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Requiem for the Dead Part VIII
03-01-2012, 06:30 AM
Post: #1
Requiem for the Dead Part VIII

20 July 2012, late night
Stables outside London

They sat in the car, each lost in his own thoughts.
“Do you think he’ll come?” Malcolm asked after another glance at the clock.
“He’ll come,” Harry said quietly and with complete certainty.
They could see the Obbo van a few hundred metres down the lane and some of the CO19 officers were visible, but otherwise there wasn’t a soul in sight. Ten minutes later a car’s headlights turned into the lane and crawled towards them.
Harry followed its progress intently. “Comms check,” he said into the stillness of the car and Malcolm jumped slightly at the unexpected sound.
“Loud and clear,” Calum confirmed.

The car came to a stop about twenty metres away, but no-one got out. Harry waited a few seconds more, then reached for the door handle.
“Wait, Harry. You told him we know everything and that we’ve found the explosives. He has nothing left to lose - what if he shoots you as soon as you’re out of the car?” Malcolm said suddenly, anxiously.
Harry shook his head. “He won’t. At heart Smithy is too much of a coward to kill me himself. He’ll try and get someone else to do it.”
He got out before Malcolm could reply and began walking towards the other vehicle.
“I hope you’re right,” Malcolm mumbled as the old familiar clutch of fear returned to his stomach in full force, reminding him once again why he’d retired.

Harry came to a stop halfway between the two cars and waited. He kept his hands well in sight. The night was unnaturally silent, as if even nature itself was holding its breath. The door of the other car opened and the interior was illuminated, revealing the tense features of Melvyn Smith. He got out of the car and approached slowly until the two men were only a few feet apart. His eyes darted around as he tried to take in everything around him, before they settled on Harry. The two men stared at each other, their mutual revulsion crackling between them.
“Thank you for coming,” Harry said, carefully hiding his distaste at having to talk to the man who’d betrayed Bill. “It’ll count in your favour later.”
When Smithy didn’t respond, Harry continued. “Shall we go in?”
He turned towards the darkened stable block.
“Aren’t you going to search me for a weapon?” Smithy asked, surprised.
“It would be a pointless gesture. I understand your accomplices have a whole arsenal in there.”
Smithy stared at Harry. “Why are you doing this?” he asked in bewilderment.
Harry sighed. “Because I’d prefer this stand-off to end without bloodshed. I want to save my officer, and I’m sure you’d like to save your men as well. So shall we?”

They walked up to the door. Harry was aware of dark figures scurrying into position behind them, hoping to get a clear shot when the door opened.
“Only fire on my command,” he ordered sharply.
Smithy looked at him in alarm and began to turn around, but Harry grabbed his arm.
“Keep walking.”
When they reached the door he nodded at Smithy and the other man stepped forward and knocked. “Ronan, it’s Smithy. I have Harry Pearce with me. He has offered to exchange himself for his officer.”
There was no response.
“Come on, Ronan,” Smithy pleaded, “let us in.”
The door didn’t budge.
“What now?” Smithy asked helplessly.
Harry hesitated momentarily before he began to speak in a clear voice. “This is Harry Pearce. Are you going to be a coward and kill an innocent man, whilst at the same time letting the person responsible for your sister’s death walk away unharmed?”
They waited, and finally some muffled sounds could be heard from behind the door.

