Director Silver lowered himself down into the creaky, worn chair and tried to rub feeling back into his numb left hand. It never helped. He used to be a much fitter man, but the omnipresent, squeezing ache in his chest reminded him that the years were catching up to him. Years in the field, followed by more years behind this damned desk, while good men and women were out doing the job he yearned to do. But the reality, reality of horrifying beasts, daemons and fool cultists was too great for him to be running around out there. He was needed here.
Random images, sounds and even smells from the past still threatened to overwhelm him from time to time, when the nightmares and memories came to mind more clearly. He knew he was lucky, unlike most, he had survived beyond the extremely short life expectancy of an active field agent.
Silver raised his head from his hands, not realizing he had even moved, and noted a small sheet of paper in the middle of his cluttered-but-neat desk. Folded once, no envelope. A telegram then. Miss Thompson must have brought it in while he was visiting Special Branch this morning. Already suspecting what he’d find inside, he picked it up and snapped it open:
Selinger dead. Killed the damn thing but good. Saved our arses again. Will continue as able. JD.
‘So that’s it,’ thought Silver. ‘My best agent, my friend, is dead.’
Selinger had survived crippling injuries more than once, and yet had heroically pushed on while commanding one of the best field teams Silver had ever seen. A damn shame.
The Director rose from his chair and snapped off the light on the way out. Selinger had done his job; one less unnatural beast to fret over, one more file to close. Another widow to inform, another nightmare to try to lock away.
The door quietly latched closed.
Just another day on the job.