Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Chapter One

“Agent Jimenez how can I help you” Mike Jimenez became a special agent with the FBI after moving  from the Houston Police Department; having been on their force
for five years and never being involved with anything more than chasing tail lights he hoped for bigger and maybe some exciting times.

“Umm… I have an envelope that says TOP SECRET it says to call the nearest FBI office if found” said the voice on the phone.

“Oh...Ok.  Well can you describe it to me; ahhh are there any numbers on it?” Jimenez was more than a little confused.  This was a first; welcome to thirty days of assignment to answering incoming phone calls.  Everyone had to rotate through the call center; you didn’t have to be in trouble to get stuck with it, but if someone was, guaranteed they got the phone duty.

“Well…. It says TOP SECRET then a whole bunch of warnings and threatening stuff about reading, sharing or destroying the thing” “It’s just a old envelope I found in a book” the voice said with a little worry slipping in.

Jimenez asked “It must have a document number on it?” “Do you see any numbers or letters that look like a serial number?” Jimenez was starting to wonder which tree he was going to piss up after this whole thing goes South on him.

The voice said “Oh on the back it has some numbers and letters down in the bottom right corner”

“Great, go ahead and give me those” Jimenez said rolling his eyes deeply into his head.

“TX1963JK112” That’s all it says. A horn honked in the back ground.

“Ok let me run these in the computer and I’ll be back with you in just a minute ok?” He put the voice on hold and looked at the numbers TX1963JK112; great a wild goose chase and it’s only Monday morning.

Jimenez grabbed the computer code book and fingered through the program file data base listings.  “Ah here we go; all the way back to unknown program/serial/report numbers.”  Shaking his head and wondering why they didn’t cover anything that even resembled something like this during his training; not regular training, but the Duty Shift training i.e. the phone call center shit training that neglected to even come close to covering some type of TOP SECRET code finding training.  Jimenez brought the program up on his screen and typed in TX1963JK112 hit enter and waited.

Jimenez pushed the blinking light on the phone “You still there? I’m running the number right now, should only be a minute longer.  I sure want to thank you for staying with me.  Just a second and I’ll be right back with you.”  Gosh I wonder if I’m gonna get to talk to Dick Tracy today; maybe Captain America; Jimenez was thinking and laughed under his breath

His computer screen blinked twice and went blank.  What came up was a shock; his mouth went dry, his chair squeaked in protest as he about fell to the floor.  Across the whole screen was the National Security Agency logo; and a nice blinking area to enter his ID number. “Oh hell what?” Jimenez whispered under his breath.  “Geeezzzz I just got off of career probation two months ago; in for a dime, in for a dollar.”

Jimenez typed in his ID number and hit enter; the screen switched and the blinking box asked for the document number to be entered.  Jimenez typed in the number he’d been given and holding his breath hit enter.

“Please stand by” Jimenez was just starting to wonder what he’d gotten himself into when his supervisor ran into the small office that was the call center, bouncing off the door frame and knocked over one of the chairs. “What the fuck did you do” Stevens gasped.

“I’m running a number that a guy just gave me off the phone; suppose to be from a TOP SECRET file?” Jimenez said with a big grin.

“Well you stirred up a hornets’ nest with this one, I just got my ass lit up by the Director of the National Security Agency and told this hadn’t better be a joke; he wants you on the phone now!” “Line two; and this isn’t funny Jimenez!” Stevens growled.

Jimenez wiped the smile off his face and punched line two.


“This is Michael Rogers, I’m the Director of the NSA; what the hell do you have going on there?” This was not the voice of a happy man.

“Hello Director Rogers; I’m investigating what I’ve been told is a TOP SECRET number off of an envelope I just received from a man that says he found it in a old book”

“What’s his name and where is he?” Director Rogers barked

“I don’t know yet; I was trying to get some information about this number before I bothered to get his personal information; he’s on the phone now.” There was no smile to be found on Jimenez’s face now.  Yep I’m on phone duty for the rest of my life popped into Jimenez’s mind.

“Agent Jimenez this is now a NSA investigation; you are now on notice that you are not to talk to anyone about either of these phone calls, no one.  Do you understand me; no one, not even your supervisor, not your wife, no one.  I’m I clear, no one, I’m I very clear?” Director Rogers growled into Jimenez’s ear.
“Yes sir.”

The phone line went dead.  Thirty seconds later every phone line in the Huston’s Station went dead.  The NSA had taken over.

Chapter Two.

“Hello sir, are you still there” A different voice asked.

“Hello? Umm…. Yes I was talking to Agent Jimenez?”

“Agent Jimenez asked me to take over for him; is that ok with you.  I’d like to get a little more information about this envelope you found if I could; this is Jim Sands, I’d like to work with you on this.”

“Well I don’t know; I don’t really want to get involved with this.  I just found this envelope in an old book I bought.  I’m just trying to do the right thing here.  It says its TOP SECRET and all”

“I can help you Mr. Polk; I’m an associate of Agent Jimenez and together can get taken care of this.” Jim Sands said.

“How do you know who I am; I didn’t tell Agent Jimenez my name.  What’s going on here, I don’t want to get mixed up with anything!”  Mr. Polk said sounding like a trapped animal.

“Mr. Polk is the seal broken on the envelope?” Jim Sands said, the nice guy act disappearing.

“I haven’t done anything wrong! I’m hanging up now!” Mr. Polk was terrified.

“Don’t hang up Mr. Polk; we know who you are and where you’re standing at this very moment.  Now; answer my question.  Is the seal broken on the envelope?” Sands snarled in his ear.

“The seal? You, you mean the wax or plastic that’s holding the flap closed? Mr. Polk said with exasperation in his voice.

“Yes Mr. Polk that’s the seal; is it broken? Sands snapped back.

“No, no it’s still in place, but the end of the envelope looks like it maybe half opened, ripped.” Mr. Polk said calming down a little and getting a little pissed off by the treatment he was getting.

