Sunday, September 23, 2012
“On Desperate Ground” by RangerElite
Peking (Beijing), Republic of China
Major General David Halderman and Colonel Aaron Bank waited patiently for Brigadier General Archimedes L.A. Patti's attractive assistant, Sergeant Jane Li, to announce them. In the meanwhile, they entertained themselves by drinking coffee and watching Sergeant Li work, until she finally opened the door and announced them. Arch has done quite well for himself, thought Halderman, noting that the CIA's top intelligence officer in China, and General Donovan's personal envoy to Chinese president, Sun Li-jen, had an office that was far larger than the one that they had once shared.
As all the regulation pleasantries were adhered to, the men settled down to talk. “Nice accommodations, Arch. I was thinking that this was nothing compared to our office in the Pentagon” said Halderman. “Well, David, I really didn't have a choice in the matter, but if I had to be shanghaied again, this is exactly the way it should be. By the way, who's the newbie?” Patti was obviously referring to Colonel Bank, whose uniform mostly made sense to him, as an Airborne-trained OSS man, except for the green beret he wore and the crossed-arrow branch-of-service emblem he wore. As an old-school OSS man, Patti was familiar with Aaron Bank's exploits, especially his operation to kill or capture Adolf Hitler, Operation Iron Cross. “This is Colonel Aaron Bank, and we're here to ask for your help, Arch. I worked up a plan for Jedburgh-style drops into Siberia. See, over the past few years, there have been rumors as to what really happens in Stalin's Gulags and to the Jews that he's had transported east, under the pretense of 'protecting' them. As man whose maternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants, this hits pretty close to home for me, as chilling memories of stories that my grandparents told me are unfolding before my eyes. Also, there are German and Eastern European prisoners in the camps that could be useful to us. It could be worth our while to free them and use them to sow chaos in Siberia...” as Patti allowed himself to absorb what he was being told, he was already formulating a plan, that he would have to present to President Sun and General Rushenko of the FRAF.
As a hedge, Patti asked “How can I help you, gentlemen?” Halderman and Bank looked at each other, then Halderman nodded to Bank, who said “Well, sir, General Halderman and myself, along with my executive officer, have developed a plan to insert my command, the 10th Special Forces Group, by air and by land, and we will require local help in doing so. Since you have impeccable local contacts, we figured that we could do worse than asking you, sir...” the last comment, Bank delivered with a lop-sided, insouciant, smile. Patti found himself thinking “an irregular commander for an irregular command” and found it difficult to suppress a smile of his own. “David, Aaron, you have my wheels turning and I have a few ideas of my own to add” Patti called into his intercom “Sergeant Li, please put on another pot of coffee for our guests, and pot of oolong tea for us, and then join us when you are ready” “Yes, sir” she replied through the intercom. Halderman and Bank shot concerned looks at Patti, as he replied “Jane Li comes from one of the most prominent families in San Francisco, and has been fighting the communists since before we had entered the world war. She has been vetted many times and holds high security clearances for us, and for the Chinese government. She also happens to be a very meticulous planner. We can use her unique talents”
A few minutes later, Jane Li enters the office, pulls out a couple of small office tables, and serves up coffee and tea, before sitting down to join the brainstorming session. She listens intently, and a few minutes into the session, she speaks up “Sirs – General Halderman and Colonel Bank – I think it would be prudent to hire trustworthy local guides to train your men how to travel through their terrain. There are several native Siberians that I can think of who can be given suitable motivation to defect and help us. From my understanding of the situation, if we do not do something soon, the window of opportunity will close and the Soviets will consolidate their gains everywhere. We will never have this chance again.” They all looked at Sergeant Li in stunned surprise, and agreement. They all knew that she was right. “Here's what I propose should happen: follow the model of the Cabanatuan POW camp raid on four of the gulag camps that Chinese intelligence has identified, near the border. One of those camps has been confirmed as having German and Eastern European POW's from the last war, being 're-educated' for repariation back to their nations of origin. We've had paid assets there for many years, especially after the failed 'Republic of Yakutia' fiasco, during the Russian Civil War” Only General Patti was familiar with what Sergeant Li was talking about, so he explained the local history, giving his guests a better understanding of the regional situation.
Having been thus informed, all four of them set about meticulously planning, and gaming, the first large-scale guerrilla action of the Third World War.