Prologue

I had an hour and a half flight ahead of me at which I could be alone, undisturbed. What more could my team do with these secretly obtained documents, which had been carefully culled—as they comprised what would otherwise seem perfectly innocent exchanges—to frame the criminal prosecutor, a lawyer, and a few other people?
For example, we’d gathered evidence on a judge, crafting a narrative strongly suggestive of corruption, which was not correct in the eyes of law enforcement. But in our rulebooks, it was fair play, as it would keep him on the straight and narrow, forcing him to act as he should according to the full spirit of the law and deliver impartial justice.
Our preferred deployments generally involved character assassination through whispered insinuations, legal actions in closed courtrooms, and fomenting covert police probes.
My team was among the best at conducting forensic espionage, ferreting out economic and commercial secrets.
We could leak details to derail nefarious schemes, lay bare human rights violations, and blow wide open other abuses of authority.
Those clandestine information leaks also covered dealing with or exposing fraud, mismanagement, bribery, corruption, money laundering, and asset dissipation.
Though our moral compass may appear dubious to some, my team always reminded me I was a “helper” and never an “activist.” We aren’t people bound to other causes. We provide “consulting” services to anyone willing to pay well for them—as long as it instigates a greater good. Otherwise, I would never have taken on this job, however highly paid.
Our dealings were strictly white-collar, creating ripples with devastating repercussions, with results measured in currencies of value beyond tainted wealth.
They pierced into the realms of the priceless, including sullying hard-boiled reputations.
The only operation we’ve had where some violence actually erupted was when a Brazilian millionaire punched a director at a board meeting, blistering an already terse exchange into what almost became a no-holds-barred outbreak of fisticuffs.
This means that so far, I’d never had to pack a firearm.
But now things might change…