He fully expected his second day working for MI5 to be interesting but as the alarm woke him with a jolt at 4:45 am his stomach churned at the prospect of facing up to his mistake yesterday.
His first day hadn’t gone as smooth as he hoped and the mess he’d created yesterday still needed cleaning. He had known prior to accepting the job with Her Majesties Secret Service that cleaning up other people’s mess would need his constant attention. What he hadn’t envisioned was that he would be required to clean up quite so much. MI5 was good at keeping secrets, it was one of it’s jobs, but as he made his way to the bathroom he body shook at memories of what he had witnessed on only his first day.
He washed himself harder and for longer this morning in an attempt to wash away the memory of yesterday. He already knew it wouldn’t make any difference but he had to try.
He’d been warned on what to expect after stepping through the imposing doors and the high security of MI5. He knew it would, at times, be a dirty job, a job that many people didn’t have the stomach for. Despite his slim, 5 foot 7 inches frame he had always considered himself strong. As he dried himself off and got into his clothes he realised that this job was going to take all of his strength, physical and mental.
The commute to MI5’s head office on the southbank of the River Thames passed him in a blur, his brain whirring with images and flashbacks of the previous days trauma.
Due to his position in MI5 he didn’t enter the building through the main entrance, under the glare of the general public. People like him had to be kept out of public eye while leaving and entering the building that housed a thousand secrets. It was the best way to keep him from being compromised by ‘alien interference’ as they had put it to him on his first day.
His immediate superior, know to him only as Mr. Green, was waiting for him and flashed him a cold look. “Meet me in my office as soon as you have a moment”, he said in his stern, yet almost silent voice. A voice that resonated with authority and confidence, a voice that had probably seen it all and then some. Mr. Green had been with the organisation for almost 30 years and everybody knew that when he said jump, you didn’t even ask how high becuase you knew it was as high as you could.
“I know you’re new here”, began Mr. Green with his body turned away, facing the wall, “so I shan’t be too hard on you but what happened yesterday must never happen again”.
He opened his mouth to speak but was brought to a holt before he had chance. “It’s better that you listen and not speak right now”, said Mr Green, his back still facing the rest of the room.
“What you did yesterday put the lives of the men and women in this building in harms way. It’s one thing to take the lives of our enemies but we must never risk the lives of the British people. The thing I find most upsetting is that you went home before cleaning everything. I’m giving you one chance to redeem yourself. All traces from yesterday need to be wiped away…erased from existence. Do you understand?”
He went to say yes but was stopped in his tracks again. “This will not be spoken of again, do you understand? Secrecy and tact is the name of the game in our line of work.
Finally he spoke, “I’m really sorry. I panicked. I thought there was only one of them”.
Mr Green turned slowly and stared at the man for what semed like and eternity, “In all my years as head cleaner of the MI5 I have never seen anyone use the same cloth to wipe the toilet seat and the taps.”