Books written by Ray Sullivan

Friday, 30 March 2012

Project: Evil – The First Double Cross Meeting part 1

Brian jumped in the car and closed the passenger door rapidly.  If O’Feld, Daw or anyone from work saw him meeting up with a member of the British Secret Service then his life would be forfeit; if anyone who knew him at all saw him in a Skoda, it would be worse.  Bund looked across at Brian.
‘Did you bring the document?’ he asked, his eyebrow raising, stretching the sticking plaster holding his hearing aid in.
‘Yes,’ replied Brian, looking around furtively before withdrawing the envelope from his jacket inside pocket.  He handed it over to Bund, who turned it over several times, before pulling it out of the brown envelope to examine it carefully.
‘Is it genuine, or a forgery?’ he asked.
‘A forgery, of course,’ answered Brian.  O’Feld Industries forged everything, even public information leaflets that could be picked up for free from the Post Office.  Bund nodded slowly, set the time to ‘one hour’ on the document and threw it onto the dashboard under the windscreen, the blue background and white image of a stickman in a wheelchair reflecting off the glass.
‘These things are like rocking horse shit where I work, which is a problem given that we’re all working way past the age we’d traditionally have retired,’ said Bund, easing his door open.  ‘Come on, let’s take a stroll now I don’t have to fear the traffic wardens,’ he said.
They braved the sea-front wind, leaning into it as sea spray crashed around them.
‘I have some concerns about your project,’ said Bund, trying to cremate a sandworm using an aerosol can of UHT double cream and a pack of Swan Vestas, but failing as the wind kept blowing the matches out.
‘What sort of concerns?’ asked Brian, wondering why he had to justify his project every step of the way to anyone who felt they had an interest, possibly missing the key purpose of a project manager but absolutely in line with the PRINCE2 principles.
‘It’s the armadillo balls,’ said Bund, ‘they don’t grow on trees.’  Brian was stunned; OK, he was punching a bit above his weight as a Project Manager on a major overseas infrastructure project, given he was a catering manager by training – but for Bund to insinuate Brian might think armadillos were vegetation!
‘No, they grow on armadillos, and I’ve got two in the lab, with plenty more due soon,’ he crowed.  Bund looked impressed.
‘On order? Who from? Amazon? Armadillos R Us?’
‘We’re a bit smarter than that,’ answered Brian, sheltering in a bus stop, the sea spray crashing against the Perspex sides.  ‘We’re going to get the randy little buggers to mate.  Start with two, then you get four, then sixteen, you get the idea,’ he said, adding, ‘and if they’re like my pet mice they’ll be at it with their brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers all night long.’  Bund took all of this on board before speaking.
‘Well, the two creatures in your lab, don’t expect too much magic from them unless they’re gay,’ he said, adding, ‘but the success rate for breeding armadillos in captivity is very low, even when you put opposite sexes together.  And I don’t know what your definition of randy is, but they don’t mate until they are in their second year of life.  So, by your estimate of fifty thousand gonads, assuming two per male and a fifty/fifty relationship between males and female it’s going to take you an awfully long time to get enough to fulfil your project aims.’
‘So, why are you telling me this?’ asked Brian, despondence falling all over him.
‘Because this is my last assignment, but the catch is that they won’t let me retire until it’s complete,’ answered Bund, fiddling with a cufflink in a way that made Brian feel very uneasy. ‘By my estimate, I’ll be one hundred and fifty two before you accumulate fifty thousand gonads.’


The characters, companies and places referred to in Project: Evil are fictitious and any resemblance to people, companies, businesses or places is entirely coincidental

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