GW Recaps–Dead For Now, Chapters Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen
Previous: 12, 13, 14
Next: 18, 19, Denouement
Chapter 15 Unknown Known Dag Hammarskjold
Note: Not too long ago, The Guardian reported on the UN investigating Hammarskjold’s death. Read that here. This also gives me an opportunity to recommend a series called Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know, which had an episode on Hammarskjold.
Mesereau recognizes Zest, and thinks he and Gabriel are there to kill him. He fights, but Gabriel able to subdue him. Zest then tries to assure Mesereau that they aren’t going to harm him. Mesereau also recognizes Gabriel as connected with the arrest of Wes Darrell. Gabriel asks him about Nelson, and Mesereau says that the scheme he and Darrell were in on was actually Nelson’s idea, and involved smuggling art. He goes on to say he approached Alex hoping he could help, as he was scared about what to do after Nelson died.
Gabriel notes the furniture in the room is from a nearby hotel, and Mesereau says a passage exists from the Foundation to the hotel, underground. Zest offers to help Mesereau by faking Mesereau’s death. Mesereau is skeptical, and astonished Gabriel and Zest are taking on the TS. He also mentions that Alex is with the TS.
Gabriel is shocked and demands more information. Mesereau says he saw Alex being friendly with Clement. Gabriel is devastaed, but moves on with Zest to help Mesereau. Zest assures Gabriel he did not know about Alex. Zest calls for help, and they all proceed to a deserted location to set up the fake death. Gabriel is still reeling from the revelation about Alex. Joel, once he finds out, is sympathetic.
The next day, Gabriel shows up at Chiang’s door with Zest, and asks for help. He explains what’s happened with Alex, and also his concerns about his feelings regarding Joel. Chiang puts him under hypnosis. Gabriel can remember what Clement said, but not Alex. Chiang draws out that Gabriel has put Alex’s part of the conversation into a mental library. Gabriel realizes the library is a mental version of the library at the Herald-Standard.
Gabriel later consults Chris. Zest visits Clement in Clement’s hiding place, saying he has a gift.
Chapter 16 Unknown Known Roberto Calvi
Note: A fictionalized version of Calvi was in The Godfather Part III. The Guardian (of course) has a story from a few years ago on the possible Mafia involvement of Calvi’s death.
Zest talks with Clement. He says Jacobs tried to stop Clement, and is responsible for Gabriel being taken from him. He also blames Mesereau, and tells him that Mesereau is dead.
Gabriel is staying with Herrmann for safety. He notifies Mankiewitz that he’s alive, but not to report it yet. He also gives info to Walter Churchill. Tom Paine continues his emails, now reporting on Mendel-Malthus, and getting people angry at its misdeeds. Gabriel and the others note that MM has contracted with a security firm called Praetorian, and is part of the new Terrorist Risk Zone, giving them special consideration in acting against what they consider attacks.
Speaking with Zest, Gabriel determines he needs Alex’s computer. Zest arranges for Alex to interview Praetorian, and that the laptop would have to be left behind. Gabriel could then obtain it. Zest then speaks to Jacobs and gives him the same story about Mesereau. He says Clement is behind the Tom Paine videos, and he’s going to lure Clement out to capture him.
Zests starts the plan to get Alex out the office without his laptop. Once Alex leaves, Veronica, Joel and Chris enter the office under the cover of seeking out a virus attack on the office computers. Veronica patrols the area while Joel and Zest enact a data transfer on Alex’s laptop. Gabriel and Geneva are upstairs in the library, so Gabriel and try to recover his final memories.
Alex suddenly leaves his interview and comes back to the building, discovering Joel and Chris in his office. He is armed, and says he could kill them, and he wants to know what they are doing. Joel has a story prepared that they have put in program on the computer to monitor it. Alex makes Chris destroy the hard drive. He says he’s going to call people to deal with them. But Veronica has shown up with a weapon, and makes him stand down.
Gabriel finds the triggers to his memory in the library. He hears what Alex told him, and that he instructed Gabriel to be afraid of Joel, that Joel was going to hurt him, and to forget what was said. Geneva comforts him. Then they are notified that Veronica, Zest, Joel, and Chris are bringing Alex up.
