Thursday, April 5, 2012

Worldwide Release of Wake Me When I'm Gone

On Saturday, April 7th, your idea of a spy thriller will be forever changed.  With the emotional impact of a Nicolas Sparks Novel and the breakneck action of the Borne Trilogy, Wake Me When I'm Gone is a book that will stick with you long after the final page is turned.

Set primarily at a fictional Thomas Jefferson University, Wake Me When I’m Gone intertwines the lives of two unlikely friends as they struggle through the past they want to forget, but must face if they are to have any hope of a future. Alex is a rising football hero who finds himself thrust into the limelight when the team’s quarterback is brought up on charges of sexual assault, an added pressure to an already complicated life. Although he seems to have it all, a loving girlfriend, a caring family and a great deal of talent, Alex cannot bring himself to feel anything for the many gifts which envelope him. His plaguing stoicism finds relief when he meets Sebastian, a young man without a past, who seems enthralled by the everyday pleasures most, including Alex have come to take for granted. What Alex and their friends do not know, is that not only does Sebastian’s past exist, it is riddled with violence, torture and the most elite of military training and at every turn, his past is desperately trying to find him. When Sebastian’s former world and the new life he is trying desperately to hold on to collide, he and his friends will be drawn into a web of political deceit and corruption than can only have one conclusion. The only question will be how much of what Sebastian has come to love will he be able to salvage when he reassumes the mantle of his past and takes on the organization responsible for creating him?

Read on for a special preview of the Preface and Chapter One from Wake Me When I'm Gone, available on the Kindle, the Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks, and Trade Paperback.

Preface: Alex

He had only written one journal entry in the little brown notebook.  His mother, one of those over-protective constantly fretting mothers, who are always worried about their children’s mental state, bought it for him during his senior year of high school.  She said it might make him feel better if he wrote down what he was thinking.  He laughed with an annoyed sort of tone, tossed it on his bed and ran off to football practice.  When he got home, he went to his room and began to think about the little brown book.  And then he picked it up and wrote as follows:

I am eighteen years old and have not cried in six years.  I’m not sure how that is possible.  I can remember, however, with great detail the last time tears traced the lines of my face.  I can remember a lot of things, although I look upon little with any emotion; apathy has dried the inside of my soul.  I love because I have knowledge of what I have loved in the past.  For instance, I remember vividly the love I had for my mother, and therefore rationalize I must love her.  Occasionally I do find myself doubting this theory; placing logical thought to solve a problem concerning love is truly ludicrous.  But my mother is one of the greatest women I have ever known and loves me to an extent that is immeasurable; so naturally I must, deep inside, where I am unable to find it, harbor the same love for her.
It was a clear, warm Georgia evening, the last time I cried.  My parents had been continuously fighting since my father’s return from Kansas City.  He works for the United States Army and had been on TDY.  The subject of their arguing was not a secret to me, regardless of their desperate attempts to keep it so.  I have always been an extremely intelligent person, perhaps a little too bright as a child, and my father’s absurd affair was known to me the second my mother was told.  If it is any testimony to his character, out of guilt and genuine regret, my father did tell my mother without any outside catalyst ____ in other words the woman was a fling and was never to be heard of again.  If it is any kind of shadow on his character, while on TDY my father began the destruction of one of the few perfect childhoods I have ever come across, aside from a few sitcoms I have wasted my time believing in.

