The cell phone was the key element of the plan. It was the silent witness to all of it. Misdirection and illusion. Remember that. Always.
I walked out of the adult novelty store and cut a few blocks over to the targeted hotel, walked in the front door. I took off my coat and dropped it at the security station, then walked briskly out the front door despite the puzzled inquiry from the security drone, ducked down an alley.
Inside the security team and their government counterparts would be puzzling over the coat and it’s total contents. A well-made mock up of a ceramic gun which was really just a modified toy from Wal-Mart bought for ten dollars. A note that said, “BANG YOU DEAD. By the time you read this you’ve already been paying attention to the wrong plot for a week too long. Nice to meet ya. Srsly tho you fags suck.”
Moving through the alley I quickly jerked the wig and prosthetic makeup from my face and stuffed them in a black garbage bag along with my outer set of clothes. I tied it to my belt. Now dressed in jogging shorts and a plain Old Navy tee shirt I hopped up to a fire escape on the adjoining building and ascended to the third-floor vacant apartment that had been quietly rented out by a nonexistent tenant months in advance. The place was pretty nice, but I wouldn’t have time to enjoy the sparsely decorated vacant pad for more than a minute. I found the bug-out bag in the hall closet and dumped it’s contents. A wallet full of cash, passport, new documentation. Yet another set of casual clothes, all black, and a new wig and black ball cap. A black form-fitting latex mask. I’d only need those for five more minutes, then the next set of clothes which were a bit more refined and therefore less noticeable on this side of town. The change took me under three minutes, but the shave and haircut took a few more. I had plenty of practice buzzing my do in the Army in a hurry for inspections.
After securing all the old gear, hair, and trash in a metal trash bin in the kitchen I dumped a handy bottle of acid from the bag over all of it, thereby destroying all associated DNA. After checking my personal smartphone to be sure it had all the necessary encryption software installed and functioned properly, as well as being fully charged, I dumped the silent witness into the acid bin with the rest of the evidence. Sure, you can have it. Good luck getting anything out of it.
One more trip to the hall closet and I was set. I picked up the crossbow with an attached coil of nylon rope and cocked the lever. I walked to the north face window and found it open as planned. A cool breeze was welcome after all the sweat I’d built up in the last few minutes. I found my target one floor down and far left across the street and fired. Bullseye. After securing the handle to the zipline I checked the street to be sure I wouldn’t hurt anyone and tossed out about half a dozen smoke grenades. Smoke filled the avenue and horns began to blare and the sounds of shock and awe rose toward me, along with so much smoke that Cheech and Chong couldn’t have determined what the hell was going on. Perfect. I perched on the ledge, said a silent prayer to Ceiling Cat, and flew across to the next secure location, the apartment above a posh downtown eatery.
As soon as I flew into the window I quickly slashed the zipline and tossed it, along with the anchoring bolt, as far back to my left and across the street as I could. I heard it ping off the news stand pretty much below the apartment I’d just left. Good enough. I added the layer of designer clothes over my black ones and made my way to the bathroom. An exposed hole in the flooring revealed the wet wall that would allow me access into the bathroom of Chez Henri via the extensive network of sewage and vent pipes. Fortunately these looked to have all been changed out within the last few years to keep up with changing building codes. Fairly clean, and again, good enough. After dropping into the hole I pulled the red rope that pulled the missing tile on a pulley back across over my head and concealed, at least temporarily, my escape route. A similar secret door allowed me entrance to the handicapped stall in the restaurant where I repeated the same process.
I looked out beneath the stall doors and didn’t see any feet. That was a bonus. Checking my phone and feeds, it appeared everyone had perfectly performed their assigned tasks. I’m a cog in a big wheel, and we’re rolling over and through this bullshit society. A quick view in the bathroom mirror allowed me to fix my hair after ditching the ball cap and latex mask in the wastepaper bin on the wall by the hand dryer. I stuffed in extra wet ones on top just to be on the safe side. I pulled the lint roller from my pocket and got the wall insulation off my clothes. Rolled it in a paper towel with my latex fingerpads (complete with fake prints) and stuffed them in the bin. I’d been wearing the same one for months. Time for new ones. I walked out to a table of old friends waiting for me with a nice spread of food and wine on a white tablecloth.
“Hey kids. You’re looking good, but the food looks better. Sheila you’re more stunning in Barbie doll attire than I would have guessed. Darren, you look better without all the fake blood on you, ya fuckin chomo. No homo, man.”
“Well I must say,” Darren quickly replied, “you look better clean-cut and proper than as a hippie fucktard any day.”
“Just don’t ask me if you can smoke in here. I hate cigarettes, especially at dinner. I’m still not eating anything but the veggies. You guys eat carcass if you want. It’s your body, you live with it. Fags.” That’s my girl.
Alex looked around to be sure we were mostly alone, and raised his glass. The English accent was real, and always came in handy for phone ops even though he’d lived in the States most of his life. “All objectives were completed, we have identified the agent provocateurs and their associates. Our next cruise will be smoother sailing, but I get the feeling the rest of their lives in the undercover business are pretty much over. I hear they all have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts that proclaim their greatness in law enforcement skullfuckery as well as displaying their taste in illegal internet porn to the world. Their bosses may understand, but their wives might not. Tonight we dine with our extended family in France. Cheers!”
We toasted to Us. We toasted to being smarter, not harder. We toasted to the win. In the end, it was simply for the lulz. Next time…maybe not so much. C’est la vie.