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The Cold War Conspiracy

The Cold War Conspiracy

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Published by Darkhorse
Cryptologist John Dunlap is working on the project that will change his life. He makes an incredible discovery, but before he can report it, he dies of a heart condition. All that's left is a coded message and a warning that what he has uncovered will put the country in danger within 24 hours. Now, the only hope for the country is two other cryptologists on the project, Lindsay Tompkins and Matthew Bellville. The race for answers is on, but nothing is what it seems and the answers only lead to more questions...
Cryptologist John Dunlap is working on the project that will change his life. He makes an incredible discovery, but before he can report it, he dies of a heart condition. All that's left is a coded message and a warning that what he has uncovered will put the country in danger within 24 hours. Now, the only hope for the country is two other cryptologists on the project, Lindsay Tompkins and Matthew Bellville. The race for answers is on, but nothing is what it seems and the answers only lead to more questions...

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Published by: Darkhorse on Mar 07, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/12/2011

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The Cold War Conspiracy 
Warning to the Reader:
The following is delicate material. It is classified by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as“Beyond Top-Secret.” Should this information fall into the wrong hands, any knowledge of youwill be disavowed and your records will be terminated. You are advised to be careful, as theremay be enemies listening in. Good Luck, Agent Alpha. We will support this mission in any way possible.Sincerely,
 Allen W. Dulles
 Allen W. Dulles, Head of the CIA
 
Prologue:
 August 13, 1960Vandenberg Air Force BaseSanta Maria, California10:30 p.m. Pacific Standard TimeThe California air was humid as the man made his way to his destination. He knew he had tomove quickly, for he couldn’t be seen completing the task he’d been given by forces much greater than him. Giving a careful glance around to make sure nobody was watching, he snuck into the shack that held the American satellite called 
Discoverer 14.
 He didn’t close the door; it would take time and make too much noise. He drew closer to the satellite and stuck a small tracking device on its massive metallic hull. He smiled as he saw it there, the instrument that would assure his master’s victory. Then, he exited the shack as quickly as he’d come, vanishing intothe safety of the shadows that slithered like snakes across the Santa Maria landscape….
 
 August 13, 1960
 1
 
 Arlington Hall  Arlington, Virginia, Virginia
 
10:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Far away from the
 Discoverer 
satellite, Cryptologist Jonathan Dunlap was up late, working onthe project that would change his life. Not only was he about to make an incredible discovery, but it would also be the last project he worked on before dying. He was typing an email to thehead of VENONA, a top secret Government project which was supposed to report on the latestcommunications intercepted by the U.S. regarding Soviet actions. Unfortunately, he wouldn’tget a chance to finish it. He was just ready to hit send when one of the terminals next to him,apparently left on, beeped. He went over to check it. It had picked up an encodedcommunication. Dunlap went over to it, suspecting it was only meant for a select few. Hegazed at the code. Being a scientist, he hated things that didn’t make any sense, and wanted tocrack the code right away. He grabbed a pencil and paper from his desk and wrote down theciphered letters. He tried a few methods that were most common in enciphered messages, butnothing broke the code. In a moment, he had figured out what the message said.
This isn't good... not good at all,
he thought.He began furiously scribbling a warning to the others in the lab on the paper he’d taken from hisdesk. He only had time to write a few lines before his heart gave out.
 August 14, 1959
 
 Arlington Hall  Arlington, Virginia, Virginia
 
6:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time
The head of the VENONA Project, Joseph Wallinsky, wasn’t told about Dunlap’s ordeal until thenext day. He was sending two top-notch Cryptologists, Matthew Bellville and LindsayTompkins, to try and examine the cryptic clue Dunlap had left behind. Lindsay’s high heels2
 
clicked down the corridor as she entered, swaggering in a way that made her blond hair bounceup and down while she walked. Beside her was Matthew Bellville, a humble but brilliantCryptologist who had bailed VENONA out of a situation involving Soviet spies a few years back. He was muscular, with chestnut skin and short brown hair. He had studied Cryptology atJohn Hopkins University, where he met and befriended his future boss, Joseph Wallinsky. His brown eyes were darting about nervously, as if sensing the tension in the air. Finally, theyreached the office where Dunlap worked. It was a massive room, large enough to house thethree big computer terminals that were inside. Bellville went over to Dunlap’s desk andexamined the paper that was on the table. Looking at it, he gasped in shock.“What is it?” Lindsay asked.“Look,” Bellville leaned closer to her so that she could see the paper, and she too gasped inshock. She glanced a second time to make sure that she’d read right. Written in plain, decodedtext were the words:
 Do not let the following message leave the room.What I am going to tell you will threaten the entire country within twenty four hours.
“But what is it he’s trying to tell us?” Lindsay asked.Bellville shrugged; the code below would take a while to break.
 But do we have the time to spare?
Bellville stared down at the code that was before his eyes and wondered.
These are very volatile times... we must break the code quickly.
 He and Lindsay sat at desks near each other and began to work on the code, not knowing whatwas to come. They didn’t expect that one simple message could plunge them forever into aworld of secrecy, lies, and betrayal where nothing was quite what it seemed on the surface. They3

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