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H&K: Path of Knowledge

Book 1 of the H&K Series: Chapter 12

By Shawn David KelleyPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 20 min read
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Chapter 12

Hank sat across the warehouse room from a cowering Jim Martin, who sat in the corner of the room. A recliner sat next to him, untouched. Jim Martin trembled as Hank stared at him. Sarasin stood behind Hank.

“Once again from the top. Whom were you working for, where exactly did you go, and who else did you deal with?” Hank’s voice stayed low and calm.

“I told you; I was given two names by the CIA agents Agent Sam Billings and an Arab by the name of Amar al-Azmah, but no one else contacted me. I was always contacted afterward by a muffled, distorted voice on a prepaid phone though. I would be given information on where to go and what was needed. I dealt with Syrian refugees, mostly in upstate Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. In exchange, the CIA opened doors for my practice and expanded my research funding. They also helped my wife make the right connections for herself in the district attorney’s office and judiciary community. They guaranteed that she’d have a federal judiciary appointment within three years,” Jim Martin stuttered.

“Where were these places in these states that you went? And were there any in the Philadelphia, New York, or Washington DC area?” Hank demanded.

“I can’t show you on a map. I was always a passenger.” Jim Martin stuttered even worse, fear evident on his face.

“Can you take me to these places?”

“I can’t,” Jim Martin whispered. “Okay, okay, okay!” Jim Martin nearly screamed as Hank stood up. “I’ll take you.”

In the back of his mind, Jim Martin was hoping to find a chance to make a run for it.

“Where is the prepaid phone?” Hank demanded. “My wife has it.”

“Really?” Hank smiled as he turned to Sarasin.

Sarasin stepped from the room to call Sanchez. Sarasin gave Sanchez instructions for the team. She wanted Tabby and Moore to gain access to Samantha Craig’s assistant DA’s office, her private office, and her home office to search for the prepaid cell phone Martin told them Assistant DA Samantha Craig had.

As Tabby and Moore were making their way into the Philadelphia City Hall, they noticed Assistant DA Samantha Craig talking on a cell phone in a secluded area outside the building, looking around as she spoke into the phone. The two women walked toward Samantha Craig. She ceased to speak as they approached.

“Excuse us. We are looking for City Hall,” Tabby said in a valley girl accent, tossing her hair as she made the statement.

“You’re here, you ditz. Look around,” Samantha Craig mocked the young woman.

Unknown to Samantha Craig, Tabby and Moore both were carrying signal cloning devices in the small packs they carried over their shoulders. Immediately, the cell Samantha Craig was using was cloned as was her district attorney’s office cell phone and her cell phone. The one she was using was the prepaid cell phone Martin had told Hank and Sarasin about.

The two women walked away as Samantha Craig resumed her conversation. Both women pulled their earbuds out of their packs that were attached to the cloned cell phones. They listened in on the call Samantha Craig was on.

“I don’t care if they are heading to the New York Camp. Doctor Martin is missing. He hasn’t been home nor is he answering his cell. The last thing he told me was that he was going to visit that Mitchell whore,” Samantha Craig hissed.

“Very well. I will relay the message. Be aware though, that the two agents detailed to keep an eye on Doctor Martin were found dead on the side of the road near Mitchell’s home. The vehicles were blown up by explosives. The Mitchell woman and her children are still at her home,” a male voice said.

“Can’t you send someone in to find out what happened to my doctor?” Craig demanded.

“We will contact Agent Billings and inform him of the development.”

“What good is the CIA if you have to ask permission and get someone else to make the decisions?” Samantha Craig demanded.

“Ma’am, it’s protocol.”

Samantha Craig hung up the cell phone in a huff. At that moment, a group of attorneys started her way. She composed herself, fixed her hair, and smiled at them. She greeted them with a fake warm smile as they began to talk.

