(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....