Protect and Survive: The Last Game

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A short update.

Wednesday, February 15, just after 6 a.m. EST


"...breaking news we just now have received here at 27 News. The University of Kentucky Board of Regents will vote at noon today on whether to continue or suspend all school operations immediately. Sources tell 27 News that the Board is split: one group wants to shut down the university, the other wants to proceed as normal..."


"...the Tennessean newspaper out of Nashville is reporting in its Wednesday edition that Vanderbilt trustees want UK to produce a guarantee of between two and four million dollars in order to play on Sunday...."

The Agent shut off the television, and turned on his radio set.

He nearly dropped his coffee, and had a little trouble dialing the knob down the dial. Jitters, he supposed.

"...59 WVLK, and coming up on Sunday the sixth-ranked Kentucky Wildcats are scheduled to travel to Nashville to play the Vanderbilt Commodores, with tip-off at 1 p.m. and pre-game beginning at noon here on WVLK. I say scheduled because according to the Nashville Tennessean, Vandy is asking UK for a sum of..."

"....630 WLAP. The Legislature will meet in Frankfort today to consider a number of emergency measures that the Governor's Office has said are "just in case" measures aimed at ensuring that state government will continue in the event of any conflict between the United States and the USSR..."

"...that was Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, singing Jackson, here on 650 WSM. Commuters coming to work downtown will want to note an increased number of Tennessee National Guard vehicles around town. They shouldn't interfere with traffic on the interstates, but some road closings around the Capitol building will affect downtown traffic..."

".....ah, we're broadcasting from the Bunker here at Rockefeller Center, me, Robin, Fred and a cast of lesbians, just in case 1984: Doomsday happens. 66 WNBC, or, as Pig Vomit wants us to say, Double-You-EEEEEENNNNNNNNNNNNNNN-Bee-Cee. Well, Pig Vomit can kiss my ass. Tell 'em, Fred..."

"....The Reds will stay put for at least the next week and not begin spring training until next Wednesday at the earliest. Bob Howsam told 700 WLW that..."

"...spokesman for Mayor Washington told WGN that it will 'be business as usual' in Chicago..."

"...traffic is lighter than normal for early Wednesday morning going into downtown Atlanta..."

"...Bible prophecy is LINING UP...Ezekiel does not say anything about a nuclear attack on the United States. It DOES indicate that Gog and Magog - which we have established is Russia, or the current-day Soviet Union - will invade Israel. Could all of the recent troubles in Europe be a COVER for an invasion of Israel???..."

The Agent chuckled to himself. If the preacher only knew what we were really up to....

"...the Bible says when you see the signs, LOOK UP, for your redemption is DRAWING NIGH....Ladies and Gentlemen, my opinion, and be a Berean and go to the Bible to verify this, but I think if you do you'll see for yourself, my opinion is that the Rapture is NIGH! The people of God will be taken like a thief in the night, and the Russians will invade Israel and be destroyed, and that, war or not, the ANTICHRIST will come in and bring peace where there was no peace, and usher in the seven year period known as the Great Tribulation."

Having had enough of the radio evangelist, the Agent turned the knob. His jitters were gone; Maxwell House must be kicking in.

"...St. Paul police arrested thirty-three protestors overnight in front of the State Capitol. The protestors were part of Tuesday's peace rally in St. Paul, and camped out to continue their protest for peace. Police negotiated with the group for several hours before choosing to remove them around 3:30 this morning. WCCO has learned seven of the protestors were taken to area hospitals for medical treatment..."

" on WHAS84, tonight at 9, Mayor Sloane will be on Metz Here to address numerous topics, including the peace rally, and also the story in today's Courier-Journal about continuity of city and county government. WHAS84 has learned that the Mayor will address the story, and other topics, in a press conference today at noon. The Courier also reported mandatory overtime shifts for all Louisville city police officers beginning today, and that Jefferson County police wlll follow suit..."

In a Lexington apartment, the Agent was preparing for his mission.

In his overcoat pocket sat an airplane ticket, from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to Chicago, 5:50 p.m. departure. He had no reason to expect that he wouldn't make his flight.

In another Lexington apartment, a student, also part of the mission, took his sixth shot of whiskey in an hour, trying to choke down any second thoughts trying to creep in his mind.

On campus, many students were still asleep, many wide awake, either getting ready for class, or glued to a TV set watching the news.

A few were making plans to leave, regardless of how true the rumors about a total shutdown were. Some were members of the men's and women's track teams. Some of their teammates were already gone, driving back home or waiting for family to arrive to pick them up.

Some wanted to leave, but couldn't. International students were especially anxious, wondering if they'd be out on the street at the end of the day.

One didn't have to worry about the street, having more than $400,000 US dollars in a bank account. Still she wished she were back home in England, no matter how bad things sounded. Protect and Survive with loved ones was preferable to American network news alone.

Elsewhere on campus, professors and department heads were making their own contingency plans. The athletic director was trying to deal with several things at once, well aware that come noon the Board might take care of his problems for him.

Elsewhere in Lexington, a reporter was two hours from waking up. His editor practically ordered him to sleep in late and not come in until around noon.

