I've realised I've not really said much about Striker, this is because it's from his perspective and he doesn't like talking about himself. If you've had trouble coming up with a general idea of what he might look I've imagined him to look like Andrew Garfield in "Red Riding 1974" google image it to get an idea of his look. No I'm not ill, just rather lazy. Nargle, it's called "Rat Race" because the phrase 'Rat' is a term usually used to describe a traitor and I put 'Race' in purely because it sounded good, gives the title a nice ring. Anyway...enjoy!
It was chilly on that rooftop but I didn't really mind, I just took another drag of my cigarette. I paced back and forth waiting for the Spy Master to show up. All I had for company was the billowing smoke and steam from the air vents and the thousand of satellites that were scattered across the hundreds of buildings that surrounded me. I could hear the clanging of the metal staircase just before the large emergency door to the roof opened. Slowly, the Spy Master and Kane emerged onto the roof both looking rather serious. As they arrived I gestured to some deck chairs. We all sat down, they had trouble getting comfortable, deck chairs didn't really fit in with their stylish spy lifestyles.
"So?" I asked, expecting them to begin. "Where do we begin?"
"The informant clearly has access to top clearance Intel, either they're high up the food chain or they're ring is big enough." The Spy Master explained.
"Have we got any leads?"
"We've got one lead. Chief Agent Kane, explain the situation."
"Right, This is what we've got," Kane began as he took out a small see-through bag with a phone in it and a thin file. "We intercepted a called to a known SKUL safehouse 10 hours before the M.I.9 facility was breached and the data stolen. We traced the call to this burner cell at Brighton, corner of Lower Rock Gardens and St. James's Street."
"That's all we've got. Striker, we need you to take it from here. I'm sure you can do it."
I sat and thought for a moment before getting up and pacing some more. I stood on the edge of the roof and looked out across London as I took another drag of my cigarette. I came to my conclusion.
"This is what we're going to do," I say barely looking round at them. "I'm activating Blizzard."
"Are you sure that's necessary?" The Spy Master questioned completely shocked. Kane was completely confused, he'd never heard of Blizzard.
"Absolutely. You may not know who you can trust but I do. This is what I'll need." I turned around to look at them and began my list; "I'll need complete blackout on all of our activities. Full independence on funds, I'll use the off shore accounts that have the collective seized drug money. Access to all files. Overhaul on all authority, including yours." The Spy Master looked uncomfortable but she understood, "And access to all equipment and weapons." I finished my cigarette and flicked the butt the roof. As we began to leave I added one last thing. "And from now on, you do not contact me. If there is anything to discuss I will come to you." We left and parted ways.
I walked down a long narrow street, it was almost completely silent. I could sense was something going on. Through my years of training I'd learnt to know when I was being watched and this was one of those times. There was a traffic warden on the other side of the street walking straight past to cars that were clearly parked on double yellow. One of those cars had tinted windows and about 100 metres back I had passed a van that also had tinted windows, two tinted cars on the same street wasn't normal. There was a woman moving towards me, she was pushing a pram and talking mooshy baby talk to her child. She kept looking into the pram at the baby and didn't look up once. No real mother would blindly push your child down the street; she'd keep watch where she was going to ensure there would be no damage to the baby. There was certainly something odd about the surround area. I didn't like it. I didn't trust it. As I passed the woman I buried my hands into my jacket pockets and picked up my pace. I could hear a tiny squeak of the pram's rubber wheels as it came to a quick halt. I kept going. As I reached the main street, full of crowds and busy passing cars, I stopped and looked across the hectic road and saw the steps to the underground. I quickly looked behind me and the woman and the traffic warden staring right at me, they had been moving towards me but had now froze as I caught them red handed.
I jumped over the small railings and made my way on the road. I was instantly met by a wave of honking and screeching from car tyres. I darted my way across the road, having to wait for a car to pass or dodgy the ones that weren't taking any notice of me. I got to the other side and climbed the other railing. I looked back across the street and there was no sign of them. I surveyed my surrounding area, finally spotting sprinting across the small footbridge to get me my side. I continued my rush and hurried down the stairs into the underground. I weaved my way through the crowds, I would say it was rather rude but barging past people is the norm in the London underground. I leaped over the ticket barrier and sprinted down the tunnel to catch the train. I got to the platform and pretty much hurled myself through the doors before they shut. I got away clean. I found a seat and caught my breath. My side was starting to hurt again. I needed some more painkillers.
I lay around in my Studio, waiting for the painkillers to take effect and it also gave me time to think. Who were those people? SKUL? MI9? Part of this Rat's operation? Did they want to kill me? Scare me? Learn more about me? Either way, I've got work to do. As I stood I heard a ding, signalling the elevator was moving. I certainly wasn't expecting any guests and I didn't have friends that could just pop over. So after the early events of the day I took preliminary defensive precautions. I grabbed my Raging Bull Revolver, got up against the wall by the elevator door and waited. There was another ding and the doors slid open. The Spy Master walked out along with another woman, a young woman. I couldn't see her face and I didn't recognise her physical features. They walked forward and call for me.
"Striker? Are you here?" The Spy Master called out. I stepped forward from behind them, cocking my revolver as I pointed at the Spy Master's head. They both stopped dead in their tracks and the younger woman let out a light squeal. "Striker? What are you…"
"Why was I followed after the meet?" I interjected
"Who were they?" I took a step close, the barrel moving closer to her head.
"Striker," The Spy Master turned around, "I have no idea what you're on about." I had known the Spy Master most of my life, I could tell when she was lying, and this time she wasn't. "I never positioned anyone outside our meet."
"Who else knew about the meet?"
"Well there was ourselves, Kane and a few other Chief Agents that are aware of the situation. And we have no idea if they've hacked our system to gather information. But not to worry, there is nothing that can lead to Project: Blizzard or to your existence. Now can you please stop point that monster of a gun at me?" I put the revolver back onto safety and lower it to my side.
"Alright. Now what did I say about not contacting me?" I argued
"I know but there was…"
"And who is she?" I interrupted once again. The woman slowly turned around, she had some files in her hands that she was holding up against her chest, gripping onto for dear life. "Are we just letting random people in her?" I pointed at her, the revolver being my pointing tool. She tensed up further despite it being on safety.
"Relax. This is Victoria Stone. I wanted to introduce you to her directly."
Victoria Stone seemed to be relatively young, could even be as young as me. She had long ginger hair, which went down to the shoulder, which was pinned back with a black hair clip. She had a soft blue shade of eyes and smooth and delicate looking skin. There was certainly something innocent about her. She was dress in a charcoal business suit with a skirt that stopped just at the top of the knees. It looked like as if she had modelled her business clothes after The Spy Master's.
"Are you trying to match us up?" I joked.
"No, no, I want Miss Stone to be part of the operation. The list of people I can trust keeps getting thinner and I just want to have my best on this. Striker I really want…"
"Ok, ok, I'll take her on. But she better of been black bagged on the way here."
"Thank you. Well I'll allow you to fill Victoria in with what you feel necessary."
And almost as soon as she had arrived, she was gone. Leaving us alone.
Well I hope you enjoyed. I've imagined Victoria to look like Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) or Molly Quinn (Alexis Castle) let me know what you think of the 'casting' in the Reviews. Thanks.