-A Writer's Reflection

The Spy Story



“He is a decorated officer and..” A bald man with a thick moustache, at 60, Katich looked authoritative. Looking straight into the eyes of Zasha, he continued after a brief pause, “And well respected among people of this country.”

“Ignorant people.” Zasha snapped back.

The hotel suite, they were in, was a big suite, but not big enough to accommodate three anxious people in tense situation. Katich and Zasha, both high profile intelligence officers, were running out of space to pace around. Ayub, the third habitant of the suite, was rather calm sitting on the couch smoking an e-cigarette. They were not new to the scenario. One could not rise to the top of intelligence community without facing tough decisions and unexpected situations. However, the person who put them into this scenario was extraordinary.
“Are you blinded by your loyalty to Amos?” Ayub had always been direct. He did not hesitate to ask the difficult question Zasha could not. He continued ignoring Zasha’s stare, “Your weekly lunch is not secret.”
“He is my friend and he will remain so till the end of my life, but that has never stopped me from doing my duty and never will. Are you satisfied?” Katich walked up to Ayub. Ayub put his cigarette on the table and stood up.

“No, he doesn’t doubt you, sir,” added Zasha giving reprimanding look to Ayub.

“Not at all, sir. I’m merely stating your emotions taking over your decision,” Ayub added.

“Ridiculous,” Zasha said.

“Well then. Past is past. He’s a decorated officer, but at the same time, he is responsible for the death of 17 of our best officers on foreign soil. For God’s sake, he sold us out, our country,” Ayub could not keep his calm without the cigarette. He sat down and threw his cigarette in his mouth.

“Perhaps one or several more will be sold out in 23 minutes,” said Zasha.

“We develop our intelligence and spy network to protect people and their trust. He has been the most popular spy, the greatest spy of this country. Ordinary citizens look up to him as a savior, a model citizen of this country.”

Ayub interrupted, “A model citizen who’s killing other citizens.” Several years younger and junior, Ayub never hesitated to express his opinion nevertheless. His abilities of quick thinking, aggressiveness and decision-making made him a prodigy. Katich himself trained Ayub as a field officer and Ayub never disappointed Katich.

“Sir we have only 20 more minutes before..” Zasha kept her focus on the situation. She was a true agent devoid of any emotions in her work and always focused.

Ignoring Zasha, Katich asked Ayub, “Why do citizens trust you as a spy or intelligence officer? What are you giving to them?”

“Because they know we’re keeping them safe. We are keeping them alive,” Ayub continued to focus on smoking.

“No they don’t know that. They don’t know anything you do. They believe that’s what you’re doing. We are the only community to whom no one asks for proof. You can say any cock and bull story and they will continue to trust you. To be declared rich, having money is not enough you have to spend it, but spies no proof. Spies or intelligence officers or unsung heroes or James Bonds, whatever you call. The trust has built over centuries on them,” Katich pulled his own cigarette and lighted it.

“So we let 17 people to meet the worst fate, death,” Ayub said calmly.

“If death was the worst then you would not be carrying cyanide with you. Pain is the worst. Everyone associate death with pain and misunderstand death to be the worst. We are responsible to keep that pain away from citizens, physical, mental and emotional. I can not let people’s trust in us go down and let them suffer mental and emotional pain.”

“Sir, 15 minutes.” Keeping track of the time Zasha warned them.

“Ok. I’m going down to have a talk with him. You two sit in a corner and wait for my signal,” Katich explained a one line plan of action. Zasha and Ayub did not argue and watched Katich leave the room. Both younger officers cleaned and left the room after five minutes.

Katich walked downstairs and asked for two cups of tea. Four more minutes passed when he acquired two cups of tea. Katich held the tray from waiter and walked up to an old man in tuxedo sitting near a window. The man did not notice Katich; he was looking outside enjoying sunshine.

“Tea Amos?” Katich offered to Amos.

“Katich! This is a surprise considering today is not Wednesday.” Amos stood up to welcome Katich.
“May I?” Katich asked for permission to sit. He had roughly six more minutes to find a solution to situation. Without wasting any time he quickly sat and spoke to the point, “We will have our weekly lunch on Wednesday, if you promise not kill anymore of my people.”

