The Witness The dark sedan pulled quietly up outside a comfortable family home in Quarter Close. The brick residence stood silent and dark in the early hours of the morning, looking much like the rest of the houses in the Grove. However, inside this house lay the prosecutionÕs sole witness in the most important case in the history of the state. Without him, the trial could not go to court. His life was in danger. Joel Granger stepped from of the car with two colleagues and the three men made their way slowly and quietly to the boyÕs bedroom window. Joel stood watch with his pistol at the ready. The FBI didnÕt normally do this sort of thing, but in this case there was no other choice. His colleagues quickly snatched the sleeping boy from his bed, covering his mouth, and threw him into the waiting car. Joel stepped into the driverÕs seat and eased the car off down the road. The boy, Adam Martins had witnessed what was turning out to be the most important case in the stateÕs history, and after the FBI had uncovered the Mafia link they were left with no choice but to take Adam into safety. They presumed that the Mafia was watching every move made by Adam and his family, and the FBI couldnÕt risk telling the boyÕs mother or any other family members. Adam sat in the backseat, squeezed between two agents. He was confused, still half asleep and luckily, very quiet. The dark car turned off the freeway and drove carefully down what seemed an unused dirt track. They were taking Adam to an FBI safehouse, to reduce th risk of being found. safe. As the car turned a corner and picked up speed, the shot was fired. A gunshot rang out through the trees. Joel looked in the back. The agent on the left side was leaning on Adam, and the other agent was frantically trying to move the body. Joel had no idea what to do, but he knew that he couldnÕt take Adam to the safehouse. He suddenly stepped on the brakes and spun the wheel. The car turned a full 180 degrees and Joel stepped back on the accelerator. The car raced past the spot where the first shot was fired, hitting the second agent in the face, instantly killing him. Once back on the freeway, Joel picked up his mobile phone and rang his boss. "WeÕve got a leak." Joel spat out quickly, "We got shot at. The other agents are dead, but the kidÕs still alive. IÕve got to get him somewhere fast." "OK, OK. Where are you taking him?" the boss asked. "I donÕt want to say. Your phone could be bugged. Ring me back from a pay-phone." And Joel promptly hung up. The car turned slowly off the freeway again and made its way quietly down a suburban street. Joel parked outside an old weather board house and carried Adam around the back. He forced open an old wooden door and carried Adam down the stairs to the basement. His mobile rang. "Joel. That you?" It was the boss. "Yep. IÕve got the kid and IÕm at my parentÕs house." "What! ItÕs not safe!" The boss said angrily. He trusted Joel, but Adam was a very important witness. "DonÕt worry. IÕm in the basement. They donÕt even know IÕm here." Joel was calm now and had time to think. "OK, but keep it that way." The boss said reluctantly. "We need the kid. No witness, no trial, you know the story.... Look, Joel. Get some sleep and IÕll come down tomorrow in person." Sunlight shone through the vents along the east wall as Joel woke to answer the door. He was still dressed, but had been sleeping and was not fully alert. He opened the door and yawned. Before he had even closed his mouth, the assassin shot the silenced pistol, putting a neat hole through JoelÕs head. The assassin then stepped over the body and made his way to Adam, who was sleeping on the couch. He pulled a piece of nylon rope from his pocket and completed his mission. He then left the basement room as quietly as he had arrived. No witness, no trial.