IT’S A NOVEL WITH A MESSAGE: OUR UNITY IS IN CHRIST; NOT THE BALLOT BOX.
March 19th, Monday Afternoon, FBI Headquarters
I came in from a late lunch and pulled the envelope out of my safe.
Fifteen minutes after it arrived I had received a call from Pete who’d asked if I’d read it yet.
“No, Pete, I’m out to lunch. When it arrived, I put it in my safe. I’ll call you when I get back.” And I hung up the phone.
That was an hour ago.
So now I extracted the envelope. It said, Top Secret, Eyes Only. Inside was a single sheet:
OPERATION: JUDAS I.
12th-17th, March, All Day each Day
Available Upon Request
Tailed Perp #3 all week, sat next to him at lunch on Thursday where he seemed to have a working lunch with a former MPTU colleague. They talked openly about his action plans in D.C. He appears to be working on a highly sensitive guide to influence voters. His words were, “What and when are we willing to submit to?” My conclusion was that the ultimate goal is regular, ongoing, manipulation. Voters were going to be manipulated somehow.
Classified, Director Pete Beecham
Copy, FBI, Eyes Only: Jack Jones
I called Pete in Homeland Security. “I read your report. I would like to see the transcripts of the lunch. What are you wanting to do here?”
“I want to go deep into his background. I want to know all the details around his being fired from the university and what part terrorism played in this. I also want to know how serious he is about manipulating people’s voting. Is that code for something? I don’t know, Jack, and that’s what bothers me. I’ve always thought this guy was dirty and I think we’re getting closer to his real intent.”
“Pete, you have been going deep for the last three months on Perp #3 and you have yet to find anything significant.”
“Jack, I think if we haul Perps #4 and #5 in immediately, we can get some dirt on Perp #3.”
“Pete,” I was so angry I stood. “Don’t be an idiot! Unless you find out they are stuffing ballot boxes, you stay away from the Religion Consultants. Do you hear me?”
There was silence on the other end.
I changed subjects, “Pete, I need to ask you about Perps #1 and #2. Have you lost interest in them?”
“No, Jack, not at all.”
“Well then what is your ‘gut’ telling you about them?” I asked with as much sarcasm as I felt safe exuding.
I heard him take a long slow breath before he finally said, “I think Dr. Dale is the dangerous one.”
“What?” I was still standing. “How can you say that with the rap sheet of Perp #1 being what it is?”
“Her issues are circumstantial while his were specific and not refuted. How many people do you know, Jack, who would not argue the loss of their job and reputation?”
“What if you are reading this all wrong, Pete?”
He continued, “There’s another reason I am not putting much stock in her.”
He paused and I waited for him to speak. “She’s too rich.”
“Huh?” I croaked.
“She’s got too much to lose and our psycho analysts don’t think she has what it takes to jeopardize everything she’s built up for herself in this precarious way.”
“Yeah, I’m being told that the religious mind is screwed up into a direction which makes them less dangerous when they have a lot to lose.”
I was incredulous but remained silent.
“When the Taliban/ISIS controllers send out a suicide bomber, whom do they send? Answer: They send out the poor kids. Why? Because the rich ones don’t want to go meet Allah while they still have their toys on earth to play with.”
After a long time of silence, I said, “Pete, do whatever you want to do to the Prayer-Guy, short of arresting him, but stay away from the candidates and their staff. Do nothing to them.”
“Got it.” Pete said.
I could hear the grin on his face.
“Keep your reports coming,” I said and I hung up.
Same Day, Washington D.C. Metro Station
We walked up the Capitol South escalators together. It was a brisk morning, a little more chilly than normal. But we kissed gently and then I took a step in the direction of my office. But I felt a double tap on my gloved hand which Issy was still holding.
Double tapping one another is a code we have for, “Pray for me.”
I turned back and reassured her I would. That morning she said she was going to try and address humility, from a Christian perspective; just in general, as something her candidate could practice in campaigning.
I prayed for my Issy, that she would have wisdom to write it with a scriptural foundation, in case there was any push-back.
When I got to my office, the place was buzzing and there was a big bright note which said, “The boss wants to see you.”
I immediately called the scheduler.
“See you here at 10:00 A.M. Jude,” she said.
At five minutes before the hour I was standing in my boss’s outer chamber. I have learned that these folks’ schedules are so busy you never show up more than five minutes early.
Right as the second hand stood straight up, the door opened and I was ushered in. My candidate was there on the phone, while three top aides shuffled papers and looked at me. These were people who would surely have a cabinet position if we were elected in seven and a half months.
The chief of staff, Garrett Hali, pointed me to a chair and spoke on behalf of the candidate who was still tied up and seemed unable to shake the caller on the other end.
“Jude,” Garrett started, and the other two execs sat next to me, “In every election cycle there are the typical ‘Voter’s Guides,’ right?”
I simply nodded as it was more of a statement than a question. He continued.
“We would like to come up with our own voter’s guide but with a few caveats.”
I just kept listening.
He looked around at the other two and the candidate who all nodded for him to keep speaking.
“Jude, we don’t want the guide to have its roots in anybody who is in the public’s eye. There is too much potential dirty laundry on everyone today.”
I nodded and before I could speak, he went on.
“The second caveat, Jude, is that it needs to be for religious people, since our stats tell us eight out of ten people claim some sort of religious affiliation.”
I smiled at them and asked, “What about a guide from a seventeenth century English pastor, of whom very little is known?”
All four of them looked at each other, then at me. Their mouths were agape.
“Did you know I was going to ask you about this?” Garrett asked slowly.
“Of course not. But I am in the religion business so. . .”
“So, when can you give me a first draft?”
“As soon as I get back to my desk?”
The boss, still on the phone, looked excited but the others in the room looked dumbfounded.
One of them said, “Jude, you know I’ve never been of fan of your working for us with your wife working for the opposition, but, can you explain why you already have what we didn’t even know were going to ask you about until this morning?”
“Sure, I understand your hesitancy. I have a friend in the prayer business who collects old Christian books. He has a seventeenth century, thirteen-hundred-page religious book, just like mine. One thing led to another and we started talking about a voter’s guide written in 1656 by the same author. He said it was brilliant back then, but is a must read for today.”
I paused and then added, “I have rewritten it into modern English since the Olde English was too hard to follow.”
Our candidate, listening to both the caller and me, gestured for me to keep going, which I did.
“It’s a sermon, at a time in the history of England when they were very severely divided. Much like the USA today. The pastor takes the first half of the booklet and talks about how he sees his nation, England, in a particular passage in Isaiah. But in the second half of the sermon this seventeenth century preacher tells folks how to vote, scripturally, while making a big deal about not telling them who to vote for.”
They immediately looked at the candidate who nodded vigorously.
Garrett took over, “Two things, Jude. First, send me the document and then call me thirty minutes later. I’ll be at my desk waiting for both.”[i]
As I was walking out the door, he asked me, “Why did you take the time to rewrite it into modern English?” He said it almost suspiciously.
“I don’t know,” I said honestly. “It didn’t take too long to do and it’s a better document now for it.”
Still suspicious, he asked, “You weren’t planning on using it elsewhere, were you?”
“Of course not, Garrett.” I noticed the others were steeped in their own conversations and the candidate was still on the phone.
[i] This is actually a real booklet which is in the appendix at the back of this book, and is also found at www.MarkMirza.com/Politics