Into the Shadows - Chapter 4

Chapter Four
Open Seas

Paivi Anderson
Current Events p.6
Dr. Hasenpfeffer

For my assignment I read an article in the St. Andrew Herald by Jerome Knowles. It was called “Moira Kelly takes the lead in the polls.” He states that Kelly, a member of the Liberal party, is ahead in the polls because Americans think she’s personable. That means she nice. He also says that her policies on the Righteous Front terrorist group are helping her. She hopes to solve the terrorist crisis by sitting down and talking to the members of the Righteous Front. The current administration has been fighting the RF with the military, but the RF keeps blowing up more restaurants and shopping malls. According to Knowles, Senator Stevens represents the same ideas as the current President who is also from the Conservative party and will not have much of a chance with the voters. I personally think it’s because he’s not very nice, but that’s just because he looks like a jerk when I see him on the news.

Paivi, interesting opinions, but try to keep them relevant to the facts. B-
Dr. H.

The full moon shone over the water creating a silver path on the waves that disappeared into the horizon, a road straight to the heavens. A yacht cut directly across the light and then in a moment, it was gone, returning to the shadows.

An older man sat in a leather chair next to the window looking out over the waves. In the distance he could see the city of Miami glittering like so many giant candles floating on the water. His gray hair had become a bit wavy due to the humidity. He had long ago given up on his tie and jacket: now his collar was unbuttoned, and the shirtsleeves on his hand-tailored dress shirt were rolled up to the elbows. The crisp white cotton had wilted in the steamy heat and large rings of sweat seeped from underneath his heavy arms. In his hand he nervously clinked the dwindling ice in his glass, pausing only to refill it from the decanter of bourbon sitting on the small table next to him.

Taking a swig of his drink, he jumped—startled—as the door at the end of the room popped open. A young man peered cautiously into the room.

“Senator Stevens, we are nearly there,” said the young man.

“Thank you Martin.” He spoke with a southern drawl. The Senator finished his drink and took one last look at the water.

The deckhands took no time in connecting the Senator’s yacht to a new, larger and more brilliantly lit one. The man and his party—consisting of Martin and a young woman by the name of Margaret— made their way across a metal bridge. Upon stepping onto the glossy wooden deck, they were met by two men. The one who greeted them was rather small. His companion, however, was quite an intimidating figure of substantial size, not to mention the two large handguns he wore in holsters strapped across his broad chest.

“Ahhh, Senator Stevens, how nice to see you again.” He smiled, revealing a toothy grin.

“Follow us, please.” He led the man and his companions along the glistening deck to the back of the yacht, where they climbed a staircase towards the ship’s rooftop. Each stair was lit with tiny, twinkling lights.

As the first sight of the uppermost level came into view, torches danced along the railings, throwing brilliant light and dark shadows across the deck. A few young ladies in sparkling evening gowns lounged along the banks of seats under the torches. They leaned back, sipping champagne and chatting quietly.

At the far end of the deck a man rose from a lounge chair. He was fairly tall and wore a pair of white linen pants and a loose-fitting white linen shirt. He was barefoot.

“Your friends can wait here—the girls will bring you a drink.” Their escort stopped them at the top of the stairs and waved Senator Stevens on alone. He walked across the deck, trying not to notice the men with machine guns standing on either side of his host.

“Senator Stevens,” greeted the man, sounding relaxed. He shook his guest’s hand briefly. “Please, sit. Here, have some champagne, you look like you could use it.”

Senator Stevens accepted the delicate crystal champagne flute, but just held it, as if not quite sure what he should to do with it.

“Mr. Lin, it’s truly my pleasure,” began the Senator, sounding as if it wasn’t a pleasure at all. “I take it you have the information you promised?”

“Ahh, right to the point, aren’t you? I thought we could at least share a drink first. But here is what you came for.” He gracefully placed a small, USB flash drive into Senator Stevens’ plump and sweaty hand.

“This is it? This will help me win?” He stared at the little drive in disbelief.

“Please let us recall, you requested some information, something that no one else has, that could help you win your precious election. The information you seek is on that drive.”

“So what is it? Dirty photos? Information exposing bribes? What?”

