It was 1990. I was 27; I was invincible. And I was working as a courier for International Solutions, LLG. Never heard of them? I’m not surprised; the company was never really interested in publicity, only in getting jobs done and stashing checks in the Cayman Islands. We specialized in getting things where they needed to go, no questions asked, signed and sealed, guaranteed.

Some of the IS couriers were about what you’d expect—tough, ex-military types with pistols under their shoulder, in their sock, jammed up their ass. They had their uses, but IS had found out that, in general, more shooting meant less profit, and the gung-ho Rambo types tended to shoot first and ask questions never. That’s where I came in.

I wasn’t a rippling sack of meat and the only gun I’d ever held had been at IS’s orientation, but the company was more interested in my tongue (silver, of course) and my eye (golden, I suppose, since I wore those terrible 1980’s shades all the time). My first orientation test had been to talk my way into a car-impound lot in LA; my second had been to deliver an unwanted package to a high-security area of my choosing. I passed the first by renting a limo and writing a bad check; I passed the second by studying an FAA badge and pretending I gave a shit about the Red Sox.