Chapter 44 – Savannah, GA

Director’s Report and Ambush – More Pieces for the Jigsaw

I stood outside puffing on another cigarette, everything was coming together and maybe the final chapter was playing out.

I had accumulated everything I needed, travel pack with back up weapons and ammunition, first aid kit with appropriate ampoules of drugs, communication equipment, clothing, and the necessary vices. My equipment was mostly bespoke and non-regulation, but on-one ever said a word after looking at the firepower and knives. I was wearing a purposely designed inner protection vest designed to stop bullets and knives around the vital organs, it was lightweight and flexible and cost a small fortune.

My adrenalin was on overdrive and I felt remarkably calm and collected considering the lack of sleep and poor dietary management. The helicopter landed and took me to the Government Zone on the airfield where a jet was waiting.

It was in the air as I buckled up, and the captain advised on the flight schedule, which I thought was incredibly short. It was proven to be the case as we touched down in what had felt like only brief moment later. I must have dozed for a while because it was in fact over an hour and there was no complimentary cabin service or the usual cute looking staff, only a flask of hot tea in the galley, which I drank as the jet taxied to a halt.

The jet stopped and the door opened as the steps dropped to the tarmac a few feet from a waiting black SUV, which I climbed into only seconds later.

The driver wasted no time at all and almost raced through security points at the airport to be met with a police escort that proceeded just as quickly through the local industrial and residential areas before stopping at a parking lot in the harbor area of Savannah. Luckily this had not been a clip in an action movie and there had been no ridiculous sirens and wailing to accompany our journey, only smart intelligence, because the enemy were not stupid, and they were prepared with the resources of a U.S. Marine Battalion.

The Senior Agent climbed into the SUV with a couple of hot drinks and some pills for operational governance. The order was crystal clear, to sit, listen and evaluate because the call from the director was due imminently, it was imperative that I was alone, so the agent left the vehicle together with the driver and there was an immediate calm, together with a threatening silence!

The director called and told me to listen, and to listen very carefully, and not to interrupt at all, because time was of the essence!

He said the drink and the drugs had been prescribed for a damn good reason, so do as I was told or my contract would be immediately terminated. On that advice I could only offer my cooperation and duly did so!

He spoke further and with less hostility in his voice and described what he had learnt from the information he had been sent from me. And started with my last call and the concerns over Victoria and suggested that keeping her alive would be good for the long-term monitoring of the Zodiac Program, but did not elucidate any further, so I said nothing as he continued. He started with a brief resume on Claude Tremblay.

Claude Tremblay:

  • 1925 – Charles Tremblay born New Orleans
  • 1953 – Son, Claude Tremblay born
  • 1961 – CT Manufacturing Systems founded by Charles Tremblay (CT)
  • 1982 – Daughter, Grand-daughter, Christine Tremblay born
  • 1982 – Claude Tremblay joins Board of CT Manufacturing Systems
  • 1983 – Joint Venture with Zodiac Program
  • 1984 – Conglomerate with Shares from China, Germany, Italy. Japan, Russia & UK after meeting in Davos
  • 2009 – Christine Tremblay Disappeared – Augusta, ME
  • 2009 – Reward of $500k for information on Ms Christine Tremblay

The director waited until I had time to gather my thoughts and said that there was more, a whole lot more and my previous efforts had opened up lines of enquiry that had never been available to the agency in the past. He stated that the information that I had provided from the piece of paper had been very enlightening and special resources had been allocated to dig further and these were the findings so far.

  • 1946 – Jun, 17 Mary Smith Born (Night of Bridges) – Most popular Christian Name and Surname at the time
  • 1947 – Albany, NYC Fostering Service
  • 1948 – Adopted by Mr & Mrs Johnson (Brooklyn, NYC)
  • 1956 – Now Mary Johnson
  • 1958 – Foster Father lost job and started drinking / gambling / wife beating
  • 1959 – Raped Mary aged 13
  • 1960 – Mary (14) has twins – 2 Daughters (Dies in Childbirth)
  • 1961 – Lisa Johnson adopted by Mr & Mrs Williams (Brooklyn, NYC)
  • 1961 – Linda Johnson adopted by Mr & Mrs Brown (Brooklyn, NYC)
  • 1961 – Mrs Williams & Mrs Brown are twin sisters who cannot have children due to genetic disorder
  • 1982 – Lisa Johnson – now Lisa Williams
  • 1982 – Linda Johnson – now Linda Brown
  • 1984 – Lisa Johnson marries Tom Smythe – Mrs Smythe
  • 1984 – Linda Brown marries John Jones – Mrs Jones
  • 1990 – Sons born Walter Smythe and Harold Jones
  • 2002 – Private School, Augusta, ME
  • 2009 – Walter Smythe (Admitted into Harvard) and Harold Jones (Admitted into MIT)
  • 2013 – Walter & Harold join the very secretive Business Enterprise Support Agency

I looked at the data and it confirmed my deepest suspicions, that Smythe and Jones had in all probability murdered Christine Tremblay all those years ago in Maine. All the possibilities had been going around in my head for years and in truth there could not really be any other explanation for her random disappearance. Now they were at the top of my hit list, and my blood was boiling as I remembered those really bad times!

