OH! For the love of books!

Episode 45 Chapters 17 and 18 Untruthful Speech by Ron Cisneros and Michael Padjen

May 23, 2022 Jessica Season 2 Episode 45
Episode 45 Chapters 17 and 18 Untruthful Speech by Ron Cisneros and Michael Padjen
OH! For the love of books!
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OH! For the love of books!
Episode 45 Chapters 17 and 18 Untruthful Speech by Ron Cisneros and Michael Padjen
May 23, 2022 Season 2 Episode 45

Chapters 17 and 18 Untruthful Speech by Ron Cisneros and Michael Padjen

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Chapters 17 and 18 Untruthful Speech by Ron Cisneros and Michael Padjen

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Opening music

"Hello all you book worms and welcome to OH! For the Love of Books!, The show gives you a bit of narration from the books I read or ones you suggest for me to read. I'm your host, Jessica Vickery, and thank you for joining me on this journey.


1st Main Point


Here is a short recap of chapters 14 to 16

Chapter 14 Mack and Steph finally hear from Nick, and he tells them something has happened that he needs to talk to them about. 

Nick finds out that his parents are on their way to Bar Harbor.

Chapter 15 we find out what Elli had to steal from the lab and how dangerous it is for the world if it lands in the wrong hands. 

We also find out that Gus the assassin is not dead as Nigel thought and tells Elli what he did back in Argentina when they escaped.

Chapter 16 Nick decides to tell his parents the truth of what is going on when they get there. 

He believes they will help them.

Mack and Steph finally get to Nigel’s and Elli’s where they try to explain what is going on.