“Mr. Polk this is now a National Security Agency investigation; I’d like to ask you to not talk to anyone about this.  Can you tell me who else knows about this envelope that you have? Have you told anyone about it?” Sands was putting on the nice guy act again.

“I haven’t told anyone; where can I take this thing to get it out of my hands?” Mr. Polk asked.

“Right now we want you to keep it; keep it on your body at all times.  This is very important Mr. Polk, I’m asking you to protect this envelope with your life; yes it’s that important.  It contains a National Secret that we want to protect at all costs.” Sands was Mr. Sweet now.

“Well I don’t know; my phone just beeped, I’m almost out of power, I’ll have to call you back.” Mr. Polk rushed to get out before his cell phone cut off.

“Mr. Polk do not hang up on me! listen to me very closely.  There is a Verizon phone store two blocks straight up the street from where you’re standing.  1545 2nd street, just across Benson Street from where you’re standing, go into the store and tell them you are Thomas Martin; they will have a new phone and extra batteries for you.  Go there now Mr. Polk.” Sands stated with enough force that it was clear it wasn’t a request.

“What! What the hell is this; I just called to turn this thing in.” Mr. Polk barked in agitation.

“Mr. Polk you are in grave danger.  I’m trying to help you.  Go to the Verizon store and pick up the phone, then we can talk more.” Sands ordered.

“This is crazy” Mr. Polk stammered.

“I will call your new phone in fifteen minutes Mr. Polk” The line went dead.

Chapter Three

“This is crazy; fucker hung up on me” Stuffing the phone into his front pocket a car horn honked and he jumped like he was shot.  “I’m in grave danger?  What the fuck does that mean?”  Tom said to himself while shaking his head in disbelief.  Mumbling under his breath “This has turned into some kind of day now; welcome to the twilight’s zone, oh lucky me.”

He’d been slowly walking up 2nd street during his twenty minutes he’d been on the phone.  Now he found himself two store fronts away from the Verizon store Jim Sands had ordered him into.  What was the name he gave me?  Thomas Martin?  Hell they may know me in there; what am I going to say if they say “Thomas Martin, when did you change your name Tom?

Stepping into the store he was greeted immediately by a store clerk “Hi welcome to Verizon what can I help you with today?”  The sales girl said.  Tom didn’t think he’d ever met this girl before.
“Ummm…. I’m here to pick up a new phone, ahhh Thomas Martin?” He sounded as though he didn’t believe his own name; it wasn’t his name.

The Sales girl said her name was Sara and she’d be glad to check on his order.  Two minutes later she handed him his new phone and laughed because he’d ordered three extra batteries with it.  “The batteries last a long time with this phone Mr. Martin, about eight hours of talk time each, you sure you will really need so many batteries? They don’t go bad, they last for years.”

“Oh ummm it’s ok I’ll take them all; thanks” He was out the door like a shot.  Tom walked two blocks and took a left.  Finding a bench he tore the phone from the plastic and plugged in one of the batteries.  The phone rang immediately in his hand.

“Hello?” Tom answered the ring in shock.

“Hello Mr. Polk, my name is Jan Simpson I’ll be working with you now.” The female voice said.

“Working with me; what the hell does that mean.  I’m not working with anyone, tell me where I can turn in this envelope and I’m done with this!” Tom nearly shouted.

“Mr. Polk I know how confusing this must be, but you just happen to have something that is very important, something that we need back very badly.” Jan said in a very serious voice.

“Well come get the damn thing then!” Now he was shouting; shouting into a phone he’d just been given without paying a dime for by the National Security Agency. “I want nothing to do with you or this fucking letter!” he shouted.

“Is it a letter or an envelope Mr. Polk?” Jan calmly asked.  “I thought you’d said it was an envelope; such as a letter sized full envelope?” she purred.

“Oh for Christ’s sakes; it’s an envelope. A god damn letter sized envelope; old as the freaking hills and it was hidden in the jacket of a hard backed book I bought. Now get me out of this, please.” Tom said in exasperation.

“I’m trying Mr. Polk; I’m trying to help you.  Please protect the envelope Mr. Polk; with your life.” Jan said as if he was now a professional spy himself.

“With my life? That’s twice you people have said that.  Who I’m I protecting it with my life against?” He stammered.

“There are people that would kill you Mr. Polk if they knew you had that document.  You said you’ve told no one about having it, is that still the truth?” Jan asked with a growing frankness to her voice.

“No one knows, I just found it and decided I’d better call and get rid of it.  I don’t want any trouble; just come and get it please!”  Tom said

“I’m sorry Tom it’s not that easy.  We are checking to make sure that no one has picked up on the fact that this document has surfaced.  We are checking our end as thoroughly as we can as we speak.  The document is safer in your care for the time being.  After we get the all clear from our internal security I’ll send a team to come pick you and the document up.” Jan now all business said with a crisp edge to her voice, she was definitely a professional spook.  Tom had a sinking feeling in his stomach.

“Pick me up! what the hell for, I’m trying to get rid of it, you don’t need to pick me up!”  Tom was again shouting into the phone.

“Calm down Tom, I’m trying to protect you.  Have you read the document?” Jan asked

“No no I said it was sealed, I didn’t touch it; I didn’t rip the edge of the envelope, it was like that!” Tom shouted.

“Calm down, don’t bring any attention to yourself” Jan now yelled in his ear.  “We are working on getting this done Tom, work with me.  Please” Jan now back to the professional voice. “I have a two man security team that will be in place shortly to protect you Tom 24/7 until we can pick the document up, only the document; Ok Tom.”

“Security team? I need a security team? You got to be kidding me.”  Tom barked

“Tom please this is only for your protection until we can pick the document up from you; it will only be for a few days and you won’t even know they are there.” Jan said “Now please slip the envelope between your shirt and your chest hiding it, please protect it don’t leave it unattended.”

