BANG! BANG! BANG! Three shots, one target, three ballistic reports that eventually echoed around the world. Those three sounds created immediate disruption to the presidential motorcade, which left the White House not two minutes earlier. The crowds which had gathered to watch the journey fell into shocked silence, after what seemed an eternity to many, the forces of chaos took control. People were screaming, while others attempted to get away, but became trapped by sheer weight of numbers. The first two cars immediately increased speed to avoid any further danger, the situation made all the more difficult by the people who were trying to leave the area. These cars carried Michael Harding, the President of the United States of America, and wife plus various attendants and secret Service personnel. The other eight cars screeched to a halt. Secret service agents piled out, weapons drawn, some went into the crowds searching for the source of the assault, and others entered nearby buildings. They had all heard the call over their P.R. Com sets.
Potus one is down, Potus one is down, the message every secret service agent never wants to hear. Training kicked in, and the agents reacted accordingly, get the presidential car to a safe area while the other agents hunted down the assassin. Within seconds, agents and police to ensure people could not leave the area that is the natural instinct in incidents like this sealed Freedom Plaza between 14th and 13th street.
High above all this a lone figure watched the proceedings below; he stood on the roof of the National Theatre, wobbling slightly as if drunk. His face was devoid of any emotion, his jaw slack with glazed eyes. He was holding a strange rifle that looked as if it belonged in a science fiction movie, all tubes and wires. Awareness came to Jason Cutter like a thunderbolt out of a cloudless sky. Dazed and dizzy, reality hit him with a terrible kaleidoscope of sights and sounds. The street below rushed up to meet him, and the sky crashed down. He received a visual and aural assault on his senses which threw him back away from the edge of the building, his arms pin wheeling sending the gun flying from his grasp. The realization came to him that he had done something terrible. Jason stumbled back to the edge of the roof; he saw the cars on the street and men in black suits, some talking into their cuffs, rushing about guns in hand, pushing people. Police lined the street holding the crowds back. What have I done? Turning away from the sight below him, he moved across the roof, a helicopter could be heard in the distance. The last conscious act he remembered was answering the door to a traveling salesman, and everything till now was a blank. He had no recollection of where he was. It certainly was not New York. As Jason approached the rooftop door, the helicopter flew overhead before turning and coming to a hover above him. Jason shielded his eyes from the dust and debris that the down draft from the rotors kicked up.
“Stay where you are, lie down” a voice called from the helicopter.
The door to the roof slammed open, six armed agents came out. They formed a semi-circle in front of Jason. The voice from the helicopter again ordered him to lie down. Jason hesitated then his whole world faded to black.
Forty thousand feet above the North Atlantic Ocean the, Vice president Dwight Lecompte, sat in the newly designated Air Force One, returning from the Middle East, when the news of the presidents’ assassination was passed to him. He was with the National Security advisor Clinton Desmarais and General Ronald Byron commander of the newly formed Special Projects Unit. The news was imparted to him by John Garrrick the special agent in charge of security on the plane. Lecompte looked ashen as he excused himself and headed to the secure office located just behind the cockpit. He poured himself three fingers of scotch before calling the Whitehouse on the secure sat-phone. He reached the communication room and was immediately transferred to Eric Salazar the secret service agent in charge at the Whitehouse.
“Tell me some fucker is having a wind up,” Lecompte’s voice was hoarse with shock.
“No sir, at precisely 1215 an unknown assailant assassinated the President in Freedom Plaza, he was cornered briefly on the roof of the National Theatre."
“You say cornered, does that mean he got away?” Lecompte took a swig of his whiskey.
“Affirmative sir, he overcame six agents and destroyed a he-lo,” Salazar was guarded in his reply.
Banging his fist on the table, he restrained himself from screaming into the phone.
“How in God’s name did he manage to do that, what were your agents doing sleeping?” A southern drawl tinged Lecompte’s speech, which always happened, when he became stressed, betraying his Kentucky roots.
“No sir, the man was a professional, had to be the way he took them all out.” He paused to clear his throat. “We will know more when we retrieve the heli-cam from the wreckage sir.”
“Where is the president’s body now?” Lecompte asked.
“We managed to return to the White House. It’s in the Morgue here sir. Oh, and by the way, we retrieved the assassin’s weapon.”
A deep chill ran through the Vice Presidents body. Something has gone wrong, he thought, no evidence was to remain at the scene especially the gun which was above and beyond top secret.
He thought briefly before saying-" The gun must be secured until I get there, no one is to touch it not even forensics, do you understand?”
“Yes sir, but it’s…” Lecompte cut him off before he could finish his sentence.
“I mean nobody, Salazar…, or it’s your ass.”
He cut the connection before anymore could be said.
Dwight Lecompte was a troubled man. He was assured that there would be no mistakes, the job would be done, and the asset would evaporate, like water on a stove top. The gun was left behind and eight agents had been killed. It was a total cluster fuck.
Michael Harding had been a favourite on the world’s political stage. The man who brought peace to the Middle East, lowered inflation rates, and reduced crime within his borders. This went against all the Brotherhood had been planning for centuries. Their mandate was to create chaos in the world a bit at a time like rain drops down a window pane, and when those drops become a flood they move in and bring order. This almost happened at the end of the Second World War, but their plans were thwarted as they did not have the strength or the ability to affect and capitulate on the manoeuvrings behind the scenes. Lessons had been learned, and they moved on. The Brotherhood inveigled themselves into every country’s government. Wars could not be fought without their say so, and a nation’s leaders secretly chosen by them.
