Watched a bunch of Burn Notice this week. Have some Stream of Consciousness. Not the best I’ve ever done but, it’s my first time trying to do some of the things I did here. I tried to keep it as dry as possible and that actually proved to be tricky, given the nature of the piece. Enjoy! Have a morbid Thursday, everybody!
I turned my back on a friend. And now that man is dead.
As an operator, you’re sometimes expected to put a bullet between the eyes of your closest partner. That’s why forming a legitimate friendship is so dangerous. It keeps you alive, the history of teamwork and personal depth gives you a great understanding of each other and allows you to act on your feet knowing your partner will do everything to keep you both alive.
But, when your cover is as rival wholesalers, competing for a distributor’s singular business, the cover can get tricky. The plan to let one of us lose had an unexpected consequence. We ended up face-to-face in the warehouse with no guns, no drugs, and no way to protect each other without blowing our cover. Bullets would fly regardless and I had to make the most appalling decision of my life.
Whoever won the business would use this warehouse, filled with confiscated drugs and weapons, to convince the buyer to move forward with the deal. He had dirty money he needed to either clean or move and we set it up so that the best option would be trusting one of us. But, he had farther reach than the company told us and knowing we were in the same warehouse, he stole the government product and brought us there separately, to call us out.
When faced with an empty warehouse, supposed to be filled with your inventory, you have choices. You can admit defeat, you can take the hit… or you can sell your story with your life. We both knew the buyer stole the government’s supply and that the government would eventually track him down. But, his itching trigger finger wanted to exact immediate and final vengeance.
I had only one option. If I’d admitted to being the theif we all knew I wasn’t, he’d kill us both. Instead, I played my cover as hard as I possibly could. I accused [CodeName:] Jere of stealing my supply. The buyer knew one or both of us had to be playing him. By accusing my friend, I cleared myself and allowed one of us to live. I betrayed a man by delcaring him a traitor, ending his life in the process.
The look in his eyes burned itself into the back of my head. I’ve watched my “friends” die through a sniper scope, I’ve set them up and been out of the country before. But, five feet away from me, a true friend who had saved my life on five continents received a death sentence on my word. I told the buyer to handle his business and began to leave, but Jere stopped me.
Don’t you dare turn your back on me! You stay here, and you see the consequence of your actions, you treacherous sonofabitch!
I couldn’t. I heard him coming for me but, the buyer’s team beat him back. I walked out of the warehouse and to my car. I set my head against the steering wheel and waited until I heard the shots ring to turn over the engine. My action did salvage the mission. A few weeks later, he came to me to re-up and I told him to meet me at the docks, where two submersible would deliver a few pounds of coke and an “assload” of heavy artillery. Of course, upon arrival, I signaled the team and he and his crew were taken into custody and currently await arraignment.
As a covert operative, you are expected to betray the people closest to you. But, when that person is a true friend with years of history together, it becomes a much more personal struggle. Reconicling your actions is a part of training that doesn’t hold well when your actions affect life outside of the mission.
And so, it is with this note and the bullet in my gun that I offer my official resignation from the company. Whoever finds this first. Do with it what you will. It won’t matter to me anymore.