002. The Network Handler

He hated dealing with these old farts who had been retired out of the service – they seemed to lose all sense of how to act; they got lax, and didn’t think very much in terms of security. If someone sent you a letter about something you had done with the secret services then they already knew who you were and where you lived – what they might not have yet was any connections to you. You might be a name on a list and nothing more.

But, you write a letter, and the person on your tail, if they are good has a name or at least an address, and if not that then the secret drop-box that you led them to. This was why each of these men were given non-hard-line connections that were safe. All it took was a fucking phone call. Simple? No? No, apparently not.

Did this warrant a clean-up? He sat there and pondered. Did they need to send out a wetwork specialist to wipe out this moron? A fiction department bastard after all was so low on the food-chain  as to barely rate a mention, ever. Someone that low incurring the expense of wetwork in what would almost definitely be an inconveniently civilian setting.

He hemmed and hawed – this kind of thing bothered him immensely. He did not want to have to stretch his resources any further than he already was because the budgetary constraints imposed on him were strangling any chance of showing initiative and being promoted out of this hell already. Yes, he was pinching pennies, and yes, he resented the bastard that he might have to kill.

He picked up the phone.

‘Exeter?’

‘Yes? Is this Parabola?’

‘Yes. I have ¬†question – are you still tasked with handling problem fiction department people in the field? Before you remind me, yes, I know I am the Network Handler, but aren’t you able to move freely in the field?’

‘Freely – hmph – well, as much as anyone I suppose. Send me a name or a location. I take it he’s compromised? Being watched and / or sent letters, right?’

‘Yes, how do I not know about this?’

‘I’m not sure. Someone playing the old games of sitting on the communication lines between the field, and the upper echelons?’

‘God, I hope not. Sounds frightfully dull as a thing to deal with. Almost as much as this – it’s quite ruined my digestion.’

‘No doubt. No doubt. Don’t worry, Parabola, I will deal with this expediently and give you an update when it is dealt with.’

‘Good man, Exter.’

‘Yes, yes.’

Parabola hung up the phone and was satisfied it would be handled, and that no one would have to die.

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