“Ok ok I’ve got it all covered up.  Now what do you want me to do?” Tom asked

“Tom just stay at home as much as possible, take the envelope with you if you are forced to leave the house.  Don’t let it out of your site, please keep it on your person at all times.  We will contact you as soon as we can pick it up.” Jan said now with a little pleading in her voice.

“Ok fine I’m in, since it would seem I have no choice.  Just make it quick you are making me nervous with this.” Tom said in disbelief.

“Go home Tom, please take the document home.” Jan pleaded

“Fine” Tom punched the end button. 

Chapter Four

“Oh what the fuck now!” Tom said as the door bell rang at 11:45pm.

Tom opened the door and there stood a burly pizza delivery man? “I didn’t order any pizza?” Tom said as the burly man pulled a sawed off double barreled shotgun from the box and pointed it in his face.

“You will fuck yourself; give me the package!” The killer said.  The shotgun was sawed so short Tom could see the ends of the shells in both barrels peeking out at him. He took an involuntary step backwards; the killer stepped into him and pressed the shotgun under his chin.

“You will give me the package or I blow your fucking head off!” the killer said in his accented English.
Tom opened his mouth to say something only to have it filled with brains and fragmented bone as the killers head exploded in a chunky grey red spray.  He landed on his back on the entry way rug, the gunman across both legs the shotgun pushed up the under his shirt and now jammed painfully in his throat.  Tom pushed the barrels away from under his chin and squirmed backwards and up to his knees.  He could hear the new cell phone ringing.

“Hello!” he shouted into the phone.

“Run!” was all that was said.

Chapter Five

Tom ran out the back door of the house into the back yard just as a huge explosion rocked the front of the house.  The air shook with the roar of guns shots; they had to be fully automatic weapons; glass breaking and a woof as some type of volatile fluid exploded in his house.  He’d nearly made the back fence when two bullets made a whirling whistling sound by his ears. Running and ducking he tried to jump his six foot fence but bounced off just missing the top by inches landing on his back in the grass; he jumped to his feet and began to climb; going over the top he realized he was back lit in a deep red glow, his whole house was now engulfed in flames.  He was teetering on the top boards cutting into his palms when he saw the envelope lying on the ground below him.  “Oh great” was all he said and dropped back into his yard grabbing the envelope and jumping up to climb the fence again as wood splintered from bullets ripping the fence to shreds.

He had made it two houses down and was running through a small alleyway between houses when the cell phone began to ring again.

Still at a full run Tom answered the phone “What the fuck do you want” he shouted at the top of his lungs.

“Do you have it?” Jan asked

“What?” He couldn’t believe his ears.

“Do you have the envelope?” Jan asked coolly.

Skidding to a halt “Are you fucking kidding me, don’t you want to know if I’m full of holes or anything?” He was more than angry now, he was totally exasperated.  He was now standing in the middle of an alleyway in full view of anyone that looked down there; with or without a gun.

“You sound fine; do you have it?” Jan asked coldly.

“Fuck you Jan!” Tom barked.  “Yes, I’m not sure how but yes I ended up with it.” Turning on one heel, Tom looked both ways down the alleyway. 

“Is it still sealed Tom?” Jan asked

Pulling the phone from his ear, Tom looked at the phone in his hand in total disbelief shaking his head “Well let me see Jan, you’re so damn worried about my well being its bringing tears to my eyes.”  Stepping to the side of the ally and standing just out of the full overhead light of a street lamp he ripped the envelope out from under his shirt.  “Ah it has a tear up the front from a shotgun getting jammed in my face and then up my shirt as the guy’s head got blown off, and it’s covered in blood and brains cause I’m covered in blood and the guys brains, oh and look here it’s got a nice bullet hole in it from me saving it and climbing over the fence the second time.  Are you happy Jan?”

“Yes Tom I am, keep it safe” Jan said with a cold metallic sound to her voice.  “I’d recommend you head south, we have more assets in that direction.  I have another security team on their way.

“I don’t want your security teams Jan.” Tom said just as coldly.

“You’d be dead now if it wasn’t for them Tom; they are all dead, you’re still alive for now because of them.”
“Gee thanks Jan.  What makes you think they didn’t end up telling someone where I’m at just because they were there?” Tom said.

“I can’t answer that Tom; I’m doing the best job I can here.” Jan said warming up a little.  “Tell me about the killer, what did he say, was he English?”

“No he spoke broken English, I don’t know where he could have been from, and I didn’t recognize the accent.”

“We’ve got a big problem then Tom.” Jan had returned to the metallic sounding voice.

“We we have a big problem Jan?  My house just went up in flames; I’m the one that has bullets flying past my ears and tearing holes in things I have in my hands.  I think I might be the one with the problem here.” Tom said in disbelief.

“You’re doing a great job Tom; you’re going to be a national hero Tom.  Keep that document safe; we are coming to help you.” Jan’s robot voice said.

Pushing the end button and then pressed down hard on the power button the phone cycled off.  Tom removed the battery and dropped the phone in his pocket.  He looked both ways and ran across the street heading due east.

Chapter Six

Six blocks east in the dark he found what he was looking for in the back yard of a beautifully landscaped home just off of Larson Street; a half weeks worth of laundry still hanging on the line obviously forgotten over night; he was in luck the fit was perfect.  Tom grabbed a pair of pants and a shirt; he made it back over the fence without a sound.  Two houses down he used a garden hose to wash the blood off his face and arms.  No shampoo available he did his best to rinse his hair of any pieces of bone or body.  Now 3am he made slow but steady progress towards his next stop; one of the last pay phones he knew of in town; he had .81 cents in his left pocket, he hoped it would be enough.