On that warm night, I was lying in my bed listening to my parents carry on; he was mostly trying to apologize and she was too distraught to listen.  I have been an insomniac since, I believe, birth and was forced to listen to every word.  The words said are unknown to me now.  They have merged into a blurred fleet of anger, and sorrow.  What I do remember is my mother shouting one last unintelligible sentence and then storming out the door.  I heard the screen door crash and then listened terrified as our white compact turned and drove off.  There was perhaps a minute of silence and then the spring on the door stretched again, letting out its high pitched twang, and with in a small interval, the engine of our blue van rumbled, and took off.  That is when the tears began to push against my eyelids; I was attempting to hold them back, but was fighting a losing battle.
I can remember thinking it was a nightmare, and at any moment I would wake to my perfect family just like they always had been (while intelligent, I was also a little naive).  Looking back, it seems to me to be the right reaction.  Disbelief, denial.  I climbed out of bed, and walked over to my desk, it had once belonged to my grandfather and was built with magnificent cherry wood.  From the desk I pulled out a piece of white paper and a marker, and then I sat silently on the floor, beginning to write as the tears still pushed against my will.
Please stop Mommy and Daddy
Everything is all right,
it will be OK
Don’t get a divorce, please
I Love You
I don’t know why I wrote the last part in cursive, or why I reverted back to using Mommy and Daddy, but I did, and afterwards I rolled up three pieces of tape and attached the note to the doll cabinet in the foyer; the doll cabinet was the first thing you could see when you entered my house.  When I reached my bed, I had completely lost my battle and the tears were pouring down the lengths of my face.  With them came the sick twisted nausea in my stomach, that travels up the throat and steals your voice.  My tears were uncontrollable; they flowed without any regard to my hands which were in a frenzied struggle to wipe them away.

My parents were not long; they returned about thirty minutes after they had left, and I could hear them enter together, calmly, and could hear the quiet tears of guilt as they pulled the note down from the cabinet.  They arrived in the doorway of my room together and with my mother in my father’s arms they sat down on my bed.  Soon, my mother held me in her arms and was rocking me softly as they each assured me everything was going to be fine.  It was not their fault really, that they each lied so completely to me that night.  I am sure it was unfathomable to them, just as much as it was to the rest of my world that my parents would split up.  They were perfect together, each loving the other; high school sweethearts who had been married for nineteen years.  They were a perfect couple and perfect parents; parents who had literally made no mistakes.  Parents who had created for their two sons, and daughter a world of love and understanding; a blissful home were there was no fear, no secrets.  We all ate meals mom prepared and talked about everything together as a family.  We loved each other completely and never wanted or needed anything that wasn’t immediately quenched.  I have decided God ____ on the days when I believe in God ____ cannot allow a child to grow up in such a state; so he performs some act; he intervenes, and ultimately tears the family apart.  This is my only explanation for what happened; a sick twisted omnipotence with powers beyond my comprehension.

I cried myself to sleep that night; my pillow was soaked the next morning.  It was a Saturday if memory serves.  We ate breakfast together, all ignoring the underlying tension which filled the kitchen.  Later that day, my dad and I mowed the lawn and did so in silence.  It was not an uncomfortable silence, just silence.  We took our shirts off and the sun beat down, hot against our backs.  My mom ran out with sun screen and chastised us about skin cancer, while rubbing the poignant lotion against our skin.  She kissed my dad before she went inside.  I remember that kiss vividly; it was genuine and pure, a  prevarication which further lulled me into a false sense of security. 
After lunch dad played football with us; he and a neighbor across the court, Mr. Pekala, were the all time quarter backs and as I caught passes from him and ran around my friends, scoring touchdown after touchdown, I forgot about the divorce and my parents’ fights.  They did not cease, but were quelled and became nothing more than an annoying occurrence, a buzzing sound in the background.  It was at this point, ironically, I entered into one of the most secure and confident stages of my life.

I began school that fall, with a multitude of friends, and rose to a popularity I now find hard to believe.  During the fall, I ran eighty-yard touchdowns for the football team, and got to hear groups of strangers scream my name from the bleachers; an experience that is so singularly extraordinary it is difficult to explain, but certainly unforgettable.  My dad said it should have been ninety.  He always said things like that.  I loved to play football.  It always seemed to me it was the one thing I was really good at.  I don’t know whether he ever knew that or if good just wasn’t good enough.  The entire seventh grade year was, for me, unforgettable.  I actually broke the all time rushing record for the state of Georgia for middle school sports.  At the end of the school year my father received orders to Korea, and my mother, brother and I traveled to Virginia Beach to stay with our family until it was time to join him.
              I remember a conversation I had with my mother that summer; she was debating whether to follow my dad to Korea or to take me back to Georgia.  The latter to me was not a possibility; to not be with my father as one family unit for such a long time was ludicrous and when combined with the simple fact if we did not go, divorce would have been inevitable, I felt we had to follow him if there was to be any hope.  I wish now someone would have told me hope doesn’t really exist.  Luck exists, and with a little luck, hardships can be overcome, but hope is a transitory feeling which passes through the mind to keep you trudging on toward the inevitable.  Needless to say, my mom followed my advice and at the end of the summer we found ourselves on a plane, traveling sixteen hours across a choppy Pacific ocean. 

