I knew that Tonya wasn’t anymore a traitor than I was. She’d acted in what she thought to be in the best interest of the team. I’d have done the same thing, and the man I was to appoint as my second would have done it the same way.
“You gonna have me shot at dusk?” Tonya, asked nervously.
“You know better than that,” I said with a shake of my head. “we shoot people at dawn.” I said the last with a grin to reassure her that she was safe.
Her smile spoke volumes.
“Go on about your duties Tonya, and continue to keep me informed.”
She nodded her head and turned to leave, but turned back to face me. “Dobs...thanks for believing me.”
I watched as she turned and ran for the comm center. There was
one last detail, I needed to see to. I saw the man that I was going to appoint as my second walking toward me.
Randy Baker was another member, from the original group that I’d grown up with. He was also the first Black man to join us. Afterward the others joined at an alarming rate.
He’d left Borger, for close to four years before he’d finally come back. He went to work with the rest of us rough necking, and was one of the first to step in, to protect Lady Lane and June.
I’d always felt that it should have been him to lead. He had that special quality that makes a good leader. But, he had said straight out that he’d prefer to follow.
“Hey-Randy have I got a deal for you.” I said with a smile.
“I’m not so sure, I like the way you’re smiling Dobs.”
“Ah-Randy my old friend, would I ever do anything sneaky or underhanded? You hurt my feelings when you loose that trusting look.”
“SHIT!” Randy said with a curt shake of his head. “Now I’m really getting fuckin’ scared.”
I fought the overwhelming urge to laugh, “I’ve reached a decision Randy.” I looked at my watch. “In exactly ten minutes from now it’ll be high noon, and at that time I’m going to inform the group to the identity of my second in command...welcome aboard brother.”
Randy jumped a good foot back and yelled like a scalded cat. “No fucking way, are you doing that to me!”
“You’re the best man for the job, and I need you to have my back. Randy. You’re somebody that I’d trust with my life.”
I grinned and put out my hand, “As second in command you can also pick our evening meals.”
Randy arched an eyebrow and frowned slightly as he slowly extended his hand, “Tell me why is that to be such a thrill job?” he asked drily.
“We can have soul food every night.” I said with a laugh, as I took off at a dead run with Randy close behind me cussing.
The group shook their heads, at the antics of the two most respected men they’d ever known.
It was to be the weirdest team up in all of history. Randy and I’d gone to school together, we’d chased girls on Main Street, and had even been in our share of street fights. (Always on the same side) But Randy, had changed a bit during the time he was gone. My old friend was now Reverend Randy Baker.
He could and would still fight when pushed. Maybe he was absent the day they taught about turning the other cheek, and a number of other classes.
There will be lots of suspicions, and a number of people will be mixing lies with half truths. One was that he’d never been Ordained. But he had been.
He was not one of those loud obnoxious ministers. He’d almost always talk in a soothing tone. But hell-yeah, he’d get on a roll and his voice would rise.
He didn’t wear long robes, nor...had he changed his name to Mohammad LaBamba, or some dumb shit like that. He was a country preacher, that just so happened to be Black.
He was the best friend, any man could hope to have.
This is from a dumb-ass country boy, that felt God would not appreciate the sermons that he’d give. It was a shame that I never at least gave it a try. It would have certainly been different.
Randy had his dark side: He’d get this look in his eyes and that soothing tone would leave. If you were to ever piss him off then all bets were off. He’d just as soon send you to heaven or hell, it all depended on which one was taking assholes that day.
His anger finally died down and he just give me dirty looks. But this didn’t last long either. Our team cheered when I gave the news an hour later than I’d planned.
There was no racial prejudice tolerated within our group. The N word was not to be spoken period. The two men that had spoken it was shown the way out. . .after they had their asses kicked by two very large White country boys.
I’m going to say this: we were a family always watching the other’s back. We’d joke, but a joke is funny when all would laugh.
Like when I wised off about the soul food.
“When those two boys took them rednecks out back, I knew it was all over but the poundin’.” one of the Black men replied. “and they say we’re too emotional. Check out Whitey.”
The room roared with laughter from all.
It was also very wise to watch what you said to a woman. We didn’t condone nasty comments made to or about women. You may not get kicked out off the team,
but chances were high that you’d get your ass kicked.
Like I said we were a family, and in those days it was wise not to mess with a man’s family.
Honor and family values, were always an issue with us.
“Our man still safe with them people?” Jennings asked.
“Yes. Are you gonna have to be constantly reminded, that this group is not the bad guys.” the woman asked in a firm voice.