Dropping his change into the pay phone; Four rings, five rings, six rings Tom’s luck had run out; Tom hadn’t planned on no one answering and wasn’t sure what he do if Jimmy Pine didn’t answer the phone.  Where could he be at 4:15 in the morning, it was mid week, everyone was home mid week.

“Jimmy its Tom I need help” Tom said in a rush.  He hadn’t talked to Jimmy Pine in at least a decade, no make that two decades and some change.  The last time he talked to Jimmy Pine was at the funeral of Jimmy’s Uncle who raised Jimmy and his sister.

“Where” was all Jimmy said.

“Cunningham, Utah; their trying to kill me.” Tom said in a quiet voice.  “I’m hiding out at our old play ground.”

“I know it; give me four hours, white F150 with a black topper.” Jimmy hung up.

Jimmy Pine was a dope dealer; arrested four times he’d done a little County time but not very much.  They just couldn’t get enough evidence to pin a Federal rap on him; they’d tried but the Judge had up and thrown it out and told the Federal D.A. to go catch a bigger fish.  Yep that was Jimmy Pine, the only kid in James Madison Junior High that had a car and a wad of money in his pocket.  He and everyone he knew were too young to drive, but Jimmy still had a car; plus a couple girl friends.  Jimmy’s Uncle had a hell of a grow operation going even by today’s standards.  Jimmy learned everything he knew from his Uncle; how to drive, how to grow and the most important of them all, how to evade being caught.  He was the only person Tom could think of that might be able to help him.

Chapter Seven

“Tommy how you doin, jump in, let’s get out of here” Jimmy said with a smile.  In the back seat was a cooler “Have a beer; now tell me why someone is trying to kill you.”

They headed out on the I15 east bound and Tom brought Jimmy up to speed on why he was in such a mess.  It took an hour for it to all come out and Tom was exhausted from his running for his life and lack of sleep.  Jimmy told him to take a nap; “they’ll never gonna find you where we’re going”.  Tom was asleep by the time Jimmy got to “going”

Tom woke to the squeak of the garage door; one of those big commercial garage doors.  They were inside of a large warehouse; the loading docks were just to the left.  Three bays wide; “it use to be quite a busy place back in the eighties” Jimmy said as Tom looked around. “I bought it out right six years ago, paid cash; I have it listed as a small freight company and pay all my taxes well ahead of time. I keep some stuff out on the floor so when the Fire Marshall comes to inspect it looks like a legitimate business.” Jimmy said with a huge smile on his face.  He was happy to see Tom after all these years; they had made a number of fine memories together. 

Jimmy had been kicked out of school and Tom’s parents would have had a fit if they knew Tom was riding around with Jimmy after school.  Tom and Jimmy rode around in Jimmy’s new car and Jimmy introduced Tom to some of his new friends; his new doper friends.  Tom had even gone out on some large deliveries with Jimmy as a look out.  Hiding in the bushes watching the road making sure no one snuck down the back road to catch or rip off Jimmy.  Tom had done his job and Jimmy had paid him well; they had always been friends; the danger of a few big dope deals had made them very close friends, friends that trusted each other with their lives.

“Give me the envelope” Jimmy said with his hand out reached.  “I want a see what’s so damn special they’re trying to kill you for.”

“Ok, but don’t open it.  This is the government and they mean business with this one Jimmy.” Tom warned and handed it over.

“Geeezzzz there’s only bout four sheets of paper inside of it.” Jimmy said “I wonder just how much it’s worth?”

Chapter Eight

“Hey Tommy you’re on the news!” Jimmy yelled from the little front room area.  “They found your body; yep you’re dead as a door nail!”

Tom came running in the room.  The local news was just finishing up and doing a short spot on regional news.

“More news coming out of Cunningham, Utah this evening as Officials comb through the burnt out remains of a house where they say an apparent drug war took place.  Cunningham Officials are now calling it a major shoot out which took the lives of seven people two evenings ago.  Law enforcement agencies from around the area converged on this sleepy neighborhood after numerous 911 calls came in of automatic machine gun fire and a neighbor’s house fully engulfed in flames.  Officials have at this time only identified one body that being the home owner Tom Polk of Cunningham.  It is not known at this time whether Mr. Polk was an innocent bystander or involved in what can only be described as a gang war shoot out.  Police have recovered six automatic weapons and numerous other firearms as the neighborhood remains in full lock down as Police continue their investigation.”

Tom switched the TV off.  “Well I guess I’m dead and a member of some unknown drug gang.” 

Jimmy busted out laughing.  “You’re a gang member.” He laughed. “The government just tagged and bagged you buddy, you’re dead.”

“Do you really think they think that’s me?  I was on the phone with Jan the spook after the shooting was done.” Tom said to Jimmy. “They have to know I got away.”

“Oh hell no, that’s Jan and her spooks getting you out of the picture and making a cover up.  They know your alive, I’ll bet their pissed they don’t know where you’re at.”  Jimmy said between gulps of beer.  “They must be going crazy; you just up and disappeared on them man. I’ll bet they are tearing the woods apart looking for you.”

“I’ve got to stay that way, we may both be dead if they find me; I wonder how they convinced the Police the body was me?” Tom said rubbing a hand down his face.

“I’ll bet they took over that part of the investigation; they’d be able to do it without a problem since all the goons had autos, they’d step in and take all the guns and the bodies.”  Jimmy said popping another beer. “I’ll bet they take over the rest of the investigation before the days out.”

“Ahhhh hell they have me in a corner and I’m about out of options here. They can do any damn thing they want; I’d better call them and find out how I’m gonna get out of this.” Tom said as the realization sunk in that he was a dead man.  “I think I’m really dead and I just don’t know it.”

“Give me that cell phone and I’ll have one of my guys fix it up.  He can fix it so they can’t get a fix on the phone’s location, it will only that’ll tell them you’re somewhere in Colorado, the signal will bounce around all over the place.  Guys a genius when it comes to that type of gear; I use him all the time, he’s good.” Jimmy said.

