The Magnificent Seven - ATF Alternat Universe

Dark Secrets Unlocked

Part 4

(twenty five years prior)

He rolled over in bed and attempted to silence the annoying ringing sound. Eventually enough of his conscious mind awoke to inform him the noise was the telephone ringing. Another part of his mind informed the very tired man that it had been ringing for about three minutes. Picking up the offending instrument, Josiah mumbled, "Hello?" while trying to rub some sleep out of his eyes.

"Sanchez? That you?" an overly bright and cheerful voice called.

Josiah winced and then squinted at the clock. Eight-thirty. "Yep," he said, unable to stifle an accompanying yawn. "Who's this?" he asked blearily.

"You don't recognize the voice of your old school chum? It's Victor Fitzgerald," the voice chided. "I certainly remember the youngest man to ever attain a PHD in psychology from our college. The professors still rave about you."

Josiah smiled, more awake now. Images of the previous summer when he received his doctoral hood at the age of twenty-two and a half passed through his mind. Now fully awake, he realized Victor Fitzgerald didn't just call to reminisce, especially not at 8:30 in the morning. "What can I do for you Victor?" Josiah asked.

A moment of silence reigned before a much more serious sounding Victor answered, "I need your help. Your government needs your help." Giving his words a few minutes to sink in, he continued, "Please come down to my office as soon as you can." Adding some directions on how to get to his office, Victor hung up, not waiting for Josiah's response.

Looking at the instrument in his hand, Josiah couldn't help the shudder that ran down him. A sound by the window caught his attention. He saw a crow flying away. A dark sense of foreboding welled up within him; nothing good would come of this.

Rising from his bed, he made his way to the shower. Turning the handles he waited a moment for the water to warm and then quickly finished his morning ablutions. Once those were complete, he walked to the closet and chose a pair of suit pants and a dress-shirt. Normally he wouldn't have bothered, but this was Victor and he had asked for Josiah's help. There weren't too many men Josiah respected, but Victor Fitzgerald was one of them.

Making his way out of his apartment, Josiah moved over to the suburban he'd bought second hand. Climbing in he pumped the gas and waited a minute before turning the ignition. "First time, every time," he said with satisfaction as he backed out of his parking spot.

Following the directions he'd been given, Josiah made his way downtown and to the office building he needed. Having never been a huge supporter of government one way or the other, he felt very little as he passed through the doors of the impressive office building. Walking up to the front desk, he asked for Victor Fitzgerald. Seeking one of the chairs in the waiting area, Josiah had just settled down when he spotted his friend coming from the elevator.

Rising again, he waited as Victor crossed the lobby. ?Josiah,? he greeted, ?so good to see you. I?m so happy you could make it here.? Without waiting to hear Josiah?s response, he started heading back toward the elevators.

Noting the nervousness of his old friend, Josiah took a closer look. Something was very wrong. ?How?s little Martin?? he asked, noting Victor?s flinch at the mention of his son?s name. That?s interesting, Josiah thought.

?Fine, the boy?s fine,? Victor said as the elevator doors slid open on the appropriate floor. ?Just follow me, we?re going to meet with some other people in the conference room.?

Puzzled by his friend?s behavior and curious as to the cause of the turmoil he sensed, he allowed Victor to lead him into a conference room.

Four hours later, Josiah left, grim faced and a new employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

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