Lighthouse Keeper II

The Lighthouse Keeper II Truth

Shanon walked out of Network News in Halifax, Nova Scotia turning onto the highway to disappear. The breath of freedom with air of truth filled her lungs. Shanon exposed the abuse perpetrated against her husband and family by the government of the United States. She and her daughter will find refuge in a new country while her husband hides in the shadows on another foreign soil.

Jack Smith served his country for twenty years. A decorated, Black Operations Commander esteemed by heads of state, peers, and military hierarchy. As requested by his friend, Ezra Rosenbaum, Jack investigated allegations made against his lifelong employer.

Jack uncovered compelling proof the world’s most powerful entities sanctioned ongoing genocide upon world population. The intention of the aids virus in its inception was not to be used outside of the laboratory. Dr. Bradshaw was working on an agent to fight cancer. As a result of this research aids was discovered.

A group, known as “Project 9”, whose membership included positions inside and outside the United States government directed distribution of the aids virus. These members’ progenitors were the original authors of eugenics. With the assistance of an International Health Organization, the virus was administered to millions under the pretext of small pox vaccine.

Although some world powers dismissed the validity of global warming, others saw this as an opportunity. The constant abuse of the earth’s resources was resulting in wreckage to water supplies, natural resources, threatening the entire ecological system. In their estimation, the earth was moving into vulnerable consequence. To address these imminent issues an elaborate design went into motion, to systematically, methodically, destroy human life. Human life, measured on a scale of economic and social status as indicator of value.

In the late nineteen twenties a small group of moneyed intellects gathered with the intent to hold court over the world. In the beginning wars served as a silent arm of control. Wars and conflicts instigated and manipulated by Project 9. This elite group provided money to insurgents through a web of endless networks

During World War II Nazis discovered by infusing the water supply with fluoride captives were complacent. In the United States exorbitant stockpiles of fluoride filled warehouses. Project 9 stepped into action. A two-fold plan went into action. Empty the warehouses of aluminum waste, convincing the medical community benefits of infusing toxic waste into water supplies and oral hygienic products. Fluoride became a financial windfall. With the medical community on board, the double-edged sword glistened.

The next step on their agenda, medications for created diseases. In the nineteen fifties, future physicians were no longer educated in prevention of disease. The practice of vitamin supplements and their benefits were deemed insignificant. The education was focused in the direction of prescription medications as the end all solution. Project nine invested heavily in pharmacology.

While basking in the victory of further control, it was the order to groom and educate future Senators and Presidents in their pre-composed agenda. In the eighties, the middle class had grown to encompass the greater population. These individuals belonged to unions, voted consistently in essence controlled the scales. The middle class would collect pensions, social security and continue to elect officials outside of the controlled allegiance. In the eighties, the unions began to crumble. In the nineties heads of corporations emptied pension plans and controlled health care.

In the year 2000, with created disease in place, new medications released by the FDA without testing, and years of tainted vaccines, the middle class began its decline. In the scheme of deliberate agenda the decline was not moving as planned. Ethnic cleansing, the aids epidemic, poverty, Iran, North Korea, Cancer, and heart disease did not drive the common man to destruction. It was time for a new war, a pandemic of epic proportion.

Enter bird flu, 911, a new war with Iraq and genetic engineered crops. The rule of policy was to monopolize resources at all cost. Invade countries abundant in lucrative natural resources. Control every facet of government; incite fear while inundating the public with patriotic cause. The creation of new vaccines targeting pre-pubescent females was the next order of action, vaccines in benign state causing sterility in its most toxic state, uterine cancers. Cancer after all is a big business.

One man knew the truth. He dared to stand against his government and the members of Project Nine. Jack held the fate of citizens across the globe upon his shoulders. He carried this knowledge and shared it with a group of men once under his command. Jack did not share the levity of this final mission with Shanon. Shanon was given only a brief snapshot of the current status.

Jack is the originator and keeper of the chip. He collected, documented and recorded all the information. Homeland and Project Nine needed this chip to destroy all proof of the master plan. The holder of the chip held the power to destroy governments, economies and Project 9.

