Author : Andrew Hawkins

The meeting was in a small stale office of the Pentagon, the two crisp suits shifted in their seats as I came in. I was tall clean shaved in a comfortable cream jacket, silk shirt, tie and custom leather shoes worth more than minimum wage makes in a year. They looked at me with uncertainty, no doubt I defied their expectations.

I opened with confidence, catching my interviewers on the back foot “Good afternoon, I am Mr Ross, you would be Agent Adrian Cole and Agent Maria Fernandez, shall we begin?”.

Adrian was hesitant but to her credit Maria took me in her stride, she must have been a few years older than her partner, clearly the more experienced of the two.

“Of course Mr Ross, now I just want to make certain you know what’s involved here. Your duties will include…” I cut her off with a wave of my hand, damn I love freaking out these Yale types.

“Agent Fernandez, I am perfectly aware of what is involved, the documents on the project were quite comprehensive. You are already aware of my previous employers, so let me cut to the chase. Finding highly trained government agents with high level access is easy. You can throw a brick in DC and hit a dozen. I have Graceful level clearance, two grades above your own. I am certified to know national secrets that would start wars if they got into the wrong hands and I have 20 years with a flawless record for my tact not to mention intensive torture resistance training with the US Marines and the British SBS, I am a rare commodity.”

I slid a crisp white sheet of paper across the table with a 6 digit number on it and relished the looks on their faces.

“Finding janitorial staff with the same clearance is significantly harder, hence my fee. Trust me Ma’am none of those suits will be willing to clean up alien substances off the laboratory floor or unclog the toilet that the Head of Project 12 was using yesterday and your average cleaning staff won’t be able to keep sufficiently quiet about the work involved or be able to spot a class 1 bio-hazard leak. I think you will find my services and record for discretion are well worth my fee.”

Agent Cole scowled in silence, but Fernandez simply nodded.

After a long pause staring at the number she met my gaze “Your fee will not be a problem, It will be a pleasure to work with you Mr Ross.”

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