[PI] Agency- FirstChapter- 3,690

Burj Al Arab Hotel

Dubai, UAE

14 Sept. 2009

Radio Static

"Lotus this is Command, how do you read me?”

“Loud and clear Command.”

“Roger, you are cleared to initiate the operation, confirm upon completion, How Copy?”

“Copy All, I’ll be in touch.”

“Oriana?”

“Yes?”

“Be careful.”

     Hassan Al-Ghoul waddled through the lobby of the luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel. A gluttonous man, Hassan exhibited greed in all aspects of life. A Saudi prince with an appetite for women and fancy things. In the years since the U.S. started wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Hassan had capitalized on the U.S. need for natural resources, and the Insurgents need for armaments.

     Hassan provided discounted oil to the U.S. government in exchange for a seat at the table. The U.S. government needed some heavy hitters in its ‘Coalition of the Willing,’ and saw no reason not to divulge supply routes and operations plans to Hassan in exchange. What the U.S. government didn’t know, was that Hassan was not only providing small arms and explosive ordinance to their enemies, but also briefing them on operations across both theaters of war. While extremely cautious and overly paranoid, someone took notice of Hassan’s extra-curricular activities, and was determined to collect.

“Mr. Hassan, Welcome to the Burj Al Arab! We have you in a stunning suite with a beautiful view of the Persian Gulf, my assistant Najib will take your things and show you to your room. Please, enjoy your stay.”

     She watched with calculated eyes as the manager handed Najib the hotel key, room 422, she noted. She started to stand up, but hesitated; moments later three burly men entered the hotel and followed Hassan. Ori Mizrahi stood up, adjusting her skirt and collecting her things. She strutted towards the desk, thrusting her hips as her heels clicked the floor.

“Good Evening Ma’am!”

“Good Evening Sir, I don’t have a reservation, but was wondering if you had a room for me for the night?”

“Wh-, Yes of course! I can book you in one of the newest rooms on the first fl—“

“I was thinking something with a view of the gulf, perhaps not too high.”

“Let me see, we—ah yes! 322 is currently being cleaned, we could have it ready for you in an hour!”

“Perfect.”

     The hotel bar was quite extravagant, full of overpriced paintings and LED lighting across every edge of the bar. She took a seat at the bar, acknowledging the bartender’s kind smile as she settled in. She checked her makeup in her compact as she sipped her sangria. “Not bad old girl,” she thought. The skirt and the heels made her feel young again, a week over fifty and she could still pass for late thirties. Her long tanned legs set the stage for ample breasts, and were polished off with an exotic and mysterious face. She tracked the bartender’s eyes, as they lifted from her cleverly exposed cleavage to the entranceway.

“Mr. Hassan! What a pleasure, what may I offer you!”

“Let’s make it something expensive shall we?”

His eyes caught olive skin, examining every lovely curve, fawning over her attractiveness.

“Good Evening Miss, do you know who I am?”

“I can’t say I do.”

“I am Prince Hassan! Perhaps you’ve heard of me?”

“Can’t say that I have, goodnight sir.”

     She lugged her things behind her back to the lobby. He wasn’t supposed to see her. As she keyed the button for the third floor, she began to sweat. The operation had just begun, and she was already possibly compromised. Tonight wasn’t her first time, she had run ops before, but never for them.

“Command this is Lotus.”

“Go Ahead.”

“Compromise probable, target interaction in the bar, do I proceed?”

“You chose this target, with a reputation like yours it should be a cakewalk. Finish the mission and return to Command.”

“Will Comply.”

     She unzipped her luggage, revealing a silenced P90, semtex, and an assortment of tools. As she slipped out of her formal attire, and into a night black jumpsuit, she eyed an umbrella shaped device tucked neatly under the semtex. The GH776 was a device used for detecting vocal vibrations through structures, producing crisp translations of conversations through even the thickest of obstacles. She stood on the dresser, attaching the device with adhesive to the roof of room 322 in the center of the room.

Two hours later, a sudden noise from the device jolted her upright. As she adjusted the volume, Hassan’s voice came into range with unimaginable clarity.

“Salam Alaykoum, I have the next set of targets..”

“Yes, a Marine Battalion will deploy to Anbar next week.”

“I’m having trouble with the mortar munitions, they may not make it in time.”

“I understand, I have deposited 10 Million into the account for the trouble, I hope we remain business associates.”

     The sound of the receiver being slammed into its base startled Ori once more. She had no way of knowing where Hassan’s security would be in the room, and decided to improvise her breach with estimations. Oriana applied semtex on three different locations, making sure the amount was just enough to achieve her goal. She was going to collapse the roof, dropping Hassan and whoever else may be there right into her lap.

