I N V A G E N T S: Chapter Four

November 24, 2011

“Emerald darling,” called her mother. “Em … lunch is ready.”

Emerald. Emerald. How she loved her name. It was both glamourous and absurd – like a film-star’s name or a comic book heroine. She hated it at first, especially when she started school – she hadn’t really thought about it before then – but although many of her classmates giggled and mocked her, she soon realised they were secretly jealous, wishing they too had a name like Emerald Lake and not Mary Johnson, Debbie Albright or Rose Beckingsworth . After a short while she didn’t mind being different – her background and her wealth (or rather her father’s wealth) could easily afford it.

She and her friend Tania skipped hand in hand across the perfectly manicured lawn, and up the marble steps into the perfectly manicured Georgian mansion – the family house on the banks of the River Thames near Pangbourne. It was the 24th November 2041, Emerald’s eleventh birthday, and that afternoon, in the spacious grounds of the estate, a lavish party was being thrown to celebrate it. Everyone would be there – her whole family, her family’s friends and her schoolfriends. She felt like Emerald Lake the film-star and loved every moment of the continuous attention she received.

During the following year her secure, loving and carefree world was turned upside down. Her mother died of a mysterious tropical disease after holidaying in Thailand and, just before her twelfth birthday, her father, Lord Lake, was killed when his chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce exploded on the motorway as it sped towards London. Her twelfth birthday was a sad and confused time. She couldn’t understand why the mother she adored had been taken from her and why anyone would want to murder her father. It was on that day, sitting on the lawn, the lawn where only a year ago she had been so happy enjoying the best day of her life, that she made a decision. She turned to Tania.

“Tania,” she said. “Do you think Emerald Lake would be a good name for a detective or a spy?”

“It would be a perfect name.” said Tania.

“It’s decided then. Which one do you think? A detective or a spy?”

The two girls raced across the grass, up the steps and into the house. They slid across the polished wooden floors, bursting with excitement, into the drawing room. A fierce-looking older woman in a high-necked, black dress sat on the sofa reading a newspaper, her dyed blond hair as severe and frozen as the imperious expression on her face. A man, a few years younger, dressed formally in a dark suit, sat behind a desk pouring over a stack of papers and legal documents. Emerald ran up to him and flung her arms around his neck.

“Guess what?” she said. “Me and Tania are …

” “Tania and I …” interrupted her uncle harshly.

“Whatever,” she said, “ … ‘Tania and I’ … are going to be spies, Uncle Robert!”

NEXT: Chapter Five – ‘Threats’

Now we’ve briefly met Lincoln, Thaddeus and Emerald – we move forward to Mumbai where the assassination investigation of Sir Robert Maitland is under way. There are some shocking discoveries …


I N V A G E N T S: Chapter Three

November 10, 2011

No-one suspected him of his first murder. Why would they? – he was only twelve years old.

“Thaddeus! THADDEUS!” bellowed his father.

Thaddeus. Thaddeus. How he hated the name – even before he could speak he hated it. He had vowed, as soon as he discovered he could change his name, that he would at the earliest possible opportunity. At first he just hated the sound of it but as he grew older it began to represent everything he hated. His father had insisted on the name Thaddeus despite his mother’s dislike of it. He hated his father. It also for some reason reminded him of the cruel monastic existence he was forced to suffer in his father’s house. He hated his father’s house. It also seemed to symbolise the self-righteous, white-supremacist and puritanical nature of his father’s obsession – religion. He hated religion with a passion that drove him insane.

“Thaddeus! Come here boy!”

His father whacked him round the head and Thaddeus accidentally bit his tongue. It stung like hell but he stopped the tears welling up in his eyes – refusing to let his father think he’d caused him pain.

“Look, Jacob,” his father said. “Look how the insolent brat glares at me. Harbouring devilish thoughts without a doubt.”

“Don’t be too hard on him,” said Jacob. “He’s only a boy.”

“Precisely – only a BOY! That’s why his disrespect offends me so, God save his Soul.”