Dwight had been a member of the Brotherhood of the Black Flame ever since he was a freshman in college as was his father before him and his father and so on. They had helped him realize the position he held today. A place where he could steer the president in the direction that was right, Harding was the first President not directly under the Brotherhoods control, how this had happened he was not privy too.
The president had been looking into all black budget operations, and had set up a committee to do the job, looking for where cuts could be made and had been questioning some of the findings. He had questioned why money had been flooding into an abandoned air base in Montauk and why he could not get access to the site in Nevada. This made the Brotherhood nervous, the president was heading out on a fact finding mission that morning when the hit took place, meaning Dwight was now acting President of the United States.
Taking out his Blackberry he quickly sent off a coded text message to Luther Mandrake his contact within the brotherhood before leaving the office to inform the rest of the plane the sad news.
At the time, Dwight was on the phone to Eric Salazar a vigorous attack was being made on The United States, bombs exploded at various air and military bases around the country, fifty two at the final count. The Pentagon was attacked by a team of terrorists killing four security staff before they were gunned down. A suicide bomber at a shopping precinct in Chicago killed eighteen people and another in Los Angeles killed thirty people. The final death toll was one thousand and twenty five military personnel and civilians. All these different actions took place exactly thirty minutes after the President was killed.
The muted drone of a TV could be heard somewhere in the room where Jason Cutter was slowly waking up, a shard of light beamed into the room through the gap between the faded orange curtains, cutting across the bed. He turned onto his side causing the bed to creak. A dull ache throbbed behind his eyes, and his body ached like he had a severe case of the flu. Think I’ll call in sick, he thought.
Groaning he sat up and reached for his pack of smokes from the bedside table.
“Whew! That was one hell of a dream” he said to himself as he recalled the images of standing on a rooftop and the helicopter, people pointing guns at him. He lit one and took a deep pull, letting the nicotine flood his body.
The realization of his surroundings came to him at that moment; he took in the threadbare carpet, discount furniture and the TV on a scratched chest of drawers that had seen better days. The sense of confusion he felt was because for one, this was not his apartment and for two as he thought back, the last memory he had was answering the door to a travelling salesman. After that his memory was all shadows. The dream was the clearest memory after the salesman, and before he awoke. He hung his head and sighed, ever since he was young, Jason had suffered blackouts and he realized this was probably what had happened, but this was the first time he had come out of it in quite unfamiliar surroundings. He extinguished his smoke in the ash tray on the bedside table.
Shaking the last remnants of sleep from his head, he crossed to the window and opened the curtains. Outside was unfamiliar too, a nondescript Motel car park, trees lining the edge preventing him from seeing farther.
His attention was drawn back to the TV which was tuned to a news channel. He walked over and turned up the volume then sat on the end of the bed.
The pretty news reader was talking about a suicide bombing at a shopping Centre somewhere, at the end of the story she handed back to her colleague.
“Here’s an update on today’s breaking news” the serious looking male newscaster said.
“At twelve fifteen today, Michael Harding was assassinated on his way to the airport” he said, “Three shots fired from the roof of the National Theatre in Washington D.C took the life of the President”
“The gun man was cornered by Secret Service agents but managed to elude them, killing eight in the process of his escape”
“An E-fit likeness of the assassin has been released by the F.B.I,” an image popped up on the screen, and Jason’s blood turned to ice.
“You are advised to exercise caution if you observe this man, he is considered armed and extremely dangerous” The reporter moved on to an article about several terrorist attacks that had happened around the country. Hundreds of people were dead, and the attacks had happened shortly after the President had been killed.
Jason tuned out the TV, his mind whirling with apprehension. They had to be wrong, maybe it was his twin, was not everyone supposed to have one. He liked the President even voted for him, his mind spun off to the dream which was so intense it seemed real. No it is impossible, then why are you sat in a strange hotel room instead of at home. Jason put his head in his hands, slimy tendrils of madness slithered across his mind threatening to engulf him in its fiery caress. The madness had been at the back of his mind for many years. At an early age, he was diagnosed with a Dissociative identity disorder, from the age of twelve he displayed at least three distinct personalities, and had undergone years of psychotherapy and drug treatment to control the malady. Added to that Jason suffered blackouts on numerous occasions, for which no cause could be identified by any of the specialists he had seen. This blackout had been the strangest of all, and beyond his understanding. If that was his picture on the TV then he had travelled all the way from New York to Washington; obtained a gun, shot the President and booked himself into a Motel. All this performed while he was unaware. He went into the bath room and poured himself a glass of water, gulping it down. He looked in the cracked mirror above the sink, and haunted eyes stared back at him, a two day growth of stubble covered his chin and his shaggy black hair was lank. Jason returned to the bedroom and sat back on the bed. No doubt his photograph was everywhere by now, making it difficult for him to travel; he needed a disguise. Looking inside the built in wardrobe, he came across a baseball cap, Gregor tractors was the logo on it. That would do for starters, he also needed to cut his hair, but that would have to wait till later.
He lit up another cigarette; the action of smoking helped ease his thoughts and focus his mind. Jason knew he was between a rock and a hard place so who could he go to. His thoughts turned to who he could trust; running names off in his head and discounting them he is left with one name, Paul Danson his psychiatrist. He had been going to see him for the past two years, for some reason he could not figure out, the psychiatrist he had been seeing since he was twelve, Dr Yakob Bofinger, he did not trust. So when he came to New York he found one out for himself. His mind is set now; he only had to figure out how to get from where he was back to New York without having been lifted by the authorities. He settled back on the bed after finishing his cigarette pleased with himself that he seemed to be taking control of his situation. When night fell he would leave, till then he would sleep, fatigue overcame him and he closed his eyes drifting off.
