STORY SETTINGS

The Archivist – DIALOGUE & PLACES

 

National Library of China Beijing

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Li Fang—or Annie, as she was called by her friends—was locking up her office at the National Library of China in Beijing. As usual, she was late. For the past half hour her boss had again tried to convince her to spend the weekend with him in Shanghai, telling her that they were soul mates and belonged together. The fact thathe was married didn’t seem to enter the equation, at least not on his side. He finally left, but he promised to continue his efforts of winning her over. She couldn’t wait.

 

Campo Santo Stefano – Venice Italy

A8CDD801-9129-4957-83D2-CE425D5541ACThe Campo Santo Stefano is an elongated square named after the fourteen-century gothic-style church that anchors its northern boundary. The southern border was marked by the austere-looking Palazzo Pisani, home of the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory of Music. In between, the square is edged with numerous shops, restaurants, and bars.

 

August 1st Building – Ministry of National Defense Compound

DE35FECF-5F93-4968-B7E5-5D0E87E250DB.jpegMinistry of National Defense compound. No ID was necessary as he bypassed perimeter checkpoints. His face guaranteed access, and he continued into the August 1st Building. No one approached or stopped him as he walked briskly through the lobby, past the metal detectors and the guards standing at attention. Only eleven people could circumvent the building’s tight security, and he was one of those.

 

Biblioteca Marciana Venice, Italy

D8AAA19D-A444-41E5-83D6-64589F7559BAThe Marciana Library is one of the architectural gems of Venice, Italy. Located at the end of Saint Mark’s Square in front of the Doge’s Palace, the two-story building has Doric columns on the ground floor with Ionic ones above. Adding to its visual elegance, the entire structure is crowned by a balustrade containing corner obelisks and twenty-five statues of classical deities and heroes. Entering the Marciana, an ornate two-flight staircase leads to the vestibule, above which is Titian’s La Sapienza.

 

Piazza San Marco Venice, Italy

D7BBE28C-29BD-4272-8B95-F8DF32FBACC9He arrived at the library at eight, and a little more than an hour later, he saw Moretti and Han Li enter the Piazza San Marco. Given that the police would obviously be looking for them following his call, he didn’t know how they’d get inside before it opened. That’s before he saw them going through the employee entrance, a move he considered brilliant.

 

Accademia Bridge

DA2B5295-A79C-4E49-9212-24E1E1863046.jpegShe pointed south across Saint Mark’s Square and took off in that direction, eventually crossing the Accademia Bridge to the other side of the Grand Canal. Fifteen minutes later she stopped thirty yards from a small restaurant.

 

Campo Manin

1A7DE09A-47FD-4B17-AA3F-CD10FE54A7C4The Campo Manin was not far from Saint Mark’s Square. In its center was a statue of Daniele Manin with a large winged lion at its base. The east side of the square opposite the waterway was dominated by the very modern Cassa di Risparimo di Venezia bank. This mid-1960s structure stood in stark contrast to the neo-Gothic buildings to the north and south. The area was moderately lit, but it lacked security personnel since none of the buildings in the square were particularly important.

 

The Hotel Bauer Il Palazzo

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The Hotel Bauer Il Palazzo is one of the world’s great hotels. Francesca Bortolotto Possati is the owner, and Pietro Rusconi is the resident manager. They’re extremely gracious hosts and make their guests feel as if they’re part of the family. 

 

De Pisis Restaurant

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When you’re there (The Hotel Bauer Il Palazzo), try the De Pisis restaurant. The author had Han Li and Moretti partake of some his favorite dishes from its menu, not to mention the wine from the owner’s vineyard. 

 

Grand Canal Venice

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The back deck (of The Hotel Bauer Il Palazzo – De Pisis Restaurant) has a spectacular view of the Grand Canal.

 

Marco Polo Airport Venice

D7AB9EC2-DFB3-44FA-B857-AA0C9E1CAE56It took Moretti nearly a day to get to the Venice’s Marco Polo Airport. With only a carry-on bag, he quickly passed through customs and immigration and entered the main terminal.

 

Venice Water Taxi

DE2E4E8B-8358-4BEC-A557-ED1D3E6C9127From there he followed the signs to the water taxi, which eventually took him outside and down a long covered walkway that sloped to the lagoon.

 

Doge’s Palace

2A4FE4C3-A315-441A-BBF7-287C79B758D5The Marciana Library is spectacularly beautiful. Most people are so enamored with Saint Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace, and the general ambiance of Venice that they don’t realize the library is there.

 

The Hotel Bristol Vienna

22C05742-43CB-4E8F-9CE6-0DF2A999EFD0The Hotel Bristol in Vienna (on right) is located opposite the Vienna State Opera (on left)

 

Vienna State Opera House

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The Imperial Hotel Vienna

E5CAD342-45B8-4C5D-91B2-1648DCF9A179Along with its sister hotel, the Imperial, it offers the romantic ambiance and top-notch service one associates with this city.

