Jason sat at his desk quickly typing up an intelligence report which was soon due to be reviewed by the agency's leading executives. The typical office sounds of phones ringing, clattering keyboards, and co-workers chatting in their small cubicles echoing in the background. This had been his daily routine for the last couple of months ever since he had joined the agency: writing documents of the intelligence gathered on the various groups and people the agency was actively monitoring. He was almost finished with the nearly 200-page government document when he heard a familiar voice call out his name from behind him, "Agent Whittaker."
Jason immediately spun his chair around and his eyes came to rest on Deputy Director Donovan's secretary, Ms. Connors. She continued, her voice in a formal tone "Director Donovan would like to see you now in his office."
"Oh, of course."
He stood up from his chair and followed Ms. Connors down a winding aisle lined with rows of cubicles on both sides, through a doorway which led into a corner office, and past Ms. Connors desk until they finally arrived at the door which led into Donovan's private office. Ms. Connors then knocked.
"Come in" came an older man's voice with a Scottish accent from the other side of the large oak door. Ms. Connors opened the door and entered the room.
"Director Donovan, Agent Whittaker is here sir."
"Good, send him in."
She then exited the room and motioned for Jason to enter. "Director Donovan will see you now."
"Thank you." Jason entered the room and Ms. Connors closed the door behind him leaving the two men alone to talk.
"You wanted to see me, sir," Jason said somewhat nervously, his eyes fixed on the rather intimidating man sitting behind the desk in front of him.
"Ah, yes Jason. You have been working here for a couple of months now and I feel that you are ready to undertake your first field mission."
"Really sir?" Jason responded with a slight grin on his face, unable to completely hide his excitement.
"Through your work here you have shown me that you possess all the attributes and qualities which I look for in a potential field agent. You're hard-working, determined, and intelligent. Something which makes me believe that you will be able to successfully complete this mission" Donovan replied.
"Thank you so much sir," Jason said, truly humbled and honored by Donovan's words.
At that moment a knock sounded at the door. "Yes," Donovan called out. The door then opened and Ms. Connors once again entered the room.
"Excuse me Director Donovan, but Agent Forbes has just arrived."
"Perfect, just in time...send her in."
"Of course sir." Ms. Connors then exited the office.
A few seconds later a tall and very attractive woman walked through the door. She was wearing a black pencil skirt, white poplin shirt, black stilettos, and a pair of silver stud earrings. Her auburn hair, which beautifully complemented her deep green eyes, was pulled back into a sleek high ponytail. From the moment he saw her Jason sensed an air of mystery surrounding this woman and was instantly intrigued and even somewhat captivated by her. Donovan stood up from his chair and motioned with his hand towards her.
"Jason Whittaker may I introduce Agent Tasha Forbes. She will be your partner on this assignment."
Tasha extended her hand to Jason "It's a pleasure to meet you, Agent Whittaker."
Jason took her hand in his. "It's a pleasure to meet you as well, but please call me Jason," he said as he released her hand.
"Only if you call me Tasha."
"I think I can manage that," Jason said with a hint of a smile on his face.
"Please, have a seat," Donovan said, gesturing to the two chairs in front of his desk as he sat back down.
"Thank you, sir," Jason said.
"Thank you Donovan" Tasha replied as the two of them also sat down.
Donovan then opened the top drawer of his desk and pulled out two yellow folders. He handed the folders to Jason and Tasha who quickly opened them.
"For quite some time now we have been monitoring events in Krudia as the country has been racked by economic turmoil and civil unrest. The perfect opportunity for an extremist political sect to overthrow the government and seize power. Recently several of our operatives have uncovered a new political group called the Krudia Liberation Front or KLF. We believe them to be a fanatical and dangerous faction as there have been reports of them buying massive stocks of weapons and recruiting numerous followers. Your mission is to gather intelligence about the KLF, particularly its leader Dalmar, their main objective, and where their weapons are stored. You two will travel to Krudia where you will be posing as Melinda Tylerson and Edward Delucas - the leaders of an illegal arms operation based in South Africa who are interested in securing a deal to supply armaments to the KLF. You both will be leaving at seven o'clock, Wednesday morning, on Air U.S.A flight AU1498 from Washington to Bulin, the capital of Krudia. Once you arrive there you will make contact with a man named Tarek Matthins, Dalmar's right-hand man. He has been informed by one of our undercover agents of your impending arrival as well as the armaments and weapons agreement you are supposedly prepared to offer. His code sign will be Zeta Delta Gamma 7104. Do either of you have any questions?" Donovan looked towards each of them for their reply.
"No sir, no questions'' Jason replied.
"Same here Donovan" Tasha answered.
"Well, then you two are dismissed. Make sure you get some rest. You'll need it."
"Of course Donovan" Tasha replied.
"We will sir" Jason responded as he and Tasha rose from their chairs.
They began walking towards the door when Donovan quickly spoke up again while making his way to the front of his desk. "Ah, Tasha...can you stay back for a moment?"
"Of course Donovan" Tasha replied before walking back towards Donovan's desk. Jason then exited the room and closed the door leaving Tasha and Donovan by themselves in the office.
"Tasha...I just wanted to ask you if you're sure you can handle this assignment?" Donovan asked with a concerned look on his face.
"Why sure Donovan. I've handled far more serious threats than this before. You can trust me."
Donovan looked down for a moment, sighed, and then spoke. "It's not that I don't trust you, Tasha, believe me, I am well aware of just how capable you are."
"Well then forgive me for saying this but what is the problem?... Why are you so worried about me being assigned to this case?" Tasha asked with a confused expression on her face.
"It's not the assignment per se but rather your new partner...Jason."
"Jason...what about him. You told me he has all the makings of a great agent, one of the best event analysts you've ever had in fact" Tasha said, still confused by Donovan's apprehension.
Donovan nodded softly "Aye, Aye. that I did. It's just that in my experience I have found that oftentimes new agents are so anxious to prove their skills as analysts that they recklessly take action without thinking. And I...I worry that the same thing will happen with Jason. Something which could have dangerous consequences not only for him but for you as well" Donovan paused and then continued. "Since you've only been partnered with experienced agents in the past I thought I'd let you know the risks of partnering with a new agent. In case you felt like you couldn't handle it and wanted to be reassigned."
"I appreciate your concern Donovan but I can handle him. I haven't spent this much time in the agency without learning a few things" Tasha replied as she attempted to reassure him.
"And that is what makes you one of my very best agents," Donovan said with a look of sincerity and pride in his eyes.
"Thanks, Donovan. Hearing you say that means a lot to me...Well, I best get going. See you when I get back" Tasha said with a smile as she backed away from the desk, turned around, walked to the office door, and placed her hand on the doorknob.
She had just opened the door and was about to exit the room when Donovan called out to her "Tasha."
She turned her head back in his direction, her hand still resting on the knob, and replied "Yes, Donovan."
"I will Donovan" she answered reassuringly before walking out of Donovan's office, softly closing the door behind her. Donovan quietly sighed, walked around to the back of his desk, and sat once again in his office chair.
"I just hope I'm doing the right thing," he said to himself in a low worried tone of voice before resuming his work.