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Agent and Mouse

Dear M. and Co.,

 

I am writing through a fever, but I must pen these words before anyone finds me out. You see, my good sirs, the boy I mentioned earlier suspects everything and everyone. Your game is most definitely on his radar.

Introducing the enhanced rats to the warehouse was simple enough. The things breed and re-breed like, well, rats. They say the gestation period is a week or so. The boy could tell you. I have observed him studying them. It did not alarm me at first, his interest in the creatures; who wouldn’t be interested when a supposed multi-million dollar business became infested, and no exterminator was able to keep up with it? He took one home. At first I assumed it was for a pet. They are cute, after all, in their own ugly way.

It was yesterday, when the lad approached the CEO with an aerated shoebox that I became worried. I hope you will forgive my disregarding orders, but my sixth sense was tingling. I listened at the keyhole, and can report with confidence that I was neither seen nor heard.

The young boy spoke first. “Mr. Elmscroft, I presume you are aware of the devastation the rats are causing?”

Elmscroft is slow, but he is not that slow. “Of course, you little devil. Of course I am well aware of what they are doing to my business. How dare you imply otherwise?”

“And I assume you would wish to have something done about it.” I must give him points for not losing his bored, arrogant tone with an adult. Elmscroft is a large man with a quick temper.

“Yes, but what have you got to do with any of this? Who are you? Where are you parents?”

“My uncle works under you, and I would like to see him keep his job.”

The old man laughed. “Is he in any danger of losing it?”

“Only if the rats continue eating up your inventory. I am not one to mess about with niceties, Mr. Elmscroft, so I’ll get right to the point: these rats infesting your warehouse cannot be killed by poison.”

Something dropped at this point, rather near to the door, and I was obliged to move back a pace, in case someone decided to exit. That is why I missed a few words, but I’m confident I caught enough to alarm you.

“—Genetically engineered to tolerate most common poisons known to man, even thrive off of them,” the boy was saying.

My blood ran cold, sirs. Mr. M. has worked long and hard on that formula, and a mere boy thinks he is on to it. M. will please forgive me for breaking the rules. I know there are others like me that have infiltrated the base, disguised though it is as a business. Some are to watch and listen; others, like me, are meant to mind the rats. I know this.

Forgive the incoherency, gentlemen. I blame the fever.

I heard more. Elmscroft was showing the boy to the door, or trying to, rather. “I know what you are, Elmscroft. A front. A ruse. I know what really goes on here.”

Silence followed for a brief moment, then Elmscroft exploded. “Your uncle been telling you company secrets, eh?”

“On the contrary. My uncle is in the dark. But that is neither here nor there. Those rats are the first wave. They are meant as a test, to see how well they adapt to the environment. The next wave will bear disease, and they will be planted here first as well, until, slowly, all of London is overcome with illness.”

“Oh, you think this, do you? What proof have you?”

I didn’t have to see what was happening to know that the dratted boy was holding up the aerated box.

“This rat for starters. He is what you might call a mutant.”

There was another pause. “How old are you, boy?”

“Eight, but I hardly see the relevance to our conversation.”

That is all I heard before I began to feel unwell. I am sitting at my desk now, writing you this missive. I do not feel right. I do not feel right at all.

Perhaps these rats are spreading something. I was not made aware of their nature, as I ought to have been. Please don’t feel I’m threatening you, sirs, M., or anyone else on the committee. I’m just a grunt.

My tea tastes funny.

Too hot. I’m too hot.

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