February 24, 2000
Sheremetyevo Government Barracks, outside Moscow
20:00 hours, local time
Duke could not stop fuming over the debacle he had witnessed in the conference room of the Presidential Palace. President Putin just took the Americans’ advisory role and all of the overtures made to the United States for recognition and increased foreign aid, and stomped them flat to make buddy-buddy with Destro and the Ukraine.
The bureaucracy seemed to be the same everywhere. The people in charge surely did not, repeat, did not listen to the people who knew the realities of any given situation.
Scarlett was trying her best to soothe Duke’s anger, but he was just too incensed. Her hand brushed gently on his shoulder, but it was shrugged off. Scarlett’s face drooped into a pout, as she looked her husband in the eyes.