Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Aleksey Nikolskyi/Getty Images and Jim Watson/Getty Images.
Ex-KGB Chief Oleg Erovinkin was found dead in the back of his black Lexus just blocks from the Kremlin. The cause of death had not been revealed, but it was under mysterious circumstances.
Thousands of kilometers away, MI6 Agent Christopher Steele bought a “burner” phone and made a call to a number less than a dozen people knew about.
“Station Sahara. The line is secure.”
“This is Christopher Steele. I have the dossier. I want to come in.”
“Requesting identity confirmation.” The voice on the other end was deliberately distorted and Steele realized he had minutes before they traced his call.
“November three sixteen charter gulf forty-seven.”
“Identity acknowledged. Continue.”
“I want to be brought in by Adam Hunter personally. I will call this number again in twenty-four hours and will give the location of the meet only to him.” Being brought in from the cold by MI6’s Chief of Operations was a lot to ask, but they’d do it. The dossier was that important.
Steele didn’t wait for a reply. He broke the connection, threw the burner on the concrete floor of the basement apartment he had rented, and crushed it under his foot. In twenty-four hours, he’d be in a different country. He had to come in before the Kremlin reached him.
Ten minutes later, he had hired a taxi and was headed toward the Athens airport. He had the dossier on a thumb drive. Everyone, including his colleagues at MI6, believed it held incriminating evidence against America’s newly inaugurated and widely hated President Donald Trump.
The Russians had killed Steele’s confederate Oleg Erovinkin so he couldn’t reveal the truth and now they were after him. Steele found Trump as reprehensible as many others in the western nations, but he was not the subject of their exposé, and it was worth his life and the lives of anyone who he’d come in contact with to reveal his information.
Steele made the mistake of allowing himself to relax in the back of the taxi, so he didn’t immediately realize it was pulling over on a nearly deserted stretch of road.
“What?” Steele opened his eyes to see a silencer fitted over the barrel of an automatic. “Time for you to join Erovinkin.”
The taxi driver emptied his clip into Steele’s chest, relieved him of the thumb drive hidden in the inner lining of his jacket, dumped the body on the side of the road, and then drove away.
An hour later, the assassin was on a flight to Moscow, the dossier once again secure in Russian hands. No one must know President Putin’s true ally in the American government. Not until it was time to act.
This story, including the characters, is based on an actual news story published at a number of independent sources including this one. It strongly suggests that the Kremlin had former KGB Chief Oleg Erovinkin killed because he had helped compile a dossier implicating Donald Trump in illicit cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. MI6 Agent Christopher Steele is currently in hiding, supposedly because his life is at risk as well.
I decided to twist the information into the realm of fiction for the sake of suspense and intrigue. I have no idea how true any of the information is at my original source, but it seemed worthy of a small, modern-day spy story.
The story is somewhat similar to one written by J. Hardy Carroll which was also based on a true event. Hopefully, my spin on the tale makes it unique.