The director went on to say that the assassins who had been sent in to murder the hostages and Victoria were the very same Smythe & Jones. But again, there appeared to be blanks in the data and I quizzed the director for more information, he seemed very cagey and abrupt which meant that he was hiding something. He simply replied that resources had been thrown at this operation and there were ongoing investigations regarding the mother of Mary Smith and the business connections relating to Claude Tremblay and that there was little time left to intervene and possibly save Victoria and the hostages from death or serious harm.

Satellites had been monitoring the progress of the Airstream and it should arrive at the location in in less than two hours. The director confirmed that the agents assigned to Savannah were all ex Special Forces and the senior agent would go through the details of the clean-up operation which would split into two separate parts.

The first part is in your hands, speak with the senior agent and do whatever you have to do and make damn sure to be back on that helicopter with Victoria as quickly as you can. The other persons will be under the control of the senior agent and a trauma unit. They would then be transported to the control center in NYC under the command of Cormack Walsh, who had managed to hold-back any other operational influence and would deal with all the aspects of the law enforcement agencies, the families, the media and the resulting flak from the political elements in Washington, DC. He signed off and the senior agent climbed back into the SUV.

I asked for a few minutes to get my focus back as I opened the side window and lit another cigarette, my gray cells were instructing me that if and when I survived the operation, I should consider getting some specialist services to help me quit smoking. Those moments passed in slow motion and I could feel the adrenalin kicking in. I flicked the remainder of the cigarette out of the window and faced the senior agent who had sat motionless and silent out of respect, and with a quick nod we started to discuss the tactics.

Both parts of the operation would occur simultaneously and there was a very realistic possibility of serious casualties. The first part would be the storming of the warehouse in the harbor area which would be under the control of the senior agent and the second would be the interception and disabling of the Airstream within the confines of the harbour area. Local enforcement agencies had been instructed to prevent access to the harbour and the ambush zone had been cleared of any civilian personnel. It would be a dark early morning when the vehicle arrived and would help to give the impression that it was a normal day.

The speed limit inside the restricted area of the harbour was only 15mph and several trucks with long trailers were ready and in position, just around the second turning. There were also hay bales at the side to cushion the blow, should the Airstream hit them. There was little time in fact for the driver under normal circumstances to slow down and stop, before hitting them. Other vehicles were ready to move immediately behind the vehicle to prevent it from turning and reversing.

However, these were not normal circumstances and to ensure that the vehicle was moving slowly a harbor patrol vehicle was positioned just after the first the bend with the sole purpose of stopping the vehicle for an apparent innocent spot check. The agent would drop an ampoule inside the vehicle as the paperwork was verified in a very cordial and jovial manner. The ampoule would release a knockout gas that would render the driver and passenger helpless within thirty seconds.

As a fail-safe there would also be agents with telescopic rifles on either side of the vehicle as it rounded the second corner. The agents had been instructed to shoot only if it was absolutely necessary, and that meant, if or when either the driver or passenger should attempt to escape into the rear part of the vehicle. We received the warning of their imminent arrival and moved to our allotted positions.

A telecoms specialist followed me and checked every location on the perimeter, we were ready. The vehicle approached the barrier at the entrance to the restricted area and was allowed through almost immediately. It was noted that both the driver and passenger windows were rolled down and that the driver appeared to be smoking and that was very much to our advantage. They proceeded slowly adhering to the speed limit and turned the first corner before stopping beside the patrol vehicle. Everything appeared normal and there was no suspicion or panic in the conversation which had turned to recommendations for breakfast in the local area.

The vehicle drove on slowly and turned the second corner and both the driver and passenger immediately knew something was wrong, but the ampoule had taken affect and the vehicle swerved out of control and sped towards one of the trailers. On passing out the driver had hit the accelerator pedal and it crashed with force into several of the hay bales. Within seconds the doors were opened, the passengers forcibly removed and then hand-cuffed before being carried into a waiting SUV.

The operation surrounding the warehouse had also gone according to plan and was all over inside a few minutes. The good news was that all the hostages were alive and well, and several others had been discovered in the basement of the building. The bad news was that two of the agents had died in the shoot-out and there were a few serious wounds that were being attended to before the victims were flown to a specialist medical facility.

I informed the director of the additional victims inside the warehouse and was instructed to keep them separate from the others, because another trauma unit would look after them. They would not be sent back to NYC with the others because the Government could not afford to have a slave scandal blow up in their faces. The link connecting the hostages and the slave trade would not be mentioned and Cormack Walsh would certainly have no access to the supporting information.

Local news had no access to the restricted zone in the harbour and a cleansing team would be activated as soon as we evacuated the scene to ensure that nothing would be left in the warehouse or the ambush zone that could connect either the hostages or the slave victims. Cormack would be supplied with fake footage of their release, which would not be allowed to be shown on any media channels and he would be told in no uncertain terms that it was in his own personal interest not to pursue the matter any further. He would under the circumstances be getting the praise for the safe return of the hostages and a Government honor for doing so. America had to be seen to able to solve its’ own internal problems, even if that meant burying the truth and hiding the real facts and keeping the citizens very much in the dark.

