Secret State - Part 3
“I love you”
Three simple words but Rebecca beamed as Marcus uttered them to her. She nestled into his chest more as the two lay naked on his bed. "I love you too," she whispered back. "You don't fancy skipping off work today?". The sun was starting to peek through the curtains but she knew it would be a cold day again. Laying in bed seemed a much better idea to her.
"I fancy that more than anything" he said, but then sighed. "I can't". He rolled to his side and began to get up. "I wish I could," he added, kissing Rebecca on the forehead before sitting on the edge of the bed.
"Nothing I can do to convince you?" she asked, sitting up and kissing the back of his neck. She felt him stir.
"I'm leading the next few days" he said, "got to set a good example". He got up and put on his boxer shorts. Rebecca lay back down on the bed and pulled the sheets over her body. She knew that she also needed to get up, but at that moment she didn't have the motivation. Getting up meant facing the outside world with all its confusing questions and a debrief with George Digby-Wright. She grimaced. "You OK?" Marcus asked.
"Yeah...just tired," she said. She realised she was still on an adrenaline come-down from the night before. After killing Janine, her energy levels had been through the roof and she and Marcus had stayed up late making love multiple times before passing out together. It was exhilarating but the subsequent fall would need some managing. "Remember lunch on Sunday" she said, changing the subject.
"12:30 at Kings Cross" he said, tapping his head, "I'll be there". He grabbed a towel and headed for the shower.
Rebecca sat up and rubbed her eyes. She remembered the gun in her coat pocket and that it was still inside Marcus's flat and knew she needed to get it out. It would be a long journey to her flat and then back again to Scotland Yard. 'Note to self', she thought, 'kill people on nights he's coming round to mine'. She frowned. 'Or just tell him' her conscience told her back, 'tell him you're a paid assassin for MI5'. She weighed it up but the back and forth made her head spin. She got changed into a new set of clothes and had put her hair up by the time Marcus emerged from the bathroom. "I need to head" she said, "work...projects...etc". She kissed him. "Be careful".
"I always am" he told her and kissed her back. Rebecca couldn't help but worry when Marcus was working. Whilst London was a relatively peaceful city, there was always a lurking danger from terrorism and in the event of an attack, Marcus would be one of the first armed responders on the scene, ready to face down whatever was happening. He had already seen action a few times with more domestic challenges, being called in to help diffuse a hostage situation but more recently a couple of armed robberies. A bullet from a robber had narrowly missed him just after they had started dating. "It's easy love, I've got reflexes like a cat" he had told her afterwards whilst trying to laugh it off but Rebecca always had some nerves whenever he was on duty. She shook her head - she remembered she had been in more armed confrontations in the last few weeks than him. She would have to tell him, she decided, maybe after this weekend and lunch with her parents. That would be their first chance to meet him and she wanted to make sure everything was in good form. She grabbed her coat, cursed the time a bit more and headed out.
"So you know the phrase it's five o'clock somewhere?"
Rebecca looked up from her computer and rubbed her eyes. Oli Afidi was standing over her. She looked back at the screen. The time in the corner showed 17:10. "It's five o'clock here" she told him.
"Exactly. Come on, time to call it a week".
"I can't, I'm working o-" she started to speak but Kate appeared by Oli's side with her coat. Rebecca sighed and looked at them both. She realised resistance was futile. "OK" she said. She saved her work and shut down the computer. It had been a frustrating couple of days since she rolled in late on Thursday morning. She had found herself unable to properly focus on the jobs in hand, which in this case involved looking at multiple years of financial records for some potentially criminal fronts. On more than one occasion she had felt her eyes glazing over. Thursday night had not been much better. She was still conflicted about telling Marcus about her MI5 work and nervous about his meeting her parents. Maybe a quick drink was a good idea, she reasoned, as she put on her coat.
"You OK Bec?" Kate put her arm around her shoulder as they walked out, "you've been pretty quiet recently".
"Yeah...just...tired" Rebecca replied, "some of this accounting work can get in your head a bit".
"God, I know" Kate said. "We need a new case. A nice big conspiracy or something. Maybe some unexplained murders. Speaking of which" Kate pulled Rebecca closer, "have you spoken to George recently?"
Rebecca shook her head. "Not really, no. You?"
"No, he's gone quiet on me" Kate said, as they walked along the street to the pub, following Oli and Inspector Tim Warren. "It's just...." she sighed.
"What?" Rebecca pressed her.
