DISCLAIMER: Story is fiction. None of it's true. Not even the imaginary lives I've created for the celebrities. So don't go running to the magazines to sell the story that Justin, Lance, Jc are really gay. It would be a lie. And we don't want you telling lies now do we. Besides, I would hate to sick Gabriel on all of you.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: After two long years of collaborating together. My writing partner has finally agreed to accept credit for the work we've done together. Blind Revolution was conceived and created by both of us as was Like The Rain. From the beginning we've worked together, taking turns with each chapter. And all I can say is its about time he stepped up and took credit. So for all the fans of BR and LTR, let me introduce you to Angel, my partner, my best friend and my biggest headache. For those of you who interested in emailing him, his address isFireAngel197502@Yahoo.com and thanks for the continued support we've received over the last two years...Josh and Angel
A FOND FAREWELL: To Writerboy for his story Jc's Hitchhiker. A unique story that will be sorely missed by all. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: GLORIFIES THE MAINSTREAM
Times are changin' There ain't no cure It's a wasteland One things for sure Ain't no gold to grind the axe So keep your fingers crossed While you're crossin' the tracks Cos good blind faith ain't good enough Baby's heart crumbled to dust Hooray for the outlaw Keeps movin' in for the kill...R Beach
"Stay here guys." Lonnie barked as he ran over to help the red head who was struggling to his feet. He reached him and helped the tall man to his feet. "You okay?"
"Perfect." The man stated as he wiped his mouth with his sleeve. "Never better."
Lonnie let go of the man as he held on to the side of the black sedan. Lonnie looked at the man in disbelief; he certainly didn't look fine. Blood was pouring from a cut in his mouth and he was clutching his stomach in pain. Asking, "Are you sure? You took a nasty punch just then."
"I've had worse." The man shrugged, regaining his breath slowly. "But thanks for asking."
"What was that all about?" Lonnie asked, waving away Mike who had started over.
"Just a friendly disagreement." The man said with a smile, trying to reassure the big man.
Lonnie looked at the highway; he could just make out the taillights of Gabriel's car as it sped down the highway. Though the disguise he was wearing was superb, there was no mistaking the car he drove. For some reason Gabriel had attacked the man standing in front of him and Lonnie wanted to know why.
He turned his attention back to the man beside him. He was tall, almost as tall as Lonnie. What he saw of the fight told him that he moved way to fast for a man of his bulk. Add that to the red wig that had slipped down and he figured that this man must be with the NSA. Now he understood why Gabriel had attacked him, or maybe he had only defended himself against him.
"Before you leave you better fix your wig." Lonnie stated blandly, gesturing to the man's head.
Smiling weakly, the man tugged at the wig till it was straight again. Looking around for his pistol, he started for it slowly. Bending over to pick it up, he tucked it in his pants with a groan. Gabriel had hit him rather hard and he would be feeling it for days to come.
"Don't worry about me. I'll be fine." He assured the big man and then he headed over to a park car. Getting inside he drove away without a backward glance.
Lonnie watched him drive away before heading back over to the bus. The guys had already boarded the coach and Mike was standing by the door with a curious expression on his face.
"What was that all about?" He asked.
Lonnie shrugged and replied, "Family dispute. One wanted pizza for lunch and the other one wanted Chinese."
Brushing past the bald man, Lonnie walked on the bus and found his seat with Mike right behind him. The bus headed out of the parking lot and headed for Hershey Park.
Lonnie was lost in his thoughts when Justin sat down beside him and asked, "What was going on back there?"
Making sure no one was around, Lonnie replied softly, "I'm not sure. Some kind of fight."
"Was the guy all right?" Justin asked, his face unreadable.
"He said he was." Lonnie shrugged again. He didn't know how to say that he thought Gabriel was the one that attacked him. He decided that Justin didn't need to know so he kept it to himself.
Justin gave him a look that clearly stated that he didn't believe a word Lonnie said. But he let it go and walked back to the lounge in the back of the bus and sat down next to Lance who was arguing with Joey about something.
Lance was saying, "I don't care Joey. Just do it."
"Fine." Joey said hotly, giving Chris an evil glare.
"Don't blame me." Chris said with a grin. "You're the one who bitched and moaned about the contest. It's seems only fair that you have to choose."
Dropping his head in his hands, Joey moaned, "Why did I have to drink so much last night?"
"Cause you're an idiot." Chris said sweetly, leaning back against the seat.