     She collected her weapon and the detonator and sprinted into the bathroom to seek cover. She removed tactical tape securing the detonator’s trigger, and checked her weapon. As she steadied her nerves, she peaked out the door and through the open windows into the night sky. The diversion she needed was still fifteen minutes away.

     The first firework screeched as it rocketed towards the sky. She could hear cheers from below as the newlyweds enjoyed their celebration. The sky was a hazy mosaic of ruby reds and clover greens. It was time.

     The explosion was quite bigger than she expected. The vibrations shattered the bathroom mirror, and the room quickly became filled with the soot and smoke of drywall and other materials. She coughed as she entered the room. On the bed lay one of the guards, his pinstripe suit dyed white from the soot in the air. He was unconscious. She canvased the scene, another guard laid motionless against the desk. Hassan Al- Ghoul was coughing, his head a bloody mess with lacerations across his face. She could see his disgusting fat through rips in his undershirt.

“Hassan Al-Ghoul”

He looked up at her dazed, his pupils as big as saucers.

“Wh-, What is this?”

“We are Order, We are every nation, and We are no nation.”

     The P90 she was holding ejected 4 spent casings. Hassan collapsed on the floor with a thud, quickly producing a pool of crimson blood on the pearl hued carpet. She retrieved a handheld digital camera from her clutch and documented his demise. As she was collecting her things, she was thrust onto the ground by Hassan’s last line of defense. The 300 pound behemoth had launched him-self through the gaping hole in the roof onto her back.

     She reached for her weapon, and as her fingers slipped off of the buttstock, the guard slung her back by her hair. She frantically elbowed his face, connecting, and producing a spurt of blood from the man’s nose. Startled, he released her hair and conceded room. She delivered a crushing kick to his kneecap. She grabbed a piece of jutted steel lying on the bed, and delivered it purposefully into his neck. He let out a death-rattle, and in moments he was gone.

She snapped the fasteners of her parachute on as she reached the window.

“Command, this is Lotus. Objective complete. I repeat, confirmed kill.”

“Roger Lotus, Come on home.”

Oriana pulled herself onto the window seal, looking out into the milky Persian Gulf. She closed her eyes, and jumped out into the night sky.


Agency Black Site

Gulf of Oman

30 Nov. 2012

     I know what you’re thinking, ‘Agency Black Site.’ Well relax, it’s not that agency—at least not entirely. I doubt the CIA ever has had it this good. You see, this floating container carrier belongs to the agency. A motley collective of the world’s most used and abused assets. It’s where assets and spooks get sent when it’s time to be put to pasture. The CIA, Mossad, Spetnaz—hell, even some organizations you’ve never read about or dreamed existed.

     The Agency isn’t some sanctioned task force, it’s a different beast. One without political and religious obligations, a place where former foes quickly learn to work together. The people they employee share a wealth of operational experience, from the Cold War to the Middle East, and they’re all here for one reason—money. My estimation is that they do it to stay active, to stay relevant. When life catches up to them, and their organization decides to stick them behind a desk, they retire and re-up with the world’s deadliest cabal.

     You may be asking yourself what exactly I’m doing here, or how I ended up in god knows where chained to the hull of this vessel. I wish I knew. I’m not a trained Mossad assassin, or MI6 spook, I’m just a bartender out of North Florida. If we’re going to be completely honest with each other—and the predicament I’m in surely warrants it—I’m no boy scout either. I served with 6th Marines in Afghanistan on three deployments, was discharged a few years ago, and have been boozing my way through college at Florida State.

     At least the guy who’s been waterboarding me daily speaks English, I couldn’t imagine being tortured by a Frenchman. I can’t say for certain how long I’ve been here, only that it feels like an eternity. I do remember how I got here. A cliché case of ‘wrong place, wrong time.’

The rusted steel door swung open suddenly.

“Are you ready to talk about D.C.?”

“Look, Sir, I have no idea who you think I am or what I’ve done, but I assure you there has been a grave mistake.”

“We don’t make mistakes.”

“I—I swear to god I’m nothing to you guys, just let me go at the next port and I promise I won’t say a god damn thing to anyone.”

“Guards, get the bucket.”

     They say that when an individual gets water-boarded, it creates the feeling of drowning. I can confirm, if I ever get out of this shit I will never swim again. My charming friend you just met is called ‘Grizzly,’ and we have such a blooming relationship. The Grizz is definitely an American, his calf tattoo of the stars and stripes confirmed that suspicion weeks ago.

     It really is hard to keep track of everyone’s name in such a stressful environment. You would think they’d at least allow a pen and paper to make these chit-chats a little more enjoyable. I think I’ll ask. While Grizz is by far my biggest fan, I have met a few individuals who seem to think I’m somehow connected to whatever this shit is.

There’s Ollie, he’s got some kind of ties to Australia.

“Another shrimp on the barby?”