Shaun Kane looked up from his computer screen as the news of Michael Harding’s death is being broadcast on the TV that played 24 hours a day. He was a reporter for the magazine Angel Fire Chronicle, based in Washington D.C, the monthly Conspiracy theory and UFO magazine. Some people would consider the job a bit sleazy, but Shaun loved it, and the magazine was one of the better ones in the field. He had come to the office to work today to finish off an article on UFO sightings in Wyoming especially near the Warren air force base, which is home to the Air Force space command 90th space wing, who carried the responsibility of the world’s most powerful combat ready ICBMS’. Scary stuff if ET is hanging around these places.
His mouth gaped as the news is broadcast. His heart thumped against his chest as he remembered the envelope unopened in his safe back home, and his mind drifted back to the meeting he had been called to at the George Town Inn on Wisconsin Avenue two months ago. He had received a call on his home phone from a man calling himself Marvin Purvis, who said he had information on Government cover ups of UFO activity, and files he wanted to handover. Normally Shaun would not go to meets from phone calls he would ask them to come into the Newspaper or meet somewhere public. Marvin asked him to come to room no 44 at the George Town and Shaun’s journalists bug as he called his inner voice, was wriggling. He had to go and so an hour later he was knocking on the door of room 44. The door is opened by a tough looking obviously military type, brush cut hair, muscular, even in a civilian suit he looked as if he was in uniform. Without a word, he is ushered into the room. A grey haired man is sat on the bed with his back to Shaun; he was searching through a briefcase. Something about the man seemed familiar, he could not recognize it.
“Mr Purvis” he stammered. Brush cut was making him nervous, standing by the door as if on parade.
The man on the bed turned round and smiled, “Thank you for coming Mr Kane”
Shaun almost collapsed as he saw Michael Harding, President of the USA, smiling at him from across the room.
For a few seconds, he could not speak then he found his voice, “I don’t understand sir” he gasped shock evident in his voice.
“Sorry to arrange the meet like this. with all the cloak and dagger stuff but I honestly had no choice “he motioned to Brush cut, who remained un-introduced but was probably some kind of bodyguard, “Get Mr Kane a drink”
Shaun slowly walked over to the bed and settled his six foot frame in the chair by the window; brush cut came over with a whisky, neat. He gulped it down, feeling the fire of the drink burn his throat and drowns his system with calming alcohol.
“Mr Kane…” Shaun held up his hand.
“Call me Shaun sir.”
“Only if you call me Michael or Mike if you prefer, the circumstances of this meet don’t exactly suit formality” he smiled putting Shaun at ease. The shock had passed, and Journalistic instincts kicked in.
“Well Mike you certainly piqued my interest, so what’s all this about?”
“First I need your assurance that whatever we say here will not appear in print or repeated in a bar somewhere” he paused “At least not yet”
Shaun held out his hand and Michael shook it, “You have my word as an ex-army Ranger”. Shaun had spent ten years as a member of the 75th army rangers unit before he was wounded in Afghanistan and so he returned to civilian life, where he took a course in Journalism and ended up here in this Hotel room.
“I am well aware of your record Sergeant” he addressed him with the rank he had finished his military career with. “And that makes your word good enough for me”.
“We live in strange times Shaun “he said, “Friends are now enemies, and enemies are now our friends, our country needs all the friends it can get”
He motioned for more drinks for himself and Shaun.
“There are forces at work behind the scenes that want to do considerable damage to our world “Michael continued, “One of my, I guess you would call it hobbies, was, is following conspiracy theories; a bit wacko for a President I know” he laughed. The drinks came, and Michael was silent for a moment.
Shaun noticed a weariness about his face that he had not seen before, the President appeared to be under immense strain, he was about to speak but he is halted by the presidents raised hand.
“I am going to tell you one of the secrets of my office and your first instincts will be to go out and get it printed so remember your agreement” Shaun nodded.
“I am currently looking into Black budget operations, and what I have uncovered so far chills my blood” he said.
He took a sip of his whiskey before carrying on speaking.
“I can’t say too much at the moment, I want you to take this” he reached into his briefcase and handed Shaun a manila envelope, “I have a feeling my digging is gonna’ open a whole can of worms, my life will in danger”.
“How’s that? I mean, I know being the President always brings danger, but you’re surrounded by security 24/7”.
“The danger will come from within, don’t ask me how I know this, put that envelope somewhere safe and do not open it until after I am dead,” Michael said solemnly.
“Why me, why do you think you can trust me?” Shaun asked, still shocked at what he had been told.
“You saved my nephews life in Bosnia, plus your record as a journalist. You are stubborn Shaun, and you do not stop till you have the truth”, he said, “When you open the envelope you will know everything and I assume you will do the right thing, I need someone outside, someone unknown who can do what needs to be done”.
“This all seems strange Michael” Shaun raised his glass in salute, “But I trust my President, so I will do as you ask”
They had spoken for another half an hour before he left, returning to his apartment thinking how strange the night had turned out to be.
His mind drifted back to the present and the news broadcast, he jumped up from his desk sending his chair flying off into the desk behind him. Shit, shit, shit, he thought. He had placed the envelope in his safe at home and not thought about it since, whatever the meaning of the meeting he had with Michael Harding the circumstances had come to pass, he was dead.
