see what you can dig up on his employees, people from his past.
We’ll have the SMI analyze possible escape routes.”
“Got something good already,” said Charlie, who’d already been diving into his databases
while the president was speaking. “He was married for thirteen years, but his wife
died of ovarian cancer. They have a daughter, Nadia, now twenty. We’ll locate her.
Right now he’s got an American girlfriend, Jessica North, super hottie. We can follow
up with her entire family. Also, he was a Soviet intel officer. I’ll search for old
buddies. Says he attended the Institute of Cryptography. Could find an old teacher
or somebody providing a safe house.”
“Go for it,” said Fisher.
Briggs chimed in: “Kasperov’s right hand was a young guy named Patrik Ruggov, aka
Kannonball. Big Russian bear. I’ll see if I can find him. In the meantime, the NSA’s
telling us they’ve already flagged Kasperov’s family members’ and known intimates’
landlines and cell phones for intercept. They’ve been logging in every incoming and
outgoing phone call for the last couple of years.”
“I’ll get the SMI on that, too,” said Grim.
Fisher was working through a sidebar on the SMI, sifting through magazine articles
on Kasperov. “Jesus, this guy’s been everywhere. He sponsors an F1 race team: Kasperov-McClaren.
Maybe he’s got contacts in one of the race cities. And look at this, he’s hung out
with rock stars all over the UK, going on pub crawls and taking his people on lavish
company retreats in Costa del Sol, Monte Carlo, and Cancún. Says here he threw a New
Year’s Eve party with over a thousand guests. His company operates in more than one
hundred countries. Gonna be tough to narrow down this search.”
“No kidding,” said Grim. “And that localized virus? It’s affecting ATC over Moscow
right now. Look at these reports.”
Fisher scanned the airport map and the transcripts from intercepted radio transmissions.
Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo, Myachkovo, Ostafyevo, Bykovo, and Ramenskoye Airports
were all reporting radar service disruptions, distortion, false blips on radar, and
other unexplained interference.
“Like I said,” Charlie began, “he’s a genius. He won’t do anything stupid like use
a credit card or allow his face to be photographed. He knows where the security cameras
are, and he knows all about facial recognition software. Hell, he wrote some of it.
If he wanted to run, then he planned it well, used his expertise with computers and
viruses to cover his ass. Maybe he’s had an escape plan in place for years. The airport
disruption suggests he flew out. We’ll pull up every flight plan we can.”
Fisher turned to the image of Kasperov glowing now on one of the big screens. “So,
comrade, where are you going? Are you going to pull a Bin Laden and hide in the open?
Or maybe something completely different.”
“You’ve gone underground before,” said Grim. “Where would you go if you were him?”
Fisher thought for a long moment but didn’t answer.
MAJOR Viktoria Kolosov—code-named Snegurochka, the Snow Maiden—had tied her long, black
hair into a neat bun. This was not because she preferred it that way, but because
most times when she knifed a man he tended to flail about, reaching violently for
anything he could grasp—and she liked her hair, thought it was one of her best features,
didn’t want any dying bastard to mess it up.
Unsurprisingly, Boris reached out as she punched the folding blade into his neck,
ripped it free, then stabbed him in the heart, which was her original target before
he’d turned and spoiled her whole attack.
As he fell to the asphalt with a gurgling “Why?” she raised the stolen PSS silent
pistol at Oleg.
She cut loose with a pair of 7.62mm rounds that traveled at two hundred meters per
second to impact squarely with his forehead, a textbook