This is getting down right ridiculous. Where is the wise Liz Gant when I need her!?
As I rode home that evening on the train that carried me across back under the River, into The City, what stuck in my mind most in the meeting was when Ron mentioned that Assai had made it a point to tell him to look after me.
As good as that news was, what also really got me was when he almost off-handily remarked that Assai was ready to join the Billionaire club. It’s funny, but I never thought of him as a rich man. I know I was being obtuse, but I mean, for God’s sake, I first met him on the subway!
How many billionaires do you bump into underground mixing with the masses, with nary a bodyguard in sight?
And where were his huge yachts, fancy women, multiple mansions, and million dollar watches?
He moved around us on the second floor as a serious, but humble, common man. His face almost took on a pained look when he asked me to join him at a meeting with the fancy dressed folks upstairs in Marketing. He dressed just like us, and if you walked into the office and saw him on the floor, you would never suspect that he owned the place.
I could walk up to him and ask him a question and he never looked down on me. Both he and Mr. Kan behaved in the same manner, and if Assai was so rich, then so was Mr. Kan, but again, you would never know it.
As Ron had put it, it just didn’t add up.
Unless, of course, the charges against him were correct, which I still seriously doubt, and he used his vast wealth to fund an international terror organization to wage war on his fellow Plutocrats.
Then, in a funny way, it did add up.
All of this pondering jarred my mind back to my secret “assignments.”
Soon after I was “hired” as a spy for Ron, I had met once more with the FBI, only this time it was just me and the blond African American with the dreads. In many ways, I felt as if I was auditioning for a play. If so many people weren’t being killed for who knows what reason, what I was about to agree to would have sounded like tons of fun, and played artfully into my inherent love of drama, which had still not been erased from my inner soul.
“I hate to ask such mundane questions, but do I get to carry a gun, and will I be paid?”
As I was making my statement, I could see that Mrs. Duggins was trying the best she could to suppress laughter.
“No on both counts. We don’t want anyone to get hurt, and if we put you on the payroll then you would have to go through more than you, or we, want. This is very low rent. Just do a little play-acting and see where it leads. If anyone bites, just let us know, and don’t go running around playing some kind of 20th Century James Bond.”
“Who’s James Bond?”
“Oh, just someone the old movie industry made up. But that’s not important. Remember, in serious times like this, it is the ordinary American citizen that must step up and be our eyes and ears. And please, mums the word. No going around blabbering about what we have asked you to do. This is very serious business.”
I assured Mrs. Duggins that I wasn’t a blabbermouth, although as the words exited my lips, I could clearly see Liz Gant in my mind’s eye standing over my left shoulder, wagging a finger back and forth censoriously, and mouthing silently to the FBI agent, “Do not trust that man. He’s going to give the whole thing away.”
Now, how in the world could I be the FBI’s eyes and ears at my workplace, when all the brown suspects were down on the second floor, and I was now up on the third floor with all the loyal white folks, who, as everyone knew, were only concerned with making as much money as was humanly possible before they died?
Mr. Kan seemed like he would soon be history, which was a big blow for more reasons than one. I had worked out a plan in my mind even before I met with her, to cozy up to him, and to not so subtlely let him know much I hated the wretched billionaires trying to once again control the world, and once again lead us into ruin. I could see him taking a closer look at me, and then inviting me out for tea, where he would ask me it I wanted to do something, take some real action, be bold, put my ideas and beliefs on the line, and join with the countless others, brothers all, in resisting the attempt to reestablish the New World Order.
And just like that, I would be on the inside.
When I reported back the progress I had made, that little, barely disguised smirk on Mrs. Duggins’ face would be forever wiped off.
She would be forced to give me a gun, a nice big black laser-guided one, and put me on the payroll, and maybe even give me a badge.
But with Mr. Kan out of the picture, there goes that idea.
My mind quickly turned to my two writers, Admed and Daji. They were both from Assai’s homeland. Maybe I should start with them?
I felt a little plan being hatched in my mind. Boy, this is going to be sooo exciting.