Palace of Treason

Palace of Treason

A Novel

Book - 2015 | 1st Scribner hardcover ed
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jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

Vilami na vode pisano , the future is written with a pitchfork on flowing water . No one knows what’s going to happen .
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Tant pis , a shame , but one does not go barefoot on the sidewalks of dog - loving Paris.
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Rodina , the Motherland , but the clean bite of pine forest and loamy black earth was tainted by a hint of liquid corruption , like a dead animal beneath the floorboards .
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She was learning to wait , to listen , to appear to be a wholly quiescent creature of the mephitic atmosphere of her Service .
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Dominika was born a synesthete , with a brain wired to see colored auras around people and thereby read passion , treachery , fear , or deception

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

The Kremlin . Majestic buildings , gilded ceilings , soaring halls , all filled to the rafters with deceit , rapacious greed , and cruelty . A Palace of Treason.
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Dominika was lifted on maroon waves of music at the ballet academy . At twenty - five , she calibrated a man’s lust by his scarlet halo . Now just past thirty , being able to divine men’s and women’s spirits just possibly would save her life .
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His features were delicate : Jawline , cheek , and brow were finely formed , and the impossibly long lashes above the sleepy blue eyes could stir the potted palm fronds in the winter garden from across the room .
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Jamshidi looked back down , met her eyes , and laughed . It was at this point that he should have heard the rustling in the long grass , the instant before grip of fang and claw .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

Gable swallowed , picked up a framed snapshot of Nate’s family , and held it to the light . “ This your folks ? ” Nate nodded . Gable put the photo down . “ Handsome looking bunch . You’re adopted then , or what , forceps delivery ? ”
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A walk - in , could be anything : A madman with aluminum foil inside his hat to ward off alien radio beams , an undocumented exile pleading for a US visa , an information peddler who that morning had memorized a newspaper article and hoped to serve it up as secrets worth a few hundred dollars . Go . Alternatively , a walk - in could be a bona fide volunteer — foreign intel officer , diplomat , scientist — with colossal intelligence that he was willing to pass to the Americans for money , or because of a crisis of ideology , or to exact revenge against a tyrant of a boss , or to spite a system in which he no longer believed

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

“ Do you know the work of the Ninth ? ” He closed his eyes as he recited . “ Analysis of foreign military capabilities . Clandestine acquisition of technology to counter adversary weapons systems . Coordination with our domestic armaments industry . ”
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What do I want in return ? My answer to you is this : Nothing . You are professionals , you will understand . ”
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revenge and ego ; control the former and feed the latter .
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What fueled this Kremlin kleptocracy , what motivated it , was not to bring back the Soviet Union , nor to reinstill the worldwide dread generated by the Red Army , nor to formulate a foreign policy based on national security requirements . In Russia today , everything happened to maintain the nadzirateli , the overseers , to protect their power , to continue looting the country’s patrimony .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

Her passion for her country and her rage at those who coveted power had him in awe of her . And he could still hear the way she said his name — Neyt .
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He was in the pine and scrub forest of the hill country around Meteora , Greece , the region of towering rock monoliths hundreds of feet tall , the largest of which were topped by squat monasteries .
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Kommandatura , the coal - black department of the NKVD , which was the instrument of Stalin’s purges and had eliminated White Russian émigrés , Old Bolsheviks , Trotskyites , and , in twenty - eight consecutive nights in the spring of 1940 , seven thousand Polish prisoners in the Russian forest of Katyn .
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The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 brought an end to unrestricted wet work . Part of the KGB morphed into the modern SVR ; the Lubyanka cellars closed and the building now belonged to the internal service , the FSB .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

Delat ’ iz mukhi slona , don’t make an elephant out of a fly .
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SVR managers — the chiefs of Lines X ( technical intelligence ) , T ( technical operations ) , R ( operational planning ) , and KR ( counterintelligence ) .
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Shilo v meske ne utaish , you cannot hide an awl in a sack .
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Mamulov knew what happened to people who defied Putin — prison terms , traffic accidents , cardiac episodes , fatal muggings — and chose not to return to Moscow after a business trip to Paris .
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“ We’re ducks — calm on top , paddling furiously underwater . ”
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“ The man might not listen to me , but the bald one with the turtleneck always does . ”
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The extroverts in PROD were the ones who looked at your shoes when they spoke to you .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

“ Do you know konspiratsiya ? Operating secretly , not being detected , what you Americans call tradecraft , we invented it . ” Invented spying ? How about the Chinese in the sixth century BC ?
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Dominika’s synesthesia became an operational asset . She could read the deceptions and suspicions in her own rezidentura .
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“ Salo is a delicacy , ” she said . “ It’s fatback bacon , and you Russians eat it cold and raw , the more fat the better . ”
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Russian household demons — what do you call them ? — that live under the floor and knock all night . ” Dominika raised her glass and touched the rim to Nate’s glass . “ Barabashki , the pounders , the bad demons , the domovye . ”
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If he’d done it right , the TALON would interrogate and download the hard drive via infrared link through an IR transparent acrylic strip along the bottom of the bag .
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If she had been a smokestack she would have been trailing a plume of live steam .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

