JOURNEY INTO THE ABYSS…

 

I DEDICATE THIS JOURNEY TO ANYBODY WHO HAS EVER BEEN SCARED OF JOURNEYING INTO THE UNKNOWN. THE BIGGEST OF LIFE’S CHALLENGES CAN BE SOLVED WHEN WE FOLLOW SYNCHRONICITIES, WHEREVER THE PASSIONATE ENERGY OF OUR SOUL DIRECTS US. THE UNKNOWN CAN LEAD TO THE WORST THINGS, BUT IT CAN ALSO LEAD THE TO THE GREATEST THINGS. WE SIMPLY HAVE TO MOVE FORWARD, BY NOT BEING SCARED OF OPENING UP TO ALL OF LIFE’S POSSIBILITIES.

 

PROLOGUE

Overpriced private soldiers and under-satiated militias’ battled pink and orange sunrises for control of Jason’s mind, as it searched for a thought he could cling to. His mind never fired quickly when he woke up, half in reality and half stuck in the dream world were where his days usually started.

This was no ordinary mind racing marathon the average insomniac put themselves through, it was a feeling stronger than 1000 men; or maybe 2000 depending on how long Jason obsessed about it. The only thought that stuck as he flung the 500 thread count sheets off his listless body, was how strong he was going to make the morning coffee.

“You think you could have tossed and turned anymore last night, I felt like I was sleeping with a soccer player,” Christina artfully described. She knew Jason always appreciated a good sports metaphor.

“Soccer isn’t a real sport. Now if you would have said I was sleeping like a running back streaking towards the end zone, that’s a reference I could get behind.” Jason wasn’t a big sports fan like when he was younger. The fact that his 30 something body was having aches and pains like never before, caused him to think more critically about his activities. However, before he could express words of gratitude to the wide hazel eyes that shot an

always loving salvo across his bow, he leaned over and kissed the lips that never dreamed of touching lipstick.

“What was that for?” Christina inquired lovingly as she gently rubbed Jason’s back.

“When did I ever need a reason to kiss you?” Jason cajoled. “It was easier than expressing the undying love my soul has for your soul. You’ve never been a sports fan, but I wanted to show my appreciation for your attempt to organize your thoughts, in a way I could understand.”

The pink and orange sunrise Jason remembered from his dream, was now staring him in the face as he walked up to the oversize front window. He and Christina’s rebel roost in the hills of Humboldt country, featured a view that would allow many to die happy.

The house was a bit bigger than the apartment they left behind when Jason went his way, and Christina went hers. Now they had a home base they could grow and evolve from.

The aroma, and loud dripping from the fresh ground coffee, roused Christina from the sleep she fell back into. She was so tired from a Netflix marathon the night before, that she didn’t want to get out of bed. Once she smelled a heavenly scent that Juan Valdez himself would have been proud of, she joined Jason by the front window to take in the view.

“It is an amazing day, not a cloud in the sky. Should we go to the river, they look healthy again from all the rains; especially with that revolutionary pipeline we helped push through. The drought has lessened dramatically because of it.” Christina was restless ever since she and Jason made their way back from Cuba. Their trip back wasn’t nearly as dangerous as escaping drones and missiles on their way to Detroit, but an adventure nonetheless.

“That pipeline is pretty amazing. Water rates have plummeted since it came online. We have to make sure people don’t get complacent and waste water, but that’s a much easier problem to deal with. I wonder what my dad is up to.”

Marty Jackson disappeared into the ether, just as Jay Sherman did. Even their respective kids admitted a soul-pulling need to follow their own path. Jay and Marty might not have been brothers, but they had much in common. It made cosmic sense that their kids ended up finding each other.

“Did you just say your dad? You haven’t used that word in a long time, since we were working with him I think. Hopefully he didn’t find his way back to the Entities, I know he had a thing for my mom,” admitted Christina with an apprehensive need to control her every word.

“With that guy, who knows? My mind has been going bonkers from my dream that was so vivid, I really felt like I was there.”

“We always feel like that when we’re in our dreams.”

“I remember every detail. Militias fought these private armies, and then other random groups would jump out of the woodworks, fighting and supporting different sides. You never knew who to trust.”

“Sounds like a great movie.”

“It would have been if I was watching it on a screen, and not been right in the middle of it. Everybody was fighting everybody for control over territory, goods, wealth and resource production. Then it showed me images of the pipeline, and then back to the fighting again. Then there were piles of bodies everywhere, covering every inch of the ground.

They disappeared, then more people showed up and the fighting continued, then more bodies, then they disappeared, etc. Almost like a video game, where you lose your life, and then respawn back into the war.” Jason spoke a million miles a minute, which was unusual given caffeine hadn’t entered his bloodstream yet.

“That does sound like a video game, which is strange because you’re not a gamer. Anyway, what happened next?” Christina knew this dream and its analysis from the love of her life was building to something. She knew where this energy led them in the past, which made her nervously excited; maybe it meant ending their one year absence from being the establishment’s worst nightmare.

The coffee finished brewing before Jason finished the thought he was preparing for Christina, so he grabbed the biggest and most brightly colored mugs out of their mahogany stained cupboards. He proceeded to fill them with the jet black coffee that he always made way too strong. However, if their purpose was to wake up and get on with their day, then strong and to the point was where they needed to be.

He grabbed the steaming mugs, and motioned for Christina to join him at the six person redwood table that was constructed by a neighbor. Jason offered to pay him, but the guy said it was his pleasure, and that Jason would do the same for him if given the chance. This was weird considering Jason could barely nail 2 boards together, but the sentiment was there. It was an amazing gift so he graciously accepted, even though he expected a favor request to appear out of thin air somewhere down the line.

“Did you make your famous race horse coffee? You know the kind that makes you want to run around the house ten times, then race to the bathroom,” Christina sniped as she sat down next to the only person who could make her truly smile.

“Definitely. I needed something to wake up my brain, so I could analyze my dream from last night. It’s been a while since we’ve been in the game, and for my own peace of mind, I need to find out if this leads somewhere we need to go; like the water park or the postcard. Since nothing was slipped under our door this morning, and the phone hasn’t rang since yesterday, I need to hypothesize what it means. I didn’t tell you what stopped the fighting in my dream did I?” Jason thought. He sipped the rocket fuel that powered not only his mind, but his body to move toward his intended destination.

“No, you didn’t. You just went off on one of your tangents again. Since the philosophical and intellectual place your mind goes is the one of the most attractive things about you, I let you do your thing.” Christina joined Jason on one of the wooden chairs surrounding their table, which reflected the disappearing color of the sunrise.

“After the fighters died and respawned what seemed like a hundred times, I thought it would never end. It was when this thought entered my head, that it caused a beautiful pink and orange sunrise to shine off all the warrior’s faces. They put down their guns and knives, unattached their hands from the throats of their enemies, and stared at the sky.

Not only was it weird that the fighting suddenly stopped, but it was the middle of the day when the color showed up. I knew this was a sunrise from having watched them when I woke up early enough. Anyway, after thousands of men and women looked at the sky for what seemed like an eternity, they gave each other hugs, handshakes and friendly glances; acting like they’d been friends the whole time. Then they returned to their vehicles just over a ridge, which were parked in a parking lot.”

“Wow. I don’t know where to start, so many images to analyze,” remarked Christina. She opened the Cherrywood box on the middle of the table, which emitted an extremely skunky smell. “I know you make strong coffee, but I think you need something to even you out.”

“You know me better than I know myself. There is nothing like strong coffee and a strong joint to start the day, and figure out which direction you want to go,” related Jason. His smile made Christina shiver with the intensely good energy that naturally emanated from his soul.

“I thought it could help bring clarity to your thoughts, and help you figure out what that dream meant. Something that vivid has a hidden message in it somewhere.”

“That’s the thing, I think I’ve figured it out,” exclaimed Jason. He encouraged Christina to put more weed in the grinder because the only thing better than a big joint, was an even bigger joint.

As Christina licked closed another of her signature marijuana inhalation devices, hunger pangs reared their ugly head. “Not that I need help this morning with bringing my hunger to the surface, but this gunboat will make us want to eat a horse.”

“You know you can still do that in the U.S., the Government kept open the last horse slaughterhouse. Me, I’d rather eat a burger. Back to the point, the fighting ended because of the sunrise. The sheer magnitude of its beauty made those hardened hearts stop killing each other, and realize they had always been friends. They carpooled to a bar, so their alcohol fueled realization would continue.”

“What are you getting at?” Christina needled snidely. She grabbed one of the dozen pink lighters she kept because it was one of the only girly things she could handle. She lit the joint and took a gargantuan hit before passing it to Jason. He had to fan the smoke away so he could look into Christina’s eyes, as the next words spilled from his lips.

“Violently fueled souls were eased because of nature. An intense beauty caught their eye, and made them stop fighting,” Jason described. His lungs exhaled an entire smokestack before he passed the joint back to Christina.

“Either you’re too jittery, or too stoned. Either way you’re beating around the bush, spit it out.”

“Don’t you get it, beauty overpowered violence. Light overpowered the darkness. It was hard evidence that no matter how dark things become, light will always shine through to make us stop killing each other; if we stop for long enough to notice.”

Christina put the joint down in the bud leaf shaped ashtray in front of her, and exhaled a big sigh of relief. “That’s all true, and I’m glad you are finally able to let the truth flow.”

“It did set me free,” Jason chuckled. He and Christina shared a hearty belly laugh, before kissing long and deep. When they embraced each other, their bodies weren’t the only thing embracing, so were their souls. “Now that we figured that out, I need something to eat. My stomach is rumbling. My mind has fuel, now my body needs fuel so that whatever this dream leads to, we’ll undertake it with clear minds, and full stomachs.”

“I agree. I’m getting pretty hungry myself. Let’s call and get one of those breakfast pizzas that are so tasty. Eggs, sausage, ham, bacon, peppers and onions on a pizza; what would be better? We’ll make sure we tip them good for driving all the way out here.”

“Definitely, hand me the phone and I’ll put in the order,” Christina eagerly replied. She grabbed the latest burner phone that she and Jason used since they took down the President.

2 joints, and 55 minutes later there was a knock; an intensely delicious aroma creeped under their reinforced steel door.

In the time it took Jason to twist the doorknob and lazily open the door, was as long as it took the dark suited and sun glassed beasts of men to throw bags over their heads, and haul them to a waiting blacked out van.

“What the hell is going on? Who are you guys? Where are you taking us?” Jason screamed. He reached around to find Christina, but it was pitch-black in front of his eyes.

“Shut up you traitor. You’ve been asking for it for a long time. We’re taking you somewhere where you’ll finally get what’s coming to you,” bellowed the behemoth of a man piloting this particular getaway van. As Christina attempted to ascertain their destination, a gag was placed in her and Jason’s mouths; earphones were then placed over their ears so their senses were completely severed.

The under the radar 80s van raced down the dirt road and away from Jason and Christina’s retreat, bumping and bouncing just enough to wash out the radio that was buzzing from somebody trying to speak. “Are the rats contained, I repeat for the fiftieth time you assholes, do you have the slime under your control?”

Sensing some extraordinary noise coming from the van as it passed yet another old growth redwood, they pulled over in a well-used park and pee spot.

“Is that the radio, all I hear is static,” wondered the driver as he slowed to a complete stop.

“I think so, let me mess with it,” relayed the equally beefy but less experienced man sitting in the passenger seat. He flipped dials and pushed buttons, not really knowing what he was doing.

“Are you stupid or something, let me see that,” the driver demanded as he fiddled the dial until finally the static became clear, and the extremely angry voice began to make sense.

“Do you jack asses have the package? If you don’t, I swear to God that I’ll lock you two in a blacker black site then where we’re taking these two.”

“We have them, the static prevented us from hearing you,” explained the driver, hoping he could smooth things over.

“I don’t give a shit what you have to say. Just get them to the God damn place. Jerusalem isn’t going to rebuild itself.”

 

CHAPTER ONE

The epicenter of the most ingrained conflict in human history, always had surprises up its latke and olive oil stained sleeve. The root of many generational battles was and is utilized as an excuse by radicals to fight their own fights, and commit their own atrocities. When the world is extremely volatile, the little things are catalysts for change.

Bound, gagged and unsure of their living status, Jason and Christina were ushered into the unknown. Hadn’t that been the broken record of their story so far?

“What do we do with the assets? Should we take them to the old city, or the old old city?” laughingly inquired the confident, yet extremely overweight driver of the molester looking, covert van. This man didn’t molest children, but this rusted and windowless heap that couldn’t fetch $500 on craigslist, was exactly the type of van that would be enlisted.

“You think you’re so funny, just keep joking, you jerk. The payday we were supposed to get for these two will be gone, along with our lives if you talk too much,” barked the other overly confident man in the front passenger seat. He wasn’t overweight. In fact he was a former navy seal. That is until he discovered he could make boatloads more money in the private sector.

