Special Agent Leo Gale is up a creek. A year and a half of deep cover is about to go up in flames. He needs help – something, someone to salvage the operation and save the lives of untold numbers of trafficked teenagers.
But he wasn’t expecting the partner they sent, or his own gut-punch of a response to the man.
Julian worked hard for that FBI Honors Internship. It was supposed to be a foot in the door. He’d never expected it to catapult him into the middle of a major undercover operation. Yet here he is, sleeping on a filthy mattress and using every trick in the book to avoid torture—and worse. He’s never felt so scared, or so alive, in his entire life, and he’s not sure if it’s the danger, or Leo, that’s making his heart race.
There’s no time to think about it, though. The operation is heating up, and Leo and Julian are running out of time and options. As choices become more difficult, they must find a way to take the traffickers down, or risk becoming just another set of organs for sale.
Inside the bathroom, DeGraff peered behind the door and moved an OUT OF SERVICE FOR CLEANING sign from the back to the front.
Julian was at the sink at the far end of the room, staring into the mirror with water dripping off his face. DeGraff stepped into one of the stalls, and Leo went to wash his hands at one of the other sinks. Julian glanced up at him, then tore off some paper towel and wiped his face dry. He tossed the towel in the overflowing garbage can and slunk past Leo with all the angsty self-consciousness of a hormonal teenager.
Leo wished he had time to appreciate the performance, but he had a job to do. As Julian passed him, Leo spun and grabbed him from behind, pinning Julian’s arms to his side and covering his mouth. Julian made a startled noise, muffled by Leo’s hand, and began to thrash. He kicked Leo painfully in the shin, but by then DeGraff was out of the stall and had jabbed his syringe into Julian’s shoulder. Leo fought the young man down to the floor while DeGraff stood watch by the bathroom door. Five tense minutes later, Julian was completely spaced out, limp as a rag in Leo’s arms.
Hi, I’m Kate Lowell! Thanks for joining me on the FleshMarket tour, or what I’ve come to call “The blog tour that will forever make you question your view of the world around you”. I know it did that for me. Tons of research that went into this book. So many books, so many articles, and over the course of the tour, I’m going to share some of that research, and some of my sources with you. (Please be gentle—it was extremely difficult to condense all that info down to a reasonable sized blog post for each topic. I could have gone on ad nauseum—and honestly, some of the reading was nauseating.) One lucky winner will get to choose any one book from the ones I’ve highlighted through the tour, and I’ll send it to them. (Caveat: I won’t necessarily send the cheapest version of a book, but I do need to keep my pocketbook in mind. And some books may only be available used, or in electronic format. We’ll talk when you win. )
Post 3 – Quantico
You may have seen the series Quantico on TV. So far, I haven’t seen too many glaring errors, though a real FBI agent would probably beg to differ. I can’t complain about the mole in the group, since I essentially did the same thing in FleshMarket. 🙂 I did notice that the dorm rooms weren’t the same in Quantico as my reading lead me to believe. That kind of looked like a plot point, though.
It’s true that agents are given fake guns, to get used to handling them. No one is allowed to carry a real firearm on the Academy grounds, except in the firing ranges or in Hogan’s Alley, or while doing specific training somewhere on the 385 acre campus.
The FBI Academy serves not just FBI, but many other law enforcement and military institutions. Students are issued ‘uniforms’, which consist of pants, shoes, etc., plus a t-shirt or polo shirt in a specific color. Blue is FBI, black is DEA, and green is for student of the FBI Nation Academy, which performs advance training for local, state, federal and foreign police. Instructors wear gold or business suits, and established agents visiting for training, refreshers, or upgrading wear business casual.
Class sizes range from 30 to 50, depending on the needs of the Bureau, and will be filled with people from all walks of life: lawyers, doctors, former police officers, former military, even professional athletes. They live two to a room, eat in a cafeteria, go to classes carrying their backpacks, and appear in many ways to be students at any normal college, except for the constant sound of firearms practice in the background.
Two field agents are assigned to each class as counselors, available 24/7 to help students who are having difficulty, either with the intensity of the program, or with specific subjects in their course of study. While the standard day runs from 8 am to 5 pm, in reality, the students’ days are longer. Studying, exercise and physical training, and firearms practice often occupy another 4 to 6 hours of their day. Students may go off campus after the first two weeks of classes—if they can pass the physical fitness test during the first week of agent training. If they don’t, they are expected to use that time to bring their fitness up to acceptable levels, and will be retested in the 7th week. If you flunk that, chances are you’ll be going home.
And then there’s the academic side. Quantico has been described as “four years of college crammed into four months” (Koletar, 2006) Over the five months of training, 9 different tests will be administered, all with a pass mark of 85—two on legal issues, on one behavioral science, on eon interviewing, one on ethics, two on investigative techniques, one on interrogation (different from interviewing), and one on forensic science. If you fail a test, you must retake it before you can continue on. You get one rewrite. Failing the rewrite earns you a recommendation for dismissal.
If you make it through all that, you will have earned your badge, and will be sent to your first field office, as a new Agent.
Kate lives on the east coast of Canada, in an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. She has one horse now, who still has medical issues, and three cats, all of which still have mental issues. She still refuses to get a dog, because who knows what would be wrong with it?
Kate loves to read and write. She also likes playing with computers and is going back to school to do a programming degree, just for giggles. Or the opportunity to take over the world. (Oh, who are we kidding? Think of all the work that would mean.) She also likes pictures of pretty men and keeps many of them on her computer. (The pictures, not the men.) She would dearly love a cabana boy to mow her lawn and maybe rub her shoulders after a long day of making men fall in love with each other, then cackling evilly and raining frustration and danger on them.