Shall we continue




A week had passed since the tragic day Elli’s research had been stolen, two local fishermen murdered, and Nigel, Derek, and Nick had been a breath away from being dead. The two tried to explain it to Nick’s parents and give them a crash course on viruses, CRISPR, and genetics. It had been a whirlwind of a week and, at the same time, the slowest and most anxious week Nigel and Elli had ever experienced. Both of them empathetically knew Nick’s parents must be experiencing similar feelings. Nick and Derek seemed almost unfazed by the happenings of the past week. They spent most of it setting up security on the property. Nick rather enjoyed making booby traps, especially the ones that exploded when triggered. No damn Argentinian death squad dude was going to get past his and Derek’s handiwork. Nigel started the week by contacting Justin and Del’s families to offer his condolences while seeking pertinent information from them at the same time. He was genuinely sorry and concerned for their well-being but had to worry more about his right now. Thankfully, neither of the spouses had any idea who their husband and wife had been with over the weekend. At least, that’s what they said. Nigel would have to accept that for now. The Sheriff’s Department was investigating but hitting dead ends on the murders. They were now looking at the records of every security camera they could find in Bar Harbor. Elli’s project had funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH), a Federal organization. Since the project was Federal, the FBI was called in to investigate. One of the FBI’s first discoveries was that all of Elli’s computer records had also been destroyed, including the backup copies on the company’s secure servers. Most of the camera recordings that would have captured Elli’s office and any main escape routes had also been erased, which was a sure sign they were dealing with professionals. The lead investigator was James Johnson, Jr, who had been called J since his college football days. He was convinced this was an inside job, even though no hard evidence pointed in that direction. J had been in the FBI for almost 20 years. Since childhood J had proven himself to be an astute individual, growing up in a tough neighborhood in Atlanta called Mechanicsville. He was raised by his aunt and uncle who had three kids of their own. They resided in a primarily black section of the town. They both worked extremely hard at keeping J and his cousins on the right track. J took his opportunities when he could, ending up as an honor roll student and an All-State linebacker for Jackson High. He parlayed that into a scholarship at Georgia Tech, where he starred for four years, while earning a BS in biology and a dual minor in pre-law and police science. Although he had interests in biological research, he always had law enforcement as his first love and set his secret sights on being an FBI agent, so he chased that career straight out of college. J was accepted to training on his first try. He breezed through Quantico and was placed in a role investigating Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), especially the biological kind. Within several years he proved himself as a no-nonsense investigator, with a sixth sense in seeing things during investigations his contemporaries couldn’t. He also had assignments in the International Operations Division, known as “legat,” and the Organized Crime Division. He was almost the perfect fit for this investigation. Once Nigel had some confidence he wouldn’t be under investigation anytime soon he bought some throwaway “burner” phones and got to work calling old friends from the MI6 days, including a few from the CIA and Mossad. Their networks would reach out all over the world. Although every one of the contacts asked for details, Nigel would only go as far as to e-mail them a rendering of the Asian guy, give them Gus Peralta’s name, and tell them their countries’ national securities could be in grave danger. Letting out any further details was not a good idea at this point. What could he tell them? There was no corroborating evidence because of the destruction of the files. Making accusations of any sort could be extremely dangerous to his and Nick’s family and potentially to international relations. Nigel knew he didn’t have much time before he would have to come clean. He did have the advantage; the FBI would be holding their investigation close to the vest, so only controlled amounts of information would be leaked to any public or other governmental parties in the short term. Things dragged on for several days after Nigel finished his phone calls. He finally got his first call back from Talia Levy, an old friend, still an integral part of the Israeli Mossad. Talia fought in the Israeli army back in the late seventies, spending most of her time in Lebanon. She was the only female soldier asked to be on the public relations photos for the Israeli military. She was the supermodel posing with an Uzi most the Israeli boys fell in love with after passing the age of bar mitzvah. Back in the day, that was acceptable PR. The Israelis were enormously proud of their female soldiers. Once out of her two-year stint, Mossad asked her to join them. It wasn’t because of her looks, although they helped; it was because of her guile, smarts, and courage. She joined Mossad after the US Embassy was taken over in Tehran, starting as a data analyzer. That’s when she met Nigel. Nigel was spending a lot of time in Tel Aviv and was assigned to Talia by MI6 to develop information and data networks in the Middle East. Nigel and Talia’s relationship quickly moved past the co-worker to can’t get enough of you sex whenever possible stage. After all, they were spies that could end up dead or reassigned in a moment’s notice, right? At least, that was their rationalization for banging in the computer room at the drop of a hat. They joked a lot about it, dubbing it their FORTRAN screwing and sandwich, lunch meetings. Their relationship wasn’t love but was moving in that direction. Unfortunately, their rationalizations turned into reality when MI6 assigned Nigel to Argentina and, shortly after that, Mossad assigned Talia to Moscow. They had not talked with each other since 1981. Nigel never told Elli about