lone shark

“We need to keep the operational footprint of this as small as possible, so other than those people in this room as of right now, no one and I repeat, no one else is to know of this operation. Is that understood?”

The six people in the room nodded in agreement to what the station chief was saying.

“Who above you in the CIA knows?” Daniel asked.

“This goes from me, to the deputy director and the director, we haven’t informed the president, he hasn’t high enough clearance.” Came the response.

“Now, to next steps.”

The man speaking was new to Daniel, one of two members of MI5 that had been bought in, as investigating one’s own spies was usually their territory.

“We need to remove the head of MI6, but in a way as to make it look accidental. We can’t face another public controversy of this magnitude. However, we also cannot risk an external agency being implicated, so that rules out either our security service or the CIA. Therefore, Daniel, this has been assigned to you. You will be able to get near enough to him to carry this out, without arousing his suspicion.”

Daniels stomach swiftly sank.

ghostwriter

“I swear to god, it is the same men propping up the bar in here as there were when Father used to employ most of them on the estate. It’s like they are carved from the very wood of the bar.”

“I feel that is a little fanciful Kath, they would be well over 100 years old now if that was the case.” Charles responded to his sister, whilst re-reading the letter he had been handed at the station.

“Yes, well obviously Charles, do you have to be so literal all the time? Can’t you be even a little poetic?”

Charles put the letter down and fixed his eyes on his sisters’.

“The poetry left my life a long time ago Kath.”

He returned his eyes to the letter. It was a simple letter, asking for a meeting at the house, with the owner of the house. The letter however, had a unique trait. One that Charles hadn’t spotted at first, but when he did happen upon it, turned his blood cold.

“This letter has a sealed date stamp.” Charles said passing his sister the letter.

“Well yes, some do don’t they?” His sister replied.

“It says 18th February 1889.”

great balls of fire

“That doesn’t escape the fact, that rather than capture and bring back the target, you effectively blew him up, in the middle of no man’s land, in the middle of the night!”

The C.O of Charles’ and Alex’s bunch of vagabonds, was doing his best to tear a strip off the both of them, but all three men in the room were grinning far too much for anything to be really taken seriously.

“So for clarity, take me through what happened one more time.” The C.O said, stifling a laugh.

“Yes sir. Well, fundamentally, I tripped and fell into a shell crater and in doing so, pulled the string that we, I mean, I, had tied to the grenade in the prisoner’s trousers. Which in turn pulled the pin and in turn, blew…”

“Blew his balls off” Charles said under his breath, although loud enough to cut his cousin’s statement short by triggering both men to snigger like small girls.

“This is not funny.” said the C.O. also giggling “I have to now explain this to my superiors, plus the Germans have rained all manner of weapons down on our line, they’ve literally unleashed hell in retribution!”

after dinner mint

“And then, just as I am reaching the deepest level of feeling, of how this whole world, our whole existence, is just a futile succession of non sequitur events, I get hit with the sheer beauty of the thing. Futility is beautiful, this is all inherently completely without point. Hell, more than that, not only are we all going to die, we are all actively pushing the plough that will eventually trundle us off this mortal coil. Aint that just beautiful?”

Charles was regretting sitting down next to this waif of a girl after dinner. Luckily, Jack, his valet was nearby and seeing Charles’ exasperated face, swooped in.

“Sir, I believe you are required elsewhere.”

“What? Oh, yes I see. Will you excuse me Miss?”

“Miss Alberforce, but you may call me Alexa.”

“Well Alexa, it was a pleasure to meet you. Maybe we will cross paths again and continue this delightful conversation. Good evening.”

They walked away and when he was sure he was out of earshot, Charles turned to his valet

“Good lord, what was she on about? Quite bleak!”

“I believe the young lady has read Nietzsche sir.”

“Nietzsche?”

“A nihilist sir, perhaps, the nihilist.”

“I see.”

bed rest

Charlie was still handcuffed to the bed. He wasn’t sure exactly how long he had been on the bed, but he had been having morning sex and it was now dark, so it was a while. He’d tried shouting and given up, he’d tried shaking the bed frame apart and given up. He knew people were in the house, as he’d heard the front door open and close an odd number of times, but no one ever came up the stairs.

The fact that no one had come up the stairs, had turned from annoyance into fear and he was now sat up, as well as he could with the fluffy handcuffs, shivering with all manner of awful thoughts running through his brain.

It had become obvious to him that the girl; Gina, perhaps was not all he had previous thought she was and in fact may be something quite more. He was trying to control this runaway thought process, when he heard the bottom stair creak. His heart jumped into his mouth, beating harder as he counted the footsteps on the stairs.

Then the door handle turned..

Quietly Gina entered..

“Where were we?” she said with a naughty smile.

candlelit dinner

“Well, this isn’t quite what I meant when I said somewhere British.” Red said, as she sat and looked at the various vagabonds and layabouts, propped up inside the 24 hour cafe that Daniel had bought her to.

“This, is Britain though. The people in this room faced the blitz; V signs in the air. They may look like a bunch of alcoholic, unemployed no hopers, but when the chips are down Brits pulls through.”

Daniel almost believed himself, but he knew, deep down, that he was talking bollocks. Britain was on the ropes, only maintaining its place as any kind of world power due to its position as America’s special friend. Which, Daniel knew, came at a cost.

“What can I get you loves?” The comely waitress said, squinting through her cigarette smoke.

“Two coffees and two bacon rolls please.” Daniel responded, handing her the menus before Red could complain about not even opening one yet.

“So what do you think happens now?” Red asked across the table.

“About my boss? Well we won’t be wanting a repeat of Burgess et al, so I’m guessing he will quietly be disappeared.”

“Disappeared?”

Daniel drew his finger across his throat.

“Disappeared.”

chatanooga choo choo

“You should just take it to D.I. Deacon and let him deal with it.”

Kath and Charles were in a taxi heading to Paddington station. Kath hadn’t stopped talking about the letter.

“Charles, whether it is someone trying to blackmail you, or a lead on whatever the police were looking into, it needs to be dealt with properly. Us dashing off to the country to do whatever it is you think we’re gonna do there is a waste of our time and energy.

“I didn’t ask you, to come with me.” Charles responded without looking at her.

“Well, yes I know, but…” she was cut off by Charles icily.

“But you don’t have anything better to do, because you don’t work.”

“Well, if you’re going to be like that.”Kath said.

Silence reigned in the taxi

They boarded the train, which made the journey to their old part of rural England with no fuss, eating a perfectly acceptable luncheon on the way. Relations thawed between the siblings as the journey continued and when they were met by the station master at their stop, they were in good humour.

“Mr Yates?”

“Yes. that’s me”

I have a letter for you.”