Friday, September 7, 2012

The South American Incident-03

Ken arrived at the Martinez residence, a home originally built by the Spanish colonizers several generations ago and refurbished periodically to maintain and update the property, so it was a large and airy mansion on no small amount of land. This was, in the traditional sense, a proper household and the man of the house—Colonel Raphael Martinez (retired)—was himself a scion of Colombia’s upper class. Looking far more Spanish than Colombian, much like Marisol, the Colonel displayed in his bearing the charisma and vigor often expected (and rarely exhibited) by his class in society. Raphael was just the man to lead the government’s fight against the cartels, which is also why he—like his predecessors—was a marked man.

The Colonel met Marisol and Ken at the front door, kissing his wife and shaking Ken’s hands in turn as they got out of the car.

“I am pleased to meet you at last.” The Colonel said, “Marisol has always spoken so highly of you since I began courting her all those years ago.”

Ken could not help but to notice the disparity in age between his old university friend and her husband—at least ten years, if the pepper-like hair was more stress-induced than just aging—and he noted that Marisol’s affection for the Colonel, while genuine, seemed constrained by convention. He also noticed the slight printing of a pistol beneath his host’s jacket; this was, as expected, no foolish man.

“Come, then.” The Colonel said, “Let us go inside.”

Ken allowed his host to show him into the mansion. Servants took up Ken’s luggage, such as it was, and removed it upstairs where he would later find it in the room set for him. Meanwhile, he went with his host and friend to a balcony overlooking the city. The Colonel seated Marisol, and then showed Ken to another chair, before taking one himself. Another servant appeared to serve them tea.

“You came a very long way, and on such short notice.” The Colonel said.

“My business in Russia had just concluded when your wife reached me, Colonel.” Ken said.

“Indeed.” The Colonel said, producing a pen and a notepad from an interior pocket, “Your reputation with regard to your business pursuits has already attracted some attention in the circles that I often travel.”

The Colonel wrote something down and passed pen and paper to Ken.

“I do hope that I am not too indiscreet for your needs, Colonel.” Ken said as he read the note, “I prefer to keep my business to myself, and leave those unconcerned alone.”

The note read You should be aware that you have attracted the attention of the Intelligence Community, and they are not happy with you.

"You deal well with complications." The Colonel said.

"I follow Alexander's example." Ken said, "It's always worked for me."

No comments:

Post a Comment