Fourth Fiction 12.5

Mulholland stood staring at the screen flanked by the Director on one side, immaculately attired in a three piece suit and clean shaven despite the fact it was hours off dawn. In direct contrast Coffey, head of Intelligence, was dishevelled with a day old growth covering his chin and cheeks. But he was as sharp, if not sharper than the Director as they moved and counter moved the data around on the screen as though it were a game of chess. Outside of Mulholland’s office, the entire unit was assembling and every available agent had been called in.

Mulholland glanced up to the closed-circuit TV feed up in the right hand corner, updating every second from each camera on sewerage outlets feeding from The Dead Zone. He’d assigned one agent to sit and watch all screens feeding in from the sewerage system. Nothing was going to slip past him, other than the occasional over sized rat scurrying through the disembodied green of the night vision.

“We can’t discount this is a ruse,” the Director said, knowing it would be him who would need to make the phone call to the Mayor for authorisation to move to Code Black. “I still don’t understand how Pullen managed to delete everything. There must be some way to retrieve what was lost.”

“We head hunted Pullen because he was the best. He was more than an eavesdropper – he created software and systems which gave us spying potential beyond anything we’d previously had.”

“Then you are facing the difficult truth that you actively recruited a saboteur into your ranks,” said Mulholland, enjoying the moment.

“There was nothing at any point to indicate Pullen was anything other than a loyal employer.” His voice remained steady.

“Well perhaps he was once upon a time. His wife is scheduled for birth in two weeks time, is she not?”

“And she has never missed an appointment with the hospital or has given any indication they were collectively planning to break the law. In his time Pullen helped in the arrest more than twenty midwives. I have never had reason to doubt his loyalty.”

“Until now.”

“But it makes no sense.” Coffey shook his head and thrust his hands deep into the pocket of his stained sweat pants.

“He set the systems in place, like slowly but surely wiring in a bomb to take out a building. Bit by bit,” said Mulholland.

“We will be able to retrieve some of our database, if not all, it will just take time.”

“Time we don’t have,” said the Director.

The Director pulled across a string of photos, Pullen, Midwife #2, Jamieson, Booth, Kravin and Colbert and a barely discernable picture of a black Mustang.

“How does this all fit together?”

This installment incorporate’s Tina’s challenge (a difficult truth).