From the Journals of Mac Harper: Out Rider Agent #11557
CIA Handler: Henry William Towler (U.S. Ambassador stationed in New York City)
The truth about my R&R 'exploits' in Taiwan–Entry I
My handler Henry Towler politely asked me to keep a journal of my casework starting with this one. It's far different than the boring, statistical reports we have to write up after the fun stuff is over with. A spy's work isn't always so glamorous, though I was fortunate enough to be picked for an assignment involving Danielle Reynolds, fashion photographer extraordinaire. I have a lot to say about that, but that's not the purpose of this entry. I really just want to set a record straight, because on this case Dani assumes I was being…rambunctious? How about I use a better word, such as lascivious? So, I'm constantly teased about that, and honestly, it's grating my nerves. Hopefully, whoever reads this entry will think better of me if they know otherwise.
The truth is, I was getting everything but rest and relaxation. My stint in Taiwan was what you would call the 'Outrider initiation.' Henry had his eye on me for his clandestine team for a while, but he was waiting for just the right opportunity to test me out. Taiwan was it. The case was a very perilous situation. An American diplomat's twelve-year-old daughter was kidnapped while they were staying in the city. This said diplomat, (I'm not allowed to use real names of people or places within the country, so we'll call him, Frank)Anyways, Frank was waging an all out war against corruption in the city and in particular, the sexual exploitation of young children. When I heard about this, my blood boiled. Henry anticipated a strong a reaction from me and he got quite an earful that afternoon. I guess that sealed his decision. No matter how much he complains I'm too off the cuff and don't give a hoot about regulation, (hence being kicked out of the armed forces!) he keeps giving me assignments…go figure!
I mean, you barely read of this stuff in the daily papers, but working for organizations like I do, they filter across the table every day. You are then smacked with the ultimate, ugly truth that you can't save everyone. I've run into the argument that taking on the Child-sex tourism industry was too hot to handle. I was told by all levels of authority to let it go, but I couldn't, I wouldn't. And I made it clear that it shouldn't be ignored. I wasn't going to cater to this see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil monkey business and red tape. It's sadly true, nothing humanly possible may ever to stop these monsters from preying on innocent kids, but I was willing to try. Being an Outrider is not just about diffusing bombs and shooting bad guys; it's about helping those in need, in any way you can. It truly disgusted me to realize that with the travel and tourism industry booming, the majority of the offenders were right from U.S. soil. I deeply regarded my decision to take the case as the right one.
Perhaps I should give the un-enlightened a little background into the world of Child-sex tourism, I'll refer to it as 'CST.' Anyway, let me clue you in and then try and tell me I was wrong. In a nutshell, CST makes profits from the exploitation of child prostitutes in developing countries. Many children are trafficked into the sex trade. These poor, defenseless kids are dragged across the border illegally and then sold to filthy brothel owners. I can understand if you don't care to read on, so I'll be light about it, but I'm sure you get the picture. Their wretched lives are almost too shocking to deal with. While I can appreciate why many are reluctant to take a stand for the issue, I utterly disagree with them.
After Henry dropped the case in my lap, (literally, that file folder weighed about five pounds easy!) I went on a personal mini-operation to dig up as much facts as I could about this taboo business. Time was of strict essence, with Frank's daughter's life hanging by a thread. I'll refer to her as 'Katie' in this entry. I'll admit that I was even more afraid for her well being, if you get the idea. Most of this fact-finding was done over lukewarm coffee, bland meals and brief catnaps on the sixteen hour plane ride. I was determined to accomplish my mission scrupulously, armed not just with weaponry, but cold, hard facts and figures to impress the non-believers.
My research led me to discover that these children dish up between two and thirty clients per week, and the age group gets younger every year. The children live in a constant state of fear. They tremble from the brutal acts committed by clients, they dread being beaten by pimps who control the trade, and are desperately afraid of being caught by the local authorities. I doubt they do much to control it anyway. While the authorities can have a limited power over their own countrymen, the laws are lax for tourists…and they just keep swarming in like roaches.
