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Old 04-29-2018, 09:48 PM
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CHAPTER 35

The coded phone from the semi buzzed on the table next to Abbott. He picked it up. It was the voice from the bridge. The rough voiced man simply said “It’s over, you can open it up at the rear doors and stabilize it. Tell them to be careful but it is safe. Mr. Abbott, or should I say, future Director of the FBI Abbott, it has been a pleasure doing business with you.” Then the connection was broken. Abbott turned to the others present and simply said, “It’s done, go open the back door of the truck and defuse it”.

There was a huge sigh of relief that rippled through the post. At the same time there was an air of incredulity that it would all be that simple. The bomb techs looked at each other and shook their heads thinking what they dare not say. They had seen the construction pictures and all the trick setups. They knew it wasn't going to be that easy. "Aw hell" said Abbott "I'll go open the damn thing up."

As he was waiting for the call saying all was well, it had dawned on him, that if not all was well and the truck still blew, whether he died or not, he would still be probably headed for prison for some act of treason they could fabricate so what the hell. Get it over with one way or another. He grabbed a car and in the company of one other FBI explosives technician went out to the truck. There was a wire seal made up of several paired wires looped through the rear handle that unlatched the locking dogs for the door. The wires ran back under the door and into the trailer, where they may or may not have been attached to a triggering device. He took a pair of side cutters and cut the wire. Nothing happened. With resolve the likes of which he thought he never actually possessed, he lifted the handle and rotated out the locks then pulled open the door. Nothing happened. In front of him lay a conglomeration of wires and containers that would give the technicians fits for hours, but that was not his problem. Then, for the first time, he noticed the peace and quiet on the bridge span. The Caterpillar diesel that had been ticking over RPMs throughout the entire affair had stopped running.

Abbott grabbed the portable radio from the tech standing next to him to let those cowards back at the post know it was safe, when a terrible sounding klaxon went off reminiscent of the dive alarms heard on WWII submarines. Then a voice boomed from the truck speaker system to "Clear the area." Abbot and his man ran. They ran as hard and fast as they could yet he knew deep inside that it was useless with all the explosives on the truck there would be no escape from the inevitable. After 100 yards or so, he chanced a look over his shoulder and saw smoke starting to billow from the rear of the trailer. All of a sudden there was a dull thump and then the thick black smoke poured from the rig as the chemicals in the explosives caught fire. It took over a half an hour to even get a fire truck through the traffic jam to the bridge. The previous announcement of possibly a nuclear device on the bridge had caused a wide spread panic of people trying to escape the area with the predictable results of making a barely passable traffic jam into a grid locked nightmare. Added to that was the fact the local volunteer firefighters were not all that excited about closing up to a nuclear weapon that was on fire. After being reassured that a nuke would not blow even in a fire, they proceeded to the bridge top and laid on the water.

Abbott had been out on the bridge watching all the events unfold with all the other people, safe and secure in what he knew was his finest hour. He looked up and saw the big Marine helicopter come over the bridge top and settle down by the post on the bridge approach. There were so many helicopters in the area now it started to look like an airport. 5 minutes later, a MSP car pulled up to him and 3 Marines exited the vehicle and approached. The Sgt. Major in the lead walked directly up to him, "Are you Mr. Harold Abbott, Deputy Director of the FBI?" Abbot wondered about such a strange question. He had been on the TV in front of virtually everyone on the planet and now this guy is asking who I am. "Yes I am", he replied.

The Marine continued "Sir, I am under direct orders of the President of the United States to take you into custody and deliver you to the Marshall service in Washington DC. Please relinquish any sidearm or communications devices you have in your custody now." "What?!!!, what are you saying?" the Marine responded, "Sir, I have orders to take you into custody, that you are to be relieved of your weapons and communications devices and that you are to have no contact with anyone pending further investigation on charges of treason against the United States. Please surrender those items and come with us now." Abbott was at a complete loss as to what was happening, he was sure the President had to know that he was let in on the operation. Then it struck him, that it must be what the President was going to do to cover himself for paying the terrorists. He wouldn't stand for it. He wouldn't be the fall guy. He knew too much for them to **** with him after the whole world watched. They would know he was the hero and that he wasn't involved with anything but protecting his country. All he had to do now was figure out how to stay alive for the next few days. He knew this administration had a reputation for making potential problem people disappear or die of strange and unique causes, of which none of them would be deemed "natural".

Bracing up against the Marines would not be the way to do that. Whatever happened they had not heard the last or seen the last of Harold Abbott. He looked at the Marines, "I hope you know what you are doing Sgt." He said, "I am responsible for saving this bridge and the United States from nuclear terrorism and you are making a career ending decision. Shall we go?" They took the car back to the waiting helicopter as the news people clamored for information as to what was happening to the man who had averted the calamity. As he was walking to the helicopter Abbott screamed to the reporters, "They're going to kill me, don't let them take me!" The Sgt. hit him in the stomach and as he doubled over he was whisked into the confines of the helicopter and disappeared off into the fading afternoon. This set off a whole new round of rumor and speculation by the media people who clearly witnessed the occurrence as well as having it on tape. They all speculated about what kind of great conspiracy was taking place now.

