When Caroline was forced to leave her country, and to find a temporary refuge in the Caribbean, she discovered a lot of many sport activities she never tried, like diving or surfing, and particularly sailing. Through a shell company, she bought a small yacht, she gave her the nice name “Lena”, and she started learning to be a sailor, participating in various professional training courses, to acquire her official captain’s licence, valid worldwide, allowing her to roam the world seas freely.
Caroline’s friend, collaborator and never a lover Rudolph was not a fan of this activity, as he perceived it too dangerous. Piracy was happening everywhere, as fishes were disappearing from the oceans and poor fishermen, who had nothing to lose, were searching for “alternative” source of income, and to be dependent on a small vessel without propulsion in the middle of nowhere, on the restless sea where the weather changed quickly… no, it was not his style, so Caroline had a big work to persuade him, to accompany her on her trips around the Caribbean, even reaching the shores of North America once.
When they began to establish The Corporation, including their fashion brand, “Woman’s Destiny”, they attended a cosmetics business convention, in Buffalo, United States. There was this man, Jack Thursby, from Fairway Fragrances, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who engaged the loud conversation with other attendees, and he presented himself as an experienced sailor, recommending the best locations around the world, and he forgot to remove his wedding ring, before he tried to pick up a lonely woman, sitting at the hotel bar.
“The Mediterranean is just beautiful, but if it’s the real sailing you want, then I recommend you Sunda Islands, and Banda Sea, Indonesia,” he said with passion, and fascinated Caroline decided to try this strange sport one day, eventually keeping the promise to herself, to experience the moments when you are alone under the blue sky and shining sun, nobody around for miles, it’s only you, your vessel, wind and waves, an ultimate freedom, without telephones or e-mails, endless disruptions of your peace.
Here, near Indonesia, she was glad to combine business with pleasure, so she rented a small yacht, to meet with their new contact, the man from ‘Wu’ corporation, who asked them for a favor, promising to return both her and Rudolph into the big business game.
Although he in fact extorted them, by threatening to reveal certain sensitive infomation about their past and very controversial business activities, Caroline had a good reason to believe, that his request is the signal she was waiting for, to resume her professional career, which seemed finished after the last unfortunate events at The Facility, where alleged terrorist attack was commited, and without knowledge of the state, a journalist, sent into past to investigate The Asset‘s fate, was lost, unable to be retrieved back, as the terrorist, equipped with special weaponry, made The Device, alleged time displacement equipment, or a mere dream machine, as some evil tongues were claiming, now offline forever, as the world, and the United Nations, were not happy with such dangerous experiments, jeopardizing the fate of mankind.
The man they should meet was not happy, when they asked him to come here, into Indonesia, so far from Europe, but Caroline insisted, reasoning, that here is a place they will be able to talk without inconvenient witnesses, and without extensive surveillance, present in the developed Western world.
So, they arrived here, together with Rudolph, and they rented a boat at nearby Buru Island, to meet their contact on the open sea, to discuss the favor the man asked: allowing him to use The Device, with purpose of discovering the fate of his girlfriend, Daniela Kyrova, who mysteriously disappeared 20 years ago from the vicinity of famous Charles Bridge, Prague, never to be seen again. But how could he expect them to help him with such demanding task, if The Corporation was officially disbanded, and they had allegedly no access to The Device anymore, as Rudolph objected?
But Caroline simply suggested, to meet the man, to listen to him, so when another vessel, commanded by a local captain, approached their yacht at the designated place of appointment, determined by exact GPS coordinates, it was in fact a normal business meeting, only taking place at very unusual location.
“Mister Larsen, nice to meet you again,” Caroline welcomed their new guest, when he boarded their vessel.
“Caroline, pleasure is mine! I haven’t slept for thirty hours, travelling sixteen thousand kilometers to this distant place, so I hope, that it will worth it,” the tired man, suffering with terrible jet lag, replied, but his good style of dress and accessories indicated, that he doesn’t follow the latest trends, he creates them.
But if you would meet him on a street of Prague, you would never guess, how high executive position he has. His employer preferred inconspicuous people, women only with average beauty, and they knew, why they are so beneficial, as everybody underestimates them.
