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Requiem for the Dead Part I
11-12-2011, 02:17 PM (This post was last modified: 11-12-2011 02:22 PM by Silktie.)
Post: #1
Requiem for the Dead Part I
Spoilers for season 10

Warning: Language

I have a lot of work to do today:
I need to slaughter memory,
turn my living soul to stone
then teach myself to live again...
- Anna Akhmatova: Requiem


June 1978
MI5 Office, Belfast

Connie James burst into the meeting room and the three men gathered around the table looked up in surprise. Her eyes went to the blond, younger man at the head of the table. His face still bore the evidence of his very recent kidnap and beating by the IRA Nutting Squad and the cuts and bruises made him appear faintly sinister. Harry Pearce, firmly on his way to becoming the next big thing in British Intelligence, regarded her quizzically.
“Such urgency - is there a bomb somewhere, Connie?” he enquired with a smile. It was a standing joke in the MI5 station in Belfast, belying the tension they all lived with: when would the next one go off? It raised a smirk from the man next to Harry, his best friend and trusted lieutenant, Bill Crombie. Connie thought Bill rather more attractive than his friend, and she was strangely annoyed that he found the tired old joke this funny. Well, her news would soon wipe those smiles off their faces.
“They just found the body of Davie King’s father,” she announced. “Dumped naked in the street in front of a police station.”

A shocked silence greeted her statement. Harry closed his eyes and fleetingly she read shame and self-disgust in his expression, but it was gone in the blink of an eye.
“Jesus, they killed him?” It was the other agent handler at the table, Melvyn Smith, who spoke first.
Connie sat down. “Yes. And they took their time to do it, according to the plods.” Her voice stayed calm; only the darkening of the striking blue eyes betrayed her inner turmoil.
She watched Harry intently. What would the golden boy do now? It was on his orders that they had spread the rumours after all, and she half expected him to shift the blame.

Her thoughts went back to that fateful meeting four days ago when she’d informed Harry that her asset in the IRA had gone rogue. Davie King had taken all that Connie had taught him about the art of making bombs and had begun using it on unofficial targets according to his own desire. They had created a monster and now they had to deal with the fall-out.

* * *
Four days earlier

“Can we kill him?” Harry asked, surprising Connie with his bluntness. None of the usual euphemisms for assassination for him, apparently.
She shook her head. “We have no other assets who can get to him, and he’ll be on his guard against outsiders.”
They both pondered for a moment.
“Unless…” Connie said.
“Unless your new high grade source in the Nutting Squad could get to him. Steak Knife.”
Harry blinked as the mention of Steak Knife brought suppressed memories rushing back to the surface.

The smell of blood, and fear, and piss, as he watched Patrick McCann move down the line of men across from him.
“Which of these bastards are your spies, you limey fucker? This one?” He slammed the butt of the gun into the man’s face and watched Harry carefully for a reaction. He got none. “No? How about this one?” McCann casually shot the man in the kneecap. His screams reverberated around Harry’s skull.

Harry forced his mind back to the present. “We can’t risk exposing Steak Knife for this. He’s too important.”
He was right, and Connie knew it. They would have to find another way to stop King.
“Down to Finances, Family and Friends then,” Melvyn suggested.
Harry nodded. “Smithy is right. But we don’t have time to pussyfoot around with finances and friends. We need to shut Davie down fast. What’s his family situation like, Connie?”
“It’s only him and his father. The father is a good man. A taxi driver. He’s not involved in the IRA.”
They all watched Harry mull this over. He lifted his head and looked around the table.
“Right, this is what I want you to do. Put out word on the street that Davie’s father is one of our informants. Connie, you leave a message for Davie that if he comes in, we’ll clear his father’s name. If he doesn’t – well, he should know better than anyone what his mates in the IRA do to informants.”
Smithy stared at Harry in disbelief. “You’re going to put an innocent man at risk to achieve our aims?”
Harry straightened his shoulders, his jaw clenched. “Do you have a better solution?”
When no response was forthcoming, he nodded, his resolve strengthened. “Unpleasant though it may be, this is the only option on the table. So that’s what we’ll do.”
The others filed slowly out of the room but Connie lingered behind. When Harry looked at her he saw admiration and a hint of envy in her eyes.
She spoke, a sardonic smile on her lips. “You’ll go far in this place, young Harry Pearce. You have ice water in those veins.”

