[Average read time: 8 minutes]
The Analyst is a book I started writing over a year ago and I want to share an excerpt with you. This is a working cover and will change before it’s published. Another book took priority due to recent developments, but I plan to publish this in the coming months.
Where am I going? A nearby park. Gerdes Park.
This park has a small building near the baseball field. This building is used by a Baseball Little League that plays here.
It’s 6:45PM – the sun is nearly set. There are a few trees that provide some cover. I get out of my car, go to my trunk, grab a small hand shovel, and walk towards the building.
My memory leads me to the southeast corner of the building. This is the spot. I drop to my knees and begin to dig. The soil is stubbornly-coarse. I dig six inches into the Earth when I hear the familiar thud. It’s my case. I continue to dig around the case until I can grasp it and pull it out.
I place the case next to the hole and fill the hole with the same dirt I had shoveled. I level the dirt, grab the case, and head back to my car.
The case does not appear tampered with. As I open the case, I see my trusted Glock 17 just as I left it on my previous trip.
The matte black finish is flawless. The C-More STS2 tactical red dot sight is a thing of beauty. I open the sight’s battery slot and drop in a new CR-2032 lithium battery. I load one of the 17-bullet magazines, check the safety, and place it in my concealed holster. The additional two mags fit perfectly in the auxiliary mag carrier.
I need to be across town in 1 hour – West Los Angeles to be exact and I’m starving. I hit the Tam’s drive-thru nearby and go on my way.
As I drive north on the 5 freeway, I can’t help but ponder if this is the right decision for myself and more importantly – my kids. As much as I want to serve my country, I have my doubts if this is the best way to do that.
When I was graduating from college, I seriously considered becoming an officer in the US Army. Unfortunately, my vision could not be corrected to 20/20. That dream came to an end.
I forgot how fucking terrible traffic is here. I look at my GPS and highways are red in all directions, but I arrive on time.
There it is. 11000 Wilshire Boulevard.
I can’t help but notice how plain the building looks. Tall and off-white, covered in windows. This is exactly how a government building is portrayed in the movies, but I still expect more in real life. So much for extravagant dinners and trips while I serve at the pleasure of the FBI.
I take my gun, place it in the center console, and remove my holster. There’s an unusual number of cars for this time of day. As I walk towards the entrance, the wood paneling that’s being used as a temporary ramp shakes with each step. Construction seems to never end.
The Marine that’s posted near the front door stares me down as I approach. My nervous walk certainly hinted that I still wasn’t too comfortable in this building, even though this was my second time here.
“Good evening. How can I help you?’
“I’m here to see Special Agent Robert Martinez.”
He turns and nods at the security guard at the lobby desk and waves me by.
“He’s here to see Robert Martinez.”
The security guard picks up the phone and tells the person on the other end, “he’s here, sir.”
Soon after, I see Robert come through the double-doors.
“Ted, thanks for coming,”
“Happy to be back, sir.”
We walk through two sets of secured doors. I’m still amazed how many people are working this late into the evening. It’s Friday and almost 8PM.
As we enter his office, I noticed his name plate on his desk – Robert A. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge – Human Intelligence. He’s an interesting guy – his desk also has the scales of justice and a small, plush Minion.
“Have a seat.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“How was your flight?”
“Not bad. I’m just happy to be here.”
“That’s great to hear. I know you’ve been eager to serve your country for some time now. Ted, to be frank, I was very impressed with your logic and analytical exams, which is why I decided to bring you on. I know you were disappointed after the CIA passed on you, but consider this your second chance.
The Human Intelligence group has been authorized to use civilian contractors to assist in achieving the bureau’s mission. Regardless of what you may believe, Human Intelligence is a thankless job, so if you’re looking for action, you came to the wrong place.
Your mission will be to covertly gather information and relay that information to me and only me. You will not carry identification and there is no back up in the field. So don’t get fucking made by your mark. If you do your job right, no one will ever know.”
He hands me a file and tells me to read it as he walks out of his office. I open the file and at the top of the first page I see, Operation: Consumer Freedom, followed by a list of about 50 or 60 names. Below that, I see my name and an Anna Ramos.
I’m distracted by a picture on the wall. I see Robert, a woman who appears to be around 35, and a young girl. I assume that’s his family. It was a really nice picture.
Robert returns with a woman by his side. She’s gorgeous! The first thing I notice is her olive skin, followed by the hair – she’s sporting a bun which is equal parts professional and sexy. I’m quickly distracted by the smell of her perfume that resembles Versace Bright Crystal. I glimpse at her left hand – no wedding ring.
“Ted, this is Anna. Anna, Ted. You two will be working on this case in different capacities.”
We take a seat.
Robert is quick with the pleasantries and says,
“Listen up. Consumer Freedom is our top priority. The Deputy Director wants this case closed yesterday. Consumer Freedom will engage and end one of the area’s largest identity theft rings that targets unsuspecting consumers and have fraudulently collected millions from the sale of identities and filing false tax returns.”
As we go through the case file, we learn this identity theft ring uses a network of local businesses and individuals to acquire victim’s personal information. That information is then sold to the ring leaders who then use it to file fake tax returns and open credit cards.
“Ted, your mark is Hector Torres. He is a low-level punk that works out of Norwalk stealing personal information. He’s smart and creative. His method of choice is social engineering. He uses Craigslist and Facebook to post fake jobs ads and gets people to apply and voluntarily give up their social security numbers and date of births.
Your job is to develop the mark, track his movements, and if we’re lucky, he will lead us to the ring leaders. We have reason to believe he will be at the Starbucks on the corner of Pioneer and Firestone in Norwalk tomorrow before noon. He is all yours from that point. Don’t fuck it up, Ted. Anna is working a different angle and it was vital you meet in case your paths cross in the field.”
Robert is quick to dismiss us for the night. I pick up my files, shake Robert and Anna’s hand, and we walk out of his office together. Robert escorts us to the lobby, and just before we leave the building, Robert shouts, “get some rest, you’ll need it.”
I love feedback so if you have any thoughts or comments, I’d love to hear them.
Have a great weekend!