Thursday, May 23, 2024


                 (continuation of Tuscono  Rome adventures Volumes 82-83-84-95-97 and 98)

                                                                  The 2 AM Talk Radio Show is a combination of business commentary, industry and world updates, along with a splattering of federal, state and local politics slightly stirred together with a dash of personal perspective and the occasional rant, as well as a few novel mystery writings, all provided by the Founder and Managing Partner of Independence2, LLC, a National Architectural Door Hardware Commercial Company.

                                        VOLUME 99: THE POPE'S REQUEST

Tony Tuscono is the C.E.O. and founder of a high security company known as Golds, Sachs & Thomas which also does covert operations within a highly classified section of the U. S. Government formed during the Presidency of '41'.  GST with the main office in South Beach Miami with a branch in New Orleans having recently closed their branch in Shanghai.  Tuscono's  resume includes three degrees, fluency in four languages, action in three major conflicts, decorated Ranger and 'spook' credentials involving over a hundred covert operations.

(As a review-see Volumes: 82-83-84-95-97-99) His relationship with the Pontiff, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, had been  entirely by circumstance four decades or so ago.  Although the Pope was born in Buenos Aires, he was the son of Italian immigrants.  His father, Mario, was an accountant employed by the railways and his mother, Regina Sivor, although highly educated was a committed wife dedicated to raising their five children.  Pope Francis a highly educated man himself rose quickly after  his ordination through the ranks of South American Catholic Church hierarchy. In 1986 he spent significant time in Germany finishing his doctoral thesis and became very close personal friends with Pope John Paul II.  This simple fact came back to Tuscono for he know that the time spent in Germany was significant and not simply for the doctoral degree as well as recalling the historical circumstance that found his father leaving Italy for Buenos Aires during the fascist upraising and intrigue taking place in Italy as well as with the Vatican.

There had been rumors, at the time, through the Intelligence apparatus since the beginnings of World War II and certainly in the decades to follow that the Vatican was very instrumental in setting up alliances with various secret societies as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), a military arm as well as a funding conduit for the Vatican with close ties to Opus Dei, P2, and the Masons as well as spy agencies, CIA and the OSS, precusor of the CIA, KGB, Mossad and foremost the Mafia and that these networks have  been on going.  Nevertheless, it was estimated that along with very large amounts of gold bullion, tens of thousands of Germans and Italians were helped to freedom in Argentina as that war and the alliances of all the various participants progressed even to the untimely and unsolved mysterious death of Pope Paul I, only thirty three days as Pope, and the massive financial scandal that followed with obvious links.

In 1984 Tuscono,still at the Agency, had a conversation when the Pope was the Rector of the Colegio de San Jose in San Miquel regarding the location of one Michael Sindona, the advisor chosen by Pope Paul II to advise the Vatican Bank who then swindled tens of millions of dollars from the IOR, Istituto per io Opere di Religione as well as possible implications by certain Church officials and implication into the death of John Paul I. Tuscono's Agency unit performed a "snatch, bag and transport" of Sindona. At that time it didn't take the Unit long to discover that the information came via a phone call from a church in San Maguel.  Tuscono visited that Church months later and was welcomed by Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio who told the story of little girl that arrived one day at the Church.  She had been cast aside from her family because of her pregnancy. It was Tuscono's introduction to one Skylar Monique Salazar-Luconi and the relationship with the Father Bergoglio.  That relationship grew into Skylar eventually becoming his personal administrative assistant.  And, it was she that made the phone call putting to end the Sindona affair and further connection to Tuscono and the Pope. 

Decades later at the behest of Pope Francis through his most trusted Francesco DiGiuda, Lieutenant Colonel of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, Guardia Svizzers Pontificia, only one of two Italian born members of this elite corp, asked Tuscono to assist his Swiss Guard in the kidnapping of one Karol Jozel Stephenson, godson of the Saintly Pope John Paul II.  The result was not only the safe rescue of the former Pope's godson but just as important the rescue of Francesco DiGiuda who was also kidnapped during this adventure.   

(Present time)........

As time passed and GST involvement in other covert work continued with not much thought  given to all the exploits that had taken place with the Holy Father and only casual conversations with Francesco until Maggie, the VP of operations at GST, open the door to Tuscono's office with her green eyes wider than normal.  Tuscono raised his eyes from the computer and without Maggie saying a single work he asked "what is worng?" Maggie's look broke into a sly smile saying  Frnacesco is on the secured line from the Vatican." Only unusual because even with their random conversations the secure line was never used.  Tuscono rolled his eyes and instructed Maggie to tell Jonathon Carpenter, the IT guru to make the normal checks using the the STU-111 and AS232 Fortezza crypto card with GST's own matrix G-20, a roving swithching system that utilizes two distinct satellites for maximum security and motioning for Maggie to join him as well as Nagle.

"Good morning my friend.  Isn't it a little early for you to be up and about" says Tuscono to Francesco.

  There is a slight moment of silence then Francesco says "I can tell you have me on speaker so who else is in the room?"  

Only Maggie and Nagle" replies Tuscono.  

"Okay my friend, and hello to you Maggie and you also Nagle.  Sorry for the intense tone but I have a request from the Holy Father for Tuscono. and so privacy becomes most important."  

Tuscono interrupted by saying "Francesco whatever this is about I'm perfectly comfortable speaking and listening with both Maggie and Nagle so please continue."  

Francesco continues, "Over the years Tuscono you and your team have saved not only my life but that of the the prior Pope's godson.  You and your team recovered priceless artifacts  and painting stolen from the Vatican.  You captured Sindona and returned him to authorities. You have had years of history with the Pontiff and so he trusts you and your team as much and maybe more than the Swiss Guard.  Let me please recount a little history all of which you know because of you involvement nevertheless it  will make this new request more clear. Again as you know during the time that Skylar was the administrative assistant for the Father she had been introduced to Sindona and subsequently made the phone call to the private number given to her by Father Bergoglio and the Sindona problem because of your Agency work was at least temporarily taken care of but as you know upon his return to Italy he was found murdered in his cell.  It was also at that time that Skylar had given birth to a son who was then raised and eventually turned over to the protection of the Father Bergoglio with a name change as Skyler decided to leave the refuge of the Church as she could see the corruption overwhelming the Church and married the man who made her pregnant although he never knew of their son. This man, Jose Sinaloa, ran the Sinaloa Cartel and she learned rapidly that crime does pay. The day that Sinaloa was killed she took over control and have grown that organization into the most profitable and ruthless cartel in the world even though Church artifacts and paintings were returned to the Church because of your GST teams outstanding work. And now to the point of my call.   

The Pope is in poor health and he knows that his time on this earth is very limited.  He has no regrets and is at peace with his condition.  However the Holy Father is in fear for the Church because of the corruption within but mostly for his decision to protect the boy, the son of Skyler Monique Salazar-Luconi, who now is a priest somewhere in Italy. The Pontiff requests a personal sit down meeting with only you and myself.  If you agree I will setup the meeting to take place at the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo in the Alban Hills."

During this entire time Tuscono has remained silent and only upon conclusion of Francesco's request did he speak and as normal he was brief as he spoke. " Francesco my friend I have no idea of what I or my team can do to assist the Holy Father; however, please set up the meeting and I will at least hear out the Pope."  The phone conversation ended.

Maggie, Nagle and Tuscono sat in silence for a few minutes until Maggie raised the question "What are you going to do?" as she addressed Tuscono. Another few seconds went by to which Tuscono responded, "I have no idea until I hear in person the Pope's request." Tuscono went on to say to Nagle, "set up my travel with whatever aircraft is available for I'm guessing the response back to us will be eminent.  