* * *
Four days later

Harry stood up, his face unreadable. “We have to up the alert level and warn all intelligence officers. Davie King will be out for revenge. I’ll go tell Simon.”
Simon Cooper was the Head of Station and a man who didn’t like it when his officers went off-piste. Connie wondered whether this incident would put the brakes on that meteoric rise Harry seemed destined for. If she were honest with herself, she had to admit that she did not find the thought unpleasant. Even as her admiration grew for the manner in which he was taking responsibility for his own actions, so her jealousy at his instant success continued to fester.

* * *
One week later

The young man strode down the street, eagerly looking forward to seeing the girl he was in love with for the first time in ten days. Work had been busy and he’d only managed a few snatched conversations on the phone with her. He rounded the corner and there she was, waiting in front of O’Mally’s for him. She was so beautiful that he stopped for a moment to gaze at her. The hesitation saved his life. There was a bright flash behind her and the windows of the pub blew outward, enveloping her. The boom of the explosion reached him a split-second later and his heart stopped. He ran forward, hurling himself into the thick dust cloud hanging over the pub with no thought to his own safety, only to stumble over a chunk of the wall. As he fell to his knees the dust lifted momentarily and he saw her. A spar of wood was sticking out of her chest and her dress was turning a bright red. He scrambled closer, a sob tearing from his throat.
“Oh no, oh Jesus no. Andrea…”
He cradled her to his chest, and she looked into his eyes briefly before her own closed for good.

* * *
MI5 Office, one hour later

Harry walked into the tea room with a heavy tread. Connie looked up and the expression on his face told her everything she needed to know.
“It was Davie’s work, then?”
Harry nodded wearily. “Twelve dead, including two Army Intelligence guys,” he said, before turning on his heel and walking away.
Connie turned back to her tea and somehow knew that those twelve lives would lie on Harry’s soul as heavily as they would on hers. She felt the anger build up inside. How much longer would this dirty war drag on? England couldn’t even keep its own house in order, yet it still wanted to throw its weight around on the world stage. What a pathetic little empire they had become.

* * * * *
29 April 2012
London, the Grid

Harry paced the floor behind Calum, hands in pockets. He glanced at the counter again. Twenty minutes. The comms crackled and grainy footage flickered into life on the techie’s monitor.
“They’re in,” he announced unnecessarily.
Harry leaned over his shoulder. “Report,” he ordered.
Erin’s voice came through. “The bomb is real. Big enough to bring the whole building down. It needs a code to stop it.”
Images of the bomb fed back to the Grid as Dimitri circled the device with the camera.
Calum whistled. “That’s going to make a big bang. This guy clearly has a God complex.”
Harry ignored the comment. “Can we bypass the code in some way?”
Calum’s fingers danced over the keyboard. He could feel the impatience radiating from his boss behind him.
“Nope,” he said finally. “We need to get that code.”

Harry straightened up and turned away, weighing up options. He glanced at the clock again and made his decision. No time to waste.
“Does CO19 have the boy?”
Calum nodded. “They have him outside the building.”
“Alpha One,” Harry said evenly, “CO19 has our bomber’s son outside. Fetch him and tie him to that bomb.”
There was a stunned pause, before Erin responded sharply.
Harry frowned. “You heard me.”
“No,” she shook her head at the camera. “I won’t tie an innocent child to a bomb. I refuse!” Her voice rose dangerously.
Harry glanced at the counter again. “I am not debating this with you, Erin. It is not a request, it is an order. Now do your bloody job.” Harry didn’t raise his voice, he didn’t have to.
“Erin-“ they heard Dimitri say before she overrode him.
“No. I won’t do it.”
A heavy silence settled, in which the ticking of the clock counting inexorably down to zero sounded like hammer blows.
“Then you have just condemned five hundred innocent people to death,” Harry responded brusquely and turned away, trying to rein in his anger.
Another voice broke in.
“I’ll do it,” Dimitri said.
Erin started to protest but he cut her off. “Harry’s right. Five hundred people, Erin. There is no choice here.”
He turned to the camera. “I’ll have him in position in ten minutes.”
“Good,” Harry responded. He looked at Calum. “Put the feed through to the interrogation room,” he ordered, and strode off.