The black smoke belching, AAA call waiting to happen had been bounding down the road for an hour; whether they hit a freeway, Jason and Christina couldn’t tell. Wherever they were being taken was sure to lead them to their next adventure. Hell, water parks, postcards and phone calls had done it before, why not a hostage taking?

The warriors of a New Jerusalem had a hideout tucked neatly away in a dense redwood forest. Like the desert though, there were plenty of places for them to bury bodies.

When the van pulled up to a fiercely guarded front gate, Jason hoped they were still local. Of course, it was hard to tell since their senses were completely severed. He wanted to motion to Christina, to inform her of the idea he deduced; but her senses were also cut off thanks to a blindfold and earphones.

Jason thought of bumping Christina, something to let her know he was still there, and their search for truth wasn’t lost. A bump to say, that this incredibly scary experience was leading them exactly where they needed to go. Somewhere, the spider web was planning to retake a pipeline.

Jason decided to try it, what did he have to lose? The jerks in the front seat wouldn’t care, as long as he and Christina didn’t escape; monetary payments were all they cared about.

Bumping Christina, or at least what he thought was Christina, Jason was rudely surprised when he bumped something squishy. It felt like human flesh, like a human being; but his soul knew it wasn’t the love of his life, it was something much worse.

“How cute, he’s playing with our other package. He’s lucky the bounty didn’t call for both of them dead, or they’d end up just like that mangled piece of communist pinko,” bragged the driver. He was only too happy to take part in other’s misery, whether he got paid for it or not.

“I told you we should have turned that thing in already, it stinks like hell. I’ll bet he doesn’t know he’s playing with a dead Congressman,” blurted the man in the back of the van. He rarely spoke, but was always up for quick paydays when defending American honor.

The four men at the gate began to wonder what was happening. The van had been in park and idling for five minutes, refusing repeated requests to roll down its grease stained windows.

“All right all right,” the driver acquiesced. He worried the guards’ gigantic guns would be pointed at his face if he didn’t comply.

“It’s about time you assholes showed back up, took you long enough. These two are the most dangerous people this republic has ever had the pleasure of fighting. They’ve taken down a Congressman and a President. Then they had that President killed, by the same guy who built the stupid pipeline we’re being paid to take control of. So hurry up, take the old package to the pits. Take these two to the cabin, we have many questions for them,” demanded the greying and weathered guard. He made sure everybody knew, the extra-long gun he carried was definitely not because he was compensating for something.

“Ok ok, don’t get your panties in a bunch.”

The fifteen foot tall gates, with two feet of razor wire slowly creaked open to reveal a modern militia training ground, which could be very easily considered the American Christian version of al Qaeda. However, the elites, whose judgments and opinions started and ended wars, would disagree. Just uttering the words, radical Islamic terrorist caused it to become real; and caused billions of dollars to flow into their pockets. Manufacturing fear can be hugely profitable, especially when rebuilding Jerusalem.

Small arms fire echoed off rolling green hills, which were dotted with tall, almost invincible trees that would withstand world wars. Of course nobody on earth wanted to test that theory, heck the idea was probably just some ignorant person’s imagination going crazy from too much coffee. Was that why politicians said the darndest things?

After meandering through the most amazing scenery, a paradise if you will, it became apparent this wasn’t paradise. Of course, paradise is a subjective term, just like patriotism.

“Ok ok, out of the car,” demanded the driver, expecting Jason and Christina to hop out of the van and stand at attention.

“You realize they can’t hear you right, their senses are cut off. You know like when you masturbate,” volleyed the passenger. He enjoyed working with his loud and obnoxious cohort, but got tired of him speaking from his poop hole.

“Ha ha ha, you’re so funny. Hey, you think that Congressman we killed will net us a good payday? You know, something I can take your mom out with,” sniped the quiet one from the back. He jumped down with Jason in one hand, and Christina in the other.

“Hey, Mr. sunshine decided to open his yakker,” replied the driver. The belly fat hanging over his belt caused him to wheeze walking the ten feet to where the quiet guy from the back held their two prized prisoners.

“Take these two inside, the boss wants to have words with them immediately. Let’s leave Mr. Washington in the van,” confidently related the quiet one. He didn’t always give orders, but when he felt the soul of humanity relied on him squashing descent, he was obligated to do his part.

Congressman Mark Ridell was the person everybody counted on, to do exactly what they didn’t want. He always had his own agenda, and always looked out for number one; that was the American way. Committing murder and running immigration schemes were in his wheelhouse, along with making people think he was dead; right before he slit their throats.

Jason and Christina were hauled into a redbrick, and tin roofed building that looked like it was purchased through Guantanamo Bay’s personal EBay account. It featured one table, and one light hanging from a string in the ceiling, aka every cop show ever. There were also two heavy breathing, heavy drinking detectives, itching to gain information by whatever means necessary. Maybe they were detectives, maybe they weren’t; nobody knew for sure. The only thing for certain was the next few moments would be unlike anything Jason ever experienced, let alone imagined.

What was happening to them? Jason woke up next to the beautiful and amazing love of his life that completed him in every way. They ordered breakfast, and next thing they knew they’re bound, gagged and taken away from all of their misconceptions. Were the employees of the restaurant they ordered from in on the abduction? Did the group that grabbed them pose as delivery people, so they could take them? Was the restaurant a front for shady activities, which would be revealed sooner than they hoped?

As millions of additional thoughts raced through Jason’s head, his hood, gag and earphones were torn off all in one motion. So much force was applied, that Jason fell to the ground. His hands were still bound, so he wasn’t able to grab anything to break his fall. Once his eyes focused, he saw Christina was outfitted like a Guantanamo prisoner; the same prisoners who would have been released if the United States was all it was cracked up to be.

As the sweaty and un-showered detectives started questioning Jason, Christina’s sensory deprivation devices were subsequently ripped off, causing her to cut her hand and practically sprain it when she hit the floor. The putrid smelling guys who thought they were detectives, had tossed their bottles on the ground during their drunken revelry the night before.

“Ahhhhh shit, looks like someone’s bleeding before the party gets started,” observed the raspy voiced man standing in the shadows.

“Come out here and face me you wimp. You think you’re so tough? You want to hurt my girlfriend and force me to watch? You probably watch torture porn, while paying a prostitute dressed like your mom to jack off that two inch dick of yours,” Jason irately blurted at the top of his lungs.

“Funny you say that, she actually dresses like your mom. Such a mouth on you” related the man in the shadows. He stepped into the light because he wanted to take part in the interrogation personally. He was now two inches from Jason’s face. “You remember me?”

“Well if you want me to talk, you’ll have to get that nasty ass stink breath out of my face,” Jason shot back. He looked at Christina to see if she was okay, she nodded that she was. She also gave him a look that said she wanted him to take the reins. A secret hideout in the woods, managed by people they brought down was horrifying. She didn’t want to end up as a redneck molester’s rape toy.

The man backed up five feet, but not before checking the chains around Jason’s wrists, waist, and feet to make sure they were firmly attached to the table. Christina knew the love of her life always supported her, and made sure she understood that she was the independent woman she knew she was. She took care of Jason, she also knew when he needed to take care of her; this was definitely one of those times.

“You know what, you do look familiar. You’re that guy from the train station in Detroit, the one from the info booth that was going to kick our asses,” Jason ribbed. He knew throwing this interrogator off his game was the only way to figure out what he was planning.

“Now you got it. You went there to find something hidden in a locker, and we took it from you. Then because of that double crossing dad of yours, here you are. The name is Billy Bob John, nice to formally make your acquaintance.”

“That’s your name, seriously? What kind of tobacco do you chew? What kind of cheap beer do you drink while screwing your sister?” Jason bantered.

“That Congressman friend of yours sure gave us grief, that’s why we took him. We finished what you couldn’t.”

“We were never friends. We took him down because he ran a slavery ring with immigrant laborers. When he screwed up, the Entities went after him. We teamed up to take them down, but he tried to kill us once again to get back on the Entities’ good side.”

Beads of sweat illuminatingly rolled down the foreheads of the fake detectives, who were now lounging in the back of the room. The mix of bad breath and B.O. was stifling, causing Christina to upchuck all over her shoes.

“Are you all right baby, try to sit up,” adoringly remarked Jason. He acted as if they weren’t locked in a shed with a bunch of foul smelling guys, who had weapons and plenty of ammunition.

“Isn’t that sweet? You two make a fine couple, and under different circumstances, we might have been friends. However, here we are,” revealed Billy Bob John as his tone calmed, and a let’s get down to business look spread across his face.

“You want to tell us what this is about?” Jason questioned with authority he was making his own.

“After seeing you at that rally, and then the bus station, I knew you’d be valuable assets. The person paying me, or should I say paying my group here, is spending a pretty penny to make sure you’re brought in alive. At first, I thought me and you agreed on all this antigovernment stuff. I thought we agreed that we needed to kill all immigrants, to make this the beautiful land of plenty once again; which it used to be before everybody came here to take everything.”

“You and I never agreed on that. Immigrants have been coming here since the beginning of time. Well not the beginning, but for a long damn time. I mean hell, unless you’re a Native American with a tribal ID card of a federally recognized tribe, you’re an immigrant too.”

“Excuse me?”

“Want me to say it louder? I’m an immigrant, you’re an immigrant, were all immigrants. That’s what makes this country great. People can come here from wherever to make a better life for themselves, and their families.”

“That’s all well and fine, but they take all the jobs that are supposed to go to people like me.”

“Sounds like a lack of jobs, not so much immigrants taking the few jobs there are.”

“Maybe.”

Christina gave Jason a look of amazement. Did he just get this rightwing, antigovernment whack job to admit that immigrants weren’t the real problem? She was very curious where this was going, as confidence cascaded over her like a gentle waterfall.

“If the real problem is lack of jobs, what do you think causes that?” repeated Jason as he winked at Christina because he was close to his point.

“Criminal, nasty, dirty and disease ridden immigrants that come here, haven’t you been listening?” snapped Billy Bob as his rage returned, indicated by the red tint of his clean shaven cheeks.

“Why don’t you ask why there aren’t more jobs, instead of harping on the people who take the few jobs there are? They’re the hard working people who are the backbone of this country. Wouldn’t you agree, somebody who risks life and limb traveling thousands of miles to work 14 poorly paid hours a day, just to send money home to his wife and four kids, is as hard working as any American citizen?”

Billy Bob leaned back in his hard metal chair and pondered. Was this young punk trying to throw him off his game, poking his weak spots so they could escape? Or was it possible Jason was actually trying to practice what he preached? Whatever the answer, Billy Bob was intelligent enough to know he had to listen; it might lead to what he was looking for.

“That certainly sounds like the American way. Corrupt cops and governments allow cartels to control the smuggling routes, so they make tons of cash smuggling these people in,” Billy Bob returned with a sneer. He knew he could prove Jason wrong, and make him see the error of his ways, or could he?

“The Mexican government is corrupt, there’s no denying that. Many officials who control the border areas, and those smuggling routes you speak of, are on the cartel’s payroll. We both agree on that. Let’s build off that agreement.”

Knowing he was ordered to simply hold Jason and Christina until the big boss arrived, Billy Bob didn’t need to interrogate them. In fact, if previous history was any indication, it was better if he didn’t. Nevertheless, he couldn’t resist. “Their government is corrupt, and so is ours, that is the problem. And?”

“That’s just it. If both our governments are corrupt, we must ask why. If I learned anything in school, it’s to follow the money. Why are these people smuggled in? Could it be to work in fields and factories for pennies on the dollar, because no American would or should work for such a minor pittance?”

“Go on,” inferred Billy Bob very curiously.

“If people make tons of money off cheap labor, wouldn’t you agree that it causes a shortage of jobs?”

“Yeah, but it’s still the immigrants.”

Jason knew he was going to have to spell it out blacker and whiter. “If employers don’t want to pay American workers a living wage, it’s because their profits become exponentially bigger when they use immigrants. We agree on that. If all the jobs in Shanghai and Taiwan were still here, Americans would be a lot better off.

We don’t make anything anymore. People don’t have the means to support themselves, because the government has loosened regulations so much that corporations have free reign. They use this to control the masses by keeping them pacified with bread and circuses.”

“I always liked that term, so accurately portrays the problem,” echoed Billy Bob with a smile. How odd Christina thought, they’d been chained up in this deliverance playground for an hour or two, and Jason had the head guy smiling. Man he was awesome.

“I use bread and circuses as often as I can. Anyway, government isn’t the only problem, its private corporations as well. I don’t believe all of them are evil and out to do harm, but plenty of them are, and give all the good actors a bad name. We must make corporations work better, not destroy them,” Jason continued.

