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Clandestine Club Somali Sun

By: gr8dragon
gr8dragon's Profile

Real Name: Matthew Teets
Age: 42
Sex: m
Location: Littleton CO

Other Passer Name(s):
not specified

Instant Message Id(s):

Writing Style:
Fantasy,Action, Science fiction

The Captain of the USS Gettysburg inspected the Somali waters. There had been no activity for weeks from the pirates here. Monsoon storms had been ravaging through these waters. It had detered them for a while, but he knew they would soon come out of their holes and begin raiding ships again. They began simple vigilantes protecting their waters from illegal fishing and dumping. Eventually they had gotten greedy and started to hold any ship they could catch for ransoms the ranged from One huundred thousand dollars to one million dollars. There had been an accord made, but it carried no strength behind it because none of the countries that had made it had the resources to police those waters. NOw the US Navy was there watching over the many ships that had to pass through the Gulf of Aden near Somalia. America had sent the Gettysburg and the Boxer in for the task. A clear day meant pirates would be out sooner ot later. The CO just watched.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Wed, Jul 29 2009 13:22:12 EST

He knew the morale of his crew was down .With only a dozen ships patrolling a million square miles ,there was little chance of being in the right place at the right time.This was exacerbated by the policies of the owners of endangered ships.They would much rather pay ransoms than go to battle over their property.

This meant that Captain Thomas could only intercede if he could catch the pirates in the very act of boarding.Twice he and his crew watched helplessly as pirates sailed away because the Gettysburg was a few minutes too late. This time it couldn't happen, it wouldn't. He decided to wait at each edge of the cape and try to turn the other ships away. Thomas looked out over the gulf. With his naked eye he could see the Boxer slowely making its way back into the area. He gave an order.

"Get me the Boxer as soon as she is in range, Commander,"

"Aye, sir," The Commander replied.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Wed, Jul 29 2009 19:08:49 EST

This is Somalia. The town is Ceel Huur. A place where you screw up your eyes, your shirt sticks to your back, the cattle are thin and it hasn’t rained for eight months. There is nothing to do in this town except pray for your life and drink yourself thirsty.

Fletch Christiansen, after ten months working undercover in this hell hole of a place, weakened with hard and cracked earth, enters his apartment intent on drinking a cold beer. The ceiling fan shakes and vibrates, wafting hot air about the room. He pulls a bottle out of the fridge, flips the cap away, doesn’t matter where, puts it to his mouth while unbuckling his belt and lets his pants slide down his legs with a heavy clunk, his Glock 23 hitting the floor around his his ankles. There he stands, white jockey shorts, unbalanced, heel to toe, forcing shoes from his feet before slumping onto a worn mattress and shrugged his pants away. Grimacing at the odor he reaches down and peels away his socks, filling each shoe and, without looking, or caring, hurls them out the door. A dog yelps and runs off across the shimmering dust hardened road, searching elsewhere for shade. Wearily and with some effort he manages to strip away his shirt, sodden with sweat, and let it drop like a mop head to the floor. He walks back to the refrigerator door, opens it and takes out another frozen bottle of beer. His day is done, till tomorrow, when he’ll pass along the information he’s learned and choke in the dust under a fiercely hot fire burning in a merciless blue sky, surrounded by bush that crackles and cries out. This time he has it right. He knows the target and he knows how many. He’s done his bit, now it’s up to the navy. Even so, after ten months living among these people, seeing the desperation of living under such a cruel regime, there is an empathy for the so called pirates, but that isn’t his concern, his concern is to get paid and get the hell out of this place.

washy (Rate Passer) added to this story on Wed, Jul 29 2009 20:35:57 EST

Sucking down the second beer he comes to the alert at a sound outside his door.Grabbing the glock off the floor he spins around to come face to face with a wide eyed boy of nine.

Letting out his breath in relief he says,
"Whoa Chief,you almost got your head blown off.You know better than to sneak around like that."

The frail child smiles at the nickname and goes straight for the fridge.Christiansen laughs and says ,Yeah,there's a treat in there for you but you have to work for it.Make me something to eat.I'm starving."

He felt a deep affection for this child of the streets who had adopted him and the boy was useful in many ways.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Jul 30 2009 02:50:48 EST

There wasn't much in the fridge aside from the beer; A few eggs some vegetables he hahd never seen, or even tasted before a bit, a hard to find commodity in these parts. Christianson was from Arizona, and thought the heat wouldn't bother him so much but it did. In Arizona the temp rarely got above one hundred five degrees. In some ways he didn't think that the piracy along the coast was the real problem here. There was another. In the southern areas, Muslim extremists were fighting to make Somalia an Islamic state. This could be a problem for the world, especially if the rumor he had heard about Al-Qaeda backing the extremists was true.

"How about fish and eggs, chief. Think you can cook that?" Fletch requested with a smile.

"Yah sir, I can." The boy said.

They had a good relationship. Often times he thought of taking the boy off these mean streets where he had a possibility of beign absorbed by pirates or Muslim extremists. That wouldn't be a good life for him. It was one where he could get killed at any moment, he deserved better. After a while, the boy had finished his task and it smelled great as usual. He presented the meal to his new friend.

"Anyting else, chief?" The boy asked.

"Yeah, you look hungry yourself. Join me." Fletch invited.

Fletch grabbed another plate from behind him and placed it on the table. He cut the fish and eggs in half. He took a cubscout helping of the vegetable and gave the rest to his little friend. It felt like Robinson Crusoe and Friday in a way. It was almost the same way. The only thing different is that the boy came to him on a Tuesday and maybe the fact that he was fully clothed at meeting. They enjoyed the meal together for about an hour and he called Somali child affairs to see what was required for adoption of this young man.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Jul 30 2009 10:02:04 EST

The US navy had been joined by the French and the British. Together they covered every quarter of the waters where ships were vulnerable. The firepower was ridiculous, more a threat than a reality. The pirates were often no more than boys, dangerous boys but boys ranging from nine to nineteen. The lived in a country rife with malaria, cruel regimes where the gun was the law. Genocide, unheard of outside Africa, was to a large extent a ruthless society, a hell hole, people starving, HIV prevalent and food short. Chief, himself not unaccustomed to piracy, and wearing Nike shoes, smiled at Fletch. He didn’t understand so much of what he was being told but he knew the smile and that smile was his passport to friendship. Fletch Christiansen knew there was no hope of adopting Chief, it was an ideal, a stupid notion that some documented legality could be found. He rested in his chair, watching the boy eat. No, there was no other way, when the time came the boy would be taken away from this armpit of the world and shown a new life, but first there was one action left. Fletch leant back, blowing out his cheeks. Seventeen youths were preparing to sail out into the bay to attach a Norwegian vessel, one carrying oil. He knew the firepower waiting for them, knew the consequences of their actions. These pirate boys had been pricked some of the most powerful shipping companies in the world and they were in no mood to deal with it lightly anymore. ‘They’re just kids’ he mumbled to himself, starving kids with no hope. Surely the better way would be for these shipping companies to drop food and water off, clothing, toys, for no Somali boy had ever known the pleasure of a toy before understanding what a K47 was. Fletch covered his face with his hands. Why him? Money, he remembered. What value was money if any of these stupid, arrogant, fearless kids was blown out of the water? What then about the money?

washy (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Jul 30 2009 10:29:53 EST

A few moments later, there was a knock at the door. It was Agent Grimes. Grimes had been his instructor in a few classes at Langley. Fletch had great reverence for the man, he taught him most of what he knew. Grimes saw the boy at the table eating and just nodded.

"Are we going to need the kids on this one Fletch?" Grimes asked.

"Don't know Arthur. Would any of them fit into this scenario?" Fletch inquired.

Fletch saw the file in his hand. The last name seemd to jump out at him. It was Oduya. It was also marked Clandestine Club.

"Wait a minute. Are you telling me that this one girl has what it takes for a mission like this?" Fletch inquired.

"Yes, there are only two members of this team that currently have their mental and emotional hands full. This young girl is a land side fit for this operation." Arthur told him.

"Let me see the file, Arthur," he almost ordered.

Grimes handed him the file and he opened it. Fletch scanned it all the way through until he hit her martial art. It was impressive to say the least.

"Copoeira, sir?" he asked, intrigued.

It was a lesser known martial art that was again becoming popular. This young lady's file made him wonder what arts the other kids in the Clandestine Club knew. Grimes saw the look in Fletch's eyes and introduced the rest.

"You're wondering what arts the others know aren't you?" he asked.

"Yes, I am." Fletch answered.

Grimes nodded, taking out each file one by one. Starting with Matt. He was even more impressive than the girl. Computer programming, Ares specialization related to the Predator and Reaper. Then he got to the martial arts section. Three arts were there-Seven Star Praying Mantis, Tai Chi Chu'an. It was the last one that really impressed him, nearly three years of Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu. The kid could kick some keister around if he had to. Then Grime handed him Robyn's file. Six years of Ninjutsu training same as Matt's. Powerful little girl, Christianson thought. He had seen enough now and needed to see no more. This crack team was high end, half of them could probably kick his butt. It made him laugh when he came to Tommy's file. Skilled with fire arms, currently has a Tracker 627. This kid could be dangerous if he wanted to. Fletch folde up the files and handed them back.

"I don't know yet. Arthur." he answered.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Jul 30 2009 10:56:00 EST

"I might want a girl and a boy.How about this kid Tommy?My little friend here could get them in.Everybody likes him and he has done his share of thieving,"Fletch mused.

"Tommy is a little older and more in the pirates age range .I think they would make a great team for this job,"agreed Grimes.Membaya is a whiz with languages too.

Grimes could tell the child was listening intently.Standing in front of him ,he asked, "Boy,what is your name?"

Chief kept his eyes down and continued to eat. "Chief," he replied around a mouthful of eggs.

Clearing his throat,Grimes reached out and took the spoon out of his hand. "What is your real name?" he said gruffly.

Fletch jumped up and stood between the two of them.
"I'll deal with the boy,now give him back the spoon and get out of here."

Grimes threw the spoon down on the table and said,"Well do you want the kids or not? I need time to arrange it."

Fletch handed the child the spoon and replied, "Yes, bring me Membaya and Tommy as soon as possible."

Grimes turned and left abruptly ,leaving the door standing open.When he was gone ,the boy looked up at Fletch and said,
"I am Abdi,servant of God."

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sat, Aug 01 2009 01:12:40 EST

"Glad to meet you, Abdi. You have been a life saver." Fletch replied.

Abdi looked him in the eye now. He knew Tommy woudn't mix in with the pirates. They were all of his coloration and not too many of them were lighter. How to thell this man?

"Sah, The white boy. I do not think he is a good choice for infiltration. He do not mix in." Abdi told him.

Fletch considered the boy for a moment. Could this young one be right? He hoped not. What role could he play in the mission. Was he the group's leader? He had to know more than was in the file. Fletch also decided that this would be his last mission in this God foresaken hell hole of a place. If Abdi would come with him to back tot he states, he could do the same for at least a long while for this boy. Bring him up in peace. When he first saw Abdi, the boy looked as if he had walked a thousand miles. Proably walked a small fraction of that escaping the Moslim extremists in the south. He had to come with there was no more visible choice.

"Agreed, he and his other friends are back up. Come in as needed." Fletch explained.

"These kids, what do they do?" Abdi asked.

"They set people free, like on my badge Abdi, when others can't." Fletch told him.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sat, Aug 01 2009 09:40:44 EST

"I can be one of these?"he asked.

Fletch smiled and tousled his hair."Who knows son,maybe you can.
I've never asked you before but I need to know.Are you involved with the pirates?"

Abdi looked at the open door and went to close it before he answered.

"My cousin is one of the leaders.Many times he has tried to get me to go with him but I would not go.Before my father died ,he gave me a blessing.I do not wish to lose it.He said my name means 'servant of God' and someday I will make that come true."

Fletch was moved by the sincerity of the boy.He knew that Abdi needed his help if he was to survive without succumbing to his cousin's way of life.The agent decided it was time to lift the mood a bit.He went to his secret stash and brought out a handful of hard candy.Tossing one to Abdi,he said,"Okay Buddy,I want you to tell me all about your cousin and his gang."

Abdi explained how the conditions in his country came about in the best manner an nine year-old boy could. Some of it was hard for him. Abdi went through the parts about the tribal warlords asnd their roll in this and how they were funded. He told Fletch that one day he had seen two men trading cases of something that glittered brightly. "Diamonds!" Fletch thought. Fletch was right like most of the region this internal war, at least on the warlord side was financed by blood diamonds. He began to wonder how many other countries in the region were still dealing in them and didn't sign the compact in South Africa just twenty years before this. The question then gently rolled off his tongue.

"Do you think they were diamonds, Abdi?"

"Yes, that could be," Abdi said,"though I had never seen any before."

"Did they look white, with rainbows in them?" Fletch then asked trying not to patronize the boy.

"Yes," Was Abdi's answer.

"Then blood diamonds they were. Chances are that some of them have fallen into the hands of the Islamic extremists that are coming to take over your country. We can't let that happen, Abdi," Fletch explained.

Abdi agreed with a curt nod. He loved his country even though he may soon have to leave it for a while. It had to be made safe and he wanted to help however he could. Maybe he could lead his brother back to a better path. There was always another choice for his older brother, but Erasta chose to fight and this was okay for now and Abdi just bowed his head and prayed quietly for Erasta. Fletch left him alone just then in his own way saying the same prayer that his brother would be able to leave the life he was upto his young neck in.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sat, Aug 01 2009 16:10:51 EST

Captain Wesley Thomas cursed in disgust as he read the latest report on pirate activity.

"An attack on a Norwegian tanker failed after the Canadian frigate HMCS Winnipeg gave pursuit. Warning shots were fired and the pirates were boarded and disarmed.Rocket propelled grenades were found on board, however the pirates were released because the Canadians did not have legal authority to detain them."

Thomas went on deck for some fresh air.Frustration was the toughest part of this job.The big guns mounted on deck were basically for show in this scenario.He didn't care about the sob stories telling how the pirates were poor hungry children.In his mind's eye he could still see the image of Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama.He thought of the terror of being taken hostage and not knowing when or if you would ever see your family again.

Wesley looked at the M-61A1 Gatling and shook his head.It had taken snipers to free Captain Phillips.What he would give for a chance to show some real firepower.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sun, Aug 02 2009 13:56:06 EST

In the ancient town of Eyl ,in the northern Puntland region of Somalia,Erasta sat counting his money.Stuffing it in his pocket he smiled and headed for a place to eat.It was exciting to see all the fancy new places that were springing up to take care of the foreign hostages here.They had to be treated well to insure receipt of their ransom.

Erasta decided he would have to bring his little cousin Abdi to see all this.Perhaps then the boy would change his mind about joining the gang.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sun, Aug 02 2009 14:57:07 EST

Maybe he would, Erasta thought, but then again he knows his purpose is greater. He wants better, but not this way. Erasta decided to leave his little cousin alone on his own path. He was after all only doing what his father told him. To lead him into this would be leading him in betrayal of his father and shame. He was better off in Ceel Huur, at least assa sent him money to live on. Maybe he had found someone to help him do that. Eyl is no place for a nine year old boy, it was no place for him either but Erasta had seen no other choice for himself.

Matthew's Return

Matthew had been gone two months at MIT. He was sorely missed and wondered about. Everyone wondered what knowledge the little guy would come back with. Matthew had even missed he mission to Afghanistan. As the time grew closer the Macon's grew more excited to see their son and brother. Robyn ans Scotty couldn't wait to see him either. They knew he'd been practicing his arts, but his mind had more in it now. That menat that Matthew had more power.

As Matt's plane pulled into Norfolk International Airport. He would still need a commuter flight. Matt didn't know if his dad had taken care of that. Besides, he would still have to fly into Hampton Roads Executive Airport for pick up. He needed to find an executive jet going that way. He chested upto to the ticket counter.

"Excuse me, Ma'am?" He said.

The the young ticket agent hadn't seen him there for a moment. She had been on the phone arranging a next flight out for someone. Her name was Angeline.

"Well," she welcomed him, "What can I do for you, young man?"

"I need to share and executive plane out to Hampton Roads. Do you have any executive flights heading out that way today?" Matt asked.

"Let me check. Are you travelling with your parents?" Angeline asked.

"No, I came in alone from Boston. I have been at an MIT summer camp of sorts." Matt told her.

"Such a big boy." Angeline complimented.

"Come off it, lady I'm a genius and not a normal fourth grader. Besides, You can't be more than twice my age." Matt complimented in return.

Angelina was smitten. This nine year old was more mature than she realized. She went back to her search for a flight for the boy. It took a few minutes but she finally found one that would be leaving in fifteen minutes. It was enough time for his small legs to carry hime over to the tarmac where it was fueling up.

"Well, I think I have one for you. It will cost you $5,000 though and I don't think you have that." Angelina reported.

"Oh, I think I have it ma'am." Matt said as he pulled out the Clandestine Club Visa with his name on it.

Angelina was perplexed. Was this kid someone important, or a kid playing a prank on her. She shrugged her shoulders and entered the card number into the system. The name came up with a classified flashing at its end. Angelina made nothing of it for the moment because the card had paid for the trip. Later she consulted the manager. Matt had walked off wary of his surroundings toward the Tarmac with his ticket in hand. To is surprise the jet he was on belonged to a friend and it was already ciricling around as he approached. Angelina and her manager started to give chase with two guards. There was only one final guard to worry about. The Manager yelled,"Stop!"

Matthew did no such thing, he kept running for the plane. He had been digging for his federal access badge to flash at the guard and finally found it and put it on. The TSA guard moved aside and waived him on.

"What are you doing?" The Manager said gruffly.

"That young man is part of a special CIA task force. He is allowed to board any federal jet on these premises without being searched. All information but his name is classified. Return to your station, nothing unusual has happened here today." The guard said.

They returned to the ticket counter frustrated. Matt had stopped to catch his breath. The TSA screener looked back to see idf he was okay. Matt smiled a quick thank you. The man nodded back and flashed not a TSA badge but one of the CIA. Matthew couldn't help but laugh the rest of the way down the tarmac. Life was good, very good. As he met the plane presidential staff took his bags and assisted him up into Airforce One and strapped him in.

"Though it would be a longer time, before I saw you again." The president said.

"Me too. Thanks for the ride and the agent at the tarmac exit." Matt replied

"My pleasure young agent. Always glad to help, but you should be more careful. Here this is my card, if you ever need a ride into Hampton Roads again, call me from the floor, okay?" The presifent offered handing him the seal card.

"I will." Matt smiled,"unless I need a little adventure."

The President laughed, he like this kid. He had some cajones about him and liked a challenge. The flight was uneventful. Matt even got to take a short nap during the flight. When they arrived at Hampton Roads a motherly female staffer woke him. Matt smiled.

"We there already," He yawned.

"Yes, young sir and your father and brother are waiting for you. The president called them after you fell off." She explained.

"Thank you. Can I take something to remember this ride?" Matt asked.

"Sure, he told me to give you these." She told him putting the Air Force one hat on his head and the jacket on him as he sttod up.

"Thanks again," Matt replied as he went out the hatch and down the stairs.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sun, Aug 02 2009 20:45:50 EST

Matt's Arrival

Robert grabbed him in a bear hug and Tommy followed suit.
"Whoa,Look at the big shot,"Tommy kidded when he saw the hat and jacket.He didn't let on that he was a little envious of his brother's new trappings.

"Man,I am so glad to be back with you guys,"Matt exclaimed.

Robert grabbed his son's bag and said,

"You've got to tell us everything.Are you hungry?Did you eat anything on the plane?How do you feel...."

"Dad,Dad,"Tommy interjected,"take it easy,he's got plenty of time to fill us in."

Matthew laughed,"You won't believe all the cool things I have to tell you and Mom.By the way where is Mom anyway?"

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Aug 04 2009 01:35:37 EST

Membaya Oduya shook back her close cropped hair and looked in the mirror."Why did I have to be born with eyes that don't match?"she wondered out loud.Her mother, standing in her doorway,
laughed and said,

"That,my dear,is just one more way you are unique.What have you been working on up here for so long anyway?"

Mems walked over to stand by her work table set up in front of the window.

"It's an idea I had after seeing footage of the roadside bombings in Iraq.What if there were portable remote controlled robots that could lead the way for convoys.Robots that could detect bombs.There already are some robots being used but I would like to make them smaller and more viable."

