Monday, 29th May 2023 - 16:50:22 pm

Rudmetkyn was in a foul mood. Nothing had gone right. Even his tea this morning had been tepid. That had caused him to snap at Borodnikoff. Not a smart thing to do, he knew. Only a fool snaps at Borodnikoff. Rudmetkyn would have make it up to him in some way, a way that would not make Rudmetkyn seem weak. That was no problem. He was an expert in that field.

This Colonel Steven Kincaid infuriated him. How could the man have picked his way through all those hostile Iranians and rescue that agent in broad daylight? One thing was clear: Rudmetkyn had greatly underestimated the man. That would not happen again.

Oh well, it was foolish to dwell on the past. What was over was over. After all, it wasn't a complete loss. The rock in Iran could easily be replaced. The platinum globe in Washington was lost. That would be more difficult to replace. That one was talking but, because of Rudmetkyn's system, he knew nothing but his own assignments. So his diamond was still there; the man who had the President's ear.

The agent in Los Angeles had behaved well through all of this. The drug ring was well satisfied. The attacks on it had stopped. Rudmetkyn's strategy had worked perfectly even though Kincaid had escaped. Who would have guessed that the US Government would pay off the band of vigilantes? Even so, Rudmetkyn got the credit. More important, he now had his foot in the door of the Southern California drug trade.

So all in all, the operation was a huge success even though the quarry had escaped.

But it bothered him that Kincaid had gotten away. He filed that away under "unfinished business." He had learned a great deal from all this. It might be amusing to have another try at him. If the quarry could be flushed once he could be flushed again. Next time...

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