Jc looked over the top of his book he was reading at Lance and blew him a kiss. Seeing the look Justin gave him he blushed and buried his head behind the leather-bound book. Justin laughed and started whistling loudly.
"Do you have to do that Curly?" Joey asked, taking a gulp of water.
"Sorry." Justin replied, sticking his tongue out at the brunet.
Joey started laughing and shoved Chris who had somehow managed to fall asleep. "Fatone." Chris stated quietly without opening his eyes. "Don't make me kick your sorry ass this early in the morning."
"Dream on old man." Joey teased the eldest member with a flick to the nose.
This started a flicking contest between them and the other three looked on in amusement. Brian King walked back and sat down. Clearing his throat he said, "If you two children are finished, I'd like to say something to you all."
Joey flashed him a glare and crossed his arms. Chris mimicked him and they leaned back and stared at him, not even bothering to hide the hostility in their eyes.
Brian smiled at them and said, "About what happened earlier. I want to apologize for how I handled the contest situation. I should've been the one to come up with something instead of forcing your hand." He was looking directly at Joey while he said that. "I never meant to imply that your fans don't come first. And that was a really good comprise you five suggested."
Joey smiled despite himself. Seeing the nervous twitch in Brian's eye, he said, "Apology accepted. I guess I overreacted a bit. Maybe I had too much to drink last night and I wasn't thinking clearly. Sorry to have jumped you so hard in front of everyone."
"Yeah." Chris interjected. "Up until now you've done a great job with the tour."
"Thank you." Brian said sheepishly. It was the first time they had said anything about his job performance and it made him blush with pride. "That actually means a lot to me."
"Don't go getting all big headed on us." Chris teased. "We still have four more shows. You could ruin it at any time."
Brian's eyes widened and he looked at Lance for support who only smiled wickedly and shook his head. "Well, we'll be there in five minutes so get ready."
Joey watched him as he left the lounge, when the door shut he started laughing. "That was too perfect."
"That will keep him on his toes." Chris snorted. "We should've thought of this weeks ago."
Jc spoke up; "He was beginning to get a bit full of himself wasn't he?"
Lance laughed his deep rich laugh and shoved Justin; "Maybe we should've told him that Curly here is the one who thought up the idea in the first place."
"Nah." Joey said with grin. "He would've thought we were lying to him."
Jc watched as Justin blushed and pretended to laugh with everyone. For the first time Jc saw something in his eyes that he had never seen before. Like earlier when he denied he had been kissing Gabriel in the hall, Jc noticed his eyes, the way they had sparkled during his denial. I wonder if that little blond act is just for show. Maybe there is a lot more to him then we give credit for. He made sure to talk to Lance later about it. Between the two of them they should be able to figure it all out.
"All right guys." Lonnie said as he motioned through the doorway. "We're here. Remember the drill. We get off the bus and head straight for the main security office. We're arriving at the back gate so you don't have to worry about fans right now. We'll meet the Senator and his party and then we follow whatever his people tell us to do."
This met with a lot of grumbles but they followed him out of the bus in a single line. He led them to an open door and when they had entered, Mike shut the door firmly behind them.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Glancing at his watch, Gabriel swore silently as he waited in line at the entrance to Hershey Park. After leaving the hotel, he had went back to his safe house and donned another disguise. The padded body suit was gone along with the brown wig. He had kept the green contacts but now had a black wig on.
Wearing boots that gave his already six-foot frame an added three inches, he wore a pair of faded black jeans with a white T-shirt. In one hand he had an old style video camera that hid his 9mm perfectly and in the other was a large map of the park. He had positioned himself behind a family and for all purposes he blended in with them.
As the kids in front of him laughed and pushed each other, he carefully scanned the crowd as he waited his turn to enter the park. Along with the usual security personal, two men wearing matching blue suits were watching the entrance. These men had to be with the Senator's team and they were making sure everyone was thoroughly checked before entering.
When it was his turn, he paid for the ticket and waited patiently as the guard looked over his camera and used an electronic scanner to make sure he wasn't sneaking anything in. Smiling as the guard motioned him through, he nodded politely at one of the Senator's men as he walked by. The man gave him a passing glance but he knew his disguise had worked perfectly.
The smell of cotton candy was almost overpowering as he weaved through the crowd of people. Children were running this way and that, there eyes bright and grins breaking their faces. Parents were trying unsuccessfully to control their raptured children as they run ahead in their eagerness to enjoy the park.
