Saturday, April 21

Beneath the Waves

After weeks of darkness, I can finally see a light. Just a hint, lesser shadow on a field of black. But the walls are cracking.

I've been undercover. Deep at the bottom of an ocean, so deep that no light dares shine. So cold that the only way to survive is to become as ice. The weight of water presses down, forcing everything to close up tight. When you're that deep under water, even the tiniest of leaks can tear you inside out.

K's last words to me were 'C-C-N-R'. I finally managed to trace the cryptic letters to a drug ring, in the seedy underworld of Brighton. Down deep, where sharks prowl and worse things lurk, I've had to investigate to find Thompson. Making allies, breaking friends, whispering lies and beating truths. It's a deep, deep ocean. For a long while, I couldn't believe Thompson's skin was thick enough for him to live this far down.

But that's what makes him so dangerous. He seems so unconcerning, so totally trustworthy. But when your guard is down, it's easier to slip a silvered knife between your ribs. I've earned that scar already.

Submerged in the frigid waters of the CCNR ring, I've lost track of almost everything. Lost in my own lies and deceits, it's easy to forget why I'm here. Who I am. No, who I was. Who I am now is a drugs runner for a wheel within a wheel within a heaving, dirty machine. Smoke billows, pistons clang together, cogs scrape and oil drips and seethes down every rusted surface. And here I remain, for a little while longer.

Thompson's name is a constant whisper. A shadow, always just out of sight. The deeper I submerge, the closer I get. I think I'm close now. WhenI remember to see past the lies, and find within myself the promises I made long ago, I can almost sense him.

But that's the problem with drowning. You turn around and around until you don't know which way is up, and the air you try to breathe pulls you further and further away from everything you know. Soon you have no air left. No truths, no values, no integrity. Then it's just you, and the endless cold of the blue.

I'm not in the blue yet. My lungs are straining, my head pounding and my back is breaking. But I can still, on a good day, see which way is up.

Thompson will be in one of the Chichester drugs labs on Monday. And I'll be ready.

After all, bullets don't need to breathe.

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