L306 – Deep Cover

A Dawson Daily Story

Cold. Everything was cold and grey and…  still. She wasn’t moving. Her hands had been chained around the base of an indignant hotel toilet. She was on her knees. Her black hair, once so vibrant, once so fertile and alive, was draped like a funeral veil over the side of the porcelain bowl. For a second, he couldn’t breathe. He was paralyzed by the frozen stillness invading his eyes. There was no tolerance in him for violence against the innocent. Someone would have to be punished for this; with equal brutality. A savage fire, one which she had helped him cool had been awoken tonight. The rage blinded him for a flash, then he was back to this scene of absolute carnage.

Her neck was radiating a blue hue, a pigment he had come to know intimately in his career; a coldness that shines only once in a person’s life: death. Her heart was no longer beating. He knew this, even from the door of the penthouse suite leading into the lavish, marble infused bathroom. He knew she had paid for his sins; her only crime, loving him. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  He was the rotten one, the shattered one, the despised one. He was the user, she, the source, freely giving; loved and adored. He had no friends, no care, no love, but her. He was the cheat, the liar, the war criminal. He was the beast that deserved her death, deserved this death. There she was, stilled and silent, the hope to so many. The “Crimson Queen,” Harvard’s Journal of Medicine had crowned her their “brightest star,” a pioneering virologist, both MD and PhD before turning 30. She crushed all the odds, born in Mumbai, a visible minority, his brown princess triumphed to victory among America’s most elite. Now she was a cold corpse kneeling in front of him with a fucking needle hanging out of her forearm. What a waste.

Death always lingered in his proximity, sooner or later collecting a debt from a decade earlier. Only if he had never met her.

He breathed in, deeply this time, blinked his eyes and unceremoniously started to chew his teeth. Just like that, a brutal reboot set in. The agency had trained him well, always to rely on one trigger, one infinitesimal action that would bring him back on target no matter how bad the situation. Brutality could be tamed. Dawson’s was chewing gum, even if he didn’t have any.

The room had to be burned, nothing could be left of this disgrace. He moved one step closer. He knew even in her death she would have left something, one thing, just for him. She was that smart; that selfless.  To think of him before she travelled to eternity – paradise. It was there, on her bottom lip, the number “88.” Looking up from the greyness all he could see was his own stoic face, the military madness looking back from a mirror with empty eyes.  He was to blame. They were hunting him in her murder.

Only hours ago they had been sitting at “Sotto Voce,” Toronto’s finest steak bistro, at the most romantic corner booth Little Italy had to offer.  She was a woman who liked a hearty bit of meat and a bold bottle of red. This was how Dawson was going to do it,  to tell her everything; absolutely everything about his past, his handlers, his demons, and his love… for her.  Everything changed, in an instant, a flash like so many times before…. destiny’s whisper coming back to slap him squarely in the face.

There was first a scream, from the kitchen. Then, a chorus of gasps slid outwards, into the dinning lounge. Her phone vibrated first. Two glasses in she was already starting to beam, to get over-animated and, warm. As her eyes cast downwards, the fat piano player wearing a paper-tuxedo seriously needing a cleaning, stopped mid-note. The bar TV’s were simultaneously turned to max volume by a middle-aged, balloon-chested bartender who’s duck lips were making her face look contorted and vampire-ish.

Most of the men, instinctively sensing something was wrong, stood up, in an attempt  to protect their female possessions. Dawson already knew what was happening; he knew all about what was now being reported – he just wish they had given him 30 more minutes. “Breaking News,” the anxious voice said from the FoxNews anchor. “Shots have been fired over the last 20 minutes.” There was pause. “We are,  um, yes,” touching her ear piece, “we can confirm that shots have been fired in London,  at 10 Downing Street, as well as here in Washington, in DC, and, my God,” looking up toward the camera, “it would appear there is a live shooter in Ottawa too, at 24 Sussex Drive, the official residence of the Canadian Prime Minister.” The voice trembled on, painting a portrait of a coordinated international incident rapidly unravelling. Couples in the restaurant reacted accordingly… tender embraces, hands over mouths, urgent reaches toward phones to check on loved ones.

She looked up from her phone, to Dawson, while placing a fine silk napkin on her half-eaten, medium rare Prime Rib. What a waste Dawson thought, remembering back to those many days with his troupe years back, starving in the desert… on the hunt.

Then it came, before she could connect words with the lightning fast thoughts moving in her over-capable brain – “we can now also confirm that three people are confirmed dead in the Canadian city of Toronto, an assault appears to be taking place at the University of Toronto Medical School. As all of our reporting is indicating, something terrible is taking place.” 

Dawson kept calmly eating, savouring the meat,  savouring the wine, and above all, his view of her.

