The Tretiak Agenda – Excerpt # 14

TretiakAgendaEbookCoverAmazon

 

 

A cadre of government officials plotting to secure unimagined wealth and power; an innocent woman’s death, and a grieving journalist who soon finds himself a nation’s only hope to avert unimagined political catastrophe.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m pleased to offer you another excerpt from my eBook entitled:

THE TRETIAK AGENDA

Enjoy!

 

 

Turning to his personal assistant, seated off to the side of the conference room table and dutifully transcribing notes, Tretiak issued instructions for the benefit of everyone present. “Mary, please be certain that you are in contact with everyone at least once each week from now on. I’d like to be updated more frequently, and it will be important that we all are fully aware of what each member is dealing with on a more timely basis going forward. I don’t want anything being overlooked and I want us to be able to react quickly if need be.”

Mary Brava nodded in acknowledgement, and then addressed the group. “I’m assuming everyone’s responsibilities will increase, and to ensure accuracy and timeliness, let me handle the preparation of all reports. That will allow me to stay on top of matters and free you from having to submit updates more frequently than you’ve been accustomed to.”

And we all know that she likes to be on top, isn’t that right, Mary?” Gregg Danko’s comment was greeted with silence. Mary looked across at him impassively to be certain he would derive no satisfaction from the crude remark. Danko broadened what passed for a smile.

Always count on you to add a touch of class, right, Gregg?” Philip McKenna shook his head contemptuously.

Gentlemen, that conversation is over! Gregg, that comment has no place here, and certainly not directed to Mary.” It was a rare rebuke from Anatoly Tretiak, and Danko predictably did not take kindly to it. He looked at Tretiak for several seconds. Even an expressionless stare from Danko was a menacing one. The look he then shot Philip McKenna’s way left no doubts. No one spoke for nearly half a minute.

Philip McKenna finished the third serving of his preferred Connemara single malt Irish whiskey, pointedly ignoring Danko. Untroubled as always by Danko’s hostility, McKenna then raised his empty glass in a mock toast to his nemesis.

“‘Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough.’ I always liked that Mark Twain adage!” He laughed as he turned to John Delaney’s Executive Producer, who had arrived twenty minutes earlier.

Bob, do you think Delaney’s return is going to cause us any problems? If he starts poking around Rose’s background as he’s likely to do—if the hint he dropped to you indicates his intentions—we could have a hornet’s nest on our hands!” McKenna then removed his thick eyeglasses and rubbed his face, stifling a yawn.

John Delaney will be neutralized as will any others who interfere. There’s no need for any of you to worry about him. If his probings get too close, he’ll be dealt with appropriately,” Tretiak replied.

Although it’s clear that he’s going to continue covering Daniel, I’m not concerned yet,” Robert Marino replied confidently. “I’ll keep an eye on him, but I’m not expecting John to do any hatchet jobs. The last two op-eds he’s written about Daniel have been fairly tame. If he ramps up his pursuit, I can finesse that as needed.

McKenna, a former high-ranking Central Intelligence Agency executive and a prior target of Delaney’s determined investigative efforts, was particularly sensitive to the journalist’s involvement. “Some of us,” he added with a grimace borne of experience, “more so than others, are painfully aware of his, ah … unique abilities. He’s as persistent as any human alive. His return to the national stage, given his somewhat antagonistic history with the Vice President, makes me nervous.

He’ll be allotted the proper respect, and he will be managed,” was Anatoly Tretiak’s terse reply.

If ‘management’ of him proves inadequate, then I’ll take care of him.”
Gregg Danko’s threat was clear. McKenna stifled a retort. Danko glared at him but said nothing—behavior which by now served as the extent of most of their interactions.

 

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NOTE: Excerpts have been posted weekly throughout the summer. This is the final one. I hope it has piqued your interest!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

* I invite you to enjoy this political fiction thriller [here]

 

I welcome you to ponder the messages in my other book: Life Will Answer, and to view my other blogs–at this website [click on the My Blogs link above] and also at Peak Oil Matters

 

 

The Tretiak Agenda – Excerpt # 13

TretiakAgendaEbookCoverAmazon

 

 

A cadre of government officials plotting to secure unimagined wealth and power; an innocent woman’s death, and a grieving journalist who soon finds himself a nation’s only hope to avert unimagined political catastrophe.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

I’m pleased to offer you another excerpt from my eBook entitled:

THE TRETIAK AGENDA

Enjoy!

 

 

    “Gentlemen, I assume you either watched President Neely’s interview this morning or have now been apprised of his decision that he will not seek a second term—the reasons quite unfortunate, we should note.” A murmur of satisfaction greeted the remark, but none of Tretiak’s companions dared interrupt his moment for long. They fell silent again. Their own contented smiles sufficed.

    “You all realize what this means for us. Daniel will announce his intentions to seek the Presidency after an appropriate and respectful period … just days, actually. I expect that he will be accorded a great deal more responsibility to enact the President’s initiatives. The electorate will see first-hand how capable a leader he will be.”

