(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.
The next morning I had an email from Jason. It appeared that the local Kingdom hall, the place where the JWs do their worship, had no record of the people concerned. I mailed him back asking about the Echo article. The response came back that he’d thought of that and on speaking with the editor of the paper, it seemed that Jackson had met with a group at a cafe and had assumed they were locals.
I checked the address of our student, who hadn’t been seen since our altercation, she came from Surrey, near Godalming. So rentamob must have driven down here en masse hurled eggs, flour and abuse and pushed off back whence they came—under a large stone somewhere, no doubt. I told Jason to try Godalming and left it at that.
An hour later as I was dealing with some difficult correspondence concerning a contract for our marine biology unit when Diane tapped the door and told me I had a visitor. She then ushered in Sergeant Andy Bond and asked if we’d like tea. I rarely say no and Andy doesn’t either as far as I know, so she went off to make it.
“I presume this is a business call?”
“It is. I collected the letter from your house on the way, so we’ll send that to the lab though we probably won’t find very much—they’ve all seen too many detective movies and avoid leaving finger prints or other personal material on it. I also saw the fence and took some photos so you get that painted now if you wish. You do seem to able to make friends and influence people.”
“I did nothing. I performed a lecture on evolution and when I asked if there were any questions she started spouting all this religious garbage about creationism. I suggested she might need to reassess whether she was on the correct course because we do quite a bit on evolution over the three years and if she disputes it so vehemently, it’s going to cause disruption and distress for her and whoever is teaching her.”
“They attacked your car?”
“Yes, the VW minibus thing, covered it in eggs and flour, cost me a hundred quid to get it cleaned.”
“Well the evolution thing is nothing to do with us, the car, the fence and the letter are all offences, threatening letters, vandalism or criminal damage, that is our business. Now we checked out the address you gave us, the people living there have never heard of the girl or her family and they’ve lived there for ten years. We showed the photo you gave us and no one local seems to know her. We checked the local JWs place and they weren’t members there.”
“So what is going on?”
“Blowed if I know. When did you get the first letter?”
“Couldn’t say exactly, three maybe four weeks ago.”
“When did she enrol?”
“Presumably back in the summer or early autumn. I’ll get her file.” I collected it from Diane’s office and when we looked at it, there was very little information about the girl, just a receipt from the central office stating the rest was in transit.”
“Is this usual?” he asked looking at the file.
“No, normally there’s an application form with educational qualifications—usually GCSEs or A/S level results, sometimes there are other bits like diplomas from other educational establishments on older students—but usually we have it all by the time the student starts. Occasionally we get a late applicant who’s come through clearing but even then that’s all sorted by Christmas. I mean we’re nearly at the end of the year.”
“You know what, Cathy, I think she’s some sort of plant.”
“Not another one...”
“Yes, the shooting in the woods a few months ago.”
“That was all very hush hush.”
“Apparently, there was a plot to kill or kidnap me.”
“It obviously failed.”
“Only because I had Wonder Woman posing as one of my students.”
“The security services slipped in one of their young looking female operatives, she shot the guy who was trying to kill me.”
“Jeez, Cathy, you certainly lead an interesting life, don’t you?”
“It was all to do with the bank again.”
“Can’t they pay for a bodyguard for you?”
“That has been mooted before, but really, I don’t see why I should be any more at risk than anyone else.”
“Anyone who just so happens to be married to one of the richest men in the country. Like it or not, you’re always going to be a potential target.”
“So what’s it got to do with a creationist yelling the odds?”
“How do I know, I’m just an ordinary copper, sounds like we need to speak to Special Branch or one of the security services. But do think about a bodyguard.”
“He wouldn’t be able to hang around here all day, if I had one.”
“No but he could bring you and collect you and take the girls as well.”
“I’ll talk to Simon.”
“What’s the point, he wouldn’t be allowed to carry a weapon yet the villains seem able to get whatever they want.”
“One of life’s little ironies,” he stood up and bid me goodbye telling me he’d be in touch if he heard anything but to expect someone from higher up the food chain and to seriously think about a personal minder.”
I was very unsettled by what Andy had suggested, who was trying to upset me now? Surely not some weird religious sect? Though I had had problems before. I couldn’t settle to think about contracts with the Environment Agency, besides when Gove gets going, he’ll probably give all the money to farmers to shoot badgers. Picking up the girl’s file I went to speak with student admissions.
The woman there had no idea where the file had come from, it wasn’t one of theirs. I asked her if their computer system could have been hacked.
“I suppose it could although the university IT department is supposed to keep us up to date and keep the hackers out.” The mystery deepened, as much because I couldn’t work out what was going on—if it were some plot to embarrass me, why didn’t they know about my history? Or were they saving that for the final assault?
I brought Diane up to date as far as I knew anything. She went off to make yet more tea and I sent a text to Jim to see if he could pick up on anything. A short while later we spoke on our Black Berrys hoping that the network was still encrypted.
“So some religious nut is trying to take you down because you teach evolution?”
“My arse, they are. That’s a cover, if there is a plot then it has to be a deeper thing. I mean a five year old could have killed you at any time.”
“Don’t see many of them at the university.”
“You know what I meant. Anyway, usual terms, boss?”
“Yes, you over priced reprobate.”
“Always happy to oblige...”
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.