It has already been handled
“She’s surfaced, sir,” The agent said.
The man known as the Mastermind looked at the pictures the agent had forwarded to his phone. It was Liza. He’d always been able to spot her no matter what her cover was.
“How would you like for us to handle this.”
“Handle?” The Mastermind said.
The agent stared out the windows of his car. He searched the line of trees that faced him. Then he looked in his rearview mirrors at the water behind him. He was hundreds of miles away from Central parked on a dock overlooking the Back Bay but he knew it could never be far enough. He knew from experience that no amount of distance could keep him from the reach of the Mastermind. The Mastermind kept tabs on everything and everyone. He knew this because he’d become his right hand man since Liza disappeared.
Despite being alone in his car in the middle of nowhere, he wouldn’t be surprised if there was a camera on him right now. It wasn’t paranoia. Unlike most people he knew Central’s reach. He’d seen it with his own eyes. They knew all and saw all.
There was no hiding for anyone. He found himself searching the perimeter around his car once again for any movement.
He’d chosen the spot because of its isolation. The mistake most people made was they thought being surrounded by people made them safe. He knew the opposite to be true. He’d done his best work in a room crowded with people.
From his current vantage point he was able to see anyone and anything coming for him. He gripped the gun tight in his lap.
“It has already been handled,” the Mastermind said.
The agent didn’t understand, but knew better than to ask anything else. Swallowing the lump in his throat he watched the line of trees several yards away from him. If the Mastermind didn’t offer an explanation, he didn’t need one. He would know only if the Mastermind wanted him to know.
“Fall back,” the Mastermind said.
“Liza isn’t one of us anymore.”
The Mastermind disconnected the call then leaned back in his seat. He took a sip of water from a tumbler. He had Cognac in his bottom drawer, but he was saving that. He was saving that for when Liza returned to him.
He’d lied, to the agent. Liza hadn’t betrayed Central. She’d done exactly as she’d been told. No one knew that, of course, except her an dhim.
Unfortunately, something had gone wrong. It was the only excuse he could imagine since she hadn’t checked in with him since surfacing.
It was not like his Liza.
He’d been riding his agents hard since Liza had gone off the grid, but he’d had no choice. None of them knew the truth of course.
In their line of business everyone was dispensable. It was part of their creed, but in spite of that Liza had risen through the ranks and earned the respect of all of his agents both old and new. She was a legend, and for once it was a title that even the Mastermind felt was befitting.
When he’d lost contact with her, he’d had to cover by listing Liza as a fugitive. She wasn’t, of course, but until he could bring her back in and talk to her face to face there was no way he could know what had gone wrong. And that was the thing that infuriated him. The not knowing. What had happened to her?
He had a team on it, but they were told specifically not to make contact. He’d sent her husband away, and if the man knew what was good for him, he’d stay away. He wasn’t really worried about Wilson though. The man was scared of his own shadow. After betraying his wife, going anywhere near her would be the last thing he’d want to do, if he was as smart as Liza claimed he was.
He expected complete allegiance and so did Liza. He trusted Liza because she was like him. If she went off the grid, she had good reason. In every agents career they came a time when the door had to be closed on the past permanently. As long as she came back to him, the Mastermind had no problem with Liza tying up some loose ends. It was time.