    “It all seems to be falling into place perfectly, doesn’t it?” added Philip McKenna. His companions echoed the sentiment.

    “Obviously we’re moving up our timetable dramatically, but most of what we’ve needed to do in preparation is already in place,” Tretiak advised. “We’ll have to make some modifications of course, but none of you should have any concerns that Daniel’s elevation four years ahead of schedule will create problems. I—we—have planned too well.

    “Stewart, plan to speak with Federov soon … this evening if you can stay on. Moscow will surely be pleased!

    “I’m going to call the Vice President. He’s of course expecting to hear from me. I assume you would all like to be part of that moment.

    “Daniel will be our next President, and with that, our agenda will at long last see fulfillment—a victory long in coming, richly deserved, and rewarding for each of us in ways we may not yet comprehend, gentlemen! America—the world—will soon witness what vision and power can produce.

    “Nothing can stand in our way. Nothing will. Nothing!”   

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NOTE: Excerpts have been posted weekly throughout the summer, and will conclude next week

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

* I invite you to enjoy this political fiction thriller [here]

 

I welcome you to ponder the messages in my other book: Life Will Answer, and to view my other blogs–at this website [click on the My Blogs link above] and also at Peak Oil Matters

 

 

The Tretiak Agenda – Excerpt # 12

TretiakAgendaEbookCoverAmazon

 

 

A cadre of government officials plotting to secure unimagined wealth and power; an innocent woman’s death, and a grieving journalist who soon finds himself a nation’s only hope to avert unimagined political catastrophe.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m pleased to offer you another excerpt from my eBook entitled:

THE TRETIAK AGENDA

Enjoy!

 

 

Any news from your sources?

    “Not yet, Andy, but I’ve widened my search. I’ve got two people in Moscow looking into the nuke angle. I’m also getting some more background on a Russian I’m positive is involved.

    “Without telling you too much, for many years we’ve maintained a group of Russian nuclear missiles hidden in an underground storage facility just outside of Petrozavodsk, several hundred miles northeast of Moscow near the Berents Sea. We’ve had no specific plans for them, but gaps in treaty inspections and the like allowed us the opportunity to keep them handy just in case.”

    “Wow! That’s a lot more than I had ever imagined!

    “Not as threatening as it sounds, Andy, if hidden extra nukes can in any way not appear threatening! Some were alleged to have been destroyed in accordance with international treaties, but most are from arsenals the Russians hid from day one. Since on-site inspections only became the norm in the last couple of decades, it was easy to set up a system at the very beginning of their nuclear program and continue on that track as the weaponry was upgraded.

    “David Peters’s reference to the ‘second group’ of concealed nukes is a nightmare if it’s true! One group is all we needed! Obviously Danko and unknown friends are planning something.

    “That’s not very comforting.”

    “An understatement of epic magnitude, Andy!

    “Any thoughts as to how Daniel Rose fits into this mess?

    “No. It doesn’t make sense that he’d be doing anything to double-cross us. Daniel is going to be the next President, and I cannot for the life of me figure out what other perk he could possibly want to justify screwing the rest of us!

    “My take is that he’s getting what appears to be a pretty good chunk of money for something….

    “That’s my read on it, also. But what? We need to keep digging, Andy. A second set of nuclear missiles in Gregg Danko’s hands is not good for any of us. I don’t want to be a day late finding out what that bastard is up to.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NOTE: Excerpts will be posted weekly throughout the summer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

* I invite you to enjoy this political fiction thriller [here]

I welcome you to ponder the messages in my other book: Life Will Answer, and to view my other blogs–at this website [click on the My Blogs link above] and also at Peak Oil Matters

 

 

The Tretiak Agenda – Excerpt # 11

TretiakAgendaEbookCoverAmazon

 

 

A cadre of government officials plotting to secure unimagined wealth and power; an innocent woman’s death, and a grieving journalist who soon finds himself a nation’s only hope to avert unimagined political catastrophe.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m pleased to offer you another excerpt from my eBook entitled:

THE TRETIAK AGENDA

Enjoy!

 

 

 

    Marino looked at his colleague, only half-listening at the moment. What if John’s right about this? Christ!

    “Don’t you think he’s a shoo-in for re-election? Jesus, you read your own blog posts, don’t you?” Marino began, his hands slashing the air.

    “Right now Neely has the highest ratings anyone in the Oval Office has ever had. Why the hell wouldn’t he want to continue? How taxing can it be to win in a landslide?” Marino threw his arms up and flopped back into his seat, exasperated that such issues had to be broached. He again dabbed at his forehead. This time he used his tie.

    “This is Washington, Bob, and things do change, but I’ll concede that the Republicans are going to have to mount one hell of a challenge to knock this king off his throne … assuming he chooses to stay there, of course. Given that the primaries are not too far off, the GOP isn’t exactly setting the world on fire with tough competition for him. Sometimes I think they’ve already conceded; none of the GOP candidates on deck strike fear in anyone’s heart! Each one of them is trying to out-insane their competition!

