It was about 4 PM when Joseph and the two translators were finishing up their work.
'There, I think we are all in agreement as to what these documents are saying,' Joseph said as he sorted and numbered each page. 'I would like to thank both of you for your work. I'm sorry, but this work is so secret and so sensitive that I'm afraid for the time being and for national security reasons you are going to have to be placed under FBI protective custody. I assure you that it will only be until this situation is resolved.' Then he said to Steward, 'Will you please arrange for their confinement. And see to it that it is as pleasant as possible.'
'I'll have them checked into a first-class hotel.'
After Steward had made the arrangements necessary and the two translators had been escorted out, Joseph turned to Bill and said, 'Well Bill, was I right about this being big? The only thing we don't have is the exact time and date. I think we can both make a good guess as to when, but guesses are dangerous. One thing is for sure though - It is a typical multi-prong Al-Qaida operation.'
'It sure looks that way, and that camp is where it is all being planned and from where it will be executed. I remember you had suggested, at the time, that we get an agent in there. You were right. No need to tell me 'I told you so'. I could kick myself for not doing it. Now I think we better notify 'Homeland Security' and have them raid the place.' said Bill's boss, Mr. Cook. 'This is too big for us to handle alone.'
'Hold on a minute, Steward,' Joseph said. 'This is my operation and you can't just go in there and arrest everyone. We could have the lawsuit of all lawsuits on our hands. What happens if you bust-up the place and find nothing! THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT STUPID. If 9/11 taught us anything, it was that they are not idiots. How do we know that all this is not just another way to test me? Perhaps Allie and the Emir are on a little fishing trip. Maybe it's the Emir's way of seeing if I can be trusted and he and Allie are just waiting to see if I take the bait. No! The only thing that will happen if we do it your way is that my cover will be blown and these three years of work will go down the sewer. Another way is needed. What about the second part of this plan? The one where they are going to blast the hell out of that Mosque on the Temple Mount and blame the Mossad. That could start a real shooting war. Perhaps we could work it from that angle. We would have to warn the Israelis and coordinate our actions with them. Like it or not, the Emirate will try to convince the world that this was all some vast Zionist plot. Why would any Moslems want to blow up one of the three holiest Moslem religious sites?'
'Let the Israelis worry about themselves,' Cook said. 'We don't owe them anything. They do a good job looking out for themselves.'
'Thank God they do! But, I'm afraid we do owe them something. At least I know I do! I owe them my life as well as my position as future Emir. The fact that they, at the request of our government, did not kill Fazzi when they had the opportunity, made it possible for me to become his adopted son. We at least owe them the courtesy of informing them of the danger they face. Then, as you said, they can take care of themselves.'
'Well, I'm in charge here. And until I hear otherwise we will do it my way!'
Cook said angrily. 'We raid the camp!'
'Sir, with all due respect, you are not in charge. I was there when the President placed Joseph directly in charge of this operation and ordered us to support him! Not the other way around,' Bill corrected Cook.
'I received no such orders,' said the director 'and until I do....'
With that, Joseph picked up his cell phone and dialed a number and placed the cell on 'speaker phone', then said to Cook, 'I repeat, this is my operation.' The telephone rang a few times and then a voice on the other end came on and said, 'Mr. Benson, The President is eating now, he will be right with you.'
Then, after a split second, in a voice that was unmistakable. 'Yes, Mr. Benson, you have something for me?' The President asked.
Joseph made his apologies for interrupting his dinner and gave him a quick rundown on the situation telling him what he intended to do. 'Sir, this is one of those times I was telling you about the last time we met. I want you to inform the Newark director, Mr. Steward Cook, that this is my operation and I'm in charge.'
'Put him on the line.'
Joseph handed him the phone, 'The President would like to talk to you.'
The President talked to Cook for a few minutes and then, red faced, Cook handed the phone back to Joseph.
'Ok, I told him that you are in charge and that you are operating directly for me and in my name. For conformation I told him to call the Federal Director. Do you want me to contact the Mossad or do you have a plan?'
'Sir, if you would alert them, it would help clear the way. I think I have a way to notify them myself. However, your calling may speed up things and I think speed is of the essence here.'
'I agree with you and I'll get right on it from my end.... And Joseph, please be careful and, for both our sake's, please don't screw-up. Keep in touch as much as you can. I want a full report - both in writing and in person. I want to be in the loop.'
'Yes Sir, and thanks.' Joseph said and closed the phone. 'Well?' he asked and looked at Cook. 'Are you on board, or do you want to call the Director?'
'I guess you're in charge! What's next?'
