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H&K: Path of Knowledge

Book 1 of the H&K Series: Chapter 7

By Shawn David KelleyPublished 2 years ago 10 min read

Chapter 7

Bob arrived home after seven at night, fuming as Hank pulled up behind him. He pulled into the carport before climbing out of the Honda SUV, muttering to himself. Hank walked up and closed the gate before Bob could take hold of the gate.

“That bitch!” Bob fumed.

“Assistant DA Craig?” Hank asked. “How did you guess?”

“Common sense. Her husband was arrested after what he tried to do to Tess.”

“Well, she had me riding patrol and arranged for my partner to put me out to check out an empty building. She was waiting. She had the audacity to walk up to me and kiss me. Can you believe that bitch? She wrapped her arms around my neck, and I had the toughest time pushing her away. She grabbed my crotch, dude. Can you believe it? And then she said something completely off the wall.”

“What was it that she said?”

“She said, the last time was nice, but the next time she wanted it in her office. What the hell is she playing at? Is she trying to come onto me because of what her husband tried to pull? Or is she trying to entrap me?”

“Do you think she was recording her little ambush?” Hank asked.

“That could very well be. Craig must be trying to create false evidence to make it look like something is going on between the four of us. And I stumbled right into that black widow’s web.”

“Do you have any time off accrued?”

“Three weeks. Why?”

“You need to get out of town, tonight. Call your captain and tell him due to the situation, you need time off. Take Tess and the kids and go. Don’t go anywhere you usually would go. Take them to that Dude Ranch Katharine and I have been trying to get you two to go to for years. It’s remote. No one will know you there. You can see any strangers coming and protect our wives and your kids.”

“Might be a good idea. I’ll run it past Tess now,” he said as he entered the house followed by Hank.

Tess was staring at her cell phone with horror on her face. As Bob opened the door, she exploded.

“You bastard! You’ve been having an affair with that whore all this time?” Tess screamed. “I have to ask myself if Doctor Martin hitting on me some form of payback for your affair with his wife?”

“Hold it, Tess.” Hank stepped toward her. “I bet you received a video, probably audio along with it, didn’t you?” Tess nodded. “It has to be a setup to discredit you and Bob. I would bet that the video is a fabrication. Bob was called to her office under pretenses. Craig had it all set up. She had to have. How else would she be able to send you a video with sound? She’s trying to turn you against Bob, to doubt the truth that Martin and his wife are sleazy bitches.”

“Then explain all these! Try to deny these!” Tess demanded.

Tess threw her phone at Bob. Hank was right; someone had sent Tess a video with audio of Bob and Samantha Craig embracing and kissing, but the pixelation in the video was all wrong in certain areas. Several pictures were showing them at a table in a restaurant, next to each other holding hands. Then there was one of them sitting on the bed, Samantha Craig’s left hand on Bob’s right thigh near his crotch. The room appeared to be a hotel room, a menu on the nightstand read “Ritz Carlton.”

“Tess, these are all lies. I have never cheated on you with anyone, especially Samantha Craig.” His statement was lost as Tess swung her open hand to slap him. Hank caught her hand before she could connect.

“Tess, look at the pictures,” Hank said, pointing. “They’re photoshopped. Professional job, but you can tell that they’re photoshopped. Look at the walls and then look at the bed. That’s your comforter that we got you for Christmas a few years ago. And look at the left hand of the woman. That’s your hand, your wedding ring, and the slight scar on the side of your thumb. Don’t you see it?”

Tess looked down at her hand and then at the picture. It was her hand, her ring, and the little scar she had gotten a few years back while opening a can of tuna. Shame flooded her mind and face.

“It is the comforter you and Katharine got us. It has the stain where Bob spilled red wine on the corner,” She quietly stated as reality set in. “I put it on the bed a few nights ago while washing the other one.”

“Bob, you should get Tess and the kids out of here. Katharine will go with you. Don’t use any credit or debit cards in your name, any of you. Don’t leave a digital footprint that someone can trace. Katharine, stop at the bank and get as much cash as you can. Let Karen know you’re going to be gone for a week or longer. Martin’s arraignment is in a few days, correct?” Hank guessed someone had placed cameras and probably listening devices in their house while they were out at some point.

“Yes,” Bob said.

“Tess, can I have your phone? I want to see if the programs on my work computer can pull anything useful off the videos and photos.

“Ok. But what are you looking for?” Tess asked.

“Every computer has a fingerprint of sorts. I want to see if I can pull anything off of the files.” Hank told her.

“Ok,” Tess whispered.

“Bob, come with me to our house. I need you to tell me how Craig got you to her office.”,” Hank told Bob. “Pack light, ladies. You all need to get out of the area without letting anyone know that you are leaving. At least until after the arraignment, maybe longer. Bob and I will be back shortly.”

Katharine nodded and took Tess upstairs to pack for the family.

“Things are heating up,” Hank texted Sarasin as he and Bob walked to the Mustang.

“New development overall. Need to meet now. T Bridge,” Sarasin replied.

“On my way. Bringing a friend,” Hank texted back. Hank got into the driver’s side as Bob climbed into the passenger seat.

“Where are we headed?” Bob asked when Hank missed the street to his house.

