Pleased with her afternoon’s work, Dr Flowers dropped the used syringe into a sharps bin and headed down the corridor towards the exit of Mercy Hospital. It had been a good afternoon for two reasons. Firstly, she had been able to have a nice long chat and catch up over a coffee with her old colleague, ’Aunt’ Sally. After the usual pleasantries, Sally had been somewhat inquisitive about Flowers’s patient, which was only natural, given that Flowers had contacted her out of the blue to get him put in a private room out of the way. She had repeated the lie she had used on the phone - that he was a participant in one of her research projects, but that commercial confidentiality prevented her from saying any more. Sally had updated Flowers with all the gossip from Mercy and, when Sally’s pager had gone off, they had parted with the usual insincere promises to keep properly in touch.
The second reason for Flowers’s good mood was Box. Under the influence of the barbiturate she had administered, the man had been most forthcoming. It seemed that he and his cohorts had only the vaguest idea about what she and her team were actually up to, which was good. Unfortunately, he now knew the name Infinity Recycling, which was not so good, being a possible lead for his team. She wasn’t too worried about that, though, as the company did genuinely exist and did carry out scrap metal recycling, but the staff there had no idea that their company had other interests – the parent company had been most careful about that. Eventually, the drugs had taken full effect, rendering any attempt at further questioning pointless, and she had allowed Box to drift off. A quick rifle through his things had turned up a notebook with an address on Mountainside Boulevard in it. This she had quickly copied in case it turned out to be useful.
All in all, a most productive afternoon.
Next morning, after a hearty breakfast provided by Mr Teeth, the group assembled in the room Mr Teeth had set aside.
Othello and Mercury had not been able to speak with Box the previous day, as he had been deeply asleep the whole time they had been there. When visiting hours had finished they had left him a note to let him know they had called in.
He was wide awake now, however, and had dialled into the meeting.
Box filled the rest in on what had happened the previous day and they did the same for him. finally, everyone was up to speed.
"So, before we were so rudely interrupted," said Mercury, "We were looking into the backgrounds of staff and agents to see if we could uncover our mystery snake in the grass."
"We also started exploring the links between Rainbow Industries and project Dynamo, seeing that Agent Wood, who worked on it with Box, is Jonathan Rainbow's younger brother. We now have another lead in the name Infinity Recycling."
"I can do some research on them this morning," offered Othello.
"OK, good. What about our five potential snakes in the grass? Does anyone have any ideas how we can progress with them?"
"I think we should definitely strike Agent Ruby from the list," said Prada, "He's only on there because he's from a wealthy background and if that's all it takes to get on the list, you might as well put me on there!"
"Well, ok," conceded Mercury, after a moment's thought "That still leaves four. Why don't we set up a war-board and start collating our findings and ideas. Othello, can you print off pictures of everyone we're interested in?"
The room was quiet for a short while apart from the whir of the laser printer.
Harold decided to make himself useful and pin up the pictures as they came off.
Agent Cobalt - whose family were in mining - was revealed to be a middle-aged man with greying hair and a broken nose.
Agent Sabre - of the unaccounted-for six month gap in her history - was a young chinese woman of striking good looks.
Agent Oak - the one-time soap actress - was an ageing barbie doll.
Agent Callisto - whose military service had been in explosives work - was a hard-eyed, square-jawed young man in his mid-twenties.
All these, Harold pinned up on the board without comment.
The printer whirred one more time and Harold reached for the page to pin it with the others.
"Who's this?" he said, looking at the round, rather innocent-looking face.
"Agent Wood," replied Othello "or Mark Rainbow if you will. Box's former partner."
"Nice watch!" said Prada admiringly, looking at the timepiece that could be clearly seen on Agent Wood's left wrist. "If that's a genuine Rolex Daytona - and since he's a Rainbow it probably is - it's worth a small fortune!"
"Yeah, he was always dressy," Box's voice came crackling from the speaker on the table, "But I'm still not sure whether it's worth including him - I can't imagine he's up to much after his accident."
"Nevertheless, we'll keep him in for now - he culd be getting others to work for him." said Mercury.
Othello was staring at the Wood's picture again and frowning.
"What is it?" asked Prada, noticing his expression.
"I'm sure I've seen him - or someone very like him - recently, in the past few days. If I could just figure out who it is."
Harold looked at the picture with renewed interest. Human faces were all a bit of a muchness unless they had some reasonably distinctive feature or other - which this one did not.
Nevertheless, Othello was right, there was something about the face now that he looked at it properly. A certain innocent eagerness that reminded him of...
"Agent Moon!" he said, brightly, "That's who he reminds me of."