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The Dewey Connection - Part V - 3159

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Old 05-14-2012, 06:09 AM
norvbrooks (Offline)
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Icon6 The Dewey Connection - Part V - 3159

This is Part V of a novella called “The Dewey Connection” that’s divided into six parts. (Part I listed as “Fiction – 3159 Words”)

Part IV introduced Abdul-Qahhar, the leader of a terrorist cell & Detective Butler gained Abd-al-hakim’s confidence and the Dearborn PD had found the car used in the drive by shooting of undercover agent Ahamad. Will Ahamad’s memory return? Will the trail to the terrorist cell get stronger?

2005 HOURS sunDAY may 22, 201 1

Imam Abdul-Hadihad just sat down in his den and picked up the Qur’an when the front doorbell rang. As he went to answer the door he wondered who might be calling. He had his answer as he opened the door and saw Isaiah. As the Imam welcomed him in with, “As-Salam Alaikum.” Isaiah stepped in and responded, “Wa alaikum assalaam.” The Imam gestured for Isaiah to proceed him on into his home, but Isaiah said, “This should only take a minute.” He took from him pocket and showed the Imam a couple of pictures. He asked, “Do you recognize either of these two men?” The Imam still had his glasses in his hand as he had prepared to read the Qur’an. He put his glasses on and took the pictures. He first looked at one picture and studied it for a moment. He had no recognition of the man. Then he turned his attention to the second picture. At first no recognition of this man and started to return the pictures to Isaiah. Then he pulled the second picture back and looked at it again. Isaiah said, “Do you recognize him?” The Imam replied, “I’m not sure, but this past Friday after prayer meeting I was talking with Abd-al-hakim and his focus abruptly went over my shoulder to someone. Someone who disturbed him.” “Did you see this someone?” Isaiah interjected. “Only for a brief moment. As I turned to look he had started to walk away.” Isaiah pressed, “But you think it was this man?” With guarded certainty he answered, “Yes.” “His fingerprint was found in the vehicle we believe to be the car used in the shooting of Ahamad.” Isaiah revealed. He continued, “His name is Azzam and he is from Yemen.” As he returned the pictures to his pocket and he turned to go he said, “Thank you my friend.” As Isaiah walked to his car he thought, “We need to get 24 hour surveillance on this guy!”

1923 HOURS thursDAY may 26, 201 1

Azzam approached the door in the hallway and looked both ways to check if anyone else was there. There was no one. He knocked twice and then paused. He followed up with three knocks and then waited. There was the sound of the door being unlocked. After a moment the door opened and Azzam went in. As he was about to say a greeting, “You’re late! Where have you been?” demanded Abdul-Qahhar. Azzam obviously intimidated by Abdul-Qahhar was able to reply, “I thought for a moment that someone might be following me so I detoured for a couple of blocks. The person didn’t follow so I came on here.” Abdul-Qahhar stared at him for a moment and then in a calm voice said, “It’s good you took the precaution.” He returned his attention to the table where a large container was sitting. On a closer look it became clear that this was the body of a vendor’s cart. A man’s upper body was bent over into the container like a dumpster diver. He raised back up out of the container. It was Fakih the techie. He had spent time in Afghanistan learning how to build explosive devices. Abdul-Qahhar returned his attention to Azzam and said, “Tomorrow, we need you to go to the local hardware and buy three pounds of roofing nails.” Azzam looked puzzled and asked, “Roofing nails?” “Don’t question, just do as your told!” demanded Abdul-Qahhar. As Azzam moved to a chair and sat down pulling out his copy of the Qur’an, he looked daggers at Adbul-Qahhar’s back.

