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And if you don’t want to read the previous chapters…
The story so far…
One afternoon our main character, Saul, had an unexpected and unexplained visitor. Over the coming weeks Saul was visited more times by this mystery man who claimed his name was also Saul. So far Saul has no knowledge of who this stranger with his name is. Then while Saul was sleeping when the other left him a note. During a trip into town Saul was sure he had seen his visitor but when he gave chase it was fruitless. Later when he was on the phone the other Saul was sitting on the sofa when he came back into the living room. Finally he has started to explain, but an ominous knock at the door interrupted. It was the police who wanted to ask Saul about the person he had been looking for the previous Saturday. Saul hadn’t felt he could tell them the truth, but the police were well aware that he wasn’t being completely honest with them.
Saul grabbed his phone and clicked the answer button. The number was unknown to him. “Hello?” he said, the obvious question in his voice.
No-one spoke. Saul held his breath, sure he could hear breathing at the other end of the line. “Hello,” he said again. “Who is this?” He added.
There was still no answer, seconds later the line went dead.
He hoped it was just a wrong number but with everything else that was happening he couldn’t convince himself.
He picked up the wine glasses and headed into the kitchen to put them in the dishwasher.
He turned the kitchen light on, as dusk was settling quickly, and almost screamed. The other Saul was lurking in the far corner. Saul was about to ask him what he was doing there when he put his finger to his lips telling Saul to be quiet.
Saul shrugged and mouthed why? He had a sense of deja vu. This was a similar scenario to one of the first times they had met, although he couldn’t quite remember when.
‘Bugged,’ the other Saul mouthed back.
Saul couldn’t believe it but kept his silence and followed the other Saul outside.
At the top of the garden the other Saul stopped and whispered, “We’ll be okay here, but it doesn’t hurt to exercise caution.”
Saul was about to wade in with the barrage of questions that were filling his head when the other held up his hand to silence him.
Mouth half open Saul sat on the garden bench and let the other talk.
“Your home has been bugged. Those people were not police, well at least not in the sense that you understand. The questions about seeing me at the pub were just a cover so they could plant their devices.
I’m so sorry but I am going to have to go in a moment and confirm that the project is still safe enough to continue.
Unfortunately I have brought this danger to your door, but on some level it was inevitable that they would find out about you. Others were found and have had to be extricated to keep them out of harm. I don’t want to do that with you yet, but it is still an option. Of course it would be done after providing you with full knowledge to agree to that decision.”
Saul still had a mountain of questions but it was clear they weren’t going to be answered yet. He really had no idea what he was in the middle of, and it scared him.
Breaking his flow the other Saul took something out of his pocket and listened to it. Saul assumed it was a mobile phone. It wasn’t. As he listened he nodded and then looked directly at Saul.
“I’m going now. You have been added to our security list and someone will be keeping an eye on you for your own safety, although you will never see them. Try not to worry and take this.”
Saul held his hand out and took what the other Saul offered him. He had no idea what it was, nor what it was supposed to do.
“Keep this on your person at all times,” the other Saul told him. “It will alert your security team if there’s any problem and they, or I, will be beside you in seconds to help.”
“But what is it, and why should I trust you?” Saul turned the device over in his hand.
“I can’t explain now as I really must go. As to why you can trust me you have my word. I hope that is enough. And now I must go.”
Saul looked at the device in his hand. It was warm and felt almost sentient. When he looked back up the other Saul had gone, without making another sound.