The rogue terrorist cells wanted possession of the chip to ransom world powers. It was a race, between the power brokers hidden behind gilded crest and mercenaries. Jack Smith a handful of worn agents, Jewish survivors and Catholic priest held the fate of the world’s citizens. Battles would be waged from America, Canada, Europe and end in Guantanamo Bay.


At Seabrook Inn, Jack jumped out to meet Ira. Ira with brief case in hand stacks of papers under his arm, and overnight bag on his shoulder was ready for the fight. His suit needed pressed, tie crooked and thick silver hair where no comb could invade. A man of great wisdom and greater intention, facing off against a nation he loved. Jack took his brief case and shook his hand. They embraced as long lost friends. Ira climbed in the back seat.

“Ira, what is awaiting Jack? Is there going to be an interrogation?” Shanon looked into the eyes of the great Ira M. Weitz, human rights attorney feared by prosecutors admired by World Leaders.

“Not exactly. They will administer the lie detector test. When he passes, he is free to go and will be removed from the “enemy of the state” status.” Ira replied with complete confidence.

“I will pass the test Ira. I spent my life interrogating prisoners and those deemed hostile. I know the drill. If I can be tortured for weeks at a time and not cave, this will be only a minor formality.” Jack replied. His demeanor had evolved. He was now in the mode of dark agent. All emotion left his spirit.

“Jack they will take you down paths you never wanted to revisit.”

“I know Ira. I will pass their test.”

“Jack if they ask you if the chip exists what are you going to tell them.”

“Ira, I will tell them it does not exist.”

“Jack, how are you going to answer if they ask about the remains of the three men on the bank of Nova Scotia?”

“I will tell them I have no knowledge of them.” Jack replied in detached monotone. He was in character prepared for the test of a lifetime.

Arriving at FBI headquarters, Ira walked into the building first. Jack rested his arm upon Shanon’s back as they entered the facility. In the lobby, Father Anthony, Mother Superior, Dr. Bennett, Mike Worthington, Sister Anne, and Sister Meg welcomed them. Shanon smiled, heaven was on their side.

Two men appeared through the door. Shanon recognized both, Agent Tom McLaughlin, a man of professional character and Agent Johnson a man of insecurity who found power in leveling threats. Tom and Jack shared a mutual respect. It was evident Tom genuinely liked and admired Jack. Agent Johnson intimidated by Jack. Johnson believed placing Jack into custody would grant acceptance into the superior organization.

Tom approached Jack with arm outstretched. Jack shook his hand without a show of emotion upon his face. Jack made direct eye contact with Tom looking past Agent Johnson.

“Good to see you Jack.” Tom said with a slight smile upon his face.

“Under different circumstances it would be good to see you Tom. This is my attorney, Ira Weitz and I understand that you know my wife Shanon.”

“Mr. Weitz.” Tom nodded. “We are ready to proceed with the test. Shanon, you look well, it is good to see you again.”

“Thank you Tom.” Shanon made only brief eye contact.

“Agent McLaughlin, I want to remind you, your superior Mr. Simon signed the papers stating once Mr. Smith passes this test he is free to go. There will be no further interrogations. I will accompany my client throughout the test and maintain the authority to redirect questioning or stop the test if you are not following protocol stated in the order.” Ira’s eyes were set in authority.

“I understand Mr. Weitz I have been briefed by Mr. Simon. We will follow the procedures set down in the agreement.”

“Mrs. Smith would like to accompany her husband. I understand she cannot be in the room but she can be in the adjoining room.” Ira stated looking directly into Tom Laughlin’s eyes.

“I don’t think that would be a good idea.” Johnson interjected, the first words he spoke. He appeared nervous. Staring at Jack as if to taunt him, glancing at Shanon for a show of emotion. He found no relief. Jack looked through him and Shanon showed not an echo of sensation.

“You can come with us Mrs. Smith. Do you need anything, water perhaps?” Tom asked.

“No thank you.”

