The early morning sun streamed in the window falling on Yethro's face awakening him. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he swung his feet off the bed and ran barefooted into the big bedroom. His heart sank as he spied an open closet and a few of the dresser drawers whose contents were thrown on the bed. It was so unlike Dexter to leave things in such a mess. Some, but not all, of Dexter's clothing was missing. Then he spotted a note placed on one of the pillows. Fearing the worst, he reached out and with shaking fingers, picked it up and started to read.
As I write this, my mind is so clogged and befuddled that I cannot think clearly. To paraphrase Shakespeare: Should I stay - should I run, that is the question? I was awake all night trying to decide what I should do. Early this morning I came to realize that I have to get out of here and leave town in order to clear my mind. I need time by myself. At first it may appear that I am running away from you. However, this is not the case. You see, these past few months have been imprinted on my mind and I have developed deep feelings - not only for you, but also for the people in this town as well as our life together. The last few months have been the happiest I have had since I came here. And in truth I have come to love you. If I did not have these wonderful memories of our life together and the deep feelings that I have for you, this would be very easy. But I do care and might even have been happy to spend the rest of my life being your slave with no hope of personal freedom. But you have set me free and the decision is now mine to make. Therefore, I know that this decision, once made, will be a lifetime commitment and I hope you will understand if I take some time alone to think about it. At first, I was thinking about running up to the lake, but that would not have given me the type of solitude I need. Besides, you might follow me there and that would just muddle me up again. No, I need a complete separation for a while. In any event, I'm sure that I will be able to let you know one way or the other within a week or so.
Thank you for all you did for me and I will remember your kindness and...your love.
Well, thought the Judge, at least he did not say goodbye. He did say he had deep feelings for me. Perhaps there is a chance that he will return. Damn it, I should never have given him his freedom, but I had to take the chance. If we are to have any sort of life together I must be able to trust him. I want him to be my life's partner. If it is to be a full and trusting partnership, he will have to convert to Islam of his own free will and accept it as our way of life. I know this will take time and I will have to give him that time. In any event, it is too late now to do anything about it. Damn it, I know what I did was right, but it still hurts. Now, I will just have to wait and see what happens.
What had happened was that Dexter packed a few things and took a taxi to the border and, after taking the ferry, was at last on "Free Land". There, he took a bus to the nearest big city where he checked into a motel and got his first night's sleep as a free man in well over a year. The next morning, he took a taxi to a downtown office building where he rode the elevator up a few floors, got off and then walked down the stairway two floors. After feeling assured that he was not being followed, he entered the office of the regional Director of the Federal Homeland Security Agency.
"Can I help you, Sir?" asked the slim, dark haired receptionist.
"I hope you can. I would like to see the Director, please," Dexter said.
"I'm sorry, but he is in a conference and very busy right now," the receptionist replied in a manner that irritated Dexter. "Besides the Director does not meet anyone without an appointment. Will someone else be able to help you, perhaps his assistant?"
"Oh! I think he will see me. Just tell him his top Agent, Jessie Benson, is out here waiting to see him." Dexter snapped at her.
The receptionist reluctantly buzzed the intercom and a very angry voice demanded what she wanted.
"I'm sorry to disturb your meeting but there is a man claming to be an Agent called Jessie Benson out here and he says he must speak with you."
"Jess? What the hell is he doing here? Yes, yes - send him in. Wait! No! No. Hold on, give me a minute to clear the place, then I'll come out and get him." said the flustered Director.
"Sir, please sit down and the Director will be with you shortly."
"Thank you," Dexter said, noting the change in her attitude as he took a seat and smiled at her.
No sooner had he settled into the leather chair than the conference room door burst open and the Director came charging out, spied Dexter and pulled him into his office a short way down the hallway. As they passed the receptionist he shouted, "We are not to be disturbed unless it is the President of the United States." At that point he slammed his office door shut and directed Dexter to a seat across from him at a low coffee table. "Jessie, damn it, I thought we had lost you! What the hell happened to you? We all thought you were dead. I want a full report. We all thought you might have been captured and shipped out of the country to be interrogated in the basement of some Iranian or Arab torture chamber. It has been over a year and a half! We had given you up. Wait! Not one word until I set up the recorder. I have to get this on tape."
