It was three p.m. in the office on the D.C. Beltway. The chrome and glass furniture here cost as much as many homes. But to the occupant of the suite it was worth every penny since it was all part of the image they had to maintain.
The man had just returned from an extended lunch at an upscale Pentagon City restaurant. Their party had included two former generals, a Fortune Five Hundred CEO and the chiefs of staff for several members of Congress. It had been tiring and expensive, but worth it.
The desktop computer suddenly chirped. Well manicured hands brought up the email and read the contents. First was a list of towns.

    Charlotte, Brevard, Jonesborough, Knoxville, Cancun, Shanghai, Xian, Lhasa, UNKNOWN, Gonggar, Magnitogorsk, Mechanicsburg, Nazca, Mississippi.

Next came a paragraph outlining Kathy Bennett’s identity, her association with John Parker and her assignment to Mexico. A second paragraph gave a brief but detailed description of the journalist, his assignment and what he personally had at stake. Two final sentences briefly discussed the involvement of the black suited mystery agents. The phone rang and the man at the computer answered. A voice on the other end spoke.
“Did you get the message?”
“Should I move?”
He replaced the receiver and deleted the e-mail. Now he understood why the spy and reporter were stirring interest in the halls of power. But for the moment he dismissed the whole affair since his subordinates would do what needed to be done. Delegation was the foundation of his success— having others do his work for him. In the mean time he had a tee time with the vice-presidents of several oil companies.