Shanon looked back at Dr. Bennett, Father Anthony, Mother Superior, and the sisters. They stood with them, at every juncture of their lives. None of them judged what Jack and Shanon had done or choices made. These unconditional keepers were the fortress to the Agent and warrior by default.

Tom led the trio into the hall with five-closed doors on each side of the hall. Tom opened the second door on the right. “Jack, you and Ira will be in this room. I will join you momentarily.”

Shanon squeezed Jack’s hand. He put his hands on her face and kissed her. “This won’t take long Shanon.” He said softly, smiling for her eyes alone. “Tom, I do not want Johnson in the same room as my wife.” Jack’s eyes set in steel with depth of coldness in his voice that took Shanon off balance. He then bent down to kiss her cheek, whispering “The walls will have eyes and ears.” Shanon understood the warning.

Tom directed Shanon to the adjourning room. “If you need anything press the button on the intercom. This procedure should take about forty-five minutes Shanon.”

Shanon reached out and took his hand, looking into his eyes. “Thank you for treating Jack with the respect he has earned. You know my husband Tom. It is evident Agent Johnson lust for Jack’s imprisonment.”

“I understand Shanon. Remember Johnson reports to me. I know what your husband has done for this nation as well as other nations. It is not my personal desire to put him in prison.” He touched her shoulder turned and closed the door. Shanon sat at the table looking through the one-way mirror.

She watched as they connected probes to Jack’s chest and clamps to his fingertips. Ira sat behind Jack. Tom stood next to the man giving the test. Jack stared into the mirror he could not see through. His eyes were motionless and set.

Regardless of Jack’s strength, or the many tortures he endured nothing in his experience compares with these next forty-five minutes. Jack knew there was more at stake than facing a battalion of armed men. One wrong answer, a glimmer of anger any show of emotion it would be over.

Without warning the door opened. Agent Johnson looked at Shanon then pressed a button on the intercom system. He closed the door. He wanted Shanon to hear Jack’s answers to the questions. It was a psychological ploy to entice fear, sorrow, or any negative emotion for the sake of the cameras.

“Jack my name is Andrew Somers I will be administering the test today. Although you are familiar with the procedure, for legality purpose I will go over the process with you. First, I will ask you baseline questions to gain a measurement. Do you understand Mr. Smith?”

Jack’s eyes fixed upon the mirror answered in a deliberate monotone. “Yes”.

“Let’s begin then. Is your name Jack Gregory Smith?”


“Were you Commander of Black Operations for the CIA from 1976 to 1997?”


“Were you born in Atlanta, Georgia on September 19, 1955?”


“Jack now I will proceed with the test.”

“Jack did you work as Special Agent in charge of security for Ezra Rosenbaum?”


“Did you accompany Ezra to Africa in January 1990?”


“At that time did you go on a fact finding mission at the request of Ezra Rosenbaum?”

“Be specific.” Jack answered.

“Did you investigate the Global Health Organization at the request of Ezra Rosenbaum?”

“No.” Jack replied without a note of change to his tone or a blink of his eyes.

“Did you or anyone under your command record vaccination procedures in Africa?”


“Did you interview Dr. Bradshaw about his work on specific viral strains?”

Jack paused for a moment. “No.”

“Did you record Dr. Bradshaw’s information as well as vaccine information onto a microchip?”


“Did you give this chip to Ezra Rosenbaum?”


“Did you leave your pregnant wife and daughter to hide the microchip?”


“Does your wife know about the microchip?”


“Stop the questioning. Jack’s wife has nothing to do with this. You are to discard the last two questions. You deliberately tried to take him off balance by bringing his wife into this. This has no merit to your investigation.” Ira said standing to his feet.

“Disregard the last two questions Andrew.” Tom said.

Ira sat back into his chair. Jack was still motionless, not ruffled. Jack placed his mind and body into another plane in time. It is how he survived all those years in the field. By stepping outside his physical being. Jack endured ruthless, brutal forms of physical and emotional torture that would have destroyed most men. Jack crawled on broken bones, defending and placing his life as a buffer for those who could not fight.

