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H&K: Path of Knowledge

Book 1 of the H&K Series: Chapter 9

By Shawn David KelleyPublished 2 years ago 10 min read
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Chapter 9

Karen sat at the end of the couch in the family room, watching the news that was showing an earlier press conference concerning Doctor Martin. Karen was home alone with her baby daughter, Julia, while her other children were at a sleepover at her sister’s. Her hand covered her mouth as she stifled a gasp as they announced that the police had released Doctor Martin and all charges were dropped due to false information and no proof of the allegations. Her heart sank and her stomach knotted. How could they sweep it all under the rug? The conference added that they were seeking Officer Bob Roy for questioning in connection with falsifying evidence. She didn’t notice as the window pane of her back door was covered in duct tape as a brick lightly tapped the pane of glass out. A hand reached in and unlocked the back door as the intruder made his way into the house without alerting Karen.

Hank parked away from Karen’s home watching for movement, pulling on a pair of leather sap gloves. Sap gloves have either sand or metal pellets sewn onto the backside of the fingers and knuckles to deliver a devastating strike or punch.

Hank called Bob on a prepaid cell phone and explained that Doctor Martin had been released and was now missing. Hank told Bob there had been a press conference on the TV and that the Philadelphia police and state police were looking for Doctor Martin fearing something had happened to him at the hands of a person or persons unknown. Hank told Bob to lay low until he contacted them in a few days. If he heard anything in the meantime, Hank swore he would contact Bob.

There was a lot more going on with Doctor Martin and his assistant DAoutstretched wife than first appeared. Since the team had lost Doctor Martin, he had gone off-grid. Sarasin’s warning that Karen may be in danger caused Hank to exit his vehicle, alert for any sign of Doctor Martin as he started toward Karen’s home. As Hank approached the nondescript sizable two-story house, he noticed the only light on was downstairs. No outside lights were visible. Hank could tell the home was very well-maintained but not too opulent. Then Hank saw Doctor Martin as he broke out a rear door window and entered Karen’s house.

“We have unfinished business,” the intruder whispered into Karen’s ear right from behind her couch.

“How the hell did you get into my home?” she screamed, trying to get up off the couch, but strong hands gripped her hair and jerked her roughly back onto the couch.

Doctor Martin flipped over the back of the couch to land on top of Karen. His bestial expression announced his intention. She tried to scream. With a backhand, Doctor Martin cut the scream off in her throat before she could utter it. Doctor Martin’s left hand closed about her throat. With his right hand, he began to tear her white blouse off. Buttons flew across the room as she struggled against her attacker, trying to maintain consciousness. Karen thought of her children, thankful they were at her sister’s home and baby Julia in her room upstairs. Karen was in outstanding shape from working out almost every day and doing yoga, but her strength couldn’t match his.

Karen was frantically trying to pry the fingers from her throat as Doctor Martin produced a knife and cut her bra off. Then the blade slid into the waistband of her dress pants. Moments later, they were in tatters under her on the couch. All that was left was her thong as the cold blade of the knife touched her skin. Then she blacked out.

As Karen screamed, Hank broke into a run. He was through the same door Doctor Martin had opened before anyone knew it. Doctor Martin didn’t have time to react. He hit him full force, knocking Doctor Martin and Karen to the floor. Doctor Martin rose from the floor, his knife at the ready. Hank laughed as Doctor Martin lunged at him. Hank sidestepped the blade, grabbed Doctor Martin’s outstretched hand, and spun him into the wall, the knife falling to the floor. Hank delivered punch after punch to Doctor Martin’s kidneys. Hank twisted Doctor Martin around and delivered repeated blows to the man’s face and chest. In moments, Doctor Martin crumpled to the floor, unconscious.

Hank secured Doctor Martin, dragging him into the hallway and out of sight of the unconscious Karen. Hank quickly went to Karen, and memories flooded him of the events that lead to the first time he had met Karen Mitchell.

That day was September 11, 2001. Hank had walked into an army recruiting station after watching the horrific attacks unfold on the news. As he sat in the recruiting office in Columbus, Georgia, waiting for a recruiter to call him over to start his reenlistment forms, he was approached by an old acquaintance from his days in the army. The man wore a plain blue suit but had been a staff sergeant when Hank had gone through the SERE and intelligence training before receiving orders for Germany. Even though it had been years and the man had been in his thirties at the time, Hank still recognized him.

“Logan,” the man greeted.

“Sergeant Graff,” Hank nodded his head in acknowledgment.

“Take a walk with me.” Jason Graff motioned for Hank to follow him.

Without thinking, Hank followed the older soldier out of the recruiting station. They walked down the street to a small café. They sat down at a table farthest from the central dining area. They both ordered water and a menu when the waitress came to their table. She left to allow the two time to look over the menu.

“Thinking about reenlisting?” Graff asked.

“Thinking about it.”

“What if I could offer you something better?” Graff replied. “Something you were trained to do?”

“My training records are a little thin on my actual training. You should know that.” Hank shot back at him.

“Yeah, I know. Programs got dropped. You were shipped off to be forgotten as were the other soldiers. A stupid move on the part of the brass.”

“Shit happens.”

“True. Like a certain altercation in a Philadelphia airport hotel bar eight years ago and then again last year?”

“What altercation?” Hank eyed Graff intently.

“Let’s not focus on the obvious. How would you like to do some real good, under the radar so to speak?”

“Keep talking.”

“Domestic black ops. Totally off the books, tracking sleeper cells, preserving American lives as a security analyst,” Graff explained.

“Sleeper cells? Isn’t the Cold War over?” Hank mocked.

“We both know it never ends. One regime falls, another rises to take its place with the same power brokers pulling the strings from the shadows.”

“What agency oversees the unit?”

