Rising Tide: CATU Book 3 Ch. 01byJoeBarnosky©
CATU Building, Washington D.C.
You have to pull some strings or something, boss. He's been held hostage for two months now," Sam implores.
"I'm sorry Sam, but I am trying as hard as I can," Roger says, shaking his head in dismay.
"What about the President? He's the one that has spearheaded what CATU does."
"I've already asked him, but his hands are tied. Pressure is coming down on us and the Presidency. NATO won't sanction America to move against the coalition and since we technically weren't there, Spencer isn't there."
"What the fuck Roger?" Sam nearly screams, throwing her hands into the air. "There has to be something we can do. This is Spencer we're talking about."
Roger sat in his chair, his face grim. Since the invasion into South Africa by the Russian/Chinese coalition and terrorist attacks on America's power plants, things have only gotten worse. And with Senator David Rustlin rallying against CATU, the support it once had from the American people is beginning to sway in the opposite direction. The coalition took a blow against them when the Russian's, under the influence of Maltaus, plans were compromised. The whole objective of taking over South Africa was to use the planet's thermal heat to keep the army warm while unleashing a winter-like state upon the world.
Roger sat reeling in fleeting thoughts about the situation. Every solution he came up with over the last two months was shot down before they could take off. The situation has left many sleepless nights for Roger. "I haven't abandoned Spencer, Sam. Hell, Doug has offered to go in there himself and bring Spencer out. Unfortunately we're being monitored and every move recorded."
He pauses to let the reality sink in for Sam. She stops pacing and sits down into the couch opposite Roger's desk. Sam sat and stared blankly at Roger.
"Accusations against us are the main cause for this investigation. Since McKinsey spearheaded the reformation of CATU, the senate plans a full unbiased investigation, asking the President for full authority and him to step aside. He has no other choice but to follow the request," Roger explains.
Sam blinks looking at Roger with a startled look on her face. "What accusation?"
"It's nothing to be concerned about, since it is untrue." Roger replies.
"What accusation?" Sam asks again, this time more forcibly.
Roger sits back, a look of resignation upon him. He knows he can't continue giving Sam excuses, so he is left with no other choice but the truth. "The incident at the cabin with Donald Strandon and Frank McMillan has left questions."
"I thought there wasn't any doubt about your story? Even the President knew you told the truth and had Strandon arrested," Sam informs.
"The condemning evidence Strandon left behind didn't mean much, but with the strange attack on his transport and death raised a few eyebrows. Now with the good senator causing a fuss, he has the entire senate curious and wanting to look further into things. And since McKinsey created the open sharing of all the organizations, we are open to provide any and all information we have."
"That's bullshit and you know it!" Sam yells.
Her tolerance for things over the last few months had begun wearing thin. She lost her father, who was the one thing she had feared him to be, a traitor. Before his death, he saved her life and in her eyes redeemed himself. As far as anyone was concerned, he was like the other kidnapped men. The truth was only known by Roger and Alvar Dahlin.
Her sister, who Sam only recently learned of and met, turned out to be on the side of the demons. Contrary to what Maltaus wanted from Sam, her sister, until the end, had a thirst for vengeance for Sam. Finally the loss of Spencer was the breaking point. After spending six years as a partner to Spencer, they finally confessed their feelings for each other. His capture tore a hole in her heart that she feared wouldn't close if something did happen to him.
"I know and I'm sorry Sam," Roger says in resignation.
"I don't blame you boss," she says.
Sam stood up and slapped the sides of her legs and shrugged, then turned and began to walk out of the office. Roger instantly recognizes her body language and what it means.
"Good luck," he says.
Sam stops and turns enough to look back. With a wink she thanks him and then leaves the office. Roger knows he didn't have to say anymore. Sam would find a way to save Spencer, all he needed to do was provide a cover for her and keep the investigators from asking questions.
Welcome to Morning America and good morning," Angela Bartow says with a smile.
"Today we have a special guest," John Walters continues, "Senator David Rustlin."
