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James and Lance Morcan: The Ninth Orphan - Review

By Remy Benoit

Who calls a child by a number unless their intentions and concomitant actions are reprehensible?
In a world that daily shows us how the few use the many for their own purposes; where drones and endless war are the order of the day; in a world where people are sold into sexual slavery; in a world with a history that includes Dr. Mengele, generic experimentation on children holds no surprise. It is sad that so much that should appall us no longer even shocks us.
It certainly does not awe.
Yet the thing that holds wonder is the heights to which the human spirit can overcome the worse adversity, the worst conditioning to fight for personal dignity, and freedom. Do we always attain those heights; or do we sometimes just make it part way up the ladder, settling for what brings us a measure of comfort and ease?
A young boy called Nine refuses to finish the kill of a deer, an action not unusual for a young person first confronted with death. Yet this boy, this child called Nine, takes your heart with this refusal because you know somewhere in there his "teachers", his tormentors, have failed to reach something vital, something human in him. The question remains, just how much humanity is still there, still viable, and to what extent can it be exercised?
The child becomes the man, the assassin, the pro at disguises, and comes to a place where he finds he must breathe free. He knows that the organization that stole his childhood, and that of the other children, wants a vast fortune that has been the subject of unending searches since WWII, the last of Japanese General Yamashita's gold hidden in the Philippines. With that fortune plundered from China during the war, Omega can finalize it plans for global totalitarianism.
Nine has figured out where the gold is hidden and plans to sell it to the Chinese for a mere hundred million dollars, a tiny portion of the billions it is worth. This price, he surmises, will buy him freedom and a chance at a clandestine life, away from his controllers.
The attempts to close this deal with a deadly, perverted, agent of the Chinese; with a beautiful French politico's daughter in tow who inadvertently gets caught in this high speed international chase from Paris to Andora; from China to the Manilla; from hotels and restaurants, to hidden torture prisons take the reader on a page turning, frightening high action journey into the world of corrupted power that goes beyond conspiracy theories to tortured reality.
Does Nine regain his name? Does he become Sebastian, the name his mother gave him; the mother who was an unfortunate part of the program until deemed useless? Does he find under the layers of training a sense of peace; a sense of roots; a sense of family? How does one buy one's way out of a coterie of power mad office holders; and how high, just how high is that piece of freedom? Note I say piece of freedom for the price of one's soul is measured not in earthly days but in heart.
Is Nine, is Sebastian, a hero? Is he an automaton, or a man to be praised or damned at the price he pays for freedom? Is the system that generates such horror reparable by one man; or only reparable by recognition and all standing for an end to such abuse? Those questions are up to the reader to ponder; for you to ponder.
The Ninth Orphan.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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