Talia. He never felt the need. As far as he was concerned, Talia was just one of several work relationships he had before meeting Elli. If something ever came up in a conversation about his assignment in Israel, he referred to Talia as “one of my Israeli colleagues.” The same would be true concerning this phone call. “Talia, how are you, my friend? Long time.” “Oh Nigel, I am good, how are you and your lovely wife, Eliza, or Elli, or whatever you want to call her?” “You know about Elli? How….?” “Come now, Nigel; you know you can never leave the game. We keep track of everyone and everything. We know about Elli, your son Derek, and even about your little side operation. Who do you think gave you that job to relocate those two Cuban defectors from Bar Harbor to St. John’s, Canada last August?” “Well, I’ll be damned! I have to assume they weren’t Cuban defectors?” “We paid you well enough for you to know they weren’t.” “No, ask, no tell.” “That’s why we hired you, Nigel. OK, small talk is over for now. I’ll get to the point—bad news, and not so bad news. The bad news is we haven’t been able to track down Peralta. We know he’s in the US and was spotted in Boston earlier this week. No one has seen or heard from him since. The better news is we have been able to locate the Asian guy you were pursuing. As it turns out, he’s not a Chinese agent, but a freelancer from Hong Kong who does a lot of work for China. He won’t turn away money from anyone, including the US, if the pay is right. He surfaced in Shanghai yesterday. His name is Zhang Wei. The word is he is arranging some sort of auction on the dark web, but we haven’t seen anything yet. Nigel, you need to tell me what it is he has for sale.” “Talia, I can’t right now. There are people I need to protect. I’ve gotten two killed already. Plus, Elli is key to properly identifying what we are looking for, possibly the only person capable. Getting you, MI6, or the CIA directly involved could also cause a major global political problem. I promise I’ll let you know as soon as I feel I’m in over my head.” “Nigel, I’ll be happy to work out details should you decide to go to China, but you need to let the pros handle this. You are in over your head.” “I am a pro. Please give me a little time and help. Can I trust you?” “For now, but no promises.” “Will you let me know if you are going to pull the plug?” “Of course, Nigel. A word of warning, people are working at the labs who could be dangerous. You need to be careful. The word is Zhang has someone on the inside monitoring every step you and Elli are taking. It could be anyone. I’ll keep you posted on what we find out, but you need to watch your backs. Understand, I am not supposed to be helping you, but this is more important than a bunch of bureaucratic rules. My involvement has to be on a need to know basis. Got it?” “Thanks, Talia. Yeah, I got it.” “Nigel, why did you never contact me again?” “I thought you said you knew everything, so you must know about me and Elli’s history.” “I know about it, Nigel, but you didn’t answer my question. Why did you never contact me again?” “Another conversation for another time Talia. We’ll talk soon.” Nigel was getting uncomfortable with the conversation. As soon as Nigel hung up on his burner phone, his personal cell rang. “Caller Unknown.” Should he answer it? He didn’t need another robocall asking his opinions about politics. He really could not care less about the subject. He decided to answer anyway. “Hello”“Who were you just talking to on your other phone?” Nigel, startled and suddenly in fight or flight mode, ran to the window and pulled the drapes a little to peek out. How in the hell did this person know he was talking on another phone? “Nice to see you again, hombre. I guess you thought that bullet in the head killed me.” “Peralta, what the fuck you doing hanging around with some Chinese spy, stealing shit that could hurt a lot of people? After surviving the bullet and the election purge of all you assholes back in the eighties, you should have retired somewhere like Nicaragua, or Peru, or Bumfuck Egypt.” “My friend, I kill people for a living. That’s what I do well. Why retire? I’m a hired gun. The guy I was with hired me to be his protection and muscle while carrying out his little escapade here in picturesque Maine. Rumors had it I might run into you, and possibly sweet, dead Eliza. I guess those rumors were true.” “So, why are you calling? You certainly don’t owe me a phone call. I could see by our security footage you were headed back to the house for some unfinished business. Why’d you stop?” “Well, Zhang reminded me he was paying me, and killing you, your family, or anyone else with you, wasn’t what he was buying. He also reminded me you and your son would probably be heavily armed, so I may want to reconsider.” “You didn’t answer my question. Why the phone call?” “Mostly to fuck with you, but to also let you know we are watching you. Any attempt to contact the authorities will result in your immediate deaths. Please don’t do that. I am looking so forward to killing all of you myself when this is over.” “So, here we are. I know the situation is screwed up, and I know you are very concerned about your son. You also need to be concerned about yourselves. We have to try to resolve this before getting anyone else involved. This project was being carried out in complete secrecy for a good enough reason; people are being killed.” “Wait, why not tell this to the authorities?” “Because we don’t know which authorities are involved. Saying something to the wrong person could put us into even more danger.” Mack looked over at Stephanie as if he were at a loss for words. “Steph, we may not have a choice right now. What are you thinking?” “I think we ought to kill these mother fuckers before Peralta does, walk away, and never look back.” “Honey, you know we can’t do that. Peralta or Zhang would just come after us to get rid of anyone with knowledge of the situation.” Stephanie shook her head, “Maybe you are right, but I need to ask one more question. Nick, why in the hell did you wait a week to call us? We have been worried sick. We didn’t know what had happened to you.” “Mom, Nigel took my phone until he knew he could trust me. I called as soon as I had it back.” “Nigel, you are a real asshole.”


