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.
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I’m pleased to offer you another excerpt from my eBook entitled:
THE TRETIAK AGENDA
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.“
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NOTE: Excerpts will be posted weekly throughout the summer
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* I invite you to enjoy this political fiction thriller [here]