Ken Wasil

Manus, Brazil

Breathing heavily, she rested with her hands on her knees behind the 200 foot broad leaf mahogany tree.  She was wearing a straw-cowboy hat, a native Peruvian scarf around her neck, and leather chaps on her legs.  She peaked out around the huge tree trunk encrusted with epiphytes.   Two poison arrows landed no further than two inches from her head. 

She took off running through the thick rain forest pursued by indigenous Ayoreo Indians, known for their head hunting and poison darts.  She came to a steep incline and jumped out as far as she could . . . sliding on her behind down . . . down . . . down the wet muddy slope, the vegetation slapping and pounding her body—then off the side of a 100 foot cliff into a  churning river.

She was submerged for over two minutes before she hit the riverbed and propelled herself towards the surface and downstream with her powerful legs.  She surfaced a minute later. 

When her head emerged from the water, she felt a sting on the left side of her stomach.  It pulled painfully on her skin.   

She heard, “I got it, I got it . . . it’s a beaut!”

Jingo said, “You caught a 110 lb. woman . . . and unless you’re a cannibal, you’d better throw her back.”

"Oh my God, . . . Hail Mary, mother of grace . . . , I’m so sorry, I’m father Brenden Avery – Church of the Later Day Saints."

“Well, if you were a gentleman, you’d help me out of here.  I need to make it to La Paz, Bolivia by the day after tomorrow . . . can you get me there?”

 Why Mam, “That’s 600 kilometers through the jungle . . . it will take you a week overland.”

“I just escaped by the hair of your chinney chin chin from an angry band of Ayoreo.”  She took off her hat, pulled out an arrow and handed it to Father Avery. 

I’d say you did.  Let me see what I can do to assist you.”

*  *  *

Jingo was dressed in clean khaki shirt and pants, her cowboy hat, native scarf, and a traditional backpack (which was a colorful Andean blanket wrapped around her clothing and camping gear).  She led a Llama down a mountain trail and was walking with a fiftyish man also wearing native garb with a Llama in tow. 

He said, “McClellan and Jefferies are the CEO and CFO of Eagle Oil, the largest U.S. petroleum company and on the Federal Reserve’s list of companies that cannot fail (like General Motors and Ford Motor Company; they could possibly bring down the whole U.S. economy if they went out of business).  The Federal Reserve believes the two have been tinkering with the financial statements of the company to make them look profitable while Eagle is actually loosing money.  We want you to get hired into the accounting department, audit the financial statements, and send the records to a dummy web site via the internet.  We have an ally in personnel, so getting you in with a supporting staff won’t be a problem.”

“And who’s going to protect me from the thugs Mr. McClellan and Mr. Jefferies send after me.”

“Your disguise and this.”  He handed her a pill," swallow this and we’ll be able to monitor everything you or anyone else says around you.  We’ll also hire on agents to keep an eye on you.”

“Great, and what happens when I finish the job—will your agents listen to me when I’m at home or out with my boyfriend?”   

“No Jingo, the device will pass through you within 30 days.  Now here, use this software to encrypt the Eagle financial information and send it to the web site.  It’s a generic accounting site—no one will suspect any wrong doing.”

They continued walking down the trail, slipped behind a clump of trees, and emerged a minute later ascending into the clouds in a helicopter.

*  *  *

Jingo is now employed at Eagle Oil.  On her first day at work, she walks into her office with a cup of coffee, a purse, and an assortment of bags from office supply stores.  She sets down her coffee cup on an ultra-modern curved, black, white, and chrome desk.  She walks around the room and stops to talk with her employees. 

“How’s it going Jennifer?”

“Tracking the paper trail on the Amalgamated Oil and Gas subsidiaries is going to take months.”

“I understand, I’ll ask Mr. Jefferies to give us more help.”

She then walked back to her desk, sat down at the computer, and began

scrolling through Eagle’s financial records.

*  *  *

Three days later, Mrs. Oglvie, the human resource manager, walked in, “How are you doing, Jingo?”

“We’re making progress . . . but there are still an awful lot of old records to go through.”

“Mr. Jefferies was impressed with the report you did on our gulf coast oil platforms.  He said that you did a wonderful job of offsetting profits with research investments.   The previous accounting manager never seemed to get it right.”

"By the way, I’ve heard rumors, what exactly happened to him?”

“To be honest, it was kind of a mystery . . . he went home one day and didn’t return.  After a week, Mr. McClellan called in the police.  They eventually found him in his car . . . in Connecticut . . . with a bullet in the center of his forehead and a gun in his hand.  There was no suicide note or anything.”

Jingo said, “Ymmmm, as I was saying, we’ve got oodles of records to go through . . . and Mr. Jefferies asked me to have profit and loss statements and quarterly tax reports completed by the end of the month—but at the rate we’re going, we won’t have them done until the end of the year,  . . . we need more people.” 

"I’ll ask Mr. Jefferies to sign off on hiring for you.”

"And oh, let me ask you a favor, we need some diversity here, and some more Japanese.  It gets lonely."

“I’ll see what I can do.”

*  *  *

Two weeks later, Jingo had her new staff of Kiko, a Japanese woman, Jefferson, a twentyish black man dressed impeccably in a business suit and tie, Catherina, a thirtyish Latino lady, and Chin, a late thirtyish Chinese woman.  This was in addition to Jennifer and the three other employees who had already been in the department when Jingo arrived. 

Mrs. Olglevie walked into the office and said, “Jingo, I mean Ms. Shinto, Mr. Jefferies  wants to talk with you in his office . . . it’s serious.”

“OK, I’ll be right there.”

“Hello, Jingo, how are your new employees working out?”

“Excellent, thank you.  We’re nearly finished with our reports on the subsidiary companies.

“Good.  Mr. McClellan and I have reviewed your analysis and tax report of Amalgamated.  He said that he was positive there were more deductable expenditures.”

"My staff and I have scoured the records for deductions.  If you can tell us where to find the rest of them, I‘d be glad to rewrite the report so that they are included.”

“Miss. Shinto, I don’t think you understand.  Mr. McClellan said our stockholders have had one bad quarter with no earnings.  They don’t want another one.  It’s imperative that our subsidiaries and Eagle Oil show a profit—is that understood?”

“Yes Mr. Jefferies . . . I’ll see what I can do.”

Mr. Jefferies said, “Miss. Shinto, you will do what I asked won’t you?”

Yes, Mr. Jefferies—I’ll scour the records for more capital expenses.”

When Jingo got back to her office, she completed her financial report on Eagle Oil for the Federal Reserve and sent it to the dummy web site.

