George Deakin and Professor Quigley, working within a highly sensitive programme, realised that the aim of MI6, under the control of a fanatical Colonel Thorpe coupled with the tacit support of the CIA, was to harness, manipulate and then programme the unique infection within their patient, Leonard Selby.
When this minute wound was merely touched by a targeted victim, it would result in certain death of the victim. Both George Deakin and Professor Quigley decided to expose the project to the world. Will they succeed in their attempt?
In the midst of the present international turmoil there are a multitude of despotic rulers, fanatical religious leaders and corrupt politicians whose sole aim is to attack and eliminate, by any means at their disposal, all democratic regimes, equitable and fair legal systems, sexual equality and perhaps, far more significantly, all contrary religious views.
Thoroughly evil and completely unscrupulous, their unashamed dogma is to pursue their own narrow ideological interests by forcing their own strict, distorted and regressive religious beliefs on others and at the same time denying any essence of democracy to those under their governance.
Their controlling leaders impose their will by ruthlessly inflicting massacres, hostage taking, all types of extreme violence, corruption, kidnapping, fraud and even sexual exploitation with the sole aim of forcing all objectors to wholly accept their beliefs, invariably resulting in the violent disintegration and destruction of the lives of countless innocent men, women and children.
One has only to open the pages of our daily newspapers to be reminded of the horrendous atrocities, inflicted daily, upon innocent men, women and young children by these zealots, operating under the banners of al-Muhajiroun, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, Isis and other kindred organisations, often misguidedly financially aided and abetted by certain unscrupulous leaders of the Sunni, Kurd and Shia factions who, by taking advantage of the region’s chaos, are themselves inciting mayhem particularly, in and around Lybia, Syria and Iraq.
The immeasurable suffering, caused to religious minorities and to countless millions of homeless refugees, directly or indirectly resulting from the actions of these few manipulative leaders, is increasing day by day.
Their complete disregard for irreplaceable ancient sculptures and other works of art, most of which were configured and erected by their own ancestors, is a clear demonstration of their destructive and negative ethos.
Each and every recorded atrocity clearly demonstrates the continuing impotence of America, Great Britain and many like-minded countries, to even mitigate these problems, never mind produce any viable long term solution.
If the question was ever posed, to even the most peace-loving, gentle and considerate of people they would, however reluctantly, have to admit that the world would be a significantly better, safer and more peaceful planet if these evil and controlling individuals could, somehow, be eliminated from the society in general.
The removal of even a significant number of these zealots and despots would drastically reduce their influence upon their susceptible, misguided followers who sadly include an increasing number of the world’s most vulnerable, and impressionable young.
The free world, and perhaps even some less democratic regimes, have their own leaders who would, under pressure, reluctantly admit to be only too willing to condone and even actively support the removal of these dangerous leaders, who are currently and vehemently initiating and then perpetuating mayhem and chaos in these extremely vulnerable areas of the world. The problem is that those same world leaders would only contemplate sanctioning direct action, such as the assassination of these undesirables, if an absolutely certain and fool-proof method could be found.
For such a method to be remotely acceptable it would have to defy all detection and, far more importantly, ensure that no blame could ever be traced back both to the perpetrator and, more importantly, to all those who had sanctioned such drastic action. Has this silent and undetectable method of execution already been achieved, albeit by a unique fluke of nature, in the human form of …
The Porcupine Man?
RETREAT TO VALHALLA
A humid July day was drawing to its close when George Deakin, his normally genial face displaying unmistakable signs of inner mental strain, drove his ageing blue Volvo automatic slowly upwards towards his remote log cabin retreat, located deep within in the High Peak District of Derbyshire.
The compact split-level log cabin was situated in complete isolation, sheltered deep within the myriad of dark green Scots Pines and the somewhat lighter tinted Japanese Larches which haphazardly cloaked the sloping rocky hillside.
George’s cabin occupied what was previously a roughly cleared plot of land at the far end of this long winding, and now somewhat neglected, dirt track. This narrow, barely adequate access road, leading from the tarmac road to the cabin, had been roughly excavated and stoned many years ago from the virgin land and now featured many pot holes and ruts, the result of the previous hard winter.
The uneven surface rocked and jolted even the well-sprung luxury car, requiring George’s careful negotiation of the twists and turns which led upwards to his isolated, but very picturesque, log cabin complete with its attached solidly constructed garage which George had added some years previously using the local limestone. During its laboured up-hill progress, the delicate overhanging fronds of the drooping branches of the pines and larches, continually brushed against the car’s windscreen leaving streaks of rainbow coloured droplets on the already dirty glass, causing it to sparkle intermittently when caught by the dying sun’s rays darting through the restless trees.
George’s previous efforts to clean his windscreen during his last Motorway stop had been rendered ineffectual by the stubborn ingrained greasy surface, the result of many long hours of hard motorway driving in his desperate escape to his personal Valhalla.
