An Old Pro

“Hello, Mr. Knott.” His voice was flat, atonal. But it carried a current of calm confidence that could have been mistaken for malevolence, especially given his current position. “I am here to discuss the terms of our agreement.”

“What the fuck!?” I yelled. I felt it was the natural response to suddenly finding a suited man on your couch. A man you had never seen before. “Who are you? How did you get into my apartment?”

“My name is not important, Mr. Knott.” The words eased their way out of his slit of a mouth. “You are Bertram Knott, correct? Recipient of a five hundred million dollar cash deposit? Bank Account Number: 00387694827559. Routing number: 008-“

“Yes!” I didn’t bother confirming the numbers he rattled off. He was right. I got that money. “I’m Bert Knott! I told the bank it was a mistake!”

“It’s no mistake, Mr. Knott.” The man rose and smoothed out the lines on his gray suit. “The money was placed there on purpose. As an act of good faith in our agreement.”

“Our agreement?” I began to back away, realizing too late that I had already closed the door upon entering. I fumbled for the knob to no avail. “How the hell do we have an agreement? I don’t know anything about any agreement! Whatever it is, I DON’T agree.”

“Your agreement is implicit, Mr. Knott.” The man adjusted his cuffs as he glided over the carpet towards me. “And don’t bother trying to run. We have agents stationed on every block within a 10 mile radius, who will ensure you do not make any…untoward movements.”

Shit. I stopped my frantic, blind grabbing. I might as well listen to what he had to say.

“Fine. What do you want?”

“Glad to see you’ve come to your senses.” The man stopped, half-way through the foyer. “The money we have pre-emptively funded you is to ensure your cooperation in an operation of the utmost importance to interests of both the U.S. and the international community.”

“So you’re government.” I sneered. It’d been a long time since I did what I did for them. Grenada. The Congo. Azerbaijan. Those were ‘happy’ memories I had just succeeded in pushing out of my head. I had promised myself it’d be a cold day in hell before I worked with them again. “No dice.”

“Tut-tut, Mr. Knott.” The man shook his head in faux disappointment. “You and I both know this is not an appropriate course of action. You either take our generous offer, or we will terminate you and find another candidate.” His unsettling hazel eyes flashed up at me. “You think you were our first choice?”

“How did you find me?”

“Your history of covert, off-the-books work is impressive, Mr. Knott. But even your well maintained aliases are no match for the investigative prowess of the U.S. government.” He motioned back to the couch. “So, if you would please.”

I kept my eyes on him as I sidled my way past into my living room. His eyes returned the favor, accompanied by a flat, terrifying smile.

“So what is it that you want?” I took up the place on my couch that he had previously occupied. “What do you need me for?”

“A certain…situation has arisen.” The man said with a hint of trepidation. “We’ve concealed the immediate effect from the public. If they were to realize what was truly at stake, it would be pandemonium.”

“Chaos in the streets.” I waved my hand at him. “Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard this all before. It’s a pretty typical spiel.”

“This situation, Mr. Knott, or, rather, Mr. Dudsen,” He saw me wince at my former name. “is quite grave.”

“What could be grave enough to put an old thorn like me back into your wound?” I asked.

“The President… ” The man sighed, showing a hint of vulnerability. “…has been kidnapped by ninjas.”

My eyes narrowed. So did his.

“Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the President?”

Written In Response To: [WP] One day while checking your bank account, you find a large sum of money that you did not deposit. No one can tell you where it came from or why it’s there. A few days later, you come home from work to find a man in a business suit on your couch.

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