Maggie again asked, "are you going alone?"..........Tuscono's response was simply, "yes".

24 hours later, Tuscono finds himself in a GST unmarked aircraft heading to Ciampino Airport outside of  Rome.  Eight hours after take-off Tuscono is picked up by Francesco DiGiuda in a Guardia Svizzera Pontificia vehicle and travel to the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo to meet with the Pontiff.  Within forty-five minutes they arrive at the summer palace and graciously greeted by the Pope Francis. The Pontiff in a wheel chair invites us outside onto a magnificent patio overlooking the sparkling clear Lake Albano surrounded by flowers and plants in full bloom.  The assistant priest that pushed the wheel chair to the patio removes himself and goes back into the Palace.  The Pope, Tuscono and Francesco sit on cushion chairs around a table set with water, wine, cheese and assorted breads as well as the same century old cutlery remembered from the last visitation.

The Pope thanks Tuscono for making the time for this visit as well as Francesco for his loyalty as well as requesting Tuscono for this meeting. The Pope continued by looking directly at Tuscono and said "in the words of your most famous singer Mr. Sinatra, I'm in the Autumn of my years (smiles) actually I'm in the winter of my years." A larger smile which shows his humor then continues "the Vatican is a very large complex company that goes back to the fourteenth century when the cornerstone of St. Peter's Basilica was laid and over a hundred years later in 1626 St. Peter's Basilica, the largest church in the world was built.  It was until 1929 the Lateran Treaty was signed between Pope Pius XI and Italian leader Benito Mussolini declared Vatican City as an independent state that became the world's smallest country and not until 1984 did your country and Vatican established full diplomatic relations," the Pontiff takes a sip of water and then continues, "the Vatican is a very large complex company with an immense responsibility and a banking system, Istituto per lo Opere di Religione and Autorita di informazione Finanziaria  that has evolved over many years and unfortunately with much corruption.  I have tried my best to correct that terrible banking situation by transferring all of its financial holdings to another Vatican office and giving Francesco full authority to investigate the entire system with full resources. The Vatican Bank must be expected to maintain the highest of moral standards in the way it conducts its business and rid itself of corruption, scandal and mismanagement even the rumors of money laundering with mafia boss Pippo Calo.  It has been difficult to translate well-meaning words into meaningful actions. The scandals of the past reflect how corruption had infiltrated all aspects of Italy's political and business class, and that meant a reluctance to pursue proper reforms but I have tried." The Pontiff paused and took another sip of water. He continued saying, "Thank you for listening to my brief History lesson.  It was meant to explain the gravity of difficulty in attempting to correct the many problems that we face."  

Another pause at which time Tuscono having only listened up to this point spoke, "I understand the many problems that you face and I'm even familiar with one Paolo Oliverio, a financial consultant to the Camilliani, a religious order dedicated to the service of the sick, was arrested last year on suspicion of laundering money for the Calabrian Mafia, Europe's biggest cocaine traffickers as well as Italy's political and business elite and how they conduct business.  And I'm also familiar  with Cardinal Vincenzo Depioro and the charges brought about by our friend Francesco however this matter was not pursued by the Church. And to some extent familiar with the recent trial involving the Holy See's 350 million euro investment in a luxury London property where prosecutors allege brokers and Vatican monsignors fleeced the Holy See of tens of millions of euros in fees and commissions.  My unit was familiar with this as we were involved with a cocaine investigation actually involving Cardinal Angelo Becciu and his connection to a Chinese underworld figure."  That last statement had caught Francesco slightly off guard but he didn't speak only gave Tuscono a quizzical look. Tuscono just smiled and then said to Francesco the following, "my friend there are probably a few more things that will be stated here that you aren't aware of."

Tuscono then said to the Pontiff, "Again Father I understand the past history as well as present trials and tribulations but why am I here in your presences." What is it that I or my company can do for you?"

The Pontiff took another sip of water then stated, "I realize that many people within the Vatican think that I'm too liberal.  My feelings toward divorce and LGBTQ rights as well as my hesitation, according to some, regarding the horrible sexual conduct of priests might mike my legacy marginal at best however my focus has always been on welcoming all would-be worshippers into the fold, focusing less on whether they are sinners and more on whether they have access to the community of worshippers, and attendant sacraments necessary for a Christian life.  I know that I have created enemies within and without the Church and now we are at the point of your visitation my friend."

The Holy Father then looked at Francesco saying, "I owe you a personal apology for keeping one secret from you as well as everyone else with the exception of Tuscono."

Francesco immediately becomes uncomfortable with that statement but listens intently.

The Pope continues, "During the last visit when Tuscono's team saved the God-Son, Karol Jozef Stephenson,  as well as saving you my friend after dinner if you recall I asked Tuscono to walk with me in the garden for a personal conversation."

Tuscono simply confirmed that statement with a nod and smile and said to Francesco with a smile, "you probably should take a sip of the wine my freind."

The Pontiff continued, "Shortly after that visit a young South American priest arrived at the Vatican and was appointed to the Papacy as an undersecretary.  His name is Roberto Bucci."

Francesco interrupted the Holy Father simply stating, "I'm familiar with Father Bucci over his years here at the Vatican.  He is a wonderful pious priest that I know you are very fond of."

The Holy Father continued, "Yes, I'm very fond of Roberto and therefore my wish to have you and Tuscono here today. Father Roberto Bucci is actually the son of Skyler Monique Salazar-Luconi."

Francesco now took a large swallow of wine with questions crossing his face half in amazement and half in concern. 

The Pontiff continues, "As I have recounted, I'm not physically well and soon my time on this earth will end.  Although I have, to the best of my ability, attempted to end the internal corruption,  I have created many enemies within and without the Vatican.  My wish to my friend Tuscono is to alert Skyler that I'm about to raise Father Bucci to his Eminence Bishop of the Diocese of Celaya which covers municipalities of San Diego de la Union, Dolores Hidalgo, San Luis de la Paz, Santa Cruz de Juventino and (of course) San Miguel de Allende.  I am not able to protect Father Bucci once I'm gone.  A great deal of the staff including undersecretarys could be transferred anywhere in the world and worse the personal records will be open to the new regime."

Tuscono replied, "I will personally notify Skyler upon leaving Rome."

The Pontiff replied, " grazie".  Now please join me for some lunch before your departure."

The lunch was prepared as Tuscono, Francesco and the Pontiff sat at a small table within the Palace.  

The Pope after saying grace stated, "I'm sure you are aware that Southern Itally is famous for its fresh seafood as the majority of its popular tows and cities are nestled along the Bay of Naples.  I've taken the liberty to acquire a wide range of seafood choices for our lunch including lobster, mussels, octopus and a local fish.  Please have some wine as my priest will serve each of us."

After lunch the Pontiff expressed his most sincere thanks and gave a Papal blessing to both Francesco and Tuscono.  Shortly thereafter Tuscono was on his plane and headed to San Miguel; de Allende, Mexico.


Saturday, April 16, 2022


VOLUME 98: Francesco DiGiuda – Final Chapter


(Previous ‘Tuscono’ excerpts in Volumes 82,83,84,88, 95 and 97)


….The ‘Red’ and ‘Duffmaster’ arrive in Brownsville, Texas after their five hundred mile escorted journey from the hacienda of Skyler Monique Salazar-Luconi, head of the Sinaloa Cartel, having related, in specific detail, the conversation to both aircraft that had previously landed in Rome.  The Box Truck is met at the border by Home Land Security, FBI/HRT and representatives of the Church due to the millions of dollars of stolen Vatican Art Work and unreported centuries old artifacts.  The millions of Gold remained with the Cartel as the commission price for the return of Art and Intel into the mystery of both kidnappings (Francesco DiGiuda, Captain Pontifical Swiss Guard and Karol Jozef Stephenson, God-Son of Pope Paul II).  The government aircraft is loaded with the GST employees, Federal agents and Church officials and departs for Miami for interrogation and authenticity of recovered Church property.


