I sat back in the chair.
It was one of those chairs reserved for quite, discreet talks and lots of comfy places to cradle my tired old body. She came back with the drinks we had ordered and 2 cigars. I was always amazed when she lit up like the old pros we were. I drank deep, lit my cigar and settled back for the questions I knew were coming.
I had arrived at home, bruised and my left arm in a sling to what I expected. My wife met me at the door and promptly began to pepper me with questions about what had happened. That lasted only until I got to the part about leaving again for a day trip that evening. She was not a happy camper….
I explained to her that I had fallen down during my trip, down a stair case at an old church I had been touring. I had a coke in my hand which promptly broke and cut my arm. Bouncing down the stairs was responsible for the bruises. This was not out of the ordinary for me, I was always a little clumsy, or so she believed, and she knew I liked to visit old buildings and see the architecture. The next day trip was not as easy, I had to explain the general was going before congress and needed my review and input and generals usually got what they wanted. This had happened before so it kind of fit the bill. (Sorry generals, but better my wife is mad at you than me). I was off that evening with fresh clothes and a promise to come back safe and sound. This trip was a trip to a hotel we used on rare occasions to meet in person. It was very public and secure.
“Well?” she said. She was our current boss and quite good at what she did.
“Sorry, I was thinking about yesterday. What did you ask?” I questioned.
“I want to know how you got out of your predicament. Is your identity blown or are you good to continue working?”
“I was not really sure I was blown until I set up the trap and he showed up. I would have guessed he would have been more wary but maybe he was not on his best game either.
I lured him to the park by sending that open message the week before to your email dump. I knew you would not react to it; but I was positive he would if he was watching. Sure enough, he understood what the message was and came on time. It also served to let you now I was possibly compromised.
I was not sure he knew me by sight so I camped out on a bench in the open, waiting for what might be real trouble. He came by the bench and walked to view the carrousel not reacting to me sitting there although I had nodded to him as he walked by. That told me he was after a person whom he did not know by sight. He stood over by a garbage can waiting for me to show up as suggested in my email. I walked over to the garbage can to place my McDonalds bag in it. I walked by and bumped into him with the needle. He reacted with a small knife he had and that accounts for the arm. Luckily the drug is quick acting and his movements were not that grandiose. We were not noticed as I “helped” him to sit on the bench and call 911 to report him “fainting”. I searched his pockets after announcing I was looking for ID, they teach you to say that in first aid class, and it gave me the perfect opportunity to collect information. I obtained his keys and wallet and left to collect any information, etc… that may be incriminating. It was a clean sweep and we have nothing to worry about from here. I am sure I am clean now and can continue but I will use the appropriate protocols to make sure. I finished my mission and returned home yesterday before coming here.”
“And how exactly did the message lure him there? It was just a picture of the place and some girl along with the date and time to meet at our favorite place, no location, no signs, etc….”
I laughed. “I was not sure it would really work. Most people don’t know or remember that smart phones will geocache any picture you take unless you turn that feature off. They tag the picture with its location and anyone with a GPS can find it.
I bought a smart phone to use and took that picture before sending it to you. When I left the hotel I left all electronics there as usual when you suspect tampering, knowing it would be immediately wiped without the right password. I used an open credit card not taking any extra precautions and used the same name I used at the hotel so I could be tacked, giving enough time for them to check records. They would know I needed another one since I left my old one there. This allowed them to think I was stressed and making mistakes along the way. The girl was just an innocent bystander.”
“I think you were lucky this time. Write up your report and plan to go back for some remedial training after your arm has healed.”
Remedial training I thought as a cold shiver ran down my spine. How was I going to explain the bruises and time that would take I wondered.