Castle Roland

Dawns Early Light
Book I

by Ken Barber


Chapter 3

Published: 8 Apr 14

Dawns Early Light

Copyright © 2012 - 2015 by Ken Barber and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.

All Rights Reserved

20:30 GMT (15:30 EST) 06 November 2012.

USS Rhode Island.

Somewhere in the Atlantic

Dawn's Early Light LogoThe USS Rhode Island, had quickly submerged and began its journey to the east coast of Florida, carrying 50 members of Navy SEAL Team 4. About four hours into their journey, Captain Tristan Cole brought the ship to periscope depth and raised the antenna. The burst transmission from the Ronald Reagan downloaded immediately. RHODE ISLAND. NO RESULT. WILL RETRANSMIT AT 01:00 GMT. END TRANSMISSION. RONALD REAGAN.

Captain Cole turned to Bucky. "I would say that no news is good news but in this case it's the very opposite. My guess is that Bryce is winning and everyone on the east coast is afraid to report it."

Bucky nodded as he read the decoded message. "Any way we can tap into news from the UK?"

"We could but there is the risk of someone picking us up then. I am going to send the file to Providence and Olympia and get back down to cruising speed. I can try to pick up speed and get closer to the states and maybe we can pick up something there."

"We still don't know where I am going to insert. It's hard to plan an infiltration when all the info I have is somewhere on the Eastern Seaboard."

"You're preaching to the choir, I have no idea where I am going except the coast of Florida. We are in the dark here but if what we think is happening in the states is actually happening, then everyone is in the dark."

"Very true. Well we could plan an insertion into Florida and then modify it when we figure out exactly where we are going. I just wish I knew what units we are facing on the ground."

"I am not sure anyone has that info. Okay let's get back down to cruising depth and lets see how fast we can make these babies fly."

00:45 GMT (19:45 EST) 07 November 2012.

USS Ronald Reagan Battle Group.

On patrol in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Captain Norris entered the CIC. "All ships report ready?"

Petty Officer First Class George O'Malley handed Norris a tablet."Yes sir, a little difficulty with the Vicksburg, sir, her port screw was skipping but she got it fixed and is in position. They haven't figured out the problem yet. Seems a gear shifted out of position."

"As long as they are in position. Let's get underway we are already late. Send out the message, let's get up to 25 knots. Any new intel out of the states?"

Ensign Payne handed Commander Myers a slip of paper. She handed it to Captain Norris. "More of the same. It appears Ashwood is trying to lock down the Eastern Seaboard. There is a major disruption of information and most websites and news outlets are offline or blocked. "

"What the hell is he playing at? How does the election look?"

"Sir, it's all but over. Looks like Ashwood is going to lose. I can't see a way he is going to get the votes."

"Prepare the burst transmission to Rhode Island. Option 1. transmit message."

"Aye, sir."

"Josh?" Norris walked over to the CAG. "Do your best to support sub detection; with the Providence and Olympia so far out, we are blind out there."

Captain Miller nodded. "I will get the ASW flight up and running forward screen."

"Thanks, Josh."

"Burst Transmission sent."

"Thank you. Sound General Quarters. We have no idea what we are going to run into out there so we stay at General Quarters until further notice."

01:00 GMT (20:00 EST) 07 November 2012

USS Rhode Island.

Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

"Periscope depth Captain."

"Raise the antenna."

"Aye, Skipper. Receiving data. Incoming transmission from Ronald Reagan." He handed Captain Cole a printout.


Cole handed the sheet to Bucky. Bucky read it and reached into his pocket and made sure he had the message to Bryce.

"You need to transmit this to Colonel Joseph Thomas at the US Embassy in Moscow. At the top, put 'Need a delivery man, three spec ops walk into a bar in Kandahar pass it on'."

The communication operator pulled out a frequency binder, looked up the frequency of the US Embassy, Moscow. He punched in the frequency and then typed the coded message and hit transmit.

Bucky started to pace as much as anyone can pace on a crowded submarine. "Now we wait."

Ten minutes later. A message came back. Bucky pulled out the cipher that Joe, Makel and himself had arranged 3 years ago. “Three spec ops walked into a bar in Kandahar two returned. JT”

He passed the message to the Skipper. “Hopefully Makel will let me know the message was delivered. Send message to Ronald Reagan. Delivery man enroute."

"Okay, let's get back down and get moving. We can come back up and check messages in a couple of hours."

02:00 GMT (21:00 EST) 07 November 2012.

USS Rhode Island.

Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean

"Raise Antenna."

"Aye Skipper. Incoming transmission Military Liaison, US Embassy Moscow." He handed the coded transmission to Bucky. “Three spec ops walked into a bar in Kandahar one returned. Long drive. MF”

"Message has been passed on. It's going to take awhile to get to Bryce, though. Are there any messages from The Ronald Reagan."

