OM2: Not Quite Ordinary
by Paul Diaz
by Paul Diaz
Chapter 12: Hero and Villain
“Around past ten last night, we received a tip saying that the gang members were seen within these areas. When we arrived here, Special Agent Jennifer Appleby was already scouting the area after receiving that same information. Once confirmed of the presence of gang members, six more law enforcers arrive and they courageously stormed the warehouse”
“A gun battle ensued for more than ten minutes. And when the smoke cleared there was only one woman left standing, Agent Appleby came out shaken but unscathed. Twenty gang members were killed, but on our side two agents and four policemen were seriously injured”
“Law enforcers consider this as a big break through after a month of crime sprees conducted by these gang members. For those who do not know, Jennifer Appleby is said to be romantically linked to Frank Miller. Is she donning the cape that Frank left behind? This is Sarah Kelly reporting live…”
Everyone inside the FBI office was watching but their attention shifted once the elevator doors opened. There stood Jennifer, and everyone started clapping as she walked towards the office area.
John wheeled towards her holding a newspaper, and on the front page was her picture with a big bold tag “HERO”. Jennifer just shook her head and smiled then looked at everyone. “It just happened that you were all busy, if you were available then you would have done the same” she said but the more her fellow agents clapped.
The other elevator door opened and Erick stormed the office with an angry face. “What the hell do you think you were doing?!!” he shouted. Jennifer turned to face him but the military officer immediately hugged her. “You are just like him, very stubborn” he whispered. “I am okay Erick” Jennifer said but the Major hugged her tighter.
“Hey Erick what are you doing here?” John asked. “Well I am on vacation, I saw the news and I came over quickly. So I am cutting my vacation short and I asked to be re-assigned to your task force” Erick replied. “As you can see Erick I think we don’t need you, Jennifer is enough” Yehleen joked and everyone laughed.
“Agent Appleby! What are you doing here?” Jeremy suddenly asked and everyone inside the office fell silent. “Reporting for work sir” Jennifer replied. “Work? Take a day off Jennifer. You deserve it. By the way, it was reckless but good job” her supervisor said. “Day off!! Come on lets get out of here, I am treating you all to brunch” Erick told them.
John and Yehleen looked at Jeremy, the supervisor looked at Erick momentarily and nodded his head. “Okay you three take a day off, the others can handle it from here” Jeremy said and after a long time Operation Salvation members were once again reunited.
At a nearby restaurant the four ate, people inside the restaurant dropped by their table to pay tribute to the city’s new hero. “So how does it feel to be a hero Jen?” Yehleen asked and Jennifer pouted. “I am not a hero, I just did my job” the agent replied. “Hey, stop that talk, lets enjoy the food. I really missed you all” Erick said. “Hey isn’t that Kevin?” Yehleen whispered as they all turned to look at the agent who was seated several tables away. “Who is he with?” John asked. “I recognize that man, I just don’t remember his name. I think he is a retired agent or something” Erick told them.
Kevin barely touched his food as he watched the man beside him eat. “You underestimated Jennifer. So what are you going to do now?” Kevin asked. William chewed his food and looked at the agent, “She is good, we need people like her” he said. “She cant be bought, and you promised me to take care of her” the agent insisted.
William looked over at Jennifer’s table and tapped his fork. “So tell me why should I waste my time getting rid of her when I can easily get rid of you?” he asked and Kevin was surprised. “I know all the remaining six members, I am not dumb. I know you can easily do that but once something bad happens to me I left someone something that will tell everything” Kevin softly said and William angrily looked at him.
“You know I was just kidding right?” the older man said. “Well I am not” the agent replied. “Fair enough, oh look he is here” William said as Darrel walked towards them. “Who is he?” Kevin asked. “A gang member” William replied but the agent could not believe it. Darrel was wearing an expensive suit, he looked and moved elegantly.
“What is he doing here?” Kevin asked. “Darrel here is our ticket out, so be nice to him” William said. “Hey boss, you better make sure all your promises” Darrel told William. “Why isn’t the house at Hawaii not to you family’s liking?” the older man asked. “Well they just arrived there and I have not heard from them, how long will it take for me to be transferred there as you say?” Darrel asked. “What are you talking about?” Kevin interrupted.
“Hush Kevin, everything comes with a price. I assure you Darrel you will be with your family in no time if things work out smoothly if you know what I mean” William said. “You don’t have to worry boss I am a good actor, just make good all your promises” the gang member told him.
Kevin looked at William, “What is this all about?” he asked. “Relax Kevin, it just means I am coming out of retirement and you my friend shall be the real hero at the end of the day” William assured him.
Back at the FBI office the four returned, “I told you to take a day off” Jeremy said as he saw Jennifer. “Well you can give me a longer vacation once I close this case sir” she replied. “Hey Jeremy do you mind if I tag along in this investigation?” Erick asked. “Not at all my friend, we are stacked with cases so we need all the help we can get and you are no stranger to us” the supervisor said.
Three hours later, the conference room was filled with laughter as Erick and John relived their old antics. There was a knock at the conference room door, two men entered and approached Jennifer. “Agent Appleby, please set your firearm on the table and come with us peacefully” a tall man in a dark suit said. The four were surprised and looked at each other. “What is this?” Jennifer asked.
