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12:30 to D.C. Prologue
The thunder roars, the rain flows down in sheets, and all the while the lightning seems out of place in the dark forests of south Japan. In the midst of the horrific weather conditions a group of seven men were trying to keep their campfire alive.
The camp was small but built professionally. The forest that enveloped them was extremely dark and damp. It looked like something a teenage girl would run into in a horror film. The trees were all about the same height and this was the only opening in the never-ending forest. Then from the surrounding forest there was a call. It was inaudible at first but it grew to a sound so loud the men almost had to hold their ears. Then two H8K-Emily Bombers came from over the tree line. Kind of an old model thought Sam Flint, one of the Navy SEALs on the ground, but it looks upgraded some how. Just then Justin Macklov, the team leader, shouted, “Find cover but stay together!” They all ran into the cover of the surrounding forest and Flint saw how the Emily’s were upgraded, no propellers thought Flint it is running on a jet engine. Then one of the guns started firing in their direction the sounds were lost by the planes’ engines’. Justin fell to the ground he had been shot. That is when havoc started, the team started running in separate directions so they wouldn’t get shot and all of the guns were firing. Flint got lucky and found a cave on a cliff. He watched silently as his comrades were shot down, one by one. Now the Emilys were circling searching for him.
He heard safety before he saw it. It was a noise different from the Emilys’ engines’. Flint watched the CH-53 rise over the horizon. He watched as it came closer to him. He decided, after seeing the American flag on the side, to wave it in. The helicopter saw him but so did one of the Emilys. The machine gun fired and Flint felt a searing pain in his shoulder. He hit the ground just as the helicopter landed. The last thing he saw before entering the Sea Stallion on a stretcher was two A10 Thunderbolts firing missiles at the Emilys. The missiles were closing, two feet, one foot, six inches, and…
“Whoa!!” Sam Flint shouted as he jerked awake. He had been having a lot of dreams about his past lately. Flint was a big burly man, but not like a football player. He had scars and pockmarks all over his face. The smudges were from months of no cleaning. Other people saw him as a threat, it wasn’t his muscle no it was the look in his eyes, a look that knew it could kill. He was always thinking tactically, leave two ways out that was his motto. He had sort of a gravely monotone in his voice and would always make sarcastic jokes. He went out from under the awning and checked his can and sign. 25¢ oh well he couldn’t expect more it was a Wednesday in San Francisco. He guessed it was about eleven o’clock. He brought his sign and can back under the awning of the closed hardware store, leaned back, and closed his eyes…
While driving up to the CIA headquarters Grant Murret in his black Yukon hung up his cell phone. I have to get it done by today, he thought, I need to find a new line of work. He drove into his reserved parking space and looked into his passenger seat at the stacks of boxes.
He walked into the back door wheeling his boxes on a dolly. He looked around at the lobby. There was a security desk with a receptionist. The office behind the desk was what scared Murret, the guards there carried guns. He walked through a metal detector and it went off when he passed his dolly through. The guards looked over but waved him through. He walked farther forward and set his things on a conveyer belt and passed through a door way with a metal detector in the frame.
He picked up his belongings on the other side of the wall and continued in to the large open hall. The four elevators at the other side of the room looked normal but the third elevator, Murret knew, led to the underground floors. He would be using that elevator later but not now. Now he took the second elevator and went up to the fourth floor.
Murret walked down the hall to his office near the end. He opened the door and set his boxes down. He opened the first box and pulls out a stack of files and set them on his desk. He opened the top file and started reading.
Name: Devon Kesay
Green Beret for four years
Known weaknesses: His daughter
There were many other papers in the file but Murret disregarded them. This guy wasn’t right for the job. He opened the next file.
* * *
“General Sir,” said Murret, “I have found the team.”
“Good send the files down”
As Grant Murret was going underground in the elevator he was skeptical of what was to come. He knew his boss didn’t want any loose ends in the plan. So once he told his boss everything he leaned his boss wouldn’t need him alive anymore. As a security measure he was keeping a secret about one of the team members, a secret he had ripped out of the files.
The elevator dinged signaling he was on his destination floor. He stepped out of the elevator and into an office. The general was across the room, at his desk, looking at his computer.
“Glad you could make it.” Said the highly decorated officer.
“Well, uh, here are the files”
“Good, tell me why you choose each one.” Stated the general playing his usual mind games.
“Well, Alex Mattea could hit a bull’s eye from a hundred feet away with a silenced P22. Jeffery Brott would be able to break into Fort Knox gold vaults without breaking a sweat. And Sam Flint who after an injury in Japan was left with no feeling of pain, he was shot by a drug dealer and he stood there and took out the dealer.”
“So, what do they have in common?”
“They all have no known weaknesses”
“Thank you,” said the general, “I will have them retrieved”
“Oh, and Sam Flint; his house was foreclosed in ’04 and there was no record of him sense.”
“Good to know.” Said the general as he opened his drawer.
