The phone rang.

Stephanie nudged her husband in the ribs.


“Own,” she mumbled in reply. “S’yur own. Inging.”

He answered.

“Get a ticket. Get on a train.”

Patrick sat up, suddenly awake. “Say that again?”

“Christ, man. It’s fucked up. 5 have gone down already, we’ve lost contact with 2 more. We’re bringing you in.”

“Omefing rong?” Stephanie asked.

Patrick reached out his hand and rubbed her. “It’s ok, darling. Go back to sleep.”

He got out of bed and moved to the bathroom.

“Control,  in case you forgot, I just got married.”

“And? Did you miss the part where I told you people were dying? Make something up. You’re not some rookie we just put in place.”

“Control, I-”

“I expect you back here tomorrow. Do not make me classify you as Rogue. We need to debrief you and work out how this cock up came about.”

The phone clicked off.

Patrick flushed the toilet, washed his hands and snuggled back into bed.

“Wha was tha?” Stephanie asked. “Ooh – you’re cold. Don’t touch me until you’re warm again.” She shifted away from him. “Don’t you dare!”

They settled down.

“Work,” he said.

She looked at her bedside clock. “At 4am?”

“Some kind of emergency. They need me in ASAP. I think they can have me in at 6.”



Two hours later, Patrick left. He had seemed absent most of breakfast, and Stephanie was worried. She asked him what time she should get dinner ready and 

he replied that he’d have to call her once he worked out what the emergency was.

And with that he was gone.

She gave him 15 minutes before she went back to the bedroom and pulled out her phone.

While waiting to connect she pulled out a suitcase and started packing.

An automated voice told her the number she was trying to reach didn’t exist.

She dialed her access code and an operator answered.

“This is Agent 575 requesting immediate evac. Yes, the Mission Black Swan was a complete success. My target’s been recalled and it appears most of the others have been lost. Oh, Operator, make sure Evac brings a van. I want to keep some of these wedding presents.”