Lowell stood a distance away taking pictures of the buildings surrounding city hall, a directional listening device strategically placed in the camera bag pointing directly at Samantha Craig and the group of attorneys.

For the rest of the day, Samantha Craig was under surveillance by Moore and Heath. Grant took over watching Martin while the rest of the team raced for upstate New York. Sarasin was very persuasive in getting Martin to give the exact location of the New York camp as Samantha Craig had called it. It was an old farmer’s market that had gone out of business years before.

Grant had verified that the Philadelphia PD had found Liam O’Reilly’s body in his home. The police had listed it as a suicide. However, Grant hacked into the PD’s computer system and had seen the pictures of the crime scene. From the pictures, it was a professional hit and not a suicide. Grant relayed the information to Hank and Sarasin. Hank decided to hold off on telling Bob until the very last second.

*****

Hank peered through the Leopold 4-9x50 scope atop the silenced Savage .270 caliber bolt action rifle. He scanned the old farmers’ market as the Syrian terrorists went about their daily routines. Several were on guard duty, with AK-47s supplied to them by Harrison, the CIA analyst who worked for Agent Billings. The weapons came from a shell company in Canada. The farmers’ market had long since been abandoned but was now a training camp on United States soil. Nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, it was far off the main highways and populated areas. Several hundred men and women milled about as children played. The sight reminded him of the refugee camps from all over the world: filthy, nasty vermin and pest-infested cesspools.

As he scanned, Amar al-Azmah strolled through the main avenue with four of his lieutenants inspecting weapons and individuals alike. Agent Billings was close at hand with his ever-present briefcase. Hank composed himself as the anger rose inside his chest and the desire to put a bullet through his handler’s skull. Hank held off knowing the time of reckoning was near at hand. As Hank watched, Amar struck a young female with a nasty backhand as she spilled a bucket of water at his feet when she tried to scurry past the group. The girl, no older than fourteen landed, on the ground at his feet, the bucket of water spilling all over the ground. Amar kicked her full in the face with his massive booted foot. His lieutenants and Billings all laughed as blood gushed from a nasty gash at the corner of the girl’s mouth.

Hank nodded. Sanchez next to him clicked his com-link twice. Hank pulled the trigger. Amar stiffened as the round penetrated his right eye, exiting in a spray of blood, bone, and brain matter on Billings’ face. Hank chambered another round, and Billings’ nose nearly caved in as the round hit at the bridge of his short stubby nose. He fell sideways into one of the lieutenants as his brain matter sprayed through the air. The mayhem erupted. Hank quickly chambered round after round, taking out the four lieutenants as they dove for cover. Hank’s fury was at its peak, quenched a little to know that the traitor Billings was now dead.

Sarasin’s team swept in. Gunfire erupted from all directions. Sarasin had neutralized the sentries in the guard towers and on the rooftops from her lofty perch in a tall Elm. The rest of the seven-person team swept through the main gate in two Jeep Wrangler Rubicons. Each had an M60 machine gun mounted on the roll-over crossbar behind the driver. The gun was mowing down anyone that held a weapon while a recording in Syrian blared over a loudspeaker from the lead vehicle for everyone to lay down their arms and get on the ground.

Hank and Sanchez were up and moving. Hank had shouldered the rifle, replacing it with his silenced MP7. Sanchez carried a silenced MP5 as they made their way toward the compound that once was a farmers’ market. Jim Martin’s information had finally paid off.

The assault vehicles had come to rest in the center of the compound. The drivers were making a building-to-building sweep as the gunners, Tabby Eldridge and Tommy Jerome, stood over watch on the cowering occupants of the compound, now gathered at the center. Sarasin appeared from the opposite side of the compound from her perch, wielding an MP7 as well.

Hank, Sanchez, and Sarasin linked up and began their sweep converging with Lowell and Bennie. They rounded up nearly a hundred men, women, and children who had knelt on the ground, throwing any weapon they had away. Over a hundred lay dead about the compound, including several recruited US citizen terrorists. One remained alive, severely wounded but was trying to crawl away behind one of the buildings toward the perimeter fence when Sarasin spotted him.

