What is past is prologue.
The Chinese remember all to well the humiliation of the Opium Wars and the Boxer Rebellion. When at the turn of the 20th century China was carved up by the United States, Britain, France, Japan and other nations desiring a piece of the crumbling empire.
The new Chinese strategic plan calls for the restoration of Taiwan to China by intimidation and then a plebiscite by the people. The countries of Southeast Asia will be forced to pledge allegiance to China and to become vassal states of a new, Asian Alliance for Asians. Finally, they will rally the traditional enemies of the West: Russia, Asia, Africa and the Mideast to form a united economic and military front to punish the West, particularly the Americans. All this activity will be carried out in a politically correct fashion on the world stage; the UN will be the handmaiden and spokesman of this new order.
Mike Sherman, deputy National Security Advisor, and his wife Cdr. Carole Sherman USN, fighter pilot, will become major players in the unfolding events. Their positions in the government and their closeness to the new President turn their lives upside down in the ensuing years.
The West meets and then sends notes of grave concern to the Chinese. The UN General Assembly debates at length but accomplishes nothing, and China vetoes all attempts by the Security Council to take action.
The natural resources of China enhanced by its vassal states and unlimited manpower for cheap manufacturing and a massive military achieve a new world super power status. They further achieve economic parity with the West through stolen computer and weapons development secrets. China is now a superpower whose wealth and military not only rivals the U.S. and exceeds the combined West in many areas.
The final straw to the Americans is the uncovering of a plan to assist a small group in Hawaii and Guam plotting to forcefully gain independence from the U.S. China wants Pacific island outposts to ensure their empire from an America thousands of miles away.
The only shortfall in China's long-term plan is the need for a powerful blue water Navy. Aircraft carriers and a new generation of strike fighters are being built for the Chinese Fleet. Their strategic maritime plan is to reach their goal within five years.
The world is teetering on another world conflict when a destructive plague sweeps the Asian world. The bird flu in 2005 was a pre-cursor to this epidemic that could become a pandemic. The only shortfall in China's growth has been the lack of a first class health system.
The conclusion is a world in terrible disorder, the tempo of the action increases as the world once again finds itself facing possible Armageddon. World War I, World War II, the cold war and now another totalitarian super power on the world scene demanding it's place in the sun. Where will it end?
Diplomacy is the art of saying, nice doggie until you can find a rock.
Damn it, he thought, why me, as a junior agent in State Security he seemed to get all the trifling assignments. He was told the trip was a high security mission to the Chinese Ambassador to the UN. Bah, it meant the handcuff briefcase routine; he hated that, it was like a sign saying, I really have something important here. Why not a crypto message to New York, or scrambled phone call, why the fucking briefcase routine? The senior agent has seen too many James Bond movies. The old prick, he had made great plans for the evening and now. Damn it.
The flight was late departing and then delayed on arrival in New York. The driver that was supposed to meet him was nowhere in sight. He called the New York office and was told the driver had waited and then left.
"Take a taxi," said a grumbling duty officer and the phone was hung up.
"Bureaucratic pig," he said aloud. He went outside the terminal and was immediately struck by the stifling heat and humidity of August in New York. He took the first taxi in a long line of waiting cabs. The taxi was old, dirty and the driver was of an undetermined nationality and to make matters worse the barbarian stunk. I hate this city of imperialists and capitalist swine. Melting pot, ha, pigsty is more like it.
By this time Chu Te was in a rage and when the taxi overheated and quit in a dingy section of the city, he was almost out of control. He jumped from the cab, paid, and cursed the driver, who in turn gave him the finger, and started out on his own. In his rage he failed to appreciate the area he was in, it was run down, deserted and very dark.
He had gone only a block when he noticed two blacks following him, good he thought, I'm in the mood for a mugging I'll kill the black bastards.
"Let's take the chink now, the briefcase looks good and he's well dressed, oughta be a good score."
They hurriedly closed the distance and called, "Hey mon, wait a minute."
Chu Te whirled around and took a combat stance, "You niggers want something?"
