My name is Mark Rollins. I am a senior citizen, and according to my driver’s license, I’m five feet, nine inches tall with blue eyes and brown hair. I’m a cancer survivor with a military-style buzz cut—a concession to chemo. I exercise regularly in hopes that it will make me look younger than my years. I gave up fads years ago and adopted my trademark uniform: khaki trousers and black cotton polo. I’ve been described as a high-tech crime fighter, although I prefer to be called a problem solver.
After my investments in emerging technology industries paid off in a big way, I intended to retire. To my surprise, those retirement plans were derailed when I became the owner of the Women’s Health Club located in Brentwood, a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee. People just call it the WHC for short. It is an elite, ladies-only facility for the socially prominent and wealthy. There is more to the club, however, than its glitterati clientele. It provides the cover for a clandestine problem-solving operation hidden in an annex we call “the South Forty.” It houses the extensive computer and communications facilities used by my talented high-tech team that I call my brain trust. This clandestine side of the Women's Health Club has become extraordinarily profitable because of our unique usefulness to any number of government agencies. We operate beyond congressional oversight, and let’s just say, we aren’t limited by the same rules they are required to follow. Nevertheless, I can truthfully say we never seriously break the law.
My access to influential people and a penchant for adventure began in the early 1990s when the US government asked me to help fledgling tech enterprises in Eastern Europe. Our government decided it was in our national interest to encourage emerging technology in that part of the world. Unfortunately, governments outside the West feared technology in private hands—especially with the prevalence of the Internet. Start-up businesses were also at risk of infiltration by criminal gangs. More than once, my wife, Sarah, and I became the targets of less-than-upright people. It took more than my know-how and courageous Eastern European entrepreneurs to advance global technology in that part of the world. It also required access to powerful US government forces to crush those who would prevent or preempt its advance.
As for my designation as a problem solver, there are two kinds of problems I accept. Problems I get paid to solve—those, as noted above, come almost exclusively from segments of our government or military. The second type are those I handle pro bono for WHC members who consider me some sort of father figure or big brother. Their problems are often trivial. However, some prove dangerous—even deadly.