A KNOCK AT THE DOOR ... PART THREE
So, I'm on my first assignment. Sitting at a desk in a dingy room of a motel 6 in south Philly staring down at this picture of a kid. Just your average 19 year old, really, but he is a percieved threat because of the pictures that spill out of his folder...at anti war demonstrations, his comings and goings at the local mosque, printouts of his live journal intermingle with the pictures spread out across the desk like an indictment.
As I read his postings, I begin to see the threat. He is telling the truth. He's a bit radical to be sure,calling for and supporting impeachment procedings against bush for the lies that have led to the deaths of so many.
Truthful? Yes. Dangerous? Decidedly not, but he's on the list and must be dealt with.
My instructions include: "apprehend and detain, for rendering to Syria". Why are they sending this kid to Syria? What could he know that could possibly warrant his ticket to torturetown? I review his file over and over again and the only connection to this kid and terrorism I can see is the mosque. I decide to go see this mosque for myself.
I hung out across the street on a stoop, posing as a homeless guy. Over the 2 weeks I was there I learned several things...homeless people are very accepting as a rule and will share whatever they have. Wild Irish Rose is not so bad when it's cold, and by the time the bottle warms up you don't care until you wake up with a drill going off in your head. And there was some seriously sketchy shit going down at that mosque after hours.
They were moving something in and out of the basement at regular intervals in boxes marked perishable, but it wasn't handled like canned goods. These guys were very careful with the boxes. Plus I never saw them during the day, or any other time around the mosque, except when they were moving boxes. I needed a closer look at these boxes.
One night when they were moving boxes out to a rental truck, I stumbled across the street in my best drunken homeless persona and fell into a guy pushing a hand truck with three boxes on it. He and I hit the ground and the hand truck fell over sideways, dumping it's load onto the sidewalk. The guy was furious! He began bellowing at me in some language I didn't understand and poking me in the chest. I made a hasty retreat back across the street, but not before noticing the print on the boxes...Class 3 explosives...detonators.
I hung out on the stoop for a few more days, partially to maintain my cover, but mostly to hang with my new friends. I even showed up with a case of OE 40's that I "stole" one friday night. That was a party, let me tell you. Ever had a cheap hot dog grilled over a trash barrel fire? That's living.
Then it was time to detain the kid.
( You can read this excuse for a serial short story in its proper order here if ya wants to ).