Joseph again opened his cell phone and dialed a number. When a woman answered, he asked, 'Summaya?' and when she said yes, he continued, 'This is Mr. Benson. How are you feeling and how is the finger?'
After being told it was better, he inquired, 'I wonder if you would be kind enough to come over to the house right away. I have something to show you that I think will sort of make up for the way I treated you yesterday.'
'Sir, you know that is not necessary. I understand and there is no need to 'make up' for anything.'
'Thank you for that, but please, humor me if you will and please hurry.'
'I'll be right there, Sir.'
Within five minutes Joseph heard the key in the door and went to let her in and then escorted her into the kitchen. She looked at the two strangers and then looked at Joseph questioningly.
'Sir, what's going on here? Who are these people and....'
'Summaya, may I present to you, Director Agent Steward Cook and Agent William Barns of the F.B.I. Newark office. I am, as I know you have known for a long time, an Agent also. I know you have known this for a long time - just as I have known you are a Mossad operative. There's no use in denying any of this. Your government will soon be contacting you and telling you that you are to work with us. Knowing how slow governments can be - this may take a little while and we do not have much time. If you will read the papers that I will show you now, you will know what I mean.'
Joseph placed before her the original copies of the parts of the plan about the Mosque. She scanned about one page and then her cell phone rang. She asked permission to answer and put the phone to her ear listened and told the caller, 'Ken, mavinah, Yes, I understand' then she smiled and put the other sheets down. 'So much for taking time - That was my boss. I'm ordered to work with you gentlemen. Now is this all you have, Joseph?' she asked, for the first time using his first name. 'There is much more to it than this.'
Joseph, kind of perplexed, looked at her and said, 'you read only one page. Are you not surprised? What's the story?'
'I'll read the rest later, including the parts about the American operation. We have known about the Mosque for some months now. We know and have the entire operation under surveillance. We have been waiting for final information on time and date, before we close down the operation. But there is much more to this than the Mosque. They are planning another bombing here in the United States. This time they really intend to cripple the city of New York. Your 'friend' Allie is in charge of this end and he has been using and working with that so-called Boys Camp I tried to warn you about at the beginning of the summer. Remember? You even spent a night there. When we saw that you did nothing to investigate the camp, we did, and we have an operative working from within the camp. We know how, we know whom, and by tomorrow, we will know when.'
'And when were you going to tell us this?' Bill asked.
'Our Prime Minister was going to tell you everything as soon as all the information became known. Like I said, we have known about this a long time and we did not wish to disclose our information until we were sure you could be trusted. By your calling me and showing me these papers, we now know that you can be trusted. We have a plan to stop the entire operation and prevent any casualties, not only in Israel, but here in the U.S. as well. In fact we might even have a way to keep Joseph and his role out of this. We sort of like the idea of him becoming the Emir,' she said and, looking at Joseph, she smiled, 'providing you are willing to work with us. I was even looking forward to being your housekeeper in Syria. Too bad you are not Jewish - that would have put the Icing on the cake. Now, let's see those papers and see if we can prevent another 9/11.'
They talked for hours. Summaya revealed, that since the FBI had not done anything, she had sent one of her best operatives, her cousin, to get a job at the camp as a driver. When it was 'discovered' that he had a talent for working with explosives and had conducted several lectures and demonstrations on the subject he was promoted. Of course, what was not known, was that the Mossad had trained him as a bomb disabler. According to Summaya he would be the one to build the bombs and be one of the three drivers. 'My cousin assures me that none of these bombs will work and your police will be able to stop the truck-bombs long before they enter their targets. All we need to know now is what the targets are and when the show will take place.'
'When do you hope to get those answers?' Joseph asked.
'As soon as I know, you will know. It should be soon because from what we know of the Mosque operation, they are ready to go in a few days.... And guess what is coming up?' Summaya asked. 'September the eleventh.'
'And do you think they will use that date to strike again?' Barns asked.
'Do you have a better idea?' Summaya asked him. 'In any event it's getting late and I should get home.'
'It looks as if I'll be needing a new cook,' Joseph said as he escorted her to the door.
'Not just yet. I'll see you in the morning. When and if Allie comes back, you may need my protection.'
'I can take care of myself, I still have a gun and I know how to use it. It's in the safe.'
'You better get it out and clean it. You might need it. I'll see you in the morning. Is there anything you want for breakfast?'
The next morning Joseph came downstairs and found his cook at the stove preparing 'eggs in the hole' and coffee.
'I just don't know what Rich and I are going to do without you when this is over.' Joseph said.
