he Four sat around the table in shocked silence at the death of Randal.  He was one of the original Four, and he would be missed greatly.  In front of William was a diary with the name Miriam on it.  Obviously she had felt the ominous hand of the Grim Reaper reaching for her soul, and suspected foul play.  She had written a note to William to retrieve the diary in the case of her and Randal's death.

William had not spent much time in considering the request, and had not considered that there was a serious threat on her life.  But she was adamant about the threat in her letter, and had given the location and a key with which to access it.  It would never be found by anyone searching the house, and even with the instructions as to the location William had to look extremely close.

He wondered if Randal had read the diary, and if he had, had he put two and two together to come up with the answer as to her death?  She felt it so strongly that she was willing to share one of her most prized and most secret possessions with William.  He honored her request to read only the last pages starting with the month of June.  Out of respect for Randal and Miriam, the Four also honored her request.

Randal had said nothing about the diary if he had seen it, and, if he had, he had never figured it out.  Old Joe saw it almost instantly as he had been the one that had planned the hit, and recognized the name of the Dr. Parker.  The Dr. had quite an extensive record for deaths of patients within his care, and had left more than one country just a step ahead of the law.

In the last country from which he'd fled, Scotland, he'd been arraigned and was out after posting a huge bail on which he promptly skipped.  Now he was a fugitive and was hiding out in America.  His was a profession of hired killer, and mostly worked for independent contractors in the field of dispatching 'thorns in the saddle' of higher ups.  They protected him in his work, but he blackmailed them into the protection of his own hide.

That's why the law here had not leveled charges against him although they'd picked him up several times, each time suspected of murder.  But his marks were always political targets, mostly conservatives who disputed the current presidential administration.  They did not have a clue as to his real name.  And with his protection being from very high ups, he was normally let go again and again.

When Old Joe made the connection, he also listened to the recording made by the hat pin within the lining of Randal's' shirt.  He heard the mark ask 'what you doin' man,' as well as Randal telling the mark he had been injected wih pig blood.  He also heard the verbal exchanges during the short chase from the cafe, the shots, and then the last utterances of Randal.  The remarks of the men who chased him chilled him to the bone.

He described to the Four what he'd learned, the name of the mark and the connection to Miriam, the recording up to the exchange of the men who had killed Randal.  He played the recording for the men to hear first hand for themselves the discussion.  William sat pensive, and the chill went up his back as well.

Basically the conversation was between the two ruskies which killed App-0001a.  They were sore afraid about killing Randal.  Their handlers desperately wanted him for questioning, certainly not dead.  Now their handlers would lean on them pretty hard since they failed to bring Randal in alive.  Without the information they needed, they were not able to learn the names of the men within the organization responsible for the vigilante killings.

And there had been quite a few.  But assassinations weren't the only missions they were doing.  Some of the younger and more fit were gathering intelligence to use in recruitments, sabotaging underground Muslim training camps and gangs which were dealing in drugs, the raiding of ammunition bunkers, infiltrating various organizations sympathetic to the liberal cause and the downfall of America.

During these operations many valuable tidbits of interest had come to light about several incidents in the history of the US.  Benghazi, several bombings, Sandy Hook, theater shootings, the shooting in AZ where the conservative senator was killed, even about the Pentagon bombing and the World Trade Center bombings.  There was a thread common to all of them.

But the item at hand was how close the Russians were to the destruction of their very own organization.  Something had to be done and quick.  Capture was not a problem of the two heavy handed Russians, but the garnering of information from them would be quite a different beast.  William did not have any idea how to break the Russians.  But he knew someone who did!  General Randolph.

At this juncture he stated he had another avenue of information to share with the Four.  He began from the get-go and went almost verbatim as to how the conversation went with General Randolph.  Usually the good General was jovial and would begin his conversations with the usual 'how have you been doing?' but this time, he went straight for the jugular vein.

"I think I know who has been at the bottom of the rash of recent governmental agent assassinations," he stated almost immediately upon meeting William.  William said nothing and wondered just how much General Randolph knew of him, his organization, and the missions and how.  He held his tongue and waited for Randolph to continue.

