That which does not destroy me, will only make me stronger--Friedrich Nietzsche. Los Angeles. The Tracker arrived early. He parked at the back of the Church. Abandoned years ago, a fence now enclosed the Church's perimeter. He went to the back door and pried it open. Stepping inside, he walked down the aisle between the rows of rotting wooden pews. Passing the dusty painting of St. Thomas, he turned and opened a side door. Down the long spiral staircase to the basement, then through another door, leading into a large room filled with high tech, automated monitoring equipment. The high resolution wide screens projected the world's geography into 3D images. A large Foucault pendulum swung lazily back and forth over a floor map of the world. It was kept as a homage to the keepers of yesteryear, as it was no longer of significant use, having long ago been replaced with satellite imagery and global positioning systems. The Tracker was always alert as to the pendulum's ever changing positions. As he waited, he watched the screens. Short pulses would appear sporadically at various locations across the globe, indicating some form of electro-magnetic activity. The Tracker wondered, in the aftermath of any of those pulses, whether another plane or ship had just disappeared. Suddenly, the side door opened and in walked the Lamp Post's director. Shauna Hawking was very attractive. Much younger than her perfectly styled, long grey hair would indicate. "Glad to see you're early," she said, in a light English accent, "we'll hold the de-briefing in my office." He followed her into another side room. "So, do you have it?" she asked. The Tracker nodded and handed her the vial. Hawking held it up to the light. "Good, but why in the hell," Hawking sternly asked, "when you had her under the stone's influence, didn't you get her to tell you who and where her Master was?" "When you're being tossed around the room by a petite blonde," The Tracker replied, "you tend to have other priorities on your mind. Like survival!" Hawking frowned. "Well, every scuffle only makes you stronger. Have you seen the news today?" she asked. The Tracker shook his head. "Well, take a look at a picture of America's new Ambassador to Japan." Hawking pressed a button on a console by her desk and a picture of a young, pretty woman appeared on a wall monitor. "Look familiar?' Hawking asked. "Yes," The Tracker replied. "Well, she's your next assignment," Hawking said, "you're to go to Japan. She is scheduled to attend a worldwide economic conference being held in Tokyo. Find her! Use the stone, or any other means, but get the info we need!" The Tracker nodded. Hawking continued, "This is at a whole different level now. They are getting into positions of power and influence. We know they are continuing to release the virus. You've read Oldham's report. We have to know who is behind all of this and where they are! You cannot fail! Or we will see an Apocalypse upon this planet that will destroy humanity! This is a war! A war against evil! A pure and treacherous evil!" "When I do find her and get the info," The Tracker asked, "what do I do about her? Bring her back for further study?" Hawking looked down at her desk. "You know what to do," she replied. The Tracker did know. He turned to leave. "I'll print out a picture of her to take with you," Hawking said. The Tracker turned back, "I don't need her picture. Even if she is a copy, I know exactly what Katherine Anne Austen looks like!" Next Chap. 4 "Tokyo Interrogation"

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