Book 2 - Into The Shadows Assassination Corps

***** Subject to change based on final edit from the publisher

Telemetry data began to appear on the screen. Everything looked positive. The Dong-Neng-3 was moving at a speed of 2.7 kilometers per second along its longitudinal axis. Its south-easterly trajectory and that of the American spy satellite were on display. General Zhang still maintained a stern yet optimistic look on his face. The Communist Party will be pleased, he thought to himself.  But first, stage one separation had to occur flawlessly. 

 Approximately one-hundred and seventy-three seconds into flight, the four boosters dropped away from the five-meter core stage. 

 “Booster separation from core stage complete,” said one of the specialists.

 “Understood. Next separation in one-hundred-twelve seconds,” said the flight director.

 General Zhang remained delighted and smiled. The test was proceeding perfectly as planned.

 Four minutes into the flight, the missile approached its next stage. In forty-five seconds, the payload fairing would separate at an altitude of approximately one-hundred and fifty kilometers above the earth. Immediately upon separation, two YF-77 engines would deliver the missile into a parking orbit. From there, the missile would coast for approximately two hours until its final stage.

 The lull would allow the general an opportunity to eat an early meal with his trusted advisors. Peking Duck, Zhang’s favorite meal, was on the menu. Its origin traced back to the Yuan dynasty when Mongol emperors ruled China. Traditionally served in three stages, the first stage included skin dipped in sugar and garlic sauce. Zhang had a sweet tooth and therefore required additional servings of the powdered white substance.

 Zhang returned to the operations center just in time.

 A few minutes later, Chi turned to General Zhang as the missile test was nearing its conclusion.

 “Sir, we will fire the enhanced YZ-2 engine in approximately one minute. From there, the missile will move to its transfer orbit and pass by the American spy satellite.”

 “I wonder what the Americans are thinking now?” asked Zhang.

 “They are probably in disbelief, sir,” said Chi.

 “Possibly. But they won’t see the final boost for some time. Once they review the telemetry data, they will then know the power of our missile program. I worry what President Trump may do once he is briefed. He is unpredictable. That makes him dangerous.”

 “President Xi will be ready for whatever response the Americans have, sir.”

 “Yes, he will be, Chi. You can be certain of that,” proclaimed Zhang.