The briefing

The briefing

A Story by Haim Kadman

Chapter 13 of the thriller "An Irretrievable Step".


TheAn Irretrievable Step

Chapter 13

On the next morning his phone rang rather early before he managed to get up and leave his bed.

'Hello Seri how are you?' It was Dan his ex instructor that served now as his local operator.

'I'm fine thanks,' Seri answered him yawning, he was still tired.

'Listen I'll come to see you at your apartment at about eleven, and you'll buy me lunch afterwards…' He added with a chuckle. 'Have you shaved already by the way?'

'No I haven't but why?' Seri asked surprised.

'Don't shave then you've to sport a beard, we'll talk about it when I'll come.'

Up to Dan's arrival Seri slept another hour, took a shower had a late breakfast in the small restaurant not far from his abode, and returned to his small apartment with a morning paper, to pass the time till eleven and the meeting with Dan

At eleven fifteen Dan knocked on his door.

'Well you've to sport a beard as I've already told you, a Lenin type beard will do.' He added while sitting opposite Seri. 'I've brought you two pairs of spectacles that you'll put on when you'll be serving abroad during the first stage, you'll put it on your way to board the plane, and that would be the right opportunity to do it.'

'It's some kind of a temporary appearance?' Seri wondered worried.

It looks as if my departure date is rather close, in two weeks time I guess, till the growth of my beard will change somewhat my appearance. I'll have just two more weeks with Tami... Doron kept thinking worried.


'That's right Seri, you’ll use these spectacles while you'll serve in some friendly country, during the period of preparing your future cover story; although you may be using it all along your service abroad too, well it depends on circumstances as usual.' Dan confirmed Doron's assumption.

'Here're your two pairs of spectacles. One pair will serve as a reserve in case, you know.'

'Well it's nice pairs of spectacles and I do like both of them,' Doron exclaimed while trying the first pair on.

'It's a combination of sun glasses with eye sight, while the lenses are just a transparent glass, and the bluish shade is intended to hide it.'

'What's my destination then and when am I supposed to leave?' Doron asked him with a hint of impatience.

'It wasn't decided yet, so keep enjoying yourself, and let's go out. You've invited me to lunch remember Jeremy, don't gawk at me that's your current nickname, so get used to it.' Dan added with a broad smile.

Their lunch was another lesson in fact, Dan checked Seri's manners and advised him how to sit, how to treat a waiter; and above all to check strictly the bill before paying and tipping.

It was a long lunch break from Doron’s point of view, and there was not enough time left for anything else but wait for Tami's arrival to his apartment.

'Why didn't you shave?' Tami asked him as soon as she entered his apartment, and rushed to his arms.

'Never mind, it will grow softer in a couple of days…'

Tami raised her face alarmed and looked in his eyes. 'Is there a fixed date already…? She asked frightened with a shaky voice.

'No dearest Tami it will take some more time, and I don't know how long…'

He had no intention to tell her his own assumption, as he might be wrong. They could end up the preparations for his departure in a couple of weeks…

I'd better keep my mouth shut and not hurt her feelings. He thought and did not add another word and kept kissing her lips.

'I'll wait for you despite everything…'

He was not able to talk and just moved his head from side to side and hastened to kiss her again.

Hello Jeremy,' Dan said on the other side of the line. 'I'll see you in two hours time at the café next to your apartment.'

Good God it might be it, he may provide me with a passport and the instructions to board a plane this afternoon or tonight… Doron thought perturbed. Dan call woke him up and he was still tired. He rose to a sitting position and returned the handset to its place.

It simply scared me his phone call but I do exaggerate, there is still time. I've to be prepared first of all, and they haven't got yet a relevant photo for my passport, and I wasn't briefed yet, and I haven't learned my new identity. He thought overcoming his false alarm.

When he met Dan at the café next to his apartment building, he realized that he was right. Dan asked him to spend as much time as he can in the central library, and study about Coptic' societies in Egypt and in the US.

'I'll need time, plenty of time to study it!' Doron protested surprised. 'You don't expect me to study a few details haphazardly, and that would be all my load as my Coptic legacy.'

'It would have been true if you were supposed to be an Egyptian Copt, but as a foreigner from any country in Europe, or from the U.S., Canada, South America, and even Australia; that was born and educated in one of these countries, you won't need more than the details that you'll study up to your departure.'

