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 prioritising.
But, here we are, a few minutes opened up and it didn’t take long to get back into the groove.
An interrogation and a revelation.
I think I just about reached that same conclusion just seconds before she uttered it. But, I didn’t think this was the time to air my own thoughts on the matter.
The question I did ask was, “It appears our service has been compromised.”
She glanced at me almost condescendingly. “It appears so. Have you got your cell phone?”
I had it with me and gave it to her. I had it ready because I knew they would ask for it. It had a record of orders given, and phone conversations made, before, during, and after the operation.
For a review, or in this case, a search for the guilty.
I watched her put in the passcode, and go to the messages, and bring up the one sent to me, to attend the briefing. It was all in order, no different to the previous five, with all the right designations and protocols.
“There was no reason to suspect it was anything but a real callout.”
Another glance at the screen, she put it on the desk next to the file. “No, it looks real enough.”
Thought best kept to myself; how the hell did someone outside our organisation, know so well our inner workings? I wanted to ask the question but refrained from doing so.
It also explained, now that I thought about it, the reason why the target had said he was one of us. We had been hunting him so someone else, and enemy organisation perhaps, so they could kill him. The question was, why? Had he made a discovery, the evidence he was referring to that a certain Alfred Nobbin might have.
Perhaps a good idea, for the time being, to keep that snippet of information to myself. After all, this new person in front of me could be one of Severin’s people.
Where I was sitting was not a familiar place to me, though I had been to the building before, which is why I knew where to go for this interview. AS for the people, everyone I’d met so far, other than the other team members, bar one, I’d known from training.
So, now another expected question from me, or at least, if I was on the other side of the table, it’s one I’d expect to be asked. “Just who was I working for, if it was not for us?”
Assuming she was one of us.
“That’s what we intend to find out. Who was the target?”
I gave her the description we’d been given, and a copy of his photograph that had been circulated at the briefing. I’d kept one of them, and luckily no one noticed it missing. It was fortuitous that’s I’d copied the photo before I had to give it to her, which was right then.
There was not a flicker of recognition in her eyes.
“So, not one of us?” I asked.
For an interrogation, she wasn’t asking many relevant questions.
She looked up. “Why would you say that, if your mission was to keep him under surveillance?”
“Which we now know was not sanctioned, so we have to assume that we had been persuaded to find and track one of our own agents. You look as though you didn’t recognise him?”
“I don’t try to remember every agent we have in the field, here and overseas. There a few too many for that. But I’ve got a request out for his identity. He didn’t say who he was?”
“Anything at all that might be useful?”
“That he was one of us, who’d made a mistake, and feared we’d set the dogs on him.”
“Yes. Someone definitely did that.”
© Charles Heath 2019