“No. What you have in your hands is a list of names. These names will be worth more than all the money in your campaign fund.”

“Names? So what? Names alone won’t do me any good,” Senator Stevens was getting angry, and losing his already strained ability to be polite.

Lin smiled calmly and leaned forward.

“Your country lives in fear because of your constant battles with the terrorists. What do they call themselves? The Righteous Front? Ha! But all along you have had the answer to stopping them—you just didn’t know about it. You see, these are names of people who live in your country. You will be surprised to find that they know more about these Righteous Front fellows than you could ever imagine. Your staff should be able to come up with a plan that will benefit you greatly.” He leaned back on his lounge chair and sipped his champagne, smiling at the elegance of his own actions.

“You must be crazy. Do you think I am going to pay you millions for a list of names? This meeting is over!” Senator Stevens rose clumsily from his chair, holding the flash drive out to him.

“Senator, I guarantee you that I am perfectly sane. And yes, you will pay.” Lin snapped his fingers and one of his large guards jumped forward, coming to his boss’ side. He mumbled some instructions in Chinese and the guard was released, striding over to the small group and snatching a surprised Martin by the shoulder. He half-dragged Martin across the deck, presenting him to his master.

“The receipt, young man?” Lin held out his hand expectantly.

Martin hurriedly produced an envelope from his pocket, handing it over to Lin’s perfectly manicured hands.

“It’s been a pleasure doing business with you, Senator Stevens,” he said, raising himself slowly out of his chair. “Chen will show you out.”

The man stepped forward, gesturing for the group to follow him. Chen lead them back to the side of the large yacht, where they clambered, one by one, back onto the less impressive vessel.

Senator Stevens’ yacht departed and moved quietly through the now-dark water, making its way back to the glittering lights of Miami.

The Senator resumed his position in the leather chair next to the window and was absentmindedly clinking the ice in his glass once again. Noticing the glass was empty; he reached for the decanter, but realized that it too, was empty.

“Martin.” He was waving the decanter in the air. “Go get this filled up for me. And Maggie, sugar, why don’t you load up this drive and see what we’ve got.”

“Yes sir!” they both answered simultaneously, rushing to appease him.

Martin hurriedly left the room while Margaret pulled a chair and table next to the Senator. She set a sleek laptop on the table and opened it, settling herself into the chair. She plugged the small drive into the laptop and began to open the files.

“Well, sir, it looks like the lists are broken down by state. Oh, and here, also Washington, D.C.,” she said, pointing out the list of folders on the screen. “What exactly are we looking for then?”

“I am very much hoping you will be able to help me figure that out, Miss Maggie,” he drawled, patting her hand. Maggie smiled uncomfortably. “Well, go ahead and open that Washington, D.C. file. We know a lot of people there. Maybe it’ll give us a clue.”

Margaret clicked on the folder and up popped a document.

The first name on the list read:
Ackemann, Martin
102 W. 9th Street
Washington, D.C., 20013
Married: No Age: 29
Employer: Assistant to U.S. Senator Wendell Stevens
Ability: Mind Reader

“What does this mean, sir?” Margaret’s brows furrowed in confusion.

Senator Stevens said nothing, his jaw dropped slightly in a stunned silence. At that moment, the door opened and Martin came into the room, carrying the newly filled decanter and a tray topped with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

“Felipe just finished these. He thought we could use some chocolate.” He set the decanter and the tray of cookies gently down on the table, failing to notice the other two staring at him intently, eyes wide. He looked up and jumped back a little.

“What’s going on?” he asked cautiously, his hand nervously toying with his loosened necktie. “Why are you staring at me like that?”

“Because, Martin, you’re the first name on this list that I just received from my associate. He said the people on this list might know something about the Righteous Front that could help us. Judging by the ability listed here on this sheet — Mind Reader — it appears you know way more about a lot of things than we could have ever expected. But first we need to know whose side you’re on. Well, Martin?” They continued to stare at him, now sitting slightly forward in their chairs peering through the thick tension in the air.

Martin instantly paled, looking as if he might be sick.

“Sir, I…uh…I can explain,” he stuttered.

“I certainly hope so.” The Senator smiled smugly, relaxing back into his chair, but not before grabbing a cookie from the tray and taking a big bite.


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