1043 HOURS friDAY may 27, 201 1

John quietly stepped just inside Ahamad’s room and listened. Jan raised her head from focusing on the console in front of her long enough to acknowledge John’s presence and then her focus was back on the data being displayed on the monitor. Dr. Benson’s back was to John and he was not aware of his presence. Since he sat between Ahamad and John the patient was not aware that John was in the room. Dr. Benson asked Ahamad, “Do you remember anything about Nebraska?” Ahamad tried to recall any memories of Nebraska but was unable. He looked to the doctor with his apologetic eyes and shook his head No. Lawrence looked to Jan but her negative look told him that there had not been any synaptic response to Nebraska. John in a subdued voice said, “Try Donald Webb.” Dr. Benson turned in his chair to look at John and in doing so Ahamad could see him standing at the door. Dr. Benson gave an acknowledging nod and turned back to the bed. He said, “Do you recognize the name Donald Webb?” A soft “Yes!” emitted from Jan. Ahamad face relaxed because he was able to remember. “Donald Webb is from Nebraska, isn’t he?” Benson looked back over his shoulder to John and he mimed that Ahamad is Donald Webb. Benson smiled and turned back once again to Donald and said, “Yes, Donald Webb is from Nebraska. You are from Nebraska because you are Donald Webb.” A look of puzzlement came upon his face as he tried to grasp what he was being told. In a reassuring voice Dr. Benson said, “Your real name is Donald Webb. Ahamad ibn Karim is the name you use in your work." A smile came to Donald’s face as he began to sense some things were coming back. Lawrence looked over to Jan who was doing a little victory dance behind her console. He reached out and with a gentle pat on Donald’s arm told him to rest that he was going to step out of the room for a moment to speak to Mr. Morris. John had preceded Dr. Benson into the hallway. As soon as the doctor joined him John excitedly asked, “That’s a good sign, isn’t it?” “Yes but don’t jump too far ahead.” warned Dr. Benson. He continued, “I’m well aware of the urgency and the need to get vital information from this young man. But I must not rush him.” John looked as if he was going to protest but Benson stopped him short, “To get the results that we do get, we have to stimulate identified synaptic areas of the brain. Remember he has had brain injury. He’s not suffering Alzheimer. John had not given in yet so Benson added, “I might be able to throw caution to the wind and gain you a day or two; however, it might backfire and we lose a week or two…maybe worse we lose him altogether.” John finally resigned himself that they were doing all they could. Seemingly out of nowhere Omar appeared. “John I need to talk with you. I’ve got some new information from Detective Butler of Dearborn PD.” They started to rush off to John’s temporary office, but as they left John threw back at Dr. Benson, “Good work! Keep me up to date.”

1343 HOURS saturDAY may 28, 201 1

Safia looked at herself in the full length mirror by the front door. She turned one way and then another as she made an assessment at how well her graduation gown fit her. As she smiled at her reflection, Abia knocked and entered. She stopped just inside the front door and whistled approval. “Safia, you’re looking good!” Safia turned to her and asked, “How did yours fit?” Abia replied impishly, “The gown fit fine, but I not working with the same package that you’ve got!” They looked at each other and giggled. Then Abia unable to control herself any longer asked, “You want to see what I got for graduation?” Safia looked at both her empty hands and wondered what could she be talking about. Abia opened the front door and as she rushed out cried, “Come on! I’ll show you.” As Safia stepped outside Abia had reached her new Ford Fiesta parked at the curb. Safia ran out to the car and gave Abia a hug. “You want to go for a ride?” chirped Abia. “Sure! But let me put my cap and gown back in the house first.” “Just put them in the back seat” Abia said as she jumped in the driver’s seat. Just as Safia was putting her cap and gown in the back seat a car drove by slowly going the opposite direction. The driver and occupants were looking intently at Safia’s home and didn’t notice the girls. As Safia got into the car she was obviously disturbed by the incident. Abia added to the tension by asking, “Wasn’t that the car we saw parked at the curb in front of your house a few weeks back and your brother was arguing with those guys?” Safia didn’t answer but just nodded Yes. Abia looked at Safia for a moment and then started the car, turned the radio on loud to their favorite music station and drove away.

2013 HOURS sunDAY may 29, 201 1

Abdul-Qahhar stood at the edge of the window where he could not be seen from the outside but he could see out. He saw Azzam walking quickly towards their building looking back over his shoulder every few steps. Azzam disappeared from Abdul-Qahhar sight into the building, he noticed a dark figure coming down the other side of the street. When the figure got directly across from their building he stepped into a doorway. In a low voice he said to Fakih, “I’m afraid Azzam has been compromised and thus this is no longer a safe place.” Fakih responded in an equally low voice and without emotion, “Maybe he has become expendable.” “No ...” Abdul-Qahhar replied, “I believe we have need of him as a decoy.” There was two knocks, a pause and then three knocks. Abdul-Qahhar went to the door, unlocked it and let Azzam in as he said, As-Salam Alaikum.” Azzam responded, Wa alaikum assalaam.”

