Last Instructions: New Excerpt
Offering a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into the technology of high-level intelligence operations, Nir Hezroni’s Last Instructions is the second book in the Agent 10483 Series—a dark thriller that provides a chilling exploration of the mind of a master killer.
Agent 10483, a psychopathic former Israeli spy, is busy trying to shut down the spy organization he once worked for and plotting his revenge against the key individuals who he deems responsible for the Organization’s betrayal against him. Now, he’s traveling the world in a quest to find a hidden nuclear warhead to use against them.
Everyone wants to get their hands on Agent 10483—the two teams from the Organization; twin assassins who are working in the service of Herr Schmidt, an intelligence organization unto himself who also wants the warhead; and Carmit, a sub-contractor for the Organization who performed transformations on him to manipulate his behavior during the course of his assassination missions abroad.
December 12, 2006
“Why didn’t he close his eyes?”
Dr. Weinberg removed fragments of glass from the eyeball of the attempted suicide victim using a pair of tweezers, placing each piece in a small aluminum basin. The blood that clung to the pieces of glass created circular patterns as it came in contact with the sterile substance in the metal bowl. This wasn’t the first time that Dr. Weinberg had encountered a road accident in which the victim’s glasses had shattered into his eyes, but usually the shards penetrated the eyelids first, which closed instinctively to protect the eyeball. This victim’s eyes had remained wide open.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.” The nurse standing beside him handed him an even smaller pair of tweezers. Several doctors were working simultaneously in the operating room on this nameless suicide attempt. He wasn’t carrying any documents, and his face had been smashed beyond recognition. The plastic surgeon next to them was busy trying to piece together bits of his shattered cheekbones.
“How did he manage to do this to himself again?”
“Jumped in front of a bus on Ibn Gvirol Street. Lucky for him an ambulance was in the area. Otherwise he’d be downstairs on the slab by now.”
“I’m not sure if you can call it luck. He may have been better off dead,” said the orthopedic surgeon on the other side of the table. He was cleaning denim thread from two open fractures in the victim’s thighs.
“We still have a good few more hours of work on him. We need to bring in a psychologist for when he wakes up. Make a note of that. I don’t want him jumping again the moment he wakes up.”
“The last thing he’s going to be able to do when he wakes up is jump.”
“If he wakes up.”
Dr. Weinberg made a note in the records and then went back to removing fragments of glass. “We’ll keep him under for at least two weeks; there’s no point in waking him yet.” He started humming the words to the song “Ten Little Fingers” from his young son’s favorite CD.
“Are you familiar with the definition of anxiety?” he asked the nurse beside him.
December 5, 2016
An incessant drizzle had been falling on London since early in the morning. The city’s residents went about their business. It was a Monday and Oxford Street was packed with umbrella-carrying pedestrians. One of them held a white plastic box with a black handle, crossed the busy road coming from the Marble Arch tube station and turned toward the entrance to Hyde Park. She wore a yellow hoodie and black sneakers, walked at a brisk pace, and glanced occasionally to the side. The park was quiet. Squirrels scampered among the trees, and a small group of giggling girls strolled leisurely along an adjacent walkway. She stopped beside one of the trees and placed the box on the ground and looked around. The park was quiet and peaceful. The weather had left most of the tourists on the streets of London to themselves, with the option of fleeing from one store to the next rather than getting soaked in the city’s parks. She lifted the lid off the box and tipped the container over. Dozens of white mice poured out onto the ground.
They froze momentarily in a white pile on the green grass, before scurrying off in all directions, some even hopping with delight. They were free.
Carmit closed the box and walked over to a green garbage can. She placed the box on the ground and left it there.
She then continued walking, breathing in the scent of freshly cut grass. Two people on horseback trotted past and she waved to them. If not for the dreams that plagued her nights, she was almost happy with her husband, Guy, and their children. She’d thought the dreams would disappear once she stopped doing transformations, but they hadn’t.
She’d even tried exhausting herself by going for a run every night before bed.
Carmit made her way back to the Underground station. She decided to take the Central line to Notting Hill Gate and then switch to the Circle line to Gloucester Road. The Piccadilly line would take her from there to Hammersmith. She’d arranged to meet Elliot at the Starbucks there. Besides her clients, he’s the only other person who’s aware of her work outside the bookstore. Actually, the bookstore is her only job now. She’d thought that dismantling the laboratory in the back of her store and releasing the mice in Hyde Park, would make her free, just like the mice; but she only felt emptiness. She’d speak to Elliot about her recurring dream.
Maybe he could help.
