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Chapter Forty-Eight

Current day, 9:50 PM,

Just Outside of Washington, D.C.

In a dark alley on the far side of the sleeping capitol city, Cole parked the Camaro and shut off its rumbling engine. The smell of a nearby dumpster hidden in the dark drifted in through the open car windows, Cole wrinkled his nose in response. With an angry expression, the Virginian turned toward Fitz brandishing his pistol in one hand and presented the other palm up to Kevin. “Give me the phone, Kev.”

“Here you is...” Kevin sang.

Cole presented the electronic device to Fitz. “Now, where is Unit 42 and do not try anything...I will not hesitate!”

Fitz eyed Cole’s dashboard lit face as he activated the smartphone. “Annalisa obviously wants me dead...somehow it shouldn’t be a surprise to me, the conniving witch. Damn, it’s just so hard not to fall for that pretty face of hers. Hang on a sec...running the app to decrypt...you know, she just wants to frame you, Cole; I have much more to lose. At least she’s not going to...”

“Quit yapping, Fitz....damn! Now, where the hell is it?” Cole interrupted.

“Okay, right here...” Fitz turned the phone’s glowing face around. A string of numbers greeted Cole’s eyes. “38.889658, -77.009323”

Cole punched in the numbers on his burner and pressed the enter button. “Damn.”

“What’s damn, Cole?” Kevin asked.

“They put the stupid thing underneath the Capitol building,” Cole replied.

Unexpectedly Fitz’s phone beeped. It was a text message. “Don’t know Y U R N DC idiot. You should B long gone. Suppose does not matter. Dead in 2 hours NE way.”

Fitz read it aloud and looked up at Cole. “That was the director. We should go.”

“Kevin, will you do the honors?” Cole inquired, looking into the rearview mirror at his friend.

“Out,” Kevin commanded, pointing his rifle outside and then at Fitz’s head.

“Cole, what’s this?” Fitz inquired.

Cole pursed his lips and looked out of the driver’s side window into the darkness saying nothing.

“Ah, I see. This is the end of the road for me and you are too cowardly to do it yourself...then so be it,” Fitz said, stepping from the vehicle. “You’re no real agent!”

Kevin followed Fitz, stepping into the dirty alley with the AK-47 in his hands. “Turn around.”

“Just do it, hillbilly!” Fitz shouted with his hands in the air. He closed his eyes and waited for the end to arrive.

Kevin raised the rifle and slammed the butt of the weapon into the back of Fitz’s head.

The Roadhouse’s owner slipped into the passenger seat next to Cole and slammed the Camaro’s squeaky door. “Ol’ Fitz’s night-nightin’ in the trunk like a wittle baby.”

“Thanks for doin’ that, Kev. I’m afraid I would have killed the bastard,” Cole said with a raised eyebrow. “We need him alive, though. I gotta keep him around so I can prove this goes where it goes.”

Kevin laughed. “Look at us, dude. A pair of wounded mountain boys lookin’ for a nuclear dog in the capitol. Jus’ the two of us tryin’ to save the country from the people runnin’ it. Whut in the hell is this world comin’ to?”

With a grin, Cole nodded. “Never would have thought it would come down to you and me...no offense.”

“Nah, none taken, bro. Ah’m surprised myself...and scared shitless to boot!”

A pair of bright headlights suddenly appeared around a distant corner and quickly grew in size and intensity.

“Shit!” Cole exclaimed, cranking Kevin’s antique car. He threw the shifter into drive and slammed the gas pedal to the ground. The car bolted forward down the alley with Cole attempting to put as much distance as he could between the Camaro and the friends closing in on them.

“What is it!?!! Is it your CIA buddies?” Kevin asked nervously as he looked out of the back window.

“Don’t know, but I ain’t takin’ any chances!” Cole exclaimed. Barreling into the middle of a thankfully empty street, Cole whipped the steering wheel to the left, stomped the gas pedal, and left tire marks on the road as he tore down the asphalt. He could hear Fitz’s body thudding about in the Camaro’s trunk.

“Did you get the coordinates, Epstein?” Cole asked as he drove down the road, his cellphone pinched between his cheek and his shoulder. With a knee on the Camaro’s steering wheel, he verified the number of rounds in his pistol’s clip with two hands. The agent glanced up at the streetlamp-lit interstate for a second to make sure the car was still in the proper lane and then smacked the magazine back into place. Cole laid the weapon down in his lap and grabbed the wheel.

“Bro, you are makin’ me nervous, drivin’ like that,” Kevin said with a raised eyebrow.

Cole shrugged. “How are you doing on ammo?”

“I’m good.”

“Damn,” Epstein said. “The Capitol building?”

“Okay, so you got ’em, then? Now, you said you wanted to help us, right?”


“Alright, Epstein, you know anyone that can get us in there after hours?”

“There’s no ‘afterhours’ this week, Cole. The House and Senate are both in session. Burning the midnight oil, you could say. They’re battling with the President about the budget even though that fool is out of town.”

“That’s no surprise! So, with them in session, that means security’s gonna be tight even at night. Damn...” Cole rubbed his aching leg. “Okay, Lou, do you know anyone that can get us in without being seen?”

“Yeah, I know somebody...”

“Can you trust them?” Cole asked, taking the off ramp toward the collection of the government buildings that made up the heart of Washington, D.C.

“I hope so. I’ve been married to him for five years”

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