*  *  *

Mr. Jefferies called in his MIS director, Hector.  He was in his mid-thirties, had sandy blond curly hair, and was a brilliant man.  Unfortunately,  Hector had been born with a deformity so that when he walked, his head hung down and rested on his chest and his toes pointed inward so that with each step he took, he look as if he would fall forward onto his face. 

“Sit down Hector.”

“I don’t mind if I do, hee, hee, hee (He made a snorting kind of laugh).

Mr. Jefferies said, “I don’t trust that woman, Jingo.  Can you keep an eye on her?”

“I’ll monitor and record her and her staff’s computer and communication activities.  We’ve got the latest model spy cams and spy software installed in the finance offices.”

“Good, let me know what you find.

*  *  *

A few days later, Jingo took the Amalgamate reports to Mr. Jefferies.  She said, “We’ve added another ten percent in write offs to the tax estimates.  Most of the subsidiaries now show a profit.”

Mr. Jefferies said, “Thank you, Ms. Shinto.”

She returned to her office, finished her work for the day, and then left with Jennifer and the new employees.  She thought to herself, my work here is done.  If they try anything funny, I’ll just leave.

The group decided to go out to celebrate.  They went to a ritzy sushi house in upper Manhattan across the street from Central Park.  They enjoyed a pleasant meal with lots of sake.

When Jennifer asked Jingo about Mr. Jefferies reaction to the reports, Jingo replied, “Well, he didn’t seem too pleased, but you can all sleep well.  As far as I’m concerned, we did an excellent job of maintaining our integrity and utilizing the write-offs effectively.  It was a Friday night, so they lingered in the restaurant until after 11:00 p.m.  When they strolled out the side door of the restaurant and Jennifer said, “Isn’t this a nice n . . . ." they were grabbed from behind, their mouths covered with cloth, then tied up and driven away.  They were taken to the river docks and loaded into a storage container, then onto a barge, and taken out to sea.

Hector, who had followed the operation in a third car, called Jefferies, “It’s done.  In a very short time they will be taking up residence at the bottom of the Atlantic.”

“Good, now about the report our little finance manager sent to the anonymous web site?  How much damage did she do?”

“I’m sorry Mr. Jefferies, you can assume the worst.  She encrypted our complete financial records for the past five years and sent them to a web site established by the Federal Reserve.”

“Thank you Hector, You’ve done your job . . . they’ll be a bonus waiting for you in your office.”

“Thank you Mr. Jefferies, hee, hee, hee, hee.”

Jefferies knocked on McClellan’s door.  “The bird has escaped the coop (code for our covers broken).

McClellan said, “So she was with the Federal Reserve?”

“Right.”

“You’ve taken care of her and her staff?”

“Of course.  What shall we do now?”

“It’s time to utilize my contingency plan.  I’ve hinted to the board on several occasions that I’m considering retirement after a long and distinguished career.  It’s time to follow it through to completion . . . and of course, you, being my top assistant, will join me in thirty days.”

“Agreed.”

“And we’ll be gone before the Federal Reserve can take action.  The bonus clause in my contract guarantees me $25 million, enough to give us both a comfortable life in South America.  We’ll split it 60—40.

*  *  *

Jingo was able to free her mouth from the bandana through pulling on it with her teeth a little at a time.  She said, “I hope you guys get the picture; this boat ride is a one way ticket to the bottom of the Atlantic.”  She told Jennifer to turn around and then she began untying her hands using her teeth.  It was a painstakingly slow process, pulling on the rope knots a little bit at a time.

Soon, Jefferson was able to free his mouth and began untying Chin’s hands.  Kiko and Koki then freed each other.

Jingo said, “Now, we’ve got to figure out how to open this “coffin.”

Catherina said, “Look, here’s a pipe.”

Jefferson wedged it between the two doors and they all pull on it together.  They put their weight and muscle into it, but nothing moved.  Then the whole container began to tip at a sharp angle as it slid over the side of the boat.  It rocked back and forth and up and down and they were thrown against the walls and the floor.  They were floating on the ocean!  Water began seeping through the cracks between the doors.

Jingo said, “We’ve got about one minute to pry that door open and get out of here before we take up residence with the octopi and sea cucumbers on the seabed.”

The water was up to their knees and would soon be up to their waists.  Koki found a larger diameter pipe that she put over the smaller one for leverage.  They all pulled together and this time the doors gave way.  Water flooded into the container.  Jingo, being a world-class diver, grabbed Jen and swam to the surface.  She then returned for Jefferson and Chin, again for Catherina and Kiko, and finally Koki.

Fortunately, it was mid-summer, so the water temperature was survivable.  They found one of the wooden doors floating nearby, hung onto it, and kick-paddled towards the shore. 

As they approached the beach, they swam through muck, grim, oil, and seaweed.  When they got out of the water, they were covered with the stuff. 

Jefferson said, “Gambling anyone?”

Chin said, “Why?”

He pointed to a billboard on the highway; “Welcome to Atlantic City.”

They brushed themselves off, walked up to the road and towards the city.  Cars and trucks whizzed by and then a delivery van pulled up.  The driver said, “Can you tell me how to get to the Trump Towers?”

While he was talking, the same six big thugs from the night before got out of the van and came after them. 

Jingo said, “Karate anyone?”

The accountants, except for Koki, were highly skilled in the marshal arts, disposed of the unpleasant guests in short order.

 Kiko said, “At least we saw them coming this time.”

Jingo said, “So you guys are agents after all.” 

Chin, “Yea, we were hired by the Federal Reserve to back you up.  Q told us not to disclose our identities in case we were being watch by Jefferies.”

A few minutes later, a helicopter landed on the highway and picked up jingo and her motley crew.

Q said, “We got your report.  The Federal Reserve and FBI have enough evidence to put Mr. McClellan and Mr. Jefferies behind bars for a long time . . . and of course, now they’ll be tried for attempted murder.  Well, I’m glad to see you and your friends are safe . . . ."

Jingo said, “You sure took your time getting here.  And what happened to the backup agents that you were going to hired to protect me." 

“You're sitting next to three of them.  The other two are dead.  Once Jeffries found out your report went to the Federal Reserve web site, all new hires were eliminated.”

Jingo said, “I’m sorry to hear that.  If we hadn’t escaped that storage container, we would have joined them.  In any case, I’m now off on a scuba diving vacation.  You know how to reach me . . . just don’t make it any sooner than thirty days . . . OK?”

*  *  *

Jingo went onto the internet, checked flights through Buzzline and then booked a ticket to Martinique in the Caribbean.  She made the reservation in another name, using a fictitious passport.  This time she dressed as a tourist.  She wore a colorful Hawaiian shirt, white pants, flats, and a camera around her neck.

She said to the flight attendant, “I can’t wait to catch up to my friends in Port-de-France.  We’re going to "party hardy" all week long.  Do you know the hot spots?”

