Lieutenant Clutterbuck looks silently at the disabled explosive device sat in the middle of the desk, the six party members all sat around him. A look of bewilderment and confusion writ large upon his face.
At least the rest of the Libyan mission had all gone to plan. Finding the farm proved to be no problem and a sleepy-looking Haddad answered the door a short while after they knocked upon it, giving the right codephrase in response. The boat journey back to the sub was without incident too.
None of the S.I.S. agents were around when they returned. All were sleeping, or supposedly sleeping at least.
Lieutenant Clutterbuck finally releases a long, deep sigh.
“I don’t really know what to say,” he admits. “All of this cloak and dagger business is not my business at all. I’m just here to get the sub to where you chaps tell me to take it. I don’t even know why I am taking you wherever it is that you’re going and that suits me just fine.”
“This is Fleming’s mess to clear up, not mine,” he continues. “But only the S.I.S. agents have the right cyphers to communicate with him.”
“All I know is that the overall mission is of the utmost importance – a matter of extreme national importance and urgency and that my orders are to get you safely to your destination, even if it means risking the sub and crew.”
“I’m sorry, chaps,” he finishes. “But it looks like you are on your own with regards to resolving this mess somehow.”
“Your sub may be at risk here” says Taffy. “So you need to take all precautions. None of the agents are coming with us this time, and for all we know they may ALL be guilty.”
“I’d suggest you have armed men on standby, and that their access is restricted due to Important Repairs or something. I’d also be wary of their access to weapons when on board, and Sweep the ship for explosives when they’re off.”
“In fact it seems suspicious to me that they’re not coming with us. It may be that this mission is a wild goose chase with us supposedly ending up at the bottom of the sea in an exploding boat.”
“It may be we’ve just rescued a trio of double agents and what they really want is your sub. or something on it. We don’t really even know if they are communicating with Fleming so if I were you I’d contact the Admiralty independently to confirm that they actually are.”
“I’d disarm their weapons too, or load them with blanks.”
“In fact, if this is the final mission, and they’re not involved – is there any harm in confining them all anyway. Just to be safe?”
Lieutenant Clutterbuck is silent once again as he ponders the situation deeply. Finally he replies:
“Well I will certainly do whatever I can to secure the sub. I’ll restrict access to all of the important areas and issue all officers with sidearms. I don’t want to make things too obvious that we’re on to him or her though. I know that no explosives are totally reliable and so there may be a good chance that they think that the device simply malfunctioned rather than you’re finding it and disabling it before it could do any damage.”
“Unfortunately, I don’t have any authority over any of you. I am only a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, after all. I will try and see if I can get through to Fleming via the Admiralty.”
“All I know is that our next destination is going to be off Thessalonika, Greece according to Katherine. That’s where are are heading now and it will take us around four days to get there. I don’t know whether this is going to be the final part of the mission or not.”
“Paula is the one leading the S.I.S. mission while Katherine is the only one who knows the details of the next – or final – rendezvous. As for Jorge, I have no idea what his part in the whole affair is as he doesn’t seem to have much in the way of input.”