 I think I might have been partially at fault for the problems that attacked us in Korea; I made the worst transition possible.  I had become quite used to moving around; I had been doing so all my life.  You simply talk to people, make new friends, and get involved.  You go outside with a football, toss it in the air a few times, and children flock to you.  Within thirty minutes, you have a game on and have made ten new friends.  The first problem was I did not do any of those things.  My own advice had turned against me and I was overtaken by a self induced depression.  I did not leave the house, instead remaining on the couch watching, for whatever physiological bearing this has, Disney’s animated version of Robin Hood over and over.  As my family was faltering, I let my tangible assets go; I watched an English fox outwit the Sheriff of Nottingham when I should have been taking over my environment. 
This of course was an impossibility for my father.  As far as he was concerned, I had but one purpose on this earth, and that was to run with a football.  When I wasn’t playing, it had an effect on him.  It made him angry.  It made him weak.  I sometimes think everything would have been different if I would have just played.  Football’s easy.  It’s relationships that are hard.

Two years later, my parents were divorced, my mother remarried and my father was about to permanently attach himself to the woman who would complete the removal of the few remaining paternal instincts he had left; replacing them with permanent disdain, and an excuse to hurt my mother, by denying my brother and I a father.  As he so repeatedly dictated to me, “I have a new family now.  You have to understand ____”  My warning to any prospective washed up fathers is this: give your child any kind of stupid excuse your small hearts can come up with, but never mention to them that while not only being abandoned because you’re  ticked off at their mother, they also have been replaced.  They won’t understand.  The intelligent ones will simply develop a bitter taste in their mouths as they form your name with their lips and the naive, younger ones will tear inside.  My brother was beginning to fall apart, and I ____ well I was indifferent.  I was a mediator to all, a confidant who worked well at solving everyone’s problems, while denying the existence of my own.  Inside us all is a vacant cavity we slowly fill as we grow and experience.  In this cavity we store our love, our hopes, our dreams.  Inside we store our emotions.  I have sealed mine.  I don’t even know if I did it on purpose, but it is sealed none the less.

I entered high school with a new agenda in my head.  I was angry at myself for Korea. I was angry at my father for what he was doing to my mother and my brother.  I was generally left feeling powerless to fix it.  And so it was with this anger that I retook the football field.  An anger mixed with my love for the game and a need to spite my father, now that he wouldn’t be around to see me play.  I played so even if he would see the game, there could be no____yeah it was a nice play, but how about the hole you missed during the third quarter?  That could have meant a first down.  I don’t miss first downs and I make my own holes.  What I got out of it was a congratulations from my father, the unfaltering love and admiration of my mother and brother, a full scholarship to the university of my choice, and a void where my heart should be.

He took the notebook with him to college that fall, and tucked it away in the bottom of a footlocker.  He never showed it to anybody and in fact, never even read it himself. 

Purchase Wake Me When I'm Gone, by clicking the link for your e-reader or paperback preference: available on the Kindle, the Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks, and Trade Paperback.

Chapter 1

The dirt had been on his body so long, he felt as if it were crawling.  He had grown accustomed to the smell, but remembered from before he had become desensitized, and he knew he smelled awful.  He hadn’t taken a shower in almost a month.  He couldn’t risk it.  He was part of the background.  A pathetic reality tourists had to endure when they came to enjoy the sandy beaches of St. Thomas.  He was homeless.  He was vagrant.  And in so being, he was invisible.
He was almost nineteen now.  His birthday was February 24.  Today was the 23.  Although the date meant little to him, he couldn’t remember ever having celebrated his birthday, he did not want to spend it on the streets.  And if his sources were right, he wasn’t going to have to.
He ran a gritty hand through his matted hair to get it out of his eyes.  He could feel the grime tangled in with the dirt. 