Seleya was not surprised but she was awed by her daughter's never ending ingenuity.Looking at the schematics and the parts
Mems had gathered,Seleya remarked,

"This is very impressive dear.let's show this to your father."

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Aug 04 2009 01:49:46 EST

"Okay, let me finish a few more things and I've been up almost the whole morning. Can I have a cola?" Mems asked.

"Of course, as long as you have some breakfast with it. That is probably what you need. I also just heard that your young master Macon is back from Boston. You going to go say hello?" Seleya suggested.

"I think I will, anything else mother?" Mems replied.

"Yes, The whitswick is waiting for you. Your father is entertaining him for while he waits. Do not keep him waiting long." Seleya told her.

Mems was really starting to like Anakin. She didn't know whethre it was his name being right out of Phantom Menace or just that he was always so good to her. Either way she liked him and felt safe with him. Mems just didn't know whether or not to tie it up. Was she too young to do that? Should she wait? Membaya went and took a quick shower, puting on her best casual clothes. When she came out of the bathroom she donned some small classic earrings and her robot drawings.

Albert was as talented a chef as he was a grandmaster of Capoiera. Everything was ready as if Anakin had been invited for breakfast just to meet him further. That is in fact exactly what it was.

"Ah, my daughter."Albert welcomed,"I trust you slept well?"

"Yes father, I take it that Anakin is here because you like the idea of me with him?" Mems inquired.

"You know me too well, Mems." Albert said picking up a muffin and opening it up.

Anakin didn't know what to do, so he just followed Mems' lead. It wasn't hard, she was good at leading things. He had often wondered why she hadn't enrolled in ROTC herself, She was a natural leader and JROTC would prove that.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Aug 04 2009 09:24:14 EST

Anakin picked up the schematics of the robot Mems was working on and looked it over carefully.
"Wow,Mems,"he exclaimed,"This is so cool.It is a bit like what my dad is into right now.His group is working on nanobots that would detect toxic chemicals in a soldier's environment."

"Wouldn't that be awfully small?"Mems countered.

"That's what I said ,"Anakin answered,"But he told me they would be in massive swarms."

Albert chuckled and said,

"Okay you two,let's give the grey matter a rest and enjoy some breakfast.What do you say?"

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Aug 04 2009 18:55:09 EST

They both just nodded and looked at one another as they began. Seleya brought out Membaya's Dr. Pepper. She couldn't wait to open it and take a sip, setting it down carefully. Albert wanted to know more about Anakin so he started the rondo of questions.

"So, I hear you are in Junior ROTC. Which branch are you going for." he asked

"I want to go in to the Air Force, or Navy when I graduate, but haven't decided which one I want yet." Anakin answered.

"Both are good. Can you shoot?" was Albert's next question.

"Yes, sir. I shot second in my youth division at Camp Perry last year." Anakin proudly reported.

"Did you go again this year?"

"No sir. Mission to Afghanistan was the same week. I couldn't go, but I think Agent Macon has a way to make it up to me. He says he will take Tommy and me next year." Anakin replied.

"Sounds like he wants to challenge his sons as well." Seleya offered.

"Yes, Ma'am. Tommy will do very well if he applies himself at Camp Perry. As for Matt, he could come close to kicking me down another notch or winning the competition if he is trained correctly." Anakin exclaimed.

"You are optimistic about your friends' chances. I wish you all the best." Seleya said.

"Thank you, Mrs. Oduya. I will send it to them when I go to welcome Matthew back today. He was greatly missed on the last mission." Anakin replied.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Aug 04 2009 20:05:10 EST

Having Anakin there for breakfast seemed to improve Mem's appetite.She temporarily forgot about her project as she became absorbed in the teenager's interesting life.She liked the way he expressed himself and began to think she might like JROTC too.

The luscious omelet her father whipped up was a work of art as was the Russian blinchiki.

"This is wonderful,Mr.Oduya,"Anakin complimented around a mouthful of the delicate blintzes."Could you give me the recipe to take home?"

"Of course,"Albert said."The trick is to get the pancake as thin as possible before you roll the filling inside.The strawberry preserves on top is the finishing touch."

"I'm so fortunate to have a husband who loves to cook"Seleya added.

Membaya ate every bite and asked for a second helping.Albert looked at his wife and exchanged a knowing smile.He was right
in thinking that Mems would benefit from the company of this fine young man.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Wed, Aug 05 2009 02:50:27 EST

"Yes, Ma'am. I cook for my family sometimes, mom and dad always get home later than my sister and I do, so i either do the cooking or get things ready if mom is on the way." Anakin reported.

Anakin looked at his watch. Matt would be home soon and the crew had planned a welcome home day for him. It was good to have the little genius back again. Deep down he knew that Matt had had fun absorbing all of that new information. Technology was his thing. Sometimes Anakin would fantasize about the kid inventin a real light saber or a hyperdrive, or something sci-fi like that. He was certainly smart and clever enough to do it. Why not?

"This was great, Mr. Oduya. Thank you very much. We have to get over to thwe Macons to welcome Matthew back from MIT." he said.

"Alright then, but it seems to me that maybe at least a little of this behavior your are having is because I have probed you enough for one day." Albert laughed.

Anakin emitted a smiling snicker himself. This was part of the reason, Anakin just wanted to keep some mystery in this relationship. He liked Membaya a lot and wanted nothing more than to ask her if they could be like Matt and Robyn. He always looked at them and wished he could exhibit the courage he had on missions in asking her to be promised with him. They made each other strong.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Wed, Aug 05 2009 21:52:55 EST

Abdi told his friend everything he knew about the young pirates.He knew Fletch was a good man and he trusted him.

Christiansen sighed and flopped down on the bed.He missed the hotels he was used to with maid service and clean linens every day.He hadn't cleaned up the place in way too long.Brushing bread crumbs off onto the floor,he made a mental note to get Abdi to help him tackle that soon.

"Listen Chief,"he said,"I'm going to have Grimes bring in the girl.Can you help us on this one?I'll need you to get her into the gang and vouch for her.Can you do that?"

Abdi bowed his head and murmurred a prayer before he replied,
"I know that you want to stop the violence.I live in fear that my cousin and brother will die trying to board the ships.Because it is for the Greater Good,I will do this."

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Aug 06 2009 00:30:12 EST

"And you don't want to lose anymore family or be alone, do you?" Fletch probed.

Fletch hadn't been a parent before. In fact, the closest he'd come was his nephew who was just six months from turning ten. He wanted the see the kid again. For now though, all he could do is write him letters and wish along with him that they could be together again and play Star Wars again. That was always fun for him, though he wouldn't admit it to his nephew. The boy was always in his deepest thoughts, and he promised himself that he would get home to be with his nephew and maybe even settle down to a job in a field office somewhere. As Fletch looked the boy in the eye Abdi answered him.

"Yes, I am afraid of being alone here in this place; of what i wouold have to become. I don't want that. I just want my family together whatever is left of it." he said.

Fletch's heart either dropped into his stomach or had jumped into his throat. He didn't know which exactly. Perhpas it was both. His lonliness was different, but was still lonliness and there was only one real cure, family. Fletch rose to sitting position and reached out for the boy without thinking almost like a father would.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Aug 06 2009 15:27:46 EST

The child tensed instinctively as though his spine was a steel rod,unbendable and cold.Then suddenly he relaxed in the fatherly embrace and stifled a sob.He was afraid to let himself believe in his good fortune but he knew the American agent was sincere.For a moment he was not a hardened street survivor,he was a vulnerable nine year old child.
Then just as quickly,he regained his composure and stood up.
"I go to the marketplace now to use my ears .Give Chief cash and I bring back dinner."

Fletch laughed and handed him enough for both of them a meal.After he saw the boy out,he left too.He had to let Grimes
know that he wanted only Membaya on this mission.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Aug 06 2009 19:19:39 EST

New Blood

Agent Grimes opened Membaya's file and gazed at her photograph.He had been through a lot with the young heroes of the Clandestine Club .They were like family to him.He wanted to make sure Mems would be as safe as possible if she came to help. The trouble was,he was not sure about Fletch Christiansen. The man was too open with his lifestyle. The boy knew he was an agent and he was in deep with the pirates. Grimes was afraid Fletch would turn up dead any day now.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Fri, Aug 07 2009 21:33:30 EST

However, Fletch could also pull off a miracle like the Engineer aboard the USS Enterprise in the original Star Trek. Of course, those miracles were just mere shicanery and designed to make him look like a miracle worker. Still, the boy knowing that Fltech was an American Agent could be used to their advantage as long as the pirates didn't know he was an agent. All known sources said that the pirates were children between the ages of ten and eighteen. He needed a new agent to make sure Membaya would remain safe in the pirates' midst. Sure Fletch's could do it, but it never hurts to have one more just in case. SOme new files had come to his desk for transfer to Robert's whe he had looked them over; new agents for the Clandestine Club. Grimes looked them over with great care, scrutinizing everything. He couldn't take the chance that this mission could fail through too much openess on Fletch's part.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sat, Aug 08 2009 18:11:06 EST

Grimes had been Robert Macon's partner for years and he valued him as a friend.He knew all about Abby's past and now a feeling was growing in the back of his mind.He pulled out her file and looked at her photograph.Although her children and her husband were light complected,she tended more toward an olive tone .With her dark hair and brown eyes,she would blend in well with the population here.He laughed to himself as he thought about how much Matthew was like her in personality and energy.She would be perfect to be Membaya's handler.Abby already had clearance and she would give the child a feeling of security.He wondered if she would go for it.Robert might have something to say about that.Grimes decided to set the wheels in motion to get Abby Macon into Somalia.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sun, Aug 09 2009 02:07:15 EST

Still he needed one more infiltration agent. Grimes began looking over the known friends sections for each of the "Clandestine Club" agents. They all had each other in common, but there was one more in Anakin's file. His name was Duncan Issak Darod. Grimes had to know more and there was only one way. He had to teach what he knew best in a class attended by both boys. Grimes spent the next hour looking through the Hampton district teaching positions at Lindsay Middle School. Grimes was in luck; they needed a math teacher and that was right up his alley. He sent his application in and was granted an interview the next day.

There were still ten days before he would begin teaching so he chaecked the rosters carefully. Anakin had chosen to enroll in second year algebra. Duncan's hadn't appeared yet, so he waited. there was still one more day for students to enroll. Healso looked over the list of classes and discovered that many of the eighth grade boys and some of the girls had also enrolled in Bethel High's new early entry ROTC program that allowed such. Anakin had finagled his way in the year before, being tall enough to escape detection as a seventh grader. It almost made Grimes laugh when he thought of it. This was one clever kid, and his friend wasn't any different.

Grimes called in his assistant as he filled the inter-office file envelope with three files. The last one was Anakin's and in it he placed a note for Robert.

"have a look into this friend of Anakin's I would like to know more about him before I teach their math class. Arthur."

Then he closee d the envelope and hannded it to his assistant.

"Susan, I need you to get this to my partener Robert Macon quickly. We need to get things done before the school year begins."

"Yes sir," Susan acknowledged.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Mon, Aug 10 2009 15:31:31 EST

Abdi scanned the Marketplace for familiar faces.Seeing none he began to search for the freshest food for dinner.As far as anyone knew,he was just a "Gopher" for the American businessman.He decided on goat stew for their meal.It would be easy to make and he could serve it with anjara which Fletch called a giant pancake.That and some hot sweet tea would make a fine meal.
Abdi paid for his purchases and had some money left over.He took a short cut down an alleyway and was nearly home when someone grabbed him from behind.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Aug 11 2009 17:09:02 EST

Abdi kicked and sreamed for a moment, until his assailant could do nothing but let go of him. he turned to see his cousin standing before him in the alley. The boy knew what his cousin wanted and knew what his answer still had to be.

"Hey cousin, how you do?" He asked

"Well enough." Abdi returned.

"Will come and join us in the pirates." Erasta almost begged.

"I must follow the will of God. Father promised me to him and him alone. I cannot, however I do know of someone that might join you. She is not here now, but will be soon. I still love you, but my purpose lies on another path from yours." Abdi reported.

Erasta understood, placing a hand on his shoulder and handing him a little more money to keep alive on. He also picked up his cousin's groceries and gave him a brotherly embrace and a smile as he disappeared into the shadows. The setup had been created and though nervous, Abdi felt good of what he had done. He ran home to tell Fletch what had happened.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Aug 13 2009 17:14:37 EST

Fletch wasn't home when Abdi returned so he used his prowess to get inside.He went about making the goat stew .It was his best dish and he prided himself on it. He had seen the butcher pray over the his purchase, so he knew it was blessed, now he had to strain the goat meat.After that he took out the only large pot Fletch owned and filled it with water.He added salt and put it on to boil .It would take at least two hours to tenderize. Outside he heard the shouts of street children playing a game of Chase the Chicken and decided to join them.He was a very mature and serious child but he was still only nine years old and yearned to have fun like all the rest of them.

Putting the lid on the pot,he wiped his hands on his shorts and ran out into the street leaving the door ajar.

Half an hour later,Fletch returned to find two men waiting for him.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Aug 13 2009 19:09:01 EST

Fletch cautiously pushed open the door with his foot.He was about to reach inside his jacket for his gun when one of the men called out,

"Please forgive us but the door was open and it will be many days before we could come back to see you again."

The other ,a heavy man with greasy hair and sweat stained shirt,
introduced himself and his companion as representatives of Somali child services.

The first man,pulled out a sheaf of papers as Fletch entered the room and secured the door.The smell of bubbling stew
filled the little room and made his mouth water.He wanted to chastise the men for their breach of etiquette but he did not want to spoil his interview for the boy's sake.

He went to stir the pot and then sat down on the side of his bed for there were not enough chairs.All he could think about was his usual routine of shedding outer layers and grabbing a cold beer from the frig .

The fat man wiped sweat from his upper lip and said,
"We have many questions for you to answer.As he leaned over to pass the papers to Fletch,his jacket fell open to reveal the butt of a weapon .

"We will need for you to come with us if you wish to speed up the process."

The hair stood up on the back of the agent's neck and he knew they were lying.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sat, Aug 15 2009 03:10:36 EST

He'd never seen paperwork like this before. Seemed in order, yet not so much. What was more, the paperwork was missing parts as though it was handed to them in a hurry. That and Fletch hadn't even applied for the child's release yet. What was going on here?

"I'm Sorry. What did you fellows say your names were?" Fletch inquired.

He needed the information so he could verify their real purpose for entering his home unannounced. Fletch noticed the butt end of his pistol showing just then and excused himself, nervously removing his jacket and placing it beside him on the bed. He watched them closely every second, everything about them still said they were lying. They were here to capture the boy and he hoped Abdi would not return too soon.

The hearts of the two men pounded in their chests like a jack hammer. They had no idea what they were dealing with, an businessman or something else entirely. Fletch looked for any sign of a weapon in their coats. If it was there, his training would hep him to see it. The past few weeks, he had felt a moderately watching presence, but wasn't sure exactly what it was.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sat, Aug 15 2009 12:58:19 EST

Outside ,Abdi listened with his ear to the door.Catching the tension in Fletch's voice,he backed away and ran down the street to find his playmates.Gathering five of them together he made a plan.
"We are all going to be Abdi today,"he laughed as he whispered his instructions.

A few minutes later there was a knock on Fletch's door.Opening it ,Fletch was surprised to find six little boys smiling up at him.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sat, Aug 15 2009 21:47:29 EST

They pushed past him into the room,laughing and jostling each other about.Suddenly one of them stopped abruptly and turned to address one of the officials.

"Brother,what are you doing?"the tallest boy asked.

The man ,who had finally given his name as Anwar,gave him a sheepish look and answered in his native language.
After a heated exchange,the child turned to Fletch and said,

"Please forgive us,we have to go now."

"Whoa,wait a minute here,"Fletch said,"Not so fast.I want to know what this is all about."

Behind him ,Abdi was sending the other boys back out to play.
Heading for the stew pot,he said,
"Delmar,tell the Chief what you told me."

The boy,Delmar was a bit shy but he finally said,

"Our sister has been working at the child services agency but now she needs an operation and can't work.Anwar heard about you and Abdi and thought he could pretend to be able to help you get past all the paper work for enough money to help our sister."

Fletch thought that was ridiculous but did not say so.Anwar
hung his head and told Fletch,

"I am so ashamed,please forgive us but we are desperate to save her."
The heavy man just nodded in agreement and headed for the door.

"Wait a minute,"Abdi said,"Chief,didn't you say you wanted a little boat to go fishing?"

Fletch had said he wanted a boat but not for fishing.He wanted to be closer to the pirate action,but he said,

"yes ,I would like to buy a boat if the price was right."

Anwar's face lit up and he smiled broadly.

"We have such a boat for sale today Chief,"he gushed.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sun, Aug 16 2009 08:34:16 EST

Fletch surveyed the two young men. They had been lying about who they were before, but only to get help for someone else. They weren't sure of him other than the fact that he had money enough for the operation. Fletch now saw truth in their eyes and their postures.

"If you will step outside for a few moments, I need to look at these papers and see if they are worth the trade." he bade them.

Abdi took their hands and led them out the door and away from the apartment. Fletch took another look at the paperwork the older boys had brought him. "A boat for money exchange and Abdi is my son. It sounds like a good risk." he told himself.
Going over to a private money stash that not even Abdi knew about, Fletch removed the loose floor board. He took out ten thousand dollars American. Fletch hoped it would be enough for them. He put the small case away and placed the money in an envelope with the papers fully signed with every "I" dotted and "T" crossed.

Fletch stepped outside with a beer in one hand and the envelope in the other. He saw Abdi and the others waiting in a chop bar across the way. Walking back into his apartment, he turned off the stew and tasted, it was ready. He walked back out to the wooden porch and down the stairs to the chop bar. They would be eating there tonight. He thanked Abdi for making dinner and told him it might have to wait until later, going over and selecting their meals. Fletch paid fro them and returned with cold bottled water and enough food for everyone, handing the two young men the envelope with Abdi at the foot of the tabel so noone would see the pass on.

"You can show me the boat tomorrow, just make sure these go through properly and I will need a passport for Abdi should things get rough here in the next few days, Understand."

Anwar nodded,"you will be approved three days and Abdi will be yours to take away to America." he smiled.

A few days later, Anwat and friend returned with passport paperwork. It seemed they knew more people than he thought. They had a way with these things. In his heart, Fletch hoped they would get out of this hell hole too. He gave them another small envelope of money and sent them on their ways. Next day, there was a packet in his mail, it contained all of Abdi's paperwork and a Passport fro the boy. Fletch showed his new son and stowed it away for an emergency as the boy embraced him.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sun, Aug 16 2009 10:40:32 EST

Abdi was excited about the boat.He had seen it before and urged Fletch to take it out for a ride.Fletch was pleasantly surprised at the sight of the vessel.It was old and needed work but it was seaworthy.Fletch knew he would need to buy some supplies for it like life preservers but it was well worth it for the extra mobility .

"Can you take me near the pirates cove where they keep their speed boats?"asked Fletch.

"We must not go close but I will take you where you can see the entrance to their secret harbor,"the boy replied.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sun, Aug 16 2009 20:36:05 EST

Fletch stood there and looked at the craft for a moment. It wood also need paint something what would hide it against the seascape of the Gulf of Aden. He took a small camera out of his pocket and began to snap pictures of the of the ocean past the dock and the surrounding geological fearures to get an exact idea of their colors. It was important that they not be noticed as they watched the pirates. When they arrived back at Fletch's apartment, he sent Abdi off to play awhile so he could print out a color scheme for the boat and order the paint via oversea express to come directly to the USS Boxer which was docked at Manda Bay for refueling. As soon as Fletch had the order out, he sent word to Grimes that if he was going to send young Membaya it needed to be now.


When Robert and the boys arrived home, everyone was waiting. Matt took off the slightly too big jacket and handed it to Tommy.

"This is yours now; I like the hat better anyway." He smiled.

Robyn was there, too. She gave him back his grandfather's ring. It had helped her through the whole mission. It was almost like the man was with her every moment. She could feel Matt thinking about her, too and she liked that most of all.

"You can have this back now. Thanks for lending ti to me." She said.

"Any time, Kamuri Gosai. If I couldn't be with you one way then you needed another. Is your dad really back in town?" Matt asked.

"Yes, He's here talking to your mom." Robyn answered.

There was only one thought going through his mind now. A mission he had to fulfill, Stop mom from showing the baby picture to the Sergeant Major. He dropped everything immediately and rushed to see that she didn't. Abby looked over a moment later to see her number two son staring down the photo album, in a stance much like Robert's when he wants something.