A hawk hovered above the trees in the park, following the movement of the mice in the grass below.
|FROM:||OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT HEAD|
|DISTRIBUTION:||RECRUITMENT DEPARTMENT HEAD|
|PERSONALITY AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY RESEARCH DEPARTMENT HEAD|
|SYSTEM:||ORION / BASE: OTR / EXPIRY DATE: 12/13/2016|
RE.: REAPPEARANCE OF AGENT 10483
I WISH TO SUM UP THE EVENTS OF THE PAST 24 HOURS DURING WHICH WE HAVE LEARNED THAT AGENT 10483, BELIEVED DEAD, APPEARS IN FACT TO BE ALIVE AND OPERATING AGAINST US ON ISRAELI SOIL.
IN 2006, IN LIGHT OF INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM MILITARY INTELLIGENCE’S UNIT 8200, WE LEARNED OF EFFORTS BY AN UNKNOWN PARTY, POSSIBLY IRAN, TO GET ITS HANDS ON A RUSSIAN NUCLEAR DEVICE FROM AMONG THE ARSENAL OF 1,400 NUCLEAR WARHEADS RETURNED TO RUSSIA BY KAZAKHSTAN DURING THE LATTER’S VOLUNTARY NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT PROGRAM FROM 1991–1995. (IN ALL LIKELIHOOD, THE DEVICE IN QUESTION IS A 42-KILOTON RDS-3 MODEL, A 62-KILOTON RDS-3I MODEL, OR A MORE MODERN WARHEAD FROM THE EARLY 1960S)
WE KNOW THAT THE INDIVIDUAL WHO SERVED AS THE GO-BETWEEN FOR THE TRANSACTION WAS ONE OF 12 SCIENTISTS WHO PARTICIPATED IN A CLOSED CONFERENCE IN SWITZERLAND DURING WHICH THE DEAL WAS FINALIZED BY MEANS OF AN ENCRYPTED TELEPHONE MESSAGE. SINCE WE WERE UNAWARE OF THE IDENTITY OF THE DEALMAKER FROM AMONG THE GROUP, WE DECIDED TO ELIMINATE ALL 12 OF THEM (PROJECT CODENAMED “BERNOULLI”).
ONE OF THE AGENTS (10483) ASSIGNED TO THE MISSION RECEIVED (APPARENTLY ERRONEOUSLY) 3 TARGETS OUT OF THE 12, INSTEAD OF JUST 1. THE COLLATERAL DAMAGE HE CAUSED IN CARRYING OUT THE 3 ASSASSINATIONS WAS EXTENSIVE:
- 40 INCIDENTAL FATALITIES IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE ASSASSINATION OF YASMIN LI-ANG IN GENEVA (YASMIN LI-ANG’S 2 DAUGHTERS, PLUS 38 RESIDENTS OF A BUILDING AT 21 RUE DE DELICES THAT COLLAPSED AFTER 10483 SEALED ONE OF THE APARTMENTS ON THE TOP FLOOR AND FILLED IT WITH WATER, THE RESULTING PRESSURE BROUGHT DOWN THE ENTIRE STRUCTURE)
- 128 INCIDENTAL FATALITIES IN BARILOCHE IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE ASSASSINATION OF FEDERICO LOPEZ IN A PARK NEAR THE INSTITUTO BALSEIRO (FEDERICO LOPEZ’S 3 BODYGUARDS, PLUS 125 INNOCENT BYSTANDERS IN THE PARK, WHICH 10483 SET ABLAZE USING A GAS TANKER THAT HE HOOKED UP TO THE PARK’S SPRINKLER SYSTEM)
- [NEW INFORMATION] SOME 11,000 INCIDENTAL FATALITIES IN MONTREAL IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE ASSASSINATION OF BERNARD STRAUSS (APPROXIMATELY 11,000 PEOPLE—INCLUDING 53 ISRAELI CITIZENS, 3 OF WHOM WERE OUR AGENTS—DIED IN A STRING OF ROAD ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY THOUSANDS OF DRIVERS SIMULTANEOUSLY FALLING ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL OF THEIR VEHICLES AFTER HEARING A HYPNOSIS-INDUCING AUDIO TRACK BROADCAST OVER A LOCAL RADIO STATION, CBC RADIO ONE)
FOLLOWING THE ASSASSINATION OF BERNARD STRAUSS IN MONTREAL, 10483 RETURNED TO ISRAEL. MEMBERS OF A SURVEILLANCE TEAM ASSIGNED TO HIM FROM THE MOMENT HE LANDED SUBSEQUENTLY FOUND WHAT THEY THOUGHT TO BE HIS BODY IN HIS COMPLETELY TORCHED APARTMENT. DENTAL RECORDS SERVED TO IDENTIFY THE BODY AT THE TIME AND A SUICIDE NOTE WAS FOUND IN THE REFRIGERATOR.
