Mercy 2 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Guy McClung

 

Everyone except Willoughby looked blank. Only he had ever heard that name.

“Who is ‘Jessica Miriam Clement’” asked Thorpe.

Before Willoughby could stop him, Father Christianson said, “She is your head of Trip F.”

“Shut it down, now!” Willoughby yelled. “Everything off, video, sound, recorders, sensors, off. “

“Sir?” Thorpe asked incredulously. “What’s happening? Who is Jessica Miriam Clement? What is Trip F?”

“I don’t know.” Willoughby was lying.

Steele and Tilney looked at each other then at the mirror wall.

“Now!” Willoughby repeated.

The glow of buttons, lit screens, and the buzz of equipment ceased in the rooms behind the mirror walls.

Jerry Christianson, again alone, touched his hands together as well as he could and prayed. “St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and  do thou oh Prince of the  heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.” As he finished, the room seemed to warm up.

Willoughby entered the room. This had not gone the way he had planned. For some time he stared at the praying priest. He did not introduce himself. He reached to touch Jerry’s shoulder, but his hand was stopped in midair.

“Who is ‘Jessica Miriam Clement’ and what is Trip F?”

Jerry looked up. “I do not know her and I do not know about ‘Trip F.’ But I was told to speak to her.”

“And God also told you to do this?”

“Yes, before you brought me, He told me to come here, a place I had never heard of, a place I do not know, and that He cares about this woman, whom I have never met.” With the hint of a smile, he continued, “But He did not make it clear how I would arrive here and get to see her.”

“And what is it that you are going to tell this Jessica Miriam Clement?”

“Particulars of what I am to tell her have not yet been revealed to me; but she will come. I know that.”

Willoughby doubted that very much. “And what if you are simply inviting her to her death?”

“I do not know, and that may be; I do not yet know the message or the task; but I do know I am to tell her something.”

Very few people worldwide knew that the FFF existed. Let alone the name of its head, Jessica Miriam Clement.  It not only oversaw all intelligence agencies, the FBI, Homeland Security, the NSA, the CIA, and all military intelligence, it also secretly and subtly directed all information gathering, collation, and analysis from almost every nation on earth.  Worlwide, no new developments in computers, electronics, nanotechnology or communications saw the light of day until FFF gave its approval.

Willoughby had only heard Jessica Miriam Clement’s name and the acronym “FFF” by accident, once when he was passing by a side office at the Pentagon. When he asked his superior about it, she turned pale and told him, if he valued his life, to never again mention this. Later he learned FFF stood for “Fact Function Foundation,” and he thought what a strange name for such a secret entity.

Now he had a decision to make about what had just happened. Report what he had heard up the chain of command or remain quiet? He knew that within minutes the taped interrogation, up to the point at which he stopped it, would be going to the White House and then on to heads of multiple government agencies.

“Wait here, Father Christianson.”  Jerry smiled and said, “As you wish,” holding up his handcuffed hands.

Willoughby thought about what he had to do. If he hid this, his career was over. If he sent out any alerts or warnings, his career could still be over because they would ask why he stopped the interrogation. If he acted like he did not know about FFF and Jessica Miriam Clement, he could plead ignorance, and say that he stopped it all since he had never heard that name.

He went back to the control room behind the mirror walls . “Turn it all back on,” he barked to all the agents and technicians. The lights came up, the recorders were activated, screens glowed, and the computers hummed.

Willoughby returned to the interrogation room. Steele and Tilney realized something had changed. They were now spectators and Willoughby began asking the questions.

“Tell me, Father,” he said, standing across from Jerry, “You saw the videos of the assassinations. There are some notable exceptions. You said the twelve most powerful people on earth; but the President of the United States is still alive and so is the Pope. What happened? Did someone not get the memo? Did someone hit the wrong target?”

