|SORD: Begining The End
Author: GPR PM
Ever wondered if the government is keeping secrets from you? A department within MI5, SORD, investigate the inexplicable cases forgotten by MI5. Investigating the supernatural, extraterrestrial & paranormal, agents Pinter & Safaric are living in dark timeRated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Mystery - Chapters: 12 - Words: 31,876 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 12-03-09 - Published: 07-11-09 - id: 2695797
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter one – Partners
The entire building was alive with people, crawling like insects to wherever they were supposed to go. The walls radiated heat as the sun streamed continuously through the open windows. One or two people were fanning themselves with classified files, trying to rid their heated bodies of sweat and mediate their temperature.
Amongst the buzzing chaos of raised voices sat Dorian Pinter, nonchalantly fanning himself with his hand. His tousled, dark brown hair fell into his chestnut eyes, which scanned the surrounding area idly, and his olive skin gleamed with stale sweat. He was handsome, in an offhand, roguish kind of way that many women would fall victim to. With his tie hanging loosely around his neck, and his shirt sticking to his damp torso, he looked like a slightly older, less groomed, suit clad version of Orlando Bloom.
Pinter's eyes snapped onto a particular location in the room, focusing on a singular figure seemingly heading his way. Cursing under his breath, he waved pathetically, and rose to his feet.
The other man reached him a couple of seconds later, his face set in a stony expression as he leaned in close to whisper something in Pinter's ear.
Pinter nodded, and followed him unquestionably back through the throng of occupied, unaware people.
The building was lined with sections of offices, which surrounded the main body of the room where many of its occupants were scurrying to and fro. Each office had someone in them, typing away furiously on their desktop pc or talking on the phone. The ceiling rose high above the two men's heads, and a skylight moulded to the shape of a dome allowed sunlight to beam down into the oval room below.
Pinter glanced at one or two of the offices as he ambled past, trying to keep a steady pace with the man in front of him, and received several sniggers in return. A scowl darkened his brow, and he bowed his head to avoid the searing gaze of one particular man to his right.
After what seemed like a few minutes, the men reached the head of the oval corridor, and disappeared into a much larger, private looking office.
The door closed quietly behind Pinter, who turned half expectant, half apprehensive.
The whitewashed walls were adorned with certificates, pictures and suchlike. The desk was neatly ordered, with paperwork filed carefully away in their respective trays, and the ballpoint pens had been lined up painstakingly across the top of the table. Behind the desk sat a black, leather desk chair, plush and welcoming. Despite the room's airy feel to it, Pinter couldn't help but feel entrapped.
The man, whose jet black hair was cropped so close to his scalp that you could see the shape of his head, sighed meaningfully, and slumped rather tiresomely into his chair.
Next came the words Pinter wanted least to hear, "I don't know what to do about you, Pinter. This one man shenanigans can't carry on the way it is. Do you know how much your wild goose chases are costing MI5? Both in public acknowledgement and financial costs?"
"And understand that, Fuller-"
Fuller irately cut across him, "Listen, you're good man, with you heart right place, but you work… your beliefs… they're ludicrous, and MI5 cannot deal with it anymore."
Pinter's eyes closed in resignation, and he lowered himself into the seat opposite Fuller, "Men have died in the past, doing what I do. I lost my partner, Sir, for the greater good, don't tell me his sacrifice was in vain-"
"It wasn't," the older man dismissed his argument with a wave of his hand, "SORD has done some… credible work over the 50 years or so that it's been in operation, I'm not denying it, but-"
"But what?" Pinter snapped heatedly, glowering angrily at his boss sitting idly across from him, "You're just going to close the department down? Then what? What happens to all those cases the police and MI5 can't solve? What then?"
Fuller's dull green eyes fixated on the floor as he formulated a reasonable answer, "They are forgotten about – just another mystery no one will know the answer to."
"It's taking care of the organisation as a whole, don't you see that?" their eyes met, dark brown staring down jaded green, "I suppose assigning you to a new department wouldn't do any good. I don't actually fancy letting you loose in the missing persons unit, god knows how many paranormal theories you'll come up with to explain the disappearance of an 85 year old."
"Just… give SORD a chance. Don't close it down, don't dismiss me, Sir. Look," Pinter's expression was painful to look at, with desperation and panic rising in his voice, Fuller felt something inside him squirm, "get someone else in – someone who can keep me and my work out of the press. Someone who can give more credibility to my work-"
Fuller shook his head, "Pinter, you're a scientist. You're also an agent, that's what we trained you to be. You're work should already be convincing-"
"Sir, please…" he caught his eye, "…I mean it when I say this, no more wild goose chases, no more front pages in the News Of The World… just… I won't argue, you find me someone who thinks rationally, who can handle the media… and this will work, I promise you."
