Suddenly, the private phone on his desk rang with a muted warble and Terry's breath quickened.
"Terry, this is Joe Shiplansky at the State Department." He had a Southern drawl that the transatlantic connection did little to hide.
"Yes, Joe?" There was no time for niceties. With Joe Shiplansky there never was.
"It's your Minister Xaki." He pronounced the name correctly with the subtle tongue click on the "X". Joe Shiplansky was nothing if not thorough. "He's in let's say a compromising situation outside a student dorm in downtown DC. I've got ten minutes to get him out of there. What do y'all want me to do?"
Terry considered the options for a moment. He knew of Philemon Xaki's weakness for young girls and that the younger they were, the more he lost control. He could end the man’s career right now or he could give the fool another chance. Xaki’s future, indeed his whole life was resting in Terry's hands and the wretched man didn't even know it. Terry closed his eyes and breathed in deeply, savouring the moment.
"Uh... the timeline just accelerated, Terry." he heard Shiplansky say. "We've got less than five minutes."
"Get him out of there, Joe."
"Done. You owe me Terry."
Terry nodded grimly. Philemon Xaki owed him too.