I didn’t get much past 10,000 words. But that’s okay. The idea of NaNoWriMo is less about completing the herculean task of writing 50,000 words (I couldn’t seem to eek out the time each day to write over 1,600 words and ended up horribly behind from nearly the beginning) but in beginning a novel. I have acheived that. I may not be a 50,000 word winner but I am a thankful participant because now I have a new novel to work on, and workshop with my friends. I’ve already begun editing down the wordiness that happened in my attempt to get the word count.
So, I’m off to spend my holiday in a few weeks finding out how Sydney and Jerome get on in Transitions.
Chapter 8: Intruder
Ms. Griffiths gave Jerome the feeling that he was facing an enemy, but he couldn’t put his finger on the cause. She was as good as her word, leaving him alone to enjoy the festivities earned through hard work. It was official now, he had his degree in International Marketing from King’s College London. He was celebrated by friends and family alike and had done the near impossible of making his father proud. He had been able to thoroughly sink into the enjoyment of the past two days, but not without wondering what awaited him on Wednesday afternoon.
It had brought him back to The Trusty Servant. Perhaps this was part of the reason Jerome felt naturally at odds with Griffiths, she seemed to infiltrate the most prized areas of his life.
“You don’t seem please to be meeting me here Mr. Davies. I have it on good authority that you frequent this establishment several times a month.”
“Your information should have also told you that I never bring women here, Ms. Griffiths. Are you having me followed?” How else would she have known his habits so intimately as to email his favorite pub as a meeting location this morning?
“My employers are not having you tailed, no. But considerable resources are used to ascertain whether or not a target is a good candidate for the position you are about to be offered Mr. Davies.”
“Target? Candidate? These don’t sound reassuring Ms. Griffiths.” Jerome’s unease continued to grow. “Next you’re going to tell me you’ve ordered my favorite pint and grub as my last meal before your employers drag me off to parts unknown.”
“That is certainly not my intention.” At last he’d gotten her to use the first person. “My employers believe it is important to approach candidates in environs which are comfortable to them, that is all my choice of meeting location is meant to accomplish.”
“Unfortunately that has not worked Ms. Griffiths. Why don’t we proceed to the business at hand so we can each be on our way and end this mutually dissatisfying association?”
Ms. Griffiths looked rather displeased, but continued on. “My employers are an NGO called the Bloom Partnership. They work in the field of information gathering and are interested in bringing you on as an information agent.”
“So, you’re recruiting me for MI6 then? Is this some ploy derived from a James Bond movie? What are you really after Ms. Griffiths? This is certainly implausible.”
“Be it implausible, it is true. As I said they are an NGO, they are non-governmental. It would not be working for British Intelligence of the American CIA. You would be working for a separate organization which shares information it gathers with those organizations and those like it. You’re background, education, and place in society make you an ideal candidate for the Partnership.”
“I feel a but coming on Ms. Griffiths. What is it?”
“I have advocated to my supervisor that I do not find your manners to be suitable for the job at hand, but I am to be overruled and you are to be offered the position.”
“And what would that do to the position I’ve accepted? What of that?”
“It would become your cover, Mr. Davies. The type of work you have chosen is the perfect excuse to travel and make the necessary connections to gather information.”
“And what of my holiday?”
“You would be asked to cut it short in order to be trained by the Partnerships operatives and assigned your own research analyst. To the outside world your holiday remains the same, but there is simply a small change of itinerary known only to you.”
Jerome was floored. He took a moment to finish the pint he had been drinking throughout this conversation. Could anything Ms. Griffiths said be true? Did he want it to be? Jerome had chosen to leave the life of government and policy at a young age not because it didn’t fascinate him, but because it did. It had become all encompassing and had brought out the darkest parts of his personality. Marketing had been the answer to keep his life light and fun. Use the knowledge gained during his study of international relations to instead work to sell goods and package brands for the international market. Live a comfortable life outside of the combative arena of international politics. He was now being asked to dive back in to a world he thought he had left well behind him.
“I don’t have an answer for you Ms. Griffiths. I thought this world was well behind me.”
“I understand that Mr. Davies. This is not a scenario where you need to know right now. In a few days a courier will bring you travel documents for the training I’ve mentioned. You will have an opportunity to walk away then, or after the training. No questions will be asked. The Bloom Partnership simply asks that you think about the opportunity they are offering to do the work of an intelligence offer without the game of espionage.”
With that Ms. Griffiths excused herself from their small table and made her way to the exit. Jerome sat for awhile longer, ordering himself another pint while his mind chewed away on the job he had just been offered.