Chapter 22

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MOOCH WAS WAY TOO perky for this time of night. Kirk was not a night owl, yet he was on the phone at midnight with a corn nut-crunching motormouth. He pulled the phone away from his ear and scowled at it, hoping to transfer his feelings to the annoying geek on the other end. But he needed Mooch, so he endured the assault on his eardrum and asked him to research Operation Justice.

“What is this? Some FBI thing?” Mooch asked.

“Yeah, I need to know everything about anyone who might be involved in the project. Also check out anything you can find on the World Justice Agency.”

Mooch laughed in Kirk’s ear. “The WJA?”

“Yeah, why? Do you know who they are?”

“Yeah, they’re the thing of myths, man. You know, kinda like Robin Hood. They hunt down the bad guys, then disappear into the woodwork. They're kind of like X-men, but for real—not mutants—but pretty cool. If they were real, that is.”

“Do you know who runs the organization?”

“No, man. It’s just an idea, a concept. If you think they’re a real group, dude, you might want to check to see what’s in your coffee.”

“This is the real deal, Mooch, and they’re a real organization. I need to know who’s in charge and where their headquarters is located. If the FBI thinks they exist, I’ll take their word for it over yours. Besides, I have it from a secondary source that they do, in fact, exist.” I was there, or at least I think I was. His imprisonment was becoming more and more like a bad nightmare every day.

“I’ll do my best, but you’d better cover my butt on this. If I get caught hacking the feds, I’m in deep doo-doo.”

“Just get me the information. According to what you say, you’re the best. Here’s your chance to prove it.”

Kirk hung up the phone, set it on the breakfast bar, and stared off into space. They needed to find the mole and his or her connection to the WJA.

Kirk looked over at where Geoff had been watching TV. He was passed out on the couch, his mouth wide open and a guttural snore vibrating his chest. It had been a long day, and Kirk was getting tired himself. Tomorrow they’d get an interview with Captain Jacobson, one way or another.

* * *

GEOFF WOKE UP WITH a start and yawned, stretching his arms above his head. The TV was on, but the rest of the apartment was dark. His watch read two thirty a.m. He felt good, and his mind kicked into gear, reminding him why his internal clock had brought him back into the land of the living.

Getting up, he leaned back, popped a couple vertebrae, and let out a sigh. He went to the fridge to grab a Pepsi. Nothing was as good as an ice-cold Pepsi. Of course, at this hour, it might keep him awake for awhile, but he wasn’t planning to go back to bed anytime soon anyway.

He looked at the door to Kirk’s bedroom. It was half-open. He could see the detective’s leg sticking out from under the covers like a dead branch on a very old tree.

It’s time.

Walking over to his shoulder bag, he pulled out a 9MM and screwed on a silencer. He opened the curtains and studied the gun in the moonlight. It was a beautiful weapon. The stainless steel caught the moon’s white light and bounced it back at him. Too nice of a gun, really, to waste on an old geezer like Weston. He sighed. It was a simple chore, one beneath his skill level, but he was a professional, and he had a job to do.

He tiptoed into the other bedroom, pointed the gun at Kirk Weston’s chest, and fired.

* * *

MARK HEADED INTO THE city, trying to clear his head as he drove. This dream or vision, or whatever it was, had shaken him to his very core. Maybe he was dreaming now and what he thought was his dream the night before was reality.

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