The Mauritius Robbery Affair: Gardens of Peace

mi6

Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) building – London – Found at manchesterhistory.net

Chapter Nine: Gardens of Peace

December – MI6, London

“Glad to see you up and about, Dennis. I hear it was a near one this time.”

Ian was sitting in the office of Benjamin Cross, Director of the British Secret Intelligence Service. Although Cross’s name and background were a matter of public record, at the agency he was always referred to only as “The Director” or “Sir.”

“Yes, so I was told. Thank you for your concern, Director. Doctors said that if either shell had hit just a few centimeters one way or the other, I would have been killed instantly.”

The Director chalked up Ian’s stoicism to the attitude of a career agent, not knowing that during his recovery, the man had worked out the events of the night of Hall’s death in great detail.

“I’m sure you realize I didn’t call you in just to inquire about your health.”

“No, of course not, Sir.”

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The Mauritius Robbery Affair: Messenger

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© Dickelbers/Wikimedia Commons

Chapter Six: Messenger

Ian Dennis flew into Larnaca International Airport on Cyprus, but he had another airport in mind.

In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus and the Nicosia International Airport, once the island’s principal air hub, was the site of extremely violent encounters between Turkish and Cypriot forces and was heavily bombed. Today, it is deserted, officially closed and, located within the UN controlled buffer zone, has been declared a Protected Area used as the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping force.

Fortunately, Ian has a few connections at the UN and in Cyprus security so he arranged for a private visit. He had a meeting this morning with her.

She stepped out from behind a security wall at what was once the Health Control centre.

“I see you continue to abide by the rules of British punctuality, Ian.”

“And you remain mysterious as ever.” He indicated a direction by waving his right arm and she joined him on an uncharacteristically casual stroll through the ruins.

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The Mauritius Robbery Affair: The Woman is Deadly

Chapter Five: The Woman is Deadly

“Phillip is at football practice, but Marcie and Roger are right here, Ian.”

It was good to hear Evie’s voice again. They’d divorced not because they lost their love for each other, but because of the stresses of his career. Even if he’d have quit MI6, his history with the agency was such that he’d always attract the “interest” of certain parties. He’d never be completely safe, and as long as he lived with his family, they’d never be safe either.

“It’s okay, Evie. I’d love to talk with them.”

“Here. Let me put you on speaker.” Then in the background Ian heard her say, “It’s Daddy calling.” He could hear Marcie and Roger squeal.

“Daddy, Daddy, how are you? When are you coming to visit?” Little Roger was all of five and always full of enthusiasm. He didn’t recall a time when Ian actually lived at home or the family living in London at all.

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The Mauritius Robbery Affair: Patterns

Port Louis

Port Louis, Mauritius – Found at Mauritius Life

Chapter Four: Patterns

In spite of Ian Dennis’s determination to keep working, he found his brain too clouded to concentrate on even the idea of addressing Krista Bernham’s work. Krista was a brilliant researcher with the unique gift of taking data which seemed absolutely unrelated and finding patterns that even the most complex computer algorithm might not associate.

After her divorce from Malcolm Bernham, she moved with her son Ian from their home in Edinburgh to the island of Mauritius. Frankly, she could work from anywhere with internet access that could be secured by her employer, but her grandmother was originally from the island and she found she wanted to go “home.” Krista recalled visiting “old Gran” many times as a child and loving the beauty, the serenity, and even the profound loneliness of living on a tiny bit of land surrounded by thousands of kilometers of ocean.

She thought raising her only child here might give him a better life than in the UK. That might have been true for many other mothers of many other sons, but not for Krista Bernham. She had been set up on Mauritius with a cover identity by the British Secret Intelligence Service, provided with very expensive, highly secure hardware and software with which to work, and for the past five years, had broken some of the most profound and delicate intelligence cases for SIS.

Now she was dead. The only witness to the murder, her eleven-year-old autistic child Ian, a boy the MI6 agent had befriended and then further traumatized for the sake of his investigation.

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Mauritius Intrigue

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Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport – Mauritius

Everyone at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport supposed Ian Dennis was another British tourist on holiday. Only a few police officials knew the MI6 agent was there to investigate the murder of an accountant from Scotland and the brutalization of her child. The recent string of robberies was unusual for a small island, but this was no robbery.

“G’morning, Dennis. Good flight?” Winston Permalloo shook hands. Supposed casual chauffeur, he was actually a lieutenant on the Police Force, which handled security and military functions. Permalloo was the only covert agent native to Mauritius and an MI6 double-agent.

“Bloody didn’t sleep a wink. Thanks for the pick-up, Permalloo.”

Dennis’s bags retrieved, they arrived at the car.

“All secure. We’re free to talk, Dennis.”

“Just how the hell did enemy agents assassinate a top SIS data analyst who had the perfect cover?”

“That’s what you’re here to help me find out, Ian.”

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to take a location and Google street maps image and use them as the prompt for writing a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150.

Today, the Pegman takes us to the island of Mauritius which is in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa. The island has a fascinating history and culture and would certainly be worthy of a vacation visit someday.

Doing my research, I discovered that last July, the murder of a 47-year-old woman was reported. The act was supposedly to have been committed by robbers and witnessed by the victim’s ten-year-old autistic son.

I used that as the jumping off point for my small story. It does seem strange that on such a small piece of real estate, it would be possible to commit what amounts to a crime spree and not be detected after very long.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The mystery continues in The Lady is Murder.

I’ve expanded the original stories into a small series. The first chapter is called The Mauritius Robbery Affair: Arrival.