Protocol Six

Protocol Six

An Episodic Novel by Alan Augustson

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Protocol Six: Chapter Twenty-Seven

“…Dad? It’s me…” “Jesus… honey, I feared the worst. I’d almost resorted to praying.” “Ah– ! God… Daddy, don’t make me laugh; it hurts…” “How bad, Pumpkin? You gonna be okay?” “Got one in a lung. One in a thigh. Christ, it hurts, Dad…” “Lorelei. Where are you? Let me

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Protocol Six: Chapter One

He’d no idea if there was any imminent danger to him — yet — but he couldn’t risk going down without at least some closure. He would keep reaching out; soon enough David would see the connection. He had to.

Protocol Six: Chapter Two

David Solomon, piled high and deep, now permitted himself that sigh, but a contented one. He had them, and here came the payoff. “Sometimes you just have to gamble on humanity. We’re not yet fed-up enough. But we will be.”

Protocol Six: Chapter Three

David’s brow furrowed a bit as he tried to imagine powerful people paying him to say what they didn’t want to hear. It wasn’t an encouraging notion.

Protocol Six: Chapter Four

“There’s not much short of a revolution that’ll change the course. But, revolutions do happen, even apart from the bloody kind.”

Protocol Six: Chapter Five

He could also make out Lorelei’s silhouette, and was almost certain she held a large-caliber automatic, carried low and with two practiced hands.

Protocol Six: Chapter Six

“We’ll know more when the techs finish up. I can tell you that there wasn’t a single useful print found at your old place. So, Mr. Solomon, for now, you are the ‘relationship’ between the two scenes.”

Protocol Six: Chapter Seven

“I did ask you not to go after him yourself. This is dangerous.” “So was doing nothing. They’ve already made their move.”

Protocol Six: Chapter Eight

Dawn was creeping through the living-room windows as Michael collected and stacked a horde of vinyl records. David emerged from the kitchen and offered a cup of black coffee to Michael, who sank into the couch with it. “Nothing’s missing,” he said. “Not a goddamned thing. What. The. Hell.” David

Protocol Six: Chapter Nine

The gray clock on the gray wall now read a few minutes to gray o’clock. David sat in his gray chair, with his feet propped on the gray tabletop. He wasn’t any more comfortable for it, but his blue jeans did give him some color to look at. Michael sat

Protocol Six: Chapter Ten

As the crowd was streaming from the theater, most of them grinning and laughing and chattering loudly, David was already pacing beside Michael’s car. He was scanning in all directions, though he had no idea for what. He took out the phone Lorelei had given him. He debated calling her,

Protocol Six: Chapter Eleven

“He’s going with them. I need a fire order.” Through a lens, carefully steadied, Michael and David parted company with a hug, and the agents escorted him to a predictably large, black, nondescript sedan. “I’m gonna lose him; somebody gimme a damn clearance!” “Hold your fire! All teams, unload, clear,

Protocol Six: Chapter Twelve

Agent Diaz led David and A.D. LeMoyne along the hotel corridor and past a couple of additional agents — or so David figured — who might as well have been cut from stone. They nodded and smiled deferentially, and the smiles just made them seem creepier. Through the threshold they

Protocol Six: Chapter Thirteen

Diaz’s hair, freed from its business bun, was a thick, black waterfall over her shoulders. She shuffled the cards like a veteran card shark and dealt five. “Simple five-card draw, no training wheels,” she said around the cigar in her mouth. She also had an old-fashioned glass at her place

Protocol Six: Chapter Fourteen

“Shit!” Lorelei said, dropping the pizza boxes. The agents were on their feet before the boxes hit the floor. No one was drawing weapons, but Diaz again gave a clumsy tell when her right hand flinched ever-so-slightly toward her left shoulder. David positioned himself between them with his hands raised