"Nice hat, dear." She started.

Matthew smiled looking Ryan over in curiosity. Ryan didn't know what to think, but just allowed the survey to quietly take place. The survey was returned and finally the question came.

"So this is the boy daughter rants about in her letters to me. I thought he would be much taller." Ryan started.

"Sorry, what you see is what you get." Matt replied.

"A pint sized know-it-all with high connections?" Ryan smiled.

Matt emitted a high pitched laugh. He liked Ryan and introduced himself.

"I'm Matthew Macon. Your daughter and I are sparring partners in class. It's good to meet you, finally. I guess she's told us both an ear full." he replied.

"She had indeed. Robyn made you look like the giant's golden egg." Ryan told him.

"She's not so bad herself. I liked her before that, just couldn't tell her. She's like a total angel." Matt praised.

"That she is. So where you coming from?" Ryan inquired.

"Computer camp at MIT. Had a great time and made new connections and finished a personal project, mostly." Matt reported.

"I shall have to see that sometime."Ryan suggested.

Abby picked up on why her son was over there. She looked at the next page of the album. The baby picture was on on it. Knowing Matthew didn't particularly like that one she passed by it quickly while he was occupied with Ryan. The subject changed just then with Abby starting.

"So, how was your ride on Air Force one, kiddo?" she asked.

"Smooth as silk, mom." Matt replied.

"Any difficulties?" Abby inquired.

The explanation read like a cheap spy novel as Matt began the adventure.

"Just one, with the Company credit card for my account." Matt reported.

"What happened?" Ryan added.

"Well, I handed it to the lady at the executive flight counter to pay for the ride and as I was walking off they chased me all the way down the concourse to the guard. They thought that he was a TSA guard, but he was company and they didn't know it. He waved me on down the pathway to the tarmac and I got out." Matt expounded.

"Exciting?" Abby smiled.

"Nothing like it, mom." He exclaimed kissing her on the cheek and giving Ryan an uneasy hug, "Thank you for what you do out there." he offered.

"You're welcome and thank you for what you have decided to do, even if you weren't there this time you all deserve the medals you have. You are very brave." Ryan returned.

"Thank you, it would have been an honor this time, but I chose training instead." Matt said as he left the room nodding to both of them respectfully.

Ryan turned to Abby then, "that is one remarkable boy you have there. Can't see a fault in him." Ryan remarked.

"There is one," Abby confided, "He has ADD."

"He doesn't show it. You have done well with him." Ryan complimented.

"It got easier to control when we took him off the Ritalin and out him on a better diet and added martial arts to the regiment." Abby replied.

They went on talking about many things. Soon it became time for the Clandestine Club to take over the living room and Ryan kissed Robyn on the cheek and gave her a proud smile. She playfully saluted him. Ryan also shot a salute to Matt who was now staniding half way up the stairs.

"Take care of my number one ninja, bucko. Bring her back with her Irish eyes smilin'." Ryan Commanded.

Matt returned the salute in time with his, "Yes sir, Only way I do. See you later, sir." He replied standing in perfect attention and releasing the salute crisply.

Ryan went out the door. Robyn turned to her promised one and smiled as he joined her in the hall. She didn't know what lay ahead for them, but hoped that they would be together forever. Matt hoped the same thing as he took her hand in his.

"Like I said; I am always with you."

He gave her a little boy kiss on the cheek. Robyn lightly blushed and pecked him back. It was the first time they had shared such affections together.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Mon, Aug 17 2009 14:29:14 EST

Captain Thomas ordered his crew to fire a few volleys just for reasons of morale.It gave them something positive to do and might even intimidate anyone within hearing range.When the exercise was over,he removed his headphones and went to stare at the endless sea.He was thinking of an idea,something bold and daring and completely against orders.
He was thinking of sending out a boat to investigate a suspicious cove one of his men had spoken of.If he could set up a recon mission,he might be able to get advance warning of an imminent pirate attack.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Aug 20 2009 02:48:53 EST

Dusk swept over the gulf as the exercises began. Fletch had just launched his new craft toward the Boxer. As in world war two these shells had colors added. Some were blue, others purple, red and gold. It was like the forth of July, a time Fletch missed and would have killed for last month. He looked over to Abdi who was enjoying the display with great awe. The agent pulled along side the Boxer. Because of what happened to the USS Cole In Yemen some time back, the Boxer's security officer was told to check every vessel that approached. Fletch was used to it. In the light of dusk, the security officer saw it was a friendly and called down for ID.

Fletch took out his badge and flashlight in right hand flashed it so the younger man could see it. The young man's last name could barely be made out in the waning light. Anderson, is what it was. He called the bridge with his radio.

"Sir, the CIA officer is here. Shall I allow him passage." Anderson inquired looking up for his answer.

Thomas looked down, nodding in the affirmative. "Let him aboard and give him and his friend whatever they need."

"Aye, sir."

Then he signaled some other sailors to drop a ladder. Boy and Agent climbed up and were soon aboard the Boxer. Anderson escorted them to the quartermaster and Fletch made his request handing them older man a list.

"There is British ship coming to join us tomorrow, They should have the paint you need. The captain called down and wishes for you an the boy to join him for dinner." The man reported.

"I'd like to clean up as would the boy, we require temporary quarters away from the crew if possible." Fletch requested.

He was handed a key for a room mid-ship deck 4 cabin 5. Fletch nodded and Anderson led them to it. It was exciting for Abdi and he hoped that he could become one of these sailors when he got older.

"Here we are," Anderson told them opening the door.

"They'll do fine. What time is dinner sailor." Fletch asked.

"19:30 hours, sir. I could ask for something regional for the boy if you like." Anderson suggested.

"No, I think he would like to try something else, something different." Fletch reported.

Abdi nodded in agreement and went to lay on the bunk on the other side of the room. Fletch smiled in a fatherly way.

"I think you should go first, kiddo. Here's a towel and some soap, go take a whole shower. Don't forget inside and behind your ears." Fletch gently ordered.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Aug 20 2009 10:17:30 EST

Abdi screwed up his face in distaste but followed instructions none the less.Once he got in there,he didn't want to come out.The wonderful feeling of unlimited hot water and sudsy bubbles was exhilarating to the child.Fletch finally had to knock on the door and urge him to finish up.In all his nine years he had never had a real shower.

Once they were both freshened up,Fletch loaned Abdi his comb and helped him get the tangles out of his thick wiry hair.Fletch was beginning to feel more and more like a real Father to this boy.It was unlike anything he had ever known before.His whole adult life had been one of transient loneliness ,constantly going from one assignment to another.

Abdi smiled up at him and spontaneously reached out and hugged him around the waist."Now we go eat,right Chief?"he laughed.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Aug 20 2009 20:28:42 EST

Fletch hadn't been hugged like that since the Previous Christmas holiday; the one before he received this mission. It felt good as he rubbed the boy's back and checked his watch. He knelt down to take a final look at his new son straightening, turning and tucking where needed. Fletch then pulled him closer and returned what he had received. That felt great too. Fletch looked him in the eye.

"Yes, it is time to go eat now. Time to eat like a king and a prince. Let's go." Fletch replied rising and taking his hand.

They strolled through the ship to the officer's mess. It was a fine ship and ran like a top. The first officer met them in the corridor and guided them the rest of the way. Captain Thomas greeted them with respect and candor. He saw the smile on Abdi's face.

"I was wondering I was going to do with those clothes my son left on board the last time we were docked in New York for a few days. They look great on you son. You can keep them. My wife has probably already replaced them." Thomas reported.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Aug 20 2009 20:53:31 EST

Abdi thanked the captain as did Fletch and then turned their attention to the feast before them.Fletch laughed to see a large pepperoni pizza waiting for the boy to dig in.There was steak and mashed potatoes for the grownups along with steamed vegetables and fresh rolls.

Captain Thomas said,"Abdi,there's a steak with your name on it if you prefer but I had a hunch you might like this better.Abdi just nodded in agreement with strands of melted cheese hanging out of the corners of his mouth.Thomas and Fletch had to laugh at his enthusiasm as they cut into their sirloins.
Abdi drank deeply of his ice cold Coke and reached for another slice of pizza.

"Slow down Buddy,"Fletch cautioned,"You'll make yourself sick."

The child ate three slices and then the captain sent for desert.Apple pie ala mode was too good to pass up so he managed a small slice before throwing in the towel.

When they were finished,Captain Thomas called for his first officer.
"Take this young man and show him your latest computer games.
I'm sure he will be a whiz at them in no time."

When the boy had left the room.Thomas said,

"I see you and I have the same idea.Using the small craft to do some investigating.Will you keep me apprised of any information you may obtain and I will do the same for you."

Two miles away a speedboat full of young pirates closed in on an unsuspecting cruise ship.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Fri, Aug 21 2009 02:10:43 EST

Commander Joseph Hayden surveyed the open waterway. In the light of dusk a cruise ship was coming into view, its lights on. A mistake people, he thought to himself, this is a bad place for you to have your lights on. He turned to a nearby Master Chief.

"Sound all hands!" Hayden called out to him.

"Aye sir." Master Chief Charles replied.

He went over to the intercom, beginning his summons. "All hands to stations, repeat all hands!"

Their lights went on and the Boxer's guns became active. Charles called down to the officer's mess. The phone rang in the mess hall. It was answered by a Lieutenant thet brought it to him.

"Thomas here," He answered.

"Sir, a cruise ship has just eneted Aden Gulf." Charles reported from the other side of the line.

"Then it's Independence Day. Begin the light show." Thomas ordered.

"Aye, sir." Charles acknowledged.

They hung up the line at the same time. CHarles nodded to Hayden and the ordere went out.

"All hands prepare for Independence Day. Fire the lights, Fire the lights!" Hayden ordered over the intercom.

The light show began in earnest. One thing was certain the agent and the boy had to debark ship now. It was good entertaining them; the boy had been a delight. Thomas stood bidding the boy to take the rest of the pizza to enjoy on his own later.

"Sorry to rush you two off so soon Fletch," he said, "but your cover just can not be blown so off with you two."

"Understood, show us a clever way out then?" Fletch suggested.

Abdi hugged the man in summer white. He had never hasd a dinner that good before. It would be remembered for a very long time. Thomas handed the boy a vouple root beers and shuffled the pair up to the main deck, taking them back to the dark side of the craft where their boat lay waiting to be filled again.

They motored all the way back to the coast, pulling the boat into its secret place and covering it with a tarp. It wasn't much of a camouflage, but it would have to do. He hoped that the Clandestine Club would arrive soon. This attack would only be the first of many.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Fri, Aug 21 2009 12:44:14 EST

Into Action

Before Abby could say more, the doorbell rang. It was Susan with an interoffice file. It was heavier than usual. She wondered howmany files there were in it this time. No matter, she had eight kids to entertain; Robert would have to take care of it. Wasn't in the office just now because he had decided to take a nap in the basement. Abby went in and laid the file on Robert's desk. The T.V. was on and she sat down to watch the report. The news always drew her in. It was a report on a cruise ship that was being attacked. Abby watched for a moment, then left the room closing the door securely.

Robert rose and went upstairs to his office. On his way, he met Abby in the hall.

"What was the doorbell," He asked her.

"IOF for you." Abby answered.

"I'll have a look." Robert said giving her a kiss.

Robert went into his office. The file sat on his desk square in the center. He ignored the TV as it blaired its report to him. The file was more important. Robert knew the first few files- Abby, Membaya, Matthew, Tommy and Anakin. The last file was new. Someone new Arthur wants to recruit? Robert asked himself. He looked the file over. ROTC like Anakin; fourteen yesterday and an exceptional student. His finger made its way to the bottom of the second page- KNOWN ASSOCIATIONS: it read.
There was only one-Anakin Whitsick. He closed the file and rose taking it with him into the living room.

Anakin was in the middle of a serious Left4Dead match with Tommy. He hated to take him from it, but this was important.

"Matthew," He quietly suggested,"Can you take over for Anakin, I need him for a moment." Robert asked.

Matt looked up, "Sure."

Anakin wasn't so sure he wanted to go with Robert. He had never been called into the office before, not even the principal's office unless it was to tell him he'd made Honor Roll again. Nonetheless, it must be important if he had a file in his hand. Anakin handed the the game pad over to Matt who took it with a smile.

"Don't kill me genius, or I'll do the same to you." He said with a laugh.

Robert led him back intot he office and closed the door. Once Anakin was settled, Robert laod the file before him.

"Do yo know this boy, Anakin?" Robert asked.

"Dunkin Donuts Darod? Yeah, I know him." Anakin inquired in return.

Anakin studied his boss carefully. Yup, that's what he wated alright. Anakin juast wanted him to say it. He would do anything for the team and if that meant a new addition, then that was cool too. Robert tilted his head adn smiled at he young man. The boy had learned how to read his body language and it hadn't been a year yet. Then the answer came as sure as a puma's gait.

"Good, I want you to recruit him, quietly and privatly as possible. Here." Robert told him. He handed the boy one of the new Clandestine Club callin coins. It was gold and carried the inscription 'We Are The Truth' in a blue field.

"Place this on his desk on the first day of school tomorrow or in his hand when you shake it. The second method is more discrete. Use it if you like, but recruit him, understood."

Anakin felt a mission coming on and wondered what it would be as he rose, pocketed the coin and made for the door. Before he could set a foot over the threshold Robert smiled.

"Anakin, tell everyone good job last mission and give Robyn a hug for me." He said.

"I will." Anakin promised as he walked out the door, leaving it open.

Anakin walked out of the office and back into the living room where Matthew was crushing Tommy in the video game he had left behind. Robyn stood nearby. He still had the thoughts of the previous moments running through his head. Anakin slipped his hand back into his right pants pocket extracting the small coin. Robyn saw him and came over to see what he was looking at.

"Hey, what's up?" she asked.

"We're getting a new team member first day of school. Oh, before I forget bossman told me to give you something." Anakin reported.


Anakin turned to her and gave her the hug he had promised he would. He let go and she smiled at him. Matthew didn't seem to mind. He looked over, but knew somehow that the hug was only a message; a gentle thanks for a job well done. She had held up well considering it was her dad they were going after. Robert had thought she might break into tears. He was proud of his young agent and wantedher to know it. Anakin retruned to the game tapping Matt for the game controller.

"Hey, thanks for not killing me. May I have it back now?" he asked.

"Sure." Matt replied handing it back to him.

Anakin was impressed at how far the squirt had gotten him. Matt left the room to get some lemonade and cookies for himself and Robyn. Abby had been watching and was impressed with her son too. She shot him a smile of motherly pride which was returned. The words wouldn't stop, they just finally came out.

"I'm proud of you, hon. You're breaking the mold for your generation. You build your mind all the time and build the spirits of others." Abby complimented.

"It's nothing mom, really. I just want to keep my friends and you and dad happy, That's all." Matthew replied.

Abby wagged her head in amazement, knowing this would never end with her sons. There would be no cession to the amazement and pride she wouls feel. She'd lost her focus in that moment trying to absorb it.

"Mom," Matt said climbing a chair to wave a hand before her eyes,"can I get some cookies and lemonade for Robyn and me please?"

Abby shook the moment off. Taking a lid off the cookie jar, she started a different kind of conversation. Her little boy was growing up faster than she could keep up with. He a mature boy of nine now.

"So, how are things with Robyn. You didn't go on the last mission so I just thought I would ask." She started.

"They're okay mom. I sent grandpa with her to help where I couldn't." He told her.

"What do you mean by that?" She asked.

Then she looked down by his chest. The ring was missing and it came to her. He had sent it with her into the mission. What a gentleman he had become. Abby understood just then how things were between them. They were becoming closer friends. A teasing thought came across her mind and rolled over her tongue and lips unexpectedly.

"So, you thinking about marriage here. Am I going to have to sign a writ permitting you to marry?" Abby teased.

Matthew's face turned fire engine red as blood rushed to his head, embarrasment in every cell. He said nothing for a moment. Had she seen the peck of a kiss he had given her in the hall before? Oh no, she coudln't have, that would be a dissaster. And this wasn't, she had caught him in a normal boy moment and was now funning him over it.

"Mom, please. It was just a kiss. We're not getting married, at least not till we're actually old enough and that's only if she'll have me."

Robyn halfway overheard their conversation and was staniding in the kitchen passageway. She was almost laughing for him, but held it back to a smile as she teased him too.

"Of course I'll have you, handsome; even if I have to wait. You're the only boy I really like and ever will." she proclaimed.

It was nice to know. Even if he wasn't ready for all that yet; it was nice to know he was the only one for her.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Fri, Aug 21 2009 13:09:28 EST

Abdi no longer spent his nights on the streets.Fletch brought in a small fold away cot for him and made room for his few belongings.On the day after their trip to the Boxer,Abdi finished off most of the pizza and one of the root beers for breakfast.Fletch decided that wasn't a bad idea and ate the last of the pizza with the other soda.

"We have a lot to do today Buddy,"Fletch told him,"We have to work on the boat and try to pick you up some clothes and things.You need a tooth brush and a pair of shoes ."

Abdi smiled and said,"Thank you Chief.I can get Nikes?I run extra fast to market in Nike shoes."

Fletch held back his laughter,"We'll see,"he promised,"I'm not made out of money you know."

Abdi went about folding away his bed and cleaning up their dishes.Fletch decided to take care of painting the boat first.They would have to find a safe place to work on it where they would not be seen.

Putting his hand on the boy's shoulder he asked,
"Abdi,you know this area so well,is there a secret place to work on our boat?"

Abdi thought for a moment and said,"Yes,Chief,there is one place nobody goes because they are afraid."

"What do you mean?Why are they afraid?"inquired the agent.

"They say it is haunted,"the child said with a shiver.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sun, Aug 23 2009 01:51:48 EST

"That's perfect," Fletch replied,"I think you might just have the place there."

Fletch new the significance of a place being thought to be haunted. Everyone will stay away and no one will come near. This is what Fletch wanted as he painted his new boat for maneuvers.

"Take me there,son." He ordered.

It sounded good, being a father now. To say the word son for its true meaning was something new to him; new and wondrous. He would definitely have to make it out of this place now. There wasn't a choice. At dawn Fletch bought an old jeep and took it down to the beach to get the boat, returning to get his little navigator.

"Ready to go, kid?" he asked with a smile.

"Yah,chief. Ready to go, it is that way." Abdi said pointing out toward the north end of the town.

Ceel Huur had a strange but serene silence about it this early in the morning. An eagle owl was perched atop an apartment building fast asleep, its gray and white spotted plumage showing the brightness of the sun as it rose above Ceel Huur. Ten minutes of twists and turns and the unlikely pair came to the place Abdi had described.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Aug 27 2009 11:20:19 EST

At first glance Fletch could see nothing unusual about the place.Abdi had to take him by the hand and lead him to the hidden landmark.
"It's the Devil's Mouth,"Abdi told him as he avidly pulled limbs and brush away from the entrance to a large cave.Fletch was very pleased to see the size of the place.After ten minutes of hard work,they had cleared most of the opening.

Abdi went to the jeep for flashlights and soon they were exploring.

"I think we can bring the boat in here with room to spare,"Fletch mused.Abdi rounded a corner as Fletch stopped to examine an unusual outcropping of stone.He was alarmed to hear the boy's terrified scream echo through the cavern.

Running quickly to the child,he found himself staring into the hollow sockets of a dead man's eyes.

Trembling ,the boy said,"This is the one who haunts the Devil's Mouth".

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Fri, Aug 28 2009 00:05:33 EST

Fletch was one-quarter Lakota Sioux and had a few tricks from his shaman father for spirits that walked the earth; to make them go into the light. His father had always told him to take sage and sweetgrass with him on every trip. 'You never know when there might be a need' he said when Fletch went off to CIA training. It was the one piece of advice from his grandfather he never ignored. He was Christian now, but the traditional Lakota religion still had its place in his life. Now it was time to use it. He turned to Abdi.

"We have to release the spirit, son. It must go to heaven." He said.

"What do we do?" Abdi asked.

"First we make a fire," Fletch instructed, "go find me some dry wood."