Chapter 17 Unknown Known Jeannie and Al Mills
Note: I remember distinctly when the People’s Temple Jonestown tragedy happened. First, the slaying of Congressman Leo Ryan and members of a news crew, and then the mass suicide. It was the subject of endless news stories, a TV movie with Powers Boothe and Veronica Cartwright, various TV documentaries, and of course conspiracy theories. Jones was fascinating for his conflicting personas–atheist, communist, preacher. Civil rights advocate and maniacal cult leader. As a San Francisco-based church minister, he even had dealings with city official Harvey Milk and mayor George Moscone. Confusion reigned over how many were dead and who escaped.
More on Jonestown: Another article by LA Weekly. One by the Pacific Standard. San Diego State University also has an interesting collection. The website currently is hard to download, so I have a link to a Wayback Machine link of the site from July 2017. Specifically on Jeannie and Al Mills here. And Jones’s odd CIA connection through his friend Dan Mitrione.
Alex is shocked to see Gabriel. He tries to connect with Alex, but Gabriel confronts him with what he knows. Alex insists that Gabriel doesn’t know what the situation is all about. He says powerful people are behind this outside of the TS, and he can protect Gabriel. As Gabriel gets angrier, Alex gets snottier and insults Gabriel as being impulsive and weak. Gabriel slams Alex up against a shelf and has to be talked down by Veronica.
Zest tells Alex he will resign from the newspaper, and he is being identified as a mole to Jacobs. If Alex tries anything else, Zest will kill him.
Gabriel returns to Herrmann’s place, and brings Zest to talk about next steps. Herrmann allows Zest to come in. They agree to talk about the TS. Zest has arranged a meeting with Jacobs and the other TS directors, and Zest is supposed to lead Clement there. Meanwhile, Chris finds Alex’s emails to a secret contact. The emails go back for some time, and detail Alex’s meeting Gabriel and his cultivation of Gabriel.
Gabriel talks to Jeffrey. He asks for help in figuring out who might be dealing with Alex in US intelligence. Jeffrey finds out Alex is an asset to UK intelligence to infiltrate Clement’s operation, but also that another long-term project called Operation Accountability is investigating rogue ops called Project Q who are sympathetic to Clement. Gabriel plans to move on the TS during the meeting Zest set up in the near future, and stay low in the meantime. However, Zest finds out that Jacobs is going to attack the RIP movement and make them look bad–sabotaging an upcoming protest.
Gabriel, Veronica, Joel, Chris, and Zest show up at the RIP rally outside the HQ of Mendel-Malthus. The infiltrator tries to start a riot, but Gabriel spots him and gets the protestors to help. The Praetorians still attempt to assault the protestors. Zest tells Gabriel to go into the MM building. Gabriel, Veronica, and Joel escape into the building and demand to see Lane Hunter. Hunter allows them up. In his office, Hunter speaks with Gabriel, who pretends to be there just to confront them. Then Zest appears to take them out, strongly implying he’s going to kill Gabriel, Veronica, and Joel. They leave with him, and Gabriel is nervous on the way down and out to a back alley. But Zest is telling the truth he’s going to help, and gets them out of town to a secret location–his hideout, the warehouse in Westchester where Joel was held and where Gabriel had his showdown with Nelson.
Between the Pages
- I rather liked bringing Ethan Nelson back, in a way. He may be dead, but he can still cause trouble. I’m into art crime stories, and Nelson would be into art crimes.
- I also enjoyed the protest in front of Mendel-Malthus. I visited Occupy Wall Street, and at the time it seemed real populism could be a voice and make a change. I still believe it can be, but it has to be constant and battle the status quo.
- I’m particularly fond of the Maneki-neko cat and how it works as a symbol of protest.
- The hardest part of this section to write was Gabriel’s reaction to Alex. Alex is gonna be himself, and eventually blame the victim (like in Two-Faced Woman). He’s gone too far here, as Gabriel still has some rage embedded from his brainwashing. I kind of was with Gabriel giving him a beat-down, but the real Gabriel holds himself in check. He has help here in Veronica talking him down.