“We’re heading to the Trenton Bridge on US 1,” Hank began. “Listen. There are some things about me that you need to know about my past and the job I have.” Hank said as he pointed the vehicle towards US 1 and the Trenton Bridge that linked Pennsylvania and New Jersey at Trenton, New Jersey.

“What do you mean some things about your past and present? Where are you going with this?” Bob asked.

“You remember that I told you that I spent some time in the army, right?” Bob nodded. “Well, that’s partially the truth.” Hank paused and eyed his friend.

“What do you mean partially the truth?” Bob asked with a touch of suspicion in his voice.

“What I am about to tell you could get me into a lot of trouble. I know that you are part of several specialized multicounty, interstate, and federal units that are designated to respond to any hostile conflict if it occurs in our area whether international or homegrown terrorists, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and weapon smuggling,” Hank began.

“How do you know about that? I haven’t told anyone and it’s not public knowledge. I have only mentioned that I am training with Homeland Security and First Responders.” Bob cocked his head as he stared at Hank.

“Let me back up a little. What I am about to tell you is highly classified, and we both could be in major trouble if anyone found out that I’m telling you, but right now, you need to know everything. Ok, not everything but more than you do now.” Hank watched the road as his friend’s hand reached slowly for his Glock 9mm in his waist holster under his shirt.

“In ’86, I joined the army straight out of high school. I was a late-in-life child. My mother died a few months before I graduated at seventy-two. My father had passed away a few years before that at eight-three. All my brothers and sisters were older and had moved away before I was born. They had their own families and no place for me after my parents were gone. They were basically strangers to me. I left everything behind when I joined the army. During basic and Advanced Infantry Training, my performance was being watched by a top-secret group that groomed soldiers for elite units. I went to Airborne Jump School and then onto the Ranger Battalion. I didn’t know it at the time but it isn’t easy to be sent to Ranger School without being in a unit first. But someone pulled strings and got me selected for Ranger school,” Hank elaborated.

“You went to Ranger school? I did not know that.” Bob stated, astonished.

“Yes. See, there are a lot of things you don’t know about me that I need to tell you before we get to our destination,” Hank continued. “I was Airborne qualified and fresh out of Ranger School. One of my Ranger instructors said he was so impressed with my marksmanship skills that he pulled a few strings to have me sent to sniper school. Even before sniper school was finished, though, I had orders for Assault School. Then I went on to leadership training and SERE course. It was odd, but my Ranger instructor was at the SERE course as an interrogator trainer. I didn’t know until the day after the SERE course had finished that he was recruiting for the top-secret unit. Later I found out that he had been following my progress from the day I arrived at Basic. He told me much later that he had seen something in me. Shortly after the SERE course, he approached me about joining the top-secret unit. Long story short, I spent my first two years in the army training with other soldiers for the unit, that is until some high-ranking brass and politicians decided to pull the plug on the unit. I quickly received orders for Alaska but before I could head off to Alaska, my orders were changed to Berlin, Germany. The rest of the unit was dispersed to different duty stations. I was in Berlin for eight months when a friend in intelligence let me know there was a buildup in the Middle East. He knew I had been putting in for transfers to combat units or special ops units but my requests were always denied. Someone somewhere pulled strings and got orders for me to be assigned to a training unit in Saudi. Once in Saudi, I received orders for a unit that was heading to Iraq. While on patrol in Iraq, I was wounded and ended up in an army hospital back in Germany.” Hank paused to let things sink in, grateful to see that Bob’s hand had eased off his pistol and returned to his lap.

“While in the hospital, I received orders that would have rotated me back to the states due to my injuries. That’s when she approached me. A CIA operative, looking for volunteers for a small unit she was putting together. She had all my records and knew everything about me. I had lost a couple of good friends, so when she offered me the chance for payback, I jumped at it. From then on, my record is classified so I can’t say too much about it, even my special training before Berlin has been left out of my official records. Suffice it to say, I spent a while with the unit until we were betrayed by a member of the unit. I lost most of my unit that day and turned my back on her. One of the members of the unit started a new unit elsewhere in the world, and I joined up with him. I met Katharine way before I met you and Tess at the university. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t stalking her. She and I were in a situation together, but she doesn’t know to this day it was me. But that’s another story for another time. I just want you to know, that after the mission where I met Katharine, I had to get away from the military altogether. Then 9/11 happened. I went to a recruiting station to reenlist when my Ranger instructor showed up. I have a feeling he had been shadowing me to get me back into the game and coincidentally 9/11 happened.” Hank paused again as he steered off US 1 before they crossed the Trenton Bridge into New Jersey. Hank drove down a few side streets until he found the street to the Lower Trenton Bridge.

“My Ranger instructor was in army intelligence. He pursued me in joining a covert group that funneled information to him and the unit he was with. He talked me into learning about communication security and then later internet security. He set me up with a job with my present employer, which is a semi-front for several intelligence agencies. I am an internet security consultant, but I also receive missions from the group when they have need. I am not as active in the intelligence community as I was, but I still have contacts,” Hank finished as they pulled into a parking lot.

“So that’s where we are going, to meet your contact?” Bob asked. “My old unit leader. Her name is Adaline Sarasin. Her unit has some information concerning you and Tess,” Hank told Bob as they pulled up to an unmarked white van with blacked-out windows.


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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