Abdi left relieved not to feel the spiritual pressure of the place. Like the other children, this place frightened him some. Abdi looked everywhere he could finding a great deal of wood for the fire. Fletch took his backpack out of the jeep and began looking for the things he would need. "Alright," he said to himself, "Sage, sweetgrass and kinkinik. I'm ready." Fletch set everything out in the order it was to be used. He found a long pole just outside the cave that could serve as a spirit rod and set it outside the cave with the bags of tobacco mixture hanging from it. Sage and sweet grass were set out and matches to light the fire. Abdi's timing was great, as Fletch was ready to begin the ceremony.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Fri, Aug 28 2009 10:29:30 EST

Fletch was not superstitious but he knew the boy needed the ceremony to feel safe in the cave.Building the fire with his son brought back wonderful memories of childhood camping trips.Fletch kept the fire very small and as smokeless as possible .He did not want to draw attention to their secret location.

Going back to the skeleton,he searched around the skull for a bit of hair.Finding none,he settled for part of a skull cap reasoning that there would be traces of hair strands within its fibers.When the fire was ready,Fletch held the cap over the burning sweet grass,thus purifying and releasing the soul of the
dead man.Afterward he took out his pipe and tamping in a bit of tobacco,smoked it in lieu of a peace pipe.

He ended the ceremony by chanting an ancient prayer his Grandfather taught him.When he stood up from his trance like state,the child was staring wide eyed at him in wonder and amazement.

"So it has been accomplished."Fletch whispered in the stillness of the cave .

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Fri, Aug 28 2009 14:15:28 EST

Breaking the somber mood,Fletch said,
"Now let's get to work Pal.Time's a wasting."
The agent backed the boat into the cavern and found that the jeep could also fit nicely.That made it safer and reduced their chances of being detected.

They were soon hard at work camouflaging their craft.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sun, Aug 30 2009 15:15:37 EST

Erasta watched the light show from the American ship and sighed.How he would love to serve on such a vessel instead of living this life of danger and dishonor.If he didn't have so many depending on him for food and the other necessities of life,maybe he could give up piracy.There was just no other way to survive since the war destroyed everything.He guided the speed boat out of the narrow passageway and into open water again.The hostages had been safely delivered to Eyl and now others would be arranging the ransom.

His mind turned to his gentle cousin Abdi.He decided to find him and share some of tonight's take with the child.Somehow helping the boy made Erasta feel better about himself,as if God might bless him for doing so.Perhaps tomorrow he would buy Abdi a gift in the market and take it to him.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sun, Aug 30 2009 15:28:06 EST

"I'm really concerned about our operative in Ceel Huur,"Agent Grimes said,"He has allowed himself to become emotionally involved with a child there.I fear he has lost his edge,his objectivity if you will.This could put our whole operation in jeopardy and endanger both their lives as well as the lives of others.

His superiors listened attentively as they perused Christiansen's
file and a copy of his reports on the mission.After he finished speaking,they dismissed him to await their decision on the matter in the anteroom.A half hour later,they called him back to inform him that he would be expected to maintain the status quo.
Christiansen,they concurred was exactly what was needed .His method of hiding in plain sight had always been his modus operandi and it had worked well in the past.

A disgruntled Grimes left the room with a new found respect for
Christiansen's unorthodox methods.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Sep 01 2009 02:03:56 EST

In addition to the paints Fletch had asked for the Boxer had lent him a power sprayer. It was a good stroke of luck that they had. The colors would go on more smoothly that way. First old paint was removed and two coats of primer and undercoat went on and were allowed to dry. That gave time for new father and son to get to know one another. They talked for the better part of the evening over fish and root beer. It wasn't much but it made the time go more quickly. Fletch pulled out a blanket for Abdi and as he fell off to sleep covered him with it. In his heart he hoped the last leg of this mission wouldn't end in disaster. He filled both prayer obligations that evening. It never hurt to have a little extra help in thes matters, then he drifted off to sleep himself. Fletch awoke before dawn placing a mask over Abdi's face and got to work completing the paint job on the boat, placing the sand and deep bluegreen colors on the top and black on the bottom. He swore that Abdi could sleep through anything at that point. The boy didn't even move. Fletch made some coffee and sipped it as the sun rose and the paint dried. This was going to be his lsat mission for The CIA and he wanted it to be perfect. Nothing could go wrong, it mustn't go wrong. He had another life depending on it. An hour later Abdi began to stir and rose with a deep stretch and gaping yawn.

"Good morning sleepy-head, would you like some breakfast?" Fletch askes with a laugh.

"Yah chief, I am very hungry." Abdi said.

"Then get yourself some oatmeal and eat up. There's hot cocoa in the other pot, but be careful." Fletch instructed.

Abdi moved closer to the fire. He wasn't afraid anymore and ate like a little horse. Fletch just shook his head as the boy ate quickly. The only thing he did slowly is poor his cocoa and drink it. The pair their campsite. When they were finished the boat was ready to launch into the natural bay. Fletch loaded everything into the jeep and rehitched the boat. It wasn't a lnog ride from where they were to a cove they had seen across the ocean half a mile from the pirates' hideaway. The view was clear fro miles this morning, even the cove everyone was watching could be seen. Fletch slowly back the boat into the slowly into the water, then released it setting anchor. On the drive back to their apartment, Fletch told Abdis some thing.

"You know, you don't have to call me chief anymore. Fletch or dad will just fine. We are father and sone now." He said.

"I like that." Abdi exclaimed.

"Then try it once. Either one is fine." Fletch urged on.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Sep 01 2009 09:13:21 EST

Abdi thought for a moment and then said,"I would like to use both,Dad when we are alone and Fletch when others are around.That will be better for your work .Someday, if I go with you to your land,I will only call you Dad.Fletch smiled and nodded.Once again he marveled at the child's level of maturity and understanding.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Sep 03 2009 02:14:15 EST

I'm getting the hang of this father thing,Fletch thought to himself as he cracked a smile, emitting an understanding laugh.

"That will be just fine," He said reaching out for the boy.

Each day this situation felt more right. It wasn't that nothing could go wrong. Rather, it was just that balance had finally come into Fletch's life and he was liking it. His burden seemed much lighter now. As far as the mission went, he would be expecting the Clandestine Club very soon. The word was that they were bringing in another, older child. This a background that was a combination of the middle kid of the group and the Oduya girl. It made him stronger. Chances are that he was chosen to accompany the Oduya girl into the pirate group Abdi's cousin and brother were a part of. That would have to be it..

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Fri, Sep 04 2009 03:03:38 EST

The Call

Anakin was nervous as he entered the first high school class. The only comfort was that by some strict, odd form of chance Matt was in the class too. It was a Physics class. Matt being there wasn't much of a surprise. Anakin had heard that Matt might be taking more high school level classes this year. What was even more uncanny is that me knew exactly why the younger boy was taking them. The kid was bored and unchallenged down at that level. It was alright to muse on this, but Anakin had a mission as he approached Duncan's desk the coin and a letter of invitation from Robert. He put the letter down first then the came down at medium velocity after it. Duncan awoke with a start. He had been taking some early start classes and still was not awake yet.

"Sorry to wake you Duncan, but you are needed after school." Anakin reported.

"By who?" Duncan enquired.

"The Clandestine Club." Anakin answered.

Duncan said nothing, choosing instead to give Anakin a look of confusion and inquiry. Anakin told him nothing more but, "The letter will tell you everything. Just be at the address in the letter no later than four thirty this afternoon."

Duncan gave an affirming nod. There was nothing more he could do. This was a friend inviting him to a private meeting of a club he knew nothing about or even heard of.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Fri, Sep 04 2009 03:13:42 EST

Erasta searched the teeming marketplace for a gift to give little Abdi.The child had suffered greatly from the loss of his parents in the war and yet he always seemed to be happy.Erasta attributed that joy to deep spirituality and he was right.How Erasta envied such inner peace.He hoped that God would bless him through the little boy.He thought about the frightened faces of the latest hostages and cringed inside.He had made sure they would be treated well as they waited to be ransomed.

In a dimly lit stall an old man in a kufi skull cap sat fingering his tasbih or Muslim prayer beads.He stroked his long white beard and watched Erasta perusing his merchandise for a moment and then said,Erasta,my boy,what brings you to the marketplace today.

Startled,Erasta turned to see Mustaffa,an old family friend.After warm greetings,Erasta said,"I am seeking a fine gift for Abdi.He is one consecrated to God and I wish to honor him .

"Yes,I remember the boy,"mused the old man,"he was always very special.I have heard he is living with an American now.How can this be?Why is he not with you?Now that would be a real blessing to have such a one in your house."

Erasta changed the subject but he began to think about what had been said.However he asked,"Mustaffa,my old friend,in your wisdom do you have something wonderful that I may purchase for my cousin?"

Mustaffa reached under the table in front of him, took out a small jewel encrusted box and handed it to the pirate leader.
Erasta opened it carefully and sucked in his breath at the sight of the contents.
He took out the string of tasbih and held it dangling in the filtered light.Ninety nine beads of turquoise and opal shimmered in their silver settings.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Fri, Sep 04 2009 23:39:31 EST

Mustaffa also offered a bit of wisdom as well, "Erasta, perhaps the American is to be a part of his future now. Allah, may want his with the American businessman."

Erasta thought about this for a moment. Mustaffa could be right. Ceel Huur was a whole and no place for a younger child like that to be without parents. He would have to meet this American, size him up some. His attention turned back to the lovely piece of spiritual jewelry. It was bright like Abdi's aura must be. He doesn't deserve this place.

"Maybe you are right. old friend. I shall have to meet this American though." Erasta told Mustaffa.

Mustaffa nodded in agreement as Erasta handed the beads back to him. "Wrap it up!" he said handing Mustaffa some money.

Mustaffa refused it, "This is for Abdi, it is my gift to you. Say it is from us both."

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sat, Sep 05 2009 23:02:24 EST

Membaya busied herself with her robotics but she was getting antsy.Her language instructor was late and she was anxious to get at least a working knowledge of the dialect of the region in which she would be placed.having a natural talent for languages would help but as a perfectionist she had to do her best at all times.Being fluent in her Father's native tongue would be of utmost benefit as the business end of the hostage trade was conducted in Africa.

How much longer ,she wondered,before she could put her skills to good use.She was glad to know that Abby was coming with her.She took out the file she had just been given and opened it to gaze at the photos inside.The dark eyes of the boy Abdi stared back at her enigmatically.She felt an immediate connection with the aura of this child and knew this was her true destiny.Somehow she was to make a difference in many lives.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Sep 08 2009 11:06:53 EST

Membaya also felt that this boy might prove to be of great value later. It was like he was looking right through her. There was something deeply spiritual about him. In every photo encased in the file he was smiling. Membaya looked next at the paperwork. Agent Christiansen had adopted th boy Abdi. This struck her as unusual. Why would he do that if it could endanger him. She called Agent Grimes to find out.

Grimes was sitting the classroom watching the interaction between Anakin and the boy who was to be the newest addition when the call came through on the cell.

"Hello, Agent Grimes?" Membaya asked.

"Yes, and who is this?" Said Grimes.

"This is Membaya Oduya, I have some questions?" She told him.

Arthur didn't know what questions the girl could possibly have. It should all have been there in the file. Then the hought was answered.

"Go on?" he said.

"I want to know a little more about Agent Christiansen and his relationship with this boy, Abdi."

"It is in the file, wel some of it anyway," Grimes began, "What isn't there is that Agent Grime likes to hide in plain sight. The adoption of the boy in some unique way od his is a part of that would be my guess. Another pat of this might be that he is planning to make this his last mission. This would make sense. He wants to get back to his life in Arizona, he misses his home." Grime posited.

Membaya nodded in understanding. She thought about it for a moment. It was almost like Scotty requesting a mission or two off and like Matt who was at an MIT youth summer camp for almost the whole rest of the summer. CHristiansen wanted a more settled life to deal with.

"Thank you, Agent Grimes. I was just trying to understand the man's angle. I think it's clear now." She said.

Before he hung up with Membaya, Grimes gave her a bit of news. He wanted to be clear that a partner is the wat to go on this one.

"I am giving you a partner on this one. You will bne able to meet him at Thomas' party tonight. Anakin will bring him, he is a fine young man from what I can tell. Look the other file I sent you, it's his." Grimes suggested.

"Okay, I will and thank you fro everything." Membaya said as he hung up the receiver. A new kind on the team that will be interesting, she thought. She wondered what he would be like as she looked at the time again. The doorbell rang and she knew the time had come. She tooka breath and prepared a good dress fro Tommy's party.

Tommy was the big one-two today, almost a teen but not quite. He was still a nice boy like his brother and Like Anakin who she liked more. Maybe it was right for her parents to push them together. She made a point to try an get to know Anakin better, maybe at lunch period which they had together every other day.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Sep 08 2009 13:57:58 EST

It was Saturday the only day the Bishop had free to interview Tommy for the priesthood office of Deacon. It was a special time for twelve year old boys in his church. He was beginning to cross the bridge into manhood. Tommy knew he wouldn't be there for quite a while yet, but was fianlly happy to on the path to it. Tommy was nervous, he didn't know why he had been preparing for this moment since he had been a valiant in Primary. May it was the new sense of responsibility he would have, the fact that more would be expected of him. Whatever it was, Tommy just couldn't keep from pacing as he waited for Robert to come out of his office. It was time for another Dad interview. Finally the door opened and Robert poked his head out. Robert's office was loaded with books. Tommy had read some of them last year. The fiction ones to the right of the desk which sat between then with his father's laptop computer smack in the middle of it. Off in the corner was a familiar leather corner sofa. There had been some good times in here. Tommy remembered the interview his dad had given him before he was to be baptized. He was nervous then too. To this day he wondered why. RObert was strict, but with a gentle edge to him. The baptism was easy, just crouch and lean back dad would do the rest. This was different though, this was his entry into the priesthood of the church. He now had spiritual keys to be responsible for. Tommy took a breath and entered. He was going to take a seat at the desk across from Robert. Robert wagged his head quietly directing his son to the couch.

"Sorry to keep you waiting, son. This is such an important interview for both of us that I wanted to make sure I was ready." Robert said.

"I'm nervous dad." Tommy said.

"I know. So was I. You have nothing to be nervous about, you're perfectly worthy. You respect Lacey in every way, I have seen you." Robert said. He was trying to ease his son's mind.

Tommy took a breath, "Okay, let's get this done then."

Robert went downt he checklist of things Tommy had to do before this day had come for them, for him.

"Know your Articles of Faith?" he asked.

"Yes," Tommy answered.

Robert wasn't so sure his son knew all of them all the way through. He wanted to make sure Tommy was ready for the bishop's interview. He chose one of the most difficult ones.

"Tell me the thirteenth one then." Robert ordered.

Tommy closed his eyes and took a breath to relax. Dad had to choose a hard one, he thought. Tommy relaxed, searching his mind. Robert sat back in his chair. On the one hand, he was hoping that Tommy would find it somewhere in that little noggin of his. It was taking a long time for him to find it. He back in the darker recesses of his mental file cabinet. After a few short moments, Tommy smiled. He'd found it and opened his eyes.

"We believe," Tommy began,"in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent and in doing good to all men. Indeed, you might say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, hope all things and hope to be able to endure all things. If There is anything virtuous, lovely of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." Tommy recited. He had struggled in some parts, but had gotten throug it.

"Very good. I am proud of you. Now have you read section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants?" Robert asked next.

Tommy took a breath and swallowed. He wasn't sure if he had, or at least he couldn't remember. The last school year had been a long one for him. He had read lots of stuff. Maybe, thought out loud. Robert heard it. Didn't know whether to smile or laugh.

"Don't worry son, it's only for my confidence that I asked. You can read it tonight when you go to bed and after I have ordained you. The bishop consented to assist with the ordination here tonight. We are having a combination party to celebrate both important things tonight. Only your closest friend were invited." Robert told him.

Tommy emitted a quick sigh of relief. It was then that he realized he hadn't read it yet and his dad knew. He was like that, just always knew what was on his boys' minds. Robert released him and began to take out his temple reccomend. It was in the rears and needed updating if he was going to ordain his son a deacon.

"Dad, something wrong?" Tommy asked.

"Just my reccomend. Need to get it updated." Robert said.

Tommy remembered that Abby had given him a note for his dad. He took it out and read it.

"Is that why mom has you going to see Bishop Powers and President Watson today a couple of hours before I see Bishop Powers?" Tommy said.

Robert looked up and saw his son fondling a note in his hand. He wagged his head. The boy had forgotten to give him the message until just now. Probably just wanted to stay focused on this important interview. Important- well, now it was his turn to be a bit nervous. He hadn't seen either one of these men in over six months.

"I guess it's time to let you go and see to your brother. Your mother's taking you to see the Bishop this afternoon. Dress for the church building. She also wants to buy your brother a new suit, he's grown a little this summer. " Robert asked.

"Yes, I know. Looks like he's ten instead of nine. His pants make him look like Erkel." Tommy said.

Robert had to laugh at that image. The boy character's mosy famous line went sailing through his mind. He smiled.

"Then I will see you later. Anakin bringing the new boy over?" Robert asked with finality.

"Yeah, Duncan something or other. I don't know him he's in ninth grade." Tommy answered.

He went out the door. As he did, Robert sat up straight. There are greater things ahead for him than he knows, he said to himself. Only time would tell exactly what those "greater things" would be and time was the best keeper of secrets Robert knew.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Wed, Sep 09 2009 13:27:49 EST

Abdi hummed an ancient tune and deftly flipped the fillets in the frying pan.The fish was fresh and filled the tiny room with a delicious aroma.Hearing a crisp knock on the door,the boy wiped his hands on a towel and called out,"Who is it?"

Erasta laughed and replied,"Open up and find out,my brother."

Abdi quickly opened the door and embraced his cousin warmly.
"It is so good to see you,"he said ,"You have never come here before.Is everything well with you?"

Erasta entered the room and sat down at the table."Ah yes,all is well.Ummm,that fish smells good,"he observed.

Abdi turned off the fire and slipped one of the fillets onto a plate .Setting it down in front of the older boy,he invited him to try the fish for himself.

Erasta refused politely but after some urging he dug into the offering with gusto.It was Abdi's portion of the meal but he was glad to give it to Erasta.The fish fell apart in thick white flakes and the teenager remarked,
"Abdi,you are a talented cook.I know some people who would pay for your services if you ever need money."

Abdi smiled and thanked him saying,"You are too kind but the man Fletch provides everything I need."

After Erasta finished eating,he pushed back his chair and said,
Abdi,I would like to meet this man.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Sep 10 2009 15:08:42 EST

A sound at the door caused Erasta to jump to his feet as Fletch came in singing an old Elvis song.He recognized the teen from his files but he feigned ignorance.

"Oh Fletch,you are just in time to meet my favorite cousin,Erasta,"Abdi gushed,"He is a generous and kindly man."

Fletch put out his hand and said,"Assalam Alaikum "Peace to you.

Fletch pointed to the chair and said,"Please sit down."

Erasta sat again and looked the man over carefully,then he said,

"Abdi is very important to me.He is one promised to our great God and I believe it is an honor to protect and care for him.Do you feel that way too?"

The agent thought for a moment and then answered,"Abdi is a very special boy in many ways.I have grown to have great affection for him and yes I too believe it to be a privilege to care for him.You are always welcome to come by and check on him at any time."

Erasta leaned in across the table to peer directly into Fletch's eyes,"That is exactly what I am going to do,"he intoned sternly.

Abdi went to the stove and made a plate of fish for his Dad.As he put it in front of the man he said,
"Come on cousin,let us go outside and talk while my friend eats his meal."

Erasta followed him outside without even a goodbye to Fletch but he was satisfied.Squatting down in the shade of a doorway,Erasta took the jeweled case from his pocket and held it out to the child."This is for you,"he said.

The boy's eyes widened in surprise as he took the box from his cousin's hands.Carefully opening it,he squealed in delight at the sight of the ornate prayer beads inside.

"Take them out,"Erasta instructed happily.

Abdi reached in gently and extracted the ninety nine shimmering beads.Holding them up in the sunlight he said a prayer of thanks immediately.

"Oh my brother,this is too much.They are wonderful and fine.I have no right to such a thing as this,"he said.

"These are also from our friend Mustaffa.He too believes you are worthy of such a gift."

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Mon, Sep 14 2009 01:46:54 EST

Abdi fondled the gift between his fingers. The cold of the beads felt good on such a hot day. He was thankful for them, and that his cousin and old friend had thought of him in such a way. He was sad that he might have to leave the home that he had done barely half of his growing up in, but his path led elsewhere, hew knew and his cousin had to now this and accept it. This where God wnated him to be for now; with this American that he could not hate. It wasn't in Abdi's heart to hate anyone.

