Anita, Chapter 4

Anita
Chapter 4

By Portia Bennett

 
Introduction: In a sense there is a connection to this story and several other non-magic stories I’ve written. Two characters from Mike and Ashley show up briefly. They would be Mike and Ashley. This story, Like “Mike and Ashley”, “Discovery”, and “Cynthia and the Queen of Knight” takes its storyline from the work of someone else. In this case, a production by an Italian fellow named Joseph Green. The story is 16 chapters in length plus an epilogue. I’ve done as much tweaking as I can. Any errors are mine and I will gladly accept constructive criticism; as long as you’re nice.

After a shorter day behind the wheel, Anita pulls up to her father’s house to find he has a guest: her future stepmother. She is not much older than Anita. They hit it off very well. Anita rather easily moves into her new job at the “Agency”. Soon, she is handed her first major assignment.
 


This work is copyrighted by the author and any publication or distribution without the written consent of the author is strictly prohibited. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of the characters to persons living or dead is coincidental.


 
 
Chapter 4
 

One look at the breakfast being offered by the motel was all Anita needed to convince her to look elsewhere. She found an IHOP that was on her way out of town to the north where she had a generic but acceptable breakfast and pleasant waitress who kept her coffee cup filled.

She basically had two routes to choose from. One went south and eventually took her to I-64 before connecting with I-81 to I-66. She chose instead to take the shorter but slightly longer timewise route on I-79 and the two lane State Highway 93; eventually going through Elkins. The area was mountainous and very scenic. She just wanted to have a little more time to herself before she had to fight the traffic heading into the DC area. Depending on how much she dawdled, the trip would probably take a bit more than six hours; quite a bit shorter than the drive the day before.

She’d been to her father’s home a number of times over the years, and just to save time, she’d drive to Nashville and get a direct flight to Dulles. Her father’s home was less than 15 minutes away from Dulles in a nice planned community just off West Ox Rd. After her mother’s death, and her father’s promotion, he’d moved there from New Jersey. The home was very nice, but Anita felt her father was a bit lost in the spacious abode. When he was home, he did travel quite a bit, he seemed to spend most of his time in his library, eat in kitchen, or bedroom. If it wasn’t for the nice furnishings brought from New Jersey and arranged by Anita, the place might have sounded like an echo chamber.

Once on I-66 she was pretty much on auto pilot before exiting at West Ox Road and heading north. As she pulled into the driveway in front of the double garage she noted a late model Chevy Impala parked at the walk leading to the front door. Her father drove a Lexus that he was very fond of, and if he wasn’t driving it somewhere, he kept in in the garage. He must have a visitor, she thought.

Unpacking the car could wait. She didn’t have that much, and most of her household goods were in a crate at the mover’s local storage warehouse. When she found a place to live, they would be delivered. She really didn’t have much and she knew she’d probably be visiting a lot of thrift shops and used furniture stores. Right now she needed to give her father a hug and a kiss.

As she walked in, she could hear some activity in the kitchen. Her father greeted her at the passageway with the expected hug and kiss. Then he handed her a chilled margarita.

“I have someone I’d like you to meet,” he said turning to the alcove where he ate most of his meals.

“Leslie, I’d like you to meet my pride and joy; my daughter Anita.

“Anita, this is Leslie Baumgarten. She works at the Puzzle Palace doing things we can’t talk about; at least not here. We met last year at one of those joint meetings. We were seated next to each other at the luncheon, and something happened. I asked her out to dinner, and she accepted.”

“Leslie, it’s a pleasure to meet you. My father’s been lonely too long.” By this time, Anita was taking stock of the much shorter woman. Her father had pulled her close and had his arm around her waist. She was considerably shorter than Anita, maybe five-six – five-seven. She was a ‘ginger’; that was very apparent. She was probably in her early 30s – just barely, and she was drop dead gorgeous. She was also seriously in love with her father. There was nothing ‘put on’ about it. It was obviously apparent that her father was equally in love with her.

“So when’s the wedding,” Anita asked with a bright smile.

“We haven’t set a date, yet. Your father proposed a month and a half ago, but he didn’t want to tell you until that mess was over in Kentucky. They should have strung that bastard up.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have brought that up.”

“That’s quite all right. I’m sure the subject would come up before long, anyway. He’ll be in his fifties before he gets out and will probably be lucky to get a job at McDonalds. He and his buddies will be registered sex offenders. Their lives are fucked. Pardon my French.”

“Why don’t you ladies talk while I start the barbecue. There’re more margaritas in the pitcher in the refrigerator.”

“Are you surprised?” Leslie asked.

“Not very, my father has been alone too long. He is healthy and not yet fifty. I’m a bit surprised he’d not found anyone before now. You are a very pleasant surprise.

“I do have a question, though.”

“Yes?”

“How far along are you?”

Leslie’s complexion turned almost as red as her hair. “How’d you find out? I haven’t told anyone. I just found out last week.”

“Lucky guess. You are glowing even when you’re not blushing down to your toes.”

“We’d talked about adding more to the family, and agreed we’d certainly try. My first husband wasn’t interested in a family. In fact, he cared more about his lawyering and hobbies. It didn’t take me long to get rid of him. I make plenty of money, and I certainly didn’t need his income. I took a hundred grand and left him to play with himself, his first love.”

“What do you do?”

“Like your father said, I work at the Puzzle Palace. I have a PhD in International Relations. I do intelligence analysis. I knew of your little conflict in Africa an hour after it happened.”

“I’m not particularly proud of that.”

“If you hadn’t done it, we would have; however, what you did had far more reaching effects. A woman killed a terrorist with her bare hands. That word went out very fast. It created a lot of doubt among the locals, and a lack of confidence among some of the Al Shabaab.

