Skip to content


Inevitable: (adjective) 1. unable to be avoided, evaded, or escaped; certain; fated: an inevitable conclusion. 2. sure to occur, happen, or come; unalterable: The inevitable end of human life is death. (noun) 1. that which is unavoidable.

Adam Afton sat at his workstation, his mouth agape. Had the inevitable arrived?

His heart raced. His palms became sweaty. He tried to control his breathing. Had he become so cocksure of his programming talents that his hubris had blinded him to what was now so obvious? Did his audacity now threaten his wife and his children, as well as himself? He had always accepted the risks to himself, but the idea of being responsible for something happening to his family was anathema for him.

His fingers began to race across the keyboard. His UltraNet program had been borne out of a program designed first for PsyOps in Afghanistan that had evolved to become a master surveillance program on the U.S. populace. When his toddler daughter was kidnapped, he felt justified in using it to try to find her. Yet, in doing so, he discovered that its masters were using it for self-enrichment, human trafficking, blackmail, and more nefarious purposes. His conscience ate at him. He regretted his role in helping to develop it, and yet, he needed it to find Carolyn.

And when he had succeeded in finding her—taken by a childless couple who named her Grace, he pulled the plug on that program. He had destroyed it, and a subsequent effort by the global elites to resurrect it, thoroughly, but not without keeping it for himself to use for good purposes. Over just two years, he had helped reveal and prosecute dozens of corrupt politicians, businessmen, public servants, and more—mostly through means that were in the shadows of legality.

Then . . . he came to the knowledge of the saving grace of Christ, something his younger brother Aric had accepted many years earlier. As a Christian, he came out of hiding and reunited with his family. Now, bound by a promise, he kept his clandestine work well within legal boundaries and its results were to go through an intermediary, his friend Lynch Cully.

However, someone still searched for him. And unless he worked quickly, whoever that was, was about to trace him right to his doorstep.


Aric’s first month as a senior in the Criminology Program at the University of Missouri-Saint Louis had been more demanding than he’d anticipated and yet, much, much calmer. The challenge came from moving from a start-up criminology program to the 11th best in the country, depending on whom you talked with. The level of expertise in his instructors was phenomenal. On the flip side, their expectations from him were also incrementally higher, and he was working his butt off to meet those expectations.

Yet, life had become so much easier. At the college in Wisconsin, he had become a lightning rod for controversy, thanks to the LGBTQ+ crowd on that small campus targeting him. It was an attack by such activists, in which he and his Christian friends were the victims, that led to his being asked by the college president not to return for his senior year. Not an expulsion. Nothing went on his record. Still, he, the victim, was the one asked not to return. He could have fought it in court but chose not to when he was accepted as a transfer student to the UMSL program. That in itself was largely unheard of, so he couldn’t see passing it up.

He had also chosen not to live on campus. His family’s home was less than 15 minutes away from campus. As a commuting student, he didn’t have the “exposure” to the LGBTQ+ crowd that he’d had in the dorm in Wisconsin. He didn’t know them. They didn’t know him.

To say that he lived at home wasn’t quite right though. His girlfriend, Jessica Larson, had followed him to St. Louis. A retired couple—Col Mike Southworth and his wife Mary—that Aric and Adam had gotten to know well through Lynch Cully, lived but five minutes from the UMSL campus in a large historic home in the community of Ferguson. As fellow believers, they had been more than happy to open their home to her, rent and board free. While Aric still slept at home, he found himself “living” at the Southworth’s more often than not . . . much to his mother’s consternation.

However, Jess was completing her Film and Media Studies major at Washington University, not UMSL. That campus was roughly ten minutes from the UMSL campus and 20 minutes from the Southworth home. The Southworth’s generosity had enabled her to attend that year at Wash U, with its much higher tuition. Her acceptance into that program—considered one of the Top Ten in the country—had been a true miracle in itself. With only 20 to 25 students accepted each year, to transfer in as a senior was nearly unheard of. Actually, no one on the faculty could recall a senior transfer. And, unlike Aric who had the help of an “insider’s” reference at UMSL, her acceptance was due purely on the strength of her portfolio.  

He pulled into the Southworth’s driveway and walked to the front door, where Jess met him.

“Have you been following the news?” she asked. “It’s awful.”

Aric shook his head. “After leaving you last night, my folks wanted to sit down and get an update on school. Couldn’t very well say no, but afterward I was up past midnight preparing for that big practical I have on Monday. Then I overslept and rushed to get here. So, I haven’t looked at it at all. What’s going on?”

She ushered him into the Southworth’s parlor where the older couple were sitting. “We’ve been discussing it.”

“Hi, Aric. Coffee?” asked Mary, being her usual inimitable hostess.

He smiled. “Thanks. I can get it myself in a minute. What’s going on?”

Jess sat down in the wingback, upholstered chair she had been occupying that morning and grabbed her mug of tea from the side table. “Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel in their early morning hours. Over a thousand dead from first reports.”

“Slaughtered is more like it.” The Colonel looked at his wife. “Sorry, Mary. I know you don’t like hearing about it, but he needs to understand the severity of it.” She offered him a wan smile in acknowledgment.