    “Senator Calloway may consider tossing his hat into the ring for the Republicans at this late date if Neely bows out. But he can afford to wait four more years and take his chances against Daniel Rose. Hell, that’s been his plan all along!

    “But he’s ready. He would be the strongest opponent if Neely leaves.”

    “Yeah. These Tea Party suck-ups will wind up blowing each other up before too long—at least I hope so! And you didn’t hear me say that, John! But we know how the game is played in this town. The tides can change very quickly,” Marino said.

    John nodded. “Let’s not forget we’ve still got a very dicey economic recovery going on now, and the Right’s well-oiled noise machine keeps singing the same fact-free tunes as always. There are a lot of people out there still struggling to make ends meet, and the job numbers aren’t all that great. This could be a big issue before too long.

    “The posturing on the economy is in full-swing, and that’s going to play into a lot of fears, Bill. There’s a sizable number of loony Congressmen marching to the Tea Party band. Fact-free or not, they do have an agenda … consequences be dammed. They’re clearly not shy about hyping their message.

    Marino looked away as he considered Delaney’s observations. “Yeah. There’s already a boatload of resistance shaping up. Everyone on the Hill is going to want to have a say in how the legislative proposals play out, and the stronger Neely appears, the more crazed the opposition is willing to act! All of this kissy-face shit is great sound bite material, but I guess we’ll all have to reserve judgment for a bit.

    “If Neely does bow out, that may very well throw the whole race wide open. But Jesus … this late in the game? The New Hampshire primary is what—ten months away? Who the hell is in position to take over on the Right?” Marino asked.

     “Good question, although I’ll say again that I won’t rule out Calloway. I’m not sure Neely or any President would want to add to the economic chaos by bowing out … especially now! But he may not have much of a choice,” John noted.

    “Rose is a big question mark for me, and at this point the Democrats don’t have anyone else waiting in the wings to jump in because they never planned on having to run another candidate. It’s a bit of mess, Bob!

    Marino motioned for the waiter to refill his drink once more, bristling at John’s concerns about the Vice President. John stared at Marino for an instant, but refrained from commenting.

     “What’s wrong with Rose? Why don’t you think he’s got the stuff to run this country? You’ve been on his ass for a long time, and I’ve never understood why.”    
    It was no secret that Robert Marino was a staunch backer of Daniel Rose. His attachment to the Vice President had clouded his judgment on several prior occasions—an uncommon lapse. Fortified by several drinks, Marino struggled to conceal his anger.

    “The Veep isn’t exactly a nobody in this town, John! His approval numbers suggest that I’m not alone in thinking he’s more than up to the task,” Marino said hotly, his voice rising above the din of the afternoon lunch crowd. Several patrons from nearby tables looked up. John motioned for Marino to lower his voice. With an angry wave of his hand to acknowledge the suggestion, Marino continued.

    “Rose has been a major player for years as it is,” he added in a loud whisper.

    “He won re-election the last two times quite handily, and he enjoyed a pretty goddamn good run as a Senator! They’ve been whispering his name as future President for more than a couple of years, now.” Marino’s defense of the Vice President was not lost on John, but the journalist saw no reason to provoke his producer. They had had this same argument on several previous occasions.

    In John’s well-considered opinion, Daniel Rose was the embodiment of the overly packaged, slick politician—one who piqued the skepticism of any good journalist. Several contentious appearances on Politics From The Street when Rose was still in the Senate had not been forgotten by political observers—or Delaney.

    John often stated privately that he did not think the Vice President was everything he either professed or appeared to be. His television commentary had been more circumspect in the past year than were his blog posts, but it was common knowledge that John Delaney did not share the majority view that Daniel Rose was one of America’s ablest politicians.  

   He could never articulate any specific chain of facts in support of this belief, but John learned years ago to trust his instincts. His long-held assessment that there was too broad a gulf between the public Daniel Rose and the authentic, private version of the man had not been swayed since Rose became Vice President. Although he acknowledged that the same could be said about many politicians, John felt that the distinction between the two personas was much more glaring with the Vice President.

     “Rose is okay, Bob. You know I have some reservations about him. He’s not the worst thing that could happen to us!” John laughed in an effort to placate his producer.

    “Geez, you’re all heart. That would make a terrific campaign slogan: ‘Vote for Daniel Rose. He’s not the worst thing that could happen.’” Marino gulped down the rest of his fourth scotch and frowned good-naturedly in his colleague’s direction. The two men shared a brief laugh as Marino signaled for the check.

    “Seriously, Bob. You know the game. Lots of things can change very quickly if the major players get reassigned. Who knows how the V.P. would react if he has to run the show … and you can be sure I’m going to jump on a Daniel Rose candidacy pretty quickly. Since the rumors started I’ve been giving that a lot of thought.

    “We don’t have much to go on, Rose’s many years as a Senator notwithstanding. In fact, I’m already thinking about running a series on him later in the spring. We’ll talk about that at some point. You can also be sure that I’m going to try and get him on PFTS next week if Neely does bow out.”

