Commander Alan Swan had been with MI6 since he was 30, he was ex military. He could have retired a few years ago, but loved his job and decided to carry on. He was a tall man for his age, over six feet, still fit and muscular. He was 67.
Full head of hair albeit silver, but well groomed. He looked every bit a Commander.
He remembered the Ray Samuels case well, very well indeed. He had been asked to look into it back in 1982 as there were some special things about the case. He was only 42 back then and not yet a Commander, but he was well respected in the Service and was pleased to be given the responsibility.
It looked straight forward at first, missing person, no big deal, then some very interesting reports came through from other agencies that made him look at it in a completely different light.
After all these years he had been waiting for Ray Samuels to reappear, he didn’t really believe it would happen but nevertheless he had been waiting!
Ray had slept for some of the journey from Buxton, but was now wide awake and asking Tom lots of questions. Tom had told him as much as he could, his biggest wow factor was the Twin Towers, he just couldn’t get his head round it. He kept saying “All those people, all those poor people!”
Tom told him about, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, The Falklands, and The Gulf War.
Tom also told him that he’d had a call from someone telling them to go to a Travel Lodge on the A12 and they would be met there in room 37. Tom thought this was a bit strange but not much he could do about it.
They arrived at The Moby Dick pub at just after four o’clock, attached to the pub was the Travel Lodge. Both Tom and Ray decided to have a pint first then find Room 37. It had been a long drive.
Ray laughed and pointing to Fosters lager on the pumps and said “Nothing changes, I used to drink gallons of that stuff years ago” he laughed. They had a couple of pints each and then went to find reception.
“Hi, I’m looking for room 37; we’re meeting some friends there”
The young polish receptionist smiled and said that she had been told to take them to the room as soon as they arrived. They walked down a long thin corridor and then found the room. She knocked, Spencer opened the door. He gave the girl a £5 note and thanked her.
He smiled at Ray and Tom and said “Welcome to Romford” He then glanced towards the Commander “This is Alan Swan”
The four of them sat down, it was a fairly good sized room but only had two chairs so it meant that Ray and Tom were sitting on the bed.
Alan Swan took charge.
“Ray, this must all be very confusing for you, just as it is for us” he smiled, he took on a gentle voice when he needed to, it was warm and charming. Not a side that Spencer had seen before.
“We’ve got to make sure Ray, absolutely sure that you are who you say you are, and that’s not me saying I don’t believe you, because I do. But this is such a big thing that we have to be sure. Does that make sense Ray?”
Ray liked the way that Alan Swan had spoken to him, it was direct but it was honest. Ray smiled.
“Perfect Sense Alan, it seems I’ve waited nearly 25 years, I’m sure that I can wait a little longer”
“Thank you Ray, we’re going to be a team, the four of us, until all of this is sorted out, now I need to take Sergeant Lucas and DCI Spencer to the station and go through some paperwork, there is a plain clothed policeman outside who will stay with you until we get back, is that ok?”
“Sure, how long will it all take do you think?”
“Couple of days Ray, just a couple of days”
The three of them left Ray alone in his room. Outside was a policeman dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt. Swan had already told the girl on reception not to let him make any calls from the room.
They drove back to the station in Toms car, very little was said apart from small talk.
Back at the station, Spencer led Swan and Lucas in to the small office they had been in before. But he went to the front desk.
“What a load of bollocks, turns out to be a complete waste of time, Ray Samuels my arse more like Ray bloody Parlour!”
The desk sergeant laughed as did a few others that heard what Spencer had said.
“No good then Sir?”
“No, this guy was about 40, been out on a stag night, got pissed, ended up trying to run home cos he’d run out of money, his mates had stripped him down to his vest and pants, got picked up and came out with a load of bollocks. Said he couldn’t remember who he was, where he lived. Shit scared his new missus would beat him up!”
Now everyone laughed.
“Typical bloody northerners!”
Spencer walked away confident that he had put it to bed.
He joined the other two in the small meeting room. Tom Lucas and Alan Swan were drinking coffee.
Swan went to his tired looking briefcase and brought out a file, it contained some papers, he gave them each a copy.
