“I found her in Kagoshima, during the first part of the occupation,” said Ayles. “It was really remarkable. Her family had been killed in the bombings during the war, and she’d been making a living by talking herself into wherever there was food. Impersonating dead children, stealing, whatever it took.”

“And you were impressed by this?”

“She was six years old,” Ayles said, “and she was working the area better than an OSS agent.”

“That still doesn’t explain-”

“I saw a kindred spirit, and so did the woman who would become my wife,” Ayles said.

“And so you trained her-”

“She begged for it. Like a fish to water. And you didn’t need to be a CIA station manager to see how useful someone with her talents could be.”

“And now she’s disappeared, leaving three dead agents in her wake.”

“Maybe she’s realized she can do better. Maybe she’s outgrown us.”

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