What Abbott was not aware of was a conversation that took place in the White House situation room after the confirmation came back from the Treasury of the sending of the funds. Gibson had finally had an opportunity to talk to Hanson while stepping outside for presumably some fresh air. When assured there was no one else around to gauge his reaction, Hanson told his boss about the terrorist calling Abbott directly on his secure phone. Gibson's reaction was startled and immediate, "How in hell did he have Abbott's number?" As everyone else in spec ops world was aware, and as the NSA was definitely aware, those phone numbers were guarded as closely as any secret could be held. The only way that number could have been given out would be if Abbott, Reynolds, The Vice President, who was in Japan at the moment or the President or their staff gave it out. Either that or some flunky at the Bureau had stumbled on it and handed it off, but that was so remote that it could happen accidentally as to not be considered. Another answer was someone who had access to the GOD project had compromised the number which meant they had been compromised also. It was an idea too horrific to contemplate. It meant someone extremely high up on the food chain had been part of the plot all along and now everyone's head was just waiting to be put on a pike.

Gibson's response was immediate, "Look" he told Hanson "we have no choice at this time. I've got to tell the President that we intercepted that call and heard Abbott talking to the terrorists on his spec phone. If we hide the fact and it's found out, it will look like we are the ones involved and were trying to cover our tracks. I’ll tell him that we responded with an experimental intelligence gathering unit to the area and it captured the conversation but in the midst of all the other information we were catching it got lost until the money was paid and it was figured out who was talking to whom. I don't think he will want to get too deep into it because of the implication of what we are doing and he just won't want to go there. It explains what happened with Abbott and why he did what he did without consulting the President before he did it. It will give the President a real lead to go with and it will not point to us and that is something we both agree is desperately needed right now until we figure out how badly we are ****ed with the BEG situation. The other thing is he will know that wherever the number came from, his administration has been seriously compromised from a national security stand point. And since this is an election year, he will not want to have a huge flap over how corrupt or inept his people have been. This bridge thing alone will be a killer unless he can turn it around." Hanson agreed and they broke connection.

Gibson returned to the situation room and again asked to see the President privately. Over the next several minutes he told Klanton what had been discovered and ran down all the ramifications for what was going to happen depending on how it went. The President thanked him and they went back inside. As they sat back down in the situation room, the President looked at the FBI Director and casually asked him, " Just out of curiosity Mr. Reynolds, one of my people tried calling Abbott earlier on his ops phone and got a busy signal. How many people would have access to that phone number that it would be busy during a crisis when we need to talk to him?" Reynolds, already in a state of shell shock from the day's events and having been caught so short during the events bolted upright and said, "Mr. President, I don't know what you think you know about today's events but I can tell you our system is beyond compromise. I can safely guarantee you that you or your chief of staff, the vice president and his chief, myself and Deputy Abbott are the only people who know what the phone number is to that unit."

The President then turned on his famous scowl and with his glare point blank then asked Reynolds "Why then did the NSA intercept a call, on your super secret no one knows the number cell phone, from the terrorists to Abbott when he was standing there on the bridge?" When he finished the question he had been inches from Reynold's face and screaming it at the top of his lungs. Reynolds recoiled in horror at the question. Stammering blather out of control he finally got out an I don't know and then stated he would immediately have Abbott arrested by his men on the bridge. The President, looked at Reynolds with disgust and simply said "Don't bother, I've already taken care of that."

There was the smell of blood in the water now with the highly visible incarceration of the number 2 man at the FBI being taken by the Marines at the bridge. The tape of the arrest and the Sgt hitting Abbott to keep him from speaking further was replayed around the globe. On Tre’s network they not only carried the arrest but they also had an exclusive of their own. It seemed that when Abbott chased Tre from the conference room earlier in the day she accidentally left her handicam running. It caught the DD’s haranguing diatribe in all it’s X-rated glory. It took little imagination to fill in the blanks and the bleeps. An uncensored version was provided to the Justice Department. Surely anyone who spoke in such a manner had to be an enemy of the United States, at least that was what some of the talking head commentators had to add.

An hour after the fire started in the trailer, all that was left was the molten mass of the trailer and various bits of twisted steel and melted metal. As soon as the fire was out the special recovery team from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy went out to the site in their moon suits and everything else they needed to safely bag up what would be left of the nuke, except for one problem, it was not there and there was no indication that there had ever been one there. They were getting substantial Geiger counter readings just as the FBI technical people had reported. But, what they were not getting with their sophisticated equipment was the signature the plutonium peculiar to Russian manufactured weapons would indicate. Each batch of radioactive material, especially plutonium, had its own special read or signature it would give off as to its exact composition and chemical make up. With the right equipment you could easily tell what manufacturing facility had engaged in the enrichment process. The FBI didn't have that kind of equipment. What the FBI read with the provided Geiger counter was nothing more than plain old grade A uranium rocks that could be picked up anywhere in the Southwest with a little prospecting work. The rocks had evidently been piled into an exquisite copy of the Soviet MIRV made out of plastic and wood that had disintegrated in the heat of the fire that destroyed everything else in the trailer.