Shanon saw first hand her husband in his true light. He placed his entire being into the dungeons darkness where there was no room for emotion. He became a soulless, efficient, complex discipline. He moved to his world where logic, calculation and cold details took precedence over emotional or physical pain.

“Jack does the microchip exist?”


“Have you ever conspired against the government of the United States?”


“Did you kill three men found on the banks of Nova Scotia?”


“Have you killed men in the line of duty?”


“Have you tortured men while in service to the government of the United States?”


“When you were in Saudi Arabia did you give command to destroy a village?”


“Under your orders did women and children die?”

Shanon held her breath. Answering this question would cause him distress and shame. He would never harm women and children knowingly.

“Yes.” He answered after pausing for a few moments.

“Does the chip exist?”


“Did innocent lives die because of your mistake?”

Jack continued to stare into the mirror. He drew a slow breath.


“Is the aids virus a created germ warfare?”

“I do not know that answer.”

“Jack, have you murdered men under the orders of your superiors?”


“Where were you when Agent Evan Edwards was killed?”


“Was Agent Edwards working under your orders when he was killed?”


“Have you ever disobeyed an order by your superiors?”


“Did you work for Eliza Rosenbaum?”


“Did Eliza have knowledge of the chip?”

“There is no chip.”

“Ezra Rosenbaum was to appear before the United Nations, with allegations of criminal charges against the Global Health Organization. Did you provide the information to Ezra?”


“Are you still employed by the Federal Government?”


Shanon’s breath stopped in her chest. Why did he answer yes to that question? He is retired from service. That what he told me? What are they doing?

“This concludes our test.” Andrew said.

Jack ripped the probes from his body and stood up. “Where is my wife?” He asked looking at Tom.

“I will take you to her. Mr. Weitz will you come with us?” Tom said opening the door.

Shanon stood up and walked to the door. Jack walked in first. Shanon embraced him. He held her close, his body relaxed in her arms.

“Please wait here while the analysis of the test is done.” He looked up at the intercom and saw the red light in the on position. He knew Shanon heard every question, every answer. “Shanon, did you turn this intercom on?”

“No Tom, Agent Johnson turned it on.” In his eyes, she saw a trace of anger. He closed the door.

“How do you feel Shanon?” Jack asked.

“Jack I am fine.” He stared at her. For the first time guilt and shame reflected in his face. Jack guided her to the chair gently rubbing her shoulders and back. She placed her hand upon his strong thigh and looked up into his eyes. He was still in the mode of focused abandon.

“Jack, Shanon, I’m going to find the men’s room.” Ira said placing the pile of papers on the table.

Ira returned shortly. No one spoke all knew this was not the place for discussions. Footsteps coming toward the door broke the silence. Andrew and Tom walked into the room closing the door. Neither wore any indication of the results upon their faces.

“Jack, you are free to go, you passed the test.” Tom said with a stoic expression. Tom’s eyes told the story. He was relieved.

Shanon turned to Jack wrapping her arms around his neck. He kissed her lips then stood up. Walking to Tom Jack extended his hand.

“It’s over Jack, live your life.” Tom smiled.

“I plan to Tom.” He walked over to Ira shook his hand and embraced him.

Jack and Shanon walked down the hall and out the door to freedom. No longer did impending threats loom on the forefront.

“It’s really over Jack, you are free.” Shanon rested her head upon his shoulder

Three Months Later

The ring from Jack’s cell phone broke the silence. He pulled the phone from his pocked looking at the number. He hurried out the front door.

“Jack, it is your old friend Valery.” He said in his cold sarcastic manner.

“Yurchenko, you are not my friend.”

“Jack…always quick. I’m your best friend right now. You see I have two people that you want. I hit the mother load this time.” He laughed. “Bad pun. I have in my control Mrs. Jack Smith. She has such beautiful red hair and perfect lips. I have not put it to a pregnant woman in a long time. Maybe I should introduce myself, poke around at your unborn son.

I guess I should get to the point. You have one person and one very important item that I want.”

“Yurchenko, what do you want!” Jack said with teeth clenched as perspiration poured from his head. Jack knew not to taunt Yurchenko. He knew what Yurchenko was capable of doing.