"Well normally we end up speaking every month or so, more so if there's a few crimes he needs me to keep away from" Kate answered, "and recently there's been a few killings - all of them shootings, and the MI5 security net has been on it straight away. I've been seeing it in the bulletins each morning". Rebecca said nothing - most officers skimmed over the morning notice that went from every force around London highlighting key cases. It was not uncommon to see a 'Sealed for NS' lock around one or two files where national security might be involved. "Anyways, just seemed odd, not hearing anything, seeing a few more bodies drop".
"What do you suspect?" Rebecca asked.
"Not sure" Kate said, "but I might do a little digging. Tim!" she suddenly shouted her colleague's name as they arrived at the pub, "seniority on rounds yes?". Warren turned around and shook his head but upon entering, did his duty by ordering the first round.
"I'm only having one," Rebecca told Kate as they grabbed a table.
"Yeah, good luck with that," Kate replied, winking at her. Warren and Oli joined them with four pints and the group cheersed.
"God damn you Kate fucking Belmont"
Rebecca groaned as she spoke those words to no-one and turned over in her bed. She tried to bury her head in the pillow but it throbbed with a heavy pain. Her mouth was dry and she felt a little dizzy. She looked down and saw she had at least taken off most of her clothes, them being strewn across her room. She picked up her phone from the bedside table - it was 10:09. She groaned again. Moving anything seemed like too much effort but she knew she needed water and to use the bathroom. She used a huge effort to sit up in bed, feeling a brush of cold as she moved out of the duvet. She tried to remember all of the previous evening.
Kate's insistence that she would be staying beyond the first pint turned out to be true. Superintendent Sullivan had joined them, dutifully buying the second round before Kate had very quickly added a third. At this point, Rebecca knew it would be rude to leave without getting her own drink for the team. They had left the pub after those five rounds at 8:30 and Rebecca was already feeling pretty drunk. She and Kate had stumbled to a Greek restaurant Kate knew in Covent Garden and the food had sobered her up until Kate ordered several glasses of Ouzo to wash down dinner and a further pint. She had stumbled into her apartment in Camden around midnight and fallen asleep soon after.
Rebecca forced herself out of bed and to her bathroom. She swallowed some strong painkillers. She tried to remember all of the conversation she and Kate had been having - they'd talked about Kate's anxiety waiting for the results of the Inspector exams, some of the new fitness challenges she was taking on, evaluating their opinions on Sunita's new girlfriend and many other things. Rebecca was glad she had not broached the topic of George or MI5 and the work she was doing on the side for them. It was a small consolation as she felt the pain in her head throb again. She put on a t-shirt and lounge pants and made her way to the kitchen until she was interrupted by a buzzing at her flat door.
"Hello" she said, picking up the handset.
"Good morning Miss Davidson" she heard George say, "may I perhaps join you for some brunch?"
Rebecca sighed. "OK" she said eventually and pressed the entry button. She wandered back to her room and threw on a thick hoodie before opening the door to her flat for George. He strode in wearing a grey pinstriped suit and white shirt.
"Feeling a little delicate?" he asked her, "I'd initially hoped to catch you on your run today".
Rebecca groaned. "I'll go tomorrow" she told him, "it was....I was..."
"I perfectly understand" said George, "perhaps I might make you a drink?"
Rebecca nodded. "What brings you here so bright and early Mr Digby-Wright?"
"Some business from the other night to follow up on" he told her as he boiled a kettle. "I fear it may not wait for another day".
"Will it wait for me to have a shower?" she asked him.
George chuckled. "Yes, of course. Please, go ahead".
Rebecca took her time in the shower. It refreshed and rejuvenated her. The painkillers started to kick in and she felt herself slowly returning to normal. She brushed her teeth and the taste of alcohol was now gone. She was still young, she knew. She could recover quickly from the night before. She dried her hair in her room and got dressed into a pair of blue jeans and a dark woollen sweater. As she did, she sniffed the air. George was cooking bacon. The smell was heavenly.
"I didn't know I had any bacon in" she said as she walked into the kitchen.
"You didn't, but a gentleman is always prepared" George answered. Rebecca looked at the kitchen. It was cleaner now than it was before. There was a fresh pot of green tea waiting for her and George was serving the bacon on toast for her.
"Thanks" she said genuinely and tucked into the food. She felt energy return to her. The tea made her feel perky - it was incredible. She smiled at George. For all her frustrations with him, she knew he had a good heart and the friendship between them was genuine. She wondered what would happen if he ever had to choose between helping her or the country but tried to shove those thoughts out of her head. "This is amazing" she said as she sipped more tea.
