From the Ashes: CATU Book 6 Ch. 09byJoeBarnosky©
THE CATU OFFICE IS A CHAOTIC mess as agents rush from desk to desk. By now every news station has picked up on the morning's events of the assassinations that have taken place and the New World Regime's proclamation of credit to those events.
Grines, CATU's director of operations, isn't too far shocked at the NWR's bold moves but in combination with the sudden reports of the Black List falling under a similar attack has brought an entire new level of shock.
"Alright, listen up," he says loudly grabbing the attention of the small conference room's occupants. "We have two new recruits as part of the STRT."
The team's current members Melissa Dupree and Jonathan Stone turn around in their seats to regard the other two sitting in the back of the room. The room's other two occupant's consisted of a large barrel-chested man with graying hair and beard and a smaller petite, but athletic woman with blonde hair. The two looked like an odd couple but both Dupree and Stone didn't really look like your average partners either.
"Stone. Dupree. Meet Sage Greyson and Raven Cassidy," he says motioning to the two agents. "Both are transferring over to us from the CIA. Special Agent Greyson before then spent fifteen years as a captain in the Navy SEALs and Special Agent Cassidy a detective for the Detroit Police Department for ten before joining the CIA."
"At least we have highly qualified recruits," Stone says with a curt nod.
"Yes," Dupree agrees. "It is nice to meet you two."
"Now I'm sure you all are just itching to get out in the field and crack some skulls with the New World Regime, but it's not going to happen. At least not right away."
"What do you mean?" Stone blurts. "That is our job ain't it?"
"Considering who is involved? Yes," he agrees. "But I got a call this morning from President McKinsey this morning shortly after the news reports starting pouring out and we've been ordered to lay low considering we're not supposed to even exist."
"You're kidding right?" Dupree shouts.
Grines smiles. "Hold your horses. I didn't say we're going to sit back and watch a bunch of goons run around killing innocent people while we sit back sipping martinis. You guys will be plenty busy with something just as important and if you just so happen to get involved then...well what can I say?"
In the back of the room Greyson leans closer to Cassidy. "Certainly not what I'm used to, a little lax and undisciplined."
"I'm sure there is a good explanation for it."
"Oh there is," Grines says, "but it was implemented long before I took over the position of director and I just never saw any reason to change it."
Greyson quickly sits straight up and half grunts half clears his throat. Cassidy says, "Excuse me us for being out of line there sir."
"No need for that. You'll quickly find out there are a lot of things different here. It's very disciplined but relaxed like a family. Now as much as I'd like to get us all better acquainted we have pressing matters. Like I said before when the President contacted me this morning giving me the order to back off the NWR it is because of a government program called Section 8."
"Sounds Top Secret," Cassidy says.
"Because it is. Surprisingly enough it is one of the few things even my predecessor Roger Cornelius couldn't obtain much information on. The program took over the DEP program when the CIA dropped it and created DEP Six. Whether it was part of the CIA or another organization or not is unknown. But that is where our information on it ends."
"Is McKinsey or Director Nichols giving us any other information?" Stone inquires.
Grines sits on the corner of the desk and folds his arms across his chest. The President sounded a little surprised about this Section 8 and the FBI is not even in the same boat as us."
"What do you mean?" Greyson asks.
"I mean they have never even heard of Section 8. I trust you've read up on the introductory packet I gave you last week so that we're all on the same page here."
Both Greyson and Cassidy nod in agreement. "Forward and backward sir," Greyson adds.
"Good," Grines says with a warm smile. Since we don't know much on this Section 8, I want to remedy that."
Dupree forms a large smile herself and says, "That means we're going to do a little snooping."
He turns to face her. "That's correct. I need you four to go after the New World Regime and if the opportunity arises, you and Stone investigate Section 8," Grines explains.
"Spying against our own government?" Greyson asks incredulously.
Grines pulls off the desk, his face hardening. "I didn't say it wasn't going to not get nasty. I don't like having to do it anymore than you, but there isn't any other way to get the information obtained and it comes as a direct order from the President himself. CATU is technically outside the borders and officially we don't exist so we don't really go through normal channels. You signed up knowing what lay ahead for you."
Greyson as big and menacing of a man as he is visibly shrinks back into his chair. Silence takes over filled only with the hushed tones of each person's slow rhythmic breathing until finally the big man breaks the silence. "I understand and apologize for—"
"There's no need. I understand the need for your patriotism. I understand several members of your family including you brother, father and grandfather have served in the military and have all been highly decorated, so patriotism runs deep in your veins."
"You can say that."
"Then put some trust in me," Grines says assuredly. "Believe me when I say I barely understood a thing Roger told me when I first came here. Oh, I believed every word he told me because he was one the most honest men you would ever meet, but I sure as hell didn't understand it."
"Then just what the fuck is going on?" Cassidy interrupts.
Grines looks at her and says, "A whole world of shit. I don't know what this Section 8 is all about or what its motives are but I want to find out. In the mean time I need you," he says turning to the other two agents, "Track down Errios but try your best to stay out of the spotlight of the media and Section 8. We'll let them stumble over themselves and then we'll pick up the pieces ourselves. If you get the chance follow Section 8's trail let Greyson and Cassidy continue with Errios."
"Shouldn't be too hard," Stone says. "Anything else?"
"Unless any of you have any other questions?" He looks to each agent in turn and when none give him a questioning look he says, "Everything is set for you. You're ready as soon as you leave this office."