“Our friend Leonid Bulgaren is being held at a deserted plane hangar west of the Bangor Airport by your CIA, waiting transport to one of America’s torture camps, in Pakistan. I need you to get him out of there. Next I want that chip you have been holding.”

“There is no chip Yurchenko. You’ve been out of touch a long time. I am not part of the CIA any more”

“Oh my friend there is a chip. Nigel told me he gave it to you right before Yuri separated him from his head. I am not the FBI, or those other pathetic agents decaying in the Bay. I know the chip exists and I want it. If you screw with me Jack, I will rape and torture your wife until she begs to die. I will kill both of them. You are not playing with amateurs. Are we clear my friend?” He voice thick with rage his delivery as matter of fact as if he were discussing a baseball game.

Jack froze. His head swelling with fury more potent than a lifetime of swimming in hell. His mind erupting, searching for a plan as his soul ripped from his body, tearing his heart from his chest. For the first time in his life, his entire body trembled uncontrollably. He had everything to lose.

Never had he faced such debilitating odds, one mistake and Shanon would suffer wrath greater than hell. Jack realized his life was over, even if he freed Shanon. He faced killing fellow CIA members to free Bulgaren. He would have to turn the chip over giving Yurchenko reign to ransom world powers. Project Nine would pay the ransom, and then destroy the chip, in turn destroying millions more lives.

“Jack, hey Jack are you with me man?” Yurchenko asked with humor in his voice.

“I want to talk to my wife first.”

“Not possible Jack, she is resting.”

“I am not moving until I talk to Shanon.” Jack said with depth of intensity so intimidating he could have pulled the sun from the sky.

“I’ll tell you what, she is sleeping. We had to use Chloroform to put her out for a while. Our health experts said Chloroform would not be harmful to your son. Therefore, Jack we are respecting the sanctity of mother and son for now. I will send you a stream on your cell phone. I will call you back in five minutes.”

Blood pulsated through Jack’s body as lava erupting from a volcano. He could feel the pounding of his heart, piercing through his head. He heard Shanon’s question echoing through his mind, “Jack, did Nigel come here to bring back the chip?” Guilt riddled his body as bullets shot from ooze. He lied to his wife and left her vulnerable.

It was all falling into place. They followed Nigel to his door. Then lay in wait to set up the accident and take Shanon. They knew his only vulnerability was his wife. He had become too comfortable and did not look at the threats. Jack knew he did not belong in the same world with Shanon, Madeline or his unborn son. As long as he remained in this family, as long as the chip existed, his life was a threat to those he loved the most.

He had no choice but to walk away permanently. There had been one too many narrow escapes for his wife. Shanon became the victim too many times. His love for Shanon was detrimental to her life force. He was poisonous. This love for her weighed deeper than any desire or need in his life. Only he could stop the venom from spreading. He had to stop it now.

He made the only decision a man could. Shanon will care for the children better than he ever could. She is the strongest person he had known. He knew she would put her children above sorrow. The cell phone rang. He looked down and saw streaming video of Shanon sleeping on a cot. He ran his fingers across the screen of his phone. He saved the image, to remind him why he made the decision.

The phone rang again.

“Are you satisfied Jack.”

“For now. If anything happens to my wife, I will tear your head from your shoulders with my bare hands and slam the chip down your neck. Do you understand me Yurchenko?”

“Jack, Jack, Jack, there is no need for hostilities. Your wife will be free if you keep up your end of the deal. I have a medical person on staff to watch over her. You have seventy-two hours to get Leonid, and the chip. When you have Leonid, call the number on your phone and I will give you directions where to meet us. Are we clear Jack?”

“Seventy-two hours does not give me a lot of time.”

“It gives you plenty of time Jack. Jack no super hero antics. If you screw with me, I will rape her until she dies!”

The phone went dead. Jack dialed Paul’s number again the call went directly to voicemail. He shoved the phone into his pocket and went back to the passageway. In the back of the gun cabinet, he pulled out a metal box with tranquilizer gun and six tranquilizers.