George produced a vial from his jacket pocket and for a second Rebecca panicked. "My secret ingredient - a heavy dose of electrolytes" he told her, "it's like a much more pleasant version of being on an IV drip". She relaxed.
"Is everything alright?" she asked him.
"No" he answered seriously, "I am afraid it is not. We keep running into dead ends in our enquiries and it is causing me real concern. It's like our enemies appear to be predicting our every move".
"How so?" Rebecca asked.
"For example with Janine on Wednesday night" he answered, "her flat had been fully cleaned of all materials before we could get in there. Her phone has layers of encryption we've not seen before. I'm still unable to determine who contracted Webster Communications to Parliament. It is all most unusual".
"Did we get nothing from Wednesday? Nothing at all?"
"There was one message we were able to retrieve," George said, "the last one she sent. I don't believe the encryption protocols fully worked on it and my colleagues broke it last night". He checked his phone for the text. "Transfer complete. Proceed as planned".
"Who did that get sent to?"
"An unregistered pay as you go phone" George said, shaking his head, "but we have at least been able to ping its location to an estate in Southwark. Unfortunately we need to wait until it is used again for a precise address".
Rebecca finished her brunch and tea. "So what's our plan today?" she asked.
"Not a glamorous one, I am afraid" he told her with a shake of the head.
"Have you ever considered upgrading?"
Rebecca looked up from the computer and the young man over her shoulder. "Excuse me?" she asked.
"Your phone? Upgrading it...seeing as you're here".
"Thanks but I'm alright" said Rebecca. The young man shrugged his shoulders and left her so she turned back to the computer. This was the third phone shop in the area she had visited. George had made it to two as well but they had no luck so far in tracking down the number that had been purchased.
"We need to do this the manual way" George had told her when she asked about using MI5's database, "there's no contract to look at - we need to find the purchase and go from there". With luck, the phone would have been bought with a credit card but they had no idea from where. They needed to find the missing link and so Rebecca was now in the phone shops of South London looking through old sales records. Her hangover was starting to seem preferable to this. She was sorting through the old records of the numbers purchased as diligently as possible but it was still painstaking work. She was also feeling warm. The heaters were on inside most shops to guard against the cold air outside but Rebecca still had a leather jacket on. She kept it zipped up lest anyone see the shoulder holster George had gifted her underneath that held her gun and ammunition.
She sighed and tried to focus again. It was now around 5pm. There were 1500 transactions in the database she was looking at for the shop. She used some dates to narrow them down to about 500 and then selected them all - an option appeared to export them all. She had a thought. She exported them to an Excel file and then searched for the number she wanted. One record was found. She clenched her fist and almost squealed in delight. She noted the transaction number and then found the additional details in the database. It was for an old Samsung phone. She clicked on payment details and banged the desk she was sitting behind with her fist. The couple of other people in the shop looked up in her direction for a brief second. Rebecca ignored them. It was indeed paid for on a credit card, along with several other phones at the same time. She called George with the news.
"Excellent work" he said, "give me the card details you have. I'll make my way to you". Rebecca relayed the information on the screen. She sat and waited patiently and within ten minutes George entered, looking slightly out of place in an old phone shop with his pinstriped suit. "Good afternoon" he said to the manager politely. "Shall we?" he extended his hand to Rebecca, who used it to pull herself from the chair and follow him out of the shop.
"Did we get a name?" she asked.
"We did. A certain Mr Jaleel Akbar, resident in Flat 46 on the estate".
"Do you think he'll serve us an afternoon tea?
George chuckled. "Well I suppose there is only one way to find out". The estate was about a ten minute walk from their location so George called Fraser, his driver and instructed him to meet them nearby. They walked swiftly to keep warm in the cold air. As they entered the estate, they saw a tower block about eight stories high. There were a few people hanging around the buildings, including a group of men smoking nearby. Rebecca could hear the sounds of loud music from one or two of the windows. She looked at George.
"Maybe best you wait around here? she advised him. If his pinstripe suit looked out of place in a phone shop, it was even more conspicuous in an estate on a Saturday afternoon.
"I don't want you going in there alone," he told her.
"Don't worry, I've got this" Rebecca answered. She could feel a rush of adrenaline starting to build and it gave her confidence.