At some appreciable distance from his cabin, George impatiently prodded at the red button of his remote control to initiate the upward motion of the garage’s roller-shuttered door. It was eight months since his last visit so he was quite relieved to see the articulated teak-oiled wooden slats eventually slowly shudder upwards within their greased metal guides, gradually revealing the natural limestone interior.
George Deakin had used this attractive hide-a-way many times over the years to escape from the ever present demands of his scientific work, although less frequently due to him being increasingly required to work for extended periods conducting important
scientific, medically orientated projects overseas. When engaged on these intensive and energy draining scientific commissions for major drug companies he was always comforted by the knowledge that, on his return to the United Kingdom, his little cabin would welcome him within the solitude of its pine logged walls allowing some escape and, for a little time at least, some respite from the demanding pressures of the outside world by enabling George to completely surrender to its restful solitude.
He slowly inched the car through the rather restricted opening, its bodywork now badly streaked with traces of muddy water from the numerous puddles resulting from the recent heavy rains, eventually coming to rest on the uneven, oil splattered stone flagged floor. Immediately, he had cleared the entrance impatiently, and somewhat thankfully, pressed the same button which now caused the door to roll squeakily down the rusty steel guides, finally coming to rest on the uneven threshold. This involuntary action to immediately lower the door behind him, shrouding him in the gloom of the garage was indicative of his inner anxiety, caused by his present predicament.
George did not make any effort to move from his seat for several minutes, closing his eyes and leaning back he emotionally embraced the protective solid stone construction of the interior of his garage. The mere act of experiencing the closing door gradually but surely shrouding him in the semi-darkness of the interior made George feel relatively secure for the first time in many months. During the long car journey from his Cambridge bachelor flat, housed within the secret and obscure scientific complex where he had been working, his mind had been continuously racked and tormented by silently debating the rapidly reducing alternative courses of action that still remained open to him in his current, potentially life threatening, situation.
Mentally brushing aside the personal danger which could result, he had finally understood that he had no other alternative but to warn the public, through contacting those in authority who he believed would listen, about the sinister and unique situation into which he had become personally embroiled.
Even though he realised that he may never be able to return to his beloved country again, he had become absolutely convinced, that running away from his responsibilities without first fully disclosing his story was not an option his conscience could tolerate.
Sliding out of his warm leather seat with a resigned sigh, he closed the door of the Volvo behind him with a resounding thud and walked purposefully to the rear and opened the boot, which held his minimal necessities for his expected minimal stay.
Somewhat hampered by his overnight case, rucksack and brief case, he walked towards the rear breeze-block partition fire-wall, which separated the garage from his living quarters, and fumbled in the semi-darkness to depress the timed light switch which allowed some dim light from the dusty, cobwebbed covered bulkhead fitting to pierce the gloom of the interior. With some more fumbling, he eventually removed his house key from the brass hook, hidden for added security behind an old picture of his family home. At the stout wooden fire door, leading to cabin’s living quarters; he turned the key, simultaneously depressing the metal handle to enter his cosy lounge.
After carefully wiping his feet on the horse-hair mat, he strode purposefully into the main cabin area, carrying his overnight bag, his canvas rucksack together with his voluminous leather brief case swinging from a leather strap over his shoulder. Looking around the room, the grimy windows and general dusty appearance of the interior of the main cabin both puzzled and annoyed George in turn, causing him to momentarily make himself a promise to gently chastise Ruth Murray, his elderly, and previously extremely conscientious, cleaning lady.
George paid Ruth through arranged regular direct debits from his bank and had enjoyed the services of this pleasant and conscientious widow for many years. She had visited his lodge weekly to dust, hoover and generally tidy the small rooms and he had always felt more relaxed with the knowledge that Ruth willingly combined her cleaning duties by keeping a general watch over his retreat, particularly during his long absences abroad. Alas, he was not to know that, very sadly, Ruth had died from a sudden heart attack only two months before his arrival in Derbyshire.
Laying his rucksack, bag and briefcase on the thickly carpeted floor he stretched, sighed and wearily slumped into his favourite dark brown leather easy chair, always situated on the right of the ash-filled, smoke-blackened stone fireplace.
A casual glance disclosed the incorrect time registered on the old wooden mantel clock and he made a mental promise to replace its batteries when he had attended to the other, far more pressing duties that lay before him. As he leaned back, making the old chair creak, he silently thanked his calor gas heating and timer for at least providing some semblance of warmth, no doubt aided by some residual heat from the recent spell of warm weather.
Emitting a cough, due to a lingering minor chest infection, he rose wearily from his chair and mechanically undid the soft leather straps holding the main f lap of the rucksack finally untying the neck-cord to release the contents onto his table.