Jack walked to the back-up computer, opened the tower, and removed the chip. He placed the chip in a hidden seam in the duffle bag. He opened the desk drawer removing two nine inch serrated combat knives, strapping one above his ankle and placing the other in his bag. He draped the strap of the bag over his shoulder and walked up to the living room.

Michelle, Fawn and Madeline, sat on the sofa with Madeline’s suitcase on the floor. He walked to his daughter knowing this was the last time he would see her, touch her and kiss her precious cheeks. He had to become numb. He had to draw back into himself. It was his natural life. He picked up Madeline and forced a smile for her behalf, kissing her forehead, and then her cheeks.

“Daddy has to go now. I will bring your mommy back to you. I love you Madeline, more than all the sky.”

“Daddy I love you more than all the sky. Daddy you are coming back with mommy right?” She asked pulling on his shirt. He managed a smile.

“Daddy will be back with mommy, Madeline.” He kissed her again and hugged her close, then handed her to Fawn. The room was heavy, seeped in intense sorrow and emptiness.

Michelle followed Jack out the door.

“Jack, you cannot leave them alone.” Michelle said staring up at him. Her intuitive energy was undeniable.

“Michelle, all I ask is that you take care of my little girl. Thank you for being a friend to all of us. Shanon will especially need you going forward.” He said staring in her eyes.

“I will remain friends to each of you.” She replied. She saw the change in Jack, one deeper than his sorrow. Michelle knew he was walking away from his family. The man inside whom Shanon spoke about had come to the surface. Michelle looked at Jack and saw black rage seeped in cold indifference.

Jack placed his hand on Michelle’s shoulder, looking directly into her eyes. “Goodbye Michelle.”

Jack drove to the lighthouse. He pulled the keys from his pocket. He looked through Paul’s closet and drawers. Searching through the nightstand Jack found two telephone numbers. He dialed the first number.

“Hello.” A woman said in a pleasant manner.

“Yes, I am looking for Paul Gregory.” Jack said trying to sound human.

“Paul is not here, he left early this morning. Who is calling please?” She inquired.

“I am Jack Smith a friend of Paul’s.”

“Oh Mr. Smith, my son left Georgia this morning for Maine. He should be arriving any time now. Would you like me to give him a message when he phones?”

“Yes, thank you. Please ask him to phone me.”

“I will tell him Jack.”

Jack pulled his PDA from his pocket and searched on flight times from Atlanta to Bangor. She was right his plane should be touching down now.

Jack grabbed Paul’s laptop, and drove to Bangor. With each passing mile, the armor grew as his soul began to separate from his being. He erected the plan. No one would walk away from the meeting place except Shanon and Paul. He stopped on an airport access road when his cell phone rang. “Jack Smith

“It’s Paul Jack, what is going on.”

“Paul, where are you?”

“I’m in the Bangor airport Jack.”

“Go to the Hertz parking lot, I will pick you up.”

Jack exited the truck. He pulled his wallet from his pocket and opened it. He stared at the picture of Shanon and Madeline memorizing it. He placed it on the ground and pulled out all of his identity then dropped all traces of Jack Smith into the pile. He bent down, pulled out his lighter, and ignited his identity.

As the flame began to touch the photos, he pulled them from the pile hiding them in the visor above the driver’s seat. Removing his wedding band, cross necklace sliding them in his front jean pocket. He climbed into this truck and drove to the Hertz parking lot.

Paul climbed into the truck and threw his bag on the floor. “What the hell is going on Jack?”

“Yurchenko and Orlov took Shanon four hours ago. They want me to get Bulgaren out of CIA custody. They want the chip in seventy-two hours or they will kill Shanon. They killed Nigel.”

“Nigel? How did they get to Nigel?”

“Nigel showed up yesterday with the chip. He received information a mercenary group was looking for him.”

“Nigel came to your house?” Paul asked is disbelief.

“Yes to drop off the chip. Inadvertently he led them to me, to my family. The worse part, I lied to Shanon. She asked me if Nigel returned the chip. I told her he did not come for that, only to see us. Shanon has been having problems with elevated blood pressure. I did not want to add to the problem. I screwed up Paul, if I would have told her the truth, she might have noticed she was being followed.”

