The Need for Fear
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A young journalist uncovers what might be the world’s biggest conspiracy—if only he can prove it
For years, Chi Sandwith has written about things like alien abductions, puppet masters, and brainwashing. He’s not a “conspiracy theorist” though—he’s a serious journalist and a seeker of the Truth. When Chi meets a man who claims to be a former secret agent, it looks like evidence of a huge conspiracy has landed right in the reporter’s lap.
But can Chi believe a single word he hears from the professional liar? And why is the old spook so intent on introducing Chi to a woman who could expose the agent’s dark past? Over the course of 1 day, Chi is faced with spies, anarchists, a tough-as-nails policewoman, a highly valuable refrigerator, and a very harsh truth: He is a rank amateur in a world of dangerous professionals . . .
The Need for Fear is a companion novella to Strangled Silence.
the driver had fixed him with an intense look from the rearview mirror. He studied the guy for the first time, absorbing details. The man was of about average height, with a shaved head and skin the color of old bone. His face wasn’t very visible in the mirror, but it was bland, with lean features, light brown eyebrows and eyelashes that, along with the skin, gave the impression of something faded or not quite there. It was the eyes that made Chi pay attention. They were devoid of emotion, like a
… there’s more to be done.” “No, we have what we need,” the man said mildly. “We can do all that on your behalf, if need be.” Chi gripped the edge of the seat, terror creeping over him like frost. Tears welled in his eyes. He felt the urge to start hammering on the windows, to scream for help, or even to smash the glass partition between him and the driver. Anything rather than surrender quietly. But he was kidding himself if he thought he was going to fight his way out of this. These people
he crashed to the floor, his glasses flying off to the side. As he landed, her shin jammed his crotch. She fell forward and slammed headfirst into the wall above him, then collapsed on top of him. Joycey came at Robert fast, swinging a roundhouse kick at the old man’s chest. Robert turned in along the swinging leg, catching it in close, avoiding the worst of the strike and elbowing Joycey in the ribs. He jabbed the end of his baton down into the side of Joycey’s raised thigh, deadening the leg,
manipulate, betray, and kill according to what gives us the best advantage over our enemy. And that was easier to justify back when the Soviets ruled half of Europe and we were trying to avoid World War Three. Their whole philosophy demanded our subjugation. I spent enough time on the far side of the wall, and it wasn’t a place you’d ever want to live. We couldn’t let them win, you understand? We couldn’t let the bastards win. “In some ways, taking on the terrorists in Northern Ireland was
of the time, it’s not a case of someone throwing fists or sneaking into a place or using a disguise. That’s a bloody last resort. No, what you do is you recruit an asset, someone who’s already inside where you need to be—someone you hope the enemy will never know is working for you.” “You mean someone like me?” Chi interrupted. He said it in a casual tone that attempted to hide the hint of pride he felt at being an “asset.” Robert threw him a look that suggested his patience was being tested,