Authors: Ben Coes
Next, he looked at the unredacted analysis:
U.S. SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE
Washington, D.C. 20510
AS PER ASSIGNEE: US SEN. FURR
PER DDCIA GANT
COVER BLACK WIDOW
DO NOT SHARE (PER DEP DIR GANT)
ANDREAS IS A 39-YEAR-OLD MALE SUSPECTED OF EXHIBITING TRAITS ASSOCIATED WITH POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD). TRIGGERING EVENTS INCLUDE DEATH OF FIANC
WITHOUT PROPER THERAPIST/SUBJECT COMMUNICATION, SANCTION MUST BE DEEMED INCONCLUSIVE. HOWEVER, ANALYSIS OF ANDREAS PERSONAL, MILITARY, AND INTELLIGENCE HISTORY SUGGESTS A UNIQUELY CAPABLE ASSET WHOSE REHABILITATION SHOULD BE A TOP AGENCY PRIORITY. ALTERNATIVELY, THE SAME SKILLS THAT MAKE HIM A PRIORITY AGENCY ASSET ALSO MAKE HIM, UNREHABILITATED, A UNIQUELY DANGEROUS POTENTIAL ADVERSARY.
DR. EDWARD HALLOWELL
The man’s focus was interrupted by his driver.
“You think Andreas will win?” the man in the front seat asked, nodding toward the runners as they ran up Main Street.
The man in the backseat glanced up, meeting his eyes in the rearview mirror.
* * *
By the time the pack of runners reached Bog Brook, marking the halfway point in the race, there were two people out in front, and the rest of the field was scattered about, far behind. Reagan was leading, and Dewey was just a few steps behind her. The two were both panting hard and drenched in perspiration.
Every time Reagan looked back at Dewey, he gave her a confident, relaxed smile, toying with her. He pounded the ground behind her as they ran down from the brook toward the road which, in a little over a mile, would conclude at the finish line.
At the outskirts of town, as the dirt path popped them out onto Battle Avenue, Dewey made his move, cutting to Reagan’s left. He knew that in order to beat her, he would have to pass her suddenly, and forcefully, at a pace that was dramatically quicker. To move on her in a gradual way would only spur her on.
By the time Dewey reached the small wooden sign marking the entrance to the Castine Golf Club, he was at least a hundred yards in front of Reagan.
His lungs burned. His legs ached as he pushed himself harder and harder. Dewey didn’t look back. The truth is, he didn’t want to see the look in Reagan’s eyes. Part of him felt guilty about beating her. As he turned onto Main Street for the final stretch, he could hear the crowd cheering in the distance. A smile came to his face as he pushed himself toward the finish line.
Dewey’s eyes suddenly shot left. It was a runner. Dewey hadn’t heard the approach, but it was why everyone was cheering, he now realized. He watched, helplessly, as the wiry, shirtless figure of his nephew Sam went whizzing past him, orange boot on his left foot, Bean boot on his right, his skinny arms pumping up and down as he almost seemed to take flight.
“Oh, shit,” muttered Dewey.
Dewey broke into a sprint, looking for the extra gear he realized he would need in order to catch up to his nephew. But it was futile. He could only watch as Sam coasted away from him. Sam seemed to pick up speed the closer he got to the finish line, as if he himself wasn’t fully aware of his own God-given swiftness.
The crowd was going nuts as Sam approached the yellow police tape marking the finish line. Dewey was at least twenty feet behind him. No one else was even in sight yet.
Just before the finish line, Sam stopped. He leaned over, in pain, catching his breath, as Dewey approached. Sam stood just in front of the line, waiting for Dewey.
“What are you doing?” Dewey panted.
Sam shook his head as he tried to catch his breath.
“I want you to win,” he said. “Next year’ll be my time.”
Dewey pushed him across the police tape. The crowd let out a wild chorus of cheers.
