed and put his hand on hers. "I'm not ordering. I care about you. If something bothers you, it bothers me. So I'm asking, what is wrong? Is it something I've done?"
"It's what everyone's done," she replied. "I feel like you're all professionals and you're just humoring me because I have to be here."
"We're not humoring you. You have your place, and you're being an invaluable help. Your suggestion is probably the key to making this entire mission work."
"Well just how would you feel?" she asked with anger. "Gerald is a hero from the Viet Nam war. He led more missions into North Viet Nam than the Air Force flew planes. And Paul - he's the State Department's bright star from South America. He's better than any three field analysts put together. And you...! But I'm just a nobody."
"How do you know these things about Gerald and Paul? I haven't told you much about their backgrounds."
"I read their personnel files in your briefcase."
William was shocked. "You're not supposed to be in that." he said angrily. "That's top secret information, and it's locked."
She handed him the key. "I took the spare key out when you had it open. Are you going to continue keeping secrets from me?"
"But... but... " William pulled on his hair. He shook his head. He threw up his hands in despair and surrender. Kenza watched him, seeming puzzled. William scooted next to her and gazed into her eyes. "It's not good to know too much. The more you know, the more valuable you are to someone who might force the information from you."
Kenza looked down. "All right, I'm sorry. I'll stay out of things."
William pulled her chin back up with his finger, and kissed her. But the old spirit still didn't return. "What else," he asked.
"I went shopping today and I was nervous as a cat. Everywhere I went, I could feel people looking at me. There was a spy around every corner. I think seeing Gerald in the lobby when I left made me start watching for people following me. He's a bastard. Why did he do that - why can't he trust me? I don't know how to handle all this spy stuff." She shivered.
"This isn't a trusting business. I'm sorry I've put so much emphasis on that, but we do have to be careful just the same. But caution is the name of the game, not fear. If we're reasonably careful and follow some easy rules, we won't be exposed. Let me worry about that, and quit looking over your shoulder."
"Ok," she agreed, and smiling her devilish grin, she kissed him.
"What's in your packages?"
"Oh, lots of surprises."
"Tomorrow," she said, and kissed him again, and again, and again...
The next morning William rose, did his usual stretching exercises, and then some favorite karate moves, and then finished off with some calisthenics. Kenza watched him through the karate, then she rose, washed and dressed. Paul and Gerald knocked early, and Kenza let them in.
"Ready for breakfast?" Gerald asked.
"Anytime," Kenza answered. William should be finished in a minute."
"Do you do this every morning?" Paul asked William.
"I'm impressed. I can't keep myself doing it."
"Why should you?" Kenza asked.
William stopped exercising. "It's a discipline I feel my work demands of me."
"Just like Gerald," Paul said, "only an hour earlier for him, to my misfortune. Have you ever tried to sleep with someone bouncing around the room like a ping pong ball?"
"Does it keep you prepared for men with swords?" Kenza asked, a worried look on her face.
"What? karate?" William asked.
"Karate!" Kenza snorted.
"What's the matter," Gerald asked. "Don't you approve of karate?"
"I hate karate," Kenza replied. "And I don't think it's any defense against a man with a sword."
"Well just how would you defend yourself?" Gerald asked.
"With a gun!" Paul said emphatically.
"You might be disarmed," William replied.
"That's the only way I'd face a guy with a sword," Gerald remarked caustically.
"It isn't quite as difficult as it looks," William explained. "It's a matter of timing and strategy. You see, this type of sword is heavy. Even for a strong man it takes a long time to draw it back and a long time to swing it. While the guy is doing all that, you can get to him before he hits you."
"So what is the best defense strategy?" Paul asked.
"Kick him?" Paul asked.
"No, run as fast as you can. Because if he hits you with that sword, you're dead."
Late that afternoon William called Samuel. He learned that two trucks had left the terrorist camp, loaded with men, and traveled overland to Beirut, where they had abandoned the trucks and evaporated into the area.