George frowned but relented. "Take this" he said, handing her an earpiece, which she accepted and put in her ear.
She set off across the estate towards the tower block, ignoring the wolf whistle she got from a window. The estate was typical of London with a series of different blocks around a tower all hastily built and showing their age since the second world war. It reminded her of where she lived herself in Camden. She walked towards the central tower and prayed for a bit of luck. She found it - a woman came to the door and was struggling to get out with her pram so Rebecca jogged a few steps to help her, holding the door open so she could get out and smiling at her as she did so. She slipped inside.
There was a faint smell of weed in the building. The walls were beige and the lift to reach the higher floors looked like it was out of order. Rebecca checked a sign next to her. Flat 46 was on the 6th floor. She walked through a door to the stone staircase that wound its way up the building. She touched her ear. "Heading up to the sixth floor on foot," she said quietly. Rebecca began her climb, meeting no-one along the way. It was a relatively long way and after a couple of floors she could feel the previous night's drinking starting to kick again. She breathed deeply and carried on up the stairs, pausing as she reached floor 6. She listened for sounds but heard none.
She took advantage of the time to unzip her jacket and add the suppressor to her Walther. She kept it in her hand but hid it under her jacket as she entered the floor, identifying flat 46 at the end. She tried to move slowly, listening all the time. There were some shouts from a neighbouring flat and she heard the television on in another. She paused by the door of 46, trying to make out any sounds from inside. She heard none. She knocked on the door. There was no sound of footsteps inside or any other sounds. She tried the door handle but it was locked. She considered all her options for a few seconds before taking out her gun. Pfft-pfft. She fired two shots at the lock and broke it, the wood around the door splintering. Rebecca charged the door with her shoulder and it opened.
She covered the room she entered with her gun. It appeared to be a lounge but it was almost empty apart from a stained green couch and a wooden table in the centre of the room. There were no pictures on the wall. She kept her weapon high as she tiptoed through the room, a rug over the wooden floorboards helping her mask the sound from her trainers. The lounge was open plan with the kitchen. Again, it was sparse. Rebecca checked back on herself and opened the other door in the lounge that led to a narrow corridor. All the other room doors were open so she quickly checked them. A small bathroom on her left, a bedroom on her right and then another bedroom on the left. There was nobody around and no sign of anything useful.
Rebecca was confused - she was sure there would be something here but the house was clean. She considered - maybe it was too clean? Had the occupants already left, and if so, why? "The flat's empty" she told George through the earpiece. She went back into the lounge and slumped on the sofa. Had they just wasted a day? Night was well and truly settling in outside the flat and she got up to put the light on. She waited a few minutes before both George and Fraser joined her in the apartment, George now carrying his jacket in his arm. He looked red in the face from climbing the stairs and Rebecca was unsure she had ever seen him look physically flustered before.
He took a second to compose himself. "So evidently our occupants have left. How nice of them to clean the place for us" he said, and Rebecca noticed his eyes dart around the room. "Now we know the phone was around this area first thing this morning at least....we need to check this flat, carefully". He pulled out some latex gloves from his pocket and handed a pair to Rebecca. She accepted them.
The three worked methodically, Fraser starting in one bedroom while George and Rebecca checked the other. They checked around and under the beds, in the wardrobes and chests of drawers, pulling apart whatever they could do to try and find any clues. Night continued to fall and they heard heavy bass music and laughter from the flat on top of them.
"Not your typical Saturday evening George?" Rebecca teased him, seeing the frustration on his face as the music was turned up louder.
"I am but a humble servant of my country" he said, "but for you, I do apologise. I imagine this is not how you had planned today".
"Don't worry about it," Rebecca said. In truth she had planned a pretty easy day. She had said maybe towards going for some drinks with some friends later on and checked her phone. It was 6:30pm. Maybe she would be finished by the time they met? Maybe they would find...? She didn't even know what they would find and that was making the search harder.
Fraser moved towards checking the bathroom whilst George went to the kitchen. Rebecca moved the sofa, removing its cushions and checking down all the sides for anything. She found nothing except some food stains and a ten pence piece. She moved the table and lifted up the rug. The floor underneath was wooden. She looked at it closely and noticed something strange. Two of the floorboards had nails that were different to the others. The other nails were older and discoloured but these two looked fresh and shiny. She knocked on the boards - it sounded hollow underneath them.
"Fraser!" she called and George's driver came to her from the bathroom. "Look" she told him, "we need to get under these".