“Ok, bye” Murret said. The general moved too quickly for Murret to see what he was doing. He heard the sound of a bullet passing through a silencer, like an old broom on polished floor. He keeled over and was left dying on the floor, his secret unspoken.
“Sir you can’t bring that on board.” Said a bored Spence Kiff. The reply was a jumble of Spanish that Kiff would never have been able to understand. I’ve been with this guy for fifteen minutes and I’ve tried everything I know to tell him he thought.
“Usted no pude traer ese cuchillo a bordo.” Came a voice from behind him, you can’t bring that knife on board. Kiff turned around to see his boss Rubin Conderson. He was now telling the man to go with another security guard. The TSA official walked away with the man and took him to a holding area. Kiff walked over to his boss ashamed.
“Sorry, boss, I should have taken that language clas.”
“You’re fine; just get back to work, ok?”
“Yes sir” replied Kiff. Conderson walked back to his office and sat at his desk. He set his Glock 18 in his drawer. Some times it could be so hard being the head of security in San Francisco airport. Most people saw him as a nuisance because he stopped them for this and so many other trivial complaints.
Conderson turned on his computer. While waiting for it to boot he pressed the intercom button which was a direct line to his second in command Jacob Dabos.
“Jacob come in here”
“Yes sir” the reply came. About three minutes later Dabos was in his office.
“I need you to tighten security for thanksgiving; I don’t want a repeat of last year”
“Yes sir” Dabos said remembering the loss of three of his colleagues. The guy had gotten to the end of the security and grabbed one of the guards at the end’s gun and fired two shots into his heart. He turned and fired a shot into the leg of another guard and killed two more before Conderson got a bullet between his eyes. Three years as a Marine Pilot helped his job somewhat.
As Dabos was leaving Conderson reached into his ankle holster and pulled out his Nagant M1895 revolver and put it into his drawer. He kept everything organized you could always find anything on his desk. His next step was to go into the security camera control room. He walked into the room which was lined with at least fifty computers on each wall and stood in front of the main screen. The man screen was 15’ from corner to corner.
“Put camera 14 on the screen” he said. He loved camera 14 the area it watched was nicknamed Airports Hell by the lower ranking security officials. The nickname stuck. It was where trouble always seemed to stream. It was Conderson’s chance to see some action and a punishment for out of line guards.
Little did Conderson know, though, the biggest challenge of his life would soon pass through Airports Hell.
Sam Flint’s day was filled with the usual “Get a job”’s, “Bum”‘s, and “Eew”‘s. A quarter here, three pennies there, the occasional dollar, and of course the people who used his cup as a trash bin. Those people p***ed him off so much. But at the end of the day, as he was every day, he was emptying his bin. Life wasn’t easy when the only things you owned were a KA-BAR knife and a Jericho 941 pistol, which was emptied in a shoot out with drug dealers two years ago. He hated drug dealers.
$3.34 not bad thought Flint. The only odd thing was a bright orange slip of paper. Just another piece of trash or so he thought. He was about to throw it away when his eye caught a special two words amongst the others on the paper. Those two words were his name. Curious, he started to read the rest of the paper. It had his name a time, 2:00, and an address. He knew the address because it was an abandoned house he stayed in when it was raining. He never slept there though it had rats. He only used it if he had to. He hated rats. Almost more than the Japanese idiots who killed his team. He leaned back and started drifting off to sleep, and for once in over a month didn’t dream about his past, he dreamed about the note and his new possible future.
* * *
All day he was anxious for his meeting at the address, or at least he thought it was a meeting. He was so anxious, in fact, he forgot to put out his sign and can. By one thirty he was as respectable as he could look for his social state. And by two o’clock he was at the house, punctuality was one of his strengths. Surprisingly though the man, or at least who he thought would be his contact, had made it here before him, no one had ever been earlier than him. He went up to the man and used one of his old Navy tricks.
“Do you know the origin of this note?”
“Yes,” The man replied, “My own computer.”
“So I take it you are the one who wanted to talk to me?”
“Well not me exactly I’m just the messenger.”
“So what is it?”
“The country of Saudi Arabia is giving us a scare with their increase in military spending and research. It took them one week to discover what took us a year. Plus, they are avoiding those questions in peace talks. We think we are a target and we need a team to just check on them without leaving a trace. We’ve selected you to be part of this team. You will get a new life and all trace of you will be lost, do you accept?”
A new life, a chance to start over, not many people get this opportunity thought Flint.
“Sure, I’ll do it”
“Good see you in D.C. your driver will meet you at the south entrance to Baltimore Washington International airport” Said the man as he stepped into a black sedan and drove off. Now Flint was stuck with three questions: one who was this man? Two what did he want? And three how was he supposed to get to D.C.? So he decided to formulate a plan, illegal of course but once he was given a new life that wouldn’t matter. And besides, he thought, illegal is always faster.
