The face of a corpse fits like the wrong man's suit. The man looked stuffy and exceptionally thin, along with distustingly grey skin.

James Ryan of the Federal Bureau of Investications stood beside his partner, Kevin MelBourne, in front of the cold, dead body, a victum of bloody murder.

"Has CSU been through yet?"

"Called 'em five ago. Said they'd be here in twenty minutes."

MelBourne spoke with an southern accent as if he were from Kentucky, on the other hand Ryan had a normal, non-accented voice, Ryan continued, "looked like our murderer stood reletively close to the victum when he or she shot him."-Ryan nelt down, He felt the hard cement ground, picked up a dust substance, "gun pounder, and also looks like traces of beer glass, like from a heinekin bottles, must have been used as a silencer, lets check with the people on the street."

"I've already talked to the couple who heard the shots, and called 911."

"So, we'll do that after CSU had arrived."


The cigarette tasted good.

James Ryan blew out smoke from his nostrils. Ryan was watching his alarm clock from his bedside.

Six O'clock.

He picked up the telephone next to him, and dialled a secure line.

"Royale Banking. This Joe Bucherson, how man I help you?"

"This is Ryan, I need to speak to Hawthorne."

"I'm sorry, Mr. Hawthorne, is out sick today, his replacement, Mr Borne, will be taking the calls, I'll link the line to his office. Please hold."

Ryan listened to Bobby Darin's "Beyond The Sea". He sat there for four minutes straight, then Borne picked up the telephone, "This Borne."

"Hello, I'm an agent working for…" Borne interupted Ryan, "What's your name sir?"

"James Ryan, special agent 727, I'm reporting on 627's death."

"Very well. I'd like to get to know you better, why don't you come in."

What the hell?

"Alright, sir. I'll be there in an hour."

Borne rang off, and Ryan put the telephone back onto the reciever."

What the hell? Why was he asking to come in, he hadn't be in his office in weeks, Hawthorne never asked him to come in.

The human brain is the source of the conscious, cognitive mind. The mind is the set of cognitive processes related to perception, interpretation, imagination, memories, and crucially language of which a person may or may not be aware. Beyond cognitive functions, the brain regulates autonomic processes related to essential body functions such as respiration and heartbeat. The brain controls all movement from lifting a pencil to building a superstructure.

The Hungry machine, as the brain was called. It weighs about three pounds, and takes up one fifteenth of the average human body.

Now, Eric Clarke was about to have his brain blown into a billion pieces. The weapon against his forehead, was a six shot revolver, not the most accurate gun at long range, however it was extremely deadly at close range.

Clarke knew the handgun, it was known as a Apache Knuckleduster, a knife where the barrel would have been. Gangsters used it back in the 1930's, for stabbings in dark alleys, most of the times. Sometimes Clarke thought he knew too much, he often wished he were a stupid idiot it wouldn't get him killed.

The assassin, with a face that resembled an egg, round facial features, with the eyes of a killer, his accomplice, had the face of a skull, and the eyes of a young boy. There was a big age difference between the two, the assassin, looked about fifty, and the other, looked about eighteen or seventeen.

"Listen, I've been sent here to kidnap you, do you want the easy way or the hard way." The assassin had a classic American gangster's voice. "Yea," said the boy with a south Wales accent.

Clarke began to sweat. Damn, what have I done to deserve this, though Clarke.

Clarke, now tied with piano wire, and a awfully smelling potatoe bag. He was in the trunk of a BMW convertible. It was the new 2008 model, it was navy blue and leather-like interior. The windows were tinted, the man was obviously a proffestional, also there were blood stains where Clarke was laying quitetly as the men intructed him. As they were loading him into the car the men said their names, by clear accident, they cursed and climbed into the car. Their names were John Rapier, the assasin. And the other's was Sean Redman.

It was an hour drive before the car stopped and Rapier threw him out onto the hard graveled rock. He ripped off the bag and un-tied the wire.

"Theres no getting away now."

"You do relize that I'm a proffesor at Eton and Oxford, the police problably are already searching for me."

"I don't think so. According to your new dossier, you died last Tuesday in a car accident. Died at three a.m."

Washington, D.C.

President Robert Corwin was watching the superbowl, New England Patriots versus New York Giants.

The President's assistant, Mrs Jorgenson opened the door into the oval office and greeted Corwin.

"Mr President, Oxford's Proffessor Clarke has gone missing, however the kidnappers have left a note, the heading says "the deadlock cipher". It appears to be a code, but none of our experts can decode it."

"Clarke? It can't be. I think I know someone who can help. Contact Station NY. Tell them to send Detective James Ryan to the White house. I hear he's the best of the best. And Ryan might need a partner, get Special agent Clarke on the phone, tell him that his brother has been kidnapped, send him to my office. That will be all Miss Jorgenson."

"Yes, sir."

James Ryan walked into the oval office with hesitation, he had been in the presents of the President before however that was ten years ago, when he was an intelligence analyst. He had been given a case that was labeled by the President himself, a "clear and present danger".

Ryan was wearing his tan-colored trench-coat, a standard uniform for a homicide detective.

He hadn't shaven in six days, he looked terrible, as if he were growing a beard.

