Everything was at stake.

The voice on the phone spoke with a Russian accent. The man from the hotel listened.

“I can help you,” the voice said. “I can make all your problems go away. But I need you to do something for me.”

“What’s that? I’ll do anything.”

“I need you to carry out… a particular task. We will tell you what to do when the time comes.”

“Who is ‘we’?”

There was a pause.

“I am in touch with Vlad,” is all the Russian voice said.

There was another pause.

“Will you do this for us?”

“I don’t know… I don’t know.”

“There is a lot at stake. We can help you. We can make it all go away. But you need to do what we say.”

“All right. All right, I’ll do it.”

A smile.

“Good, good. Now, just so you know, what we ask, it is not so good for the United States. Good for you, yes, but not so good for America. Are you still going to do what we tell you?”

A pause.

“Well? Yes or no.”

“I’ll have to call you back.”

Some time later, there was a return call.

“Yes. Yes, I’ll do it.”

“We will be in touch.”

I smiled grimly. I didn’t know why the man in the hotel had me on the line- perhaps because he thought I could help him, as I have helped so many others. I closed my eyes.

Evelyn knocked on the door. At the time, I did not recognize her. She spoke to me and I could feel my memories slipping away, as they always did after she manipulated me.

I may not be able to recount exactly what passed between the man in the hotel and I. My memory is terrible and has been manipulated extensively.

However, there are tapes. There are tapes of all of it, tapes of this and all the other conversations. It is only a matter of time before they are released. There is also another witness, who will be revealed in due time.

Tick, tock.