"The terrorist camp is on the move. We have to get there immediately before they abandon the camp. Once they break up, there is no chance we'll be able to find out what they're doing without greater risk. What's the status of our equipment?"
"The truck should arrive in Beirut tomorrow," Paul stated.
"The lasers and mortars have arrived and are in a warehouse," Gerald added.
William turned to Kenza. "Cecil shipped the chemicals. Can you train Gerald or Paul to mix them and handle them?"
Kenza shook her head. "I can't teach people chemistry overnight. It just
isn't possible. Maybe in three to five days of training in a lab."
William looked at Paul and Gerald. "We don't have the time. Are you two willing to work with Kenza?"
Gerald shrugged. "Doesn't look like I have much choice."
"I want one thing kept straight. Paul and Kenza are strictly in a non-confrontation role. If there is a risk of confrontation, they're to be moved out of the area. If they're at risk, the mission stops."
"We leave for Lebanon in the morning."
* * *
As they pulled down the bedcovers that night, William said, "I'm going to have to spend some time training you. You're going to be at the base camp with us, and you're going to have to know what to do in a lot of situations."
Kenza nodded. "There's one situation I wish you could handle."
"I wish you would take Gerald out and serve him to some nice tart before we go. Take some of that hostility out of him."
"He's probably of the school that says no sex before a battle - it only weakens a man."
She laughed. "You're probably right. That sounds like Gerald. Do you think playing the weak, feminine, helpless type around him would help?"
"No, I think that would only convince him you didn't belong out there. Just be yourself."
She climbed into bed and William laid down beside her, facing her. "Tell me about this Mike fellow?"
"Jealous?" she asked.
"Naturally I want to know what the guy was like."
She sighed. "What was he really like?" Her smile left and she turned onto her stomach, facing the headboard. "He was a beast, she began slowly. "Karate was the way he related best. His only interests were fighting and sex - they were the only things he understood." She looked at William. "No, he really didn't understand sex either." She looked away again. "I was his punching bag. He threw insults at me. He beat me emotionally, blaming me for everything that went wrong. He even beat me physically."
"He beat you?" William asked, shocked.
"I mean, in Karate, he hurt me badly, every time. He wasn't satisfied to just touch me with a blow, it had to be real. He had to feel the blow and see the pain. Sometimes when he was mad, he really would beat me."
"Well, I suppose he made up for it in bed. A hot blooded type."
"Sex was just another male triumph for him. One more person to conquer. The more I fought, the more he enjoyed it. I always felt like a whore with him, a real whore." She paused, reflecting. "I suppose that's why we neverhad children. How could love like that produce children? I considered divorcing him, but every time I got to that point they would ship him out somewhere and I wouldn't see him until he was rotated, usually for several months."
"I'm sorry... for it all."
She smiled, then turned back toward him. "What about you? Secret agents... "
"Operative," William corrected.
"...They have this reputation: they have all the women they want."
"I hate to ruin the CIA's image... "
She hit him on the shoulder. "Oh, c'mon, tell me what a playboy you've been."
"My one and only marriage was a dismal failure." He shrugged. "It goes downhill from there."
She looked at him, a smirk on her face. "You're a hot blooded male... "
William kept his silence.
"Oh, well," she said, "I guess it doesn't make any difference. But then, I guess I'll never be able to trust you," she said with a mischievous smile.
He grabbed her and kissed her passionately. "I was a great stud, but all of it was practice for you."
She laughed. "You were not. You were lonely." She looked into his eyes and her expression became more serious. "You were lonely, and I felt like a whore, and now you make me feel like a woman." She pulled him to her.
He felt her body against his, soft, warm, feminine. Her fragrance filled his every breath. He embraced her and kissed her tenderly. The touch of her lips against his drew him closer and closer. The touch of her tongue intoxicated him. He kissed her passionately, losing himself in her sensuous body.
Next: Chapter 11