Grabbing his jacket he quickly made his way down to the underground car park and gunned his Mercury Cougar XR7 through the mid-morning Washington traffic to his house on Anacostia road next to the St Judah Spiritual Baptist church, a modest three bedroom house he had shared with his ex-wife till three years ago when she left him for a real-estate agent.
He climbed out of the car, and the cold hands of fear gripped his heart as the momentous implications hit him. Michael Harding was dead, what if the people who had him killed knew about him. The danger will come from within, these words echoed inside his mind.
Shaun looked up and down the street; nothing seemed out of the ordinary, cars parked in their accustomed places, old Mr Johnson two doors up was mowing his lawn, a city maintenance van was parked at the intersection and a couple of people walking their dogs chatting about whatever made their lives engaging. It was just an ordinary street, in an extraordinary city. Nothing seemed out of place to Shaun, and he allowed himself to relax a little. He realized he was jumping at his own imagination, nobody could have known about the meeting.
He retrieved his door keys and entered his house. Running upstairs, he entered his bedroom and took down the picture above his bed revealing his safe. Opening it and removing the envelope, he sat on the bed and stared at it for a few seconds. Shaun carefully opened it to see it contained a single note.
I am dead and it now falls to you to do the right thing, on the reverse of this note were details of a P.O box in New York, there are files deposited within, read them and try and stop the rot.
He turned the note over and saw the details written there. An address in Manhattan and a PO Box number was the only information written.
Shane rubbed his chin as he read the letter again, his mind whirling as he wondered what he was getting into. But Michael had been right, he was obstinate, and he sensed the mother of all stories was waiting for him that would make Watergate look like nonsense.
He quickly packed an overnight bag and headed down the stairs, a shadow appeared across the double window of the front door. He froze half way down. He froze because the silhouette of a silenced pistol melded with the shadowy figures arm. It had been a long time since Shane had been in any kind of combat situation but you never forgot the training; that lasted forever. His mind slipped into the OODA loop, observe, orient, decide and act; the concept was devised by military strategist and USAF Colonel John Boyd to be applied to all kinds of combat operations.
As quiet as he could be he moved down the stairs and positioned himself to the right side of the door, so he would be shielded upon it opening. The shadow had told him the figure was about six foot tall and well built. Whatever course of action Shaun performed would have to be fast and conclusive for he had no way of knowing if the figure was alone. His heart beat loudly as he put down his overnight bag and took an umbrella from the stand that was next to the door. His Mouth is dry and he recognized the signs of adrenaline flooding his system preparing him for whatever lay ahead.
The door handle moved and his body wanted to tense up, but he forced himself to relax; needing a sense of looseness to his body. The door opened slowly, the pistol appeared; a Glock 19 adapted to fit a suppressor. It probed the air like the antenna of some alien insect.
Time seemed to slow down as Shane moved with a speed that betrayed his size, whipping the umbrella down to the outstretched arm knocking the gun out of the intruders hand, he slammed the door shut then grabbed the arm, which was trapped between the door and its frame, at the wrist and wrenched it back, there was a loud crack as the arm snapped at the elbow and a scream came from the other side of the door. He opened the door and pulled the man onto a pile driving punch that connected between his eyes dropping him senseless to the floor.
He turned and picked up the Glock just as a man, dressed in city maintenance uniform, same as the man he had just floored, appeared in the kitchen doorway down the hall. The man fired, and Shane dived to the side into the living room coming to rest by the TV. He quickly jumped to his feet and did what the gun man would not expect him to do, he dived back out into the hall way and fired at the approaching man, hitting him in the chest, firing again as he landed, the bullet this time hitting his attacker in the face as he was falling.
Shane quickly got to his feet, gun at the ready, but no one else appeared. He slammed the front door and fell back against it, breathing deeply and feeling sick at the site of the carnage he had caused. He had to remind himself that it had been them or him, they, whoever they are, had the temerity to enter his house weapons drawn so they deserved all they got. His heart was slowing now, and he felt a little dizzy. He looked down at the unconscious man on the floor and realised they had come from the maintenance van parked up the road which led one to conclude his house was under surveillance leading to the further conclusion his meeting had been known by a person or persons unknown. The man before him could hold the answer although you could bet your dollars they had to be professionals and would not give up information easily but Shane realised he did not have time for a long interrogation. Bending he searched the man’s pockets retrieving additional magazines for the gun but nothing else. He did the same with the second man and found three more plus a belt holster which he took and attached to his own belt securing the Glock, so it was hidden by his jacket.
A grown directed his attention back to the unconscious man, he bent down next to him, and the man’s face was ashen from the pain he obviously felt. Shane could tell by the build, the military- style haircuts and the way they had held their weapons they were not civilians.
He grabbed the man’s ankles and dragged him into the living room then went to get some pliers and electrical tape; he figured he had a little time to ask a few questions.
The situation room deep under the west wing of the Whitehouse is a five thousand square foot conference room, and intelligence management centre, run by the National Security council for the use of the president and his advisors to monitor crises at home and abroad, it is equipped with secure, advanced communication equipment for the President to maintain command and control of US forces both at home and abroad. President John F Kennedy is credited with the creation of this room after the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion; he argued that he needed information in real time and a space for video and secure conferencing. The watch teams that track all the information that was received here is all apolitical taken from the various alphabet agencies and military, their responsibility to work for the President whomever he or she may be and for the good of the country. The Situation room is not just one room, but a suite of rooms. Comprising the main conference room, with its flat screen monitors, oak table and leather chairs, the watch centre, where all communication with the outside world was maintained, this room is manned twenty four hours a day, also a video conferencing room and a couple of smaller conference rooms as well as offices for administration staff and Secret Service.
