Operation Gladio - Book Extract
Operation Gladio, a stay behind operation in Europe run by NATO and was supposedly disbanded in 1988 but when Alex Kalfas is summoned by his prime minister and blackmailed into taking on the post of minister of economics for Greece, he realises that it is still operational, but in a much more dangerous form. He reluctantly accepts the post in the hope that he can live up to the Gladio motto of 'serve liberty in silence' and stop the very fabric of democracy in Europe dismantling. Assassinations, intrigue and cold blooded murder follow Alex as he prepares for a meeting of the Bilderberg Group. He finds an ally, Gitta a beautiful CIA double agent who guides him through the tangled web of east - west political maneuverings. From a rogue MI6 operative, to a CIA traitor, to a military coup and the sexual meanderings of Elena Davilova, his counterpart in Russia, Alex not only has to protect his own life but also somehow bring Europe back from the brink of economic chaos and a renewed cold war. Operation Gladio will be published through Amazon in September 2016.
October 25th 2010 – Langley – Virginia
Laura watched patiently as Jim Broadbent brought the screens that were embedded into the wall of the operations room to life. She had earlier briefed him on the live feeds and recordings she wanted from the various spy satellites they controlled in the European and Balkans region. These screens would add credibility to her analysis which she had typed up and placed in the folders around the desk. At least she hoped that would be the case. She was especially interested in the screen that had followed the Greek prime ministers plane from Tatoi; the military base close to Athens; to Alexandropoulos in Thrace. It now showed an overhead view of a villa with a black four by four standing in the drive.
Laura marvelled at the technology leaps which had enabled governments to watch and listen to what was going on around the world. She estimated there were approximately one thousand one hundred operational satellites in orbit around the Earth, fifty percent of which were sent into orbit by the United States. Half of that number are in a low earth orbit just a few hundred kilometres above the surface; including the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope and many observation satellites. About a twentieth are in a medium earth orbit around 20,000 kilometres up. These are mostly global positioning satellite for navigation, like household satnav’s and cell phone GPS apps. A small handful are in an elliptical orbit which brings them closer and further from the earth. The rest are in geostationary orbit at an altitude of almost thirty-six thousand kilometres. If we could see these satellites from earth they would seem to hang motionless in the sky. By remaining over one geographic area they provide the perfect platform for telecommunications, broadcasting, weather observations and of course spying. Just like the ones broadcasting to the screens Laura was looking at, twenty-four hours a day. What was more remarkable was that it was possible to change the direction of a satellites orbit or switch it from a normal orbit to a geostatic or vice versa at the flick of a switch.
Yes, she thought, it was all a bit 1984-ish but she had embraced it. Her philosophy was that if you had done nothing wrong you had nothing to fear. Except, she had done something wrong and now she could not go back.
She has met Arcady six months ago at a Washington function. She had been attracted to him instantly and even though she knew that he was a Russian Embassy attaché she took a chance and introduced herself. They found a quiet corner where they could talk and as the evening went on she realized she was becoming more and more attracted to him. Arcady wasn't a young man he was in his mid-fifties but that was the age that Laura liked her men. As they talked she felt the familiar moistness on her thighs. Arcady sensed that she was ready and suggested they find somewhere even quieter to talk. The room they found was obviously a dressing room for the lady of the house and once inside Laura asked.
“Are you wired?”
“No!” Arcady replied.
“I have to be sure,” said Laura. “Please take off all your clothes.”
“Of course,” said Arcady, “but you must take your clothes off too.”
“You first,” said Laura. Arcady complied. He had no wire but then Laura had figured that he wouldn't have had one anyway. She studied him for a while. He had a slight paunch but she quite liked that in a man. He was very hairy and she thought it strange that his body was covered in black hair yet his head had grey hair.
“Your turn, “said Arcady. Laura slowly got undressed and as she did so she could feel her nipples hardening and the wetness around have thighs increasing. By the time she had finished getting undressed Arcady’s manhood had become extremely hard.
“Well neither of us is wired,” said Arcady smiling.
“I might have a microphone hidden somewhere which isn't obvious,” purred Laura, as she walked towards Arcady. She put his hand between her thighs. He knelt in front of her. Some minutes later she gasped and said. “Do you normally look for hidden microphones with your tongue?”
An hour later they re-joined the main party both of them glowing after their love making. As their relationship grew they became lovers and Laura began to spy for the Russians.