“We will see,” Caroline smiled. “Let me to offer you a drink. Whiskey?”
“Scotch. Single malt. On the rocks,” he asked, and Caroline had no problem to be a hostess, as only three of them were present on the deck, and she was the only woman. Moreover, she was working as a bartender and owner of a small beach bar at the Caribbean these days, wearing rather tiny bikini than a glamorous Prada business costume, like in the past.
“I have to say, that your request really surprised us,” Caroline went straight to the matter, when they sat in the small cabin with their cold drinks. “You know, that we are out of business, and we don’t have any access to The Device anymore, as my colleague informed you.”
“Let me explain this openly,” the man had a long draught of drink. “I can arrange a lot of things myself, I know your present situation, but you are the only people who can provide me the information I need, about the real function and possibilities of The Device. You know, that I have many top-tier connections in the Czech Republic, and this planned operation, let’s say, is only a small part of the overall interests I am representing.”
“Including ability to gain access to The Device?” Caroline said apparently without interest.
“No comment,” the man smiled modestly. “But there is always somebody who can help, you know the rules of social, business and political life.”
“I see. But I don’t think that our negotiation is beginning too well, mister Larsen, according to the fact that you approached us with an open threat about some alleged fake corpse at The Facility, or what. So, let me answer you openly, to make things clear from our side: we absolutely don’t care about this nonsense. We are away, the case is closed, and nobody will be too much interested in launching a new affair, as we are only a history.
The Military took over all our assets back home, as you know, and it’s not in their interest to start the whole comedy again. They want to continue with our project without any public or media disturbance, as they are under strict UN control now, and you can’t damage us anyway, so I am asking you: what do you expect, that we will do?
We don’t care, and the state wouldn’t gain anything here, on the contrary. So you will only became the enemy, and we won’t participate anyhow, as we have nothing in stake there, we are gone from the scene, very far away. So, please: explain us the whole background and motivation for this strange effort of yours, and then, we can consider options of our mutual help.”
“That’s the kind of speech I like, Caroline,” the man smiled, like if he would hear a good joke. “Let’s say, that my introduction with the funny tale of a fake corpse was only to get your attention, and primary interest. Of course, that you don’t care, and you are right, the world media would remain quite cold to any new opening of the old tales. But there is still something in the game: your own interest, as there is a very good deal I can offer to you.
This operation has a special value for me, believe it or not. So let’s speak about the future, your future. The company I am representing is very powerful today, spreading her tentacles everywhere, hustling into many affairs and interests, but very silently, unlike you, in your times.
When we discovered the information about the real background of your last visit at The Facility, I mean, that missing journalist, stuck in the past with critical information, we were simply thinking, how to use it to our advantage, even with full understanding, that we can’t push you, as you left the scene, never allowed to return, and you have no factual value for anybody, keeping your alleged secrets, but meaning no threat for anyone, so the world will leave you alone, as new round of endless fight for power and influence was started, without you this time.
Since you left, the world hasn’t stopped, you can imagine. The game is still running, we are in the game, in the saddle, and you only read the news, as a passive element, isolated somewhere on a Caribbean island, maybe waiting secretly to be allowed to play again. And we are the only entity, who can help you with such task, if you will help us with Daniela’s sad case.”
“I still don’t understand the connection,” Caroline interrupted him. “You say, that Daniela is your interest, but what will be there for your company? You will fulfill your silly personal dream, but what about them? What can they gain from this project? And why do you bother us, if you allegedly have access to The Device, unlike us? Another question is, how do you want to force the Military to allow such operation, which would be totally against the valid law, and nobody will risk the consequences today, after everything that happened?”
“Good question,” Larsen took the whiskey bottle, to refill his drink. “My position is not so good, as you estimated correctly. My company is not interested in Daniela, but they are very interested, to gain free and unrestricted access to The Device, without hindering ‘assistance’ and supervision of the Czech Military, UN, Parliament, government and twenty more organizations.