Dewey waited for Reagan to arrive at the finish line. He watched with a big smile on his face as she ran the last few feet and crossed. Finally, he stepped over the police tape, taking third.
Sam lumbered over to him.
“Why’d you do that?” he asked, panting. “I wouldn’ta run if I knew you was going to do that.”
going to do that,” corrected Dewey. “You won, Sam. Deal with it.”
He put his hand on his nephew’s shoulder. As he did so, he again registered the foreboding sight of the black sedan, parked along Court Street, vapor rising from the tailpipe into the air.
“Wanna go get some pancakes?” asked Sam.
“Sure. Give me a few minutes.”
* * *
Dewey walked slowly to Court Street. As he approached the sedan, the back door suddenly opened. A man in a suit climbed out. He was tall, a bit heavy, with thick black hair. The man, Hector Calibrisi, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, stared at Dewey for several seconds without saying anything. Finally, he spoke.
“How you been?” asked Calibrisi.
“You win the race?”
There was a brief pause in the conversation, then Calibrisi cleared his throat.
“I need to speak with you,” he said.
“I told you on the phone, I’m not interested in coming back.”
“Jessica died six months ago, Dewey.”
“Did you fly up here just to remind me of that?” Dewey glared at Calibrisi.
“I’m sorry. That came out wrong.”
“Who were those people up here skulking around? Did you send them?”
Calibrisi shook his head.
“No, I didn’t.”
Calibrisi crossed his arms and leaned back against the car. He shot the driver a look, telling him to turn the car off.
“Some people are worried about you.”
“Who were they?” Dewey asked again.
“Shrinks hired by the Senate Intelligence Committee,” said Calibrisi. “Senator Furr.”
“If anyone tries to fuck with me, Hector—”
Calibrisi held up his hand.
“Stop,” he said, as he cast his eyes about, instinctively aware of the danger of their conversation being listened to through electronic surveillance.
“Just don’t say it.”
Dewey bent over, putting his hands on his knees, and stared at the ground. He was still breathing heavily from the race.
Calibrisi crouched so that he was close to Dewey.
“Why were they here?” whispered Dewey.
Calibrisi was quiet. He looked away, avoiding the question.
“What are you not telling me?”
“Someone is attempting to have you classified as a
” said Calibrisi.
What the fuck does that mean?
” Dewey said, his temper rising.
“You have knowledge,” said Calibrisi. “All NOCs do. If that knowledge fell into the wrong hands, it could be devastating.”
“We lost two NOCs last year. One to China, one to Russia. That’s just a fact.”
“I never wanted the designation and you know it.”
“You agreed to it.”
“I’m not a security threat,” said Dewey. “Go tell them to fuck off.”
“That’s the last thing we want to do,” Calibrisi said. “We need to be calm here.”
“What do they do with breach risks?”
Calibrisi took a deep breath.
“It could mean a few sessions with a white coat,” said Calibrisi. “A CIA psychologist. Lying on a couch. I told you you needed it.”
Dewey read Calibrisi’s face.
“Is that it? Doesn’t seem so bad. I could take a nap.”
“It could also mean a few weeks at a clinic somewhere,” added Calibrisi.
Dewey remained silent.
“Or it could be worse,” Calibrisi continued, “a lot worse. It’s called ‘institutional clinical management.’ It means incarceration at a CIA hospital somewhere where you’d be managed with pharmaceuticals and not allowed to leave for a few years. Depends on your probability level for failure.”
Dewey’s eyes were blank and emotionless. He stared at the ground.
Probability level for failure?
” he whispered. “What am I, a toaster oven? Aren’t you the boss?”
“Why do you think I’m here?” asked Calibrisi. “The way to protect you is to bring you back in.”
Dewey shook his head.
“I’m not ready,” he said.
“We’ll get you ready.”
Dewey shook his head.
“I don’t want to run ops anymore, Hector. I want to be left alone.”
“That’s not an option.”