    Marino stared at John for a moment. That could be a problem! Marino paused and shook his head almost imperceptibly, as if convincing himself not to pursue the topic.

 

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NOTE: Excerpts will be posted weekly throughout the summer except for next week. Taking a one-week break. Enjoy the holiday weekend

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

* I invite you to enjoy this political fiction thriller [here]

I welcome you to ponder the messages in my other book: Life Will Answer, and to view my other blogs–at this website [click on the My Blogs link above] and also at Peak Oil Matters

 

 

The Tretiak Agenda – Excerpt # 10

TretiakAgendaEbookCoverAmazon

 

A cadre of government officials plotting to secure unimagined wealth and power; an innocent woman’s death, and a grieving journalist who soon finds himself a nation’s only hope to avert unimagined political catastrophe.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m pleased to offer you another excerpt from my eBook entitled:

THE TRETIAK AGENDA

Enjoy!

 

 

 

    Little was said as the two men made their way to Marino’s favorite lunch establishment along the waterfront, just a short distance from the network office building.

    “Looks like I’m all set for Sunday,” John began once they had been seated and had placed their orders.

    “I’ve been asked to be at the White House by eight a.m. I’ll sit with Kevin Fogelberg and Ron Jeffries first,” John explained.

    “Have either indicated there’s anything you can’t discuss?

    “Nope! Based on my conversation last night with Brooke Donley, Ron got word from both Kevin and President Neely that I have carte blanche, so I’m sure they’ll be looking for indications of how I’d like the show to develop. Kevin and I spoke this morning, and he said nothing to change my understanding.

    “Are you expecting that Neely is going to announce something first?

    “I doubt he’ll approach it that way; but you can be sure that my first question is going to address the retirement rumor if he doesn’t make a statement.

    “I’m assuming they expect that.

    “I believe so. I’m not sure that the Chief of Staff or Press Secretary are necessarily delighted about that,” John added with a laugh, “but it seems pretty clear that the President is fully prepared to deal with this on Sunday and put it all to bed … and if he is going to retire, pigs will fly before this story is over and done with by Monday morning!

    “This is one big coup for you, my friend!” Marino offered appreciatively. “Hell of a way to get back on the PFTS horse!

    “You’re right, Bob. Doesn’t get much bigger than this,” John admitted with great satisfaction.

    “I’ve already instructed the news department to get ready for a special later in the evening. You’ll make yourself available for a segment? We can tape it after your interview if you’d prefer not going live at night.

    “Whatever is best for you is fine with me. If the President stays put, maybe the shelf life will be short. But if he does announce he’s backing out, then the story is really just beginning. So we’ll either be dealing with a big sigh of relief that’s he’s staying on, or we’re going to be up to our eyeballs in hoopla the minute I sign off.

    “So what’s your take?

    John tapped his fork on the table as he considered the question. “I’m heading to my in-laws’ later on. Ray hasn’t gotten a definitive word out of the President. If Mr. Neely is dealing with medical issues of any significance, he won’t jeopardize this nation’s well-being for one second if he cannot perform up to his high standards.

    “The fact that he hasn’t just buried this by now tells me something. My guess: he’s going to bow out, and is probably just making sure that all the bases are covered first. I think, or maybe hope, that the President will at least be able to carry out his full first term. I guess we’ll see.

    “Jesus! He’s made several references to enjoying what he’s doing and looking forward to serving the nation, so I’m not entirely convinced … yet.

    “And the President was also pretty clear in stating that he developed a real affection for this job, and that it was vital that we regain some semblance of stability in light of … what was it that he said? ‘A whirlwind of speculative distractions.’  

   “But that’s my point, Bob. If he weren’t seriously considering this, then he’s been given several perfect opportunities to just stop the chatter in its tracks. The press has lobbed some nice, fat, hanging curves to the plate and he’s nubbing them foul. Neely’s been checking his swing when he should have hammered them out. He knows what kind of effect this rumor is having on everyone!

    “That’s why I think he’s going to bow out. I think he wants to assess whatever news he’s been given, weigh it against his responsibilities, and be sure that the ensuing havoc can be managed.

    “It’s a big story, John,” Marino then stated dismissively. The producer did not want to overplay his concerns.

    “Your exclusive interview with him, at this time, and what we choose to say, or not say, is gonna set off some major tremors in this city. And that’s especially true since it’s going to be John Delaney doing the talking … and on your first show back! Sunday’s show is going to be like the Super Bowl! I want us to be fully prepared to address whatever he decides. I don’t want the network’s—or my—ass hung out to dry if we’re not on our game.

    “I don’t want that either, Bob, considering it’ll be my butt flapping brightly in the breezes,” John said with a smile, before resuming his argument more strenuously.

    “But let’s not lose sight of our responsibilities. You can be sure that this episode of Politics From The Street may be the most intense and carefully-thought-out one I’ve ever been involved with! I’ll let Fox News’ anchors do their twisted analysis—I can’t even imagine what spin they’ll put on this one! But I’m going to jump right in and ask The Question right off the bat and go from there.