Dwight had called an emergency meeting of the N.S.C to discuss the recent attacks on the country and the assassination of the President. They had all assembled in the main conference room, and seated round the solid Oak table by the time Dwight arrived, with his acting Vice President Marcus Rivera and his Counsel Randall Massengale. The room was a buzz of conversation that eased off as Dwight sat down at the head of the table; he allowed himself a brief moment of pleasure that the chair was now his. He greeted each one of the nine people sat around the table by name before activating all security devices in the room from the console built into the table before him. Seated before him, apart from Marcus and Randall there was Secretary of State Collette Bolman, Secretary of Defence Carleton Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Harland Randall, Intelligence Advisor Clinton Luther, N.S.A. advisor Clinton Desmarais and his deputy Elwood Krieger also present was Bruce Lombardi the newly appointed Secretary for Homeland Security.
“Do we have any word on who was responsible for the attacks on our country and also any news on who killed our President?” he addressed the assembled people.
Clinton opened a file before him and read out the information before him,
“No one has claimed responsibility as yet, but our intelligence is that all the major and minor Islamic organisations have formed an alliance and seem to be upping their game” all the others listened intently as he carried on, “The UK was hit an hour after us, as was France, Spain, Germany and Russia”
“Do we have any casualty numbers? “Collette asked.
“Very high for all countries, the attacks ranged from suicide bombs to I.e.ds’ to actual shootings, we had no previous intelligence or warnings nor did our counterparts “he said, “Info we have now is extremely disturbing, this alliance has got hold of several dirty bombs and are planning to set them off around the world including on our soil”
The looks of shock and horror passed round the table quicker than you could snap your fingers. Each knew what a dirt bomb could do; a dirty bomb is a theoretical radiological weapon that combines radioactive material with conventional explosives. The purpose of the weapon is to contaminate the area around the explosion with radioactive material, thus the distinction "dirty".
“As for Jason cutter it seems he has vanished off the face of the earth but we will find him, his photo is in every newspaper and on every TV, so it cannot be long till he surfaces” Clinton informed the table.
“Thanks for that,” Dwight said, “Ladies and gentlemen we are in dark waters, and once again our freedoms are being threatened from outside and within our borders, and we need extreme measures to combat this threat,” he looked around the table and took in each face, some nodded in agreement while others remained stony faced.
“The measures we had in place since 9/11 obviously no longer work” he said, “Our enemies are cunning and resourceful, so we need to up our game to show the world we can defeat our nemesis”
There was a knock at the door, the watch supervisor entered and handed Dwight a sheet of paper before leaving. He read the sheet then spoke solemnly, “We just got word HRH Queen Elizabeth has just been killed while walking her dogs in the grounds of Buckingham palace, somehow the killer bypassed all the palaces security and lay in wait before shooting her,” he held his fist to his mouth, “he then turned the gun on himself”.
The shock around the table was like a salient presence in the room, they all started to talk at once till Dwight held up his hand to silence them.
“ Enough of this crap, we are going to take some serious action” he turned to the secretary of state,” After we have finished here set up a meet with the UN commissioner and the Brit Prime minister A.S.A.P., and in the mean time I want our borders closed and I want marshal law instituted in every state”
“Congress ain’t gonna be happy ‘bout that” Carlton Pace said: his voice always sounded horse from the big cigars he always smoked. “Well, congress can kiss my ass” he held the paper in the air, “They have attacked the very heart of what we hold dear, it is time for serious action, we have to take control of our nations and tighten the screw till the weevils’ pop out of the corn so, we can crush them once and for all” he paused for effect “Are you all with me on this?”
Not realising what Dwight was fully proposing, they acquiesced.
“Okay peoples let’s go do some good, Marcus have Congress assembled for a meeting by 1800 hours, and I will address them at that time”
His vice president nodded, and they all filed out.
Jason had waited till night time before he made his move. Walking the streets with his hat pulled down and hands in the pockets of his combat jacket he was trying to appear invisible. He had located a store where the clerk seemed disinterested with his customers, he pulled out his wallet before entering the store, and found what appeared to be a couple of thousand dollars which came as a bit of a surprise the last time he checked he had about forty dollars, the day was looking up. Once inside he purchased a pair of scissors, shaving cream and razors. It took a while to find a public convenience that was not used by shady types never the less he found one. After cutting his hair and shaving, he made his way to Union Station, after paying the $127 dollars he found himself sat in a nearly empty carriage of the 20:05 to Penn station, New York. His nerves had been singing like live electrical cable all the way from the motel, he had gotten directions to the station from a street map he found in his room. After studying the map, Jason was pleased to discover he was only about three blocks from the station which allowed him a path through back alleys and away from the streets. As he gazed out at the platform, he hoped his luck would hold up till he found out what had happened to him. Jason was in no doubt if the police caught up with him his life would be over.
