“What’s the story on Jean Luc? Surely he’s more than a courier pigeon?” Jean Luc made a sound that said two things. One was that he was hungry, the second was he didn’t like to be insulted. “Sorry Jean Luc, no offense.” The Prime Minister admired him very much.
“Jean Luc wasn’t your typical animal. He was trained by a very special member of the Intelligence agency. He has taken down three operatives by himself once. Attaching that cat is like attacking a tank.”
“I like animals who can defend themselves. He isn’t jaded though, he still seems to be a normal cat.” She said as he lay on the arm of the couch. “Yes, his operative trained him that way. “I’ve heard about that program. My adviser’s suspect that the former trainer might now occupy a seat in the Oval Office.”
As you know Mr. President, I could not confirm this, but I will say her intelligence is good. Instead I responded, “Does it matter? He’s a pure bred you know, his ancestor was a pet of the Tsar’s.” “Why Jean Luc? Why a French name for a Russian American cat?” “He was named after a soldier that gave his life saving his trainer’s life.”
Just then, Jean Luc meowed. He rolled off the couch, and headed for the kitchen. “Follow him, now!” We barely made it before the explosion happened. The tunnel under the stove lead to the street. We were in the SUV flying through Las Vegas as fast as we could.
“Vegas? You made me think we were still in Canada!” “Ma’am, I never said that, I didn’t lie. I just didn’t stop you from thinking it. We would have been dead no matter where we were if it weren’t for Jean Luc. He must have smelled chemicals they used to set the charges. He has heightened senses.” She looked over at the cat carrier. “Thank you my sweet little Animal Rescue.” Jean Luc purred.
He got compliments, I got complaints. “Why Vegas?” “It was flashy, it was obvious, and I thought it was safe. It also is an easy place to hide an off the charts air port. Next stop, the desert. Ever rode in a spy plane?”
Ashley loved her Mother and Grandmother, so she agreed to spend some time with this “weird young man.” She talked with him over supper at her house. She found that he was less irritating than she first thought. When dessert arrived, they were actually laughing. Ashley wasn’t convinced yet, but agreed to see him the next afternoon, “for them”, she told herself.
Winston was working a half day at the store, so she would meet him there that afternoon. The problem was that her arrival coincided with the arrival of a new shipment of merchandise. When she walked in, Chester informed her that Winston was in the back. “I’ll wait by the front window, thanks.”
She looked at her watch, this was taking forever, it had been ten minutes. “I’ll pop back there and reschedule with him.” When she went back, there was no one in view, the room was a little dark. Once her eyes adjusted, she noticed two barn like doors. The old shop had a unique system of pulleys, to enable one man to unload heavy merchandise.
Winston had connected the chain to the door mechanism. When the heavy object arrived at a certain point, the pulley would open the door. Winston would then lock the chain, push the item off the lift, and scoot it in the store room. Whoever had invented this system, had never taken into account what would happen if the doors opened before the chain was locked. Winston found this out the hard way.
Suddenly, the doors came open, jarring the chain, and knocking the refrigerator off the lift. The refrigerator fell off the dock and was heading right for him. Ashley screamed when she saw what was happening. Winston was able to escape the offending object, but just barely. In the process, he cut his face and hand on the pulley chain.
Ashley took him to the hospital to get bandaged up. She felt horrible. A lot of men would have played for sympathy. Instead, Winston made her feel better about it. He joked with her, “If I hadn’t been late, it wouldn’t have happened. It’s a lesson in punctuality that’s all.”
After the visit, they walked to a near by place to eat. They thought the worst was over, until the woman coming out of the door knocked Ashley down. The next few minutes were a blur.
Find our why, “Black Eyes Are Better Than Roses”, in the next installment of Cambridge’s.
A very dear friend, whom I consider family, Lucian Linkous took a picture of me recently. It was at a Church Community event. Along with his many other talents, Lucian is an amazing photographer. If you need anything to do with sound engineering he’s the man, his company is Link Audio.
I was dressed as Tobo the clown. Here is a snapshot of the original, plus our iPainting it inspired.
“Why?” Cameron asked. “Why does he have to take us out before he acts?” Tom lowered his voice. “For that you can thank my Grandfather. He wasn’t a trained scientist, but he was brilliant. I knew that he had hidden something in time. I just didn’t know when, where, or what it was. I still don’t know what, but now I know when, and I have a suspension of where.”
Cameron thought a moment. “Mr. Secretary, you’ve kept things very close to your vest. I think it’s the only reason that we’re alive at this point. You need to continue to keep it close. We cannot know much more than Minnix knows. At the same time, you have to have a way of communicating just enough to position us. My question is this, how do we safely do that. I’m not sure that you should trust anyone, including myself.”
Tom agreed. “Don’t worry, I don’t. Nothing personal, but I only met you recently. Plus, Minnix has actors employed, they could replace any of you with very short notice. Fortunately I have my own operative, someone that no one knows about, someone that Minnix won’t figure out until it’s too late.”
“Good, I suspected as much. I would do the same thing. Here is what I recommend doing. Tell everyone that you have an operative, of course without telling them anything else. Word will get to Minnix, it will confirm his guess, plus it will make him more nervous. Tell me this, what can you share with me?”
Tom handed him an envelope. “This is what is safe for you to know. It also contains the coordinates for you to head to 1918. I have a mission for you, it’s vital, but it’s not connected with the last phase. Here’s my question, can you make it look live you’ve been kidnapped?” “A Non Kidnapping is easy, for the most part.”
Three hours later each of the team received a note to come to Cameron’s room. Tom wasn’t surprised at what he saw next. Tom and the others found the door opened and the room trashed. Tom wondered where Cameron got the blood that was on the bed. Then he realized that he didn’t want to know. He gauged the other reactions to the farce, and was only suspicious of Virginia. This wasn’t a stretch, he had been since they met.
While this was occurring, a young man with a bandaged right arm was getting into a taxi. “Where to Mister?” “The White House, and step on it.” The next sound the cab driver and the passenger heard was the gun shot that came through the side window.
Henri knew the King’s Envoy, he was a legend among the royal heads of Europe. Outside of the families, only the closest aides knew who he was. They said that no one could hide from him, but that he could hide from all.
He knew that his own skills were good, but they didn’t match the Envoy’s. The only advantage that he had was that he knew what it was like to be a fugitive. Henri knew that hiding in plain sight wasn’t only a ploy, it was an act of desperation. Anyone who had enough time to get away, would do so quickly.
This is why that Henri took another approach when he arrived in Paris. He went, not to the out of the way places, but to the busiest place in Paris. At this time it was the market. It was there he found two very unusual looking Frenchmen. Unusual in the sense that they were doing everything they could to act normal. Which meant it was not what they were doing that was awkward, but how they were doing it.
The movements were at times slow and precise, at others rushed, as if they had just given themselves away. Henri would have normally waited until dark to approach them, but he couldn’t resist the Envoy reaching them first.
“Monsieur, if you and your friend wish to live, I suggest you follow me. The Princess Royal of France is much more accommodating than her cousin the English King. This is not to mention that His Majesty’s Envoy is the best swordsman in either country.”
The two followed him to a small cart pulled by a, very plain looking, gray horse. Once outside the city, the horse revealed a speed that was masked by his appearance. “Where are we going?” Giuseppe asked. Henri looked at him, “To freedom, which in this case is in Champagne.”