Home > Happy Holidays Fun, The Monday Musings Column > espionage. or is there another motive? holiday fun from Monday Musings

espionage. or is there another motive? holiday fun from Monday Musings

He was not in his usual car, instead driving a nondescript small MPV of uncertain age; too many people would recognise his usual wheels. The rain began again in earnest as he turned of the motorway. He flicked the windscreen wipers on to full speed as he climbed up the ramp to the roundabout and took the A road . Ahead of him the high hills were lost in the curtain of rain as he sought out a lay-by and pulled off the road, carefully checking the vehicles that passed him before he moved on again.

The rain was easing as the signs for his destination appeared. Taking the exit he again carefully checked the cars that also took the turning. One or two dropped out as they entered the town, but a red Audi and a blue Toyota were still with him as he got to within about a mile of his destination. No reason to suppose that they were following him, but he was taking no chances and he made a left turn into a grid of streets of Victorian worker’s houses.

None of the others cars turned with him as he made three more left turns around the block and emerged once again onto the main road. Watching carefully amongst parked vehicles at the side of the road and in side streets he did not see either the Audi or the Toyota. So far so good he thought as he drove on and approached an office block beside a leisure centre on the edge of the town centre. There were still a number of parking spaces available, but he ignored these and instead entered a multi-storey car park nearby.

He found a floor that had not yet begun to fill up and parked in the corner from where he sat for a good five minutes watching as a few other cars arrived and also parked, their occupants all heading quickly for the lifts and stairs. Things were looking good, but he was still tense. He needed to have at least half an hour inside the office before any risk of discovery. A few deep breaths and he got out of the car. He carried no briefcase, content to secret a few necessary items in his coat pockets. He locked the car and left by the back staircase.

He approached the office by a circuitous route taking care not to be recognised as he slipped into the grounds using the cover of a delivery truck to slip by the security guard. It was all down to timing, nerve and luck now. Slipping around the side of the building he waited in the shadow of the recycling dumpsters. The side door opened and a cleaner emerged with a barrow full of black bags, pausing to prop a fire extinguisher against the door to stop it closing. This was his moment; like a ghost he slipped through the door. He was in!

His target was a ground floor office. Arriving at the door he took a key from his pocket and inserted it into the lock. He felt the lock give and he entered the room closing the door behind him. He had made it unobserved and he took a seat at the desk. The computer came to life as he began to rifle through the papers on the desk, sorting them into two piles. Dividing his attention between the computer and the pile of papers he considered important he worked quickly, writing quickly on a pad he had taken from his pocket and trying not to keep glancing at the clock as he made notes. It was going as well as he could have expected. The last document in the important pile read he checked his notes and quickly made a list on the pad. Satisfied he sat back and looked up at the clock over the door. He had been there, undetected, for almost 35 minutes and he had what he wanted.

The sound of a key in the lock made him start. Someone was outside, there was no other way out and nowhere to hide. He sat still at the desk and waited for the inevitable with resignation. He had known that this would be the inevitable outcome, but at least he had had the half hour to himself, alone with the contents of the desk and computer, and it had confirmed that he was a wanted man. The rest of this day would be difficult and he would need all of his powers if he was to get through it unscathed.

A man opened the door and was almost two paces into the room before he realised that the chair behind the desk was occupied. His surprise was total. As the two men looked at each other a woman burst in as well, also pulling up short at the sight of the figure behind the desk; “Hello Boss!” She exclaimed, “didn’t know you were in yet. Hope you had a good holiday, but you can tell us later. The FD’s got the hump over the budget and wants to see you at 10 and the big chief wants you in her office when she gets in. I’ll get you a coffee and tell you all about it. Back in a minute.” The man behind the desk smiled. First day back syndrome, but at least he’d been able to have that half an hour alone to catch up.

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