He pulled his hat down and slumped into his seat, his whole situation seemed hopeless. A black cloud of depression fell over him. As he thought more about the events of the last few hours and it took all his reserves of energy to push it away. Crossing his arms, he propped his head against the window, just as he was about to close his eyes, the carriage door opened and a man entered. He was tough looking, six foot tall with a bald head and well-muscled body that strained at the seams of his jeans and blue work shirt. The hairs on the back of Jason’s neck prickled, as the man scanned the carriage with his steely grey eyes. They settled on Jason for a second and he thought he was caught, that the man was a cop and he was going to pull out his gun, the moment passed and the man moved on to take a seat somewhere to the rear of him.
Jason could have kicked himself he was seeing danger all around in every shadow. He closed his eyes and decided to sleep the journey away. He knew he should remain aware, but he was so tired with the intense pressure of his situation.
Shaun sat in his seat on the Amtrac train, and tried to comprehend what he had just seen, he had stowed his overnight bag and entered the carriage scanning the other passengers for any kind of threat when his eyes had passed over a man in a baseball hat; black jeans, t-shirt and a green combat jacket, he was clean shaven with a wiry build, about 5’8. Something was familiar about this man, and it was not until he sat down that he realised he had just laid eyes on the man who had shot the President. His first instinct had been to jump on the man and restrain him, before calling for the police, but he held back because he was probably in as much trouble as the guy in the carriage with him, so he had taken a seat two rows behind him and decided his best course of action was to follow him to wherever his destination may be.
Shaun relaxed as the train made its way out of Union station for the start of the three hour twenty five minute trip to New York. Whatever happens will happen Shaun thought, he knew he was probably putting himself in harm’s way as he had no way of knowing what backup the man had or where he was heading, but he had a feeling that the course of action he was embarking on was the right one. Whatever resided in the P.O box could wait a while longer. Shaun followed close behind the man as he exited Penn station onto 7th avenue, instead of hailing a cab he turned left and headed onto w 33rd street walking as though he knew where he is headed. Shaun followed close behind, always keeping a few people between them. They past a blue and white parked at the kerb. Shaun considered informing them what he was doing but quickly changed his mind when he thought back to the events at his house.
They had walked for several blocks till they arrived at a building on east 33rd, he ducked inside. Shaun stopped outside the entrance. Above the double glass doors was the legend Crystal building and on the door, it said Madison Psychiatric services and Counselling Institute. Shaun laughed to himself; where else do you go after killing the president but your psych doc.
He pushed open the door and stepped inside, a short passage led to a flight of stairs going up; the walls on each side of the passage were adorned with posters and advertisements for various clinics and treatments. Shaun walked past these and ascended the stairs coming to a double set of plain wooden doors. Shaun put his ear to the door but no sound is heard. He pulled open the door and stepped into a fluorescent lit corridor with various doors leading off. Shit! He thought. Which door to choose, he had assumed it was a psychiatrist but it looked as if several other offices inhabited the building, any of which could have been his quarry’s destination. The answer came to him in the form of raised voices from behind a door to his right, a voice demanding to see his doctor, a voice that was pleading and angry at the same time.
Shaun braced himself before crashing through the door. He took in the scene quickly, the assassin was leaning on the reception desk, and the girl behind the desk looked terrified, even more so when she saw Shaun, who launched himself at the man kicking him behind the knee and grabbing him round the neck with a muscular forearm.
“Do not struggle or I will break your spine boy” he said.
He looked at the receptionist but before he could say anything he felt himself lifted off the floor and slammed into the wall behind him with enough force to knock the breath from him, Shaun felt as if he had been smacked with a sledge hammer to his solar plexus.
The receptionist, who had been having a pleasant day till the events of the last few seconds, could not understand what she had just witnessed, Jason Cutter was a wiry guy who had always spoken politely to her when he attended Dr Dansons’ clinic, and the man who had attacked Jason was a full foot taller and had the build of a Chicago Bull line-backer. One minute he had Jason in a headlock and the next moment he was flying through the air and smashing into the wall. She watched Jason rise to his feet. He turned to look at her, his face devoid of any expression and his eyes held a dead appearance but also seemed to be able to burrow into her very soul, a shiver ran down her spine, Jason’s eyes reminded her of the eyes of a Shark hunting its prey. He nonchalantly walked over and grabbed the man by the throat and lifted him up the wall then drew his hand back, which is formed, into a blade, just like the karate men held their hands, she thought. The door to the Doctors office opened, and Dr Danson came out, he saw Jason holding up the man and his hand drew back for the killing blow.
“Hunters moon” he shouted, the effect was immediate on Jason who dropped the man and lowered his hand then just stood there as if waiting for further instructions, like a robot, she thought.
Shaun shook his head trying to clear the fuzziness in his brain and the black blobs floating before his eyes-What the hell’s wrong with this picture, he thought. Trying to make sense of what had just happened was like swimming without arms. One moment he had a hold of the man and next he was smashing into the office wall with all the wind knocked out of him, it just was not possible. The realisation that he had been close to death hit him with as much power as smashing into the wall had and his legs gave way.
Dr Danson crossed the room and helped Shaun to his feet.
“Are you ok?” he asked.
“I think so” Shaun smiled weakly and looked at Jason. He was about to speak, but the Dr held up his hand.
“In my office, both of you” he turned to the receptionist-“It’s OK Shauna, cancel my appointments for the rest of the day…and tomorrow, take the rest of today off and tomorrow with pay of course”
“Will you be ok Dr, you want me to call the police or anything?”
“No, that is not necessary” he smiled reassuringly before entering his office and closed the door.
