5 weeks have passed since NeoGun was hired. I’ve spent my time reading reports on my laptop. Nothing very exciting!
An order arrives, mission time. I must go alone to Thailand and meet someone named Alicia G. I ‘ll read details of the mission during the trip. Handel will be waiting for me there. This is not the first time I have taken a plane to this part of Asia. During my last visit, when I did not work for the Organization. I accepted a freelance contract where I had to eliminate an over talkative target.
I remember a young French tourist sitting next to me. Long flights are often conducive to such meeting. He said he had worked hard during this year and he needed adventure and relaxation. I had taken time to understand his concept of ‘adventure’ akin to the new growing business better known as ‘sex tourism’, however, the young tourist did not use this terminology precisely. He spoke of easy, exotic, feminine conquests. He even tried to convince me that somehow it would help these young women due to their lack of money.
It felt powerful, the idea of being in a foreign country where poor people prostituted themselves to survive. He perceived himself almost as a savior, who would give them work. He would hire ‘girls friends’ in Phuket for a few days. I could not help but wonder how many people like him were on the flight. How many men were flying, only to satisfy their sexual fantasies? I could have coldly executed him, especially when I learnt that ‘sex tourism’ affected children. At that point, he lost all status as a human being!
I was back in Thailand. A luxury car and driver was waiting for me on my arrival. They were there to take me directly to Handel’s villa. Handel met me by the pool, picking at a fruit basket. Luxuries like this did not impress, but I recognize nonetheless that this house and its surroundings were paradise. He told me to settle in one of 7 available rooms. I selected one with large windows overlooking the sea. In it was a very comfortable bed, that seemed like it had never have been used. Everything smelt new.
Handel then showed me the rest of the villa. What little light that filtered through the vegetation flooded everywhere. A feeling of forced serenity reigned here. Large bright rooms, some functional wooden furniture and the latest technology, shared the same space in perfect harmony. Quickly, Handel told me he had something to do and had to go away for several hours. He told me this only out of courtesy. His coldness was not compensated by his polite words. He left the house on foot, leaving me alone in this dream like environment.
I am near the swimming pool, with a glass of the local cocktail poised next to me as I type. I have known a few tasks more enjoyable… but not many! After spending the evening enjoying the extraordinary view of Patong Bay, I went to bed without waiting for Handel’s return. Despite the fatigue of travel, I still had to treat my insomnia with alcohol. I had a restless night.
As usual, I got up early. I used this opportunity to admire the sunrise. Only my pasty mouth spoiled the feeling of peace. A long shower invigorated me. Handel rose at 8 o’clock, in perfect condition. Despite our great difference in age, he came across as a charismatic man of power. His direct gaze showed no doubts and his skin, wrinkled by years gave him a special charm. Comparatively, I gave the impression of being what I am: A 40 year old remnant of mercenaries in the midst of darkening times.
Handel told me why I had been brought here. I had to escort a psychic to our European base, but before that, he wanted to introduce me to one of his ‘friends’ a psychic named Alicia G. She is exceptionally competent and lives near by. She had worked for the Organization for several years, more or less, but her role was limited to that of consultant. They called her to find missing persons. Her particular gift was that she could ‘see’ long distances. She could only see the present, but other than that nothing could hide from her.
Her record does not mention her beginnings in the Organization. Unlike other papers on psychics working for us, many things were missing. When I pointed this out to Handel, he just looked at me clearly, meaning that at my level, many ‘details’ would remain mysteries for a long time. For some reason, he wanted us to meet today. Looking at her photo, my doubts melted away. A young woman of incredible beauty. I could not hold back my smile as I looked at her very feminine form. Handel told me she was Escort… in another life.
Alicia seemed disappointed when she saw me. I don’t know what Handel had told her before our appointment, but it seemed she expected someone else. Our meeting took place in a large house outside the city. It was like a school or an orphanage. The residents were 10 to 20 years old. Handel told me that many of them were psychics. Alicia spotted them thanks to her ability and provided information for the organization that then led them here. She tried to educate and teach them to live with their abilities, before social conditioning stifled their differences.
I listened to Handel, but also I heard what he did not say. Some words, some expression that indicated to me that this peaceful ‘school for psychics’ also had its share of mystery. Something seemed fishy. This style of orphanage in a world consistent with shady transactions, even more so in recent times.
Taking advantage of a moment while Alicia and Handel were discussing, I decided to look round the premises. No major luxuries, everything just seemingly functional. The rooms of ‘student-psychics’ were small but enough as to feel uncomfortable. Only one part denoted luxury compared to the rest. Instantly, I thought of Alicia G. I could smell her perfume.
On leaving the room, I met the gaze of a young brunette. As her eyes looked deep into mine, I heard Alicia’s voice saying ‘No, Blind, do not do that!’ Suddenly… A blinding light flooded my soul. Everything around me disappeared. There was nothing left. Nothing but a light that washed over me in all directions.
The phone rang and brought me back to reality. I picked it up instinctively. It was Handel. He said that a plane was waiting for me but I must do something before I go. I had to stop by a psychic girl’s home. I suddenly noticed that I found myself in the same car that I arrived in. I was washed, clean-shaven and wearing new clothes and I don’t remember how. Handel told me that my driver would take me to meet who I should protect, then abruptly hung up.
I took a few minutes to clear my mind. I lacked any evidence to connect the blinding light and my presence in the car. I looked at the date on my laptop… 2 days missing! I decided to ask the driver about the people who helped me to return to the vehicle. He replied, looking surprised, that he had not seen anyone other than myself. According to him, I was patiently waiting his arrival outside the house. He had loaded my bags into the trunk, then I sat in the back seat. The sidelong glance he gave me spoke volumes. He thought I’d abused too many hallucinogenic substances.
I didn’t ask for any more information and accepted that I had lost 2 days of my life. After all, panic would not change a thing. The light dimmed, following the passing of a cloud. The car began to slow down gently, then it stopped. Outside, several people were talking. Then, someone opened the door. A small, quiet voice gave me a shy ‘hello’ while landing on the back seat. I recognized the brunette girl of light. She gave me a slight smile, lowered her head and closed the door. I had a sudden, stupid desire to reach for my sunglasses.