"You see, at first I was unable to see the common thread connecting all the hits together.  But I witnessed a hit the other day, and something familiar caught my eye.  You see, I once knew this man in my very early years who used flechettes on animals.  Where he got really good was the poison he created with which to paralyze the victim.  The strength of the poison could be increased to cause instantaneous heart failure."

He paused to get Williams reaction.  William sat stony faced, and allowed no emotion or anything that could be read by the General.

"So I have this real good idea as to the source of this poison and the use of the ice flechettes.  It is an ingenious plan . . .   and I want in.  What say you?"  The General waited for a response, and, after receiving none, he sat down away from listening ears, but close to William.  William never moved from his seat, and the general spoke again, this time lower and more serious, directly to William.

"You see, I've an underground group of men I've collected over the years since 911.  They are all sworn to defend the Constitution against all enemies.  We can work together, and swap information, tactics, and missions.  I will lead a group of men against the White House soon.  I'm waiting for information from a plant inside the mansion that details the escape tunnels.  As soon as I get that information, the sooner I can plan the hit."

General Randolph paused for a second, then continued.  "I need some help inside the kitchen to take out a Muslim cook imported for the specific purpose of poisoning a number of honest military men at one of the White House dinners.  These are men that the current sitting POTUS was unable to delete from the military.  The POTUS has men already chomping at the bits to step into their places.  You can arrange that.  Am I in or not?"

Finally William spoke.  "Who else do you figure has been able to put all the stuff together to come up with the same answer you have?"

"The only one I know of is our mutual friend General Potter.  But he is quite out of the circle and has not been privy to the information.  I would have never fingered you had I not seen the hit go down.  Even then, I did not see when the flechette was fired.  As it was, I stayed around to hear the reports taken by the police and other federal agencies, and when I gave my own report, I carefully avoided the flechette information."

"Before I can answer to the affirmative of anything you've asked or volunteered, I will have to run it by my contacts.  What do you know about breaking Russians to talk?" William finished.

"The best and easiest thing I can suggest for that avenue would be to simply ice them.  They are tough, and out of hundreds I've been involved with in questioning, a very low percentile has given any useable information.  First, they're kept in the dark about as many details as is possible.  Second, they go through specific torture and questioning training, and third, they have a natural defense against pain which is seldom overcome.  I figured those two might be giving you trouble."

After he finished, General Randolph sat pensive with his own thoughts, and after a few seconds added "I need them out of the way as well.  But I do know they are only two of one hundred men.  Is there a way to obliterate a group that large?" he asked.

William sat thinking about the magnitude of taking out a hundred strong bodied, strong willed group as tough as the Russians.  He would have to think on that.  His time spent in the development of poisons would come in handy.  If the whole group were iced with a bomb or machine-gunning, it would cause immediate response by the nations' investigative forces.  How much they already knew would assist them in successfully laying to rest anyone who would attack them.

But, if they were to be rendered useless over a period of time, perhaps the response wouldn't be so abrupt and fierce.  One thing for sure, he was positive that there were other groups in and around the US.  William would not commit to the deed, but would get back to the General with the code 'the geese will be flying south for the winter' as the affirmative.

The Four sat there thinking on the situation that lay before them, then almost simultaneously, agreed to working with the General.  Before he left the table he dialed the General and made small talk.  After a few moments he asked the Generals' opinion of the coming weather, then stated the code.  How about dinner Tuesday evening?  Sure.  And shut the phone off.

The planning for the destruction of the Russian group of thugs would begin immediately.  William had developed a two part poison years earlier which would be administered in halves.  Part one would stay in the body for over a week, and would be strong enough to reduce anyone to worm food within under week once the other half was administered.  It would debilitate a person within a day of the second part being administered, and death was certain within four days.  In the meantime, nausea and diarrhea would ensue and the severity increase.  This would even further increase the effects of death.

The four got down to business using the information given by the General.  For once, William was beginning to enjoy the nasty business he had so completely rejected from the get-go.  The elation he felt would be dashed by some bad news within a week of this meeting.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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Chapter VI