On a mid-day morning, a small southern city was waking up, going about business as usual.

Many people suspected, somehow, that might not be the case for much longer.
Thanks, Archangel!


I said that I would do Wednesday in one giant update. While I reserve the right to do such updates, I'm finding that isn't quite working for me right now. While one update for each day is out of the question, what I can do is post more frequently. However frequent my updates are (or are not), I'll continue to concentrate on quality. I'd rather post less frequently with updates that are as good as I can deliver.
One thing I likely will do is pull back on the perspective of the Senator. I'm finding that keeping things Lexington-centric, with peeks as to what's going on in Louisville and elsewhere, will work best for me and the storyline. Not that he's going away entirely - we should find out his eventual fate before the Exchange.

But honestly, a storyline touching on a state senator and the Kentucky General Assembly should be its own thread, one that I currently don't have the vision or inspiration to take on.
Update coming this week.

My sincerest apologies for letting this thread go for so long.

Let go of the guilt!

When you are writing, you will write.

Easy for me to say of course, hopping on the yacht several months after it's already started sailing...

"Anthony...or, should I say, Anatoly."

Those were the first words the young man understood, after coming to.

He looked around him: he was in some sort of room, in a hospital. He guessed this because he was laying on a cot - the kind one would find in a hospital - with linen, or cotton, curtains a few meters around him. The room was well lit, more so than the room he last remembered himself being in.

The pain!

The right side of his head suddenly began throbbing. He vaguely remembered being hit with a fist - or was it the butt of a sidearm?.

The argument, before, with the Agent.

The threats, to kill his loved ones, back home.

His change of mind about the Mission. His conscience, trumping patriotism.

Words spoken, then shouted, increasingly in anger. More threats, more shouts, then a shove, then a punch. And the iron fist or whatever it was.

He didn't remember anything more, after that, until waking up in this room.

Am I in the hospital?

Oh God...did he carry out the plan?

He struggled to look around him. He clearly wasn't alone, in this bright room, though he didn't understand what was initially said to him.

"Don't get up, Anatoly. Stay there and rest."

They called me Anatoly.

He focused in on the others in the room. One...two...three...all men, wearing suits and ties. And badges.

"....did...did he carry out....are they alright...did you stop him..." he said, in Russian. Without realizing he should have been speaking English. Nor, that the others in the room were speaking to him, in Russian.

Anatoly, flat on his back, lifted his head slightly. The dull throbbing in his head sharpened considerably when he did so, bringing his head back to the pillow and causing him to groan. After about a minute, the pain lessened back to throbbing, the young man struggled, slowly, to raise his head, to at least focus more closely on his visitors.

"You...are you...Spetznaz?"

The second of the three men - middle in height, and about 10 years older than the other two - walked to Anthony's side, and looked him in the eyes.

"Anatoly," the man said in English, "we are most certainly not Spetznaz, nor associated in any way with your country's government or military. My associates and I are with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We're here to ask you some questions."

"FBI?" Anthony responded, this time also in English. " are Americans?"

"We're representatives of the United States government. And, as I said, we want to ask you some questions. Despite your condition, Anatoly, we don't have the luxury of time."

The throbbing in Anatoly's head increased, in timing now with his heartbeat. Now aware enough of his surroundings, he tried to figure out what to do, or say, next.


"Enough," the leader of the three men said abruptly.

"Son, we know about the plan, the plan to shoot those people at the university. We know about the agent, about the altercation you had with him. We know why you two were there in the first place. We also know you're in a world of trouble, even though you didn't want to go through with the and I both know that our two countries are not, shall I say, seeing eye to eye at the moment. And that my own country does not look kindly on anyone who might try to commit acts of terrorism within its borders, and not at all towards anyone who would try to kill any of its citizens.

"I don't think you really wanted to do either of those things. But right now, in the position you are in, it is as if you yourself purposed to commit those acts. Now, given the state of affairs, I won't pretend that you'll get off easy. BUT...if you cooperate fully with us, I can promise a high degree of leniency. If you don't...the United States will not hesitate to forcefully deal with ANY threats to its borders, down to the individuals who are perceived to pose them.

"Anatoly, the rest is up to you."

The young Ukrainian let all of that sink in, even as his head throbbed.


"...University public relations nor campus police would comment on a rumor that an unidentified armed man tried to gain access to the Board meeting shortly before it started this morning..."


"...the Board has voted to keep the university open at least through the end of next week, and to proceed with all activities as normal.' That was the entire statement made to media at a press conference after the meeting. Neither President Otis Singletary nor other campus officials could be reached for comment afterwards. The breakdown of the vote was not made public. UK's sports information department confirmed that all regularly scheduled athletic events for at least the next two weeks, including men's basketball game Sunday at Vanderbilt, will go on as planned..."
Let go of the guilt!

When you are writing, you will write.

Easy for me to say of course, hopping on the yacht several months after it's already started sailing...

Thanks for the kind words, and encouragement.

Sometimes life presents enough obstacles to something like this. Writer's block makes it worse...
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