Pure Deception

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

British Intelligence Officer Marcus is the ultimate spymaster: he trains the spies. Here he exploits pure deception, a technique of the mind that worries the KGB. They think he will die before he admits anything. Can they learn anything? What must they do to avoid an International incident?

I dropped some coins into the beggar's hand before leaving 53, Ripon Street, Calcutta. It was always my habit to help the poverty stricken of the city, and I did that every time I left that house.

Sahib,” the man said, and his eyes went upwards. I saw the flecks of white in his eyes and misread the signs. I didn't heed his warning. I'd have been all right if I'd reacted at his first 'Sahib.'

My mission in mysterious Calcutta had been to locate the remarkable Swami Gee. I worked for the British Government and he, I decided, was the guru who'd be able to help with my esoteric studies.

Today was special for me; I'd completed eight months of intense training with Swami. Now when I left his house for the last time I expected nobody to take any notice of the tanned Englishman. But the two thugs who caught me in an alleyway did.

In thinking back the beggar's eyes had warned me, and now in minutes I was heading for Moscow. In the past, enemy secret agents had been taken along the same route but I thought I might survive interrogation by the KGB simple because I was clever enough to train our spies.

I realised my months of yoga training had prepared me to resist the toughest brainwashing techniques the Russian used. I aimed not only to fool the Russians into thinking I knew nothing of value but also to convince myself of that fact. If I could do that no secret would escape from my lips.

***

I had met a blonde American at the Embassy in Paris and she had passed me Swami Gee's details.

Become his student,”she said, with a flutter of her eyelids. “He's an amazing man...like you.”

As an Intelligence Officer I was interested in psychology, the oddness of the mind and the way the parasympathetic nerve worked. I'd also explored the avenue of pain control. My many qualifications and the burning desire to break new boundaries in interrogation techniques opened new doors for me. 'Isolation' experiments remained 'old hat' but they did point the way forward.

I hoped to find out from Swami Gee how to make full use of self-induced trance states leading to my deception theory. I can't disclose too much but in short it concerns total belief, far greater than that suggested through hypnosis. I never told Swami my motives for attending his courses but it's enough to know I reached my targets.

Wonderful stuff,” I declared to him. “I now have answers. Thank you.” The trouble was the Russians had noted my activity over the months and acted according. They wanted to know my business. But I wasn't telling.

***

I'm Marcus Bennett, simply the best Intelligence Officer in the British Army. Maybe I'm no James Bond, I can admit that but in a real situation Mr Bond's survival depended on my lectures.

Testing me, the Russian KGB tried to get inside my head. They wanted to break me. They knew me but not my mind functions. Swami had said I was unique in the way I reached my states of relaxation. I was as good as him. His words boosted my confidence. I said nothing to the KGB. I did resolve to try out my anti-interrogation plan I called ' Pure Deception' on my captors.

***

I'd kept my bosses in England up to date with my finding in a report called 'Pure Deception'. But the crucial elements of the report remained known only to me. Because of that the KGB could never break me. Or making me confess. I planned it that way too.

***

In the following weeks I endured different kinds of torture. But my ' Pure Deception' plan worked. One day I heard the two Russians interrogators taking in perfect English about me. I knew too they were not stupid.

He's not talking,” Anna said,”one more day or so and he'll flip. Die even.”

Fine. But let me continue,” Kazanski replied. “He will talk, in the end.”

And if he knows nothing,” Anna said slowly. “You will kill him.”

***

Come Marcus tell us about CRACKNELL, your friend. Tell us everything. Keep going,”Anna encouraged. She wore bright red lipstick and perfume.

Kazanski set the light-bulb swinging. I watched their faces and the shadows. I yawned. I didn't mind talking about my imaginary friend CRACKNELL to the KGB as I knew nothing. They insisted differently. Now my 'Deception' theory worked well. I didn't even have to pretend. Only be myself.

Between interrogations I spent time resting in my cell. When on my own I talked aloud, often about CRACKNELL and the curse. The jewel even. Somebody listened to every word and recorded it. I knew that much.

***

Hello, my friends of my nightmares have come back.(And I didn't mean Anna or Kazanski). I trembled as those awful bloodshot eyes snapped wide open to stare at me. CRACKNELL. He dragged me towards him, close enough for me to see the leeches sucking his blood. I trembled. I found I was sweating.

They are in the water...I saw their faces..eaten away...and I couldn't stop...had to push past to get away...to get back here. But we're still not safe,”CRACKNELL continued. “It's the curse.”

Around me, the pulse of the Burmese jungle throbbed to a frightening beat, enough to drive me mad through fear. I swallowed hard and bent my head to hear CRACKNELL's other words. I needed to know more about the jewel and...the curse. I never thought the curse real until now, on his return from the fabled temple housing a fabulous jewel..

