SEA QUEST - Chapter 6 - 10
Fifteen hundred miles away in Santiago, a fat man was sitting on a couch in his suite at the Regal Pacific hotel, the most famous hotel in Santiago. He was dialing numbers on his suite phone trying to contact his working agent who was on another continent.
His name was Ressok Charhov, the Chairman of Yuron Oil, one of the largest and most infamous oil companies in Russia. The room he was occupying in was one of the three most luxurious Regal suites. It was a 70 square meter hotel room with marble bathrooms, Jacuzzi tubs, high-speed internet connections and a great view of Santiago.
For him nothing was too costly for luxury, when he first came to the hotel two days ago all the best suites were booked. The hotel offered him one of the Regal de Luxe suites, another type of luxurious suites. Charhov refused, and in the end, one of the hotel’s important guests had to be moved to another less credible suite. Charhov had connections with the high officials in the state oil enterprise and therefore he was a very influential businessperson.
Apparently, the unfortunate hotel guest was outraged and transferred to another hotel.
There was about to be a major conference in Santiago, a conference he deemed to be very important to his career.
Out the window, Charhov could enjoy the great view of Santiago as far as his eyes could see to the west, and to the east, there was the tip of the Andes Mountains. Down at ground level there was the Apoquindo Avenue, one of the most luxurious residential areas in Santiago. A kilometer away is the famous Las Condes City Hall. From distance was the National Arts Museum, one of the many modern and fine art museums in Santiago. For him, he did not come to enjoy these views, he just demanded for the best.
Years ago, Yuron and the other Russian oil companies produced a larger supply of oil than that of the Middle East countries. Subsequently, oil supplies in northern Russia began to dwindle and corruption in Yuron had increased. The company was charged for a large amount of taxes underpaid to the government. Business had been in the downturn ever since.
Despite difficulties he had been investing in a new operation, one that he believes would rescue his company from financial ruin.
His phone call took a bit long since it was a long distance call; the satellite soon connected the line from Santiago to Antarctica. On the Antarctic Peninsula had been ringing for almost 2 minutes when someone decided to answer. When the phone was picked up, Charhov could clearly hear the freezing wind outside.
“This is Ressok Charhov, I need to speak to the Mission Operator.” He said sternly being kept waiting.
“The Operator is not able to accept the call right now. Would you like to leave him a message?” The receiver asked.
“Last time I called, the Mission Operator said there was a delay in the operation.”
The delay was caused by a malfunction in the power surge generator, it has been fixed and the accelerator will be just fine.”
“I need the results ready in the next 2 days,” said Charhov,” everyone is asking me for it.”
The receiver coughed.
“That’s impossible; in 2 days what we get will not be complete. It may have no value whatsoever.”
“I invested half a billion dollars into this, and I will not have all of this money be frozen in the ice like your brain is.” Charhov shouted with disappointment.
“Yes sir, as a system commander, I’ll do whatever I can to complete the Operation Sea Quest on time.”
“Good, that’s what I expect.” Charhov put down the phone.
Sir Francis led Brian into a tunnel, the earthen walls and wooden frames similar to ones used in mines are the main supporter of the whole structure. It was a short tunnel so soon they were inside a dark room. Even with a few electric lights on the wall but he could slightly see shapes of objects lying around. The air was clearly full of moisture like most tombs. Sir Francis turned on an electric lamp he had with him and the entire room became visible.
The room was full of the old artifacts most are sea faring equipment. The objects were all dusted clean. Many boxes lying around, most of them already opened and compasses and astrolabes were the most visible items.
“Wow, there are a lot of stuffs here,” said Brian,” ceramic jars, belongings are over there at the corner. Look, there’s the coffin.”
“It isn’t King Tut’s tomb,” Sir Francis muttered,” but see what I have here, to me it’s better than a box of gold coins.”
He held up a small brown book from one of the boxes.
“It looks like a five hundred year old diary; this guy sure had a lot free time before he died.” Brian joked.
“It didn’t belong to the captain,” Sir Francis opened up the first page of the book.
Brian read the name on the paper. “Christopher Columbus,” he froze.
“This book records almost his entire life, something no historians know.” Sir Francis said, “And it says Columbus was once a pirate.”
Columbus’s life prior to his voyage to America is largely unknown. Some agreed with the conventional theory that he was the son of a shoe salesman as history records, some say that he was actually a pirate who fought Spain and that after a naval defeat Columbus swam to the shore and changed his identity, leaving his past life behind him. Now it seemed the second theory is more convincing. Yet it is still possible that both theories were correct, because Columbus was not only a great captain and explorer, he was also a remarkable businessperson. His demands to the king and queen of Spain made sure that he would get the profit that was worth his effort. One of the demands stated that he would get 10% of all the profit from the new lands and would be governor of all new lands discovered.