They were both on something and were wild eyed, "You chink muttha-fucker, I'll show you a nigger," and with that one of the blacks pulled a small cheap pistol from his belt and shot Chu Te three times in the chest.
Chu Te gasped, muttered something unintelligible and fell to the dirty pavement.
"I'll go through his pockets you get the briefcase off his wrist."
Seconds later, "Hey, mon, he' got one of those gold passports; somebody's going to be pissed about this little caper. Hurry up with that case, mon."
"Fuck you, I can't get it off," he had been sawing away on the wrist with a switchblade but couldn't get through the wrist bone. The blood was all over him, and the white of the bone could be seen amidst the blood. "Mon, this is getting slippery, you want to try?"
"Fuck no, let' go, he had plenty of money and time is running out, just open the case."
"Goddamnit, I can't or I would have, the damn thing is all metal and it won' pry open, fuck it, we're gone!"
They scurried away and Chu Te lay there for almost an hour before a police cruiser spotted him.
"Shit, this is more than it seems, he'd got a briefcase chained to his wrist or what's left of it and he's well dressed. What the hell was he doing in this neighborhood?"
"I'd better call the duty sergeant," says the older cop to his partner.
The crime scene troops finally arrive and after their initial investigation decide to wait no longer to remove the briefcase. They still do not have an ID on the victim. Heavy-duty bolt cutters remove the case; a pry bar and a lot of muscle finally gets the case open.
"Well shit, guess what, it's all in Chinese," said the investigator, "Send it downtown and let the suits worry about it. Take this guy to the morgue, another John Doe mugging, correction, a Chink Doe."
ONE POLICE PLAZA
"That's right, chief, the briefcase papers are classified and our interpreter says he thinks its invasion plans or something like that, no they weren't in code either. In any event sir, we think it' strictly a FED problem. Yes sir, right away."
The inspector breaks the connection, looks up the number for the NYPD FBI liaison guy, calls and says, "Yeah, agent Davis please."
"Hey George, Wilson here, we got a hot one for you. We had a chink mugged last night, yeah, okay, a Chinese gentleman, is that better? You want the papers or not? That's better; you guys need to grovel once in a while, its good for all of us ordinary folk. Yeah, my office is fine and you owe me big for this."
Fifteen minutes later.
"Holy shit, if your interpreter is only partially right, this is a barn burner. I'm amazed it wasn't encrypted. Have you notified the Chinese authorities yet?"
Paul Wilson looks at the agent and says, "no, but the first request for any info is in and we can't hold out too long, after all we got a body in the morgue."
"Give me one hour and I'll have an answer for you and owe you big."
In the White House situation room Mike Sherman, the President's National Security Advisor was meeting with the members of the National Intelligence Committee. Some wags, tongue in cheek, had called that title an oxy-moron, national intelligence by this group of bureaucrats? Even the military spooks at the meeting jealously guarded their fiefdoms. The new head of national intelligence was to have eliminated all the jurisdictional problems. As one bureaucrat said, "when pigs fly."
Present were the Directors or their alternates of the FBI, CIA, NSA, Defense Intelligence Agency, State Department Operations and Homeland Security. The Service Intel folks had declined to attend but the DOD representative was happy to represent them.
As a former senior FBI official, Sherman was well aware of the closely guarded parochial interests of those present. Each of those present had brought a horse-holder, bagman, note-taker or whatever to the meeting. They were generally comers in their agencies or as a bone to a loyal constituent, but most importantly, as the specialist in the area under discussion.
Sitting against the back wall with the other come-alongs was Commander Carole Sherman, USN. Carole was on shore assignment with Defense Intelligence after a very successful tour as a fighter squadron CO on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. Earlier in her career she had become famous as the fighter pilot that had flamed an Iranian MIG. Her assignment was a plum and considered career enhancing.
She felt uncomfortable at the meeting because her husband was chairing the meeting and everyone there knew it. Mike and she had discussed it earlier and decided to press on and forget that there might be an issue. After all she was not making policy, as she said to Mike, "I'm too far down the food chain to create a problem."
"I think we all know each other so I suggest we proceed with our agenda," said Mike.