Protocol Six: Chapter Fifteen

As Diaz and LeMoyne dragged David away from the window, Lorelei tried to get a peek outside. She was pinned back by more muffled gunfire. “Shit!” She scrambled across the floor to join them. “Automatic weapons,” she reported. “Sounds like multiple, suppressed.” “Pizza Girl brought some friends to the slumber

Protocol Six: Chapter Sixteen

With Lorelei back on point, they crept down the stairwell. The way was clear, but the four could make out the sounds of gunfire well before reaching the door to the first parking level. They held back at the landing midway between there and the lobby level, and David sat

Protocol Six: Chapter Seventeen

The man’s shoulders were broad enough for two, and the shoulder boards only made them seem freakishly so. He had to turn a bit to enter the hospital room door, despite the Army guards’ grant of a wide berth with their salute. Their charge lay unconscious, connected to multiple monitors

Protocol Six: Chapter Eighteen

“Good morning, sir; it’s good to see you awake. How are you feeling?” The Army nurse’s smile was genuine, and David couldn’t help returning it. “Thanks. Little sore; good overall though. Where are we… Walter Reed?” “Very good guess,” she perked as she perused David’s vitals. “Welcome to your nation’s

Protocol Six: Chapter Nineteen

Admiral McMillan rubbed his chin and locked eyes with David. “David, we’re aware that everything we’re telling you right now sounds ridiculous, even insane.” “Good assessment,” said David, snorting a laugh. McMillan nodded his agreement. “Mhm. But you’ll see today, with your own eyes, written in their hand, the Founders’

Protocol Six: Chapter Twenty

David had visited the National Archives before, a typical class trip that at the time was no more than time out of the classroom. Now of course, he wished he’d paid better attention. They were already several levels below the Rotunda, the one part of the building he remembered. Now

Protocol Six: Chapter Twenty-One

“Whereas the Members of this Congress hold dear both the Freedom and the Safety of the People of these United States, Whereas this Congress recognizes that the most just governments of this Earth can over time become perverted by Man’s intemperance, Whereas this Congress on the whole respects the authority

Protocol Six: Chapter Twenty-Two

Cue the makeover montage. Within an hour, David was freshly shaven, and his hair cut in a military style. Now he stood in his boxers, blushing his way through a series of measurements. Silent and efficient, the tailor moved David’s arm here, turned his head there, stretched his tape and

Protocol Six: Chapter Twenty-Three

A Marine staff sergeant in embassy dress saluted smartly, and held the limo door for the party of three. David awkwardly returned the gesture as he, Diaz and LeMoyne boarded the four-wheeled yacht. “You’re bound for Dulles, Admiral?” he asked. David looked at LeMoyne, who nodded. “Looks like it.” As

Protocol Six: Chapter Twenty-Four

Overhead, the old SuperCobra banked hard left, evading fire from the Apache’s minigun, and the Army pilot’s annoyance carried over the radio. “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Four-Charlie; he’s a slick sumbitch.” “Ahh-ffirmative, Aerial,” answered the Staff Sergeant, as he steered squealing out into traffic, weaving through cars on both sides of

Protocol Six: Chapter Twenty-Five

The driver stuck to the alleyways as much as possible; it provided slightly better cover and minimized the risk to any bystanders. But ahead, a moving crew had the passage completely blocked off. The staff sergeant braked hard, and a plonk plonk plonk on the roof from their assailants’ M-60

Protocol Six: Chapter Twenty-Six

What looked like a pile of scrap on wheels, but apparently far from dead, ground on its abused rims to a gentle stop at the terminal, Dulles International. A nearby skycap looked on in horror as its driver nipped smartly around to the rear passenger side, and opened its door

Protocol Six: Chapter Twenty-Seven

“…Dad? It’s me…” “Jesus… honey, I feared the worst. I’d almost resorted to praying.” “Ah– ! God… Daddy, don’t make me laugh; it hurts…” “How bad, Pumpkin? You gonna be okay?” “Got one in a lung. One in a thigh. Christ, it hurts, Dad…” “Lorelei. Where are you? Let me