Twenty-Five Days Of Christmas: A Christmas Tale, Chapter Five

Durgen Mackey. A name I had not heard for years. He was the head of the CIA in its last years before privatization hit the Intelligence community. The NSA, CIA, and their global counterparts became a thing of the past about the time the last foreign army was dismantled and replaced by corporate armies. Mercenaries.

Durgen had led the privatization of his agency. After all, he had been put there to ensure it was done right. He even led it for the first few years. And then, it ceased to even be. He had found himself phased out as another corporation staged a buy-out.

But it hadn’t been the end of him. He found success by opening a counter-intelligence firm that specialized in corporate terrorism and sabotage. He even went so far as to open a branch of corporate assassins.

I was still knelt down beside the dying assassin. “Why?”

He gasped. “They paid him to take you out. Figured it would end the revolution.” He gasped a second time and then died.

I hit the com. “Craig.”

His voice was reassuring as he came on. “Yes, Sir.”

I breathed in. “Contact the others. Tell them to be careful. Durgen Mackey has been brought in. They might be targets.”

“Yes, Sir.” He let the com go dead.

Margot peeked out of the bathroom. “Is it safe?”

I nodded. “For now. But only this room. Stay here. I will check elsewhere.”

She smiled nervously. “Ok, Soldier.”

I headed out and went down toward the commons. I had not yet turned my shield generator off, but was visible. I shirted from doorway to doorway, investigating every inch of the hall.

I was now very irritated. Why now? Why Durgen? What did he have to gain? Or lose?

He wasn’t even on our list of targets. Neither were his branch offices. Hell. He had been ripped off like the rest of us. Yet he had risen out of obscurity.

I stepped foot onto the catwalk above the commons. At that point, I halfway expected another attempt on my life. But there wasn’t one.

I made my way to the com center. And entered. “Reports?”

Craig smiled. “All are well, Sir. No other attempts have been made.” A light blinked, signifying an incoming communication. “Hello, who is this?..” He pushed the button.

Durgen appeared on my screen. “I see you got my message, Dan.”

I rubbed my jaw. “What do you want, Durg?”

He smiled. “I want in on your revolution. I was deeply hurt that you didn’t call on me too. After all, we have both suffered the humiliation of loss.”

I shrugged. “Quite frankly, Durg, I forgot you existed. After all, we haven’t run in the same circles since Abu Dhabi. Did you have to try to kill me?”

He chuckled. “If I had wanted you dead, they would not have been green. Or human. I would have sent kill-bots.” The term sent a shiver down my spine. “You would have never seen it coming.”

I looked at him warily. “What are you wanting out of this?”

He seemed surprised by my question. “I see you haven’t lost your suspicion of me.” He was grinning now. “Let’s just say I want my old agency back…and un-privatized.”

I smiled, relieved. “Then you want the government un-corporatized.”

He nodded. “Exactly. That was the worst damn idea we ever allowed to take root. That and the ethnic cleansing thing they tried. I am just glad it didn’t succeed.”

I looked down. “Are you willing to help rebuild this world after we are through?”

There was a twinkle in his eye. “Oh hell yeah!”

I looked back up at his image. “The you contact your branches and tell them to begin a war of their own in the only way you are known to wage war. Sabotage. Assassinations. Whatever you want to do. Have them get in touch with my field commanders and coordinate with them. Better yet, help us take out the armies still in the smaller towns. The outposts.”

He smiled. “It’s a deal.”

Craig was smiling. “Does this mean we do not go to the outposts?”

I looked over at him. “Not to wage war. Just to take over leadership.”

He looked over at me. “My orders, Sir?”

I turned to him. “Call all my field commanders and our fellow revolutionaries here. let them know about Durgen being our ally.”

He made a small salute. “Yes, Sir.”

I exited the com center and took to the catwalk above the commons. I looked out over the gathered army. Someone down there was a traitor. I cleared my throat. “Attention. We have a problem.”

All snapped to attention. I took in the view. I searched for the one who was out of place. One of them was hiding something. But which?

I began again. “One in our midst is a traitor to the cause. I have it on good authority that he or she is, and has leaked who commands this Revolution. I can not longer accompany any teams into the field because someone has went to the other side. Either step forward and face your reward like a true soldier and a man, or remain a coward and hide. We will ferret you out and you will be dealt with anyway. Just remember. You cannot hide forever.”

Then I saw it. Three were not paying attention, and one had a weapon. No, all three had weapons! All had been instructed to come unarmed. I motioned to two of my lieutenants, who drew their weapons and waited.

Almost as if a silent command had gone out, the whole army flattened out…except those three. The leader raised his gun at me. “I will be a god!” He aimed and fired. the shot was absorbed harmlessly by my shield.

Three shots were fired immediately, without warning. Three traitors lay dead. I let my shield drop. The rest of the army rose from their positions. One stepped forward. “Permission to speak, Sir.”

I nodded. “Permission granted.”

He saluted. “Sir, These three tried to recruit more of us. We had already had enough of their bully tactics, so we devised the silent drop. They knew nothing of it. Apparently, they thought we were aiding them, but we weren’t. We merely wanted you to know who the traitors were. Otherwise, they would have never stepped out. Like cowards, Sir, they would have sought an opportunity to shoot you in the back. We couldn’t allow that.”

I nodded. “I am grateful. Thank you.”

He smiled. “Our pleasure. We’re only sorry that you will not be able to be in the field with us. We have all enjoyed your company and your protection.”

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