Please register or login to continue

Register Login

The Traitor Awakes...

The Traitor Awakes...

By PeterHunter

The Traitor Awakes…
Peter Hunter
… remained a shroud of grey daylight as the Victor class submarine slipped silently up the Beloye channel - seeking open sea… Her crew were excited, inquisitive and eager … like gun dogs before a shoot…
… long months in port… seamen above all, craved the wide ocean...
Still inside the Arctic Circle, daylight for an entire twenty-four hours - precious weeks before the brief summer died - crisp air hinting of autumn… the long harsh winter ahead...
The matt black, 347 foot vessel slid easily through the mirrored water. With scarcely a ripple the gunmetal surface parted briefly, iridescent under a pale sky… she tracked the deep channel…
… pleased to be afloat again - such trips rare now…
Most of the fleet's submarines had been scrapped and Russia had no money to waste deploying its hunter-killers continuously at sea. Only occasionally was a voyage authorised for training and maintaining morale.
He longed for the way it had once been - years before they'd have kept clear of the deep-water channel, wary of colliding with a Ushakov nuclear powered cruiser or a Kiev class carrier. These days, these huge warships were rare - mostly rusting, in dockyards, or in the queue for a recharge of enriched uranium for their reactors.
… his sleek Victor edged along the channel, Commander Nurenko could smell the open Arctic ahead and his heart beat faster as he tasted the salt spray. Pressurised water reactors… steam for the powerful turbines, hardly working at this pedestrian speed, but once in the open ocean they could dive, manoeuvre and test the full performance of this beautiful craft.
4900 tons on the surface, 6000 submerged, she was small by Russian nuclear standards… some of the big missile boats displacing an astonishing
20000 tons…
… even so, the Victor was modern, a crew of eighty-five and virtually unlimited range. Only food supplies and the stamina of her crew limited her capacity… She was deadly too, six tubes firing nuclear torpedoes - and fast, very fast, able to make forty five knots submerged, superior to the best British or American boats…
… was almost as if she herself had a soul… a mind of her own sensing the ocean ahead, when an almost imperceptible shudder, excitement or anticipation… vibrated through her hull - tiny palpitations in her heartbeat, nosing relentlessly northwards, towards her real world…
Nurenko was once been a proud man - commanding this vessel at the height of Soviet power…
… but now…? difficult to be proud of the mess they were into…
In the past he wouldn't have agreed to the proposition put by the retired Field Marshal, a crook who stole weapons and explosives.
There was a rumour he'd sold a Mig 29, although Nurenko doubted that… once he'd have reported the man… but sadly things were now different… the whole dammed country was corrupt. Finally he'd given in… let himself be persuaded - seduced by the lure of the US dollars…
… 'Commander Nurenko,' the old man beckoned…
… 'after your many years serving Russia, you deserve better than the state pension... … more than a truck full of roubles worth nothing…'
US dollars, many tens of thousands of them, were what he'd been offered. … An old navy man, a top commander, shouldn't retire a pauper…
… so he'd succumbed to the general's inducements…
Gazing wistfully towards the peace and solitude of the Arctic - a purple-grey sky where the midnight sun tried its best at becoming night - now regretting his decision. It wasn't what he was doing - even what his crew thought... They didn't realise what the sealed container really held - but arms… foreign deliveries, were nothing new. They'd taken place as long as he'd served in the navy - supplying tin-pot terrorist operations around the world - destabilising legitimate governments…
… it was a regret… sadness that it had come to this - a senior captain in the remnants of the world's greatest underwater fleet, smuggling weapons stolen from his own people - his old comrades…
… an accomplice to theft and treason so he might live near his grandchildren, buy them presents… survive comfortably in his old age.
As he gazed into the pale distance where the Arctic horizon etched the edge of his world… a large tear rolled reluctantly down his weathered old face…
End
© Peter Hunter 2012
This short story is extracted from peter Hunter's thriller Time Of The Eagle on Kindle

Recommend Write a Review Report
About The Author
PeterHunter
PeterHunter
About This Story
Audience:
All Audiences
Posted:
7 Mar, 2012
Type:
Sad
Words:
733
Favorites:
0
Views:
1,836

Please login or register to report this story.

Of Interest on Amazon
More Stories

Please login or register to review this story.