The day after thanks giving week was always one of the quietest days in the airport and Rubin Conderson hated quiet days. Quiet days were when smart people tried to get into an airport, but no smart people tried to break in today. It was so boring for Conderson, he was watching camera 14 and there were only three people in line. The longer the lines the more angry people were and the more they would try things and until they tried things there was no fun. Right now it was about the same pattern a woman would go through security, the man behind her would go and then another man would come. It had been like this for the past fifteen minutes.
Conderson liked patterns, but this pattern was too perfect. He started looking for the signs of a loop. He found it just as the second man comes there is a jump in the picture, a sure sign of a loop. There was only one way to fool a loop.
“Restart the whole system, we’re being looped.” He shouted. To restart the whole system it took about 60 seconds. That was 60 seconds of being completely blind. The entire 60 seconds Conderson swore.
* * *
As he drove down north McDonnell road he was hoping his plan would work. He was hoping the airport security would be so intrigued in the loop he had set they wouldn’t get his face on the camera near him. He turned left and drove past some offices. Sam Flint, now Jack Franks or at least that was what his ID said, was driving in a yellow DHL van. The real Jack Franks was in a bush by the Italian restaurant he ate dinner last night with his throat slit. He stopped at the security kiosk and showed the guard his ID card making sure the light on the camera was off.
“Alright, Mr. Franks, mind if I take a look at what you have back there?” inquired the guard as he did to every van.
“Go right ahead” said Flint. As the guard went around to the back of the van Flint tried to hide his smile as best as he could without looking suspicious his plan was working the hard part was almost finished. Once the guard was done he waved Flint through. He was now in the airport and on his way to Washington D.C..
* * *
Conderson almost leapt for joy as the monitor came back to life the first thing he saw was the view from camera 14. All of the security guards were unaware of the things that just happened. Conderson was relying on his acute senses to see anything out of the ordinary. He found nothing. He undid his holster strap and ran down to the security area.
“Hi sir,” Said Spence Kiff, “Watcha need”
“Did anyone suspicious pass through here?”
“Umm… not that I can think of”
“Alright, thanks,” said Conderson, “Can I use your radio?”
“Sure boss” said Kiff handing it over.
“Control, this is Conderson I need you to hold all commercial flights until they are searched”
“Yes sir.” Comes the reply on the radio.
“I want all those planes systematically searched until we find the man we are looking for. I want every plane almost torn apart looking for this guy and when you find him bring him to me so I can tear him apart.”
* * *
Flint was unloading the boxes from his van and loading them on to the plane. He was on his ninth or tenth trip when he heard the radio alert. He almost laughed; his plan had worked. He knew the flight left at 12:30 to D.C. so at 12:15 he loaded his last box on the plane and stayed on with it. He knew he wouldn’t be caught until he was in D.C. and by that time he would have a new life.
* * *
“Where the hell is he?” shouted Conderson.
“Sir no one saw anything” replied Kiff a little scared his boss would do something irrational.
“Well keep searching every plane!”
Sam Flint knew at right when the plane touched down in the airport. His plan was to wait until the DHL officials started unloading the plane and walked off the plane like he was one of them. He had to be careful about it though he needed to wait until there was a group so no one would notice him as an extra. At first only three officials showed up but then more and more loaded into the plane and he found his chance to get off. He loaded his van full of boxes and drove off. Again he stopped at the security kiosk and showed his ID.
“Thank you” Said the bored security guard. It was to Flint’s advantage that the guard was bored. He didn’t notice that the card was from San Francisco. He drove off onto Elm road which took him straight to the south entrance of the airport. He was careful to wipe all his fingerprints and other evidence off before parking.
He parked in the parking lot and started walking towards the main building. Once he got there he stood in the shadows. Not too hidden but not making too much of a spectacle either. He thought that his picture was already circulated through the airports. He was right. He just had to stay hidden. When he saw the man with his name on a card he waited fifteen minutes to see if he was an undercover TSA official. After seeing he was not being watched by any security guards he started walking towards the man.
“Hello, I’m Sam Flint.”
“Oh, good to see you, I thought your flight was delayed.”
“Nope I left just on time.”
“Alright, come on” The man led Flint to an unmarked black sedan. The driver opened the door for Flint and then got in front and started the car. He turned onto the highway and continued to drive.
“Did you hear about the security breech at the San Francisco airport?” asked the driver.
“No please enlighten me,” replied flint trying to keep the sarcasm out of his voice.
“So, what are we, like CIA, NSA, what?” asked Flint, now known as Sam Kaharis.
“Well we don’t actually exist but our project is called INterVention IncaSe BLEieved threat to safety Of People or INVISBLE OP for short” Answered General Brenton Snyder. He and his team were in the F ring of the pentagon. A ring that most people didn’t think existed because it was underground; in fact not many people who worked for the government knew this existed, but that was a small price for secrecy.
Flint did have a new life he was staying at a casita in the J.W. Marriott Washington D.C. and he even had a company car: a black 350z. Plus his three person team added a fourth person with a little recommendation from Flint and a light background check; a Homeland Security official named Rubin Conderson.