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Stories from the Verse
Chapter 113: Brown 145
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It was only a few minutes before an older man entered the interrogation room, accompanied by a uniformed guard. Derek recognized both from their personnel photos, but ignored the guard and addressed the interrogator in his normal voice.
“I have you down as Kyler Bryant. The code you gave at the window means that an undercover operative needs emergency assistance. I’m guessing that’s you, and that Kyler Bryant is not your real name. Let me say you must be really good at what you do, because you do not look like an undercover operative to me, and of course that’s the point.”
“Yes, I’m very good at what I do, and I have the support of a truly excellent branch who are very good at what they do.”
“And which branch would that be? MI-6?”
“There use to be an American joke that the initials of their National Security Administration, N.S.A., stood for ‘No Such Agency’. I’m not sure whether you’re cleared to know that the agency exists that I’m working for, but that almost doesn’t matter because I don’t think anyone has ever told me its name, if it has one. My boss, who I only know by a single letter designation, sent me here to find a leak, and I found it, but I was just a step too slow on figuring it out with the result that by the time I knew who was doing it he knew I knew. Thus when I got here I knew that your man Williams was going to attempt to kill me and dump my body on the streets of Bucharest, volunteer to be your liaison with the local police, and leave me as an unsolved mugging. It would have been my own fault, too, because I missed the critical piece. Fortunately, I did not meet with him unarmed, and I was able to disable him temporarily before he could act.” He then proceeded to explain how he became suspicious when he discovered that Samantha was ditching her security detail and meeting with an older Romanian boy, so he tagged her with several bugs in order to track those meetings. Gradually he pieced together the way the information was being carried as microdots on candy bar wrappers, but it wasn’t until he had met with Williams to look for a way to resolve the problem quietly that he realized that Williams was providing the microdots and Samantha was ignorant of the scheme.
Simpkins sat back and rested the side of his finger against his upper lip. “How do I know,” he said, “that you’re not a rogue agent?”
Derek shrugged. “I’m sure that’s always a risk in security services. I don’t think it’s considered a likely risk in my division--we’re a very unusual department. But I can give you copies of all the recordings I’ve made, and I’ve sent a message to my boss who will believe me, so the question really is whether you want to handle this yourself or wait for London to take action.”
Simpkins nodded, then rose. “Wait here,” he said. “You’ve given me quite a conundrum.” Then he left the room.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #265: Versers in Motion. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: