I was just closing my locker when Andrew walked in. “Did you hear about the guy in 305?” he says as he sits down. I clip my security pass to my lapel. “No. i was off yesterday. I swapped shifts with Jamal.”

Andrew runs his face over his hand. “Weirdest thing ever. They ran his blood three times and still can’t give it a designation. He’s still in a coma after they cut him out of his car but he…Well it’s just weird.”

I nod a hello to Sister Burke as I swipe my security card to enter ward three. The man in 305 has no ID, the car he was pulled out of is registered to car rental place but the credentials he used were forged. I flick through his notes and his latest X-Rays. His blood type is unmatchable  and bone structure are very unusual. I step out into the stairwell. I never thought I would have to do this. I call Maitland. He answers with a curt ‘Yes?’

“Seven, five Blue. Royal Hospital, Liverpool. Probably exposure. Advise” There is a brief pause. I can hear Maitland breathing. “Seven Five you are authorised to terminate. Leave nothing.”

I tell Carl that I have to grab something from my car and take the lift. In the boot of my car, I open my bag, taking out a gun and a small square box. Back on the ward there is a small thin man with a slight limp. He is wearing an old Macintosh.  He looks vaguely familiar. As I walk past him him pauses for a moment but enough to make me cautious. As I turn back he pulls a gun from inside his jacket. He fires but it is too wide, there is a scream, I jump through the open doorway of room 302 and in the corridor outside Sister Burke is bleeding out right next to me. She is neither a target or a priority, so I ignore her.

I suddenly realise where I have seen the thin man before. Berlin 4 years ago. He was one of the protection detail for Maitland. This means he has either gone rogue or he has been sent to kill me.  I open the box and activate the timer. I can easily throw it through the open doorway of room 305 from here. As I throw it I also fire two shots into the corridor. I didn’t expect to hit him but a low moaning means I must have done. I run towards him and stamp on his wrist of the hand holding the gun. Putting two more rounds through his head.

At the secondary safe house I watch a news report that a fire at the hospital has killed 11 people. Maitland as his people will keep anything that could link us to the ‘accident’ out of the media.

I call Maitland. He seems slightly surprised to hear my voice and thats when I know he sent the thin man to kill me. I say as little as possible and tell him he will have my report in the morning. I don’t pack anything. I just leave.

James Maitland is found dead in his car two days later. It is a suspected heart attack. I read about it in my complimentary newspaper as I fly to New York. I sit back and sip my cocktail and flirt with the very handsome flight attendant.


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