What could possible be about to happen, that could possible devastate the entire Country? That was the only clue. Gerald Smyth shook his head and tossed his glasses onto his desk, he was a journalist not a detective.
The rules were clear: Do not involve the police or any federal agencies. You do and it will be you that suffers the tragedy. The voice that spoke to him had a German accent, and he wasn’t anybody’s fool. He knew of the little war between that German and the Texans.
If he were a few years younger he’d be there fighting in that war himself. He’d covered other such stories, from a conservative view point and was branded as a traitor by other reporters.
Perhaps a bomb in a certain place? The pentagon, the White House? No. Wait just a damn minute. The president. They’re Going To Kill The President! Remember: Devastation of the entire nation. Kill him in front of millions. A televised murder.
Jesus H Christ!
The war with the Texans was simply a smoke screen. Get the President to come to Texas, in a desperate plea for Macalister to end the war, and then kill him in front of millions. But of course the rest of America would never know the true reason as to why the president was really in Texas.
No one knew for certain what was really taking place. Those Texas press morons, had stopped reporting about the war long ago, so naturally the rest of America, just assumed it had ended. It was getting to be old news anyway.
The phone rang and he silenced it on the third ring. “Smyth.”
“Have you figured it out yet?”
“I’m closing in, you guys are slick, I’ll give you that. You don’t give a person much to work with.”
“How Hard Can It Be To Figure Out?” the voice shouted, the pitch rising in anger. “Devastation! We’re going to fucking kill. . . oh-ho-ho clever, but you already had it didn’t you?”
“Just trying for confirmation.” Gerald replied as he quickly wrote down his suspicions. He had a sinking feeling that he wasn’t going to live throughout the night. He quickly folded the paper and put it inside his inside breast pocket of his jacket.
“Have you soiled yourself yet?” the voice asked followed by the usual sarcastic laughter. It was as evil sounding as any sound he’d ever heard
Gerald’s own voice went stone cold as he spoke, “Little bit advice shithead: Why. . . Don’t. . . You. . . Go. . . And. . . Suck. . . Your Mother’s. . . Ass.”
The laughter stopped.
“Knowing your intent on making this work, how long do I have to get out of here?”
“Ten Seconds. Clock starts, the moment you stand up, been a good game Smyth. See you in hell.” The connection was broke.
Gerald looked at the door and then down at the chair. There was no way in hell, that he was going to get out in time. He was going to die, the president was going to die, and those German Fuckers were going to win.
A hopeful smile slowly spread across his lips.
Not very bright, for a group of asswipes, that are planning on killing our president. He thought as he used his feet to roll the chair toward the door.
He slowly opened the door, and wheeled himself out into the hall. “Now all I have to do, is go through life in this goddamn chair. Wouldn’t be so bad if Alice, had got me the color I’d requested.” He grimaced at his attempt at humor.
If he let the pressure get to him, he’d need a fresh pair of pants. Sadly his spare pair was in his office closet. Screw that.
As he looked out into the hall, he took a deep breath and wondered if he’d told his wife, just how much he really does love her that morning before he left for work.
He crossed himself even though he wasn’t Catholic, and jumped to his feet and ran down the hall and dove out the window. He hit the parked car, and felt the air leave him, in a heavy whoosh. His mind wanting his mouth to shout out: “I beat you motherfucker!”
The explosion rocked the entire building, and his body obeyed but one order. He quickly rolled off of the car, his body hitting the ground hard, as he then rolled over and over, out of the way of the falling debris.
He lay in the alley his mind trying desperately, to accept the fact that he was still alive. He began to laugh as he got to his feet. “Beat you Motherfucker.” He looked up at what was left of his office building, and shook his head.
He knew that he needed to get to the FEDS, and to get a call to his wife. The moment she heard about this, it could cause her to have a heart attack. That was meant literally. She had weak heart, and that was why he’d gone on to reporting the news rather than making it.
She was one of those rare special women, that would come along but once in a lifetime. She’d saved him from the biggest threat he’d ever known.
He’d been borderline alcoholic, and it seemed that he had a death wish. He was a high-risk taker, and did whatever he could to avoid being robbed by the shitheads.
One would be robber actually had a gun to his head, and told him: “I’m gonna kill you. Don’t matter if you give me the money or not. . . I never liked you, and I never will.”
Gerald gut shot him through the counter.
The store had six customers inside and they all said the same thing: Gerald turned ice cold when he spoke the words: “Why wait shithead? Just do it, don’t just fucking talk about it. Do it. You ain’t got no fucking balls without that gun.”
The sound of the hammer being cocked backed caused them all to jump. Then the explosive sound, and then there was the sudden sound of a body hitting a display, followed by the shrill screaming of the would be robber.
The customers all in unison found their courage, looked up and saw Gerald, standing behind the counter with a pistol. His eyes dry ice cold. They all told the police that. . . That was when they were the most frightened.
The robber lay screaming for help, and Gerald calmly opened the register and took out a dime and called the police. “Yeah Betty, this is Gerald. How’s David and the kids? Good-good. The Chevy running better now? Gotta remember to check that oil. Can’t really complain too much. . . well except for the dumb son of a bitch that just tried to rob me. What the hell do you think I did? I shot the bastard. Send Dan and the boys. Huh-Naw by the time ambulance got here they’d be useless. Huh-cause I gut shot the bastard that’s why. Betty, you really-really need to calm down, if you’re going to work in such a position of importance.”