The radios, the wiring, the containers and metal plates, everything had been reduced to one giant blob. Strangely enough, because of the way the trailer had been reinforced and rebuilt for the operation, the only damage the bridge sustained was where the metal blobbed over the sides of the deck platform and the tires had melted on the pavement. The big Peterbuilt tractor had suffered only paint damage from the heat of the trailer. Once all the crime scene technicians had finished with their initial work, the doors were opened and all the running gear seemed in order. A wrecker came and hooked the tractor from the front end and took it away. The remains of the trailer wreckage were wheeled up onto a large flatbed for transport along with the tractor to the FBI laboratory. There, after weeks of exhaustive testing, they would discover what everyone else already knew. The fire had destroyed any recoverable evidence in the trailer and the tractor had no usable trace evidence of any kind inside it.

The FBI forensic people would spend a week out at the farm scene once it cooled down. Whoever had been there cleaned their tracks as well as anyone they had ever seen. It was like the perpetrators were ghosts. They left nothing for them to find or use.

The only real physical evidence that was left was all the paperwork retrieved from the truck boxes and the coded phone retrieved on the bridge. The paper watermark was from a company that was the largest supplier of copy paper in the world. All the papers were copies so no originals could be raced. The radio unit was stolen from a shipment that was in transit through a common carrier and destined for the DEA. There would be no way of telling where the package was intercepted other than probably the major hub where there were better than a thousand employees. The physical evidence was a no go for further development for investigation.
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CHAPTER 36

The road cleaning scrubber trucks were brought out from the garages and they ran their brooms over the bridge surface to clear away any tire damaging debris and clean the surface for inspection. Greg Mack inspected the site after all the debris had been cleared away. He had his bridge maintenance crew bring out 2-12 foot by 20 foot pieces of flat plate steel they used for temporary pavement repairs and they were locked into place with concrete ramsets. He said the lanes would need concrete repair but that that could wait and they could open the bridge anytime the police or whom ever wanted to start the people moving again. They would just close off one lane at a time as they would ordinarily do when catching up on the road work. The Might Mack was ready to open for business again. After all the official parties decided that there was simply nothing left to do in this anticlimactic situation, the helicopters took off and headed home. They opened the bridge. Mr. Joe Brown was the first one to get across. They did not charge him a second toll.

There was still much to be done at the post level. What evidence they had gathered had to be processed. The reports had to be written. Forms had to be filled out accounting for the equipment that had been confiscated for the police use during the events. Now the real drudge work of the job came home. It had been a long and very trying day for everyone when Poloski came into the back room. Throughout the day he had been asking Phelps to let him go out and work the case and each time he refused to let him go. It reached a point where Phelps finally told him, "I want real policemen working this case not some back stabbing **** up, if you can't handle that then leave." Poloski had been absolutely livid and the rage of that moment had been simmering all day.
He had been keeping tabs on Messler during the day and his exploits and he thought he could blame Messler for the **** up out at the farm that had burned to the ground if he played his cards right. He had also been quite disrespectful to him while he had been running around on his crusade to save the world. Several times while calling in to give situation reports he had blown Poloski off ignoring him to talk to Phelps. That was not how it was done in his police department. The last incident at the desk had been the last straw. He didn’t care what chicken **** problems he caused Messler. He was going to have him for insubordination regardless of the buttons he had to push. He approached. "Hey Messler, there was some bimbo named Lisa who called here 3 times today for you. I told her the last time if she called again I'd have her arrested for interfering with critical police communications. You better teach your tuna not to call here." He said it loud enough so everyone in the place heard him. Messler just felt all the frustrations of the harassment Poloski had engaged in well up inside of him. He turned and with practiced precision and with the freedom of abandon hit him in the jaw as hard as he humanly was capable. Poloski was out cold well before he hit the table and then the floor behind him. When he woke up in the hospital he would find that his jaw had been fractured in 3 places and that he had lost a whole day out of his miserable life.

The hearing for what happened between Messler and Poloski was going to be quick and perfunctory. A call before the mast so to speak. There would be a raising of some type of defense and then a dismissal. No one could intercede on his behalf to that extent any more. Poloski would demand his satisfaction and he would get it by running Messler out of the State Police. He would not get the chance. Messler walked into the District headquarters in Gaylord the following day and turned in his resignation and all of his equipment, contrary to the wishes of all his fellow officers. While at District 6 headquarters he took a call from Lt Col Phelps. “I had a feeling you might wind up there today” he started. “Look Ron, I heard what that ******* said to you. I also know you two have had bad blood for years. If I get involved I can probably save your job but you will take a big hit demotion wise.” “Thanks Colonel, but I just won’t let him take any more shots at me. I appreciate all you offered to help but I’ve had it with the petty bureaucrats trying to justify themselves by acting as if their job description required them to **** over everyone under them instead of trying to help them the way they should. “

“I’m tired of the way the good old boy system protects people who should be selling pencils on the street corner in the real world instead of making command decisions that effect whether or not people may live or die. I’m tired of covering up for all the ineptitude that has people who don’t have a clue what the real world is like making decisions that impact everyone else who has to live in it. In this organization you can’t have anyone above the rank of Sgt. make a decision without them having to take a poll and then they still won’t make a decision. Except for you sir, you have been the only saving grace for the department and when you go so will my hope for it. Thanks again for everything,” then he hung up the phone. He exited the headquarters and the parking lot was filled with his friends. They were perplexed by his actions. When asked why, he simply said, “I won’t give them the satisfaction of having me have to stand there and take their ****.”

