Neon signs were buzzing in a distorted symphony. People filled the streets dressed to the nines; Armed with plastic smiles and disillusion filled minds. My attention was grabbed by bark over the radio of my armored Hummer. A vehicle not really my style, but it was free and one can’t knock free. I stretched and waited for something worth the brain cells of listening. During the first few transmissions the normal dribble, just squawking. I suppose their attempt to fulfill the undying need to feel important, even if it was just for moment. Another moment wasted as we had all the time in the world.
Suddenly, I felt something stick me deep in the gut. Over the radio, they made the announcement that Jamie Bond had gone rogue. Something about that didn’t fit, not even a little bit. JB and I had been through the bowels of some of the nastiest shit that life had to offer. I hadn’t talked to her in weeks; a bit unusual, but not strange. Something had to be on this side of bad if JB had turned. No way could this have happened. She must be in survival mode or something. Whichever was the case, I couldn’t get caught slipping. I needed to get to JB and find out the deal, before she got caught up by a bunch of agents trying to get their bones.
I drove through the streets traffic on my way to a disaster waiting to happen. I figured I use a little help, so I made a stop at the one place that might. I sat there in front of a midtown flat belonging to a deep cover agent with the code name of Remy. JB and Remy dated back to the sandbox. JB told me once, if things went bad and sounded like everything was falling apart to find Remy. I fired up a straight and waited. I hoped it wouldn’t be long for the mystery genie that contained the truth of this mystic maze.
The flat was dark with no signs of anyone stirring. I had no idea what she looked like, but JB always said that I would know her when I saw her. A thick confident Sista that walked with just enough attitude to give you pause before approaching her cold. I waited for a better part of an hour and still nothing. I had put in a call to my team to bring a vehicle more my style. I told to make sure it was stocked with the right equipment. The rookie arrived about twenty minutes later, flashing lights and whatnot signaling to the world that they were doing something other than coming home.
Then I saw her, thick wasn’t a strong enough phrase. This woman was thick on this side of yum and Good God Almighty. She passed the flat without breaking her stride. I could tell that she smelled something was off…all good agents do. I let her pass the Hummer then got out and proceeded to give a soft shadow. I looked off in the crowd and not directly at her. I did my best to keep the hairs on the back of her neck at bay. Many agents make that mistake of following too close, staring hard at their target, or both.
Remy did the alley duck about a ten blocks up. Something I was expecting it. However, I wasn’t ready to hear cocking of the hammer of her weapon once I turned the corner. It was obvious that I had started to get too cocky in my old age. She stood just inside the folds of the shadows; revealing as little possible. I had to start talking fast for my life depended on it. Every syllable carefully thought out. No slips of the tongue. No smart –ass remarks. Knowing that I was about to feel a warm sensation flow through my body, and it wasn’t coming from those thick legs wrapping me either. Then she spoke ….
“Who are you?” she said with calm, but eerie tone, which felt like ice was sliding down my spine. This woman definitely seemed to take a page out of my playbook.
“Khan” I replied, with the same icy tone, hoping that it would back her up on her heels for just a second. A second was all I needed to gain the advantage. However, she was far too good for that.
“You can’t be Khan, he wouldn’t make a rookie move like this” she said stepping out of the shadows just enough for me gain glimpse of her eyes. I imagine many a man had become lost in them. Only to find themselves gasping for their dying breathe.
“Extreme times, call for extreme measures. The word on the street is that JB has gone rogue. I need you to tell what truth is” I said, as I began to walk towards her speaking my deepest sexiest voice. It usually knocked them off their game. Before she knew it, I had her pistol in my hands. Still, I needed to keep my wits about me. Deep cover agents were always highly skilled and ready for anything.
“Tell me about Korea?” she asked, as she put a step in between us. It was just enough space to make me scream with a simple knee raise and hit to the throat.
“Korea, I hadn’t been there is years. I know JB went a few months back. After, she came back we weren’t partners anymore” I said, as I scratched the new crop of whiskers that had spurted up since this morning.
“She believes that you blew her cover over there. Something to do which an unsanctioned gig you pulled off in Costa Rica” She said, with a hint of disgust in her voice and gleam of vengeance in her eyes. I recalled that there had been an agent posing as me in various parts of the world. I thought I had erased him a month back. Obviously, I didn’t erase all the damage. It had leaked in the worst place it could; home. Deception often oozed in the veins of every op. A good agent always stayed a step ahead. But, everyone slipped up from time to time.
“That explains a lot. It explains the distance, the unanswered messages and phone calls. All I can say is that it wasn’t me. I wouldn’t betray a team member for nothing.” I replied, I would have asked her to trust me, but that is only a plea of a guilty soul looking for that moment of redemption. Not only was I too cool for that, but once one gave to guilt it knew no bounds.
“For some reason, I believe you, Khan. Not sure why, but JB rolled with for years, so you can’t be all bad” she said, with a bit of uneasy tone. Remy turned and walked out the alley heading towards the car. I followed wondering if she knew which one was mine. She stopped at the black ’73 Cuda. Then she motioned for the rookie to get out. The kid looked up at me for my approval. I gave him the nod and then he exited the car. Remy stood by the passenger side of the door I walked up to it and opened the door so she could get in. Although it was a different time, Madre Khan had raised me right.