The Ultimate Hot Ticket
By J.Vincent Martin
Spence put on his best con at the dinner meeting and everyone bought into it. There was some shop talk of course, and Tommy went into a rave about the new Mazda RX-8. They were going to get delivery of the new model in two weeks.
When the chatter turned Fords, Spence coolly dodged the topic with, “They’re good cars, but I don’t sell Fords anymore.”
Gus threw in a few stories too, and Spence either laughed or nodded in agreement as if he had been there.
The evening went smooth as silk and whole thing ended at nine thirty with friendly "good nights". Indeed,things were working out perfect, too perfect, in fact.
When Spence got home and looked in the mirror and Ray made a suddenly appearance from the dead. He was brought back to life by that second “doing our bit for our country" comment.
He immediately warned Spence, “You know we’re being set up, right?" Then Ray started reviewing everything with Spence in his head.
”These guys are good all right, too damn good. The price don’t fit with the service either.
A quick question and answer session followed in Spence's head and they both came to the same conclusion. “Who could do what these guys are doing?”
“Only the CIA could pull off something like this!”
“Yeah, why would they be doing all of this?”
“To set us up as a patsy, the fall guy for something big!”
Suddenly, the name Lee Harvey Oswald popped into their minds at the same time.
”Yeah, something like that would fit, okay. A bullet proof identity leading no where. One that could withstand national TV news scrutiny, and all for a measly two hundred and fifty grand.
Yeah, just somebody doing his bit for his country.
For the first time everything seemed to fall right into place.
Ray’s immediate instinct was to grab the money in the safety deposit box and go back on the run. But Spence put that idea down.
“Where the hell would I run to? They’re probably watching the safety deposit box, and they’d nail me the second I walked out of the bank.”
He spent the next ten minutes figuring all of the angles for a good escape. But they all lead to dead ends, and a dead Spence.
Then they both finally figured there was only one thing they could do. They had to make a deal with these guys.
Spence walked into the bed room and popped opened the lap top. When his friend appeared on the screen, he immediately interrupted him.
“The game's over! I know who you guys are and I ain’t playing no more!”
His friend was startled, “What are you talking about, Spence?”
“I just want to make a deal. Just let me pick up the money at the bank, and I’m out here. I won’t say nothing to nobody.”
Suddenly, the screen went black and flashed red, three times. Then the image of Richard Nixon popped unto the screen, and started to address him.
“Mr. Taylor, I warn you! You are on very shaky ground. What is the problem?”
“You’re the damn CIA, and you’re setting me up. I just want out that’s all.”
The Nixon image learned back in the chair and lit up a cigarette.
“Mr. Taylor, you have a very vivid imagination. I’m afraid you have been watching too much television. I’m also a little disappointed that by this time you still don’t trust us. Have we every lied to you?” “Not yet, I guess.”
The image paused in thought for a second and smiled, “Well, I can understand how you came to your conclusions Mr. Taylor. But your conclusions are extraordinarily incorrect. So this one time, and one time only, I’m going to give you a little a more insight as to who we are, Mr. Taylor.”
“We are not the CIA, or any other government agency. We are a large and very successful a private business. You have my word on that, Mr. Taylor.
Normally, this service we provide has an average price tag of $25,000,000.00. Our usual customer is a senior corporate executive, or someone else who has the need and can easily afford our service.
We have been in this business for over 50 years.
Like any business of course, good employees eventually get old and have to be replaced. Hence, that involves training new employees.
Our experience has taught us that it is not a good idea to start our trainees off by assigning them to our top paying customers.
In short, Mr. Taylor, you are merely part of our corporate training program at present. None the less, I assure you, you are getting the full treatment, and primarily at our expense”
“Why does everybody say we’re doing our bit for our country?”
“In most instances, they actually think they are. But I’m not going to go into that with you.
Should we continue our relationship, Mr. Taylor, four months from now you will receive two copies of a CD. The same one you have been study from. You can keep one in your computer for reference, and the other one we suggest you keep in a safety deposit box. At that point, Mr. Taylor, it’s good bye. You will never see or hear from us again.”
“And all that for only two hundred and fifty Gs, ha?”
Your identity is a merely a training expense, nothing more. You see, you are a very lucky man Mr. Taylor. You just happened to be at the right place at the right time.”
“So in four months I’ll be working for you?”
“Dear Lord No, Mr. Taylor! Four months from now you’ll be quite free to become a homeless drunk if chose, or drive your car off the side of a mountain if it pleases you. It will mean nothing to us. As far as we’re concerned you’ll have served your purpose. It may surprise you Mr. Taylor, but we do not keep client records. When you are gone, you are gone, and so are we.
Do you have a better understanding now Mr. Taylor?”
“Yeah, I guess so.”
“Good! Then that leaves only one very important question. Do you trust us, Mr. Taylor?”
Spence gave it some serious deep thought, and being a cold calculating bastard himself, it all finally made sense to him. So he replied with a smile, “Yeah, I do.”
“Good! Now we have to reset a few things around here, so your sessions will not be available until 8 AM tomorrow. Good night, Mr. Taylor!”
It was still an edgy night’s sleep for Spence. He kept waking up and peeking at the lap top, like a kid with a shadow monster in his room. But he finally figured, “Hey, if they were going to do me, they would have done it by now.”