Chapter Nine

Tom plugged the battery into the phone, with the locator on the phone tampered with, Tom could only hope it would work and throw them off his trail.  The phone immediately rang.

“Hello Jan how are things.” Tom said into the phone, he had his fingers crossed.

“Mr. Polk where are you.” Jan said in her metallic voice.  “We need to bring you in now.”

“I don’t think so Jan; you’ve heard I’m dead.” Tom said using the same tone.

“Mr. Polk we did that to protect you, too throw off those who are hunting you.” Jan said “We’re going to give you a new life, a life of privilege; just bring us the envelope.”

“I don’t trust you Jan.” Tom replied

“Where are you Mr. Polk?” Jan growled, her patience gone.

“I’m safe and taking good care of our little package.  Isn’t that what’s it’s all about Jan?” Tom returned.

“We will be very unhappy Mr. Polk if we lose our document again or if it should happen to end up in the wrong hands, very unhappy.” Jan said.

“You can call me Tom, Jan; calling Mr. Polk makes you sound all angry and stuff.” Tom was now pushing her buttons hard.

“Ok Tom, but know there are people in this department that would have you dead.  They are not faint of heart Tom; they could and would treat your family members with grave contempt.”  Jan threatened.

“Jan threaten me again and I’ll burn this little envelope or worst turn it over to someone that I’m sure would like to make it public; do I make myself clear Jan?” Tom shot back.

“Tell me where you are Mr. Polk.  We can end this.” Jan growled into Tom’s ear.

“I think we both need to cool down Jan, I’m just too pissed off to talk right now.” Tom pushed the end button and removed the battery.

“Well that went well” Jimmy said from across the table.

“They are going to kill me when they get that damn envelope back.” Tom said “I’m as good as dead.”

“We’re as good as dead” Jimmy said. “We need some insurance here or their going to bury us someplace we’ll never be found.”

“Insurance?”  Tom questioned.

“Yeah insurance, I’m getting an idea how we might just stay alive long enough to get away after giving them the envelope.” Jimmy’s brow was now crunched together and he waved off Tom’s questions and left the room.

Chapter 10

Tom drove one of Jimmy’s cars down to the local Wal-Mart Store and bought two Trac Phones.  Neither had a contract of any kind, no names and no id required buying them; they were clean phones without names that could be connected to either Tom or Jimmy.

Tom heard the large garage door opening and stood just out of sight watching who was coming in. 
“Tommy we gotta go!” Jimmy yelled as he jumped from the grey mid 80’s minivan as the garage door rumbled back down on its tracks. “Tommy!”

“Oh nice wheels Jimmy, was it on sale?” Tom stood laughing at the new vehicle Jimmy said he was going to pick up.

“Bought and paid for with cash, not traceable and it’s got a good stereo system.” Jimmy grinned. “Who’d be looking for a piece of shit minivan, besides there must be ten million minivans on the road?” “This baby is invisible.”

“When am I going to find out this big secret plan of yours that’s going to keep us alive?” Tom asked with a hint of skepticism.

“Oh I didn’t say it would keep us alive, I said it should keep us alive.” Jimmy joked without any levity in his voice. “Grab your bag and I’ll run through it with you as we get down the road.”

Five minutes later on Hwy 50 Jimmy’s phone made a strange beeping sound. “Oh fuck that’s the warehouse alarm system going off.” Jimmy said. Pulling to the side of the road Jimmy brought the phone close to his face and fired up the alarm app. “Oh shit it’s an entry team! They just came through the front door and are searching the place!” Jimmy’s voice was muted with amazement. The little screen showed at least a dozen heavily armed men in black spreading out in the warehouse. All looked fat with the protective vests and body armor and helmets. They carried what looked like MP5 submachine guns. The first three had ballistic shields held out in front of them. “They found us.” Jimmy said with a sigh.

“Let me see.” Tom whispered taking the phone from Jimmy. “Oh god here comes the lab guys. They will know it’s us in just a few minutes.” “How the hell did they find us?” Tom said in disbelief.

A close up of a helmeted and goggled face appeared on the phone screen and the picture went blank. Tom handed the phone back to Jimmy.

“I’ve got to call my attorneys and give them the heads up. Look for a phone booth or a tavern quick.” Jimmy was all business now. “They are going to have visitors when the lab guys i.d. us.”

“Can you trust the attorneys not to give up our secrets?” Tom asked.

“I have a bunch of times over the last few years. They’ve got my back. No worries with them.” Jimmy said.

“Have they ever had the NSA on their asses before?” Tom said with a clear worry to his voice. “They have our lives in their hands with this one; the NSA is going to really put the pressure on them.”

“I gave them real clear instructions on this one and told them the possibilities; our package is not in their safes at the office” “Only two of the partners know about the package and none of the staff.” Jimmy said with a wink. “It’s as safe as it’s going to get. There’s a bar; I’ll make the call and then we’d better hurry.”

Chapter 11

Sitting in their minivan waiting for the mailman; Jimmy and Tom hoped they were invisible as they sat in the shade on a quiet street in Arizona.

“Christ it’s almost two o’clock.” Tom complained. “We’ve been here for two hours!”

“Patience he’s coming; probably only one route in the whole town.” Jimmy said bored. “Let’s just keep moving around so we don’t catch anyone’s eye; he’s got to show up pretty soon.”

The mailman slowly made his way down the deserted street stopping at every mailbox. Tommy and Jimmy waited until he passed where they were parked and then drove slowly down the street. Tommy leaned out the window quickly opening the mailbox and dropping the Trac phone on top of the letters.

“Got it, let’s go”. Tom said. “He should be home any minute; he gets off at 4pm.” “Let’s park down around the corner, we can see between the houses when he grabs the mail."

