As this is a very, very, very long chapter in the Facebook novel, I’ve decided to give over this entire post to this one chapter.
Outside the surveillance unit, a small army of men and women started to make their way across the uneven terrain with the intent of converging on Malcolm Turner and his agents. Armed to the teeth, and with enough armoured piercing rounds to take out a whole division of tanks, the band of killers continued to advance on the surveillance unit from every direction. Even a state of the art surveillance unit could not withstand the sort of barrage about to be unleashed on it. With their weapons locked and loaded, key figures in the group of assailants, signalled to each other and made ready to attack. All those in the surveillance unit now stood little chance of surviving this assault. This small, highly trained army had the element of surprise, and they were going to use it to their advantage.
Unfortunately for Malcolm Turner and his agents, the one person whose job it was to protect their rear, to alert them and command a defence of the surveillance unit was currently outside in the countryside trying to find Jack Ledger. Malcolm Turner in his eagerness to know every last detail, to figure out all the angles and to ensure the complete success of his mission had made an error, and his opponent was all too ready and willing to step out of the shadows and exploit it.
Oblivious to the danger facing him and his agents, Malcolm Turner came into the interrogation room with his mind raging with a thousand questions and not enough time to find the answers. I know I’m missing something, but what? thought Malcolm Tuner. He looked at Pete intently and thumped a file full of details about Pete and Jack on the table. Now, with his balled up fists planted on the table, Malcolm Turner, leant over the table and glowered at Pete. It looked as if Malcolm Turner was prepared to punch holes through the table and then possibly throw punches at Pete if he didn’t give him the answers he wanted. As Turner’s body pulsed with hostility, Pete continued to ignore Malcolm’s Turner’s display of force and kept his eyes fixed on the ceiling, and then Pete looked directly at Malcolm Turner.
‘15455,’ Pete said
‘Is that supposed to be your service number or something?’ Malcolm Turner asked. ‘There’s nothing in your record about military service.’
‘Well what, then?’
‘That’s how many pinpoints there are in the ceiling tiles in this room.’
‘Are you trying to be funny?’
‘I never joke about the math,’ Pete said, smiling. ‘I’m a builder, after all.’ He threw a laugh at Turner which detonated in the air between them.
Outside the interrogation room, Sam was getting increasingly bored as she waited for Pete. As Sam heaved a big sigh, the two agents standing around the water cooler continued to keep an eye on Sam and continued to whittle down the remaining minutes between one session at the computer screens and the next.
‘You know about chaos theory, don’t you?
‘That’s the theory that states that a seemingly insignificant event like a butterfly flapping its wings could cause a hurricane halfway around the world.
‘Yes, that’s the one.’
‘Well, it sounds like nonsense to me.’
‘It actually makes a lot of sense if you think about it. I mean, look at what’s been going on in the Middle East and across North Africa.’
‘What, you mean the Arab Spring?’
The agent frowned. ‘I don’t get it.’
‘Didn’t you read the intelligence reports on how that all kicked off?’
‘No. I wasn’t in this line of work then.’
‘Well, they discovered that the whole Arab Spring was ignited by a poor Tunisian market trader who was so upset about being beaten by a corrupt cop that he set himself on fire in protest and that –’
‘Are you seriously saying that his act of self-immolation was a rallying cry for the Tunisians to rise up against their corrupt elites and the “success” of the Tunisians sparked unrest in Egypt and across the Middle East?’
‘Well, that takes the biscuit, that does.’
‘You don’t agree, then?’
‘Not one bit. It’s just too much of a stretch to lay the political unrest across the Middle East at the foot of some insignificant fellow in a Tunisian street market.’
The agent shrugged. ‘Well, suit yourself. I’m just saying that it seems big changes in the world appear to come from nowhere and ruin our carefully ordered plans
‘What you mean “the best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, gang aft agley”?’
‘Not quite, no.’
‘Well, what then?’
‘That order comes from chaos and chaos arises from order.’
‘I can see I’m not making myself clear.’
The agent laughed. ‘That’s putting it mildly.’
‘Okay. How about this then? Have you ever heard of the parable of the Yellow Emperor?’
‘I don’t remember getting taught that one at Sunday school.’
‘You went to Sunday School?’ the agent looked at his colleague incredulously.
The agent smirked. ‘No, you must be joking.’
The second agent rolled his eyes at his colleague.‘I’m, not surprised you haven’t heard of it. It’s actually a parable from the religion of Daoism.’
‘What, it’s from the people who gave us all that yin and yang stuff?’
The agent cocked a smile at his colleague and took a sip of water from his cup ‘Yes, Daoism gave the world the concept of yin and yang, but it also gave us quite a few interesting parables too. One of them just happens to be the Yellow Emporer. The story goes—’
The other agent looked at his watch. ‘Is this going to be a long story because we’ve got to get back to the computers shortly.’
‘No, not long.’ The agent said as he smiled at his colleague. ‘As I was saying, the story goes that there was once a Yellow Emperor who was so concerned that his kingdom be orderly that he passed many laws and worked himself ragged trying to put the affairs of his kingdom in order. But no matter how hard the Yellow Emperor worked the more disordered his kingdom became and the worse he felt. Eventually, his health deteriorated so much that the emperor was confined to his sickbed for many months.
The agent sighed ‘I thought you said this wasn’t going to be a long story.’
The agent sighed. ‘It won’t be if you’d just stop interrupting.’
‘Okay, okay. Go on. I’m listening.’
‘Once the Yellow Emperor recovered from his illness he found that his kingdom had become ordered and that there was nothing for him to do but simply govern with a light hand.’
‘Okaaay,’ the agent said. ‘So the message is that the more someone tries to impose their will on the world the more chaotic their life becomes?’
‘Yes. And who does that remind you of?’
Yep, the moustachioed emperor himself, the kingpin of kingpins, our fearless leader, Mr Malcolm Turner.
‘Excuse me,’ said Sam as she turned to face the agents
‘Yes?’ one of the agents said.
‘Why is there a red dot on the wall?’
The agents looked at the pinpoint of infrared light on the wall and shouted at Sam ‘Get down now, kid.’
Sam made it to the floor the agents were barely a second behind her in hitting the floor. Sam lay as flat to the ground as she could. She glanced over at the agents hoping for some reassurance as bullets rained down on her and the noise of explosives rocked the structure around her. But the agents lay on the floor with the light in their eyes gone and replaced with the cold, vacant expression of death. Sam began to cry as she stared into the lifeless eyes of the agents and shrieked from the noise made by the storm of bullets that hit the building and cut down all the agents working at their computer stations. Some of the dead agents slumped over on to their workstations. Life had drained from their bodies. The dead bodies of some of the other agents slid off their chairs, crashed to the floor and ended up in a pool of their own blood.