Dexter smiled and tried to explain, "Director Green, there was no way I could have notified you as to what had happened. As you will see, things just happened and there was little I could do about it. First of all my name is now Dexter. No last name, just Dexter because I thought it better to play the amnesia card. A man without a memory is more able to get away with errors, fake it and as things transpired, it just happened to work out that way."
"The last time we met, you told me you had no plan and that you wanted to keep it loose. Then you just dropped out of sight. It was as if you had dropped off the edge of the world."
"To tell the truth, I think I did," Dexter laughed. "You have no idea what is going on in there. I was there for almost a year and a half and I still have no idea what is going on. I know something is, but what, I have no clue. The whole thing is surreal. I feel like I was H.G. Wells and have returned from one of his time machine adventures in the 8th or 9th century. These people have created a closed town and really convinced the residents that this is a Utopia of some kind. Somehow they have almost everyone believing that this is the wave of the future and most of the people like it..."
"I find that hard to believe. You mean that there is no opposition to what they are doing?" asked the Director as he poured two cups of coffee and offered Dexter one.
Taking the cup and taking a sip, Dexter continued, "There must be a few malcontents, but none that I could see or who would talk to me. Most of the people are either Islamic or converts and you know how new converts to any religion are. There are a few people who are not of the Islamic faith but they are either in the pay of the system or just too afraid to say anything."
"Yes. That is what our information tells us. It's hard to believe that in this day and age, here in America, something like that could happen. Well, start from the beginning and tell me everything," the Director said.
"Everything?" Dexter almost choked on the coffee. "Do you mind if I leave off some of the sordid details. You know, as they say - to protect the guilty."
"Tell it any way you want, but make sure it is full and accurate. We are both 'men of the world' here. If I have questions, I'll ask them. I'm an adult and there is not much that I don't know about that goes on out in the field."
"O.K. then. As you know, it was my job to infiltrate the town and gain evidence of terrorist activities. I entered the town as a tourist looking to buy some mid-eastern art objects. I figured that as a person interested in Arab culture it would be a good cover if my knowledge of the language and customs were to somehow come out. However, I did not have the opportunity to make use of my linguistic ability since all of the residents spoke English and my blond hair and blue eyes gave me away as American. I located a store that I thought had some interesting articles for sale. It turned out that the owner of the store was more interested in me than in selling me anything. I did not see it coming when this merchant took a fancy to me. I had purchased a coffee pot and he offered to show me how to use it. He took me into his workshop and showed me how to make the coffee. The S.O.B. must have slipped some drug into my coffee. The drug prevented me from struggling and then he must have stripped and raped me. After doing this, he had to get rid of me and he decided that the best way to do it was to sell me into slavery to the best and most expensive male brothel in town. It was there that I woke up to find that not only was I black and blue but that I was legally enslaved. And there was nothing I could do about it. It was at this point that I pulled the amnesia bit. The owner of the brothel called a doctor and both of them nursed me back to health. The owner, having invested a lot of money in me, decided to train me as a courtesan so that he could regain his investment. In order to survive, and still faking amnesia, I decided to cooperate. While there I became, shall we say, the hottest property in town. My blond hair and blue eyes being unusual helped spread the word and I was rented out to some of the town's leading people. I was making a fortune for my new owner. It was at this point that the merchant, who had sold me, became jealous and decided he wanted me back. He sued the brothel owner to recover me. And this is where the Judge comes in. There was even a trial and the merchant lost the case and I was again awarded to the owner of the brothel. However, the Judge, a horny Bedouin, took a liking to me. A few weeks later he called my master and convinced him to lend me to him for a week. I played along because I was glad to get out of the brothel and I thought that the Judge and his friends had be a better place to gather information then the brothel. Before the week was out, the old man fell for 'my charms' and he offered my master 250,000 dollars cash for me. Now this was a paltry sum to pay but the Judge, being very rich as well as politically powerful, was able to convince my master it would be best to sell me to him for such a low price. I understand that there was a lot more involved in the sale then just money, but to make a long story short, my master agreed. I was sold to the Judge who later divorced his wife. The Judge and I set up house together and lived together for about six months. Two nights ago, he set me free in the hopes that I, as a free man, would stay with him as his lover of my own free will. I left him a note saying that I needed to clear my head before I made any future commitments and then came here to report to you."
