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Judgment Day

By Victoria Martin
Page 1 of 1

Great. Marvellous. What the fuck do I do now? It's all that twat Feltz's fault. I was supposed to be on sick leave, for fuck's sake. Okay, so I was practically over it, but a couple of days convalescence isn't unreasonable. But no, after five days Feltz loses his nerve and calls in the expert. Five days! I'd've got it out of him in two. Less. It all comes down to attitude. That's Feltz's problem. No guts. He should have turned the heat up as soon as he realised this wasn't your standard assignment. I mean, how many unknowns still haven't told you their name after two days? But no, that wimp Feltz keeps reapplying low-level methods and then whinges for me when they don't work. Don't see why he came running to me, there are enough staff with my seniority around. Still, I suppose I have got a bit of a reputation. I've always had that sixth sense that tells you just what will push someone over the edge. I still get respect for that. Not like I used to, though. There was a time when it looked like I was heading right for the top. Not just interrogation, I was involved in running operations. Till that bastard Lopez was appointed; he always had it in for me. Said he didn't like turncoats. So no more intelligence work, no more promotion. That's why I'm still stuck in Central Interrogation, instead of running my own team off-world. Was. Was stuck in Central. Now I'm stuck here.

There must be some way out. I know he said there wasn't, but he could have been lying, he could be watching me, watching me lie down to die, right next to the exit, laughing his head off. I should have killed him while I had the chance. Uppity little bastard. 'What's the matter? Did I bleed on the wrong bit of floor?' I should have killed him then. So he died under interrogation, so what? They wouldn't blame me. Twenty five years in service and not one died before I'd finished with them, not one. Well, no-one that mattered, anyway. What does one nameless pick-up matter? I should have killed him, then he couldn't have switched that bloody tracer off. Shit, I can't believe they screwed up on that tracer. What a bunch of incompetents. I mean, what were they expecting? That his friends were going to turn up right in the middle of the interrogation compound? No-one's got friends that suicidal. And if they did turn up they'd have to have a bloody good reason to think they could get out again alive, so why take the risk? They should have removed the tracer and stuck it in a room outside the compound, it and a few dozen troopers. Ha! I'd have liked to have seen his friends show up then, teleport or no teleport. We'd have shot them to pieces.

There has to be a way out, there's fresh air in here, it must be getting in from somewhere. I can't find it, but it's so bloody dark, I can't see a thing. Why? Why me? Of all the staff at Central, why did he have to come after me? I didn't even deal with this woman he was looking for, whatsername, I told him that. I've never seen her in my life. I know I haven't, no-one's got a memory like me for faces. I remember every single assignment I've handled, before and after. I can remember what made their faces change, what finally got under their skin, finally gave them that look, that look that says they've had enough, that they're going to tell me everything, everything, because all they want is to die in peace. God, I'd give anything to see that look on his face. How dare he leave me here, how dare he? What makes him think he's got the right to sit in judgment over me? I never did anything to him, not to him, and the rest is no business of his. If he's so concerned about the assignments I handled, how come he only took me, how come he didn't touch any of the Grade Ones? They're the real bastards, the guys that give the orders, the guys that make the big decisions, who's worth keeping and who's for the dustbin. They're the ones who'll know what happened to that little bitch, not me, I just do my job, I just carry out my orders. Even back then I never made the big decisions. I had access to the files, but I never gave the orders.

They should have let me have him back then, they shouldn't have waited. So much for the great Bartolomew, so much for Our Top Agent. 'Wait till he activates the program, then we can track where the money is really going.' 'Wait till he's collected the visas, then he'll activate the program.' Except he dropped out, didn't he? Disappeared just as they were going to pull him in. What was the point of bloody waiting? I'd have got it out of him all right, it would have been a pleasure. Five days, Feltz had him! What couldn't I have done in five days! And all I got instead was his contacts, easy assignments, like breaking eggs, only there was nothing to get out of them. The whole thing was a fiasco, none of the political connections turned out to be involved, that little runt Tynus had sent us all off on a wild goose chase. What wouldn't I give to get my hands on him again, he wouldn't get off so lightly this time. And Grant got off-world before we could pull him in either.

Grant. That was what he said her name was. Anna Grant. Funny coincidence, eh? Except I don't believe in coincidences, I've handled too many assignments for that. There's always a connection if you probe deep enough, if you ask the right questions. A coincidence is where you start from. A clue. A pointer. Anna Grant? I don't remember anything about her in the file, I don't remember her being pulled in. But she must have been, Bartolomew wouldn't have overlooked a detail like that - any contact related to Del Grant would have been watched, and this one was his girlfriend, for fuck's sake. No way would they have let her run. But I don't remember any mention of her. I don't remember a girlfriend at all. If she wasn't mentioned, she can't have existed.

Unless there was a reason not to put her in the file.

Unless Bartolomew knew...

Unless... unless...

Oh, that's beautiful. That is just so fucking beautiful. You thought you'd got me, didn't you, Avon? You thought you'd got the thug who killed your precious Anna. And even when you found out you were wrong, you still wanted to play judge and executioner. You still thought you had some kind of right. But maybe there's justice after all. Because now you're going after Chesku, and maybe, just maybe, you'll find what you're looking for. And I want you to know that you've done me a favour. Yes, Avon, a favour. Because there aren't many men who can say they died laughing.

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Victoria Martin

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