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Tony had been holding a phone to his ear. “Jack again.” He listened, his eyes widening in surprise. “Are you—? Okay, we’ll do it.” He spoke to the others. “Jack killed Peter. Jiminez was trying to kill him. Jack doesn’t know why.”

“He couldn’t have been working for Zapata,” Nina said. “What was he doing?”

Chappelle glowered. “Chris, have the analysts run checks on Peter’s phone logs. Let’s see who he’s been talking to.”

Henderson nodded.

7:45 P.M. PST 110 Freeway

On the far side of the fence, Jack worked his way gingerly down into a barranca filled with brambles. Now and then he stopped to listen. Over the random sounds of honking horns from the freeway back beyond the fence, he could hear Zapata out there somewhere, crawling away. Then the sounds stopped.

Jack hunted him slowly, methodically. But he guessed what Zapata was doing. After a moment, he turned back the way he’d come. The barranca was

dark, but in the gloom Jack recognized the spot where he’d slid down into the ditch. Zapata was there, just crawling out of the brush. “Nice try,” Jack said. The anarchist shrugged. “Doubling back is too predictable, but it was all I had left.”

Jack looked down at him. Zapata was bruised and beaten, but even so, he looked too normal to have caused so much trouble. “You missed the Chairman,” Jack said.

Zapata nodded. “A shame, too. It would have been interesting to see the infrastructure of this company collapse. Oh well, sometimes events are unpredictable after all.” The anarchist’s bruised face smiled at Jack. “You, for instance. You’re quite a tool for your government. A loose cannon, right? A maverick. Unpredictable.” He nodded appreciatively.

“Not really,” Jack said. “The truth is I’m pretty predictable.” He shot Zapata in the head.

About the Author

JOHN WHITMAN is the author of numerous books and projects, including the “Star Wars: Galaxy of Fear” series, Zorro and the Witch’s Curse, and, most recently, the trading cards for “24 Day 3.” He is a 4th-degree black belt and defensive tactics instructor in Krav Maga, the official handto-hand combat system of the Israeli military, has trained in protective services and defensive tactics in both the United States and Israel, and has served as an instructor of U.S. law enforcement agencies and military anti-terrorist units.

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