Black Harvest (The PROJECT)

Free Black Harvest (The PROJECT) by Alex Lukeman

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Authors: Alex Lukeman
Greece. They could find you here."
    "They're not going to go after me in a library or a museum."
    "No? Why not?"
    "Well, too public?"
    "Public doesn't matter. These kind of people don't worry about public."
    She knew he was right.
    "So we all go to the museum. I hope you're ready to get bored."
    "Hey," Ronnie said. "I like museums. Maybe they'll have a Bulgarian dinosaur."

    Alexei Ivanovich allowed himself a smile. Korov had displayed his usual efficiency. Zviad Gelashvili was enraged by the death of his brother. Rage and anger were desirable. People who allowed their anger to control them made mistakes.
    Alexei had informants inside Zviad's organization. Gelashvili had learned a man had joined the woman, Connor, in Greece. He was convinced it was the same man who had killed Bagrat. Zviad had vowed to skin him alive. He would, if he found him.
    Alexei knew Connor's partner was Nicholas Carter, Director of Special Operations for the Project. He knew something about all of the personnel at the Project. He assumed they knew about him. When you reached his level in the world of covert intelligence, many things about you were known. Vysotsky's job as head of Department S meant there were detailed files about him somewhere in Washington. Certainly in the Project.
    Intelligence agencies the world over still followed a few unwritten rules. Members of one agency didn't attack their opposite numbers, unless there was a direct and immediate reason to do so. It was a kind of gentlemen's agreement between people who were anything but gentlemen. It provided some security. It wouldn't do to have the various agencies at war with one another, not openly. Deaths brought retaliation. No one wanted a repeat of the bad old days of the cold war.
    On the other hand, there was no rule about protecting the competition if someone else went after them. That wasn't his business, unless it was to his advantage. At the moment, Alexei saw no advantage in letting Carter know Gelashvili was stalking him and his partner. Carter was experienced. He would have considered that possibility. It was his lookout.
    The two Americans had gone on to Bulgaria and been joined by a third member of their team. They'd registered at a hotel in Sofia. They were making no effort to hide their identity. Alexei found that unusual, even refreshing. It made sense, in an odd way. Carter was well known. Connor was certainly known to Gelashvili. So why hide who they were? He wondered if they were trying to draw Gelashvili into the open. Bulgaria wasn't that far from Moscow. It wasn't like trying to get Zviad to a Western city. It was what he would do in their position. Get him somewhere and talk with him. Forcefully.
    Gelashvili might seek his revenge in person. Alexei wanted Korov to be on hand if that happened. He'd ordered Arkady to follow the Americans into Bulgaria. They were the perfect bait to draw Gelashvili away from his Moscow fortress. They could do the work and he could reap the advantages. It was time to eliminate Gelashvili. He would die on foreign soil and no one would suspect Alexei's hand behind events. The more he thought about it, the more he liked it.
    If the Americans died as well, it wasn't personal.

    They'd rented a car at the hotel, a Peugeot. They parked in front of the museum.
    "More domes." Ronnie gestured at the roof.
    The old public baths had a high, arched doorway and paned windows under a large dome. Two more domes at the ends balanced the central mass. The exterior featured horizontal bands of white and brown and accents of yellow under a red roof.
    The museum was closed.
    "Where to now?" Nick said.
    "The National History Museum. It was next on my list."
    They'd rented a GPS along with the car. It guided them through the confusion of Sofia traffic and indecipherable street names until they found the National Museum. 
    The building was modern in a 70s way, low and clean, a study in simplicity. The central

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