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Authors: Vincent Heck

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BOOK: Last War
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     Patrick was an Englishman who had settled on the newly discovered area 10 years before John had become good friends with him. He was concerned with his friend’s ambitious and daring plans.

     “What if Britain learns of your planting and selling tobacco?” He would ask often.

     “What about it?” Was always John’s response.

     “Certainly they’ll kill you. ‘Tis, surely, against the law, Mr. Rolfe.”

     “Since when do they care about the civilization that exists here? Have a look at this land; clearly void of any leadership.”

     John didn’t care about the consequences. He saw ‘savages’ in both the natives and the struggling settlers. He saw opportunity.

     He planted his seeds, and waited for them to grow. When they grew, he sold his product to whomever would buy, and he
built a major fortune on it. He used the tobacco money to help rebuild Jamestown, and set the groundwork for the future to come.

 

 


 

2001

 

     “You still awake, sweet pea?” Jason asked.

     Very faintly Vanessa responded, “Yeah. What happened to him and Pocahontas?”

     “They were married and had a child.”

     Vanessa said through a yawn, “I love true love. Like you an’ mommy. I’m gonna have true love one day and a beautiful wedding.”

     “
Yes, I’m sure you will. But, for now you’ve got me. And it’ll be that way for a long, long, long, long time.”

     Vanessa laughed. “Get some rest, my love,” Jason said. “
you have to get up early for school.”

     “K. Love you daddy.”

     “Love you, too, sweetie.”

     Jason logged into his work PC from the secure I.P. address his laptop provided and searched a way to get the Egyptian Unknown activists and people back online.

     He hopped back into the chatroom. < You ready?>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

V

 

SATURDAY MAY 24TH 2003

(
CURRENT HSAS: ORANGE -- HIGH RISK OF TERRORISM)

     Jason snapped out of his daydream, staring, as usual, at the seal on his work desktop. The United States Departmen
t of Homeland Security -- It had a very authoritative ring to it. Occasionally, that title would remind Jason to just how important his position was supposed to be. He knew, as he sat in his office on a late Saturday afternoon, that if he didn't do his job right, something, or someone, could suffer. Recent history had taught him that.

     Yesterday – the Egyptian’s newest revolution -- was
important. He stayed idle, however, despite feeling inclined to move to action. He felt something about that day had changed America forever. He didn't expect Egyptians being freed to be the event. Had to be something else.  One thing he did know, however, was from that point forward, he was going to take every precaution available.

     A new email came through to his phone. Unknown. “Congrats on Egypt.”

     A couple times Jason had tried to track the unknown emails, but could not. They were always from untraceable or fake accounts. But, he already knew that, as that’s what the legion’s strength was – no one could track them. In fact, a lot of their ability, like the services he provided for the NSA and DHS, came from his expertise -- top-notch abilities that, likely, wouldn’t be available to the public in decades, if ever.

    
A dark cloud grew inside of his chest. As usual of recent, Jason wondered if all of this was worth it.
How did I lose her? Both of them.
He thought to himself.

     He looked at his notes from the first set of commission meetings in New York City. He had a whole tablet of testimonies. So much was going on. It felt overwhelming, at times.

     He felt, both, angry and confused about 9/11.

     This department was created in response to the September 11
th
attacks to consolidate all the departments of Homeland Security into one cabinet.
Jason recited in his head.

    
He thought for a moment more.
Everything they have done thus far, in government foreign policy, has centered around, and stemmed from, nine-eleven.

     The gears in his head started turning as he began to search through government files on his computer. With the new accounts from the commission testimonies, he decided to investigate, himself.
What was logged in the database on the day of nine-eleven?

     
It was time.

 

::TOP SECRET EXTREMELY CLASSIFIED CONTENT – Please enter your passcode.::

     Jason entered his agent pass code.

     The files within the database unfolded and fluttered down his computer screen in abundance. He picked a tab to begin reading.

     "The September 11th Attacks, in the United States,
 Airplane hijackings result in the collapse of three World Trade Center buildings in New York City, destruction of the western portion of The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a passenger airliner crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania."

     Clicking the details of the accident Jason noticed at first glance a lot of boxes not filled on the report data sheet.

     Osama Bin Laden.  

     Mohamed Atta.

     Marwan al-Shehhi.

    
 Ziad Jarrah, and Ramzi Binalshibh.

     Those names were listed at the top of the page.
 Underneath, were 14 of the other men involved in minor to major ways. None of the faces he recognized.

     Mohamed Atta had always been a familiar name to him, as were the others – they all came up in the meetings -- but he couldn’t put his finger on exactly what was bothering  him about them. 

