Authors: Lessil Richards,Jacqueline Richards
Tags: #General Fiction
Buying Back the United States of America.
Fiction: Suspense/Thriller & Action/Adventure.
Lessil Richards & Jacqueline Richards
This book is dedicated to my son, (Jacqueline’s grandson), Dante Richards.
Dante, I admire you. You are my proudest accomplishment. You truly are my hero!
The authors’ express gratitude and appreciation for the assistance, information, ideas, encouragement, motivation, and patience of Dante and Amanda Richards, Bill and Carol Sharp, Merri Halma, Elsie Sharp, Marcia Redfox, Gerardo Lopez-Meza, Helen Thorpe, Scott and Susie Curtis, Jennifer Halma, Florin and Vickey Caileanu, Helen Malmberg, Chris Quantrell, Luke and Ylonda Hays, Matthew Witulski, Clinton Jackson, Joan Garcia Martinez, Cory Vachon, Logan Voller, and Dennis J. Smith.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the authors’ imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. The B.B.U.S.A. Organization is fictitious. As far as the authors’ know, no such organization exists. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, business establishments, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Sale of this book without a front or back cover may be unauthorized. If this book is coverless, it may have been reported to the publisher as “unsold or destroyed” and neither the authors nor the publisher may have received payment for it.
Copyright © 2011 by Lessil E. Richards & Jacqueline E. Richards
BISAC: Fiction / Action & Adventure
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the authors, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
Printed in the United States of America.
The mist in his face and the cool ocean breeze seemed so familiar to him. The soft, lapping sound of the waves splashing gently upon the dark and sandy shoreline soothed him. He slowed his pace to take in a deep breath of chilly air and nervously looked over his shoulder. What could he do? Who could he trust? At least now he had the security of familiar territory.
In the distance he saw the twinkle of dancing lights penetrating the black depths of the ocean. Once he reached the pier that stretched out above the water, he’d feel somewhat safe. He remembered all the nights he spent fishing from that old jetty as a kid; watching the mist roll in, pass before the moon, and eventually clear out again. He never knew what would be at the end of the line. The ocean was so vast, so mysterious, sort of like a giant gift box. Sometimes he caught salmon or halibut, other times lobster or trash fish. Once he’d even caught a shark!
The faint flicker of a distant cigarette lighter brought Leo back from his reverie. The chase was still on. Partially refreshed, he started jogging towards the twinkling lights that highlighted the old pier. He was confident that he could easily outrun his pursuers, but how long would he have to remain on the run?
As he approached the large, smooth, rounded black boulders piled on either side of the jetty, the sounds of some chuckling fishermen carried over the black oily water. Someone had pulled up a small squid. A faint grin appeared on Leo’s face. As he cautiously stepped up onto the slick planks of the old pier, the smell of fish and salt filled his nostrils. The stench, combined with blood, scales, and internal organs strewn upon the edges of the plank walkway, was, initially overwhelming. The scent seemed more powerful every fifteen paces, as a yellowish jetty light illumined the ample supply of fish remains.
He looked at his watch and was not entirely surprised to find it nearly four in the morning. He should have been exhausted from all the running, but his pulse still reflected the adrenaline rushing through his veins. He realized that he would need to cause some sort of diversion in order to escape his followers should they continue to pursue him on the pier, for there were only two possible exits. Surely they wouldn’t think he would be so careless. He was gambling his life that they would turn towards town, and would not venture out on the jetty.
Alert, he sat down on a bench at the far end of the pier, adjusting his eyes to the semi-darkness around him. He squinted to look down the length of the three-hundred-yard jetty to ascertain if his followers were still chasing him. He knew that they would probably not stop until he was dead. He glanced out at the ocean and observed that the tide was receding, which meant that there was only one viable exit off the jetty. Even the strongest swimmer would not stand a chance against the receding tide on this part of the coast. Perhaps he should not have gambled that his pursuers would turn east towards town once they reached the pier. He still felt somewhat safer on the pier in familiar territory, and relatively confident that Bob and his men would not come looking for him here.
Nearby, a fisherman was slowly and cautiously pulling up a hand held line. The line seemed heavy, yet it was not fighting nor struggling. Most on-lookers would guess that the man was merely pulling up a mass of seaweed, but Leo knew that he was illegally fishing for lobster. Leo looked out to sea, only watching the man with his peripheral vision. Satisfied that he remained undetected, the gloved man carefully removed five adult lobsters from his make-shift bait filled pantyhose fishing line.
When Leo was a boy, there had been a shallow reef at the end of the pier that always seemed to have an endless supply of lobster for those brave enough to take the risk of illegally fishing it. He was happy to know that lobster still flourished on the shallow reef. The penalties for illegally catching lobsters were extremely strict. Hopefully, that would prevent most people from ever taking such a risk. A burglar would get off easier than someone caught illegally catching lobster off the old pier. What fortunes of fate would bring this older fisherman to the pier so late at night to risk so much?