“There!” she called the team’s attention to the young white male in his late twenties.

Blood covered the man’s right shoulder. M60 rounds had shattered his left hip, and several fingers were missing from the same M60 burst that had been aimed at him as he fired a rocket launcher at the assault vehicle. The gunner had stitched him with round after round, but the man was resilient. Sarasin stopped his efforts to escape by stepping on his left leg. The man screamed.

“Hank, this one may have more information for us. He has a cell phone, and it seems he’s from Berkley University,” she called as the others came cautiously up to her.

The man lay on his back, a cell phone just out of reach of his right hand, and he wore a T-shirt with the words “Property of the University of Berkley” on the back. She rolled him over with her boot, her weapon pointing at his face. On the left breast of the T-shirt was the University of Berkley emblem with “alumni” over the emblem.

“You’ll get nothing from me, bitch,” he hissed through clenched teeth as blood flowed from gunshot wounds.

Sarasin searched his pocket, throwing a Glock .40 caliber handgun away that she dug from a hip holster on his right side. Sarasin retrieved his wallet and smiled.

“It seems Jamie Johnson here has a driver’s license from Minnesota. Twenty-eight years old. And he’s not an organ donor,” Sarasin recited from his license. “He also has Samantha Craig’s business card with a number written on the back.” She handed the card to Hank.

“Lowell, call it in. I want to be on the move in thirty minutes. Let the state and federal law enforcement officers take over. Let’s collect any intel we can before they get here,” Hank ordered.

The search of Amar al-Azmah’s body revealed a map, two cell phones, and Samantha Craig’s business card. The search of Samuel Billings resulted in his CIA identification, two cell phones, and a biometric security card. His briefcase had three hundred thousand dollars in it, a file on Jamie Johnson, Sarah Getz, and Anthony Collins. Each file had a picture of the person and their dossier. Each had attended Berkley University at the same time and had the same philosophy and history professor, Amanda Watts. A third cell phone was inside the briefcase with a number taped to the back. On both al-Azmah’s and Billings’ phones was a text from Samantha Craig’s private cell phone. The search of the rest of the compound yielded no viable intelligence.

“Meet tonight, Red Dragon Inn, 9 pm. Urgent, Doctor missing. Bring Johnson,” the text read.

Sirens could be heard in the distance as a helicopter flew overhead. Most of the occupants of the compound were refugees that East Coast Syrian Revolutionary Movement was trying to convert into their private terrorist organization. Once the Federal Terrorist Unit arrived, Sarasin took over as Hank faded into the landscape outside the compound. The feds had been notified earlier, so they had been on standby.

The whole incident would be marked Top Secret: For Authorized Eyes Only, and the dead would be disposed of quietly. The remaining occupants would go through interrogations and either be relocated or quietly sent to a friendlier country other than Syria. Most would have a tracking device implanted until deportation. Those remaining would have a tracking device placed on their ankles until they had shown substantial reason not to believe they were a threat to the citizens of the United States. During the initial investigation at the compound, one of the Syrian refugee women asked about her daughter’s whereabouts.

She explained that her daughter was fourteen, and Samuel Billings had arrived with an older white male in a suit earlier in the week who had taken the child away with him. Sarasin wondered if child trafficking was involved.

“All has been handed over to the feds, except the little we took,” Sanchez spoke into his mic to Hank. “We will rendezvous in five minutes.”

The two Jeeps had been disarmed and looked like ordinary vehicles now as the six occupants stopped at a huge boulder next to the road several miles from the compound. Hank climbed into the front passenger seat of the vehicle as Sanchez climbed into the rear next to Tabby. His medium frame dwarfed her even smaller frame. Her long red hair and bright green eyes hid the lethal warrior she was.