That company decided then that two things were to happen: One. Gerald Smyth, would have a job for as long as he wanted one. Second. He must be moved to the more troublesome area of town.
They had quite a chain of stores started, and this was the one store that in five years time had never been robbed. Gerald had no real control over the fact, that some punk had decided to rob their nice clean little store.
But he’d baptized it in the blood of the wicked, they put him in as a permanent fixture, at one store then the trouble started. It started slow then grew into a cancerous tumor. He then had to extract it. . . a sawed off shotgun usually worked.
The whole time he was becoming somewhat of a hero, he’d never noticed that his wife was becoming ill. Fear gripping her heart always wondering if, when the phone rang if it was going to be news of his death.
It was a small town, and they’d yet to come down on clerks carrying guns. The city commission did have one meeting. A meeting that was insisted upon by a certain group of people.
Of course it was the crybaby losers, that had called the meeting. Nobody really there on the behalf of Smyth.
Gerald was there and faced his accusers. “I do this to stay alive.”
“You kill people.” the speaker spoke sharply as she put on her reading glasses and was shocked at the number. “Seven to be exact.”
“Only those that were trying to kill me lady.”
“Other clerks don’t carry a gun, so why should you?”
“Because, I’m also a member of Hutchinson County Sheriff’s department. We can if we so choose carry a firearm at all times, we never know when a crime is going to be perpetrated by some maggot.”
“You sound as though, you hope for that occurrence.” a weasel faced little man replied. “Do you enjoy your job Smyth.”
“If there are no further intelligent questions.”
“I asked you a question Smyth, and by God, I demand that you answer me.”
“The wind must have shifted, would somebody shut that window please. Picking up the stench of the dump, and old man Peterson’s stockyard.” Gerald replied fanning the air.
“You goddamn son of a bitch!” the man shouted.
A low murmur of voices grew louder in the small room.
A guard walked over and shut the window, but it was in fact an excuse to move closer to the loud mouth man. He was now twenty-five feet away.
“We have rules here Kendricks. No-profanity, and no insults, and when you address a man you address him properly.” the chairman replied stalling for more time.
“This whole thing fucking stinks, you people think I can’t see what you’re doing? You’re a dead-man Smyth, you’ll never hear the goddamn bullet that ends your worthless stinking life.”
The man turned as if to leave and slowly moved his hand down to the little book rack. The meeting hall was at one time the very First Baptist Church. (Hence the no profanity rule) The guard knew what was going to happen as well as the town council.
Gerald’s body tensed ready for the sudden move that was to come. He hoped for two things: That he didn’t stumble, and that the guard didn’t miss.
The would be mobster then came up with the pistol, that his boys had placed there sometime during the night. Gerald jumped to his feet and dove for cover. The town council also hit the floor. The guard pulled his pistol and under direct fire, (Sort of) the mobster was shooting at Gerald’s last position) shot the man between the eyes.
The ruling was simple: Gerald was an officer of the law, therefore he could and should carry his pistol, with him at all times. Since he is an officer at all times, and not just when he wears the uniform.
The council knew it was bullshit, so did the department. But it was a very weird time in Texas history. After the first shooting they decided to make him a deputy, to cover his ass, as well as their own. His was always listed as an officer involved shooting.
His wife had her first heart attack that day, when the town gossip called and told her what had happened. Lucky for both a very good friend of both was with her, and got her to the hospital.
Gerald then made a promise to both God, and to his wife. He’d quit the job at the store, and go to work at the newspaper. It was to be a step down in the excitement department, but it’d keep him out of danger, and his wife calm. He stayed a cop, let’s not get too crazy.
Thing was Gerald was a fighter. He couldn’t help himself. His body was always reacting, before his brain could ever comprehend what was being done. He now was back in the hot-seat, and had to do what was right. To hell with making the news, and reporting the news. The president was in danger, and it was up to him to stop the bastards.
He went to the nearest payphone and started to make the call. What am I doing? I have nothing, and all they’ll do is list me as a nutcase. Because that is what I’ll sound like. I don’t know who, is going to do what at what time.
They’ll arrest me, and say that I blew up my own office building. I have to get more facts, then I can go to the FEDS, maybe they already know something is up, and all they need is a little more information.
. . . and maybe they don’t know squat, and they’ll consider this a direct threat to the president. And who will they come after? Me. Because I’m the one that called them. Cop or not. There are very few intelligent good guys, but an ample supply if morons.
Okay. . . I need to get home before Ginny, hears of the office on the news, he hailed a taxi and got in and looked at the driver. All his instincts were flashing warning signals, as he told the driver an address.
“Looks like you’ve been in a riot.” the driver said.
“Feel like it too, somebody decided they didn’t like some office building. I was passing by when it blew up.”
“Shouldn’t you have waited for the cops?”
“Naw. They don’t like me, think I’m dirt and hassle me ever chance they get. Let the fuckers learn the facts on their own.”
“Kind of a rough neighborhood, good place to get mugged. What were you doing here this time of night, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“Some reporter was going to pay me a C-note for some information about a dirty cop. Guy never showed up, I was walking past this one building, just trying to stay out of sight of the cops when the building blew. Chunk of brick hit my shoulder, I’ll get the whore to look at it. She’ll charge me extra, but it’s better than a hospital where they’re sure to call the cops.”
The driver still wasn’t sure if the passenger was the reporter or not. He fit the description, but so did about fifty other guys. The story sounded legit, and the address was in the neighborhood where certain types went to seek medical attention. . . as well as to get a piece of ass.
Had to be legit, the man looked too rough to be a reporter.