Car headlights flash through my living room, waking me up from my half asleep state and causing my hand to instinctively jump to the side of my waist. I suppose old habits die hard.
Taking another sip of cheap red wine, I draw the curtains and turn back to my book. This had become a habit of mine after I started having issues falling asleep. Almost every night, I would park myself in my recliner with some cheap form of liquor and either flick through channels or chip through whatever novel I'd recently picked up.
After emptying a bottle or three, I'd pass out right there in my recliner, losing my page in the process. It would fuck up my back the following morning, but it sure beats tossing and turning 'til the cows come home.
You would think after a life of such tense operations, I would retire to a more peaceful lifestyle. Hell, I thought so too at one point.
I had always dreamed of retiring somewhere in the countryside. Maybe I would have a few chickens or sheep or some hippie shit like that. Instead? I sit here in my recliner, terrified at the thought of some loose end I forgot to tie coming back to haunt me.
I know that the whole idea of one of these loose ends resurfacing is highly unlikely, but it is not entirely impossible. After all, I saw every job to completion, and I did my job damn well. If my real job didn't involve such a heinous act of treason, I'd be damn proud of it.
Instead, when prompted to say what I did for a living, I parrot the same carefully constructed answer. "Served for many years as a security analyst for the military, government, and other private corporations. I'm retired now though. I'd tell you more, but if I did, no one would hear from you ever again.", which would elicit a hearty laugh in most places. Other places, not so much.
This answer was technically the closest to the truth I could get without spilling the beans on what I really did. If I found myself in a place where I felt my usual answer would raise eyebrows or provoke an undesirable response, I'd have to think on my feet. I would want to say something that portrayed me as an unremarkable retiree with some basic skills. “Oh, yeah, I worked at a lumber yard near Portland” or “Me? Construction over in the big apple for most of my life. Jobsite accident put me out of commission though.”
My name is Lucas Hart. Depending on where in the world you are, you may know me by a smattering of other names. Chief among them, Frank Schmidt, John Kerr, or simply Igor. At the time of writing this, I live in Boston Massachusetts, I am unmarried, I have no kids, I have no criminal record, and I hold no debts. At least, no debts that I'm aware of.
At a surface level, I was a fairly boring individual. Old bachelor who mostly keeps to himself. Below the surface? I was a chameleon who spent my entire career worming through major corporations, spy rings, black markets, organized crime circles, and government backrooms all with the intent of selling off whatever juicy bits of information I could find to the highest bidder.
Odds are, if you are reading this book, I've been found guilty of something. Consider this my way of setting the record straight. A confession of sorts. This book lays out in detail the events of all my major operations, information buyers, and some accomplices I had made along the way.
All I ask is that as you are reading this, recognize I was doing what I had to do to put food in my stomach, and most of the time, I thought what I was doing was for the greater good.