Chapter 2

Copyright© 2010 by Michael Wolfam

"Got you now, you thieving bastard. I fucking knew it." The muscle-bound man pounded the keyboard triumphantly, freezing the offending image on the large monitor in front of him. He rubbed his eyes wearily. Sometimes, being head of security was a real bitch. But after more than five hours of pouring over surveillance footage, he had finally found the proverbial smoking gun.

As he stood and stretched, the man known as Max the Enforcer looked around the small, windowless room. He liked the isolation the bunkhouse command center offered. His own personal fortress of solitude, complete with shag carpet. Only the glow of two computer monitors and a bank of telephones kept him company. The small army under his command, the one that normally swarmed the bunkhouse, was off on their assigned duties and this allowed him the rare opportunity to escape the charade that was his current life. The melodic strains of Handel's Rinaldo swelled through the room, stirring his soul. He could speak six languages without a hint of an accent. The ability to understand Italian Opera was his reward for the effort it took to reach that level of proficiency.

Max the Enforcer was simply another language, a tool, a method for blending in. No one had called him by his real name in over fifteen years. To everyone who knew his true name, he was dead, lost in an operation deep in a godforsaken Columbian jungle. Now, for the time being, he was Max the Enforcer. From experience, he knew that if one looked the part and spoke the part, no one questioned who you really were. The CIA trained him to run black ops. Because of this, he preferred to be faceless, efficient and deadly. But his current position required people to know and fear him. The pay and power afforded him was worth the burden of playing this character.

He paused the music, pulled out his satellite phone and dialed a number he'd committed to memory long ago. Storing numbers in his phone was too big of a risk. His phone had been specially modified to erase any numbers the moment the call ended. Like the rest of the organization's phones, his connected to a Korean satellite using heavy encryption. It rang eight times before the man at the other end answered.

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