Editor-In-Chief: Charbel Baini

Nightmare In Egypt…Part 8/ Feras Werr

A small piece of paper glued towards the bottom of the dial read twelve seconds to live. 
Richard stormed out of his office down the long corridor that led to the mansion's lobby screaming hysterically for his 3 servants. All met him in the spacious lobby in panic. He motioned towards the entrance as he ran up to them, "There is a bomb in my office!!! Run!!!" All began dashing towards the entrance but only to find a huge explosion tearing and rocking the entire premises. Richard covered his head as he saw the ceiling crash down on him. Everything went silent in his world afterwards.         
Saturday, 6th of August 1960, 3:00 PM
Marilyn's world suddenly grew silent as she watched the news flash and the cameras roll through the devastated mansion. Wreckage replaced the handsome multimillion dollar estate that once stood peacefully and proudly on Madison Avenue. A reporter stood close by the scene announcing the assumed death of the Senator with his house staff as the police circled the area and the firemen worked in the backgrounds to put out the fires that were blazing from the worn out structure. Tears rolled down her eyes as the outside broadcast cameras zoomed in on the scene and the reporter commented, "All eye witnesses confirmed that a powerful explosion preceded the destruction and fire, clearly indicating the presence of a bomb in the facility. A police official speaking on the account of anonymity stated that while it was early to release any information, obviously big amounts of explosives were used to totally destroy the estate as we are able to detect a complete internal caving in of the big three story premises. Senator Richard was known for his hard opposition against a proposition presented by President Helen Evergreen to senate and supported by his party. The proposition requested to increase the GBI's surveillance powers on both private and business telephones…" 
The brown furniture color of the bedroom suite around her all of a sudden turned into black and white. Sadness and feelings of sorrow began eating up her heart as she watched Richard's fatal ending on TV. What ever the situation was he didn't deserve to die like this. It's true the boat feat she did with him and Raghda a month back was mean but back then her heart was blazing with madness and shock. As the days glided by the level of her anger with him began easing up; it was as if the days were a remedy to the bitterness in her heart. It seemed to her that it wasn't totally about forgetting as such betrayal cannot be forgotten or over sighted easily, but the impact of the entire situation and the consequential hard feelings that erupted afterwards all began to settle down. 
Oh she knew how much she and her parents tore him up with the divorce and their connections. She knew what a dear price she had him pay for hurting her feelings. But he already paid the tax once. "Couldn't fate have had more mercy on him?" Suddenly the grounds around her began to swirl as dizziness engulfed her. The closet, bed and bureau danced with haziness around her as the pictures on the news flash of the mansion continued. She touched her stomach with her right hand and grabbed the arm of the couch she was seated on with her other hand bracing herself to it. She felt her stomach battle to eject its' contents. Gradually things began to ease up and she began savoring some comfort. She leaned back breathing deeply trying to relax and calm down. Echoes of their past ravaged her guilt struck mind and spirits.
"How about John if it’s a boy Richard?"
"I was thinking more like Jacob but John sounds OK also to me baby."
"If it's going to be a girl you pick her name."
"Maria sounds excellent to me Marilyn."
"You know my mother gave me Maria as my Christian name upon Baptism."
"Splendid how our thoughts do meet at times."
"I do pray we will never part Richard."
"Is it you or the flowers Marilyn?"
"What are you asking about?" 
"The perfume that I smell."
"Well it's Jasmine from Feminine Forever."
"Oh when it touches your skin it turns into awesome spring and smells so finely."
Her laughter filled the garden, "Oh honey if you like it I will continue to use it." Marilyn got up from her seat and hugged him. A short but passionate kiss came afterwards.
"Jasmine, that is a nice name for our baby girl Marilyn."
"I like it too…it has style and rhythm to it…"
The sweetness of the memories were cutting her up. He died without even knowing she was pregnant. "Was fate punishing her for not being forgiving or was it just life with its up and downs. "But No! It's entirely his fault! Did he have to run after that bitch?!" Her tears fell unstoppably from her eyes as the phone sounded in her bedroom. She got up from the couch and walked towards the phone that was placed on the commode besides her queen size bed. She greeted the caller with a broken hello and sobbs.