    “I think it’s pretty clear from the tenor of my recent blog posts that I’ve speculating, too, but not without good reason! I’ll be ready!”   

    “Never a doubt about that, John.

    “We’re working with limited facts, but a lot of perfectly logical reasons why there’s no way the President is going to bow out absent something unimaginably tragic in his personal life, and a lot of perfectly logical reasons why there’s no way the President can stay if the rumors are true.” John leaned back in his chair and gazed calmly at Marino, who struggled to maintain a measure of professional calm.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NOTE: Excerpts will be posted weekly throughout the summer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

* I invite you to enjoy this political fiction thriller [here]

 

I welcome you to ponder the messages in my other book: Life Will Answer, and to view my other blogs–at this website [click on the My Blogs link above] and also at Peak Oil Matters

 

 

The Tretiak Agenda – Excerpt # 9

TretiakAgendaEbookCoverAmazon

A cadre of government officials plotting to secure unimagined wealth and power; an innocent woman’s death, and a grieving journalist who soon finds himself a nation’s only hope to avert unimagined political catastrophe.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m pleased to offer you another excerpt from my eBook entitled:

THE TRETIAK AGENDA

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Thursday, March 17

For the first time since his frightful car accident, John Delaney found himself energized by a long-dormant enthusiasm. In seventy-two hours, he would resume hosting duties for his nationally-broadcast Sunday morning program: Politics From The Street. Fueling his anticipation was the primary focus of the show: an exclusive interview to be carried live from the White House with President Mark Neely.

Rumors had been circulating for more than two weeks that for health reasons, the popular first-term Democrat might be obliged to end his campaign for re-election. There had been hints of medical problems earlier in the year also, but the story never gained traction.

Now fully-recovered from his own injuries and the debilitating headaches which plagued him for nearly twelve weeks after the crash, Delaney was eager to resume his post as one of the nation’s leading political commentators. He had begun discussing the rumors about the President’s health earlier in the month on his popular website. Returning to television was a significant step, a message most importantly to himself that he was ready to move on at last.

After the passing of the First Lady from cancer the prior spring—a battle she finally succumbed to after a nearly four-year battle—most felt that if the speculations about Mark Neely were true, a sympathetic nation would reluctantly support a decision by the President to retire at the end of his current term, if not sooner.

President Neely was well aware of the concerns playing out daily in virtually every media outlet. He knew that he could not allow such a distraction to persist. Some of his advisors were urging a national address rather than appearing on Delaney’s show. John’s popularity and the respect he engendered throughout the nation’s Capitol—combined with the fact that he was at last resuming his moderator’s duty on Politics From The Street—readily convinced the occasionally unorthodox President that announcing his intentions would find few better forums than on that show—the highest-rated news program in the nation for five consecutive years.

While Delaney could not shake the feelings of sadness and despair which still clung to him like an unwelcome shroud, a call from the White House to confirm the President’s appearance finally reawakened hopes that life might soon turn brighter than the dark existence he’d known since the accident.

Christa’s death was still fresh—a wound sliced open anew at the slightest provocation. Seeing couples together, or a young mother with her child, or just a fleeting remembrance from their life together all conspired in random order to hammer guilt and sorrow deep into John’s soul. Whatever strength he could summon in recent months was expended solely for the benefit of his five-year-old daughter, Alannah. Her unbridled affection for him, and the responsibilities to her which he had always prioritized above all else save his marriage, had—in a word—saved him.

At the urging of his closest friends, he finally sought counseling for his grief and anger. It turned out to be a welcome bridge between the denial and anguish which had now run their course, and acceptance of what was with hopes for what might still be.

John at last believed that he was ready. Getting the President to announce a major decision on my first show back is one hell of a way to get back to “normal”!

A heartfelt smile accompanied the thought.

He wandered along the southern portion of the National Mall in the direction of the National Air and Space Museum. It was a walk he and Christa would make at least once a week together. That he was now doing so again served as another important affirmation. It was not an entirely easy step forward, but one he knew should be undertaken. If not now, when?

As John approached 7th Street, he was distracted by shouts off to his left.
John! Hey, John! Delaney!

Turning abruptly, the journalist broke into a smile. Several people nearby stopped to look. Discomfited by the attention drawn to him, John good-naturedly chided his friend. “JJ, why don’t you try using a megaphone next time! I’m not sure that everyone on the Mall heard my name.

Damn it! I keep forgetting to bring it with me.” Aware of his best friend’s reluctance to draw attention to himself, Jerome “JJ” St. Jacques nevertheless sought every opportunity to tease him for the very thing John Delaney disliked the most about being a public figure.

St. Jacques was a trim, self-assured African-American a year older than John. Their friendship dated back almost twenty years.

Like John, St. Jacques had achieved noteworthy success at an early age. He had been an All-American third baseman at Boston College—a teammate of Delaney’s—and was a Rhodes Scholar. St. Jacques then parlayed a brief professional career with the Philadelphia Phillies—cut short by a knee injury which on occasion still caused him to limp—into a lucrative career as a political and business consultant. He was a millionaire several times over by the time he turned thirty.

