The Travel-ing Agent

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

The Travel-ing Agent

Of travel I’ve had my share, man.  I’ve been everywhere.” –Johnny Cash

Agent Stutson had never experienced such severe jetlag in her life.  She tried to sleep on the plane from Buenos Aires to Seoul, but the facts of the case were running rampant in her brain.  Truthfully, it was the lack of facts that concerned her.  She knew that she was in search of someone with brown hair who liked mountain climbing and had stolen the best grain of sand from The Rock of Gibraltar.  That was all the information she had and she knew it wasn’t enough.

If she were being honest, Agent Stutson was shocked at how little assistance she was afforded with this international mystery.  She was, by anyone’s definition, a rookie.  It said so right on her badge.  Questioning witnesses was only made more difficult by that fact.  Why should anyone take the time to describe what they saw to a labeled rookie?

The people she could get to converse with her were less than helpful.  Half the time the people stared back with no emotion and tried to crack jokes with her.  When they did have information to offer, it was only trace amounts.  No one could give a complete description of what they had seen or what the person looked like.  At best, they would offer a single fact or note, such as the suspicious character had a scar or walked with a limp.

Oh?  They limp?  Thanks!  Out of the seven billion people in the world, there are only a handful of individuals who walk with a limp.  I can’t thank you enough.  Really, you’ve just cracked this case wide open for me.  Let me put you on my back and give you a medal of honor for your cooperation with this case.  I’m sure my supervisors will be just as thrilled as I am with your dedication to furthering global justice.  Please, allow me the honor of shaking your hand.

Agent Stutson wanted to bang her head on the airplane seat in front of her, but it was occupied by a seven year-old boy and she didn’t have the heart to share her misery with the innocent.  Instead, she turned her thoughts to the how the case was going so far.

Less than five minutes after her post-interview clearance with security, The Chief had thrust the case file into her hands.  Little sticky notes reminding her of procedure and a GPS tracker/ Phone were tossed her direction.  The Chief told her to get to the airport and solve the case.  Agent Stutson didn’t even have time to ask if cab fare was reimbursed before the office door slammed in her face.

The first eight hour flight had passed quietly enough and Agent Stutson had arrived at The Rock of Gibraltar.  She didn’t notice any grains of sand missing, but she was getting paid to travel the world, so who was she to argue.  In the eight hours she was allowed to investigate, Agent Stutson had only found three people who had seen anything even remotely helpful.  One backpacker had seen a flag stitched to the backpack of the criminal and therefore deduced that that’s where they must be headed.  Unfortunately, the other two witnesses’ guesses were vague to Agent Stutson, so she took the cue from the maple leaf flag and took off to Canada.

She must have had luck on her side, because as soon as she stepped out of the airport, a person dressed all in black except for a brown trenchcoat ran right in front of her.  Agent Stutson reached out to stop the person, but they quickly pulled out a jetpack and roared off.  Agent Stutson stared in wonder for a few minutes, wishing she was afforded that kind of technology.

Once again, despite the stunning event that had just been put on, she could only find three witnesses to the thief’s troublemaking.  The only person whose statement she had remembered to write down was unsure if the person was off to Tahiti or Italy.  Strangely enough, there were only five flights leaving the entire day.  Of course, one of those was going to Tahiti and another to Italy.  Agent Stutson swore and flipped a coin.  She flew off to Tahiti on a whim.

When she arrived, no one knew anything.  As soon as she pulled a citizen aside, they gave her a blank look.  “Are you sure you’re not lost?”  The general public all gave her the same kind of answers.  “You must be in the wrong place”, they told her.  Agent Stutson went back to the airport, but the agency’s travel representative told her that she couldn’t travel straight on to Italy.  She would have to return to Canada, and then fly out to Italy.  Agent Stutson didn’t take the news well.

“Are you out of your freaking mind?  What sort of inane idea is that?  Why can’t I just take a direct flight?”  Screaming into the phone the agency had given her; Agent Stutson’s frustration only grew.  The representative on the other end would only reply, “That’s the way we do things, Agent.”  Of the seven days that had been given her, at least one was wasted flying back and forth so that she could finally arrive in Italy.  As soon as she arrived, she was ordered to sleep.  She couldn’t even leave the airport.  She was required to clock out right at that moment.  Of course, being ordered to sleep and actually resting were two very different things.

When the time was up, Agent Stutson bolted to the door.  As the sliding glass doors opened, she once again saw a black-clad figure with a brown trenchcoat.  She tried to get a good look at their features, but their fedora was pulled too low.  This time, the E.V.I.L. agent pulled out a giant pogo stick and bounced out of sight.  Agent Stutson wanted to cry, but at least she knew she was on the right trail.

Interviewing three people, Agent Stutson learned a few things about being a rookie investigator.  First off, she found out that a witness would never have more than one piece of information for her.  They might notice one thing about a crook or where they were going, but never both.  Second, she learned not to waste her time looking for a fourth or fifth witness.  They only repeated the exact same information that the first three had conveyed.

With eleven hours left to solve the crime, Agent Stutson found herself stretched to the limit.  How could headquarters put such a strict time limit on the case?  Didn’t they want the missing artifact to be recovered?  Why couldn’t they task a second agent to help her, especially since she was on her first case?  Her only real incentive to solve her first case was the promise of a quick promotion, but that goal seemed rather unattainable on this caper.  The change in time zones was confusing Agent Stutson, and she knew she didn’t have enough evidence to obtain a warrant even if she was on the right track.  She was going to have to figure out something fast.

The city of Seoul came into view as the plane began to descend.  Agent Stutson knew she wouldn’t be getting any rest.  Once again she would have to hit the ground running.  The agency claimed they gave her enough time to sleep and investigate, but The Chief kept sending her little messages reminding her that the trail was running cold and that she shouldn’t dilly-dally.  Agent Stutson would be thrilled if this case brought down the E.V.I.L. organization, but she knew it was just one more case in the bigger picture.  The question she really wanted answered was out of her grasp.  Where the sam hill was Elektra LosAngeles?

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About anecdotaltales
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

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