Her mother replied worriedly, "Marilyn I'm at your aunt's house and I just heard the news on the radio…I just wanted to check how you are doing sweetheart."
"I don't know mother. I just feel so uneasy. I should have told him about our pregnancy two weeks ago when I found out. I just don't feel fine."
"Marilyn calm down. It's not entirely your fault. He had his mistakes too…he never took your relationship seriously."
"Please come mommy. I need your company so much."
"Of course…Tell the chauffeur to come and pick me up….hello, hello…Marilyn!!! What is going on!!!"
Marilyn was looking through the curtains outside her window at the swarms of reporters that were shuffling up and down the streets. "Mother are you still there?"
"Marilyn!!! You scared the life out of me!!! Where did you go?!"
"When you come home don't say a word to the news reporters outside. They are all over the place like a pack of hungry wolves on fresh lamb meat."
Saturday, 6th of August 1960, 7:00 PM
The Oval Office, White House
President Helen Evergreen of fifty years held a doctor's degree in political science. Gaining a powerful reputation of being the woman for the job from her strong campaigning against her weaker opponents, she won the elections of fifty three with a landslide victory. Leading two Presidential Terms that were filled with grave foreign challenges she was able to tame some of the clashing US-Soviet interests that prevailed after the Second World War. A very powerful lady of the Democratic Party with great diplomatic insight she won the confidence and heart of the American people as she led them year after year into miraculous safety. However presently challenged with the uneven events that were brewing with the growing soviet aspirations in turning Vietnam into a satellite country, and with the bitter remnants of the Second World War still echoing within her nation, she was totally committed to solving the issues as peacefully as possible. After all warring with an equally strong super power was foolish and devastating for her people. Diplomacy was an irreplaceable weapon of victory if used smartly and wisely.
In the local frontiers businesses prospered and cross-country chains flourished throughout the US through the stimulating economical agendas and commerce she adopted. But conversely the recent rising crime rates during her second term of power in some of the cities left their frustrating effects on her as her opposing party used it as a powerful weapon to nail her and her party continuously. The least accusations that they hurled on her was that with the securing of her second and last term in office there were no third elections to make her work and care anymore. 
Helen stood up from her bureau in greetings of Chase Tanning as her secretary escorted him into her office. Chase's heart skipped a beat as he shook the woman's hand and greeted, "Madame President you don't know how enchanted and thankful I am to be in your presence."
Helen answered back in a hospitable voice while gracefully showing Chase to the neat white couch set a small distance away from her bureau, "I have heard a lot of excellent news about your professional progress Mr. Tanning. You are indeed a trustworthy man."
They seated themselves comfortably on the couches, "I am truly honored to serve you and my nation at any cost."
Helen suddenly frowned as she commented, "I did find the contents of the tape you sent me awfully disturbing. If these are the general's doings we are definitely dealing with a very gruesome character. However I checked the general's history and businesses out via my own security staff. He fought in the Second World War and retired in 1950 with a very clean and well kept record. His company is perfectly legal with no violations on record, even his taxes and dues are paid on time."
"Madame President we have noticed irregularities concerning his shipments with an accomplice list involving very big names. Although on sporadic incidents but sometimes after his sugar shipments that originate from South America and in very short periods of time cocaine is detected in great amounts on the streets. The cocaine detected is of the same origins as his shipments. We also have strong reason to believe that he is after the Forest murders as well that took place approximately a year ago. That is why we attempted to place a very well trained spy into his group but everything went against our expectations and they obviously spotted her easily. She is the one that met the awful fate in the film."
"But this is rendered without any solid proof. We don't even have an idea as to where the premises really is that witnessed this crime nor if it was done by the general himself or not. All we have is a video of our agent being massacred." Helen threw up her hands in despair and stated with frustration, "No prosecutor that I know of will ever acknowledge such poor proof for any case. I don't see how he can even be interrogated at all…I don't know if what I did was the appropriate thing but I called him to our conference. He should be arriving any minute."
