Also, everyone spam Rose's page for the results of the comp. I'm getting angry. Here's the link.
Also also - I'm getting this t-shirt. Do you like it?-->
The room was a hive of activity. Computers whirred in the background, the people working on them chattering amongst themselves and into their headphones. Screens flashed red and buzzers beeped. Keyboards were tapped and phones were ringing. People walked and ran, jogged and paused, thinking and talking and working as they moved from place to place. The noise burned Jeremy’s skull and he began to think he would have been better in his old job. Everything here was too high-tech and loud. He needed something quiet. But then again, he should have thought about that before he joined MI5.
“Excuse me, Sir? May I see your ID?” Jeremy felt a hand clap his shoulder and he jerked backwards. There was man in a suit standing in front of him, being jostled by the throngs of people that moved around him. He was wearing a suit and his eyes were covered with sunglasses. Jeremy straightened up, and gripping his briefcase tighter, reached into his pocket.
“There you are,” he said, handing a card to the man. It was small, and on it there were four things - his name, his picture, his job and the most important thing anyone in this room had - a tiny chip that opened the doors.
The man eyed him for a moment before handing him his card. “Thank you, Sir. The conference room is the third door on your right.”
Jeremy took a deep breath and pushed his way through the people walking around him. It was a huge room, a hall, but it was cramped and suffocating. Jeremy could feel the oxygen being sucked from the air and his throat closed slightly. Keep walking. Keep walking. His doctor had told him to stay away from stressful situations. Pfft. That was working.
Counting the doors as he rammed his way through the crowd, Jeremy sidled to the third one. It was metal and solid, just like all the other doors in this place. Jeremy slipped a hand into his pocket and pulled out the card. He slid it down a machine and the door flashed a vibrant green, before clicking open. Fresh air blew out from inside the room and Jeremy felt relief wash over him. Finally. Peace. Quiet. Just what he needed. Jeremy wrapped his hand round the steel handle and stepped inside the room.
There were already five people gathered round a large wooden table when Jeremy entered. They all glanced up when he walked in. Their eyes were like knives in his back and one or two of them were glaring at him. He could feel them thinking about him, wondering what the hell he was doing here. Surprisingly enough, Jeremy was thinking the exact same thing.
Jeremy closed the door and ambled forward. He could feel sweat marks developing under his arms. The room was quiet and peaceful, sure, but these men, with their suits and their patronising glares made his heart ricochet off his chest. He sat down on one of the two remaining seat and put his briefcase on the table. The guy next to him was cracking his wrist and the guy across from him was marking the table with long, sharp fingernails. He was rippling his fingers over the desk, and although he wasn’t as beefy as some of the other men, his eyes were hard as stone. He was staring at Jeremy and his mouth was turned down in a frown. Jeremy felt his nervousness build up in chest, a powder keg ready to explode. He bit down on his tongue and sank down into the seat.
Suddenly, the door opened again and large man with slicked back hair stepped into the room. His head was held up high and his eyes were covered with sunglasses. He strode towards the head of the table and leaned on the polished surface, his hands like steaks as they banged against the wood. He took his sunglasses off and Jeremy swallowed. This was Agent Stalt. The big guy. The guy who had called him in on short notice. He had been on the brink of refusing - and then his boss told him who Agent Stalt was. He was practically the government.
“Gentlemen,” he began, his voice booming around the room. It was low and harsh with scraping undertones. It was the voice of a man who challenged you to fight him, and then, after a single blow, always won.
“Gentlemen, none of you know why you are here. Am I correct?”
There was a general murmur of agreement and Agent Stalt nodded. “You are here today because you are the best agents, the best men MI5 can offer. You are the cream of the crop and you are hard.” Jeremy felt a flush of colour come to his cheeks. He was in the wrong room. He must be. He wasn’t hard. He wasn’t strong. He was only a therapist. He helped the agents, but he sure as heck wasn’t one of them.
Agent Stalt pressed a button under the table and a picture flashed up on the wall behind him. It was of nine men - all white, and all wearing a red hawk on their arms. Their eyes were hard and burning; their mouths turned downwards into primitive snarls. Crevasses lined their foreheads, but they didn’t look more than thirty years old.
“These men have invaded a school. Most of the pupils and teachers escaped...bar thirty two, whom the men are holding hostage.” He let the message sink in and then he continued, “These men are all part of a secret organisation called the Red Hawks. They believe in white supremacy and anarchy, and various other things that would bore me to mention. They have an unlimited supply to a large number of bombs, guns, knives and C4.”
“Now, this incident has been kept under wraps for various reasons. One- the men have stated that they will kill the hostages if the press start reporting on it. Two - the government fear national panic if this was to arise. And three - the ransom the Red Hawks are requiring is quite...sensitive.”
The man across from Jeremy suddenly saluted. “Sir, what is the ransom they are wanting?”
Agent Stalt paused. “The Red Hawks are demanding something a bit more than we had expected, and they have given us three days in which to deliver it.” Agent Stalt took a deep breath and leaned on the table. “They are demanding the Prime Minister.”
Silence settled over the room. The news was like a poisonous gas, choking the throats of everyone in the room. No one was breathing, no one was moving. The seriousness had shocked them into silence. All Jeremy could do was sit, open mouthed. The Prime Minister. Damn. These guys knew how to bargain.
Finally, the man across from Jeremy opened his mouth. “Ah.”
“My thoughts exactly, Mr Bowler.” Agent Stalt pressed another button under the table and a new picture sprung up. It was of a teenage girl in a white gown. Her hair was brown and sweeping, falling down the back of her neck and onto her shoulders. Her eyes were piercing, and Jeremy swore he saw them blink as he stared at the wall. She looked about fifteen. “As this situation is volatile, and time sensitive, the board and I have decided out best bet to save the children is through her.” He pointed at the girl on the board. “Her name is Prisoner 3452 and we have called you here to decide who will go and collect her. You will be going to the forest, where she was dropped off, and you shall be picking her up and bringing to the Scottish research facility. You shall be accompanied by Mr Holmhead.”
Every eye in the room turned to Jeremy, and he slumped down in his seat. He was definitely in the right room. He could feel everyone staring, judging, glaring.
“Mr Holmhead will ensure that Prisoner 3452 is calm and settled in her environment before she goes to the mission, alone. Remember, this is a simple pick up mission, but it will require you to do some out of the box thinking. Trying to take her by force will get you nowhere, as I’m sure you have realised from you briefing papers.” Jeremy tried to hide his surprise. Briefing papers? He hadn’t got any briefing papers. “Now, any volunteers?”
No one put their hand up.
“No one? This is a simple mission that will put many points on your record. You can’t afford to miss this.”
The man across from Jeremy put his hand up, and Jeremy felt his heart sink. He would have to work with this guy? “I would like to volunteer, Sir.”
Agent Stalt nodded. “Good. Mr Holmhead and you will be taken to the helicopter in half an hour, where you will begin your flight. Any questions from the two of you?”
Jeremy paused and slowly put his hand up. “W-who is this girl, Sir?” he asked, his voice meek and wavering.
Agent Stalt raised his eyebrows. “You didn’t get any briefing papers?”
“No, Sir. I was only made aware of this about an hour ago.” In the middle of a counselling session. With his own therapist.
“Right. Mr Bowler, brief Mr Holmhead on the way over there.” The man nodded and Agent Stalt turned to Jeremy. “And to answer your question, she isn’t a girl.”
“Then...what is she?”
Agent Stalt smiled and clicked the button under the desk. An X-Ray of the girl popped up and Jeremy’s eyes widened. Agent Stalt smiled at his expression. “Mr Holmhead? She isn’t even human.”