Beyond the Pages
- Do you like to read about art crimes? LA Weekly (I also like to plug alternative city news) has an article on 10 of LA’s Most Fascinating Crimes.
- I want to recommend a very good book on brainwashing, Brainwash: The Secret History of Mind Control, by Dominic Streatfield.
- This is a stretch, but Roberto Calvi, “God’s Banker,” connected to the Vatican, Vatican conspiracies. Check out these from Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know and Alltime Conspiracies (another channel I like).
Questions for Readers
I really connect with Gabriel’s reliance on Veronica’s voice to ground him. This is why I feel people are not islands, really, unless they are true sociopaths. Voices (actual or mental) are important–they can make you better, or hurt you terribly. Do you have a such a positive voice to tune into, or negative to tune away from? Can you be a positive voice for someone else?
Asia, Go, for the first. It has a morose nature to it. Someone fed up with how things are.
Dig for victory, go for gold
I don’t want to die before I get old
And I wonder where I’m going to
There’s some way out, there’s some way through
For the Herald-Standard and the library, deadmau5: Strobe
For the protest, deadmau5: Not Exactly
This is one of the “Inside Their Head/Alternative Take” extras. In this case I’m adding to Chapter 15, and Joel finding out what happened to Gabriel vis-a-vis Alex.
Joel turns to see Zest walking purposefully to him. Zest smiles briefly, but Joel is wary of what he’s about to say, especially when Zest puts his hand on Joel’s shoulder.
“Joel, I don’t have a lot of time, but I need to tell you something we found out from Zach Mesereau. I’m going to save Gabriel the trouble of doing so.”
“What happened, for Christ’s sake?” Joel looks beyond Zest to where Gabriel is searching for something in Joel’s car.
“Mesereau, as you know, was in touch with Mr. Barclay. Well, it turns out Mr. Barclay is Clement’s protege.”
“What the everlasting fuck?”
Zest nods. “I know. Or rather, I didn’t. I would have for certain handled things a bit different. But now we know, and that’s to our advantage. I know you’ll take care of him. On top of everything else, he has that betrayal.”
“We’ve all been betrayed one way or another,” Joel says. But his head is reeling. I knew it. I knew something was wrong with that fucker. He feels the volcano of anger rising in him–which is checked some by Zest staring at him intensely. Zest hands him a cigarette. “I have to go, and you do too. I’m not telling you your business or how to react. I was betrayed in much of a similar manner. Friends and lovers are particularly difficult. With me, it was a lover so I know what Gabriel’s going through. I was nearly killed as well. It was a very, very difficult situation because I had to take care of myself and remain as dispassionate as I could to save my life.”
Joel can’t help but smile. “If anyone could, you could. Did he get away with it?”
Zest has a faint smile in return. “No. I had to take care of that as well.”
Joel draws on the cigarette. “Jesus.” He pauses a moment then says, “Thank you for telling me.”
Zest nods and walks way. Joel wants to finish the cigarette, to give Gabriel a chance to work on his composure. He can tell Gabriel is sneaking a cigarette on his own. Well, he’s allowed.
The emotions going through Joel run the gamut from sad to murderous. Anger at Alex, certainly. If he suddenly appeared in front of Joel, he wouldn’t be on his feet for long. But some sadness too, that this ever had to happen. At his heart, a bit of anger that Gabriel could not see through Alex from the first.
Okay, that isn’t fair. Alex talked a good talk. That’s what he does. But I’m human, I can’t help it. If only he hadn’t…
Yeah, but who is standing here right now? You, not him. Nothing you feel in anger or sadness about Gabriel can match how much he is berating himself now. Your anger won’t be as much as a problem as his embarrassment and shame.
When they got back together, Gabriel said they had to work on their relationship every day. Well, that means regardless of whatever else is going on. Joel has a part of himself that would like to walk away–just for a bit, just to process his own feelings. But he will not because he knows that is destructive. This is what you do when you stand up for someone.
Joel drops the cigarette to the asphalt and taps his inner compassion. It’s going to be a long drive back to the city. He’s going to make it a safe one for Gabriel.
Copyright 2012-2017 Alex Fiano
Page updated 7/28/2017