And The Meek Shall Inherit
And The Meek Shall Inherit is the second book of the Matt Hurst and Pablo Manual saga. Mistaken as a traitor at home, Matt has no choice but to join Pablo and his private military squad (The Ant’s) in Ecuador, feigning loyalty, bidding time to make a plan of attack. The Ant’s control an all-drone war machine that rules the land, sea, and sky if unleashed.
Once Pablo releases his master plan, he intends to use that very force to destroy anyone who opposes him…unless Matt can stop him from inside and avert an all-out war.
The Niners had the ball on the thirteen-yard line and the Dallas Cowboys looked to be finished. With forty-five seconds left on the clock and down by a point, it looked like a shoe-in for the San Francisco 49ers. First it was a false start penalty, then a holding call, and finally a sack. Next thing Matt knew, the Niners were forty-five yards out and trying to win on a long field goal. The kick went up and wide right and the Cowboys won as time ran out. “Damn it!” Matt slammed the table. He pulled on his beer and looked out over the compound. Their condo was a deluxe version, upgraded from the standard quarters that the rest of the Ants inhabited, as the tattooed workers were referred to here.
They had a private terrace off their bedroom and a secluded patio on the first floor. The terrace overlooked the entire compound and Matt could see the hacienda on the left, as was the monolithic warehouse. Straight ahead lay the quarry, and to the right was the helicopter pad. Matt had the compound’s leader, Pablo Manuel, install a Satellite TV for him so he could catch the one thing he couldn’t live without, the San Francisco 49ers.
Matt’s dad was their most rabid fan, and for once the Hurst household caught a break, as Matt was their second most rabid fan. The fact Matt was an Oakland A’s baseball fan was already a ripple in the Hurst household, but anything other than a Niners fan in football would have caused Don to disown his son.
The ceviche was incredible, and Matt still couldn’t believe how many foods she’d shown him that he never thought he’d like. Ceviche, a bag of chips, and a cold cerveza were his most recent obsession. Vera had never learned to cook, so they hired a live-in housekeeper, but man, did she choose one that could cook! Vera made sure to choose Julia, who was more over the hill than the other candidates, pushing mid-fifties he figured, slightly arthritic, slightly overweight. She’d picked her for a reason—she didn’t want any competition in the house.
Vera walked out onto the deck and his world stopped. She was so breathtaking he could never get over it, which led to his heart skipping a beat when she walked over and kissed his head. She was wearing a yellow sundress; something about it made her look cute and girly. She had added a little body to her hair today as well. The strange part was that she looked at him with the same pleased look on her face, as if he were as attractive to her as well. Matt couldn’t believe that was the truth, but with this girl, it was her reality, Matt was her everything. She purred to him, “You were out late last night.”
“Yeah, well, one of the hydraulic doors broke, so we couldn’t close a run. We also had a bad motion sensor and you know, every time we have a bad sensor, the next hour is an opportunity to train.” Vera questioned the logic of this, “The compound must be searched every time? Even when you know it was just a bad sensor?”
“Yes it must, as the consequences of the improbable are too severe not to react with a purpose.” She straddled him and said, “I love when you talk like that. You know you should have woken me up.” Then she started kissing his salty lips. She recoiled when he really tried to kiss her back, “Your breath smells horrible!”
They laughed and started to wrestle around, Matt panting his shrimp breath on her and Vera screaming bloody murder. Pablo watched on the closed circuit TV from inside his mountain lair. It was always like this, the two of them were as in love as any two people he’d ever seen. How improbable love was? Just like Eva and him. After all the doubting and speculation of Matt’s true intentions, Pablo had to finally give in and accept the fact that the minute those two got together, they were intertwined forever. How many relationships start with each participant saving the other’s life within seconds of meeting?
Not too many, was Pablo’s guess. Vera was so happy now, but it didn’t start off that way— either time he had to rescue her. That time in Brazil, when he saved her and brought her home, she wasn’t catatonic, but she was terrified beyond all reason. She thought he was going to take her to a place even more depraved than the Anthill. This time she was in such bad condition that they had to sedate her to get her off of Matt.
Once she was injected with the sedative, she fell off the Gringo like a wild animal darted by a tranquilizer gun. It took drugs, and it took another lengthy hypnosis session, but two months after Matt had brought her back to the compound, she was herself again. That’s when the guilt set in and she couldn’t stop apologizing to Pablo. Not only that, she started to refuse to see Matt. As far as she was concerned, she had broken her pact of just a few short months ago with the only man on earth she had ever loved.