If I could do this for them… they would be grateful, not only to me, but you too. And you could get many perks, for example, to participate as advisors in our upcoming big project, related to a new generation of health care. I can’t tell you too much details in advance, but believe me, this will be big, and we would like to use your original technology, so your overall assistance would be very beneficial, and appreciated at very high places.”
“Now I understand,” Caroline was laughing. “You simply came to us, with silly opinion, that we have a secret Device hidden somewhere, and we will hand it over to your benefactors for a very controversial way of use, as you indicated openly, and as a payment, they will get a good retirement job for us. And could we work from the beach?” she and Rudolph started to laugh loudly to this completely absurd proposal.
“Man, you are something,” Rudolph reached for the whiskey bottle, and the ice cubes. “How many times should we repeat to you, that we DON’T have access, and there is no secret Device? The Military now manages all sites: The Facility, which is offline, with equipment deactivated and removed, then ‘Temelin’ and ‘Dukovany’, constructed later at the areas of nuclear power plants with the tightest security possible and sufficient power supply available, using more advanced versions of The Device, but always owned and managed solely by the Military!
We haven’t even visited these sites, ever, we don’t even know, whether they are operating, or they are just fake decoys, created for deception of the enemies and foreign Intelligence services, as the information about their alleged existence is originating only from the media, for you, and for us.
We gave them our scientific teams, as the pressure was too hard to sustain, and we agreed that the state will continue the project on their own, but under full control of the Parliamentary Security Comission and United Nations, as the public asked for a very tight control of this allegedly ultimately dangerous invention. Nothing more is remaining, just old tales and rumors!”
“Yeah, rumors,” Larsen apparently liked the word. “There are many rumors, about alleged black sites, out of any official control. Who owns them? Where are they actually? Tell me.”
“Dear Mr. Larsen, are you so naive?” Caroline entered the conversation again. “There was a complete folklore about The Device created, both by our Public Relations department and media, all types of rumors, complex lies with flavor of truth, fake trails, leading nowhere, only to distract the public and the media.
We helped to spread these rumors deliberately, to be covered in shadows, to be able to operate, to be protected, so no one knew, how much power and protection we really have in our disposal. This is the rules of the media game! Spreading wide disinformation, exhausting Intelligence resources of the enemy, simply deception! That Sun Tzu, an ancient military leader, well known to your Chinese benefactors, would be proud!
And let me tell you, that these alleged ‘black sites’ were the most favorite tales not only for us, but also for thousands of conspiracy theorists around the globe. No one would count all that articles, analyzing the issue, speculating, where these black sites allegedly are… I have read about hundred possible locations, from Alaska to India!
Even about an alleged location behind a golf playground in Romania, disseminated by the owner himself, to attract more players and the media interest, or in a small church in Norway, where some secret Illuminati ceremonies were rumored to be taking place, or in Antarctica, near South Pole, where Nazis allegedly still have their secret base, threatenting the mankind to misuse The Device, to turn the result of Second World War!
Some idiotic criminals from Italy even released a statement for the media, that unless the world will pay them one hundred billion dollars, they will misuse The Device, another black site, located allegedly at Sicily, to bring Dinosaurs back, liquidating the whole human breed!
And you can imagine, how much were these rumors beneficial for many Intelligence agencies, blaming their neighbours from participating on secret offensive projects! You remember, when Pakistan accused India, that unless they will deactivate their Device, Pakistan will launch a preventive nuclear strike against them, as a matter of self defense?
It really got out of our control eventually, we never had any such business deals with India, we only watched the news, thinking, that it all went too far, but we can’t stop this anymore. It had no sense to repeat, that there are no black sites, they never were… everybody had their own truth then, including superpowers!
We constructed only The Facility, it cost us a fortune. Prior to making it operational, there was only a last few million dollars remaining at our accounts, we were completely out of funds! Then, the state stepped in, and we were thorougly supervised and watched! How the hell could we build another so demanding construction, as The Facility was? And where? Complete nonsense!
Yes, there is many pieces of The Device, built around the world now, but all only with PSY functions, you can call them dream machines, for entertainment! But we never built another specimen with time displacement ability! The Military did, using our scientists – go ask them, they know!”