IN LIGHT OF THE ABOVE, THE CASE WAS CLOSED. THE 12 BERNOULLI SCIENTISTS WERE ELIMINATED, 10483 PRESUMED DEAD, AND THE IRANIAN CELLS THAT WERE TRYING TO FIND THE WARHEAD LOST TRACK OF ITS LOCATION.
TWO DAYS AGO (12/03/2016), AMIRAM HADDAD, 10483’S FORMER HANDLER, RECEIVED A PACKAGE THAT 10483 HAD DEPOSITED WITH A LAW FIRM WITH INSTRUCTIONS FOR IT TO BE SENT OUT ON THAT SPECIFIC DATE. AFTER READING THE NOTEBOOK HE RECEIVED, AMIRAM WENT TO THE HOME OF AVNER MOYAL, THE HEAD OF THE RECRUITMENT DEPARTMENT, TO DISCUSS THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE MATERIAL IT CONTAINED. THE PACKAGE INCLUDED A LARGE LINED NOTEBOOK ALONG WITH NUMEROUS ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS—SKETCHES, CALCULATIONS, MATERIAL FROM THE ORGANIZATION, AND MORE. FROM A REVIEW OF THE CONTENTS OF THE NOTEBOOK, THE MAIN FINDINGS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
- 10483 IS ALIVE. HE STAGED HIS OWN DEATH 10 YEARS AGO USING A BODY HE’D BEEN KEEPING IN HIS BASEMENT ON WHICH HE’D CARRIED OUT THE APPROPRIATE DENTAL WORK TO MATCH HIS OWN (FILLINGS, EXTRACTIONS, ETC.). WHEN HE TORCHED THE APARTMENT, HE KNEW THAT WE WOULD IDENTIFY THE REMAINS BASED ON DENTAL RECORDS BECAUSE HIS DNA IS NOT IN THE SYSTEM (HE MUST HAVE DELETED THIS DATA FROM THE ORGANIZATION’S SYSTEM AT SOME POINT).
- 10483 IS PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING 3 OF OUR AGENTS WHO WERE SENT TO LOCATE HIM DURING THE COURSE OF HIS MISSIONS. ONE IN THE NETHERLANDS (AGENT 6844—PUSHED ONTO THE TRACKS IN FRONT OF A METRO TRAIN) AND 2 IN TEL AVIV (AGENTS 6452 AND 7274) IN THE BASEMENT OF HIS APARTMENT.
- THE HYPNOSIS INCIDENT IN MONTREAL—BELIEVED UNTIL NOW TO BE A NONNATIONALISTIC ATTACK CARRIED OUT BY A PSYCHOPATH—WAS ORGANIZED BY 10483. THE NOTEBOOK CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT INCRIMINATES BOTH HIM AND US.
- 10483 ACQUIRED ADMINISTRATOR ACCESS TO ORION. HE KNOWS ABOUT THE BERNOULLI PROJECT AND HIS ROLE IN THE ASSASSINATIONS. HE SUFFERS FROM PARANOIA AND BELIEVES THAT THE ORGANIZATION BETRAYED HIM. HE ALSO MANAGED TO GET ACCEPTED TO THE ORGANIZATION DESPITE THE VARIOUS PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS HE SUFFERS FROM BY HACKING INTO OUR SYSTEMS.
- 10483 HAS EMBARKED ON A REVENGE MISSION AGAINST THE ORGANIZATION THAT BEGAN 2 NIGHTS AGO.
EVENTS OF THE PAST 24 HOURS:
AVNER SPENT THE NIGHT READING THROUGH THE NOTEBOOK, THEN BROUGHT GRANDPA UP TO SPEED. GRANDPA CALLED IN ROTEM ROLNIK, HEAD OF THE PERSONALITY AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY RESEARCH DEPARTMENT, WHO ALSO REVIEWED THE MATERIAL.
AT 09:00 THIS MORNING, A TEAM OF OUR AGENTS—ACCOMPANIED BY POLICE, FIREFIGHTERS, AND A SWAT TEAM—WAS SENT TO THE BASEMENT TO FIND OUT WHAT WAS THERE AND TO RETRIEVE THE REMAINS OF THE 2 AGENTS THAT HAD BEEN THERE FOR 10 YEARS. BECAUSE 10483’S NOTEBOOK DESCRIBES HOW THE BASEMENT WAS BOOBY-TRAPPED, ALL THE BUILDING’S RESIDENTS WERE EVACUATED, AND THE STREET WAS CLOSED TO TRAFFIC.
