What they were asking… but hadn’t he already crossed the line? That’s why they’d revealed themselves to him, reckoned he was already there. George was, he knew, would sign up in a flash, possibly some of the others.
“So, what’s the end game, the objective, a coup?”
“Certainly not. No, to build an outer ring of informal defence, drive the threat from our shores, from others who share our civilisation, to protect the innocent, to watch the frontiers like the old Roman Limitani, to seek out those who would betray us. There’s no pay, no status, no glory, just service, and risk of course.”
“These rumours about people higher up getting together, is it related?”
“No, they’re not there yet, but they’re worried, near despair, but too high profile, too official. Maybe some in time, but this is about ground up people with the right mettle, one-by-one. We think you’re ideal.”
They talked for hours, over dinner; he tried to be objective, stand back, but couldn’t. That young man, the lives that must have been saved, their attempts to spare the innocent caught up in their activities and, most of all, those women’s bodies tumbling and lying broken on the ground, the cowardice and agendas that allowed it to happen… How many more to come?
“My wife, my family, do you promise on the Bible that you can help me find them?”
Why the Bible, given my lack of belief? What else was there though?
This man seemed focused on saving an entire civilisation, his culture, something based on that book above all others; if those things were so important to him, then it must be too…
The woman went out to find one, brought it back. ‘John’ swore an oath with his hand lightly, almost reverently, resting on its front cover as if in a court.
“You see, it’s through this unofficial network of ours that we’re tracing your family; official channels offer nothing.”
So that’s it then, my only chance. Who else is there? And he’s right, she is, George is. “Alright, I’ll do it. What do you want me to do?”
“Nothing yet, just keep your eyes open as you have before and see if anyone else might, one day, be suitable to join our little group and, of course, be ready when we need you, have a coffee with your spook friend from time to time.”
Not too much, early days, small steps.
“My assistant, George Edward, he was with me when we met the young man, look at him, he’d join up on the spot. I’d trust him with my life.”
“We will. Thank you.”
After he had left, Helena came and sat close beside him.
“You handled that well.”
“It was providence really. He’s a decent man, no fool; he’s close enough to see the way things are going.”
He called her cousin on a secure phone, met her the following day.
Seven weeks later, Chief Superintendent Dager disappeared while out jogging, never to be seen again; there were no clues at all.
His replacement was Andy Bowson.
© 1642again 2018