“I do not know the answers. I have told you, and you must understand, there are no ‘targets’ like you mean targets. You are looking at this from a false reality. I do know that, if you pay attention to what was given to me, it was not simply the twelve most powerful people in the world, but the twelve who were most abusing their power and turning God’s people from Him. And the same is true about the president and the pope – maybe they are not among these twelve most powerful, or maybe they are not among the ‘world rulers of this present darkness who have done the most to hurt God’s children. I did see that three people very powerful private citizens died and that two Cardinals very close to the pope did also, one in Brussels and one in Stuttgart. And there was the head of the Vatican Bank. Either the president and the pope have not turned people away from God, or they have. But whatever the case, if you believe God, they were not among the twelve most powerful.”

“You are saying that it may be that these who did die have power over some men perceived to be very powerful?”

“Yes. And I repeat, I spoke the truth as it was given to me to speak.”

“Will the president and the pope be in the next seventy-two? Can the deaths of these people be avoided?”

“I have not been told that. I have been told the number of those who will die. I have spoken only the message, and the whole message I was given. I do not believe the deaths of these people can be avoided or stopped.”

“How did you spread it so far and so fast?”

“I am sure you can check this; but I posted it as I usually do my Sunday sermon. As for ‘spreading,’ that was not me.”

“We did check. And it appears you are telling the truth. Still, no one has ever seen anything like it.”

“When is the last time you commanded the morning, told the dawn its place, taught from a whirlwind, or spoke with the voice of thunder?”

Willoughby was taken aback. “What?”

“Sorry, just remembering what God said to Job and his buddies.”

“Job?”

“Yes, it is a book of the Bible and in it, in contrition, Job says he is repenting ‘in dust and ashes’. “

 

Less than three hours later, Willoughby was surprised to see a group marching down the corridor, armed with rifles and pistols. They surrounded a woman who looked from side to side as she approached, hesitant, as if she did not want to be there. No one said a word to Willoughby until one of the group asked, “Where is he?”

Willoughby gestured to the door of the interrogation room. Two men entered it and looked at Jerry and then walked around the room, inspecting the walls with handheld instruments, then the floor, feeling the legs of the furniture,  scrutinizing the ceiling. The woman waited at the door, nervous, as the other agents, three men and two women, checked out the control room and corridor past it. Willoughby was surprised that they thought they had to check at all.

The two agents exited the room and then nodded at the woman. She entered and stood across the table from Jerry.

“You asked to see me?” she said.

“No,” Jerry responded. “I asked to see Jessica Miriam Clement.”

A woman now in the control room stared at the mirrored wall, silent, questioning. She placed her rifle and pistol on a chair and walked from the control room into the interrogation room. She gestured to the woman posing as her to leave.

“I am Jessica Miriam Clement,” she said to Jerry.

“I know,” said Jerry.

Clement sat down and stared at Jerry, surprised that she sensed no fear in him.

“And I know who you are,” said Jerry.

Clement was startled and sat upright, her eyes cold, lifeless, trying to bore through Jerry. Strange, she thought, there is power here. It unnerved her.

Jerry felt the presence of evil and he knew that he had encountered this particular evil before. He thought back to some years ago when a Methodist pastor had asked him to come and exorcise a member of his congregation, a young girl, who lived on a ranch outside El Paso. The prayers of the pastor’s and his people had failed to cast out the evil from the girl. Jerry had gone to the ranch house. It was one hundred seven degrees in the shade, but inside the house was freezing cold.  The girl lay spread eagle on the floor, writhing in pain, her eyes bulging. When Jerry asked the demon its name, the demon had replied “Pacabanab, and legion.”

Jerry looked calmly at Clement, made the Sign of the Cross,  and said, “Yes, I know you and, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus God Almighty . . . “

As he spoke there was a physical change in Clement. Her face contorted, becoming grotesque and she began to snarl.

“ . . .Jesus, Savior of all men, what is your name?” He made the Sign of the Cross over her.

As the name “Jesus” was said each time, and at each Sign of the Cross, she morphed more into a human monster and her snarls got louder and more menacing. Jerry sat immobile, unresponsive to what was happening in front of him, unmoved by the sounds and ignoring the stench that now filled the interrogation room.

He repeated, “In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, who are you?”

 

Copyright GM 2017

 

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Guy McClung