 

Dstrikt Restaurant Vienna

181866C5-ED9E-4E5A-8871-56C3B050869EThe Ritz-Carlton Hotel is in the center of the city and contains Dstrikt, the author’s favorite local restaurant.

 

Schonbrunn Palace

DFD20AD9-BD32-4BEE-A07A-2DA2FFADF7A6It took forty-five minutes to get to Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace and enter its adjacent parking structure.

 

St. Stephen’s Cathedral Vienna

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He stopped to stretch his muscles beside St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a large gothic edifice that was built in the twelfth century, when a splinter of stone struck the side of his face.

 

Fort Belvoir, Virginia

The US Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) is located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. It is a component of the Central Security Command, and it is functionally integrated into the NSA. There are fifty-one thousand employees on the installation, twice as many as the Pentagon, and it is the home to sixteen military organizations. The Sixty-Sixth Military Intelligence Brigade, located in Wiesbaden, Germany, is part of INSCOM and provides intelligence support throughout Europe.

 

Hall of Purple Light – China

The Mercedes S550 pulled into the entrance of Zhongnanhai, and it was immediately waved through the security gate of the high-walled government compound. It passed down several streets bordered on both sides with huge trees and lush landscaping, skirting a lake until it stopped in front of a building known as the Hall of Purple Light. A security guard, waiting for the car’s arrival, opened the rear door, and Han Li exited, carrying a rectangular brown leather box.

 

Zhongnanhai – China

DF161CE4-E0DD-4FF7-9A68-86693F72F59B.jpegThe call he just received, asking him to immediately come to Zhongnanhai, the American equivalent of the White House, all but confirmed that the president knew of his involvement.

 

Tiananmen Square 

He remembered walking through Tiananmen Square and seeing an old beggar in the tattered remnants of an army uniform, worn during the time of Chairman Mao.

 

Mao Zedong

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Mao had a deep-seated paranoia that the Soviets would attack his country’s nuclear facilities. 

 

Chiang Kai-shek

A8CD4782-4C43-4E0C-BC04-66576B0439C1.jpegChiang Kai-shek (on left with Mao Zedong on right – photo taken 2/27/1950) was abducted at 5:00 a.m. on December 12, 1936, when two hundred troops attacked his residence in Xi’an. Hearing gunfire, he escaped through his bedroom window, barefoot and wearing only a robe over his nightshirt, leaving behind his false teeth. He was later discovered hiding in a crevice in a nearby hill, shivering so badly from the cold that he had difficulty speaking. The dissident army officers who kidnapped him did so because they felt he was not effectively using the army to fight the Japanese. Instead he was too focused on killing Chinese communists. After thirteen days in captivity, he agreed to focus on killing Japanese, and then he was released. This temporarily united both the nationalists and communists.

 

Chou En-lai

12C21BA1-701A-4E04-BDFF-FD6EC38998D9.jpegBecause of the Chairman’s health, Dr. Kissinger and President Nixon’s conversations were primarily with Premier Chou En-lai.

 

Yahya Khan

Pakistani president Yahya Khan was instrumental in helping to set this meeting and in fabricating and maintaining the deception.

 

 

The Abductions – DIALOGUE & PLACES

 

Forbidden City

DE81C088-A962-419B-B10E-7B3D507BDD33.jpegBeijing’s traffic was horrendous, particularly in the area around the Forbidden City, which is at the foot of Tiananmen Square.

 

Palace of Heavenly Purity

70F85411-B0B6-419B-84A0-885CD3B9733FHan Li explained that President Liu was spending the night in the Palace of Heavenly Purity, while President Ballinger would be in the Palace of Earthly Tranquility, both of which she pointed out to Moretti. She told him that these palaces, formerly used by emperors of China, had not been occupied for more than a century.

 

Palace of Earthly Tranquility

74F6E1A2-E229-433B-B912-0DD946B5D981Han Li explained that President Liu was spending the night in the Palace of Heavenly Purity, while President Ballinger would be in the Palace of Earthly Tranquility, both of which she pointed out to Moretti. She told him that these palaces, formerly used by emperors of China, had not been occupied for more than a century.

 

The Hall of Mental Cultivation

The Hall of Mental Cultivation, where Moretti and Han Li spend the night, was both the residence and the office of eight Chinese emperors from the Qing dynasty.

 

St. Regis Beijing

While that was happening, the passengers and crew disembarked and made their way to one of two buses going to the St. Regis Hotel, near the American embassy on the east side of the city.