An invitation from another college classmate to help on a re-election campaign for United States Senator Daniel Rose of Massachusetts quickly evolved into much more than the year-long commitment St. Jacques originally planned. After the election, Senator Rose insisted that St. Jacques remain on his staff, and with no other immediate prospects of sufficient interest, JJ reluctantly agreed. The lure of increased national standing and influence—and a rumored net worth from prudent investments and the sale of business interests valued in excess of twenty million dollars—made the decision that much easier. Six months after Rose was sworn in for his second term and following the resignation of his predecessor, Jerome St. Jacques became Chief of Staff for a man understood to be on a steady climb to the Oval Office. JJ had now served in that role for nearly eight years.

 

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NOTE: Excerpts will be posted weekly throughout the summer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

* I invite you to enjoy this political fiction thriller [here]

 

I welcome you to ponder the messages in my other book: Life Will Answer, and to view my other blogs–at this website [click on the My Blogs tab above] and also at Peak Oil Matters

 

 

The Tretiak Agenda – Excerpt # 8

TretiakAgendaEbookCoverAmazon

 

A cadre of government officials plotting to secure unimagined wealth and power; an innocent woman’s death, and a grieving journalist who soon finds himself a nation’s only hope to avert unimagined political catastrophe.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

I’m pleased to offer you another excerpt from my eBook entitled:

THE TRETIAK AGENDA

Enjoy!

 

 

    “Not even a smile, ‘Gordon’? Come on! Loosen up!”

    “I don’t ‘loosen up’ Daniel, and I don’t need direction from you about anything.” Danko glared at the Vice President. That look was what passed for a friendly glance from the man.

    The Vice President stared back for a moment and then leaned back in his chair, an exaggerated sigh his only response.

    “Here,” Danko began, as he pulled a thin report hidden in a larger binder filled with data, charts, and analysis of various alternative energy resources prepared solely to substantiate his falsified credentials.

    “Take a look and confirm the deposits. The funds in your offshore account will continue to be managed as agreed, but I will no longer provide you with documentation or verification. You’re on your own now.

    “Check this information carefully to be sure it’s consistent with our understanding. If you have any questions, you’ve got two minutes with me, and then I never set foot in this office again.

    “Just like that?” The Vice President reached for the report on his desk, waiting for a reply he knew would not be forthcoming.

    “Keep in mind I didn’t ask for this meeting Gregg, and I’d just as soon not have you back here again. You’re not exactly inconspicuous!” the Vice President said, the sarcasm understated but pointed nonetheless. Danko’s untroubled stare was his only reply.

    “So what’s the final tally?” Rose answered his own question by glancing at the first page of the report Danko had prepared.

    “Twenty-eight million! A three million dollar bonus. I like that!

    “You should.

    “What assurances do I have that this money will remain accessible to me? We both know that if the others find out about this deal we’re both screwed; my career as future President will be over before it starts, and there goes Tretiak’s plan up in smoke, too! What recourse do I have? Not like I can go bitch to anyone….

    “If for once you actually told me what it is you do, ‘Gordon’, why you’ve needed the information I provided, and where this money is coming from, maybe I’d have a bit more confidence. I wouldn’t want to have to call in some favors elsewhere to protect my interests.

    “You wouldn’t be foolish enough to be busting my balls, would you, Daniel? Be sure I keep the money handy while you fuck me over?

    “Of course not!” the Vice President offered with a cocky grin. “I’ve got a lot at stake here! You’ve gotten a lot of information from me, and I’ve been a good boy and not asked you once … not once … why you needed it and why I couldn’t tell Tretiak and the others. I kept my end of the deal.

    “The nuke capabilities and strategies information you got from me was ‘top secret’. So weren’t all the oil production reports. Jesus Christ, Gregg! I put a damn good Senate career on the line for you! That’s worth every penny I was paid, and I just want to be sure we’re clear about all of this.

    “I’m always clear about everything I do, Daniel.

    “Greedy people make costly mistakes. Don’t be greedy, and do not fuck with me.” The sharp lines of Danko’s pock-marked face drew taut in reaction to Rose’s cavalier attitude. The Vice President recognized his mistake and looked down.

    Gregg Danko stood, stared at his colleague, and then walked out.

 

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NOTE: Excerpts will be posted weekly throughout the summer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

* I invite you to enjoy this political fiction thriller [here]

I welcome you to ponder the messages in my other book: Life Will Answer, and to view my other blogs–at this website [click on the My Blogs link above] and also at Peak Oil Matters

 

 

The Tretiak Agenda: Excerpt # 7

TretiakAgendaEbookCoverAmazon

 

 

A cadre of government officials plotting to secure unimagined wealth and power; an innocent woman’s death, and a grieving journalist who soon finds himself a nation’s only hope to avert unimagined political catastrophe.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m pleased to offer you another excerpt from my eBook entitled:

THE TRETIAK AGENDA

Enjoy!

 

 

    “Danko had no authorizations on this! Christa Delaney was high-profile in her own right, let alone being the well-known wife of the equally-well-known John Delaney. That’s all kinds of attention we don’t need! Jesus!”

