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Chapter Thirty-Five

Current day, 08:43 AM, Three Blocks North of

The First Baptist Church of Mount Silver, Virginia.

Traffic, although stereotypically light, had been picking up rather quickly on Main Street, increasing with the height of the sun rising over the hills. Cole parked the rusty, vintage Ford Mustang in front of the IGA grocery store and jumped out. He extracted his backpack from the stolen car’s trunk and looked around nervously to make sure he had not been spotted. Cole turned and then jogged down a north-facing alleyway between the City Tattoo Parlor and Carl’s Liquor Store. Locating an old fire escape behind one of the red brick buildings, Cole climbed to the top of the rusty structure. He crouched and carefully made his way across the roof.

“Now, where are you jokers?” Cole mumbled to himself. He lifted a pair of binoculars to his eyes and peered through the lenses. The agent quickly located three snipers with rifles positioned on nearby buildings surrounding the First Baptist Church of Mount Silver. The well-hidden sharpshooters swept their rifles methodically over the small town scene below them. Cole knew who and what they were waiting for. He turned and spotted a black SUV positioned at the far end of an adjacent parking lot next to the highway. It was obvious Cole was not dealing with a bunch of amateurs and he had considered himself lucky that none of these killers had gotten the best of him up to this point.

Cole looked at his watch and blinked. He had less than fifteen minutes to go and it was going fast. Quickly deciding his best move would be to approach from the south, Cole scrambled down the fire escape and sprinted east with his head low. He took advantage of a lengthy wooden privacy fence and carefully slid along its weathered surface, only occasionally breaking cover to gauge his position. When he made it to the end of the fence, Cole poked his head around the edge of the wooden frame.

“Shit!” he exclaimed under his breath, quickly yanking his head back behind cover. There was another dark vehicle quietly tucked down an alley between the church and an adjacent Five and Dime store. He was not able to see it from his previous vantage point; hopefully, they were not able to see him either.

Cole glanced at his watch. Eleven minutes. “Where are you?” he said under his breath.

“Cole?” the familiar voice echoed in his earpiece.

“Thank God!” he mumbled.

“You better not be playing me, hillbilly.”

“Fitz...ain’t no way I would have called you unless I had no other choice,” Cole replied into the throat mic. “You were the only one at the Company I think I can trust. You got the docs, right?”

“Yeah, I did. Look, if what you are telling me is the truth, you know that...”

“Fitz, you asshole, my family is being held at gunpoint as we speak and I have less than ten minutes until they are dead! Do not tell me you are pulling your shit and didn’t come through!” Cole said between gritted teeth.

“You need to calm...”

“Goddamn it, where is it? I’m warning you, Fitz, you do not know who you are messing with!”



“You got your backup and they’re bringing your request as we speak. ETA, two minutes. Don’t threaten me again, Cole! But more importantly, don’t go do something stupid and get yourself killed.”

“Tell them to come along the privacy fence and keep their head down. Only send one agent for now. There’s eyes everywhere,” Cole said. “...and thank you, Fitz.”


SQUAWK! “Cole?”

The CIA agent looked down at the radio glowing on his belt. He unhooked the walkie talkie and lifted it to his mouth. “I’m here, asshole.”

“Do you have it?” Vick asked.

“Yeah,” Cole replied into the radio as he heard a stick break behind him. He spun and removed a knife from his belt, lifting it upwards. The blade rested beneath the chin strap of a helmeted man dressed in black and holding a squirming Pekingese.

“Woah, Agent Hitchens, it’s me Agent Yates! You remember me from The Farm?” the man asked lifting Pete’s dog toward Cole. “I brought the dog...”

Cole lowered the knife. “Sorry.”

“Fitz said to send me in. He was afraid you might kill anyone else you didn’t recognize.”

“Makes sense. Look I need to go, hand me the dog.”

Yates handed the panting canine over to Cole.

“You know the plan, Yates?”

The agent nodded.

“Good. Well, I’m changing it. Around the corner is an SUV and when the shit hits the fan I need you to spray the hell out of it with that G-36 in my backpack. There’s a couple grenades in there, too. But don’t use them unless you have to. I don’t want to hurt any of the townsfolk around here.”

“You want me to kill them!?!!”

“If that’s what it takes, because these bastards will damn well kill me and my kids!” Cole shot back. “And if they catch you...you, too.”

“I’ve never been in action before, Hitchens,” Yates said, nervously.

Cole patted the crouching man on his helmet. “Gotta go. Do what I say, alright? These guys are killers!”


Cole slowly stepped from behind the building holding the dog. He crossed the street and made his way toward the church. The CIA agent could see the rifle barrels peeking from the rooftops following him with each step.

“Cole! We meet once again!” Vick said, opening the doors of the church. “Welcome to the house of the Lord!”

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