"No messages, sir."

Captain Cole gave the order to dive and get underway again. They would not come up again for a few hours.

04:50 GMT (23:50 EST) 07 November 2012.

USS Ronald Reagan.

Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

"Lieutenant. USS Gravely reports multiple surface contacts bearing two six four range four point two nautical miles"

Lieutenant Robert Groves marked the position on the board. "Notify the Skipper. Air Boss get a Hawkeye over there."

"Already on it. We have a CAP patrol nearby, I can attempt to establish visual contact."

"Do it."

"Sir, USS Gravely report signature matches two Yasen class Russian subs. They are right in our path."

"Shit get me the Captain, now."

"Right here Lieutenant, what's going on?"

"Two Yasen class Russian subs sitting on the surface. Four nautical miles out at full stop and they are right in our way, sir."

Captain Norris spun around. "Set Battle Group to station keeping."

"CAG what assets do we have."

Captain Miller had entered the bridge and was looking over the board "Hawkeye in route. Should have them on radar in 30 seconds. CAP is coming into visual range. Flight two on the blocks and Flight three at alert 5. Ready to put ASW in the air."

"Ronald Reagan this is Sabre flight you're not going to believe this. Two Yasen class subs with a white flag run up and a large banner that says "Need to contact USS Ronald Reagan".

Captain Norris looked at the XO and The CAG. "What the fuck?"

They both just shook their heads. "Get me the Fort Worth" He grabbed the radio set. "Fort Worth close with the contact, make sure they stay on the surface and jam their communications." He turned back to Miller. "Get the ASW and Flights two and three in the air."

"Fort Worth moving."

"Flights Two and three in launch mode, Flight four to CAT-5

The 1MC blared out "Flight Quarters. Set condition 1 alpha for flight operation. Flight Quarters "

The minutes ticked by. "Ronald Reagan, This is Fort Worth; we have visual contact. Both appear to be powered down."

As Myers was pulling the information on the Yasen class sub she said. "They might be in some kind of trouble."

Captain Norris just looked at her for a second."Maybe, except how did they figure out where the hell we are?"

The Fort Worth keyed a live radio mike over which Commander Rosewood could be heard using the loudspeaker. "Russian Submarines. This is the USS Fort Worth, Do not attempt to submerge or move your vessels, you will be fired on. Captains please stand by for small boats to escort you to the Ronald Reagan."

"Fort Worth we will comply. Russian President sends regards to Captain Norris and Commander Bucky. We are ordered to assist you."

Everyone on the Ronald Reagan bridge just stared for a minute. "Tell the Fort Worth to pick up the captains and bring them here."

"Aye, sir."

"Captain, Vicksburg pulling out of formation turning hard to port."

Everyone looked out the bridge where The USS Vicksburg was and she was gunning her engines and turning away from the formation. As they were watching the 5 inch bow gun belched flame and smoke. Everyone stared as the round streaked through the air and impacted the water just off the bow of one of the Russian subs.

Norris grabbed the radio. "Vicksburg cease fire, cease fire, stand down." He turn to fire control. "Tell the Gravely and the Ramage to stand by to engage Vicksburg. CAG get me a visual on the bridge"

"This is Vicksburg we are not in control of our bow gun. I say again we are compromised."

Sinclair ran out off the bridge rapidly issuing orders on his radio. "QRF QUICK LAUNCH USS VICKSBURG COMPROMISED." He yelled back over his shoulder. "CAG taking priority on the flight deck."

Norris started shouting into the mike. "Fort Worth get those subs underwater now we have a compromised ship."

Just then the Vicksburg fired again. The captain was maneuvering the ship so all friendly's were out of the firing arch. The shell landed just a bit further away from the subs as they slipped below the surface.

"Ronald Reagan, Russian Subs submerging."

"Fort Worth keep in contact with them. Give them coordinates of your choice to rendezvous in 30 minutes."

There was a loud explosion and a puff of black smoke bellowed around the deck gun of the Vicksburg.

"Vicksburg this is Ronald Reagan, status." Captain Norris watched as Marines fast roped onto the stern of the Vicksburg.

Seconds slipped by.

"Vicksburg this is Ronald Reagan what is your status."

Norris grabbed the radio. "Damn it Commander Owen I want a status report now."

"Ronald Reagan, this is Vicksburg our bow gun is disabled. The saboteur may have killed himself and taken out the gun with the explosion. We are searching the wreckage now while the Marines secure the ship. The Bridge is on lock down and we have sustained deck damage. "

"Vicksburg understood. Lock your whole ship down and search it from bow to stern. Find out who it was. Sinclair is going to send an investigation team over to help." Norris looked at Sinclair as he came back onto the bridge."Major I want every ship searched and post guards at every crucial point in each ship."

"Aye Captain."