“I’ll call Dellenbaugh,” said Dewey.
“No, you won’t.”
Dewey stared at Calibrisi. His look wasn’t one of anger or even resentment. Rather, it was a look of sadness.
“Who is it?”
“His name is Gant. He’s a career Agency man. I don’t know what his agenda is. He’s clever. Machiavellian.”
Dewey looked away. He understood that Hector was there to help him, that he’d flown up to try to warn him, that he wanted to bring him back in because he cared for him. But what Hector couldn’t know was something only Dewey understood. He really
ready. He wasn’t just saying it.
“It’s a straightforward project,” said Calibrisi.
“A project?” asked Dewey. “You already have me assigned?”
“A cocaine refinery down in Mexico. You’re on a two-man team, the other guy is good. He’s already in-theater. It’ll be like riding a bike.”
Dewey stared calmly into the distance.
“It’s happening tonight,” continued Calibrisi.
Dewey turned and looked at the crowd of townspeople. He saw Doris handing Sam the winner’s trophy.
“I don’t blame you for wanting all this,” said Calibrisi, waving his arm toward the crowd gathered at the finish line. “It’s a wonderful place. But it’ll be here when you’re done. Right now, I need you back inside the fold.”
“How much time do I have?”
Calibrisi glanced at his driver. Suddenly, the car started.
“We’re leaving right now.”
111 EDGEMOOR LANE
Josh Gant stood at the island in the middle of his kitchen, holding a cup of tea and reading the morning newspaper.
Across the room, his wife, Mary, was contorted on top of a purple yoga mat, deep into her daily routine.
Gant had on a blue button-down with white collars, a yellow tie, suspenders, tortoiseshell glasses, and olive pants. He looked meticulously neat and well put together. His hair was slicked back and parted down the middle. He scanned
The Wall Street Journal.
“Honey, don’t forget, we have therapy at two,” said his wife in a lockjawed Connecticut accent, her eyes closed.
Gant’s eyes shot up for a moment, a hateful look in them. Then, as if flipping a switch, a smile creased his lips.
“I have it right on my schedule, sweetie,” he said.
One of Gant’s two cell phones started ringing.
“Mr. Gant, it’s John McCauley at the country club. You wanted to speak?”
“Hi, John,” said Gant. “Thanks for calling. It’s somewhat of a delicate matter.”
“You have my promise of utmost discretion, Mr. Gant.”
“Good, John. You see, it’s just that one of the men I play tennis with seems to have a problem obeying the club rules.”
“The rules, Mr. Gant? Is he … cheating?”
“No, nothing like that,” said Gant. “But he doesn’t wear whites, as club rules dictate. I mean, yes, sure, sometimes he does, but he’s just as likely to wear a pair of colored shorts or a striped shirt.”
McCauley, the Bethesda Country Club general manager, was temporarily silent.
“I see, sir. Did you have an opportunity to discuss your concerns with the member, Mr. Gant? Often I find that many issues can be ‘cut off at the pass,’ so to speak, with a few simple words.”
“No,” said Gant, “and I don’t necessarily want to. I play tennis with him.”
“Of course, I see. Would you like me to say something to the member?”
“Per club rules, I believe it is the responsibility of the rackets committee to address the issue,” said Gant, his lips flaring for a brief second as he contemplated the anonymous reputational strike he was making at the member, a player who had now beaten Gant for four consecutive years in the club singles championship.
McCauley was silent.
“Anonymity is of the essence.”
Gant’s other cell started to vibrate. He looked at the screen:
US SEN FURR
Gant hung up one phone as he answered the other.
“Hello, Senator,” he said.
“We have a problem,” said Furr, the junior senator from Illinois, barely above a whisper.
“Where are you?” asked Gant. “You sound like you’re in an elevator.”
“Who the fuck cares where I am,” said Furr. “We have a problem. Someone leaked the Andreas file to Calibrisi.”