There came a knocking on the door.
"Come in," Jackie exclaimed.
The door swung forward. Out of the depths of the hallway outlined the dark figure of a woman. It was Jackie's mother Jane. She slowly crept forward into the radiant beams that flowed through the open blinds of the windows.
"I just wanted to make sure that you had everything that you needed to go on this vacation." Jane asked. "Did you pack enough clothes and bathroom accessories for your suitcase?"
Jackie turned back to her mother, "I have already searched my whole bag twice and everything on my checklist seems to be in order."
"Excellent. So you're already to go?" Jane asked back and Jackie nodded.
Jackie slung her red leather bag on her shoulder. There were only ten pounds of clothes within the bag, so she had no problem walking out down her staircase with it. At the foot of the stairs, she dropped it off.
Jackie turned back to her mother, "I've still got half and hour until Maggie arrives. What do we have for breakfast?"
"Let's see…I can make some scrambled eggs for you. I believe I have a few left," Jane replied back.
Jackie paused for a moment, "Umm…that sounds great, but can I have them cooked over-easy?"
Jane smiled, "Of course, anything for my young girl."
Jackie took a seat in one of the stools at the open bar. She grabbed the television remote that sat directly in front of her. There she clicked on the television which was situated on counter across the kitchen. Jane was quick to get to work and had already taken out the eggs, frying pan, and cooking oil. Her hands gripped the black knob of the stove, turning it clockwise until a soft click was heard. Blue flames arose from the pit of the stove and Jane was ready to start cooking away.
She cracked the first egg onto the frying pan, "Remind me again sweety of where you're going?"
Jackie now focused her attention on her mother, "Today, me and Maggie are going to fly down to Phoenix and rent a hotel for the first couple of days. Explore the city. Maybe even take a trip down the Grand Canyon."
Jane split the second egg, "Sounds like fun. At least you will get away from all of the Colorado Mountains."
Jackie's eyes shot back to the television screen. A new story caught her interest on her local news channel.
(The television shows the broadcaster along with a picture of in the right hand corner of the screen. The picture is of the Arizona state tainted black with bright red letters on top of the state entitled "Death Threats.")
BROADCASTER: Yesterday afternoon Phoenix law enforcement officers placed all local airports and subway stations on high alert. As far as police officials know, there was apparently a letter that came into the mail and inside the envelope was a solid brass shotgun bullet.
(Picture switches to a picture of the bullet shell that was located inside the envelope)
BROADCASTER: Although the local Phoenix authorities claim that there wasn't any dangerous activity that did occur yesterday afternoon, it is certain they are taking this envelope as a very serious threat to the city of Phoenix as well as to our country. No officer has yet revealed what the note actually said. More news involving this investigation should continue throughout the week to come.
When Jane was finished cooking the eggs and she placed them on Jackie's plate. Jackie slid the plate to her chest and began chowing down. There was nothing like a home made cooked meal that satisfied Jackie's morale throughout the day. Being the graduate student that Jackie was, she came home to visit her parents three times a year, which was not including the three month long summer vacation. Jackie's father worked as an engineer for Comcast. He was typically very busy depending on the time of the year. Summertime caused him to work a full loaded schedule. This was because the seasonal winds brought storms, which caused power outages across Colorado. On the other hand, her mother worked as a school teacher all of Jackie's life and was around for her during this particular time of year.
Jackie grew accustomed to living in a world where she was dependent on herself and only herself. It may have been for that very reason why she thoroughly displayed early signs of hard work ethics and intelligence as a child. Everyday, she would come home; finish her homework, then read a nice long novel or magazine. There would be no one at the house, just herself and only herself. It wasn't like Jackie wanted to become noticed as the typical bookworm girl, she just wanted to understand the world. Most importantly though, he wanted to understand what her role in society was. She wasn't concerned about living a popular social life, so spending time on the weekends with a group of people was not always on Jackie's mind. If she did seek out friendship, she wanted to come upon true friends and not acquaintances. Well, God gave her Maggie, and she was thankful for that.
Though being shy and intellect at a young age shad split her away from her normal social life, it caused her to start college at of sixteen, which was unusual for most people nowadays. Now twenty two years of age, she was looking into new jobs and opportunities in law, a different route from her mother and father.
Jane started wiping down the kitchen counters, "Well, you're father is off at work today. It turns out the power is out once again across the East Denver area and they need somebody running their company."
Jane finished cleaning the kitchen and Jackie was done with her breakfast. Jackie began rinsing off her dish and placed it in the washing machine. When she was finished, she made her way to the sunroom, but an interruption occurred before she could make her way there.
