Compliments of Agent 47


The white sand beaches glittered under the tropical sun on Kueauea, a private, resort-owned island in French Polynesia. A constant light, salty breeze blew inland, keeping the temperature pleasant. Small but lavish cedar villas dotted the landscape between slender coconut palm trees and lush hibiscus and gardenia bushes.   Live music played at the resort's restaurant and outdoor tiki bar from mid-day to midnight, ranging from calypso drums and ukuleles to Jimmy Buffet cover bands. A single pier stretched into the Pacific ocean, where guests arrived and departed by luxury yacht.

A few fishermen stood on the pier, casting lines into the waves. A parasailor floated past a waterskiier on the ocean. A handful of people stood in the surf, with more stretched out on the lounges that spanned the length of the beach. A Pacific Islander on staff was teaching guests a native dance on the sand. "Now, go full circle with your hips," the instructor said.

Dressed in summer whites or floral prints, the small bevy of rich tourists complied. Agent 47 swayed his arms and circled his hips as well, doing his best to blend in. Tall, bald, and built like a bouncer, with his blue eyes covered by Ray-Bans and a woven, straw hat hiding the bar code tattooed on the back of his head, he was pretending to be a high tech investor on vacation. He was really there to obtain a flash drive of old KGB assets from Ivan Markoff, a pear-shaped, droopy-eyed, ex-Soviet State Security bureaucrat, before Markoff passed it off to his buyer. The buyer's identity was unknown. No eliminations were currently part of the mission.

Agent 47 kept his eyes on the empty chair next to Markoff's mistress, a buxom brunette of barely legal age, barely wearing a bikini. Markoff had arrived on the afternoon yacht the day before, and had spent the evening in his villa recovering from a bout of seasickness. He had emerged for a light breakfast of fruit and coffee at the restaurant, while the mistress remained in the room. Now, Markoff was chatting with the resort staff at the activity kiosk near the beach, arranging to go deep sea fishing.

As the buyer was unknown, Agent 47 would have to act with relative haste. He was hoping Markoff would join his mistress, giving Agent 47 the chance to slip off to Markoff's villa. There was a possibility that Markoff would have the flash drive on his person, which would mean getting creative. Agent 47 was not a pickpocket, but he did have vials of sedatives and emetics on his person, to incapacitate the man.

Luck was with Agent 47, and Markoff joined his mistress on the beach. Agent 47 swayed his way to the edge of the dancers, before dropping his arms and departing the group. He kept his stride casual, stopping by the bar to pick up a double shot of vodka and a spicy Bloody Mary. With both glasses in hand, he made his way to the villas, nodding politely to other guests as he passed.

His bare feet were silent on the wooden walkway as he approached Markoff's villa. He could see housekeeping three villas beyond Markoff's, granting him plenty of time to search. Shifting both glasses to his right hand, he withdrew a electronic microcontroller from the pocket of his Bermuda shorts. He slipped the mircrocontroller into the power port located at the base of the keycard lock, and the lock clicked open within seconds.   Agent 47 collected the microcontroller, pushed open the door as if it were his own villa, strode inside, and closed the door behind him.

The cleaned villa was identical in arrangement to Agent 47's own. Wide-tiled floor and a knee wall divided the small living area and sleeping area. A plush sofa and reclining chair faced a glass coffee table and mounted television. A desk tucked itself into the corner. Round nightstands with globe lamps flanked a king-sized bed. A walk-in closet connected to the large bathroom, which had gold fixtures, a Jacuzzi tub, four-person glass shower, and triple vanity.   French doors opened onto a private lanai.

Agent 47 set the drinks on the desk and began his search for the flash drive. He was precise and methodical, going through every paper, nook and cranny, ensuring each thing he touched was replaced exactly where it originated. The desk yielded nothing, nor did the nightstand, closet, bathroom, or lanai. Agent 47 checked between the mattresses and the cushions on the sofa and recliner. Using a utility knife, he checked inside the vents, and prodded for loose tiles and hidden caches. He search came up empty.   Markoff had to have the flash drive on him.

Undeterred, Agent 47 obtained a piece of resort stationery from the desk as well as a pen and wrote a quick note. The pen went back to its exact place. Agent 47 retrieved a vial of sedative from his pocket and dosed both the double shot of vodka and Bloody Mary. He moved the drinks to the glass coffee table and propped the note against them.   Compliments of the Kueauea Resort.

With a final look around the room, Agent 47 stepped out onto the lanai, closed the French doors behind him, and tucked himself into the corner to do one of the things he did best.