Ian Slater: WW III

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Ian Slater WW III
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    WW III
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WW III: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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In the Pacific — Off Koreans east cost, 185 miles south of the DMZ, six Russian-made TU-22M backfires come in low, carrying two seven-hundred-pound cluster bombs, three one-thousand-pound “iron” bombs, ten one-thousand-pound concrete-piercing bombs, and fifty-two-hundred-pound FAEs. In Europe — Twenty Soviet Warsaw Pact infantry divisions and four thousand tanks begin to move. They are preceded by hundreds of strike aircraft. All are pointed toward the Fulda Gap. And World War III begins…

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Ian Slater


That [Russian] withdrawal began last week, when thirty-one Soviet tanks were loaded onto flatbed cars in Hungary. Among those watching the pullout was Ilona Staller, a member of the Italian Parliament and a porno-movie star. Staller kept her clothes on when she posed with Soviet officers, and released a white dove of peace. Ominously, perhaps, the bird was crushed in the treads of a Soviet tank.

Time, May 1989


The man with the eye patch was the president’s pilot. Once, while making love to a beautiful young woman, he had left the patch on, kidding around, pretending to be a pirate of old. But after, in the hush following the storm, she had asked him to take it off. The patch frightened her, she told him, an augury of the perpetual hush that would follow a nuclear explosion, the bomb’s airburst, “brighter than a million suns,” blinding all aboard the “Doomsday” plane except the man with the protected eye-killing all below. Leaving the president in charge of what? Seeing her distress, the pilot had quickly removed it. Trembling with fear, she asked him to hold her and he did. It would be more than a year before he would see her again.

Before he had met her, he had never heard of her two brothers — or anyone else in the Brentwood family for that matter-but then, people all over the world had never heard of the family, and there was no reason they should have, that is until, like the Brentwoods in America and Major Tae in South Korea, everybody suddenly found themselves swept into the maelstrom when, whether anyone liked it or not, ordinary human beings would be called upon to do extraordinary things.


Korea — August 14

High above Seoul’s Yonsei campus, the moon was white — the color of mourning. Mi-ja Tae felt her heart race from the fear of parting, the moon fleeing a cloven sky, one moment its light turning the ginkgo leaves silver, the next swallowing them in darkness. As it was the evening before the annual Independence Day celebrations, fireworks could be seen now and then bursting above the old ‘88 Olympic Stadium south across the river. And tonight, the television news had told them, there was an added reason for celebration. In Europe the Americans and Russians had announced further arms and troop reductions. The prospects for peace, commentators proclaimed, had never been better.

Turning away from her lover, though still in his embrace, Mi-ja told him, “We cannot meet again.”

He was stunned. “What are you saying? Why—”

“If my father knew what you are doing,” she said, “you know he would forbid me seeing you.”

“He doesn’t know.”

“It’s his job to know these things. Sooner or later he will find out.”

“How?” asked Jung-hyun. “He’s at Panmunjom. We’re here.”

“Each time he comes home on leave, it is more difficult.”

“What is more difficult?”

“To deceive him,” said Mi-ja sadly. “I love him very much. If he knew—”

“That’s unreasonable!” said Jung-hyun.

“Not to him,” answered Mi-ja. “He fears the North. For him, you would be a traitor.”

“Then you’re not coming on the march?” It was more accusation than question.

“I didn’t say that. But can’t you see how he—”

“But you,” Jung-hyun pressed, pushing her away, looking down at her beauty, the nape of her neck revealed in fleeting moonlight. “You see, don’t you, that North and South should be united? That we should be together?”

“He wants that, too,” she said.

“Ah—” Jung-hyun said, turning from her, “he is a chin-mipa—pro- American.”

“He doesn’t hate the Americans,” she said, looking up at him. “If that’s what you mean. He says if it wasn’t for them, we would all be slaves.”

“And you believe that?” Jung-hyun said dismissively.

“I’m—” She shook her head and came closer to him, her arms around his waist. He could smell her perfume, feel her softly weeping against him. “I don’t know,” she said, her voice trembling. “I don’t know what to think. Father says the North is looking to make war before the South becomes too strong. He says that is why it’s so dangerous now.”

“Rubbish!” snapped Jung-hyun. “The North will never attack us. They only want peace.” He pushed her roughly away now, his hands in fists of frustration. “You think I’d be in the movement for reunification if I thought the North wanted war?”

“No,” she said.

“Well,” he said, “there you are.”

The moon was lost in cloud. Slowly he drew her back to him. He could feel her heart beating. Stroking the sensuous curve of her neck, he pulled her still closer. She could feel his arousal. “I love you,” he said softly. “You must not worry so. Your father is wrong. There’ll be no war.”


“What’s that?” asked the elderly woman in one of Northwest’s Boeing 767’s starboard window seats. The flight attendant, on her first trip from Seattle to Shanghai, lowered her head to look out into the “wild blue yonder,” as she banally called it. The man from Texas sitting next to the elderly woman didn’t care what the attendant called it so long as she kept bending over him for a better view. He was married, but his wife said she didn’t mind where he got his appetite so long as he did his eating at home.

“A seabird probably,” said the attendant, fresh out of training school in Atlanta.

“At thirty thousand feet?” said the elderly woman. “I don’t think so, dear. It would need an oxygen mask.”

“Oh,” the attendant replied, “then it’s probably another plane.”

“Same altitude as us?” the elderly woman rejoined.

The attendant peered out again, the man from Texas loving it. If only the plane were empty and they were alone.

“I think you’d better find out,” said the woman, a trifle schoolmarmish in her tone. “Would you mind?”

“I’ll ask the senior flight attendant. He’ll probably—”

“You ask the pilot, dear.” As the attendant forced an accommodating smile and stood up, the Texan studiously watched her walk away. She had to squeeze past the drink trolley. The elderly woman was anxiously looking out the window. The Texan, James Delcorte, smiled at her. “I wouldn’t worry about it, ma’am. Probably just a jet fighter.”

She turned, looking sharply at him. “That’s what I’m afraid of.”

“Well, there’s no need,” he said reassuringly. “We’re in the Corridor. If it’s a jet, it’s a South Korean. Or American. We’re on our side of the lane. Besides, there’s a radio beacon plum in the middle to guide civil aircraft.”

“It could go out.”

“Hardly think that’s—”

“Well, it did. During the eighty-eight Olympics. ‘Course,” she continued, “that’d be before your time.”

“I’m not that old,” he replied good-naturedly. He was looking out the window now. “You see? It’s gone.”

“Behind a cloud,” she said. “Remember double oh seven?”

The man was nonplussed. “James Bond?”

“James nothing,” the woman said irritably. “Korean Airlines double oh seven. Shot down by the Russians in eighty-three. You can’t trust any of ‘em. Especially Pyongyang.”

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