The senator on cue, walks out onto the stage. The audience cheers and claps at the sight of the man. Rustlin waves and smiles in response to the excited crowd. When he reaches the two hosts, he shakes their hands before sitting down.
"Welcome to the show Senator Rustlin," Angela says still smiling.
"It's good to be here."
"Let's jump right into what you have been pushing for," John says excitedly. "What got you interested with CATU?"
"Well John, CATU has been a hidden division in the FBI, so it was quite a surprise to everyone when they heard of it."
"Well of course the government has its secrets. It's really not surprising to have an organization such as CATU fighting terrorism," Angela states.
"That is why President McKinsey made it into its own entity. The fact that the organization has been kept secret is not the issue here. The issue is ever since CATU was announced to the world, problems have begun to arise.
"First we have the kidnapping of the President's daughter and the terrorists somehow knowing about CATU and no one else. Second, strange so called attacks, like the one on the FBI building itself, are happening all too often."
"Sounds like you're saying that CATU is behind all this, like they are the terrorists," John says in a matter of fact way.
A smile forms on the senator's face. This is exactly the response he hoped to get. He hoped everyone watching felt the same way. "That's exactly what I am saying," he responds.
"And that is why you are requesting for a formal investigation," Angela states.
"That's correct. I've been asking for the FBI to lead the investigation in hopes we get to the bottom of this problem."
"Why the FBI?" John asks. "Why not the CIA or NSA?"
"Why the FBI? Because they have been the ones to fall under direct attack. Former Director Frank McMillan, as you know was murdered. The evidence was compelling against Roger Cornelius, Director of CATU, yet dismissed. In my opinion, that is too much of a coincidence. Especially since the only other person involved was killed while in custody."
"He was killed when leaving the White House. Is the President considered to be involved?" John questions.
"That is why we've asked for him to not be involved if an investigation is made. Right now he is not a suspect and I personally hope it stays that why. As long as President McKinsey is not involved then anything that could be pointed at him won't be," he pauses, catching the questioned look both hosts had on their faces, then answering the hanging question. "Meaning if there is a mole, which seems to be a problem our agencies are having, nothing like evidence tampering can be blamed on the President."
"Well it seems you have all your bases covered," remarks Angela.
"I like to think I can have everything covered. My concern is for the people and this country, which is why with the upcoming elections, six months from now, I will be running for president," Rustlin says with a heightened excitement in his voice.
The audience begins to cheer and clap, loudly expressing their excitement.
"Well there you have it," Angela began, with a bright smile on her face, "Senator David Rustlin will be running for the presidency!"
"Looks like President McKinsey will have a fight for the White House on his hands now," John says laughing.
"Well we thank you for coming in today," Angela says shaking the senator's hand.
"It was a pleasure," he responds, taking John's hand and shaking it.
"Good luck on your campaign," John says.
Tsyr Ker sat on the edge of a building on 17th Street and E Street overlooking the White House and the West Wing. She slowly sharpens her samurai sword, a solemn calm on her face as she sits watching her target.
Tsyr Ker wasn't her real name, it meant assassin, which fit her profession. She long chose to forget her name when she lost her sight. She was the victim of a mob style hit. Her father who was American that turned state's evidence. He and his family became the target of revenge. After Tsyr Ker's parents were slain, she remained the last alive.
Rather than kill her, the demon Cephalon, decided to leave her with a reminder of her father's disgrace. He cut both her eyes and left her alone blind. She went to live with an uncle in China and learned to see without her eyes, learning the ways of martial arts. She later received a surgery that gave her a new way of seeing.
People and objects appeared to her like stretches of light, like an outline, enough to recognize shapes and features. It served Tsyr Ker enough to seek her own revenge against Cephalon. It now served her for her current profession as an assassin. Tsyr Ker's target sat across from the President. To any other assassin, this view would be perfect for a sniper's shot, but Tsyr Ker preferred a more personal kill. Her purpose here is to watch her target then when the time permits itself to be the perfect opportunity, Tsyr Ker would strike.
