In the huge yellow and pink building that once housed the KGB, Officer Fyodor Cherminski was telling his superior about a strange telephone call he had just received from an apparently hysterical woman, Tanya Lewinski.
“She says her husband is having an affair with an English teacher, who she suspects is a spy!”
“Ah, yes!” said the fat General, laconically. “The delightful Miss Jones. We know all about her, but she is useful to us. We can feed her with misinformation that goes straight to MI6, via that doting Professor of hers. But Peter Lewinski is a traitor. He is a well-known dissident and has been photographed at all the anti-Putin demonstrations. If he should get in our way, he may find he is not so helpful in our efforts to restore the Union.”
– o –
At that very moment, Rachel was discussing her discoveries with Professor Zimmerofski. Events were hotting up in the Ukraine, Rachel’s special mission and area of interest. After the riots in the main square of Kiev, and the shooting of some of the rioters – ostensibly by the Police, though Alan Boychevski had hinted that some of his men were involved – the Ukrainian President had been forced to flee back to Moscow. He was no use to anyone now. Fearing for the immediate security of his Navy and fleet in the Black Sea, Putin had engineered a coup-de-tat and taken over the Crimea, lock, stock, barrel and gunship. Rachel passed on the information she had gleaned from Boychevski to Professor Zimmerofski, then she told him about the men in the forest, dressed in white suits and anti-glare goggles.
“You think they were anti-radiation suits?” asked the Professor.
“No doubt about it. And Boychevski hinted that the official line was that they were preparing for a nuclear attack by NATO!” said Rachel.
“That’s ridiculous!” exclaimed Zimmerofski. “They wouldn’t do such a thing. It is more likely that Putin and his Generals, not content with the downing of a civilian aircraft, are planning a small nuclear attack on somewhere like Donetsk or Luhansk, then blaming it on the Ukrainian government and their NATO allies, after rushing in to decontaminate it.”
“Would they do that to their own supporters?” She was shocked.
Professor Zimmerofski began to get very excited, and he struggled to rise out of the deep armchair. “We must get word to the British Embassy at once! Help me to get up!”
Rachel jumped up and held the Professor’s arm. But his face reddened and he began to shake uncontrollably. He collapsed to the floor. To her shock and dismay he had suffered a heart attack. She rang for an ambulance and waited until it arrived, its siren screaming and blue lights flashing. The paramedic and driver carried the inert body out on a stretcher. She was suddenly alone, and had to get to the Embassy herself as soon as possible.