"I am most thankful for your gift and will always think of you as I hold them in my hands. Tell Mustaffa thank you for me. In some ways, I shall miss this place, but I will always remember it and you cousin. I will return." Abdi said watching Erasta's face for a reaction.

Erasta wasn't sure what to say. It was impossible sometimes after such wisdom and love were presented to him. He wondered what he might become under the care of this American. Abdi's life would be better for sure in so many ways. The American sat waiting for him on the bed.

"Is this really what you want, cousin?" Erasta asked

"God wants it, and if this is what he wants for me who am I to say no. I serve God and go where he wills. My Path leads to America and I wish you could follow me, cousin. I really do, but your path at least for now is here before you. It might change later, or it could change now. This is upto you. Choose which call you prefer." Abdi advised his cousin.

"You are wise beond your years. Go and be blessed of God." Erasts wished him taking him up in a firm embrace.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Sep 15 2009 11:17:58 EST

Before they parted company ,Abdi reminded the teenager once again of the coming of his new friends.He wanted to prepare a way for them to gain access to the pirates innermost group.he did not allow himself to think where such a thing might lead.He could be sabotaging his cousin's future if Erasta did not wake up and choose a better path soon.Membaya would be arriving at any time now with whomever else she might bring along .Things were going to get very dangerous but Abdi had placed his fate in God's hands and prayed for the best.

He placed the gift back in its box and went inside to speak with Fletch.The agent sat on the bed drinking a cold beer and reading an old newspaper.

"So,how did it go?"Fletch asked ,"Did I pass inspection?"

Abdi smiled and sat down beside him."I believe you did Dad,"he answered,"If not,I would have been carted out of here by now."

Fletch laughed and went to the refrigerator.He pulled out another fillet and slid it into the still hot grease.He didn't bother asking the boy but rather simply cooked his dinner for him knowing he would have refused the offer.In a matter of minutes he placed the succulent fish along with a hunk of crusty bread on a plate for the child.

"Eat up,"he coaxed,as Abdi thanked him profusely.

"That's what Dads do,"Fletch said and sat down across from his son to watch him eat.

Abdi placed the jeweled box on the table between them and tore off a piece of the bread ."Erasta gave me this wonderful present today,"he informed his Dad,"He did not buy it with stolen money ,as a good friend gave it to him."

Fletch opened the box and took out the prayer beads with a sharp whistle of approval."Wow,"he exclaimed,"I can't even imagine what these are worth,"he intoned.

Abdi swallowed a mouthful of fish and said quietly,
"A value cannot be placed upon them now,for they are priceless to me."

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Sep 15 2009 16:01:02 EST

Fletch inspected every inch of the string of the beads. They were exquisite. Great love had been put into them, he could feel it. He put them back in the box, which was also exquisite and made entirely of finely carved Acacia wood. Fletch ran his fingers over every carving; every ridge and valley. He set on a nearby counter where the boy could see it. There was a sadness in his eyes, probably for his cousin. Fletch wished he could do something more to alter the other boy's path. It would take more than Fletch's gentle persuasion. From the conversation between the two he also felt that Erasta wanted out of the pirate scene and that meant the Clandestine Club.

"I sense that your cousin wants off his current path. What do you think?" Fletch asked.

Abdi looked up, smiling. He could see concern in his new father's face. It was the same concern he had when they first met, deep and passionate. Fletch rubbed his chin more mow, he hadn't as much before. This was new.

"I think he does as well. He just cannot see it like I did. It his harder for him. You must show it to him with your helpers." Abdi answered.

Helpers, that was one hadn't heard before. However, it fit because that is what each and every member of the Clandestine Club was-a helper. Fletch knew what he meant, it rang out.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Sep 15 2009 18:37:39 EST

Membaya's language tutor finally arrived. It was a good thing too. Like all the great minds had, hers had begun to get bored. Nothing she tried was bringing it out of the boredome far enough. Somali was actually and easy language as the African ones went, but she didn't know enough of it to carry on a truly good conversation.

"Hello," the woman said,"I am Nadifa Haweeya." She extended her hand.

She was a beautiful woman, tall and dark. She had a look of knowing about her. Mambaya smiled and welcomed her into her circle. It was necessary for the melandragem of the mission. In truth it was more than that, this woman felt like an old friend. Sh was. Nadifa had been Membaya's nanny until she turned four. In her mind it was good to see Nadifa again.

"My how you have grown. You are almost a beautiful young woman now. Let us get started shall we." She said

For the next few days from eleven o'clock to one o'clock the lessons would roll on. Membaya absorbed everything she was taught of Somalian language with ease. She even picked up the English dialect Nadifa carried now. It was a great deal lighter but still noticeable. The first lesson went quickly and she was able to make Tommy's party. Mems looked at her clock radio, it was almost time. Nadifa noticed it.

"Somewhere you have to be tonight?" Nadifa asked.

"A party for a friend," Membaya said.

Nadifa saw the beautiful dress laying on the bed behind them. beautiful dress means only one thing. A boy was picking her up.

"You have a young caller. Let me help you get ready." Nadifa offered.

It had been a long time since she had dressed this one. Then she would wiggle something fierce. Now she was a patient, mature little girl, almost a woman. Membaya slid the dress on and turned round. Nadifa zipped her up. She had missed that. Membaya turned to face her former nanny.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Sep 15 2009 19:16:02 EST

"Whatever happens on this mission,"Membaya said,"I hope we can stay in touch.I don't want to lose you again."

Nadifa smiled and gave her a hug before saying her goodbyes.She did not want to be in the way of the child's good time tonight.It would probably be her last chance at a normal get together with her peers for a long time.

Nadifa walked briskly towards her car thinking of how beautiful
her young charge had become,when she saw a shadowy figure lurking near the house.Fear gripped her heart because she knew Membaya was involved in a mission for the government.

Taking out her cell phone,she had begun to dial the Oduya household to warn Membaya when someone hit her on the head from behind.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Wed, Sep 16 2009 00:03:08 EST

The sun slipped in and out between the clouds over the Gulf of Aden where the two new sailors ranged about.Fletch was very comfortable on the boat and the boy was enjoying the day.Abdi flicked a long line out into the water and waited patiently for a nibble.

Fletch tousled his hair and said,"Well son,this trip is bound to get us something of value,even if it's just another meal."

Fletch hoped to gain much more than that for he intended to ease the craft closer and closer to the pirate"s harbor.The dreary day was beneficial but Fletch intended to wait until dark to approach the inlet.There,using night vision cameras,he would try to get some good shots of the cove.If discovered,he would toss the equipment and claim ignorance and lack of experience with the boat.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Fri, Sep 18 2009 23:08:51 EST

Nadifa,stunned from the glancing blow,turned to see a man in black taken down by two men in suits.One agent hauled the culprit off to a waiting sedan while the other man checked on Nadifa.

"Sorry we were a bit too slow to prevent that from happening,"the agent apologized,"It shouldn't have gotten that far."

Nadifa leaned against her car as the man examined the wound.

"Didn't break the skin but you might have a concussion,"he told her,"Let me take you to the hospital."

"No,No,I'm okay,"she sputtered,"Who are you and what was that about?"

"I'm Agent Stone and we were assigned to watch over the Oduya household.Every member of the Clandestine Club is afforded the same safeguard.That man wanted to coerce you into spying for a faction that is involved in piracy in Somalia.It's all about profits.They made eighty million last year."

The other agent came back with some articles from the perp's pockets.
"What did you find Agent Taylor,"asked Stone.

Taylor spread several things out on the back of Nadifa's car.The beam of his flashlight highlighted the photo of a little boy on a trike.

Nadifa had to stifle a scream,"That's Ronnie,that's my son.Why
would he have that?"

"He was going to frighten you into helping them,"Taylor said gently.You must be very careful now but I don't think you will be bothered again.We'll assign someone to you until we can be sure."

Nadifa had not realized what a force for good the Clandestine Club had become.This of course meant that the forces of evil would would step up efforts to eliminate them.She looked back at the glowing Oduya home and prayed that her sweet student and friend would still be able to have her special night out.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sat, Sep 19 2009 14:28:41 EST

Anakin combed back his hair and checked his appearance in the mirror.He was looking forward to the party tonight.He couldn't wait to see Mems .She had something special about her .Not just that she was a beautiful genius but something more than that.She seemed more mature than her years and he felt that they shared a kindred spirit.He was hoping she felt the same way but did not want to rush things.Tonight she would meet their new Club Member.Anakin was a little afraid of that meeting.All the girls liked Duncan because he was older and always had something funny to say. Though he didn't like the idea, he was told he needed a tie for this party. He had almost forgotten that it was a Mormon ordination, something like a rite of passage tribal boys took to become a man. Only difference was that his friend wasn't crossing over all the way. Tom was just taking the first couple of steps over and that was important. It would be a unique experience, something new to see Anakin's family was even coming. This was also new, they usually never cam with him. Maybe they were finally coming out of their shells of privacy. Curiosity would be the best reason for that.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Sep 24 2009 01:20:19 EST

It had been a long while since Anakin had worn a tie, even to church. He had a hard time getting it right. About this time, Susan came to his door. She had finished with his sister, and wanted to check on Anakin. He was struggling with his new tie just like she thought he would. She tapped lightly on the cherry stained door jamb. Anakin looked over.

"I remember the first time you tried to tie a tie. Has it been that long, son?" She said.

Anakin nodded. "Since I was ten and dad got his first award, I think." Anakin said.

Susan walked in and Anakin turned to face her. She gently took the tie in her hands and began to tie it favoring a full Windsor knot. "There you go my handsome young man." she said tapping it into her son's chest.

She was proud of him and what he had been doing this summer. In her heart, she wished she could take his place. It was exciting to have a spy in the family. Even Shannon knew how important his trips were. This one would be no different. Tears began to roll down Susan's face as she looked over her shoulder at the Medal of Honor that hung alongside the photograph of her Marine father. She knew that it was out of respect for him that her son had entered the ROTC program lat year and she in turn respected that. Anakin was growing up to be a fine young man and a great leader like her father had been.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Mon, Sep 28 2009 11:33:26 EST

Abdi leaned out over the side of the boat and trailed his fingers in the water.He had his line out trolling as they moved slowly along the coastline.A cool breeze ruffled his black curls and he smiled at his new father engrossed in his cameras.On the distant horizon he could see a speed boat fast approaching.

"Father,Father,"he cried,"Hide the cameras and take up a fishing pole quickly."

Fletch did not hesitate to follow the boy's direction.He threw the equipment under a tarp and grabbed a rod and reel.Angling the boat away from the cove,he was well away before the pirates got there.

That was when Fletch noticed another boat in the distance.Instinctively he knew that Captain Thomas was playing the rebel and taking matters into his own handsHe decided to contact Grimes about the volatile situation before Thomas created an international incident.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Mon, Sep 28 2009 22:55:11 EST

When the call came through, a junior agent came in to announce it.

"Sir," he said, satellite call on line two."

"I'll take it in here," Grimes said, "close the door."

Grimes pressed the flashing button hard. This could be it, time for them to go. Membaya and the new kid would have to go first. It was the only way.

"Christianson," he said, "What's re the conditions over there?"

Christianson answered, "It is beginning to become volatile here. We're going to need those kids now!"

The wind blew in his face. It sounded like static to Grimes, then the signal was gone as if the phone had been hung up. It probably had. He put in an immediate call to Rob and Abby.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Oct 01 2009 17:24:22 EST

Fletch breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that the boat from the USS Gettysburg had given up its pursuit of the pirates.On board the speedboat,Erasta spotted Fletch's boat and took it for a fisherman.It was too far away to make out the occupants and the pirates were anxious to get back to port.Erasta had chosen their next target and he wanted to prepare for tomorrow's boarding.

Erasta took the wheel and was headed for the cove when another speedboat came out of nowhere and cut across his path.A man in the boat opened fire on the pirates,hitting Erasta and another teenager and then sped away into the distance.

Chaos followed as the men were screaming and trying to help the wounded.Erasta weakly ordered one of them to take the wheel and get the boat home.

Half hidden in the overhanging foliage along the shore,Abdi and Fletch watched the scene in horror.Fletch knew captain Thomas had to be behind this.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Fri, Oct 02 2009 23:58:16 EST

Everyone was there now. Their training was almost completed. Anakin circumspected the room, Duncan looked back. He could feel the energy coming off his friend. Luckily it wasn't Mems he was looking at. Grace didn't want to let on that she had noticed Duncan's silent advance. Anakin wagged his head. At least he's not after Mems," he told himself. He shot a smile and a nod Duncan's way to let him know Grace wasn't taken. Duncan had been at rifle drill practice for the upcoming Labor Day parade coming up. His tall Nubian form was still clad in the green-on-green uniform with gold ROTC tacks on the lapels.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Mon, Oct 05 2009 13:39:54 EST

Grace Collier watched the handsome young man approach with a feeling of anticipation.He was older and so cool in his uniform.He introduced himself and asked if he could join her.
In a few moments they were talking avidly about her dreams of winning a gold medal in the Olympics.

After a while,she tossed her blue-black hair off her shoulders and laughed,"Wow,you really are a great listener.Now tell me about yourself."

"Well let's see,"he said with a smile,"You've heard of Guns and Roses?Well ,I'm more like Guns and Donuts.I can't get enough of either one."

Grace laughed ,"Now I know why they say you have a good sense of humor,"she told him."Are you going to be in the parade with your drill team?"

"Yes,"he replied,"Will you come and watch?"

"I'd love to,"she responded.

"It's a date then ,"he said.

"Say,you work fast don't you Duncan?"Grace observed with a smile.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Oct 06 2009 01:42:24 EST

"One should never allow true beauty to escape them." Duncan said.

Anakin wasn't the only one watching the situation. Membaya had been watching too. She looked over toward Anakin. His shoulders once risen had fallen in relief. It was, Mems knew a sign of worry or stress. She didn't know what on earth Anakin could be worried about. Even in the halls at school she would never get more than a gentlemanly hello from the boy. Membaya crossed the living room floor to join Anakin.

"Hey, what are you worried about. He's never been interested in me Anakin. You know that." Membaya said.

"Guy thing. Duncan is competition, but it looks like he's goin' for someone just as beautiful. You're right though, shouldn't have even been worrying about it." Anakin said.

Mems moved in closer. Anakin took the signal, hoping he was right about it as he placed hi right arm over her shoulders. It was already known that they were an item, so why not? They all gathered together for the ordination. Robert began placing his hands on Tommy's head.

"Thomas Eldridge Macon,in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Melchizedek priesthood which I hold, I lay my hands on your head and ordain you to the Aaronic Priesthood and the office of a Deacon. With this Priesthood comes great responsibility and power even unto the ministering of angels and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. The lord is happy that you have taken this step onto the path of manhood as am I. I bless you that you will carry out the responsibilities of this priesthood office with reverence and candor, that you might feel its power grow inside you. Remember that priesthood must be magnified in all that you do and say. Let the spirit guide as you have so far done. Teach the world by your example and tend to the needy, sick and afflicted wherever you might go. These things I bestow upon you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." Robert prayed.

Everyone else joined in the concluding amen and Tommy shook his father's hand and embraced him. It was the same for his Bishop. The Party went for another hour or so then dissipated into mission planning. The power of the day flowed through everyone and they were ready for whatever lay ahead.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Wed, Oct 07 2009 10:11:01 EST

Fletch contacted Grimes again and told him of the attack.
"Alright Christiansen,"he said,"We have to get our people in there to find out the extent of the damage.If the young leader dies there will be severe fallout.We have to know what their plans are.Go back to town and wait for my contact."

Fletch looked at Abdi who was praying silently ,the special beads in his small hands.Tears were streaming down his cheeks as he said ,"Father,I pray that my dear brother does not die."

Looking up at the starry sky,Fletch prayed too.He knew that somewhere under that same full moon,a little girl was being prepared for the journey of a lifetime.He just hoped it wasn't too late.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Oct 08 2009 00:03:46 EST

Not long after the small meeting broke Robert called Duncan into his office, tapping his sons and Anakin on the way there. He wanted them to sit in on the interview. As Duncan walked, Anakin trailing behind Robert introduced himself.

"Welcome Duncan, I am Senior Field Agent Robert Macon, CIA." He said.

Duncan looked around the office a moment. Hungup on a small section of the wall were two logos. One he recognized as the CIA the other looked like it, but different. Matt had chosen to where his blue jacket, the one with the Clandestine Club patch on it. It was that Duncan spoke his mind.

"This party's a ruse isn't it, or at least part of it is." Duncan asked.

Robert smiled,"You've found us out Duncan. You've been recruited by the Clandestine Club. We are a Clandestine group of youth trained by military and CIA sources. We help preserve freedom where there is conflict over such. Sometimes, we even bring people home with us to makethem free."

Robert said this as the door opened, a small crack to reveal four little eyes curiously peeking into his office. He smiled and wagged his head gently and the door closed again,hard.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Oct 13 2009 19:51:17 EST

Back on shore,Fletch hid the boat and headed back to town.Abdi was silent next to him but his lips were moving in prayer.
"Listen son,"Fletch said quietly,"I know this is tough on you but is there any way for you to find out what happened?Do you know anyone who can give us information about Erasta's condition?"Abdi put his beads away and dried his tears on his sleeve."There is a man who acts as a go between for the pirate boys and their helpers but he does not like me,"replied the boy,"He would know everything.He talks to Canada and gets everything they need."

"What do you mean,talks to Canada",Fletch asked,glancing over at his son in surprise.

"Our old neighbor,Yusuf Suleyman,ran away to Canada and now he and some others who moved there too help the boys for part of the ransoms."

A light went on in the agent's mind,That was how they were getting the GPS equipment and the sophisticated weapons."Would it be safe for you to visit this man?"Fletch queried.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Wed, Oct 14 2009 23:14:59 EST

Abdi turned to him submissively, "If you would like to wait until the team arrives. I will do that because you are my father and my partner and you only want safety for me."

Fletch took a deep breath of the cool sea air. They would have to get here soon. A life hung in tha balance; an important one.

"Are you sure?" Fletch asked.

"Yes, Father." Abdi smiled.

He could see that Abdi's heart was in his sonhood. This family thing was working out. Fletch took the oars and rowed back to shore. There wasn't much more he could do and with Muslim extremists moving closer and closer to Ceel Huur with every day. They would have to move to Mogadishu for safety soon. Even then, they wouldn't be truly safe for long. The extremists were moving south quickly. It would only be a week or so after reaching Ceel Huur to reach the lonely war torn capital. This problem had to be handled quickly. One they arrived back at the apartment, Fletch called Grimes again.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Oct 22 2009 16:03:27 EST

Grimes really did not like Fletch .He found his methods too Bohemian and unpredictable but he had a lot of respect for the man.He had an excellent record and his loyalty was exemplary.When he got another call he knew the situation demanded immediate action.

"Just hang tight,"Grimes ordered,"Help is on the way.Don't do anything until the others arrive.Things could go sour very quickly.Those young pirates are heroes to some people there.It isn't all black and white so we must be careful.

Fletch listened patiently but he knew all that and more than Grimes would ever learn.He knew things one could only grasp by living and working in an environment like this.

"No disrespect intended Sir,"Fletch began,"But I need to know details.Who is coming,when and where.All I know is that one of them is the girl Membaya.Who is going to accompany her and have they been fully apprised of the delicate situation?

Why was this agent so irritating?,thought Grimes.He just had a way of being annoying .Did he really think they would send the Club members into that hornet's nest unprepared?With great effort he controlled himself and said,"Of course everything is going according to plan.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Oct 22 2009 17:16:05 EST

"Alright," Fletch said, "but we have to move quickly. Moslim extremists are moving into Ceel Huur at a rapid pace. I have to get my son and his brother out to safer ground."

"Understood," Grimes said and hung up.

Robert and the others mingled a while, then took sttategic places in the room. It felt odd to Duncan who had an inkling why he was here. He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out the coin. Abby crossed the room to meet with Matt for a family picture which was taken by the Bishop who just happened to be a photographer.

"Boys, sit in the chairs," he directed, "Robert Abby right behind."

They followed his instructions. Matt was a little fidgety, but tried not to show it. He onhly got like this when there was a new energy in the room. Matt looked straight forward, Grace and Duncan directly in his line of sight. The new kid, he thought, wondering why he'd been chosen. Before they knew it the picture had been taken. Abby leaned her head over onto Robert's shoulder.