"Just a moment Mr. Sherman, I would like to introduce someone who is new to our gathering, Commander Sherman," said General Scott, the smiling Defense Intelligence Director. The general was an arrogant short-term prick whose time was running out and he continually acted as a thorn in the side of the intel meetings.
A very cool Mike said to General Scott, "but of course General, I thought everyone was aware that a great fighter pilot and an outstanding Naval Officer was with us today. It' a privilege to have Commander Sherman with us today and by the way the lady is joining her husband for lunch today," and he smiles at a blushing Carole.
There are smiles of satisfaction around the table as Mike has put the arrogant bastard in his place. Mike is not worried about hurting Carole' career, her boss' reputation is well known and he is finally on his way out.
"Now, can we get to the purpose of our meeting? The President is very concerned with the Far East situation and specifically China. What are her current intentions in Asia and what and when can we expect her to move on those plans. Let's restrict this meeting to intentions and the validity of those inputs. I keep emphasizing intentions for a reason. That is this committee's charter; not policy, not decisions or recommendations on actions to pursue, are we all clear on this? Good. CIA you have the floor."
"Thank you, Mike, and message received on our mission. The Chinese we believe will act soon, probably within a week or two, against Taiwan. At this time we believe that it will not be an invasion attempt but some form of a naval blockade and most likely economic sanctions of some sort. We further believe that the Taiwanese will respond with force to any blockade. Furthermore our sources tell us that the mainland Chinese are looking for a military confrontation. It's their belief that without our assistance the Taiwanese will surrender."
"Reliability of sources?" asked state ops.
"State, any inputs?" asked Sherman.
"Yes, Mike. We concur fully with the CIA assessment. Beijing is really making no effort to hide their plans only the date. They have made it clear that any nation that interferes can pack up and leave China, their trading days in China are over."
General Scott leans forward, clears his throat, and says, "We all know that the Chinese have increased their forces across the Formosa Straits in the last few months. Most of the Chinese fleet left port this morning and their air force has gone on strip alerts throughout the area. Therefore I believe there will be hostilities within twenty-four hours." With that, he sits back and looks around the room smirking and begging disagreement.
"Credibility of source, General?" asks Mike.
"General, what does the Pacific Command say? They do have the info?" asks a stone-faced Sherman. "I might also add, what does the Joint Chiefs of Staff say?"
It has gotten very quiet in the room, every one present now knows where this is going and God help the general if the intel he's just reported is still in Defense Intelligence's house. He had kept very time sensitive information from his military masters but also the President.
Mike pushes back his chair and stands, "I think this meeting is over. General stay, I'm calling the President, he may wish to speak with you directly on this information."
They all leave and Scott sits by himself, a sheen of perspiration has formed on his brow.
Mike, outside asks Carole for a rain check on lunch and tells her to report to the deputy at Defense Intelligence with her boss' info, and on my orders, recommend that he inform the Pacific commander and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of what has occurred at this brief.
She nods and says, "Mike, my God if this is true it' serious."
"Your boss may be in a real pile of shit, take care, I gotta run," and he hurries off.
Mike heads for the President' Chief-of-Staff' office on his way to the Oval office.
"Jay," as he opens the door, "I need to see the man now!"
"Whoa Mike, the boss is with the British Ambassador, it'll have to wait. Tell me why your hair is on fire."
Mike then summarizes the meeting in the situation room to Heller.
"Oh, shit. I'll break into the meeting and the boss can chew my ass. Come along."
As they wait momentarily outside the Oval Office the President' secretary answers the phone, looks at Heller and says, "It's for you sir, the Director of the FBI."
"You just left the meeting here, Bradley, what's up? Okay, I'm on a secure line now. What? Jesus, join us as soon as you arrive, we're getting ready to go in now."
"Mike, that was your old boss Bradley Johnson, he can substantiate our worst fears, he had a call on his car phone as he left, by luck we've just uncovered the plan and timetable for China' adventure in the Far East. It appears our worst fears are about to come true. The Chinese communists are going to take action within the week. This will give the President the red ass; the Chicoms promised him a heads-up before any overt move. Damn! The world never seems to change or learn."