It was painful to leave his wife and newborn so suddenly, but River just had to see if there was anything to this supposed danger they were in. He showered quickly and made his way to the library. He entered the doorway and went straight upstairs where he found Guy sitting in a dark corner.
“Well! I love a guy who can be on time. That means you didn’t waste time looking for me downstairs. You came straight up here, didn’t you? See…you’re thinking like a spy already.”
“Can we just get on with it? What’s this all about, Guy? Why is my wife in danger?”
“Let’s talk about F.I.S.H.”
“F-I-S-H…F.I.S.H. The Sims Intelligence Agency has many branches, as you could imagine. The branch we work for is the Federal Investigations of Sinister Henchman. We call it F.I.S.H. for short.”
“We work for?”
“Yes, we. You’re in now, bro!”
“But I didn’t agree to anything yet.”
“You’re here, aren’t you? People don’t usually investigate things they aren’t interested in.”
River felt trapped. Here he was, just a year into his marriage–the ink wasn’t even dry on the marriage license yet–and now, he was fewer than five hours into parenthood. How could this be happening so fast? Why would anyone want to hurt them? He wished he could have been warned or gotten all the information up front. But now he was part of something he had no idea how he got into. Would there be anyway out? If he declined, would someone hurt Melody? Would he have to live a double life for the rest of his life? Could he ever get used to lying?
“So…what’s this F.I.S.H.?”
“Like I said, the SIA has many branches. Some branches go after the big fish, and some go after the small fries. We go after the small fries, hence the henchman and not their bosses. Because of that, this has nothing to do with us, but for context purposes, there is an international crime ring that calls themselves MorcuCorp. The headquarters is in Al Simhara, Egypt, and the big fish’s name is Layla Lufti. She’s someone else’s problem. But, if we can take out her worker bees, it will make it easier for the other branch to get her. We got some information about someone right here in Willow Creek who may be working with one of her associates. Now, the problem is, we don’t exactly know who these henchman are. We have an idea, but that’s where we’ll need your help.”
“Who do you think they are?”
“We have interests in a Don Lothario, Eric Lewis, and Aden Renteria right now.”
River sat back in his chair and glared at Guy.
“My new friends? They’ve been in my house! They know my wife! They’ve held my son!! You mean to tell me that one of them could be dangerous?!”
“Or none of them! That’s why we need you. You already have a relationship with them. We need to know if they are up to something, and if they are, which one.”
“You’ve got the wrong guy, Guy. I’m going home to my family. We’re getting out of here! I’ll protect them without all of this craziness.”
River got up and went for the stairs.
“Good luck to you, River. I hope they don’t find you…wherever you’re going.”
River had enough of this.
“Find me? What would they want with me? Or Melody? How did we get tangled up in some Egyptian crime ring? What do they do anyway??”
That struck fear into River’s heart. He had been hearing more and more about Sim trafficking on the news. It had become a huge problem. Sim traffickers were so sophisticated those days that it happened right under everyone’s nose, and no one ever suspects a thing. He hurried back to his seat.
“Ok! I’m in. I’ll do whatever it takes. Just don’t let them take my wife or my son!”
“It’s ok, River. We’ve got that under control. That’s another reason we bugged your house. We’ve got eyes on it too. We protect our people, ok? Don’t worry about anything.”
“All right…let’s get down to business. My name is Guy Farrell, and I live in the green house adjacent to yours. I’m married to Beatrice. She’s SIA too. I am a level 7 secret agent, and you will be dealing directly with me until you pass me. I like what I do, and I have no desire to move on. We’re gonna start you slow and show you the ropes. Be at the office at 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning. You’ll start as a clerk. I know it’s not fun being a paper pusher, and the pay isn’t good, but you’ll learn a lot. Once you get the hang of that, we’ll move you on to intelligence researcher. That’s where things get interesting. So, if you have any suspicions right now, save them. Don’t let them worry you or you’ll start acting weird and blow your cover. Speaking of your cover, you can control those, but just let me know what they are. Because you’re new, I’ll make up your first one. Because you’re a fisherman, that makes it easy! Tell your wife and whoever that you’ve joined a fisherman’s league called F.I.S.H. You can make up what it stands for. Tell her that you’ll be teaching fishing classes at the university during the week. As far as I’m concerned, I liked the whole neighborhood association thing. Let’s go with that. Any questions?”
“What if I can’t do this? What if I’m not good at lying to her…or my son? What if I get weird with my friends?”
“We all had the same concerns when we got started, bro. I’m not gonna lie….It’s hard at first. Very hard. But you learn how to deal with it along the way, and eventually it doesn’t bother you. Just remember why you do it. You’re doing it for the greater good of all Sims everywhere, but especially to keep your family safe. That will keep you going.”
“Am I gonna have to dress all spy-like like you?”
“You dress how you want to dress. You’ll never be as fresh as me,” he said to make River laugh and lighten the mood.
“I can’t believe I’m in the SIA.”
Wow! River in the SIA? That’s crazy! Let’s help River out by giving him a name for his fake organization called F.I.S.H. in the comments. Whichever one I like the best wins! You’ll see who one in a future chapter. So, just to recap, this is a fisherman’s league that does many things, but River will be teaching fishing classes. I suppose you could think of it as an all-purpose fisherman’s club. Happy brainstorming!