The sources had been wrong the first time and had cost him a whole month.  If they were wrong again it might cost him his life.  He had very few friends in St. Thomas and plenty of enemies.  They were looking for him at every turn.  He knew that.  And because of this fact he had chosen to remain invisible, no matter what it meant he had to deal with.
He scratched his head roughly.  He was almost sure it was lice.  The itch was not going away.  It had to be lice, or maybe fleas.  He wasn’t really sure.
He stood up and wobbled out of the alley.  The low cabana houses provided very little shelter or cover, so in order to disappear he had to fill his part completely.  Everything from the clothes, to the matted beard, and even the smell.  He had two choices for hiding out.  Either he could remain in the residential areas, which provided a sparse population of mostly native Islanders, but was extremely open or he could venture into the tourist district where the opposite was provided.  Either way, it left him no room for slack.
He was constantly alert.  He felt he had to be.  During his first month in the Virgin Islands, he had fallen asleep in broad daylight in an illegal public area.  The police had arrested him and held him for forty-eight hours, during which time he could have easily been brought into public eye.  They let him go without searching for any background.  He had been lucky.  But he couldn’t rely on luck.  Luck was something you couldn’t control and it was imperative that everything was in his control.

He walked down the street and entered the nearest phone booth.  He thought for a second to try and recall the number.  He had only seen it once, while finding its address in the directory and it took him a few seconds to pull it out of his memory.  He dialed the number and listened as the phone rang, thinking of what to say.
“Hello, This is the Carribean Royale Hotel.  May I help you?”
The man smiled to himself.  The voice on the other end was that of a young woman, obviously not from the island.  He could tell by her accent.  South Carolinian he discerned.  She was perfect.
“Allo, Madame.  J’ai besoin___
  “Oh, um.  Un moment, sil vous plait.”  The young
woman set down the phone and the line was silent.
The man smiled again.  She would be getting the manager.  The hotel was expecting a call from him to confirm the reservations of the second suite on the top floor.  Her promptness and excitability meant they had probably swallowed his first call easily and were ready to give the imaginary Frenchmen the Carribean Royale treatment.  It would make things easier if they were extremely accommodating.

“Hello, Monsieur Pagnol,” the high pitched male voice said in French.  “We have your reservation.  Will you be arriving tonight?”
“I don’t know.  I’ll be arriving tonight or tomorrow morning.  Is that a problem?”
“No, no.  That won’t be a problem at all.  We will be happy____
“Oui.  Au revoir Monsieur.”  The man hung up.  It was to keep the conversation short.  For some reason it almost seemed as if they liked it better when you were rude.  They seemed to have an unwritten respect for people with money who gave the outward appearance of being an asshole.  He would never really understand why. 
No one was actually going to show up to claim the reservation, but he was sure the hotel would hold it until well after late afternoon tomorrow.  As long as it remained empty tonight.  That was essential.  The man started to exit the phone booth, but stopped and made another call. 
“Hello,” a groggy voice answered on the other end.
“Hey Bobby.  How’s it going?”
“Jesus Christ.  Where the hell are you?”
“It’s a secret.”
“Yeah, I’ll bet.  Are you okay?  You ain’t in trouble or anything, are ya?”

“Not yet.  But I’m going to need to call in some favors from you pretty soon.”
“Anything you need, man.  You just place the order and I’ll fill.  No problem.”
“I knew I could count on you.  Look.  I’ll be by at some point, and you’re going to accept the money this time.  I won’t have it any other way.”
“You know your money’s no good.  No good at all.  I consider you a friend and I don’t accept money from my friends.  My services come free of charge to you.”
“Then consider it a gift.  It’s going to be a big order.  I just wanted to give you fair warning.”
“There are no big orders, buddy.  Not for you.”
“Thanks, Bobby.  I’ll see you soon.”  The man hung up the phone and walked out of the phone booth.