He was short of time to draw a pension from the State, so he made arrangements for his retirement contributions to be sent to his bank. That same day he managed to move out of his rental house and get everything into a storage unit. He had lots of help available. Everyone told him not to quit but he had made up his mind. He told his friends he would think about them when the snow started and he said he would let them know when he found where he was going to land. Messler was gone within a day.


Nothing protected itself as could government when it was considered a necessity. It took less than a week before someone got to Abbott while in the Marshal’s custody. The first person Abbott gave a statement to, two days after being arrested was to the chief assistant Attorney General for the United States. All Abbott would say is that he was acting under orders directed to him from the President of the United States. That the President was aware of what took place and his involvement and that he wanted a face to face with the President. He told the assistant AG that he did not have the security clearance to talk to him. Abbott also kept in mind the threat of the rough voiced man he had talked to on the bridge about revealing too much. He did not want to have that visit he was warned about. All he kept repeating was the “President knows everything and I will only talk to him”. Abbott figured that the President would eventually rethink the situation when he saw Abbott could keep the secret under all the duress.

When Abbott was confronted with the information about the deposit of one million dollars into an account for him in an off-shore bank, all he could say is, “I don’t know anything about it.” He had written his own death warrant. The word of his statement leaked out to the intelligence groups thanks to the President’s Chief of Staff who figured out he would smoke out the guilty parties by forcing them to move on Abbott. The only problem was, after that statement, everyone wanted Abbott dead but the janitor. The implications of his repeated statement about only talking to the President lead everyone to believe he knew far more than he did and was a much greater threat than he was. The list of suspects and agencies would read like a list of the government’s Who’s Who.

The FBI was concerned that the second highest member of their organization was going to expose he had terrorist connections, and with Ruby Ridge and Waco ever present in the memories of the American People, they simply could not stand another scandal. The NSA had their own worries about how much Abbott knew or could give up about their own fraud they were running on the American taxpayers. They could never afford to let Abbott tell stories about what he might know about BEG and the sham terror groups they had invented. The President’s own political party was scared ****less when word leaked out that the President was involved, especially in an election year. Their President had already screwed up his so so record with the stories of sexual adventures and scandals. They really didn’t need a high government official claiming the President was involved in bilking $400,000,000 from the United States for the purpose enriching a gang of international terrorists. The deposit of one million dollars into an account for Abbott at a bank that just happened to be a black bag establishment of the CIA was the final straw. He was too big a threat with too many ghosts of unknown origin chasing him.

On the morning of the fifth day of his captivity he ingested a small pellet that was a derivative of the toxin Ricin. It wasn’t on purpose on Abbott’s part of course. It was a microscopic particle that had been skillfully blended into the contents of the whole wheat muffin he had with the rest of his breakfast menu. The effects were not immediate because the poison did not work that way. What it did insure though, was that within 6 hours of it entering Abbott’s system, the effects and ultimate results were irreversible. That afternoon he became symptomatic and complained of cramps and intestinal complaints. He was found unconscious in his room at the 10:00PM bed check and he was dead by midnight. The results of the autopsy clearly showed he had been poisoned. In the amazing world of intelligence and crime solving, there were no extraordinary measures to keep him alive. Life for all parties would be made easier with Abbott’s passing as the lone rogue agent, not unlike Harvey Lee Oswald was wrongfully castigated as the lone assassin. Everyone involved in the situation believed that their agency could have been responsible. After a gathering of heads, it was decided that the public would not stand for the truth that the hottest suspect in recent history had been poisoned by some unknown while in custody. The official autopsy report indicated Abbott died from complication of arterial disease and succumbed to heart failure. Once again, the politicians had misdiagnosed the public. After witnessing all the strange deaths taking place during the President’s administration, no one in the general public believed Abbott died of natural causes.

