Chapter 31 – The Green Light

Safehouse 2 in Washington, DC

The next 48 hours did not go according to the plan, but it was a close call. I won’t divulge some of the aspects of my training program, needless to say that on the positive side I did extra workouts in the gym but on the negative side I smoked too many cigarettes and drank too much Irish, I was however feeling good in myself and my mind was very focussed. Although I had wanted to think about Charlotte and Tuesday, I had to put it on hold with the proviso that I would take care of business sooner or later.

The director was true to his word and came back within the 48 hours as he had promised. The major stumbling point was that the agency was not prepared to pay a $million up-front, it would be split half at the start of the contract and the rest on actual results. I had expected something along those lines, but on the plus side the agency would guarantee additional benefits that included access to safe house security and a protection program for Savannah and her sister to help them disappear. The benefits would not involve any other agencies, because quite simply put, the agency did not trust anybody on Capitol Hill and their supporting partners in the hundreds of US agencies scattered around Washington, DC.

I texted the details for Savannah to consider and she promised a reply asap. I had my concerns that all the work had been for nothing, and she would pull out which would also mean the end of my contract, but I remained hopeful of a positive outcome.

I continued my work on the Savannah plan which involved getting the basics right that in turn would give a higher chance of success. Each piece of the puzzle was scrutinized, it was all about attention to detail and the only chance of getting her back into the network was her authenticity.

Savannah needed to look the part or quite simply she would not be touched. She would be a desperate woman, broke, no job, no prospects and arriving in Los Angeles, CA from South Tuscon, AZ looking for work. People go missing all the time according to NamUS, over 600,000 people go missing each year in the United States, ranging from young children to older individuals.

Famous missing person cases such as the Elizabeth Smart or Jayme Closs disappearances are well-known missing persons cases, but countless other cases never make it to the spotlight.

A missing person is defined as “anyone whose whereabouts is unknown whatever the circumstances of disappearance.” They can be considered a lost person, someone who has voluntarily gone missing, or someone who is missing against their will. In our research, we uncovered some compelling data about missing persons:

  • Of the 15,207 people currently missing in the US, approximately 60% are male and 40% are female.
  • The average age of people when they go missing is around 34.
  • As of January 2019, there are 106 children currently missing who were younger than a year old when they went missing.
  • Alaska has the most missing persons per capita, with 41.8 people missing per 100,000 population. Massachusetts has the least missing persons per capita, with 1.8 people missing per 100,000 population.
  • However, California has the most missing persons in total, with 2,133 people missing. Rhode Island has the least, with 20 people missing.
  • The cities with the most missing people total include Los Angeles (189), Phoenix (170), Houston (165), San Francisco (163), and Detroit (150).
  • There are 12,459 unidentified persons as of January 2019.

The statistics on missing persons in the USA are quite shocking and they are made significantly worse if they are combined with the data on serial killers and other law enforcement horror stories. Going missing is the simple part in the USA, but the agency needed her to go missing with the right people and those people would lead Savannah back into the clutches of the network she had so brazenly escaped.

The biggest risk of all which Savannah was only too well-aware of was the ease in which a person could literally disappear into the underbelly of a so-called civilized society. The agency needed to be able to track her location and her journey where-ever that might take her over the coming days, weeks and possibly months or longer. She would have some of the best equipment and personnel working on her behalf and she was going to need all the help she could get and what the agency could pull together.

She needed to look pretty, intelligent, a bit of class down on her luck who could possibly be made an offer that she would find too difficult to turn down. A fake history, the right looks, the right place and the attention to detail would make her vulnerable in the right places and those places had been studied by the agency and there was a very high possibility that she would be perceived as the perfect specimen by the kind of people the trap was being set for.

Her safety package included thorough check-ups from the doctor who prepared her for everything but the bubonic plague and the dentist who repaired her teeth and finished them for a smile fit for a princess. Tracking devices were hidden in her person and in her clothing and accessories.

Savannah would be taking the journey to Los Angeles by bus service from Tucson. There are services provided by FlixBus, Tufesa and Greyhound. She would be taking the FlixBus service which operates buses which are equipped with large and comfortable seats, a toilet, Wi-Fi and power outlets. The journey takes approximately 11hrs and cost around $30.

The journey to Los Angeles was just the beginning and there was probably far too much of the plan riding on good luck and quite frankly there was really no way of knowing how long it would take for the bait to be hooked. There were trained routines that would add reality to her position when she reached Los Angeles.

The biggest asset that Savannah had was her tattoo, which had not been confirmed first-hand by anyone in the agency, but everybody involved in the operation was aware of it and the importance attached to it for getting her back into the heart of the network.