Nukes on the 49th
a novel by Michael Zrymiak
Nukes on the 49th is a techno-thriller depicting a struggle of wills between American and Canadian political forces that eventually results in the Canadian Prime Minister deciding to develop nuclear weapons. Two American nuclear accidents on Canadian soil had pushed him over the edge.
Americans are appalled; they are paranoid about a nuclear power on their northern border, so close to major population and industrial centers. A majority of Canadians also disagree, but their reaction is tempered by their suspicion of American intentions towards Canada.
The President focuses American resources, including the CIA, elements of its military and its public relations might, against Canada. The CIA conspires with anti-nuclear supporters in Canada to destroy the nuclear weapons program.
The reader will be captivated by the myriad of events and twists the story takes, including in the lives of those who influence the final outcome of this intense confrontation.
Chapter One: Mission Accomplished
A shot rang out and then a second. Gordon Granstien, the Prime Minister of Canada, moaned softly and fell heavily. There was a momentary stunned silence, then pandemonium. Above the din the Peace Tower clock struck high noon; it was the first of July, 2013.
The medical team quickly surrounded Granstien, turning him over on his back and holding his head up until a borrowed blanket was placed under his head. Undoing the shirt buttons a medic proceeded to block the flow of blood. In less than a minute an ambulance moved in with siren wailing and lights flashing. The Prime Minister was loaded aboard and quickly driven away, ambulance attendants working feverishly to stop the loss of blood and to connect life support systems.
Members of the official party either froze, threw themselves on the ground or turned to go back to the street. Two security officers took Governor General Stewart Whiteowl by his arms and rushed him back toward the entrance. Children along the Parliament Hill walkway began to scream and cry, running toward their parents or just to get away. Television cameras kept rolling, the commentators' voices rising in pitch and volume, in both official languages. The rest of the security detail ducked low, drew their pistols and scanned the crowd, a look of panic on their faces.
A man in a white smock slowly stepped forward from the front echelon of the crowd, his hands over his head and a resigned look on his face. His plan had worked; he had gone unnoticed, standing close to a small medical team in white coats. Two RCMP members now lunged at him and threw him roughly to the ground, handcuffing his hands behind his back.
"Where's the gun?"
"In my pocket, you can have it." Tony Becker answered without emotion.
"Is there anyone else with you?" one shouted while the others glanced at the crowd and began talking on their communications systems.
Tony did not answer, but laid there placid and satisfied. I got the son-of-a-bitch, he thought. I've done it, I've saved the country from his evil.
Tony still had seventeen bullets remaining, bullets he would never need again. His mission was accomplished, he had shot the man who was destroying Canada with his hateful program to develop nuclear weapons. The man and the program that caused Beth's miscarriage. Beth and Ron were avenged and the program will be stopped. He was sure of that. He had no other ambition, no urge to survive, nothing more to achieve. He felt at peace and smiled as he looked through vacant eyes at the anxious policemen.
His mind went over the events that began two years ago. They were good times, early retirement to be enjoyed with a caring wife, a place in Phoenix to play golf during the winters, good American friends, a healthy family. But slowly the good things were destroyed - by American arrogance, by bad luck, and the final and most resentful blow, by a spiteful Prime Minister whose ego scrambled his vision. Who had decided to arm Canada with nuclear weapons to piss off the Americans. Beth lost her baby because of this, because Granstien challenged America's obsession with its security.
By shooting Granstien Tony knew he would turn the clock back to the good old times.
– Dr. M. Arlin
About the Author
Michael Zrymiak is a Saskatchewan native son. He earned his RCAF pilot wings in 1955, when he began an interesting three and a half decade air force career during the Cold War era. Highlights included flying with the VIP transport squadron in Ottawa, as a pilot for Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and dignitaries such as Pierre E. Trudeau.
He attended National Defense College and in 1985 was selected as the base commander of Canadian Forces Base Edmonton. He retired in 1987 and transferred to the Air Reserve to serve another four years representing British Columbia interests.
"The plan to develop nuclear weapons in Canada is offered in a plausible and believable plot line given the two USA nuclear incidents on Canadian soil, including the anti-ballistic missile accident in the Canadian Arctic.
The negative feelings by some Canadians towards America, albeit unsettling to me as an American, are understandable and provide a basis for the exciting undercurrent of events.
I also found the interactions between the top echelon of government officials, the CIA and the military very realistic and credible, adding vitality to the story which I enjoyed from start to finish."
– David Goulette
"An interesting read! The author has constructed a frightening, yet plausible, storyline and blended together an interesting cast of characters. His portrayal of goings-on in government and in the military speak to his personal experience as does the relationship between Canadians and Americans. Look for the unexpected twist at the end."
– Doug Swaykoski