"The package is here." She reported.

"Thanks Abbs," Robert said.

It had been a long time since he'd called her that. Since freshman year at the University of Utah. Abby felt young again as she gave him a gentle peck on the cheek. Robert crossed the room to his office to peruse the packeage he'd received, closing the door for at least forty-five minutes. He went through everything slowly. First was the mission status file. It wasn't good and they would have to hurry to catch the next plane out to Saudi Arabia. The second file was smaller; Dunca's name was on the tab. It was impressive. This boy was working his way into an Army Intelligence gig by the time he turnedd twenty-two. There was no doubt he was right for the mission. He called Abby, Anakin and the boys in. The little ones were not far behind, curiosity firmly rooted.

"Anakin, bring Duncan in with you. We have a mission to discuss." Robert said.

Anakin nodded and tapped the other boy on the shoulder. Duncan followed him into the office, more nervous than he had ever been. Anakin thought he had closed the door all the way as he came in, but he hadn't and two sets of little eyes peeked into the crack of the door as two sets of ears listened. Membaya caught them and closed the door.

"It is not polite to eavesdrop, little ones," She said scooting them intothe door and shutting it behind,"be very quiet now,okay."

Both children nodded as the meeting began. Robert shut the file as everyone that could took a seat before him. He called his sons to his side. Matt sat with Abby and Tom with Robert. A short time later there was a quiet rapp at the door. It was Grace with Duncan's parents. They had made it late to the party.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Oct 22 2009 20:06:52 EST

Erasta lay,breathing heavily,on a cot surrounded by his young companions.
"Is he going to die,"asked Roble,the youngest, with tears in his eyes.

The Doctor,a small angry man of about sixty years,scowled at the boy,effectively silencing him.He sent everyone out of the room except Erasta's betrothed ,Ayanna.

"Wash your hands and help me here,"he ordered gruffly,"This is what happens when you are involved in such dangerous ...."He stopped talking as he surveyed the extent of the wound.

"Assist me in removing his shirt,"he continued,"Move slowly,".

Erasta grimaced and clenched his teeth while the garment was removed, revealing a wound in his shoulder.The Doctor swabbed the wound with antiseptic and then probed it carefully.He had given Erasta something for the pain before he began but it still had its effect on the young man.

Turning to Ayanna he said,"The bullet went straight through his shoulder.He is fortunate.He must be transported to a hospital immediately .He has lost a lot of blood."

"But Father,"Ayanna said,"It will be too dangerous for him there".

"Not at my hospital in Mogadishu,"the man replied gently.His one soft spot was the daughter of his old age.That she had fallen in love with this young pirate was a source of great dismay but he loved her beyond all else.

"Keysaney Hospital deals with this kind of thing every day,"Doctor Hassan told his daughter.She knew it was a Red Cross Hospital that specialized in confidentiality.She breathed a sigh of relief as she saw her beloved half dozing while her Father bandaged his shoulder.

"We must take him at once,"Hassan remarked when he finished up.
He washed his hands again and rolled down his sleeves .Ayanna went into his arms and sobbed on his shoulder."I'm so relieved.Thank you Father for coming.I know I have hurt you terribly.Please forgive me."

The old man smoothed her hair and smiled."Don't worry,"he told her,"Just get the others and let's get him out of here tonight.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Fri, Oct 23 2009 21:45:32 EST

Thenhe turned tothe youngest again, "You know where is brother is?"

"Yes, sir." the boy said.

"Then go and tell him his brother is alright and will be in hospital tonight." Ayanna ordered.

The boy nodded, dashing out the mouth of the cave as fast as his young could carry him. Fletch and Abdi hadn't been at the apartment long when Asa arrived and knocked on their door. Abdi knew the sound of that knock and answered it.

"I have good news of your brother," Asa said

"He is alright?" Abdi asked. The boy was just six months younger then him.

"Doctor says he is fine but lost much blood. We will take him to the hospital tonight." Asa reported.


"Mogadishu." Asa said

"That could be dangerous too. Moslim extremeists are making their way their quickly. You shouldn't stay there morethan a day. Al-Qaida leaves noone alive,son." Fletch told Asa.

Asa looked the man over giving attention to every detail. He is no danger to me, he thought, I will trust him.

"I will tell the doctor," He said.

At this point Fletch didn't know if he was aiding the enemy or helping a friend, or a relative. One thing was certain for him though, Erasta had been hurt and Abdi still cared for him deeply. He couldn't risk the loss. Fletch turned to to Abdi knealing on one knee.

"You want yo go to him don't you?" He asked.

Abdi nodded in the affirmative. It was Erasts he had to be with now. Asa stood there in the doorway waiting patiently for an answer. Fletch took a breath as he took his new son by the shoulders.

"Go with this boy. I will join you in two days. Take this phone..." Fletch began.

He shot Asa a look that said, "we need some privacy now for a moment." Asa backed his young body down the stairs out of ear shot.

"Take this phone and call me if you learn anything important. The others will be here soon." Fletch told Abdi.

The nodded sharply, "See you Fletch." And he left withtheother boy.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sat, Oct 24 2009 06:04:08 EST

Fletch knew the Red Cross Hospital would be a safe zone for the boys so he felt better about the whole thing.He had planned on heading for Mogadishu anyway so this just facilitated his plan.To fight the empty feeling of not having his constant companion by his side,he set about packing up their belongings.He found himself longing for the end of this mission when he could take his son and go home in peace.
Taking a break ,he sat down at the table and poured himself a hot cup of green tea.It was Abdi's favorite.He took out the phone and called Grimes again.He knew the man loathed him though he wasn't sure why.IT made the mission more difficult for him.
"Grimes,"he began,"New developments here.The leader of the pirates is stable for the moment but he will no doubt be temporarily replaced until he has recovered.There is a boarding planned and I'm sure it won't be aborted because of one man.They are being funded and directed by expatriates in Canada who won't stand for a delay.It would mean a loss of millions of dollars so the plan is still a "Go" for the Clandestine Club infiltration."
Grimes sighed and looked at his watch,time was of the essence now.
"Alright,"he said,"Keep me apprised of the situation.Our people are on the move.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sat, Oct 24 2009 10:41:35 EST

Grimes was beginning to like this young Agent more and more. He had to get to Canada, but before calling Rob. If The Clandestine Club was in going to Infiltrate the pirates' organization it had to be now. He dialed the numbers knowing that by now the new member was in the office.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Mon, Oct 26 2009 11:20:54 EST

Ayanna heard Erasta groan and reached for his hand.The young man opened his eyes and looked around,"Where am I?"he asked her weakly.
"You are at the Red Cross hospital .You are safe here for now.It is where my father works,"she assured him.

"There is no safe place for me,"he growled,"We must leave at once."

A small voice spoke up from the doorway to say,"Be at peace my brother,God is watching over you."It was Abdi holding the string of prayer beads in his hand.He approached the bed and sat down facing his cousin."Do not be alarmed,this is your destiny.You are not meant to be a part of the taking of innocent hostages any longer.God has plucked you out from among them.You must not return."With that said,he began to pray out loud.

Ayanna listened with tears in her eyes and Erasta kept silent out of deep respect for the child's spirituality.In the doorway,Doctor Hassan waited until Abdi finished and then said,"We must complete his treatment and be ready to move him by the morning."

"But Father,"cried Ayanna,"Where can we go."

"We will take him to our home,"the old man said with a sigh of resignation,"And pray that we are not found out."

Abdi smiled,he knew Fletch would be pleased.He would have to send him directions to the Doctor's house.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Wed, Oct 28 2009 21:46:48 EST

Hassan lived on the far southwest side of Mogadishu. They would be safe here for a while. All along the route, Abdi took note of every landmark and street name, the ones with signs still standing. Mogadishu was still war torn and in need of basic improvement. It had been that way for more than five years. Only a large miracle could bring it back from the seemingly dead fell it had. The city's spirit was gone and so was that of her population. Now radical Muslims wanteds a piece, no they wanted the whole country. Many would die. Abdi hoped that it wouldn't be himeself or Erasta. He prayed for it even now as he painted the directions to the Doctor's home in his young sponge of a mind sending them to fletch as he went.

Fletch took a new set of directions down on paper as he made his way to the boat. He had to make one last visit to the Gettysburg. They had to be prepared for all that was to come.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sun, Nov 01 2009 14:17:28 EST

Duncan cast a glance back to his parents. He was fishing for their thoughts in the matter. All they did was give him ans approving smile and a parental pushing gesture as the meeting went on. Duncan swallowed deeply and then asked the question.

"Why me?" He asked.

"Because you speak Somali, son." Robert told him,"And you look the part."

"And you look the part," Abby added with a smile.

Duncan looked at himself in the mirror behind him. It was the same one Robert was now using when church time was looming overhead on Sundays. The man was right. He was thin and lanky sinewy in all the right places and his eyes were serious as they penetrated your soul to the core. He would need that to fool the pirates. Duncan turned back around straightening his ROTC uniform.

"I see what you mean and I accept." Duncan said.

"Good. The mission has become a dismantling and extraction." Robert explained, "You will be going in with Membaya as new, perspective members of the pirate group with the rest of the group as back up."

"Understood sir," Duncan said,"So I am a safety mechanism for Mems here. I will be there to make sure both of us get out of there safely and with proper dispatch."

Robert paused a moment, then said,"yes, you will be meeting witht he agent already in the field and the CO of the USS Gettysburg. There the rest of the mission plan will be given to you. In the meantime, I am sending Matt and Tom to Canada with Grimes to take down the faction backing the pirates. If we can freeze their funds, we can take care of the other problem their." RObert reported.

"What problem is that sir," Duncan said.

"Muslim extremists moving in from the north. If we can stop them in their tracks Somalia can be truly independent and rise on their own without Islamic oppresion." Robert explained.

Duncan nodded in understanding. This was something he had been waiting for a long time. He put out his hand again and Robert took it with a firm grasp as he rose from his seat. They would need to leave tonight while the mission window was still wide open.

"I'm in," Duncan said.

"Glad to have yuh, son. Go enjoy the rest of the party while we get some of our kids tucked in for the night." Robert greeted.

Matt knew he was among them and wasn't offended. He would need that sleep to be fully useful and slowly rose and left to take a shower and tuck himself in. Later Abby came in and they talked some before she turned out his light.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sun, Nov 01 2009 14:31:02 EST

Captain Thomas was glad to see Fletch and invited him to his quarters to talk.The agent held back the urge to blast the man with epithets over his foolhardy actions with the pirates.It would do no good to alienate him now.Avoiding the events of the day ,he said,"You need to know that two of our young agents will be going undercover at the pirate base.Under no circumstances should you fire on the base or individual pirates.The cell is being dismantled from the inside both here and in Canada where it is funded."

The Captain replied,"Finally,some action!"

"What can I do to help?"

"We may need a safe place for a few people before this is over,"Fletch told him."Can I count on you for that?"

The Captain agreed and poured some of his special brandy in a snifter for Christianson.

"Let's drink to success in taking down these pirates at last,"
he said smiling.

Fletch drank but he was still leary of the outlaw ethics of the man before him.He had disobeyed direct orders to take matters into his own hands when he had the boys fired upon.
He was a loose cannon and Fletch knew it.

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sat, Nov 07 2009 12:57:26 EST

The situation was delicate to say the least of it. It had been eight hours since Abdi had left him. Fletch wondered how the bot was. He had to know why he couldn't wait for the right moment and take the pirates without casualties. Fletch new the explanation he might get. "Collateral damage." was the first one that came to mind. He brought it up.

"So captain, why did you fire on them?" He asked

"They are worthless scum pirates. It was collateral damage, agent." Thomas said.

"Collateral damage! The boy you hit was Abdi's brother!" Fletch exclaimed slamming the table hard,"It's not 'Collateral damage for him now is it?"

Thomas could see the seething anger in his eyes and he sat back. This was nor ordinary anger,it was fatherly indignation. He'd seen it before and knew that Fletch would not let this thing go unnoticed.

"What is he to you, Fletch?" Thomas asked him.

"He's my son's brother and by default that makes him unofficially my son. If he dies, I will see you court marshaled for murder, Captain." Fletch threatened, "Your a loose cannon Thomas and it will be your demise as a Navy officer!"

With that Fletch left the man to squirm in his seat. As he exited the door, the phone rang. It was Abdi, calling to say everything was right with his brother. Hearing the little boy's voice soothed his anger and a smile began to appear on his face and in his voice.

"Abdi, you alright son?" Fletch asked.

"Yahsuh, Erasta too. When you coming here? I miss you." Abdi said.

"Soon, just have a few things to gather up and make certain they happen, one more day. Tell Erasta his path is about to change,I'll tell you how later." Fletch assured his son.

Fletch left the ship and made his way back to the place where he had left the old jeep. He went to the center of Ceel Huur. It was important to get Erasta off of the path he was on or it would kill him and Abdi didn't need to lose anymore family. He found the two young men that had come to him before and handed them 30,000 US. They took him to their sister who had the forms. She knew why Fletch had come, he wanted Erasta now. Those boys needed to be together.

"You are the American businessman who adopted Abdi?" She said

"Yes," Fletch answered, "and now..."

"And now you want his brudduh." she completed, "this is a good thing you do for these two boys. They should not be apart. Here are the forms you need." she said

Fletch filled them out with the speed of urgency. Time was of the essence if he was to arrive in Mogadishu before the Islamists. He took one more look to make sure he had everything filled out and in full order, then handed them back.

"I will file these, she said, "The boys are yours. I will send Erasta's birth records to you in the capital. Go, be with them."

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Nov 10 2009 08:00:39 EST

The phone in Robert's office rang again. It was Grimes verifying that everything was according to plan. Robert verified everything including the Clandestine Club's readiness for the mission at hand. He saw this as being signaled that it was time to leave for Kenya. He sat back as Anakin asked his question again. It was answered.

"Anakin your part in this mission is to make sure that Membaya comes back safely. You both be infiltrating the pirate stronghold in a hidden cove off the coast at Ceel Huur. Matt and Tom will be going with Agent Grimes to Canada. The others will act as back up to help you out should you need them. Am I understood." Robert said.

"Yes sir, Understood," Anakin said castin a look toward Mems.

She looked to him as though she could handle herself in a pinch. He was just a make sure guy. This was okay for his first mission. He wanted to take it easy anyway, at least until he had the lay of the land.

"Good," Robert said, "Now Tom and Matt got get ready for Grimes to pick you up. Tom, take your pistol you might need it."

Robert took the box that held it out of his desk and slid toward his son. Tom opened the box to find a cleaned and perfectly oiled Taurus 627 looking up at him. He'd missed the last mission. Tom caressed it as he picked it up, hefting it to get used to the weight again.

"I'll need my holster too, dad." Tom said.

"I almost forgot," Robert said reaching down into another drawer,"The Canadian LEO's know this sidearm is government issue. They shouldn't bother you too much if you keep it concealed and allow them to know you have it stowed away." Robert Notified Tom.

"Will do, dad," Tom said, "See you in Mogi."

"We'll be waiting. Once you are there see that Christianson and his new family get safely." Robert ordered.

"Yeah dad," Matt piped up.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Nov 10 2009 16:23:13 EST

Dr.Hassan and his daughter lived in a modest western style house with a metal roof.Erasta sat on the side of the bed with his arm in a sling.
"You must rest,"Hassan ordered,"You will have to be on the move soon enough as it is.Use this time to regain your strength."

Ayanna stroked his hair and pleaded,"Just lie down for a little while my darling.You have lost a lot of blood."

Abdi came to stand beside the young pirate and Ayanna left the room to allow him to speak privately with Erasta.She knew he could reach Erasta better than anyone right now.

Putting his hand on his cousin's arm Abdi said ,"Your destiny is tied up with mine now my brother .You must rest so you can be strong for us both."

Ayanna watched from the hall as the young man stretched himself out painfully on the small bed.Abdi took out his prayer beads and murmured a prayer as he lay there.When he left the room,Ayanna smiled and said,Thank you ,little brother.You are so good with him."

Abdi replied,"It is the Most Holy One who works in many ways to call the ones he wants to save."

Dr.Hassan's housekeeper called Ayanna then to tell her that a meal was ready for them. Quraac, or breakfast, consisting of canjeero, (little pancakes),was waiting for them,along with black tea.Abdi was starving and wolfed down several of the sweet flapjacks."Can Erasta have some of these?"he asked the Doctor.

"Don't worry my son,my housekeeper is taking him some warm broth even now,"he chuckled."Distant gunfire put a frown on his face as he inquired,"How long before the agent gets here?"

celeritas (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Nov 10 2009 23:33:59 EST

"Alright," Abdi said.

Hassan smiled, hoping in his heart that the boy's new American father would be able to get both boys out of the country. He wanted the best for them. That would make their futures secure.

Fletch waited some more, then left withthe papers in hand that he needed. The radical islamiosts were closing in fast and Fletch wanted to be ahead of them by days. Soon he got a phone call from the Gettysburg. The Clandestine Club had arrived, the two infiltrators were ready to go. They would be activated soon as they were rested. Their backup also sttood at the ready.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Nov 12 2009 12:55:13 EST

Grimes picked up Matt and Tom. They looked fit for duty as they stood tall on their doorstep. They exuded confidence from head to toe as they watched him the Tommy would always remember. Grimes walked around to the back of the car and opened the trunk. Matt and Tom joined him there, placing their carry-ons in the clean, empty trunk.

"You boys got your passports?" Grimes asked as he closed the trunk door.

"Yeah," they said in tandem.

"Good get in the car, our flight to Calgary is waiting." Grimes said.

They all hurriedly got into the car and sped off. There was one more question in Grimes' mind. He thought that it might be good on this particular mission for Tom to have his Taurus 627.

"Do you have your sidearm, young man?" Grimes asked Tom.

"Yeah dad gave it to me yesterday. He said I might need it, for the second part of the mission." Tom said.

Grimes was satisfied. The two were ready for anything. Matt had been through a graet deal on the last mission. He wondered how he would handle this one. Matt observed The man's posture from the back seat of the car. He had seen the posture before, just before he was to get lectured. Grimes had seen the news reel on that that attempt, too. Rule number 37 came out.

"You know, before you joined the last mission you showed off a bit tto much. You risked exposure, Matthew. Can I be sure that you will not do that here?" Grimes asked.

"Yes sir, Agent avery took care of that lecture. He did a good job, and it was a one time thing." Matt assured him.

"Good, but it still put you and your work in danger. Don't do it again. When we get to our target's residence, quietly look around and observe everything." Grimes instructed.

"Yes sir," they both chimed in.

They are becoming great agents, and even better young men, Grimes thought. Despite his outburst in Boston the a month before, Matt was one of the most clever young men he'd met in a long time. They would have to hide the boy's projects when they returned from Somalia. Hed called ahead to Agent Lee. The phone rang almost off the hook at the Tong residence. Agent Lee answered.

"Hello," He said recognizing the number on the ID.

"Lee, its Grimes. We need a little project arranged for." Grimes said.

"What is needed?" Lee asked.

"Let's call it project Samford. Build it in the Macon's back yard. You have one week. Matthew needs to move outsided the house to make room for the two little ones." Grimes said.

"An apartmet disguise then." Lee asked.

"Yes, Lee an apartment barn right behind the house perfectly aligned with the Basement." Grimes said.

"How far down is the Samford?" Lee asked.

"Twenty feet with solar power ffrom the roof to the samford, off grid." Grimes said.

Lee wrote down the las bit of infomation. There was something he had to know.

"Will do, dimensions?" he asked again.

"Their back yard has enough room for a 35 by 50 samford with a stair step Corridor leading up to the basement. Look through his notes and get him the best equipment you can for his research money is no object." Grimes said.

"Will do," Lee said.

They both hung up and Lee began looking through the myriad of apartment barn plans. Soon he found the perfect one and ordered it. The shed would be for something else. He then went through Matt's account and found trhe money. One piece of equipment had already been ordered and sitting in the basement. He slid a few hundred thousand dollars and sent it to the builder of the Samford Underground Lab project with a letter requesting the highest level of secrecy in the building.

Before Lee came to America he had been an architect in China. He knew exctly how to do it. Lee made the arrangments first looking up the blueprints of the much larger lab. With one look he knew his young student would be pleased and the shed cover and was glad the he had made the choice he had. He called for his grandson.

"Lo Chen, come and see our surprise for young Matthew. I will need your help." Lee called up the stairs.