Back in Rome, the GST/HRT team headed up by Jay Hymon had already met up with Captain Maria Delgros and her special Gendarmerie Corp and were on their way to the building that held Karol Jozef Stephenson captive.  This abandon building on the outskirts of Rome had previously been identified as the location holding the captive, secured and surrounded by the Gendarmerie Corp waiting on Captain Delgros and Tuscono’s HRT special team.


Meanwhile Tuscono has put the rest of the puzzle together with the detailed briefing from ‘Red’ and ‘Duffmaster and concluded that not only the kidnapping of Stephenson but also that of Francesco DiGiuda were side plots to ‘their’ main objective of killing the Pope.  The problem now was that all the resources were involved in the side plots rescuing Stephenson and Francesco with very little thought or resources given to the protection of Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio.


Tuscono immediately through the special hook ups created by Jonathon for this complicated mission talks with Captain Delgros…”Maria based on everything that we have just heard and all the other pieces of this puzzle that are coming together, we have to get protection immediately to the Pope.  You know the territory better than anyone so unless you have a better idea let Jay take over the Stephenson rescue and you take your special team and immediately secure the Pope.


” To which Captain Delgros responded, “I have no problem with your men handling this situation however the problem with the Pope is little more complicated.  I was told from our source inside the Pontifical Swiss Guard that the Pope is with a detail of the Guard on their way to his summer home, the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo in the Alban Hills.”


“Isn’t that hours away from Rome and didn’t the Pope close that Palace? “ Tuscono questioned.


“You are partially correct,” replied Maria “and unlike his predecessors Pope Francis has avoided the palace.  But with these kidnappings, I’m told, he felt that by going to the Palace and praying as John Paull II did by a statue of the Madonna overlooking the lily pond that he would feel better and be of more use. It is 15 miles outside of Rome but due to the winding roads takes over an hour and would be an ideal location for captures to do harm.  I’ll take six of my special unit immediately and copter to the Palace as well as another detail via cars to check the road hopefully to protect his caravan. “


“Jay will handle the Stephenson problem,” said Tuscono as the patch call ended.  Tuscono reached Jay and advised to secure this situation and do what is necessary to save the victim but also attempt to keep all or some of the kidnappers alive and into custody while Nagle, Maggie and I have to locate and attempt to save Francesco.


Levine who has remained silent during this entire unfolding but brought up to date by Jonathon, as well as ‘Red’ and ‘Duffmaster, connects to Tuscono with the news that his associates has located what might be the location of Francesco and his kidnappers.  It was brought to Levine only a few minutes ago that six to eight hooded men dressed as Monks took a van from the Papacy hours before and headed to what might be their present location less than two miles from Vatican City.  The Castle of the Holy Angel (Castel Saint’ Angelo) is an ancient imperial tomb turned papal fortress located right on the river Tiber on the West Vatican side directly east of St. Peter’s Basilica.  


Long before this Castle was under the control of the Church this structure was a major monument honoring the pagan emperors of Rome.  Hadrian, one of the greatest rulers of High Roman Empire built an immense cylindrical sepulcher designed, in form and scale, to rival that of his illustrious predecessor Augustus.  A major architectural innovation was that rather than walking straight into the main burial chamber, one ascends a massive winding ramp that coils within the  concrete tomb.  In order to reach the modern castle you need to walk through the ancient mausoleum.  Entering first into a massive antechamber then walking up a giant ramp you go deeper into this huge mountain of brick and cement, it will feel like a decent into the underworld even if technically you’re walking uphill.  Continuing you finally reach  the emperor burial chamber itself.


As an artificial mountain with sheer walls exceeding 160 feet, it was a natural point of defense within the history of Rome a perfect place for a fortress defending the Papacy.  The transformation of the tomb into a castle was a process involving several Popes however keeping its military function and final refuge of the papacy.  Most importantly there is a concealed passageway that runs from the Vatican to Castel Saint’ Angelo used by Pope Clement VII in early sixteenth century as an entire battalion of Swiss Guards was massacred to escape through the secret passageway to the castle.  All of this detailed information is related to Tuscono via Levine and Jonathon’s hookup.


Jonathon now in direct communication with Tuscono, Maggie and Nagle states “the Castel Saint’ Angelo is now a state museum open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and other that the secret passage keep in mind that it is directly east of St. Peter’s Basilica as was stated earlier and it’s only a few minutes’ walk northwest from Piazza Navona.”  Tuscono responds by asking Jonathon to get the most updated blueprints of the building as well as surrounding area of 500 yards of all sides approachable other than by the Bridge of the Angels.


Tuscono looks at Maggie and Nagle saying “until Jay completes his mission we are in over our heads but have no choice but to pursue Levine’s lead do everything we can to gain the release of Francesco.  Knowing Levine as I do, he probably has his resources with eyes on the Castel but until Jonathon gets us the most resent blueprints we will simply be walking into an ugly setup.  Nevertheless, Tuscono instructs Nagle to pull out the FLIR T630 thermal imaging camera (the camera comes with features as Multi Spectral Dynamic Imaging, UltraMax image enhancement, auto-image rotation, image sketch and autofocus with an added feature being one of Jonathon’s patents which adds distance recording as well as thermal imaging and a radar device used for frequency continuous wave radar to detect motion behind or beneath walls and floors) and once we get through the secret passage set up as close as you can get to see if we get any thermal readings.  Thankfully we kept the device and not given it to Jay.  We may have to blow this passage but we’ll see what happens when we get to the other side before we destroy a historical tunnel.  Maggie, I want you to set up on the Bridge of the Angels with sites into every possible part of the building that can be seen especially those openings at the very top.  Take the bolt-action Creedmoor (sniper rifle equipped with bubble level on the elevation turret of the gun’s Schmidt and Bender tactical telescopic sight. Used with Leica Geovid binoculars activation button activates a range finding system) Nagle and I will take the Heckler & Koch UMPs.  We might be out number but no doubt have the fire power.”  They begin the walk through the passage from the Papacy to the Castle of the Holy Angel.


As the walk begins, Nagle asks the boss “Do you really think we are going to blow this tunnel up?” Tuscono replies with his sarcastic smile, “you scared of going to hell if we do?” Nagle doesn’t hesitate with his response, “If I were scared of hell, I wouldn’t be working with you!” Maggie smiles and they continue through the tunnel.  Close to the end of the passage Jonathon connects with Tuscono, Maggie and Nagle and describes the forbodding structure with all floors, turns and passages and relates the latest Intel from Levine whose resources have eyes on the Castle.  Tuscono then relates to Jonathon to keep communications up with Jay and the rescue of Stephenson as well as this mission and our exact locations and also include Levine as it seems he’s involved.


The team clears the passage and are immediately astonished as to the magnificence of the Castle structure and the 160 foot high walls thus making certain tactical decisions easily to make but much more dangerous.  Tuscono instructs Maggie to take a location at the end of the Bridge of Angels that would give visibility to the top opening columns and portals approximately 500 yards from the Bridge End with  final instructions that if a hooded monk shows regardless of who he (or they) might be holding do not hesitate in taking them out (Maggie O’Brian, as earlier discussed, is a former Olympic Shooter, SIS-UK’s secret; intelligence service, M15 – UK’s military intelligence unit specializing as Sniper Captain).  He looks at Nagle and says, “Ok buddy, it’s time to start the hunt with our only purpose is to free Francesco so light up the imaging camera and let’s see who is where and hopefully this thing actually works.”