'Well you will just have to come visit me in Israel. I was planning to open a bed and breakfast and serve 'Eggs in the Hole' to rich American tourists.'
'Great idea. Is there any news?'
'Yes. My cousin says that Allie had him make four bombs. He then picked one of the bombs at random and had him demonstrate how the bomb worked. A hand held switch operates the bomb. My cousin used a working switch yesterday and it worked well. There will be three vans and the targets will be the two tubes of the Lincoln tunnel and one of the Holland tunnel, all of them inbound into the city. My cousin will be in the Holland tunnel van. We have the route each will take and I have already set up the ambush with the FBI. The two vans going to the Lincoln will be stopped, the drivers taken alive and made to talk. They will be unable to destroy their vans, as the bomb switches are defective. Since my cousin will be going to the other tunnel, he has arranged to meet with the FBI and drive his van to a remote location and then blow up the van. It will be made to look like he committed suicide to avoid capture. If all goes well, he will be home in Israel in a few days.'
'When is all this going to happen?'
'Tomorrow. The Eleventh of September!'
'What about the Mosque?' Joseph asked.
'Our men will move in to stop that at about the same time. Our operation will be kept as secret as possible. We want to avoid any public connection, but Al-Qaida will learn that we, too, are capable of dual operations. We will not only get them but when they talk, and they will, we will perhaps break a terrorist group we have been watching for a long time now. If all goes well, then it will all be over before it even starts.'
'What about Allie?'
'Your people want him alive. They hope to be able to question him. We would love to have him also, but we want him for other reasons.'
'And what might those be?'
'Well, they have one or two of our men we would like back and we might be able to arrange a swap after we have questioned him a bit. If we cannot arrange this, we want to put him on public trial. We want the world to see how these people would destroy their own holy places as well as kill thousands of fellow Moslems at prayer. We would place him in the dock of justice. And then he would become the second man to be hung since the State was declared. A distinction he would share with Adolf Eichmann.'
'Do you think either of these things will happen?' Joseph asked.
'No, but one can always hope!'
The next day the Homeland Security, FBI and local police closed the trap, they raided the camp and stopped the three vans. Allie was taken into custody at the camp along with the original plans and other evidence. Two of the drivers were placed in chains and transported to Guantanamo base in Cuba. After questioning, the information was recorded and used as the bass for the arrest of a network of underground terrorists and training bases. Joseph's name never came up. Joseph contacted the Emir and together they hired a good lawyer for Allie. The Emir insisted that he himself was not involved, but Allie, hoping to avoid execution, took a plea and spilled the beans and confessed everything - except he refused to admit or even consider that Joseph had anything to do with the plot failure. He blamed his capture on Fazzi, and that female Mossad spy they had placed in Fazzi's house. She was the one and not Joseph. He could not bring himself to believe that Joseph would have turned him in. He couldn't have, after all Joseph was his lover. As part of the plea arrangement, Allie got a life sentence with no chance of parole. Israel demanded and received the right to have him extradited to Israel for trial if he ever was released.
Joseph and Rich well, when the smoke cleared, they went on vacation to upper New York State. Joseph took Rich to his old hometown, Malone, and introduced him to his adopted family. He set up a bank account for them with enough money so that they could hire a man to help run the farm. After this, they crossed the border into Canada, and while there, they got married. And yes, they spent a wonderful honeymoon in Niagara Falls and finally had unprotected sex. (There are some things too personal for even this writer to relate, dear readers, so you will have to use your imagination for that).
Rich would go on to become a big motion picture and TV star while Joseph continued to work for his partnership in Worthington Investments. And as the story says, 'They would live happily ever after.'
However, before they could enjoy their new life together there was one more obligation they had to perform. When they came back from Canada, they were invited to the White House where Joseph made his final report to the President. It was a very long and very detailed report consisting of two looseleaf notebooks. 'That's a lot of reading there.' The President said. 'Well, I did ask for a complete report! I promise I will read it all, but can you give me a quick summary?'
'Yes, Mr. President, a very quick summery as both Rich and I have a life to live.' Joseph said. 'I got lucky. I was the right man, in the right place, at the right time. They got unlucky and we won this time. That's it in a nutshell - now you can either read my report or deep six it... I'm out of here. Rich and I have our own lives to live now. Good bye, Sir. Don't call me - I'm retiring.' And then the two of them left.
The President, stunned, sat down and opened book number one and started to read...
'The Three-Day Pass - Chapter #1
There I sat, Private Joseph Benson, on the bus, looking out a grimy window at the skyline of New York City. God, except for seeing it on the TV or in the movies.........................'