“Hank, one of the refugees mentioned that her daughter was taken a few days ago by an older white male in a business suit. Billings had been with him.”

“Where’s Johnson?” Hank asked.

“With Jerome behind us. Johnson’s wounds could be fatal if we don’t get him medical attention soon,” Sanchez said.

“I know just the man to do just that,” Hank smirked.

Jerome stabilized Johnson as best he could for the trip to the warehouse where Martin would be requested to attend to the wounded man.

Jim Martin worked on Jamie Johnson for several hours. Jerome assisted the best he could. The young man would live but would never use his right hand or arm again. His left hip was useless from the injuries he had sustained.

“He’ll live,” Martin whispered as he exited the makeshift bedroom of the mountain lodge they had leased for the month.

“That’s good. While we wait, I think my associate has a few questions for you.” Hank glared at the man.

“Who was the man Billings brought to the compound and gave the little girl to?” Sarasin demanded.

“He took a lot of people, mostly businessmen and a few government officials. They have a pedophile organization amongst high-ranking government officials and business people. Not all men,” he told her.

“Who was he?” she hissed.

“If he’s the one I think, he’s probably State Senator Jason Ramsey of Ohio. If not, he’ll know the others. He’s the unofficial leader.”

“And I bet you took some benefits from the group as well?” Hank glared.

“Oh no,” Martin quivered. “I don’t touch children.” He almost started to cry.

“Maybe not, but you do attack women,” Hank hissed, easing toward him. Sarasin touched his arm.

“You promised!” Martin nearly screamed.

“You’re right, I did,” Hank said, stepping back. “I want to know more about this human trafficking organization. Where do the people come from?”

“All over. Runaways. Homeless. Shelters. Foster care. Drug addicts. College students looking for a job,” Martin replied.

“They’re from the US?” Hank demanded.

“Most. My wife even passes on the names of sexually assaulted victims that come through the DA’s office. She gives the names to a group that is supposed to be counselors but exploits what has happened to the victims just to get them to trust the counselors. They get the ones psychologically messed up enough that they will do anything the counselors say. They then indoctrinate them into one of several groups, tattoo them to mark whose property they are, and then either put them on the streets in brothels or trade them amongst those who are willing to pay high dollars for services,” Martin said.

“Do tell me more. What about the illegal aliens that are brought in by ICE or the police?” Hank demanded to know more.

“They are released into the custody of a team of fake ICE agents that take the men to a new work site and placed under guard. Those that try to escape or contact authorities are threatened or their families are threatened. If they cause problems or try to get away, they are eliminated,” Martin said.

“Does that go for any person, US citizen or illegal alien?” Sarasin asked.

“Yes, even those with legal visas or tourists. Anyone, they spot that would make them money: internet brides, exchange students, aspiring models, or actors. The organization targets individuals by recruiting them under pretenses for jobs or promises of citizenship. Once they have them in their custody, they either take their identification, passports, and visas, or legal charges are brought against them for some falsified crimes. Most of the women are accused of prostitution or put on the street as prostitutes and then are arrested on prostitution charges. Once they have a record, the individual is scared to go to the authorities for fear of either being arrested or deported. My wife has done a good job at prosecuting males and females on prostitution charges. She has even gone as far as convicting innocent people of sex crimes just to have something to hold over their heads, make them work at a certain job for below minimum wage, or discredit them because they were outspoken on some subject that would interfere with the organization’s plans,” Martin told them.

“So, innocent people are being railroaded by your wife?” Hank asked.

“Not just my wife. Other DA’s and some police. There are those that all the evidence shows they are innocent but a conviction looks good on their record. Police in the Special Victims Unit tends to believe anything a possible victim says no matter if there is physical evidence. A conviction is a conviction, and the more convictions she has draws the attention away from the cases she throws. If a victim or the perpetrator surfaces saying that they were forced into prostitution or a job against the labor laws, my wife and the others can just point at the conviction on that individual’s record,” Martin revealed.