My final question was regarding Savannah which was swiftly dealt with. She would be assigned to the second trauma unit and would be de-briefed in due course. This again did not sound convincing, but I did not push it.

The senior agent wasted no time in preparing everyone for the evacuation to the airport. There was a convoy of black Government style SUVs with blacked out windows and a mobile medical trauma truck towards the rear. The hostages were in pairs with medical support and Savannah and the unknown hostages were together in the trauma truck. There were additional support vehicles at the front and rear that would guarantee security on the journey to the airport.

I was in the second black SUV with Victoria and an agency qualified medic still contemplating on how quickly the whole operation had been carried out. I had little time to dwell on the proceedings because the journey to the airport was both short and fast.

The convoy was ushered through security and stopped beside a special service unit at the other side of the airport where several jets and a military helicopter were parked. I used the rest room and grabbed a hot drink and stood outside in the secluded smoking section and did some more thinking.

I did not know what had happened to Smythe and Jones and was not sure whether to ask the director. I knew that my relationship with the director had changed and my senses were holding up big warning signs, but I was not sure what they were warning me of. I finished my drink and stubbed out the cigarette and returned to the transit area. Agents were allocating people for each flight, and mine was called first, almost as if to get me away before I could witness anything unusual.

I sat at the back of the cabin, so that I could use the only seats with a table. They were large soft leather seats, two facing each other, across the narrow aisle the seats were single and faced forward. Out of habit, I wanted to be able to observe the other passengers without them being able to do the same. Victoria was asleep in the second row by the window and the medic was across the aisle with a magazine.

The pilot gave the instructions that we were ready for take-off and we were in the air only a short time later. I had not bothered to buckle up or do any of the other pre-flight briefing stuff, just sat staring out of the small window to my right at the clouds which soon lay below as the plane levelled out and headed for NYC.

I wanted to scribble down some thoughts and get some sort of connectivity with all the information I had been given and reached across the aisle for my backpack because I wanted a small notebook and pen from a front pocket. I lifted the backpack and placed it on the seat next to me and removed the items from the pocket. I had wanted to start writing immediately as a few thoughts were jostling for first place, but I stopped because something was not quite as it should be. The backpack did not feel right, I was sure of it, but did not open it in the cabin. Instead I took it into the small restroom and sat on the lid, and just to ensure that I was not becoming paranoid I went through each compartment.

The contents had been moved, because they had all been stored in order with almost worrying tidiness. The weapons had been emptied of ammunition and the spare magazines were also empty. I checked the weapons and they had all been tampered with and the firing pins had all been removed. It was clear that whoever had done it had also assumed that I would have spare rounds on my person and that person had assumed correctly. The only other important weapon that was also missing was my close contact knife.  A small weight had been placed in the middle of the contents to balance out the contents that had been removed, but it had not been quite right.

I could not find anything else that was missing or tampered with, so I replaced the contents in my usual manner, flushed the toilet, washed my hands and sat back down in the cabin. I tried to remember when and where anyone else had access to the backpack but I was struggling because there were too many other thoughts fighting for position, so I decided to focus on the information the director had provided and what he had not provided.

I contacted my team which was still based in Brooklyn and asked them to do some digging on Susanna Bancroft, to pull in some favors if necessary and do whatever they could to get some answers before meeting me at the airport. Susanna had thrown Victoria to the wolves and had used Smythe and Jones to do the dirty work which meant that there had to be a connection between Susanna and Smythe and Jones.

Several questions kept coming back at me:

  • Why had Susanna betrayed a fellow Zodiac?
  • Who had secreted the piece of paper on my person and why?
  • Was the Savannah infiltration a decoy to hide someone or thing else?
  • Who was the woman on the helicopter with the director?
  • What was going to happen to Savannah after this was over?
  • Who was controlling the Zodiacs and from where?
  • Did this have political implications, because this was an election year?

I sat contemplating while staring aimlessly out of the small window, I had not written anything in the notebook, the pilot announced that we would be landing in NYC in ten minutes and I called the team again for another favor. This time it was to check out Business Enterprise Support Agency and to hurry, as time was running out. My final text before landing was to find a suitable location to dump the medic.

Victoria was awake and bright enough not to say anything as we went through the VIP terminal. It was fortunate that another indiscretion by a member of the NYPD allowed the team to be escorted across NYC to the airport to meet me in the parking lot outside. As the medic climbed into the support vehicle he was pricked with a very fine needle and he was out cold within minutes. The driver found a quiet location and suitable vehicle, then dumped him in the driver’s seat before forcing alcohol down his throat, left the bottle on the floor and then called the cops.

We had successfully parted company with the medic and the director would be informed of his predicament. Now we needed to attend to Victoria and the first stop was a drive-thru which pleased the guys. She was told to eat even though the food was not up to her usual culinary standards. She did so, quickly devouring a large box of chicken nuggets that were covered in ketchup and mayo and then drank a whole bottle of still water before speaking and asking several pertinent questions and received no reply, only an instruction to be silent and listen to what was going to happen next.

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