Thaddeus didn’t hate Jacob – Jacob had saved him from his father’s unpredictable wrath on several occasions – but he did hate his son, Elias. Thaddeus’s father, of course, adored Elias. He was a year younger than Thaddeus and compared to him he was, in his father’s words, ‘something of an angel’ – even down to the mop of blond curls which fell loosely down to his narrow shoulders.

“Elias is everything,” his father said one day to Thaddeus, “that you are not, wretched Sinner.”

The day that changed Thaddeus’s life was, ironically, a Sunday – a scorching hot day in November 2042, a day typical of the devastating new weather patterns sweeping across the North American continent. Jacob had driven the two families back from church in his battered hover-estate. Thaddeus’s father didn’t drive. ‘Machines of the Devil’ he would announce, though Thaddeus suspected it was more to do with his meanness and laziness than principle. Typically, his father’s wanton hypocrisy allowed him to drive in Devil’s Machines owned and driven by others. Thaddeus, his mother Isabella, his father, Jacob and his wife Rebecca, their daughter Mary and their son Elias sat around the farmhouse kitchen table.

“Nothing like a good old-fashioned Southern roast on the Sabbath,” roared Thaddeus’s father into the brooding uncomfortable silence.

“I couldn’t agree more,” said Rebecca, a garrulous gossip who felt stifled in the claustrophobic humid kitchen. “More chicken Thaddeus?”

“Thank you Aunt Rebecca,” said Thaddeus, blushing slightly. “I’d love some.”

The boy liked to believe that Jacob and Rebecca suffered the weekly Sunday lunch ritual to relieve him from the continual abuse his father served him with most other meals. It was a pity they would be so traumatised by what he’d planned that afternoon, but there was no going back now.

After he’d been clipped round the ear, Thaddeus waited for the trigger of his plan to materialise. His father hit him again and glared at him ferociously.

“Here it comes,” thought the boy. “At last.”

“Why don’t you two boys go off and play. Get some exercise – do what boys of your age do – off with you both.”

It was the signal Thaddeus had been waiting for all week. Elias on the other hand looked sheepish, even frightened. He remembered vividly how he’d accidentally humiliated Thaddeus the previous Sunday. They’d both been swimming together in the river, both of them naked, their clothes an untidy pile at the water’s edge. Thaddeus had ducked Elias playfully under the cool green water. He had loved Elias then – he was  probably the only real friend he cared about. Elias swallowed too much water and half-laughing, half spluttering, he stumbled onto the river bank. Unfortunately, unable to see properly with water in his eyes, he fell into the pile of clothes. A leg of Thaddeus’s trousers wrapped itself around his ankle and, fearing a snake, Elias kicked out violently. Thaddeus’s trousers and pants flew into the river, bobbed up and down for a few yards as they sailed downstream – then sank.

Thaddeus screamed. “You IDIOT Elias!”

Thaddeus rose out of the water in a fury. Elias panicked, scooped up his clothes and shoes and ran, naked, into the woods. Thaddeus stormed onto the bank, pulled on his t-shirt and carrying his sandals, walked home. When he arrived at the farmhouse, pulling down on his t-shirt to cover himself, his father stood in the doorway, his arm around the now fully-clothed Elias. His father was roaring with laughter, pointing an accusing finger at Thaddeus.

“Trying to hide your shrivelled dick are you boy?” he shouted.

“Thaddeus, I’m sorry,” squealed Elias. “It was an accident. I didn’t mean to …”

“You’re dead.” said Thaddeus.

He ran past them both up to his room, the cruel laughter of his father still ringing in his ears. No-one believed he really meant the threat – but he did.

Thaddeus now hated his best friend and promised terrible revenge.

