His office was on the third floor of a two story building. At least that’s the way it felt sometimes. Like last night, for example, as he jumped from the chopper and ran for the trees about fifty feet away. Within a minute the chopper had disappeared into the night sky, and he was approaching the highway on the other side of the trees.
Within three minutes a car slowed down and stopped about 30 feet away. The passenger door opened slightly, a small package was tossed out, and the car quickly pulled away. As soon as it was out of sight, he retrieved the package and checked its contents: cell phone, passport, a sizable roll of local currency, and a phone number. He called the number, then hung up after the first ring.
Twenty minutes later a small van approached, pulled over at the same spot, and flashed its lights. He moved from the trees to the back of the van and climbed in. About an hour later the van pulled over and stopped. The driver tapped on the partition separating them, signaling that it was clear to go. He got out, looked around, then quickly walked across the street and entered the lobby of the Maxima hotel.
It was deserted. He walked over to the check-in counter, paused for a moment, then pushed the plunger on the “Ring For Service” bell. He liked the symbolism. What better way to announce that the first round of this convoluted assignment was about to begin…