Book One Chapter 11

Posted: March 18, 2013 in Uncategorized
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CHAPTER 11

The senator was sitting in his solarium, reading through the Metro section of an early edition of The Washington Post.  He was still in his cotton plaid pajamas with his robe tucked neatly around him. He would officially start his day soon when he went upstairs to the bedroom of his Georgetown townhome and get dressed to go to his office.

He slipped off his reading glasses and perched them near his coffee mug. He yawned and then ran his fingers through his rumpled salt and pepper hair.  Hard to believe that he was in his sixties now he thought to himself.  He glanced down at his waist line, he also thought to himself he was not as trim as he use to be. Back when he, Senator John Marino started out as a runner on the streets of New York City when he was a young teenager for Mr. Manetti.

Mr. Manetti was a local mafia boss who had a penchant for using unsuspecting young teens to run money or drugs for him knowing that if the boys got caught they usually did not have a record and would be turned loose with a slap on the hand by the local judge.  Manetti’s family had been in the business for years, shaking down mom and pop joints throughout the borough, dealing drugs and running a successful chop shop through the City and upper Jersey.  And then there were always the strip joints which served as good fronts for prostitution and the pony business.

Young Marino would occasionally have a car pull up beside him with just a simple order to give a package to somebody or to deliver a note.  He did as he asked and when he got the next job they handed him cash.  At first it was just a twenty for just delivering notes.  Then as the packages got more valuable the money got better.  Marino figured it might be something illegal, but he never asked and no one ever told him.  His policy was if they don’t tell, then he won’t ask.  He liked having the money.  He nearly got caught only once, but had been smart enough to drop the package in another shopper’s bag before the cops got him.

The senator drained his first cup of coffee and then padded into the kitchen to pour himself a second cup.  On his return from the kitchen to his usual chair in which he read the paper, he paused at an old photograph of his mother.  It was taken shortly before his father died.  He couldn’t help but to remember her complete innocence or perhaps it was just that she was too damn overworked to give a crap.

Either way, John Marino’s rise to the top had been the face of it the local boy’s rise to fame.  In reality, there had been string pulling for some shady dealings.  When John was just a boy his father was accidentally killed in a factory accident, leaving his mother a widow with five small children.  His father did not have the foresight to have life insurance or some other sort of worker’s compensation.   He watched her slave away at multiple jobs.  He hated his father for leaving his mother nearly destitute.  John would bring home the money to his mother, telling her that he was working as a busboy at a restaurant and that was his tip money from the waitresses.  Manetti always took care of the people who worked for him.  Every so often he would hand John an envelope with cash, telling him that he had done good and to buy something for his family.  Manetti knew that family came first.

His work as a courier led him to ask his mafia manager if he could have some serious work.  He had always wanted to work on the docks with the shipping vessels.  Marino would occasionally get a call from Mr. Manetti, asking if he and a trusted crew could unload a few containers from a ship in the dead of the night as a favor for the Chairman A few days later a job materialized loading and unloading container ships with the local union.  He had been at the job a short time when the union representative approached him and asked if he was interested in becoming a representative for the union.  Marino was ready for something more and with more authority.  He won the election easily and found that he was a natural leader and public speaker.

Later on with the help of both Mr. Manetti and the Chairman hidden behind the scenes, he ascended to the top of the dock workers union before getting into politics. The union elections and politics prepared him for life in the public arena.  While he was in the union, Mr. Manetti brought to his attention a city council seat that was open and let him know in no uncertain terms that they would help him in a bid for the seat.  Marino had a taste of power in the union and will.

John agreed to run for office with Manetti’s help.  He won and so began his career as a public servant.  The night of his election victory, Manetti pulled him aside and told him that not only did he have to thank him but another man, more powerful.  He told him of the Chairman and the money he poured into his campaign and the obligation he had to him as well.  The Chairman was like family and you don’t say no.

He now helped out his former boss, Mr. Manetti, by ensuring that he got a fair share of government building contracts either for the city or the state through either pork barrel legislation or simply by hiding appropriations in key legislative pieces.  He was currently on the steering committee, one of the most powerful in Congress, and was a senior senator on the committee.  The committee had the power to bury a piece of legislation or to bring it to vote before members had the opportunity to be primed and persuaded to cast their votes either for or against the bill.  Marino loved the power and did not want to relinquish it.

His second cup of coffee was cooling while he was finishing a bowl of cold cereal.  After his last bite, his private cell phone rang.  He looked at the display id and saw that it was Mr. Manetti’s number, he answered it.

“Mr. Manetti how are you doing this fine morning?” he said.

“I’m fine, and how are you doing John?” asked Manetti. He always called the senator John.

“I am doing fine Mr. Manetti, I was just finishing breakfast,” he replied

“Good, in about five minutes a man named Samuel is going to call you. He is a aid for the chairman.”

“I understand Mr. Manetti. I look forward to taking the call.”

“Good good. Next time you are up this way you should stop by the restaurant and say hello.”

“I will do that.”

“I will hold you to that. I had better get off the phone then. Good-bye John.

“Good-bye Mr. Manetti.”

Senator John Marino heard the click of the phone telling him the call was done. He put the phone down and downed his cold coffee. His phone rang again.

“Hello,” said the senator.

“Good morning Senator Marino. My name is Samuel. I work for a friend of yours. He would appreciate it if you could meet with him tomorrow.”

“Yes I can. What time would be good?” asked John.

“One o’clock.”

“I will fly into LaGuardia Airport.”

“There will be a car waiting for you. Good day sir.”

After that call he placed one more call to make his travel arrangements for tomorrow. Once that was done Senator John Marino slipped the phone into his robe pocket and head upstairs to take his shower and start his day.

