My first thought, my name is Antony not Anthony. There is no” th” diphthong in German. And it is my real name. And yes, Engeljager does mean angel hunter. The irony is not lost on me.
You already know that unlike most of my counterparts, ie: mercenaries, I am not a psychopath nor a sociopath. How did I become a mercenary? It was a job. I was a member of the Nationale Volkarmee or National People’s Army. I was in the landstreitkraft, what you would call the army. I was a grunt who worked my way up to an officer. When I left the army, I was “recruited” to the Stasi the East German Intelligence service. When Germany unified, former members of the NVA and Stasi were treated like criminals. I understood it, but it wasn’t morally right. I didn’t have a choice in joining the army and when the Stasi approached me with a job offer; I had two choices: join them or spend my life avoiding them because I turned down the job. People like to pain the DDR with a pretty brush, but the truth is, we didn’t have a lot of options, we were told what we would do for a living as an adult and we were groomed for those professions. I was groomed from a child to go into the army, I was discharged from the army only because I suffered a disabling wound, inflicted by my own people. In theory, it was an accident that my commanding officer shot me in the knee, but I don’t think it was. The Stasi didn’t care that I had a limp. And it isn’t like I could get a job other than working for the Stasi, the Stasi had offered to hire me, if I turned it down, I wasn’t going to get a job at say the store, I would have been unemployable because I had gone against government orders to join the Stasi. After the fall of the DDR in 1989, I realized I had a choice to make. I could stay in Berlin and be treated like a criminal for my military and Stasi past or I could go somewhere else and “reinvent” myself.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of use for a former Stasi officer anywhere in the world. In 1990, the CIA and MI-4 sent me job offers, but truthfully, I’d done that and was paying the price for it. Instead, I decided to freelance my intelligence gathering abilities. By the following year, I was freelancing my military training expertise as well. And after the fall of the Soviet Union, the rise of the oligarchy in the New Russia began and they could pay, because there was a lot of money to be made from privatizing the industries of the former Soviet Union. When I met Oleg Borisovich, he was not a Russian mobster yet. He was trying to drill for oil in Siberia and he needed protection from competitors. Borisovich did hit oil in 1992 and he did get rich. Then he got into arms dealing via his ties to the former KGB. I didn’t know he was insane until 1993.
In 1993 he learned that Melina Zeitzev wasn’t dead, she was alive and well in the United States. And then he decided Liam Daniels was his son and he began to make plans to kidnap Liam. Somewhere along the way, he discovered Liam’s birthdate and realized Liam couldn’t be his son. And he switched his focus from Liam to Nadine. Contrary to what Nadine thinks, I wasn’t hired to kill her. I was hired to kidnap her. I was assured multiple times by Borisovich that Nadine was his child and that her mother had fled with her.
Imagine my shock when I found a fourteen year old girl in 1994. There was no way Nadine was Borisovich’s child. Liam and Ivan thought I was there to kill her, they’d gotten word that Borisovich wanted the entire family dead. When Melina came home, her and I sat down and had a long talk. I was almost thirty and I wasn’t really enjoying life. Melina offered me a solution. She couldn’t pay me to protect her daughter, but if I’d work as a double agent for her, she’d help me find work in the US. And so for five years, I reported on Melina and Nadine to Borisovich and I reported on Borisovich to Melina. And I continued to draw a salary from Borisovich.
In 1998, Nadine went off to college and I went with her because I had a feeling Borisovich was on to Melina and I’s scheme. By then, Melina had won the lottery, her husband was dead and Nadine was expressing an interest in starting a security business. One of her college friends was stalked for months and eventually he broke into her dorm and raped her. She wanted to prevent that from happening to other women. Another was in an abusive relationship and struggled to get away from him. When she graduated college in 2002, Melina and I realized we could make that idea a reality with Melina’s investing and my skills and knowledge. And so, Daniels’ Private Security was born. My agreement with Melina worked much better than we expected and she definitely paid me back in more than just cash. Melina is a little nuts, but she is an amazing woman and she never once thought badly of me for being in the NVA or Stasi and she made sure her children understood it too, so they didn’t look down their noses at me either.
I found a home and a family with the Daniels’ clan. I never dreamed that twenty years later; I’d be married to the love of my life and have kids. All’s well that ends well, I suppose.