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The Oak Tree


The Oak Tree| Judish
Prologue
Director of Security Sarah Johnson flipped through the photos, eyeing them intently. She
paused at the third one in the stack, intrigued by the young woman in the picture. She had an
average height, average weight, average brown hair and brown eyes. The girl was dressed
casually, not flashy like some teens did these days. No rips or tears in the clothing were visible;
everything was properly modest and covered. There was no extra skin showing above the
waistline as was common with teenage girls. There were no tattoos, no visible body piercing
beyond the one stud in each ear, and no shocking green, blue or purple hair. Nothing stood out
about the girl who was the target of her scrutiny. As she continued with the rest of the photos,
she saw the same girl in various places, with different people. The girl seemed happy. Not
joyous, but happy, as if the world was okay around her. She was at the mall shopping with
friends, getting on the bus to go to high school, getting in an older model beat up station wagon
with her mother and walking into a church. This girl was just… ordinarily; happy.
“Did she see you? Does she suspect?” she asked the two men who were standing in her
office.
Dressed in black suits, black ties, sunglasses, and with ear-pieces visible if one would
closely look for them, the men could easily be on the cover of “SPY” magazine. This assignment
was not their first, and the taller of the two, Roberts, frowned his annoyance.
“No, Director. These photos were all taken within the week as you requested. She never
saw us, I am sure of it.”
Director Johnson finished viewing the photos and slipped them back into the large manila
envelope the men had supplied them in. She knew what she had to do now would forever change
the course of this ordinary girl’s life. She didn’t like that idea. Being normal was a blessing, a
benefit, and an advantage. Once she set into motion the next phase of the plan, this girl would
never be normal again. Yet the Director had no doubt at all that it had to be done, and the girl
must be protected at all costs. The very innocence and normalcy the girl exhibited were her own
worst enemy in light of the future she would have. It was Director Johnson’s highest priority to
see that this girl live long enough to embark on that future. The young woman’s life was in
danger, and if her agents were right, as the Director knew they were, the girl wasn’t aware of it.
“Thank you for getting these to me. Things look just about as I expected, from what little
I knew of Miss Becker’s situation. I need you two to select a security team. Six agents should do.
I want around the clock surveillance on the home, the school, and anywhere else she goes. Do
not be seen. That will come later. We have two weeks until she becomes of age. The people who
are threatening her life have implied she will not make that birthday. We need to make sure they
are wrong, and see that the girl lives to make her future happen.” The men nodded. Director
Johnson continued, “I assume from your surveillance that you are aware of the area and will
watch for anything out of the ordinary-“
Roberts lifted his hand, palm towards her as if to stop her, and frowned at her.
“Director, we know how to do our jobs. We will arrange the team of agents immediately
and the girl will be safe and sound.”
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