But Larsen seemed to be unaffected even by this persuasive speech. “Caroline, why do you push so hard? Am I just some bug for you, so why are you treating me as an idiot, or a bothering journalist? If I have the sensitive information about your nasty fraud at The Facility, don’t you think, that I can have other interesting data as well?
For example, that you deceived the world, making them all think, that The Device needs to be constructed in a large bunker, with immense power demands… what if The Device can be constructed much cheaper and easier, demanding only a few quarter meters of space, and a quite low power supply? No nuclear power plants, hydrogen fuse reactors…
And you know what? I see that you don’t want to cooperate. I will go back to Prague, and we will release the information about the poor journalist, and your fraud. We will destroy you, but this time, you won’t survive. You will be forced to leave your Caribbean paradise, you will be really finished, as we will improve the tale a little, you can imagine, how… why should we write only the facts, like some pathetic losers, who are obsessed with some alleged truth? We will create our own truth, and you won’t like it… you simply forgot to treat people with respect, and you made me angry. I am also just a man, with emotions!”
“We are finished,” Caroline stood up. “Write what you like, I don’t care. Your boat is waiting, Mr. Larsen. This meeting was futile for you, and for us too. You say, I have no respect, but you are the one, who came here, thinking, that we will bow in front of you or what, just because you work for your mighty Chinese masters, and you believe some ridiculous rumors. I don’t care! Enjoy your comic interests,” Caroline left the cabin, totally indifferent.
“Listen, Larsen, I swear that she says the truth,” Rudolph continued with explanation. “There are no black sites. I spent so much time with her, I had access to all files and plans. There was nothing like this, ever. Only lies, and propaganda, to deceive the world. Our options were limited, and that damned bunker really exhausted us.
To be honest, today I think, it was a big mistake. We should never go public with this invention. We should just create rumors, and then to catch the flies with their wallets full of gold. We should never announce, that we actually have it, provoking all hungry rats of the world. I tried to persuade her, but she insisted, you know her. She was too hungry. And now, look how far it got us, how we failed,” Rudolph confessed.
“Then maybe it’s time for you to leave her, and to think about your own interests,” the visitor switched his tone. “Are you satisfied, living like this, friend?”
“Not at all. But there is nothing I can do for you here, really.”
“You can do something for yourself, friend! If she believes you, unlike me… why not to extract the information about black sites from her? Give us only one of them, and you will be rewarded! Or do you like this kind of life? Do you know, what is happening out there, and without you? Can you imagine, what we are preparing? And there will be no fuckups, believe me… we won’t lose in the end, like you! You could join the winning team… think, man!”
“To be honest, if something like that black sites would actually exist, I wouldn’t want to know,” Rudolph totally rejected such idea. “This life is not so satisfying for me, but to own such information, it would be very dangerous, even deadly.”
“And why do you think, that she is still alive?” Larsen said with disdain. “Listen, man! We are here, and now, we won’t let either her or you go, until you will give us the data we want. My visit is just a beginning. We will follow you, watch you, hunt you, and in the end, we will catch you, and torture you, as blocking the information, you could jeopardize the national security of a very powerful country. Do you know what ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ are? Do you know, what ‘extraordinary rendition’ means? The game is over, man! Give us that shit, or you will carry the painful consequences!”
“When I hear you speaking like this, Larsen, you only confirm, how fortunate I am, to be not knowing! In some situations, it’s a blessing. If you want to torture me, then I will surrender immediately, so we can start without delay. But I won’t ever tell you anything, what I don’t know.”
“She knows, man… will you suffer, to protect her? Or are you just so empty, that life lost all value for you? Think again, man! Do something good for yourself, because otherwise you will really suffer, and eventually die! The bitches, who are waiting to get you, hidden in the shadows, they know their job well, they have wide experience from ‘War On Terror’, they will squeeze you slowly, like an orange, until your blood will splatter everywhere, and until only a pile of dead rotten meat will remain of you!