“How did the captain come to have the book?” Brian asked.
“The archeologists came up with two ideas. One, the captain was Columbus’s friend, or two he got it from a five hundred year old black market.”
After all the excitement, they walked out of the tomb and found Terri waiting outside.
“So how was the surprise?” She asked.
“It was great,” Brian answered.
“Well, you should get some sleep,” Sir Francis suggested, “soon we’ll be going to Antarctica, where you will see the next part of the discovery.”
The man Charhov kicked out of the luxurious suite was not any ordinary anonymous person. He was Christopher Graham, the Vice President of the Angstrovision Nanotechnology Company. Two years ago he had offered Yuron the early development of nanotech robots. Graham was anxious to see the new experimental robot be the first of its kind being used for safe and speedy clean up of the oil spills from super tankers or the giant oil rigs. The robot is aimed to free human from hazardous intoxication. However, with too much trust and eager to make a deal, Charhov slapped him in the face by stealing the design and then sold the technology to his allied company for 100 million dollars.
After that Yuron used the technology to actively explore underground oil reserves. Angstrovision almost fired Graham for this major mistake. Since then Graham was always seeking a chance for revenge on Charhov, the man who stole the robot that combined all of Graham’s work and research.
Graham opened up his laptop and turned it on. He was a terrific hi-tech planner and after the Yuron incident he tried to make as little mistake as possible. On his computer screen, it was a map of the Regal Pacific Hotel.
Sitting opposite to him was a fat man with grey and black hair in uniform he was General Alvaro Fernandez. His name is a symbol for his personality. Alvaro is Spanish for cautious. Alvaro has been the leading general of DINA, Chile’s brutal secret police intelligence agency. DINA or the National Intelligence Directorate was set up in 1974 at the time of the dictator Pinochet was in power.
Alvaro lit up his cigar and spoke to Graham.
“Is the assassin at the hotel yet?”
“Yes,” Graham answered and smile. “This satellite system can probably track him anywhere. The assassin is in the lobby and looks like he’s checking in.”
“K10 is one of our best operatives; he’ll make the kill in no time.” said Alvaro as he put his cigar down.
“Our target may be protected, are you sure this will work?” Graham asked.
“Sinior Graham, our organization has been set up for three decades. Do you think that we have not done assassinations before?”
“I trust the resources of your organization, but considering the circumstances...” Graham paused.
“Thirty years ago we and your President Nixon government ordered the CIA to do something to stop Salvador Allende from assuming power,” Alvaro explained,” He won the presidential election but Nixon wanted the communist overthrown. We helped the CIA assassinate him. So I think DINA can assassinate any guy staying in the hotel.”
“Alright, I trust your methods.”
“Trust is very important,” said Alvaro.
Graham again looked at the laptop.
“K10 is now in the elevator, the target is on the 15th floor, the kill is about to be made.”
Brian, Terri and Gordon followed Sir Francis to the V22 Osprey once more. This time the plane was different, it was fitted with skis for ice landing. There were ten people getting on the plane, everyone was equipped with polar survival gears and a thick heat insulator coat.
“We’re going to see the initial discovery,” said Gordon.
Soon they all boarded the plane and it took of vertically into the night sky. After an hour, they got above the clouds; there was no moonlight but extremely cold darkness outside.
Because of all the excitement, Brian completely forgot about Ceclaro’s murder.
“Mr. Francis, yesterday Dr. Ceclaro was murdered in Rio,” said Brian, “The police traced a call made by Ceclaro and they said he called you.”
Sir Francis was silent and it took him a long while to make an answer.
“We were close friends, and I have to say I am truly sorry about the dreadful incident.”
“And the call?” said Gordon.
“He wanted to tell me that his most important research has just been stolen. And you Mr. Friscit and Dr. Halle are both in serious danger.”
“The stone disk,” Gordon murmured with fear, “the killer knows we saw it.”
“But there couldn’t be anything so controversial about it, it was just a calendar.” said Terri worriedly.
“What sort of calendar is it?” Brian asked with a calm curious voice.
Gordon recalled the perfect example for Brian’s question.
“You know about the Mayan and Aztec calendar right?” said Gordon.
“I’ve seen it, the calendar that began in 3000 BC and ends in 2012.”
“Correct,” Terri spoke, “calendar is extremely advance. It only uses 4-5 characters, numbers or whatever they were.”