The Director leaned back in his chair and lit a big cigar. "And I thought I had heard everything there was to hear. Drugs, sex, kidnapping, enslavement, it has everything. That, my friend, is quite a story! A Federal Agent turned into a male prostitute! Someday you have to publish it. You will have to fill in a few of the details, but I'm sure it would be a best seller and probably make you millions." Taking a big drag on the cigar and looking at the ceiling, he asked, "So, Jessie, now what? What do you want to do? Do you think there is anything to be gained by going back in? Is this Judge connected in any way to some plot or conspiracy to take over the government? Are you even willing to go back? I don't want to place you in a dangerous situation and later find out that we are just paying you to be the Judge's pleasure boy. Is your going back in there going to uncover anything?"
"Well, I know that there are a lot of things going on there that are against American law. There is prostitution, graft, slavery, human trafficking, kidnapping and people disappearing, to name a few. Some of this you can find in any town. Also he has told me that he and his friends are looking to take over the country. However, he has not indicated doing this by any illegal means yet. What do you think I should do? Is there anything else to be gained by my going back into that loony bin?"
"Well, aside from all the illegal and immoral activities, has he said anything about suicide bombing or directing anything like that?"
Dexter thought for a while, then said; "He has expressed certain admiration for those using terror tactics. At least he has said that he admires and respects the concept of suicide bombing. He considers them to be martyrs and even may have given money to their support. He is a Muslim at heart and I would not put anything past him."
"Do you think he will, if he is ordered to, participate in such activities?"
"He is passionate enough in his feelings to at least consider it. I think the whole town deserves watching. He may be a bit craftier than to get directly involved. I know he pictures himself as having a special roll in all this. He is more the 'big leader' type since nothing can get done in that town without him having a link to it. How else would he be able to justify his position and even push aside all local opposition to himself and his homosexual life style? While there is nothing in Islam to outlaw it with non-Muslims, most of these people are religious and might have objections to his living with me - yet he is able to override the town Mayor, Police Chief, its leading citizens and even the Imam and get them to do his bidding. I'll bet he even appointed the Imam to his job. So great is this power of his, that he was able to get the Imam to notarize his divorce in a matter of minutes. I know this man has some plan for me, but I cannot figure it out yet. Perhaps once he is convinced of my willingness to submit to him, he might let me in on it."
"Are you willing to continue to be his homosexual lover?" asked the director. "I cannot ask you to continue if you feel you are endangering yourself. Is there any chance that you could learn anything that would help us? I think we both feel there is something going on there, but what could that be?"
"I have no idea what, if anything, this man is planning but if there is something - I think he has a role in it for me. I am the only one with American citizenship that is close to him and he told me that he is thinking of running for Governor and perhaps even higher office. He has indicated to me that his hope was to do away with the Constitution and replace it with Shariah Law. Can you believe that? I told him it would never happen here in the United States. He insists that it will and that it is well under way in some states. It is only a matter of time before the replacement of Constitutional law with Shariah law takes place," Dexter said, "I think he is a nut case and told him so, but he insists and says it must and will happen."
"Not as nutty as you might think", the Director said getting up and walking over to a file cabinet and pulling out a file. Handing it to Dexter, he continued, "I want you to read this assessment of the situation. It comes from an article that was published on the Internet and Jess, from what you just told me, it now appears that it isn't too far off the mark."
Dexter picked up the report and started to read it. (http://shariahinamericancourts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Sharia_Law_And_American_State_Courts_1.4_06212011.pdf).
It scared the hell out of him. "Is this for real?" he asked.
"Yes it is. We don't know if any of the cases will be upheld, but it is enough to make us want to keep an eye on it," the Director said. "So you see, if we had someone on the inside, someone we trusted, who was close to this Judge, it could help us. This Judge might be the very means of their taking over the legal system. While this friend of yours might not be a terrorist, he may be even more dangerous."