 

Raven Rock Mountain Complex – Site R

47EC315F-AEE1-4557-8FBF-8E2A5073AAD4Raven Rock Mountain Complex – Site R, is an underground nuclear bunker with thirty-eight communications systems, and it also serves as the alternate Pentagon. A tunnel is said to connect Raven Rock to the Pentagon, via the National Security Agency in Fort Meade – a distance of 97.5 miles. A tunnel is also said to connect Site R and Camp David.

 

VH-60N White Hawk

7EA7ED0F-3898-461E-A700-23D3D0CA4BC8.jpegThe VH-60N White Hawk is used for transport to Camp David and has a landing pad not far from Aspen Lodge.

 

National Security Agency – NSA

0A08A95A-FD86-4BD7-B6A7-3C11B4F5C7E0.jpegA tunnel is said to connect Raven Rock to the Pentagon, via the National Security Agency in Fort Meade—a distance of 97.5 mile.

 

Camp David

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Aspen Lodge @ Camp David

The Suburban pulled in front of Aspen Lodge, Camp David’s presidential residence, a single-story wooden structure containing three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, and five fireplaces. The lodge sat in the center of a three acre clearing at the top of a hill and presented a commanding view of the area.

 

Vestas V90 wind turbine

8B877695-E247-4C0E-9714-97C82D8BA5B2.jpegThe nine giant Vestas V90 wind turbines stretched for a mile along the top of the hill. The base of each tower weighed 152 tons, soared 262 feet into the air, and was anchored 30 feet into the ground with more than 1,000 tons of concrete and steel rebar.

 

Air Force One

45CA11B0-5907-4A9A-8209-A87550933667Air Force One is the air traffic control sign of any Air Force aircraft carrying the president of the United States. Currently, the president uses a Boeing 747-200B, referred to in military parlance as a VC-25A aircraft.

 

Ohio Class submarines

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As the B-52s dropped their payloads, the missile launch officers on board two Ohio Class submarines, the Florida and the Ohio, turned their keys in unison, each beginning the process of sending twenty-five of their 154 Tomahawk missiles to their targets.

 

B-52

0FE30508-1512-4DDB-A97A-6D758207CC5D.jpegThe United States Air Force, which would launch the bulk of the firepower for this assault, sent ten B-52H Stratofortress bombers to take out its targets.

 

KC-10 Extender

FB2DC06C-83A5-4A75-838C-CEAF78C71DD2.jpegWhen the last of the missiles had dropped free of the giant bombers, each of the aircraft made a standard rate turn of fifteen degrees to starboard and set course for the seven KC-10 Extender aerial refueling tankers that were awaiting their arrival.

 

H-6K Chinese bomber

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At the same time, China dropped a total of 120 CJ-10K cruise missiles, each with a maximum range of 1,200 miles, from twenty H-6K bombers that were scattered throughout the African continent.

 

UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter

AC1E9EDE-2A9B-4179-8A39-748D1D969A21.jpegThe UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters in Awalmir Afridi’s nightmare were based on the Stealth Black Hawks used in the Osama bin Laden raid.

 

 

Z-8 Chinese helicopter

09E7D13A-6747-47A0-BB88-E36502EFA799.jpegOnce the airspace was clear, two Z-10s, China’s premier attack helicopter, and two Z-8 transports, each capable of carrying up to twenty-seven troops, approached. Three of the aircraft set down not far from the tower, while a Z-8 landed on the helicopter pad behind the nacelle.

 

Z-9B Chinese helicopter

0C0C6A10-E85E-4E28-9FA2-CF1675B1A0D8.jpegThe Harbin Z-9B appeared on the horizon just as dawn was breaking.

 

Z-10 Chinese helicopter

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Once the airspace was clear, two Z-10s, China’s premier attack helicopter, and two Z-8 transports, each capable of carrying up to twenty-seven troops, approached. Three of the aircraft set down not far from the tower, while a Z-8 landed on the helicopter pad behind the nacelle.

 

Air Force AGM-86C and -86D cruise missiles

B5D34134-6416-4916-82AB-35408BF6D829.jpegNine of the ten aircraft carried a combination of AGM-86C and -86D model air-to-ground cruise missiles.

 

Navy Tomahawk cruise missile

CA8859D2-57F1-4359-8A02-9479065D676F.jpeg

As the B-52s dropped their payloads, the missile launch officers on board two Ohio Class submarines, the Florida and the Ohio, turned their keys in unison, each beginning the process of sending twenty-five of their 154 Tomahawk missiles to their targets.

 

CJ-10K Chinese cruise missiles

59574558-7601-40AC-A0FA-51C45197AACE.jpegAt the same time, China dropped a total of 120 CJ-10K cruise missiles, each with a maximum range of 1,200 miles, from twenty H-6K bombers that were scattered throughout the African continent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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