“Get him out of my sight before I forget my promise,” Hank ordered.

Martin was ushered back into the room with Johnson while Jerome kept guard over the two men.

“Jerome and Sanchez, stay here with these two. Get as much information from Johnson as you can. The rest of the team will seek out other avenues for more information. This terrorist network is going to burn along with the pedophile organization along with it. Sarasin and I will meet this person at the Red Dragon Inn and get whatever information we can,” Hank said.

Sarasin’s cell phone rang as they left the others behind. “Sarasin,” Sarasin said into the phone as she switched the phone to hands-free. The conversation came from the speaker of the phone.

“Agent Sarasin, there’s been a development. Earlier tonight, Director Thompson and Assistant Director Ames of the East Coast Anti-Terrorism Task Force were killed when the car they were traveling in exploded on Interstate 95 near the Philadelphia Ship Yard. The driver was also killed. We need to get in contact with Officer Bob Roy as soon as possible. He is the only one left of the Task Force leadership that had access to all the information and every mission. The secretary of Homeland Security has authorized his appointment to be the director of the Task Force,” the man on the other end informed Sarasin.

“What about the charges against Officer Roy by the Philadelphia DA’s office?” Sarasin asked.

“With your investigation and information, we were able to further our findings. All the charges against Officer Roy have been dropped as far as Homeland Security is concerned. However, we are not letting the information out. We believe as you indicated earlier that there is a major issue within the Philadelphia judiciary system and possibly further up. The secretary wants to keep Office Roy’s involvement classified until we can get a handle on what’s going on.”

“I understand. My team will do what we can to locate Officer Roy and bring him back. He has gone underground. It may take a while to find him.”

“Agent Sarasin, we need him back within forty-eight hours. Make this your number one priority,” the man said as he terminated the connection.

Hank dialed the burner phone Bob had.

“Bob, you have been named director of the task force. The director and assistant director died in a car bomb along with the driver earlier. They need you back in Philadelphia to take command of the task force as soon as possible. Sarasin and I are on our way to a meeting. I will have Sarasin contact you with more information on the meeting,” Hank told Bob. “Keep everyone close. We don’t know how much the enemy knows.”

“I’ll take care of them,” Bob told Hank.

“Also, Liam is dead. It looks like a professional hit,” Hank told Bob.

“Find out who killed him, Hank. Find them and make them pay.”

“I will. By the way, doesn’t Tess have a friend involved with an anti-human trafficking group?”

“I believe that’s our friend Becka Wolfe. Her husband was my partner years ago. She is in charge of the continuing education program at Thomas Jefferson Hospital. I know she has arranged symposiums to educate nurses, police, and medical personnel on human trafficking. Why do you ask?”

“She may be able to get some information we need concerning the dealings that Martin and Craig have been up to and maybe the people they are working for,” Hank said. “Don’t say anything to anyone. I’ll have a friend contact her and see what he can find out.”

“Okay, but you need to fill me in when we have more time,” Bob replied.

“I will. Sarasin will be in touch in the meantime. I will call when I can,” Hank told Bob as he hung up.

As soon as Hank had terminated the connection, Bob dialed Becka Wolfe’s number.

“Hello?” Becka asked after several rings.

“Becka, it’s Bob. I have a question. Can you put me in contact with someone who deals in anti-human trafficking outside government agencies? I’ll explain everything later.”

“No problem, Bob. But what’s all this about on the news about you and Tess? The hospital is buzzing with rumors, and Mike can’t find out anything.”

“It’s just a major case I’m working on. Everything will be cleared up soon,” Bob told her.

“Okay. The person you need to speak to is Reyn Eslava. She’s the director of the International Anti-Human Trafficking Center,” Becka said as she told Bob more about what the center did and could do.

“Thank you,” Bob said as Becka gave him Reyn’s phone number.