Chase gave Helen a surprised look then asked, "Madame President I don't know as well the outcome of such a situation…"
Helen's green eyes sparkled as she gave Chase a confident look, "It's our best chance to thwart him a little bit. Sooner or later if he is our guy he will surely panic and make a mistake that will give you the proof you need. You can pick it up from there. All I want you to do is state what you just told me and see what he has to say for it."
The intercom suddenly sounded on Helen's desk. Chase watched as the lady with average height and tanned complexion gracefully walked towards her bureau. Her long red hair bounced behind her slim figure that was clothed with a chic white dress. Her confident strides and high heels left muffled thuds on the thin beige carpet that covered the entire floor of the oval office.
Helen commanded with a royal voice, "What is it Sue?"
"General William Canons is her Ma'am."
"Lead him in please."
Helen managed a smile as the general walked in, "General Canons you are most welcome to my office."
The general picked up her hand and kissed it with a refined attitude while stating in a chivalrous tone of voice, "I must be the luckiest gentleman at all to enjoy the honor of these moments Madame President."
Helen guided him towards chase and introduced the gentlemen together, "This is Chase Tanning our director of GBI, Mr. Tanning this is General William Canons, one of our bravest generals that ever fought in our army during the latest World War."
The gentlemen shook hands and all three sat down on the couches facing each other.
"Indeed it was a great honor to serve and protect our fine American nation. Although it was imposed on us by the axis of greed, we were up to it and fought our war like true men do."
Chase answered with a smile, "A lot of fine men gave in their life to battle and weapons to see our nation stay as proudly as it has always been General."
Helen Commented, "This is one of the reasons why I have always avoided the military options from my diplomacies. It is very easy to declare war, but things are a lot rougher and tougher on the grounds in battle. Besides our economy has seen major developments recently and needs peace to stabilize and develop more. Needless to say the money that would be used for weaponry manufacture could be more wisely used for internal development."
The general smiled and stated, "Very wise reasoning Madame President. I just hope that your up coming counterparts will carry the same beliefs as you do and not hurl us into chaos, especially with the growing Soviet dominance these days in Vietnam."
Chase stepped in and commented, "I fear the rising crime rates in our cities pose a greater threat than the Soviets in North Vietnam."
The general crossed his legs while calmly and confidently answering as if discussing the weather of the day, "Crime is indeed a pest that is present in all nations. Whether we like it or not humanity does have a good and bad side."
Chase replied, "Well our experience tells us that there is no perfect crime, and that criminals sooner or later falter with their operations. Nobody gets away with crime, not even the influential."
"My friend the influential in society are merely pawns moved by the master mind of all crimes; greed for more money. Human greed is insatiable and no one is ever satisfied with what they have."
Chase argued back as Helen’s eyes bounced back and forth between them, "But a lot of people make money decently through clean commerce and businesses."
"My friend do you trust that the taxes they pay are built on exact and correct income figures. Don't those same people minimize the payrolls of the employees indecently so they will cut down on unnecessary cost and compound their profits? Not all crime is covered by our laws Mr. Tanning. In reality it is crime that is authorized by law and crime that isn't. We are all criminals in a way or another."
Chase and Helen gave each other astonished looks for a few moments at the general's speech before Helen decided to interfere and state, "General you are a man of insight and I'm sure you have guessed by now that Mr. Chase wishes to ask you a few questions."
"Go ahead Mr. Tanning."
"General we have reason to believe that your shipments don't bear completely South American Sugar when they arrive to the ports of Manhattan."
The general released a loud laugh and replied, "What do they bear then?"
Chase simply stated, "Cocaine. We have noticed that after some of your shipments arrive at harbor and at intervals of barely over a week plenty of cocaine surfaces on the streets in New York."
"Mr. Tanning, I'm not the only person that ferries cargo to Manhattan."
"Well the grade of cocaine caught only originates in South America and you are the only person that imports sugar from South America."
Helen interrupted clarifying, "What Chase is trying to explain is that we have assumptions that need to be clarified."
