Five Word Chain Story
Things are about to get complicated.


Coming soon
Six members of the secret service were dead. Both the President and VP are missing. 
Power outages dot the city. Three major medical centers have reported bomb threats, including a children’s hospital. 
Riots have broken out nationwide in contest of the new President-elect while a domestic terror cell, gone 
international, holds the entire country hostage.

And things were just getting started.
There are half a dozen or so families that own this country. They run shit. The president takes orders like a lapdog.

Freedom for a price at their behest.
She sits, staring up at the man, unfazed. The black eye, bloody nose and busted lip a testament 
to her resolve. Charla Mendoza was one tough cookie.

“Does your dick grow an inch every time you hit me?” she taunted.

He puts another one across her face; all knuckles. 

“This ain’t about my dick, it’s about you giving me what I need.”

She spits a wad of blood onto the floor. “I ain’t your fucking mole.”

Not being convinced, he raised his weapon. That gun pressed against her forehead meant nothing. 
She’d been here before.

The door opens and another man enters the cheap, dingy motel room.

“The fuck are you doin’?” he asked.

“Getting the truth.” replied the interrogator.

The second man moves briskly towards them, pushing his cohort away from the woman tied to the 
wooden chair. 

“Take off, I got this.” he said.

The first man glaring angrily, looks down at the lady then up to the second man.

“Fix it!” he demanded. He left the room, slamming the door behind him.

Her new friend frees her from the chair. She goes to the bathroom to wash her face and rinse the blood 
from her mouth. Looking over into the bathtub she sees a large towel folded and sitting atop several gallon 
jugs of water. Plan B. She dries her face and grabs her gun off the back of the toilet. 

“You OK?” he asked as she re-entered the room. She nods.

“He would’ve killed you, ya know.” he said sitting on the edge of the bed.

Charla returns to the chair, this time under slightly better circumstances.

“Why are you here?” she asked.

He looks her in the eye. Years of bad road telling its story. 

“To ask you that same question.” 

She sighs and leans back, putting her right arm on the small table.

He breaks their stare, stands from the bed and walks to the door; securing all the locks.

“Don’t forget I’m armed.” she said.

He turns and walks back to the bed.

“Sorry honey, date rape’s a little below me.” he said, sitting down.

“Look, I don’t know what you - “ she starts.

“I know your name’s not Mendoza.” he interrupts.

She crosses her arms, still staring at the man.

He reaches into his back pocket bringing out his wallet, flipping it open to show his CIA credentials.

“Yeah, and?” she asked.

He smiles, puts it away, then stands and walks across the room.

“Come on Delicato, we’re on the same team here.”

He turns to see her; statuesque, giving nothing away.

“I was friends with Charlie in college. More like acquaintances. I came to the funeral but I didn’t 
speak; you were beside yourself.” he said, trailing off sheepishly.

Delia shoots up from her seat and has her gun pointed right at the man across the room.

“Don’t you ever speak his name again!” she seethed.

“There she is! Pride of the agency.” he said beaming a huge smile.

Delicato, hands steady, stands ready for anything. Him or her; it was gonna be him.

“Your spook handler probably already burned you.” he said walking back over to the bed.

Holding his hands up, he asks “May I?”

Delia backs up and allows him to sit, keeping her gun on him.

“Martin. That the last contact you spoke to?” he queries.

She sits back down, gun still raised. Her eyes relent, only observable by someone with the same wear of 
mileage. It came with the job.

“He cut me loose six months ago. Been the wild west ever since.” he offers.

She lowers her gun as that sinking feeling hits her stomach.

“Nine months in and here we are. I answer to no one.” he continues.

Delia places her gun on the table and leans forward, resting her elbows on her knees.

“What’s it been for you, three months?” he asked.

“Four.” she says quietly, looking up to see his now very serious demeanor.

“It’s sink or swim out here in the deep water.”

Delia knows this has gone too far but there was no turning back.