In the weeks that followed the bridge incident the only way to keep track of the events in DC was through having a score card. Within the first week of the investigation and just before Abbott’s death, it was discovered that there was a one million dollar deposit into the Bank of Export for the named person of Harold Abbott the day after the ransom for the bridge had been paid. This money was initiated out of the terrorist funds sitting gathering interest and dust in the Bank of Hong Kong. The TICK program, still ever vigilant had notified the NSA of the transfer. Henson of the NSA called and talked directly to the Director of the FBI and gave him the information that he said was from an informant they had in the Caribbean. What Henson and the FBI didn’t know was that the Bank of Export was owned and operated by the CIA as one of their black ops business fronts. When the money came in for Abbott it really started the spooks to thinking about what other inside connections could be involved in the operation. The CIA Director told McArthur to start digging and see what other group or people in spook world might be involved. McArthur had never told the Director about the anomaly at the NSA when his golf buddy he had been working for about two years now had locked down level 13 on a Mirror Two threat warning. That had never been explained and so far it had not been in any of the communications between the agencies. There was no doubt in McArthur’s mind that Henson was involved somehow.

The first thing McArthur did was to have the contact for the mole inside NSA at level 13 set up a meeting outside of DC to see what went on that day. The meetings only major point was that it was just another run of the mill terrorist situation of sorts until the mention of the Black Eagle Group was made, then all hell broke loose and the lockdown took place. He told McArthur that Henson almost choked when he heard who was involved, even though the NSA own internal memorandums never indicated they had a capability to work in this country. Also, there had been terrorist activities before including 9/11 and the place had never gone to mirror 2. No, Henson was hiding something about BEG that was off the books.

McArthur knew from his own field reports from the European agents that the BEG was almost considered in the same light as the sightings of Nessie at the Loch, or the abominable snowman. Everyone had heard something about them and sometimes actions were credited to them but then they were credited to several groups until sorted out. The one fact though that jumped out and screamed black ops was the simple fact that none of his agents had ever even talked to anyone who ever knew anyone who might know a member of this terrorist group. Yet in the same breath, in the NSA’s own evaluations of terrorist groups the BEG had taken a place at the top of the most dangerous list. Why was that? An idea was forming up in the mind of McArthur and in this case 2+2 did not add up to 4. He picked up the phone and called an old friend from his Berlin station days. He needed to talk to the former head of the East German secret police who was now working as an advisor for the united Germany special services unit. Wonderful thing the fall of the wall it opened avenues one never dreamed would be open. An appointment was set up and arrangements were made for a trip to Germany.

While McArthur’s investigation was taking place, the President was catching tremendous political heat for what was now being described by the press as an elaborate extortion scheme and he had been the biggest chump of all. Every day he badgered the NSA chief about what was happening with the money sitting in China. He had a huge problem if he were to contact the Chinese directly on the matter. He had been getting deeper and deeper into the Chinese as a result of his various contribution schemes. They had illegally funneled millions of dollars into his first campaign as well as the campaigns of those he wanted them to assist. They had dirt on him so deep, he could never raise the implication that they would be involved with this, yet there the money sat. Maybe the Chinese government was not involved in the incident in any way, but he could not take that chance. There was no way he could back channel the information he had regarding the TICK program to the Chinese. If word ever got out about the program and what it was capable of, the banks would crash all over the planet and the ripple effect would make the Depression of the 1930’s look like a bank holiday.

It was three weeks after the incident when some of the money moved. The operator of the TICK program read the file in disbelief as it printed out on his screen. He tore off the report from the printer and shut down his system before he left his little fortress located in the interior of the 12th floor at NSA. Before leaving he secured the report in a burn case that would incinerate anything contained in the case unless the right code was used to open the locks. He then had to pass through the 3 different retinal scan locks to get out to the main passageway. He had been cleared for direct access to the Director or DD Henson any time night or day. He walked into the Director’s office and asked his secretary if he was in. She affirmed and buzzed him in through the electrically locked door. He walked up to the Directors desk and said, “We really need to be alone.” Gibson looked at him quizzically, after all he was in the office of the Director of the NSA and his office should be one of the most secure on the planet, however the look on the man’s face led him to believe that extraordinary measure may be required. He nodded OK and they went into the office next door. The office attached to Gibson’s was uniquely bare. It had a metal table and cheap metal chairs. The walls were made of a cork material and backed by glass that resonated from the speakers facing into them causing the walls to vibrate at a rate that made any outside bugging capabilities impossible. Microwave, laser, even planted bugs to the outside walls would be rendered useless. The bare steel furniture made it impossible for bugs to be hidden in them. The room was swept by an anti-bugging team once a day.

Gibson asked him what was so important. The operator dialed in the combination to open the case and handed the report to Gibson. Gibson got half way through the communiqué and then had to sit down. The message was;
“Transfer of tracked funding from the Royal Bank of Hong Kong,
deposit into the Banque Nationale of Seychelles the amount of Fifty Million Dollars as a FACE account to William Klanton, presently President of the United States.
Deposit into the Banque Nationale of Seychelles, the amount of Ten million dollars as a FACE account to Marvin Gibson, presently Director of the NSA.

That was the totality of the transmission. The terrorists had just either tried to implicate the Director and the President in the incident at the bridge, by payoff for work done, or, they had just been offered a total of sixty million dollars to look the other way. In any case it looked very bad. Or, maybe it was very good. The only people who would know the money came from the extortion funds were the three NSA members and the President.