He wondered to himself what was so urgent that the chairman wanted to meet with him on such short notice.  He hoped that it would not be as damn difficult as the last predicament the Chairman put him through.

Within twenty-four hours Senator Marino found himself in an office high above the New York city.  He stood gazing at wonderful works of art, the storm on the sea of galilee by Rembrandt, Saint Praxedid by Johannes Vermeer, and Antique Worrior by Leonardo Da Vinci. He waited to be called in to see the chairman.

The artwork was breathtakingly beautiful. Each piece was displayed in its own glass case. These were not for public display as each had been stolen. This were only for the chairman and his visitors.

Still thought John Marino thought to himself that it was good to be back in the city of his youth. In his hand he held a Glenfidich on the rocks which was poured by a man who was obviously the gatekeeper for the Chairman at this location.  The man introduced himself as Robert and instructed him to have a seat while he waited for the chairman to finish with some other business. The office was richly decorated with handmade furnishings; it gave the sense that this was perhaps more than just an office or maybe a holding room.

The chairman sat in his private office on the other side of the door which separated the two rooms.  He was reading over a report and would be with the Senator soon. The senator could wait.  The chairman knew that he hated to be kept waiting.

The senator walked back to Robert’s desk to top off his drink.  He finally decided that he would sit down and wait.  The chairman seemed to like to play with the people who had appointments with him at times.  Senator Marino crossed the room and sat down into a plush, grey leather armchair, and swirled his drink around in the glass, listening to the ice cubes clink against one another.  Ten minutes later the intercom on Robert’s deck beeped. Robert stood and said, “The chairman will see you now.”

The senator tossed back the rest of his drink. The warm burning sensation worked its way down to his stomach and he slowly rose from the chair.  He placed the empty glass on the end table and walked over to where Robert was holding the door open for him.  The senator entered the room where the chairman was waiting for him, sitting casually behind his desk.

The chairman remained seated as the senator walked toward him.  The only pieces of furniture were a cut glass desk with only a laptop computer adorning it and three chairs, one of which was a black leather armchair in which the Chairman sat and two others opposite the desk and looked less comfortable than the one the chairman sat in. The walls were lined with built-in bookcases and filled with assorted books.  The room was totally devoid of any other decorations.  The chairman gestured for the senator to have a seat across from him in one of the armchairs. As senator John Marino took a seat he was conscious of the fact that Robert took up a position standing directly behind him as he sat in the chair.

“Senator Marino, thank you for coming in on such short notice,” said the chairman.

“It is my pleasure to be here, what can I do for you, sir?” Marino replied with curiosity.

“Senator Marino, I have found out through some of my sources that there is a mission being planned for an investigation of an area of China. One of our facillites is in that area. I want you to have a little chat with a certain Admiral Austin at the Pentagon about adding two more people from the CIA to that mission. The Marines are planning to start it in the next twenty-four hours in China. The mission is being launched from the USS Jackson. I want that mission delayed until my men get there,” stated the chairman.

“How exactly am I supposed to do that, sir?” asked the senator furrowing his brow.

“That is your problem I suppose, now isn’t it.  I would suppose you would want to tell the Admiral that you want intelligence personnel there for any interrogations which might arise, now wouldn’t that sound plausible?” suggested the Chairman.

“Yes sir, but you do realize that America is at war with China?  This isn’t just some sort of regular mission,” reminded the senator.

“Of course I know that,” The chairman said in a cold and sarcastic tone.

“This facility sir,” began the senator, but before he could continue his question, the chairman interrupted in a terse voice, he did not like to have his authority questioned or to have someone ask unnecessary questions.

“The facility is of no concern to the U.S. government or its military. I mean to keep it that way,” said the chairman curtly cutting off any further discussion about the topic from the senator.

“What will happen to the marines?” asked the senator.

“Leave that to me. I don’t think that is your concern, now is it?” replied the chairman.  His tone left little doubt that the marines would be probably eliminated.

“No sir.” said the senator as he shifted uncomfortably in his chair.  While John Marino didn’t mind some of the dirty work he did for the Manetti family, he was not easy with the thought of killing American soldiers.

“I understand that you are thinking of running for the white house in the next election, it would be such a shame if you did not attain that goal,” said the chairman

The senator felt as though he had just been slapped. He got the message loud and clear.  Either work for him or his political career was over.  He needed the money he would get from the chairman. The chairman knew how to funnel money to him through his multiple companies and donors.

”Thank you sir, you can count on me to get it done,” said the senator.

“Of that I never had a doubt.”

“I will contact your assistant when I get the men added.  I will need their names.” said the senator, thinking he was going to need another drink after this meeting.  The Chairman wasn’t asking for much, just the world.

“It is not necessary for you to know their names yet.  I will in the near future arrange for you and my contact in the CIA to meet,” said the Chairman.

“Please let me know if there is anything more I can do to be of service, Mr. Chairman,” concluded the senator.

“I shall and will be calling on you again Senator Marino. Robert, please have the car brought around for Senator Marino. Once the good senator has gone please call these people and give them this message.”

“Yes sir,” said Robert, efficiently nodding his head while he held the door open for the senator to exit the office.

 

Both Colonels Kline and Riley where going over the morning reports from the various groups of men that worked for them yet at sites around the world. They heard the phone ring and knew that Mr. Thomas would answer it. Seconds later Mr. Thomas was walking into their very cluttered office.

Col. Kline saw Mr. Thomas first. “What do you want, Johnny?” he asked.

“The Chairman’s aid, Robert is on the phone for both of you, line three.” he said, his British accent thick.

Col. Kline put the call on speaker. The conversation was short and to the point. As soon as Robert got off the phone with them they were calling their troops and mobilizing them. They were going hunting for marines and then they were to kill a thieving general after they had relieved him of his computer.

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