    The man leaned back and drew a hand across his face. He stared at the ceiling, repeatedly shaking his head. More than a minute passed before he motioned for Bowen to continue.

    “One other thing. There’s also talk about some docs missing, too.

    “Whose?” Andy’s friend slowly leaned back in his chair and drew a deep breath.

    “From and/or for Christa. The odd thing is that what seems to be missing is a set of documents prepared by her own staff. Kinda strange that that would have disappeared.

    “Her briefcase was recovered at the accident scene and returned to the State Department for security purposes. Someone in her office inquired about the set of papers he or she saw Christa collect before the meeting—including an envelope containing a copy of docs originating from her office—everyone was supposed to have a set from each side. That envelope hasn’t turned up yet.”

    “Perhaps she took it home?

    “Nope. Not there, either. Feds checked. It’s mostly something else to talk about right now. But it’s got me and a few others wondering.”

    “What about any other—

    “Russian docs are all accounted for—both the ones they were given and the ones they delivered to the U.S. contingent. That set was in Christa’s briefcase. They found the murdered guy’s set at his office. So it’s just Christa’s set of her own office docs that’s still missing.

    “Strange.

    “Yeah. Word is she left about the same time the meeting started. No indications she spoke with anyone else at or from her office about the meeting. Perhaps Friday evening wasn’t the ideal time to fill anyone in … assuming she had nothing of interest to share. When she and I spoke, Christa indicated that she had just arrived home and had neighbors stopping by so she couldn’t stay on the line.”

    “But if she reached out to you, she obviously did have something of interest. Still … from her own office’s report? That’s a stretch. What else could it be? Do you have any ideas, Andy?

    “Nope!

    “You said her call to you on Friday mentioned info’ about the Russian nukes, right?

    “Yeah, so that’s all the more puzzling. Whatever she found out, it had to be pretty significant for her to contact me.

    “We’ve had no professional involvement with one another regarding negotiations … none! So reaching out to me out of the blue and then asking for my help suggests she had something substantial that she needed info’ or answers on pretty quickly, and knew I’d be in a position to provide that off the record.

    “Christa was definitely rattled about something! Our conversation lasted less than three minutes, but that was more than enough to get my attention!

    “This is not adding up, Andy!

    “No it’s not. So, I’m thinking Danko’s doing something on the side….

    “What’s the alternative? No great secret I’ve never trusted that bastard—I doubt anyone does! I can’t even wrap my mind around the thought he’s involved. But why? This is so far removed from our agenda that I—. Goddamn!

    “I don’t like this, Andy.

    “Too many coincidences and oddities to suit my tastes, also. I’ll keep digging.

    “Let me make some calls, too. I think it’s time I pull some long overdue favors. I’ve been looking for a solid reason to finally check Danko out for something other than just being a menacing asshole, and I think we just found that reason.

    “He’s hiding something, Andy. I’ve thought that for a long time.

 

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NOTE: Excerpts will be posted weekly throughout the summer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

* I invite you to enjoy this political fiction thriller [here]

I welcome you to ponder the messages in my other book: Life Will Answer, and to view my other blogs–at this website [click on the My Blogs link above] and also at Peak Oil Matters

 

 

The Tretiak Agenda – Excerpt # 6

TretiakAgendaEbookCoverAmazon

 

A cadre of government officials plotting to secure unimagined wealth and power; an innocent woman’s death, and a grieving journalist who soon finds himself a nation’s only hope to avert unimagined political catastrophe.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m pleased to offer you another excerpt from my eBook entitled:

THE TRETIAK AGENDA

Enjoy!

 

 

Tuesday, September 14

Look, I know I’m not supposed to know a lot about what you are doing, but I’m curious why the organization got involved with Christa Delaney and had her killed.

    “She was a good friend of mine, and I’m pretty goddamn upset about it! Attending her funeral this morning was not how I wanted to start my day! It would have been nice if you had been able to give me a heads-up. Jesus Christ! Was that really necessary?

    “What the—? What are you talking about, Andy?

    “Christa contacted me last Friday afternoon—a couple of hours before she was killed. She was extremely agitated and said she had uncovered some information at a meeting … something about Russia’s warhead count and locations that didn’t match any information the government had.

    “‘Agitated’ was not one of Christa’s personality traits. She said she didn’t have time then, but was going to send me some documentation and notes via email later that night. I never got anything from her.

    “And you didn’t think to tell me, Andrew?

    “I’ll remind you that I’ve been told repeatedly not to ask too many questions. You’ve hinted enough times that the organization’s agenda includes nukes, so I just assumed—logically, I believe—that Christa had come across some kind of info’ she wasn’t supposed to have. Why wouldn’t I have thought that?

    “I just didn’t think it would have been serious enough to have her killed, that’s all. I can’t believe this!” Andrew Bowen collapsed onto the sofa to the right of his colleague’s desk, leaned back, and closed his eyes.