“Jack you need to quit doing this to yourself. You know Yurchenko. It would not have mattered if you had told her the truth. Those bastards are experts they would have found a way to get to you.

What is the plan Jack? What do you want me to do and how do you want to work this?” He said holding Jack’s flinching forearm.

“Paul, I need your help but I do not want you in the line of fire. I want you to interrupt power service to the hangar where they are holding Bulgaren. You will walk Shanon out of the place they are holding her, take her home.”

“Jack, you are not going to keep me out of the line of fire. I am getting in this all the way Jack.” Paul said staring at Jack with stalwart determination.

“Paul, I need you to get Shanon out and home to Madeline. Then I want you to watch over them for me. This is it Paul. No more will my family know fear or threat because of me.”

“What are you saying Jack? You cannot go down. You cannot leave Shanon, your unborn son, your daughter.”

“Paul, as long as the chip exists my family will constantly be for ransom. I was selfish to think I could walk away from this game. I will not sacrifice my family and I cannot sacrifice millions of lives. We cannot win this one, but Shanon and my children can. Give me your word, you will watch over them, promise me Paul.” Jack said in a tone of resignation gripping Paul’s shoulder.

“I will Jack. I give you my word. I will not be able to get them “anything” they need. I cannot give them you my friend.” He replied looking down as tears welled in a man who like Jack, rarely showed emotion.

“That is all I ask Paul. We had a great ride from the jungles of Africa to the streets of Pakistan. Could we have imagined we would find it most difficult to live in the United States?”

“Yea Jack, it has been a great ride my friend. What do you want me to tell Shanon?”

“I will take care of that Paul. Now, we have to move. What do you need to bring the power down?”

“I need my laptop and my vehicle which is in the long term lot.”

Jack reached into his bag and placed the laptop in Paul’s lap.

“I will meet you on the south access road. It is closed but you can get through, they do not use it anymore.” Jack answered staring into the distance.


Paul removed the tape from Bulgaren’s mouth and ankles. Jack gave Paul the handcuff key. Jack, Paul, and Bulgaren emerged from the truck. Jack pulled his PDA from his bag and put it into his vest with a pen. Paul looked at Jack briefly. When he saw Jack place the pen inside his pocket. He knew the pen was a detonator. Paul moved Bulgaren against the truck. “Do not move!”

Paul took Jack aside and looked into his face. “You are my closest friend. You saved my life more times than I can count. I have agreed with you in all choices you have made. I am asking you, as your friend, to please reconsider this suicide mission.”

Jack took his hand as if to shake it, he looked at Paul as a last vestige of emotion emerged.

“Paul, I risked my life for this government over and over again. Now I will end the misery which has hovered over Shanon from the first day we touched. I love her, my daughter, my son more than life. Yet in life, I can only bring this black world to them. I promised Shanon I would not leave her again. I will never leave her. I just cannot be in her world.

My friend, you protected us and watched over the most precious ones of my life and I will remain grateful. I honor you please honor me now. I ask you to stay with her until my son is born, then, you are free to leave Seabrook.”

“I will Jack. I will be there for her as long as she needs me to be. I do honor you my friend, I just don’t agree with you.” Paul replied, in his eyes dedication, and deep regret.

Jack took his hand and squeezed it. He turned away, took Bulgaren by the arm, and led him to the dock doors.

The doors opened slowly. Shanon saw Jack, her mind raced in horror, his face was gray, his right arm and chest stained with blood. She began to move toward him. Katrina gently pulled her back. Yurchenko and Orlov stood at Shanon’s side, two gunmen stood to the right of Yurchenko.

A surge of immeasurable loss spilled into Shanon’s being. Her body became numb with fear so caustic, all will and purpose drained from her soul. Jack looked into her eyes briefly. His expression was a mixture of intense love and supreme resignation. Shanon felt her life diminish in that instant. In an unconscious manner, she slowly raised and outstretched her hand opening her fingers with palm out as if a last effort to reach her beloved soul mate.