The stewardess who flew the route twice a week spent several minutes filling in Jingo on the places to eat, dance, party, and see on the island.  Of course, Jingo had no intention of going to any of them.  She planned on staying in a small, remote cottage on the beach and diving in the new underwater park on the east side of the island.

*  *  *

The next morning, McClellan called an emergency meeting of the Board of Directors of Eagle Oil.  He told them of his decision to retire for health and family reasons He said that Jefferies would stay on to run the company.  He also mentioned that he had taken the liberty to transfer his $25 million retirement bonus into his overseas accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.  He showed the decision makers the receipts and said it was all done above board.

Several members of the board complained.  Fred Hutchinson said, “But Mr. McClellan, it’s in your contract – you are to give the board six months notice of your departure in order to receive the bonus.  This is quit irregular.” 

McClellan said, “It’s honestly an extenuating circumstance.  My doctor has diagnosed me with pancreatic cancer.  He advises me to begin treatment immediately.  Here's a letter from him verifying it.  I have my personal jet standing ready to fly me to California to begin treatment.” 

Margaret Price said, “And transferring $25 million dollars to your personal account without permission is nothing less than robbery.”

John Riverston said, “I move that we vote on the matter.”

Hutchinson and the rest of the board said, “Agreed.”

McClellan said, “Excuse me for a moment, I must call my doctor.  I’ll return, let’s say, in thirty minutes.”

*  *  *

Twenty-five minutes later McClellan was at the airport in his private jet waiting for permission to take off from the control tower.  He called Jefferies, “Unexpected problems—the board objects to my sudden departure and withdrawal of $25 million from the company account.  Therefore, I am leaving immediately.  You can join me at the airport . . . or take your chances with the authorities. 

“I’ll meet you there in fifteen minutes.”

“OK, and Mr. Jefferies, will you take care of that little scum Hector for me?”  He deserves to be put out of his misery before this is over.  My 9mm luger is in the right hand top desk drawer.”

That’s all right, I’ve got two pistols of my own handy . . . it will be a pleasure.”

When McClellan did not return, the board called the police, FBI, and SEC to report the theft and McClellan’s flight from justice. 

McClellan waited patiently on runway twenty-three at Kennedy Airport for permission to leave.  When the pilot saw a platoon of police cars headed by Jefferies limousine racing towards the plane, he said to Mr. McClellan, “Sir, under the circumstances, should we take off without permission?”

McClellan said, “It seems that would be the best solution.”

When the limousine neared the jet, it skidded to a stop, Jefferies threw open the door, and sprinted for McClellan’s departing jet.  He grabbed onto a wheel strut and held on while the jet taxied down the runway.  Eventually, he fell to the ground with the police and FBI vehicles parked in a semi-circle around him.  They watch McClellan’s Jet fly off the end of the runway and over the city. 

McClellan had anticipated the need for a quick get-a-way.  He had made alternative plans well in advance.  He instructed the pilot to land at a private runway in Virginia where a van waited to take him and the pilot to Columbia, South Carolina where they would take another flight to Asuncion, Paraguay.

*  *  *

Jingo had rented a diving boat and diving equipment and was now underwater happily exploring the wonders of the Martinique water park.  She glided around coral formations, saw masses of colorful fish, bumped into a giant sea turtle, encountered sharks, eels, and a plethora of other sea life. 

Suddenly, a dark shadow swept across her while she walked the sea floor.  She looked up and saw a boat pull up next to hers on the surface.  A moment later, a diver pierced the water.  She thought, Oh no, not another attack, as she reached for her spear gun.  The diver headed straight for her.  But instead of assaulting her, he had a message board that read, “Q sent me.  Need your help with Eagle Oil.”  He pointed to the surface. 

When Jingo's head popped above the water she said, “I’ve only been here two days, I can’t even take a weekend off without being tracked down by the Fed . . . ."

“Hi Jingo, Chad Rogers.  We’ve had some complications in the case with Eagle Oil . . . McClellan cashed out his $25 million bonus and ran for it.  We think he’s gone to Paraguay.  We’ve got Jefferies in custody.”

“Oh, shoot . . .  I was just in South America a few months ago.”

“Q is sending the agency’s jet – he’ll be on it to brief you.”

*  *  *

When Jingo boarded the aircraft, she said in an excited voice, “Jen, Chin, Kiko, Jefferson, and Catherina, you’re here!”

Q said, “I thought you could use some help with this one.  I have a man in Asuncion.  He’s checking our target's trail and getting together a vehicle and supplies for an expedition.  McClellan may even have staff, a standing army, and a compound set up.  We think he’ll head north to the Mato Grosso, the world's largest expanse of undeveloped jungle.  We may have to send you in as bait.”

“Thanks Q, why don’t you just tie me up naked and put me in front of a firing squad now and save on the expense.”

The Asuncion Airport was anything but modern.  It had two dirt runways, a small bunker for a terminal, and a one-man control tower.  When they arrived, they were met by a jovial Latino man named Roberto who spoke excellent English.

The airport was also the staging ground for Jingo’s expedition.  There was a huge overland vehicle with giant sized tractor tires that looked like a cross between a tank and a bus.  Workers were streaming in carrying all kinds of supplies and wilderness equipment, loading them into storage compartments, and tying them onto the roof of the vehicle.

Roberto said, “A heavily loaded expedition headed north from here two days ago.  We think it was McClellan.  Jingo’s expedition left two hours later and included Jingo, her five accountants/secret agents from Eagle Oil, Roberto, and a contingent of ten mercenaries.  There was no time to refresh themselves or have a good meal before entering the jungle.

*  *  *

The “tank”, as they called their vehicle, moved north from Asuncion through grassland and then into the rain forest. The roads were hard-packed dirt.  The driver stopped several times to remove tree limbs from the road.  They passed villages and people walking or riding bicycles with heavy loads.  When they entered the jungle, they were welcomed with gunshots. Roberto radioed Jingo that two of his men had been killed.  He said, “You’d better have your crew ready, we may be attacked at any time. 

The accountants were anything but ready for battle.  Jen was working on a Kudo puzzle, Jefferson was playing a video game, Jingo and Kiko were chatting in Japanese, and Chin was sprawled out on a sofa while an Indiana Jones movie played behind her on a flat screen TV.  There were also four of Roberto’s mercenaries inside the bus playing poker.

The forest became more and more dense and the canopy overhead lower and lower.  Four soldiers dropped onto the roof of the tank from a tree and began hacking at Roberto and his crew with machetes.  Roberto and another mercenary near the rear of the vehicle and opened fire on the interlopers.  They killed two with gunfire and the other two in hand-to-hand combat.  They were now down to Roberto and six mercenaries and the five secret agents.