     As Jason scrolled through the various tabs of nine-eleven information, he relived the day.

     The day when he lost her.

     He noticed all the events leading up to the attack were dated before September eleventh, all the way up to attempted communication with Mohamed Atta two hours before the first attack.

     Jason continued to scroll. He bumped into
what the file called, ‘a declaration of war’ from Bin Laden demanding Americans off of "the holy land of Saudi Arabian soil." In a box labelled ‘reply’ next to the declaration, the word "insufficient" sat, unapologetically. 

     The file came with an accompanying media file. Jason began to download it into a
separate storage device he had always carried for work.

     He read a
‘fatwa’ from bin Laden which said, "Slay the pagans wherever ye find them." bin Laden continued, in the file, to declare that the "duty of every Muslim" is "to kill Americans anywhere."

      He clicked on the next tab to find the details of the day’s event.

     Tuesday, September 11th 2001 8:46 am-10:28 am.

     Flashbacks of smoke and ash filling his lungs began to haunt him. The smell of steel, concrete, flesh and blood gagged him, even in memory.

     He continued to click.

     2,976 victims and nineteen hijackers.

     Forty victims on United 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

     Fifty-nine
 victims on American 77, which landed on the Pentagon killing another 125 people.

     Sixty
 deaths on United 175 and eighty-seven deaths on American 11, which were the two that hit the Twin Towers killing 2,605.

      The only thing
Jason saw in that 2,605 was one. He selfishly imagined that number being 2,604.

     He looked at the pictures of the towers and the people diving out of the top floors. She was gone—so young -- to such a heinous, ignorant, uninformed act.
I should have stopped her from going.

     Jason began to wonder who dropped the ball on that day to have let such a horrific thing happen. He was angry that they didn’t track such an elaborate plan in advance.
Is this on me?
Jason wondered.

     He pulled up ‘the number of deaths’ breakdown. Airliners. Who
was the Administrator of Transportation Security?
He thought.

     He searched to find the name of a man who currently held the position of executive, Christopher Yeager.

     As he probed deeper through their files, despite their apparent foreknowledge of the situation, no drastic action was taken.
None of this came across my desk
?

     One of the officers in that department was Tameka Washington. He searched Tameka in the databases to find that she was a Behavior Detection Officer in the TSA department.
Their job was to observe the behavior of passengers going through security checkpoints.  

      He pulled up her death certificate.

     "Cause of death: ‘Homicide.’" It said.

     Jason decided
to research the details of her death. He logged into the central system. Entering his removable drive into the USB port, he began to skim through the details of the report. “Two emotionless men visited her days before her death. They posed as different entities.”

     Jason also downloaded the files, and saved them as “Tameka Files” onto his phone.

     Closing down the Tameka Files, he clicked the next tab to find another letter from bin Laden to Americans, dated October 2002.

     "You are the worst civilization witnessed by the history of mankind: You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its Constitutions and Laws, choose to invent your own laws as you will and desire. You separate Religion from your policies,
contradicting the pure nature which affirms Absolute Authority to the Lord and your Creator."

     The next tab was labelled "Response".
“N/A” was the official conclusion. At the top of the page the very unpopular President's approval rating soared into the ninety percentile. That was the first time he had seen that statistic.

     On that same page in bold red letters read the sentence, "Commence with Operation FAITH".

     What is that?

   
The next tab in the report was labeled, “SUMMIT".

     As he clicked the tab the first thing he saw labelled at the top was Operation FAITH, before he could click further, the computer screamed out, and the screen flashed a red message:

     ::ERROR: ACCESS NOT PERMITTED.::

     His phone began to beep violently, as did his computer screen. Red letters flashed: "Devices being tracked, abort activity immediately."

     Jason dropped to his knees and barrelled under his desk pulling every plug out of the surge protector. Numerous computers in the immediate vicinity shut down. He pulled his cell phone, which displayed the same urgent messages, out of his desk, and popped the battery out of the back of it.

     With his heart now
 racing, he listened outside of the door of his office. He kept his finger firmly on the power button to his batteryless phone. Holding the power button would drain any power it may have left in it. They needed power to track the phone – even if it were only running on fumes.

    Lots of chatter
rustled outside of the door. It felt like a routine power-down drill, but Jason was short on time, since the rest of the department hadn’t been alerted to any drill.  He had entered his agent passcode into the computer. No way they weren’t going to know it was him.

     The intelligence engineers in their cubicles outside of the door questi
oned. “Yo, what’s going on?” one guy just outside of his office asked.

BOOK: Last War
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