It began to open slowly, revealing a bloodied Dimitri with a gun held to his temple.
“Get in and close the door,” a disembodied voice ordered.
They did as they were told and as the door closed behind them the darkness was complete.
“Turn on the light,” Harry said calmly into the inky blackness, “before someone trips and accidentally shoots a priceless horse.”
A switch was flipped behind them and the room flooded with light.
Harry swiftly appraised his surroundings. They were in the large walkway in front of the stables and he could hear the horses move around, stamping their feet and whinnying softly.
His eyes moved to Dimitri. “You all right?”
“Yes. Harry, you shouldn’t have-“
Flannery pressed the gun barrel harder into his flesh. “Shut. Up.”
Harry’s eyes flashed dangerously as Dimitri grimaced in pain.
“If we all stay calm, no-one needs to die today. But if you do further harm to my officer, you will regret it,” he promised the Irishman.
The threatening edge to his voice did not go unnoticed by Smithy, who took a few steps away from Harry.
Without taking his eyes off Flannery, Harry addressed the gathering.
“We have found the explosives. Hiding them in those fake granite blocks was a nice plan, but not quite smart enough to fool us. We have removed everything. It’s over, so stop this now before you get yourselves killed.”
Flannery’s face flushed and he glared at Harry. “It’s over?! My sister is dead! Someone has to pay for that.”
Harry looked into his eyes and saw his desperation and pain. It was a dangerous combination. He spread his hands. “Fine. But I’m the one you really want, aren’t I? So let my officer go, and you can take me wherever you want and do with me whatever you wish.”
“Or I could just shoot you now and be done with it,” Flannery said hotly, lifting his gun and pointing it at Harry.
“You could, but we all know that will not end well for you. You’re surrounded. If you shoot me now, you will be gunned down in a matter of seconds.”

In the Obbo van Erin shook her head. “I don’t like this.”
She reached for the comms but Calum grabbed her hand. “Harry said to wait for his command. You need to trust him.”

Flannery hesitated and his gaze flicked to Smithy uncertainly. Harry saw it and pressed harder.
“Is this what Andrea would have wanted? You think you’re honouring her by causing the deaths of untold innocent people?”
The blood drained from Smithy’s face and he stepped forward aggressively.
“How dare you. How dare you even mention her name! You can’t know what she’d want. You have no idea what it feels like to hold the woman you love in your arms and watch her die!”

The last few words were screamed directly into Harry’s face, a drop of spittle hitting him on the cheek. The words fell like hammer blows and the world stopped turning for him. Suddenly he was back on the estuary, watching Ruth die. He closed his eyes against the memories flooding his mind.
The green grass, her red blood, the grey sky, her beautiful blue eyes. The chilly air, her pale, cold skin against his cheek. Her words: “We were never meant to have those things.”
When he opened them again, the agony and rage radiating from them forced Smithy to take a step back.
“Yes I do,” Harry said in a strained voice, “I know what it’s like. Her name was Ruth Evershed and I loved her. She was stabbed in front of me, because of me, and she died. Her blood was on my hands, and I couldn’t save her.”
He took a deep breath and blinked against the emotion, and when he continued his voice was cold and dead. “Like you I craved vengeance. I ordered men killed to avenge her, but only those responsible. Never the innocent. But don’t kid yourselves that such actions are for the dead; the vengeance is for us that are left behind, for closure. It means nothing to Ruth, and I don’t want to honour her with violence and death. My requiem to her is the good I try to do. This, here, offering myself for my officer – that is an act worthy of her.”

For the longest time nobody moved. Harry was aware of Dimitri’s sorrowful gaze on him and of the other men in the room looking at each other uncertainly. Then Ronan Flannery slowly lowered his weapon. After some hesitation the other four men followed suit. Smithy was staring at Harry as if seeing him for the first time, and maybe he was. The man before him was not the brash, arrogant intelligence officer he had always known him as, but a man scarred and bloodied by a lifetime of service, violence and loss. A man for whom death would probably hold little meaning.

Flannery pulled Dimitri to his feet and freed his hands. “Tell them we’re surrendering. We’re coming out.”
Dimitri relayed the message and squeezed Harry’s shoulder in gratitude and support as he walked past him to the door.
Harry didn’t move; he was watching Smithy closely. He saw the exact moment the will to live was extinguished in the other man’s eyes. Smithy stooped and picked up a gun from the floor, and Harry said nothing, did nothing. He continued to watch quietly, thinking of Bill, as Smithy pressed the gun to his own head and pulled the trigger.

The crack of the gunshot froze everyone in their tracks momentarily. Dimitri and one of the men with Flannery reacted first. Both swung round simultaneously and too late Dimitri saw the gun in the other man’s hand.
“No!” he yelled as he launched himself at the man. His shoulder impacted with the arm holding the gun a split-second after the shot went off.