“Fuck off mate.”

waterboarding

Vlad, the stench of piss and vodka suggests he’s Russian.

“When are you going to bring your stash down here? I make a mean vodka cranberry.”

“he’s a real funny one isn’t he?”

waterboarding

Jean Beck, the German.

“Do you want the water again?”

“Please don’t, it’s the wurst?”

waterboarding

     A few others I can’t recall. The sounds of bodies shuffling around the ship suggest there are at least 20 of them. No females yet. Could this get any worse?


National Mall

Washington D.C.

5 Oct. 2012

Radio Squelch

“Nero, Nero, this is Command”

“Go for Nero.”

“Are you in position?—over.”

“Standing by as usual.”

“Roger that, the Major would like to remind you that this is not a kill mission. You are to extract your target and all personnel accompanying him. How copy?”

“Well, that takes away all the fun.”

“Keep your head up, the Major sent Frogger and Carlito in this morning to help with the extraction. Establish personal comms with them on channel 3.”

“I copy all—Nero out.”

     It was a windy October morning in the nation’s capital. The crowds of people had already begun to line up at the reflection pool for the candidate’s speech. The election cycle had been a particularly one-sided phenomenon. The clear frontrunner was Matthew Hudson, a Republican from Iowa with a penchant for tweed suits and loose women.

     Francesco Rossi walked purposefully towards the corner coffee shop. He startled the barista as he barged in unannounced, moving with haste to escape the gusty breeze encapsulating Washington. In the corner, he spotted Frogger and Carlito. He slowly approached them, removing his coat in the process.

“You two stick out like a sore thumb.”

“Happy to see us—eh?”

“Hola Senor Nero.”

     He understood why the Major had sent them. Carlito had spent the majority of his life working for the infamous Juarez Cartel. He excelled at kidnappings—perfect for a snatch and go mission like this. Frogger, was a Canadian and one hell of a driver, he had been a freelancer in his prime, offering his services to anyone with a bank account big enough to compensate him.

“We are going to hit him after the speech, on his way back to the congressional assembly.”

“How much security will this gringo have?”

“Standard Secret Service detail can be expected, but I have a way around that.”

     The gentlemen donned their coats, and stepped out into the howling Washington wind. The Hudson event was already underway, his narcissistic voice echoing sharply through the streets surrounding the Lincoln memorial. Frogger broke off from the troupe, heading South towards the parking deck. Carlito lit a cigarette.

“That shit will kill you.”

“I’m old anyway.”

     Candidate Matthew “Hunk” Hudson was beating a dead horse. All national polls indicated he had double the support of his democratic opposition. His agenda wasn’t original, he still touted a smaller government, pro-life, gun loving, god fearing American future as his hard message. It was his charisma, that handsome face and attractive smile that punched his ticket in the hearts of so many Americans.

Francesco slipped through the crowd.

“AREN’T WE TIRED OF BROKEN PROMISES?”

“DON’T WE DESERVE THE NATION WE WORK SO HARD FOR?”

     The crowd was worked into a frenzy. Hudson was a rock-star, and they believed every lie that belched from his perched lips. His speech was about transparency, about getting a government for the people. Finally, after all these years. What the crowd didn’t know was that Hudson’s ‘no strings attached’ motto couldn’t be any further from the truth. He was a plant. A lie, groomed from day one to be manipulated for gain.

“ONE MORE MONTH TO GO BROTHERS AND SISTERS!”

“THANK YOU, THANK YOU!”

     Francesco made his way towards the motorcade. He had to get there before Hudson’s handshake barrage was finished. He scouted his surroundings, and very quickly placed a tracking device under the lead vehicle. He combed his fingers through his hair, and briskly set off towards the legislative assembly.

“Carlito, come in—over”

“Go for Carlito.”

“3 vehicles, headed your way.”

“How far are you?”

“Approaching extraction point now, estimate 5 minutes until rendezvous”

     Carlito lit a cigarette. The wind had died down over the course of Hudson’s speech, and he was grateful for that. He leaned against a rod iron fence, eyes to the East for the targets convoy. The city was bustling.

     A muscular white male, late twenties with strong features, stepped out of a local breakfast shop onto Liberty Avenue. A group of blacked out Cadillac Escalades keeping tight formation whizzed past him. As he tracked the motorcade with his eyes, he noticed a sanitation truck swerving into oncoming traffic only meters away from them. There was no doubt about it, a collision would happen.

     The first escalade crumbled and was cast aside like plastic. The second vehicle swerved into a store front, shattering the bay windows and sending its customers frantically scurrying. The last vehicle flipped over the first, landing like a broken egg shell on the sidewalk some yards ahead. The smell of oil filled the air.

“Check the vehicles! Leave Security, but grab any member of his staff!”

“God damn Frogger, you could have killed them!”