Bob texted Reyn Eslava’s name and number to Hank along with the information on the center. Hank did not reply, but Bob knew he got the text. Hank in turn forwarded the information to Graff, asking him to reach out to the center’s director and create a relationship that may be needed in the future.

“International Anti-Human Trafficking Center, Reyn Eslava speaking,” a female said as Graff listened to his phone.

“Ms. Eslava, I understand you deal with anti-human trafficking and can help those who are being victimized,” Graff told the woman. “I can take any information you have and get it to the right people. We are an intake center and offer legal referrals and counseling,” Reyn replied.

“Ms. Eslava, I am with the CIA and need to speak to you in person as soon as possible. Our meeting must be kept secret between the two of us though for national security reasons,” Graff told her.

“CIA? What does that have to do with human trafficking?” Reyn asked.

“I will explain everything I can once we meet,” Graff told her. “I am not far from your office and there are some nice restaurants nearby.”

“Okay, give me an hour,” Reyn told Graff.

“It’s imperative we meet now, Ms. Eslava,” Graff told her.

“Okay, I have something to wrap up. Give me fifteen minutes,” Reyn replied.

Graff gave her the name of the restaurant he would be at waiting for her. Twenty-five minutes later, Reyn Eslava walked into the restaurant and was met by Graff.

“I am glad you could make it,” Graff said.

“You sounded intriguing. What’s with all the cloak and dagger stuff?” Reyn replied.

“I have some associates who require some assistance helping individuals who have been liberated from modern-day slavery. They can’t go through government agencies for security reasons. Are you willing and able to assist?” Graff cut to the point.

“I’ll do everything I can through the center,” Reyn stated.

“Ms. Eslava, this matter may be outside what your center can do. Some if not all may be in the legal gray area. Can you assist or not?” Graff pushed.

“I can only do what the center can do,” Reyn responded.

“Very well. I understand that you need security as well and you don’t know me or my motives. Let me explain my associate’s position. There was a raid on a particular area that yielded men, women, and children who were supposed to be sold at a slave market. Most are families with children that were slotted for a child sex ring. They are all illegal aliens brought here under the pretense of a better life and citizenship. Now they are going to be deported and probably be killed once they are outside the US because they know too much. Can you assist?” Graff explained.

“Prove to me what you are saying and I will see what I can do,” Reyn told Graff.

“Exactly what I was hoping you’d say. Let’s go,” Graff said.

“Where are we going?” Reyn asked, scared.

“For you to see the proof and decide if you are willing to assist,” Graff said as he stood up.

Graff led Reyn Eslava from the restaurant to his vehicle. Even though she was apprehensive, Reyn got into the vehicle. Six hours later, Rey Eslava was interviewing the illegal aliens that Hank and Sarasin’s team had liberated from the terrorist training camp. Dozens of families and individuals were being held by ICE for deportation. A government official had already signed an order for all of them to be deported at the earliest opportunity.

“I’ll do everything I can,” Reyn told Graff in between interviews. “I already contacted several attorneys I trust to help and file an injunction to keep these people here. I have a few other avenues that I have contacted as well. Did you know that children have already been taken from their families and young men for the workforce?”

“That’s why you are here. If those missing can be found, they will be brought to you,” Graff told her.

“I suspect this must be kept quiet and out of the news.”

“For now, but it’ll come out at some point.”

“I have more victims to interview. I have a few associates of mine on their way as well.”

“Just watch whom you tell,” Graff said as he left her to continue her interviews.

He had been ready to mention Becka Wolfe and Bob Roy to Reyn, but she seemed on board with what was needed to be accomplished. That information would come out later anyway as Reyn would need to meet with Bob once he was fully vested in the task force.

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About the Creator

Shawn David Kelley

Prior Service, saw the Berlin Wall dismantled and the aftermath of the Gulf War/ Desert Storm/ Desert Shield. He has drawn upon his unique views of life and science fiction to bring together an alternate reality of excitement.

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