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George Peterson’s Office
Counter Terrorist Force Headquarters
A week had gone by and the only lead CTF had been a 17-year-old girl and her young male friend. George sifted through the information to try to find any clues that may have been missed. He knew the Millers had left the country; it could not have been through the Canadian border, at least not with their van. The best chance they had at escaping was either in somebody else’s car, by boat, or a private plane. The car escape seemed doubtful because they had headed south instead of north. They could have changed direction, but why had they gone south in the first place? The Hunts were in the direction they headed, but how did they miss the roadblock? Did they stop on their way to sleep?
George continued to think about the
problem when suddenly a thought occurred to him. The Hunt had become wealthy running a
security business. What type of security
did they provide? Whom did they provide
security to? George quickly found some
of the companies and individuals whose security they were charged with. The number of companies was far too low to
provide the type of life they afforded.
George wondered how many clients they kept secret. He further wondered if any of them had fled
Were the Hunts hiding fugitives? Did they smuggle people out of the country? Their company had a few private jets. He connected to the FAA database to see what
activity he could find. During his
search, he discovered the flight plan to
George asked two teams to prepare to take him to the private airport Aaron would be flying out of. He wanted to make sure it was a surprise. Both Aaron and Sarah Hunt had been part of the FBI and could possibly have connections. George kept all the information on the team’s mission out of the computers. He then called off all surveillance on the Hunt family and Carmen.
George arrived with the teams outside of the airport twenty minutes before the scheduled departure. He had one team go through the public area of the airport and the tower. The other team went with him to the hangar. When they arrived, they found the pilot, the plane (a Cessna Citation Excel), and Aaron.
George addressed Aaron, “What’s your
Aaron shook his head as if to imply George
was wasting his time. “We’re thinking of
“Is your company relocating?”
“No, simply thinking of expanding.”
“What security do the Swiss need? They have no terrorism, they have no wars, they have neutrality, and they have the UN.”
“Yes, well, we had the UN, too, and yet our business did well even before they left.”
George pressed, “We need to search your plane.”
“For what purpose?”
“We had a tip that people are smuggling through this airport.”
“So why are you just bothering me? There are other flights today and yet you came straight here.”
“We came straight here because you have a security business. Most security companies are as willing to get money from honest citizens as they are from terrorists.”
“Do you think I’m harboring terrorists? I haven’t heard of any real terrorists for months.”
“Ah, so you subscribe to the popular conspiracy theories of the day. I thought somebody who had worked at the FBI would know better than that.”
The CTF did a heat signature search and came up empty. They then went through every possible or conceivable part of the plane that could hide a person. Finally, they gave up.
“Would you like to fly with us to
“No, but we’ll stay to see you take off.”
After the pilot double-checked all the systems an extra time, in case the CTF damaged anything, they asked permission to take-off. The tower cleared the plane, and they took off. Both teams had come up empty, so they left.
George was surprised they came up with nothing. Had his hunch been wrong about the true nature of the Hunt’s work? How had the Millers disappeared completely? The only trace of them was their trip south and possibly the phone call. Somebody must know what happened to them. Why hadn’t they used the ATM, used their phones, or used credit cards since that day? Did they escape? Had they planned to leave? Did they have family supporting them? George had checked into their family. Both Jared and Michelle were only children and their parents had been dead for years.
George continued to wonder where the Millers were as he rode back to the headquarters. When he returned, Katie was working as the receptionist. She said to George, “Assistant Director Krinshaw called for you. He seemed upset, no, he was very upset!”
“Did he say what he called for?”
George went to his office and called Krinshaw. After ten
minutes on hold, he was put through to Krinshaw’s
The voice on the other end replied, “Peterson, what have you been wasting your time doing this past week? Your revenue contributions from suspected terrorists are at an all time low! In fact, it is the worst of any office this year! What are you doing up there?”
George knew if he told Krinshaw, that Krinshaw would take over the search for the Millers and the success of finding their Midas Machine would be credited to Krinshaw. “Sir, we are trying to make an example of the Millers. They killed three agents and disappeared. If we don’t find them, we’ll be perceived as weak.”
“Peterson, had you thought that because you made it public, if you fail, you’ll make us look worse? This thing’s all over the news. Even the national news is covering it. Make it disappear. Hell, tell the press you captured them and executed them.”
“Sir, they are still here. I have a lead and I just need more time. If they get seen by anybody else and the press gets wind of it, we will look even worse!”
“Then order the press not to print any information about the Millers after announcing the executions,” Krinshaw barked angrily through the phone.
“Sir, what if the international press gets hold of the story? Half the information we tell them to keep silent mysteriously gets leaked to international news.”
“Peterson, I order you to call off the search NOW. Next week you darn well better have made more money than your weekly average. Deal with the press how you want. At this point, image is meaningless because we have what is more important than image, power, force, and most importantly the will to use that force. Do you hear me Peterson?”
“Yes, Sir, I’ll call off the search at once.”
“Good and I better not see your name on my desk again anytime soon!”
After George heard Krinshaw slam the phone down he hung up his own phone. He needed more time. If he could call the White House and get special permission to act, he could bypass Krinshaw. Nevertheless, if he was unsuccessful, he would be fired; in fact he might be shot. That would be great. After all these years of naming terrorists, he could be named a terrorist for slowing the revenue stream.
George called off all the people looking for the Millers except the original three. He had them resume monitoring the Hunts and Carmen. With the backlog of residential inspections, he would be able to get enough revenue to make up for lost time. In fact, George generally kept the teams working purposefully at a lower level for problems like this. With the higher revenue, Krinshaw would not notice that three agents were still looking for the Millers.
Copyright (C) 1998-2001 East Coast Games, Inc. and 2001 - 2006 Forest J. Handford