Jack stood tall, erect as a knight in medieval days, his armor blinding, and stance impenetrable.

“Jack seems you had some trouble old man. But you made it twenty-four hours before your deadline.” Yurchenko’s tone was as thick as glue with sarcasm as the binding.

“Yurchenko, I do not have time for your rhetoric. Let’s get down to business.”

“It does not look like you have a lot of time Jack. I will take Bulgaren and the chip now.”

“No. You will not get the chip until my wife is out of this building and on her way with Paul. If you kill me you will never get it.”

“I guess you have a point Jack. What prevents me from killing your wife right now?”

“Greed. Your greed is more potent than the air you breathe.” Jack stared at him with the eyes of a man that had nothing to lose.

“Fair enough Jack, Katrina let her go. Now Jack let Leonid go.”

“Wait, I want that woman to escort Shanon with Paul to his truck.” Jack said still holding the gun on Bulgaren.

“Why is that necessary Jack?” Yurchenko asked staring at Jack.

“My wife looks weak. I want one person on each side of her and it will not be one of these gun bearing bastards.” Jack said as his jaw stiffened.

“Ok Jack, I will play. Katrina, assist Mrs. Smith to the truck.”

Jack released Bulgaren. Paul stood at Jack’s side. Katrina and Shanon walked to Jack. Shanon looked in Jack’s eyes with love as eternal as time. She walked into Jack’s arms. Jack pulled her close with his left arm. Paul kept watch and guard with gun in hand.

Shanon put her mouth to Jack’s ear. “Jack, I love you, I need you, and you must come home to me. You are my life. I cannot make it without you.” She whispered as tears exploded from her eyes.

He looked in her eyes with an expression she had never before seen. His eyes were shadowed, lost, and defeated. “Shanon, I love you and our children deeply. Go now my sweet.” He kissed her with every essence of energy remaining in his depleted body. She clung to him as he looked at Paul and gently placed her arm in his hand.

Jack looked up at Yurchenko, without a vestige of emotion upon his face. He closed his armor and suffocated all remnants of emotion left in his being. Orlov and Bulgaren shook hands and laughed as the plan had worked seamlessly. Jack struggled to remain standing but never showed the slightest indication of discomfort.

“Jack, you wife is out of the building and on her way, now where is the chip?” Yurchenko said staring at Jack with the coldness of Maine in January.

Jack slowly reached inside his vest pocket. He palmed the pen and pulled out his PDA.

“It’s in here Yurchenko.” Jack answered with eyes shining.

Yurchenko eyes widened knowing he was in control of the world. The corrupt agent blinded by the power of gold. Jack tossed the PDA into the air. Yurchenko took three steps his face pointed to the sky his arms outstretched. Jack rested his thumb on the pen. His eyes glanced out the door. Shanon, Paul and Katrina were feet from Paul’s vehicle. He slowly began to depress the top of the pen. Looking into the eyes of Yurchenko as the PDA floated into his grasp. Jack depressed the head of the pen. From the corner of his eye he saw Katrina running back into the building. He turned to her as he leaped to shove her out of the area, Yurchenko eyes widened.

“Shanon fasten your…” Paul began.

The deafening explosion threw Shanon against the car door. She looked up. Her scream was silent as breath left her body. She opened the car door and ran to the crumbled building.

“Jack!!!!!!! Jack!!!!! NO…NO…NO!” She screamed. Paul leaped out of the truck racing to her. He wrapped his arms around her. “Get him out of there Paul….Get him out of there Paul…Help him Paul Jack, Jack, Jack! She wailed as she pounded Paul’s chest.

Paul scooped her up in his arms as she tore at him trying to get to the building now completely leveled. Paul pulled her into his chest, lifted her, and ran back to the truck.

Suddenly Shanon stopped fighting. She looked into his eyes in an expression of hopeless surrender. He tenderly placed her in the passenger seat and gently secured her in the seat belt. He ran to the driver’s side opened the door and floored it all the way to the interstate. He did not look back. He could not look back.

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