THE GLOBAL MARK
© Johny Noer - www.noer.info

Chapter 5

‘No. 1720’, President Pierre-Henri Clark's personal guard, made himself at home with his prisoner in the room, put at his disposal, on the first floor of the European Council in Brussels. The fact that the very bodyguard of the president had the highest servant of the state as hostage was a dagger thrust into the back of the security personnel of the union.

The street around the building with the sculpture of the ‘monster and the woman' was roped off. Special terror-units were in place. Sharpshooters placed in strategic locations. The building opposite ‘the EU- committee’ was chosen for all central operations of the military. They were supposed to free the president.

In the same building space was reserved for the press, whose delegates had just landed from all over the world. The urgently summoned members of the European parliament, the European Counsel, the European commission and delegates of the Interpol were gathering in the big hall.

The union’s vice-president, John Edwards, from England, had, according to the constitution, taken over all authority. He, a pale, delicate, somewhat nervous man, had immediately put down all principal actions. Especially concerning the negotiations with 'Jack' the hostage taker.

"The European community is in a crisis," he said, with flaming eyes, "but EU emerged out of crisis, is built on crisis, and will be strengthened by this crisis." To the world press he gave another speech: "The religious terrorist has overstepped unallowable boundaries! From now on new forms of registration must be enforced. We’ll do everything possible, to save the life of our president..."

Pale-red the sun rose over the roofs of Brussels. During the morning hours a thin layer of snow had covered the ground with a virginal thin blanket. Even "the whore on the monster", the metal sculpture in front of the EU-Council was veiled in a white mantle of innocence. In contrast the snow was brown and sloppy on the opposite side of the square because of the many jeeps and diplomat's cars, coming on through the night.

At 5.00 a.m. all traffic was stopped, as the crazy man on the first floor shot at a black limousine of the EU-minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Jean Calais. The chauffeur was hit slightly, but the minister could flee safely into the building. After this incident all traffic was directed to the other side of the building. The shots that had punctured the elegant limousine had come from the automatic weapon the hostage-taker had confiscated. On his way to 'his office' and with the president as shield, he commanded a couple of security men to give up their guns.

The curtains in the room with the valuable hostage were drawn. The light was turned out. The hostage-taker announced over the loud-speaker that every effort to shoot, gas, poison or attack him would at once cost the president's life. "That you know I really mean it," he said," I’ll shoot at anything moving before my window."

"It seems evident that the hostage taker is connected with some religious underground." announced BBC, CNN and other international TV stations, "eighteen well-known members of such secret organizations were evidently freed by the hostage-taker. They had been detained for special talks, after the president's speech.

"The police are looking for two people", it was announced "a couple, Mr. Jeffrey and Mrs. Jennifer Jones, who escaped during the shooting by the EU-statue. They seemingly belong to forbidden, religious organizations. Yes, it’s all known to be in connection with some international network. A Greek film producer, Jan Apostolou, and his lover and collaborator Antoinette Dupont, they both are searched for..."

*

"A good speech, Mr. President," Jack said to the exhausted president, whom he had ordered to sit on a stool by the window. The curtains were drawn just enough, so that he could be seen by the security as well as the politicians and the TV crews. "Especially good was the part about the man whom you chose your follower!"

With tired eyes the president regarded Jack, who continued: "I like what you said about him. ‘It’s of no importance if he is a god or a devil’! That sounds clever! Then back-stage you told me that you know him. People will think he is a god, you said, but he isn't; he's a devil."

Mr. Clark looked with resignation at his tormentor, who kept talking assiduously:" You said you know his name. If you’ll betray that name to me, you’ll be free in a few hours. Give me the name of that evil successor of yours, and you’ll be a free man tomorrow!"

Mr. Pierre-Henri Clark lifted his head. A fleeting interest was in his eyes. He bent toward Jack to answer.

"No, no," admonished Jack, with his finger at his mouth. "Don't say a word, don't lie! You have done that all your life. Without lies one can't be president in the EU! Remember, I followed you everywhere. I heard all your speeches and all your monologues. One of the reasons I despise you all is that you are a bunch of liars. Your lies, Mr. President, are so thick they wouldn't fit under a cow's skin!"

He walked around in the room and went on:

"Now you just wanted to lie to me, your good, old bodyguard! You were just about to accept my proposal and give me a false name to win your freedom. No, Mr. Clark, not so!