With his head in his hands, and his eyes squeezed firmly closed, Fuller made a decision he knew he would more than likely regret later, "Fine-"
"You won't regret-"
"I'd better bloody not," he growled viciously, glaring up at Pinter, "Now get the hell out of my office before I change my mind."
Pinter rose to his feet and dashed to the door, a smile tugging at the corner of his lips. In the doorway, he turned around, winking, "Admit it Sir, you never would have gotten rid of me, really."
"Out!" Fuller cried in frustration.
The 32 year old was gone in a split second, leaving him to mull over his festering thoughts. Leaning back in his chair, Fuller smirked, and then laughed at himself. Pinter was right; he wouldn't have gotten rid of him – not that easily. He would have sweet talked himself out of it some way or other, as he had just demonstrated.
With the beginnings of a migraine thumping angrily away at the front of his forehead, he realised something. Where on earth was he going to get someone who had the required level of expertise and experience to handle Dorian Pinter and his cases?
With a heavy heart, he picked up the phone and began to make a series of calls that wouldn't change just Pinter's work, but his life, and in effect Fuller's too.
Michael Philips, civil servant and founder of a branch in the Home Office simply called "ROPACH", sat in the forefront window of a Starbuck's café, sipping absentmindedly away at his Cappuccino.
He stifled a yawn, adjusted his tie, surfed the internet on his miniature laptop and made a phone call on his Blackberry. For him, business went on as usual.
His ruffled, blond hair curled into little ringlets, and his eyes were a disappointing grey colour. He wasn't a particularly eye catching, intriguing person upon sight, yet he oozed influential power and authority when one was within a close proximity to him.
Sitting undisturbed at his single table, he appeared to be lost in deep thought as he hung up after making a call. He wasn't principally over imaginative, nor entertained the idea of something out of the ordinary, and so, when his mobile began to ring, he checked the caller ID and groaned.
"Daniel…" his feigned enthusiasm was clearly evident to the man on the other end of the line.
"Not interrupting anything am I?"
"Just a lukewarm coffee, nothing more."
"Good, good. Actually, I was wondering if you could help me out here-"
"I thought we'd already discussed this. I've already repaid the favour-"
The man's voice became hasty, "No, no, nothing like that."
Philips hesitated, running his tongue along his teeth as he contemplated something, "Okay. Shoot."
"I was hoping, with your ties and all, that you might know of someone suitable for a job I have going. One that needs to be filled, preferably as soon as possible."
Philips pouted, considering a thought that popped into his mind, "Meet me at the Starbucks coffee shop in ten, the one next to the photographers."
Fuller gazed around at the dark décor in the shop, before his eyes fell onto the tables and chairs collected opposite the counter, with a few people sitting down, chatting merrily amongst one another.
He spotted one person in particular, a newspaper lying open upon the wooden table, and headed directly towards him.
He looked up as he approached, and stood, holding out his hand in a businesslike manner, "Daniel, it's been awhile."
Fuller extended his hand and they shook briskly, "Michael, I trust your wife is well?"
"Indeed, but enough chitchat, you came to me for a specific reason, one I might be able to help you out with." Fuller drew up a chair, and they both sat down.
"You remember Pinter?"
Philips' face turned somewhat sour, "How could I forget? I almost had him done for trespassing on government property. Who does he think he is? Breaking and entering the ROPACH centre?"
Fuller chuckled moderately, "A stupid question on my part, then?"
"It would seem so."
He turned grave, "Yes, well, I had planned to close down SORD-"
"Well, I figured since the Home Office had ROPACH in operation, SORD was no longer needed, and well… let's say Pinter begged, and won."
"You are a push over, Daniel; he knows exactly what makes you tick-"
"But is that a surprise? The man knows more about strangers than the people he considers to be his loved ones."
"He is a man of Psychology, admittedly-"
"Anyway, back to the matter in hand, he promised his work would be more credible if he had someone to keep him in order."
Philips burst into laughter, "Why? Don't you keep him in his place enough?"
"And so you've come to me to see if I can spare someone from ROPACH to help your pathetic excuse of a department? I'm sorry, but no can do."
