Books

Chapter 7: C’est la Vie

Due to their history together, Marlene was sent to Paris to backup Pilar during a mission to retrieve sensitive documents from an international money launderer during a house party he was throwing. Mal stayed at home. “’Lena!” Pilar greeted her warmly. Marlene was still smarting from Pilar’s snub of Sophia’s funeral. Pilar kissed her on both of her cheeks, which Marlene returned half-heartedly. ‘Wrong cheeks you’re kissin’, honey,’ Marlene thought angrily. Pilar went into work mode. “Let’s get down to business.” * * * Marlene arrived a few hours before the party. Her cover was as a waitress with the catering company the smuggler – named Ali Xavier – hired for the night to impress his contact list. Using a blonde wig and green contacts, Marlene fit in perfectly with the Halloween theme the smuggler designated for the night. All of the wait staff, regardless of ethnicity, had to be…

Chapter 6: No Women, No Children, No Secret Agents

“Hi, my name is Amy,” Marlene thought quickly. “Hi Amy,” the child replied easily. “What are you doing?” “I’m your new babysitter.” “No you’re not,” the child replied. “You’re dressed like a scary person. You’re bad.” “If I was bad, would I be talking to you still?” Marlene asked, smiling. ‘Keep smiling. Smiling disarms everybody,’ she coached herself. “No. The policemen would be here,” the child thought, smiling warmly in spite of her inquisition. “Right. Anyways, I do work for your father. He gave me the keys to your house and the code to your alarm so I could check on something for him,” Marlene lied. “I was looking for the movie poster he bought the other day.” “The Casha-blanco one?” the small child asked, picking up the cat and stroking it. “Yes, the Casablanca one. Do you know where your daddy keeps it?” “Yeah, he put it in his…

Chapter 5: Play It Again Sam

“Here is your next assignment,” Oliver began, dimming the lights in the Section Seven satellite office in Fairview. It was disguised as a construction agency’s office on the seventh floor of an unassuming small-town skyscraper overlooking the town’s only movie theater. The agency photo of a middle-aged man flashed onscreen. “You are being temporarily reassigned to Project Dragon Head to receive clearance to do the mission.” “This is Richard Murphy,” Oliver began. “He was sent to New York recently to purchase a limited-edition print of the movie poster Casablanca for us at an estate auction. His bid lost.” “What’s the significance?” asked Marlene. “The poster belonged to a Soviet scientist named Ivan Fedorov. He developed technology for suitcase nukes during the Cold War.” “That’s impossible,” Marlene replied. “Suitcase nukes were just an idea. The Soviets didn’t actually develop them, did they?” “Fedorov was tasked to believe they could. He worked…

Chapter 4: The Plot Thickens

“Thank you Syrai,” Aurora Pagano said evenly. “I do my best,” Syrai replied just as coolly. The two women were sitting side by side on a bench in a London park populated by the usual suspects. “What do you know about her then?” Aurora asked after a pregnant silence. “She’s David’s half-sister. She’s been assigned to the Understudy project,” said Syrai carefully, knowing her handler would not like this intel. “That same foolish project they ordered Adrian to create?” she replied scowling. “The very same. What would you like me to do?” Syrai asked. “Keep an eye on her. I have plans for her, now that I know of her true parentage. Continue on with David,” Aurora instructed her. Syrai nodded. They sat in stony silence for a few more minutes before Aurora stood up to leave. Syrai resumed reading her book and didn’t look up to see her boss…

Chapter 3: The Gauntlet Strikes Back

“Adagio, do you copy?” David’s voice crackled in Marlene’s ear. “Roger that,” Marlene muttered. “As we’ve discussed in class, this is simple,” he said, not wanting to say any more than that in case someone was overhearing their chatter. Marlene was walking down the sidewalk in Times Square, her heart pounding and her senses on full alert. She glanced around casually, looking around for the Section Seven agent she would need to 20 in order to complete the brush pass. She didn’t have to wait for long. Suddenly, in her direct line of sight, a well-dressed man lit a cigarette with his left hand. “Subject has been 20’d,” Marlene reported. The jade necklace her mother had given her outfitted with a small microphone, placed by Jacobs and given to her that same morning. “Copy that Adagio. Engage,” David instructed her. Trying desperately to keep her cool, she adjusted her trench…

Navigate