I’m back home and this story has been sitting on a back burner for a few months, waiting for some more to be written.
The trouble is, there are also other stories to write, and I’m not very good at prioritizing.
But, here we are, a few minutes opened up and it didn’t take long to get back into the groove.
Chasing leads, maybe
I’m glad she didn’t ask me about Nobbin, or the fact a woman by the name of Josephine was working for him. That went ditto for Severin, and Jan, who was working for him.
It was a tangled web. Now, apparently, I was working for her.
I had another idea, and went back to the computer room to do another search, this time for the names of those who had been on my training course, and who was also assigned to the surveillance job.
I checked the name Jack Temple, and his file was marked closed, with a stark, red, deceased across the first page.
I checked the name Adam Alwin, and it was the same, deceased.
I checked the name Jennifer Underwood, and it had the label inactive, on medical leave. She had been injured and was recovering. There was no reference to her being in a hospital, or a recovery facility so I presumed she was at home.
It was another address to remember, this time what I assumed was a flat in Putney. It was not something she had mentioned in all the time we have been together. She had spoken of a house in Scotland.
But, then, who really told the truth when we were trained and continually told to lie about everything. In the end I don’t think we quite knew who we were. I knew her as Jennifer, but I doubted that was her real name.
Maybe I’d find out when I went to see her. I needed help and from someone I could trust. It was logical to select her. We had, for at least six months, relying on each other to get through.
I cam out into the daylight and it hurt my eyes. The artificial light, not that it was very bright, had queered my sight briefly. No good, because for a minute at least I was vulnerable to an attack.
Good thing it didn’t happen.
But something else did. A car pulled up on the side of the road, one I instantly recognised as the same Nobbin had used when he collected Josephine.
He wound down the rear kerbside window and said, “Sam. Just the man I want to see. Get in.”
I saw him slide over. I opened the door, got in, and the driver drove off.
He seemed pleased with himself.
“How is the hunt?”
“How do you think it’s going?”
He looked quizzically at me. “Why would I ask if I knew the answer?”
“I think you do. I was at O’Connell’s flat when one of your assistants was there. She discovered the same as I did, nothing.”
“What assistant?” He tried to sound surprised.
“We’re not going to be very good friends if you are going to lie to me. She called herself Josephine. I wouldn’t be much of an agent if I didn’t have a few tricks up my sleeve. And, lets be clear about one thing, if nothing else, you want to play games, fine. So will I.”
“What did Monica want?”
“What everyone wants. There appear to be secret documents on the loose. Everyone thinks they’re on a USB, and that O’Connell has hidden them somewhere. They’re not in his flat, and the cat wasn’t talking.”
“Just remember that O’Connell was working for me, and he was getting the documents for me.”
“So you know what these documents are about?”
“No. He didn’t tell me because he didn’t look at them. He couldn’t. They’re encrypted, and he doesn’t have the code.”
Which wouldn’t do much good for me if I tried to see what the fuss was about. Perhaps the best idea would be to destroy the USB so no one had these documents, given the trouble they’d caused so far.
“Anyone check O’Connell’s body properly for the USB? He may have had it hidden in his clothing somewhere.” I knew I didn’t have sufficient time to thoroughly check myself.
“No one knows where the body is.”
“I saw the cleaners arrive to process the scene.”
“Well, if they did, the job never reached the books. According to the cleaners, no one was dispatched to take care of anything at the location.”
Which meant Severin had the body, had checked as I would if I had the time, and it was not on him. Otherwise, he would not have paid me a visit. It was back to Peaslake then, the next step in the investigation.
“Recovery of these documents is time-sensitive Sam. You need to double your effort.”
“A lack of clues is not helping. Nor is everyone working on their own agenda.”
“Then don’t lose focus.”
I saw him motion to the driver to pull over and let me out.
I waved as the car pulled back out into the traffic.
© Charles Heath 2020