"Welcome Mr Ryan, its good to see you back again."

"Well, sir, I must say I'm glad to be here again, I've been wondering," Ryan changed the subject. "may I ask why I've been sent here?"

"You're here because theres a new threat, Proffessor Clarke of Oxford had been kiddnapped and they left a message," Corwin handed Ryan the paper, he glanced down at it for a few moments and then looked back at the world's most powerful man.

"It looks like a cipher, the "deadlock cipher", almost sounds like a prank, by a stupid teen. You said that Proffessor Clarke was kiddnapped? Isn't that Agent Clarke's brother?"

"Yes. I've arranged that you will work with Clarke in search of his brother, his brother may know some government secrets, and he isn't the tough kind of man."

"I see, sir. I will gladly take the case."

"These men might represent a clear and present danger."

Detective James Ryan had finally heard those words for a second time in his career.

He was now working with a black-op and was being, once again, an detective and analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Hans Clarke, a extremly fit man, not the type of man that would have a lot of girlfriends, or friends for that matter, any friends.

Hans was a man of high intelligence, and bravery. His wife had died four years ago of lung cancer, but she never smoked. He was then forced to take a sabbatical for six months and then came back a shattered man, who's wife had died.

Ryan glanced at Clarke, and Hans seemed to hold his gaze, Clarke's eyes, Ryan could see that they had seen terrible things.

The president stood up and introduced them, "Mr Ryan, this is Hans Clarke, Eric Clarke's big brother, Clarke this is the most sucessful Homicide Detective in New York City, James Ryan. He used to be a top analyst ten years ago."

The two kidnappers had dragged Eric Clarke into a small and old shack; it was wooden, painted white and looked like an old ice-cream shack.

Professor Clarke was sweating in a hot and dusty closet, even though light was seeping through the doors, he still felt like crap. His hands were in steel shackles, and his mouth was duck-taped shut.

The professor began to think about his older brother, Hans. They were close, as children they told each other their biggest secrets, and it still went on, when Hans had been drunk on gin, after that day Hans never touched the drink. He had told his brother that he was a highly trained operative in the CIA.

Eric pushed away the memories that had put him there and fell into a deep sleep, the first nap he had taken in years.

The worst place to feel alone is in a large crowed, it was the worst place in the world for Ryan.

Ryan and Clarke had watched an old casino blown up, the first MGM grand casino. Run by Terry Gregorvich, the first Russian to run a casino since the cold war.

He set aside the thoughts and started small talk with Clarke as they walked away.

"So… are you a sportsman?"

"Yea, you cold say that, I'm mostly good at hunting," he said with a grin.


The two keeped walking and making small talk, they went to a Burger King and thet finally sat down, the two ordered the same thing, a bacon cheeseburger and moved on.

"When did you first join CI?" Ryan asked.

"I joined just after the gulf war in iraq, I had been in the Marines for about three years until I became a Navy SEAL, the only reason I joined was that my parents had died in a plane crash, along with my two kids."

"I'm sorry..." said James.

"It wasn't your fault, t'was mine. If it weren't for my stupid idead to take them to Disneyland."

"How old were they?"

Ryan knew he was talking his way into a dangerous ground, Clarke answered the question with no emotions what-so-ever, "The boy was six years old, and his sister was four."

My god, thought James. How could this man go on after losing his wife and kids? And now his brother was his only family left, and James douted that he would let his brother die...

The odors of sweat and smoke are distusting at two past seven in the after noon.

Eric hadn't had anything to eat in the last twenty-four hours, his stomach growling at him like a wolf howling at the moon.

From Clarke's view, his kidnappers were playing texas hold'em.

The two men were also smoking, hense the foul smelling smoke from cigars.

Eric wasn't a smoker and didn't drink, not ever in his life. One of them stood up and went into what appeared to be a kitchen, and a fridge opened, the footsteps were getting closer... the closet doors opened and a plate of stale pizza was in his face.

"Eat up."

The man laughed and closed the doors.

The professor began to eat fast, and his nose quickly krinkled, there was a loch of moldy hair in his mouth, he spat it out in disgust, he moaned and then threw up.

JAMES RYAN AND CLARKE were watching a baseball game when the phone rang.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Ring. Ring...Ring

James answered the telephone, "hello?"

"James Ryan..." the voice was deep and slow, "I'm Snake, if you want info on the kidnapping, you'll meet me in sky Meadows state park in Virginia, tomorrow, at mid-day. Come alone, and I'd sugest leaving your room in about thirty seconds...good by."

'WAIT, WAIT!" James yelled, but the line was dead. He turned to Clarke, "we have to go now!"

The two ran out of the room as fast as they could.


"Son of a bitch!" Clarke said, "who the hell was that on the phone," he demanded.

"He said his name was "snake". I have to meet him in Sky Meadows State park tomorrow at mid-day, if we want info on the kidnapping."

Clarke nodded and they went by into the room, "how in he hell did he plant a bomb while we were gone, they're's no bugs in the entire room. Chit."

"Stop it. Your a Fing covert operation's officer. Calm down."

The two looked around, the bomd was in the TV set.

Why the TV, James thought.