Jay Hymon contacts Tuscono through Jonathon’s hookups and relates the story of the rescue of Stephenson with one kidnapper alive and four killed.  Stephenson has been sent to the local hospital, Salvator Mundi International, for a complete checkup in the company of the local police detail that work with Jay.  The subject captured is from a branch of the Bulgarian nationals who is simply a paid-for assassin hired by someone to make a kidnapping.  According to Jay this subject has no knowledge beyond the instructions given to him by allegedly a Monk or someone dressed as a Monk. 


Tuscono tells Jay, “Nagle and myself are about to walk into the Castle Saint Angelo to attempt the rescue of Francesco based on associates of Levine. Maggie is going to be based at the Bridge of the Angels.  We can certainly use you and your HRT team so co-ordinate with Jonathon and Maggie as Nagle and I won’t know if communications are going to work within this massive sepulcher.”  Communication ends and Tuscono and Nagle enter the tomb.


Nagle swings the FLIR T630 to the side but still visible as he and Tuscono readies the Heckler & Koch UMPs (8 inch barrel lengths with capacity of 600 rounds per minute).  The initial steps involve the massive winding ramp that coils with gigantic cement columns that leads into the mausoleum.  Few yards into this section, Nagle signals Tuscono that two subjects appear on the T630 approximately twenty-five yards ahead on each side of the antechamber concealed behind two pillars.   Nagle reaches into his flak jacket, pulls out six marbles and rolls them onto the ramp.  The echo sounds like boulders being rolled.  One of the hood perpetrators leans out from the column on the left enough for Tuscono to pull the trigger of his H & K UMP 45 ACP short burst blowing the top half of the ‘monks’ body into the next column. Simultaneously Nagle looking at the opposite column sees the other kidnapper see his comrade blown in half leans enough for a short blast from Nagle’s weapon with corresponding results. Two down and another six to eight to go.


Now into the main burial chamber no other thermal image shows on the FLIR T630 within the next 50 yards but with three levels still above Nagle and Tuscono proceed with caution.  Below on the ground Maggie is joined by Jay and his crew.  Maggie gives all the Intel that she can while never taking her eyes off the scope of her sniper rifle.  Jay takes three of his HRT into the Castle with remaining members protecting the surrounding area of Maggie’s position.


Nagle and Tuscono proceed within this massive mausoleum climbing onto the next level being greeted with automatic fire that ring off the concrete as both hit the deck.  Tuscono looks at Nagle and says, “Where the fuck did that come from? What’s the device show?”  The thermal image enhancement shows a dark images closer than expected but detail blocked by some type of shield.  Without any thought, Nagle pulls out a flash bomb and throws it from behind their column.  The bright flash and exaggerated loud noise does its job and three hooded figures give up their shielded position to be met with both H & K weapons clearing the clips with immense fire power.

The sounds rattle through the Castle and alerting Jay and the backup that will be needed in this rescue operation. 


Meanwhile Captain Delgros and four of her men are in the police copter flying a few thousand feet above the roadway leading to the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo in the Alban Hills while the rest of her detail are on the highway speeding along the winding highway to make sure the Pope and his vehicle are safe.  Unaware of the Pope’s exact location but in touch with the Pontifical Swiss Guard with the Pope, there are two other SUV’s with armed assassins rapidly approaching the Papal vehicle.


The smoke clears with Tuscono and Nagle checking three dead hooded men. Now there are two ways ahead that lead up to the top floor of this massive structure.  Tuscono points toward the forward entrance for Nagle to take but advises that he should wait for the backup team that is approaching. Tuscono says to Nagle, “Wait for Jay and take the forward lead as I’m going up these back stairs that I believe lead to the atrium”(the architecture of that time always had a skylight-covered space surrounding the very top of the structure especially in ancient Roman dwellings providing light and ventilation to the interior).


Jay and his four HRT crew meet up with Nagle and take the forward path with caution as the thermal scan lights up with two more individuals less that fifty feet away behind two concrete columns.  Jay takes two of his men with the other staying with Nagle as they attempt to position themselves to the right and left of the hooded assassins to force them to take a middle defensive position.  Once in place each team rolls a 7290-2 Flash-Bang canisters toward the two hiding terrorists.  This particular device used by the HRT is a non-bursting, non-fragmenting multi-bang device with an intense bright light ideal for distracting suspects during hostage rescue situations.  The effects are immediate as the two rush to the middle ground firing indiscriminately with their automatic weapons.  Within seconds the HRT team and Nagle return fire with such a deafening sound it actually vibrates the tomb.  Both are terminated.


Climbing to the top of the staircase hearing the massive gun fire below Tuscono stops and pears around the corner to be surprised by his view.  He is looking down the barrel of a Glock 40 being held by none other than Cardinal Vincenzo Depioro. “Good to see you Mr. Tuscono. Please drop your weapon and have a seat next to your friend, Francesco.”  Francesco is seated with a hood over his head.


“You may remove your friends hood because I want Francesco to see his friend killed and I will enjoy putting a few rounds of my Glock into you, and before you make some kind of decision to unarm me know that I’m an excellent shot and you would not become my first,” said by the Cardinal with a wily smile on his face as he continues, “both of you have cause me and my associates trouble over all these years and it’s time for that interference to cease.  I control the Vatican and between me and my associates have taken and control all the finances and we will get away with this as well as continuing our years of control over the Papacy. My men below will take your men and both of you will die and we shall look like the heroes of this conspiracy to overtake the Papacy.”


The Cardinal points the Glock at the forehead of Tuscono.  Five hundred yards away at the Bridge of the Angels, Maggie looking through the Leica Geovid Binoculars squeezes with the gentle touch of an expert snipper the trigger of the Creedmoor.  Blood and brains and skull fragments of the Cardinal spatter on the wall next to the two seated hostages. Francesco and Tuscono hug as Francesco from total exhaustion collapses into Tuscono’s arms in relief.


Six hours later…..after the safe rescue of Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and upon the Pope’s request delivered by Captain Delgros for Tuscono and his team to join the Pope at the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo in the Alban Hills for dinner and conversation the teams arrive and are escorted to an outside patio overlooking Lake Albano surrounded by a magnificent garden.  The Pope graciously greets each and every member involved in this very long day of rescue. 


The Pope has Francesco, Captain Delgros, Tuscono, Nagle, Maggie and Jay join him at one of the round tables decorated in white linen, beautiful flowers and century old cutlery.  The Pope starts the conversation by thanking all of us for the return of Stephenson and especially Francesco.  He continues by looking at Tuscono, and to somewhat of a surprise to Tuscono, “thank you and your men for the soon to be returned millions of dollars in Papacy Art as well as relics stolen but never admitted by this office as well as your teams work with Skyler.” The last point about Skylar was the surprise point unexpected by Tuscono almost wishing to continue that point but out of respect held back any comments.


The Pope continued “the Vatican is a very large company with an immense responsibility and a banking system, Istituto per lo Opere di Religione and Autorita di informazione Finanziaria that has evolved over many years and unfortunately much corruption.  My friend and protector, Francesco, Captain with the Corps of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, advised me years ago that the Cardinal should have been prosecuted but I failed to do that and simply removed him to an insignificant role.”


And continued with, “my apology to all here for that shrug of duty in that matter however you will shortly know that I’m about to raise thirteen new cardinals to the highest rank in the Catholic hierarchy and will warn them not to use their titles for corrupt, personal gain just because they have a new title, ‘Eminence’, doesn’t mean they should drift from their people.”