Tom had told him somewhat of the itinerary that Nsync and the Senator would be following. At this time, they should be somewhere around the Great Bear, a wooden roller coaster that was located in the back of the park. Glancing at his map, he headed in the general direction at a brisk pace.
Hershey Park was situated on rolling hills with small little pathways weaving through the trees. And as he continued his brisk pace, he started sweating under the sun as it reflected off the pavement.
He hated places like this. The noise was unbearable and it made concentrating difficult. The smells of burnt meat and hot dogs permeated the park and made him nauseous. Add that to the heat and he did not understand people's fascination with theme parks. He had better things to do then wait in lines for hours for a few minutes of fun.
As he approached the backside of the park, he gradually started hearing screams and yells. Smiling, he knew he was close, only the rabid fans of Nsync could make that much noise over the regular sound of the park.
Slowing his pace, he turned the corner and saw a large crowd gathered at the exit to the Great Bear. Children of all ages were talking and pointing to one of the cars of the coaster. Assuming that the band was in the middle of the ride, he positioned himself about twenty yards from the exit and waited.
As he waited, he scanned the crowd for any familiar faces. He saw about fifteen men sporadically placed through the crowd. He shook his head in amazement they never learned. Each was wearing a blue suit. Looking like some kind of bizarre clothing experiment as they wiped the sweat from their eyes.
One man caught his attention; he was leaning against a fence that surrounded the roller coaster. Dressed in a pair of loose shorts and a plain T-shirt, he looked like every other adult around him. At first Gabriel thought he was waiting for his kid to finish gawking at Nsync but the more he looked at the man, he realized something was oddly familiar about him.
Suddenly it hit him, Tiger Lane. Tiger was a mercenary that sold his services to anyone who could afford his price. Notorious for his single-minded approach, it was rumored that once on the trail, he would follow it to the grave. Gabriel had run into him a few years back in the desert of Africa. Different benefactors had contracted both for the same job. It was the only blemish on his record.
Barely able to contain his excitement, Gabriel started aimlessly over in his direction the beginnings of a plan formulating in his mind. Bringing the video camera to his face, he acted like he was filming the roller coaster ride. His present course would bring him a few feet away from the famous assassin. Hoping his disguise would throw the man off, he stood next to him and candidly chatted as he filmed the coaster.
From the corner of his eye, he watched the dark haired man for any signs of recognition on his face. But after a passing look, Tiger resumed scanning the crowd. When Nsync came into sight, the crowd erupted with cheers.
Turning to face the entrance, he continued filming as he zoomed on Justin's face. His eyes were shining as he talked animatedly to a young girl next to him as they approached the exit. For a moment the young singer took his breath away, he was in celebrity mode and his famous smile lit up his face as he greeted and chatted with fans.
Putting his plan into action, Gabriel eyed up Tiger as he said casually, "Which one is yours?"
Tiger looked at him and pointed at one of the children in the crowd, "That one. He absolutely loves Nsync. Keeps telling me he's going to grow up and be famous like that."
Continuing his ruse, Gabriel pointed to a little girl of about ten, "That's Carla, she keeps telling me she's going to marry Justin one day."
Gabriel noticed when the Senator came into sight; Tiger's eyes lit up briefly. Concealing his smile behind the camera, he whispered silently, "Gotcha."
As he watched the boys sign autographs, he studied the Senator closely. He was a tall man with a slight paunch to his middle with silver hair. His blue suit was expensive and he had a small flag on the lapel of his jacket. Four men surrounded him as he stuck to the background. Lonnie was a few feet behind him for some reason instead of hanging out with the guys. Gabriel wondered why the change of plans.
Tiger had wandered off about twenty feet in front of him and was suddenly holding a stuffed animal in his arms. Moving cautiously forward, he brought his camera down to his waist. The mouth of the animal was pointed dangerously close to the Senator. Disbelieving the man was crazy enough to try it in this crowd, Gabriel knew he had to do something fast.
The last three feet he covered quickly and jammed his camera in Tiger's back roughly, "Don't do it."
Tiger turned his head and looked at Gabriel with a wide-eyed innocent look, "Excuse me?"
"I know what you're doing here Tiger." Gabriel hissed at the man quietly.
Tiger's eyes narrowed as he started to turn around. Gabriel pressed the camera tighter into his back and warned, "I wouldn't do that if I were you."
"Oh no." Tiger said with an evil grin as he turned around. "One shot would bring you a world of shit."
Face to face, Gabriel sneered, "Their only government agents. Child's play for men like us."