The Banque Nationale was notorious in the world of international business and smugglers. Their zeal for protecting their records made the Swiss look like loose lips. The FACE account was unique to their institution. It allowed for a perfect stranger to walk into the bank and withdraw funds without ever filling out a form or signing anything. All it took was to have the face and credentials to match the account. In this case, all that would be required for the President of the United States to claim fifty million in tax free untraceable cash would just be for him to walk through the doors then walk back out with his cash in hand. Gibson took out his lighter and burned the paper and threw it into the empty waste basket. He looked at his computer geek and simply asked? “Would two million be enough for your end if things went that way?” The man nodded in the affirmative and then they left the room, knowing they had just joined in a conspiracy that could land them in prison for a very long time.

Gibson sent for Henson. When he arrived they both went into the secure room and Gibson briefed Henson on the latest information from the TICK program. Both men just sat there quietly as Henson thought it over. Gibson already knew Henson was a crook, that is why he made it to where he was. The real question was would he also be a traitor to his oath to the United States. Henson thought it over and then finally asked, “What would be my cut.” Gibson said “Three million dollars, untraced and tax free.” Henson simply said “I’m in”. Gibson looked and Henson and then said “You know we will have to get the President to sign off on this in order to make this work.” Henson replied, “This President… you can buy him for a cup of coffee and a two dollar whore. For fifty million dollars of his own money he won’t care what happens come November.”

The presentation to the President was anticlimactic. The prez, just being a rural farm boy who never turned down anything simply asked “How do I pick it up without having a press circus?” Gibson explained to him there was no requirement for him to pick up the money at any time. All he had to do was show up. If he won the election, it could wait for four more years. If he lost the election, then no one would care if he dumped his Secret Service protection for a day or two of privacy. The two of them discussed the implications both politically and nationally.

It had been three weeks since the bridge fiasco. Their prime suspect was dead. They didn’t know who got to him and no one cared so long as he wasn’t talking. The evidence was almost nonexistent because of the fires that had destroyed everything. The papers and media were clamoring for results but Abbott’s death had given them the perfect patsy to blame for everything. The fact that it had to be a conspiracy with lots of other players was not lost on them, but the bridge had not been destroyed and the economy had not taken the hit it would have. No lives were lost and it looked like the BEG had faded back into the wood work. It had vanished without a trace.

Interpol and all the other intelligence services of our allies in Europe had nothing to offer on the shadow group. Also, with so many other agencies potentially involved in what happened, it would bring a sigh of relief for the trail to grow too cold to follow. The NSA wouldn’t have the GOD project blown, the FBI could reassure everyone their internal problem had been taken care of and there would be no one who would be appearing on national TV accusing the President of anything. Abbott was right, in this case four hundred million dollars was a cheap price to pay. Every group was fearful of what the other group knew or was capable of, and in DC politics, fear, mutual fear was a great basis for a relationship. Everyone just knew the “other guy” did it and had pulled it off and the mutual respect for doing so was keeping the blanket on things down tight.

Things changed at the bridge. When all the various government agencies finally realized how vulnerable the Mackinaw Bridge was, they decided that stepped up security would be the right response. The bridge fell under the same status as a US point of entry. Guards and inspections of vehicles became the rule of the day. The crossing which used to take mere minutes now ran into a trip of potentially hours. It still beat the alternative of going around the Lakes.

Since it wasn’t an actual point of entry though, all the security was farmed out to a company that performed it because they had been the lowest bidder. Also, because the company was intent on making the most from their contract, they hired those who had been mostly unable to retain work most of their lives. They looked to local cooperation so they filled the north end bridge inspectors with people who were recommended by the local mayor. Scutt had finally become the king he aspired to be. He filled the ranks with people who would look the other way when he desired them to and his little criminal empire flourished, especially since he had managed to run Maxwell out of his life within weeks of the bridge crisis. When he realized how much time the chief spent at the bridge site vs patrolling the quagmire the streets had become with the traffic buildup, he charged him with dereliction of duty. The fact the State police wished him there during the investigation meant nothing. The fact that he had provided insightful information into the situation at the outset meant nothing. The fact he provided the FBI with the information that Whizzy and his crew were not the brains behind the operation meant nothing. In the end, Max decided he couldn’t take what was going on around him any more and took a buyout on a small pension to avoid the hassles and a long dragged out court fight.

Gregory Mack the bridge engineer who looked over the bridge like his own child left in disgust 4 weeks after the security clamp down when for the fourth time on the same day, the same security guard who had grown drunk with new found power, insisted that he physically interrupt and pat down Mack as he was going from his office to the service building. When he complained to the security management, they replied the man was the Mayor’s cousin and would not be fired, and with the ultimate mindset of villains and would be anarchists the one myopic supervisor asked Mack “Well, if you have nothing to hide, what’s the problem?” Mack walked into the bridge authority board the next day and tendered his resignation.

