CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SEVENTY-FIVE
US intelligence reports from the Alsos Mission postulated that the detonator was somewhere in the field where they’d buried the uranium or stolen by a Nazi scientist. Seth Bernbaum, the man she knew as “Bernie,” spent years looking tracking down this detonator. Alex had read his reports and the review of the mission.
Bernie had said last night that he believed that the detonator was in this mine.
From everything she’d read last night, he might very well be right. While Haigerloch was more than five hundred miles from the mine, the Nazi’s had built such an extensive rail system that it wouldn’t have been hard to move the detonator from its hiding place in Germany to this secure mine.
The implications of that were staggering. What else could be inside this mine?
Rather than speculation, Alex shifted her eyes to look at Ben. Ben gave her a nod, and she smiled. She, Raz, Ben, Bernie, and her father had met in the early dawn to discuss the situation.
If they found the detonator …
Alex had no idea. She didn’t trust the telephone system or Internet to notify her superiors in Washington. Their best bet would be to leave it in place.
Alex rubbed her eyes.
Their best bet would have been to stay home.
She looked down at the floor of the van. As she did before every mission, she went through the people around her. Leena Carmichael was sitting next to her. Leena was smart and sharp. She could spot trouble a mile off. Margaret sat next to Leena. Margaret was a master at puzzles. If there was something to be figured out, Margaret would be able to do it in record time.
Troy Olivas was sitting with his head between the front seats so that he could talk to Matthew and Vince. He had memorized all one hundred thousand missing pieces of art. This morning, she’d had him review the workings of the Nazi nuclear program so that they could recognize it if there was something down there. Handy, he would be able to make anything they needed on site. He’d brought along a set of flying drones that he’d specified and secretly made in their garage. It had taken a couple of years and many practice tries, but the drones were small, flew well, and would get scan the environment before they went in. The little things could also protect the entrance when the team was inside.
Royce was sitting near the back entrance to the van. He was handling weapons for this trip. He’d come a day or so early and purchased a variety of weapons. Each member of the team now carried their preferred weapon — machine guns for some, bows and arrows for others.
Raz was sitting next to Royce talking about yesterday’s basketball tournament. Alex used to find this kind of chatter inane and stupid, but she knew that it helped to relax Raz and Royce. She’d learn to let it go.
Ben and Pierre Semaines were sitting next to each other. While Ben was born in the United States, his family had lived in Paris since before the city was built. Ben’s dark thick hair and dark eyes gave him a look of Gaul while Pierre’s blue eyes and dark hair made him look like the current fashion of Parisian fashion model. They sat pressed up against each other like Europeans tended to do. They spoke to each other in French slang and laughed easily. She’d never seen her biological father more comfortable with someone, other than his wife.
“We’ve reached the gate,” Matthew said breaking her ruminations.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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