Shaun had been pacing up and down the office while never taking his eyes off Jason who was standing in the middle of the room staring into space. He was trying to work out what had happened. Jason had barely touched him, and he had gone flying backwards as if pulled by an invisible force, it was all crazy, made no sense. During his time in the Rangers, he received training in unarmed combat, and though rusty he should have been able to take Jason without effort. He stopped pacing as the Dr entered the room and sat behind his large walnut desk.
“Jason?” he spoke with a rich, deep voice, “Sit down please”
Jason did not look at the Dr; he just shuffled over to the chair in front of the desk and sat down.
“Dr ah…” Shaun began.
“Danson, George Danson and you are?”
“Shaun Kane, I’m a reporter with Angel Fire…this is the guy that killed the President, you need to call the police”
Dr Dansons expression never changed, except maybe he looked a little sad.
He sighed and said-“What do you remember Jason?”
Jason looked at Shaun for the first time since entering the office.
“He’s right Dr I think I did, but it’s all so confused in my head”
He then proceeded to explain what had happened since receiving the knock on the door at his apartment, and culminating with blacking out when Shaun had attacked him. The Dr interrupted a few times with questions. Shaun listened to all this with a quiet incredulity, here he sat within arm’s reach of his friends assassin and the Dr was acting like he was in session with him, discussing his mental issues. Shaun could take it no more, a deep seething anger was building inside him, and he jumped up startling both men.
“This is bullshit Dr!” his face was red as his blood flooded his face with the anger he felt-“This man is probably the most wanted man in the world right now, you need to call the Police not have a friendly chat”
“You need to calm down Mr Kane”, something in the Dr’s voice stopped Shaun in his tracks and he sat back down, glaring at the two of them.
“I empathise with the way you feel” Dr Danson said-“But I have a few things to tell the both of you, things you need to know and Mr Kane if you want me to call the police after I have finished, it will be my pleasure” he paused “Do we have a deal, a few more minutes of your time is all I ask?” he waited for Shaun’s response, which is given, after a few moments of silence, by a shrug of the shoulders and an indication of the head.
The white cab, a Ford Crown Victoria, pulled up at the side walk of one First Street, Washington D.C, the home of the Supreme Court. The driver was Joe Albertson, a 50 year old African American. He had been driving a cab in D.C since he was twenty. He loved every minute of it, he liked to say everyone in the city was his friend, and the secrets he heard, as he ferried many of the city’s prestigious people to their destinations would go to the grave with him, cab drivers that he was friends with had nicknamed him The keeper and it was a moniker he was proud to carry.
He took the preferred fare from the smartly dressed man and radioed control to say he was taking his break. Joe knocked the for hire sign off before settling back to tuck into the fried chicken and rice his wife had lovingly prepared that morning. He looked at the crowded sidewalks, and the people wrapped up against the cold, while he sat in the warmth of his cab and smacked his lips at the Jamaican spices that covered the chicken.
Life is peachy, he thought.
Joe looked over to his right across the immaculate lawns in front of the Capitol Building that was all lit up in the early evening half-light. He had always admired the architecture of the place with its Dome pointing up to the heavens.
Big meeting going down there tonight, the acting pres. giving big speech to decide how our lives will run, the world has changed now it is a miserable place to be.
These became Joes final thoughts and his obituary, for as the word be ended the rumination so the blinding flash and thunder as the dirty bomb that had been placed in the basement of the capitol building, exploded with such force that Joes cab is picked up and flung through the walls of the Supreme Court building, ended his life. The bomb was so powerful it took out all the buildings that surrounded the epicentre of the blast and left the entire area irradiated.
Snow clouds hung low in the sky above Harrison, a small township on route 287 in Madison County, Montana. It had a population of just 200 souls and the type of place where everyone knew everybody else. Main Street was just a collection of buildings on route 287 that looked out over now empty wheat fields that stretched into the distance towards snow-capped mountains. The main form of employment in the area was agriculture, mostly corn and cattle, as the residents of Harrison have dubbed it, there was also forestry and construction work to be had locally while others travelled into Willow creek or Great falls to work. The majority of the town were Catholic with Mormons a close second plus a smattering of other religions thrown into the mix. None of that mattered to Steve Cramer as he sat outside the red bricked Farragut stores drinking from a bottle of Coke and talking to Jimmy Farragut the son of the store owner. They had known each other since high school where upon Steve joined the Marines and Jimmy went to work in his father’s business, so they had lost touch until a roadside bomb in Iran had ended Steve’s military career. Both had been discussing the events of the last couple of days, a conversation that most households in Harrison had been having, that being the assassination of the President. It was a well-known fact that the whole town had voted for him. He had stopped off in their small town on his nationwide tour in the run up to the election. The visit is unscheduled and a shock to the entire township who are impressed with him and his honesty.
What mattered to Steve was the appearance of ten covered military trucks, four Humvees with machine guns mounted on their roofs and the two helicopters that hovered above the fields across 287. One truck and a Humvee had stopped at the junction of Jefferson Street and heavily armed soldiers climbed out and began erecting a barrier across the road, the other trucks drove further up the road and pulled up by the sheriff’s office. Soldiers dispersed from the trucks and formed up in front of the office; a solidly built man dressed in the uniform of a major in the newly formed 6th army climbed out of the lead Humvee and briefly spoke to a man dressed in a black nylon jacket with the Homeland security seal on the left breast. He then went to address his men. From where Steve and Jimmy were standing they heard him shout-“You have your orders men, handle any resistance as an attack on your selves and treat accordingly, see to it”. The soldiers gave a brief hoo-rah and dispersed into the township.
