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Chapter Four: Story Seven

09 May

Christopher stared at Michael. “Clark? Governor Clark? What will he do?”

“I don’t know. Albert wants me to contact him, so it will happen.”

“But…they don’t even interact civilly.”

“We’re going to have to do a lot of things according to Albert’s wishes in his absence. Mary and Charles are the only others on the Board with us, and they’re not going to be thinking sensibly about Albert’s absence, because he’s family. Besides, no offense intended to either of them, but they’re not exactly suited to lead SPOT.”

“Alright then,” Christopher said.“What’s the game plan?”

“We need to reach Clark, and it needs to be discreet. I don’t know what sort of understanding those two have, but if Albert hasn’t mentioned it by now, then it can’t be public. You and I can’t go, nor anyone who’s already known to live at Thousand Candles. It’d be too easy—and too convenient—for Clark to make us disappear. We need someone he has no reason to detain.”

“One of the servants, then. Why not Will? Albert has trusted him for years.”

“Good choice. I agree with you that Will can be trusted, and he and Albert are close. It’s even possible that Will knows something about this whole business. I’ll have a talk with him. In the meantime, we need to maintain business as usual. All existing missions will continue as planned until we have a reason to change them. Now, we need to go back in that room, and we need to get everyone in hand quickly, before they get any notions of panicking. Do I have your support?” Michael asked, looking Christopher in the eyes.

“Yes, sir,” Christopher said firmly, recalling with his acknowledgement the days when Michael was Captain in the field, and Christopher only a new Special Services agent.

“Very well.” He strode back into the lounge with Christopher alongside. The room was still ringing with the overlapping conversations of SPOT staff.

“Attention!” Christopher called loudly, and the room fell quiet.

“I know you’re all very concerned about the events that transpired not a moment ago,” Michael addressed the room. “However, I’ve received orders from Albert in the case of such an emergency, and those orders will be implemented. For now I want to assure you that SPOT will run as usual.”

“We need to form a rescue party!” Mary said, stepping forward. “We cannot allow Albert to languish in some dank cell.”

“I understand and share your concern for Albert’s welfare,” Michael said, “but it is against his express orders for us to do such a thing. Our first priority must be for SPOT to carry forward.”

“Are you just going to abandon him then?” Mary asked with a glare. “That’s not like you, Mr. Brenton.”

“Mrs. Valentine—” Christopher began.

“It’s alright, Christopher,” Michael stopped him. “Mrs. Valentine, I’m on your side. Albert has also given orders regarding how we’re to assist him. However, an armed assault on the local jail is not part of those plans. We can discuss the orders shortly. However, for the time being, I would like all of you,” and here he turned to the rest of the room, “ to return to your posts. Operations will continue as normal until further notice. All existing missions will be carried out, and scheduled trainings will be conducted. As soon as we have further information, you will all be informed.”

This seemed to calm the room somewhat, and the staff present slowly began to file out of the room to return to the tasks they had been undertaking at the time of the Mayor’s arrival.

“The remainder of the interrupted Interfacing training is cancelled for today,” Christopher informed the Special Services contingent. “We’ll resume our exercises with the daily run at the usual time. Please be prompt.”

“Sir, yes sir!” they responded as a group before leaving the room themselves.

Michael looked to Christopher and nodded in approval. So far, things were in hand.

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