He could see Tiger's mind racing, trying to puzzle out his identity. Knowing that he would have to keep the man off balance, Gabriel motioned with his camera, "Why don't we go somewhere private to discuss matters?"
Shaking his head, Tiger replied, "I don't know. I kind of like it here. All these kid running around. Reminds me of better times."
"Don't even think about it." Gabriel warned, knowing the man wouldn't hesitant to kill anyone to escape children or adults.
Suddenly the pieces fell into place, Tiger smiled wickedly and stated, "You could only be Robert. Mehmet's little traitor."
Gabriel gave the man a mocking bow. Tiger continued, "I haven't seen you in years. Still mad about that African job?"
"Sometimes grudges die hard." Gabriel stated indifferently. "But I think it's time for you to settle the score."
Tiger looked around, uncertainty on his face for the first time. Gabriel gave him a puzzled glance. This was something of a surprise to him. He had thought Tiger was as least as good as he was, but he could see fear creeping in Tiger's eyes.
Suddenly, a young boy pushed past him and started talking to Tiger saying, "Dad, can you believe it. Look."
The young boy handed his father a CD that all the guys had signed. His young face was beaming as he looked at his father. Gabriel watched, as the man feared all over the world knelt down and talked to his son. His son reached out and grabbed the stuff animal from his father.
Tiger stood up and faced Gabriel with a look of fear in his eyes. Holding his son in back of him, he asked, "How can you do this in front of him?"
"How dare you bring him along on one of your jobs?" Gabriel countered.
The look of confusion of Tiger's face told Gabriel everything. With a sinking feeling in his stomach, he backed away slowly. "You don't have a job."
Tiger shook his head. "I told you I'm here with my son for the concert."
Gabriel turned and disappeared into the crowd. He had never felt so stupid in his entire life. He was so sure that the man was the hitter until he saw the little boy with him. A smile broke out on his face. Wondering what Tiger thought about all this, he quickly fell in behind Nsync and the crowd following them. Tiger had to be more confused then he was. At least he scared him, a feat he thought impossible. Wait until he tells Scott about this one, he'd never believe it.
For an hour, Gabriel followed Justin around the park. Staying just close enough to cover him at all times. The Senator's team was handling the crowd perfectly, never allowing anyone to stray to close to them but not impeding on them either. In the hour he watched them, Gabriel had long pointed out who the Senator's daughter was. She was a pretty brunet who seemed attached to Lance's side much to the chagrin of Jc who kept giving his lover jealous glances.
He was surprised that the Senator stayed pretty much in the background, allowing his daughter and her friends to enjoy the limelight. He dutifully followed them on all the rides and looked like he was enjoying them as much as the others. The only one not enjoying himself was Lonnie; the hulking man had a worried frown on his face as he continually scanned the crowd.
During one of the rides that Lonnie didn't go on, Gabriel called out to the black man and waved him over. The secret service men tensed but when Lonnie waved back they relaxed again. Lonnie walked quickly over to him and asked, "Gabriel?"
Giving him a grin, he replied, "In the flesh. Having fun?"
Ignoring him, Lonnie whispered, "I have to talk to you."
Gabriel shook his head and said, "It'll have to wait. I'm rather busy at the moment."
"Soon then. They know who you are. They've got people out looking for you." Lonnie informed him.
Shrugging his shoulders, Gabriel smiled, "So."
"I mean they know who you are." Lonnie said, stressing the words. "Gabriel Foster, they even have a picture of you."
A frown creased Gabriel's face. "Mother fucker. I knew I should've killed him."
"That was you in the parking lot this morning?" Lonnie asked in disbelief.
"I've to got go. They're starting to look at us funny. I'll find you during the radio interview later on today." Gabriel stated with a wave as he disappeared into the crowd.
Cursing at himself, he found a secluded spot near the coaster and dialed Scott's number. Scott answered tiredly, "What's up?"
"Find anything out?" Gabriel asked, wiping sweat from his eyes.
"Nothing too much." Scott admitted. "Do you remember Tiger Lane, that merc you ran into in Africa a few years ago?"
"Yeah." Gabriel said casually.
"Well, I traced him to Philly but after that his trail disappears." Scott informed in a disappointed tone.
"Don't worry about it. I saw him at he Park today." Gabriel relayed the story to him. After Scott finished laughing, he stated, "Then I'm fresh out of ideas. I've checked everything and there is nothing to find."
"How about the guy that attacked you this morning?" Scott asked.
"Haven't seen him but if I do he's a dead man." Gabriel spat harshly. "Still, something about that doesn't feel right."