1313 HOURS saturDAY june 4, 201 1

John had finished about half of a turkey club at his desk which wasn’t half bad for agency cafeteria food. Coffee was on his tray for dessert. At times like this when he had a moment of down time his thoughts invariably went to Jane. John had been on an assignment overseas for the CIA when he had received a message that his wife had been rushed to the hospital. By the time he was on a flight back to the states he received another message that she had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage caused by an undetected tumor. She had died during surgery. John and their son, Charles, had a moment of shared grief at the funeral even though they had not seen nor talk to each other in several years. It wasn’t anger that separated them. It was just that John had been absent so much of the time when Charles was growing up. When he did see his father they were not able to talk about what John had been doing. So, a bond between them never had a chance to grow. Fortunately for John, he and Jane had such a deep love for one another their marriage survived his long periods of absence. Oh, how he missed that woman! It’s ironic that the work that kept them apart was now his salvation.

Omar rushed into the office which snapped John out of his reverie. Omar launched right into the new information they had received. “I just got a call from Detective Butler. The surveillance team keeping watch on what is believed to be the workshop of the terrorist cell, believes now that it has for all practical purposes been abandoned.” John shot back, “Why?” “One of the suspect, a man named Azzam, is behaving differently” explained Omar. “He goes to and from the location almost on clock work. He had always been on guard about being watched, but now he acts very nonchalant about his movements.” Thinking out loud, John said, “It does seem he wants us to keep watch on him. “ Turning his focus back to Omar and giving directions now, “Have an agent dress as a telephone repairman and act like he got the wrong address. If he can confirm to a reasonable degree that Azzam is just a decoy, then take him and secure the apartment.” John was in full action mode. “We don’t want SWAT involved. Keep as low a profile as you can on this one.” “Let’s keep Detective Butler off the scene, so that we don’t compromise his ability to have the community’s confidence.” Omar starts to leave but John motioned him to stay, “This Azzam is the one that surveillance found was buying the large amount of nails, right?” “That’s right” Omar responded. “He’s probably expendable and just a foot soldier. The chances that he will know much of anything of value is pretty slim. But sweat him anyway.” Omar paused to see if there were more. There was. John continued, “So, if they got nails, they most likely were building a shrapnel bomb. That probably means a bomb with somewhat limited radius of affect. It would have to be used in a large crowd to have a meaningful effect.” He shifted from calculating to giving directions, John continued, “Have your boys go over that apartment with a microscope checking for any evidence that explosives had been there. Have them look at every detail that will help us know what they are up to. I know they can do it!” John was not quite through, “I’ll take care of whatever approvals, warrants or anything else that needed from this end.”

Now, Omar was being dismissed, but just as he was about to leave there was a knock at the door.” John still going at full speed quickly said, “Come on in.” Dr. Benson stepped into the office and said, “Someone here to see you.” He stepped out of the way and Jan pushed Donald’s wheelchair into the office. “Hello, boss” Donald said. Benson takes advantage of John and Omar’s surprised silence to say, “Donald is beginning to put together more of his memories. He was able to remember, with pain, having been shot.” John and Omar register even a greater expression of surprise. Benson continued, “He still doesn’t remember much from the events leading up to the shooting.” “As much as I’d liked to get some questions answered right now, we can’t. We have a hot lead to follow up on.” John responded as he headed for the door. Dr. Benson then offered ”Tomorrow morning then. Come by with your list of questions and we’ll see how it goes.” As John was about to exit the room he remembered he needed to work on his handling personal relations. He stuck his head back in the room and said “I’m glad to see you’re better, Donald! After a second he was back at the door with “Great work, Benson!”

