From the Author
This story was written during a very difficult time in New York City. On February 26, 1993, a truck bomb came perilously close to dropping the World Trade Center. I was knocked out of my chair by the blast. Less than ten months later, on December 7, 1993, Colin Ferguson shot 25 people on the Long Island Rail Road. I will never forget the blood on the windows. In between, on March 12-13, 1993, the Blizzard dubbed the "Storm of The Century" wreaked havoc, killing over 300 people. I recall shoveling epic amounts of snow.
Obsession for Vengeance was written during these dark and tense days in New York that many predicted foretold the end of the world. The seed of the story was "what could one truly deranged man with skills and resources do to New York City? Unfortunately, on 9/11, we all witnessed a real life version.
Thus, please accept this story for what it is, one New Yorker trying to deal with the dark days of 1993 by imagining the worst. While imagining the worst, I had to imagine what type of person could even contemplate the types of deeds perpetrated in the story. Again, unfortunately, these imaginings lead to a very disturbing picture of a serial rapist. Thus this story includes very graphic violence, including sexual violence, that is a function of the tension and horrors of 1993 in New York. As you read this story, please note how many times Hank is described as a coward, because any man who could hurt a woman or child in any way, let alone in the terrible ways that Hank hurts people, must be a coward.
"The United States Army finds you guilty as charged. You are hereby ordered to surrender your commission, all uniforms and weapons, all citations, and all manners and forms of property associated with the Army. You are not to speak of this incident with anyone, at any time. Any failure to comply with these orders will result in the release of our evidence and findings to the civil authorities and your subsequent arrest, trial and conviction by civilian law of these same charges. I assure you that you will spend the rest of your days in jail if you do not adhere by this sentence."
The presiding General stopped his pronouncement of the sentence. He pulled his glasses form his face, wiped them slowly on a handkerchief he pulled from his dress uniform pocket, and slowly put them back on his face. He had a pained expression that revealed his inner conflict in sentencing Lieutenant Colonel Hank Adams. Respect for his service, disgust with this specific latest action, and silent shame in having been complicit in letting it go on so long.
"It is only our personal relationship, and your long and meritorious service to the United States, in high risk, covert missions that precludes me from turning over this entire matter to the District Attorney. This hearing is adjourned."
The General looked down from the bench and found the Sergeant at Arms for the proceedings. He was unwilling to look the convicted officer in the eyes. Hank Adams had been one of his special projects. A killer. Trained in practically every weapon system and killing system known to man. Hank had travelled the world carrying out assignments that other men could not even imagine. He was a fine tuned assassin who could kill at any range, including at zero range, hand to hand, face to face.
"Sergeant-Major!" The General called the ranking non-commissioned officer to bring the court-martial proceedings to a close.
"ATTENTION," the Sergeant-Major barked. His voice sounded like an 1812 overture cannon in the confined spaces of the cramped private room that had served as the secret court for the tribunal's proceedings. The few attendees stiffened to attention while the General and his hand-picked staff of two tight lipped officers left the room. One by one they filed past Hank Adams, turning their backs on him and on a dark part of themselves. None took his hand, not one had a word to say.
"DISMISSED," the Sergeant Major barked, the word coming out hard and sharp. He looked at Hank Adams, now the retired Lt. Col. Hank Adams, and his eyes narrowed to slits. Hatred was evident in his face, his stance, in the very way he breathed when he looked at the disgraced officer. The Sergeant-Major walked over to the wiry, bronzed killer who was holding his hat in his hand.
"Your rank," he demanded of the defrocked officer. None of the previous formality. No sir. No please. Just a simple, rough, hard-edged demand for his rank and insignia. Fighting words between fighting men. The edge in his voice signaled the Sergeant-Major's intent to personally make good on the tribunal's ruling as soon as possible. Hank Adams made no move to remove his epaulets or his collar dogs, or to do much of anything for that matter. He stood there seemingly rooted to the floor, his free hand balled into a tight fist, his teeth clenched together, jaw muscles standing stiff and hard against his weather-beaten face.
Kate. Kate. Kate. Kate.
"Go to hell," Hank said in a low, even voice. He turned on his heel and spun away from the Sergeant-Major. His long athletic strides carried him quickly, defiantly out of the courtroom into the blazing late summer heat. The world seemed to shimmer and flow in waves before him. The shock of the heat, the sentence of the tribunal. His memory of the quick violence of the most recent act just a few days prior. It all conspired up against him now.
"They're all against me," he whispered hoarsely to himself. "I've given them everything I had. I'm a soldier goddamn it. They can't do this to me. They owe me." Hank stood there looking out over the nearly deserted army base. The regiment was still in the field, where he'd been, only days previous, until the incident. Until his beast had crawled up out of him and taken control of him yet again.
Kate. Kate. Kate. Kate.
About the Author
JT was born and raised in Belleville, Ontario, Canada. Growing up literally steps from the Bay of Quinte, water, ice, fishing, swimming, boating, and drowning were very early influences and appear frequently in his work.
Educated at the Royal Military Academy, the University of Ottawa, the University of Dayton, the University of Cincinnati, Long Island University, and Case Western Reserve University, JT has spent countless hours studying a wide range of subjects including math, English, computer science, physics, and law. Many of his stories are set on college campuses.
JT is a certified rock climbing guide and can often be found atop crags in West Virginia, California, Mexico, and Italy. Rock climbing appears frequently in his writing.
JT has witnessed firsthand many traumatic events including the World Trade Center Bombing, the Long Island Railroad Shooting, a bear attack, a plane crash, and numerous fatalities, in the mountains and elsewhere.
Disasters, loss, and confronting personal fear are common themes in his writing.
While "boy meets girl" appears to be JT's dominant genre, readers will experience a variety of styles and themes in his simple yet complex writing.