Four hours later, well after dark, they pulled off the road onto a dirt track that led to a stream.  Here they would spend the night. 

Roberto said, “My men and I will take shifts to guard the “tank” for the night.”

Jingo said, “I’d like to give my crew experience in this jungle environment.  Can you let us share the guard duty?”

Roberto said, “Are you joking? There are wild things out there—not to mention the Kawahiva head hunters and McClellan's soldiers.”

“My staff needs to get the feel of the land because they’ll be trekking through the jungle and attacking McClellan's compound.”

“OK, Jingo, you and one of your staff can do a shift with me.  I’ll wake you at 1:00 a.m.”

Chin stood at the front of the tank and Jingo at the far end.  Roberto stationed himself twenty meters into the rain forest – every ten minutes he’d circle around the vehicle to check on Chin and Jingo.  After thirty minutes there was a piercing scream and then “Let me go, let me go," and then silence.

Roberto came running out of the forest, found Chin but not Jingo.  The soldiers and staff burst out of the tank and joined the search.  They couldn’t find a thing.  Finally, Roberto gave them permission to use flashlights to explore the surrounding area. 

Alphorns said, “I’ve spotted something . . . ,” he pointed up into a tree.”

There was a boa constrictor nestled ten meters above the ground with a torso and head with long hair dangling from its mouth.  Roberto tied a rope around a rock and threw it over a branch.  He and the other mercenaries tied the other end around Alphonso’s waist and pulled him up the trunk of the tree. 

Alphonso shot the boa and used a machete to chop it off Jingo.  It had swallowed her feet and legs all the way up to her waist.  They lowered her to the ground, used artificial respiration to revive her, and water to wash off the snake’s slime.

When Jingo revived, Roberto said, “It’s a miracle you weren’t crushed to death . . . in a few more minutes you would have been.  Usually a boa strangles its prey and softens it up before swallowing it.  Ha, ha. ha . . . your so small that it decide to forego the formalities and eat you in one gulp.”

In the morning the men were up early preparing breakfast: steak and eggs, toast and coffee.

Jingo said, “If that constrictor had swallowed all of me, would you have chopped him open and taken me out?”

Roberto said, “Boas take a week to digest their meals—we would have given you a book and brought the boa along with us with you inside of it . . . that way we wouldn't have to listen to you talk." Laughter from the soldiers.

At that moment, poison darts hit the trees above their heads.   Two more mercenaries went down.  Roberto shouted, “Everyone – into the tank.”

As they dashed for the bus, high undulating war cries echoed through the jungle.  Roberto and Miguel fired automatic rifles in the direction of the natives.  They quickly drove away.

Jingo said, “This doesn’t look good, we started with ten soldiers and now we have only four.”

Roberto said, “I’ll call “Q” for reinforcements.”

A few minutes later he said . . . We have now entered the Matos Grosso, the densest, wildest, most uncivilized rain forest in the world.”

Jefferson said, “I want a McDonald’s hamburger.”

Kiko added. “Let’s stop at Starbuck’s, I need my morning latte.”

Laughter.

“I talked to Q.  He said that his agency is tracking McClellan using satellite and infrared photography.  He’s heading north to the Amazon.  If he stays on the major road going in that direction, he’ll end up about three hundred miles east of Manaus.  It’s the only city of any significance on the river.  There are a few ancient temples and several old abandoned forts in the area.”

Jingo said, “Great, we have to storm a fortress with four soldiers and a handful of accountants against the largest standing army in all of South America.  At noon, they came to a two-story log inn that looked like it was straight out of Alamo, Texas.  They stopped for a meal and asked the proprietor if he had any information on McClellan’s entourage. 

When Jingo walked into the restaurant, she was greeted by screams and shouts from five Japanese travelers.  They were wearing tee shirts, army pants, heavy hiking boots, and sitting at a table surrounding by backpacks.  Jingo ran up to them, hugged, and kissed each one.  They proceeded to chat in Japanese.

“Fancy meeting you here – where are you going and where have you been.”

We’ve cris-crossed South America three times on a diving expedition and now are heading to catch a river boat down the Amazon to Macata at its mouth on the North Atlantic.” 

“Are you walking?”

“Well, the tour book says that a bus comes through here, but there's been no bus.  We’ve waited for three days.  How about you?”

I’ve been enjoying being shot at with bullets and poison arrows, attacked by soldiers and headhunters, and eaten by a boa constrictor.”

“So your still doing the secret agents spiel.”

“Yea, helping the Federal Reserve investigate huge companies that “cannot fail”.  Hey, Roberto, come here, I want you to meet some of my friends.  They’re from Japan.  They’re heading the same way we are, to the Amazon.  Like Chin, Jefferson, Kiko, and Jen they are experienced secret agents.  They need a lift as far as the river.  Since we’ve lost six soldiers, why don’t we take them along.”

Roberto said, “Are you kidding?  Bringing a bunch of college kids with backpacks along on this expedition will be writing their epitaphs.”

“But Roberto, they’re agents and speak at least some English.  T-San is an expert in electronics, including electronic explosives, I-San is an engineer specializing in motor vehicles including lunar landing equipment, Asoh is Chinese and has a PhD in Nuclear Physics and somehow ended up working for the Japanese, Chi is Vietnamese and is an expert in most forms of hand to hand combat including Karate, and Kimi is Korea and has been an agent for three Asian governments. 

I San said, “This vacation is a reward for the last job we did . . . . well, one day I'll settle down, I guess."

Jingo walked around the table and sat in his lap, "I've missed you.  It's been a long time since we've been together."

I feel the same way—hazards of the secret agent life, I guess." 

Jingo brushed the hair off I San's forehead and stroked his cheeks.  Then they kissed for several minutes

*  *  *

The tank began descending a long step canyon leading down to the Amazon  . . . there was a low rumbling sound in the background that gradually grew louder, but no one heard it over the sound of the vehicle and the  music and movies playing in the lounge.  McKennan, the driver, glanced in his rear-view mirror and did a “double take"—coming down the road behind them was an avalanche –boulders, rocks, mud were sliding down the hillside and gaining on the tank.

McKennan floored the accelerator and then called Jingo and Roberto on the walkie-talkie.  “Landslide! Get down, get down, tell everyone to brace themselves.” 

Boulders and rocks smashed into the vehicle – one hit a soldier on the roof and another one of Roberto’s crew “bit the dust”.

The bus raced down the mountain at full speed – McKennan was sure that he made several turns on just two wheels.  When they neared the river, he made a wild u-turn attempting to end up facing the on coming debris . . . but the tank was caught side-ways and the landside knocked it into the river. 