While on the plane to Taiwan, I noticed a middle-aged stuffed shirt very discreetly pouring over slapdash CST brochures. Being the nosy person I am, I took a peek. It took every ounce of willpower I had to sit back in my chair and control my fist from flying into his mouth. No dentist would have been able to salvage his gnarly teeth. I casually rapped his shoulder and flashed my badge. Yes, I do carry one and I was compelled to actually use it this time. When the guy saw it, his skin turned so white, he looked like he was dead for a week. I ripped the brochures from his hands and told him to have a pleasant trip. Oh yeah, I gave him fair warning that If I happened to see him around the City in any of those locations, no jury in the world would convict me. After that, he excused himself to the bathroom. Let me say, I can be frightening when I have to be. Don't let these big blue puppy eyes fool you.
While I'm still on a writing rant, I'll point out that many of the victims also suffer physically. They catch tuberculosis, infections, and sustain physical injuries from violence. They suffer exhaustion and the venereal diseases are rampant. The poor little things barely receive medical care until it's discovered they are critically or terminally ill. They live in squalor and eat irregularly. In the end all, drug-use and suicide are commonplace. Needless to say, or write, I was not surprised that these victims suffer from depression, low self-worth, and just plain hopelessness that no child should ever have to encounter.
Now that you know a little more about this, I'll get into more detail about the 'R&R.' Bear with me; I'm not a good writer by any means. I'm just trying to jot down my experiences in the most intelligible and quickest way possible. I can get verbose.
I was assigned a cover, 'Mr. Edward Bauer.' I don't look like an Edward, but I look even less like an 'Eddie.' Edward was a German-American employee of TWA, working his way up to VP as part of his five-year plan. He was a ruthless brown-nose and pretty much the biggest cad to walk the earth. He was born into money, but his 'cruel' father wouldn't give him a penny unless he earned it. Still, deprived Edward lived the sweet life with a snazzy pad, flashy cars, hot suits and hotter women. He was coming to Taiwan out of sick curiosity after overhearing a group of co-workers talking about this fairly new way of getting their nasty kicks.
Notice I didn't use the word, 'I.' Well I, Mackenzie David, uhh, Mac Harper, have good reason for disassociating myself from that beastly cover. Still, Henry had the confidence I could pull it off.
Let's face it. With my looks, I had been prone to get away with just about anything. Ask my tenth-grade teachers about the day I cherry bombed the staff bathrooms, timing them to go off during the senior graduation. Yeah, I was well on my way to juvenile delinquency in High School. I think I did everything you can imagine–but all in fun of course. I don't think roller-skating around the halls made me evil. At fifteen I drank and smoked. My name was etched into the subconscious of quite a few of the gals, and I learned on quite a few bathroom stalls with hearts and daggers. Call me a narc, a nerd, whatever synonym you want to use. Geek is a little strong; I mean hey, I wasn't biting the heads off chickens! I was a class clown and I was damn proud of it! That didn't stop my classmates from liking me. I got everyone in on the pranks and the action; it made them feel alive. I was also a perpetual liar…no…more like a spinner of myths. I knew how to twist the truth like nobody's business. A manipulative bastard I suppose.
I was an attention hog. If you psychoanalyzed me, you'd find the reasons for my immature behavior were fairly simple. Home was not the best place to be and I was literally starving for that attention. My future did not involve milking cows on some dairy farm in Wisconsin. Okay, since this is a classified Journal I must tell the truth. I am not from Wisconsin. I couldn't even tell you how to get there. That's part of the cover I tell the girls and modeling friends and associates. I'm really from New Jersey, there, I said it, badabing badaboom! Let's move on.
The one word that best describes my youth, 'INCORRIGABLE.' But even with my behavior, I knew, and a few astute teachers knew, that I was a good person with a keen sense of justice and a big compassionate heart. Hey, my mother said so! But I digress; let's get back to the reason for writing this journal, and that is, the real truth behind my being Taiwan.