NEXT: Chapter Four – ‘Emerald Lake’

I N V A G E N T S: Chapter One

October 11, 2011

 

 

 


Mumbai, November 16th, 2061

The last thing Sir Robert Maitland remembered before his body exploded from the inside was, as he a put it, ‘an infernal damned itching’ in his ear. His first recollection after the internal blast was the thundering urgent roar of helicopter blades. The IBI air-ambulance swept across the Mumbai peninsula, swerving between glittering skyscrapers and massive, brilliantly lit digital billboards advertising holographic TV’s and the latest blockbusters from the city’s thriving movie industry. Projected images of Bollywood idols of all nationalities crowded the skies above the sprawling city – gazing down on rich and poor alike with the beautific smiles of benevolent twenty-first century deities. The helicopter banked steeply, arcing past the impressive Mahatma Gandhi tower – the tallest structure in Mumbai. Dazzling strips of colour rippled across the black-mirrored surface of the helicopter as it sped by – reflections of the colossal neon sculpture of the Hindu elephant-god Ganesh erected on the tower’s roof.

Maitland couldn’t move. Everything inside his body was numb – not from the aching cold he’d felt minutes before or the pain which had subsided – but from a terrible absence he couldn’t explain. Only on his skin did he feel any sensation at all and that was gradually fading. He felt the grip of two hands tighten on his forearms when the helicopter banked steeply again before swooping down towards the roof of the International Bureau of Investigation HQ. The Minister tried again to open his eyes to escape the awful oppressive blackness, but couldn’t. A man’s voice shouted above the noise of the roaring blades.

“Grace, please,” said the paramedic, “His wife’s waiting for him down there. The last thing she needs is to see her murdered husband looking like that. Please, for Heaven’s sake, close his eyes.”

The full horror of the words barely registered before he felt two fingers pull down his eyelids.

“Malayalam,” said Suresh Rajal.

“Mala-what?” said Raymond Page.

“Malayalam. It’s a South Indian language – the note in the Minister’s pocket.”

The older agent exhaled loudly and, leaning back on his chair, threw his pen deftly back and forth between his palms.

“Just what we need – an obscure foreign language to …”

“It’s not that obscure Ray – and hardly a foreign language here. It’s the …”

“Ok, ok – another ‘complication’ to make matters even worse. Do you suppose, my young friend, that the murderer,” he leant forward across the desk conspiratorially, “was aware of the alliteration the gutter press in the UK will seize on?”

“I don’t follow you.”

“Malayalam. Murder. Minister. I can see the headlines now. Perhaps the minister was murdered by a hack journalist to create a memorable headline.”

Suresh sighed. “Your cynicism knows no bounds Ray.”

“ ‘MURDERED MINISTER IN MALAYALAM MYSTERY’. How did the poor bastard die? Do we have an autopsy report yet?”

“No, not yet. It’s proving difficult. I don’t know why. Early indications suggest some kind of neural paralysis.”

“ ‘MAITLAND MURDERED IN MUMBAI‘. Any entry or exit wounds?”

“None.”

‘MINISTER MURDERED AT MEETING’ … ”

“Ray!”

“Sorry … Neural gas maybe? Anyone else affected in the Chamber?”

“No.”

“Unlikely then. Are we talking assassination or a terrorist attack?”

“We don’t know.”

“Anyone seen near the guy? Before or afterwards?”

“No-one.”

“Anyone claimed responsibility?”

“No.”

“Any leads?”

“None. Possibly the note in Malayalam. Cyberensic have it.”

“Jesus wept Suresh! What the hell are we dealing with here?”

“No idea, Ray. No idea at all.”

“Why Robert Maitland – and why the fuck here in Mumbai?”

“We’d better get moving Ray or we’ll be late for the IBI briefing.”

The ‘Daily Orbital’ newspaper, London, 17th November 2061 …

‘MYSTERIOUS MURDER OF MINISTER IN MUMBAI’

Waiting outside the Bureau Commanders office, Raymond Page was hung-over, fractious and feeling his age.

“I discovered something the other day that might interest you,” said Suresh.

“Really. Anything to do with sex or alcohol?’

“No, Ray.”

“Then it can’t be that interesting.”