The man stands and walks towards the door, stopping to inform on the latest.

“Stay away from downtown. St. Matthew’s is gone. It’s mayhem.”

She looked up at him in utter disbelief.

“The children’s hospital?”

He stood there silent, glancing at the floor then back to her.

“Was that us?” she asked.

His grim expression told her everything. 

“Welcome to the new war on terror.” he said, walking through the door.

Delicato fell into her chair. The nightmare had begun…
Just a few little minor clean-up edits to post #264.
Moments later, Delia's phone goes off. It was a text message. She checks to see that it's from
a withheld number. 

there's no winning this. leave town. tonight!

She was in half a mind to listen, but knew this had to be seen through to the end. She was all in 
with no safety net now. 

Her left jaw really hurt.
The time had come. All bridges would burn
[Two Days Later]

The '69 Mustang Boss rumbled into the parking lot of the broken-down motel. Delia parks just outside
of Meshach's room, engine running. The same room where only days before the hulking man beat her 
without mercy. She waited for nearly two minutes, then decided a knock was necessary. Three pounds
on the door. Several seconds pass before he finally opens up.

"We goin' or what?" she asked impatiently.

"Fuck are you talkin' about?" he shot back.

"You didn't get the message?" 

"What fuckin' message?" he questioned.

Delia pushes past him into the room and he closes the door. She wasn't at all happy to see this place 
again. But duty called.

"The boss sent me a text, said to pick you up. We got a hand-off to make." she said.

Meshach walks over and grabs his phone from the nightstand. 

"Nope, nothin'." 

Delia stands feet away but still feels too close to the disgusting pig that put his hands wrongly on a lady.

"We need to leave now or we're gonna miss this thing." she informed him.

The tension was thick and heavy, filling the room with an ugly discomfort like stale cigarette smoke.
Delia stared at the ogre hoping things wouldn't take a bad turn. His eyes defiling her with a sickly
expression. Just as he leaned into a step towards her, his phone beeps. He looks down, moves his lips
slightly and peers back up at her. Message received.

"I guess we got some dope to sell." he declared picking up his jacket and walking to the door.

Every cell in Delia's body breathed a huge sigh of relief. She really didn't want to have to take any
permanent measures in that motel room.

They arrive at the drop; an old metal building at the docks. No one is there. Meshach looks around and
passes his anger onto Delia.

"You sure this is the place?" he asked.

"I'm not as dumb as you look." she returned.

He pulls on the door handle and raises a leg before Delia stops him.

"Hey, reach in there, hand it to me." she said motioning to the glove box.

Opening the compartment he sees one lone object - a silencer. He picks it up and examines it.

"Hell is this for?" he asked.

Delia grabs it, screws it into place and looks back up at him.

"In case this goes sideways." she said as they both get out.

The two walk back to the trunk to get the star of the show. Delia sticks the key in and nods.

"You wanna? It hangs sometimes." she admitted.

Meshach glared at her dismissively, then turns the key and pops the trunk open wide. It was lined with
thick plastic sheeting. And there was no bag of drugs. He spins around to find Delia's gun pressed to 
his forehead now. 

"The fuck is this?" he yelled.

"Sideways." she fired with a cold stare, sending a round through the shitbag's head. 

He fell back and mostly into the trunk. She pushed him the rest of the way in and slammed it shut. Quickly
she checked the scene for any on-lookers before jumping in and driving away.

She owed her friend a beer. That contact of hers at the NSA who showed her how to send text messages
that would appear to be from any desired source. Trade secrets. It's good to have friends. 

This would light the fuse...
The lines were no longer blurred. They were erased
The blacked-out van pulled up outside of an old meat processing plant. Just a small operation;
two not-so-large metal buildings on the edge of town. Near an almost hidden pond. It had gone
out of business years before but continued to serve what some would call useful purposes

Two men, all in black, exit the cab and run to the rear doors. They open up as two more men dressed
the same jump out. Left in the vehicle are a pair of gentlemen in nice suits. Hands bound in front of them, 
black hoods over their heads.