“ Think of a centrifuge cascade as a dense forest of six - foot tubes , thousands of tubes . Each centrifuge is enclosed in an outer casing , and inside it spins at a screaming seventeen thousand revolutions a minute , perfectly balanced . Gaseous , radioactive feed stock is pumped in , and the centrifugal force separates lighter uranium - two - thirty - five , which is pumped out and fed to the next centrifuge in line and so on , in a repetitive , purifying cascading process .
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“ A cascade hall has to have a floor that’s both level and flat to within one ten - thousandth of an inch over many square feet , ” ... said Barnes . “ Frost heaves , small tremors , or major quakes , the floor adjusts , stays level ; the cascades in Hall C keep spinning . ”
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“ WP has a very low ignition point — about eighty - six degrees Fahrenheit — but it burns at five thousand degrees . ”

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

Disaster has befallen you — you just don’t know it yet .
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It would take all week to get this one to scream , thought Zyuganov ; he would be a real challenge . I’d start with electricity , to extinguish the fire in those angry eyes .
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“ Life’s a bitch , ” Gable once told him , “ and Life’s got a lot of sisters . ”
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“ I will eliminate the one on the left . Can you shoot the other one ? ” She looked at him as if she were discussing a recipe for raisin bread .
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Once in the water , she would be gone as completely as if she had fallen overboard at night during a gale in the middle of the ocean .
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Whatever happened tomorrow had nothing to do with tonight .
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Nate stuffed the water - soluble paper into his water glass . The paper fizzed and turned to the consistency of oatmeal in half a second .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

“ Dvorets v Izmene , ” said Dominika under her breath . Benford looked over at Nate , one eyebrow raised . “ Palace of Treason , ” Nate said .
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‘ We are no longer operating in simple times , when history still wore a rose , when politics had not outgrown the waltz . ’
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“ Only the grave will cure the hunchback , ”
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We fought like two scorpions in a brandy glass ,
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“ What happens to two scorpions in a brandy glass ? ” said Nate . Gable flipped the soggy cigar butt into the fire , and drained his drink . “ They can’t get traction so they get face - to - face , lock pincers , and sting each other over and over . They’re immune to their own venom . It’s a fxcking metaphor for marriage . ”

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

Angevine’s rage bubbled and developed an edge like cheap Chianti in a plastic carboy .
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As he had learned during the formative years coming up , you really didn’t have to sweat the work — it just sort of flowed around you , nothing but meetings , talking heads , and staff work delegated down the food chain . The other stuff was out of the senior manager’s playbook : Once a year , either propose an amorphous new “ program , ” or close down an existing program in a display of efficiency and fiscal rectitude ; be sure to fire one or more struggling underlings each quarter to prove you’re a leader ; and know that there is no limit to obsequiousness and flummery when dealing with superiors .
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A hundred Gs . A Porsche Carrera . That Rolex GMT - Master II .
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— greedy , covetous , rapacious , suspicious , impatient , avaricious , extorting , brutal . But never stupid .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

On the corner of the desk was a dummy hand grenade mounted on a wooden base . The plaque on it read COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT . PULL PIN FOR FASTER SERVICE .
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Agency . She met people she never knew existed — seemingly with DNA strands identical to the antediluvian fish that crawled out of the ocean , grunted oxygen , and sprouted legs . Oh Lord , but this was a workshop for cognitive science , this rogue’s gallery : droll skeptics ; conflict junkies ; bipolar egotists ; indolent browbeaters — the sly inquisitors who relished causing distress as a gourmand relishes a mousseline .
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the operations folks — the field officers , men and women — who accomplished heroics from the depths of the shadows , who stole inaccessible secrets and skirted physical danger and manipulated the odds , and who in their anonymity seldom received credit for their secret successes but invariably shouldered the blame for their public failures .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

“ I just want to get out of this wet orchard and get an assignment . ” She thought the argot would sound slick .
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the blond spook twat purposely drove around Washington National Airport , forcing the spotter plane to shear off to avoid commercial landing patterns and resulting in the far - back FEEB team temporarily losing the eye .
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GOLD NUGGET — which contained casing reports on dead drops , car - toss sites , cache sites , brush - pass sites , moving - car delivery sites , brief - encounter sites , and signal sites dating from the 1960s , when agents like Popov and Penkovsky were saving the world from atomic war .
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botcher — is that a word ? — a chronic muddler who , through inattention , ignorance , misplaced self - confidence , and blockheadedness , has left a smoking trail of flaps , ambushes , counterintelligence exposures , and , by my count , the lives of two and possibly three agents in his wake .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