“Furthermore, I’m giving the Vatican secretariat of state three months to transfer all of its financial holdings to another Vatican office following its bungled management of hundreds of millions of euros in donations and investments that are now the subject of a soon corruption investigation that will be headed by Francesco.”

Francesco having regained his composure since the kidnapping almost lost all the blood in his face with the unexpected announcement of his new position.  The people on the veranda all stood and clapped approval for all of the Pontiff’s remark.  Food was then forthcoming including Fried tempura zucchini patties drizzled with velvety crab remoulade, and shrimp dumplings.  Citrus-glazed swordfish amandine lamb chip Clemenceau on a garlicky bed of mushrooms, peas and diced potatoes served with century Verdicchio  white wine or Sangiovese (Pope’s favorite).


Upon the end of the evening as all were departing the Palace, the Pope walked Tuscono by the arm to a side garden to further a personal discussion.  They sat on a couch overlooking a pond.  The Pope asked Tuscono to please deliver a message to Skylar wishing her constant safety but more importantly that a certain young priest will shortly be appointed to the Papacy as an undersecretary.  The Pope held Tuscono’s hand and said “grazie.”
















Thursday, November 05, 2020


VOLUME 97: Francesco DiGiuda – Part II – Recovery Attempt of Italian Mystery segment


(Previous ‘Tuscono’ excerpts in Volumes 82, 83, 84, 88 and 95)


…eleven hours later after departing from Shanghai Jay Hymon and his HRT lands at Leonardo Da Vinci International airport and is met by Captain Maria Delgros and a squad from the Gendarmerie Corps.


…nine hours later after departing from Miami, Maggie, Chester, Nagle, and Tuscono in an unmarked GST aircraft land at the Ciampino Airport outside of Rome and are met by a selected squad of the Gendarmerie Corps Intelligence unit.


…seven hours later after departing from Miami, the ‘Red’ and ‘Duffmaster’, in a private Cessna Citation CJ3 aircraft leased from the JetCraft Company used occasionally by GST when manifests are public knowledge (sent to NFTA on a daily basis) and used when secrecy isn’t the objective by-passes the assigned Eel Bajio Airport, Leon/Guanajuato located about an hour and fifteen minutes from San Miquel de Allende, Mexico and instead land on a dirt runway just outside San Miquel surprising  them as they unexpectedly bounce to a stop and are met not by Ria, the Masada asset, but Skyler Monique Salazar-Luconi herself and four off road vehicles each armed with four men holding automatic weapons.


The time difference sequence shows Rome, Italy is seven hours ahead of San Miquel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.  Jonathon (tech wiz) is back in HQ working twenty-four hours directly connected to all three ventures.  It is now 7:45 PM Wednesday, in Rome and 1:45 PM Wednesday, in San Miquel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.  The landing on the dirt runway wasn’t the scheduled landing location and right from the start of this mission a critical problem became present and realized not only by Jonathon but also by the ‘Duffmaster’ and the ‘Red’ as they simultaneously say “What the Fuck!” as the plane hits extremely hard on the dirt runway all listened into by Jonathon.


“Doesn’t look like the airport at San Miquel ‘Red..’, “What do you think?” continued ‘Duffmaster’ as the plane rolled to a stop and out their side windows they could see armed four-wheeled drive vehicles. “This isn’t Kansas Toto” replied the ‘Red’.  The pilot open the one exit as the ‘Red’ grabbed the pilot to find out what was going on and the only reply as the pilot pulled a weapon was “ para salir” (move out) exit the plane.  Both the ‘Duffmaster’ and the ‘Red’ followed by the pilot descend down the steps of the plane to be greeted by Skyler Monique Salazar-Luconi and her armed personnel.


“Welcome to my country gentlemen” as Skylar extends her hand and at the same time pulls her FN57 and fires a 5.7 x 28mm cartridge between the pilots eyes with blood, brains and skull fragments splattered on the plane directly over the shoulders of ‘Duffmaster’ and the ‘Red.’  Without a second of hesitation, Skyler states “Relax, if I wanted you two dead you wouldn’t have made it off the plane.  The pilot was a ‘snitch’ and besides I needed a new plane, so please tell Mr. Tuscono I appreciate the plane even though I’m sure it wasn’t in his plans,” said with a smile on her face. “…And now, please accompany me to my hacienda so that we can have dinner and talk.  But first allow my men to check for any weapons and telecommunication devices that you might be wearing.” The ‘Red’ and ‘Duffmaster’ are silent as they follow directions and after cleared of equipment are separated and enter two of the off-road vehicles and follow behind the vehicle with Skyler. Within a half hour all vehicles arrive at a mountain hacienda.


Jonathon, back at HQ, hearing this conversation as well as the muted silencer shot then complete silence he attempts to relate this to Tuscono.  Still in the air with an hour to landing at Ciampino Airport (Rome), Tony listens to the recorded conversation supplied by Jonathon of the San Miquel de Allende, Mexico critical crises.  He thanks Jonathon and asks him to find Levine and have Levine call him on a secured line while still in flight.


Tuscono hangs up and looks at Maggie, Chester and Nagle then replays the recorded conversation concerning the ‘Duffmaster’ and the ‘Red’.  Before anyone comments, Tuscono’s phone lights again with Levine on the line.  With no greeting and a grizzly type tone, Tuscono starts with “What the fuck is going on with your asset ‘Ria?’…not waiting for a response, he continues, “I have two of my men now taken by Salazar-Luconi and apparently a dead pilot and a confiscated aircraft.”


“Hold on Tony. Settle down,” replied Levine. “My asset, Ria, uses Salazar-Luconi for information the same way all of us have used major organized crime figures throughout history for information even if it was to assist elimination of their competitors just as your guy ‘Duffmaster’ handled Whitey Bulger. So settle the fuck down and I didn’t know until a few minutes ago that the pilot was killed and the plane confiscated but I was also told that your men are safe and will be given information that might pertain to Rome.”


Tuscono simply rolled his eyes and took a deep breath and then replied, “My men’s lives rest with you,” and then disconnected the call. Nagle was the first to speak as Maggie and Chester sat with astonishment on their faces. “That’s it? You simply hung up? What about ‘Duffmaster’ and the ‘Red’? What are we going to do to get them out safely?” Nagle rattled off these repetitive questions without allowing Tony to answer.


The silence in the aircraft was deafening. It seemed like hours but only minutes before Tony responded. “There is nothing more important than the lives of every person that works for our very special company including the work that we do.  We are forty three thousand feet in the air as well as our special HRT unit which is also in the air.  Yes, we have team three that could be deplored in a rescue mission but I’ve known and work with that old man (Levine) for years in one capacity or another.  He has never lied to me and has never let me go down the wrong road with his guidance.  He stated that our men are safe and possibly will be given something that might help us.  Leave it be and concentrate on this mission. Period.


Tuscono then asked if Jonathon was still hooked up and copied everything that was just said as well as Levine’s call to which he got “affirmative.”  He then told Jonathon to contact Jay and the HRT and reinforce that the team is to meet with Captain Maria Delgros and her special Gendarmerie Corp and that they have the go ahead to do whatever is necessary to rescue Stephenson but more importantly to capture and interrogate the kidnappers by whatever means are necessary.  In the meantime, call Levine back and request up to date information on our men in Mexico as well as any unusual travel in and out of the Vatican City especially the video on entrances/exits that aren’t open to the public.


