Reign of Evil - 03

Reign of Evil - 03 by Weston Ochse

Book: Reign of Evil - 03 by Weston Ochse Read Free Book Online
Authors: Weston Ochse
him and given him a new life after his mother had perished in a house fire. He wished the man was still around so he could see how his work in progress , as he sometimes called Yank, turned out. Being a Navy man, he’d have been very proud his adopted son had become a SEAL.
    “Let’s review,” Holmes said. “YaYa, give us the rundown.”
    YaYa glanced into the mirror nervously, catching Yank’s attention. Whereas before the mission to Mexico YaYa had been the most outgoing member of the team, the loss of his left arm to the elbow and the installation of the new DARPA mechanical replacement had made him feel less than who he’d been, culminating in a loss of confidence. Yank had told him that he should see it as an addition, rather than a subtraction, but it was hard to dissuade the lithe young Jordanian-American from what he’d already come to believe. Still, both Holmes and Laws had been forcing him to brief and debrief recently in an effort to get his confidence back to the Navy SEAL norm of 1,000 percent.
    “So the murder of Jen has been tied to an organization called the Red Grove. It’s a 50…”
    “501.3c tax-exempt religious organization,” Laws supplied.
    “Right. What he said. A payoff check was traced to this organization, whose chair is Hubert Van Dyke, a former television actor who had bit parts in pretty much every show that came out in the fifties and sixties.”
    Holmes nodded. “What do we know about him now?”
    “Now, according to Who’s Who, he is a philanthropist and an environmentalist. His net worth is believed to be around thirty million dollars. He’s a member of virtually every conservancy group and also every Wiccan religious group. Interestingly enough, he’s on the board of trustees for Loyola Marymount University, which is a Catholic college.” YaYa paused and stared at Holmes.
    “He also sits on the board of the Bohemian Grove, which we’ve been asked not to even think about. He’s also on the board of A Celestial Worry LLC, which is a young adult organization which promotes thoughtfulness on the control of Earth by corporate religions . Its list of religions to watch includes Scientology, Judaism, and Catholicism.”
    “Which makes his affiliation with Loyola Marymount curious,” Laws said. “What’s that tell us?”
    YaYa narrowed his eyes. “I—uh—am not sure.”
    Laws looked to the driver. “Yank?”
    “That he might care more about money and connections than about his own philosophy.”
    Laws smiled. “Exactly. It’s difficult to make someone cooperate who believes strongly in an ideal. Greed, on the other hand, is something we can work with.”
    Yank made several turns, then pulled into a cul-de-sac. Two-story houses stood back from the road between towering trees. The grass on the ground was brown, not only from the constant shade but also because of the layers of pine needles that shoaled here and there. The temperature was fifteen degrees cooler in the mountain than it was in the valley. The air was also noticeably cleaner.
    “Laws, you ready?”
    He put on a pair of glasses that made him look like a fit Berkeley professor, if Berkeley professors wore their hair high and tight and had trained-killer eyes. “Ready.”
    Yank watched as the second in command left the vehicle and headed down one of the longer driveways. The plan was to determine if Van Dyke was actually there. If they’d been in any other country in the world, they could have used the full intelligence powers of the U.S. government, but Americans, especially in their own country, were provided a privacy barrier that they weren’t allowed to cross. Nor should they. Although it would have been easier, Commander Holmes said it best. We can’t trample the rights and freedom we’re sworn to protect .
    “YaYa … move,” Holmes commanded.
    The SEAL pulled a Dodger cap low over his eyes, grabbed the bag from the seat beside him, and exited, closing his door softly behind

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