It took twice beckoning to get Scott out of his room. He was still brooding over his parents somewhat. Scott was almost over it, but his parents had little effort to make it up to him. He wanted more from them. Finally, his father came into his room and bade him to join him on the boy's small bed.

"We wish to make our betrayal up to you. Shi Zhi has a beautiful plan for a lab and new personal space for your friend Matthew. You should go and look if you like it I will help the two of you build the building on top." Mr. Tong said.

Scott nodded,"Okay, come with me. I am still kind of sad about everything." Scott said.

"I know, but it is time for you to be able to trust us again. This would be the best way to accomplish that. Your mother will make us meals as we need and bring us water as we build the barn." Liang said.

They went down together, father and son. As they approached the Lee's desk Scott noticed the blueprints. It was a great lab and though there would be stairs leading to the main floor, Matt could see his friend outside the main house. He wanted to help more than anything.

"When will we start?" Scott asked.

"As soon as the lab downstairs is built, another few days." Lee said.

"I can't wait!" Scott said as he looked up to his father.

This is good, Lee thought, Lo Chen's trust of his father is returning. He smiled, reaching out to Scott for a side hug. Scott felt safe again, but there was still some wary energy about him. It was to be expected. His grandson needed just a little longer to see this through.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Nov 12 2009 13:06:35 EST

It was ten o'clock in the morning when Grimes, Tom and Matt arrived in Vancouver. The air was beginning to chill, but was still warm. Tom and Matt had both nodded off for a spell during the flight and were stretching as the Airbus A380 landed with a loud screach on the runway. Grimes had taken the aisle seat and was pulling their carry-ons from the overhead storage compartment ad they roused further.

"We're there boys," He called to them.

They rose with a slightly hungry and excited look in their eyes. Grimes made them take point as they debarked the plane. Everything seemed alright. He had removed Tom's pistol from its holster just in case, placing it in his briefcase and putting that in the baggage check. Self was a thing they didn't need on this leg of the mission. Drawing it would only cause problems for them. Tom checked himself before leaving the plane. He was sure he had placed his Tuarus in its holster. Tom looked to Grimes. The older agent gave him a thimbs up and he relaxed.

"What was that about?" Matt asked him.

"My pistol was gone." Tom whispered into his btothe's ear.

"You lost it?" Matt asked.

"No, Grimes took it from me so we could get through the airport without a hitch." Tom said.

Matt made no indication that would cast suspicion on them. Grimes nodded in approval. Matt returned it thankfully. The trio made their way out of the plane to the concourse making an effort not to cause a scene, they went through the search line. The search didn't take long and they were in the main concourse in a few minutes. Neither boy had seen British Columbia, much less Canada before. A window gave them a great view of Vancouver bright and powerful. Grimes gathered them together and told them to meet him at the food court in ten minutes. Tom grabbed his brother by the shoulder as he walked that way while looking at a floor map of the huge airport. He looked around a bit. Something was off. Matt could feel it too. They looked into one another's eyes, then all around them scanning every nook and cranny. Two security guards passed by. The first one ignored them, the second came to see if everything was right with them. he was dressed in a fine navy suit that both could tell was by one the better makers in the world. The man was well groomed, and carried well as he approached.

"Excuse me, young gentlmen," He started with an oxford dialect,"you seem troubled. I am Edwin Mastersson, Chief of Security here. Is there something I can do to assist you?"

Tom took control of th conversation. It was his duty this time. Besides Matt seemed to uneasy to make the conversation work right. Masterson seemed alright so Tom thought quickly then piped up.

"Yeah," He explained,"This is out first time travelling alone in a new place, and we were wondering if there was a safer place for us to eat."

"Sure," Masterson said, "Come this way."

Masterson led them to a more frequented restaurant depper into the concourse. It was crowded and busy and being good natured handed the boys twenty Canadian Dollars. It was expensive to eat here and wanted to be sure that they had enough to eat on. Besides, he had two boys of his about the same ages as these two and considered them to be of best character.

Grimes made his way to the baggage claim to pickup his briefcase. It was crowded there so he waited a moment for the area to clear some, then snatched it up calmly and made his way to the food court. To his surprise the boys weren't there. Matereson was just completeing his rounds when he saw Grimes and approached. He'd seen them with the boys earlier and knew that they had to be travelling together. Grimes spied the man coming toward him. His heart raced a little. He swallowed and thought quickly, this one knows where my agents are. Play it cool Malcomb.

"Excuse me, sir," Masterson said,"are you with those two boys I found on the concourse?"

"Yes," Grimes told him,"They are my students. We are returning from a trip to Philadelphia."

"Splendid city that, Liberty Bell and all," Masterson explained,"They requested safer restaurant accomodations, said it was their first time here."

"They must meant in months. Bth have been at West Point Academy the last year. Their father sent them there while he is on contract with a large petroleum concern."Grimes explained in earnest.

"I see, they just forgot some details then." Masterson suggested.

"Quite so, show me to them and I'll take over their security," Grimes replied.

Masterson took Grimes to the restaurant where he had left them. The two seemed comfortable enough in their surroundings waiting on their order. Grimes thanked Masterson for his service. The man gracefully left the scene.

"Is this a private party or can I join you?" He asked.

They laughed. He had been like a second father to them the last few years. The frolicking pair waved him to a seat between them.

"Sure, c'mon Grimes," Tom said pulling the chair out.

"Why did you two leave the concourse," Grimes asked as he sat down and took a menu.

"Something wasn't right. We couldn't tell what, so we decided to book and find someplace safer. You're not mad at us are you?" Tom asked.

"Now that I know why, no. Good job."

Grimes switched personas to one he had many times before when protecting them. He stood up straight, taking on more dignity than he aleady had. It was a dignity found only in butlers. This was a perfect cover two kids on the way to see their parents in Kenya. Grimes took the seat, nagging them for their embarassing actions.

"This is no way for young men of affluence to carry themselves." Grimes said.

Matt caught on first and smiled. Tom just looked at him in wonderment until Matt whispered the scenario into his ear.
Then he understood and went along.

"C'mon Grimes, we gotta have some fun." Tom started.

"He's right Tom, we should act better, but it was fun." Matt said.

"You haven't smiled like that in six months, thought you could use a laugh, genius." Tom chided.

"Well, be that as it may," Grimes said, "you must keep proper decorum at all times."

"Yeah, yeah," the boys said in unison.

Grimes wondered if the two had been made in that incident on the concourse as he ordered for the three of them. He raised his hand to summon a waiter. The young woman came to their table almost immediately.

"We'll have the eggs benedict and a small bowl of fruit each," Grimes requested.

"And to drink?" The waitress asked.

"Orange juice, three, large size."

The three talked for a few minutes watching the concourse through the windows. Outside three asian men watched for them. They had followed Matt and Tom down the concourse. Grimes knew that this was the reason the two felt so uneasy. he had to think of another way out. Waiting them out wasn't a viable option. He called the maitre de over to the table.

"Yes, sir," The man offered.

Grimes looked him over then asked,"We have some unwanted watchers."

The Maitre Dee started to look up. Matt caught him and nodded in the negative,"don't look, it will just let them know they've been made." He kept his attention on the trio.

"What can I do for you," The Maitre De said in a whisper.

"We need another way out of here, one that exits us behind them if you can manage it," Grimes said discretely slipping the man a fifty.

"Of course sir," he said, "Let me know when you are ready."

After a few minutes their breakfast came. They ate slowly carefully watching their watchers. Matt had finished early and was now searching through his apps for a distraction for the KPI outside the restaurant. After a few moments he found it, the alarm hack. He tapped away with his little thumbs making it ready.

"What are you doing there, Matthew," Grimes said.

"A distraction," Matt replied.

"What are you planning?"

"You'll hear it soon enough. Everybody finished here," Matt asked with a wry smile.

Tom and grimes nodded. Matt gulped down his orange juice and nodded in readiness himself. Grimes signaled tha Maitre Dee. When the man returned to their table Matt pressed a button on his phone and all the fire alarms went off at once. The Maitre Dee knew what to do. He took them to the dumb waiters and sent the boys up first. The commotion outside would cover their escape. The agents just stood there not knowing what to do, watching the crowd of people exiting the restaurant for the trio. They weren't there. Something was wrong. They hadn't come out.

In the kitchen Matt and Tom had been sent up to the airport manager's office. They all waited a moment as Matt peeked ou the door. The corridor was clear. The trio slipped carefully out the door and made their way down the hall. They found some back stairs and hoped they lead to the baggage area. It didn't, but grime recognized that they were close by and made a final warning, the alarms still blaring. Masterson saw them and guided them out to a taxi where they loaded up and warily entered making sure they would not be followed for a while. The KPA agents were still trapped in a small crowd of people who were arguing and obsessing over unimportant things. All three of them smiled like cheshire cats wagging their heads. It was a humorous sight.

"Pan pacific Hotel," Grimes said.

The driver nodded and they were on their way, Grimes continuing the briefing. Vancouver was a beautiful city. In Certain places the see a little of the ocean. Bright sunlight danced on the water. Matt and Tom but it was different here. In the distance they saw a familiar sight. A pure spire impaled the sky, helping angel Moroni to send his message to all the world. He glistened in sunlight too and they felt safe in the temple's shadow with Moroni wathching over them. Matt and Tom both smiled as they rolled by it on their way to the hotel. The angel seemed to return their smiles as he glowed with the sunlight that now caressed his features. Grimes turned to the boys.

"Magnificient sight that." He said taking a small envelope from his pocket, his gaze fixed on Tom now,"Your father dropped by last night. He said you might need it." Grimes added.

Tom took the envelope with a smile that said he knew what it was. Indeed he did. As he opened it his smile became wider.

"My BTD recommend; this is so cool. Thanks." Tom said.

"You going to go while you are here? Your father did make you an appointment to be with the youth of the nearest ward and he said that tonight they are attending for their activity night." Grimes reported.

"What time?" Tom asked.

"Seven o'clock, bishop wants to meet with you earlier. I can take care your brother while you go." Grimes said.

"Can you get a car for me at six-thirty?" Tom asked.

Grimes nodded,"I can arrange that." He said.

Matt wished he could go, but accepted that his chance was a couple of annum down the line. He wished he was twelve already. He sent one more glance back toward the angel, smiling. I'm already doing the coolest thing I've ever done,he thought quietly as a calming warmth spread from his gut to the rest of his body. "Your time will come soon enough, little one; soon enough." Matt heard a voice say, "For now, serve me in this way and I will reward you betimes with blessings to fill the spaces of your heart."
He had never felt the like this before. Tom looked up at his brother and he seemed to glow slightly. He knew what it was and knew it was with them always guiding them, protecting them when Robert could not. Tears streamed down his face, as Tom held him close.

"Whatever it said, it was right. Do what it tells you, genius boy. We're in this thing together, all of us." he said.

"I know; I just miss 'em." Matt said.

"We'll be with them soon, little bro. This has to be done first and then we're outa here." Tom replied.

Grimes turned back to them. Their bond is strong, he thought. It'll get them through any mission they have to perform.

"You two ready to begin?" grimes asked.

"Yeah, I think so," Tom said.

Matt nodded in agreement with a smile. Soon they were at the hotel. A shower and a nap for all was the first order as they entered the room. Matt said a quiet prayed for the rest of the team as he watched some Anime as he waited for his turn in the shower. It wasn't a long wait. It never was with Tom.

"Your turn, bro." Tom then added.

"Thanks, see yuh in a few." Matt said.

It was only one o'clock now. Grimes was on the phone requesting the exact phone and address of their targets. The boys slept well the next couple of hours waking to a good lunch and a smiling Grimes.

"I have everything now. We are just waiting for the money. It will be here soon so dress and have as much lunch as your stomachs can store without making you want to sleep. We leave in an hour." Grimes ordered.

The boys nodded in unison as they dressed. Everything on the small table looked good. Some of it was things they had never tried before. Grimes was trying to elevate their tastes and likings for food. They were young gentlemen to be sure, but still needed some refinement in certain areas. Food was one of them. He also had some common poisons and such and told them to know them well before he returned to the room. Grimes knew from their files that Matthew's Eidetic memory would remember everything he put into it with utmost clarity. He depended on it. An hour later, Grimes returned to a room with two smiling boys. Thety knew everything.

"It's time to go. Clean up one last time and get in the car." He said.

The trio left for the address Grimes had recieved. It was in an affluent part of town. Matt asked if he could see the address. Grimes handed it back to him. Matt looked it up in the GPS software of his computer. It was in Shaugnessy, the affluent west end of the city. Grimes was about to take a turn into the community when Matt piped up.

"Wait Grimes, there is a faster way. Turn right at the next street then right again." he said.

"You sure," Grimes asked.

"We can watch the place from there to make sure we can approach safely if we go that way." Matt said.

"Alright, we'll go that way." Grimes agreed.

He turned onto Cambrie street following it to forty-first and turned right again. A hundred yards in Grimes stopped the car and they watched for a few minutes before exiting the car and walking up the street to the house. Matt began to feel that he was being watched. He stopped and looked around. Everything looked normal, but still didn't feel that way. Grimes noticed that he had stopped.

"What's wrong Matthew," he asked.

"Something isn't right, sir. I don't know what it is, but something just doesn't feel comfortable like we're being watched."

Matt spun around drinking in the surooundings with his eyes. Nothing looked out of place, but then sometimes that isn't a good thing. The neighborhood was almost too quiet. The energy was all wrong here. The Somali president's home was just up the block. At the front yard of the house in whose driveway they now stood had a three level fort in it. It spoke to him in a way he'd never felt before and he wanted to listen closer. He closed his eyes, and slienced his mind as he tried to remember a lesson Robyn had taught him. She had told him a very simple thing. The memory came to him and took him back to a day toward the enn of their first year sparring together.

"If you want to clear your mind, to calm it for any reason all you have to do close your eyes and breath slowly until your inner eye comes into focus."

He hadn't tried that in a long time. It would be new again, but he had to try. Matt closed his eyes and began to inhale and exhale slowly. His mind began to settle. The energy of the earth began to flow through his toes to his spine then to his arms. His mind began to open, every pathway had been sparked. The energy he was feeling wasn't there with them yet but was rolling toward the just out of his reach. Tom and Grimes just stood and watched Matt. Grimes walked over to face the boy, kneeling before him. Tom had seen this before too and wagged his head at the man.

"Don't Walter, you'll mess him up," he said.

"What to you mean," Grimes asked.

"I saw him do this in a kung fu tourament before. The other kid stood there wasting his energy. Matt just did just the opposite only a couple of minutes and opened his eyes. The look in his eyes wasn't blank, but it was calm. Ity made the other kid nervous. As the fight went on, Matt became more and more focused and seemed to have more and more energy. His final hit was the takedown, Matt didn't even touch the kid. His little hand was an inch away, like his chi was just projected toward his opponent." Tom explained.

Grimes considered the story for a moment, then backed way and waited for Matt to return to the situation at hand. The story slowly unfolded in Matt's head as Tom told it. It made him smile. Tom laughed inside when he saw it.

"See," He said finaly,"he remembers that day, probably won't forget it either. Matt was a little kid them in every sense of the word. That kid had been a problem for him,since he was five and first practicing kung fu. Now he's not."

Grimes chuckled a bit,"I bet not."

Corey andrews wasn't much of a boy. In height he was in the bottom third of his second grade class. It made him look like he was still in kindergarten. He hated it. Today found him in his bedroom right center of the stairs. He could see everything from here when he stood by the window. It made him feel larger thatn he was. This is where he was now something hadn't felt right today so he hadn't gone out. His mother Kay was worried thinking her little man was being bullied in some way. His room was only partially cleaned when she came up to check on him.

"Son," she asked,"is everything okay up here?"

For a moment there was no answer. Then it came."Yeah, I guess," Corey finally answered.

"Is it your size again," Kay asked, concerned.

"No, its not that," He answered again.

"Then what," Kay finally asked. She approached him gently, placing a hand on his small shoulder. It was then that she sensed it as she sat him down on the perfectly made trundle bed. Corey was making it with hospital corners again. he also stared blankly out the window as if wondering when his father would return. Leiutenant Colonel Marcus Andrews had been redeployed to Iraq. Corey always missed him feircly whenever he left. She didn't force it from his heart. It was always better just to let it come out naturally. Corey turned to her with his lovingly piercing blue eyes.

"I just miss dad, and there is something about to go on outside. Don't know what, but I can feel it."

"You're just like your father. he could do that too, you know."

"I know, he always knows when i am behind him. Now I feel someone else."

Corey got up and returned to his window. Kay follwed and watched the happenings below, a gentle hand on her son's shoulder. It was then that they felt it with more power. An energy was pushing through the floor and into their bodies. It was the same as Marcus' Energy, but younger.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sun, Nov 15 2009 11:52:16 EST

He hadn't tried that in a long time. It would be new again, but he had to try. Matt closed his eyes and began to inhale and exhale slowly. His mind began to settle. The energy of the earth began to flow through his toes to his spine then to his arms. His mind began to open, every pathway had been sparked. The energy he was feeling wasn't there with them yet but was rolling toward the just out of his reach. Tom and Grimes just stood and watched Matt. Grimes walked over to face the boy, kneeling before him. Tom had seen this before too and wagged his head at the man.

"Don't Walter, you'll mess him up," he said.

"What to you mean," Grimes asked.

"I saw him do this in a kung fu tourament before. The other kid stood there wasting his energy. Matt just did just the opposite only a couple of minutes and opened his eyes. The look in his eyes wasn't blank, but it was calm. Ity made the other kid nervous. As the fight went on, Matt became more and more focused and seemed to have more and more energy. His final hit was the takedown, Matt didn't even touch the kid. His little hand was an inch away, like his chi was just projected toward his opponent." Tom explained.

Grimes considered the story for a moment, then backed way and waited for Matt to return to the situation at hand. The story slowly unfolded in Matt's head as Tom told it. It made him smile. Tom laughed inside when he saw it.

"See," He said finaly,"he remembers that day, probably won't forget it either. Matt was a little kid them in every sense of the word. That kid had been a problem for him,since he was five and first practicing kung fu. Now he's not."

Grimes chuckled a bit,"I bet not."

Corey andrews wasn't much of a boy. In height he was in the bottom third of his second grade class. It made him look like he was still in kindergarten. He hated it. Today found him in his bedroom right center of the stairs. He could see everything from here when he stood by the window. It made him feel larger thatn he was. This is where he was now something hadn't felt right today so he hadn't gone out. His mother Kay was worried thinking her little man was being bullied in some way. His room was only partially cleaned when she came up to check on him.

"Son," she asked,"is everything okay up here?"

For a moment there was no answer. Then it came."Yeah, I guess," Corey finally answered.

"Is it your size again," Kay asked, concerned.

"No, its not that," He answered again.

"Then what," Kay finally asked. She approached him gently, placing a hand on his small shoulder. It was then that she sensed it as she sat him down on the perfectly made trundle bed. Corey was making it with hospital corners again. he also stared blankly out the window as if wondering when his father would return. Leiutenant Colonel Marcus Andrews had been redeployed to Iraq. Corey always missed him feircly whenever he left. She didn't force it from his heart. It was always better just to let it come out naturally. Corey turned to her with his lovingly piercing blue eyes.

"I just miss dad, and there is something about to go on outside. Don't know what, but I can feel it."

"You're just like your father. he could do that too, you know."

"I know, he always knows when i am behind him. Now I feel someone else."

Corey got up and returned to his window. Kay follwed and watched the happenings below, a gentle hand on her son's shoulder. It was then that they felt it with more power. An energy was pushing through the floor and into their bodies. It was the same as Marcus' Energy, but younger.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, May 18 2010 12:39:37 EST

Corey remembered a time when marcus was practicing his martial arts in the basement. His father's back was turned when he reached the bottom stair. The room was filled with Marcus' energy to the point where it almost permiated the wall frames and floor joists above. The air seemed electrified to him. Without turning Marcus sent him a smiling ,"Good moring,son."

