By Darrell Bain
A clerk operating within the census bureau discovers a sequence of anomalies within the inhabitants of a small urban situated within the Ozark Mountains. Intrigued, the clerk maintains to enquire. He reveals that, on ordinary, the folks of town and surrounding valley, are a bit smarter, much less non secular, extra thrifty, marry much less, have a better point of schooling, are extra sexually liberated and feature fewer health problems. town additionally refuses executive cash for colleges and roads, has little crime and no signal of racial unrest. None of those elements could suggest a lot taken by myself, yet jointly, they spell out a inhabitants that's notably skewed from the conventional. unusually, infrequently somebody within the valley realizes that the majority of them are various from the typical. they only imagine they stay in a great position between strong humans. Then the research starts...
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I expected to be called back. ” “No, I was waiting on-” “Never mind. ” Mullins sat down, crossed his arms and waited. Crafton wished he had another drink but was glad he hadn't tried for one; he would have been caught in the act; though in truth, he wouldn't bet the farm that Mullins didn't know of his hidden bottle anyway. The man had invisible antennas out everywhere. After an eternity of silent waiting which amounted to only ten minutes by his watch, the secure phone rang. Crafton jerked, as if from a sudden bite from an insect.
The IA officer didn't answer directly. ” “Make it quick. I may have a team in jeopardy. ” “No, they had a different briefing officer. ” Mullins departed without answering that comment, either, since it was “need-to-know” information, but Crafton knew he would do a thorough job. He always did. Once Mullins was gone, he began worrying about Phillips’ reaction should a mole or rouge agent be discovered working for him. How would it affect his chances for moving up another notch? Would catching a mole hurt or help him?
Start thinking of a replacement. Send word to one of your secondary teams, the best one, and have Stenning taken down. Make it look like an accident, you hear? ” “Yes, sir. ” “She's clean. Once Stenning is out of the way you can pull her back here, have her pretend to be going to his funeral. We'll provide the props; he doesn't have any living family that we've been able to trace. Big mistake, Mandel. Every field agent should have family. ” “Yes, sir. ” “No. Start briefing some more agents on the situation there, but hold them in reserve.
A Strange Valley by Darrell Bain