“We can confirm that British Prime Minister David Hadley and seven of his Cabinet are dead. The highly controversial pro-Brexit leader was due to announce a major trade deal in coming days. We can also confirm that the Vice-President, James Marshall O’Connor and the Speaker of the House have also been assassinated. It is unconfirmed at this moment; however, it would appear that a number of high level Canadian officials,  including the Deputy Prime Minister are dead.” 

Dawson thought, looking at her as she was now on the edge of her seat like everyone else, here it comes: “neither the location nor the health of the President is known at this time. The same appears to be true for the Prime Minister of Canada.”  

Gasps. That’s all they could hear.”I have to get to the ER right away,” she said while at the same time standing up. Assertive and resolute as always. No question in voice or stature. “Don’t you want to check your phone Dawson,  to anchor in and make sure everyone’s ok?” Her expression was eternally Hippocratic; worried for others, constantly concerned about those who were distant strangers. Dawson had turned it off. He wanted to, even if for a moment, give himself to her completely. He knew there were messages, lots of them. He even knew their tone. His wrist had been vibrating for over 45 minutes – his “emergency recall beacon” had been activated. Dawson had 15 minutes to reply before a lethal agent would be administered to his blood stream, ending a life lost twelve years earlier in just 22 seconds.

He was standing in the main foyer of the gaudy top floor penthouse overlooking Toronto. Back in the now. There was a large circular table in the middle of the entrance space overflowing with flowers, chocolates and a bottle of “Veuve Clicquot” sitting in water, chilled for a proposal that would never happen. The three dozen red, orange, and pink roses still looked so vibrant, like her hair, like her once so full lips… like her soul. Dawson opened his black briefcase embossed in gold with ‘D.A.D,’ for “Dawson Ambrose Daily.” With one simple push he activated a digital clock – 3 minutes. The hand-sized detonator had enough of a charge to wipe out the entire suite… and then some. But this was just for her, tonight. A cleanse, a memorial, a farewell by fire. She deserved a better death than this, a better way to be remembered than one of the many lost today, a moment in time that changed everything for everyone. Her journey, to the beatific paradise which she adored so much,  was no doubt already complete – a saint martyred no doubt to raise one hell of an army in his soul. She had been caught in the crossfire of history, a bystander crushed by the weight of warfare, power, politics and men like Dawson.

As he pushed the soft rubbery substance against the wall Dawson remembered her last words as she jumped into his unmarked Explorer – wanting only to get to Mount Sinai Hospital to help with the first wave of victims. “We’re golden,” she said, pulling his hand toward her and delivering an impassioned wine kiss. Even in her six inch stilettos she still had to press up on her tippy toes to reach Dawson’s bent head. He, a barrel-chested six foot seven with shoulders any fire-fighter would die for; she, a thick-hipped and breast-heavy five foot two.

Although Dawson Daily’s career began with the United States Marine Corps, his handlers promptly selected him for an army intelligence detail. At first he protested, believing that all good soldiers must be on the frontline, that unforgiving and hostile physical location they had trained so hard to live and die in. Shortly after joining the intelligence ranks, and, once being allowed to see behind the magical curtain of “OZ,” he knew INTEL was his home. Dawson quickly rose through the ranks of all official agencies, at one time, before turning 30, operating as a Tri-National asset, engaged on the payrolls of the CIA, MI6 and the lesser known yet just as lethal CSIS – with Canadian Intelligence. Because of his patriotically deceptive capabilities he was again recruited for a black-op initiative only even spoken of as “HAVEN.”  From what he could tell,  this was an inner circle program funded and controlled by the governments of Great Britain, the United States, and Canada. There was one objective – safeguard THE national prime directive: a zero sum allowance for domestic incursions. It was their job to protect the “British North American” HOMELAND against all  threats, foreign and domestic.

Dawson was recruit # 6. The invisible tattoo on his left forearm, seen only with blue light said “L 3 0 6.”  The “L” represented LIFE, a commitment which he volunteered for and could not be reneged. It simply meant all “L-Series” agents were property of the state. They were completely integrated, completed assimilated under the direct order of Haven’s Board of Governance , “H A L O.” The number “3” represented their “Tri-National” pedigree, agents of BNA, at state which had been secretly united after 911.

His phone vibrated.

Walking up University Avenue in Toronto, the fiery explosion came to life in wild rage, taking out what looked like the entire top floor of his fallen love’s hotel. Cars instinctively swerved into one another causing a symphony of destruction, no doubt prompted by the day’s terrible and still unravelling horrors.  Dawson didn’t turn back like every other person in earshot of the detonation he had set. He knew this was just the beginning of violent actions pumping through his veins. The text he just received from HAVEN  affirmed that:

“Caribou House.

Geneva, Tango 1.

Capture the Canadian with immediate regard.

All options open.

Infiltrate 88.

Vindicate Priya and protect the BNA.

Be resolute for Tes.

Be ruthless for your brothers 6.

Be unwavering in the means of war.

Unite the Savaging….”