"Get the Fort Worth and find out where we are meeting the Russian Subs. Oh and someone needs to tell me how we got within four nautical miles of two surfaced Russian freaking subs and didn't see them?"

After establishing new security procedures for the battle group the USS Ronald Reagan got underway to the new rendezvous. Twenty minutes later the Fort Worth sent a Seahawk to pick up the two Russian Captains and ferried them to the Ronald Reagan.

Commander Rosewood accompanied the two Captains to the carrier. As the Seahawk landed Rosewood jumped out and introduced Captain Ruslan and Captain Spartak of the RFS Tupelev and The RFS Ramies.

Captain Norris shook their hands. "Gentlemen. Welcome aboard the USS Ronald Reagan. I feel that you have an interesting story to share. Let's get out of this cold and figure out what the hell is going on."

They started to walk toward the superstructure and Captain Norris looked over his shoulder to tell Commander Rosewood he wanted him to stick around. He saw Rosewood and Myers following them at a distance and both were smiling that smile at each other.

Captain Norris led them to the Wardroom. The safest place to take the Russian Navy Officers. They were allies but just giving them access to the ship was bad protocol. Sinclair had taken the extra step to ensure all the passageways along the way were guarded. The two Captains took it in stride and just followed. After they entered, Captain Norris had the two Marine guards step out into the hall.

"Captain Ruslan and Captain Spartak, please have a seat. Can I get you something to drink, Coffee, tea, Water or a soft drink?"

Captain Ruslan chuckled. "You have Coca-Cola?"

"Seaman James, can you get these gentlemen a large glass of Coke with ice please and also, James, bring out whatever you have on hand that we can snack on. I have a feeling this is going to be a long night."

"Right away, Captain, should I bring you a glass of Ice tea, sir?"

"Yes, thank you, James. Gentlemen, I guess we should start with what the hell are you doing here?"

"Captain, first we must thank you for hospitality. You have beautiful ship." Captain Ruslan said.

"Thank you."

"We understand you sent message to President Bryce via Our Captain Filitov."

"That is correct."

"Captain Filitov informed General Gerisimov from general staff, who informed President Ivanov. Our orders were to shadow you. We heard Providence and Olympia leave. Then you follow. We get new orders." He reached into his breast pocket. I noticed Sinclair reach for his side arm. He pulled out a sheet of paper.

"We were sent two copies one in English for you." He slid the paper across the table to Captain Norris.

From President Ivanov, Russian Federation.
To: Commanding Officers; RFS Tupelev and The RFS Ramies.
Copy To: Captain Norris, US NAVY, Commanding Officer USS Ronald Reagan.

The Russian Federation has been carefully monitoring the recent events in the United States. We are concerned and like your message to President Bryce says, we believe civil war to be imminent.

We have already sent support to President Bryce and would like to also offer you our support. I have detached the RFS Tupelev and RFS Ramies from the Federation Navy and have attached them to the USS Ronald Reagan. They are yours to command should you so desire.

The only Caveat is we reserve the right to recall them at any time.

They are not to report to the Russian General Staff until they have been recalled by the Russian Federation or released by the US Navy.

With best regards

Adrik Ivanov
President Russian Federation.

Captain Norris slid the paper over to Myers and Rosewood looked over her shoulder. When they were done, they handed it to Sinclair. While they were doing this Norris just stared into space deep in thought. After Sinclair handed him the paper he stood.

"Gentlemen, If you would please excuse me, I would like to talk this over with my senior officers. Please feel free to make yourselves comfortable and anything you need Seaman James will do his best to take care of you."

Norris and his team walked across the passageway to Norris's office. Norris sat behind the desk and waved for them all to sit. "Thoughts?"

Rosewood stood. "Sir, if I may?"

"Ted, sit down and yes you may."

"Sir, the Russians are our allies primarily because of President Bryce. It stands to reason that they would assist President Bryce."

"Thanks, Ted, could this be considered treason?"

"It could, sir, but are we not already committing treason?" Major Sinclair continued. "Technically we no longer belong to the US Navy. We have mutinied against the US Navy controlled by President Ashwood and aligned ourselves with The Navy of President Bryce."

"And You think that is treason?"

"It would depend on who wins the war, sir."

"Damn good point, Major, the victor writes the history. Jessica, you're my right hand now, tell me what you're thinking."

"I think the world is changing and we need to change with it. No matter the outcome of this war, let's face it, gentlemen, there is going to be a war, the world as we know it is no more."

"I couldn't agree more. Let's go welcome two Russian Yasen class subs to the family. Ted, you need to make sure we have the gear and set up to communicate properly."

"Shouldn't be an issue, Captain."

They headed back to the wardroom and both Russian Captains stood as they entered. Captain Norris walked over to them and put his hand out. "Welcome to the team."

"We are happy to work with you, Captain Norris."

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