Meanwhile back at the Hacienda, a sprawling villa 45 miles in the mountain area southwest of San Miguel de Allende designed in a traditional Spanish style with stone walls surrounding the residence. The vehicle caravan holding Tuscono’s men enter through a covered stone archway cut into the stone walls with armed men both on top as well as on each side. Upon entrance through the archway there is a large fountain in the center of the courtyard.  The front entrance to the Hacienda is through 10 foot antique wood doors revealing hand painted walls, extensive stenciling, seeded-glass lanterns and a variety of other authentic details throughout the main floor of this 9,000 square feet Hacienda.


“My men will escort you to a large bedroom with a very nice shower and clean clothes, so please take your time and join me in our dining room for a wonderful Mexican Fiesta and some very serious discussions,” as Skylar then turned and went into another part of the residence. With the escort of four armed guards, the ‘Red’ and ‘Duffmaster’ walk to a separate room.  Inside a very large luxurious bedroom with a joining master bath hang new clothes in the large wall closet.


“Ok partner”, the ‘Red’ speaks, “did we get a full briefing about this lady and I just wasn’t fuckn paying attention or did we simply get sent on a wild strange goose chase and got setup by someone?” Instead of his normal smart ass reply, ‘Duffmaster’ with a serious look said “sometime ago I was told a story about this lady and Tuscono but discounted it as simply another exaggerated tale about our company. The only briefing was that ten minute call we were called into which Levine was telling us about the incident that happened in the 80’s or 90’s about the hierarchy of the Church in Rome and some Cardinal or someone who stole a lot of money.” He continued, “And by the way notice that the clothes hanging for us not only has our names on them but the sizes are exactly correct.  I don’t think that we are necessarily in danger but we will have a lot to learn and then, no doubt, we’ll be instructed to do something.”


Half hour later, there is a knock at the door and immediately opened by armed escorts.  Both men dressed in clean clothes are led to the grand dining room.  As they enter the massive cathedral ceiling room with art recognizable by the ‘Red’ ranging from Matisse to Monet, they are again greeted by Skylar Monique Salazar-Luconi.  “Gentlemen please sit and enjoy a Mexican Fiesta prepared for you.  During our meal I will do my best to explain my part in this mystery. Enjoy, please.”


The meal was a variety of Mexican staples as Pork Caritas, Warmed Tortillas, Marinated Chicken for tacos, Butter Chicken, Mexican Shredded Chicken, Camarones a la Diablo, Carne Asada, Fish Tacos and Prawn Tacos along with all side options as Pico de Gallo, Queso Dip, Mexican Corn Salad, Avocado Corn Salad, Authentic Guacamole, Refried Beans, Pickled Red Cabbage, Shredded Cheeses, a variety of Hot Sauces and Sliced Jalapeno.


With hesitation but hungry both the ‘Red’ and ‘Duffmaster’ decide better to eat and listen to the story laid out by their captive.  Skylar starts to give her side of the story…”When I was a much younger and foolish girl I had gotten pregnant and was cast aside by my family who saw this as an insult to their religion and upbringing as parents.  I was impoverished with nowhere to go; so, I just started to walk.  Many miles and many days I arrived at a rear door of 17th century church called Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, known for its soaring pink spires & lofty, ornate sanctuary, tired, hungry and afraid.  The door was locked so I sat and cried that day never to forget.  The door opened and this young Jesuit priest sat down next to me and held me.  Three months later my son was born.  My life as well as my son’s safety who is now a Jesuit priest under a different name was due to this Jesuit priest, known to you as Pope Francis.  His name at that time was Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio.  A few years later, he got transferred as the Rector of the Colegio de San Jose and took me with him as his personal administrative assistant.”


She continued, “South America in particular Buenos Aires, Argentina beginning with World War II has been a haven for people seeking refuge from tyrants and dictators to war criminals seeking asylum.  In my early years within the protection of Father Bergoglio I learn many things but the most important is that ‘Everyone is corruptible either through direct consent or ideological belief’ from government officials to Church officials.  It was a difficult time for Father Bergoglio in many ways but he never wavered and discussed all things with me.  And the point of my story relates back to that time.  Over the years during and after World War II and way before my time (She smiled and flashed her blue eyes) during this exit of thousands of people many with ties to Vatican associated groups walked through the halls of my church.  Some good and some not so good.  It has been reported that large amounts of gold bullion was taken from the Vatican and funneled through certain individuals and even churches is South America.  What was never reported however was the many artifacts and paintings taken from the Vatican along with the gold taken by the same people who had responsibility in the murder of Pope Paul I. (The ‘Red’ at this point was thoroughly stuffing himself with all the variety of food while the ‘Duffmaster’ was looking for his normal fair of cheeseburger and fries).  


Michele Sindona was the link between the South America and the corrupted individuals within the Church.  Sindona was the consultant voice to the Vatican Bank during his years in Rome.  The gold bullion nor the artifacts have ever been recovered according to most sources,” again Skylar smiled but this time with an evil look.  Taking a sip of water, she continued, “I was introduced to Sindona and overheard much conversation taking place within the Church confine with other priests but never in the company of Father Bergoglio.  I made a phone call to a private number given to me by Father Bergoglio to be used only upon imminent danger or with such knowledge that would assist the good people within the Vatican.  Sindona was quickly and quietly disappeared and I subsequently learned that he died in an Italian prison before his trial.  I was a grown woman at that time and it was time for me to leave.  To leave not only my refuge but the Church itself that was being overwhelmed with corruption.  I learned rapidly that crime does pay and married the man that made me pregnant although he never knew of our son.  This man, Jose Sinaloa, ran the Sinaloa Cartel.  The day that he was killed, I took over control and have grown this organization into the most profitable and ruthless cartel in the world” another pause and then, “now to the point of my story:”


“As I have stated, the Holy Father saved me and my son and for that act of kindness the missing unreported artifacts and priceless paintings are sitting in a Van outside ready for you to drive the 500 mile trip Brownsville, Texas with my protective escort.  Your communications and weapons are already in the Van. The gold bullion that was swindled from the IOR, Istituto per lo Opere di Religione, by Michele Sindona and his clergy supervisor Cardinal Vincenzo Depioro is our charge for doing business.   Secondly, you must communicate with Tuscono and advise that the Pope is in grave danger.  The plot to kill the Pope initiated with the same Church hierarchy and some of the various secret societies same as those that killed John Paul I.  Charges against Cardinal Vincenzo Depioro were brought by Francesco (Mr. Tuscono’s friend) but never pursued by the Church.  The Cardinal’s connection to not only some of the secret societies as well as the Bulgarian nationals is simply the tip of the crime syndicate within the Vatican and the Vatican Bank. The kidnappings that are in progress as we speak for the most part were designed as diversion from the main goal other than the disappearance of Francesco DiGiuda which could be simply vindicative action taken together with the total plan of killing the Holy Father.  You must convey everything that I have stated to Tuscono so that this vile plan can be stopped.  I might control significant parts of Mexico but I don’t reach across the world as yet,” said with a smile.


The ‘Red’ and ‘Duffmaster’ with full operating communications through Jonathon’s technical wizardry the story is related with detail to both aircraft that have landed in Rome containing Tuscono’s command group having landed in the Ciampino Airport and Jay Hymon’s HRT team at the Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport meeting with Captain Delgros and the Gendarmerie Corps………..  






Tuesday, October 13, 2020



I interrupt the continuing story in Volume 95: Francesco DiGiuda – Part 1 involving the missing of Francesco DiGiuda (Captain with the Corps of the Pontifical Swiss Guard), the kidnapping of Karol Jozef Stephenson (God Son to Pope Paul II), millions of Dollars from the Vatican bank along with the death of Pope Paul I and possibly the threat to the present Pope.