“Why shouldn’t we tear it all down? People like us could surely build something better in its place.”

Was this sweaty fat guy who played a detective on TV for real? Was he conspiring with the very person he was paid good money to keep chained up and quiet? Well not necessarily quiet. The big boss didn’t care if the package was damaged, just that it arrived. “Are you taking this asshole’s side? You know who’s paying us, right?” inquired the driver.

“Shut your mouth before I flatten you. If I let the air out of you, you’d fly around the room like a balloon losing its air. You have no idea what my job is. Your feeble brain can’t even begin to comprehend the complexities of what me and this guy are conceiving.”

“Now you’re conceiving with him? Do you need to borrow the barracks on the other side of the property, so you two can conceive twins?”

Ignoring the peanut gallery, Billy Bob urged Jason to continue. “We don’t have to tear it all down, we just have to make it work better,” Jason inserted, wondering why this guy was being so nice. Was he trying to make Jason pliable for when the big boss showed up? Or was he authentically interested in what Jason had to say? If pulling people together was how to create a better world, Jason knew starting with his enemies was how to build a strong foundation.

“How do we make it better?”

“We uncover corruption wherever it is, using weapons of accountability and humanism. We show people that corrupt string pullers and money changers will be held accountable, if we believe they can be. They make us think we have no power, and that we have to put up with whatever they do. However, just like the Wizard of Oz, their power is illusory because we’ve allowed them to have it. We greatly outnumber them, and they know it.” Jason knew he was walking a fine line, but if he could get this guy to come around, he could get others, and the next revolution would begin.

“I need to think for a minute,” expressed Billy Bob as he backed away from the interrogation. The two greasy voyeurs standing in the corner seized the opportunity, and predatorily scooted towards Jason and Christina. The glint in their eyes came from the masochistic, torturous pleasure they thought was about to commence.

The dark end of the room surrounding the table practically disguised their actions. While Billy Bob John was thinking in the corner with his back turned, the two sticky and gross Neanderthals moved towards the interrogation table. One of them grabbed Jason and put a gag in his mouth, while the other grabbed Christina and forced her to bend over the table.

As the greasy creep undid his belt buckle and unzipped his zipper, Christina knew what came next. Jason was forced to watch, but couldn’t make a sound due to the unknown body fluid soaked sock that was shoved in his mouth.

The guy holding Jason was watching the scene, but got excited and threw Jason down. He unzipped and started pleasuring himself, as the other man ripped off Christina’s clothes and was ready to pleasure himself as well. The microscopic brain in his pants was obviously guiding his actions, because he forgot to gag Christina’s mouth. He was too excited to get laid, even forcefully.

Christina let out a blood curdling scream that pierced Billy Bob’s ears, causing him to immediately turn around.

“What the fuck do you guys think you’re doing?”

“Just having a little fun, you said the big boss doesn’t care what condition they’re in. Come on, it’s been forever since I’ve been laid,” admitted the greasier and geekier of the two as he continued pleasuring himself behind Christina. He was a person that if he wasn’t out in the woods playing militia, he would surely have been planted in his mom’s basement, playing computer games like any 29 year old virgin.

“You think you can just do that? Don’t you have any respect for women?” Billy Bob raged as he pulled a hunting knife from his belt. He always kept it razor sharp, he never knew when he’d have to cut something off.

“What are you going to do with that?” the two grease balls echoed in an equally frightened tone.

“Teach you a lesson. We might be fighting a war that goes deeper than we understand, but you never do that to a woman who doesn’t ask for it.”

Without saying another word, Billy Bob advanced towards the both of them. They tried putting up a united front, because they thought their commander had lost it. They were in such haste to defend themselves they didn’t pull up their pants. This left Billy Bob an opening to bring a learning opportunity to these two unschooled individuals.

Jason turned around just in time to see Billy Bob cut off both their dicks with one swipe. The bleeding and limp phalluses fell to the floor, along with their blood spewing owners.

The screams were almost as deafening as Christina’s, as they writhed around on the floor bleeding profusely. Billy Bob pulled the gag out of Jason’s mouth, and stuck it in the first guy’s mouth. Then he grabbed a pile of shit covered toilet paper he used as a torture tool, and shoved it in the other guy’s mouth.

“Thanks man, I owe you one. If I wasn’t cuffed, I would have done that myself. They deserve to die for trying to rape my love.” Jason bellowed as he looked at Christina to see if she was okay.

She turned around to see what happened, and saw her attempted rapist bleeding from a hole where his penis used to be. She hocked the biggest loogie she ever created right on the guys face. “I’m okay, I guess. Those guys looked pretty depraved. I’m surprised they didn’t try to rape you too.”

“That was always my biggest fear about going to prison,” Jason explained. He was trying to lighten the mood, even though he knew there was no way in hell that was possible.

“You guys okay?” queried Billy Bob because he authentically cared.

“We’ll be okay. Looks like you saved us, thank you again,” commented Jason. Was this supposed to happen while they were being led to where they needed to go?

“People like us three, people who are real human beings and have respect for others, have to unite. We have to squash people like these two assholes, and bring down the bigger assholes that we recently agreed are the real problem,” admitted Billy Bob. He never thought he would be agreeing with somebody he had pegged as a leftist, liberal commie.

“I told you, we really can come together, we just need to communicate openly and honestly,” Jason repeated.

With a new found confidence that good things were still possible, Billy Bob walked toward the hooks in the table Jason and Christina were connected into, and unlocked their handcuffs and chains.

“You’re letting us go?” theorized Christina, cynical about Billy Bob’s new found positivity.

“We three have a lot of important work to do.”

The chains that held Jason and Christina were made of a very heavy metal. They made a loud clang when they bounced off the signal blocking, concrete slab the New Jerusalem warriors installed. Various Government and spy agencies looking for them couldn’t get through it, or so they thought.

Jason felt pain around his wrists, as did Christina where the cuffs were tightly linked. It gave Jason a flashback to when Marty killed the President and saved him from certain death. Was it happening one more time? Was Marty behind this whole thing? Was he the big boss Billy Bob was waiting for?

Before new partnership building questions left Jason’s lips, he heard a loud explosion outside the darkened shed they convened in.

“What the hell was that?” Christina interjected. She wanted to show that she was just as tough as the guys. She was, that’s why she didn’t have to constantly prove it. Maybe it was because she didn’t have testosterone or a little brain in her pants, controlling her critical thinking skills.

“Let me check,” relayed Billy Bob as he walked ten feet to the single wooden door. As he slowly turned the knob, ten armor clad men burst in and threw Billy Bob to the floor. The piercing sound of machine gun fire made it sound like this wasn’t a training mission, but an insurrection.

“Jason and Christina are you all right,” barked the squad leader as his underlings tied Billy Bob’s hands and led him outside.

“We’re fine I guess, just very confused. We were abducted, beaten and interrogated. Christina was almost raped, before Billy Bob castrated both the assailants, which are those two you see bleeding out on the floor,” Jason explained all in one breath.

“We’ll fill you in on the way,” the squad leader compassionately offered.

“We don’t have a choice do we?” Jason knew sometimes they had to go along, to get along. When he stood up to leave, he noticed the entire ten man squad wore military fatigues, with little Jewish stars over their hearts. “Are you who I think you are?”

“Since I’m not a mind reader, I have no idea what you think. This is the first time I’ve met you. All I know, is we have to get out of here before the rest of this militia fires RPGs at us.”

The squad leader hurried Jason and Christina to the waiting helicopter, as the rest of the squad shot all around them, trying to give the pilot cover to take off. A bullet whizzed by Jason’s head close enough that he felt the wind of it. He knew this might be part of their mission, or it might be something completely new. The only thing for certain, was they had to keep journeying forward.

After what seemed like an eternity, the helicopter finally lifted off. They flew for about ten minutes before landing at a private airstrip, where a small plane was waiting.

“What is this? Where are you taking us?” Christina demanded. Her courage was building because her soul could tell something big was coming.

The helicopter touched down without anybody answering Christina, which she didn’t see as a slight, but priority organization. “Come on, we have to leave before those crazy rednecks find this spot, and shoot us down,” demanded the long hair and bearded 35 year old squad leader, as he helped Christina and Jason to the waiting plane.

The three of them boarded within five minutes of the helicopter landing. Just as the plane taxied down the grass and rock covered runway lined with towering trees, Jason started having flashbacks of when he and Christina escaped Cuba. “At least were not being shot at,” Jason chuckled to Christina, trying to get her to smile the beautiful smile that always hugged his soul.

“That’s true, and at least my dad isn’t getting shot at,” remembered Christina. She wondered how her dad was doing in Cuba. Maybe they could see him, after they did whatever it was they were currently doing.

“Come on man, liftoff,” the squad leader barked at the pilot. Bullets began to rain down upon them from 360 degrees. “We have to get in the air before they aim their missiles, even though they probably couldn’t hit us anyway.”

The pilot wasted no time in pulling on the stick, and up in the air they went. Jason and Christina peered out the windows as bullets flew at them like a swarm of firefly’s having an orgy.

After five minutes, the sky was clear, and the deafening sound of bullets stopped. “You going to tell us what the hell is going on? Where the hell are you taking us?” inquired Jason. He needed one ounce of clear honesty so he wouldn’t explode

“Those jokers down there thought they were the warriors of a New Jerusalem, but they weren’t shit. I’m taking you to the old Jerusalem. Somebody wants to talk to you.”

 

CHAPTER 2

“Cronos has been biting my butt,” Marty muttered to himself. Peering into the eyes of another bullet riddled body of an unknown enemy he wondered, was this what his life had become? Was his only purpose to fend off whomever was coming out of the woods, to do whatever their sardonic minds could dream up?

“I don’t know where time has gone either,” related David, a 40 year old Mossad agent with something to prove. “One day I’m running drills, next thing I know I’m deployed to a fire fight in Jerusalem to protect some American.”

“I’m not just, some American. Any of my countless enemies would tell you that.” Until this point, Marty’s purpose was to make his life as good as possible. With his critically thinking mind, he believed the more money he accrued toward the furtherance of evolution, the more love he could inject into the system. Marty believed money could help bring love. Whether love came first, Marty hadn’t given the concept much thought since Christina’s mom broke his heart all those years ago.

“You might have a lot of enemies, but you have many more friends. Just like anybody whose heart was in the right place, 90% of the time anyway,” ridiculed David. He only knew Marty for the few months since the firefight, but understood right away that he held a deeper purpose.

“What about the other ten percent?”

“I’m sure your special visitors will answer that question forthwith.”

The old city of Jerusalem had endured thousands and thousands of years of wars and ethnic cleansing, followed by brief periods of hopeful peace. This was usually followed by somebody being assassinated by a member of that persons own religious group, who thought they went too far by even negotiating treaties. These treaties were a huge step forward, but didn’t go nearly as far as they needed to. If people want to live in peace, justice and equality, mutual respect and compromise are imperative.

Keeping the balance was exactly why Marty found himself in the basement bunker of a Jerusalem Mossad base. His roots were one reason he could call this place home, and was hoping Jason could too.

“This place is pretty well stocked with weapons,” Marty exclaimed. He looked around the conference table he and 8 other men were sitting around, and noticed women were guarding all entrances and exits; as well as the arsenal Marty knew could start something major.

“It’s got to be well stocked, we never know when some Palestinian terror group will attack. There is a base is ten miles from here. We’ve been trying to infiltrate it, so we can rot them from the inside,” barked Rebekah, the 35 year old Mossad leader who held ultimate authority. Nobody turned away when she spoke, so Marty figured he better not either.

“I might be able to help with that,” Marty interjected to scowls of disbelief. To the Mossad, he was just another American cowboy who thought world politics would bend to his will.

“What’s your plan, drop more bombs and kill more people? We all know you’re good at killing, especially ex-Presidents, right?” Rebekah sarcastically inquired.

Marty immediately went into a flashback. His eyes slowly traversed the very plain room, staring blankly into space. While the guards and everybody sitting around the solid oak table stared at him, wondering if he snapped, Marty remembered what brought him to Jerusalem.

He left Jason, Christina and Bryan back in Detroit when they escaped the Entities hit squad, but only felt bad about Goose. He was the best man Marty ever knew. He realized they wouldn’t have been able to escape without Goose’s heroic last stand. Running through the woods and thick brush while bullets flew by his ears, with his no longer estranged son and his consciousness building crew, made him understand what was really important.

“You okay man? Somebody slip a mickey into your coffee?” bantered David, questioning Marty’s emotional stability.

“I’m fine, just thinking about why I came here. I thought seeing the old city would be good for my soul. Kind of the Jewish version of Malcom X’s Hajj to Mecca,” Marty expressed genuinely. The other agents in this very clean and very institutional room were all thinking the same thing. Was this guy nuts?

