Chapter 5. It’s Personal

“…I was on my first assignment as a rookie agent in Malaysia. It was an unusually quiet day in downtown Penang. Even back then, in the 60’s, there was usually a hustle and bustle about the city. This kind of stillness is a warning sign, by the way,” said The Boss.

“Like the calm before the storm,” said Jackie.

“Yes,” continued the boss. “Now, you have to realize that back then travel was a lot more difficult.”

“Did they have cars back then?” asked Jackie. Jakie kicked Jackie’s ankle and whispered, “Shush! She’s not that old!” under his breath.

“May I continue uninterrupted?” asked the Boss. Following Jakie’s lead, Jackie kept her mouth shut. “Very well, then,” she continued. “I had been stationed there for a month. We had credible intelligence that the villain we called ‘The Crater’ was in town. His M.O. was to take large crates of weapons, separate them into smaller quantities and repackage them using smaller crates. He would then sell the weapons at a higher price per weapon, making a tidy profit for himself.

“Agent D’s flight was to arrive at 6am. It was my job to pick him up at the airport. He had been working on this case for three years and was returning from a deposition in Washington. Agent D was coming on a cargo flight. He was bringing crates full of fake plastic rifles. This was a sting operation.

“Unfortunately, the day he arrived happened to be the day that daylight savings time started. It’s hard enough just to get up that early in the morning. But I had forgotten to move my alarm clock forward too. I got there an hour late.

“Airport security told me that they saw someone who matched Agent D’s description exit the gate, and then he was accosted by five people wearing soccer uniforms. They all grabbed him, threw him into a van, and that’s the last anyone saw of Agent D.”

“And noone tried to find him?” asked Jackie.

“Oh, I went to all the contacts I had, but they didn’t have any information. I tried shaking down the local criminals, but I was just a rookie. I didn’t really know how to do this. The CIA eventually sent me on other assignments, despite my failing this one. When I became The Boss, I sent other agents hoping their fresh perspective could solve this mystery. But so far, nothing. It’s a very cold case.”

“Wow, that must really bug you,” said Jackie.

“You can’t imagine. Every day I wonder how my life would’ve been different if I was there to meet him. You see, Agent D was also my fiance.”

“Hey, I didn’t know that!” exclaimed Jakie.

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