0903 HOURS sunDAY june 5, 201 1

Jan was at her station. Dr. Benson was at his usual bedside position. However, this day John sat across the bed from the doctor and Omar was at his side. They had just concluded the hook up of the sensors feeding the console Jan was operating. Dr. Benson asked Donald a few routine questions as to his comfort with the sensors and his general well being. He then looked to John and nodded an invitation to begin his questions. John mustered up a smile for Donald and started by stating, “I understand you remember the incident in which you were shot but what went before you’re not able to remember.” Donald answered, “That’s right.” “What do you remember about the shooting?” John asked. “I remember having just left some kind of meeting and I was walking down the sidewalk.” “Where you alone?” John interrupted. Donald thought for a moment and then replied, “Yes, I was alone. However, I believe that I left the meeting in someone’s company.” John prompted him, “Does the name…” the name does not immediately come to John and he looked quickly to Omar who provided the name, “Abd-al-hakim”. John repeated himself, “Does the name Abd-al-hakim sound familiar to you?” “Yes, yes it does.” Donald said and an obvious association occurred. He continued, “We had attended a meeting for better cultural diversity at which the subject of profiling in the light of the bin Laden’s killing was being discussed.” Donald stopped speaking and something was nagging at his thoughts. Then he spoke directly to John, “I’m sure that we have not met before my being here in the hospital. But I know this man or have met him. Omar isn’t it?” Omar looked at John for direction. John nodded consent for him to answer the question. “My name is Omar Washington. I work out of the Detroit office of the FBI, the same office you worked out of.” Omar paused for reaction but Donald was waiting for more. Omar obliged, “We may have passed each other in the office but you were mostly out in the field in deep cover. Your handler’s name is Hafa.” Donald showed no sign of recognition of the name. Omar got out his PDA and said, “Let me show you a picture of her.” He pulled up a picture of Hafa and showed it to Donald. His eyes showed that he did recognize her and he said softly, “Hafa! Yes, I do remember her.” Jan exclaimed out loud, “A bridge!” Her exclamation got everybody’s attention. John asked Dr. Benson, “What does she mean ‘a bridge’?” He answered, “When we’re going down a memory path on a subject and then jump to another subject which is related but not directly, we see a group of synapses between the two paths awaken … forming a bridge, so to speak.” “Is that good?” queried John. “Yes. Those synaptic bridges tend to remain awake and thus strengthen the overall memory recollection.” Donald closed his eyes and his breathing became a bit labored. Dr. Benson took note of this and told John, “We need to stop and let him get some rest. Remember that in addition to recovering his memory he also has to recover from brain trauma.” John started to protest but Dr. Benson was emphatic, “I must insist that you let him rest for now. There’s a good chance that while he is resting his brain will keep on strengthening the synapses we’ve awakened. He most likely will be able to remember more the next time.” John took a look at Donald as Jan disconnected the sensors from his head. He looked peaceful and like he was already slipping off into sleep. John motioned to Omar that they should leave.

Last edited by norvbrooks; 05-14-2012 at 06:26 AM.. Reason: Attempt to remove unwanted Bold & spacing
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:29 PM
garviel (Offline)
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The tension seems to have picked up a notch. Omar rushing into the office after his call from Butler, and the following dialogue seemed like if time was of essence. I quite liked the scene.

I also liked the part where the car drove slowly by the house when Sofia and Abia were leaving. There was a certain tension there, and I found the contrast between the giggling girls and the menacing car with its occupants quite interesting.

I noticed you have substituted the Arabic script for plain text. Perhaps it works better now, difficult to say.

“Hello, boss” Donald said. Benson takes advantage of John and Omar’s surprised silence to say, “Donald is beginning to put together more of his memories. He was able to remember, with pain, having been shot.”
Is this historical present/narrative present or am I mistaken? "Benson takes advantage of John and Omar's ..." If so, not too bad. I find this a tricky tense to use myself. Your use of "takes" and not going for the more usual "took" gives the sentence some extra boost.

I wonder if you have done a lot of research to write this story? It seems quite detailed at times, especially when dealing with the brain.

This being part five out of six, I am looking forward to the final chapter.

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norvbrooks (05-15-2012)
Old 05-15-2012, 01:01 PM
norvbrooks (Offline)
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Icon6 Response to critique

Garviel - thanks for hanging in there. When I first started writing the novella I was using a present tense mode very much like writing a movie or TV script. It was pointed out that the traditional mode of tense was past tense. I read up a little on it and decided that although there have been exceptions, I didn't feel my writing experience qualified me to step outside the traditional. It's been a challenge for me to keep in the past tense and apparently the example you pointed out was one that I missed. It should be "Benson took advantage...".

I did a good deal of Google'ing both for the portions on Alzheimer and the Muslim community. I wanted to get enough facts to make the fiction believeable.

Unfortunately, I found I miscalculated how many parts it would take to post the complete novella and stay close to the per part word limit. It's going to take seven parts to complete the story.
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