“Get me Jokinen!” Chief of national security barks to his aide, Thomas.
“Yes sir, right away! Ah, sir would that be Jarmo, Jukka, Jussi, Jaakko, or Matti?”
“There is only one Jokinen for this mission,” Chief’s tone lowers, a grave look washes over his face, “Get me Jaakko Jokinen.”
“Yes sir!,” the aide hesitates not one moment hurrying from the room.
Fifteen finger thumping minutes later a maroon folder is presented to Chief, “Sir according to recent information, and I quote, ‘Jaakko Jokinen filed a request transfer to Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada for personal reasons.’ Request granted 5-21-2016, one year ago.”
“Ok, ok, ok let me think,” Chief collects a map of Canada an intense, silent stare skips over the Atlantic Ocean, “Get a hold of Steven Mercer at CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) in Ottawa we need to locate Jaakko and recover that microfilm before 6-21, Juhannus (for part I click here: greatly miniaturized reproductions have been recorded).” Chief collapses into his leather chair as if one of the most complex problems known to man has just been solved, “Thomas, what are you so giddy about; you look like a child on Christmas morning?”
That poor maroon envelope crushed against Thomas’ chest, “Sorry sir but I get caught up in the excitement, this is why I joined.”
Thomas still sparkling: “Yes sir!”
A cool breeze blows from the Big Lake, Superior, across Thunder Bay and the third story balcony where Jaakko lounges not a cloud in the sky on the street below kids play an intense game of street hockey, “Aaahhh the first hour, a strong cup of black coffee, a slice of Finnish coffee bread I cannot think of a better start to the day.”
Unfolding his copy of the Finnish newspaper, The Kaleva, the headline in bold type reads: Finnish Government in Turmoil as Summer Solstice Nears. “Now what have they gotten themselves into,” Jaakko ponders.
Shattering this Sunday morning sanctuary the doorbell: O Canada, Our Home and native land, true patriot love, in all thy sons command, then firm, steady knocking on the door, “I’m coming, I’m coming.” Jaakko opens the door to find a Canadian courier agent, “Easy on the door I just had it repaired.”
Clipboard shoved into Jaakko’s face the steely gazed courier speaks, “Mr. Jokinen I have a special deliver please sign here.”
Jaakko scribbles his name and is handed a plain brown envelope, “Looks like a pleasant day.”
Scanning the sky the courier replies, “Yeah, maybe not for you though marked urgent.”
Jaakko: “Well now, something exciting this way comes.”
Courier: “Sounds like Ray Bradbury.”
Jaakko: “Actually, the correct reading is ‘Something wicked this way comes’ and Bradbury adopted it—“
Courier: “Have a good day sir.”
Caffeine propelled index finger tears open the envelope unfolding the crisp, white paper Jaakko’s fingertip traces the raised relief that is the sword bearing lion of the Finnish coat of arms below one sentence, “Your country needs you, NOW! signed: Chief”
“Score,” echoes up from the hockey game.
One week later Jaakko and S.C. (the Finnish agent responsible for losing the microfilm) sink into identical leather chairs in the Great Hall of the Finnish Secret Service in Helsinki before them a large, solid pine desk, behind the desk Chief shuffles through paperwork.
Jaakko breaks the silence, “So Angelica is involved, eh?”
Chief picks up a white and blue fidget spinner, “Right Jaakko, you know her inside and out, how she thinks, acts, and makes her coffee in the morning,”
Jaakko corrects, “Ah Chief she drinks tea.”
Chief’s fist comes down hard on the now idol spinner catapulting it through the air past S.C. and Jaakko slamming into the wall, “Tea, coffee, soda pop, whatever you are the man for the mission, restore nation pride retrieve that microfilm!”
Jaakko leans toward S.C. and in a lowered voice, “I’ll bet the seismographs left on the moon picked up that one.”
Low toned chuckle, “Yeah”
Two heavy pine doors creak open Chief, Jaakko, with S.C. trailing step into the hallway steeped in confidence of success S.C. adding, “Be careful she is cunning and may stop at nothing to retain that film.”
The next morning Jaakko clumsily drives his red 1957 4-speed Volvo PV544 onto the lower deck of Finnlines ferry out of Turku heading for the wolf’s lair Stockholm, Sweden. Jaakko joins other passengers on deck a light fog hangs just above the tree line as islands Hirvensalo, Airismaa, and Korpo pass before them thoughts of Thunder Bay consume, the similarity, beautiful. As the ferry passes into the open waters of the Baltic Sea Angelica comes to mind how they met while working for the Finnish Secret Service on the The Fifth Avenue Caper recovering secret military plans hidden in Tiffany jewelry then the 12 Gates to the City case a plan to rob Fort Knox. World praise inundated the Finnish government when Jaakko and Angelica exposed Russia’s secret scheme to rob the moon of its riches in The Heavy Weather Caper; Cupid takes aim; down time is spent hiking, biking the many Finnish trails under the midnight sun, the pinnacle coming on a romantic trip to Lapland to the Kakslauttanen Igloos viewing the Northern Lights ending at Rovaniemi the hometown of Santa Clause. Marriage appeared on the horizon when BANG, the Swedish government steps in persuading Angelica, she soon defected. Wounded Jaakko sought the refuge of family in Thunder Bay far from Scandinavia, far from Finland, far from Angelica.