It was six weeks after the bridge incident when the rough voiced man walked into the Bank of Hong Kong branch located in Beijing, only now his voice was no longer changed by the electronic synthesizer he had been using during the contacts at the bridge. He met with Mr. Chou Lon, one of the senior account executives. He asked Mr. Lon if there had been any inquiries, official or otherwise regarding the funds in the special numbered account. The response was no, there had not been. After the transaction banks had taken their prearranged transfer fees from the funds before passing them on, minus the funds sent to Abbott’s, the President’s and the NSA Director’s accounts, the balance showed as $312,559,860.00 in US funds waiting to be moved. Mr. Lon congratulated Mr… well actually he never even knew his name. It was all part of the agreement entered into many months ago when the man asked for an audience with the senior official and asked what would it take for him to personally handle what should be a large transaction in wire funds and make some transfers that were going to be somewhat unusual.

He also explained the security that would be required for the information and that he was willing to pay for it. Mr. Lon told him it would cost five million US dollars for him personally for everything to go as described. For that Mr. Lon gave the unnamed man the numbered account receipt and book that only he and Lon would know existed. Mr. Lon proceeded to make the arrangement for the balance to be dispersed in twenty separate certified bank drafts in the amount of $15,377,883 each. The rough voiced man took one with him and the rest would go into a Chinese diplomatic pouch where the man could retrieve them at the Chinese diplomatic mission located on the Island of Seychelles. He would show the mission representative the document Lon had prepared and the package of checks would be handed over in the sealed pouch. The bank drafts would be like bearer bonds in that anyone who possessed them could cash them. Lon and the man shook hands again after the deal was finalized and they parted company.

The TICK program at the NSA dutifully reported to it’s keeper. The funds under the special numbered account it had watched over these many weeks had vanished without a trace. The only logical explanation was the money had been withdrawn in one large sum. The program queried the operator if it wished the program to scan the world for the deposit of a similar amount being deposited in a timely fashion. The programmer typed in “no” and the search program was terminated. The last traces of what would later be dubbed the “perfect crime” in books written around the world had disappeared into electronic space. He had figured it would only be a matter of time. He shut down and went to Director Gibson’s office. When he was alone with him he said “Sir, the money is gone. It disappeared without a trace. It means someone either took it all in cash or had it changed into transferable paper. Either way it’s gone.” Gibson looked him quizzically and asked, “What does that mean for us?” the tech simply replied “It means that those funds I told you about have no tail, no trail or point of origin. Even if someone wanted to find out where it came from there would be no way to trace it. You know the Banque Nationale destroys all of it’s incoming receipt records on the FACE accounts. It’s ours for the taking.” Gibson smiled and said “Great job, that is one call the President is wanting to hear about since it seems like his election isn’t going so well.”

Gibson walked into Henson’s office and closed the door. He said “We are in the clear. The last trail is gone. The funds have disappeared and we are clear to pick up. What are you going to do with your share?” Henson sat there and breathed his first real breath of relief for the first time in weeks. With the money trail gone there were no tracks to the supposed members of the group invented by the NSA. There would be no one sitting in front of a Senate subcommittee explaining who really created the BEG and some other groups that also did not exist.” He looked at his boss and said “First thing I think I’ll do is take the afternoon off and call my pigeon at the CIA to add to my wealth.” Then he reached over and called McArthur at the CIA to see if he could get free.

Henson felt great. He had just won the first 6 holes of his match with McArthur and he was doubling the bet after every hole lost. They had progressed to the back part of the course removed from prying eyes. Henson was just starting to address the ball for his next drive when Bruce casually asked “Why did you go Mirror 2 that day?” Henson froze in place and felt the blood draining from his face. He stammered back, “Wha… what are you talking about?” Bruce replied, “You know, when you heard the Black Eagle Group was involved you locked down all communications running through your GOD project and tried to isolate everything. Why? “Henson was shaken to his core. “What is this GOD thing you are talking about?”

Bruce replied “Look Jim, it’s time to come to Jesus. I had the most interesting conversation with Hanz Krueger this past week. You remember him, ran the Stazi, the secret police on the East German side of the wall. He was also one of the primary contact people for any Red inclined terrorist group with a bug up it’s ass when the wall was up. I met him and had a long talk. Seems like their side heard of the BEG also, but their take on it was it was a disinformation ploy on the part of the West. They never heard of anyone ever meeting or seeing any member. SO, that left one of three real options left. 1- either BEG is an operations group that belongs to NSA and they went rogue. 2- BEG is an NSA operations group and you people were in on the operation right from the start and the bridge was a fund raiser to the tune of $420,000,000.00. Or, 3- the BEG is a phantom group you folks were using for white paper fund raising… and somewhere along the line someone stole the name and put you in the jackpot seat. You couldn’t let them, whoever they were get caught because you didn’t know what they might say. How am I doing?”

Henson was sitting in the golf cart stunned. He was in too much shock to deny it all. He looked at his “friend” and finally realized just what it was Deputy Directors at the CIA really did. He spilled it all not realizing that most of what McArthur was spinning was mostly good guess work based on the minimal information he had been able to gather in the weeks after the incident. Gibson folded like a cheap camp chair when confronted with Henson’s confession. There would be no trial. There would be no great expose’ in the papers. There was only the acquisition of a new off the books operation for the CIA. It was called the NSA. After all, the CIA always wanted GOD on their side.