"A terrorist seeks to kill lots of people. In the act he dies and he is no longer dangerous. Your Judge is planning to take down the entire country and install himself as some kind of leader, if not the President, maybe Chief Justice or Attorney General. Who knows, once they get the power nothing is impossible. So to answer your question, as much as I hate to order you to go back in...", he left the rest hanging in mid-air.
"Even if what you say is true, I don't see how I can do it alone. How will I be able to keep in touch? These people are not fools and Yethro is the smartest of the lot. Even if I am to remain free, I will not be able to move as freely as I want. If he were to suspect anything, he would just enslave me again or he could have me killed altogether. I do not doubt that he has that power or that he will not use it, if need be. I remember the brothel owner making threats to have me killed if I did not do his bidding. He was damn serious about it."
"You know that you are not the only agent we have in that town. We have a few agents in there already. What really gets my goat is the fact that not one of them reported that the Judge had taken a male lover. They really should have mentioned something in their reports," the Director said as he went to his computer and looked over some files. "No, not one word. This is strange. Wait! I must have missed this. One of them, who is perhaps our best agent and usually reliable, did report that the Judge had a new young friend that he had found in the local brothel. There is no mention that his young friend was a man. It must have slipped past me or I just assumed that it was a female at the time."
"I think that would have been of great interest to you," Jessie said. "Maybe the agent has become used to seeing this type of activity. It does go on in that town and no one that I came across really objected to it or made any effort to stop it."
"He is really embedded, but I am going to have to call him in and question him. We can't have agents who miss things like that. I think it's time I recalled him and found out what is going on there. Perhaps shaking him up a bit will wake him up. Being buried so far undercover for long periods does tend to cause one to slip now and then. After I have talked to him and I get this dereliction explained, you could use him as your contact. I wish I could tell you who it is but I cannot. Not until I'm sure he is dependable and that you are going to go back in there. I'll recall him and get this situation cleared up and then, when I'm sure this will work, we can set up some sort of signal for you to let him know you have information to relay to us. The one thing that worries and confuses me is that our agents never reported the fact that the Judge is sexually 'off center'. How could they have missed that bit of gossip and not reported it to us? They should have been more observant. By not reporting this fact to us they have been derelict in their duty."
"Yes, I, too, would want to be assured that this agent is reliable, able to meet with me and deliver the information to you. We will need a sign or safe place or something workable."
The Director thought about it for a while then took out two $100 dollar bills and said, "Buy yourself a nice signet ring with the letter "D" on it. Putting this ring on your finger will let him know you want to set up a meeting. Since I will have bawled him out for not fully reporting your entrance into the Judge's life to us in the first place, I'm sure he will keep a close eye on you from now on. In addition, if you do decide to go back in, I will introduce the two of you and give you a chance to set up some means of working together. Do you think this will work?"
Handing the money back to the Director Jessie said, "Let me think about it. That sounds too complicated and I like to keep things simple. I still have not decided if I'm going back into that 'nut house'. I want to take a day or two to relax. I'll let you know after that. I need some R&R."
"Good. That will give me time to call in my agents and find out what the hell is going on there. If you do decide to go back, I'm going to put you in as agent-in-charge. It will be your show to run," the Director stated, jamming his cigar into the ashtray and grinding it out. "Do you have comfortable accommodations in town? Is there anything you need?"
"Yes. I'm at the Motel on 6th Street. I could use some I.D., a car, some money and papers," Dexter (Jessie) said.
"Sure I'll have my receptionist get them for you. I'm having them made out in the name of Jessie Benson. Make sure that you turn them in before you go back. I don't think it would be a good idea for the Judge to get his hands on them. Is there anything else you might want me to get the receptionist to do for you?"
"Yes. Tell me, is there a nice place to have dinner in this town?" Dexter asked. Then smiling he inquired, "Speaking about that receptionist outside - are you and she... is she taken.....?"
"No, she is single as far as I know. She has dated a few of the men here, but nothing serious. She is a smart woman with top security clearance. According to what I hear from some of the guys, she is a lot of fun. Why not ask her yourself?"
To be continued...