“How could she do that to her country, to me?” The sun cuts through the fog, illumination, snapping his fingers, “I’ve got it!”, Jaakko shouts then heads back inside to work out the details on a plan to recover the microfilm of the floating, double deck, with diving tower, and two red hammocks on the left side sauna before 6-21, Juhannus.
English couple, Reginald and Gladys, on vacation and going to Sweden for the first time turn to each other after watching Jaakko mutter and walk away: “Gawblimey Gladys that ones lost his marbles!”
Gladys: “I’ll say Reggie, let’s steer clear of ‘im!”
Working on a window display at Ahlen’s Department Store in Stockholm, Angelica has no idea the past was approaching, a co-worker speaks, “Angelica can you come here?”
“Yes, what is it Mary?”
“How does this look?”
“Why Mary I do believe you have progressed rather nicely. Although the scarf should drupe more, there we go.”
Angelica begins an in-depth explanation when, “Ahem Angelica I think that man is trying to get your attention” Mary’s eyes shift to someone behind Angelica.
Turning her head Angelica’s long blonde hair ponytailed whips to the left just missing Mary’s nose, “Jaakko Jokinen. Well I’ll be I thought you were in Canada.”
Smiling, “No, I’m here Angelica.”
“What brings you to Sweden?”
Without malice, “A yearning to come home to find out where you were, you know the late great Harry Chapin once said to a live audience: ‘…still nothing can set off your heartbeat then when you return yourself to your past…’ I made some inquires through friends and here I am. How are you Angelica it has been a long time.”
Jaakko moves in for a hug Angelica, knocked for six, loosely wraps her arms around his lean, strong frame.
“What are you doing after work, how about dinner and maybe a movie?”
Angelica, nervous, replies, “Ok.”
Not a hint of the espionage soon to unfold, “What time are you released.”
Angelica still Pug eyed, “In two hours.”
“Great I’ll pick you up then I’ll leave the restaurant choice to you.”
Swaying Jaakko walks away singing, “…we’ll go dancing in the dark walking through the park and reminiscing…”
For a moment, a brief moment Angelica’s eyes twinkled, her heartbeat increased, “Still the romantic charmer.”
Mary concentrating more on the mannequin then Angelica’s past, “Huh, what was that?”
Two weeks into their waltz Jaakko arrives outside the Wooden High-rise Apartments were Angelica lives amongst screeching tires, a haze of blue smoke, and the smell of burnt rubber, flight 1957 4-speed, red Volvo PV544 has arrived; Jaakko climbs out nonchalantly tossing the keys to the startled doorman remarking, “I must remember to learn how to drive a manual transmission.”
Pushing eye balls back into sockets, “Yes sir.”
Remembering Angelica’s prep-time for a date is excruciatingly long: the makeup, hair, the outfit he arrived early to take advantage of this vulnerable moment.
The floor creeks under quickened footsteps a muffled voice asks, “Who’s there?”
“Oh jeez, Jaakko!”
Angelica peeks out from a slightly opened door hair wet, “Aren’t you a bit early you caught me in the middle of a shower? Raiders of the Lost Art does not begin for another 2 hours.”
Jaakko, momentarily considers a sexual advance but nixes the thought as the time to strike has come, “As the saying goes ‘better early than late, eh.”
Angelica: “Don’t you mean better late than never?
Angelica: “Make yourself comfortable, I’ll be awhile. Do you still drink Scotch on the rocks?”
Jaakko: “Why yes I do?”
Angelica: “Help yourself, I believe there is a hockey game on.”
Jaakko: “Don’t mind if I do.”
“Mmm Lagavulin Scotch you still got taste Angelica.”
Pouring a drink Jaakko turns and watches Angelica disappear upstairs, taking a sip he listens as Angelica’s footsteps grow soft, quiet now the bathroom door closes, the squeak of metal knobs water falling into a tub interrupted by human form. It is now or never; with both shoes in hand he creeps upstairs and into Angelica’s bedroom the light already on his spy-trained eyes quickly locates the watch (S.C.’s microfilm containing watch of the floating, double-decked sauna with diving tower and two red hammocks on the left side) the Swedish government entrusted to her. Leaving his shoes behind Jaakko tip-toes out and down the stairs pausing to finnish (sic) his scotch and soda, Jaakko gingerly closed the apartment door so wanting to see the expression on Angelica’s creamy white Finnish face.
Towel wrapped around her dripping wet body Angelica is stopped at the bedroom as if on a short leash, those shoes, Jaakko’s how? Why? Suddenly her spy instincts, head jerks up a quick a glance to the dresser, Damn you Jaakko!
At the very moment Angelica realizes the deception Jaakko is tipping the doorman and with the greatly miniaturized recorded reproductions secure Jaakko thrusts fist skyward in victory.
Jaakko: Kiitos ja nakemiin Angelica.