I couldn’t believe it, there in this small folded note were words which would change the plan for the forthcoming days. I made my way to the nearest tea room, ordered an Earl Grey and Bacon Sarnie and pondered my my next move. I unfolded the note and read it again, it was a bit mud stained from being on the footpath for so long and a bit dog warred from being in a pocket in a long time. The waitress delivered my ordered and I sipped patiently on my tea mulling what I would do next. It was a letter to my old friend from someone called Sid. Judging by the way the letter was addressed it was either a business letter or, and more likely as it was handwritten, someone writing after moving house. I finished my tea and gulped down my sandwich. I would track down the address online and see if I could find out a little more information.
I tracked down the address, it was a converted School House on the Yorkshire Coast and I knocked on the door, realising I should have thought of a cover story as I didn’t know what to expect when the door was answered. I tried to think my way through all those Philip Marlowe stories of the private eye tracking someone down, but I was interrupted by a middle aged man answering the door.
“Can I help you?” He asked.
“Perhaps,” I replied deciding I would tell the basics. “I came across a lost letter from this address to an old friend of mine whom I lost track of.” I handed over the letter.
“Ah yes,” the man replied studying the letter. “I believe it was from my son, he was wanting to employ her for his company.”
“Oh,” I replied. “Well if you see him, could you get him to pass on my email to the young lady?” I quickly noted it down and handed it to the man.
“Sure I will.”
It was a few days later and I had just completed a busy series of shifts at the office when I received an email from my old friend.
” Hi Bob,
I wondered how long it would take you to track me down. I wish you hadn’t as… well my new job isn’t quite what you would approve of.”
There was a link on the email and I clicked it and immediately wished I hadn’t. In polite terms my friend was now making movies for a production company not far based from me.
I Googled the company later and noticed that the business listings jarred. Why would the business location be in a Sentry house in a private school? Well, there was an answer but it wasn’t a pleasant one. I decided to make inquiries myself and went to the address. When I arrived at the building, the groundskeeper was setting himself up for a brew with a girl of about 17. He seemed pretty pally so I made a decision and made my way to the local police station and informed them on my discoveries.
A week later my friend turned up on my doorstep. I invited her in, a little apprehensive about the situation.
“Well done Bob,” she said. “You have traced a line through infinity, you might be a good man for the service.”
“Service?” I asked.
“We are currently investigating a company who we believe is sending classified information hidden in digital encryption within a certain genre of movies.”
“But why a school?”
“We think that there is someone from the otherside trying to recruit students to their ideology. The Groundskeeper and the Blonde girl are our inside contacts, we tried infiltrating the studio but it looks like they are unwilling patsies there. What is happening is happening elsewhere….”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“Well I know you are a good encrypter and we need someone unknown to infiltrate the backroom. ”
“Bob, I am recruiting you for an undercover role at the service.”