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Friday, 7 November 2008

The Rising - Chapter 56: No Missed Calls

‘Room service!’

Dave got out of his chair for the first time since he arrived at the hotel and opened the door to his room. He found himself faced with the concierge, carrying a tray that held a silver platter, a bottle of water and the smallest bottle of tomato ketchup he had ever seen.

‘Jeez, are you doing every job today?’ Dave asked as he let the concierge into the room and watched him place the tray on the end of his bed.

‘Pretty much,’ he said, ‘Have you managed to get some rest?’

‘A little.’

Dave signed for his meal and saw the concierge to the door.

‘If you need anything else, just give me a call,’ the concierge said.

‘Thanks,’ Dave said and closed the door on him.

He ran back to his chair by the window and gazed outside, just as he had been doing all morning. The rain was still pouring heavily from the dull grey sky, falling diagonally as the wind got stronger and stronger.

He lifted the lid on his lunch and took the plate full of over-priced cheeseburger and fries in his hands. He hoped he hadn’t missed the car going past in the few seconds that it took to get rid of the concierge. That’s the reason there was always two people on a stakeout, so one could cover while the other went to get refreshments or take whatever type of relief was required.

The television news channels were still reporting on the investigation into the attack on the police station. Unsurprisingly, there appeared to be no progress until Dave heard a reporter’s voice say, ‘We can now go live to the police station. Chief of Police Chris Cameron is about to make a statement.’

Dave moved his chair to allow himself to keep one eye on the road outside while taking in the announcement. The chief appeared outside the police station, walking directly into an onslaught of flashing cameras.

‘Thank you for your time,’ he said, ‘I will keep this brief and I will not take any questions following this statement.

‘I wish to announce the names of the individuals we need to speak to in the course of this investigation. I would encourage these people to come forward to allow us to eliminate them from our investigations.’

Yeah, right, Dave thought, These are the people you’ve got down as prime suspects.

The chief continued. ‘They are Jane Simpson of the World Health Organisation, Doctor Andrew Owen of Mantek pharmaceuticals and our own detectives Dave Thomas and Tom Ryder. All attempts to contact these people have proved fruitless so I am appealing to these people and anyone who may know where they are to call us with information.’

What the hell?

Dave took his mobile phone out of his pocket.

No missed calls. They haven’t tried to contact me.

He had a terrible thought. He called his wife and was relieved when she answered.

‘Dave, where are you? I was just about to call you. Have you seen the news? The police are looking for you.’

‘I know. I’m safe. I’m at a hotel in Blackchapel. Something weird is going on. Where are you?’

‘Blackchapel? Where the hell is that?’

‘It’s up in the mountains. Just tell me, where are you?’

‘I’m at home. Why?’

‘I need you to take the kids away. Rent a car and go up the coast.’

‘What? I’m not leaving.’

‘Trust me, please. We’re in danger.’


Dave almost dropped his burger as he got out of his chair. On the road outside, a black car was approaching. The black car.

‘I’m sorry,’ he said, ‘It’s very important. Believe me, you have to leave. I have to go now.’

He hung up, cutting his wife off as she continued her protests, and sprinted for the door.

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