Chapter Fifty-Six

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Briggs stormed into the office of central command and sat down at the head of the large oval table.

"Show me, Carter" he ordered.

On the opposite side of the room, a screen showed footage taken from the security cameras at main reception. Damien Carter, Deputy Head of security, sat to the left of Briggs, using a wireless keyboard to fast- forward the footage. At 10:34am, he stopped the footage and zoomed in on the receptionist.

"Who is she?" Briggs asked to the woman sat to his right.

"Sir, that's Jenny Reeves, one of the trainees. She started yesterday," Veronica Fox, the head of resourcing replied.

"Why was she on the desk by herself, why wasn't she being shadowed?"

"She was supposed to be, sir, by Gloria Weston, but she called in sick this morning. Jenny held the fort for an hour all by herself until I could get a relief in. She's a promising young lady, sir. I ..."

"Sack her and sack that idiot Weston too. I won't tolerate the weak and the useless in my organisation." Briggs nodded to Carter to continue the playback.

Several seconds later the speeded up film showed a woman, clearly in some kind of distress approach the desk.

"Turn on audio," Briggs instructed.

"Good morning, how can I help?"

"My name is Diana Page and I need to see Agent Scott urgently..."

Briggs watched the video in silence and winced as the two guards forcibly eject Hannah's birth mother from the building.

"Why wasn't I told about this?"

"Sir, every day, crackpots come in, demanding to speak to you. Just yesterday a young man came in to report, what he termed, 'a conspiracy to bring down the government.' We have neither the time n resources to deal with nutters like that."

Briggs turned away from the screen and stared directly at Carter. "But she wasn't a crackpot was she," he said pointing at the screen, whilst maintaining his icy stare.

"No, sir, no sadly she wasn't."

"Agent Taylor, what do we know so far?"

Stefan Taylor stepped forward from the corner of the room.

"According to the step-brother, Hannah left the house in the dead of night and as far as we know it was under her own free will. We believe she may be with Tucker Simpson. His parents have confirmed that they haven't seen him for a couple of days."

"Where is Diana Page right now?"

"Well, this is where it starts to getting weird. No one has seen Page since she left here this morning. We tracked her car to this street," he said, pointing to an area on a map now projected on the screen. The car seems to have disappeared from there."

"Is there anything significant about this location?"

"Yes. This is where Hannah Page's adopted parents lived. We razed the area two weeks back. A door to door has proved fruitless."

"So let's get this straight. I am missing an Agent, presumed dead. I am missing two of the returned Flawed and now a birth parent in the space of a few hours. Is there anything else I should know about?" Briggs said, unable to hide the exasperation in his voice.

"Well actually, there is sir."

"And?"

"The location of Professor Clairbourne is also unknown at the moment."

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