Allen stopped at his broker’s office on Grand Avenue on the way to crash Fineman’s lair. An order of beautiful postcards had been delivered from GeographicFarm. He pulled out the waybill and read the order number, then reversed it, divided by seven, and entered it into a spy app on his mobile to decrypt the code in an email he’d received from his old handler.

Jim Greaves had shown Allen the ropes back at the CIA, over a decade ago. Jim was the one who’d given him the idea to be a real estate agent as his cover. Back when he started this gig, he didn’t have any of the cool tools like Chime to help him juggle his time and free up resources for spy work, but the freedom of being a real estate agent appealed to him as a cover. Allen had selected a strong but unaffiliated brokerage and set up his own covert shop within the shop. Since then, he’d nabbed or neutralized sixteen major international organized criminals and terrorists, while never once blowing his cover.

The email from Greaves was unexpected. He’d been retired for over a year, taking up residence on some undisclosed Caribbean island. Once he went dark, he went dark. This must be important.

Allen entered the decryption key and opened the email. Before he could scroll past the header to the message, the phone burst into flames in his hand. He dropped it and started stomping on it to extinguish the blue-flamed fire, while shaking his burned hand and wincing.

“Got one of them new Androids?” asked Tom over the rim of his stained coffee mug. “That’s why it’s iPhone all the way for me, bruh,” he said with a chuckle. “You do realize Chime works on either platform, right”

“Uh, yeah,” said Allen. “Guess I missed the recall on these.”

Allen stooped and collected the phone with a clean gym towel he’d pulled from a large drawer in his desk. He looked closely at the melted plastic, still gently smoking from the exposed circuitry. This was some high-end malware. Stuff only the top pro assassins had access to. Probably developed in Russia.

But why would Greaves have sent it? This could only mean one of two things. Greaves had been compromised.

Or he was already dead.

Fineman would have to wait. Allen sat down at his computer and Googled two things: flights to Martinique and the nearest Apple store.


Tune in next week for another exciting installment of Agent Allen!

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