“Please don’t make us force you to come with us” the other man asked. Jennifer stood up and stared at the two as another man entered the room. “Please do as they say, we don’t want to cause a commotion here” he told her.
Jennifer stood back and Erick stood in front of her. “Gentlemen relax, what is this all about?” he asked. “Major this does not concern you so step aside” the tall man said. “I aint moving an inch until you tell me what is going on!” Erick snapped.
“You leave us no choice” the tall man said as he drew out his gun and pointed it at Jennifer. His partner did the same, Erick and Jennifer were quicker to have their guns out. “Jennifer Appleby you are under arrest!” the tall man shouted.
Jeremy heard the commotion, he quickly ran to the conference room and saw what was happening. The two men had Jennifer in cuffs and were leading her out of the room. “What the hell is happening?” he asked. “I am sorry Jeremy, we tried to be peaceful but she drew her gun” Mark Edwards, the director of Homeland Security told him. “Mark you don’t have to do this. You should have coordinated with me” Jeremy argued.
Other agents gathered near the conference room, Mark and his men could not get through. “Jeremy tell your men to stand down” Mark said. “I am sorry, they are off the clock so its basically their private time. I have no authority over them right now” Jeremy said as he took out his gun and held it by his side. “You don’t want to do this I am telling you” Mark threatened but the other FBI agents all took out their guns and pointed them at the three.
“You cant just come here and take one of us for no reason so start explaining” Jeremy said as he too pointed his gun at Mark. “Fair enough” Mark said as he raised both of his hands and signaled his two men to do the same. “Why don’t you turn on the television to see for yourself” Mark told everyone.
At the same moment in front of the City Hall a press conference was going on. “Good day, my name is William Gregory, some of you may still remember me, for those who don’t then I am a retired Federal Agent. I have been enjoying my retirement but the recent happenings I could not bear”
“As a concerned citizen of this country I unretired myself and with the help of this agent here we conducted our own investigation” William said as he pointed to Kevin. “Everyone knows what happened last night by the warehouse, but do you really know the real story? All over the news a picture of an agent said to be a hero, but ladies and gentlemen I have a gang member here to tell the whole story” William said as Kevin escorted Darrel to the podium.
“My name is Darrel, I am part of that gang that was brutally murdered last night” the gang member said and the media people started reacting. “Please hear him out” William said. “I didn’t want to surrender but I feared for my life. She is coming after all of us” Darrel said.
“Who are you referring to?” one reporter asked. “She didn’t tell us her name, but she is the one on the newspaper. She was in charge of us and she gave us orders to do those crimes. Now you know why she came out unhurt because last night we were surprised to see here there. We were confused why she brought in cops and started shooting at us. She was our boss and you don’t expect us to shoot the one who feeds us. So I escaped” Darrel said and everyone was surprised to hear his revelation.
“Are you saying that Jennifer Appleby was the mastermind?” a lady reported asked. “I am not sure but I always hear her talking to a Rahim” Darrel said and William interrupted and took over. “That will be all for now as there will be an investigation. At this moment Agent Appleby is being arrested as we speak” William said.
Back at the FBI office everyone was speechless, they could not believe what they just heard. “That is not true!” Jennifer shouted but the two men held her arms and started to drag her away. “So Jeremy are you satisfied?” Mark gloated as the supervisor shook his head.
Other agents looked at Jennifer and all had doubts written all over their faces. “Hey don’t look at me like that. Its not true, Jeremy you know its not true right? Erick? John? Yehleen?” Jennifer asked. “I am sorry Jennifer, I do believe you but still you have to go with them. There will be an investigation so let the truth prevail” Jeremy said.
“He is right Jen, its protocol. Don’t worry we will get you all the help to clear you name” Erick said. “If you hurt her or torture her I am telling you I am going to bring hell on your asses” the Major threatened Mark. “Stand down Major if you don’t want to get arrested as well” Mark said as he grinned at them.
Jennifer was lead out of the office peacefully, Erick looked at Yehleen and instructed her to follow them. “I am going with” John said. “No, I need you to dig up all the dirt on that William Gregory and that agent he was with at the restaurant. Something isn’t just right here” Erick said and Jeremy nodded. “And what will you do?” John asked.
“He isn’t going to react well once he hears about this” Erick whispered and Jeremy and John looked at him. “Who are you talking about?” John asked. “Oh nothing I was just mumbling, get to work” Erick said. “Major step in my office” Jeremy said.
Inside the office Jeremy sat down and looked at the military officer. “You know what I hate being out of the loop so is there something you want to tell me?” Jeremy asked. “What are you talking about?” Erick asked. “You see I don’t understand why a senator is so concerned about three of my agents, especially Jennifer. I have been trying to have a clearer picture and the only connection I see is that they are part of Operation Salvation. So being the fourth live member can you tell me what is happening?” Jeremy said.
“You know what you are wrong, there are five of us” Erick told him. “Frank is dead, or is there another secret member?” Jeremy asked. “Nope there is only the five of us” the major clarified as he walked towards the door. “What are you trying to say?” the agent asked but Erick walked out of the door. “Major I am talking to you, where the hell are you going?”
Erick turned around and looked at him, “I really don’t know myself why or how, but I am sure if he learns about this its going to get ugly” the major told him.