EPILOG

It had been four months since what was called “The Crime of the Century”. For appearance sake the alphabet agencies were going through the motions, but no one really wanted it solved. The location was an exclusive resort located in the Southwest Indian Ocean that cost $3500 a day for your own little private island with a 4000 square foot bungalow and a staff of 3, a cook and 2 housekeepers. Coming in from the sea was the form of a powerfully built swimmer as he cleaved the waves with his strokes. As he exited the water he shook himself almost doglike to get the excess water off of himself. He walked up to the man who was working hard on his tan. “Greg, while you are up grab me another cold one from the cooler.” Greg Mack reached into the cooler and handed the beer over to Messler. Ron said “I just got off the phone with your dad and he just closed all the negotiations on everything and will be in sometime tomorrow.” Greg then asked, “Have you seen my brother lately?” Ron replied “Chris just took the jet boat over to the main lodge to make arrangements for tomorrow.” The two men sat there in silent reflection. Just then another sea creature broke the surface of the water. This one was decked out in full scuba attire. As the finned creature shed his equipment Gray Maxwell walked up to the men. He had this huge smile on his face. He started, “You know, there I was 40-50 feet under water and I flashed back on Abbott’s face when he got that call from the President. When he finished the call he was so shook up he dropped the phone like a hot rock on the desk then ran to the bathroom. I couldn’t believe the luck. It took all of five seconds to punch in the code, rcl # and get the cell phone number. For being so special, it was still just a cell phone. It just seemed like something we might want later on. When I thought of it I started grinning so much I almost lost the seal on my mouthpiece and drowned.” Then he started laughing. Ron then asked, “I wonder if they will ever find the 800 meg scrambled bug placed up in the ceiling light in the conference room. For all we know it could still be sending out everything going on back there. It really worked out great having real time discussions being beamed out to your dad. It really is amazing what you can buy at Radio World these days.”

The next day the entire crew was present. They had just finished dining on an exceptional meal that had been specially prepared for the event. The dishes were cleared away and the staff dismissed. Gary Mack looked at the people at the table then proceeded as he raised the champagne glass, “Gentlemen, here is to one and a half years of dedicated planning and hard work. Here is to a group of men who knew the corruptness of the system we worked so hard within was going to be its own worst enemy in confronting the problem.” They all raised their glasses in a toast to themselves. Gary then proceeded to hand over bank books to each of them. Each book was on a different bank located throughout the major capitols of world and far from the prying eyes of US banking laws. Greg Mack, Chris Mack, Gray Maxwell and Ron Messler looked at their account books indicating approximately sixty-one million in untaxed and untraced US dollars to use over the rest of their lives. Ron was the first to speak. “Guys, I don’t know what you are going to do, but I’m going back to Detroit and find me an auto executive named Lisa.” The thought of it made him smile.
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Old 04-30-2018, 11:03 AM
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Gipsy Smith Gipsy Smith is offline
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And the system gets bitten back
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:15 PM
Supermag Supermag is offline
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Palmer wasn't in on it to?

Great story, thank you for sharing it with us.
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:42 PM
jpr9954 jpr9954 is offline
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I didn't see that coming. Great story!
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Old 04-30-2018, 06:54 PM
bugbor bugbor is offline
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You, sir, have a devious mind. This is great.
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:12 PM
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NW GUY NW GUY is offline
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Originally Posted by bugbor View Post
You, sir, have a devious mind. This is great.
AND...
I earned every bit of it. Spent wwwaaaayyyyyy toooooo much time in the dark world.

In my other books I can honestly say that of the folks who read them and helped with the proofing, NO ONE saw the endings coming as they played out.
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:59 PM
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Arkansas COB Arkansas COB is offline
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Great story. Couldnt leave it alone. Now i got to catch up on all the work i put off the last few days.
Looking forward to more of your writings.


COB
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:27 PM
Catshooter Catshooter is offline
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Wow. That was one helluava piece of writing man. And like the others, I never saw it coming. Nice, very nice work.

You have other books? Links please?


Cat
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Old 05-09-2018, 04:33 PM
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NW GUY NW GUY is offline
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Wow. That was one helluava piece of writing man. And like the others, I never saw it coming. Nice, very nice work.

You have other books? Links please?


Cat
YES, I have 4 other books and I have the notes done for the sequel to the 5th.

Writing books is not a problem. With my warped way of thinking and bizarre life I have led, coming up with plots is the least of my problems.

Getting paid for them so far is.

I have had maybe 20 people total read and help with proofing. 4-5 for each one, and everyone says I should be published.
BUT
so far it ain't been happening.

WHen I get back from vacation if I don't get bear et along the way(I'm spending 10 days in Denali Park, doing a lot of solo deep bush hiking. My goal is getting some good wolf pics)) I'm gonna have to rethink my options.
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:31 PM
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Outstanding Sir.

Bob
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