Failure

It seemed a normal, small-town street, but it was strangely empty. In the window of number 42, a curtain moved. Adam Carter was watching the street closely. Unseen by everyone he realized everything down there. Since hours he was in this house in the outskirts of London, waiting for something to happen. He stifled a yawn and ran his hands through his blonde, scrubby hair. His ocean blue eyes never wandered around, but were clearly fixed on the street. Then it happened.

A door across the street opened. A middle-aged man came out of it. He was a bit too corpulent for his average height and was bald except some grey hairs, which surrounded his head like a crown. This was the man Adam had been waiting for. He stepped back from the window. Within a few seconds he was at the front-door. But before he stepped out of the house he slowed down his pace. Monroe, the man he was observing, should not get suspicious. He strolled slowly to his own car, while Monroe got into his, a green ford. Adam unlocked his car as without any haste, not even looking at the man opposite the street. Monroe started his car and departed. Adam waited some moments, looking carefully around to be sure that nobody was observing him. When he was certain of that, he got quickly into his car, starting the motor.

Adam followed Monroe in a distance, his mission was too important, that he could take an unnecessary risk. He had stuck a transmitter at Monroe's car, so everything was under control. He wasn't nervous; he had done this too often to be nervous anymore. He had been many years at the MI 6 and was now with the MI 5. This was his life. After Fiona's death he had considered quitting, but it wouldn't have brought her back to life, so he had struggled through, had hidden the pain and the memories in his heart.

From the motorway Monroe suddenly turned off into a long, grey street. They had come to one of the many industrial areas London had. Monstrous, grey blocks stood here, which would look ugly whatever the weather was. In the misty rain they seemed even spooky in some kind of way. Monroe slowed down. They must be near the destination, where the delivery would take place. Adam slowed down his car too; it would be calamitous, if Monroe took notice of him.

When Monroe stopped at a warehouse, Adam drove ahead to arise no suspicions and brought his car to a halt after the next curve. He got quickly out of the car. In the shelter of one of the factories he sprinted back to the warehouse. On tiptoe he entered the hall. There was no sound except his own footsteps, a little stamping noise, which echoed through the hall and set his nerves on edge. He just hoped Monroe wouldn't hear him, which would endanger his mission. Adam listened attentively; he had heard something upstairs, just a short metallic sound, as if a screw fell to the ground. Cautiously he got upstairs. He had just arrived at the last stair, when he heard another clicking sound behind his back - a sound he knew as well as he knew his own voice. It was the sound of a trigger. With one movement he had his own pistol in his hands, turned around and shot.

The thunder of the shot disrupted the silence. Adam saw that he had missed Monroe. Now they were standing opposite to one another, each of them with a pistol in his hands.

"We can end this right now", Adam stated, "just hand over the manuscripts!"

"Never", yelled Monroe, "you cannot stop this project. Not you and not even your MI 5!"

"Innocent people will die!", Adam screamed angrily.

"Innocent people? Like your wife?", asked Monroe sarcastically. When he saw abrupt shock in Adams face, he laughed: "Yeah, I know about it. I was there, when she died. And guess what: I was the one, who killed her! Do you remember the day? The day at the airport? You then thought it was Farook, but there was no shot fired out of his gun, you know this. You know you shot the wrong guy. It wasn't him, it was me."

Adam's hands were trembling. He tried to fight the anger, but the look on Monroe's face demonstrated him that he had done it, that he had killed Fiona. The sense of his life, his love, his joy and his future - everything killed by this bastard! Blinded by rage, he shot Monroe right in the head. Again there was thunderous noise, then silence. With shivering legs Adam approached Monroe. He knelt down and took the papers out of the man's left hand. They were all blank. He heard quick footsteps downstairs in the hall. He had been fooled. He hurried downstairs, out of the warehouse, but the only thing he saw was a departing car. He had failed.