We had talked about the curse in the past deciding it was nothing but a myth. The white things in the water? I wondered if he meant the two young American women who tried to find the temple and the jewel but had vanished. And how could an empty temple deep in the jungle be protected by the strange man-eating blue monkey-men? Yet it seemed this had happened through the years.

We had both laughed. CRACKNELL loved his jokes. We both knew about jungle monkeys. Well, those fun creatures were everywhere. But the blue monkey-men who ate human flesh seemed to suggest to us 'something' of the occult. The trouble was we both wanted to get rich quickly. Me especially. I had debts to pay, women to woo and Europe to explore. I knew what I wanted, even if it meant going to Hell.

Now CRACKNELL had been to the temple to see for himself. He'd only returned completely burnt out. Always looking over his shoulder. His spirit crushed.

I saw ...the idol ...to the monkey-God,”he croaked. “It's there. And the jewel. There in the temple. In the moonlight I saw it shine... blood red ... wild ... exciting like the animals. What a stone. Ah, the beauty ... So well guarded by monkeys. Guess they love it as much as we do.”

CRACKNELL dropped his voice right down. I shook him. I love to be nasty. Cruel. Anna and Kazanski listened too. Surreal I thought.

You saw the blue monkey-men?” I shouted. “What about the dead women?”

His breathing became more laboured. I shook him once more.

Tell me, how many blue monkey-men did you see? Did you say twenty? Only twenty? And yet you ran. Something happened. Tell me.”

CRACKNELL waved his hands about and talked nonsense.

I was eager for him to talk louder, to tell me more but it was to no avail. His voice stayed low, yet intense as his wild eyes darted about ...fearful...looking for that elusive 'something.' I didn't know what he searched for. All I know he ended up boring me by repeating his tale of high adventure through the jungle in search of the 'jewel. And silly CRACKNELL said it was to do with Halloween. That made me smile. Deep in the Burmese jungle and he, the tough jewel thief, so scared of 'All Saints' and the like.

What is Halloween?”Anna asked. Kazanski whispered to her what it meant.

Ha!” I said. “Ha!” I shook my head.

I'd listened to CRACKNELL's account of what happened. Now I knew about his mission and ordeal, what he said made sense to me. Yet I disregarded his words on Halloween. I had plenty to think about before he went and collapsed on me. He wasn't dead but his eyes rolled to the back of his head. I thought it strange, the collapsing thing,but I never knew for sure what happened in the temple. I covered him with an old blanket. I had to when he started to shiver in the middle of the jungle. I noticed the blanket was a red flag. The Russian flag.

It was then the excitement kicked in and I needed a stiff drink.

***

Something is happening. I saw Anna and Kazanski watching me. They are standing still. I poured out Vodka and drank. The next thing I knew I CRACKNELL was gone...vanished into the night. Only the leaves rustling in the dense jungle intruded onto my thoughts. But the jungle didn't give away what might have befallen him. Perhaps, because of the curse. And he'd warned me several times about it taking on the curse. Those were his words and I'd never paid much attention to them. An unguarded temple. Why?

***

Overhead the long-tailed servants of the monkey-God started their incessant chatter even as I made my plans. But those weren't the twenty blue monkey-men CRACKNELL talked about. As his words had confirmed the jewel existed, I immediately accepted that as my invitation to steal it. And the curious curse failed to stop me.

I found the temple using his instructions and a map borrowed from Anna. As I approached it in the dark I heard the monkeys again. But this time their noise came from within the many cages piled up outside the dark building. I felt sorry for the monkeys, the fun monkeys. I remembered how they'd been caught by the subtle use of a nut in a bottle. The old trick always worked best, even in Burma.

With a steel bar I forced open the cages. The countless number of monkeys jumped skywards, off in bounds into the dark menacing jungle. Silence followed.

I shone my torch around the temple walls and along the edge of the altar to the monkey-God. The larger than life figure of a monkey grabbed my attention as it stood on the Burmese teak pedestal. As I closed with the statue I saw by torchlight it's white cold marble face. I looked for the jewel set in its forehead. I saw nothing.

You lied CRACKNELL,” I shouted keeping my hands on my hips and turning around to look up into the dark temple. Nobody answered me. Not even Anna and Kazanski. Then I became aware of the whispering sound...the patter of tiny feet ... things swishing through the air. Even as I struggled to place the sound, monkeys poured into the temple coming near me but never touching. I watched them approach the monkey-God statue. As they did their long pink tongues flicked out to lick at the whiteness of the statue. It was unexpected. Anna nodded. Kazanski nodded. Seconds later the monkeys moved away in a state of bliss, enough to make me wonder what I'd seen. Then I ventured to lick the white surface of the monkey idol. The taste took me beyond the exquisite sweetness of sugar I might have chanced upon in a million years. This sweet defied explanation, yet opened up shock waves within my body, like nerve channels to my soul. I felt every measure of that ultimate sweet taste. My thoughts lingered on hippies and LSD, the red flag.