"Absolutely, Miss" he said, and he pulled a swiss army knife from his jacket pocket. He used the screwdriver part to start pulling up one end of the floorboard. When it was lifted slightly, Rebecca grabbed it, using her arms to pry it away more. "On three" Fraser said, joining her in grabbing it, "one, two three"
They both gave a mighty heave and the board splintered and came away. Rebecca fell backwards with the effort but patted Fraser on the back as he helped her up. She used her phone to shine a torch light down the hole they had just created. She turned to George. "Jackpot". Fraser and her loosened and pulled away the other surrounding floorboards whilst George reached into the hole and pulled out a metal box. He placed it on the table and Fraser lent him his knife to pick the lock on it and open it. The three of them looked at the contents. There was an array of papers, a USB stick and a smartphone that would not turn on.
Rebecca pulled out the papers and spread them out on the table. There was a receipt for a van rental, a letter in what appeared to be Arabic, a London A-Z, some more receipts from a hardware store and a plan of Borough market. Rebecca's eyes widened. "Oh my god" she said. It had all the hallmarks of a planned attack on the market, similar to others that had rocked the city in recent years. "George" she said, "we need an interpreter here". She showed him the letter.
George studied it. "The children of God seek his glory in his eyes. Brother, let us sharpen our spears against them". He paused and put it down. "I've seen letters like this before" he said solemnly, "what else do we have?"
"Van receipt....for today" Rebecca studied the time. "It was for 4pm. Is this....is this happening tonight?"
"Sir, you need to see this," Fraser said. He had leafed through the A-Z to find the pages with London Bridge and the market on. There was a circle over the market and an arrow showing an approach over the bridge. Somebody had scribbled a number 7. Rebecca's heart almost stopped. She checked her phone. It was 6:50pm.
She got to her feet and on instinct turned towards the door. "Rebecca! Wait!" George called urgently, "I can call it in!"
"What if they're too late?" she answered him back. The estate was not too far from the market - maybe she could make it in time. She tucked the gun in her holster and sprinted out the door, ignoring George's protestations. She ran down the corridor and down the stairs, almost knocking a woman who was climbing them out of the way. She burst through the door at the bottom. Her heart was pounding and she felt nauseous but she ignored the sensations and ran in the direction of the market. She had to stop this, that was all she knew.
She paused by a road to cross it and checked her phone. 6:54pm. "Come on" she told herself, "you can do this".
"Rebecca, I have support on the way" George's voice crackled in her ear, "they're ten minutes out". She had no time to acknowledge it. She ran across the road, narrowly avoiding a cyclist who cursed at her as she did so. She was close, she knew that. She joined Tooley Street and sprinted by the road alongside crowds by London Bridge station. She reached the corner by London Bridge station and caught her breath for a second whilst cars zoomed past her.
"Fuck" she wheezed, the lactic acid taste filling her mouth. She could hear crowds across the street, laughing and joking underneath heaters in the market or within the various pubs, restaurants and bars that adorned the area at night. She crossed and looked up the road when she saw a white van heading over London bridge. It sped up as it did so. Rebecca looked and saw two dark-haired men in the front. The van continued to pick up speed and drove into the bus lane. "Get out of the way!" Rebecca screamed at the crowds of pedestrians in front of her. She drew her Walther. "Armed police!" she shouted. There were screams as people on the road saw her gun drawn.
Pfft. She had taken careful aim and she saw the van veer suddenly to the right and crash into the side of the bridge, a broken glass windshield caused by her bullet. Many of the crowd in the market looked up at the commotion. Rebecca heard people shouting, some squealing, and then the sounds of chairs scraping as people got up and ran to take shelter. Some ran down the road towards her and Rebecca tried to push her way through the onrush of people. She could see the back of the van open and three men getting out. A fourth man was getting out of the passenger's side of the vehicle. They were all wearing black and drew knives from their belts. She saw the man from the passenger side shout and point to his accomplices and they set off towards the market square. Rebecca pushed through the crowd and found she had a clear aim at one at the back of the group. Pfft-pfft-pfft-pfft. Her gun spat at him and she heard him fall to the ground. His shout caused the man in front of him to look in Rebecca's direction. He turned and raised his knife towards her and started running the thirty yards between them. Pfft-pfft-pfft-pfft-pftt-pfft. Her bullets hit him square in the chest and he collapsed a few feet short of her.