FOLLOWING A BRIEFING THAT INCLUDED WARNINGS NOT TO TOUCH ANY LIGHT SWITCHES, THE TEAMS ENTERED THE LOCATION. AT 09:40 THE BASEMENT AND THE BUILDING ABOVE IT WAS BLOWN UP. EVERYONE IN THE BASEMENT—THE SECURITY AND RESCUE TEAMS AND OUR AGENTS—WAS KILLED IN THE BLAST, AND THE BUILDING COLLAPSED. THE AREA HAS BEEN CORDONED OFF AND TEAMS FROM THE ORGANIZATION, THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, POLICE, AND THE HOME FRONT COMMAND, ARE CURRENTLY SIFTING THROUGH THE RUBBLE IN AN EFFORT TO RETRIEVE THE BODIES AND ANY OTHER MATERIAL THAT 10483 MAY HAVE LEFT IN THE BASEMENT THAT COULD ASSIST IN HIS CAPTURE.
AT 10:05 THIS MORNING A MESSENGER DELIVERED A PACKAGE TO EFRAT MOYAL, AVNER’S WIFE. HER DESCRIPTION OF THE MESSENGER HAS LED US TO SUSPECT THAT IT MAY HAVE BEEN 10483 HIMSELF. SHE WAS INSTRUCTED NOT TO OPEN THE PACKAGE AND TO GO IMMEDIATELY TO THEIR NEIGHBORS’ HOUSE. AVNER RETURNED HOME AT 10:39. RESTING ON THE KITCHEN TABLE WAS A PAGE THAT HAD BEEN TORN OUT OF 10483’S NOTEBOOK. ON THE PAGE, 10483 OUTLINES HOW HE “DEALT WITH” THE TEETH OF THE BODY LEFT IN HIS TORCHED APARTMENT SOME 10 YEARS AGO; HE ALSO DESCRIBES HOW HE SPOTTED THE SURVEILLANCE TEAM OUTSIDE THE APARTMENT AND ASSUMED (MISTAKENLY) THEY WERE A CELL SENT BY THE ORGANIZATION TO ASSASSINATE HIM, HOW HE SET FIRE TO THE APARTMENT, AND HOW HE THEN WENT TO THE ORGANIZATION’S NEAREST BRANCH WHERE HE RETRIEVED INFORMATION ABOUT THE BERNOULLI PROJECT AND THE MEMBERS OF THE INNER CIRCLE.
THE PAGE ALSO NOTES THAT HE PLANS TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST EVERYONE INVOLVED IN HIS RECRUITMENT AND HANDLING, AND AGAINST THE ORGANIZATION’S MANAGEMENT—THE INNER CIRCLE. PRESUMABLY, THE BLOWING UP OF HIS BASEMENT AND EFRAT’S DISAPPEARANCE WERE THE INITIAL STAGES OF HIS PLAN. ATTEMPTS IN THE PAST FEW HOURS TO CONTACT AMIRAM HAVE COME TO NAUGHT. IT SEEMS LIKE 10483 HAS GOTTEN HIS HANDS ON HIM, TOO.
WE CLEARLY MADE A MAJOR MISTAKE AND RECRUITED A PSYCHOPATH WHO SUFFERS FROM AN ENTIRE RANGE OF MENTAL DISORDERS. HE MANAGED TO PREPARE HIMSELF VERY WELL FOR ALL OUR TESTS (INCLUDING A POLYGRAPH) AND WAS ACCEPTED INTO THE ORGANIZATION. THEREFORE, IN ADDITION TO THE IMMEDIATE ACTIONS WE NEED TO TAKE IN ORDER TO APPREHEND 10483 AND LOCATE EFRAT AND AMIRAM, THERE ARE ALSO THINGS WE NEED TO PUT IN PLACE TO SERVE US IN THE LONG TERM:
- A REVIEW AND ADJUSTMENT OF OUR RECRUITMENT SYSTEM IN ORDER TO PREVENT THE HIRING OF INELIGIBLE CANDIDATES IN THE FUTURE (LESS DEPENDENCE ON FORMAL TESTS AND MORE WEIGHT ON PERSONAL INTERVIEWS, GROUP BEHAVIOR UNDER PRESSURE, AND INTERVIEWS WITH FRIENDS, FAMILY MEMBERS, TEACHERS, AND NEIGHBORS.)