HOWEVER, this upcoming election in a few weeks deserved some reality versus fictional writing.  Thus…




As I stated four years ago, this election is also about the Economy, Immigration, Foreign Policy, and putting/keeping America First.  The difference is that within a few weeks this election is about the Republic living or dying.  It has been proven the Hillary Clinton created the story about Russian collusion with the help of not only the FBI hierarchy but the powers of President Obama and Vice President Biden, and the ultimate super Pac called the mainstream Media as the single largest act of treason in the history of our country in the attempt to bring down the President of the United States.  As cunning, ambitious and unprincipled as these players are they aren’t any different than common criminals corrupt with consent.  As horrible as these corrupt individuals are we know face the dying of the Republic into a Socialistic State where we submit ourselves to a government that is all powerful without regards to individual rights and the breakdown of the Constitution of the United States.


One can only image the Republic with Kamala Harris as President (of course, you can’t believe that Biden will survive even two years if elected do you? Maybe one should ask Hillary about that possibility) with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, the Squad et al in the Cabinet or worse head of major agencies. This is a fight between Individual Rights where our success or failure is based on our ability not on the Government where Jobs are created by the Private Sector and not by the Government, law and order is the rule of law and where human beings have a right to live freely, and pursue that which motivates us not because man or some government says so, but because these are God-given natural rights versus Socialism dictating distribution of wealth, higher taxes, loss of private sector jobs, open borders, abandoning the principles of the Constitution and failed ideas of all Socialistic Countries without exception.  As John Adams cautioned, “A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”


Unfortunately, I recognize the fact that few (these days) have actually read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as well as our pathetic educational system which doesn’t even rank in the top 20 of one hundred and eighty countries to completely grasp the importance and understanding of the Constitution and of this election.  It however doesn’t diminish that importance.  The ‘Swamp’ is not representative of people who understand our founding fathers thought process.  The corruption of the ‘Swamp’ is by consent and not ignorance and therein lies the most danger to our Republic.  It is imperative to deflate the ‘Deep State’ and turn back the tide of the ‘leftist’ program although born in the era of FDR matured with the administration of Obama now in full growth with the present ‘leftist’ agenda.


I only ask those people about to vote to read and to attempt to understand the following quote of 1864.

“We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other man’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name – liberty.  And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called two different and incompatible names – liberty and tyranny.” Abraham Lincoln




Saturday, December 28, 2019

Volume 95: Francesco DiGiuda - Part 1

   (Previous ‘Tuscono’ excerpts in Volumes 82, 83, 84 & 88)

The Main Characters in these excerpts are real people, some with slight name changes and some with fictitious names to protect the innocent. The Events are mostly fictitious and only intended for amusement.

GST (Golds Sachs & Thomas) is a firm formed by the C.E.O. Tony Tuscono during the Presidency of ‘41’ that performs covert contractual work with a highly classified section of the U. S. Government as well as other Governments and Individuals.  It has its main office in South Beach Miami with offices in New Orleans and Shanghai.  The firm consists of highly specialized people ranging from former Mossad, M15, Central Intelligence, U.S. Armed Forces, Secret Service operatives, Computer tech genius and a few individuals with highly skilled talents who have been recruited while serving sentences in Military prisons.  The personal contacts and assets created from this team at GST range from Presidents, Prime Ministers, government officials, and Agencies to vicious dictators, gangsters and informants all over the world.  Team members of GST all have their own individual traits and specialties but each individual understand loyalty and ability to work not only with other team members but to do it with absolute mission objective. 

Continuance of Volume 84 & 88 :

 Upon instructing Jonathon to do his digital magic on the two phone calls from Francesco DiGiuda (Captain with the Corps of the Pontifical Swiss Guard – Guardia Svizzera Pontificia), Tuscono now knows that GST is in the middle of a dual kidnapping, potential Vatican scandal and possible killing within the Vatican.

...Tuscono continues, “Jonathon set up a live secure video feed for both Shanghai and New Orleans offices to be opened in exactly forty-five minutes as well as scrubbing those calls from DiGiuda and locate Jacob Levine and have him call me.”

Jonathon Carpenter responds back to Tuscono within minutes verifying the fact that the two calls were not only different technically but from different locations and according to the tone meters that test stress/strain levels shown exceptionally high. “I’ll run my software immediately boss and report as soon as it gives me any type hit.”  (Carpenter has not only twenty two electronic type patients pending but his meters-algorithms software design program with recognition software  turns into one giant cross-referencing decoder linked to every criminal database in twenty four countries).

Before the video conference meeting takes place, Tuscono takes a call from Jacob Levine,  number two man in Israel’s Mossad who heads up the Metsada Unit (the Central Institute for Intelligence and Special Missions, the clandestine operations arm of the Mossad which runs small units of agents who carry out actions abroad specializing in rescue, assassinations and sabotage.)  Levine and Tuscono have been close friends since the mid-seventies and whether Levine is allegedly ‘retired’ or not has always provided intelligence, guidance, and services to his friend.

The conversation begins with Tuscono….”Hello my friend. How are you?”
“You know Tony, every time I get a call from your eccentric tech genius or your highly attractive V.P. assassin (Maggie O’Brian, VP of Operations), I get that odd feeling up my spine and know it isn’t my health that you seek knowledge of.”

“Ok you old Masada Chief, your right.  So right to business as this is an active and immediate problem.  Are you aware of the kidnapping of Karol Jozef Stephenson, God Son to Pope Paul II?”

“I should have known that this call was coming knowing your personal relationship with, let us say, certain high officials of the Church” responds Levine almost laughing out loud as he speaks.

No respond from Tuscono as Levine continues, “Yes, Tony I’m aware that there was a ‘snatch ‘n grab’ done by unknown assailants of that subject as he was apparently about to visit our friend and his uncle Francesco DiGiuda.  I only know this because, as you know, we have assets in and around Vatican City as normal course of business.  Rumors are running rapid at this point.”

“Rumors as to motive?” asks Tuscono.

“Of course, but only rumors. There have been rumors for years about the Vatican and its treasures as well as the Vatican Bank. The one rumor that my assets keep hearing is that of an organization attempting to get leverage because they believe the medieval Virgin Mary Statues that were banned by an 18th century pope not only exists but have allegedly been located within a Vatican City property.” (Statues described are on the outside appear to have common images of Mary that are found in churches, monasteries, and museums.  The Shrine Madonna’s feature cabinet-like doors that open to reveal interior paintings and figures.  Many include the Trinity inside the Virgin Mary’s body the very reason why hundreds of years ago Christian Leaders denounced the images as monstrous and theologically erroneous.)

Tuscono interrupts Levine …”My friend, I doubt this is about some fucking burglary of statues, it’s about a grown man being kidnapped who happens to be a former Pope’s God Son and what I suspect now is that our mutual friend Francesco DiGiuda has also been compromised as well as the possibility that the Pope himself or someone or something connected to the Vatican may be in danger; but, maybe you have a point with the idea of ‘leverage’ as you say.”

“Ok, tell me what you desire from this old man.”

“I need all the ‘eyes’ possible placed on the Vatican. I need a squeeze put on every ‘asset’ for information regarding the kidnapping,” replied Tuscono who continues “I’m having a video conferencing with my offices in a few minutes so if you’re available hook up with Jonathon so he can connect you.”

Levine states that he’ll be on the call and before he hangs up says “one other thing, Ria from San Maquel said to tell you to remember ‘Colegio de San Jose’ whatever that is to mean.”

Ria is a code name for a covert agent working for the Mossad in South America that Tuscono and Chester Carson worked with while at the Agency.  This comment makes Tuscono turn his head slightly when taken back with something unexpected and it produces a moment of silence between the two men.  Tuscono then tells Levine that the call will be held within the next forty-five minutes.