Rebecca scanned for the other two men but they were out of sight and in the market. She heard sirens blaring up the road. She set off in the direction of the other two men, keeping her gun low. "Rebecca! Support is here. Stand down!" she heard George again through the earpiece. "Rebecca! Please!"
"Three hostiles down, two in market" she told him, "advise support I'm going in".
"No, Rebecca!" he implored, but she ignored him and carried on. She heard a crash inside a restaurant and the sounds of screams. She headed towards it, raising her Walther as she did so. Behind her, she heard the sound of the sirens grow louder as the police reached the area.
Rebecca burst into the restaurant and saw chaos in front of her. Tables had been overturned. A waiter was on the ground and bleeding. One of the attackers was running up some circular stairs inside. Pfft. Rebecca fired a shot in his direction but missed. She set off in pursuit and saw the man with his knife raised by a young couple cowering under their table. Pfft-pfft-pfft. Rebecca shot him and the couple screamed as his body hit the floor.
"Armed police!" there was a shout from downstairs. "Squad, be advised - MI5 asset in play, female mid-20s, do not engage" she heard the leader's voice say and she felt sick. She knew it better than almost any voice in the world. She heard boots climbing the stairs behind her and looked round to see an armed officer with an automatic weapon raised at her. Despite the all-black look and the helmet, she recognised the eyes behind the goggles. She met them and noticed a look of shock from Marcus. For a second, neither knew what to do until Marcus raised his weapon.
BAM-BAM-BAM! He fired a three shot burst that almost deafened Rebecca. The bullets whizzed over her shoulder and she turned to see the final attacker fall to the ground, knife still in hand. Rebecca saw a fire door behind him. She ran along the upper floor and through it, not pausing to think. She emerged at the back of the market. She heard sirens but there was no-one around her for a second and she used the opportunity to holster her gun. She felt tears come to her eyes. What had she done? What had she been thinking? The adrenaline rush gave way to shock and shame and fear.
"Rebecca! Rebecca!" she heard George said shout in her ear and she focussed again.
"I'm fine" she replied, "all targets down. George, I - "
"Where are you? Tell me Rebecca, tell me exactly"
She looked around. "Fire exit of...San Marco's restaurant, looks to be near Cathedral Lane"
"Good, very good" George's voice was soothing and calm. "Stay there".
Rebecca did not want to stay but did so. She leaned against a wall and breathed deeply. She cursed herself. It had not occurred to her that the armed response would be led by Marcus even though she knew his unit was likely the closest to the scene that day. She didn't even know how to begin the conversation with him.
"Rebecca" George's soft voice was no longer in her ear but by her side. He grabbed her arm. "With me please". He took her down a side street where there was a police cordon being set up. He nodded at one of the officers and walked straight through it to his black Mercedes. Fraser sped off as soon as he and Rebecca were inside. She tried to push the thoughts of Marcus from her side.
"How many....how many did they...?"
"Some injuries, two serious it seems, no-one dead so far. Rebecca" he took her hand as he spoke, "that was an incredibly brave decision you made today. Without you, I have no doubt dozens would have lost their lives". George's words washed over her. She stared out of the window and he released her hand. "I'm afraid my night is far from over" he told her, "but for you, go home, rest, please".
She turned to him and nodded. She got out her phone to text her friends that she wasn't feeling too well. It wasn't a lie. The cocktail of emotions had left her exhausted. "OK" she said to him, "I will". They sat in awkward silence for some more time.
"Fraser, perhaps some music might be appropriate," George said. Fraser obliged by turning on the radio and the car was filled with the sound of Mozart's Marriage of Figaro being performed on Radio 3.
Rebecca chuckled. "You and your bloody Saturday night opera," she said to George. He smiled back. She closed her eyes and listened to the music. The orchestra launched into the Overture and the sounds were rousing and soulful. She smiled and felt at peace.
The peace was broken as George's phone rang loudly. Rebecca had never heard that before and she saw him fish out another phone from his jacket pocket. There was concern in his eyes as he answered. "Hello" he said urgently. At the same time, the music stopped.
"We interrupt this performance with a breaking news announcement" a woman's voice said clearly, "we've received reports of explosions at both the Didcot and Ashford power stations. There are multiple casualties and the public is advised to avoid the area". Rebecca sat up - what the fuck was going on? She looked at George who looked at her with a concerned look on his face. She had never seen him look so panicked. Rebecca found thoughts racing through her head again, questioning everything until she arrived at one terrifying conclusion.
Had their work been for nothing?