Chapter thirteen

Prince Kassad

Halifax, Nova Scotia

0440 Hours Local

With all the panic going on over the Russian invasion force, it would be difficult for me to get to Alexis Alexander and get her out of the US, although, it certainly wasn't impossible. In fact, the only REAL difficulty I was going to have would be getting into the country. After a while of crossing countries, backtracking and even a couple of times where I deliberately went around in a circle, I finally made it to the US, but when I arrived in Maine, Alexis was nowhere to be found, even with the mafia contacts I had long ago made. My best guess is that she headed up north into Canada, so that's where I went next.

My first guess was Nova Scotia. Specifically, Halifax. It seemed to be the best choice. It wasn't that far away, and there was apparently a comedy festival going on there, so I tried there first. After crossing the border and making my way into the city, I waited until I saw anybody I recognized. I got my wish at around the second day after I went in. I saw Alexis going into a store, probably to get food or something from a store, so I followed her at a discrete distance. After a while, she went back into a hotel where I kept following her. It was easy enough to slip past the hotel security and when I got to her room, I stealthy opened the door.

As I was entering, something hard and metallic was swung close to my head, but then stopped. "Oh, it's you." I heard a Russian accented voice say.

After I stepped in, Natasha put the pan she was holding down and said: "Sorry about that, but I thought you were one of my security guards. They're looking for me since I slipped away from them."

"Ah," I said. "Well, I suppose you'll be interested to know that apparently, the yeerks are making a move again. Their central target is mostly the media. They're trying to capture Hollywood and use it to broadcast propaganda to lure people in for infestation."

"Any idea what their main front is this time?"

I shrugged. "Not really, but I have a pretty good idea. They're using this comedy festival as a cover to infest the comedians first, and then move out from there."

Natasha nodded. "This is going to be tricky then. But… I think I have a plan."

"Well, let's hear it," I said.

She shook her head, "not yet. We'd better wait until everyone's here."

I shrugged again, then said in Russian: "By the way, you're English is quite impressive."

She grinned. "I studied in Britain for a couple of years."

After Leang and Alexis got back from wherever they were, Natasha told us her plan. I had to admit, it was pretty bold. Not as insane as the last plan, but still… her plan was to let this part of the invasion go ahead as planned. After that, let them get into Hollywood, then take them all down in one swift stroke. That, and by letting this happen, the Soviets might do some of the work for us in their invasion. I was to follow some of the various comedians around and see where they went. Leang assured me that she could hack one of the US military communication satellites so we could always stay in touch.

After that, I left and began to contact my various connections. Since there were simply too many people to follow at one time, I'd have other people do that part of the job for me. Besides, with a combination of mafia, Black Market, and various other crime syndicates, doing this, they'd divert attention away from themselves during the Soviet invasion.

Once everything was in place, I went back to the hotel and rented out a room of my own. Once that was finished, I went back to where Natasha was holed up. After I went in, I said: "good news everyone, since there were too many people even for me to follow, I got several of my contacts to do that for me. With any luck, they might even capture a few of them and interrogate them. And Natasha, if you want, I could even 'take care of' those guards that you're hiding from."

Alexis looked at me with a trace of amusement in her eyes. "You're too good at this kind of thing, you know that right?"

"Well it works, doesn't it?"

She laughed, and Natasha said: "sure thing, Kassad. If you can get rid of those guys without harming them, I'll be grateful."

I grinned. "Talk about taking all the fun outta life. All right. I'll take them down for you."

"Thanks," she said. I left and went to do just that. Carefully, I started following one of the guards until he stopped. I struck, hard and fast, lunging out from my hiding place and knocking him over the head with an empty beer bottle I found. He slumped to the ground, and I hid him in a fairly safe place.

After that, I kept doing that, until I got to the head guard. After I found him, I snuck up on him and grabbed him from behind.