The night’s darkness was receding. Soon it would be light enough to pick out a victim with a spotting scope and equally easy to end his life with the squeeze of a hair trigger. The early morning breeze tugged lightly at his jacket sleeves, allowing some chilly moist air to rush up his arms. Now damp and cool, his muscles began to cramp up from all the running. It was time for a warm shower, shave, a good meal, and a safe place to sleep. How much longer should he wait? How much longer dare he wait? He slowly rose off the bench and stretched his tired legs. Judging from the horizon, it would be light enough to use a scope within thirty minutes. He didn’t think they had one with them, but they might have sent someone back for extra gear. Reluctantly he started heading back towards the coastline, anxiously eyeing every fisherman he passed.
Bob realized his companions were slowing their pace and breathing harder. To keep from outpacing them he slowed down to a trot. John was gasping for air, and his lungs were making loud wheezing sounds. Even in the moonlight he could clearly see John’s split lip and swollen jaw. John licked the corners of his mouth with a dry tongue, then hunched over like he was preparing to vomit, but instead only put one hand on his side and panted like a long-haired dog on a hot summer’s afternoon. Bob stopped, turned, and faced the small contingent of tired men. “Let’s take a breather.”
Only Ervin responded, “Good, I could use a smoke.” Bob looked at his men. It was a mystery to him, how Ervin managed to perform such physical endurance tasks, while smoking so much. He must be an athlete to his core, Bob thought, since so many cigarettes seemingly had no visible physical effect on him.
Then there was Florin, always calm, quiet and thoughtful, actually too quiet for Bob’s liking. He often wondered if he had his full undivided loyalty. Perhaps it was just because Florin was a first generation American, and still strongly valued his Romanian heritage and culture. He contemplated how Florin really felt about the B.B.U.S.A. Organization, but his martial arts talents were unquestionable. Even Bob, who stood six-foot-three and weighed two hundred thirty pounds, and possessed his own black belt in Kempo, was no match for the five-foot-ten inch one hundred sixty-five pound man.
Florin was lean, hairy, handsome, and so graceful he appeared feminine in his ease of motion. All movements were fluid, almost cat like and seemingly without effort. His Kung Fu abilities that he had learned as a young man in Romania gave him a distinct advantage over every opponent he ever faced. Bob remembered when he first started recruiting agents in California. All possible team recruits had to participate in vigorous physical and endurance tests and finally, hand-to-hand combat sparring tests with Bob himself. He could remember a few people getting a lucky punch or two in on him, and even being knocked down once when heavily outnumbered back in his CIA days, but he had never been so humiliated as he was the day he tested Florin. Worst of all, it was done in the presence of four other prospective future employees, some of which would have made good team members.
Unfortunately, Bob knew that after his sound defeat at the hands of the humble, dark complexioned man half his size, the rest of the recruits that day would never again have the necessary respect he demanded from his team members in order to be an effective group leader. He respected Florin for his martial arts abilities and many times considered a re-match, but realized that Florin was not only half his size and twice as fast; he was also half his age. He used his experience to be the wiser and avoided any further physical combat with Florin. Still, he despised himself for avoiding the challenge, as he had never backed down from anyone or any challenge. He was a bulldog and never let go of anything he set his sights on. Well, he may not have been an “Einstein,” but he did possess common sense. He knew he could never physically beat the young Romanian and reluctantly gave up any false pretense of attempting to do so.
Florin’s talents were so remarkable; he simply had to have him on his team. One day Florin would be worth his weight in gold. Few opponents could provide a challenge in physical combat skills to the thoughtful young man. Bob admired his gentle ways, as Florin was extremely confident, but never cocky; he was always humble and somewhat cautious.
Bob leaned against a pile of wet black boulders that had purposely been positioned along the coast to prevent the waves from reaching the city during high tide. He could taste the salt on his lips from the streaks of perspiration that ran down his face. He wiped his forehead with the sleeve of his slightly soiled suit jacket, and then rearranged the belt that held up his now muddied tailored dress slacks.
Each man had his own expertise, though all were above average fighters. Fighting was not originally the most important skill to possess in order to be placed on Bob’s personal team. He needed educated men with intelligence and expertise in computers, finances, accounting, government security, problem solving, and self-defense. All men having contacts with high government offices and wealthy businessmen automatically received bonus points. Florin did not possess important contacts like some of the other men, but made up for it with his undeniably superb combat skills, problem solving abilities, and superior intelligence. Placing Florin on his personal team might save his life someday.