He walked a couple of blocks down the street.  When he neared the beach, the Carribean Royale  came into view.  He followed the building with his eyes up its thirty stories and looked at the room he had just reserved.  He then traced an imaginary line across the wide alley to the roof of the adjacent hotel.  The roof of the Hotel Majesta was just slightly higher than the terrace of the vacant room.  As long as the sources hadn’t blown it again, things were going to work out perfectly.  Unfortunately when it came to sources, there was usually a large degree of luck which had to be relied upon.  He had gotten everything he could completely under his control.  Every small detail.  He had forgotten nothing.  But still he found himself relying on the unreliable.  His stomach tightened painfully.  He hoped it was only hunger.  Hunger could be dealt with soon enough, providing he got lucky.
He looked up to see how high the sun had gotten.  It had past noon and was moving toward the west.  If they were right it should be soon, he thought.  He walked along the street until he found an inconspicuous spot on the walkway near the beach.  He sat down so he was facing the hotel and lay back against the wall of a trinket shop.  He waited quietly pretending to sleep as best he could.  He had been sitting there for an hour when the other vagrant sat down beside him.
“Hey, buddy,” the vagrant said.

The young man looked at him and nodded a hello.  He recognized the vagrant as a regular who frequented the area around the beach.  He was a white man, about medium build, with dread locks and burnt skin.  The young man had no idea what his age was, but figured the vagrant was somewhere in his fifties.  He liked to talk a lot the young man remembered, and he usually avoided any conversation.  The people who were actually stuck in homelessness depressed the young man.  No matter how bad it got, he always knew he could go somewhere else.  These people had nowhere else.
“Hi, Eddy.”
“It’s nice out today.  Don’t you think?  Not too hot.”
“No.  It’s not too hot.”  ­The young man could smell the alcohol on the vagrant’s breath.  That saddened him too.
“I wish I could go swimming you know.  Like the young ones do.  I never learned to swim though.  Can you believe that?  I live in the goddamn Virgin Islands and I can’t swim.”
“That is amazing Eddy.  Truly incredible.”  The young man was about to ask why but caught sight of the limousine pulling up to the Carribean Royale.
“You know why I didn’t learn to swim, buddy?” 
The limousine stopped at the front and a swarm of bell
hops ran out of the hotel to wait on the car.  “Because I was fat when I was a little kid.  Can you believe it?”

 The young man allowed himself a look at the gaunt frame of the old man, but then turned immediately back to the limo.  The driver got out of the car and opened the driver’s side back door.  Three large men got out, hovering over the driver.
“When the other kids would strip down and jump in the water, I would always stay on the beach.  I didn’t want them to see me without a shirt on.  I thought they’d laugh.  You know?”
After the first three men stepped out, a thin man with a starched white suit exited the vehicle.  The first three took formation around him and were joined by two other men who followed the white suit out of the limo.  The young man let himself another smile.  Lucky, he thought.
“So I never learned to swim.  I was always afraid.  You know?”  
When the man in the white suit had entered the hotel, the young man realized the vagrant had been speaking the whole time.  He looked over at the old man, who was now silent, staring out at the sea.
“You know what I think, Eddy?”  The old man turned.  “I think it’s never to late to learn.  I think if you put down the bottle, stripped down and jumped in, you could be a pro in no time.”
The old vagrant smiled and then laughed a little, coughing as he settled down.  “Maybe you’re right buddy.”

“I know I am,” the young man stood up and patted the vagrant on the shoulder.  “See ya later.”
The young man turned and walked east, away from the hotel.  The old man shouted at him and he turned to wave goodbye.  The young man waved at the old man, who tipped a brown bagged bottle to his lips and waved back.  The young man shook his head and continued walking.

At nine o’clock, the Shards Motel did not care what you looked like, who you were, or what you were doing, so long as you paid in cash and were gone by ten the next morning.  The young man had visited the storage room at eight thirty, removed the bags and settled the account in cash.  He then checked into the Shards Motel at ten after nine, locked the door to his room and gone straight for the bathroom.  He looked at himself in the filmy mirror and wanted to die. 

His hair fell down to his shoulders and was black with grease and dirt.  He had pulled a comb from one of the bags, but had lost hope when he saw the mats and tangles.  His face was covered by a youthful, sporadic beard that had curled upon itself, giving the illusion of fullness by tangling its length.  He could truly not even recognize his own face.  He decided the only thing he could appease himself with now, would be a brushing of his teeth. 
He went back into the main area of the room and began to check his supplies.  Everything he needed to take with him, the tools, clothes, money, and explosive were all neatly and tightly packed in one back pack, arranged in order of usage.  The rest of the stuff, the extra clothes, excess toiletries, and bags would have to be dumped.  He decided he would do that before hand.  He began to run through everything in his mind.  The sources had pulled through.  The plan was truly perfect.  He looked at the clock.  It was almost time.

