Chapter 14Mature

The short, dumpy analyst scratched his head while he looked at the printout again, before sliding it into a folder. Huffing with the strain of effort, he hefted his large frame out of the chair and waddled towards the office in the back of their work area. The office was sparsely populated this time of night, which was exactly how he liked it. He knocked twice gingerly on the door of the door of his supervisor’s office before poking his head inside.

“Boss?” He asked politely.

A gaunt man of advancing years sat behind a large metal desk, looking over a voluminous stack of papers. Oddly stacked piles of various sizes littered every horizontal surface of the room. The young man noted the conspicuous absence of a computer in his office, silently. The supervisor waved him in.

“Why is this section of his file classified? And what’s more –I’ve never seen this level of classification before…” He handed the folder to the older man, who took it without looking up from is pile. He touched the horn rimmed spectacles to adjust them while he read the jacket.

“Oh my…” He chirped. “I haven’t seen a classification like this in years…” He sat back down at his desk and casually flipped open the file.

“I asked because the designation came up during a routine search. I have no idea what to do with it.”

“You mean the ID is active?”

“Yeah…” The analyst looked quizzically at his supervisor, unaware of the relevance of his statement.”

“It hasn’t been active for twenty seven years. I honestly was just going to file it away but I thought I’d better check first.”

“What do you mean active?” The supervisor asked.

“It accessed a few files on our some of our San Diego files. Nothing spectacular or even classified beyond confidential…” He shrugged.

He held up the file and waggled a weathered finger at the top. “Oh, my God… Please tell me you’re joking.”

“I’m not. Honest.” He looked quizzically at the old man. “I don’t even know what it means.”

The supervisor leaned back in his chair, stretching his back as he contemplated what to do next. “Wake up everyone. I want everyone who has anything to do with San Diego here within the next forty five minutes.”

“I don’t get it.” The dumpy young man exclaimed.

“I’d almost forgotten this designation because it’s been off the books for so long. You see the coding here… You don’t know the code because they stopped using it back in 1989 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. People stopped building super weapons and we put on a “kinder, gentler” way of killing people.  It’s classified top secret eyes only because of the resource in question.”

“It’s a Soviet Asset?”

“Son, Sarin isn’t an asset. And Sarin isn’t Soviet –Sarin is a catastrophe of biblical proportions… I want you to get on the horn and wake up the staff. Tell everyone to put their vacations on hold, too.”

“Sarin is a person?”

“Yes, but we don’t know whether or not it’s a male or female. We don’t have a name or profile on it. Whoever Sarin is, they are responsible for nearly six hundred confirmed kills. That’s individual assassinations –not bombings, gassings, or combat. In nineteen eighty four, Sarin had a falling out with her handlers for some unknown reason and decimated it’s own organization almost to the man –then promptly dropped off the face of the Earth.”

“Sarin sounds pretty dangerous.”

All totaled, we credit Sarin with nearly fifteen hundred kills. That’s nearly three times as many as Simo Hayha, the Finnish sniper who is widely considered to have the most confirmed kills of any sniper –during wartime. That’s why we gave Sarin the moniker after the nerve gas.  But frankly, youngster, if you put her and the real Sarin gas in a room together, within minutes Sarin gas would be on the edge of death, begging for its life…”

The End

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