Moskva , the ancient name , the city of “ dark and turgid waters . ”
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“ Probably eats pie with a knife , ” said Hannah , recalling what her mother used to say , New England code for a hayseed ,
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Stalin came to Putin in his dream and told him how to rule Russia . “ Destroy all the democrats without mercy , then eliminate their parents , and hang their children , and incinerate their relatives and their friends , and kill their pets , and paint your Kremlin office blue , ” said Stalin’s ghost . “ Why blue ? ” said Putin . “ I don’t get it , ” said Hannah . “ Come on , ” said Nate . “ The only thing
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Mohammedan distinction between night and day is the moment one can distinguish a black thread from a white one —
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One feels empathy when one has been there ; sympathy when one has not .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

The chemical in it was a delayed action marking system , DAMS for short , that was colorless and undetectable but would react hours later to the UV light of the morning sun and turn rust - colored in a matter of minutes , an indistinct slash of dye on the bars noticeable only to someone who knew
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Olga Prekrasna , Olga the Beauty , the medieval Slav warrior queen who destroyed an enemy capital by releasing hundreds of sparrows with sulfur - soaked strings attached to their feet . At dusk the wheeling birds nested throughout the city — under eaves , in attics , inside barns , in haystacks — and the smoldering sulfur eventually combusted and started hundreds of fires simultaneously , incinerating the city .
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Lubyanka basement , in the room with the hooks and the drains and the far wall lined with massive pine logs to prevent ricochets .
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Her file was rich with tantalizing words , some of which Zyuganov had to look up : Androgyne . Pansexual . Schizotypal .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

From Saint Petersburg through the lakes , Ladoga and Onega , across Rybinsk Reservoir into the Volga canal , to the Volga , all the way downriver through the delta at Astrakhan , then traverse south on the Caspian to Iran and the northern Persian port of Bandar - e Anzali . ”
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“ Kto sluzhit v armii ne smeyetsya v tsirke , he who has served in the army does not laugh at the circus . I am too familiar with the clowns in the counterintelligence staff in GRU . They could not catch a tethered goat . ”
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she could instantly assess the men who would tip a fin , or a dub , or sometimes a yard . She had explained the patois ( five , twenty , a hundred dollars )
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He was sitting in a small grassy depression , part of an artillery fort called Battery Bailey , one of scores of crumbled , overgrown Civil War sites dotted around Washington , DC , now mostly just smooth hillocks or sweeping greenswards , some with a HISTORICAL SITE sign , most of them anonymous and forgotten .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

“ Do Boga vysoko , do Tsarya daleko , God is high up , and the tsar is far away , ”
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“ Les rubyat , schepki letyat , ” she whispered , when you chop wood , woodchips will fly .
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“ German employees ’ union won a national lawsuit to have security cameras taken out of all canteens and break rooms . EU privacy laws . Not bad . ”
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“ Nationally , they average five shocks a day — little ones , all over the country . Statistically , they have a good S wave event every seventeen months .
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“ What is a Fulda Gap ? ” she said . Gable squeezed her hand . “ Cold War ? East German border ? The two valleys where the Russians would attack west when World War Three started ? Any bells ? ”
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“ Yeah , well a lot of good men — and women — get screwed in this game , ” said Nate . “ Maybe the point is we protect a lot of others in the balance . ”
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the virago was dead . She had killed it .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

She would have been the pet snake , growing in length and girth , that one day starts looking at you through the glass of the terrarium as if you were the mouse .
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Moscow Rules included the requirement that the American case officer have no physical contact with the foreign agent for fear of pollinating the Russian source with metka , spy dust , a sticky , colorless fine powder — a compound of nitrophenylpentadienal , also called NPPD — which the FSB surreptitiously spritzed everywhere : on American doorknobs , car handles , floor mats , steering wheels , and in overcoat pockets . From a handshake or unwrapped item , a polluted Russian agent ( if under suspicion ) would fluoresce like a neon Samsung billboard above Tverskaya Street .
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“ Besides , if anyone tries to play it back without pressing the right buttons , it scrubs the entire digital file in two point three seconds . ”

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

“ No doubt you can look down a man’s pants with your drones from a great height . But your drones cannot divine what he intends to do with his prick , with whom , and when . ”
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Margery had long predicted his sudden descent into eccentric senescence — the time had come , apparently .
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“ And God bless , ” said Benford , the agnostic misanthrope who prayed before his own triptych of lying , cheating , and stealing .
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S volkami zhit , povolchi vyt , to live with wolves , you have to howl like a wolf .
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It is discovered that Stalin is alive and living in a cabin in Siberia . A delegation is sent to convince him to return to Moscow , assume power , and restore Russia to greatness . After some reluctance , Stalin agrees to come back . “ Okay , ” he says , “ but no Mr . Nice Guy this time . ”

