So what is the rest of the intel? I asked.
Oh you have all the intel you need. We have made it possible for you to run, so do your thing. the voice, that wasn’t really a voice said.
Bullshit, you are going to get the senator killed, if you don’t give me all you have, I said wordlessly.
Look you are such a hot shot operative, we are going to give you a shot. Do what you can, with what you have. When it is over, we will all know where we need to go. You might just decide that we do know best after all. Tell no one who you are working for, otherwise do what you have to do.
In the hidden part of my mind, I knew that something wasn’t right. Sure it was some kind of test, but it just didn’t make sense to risk the life of a friend of the agency on an untested nonexistent network.
You have five days in which to figure out what to do to best protect the senator. So you better get with it. We will give you any support we can, within our evaluation test perimeters. I was getting fucked and I knew it.
I left Sylvia working on the Real Estate projects, while I pulled all the information on the senator that I could from the internet. I got his picture and basic information. I also ran the background information in the public files through a less known set of programs to check him out a little deeper. I had access to those programs since the changes. I got more, but still came up with nothing to give me a hint who wanted him dead. The who could have told me how they would likely try to do it.
If he was attacking the drug cartels, then they wanted him dead, no doubt. They where the easy answer. They also were not finesse guys. They would just blow a car along the side of the road as his group of runners passed it. There wasn’t a lot I could do about that in five days.
That just didn’t seem right. I would have expected them to just cut their losses . With the kinds of damage the senator could do versus the amount of shit a hit like that on American soil would bring down on them, it seemed like a stupid move. Those guys where crude and insanely violent at times but I doubted that they were stupid.
I couldn’t imagine that a scenario like that would be much of a test. It certainly wouldn’t give the farm a hint as to what I could do operating alone. Hell, if I were running with the senator, I might not even survive. They sure had a hell of a lot of time and money invested in me. I suppose they could have decided that I was hopeless and expendable. They might not care that it was a stupid risk since they were planning to eliminate my model.
I thought doing it on my own with my own people was kinda of a cool idea. I couldn’t use any of the retired spies or operatives without putting our arrangements in danger. Technically Slyvia wasn’t one of us. She had been forced to be a source, She was not an operative in any real sense. I thought I could get away with that one. Blevins had never been an operative. He was also about to retire. I had a feeling he might like a little something to keep his mind active after he pulled the pin.
God knows I knew where to find a star struck computer geek. If it came down to who knew what, where, and when, then I needed my own geek. I wondered how Sylvia would feel about doing the geek, if it came to that. Hell if it came to that, I would screw the geek.
I didn’t want to put too much on Sylvia all at once, so I just said, “So how do you feel about the cocktail party? Do you want to tag along as my date”
“I would love to, as long as I don’t have to fuck you,” she said smiling.
“Now, I’m going to have to rethink it. Oh hell come on, I’ll find a curious housewife I’m sure.” I said.
“Oh I’m sure there will be more than one husband and wife team interested. Those are some sick, bored people,” she said.
“Sylvia how do you know so much about these clowns. Please don’t tell me you are a fan.”
“TV was a big part of my learning the American speech and customs,” she said.
“No wonder you are so fucking warped,” I said.
“Me warped, you are saying that just because I said I wouldn’t fuck you,” she said.
“Of course I am,” I said smiling. “So we need to go buy something to wear. Everyone at that party probably saw my Emmy Dress,” I didn’t tell her that I had the CIA credit card. There was no sense complicating things.
“Tomorrow after school would be good,” She said.
“Tomorrow it is. Now call Peter Gordon and invite him to the Cloak and Dagger tonight,” I said.
“Why?” She asked.
“Because we are about to see how good a computer Geek he is. Also how good a horse trader.” I suggested.
“Okay but please don’t do anything to hurt him. He seems like a nice man,” she said.
“Boy, he seems like a nice boy,” I corrected her. “Vlad and Blevins are nice men.”
“You are so mean,” she said and I wasn’t sure if she meant it or not.
“Yes I suppose that I am. I am going to work on that, it you help me.
Sylvia left for home with a promise to call me once she arrived. I was not ready to forget the boys in the hood just yet.
I gave her a couple of hours to rest and prepare herself for the ordeal of entertaining the geek, before I drove over to pick Sylvia up. From her small condo we headed on down to the Cloak and Dagger.
I noticed that she was wearing a sweater and skirt for her trip to the Dagger. I imaged that it was because she would be in my Woody, and not riding on the scooter. I wore jeans and a sweatshirt, because it is what I wore almost exclusively when in Aster. Besides, I wan’t the one tasked with entertaining the Geek. I didn’t tell Sylvia why we were going to recruit him, and she didn’t seem to care.
When we arrived, the geek had not arrived. We had time to fix drinks for ourselves before he showed. “Put her drinks on my tab,” I said laughing. There were no tabs at the Cloak and Dagger, because all the booze belonged to the individual members and all the other things were paid by out dues. The only money that changed hands in the club were the Timmie tips. I was pretty sure that she made good money.