Agent Jimenez arrived home at 4:30pm after a short drive to the suburbs from the Flagstaff Office. Parking in front of the garage Agent Jimenez walked down the driveway and opened the mailbox. He froze in place seeing the cellular phone sitting on top of his mail.

“What’s he doing? He’s just standing there?” Tom asked Jimmy.

“He’s a trained Agent; he’s not just going to pick up the phone; that’s got to be quite a surprise. You’d better call him.” Jimmy said.

Agent Jimenez visibly jumped when the phone rang. He looked both ways down the street and between the houses.

“He’s looking right at us.” Tom barked.

Jimmy waved and made the answer the phone with his left hand to his head out the side window of the van to Jimenez from the distance of a city block. Jimenez picked up the phone.

“Jimenez, what do you want?” Jimenez said in clear anger.

“I need your help please.” Tom pleaded. “I called you two weeks ago with the top secret letter; they are chasing us and trying to kill us.”

Jimenez slowly scanned the block of houses in his neighborhood looking for any sign of trouble.

“Please we don’t mean to cause you or your family any harm; they are going to kill us.” Tom voice took on that wavering sound of a person in deep trouble.

“Talk to me; don’t come any closer to my house.” Jimenez growled into the cheap phone. Jimenez spun on his heel and disappeared into the house.

Forty five minutes later Agent Jimenez had the whole story and was not a happy man.

Chapter 12

“Got a hit; Unlisted cellular phone from just outside of Flagstaff Arizona.” “Intercept words: Top Secret, NSA, Hit man, Jan Simpson.” The computer tech said.

“That’s them, get a team out there NOW” Jan barked cutting the tech off. “Who’d they call?” Jan growled.

“Hang on I’m bring up the whole call.” “Printing now; copier number 6 has the narrative.” The tech said to the fleeting back of Jan as she raced to the copy room three doors down. The machine was printing page after page of the phone call from one unlisted cellular phone to another as Jan ripped the printed pages from the stack. Jamming her reading glasses on her face it took barely three seconds for Jan to find what she was looking for; cell phone at her ear she raced from the building.

Chapter 13

Jimmy took the first bedroom and Tom settled into the second one on the right of the short hallway.

“Nice house; even has a pool table.” Jimmy yelled to Tom. “Oh shit the fridge even has beer.” Popping open a can and taking a seat at the kitchen table. “Tommy you want a beer?” Jimmy shouted.

“Hang on; I’m gonna hit the shower first.” Tom yelled back

Jimenez had a friend outside of the Department that was currently in Jamaica on a three week vacation; Jimenez hoped his friend wouldn’t mind him hiding out a couple people in his house for a week or so.

Jimenez walked down the street and handed Jimmy a piece of paper through the car window with the address of his friend’s house along with a key. “Don’t make a mess and stay put.” Was all Jimenez said as he walked past and down the street away from the minivan.

Sitting at the kitchen table Jimmy opened a second beer and set the home phone on the table in front of him. Tom came into the kitchen grabbed a beer from the refrigerator and sat down next to Jimmy.

“You gonna use that or you just going to stare at it?” Tom asked scratching an itchy spot on his forehead. “What’s wrong?”

“I was going to call my attorney and check in, but I was just wondering if the NSA could trace the call back to us?. Remember that defector guy, the one that took off to Russia and gave up a bunch of our secrets?. Didn’t they find out the NSA was recording and listening to phone calls all over the U.S. and the world.“ “Didn’t he say they had a super computer that picked out words or sentences and would tell them all kinds of information on who made the phone call and to who, even where the call came from?”

“Oh shit I told the whole story to Jimenez on the phone.” Tom said. “If that’s true their computer would be going crazy with all the stuff I said.”

“We should be safe here Jimenez walked down and gave us the key and address.” Jimmy said with clear relief in his voice.

“Yeah as long as he didn’t call and ask permission from whoever owns this place, this house could be a FBI safe house.” Tom said looking around with open worry on his face. “I don’t feel so safe all of a sudden."

“I think we should find a new place fast.” Jimmy was on his feet heading to grab his suit case. Tom was in the minivan before him.

Chapter 14

Jimenez drove home after a normal Wednesday of boring stuff at the Flagstaff Office, shuffling paper work all day didn’t help him come up with a plan. He’d thought all day about what to do with his two lost boys. He decided early to keep his mouth shut for a couple days and let things settle down.

Grabbing the mail from the box and stepping into his front room Jimenez was greeted by three large men and a woman sitting in his favorite easy boy chair. Three large caliber hand guns were pointed at his head.

“Good evening Agent Jimenez.” Jan snarled. “Where’s my guys.”

Three hours of torture and Jan had the information she was looking for. Jan put two .380 rounds in Agent Jimenez’s forehead.

“Let’s go.” Jan barked. “We only have five blocks to go.”

Jimmy and Tom had just checked into a Sleazy Eight Motel on the far East side of Flagstaff. The TV droning out back ground noise in the dirty reception/sitting room of what they called the Rental Office.

“This place is filthy.” Tom said in disgust. “We’re going to get bed bugs.” Tom turned when he got no reply from Jimmy. Jimmy was standing with his mouth open staring at the cheap TV bolted to the wall. The evening news was showing the front of Agent Jimenez’s house and the anchor was droning along in a monotone voice about another senseless home invasion killing in West Flagstaff. The camera man panned to the side of the house where a hysterical woman clutched two small children and was surrounded by Policemen and women.

“Oh fuck.” Tom whisper

(This story has three endings;
Also see alternate ending #1 and #2)

NSA Situation Room

“Doctor Masson what do you think their next move will be?” Jan asked Dr. John Masson PHD in behavioral psychology from Harvard on special assignment to the NSA.

“I believe they will make a run for it, more than likely towards California. Specifically L.A. with their back grounds and education it’s my professional guess that they will think that is the safest place to disappear; fall off the radar so to speak.” Masson stated as though he was lecturing a class of freshmen.

