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Authors: Don Brown

Black Sea Affair

Books by Don Brown

The Navy Justice Series

Treason

Hostage

Defiance

ZONDERVAN

Black Sea Affair

Copyright (c) 2008 by Don Brown

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of Zondervan.

Mobipocket Edition February 2009 ISBN: 978-0-310-31655-8

Requests for information should be addressed to:

Zondervan,
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Brown, Don, 1960-
The Black Sea affair / Don Brown.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references [if applicable].

ISBN-13: 978-0-310-25224-5

1. United States, Navy--Fiction. 2. Russia (Federation). Voenno-Morskoi Flot--Fiction. 3. Terrorists--Fiction. 4. Black Sea--Fiction. 5. Submarines (Ships)--Fiction. 6. Submarine disasters--Fiction. I. Title.

PS3602.R6947B57 2008
813'.6--dc220
2007049128

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the
Holy Bible, New International
Version
(r)
. NIV
(r)
. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means -- electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other -- except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.

08 09 10 11 12
23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

This novel is dedicated

to the submarine force of the United States Navy

"Run silent. Run deep."

CONTENTS

Title Page

Copyright Page

Acknowledgments

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Defiance

Hostage

Treason

About The Publisher

Share Your Thoughts

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Special thanks to United States Army veteran Jack Miller of La Mesa, California, and United States Air Force veteran Keith Kinlaw of Charlotte, North Carolina, for their military technical assistance.

And special thanks to Ms. Julie Haack Kral of Charlotte, North Carolina, and United States Army veteran Jack Miller of La Mesa, California, for their superb editorial assistance.

"Any man who may be asked in this century what he did
to make his life worthwhile, can respond with a good deal of pride
and satisfaction: 'I served in the United States Navy.' "

President John F. Kennedy

Speech to the new plebe class
United States Naval Academy
August 1, 1963

PROLOGUE

Outside the village of Tolstoy-Yurt
The Russian Republic of Chechnya

March 2005

The Russian jeep kicked up a hazy cloud of dust in the afternoon sun, bumping its way along the pothole-riddled gravel road. The bunkered compound at the end of the road, fortified by a high wall of brown sandbags, was classified as top secret, for the survival of the bunker's occupant was crucial to the future of the nation.

And yes, Chechnya was a nation. She had lived for generations, but in reality, had yet to be born. Chechnya would some day be free of the brutal Russian soldiers and their pillaging, rape, and murder. Chechnya would deal a lethal blow to the Russians and become an independent Islamic republic.

This was her manifest destiny.

Even so, Salman Dudayev wondered why he had been summoned here.

True, the highest officials in the liberation movement had sanctioned his work. But he had yet to come face-to-face with leaders of that movement, and certainly not with the great man who had requested his presence.

Was this a trap?

Would he step through the fortified bunker and find himself staring down the gun barrels of Russian FSB special agents?

Two armed guards standing at the entrance of the bunker motioned him forward. He ducked his head, stepping through a dark, open hole and down a dimly lit stairway.

A familiar voice boomed through the dark. "The work that you are doing to bring about the liberation of our country may never be appreciated by the masses, but I thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Squinting in the dim light cast by the gas lantern, Salman looked in the direction of the voice, struggling to study the face of the man who would at last bring freedom to his people.

"It is not the ambition of the scientist to revel in glory, Mr. President -- "

"Please." President Maskhadov raised his hand, interrupting him midstream.

In the soft flicker of the candles, the president's grey hair and trim salt-and-pepper beard accentuated his black, piercing eyes.

"Call me Alsan Aliyevich, " the president said, speaking as though he had known Salman all his life. "We are brothers in a holy cause, a holy cause for freedom for Chechnya. This makes us friends. Please."

Salman was taken aback. This was a man he revered. This was a man who had served as an officer in the Red Army, and then, after the fall of the old Soviet Union, had become the military leader of his own people.

He inhaled deeply, then exhaled, measuring his words. "Yes, as I was saying" -- he took another deep breath and uttered the name -- "Alsan Aliyevich. It is not the ambition of the scientist to revel in glory, but to unlock the secrets of the universe to bring about better conditions for all mankind."

"It appears that you were well trained in America."

"Yes. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the world's finest scientific research and training institution."

"So tell me, Salman, how is the project coming?"

"My team is gathering the materials we need now, sir. We are still in search of fuel, but -- "

President Maskhadov interrupted. "We need this sooner rather than later, you know."

"Yes, I am aware of the urgency."

"They strangle us like an anaconda." He lit a cigarette, inhaled, and blew a puff of smoke. "From all around. Dagestan. Stavropol. North Ossetia-Alania. Ingushetiya."

Another draw from the cigarette. A reflective look on the president's face.

"They will strangle us if we do not act. We must not fail." The president's black eyes pierced Salman. "Do you understand me?"

"Yes, Mr. President."

"You are our best and our brightest. You were selected to study in America because of your exemplary academic record. We depend upon you now, Salman. Is there any ambiguity in what I am asking you to do?"

"None, Mr. President."

"You know they are plotting to kill me. Do you not?"

"I have heard rumors."

"Then move with haste, my friend."

"You have my word, sir." Salman sensed that he was being dismissed. He started to turn when the president touched his shoulder.

"Wait, Salman."

"Yes, sir?"

"I know about your family."

The two words --
your family
-- stung like scorpions. Two years had passed, and still he struggled to erase the memories of the massacre, to put the loss of his wife and two children out of his mind.

President Maskhadov's eyes were compassionate. "I am so sorry for your loss."

"Thank you, sir."

"I pray the comfort of your soul, and that your work shall be a medium of vengeance to those infidels responsible for these barbaric crimes."

Salman let the great man's words sink in. "The memory of this barbarism drives my soul, Mr. President. I shall not let you down, and if necessary, I am prepared to enter martyrdom for Chechnya."

President Maskhadov smiled. "Go. Do your duty in haste. For your country, and for Allah."

A guard led him back up the steps, back into the light. He climbed into the jeep. The driver cranked the engine.

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