“These are NDA’s, read them, then sign them and then we can move forward.”
Tom spoke up.
“What’s an NDA?”
“Non Disclosure Agreement, basically it means that you agree not to disclose to anyone outside this room what I am about to tell you. If you sign then I will tell you everything we know. If not, you go back to what you were doing before. So just sign the bloody papers!”
They didn’t bother to read them they just signed them as instructed.
“Good, that’s the legal bit done, if you disclose anything to anyone, its instant dismissal, no pension, nothing. Then of course we will prosecute you and you will probably end up in prison. Prisons not a nice place for people like us!”
It suddenly dawned on Tom that this was not a usual situation that he found himself in.
“Ok, introductions first, my name is Commander Alan Swan, I am with Special Intelligence Services, SIS for short, it’s a posh new name for MI6. We collate information from all forces and try to make sense of it all. So we get intelligence from, MI5, Scotland Yard, Special Forces, Army, Navy etc, in fact everyone. We try to put the pieces of intelligence together and complete the jigsaw”
He took a mouthful of coffee before continuing. Tom was even more uncomfortable now, a Commander, he’d never seen a Commander before, not even at training college. He thought they only existed in James Bond films. Spencer just sat quiet he was anxious to learn the truth.
“You call me Sir, not Alan or Commander, just Sir, Sergeant, I will call you Tom and Spencer, I don’t know your first name so I’ll call you Spencer OK?”
Spencer was relieved, his first name was Albert!
“The story starts in Iran in 1942, well that’s the first we heard of it anyway. Reports reached us regarding a religious leader there who was prophesising the return of “The Chosen One” He said he had a vision about a man who would come to us soon he would be called Eslam Yarus. This was of course before my time and was put on file.
Then again in 1948 another religious leader, this time in Israel, he said he had a vision about a new prophet that would save us all, he would be “The Chosen One” and be called Saul Raymes.
In 1954 another man, this time in England, once again a very religious man, also said he had a vision. He said “The Chosen One” was coming soon. But this time he said it would be his son. His name was Eddie Samuels.”
Tom spoke up.
“Ray Samuels Dad?”
“Exactly, when I joined the Service in 1970, I was given these files and started to cross reference them. These people had never met each other as far as we knew, but they all had the same story, a man was coming to save us all. They all mentioned the same words “The Chosen One” But were they talking about three different people?”
Spencer was the next one to speak.
“But they’re not three different people are they Sir, they are all the same person, Ray Samuels is just an anagram of Eslam Yarus and Saul Raymes, their names are made up of the same letters!”
“Well spotted Spencer, yes they are all the same. It’s a lot to take in I know, but I may as well tell you everything then you can ask questions. When Ray Samuels went missing we were alerted because of an old tramp called Peter. Old Peter had seen Ray on the morning he went missing, we couldn’t make much sense out of what he was saying, he mumbled a lot. But we managed to understand a few words, he kept saying it was the rain, the rain took him. He said it over and over again. When we started doing house calls along the route that Ray took that morning, a young lady answered one of the doors, we started asking her some questions and she said that her 6 year old daughter had woken them up at around 5.45 that morning and said quite clearly, the running man has been taken by the rain”
Spencer spoke up.
“But what does that mean Sir?”
“Well we have three visions by three different people some 12 years apart, the similarities don’t stop there. In their visions they were all told the same thing. I will quote word for word, He will come, then be taken by the rain, he will come back after many years, the same. He will lead his people from destruction.”
There was a silence as Tom and Spencer took this in. Finally Spencer broke the silence.
“So this prophecy has come true, he was taken by the rain and he has returned years later exactly the same!”
“So when Ray Samuels went missing in 1982 and having been told by two separate sources that he was taken by the rain, we were sort of waiting for his return. Then we heard about Buxton and the lonely runner! In the next 48 hours we have to run tests on everything, clothes, hair, dental records, bloods etc. Now I don’t have any religious beliefs at all, the last time I went to church was when my old mum died twenty years ago, you two?”
They both shook there head.
“ Well this might come as a shock but that guy sitting in a small room in a Travel Lodge on the A12 might just be the next messiah”
There was a stunned silence.
END OF BOOK 1.