He went to the bathroom and stepped into the shower.  He let the hot water run against his skin for ten minutes before he began to lather himself with soap.  He looked and sighed when he saw the black water running down the drain.  He stepped out of the shower, dried himself briskly and then went to the mirror.  He pulled out a pair of scissors from a shaving kit and began to work on the beard.  He got it to look somewhat presentable and then moved to his hair.  Trying to cut as little as possible, he removed the knots and with work, finally got a comb to get through it.  He pulled it back into a tight ponytail and went back to the room.  He dressed himself in a wrinkled suit, nice but not noticeable flashy, and then re-packed everything into the cases.  He took one last look at himself in the mirror.  He didn’t know exactly what look he was going for,  but it was definitely different than when he had entered the motel, and left room for one more significant alteration. 

He picked up the phone and called for a taxi, which to his surprise, arrived rather promptly.  He gathered his luggage and left.  At a quarter to eleven, he exited the taxi at the front of the international airport, where he hired an airport shuttle to take him to the Hotel Majesta.  He paid the shuttle driver and tipped him reasonably well.  At one seventeen he walked into the Majesta, checked in under the name of Samuel Farrington, paid cash in full and dropped the key into the deposit box on his way to the elevator.  He took the elevator to the basement and exited on the service floor.  It was almost deserted, with only a few staff members monotonously droning out the laundry.  They payed him no attention and he walked passed them to the furnace room.  He pulled off the suit, revealing a pair of black utility trousers and a black turtle neck.  He then threw the clothes and the bag into the furnace.  It roared slightly as it began to devour the material.  The young man stopped and listened, but no one had thought to investigate.  He picked up the backpack and made his way back toward the laundry.  He checked to make sure the staff members were still looking away from the elevator, and then moved quickly through the large metal doors. 
The service elevator began to rise.  The young man let himself relax.  He had known there would be about five people in the laundry, and he had been prepared to deal with them, however he wanted to leave them alone.  He had prepared in the event luck did not hold, but it had.  When the elevator reached the  twenty-eighth floor, he stopped and got out.  The hall was empty and filled with an eery silence.  He shook his head to wipe away the paranoia and ran towards the fire stairs at the other end of the hall.  He heard a creak as he passed one of the doors and froze.
The young man realized he should terminate whoever came out of the door, thereby  eliminating any risk.  It was the most efficient and safe thing to do.  He thought for a moment and then decided against it.  He couldn’t.  He put his hands in his pocket and walked leisurely away from the door. 
A large man in a hotel robe came out of the room with an ice bucket.  He took a glance at the figure walking down the hall and then turned the other way towards the ice machine.  The young man continued walking until he had turned the corner.

He could see the stairs at the end of the hall.  He ran quickly and silently to the door and made his way up the stairs to the roof of the building.  He opened the door to the roof and stepped out into the night air.  Thirty floors up in the air, the temperature was a lot colder than he had expected.   The wind was blowing hard from the sea and it chilled him straight to the bone.  Please don’t let it fail this time, he thought.
He ran quickly across the square roof to the side adjacent the Carribean Royale Hotel.  He took the bag off his shoulder and set it down on the roof.  He opened it and removed a  monocular lense.  Peering through the lense, he looked over the building through a pale green light.  With the exception of a slight wavy distortion, he could make everything out pretty clear. 
On the top floor of the Royal Carribean, there were two rooms, one checked out to the target, the other to a French businessman Marcel Pagnol.  He was going to enter through the vacant room.

