(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.
I placated the ‘auld ain’ by handing him the Sunday Telegraph with its crossword still intact, mainly because I hadn’t had time to look at it. I had however ironed several of his shirts which I can only assume he must consider take themselves from the dirty laundry basket, wash, dry and iron themselves before then hanging up in his wardrobe. He never says anything but must be aware somebody does it as he was either doing it himself or having his cleaning lady do it for him before I came to stay.
I’ve noticed when I am ironing, he tends to keep out of the way possibly in case I point out his shirts and the iron and ask him to put the two together.
It was coming up tea time and I was only going to do something light as they’d all stuffed themselves silly at lunch. Simon was still on the phone to Henry when the doorbell rang—no it didn’t ring Simon, it rang because somebody pressed it who was outside the house and thus trying to attract our attention.
As no one else seemed interested in finding out who was ringing the bell, I went myself. Only Sammi and Danielle were not in the house and the latter was playing a game at Oxford so would be home later or would phone to say she needed a lift from the car park when the bus dropped her off.
I opened the door and before me stood a smart casual dressed man. He was about six foot tall and dark haired, which was short and well kempt. “Hello, I wonder if you could help me, I’m looking for Dr Samantha Cameron.”
“Might I ask in what context?”
“I’d prefer to speak to Dr Cameron about that.”
“She isn’t here at the moment, might I tell her who called and perhaps she could call you back?”
“Oh yes, that would be good.” He fished in his pocket and pulled out a wallet from which he extracted a business card.
“Mr Smith, Home office.” I read off the card. “I’m her mother, is there anything I should know?”
“No, Lady Cameron, she’s not in any bother if that’s what is concerning you.”
“It was, and is your name really Smith?”
“’Fraid so, but at times anonymity has its uses.”
“I’m sure it does, but aren’t half the work force at MI5 called Smith?”
“I’m Home Office.”
“So is MI5. If you didn’t know that you’re either very new or lying.”
“I can assure you I’m not lying, I work for the Home Office.”
“So why would you want to speak to my daughter? As far as we know she’s not an illegal immigrant nor a lawbreaker and she isn’t seeking a licence to keep a gun.”
“I’m afraid that’s confidential.”
“If you’re looking to recruit her, better start looking at salaries in excess of seventy or eighty thousand.”
“Thank you, Lady Cameron.” He turned and walked away down the drive where he got into a large Audi car and was driven away.
“Who was that, Babes?”
“Some guy from MI5 wanting to speak to Sammi.”
“You didn’t tell him where she is, did you?”
“Why should I? If he’s with MI5, they should know where she is.”
“This rather worrying.”
“Why? Just offer her more money.”
“It’s not just money is it, she’s really good at her job and would be so difficult to replace.”
“All our children are irreplaceable,” was my opinion.
“I quite agree, but from the bank’s perspective, she is more irreplaceable than most.”
“Excluding yourself, of course.”
“Uh not really, Cathy. Sammi really is a one off. What I do is management and yes, I’m pretty good at it, but she is magical.”
I smiled and my heart pumped a sort of warmth around my whole body. He had just validated Sammi in all sorts of ways.
“Why would the security services be wanting her now? A couple or more years ago they’d probably be wanting to prosecute her for hacking.”
“Because she’s matured and her experiences as a hacker means she knows how to keep them out of our system. She also traces would be hackers and reports them to the police if they’re in this country or to the FBI in the States.”
“We actually get hackers from the States?”
“Oh yeah, don’t we just. They’re mostly teen age boys presumably who’ve made Mister Happy too sore to pull for a few hours, so they try and hack a bank, preferably an overseas one—viz. us. Sammi tells the feds and they go round and frighten said juvenile to death and hopefully, they reform themselves. If they don’t, they get a criminal charge against their names which may prevent them going to university or doing lots of other things.”
“What if it’s the US government trying to hack you?” I asked sure that it probably happened.
“She tells them to sod off and then reports it to the FBI.”
“Not the CIA?”
“As it’s likely to be the CIA trying to hack us, at least we can embarrass them by dropping names to the FBI, the rivalry in domestic matters is enormous.”
“I can believe it. So how do we encourage her to stay at the bank?”
“I’m all ears, Babes.”
I was trying to encourage a joint effort not one where he wears out his ears and I, my brain cell. “Money helps but it would also mean they could try to outbid you.”
“I thought there was a problem with money in government spending?”
“Not if they want someone badly enough, plus they might try dirty tricks such as blackmail.”
“With what—she’s pretty clean living and everyone who needs to know about her gender change, already knows.”
“The hacking, as we appear to seeing prosecutions of sex crimes from fifty years ago, her hacking from five or six years ago is relatively recent.”
“Yeah but we’d have the best defence counsel on the planet to see them off.”
“What if she hacked US stuff and they applied to extradite her?”
“We’d fight that too.”
“But it would effectively stop her working for you, if only with the anxiety it produces. I suspect it would destroy her.”
“And you have a poor image of bankers, compared to that lot, we’re positively benign.”
“What f you were to allow her to do some consultancy work for them now and again?”
“We’d need to get someone trained up by her to deputise.”
“Why haven’t you already done that? If the Russians know she’s the only thing stopping them from accessing your data, they’d take her out some way either by something criminal or by injuring or killing her.”
“You think so?”
“I know so and so should you. People like Putin never sleep, he’s one of the undead from the old KGB, so he has no soul nor heart—he just pretends to confuse people. If they could kill one of their own who’d jumped ship with polonium poisoning, what might they do with a stranger? Remember we have had run ins with them before.”
“I know, Babes. Oh bugger what shall I do?” he said wring his hands. The truth is, I didn’t know—well not for certain.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.