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My brain was racked with questions. I knew my worst fear came true. Being told my mother was murdered confirmed the thoughts I had five years ago. A few months after her death, my father started dating a woman named Mona Jenkins; a woman that was ten years younger and looked like she just walked off a photo shoot. They were married within a year and forcefully took over our lives.
She started barking demands and making us do the cooking and cleaning in the house so she could relax. Steven and I were the only ones left, but we couldn’t see what our father liked about her. I was thankful when I graduated high school and managed to leave the house. Going to college was the perfect excuse to escape; letting Buffalo become my new home. Steven felt the same way but chose to go to community college while working at a local bank. He saved his money and ventured out of the house as soon as he could.
After being away for the last couple of years, I learned the past would always catch up to me; it just took the Benefactor’s call to make that happen. My biggest fear was for Mike and Lilly. He knew Mike’s name and Lilly was the only other person I discussed personal matters or opinions with. They were innocent bystanders of my demented thoughts and were now forced to make the same decision I had to make.
Mike has always been like another brother to me. We met the first day of high school and bonded over watching pro wrestling. We were the class clowns; even caused one of our teachers to let us teach the class. One of the greatest memories we shared was taking the final with Mike wearing a sombrero and I wore my leather jacket and sunglasses. At the end of the test, we stood in front of the class said our goodbyes and did the “Too Cool” dance out of the classroom. Despite all the hysterical times we shared, he was always there as my best friend; including when my mom died.
Lilly was a different story. We had a lot of fun together, but I always think back on the times we just sat at her house watching movies. We met a few months before the accident. She became my rock when mom died. Every night we sat on the porch of her house; staring into the sky for a couple of hours. We didn’t need to talk to feel at peace. I just needed to hold her in my arms. For years I wanted to tell her how I felt, but always thought she wanted to be just friends. It was enough to keep me at bay, but not enough to keep me away from her.
But now everything changed. The Benefactor’s call made sure of that. I was forced to let my paranoia seep in; wondering if we were going to be arrested now or after I helped the Benefactor. The knock on the door broke my concentration. I ran downstairs to answer it. I was met by the cold winter’s air blowing through the doorway; making my skin feel like I had been outside for hours without a coat. When I looked up, there was a man with blond hair wearing a black suit holding a briefcase.
“Are you Mr. Lancaster,” the man asked immediately.
“I-Uh-can I help you?”
“Mr. Lancaster, I am Special Agent Fields with the FBI. I need a moment of your time.”
My heart began to beat faster as I stared at the man at my door. “Uh-how can I help you?”
“I’m actually here to assist you. The Benefactor sent me here to discuss your upcoming mission.”
“I didn’t agree to anything yet.”
“None of that matters to me. I’m here to deliver this briefcase to you. It contains classified information. I suggest you look over everything carefully before he calls back.”
Agent Fields handed me the briefcase and shut the door behind him as he left. I raced upstairs and opened the briefcase immediately. There were five files inside. The first contained a simple mission declaration.
The information in this file is highly classified information. You have been recruited to serve your country as part of a new branch of military for the government. You and your friends have been chosen because of your morals and desire to make the world a better place. I hereby give you that opportunity. You will be helping us to eliminate certain evils in our country. I will provide evidence of their crimes and entrust you will help to dispose of them. The evidence we obtained would not be admissible in court and the targets would be free to carry on as they see fit. There is much at stake with these tasks, but the reward will make this country a better place.
I put down the file instantly and wanted to throw up at the thought of killing another human being. I joked about the world being a better place without all these evil people, but didn’t actually plan on killing them. I would be a pawn; a mercenary for some politicians hidden agenda. But something caught my eye as I backed away from the files. A piece of a picture was hanging out of the second file. It looked like a license plate I thought I recognized. I opened the file and found pictures of my mother’s car accident along with a note pinned to the inside page.
Andrew, your first mission will be to obtain revenge for your mother’s death. You will eliminate her murderers; your father and step-mother.
I read the file and noticed a copy of the original police report was included with more paperwork. It noted the cause of death was a fatal car crash leading to a car fire. However, the rest of the information attached revealed the truth.
There was a report written from the lead detective in the investigation. A crime analyst observed the wreckage and had the car towed to his mechanic to look over. The official report from the detective and analyst documented: The rear axle was manipulated. It appears that it would dislodge if the car was driven in excessive speeds. This would cause the car to spin out; forcing the victim off the road. The rear passenger side tire had been tampered with as well. There were shredded pieces of rubber found near the site of the accident. The damage done could have been in part to spinning out of control or may have occurred prior to the accident. There was also a book of matches found in the backseat. We are still awaiting further investigation, however it seems foul play might be involved.
There were more pictures of the accident and the crime scene, but was followed by four more pages of documents. The first was another notation from the lead detective. I met with Mr. Lancaster today; he was very uncooperative upon questioning on his whereabouts the night before and the day of the possible homicide. Further questioning is required and a possible search warrant needed. Mr. Lancaster remains the primary suspect at this time.
The next was a copy of a date book entry from the lead detective. The page copied was March 22nd, with the entry listed: Job interview with Mr. Lancaster at 1pm…Porter’s Restaurant in Melville. The third page was another police report was written only three days after the supposed interview between the detective and my father. There is new evidence that supports a defect in the vehicle. The husband’s alibis have confirmed his whereabouts during the nights in question. He left for a business convention two nights prior to the investigated time frame, and did not return until after the time of death occurred. Mr. Lancaster is being removed from the suspect list and closing the investigation.
The final page contained a handwritten note. Andrew, I located the lead detective from your mother’s case, and had my people personally interrogate him. We attained the information privately which led to the Intel provided. We also procured his employment history at your father’s company. His official start date was a year after your mother’s murder; however he was listed on Mr. Lancaster’s payroll as of March 23rd. The former detective is currently in our custody and confessed to the cover up. Everything has been kept off record up to this point and the decision to move forward is entirely up to you. I will call you soon in regards to the mission
As I read the notes, an email popped up on my computer saying Project Justice; please reply yes or no. I started to type no. But I looked back at the pictures from the crash and replied yes instead.