Roberto shouted, “Open the emergency windows, bring out the inflatable boats.  The passengers climbed onto the driver's side of the vehicle which was now its top while it floated down the river.  Essential supplies, weapons, and personal items were handed out and loaded onto the rafts.  They managed to save a handful of AK47’s.  One by one the passengers descended into the life rafts.  A few minutes later, the bus, like a giant hippopotamus, slide down to the bottom of the river. 

Jingo said, I-San, we can leave you and your group here to fend for yourselves . . . or you can come along with us.  God knows, we’ll need the help.  Q will put you all on salary. 

I-San said, “What do you think T-San, Asoh, and Chi?  Personally, I can use some pocket money, It won't be much considering how the U.S. dollar converts to Japanese Yen.  How about you?”

Chi said, “I’m for it . . . to tell you the truth, a little action is just what I need.”

The others said, “Let’s do it.”

*  *  *

Jingo, I-San, Chin, and Jefferson were in one canoe, Gen, T-San, Kimi, Asoh, and Kimi were in the second,  Roberto, Kiko, Chi, and the two remaining mercenaries were in the third.  The river was calm and they glided peacefully on for about an hour.  The rain forest grew right up to the shore and overhung the river in many places.  Occasionally, they drifted past sandy beaches with crocodiles sunning themselves.  Jingo cringed when she saw a boa lazily ascending a tree. 

When they past a large island, arrows flew over the boat, but they saw no natives.  A few minutes later they heard a loud roar and the air became filled with moisture.

Roberto shouted, “Waterfall.” Ahead, the river was white with boiling, churning water and its declivity increased.  Soon, all they could see was a wall of mist. 

Roberto shouted, “It’s too big of a drop,” and he point to the shore.  The rowers frantically pulled on their oars to reach the river bank, but the speed of the white water was too great.

Roberto said, “Jump out from the boat when we go over the falls,” and he mimicked the action using body language. 

Jingo was the first to surface.  She came up next to T-San caught his shirt collar, grabbed Chin’s shirt, and swam to the shore.  She left them hanging on a tree root. She returned for the others who couldn’t make it on their own.  They were unable to find Roberto and one of the soldiers. 

They walked down along the Amazon until they came to a large sandy beach.  The current had washed two of the canoes ashore – one was smashed to pieces and the other had the hull shredded.  They collect what little remained of their supplies and made ready to leave. 

Just as they began to walk, a group of McClellan's soldiers dressed in camouflage uniforms and carrying rifles surrounded them.  They had Roberto and a mercenary in handcuffs.  The leader, a squat short man with a dark complexion and an ugly scar that ran from the top of his left cheek all the way to his chin said, “So it’s Jingo and her little band of accountants come to save the day . . . with that he let out a wild laugh.  Mr. McClellan wishes to offer you his hospitality, and , oh, yes, he’s got several surprises in store for you.” 

Each of the group was handcuffed and then they we all tied together with a long rope.  They marched for four hours through the steaming hot jungle making only brief rest stops.  Finally, they came to a small rise of land . . . and there, straddling the Amazon, sat a Ziggurat, an ancient Maya temple.

Jingo said, “I thought there were no Maya structures this far south.”

The leader said, “This is a recent discovery made by Mr. McClellan, himself.”  He turned around and led them across a footbridge, constructed from split logs, and into the pyramid.  

McClellan greeted them inside the entrance.  He was dressed all in white— sport coat, shirt, slacks, and white and tan alligator shoes. 

He said, “My dear Jingo, I’d like to invite you and your friend to dinner and be my guest at our "five star" accommodations.  But first, since you’ll be staying with us for quit some time, I’ll show you around our quaint little home.”

Jingo said, “So McClellan, did you make off with half of Eagle Oil's revenue as well?”

“Oh Much better than that . . . “Let me show you.  He led them to the end of a long hall, into a huge freight elevator, and downward fifteen stories below the ground.  When the giant stainless steel doors opened, they saw a massive room with twenty printing presses.  It looked like the publishing floor of the New York Times newspaper.  He walked over to a machine and returned with sheets of $1, $5, 10$, $20, and $100 bills.  “They look authentic, don’t they?”

Jingo said, “Enough money to run a small country.”

“The Republic of Northern Amazon.  It has a miniscule population but more oil than any other country in the world except those on the Arabian Peninsula.  One-hundred thousand square miles, and because of its inaccessibility, it is defensible by a small standing army and “baby blue”.”

“What’s “baby blue”.”

“Come this way .  . . I have another surprise for you."  He led them into a small theatre.  McClellan stood on the dais and said, “During tough economic times, third world countries will sell anything for the right price.”  He snapped his fingers and a documentary film appeared on the screen highlighting the making and exploding of an atomic bomb!

“I underestimated you, Mr. McClellan, you’ve used your evil genius to out do yourself.  I thought you were just ripping off the United States Government and its largest oil company – but no, you’re going to create a country of your own – using stolen and counterfeited money and an atomic bomb.”

Precisely, and, of course, you and your friends will never live to tell about it.”

“Of course.”

McGeorges, show Jingo and her friends to their lovely accommodations.”  The group was surrounded by soldiers and led down an elevator, through ancient wooden doors, and down a gloomy, slippery staircase that was partially lit by flickering oil torches hanging on the walls.  They reached a large stone landing which lead to a prison. The group was divided up, two to a cell.  Each cell was behind a heavy wooden door and enclosed with stonewalls, so that the occupants could not talk to those in the other enclosures.  There were a few windows twenty feet above the floor that provided the only light.  Jingo was roughed up by two of the guards and then thrown into a cell with Gen.

Several hours later a mercenary announced dinner,  “Wake up everyone, dinner is served.  Mr. McClellan said tonight's menu is, "The Accountant’s Special", a penurious one-quarter course for each of you—a roll and water—get it bread and water.  Ha, ha, ha, ha.”

Jingo and Gen discussed their situation: “Any bright ideas, Jingo?”

“Well, if we had a tank, it would be easy to get out's here . . . just blow a hole through these six foot thick walls and drive through.”

“How about the window?  We could check if the grate is loose.”

“The window's only twenty feet up, should I just fly up and pull it off in one motion?”

“I thought that besides being a first class scuba diver, you were a trained mountaineer . . . can’t you just climb the wall?”

 “Maybe as a last resort . . . let’s eat on it, my mouth’s watering for this meal.   

We’ll try the window in the middle of the night when everyone’s asleep.”

*  *  *

Gen woke up and shook Jingo.  They stacked the two metal beds, one on top of the other from end to end.   Jingo climb these and then scaled the last eight feet on her own. 

“Gen, the grate gives a little, but it won’t pull out."  She kept up the effort and it finally it gave way.

“Jingo, quick, get down, here comes the guard.” 

She slid down the wall and the makeshift ladder and they returned the beds to their original places.  Gen slid the extracted grating under a mattress. 