Do you remember, who you once were? And now, you will lie at our black site, naked, humiliated, freezing, under constant terror and loud metal music, under evelasting light, you will experience the same shit as these terrorist bitches from Al-Kaida and Islamic State! But you won’t end in Guantanamo, dressed in orange suit! You will simply disappear, never to be found! If we can’t access The Device… let no one access it, so we need to isolate all people who could know! It means her, and you, man! Is this what you are willing to accept? Did you get completely out of your mind, under her magic spell?
Wake up, man, it’s morning, the dream is over! Return to reality, until you have the chance! Do you think that I am fucking joking, or threatening, as the bitch said? I am your wake up call! She will end badly, you feel that! Do you want to go down with her?
The people out there, they are not joking, they have no emotions, no mercy, no regrets, they count people only as accounting items, they are not afraid of ‘collateral damage’, terminating the services of their assets with ‘extreme prejudice’! Just send your crying widow with your five kids to them, to beg for financial compensation, they will look at your family with their famous ‘I don’t know what you are talking about’. Times have changed, man!
Since you left, many vultures divided your former empire. Many rats became stronger, and this dirty wave changed the balance of power in the world. Many things are different today, and I am not sure, that there is still a place for you out there! No one needs you! And still, you play games, like if tomorrow you should be in the saddle again, but who will put you there? All your former allies are gone. You could make a new one, but everything costs a price. So sell, when you still have some assets – tomorrow, they can have no price! The world runs so fast now, you know. And many other companies are developing their own versions of The Device, catching your scientists like a pieces of puzzle, offering them money, or threatening them… Americans, who restored their old ‘Operation Paperclip’, Russians, sniffing in Prague, Chinese… everybody!”
Rudolph listened without visible emotion, but there was a lot of truth in Larsen’s proclamation, many claims he had to agree with, or was it exactly what he wanted and needed to hear, to liberate himself from Caroline’s devastating spell?
In history, many men died because of women. He spends with this woman whole days, whole months, never tasting her, never fucking her, like an animal. She doesn’t sleep with others, she just floats in the air, like if something yet bigger should happen tomorrow. She is full of joy, balance, she enjoys life, while he is smaller and smaller every day, she occupies larger and larger part of his mind, and he can’t get rid of her, she is everywhere, everything what happens in her life is influenced by her.
If he would tell her this objection and complaint, he could imagine well, what she would say with her magic smile: ‘But that is how partnership works, Rudolph! You are becoming a part of me, and vice versa. Only this way, we can create something big, yet bigger, than the last time. It was just a prelude, just be patient, and you will be rewarded! You are a man, you need to conquer new lands, and I am here, I love you, so you could fuck me, right here, on the spot, but what would it change? The spell between us, the magic, all would be gone, as you would find, that I am not a perfect lover, there are better women, and vice versa… sexual power is strong, but it covers human judgement. I don’t know, how long we two will last, but every day, just the thought that I would lose you from my life seems more and more painful… Maybe I suck energy from you, you are right, but there are results, don’t forget that! This is why our cooperation is so fruitful and effective…’
And everything would be the same again, he would agree with her… but now, he agrees with this man, who has completely different angle of view.
“One more thing, Larsen,” Rudolph had something in his mind. “I can sign every word you say, but I am still thinking… what is so special about that Daniela Kyrova, that lost fashion model? After twenty years, you have this obsession suddenly? Maybe Caroline doesn’t believe you, if you came with such strange tale. You said, that it’s personal interest… did you love her so much? Or are you so weak, that you can’t forget her, after so long time? There are millions of women around, and you are thinking just about one of them, who disappeared from your memory long time ago?
You are an executive with quite a reputation, it means, that you have to be capable, and you confess to this weakness? What if tomorrow will someone start sending you letters, signed with her name, to damage you, to destroy you? And would your company still believe you, that you are a stable and reliable asset? Caroline is not dumb, you see! She knows men, but most importantly, she can count to ten.”
