Books written by Ray Sullivan

Monday, 18 February 2013

Parallel Lives chapter 60

Simon Crow stood at the back of the briefing room, next to his nearest departmental colleague, Gerald Evans. Between the two men they had day-to-day administration of the Near and Middle East intel desks for the Secret Service. Simon's sphere was principally the Middle East but the two areas were so intertwined that the two men worked together as if running one department. Each held the briefing document that had been hurriedly compiled tucked under their armpits, awaiting the invitation to open at such and such a page. The Head of Regional Intelligence had started with the usual preliminaries, thanking all for attending at such short notice, then continued.
'The document you have all been issued with is not, I repeat not, an intel report in the classical sense. I want you all to peruse the various documents contained within for information concerning your own areas of expertise. What I want you to do is to cross reference each of the entries to any known intel, both from the public domain and through your own channels. Of priority is establishing the timelines for this information, both from the times and dates claimed in the documents and the times the documents are known to have been filed on our system.
'What we want, and pretty rapidly too, is to know which information can be determined as confirmed, which is believed to be partly correct with specifics outlined and of course anything that is patently incorrect. Along with each piece of information that is confirmed I want an indication as to whether the time you received this intel through your normal channels was earlier or later than the claimed times. This may be harder than it sounds as you will have received your information from more than one source and not all at the same time.
'This exercise may be something or nothing, but believe me the requirement to stop all other activities has been determined at the highest level. Any questions?' he asked, scanning the assembled faces. Several hands shot up and in essence the only real question asked was regarding the origin of the documents. After a pause the head of intel declared.
'This information has been derived from an unusual and unconfirmed source. I will be briefing the sub heads immediately following this briefing, and they will be more fully appraised of the source derivation. In time it is hoped to release further information, but for now we must expect the usual fog of the intelligence world,' he said, smiling. After a few more questions, none of which revealed any more substance to the assembled sifters of intelligence information, all but the sub department heads were dismissed. Simon and Gerald flicked through the briefing documents as the officers dismissed exited the room. Simon was just commenting to Gerald that the intel he had read so far wasn't very detailed when the briefing room door was closed carefully. The Head of Regional Intelligence spoke again.
'Gentlemen, what follows is for your ears only. The information in the briefing documents has been garnered by a method devised by the DTRU,' he declared to a low moan across the room. The DTRU did not have a particularly good reputation with the intelligence departments, mainly because most of the projects funded through the Secret Service budget had failed to bear any fruit worth having. The head continued.
'We are trying to establish an exact timeline to determine whether this new method will give us an advantage in gathering intelligence over other methods. We aren't expecting any new revelations from the information contained in your documents, the methods used so far are unlikely to provide that, and are more likely to be off beam by some degree.
'We have been hampered in this project by one of our own people acting in a, er, misguided fashion. We are also experiencing a bit of a problem with one of our DTRU colleagues, but that is being addressed separately by another department.
'Simon,' he declared, looking over to the Middle East head, 'I understand you have had dealings with Martin Loftus in the past?' he asked.
'Obnoxious little toe rag, if I remember correctly,' replied Simon, 'is he our liaison on this project?' he asked.
'He was until this afternoon. The reports you all have were compiled by Loftus, but left encrypted on his network drive. No doubt he has had reasons for his actions, but he has now managed to lose a couple of crucial personnel in this project. What we need to know is whether this intel warrants a full scale manhunt or whether it is a red herring.
'The fact is, if we need to track these people down it will tie up a lot of our resources. Obviously there is a great cost associated with this but more importantly it may divert resources from other areas and in particular from your project, Simon. I believe your follow up to the Israeli suicide bomb is critical, but I'm fighting an uphill battle at the moment as it is seen in the upper echelons as an internal Israeli affair.
'My concern is that this will divert the funds needed for you on one hand, but also that it may deprive you of the vital intel you need to make progress if we fail to follow up. So there we are, probably damned whichever way we jump, business as usual,' he concluded. Simon shuffled uncomfortably, aware that the spotlight was on him.
'I'll get that evaluation carried out as soon as possible,' he promised.


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

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