A guard opened the door with a key and there stood McClellan, “Good morning, Jingo, Enjoy your dinner?”

“Oh, yes, thank you, there was far to much food for the both of us.  I'm sorry we didn't clean our plates.”

“So you’ve got spirit.  I thought you ought to be ready for your morning bath – a tributary of the Amazon runs right under the Ziggurat.  The waters warm, but, of course, there can be crocodiles and piranha to keep you occupied.  With that he signaled to the guard by raising his hand.  A trap door opened beneath Jingo and she plunged into the river.  McClellan walked over to the edge and poured a jar of blood into the water . . . this will let the piranha know your coming. 

Jingo treaded water to stay afloat and keep from moving down stream in the current.  She swm towards the shore and away from the bloody water.  But there was no shore.  The tributary ran through an underground rock tunnel.  It was dark inside, but she could see a faint light down river. 

She reached the wall, found a small cleft, and began scaling it.  A few minutes later, she heard what sounded like boiling water – piranha!  She wedged her fingers into chinks in the rock and rapidly pulled herself up.  She stopped to rest and could see the water churning below her with the fish.  

She began climbing again but slipped and for several seconds hung by her finger tips, while her feet were only inches from the river.  She felt a pain on her ankle and cried out.  Maintaining her concentration, she regained the ledge, reached down, and pulled the snapping fish off her pant leg.  It took a sizable patch out of her Calvin Kline Jeans. 

She inched her way along the rock wall stopping to rest every few minutes.  Finally, she saw a faint light, which was the down stream entrance to the cave.  She reached the shore, stumbled, and then crawled under bushes a few feet from the water.  She crashed out for several hours. 

When she woke up, it was dusk.  She was frightened in the dark without a weapon and in the midst of the jungle with a polyphony of sounds and cries.  She moved slowly through the forest and then to an opening in the vegetation.  It was the road that led to McClellan’s Ziggurat . . .There was no traffic and two soldiers sat next to a transport truck playing cards at a folding table illuminated with a camp lamp.

They were drinking and talking quietly. Occasionally one of them made a loud comment in Spanish.  Because of her extensive travels in South America, Jingo knew the language.  She heard, “Oh shit, there goes another weeks paycheck.”

She found a heavy piece of wood to use as a cudgel and crawled on hands and knees up to the soldiers.  She hit one of them in the back of the head—out cold.  She hit the other one in the face and then tied both soldier's hands with ropes.  She then set one of the soldiers in the front seat of the truck.  She stripped the other one to his underwear and put on his uniform.  She then picked up their rifles and knives.  When the soldier sitting in the cab of the truck woke up, she held the gun to his head and asked, "When does the shift end." 

"8:00 p.m." 

“Where do you go then?”

“Into the fort.”

"Is there a password.”

“No, we just drive into the yard.”

It was almost 8:00 p.m., so she knocked him out again and set him upright in his seat.  A few minutes later, she drove towards the entrance to the fort. 

The guard at the gate said, “Et ton amigo?”

Jingo said, “Mucho cervasas!”

He laughed and waved her through.

She parked in a large underground lot where there was a collection of  trucks of the same type.  No one else was there.  After five minutes of waiting, Jingo crept out of the cab, up the stairs, and across the main floor past the entrance of the castle.

*  *  *

At dinnertime, McClellan visited the prisoners.  “How are my little accountants doing without their fearless leader?”

Roberto shouted back, “So McClellan, you’ve added murder to your crimes of fraud, theft, counterfeit, and trafficking of nuclear weapons.”

“Well, well, I’ve so much enjoyed feeding the fish today, that I’m going to provide you all with full meals to fatten you up . . . each of you is on the piranha's menu, one each day.  Let’s see, who will be first . . . ah, yes, the man with the mouth Roberto, second in command.”

*  *  *

Jingo made her way up to the main floor and found the stairs leading down to the prison.  She crept up behind the guard at the lower end of the steps, disabled him, tied his hands, and pulled him behind some stones piled in a corner.

She realized she would have to make a bold entrance at the prison entrance where two guards were always stationed.  She crept around a corner and then shot both of them with a pistol.  She took their sets of keys and then let Gen out.  The two of them freed the other prisoners.  She instructed Chin and Kiko to dress in the soldiers uniforms and take the rifles. 

The motley group made it to the top of the stairs and the main hall, but the chances of escape were against them.  They proceed to the truck, which Jingo had used earlier without being seen.  Catherina sat in the cab next to Jingo and the other prisoners hid in the bed of the truck under a tarp. 

Jingo drove out of the parking lot and stopped at the guard shack.  The guard recognized her and said, “Another shift so soon?”

“She said "The other guard didn't show.  The Captain ordered me to work.   What can you do?"

Catherina said, "Capitano esta mucho malo."

He looked at them suspiciously, but let them through.  A minute later he received a call from a colonel, “Stop any vehicles leaving the compound.  The prisoners have escaped!”

The guard fired his automatic rifle at the fleeing truck, but it was too late; it had just driven out of sight.

Roberto said, “McClellan will send a platoon after us and radio ahead to the next check point.  We’d better get off the road, hide the truck, and go on foot.”

Jingo said, “We’ll need reinforcements to re-take the fortress and McClellan, any ideas?”

“Q knows our approximate location, he’ll find us.  We lost the satellite phone when the tank went under.”

“Well, the phone’s down there, isn’t it?  Will the water damage it?”

“No, it was a waterproof prototype.”

“Where did you leave it?”

“It was in the cab of the tank under the seat.”

“If we can find the river and the tank, I’ll get the phone.”

Jefferson said, “What about the piranha and the crocodiles?”

“They’re really cute little buggers as long as they are alone.  One of them got me when I fell through the trap door.”

T San calibrated the location of their capture at the river.  He drew a triangular map in the sand with the Ziggurat, the Amazon, and the tank being its apex. He said, “If we march west, it will put us in the approximate area of the tank.  This road is heading?”

Roberto said, “South.”

Then we’ll have an eight mile hike to the river across “terra incognito.”

Jingo said, “We’ll hide the truck and leave most of you to guard it.  Roberto will be in charge.  T-San, I-San, and I will go to the river for the radio.”

Gen said, “What about food and supplies?”

"Let’s look in the truck."  They found enough provision to last the group two days.”

Jingo said, “Roberto, McClellan’s men will be along shortly.  I suggest you ambush them and take their guns and uniforms.”

It was slow going through the jungle.  The first day they made only four miles progress.  They would have been totally lost without T-San’s uncanny sense of direction.  The second day they came to a path that led towards the Amazon.  They made good time and in a few more hours were at the river.  They found three motorized skiffs guarded by mercenaries.  T-San and I-San sneaked up behind them and disarmed them.  They took the uniforms and weapons and then traveled down river in one of the boats. 