“I’d say they will take the most direct route; I’d watch the freeways between here and L.A. with extra surveillance on Interstate 10 and 40.” Masson flatly stated. “Ummmm Jan, I’d be expecting a call from them; they’re going to looking for a possible way out of this and you’ve been their only contact.”

“Thank you Doctor Masson I think you’ve given us what we’ve needed. Thank you for your time.” Jan cooed.

Before the door completely closed behind Dr. Masson. “Get everyone out there; I want all assets available before noon today.” Jan barked. “Get the planes in the air; If he’s right and they make that call I want to know exactly where they are the instant the phone rings.”

Chapter 15

Keeping at the speed limit of 70 Jimmy glanced at Tom. “Do you really think it’s a good idea to call Jan the spook. She has to be up to her neck in killing Agent Jimenez.”

“We don’t know that, remember the hit man at my front door. It could be some other group after us and got Jimenez, Jan told me there were others involved. She’s our only hope at this point.” Tom said in exasperation. “We’ll be in L.A. by tonight and we can disappear into the wood work if I don’t like what she says.”

Tom pushed the battery pack into the NSA phone he’d been given and the phone came to life. When it didn’t ring immediately as it had done before Tom gave Jimmy a sideways glance. “Oh that’s not good.”

“You gonna call her or pull the battery?” Jimmy gushed turning bright red with dread. “Do something you’re putting out a beacon.”

“I don’t know, give me a second to think. I expected it to ring.” Tom flushed. Pushing the recall button the phone beeped and paused for ten seconds then started to ring.

Jan’s phone beeped. “We got them; Interstate 10 about twenty miles out of Yuma.” A voice said.

“What do we have?” Jan coolly asked.

“I’ve got a drone in the air that could be over them in ten minutes. It’s running a course twenty miles North and could intercept them.” The voice stated.

“Armed.” Jan asked.

“Of course; we were told to expect anything.” The voice said.

“Do I have complete deniability with using the drone, will the accident scream drone attack on U.S. soil?” Jan asked in her icy voice.

“We’re using a new style Hellfire missile that is made of card board, it will burn up in the insuring fire.” The voice said matter of factly.

“Do it.”


CNN Headline news brief: Two people were killed today in what eye witnesses said was a vehicle driving West Bound on Interstate 10 just a few miles outside of Yuma Arizona when it exploded for no apparent reason, by the time Authorities arrived at the scene the vehicle was completely destroyed. Interstate 10 West bound was closed for two hours as the wreckage was cleared from the road. Autopsies will be performed on the two bodies later this week.

Also in the news;

In a brief statement today President Obama announced the formation of a new Department inside of the Department of Home Land Security. “I’ve wanted for some time now to increase the safety of our people here at home. With the formation of this important Department within the Department of Home Land Security free from the distraction of who ever happens to be in Office at the time will insure a continuance free of the pressures of politics. It is with my deepest pleasure to introduce you all to the new Director of Internal Safety Control, Jan Simpson. Jan has served our Country for many years and will continue to serve well into the future as Director. Thank you all very much.."

From the Ramblings


Alternative Ending #1

“I’m calling that fucking bitch” Tom said plugging the battery into the NSA phone. One ring, two rings.

“Hello Tom I thought you might call” Jan said in her cold voice.

“You fucking bitch, you killed Agent Jimenez you fuck” Tom shouted.

“Oh such language Tom, I asked you to come in, didn’t I.” Jan cooed in Tom’s ear. “This is your fault Tom I said we should keep this quiet, but you didn’t did you?” “You told the whole story to Agent Jimenez and you got him killed.”

“You’re going to jail for a long time Jan if you don’t end up with a death sentence.” Tom said between clinched teeth. “I’m going public with your damn secret and expose you for what you and your spooks have done.”

“Tom I have the envelope in my hand right now; Jimmy’s attorneys turned it over to us after we put, how should I say it, some pressure on them and their families.” Jan said with contempt.

Tom looked at Jimmy; his eyes said it all, we’re fucked.

“You still there Tom? I didn’t lose you did I.” Jan smirked. “I’m coming for you Mr. Polk and you’re not going to like what I have in mind for you.”

Tom pressed the off button and removed the battery.

The End Game.

Tom and Jimmy were in the car and heading down Interstate 10 in less than a minute.

“What the fuck are we going to do?” Jimmy croaked. “We’re dead.”

“I don’t know but we have to put some distance between us and where I made the call, they’ll have people all over the place in minutes.” Tom said.

“I’m going to call the Attorney’s and see what they say.” Jimmy said as he powered up his phone and punched in the numbers.

“Johnson, Johnson and Nass how can I direct your call?” The receptionist answered.

“Hi this is Jimmy Pine I need to speak with Paul Nass please.” “I’m sorry Mr. Nass is not in the Office for a few days, could I give you his voice mail?” The receptionist said. “I’m sure he’ll be back in the Office in just a few days.”

“I’m sorry this is very important I have to speak with him. I’ve been a client of Paul’s for many years and this is a life and death problem for me.” Jimmy pleaded. “Can you give him my number and have him please call me, please.”

“I’m so sorry but Mr. Nass has had a family emergency and is not taking any calls for just a few days, I’d be more than happy to take your number and ask him to call you as soon as possible when he returns.” The receptionist said as a fact ending any more pleading.

“No that’s fine I’ll call back in a few days.” Jimmy said pressing the end button. “I have his home number, I’ll call that.”

“I think Jan was telling the truth they got to him.” Tom said.

After numerous rings. “Hello Nass residence.” A voice answered.

“Yes I’m a personal friend of Paul’s, could I please speak with him for just a minute.” Jimmy said in his most reasonable voice he could muster.