- CLOSER COLLABORATION WITH THE ARMY WHEN IT COMES TO ITS SCREENING PROCESS FOR CANDIDATES FOR SENSITIVE POSITIONS.
- MAINTAINING CONTACT WITH THE DISTRICT HEALTH OFFICES IN ORDER TO GAIN ACCESS TO INFORMATION ON PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILES / PSYCHIATRIC TREATMENTS CONCERNING FUTURE RECRUITS, ALONG WITH A REVIEW OF OUR ENTIRE NETWORK OF EXISTING AGENTS + RETIREES. (DOCTOR-PATIENT CONFIDENTIALITY DOES NOT APPLY IN THIS REGARD.)
- THE MECHANISMS IN PLACE TO RESTRICT ACCESS TO THE ORGANIZATION’S SYSTEMS ARE SORELY LACKING—WE NEED TO IMPLEMENT INTERNAL ENCRYPTION MECHANISMS AND AUDIT SYSTEMS THAT CAN IDENTIFY SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR ACCESS. IMPLEMENTATION MUST BE CARRIED OUT EXTERNALLY BY A DATA SECURITY GROUP, WITHOUT THE INVOLVEMENT OF OUR INFORMATION SYSTEMS UNIT.
IN CONSULTATION WITH ROTEM AND AVNER, WE MUST PUT TOGETHER A TEAM CHARGED WITH APPREHENDING 10483. I REQUEST YOUR AUTHORIZATION TO APPROACH THE SHIN BET FOR ASSISTANCE TO THIS END.
OPERATIONS DIVISION CHIEF
Avner reviewed the document circulated via the Orion system. It looked a lot better than the version he’d written during the night.
After spending part of the morning looking for Efrat, Rotem asked him to return to the Ganei Yehuda Base, where she’d spent the night. Unaware of the device that had been attached to the underside of his car during the night, he drove back to Ganei Yehuda and contacted his connection at the police on the way, asking him to arrange for a forensics team to examine his home in an effort to find something that 10483 may have left behind and could assist in his capture. The man asked Avner if he wanted to blow up another one of his teams because the last one he’d requested was still buried under a building that had been blown to bits. Avner asked him what he would do if a psychopathic killer had abducted his wife.
Even though Avner knew his body needed sleep, his state of mind wouldn’t allow it. His head was filled with thoughts of Efrat in the clutches of that psychopath. Where could he have taken her? What had he done to her? He couldn’t bear the thought of Efrat in his clutches. The shock she must have felt when he abducted her.
He assumed Grandpa would try to take him off the case. But he wasn’t going to let that happen. He had to be there when they close in on him. He had to make sure that they go in carefully so as not to harm her.
Avner listened to the sounds at the satellite base—Rotem speaking to the guard, the rattle of an air-conditioner compressor, soft and muffled music coming from the house upstairs that served as a cover for the activities taking place below, someone flushing a toilet. His weariness was fading. He would find her and rescue her even if it’s the last thing he does.
|TO:||SENIOR DIRECTOR – 9|
|FROM:||PERSONALITY AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY RESEARCH DEPARTMENT HEAD|
|SYSTEM:||ORION / BASE: OTR / EXPIRY DATE: 12/06/2016|
RE.: REAPPEARANCE OF AGENT 10483
FURTHER TO MOTTI KEIDAR’S REPORT FROM EARLIER TODAY: THERE IS NO WAY THAT AGENT 10483 WAS ABLE TO PASS THE ORGANIZATION’S TESTS. IT’S SIMPLY IMPOSSIBLE. REGARDLESS OF HOW WELL HE MAY HAVE PREPARED HIMSELF, AFTER READING THE NOTEBOOK, I AM ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THAT SUCH AN INDIVIDUAL WOULD NEVER HAVE MADE IT THROUGH A COMBINATION OF MINNESOTA, MYERS-BRIGGS, DSM-5, AND VARIOUS OTHER SUCH DELICACIES, AND THEN A POLYGRAPH FOR DESSERT.
SOMEONE WANTED HIM IN THE ORGANIZATION.
THAT SAME SOMEONE WAS ALSO THE ONE WHO MADE SURE HE WAS GIVEN 3 TARGETS AS PART OF THE BERNOULLI PROJECT, AND NOT JUST ONE LIKE THE OTHER ASSASSINS.
HIS 3 TARGETS WERE ALL NUCLEAR SCIENTISTS. THAT, TOO, IS NO COINCIDENCE.
WE NEED TO TALK.
Copyright © 2018 Nir Hezroni.