Trial By Fire
The Silicon War Triology
Chapter 1 - Clusterflop
"God damn it Kazakov, answer the [email protected]#ing phone... damn it! Damn it!" But the phone kept beeping with the busy signal. For Sam Yosakawa, (KGB Agent AWAKA), the call was now a life and death situation because of what he just witnessed. As he pounded the receiver of the phone over and over against the main body of the pay phone, he kept swearing out aloud.
Finally he redialed and there came this "Hello".
"Gopal has been arrested" he screamed in a panic - violating all security protocols.
"Calm down. Calm down. Now slowly explain what has happened" said Vladimir Mkkhailovich Kazakov, (KGB Agent JERICO), Head of Directorate T - US.
"I... I drove over to Gopal's office around 9:00 for the meeting and there were cops everywhere. God there were so many people there. I walked up to one of them and asked what had happened. He said 'Peter Gopal was arrested as a spy'" he said in his scared voice.
"Now when was this" Kazakov asked?
"Less than five minutes ago..."
"And it's happening now as we speak"?
"Ok. Ok. Shut down everything. Pack it up and start the move south as planned. No more contacting me until I make contact with you as we arranged."
As Kazakov hung up, he turned to Rollo, his long time number two, and said "It seems this Gopal has been arrested and we have a panic on our hands. The operation is taking place right now. I want you to leave now and observe the Gopal office activities. Don't get involved. I need to find out if it's going to impact us. Leave now."
"And take as many pictures of the players as you can. Just don't get involved."
As Rollo turned and left, Kazakov picked up the phone and dialed. "Hi, Is Lee in?"
"Yes," a woman's voice said as he heard her scream out in the background "Lee, it's for you".
Seconds later there came a "Hello".
"Andrew Dawson here? How's your day going?"
"It has started off very bad. My neighbor's house was raided by the police and we've been watching that all morning. No sign of my neighbor yet."
"Well then I won't keep you. You sound very busy. I'll get back with you next week."
And the line went dead. First Gopal's office had police and now they were at his home in Campbell. Next came the important call - to Gopal's condo.
As Kazakov dialed the private number of the condo, it rang for some time when a strange voice finally answered. It wasn't Gopal's, so Kazakov opened with a "Paul Keiting please."
"Ah... There's no one here by that name."
"Oh, sorry" and he hung up well within the twenty seconds that a trace could be made.
"Shit - wrong answer" Kazakov said aloud and picket up his car keys. He had to see this cluster flop with his own eyes.
It was just under thirty minutes when Kazakov pulled up in front of Gopal's condo and the police activity was still heavy. He drove around the area to see how wide an area the operation covered but he didn't find a stake out or the normal on-going surveillance operation.
As he parked his car, he got out and started to walk the parking lot to see if Gopal's car was still there and it was. However, the stall next to it was empty and there on the pole, three feet up was the two parallel calk lines used as a signal to everyone to get out. Yes, Stephanie, Gopal's girlfriend was gone and he would talk with her later.
Back in his car, he now headed the six miles west to Gopal's office to cross paths with Rollo. There should have been enough time to get a good idea of what's going on there and by whom.
It was 11:30 when Kazakov turned on Duane Drive and drove passed Gopal's Sunnyvale office. And yes there were people and cars everywhere. But what surprised him was the lack of black & white police cars. As he circled the area, it was at the last second, he noticed Rollo's car parked down a side street in a shaded area. He drove on, parked the car, and walked back to Rollo's car.
As he got in the car, he asked Rollo "How does it look?"
"Yes it's his office that all this activity is about and nowhere does it look like the police are there. I've been looking for any signs of FBI or such. Nothing. Absolute nothing. The only thing I see is that camper, one street over that could be a surveillance vehicle but other than that... just people like this car pulling up now... just ordinary people walking in and out of the facility. Haven't seen Gopal yet. More important, I haven't seen any of the normal employees either."
"Any cars driving around?"
"No, you were the first to do a drive by. It's just like everyone just drives up to the office and parks. If this is a federal operation, it's BS - ultra amateurish. Like I can't see any post event surveillance or monitoring. No one is taking photos... absolute nothing."
As they were about to leave, this person exited the office that got Kazakov to ask "Who that person?"
"He's... that friend of Gopal's. Ah... Contie, I think. A Robert Contie. He's that engineer working over at Maruman for Asumi."
"So what's he doing here?"
"Don't know. I see him every once in a while talking with people but..."
"Where the hell is he going?"
"I think he's going over to that camper?"
"What the [email protected]#!" Kazakov said as he watched this Contie walked up to the camper, and then walked around the camper looking in the windows. Finally he stopped at the rear of the camper and looking at it. Within a minute, this Contie turned and started his walk back to Gopal's office when he stopped and bent over.
"Shit..." Rollo said. "He's mooning the camper."
"Yea... he also thinks it's surveillance. I want a background run on this guy?"
"Look at that, he just walked back to the camper and put something on the back end."
"Yea. Total contempt for it. Oh yea do I want a deep background run on this guy."