The tank had left a huge scar in the bank where it had pirouetted into the water.  T-San drove Jingo to the approximate vicinity where it had sunk, while I-San kept a watchful eye out near the shore.  Jingo dove under water and was down for more than three minutes before she emerged with piranha attached to her uniform.  She climbed into the boat where T-San pulled off her unwelcomed guests.  She emerged from a second dive, three and-a-half minutes later, with satellite radio in hand.  She immediately called Q. 

Q answered, “Headquarters".  He thought a catering service was calling him back and said, "We've changed our minds; we’d like the duck avec sauce d’orange,  vegetables, pomme de terre, and deux bots de pinot noir." 

"You sound like a prosaic manager.”

“Jingo, where are you, we lost your signal.”

I’m sitting here in the middle of the Amazon in 100 degree temperatures and 95% humidity.  I just risked my life by diving to the bottom of the river where the tank is to retrieve this phone.    And your thinking about your stomach.”

“I’m sorry, it’s a company event.  Where are you, we sent two helicopters, three boats, and twenty-five men as back up?  They weren’t able to track you; the device you swallowed passed right through you.”

“That’s good news"  "Put a tracer on the satellite phone.  McClellan plans on starting his own country The Republic of Northern Amazon with about a zillion dollars of counterfeit money and an atomic bomb he bought wholesale.”

“Holly geezees.  I’m leaving for Asuncion now, banquet or no banquet.  I’ll see you tomorrow."

*  *  *

That afternoon, McClellan sent a communication to the major countries of South America including Venezuela, Columbia, Brazil, Ecuador, Guyana, and Peru announcing the emergence of The Republic of Northern Amazon.  He would make the city of “Manaus” his capital.  He said that if he didn’t have immediate agreement on the emergence of his country, he would not hesitate to use atomic bombs (not bomb) that he had garnered.  He then broadcasted footage of the documentary highlighting the destructive devices.  Those countries attempting to stop him, would find significant fewer centers of population than they currently had.”

*  *  *

The first convoy of trucks heading south out of the Ziggurat, were ambushed by Roberto and his band of accountants and mercenaries.  They took uniforms, food, water, guns, and ammunition.  They left the captured soldiers tied and  bound in the forest.

The commander of the soldiers called McClellan and said, “Sir, at 15:15 we lost contact with the first convoy . . . no word since.

“We can assume they’ve been captured.  Where would that put them?”

“Section 3, twelve kilometers south of the fort.  The enemy has now got our weapons and trucks.”

“I’ll send eighteen more transports with thirty men each.  There will be an advanced party of three as bait.  When they are taken, your men and the reinforcements will swarm the prey and recapture them.  And I prefer that you keep them alive.  I have a strategic use for them.”

“Yes Sir.”

*  *  *

Q called the President of the United States.  He said, “Sir, this is Q at the agency.  I’ve got a code blue.  He explained the situation with McClellan, the emergence of the country, the counterfeit money, and the atomic bomb.  And I’ve just got a call from President Portrero of Brazil.  He says McClellan has bought up mass amounts of oil stock and threatened to flood the market with it (along with the threat of an atomic bomb) if he doesn’t get cooperation from the South American Countries.  Those nations are holding an emergency session tomorrow in Rio De Janeiro. 

“Thank you for keeping me informed.  What do you need from me?”

“At this point I am simply reporting on an international crisis.  I’ve sent a second force to the Amazon to backup my operative and her platoon.”

“Is that Jingo you’ve got down there?”

“How did you know?”

“I got a call from Harry over at the Federal Reserve explaining the situation at Eagle Oil.”

“I’ll keep you informed, Mr. President.”

“Get those atomic bombs before he wipes out half the population of the continent.”

“Yes Sir.”

*  *  *

McClellan headed towards Manaus, Brazil with a large standing army of mercenaries.  He intended to make the city his capital.  He planned to usurp from Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, and Guyana, the vast nearly uninhabited area of the Amazon Basin.

Although Brazil could send helicopters and jets to Manaus, McClellan believed that by the time they arrived, he would already have the city under his flag.

*  *  *

When Jingo, I-San, and T-San returned to the main road and camp where they had left the accountants and soldiers, they were gone. 

T-San said, “There’s been a battle here—he was able to piece together the story of what happened from evidence on the ground – dead bodies, blood, blown apart vegetation, small craters, and scattered supplies.  He found a flat, undisturbed area marked by twenty pieces of cut rope and smoldering open fires.  One of Roberto’s soldiers lay dead. 

Jingo said, “So they’ve been recaptured.  Great!  Not only does McClellan have an atomic bomb, a standing army, and all the money he’ll ever need, but now he has an international collection of hostages he can bargain with. 

I-San said, “We’ll just have to free them again.  With Q and his reinforcements, the odds will improve.”

“Yea, they’ll go from one in a thousand to five in a thousand for our chances of success.”

When Q arrived, they headed towards the Ziggurat to recapture their team and take McClellan.

Jingo and two of Q’s commandoes scaled the “forts” walls.  When they reached the top, they threw down rope ladders for the contingent of fighters to follow just like warriors taking a Middle Ages castle.  They were in luck, McClellan had left a skeleton crew that was cleaning out the last of possessions and preparing a convoy to head towards the capital.

Jingo told Q the news.  He said, "McClellan's already making his move.  We'll have to track him via satellite. I'll make the call now.  In the mean time, Jingo, secure the Ziggurat and destroy any equipment such as his money printing presses that he might want to use in the future.

*  *  *

"It appears that McClellan traveled in three helicopters with a small group of officers and landed near a luxury yacht on the Amazon south of Manaus.  His dragoons are traveling through the jungle in a caravan of trucks. The infrared sat scan is showing excess amounts of radiation coming from the boat.  We can assume he's got one of the A-bombs with him."

Jingo said, "All we've got to do is bomb the boat and blow McClellan and his weapons sky high."

"You're forgetting—he may have hostages with him.  And although there are no cites within a hundred miles of his boat, an atomic bomb would wreck havoc with the environment and native population.  No, we're going to have to board the yacht and take him."

Jingo thought, Oh great.   The last time she slept, which was for two hours in a truck, she'd dreamt of piranha –lots of them . . . now she shivered whenever she considered entering the river.

An hour later six helicopters picked up Q and his fighters and Jingo and her crew.  They flew low over the rainforest, being careful to avoid the route followed by McClellan's soldiers so as not to belie a surprise attack.

As they landed near the river in the clearing McClellan had used, they could see his yacht surrounded by six patrol boats traveling slowly up river.

