Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters I have borrowed from MI High.
Rose, Carrie and Oscar were sitting outside the head of MI 9's office. Frank was pacing. They'd been told to wait for a new assignment, but for some reason this made Frank nervous.
"Chill Frank," said Carrie, rolling her eyes. "All we're doing is waiting for a job, right ?"
"Yes, yes absolutely. Nothing to worry about," answered Frank, still sweeping up and down the corridor like some deranged game character.
"No, seriously chill Frank," begged Oscar. "I'm starting to feel sea-sick watching you walking up and down."
"Oh, sorry," said Frank, finally sitting down on one of the chairs opposite the agents. He jiggled his knees up and down and tapped his fingers on the arm of the chair.
"Thanks Frank. That's much better," said Carrie, a little sarcastically. She looked over at Rose who couldn't help a half smothered giggle.
Suddenly the Head's office door opened and all four agents jumped to their feet.
"Thankyou for waiting. Come in please," instructed the Head briskly.
The agents quickly took their seats and noticed with disappointment that Stark was already sitting at the side of the room, alongside an older, very wiry man in a leather jacket. They didn't have much time to check each other out before the Head started talking.
"We have received intelligence regarding a possible situation at a foreign language school on the Suffolk coast," she began. She pointed a remote control device at a screen at the end of the room. They all turned to look. The first picture was of a large stately home type of building with turrets and
"Looks like Hogwarts," whispered Carrie to Rose. She nodded.
"This is Long Slipper Hall," continued the Head. "It is currently used as an English language boarding school for foreign children. In its former life it was a top secret military research base, used by the RAF and Royal Navy. As the others looked sharply at her, she waved her hand calmly. "Don't worry, there is no longer any trace of the old research base in the building. It was decommissioned many years ago and served briefly as an army rehabilitation centre and now as a school." She flicked the remote again and a photograph of a very stern-looking man appeared. "This is the current head-teacher, Dr Jeremy Fairweather," she continued. We has previously taught at a number of private schools, but was dismissed from his previous post under mysterious circumstances.
"It has come to our attention that some of the students attending the school have links to the Russian mafia and other criminal organisations and that the school has become a recruitment centre also for SKUL. I want you to infiltrate the school and investigate any illegal activities. Chief Agent Stark, please ?" she gestured to the very smug looking agent at the side of the room.
"Right, listen carefully," he instructed. All four agent rolled their eyes and reluctantly turned to face him. "This assignment is not going to follow our usual system," he said. "For this assignment it is going to be necessary for all four of you to infiltrate the school. Agent London is going to take up a vacant post as a specialist science and technology language teacher. Agent Cole, you are going to pose as the son of a Russian oligarch. Agents Gupta and Stewart will also be given jobs as part of the housekeeping staff."
Carrie interrupted, "What ? So we get to do the cleaning do we ? Can't wait !"
"That's enough Agent Stewart," warned Stark. "Since neither you nor Agent Gupta have the language skills necessary to pose as foreign students, and you are not old enough to act as teachers, there was no other way of finding you postings on the site. As it was, we had to create a couple of vacancies for you by, erm, encouraging two existing members of staff to, erm, leave."
"Why did they have to, erm, leave ?" asked Carrie.
"Oh well, the usual work permit, visa type of stuff," mumbled Stark, looking shifty. "Never mind about that. That's not your problem. Your job is to get into the school and conduct a point by point search of the building, look into the activities of the staff and students and report back anything unusual. You are not to get personally involved in anything. As soon as you have evidence of criminal activity, you are to report to us and MI 9 will carry out any enforcement actions which are required. Is that clear ?"
They all nodded and muttered agreement. Then they all looked at the other man, who had been sitting quietly throughout the introductions.
"Ah yes," said the Head. "I haven't introduced our guest. "This is Professor Kalkfarben. It was he who first alerted us to the activities going on at the school. He was recruited to teach at the school last year and became suspicious of some of its activities. He will be returning to his teaching duties and will assist you in your investigations. Any questions ?"
Oscar was staring at the Professor in an odd way.
"Do you have a question Agent Cole ?" Stark asked sarcastically.
"Erm, unusual name..." said Oscar. The Professor looked sharply at him, but didn't say anything.
"When do we start ?" asked Rose.
"You will be sent separately to arrive at the school over the weekend," replied the Head. "The plan is that you remain in position for approximately two weeks and then you will be extracted if no progress has been made. As soon as you have solid evidence of what is going on, you will be extracted immediately."
"How are we going to cover this with our parents and the school ?" asked Rose.
Stark answered, "As far as the school and your parents are concerned you are going on an adventure residential fortnight as a reward for your schoolwork and as a special team-building activity. Obviously, this isn't an issue for Agent Cole. We have informed your Guardian of your latest assignment. At least we tried to. Having difficulty getting hold of him."
"Oh he's not there," said Oscar casually. "He's been off on assignment for the last two weeks. Not sure when he gets back."
Frank and the others looked at Oscar, horrified. "Who's been looking after you ?" asked Frank.
"Well, I can look after myself can't I," said Oscar, looking a bit annoyed. Frank thought back to the previous two weeks and remembered how Oscar had been getting scruffier and scruffier day by day. "I can stick a pizza in the oven the same as the next person can't I ?" asked Oscar. What was all the fuss about ? It wasn't like he needed anyone was it ?
"Well, that's all Agents. Report to your HQ immediately and begin your preparations, " ordered the Head. They all stood and left. Oscar glanced back over his shoulder at the Professor who remained in the room with the Head and Chief Agent Stark. The Professor was taking a good look at him. Oscar shivered slightly as he left the room.
As soon as they were out of earshot the others all immediately rounded on Oscar.
"Oscar, why didn't you say you were living on your own ? I can't believe you didn't tell me !" said Frank.
"Yeah Oscar, no wonder you look like you've been living rough for the last week," said Rose.
"Hey, hang on a minute," protested Oscar. "It is called 'deep cover' you know."
"Yeah. Just depends what you've been covering yourself with," quipped Carrie.
Oscar sighed dramatically. It was going to be a long trip back to HQ !