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Breakthrough: Chapter 51

Tovy Mann

“It’s uncanny. Every single time we get a tip, the guards move her to another cell in a different wing”

Thursday, October 06, 2016

"Zagreb, 48 hours straight?”

Zagreb tore his bleary eyes from the computer screen to regard the head of his department in the Mossad.

“Go home already!” Itzik Weiner emphasized each word. “You also need to eat and sleep, like the rest of humanity.”

For the thousandth time Zagreb ran his long, knobbed fingers through his unruly black hair, standing it totally on end. Muttering resentfully, “You’re the boss,” he closed the program and left the office just as Itzik’s second-in-command entered.

“What’s with him?” Yair nodded toward the door still reverberating from being violently slammed. He handed a paper cup of strong black coffee to Itzik.

Itzik sighed. “Half the time the man doesn’t come in at all, and the other half he won’t leave.” He slurped the steaming liquid. “You’d think he was the only one affected by what’s happening with Queen Esther.”

“It is a blow to morale, but life goes on.” Yair rooted around inside a rustling paper bag. “Of all people, I never would have suspected Zagreb of caring about it so much.”

“It proves he does have feelings. He just hides them better than most people.”

Yair poured a stream of roasted sunflower seeds into Itzik’s outstretched palm. “Any progress in locating her majesty?”

“It’s uncanny. Every single time we get a tip, the guards move her to another cell in a different wing. There are thousands of inmates in Evin. We can’t keep up with her.”

“Queen Esther is pretty resourceful.” Yair popped a handful of sunflower seeds into his mouth, spitting the husks into an empty cup. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she finds a way to escape and comes back on her own.”

For a moment Itzik grinned in recognition of his protégé’s ingenuity. “It wouldn’t be the first time,” he agreed, recalling previous missions when Yehudit had accomplished what seemed impossible.

“Is that the regular procedure in Evin, moving prisoners randomly between cells?”

“No.” Itzik’s eyes narrowed and his expression hardened. “The only reasonable explanation is a double agent. Someone informs them of our plans in advance every time.” He crumpled the empty cup and threw it forcefully into the trash basket.

“Any particular suspect?”

Itzik snorted in frustration. “Every single one of our agents has been investigated thoroughly since then,” he growled. “Each one came out squeaky clean. We just have to keep our eyes open. I only need one mistake to catch the traitor, and then I will personally make sure he regrets the day he was born!”

“By the way,” Yair added. “Zagreb’s pestering me to send him to Tehran.”

 

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