A man appeared in the woods, a crazed look in his eyes. He only briefly turned to look behind him before sprinting further into the woods, picking up speed as he ran. The man’s feet pounded against the ground as his breathing fell in time with his steps. He could hear sticks snap under the pressure of his feet as he somehow managed to increase his pace even further.
The faint sound of shouting men behind him reminded him of the situation at hand. Great, the man thought. They were still chasing him. He thought they would have given up by now.
Regardless, the man continued running. He disregarded the pain that ran through his body every time a tree branch snapped back, hitting him in the face. While he ran, his hand stayed pressed into his abdomen, stopping any blood from further leaving his body. If and when he made it out of this situation alive, he was going to have to get himself checked out.
After a few minutes had passed and his breathing became heavier, the man came across a stone cliff. Glancing up, he saw jagged edges jutting out from the cliff. The man grasped onto an edge, ignoring the pain emanating from his hand as the stone cut through his skin.
Before he was able to hoist himself up and start climbing, the men that were chasing him had caught up to him. All he had to hear was the cocking of their guns to let his hand fall from the cliff.
“You American put your hands up!” The men called out, their middle eastern accents thick. The man facing the cliff turned around to face the other men, a nervous smirk sliding onto his face.
“I suppose I can’t pass this off as a misunderstanding?” The men with guns all pointed them towards the American’s head. All the American could do was let out a chuckle before raising both of his hands in the air.
“You know, I think in five years’ time we’re all going to forget this ever happened.” Once again, the men with guns didn’t verbally respond. “You guys don’t talk much do you?” The American slowly began to slide his left hand down towards his waistband.
“Keep your hands up!” One of the men called out, taking a few steps towards him.
“Now hold up buddy, there’s no need to get any closer. I’m just reaching down to scratch my back. Not like I’m going to pull a gun on you or anything.” The hand kept inching closer towards the waistband of his cargo pants. At this point, the tips of his fingers were grazing the beltline behind his back.
The man with the gun continued to make his way closer towards the American, the barrel of the gun trained on his head. “I said keep your hands UP!”
“Alright, Alright I’ll put my hands back up. Right after…. This!” Within the matter of a few seconds, the American had pulled his hand back up, revealing a stun grenade. Before the men with guns could process what was happening, the American had pulled the pin on the stun grenade and threw it, launching himself into cliffs behind him. The man had just turned and pressed his face into the rocky cliff before it went off.
The other men yelled and screamed as the stun grenade had blinded them, making them drop their guns in the process. Though the American was affected by the flashbang, he took this as his opportunity to start climbing the rocky cliff. He ignored the ringing in his ears as he continued to push himself, climbing the cliff at an abnormally fast rate.
The man didn’t stop until he had reached the top of the cliff, launching himself into a standing position.
He looked down at the men, still struggling with the effects of it going off. A few seconds was all the American allowed himself to observe the situation before he started running once again; this time, not looking back.
Halfway Across the World….
“Shit, I’m going to be late!” Savannah cursed under her breath, her heels viciously clicking against the tile flooring. Wisps of her light brown hair had fallen from her bun as she rushed down the hallway. She couldn’t believe it. Her first big case as a Forensic Psychologist and here she was, late to the debriefing! This was just her luck.
Savannah almost fell as she slid around the corner, the elevator finally in her sights. Maybe she wouldn’t be as late as she thought she would be.
Sprinting towards the elevator, Savannah nearly sighed in relief when she saw that the doors were still open. Just as she reached the metal doors though, they had begun to close. Before she could get a word out, asking whoever was in the elevator to hold it, they had already fully shut. ‘Well,’ Savannah thought to herself, ‘Looks like she spoke too soon.’
“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Savannah allowed herself a moment to breathe, stopping as she pressed a hand into her stomach. “Alright, stairs it is.” She once again picked up pace as she now booked it to the stairs. Thankfully, she was only going to have to climb 3 flights of stairs. Savannah was so out of shape that she didn’t think she’d be able to make more than that.
It took countless minutes and several pep talks Savannah had given to herself that she couldn’t afford to lose her job for her to make it to the floor she needed to be on. She was standing outside the room she was supposed to be in as well, but she figured she should catch her breath before coming into the room.
Putting her hand on the doorknob, Savannah silently opened the door, peeking around as she did so. Inside, was the man she was supposed to be meeting with, Agent Coleman. A few other people were stationed at various points throughout the room. None of them seemed to be acknowledging each other as they all had their faces buried in either their phones or some sort of case file. Good, maybe she wasn’t as late as she thought she was!