Gradually over time Arcady won her over and persuaded her to tell him what the CIA was doing. Laura convinced herself that she wasn't a traitor, after all she wasn't giving away top secret information. She only gave him small bytes of information, nothing that would really compromise the position of the United States. In return he provided her with an intellectual companion and an excellent lover. They met several times a week on the outskirts of Washington in a small motel which Arcady himself had hand-picked. They remained an ecstatically happy couple for several months until one day Arcady change the venue of their clandestine meets. The meeting was in a big house just over the Maryland state line in Virginia. Arcady himself opened the door and showed her into a spacious lounge area. There was a woman seated on a chaise lounge, a beautiful woman, it took Laura several moments to realize that the woman was Elena Davilova the Russian deputy minister of economics.
Laura stared at her; then Elena smiled warmly and said “Hello Laura, Arcady has told me a lot about you. Come sit!” Elena patted the chaise lounge indicating to Laura that she wanted her to sit down next to her.
Laura walked over and sat rather stiffly. She had been taken aback with Elena Davilova being there with Arcady. Elena leaned towards Laura until their lips were almost touching. Just close enough for Laura to smell the subtle fragrance of her scent and the sweet bouquet of her breath. It was then that Laura realised with astonishment that she could desire another woman. Elena leaned forward once more and this time let her lips brush Laura’s while at the same time she laid her hand softly on Laura’s exposed thigh. Arcady had asked Laura to wear something sexy when he had told her about the change of venue for their meeting. So Laura was wearing a backless, strapless, short evening dress in matt silver.
Laura covered Elena’s hand with her own, uncrossed her legs and pulled the hand gently between her thighs. Elena leaned in again and this time parted Laura’s lips with her tongue. Laura let out a low moan as Elena’s hand touched the outside of her now very moist panties.
Laura couldn’t clearly recall how she had got undressed nor who had undressed her but an hour later as she lay eyes closed in complete abandonment in Elena’s arms with Arcady naked, cuddling her from behind, she knew she was smitten by Elena’s raw sexuality. She wanted more. That night she was pampered by both Elena and Arcady for several hours until finally she fell into a deep contented sleep completely exhausted.
While she slept Arcady and Elena talked about Arcady's progress in turning Laura. Arcady said he was confident that Laura would continue to supply them with enough data to keep them one step ahead of the Americans and the British as well as keep Laura the safe side of having too much of a guilt complex.
Laura herself was very good at justifying all her actions whether they be good or bad. This particular characteristic had served her well throughout her university life, her career and in particular her sexual desires with her penchants of wanting married elderly men with brains in the normal place. This trait enabled her to avoid nasty guilt complexes. So now she had two lovers, one of each sex. Both high profile Russian diplomats and she was giving them, not secrets – Laura didn't believe keeping them informed of what her section was doing or where it was doing it – was giving away state secrets. After all she reasoned with the technology both sides had at their disposal, both sides could monitor the movements of the other. No, she considered her thought process perfectly valid and leaking information to Arcady and by default Elena would not harm anyone and it would keep certain parties pleased with her. This might have been true six months ago but now events had a momentum of their own and there had been collateral damage with more to come. Unbeknown to Laura she was not immune to being a damage limitation target by any of the powers that were in play.
“Laura!” Barry threw a pencil rubber across the desk at Laura. “Are you with us or far away in another universe?
Laura jumped, startled out of her thoughts of Arcady and Elena. “Sorry,” she muttered. “Just trying to pull things together in my head.”
“Then tell us,” said Barry. “Have you managed to make sense of this at all?
Laura looked around the faces at the table. Barry was looking anxious as always. She knew he would have to report to Geoffrey as soon as she had finished her briefing. Jim was probably more focused on his technological gadgets than her analysis. David Page looked very tired and why shouldn’t he be. He had just flown in from Athens and had spent the previous two hours being debriefed by Laura herself. She cleared her throat and began her analysis, hoping against hope that she had got it right and that they would not suspect that some of her sources were very close to home. Whether the U.S.A. could act or stop whatever was going to happen or just let ‘others’ pick up the pieces was not her decision. After all she was just a conduit she reasoned and couldn’t influence her government or anyone else’s. Or so she thought.
Chapter 13 - continued
October 25th 2010 – Alexandroupoli, Western Thrace - Greece
Themis Xenakis tried not to notice the ever extending pool of blood as it crawled across the grey marble floor like the incoming tide on a shingle beach inching ever closer to the dining room table he was sitting at. He felt sick but he couldn’t show it. He couldn’t let Dexter see any weaknesses as he would be the first to exploit them. He probably had two minutes, before he returned from the bathroom, to compose himself and steel himself for the negotiations that lay ahead. He felt quite alone for a moment. He had no real allies in the government and he was essentially going it alone with the Russians and Germans, while at the same time convincing himself he was saving Greece from an economic meltdown. Even the collateral damage and the riches he would garner from the coming events were simply by-lines to the main theme he mused.
