: Before the Next Chapter by Bill Schott
There has been a bit of a break in the action, so before continuing I will bring readers up to date.|
The original story, Baker's Dozen, involved a low-level White House assistant, Ben Baker. He had apparently been dropped into a secret training area in the midwest where he was required to kill a dozen people or be killed. He was naked and given only a pistol, knife, water bottle, and a boot lace. This was a punishment-with-a-purpose devised by the president's chief of staff, C.C Connor.
Others were also sent to this location and worked together to battle whoever might be found. Baker ends up killing them all. He then meets a new person, much older, who explains that Ben is not who he thinks he is. This older fellow is called GI Joe.
In a backstory we learn that GI Joe was an assassin working for a covert organization paid by the U.S. government. He and a Vietnamese soldier, An Do, who met during the war in Vietnam, had spent years acting as killers for the government. He informed Ben Baker that he is, in fact, Bobby Do, a trained assassin. He has been brain-washed and exists with two identities which can be suppressed or brought out by C.C. Connor.
The story ends with all three, Joe, Do (Baker), and Connor, apparently killed by a grenade.
The next story, Assassin Nation opens at this point. Samantha Anther, the President's assistant, believes something bad has happened to Connor and sends Assistant to the Undersecretary of Cabinet Affairs, Manuel Kontroz, to investigate and take whatever action is needed. She also murders the President and makes it seem like a heart attack.
Kontroz flies an ultralite plane to the area and finds many dead bodies. He is bewildered that there is an unidentified corpse on one hand, and that Connor is missing altogether on the other. He sends a woman he found still alive back remotely in the ultralite. When she arrives, shadowy figures kill her.
Two more players, St. John Johnson and Ryan Deere are marked for punishment and are left in the training area to either help or kill each other.
We should be left with the idea that the Vice-president has ordered the death of the President, both Anther and Kontroz are working with and against each other, both are sociopaths, and something big is about to happen.
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