Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Chapter 3

The Candidate Backstage

Presidential candidate Baligh Husan al Din sat backstage for a few minutes as he waited for his introduction to the podium during the Miami, Florida support rally. This would be an important speech, but he wasn't worried about his words, getting a warm reception or what the media might say. After all this time on the campaign trail, this event was like preaching to the choir in anticipation of their taking his message to their friends and picking up a few more undecided votes during this final push before election day.

Baligh al Din was, of course, was a naturalized American by birth to a French descendant white woman, who had been selected by his father for her beauty, intelligence, liberal political ideas and more importantly, the fact that she was an American citizen. His father was of royal blood in his homeland in some African country whose borders are always changing and ethnic fighting is a way of life. When his mother became pregnant with him, his father waited until after the child was born to be sure the woman would produce a male heir before he married her. She was fortunate that she produced a son on the first pregnancy. In his homeland, a woman gets two chances to produce a male heir to the royal men or she's executed as unsuitable and a replacement found. There was no such thing as divorce.  These are things the American public must never know.

These Americans, al Din thought to himself, were like sheep and they always want to appear to be on the winning side of any debate, political race or war. That's why poll numbers are so important to a political campaign and why the broadcast media is encouraged to repeat the figures relentlessly, especially since he was ahead by a slight margin. Winning is everything and no one wants to even consider being on the losing side. A person must never "waste his/her vote" by voting for someone who wasn't already going to win, according to the polls, that is.

Like sheep, these Americans - sheep mated with pigs. They only work to consume everything in sight. They are fat and lazy. Their cars, houses and lifestyles must be bigger than that of their neighbor. They must have material things or their lives cease to have purpose, it seems. Even his classmates at Harvard Law School, were no different. They only went to school to go to parties, meet other people of wealthy families and plan for the day when they would receive their inheritance and do their own thing, meaning the world was their playground. Once they passed their bar exam, their careers and lifestyles were assured.

Americans pretend to be so religious and indignant when their ethics are called into question, but their churches are more like tax-exempt businesses than sanctuaries for the soul. They go through the motions and rituals, but there is no real soul to these people or this society, he thought. I remember that I was forced to attend a fundamentalist Christian church for twenty-four years in order to prove that I was one of them, but my father taught me the right way, the true way through his many letters and writings all the while I was growing up in America.  Without a sense of purpose or real religious conviction, these people would be easy to sway with the power of his speeches. Sheep.

Baligh walked over to the mirror, leaned-in and looked carefully at his nose under the makeup lights. No scars remained from the first botched Rhinoplasty his mother arranged for him on his sixteenth birthday. A second surgery was required to correct the mistakes of the first doctor to attempt to make Baligh appear more Caucasian.  After the first botched surgery, his father took matters into hand and arranged a second surgery.  He had also arranged a tragic automobile accident for the first plastic surgeon.

His father had also been educated in the United States and knew that Americans worshipped the so-called, 'face people', the beautiful people of Hollywood even more so than their teachers or priests. He had studied American history, their Constitution and understood the people very well.  For these people to hear the message, he had to have the correct appearance and have a well-known and respected background. His father had orchestrated every single residence, school playmate, teacher and body guard his whole life with only one goal in mind - to have his son, one day become President of the United States and the most powerful leader in the world.

Baligh hearing the beginning of his introduction cleared his throat, took a drink of water and put on his suit coat then headed for the stage. As part of his stage presence, he would cross the stage, shake hands with as many people as he could while waving to the crowd with his free hand as today's choice for high school marching band played his theme song. After reaching the podium and waiting for the cheers and applause to die down a little, he would take off his suit coat, roll up his sleeves and begin his remarks. Every speech drew him closer to his goal of becoming president. If he failed to win the election, "The Consortium" would no longer have use for him. He would win. He was not a gambler and had aces up his sleeves.

Jace enroute

Flying at 39,000 feet in a route over the North Pole, Jace Marshall woke up from a nap. He didn't want to, but the FAX machine was making a terrible racket. He got up and cleared the paper jam, hit the reset button and a new FAX transmission began. It looks like more news about the New Delhi explosion from our agents on the ground there. He thought to himself, "Why is it that this thing works up here and I can't make a simple cell phone call?"

Near Landing

It was wheels down at Indira Ghandi International Airport in less than an hour as Jace Marshall reviewed the secure faxed information he'd just received. Actually, there were two. The one that caused the paper jam was from the agency in Delhi who reported a lone young woman survivor of the office building explosion. Interviewing her would be his first order of business.

The second secure transmission fax was from the Director. He had been personally investigating rumors of a well-financed group known only as "The Consortium" with suspected ties to known terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan with possible links to al qaeda. It was also believed that there were also large sums of money and arms trails to Iran and Syria who were financing the insurgents against the newly formed democratic government of Iraq. He was to contact our Russian asset in Delhi and receive a titanium encased computer flash drive with the digital evidence files. It was of critical importance that the Russian asset not be compromised in any way. He had been our man on the ground since the Russians were in Afghanistan.

Jace reached into his pocket and pulled out his Zippo with the Marine Corps emblem, the eagle, globe and anchor symbol emblazoned on the front. He remembered what the symbols meant. The eagle was, of course, the symbol of the United States. The globe represented a readiness for service throughout the world. The fouled anchor represented the traditional ties to the Navy. He rubbed the symbol with his thumb and wondered where the rabbit hole this assignment was beginning to dig would eventually take him.  He flipped the lid, struck the spark wheel against the flint and it lit. Then he moved the two single sheet faxes under the flames and held on to them both - testing his endurance for pain before letting them fall into the large, glass ashtray on the table before him.

Just then, the co-pilot came back into the LearJet cabin. "Sir, We're beginning our approach into New Delhi now. The temperature is 86 degrees, humidity is 100% and the sun is shining. The local time is 2:00 P.M. There will be a car waiting for you on the tarmac to take you where you want to go. The Captain and I hope you had a pleasant flight."

"Wow", Jace thought. "The director is giving me the royal treatment this time. Usually I have to hoof-it to the taxi stand."

>>>> Next: Chapter 4 >>

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