The hiring of John Dexter was an essential part of the strategy even though the man had a reputation for treating his customers aggressively and rather rudely. Once you had done business with Black Hawke you were tied to them for life and Dexter never let you forget it. In some ways Black Hawke was the most powerful organisation in the world, second only to Goldman Sachs and the U.S. government.
Dexter was an ex-marine who had seen four tours in Iraq shared between both gulf wars, and one tour in Afghanistan. He was awarded the medal of honour after he was captured and tortured for thirty days by the Iraqis on his second tour in the first gulf war, before he managed to escape and make his way on foot across the desert to Jordan. On leaving the marines he set up Black Hawke which initially hired mercenaries for small one off projects. As the company grew in size and reputation it became more and more involved in major conflicts in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Georgia and Ukraine. Guns for hire with no particular loyalty to western or eastern governments, just an allegiance to money.
Despite all that, he would show Dexter that he was not in awe of him and that he was not going to be bulldozed into doing anything he didn’t like.
“You didn’t have to kill them, did you?” Themis questioned as Dexter entered the room. “You could have blindfolded them before I came here.”
“Sure, and they wouldn’t have recognised your voice,” replied Dexter as he sat down opposite Themis.
“There had to be a way of not having to kill them,” continued Themis.
Dexter didn’t reply at first as he busily retrieved some papers from the end of the table and handed them to Themis. “Don’t be so naïve, you yourself ordered the killing of your economics minister.”
Touché thought Themis, he was right of course. He hadn’t thought twice about arranging the assassination of Antonopoulos. He had felt it necessary to prevent the information that he had to leak out. Then there was Alex’s mother. That was a strange one because his sources were sure that she had been pushed. However, no-one knew why. It was probably one of those unexplained coincidences and had nothing to do with the current operation.
“Tomorrow we will begin our end of the operation. I have two hundred of my best men strategically placed around Thrace and three demolition experts surveying the most vulnerable sections of the pipeline,” explained Dexter. “My people have confirmed the first tranche of money has arrived in our account. As per our agreement we will receive the remaining ten million dollars when the job is complete.”
“Yes,” agreed Themis, nodding as if to emphasis his compliance. Don’t worry the money will be in your account by close of business on the 27th. You have forty-eight hours to complete the operation.”
“Then we are done. All the details are in these documents which you can take with you. I would recommend you destroy them once the operation is complete,” said Dexter, a conspiratorial smile hovering around his mouth. “After all we wouldn’t want to leave a trail to either of our doors, now would we?”
“No,” said Themis as he got up while putting the documents that Dexter had given him into a file. He leant forward and extended his hand towards Dexter. “Good luck.”
Dexter shook Themis hand saying. “I’ll walk you to the door, it was nice doing business with you.”
About the author
Philip was born and educated in the United Kingdom. He joined Citibank in London before moving to Athens where he worked as a foreign exchange trader for both Citibank and Chase Manhattan Bank. Philip was then posted to Citibank's Middle East North African Training Centre in Athens/Beirut as the operations manager and a foreign exchange trainer.
After returning to the United Kingdom Philip joined Union Bank of Switzerland as the Head of Learning and Development and introduced trading simulations as a safe way for new traders to trade. In 1993 he was appointed Head of Learning and Education for UBS in North America. He later left the bank and went into partnership with two colleagues and set up a successful financial training company (New Learning Developments) in New York City. At New Learning Developments he developed relationships with all the major investment banks such as Goldman, Lehman, JP Morgan, and other major financial institutions such as The Federal Reserve Bank, Chase, Citibank, ABN-AMRO and the World Bank.
In 1999 he returned to London where he worked as a training consultant to financial services institutions and the Ministry of Defence. In 2001 he moved to Greece where he wrote books teaching English as a second language as well as developing knowledge databases for on-line brokerage houses.
He returned to London in 2012 where he works with autistic children and conducts webinars on foreign exchange and on-line retail trading. He has also written a children’s book, two fictional short stories, a poetry book, several books on currency trading and now this his first novel, a political thriller set in Greece.
More by this Author
The Old Woman of Mani is a science fiction short story written by Philip Michael Cooper and published by Amazon, Smashwords and FeedARead. Its the story of a 'Transitional' an alien living on earth.
Remembering Jounieh is an adult short story written by Philip Michael Cooper. It is an account of the authors experiences in Beirut in 1976 and is available on Amazon.