After taking a moment to digest Levine’s last comment, Tuscono says “Maggie, have Jay (Jay Hymon - Head of the Shanghai GST) bring “the Red” into the live conference as well as having Jason (Jason Santiago - Head of New Orleans GST) have “the Duffmaster” sit in and give Maria (Maria Delgros the only woman captain on the Vatican City Police (Gendarmerie Corps) who became personal friends with Maggie when they were on their respective Olympic teams; Maria being the Silver Medalist on the Italian Track and Field team running the 400 meters relay team with subsequent years spent with Interpol) a call to find out the current ‘live time’ situation with kidnapping of Stephenson.”

Chester Carson, second in operational command who just walks into Tuscono’s office is told to locate ‘Nagle’ and get him also into the video conference.

Jay responds immediately back to Maggie that Johnson “the Red” had been reassigned for special assignment to the New Orleans office to work with the “Duffmaster” on a private contract between GST and the Louisiana Governor’s office and has been in NOLA for the past two weeks.  Maggie advises  Jason to have both “the Red” and “Duffmaster” on the call and advises Tuscono accordingly.

The secured line feed video conferencing takes place with all requested personnel in attendance.  After some quick introductions since ‘the Red,’ ‘Duffmaster’ and ‘Nagle’ are not familiar with Levine and a few others on the call.

 (D. Nadeja aka “Nagle” specialist U.S. Air Force presently working as GST contractor for Air Force in development of sea-skim missile development.  Sea skimming is a technique many anti-ship missiles and some fighter or strike aircraft use to avoid radar, infrared detection, and to lower probability of being shot down during their approach to the target.  Nagle as a non-commission officer started as Ship Building consultant of the U. S. Air Force to Naval Architecture and Lockheed Martin for Attack Division Fire Power.  A nuts and bolts officer that can weld a race car to practical application of missile development.  Spent 30 days in brig for slamming superior officer’s head into a toilet after allegedly being threaten by Officer. Joined GST training program after being recommended by friend of Tuscono. His father was a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and fighter pilot in Vietnam who flew 75 combat missions when his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile.  Based in Miami HQ.

E. Johnson aka “the Red” graduate Graphic Arts and Finance UCLA. Secret Service Home Land Security ten years with specialty in counterfeiting, cyber banking, finance and Art.   Instrumental in  GST working with Secret Service in initially tracing and stopping the North Korean counterfeiting operation in which hundreds of millions of dollars infiltrated into the Banking system through Hong Kong and Tokyo world banks. Recruited after North Korean operation to GST working money laundering systems, counterfeiting, and stolen art. Based in GST Shanghai office but recently working out of New Orleans due to GST contract with Louisiana State Government Special Robbery Unit due to Baton Rouge Art Gallery Heist that included some Vatican Art on loan.

M. Duffy aka “Duffmaster” undercover operative recruited out of NYPD after the shakeup of Whitey Bulger investigation. Twelve year Marine Master Sargent veteran with supply chief background clouded by alleged smuggling chain while heading distributions channels between forces in Afghanistan and rest of Middle East. Compromise non conviction reached with JAG court through intervention of Chester Carson, second in command at GST, who served with the Duffmaster in Afghanistan years before GST and instrumental in NYPD career due to Police Commissioner O’Neil who was in same Afghanistan detail.  Born in South Boston neighborhood and survived the Irish neighborhood graduating from NYU before the dozen years of the Corp, help in the NYPD undercover assignment in joint NYPD/FBI Joint Task Force that eventually took down Bulger and resignation of FBI handlers.  Based in New Orleans office.)

Tuscono starts briefing everyone on the kidnapping of Karol Jozef Stephenson, the two calls from Francesco with the help of Jonathon, GST’s eccentric tech genius, and the recent conversations with Levine.  He continues “I don’t think I have to explain the urgency nor the possible implications that involve the subjects as well as the Vatican.  The only known fact is that Karol Jozef Stephenson has been kidnapped and that the Guardia Svizzera Pontificia along with the Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City are in charge of the investigation and feel that they have a very good grasp of where and who are involved in this kidnapping.  However, they are not as skilled in rescue as GST therefore requests our assistance in this matter.  But unlike the ‘second call’ from our friend they certainly requests this be done with the safety of Stephenson as well as the kidnappers and accomplishes being captured and not killed.

Based on what we know, I want Jay to take your best your ‘snatch ‘n grab’ HRT team and fly into Leonardo Da Vinci International.  Captain Maria Delgros and her Gendarmerie Corps will meet your plane and remember she is in command for that operation but you also must know the objective is Stephenson’s safety as well as attempt to keep the kidnappers alive. Leave immediately and stay in communications with me through Jonathon.  Maggie, Chester, Nagle and I will be departing shortly behind you but flying into the Ciampino Airport and will be met with another smaller group from the Gendarmerie Corps intelligence unit.

He continues, “I requested ‘Duffmaster’ and ‘the Red’ into this call due to information that was given me by Levine regarding one of his assets (Ria) in Mexico.  After a brief call with Ria and Levine the intel suggestion involved a mission that Chester and I were involved in years ago. It might be a long shot that this has anything to do with our present situation but worth looking into.  As a quick review of what happened with our work involving Ria and Mexico, it was in the mid-80’s.  A subject by the name of Michele Sindona who was an advisor to Pope Paul II  swindled tens of millions of dollars from the Vatican Bank, Istituto per lo Opere di Religione casting the financial supervisory body, the Autorita di informazione Finanziaria, into a very questionable position.  There was even intel at that time  suggesting further implications by certain Church officials and even the possibility into the death of Pope John Paul I.  The agency received a tip that Sindona was spotted living in or around San Miguel de Allende.  That tip sent me and Chester to Mexico to do a 'snatch, bag and transport' of Sindona.  Within forty eight hours we had him back in NY and turned over to the FBI.  Subsequently he was taken from his cell and extradited to Italy without our knowledge and within a week was found dead in his Italian cell.  We only became aware of this after we looked into the agencies source of information that made our assignment so easy and smooth.  That information came from a church in San Maguel Mexico.  Upon a second visit months later I had the opportunity to talk with Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio, our now Pope Francis. The importance of this little story is that he didn’t make the call regarding Sindona but he knew who made the call.  It came from an administrative assistant at that time, Skyler Monique Salazar-Luconi who resigned her position shortly thereafter but has remained in contact with the Church in San Miquel according to Ria.” 

“Because of this I want the “’Duffmaster’ and ‘the Red’ to spend the next hour with Chester before we fly out and get the profile work on Skyler as well as your cover documents and story.  This isn’t going to be easy if this trouble at the Vatican has anything to do with the billions of dollars, and if so the implications are unimaginable. You have to find this lady. I warn you if she is who I think she is your trip will be very dangerous even though San Miquel is known for its baroque Spanish architecture, thriving arts scene and in the city’s historic cobblestoned center lies the neo-Gothic church Parroquia de San Miquel Arcangel with its pink towers above the main plaza because the drug cartels have now taken over pushing all types of drugs and imposing their brutal brand of shakedown over the region. In addition, the new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his markedly hands-off approach to crime fits well into the Cartel’s strategy.  He is a leftist who took office within the year and his strategy is ‘abrazos, no balazos,’ or ‘hugs, not shots,’ as he states while the Juarez Cartel, Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas fight out their own territorial problems.  Your cover as a renowned Art Collector and Black Marketeer Distributor has been put together rather quickly but Ria says that's our only opportunity to find Ms. Skylar."

The secured video conference ends.  Each team's journey begins....