Brian knew she was right, it was incredibly advanced the Olmec-Mayan calendar uses small ticks for counting numbers on their calendar and an elaborate system for counting large numbers. The ancient Central American calendars were also used for finding the positions of celestial bodies in the night sky. Some believes they were used to calculate the positions of stars more than a million years old before the invention of the calendar itself.
“Let’s all calm down,” said Brian with a soothing voice, “How was this archeological site actually found. Who would have built it in Antarctica?”
Sir Francis took out a printed copy of the Piri Reis map.
“Now Brian, I think when you first saw this map you were so overwhelmed by excitement that you didn’t realize there was something important written on it.”
Sir Francis pointed to a certain location on Antarctica map that actually had two small words written on it.
“What does it say?” Brian asked.
“Bakir Sumalak, Turkish language for copper and water.”
“There’s a copper mine on the Antarctic continent?”
“Not exactly,” Sir Francis answered, “but close.”
“Brian, you should go to sleep, we all are too tired, no point seeing a major discovery if you’re gonna sleep in the sight of it.” Gordon suggested.
They were flying midway between Cape Horn and Antarctica. There were no clouds above the sea. They could only see chunks of ice floating in the ocean. It was winter, and in the winter, the sea around Antarctica froze, making the continent triple in size. Looming in the distant was sight of land, a cold icy land that will not see the sun for 3 more months.
The assassin, codenamed K10 was in the elevator connecting a gunshot silencer to his magazine-fed handgun. He was going to do it exactly as he had been trained. It was going to be a quick and silent kill. At the 15th floor, the elevator stopped and the doors opened. K10 walked out with his pistol safely hidden in his jacket. He looked around to see if there was anyone around. Then he glanced at the room numbers. The target was in the room 1512. He scanned on the sign, the room number 1505 was on the right and the room1506 was on the left of the elevator, so the room 1512 should not be far down the corridor to the left.
K10 walked quickly on the red carpet but did not yet pull out his pistol. At last, he was in front of the room. Each room in this hotel was considered a suite and the doors are quite far apart so he assumed that the suites were quite large. It was important to note on every detail because the size of the room determined the number of hiding places that the target could suddenly sneak on him and the time the target needs, possibly to fetch a weapon. A target and the assassin aiming the guns at each other was obviously the assassin’s worst nightmare. Even if the assassin is a pro and was more likely to make a fatal shot on the target, it was a chance not worth taking. This was the reason careful planning regarding the surrounding environment could be more important than the killing method itself.
On the door knob hung with the sign,” do not disturb”. K10 knew if he was lucky the target might be busy or if better asleep. Chances are he could surprise him. K10 took out his pistol with one hand and with the other used a lock pick to unlock the door. He gave a slight nudge with his feet and the door smoothly opened into the room. The target did not use a chain lock, the infiltration was fairly simpler than he imagined.
He jumped into the room and there was nobody there, the room looked clean. The furniture was tidy, the bed was made up, absolutely no sign of anyone staying in the room.
DINA said the target was a biologist, he thought, but there was no sign of any scientific equipment in the room here. No smells, no mess neither on the floor nor on the furniture. Then he heard the sound of running water in bathroom. The biologist must be taking a shower, he thought. He ran into the bathroom, finding nothing but a running tap. He started to realize that this was all a trap; nothing had gone throughly as he planned. Knowing that something was wrong, he decided it was better to flee, the situation was getting unpredictable.
K10’s move displayed as a red dot in the computerised map of the 15th floor. Gragam was watching this on his laptop and the satellite image clearly showed K10 running towards the door.
“He made the kill,” said Graham,” and he’s getting away very quickly.”
Alvaro glanced at the monitor and panicked.
“He’s not supposed to do that, all our operatives are trained to not run away from a kill. It creates suspicion.”
“There could be something wrong; I’ll change the image to thermal viewing. It’ll register anything with a temperature higher than 35 degrees Celsius.”
Graham switched to thermal imaging. The previous red dot changed to a redish-orange blob. However, there was something wrong, outside the room was two men trying to get into the room. Graham then called K10 on the radio transmitter.
“K10, this is Chris Graham calling. There are two men, possibly guards trying to break entry. Find an alternate exit, repeat find an alternate exit.”
K10 stopped running and knew that other than the door there only one way out. He still held his gun firmly with his right hand and with his left hand; he took out a thin strong nilon rope. He attached it to a caribina on his belt and took a retractable hook out of his jacket.
On his monitor, Graham saw orange-yellow shapes enter the room. K10 held out his arm and ran backwards. The two intruders followed and thrusted their arms forward. He knew that gunshots were being fired. Then the image on the monitor started to blur.
“What’s happening?” Alvaro asked curiously.
“The satellite just orbitted beyond the image transmission radius, it’s all up to him now.”
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