Fuller sighed, running a fatigued hand through his short hair, "I'm sorry to hear that. One of my resources gone. I ought to… try another, then."
He stood, turned, then paused, and whipped around back to Philips, about to say something, "You know… I'd like meet your son one day-"
Philips' face turned a violent shade of red, "I can't spare people, even if you blackmail me."
"Really? Because I heard from Thornton that one of your team had recently quit. Apparently they no longer trusted you." Fuller's face was a picture of satisfaction, smug that he had hit more than one nerve in Philips.
With his jaw set, and his eyes unyielding in their sudden anger, Philips spoke, "You want them then?"
"Why do you think I'm here?"
"There's no guarantee they'll work for you, Daniel."
"What is this? A competition? Give me the name and address."
Philips pulled a pen from his jacket pocket, snatched up a napkin and scribbled furiously onto it, "There."
Fuller took it, and read the spindly writing:
3 Wilmot Close
"What do they specialise in?" he asked after awhile of examining the white sheet.
"Public Relations, they've got their head screwed on properly. They'll be a credit to you."
"Why'd they leave?"
"Goodbye Daniel." Philips stiffly muttered, indicating that the conversation was abruptly over, returning to the sports section of his paper.
Fuller gazed at him wordlessly for a minute, before he turned on his heel and left.
Wilmot Close was lined with Victorian townhouses on both sides, all with black front doors and cream coloured walls. It was a neat, ordered street, oozing wealth and power everywhere you looked. Cars, worthy of being pinups, sat beside the curbs, pristine in condition, many of them sleek blacks, unspoilt whites and clear blues.
Fuller's car pulled up outside number one, in a spare parking space, just as his phone began to ring. He fumbled with his trouser pocket for a moment, retrieved his mobile, and then answered rather irately, "What?"
"Sir, I need you to review some case files-"
"Put them on my desk Janet, I'm busy." He growled, snapping his phone shut within a second.
Cutting the engine dead and yanking his keys out of the ignition, he threw open the car door and stepped out into the blazing sun. Shoving his keys into his trouser pocket, he removed his jacket and chucked it onto the back seat of the car, slamming the door in his wake.
He found number three easily enough, since there was a metal cast number sitting on one of the columns just outside the front door. Unlike the other houses, the flowers on the window sill by the door were droopy, having not been watered in some considerable amount of time. There was no welcoming mat like the neighbours, and there was still, in the middle of June, a laurel wreath hung upon the door.
To Fuller, this first impression of the house was rather negative. It seemed that this was the only house on the road with some character, and that's what he least wanted, someone with oodles of character to be paired up with Dorian Pinter.
Despite this, he continued up the steps until he stood at the front door, and hesitated before rapping lightly on the wood. Nothing happened, so after a minute he rang the doorbell.
Again, at first nothing happened, then, from deep within the bowels of the building came a thump, then another thump.
After one or two seconds of hearing thump, thump, thump on the other side, Fuller's brow was drawn into a frown.
Then there was a loud bang against the door, rattling the letter box, and a muffled voice cried out something along the lines of, "watch out", "door" and "stupid dog".
The door finally swung open, and Fuller was greeted with what appeared to be a rather large, black, enthusiastic Labrador puppy. A moment past wherein he realised that it wasn't actually a Lab, but a Great Dane.
Hanging onto the navy collar around its neck was a young woman, furiously trying to keep it from bounding out onto the doorstep and licking Fuller.
"Can I help?" She asked, somewhat breathlessly.
"I'm looking for a T. Safaric-"
"That'd be me," She looked up at him indifferently, hauling the dog out of the way to make room for him, "Philips told me you were coming."
"My name is Daniel Fuller-"
"Yes, I know who you are." She spoke in matter of fact way, smiling slightly as she set down two cups of tea, and sunk into the armchair opposite the couch he was sitting on, the dog snoozing at her feet.
"Then you're familiar with SORD and its work?" He sounded somewhat hopeful, wishing that he didn't have to explain the department's controversial work.
She sighed, "Not particularly, although I know it was a forerunner against ROPACH."
"Then, why did you leave, Safaric?"
"That is something I don't want to discuss, and before you ask, no, Philips didn't blackmail me into keeping my mouth shut. Why are you here?" Her unexpected question took him by surprise.
For a minute he looked into her breathtaking eyes, then replied, "I want you to come work for SORD."
"Think about it, and when you have the answer," he rose to his feet and pulled a small card from his jacket pocket, and handing it to her, "give me a call."