It took time, time for her to realize that Pablo was there to help her evolve. As much as it seemed to be pointing that way at first, he couldn’t be the answer to her romantic dreams, nor was she the answer to his, as he loved someone else. He was sure that after he and Vera witnessed the fall of humanity, he would return to Eva. He could feel it in his heart. That’s why he recently sent Eva gifts, to keep her company until he gets back. He told Vera about Eva. At first she didn’t believe him, sobbing, “You‘re just saying that to make me feel better.”
He then showed her the last letter Eva had written him, “This is between us only, no one must ever know of her. I’m telling you this to set you free.”
Vera read the letter. She was not surprised that it had said his Eva would wait for Pablo no matter how long, that she could never feel this way about anyone else, as the way she felt about him was beyond words. She would wait.
The words seemed to cleanse Vera’s guilt and she became more open to the idea of moving on. After a day she came back, and he reassured her again, and that seemed to convince her. As soon as Pablo truly freed her from the guilt she was feeling, she ran back to Matt. They’d been attached at the hip ever since.
Of course, Felipe was insistent that the Gringo was not to be trusted, so they designed some elaborate ruses to try to get Matt to break, as they were both sure he would try to get away. First, they watched his patterns, and when he started running in the mornings, Felipe was sure he was forming a plan to escape.
At first, Felipe made a security unit train with him. After a while it was two men, then one. Nowadays, of course, Matt ran alone— which was the way it was designed.
It had been a little less than a year since he had arrived at the compound, and one morning the fence was left open ever so slightly, right at a critical place in the complex. It was a place that would have made it easy to get to the road. But Matt didn’t take the bait. In fact, he reported the breach of the gate to Felipe.
Then came the trip to Guayaquil to buy security equipment that he requested from Felipe. Matt was left alone with a large sum of cash to make the purchase.
Pablo and Felipe were sure that the whole idea of placing cameras in the tunnels was a ruse on Matt’s part to get this exact situation set up—so he could bolt into a big city with some cash. The security detail was outside, and they had picked a place that was too easy to slip out of, especially with a pocketful of money. Pablo and Felipe were almost drunk with hubris thinking they were right about Matt, that he was sure to break Vera’s heart.
They ensured that he would never have been able to slip away though, as the whole thing was a trap. Instead, however, Matt came back with a bunch of wireless mini-dome cameras, two monitors, and a DVR. He never even behaved as though, “aren’t you surprised that I didn’t run off?” either, much to Felipe’s surprise and chagrin.
They even left him with what appeared to be opportunities for assassination, which Matt not only never acted on, but they were sure he wasn’t even aware of them. They were monitoring every vital in his body without him even knowing it. Pablo had created a room where everyone’s vitals were monitored from an array of different devices planted throughout, including heart rate sensors built into the armrest of his favorite chair.
The Ants who were monitoring the situation knew everything, including Matt’s heart rate and body temperature. If he were an assassin, his heart rate would have risen in these situations, giving away his true intentions. This was fortunate for Matt because they were traps; there was even one involving a Pablo double.
Pablo believed his instinct long before Matt put the camera system in for the kennel areas, but once Matt did that, he’d decided that enough was enough. The guy was no spy. He was a store security guard whom his Vera loved so deeply that he had never seen anything like it, except for her devotion to him.
As far as Pablo was concerned, Matt was either the greatest actor in the world, or he was truly head-over-heels in love with Vera, and simply supported whatever thing she did. As seen on the video screen he was now watching, she also supported him physically, as she’d made a wrestling arch move to try to escape from his clutches, unsuccessfully as he was still panting on her, she still screaming bloody murder.
Pablo believed that Matt had become a devotee, as unwavering as his Anthill friends. Apparently, he had really meant what he said in those conversations they’d had, the ones where he claimed to be a most unhappy man in his former life. The stories he told were of his wife’s father being a bully, and always deriding him, never accepting him for who he was. Plus he had an ax to grind as Matt had stopped Jan from starting Pharmacy School. All true. Matt claimed he was sure they were better off, Jan never being happy with who he was anyway.
Sure enough, they investigated and found it to be just as he said. This Jan was living with her father, a man known in his circles as a man not to mess with for he was connected to the mob. Further investigation led to the fact that he was a connected man, and had no love for his ex-son-in-law. Everything the Gringo says has been true. Matt’s love for Vera is undeniable and now his new devotion to my well-being is actually quite touching.
Pablo turned the monitor off as Matt and Vera began to make love, even after two years, the two of them were still like Conejos. Created with Sketch.
A lot had changed in the two years since the incident at Conceptual Labs. Bob Thompson adjusted his bow tie as he looked in the mirror, believing he still looked good in a tux, even if this was his retirement dinner. He wasn’t ready to retire, of course, but when things happened the way they had, changes came, especially if one was the head of the CIA.
