The Doomsday Conspiracy

Chapter Twenty-Nine


Day Eleven
Brussels, 0300 Hours
General Shipley, the Commandant at NATO Headquarters, was awakened by his adjutant.
"I'm sorry to wake you up, General, but we seem to have a situation on our hands."
General Shipley sat up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He had had a late night entertaining a group of visiting senators from the United States. "What's the problem, Billy?"
"I just received a call from the radar tower, sir. Either all our equipment has gone crazy or we're having some strange visitors."
General Shipley pushed himself out of bed. "I'll be there in five minutes."
The darkened radar room was filled with enlisted men and officers gathered around the lighted radar screens in the centre of the room. They turned and sprang to attention as the General entered.
"At ease." He walked over to the officer in charge, Captain Muller. "What's going on here, Lewis?"
Captain Muller scratched his head. "It beats me. Do you know any plane that can travel 22,000 miles per hour, stop on a dirne, and go into reverse?"
General Shipley was staring at him. "What are you talking about?"
"According to our radar screens, that's what's been going on for the last half hour. At first, we thought it might be some kind of electronic device that's being tested, but we checked with the Russians, the British and the French, and they're picking up the same thing on their radar screens."
"So, it couldn't be something in the equipment," General Shipley said heavily.
"No, sir. Not unless you want to assume that all the radar in the world has suddenly gone crazy."
"How many of these have appeared on the screen?"
"Over a dozen. They move so fast that it's hard to even keep track of them. We pick them up and they disappear again. We've eliminated atmospheric conditions, meteors, fireballs, weather balloons, and any kind of flying machine known to man. I was going to scramble some planes, but these objects - whatever they are -are flying so damned high that we'd never be able to get near them."
General Shipley walked over to one of the radar screens. "Is anything coming in on your screens now?"
"No, sir. They're gone." He hesitated a moment. "But, General, I have a terrible feeling they'll be coming back."