Ahem sat in his office, which was dark, but for a single lamp (the lamp had been given to him by the president—thrown at him actually—over a misunderstanding involving the First Lady and where his mouth was). In front of him was a blank legal pad (Ahem preferred to use legal-sized pads so that he could keep as much as possible on a single sheet of paper; moreover, it allowed him to draw feet on his threes). On the pad he wrote a single word: “Buck Justermanson”; then, he followed it with the words, “TRAITOR?”.
He added another question mark…then a third, just in case someone came into his office and shredded the first two. It seemed impossible that Buck was the traitor; however, in the world of espionage, the impossible was only impossible until it became possible…and even then it was kind of tricky. The turncoat was too high up to be someone so low down. It had to be either Buck or himself (Ahem still felt that he himself was a suspect, but, he always seemed to be one step ahead of where he was a step ago). But, why?
Was it money (they said that it was always money, even when it wasn’t—because money was the only thing that everyone didn’t have enough of)? He had never known Buck to be hard up for cash (although there was that time that he confided that he wanted to find a way to buy up all of Jessica Alba’s old shoes). He didn’t seem the sort that would sell his country out cheaply, or for store credit (Buck Justermanson hated store credit and once returned an entire hair transplant to avoid having to deal with it). Money was too petty to be a motive for Buck Justermanson. Ahem wrote the word “MONEY” on the legal pad and circled it.
Was it power (they never said that it wasn’t always power, even when it was)? Buck did have a taste for it (Justermanson often bragged that he could kill a man in broad daylight and the police would be powerless to do anything but arrest him). Ahem wrote the word “POWER” in large letters and added a few question marks afterwards. Oskar Moosehead could provide anyone with any amount of power…except the power to determine the limits of the power that Moosehead could provide. In that way, Oskar Moosehead was like God creating a rock too heavy for himself to move. Oskar Moosehead was only bounded by limits…
If Moosehead had gotten to Buck, who had approached him? Ahem wrote the word “APPROACHED” on the legal pad, followed by two stars, a colon and a depiction of a cartoon mouse dancing with a cocktail frank. The identity of Buck Justermanson was one of the best kept secrets in the entire world. If Moosehead’s organization had penetrated security, the results could be disastrous. The fate of the world would be in the hands of a power-mad, megalomaniac…for perhaps only the fiftieth or sixtieth time in history—
The door opened quietly. It was Buck.