It amazed him. After that every time Marcus returned from deployment they would spend nearly the whole first day in the basement. Kay would call Corey in sick for the next few days. In a few short years Corey had begun to learn the arts his father knew beginning with Tai Chi Ch'uan. He was now two years in and learning more quickly than ever, but needed a new master that could be there when Marcus couldn't. He was learning both martial arts Tai Chi Chuan and Hong Gar. Just before Marcus left for his current tour he was able to watch his son perform both arts. It made him proud. His son had come a long way. Corey was even ahead in his training by half a year. This was because Corey had a small allowance and being a frugal boy and had saved enough the past year to buy one DVD at a time to help him train for his ranks. Marcus could feel his energy better too. It was stronger than ever before it often recharged him when he returned from deployment in the middle east. Corey knew as he watched that the other boy must be studying more than one martial art. He was totally serene. Nothing bothered him.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, May 18 2010 12:42:37 EST

Out on the highway, three black SUVs moved through the morning rush hour traffic. The lead vehicle had four men inside it. All were North Korean. Matthew hadn't known it for sure, but his chi energy had reached them too and inside the lead SUV sat Li Suk Kim. Kim rubbed his chin as the energy rushed through him. He was a Martial arts master himself. This energy was new to him; powerful and expansive.

"Quickly," He ordered the driver in Korean,"Turn off here."

"How do you know, sir," the driver answered back.

"I just know," He replied.

Kim was hired gun, an assassin of the highest order. The only reason for three vehicles was that he wasn't sure what he was being sent to handle. He had been given the boy's picture. It was on the front of the NSF magazine he was reading. Why would his government send him to kill a child? Even for this devout communist, this felt wrong. He was beginning to question his government and its ethics. The energy finally woke him up as he read the next article.

"Yes, I am sure. The child is somewhere on a road to the right." Kim explained,"I can feel his power."

They continued as Kim read his article. This child did something that shamed the North Korean government. Maybe they deserved it, Kim thought for a moment. He had two choices, kill the child or die himself. It was becoming time for him to get out of this business, change his stripes. This child, this Matthew Macon had a bright future ahead of him. It was a life he would prefer not to take. Maybe he should just give himself over to the idea of freedom. The Suv turned off the highway and slowed their pace as they hit Langley. The chi energy was stronger the further into town they got.

Back at the Andrews home, Corey turned back to his mom. Kay could see in his eyes that he knew what might be coming. She came to him and knelt. His expression was one of urgency when he made the suggestion.

"Mom, we need to get out of here, now." Corey blurted out.

"Why," kay asked her son.

"Something bad is coming," He said looking at the clock, "Practice starts soon, make me something quick for breakfast one of your famous burritos, maybe. I'll get dressed. Let's go out of the neighborhood the back way, okay."

"Certainly hon," Kay said.

Malcomb had never seen anyone maintain a meditative state for this long. He was truly amazed. Matt finally opened his eyes and smiled. Malcomb knelt to the boy again.

"What's going on, kiddo," He asked.

"KPA asassins are coming," Matt answered.

"How many," Tom asked now with a hand on his brother's shoulder.

"Six, maybe more. I can feel three SUVs." Matt said.

Tom looked around the area. There weren't tooo many places for his brother to hide, much less himself. He was thinking they might have to make a stand. Malcome looked back down the road they had come in on. Nothing yet, but he could lay a sizable bet down that they would be there soon. He looked up and there it was, a tree fort with three levels. Malcome went for Matt's bag in the trunk.

"You have to change you clothers. There isn't a choice. Do it now," he said with Mattin tow.

He opened the trunk and handed him the bag and a briefcase. Matt was still tingling with chi energy all over. The briefcase that was handed to him was something else entirely. What was inside felt like something he wasn't ready to hold in his hands yet, something he ought not. He handed it back to the man and knodded with a rye smile on his face.

"I want the other one with some Lodrane and Pento," Matt curtly requested.

Arthur had to admire the boy's knowledge. The combination wasn't lethal, but would knock them out for some time. He hoped it would be long enough to fulfil their mission and disappear. Matt was too. He was determined not to get any of them caught if he could help it. Matt quickly took the bag from his handler's hands and got into the car. It was the quickest change he had ever accomplished. Only mask and claws were left as he assembled the blowgun and dipped the darts in the sleep mixture. He would have to make every shot count, but had faith that he would. Focus had to be his rule as he climbed up the side of the stately sycamore.

Corey and Kay were coming out their door now. They were harried as if something was about to take place that they didn't want to be here for. Kay was on the phone to her homeowner's insurance company trying to see if she could get coverage for terrorists acts committed on the house under the disaster part of the plan. She stuffed young Cory into the car door and shut it.

"Seat belt," She ordered.

Corey complied. The other boy's energy was still seeping through the ground. Kay got off the phone and entered herself buckling up and almost peeling out of their driveway. Matt just watched nodding confidently
as they left and gave a curt nod to the others who stood with him. He was totally focused now and nothing could disturb it. The mission was too important to let it go to waste over the likes of an assassin. He competed the mixture with greta ease and dipped each small dirk into it. There were ten as Arthur counted. How did he know how many there were going to be? Did he feel their numbers? It amazed him and Tom too. Tom smiled. Matt must be stronger now, he thought. Matt was wishing he had Scotty there with him for a third tactical point of view. There was no such luck, he was on his own from a tactical point of view. Matt put on his climbing claws and began his climb to the top tier of the tree fort.

He could see everything from up here. Nothing would be left to chance. Two doors down on the left lived Corey's grandfather. Major Callum Wood. He had just received his newest toy a Dragonfly Unmanned heli. It was beautiful as he took it from its crate. He had felt Matt's energy too. SOmething had to be up if they were sending elite squads into his neighborhood. Wood came to the front of his tudor style home. He had built it when Kay was five and the area was still growing. Wood crossed the sprawling front yard and turned his body up the street for a look at what was going. Matt noticed him first or maybe it was the other way around. The old soldier looked up into to old sycamore tree. There he was, the kid with what he called 'the power' His son-in-law and grandson had it and this boy had it too. He knew it when their eyes met through the spaces in the leaves. Wood placed himself on standby. The others that were with him looked to be doing the same. Wait, Callum thought, could this be the group I'd heard about from troops in Afghanistan? It had to be. Who else would dare make a stand like this one around the Somali President's home? Whoever is coming must be after the boy in the tree. He had also watched his daughter and grandson leave for his class early. They knew too and got out before the action was ready to begin. Soon the Black SUVs pulled up, stopping down the street from the trio. Wood looked on for just a few more seconds then left to retrieve his mini bird. He wanted to have their backs in case something went wrong. Not that it would,just that it was always good to be prepared.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, May 27 2010 14:03:39 EST

Callum made final preparations on the UAV, keeping an eye down the street. After some minutes the SUVs slowly pulled up stopping one hundrfed yards from his grandaughter's home. Matt saw them and began laying out the darts he would use on the assailants. They slowly got out. There were nine of them. Matt could feel their leader's eyes searching for him. There weren't enough darts to hadle all of them, only eight. He took out the first one loading it into the blow gun. Matt aimed and breathed a hard,short breath into the shaft. The dart launched hitting the first agent in the neck. The agent smacked his neck and dropped where he stood. All of the others made their targets two only one left. Li Suk Kim's eyes were still searching for Matt. He didn't care about the others who stood by watching him. They didn't matter. Matt felt Kim's energy as he approached the tree. Kim looked up, but Matt had dawned his mask and hidden his hands behind his back and could only be felt.

"He sees him," Arthur said.

"No, just feels him because he brought the right suit. He's probably hidden his hands adn changed his angle slightly."

"I see what you mean. I can barely see him."

"That's the point. Now he just has to move as quietly as he can. I just hope that fort doesn't squeak under little bro's feet."

Tome had spoken too soon. Matt was a few steps away from the ladder down the tree when the last board squeaked under his feet. He had no choice now but to face the man. Kim ran around to meet him, try to catch him. Matt wasn't sure he could do a back flip from his position and land it right, but knew he would have to try. He saw Kim coming up on him fast and steadied himself for the high flip, taking a breath to renew his focus, pulled up and in, crouching for the flip.

"That's pretty high," Arthur commented,"do you think he'll make it without breaking something.

Tom looked to the tree again. Matt had made it back up, Kim just missing his leg. the height between each level was only just tall enough for Matt and too short for his assailant. However, each of the three levels reduced in size as the fort rose into the sycamore's branches. This gave room for Matt to flip off if he needed to. When kim poked his head up to survey the second level, Matt used his shoulders to as a spring board to flip to the ground. He landed hard and fast rolling for a few seconds. It caught Kim by surprise and he turned back to see Matt at the ready. This kid is better than I thought, Kim said to himself. This clinched it for Matt, when he got home he would have to ask Li to teach him Wing Chun. He didn't know how his Northern Praying Mantis would fair against this man, but knew he would have to make it do its best. He assumed earth stance, waving with a smile and turning his palm up to beckon Kim, who was still on the fort's ladder. Kim nodded curtly and started at the boy. They shared strike after strike, Kim not getting through. He was getting too old for this. Matt's forms were just too good, he was too fast.

"You ready for more, sir?"

In truth he wasn't ready. He was already breathing rapidly, his heart was racing too. This boy was too worthy an opponent to kill. Maybe I should just take my men and their money and run.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Sun, Jul 11 2010 10:04:12 EST

Robert couldn't sleep and found himself on the main deck of the Boxer looking out over the Gulf of Aden. There was a cool morning breeze swirling about the ship. He wondered how his three musketeers were doing. Also on his mind was changing the mission operational base to the Gettysburg they had more space on the flight deck for Ptolemy and its crew. He was just going over the play by play of how the mission woulg go from here in his head when Thomas offered him a steaming cup of Java. He refused.

"What are you a Mormon or something," came the remark.

"Something like that, Captain," Robert responded.

Thomas acknowledged it and joined in the silence of the early morning. It was a good time to send Mems and Duncan in, he thought turning to Thomas, who had finished his Java ans set the mug on a flat rail.

"Do you have anyone aboard that can take my infiltration team into the lion's den?"

"Might. A last mission special ops just boarded when you did, could ask him," Thomas offered,"but I think he'll say no."

"If this is truly his last run, he won't. What's his name?"

Thomas thought about it a moment then offered,"Stilson I think. Seems like a good man. Transferred green to Blue last year. They made him a Commander too."

"He'll do just fine. Can you send him to see me?"

"Sure, after breakfast, or before of you like," Thomas said.

"Now would be best. We need to get under way," Robert replied.

Thomas nodded and went to rustle up some breakfast. On his way he knocked on Stilson's door.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Fri, Jul 30 2010 12:53:14 EST

It is odd, Kim thought, this child knows his art better than most his age. He is fast and agile. Before Kim knew it Matt had disappeared. The boy was nowhere to be seen. He couldn't be felt either. Matt waited for him to pass.

Down below Grimes was becoming impatient. Tom could cut the impatience with a knife. He looked up at his handler searching for a way to tell him whatwas goig on. Grimes gave him a way in.

"What's taking so long?"

"Little bro's gone all shadow warrior on the guy. He can't find him and Matt wants it that way. You'll see him come out soon I think."

Grimes said nothing as he looked at his watch again. Tom hoped his brother would pounce on the guy soon. After a few more minutes Tom's wish was granted. Kim had passed Matt's position just enough. Rested enough, Matt pounced like a little leopard. Kim was caught by surprise.


"Hi, dude," Matt returned,"time for round two."

"So it is, you have been taught well."

They bowed and began their last battle. Matt allowed Kim to make the opening move. He couldn't letthe man through. Ithad to end now. Another series of lunges nad blocks were exchanged before Matt saw an opening and took advantage. Matt didn't know where his nextmove came from, but went with it anyway. His leg came up as his little hands took position to strike. He began to sway like a cobra. Kim mimicked his motions. After a few seconds Matt struck sending kim over the rail of the fort's second level. It took Grimes by surprise for a moment, then he remembered the images from South Korea. The assassin lay there unconscious.

Callum had been watching through the UAV. This young boy amazed even him, but they didn't have much time. They still had to get this guy and his men into their cars s they would awake and feel that their targethad just disappeared. Ittook all three of them, but in a few moments they had everyone where they needed to be. After that they had to make things go quickly with the Somali president. Callum came out to help move the eight men to the SUVs they had come in.

"Go," he said to Grimes as they closed the door on the last SUV,"complete your mission. That's the house over there. I must tell you though, the man and his family all look uncertain of the fate of their country."

"Thank you," Grimes replied as he went to collect the boys,"your service has been honorable."

Callum just had one question to ask him but it would have to wait for another time. His daughter and Grandson were due home from Karate soon and there was another reason these three were here. Callum looked over to the house the trio was headed to. It must be someone important.

As Matt, Tom and Grimes approached the door two sets of young eyes watched them from a window above. The two boys were curious as most five year olds would be. Matt noticed them, shooting a smile toward the window. Seeing they had been noticed they left and ran down the stairs to their father's study. President Yusuf Abdullah Ahmed welcomed his twin sons into the office as they stopped before the large open door. They were the bright spot in his life.

"Well, he said with a laughing smile,"when did I get such a herd of gazele in my house."

Ghedi and Khorfa just looked at one another again, then ran into the huge office hopping onto their father's lap. Khorfa whispered into his father's ear.

"Some is at the door,father."

In agreement Ghedi whispered too,"I think they are important."

Yusuf kissed his two little sentries on their heads and gently pushed them off his lap to rise taking their little hands. A maid was passing by the office as they emmerged. He handed them off to her.

"Make sure they get their bath and breakfast before they go out out to play."

"Of course, sir." The maid said.

As she took them off to their bath Yusuf tended to the door, opening it as the doorbell rang. The three before him carried an amazing power, especially the younger boy who was dressed in black. Athur explained their presence with grand eloquence.

"Excuse me, President Ahmed but there is a matter of extreme urgency about which we must speak to you." he explained.

"And what is that?" Amed asked.

"Your country is being taken over by Islamic extremists that seek to terrorize your people and take away their freedom."

"And who are you?"

"We are members of an elite special missions force of the CIA operating under the direct supervision of our president."

"And these children?" Ahmed inquired pointing to Tom and Matt in reference.

"Two of its leaders. May we talk inside?"

"Of course, come in."

He took them to his study, but Matt thought it more prudent if he stayed outside in the foyer. It was a beautiful home. Not thing was out of its proper place. After a while Matt decided to polk around a little and see what he could find. He took a wrong turn and ending up in the kitchen. The chef was just cleaning up. but had some leftover eggs and sausage.

"I was not aware his excellency had company," the man said,"I am Samuel the cook. I have some leftovers from breakfast and you look hungry. Would you mind taking them for me?"

Matt thought about it a moment. He had used up most of his breakfast on Kim. His stomach growled and gurgled with hunger. The smell of it was hard to deny. It can't hurt, he thought, besides I'm helping someone out and it's not good to waste food. His decision had been made as Samuel pulled a stool upto the counter.

"Sure," he said climbing up on to the stool as Samuel loaded a plate.

It was great. Everything was cooked to perfection. When Matt was done nothing remained on the plate. Matt thanked Samuel and slipped quietly out the kitchen door. In the study the conversation was coming along in a positive fashion. Albeit somewhat frank the discussion was led around to the pirates.

"What of the pirates," Yusuf began,"what will come of them?"

"Out other team is working that out right now, but we need you find your most loyal and trusted military officers and gather an army to stop the extremists from taking over."

"Then we will have much work to do." Yusuf suggested.

"Indeed, your Excellency," Arthur agreed with a stern nod. Tom agreed too. He looked over his shoulder and in to the foyer. Matt had disappeared. Yusuf noticed Tom's worriedness and thought to console him.

"How old is your brother, young man," he asked.

"Ten sir."

"Then that explains it. He is exploring which is alright." Ahmed added.

By then Khorba and Ghedi had finished their bath. The maid had many more things to do and saw Matt coming up the corridor.

"Excuse me young sir but could you dress these little ones?"

Matt thought about it for a moment, then accepted the mission. The younger boys got him to their room and he dressed them for playing outside.

"There you go, guys. Now let's go see your father."

Yusuf was impressed as he looked over the shoulders of hs other two guests. Matt brought Khorba and Ghedi into their father's arms and took a seat himself.

"I trust you have had a good adventure, young man," He said to Matt.

"Yes sir, you have a fine home."

"Thank you... from all of us."

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Fri, Sep 10 2010 05:03:05 EST

Korba and Ghedi took their respective places on their father's lap with big monkey grins. Matt took a seat by Tom trying to keep his curiosity to a minimum. He tried to think of what to say next, but for the next few agonizing minutes the words just wouldn't come. He kept quiet letting Arthur do all of the talking. Yusuf made a few calls and assured them that for the time being the pirates would back off. His country was being invaded people he didn't want in control of it. Yusuf and sentries showed the three agents out the front door.

"It has been a pleasure," he said.

Matt peered around the Prime Minister as some words finally came to him while playing standing hide and seek with his new young friends,"for all of us, sir."

"Indeed, young man. Good returns to you for helping my country."

As the trio walked away they talked about what lay ahead in the mission. Matt noticed that the Black SUV was gone. What had happened in their absence from the street? He looked around some more. On a faraway corner stood Callum giving them a wave that said "everything's okay" as he hurried back to his home. Matt nodded in return as he looked up above to see an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle flying low overhead.

"Let's get out of here," He said to Arthur who was inspecting the time on his watch?

"Your right," there are just a few more things to do before we leave Vancouver."

"What else could their be?" Tom chimed in.

"Library time. We need more on al-shabaab." Arthur answered frankly.

"Al-Shabaab?" Matt questioned. He hadn't studied them in school. Just like the school system to leave things out. Matt felt lucky that he had only two or three years left of school. Too much political grandstanding at the cost of students learning everything they need to know. Oh well, he thought, better late then never. They climbed into the car and slowly sped away arriving at the library twenty minutes later. Arthur sent Matt and Tom to look for articles on Al-Shabaab while looked in the company site for any intelligence on on their current movements. a few moments later both boys came back to the table with a one inch stack of articles which they had begun to read. Matt was down to his fifth article and Al Shabaab's escalating violence amazed him.

"Wow," He exclaimed, "they really need our help. These guys are bad for Somalia."

Arthur agreed,"Now you know what we're up against, but keep reading you might find a way to combat them effectively."

Ideas were already formulating in his head. He needed a map and needed Scotty to have the same one. Matt sat down by Arthur trying to be inconspicuous as he looked across the laptop screen. It didn't work. Arthur noticed the young eyes drifting every now and then to his computer screen. He's got an idea, Arthur thought wondering what it was.

"What can I get for you, Matthew?" He asked.

"I need a CIA tactical map of Mogadishu, can you get me one and send one to Scotty too?"

"I think that can be arranged. Anything in particular you are looking for?"

"Yeah, I need positions held by Al-Shabaab in the city and on its borders."

"Alright," Arthur said.

He milled very quickly around for intelligence maps and such sending everything to both Matt and Scotty's phones.
It came across as an application. At the same time Scotty's phone vibrated on his desk. He snatched it up immediately. It was a text from Scotty. He didn't know the answer and so turned to Arthur, but the man was too busy. The articles still lay in front of him. Matt searched through them until he found the count. The article estimated their current numbers at 5500. Current seal detachment strength would need to be augmented to attain success. Matt texted back a number he thought would do explaining that it could be more.

The text shot through like a bullet. It didn't look good. Scotty took a breath releasing it as he handed the text over to the Colonel. Thompson looked at it and nodded as he sent the text. Current troop levels were at 49000. Of that 49,000 fourteen thousand were assigned the the UN peace keeping forces their. That left thirty-five thousand for a small mission like this one. Thompson checked to see if the Clandestine Club could have six thousand troops for this maneuver.

"We should know soon," Thompson told his young friend.

"Good, how many troops did you request?" Scotty asked.

"six thousand."

"That should do it."

They left separately making sure no one had overheard them. Li took his grandson home. All the way home Scotty was quiet. He always got this way when he was thinking deeply about something. It was only as they were driving up to the house that his mouth finally opened to ask a question.

"Do you think it will be enough, grandfather?"

"Do I think what will be enough?"

"The strategy, do you think it will be enough? I have been out of the action for a long time now. My skills are week."

"Only if you think they are, Grandson. Besides, you chose the best helper you knew. Only a professional does that and you are becoming one."

It must have been just what Scotty needed right then. He turned to his grandfather offering a hard embrace. Li laughed as he gently pushed the boy off. He is almost ready to emerge, Li thought. Li watched as Scotty exited the car and ran up to his bedroom. His mood was less sullen, bordering manic. The next thought that entered Li's head entered with a smile of certainty,"he will want to join the others tomorrow.

gr8dragon (Rate Passer) added to this story on Thu, Jan 13 2011 10:41:13 EST
Print Clandestine Club Somali Sun
Genre: Adventure
Created: 07-29-2009
Word Count: 35195

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