“Just passing the time. I thought …”

“Sorry, Suresh. I hate to be kept waiting. What the hell is going on in there? ”

“Have you ever heard of John Dee?” persisted Page’s young assistant.

“I presume you don’t mean the snotty kid in my class at school whose breath smelt of old socks and armpits?”

“No I don’t Ray,” sighed Suresh, “John Dee founded the Rosecrutian order in the sixteenth century – a secret organisation devoted to occult beliefs. He was also a spy for Elizabeth I in Europe …”

“And?”

“Patience, Ray, patience. He had a codename … wait for this.” Suresh paused melodramatically.

“Yes? What?”

“His codename was – Double O Seven.”

“You’re winding me up.”

“No seriously – I’m not. It’s well documented.”

“Well I’ll be damned.”

“I don’t doubt it Ray. What’s your codename these days?”

Raymond Page, much to the disgust of the others waiting outside the office, lit a contraband and blew the tobacco smoke noisily across the room. A high-ranking Indian Airforce Officer opened his mouth to speak. Page leant forward and glared at him icily.

“Codename?” said Ray. “ ‘Double-Oh-Fuck’ to most of my superiors.”

Suresh laughed out loud. “Oh, very good Ray, very good.”

I N V A G E N T S: Chapter Two

August 8, 2011

His parents just couldn’t cope. At twelve years old Lincoln Hamilton was a ‘difficult’ child. His family loved him dearly – his mother and father and his brother David – but it was too challenging for them to live their own lives whilst coping with Lincoln’s swerving mood changes and his constant disappearances into world’s they didn’t understand. Socially too it was painful and stressful for the boy. Born in the Bahamas to Henry Hamilton, an English doctor, and Constance La Fay, a born and bred black Bahamian nurse, Lincoln Hamilton was tormented by the cruelty of his classmates at school. His curly, natural blonde hair and fine features set him apart from his peers. Called ‘Nigger boy’ by the whites and ‘Whitey’ by the blacks, he was isolated from most other children.

Lincoln’s older brother David had only a trace of white genes. David’s hair was a little less curly and the full lips below his broad nose were only slightly less full than those of the other black Bahamian boys. David, five years older than Lincoln, looked after his younger brother whenever he could, often taking flak for siding with a ‘half-caste’. The older brother was a bright adventurous boy, exploring his teenage world, and sometimes he just couldn’t be bothered to look after Lincoln. He knew his brother was perfectly capable of looking after himself most of the time. Henry and Constance adored Lincoln, perhaps more so because his problems were no fault of his own. Eventually, with heavy hearts, they had to agree – after several visits from social workers sympathetic to their problems – if a guardian could be found who could monitor and control what was then perceived as the boy’s ‘disability’, he would benefit from an understanding they could not provide. It wasn’t as if he was going into ‘care’ – his new guardian was an eminent neuroscientist and an expert in psychic phenomena. Lincoln, his parents realised, was destined for a new life where hopefully he would be given opportunities they were unable to provide.

Lincoln understood exactly why he’d been found a new home and had to admit, feeling slightly guilty, that he was excited by the idea of a world of new, broadening horizons. Even at twelve years old Lincoln was quietly ambitious, knowing deep down that his ‘disability’ was actually a misunderstood capability – a gift. He just needed to find someone who recognised it. By leaving the small town of Freeport and moving to the city of Nassau, there was a greater chance of meeting that someone. He hadn’t met his guardian, Doctor Stephen Drayford and his wife Heather yet – but something told him fate had dealt him a favourable card.

In late November 2042, when the air-conditioned white Mercedes with smoked glass windows arrived one bright afternoon, stopping outside the Hamilton house, Lincoln knew his life was about to change radically. After a genuinely tearful and heartfelt goodbye to Henry, Constance and David, Lincoln sprawled across the back seat of the car on the white leather upholstery and grinned from ear to ear.

The Story Revealed

May 19, 2011

So …
It’s time to give you a brief outline of what’s to come in
‘ I N V A G E N T S ‘  … be prepared for a roller-coaster ride.

