Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Orient Espresso

“WAG #7: Imaginings” This one is people-watching with a twist. Observe a stranger and sketch a brief background for them, including a secret. Then describe why they are in that particular place at that particular time (where you ran into them) and how it will affect their future. Feel free to be creative, but don’t forget to describe the concrete reality that made you pick them in the first place! (Thank you to Christine Kirchoff for this week’s WAG topic!)

It didn't take me long to discover why I was there, of all places; I saw the reason immediately.

I had long ago learned to trust my inner leadings and promptings, whether to action or speculation; and today proved, once again, the unerring efficiency with which these feelings synthesized the infinite data of the world into a focus of feeling in my solar plexus, driving me here on Easter morning.

I took up a position where I could observe unobserved. True to my training, I quickly checked off in my mind the distinguishing features I was taught to look for: Asian, check; hair often pulled back in a tight knot, check; black shirt or t-shirt with "Singapore" written under the device--wings with the head of a lion facing to its right, suggesting the head of an owl when viewed from a distance, check; tan trousers or shorts, check; and, most importantly, the data link device, check and double check.

There were, not surprisingly, other suspicious signs, too. The agent wore sunglasses while inside and he had on brown sneakers... brown?...c'mon... gimme a break. When I saw that I wished I was in the Guise Division and I could have popped him right then and there. (The GD's have ISA-Immediate Sanction Authority-as per a recent memo sent on Good Friday straight from the Director.) He also had an unknown narcotic mixture at the ready. I looked was easy to see why they chose this place. In addition to the free flow of narcotics, I saw literature on off shore travel, safe-haven investing, guns, and military tactics. After this cursory glance, my subject took his DLD (data link device) and made a manual entry; I quickly checked my watch and the glow on the face indicated to me that a high frequency data exchange was in progress. Once finished, he quickly gathered up his things and left; on his way, no doubt, to the execution of his assignment--an assignment whose nefarious aspects I am not at liberty to discuss. I knew what he was hiding so I quickly surmised my situation, dashed off my own notes and transmitted them to the requisite repository, where the published account will effectively neutralize any action presumed. He wont get far.

As he walked away and got into his car, an unobtrusive brown Hundai, clearly in need of a paint job, there was something in his gait that caught my attention. "Wait...I know that guy," I heard myself think; "he' looks too young...but it's probably his son." If I was right, this was the son of Lee Kim, an associate from a job I held briefly just after college. Lee was in the managerial team that had oversight of the project I was working on for a big wirehouse on Wall Street. He didn't have direct oversight of my work, which meant we got along famously; but he was forced out over rumors of corporate espionage not long after I got there. This made alot of sense to me, now; my assignment is being paid for by that company. "I wonder if they're still investigating Kim," I caught myself thinking. "Could be," I replied, "after all, the company headqarters is only a few blocks from here."

I took further account of the place I was in, the narcotics, the literature, and this clearly subversive character. I wondered if it could survive if it didn't cater to this element; Barnes & Noble...what were they thinking?


  1. Wow, I really liked this one. You got into it, and took me right along with you.

    Very well done!

  2. Where's the rest of this? I want to read it!

  3. Interesting read, engaging intrigue, sci-fi-esque complexity. Like mickeyhoffman said, where the rest?!

  4. Great opening. Hope you are taking this forward.

  5. A good read! Interesting twist you created.