Spencer lay on top of a hard metal bunk. He is slowly recovering from his latest torture. Electro-shock isn't a very pleasant experience and no matter how many times Stalockavich used it, Spencer never could get used to it. Except for the few hours he was taken out and tortured, he spent his time in the small narrow cell. The floor is flooded with an inch of water at all times and the air conditioner runs at a constant freezing.
Spencer rationalized it is to discourage him from doing any kind of activities. Not that he would be able to do any. He was fed once a day; just enough to keep his body's nutrition levels up. With the daily beatings, he barely has enough energy to think.
How long have I been here?
All he really has at this point is his thoughts.
It's regulation to have deniability, but why would Sam?
Sam is his anchor to continue to on and endure each torture and each day.
Where are you Sam?
But no matter how strong a person, the mind does begin to wear down.
Have you forgotten me Sam? Please don't forget me.
Thank you for coming so quickly and secretly," President McKinsey says to Roger. He motioned to the couch for Roger to have a seat. Roger nods and takes a seat. Roger had arrived through a set of secret tunnels that ran under the White House. The tunnels are known only to a handful. Even public knowledge of the tunnels existence has been refuted by the government.
"I had to bring you in secret because of the investigation with CATU and I have been asked not to get involved in any way. I believe you and the rest of your staff are innocent, but with Senator Rustlin causing a stink, my hands are tied." McKinsey shakes his head. He has an image of defeat on his face. Roger continues to sit, not speaking. He knows if McKinsey has to pull him in like this, there is a good reason and time is of importance. "I called in a favor to get your agent out of the Coalition's hands. I'm sorry to say it has come at a bad time though," McKinsey says as he paces. He has yet to take a seat himself and struggles over the matter at hand. He does not like being out of the loop because of some technical bullshit. "The Senate voted to have the FBI oversee the formal investigation and until it is done, all the members of CATU are to be arrested."
Roger has a look of shock come over his face. This is an unexpected maneuver and one he is not prepared for. "How can they do this and why haven't I heard anything about it?" Roger asks, trying to keep the anger from his voice.
"Even with the bill set to have free information exchange between organizations, the Senate apparently made it a hush-hush thing. I just found out about it shortly before I contacted you," McKinsey explains.
"I know you didn't just have me come here to tell me those two things. So what is it you want me to do?" Roger asks with a smirk.
"Keep clear one or two of your most trusted, so that they won't be arrested. Give them this." McKinsey hands him a manila envelope. It is very light and dosen't look like it contained anything. "Make sure the person you select is the only person that reads it," McKinsey instructs.
"What's going to happen when the FBI find out we are short a person or two?" Roger asks, a bit curious just how it would be pulled off.
"Nothing except the FBI will treat them as fugitives. Once this all blows over, your team will be fine."
"How long do I have?" Roger asks.
"The raid on CATU happens at five this evening," McKinsey replies.
"Then I guess I better get moving," Roger says as he stood.
McKinsey shakes Roger's hand and pats him on the shoulder. "Good luck my friend and God help us all."
General Tsu Wei sat at his desk overlooking the harbor at Port Elizabeth. General Wei controlled the entire country of South Africa, with the exception of Cape Town. The invasion of the country would never have been thought of until he was approached by Prime Minister Chernoff.
General Wei liked the idea of expansion and once he conveyed the plan to his superiors, they jumped at the opportunity. The plan, however, had changed. The Americans weren't officially involved, but unofficially their fingers were in the cookie jar. With the plan ruined, China wanted to press forward. Chernoff, however, held back. Wei's superiors weren't content with waiting and decided it was time to take this campaign to the next level.
The intercom buzzes, bringing General Wei out of his reverie. His secretary announces his guest has arrived; it brings a smile to his face.
The door to the office opens, revealing an alluring, dark haired woman entering. "General Wei. It is good to see you again," the woman says with a smile.