Q's team unloaded inflatable boats, mounted miniaturized motors, and headed up river.  He sent half of his men overland to attack the cruisers from the shore with shoulder launch rockets and automatic assault rifles in hopes of catching the boats in a crossfire.  The Amazon was a greenish-brown color and traveling up river towards the North Atlantic Ocean at a steady pace but without rapids.  When the boats neared the shore, they'd disturbed flocks of flamingos and egrets and a variety of other tropical birds that took flight and fill the sky.  They'd occasionally pass a crocodile (or is it alligator which swims in fresh water?) and hippopotamus (do these live in South America?) swimming in the water   and once they saw a black panther resting on a branch, it's yellow eyes glistening against its black coat.

Over the past few weeks, McClellan's men had been planting atomic devices in strategic locations throughout the South American Continent:  Quito Ecuador, Lima Peru, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and Bogota, Columbia.  Now he communicated his warning to the leaders of these countries:  Sign an agreement that grants me the land I've claimed, or face imminent destruction of your cities.

When Q's men on the shore were in place and the inflatable boats within sight of the patrol boats, they carried out their attack.  Three cruisers were destroyed.  However, victory was quickly snatched out Q and Jingo's hand.  The yacht raised hidden cannons and counter attacked.  Two watercraft went down with full crews.  Q ordered a retreat.

He said, "We'll have to try something else.  Any ideas Jingo, Roberto?

Roberto said, "Why don't we sneak up on the yacht and board it at night."

We'll have to take out the remaining three cruisers first which I don't think will be a problem.  Jingo, you'll lead the boarding party."

"Thanks Roberto."  Just what I need—another dip in the Amazon."

*  *  *

After speaking with the President of the United States from Rio de Jeneiro, the leaders of the six countries being held ransom for land, decided they had no choice but to sign the agreement and fax it to McClellan. They would all loose valuable natural resource, but the move would save millions of lives.  Their only hope rested on the U.S. led intervention. 

That night Jingo's forces made their move on the remaining patrol boats and the yacht.  At 3:00 am, the four rafts inched closer to the cruisers and the yacht.  Roberto and one of the mercenaries slipped into the water near the shore and swam with silencer ready rifles held over head towards the first target.  One approached from the stern and another from the starboard side.  They easily scaled the hull, and subdued the crew.  Jefferson led the second attack and T San the third.  All were successful.

When the patrol boats were disable, Jingo are three secret agents paddled the last inflatable towards the yacht.  They entered the water fifty feet from the craft. I-San used a special gun designed for assaults—it fired a plastic cleat with a trailing nylon rope.  When it was securely anchored to the railing, Jingo scaled the rope and then lowered a portable ladder for her team to follow.  She crept up behind one soldier and knocked him out.  Just as she was joined by her three colleagues, spotlights illuminated them, and they were surrounded with soldiers. 

Georges said, "Jingo, Mr. McClellan will be so happy to see you again.  Step right this way."  The guards roughly restrained each agent with handcuffs and leg irons.  Georges led them below deck into a large luxurious lounge where McClellan greeted them. He walked over to Jingo and slapped her in the face with his leather-gloved hand.  "I will not allow your band of fools to jeopardize my plans.  He then hit her ruthlessly in the stomach and torso with the butt of his rifle.  She collapsed, unconscious. 

"Mr. Georges, take them outside and execute them.  Feed their bodies to the fish."

"Yes, Sir.  Take them to the port side."

The three assault teams took command of the patrol boats.  Q, who was directing the operation from the first craft, saw the spotlights light up Jingo and her crew.  He expected the worst.  He ordered an immediate assault and rescue by the remaining three crafts and the cruisers.  He called in helicopters to attack with rockets.

While Jingo, _________, _________-, and _______-- were being lined up in front of the firing squad, Roberto, and two mercenaries scaled the ladder and burst over the railing with guns blazing.  Georges and his men were dead. 

McClellan said, "That's the end of that problem.  Now I can return to the work of building my country."

Colonel Zinkower said, "That sounded more like a full out battle than a firing squad.  I'm going to double check to make sure all is well.  When he peeked his head out of the cabin, he saw Georges and his soldiers laying on the ground, dead.

"We've been attacked."  Zinkower got on the ship's loudspeaker, "We are under attack from a foreign force.  Man the guns, and repell the force on the port deck. 

Jingo who was now conscious and had regained her equilibrium. She, _______, _________, and __________  armed themselves with the fallen soldier's guns and prepared for a dog-fight.  More combatants poured out of a forward hatch, but automatic rifle fire held them at bay.  Q's crew continued to climb the ladder and enter the battle. 

Q, who had moved to a patrol boat, spoke into a portable load speaker.  Mr. McClellan, this is the United States Secret Service.  You are surrounded.  We have command of your boats and are now boarding your vessel.  Come out with your hands up and your lives will be spared.

He responded, "This yacht is armed with an atomic bomb.  Bombs have also been placed in key cities throughout South America. if you don't get off my ship, it and all of you will go up in a cloud of fire.  And millions of innocent people will die. 

Jingo spoke with Q on her walkie-talkie.  "Keep him talking.  He's in the main cabin. There's only one door between his position and ours.  We're going to take him."

"Let's negotiate, Mr. McClellan.  If you surrender peacefully, we'll let you and your soldiers go.  You can find another continent to live out the rest of your life."

"No go.  My soldiers have already captured Manaus and the six countries have agreed to cede their land to me.  I am now President of the Republic-of Northern Amazon.  You are interfering with a sovereign government on its own soil.  You are under arrest and will be taken and executed as an invading army.

Q's team on the yacht deck kept the soldiers at bay in the forward hold.  Jingo, ------, -------------, moved up to the door to McClellan's cabin.  She planted a charge of explosive near the lock and moved off to the side.  When it exploded, they burst through the portal and shot McClellan and Zinkower.  They both lay dead on the lounge floor.

Over the loud speaker, Q told the remaining soldiers the news and advised them to surrender.  They complied.

Two of the officers agreed to plea deals in exchange for revealing the location of the atomic bombs.

Q called the White House, "Mr. President, Q here.  McClellan and his senior officer are dead and his soldiers have surrendered.  They've given us the location of the six atomic bombs planted in major population centers on the continent.  I will send forces to locate and remove them..

Nice work, Q.  You've saved the day and perhaps millions of lives.  And this is going to work miracles with our diplomacy with the South American Countries."

"It was all Jingo's doing, Sir.  She's the one who discovered McClellan's plot.  And she and her crew were the one's who broke into his cabin and put an end to him."

"She's quite a lady, isn't she.  I'd like to meet her.  Why don't you bring her along with your whole team to the White House.  I'm going to award you all the Metal of Honor."

Thank you, Sir.  They'll be pleased."  

 

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Ken Wasil.
Published on e-Stories.org on 10/19/2017.

 

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