“You’re comparing yourself to Malcom X? Are you saying that all Jews and Muslims are alike? Should we just get over the fact that we’ve been stupidly fighting for thousands of years?” fumed Rebekah. She didn’t like her senior agent David bringing Marty here, but she trusted him; and not because they slept together, but because they both wanted a peaceful world.

“The fact that Muslims and Jews have many similarities is beside the point. I came here because I wanted to see where my people came from, and see if it stirred anything up. Before I made it to the Western Wall to pray, I was stopped by a couple of gentlemen asking for directions. How would I know they were looking for a hostage opportunity?” Marty blurted out because his life depended on it. To mentally prepare for Jason and Christina’s arrival, he had to tell the Mossad something; something that wouldn’t make them run for Chevy Chase and his Funny Farm.

“You didn’t know every militant Palestinian group makes money off hostages? They get their biggest paydays when they nab rich Americans.”

David was listening to his commanding officer and Marty go back and forth like a ping pong match. Maybe it never worked out between them because she always demanded the last word, and always needed to be right.

After five minutes of white noise in the war torn city, David spoke up because he knew they were at a stalemate. “It was one of those scorchingly hot Sinai desert days, when I saw these guys getting in Marty’s face. I’m sure they didn’t brush their teeth, but their rotten asshole breath isn’t the point. If we didn’t happen to be there, Marty would have been mutilated worse than the last bunch of hopeful peace makers.”

“Didn’t a fire fight ensue before you got there? Are you remembering right? Or has all that hashish gone to your head?” Rebekah questioned with a devilish grin. Her open stance indicated she was open to suggestions, and any comebacks.

“I do like my hash, but it never gets in the way of work. I smoke some bowls after I get off work, so what? It’s just like your wine, and just like your beer,” David remarked honestly. He pointed at the restless but eager for change Mossad agents, who all looked at each other and said without words, what the hell is going on right now?

“What’s your point? Are you going off on one of your tangents again?” Rebekah demanded. Her shoulder length black curls wisped ever so slightly from an office fan Marty insisted on.

“My point is, the firefight started before I got there. Don’t forget, we fought off twenty men who appeared out of thin air near the Wailing Wall. Since when do Palestinians have sleeper cells that close to the holy sites?”

“Since your namesake was king of this land.”

Marty found one of the red velvet couches to be extremely comfortable for this quarrel between two jilted lovers. All he needed was some popcorn, and some of David’s hashish. Maybe they could have some waiting. Jason was bound to want some after getting kidnapped twice in two days he thought.

“How about I fill in some plot holes?” Marty offered to universal looks of “here we go again”. This seasoned group of agents might not have seen real action for a while, but wasn’t that the point. Only fight when necessary, because rescuing Marty was necessary. Or was it?

“Well Einstein, we’re waiting? You seem to know more than Israel’s entire spy apparatus,” barked the top lieutenant. He’d been with Rebekah for some time, defended her though the worst battles of the second intifada. He always had faith in her judgment, but was sick and tired of another American trying to tell him how it is.

“These Hamas guys or whoever they were demanded information about some American pipeline. Since my answers weren’t coming quick enough, they got rough. They punched and kicked me until I collapsed on the ground in a “once hopeful for change” heap.

I began thinking, was anybody out there watching? Did anybody care? That’s when David’s men rushed over to stop what they thought was a hostage taking. I don’t blame them, they saw a rich white American getting hassled by gun toting Arabs, they knew something was amiss,” Marty expressed. He was trying to get a laugh from the group, trying to appeal to their generationally imbedded racism toward Palestinians. Since none of them cracked a smile, maybe this was a new Mossad he thought. Maybe they grew beyond their shit in the past, and realized it was just that, shit.

“Stop trying to appeal to nativist beliefs you assume we have. You might not like that many of us believe all you Americans are the same. It’s the way you talk and carry yourselves, but don’t take it out on us. We don’t all think the same way.

Not everybody is a racist, we weren’t all taught in school to hate each other. Granted that has happened, but not nearly as much as the media has claimed. Just because Sadat and Rabin were assassinated after signing peace treaties, doesn’t mean it will happen again.” The laser focused hazel eyes of Rebekah the Mossad leader, made Marty realize he better watch his back. When one was in the old city, one always had to watch his back he thought.

“Anyway, when my visitors get here, I’m sure they’ll want to have this conversation all over again. Jason might be a Jew who loves pork sandwiches, but he hates the fact so much dumb crap gets carried out in the Jewish name; it makes him sick. Bringing him here is as much for him, as it is for me,” Marty artfully remarked. He hoped his son and future daughter in law’s flight was a safe and easy one. He knew the battle ahead was for the good of humanity itself.

As the agents yawned in boredom and disbelief because Marty was endlessly droning on, the dessert cart rolled in.

“Since we’ll be here for a while, I thought we should have something sweet,” Rebekah disclosed.

Fresh pastries and cardamom coffee created the intoxicating smell Marty dreamed of ever since he left America. Maybe he hadn’t dreamed of it, maybe the munchies overtook his critically thinking brain. Whatever the answer, he went full force towards the cart.

“I want one of everything, and don’t spare the icing,” Marty eagerly requested. Little did he know that one of Rebekah’s lackeys grabbed a mixed box from the bakery down the street, put it on a rolling cart, and pushed it into the conference room.

“Don’t look too stoned over there,” David stated with as much honesty as he could drum up. He was attempting to hide his true feelings from the rest of the room. Did they catch it? Could they tell he was trying to express himself in a covert way? Did they realize politics is based on covert action?

All the agents followed David to the overflowing cart of confectionary Shangri-La. It was sure to spawn action toward positive change, or so Marty thought.

“I feel like the longwinded guy at the party. You know the one that loves to tell stories? They’re always interesting, but take way too long to explain. After zoning out, people start asking themselves, when is this guy going to shut the hell up?” Marty expressed to a warming crowd. Maybe it was the heavenly goodness Rebekah directed toward them. Maybe they figured the sooner they deciphered why they were there, the sooner they could go home.

“Sufganiyot and Hamantaschen are good any time of year. They are not only amazingly tasty, but also bring me one step closer to the people I’m being reintroduced to,” Marty divulged from the bottom of his heart.

“Are you going to get to it already? Do we need to get some of David’s hashish?” Rebekah volleyed. The room erupted in laughter so loud that if they weren’t five floors underground, Islamic jihad would surely have found their battle station; not battle station, more planning then battling. Maybe that was the problem with the world she thought, all planning, and no action. Maybe Marty could help with that. “We need more details.”

“I could say don’t get your panties in a bunch, but I don’t want to get thrown to the wolves,” Marty fired back to snickers from the group, and a death look from Rebekah. This particular death look, said please make my rescuing of you worthwhile. “After David’s men entered the fray, a bunch of Palestinian fighters seemed to come out of the shadows, and the firefight was on. However, they didn’t come out of the shadows. They didn’t spontaneously appear out of thin air. They were very real, and have probably known all the best hiding places for thousands of years.”

“We know some pretty good hiding places too. We’ve been here just as long,” David piped up. Marty seemed different he thought. He talked tough like any other obnoxious, know it all American; but David could tell that’s not who he was. David wasn’t a psychic, just a man who yearned for positive social and political change. The synchronicity of Marty being tossed into mankind’s oldest battle wasn’t lost on him.

“It’s okay David you don’t have to tell us where you hide your hash. Just give me some later. Anyway, once everybody was involved in the firefight, a bullet grazed my shoulder. I’ve seen enough movies to know a flesh wound isn’t a big deal. I’m not Bruce Willis in Die Hard, but I had to keep going.

Or should I say keep hiding. David’s men seemed to be handling it, which was good because I didn’t have a gun. I ducked behind a burned out car from the suicide bombing a couple weeks ago, and tried to see where the shooting was coming from. The pops were so deafening, I couldn’t tell. When David and I peered over the hood of a former Honda, I saw a Jeep parked in an alley. It was a block behind the Palestinian’s frontline. The driver looked familiar, so I asked David if he’d cover me while I talked to him,” Marty succinctly divulged.

“That was one of your nuttier moves. I told you to stay back, but with American bravado that comes from I don’t know where, you went forward anyway. You had a look in your eye that you shouldn’t be messed with. Until that point I thought you were the average American tourist, getting involved in something they shouldn’t. If it wasn’t for the Mossad not giving a shit and going after who needs to be gone after, the world would be infinitely more dangerous,” David bellowed. He looked at Marty with a familial connection in his heart. Which seemed strange because they hadn’t met before, or had they?

“David’s ear piercing yells ordered me to retreat, but the wiz of bullets and muzzle flashes didn’t scare me. I had been shot before, so I figured if I knew in my heart that something was the right thing to do, I did it. My previous life experience carried me forward, same as most humans in the world whether they know it or not. A force stronger than I ever felt before came over me.

I scurried behind the corner of a building, as David fired his gun until it seemed like it would melt. How he held something that hot, I’ll never know. I saw an opening, and ran for the Jeep. David’s continuous firing caused the Palestinian’s to duck around the corner, because they needed to reload. If I hadn’t been a high school track star and slept with all those cheerleaders, I would’ve never made it.”

“It’s surprising that big ego of yours didn’t weigh you down,” Rebekah snidely commented.

“It’s not my big ego that weighs me down,” sniped Marty with a chuckle. Rebekah gave him a look that reminded him of Christina. The same look that said, I love dirty jokes as much as the next person, but if you don’t get to the point, we’ll forget what we were talking about, and our fight’s purpose will float away. Maybe not float away, just hibernate until our minds are conscious enough to handle it.

“Ha ha ha, I forgot how funny Americans think they are.” David cajoled. He felt a connection with Marty, like a father figure of sorts; or maybe the cool uncle that let you smoke and drink, and wouldn’t tell your parents.

“As I got twenty feet from the Jeep, I realized why the guy looked familiar. I saw him on a mission a while back, while I was working for this private firm. He got the better of me then, I knew I couldn’t let that happen this time,” Marty explained to a much more interested audience than before.

“What missions did you run? For whom? You didn’t say anything about that. Who are you? Who do you work for? Is your name even Marty?” Rebekah blasted like a drill sergeant on the first day of boot camp.

“I assure you, my name is Marty. As far as my previous employment, just know that I’ve made mistakes like everybody has. I took advantage of opportunities I thought were a good idea, until I realized, they only benefited me. With so many people hurting because of the Entities’ corruption, I knew I had to do something. I’ve dedicated my life to furtherance of collective evolution, by following synchronicities along my journey.”

“You’re still beating around the bush,” Rebekah deduced.

“Is your bullshit detector going off? Once I realized who the man in the Jeep was, I had to do something. I creeped slowly along the rubble strewn street, and inched closer to the rear of the Jeep. The streets reminded me of news stories from the intifadas. All the bloodshed was so pointless, especially over a piece of land the size of New Jersey. Anyway, when I was a few feet behind the Jeep I yelled, hey asshole it’s Marty, remember me?”

“Sounds like something out of a bad action movie,” David chimed in. Little did Marty know that David loved one-liners as much as Marty’s incoming visitors.

“It was a bad action movie. The whole thing could have been “Last Action Hero”, but it wasn’t. I’m not Arnold Schwarzenegger,” Marty announced, declaring himself to be more than the average tourist.

“Okay big shot, tell us the rest.”

“As this wanna be player got out of the Jeep, I grabbed the Desert Eagle out of his hand, and shot him in the face before he reacted. His driver reached for a sidearm, but I shot it out of his hands, and he ran off. While I made my way around the Jeep to follow him, I saw his men had finished reloading. They were ready to defend against anything.

That’s when David and his men advanced toward where all the Palestinians congregated. When their leader mumbled something in broken English about me shooting his brother or cousin, David and his troops flattened all twenty of their guys. A hail of bullets rained down like a plague on pharaoh,” explained Marty. He wasn’t sure what to say or do next. He put Mossad agents in danger, and wasn’t telling them why.

Would they believe him? Would they let him escape back to America? They might Marty thought, but not before he came here to do, what he came here to do. It was funny to think that shooting a man’s face off was the tip of the iceberg, but on the world’s oldest battleground, it eerily made sense.

Realizing that Marty finished telling the story, Rebekah spoke up. “Don’t go selling this story to the television now. I don’t want some crappy movie made by people who don’t understand what really happened, or why. People don’t realize that yeah, we go wherever and do whatever is needed to defend the Jewish people. We also know other groups defend their people with the same ruthlessness. We all have the same enemies, we just need to unite and come together.”

“I couldn’t have said it better myself. Which is closer to why I’m actually here,” Marty inferred as he took a sip of the intensely spiced coffee in front of him. He hoped his words weren’t the tipping point, but a jumping off point.

