The wheels touched down at 8:57 am local time, three minutes ahead of schedule. The nine and a half hour flight from Vancouver to Geneva was smooth and uneventful. The little doll the Lufthansa flight attendant had given me reminded me that it was my birthday. The wine she served was superb. But I was focused on this trip that would hopefully allow me to enjoy many more birthdays at home with my family. I was completely within my own world as we flew towards the rising sun. Even my 4 month old baby boy who waited at home for me would benefit from this trip if all had worked out as planned, provided I don't get a bullet in the head.
The Swiss customs and immigration people seemed as if they were expecting me. I breezed almost effortlessly through their checkpoints without even a question or a second glance. The Swiss were always so efficient when there was money involved. How did they know that there country would be host to one of the biggest private transactions of the year? Next, a fast Taxi to the Churchill Hotel where I can rest and collect my thoughts before this very important meeting due to take place in the next day or so.
As I laid on my bed in jet lagged induced semi-consciousness my mind drifted off to the sounds of the BBC and more mindless babble about the current war and who said what to whom and the high level meetings that always followed. Images and voices relived over and over in my mind of the events which had led up to this meeting. The previous six months had been filled with new names, places and people. Little did I know that within a year and a half I would be bankrupt and living on a Maryland farm outside of D.C.
I hate Geneva. It was expensive, colorless and boring. This trip was no different than the others. The food was tasteless; The people were unfriendly but courteous. And this obsession with time drove me crazy. Once again I was alone in the loneliest city on Earth. But for the first time I was going to be in the company of others. Harry J. and Joe D., my Agency contacts, were here waiting to meet with me and my Italian clients who were driving in by car from Italy.
But things never did go as planned in my world. And this time was no different. I was an unpaid agent for a major financial group who were unidentified but had tentacles around the world. Later on Harry J. would remind me that the octopus could reach out and touch me if I opened my mouth about our dealings. Ouch Harry! I thought we were friends. (But we were not friends. I was only the key to a lock that he needed to open.) But any ways despite his warning and threat I went on with the meeting and made a note to myself. "Keep mouth shut". Harry J. and Joe D. were using me to get them into places that only my naiveté could. And for this I almost got my head blown off.
I thought it had been my brains or handsome looks that would make me a success. But the truth was my stupidity is what kept me alive and my ignorance is what opened doors. In a world full of crooks stupidity can sometimes be a life saver. I had entered the black world that was filled with spies, money launderers, operatives, killers, liars, thieves and Jesuit priests. My world was one of money, deception, mind control and technologies that were the stuff that science fiction is made of. A place where everyone new everything about me and I knew nothing about them. From the hopes and dreams of a young boy to the fears and tragedies of a grown man, I walked the thin line between greed and power.
In a few hours I would take part in the closing of a $1.5 Billion deal between the octopus some rather right wing extremist from Italy. May God have mercy on my soul.
Chapter 2 - Recruitment
I was first recruited by the Agency when I was 7 years old.