Outside the interrogation room Harry stood for a minute, watching the smug, disturbed man sitting bound to the chair inside. He took a deep breath and opened the door.
“I want the code,” he said without preamble.
The man lifted his eyes and smiled mirthlessly.
“Piss off.”
Harry didn’t bother to hide his contempt. “No, I don’t think I will.”
He moved to the monitor mounted against the wall and switched it on.
It took the man a few seconds to process what he was seeing. He tried to jump to his feet but the restraints held him in place. Struggling violently against them, he spluttered, “Get him out of there! Get my son out of there now!”
Harry watched him, expressionless. “Give me the code.”
The man tore his eyes from the screen and for the first time properly looked at the spook who had just turned his world upside down. He saw no sympathy, no spark of emotion in the forbidding face, and a cold fear gripped his heart.
“What kind of a man are you? What kind of man would tie a little boy to a bomb?”
Harry actually smiled. “The code,” he demanded again.
“You fucking heartless bastard! You’re a monster-“
He didn’t get any further. Harry took two steps forward and loomed over him menacingly.
“I’m not the one who planted a bomb in a building because I got fired. The code.”

On the monitor behind him, a four year old boy sat alone in a room, tied to a bomb, crying.

* * *
One hour later

It took an hour to tie all the loose ends and to persuade the powers that be that it was simply one crazy man with a grudge, not a terror threat. Finally alone in his office, Harry loosened his tie and poured a drink. He sank into his chair wearily and sat still, inhaling the peaty aroma of the Scotch.
Just one, he promised silently.
After a few sips he put the glass aside and picked up his pen. He began to write:

Dear Ruth,

The Grid’s doors slid open, breaking his train of thought. He glanced up to see Erin and Dimitri step through, back from supervising the dismantling of the bomb. The tension lay thick between them and Erin’s face was pale and set. She turned toward his office immediately, only to be intercepted by Calum.
“Come on, Erin, give him a break,” he heard the techie say, and then he added more quietly, “especially today.”
She paid him no heed; merely stepped around him and marched on.
Harry put down his pen and drew a file over his writing, then sat back and waited for the coming storm.


Note: The part about events in Belfast is based on combined information from episode 6.9 and Harry's Diary.

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11-12-2011, 03:09 PM
Post: #2
RE: Requiem for the Dead Part I
Good start Silktie. I like the way you brought Connie in. She's one of my favourite characters.

Weirdly, I felt uncomfortable at the thought of using the 4 yr old to stop the bomb, but I guess that was the whole point.

And as for the 29th April .... *sobs* It would have been her 42nd.....

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11-12-2011, 07:47 PM
Post: #3
RE: Requiem for the Dead Part I
Silktie, I've been waiting for a new story from you and this is a cracker so far. Connie and Harry in NI was so tense as you'd expect with that dirty war where no quarter was given and then linking it with the present and the sort of decisions he was forced to make then and now. And the letter and the date are so poignant. Well done and looking forward to more.

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12-12-2011, 06:37 AM
Post: #4
RE: Requiem for the Dead Part I
So happy to see a new story from you Silktie and this one appears to be another cracker. It seems Harry has got 'harder' with no Ruth around to watch him as tying a 4 year old to a bomb demonstrates, but the writing to Ruth, especially on that date, shows his heart is in there somewhere! I'm kind of hoping you've got Ruth staying with a distant relative in Scotland without email (hence the letter) and therefore alive and well somewhere - but I think that's just a small hope! Looking forward immensly to the next update!
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12-12-2011, 01:17 PM
Post: #5
RE: Requiem for the Dead Part I
I've been reading all of your stories past month and enjoyed every single episode. I'm so happy to see brand new one from you. Now only problem is that I have to wait next one to come! Smile
I liked the way Calum caring Harry. I think he is best developed new character from S10 and I'm curious to see more interaction between him and Harry.
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13-12-2011, 07:14 PM
Post: #6
Connie RE: Requiem for the Dead Part I
Yea! A new one!

Ice water in his veins then as now.

The flashback to the interrogation is particularly vivid and striking.

Connie's voice is perfect.

The quick changes in scene and time work very well. Didn't feel jarring at all.

Now see here you! Thcussing Strapping a child to a bomb on Ruth's birthday!?!?! I think every iota of my maternal instincts just imploded in my brain. (*stalks off sputtering in disgusted anger*)

Seriously though, something like that could read melodramatic, but not with you at the helm. That might be the worst possible choice for Harry to be faced with in *honour* of Ruth's birthday, given...ya know...the history. Perfectly chosen and pitched. Thhug

Really curious to see where you take this.

Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet [Spooks];
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

~Wm. Shakespeare, Hamlet
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