Like any close group, the counter-intelligence community has its own myths and legends. Ask an old Cold Warrior about the “ninth helicopter of Operation Eagle Claw,” “the thalidomide briefcase,” or “the shark tank drop” and you’d get a knowing chuckle. No answers, but a laugh at least. However, should you ask about “The Czech,” that laughter would abruptly cease. To this day, whenever ex-CIA and former KGB cross paths, one will eventually turn to the other and say, “After all these years, you can finally come clean, Yuri. Tell me: was the Czech one of yours?” The reply is just as unavoidable: “That’s funny, Chuck. I was about to ask you the same thing.”
The man known as the Czech is as close to a boogeyman figure as you’ll find in the world of espionage. Only one photograph of him exists. Taken at Checkpoint Charlie in East Berlin in 1982, it shows a man in his early thirties dressed in a cheap East German suit. A gym bag is held in his left hand, upon which can be seen a fake Rolex and a small scar. His hair is dirty blonde and needs trimming. Steel-rimmed spectacles cover his brown eyes. He looks off to his right, calmly. At that crossing, he presented identification bearing the name “Dušek Czermakov” and showing his place of birth as Jince. It was from this incident that “The Czech,” who may not be Czechoslovakian at all, earned his name.
Since this early, tentative identification, the Czech has had numerous intelligence coups attributed to him by agencies on both sides of the Iron Curtain. When an impenetrable vault is found riffled, its contents missing, blame is placed on the Czech. The crashing of a secure computer network despite bulletproof security bears all the signs of being a “Czech job”, according to experts. As an operative once exclaimed, “It’s as if that asshole walks through fucking walls!” Some say this is actually the case…
The end of the Cold War and the general graying of the operatives who were active during those years should have led to a decline in the Czech’s activities, but that is proving not to be the case. If anything, he has become not only more active, but has enlarged his skill set, engaging in computer hacking, electronic counterfeiting, and black market art deals—if the rumors are to be believed, that it.
Most disconcerting for some are the several seconds of video taken by a CCTV outside the Preston Road tube station in London. This footage, although slightly pixilated, depicts a man in his early thirties wearing a wrinkled suit, a gym bag held in his left hand. Steel-rimmed spectacles cover his eyes and a fake Rolex is strapped to his left wrist. The presence of a scar on that hand is impossible to see due to video quality. Those familiar with the sole photograph of the Czech have been known to blanch when seeing the CCTV footage for the first time.
Although there is little crossover between those active in espionage here on Earth and those aware of the October County, one individual involved on both sides of the barrier attests to seeing the Czech present at a conclave of nobles held in the City of Candles during the earthly year of 1990, making it entirely possible that the Czech may indeed have access to abilities that far outstrip those of his fellow operatives.