    “Andy, let me assure you: there has never been a single moment when we’ve been concerned about Christa Delaney. Not ever!

    “She had a job to do, she did it very well, and fortunately for us it turned out to have been exactly what we needed … a wonderful coincidence and nothing more! She simply didn’t factor into our agenda. Period! And the Russians handling the negotiations have no connection to us, either. Damn it!

    Bowen stood and walked across the office to help himself to a bottled water before turning back to face his friend. “A lot at stake and a lot of ducks to keep lined up….

    “Correct. We worked very hard to keep our distance from both the treaty negotiations and all subsequent activities. Killing Christa Delaney is the last thing we’d want, Andy! Why would you think otherwise?

    Bowen shrugged. “Remember me talking about an old acquaintance named Jack Lang?

    “Not really. Why? Grab some ice for me while you’re there.

    Bowen obliged and then returned to the sofa before continuing. “Electronics whiz. He did some hi-tech security work here in D.C. We cross paths now and then … we know about each other and he trusts me. Some of our people spotted him late Saturday afternoon … arriving in Colorado. I haven’t seen him since late spring, but I checked in on him once or twice during the summer, just to let him know I’m around.

Earlier on Friday, Jackson apparently bragged to an Asian model he was trying to score with—Rita Lee—I know her … we have some mutual friends, and she knew enough to reach out. Anyhow, she said that Jackson told her that his newest job was some ‘top secret government stuff’, and that it involved some of his electronic gizmos and a ‘prominent arms control official.’

    “The same prominent arms control official who just happened to be the State Department’s Assistant Secretary in charge of the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance … before she wound up dead a few hours later!

    “You mean he killed the Delaney woman? Why?

    “Not him—at least I wouldn’t bet on it. But the man who contacted him … that’s what’s interesting. According to Rita, she said that Jackson tried to put on a brave front about his assignment, but he was literally shaking right after that call. Clearly very nervous all of a sudden!

    “When he was here in D.C., Jackson was apparently also doing some work on the side, so I asked around. Only description was that the man who hired him was the scariest bastard anyone had ever seen. Built like an old refrigerator, buzz-cut black hair, biceps the size of a small car, mean eyes, and cheeks that look like the surface of the moon. Ring any bells?

    “You cannot be serious, Andy! What the fuck is going on?

    “The million-dollar question. I have no idea how Jackson got himself involved with Danko.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NOTE: Excerpts will be posted weekly throughout the summer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

* I invite you to enjoy this political fiction thriller [here]

I welcome you to ponder the messages in my other book: Life Will Answer, and to view my other blogs–at this website [click on the My Blogs link above] and also at Peak Oil Matters

 

 

The Tretiak Agenda: Excerpt # 5

TretiakAgendaEbookCoverAmazon

 

 

A cadre of government officials plotting to secure unimagined wealth and power; an innocent woman’s death, and a grieving journalist who soon finds himself a nation’s only hope to avert unimagined political catastrophe.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m pleased to offer you another excerpt from my eBook entitled:

THE TRETIAK AGENDA

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Enough about the party.

    “Is everything okay, Chris’? You’ve been awfully quiet all night, and more than a bit agitated. What’s going on? I wasn’t the only one who noticed, either.

    Christa Delaney turned to her husband and hesitated before responding.

    “I’m sorry, John.

    “I—I discovered some very, very disturbing information today about the Russians and what they’ve been representing to us. I’m not sure what the hell to do. I can’t sit on this discovery, that’s for sure, but … wow! Off the charts doesn’t begin to describe it.

    “That doesn’t sound good, hon’.

    “It’s not, John. It’s so bizarre that my first instinct is to doubt it completely. There’s either a lot more behind it which will explain it all—and that’s not even a little bit comforting—or….I simply cannot wrap my mind around this!

    “I’ll help if I can.

    “I know … thanks. But this is way beyond your security clearances—if you had any! I’m feeling like this is legitimately beyond my security clearances!

    “Seriously?

    “Dead serious. I just know I need to get this up to the big boys in a hurry.

    “White House big boys?

    “Yes.

    “Well, I thought it was pretty strange that your briefcase never left your sight … info is inside, I presume?

    Christa nodded. “When we get home I need to spend some time in private. If it’s genuine, I’m making some calls tonight.

    “Wow! Sounds like it’s going to be a long, tough night.

    “Let’s hope that’s the worst outcome, John.”

~ ~ ~

 

Gregg Danko pulled his vehicle off to the side of a sparsely-traveled road leading to the Delaney residence. He parked at the opposite end of a narrow bridge the couple would cross en route. He turned to look at his still-frightened passenger.

    “You are one lucky motherfucker, Aleksandr. That bitch hasn’t told anyone yet.

    “That is good news, Mr. Danko.

    “But she knows, Aleksandr. That is not good news.

 

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NOTE: Excerpts will be posted weekly throughout the summer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

* I invite you to enjoy this political fiction thriller [here]

I welcome you to ponder the messages in my other book: Life Will Answer, and to view my other blogs–at this website [click on the My Blogs link above] and also at Peak Oil Matters