Every Mossad sitting around the table, uneasily adjusted themselves. Not only were their feet and butts falling asleep, but their minds were as well. They all thought, “we save this guy who tells one lie after another. He probably needs help killing his enemies?” Their collective thinking was something David liked, and so did Rebekah. They were great soldiers who acted on the mission’s importance, not fleeting emotion.

“You have any more information you aren’t telling us? Do we need to throw you to the dogs? You know how easy it is to hide a body in the desert?” Rebekah orally stormed, wanting Marty to feel the full weight of her words.

Marty wasn’t intimidated because he knew the answer would be revealed soon. “I’ll tell you guys when my visitors arrive. Since I’ll have to explain to them why you rescued me and why I brought them here, I’ll wait. I hate to repeat myself.”

“Just know that if you fuck with me, you’ll beg to be in the heavenly confines of a Palestinian torture chamber,” Rebekah firmly stated.

Marty stood up from the couch because it felt like his feet were being poked by a thousand needles. “When does the plane get here?”

They had been jawing back and forth for so long, that when Rebekah looked at her watch, she realized the reason for this blustery American being here was about to revealed. “Very soon, in fact let’s load up and meet them at the airstrip. I figure you all have some connection, and want to welcome them to the land where it all began.”

“I thought that was Iraq?” Marty snickered. He knew if he couldn’t make himself laugh, what was the purpose of anything?

“Keep talking shit, and I’ll personally deliver you to the Baath party. They go by another name since Sadaam fell, but they’re much more ruthless. Which happens when one terrorist group, splinters off another terrorist group because they’re too violent a terrorist,” Rebekah cajoled because truth streamed through her words. She could talk shit with the best of them, but didn’t need somebody mucking up all her positive strides.

“If you’re done playing footsie, let’s go,” ordered David. He knew Rebekah and Marty were just organizing their pecking order, but why not attempt to be a unifying force? Why not try to stop all the bluster when they’re going after the same enemy? Why not try to make their end goals possible, by putting forth the concrete steps to making them happen?

After riding an elevator up twenty floors to the ground level, Marty wasn’t sure what to expect. Only Jason could help him do what he needed to do. The front door of the abandoned factory that housed the Mossad, only looked abandoned from the outside. Hiding in plain sight was how the Mossad put themselves where they needed to be, so they could save the planet from itself.

The sun blinded Marty as they marched out the door, causing him to squint. How long had they been down there? Three bullet-proof S.U.Vs would have been Marty’s preferred way to travel, but the pickup trucks that pulled up would have to do.

“Where did you get those, terrorist illustrated?” Marty insinuated as several white Toyota pickups with mounted 50cals pulled up. “Aren’t these the same trucks that the people you’re fighting drive?”

“Bingo smart guy. We have to drive through East Jerusalem, so we have to blend in. We can’t get bogged down in a firefight on the way,” Rebekah bellowed. David and ten Mossad agents loaded into the trucks, followed by Marty and Rebekah. “Just shut your face and try not to get us killed.”

The Toyota caravan pulled onto a dirt road that stretched as far as the horizon, and then a whole lot more. Marty knew that what looks like an abandoned road, can end up being well traveled, and littered with roadside bombs, IEDs, and terrorist splinter groups trying to make a name for themselves.

After an eerily calm ten minute drive, the road was still completely empty, not even a bird. Was Rebekah lying when she said they needed to travel undercover? Was Rebekah really who she said she was? Was this group really the Mossad? After fighting for the Entities and then against them, and then playing both sides so he could make more money, Marty knew anything was possible. He decided to roll with it. That’s what Jason would do, at least that’s what he always wanted Jason to do.

As they approached a ten foot barbwire fence whose razors shined in the sun, (threatening to bleed out anybody who attempted to jump over them) armed guards noticed the trucks coming towards them, and got in battle position. Marty worried they were about to pull onto a secret IDF base, looking just like the people the IDF were fighting against.

Marty’s worries were put to rest as they slowed to a stop by the front gate. He noticed Rebekah talking to the guards, who were laughing and listening intensely. Rebekah demanded respect from the most dangerous men in the world. She had proven herself on the battlefield time and time again, but she also had fiery eyes that could make any man melt. The female power of persuasion wasn’t lost on her. She just didn’t deploy it for fear of being accused of using sex as a weapon. The last thing she needed was to have her unit accused of being rapists because they followed her example.

The Toyota caravan pulled through the barbwire covered fencing to reveal 15 foot high bomb blast walls. This place was pretty fortified Marty thought, a great place to keep Jason and Christina safe.

“Pull up to the airstrip, the package is here,” Rebekah yelled into the radio. The gunners manning the 50cals glanced around to make sure the coast was clear. They drove five more minutes until reaching an abnormal clump of trees that had no earthly place in the desert. They pulled through the natural green tunnel, revealing a rock covered airstrip with deep ruts that only the best pilots could land on.

“Is that the plane?” Marty queried David as they pulled up and shut off their engines. The gunners were at the ready in case of any surprise attacks.

“Were you serious about wanting to share some hash? I’ll bet smoking with you would be very entertaining,” revealed David, who was feeling an unspoked bond with Marty.

Feeling that same bond Marty responded, “hell yeah, and so will Jason.”

The door to the junkyard flying machine opened, and a staircase folded out. What a thing to rescue people in a crappy looking plane Marty thought. However, maybe that was how the Mossad hid in hostile countries.

Before he could think of the right response, Rebekah walked up to greet Christina and Jason. “Welcome to Israel, I wish you were here under better circumstances.”

“You want to tell me what the hell is going on, and why you brought us here? I’m very thankful for the rescue from those redneck wackos, but who the hell is this guy I flew halfway around the world to talk to?” Jason demanded impatiently. He grabbed Christina’s hand with a loving, but firm grip. He looked in to her eyes, and saw she had the same concern as to who brought them there.

“Follow me and I’ll show you,” Rebekah explained. An airstrip lined with trees was very abnormal for the middle of the desert Jason thought. Then again, what about chasing the unknown was normal?

Jason rubbed his eyes, hoping to finally see what, or who was responsible for saving him and Christina.

“Hey Jason, hey Christina, I hope you don’t mind me bringing you here. I need help fighting the Entities.”

“Marty?”

 

CHAPTER THREE

“You mind telling me just what the hell we’re doing in the middle of the desert,” Jason uttered with an angry skepticism he never felt before. “We get abducted from our home by some crazy rednecks, and then abducted again and brought to some black site. I’m a little concerned with your motives.”

Marty observed boiling anger mixed with fear protruding out of Jason’s every pore. He motioned the group to head inside to prevent anybody from hearing them. Was Marty worried some desert snake might hear what he was saying, then force him to eat from the tree of knowledge?

The compound surrounding the airstrip was an array of buildings and bunkers, some left abandoned after the 1967 war; some left abandoned because more important issues always seemed to spring up. While still others were broken down just to give the abandoned look.

“This place is right out of the movies, or maybe I’ve seen too many to know what’s actually happening behind the scenes,” Christina expressed. After her ordeal with New Jerusalem, she needed to discover the purpose of this trip.

“That’s funny you say that, this back drop was used in a documentary about the Palestinian Israeli conflict,” David interjected. He felt he knew Marty, but who were these mystery people that Marty made them risk life and limb to recover? “The producers disappeared after covering a series of car bombings at government buildings.”

“Let’s get these two inside. We have lots to talk about, so we might as well be comfortable,” exclaimed Marty. He wanted to get his why out of his system as fast as possible.

“Follow me to that little cabin over there. I have some special treats that will ease your anxiety. Or at least calm you enough so you’ll understand,” David compassionately remarked. The apprehension bleeding out of Jason and Christina’s eyes, proved they were practically the same person. Then again, if two people who loved each other were in an untenable situation, love would be all they had to keep them safe.

“I do like treats,” Jason fired back, knowing Christina probably needed to smoke more than him. He looked at Marty who gave him a wink, and an unspoken message that everything would be alright.

“Right through this broken down looking door is where I have my safety meetings. The two of you don’t look quite safe enough,” David related. He wore the warm smile of somebody who never stopped believing there was good in the world. He felt it much more intensely since Jason and Christina’s plane touched down. Were these the people he had been looking for?

Jason smiled at Christina, who smiled back because she really needed to get stoned. They followed Marty and David through the lichen covered redwood door that had seen better days. Why did Marty bring them here? What had he gotten himself into? What scheme was he trying to pull?

“You coming in? Hang with Rebekah and the guards if you want, you could smoke cigarettes while watching for snipers and RPGs?” David hypothesized because a blind man could have seen Jason’s brain working overtime.

“You think life is leading you somewhere, and then it guides you in the completely opposite direction because it feels like it,” Jason flippantly replied because he wasn’t sure who to trust. How could anybody trust that they were brought to the middle of the desert for a good reason? At least there weren’t a couple of holes already dug Jason thought.

“Come on baby, Marty obviously wanted us here for something important. Remember, you didn’t always agree with his methods, but he always looked out for your best interest. He would never knowingly do you harm,” Christina lovingly countered. Her soft brown eyes stared into Jason’s soul, giving it a warm hug.

As Christina lead a weary Jason into the cabin, Marty smiled. He wondered why this woman wasn’t his daughter in law yet. “Why haven’t you put a ring on her finger, you scared?” Marty bantered. He motioned for the group to cross through the Persian rug covered living room, and into the kitchen where a 6 person table was set up with chairs.

“We can use this as a meeting room, I’m sure we all need to feel a little safer.” Marty winked as Jason gave him a sneer that said I wish you’d get on with it already. Was Marty hiding something up his sleeve? Did he have some secret that benefited his own self-interest? What a dumb question Jason thought.

“Why don’t you all sit while I put some coffee on the stove,” relayed David. He could see the worry dripping off the weary travelers in front of him. These were people who had been through the unknown before, and knew unexpected things were always around the corner.

Jason and Christina sat next to each other on the leather lined chairs, which seemed abnormally comfortable. Of course, if one was thrown into the heart of a historical conflict, they knew their chances for success were much higher if they were comfortable.

As David got the coffee together, Marty stood at the head of the table and spoke. “Thank you for coming. I have an important job for you.”

“You want to sit down first, I don’t need somebody barking orders at me,” Jason bellowed. He was too experienced to let Marty assume power right off the bat. Why the hell was he in Israel in the first place?

“Okay, don’t get your panties in a bunch,” Marty sniped. He eased himself into the chair at the head of the table that was fit for a king, more like for David the way he glared at Marty.

“You know that’s the king’s chair, why don’t you let the king sit in it?” David snickered. “The coffee is done, mugs are in front of you there, help yourself.”

David set the coffee pot down on a hot pad to keep it from burning the table. Was this why they were summoned to the desert, to play Suzie homemaker with some crazies? Jason was desperate to find out. “Are you going to tell us what this is all about now?”

“Yeah, just let David grab the safety materials. They’ve changed a bit since our last meeting,” Marty snapped back. He knew Jason’s passion was as high now, as when he strolled into New York as an untested rookie. Of course it worked out then, so why not now? He paid Jason for years to go after the Entities. Or was that because Jason was his son, and he felt bad for not being there when Jason needed him most? Only time would tell.

“Relax baby, remember we have to trust the process and let it work,” Christina sweetly conveyed as she draped her arms around her special person.

“Okay, I’m okay. I just need answers,” Jason relented uneasily.

“No problem, this should help.” David offered Jason a long wooden Sherlock pipe, filled with some hash that stank like the Humboldt hills.

“This is what I’m talking about,” Jason happily accepted. He looked at the intricately carved pipe and knew it was a safety meeting veteran.

David handed Jason the lighter and sat down, while Marty adoringly looked on. He was glad to be with his son and the woman he loved. Would they be able to make a difference? Hell, they had done pretty good so far he thought.

“Good to know they have Bic lighters out here. Of course it doesn’t surprise me, considering all the American support Israel has received over the years. Being inundated with American products is part of the program,” Jason babbled as he put the lighter to the bowl.

“Usually you have to smoke before you start rambling nonsense. However, when it comes out of that big, beautiful brain of yours, it’s usually for our collective benefit,” ribbed Christina. “It has been a while since we smoked any hash.”

“Definitely has been a while,” Jason slowly stated because he was coughing his brains out. “This stuff will definitely do the trick.”

He passed the pipe to Christina who was eager to smoke herself normal again. Of course, she wasn’t sure if there was enough hash in the world to do that. “It sure will do the trick,” Christina happily admitted. She hit the pipe with a gusto that only comes when fighting and struggling for a better day.

“You used to smoke hash back home, how was it in the states?” David wondered. His ceaselessly inquisitive nature made him the most valuable member of his Mossad unit.