Drugs, CRACKNELL,” I said aloud.”You knew it was drugs. Old fruit. You knew, but never said.” As before nobody answered me. But this time I felt convinced I was right about the drugs angle. It was deception all right, so much like the rumour of the curse linked to the temple.

I'd come to the Shokana-Shan temple in Burma to find the jewel which CRACKNELL, my partner- in- crime had meant to steal. Since the jewel wasn't available I decided to steal the statue made of sweet cocaine. Anything for a fast shilling. Or megabuck. No curse would stop me.

Quickly I removed my sheath knife to saw away at the base of the statue. I felt my body awash with sweat. But now at least I congratulated myself on possessing a cache of drugs worth millions on the street. I wrapped the statue up in a cotton sheet. I left. As I started the engine of the car I remembered hearing the monkeys chatter as they flooded into the temple .

I finished the rest of the journey in a daze. Metal screeched and something leapt out of the darkness to hit me. Sharp fingers raked my flesh. Things tore. I never for a second thought of the curse as I was too surprised. My head hurt and there's the blood, drops of blood like rich rubies on my face. I'm supposed to have been involved in an accident ending up in the local hospital. Anna and Kazanski stayed in the hospital by my bed.

The doctors fitted me up to machines. The Burmese nurse wiped my face. I stared at her belt, her clean crisp uniform and her face. She never knew me and yet...and yet her beauty disturbed me. The tantalising red slash of those soft shaped lips. So real. Like the curse...like Anna and Kazanski always being there in my nightmares.

I slept for a day. When I awoke I remembered everything. The sweet taste even. Of course,the taste of the drugs in my mouth lingered. As did the curse thing.

You are lucky to be alive,”the doctor said.”Try to relax. You need anything?”

My personal stuff in the car,” I said. “Where is it?”

The stuff in a sheet?”

Yes.”

I watched as Anna and Kazanski placed it on the floor. I gasped as it opened. The cocaine statue rolled out. A woman screamed. It wasn't what I expected. My eyes went straight to the jewel hammered deep into the head of the statue. “Bad luck,” CRACKNELL had said at one time. I then remembered the Burmese curse thing. Something to do with the monkey-God. CRACKNELL warned me too. Of the unexpected. Anna and Kazanski shook their heads.

Nothing more happened, only the doctor sat in his chair, a knife buried in his back. I stared at the blade.

The Burmese nurse turned towards me and began tasting the cocaine statue. Her eyes started shining. Then she looked at me.

Women,”she said.”You like women? You love me. Good time.”

Anna and Kazanski laughed.

Before I could reply she'd caught hold of my hand and dragged me outside , ignoring the chatter of the twenty or more blue monkey-men in the car park. But I saw them and knew when they came close enough they'd be taking a bite...from me and the Burmese nurse.

The police sirens bugled away . The sound loud enough to drive away the monkey-men and to scare off the woman. I was pleased to see the policemen but shocked to see who they had with them: CRACKNELL with his face covered in bright red lipstick marks. But that wasn't all .They showed me the jewel and the bodies of the two dead American women. I stared at their swollen faces.

***

I grabbed the knife from off the table. Anna stared at me, so did her friend Kazanski. They watched in amazement as I lifted the blade to run it across the throat of the monkey-doll and then to plunge it into the back of an empty leather chair as if it held a living person. To me it DID but they didn't know that. I heard them groan and call for security. The boots came thudding along the corridor and the Russian soldiers snatched at my arms and levered them back. I heard the click of the handcuffs.

Anna lifted the phone and started talking. I caught enough words to know they'd given up on me.

He's gone mad,” Anna said. “Tell the embassy we are willing to exchange spies. This one is no good to us.”

It was all I wanted. I smiled to myself. Then later on I ate a hearty meal. All that time I kept chuckling making the guards wary of me. I'm really harmless but I suppose it's all in the mind. Not only keeping the truth from the enemy; it's important to keep things secure from myself. It's all a matter of pure deception


The End




Submitted: May 26, 2010

© Copyright 2020 Cleveland. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Dreamyhead

:)

Sat, December 11th, 2010 1:36am

Cleveland

Thank you.
Those who are silent consent.

Best
Cleveland

Sat, December 11th, 2010 2:28am

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