'There's still a problem of pronunciation, I speak fluent English but…' Doron stopped abruptly without ending his sentence, while seeing the smile that was spreading on Dan's face.

'I like the way you tackle your future problems,' Dan said quite satisfied. 'There won't be any problem of pronunciation in the very near future; you'll have all the time needed to study the language of the country of your supposedly origin.' Dan added smiling still without hiding his contentment.

Doron kept watching his contact man smiling face with amazement and curiosity.

So it must be some country in Europe and not the Americas or Britain. He concluded relieved.

'There're two more things that you'll have to do.' Dan barged into Doron's thoughts. He handed him a piece of paper with an address and his signature beneath it.

'It's a photographer's shop in downtown, be there at six fifty five pm before he closes down his shop, and hand him this note. Your second task is to visit the Coptic Church in Jaffa twice at least, but just to get impressed nothing more. You'll visit the church in the late afternoons and evenings, and all alone.'

The next two weeks passed rather quickly, that is what Doron thought when he met Dan again in his own apartment on Thursday afternoon, and learned that on Saturday early morning he will have to fly to Milano Italy. He was provided with an Israeli service passport with his new identity as Jeremy Magdi, and a flight ticket with Swiss Air and five hundred dollars in cash.

'So that's it,' Doron muttered surprised. 'I didn't expect it to happen so soon.'

'Yes that's it and you'll have to bid her goodbye tomorrow, and reach the airport the day after tomorrow on your own!'

A short tensed silence ensued as Dan paused and watched Doron's face with a puzzled stare.

'It's going to be very hard, and I'll have to let my parents know…' Doron muttered disconcerted.

'Call your parents, and tell them in a few words that they'll hear from you soon, by letters not a word on your destination or how you'll communicate with them; just as you did inform them before every test you'd last year.'

'Am I supposed to communicate with them through regular mail?'

'Of course not your operator will take care of it, but let's not waste our time on what you'll learn to know at the right time and very soon. Okay end up your arrangements right after I'll leave you. You'll be free on Friday to part with her.' Dan remarked dryly, but went on briefing Seri.

'Are you with me Jeremy, are you able to listen or…'

'I'm okay Dan, alright I'm listening.' Doron hastened to reply, releasing himself from the stupor that engulfed him momentarily.

'Well then, you'll land at Malpensa airport at about three pm Milan time, you'll hail a cab to this address; it's a rented apartment that was already ordered for you. Its address is 31 Via Pergolesi near the railway main station. I've printed it down for you and here it is, take it.' As he perceived Doron's quizzical look, Dan hastened to add. 'You may keep it of course as long as you'll need to adapt yourself to your surroundings there. The site is called Milan apartment rental. It's much cheaper compared to the cheapest hotels over there, and you won't have to deposit your passport at its reception counter.'

'I'll have to carry it on me then?'

'That's right Jeremy, within half an hour after I'll leave you, a messenger will bring you a full suit and a jacket and pants your size; the jackets left side inner pockets are equipped with zippers. There're many pickpockets in Milano and all over Italy.

'I'll keep my money in these pockets too…' Doron said with a wry smile.

'So everything is clear to you then, no questions?

'Oh it's alright what else do I've to know?'

'You'll have a meeting at the El Buscia restaurant at ten pm local time. It's easy to remember that name, it sounds like busha (shame) in Hebrew. You'll get there with a cab, there's no need to check surveillance at this stage, capish?'

'What's the restaurant's address?'

'It's irrelevant as you'll get there with a cab, but just for a general knowledge the address is 48 Viale Beatrice D'este the famous duchess of Milan, which her portrait was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci. You're supposed to be an art student.' Dan added with a wry smile.

@Haim Kadman 2017 �" all r ights reserved.

© 2020 Haim Kadman

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Added on October 13, 2020
Last Updated on October 13, 2020
Tags: suspense, espionage, intelligence, last, preparations, departure, love


Haim Kadman
Haim Kadman

Petach-Tikva, Israel

Profile: A few words about myself: being a native of a small country whose waist is seventeen kilometers wide in a certain area; and in seven to eight hours drive one can cross its length, I was amaze.. more..

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