“I’m not comfortable with murder.”
“No one is. Not the first time,” Dan shifted in his seat and looked at me a long minute before continuing. “I can tell you’re beyond the good guy, bad guy bullshit. You know that we’re just the same as them, only working for a different boss. Think about it like this: How many lives will you save by taking one? This time it’s simple; we know the answer. Nine. We have nine agents in Crimea that will end up dead if Merkel is able to drop the flash drive off to his handler. These are the kind of tough decisions you have to make as an intelligence operative. They gloss over it at Langley, but this is the real world.”
“I’d do it myself,” he continued, “but Merkel’s already made me. Besides, a woman your size is much less of a perceived threat than a man my size. You can do this. You can save our agents. But you have to go now!”
I drained my espresso and followed Merkel from the outdoor market to his apartment building. It was easier than I thought. I strangled him with the strap of my purse the moment he opened the door to his sixth story flat. I searched his pockets and grocery bags. No drive. No hidden pockets on the interior of his clothing.
The police were in the building before I hit the ground floor. They had been tipped off. As I was led to a waiting car, lights flashing, I saw Dan smiling at me from the onlooking crowd. He waved a flash drive at me and turned away.