Currently Untitled

Damien | 09/08/2011

There was a snowstorm whipping around outside when the secret agents walked into my office. I'd thought I was done with all their bullshit years earlier after the whole Vanity's Captive debacle, but I should have known that they only let you go until they need you for something.

I tried to steel myself for whatever demands they were about to make of me, hoping that I would at least be able to get something positive from them before agreeing to follow whatever line they wanted me to dance along. I didn't try to kid myself for a moment that I might be able to refuse the 'request' they were here to deliver.

You didn't ever say no to these guys. You just did what they asked and hoped that this time they meant it when they said it was the last time. Although it never was of course.

I sat there and waited for them to tell me why they were here, determined not to be the first to break the silence. There was no real reason for this, other than me not wanting to give them the satisfaction of asking what they wanted me for this time. I knew it was all bullshit reallly, but in my mind I kind of felt as though me asking what they wanted would mean surrendering the initiative to them, and once they had control I would end up going along with their request.

Like I said, bullshit. I knew as soon as I saw the two cheap suits framed in the office doorway that I was going to do whatever it was they were here to cajole me into. I always did. Didn't really have a whole lot of choice in the matter, as they had some information about me that I really didn't want anyone else to hear. But for me it amounted to a small moral victory when I managed to avoid acting exactly as they expected me to.

We stayed like that for what felt like in age, although the clock on my office wall indicated that it was in fact only a couple of minutes. Time is weird like that, with an ability to stretch or condense itself depending on the circumstances, and some sort of innate knowledge that allows it to either get longer or shorter in direct contradiction of how you want it to behave at that precise moment.

And then the taller of the two guys spoke.

I would love to tell you what he said, but at that moment I had a flash of inspiration for the ad-campaign I had been working on before the goons arrived, and instead of paying attention to him I was imagining the advert as it played out in my mind for the first time.

I pictured the scene, a group of barbarians just coming home from a weekend away raping and pillaging, their wives waiting on the shore for them, probably hoping that they weren't bringing home any new trophy maidens to replace them with.

The ship pulls into shore and the youngest crew member, obviously not accustomed to how such men should behave, goes charging off the boat to meet his childhood sweetheart. I would maybe throw in a stumble mid run as he races to embrace her. Then cut to another scene....

It's the same young crew member tied to a whipping post. He is going to be punished for leaving the ship with such a lack of decorum, and his girl if off to one side sobbing quietly....

At this point I started running out of ideas, distracted no doubt by the voice droning on in the background about National Security and how it was important I take on the mission that had just been proposed while I was distracted by something shiny.

I started paying attention again just in time to hear him say what sounded like "in for a penny, out for a sound", but quickly realised that I must have misheard him because that statement makes no sense whatsoever. He may have been a secret agent, but that didn't mean he would be completely without brains, although a certain level of implied idiocy was to be expected.

I tried to regain focus and reached for a bag of chocolate raisins I had found in my desk earlier that morning. The packaging implied that they were at least three years out of date, but to my surprise I had discovered them to be perfectly edible still. The agent in charge was still prattling on as I did this, so I raised my hands to get him to stop and politely requested that he start his briefing all over again.

He gave me a look that indicated that he was under the impression that a second head had just grown out of my shoulder and started making insinuations about the moral decency of his mother, before sighing and beginning his speech all over again.

"You're target for this mission will be Ali Al Jahwani, a Saudi businessman and the richest man in the world....."
Authors Note: The name in the final sentence is completely made up and fictitious, and any relationship to any businessmen from Saudi Ariabia with the same or a similar name is entirely coincidental.

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