Aric sat down in the matching chair next to Jess. His mind raced in several directions.

Mary stood. “I’ll go get that coffee.” She arose and left the room.

“The terrorists attacked a huge music festival celebrating peace and shot anyone they could find. They attacked several settlements and shot people in their beds—men, women, and children. There are reports of babies being decapitated and of one pregnant woman being shot, ripped open, and her unborn baby being shot in the head. The atrocities done are, well, barbaric to say the least.”

“The IDF and all of their reserves have been called up.”

“And my friends in intelligence tell me that Shin Bet has already been given the mission to find and assassinate any and all Hamas leaders living in Lebanon, Turkey, and Qatar,” said the colonel.

“Shin Bet?” asked Jess.

“That’s the Israeli Security Service. Kind of like our CIA.”

Aric shook his head. “Wow. And we were all talking about biblical end times just the other day. Could this be the start of Armageddon?”

The colonel nodded. “Wouldn’t be surprised, Israeli leaders are already committing to annihilating Hamas and are preparing to invade Gaza to do so. That alone will stir up those supporting Hamas. And if Shin Bet succeeds, which they almost always do, killing Hamas leaders on foreign soil won’t do anything but rile those nations and fan the flames.”

Aric nodded in agreement. In their earlier discussion, they had concluded that Armageddon, also known as the War of Gog and Magog from the book of Ezekiel, would likely consist of a confederation of Muslim states moving against Israel. Many people expected that all of the nations of the world would come against Israel, but the regions mentioned by Ezekiel were all Islamic countries of the Middle East, the Balkans, and northeastern Africa. And if this was the beginning of the final battle, Christ’s return was imminent.


Werner Koch lay in bed wondering how he had ended up there. In his early seventies, he and Liesl had been married just shy of 50 years. They had a good life together. They shared strong family memories and traditions with their four children and sixteen, soon-to-be eighteen, grandchildren. Two of their sons had taken on roles in the family business enterprises. The youngest son had become a much-sought-after and respected surgeon. Their daughter was active in the arts.

Werner had been a protégé of Heinz “Henry” Kissinger and co-founder of the World Order Council. Under the “tutelage” of his mentor, he had gone on to develop the WOC’s depopulation policies, its climate policies, food policies, and more and had risen to prominence as a world leader, if not the de facto world leader. Presidents and prime ministers took his calls directly. The WOC’s policies formed the backbone of most nations’ newest laws, as well as resolutions in the United Nations.

The consolidation of global elites from all spheres of life to form that New World Order had become reality. True, they had been set back by four years with the unexpected election of a conservative populist, Bradley Graham, as the U.S. president. They made sure that didn’t happen again, and now Charles Sidon was in office and following their game plan.

However, American conservatives were still a thorn in their side in the U.S., and that “contagion” seemed to be spreading with conservative and libertarian politicians gaining popularity across the globe. In the U.S., they were succeeding in eliminating the Republican majority in their Congress. The ouster of one House Speaker had led to infighting within that party, conservatives versus the rest of them. Between resignations and ousters, he predicted that early in the new year, those pesky conservatives would be silenced, and the Democrats would regain control of Congress. Then, with the U.S. government totally under the “control” of the WOC and its allies in the UN and WHO, those populist leaders elsewhere would lose a major ally.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the intelligence agencies were “owned” by them. Between financial entanglements and honeypot entrapments, they had enough blackmail material to make sure most politicians worldwide would ensure that their agenda would be accomplished. And for those who wouldn’t toe the line? Well, their political futures were short-lived.

His thoughts were interrupted by a glass of wine being extended toward him. As he took a sip of the excellent Cabernet, he again wondered how he had ended up in this bed. Not his bed. He felt a slight twinge of remorse at having succumbed to the flirting of his latest employee.

A brief thought flitted through his mind. Had he just succumbed to someone else’s honeypot? No. He couldn’t accept that. She had been too well vetted for that to be the case.

Yolina Zhdanov could be his youngest daughter. She was pert, attractive, and an Olympic-class flirt. She also had a brain like few people he had ever encountered. Of all of his IT folks, she had come closest to solving a major problem for him—finding the person responsible for destroying their surveillance programs, AlterNet and AlterNet2.

She had convinced him to set up her office in her apartment and to allow her to work remotely. After all, her hours would not be those of his regular employees. If her software caught the “scent” of their prey in the middle of the night, she couldn’t afford the time to drive to “the office” to work. That scenario was more than likely considering that the person, male or female, he sought appeared to reside in the U.S., six or more hours “away” considering time zones.

Yet, coming to her “office” had become something of a trap. At first, she simply shared what she was finding and reported on her progress. Soon, she shared a glass, or two, of wine. Now, for the first time, she shared her bed.

He felt her snuggle up to his side, the warmth of her breast against him. Her long, black hair cascaded over his shoulder. He thought of Liesl in their younger days. What was he doing? Still, he hadn’t felt invigorated like this in decades.

She stroked his cheek with a fingernail and leaned into him for a full-mouthed kiss. Her pert breasts pressed into him as his heart rate accelerated. He reached down and placed his hand between her thighs.

What? Something wasn’t right. He pulled back and away.

“What’s wrong?” she asked. “Have I done something?”

He gasped with his sudden realization. “You’re . . . you’re . . .”

“What?” She sat up, wrapping the sheet around her torso. “I, I thought you knew. I haven’t exactly hidden that I was born male.”

Werner jumped up from the bed, feeling dizzy at the sudden change. He forced the lightheadedness away. The last thing he needed was to pass out in this bedroom. The scandal would kill him and destroy Liesl.

As he hurriedly dressed to leave, he realized that scandal, blackmail, or both were not totally out of the question. That could never happen. And then anger engulfed him. Who had vetted this person? He would have that person’s head on a platter.

“I’m, I’m sorry. I thought you knew. You speak so fervently about trans rights that I—”

Werner realized he was getting caught with his pants down, literally and figuratively. He did, indeed, promote such rights. They simply weren’t his, well, his glass of Schnapps.

“No, I am sorry, Yolina. I did not know, and I was wrong, in many ways, to stay here. I must leave now.”

He turned and headed for the bedroom door. Before leaving, he turned back. “However, please understand that if any word of this gets out, or if you request money for your silence, working railroad maintenance in Siberia will be the least of your worries. My friends at the FSB would make sure of that. From now on, call me with your reports.”

On loan from Pozitiv Teknolodzhiz, the Russian firm contracted for cyber operations by the Russian Federal Security Service, she, or he—now he felt confused over which pronoun to use—had been offered as their best hacker. He wondered if they knew her full story. Even more, he wondered why they hadn’t informed him. If she continued to work as she was doing, he would not bring it up with them. If not, . . . her silence would be guaranteed.



As soon as Yolina heard her front door click shut, she scrambled from the bed and ran to her bathroom. Why she had been asked by her FSB handlers to seduce this man was beyond her. Anything and everything for Mother Russia they insisted. What was it the Americans called it, a honey trap? Something like that. One handler called it insurance and a guaranteed promotion for her. Her other handler glibly told her that refusal was not an option.

And yet now, death still seemed inevitable. Until tonight, she faced that threat from only one front. Her compliance with her handlers’ request had lessened but not eliminated their threat. Koch’s threat, however, hung over her like the sword of Damocles, made worse by the fact that she did not control the information she had just obtained for “Mother Russia.” Maybe now was the time to take her future into her own hands.

She brushed her teeth and rinsed her mouth several times until she was satisfied that the taste of him was gone. Fortunately, his hurried foreplay led to an earlier than expected outcome, before she would have had to . . . well, it hadn’t come to that.

Next, she bent over, removed the cleverly designed scrotal appliance, and sat down on the toilet to urinate. It had been uncomfortable and blocked her ability to pee, so good riddance. Yet, it worked perfectly into fooling the great Herr Werner Koch into thinking she was a he identifying as a she. The idea of transgenderism still abhorred most in her country, and their president now promoted a law awaiting passage by the Federal Assembly that would outlaw such, contrary to the WOC’s policies and those of the western Deep State. Werner Koch openly pushed for its acceptance and coerced some countries into accepting it, along with the LGBTQ+ agenda in general, despite their misgivings. And yet, when confronted with it, he bolted like a rabbit being pounced upon by a wolf. The hypocrisy was glaring.

Her bladder relieved, she thought about his threat at the end, as she walked toward her kitchen. A Siberian exile was nowhere in the cards. Would the FSB see to her safe relocation? Perhaps, but she doubted it. Even if they did, however, the man had many resources, several of which she had no doubt could make her disappear forever. She was not quite sure how to play her next hand. Did she continue with the work tasked to her? Should she leave for home, saying that her company had recalled her, and assuring Herr Koch that her leaving might be the least embarrassing move for both of them? There was one compromise. Since she worked remotely and now was expected to report only by phone or electronically, she could do that more safely at home in St. Petersburg or perhaps a hidden dacha outside Moscow, outside Herr Koch’s direct reach.

Again, the thought struck her . . . maybe it was time to take her future into her own hands. Could she possibly find a place outside the reach of both?

With a glass of vodka in hand, she returned to the bedroom. On the bookcase opposite her bed, she retrieved the small camera, its cord, and the video recorder that had captured the man’s entire stay and sudden flight. She removed the USB drive, placed it into the laptop at her bedside, and confirmed that not only was his total visit recorded but that the quality was excellent also. This file would be passed along to her handler within the hour.

With that assurance, she still debated her best move. Like Herr Koch, she now felt convinced that her prey truly existed. Whoever this programmer was, he, or she, had gone to great lengths not to be discovered. That alone intrigued her. Who had so much at stake that such lengths were needed? Well, she admitted to herself that she did at the moment. At the same time, she simply wanted to meet this person. No one before had eluded her so successfully.

She loved the chase, so she would stay. However, if her next encounter with Herr Koch proved too awkward, or if he threatened her again, that Muscovite dacha—no, maybe an obscure Caribbean island—would become option number one.

Thank you for reading this sample of The Mark.

For more, please order the book.