The bullet hit Harry square in the chest and flung him backwards. He landed hard on the concrete floor and for a second everything was numb. In that moment of nothingness he knew that this was the end. The shock and pain hit and he couldn’t breathe. His vision darkened and he lost all sense of time. He was vaguely aware of people crowding around him, of Dimitri’s white face above him, of pressure on his chest. He felt cold and thought of Ruth, his heart filling with the love he still held for her. Other faces swam into vision – Erin, Calum, other men he did not know.
From afar he heard someone say: “I thought he’d shot Mr Smith.”
His eyes began to close when a warm hand gripped his and Malcolm’s voice said, “Harry.”
He fought them open again and looked at his friend, and tried to speak, but it was difficult because of the blood filling his mouth.
“...Po...pocket...” he managed.
Malcolm frowned, momentarily confused, before understanding spread across his features. He pulled the journal out of Harry’s coat pocket and pressed it into his hand before lifting both and resting them on Harry’s heart.
Harry smiled gratefully and his eyes began to close again. Malcolm still held his other hand and the human contact comforted him. A final thought occurred to him and he squeezed the hand in his. He fought to turn his head and looked into Malcolm’s face.
“I know who I am,” he said clearly, and moments later his hand went limp and his eyes closed forever.

* * *
One week later

Malcolm was at Thames House for the last time. He had wrapped up his involvement in the Melvyn Smith case and he knew that there was no longer anything at Thames House to come back for. There was only one more thing he needed to do. His feet took him down the stairs almost unconsciously, and when he reached the door he looked up at the camera solemnly. The door unlocked and he entered the Memorial Room quietly. He passed by the names, his eyes caressing each familiar one reverently, pausing longer on C Wells. He reached the final row and read the names silently:
T Masood
J Wright
C Thacker
R Evershed
H Pearce

To his biased eye the last two names appeared closer together than the rest, and he was glad that there weren’t any others between them. It was as it should be.

He stood for a moment longer, looking at the two names, together on the Memorial Wall for posterity. As he turned and walked away, he smiled.


The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.
- Baron Pierre de Coubertin: The Olympic Creed


Thank you for reading. A special thanks to those committed souls who found the time to leave a comment - you are most kind and it's much appreciated.

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03-01-2012, 07:42 AM
Post: #2
RE: Requiem for the Dead Part VIII
A sad and tragic but fitting ending for Harry. And I'm glad that Malcolm was there at the end. Very sad indeed but brilliantly written. Thanks for sharing.

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03-01-2012, 08:33 AM
Post: #3
RE: Requiem for the Dead Part VIII
Brilliant last chapter though at the same time very tragic! However I feel you've got Harry where he ultimately wanted to be, his name directly underneath Ruth's on the Wall is a very nice touch, as was Malcolm being with him when he died and him holding his journal close to his heart to the end!

This whole fic has been excellent. I didn't know how I'd feel reading one of your fics without Ruth being centre stage alongside Harry, but it was written so well, and the storyline was captivating that I enjoyed every part of it (bar Harry dying of course Wink).

I hope we get more wonderful stories from you in the future!
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03-01-2012, 10:00 AM
Post: #4
RE: Requiem for the Dead Part VIII
*eyes wide*


Thanks for writing and sharing this, Silktie. Great job Smile
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03-01-2012, 02:24 PM
Post: #5
RE: Requiem for the Dead Part VIII
A fitting end for a wonderful story, and of course I still cried. Malcolm's actions mimicking Harry's in that final heartbreaking scene was what pushed me over the edge. Thank you for sharing your stories, and I really hope there are many more to be read.

Zaf: "Shouldn't you be in prison or something?"
Ros: "This is the something."
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03-01-2012, 02:52 PM
Post: #6
RE: Requiem for the Dead Part VIII
Sad Sad Sad Sad

I liked the memorial wall scene. Poor poor Harry though. I do wonder if he did mean to die that day. The fact he took the journal with him...

Good story Silktie.

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03-01-2012, 06:20 PM
Post: #7
RE: Requiem for the Dead Part VIII
Jinkers - I need a scotch after that....

Interesting that almost in the same moment that Harry verbalizes what makes it possible for him to go on is the very moment that his life is taken from him. He got to his moment of ultimate anagnorisis. Now there's tragedy for you! Well done, in a depressing kind of way.

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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