Thursday, April 9, 2009

Chapter Forty-Seven Same Time in November

Two days later, Atwan meets with Hussein and Dakham in the conference room. This is a very different Atwan from the one they’ve done business with up until now. This Atwan is in executive mode.

“Give me your proposed routes and transportation requirements and I’ll handle everything here,” Atwan says in an almost patronizing tone. “I expected you have everything complete by now.”

“Jibril, we do not want to use the same means of transportation we did for the last trip to Russia,” says Dakham, pulling a map out and laying it one the table. “We shouldn’t attract anymore attention to ourselves than we have to. We plan a different border crossing into Pakistan, here, at Turbat,” he says, pointing, “in the southern end of the country, not going in again from Zahedan. And here is the name of a service we can use to get us from the border to the Karachi airport. As we told you yesterday, we’ll need a minimum of five days at Dimitri’s place to conceal the uranium in the housings, and we’ll need a flat-bed truck to carry the three reducers down to the port at the mouth of the Volga. And not just any flat-bed truck. This transport must have adequate shock absorbers to protect the units from being bounced around.” Dakham’s delivery is terse; his annoyance is beginning to show.

Hussein jumps in, taking over from here. “At the seaport,” he says, “we’ll need the services of a stevedore who knows what he’s doing, so the units are handled properly and are well secured inside of the ship’s hold. Everything needs to be labeled with a final destination of Pakistan, traveling through Iran. We have everything laid out. All you have to do is approve it. We have already taken the time to investigate every option.”

“All right, all right,” Atwan says, somewhat mollified. “Clearly the two of you have put a lot of research into these plans. You seem to have everything covered, just as you said you would. However, I might want to use other carriers than those you have in mind.” Hussein shrugs. We get it, Jibril: this is your show.

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