I drank my dark brown beer, which wasn’t quite bock, but was close. I only drank it because people expected it of me. I really could have been drinking coffee for all the good it did me. The taste was bitter like coffee, which was good since I liked that taste in beverages.
“So, do you mind if I hang out here, even if I’m not anyone’s guest these days?” she said.
“Oh I think for a while you can be my guest, then you might have to either join, or move down to the Cop Out. You know this really isn’t your kind of place. All the people here have very shady pasts and yours is much better.”
“I don’t know about that,” she said.
“Oh, I bet you never ever killed anyone?” I asked.
“No, I never did. I bet you have?” she replied.
“More than I would care to admit, even to myself.” I said. “My only defense, and it isn’t much of one, is that at the time I thought they needed killing.”
“Just to change the subject, how much can I spend on the dress?” she asked.
“You can spend as much as me, but you can’t look better,” I informed her.
“If I were you, I would not worry about that. I am a peasant,” She said.
“You have a gorgeous body, that’s why those men were willing to pay for your company,” I suggested.
“Well thank you, but it was more because I give a great blowjob, I’m told.” she said.
“Hey, I do as well, or so I’m told. Lets not let some freak talk us into a contest.” I laughed at the thought, and Sylvia did as well.
“I might have the better body, but my face is pudgy, she said.
“But you have much better hair. My hair is like straw but limp. if that is possible.”
“I don’t know, but I have seen you on television and you have great wigs,” she said with a laugh. Even though she had not finished even the first drink, she seemed to be in a really good mood.
Peter Gordon came in while we were giggling like school girls. It was all about screwing for reasons other than romance. I was telling her about screwing for information. “I am pretty sure that it isn’t romance when a guy says, ‘I will tell you, when a certain thing will happen, but I want to fuck you first.’”
“What do you say,” she asked.
“I say, sure, as long as I don’t have to pretend to enjoy it. They never seem to get it, so they always got it.” I broke into laughter. Just then I looked up and saw our geek Peter. I waved him over. Timmie approached to check him out. “Timmie this is my friend Peter Gordon. He will be meeting me here now and then.”
“Very well Ms. Stone but I got to say he don’t look like your type. Way to clean cut for you.” She said it, then waited to see what I would answer.
“I’m trying to upgrade my image. You know Maxine 2.0,” I said with a smile.
“Nice of you to invite me. I have been watching all your TV shows and reading all the gossip columns since Saturday. You have a lot of fans Ms Stone.”
”Thank you,” I replied.
“By the way I have more than one simulation game. I realized when I got home that I had said you could be Stonewall Jackson. I realized that we were talking about the Gettysburg version of the game. Stonewall Jackson was not at Gettysburg, but he is in an earlier versions of the game. If you wanted to be any of those generals or officers you could be.”
“Thanks for the clarification, but honestly sweetie, I didn’t know the difference,” I said with a smile.
The cloak and dagger was about 75% full. Even so I knew only a few people. There were a lot of expats living in Aster. I didn’t know them all. Even if I knew one member of the family, I for sure didn’t know them all.
I introduced him to Vlad and Anya. He loved that. He knew them from the TV show. Then I introduced him to Leon and The Dancer since they were in for a glass of wine after dinner. After that I went from table to table with him in tow. I just told the occupants, “This is Peter he is a friend and a computer geek, so be nice to him. I don’t want any of you challenging him to a duel or anything.”
Most of of us had tended to work in small groups. I had continued to socialize with the members of my group, but some of the others had branched out to former enemies. They shared some things in common, even if the experiences were on different sides of the line of scrimmage.
After he met everyone I tried to read him. He seemed star struck, but it was more with the experience than any one person. I wasn’t quite sure how to capitalize on that.
I took a chance, “So Peter what have you been up to since our last meeting?” It was a Hail Mary pass into the end zone, since I was short on time. If he had said, “Nothing at all to be honest, just checking out my game.” I would truly have been fucked.
“Actually I spent some time trying to fit one of your adventures into a simulation game. Don’t tell on me since my lawyers haven’t looked it over to see what my copyright status is. You probably don’t even know who owns the copyright to those stories.” he said.
“No I don’t, but you can bet your ass Jennifer does,” I said.
“Exactly, before I delve too deeply into your amazing life, I would need to check all that out,” he suggested.
Tell me Peter, wouldn’t you rather be part of one of the adventures from the beginning? A real ‘who is gonna do it and how do we stop them’, kind of adventure?” I asked.
“Hell yes, I would do anything to follow you around,” he said.
“Not follow me around Peter, be part of it all. I have a job which Sylvia and I are about to start. One part of that job is a body guard gig. I just don’t who is trying to kill my client. Without knowing who, I don’t have a clue how they might come at us. How would you like to be sitting dead in the middle of the gig from day one? Day one being today.” I said it and looked at his eyes.