The Trials of Loyalty

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Chapter 3

After Savannah walked up to Amanda and introduced herself, the two of them got to work dissecting all of the digital information they had. She learned very quickly that Amanda’s area of specialty was anything dealing with computers. It was disturbing to watch Amanda work and see what she could do with just a keyboard in front of her. Amanda was a very gruff person to work with, but Savannah was able to work past that to finish what they needed to get done.

Much like Savannah and Amanda thought earlier, there wasn’t much they were able to get from cameras. The ghost left little to no paper trail. The only thing the cameras actually proved was that he avoided them every single time. It’s almost as if he knew where the cameras were going to be ahead of time. Which means he either knew the layout of the building himself, or someone else gave him that information. That gave more credibility to Savannah’s theory that Alexander had someone he was working with.

Once she was done with Amanda, Savannah left to go back to her desk. She wasn’t of much use to them until they gathered more evidence on him and the case. Savannah was able to get Coleman to give her a copy of the unblocked file so she could look at it for any possible angle against Alexander. Maybe with a new angle or background knowledge on Alexander, she’d be able to narrow down where he might be hiding out at.

Savannah sat down at her desk, opening the file that Coleman had given her.

Savannah’s eyes settled on the photo of Alexander stapled to the top right corner of the first paper. He had the same, piercing blue-green eyes that Savannah remembers from seven years ago. His hair was now closer cropped to his head in the typical military fashion. In college, she remembers his hair as being much longer and wavier. His hair in college just grazed the tops of his shoulders. Savannah even remembers that because his hair was so long, he often kept it tied back in a ponytail. He was the person she actually went to if she needed a hair tie.

Savannah continued reading through the information on the paper, letting it soak into her brain. According to the file, he dropped out of college after his sophomore year and joined the navy, becoming a navy seal shortly afterward. There wasn’t much on his time as a seal, just that he was only a navy seal for a few years before he snapped and went rogue. Savannah searched the papers to see if the reason on why he went rogue was in there but she had no such luck. Of course, because that would actually make things easier for her!

Though the file didn’t contain much, it helped Savannah out a great deal. Alexander had an exemplary record when he entered the seals. Multiple commendations, several acts of valor. He even received an award for saving a schoolhouse full of children in Africa. There had to be something, whatever it might be, that caused him to snap. Something so traumatic happened, that it caused Alexander to go against everything he’s worked for and loved to become an international criminal.

Savannah had just placed the file in her desk drawers as Coleman walked by her desk, stopping briefly enough to rest his eyes on her. “Decker, Johnson, and Stevens still haven’t come up with anything useful yet. I’ve been in touch with the United States Secretary of the Navy. He won’t budge on any details when it comes to Ghost, but, he is sending over someone from the seals that’s agreed to help us out. Should cut through all the bureaucratic bullshit and nonsense-“ He waved his hand through the air briefly before walking away from her desk.

Hopefully whoever they were sending from the Seals would be able to help them and it wouldn’t just be a waste of time. After looking through the file that Savannah thought would be her smoking gun, she realized that she needed all of the help she could get.

Alexander was certainly living up to the codename ‘Ghost’

Back in the Middle East…

After Daniel left with the papers, promising to get whatever was on the paper translated, Alexander found himself laying out on the bed. He didn’t know if he should be classifying what he was laying on as a bed. All it was a few thin layers of cotton sheeting. The springs that once separated the layers was long gone as it all rested on a metal bed frame that was ready to collapse at any minute. He couldn’t complain though, he didn’t have much of a choice. It wasn’t like he was going to get the best accommodations in his situation.

Alexander closed his eyes, the cool air from the ceiling fan chilling his increasingly warm skin. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t stop the racing thoughts in his mind. Even as his breathing slowed, all that ran through his head were the ever-present sounds of gunfire and people yelling in the distance.

Alexander’s eyes were glued to the red spot on Johnathan’s chest as it continued to spread throughout the material. Even as Johnathan sat on the ground, bleeding out at an alarming rate, he continued to cover Alexander as his hands flew to the wound.

“Don’t bother Alex, there’s no sense in trying to stop the bleeding.” Johnathan groaned, finally dropping the gun as his hand fell to his side.

“Out of all of the times to give up on me you choose now?” A nervous laugh escaped Alexander as he once again tried to staunch the bleeding with his hands. With what little energy Johnathan had, he pushed away Alexander’s hands.

“Stop! I’ve already lost too much blood. Both you and I know what’s going to happen.” Alexander and Johnathan wordlessly looked into each other’s eyes. Johnathan wasn’t going to make it out of this room alive.

The sound of splitting wood from the bullets hitting the table brought Alexander out of his trance. Without hesitating, he grabbed Johnathan’s pistol and immediately began firing at the terrorists. He emptied the rest of the clip, which was only five bullets. Once that was empty, he dropped the pistol and seamlessly transferred to firing his gun at them, emptying that clip as well. After getting off six shots, Alexander finally heard the scream of a terrorist as the bullet tore through his skin and muscle.

Alexander dropped back against the table, clipping his gun back into the holster. He allowed a small smile to rise on his face. Maybe he would get Johnathan out of this alive.

When Alexander turned to give Johnathan the good news, he saw that he was now slouched over in his position. The olive shirt he was wearing was now completely stained brown from his blood. Johnathan’s eyes had glazed over. His hand clutched at the chain around his neck. Upon closer inspection from Alexander, he saw that his hands had grasped onto his dog tags, which were now stained red with his blood.

As Alexander’s eyes shot open, his hand instinctively went towards his neck. His fingers grasped at the metal dog tag, the tips of his fingers brushing against the dried blood on the cool piece of metal. Ever since that day, he’s worn those dog tags whether it was rain or shine, just like Alexander vowed to always do.

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