     Francesco sprinted the last quarter mile to the wreckage site. His age had slowed him down considerably, and he was lucky to of made it at all. He nodded to Carlito, signaling in silence that he would check vehicle two. As he approached the passenger side door, he withdrew his silenced USP, made ready, and clicked off the safety.

“Hudson.”

“Wh- Who are you? We can pay you!”

“Get out of the vehicle.”

His eyes darted to the driver seat, a thick mulatto man had gone through the windshield, and was now smoking on the hood of the escalade.

“Okay! Okay! Please, don’t hurt me!”

“Not Ye—“

     Francesco felt the surge of pain radiate up his side. He turned to face his attacker, a beefy young man wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. He raised his weapon, but was instantly tackled into the rear fender of the escalade. Hudson scrambled out of the vehicle, but stopped suddenly in his tracks. A shot rang out through the crisp autumn air.

“STOP!”

The two men halted their efforts to overcome each other.

“Shoot this mother fucker Carlito!”

“No Casualties, remember.”

Carlito inched towards the men on the ground, placing the barrel of his tech-nine to the temple of the young man.

“Get up, slowly.”

Frogger hopped out of the sanitation truck, and jogged over to the altercation.

“What the fuck is going on here?”

Francesco stood up, dusting glass and soot off of his coat.

“This asshole attacked me, he’s jeopardizing the mission.”

The troupe looked at the young man, panting heavily and shaking with his palms towards the sky.

“I-I was, y—you guys were attacking the”

Francesco drove the barrel of his USP into the man’s skull, rendering him unconscious upon the pavement.


Tallahassee Airport

Tallahassee, Florida

3 Days Earlier.

He hated to see her cry.

“I’ll be back in two months, it’s just an internship Lily.”

     Lily Mizrahi was a sight to behold. Her dirty blonde hair fell lightly on athletic shoulders, her petite frame bared the mark of the sun’s kiss. She was exotic to him, and he was everything to her. She wiped the tears from her eyes, kissed him, and exited the terminal.

     The two had first met last spring on campus. He had approached her after an icebreaker exercise divulged she was studying abroad. She came from Israel, her beauty on loan to the gawking male students for only one semester. He felt the urgency to know her, to be with her—no matter how short the time frame.

     The two shared every waking moment together that spring. When he made love to her, she would hold him as if he would disappear if she let go. He told her about the war, his deployments. She explained how complex a family she had waiting for her in Israel. A mother married only to her job, within the Israeli government. A father and a brother murdered by Palestinians. The two became intertwined emotionally, and dreaded the day she would have to return home.

She barged into his apartment.

“Baby!”

“Wh-? What’s all the excitement for?”

“I just spoke with my mother, she’s agreed to cover all expenses for me to stay!”

     Lily’s mother had supplemented a lifetime of unhappiness with what she knew best—money. The wire transfer wouldn’t fix the years of her loneliness. It wouldn’t erase the grief of her loved ones, but it would suppress those emotions in the here and now—with him.


Agency Black Site

Gulf of Oman

6 Dec. 2012

     The ship groaned as it bested an immense wave. The dungeon hell smelled of rust and condensation. The room was pitch black, and the air was filled with echoes of clanging steel from above. Suddenly, voices could be heard muffled in the distance.

“The Major wants to see him.”

“No shit? About time we put him down.”

“Here he comes.”

The familiar sound of boots clanging down the steel stairs filled the room.

“In here?”

“Yes, Major.”

     The locking mechanism rolled over, the door creaked open upon rusted hinges. A mountain of a man holding a lantern entered the room. The newcomer smelled of salt and stale tobacco. The flickering of the lantern’s flame revealed a scorched face, surrounded by shoulder length locks of grey hair.

“My associates tell me that you refuse to divulge information about the encounter in D.C.”

“I have nothing to say. I saw your guy holding the future President of the United States at gun point. I reacted.”

“Ah, yes. Scott Pelham, 28 years old, served three tours in the Marine Corps—Honorable Discharge.”

“Well, Scotty, we don’t like, nor do we tolerate surprises on other’s behalf. We are in the business of being the Surprisers—not the Surprisees. You’ve put us in quite a predicament. We’ve managed to operate all these years without collateral damage, and it appears today we must break the streak.”

The silhouette of a second figure floated into view. It stood in the doorway, silently but attentively waiting for what happened next.

“Go ahead, Kill me. I’d rather accept my fate on my feet then spend another hour in this hell hole.”

The Major withdrew a 1911 from his thigh holster. The lantern’s flame glistened off its nickel plating.

“I’m glad you understand the severity of the situation.”

He pulled the hammer back, took three steps forward.

“Get on with it. I have nothing to live for.”

The Major raised his weapon, moving finger to trigger. The second silhouette stepped forward, it was much smaller. A feminine voice echoed through the damp chamber.

“Yes he does.”

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