“It was more economical for me. I could buy half an ounce, and it would last me two months. A half ounce of weed would never last me two months. Plus, it was really tasty; the one legged French guy I bought it from really knew what he was doing,” Jason remembered. Whatever happened to that guy Jason thought? What happened to all of the characters he came across?

“One legged Frenchmen always make the best hash. Hell, I employ a dozen to make my special blend,” David countered, causing the whole table to roar with laughter.

Marty poured coffee for all of them, and Jason took a sip before he spoke, surprised by the taste. “The one legged Frenchmen is a story for another day, but what’s in this coffee? It’s not bad, just different.”

“Cardamom, a very common spice in this part of the world,” David answered.

“I used to cook with that sometimes back home. Well, before some guy named Marty called me out of the blue, offering me a job.”

Marty smiled, he knew the shit talking that so easily distended from Jason’s lips, was exactly the moxy that would help move the world forward.

“Why are you here Marty? Is this where you disappeared to after Goose was killed?” Jason quizzed. It was a piece of the puzzle he hadn’t quite located yet.

“Sorry about that, I know I left in great haste. I just couldn’t let anything else bad happen to you. Anyway, I had never been to the promise land before. Which is a damn shame when you grow up Jewish, and have never experienced the land where our people came from,” Marty proudly explained. He was showing a side of himself Jason had never seen, one that made him think maybe Marty really was his dad.

“I always wanted to go myself. Both of my grandmas went a bunch of times when I was younger. They would send me postcards, and bring back tasty snacks. I knew I’d need to come here one day to fully understand who I am,” Jason shot back. He started feeling something wasn’t quite right. When did Marty ever go out of his way for something that didn’t have to do with making money?

“I know it hasn’t been your preferred method of travel, but I’m glad I could provide you an opportunity to come here. I wanted to discover the homeland for my soul. I wanted to see the holy sites, and feel the heritage that made our people the strongest and most courageous warriors in all of human history.”

David beamed at Marty. He started getting a feeling that Marty was brought into his life for a purpose, which was beginning to play itself out.

“How did you end up at this secret base, which I can only assume is a secret Mossad outpost?” Christina theorized, as she adjusted her bluejeaned legs in her chair. She was always good at staying on point,

“I’m getting to that,” Marty relented. He smiled because he knew his son deserved the very best, and that’s exactly what Christina was. “I was walking toward this holy site to pray, when these guys started hassling me. Now I’ve been beaten and have given beatings plenty of times, but nothing crazy has ever happened to me in a foreign country.”

“Didn’t you get shot at in Cuba?” Jason queried with a smart ass sneer.

“This time was different. These guys pulled me into a building around the corner from the western wall, and prepared to hold me hostage by punching and kicking me. I was about to be bound and gagged when David’s men busted in. An intense firefight ensued, and three men on either side were killed instantly. David himself heard all the gunfire, and raced in without a thought for his own safety. I mean somebody would have to be crazy to run towards a bunch of flying bullets?

Anyway, he rushed in and caps the guy holding me. Luckily, the blood spewing from his blown apart face hit the wall behind me. Blood is really hard to scrub out in the middle of the desert.”

“What are you talking about man? You just have to scrub it with grit, and look around, plenty of sand,” David interjected because he wanted in on the story. He rescued Marty because a Palestinian sleeper cell was going to ransom him. He’d seen it a thousand times. However, the reason the Palestinians acted so quickly, was something he hoped Marty could clear up. He grabbed the pipe from Christina, who babysat it with her mouth open for the last five minutes.

“That’s true, sand does work as a good grit,” agreed Marty. “After David splattered the guy’s brains, and many other brains, those of us still standing rushed to a waiting Humvee and peeled ass out of there. That’s when we came here.”

“That sort of explains why you’re here, in the vague Marty way of explaining things. That doesn’t explain though what Christina and I are doing here.” Jason very obviously looked at David and not Marty while he spoke, knowing Marty might have been the conduit, but David was the how. “Why?”

“I’m curious about that myself,” David admitted. He took the fourth of his gargantuan hits off the Sherlock pipe, creating a thick cloud of intoxicating smoke that surrounded the four of them. Would white light, or would any light illuminate their path?

“I said I would inform you once Jason was here,” Marty claimed. He never liked to release information too quickly. What fun was that for his caustic mind?

“Well I’m here, so tell me. We’re all waiting with baited breath,” Jason demanded. His voice thundered not in a, “you better tell me or I’m going to kill you way” more like a, “tell me so we can get on with saving the world kind of way.”

Marty grabbed the pipe much to Jason and Christina’s surprise. “I need to feel safe too. I always felt an attachment to this place. It’s the home of my people, and where Jews from all over the world can find sanctuary and answers. The pipeline we built was an amazing accomplishment, and I’ve kept control of it in the hands of the people like you requested. I’m not making a dime off of it. After it proved a success, many violent militias and private armies came after my men and me. Everybody wants to control the answer to all of the world’s water problems.

I came to Jerusalem because they’re world leaders in desalination, as they get a huge portion of their water from the process. I figured I could get a few pointers on how to make our pipeline run more efficiently.”

“We do get much of our water from the ocean. We’re in the middle of the desert, and we needed to survive. You said all matter of violent groups popped up to attack you, is that why you came here? Not too smart to run to a place that’s covered with the most violent people on the planet,” David belted with a power that made him a great leader, but also one of the Mossad’s most feared assassins.

Marty never saw this side of David. The fact that Marty had killed people in interest of moving important collective goals forward, made him feel an even stronger connection to David than before. “We all have many layers that reveal themselves as needed,” passionately replied Marty. “I ran here because although I have many friends through business deals I’ve made, I have even more enemies. With all these unknown people after me, I knew the Mossad were the only people I could count on.

They’re the one group that will go anywhere and do anything they need to do. When they have an objective, there’s no stopping them. Let all those groups back home fight each other while I’m gone, maybe they’ll kill each other off. That way when I come back, I’ll have fewer enemies.”

Jason was stunned, his understanding of Marty was quickly defining itself, and so was the fact that Marty really was his dad. He had to speak up. “The Mossad has always been there to support Jews, wherever or whenever. I just don’t want to be pulled into a thousand year conflict because my dad is scared some rednecks, will put a bullet in his head.”

“Maybe I could throw my two cents in?” David queried, winking from new understanding.

“By all means,” Christina answered. She wanted to be a facilitator of progress like Marty, just less murderous.

“Being the only actual Mossad at this table,” expressed David while the rest of the group gave him a no shit look. “I can admire you for wanting to come here to see how we construct our pipelines, but the last thing we need is more people gunning for us. You think you have enemies behind every tree? Try being surrounded by Arab countries on all sides, wondering when they’ll finally build a rocket powerful enough to flatten a city. They teach their kids in school, or should I say train their kids in school to hate, kill and destroy.”

“Don’t you guys teach the same thing to your kids?” Jason deduced. Christina felt uneasy about Jason challenging a guy who spends all day fighting terrorists. From the passionate for change look he gave her however, she smiled, because the man she loved, loved humanity even more

“Some of our kids are taught to hate, sure. What are you supposed to do when people are constantly advocating for your destruction? I’m trying to make sure never again, is really, never again,” David bellowed, wondering who this punk kid thought he was. “Are you somebody who believes they can change things? You think you can chart a new course for a multi-generational fight, that will continue long after we’re gone?”

“Maybe, I want to do something. I mean, how are we any better? If we teach our kids the same thing they teach their kids, doesn’t that make us just as bad?”

“Uh, no, when was the last time you met a Jewish suicide bomber?”

“Never.”

“Well then I suggest you shut the fuck up when you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Marty had the same uneasy feeling as when Jason lured President Bowman into a trap. He hoped he wouldn’t have to mete out the same outcome on David. Marty was really starting to like him. Besides, how would he, Jason and Christina escape from somewhere in the desert surrounding Jerusalem? Jason gave Marty a look that said, let me handle this, I’ve been preparing for it my whole life. This passion was revealed when Marty first met Jason, and something that constantly proved itself in real time.

Christina grabbed Jason’s arm as to say, I’m scared, don’t let this guy bury us in the desert. He let her know with a loving glance, that this was but one more step into the unknown; not quite an abyss, but something close.

“I’ll have you know, I actually do know what I’m talking about. When I went to Hebrew school in America, we were taught that Arabs and Palestinians were evil. I was there. I know what I was told. Afterwards, I realized that people are different because we’re all unique. We can’t generalize about anybody we meet. We can’t think any group believes monolithically,” Jason happily revealed without a second thought.

David marinated over the words emanating from Jason’s mind. He started thinking about how Jews were generalized. “When one group proves over and over they’re a certain way, you have to expect the worst, and prepare for whatever happens.”

“While that’s true, it’s also not true. Have you met every single person in the world that belongs to any group? Unless you have, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Aren’t unfounded theories why people call the Jews liars and schemers who want to control everything?”

“I’ve heard such things.”

“Well then you know how important it is to upend that paradigm. You know as well as I do that there isn’t one group in the entire world that has been more persecuted than Jews. Nobody has been expelled more, or cordoned off in more ghettos than them. Given that history, how can you sit there and advocate doing the same thing to others? Doesn’t the Torah say that all people deserve to be free, and that all people deserve to live their life without being put into an imaginary box?”

“I’ve put a few of them in not so imaginary boxes.”

“I’m sure you have, or Marty here wouldn’t be in your presence.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Marty belted out because Jason was being the ungrateful bastard he always hoped he wasn’t.

“All I mean, is you have dispatched people, David here has dispatched people. It makes sense you two have grown close because people connect with others who have similar personalities,” Jason snapped back with intense focus, so Marty let him continue. “All I’m saying is that I love the Jewish people because I’m one of them. I’ve felt a strong connection to this land for as long as I can remember. It’s been proven to me over and over again through all my experiences, that not only are things rarely as they seem, they’re usually something completely different.

People have way more in common with each other then they think, and can agree on a lot more than they disagree on when they let their bullshit fade away. This Israeli Palestinian conflict is an extreme example of that, but you’re a perceptive person, you know it’s true.”

David leaned back in his chair and remembered his own upbringing. Were some of the things Jason said true? Was each group raised to hate each other, instead of raised to love each other? He zoned out for a few minutes, just like Jason when he got stuck in an existential hole; right before Christina yanked him out.

“You still with us man?” Marty caringly inquired. He had witnessed Jason getting lost in his head, but if their previous experiences were any indication, he knew David’s thoughts would eventually become clear.

“Yeah I’m still here, probably just stoned. You gave me a lot to think about Mr. Jason,” David acquiesced, not wanting to cede an inch. “Nobody has ever stood up to me like that.”

“Maybe it comes from not having much to lose,” Jason expressed from the bottom of his soul.

“What about me, am I not important to you?” Christina chimed in. She knew how strong the connection she and Jason had, she just had to give him shit once in a while; it kept him on his toes.

“Of course you’re important to me. I just know how this movie plays out. At least your hash is good,” Jason smilingly divulged to David.

“I like you. You raised a good boy here Marty.”

“Well I didn’t exactly…” Marty tried to stick up for his son, and would spend the rest of his life making up for all the times he hadn’t.

“I appreciate the support, but I can handle myself.” Jason gave Marty a wink. Without words he said to the man who revealed himself as his father only when it was convenient, that this step was the most important one yet.

The four of them wondered what the next hours, days and weeks would bring. They were brought together for a purpose, which would only reveal itself when they were ready.

“Okay, now it’s coming into focus. You came here to rediscover your Jewish heritage, and get some tips from our desalination people. You end up getting beaten. We shoot our way to rescuing you, leaving a much higher body count then we would have liked. We bring you here to our base, which feeds directly into your plan. You were on the run, and thought the Mossad could help because we always help Jews in need. Did I hit all the bullet points?” David questioned with a fervent passion for figuring out Marty’s real why.

People with the same thoughts and feelings can sense each other like homing devices, bumper boats or static electricity on a balloon. There were many ways Jason could describe their current predicament, and so could David. Their commonalties were impossible to ignore.

“You hit all the bullet points while also smoking the rest of that bowl. Let me hit that again before I ask how much you get paid an hour?” Marty bantered.

“How much do I get paid an hour?” Jason wondered.

“Yeah, for babysitting that bowl. You’ve been holding it for quite a while,” Marty volleyed to explosive laughter from around the table.

“You see Jason, that’s how you deliver a comeback. You just say it, you don’t wait five minutes. Timing is everything,” Christina needled. She loved keeping her soul mate on his toes. She constantly wanted to help him grow, even if he convinced himself he had lost that ability.

“I like this one, hang on to her,” countered David with a sincere smile.

“When our minds and hearts are open, we find what we’re supposed to find,” Jason explained. He had a respect for the next big thing around the corner, and what it led to.

“Right before Jason arrived, you said you needed his help fighting the Entities,” David remembered. He was attempting to fill in the blanks that still rolled around his head.

