Day 246 – The Spy – Part 5

Word count: 784

“A latte, please,” Harry was in some backstreet café. It was the morning after the phone call. He had checked out before first light and had discreetly followed the bin men as they did their rounds. It seemed safer to be nearer people, even if they themselves did not know it. But he could not prowl the streets forever. Sooner or later his feet would grow tired and his will would falter, so just as the day’s rain began to pour, he snuck into this little café and took a seat by the window.

As the waitress went to make his order, eh returned to his sentinel post; eyes watching, both weary and wary of the enemy. It was hard to remember his training. Though it was only a few years ago, he had forgotten much. Sneaking around and disappearing into shadow was a natural skill he had from his youth; firing a gun, aiming, killing? Could he still really do all those things? Harry could not recall the last man he had killed. The man might have been young, old; he might have been called anything in the world; any race or nationality. To Harry, he was just another figure to a total he could only vaguely remember.

The latte arrived, a little too bland for his liking, but he poured sachet after sachet of sugar into it to make the sweetness to his liking. So, he sighed to himself, taking a gulp of the liquid caffeine: he had to make a plan. That plan had to involve no one else. That plan was not to rely on anyone or make contact with old associates. That plan was to lay low and hide; to roam from shelter to shelter and from city to city until he had gathered enough information on what his enemy wanted of him, or wanted from him. Harry deep down knew exactly what the plan was: it was to run away. He felt ashamed. In MI5 he had never been that man. He had never taken the easy way out. But there was no choice – he could not trust those he thought he could turn to. He needed to remember those four words and find the other twelve.

The woman at the table next to him got up and left his paper. Harry reached over and grabbed it. The title headline was regarding some unfortunate fire in a East London flat. Harry flicked through the pages. As he did so he became conscious that someone was watching him. Some intrinsic instinct was telling him that he was being hunted. Harking back to primeval survival tactic, he pretended not to notice and continued reading the paper, all the while hunting the hunter. He clocked him, a man in the corner, thick framed black glasses, moustache and a filter coffee. He was reading a tablet PC.

How could Harry remove himself from this situation? If he left, he would be followed, if he stayed… he couldn’t stay forever. Minutes passed. He pretended to read the paper with intensity, flicking the pages roughly at appropriate times. Tablet PC. Harry remembered something in training. It was a crazy idea, but it may just work – distract his hunter enough for him, the prey, to leave unnoticed.

Harry whipped out his smartphone. This was his backup. No one knew the number but it was MI5 built. It had everything in it, including a notepad program. It would only take a few minutes to construct, if done correctly, but Harry had both the knowledge and the power to write a program that he would be able to transmit to the tablet PC and shut it down, make it do strange things on the screen. It was a long, long shot but it could work.

Opening up the notepad, he began to frantically type, but it had been years since he had written any form of program – it might not work any more. He typed and he typed, hoping that the syntax would all be correct.

Then, quite abruptly, a message appeared on screen. It was a request to share a file over Bluetooth. Harry was scared. It could be anything. A few seconds passed. The file downloaded. It was a picture. He opened it. It was of him. He turned round immediately, staring the man with the tablet straight in the eye.

“You got the semi colon in the wrong place, dude,” he said, as relaxed as if he were from the seventies. The man got up from his chair and took a seat right beside Harry.

“I am not your enemy,” he announced. “But I cannot be your friend.”

“Then what are you?”

“Your distraction….”

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~ by S.G. Mark on June 9, 2012.

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