All's Fair

‘Pasha’ arched her back and made sure Gunther got a good view. He was totally naked and she had on about eighty-seven square centimeters of silk. She’d measured. She handed him a glass and he downed the last of it. She massaged his cheeks, letting her long fingernails tease his lips.

He took a firm grip on her chest, then slumped back and went limp. About bloody time, she thought, I thought a Mickey Finn was supposed to work quickly. This guy nearly got all the money. She put on the annoying undergarments and then the silk dress, making sure she looked like a proper Turkish courtesan (read: streetwalker) again.

The key was in his pocket where she thought it would be. She took it over to the footlocker and opened the padlock. The heavy lid resisted, but in vain. And inside... jackpot!

She pulled out the large map, carefully memorizing how it was folded. A half-dozen snapshots and she had the entire battle plan. After folding it back up perfectly she studied the rest of the contents. Nothing unexpected, but she took a few snaps anyway for good measure. Finally she put everything back exactly as she found it and re-locked the chest. The key went back in Gunther’s pocket. Just before leaving she took one more photo.

She thought for a moment. Why am I here? I have to make it look reasonable. She took out Gunther’s wallet and lifted all the cash, then wiped it down to ruin any fingerprints. A few moments later she was out the door and headed for street level.

Askaray is an ancient and beautiful part of Istanbul. According to the brochure it’s within walking distance of the Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque, and more. Pasha didn’t care; it was also close to the Grand Bazaar, which was enough. She felt the eyes of a number of Turkish and foreign men checking her out, but her goal was already set. She got to her hotel a few blocks from where the job had gone down and went to her modest room.

In moments the black wig was off and the shower and special soap were sluicing away her dark complexion. She was glad she’d taken the time to go full body, and that those last eighty-seven square centimeters had stayed covered. Bright red hair ‘down under’ would have been hard to explain. Once dressed in something more sensible she called the special phone number she’d been given.

“Hello?” She confirmed that she knew his voice.

“David, it’s Janet. I have the plans, plus a few extra photos. I’m e-mailing them over.”

“Thanks. You’re the greatest, sis.”

Five minutes later Janet’s cell phone rang. The call display said David.

“Hi David. Did everything come out okay?”

“Great. But why do I have a picture of some guy’s... you know?”

“So you can see how close you came to an international incident. Now transfer the rest of the money and go win your toy soldiers tournament. I’ve got shopping to do.”