Amos did not show any sign of surprise. “What took you so long, Katich?” Amos and Katich both smiled. Having known each other for twenty years, they could read each other’s mind. “By the way, I won’t be available for our next weekly lunch on Wednesday, because you’re about to kill me.”

“Why?”

“Really. You don’t know why? You hired me because of my information on them. In reality, I always worked for them. Joining your agency was part of the plan. Rising in the ranks was part of the plan. I was just doing my job,” explained Amos.

Katich gave a deep sigh. “Alas, I was right to suspect you.”

“You were. I could not do anything for almost 8 years until we became friends. We should not be making friends, but then I made one. And you made one,” said Amos.

“My mistake. I made a friend who would have had me killed anytime,” said Katich taking sip of his tea. Amos also took a sip from his cup. Katich had four more minutes to make a decision and sort out the situation. 

“Who did you think obstructed all of your attempts to be a field agent? I could neither have my friend killed nor lose my job.”

“After betrayal of twenty years, you’re saying you’re my true friend and you looked after me. Well, thank you.” Katich took a big sip of his tea while staring at Amos. Katich had three more minutes to finish his tea. He didn’t know who was coming to receive information from Amos. The only way Katich could ensure Amos drank most of tea, was by keep drinking his own.

“You are my true friend. You are giving me pleasure of my favorite tea and a nice conversation. So be a true friend, get your gun out and shoot me. You know I don’t carry a cyanide and I want to die. I can not carry this anymore. I’m tired of shutting my emotions,” First time in his career Amos lost control of himself. He gulped down all the tea and put down cup so hard that it developed cracks.

Katich smiled slightly. “I won’t. You will follow the process of law like any other traitor.”

“It took you killing of seventeen of your best agents to track me down?” asked Amos.

“No. I knew for a while. I wanted to know why you were leaving clues for me. If you didn’t want you could have never been caught,” said Katich.

“Right you are. I’m the best spy there ever has been. You know the reality. It’s not these covert operations or dodging surveillance or meticulous planning that makes spying difficult. No, they are the easiest part. It’s the stress, doubting everyone, having no friends make spying difficult. I am lucky enough to have made one true friend. I’m tired of my life, but I am not capable of ending it myself. I’m asking my one true friend, the only personal investment of my life, to kill me, to end my misery. I have provided enough trail to you to prove me rogue. No law will do any harm to you.” Amos let his emotions out first time since Katich had known Amos.

“By betraying this country, this organization, you betrayed me. I’m not doing you any favor,” Katich declared.

“Now I understand what took you so long. You were worried about citizen’s trust in the system. Nothing is changed. If you take me in, people will lose trust in the system and your organization. Besides you know very well, you won’t be able to get anything out of me so what’s the point of going through pain of arresting and putting me to the trial,” plead Amos.

“Time. I will run evidence against you in public, a media campaign. I know I will lose trust for short term, but long term all the anger will be directed to you, a person.” Katich was close to his goal, but he had only fifty more seconds. He signaled Ayub and Zasha. If more people were around Amos, his contact would not approach Amos. Zasha and Ayub approached Katich. Amos looked at them and smiled, “No favor for a friend then?”

“No favor for a traitor,” said Katich. “May I introduce you to Ayub and Zasha?”

“Nice to meet you. I know them of course. They have been..” Amos stopped talking. Smile vanished from his face. His eyes lost focus. He looked at Katich briefly, put his right hand on his chest and collapsed to his right. 

Ayub put his fingers on Amos’ neck, “Dead sir.”

Katich stood up. “Good. Destroy these cups. Make sure, no autopsy. Give him all the respect. Ask police to take my statement. He died of a heart attack. He was a decorated officer. He deserves all the respect. Is that clear?”

“Yes sir,” said Ayub.

“Why not shoot him and go to all this trouble?” asked Zasha.

“He lived his life on his term, betrayed everyone and wanted to die on his own terms. He died on his terms as well. I didn’t want to have him last pleasure of being aware of his victory,” said Katich and walked away.
The Spy Story The Spy Story Reviewed by Mihir on 11:12:00 PM Rating: 5

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