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.“Make your report.”“I've got some more Feds here.But I think there's something really-screwy going on.”“Like what?”“Well, like these guys say they're the Secret Service advance team.The only one,” the other guard stammered."And there's a Special AgentO'Neill down here who's madder than spit because I won't open the gate for him."Diaz lowered his radio slowly.He stared at Smith in utter confusion.“Two Secret Service teams? How the hell can there be two goddamned Secret Service teams?”A shiver ran down Jon's spine.“There can't.”He fumbled through the inner pocket of his leather jacket and tugged out his cell phone.It was a special model, and all transmissions to and from the phone were highly encrypted.He punched a single button, triggering an auto-dial emergency sequence.The phone on the other end rang once —just once.“Klein here,” a quiet voice said calmly.The voice belonged to Nathaniel Frederick Klein, the reclusive head of Covert-One.“What can I do for you, Jon?”“Can your people patch into the Secret Service's internal communications system?” Smith demanded.There was a brief pause.“Yes,” Klein replied.“We can.”“Then do it now!” Smith said urgently.“I need to know the exact location of the presidential advance team for the Teller Institute!”“Wait one.”Smith cradled the phone between his shoulder and his ear, temporar-ilv freeing both of his hands.He looked at Frank Diaz, who was watching him with a strange expression of disbelief.“Did your boss give that first Secret Service unit your tactical radio frequencies?”“Yeah.Naturally.”“Well, then, Staff Sergeant,” Smith said coolly, “I'm going to need a weapon.”The former noncom nodded slowly.“Sure thing, Colonel.” He handed over his Beretta.He saw Smith check the pistol's magazine, slap it back in, pull back its slide to chamber a round, and then flip the decock-ing lever to safely lower the hammer, all in a series of smooth, fast motions.Both Diaz's eyebrows went up.“I guess I should have figured out that you were more than just a doctor.”Fred Klein came back.“The advance team headed by SAIC Thomas O'Neill is presently just outside the Institute's main gate.They report that the security personnel there have refused to admit them.” The head of Covert-One hesitated.“What precisely is happening out there, Jon?”“I don't have time to explain in detail,” Smith told him.“But we're looking at a Trojan Horse situation.And the damned Greeks are already inside the gates.”Then suddenly he and Diaz had even less time than he had imagined.The fake Secret Service agent he had seen guarding the main doors was moving out into the open.And he was already swinging the muzzle of his submachine gun toward them.Smith reacted instantly, diving to one side.He landed flat on the steps with the Beretta already extended in both hands and on-target.Diaz threw himself the other way.For a split second the gunman hesitated, trying to pick out the biggest threat.Then he swung the MP5 toward the uniformed guard.Big mistake, Smith thought coldly.He flipped the safety catch off and squeezed the trigger.The Beretta bucked upward in his hands.He forced the pistol back online and fired again.Both 9mm rounds slammed home, tearing flesh and shattering bone.Hit twice in the chest, the gunman went down in a heap.His submachine gun clattered to the pavement and a widening rivulet of blood trickled down the steps.Smith heard a car door open behind him.He looked back.Another dark-suited man had climbed out of one of the two black SUVs parked along the drive.This man had his SIG-Sauer pistol out and it was aimed squarely at Jon's head.Smith swung round in a frantic attempt to bring his own weapon to bear, knowing that it was no use.He was too slow, too far out of position, and the dark-suited man's finger was already tightening on the trigger.Frank Diaz fired his shotgun at point-blank range.The blunt-tipped CS gas round struck the second gunman right under the chin and rippedhis head off.Tumbling now, the tear gas shell bounced off the SUV and exploded high in the air—sending a puff of gray mist drifting east, away from the building.“Shit,” Diaz murmured.“Nonlethal ammunition, my ass.” The ex-Ranger noncom quickly reloaded his shotgun, this time with solid slugs.“Now what, Colonel?”Smith lay flat for several seconds longer, scanning the Institute's wide doorway for more enemies.There were no signs of movement.“Cover me.”Diaz nodded.He knelt, aiming at the door.Smith belly-crawled up the steps to where the first dead gunman lay.His nose twitched at the hot, coppery smell of blood and the uglier stench of voided bowels.Ignore it, he told himself grimly.Win first.Regret taking life later.He put the Beretta on safety and shoved it into his belt, at the small of his back.Moving fast, he scooped up the MP5.The sentry's surveillance radio gear caught his eye.It would be very useful to know what the bad guys were up to, he decided.He stripped the lightweight radio set off the other man's belt and fitted the tiny receiver into his own ear.“Delta One? Delta Two? Reply, over,” a harsh voice said.Smith held his breath.This was the sound of the enemy.But who the hell were these people?“Delta Section? Reply, over,” the voice repeated.Then it spoke again, issuing an order.“This is Prime.Delta One and Two are off-line.All sections.ComSec enable.Mark.Mark.Now—”Abruptly the voice vanished, replaced by static.Smith knew what had just happened.Once they realized their communications were compromised, the intruders inside the building had switched to a new channel, following a preset plan and rendering this radio useless to him.Smith whistled softly to himself.Whatever the hell was going on here, one thing was absolutely clear: He and Diaz were up against a force of stone-cold professionals.Covert One 5 - The Lazarus VendettaChapter FiveInside the quiet, clean confines of the Harcourt Biosciences Lab, the tall, auburn-haired man frowned.The early arrival of the real Secret Service advance unit was a possibility he had anticipated in his mission plan.Losing the two men he had left guarding the Institute's main entrance was a somewhat more serious complication.He spoke quietly into the small radio mike attached to his suit coat lapel.“Sierra One, this is Prime.Cover the stairs.Now.”He turned to the men under his direct command.“How much longer?”The senior technician, short and stocky, with pronounced Slavic features, looked up from the large metal cylinder he was wiring into a remote-control circuit.He had clamped the cylinder to a desk next to the lab's floor-to-ceiling picture window.“Two more minutes, Prime.” He murmured into his own mike and listened intently.“Our sections in the other labs confirm they, too, are almost finished,” he reported.“Is there a problem, Agent O'Neill?”The green-eyed man swung round to find Dr.Ravi Parikh staring at him.His colleague Brinker was still engrossed in his analysis of the failed nanophage trial, but the Indian molecular biologist looked suspicious now.The big man donned a reassuring smile.“There's no problem, Doctor.You can go on with your work.”Parikh hesitated [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]