[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.Disorderly ElementsBob CookFELONY & MAYHEM PRESS • NEW YORK“One of these subtler minds is named, let us say, Wyman… Wyman’s overpopulated universe is in many ways unlovely.It offends the aesthetic sense of us who have a taste for desert landscapes, but this is not the worst of it.Wyman’s slum of possibles is a breeding ground for disorderly elements.”W.V.QUINE,On What There IsContentsPrologue: Budget DayChapter OneChapter TwoChapter ThreeChapter FourChapter FiveChapter SixChapter SevenChapter EightChapter NineChapter TenChapter ElevenChapter TwelveChapter ThirteenChapter FourteenChapter FifteenChapter SixteenChapter SeventeenChapter EighteenChapter NineteenChapter TwentyChapter Twenty-oneChapter Twenty-twoChapter Twenty-threeChapter Twenty-fourChapter Twenty-fiveChapter Twenty-sixChapter Twenty-sevenChapter Twenty-eightChapter Twenty-nineChapter ThirtyChapter Thirty-oneChapter Thirty-twoChapter Thirty-threeChapter Thirty-fourChapter Thirty-fiveChapter Thirty-sixChapter Thirty-sevenChapter Thirty-eightChapter Thirty-nineChapter FortyChapter Forty-oneChapter Forty-twoChapter Forty-threeChapter Forty-fourEpiloguePrologue: Budget DayTHE CHANCELLOR of the Exchequer stared through the front window of 11 Downing Street.He was uneasy.There was a large crowd of people outside.They did not look happy.“Fucking rabble,” he murmured.“Pardon, dear?” asked his wife.“Nothing,” he grunted.He put on his overcoat and picked up his briefcase.“I think it’s going to rain,” she said.“Yes.”He opened the front door and stepped outside.He was greeted by a chorus of booing and catcalls.He replied with a broad smile and, in time-honoured fashion, he waved his briefcase.In a few hours the contents of that briefcase would be public knowledge.Apart from the traditional attacks upon smokers of tobacco, drinkers of alcohol and drivers of motor vehicles, the Chancellor had something nastier in store.His proposed cuts in public expenditure would make previous efforts look tiny by comparison.This time there would be no half-hearted attempts at penny-pinching.This time the public sector would be kosher-killed.There were two special areas upon which the Chancellor wished to inflict Grievous Bodily Harm.One was the Civil Service, with its vast bureaucratic empire and obscure fringe departments.It was time for the complacent, public-school monopoly of Britain’s administration to end.The other target was education, in particular the Old Universities.In the Chancellor’s opinion, these establishments fostered a brand of elitism that retarded the progress of the New Right.The Chancellor was a New Conservative.He fervently believed that all hope for the future of his country lay with the dynamic middle classes.The aristocracy of Oxbridge dinosaurs was a brake upon his party’s ideological progress.They would have to go.Of course, the Chancellor’s background in a Secondary Modern School and his failure to pass the Civil Service exams had no bearing whatsoever on these views.Chapter OneTHE SECOND OF MAY was a bleak, muddy sort of day.Michael Wyman splashed through last night’s rainwater as he walked down London’s Tottenham Court Road.By the time he arrived at his office on the north side of Percy Street, he felt as if he had finished his day’s work.It was 9 A.M.Wyman’s office was a faded Georgian building which lay between Greek and Chinese restaurants.The large blue doors carried a sign which said “The Family Planning Association has moved to 32 Charlotte Street”.Mr Berkeley, the porter, greeted him.“Good morning, Dr Wyman,” he said, in a voice of habitual gloom.Mr Berkeley was a religious man.He belonged to one of those sects which believed that Armageddon would come that afternoon at 3 P.M.His desk was littered with tracts, and he would give one to anyone who entered the building.As usual, he gave one to Wyman.“Good morning, Mr Berkeley.Thank you,” said Wyman.He walked up the stairs to the second floor and sat down in his office.Berkeley’s pamphlet, he noted, was a typical specimen.It exhorted its reader to repent before being done to a turn in the eternal microwave oven.Wyman was urged to abandon greed, lust, gluttony, blasphemy and deceit.He was then asked to donate £2.00 to the happy sect so that others could be similarly informed.Wyman threw the pamphlet into his wastepaper bin.A true religion, he reflected, should never ask for less than a fiver.Michael Wyman was fifty-six and looked it.His hair was white and thinning.He had a pink, flabby face and a paunch that indicated a lifetime of comfort.His black spectacle frames were peppered with the dandruff that Vosene had failed to remove.Despite all this, he was not an unattractive human being.He was good-humoured and kind.The only people not won over by his erudite charm were those who were neither erudite nor charming.Unfortunately, these included Wyman’s employers and most of his colleagues.Wyman worked for M16, the British intelligence-gathering organization known to its members as the Firm.He was stationed in a backwater known as the Department, which specialized in collecting information from obscure sources in East Germany.Once upon a time, at the height of the Cold War, the Department had been an important feature of British Intelligence.Now, however, the Department was as dry and dusty as those who ran it.Although he worked in Intelligence, it would have been wrong to call Wyman a spy.He was a half-caste: a Ph.D.in Philosophy who had joined MI6 as an alternative to National Service.For the next thirty years Wyman had combined his career as a university don with that of an intelligence officer.The combination had not been altogether successful.In academic circles he was regarded as a wasted talent, and in MI6 he was deemed to be past his prime.None of this bothered Wyman much.He was comfortable, and retirement was not far away.His college would give him a reasonable pension.He was secure, and had no worries.Wyman’s in-tray contained a number of letters, and he began his daily routine by reading them.The first was a memorandum from MI6 headquarters [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]