Mack paced the kitchen floor in disbelief of what he just heard from Nigel. Mack’s father was in the service and worked his way up to Lieutenant in Delta Force in the Army and later became a Navy Seal. Mack’s father rarely spoke of his time in the Navy, especially in the special forces. Mack wanted a different life for himself and his sons, as he witnessed his father’s slow decay at the bottom of a bottle. Mack thought for a moment of the irony of his situation, a college professor getting caught up in the life his father led and now, joining his son in a similar experience. “Steph, we’re not going to kill anybody, but it seems as long this Peralta or Zhang fellow is alive, Nick will always be looking over his shoulder. You need to take Nick and get out of here, go somewhere safe.” “Safe, we are going to go, and what about you?” “I am not going anywhere,” Nick jumped in. Mack continued his pacing, trying to figure this thing out. He was terrified for his family’s safety and terrified of what Nigel told him. Rubbing his eyes then his brow, he turned towards Nigel, “Why did you ever get my son involved in this? He is innocent; only a civilian in your dangerous game?” “Mack, I never intended for your son to get caught up in all this. He was planning to be on his way home before all this took place. However, it is what it is, and we can’t change that no matter how much I wish I could.” Elli looked at Stephanie and Mack, seeing their concern for their son. She liked Nick and in the short seven days, drew close to him and appreciated his passion for helping. However, she knew Nigel was right. They needed to keep moving forward, and time was running out. Feeling for Mack and Stephanie, she had to say something to put them somewhat at ease, “Zhang is not in the country; he is in Shanghai trying to sell the formula to the highest bidder. I don’t think you have to worry about him or his men. They are long gone.” “What about this Gus Peralta fellow, will he stay behind?” Steph asked Elli. “I don’t know, Nigel has more intel on him.” “Well, Nigel?” Steph asked again. “I think it depends where I end up. I trust Peralta is still here in the States, maybe in the Boston area.” “Massachusetts? That’s too close to home, why would he go there?” “Don’t know. He is after me. He is not only a hired gun for Zhang, but this is also personal for him. He wants me dead. He could be there in hopes he can learn from you where I plan to be. Lucky you are here.” “Well, Nigel, that’s just fine, glad you got it all figured out. So, what’s your plan and how does it involve my son.” Mack asked, not hiding his sarcasm. “Elli and I talked, and we have a plan. You two were not supposed to be part of the plan, and we will make adjustments. Derek and I are going to Shanghai; I’m trying to meet with a couple of my MI6 buddies I can trust. We need to find Zhang before he sells the research. As for Elli, she is staying here. There is a rat at the lab she needs to uncover. We don’t know who or what job they have in the lab, but they can still cause damage. Elli needs to find the source and their connection to Zhang, and Nick volunteered to help her.” “Nope, no way. You’re not putting my son at risk,” Steph objected. “Mom, I already volunteered; you can’t stop me. You and Dad always taught me to do what is best. All this social responsibility and caring for those other than yourself. Well, this is bigger than us and can harm or kill a lot of people. I can’t walk away. I won’t.” Mack and Stephanie knew Nick was right. They taught Nick the values of doing his best and helping those who can’t. Mack knew his son could not walk away. “Steph, as much I don’t want to agree, we need to help Nigel and Elli. He turned to Nigel and asked, Wǒmen mō bāng zhù nì (how can we help)?” “You speak Mandarin?” Elli asked with a surprised look. “With a name like Griego I get that a lot. I do speak a little Mandarin, my foreign language elective in college. I’ve always wanted to go to China.” “Nigel, it looks like Mack is going with you. You can use an interpreter, and Steph, you’re staying with me.” “Wait! Wait! Mack, what in the fuck did you agree to do?” yelled Stephanie. “Staying here and helping Elli is the logical and safest choice for you and Nick. “I’m going with Nigel and Derek, they can use an extra hand, and my Mandarin may help. I can’t sit here and let this formula get into the wrong hands. Nigel, if somehow we let Peralta know you’re going to Shanghai, he will follow you there.” “Already arranged. That madman will follow me to hell to get a piece of me. I already have the word out I’m heading to Shanghai; this will get him out of the US. I like the way you think, professor, and I accept your help.” Stephanie relented and agreed to help Elli. This way, she could stay close to Nick. Elli explained to Stephanie she and Nick could help by being a set of eyes and ears in town to report back any concerns. Elli told them she would be at the lab trying to figure out who the snitch was. Although this would be a little riskier, it would isolate Steph and Nick from exposure to lab officials and, more importantly, the government. The conversation suddenly switched gears when Derek came running into the kitchen, screaming, “Dad, someone is pulling up into the drive.” Nigel and Elli ran to the living room window and peeked through the blinds. A white SUV was at a stop, but no one got out. “Mack, do you have that gun handy?” as Nigel and Elli both revealed weapons of their own. A man slowly stepped out of the SUV and carefully scanned the property. After he looked everything over, he yelled out to the house. “Elli, are you home? I don’t want to come any closer. Whoever laid out those booby traps did a poor ass job, but I don’t want to take any chances. Elli, it’s Sam Wilder.”


Holy smokes. Is that the same Talia that Elli is friends with? IS that why she didn’t want Elli to tell Nigel?

I hope Elli finds the mole at the lab, and why would Sam show up at her house?

Well let’s see next week if we get to China.


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Outro Music

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Chapter 17 Untruthful Speech
Chapter 18 Untruthful Speech