Howard “Buzz” Ford was the best agent that the Covert Agency had. He was a veteran of more missions than he could remember. The Agency itself was kept under wraps and even the mention of it was hushed up by the Government, much like Area 51 and what went on there. Buzz, as he was called for a reason that he could not really recollect, was an expert at ballistics and bombs, a talent that held him in good stead in the war areas of the Middle East, in Afghanistan, Iraq and more recently Syria.
Buzz did the work that could never have Government clearance for obvious reasons. Nasty assassinations, risky extractions, illegal kidnappings, Buzz did them all.
Then what could have been so severe in his latest mission that made him shut himself in his house was the question the agency was asking.
Ever since Buzz had come back from Lebanon something inside him had changed. He was distant, uncommunicative and his neighbors did see the newspapers gather outside his door. He was not even stepping outside his house.
On a cold winter day the Agency had to break his door down because he would not answer their calls or mails. They found him dead, hanging from the ceiling, suicide.
Nick Rogers was his partner on many a mission. Nick was shocked to learn that Buzz had killed himself. He wanted to know why but the Agency kept everything under wraps, need to know basis only. Nick told the agency that if they wanted him out in the field than they better level with him or they could “Kiss his ass Goodbye”. The Agency could not afford to lose two agents in a week. They sent Nick a DVD with instructions to destroy after he watched it.
The television screen came alive with Buzz’s face on it. Nick sat down to see what his friend had to say. Buzz looked like he had not slept, eaten, shaved or even lived in days. He spoke in a shattered lonesome tone.
“If you are watching this video, then you know that I have succeeded in killing myself. I could not live another day with his young innocent eyes looking at me. Everywhere I go I see his eyes, even when I close my eyes I see him, he is smiling at me, he is stretching his hand out, his innocence is tearing me apart.”
Buzz closed his eyes and took a deep breath, “I was in Lebanon and my mission was to kill Abu Tariq. He was the genius who was routing the funding for the groups that we want decimated. Like all men who have secrets Abu Tariq had one. He had a Mistress that he visited every week, the day and time would vary, so I had to stalk him for weeks to learn that there was no choice but to wait for him to appear. His security made it impossible for a direct assault. There was only one way, detonate the damn place when he was inside with her. The Mistress would be collateral damage but then she deserved it for sleeping with the devil. I lined the place up when she went out for a chore. I chose a remote detonator with an exclusive frequency and a place the I rented for a month with a view to the Mistress’s house.”
“Late on a Sunday night Abu Tariq came there, what I had not bargained for was that he would come with his twelve-year old boy. What kind of an asshole came to a Mistress with a kid? I put my headphones on and heard him telling the Mistress that she had to move; he had intel that he was being watched. He would have one of his men take her to an undisclosed place. I was going to loose him if I did not kill him there and then, if I did, I would kill an innocent child. It was the Devil’s Alternative. The seconds ticked by and I saw Tariq get up to leave, it was either now or never. I hit the button. Just before the place went up in flames I caught the sight of the little boy saying goodbye to the lady with a smile.”
Buzz began to sob, “I cannot forget that smile and the waving of the hand. It was like he was saying goodbye to the world. The sight haunts me, I cannot live with that smile but most of all I cannot live with myself.”
Then Buzz wiped his tears, “I have no idea what we are fighting for anymore. Their children are dying and our children are dying. We are fighting for a future but what kind of future is it where there are no children? A Chinese curse comes to my mind, ‘May you outlive your children.’ We are making that curse come true.”
The video went off and left Nick looking at the flurry of the television signal. He closed his eyes and leaned back. What would turn the tide of so much hate, he wondered. Then he sighed and wished the world did not have so many believers. For a moment he wished there was no God, no his God and no my God. Just no God. Humans, he realized, had the need to make others believe in what they believed in. In the end all conflict came to that My belief versus your belief.