Maintaining his calm disposition the general continued, "What you say doesn't concern me at all. It's true my sugar comes from South America but many goods are manufactured and imported from those countries as well. The cocaine could have been smuggled through the many liners that enter into New York. Secondly I maintain no connections with any mafias. I believe the mafias have monopoly over these things."
Chase deeply astonished by the general's cool attitude opened another front, "What about Lieutenant Diana Summers?"
"I don't know a Diana Summers Mr. Tanning."
Chase explained in a serious tone of voice, "Well then let me jot your memory; our undercover detective that got her cover blown when she gave us the inaccurate information concerning your cocaine shipments and the unsuccessful police raid?"
"I don't know what you're talking about. If your men gave you ill advice concerning some operation you ought to train them more and obviously you are wasting your time with me."
"Well your beasts did a good job at feasting on our colleague but the thing you don't know about is that we know of the great quantities of red meat that come in to your premises periodically. Are your beasts a gift from an acquaintance perhaps?"
"I have a wide circle of refined friends and I throw a lot of parties that offer extensive menus. If I offer barbecued lamb meat on the buffets, does this mean that I raise lions?"
"I never mentioned lions." Chase savored some peace as the general's relaxed face grew into a frown. He continued, "How did you know I was referring to lions? The message you sent us via the cine film can be categorized as psychological warfare. Only a person with extensive military knowledge would know how to wage such a damaging psychological war on his enemies."
Helen's face grew uncomfortable too as she watched the dialogue progress. She became tensed and moved silently to her desk while the general responded, "Mr. Tanning all you have been doing is throwing accusations based on assumptions at me. I have only tolerated you well in hopes of making you realize that you are interrogating the wrong person."
"General you are quite aware that there are eye witnesses that saw Diana Summers go into your company for her shift but there are no assurances that she ever came out of your company safely or even alive. I can…"
The general's disposition suddenly shifted and his tone of voice screamed with bitterness, "If I were you I wouldn't press that emergency alarm woman!"
Helen whom was near her desk suddenly turned around and fired back, "Don't you dare throw orders at me general! And you address me with the respect that I deserve and with my honorary title!"
"When I was on board my aircraft carrier roaming half the world fighting those vicious Japs and getting my ass cooked where were you? You were out somewhere getting your little pussy fucked by your boyfriend on some college campus!"
"Helen gasped and screamed out, "HOLD YOUR TONGUE YOU FILTHY ANIMAL!!!"
Chase stood up and pulled his gun out. He bitterly snapped back, "You will do time in prison for the remainder of your life for your disgraceful attitude." Three armed security personnel bolted in the oval office blurting out, "What is going on!" and surrounded Helen as the general screamed back, "I swear I have people waiting for me at a certain rendezvous point and if you don't let me leave this premises unharmed every single strategic secret of our American Armed and Air forces will be graciously granted to the Soviet Union via those people."
The three personnel aimed their weapons at the general while Chase and Helen stared dumfounded at him. The general stood silently with a defiant look on his face screaming, "Do you know how many bullets sliced my body while I was fighting to save your asses from the Japs! And how many stitches I received in hospital and what did I get out of it! A retirement's pay check, a handshake from some bureaucrat in the White House that sat behind his desk with the protection of his security personnel and the delights of his handsome presidential indulgences all through the war and worthless metals of honor; and while I was getting my body sliced up by the wars. Tell me woman, do you know what we saw out there!!! For one long year I saw my life begin and end repeatedly in front of my eyes and you stand behind your ignorant office and title telling me what to say and what to do!!!"
Helen stated with disgusted, "Let this worthless bastard leave unharmed!!!"
Chase whom was still pointing his weapon at the general exclaimed, "You're making a big mistake!!! This man is lying so he can run away with his indecent conducts."
The general replied with a mocking smile, "Try me; my vengeance will be rewarding Mr. Tanning."
Helen snapped back sharply, "Chase don't you dare go against my wishes. Let him leave unharmed!!! Security! Escort this betraying loathsome creature outside the White House please!"…

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