Books written by Ray Sullivan

Monday, 4 February 2013

Parallel Lives chapter 54

Martin was livid. He had assumed that Michael would be outside with Staples once the hearing had completed. When the airforce guy and Sam had re-entered the hall without Staples in tow he had started to try to contrive a way to leave the inquest. He knew it would be an uphill struggle with the arse of a Coroner in situ. Then the Howells woman had returned, also without Staples. It was clear that Michael had managed to persuade her to leave the man with him, probably had spun her a line and taken him away from any of the others. It seemed that Michael was a far more resourceful person than Martin had credited him with.
Then there was the bombshell at the end of the inquest: no Michael, no Staples and no clues. Michael's mobile phone wasn't responding and the reality of the situation was dawning on Martin very rapidly. He had decided to invoke his emergency fall back plan.
Martin was as ambitious as anybody within the Secret Service, and his zealousness was probably one of the reasons he had been sidelined into the DTRU posting. Like many ambitious men he had failed to see that his attempts to climb to the top was likely to be viewed as threatening by many of the people he was striving to impress. He had realised pretty soon that he would be unlikely to make any major marks in his current role but had maintained a professional edge to his duties in preparation for when he could re-enter the mainstream. Michael's research had seemed extremely unlikely to bear any fruit, and initially he had merely gone through the motions, but as the Staples guy had begun to look as though he was the real deal Martin had decided to play a very close game. To declare the findings prematurely ran two major risks; first the initial results could end up as nonsense, lucky guesses that happened to fit the model; second, he could find the project handed over to a senior officer before he had time to gain the glory he needed. Now Staples had disappeared he needed the resources of the department and that meant he had to declare the facts he had been suppressing.
Unbeknownst to Martin his subterfuge had been detected already and had been causing extreme embarrassment to his superiors. The Station Commander at RAF Fylingdales had discovered that morning at his meeting with the Station Executives that not only had the spooks lodging on his turf had 'borrowed' one of his technicians but they had also managed to persuade one of the more gullible junior officers to arm the man. Seemingly the officer had taken the view that these people had the blessing of the Station Commander just because he had allowed them to take up residency on the base. What the officer did not know was the amount of high level arguments that had taken place between himself, Whitehall and the spooks. He understood that the agent on the base had explained that he had good valid reasons for needing to use the base facilities, but he hadn't believed any of the ones offered. Two tours of Whitehall had given him sufficient exposure to these people to know one thing about them; how to tell when they are lying. 'Their lips move,' he had answered himself.
Once he had found out that the weapon and the airman bearing it had left the base he contacted the highest authority he had access to, who in turn had contacted the Secret Service opposite number. By the time Martin contacted his boss his whole department had spent an hour attempting to unravel the web he had woven.
'I need some department resources,' said Martin, expecting the usual vague promises of meagre assistance.
'Certainly,' replied his line manager, 'just as long as you can give me enough background information to allow me to keep my job. And by the way, my keeping my job is probably the only chance you have of keeping yours. Your liberty, though, is another subject altogether, so I suggest you start talking fast.'


Copyright Ray Sullivan 2011

The characters, places and events described in this novel are fictitious and any resemblance to persons, places or events, past or present, is coincidence.  All rights reserved

Parallel Lives is published in paperback and as an eBook

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