“I admit, that this affair is not good for me,” Larsen sighed. “Of course, that I could just come to you, to offer you business. If you ask me, whether I am so obsessed to find Daniela after twenty years, as we now have the technology… I think that I simply want to return there, to be there again. The world was different in that time, you know that… I am not sure, if I desire to return there because of her, or because of me. Maybe I talk about her, just to cover my real intention, to get out of here, to be young again. It’s like living in cold Siberia and watching pictures from Caribbean beach with blue sky and blue sea… everywhere are problems, no place is perfect, but you still desire to be there, on the other side of the world.
I made many mistakes in my life, but in 1996, she died, or who knows what happened to her… many women left me since, I left many women since, but no one died in the process, you understand? This is like a fucking monument in my memory, symbol of my biggest fuckup. All people told me: ‘It’s not your fault, it was her choice to go there with those two other boys, to go alone down there, under the bridge’… but something inside me still want to correct things, and now you came with The Device, promising so many miracles… do you wonder, that I am taking a place in a long row of people who want to change the past? Or at least to change something that seemed firmly set… I don’t care, if The Device is real, or not. It’s also a symbol! So I just ask you, give me a chance to heal myself!”
“You should tell Caroline this tale. Maybe it would change something,” Rudolph was surprised.
“I don’t like her, you know that. Maybe I should talk only with you, avoiding her in the process. My mistake. But you said, that there are no black sites anyway…”
“You can use the standard, civilian version of The Device. We can recreate the scene for you, and you can solve your problems there. You know, that we can fulfill people’s dreams, and your wish is still quite modest. We have seen much more complicated cases… still, as you said, many people really want to visit the past, they are obsessed with vision of changing the reality. Maybe it’s our human nature.”
“And you? You had the access. Did you consider going back there? Did you even try The Device on yourself?” Larsen was curious.
“No, man, never, and Caroline neither, as far as I know. We had our reasons… we knew what this shit makes with people. We were afraid of these artificial dreams, we were afraid, that we won’t be able to get back into reality, not physically, that our souls will be stuck in the past, not willing or even able to accept the reality. Everybody says, that the old times are better, than present… but it’s weakness, and we decided not to allow this feeling to rule us, to lead us into this darkness. But if you ask me, I had many, many these thoughts, big temptations, and often. Only the fear was larger… we are just witnesses, not participants, and it has to be this way. Our judgement must remain clear.”
“Well said,” Larsen checked the time. “OK, I will have to return to the boat, captain wanted to be back at the port before sunset, he is scared of cliffs around. I am staying at the ‘Rusty Anchor’ hotel, if you would like to resume our negotiation, I mean, either you both, or only you.”
“I am afraid, that except certain limited influence on her, I can’t offer you too much, man. So all what is remaining is to visit some filthy local brothel together, and to play with some good sluts.”
“Good enough for me. This trip cost me some three thousand dollars, so at least some result! See you in the town!”
When Larsen left, both passengers of the rented yacht didn’t talk too much. Caroline went to read her favorite book, ‘Sailing the South Pacific’, at the fore part of the vessel, where a parasol was prepared to protect against the strong sun, and Rudolph remained downstairs, in the small cabin, where a small kitchen, retractable table and two beds were located, together with bathroom.
The right approach of a man would be, to create a bitch from Caroline, who would obey him, who would really respect him, who would lick his boots, and other parts of his body, Rudolph was thinking. He had so strong temptation to get up, to move just several meters upstairs, where she is sitting, and without a single words, to catch her pony tail, to tear her swimsuit apart, and to fuck her right there, under all spy satellites, watching from the sky.
But what would it change? After the act, he would feel like a complete idiot, and she would be only sweeter, than usual, that was her personal form of revenge, he knew her well. And then, she would disappear, and he would feel the same as Larsen forever, still full of doubts, whether it wasn’t all his mistake. She could effectively destroy him, and she knew exactly, as any woman, how to arrange everything, to awake male regrets and doubts, forcing you to drink a sea of booze, just to hold all these intrusive and eternal feelings of guilt back…
No, it was not a good idea to go down here, to spend so much time with her on this small deck, which you can’t leave so easily. That sluts in ‘Rusty Anchor’ would be much better company, Rudolph thought, before he fell asleep..
