Tuesday, 7am UTC
Infinite blackness is a term well suited to most regions of space, and it was no different here out at Cluster 67. As long as you looked away from the habitation module, anyway. Peaceful, terrifying and vast.
But that was how Reginald Heft liked it, and the primary reason he’d taken this stint at the loneliest outpost in the galaxy. The curriculum wasn’t varied, meals were simple and the company was rather limited. Bliss.
Monty threw himself down behind an untidy stack of dusty red boulders. They were a common feature on the red plains, and also very useful when trying to hide yourself on the endless open terrain that made up much of the continent. He heard a shout in the distance.
Dreading the answer he would receive, he shouted into the darkness, a simple, “Hello!”
The echo came back, harsh and scalding, hello, hello, hello, hello…
The last few days (and still a few days to go) we’ve been shooting one of our graduate films. It was written by James Silvanus-Davis (the one in the hat), who is also directing. The film is called Maiya (at least at the moment), and is part narrative, part experimental, where a young girl struggles to work out which version of the world she is experiencing.
Four weeks later
Ben sat back at the breakfast table with a sigh. They had been waiting at the hotel in Beijing for weeks now, waiting for their contact to, well, make contact. So far, he had not been forthcoming. On reaching China they had found a message waiting for them from Dragon’s friend, telling them where to go and who to meet. They were to gather more information on the corruption links between the Chinese and British governments, and try to discover who had fed them the information from the Chinese side in the first place.
Later that evening
“She said they’re doing it tomorrow?” Dragon exclaimed, almost spilling the cup of strong, dark tea clutched in her hand.
“That’s what she told me. And that we should go to Deep Storage, er, seven. I think it was seven, but she said it weirdly,” Ben answered, taking a sip from his own mug. He had filled Dragon in on what had happened while she was asleep, and was calming down with tea and a lump of ice cracked from the freezer door on his face.
“Looks like we have some travelling to do. Ever hotwired a car?” She was already getting up and heading back upstairs to get ready.
“Not a skill I’ve ever found the need to practice I’m afraid.”
“Time you learned,” She said with a wink, and ran up the stairs to the bathroom.
Somewhere outside London
Ben wondered how he had gone from meeting a stranger in a coffee shop to trailing back and forth across the city to drop a tail, and ended up in a damp and cramped little terraced council house in a tiny suburb all in one day. The entire situation was absurd. They had left the coffee shop, intending to return to his flat to pick things up, until Dragon had grabbed his arm and pulled him down a different street. Someone had been waiting at his door. It was the unmarked car trailing them through another street that really convinced him they were being followed, and so when they broke in to a run and a glance behind showed two determined, grim looking men in pursuit he was no longer even surprised.
This one appeared from thin air while thinking about an awesome line I thought up. Weirdly, the line never ended up in the story at all, and it went in a completely different direction to what I expected. I guess that’s how it goes!
The city was already asleep as Linus crept down the alleyway, toolkit in hand. He was sleight, short, sharp featured and dressed all in black, perfectly at home in the dark, preferring the cloak of night to the stark revealing glare of the day. And besides, it was when he carried out the majority of his business. And a lucrative business it was, he reminded himself, stopping below a first story window, and he was very good at it.
Below lies a tale of intrigue, deception and subterfuge. Proceed only if you are ready. Also I apologise if it makes no sense, I’ve never tried to do a mystery kind of thing before. Here we gooooooooooooooooooo…
Three weeks ago
A shallow pool, hurried footsteps. A quickly drawn breath, a thud on the bare earth. Retreating footsteps. Branches rustle, ripples break.
Ben sighed and looked up from his desk as the door opened. Perhaps this would be a welcome distraction from filling in police reports. The life of a PI could be rather dull at times; half the cases were lost cats or wayward husbands.
“You’re the detective? I’ll pay you 200 a day, but you’ll drop your other cases and focus on mine. This file should give you everything you need to know. Give me a call when you’re ready to start,” a young woman had opened the door, and having thrown a thick dossier on the desk, promptly made to leave. She paused at the door and turned back, “My number’s on the back.”
The door slammed shut, leaving Ben shocked and mouth agape at his desk, alone again. He looked down at the cardboard folder, then across at the reports, then swept them onto the floor. It had better not be a cheating husband, he thought, pulling the folder towards him and beginning to read.