Disclaimer: I do not own the characters which I have borrowed from MI High. I've moved the characters on to explore their new lives.
Rose, Carrie and Oscar have recently left MI High and joined the Extraordinary Missions Unit (EMU) run by Edward Dixon-Halliday.
Rose was sitting with Carrie in their lounge. Rose's father had had a hard time accepting that his brilliant daughter was not going to university and had taken a job straight from school. It was doubly hard because she couldn't tell him exactly what her job was. All he knew was that it was for the government and the secrecy gave him a clue about what it might involve. Rose had received assurances that she could study towards a degree if she wished so she was presently sitting writing a dissertation on novel radar techniques.
"Rose ?" asked Carrie. "What exactly is your degree course in ?"
"Well, it's not exactly what you would call a course," said Rose, pausing her typing. "It's a combined astro-physics, chemistry and cryptography course."
"You mean, you can basically do what you like ?" asked Carrie.
"Pretty much, provided I spend sufficient time on one subject to qualify for the degree," explained Rose.
"Boy, you like to make life difficult for yourself," said Carrie. She shifted in her chair, holding the games console closer. "I ache everywhere. Oscar's Dad wanted me to train up in Krav Maga. It's killing me."
"Isn't that the Israeli self-defence technique ?" asked Rose, only half concentrating.
"Yep, that's the one. It's brutal. I love it," grinned Carrie. "Oh yeah, got you ! Who's the best, who's the best !" she chanted. "Level 25 ! Read 'em and weep !" she said, showing her console to Rose, who nodded mildly. She had no idea what Level 25 was, but Carrie seemed pleased.
The door buzzer went and Carrie got up to answer it. "Yeah, who is it ?" she asked.
"Ciao, sono Oscar, mi puoi entrare ? Oh damn ! Erm," said a voice over the intercom.
"It's OK. I understood that much. Come in Oscar," laughed Carrie, releasing the outer door lock.
A minute later, there was a knock on the door. Carrie opened it to a very tired looking Oscar. "What was it today then Oscar ?" she asked, grinning.
"Italian," said Oscar. He walked in and threw himself down in the armchair, throwing his head back on the seat-back groaning. "I am knackered. I can't think in English any more." He looked up at the girls. "What have you two been doing then ?"
"Rose has been completing her PhD and I've been kicking the living daylights out of a punch bag," said Carrie, sitting back down.
"What ?" said Rose. "What did you say about PhD ? It's a BSc you know," she added, still distracted. Carrie reached over and pushed down the lid of her laptop.
"Isn't it time you took a break ?" she asked.
Rose looked at the other two and smiled. "Yeah, it's getting a bit late," she said, closing down the applications and logging off the computer. "How's it going Oscar ?" she asked. "You still language training ?"
Oscar nodded. "I've been tested on all of them now. They want me to learn another two this year. I don't know if I can do it. You would think it would be easier without school homework to do, but it's just so intense," he complained, rubbing his forehead. "I almost miss Mr Flatley."
"No, nothing could be that bad !" laughed Carrie.
"How about you ?" asked Oscar. "Are you even more dangerous than before ?"
"You'd better believe it !" said Carrie, grinning. "I'm a weapon of mass destruction. Well, not exactly 'mass' destruction. Fairly widespread though, if I say so myself," she added. This made Oscar and Rose laugh.
Oscar's mobile rang. "Hello. Oh, hi Dad. Yeah, I'm at Rose and Carrie's. OK. See you soon then," he said over the phone. "My Dad's coming round. Don't ask me why," he cut off Carrie. "He didn't say," he added. They chatted about what they had been doing, until the door buzzer went again. Rose answered it this time, and let Edward Dixon-Halliday into their flat.
Edward walked in, looking at them all. "Hope you don't mind me joining you," he said. "I know you've all had busy days."
"No problem, have a seat," said Rose pointing to the armchair across from Oscar. "Anybody want a drink ?" she asked.
"Excellent idea, could I have a coffee please Rose ?" asked Edward. The others also asked for something and Oscar offered to help make them. Rose thought he seemed a little uncomfortable at his father turning up.
"You OK ?" she asked quietly as they sorted out the drinks in the kitchen.
"Yeah, fine," said Oscar. He looked at Rose who had simply raised her eyebrows at him. "OK, well, it's taking a bit of getting used to, you know ?" he said. "He asks me stuff. I'm not used to it."
"What kind of stuff ?" asked Rose, puzzled.
"Well, what I've been doing. What clothes I like. What music I listen to. What food I like. He asked me what my interests or hobbies were yesterday," said Oscar. "I didn't know what to say."
"Don't you have any ?" asked Rose, surprised.
"No, I can't think of anything," said Oscar.
"Well, you're king of the short answer Oscar. Just be yourself," said Rose, half joking. Oscar frowned at her, unsure if she was taking the mickey.
"Here's the drinks," said Rose as they returned to the lounge. Carrie and Edward broke off their conversation as the other two came in.
"Thanks Rose," said Edward. He glanced up at Oscar, then continued.
"OK, good news everyone. We've got our first assignment," said Edward. The others sat up and took notice.
"We start tomorrow. I hope you didn't have plans for tomorrow ?" he asked. Carrie shook her head and grinned, Rose shook her head and Oscar shrugged his shoulders. Edward looked uncertainly at Oscar again, and then continued. "Our friends in SKUL seem to be making connections abroad to create an international criminal network. MI9 have tracked down what looks like a centre for smuggling weapons through the old docks in East London. MI9 is planning a major raid on this centre and our part of the job is to find information on the international network and any links we can find to other groups linking themselves with SKUL. It's about getting in quietly ahead of the raid and tracking down any operational information."
"No pressure then," said Carrie.
Edward laughed. "Well, the task is mainly information gathering. We need to find out more if this network is to be destroyed. Presently, MI9 has very little information. We don't want to simply trim off a few branches. We want to take out the whole tree, root and branch," he said.