He pulled a shoulder holster out of the bag and strapped it on over the turtle neck.  He then removed a Gloch model pistol and attached a small compact silencer into the barrel.  He checked the sight and holstered the weapon.  He then pulled out a jump knife and attached it to his belt behind his right hip.  The next item was a small cylindrical apparatus with two small metal probes sticking out from each side and a sighting mechanism along the top.  He then secured the bag and put it back on his shoulders.
He looked over the two rooms once more with the lense.  All seemed quiet.  He attached the lense with a clasp to his belt and then checked the street.  Anything moving down below was minuscule from this height, which meant he would be nothing more than a shadowy dot to any one on the street below.  His only concern, therefore, was an open hotel window.  He was hoping  the darkness and the fact it would be unlikely for people at a beach resort to being looking up, would solve the problem.  But again he was placing himself slightly in the hands of luck.

He took a deep breath and sighted the first end of the cylinder across the alley to a patch of concrete above the vacant room.  He pressed the firing mechanism and with a silent, high pitched wine, the probe shot out from the cylinder and sunk into the concrete wall of the Carribean Royale.  The young man then chose a similar surface along the edge of the roof and placed the remaining probe against the wall.  He pressed hard against the concrete and touched a trigger along the opposite side of the cylinder.  The probe began to spin and drilled securely into the roof edge.  When the second probe was secure, the young man drew in the slack with a crank, and clamped the cylinder securely against the near probe.  He checked the line for tautness and looked closely at the angle of the line.  He removed a u-shaped object from the bag and clamped it onto the line.  Again he drew in a few deep breathes and then slid over the side of the roof, putting his full support on the line and the handle.   
When he felt his legs fall free from the roof he felt a rushing sensation rage through his spine.  He looked down at the street below.  He could have sworn the cars had grown smaller.  Using the muscles of his stomach, so not to jar the line, he lifted his legs slowly so that his ankles crossed in front of his arms.  He then pressed the release switch on the handle, and began to slide slowly down the line.
As he moved he began to pick up speed.  He could feel the heat building in the metal handle as the friction from the passing rope rubbed hard against the mechanism.  The wall of the other building began to move toward him rapidly.  When he came within ten feet of the end of the line, he reached up and pressed a clamp on the handle and felt a jar as he slowed immediately to a snail’s crawl.  As he came to a stop, the oil began to burn in the handle and let a foul smoke burn against the rope.  The young man slowly fed the rest of the line through, unfolded himself and stepped softly onto the terrace.

The glass door of the terrace was his next obstacle.  The young man removed a small saw, about the size of an electric toothbrush and a small circular cup.  He placed the cup firmly against the glass and pulled; it held.  He then touched the saw to the glass and cut in a circular pattern.  When he finished, he pushed hard against the cup and the glass gave way.  He set the piece of glass down on the carpet inside the room and climbed through the opening. 
The room was pitch black.  He pulled the monocular lens from his belt and focused the telescopic lens.  He then checked the room against the floor plan he had memorized in his head.  He was a little turned around, but fairly accurate.  The room adjacent should be exactly the same, only in reverse.  He sat down on the bed and let his eyes adjust to the darkness.
Everything had been mechanical until now.  This was the moment which haunted him.  It wasn’t the planning, the preparations or the insertion.  It was the execution.  He breathed in deeply attempting to get his emotions under control.  He waited until he could get his mind to go blank.  Thoughts just hindered him at this point.  From here it was all up to instinct.  This was the moment he needed to be the monster they had created.  It was now he had to give in. 

He stood up and walked to the door.  Looking through the peephole, he saw two men standing guard at the opposite door.  One seated in a chair, the other standing beside him.  They were talking about something, probably a ball game.  The young man pulled the knife from his belt, counted to ten and pulled open the door. 
The first man got out a slight murmur, the second not a sound.  The knife sliced deeply across the sitting man’s throat, severing both his jugular and his larynx.  He had been facing the door when the young man rushed out, silently, floating to them on a cushion of air.  The second turned towards the figure’s face when he saw the arm lash out.  His eyes widened and he had just enough time to realize he was going to die, before the young man hilted the knife directly through the man’s throat, severing his spinal chord at the base of his skull.  Both men died instantly and slumped to the ground in virtual silence.