They both looked at each other.
“What do you thinks goin’ on?” Jimmy asked.
Steve shrugged-“Fucked if I know, but it ‘ain’t good that’s for sure”, he climbed to his feet as two soldiers approached them. One soldier hung back, covering them with his M16.
“What’s up fellas?” Steve asked, he took in the soldier’s body language, and knew they had not come fresh from boot but were battle hardened veterans.
“Anybody inside the premises sir” he asked totally ignoring Steve’s question.
“Just my dad” jimmy answered.
The soldier entered the store and came out with Jimmy’s dad and nodded towards the trucks.
“Make your way over to the trucks please we have to evacuate the town, a big crash down the road has released toxic fumes and they could be heading this way”
“Let me lock my store up first” old man Farragut said.
“No time sir, do not the town will be manned by troops till you return”
“Never the less” he turned to lock the door; the soldier grabbed him and flung him into the road.
The next few seconds passed in slow motion for Steve, Jimmy stepped forward and punched the soldier in the side of the head.
“Leave my dad alone” he screamed.
The soldier who had been covering them opened fire nearly cutting Jimmy in two.
Steve looked at his friend in disbelief.
“Move both of you” he motioned with his weapon.
For the first time in his life, Steve felt fear; he helped old man Farragut to his feet and helped him walk to the trucks, soothing him as he shed silent tears for jimmy.
It took over three hours for the entire town to be assembled by the trucks; no more information is given to them as they waited. Steve comforted Jimmy’s dad who had been silent the whole time.
The final members of the town were approaching; they are led by a group of six soldiers. Steve saw John Delaney holding a handkerchief to his head, which was pouring with blood, others sported bruises on their faces. What the hell was happening, Steve did not recognise this behaviour as any he had experienced in his Military career? Something was markedly wrong with this picture!
“I don’t understand what’s goin’ on, I’ve not seen anything like this before”, somebody nearby said.
Mr Farragut looked at Steve.
“I have, but I never thought I would see it here, pfah”, he rolled up his sleeve and showed Steve the tattooed digits on his forearm. He understood the meaning of those numbers and hung his head in shame at what was occurring here this day. The scene is played out in several townships around the country, culminating in the loading of the people onto trucks and the trucks then driven to “Emergency Transit Camps”. By the end of the day thousands of people had been displaced from their homes and now under Federal Control.
While American citizens were being dragged from their homes, Shaun Kane sat in Dr Dansons office, a cup of coffee cradled in his hand. He sat patiently as the Doctor gave him what amounted to Jason’s case history, and what a history it was.
“Jason came to me two years ago” Doctor Danson began “He was suffering from quite a few mental problems, not least was Dissociative identity disorder”
“What’s that?” Shaun asked, “I haven’t heard of it”
Danson explained, Jason had displayed several distinct personalities or alter egos, each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment, commonly called Multiple
Personality disorder. He displayed all the classic symptoms, memory loss, multiple mannerisms, attitudes and beliefs which are not similar to each other, and many others.
“This disorder is thought to be linked to incidents of child abuse” Danson said “often by a trusted caregiver as the child is growing up”
“And you think this is the reason for him murdering Michael?” Shaun asked, “C’mon Doc”
“Please be patient and let me explain”.
Further examination of the personalities revealed they seemed to be complete, with back histories and lives completely separate from Jason’s. Doctor Danson subjected him to deep hypnosis sessions; while awake he could not remember much of his early life except his parents having died in a car crash, he was placed in an Orphanage at the age of five. The first memory uncovered was at the age of six being led into a class room by one of the carers and having to sit at a desk, he remembers the room was full of children of the same age as him. In front of him blocks had been placed and he had to arrange them into various shapes. A woman with a strange accent walked around the classroom with a clipboard making notes. After the blocks came five playing cards with strange symbols on them. When the woman called their name they had to pick a card and place it to one side, she made more notes. Twenty times this test was performed. After the tests they moved to the gym and had to perform several physical exercises, Jason became agitated as he was pressed to reveal more. In the next session Jason is seven years old; he is strapped onto what he describes like a hospital gurney, electrodes are placed on his genitals, nipples and temples. He seems to be alone but can hear whispers nearby. Jason is subjected to electric shocks, growing in intensity over a period of time till each time they hit he blacks out because of the pain. Once again Jason is agitated and the session had to be ended.
“To cut a long story short, I uncovered what I can only describe as torture performed on Jason” he informed Shaun “Incidents of beatings, what you may know as waterboarding, and long periods of isolation, with or without light”
All through the Doctors explanation, Shaun is watching Jason who had not moved a muscle; just sat with his head down looking at his constant twirling fingers.
“Who was doing this to him?”
“In the sessions it is never clearly explained “he began “I uncovered very sophisticated mental blocks, like locked doors in the psyche”
“This still does not explain what he has done”
Danson thought for a moment considering his answer.
“Basically he didn’t, one of his alters did it”
Shaun looked confused.
“The alters that Jason displays have been created inside his mind by someone much cleverer than I”
“Out in reception you said a word that stopped Jason from killing me” Shaun took a sip of his coffee “What was that all about?”
“Under hypnosis the phrase, hunters moon, was always mentioned” Danson explained “I found out this was a trigger word for Jason, it shut down the alter and brought Jason back to us”
“You have to believe me when I say Jason is a patsy being used by other forces more powerful and dangerous than you or I”
“I have tried many times to break through these blocks without success,”
© 2010 Ronin