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Book One World War Three 1946

Book One World War Three 1946
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Monday, April 22, 2019

Skinner’s Turn


Dr. Skinner hung up the phone and stared at his fingers. His wife had called him at his office in the university and passed on Jim Crenshaw’s news. Holy mackerel, he thought to himself the Red bastards are doing it. They have used my research to kill American and British bomber crews.

On one hand, he was proud that all his hard work had come to fruition. But, he was more than terrified at what the Soviets had done with his creation. He had never even considered using his pigeons on bombers. He had read in passing a few newspaper articles referring to the Reds use of the German SAM missile technology. Wasserfal was the German name for the ground to air missile.

Also, he had heard that the Soviets had modified another German super weapon, the X4 air-to-air missile. Skinner was sure his guidance system could be used for that missile as well.

The speeds of both missiles had to be incredible if they were based on the V2. The Germans must have figured out some kind of proximity fuse as well. He doubted his invention could maneuver that well at the speeds he was imagining. A fast fighter plane should be able to easily out turn a speeding bullet. Not, however, a whole formation of bombers.

He snapped out of his musing and knew what he had to do he had to get a hold of Colonel Miles Henderson. He needed to gather all the anecdotal stories and official reports on crash sites as well as bombers that survived missile attacks. He would call in all his markers and he had to do it very creatively and quietly.

First, he had to ask for personal leave. Luckily, the holidays were coming up and the new semester started late. He would over about 45 days to track down the reports and witnesses. Next, he needed to fabricate a hook so he could be seen as doing research for one of his projects.

How about “The Effects of Combat on the Behavior of Bomber Crews”? What better subject than that for the world’s leading behaviorist in time of war. He would be in a position to ask for all sorts of reports and papers on recent missions. His invented project would afford him the opportunity to track down Crenshaw’s theory. Also, the process of collecting the information could provide a segue to discussions about his guidance system and its possible use by the Reds.

He’d enlist Jim to assist and get him registered at the local high school. During Jim’s short stay his wife, Yvonne, had observed him, keeping Shinner’s youngest daughter Debora from harm a number of times. Jim seemed to enjoy playing with their daughters. His wife even suggested that they ask Jim to stay and they would help get him through high school and possibly beyond. “He seems to be a very bright and committed young man. It would be a shame to send him out in the world without a good education.” Yvonne had said after Jim had left to go back to the Washington area.

He planned to ask Jim to come back and live with them. In addition to room, board and helping him with his education, Jim could assist with the research and be a live-in babysitter. Skinner was sure Jim would excel, after all Skinner was an expert in human behavior.

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