Al Keller stepped off of the Northwest Airlines flight from London upon arrival at the Twin Cities International Airport just to the south of Minneapolis. He had been dressed casually for the flight with his old M-65 field jacket in the BDU camouflage pattern. During the flight he was seated next to an obviously Kosher teenage girl and she insisted on having a conversation with him.
“So what do you do?” She asked.
“Security.” He replied.
This wasn’t too far from the truth. After his medical retirement from the Army after being wounded during Operation Desert Storm he returned to Minnesota and was hired by a local security company. During the weekdays and on overtime during the weekends he guarded office buildings in downtown Minneapolis. When his old friend John March returned from Oxford they had a long conversation. And at the end of it he accepted John’s offer. There were moments during the training course that he would regret accepting the offer but now that he survived and passed the course he was back on American soil and out of the immediate reach of Commander Corder.
The girl was still curious.
“Security?” She said.
“Yes.” Al replied. “I was babysitting office buildings in downtown Minneapolis but I got an offer to do bodyguard work and I just completed the the training course in the U.K.”
Al had decided to tell the truth but to spin it to appear legitimate. The actual course covered the basic black operations of the security services and the objective of his final examination was to hunt down and terminate a journalist in hiding. As part of the operation he took part in the execution and in dumping the body in a vacant lot while pretending to be an Irish terrorist.
In effect there was no way for him to return to an innocent state.
“So who will you be protecting?” She asked.
“An old friend from the Army.” Said Al. “He’s from an old money family and he unfortunately is the type of person that members of home grown Marxist liberation fronts tend to kidnap for ransom.”
“So anyway--after being wounded during Operation Desert Storm he was medically retired and continued his education at Oxford. Now he has a teaching position at the U of M.”
“University of Minnesota?” She said. “Wouldn’t they disapprove of a combat veteran?”
“Depends on his ideology.” Said Keller. “But in this case he has an endowed chair and they have to accept him.”
The girl nodded.
After the flight Al Keller didn’t expect to ever see the girl again.
Sonya Newman would grow up and graduate from a Journalism School. She would begin her career as a televison reporter at the Twin Cities affiliate of the Fox Network, KMSP Channel 9. From there she would cover the campaign of John March for Governor of the State of Minnesota.