In the back of his mind, the young man knew there would be four left, but he didn’t have time to think about it.  It was just a constant fact floating free and ever present.  The knife was sheathed and the gun was pulled.  He closed his eyes and counted to thirty.  With his eyes still closed he kicked the door hard and stepped into the room and then quickly into the indentation of the coat closet.  He opened his eyes and probed the room.
He saw two men spring from chairs groggily, searching through the darkness for the cause of the noise.  The Gloch whispered four times, hitting each man alternately in the chest and then the head.  The young man ran from closet and found the last of the bodyguards at the light switch, his gun drawn.  The young man dropped him with two shots that ripped through the man’s chest, puncturing his lungs and tearing away at his heart.  The overhead light came on as the man thumped to the floor. 
The young man whipped his head around to the bed.  His target was reaching across the bed towards a small pistol on the night table.  The Gloch fired once, entering the man’s skull behind his right ear and exiting with a spay of blood from the top of his head.  The young man continued to probe the room with his eyes, and then began to physically search every crevice until he was positive it was clear. 

Then his stomach turned, and he began to feel dizzy and weak.  He looked at the blood splayed against the wall and lost it.  He ran to the bathroom and vomited harshly, his empty stomach pumping in dry heaves.  Tears began to fill eyes and he began to see black.  He woke collapsed on the tile floor only moments later, but still slightly shook up.  He stood up and rinsed his face with cool water.  He took in air slowly and precociously, as if he moved too quickly he might collapse.  Slowly the color began to come back to his face.
He picked his gun up off the floor and holstered it.  He then emptied the contents of his bag onto the floor and began to work.  First he dragged the two corpses from the hall into the room.  He then placed a small block of C-4 next to each of the bodies heads, supplying a small radio detonator for each.  Then the napalm setup was  placed in the center of the room and he again activated a radio detonation device. 

He then went to work on himself.  He removed the tightly folded clothes from the bag, along with the a small pouch which he took to the bathroom.  He first stripped and washed the blood off his arms.  Then he shaved the beard and his hair, leaving a thick tapered layer of brown on his head.  He looked in the mirror, and stared.  He had not seen his face in almost four months.  He unfolded the clothes and got dressed in a linen shirt and light slacks.  He put a pair of sandals on his feet and packed his shed clothing in the bag and tossed everything into the center of the hotel room.  He went to the closet across from the bed and looked himself over in the full length mirror.  He decided he looked a lot like the rich college students whose families own cabanas across the bay.  Perfect, he thought.
He saw the target in the mirror and felt a little ill again.  Then he saw the briefcase at the far edge of the bed.  He walked over and picked it up.  It was locked.  He retrieved the knife from the center of the room and pried the case open.  Inside, placed neatly in rows across the whole the length of the case, were stacks of twenty dollar bills.  Inside the flaps of the lid where two large yellow envelopes which he opened immediately, quicky scanning the contents.  The young man felt a sudden need for urgency.  He put the knife back in the center of the room and picked up the porcelain Gloch and emptied the bag.  He took a towel from the bathroom, and wrapped the gun, the money and the envelopes in the towel.  He then placed the towel in the bag, checked his pocket for the transmitter, threw the bag over one shoulder and walked calmly out of the room.
It was almost five o’clock when the elevator let him out on the ground floor.  The lobby of the large hotel was already alive with tourists and businessmen.  Quite a few lawyers as well.  The young man thought there might be a convention of some sort.  He walked out of the hotel and made his way to the beach.

He walked along, strolling slowly along the sand.  There were a few people, mostly couples, who were already up to watch the sun rise or perhaps hadn’t yet gone to sleep.  The young man thought about it for a second, but it somehow began to make him feel bad.  He continued to walk leisurely and saw Eddy sitting at in the sand staring aimlessly at the ocean.  The young man felt an urge to speak to him, but suppressed it quickly.  When he had been walking for about five minutes, he pulled the transmitter out of his pocket, and pressed the first button.
The cylinder sparked and came loose from the building, its line twanging as it fell into the alley below.  The young man began to feel sick again as he thumbed the second trigger.  He breathed in deeply and pressed hard.  The top floor of the Carribean Royale Hotel erupted in flames.  The concussion from the localized explosions of C-4, blew out the windows of the penthouse and fed the napalm a rush of oxygen as it ignited, setting the room ablaze in a magnificent ball of flame.  As the napalm began to devour everything on the top floor of the hotel, the young man began to run, although he did not know where.
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