"Hello," I said. "You're going to stop looking for Natasha Romanov and go back to the Soviet Union. You're going to tell your Premier that you failed to keep her safe, and hopefully, you'll only be let of with a major demotion. If you stay here in Halifax, I will kill you. Nod if you understand."

He tried to protest, but I cut him off. "Don't try arguing with me. If you do, I will kill you." He nodded after a while, and I knocked him out. After he fell to the ground, I gave him the locations of all his underlings, and money for a plane ticket back to Russia.

When I got back to the hotel, I walked in and told Natasha the good news. She smiled and said: "Thanks, Kassad. Looks like I can finally go outside and enjoy myself again." She went into another room, got dressed and left, probably on her way to that comedy festival that was going on. Seeing nothing that was of importance at the moment, I went outside and went to see if I could find anything out of the ordinary.

T'ing Leang

After Kassad came back and let us know that Natasha was safe now, the three of us went to one of the many comedy shows that were playing. We all went there, although Kassad went alone. He said he'd meet us in the theatre although with all his contacts and everything else, I wondered how exactly he'd do that. The two of us walked on for a while, and eventually, we came to the theatre. Showing our tickets that were good for the whole duration of the festival, we were allowed in and after a while of trying to find a good seat, we eventually got to the front row, centre.

When the show began, we lost all track of time. Sometimes we were offended, sometimes we didn't get the jokes, and other times we were laughing hysterically. By the time was over a couple of hours later, I was feeling much better about our predicament and the war that was going on. When we left the theatre and saw Kassad again, we were still laughing.

"Kassad!" I yelled when I saw him. "Where were you!? You missed the whole show!"

Kassad looked grim at that. "I was checking something out. They're back again; the yeerks."

Natasha shuddered at the memory of that, Alexis was stunned, and I was the only one able to voice my opinion. "How do you know?"

He shook his head. "It's not safe here. Let's go back to the hotel."

Not wanting to be left alone with those slugs again, Natasha followed Kassad back to the hotel and when we were back in our room, she said: "So what's going on? I thought we killed them! Without their pool, they'd starve!"

Kassad nodded grimly. "That's what I thought too… although they must have gone somewhere else when the pool was destroyed. From what I managed to find out, this new attack is pretty subtle, although it could be EXTREAMLY dangerous if it's not stopped immediately."

"What IS there plan?" Alexis prompted.

"Their plan seems to be manipulation of the media. First, they intend to take over the various people here at that comedy festival, that's why I didn't show up, and then slowly take over all of Hollywood, and then spread outward from there."

"But the war," Natasha said. "Hollywood would be one of the first targets on my father's list to take. They probably have thousands of people already taken over in the Kremlin, don't they realise that their plan is suicide?"

Kassad shook his head. "Apparently not. They don't have anybody inside the Kremlin yet, and I don't think they will."

"What do you mean?" Alexis asked, confused. "I thought those dammed slugs could go everywhere and be nearly undetectable. How could they not manage to infiltrate the Kremlin?"

Everyone looked at Natasha who was now slumped in a chair. She was the Premier's daughter, so we all thought she had something to say on the matter.

"I don't know… maybe my father simply didn't allow any of them into the Kremlin because of some other problem they had, maybe it was because Yuri… wait a minute!" she yelled suddenly. "That's it!"

"What's it?" I asked, confused.

"I know why the yeerks don't have anyone in the Kremlin! Yuri! My father's advisor! Remember how I told you that he could seem to find me no matter what form I was in and how I thought he was a psychic? He knows what the yeerks are and he's doing something to kill them, or remove them, or something! And with the attack on Hollywood, that'll cause everything they'll simply fall apart when the soviet psi-corps get in."

I saw a smile growing across Alexis' face, and then said: "and if I'm not mistaken, Natasha, when you called me, you said that Yuri was thinking about developing genetic research?"

She nodded, slowly, and then clicked in. if a psychic could locate the Yeerks, then maybe, just maybe, we could somehow use that to our advantage.