Unknown Mission, Part Twenty-Three

Continued from Part Twenty-One

Snyder and Cutler flanked Stefan the European as they entered the casino in the company of the secret service.

Stefan said, “Send my compliments to Colonel Dread. Your help is appreciated, albeit entirely unnecessary.”

Cutler replied, “There are rumors of a terrorist attack, and this is our territory.”

The owner approached and bowed to Stefan. ”Your majesty, I’ll have my finest boy waiting for you in your room.”

Stefan wrinkled his nose and produced a polite smile. “I’d much rather find my own entertainment, thank you.”

Snyder smiled. Stefan wasn’t nearly the sellout he’d thought. Still, millions of saints in Europe would’ve testified that Stefan was no saint, except talking was quite a challenge when headless.

Stefan sat down at a slot machine and pulled the lever. He lost. He pulled it again.

And again . . . .

And again . . . .

After twenty pulls, Snyder sighed. I bet the ICA really increased compulsive gambling. But as he’s playing with tax dollars, I don’t think he’s worried.

Snyder looked at his watch. 10:20. Time to fly. “Your excellency, let me get you another drink.”

Snyder wasn’t technically old enough to be here, but being in the military provided a fringe benefit. He fetched the drink from the bar, found a convenient table, and tripped. The champagne splashed on his uniform.

Snyder stood. “Oh no, look at that.”

Stefan turned. “Quite a mess, Private. You’d best wash off.”

Snyder saluted and dashed half way across the casino to the chosen restroom, the only one with a real window, and a stall below it, too. He went into that stall and removed his dress pants, leaving on his black PT trunks. He removed his shoes and left the pants on the toilet seat with the lid down to hold his pants in place.

He pushed open the window, crawled out, and jumped onto the roof of the van parked below. He dropped through the open sunroof and down into the van.

He stared at Camera 5 on the monitors. Verducci was nervously pacing about and drinking. He kept looking at his watch.

Snyder pulled a headset off the wall and pressed Channel 4. “Verducci, you’re gonna get drunk.”

“Kid, you have no idea what somebody finding out that I held a party here would do to my reputation.”

“Stop drinking and kick the busboys and waiters out now.”

”Kid, you can’t even drink. You’re one to be giving orders.”

Now I know how Donovan must feel. “You want to hang, Verducci? I’m the techie.”

“All right, kid.” Verducci waved his hands to the crowd. “Yo, everybody whose not a guest, get out! We’d like privacy, and I mean total privacy.”

All but the guests left. Snyder switched Camera 5 from the actual party to a doctored video he recorded earlier. He checked his watch. Five minutes gone.

He climbed back onto the van’s roof and jumped through the open window, landing on the toilet. He dismounted and put his pants back on. He grabbed a bottle of stain remover from his pocket and poured it on the stain

Continued…Next Thursday

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