Frank called the moment they unlocked the door to the motel room. Kathy answered her cell. She started to brief Frank but he cut in and said, “I’ve been informed by the surveillance team. They are now sitting on the two shooters who left the scene. We’ve deployed a capture team and should have them under interrogation by tonight or tomorrow morning. That’s not why I called. The Professor’s Passat was just located in the parking lot at the Richmond Airport. A forensics team will soon be on it. I gave instructions that nothing else be done until you get there. I don’t have anyone else who can put themselves in the head of the enemy as well as you can, or as quickly. The investigative job you did in Myrtle Beach still has my staff scratching their heads. The know-it-all you had to deal with at the hotel fiasco is no longer with us. Go to Richmond as soon as you can. Use your police badge. Call me direct, if you run into any trouble. The contact instructions you will need for the forensics team are being downloaded now. Put Jack on. I need to talk to him.”
Jack took the iPhone from Kathy and said, “Go, I’m here.”
Frank replied, “I need Kathy in Richmond as fast as she can get there. And I need you and the rest of your team up here by tomorrow afternoon. I’m convinced that the Professor stopped in Richmond for a travel break and to change cars. He is on his way here. I know him, and this is where he can do the most damage. Early in the Iraq war, he ran several al Qaeda sniper teams. He was very good at it. We deployed a number of teams to wipe them out. You didn’t know it, but I now know you were part of this operation as a Marine Corps Officer. The record tells me that you were a highly skilled sniper and were very effective in counter-sniper operations.
“I’m convinced the Professor is planning such a campaign in the Washington area. Last year we almost caught an al Qaeda operative, known as Al Hasani. He is an exceptional sniper. He slipped through the Minneapolis Airport before we could get deployed. No question that he was there. The facial recognition software identified him. I’ve seen the pictures. There is no doubt. He will be casing set-up areas for sniper operations. I need you to also pick areas you think he might use. Your whole team will be needed.”
“Got it! I’ll need some equipment. We can all stay at my house in McLean. It has just recently been rebuilt, everything but the landscaping. I’ll call you when we get in. I remember that guy. I missed him once. It’s good to have a second chance.”
Jack knew the conversation was over but waited a second for the dial tone, Frank’s signature good-bye.
Kelly drove Kathy to the Myrtle Beach Airport for a timely route to Richmond. Storm and Lou drove back to Charleston to pick up the clothes they would need and to check out of the hotel. Shadow stayed with Jack. He would be going to Washington in the back of the Cadillac SRX. His own first class compartment. Two hours later Jack, Kelly and Shadow were on the road. Kelly was driving. Jack said, “I hope Kathy didn’t teach you how to drive her style.”
“No, I’m not as good as she is but I’ve been practicing, especially high speed passing while checking my six. She also showed me how to pick and use a good pace car. Let the pace car get the ticket is her mantra.”
“No more, please. I’m already terrified. I’m going to try to sleep. Wake me when you need a break.”
Kelly could hear both Shadow and Jack were in a deep sleep. Driving in the tunnel of her lights, she thought, I’ve never felt more alive and at peace with myself than I am right now. I’ll bet my mother felt like this. How else could anyone do what she did for so long? I wish I knew more about her. I know Kathy and Jack know more than they’ve told me. I’m sure they’ll tell me more when they feel the time is right. I feel closer to them than anyone I ever knew, except maybe Anita. Too bad I didn’t know sooner. Someday I want to trace her last mission. I think Jack and Kathy owe me that much. I wonder why they aren’t married. It’s easy to see they are very much in love. I don’t know Kathy well enough to ask her. I know Jack was married once. Maybe they’re afraid the ritual and commitments of a marriage will damage what they have. I know Jack does not have a wandering eye. A girl can tell when a man sees her stark naked, and there’s not even a glimmer of want in his eye. If I didn’t know better, I’d be doubting my own sex appeal. This career doesn’t leave much opportunity to find a companion. But if my mother could find a relationship in this life, I can.