David Sneddon, Bukake Secret Agent
13 March 2003
Sneddon was utterly silent, poised and braced in the narrow gap between the top of the doorway and the ceiling. From his observations, he knew that the two guards would be furthest from this point at the very moment that his target walked through the door....now?
Running through Sneddon's head - a song from his first band, The Martians, the battle prayer from the Bhagavadgita, a vague curiosity as to how he was going to get the stains off his lapel, and this morning, with Cyndi....
Cyndi stretched and yawned. Sneddon had already been up for three hours, and was well into his four hundredth push up, but at her first stirring he slid silently back into the bed and began to fake the shallow, nasal snore he had perfected to convince her that he was just a commercial traveller who happened to be called David Sneddon, and look uncannily like the Caledonian pop pixie and darling of housewives everywhere, not the lethal blend of soulful piano ballads and espionage skills that made him Britain's first line of defence against the foreign threat.
Cyndi dug an elbow into his ribs, her long chestnut hair tickling his nose, and he feigned snorting, uncertain wakefulness. Just another mask. Sometimes he tired of the endless subterfuge, but he knew that nobody walked out on CI7.
Cyndi's hands expertly teased his toned, muscular body. Well, maybe there were advantages to living the lie...
Oblivious to his presence, the rogue appeared beneath his. His bald spot glinted beneath the unforgiving light. Noone is going to save him. Noone will want to know him. Not when Sneddon's finished with him.
"You're late," commented X drily, "and what's that on your face?"
"Your secretary was hungover and not concentrating. She wasn't expecting me to abseil in through the window. Spat yoghurt all over me. She's nursing her head and her pride now."
"I don't approve of your methods, Sneddon. And you're getting sloppy. That Iranian infiltrator almost died before you could get the information out of him."
"I stuck in the knife then gave the kiss of life. It was all part of the plan. But we're not here for my performance evaluation, X. If we were, I wouldn't have turned up."
"You're a maverick, Sneddon, but you're right. We've got a job for you. Rogue agent - one of ours. He's being debriefed right now. If they get his secrets, it'll take years to recover. Maybe decades. Understand me, Sneddon. We cannot let this happen."
"Don't lose any more hair over it, X. The PACE Youth Theatre didn't graduate a fool. I'll see to it."
"Excellent, Sneddon. And wipe your face while you're at it."
A frozen moment. As Sneddon waited, waited, waited for the perfect opening, coiled to drop silently to the floor and cut the enemy's throat with a single smooth motion, he became horribly aware of a wet, sliding sensation across his cheek. As a way to distract a suspicious chef apprehending him as he crept through the kitchens, that trick with the watery cake mix had worked a treat, but maybe he should have grabbed some tissues from the cook's cooling body. A single drop of viscous goodness was lengthening, lengthening, and then, with a balletic slowness, it detached itself and dropped perfectly into the centre of that bald spot, like a dart into the bullseye.
The mark looked up, terror etching itself into every past-it line on his fleshy, discontented face. Seeing Sneddon braced against the walls, transferring his knife from between his teeth to his good hand as he fell, fell like a sticky-faced Azrael to land on his feet in front of his target.
"Oh God -" said target managed to choke out before Sneddon's left hand crashed against his mouth and seven inches of blackened steel drove into his heart.
"And we all have a saviour, so do yourself a favour, and die," Sneddon growled under his breath; the traitor's struggles ceased a heartbeat after they began, and his eyes went blank.
With the spasmic strength of the departing spirit, his hands balled into fists and the tetrapak he was holding burst into waxed paper shrapnel. A wave of semi-skimmed pasteurized broke over Agent Sneddon's face, leaving him dripping from brow to chin in a thin covering of whiteness.
Funny how that always seems to happen, Sneddon pondered as the first alarm went off.