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  Cogitate In Waiting  
 By:

 Jonathon
Markham
 
 The
sun
lingered
at
its
highest
point
of
the
day,
beaming
down
its
intense
 heat
as
a
dry
wind
blew
across
a
long
forgotten
yard.

Tall
yellow
grass
swayed
into
 the
dust
filled
breeze
as
the
roots
reluctantly
held
onto
the
desiccated
ground.

A
 rutted
dirt
driveway
ran
between
the
yard
and
a
rusted
chain
link
fence,
ending
at
a
 dilapidated
ranch.

Inside
sat
James
Cowlin,
a
lean
man
in
his
mid
forties
with
a
 military
cut
of
white
hair.
 
 He
held
in
his
hands
a
Colt
.45
with
two
rounds
missing
from
the
chamber,
 the
slugs
now
rested
in
the
temple
of
a
man
lying
on
the
floor.

James
was
waiting
 for
a
call
from
his
handler,
the
operation
didn’t
go
as
planned
and
he
needed
a
new
 set
of
orders.
 
 The
recently
deceased
was
an
apparent
informant
that
had
accesses
to
 information
that
the
U.S.
Government
found
to
be
extremely
valuable.

The
content
 of
this
information
was
so
profound
that
when
the
informant
stated
that
he
would
 only
deal
with
a
certain
unstable
former
CIA
agent,
the
Government
didn’t
hesitate
 to
give
James
a
call.

He
was
promised
a
reinstatement
of
his
pension
and
benefits
 after
the
successful
completion
of
the
mission.

It
was
a
chance
to
get
his
life
back.
 
 James
had
been
reluctant
at
first;
his
final
years
at
the
CIA
were
not
the
best,
 due
to
his
occasional
blackouts.

Either
an
event
or
a
sound
would
trigger
a
memory
 of
one
of
many
horrifying
experiences
he
had
while
working
under
deep
cover.

He
 would
go
into
a
psychotic
craze
and
when
he
came
out
of
it,
things
had
happened
 that
he
had
no
memory
of
doing.

Bad
things.
 
 He
was
a
liability
and
when
his
usefulness
ran
out
they
cut
him
off
and
locked
 all
records
away.

He
was
considered
an
embarrassment
to
some
and
they
wanted
 all
existence
of
his
involvement
to
be
erased.

He
lost
twelve
years
of
his
life
with
 nothing
to
show
for
it.
 
 Naturally,
when
that
first
call
came
he
didn’t
know
what
he
should
do.

This
 would
be
a
chance
to
get
back
a
little
dignity,
but
he
also
knew
he
was
volatile
and
it
 was
a
big
risk
putting
him
out
in
the
field.

He
told
them
initially
that
he
would
think
 about
it.
 
 The
next
day
at
the
exact
same
time
they
called
him
again
and
he
gave
them
 the
same
response
as
before.

It
wasn’t
until
the
Director
himself
visited
James
at
his
 house
via
helicopter
that
James
agreed
to
take
the
mission.

The
Director
was
one
of
 his
biggest
critics
and
James
knew
that
for
him
to
ask
James
personally
must
of
 meant
that
the
mission
had
an
urgency
of
an
up
most
importance.
 
 He
was
kept
in
the
dark
about
the
details
of
the
operation.

It
wasn’t
until
the
 LZ
that
James
knew
where
he
was
going
and
it
wasn’t
until
he
arrived
at
the
ranch,
 where
he
now
sat
waiting,
did
he
know
who
he
was
dealing
with.
 
 His
first
thought
was
if
this
was
some
kind
of
cruel
joke.

He
could
feel
his
 mind
slipping
and
it
took
all
of
his
willpower
to
bring
himself
back.

Didn’t
the
CIA



still
have
a
file
on
him?

Didn’t
they
know
what
had
happened
between
these
two?

 No,
he
supposed
they
did
not,
with
the
whole
erasing
him
from
existence.

But
the
 Director
knew
everything
that
happened
to
James
during
his
years
at
the
agency.

He
 must
of
known
the
situation
this
would
potentially
cause.
 
 Maybe
that
was
his
plan
the
whole
time.

Is
it
possible
that
this
entire
 operation
was
set
up
by
the
director
to
prove
a
point?

No,
that
wouldn’t
make
 sense.

The
Director
was
an
arrogant
ass,
but
he
wasn’t
crazy.

Then
what
was
it?

 Why
was
he
the
only
one
that
could
come
out
here
and
receive
this
so‐called
high
 priority
intelligence?




 
 As
James
processed
the
thought,
he
stared
at
the
dead
body
that
lied
before
 him.

He
noticed
that
there
was
no
envelope
or
briefcase.

Where
was
this
supposed
 intelligence?

James
leaned
forward
and
searched
the
pockets
of
the
body.

He
found
 a
sidearm
strapped
to
the
man’s
side,
a
small
snub
nose
below
the
calf,
and
two
 knives
discretely
tucked
away;
but
no
intelligence.

No
flash
drive,
disk,
papers,
 nothing.
 
 When
James
first
walked
into
the
room,
memories
of
their
past
flooded
into
 his
head
and
he
lost
control.

He
knew
the
man
had
started
speaking,
but
he
could
 not
hear
the
words.

He
had
slipped
too
far
into
his
subconscious
and
without
even
 realizing
it,
he
had
pulled
out
his
gun
and
fired
off
two
rounds.
 
 As
the
sound
of
the
second
blast
diminished,
shock
and
anger
took
him
over.

 An
array
of
other
emotions
followed,
failure
and
panic
set
in
and
then
the
realization
 that
for
once
his
psychosis
actually
saved
him.

The
expired
corps
had
made
a
 promise
to
deliver
previously
classified,
unobtainable
information,
and
in
the
 processes
was
able
to
have
James
delivered
right
to
him.

It
was
one
of
the
most
 ideal
situations
of
revenge—when
an
opposing
government
delivers
one
of
their
 own.
 
 James
admired
the
cunningness
and
knew
that
if
such
an
opportunity
had
 presented
itself,
he
would
of
done
the
same
thing.

These
two
had
a
long
bloody
 history
together
and
James
just
slammed
that
book
shut
forever.

He
called
his
 handler
and
reported
a
‘mission
fail’
and
requested
an
extraction.

The
phone
was
 still
held
tightly
in
his
hand.

At
any
moment
it
would
ring
with
the
location
of
an
 extraction
LZ.


 
 The
helicopter
would
arrive
and
James
would
be
picked
up
and
brought
back
 to
headquarters.

He
would
inform
them
during
the
debrief
that
the
contact
was
 dead.

He
would
then
explain
what
happened
and
that
there
was
no
intelligence;
 what
happened
from
there
would
be
anybodies
guess.

For
now,
he
would
just
sit
 there,
holding
a
cell
phone,
waiting
for
the
call.
 
 THE END  
 

 



Cogitate in Waiting