He saw Stan LaRue heading his direction, “So who is replacing you, Old Man?”
“Eric Barnett, and he’s a good man, Stan. You two should work well together.”
“I know Eric. We worked together on the Shoe Bomber case.” “That’s right, you did. Well, that’s great, you two should work well together then.”
“That’s bullshit and you know it, Bob. That guy’s totally hardcore. I was just wondering how long you were going to sit there and lie to me.”
“It’s not my place to pass judgments, or second guess this stuff. Eric’s paid his dues.”
“Well I already heard he wasn’t a guy to play inter-agency ball.”
“Well then, Stan, he just won’t last very long, because the world’s changing fast and there’s no room left for Cowboys anymore…or so I’ve been told.”
Just then, Bob spotted the President’s Chief of Staff, Kim Sullivan. “Stan, you’ll have to excuse me temporarily, I must go speak to that young woman over there.”
He wove his way through the crowded room and walked over to her side. She was in light conversation with four males, and he politely waited until their conversation waned. They paid their respects to him before they made off affording them some privacy.
“Hey,” he said.
With genuine sincerity, Kim asked, “How are you, Bob?”
“Truthfully? Unsettled at best. I know I’m just a cog in this system, Kim, but I’m a cog that’s been protecting this place his whole life, and now what? Golf? Cruises? Hanging out with the wife? Let me tell you, Kim, after forty years in the spy game, she has gotten more used to not seeing me than seeing me.
She got used to being on her own most of the time, and now I’m going to be home underfoot, and she’s not going to know what to do with me, which makes two of us.”
“That’s why I’ll never marry, Bob.”
“Probably a wise move, Kim. So listen, you’re the gatekeeper now. Only you and Ray know and believe, so don’t forget, he’s going to find a way to message us. We just have to be looking for it.”
She went to say one thing but changed course. Kim made that famous eye contact, “I think he’s dead.”
Bob looked startled, “Why?”
“Two years is a long time.”
“Not on the inside it isn’t, and the only way to truly be on the inside is to really be there,” He elaborated, “to not even have reporting in to us to be on his mind. If he somehow was able to harness and portray a character as well as one of our own, then two years is about right.”
“Bob, you yourself have stated that those people are trained for a long time, often being put in makeshift communities like the ones they’re heading to. It’s just too much to ask of a civilian.”
“Not if he’s an exceptional liar, Kim. We’ve had agents that were middle-of-the-road in every category but were great liars. They were very successful in the field, except for the ones that turned, of course. No matter how hard we try, the Ken Becks of the world slip through, sometimes with our misguided sanction.”
“Bob, facts are facts. Matt Hurst is now considered the single biggest traitor in American History.” She had to check her tone as they retreated to the corner of the large oak bar. “Listen, I’m still on board; you’ve convinced me he’s not a bad guy. But you have to understand that he is in everyone else’s mind, including my boss, who has barely got a lead in the polls over this. So I’ll keep my eyes open, as I have been, but you also have to realize the very compromising position all this puts me in.”
He gave her that look of admiration that he didn’t hand out loosely, “Have I ever not?”
Kim nervously adjusted the hairpin that held her perfect bun together, “No, you’ve been very understanding of why we have to keep this from Lawrence, but the fact remains that Matt Hurst has replaced Benedict Arnold as the epitome of the ultimate traitor in this country. Convincing them otherwise is not going to be easy, even if he does end up coming in.”
“I trust you, Kim, I know you’ll do the right thing.” They both turned and took in the room as President Caulfield made his way in, “He’s lucky to have you, Kim.”
“We’re lucky to have him, Bob,” and she put her arms around his shoulders, “I’m truly going to miss you, Bob Thompson.”
"And The Meek Shall Inherit is the very successful follow-up to the first novel in the “Harbinger of Change” series. Author Timothy Jon Reynolds, has crafted another fast-paced thriller that combines a complex mix of military tactics, social consciousness, family responsibility, and finally, patriotism to keep the reader riveted. When The United States and the rest of the world are faced with a threat that would destroy life as we know it, President Lawrence Caulfield's only hope lies with a man he considers a traitorous villain. I really enjoyed reading this book and I look forward to the next installment in the series, Without Wrath."
– Richard Nelson
"The Meek provocatively portrays how the Human race can lose focus on each other until the End Times begin. The power of people joining forces shows governments cannot overcome all. A thrilling read and thoroughly entertaining installment of the “Harbinger of Change” series."
– Colleen Blanchette
"And The Meek Shall Inherit, is excellent. The author has created a great series with these characters. I strongly recommend all readers start with the The Harbinger of Change, the first book in the series, then it all falls into place. Great author and great endings to each book makes want you to jump right into the next one!"
– Tom A. Bock
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