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

Rusalki , the mythic Russian water nymphs , the lovely , long - haired mermaid demons who were the spirits of young women , dead before their time . They would sit along the shore and sing , and lure men close , to drag them to the bottom .
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the little blue car was on the Petergofskoye , the A121 , along the tsar’s long - ago palace coast ; there were glimpses of the Gulf of Finland and tang of ocean , and they were past the lighted gates of Constantine Palace — the president was in — then the darkened Peterhof Palace , massive white in the distance , then the domes of the Oranienbaum Palace — nothing in the mirrors — now under the KAD causeway .
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These would include the alligator - clip , car - battery fraternity of interrogators , chemists , doctors , and psychologists , a Matryoshka collection of tormentors , like wooden nesting dolls , each monster emerging out of the previous monster , each succeeding horror worse than the previous one until the final horror .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

AN / PRC - 90 modified by CIA , transmitting an encrypted very - low - frequency ( VLF ) trinumeric code to the British Ministry of Defense’s Skynet 5 satellite in geosynchronous earth orbit at fifty - three degrees meridian east , twenty - two thousand miles above Franz Josef Land archipelago in the Barents Sea .
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Skynet 5 ’ s microprocessors received DIVA’s trinumeric blast , read it , reencrypted it , and transmitted a different trinumeric code in 1.6 seconds . The VLF transmission from the satellite arrived simultaneously in the Doughnut — Government Communications Headquarters ( GCHQ ) in Cheltenham — where automated equipment instantly forwarded the “ execute ” code to MI6 London Headquarters in Vauxhall Cross and to CIA Headquarters in Langley , Virginia , then to the thirty - five - meter buoyant wire antenna trailed behind the forty - foot US Navy shallow water combat submersible ( SWCS ) ghosting at a depth of five fathoms...

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

Sapsan , a peregrine falcon chasing a Sparrow ; eto prosto pizdets , this is totally , elementally , fucked up .
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Russians living in the mean little towns between here and Moscow slept in single rooms with dirt floors , but the praviteli , the lords of the country , swathed themselves in rococo splendor . Dominika’s heels clicked on the travertine , echoing in the space , producing a doomsday clockwork tick - tock sound . A side door opened and a majordomo approached .
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A PNG expulsion — persona non grata — would
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American , British , Canadian , Australian , and New Zealand embassies ( the Five Eyes allies had been in league against Russia since the October Revolution in 1917 ) .
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The dwarf’s instincts , already aroused , now stood on hind legs and howled at the moon

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

“ Eto yeshshyo tsvyetóchki a yágodki vpyeryedί . These are just flowers ; berries will come soon . ”
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His career : Bog ne vydast , svin’ja ne s’est , God won’t give it away , pigs won’t eat
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But he was a natural conspirator who was concerned with only one thing — sila — power , strength , force . It was from having and keeping sila that everything else derived : personal wealth , Russian resurgence , territory , oil , global respect , fear , women . He consequently respected others who displayed strength .
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The Russian in him was enjoying the chess game ; the former KGB officer in him was savoring the maze of contradictions ; the despot in him was relishing the mayhem .
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In the borderless European Union — thanks to the Schengen Agreement of 1995 — there were no internal passport controls anywhere .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

“ SIGINT ? Fxck no , ” said Gable , “ not after Snowden went over . That loser gave the Russians all the keys . Moscow changed all the channels . We ain’t collecting shit from the Barents Sea to the Bosphorus . ”
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His widowed aunt was his late father’s sister , deaf and addled , but most important , the crone had a different last name .
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his distracted mind skipped over the vinyl long - play record of his memory . Events had come in a rush : The traitor Solovyov had disappeared ; Egorova was a guest of Putin ; the Washington meeting with TRITON had imploded ; Zarubina was dead ; TRITON appeared in Paris , asking for contact ; his mother had called ; he had come to Paris ; and he had resolved outstanding issues with her .

j
jimg2000
Jul 25, 2018

Île Saint - Louis . The bastard was somewhere close by , in an area the size of four carrier flight decks . The island was three streets wide , connected to either bank by five bridges , a discreet and exclusive enclave in the center of Paris , graceful seventeenth - century slate - roofed Baroque mansions sprung from the loamy fifteenth - century medieval roots of cow pastures , charcoal ricks , and royal falconry gazebos
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“ Until this concludes we have to stick together like summer underwear . ”
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Ninety - six percent of Russians approved of his recent military initiatives in Ukraine ; ninety - five percent of them believed that America was goading fractious Kiev to persecute ethnic Russians in that country . Ninety - two percent believed — no , knew — that the same situation existed in Russian enclaves in the Caucasus , Moldova , Estonia , Lithuania , and Latvia .


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