Wei stands and walks around the desk. He extends his hand, which she gladly takes. "It's good to see you once more, Talilith. Please have a seat, we have much to discuss."
Talilith takes her seat and waits until the general sits behind his desk before she speaks. "So what can I help you with General?" she asks, already knowing the answer.
Talilith approached General Wei shortly after the Russian/Chinese Coalition was formed. In the beginning, Wei didn't figure he or China would need her services. As the growing tension between China and Russia continued to grow, Talilith's services became an option worth exploring.
"We want to expand, but if we break away from Russia we face retaliation from them. Of course, if we come out on top, which most certainly we will, then without Russia's support we will certainly fall under prey of the Americans. So China would like your aide and expertise. The cost is a bit steep, but once we have full control of the mines, the price will not matter."
"I have already anticipated this move General and have set forth my agent. She has already begun her hunt and the first of the targets will fall."
"And you can guarantee sanction from NATO?" Wei asks, sounding just a bit unsure.
"General," she purrs, "you must put your faith in my hands. Winter has a member in NATO that will keep everything in line. Why do you think they restricted the Americans from getting involved up to this point?"
"I see your point. Clearly you have been prepared for our asking of your services."
"Not to worry General, with my help you will get what you desire and I shall get what I want," she says, with a devious grin.
"This meeting is adjourned then, I do have matters I have to attend to." He turns to look out the window, excitement raced through his veins. "You will keep me updated?" he asks. When no answer comes, he turns around to an empty room. He didn't hear her leave or the door open and shut.
He dismisses the thought and turns back to look at his troop transports arriving at the harbor. A smile spreads across his face and a new found glory uplifts his spirits.
Roger sat at his desk watching the clock. After he left the meeting, he called Sam and gave her instructions to stay away from HQ and where to find the envelope. When he got back to the CATU building, he went straight to his desk and sat down. He made one phone call to Doug Wiltkins then straightened up his normally messy desk. He didn't have a particular reason for doing so, maybe just to pass the time.
Roger wanted to run and fight, but his better judgment was to trust the President. Everything would turn around for the better, but his biggest fear was it would be too late. The war on terrorism never ended and once you took a break, you lose more than you had to begin with.
So Roger sat at his desk watching the clock as it turned over to five o'clock. Like clockwork the FBI began their raid on the building. Agents enter through bashed doors and busted windows. Most of the CATU agents give no resistance, either because they are trained that way and know the motions or they see the rumors floating around are true after all.
The others go into defensive mode and fight back or try to run. Roger sighs with relief as he witnesses his men and women under his command go down safely. He guesses the FBI either has orders to expect this type of behavior and take them down easy or they know CATU isn't behind the past events or Frank McMillan's death.
The reason doesn't matter to Roger at the moment, only that none of his people were hurt or lost. So he sits at his desk watching the FBI agents arrest each individual CATU agent. And once everyone is rounded up, two Special Agents enter his office with grim looks on their faces. "I'm sorry sir, but as you may know, we have to place you under arrest," the first agent says.
Roger stands up and walks around the desk, his hands in front of him. "You're just doing your job son, no hard feelings," he says with a faint smile.
"By the way sir," the second agent starts, "do you know the whereabouts of Assistant Director Mike Grines?"
Roger's faint smile rises slightly. "No son, I have no idea."
"Understood sir, he must have left before our arrival," the agent says understanding the meaning behind the smile.
"Son, when this is all and done, I can use a man like you," Roger says picking up on the agent's body language.
The three men step out of the office and hand Roger over to another two agents.
"What was that about?" the first agent asks once they are alone.
Laughing the second agent says, "He offered me a job."
Sam rushes to Rawlins Park across from the CATU building. She can't believe what was going to happen when Roger called her a few hours before. It isn't until she arrives and sees a large number of FBI agents covering the entire area that she believes it.
The other thing that puzzles her is why Roger would hide an envelope across from the building that happens to be currently occupied by FBI and then have her come and pick it up.