"Let's go!" commanded the driver.

Both hostages scoot forward and hop out. They are led inside by their machine gun wielding captors.

Once in, the captives are led down a hallway and pushed into separate rooms next to one another.

The van driver and his passenger follow their guest into the room on the right. The driver stands watch,
gun raised, while the passenger secures the bound man to an old office chair. The captive starts coughing.

The armed man steps forward and slams the butt of his gun into the face of the seated man.

"Shut the fuck up!" he yells.

The man tries to stifle his cough. The armed man gives his partner the nod. The second man delivers a gut
punch to their guest

"Gonna be Hell when my people find us." said the seated man.

The driver rips the hood from his head, exposing his face. It's Baxter McCarthy - Vice President of the United 
States of America.

"Who the fuck do you think's responsible for you being here?" the man asked, leaning in close.

Things were getting messy...
One nation, under God
Next door, the suited man sits calmly in the middle of the room. Both operatives stand watching
him quietly. He sighs, then clears his throat.

"Somebody gonna cut these?" he asks, raising his hands.

One of the men step forward and free him from the zip-ties. The man then removes the hood from his
own head. It's Edward Serling - The President of the United States of America.

"Are you OK sir?" the man asks him.

Serling is rubbing his wrists with a scowl. 

"Not so tight next time." he scolded.

"Sorry sir." the man replied.

Serling walks over to view a small black and white monitor capturing a live feed of the next room.

"Guess it's showtime." he said.

He walks into the hall followed by the two operatives. Now standing in front of the adjacent room, he beats 
his fist twice on the door and one of the men inside opens up. He walks in to see his confused subordinate. 

"Edward?" McCarthy says in surprize.

Serling looks down at his one-time friend with a smirk.

"How are they treating you here?" he asked.

The second-in-command glares up at the man no longer behind the curtain.

"You sorry son of a bitch! This is you?" he questioned angrily.

Serling laughs to himself, turns and takes a few paces.

"I'm only doing what needs to be done." he said with his back to him.

"This is worse than treason!" McCarthy yelled.

Serling whipped around pointing a .357 magnum at his now demoted second-in-charge.

"You were never cut out for this line of work." he said just before putting a bullet between the Vice
President's eyes.

Blood and bone fragments now adorned the block wall behind the ex-VP. Serling looks on proudly, handing
the gun to the van driver who now stood beside him.

"Take care of this. We leave in thirty." he said and then walked from the room.

It was all downhill now.
With liberty and justice?
He was known simply as Augustine. The head of this terror organization that now held D.C. 
in an ever-tightening chokehold. His identity - unknown. His tactics - merciless. The cult-like
devotion he inspired was extreme and unmatched. Scores of his herd-like followers died to
further the cause. More through ignorance than bravery. But that didn't matter; they didn't 
matter. The important thing here was image and control. Coercion through chaos.

Delia Delicato infiltrated this movement with the sole purpose of bringing about its end, through
whatever means necessary. This wasn't breaking up some demonstration of redneck militia members
agitating the public outside the courthouse. She'd crossed into dark territory now. She was her one
and only lifeline out of this.

There was no light at this end of this tunnel.
In Death shall they find their only freedom
When the mask slips, America falls
The soft glow of red-orange painted the sky in beautiful, alternating layers. That smell of the sea
filling the air and Delia's lungs. No wonder this was their place. It was splendor. Paradise.

She sat watching the tide wash in, leaving behind small remnants of dislodged plant life. The tranquility
was otherworldly. Broken only by the distant motion on her periphery. Turning to look she sees a man
walking towards her. Slowly, non-threatening. He keeps near the water's edge; his pants rolled up to
the knee. Delia stands and brushes the sand from her jeans. The man gets closer. Her heart raced with
an exhilarating confusion; could it be?

It was her Charlie.

