All Secured Security Services
In the UK, our government is having a fine old time with data going “missing” and leaks of documents. So when gsteelwraith suggested this title, I got to thinking what would happen if a government department went the extra mile to protect their secrets and data. The result follows…
“Another bloody leak!! What the hell is this department, the Welsh Office?”
“Minister, I assure you we are trying to find the source…”
“Don’t give me that – I grew up watching Yes Minister! Now, I’m going to take action to find or stop these leaks, is that understood?”
“But Minister, I assure you the security services…”
“...have far better things to do, I know. That’s why I’m calling in a specialist unit – and I will be the only person talking to them. Is that understood?”
The two civil servants bowed their heads, mumbled “Yes minister” and left the office. The Minister sat down, put his heads on his hands and then breathed heavily. After some moments had passed, he picked up the telephone.
“Get me the private number I gave you earlier” he said and replaced the receiver. When it rang a few minutes later, he picked it up immediately.
“All Secured Security Services” a male voice replied. “I believe you have need of our services?”
“Yes, do you know who I am?”
“We recognize the voice and the number, Minister. Is this in relation to your – current problems?”
“So you are aware of our situation?”
“Indeed I am, Minister – and I am aware that you have a major data request to fill in the next few days. Again, I ask, do you require our services?”
The Minister thought for a minute. “Yes, yes I do.”
“Very well then. A courier will arrive at your office in one hour. Leave for him to collect a list of names and home addressed of the staff working on this transfer. We will take it from there.”
“And the fee?”
“We will be in touch. Good day, minister.”
“It’s all right, Dad, I’m on my way out to the school now and it won’t take me long to get there.”
“All right, talk to you later. ‘Bye.”
Cathy replaced the receiver and breathed a sigh. Her sixth from college still insisted she wore the uniform of the main school, and frankly she felt she looked ridiculous in it at the age of eighteen.
“That’s what you get when you’re the daughter of a civil servant, I suppose” she mumbled under her breath,
“That’s right,” a muffled voice said from behind her, but before she had a chance to react a hand had been slapped over her mouth. In the hall mirror, she saw a man, slightly taller than her, with a grey scarf over the lower part of his face and a striped scarf over his hair. She reached up one hand to grab his arm, as he grabbed her other hand with his free arm.
“Now, young lady, you need to do as I say or it will be the worst for you. I’m going to take my hand away in a minute, and I want you not to scream. Nod if you agree.”
Cathy looked at the obviously young man, and nodded her head. The man took his hand away, and pushed her into the kitchen.
“Lie down on the ground, with your hands behind your back. I need you to come with me, and I need to make sure you won’t try and get away.”
“Are you kidnapping me?” Cathy said as she lay down on her side, watching the man pull a length of cord from his pocket.
“Yes, but not for money. My employer wants your father to do a job for him.” As he said this, he wrapped the cord around Cathy’s wrists and pulled it tightly before knotting it off.
Taking another length from his pocket, he quickly tied Cathy’s ankles together in the same way, making sure the rope was wrapped between her ankles.
The young man stood up and went towards the kitchen cupboards.
“What are you doing?” Cathy called after him. “You can’t just leave me like this – I’ll scream.”
“If you scream then I will be forced to hurt you,” he called back from the kitchen. “Just lie nice and still, and I’ll be with you in a moment.”
Cathy looked over at the man, wondering what he was searching for in the drawers, but she regretted that thought when she saw him return from the sink with a roll of black tape and a dish cloth.
“Right, now I want you to open your mouth. The cloth is damp, so it shouldn’t be too uncomfortable,” the man said, but Cathy clamped her mouth shut.
“Pity,” he said as he pinched Cathy’s nose, forcing her eventually to open the mouth and force the cloth in. Wiping around her lips with a handkerchief, he quickly tore off three strips of black tape and smoothed them over her gagged mouth.
“Right now, let’s get you to where you’ll be staying,” he said as he lifted Cathy onto her feet, threw her over his shoulder and carried her out of the front door onto the secluded driveway of the house.
Approaching a red car parked in the drive way, the man fumbled in his pocket for a set of keys, and used them to pop open the boot. He took Cathy off his shoulder and picked her up like a new born baby as the boot slowly opened to show a red car rug across the floor.
“Now then, we need to make sure you’re nice and safe for our little journey. Don’t fight me now or it really will be the worst for you.”
He gently laid Cathy in the boot of the car, and she realized that this was where she would be spending some time as she wriggled round.
“You’re not a claustrophobic, are you?” the young man asked, and Cathy shook her head.
“Good – because I need to make sure you won’t move around” he said pulling another length of cord from the boot. “Please, roll over onto your stomach.”
By now Cathy had realized she was in a helpless position, so with several grunts she managed to lie on her stomach. The masked man took her ankles, and secured them to her wrists with the rope so that she was very effectively hogtied.
Cathy rolled over onto her side and watched as the man took a mobile phone from his pocket.
“Hello, boss? I have the package you asked me to collect. Shall I bring it to the depot to join the others?
Fair enough – I should be there in half an hour.”
He replaced the phone in his pocket and turned to Cathy.
“Enjoy the ride, darling – it won’t be too long” he said as he closed the boot, muffling further Cathy’s protests.
At the Ministry, Cathy’s father was working on preparing a data transfer that had been ordered when he received a text message on his mobile phone. It only had three words.
“Open your e-mail”
Puzzled, he clicked on the icon on his computer and saw that a message had been delivered with the header “All Secured Security Services.” “Who the hell are they?” he mumbled to himself as he noticed that he had been blind copied on the message. Opening it, he sat and read the text with growing horror.
You are part of a team working on a major and sensitive data transfer project. How we know this is not important. What is important is that you read this carefully.
In order to ensure that this deal is completed without further leaks or loss of information, we have taken an additional security policy out. To be exact, we have taken a member of your family as collateral. If it is found that any information on this deal had been leaked or distributed prior to the completion, then it is that family member who will pay the price.
He looked round at his team members, and saw the same look on each of them that he was sure he had on his face.
Doubtless you will have realized by now that when we say All Secured, we mean All secured. Continue with your work until the deal and transfer is completed and contact no-one. The police will not help you, and we are not saying who has commissioned us to do this work. Suffice to say we have undertaken this task.
When everything is completed, your family member will be released back home. Until then, be aware that we are watching and monitoring you at all times.
The car boot opened, and Cathy blinked as her eyes adjusted to the light. The masked man released her ankles from her wrists, helped her to sit up, and lifted her out of the boot. She realized she was in some sort of warehouse, and as he gently sat her on a mattress she also realized she was not alone.
A number of other women had also been brought here, some in night clothes and others in normal clothes, but all bound and gagged. The man who had brought Cathy in talked to a man dressed in black, and with dark shades on, who ticked a sheet on his clipboard and then turned to the helpless group.
“Good morning. We apologies for the fact that you have been inconvenienced, but we have been employed to make sure a deal your family members are involved in is completed to our employer’s satisfaction. Please just try to relax, and if you need a toilet break let us know somehow. With luck, you will all be returned home tonight.”
Cathy looked to her left, where there was sat a grey haired woman in a black jacket, skirt and leather boots. To her right was a slightly younger woman in white flannelette pajamas. She silently resigned herself to a long day, and tried to make herself as comfortable as possible.