“They’re involved in everything.” Jason knew covert governments had their fingers in a lot of pies. He was just worried Marty was pulling them into something they wouldn’t be able to escape. Since things turned out alright before, he thought what the hell.

“Yes. I wanted you here because the Entities, and the private armies protecting them, keep their membership secret. Since they’ve started attacking the pipeline to gain control, they’ll pay anybody who can shoot. You helped take some of them down before, I thought why not this time as well?” Marty blurted because his mind was an inferno.

“I did help, but only when there was a defined mission, like finding blueprints in a Detroit bus locker. I could really go for a chili dog right now. I’d say a Cuban sandwich, but I don’t think David would be cool with me eating a bunch of pork,” Jason cajoled. He needed to be as honest as possible. It was the only way to figure out what the Entities were up to. Exposing them was the goal, but it seemed like when they opened one door, ten more closed up with guns blazing.

“I might not eat pork, but I never put down a Jewish brother for doing what brings him joy,” David responded with a hokey smile.

“I do love bacon, and hash.” Jason grabbed the pipe from Marty as everybody was ripped, but that never stopped Jason from taking additional hits before. “This is tasty stuff, what kind is it?”

“I think its good brown hash number 4. No, its good brown hash number 7,” David fired back so fast, Jason started laughing before he exhaled, causing him to hack his brains out.

“I knew I’d like you.”

“What do the Entities want this time? I’m sure it’s more than control of a pipeline” Christina interjected, reclaiming her position as group focuser.

“They want to control the whole world,” Marty answered with a no shit look.

“I know, but we were abducted from our home. I was brutalized beyond what my memory wants to recollect, by some banjo playing, deliverance fans if you know what I mean,” Christina shot back with fiery passion.

“I’m so sorry about that, I should have kept a closer eye on you guys,” admitted Marty.

“I thought being way out in the hills we’d be hidden, that’s what my dad always taught me. That’s why we left him and Bryan down in Cuba.”

Jason understood why Bryan wanted to stay behind with Jay. He also understood why he and Christina needed to return to building a life of their own. Would they need the Mad People for Good in the future? Only time would tell.

“You know as well as I do, that being hidden isn’t always good enough,” Marty related to Jason with fatherly concern.

“I do, but what does that have to do with the Entities? Did their sympathizers abduct us, and attempt to sexually assault Christina? Seeing those bastards castrated, made me feel a little better,” Jason fumed at the thought of his beautiful angel being violated.

“Good, because if somebody didn’t cut their dicks off, I certainly would have. Rapists deserve to walk around the rest of their lives as eunuchs,” parroted Marty.

“While I’m happy that the bastards who tried raping me are now dickless, we have more important things to worry about. Like finding the people who paid them,” Christina exploded from the bottom of her soul. She was expressing an impenetrable force field which proved she shouldn’t be fucked with.

“You think the Entities did this?” Jason reiterated. “What’s that, it sounds like buzzing?”

“That must mean you’re stoned. I can always tell because you forget what a phone ring sounds like,” ribbed Christina. She became more attractive to Jason every day.

“I love you sweetheart.”

“I love you too.”

“Well I love you three, but somebody should probably answer that phone,” Marty inserted, wanting to be part of the fun.

“I’d say I love you four, but I’m going to actually answer the phone before they hang up,” David repeated. He realized the ringing phone was his. All Mossad agents had phones that were supposed to be untraceable, so he knew this wasn’t a social call.

“Hello, how did you get this number?” David demanded.

“You took our insurance for building a New Jerusalem, or should I say somebody did that’s been a thorn in our side since New York and Washington. We had them, you took them, and now we want them back. What makes matters worse is they took something from us. If they return it, nobody gets hurt. Tell them Mark says hello, they’ll know how important this is.”

“Do you know who you’re talking to? Nobody talks to me like that,” David yelled into the phone, to no response but a dial tone. “God damn it Marty, I told you bringing them here would cause problems.”

“I just said they could help fight the people that were after me, because they’d fought them before. Besides, you’re the big bad Mossad, nothing scares you,” Marty supportively expressed. He was starting to feel David was the brother he never had.

“I know I have no business knowing about Mossad operations, but I’d like to think we’re all friends here. Who was on the phone? It seems like we caused a problem, maybe we can fix it,” Jason relayed to David, hoping the respect he earned earlier wasn’t lost.

“Some guy named Mark says hello.”

 

CHAPTER 4

Sores can fester and fester until they take over the entire body, their disease infecting everything they touch. Ridell was that sore in the life plans of Jason and Christina, one that Marty knew should have been taken care of years ago.

“Did you just say Mark said hello on a phone that couldn’t be broken into, because the worlds most feared spy agency was using it?” inquired Jason. He expected Ridell to show back up one day at the most inconvenient time.

“Yeah, he said they were trying to build a New Jerusalem, and you were supposed to help,” David curiously replied. He had an uneasy feeling that this whole series of events was snowballing. If rescuing Marty was the start of that snowball, David wasn’t sure if he was ready for the avalanche.

Multiple thoughts swirled around Christina’s educated brain, preventing her from sitting in a comfortable position. The rest of the group watched Christina’s inner conflict, and suddenly the fun safety meeting in a back woods cabin, didn’t seem so fun anymore.

The idea that the cabin was in the middle of a Mossad base floated away amongst laughter and hash smoke, but returned when Christina remembered they were there for a reason. After five minutes she finally spoke, making everybody else at the table sit still so they could listen.

“Mark had us abducted because he’s building a New Jerusalem? That joker is always trying to build something. He can’t please either side, because he thinks he can kill his way out of any situation. The whole time thinking, he can’t be killed himself,” Christina explained like she just finished a ten page research paper on the subject.

Was Christina advocating murder Jason theorized? It sounded like something Marty usually did, he needed clarification. “Hey baby, are you okay?” Jason queried of the most beautiful woman he ever laid eyes on. If her life was in so much danger that she had to become something she hated, he would pull the trigger himself to save her soul; like when he was younger and his mom would clean up his messes.

“Do all you guys just say something and then immediately go deep into thought, forgetting what the original conversation was even about?” David wondered if the secret visitors to his previously secret base were losing it.

“We just think about what we say,” Christina returned, trying to choose her words carefully because she didn’t want to lose an important ally. “I was very nearly raped by this group who abducted Jason and I. Then an ex-Congressman calls to say they want us back. This same guy has screwed us over many times, and committed multiple murders. It all started when Jason unearthed his scheme of smuggling illegal workers into the country.”

David was stunned by the undammed honesty that naturally flowed from Christina’s lips. He instantly wanted to know more, and not because he was a spy who didn’t give a shit. “I heard about that, happened several years before you guys took down President Bowman right?”

“How’d you know that?” Jason pondered. Had this guy been following them along with everybody else seen and unseen?

“We get news here, we have the technology,” David sarcastically uttered. “I don’t know you from a hole in a wall. How do I know you’re not trying to take us down?”

“Come on man, why would I bring somebody like that here? If you trust me, then trust them. Jason is my son, and this is the love of his life. He’s the most down to earth person I’ve ever met, and has a will of diamond plated titanium to help humanity collectively evolve,” Marty ruminated. He was well versed in Jason’s unrelenting needs.

“We’ll see about that,” David skeptically relayed. “I have one question. Before that Mark guy hung up, he said you guys took something.”

“He wants us to help build his New Jerusalem. Which I could only assume is some crappy wipe the slate clean plan to start a new world order. Power hungry radicals have conversed about controlling the world since the beginning of time. I don’t know how he’d need us, aren’t we what you took from him?” Jason attempted to decipher. Challenging an experienced Mossad agent was never a good idea. If they were going to get to the bottom of why they were in Jerusalem though, let alone why Ridell called, then he needed to ask tough questions. His inner journalist needed to know.

“You think I don’t know what I’m talking about do you? I wasn’t born yesterday. You aren’t going to help him build shit. He wants you back so he can kill you both. You don’t have to watch spy movies to logically figure that one out. He said you, specifically, took something from him,” David thundered. He realized he was going deeper the more he poked and prodded.

“We didn’t take anything, we barely escaped with our lives. Correction, you and your men rescued us which I’m eternally grateful for. I honestly have no idea what he’s talking about, we only left with the clothes on our backs. Maybe a little less blood,” Jason snickered with half a smirk. Trying to lighten the mood was always important when trying to intuit why things happened.

“We did rescue you, and don’t forget it. He was very adamant that you took something, are you sure you didn’t?” David kept hammering. He needed to figure out what was going on before Mark arrived and attacked his base.

Christina wriggled around in her chair like she was being interrogated. She knew her, and Jason’s souls were connected and nothing could come between them, especially after being apart five years. She also knew that her hand had been in the pocket of her denim blue jeans for the last five minutes, caressing a small piece of plastic. “He really thinks we took something? As if almost raping me wasn’t bad enough, now they accuse us of stealing?” Christina fumed with anger that was boiling over the traumatic experience.

“Don’t bullshit a bullshitter okay. I’ve been in this business long enough to know when somebody is lying. Going through what you went through is the most terrible thing anybody could experience. I’m glad they got taught a lesson. At the same time, I have an uncanny ability to read people. If you tell me what you’re hiding, I promise, these guys will have more than their dicks chopped off,” David sincerely explained.

“Are you calling my girlfriend a liar? What kind of asshole are you? If she said she didn’t take anything, she didn’t take anything. Tell him honey.” Jason’s sweet and satisfied soul stared at Christina, reaffirming a fact she already knew, that he was completely and utterly behind her.

“Jason, I love you. I know you’re always here for me, and I for you. David is right though, I did take something from them,” Christina admitted. She felt ashamed for lying to the person she was always truthful with.

“I told you they would help. They helped me attack the Entities before, and they’ll do it again. No matter what crazy militias are rounded up, or what private armies’ checks are written to, we have something they’ll never possess, humanity,” Marty emphatically stated. He could have had Jason and Christina rescued and brought home, but if previous experience was any indication, there was a lot more that needed to be done.

“Don’t pat yourself on the back too fast, you know what happens when you assume things?” David queried. As soon as the words left his lips, he knew he pitched a softball itching to be hit out of the park.

“You end up prematurely shooting off your opinion, ensuring your status as the ass,” Jason fired back as quickly as the thought manifested itself.

“Not that I don’t want to keep talking about who’s prematurely shooting off what, I just don’t want to be the definition of an ass,” volleyed Christina which caused the four of them to fall out of their chairs laughing. Four adult human beings rolling around on the floor laughing would have been a real sight, had it not been for the knock on the door.

“Sir, our men have received intelligence that American businessmen are meeting with leaders of Al Qaeda, Hamas, and any other groups they can find. They’ve been spotted together on numerous occasions at hookah shops along the east side of town,” barked Moshe, David’s second in command. The warriors’ history of Moshe’s name wasn’t lost on David, as he proved plenty of times that he deserved that name, and so much more.

“Thanks Moshe, let me know if anything else develops,” David graciously replied. “Stay close, just in case.”

“I will sir.”

David shut the heavier than normal redwood door. The inside was lined with solid steel, as were the walls. What David didn’t tell Marty, (let alone Jason and Christina) was this seemingly innocuous cabin could withstand any blast short of a nuclear explosion. He could have constructed it with that option, but what was the purpose of withstanding a nuclear blast if all humanity was destroyed.

“Who was that?” Christina piped up. She had a sneaking suspicion it had something to do with the contents of her pocket.

“That was my top lieutenant Moshe. He said American businessmen have been seen meeting with known terrorists. The fact that we rescued Marty and brought him here, we rescue you two and bring you here, and then they show up; it can’t be a coincidence. I’ve been through enough to know what a synchronicity is. I just have to make sure that you guys aren’t leading us into the abyss,” David reiterated with unrelenting passion.

“David sounds like us Jason, when we started thinking about the water park story randomly. This might be the universe responding to something that’s happened, and trying to rectify it.” Christina longingly looked into Jason’s eyes before she kissed him.

“Get a room,” Marty joked like he walked in on his parents having sex. This was the equivalent of the other way around.

“What’s going on, I forgot what my word was going to be,” Jason muttered. He was light headed from the energy transfer he experienced from his personal angel.

“A little more of that, and maybe I’ll finally be a grandpa,” Marty chuckled. He had to throw his two cents in, what would a conversation be without Mr. Jackson taking part.

“Okay jokesters, let’s get back to what’s important,” David remarked, bringing the table back to order.

“We are, through laughter. I love the name Moshe by the way, the most bad ass warrior Israel has ever known, besides a guy named Judah. Anyway, we have to keep it light. When we’re dealing with heavy and ugly things, it always leads to heavier and uglier things. We must cling to our humanity. We don’t want to join the dark side, that’s what the terrorists want. We don’t want them to win, do we?” Jason exploded from the bottom of his soul.

