…Archie wasn’t sure he could endure the nun with the paddle on this one.
Pushing the thought out of his mind, Archie opened his laptop and made a decision. He would just make it up. That was it. He couldn’t see traveling to the hinterland of Pakistan/Afghanistan and actually risking his life.
He felt as if he had been liberated as he started typing his cable. He had learned long ago that keeping it brief was best, especially when lying.
Upon completion, he slapped his laptop closed and felt a sense of deep accomplishment – he would still have plenty of time to visit that French restaurant he had seen.
Archie sat wide-eyed and frozen, like the proverbial deer in the headlights. He barely had time to respond before another officer chimed in and spouted out so much detail about some terrorist network that Archie’s head was spinning.
“Um, well Bisaam definitely wants to travel. He’s mentioned Denmark – is that something we can do? Pakistan might be a bit of a struggle for him. I mean, um, financially…” Archie trailed off.
The officers around the table exchanged looks. Henningway just bowed his head for a minute.
“Denmark?” one of the officers said, mouth hanging open in disbelief.
“But Pakistan is closer to Thailand than Denmark,” another officer stated the obvious.
“CTC has the funds. In fact we have excess funds that we have to use or they will be re-appropriated,” a portly guy who appeared to be the Group Chief chimed in, laughing. “You know, everyone wants to get in on the counter terrorism thing these days. It’s where the money’s at.”
Archie knew Barry, Oliver and Allen went way back, but Archie was new to the division. He put on his best kiss-up face and strode over to the group.
“Hey Arch! Did you meet any more ladyboys in Thailand?” Oliver bellowed.
Archie turned a bright shade of red. The group burst into laughter as Oliver and Allen launched into a description of Archie’s activities with prostitutes in Phuket. It was a literal blow-by-blow of events in which Archie could not even remember participating. Besides the lurking dread he felt upon the sudden realization that he had possibly slept with a Thai transvestite, he felt he could almost die of embarrassment.
How could they bring this up in front of the Chief?!
…With blurry images of his nights with random Thai women filling his head, he headed to a local church and dropped off a bag of rice. It made him feel better about himself when he donated to people in need. It made the nun with the paddle go away.
There was a distinct chill in the air and, having lived in Thailand for so long, Archie definitely felt the cold air. His phone chimed with a text from Waan. He still hadn’t told her about his relocation….
“Yes, I was hoping I could pick my next assignment today. I have some big things going on and I think I can coordinate some of my ops with my current assets so there wouldn’t be any turnover required. I could keep them all and still easily run them from Tahiti, or alternatively, Fiji would work.” Archie paused.
Henningway met Archie’s grinning face with a blank stare. It seemed he blinked fifty times.
“Do you speak French?”
“Well, uh, no but… I figured I could get by,” Archie stammered.
Henningway went back to looking at his computer screen.
“It looks like you’ll be coming to Headquarters to serve as…” He trailed off. A look of disbelief came over his typically blank face. “Chief of Operations of this group,” he finished, somewhat reluctantly….
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s REALLY like to work at the CIA, you will have an awakening when you read my books. My series of short reads, or novelettes, Mingling in the CIA, takes readers into the lives of the CIA officers I met during my time there. You’ve met Annie, you’ve met Bloud…..
This time, join me in Thailand for some debaucherous fun! Are you ready to meet Archie?