Chapter fifty-one

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"Scott, about time," Briggs grumbled.

"Sir," Scott replied and walked up to the large desk, across the expansive office.

"Any news from Andrews yet?"

"No, still trying. He thinks he should have something in the next few hours."

"Hours! We don't have time to wait. Why is it taking so long?"

"Andrews thinks it might be due to his training." Scott replied hesitantly, but as soon as he said the words he knew it to be true. "I know very little of the techniques that were used, back in the day, but I do know that they messed around too much in people's heads. Sir, are you sure we even have the right person in custody? Matheson has an unblemished service record and as far as I am aware, he has served you loyally for many years."

"That is what I thought, Scott. But once they checked the older databases, the name A. Crowe pinged up. Matheson used that alias for many years. I would have possibly put it down to coincidence and thought no more of it, until the report came in that his ex-partner had been stopped at a check point with fake ID. She decided to use Matheson's name to try to buy her some favours." Briggs laughed a little. "She had a kid with her too. Did you know he had a kid?"

Scott was stunned. In all the time he had known Zeke, he'd never once mentioned having a family. Was nothing simple anymore?

"No, Sir. I didn't, but then, I wouldn't exactly call us friends. "Why were they stopped?"

"Their ID was made from watermarked paper that was stolen a few weeks back. SpecOps got intel that the warehouse was to be raided, so we made sure that the papers they stole could be easily identified under x-ray. To be honest, they were unlucky. Most of the checkpoints haven't been fitted with the new x-ray machines yet. Unfortunately for them, they just happened to stumble across one that did."

Scott wasn't privy to the comings and goings of Special Operations. He knew they were a small, elite team that Briggs ran single handed. They were rarely used on their countries own soil, more often deployed abroad for reasons unknown. In fact, years earlier, Zeke had been one of them. The training that these guys had might very well be the one thing helping Zeke keep his secrets. The fact that SpecOps were operating on home turf was not a good sign.

"Why were Matheson's family travelling under false identities?" Scott asked, still reeling from the news.

"Simply put, by the end of the week, Matheson's kid will join the ranks of the great unwashed." Briggs chuckled to himself.

"What?"

"His daughter will be demoted under the Flawed Boundary Realignment. I would imagine he was too embarrassed to have a daughter of such low standing hanging around."

Scott looked long and unbelieving at Briggs. Was he truly incapable of empathy or any normal, human reaction.

"What's up, Scott. You look like someone just took a piss over your bonfire."

"Nothing, Sir."

"Very well then, give me an update."

"Holland DOS. Full search completed and nothing found. Muro has been dead for a couple of years. No trace of family as yet."

"What of Dexter?"

"Under surveillance till I get there."

"So at the moment, we know absolutely nothing." Briggs slammed his fist down on the table. The surface of the honey-coloured liquid rippled in the glass, Briggs had put down earlier.

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