My last year or so has been consumed by pulling together the needed information for the mission reports (books) that are collectively called the Veritas series. At present two of those are published (CAT’S PAW and KILLING GAME.) Two more will be available later this year. But first, here’s a bit more about Veritas.
One of the common questions I am asked is what is it like to be “inside” the company, especially since they’re so secretive. What I’ve learned is that they usually have five or six missions in operation at any given time. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Some of those missions are small, others immensely complicated. It all depends on the target.
While the active ops (operations) are running, others are in the preliminary stage during which background research is conducted to establish if the mission is viable. Questions that require an answer include: Is this a legitimate issue, what materials and personnel would be needed, and what are the chances of success, what is the risk level to those involved? Unintended consequences if the mission is successful? Also a cost estimate is calculated.
Once all that information is pulled together into a report, it is reviewed by Veritas’s boss, Crispin Wilder. If he is unsure as to whether to accept the mission, he’ll forward the report onto various people who serve as a sort of unofficial Board of Directors. Then a decision will be made to green light the op, decline it, or take a ‘wait and see’ position.
One of the people who conducts that background research is Samuel Marsh. Sam is a former homicide detective with the Chicago P.D. and he excels in obtaining the kinds of information that can make the difference between a successful mission and one that requires multiple funerals (and/or an international incident). Occasionally Sam will serve as backup to a mission (he did so for CAT’S PAW) and sometimes he’ll take on one of the smaller, less intensive assignments. We’ll see more of what Sam does in BROKEN DREAMS later this year.
To ask if Veritas has enemies is like questioning whether an army needs bullets. It’s a given. You don’t make friends when you take on child traffickers, drug dealers or domestic terrorists. Some foreign leaders have an uneasy relationship with the organization, mostly because they know the power that Crispin Wilder has at his disposal. The fact that he once was an international arms dealer only adds to that unease.
Though Veritas would not tell me the exact number of employees they have scattered around the world, my best guess is somewhere near sixty to seventy. Some are contracted for specific missions; others are full timers. The head office is located in Chicago, and Veritas owns the building in which it is housed. When I asked Wilder why that was the case, he said that since he and his people were a target, it was best if he knew who shared the same elevator with them. Wilder is, if anything, a cautious man. And a man you do not want as an enemy.
Next time I’m going to share info on my favorite town: Chicago. There’s no place quite like it.
“I have a lot of fond memories of St. Patrick's Day in Chicago. Vague, but fond.”-- Joel Murray