We Were Marked For Death

“You may have heard of Henry Peterson, who was the best agent my agency ever fielded. He did deep cover in the Zone as a legitimate perfume and cosmetics traveling salesman, on a company payroll, to gain access to the houses of the politically powerful, and he placed custom made microdatapads there for my agency to record their conversations. For five solid years he carried that implanted live GPS and the 4 police agencies of the Zone had a complete record of his movements for every day he was there. He was our best, and he died in service. I went into deep cover knowing that. Our best had died in service.

“My friend Julie tells me that I was the most productive agent in her entire tenure, and her tenure, though it had it’s ups and downs, was the most productive of good hard intelligence of any of the 3 GLCIS Chiefs of Service. Despite that, my country betrayed us.

“We were marked for death in a way that made it perfectly clear that the President of Great Lakes Consortium himself had to have signed off on the death warrant. This was for no reason other than that we had memories of secrets which every former Chief of Service, and every former deep cover agent, had kept secret up to now. We were to be killed by our own agency not for what we did, but for what we might do, despite the fact that we merely lived quietly, as roommates, together.”

I let that settle in.

“To escape we had to implement plans made by Julie long before to obtain valid GLC passports and refugee visas under another name to flee to Pacifica. When you’re the Chief of a spy agency like Julie, you can do that, but don’t any of you try it at home.”

As I paused, I could see the slow realization filter through the audience that I was doing a little deadpan teasing. Legs and bottoms that had stayed perfectly still started shifting quietly for comfort.

“David was there to welcome us and help install us in a safehouse. Now, of course, the price of this hospitality was the GLCIS secrets we brought with us. So not only am I a whore, a Madam, a spy, and a killer, I’m also a traitor.” Again I was silent for a moment while that was sinking in.

“David or Angela have probably told you that we three “real spies”; myself, Julie, and the original Madam of my whorehouse, Elizabeth, who was also my teacher in sex for hire, talk extremely straight and tough, without sugar coating or evasion of what we really mean. One or the other of them, have probably also told you that we are as tough as we talk. They’re right.”

“We’ve lived lives of chronic fear; Elizabeth and I are, and always will be, criminals from Chicago, though we both worked in the Matriarchal Zone where whorehouses were legal and government subsidized. So she has only one Chicago Police rap sheet from well over 50 years ago and I have none at all.

“All of us have had direct contact with the Chicago criminal milleu, from the gangsters of The Outfit, who’ve run the Chicago crime world for more than 150 years, to the vilest of street low lifes. We all have many times committed felonious assault with intent to harm, and criminal battery, by beating people with straps, as prison guards in the Zone do. By beating them until they couldn’t sit for weeks or, sometimes, couldn’t even walk for more weeks due to the long term pain. All three of us, at one time or another, also endured such beatings as a part of our lives and our spying.

“Finally all three of us are killers who have the bodies of other human beings on our conscience. I stress this because I’m sure you’ve already learned the major narrative from your boss Angela of the bombing and shoot-out we survived in one of PI’s safehouses. But you will be encountering people who are spies for the rest of your career, and it is important that you understand the human costs of spying and the human motivations of the spies who do it.”

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