Continuation from Fiction #4
As I began to dig in, my blackberry started going. I looked down, shit, I had an emergency at the High Commission. I knew what it was about, but the e-mail was vague, with no secure line, how else would they let me know. I quickly scrambled to my feet, grabbed the chicken noodles, smiled at William and said “thanks”. It was time to motor, this is where I felt good, no feelings, just emergencies.
I left William standing, rather puzzled. He would probably figure out I had an emergency, he saw his Father do this countless times, hopefully he will put 2 and 2 together.
I was out the door so fast, I forgot to ask what the address was, I needed a cab right away, but had no idea where the cab was supposed to pick me up. I looked down at my watch, it was already 10pm. I ran to the nearest corner, grabbed the phone, to give them the address at the corner. The cab took an eternity in my mind, but it was only 5min. I had to take a deep breath, and calm down.
I got to the high commission, entered the pass code, and made my way up to the 2nd floor. All the lights were on, I was met by the duty officer, he looked wide eyed, and slightly flustered. He looked at me, and blurted out “We have a slight situation, you have intel you need to read.”
I looked at him, and took a deep breath. I was posted to be the intelligence liaison. It was an odd job, meeting with spooks, but never being a spook myself. The majority of the time, I sat in an office and filtered through intelligence files, it was almost wild how many files and computers I had. Everytime I watched a spy movie, I always laughed at the inaccuracies, and the use of cell phones and computers. My job entailed liaising with people who were virtual ghosts, who left me cryptic messages, and I would have to go to some meeting place by car, and enter with dozens of security codes.
The one time I walked into MI5, I saw no one, was led into a conference room, spent an hour being briefed, was escorted out, and again saw no one as I left. These were people who never really wanted you to know them.
We did have a problem, and it was not a good one. An explosion had gone off in Brussels, the embassy in Brussels was all hands on deck, looking for Canadians. The officer on duty called me, I guess he didn’t want to call the High Commissioner, no one ever wanted to call Tilley, he was an appointee, and not a very good one. I took a deep breath, and called the residence.
Within the hour, the High Commission was operating full speed to help the Brussels office with information, and councillor help. Thousands of calls were being answered at headquarters, no phones were working in Brussels, everyone was working blind, except for the intel that was coming into the Canadian High Commission. It was a mess, no one cared about the explosion at that point. We just wanted to know if every member of our team in Brussels was accounted for first, as well as our delegations who were in Brussels for NATO meetings.
It would take days for us to sift through all the aftermath.
Before I knew it, it was 8am on Sunday, I had spent 2 nights straight at the office. Exhausted, having not had a shower, changed, or eaten properly. Everyone began to head home. Everything in Brussels was under control, and thank goodness everyone was accounted for. The casualties didn’t include any Canadians.
I grabbed my things, and headed out the door. It had started to rain, it was the closest thing to having a shower. So, I decided to walk home. I would get soaked, but who cares, it was enjoyable.
I reached home, and passed out on my couch, not managing to make it to my bed.
The next thing I knew, I woke up at 4am, having slept for a day and almost a whole night. I was starving, and in need of a shower, coffee and a run. It was too early to head outside, but I decided to have a quick rinse and head downstairs to the building gym. It was sufficient with a couple of treadmills and weights. At this time of morning, I could hog a whole treadmill for an hour without being harassed.
I pulled myself out of the fog, dragged myself from shower, to closet, to gym. It was time to run off all the cobwebs, and it was time to do it to the tune of Justin Timberlake dance mixes. I got my Iphone out, and realized I had a whole bunches of texts.
They were from my Brother and from William. My brother knew I had cut off all ties, just like he did. He had warned me taking a London posting would be difficult emotionally, but I didn’t really believe him.
William wanted to know if I was free for coffee.
I quickly texted William back, that I could do coffee. I heard a ping right back. Crap, I had forgotten how early it was. William was up, and was hoping I coud meet him this morning.
Well, I guess if he doesn’t mind meeting at 6am, coffee doesn’t sound bad.
to be continued