David gave Marty a look like, is this guy for real? David received a look back that said not only is he authentic, but his passion is stronger than anybody I’ve ever known. The connection David instantly felt with Marty was being proven in real time.

Was this what life around this crowd was like? Would crazy events keep happening because they never followed the status quo? Before an avalanche of thoughts overtook his brain, David spoke, hoping words would clear things up. “Of course we want to win. I wouldn’t be propelling us to where we need to go if I didn’t ask questions. Since you guys showed up, things have sped up immensely.”

“That’s how things go with us. When we put our minds and hearts towards something, nothing can stop us. If I can help the fiercest defender of the Jewish people depose terrorist militias bent on destruction, I will. I just have to know before I enter that fight, that the goal is to bring two peoples together.

If one thing makes me ill, it’s how Jews treat Palestinians. For a people to be persecuted for generations, only to do the same thing to others when they finally earn a country of their own, makes me sick to my stomach on a daily basis. If I can help you further the goal of bringing our peoples together, I’ll risk life and limb, and so will Christina. That’s one of the reasons we love each other,” Jason verbally upchucked without taking a breath.

“I feel you man, I have many of those same concerns. Just to bring us back to where we started though, what did Christina take from them? I can tell by the way her hand has been shifting in and out of her pocket, that she’s obviously hiding something,” David repeated. He was starting to feel positive change was possible, that maybe the three people who spontaneously showed up, would break the log jam of the world’s oldest conflict.

Christina gave Jason a look that asked, are you sure we can trust this guy? The last time she gave him one of those looks, she questioned the trust of a certain old man, who they not so randomly met while strolling on the beach, who ended up taking down the President. This was a sign of something big. What would their lives have been the last ten years if they hadn’t paid attention to signs?

Christina had a hard time finding her words. Jason lovingly put his arms around her, and gently ran his fingers though her hair. Suddenly her words appeared. “Yes.”

“Yes what?” David countered, wanting Christina to find the rest of her words.

“I took something, but you know what, fuck them if they think they’re getting it back,” Christina related with a passion that was building back up, after being completely taken away.

“If Mark is cavorting with our enemies, the last thing in the world I’d want to do is give something back that would further their plans. I just want to know what it is. Maybe it’ll finally be the leverage we need to beat them back like we’ve never done before,” David relented.

Christina looked into David’s eyes for the authenticity to match his words, and the humanity to match his thoughts. The pure light luminously beaming out was something she couldn’t ignore. David wondered why these people were thrown into his life, but Christina was starting to realize what that reason was. Maybe David was the conduit to making the abyss, a little less abyss like.

“A memory stick. When those God damn rednecks dragged me to their rape playground, the decorations on the walls made it seem like they’d used it many times before. Anyway, when they threw me on the table to assault me while Jason watched, I tried to fight back. The table jostled from side to side, because obviously I wasn’t a willing participant. They were so preoccupied with getting their repugnantly evil rocks off, they didn’t notice the memory stick fall to the floor. That’s when I grabbed it, and stuck it in my pocket,” Christina illustrated. “If Billy Bob didn’t turn around and stop them when he did, they surely would have raped me.”

“I’m so sorry baby, if only I would’ve been able to protect you…..” Jason tried to comfort Christina but she cut him off.

“I know you would have, that’s one of the reasons I love you so much.”

“This memory stick, where is it?” David wondered because they were finally getting somewhere.

“Here,” Christina stated as she reached into her pocket for the two inch piece of plastic that was the subject of ever increasing violence.

“Let me see what’s on it,” David theorized as he hastily grabbed the flash drive, and stuck it in the laptop sitting on the table in front of him. “Let’s see what we can see.”

As Jason and Christina anxiously waited, Marty wondered what the next thing his New York wunderkind would do. Would this information finally provide the ammunition, to take down that wretched woman who called Christina daughter?

“It’s encrypted, and only opens with a password that changes every thirty seconds. I don’t have the expertise to figure this out, but I know somebody who does,” David feverishly explained. The hairs on the back of his neck stood at attention, just like the first time he had an insurmountable challenge he thought he couldn’t get past; right before he did.

“Well let’s go then, we have to find out what’s on it. The last thing we want is to see Ridell and his handiwork again. Not that he has ever been successful, because he hasn’t. However, he never fails to throw a monkey wrench into the mix, delaying progress as long as possible. With his asshole quotient through the roof, he’ll talk any evil person into just about anything,” Jason recalled.

“At least his weed was good that day,” Christina ribbed. She was trying to lighten the mood before they took another drive across a battle strewn desert.

“You smoked weed with him, I thought you were enemies?” David followed up. He wondered if the trust his secret visitors were laying on pretty thick was a smokescreen.

“That’s definitely a story for another day. He does roll a pretty good joint though,” Jason winked. He eyes pierced David’s, trying to tell him without words that his heart was in the right place; and after many trials and tribulations, his mind was too.

“I want to be filled in on that, maybe we can smoke a joint while you tell me. For now, we need to move. We need to go see my guy, and see if he can decrypt the flash drive. Meet me outside in ten minutes?”

“Sounds good,” Jason and Christina echoed.

Marty looked adoringly at the son who was becoming more like him every day, just less murderous, and more humanistic. If every parent’s sign of success was that their kid’s life was better than theirs, then Marty would be driving around with a proud parent bumper sticker. That is if he didn’t think it would be a homing beacon for his enemies.

“I remember that first day I walked into your office, I was scared shitless. I never experienced a big newsroom before, let alone the craziness that is New York City. I feel like this is one more test, to see if I can succeed in the most fought over piece of real estate in the entire world,” Jason frighteningly blurted out. Christina threw her arms around the obviously worried mess next to her. This particular problem required a multi-pronged approach.

“Jason, you can do this. I’ve seen your passion for conscious evolution proved numerous times. Hell, anybody could feel it standing ten feet from you. You’re a force to be reckoned with because your humanity is 100% pure. Do you know how rare that is?

This journey might be scary, but if our emotions are this strong before we act, than we must move forward. The sign is being sent from somewhere else, telling us we’ll succeed because we’re honest with ourselves and exude gratitude,” Marty supportively related to Jason. He never felt his words were truer than they were in the present moment. He was excited just to be along for the ride.

“You’re right, we can do this. Hell, we must do this. The fact that we have a little piece of plastic that people are trying to kill us over, makes me want to find out what’s on it even more. Let’s go, dad,” Jason expressed from the bottom of his heart. The unsure fatherly figure standing next to him, realized that things would turn out exactly like they were supposed to.

Jason walked up to the steel and lead lined front door and opened it, he wanted to see what David prepared for their ride from one secret base to another.

Christina and Marty followed Jason out to waiting MRAPs. There was a caravan of six mounted with 50cals, and soldiers in full body armor manning them. Marty closed the door to the cabin, sensing it was the sign of another one opening.

Jason walked up to the second MRAP in the caravan, and held the door open for Christina as she climbed in. David jumped in the front passenger seat, as Jason and Marty were to sit on either side of Christina, both wanting to protect her. Right as they were about to get in, Jason heard a buzzing over his head. He looked up to see a flock of red birds flying above them in formation that looked too perfect, not to mention that this species of bird had no place in the middle of the desert. Of course, redwood cabins and tree lined airstrips weren’t exactly normal either.

“The more you travel into the unknown, the more the unknown smacks you in the face no matter how hard you ignore it,” Jason ruminated as he noticed the birds getting closer.

“I agree with your thoughts about the unknown, I haven’t expected most of the adventure I call the life of Marty Jackson. One thing I do know, those are no birds,” Marty observed.

“Why am I thinking about Cuba, oh shit……?” Just as Jason uttered an expletive laden diatribe, a missile landed ten feet to his left.

“Move your ass,” David demanded. More bombs exploded all around them, causing dirt and dust to spray up. Massive craters were opening they could be fragments in if they didn’t hurry.

“Get in the God damn car,” the gunner barked at Jason. He was trying to shoot out of the sky whatever was trying to shoot at them. The rat-a-tat-tat from the 50cal was deafening as Jason finally climbed in alongside his love, with Marty on the other side. The caravan of MRAPS proceeded to peel rubber in the direction of David’s computer guy.

“You trying to get us killed,” David yelled at Jason. He wondered if Jason would get them all blown up before they found out what was so valuable, it was worth shooting missiles over.

“The same thing happened to us when we escaped Cuba,” Jason explained as the MRAP behind them was hit directly in the windshield with a missile. The vehicle swerved, before exploding into a huge fireball.

“You were shot at in Cuba, maybe you guys are more danger than you’re worth,” David lamented.

“Like the joint with Ridell, that’s another story for another day. Let’s just try not to get dead right now,” Jason worriedly added, while practically shitting his pants from fear. He was also excited about the answers that would be provided by driving into the abyss. Where would they be if they hadn’t taken half their trips into the unknown?

“I’m going to hold you to that, because it seems like it’s all connected.”

“Isn’t everything?”

Before David thought up another witty response, he remembered they had missiles of their own. Through the deep ruts of all the missed strikes, the bumping along they endured was enough to jar their spines out of place. They all knew the discomfort would be worth it, once they saw what was on the flash drive.

“Shoot the RPG, maybe that’ll bring those bastards down,” David yelled as bullets and missiles poured down like an atmospheric river.

The extra man in the back who was David’s rock of an agent, loaded a rocket into the tube, and the 50cal gunner pulled the trigger.

“Did we hit them, are they still there?” David questioned because their lives depended on it.

“It looks like we hit one of them I can’t tell, I did hear something explode. It looks like more are appearing out of nowhere. Are these things multiplying?” The driver bellowed, scared out of his gourd. David and his men had been through furious battles before, but they didn’t think this was possible.

“Just keep shooting, my guy’s place is over this next ridge,” David barked. He was trying with every ounce of his humanity to reassure everyone in the vehicle, so they didn’t end up in a complete panic.

Jason didn’t know what to think, other than the fact that at least they weren’t witnessing Christina’s dad getting shot, again. How was Jay he thought, maybe they’d all meet up again one day, along with Bryan.

From the look in Jason’s eyes, Christina could tell he was thinking about Jay. “Don’t worry I’m sure dad and Bryan are fine. They’re on an important mission just like us. Yes, I’m glad we aren’t witnessing him being shot at right now either,” Christina supportively added. Jason looked into her soul asking how she knew. She looked back into his, asking how he thought she didn’t.

“David, it looks like the shooting has stopped. The redbirds that blotted out the sky have all disappeared. While I’m thankful, I have no idea what just happened,” Moshe cautiously affirmed on the radio.

“Thanks for letting me know. While I’m worried they’ll start shooting again when we least expect it, we can’t think about that now. We’re about to pull up to the spot, there it is in the distance,” David remarked in a demanding, but supporting tone that made him a leader anybody would follow.

The now MRAP caravan of five, pulled up to a giant dirt mound with a rollup steel door. David pulled his phone out, typed in a code, along with eye and fingerprint scans. The door opened within a minute, revealing a paved road that went downhill, and then straight for what seemed like a mile.

“That’s crazy you can do all that from your phone, how does it work?” Jason queried with hopeful exuberance.

“Like your stories for another day, that’s one of mine,” David bantered.

“Sounds like we need to take some time with that fabulous hash, and just unload our craziest adventures.”

“I know I could add a few,” Marty interjected. He knew his untold stories were one of the reasons he was in Jerusalem. He was just as curious as anybody about the flash drive.

Before Jason could utter another witty remark, the caravan stopped in front of an office with five marked parking spaces out front.

“An underground office, this place is crazy,” Jason thought out loud.

“The Palestinians aren’t the only ones who build tunnel systems,” David joked. Jason was caught so off guard that he coughed when he tried to laugh, because the timing was so quick.

“Follow me, my guy is through there.” David pointed to the glass double doors in front of them. Jason, Christina and Marty followed David and Moshe in, while the rest of the men in the caravan stayed back for a well-deserved smoke break.

As they followed David down a long fluorescent lighted hallway, Jason spoke. “You think your guy can really figure this out?”

“Definitely, he’s one of the best. Whenever we have something nobody else can open, we bring it to him and he works his magic. He has come through every time I’ve needed him to, and this time should be no exception. Here’s his door.”

David opened the door to a normal office, besides the fact that it was underground. The multiple computer screens, fans, and big server shelfs indicated this guy was a professional. From the back of his head, Jason thought he looked familiar.

“Hey man, these people have a flash drive we can’t open. Many have been killed over what’s on it, so please do your best,” David ordered in a demanding, but admirational tone. He knew how many times his guy had come through in the past.

Without saying a word, the man spun around in his chair with his hand out, indicating he wanted the flash drive.

“Holy shit, Aaron??”