(aka Bike, est. 2007)
Copyright© 2017 Angharad
This is a work of fiction any mention of real people, places or institutions is purely coincidental and does not imply that they are as suggested in the story.
Now they think the cyber attacks came from North Korea, the one country in the world where their leader has less charm than rancid butter. I mean fancy killing your half brother because he was your half brother and relatively normal rather than a total psycho who regularly kills people because they looked at him wrongly. He’s madder than Joe Stalin and possibly crazy enough to start a nuclear war. I can’t think why China allow him to continue in power because without Chinese food aid, North Korea would have starved to death long since.
I remembered reading an article about someone who escaped from one of their work camps. Apparently, it’s like a caste system there, so those who are born to parents who are stuck in one of those, then you will be too with little or no chance of escape or to live normally. A young man did escape but because he betrayed his mother who was hanged in front of him and she was only trying to stop him, but they are all so brainwashed that they believe they can only survive by reporting anything at all about anyone else, including family. Punishments are draconian and designed to terrify the rest—something the democratic world stopped a hundred years ago, if not longer.
The thought of the poor people in that country who just want to go about their daily business without trouble from anyone else but can’t because of the malevolence of their leader made me shudder. Compared to that, the mock democracy we call home is almost acceptable.
Simon stayed away overnight and also Saturday, he was too busy to talk to me as the virus attack on the computer system had caused damage which Sammi was sorting. I haven’t seen her for ages or met her new boyfriend, a PhD from Cambridge who’s also into cyber defence. Compared to that, li’l ol’ Pompey probably would seem dull and stupid—yeah nothing ever happens here, does it and I’m only a lowly professor, so can’t compete at their intellectual level. Oh well, I hope she’ll be happy, I’ll try and see her the next time I have to go to a board meeting.
On Saturday night I went to bed and listened to the rain. It wasn’t cold and I had the window open a little just to freshen things up a bit—actually it had been open for a few days—which was nice. Listening to the rain reminded me of my childhood and one night in particular where I lay there praying for god to make me a girl. I don’t regard my entreaties as a success and what happened much later was down to a homicidal nurse and a thunderstorm.
I lay listening to the rain which intensified for a while before easing off a little, we hadn’t had any of any worth for weeks if not months. Was I upset that I wasn’t put in the picture about the attempted abduction? I was in some ways though I accept that I’d have behaved differently had I known it was coming—quite how, I’m not sure. But anyone watching me as they must have been doing, might have noticed and they’d have waited longer or done something else. Did I want a bodyguard? No I didn’t, even a real firecracker like Amy, or whatever her real name was.
We decided, that is Tom, Stella and I, that we wouldn’t tell the children about it other than we had some dormice. They don’t usually watch the local news, so they shouldn’t find out and even if they did, the reports were pure fiction, ‘A man was killed in a shooting accident in a Hampshire woodland, which was believed to have involved some illegal hunting. He hasn’t been named.’
Yeah, he was hunting me and Amy hunted him. The rain eventually had a soporific effect and I went off to sleep waking to the sound of the wind the next morning and a freshness in the air. About mid-morning, as I was discussing the Sunday lunch with David, he was planning a traditional roast lamb one when a strange car pulled into the drive and out climbed Amy, my recent rescuer. I hoped she wasn’t here to give me more bad tidings and I also hoped she wasn’t armed.
I answered the door and invited her in. Trish and Livvie came to see who it was and I left them chatting with my ‘student’ while I organised some tea and a couple of cakes that I’d made while the oven was on. Once they saw the cakes, my offspring rushed off to the kitchen though I’d told David that they could only have one each. Trish will eat the lot and Livvie wouldn’t be far behind in the gluttony stakes.
We repaired to my study and after sipping some tea and nibble of cake, Amy told me that I should be safe now. That they had traced the gang back to its sponsors, a Middle Eastern group who were seeking to cause havoc and shock among western countries.
“So why did they try to take me?” I asked putting the cake down on its plate, I wasn’t really peckish any longer.
“Ransom, they needed funds and the authorities are watching for strange money transfers. They’d probably have killed you as soon as they got the money. It’s happened in France and Germany, and also that case in Dorset recently. Oh by the way, we won’t be prosecuting you for beating up the one attacker as it was self defence.”
She smiled and blushed at the same time.
“So you got the job because you look younger than you are?”
“I’ve also got a degree in biology, but essentially, yes, I look younger than I am, as do you.” Now it was my turn to smile and blush. “This cake is delicious, did you make it?”
“Yes, David, our chef, is doing a roast dinner and I used the already warm oven.”
“You have a chef but not a bodyguard?”
“I eat every day, I hopefully won’t be attacked as often.”
She sniggered and shook her head. “I hope not or my department will need to recruit more young looking operatives.”
“You mean MI5?”
“I’ll have to be going,” she said standing up.
“I have dealt with your lot before and MI6.”
“Not my lot, we don’t actually exist.”
“Oh, okay, well thank you for saving my life.”
“It was nothing.”
“It was to me. Would you like to take a couple of cakes with you?”
“Uh, no thanks, one was enough and I have to get back to the gym.”
I watched her drive off in the probably hired car. “Who was that, Mummy?” asked nosy Watts.
“One of my students, why?”
“I thought they were all poor.”
“Not all, that’s the staff.”
“Oh yeah like you’re really poor aren’t you?” Can they do irony at twelve?
“Compared to Daddy I am.”
“Yeah well compared to him, so is Queen Elizabeth...”
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