Qean by Matthew A. Hamilton

Ted was born premature. He was an impatient child. He was also a genius. He was reading by the age of three. He graduated high school at fifteen. He enrolled at MIT. He studied Persian, Mandarin Chinese, and Farsi in his free time. He graduated a year early. A month later a man from the CIA rang his doorbell.

“How would you like to work for us?” he asked.

“He’s only eighteen,” Ted’s dad said.

“We’re okay with that, sir” the man said.

“What is it that you need him for?” Ted’s dad asked.

“Can’t tell you that, sir,” the man said.

“I’m not going to let him go, then,” Ted’s dad said.

“Like you said, sir, he’s eighteen. Legally, you can’t stop him.”

Ted was breaking codes a week later. He couldn’t believe it. All the cloak and dagger games he played not so long ago evolved into real life scenarios. Best of all, he was making a six figure salary.

Codes were intercepted between Iran and China. After studying them, Ted claimed China was giving Iran blueprints for a nuclear weapons facility. The building was currently under construction. The information was passed to the President.

“Are you sure?” the President asked.

“Yes, sir,” Ted said. “Absolutely.”

The President gave the go ahead.

An MQ-1 Predator was deployed. Target was destroyed.

The next day, Iranian TV reported that a hospital was bombed in the city of Qean, killing five hundred people, mostly patients.

Washington denied having any involvement.

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Filed under Matthew A. Hamilton

7 responses to “Qean by Matthew A. Hamilton

  1. So…. who was lying? Either party would deny whatever incriminated them… Either that or poor Ted made a mistake.

    Thought provoking piece.

  2. Al McDermid

    The ending surprised me. Great take on the theme.

  3. Wow, this is a great piece — a surprising ending! There are so many scenarios to explain what happened; I find myself dying to know! Did Ted made a mistake? Was the intelligence deliberately misleading to make the US look bad? Did Iran build a weapons facility below or within a hospital? Did the drone destroy the wrong target — or was more than one building damaged in the attack? Did Iranian TV lie about the facts? I think you have the makings of a fantastic spy thriller right here!

    • Matthew

      Thank you for reading. I’m glad you liked it. If you are a member of Fictionaut, I post these stories there, too.

      By they way, congratulations to ganymeder for her story in Flash Me Magazine. Enjoyed your take on vampires. I have a vampire story coming out in Black Lantern published this fall, so check it out: “November Moon.”

  4. Matthew

    That should be: Black Lantern Publishing

  5. Surprise ending! All the cloak-and-dagger fabulous, and I wonder if Ted sleeps well at night. Congrats on the pub, too! peace…

  6. Pingback: Week #14 – I can’t wait « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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