She was motionless as tears began choking her eyes. They poured forth in a swell of emotion she hadn't
known in years. He was now close enough for her to see him smiling. Smiling at her the way he used to. She
tried to swallow past the lump in her throat but was not successful. Her legs took flight and she raced 
towards her one and only Love.

The water was now crashing higher, hitting Charlie near the waist. Delia ran faster. His eyes found her, looking
up to see his sweet Forever, his smile becoming more joyous as tears came forth. Delia getting closer, sobbing
uncontrollably, her arms reaching out for him. The tide now an engulfing force, washing him from shore to
sea. Delia's face transformed by panic, jumping into the water to grab hold of her one true love. His body going 
under, her hands grasping so desperately to save him. Plunging beneath the surface she finds only agitated froth.

She fights the tide to get to her feet, making every attempt to set eyes upon him. Nothing. Once more into
the foam; her hope now heartbreak. Delia fights her way back to shore. Breathless, bewildered. He was gone.

Gazing out into those waters, she very reluctantly began to relive the torment of losing him all over again. 
Falling onto her hands and knees, she wept hard and bitter. The crushing despair now consuming. Blackest
pain in every part of her. His death was her death.

She is jolted awake by a loud knock at her door. It gradually settles in; just a terrible bad dream.
Delia answers the call, gun in hand.

"Yeah?" she says through the closed door.

"It's me, open up." 

She cracks it just enough to see Roman, the CIA mole, standing there smoking a joint.

"Wake and bake princess." he says entering the room uninvited.

He walks over to the small table by the window and is seated.

"This is a non-smoking room." Delia informs.

He stares at her blankly while tapping the joint out on the table top.

"Sure, just do that anywhere." 

"You need to be better about answering your phone." he says nodding towards her nightstand.

She walks over to check; two messages.

"Shit, must've turned it off last night." 

"Missing a call or message can get you killed." he said.

Delia walks to the side of the bed facing him and sits.

"How much worse does this get?" she asks.

Roman leans forward, an ominous glare pasting his face.

"Billionaire child-fuckers run this world. We're already at the bottom." he returns.

Delia stands and paces the floor, hands on her hips.

"So blowing up sick kids, that's what this has come to?" 

"You wanna kill the Devil, you gotta play the demon." he challenged.

She turns and races towards him.

"Don't you dare try to fucking justify the murder of children!" she yells.

He looks up at her, shaking his head.

"They were all terminal. It was more a favor than anything else." 

He stands to leave just as Delia shoves her gun under his chin.

"I won't be a part of this. I will not become you!" she said with angry conviction.

His eyes locked on hers. Feeling the raw emotion.

"Now get the fuck out of here." she commanded.

Roman walks slowly to the door, stops and turns.

"I need you on this ride. Be ready in ten." he says and leaves the room.

She never wanted this. There had to be a better way...
If you make people afraid enough, theyll do anything
The ride was very uncomfortable. He was high and that made her nervous. Drug deals were always
dicey, especially the twenty kilo kind. Best to be fully present lest things take that turn.

"This coming from the boss?" she asked.

He looks over, flashes a weak grin and then back to the road.

"More of a me-thing." 

Delia knew it was already off course. The wild west indeed.

"Nice to see you dig your heels in." she said.

"This game plays out exactly the same, no matter who's movin' what. May as well be me makin' that money."

His eyes still trained on the road ahead. She looks over at him, then back out her window. Those bad
feelings had her again.

They arrive; another flea-bag motel. Coach gives the pep talk.

"Make eye contact, don't smile. Speak only if spoken to and don't do anything to make them itchy!" he explained.

"Sounds like my first date." she followed up.

"I've dealt with these guys a few times, no issues. So let's not make any. Got it?"

"Loud and clear." she replied.

They get out of the car and walk around to the trunk. He reaches in, grabs the large black duffle bag and
they move towards the room. He knocks on the door and they wait.

Delia felt sick...

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