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The Operative
by Joe Labelle

Eighteen year old John Lawrence joins the Navy in 1938 seeking romance, adventure, and a chance to get out on his own. When the attack on Pearl Harbor inaugurates America’s entry into World War Two , he loses his best friends in one morning. Now it’s 1943 and he’s a submariner. A man of many talents, he’s a natural for the submarine service. He volunteers for everything.

He’s promised a friend that he’ll go find his friend’s Jewish family…in Czechoslovakia. The Nazi’s have interned them in a ghetto. Suddenly he’s in a race against time. He and his friend will have to plan and execute a reconnaissance and recovery mission…without the Navy knowing about it. What’s more, the resistance doesn’t know he’s coming.

Now John will face his biggest challenge yet. Will he be in time? Will he even be able to get to Czechoslovakia? And, most importantly, will they still be alive when he gets there? Will he be able to get out? He’ll be up against the most feared organization the world has ever seen…Himmler’s SS . . . . and the clock is ticking.

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  • When John Lawrence awoke, his left shoulder was throbbing from the bullet wound. He was in a hospital bed, a ceiling fan twirling the warm air upon him. He tried to remember the landing, but could only snatch bits and pieces of it from his memory. He heard a woman’s voice whisper, “He’s awake.”

    He heard footsteps approaching and turned his head to a familiar brunette. She was tall and attractive, her smile lighting up the room. “How do you feel?” She asked with a Brooklyn accent. “Like shit,” he replied smiling at her. His memory recalled her aiming a 44 Smith & Wesson at him.

    She had thought he was a Jap when he climbed out of the Zero, until he took off his cap and goggles and she saw his eyes, and realized he was an American. She threw the gun into the air and screamed. It hit the tarmac and went off, the bullet whizzing by his head. He remembered them both hitting the deck at the sound of the hand cannon discharging.

    The OperativeJoe Labelle