They had already had this argument earlier. No matter what Scott thought, Gabriel wasn't convinced that the parking lot man was the hitter. Something about his eyes, something from his past long forgotten.
"Go over what he said again." Scott stated as he lit a cigarette.
"He said something about a guardian angel." Gabriel mused. "That's the confusing part. I thought at first he was one of my old army buddies but Tom is the only one still alive. Then he said he's the fly in my ointment."
"That still doesn't make any sense." Scott said as he struggled to find meaning in the words.
"If he is the hitter, why didn't he shoot me. He said he wanted me to leave town." Gabriel thought through the conversation. "I don't think he's the hitter. It doesn't make sense to warn me away."
"Maybe he's scared of you." Scott offered.
"I don't think so." Gabriel stated blandly. "This is a guy who broke into my apartment and sent me the fucking tape of him doing it. No, I don't think this guy has any fear of me whatsoever."
"Then we're back where we started from." Scott said disgustingly.
"Look, they're moving again." Gabriel said, standing up to follow the group. "I'll call you if anything happens. But I doubt it."
He hung up the phone as he walked up the small hill about twenty yards behind the last secret service agent. The heat was boiling down on him and he stopped at a vender and bought a bottle of water. For some reason he knew it was going to be a long day.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Tom Pavone sat behind his desk chewing absently on the end of a harsh smelling cigar. His massive frame filled the chair and every time he moved the chair squeaked and groaned, like it was threatening to break at any moment. His office was sparsely decorated and looked bleak in comparison to the other offices surrounding him.
Rubbing his hands through his receding hair, he sighed. He had been pouring over the blueprints to the stadium all morning. Trying to find something Gabriel may have missed. But he had to give him credit; Gabriel had covered every single vantagepoint an assassin could use. Finally trusting his oldest friend's judgement, he leaned back in his rickety chair and puffed on his cigar.
He had done everything in his power, now all he could do was trust in fate. Crushing the cigar out, he answered the phone.
"Tom Pavone's office." He stated professionally.
"Hey Tom. This is Bill Bradley." A high pitched voice stated softly. The voice had just the hint of a lisp.
Bill was Tom's computer security advisor. The weasel faced man had linked all the security computers and had installed the high tech security camera system throughout the park. Tom knew the man to be an accomplished hacker but felt confident that no one could bypass Bill's firewalls surrounding the system.
"What's up Bill?" Tom answered quickly. The only time Bill called him was when something was wrong.
"Someone hacked into our database a few hours ago." Bill said, somewhat in disbelief that someone got inside his system.
Tom leaned forward in his chair. "Where did they go?"
He could here keys tapping in the background and knew Bill was digging through the code trying to find the trail. "For the moment it looks like they only accessed the phone records."
"Can you trace it?" Tom asked, holding his breath.
"Gotcha." Bill said excitedly. "I'm following him back now."
Tom waited impatiently as Bill murmured to himself. After a few minutes, Bill started swearing loudly. "Mother fucker."
"That bastard had a sleeper virus. It didn't activate until I reached his server." Bill said, typing frantically.
"Speak English." Tom spat.
"He crashed my system." Bill said sarcastically. "No one has been able to do that before. This guys good."
"What do you mean crashed?"
"The virus started deleting core systems in alphabetical order. My hard drive is completely erased." Bill stated in a panic. "I have to shut down and re-boot everything."
"What affect does that have on park systems? Will the rides still work?" Tom asked, fearing the worst.
"The park is on a different loop. But for about four hours, any asshole can access the system." Bill stated blandly. "This guy is good."
"Do what you can." Tom sighed as he put the phone down. Could this day get any worse?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Scott smiled as his fingers flew across the keyboard. Looks like someone at Hershey Park tried to trace him. His virus, aptly named, Hacking Betty, did her magic well. The entire system was deleted. Using the opportunity to his advantage, he started going through their systems one by one. He didn't really have a reason, more out of curiosity than anything else.
Going through mountains of data, he sporadically opened up files. He had been at it for an hour when he pulled up the sent email file. For the most part it standard emails, inter office memos and changes of policy.
But one file got his attention. The user was masked but the server was one he knew all to well. His eyes widened, someone at Hershey Park had sent an email to Mehmet three weeks earlier. The hitter was an employee of Hershey Park. Gabriel had to be warned.
To Be Continued
Notes: As usual I can be reached atWolfflyer26@Yahoo.com for any questions or comments. Cheers.
Copyright©2002 Glacier Boy