This well-used and somewhat battered rucksack, a survivor from his many trips abroad, always contained what George called his survival kit for any emergencies, comprising amongst other necessities of life, a battery powered wet-razor, his somewhat mangled tooth brush, some cooling aftershave, shaving gel, hair brush and comb with a small hand towel completing his basic toiletries. George knew from experience that there would be minimal supplies in the cabin’s small refrigerator and an even more limited selection of mundane, unappetising tinned food stacked on the shelves of his old pine kitchen cupboard.
He took a thankful swig from a previously opened three-quarter full bottle of Bells whiskey, again coughing, but this time due to the effect of the pale yellow liquid on his parched throat. George slowly changed into his comfortable, dark blue towelling robe, which had been hanging inside the bathroom door and reached up to pull on the swinging cord to initiate his electric blow heater. He stared at his ref lection in the mirror, noticing his unusually haggard strained features, tired eyes, surmounted by his grey streaked black hair and eventually, after methodically applying some blue shaving gel, slowly and deliberately began to remove the effects of his two day’s stubble.
Having carefully dialled his desired water temperature his body was massaged by welcoming needles of warm stimulating jets from his power shower, recently installed at great expense in his luxurious black and white tiled wet room. George completed his leisurely ablutions and regarded his tanned, now clean shaven face, in the bathroom mirror with far more satisfaction, finally brushing his slightly receding hair line into some semblance of order. Satisfied, that he had recovered, at least to some degree, his usual poise and confidence which might enable him to more confidently face the daunting, but now absolutely vital task that lay ahead, he towelled his hair dry.
Having his chipped Victorian cast iron bath, purchased on a foolish whim some years ago from the Newark Antique Fair, replaced by this far more convenient method of showering, contained within a more easily managed wet room, was a decision he had never regretted. Finally, locating a couple of luxurious white Turkish towels from the slotted shelf above the warm cistern cupboard, he slowly and deliberately thoroughly dried himself whilst simultaneously attempting to regroup his scattered thoughts and re-evaluating his current predicament.
With his hands still visibly trembling from the result of the intense mental strain, which had increased to approaching breaking point over the past few days, he paused momentarily with his hand on the brass door handle, before entering his dining cum lounge area, still musing upon what would be his most effectual course of action.
In the situation in which he now found himself George had the great consolation of knowing that he had been extremely careful, even to the point of obsession, in preserving his little cabin’s privacy, even from his small circle of friends and acquaintances. His scientific work, which regularly took him all over the world, was not conducive to cultivating deep and lasting friendships and consequently his amorous relationships were by necessity, and certainly not by choice, spasmodic and rather transient.
But now, in his present perilous situation, his deliberate decision to protect his secret lair from friends and others in the outside world had now been rewarded in spades. That wise decision now afforded him both valuable thinking time, protection and, more importantly, some mental respite during this critical and most dangerous period of his forty-six years of life. Languishing in his chair, and still experiencing the therapeutic effects of his shower and shave, George felt more relaxed than he had been for many months, fortified and fully prepared to face what could be postponed no longer.
Inevitably, following his long and arduous drive following a restless night at his f lat in Cambridge nature could not be denied and, enveloped in the cabin’s warmth, his fatigue eventually took over, his eyelids became heavy and drooped, his loosening fingers caused the heavy crystal whisky glass complete with its residue of golden liquid, to gradually slide onto the thickly piled rug allowing George to finally succumb to a few hours of troubled and turbulent sleep.
George awoke suddenly with a shiver, his body obviously sensing the coldness enveloping the room, the result of the ending of the timed heating period of his central heating, and his senses were immediately enlivened by the realisation that he could not delay the inevitable for one second longer. When he had dressed in a pair of his favourite well-worn jeans and a pale blue fisherman’s sweater, purchased from Whitby whilst enjoying a romantic holiday with a dark haired girl named Suzanne, he completed his ensemble by slipping his bare feet into his luxurious pale brown lambs-wool slippers and shuff led from his bedroom into the main living area of his cabin. He removed his faithful and well used Sony recording machine out of the left hand drawer of one of the matching pair of pine corner cupboards and slowly and deliberately unwound the black cable, finally snapping the plug into one of the spare sockets, situated under his once elegant, but now rather shabby side table.
He plonked himself in the carver chair at the head of his dining table, the high backed unyielding rush seated chair being made a great deal more comfortable by his treasured hand-embroidered cushion, given to him by his dear widowed mother as a Christmas present, some five years back and just prior to her sudden and premature death.
With the back of his sleeve George wiped some gathering beads of perspiration from his brow, the result of the combined effect of his hot shower and some nervous apprehension at the realisation of the onerous task that lay ahead.
After carefully inserting one of the long-playing recording cassettes into the machine George Deakin slowly and deliberately leaned towards the small microphone that was tilted up towards him on the table and began …