We may barter, but I must be sure you keep your part of the bargain. If not, that's the end! You have ten minutes to think it over. Now we have been up 48 hours, we are getting sleepy, and that's what they are waiting for outside. So, Mr. Clark: the name of your successor - the name of this scoundrel."

In a panic, Mr. Clark looked out the window. A single figure stole across the yard, but was stopped by the shot of ‘No. 1720’. The world had to know that he had not succumbed to sleep.

"Eight more minutes," informed Jack. "I’ll make a breakthrough, but you’ll remain. An elegant state-funeral!"

"...and my successor?"

"As good as dead!"

"Why?"

"He is a devil!"

For a while both were silent. Then Jack announced:" You have five minutes. Never in my life have I done a good deed. Now, before leaving the world, I want to do a good deed."

"What is that?" The president was chalk-white.

"Kill a devil!"

"What does that mean? Kill a devil?" Mr. Clark stammered.

"You or him!" said Jack, pushing a new magazine into his pistol." You’re his for-runner. So you belong to the same family. You are both devils!" He regarded Mr. Clark with a highly suggestive smile: "Three minutes!"

Mr. Clark swallowed. Jack offered him a glass of water. "Your last..." he said with a friendly smile."

The president emptied the glass.

" What do the saints call him?" Jack queried, pointing to the statue.

"The statue?"

"Yes, the metal sculpture in front of the building?"

"The metal sculpture?" Mr. Clark looked at his watch.

"Yes, that one!" said Jack, pointing at the statue with his pistol. Mr. Clark followed the direction. A shot emerged that made a huge hole between the horns of the bull.

Just a minute," said Jack, as he drew the curtains together. "Dying is a private business. What do the saints call the beast?"

The president took another sip of water. With closed eyes he whispered," Antichrist."

"And what is your successor called?"

Mr. Clark tried to pronounce a name, without success.

"Write it down," commanded Jack, shoving a piece of paper to his victim.

Mr. Pierre-Henri Clark slowly took a pen and wrote a name. Jack took the paper and gazed at the name. Again he shoved the paper to the president.

"City and country," he said. The president added some words.

Jack looked searchingly at him. "I know you, a liar, you are always lying." He aimed at Mr. Clark, who closed his eyes, speechless.

"But this time," said Jack, pocketing his weapon, "this time you told the truth."

*

"1720, Jack", the dark-dressed, muscular, tanned bodyguard, always wearing sunglasses, and always looking grim, returned his pistol into its leather case, secured over his shoulder under the left pocket of his jacket.

"Closest to the heart!" He smiled at Mr, Clark, who had risen to move the curtains a bit.

Jack carefully folded the paper with the secret name and put it into his right inner pocket. "Farthest from the heart!" he continued, turning to Mr. Clark, who shook his head vehemently.

"You are a good forerunner," Jack persisted with his sarcastic smile. "You prepare the way for him. Today you smoothed the path to his grave! What did you say the saints call him?"

"Antichrist," the president wearily answered. "But that is no concern of yours! You don't belong to them!"

"No, but I don't belong to your group either."

"Now we must barter with our friends on the other side, but first, remember our conditions. We have to get out of here. During the next 6-8 hours, until sleep overtakes us, we are totally bound to each other. If you pass over to eternity, I may probably follow you. But if I go first, I will take you with me. We are now united like spouses; not even death can separate us! Are you ready?"

The president nodded.

"O.K. then! I will tell you the particulars of our plan. Too bad, it isn't perfect, but then, what’s perfect on this earth? If the people opposite us aren't careful, something bad may happen to us." Jack looked carefully out of the window, and then continued: "So, listen carefully. In the next minutes you must see to it that your orders are carried out. Make your vice-president swear to follow every single detail of our plan. What's his name?"

"John Edwards."

"O.K. Make it clear to John Edwards that his first and only duty is to fulfil these conditions. After you will be free, you may try to catch me. But as long as you are under my custody: No foolish actions towards me."

Again the president nodded. Jack sat down opposite him, and said confidentally:"Here is more paper. Please take out your beautiful pen."

Mr. Clark took out his pen.

"Very good! Now write: Our conditions are as follows...."

The president stared at his bodyguard confused.

"Don't make a scene now, you old fox," called Jack determined. "You have three minutes to get ready. Write!"

The pen fell out of Mr. Clark's hand. He sat as if paralyzed, his face filled with terror. Jack quietly observed him and leaned back in his chair. "Two minutes more."

Mr. Pierre-Henri Clark took up the pen again, and sat ready to write. Slowly Jack began to dictate…