I don't want to be a baby, but last week, we were en route to a site—can't go into detail, but it was strictly an information-gathering, no-casualty operation in a continent that begins with "A." I'm a firm believer in preparation, so I pulled out the dossier, broke the seal, and went over the plan: 37 and 8 dismantle the security system, 14 and 81 enter through the north wall and incapacitate the guards, 52 and 54 sweep the grounds for the weapons cache, and I stand guard while 44 photographs the documents. Once the mission is complete, we meet in the parking garage. I was memorizing the building plans when it hit me—parking garage? Agent 44 always has us meet in a parking garage. Why can't we meet somewhere else for once? And why does Agent 44 always get to pick the rendezvous point?!
He gets to do all the fun stuff while I'm stuck with the dirty work. I didn't go through four years of covert espionage training so I could open and reseal envelopes for some agent with a swelled head.
I don't see what's so great about Agent 44. I can shoot better than him, impersonate foreign dignitaries better than him, and kill a man with a pen better than him. I bet I could even whip Agent 44 in a fight. But who always has to carry the briefcase full of money and open it, and who always gets to hang back and look tough? I can look just as tough as Agent 44—even tougher, since I started back up with the free weights.
Whenever we're doing an exfiltration, I never get to say, "Send your guy over first." That's Agent 44. He always gets to act like the boss. Meanwhile, I have to stand there like my only purpose in life is to take a bullet for him. How do you think that makes me feel? Pretty darn expendable, that's how. Oh, but Agent 44, no, the sun rises and sets on him. He never gets accidentally shot in the leg by a jumpy double agent, because he's too busy chatting up the Turkish ambassador's wife and hogging all the credit.
I'm the one who had to listen to seven months of throat-clearing and coughing, but as soon as the wiretap got juicy, it was, "Go stretch your legs, 17." One time, I was working surveillance on a prime minister, and when the honey trap made her "social call," 44 actually sent me for coffee. It's not fair! He doesn't even outrank me, but he always acts like he's in charge.
Who always has to drive the cable-repair van back to HQ every Monday? I'll give you three guesses. But the second we're in a hot chase, 44 jumps behind the wheel. I never get to drive the Maserati! And every time a mission is done, I have to debrief civilians and put away equipment while 44 gets to rush right off to whatever girl he's dating that day.
I don't see why he gets preferential treatment. I know it's not his looks. We're both extremely average-looking men of exceptional intelligence and social adaptability with short hair and tailored suits. Is it because he speaks Russian, Croatian, Cambodian, and Spanish, and I only speak Russian, Spanish, Hindi, and Mandarin? Or is it because he's a black belt in jiujitsu and I'm a black belt in kendo?
One time, we were parachuting into enemy territory and Agent 44 asked to see my gun. I told him you look with your eyes, not with your hands, but he said it was important. When I handed him my gun, he took the clip out and put it in his pocket. We were 70 miles into the hot zone! He was jeopardizing the mission just so he could play some immature joke! When I tried to signal the controller, he said he'd stop the helicopter if I didn't simmer down. How come Agent 44 never gets in trouble?
Agent 44 is such a jerk, but everyone treats him like he's the greatest thing ever. If something doesn't change soon, I will not hesitate to tell on him.