Backshot by Dan Cragg, David Sherman Read Free Book Online

Book: Backshot by Dan Cragg, David Sherman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dan Cragg, David Sherman
there was a lot she knew that she shouldn’t.
    Anya sighed and rolled onto her back. She flexed her knees. Ah, that was better. Tim continued to snore. Were the concussions of that enormous snoring really shaking the bedclothes? If they were going to stay together, Tim would have to get that snoring fixed. Back to Atlas. Anya reflected that dissident political elements on Atlas had already tried to kill Lavager, so she could see precisely how Adams would proceed to neutralize him. The CIO would use that as excellent cover to pull off a successful murder, blaming it on the Atlean factions that wanted Lavager dead. She could picture Adams smoothly assuring the President that no one would ever be able to trace the assassination back to Fargo.
    Dammit, she thought, why can’t I just let this go? What can I do about anything? What should I do?
    Events followed their own course, what effect could a slip of a thing like Anya Smiler have on them?
    Besides, the CIO paid her, paid her well enough to afford a great apartment and the lifestyle she enjoyed at Fargo and as long as they did, she owed them her silence. Silence? There was none of that in this apartment tonight.
    Anya got up, went into the living room, and rolled Tim onto his stomach. That was better. She picked up a half-full bottle of wine, pulled a chair to the window, and looked out into the storm. It was really snowing out there; there’d be a meter of the stuff by dawn. Nice, she thought, how nature still ruled human events. That was one thing mankind had not yet made entirely superfluous. Oh, she thought, we can travel faster than light and kill just about anyone we wish, but still, many people won’t make it to work on time today because of the snow. Maybe she’d be one of them. Well, she had enough leave saved up, she should take some of it, call in sick maybe. She took a long swig from the bottle. Good. She took another. Even better. She began to relax. Tim grunted from where he lay on the couch. That was nice, he’d stopped that infernal bellowing. Okay, I’ll just let it go. Why not? Bigger brains than mine will decide what to do about things on Atlas. I’ll plan for retirement instead of worrying about things I can’t control. The snow swirled outside the window in mighty gusts. The last thing she thought before drifting off to sleep was that snowdrifts would be meters deep in the morning. The wine bottle fell from her hand and rolled under the chair. She slept at last and the curtains trembled with her snoring.

    Headquarters, 104th Mobile Infantry Division, Confederation Army, Silvasian Peacekeeping Mission, Silvasia
    Major General Fitzter didn’t bother looking at his primary staff when he said, “We need to find and fix their headquarters, ladies and gentlemen. I believe all of you understand the importance of finding and fixing it long enough for a reaction force to reach it.”
    The assembled officers all studiously avoided looking at the commanding general’s eyes. The Silvasian Liberation Army’s headquarters had been located many times in the seven months standard the 104th had been seeking it. But every time it was found, it moved before the division could mount an operation against it.
    “It’s evident that neither our own assets nor the navy’s vaunted string-of-pearls is capable of locating the SLA HQ.”
    Lieutenant Colonel Kevelys, the division G2—intelligence—officer clenched his jaws and glared straight ahead; the assets that so far had located the enemy headquarters several times belonged to him. The problem wasn’t locating the HQ, it was maintaining contact once the HQ was discovered. To date, every recon team he sent out either had to break and lose contact, or was killed in place. And of course, the navy couldn’t locate the SLA headquarters, the rebels kept to deep forest where they were safe from orbital discovery and observation. If the navy had a warship in orbit, his recon teams could call down fire on

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