Ding Dong! The door bell rang.
Jackie walked quickly to the front door, "That must be Maggie!"
Indeed awaiting outside the front door was Maggie, but at the same time Jackie was concerned. She didn't expect a white male in his mid twenties to be standing aside Maggie with his arms crossed. Out in their open circled driveway, there stood a black Range Rover which was unfamiliar to Jackie. Clutching the handle, Jackie swung open the door and gave her best friend Maggie a warm welcome.
"What's going on? Are you excited?" Jackie smiled.
"I've been looking forward to this trip the entire week!" Maggie replied.
Jackie hesitated, staring directly at her male friend, "I'm sorry Maggie, but…who is that?"
"Oh, this is Kendall. He works at a local firearm store. Actually, we've been dating for a couple of weeks now," Maggie explained while Kendall gave a brief wave to Jackie.
Jackie was puzzled on how she was able to go out with a man without her knowledge, "Ok, but what is he doing here? I thought that we were going on this trip alone together?"
"Yes…but Kendall set us up with a nice hotel. I can't leave him alone like that," Maggie reasoned.
Jackie griped Maggie's right wrist and guided her around the house and into an unseen area where they engaged in a private conversation.
"Maggie, I love you to death, but what are you doing? Couldn't you have at least told me that you were going out?" whispered Jackie.
Maggie seemed a bit off guard by Jackie's response, "I know that this has come upon you in a surprise Jackie, but I really like this guy. I was afraid that you would have said no if I asked you to have Kendall come along with us."
Jackie gave an immediate reply, "It would have been fine with me if he would have gone, but you can't do this to me. I need to know how many people are coming along the trip ahead of time. You can't just call last minute plans like this."
The only emotion Maggie could conjure was sympathy for Jackie. She became so embarrassed at what she did that she was even looking at Jackie anymore.
Jackie touched her gently on her right arm and Maggie spoke, "I am sorry Jackie…I was stupid," Maggie gently hugged Jackie and the preceded back to the front porch.
Jackie had made her goodbyes with her mother. Maggie helped Jackie load her gear up in Kendall's black Range Rover. From that moment on, it was smooth sailing to the airport. It only took them fifteen miles of waving through the Rocky Mountains to get there. Their tickets were headed to board United Flight 745. It was the 10:50 AM to Phoenix.
There was nothing about Kendall that comforted Jackie at all. If there was one person that represented the usual villain that Jackie pictured in all of those novels she read all of those years, then Kendall matched that description perfectly. Kendall appeared to be anti social. He never spoke unless spoken to. The typical "yes" and "no" answers were always heard by him. Though this didn't interrupt him from giving directions to the airport. He was helpful in that aspect. Time appeared to fly by when he was in charge. It was as if he had already planned out this vacation himself months in advance. He parked their car, escorted them both to the subway riding Concourse B, and there, they waited at Gate B22 until instructed to aboard.
There he was, sitting in that dark operating room as always. Locked in a deep underground corridor, he waited. It was as if he was sucked into a hypnotizing trance and the only object of interest to him was his keyboard. He glared right into the monitors which concaved around him. Time was as to his advantage and he knew that he had all of the time in the world to execute his plan.
There was one specific monitor that was aligned in the center of the operating room; it was twice the size of all the other monitors. It was on this screen that he pulled up the map of Phoenix. In the heart of Phoenix was a four way intersection, it was the crossing other Glover Ave and Hastings Blv. Red markings wrapped around the intersection, leaving only the west side of Hastings Blv open.
A slight smirk appeared on his face. Then suddenly, his cell phone rang. Quickly he answered, "Yes?"
A deep voice came resonating through the phone, "Are you finished scanning the Phoenix area?"
The man held that smirk, "Everything is set as planned. There is no way that any law enforcement official or government agent should see this coming."
The caller responded, "Good, I will have you know that our team is ready to carry out this plan of action."
"What about the money from the government?" the man asked. "Have they responded from the threat we sent out less than twenty four hours ago?"
"Yes, our men have received plenty of news back from the government," replied the caller. "It seems they won't carry out with paying the fifty million dollars we asked for. What a shame…they don't seem to understand how powerful our assassins are."
The caller sighed, "I am not surprised with their move at all. That is the American government for you…always willing to tax the hell out of you and never willing to cut you any breaks…."
"….Hmph. Although, I did find it amusing that they would threaten us back, telling us that we would be put under 'no mercy' if found," the caller laughed.
"Get ready to execute the plan. Tomorrow morning…."
"...….Phoenix citizens will see the sunrise for the last time," the caller hung up and so did the man.
He just continued typing on his keyboard without any worries at all.