“Yes, sir,” Mr. Z spoke into the cell phone, “we’ll take care of everything from here, sir! Yes, immediately sir! Thank you, sir!” With that, Z disconnected the cell.

“What’s the judgment?” Smaller asked.

Z pondered, before answering.

“Okay, here’s the deal,” Z began, “first we’ll go back and collect all the information they have. The notebooks, recordings, and videos. After we’ve collected it, we’re to transfer it all onto disk. Then destroy all the originals!”

“Hmmm,” Smaller mumbled.

“As for the Ajira six,” Z continued, “these are the instructions just given to me! Take notes!”

Smaller immediately picked up a notebook off the table and flipped it open.

“We’ll use the information connecting James Ford to Frank Duckett’s murder and contact the Sydney police. We’ll then extradite him back to Australia. We’ll help the Sydney authorities in any way we can, through outside sources, so as to not lead directly back to us, to assure they get a conviction. That should take care of Mr. Ford for awhile.

As for Ms. Austen,” Z continued, as he reached into his pocket and took out a small pill box, “don’t give her anything to drink for the next 24 hours. Get her nice and thirsty. Take these pills and dissolve them in a water bottle. Then take her the bottle. She’ll sleep for hours. Bring in the medical team and implant her with a tracking device. When she awakens, I’ll talk to her. I’ve been instructed to offer her a job! They feel someone like her, someone who can’t stay in one place for very long, may prove to be very valuable!”

“I don’t like that,” Smaller replied, “she’s nothing but trouble!”

“That may be,” Z answered, “but someone up there likes her.”

“How do you guarantee she’ll accept the offer?” Smaller asked.

“Oh, we’ll dangle her “son” Aaron in front of her,” Z said, “tell her she’ll never see him again if she doesn’t do what we ask!”

“But you weren’t planning to let her have the kid anyway, were you?” Smaller asked.

“Of course not,” Z answered, “but she’ll never know!”

“She’ll find a way to get the kid and go on the run!” Smaller interjected.

“Thus the tracking device!” answered Z.

“Now, as for Richard Alpert,” Z continued.

“Shadow Man!” Smaller said.

“Yes, Shadow Man” Z said, “the gaps in his resume will be his downfall. We’ll see that he gets on the U.S. government’s “Persons of Interest” list. We’ll plant information within those “gaps” connecting him to international terrorism. Mr. Alpert will end up spending the rest of his “natural” life in prison at Guantanomo Bay!

As for poor, misfortunate Ms. Littleton! You’ve had her placed into quarantine, haven’t you?”

“As you ordered,” Smaller replied.

“Good!” Z continued, “we’ll have to do some more blood tests to re-confirm the initial results. If she is indeed infected, she will become very dangerous, very quickly! However, it will also provide us with a great opportunity to observe the infection process! We’ll ship her to California. Santa Rosa specifically. They have the facilites to handle her. Now, as for you favorite, Mr. Straume!”

“That punk!” Smaller replied.

“Yes, well,” Z laughed, “we’ll send him on to California with the diamonds I promised he could keep, if he cooperated. However, we’ll contact U.S. customs and report him entering the country with stolen diamonds, that are also implemented in a disappearance and a murder. That should take care of Mr. Miles!”

Smaller grinned.

“As for Captain Lapidus,” Z stated, “we’ll contact the FAA and his union and his airline, like he asked, but we’ll give them the blood tests first. He’ll never fly anything, not even a kite, ever again! So lets get started!”

“What do you think they’ll end up telling us?” Smaller asked.

Z shrugged, “Who knows? Probably a lot of bull! For all of them, the truth is something they’ve tried to avoid for most of their lives! Both personally and professionally! Why should they change now?

They realize we know a lot about who they are and who they may become, so they’re scared! Considering the threat that we’re all up against, that is exactly where we want them to be! But we can’t, under any circumstances, allow them to publicly talk about what has happened to them!”

Smaller nodded, then left to start gathering the information.

Z pulled together all the files. Most would believe how sad it was, Z thought, that all of these people’s lives could have been so different if they had just made other decisions. But Z knew that would be wrong.

For these people had no choice in their lives. They all were chosen to be cogs in some great cosmic wheel that spun on and on and on! Fate had seen to that! And that was what really made it so sad! The End.

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