“The biggest thing was that you probably saved a hundred lives. If we had sent more bombs in there, they would have been very non-selective. No, what you did was above and beyond the call of duty. I will be very proud to have you as my step daughter.”

“It doesn’t bother you that I’m …”

“Of course not. The most important thing is that I want you to be happy with your father’s decision to remarry.”

“Okay, but we can’t have any family secrets. You have to tell Dad about that little surprise.”

“Ladies, the fire’s about ready. Let’s get those lamb chops out there. Why don’t you come out and sit on the deck. The temperature isn’t bad, and we can talk.”

“Bob, I have something to tell you.”

“Hmmm, could that be that you are about a month along; that our family is going to increase in size?”

“How did you know?”

“Other than the fact you’ve been walking on air for the past week, I’m also able to follow a calendar. We never had that four or five day break in our love making, easy peazy.”

***

Bob and Leslie married a week later in a quiet civil ceremony. They spent a pleasant weekend in a very nice B&B in Charlestown, West Virginia. Anita spent the weekend with a professional apartment hunter, and found a nice townhome with a single car garage in Falls Church. She knew it was going to be temporary, a year or two at best, before she found a nice unattached home. It was a bit closer in than her father’s home, but at least she wouldn’t have to take the tollway, and she could avoid the inner loop. Getting used to the insane drivers in the area would take some time.

***

Inprocessing was not much different than being in the military. They had copies of all her military records, but they had to redo most everything so it would fit their particular forms and needs. Her ID badge, one of several forms of identification, had an electronic chip that would allow her into the areas which she was cleared for. She would have to be escorted to many areas within the confines. She was excused from the combative techniques training and fire arms training. She was as capable as the instructors, perhaps more so.

Her facility with languages made her a valuable addition to the organization. She hadn’t received any assignments as of yet, as just getting used to the place and the policies and procedures would take some time. The first three weeks were mostly familiarization briefings plus the standard updates all the folks who needed to know received.

There was one thing that bothered her, and that was because of her facility with Arabic and her appearance, she would be a natural to be sent to Africa, the place she had not too long ago returned from. She would really prefer not to go back there very soon. She enjoyed being able to take a nightly shower.

The quiet ding on her computer let her know she had a message. Changing screens, she saw that her division head wanted to see her. Jake Axelroth was a retired general who rather quickly slid into his current position as Division Director. He’d been one of those who had interviewed her when she made her first trip there many months before. She had filed her separation papers and was basically waiting for the Court Martial proceeding to begin. As things worked out, the trial was before her separation date. They probably would have delayed her separation if necessary, but that was moot

Axelroth’s receptionist waved to the open door of the inner office. Anita nodded and entered the hallowed interior. She was surprised to see her father sitting in one of the chairs in front of the mahogany edifice.

“Have a seat, Anita.”

“Yes Sir.” Anita had to suppress the urge to salute.

“Your father and I have been talking about a little problem we have south of here. I was wondering how proficient you are with your mother’s native tongue?”

Anita was taken aback a bit. She searched through her language files, and there it was. “Mwen se yon ti kras soti nan pratik, men mwen ka ratrape byen vit.”

“What in the world did she say?” Jake asked her father.

“I believe she said she was a bit out of practice, but could probably get up to speed fairly quickly. I had to learn what I could for my self-protection. Anita could speak it before she was four.”

“Anita, do you know who Tommaso Costa is?”

“Wasn’t he one of those drug lords who filled in the niche after El Chapo was taken down?”

“That would be the one; however, he has expanded into many other fields besides drugs. He is very big in human trafficking, arms dealing, prostitution, money laundering, etc. You name it. If it’s illegal, he probably has a finger in the pie.”

He pushed a button and the office door closed silently. A screen dropped from the ceiling and a ceiling mounted projector came to life.

“When El Chapo’s regime collapsed along with several other and their successors, Costa moved a major portion of his operation from Sicily to Haiti. Here’s some recent satellite imagery.

“The compound as you can see is mostly surrounded by walls. They are substantial and held up very well during that big quake. This belonged to one of Duvalier’s cronies at one time, but most of it dates from the late 17th and early 18th centuries. On the sea side, the cliff is about 30 meters high. There is a modern stairway and an elevator that go down to the modern dock, his yacht and several other boats. The boats and the yacht are heavily armed. The word among the local fishermen and others is you don’t want to get within three miles of the place or he will ask you to leave. If you don’t do it quickly, they will fire a 50 caliber across your bow. If that doesn’t get your attention, they will sink you.”

“What’s that area to the east of the buildings?”

“That’s the old cemetery. The chapel is that largest structure closest to it. Costa is a devout Catholic, and holds services there every Sunday. I imagine he gets absolution for all his sins so he can start out fresh on Mondays. You can see how he built part of the nine-hole golf course around it. It could be quite the tourist spot, but it’s not.”

“I don’t imagine you brought me in here for a slide show. I have a feeling, but what do you want me to do?”

“We want to take him down. We want you to get inside, find out what we need to know, so that we can destroy him and his organization.”

“Why not just bomb the place and be over with it?”

“Over the years, he has kidnapped or bought hundreds of young women to keep his men happy. Currently, there are about a hundred fifty young women, and boys, in there for the pleasure of his soldiers. We want to avoid killing or injuring them if at all possible. We also do not want to piss off the Haitian government too much”

“Jesus, this sounds too damn familiar. I just went all through that a year ago.”

***
***

So Anita’s first assignment will be to infiltrate a notorious drug lord’s operation in Haiti. She does have an advantage. She should be able to convince just about anyone that she is Haitian. But how to get her in there?.



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