November 2042
In the Bahamas, Lincoln Hamilton suffers disturbing out-of-body experiences. In Kentucky, Thaddeus commits a terrible and shocking crime. Emerald Lake’s father is car-bombed as he drives into London, changing her life forever.

Lincoln, Thaddeus and Emerald are twelve years old.

Only when Sir Robert Maitland, a senior British minister, is assassinated in Mumbai nearly twenty years later, is it apparent the three events are connected …

November 2061
Catastrophic weather patterns cause chaos around the world; food and water wars rage; the Migrations begin as pandemics sweep across the southern hemisphere. An unholy Alliance between The Right Way – a Neo-con Christian fundamentalist group, Pharmacon – a global pharmaceutical company and a ruthless faction of the Chinese military, conspires to gain control of the world’s vital and severely depleted natural resources.

Thaddeus masterminds the conspiracy but has his own more terrifying agenda. Who can stop him commit genocide on an unprecedented scale?

Lincoln Hamilton is an Invagent. Employed by the International Bureau of Investigation, his psychic abilities allow him to conduct his investigations literally inside the minds of those who threaten global security. The Invagent is sent to Mumbai to find Thaddeus who has changed his identity and who the IBI are convinced has murdered Sir Robert Maitland.

Emerald Lake, also an IBI agent and the murdered minister’s neice, is sent to work with Hamilton in Mumbai. She discloses scandalous revelations of her uncle’s involvement in the virtual world of Sin.drome where clandestine meetings have taken place with the Alliance.

Raymond Page has worked as an IBI agent in Mumbai for over forty years. His methods are unconventional, chaotic and unpredictable but his brilliant powers of detection and his obsession with cryptology ensure he is selected as Head of Operations to find Sir Robert Maitland’s assassin and to expose Thaddeus and the Alliance. Murder, betrayal and revenge run riot in Mumbai’s notorious underworld of vice and corruption. The city becomes the focus of a war, organised in illegal virtual worlds, which will determine the survival or destruction of the human race.

Thaddeus begins his ‘GAME’. He taunts Hamilton, Page and Lake – sending coded messages and leaving cryptic clues at every opportunity – challenging the agents to discover the details of his deranged plan and his new identity. The clues are there but will they decipher them in time?

Raymond Page, Lincoln Hamilton and Emerald Lake must find and stop Thaddeus  – or billions of innocent people will be wiped off the face of the Earth.

© Andie Airfix 2009

NEXT:
We meet Lincoln Hamilton, Thaddeus and Emerald Lake.

The ‘ M I G R A T I O N S ‘

May 18, 2011

 ‘ I N V A G E N T S ‘ 

Here’s a taster of preceding background events …

The Independent, April, 2011 …

Soon on ‘I N V A G E N T S’ …
Lincoln Hamilton, Thaddeus and Emerald Lake begin their journey towards their extraordinary and threatening future  …


‘I N V A G E N T S’ – A detective cyber-thriller

April 20, 2011

A 21st-century cyber-thriller to test your powers of detection, your nerve and to celebrate WordGames
by andie airfix

There’s NOWHERE Left To Hide …

Thaddeus sighed then suddenly his buoyancy returned. He looked less world-weary, younger, more vital – the bright light of enthusiasm shining once again in his eyes.

‘I’ll show you, agent Page,’ he said. ‘Let me introduce you to the GAME.’

On the vast screen a 3-D model of immense complexity slowly revolved. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Brightly-coloured glowing spheres spun around dazzling spectral suns. Each of the dozen miniature solar systems orbited a central vertical core constructed of thousands of threads of white light, weaving in and out of each other like fireflies. Glittering, golden dust-spirals floated randomly around the structure. Occasionally, from their centre, exquisite flares of light radiated outward. Intensifying in brightness they illuminated the core and the solar systems, as they passed them, in a smouldering dark-red glow.

“Holy Mother of God,” said Raymond Page. “What the FUCK is THAT?”

NEXT WEEK: The Story Revealed

– andie airfix


				

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