“I don’t like my questions being constantly analyzed by you people. FUCK with me, and I’ll make you disappear just like magic.” He said with a snap of his fingers.
“Is that a threat?”
“Move the bitch to the head of the class, she asked the right question.”
“So it was a threat?”
“You keep asking questions like that, and I’ll have you moved to the nearest kitchen. Barefoot and pregnant of course.” he said with a barking laugh.
“Now how would you arrange for me to be pregnant?”
Again he gave the loud laugh, as he grabbed his crotch. “I’ll either get you pregnant, or I’ll fuck you to death.”
Seconds later several armed men rushed into the room with their pistols drawn. “Agent Jennings you’re under arrest.” the woman said in a cold tone.
“None of this will hold up in court and you fucking know it. This was an obvious set-up, and I was only playing along.”
“You know how we work, you’ve already had your trial.” a young agent said as he took a step toward the rogue agent.
“You’re one crazy motherfucker, and the sentence is death.”
The woman shook her head sadly, it was rare for her to have or show any emotions when an agent went bad. But in this case it was close to impossible not to. Agent Jennings had worked with her father, and had saved his life on more than one occasion.
Not to say that her father was a screw-up. Things have a nasty way of sometimes quite suddenly turning to shit, and when it did instead of leaving her father to whatever fate, Jennings, had personally gone in and got her father out.
It had been Jennings that had uncovered, who it was that had compromised her father’s missions... “Shit.” she softly grimaced. The whole thing was a set-up. He was the rogue from day one. How many good agents have died because of him...or how many other bad agents died because they crossed him? How many were sacrificed all in the name of their cause.
Who can she trust? Why should she trust anybody?
Her mother had told her long ago, that if life ever felt too shitty who she should get in touch with. That they were both men to ride the river with. But just how in the hell, was she suppose to do that?
She’d been raised in England, and had never been told anything about her mother’s people. Her uncle was just that occasional voice on the phone. He’d gone to England, long about the time that her mother did.
Then came the day of that phone call. A man’s voice had said that her father had been killed in an accident. That his body was shipped to America. Which she found odd, since he was in Ireland when he was killed. Why wasn’t he just sent home?
Her mother in a moment of weakness, and too much brandy told her the deep dark secret. Both her father and uncle, were agents with the Company. There was no accident. He was executed. Her father was listed as a DOD. Dead on Demand.
That they had to examine his remains, just to ensure that it was indeed him that they had killed.
Then there were the hushed whispers.
Things that was forbidden to be spoken whenever she was near.
She knew that one branch of her family was suppose to be derived from royalty. That somewhere, was a castle complete with servants, and more money than the United States could ever see in twenty years.
The Clary family was never spoken of, and then the few times that a representative from the family, would come by she was sent to her room. She did hide one time and learned that there was trouble brewing. It seemed that Sir Robert had gone to America, on some fool notion to search for his bride.
A woman not of noble blood was to become part of the family. Why did they come to tell her mother of this. Why should her mother even care?
The woman was from Texas...he’d found her.
A Texas woman was to marry into the Clary family. Sir Robert had even brought
her brother to England, to attend school. Was that a coincidence?
She’d heard the softly muttered family name, just before she was caught and then escorted to her room by a staff member. The family name that he was to marry into was. . . MacMasters...McAllen. . .MaCullen...Macalister!
“This is weird, has to be coincidence, I’m remembering wrong, I have to be.”
“Sorry to disappoint you Agent Larris.” the large man replied . “This man’s sister is married to your cousin. We hoped that you’d not make the connection.”
“What kinship is he to me?”
“No legal blood kinship whatsoever.”
Cindy Larris slowly shook her head, “I’m not that close to my cousin. Yeah...we saw each other as we were growing up, but we never really clicked. I never could get use to, that many people kissing my ass.”
The senior agent smiled sadly. He was not to tell Larris the complete truth. It would be a violation. If he did he’d probably find himself to be beheaded.
“What are you not telling me, or should I even bother to ask?”
“You know the drill agent Larris some things can never be told.”
Agent Larris slowly nodded her head, knowing that to ask further questions would be useless. The senior agent, was good at playing the CYA game.
“What do I do now?”
“Business as usual Cindy.” the agent replied using her first name. “Just stay focused and just remember that while this group may appear to be clean...if they were to ever cross the line, you’re either to bring them in, or take them down.”
“I will Dan. Nobody has to remind me of the oath I took.”
The SAC nodded his head, their job was certainly a shitty one.