When he woke up again, someone was touching his bare shoulder. He opened his eyes with effort, still very sleepy. It was Caroline, who seemed very serious.
“Make no mistake, Rudolph. I was behaving this way on purpose, to provoke him, to find his real motivation, real intention.”
“Of course,” he yawned. “But he still made me think. What is the time?”
“Does it matter? It’s a beautiful night outside. So let’s enjoy it, we won’t live forever. You never know, what hour on the clock is the last.”
“I had too much whiskey, I think.”
“And you thought too much. Me too. I won’t become their pawn. I know, what we should do right now,” she stood up, offering him some water.
“I am listening,” he sat on the bed, willing to listen to her, but not expecting something substantial, only another crazy plan.
“What would you do, if there was a black site? Would you sell me to him, saying, that you had to protect yourself, or even, that you help me this way? Or, would you stay loyal to us?” she asked with urgency.
“I don’t know, to be honest. It would be a very difficult decision,” Rudolph admitted doubts with his loyalties.
“So I will spare you from such hard choices,” she decided. “There is something we could do. That Daniela… she is important. I don’t know why, but… I feel that if we would find out, what happened with her… it would be beneficial for us. It’s just a feeling…”
“Wait, Caroline… you mean, that there is a black site, and you consider using it, to go into the past, because of that woman?” Rudolph was fully awake suddenly. “It would be against our own rules, and who would go there, anyway? We have no assets. There is only two of us!”
“There has to be some answer, I feel it, just believe my instinct,” Caroline continued. “It’s a risk, but we could liberate ourselves, maybe. Why would he speak about her all the time? It’s not only his interest, but also theirs. I don’t know the connection yet, but there is certainly some.”
“I am still sleeping, and dreaming maybe! I can’t believe my own ears! If we would have a Device, there would be thousand much better ways to use it right now, don’t you think?” Rudolph disagreed.
“Like extracting the journalist back? Repairing our mistakes? We would only create a loop.”
“Caroline, this is nonsense. You are really losing control. A woman disappeared twenty years ago, it’s like in the ancient times. What can she mean for the present?”
“So why does he talk about her all the time? There is some secret, I am certain. And the only way to find it out, is to go there,” Caroline said decisively.
“It’s against the rules. You know, that people never return the same from there. We would never be the same. And there are also risks. Do you really expect me to believe you, that you will extract me back, if I will go there? What if I am an inconvenient witness for you? I know many things… what guarantee would I have, anyway? What if you want to lure me there on some alleged secret, which sounds as a complete nonsense from the start? And on the contrary, what will keep me from leaving you there, if you know, that my relationship to you is more than complicated lately? I can’t guarantee, that I would push that button. That’s how it is!”
“You are right, it would be much more fair if I would go there,” she admitted.
“Caroline, the whole idea is nonsense! Let’s forget it! If there is a black site… let’s give it to them, or to the public! Let’s get rid of all nasty secrets! Maybe then, things will be better between us. We can take their job offer, and we will be fine, no one will kill us, we will have no value for everybody, and thus, we will be free, finally! All vultures will leave us alone!”
“We can’t do this. They would consider it only as a sign of weakness, suspecting us from having another secrets,” the woman disagreed. “And if I will want to go, will you let me? If you want to get rid of me, that could be a good chance.”
He was thinking for a while. “Yes, I will let you go there. But what do you want to find there? If she gets in a car… how do you want to follow her, alone, without money, without support, without identification papers? This is not the same kind of mission, as that German SS officer from 1945 at the Masaryk train station. A whole team was prepared to go there, equipped, prepared, with military training, knowing his possible exit route in advance, so he was easy to follow and apprehend…”
“But in the end, the Asset was there alone,” Caroline reminded. “And she made it.”
“She made it… it was rather a miracle. Or a fraud. And it changed nothing. The Asset returned, not believing, that it was a reality,” Rudolph objected intensively. “And she was right, it was all fake. A training mission, closely monitored, to show the politicians the real possibilites of The Device.”
“Still, I want to do something, and this is a lead. Let’s sail,” she decided. “It’s not far away from here.”
Continuation: The Public Interest