“I’m sorry there’s been an accident in the family and he’s not taking any calls.” The voice said

“Look I don’t want to bother him, but I have some information about the accident that he’s going to want to know. This is information that he needs right away not next week or the week after, he’s going to have to act on it right away. I think he’d forgive the interruption for this information.” Jimmy said with force.

“Oh ok I’ll give him your name and he can decide for himself.” The voice said with indignation.

After a five minute wait Jimmy could hear people speaking in the back ground over the phone.

“Jimmy do you know what they did?” Paul said with emotion in his voice. “They nearly killed my wife, my wife Jimmy, just for that damn envelope you gave me.”

“I’m sorry Paul I had no idea they would go that far, I’m so sorry.” Jimmy voice was cracking.

“I gave it to them Jimmy, I gave it to them with pleasure Jimmy; they would have killed her. You don’t ever call me again.” Paul said slamming down the phone.

“Yep they got the envelope.” Jimmy said looking at Tom. “They’ve got it all.”

A police car passed Tom and Jimmy as Tom looked down at the speed odometer, seeing that it was rock solid on 70 he sighed with relief. A siren blared and Tom realized that another Police car was behind him with his lights going.

“Oh fuck what’s this?” Tom squeaked.

Another Police car was driving right at Tom’s driver’s window and the Officer was pointing to pull to the side of the road. With Police cars in front, back and one two feet from his window there was no choice but to slow and stop on the side of Interstate 10.

As Tom came to a stop the front Police car backed leaving no more than inches between his rear bumper and Tom’s front bumper. The car behind did the same, they were boxed in tight.

“Mr. Polk, Mr. Pine you will step out of the car and get into the back of the car in front. Do you understand me?” There was no room for questions as Tom and Jimmy slowly walked the twenty feet to either side of the forward Patrol car with its doors open and Officers with their guns drawn.

Sitting on the hard plastic seat Tom and Jimmies eyes met. No words needed to be said as two Officers closed the doors and got into the front of the Patrol car. Thirty seconds later they were racing down Interstate 10, not a word was spoken. Tom twisted in his seat and both of the other Patrol cars were right on their bumper.

The Patrol car began to slow and turned into a narrow dirt road that bounced and belched dust into the air. At Interstate speeds the dirt road was invisible to passing traffic and they disappeared from the highways view as they crested a small hill.

Sitting in a small depression between hills, no more than two hundred feet wide sat a military helicopter with blades slowly spinning in the hot dead air. Their Patrol car pulled up just outside of the spinning blades and the car doors were thrown open.

“Please get on the helicopter gentlemen.” The sunglassed Officer said over the idling engine of the helicopter.

Stepping up the ladder both Tom and Jimmy were surprised to be greeted by Uniformed Marine Officers in flying gear. Directed to jump seats the helicopter was in the air heading west in less than three minutes.

Tom could see directly into the cockpit from his seat. He watched as the two pilots quickly went through their check lists and jumped the ship into the air. Tom watched as one pilot released his harnesses and walked to the sitting pair.

Yelling over the roar of the engines “The Marine Corps have taken over domestic security and you both are being flown to San Francisco to give depositions to a Federal Judge. I hope you have what I’ve been told is quite a story to tell.”

Tom and Jimmy looked at each other. “Yes we do.” They both yelled together.

From the Ramblings


Alternate Ending #2

“Oh my god they killed Agent Jimenez.” Tom said in a shaky voice. “He’s got two kids and a wife and they killed him.”

“They mean business Tom.” Jimmy said. “Their playing without rules now, no one just up and kills a FBI agent because he got in the way.”

“I don’t believe this; the government can’t just up and start killing people.” “How do they expect to get away with this?” Tom shuddered.

“They are making the rules as they go along. They must think they can cover up anything.” Jimmy said.

“What do we do now?” Tom asked with pleading eyes. “Jimenez was our insurance; he’s dead.”

“I don’t know, maybe we should call Jan and try to talk to her. Maybe we could just give them the envelope and hope to disappear before they find us.” Jimmy said hunching his shoulders together.

“I don’t think we have any options other than to try to buy our way out of this. I’ll call her and try to get her to let us hand over the secret and keep our lives.” “I don’t know what else to do.” Tom said without hope in his voice.

Plugging the battery into the NSA phone Tom looked at Jimmy with dead eyes.

“Hello Mister Polk.” Jan answered the phone on the second ring. “Are we ready to talk now?”

“You killed Agent Jimenez; he had a wife and two kids.” Tom said with dread. “How can you do that?”

“Where are you Mister Polk, it’s time to end this game you’ve chosen to play with me.” Jan said in her metallic voice.

“Got them” a voice whispered in Jan’s free ear. “They’ve moved to a Super Eight Motel, East side of town.” “Get them this time.” Jan whispered

“We want to give you the envelope and get out of this Jan. “Tom said with as much strength as he could muster.

“Tom I have bad news, we have the envelope. Mr. Pine’s attorneys were more than happy to give it to us.” (Small chuckle) “We traded their loved ones for the envelope Tom, I don’t need you anymore.” Jan’s voice had taken on a diamond hard edge. “Agent Jimenez knew too much Tom; you told him the complete story didn’t you?”

“Jan we want out of this, you have what you wanted. Just leave us alone, we don’t know anything about the secret and enough people have died.” Tom begged.

“No Tom we need to clean this mess up. You’ve made yourself and Mr. Pine our number one enemy targets in the World Tom. Isn’t that funny, you’re the number one target of the entire United States at this moment. Does that make you feel special Tom?” Jan sneered.

“We got them; they’re in room 153” The voice said in Jan’s ear. “Three teams in place; ready”

“Tom I’ve got to go, it’s been a long three weeks but it’s got to end here. You should have listened to me, worked with me, this could have ended differently.” Jan’s voice was stone dead. “Good bye Mr. Polk.

“Take them.” Jan said to the waiting spook holding the radio to his lips.

From the Ramblings