Cold Warrior



The year is 1986: the year of Chernobyl, the attack on Libya and the failed summit between Reagan and Gorbachev at Reykjavik. This inside story follows a heroic Air Force major, Karl Carpenter who reluctantly takes center stage leading up to the Reykjavik summit and turns what could have resulted in World War III into the seeds of destruction of the Soviet Union.

My story opens with Karl, who has expected just to fulfill his flying obligation in Alaska, thrust into planning and executing a mission that will have implications for US-Soviet relations for years to come. Karl’s hidden need, however, is to learn to surrender his own penchant for control to God. The inciting incident follows his decision to overfly the Soviet Union on a reconnaissance mission resulting in his censure by a board of officers. Karl’s world changes when because of proven abilities in physics he accepts a project lead to determine if the Soviet Union really has a beam weapon that will negate the US deterrent force of missiles and bombers.

Karl and Jane, his wife of less than two years, have been unable to have children. Depressed over miscarriages and Karl’s disregard for her needs, Jane goes home to contemplate separation. After Karl visits her in Texas, Jane recognizes his true love for her, becomes pregnant and returns to Karl in Alaska. She has carried their baby well into her seventh month.

Determined to avoid discovery of the beam weapon hoax before the summit, the KGB sends their rising star to thwart Karl’s project. In a last desperate move he kidnaps Jane and will kill her and her unborn baby if Karl doesn’t botch the mission to discover the truth.

Karl is forced to admit he cannot save his wife and complete the mission also; he must choose between Jane’s life and his country. He is helped by his pastor to recognize he cannot control everything and must trust God for Jane’s and the baby’s lives.

The bleakest moment comes when the KGB leader escapes capture by the FBI, and Karl is forced to watch him, Jane and the baby disappear into the Alaskan night: time has run out. He makes his way to the forward operating base to lead his crew to discover the Soviet hoax. After avoiding numerous threats the crew uses Karl’s design to confirm the Soviet capability is a paper tiger. However the aircraft is hijacked and its crew is forced to land at St. Lawrence Island. A KGB support team, awaiting their leader with Jane in tow, prevents Karl’s crew from exposing the hoax. The KGB team attempts to get Karl to confirm the hoax by threatening his crew. Karl escapes with help from a mysterious Yupik Indian guide. Together they thwart the best efforts of the KGB team to leave with either the aircraft or mission results. At the last minute, he is able to free Jane. However the KGB leader escapes in a Soviet trawler as US Special Forces arrive.

During the flight to his Alaska base Karl communicates the mission results confirming that the Soviets were staging the beam weapon hoax. His report arrives just in time to arm the President for his summit meeting with Gorbachev. Karl learns that he can trust God rather than himself and decides to rely on God’s leadership in every aspect of his life, principally in his relationship with Jane.