Before she could take a step into the room, Agent Coleman had spoken up, not looking up from the stack of papers he was thumbing through. “Next time, Agent Carey, you should consider showing up to meetings where your job depends on it on time.” Savannah shut her eyes, hoping the embarrassment didn’t rise on her cheeks as she stepped further into the room. So close.
“Sorry sir, won’t happen again,” Savannah mumbled under her breath as she fully entered the room, taking the closest empty seat towards her.
“Now that we’re all here,” Coleman stood up from his desk, positioning himself in front of everyone in the room. By the metaphorical snap of his fingers, the other three people in the room had commanded their attention towards him.
“You’re all in here for a specific reason, whether you believe so or not. Each of you in this room serves a purpose for what I’m about to discuss. What I’m about to talk about does not, under any circumstances leave this room or the five of us.” Savannah, along with the three other people in the room nodded their heads in agreeance.
“You’re all here because starting today, you are apart of a task force that the FBI has formed. This task force has been started for the sole purpose of catching a single individual, who is only known as ‘The Ghost’.” Coleman explained, glancing at a pad of paper on his desk. “As you can guess by his name, we don’t know much about this individual.”
“What we do know is that he is a former navy seal that has gone rogue for reasons unknown. We’ve been tracking this guy for months but have no actual success in capturing this guy.”
“What exactly has this guy done?” One woman asked, raising her hand in the process.
“The question should be what this guy hasn’t done. He’s bartered trades with known terrorists in the middle east, he’s stolen military-grade weapons from the Russians. Most recently, we’ve connected him to the theft of military papers in Iraq. The Ghost has caused some rifts with not only our enemies but our allies as well. Our government wants this man stopped before one of the countries he committed a crime in decides to retaliate against us.”
“With each of your specialties, we’re hoping that we can put a stop to the mess this ‘Ghost’ has gotten us into.” Coleman moved back to sit down at his desk. “You’ll receive more information on the task force and what we’re expecting of each of you later today. The US government is counting on each of you to help us out. You’re all dismissed.” Within a few moments, everybody else cleared out of the room, leaving Savannah to sit across from Coleman.
As Savannah sat there, she couldn’t stop herself from staring at him as he started to once again look through a stack of papers on his desk. “Do you have anything you’d like to add Agent Carey? Or are you just going to continue to stare at me from across the room?”
Savannah cleared her throat as she stood up from her seat. “I don’t want to come across as rude or that I don’t respect your judgment sir, but why did you choose me for this task force?”
Coleman finally looked up from the papers to settle his eyes on Savannah as he rose a questioning eyebrow. “Excuse me?”
“No offense, but there are more qualified people in this building, hell on this floor that deserve to be on this team. I only transferred to this division last month, I’ve barely gotten my barrens around here. So why me?” Coleman sat in silence, just staring at Savannah before he cleared his throat. “Why don’t you sit back down Agent, there’s something I need to explain to you.”
Worry rose in Savannah’s eyes as she sat back down in the seat she just rose from. Coleman sighed, before raising his eyes to once again meet Savannah’s.
“There were a few things that I didn’t mention in the debriefing-“
“How does that concern me though sir?” Savannah spoke up. Coleman gave her a knowing look before he continued.
“What I wasn’t allowed to disclose during the debriefing is that we do, in fact, know who this man is.”
“That’s great but why aren’t you allowed to-“
“The government doesn’t want us to acknowledge the task force his real identity for fear of compromising the integrity of the investigation. That’s how badly we want this guy.”
Savannah posed the question that kept plaguing her mind. “If they don’t want you to disclose ‘The Ghost’s’ real identity, then why are you telling me this?”
“Because Agent Carey- you already know this man. Or at least knew this man.” Savannah couldn’t help but stand up from the seat, an incredulous look on her face.
“I can assure you that I do not, nor have I ever associated with a navy seal gone rogue!”
“On the contrary Savannah you have.” Coleman allowed his eyes to fall from Savannah’s face to rest on an open manila folder that laid on his desk. “You went to college with him.”
“I don’t remember any guy going into the military after college. Surely I would have remembered something like that-“
“His name is Alexander Jackson.” It was at this moment Savannah’s eyes went wide as she continued to look at Agent Coleman. She hadn’t heard that name in years. Savannah wouldn’t have thought of him otherwise, but the minute Coleman mentioned his name, she was reminded of a man that she considered a ghost.
Alexander Jackson was a rogue criminal, and Savannah was supposed to help track him down and bring him to justice.