“None. Privately funded. It’s politically connected with connections in almost every intelligence agency of the world and law enforcement connections without the red tape or oversight committees. No direct connection to the FBI, CIA, DEA, or any of them but links to all through back doors.”

“Who would I report to?” Hank’s adrenaline was flowing as he spoke.

“An automated system. You call or send the information in by way of a secure computer link then you’re done. No physical contact for the most part. You will work as a communication security analyst for a company called ETI Communications Security Unlimited located outside of Philadelphia.”

Damn, Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love seemed to be calling him back every time he tried to put it behind him. Something told him his destiny lay somewhere in the Philadelphia area.

Thus began Hank’s reentry into the civilian world. He arrived back in Philadelphia as a consultant for ETI Communications Security Unlimited eight months later. Hank, along with the majority of the employees of ETI Communications Security Unlimited, was invited to a fundraiser held in Philadelphia. Hank met the CEO, Michael Mitchell, and his wife Karen that night. But the most significant introduction came when Karen Mitchell introduced him to Katharine O’Reilly who was one of the fundraiser promoters. Having spent time with the organization the fundraiser was for, Katharine felt obligated to assist in any manner she could.

That night, Katharine slipped Hank her phone number. Within a week, the two were dating. They moved in together the following week. Two years later, the two were married. Hank never actually got to meet Karen after that night, but he remembered her all the same. Karen came to, breaking in on Hank’s reminiscences. Karen was lying on the couch with only a curtain covering her naked body. A man knelt beside her with a cold rag as he dabbed at the red welts on her neck but her vision was blurred and she couldn’t recognize him. Blood-stained part of the curtain at her waist. Karen stared wide-eyed at the man in fear, nearly paralyzing her. She noticed he had leather gloves on but at this point did not question why.

“Are you okay?” Hank asked, seeing the fear in Karen’s eyes.

“I’ll be okay,” she rasped past her tender throat.

“I was afraid I was too late,” Hank said.

“Who are you?” she said with a trembling voice.

She reached up to feel her throat and realized the curtain was all that was covering her. Karen could feel that her thong was still intact.

“I’m Hank, Katharine’s husband. You don’t remember me?” Hank introduced.

Karen started to remember him from sporadic gatherings over the years.

“Hank? Hank Logan? How did you get here? Why are you here?”

“Doctor Martin,” Hank said flatly.

“Doctor Martin?” she tried to scream as the memory of Doctor Martin attacking her came back to her. However, the words came out as a croak from her sore, nearly crushed throat.

“He’s there,” Hank pointed to a pair of legs sticking out of the foyer to the front door. “Don’t worry. He’s not dead. Yet.”

“We have to call the police.” Karen tried to rise.

“Stay still. You went through a lot. Your neck is still bleeding,” Hank told her, gently pushing her back onto the couch. “Are you starting to remember?”

“Yes,” Karen flinched, her face going white as fear overcame her.

Karen pulled away from Hank, trying to get up and get away.

“It’s okay, Karen,” Hank reassured her. “I’m not going to hurt you. I hope this will make you feel safer,” he said as handed her the Rossi .38 caliber revolver from his ankle holster.

Hank flipped the cylinder out, showing her that all five chambers contained unspent live cartridges before handing it to her. She took the gun and cocked it, leveling it on him. He smiled.

“You still have some fire left in you. I’ll give that. Katharine was right about you. Keep it. It’s clean and untraceable, but it must be our secret that you have it. You can’t tell anyone and especially not Katharine, okay?”

“Why are you doing this?” she asked, her voice coming back to her.

“Let’s just say, I’m here to help and right now you need my help. That bastard has to be stopped and for good.” Hank nodded toward Doctor Martin.

“Are the police on their way?” She almost whispered as she saw the look in his eye as he looked toward the unmoving Doctor Martin.

“No!” Hank replied in a low, menacing tone as Doctor Martin groaned.

“What are you going to do with him?”

“I haven’t decided. There is a lot more going on here. Someone is protecting this scumbag for some reason. The assistant DA’s office doesn’t have the influence that is evident here. Call the police once I leave and tell them that this scumbag broke in and attacked you. Tell them everything he did but just don’t tell them about me. Just say several men in black hoods came in and pulled him off of you as you were blacking out. His fingerprints are all over the house, including the knife he used to cut your clothes off.” Hank stood up and headed for the groaning man.

When Hank lifted Doctor Martin and threw him over his shoulder. Karen saw that his hands and feet had been bound together by duct tape. Several strips of duct tape were covering his mouth and his eyes, but his nose was uncovered, allowing him to breathe. Hank strolled out, leaving the front door open after turning on all the lights so the police would be able to see Karen clearly inside the house.

Suddenly, Karen remembered her daughter, baby Julia who was upstairs. She jumped from the couch and bounded up the stairs, taking two at a time. She was relieved when she found baby Julia asleep in her crib, unharmed. She quickly ran and got clothing from her room and dressed. Karen then gently gathered baby Julia from her crib, carefully not to wake her but held her and sobbed into the blanket. Why did Doctor Martin seek her out again and attack her? Where and how did Hank fit into all this concerning Doctor Martin and the assistant DA, other than his wife, Katharine, was Karen’s partner? Karen was trying desperately to make sense of everything but could not put it into perspective. So many questions, so few answers. Was Hank the one with the answers or did he bring more questions?

Karen waited twenty minutes before calling the police. Buckingham Township Police arrived to take her statement. Forensics took fingerprint samples, the knife, and the duct tape that had been used to cover the window to mask any noise. The forensic photographer took pictures of everything before the evidence was placed in sealed bags and labeled. They made casts of his shoe prints in the backyard where Doctor Martin had walked through her garden. His car was found five miles down the road on the side trail. State police arrived as well to take her statement.

AdventureMysterySeries
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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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