The Poseidon Files
Liverpool city centre, Saturday October 27
Alex is walking along Lime Street on her way to the world-famous Adelphi Hotel, a massive Victorian pile that dates from the age of elegance although, in fact, the building that stands there now is the ‘third’ Adelphi. During the early years of the 20th century, the hotel became one of the main arrival and departure points for passengers on ocean liners, including the Titanic. The Adelphi was the most popular hotel in Liverpool for wealthy passengers before they embarked on their journey to North America.
Alex has a friend in Toronto who had stayed at it quite recently and said that it had seen better days. Despite that, she is looking forward to meeting Rogers there who phoned her last night to announce he was coming to Liverpool. ‘About time too,’ she had muttered after his brief call.
She climbs the steps up the entrance which has two coaches outside, one from Munich and the other from Amsterdam. She walks straight through reception and up another short flight of steps to a huge panelled lounge with glittering chandeliers and comfortable armchairs and coffee tables. Rogers is slumped in an armchair reading a paper.
She stands in front of him. He peers over the top of his paper. ‘Miss Nelson,’ he declares, remaining seated. ‘I have ordered coffee, you want some?’ She nods. He continues staring at her. ‘Are you gonna sit down?’
She sits as the coffee arrives. ‘So, what gives,’ he says. ‘Any progress?’
‘If you mean have I found the files? No, I haven’t but I have spent some time with the last person to see Parry alive. Now it’s just possible Parry gave them to her, and she has them and is just being cute. To be honest I doubt it, but I guess it’s possible.’
‘Who is this person?’
‘Her name is Naomi Richards and she is the psychic he saw before he was croaked back at his hotel.’
‘Why did he see a psychic for God’s sake?’
‘I have no idea. You’re guess is as good as mine. She says he seemed scared – terrified even – and that he might have just been using her to dodge whoever was following him.’
‘So, I guess it makes sense for him to give her the files. I see where you’re coming from. Good work. What do the cops think?’
‘No idea. I haven’t spoken to them. As far as they’re concerned, I am here to liaise with his family on behalf of HAARP. They don’t know I’m working for the agency.’
‘Good. Let’s keep it that way. Stay with the woman. Become her best buddy. She is the key to this. If she has the files, sooner or later she will do something with them. If she hasn’t, she may know who has. The files must be somewhere in this city. And finally, if we think she has them so will other people and she will become a target.’
‘I have to say Rogers that I quite like her. I just don’t see her as a criminal at all. She seems to me to be an honest woman.’
Rogers snorts. ‘You aren’t here to like people. You are here to do a job. Stay focussed on that.’
‘Before you go there’s one more thing Rogers. What do you know about Poseidon?’
Rogers sits upright, his face expressionless and Sphinx-like. He studies her. ‘Where did you get that from?’
‘It was in the notebook Parry left with Naomi. It also had all kinds of stuff about the weather in it as well as maths stuff, equations and so on,’ she says.
‘What happened to it?’
‘The Police have it as far as I know. Naomi said she gave it to them. What does it mean Rogers? I need to know. Give.’
He stays silent for a few minutes staring at the ceiling, then finally he gives her a hard look. ‘OK, but this is classified. You talk about it to anyone, anyone at all, you go to jail. You hear me?
‘Ok. The military decided they wanted an alternative to war where our foes are concerned. Using nukes is not really an option these days. Imagine it, we drop the Bomb on Iran and we become an international pariah. Even the Brits wouldn’t talk to us. Add to that the American people are weary of body bags coming home so the military began looking for something else. And they think they found it. In Alaska. At HAARP.’
Alex stares at him transfixed.
‘So, what the boys in Alaska have developed is a new way of throwing shit at people we don’t like. Imagine it. Tsunamis that drown them. Pollution that poisons them. Heat that fries them. You get the picture?’
‘I get the picture,’ says Alex softly.
‘Beautiful isn’t it,’ beams Rogers.
Alex stares at him aghast. ‘It’s horrific.’
Rogers snorts. ‘It sure is if you’re an enemy of Uncle Sam. That’s why the name Poseidon has been given to it. You know who he was?’ Before she can answer he continues. ‘The Greek god of storms, of chaos, of the sea. A real badass. The meanest of all the Greek gods,’ he says with a final satisfied chuckle.
He stands up. ‘Anyway Miss Nelson. I have to blow. I’m off to London to talk with MI5. I’m glad you told me about the notebook. I shall be asking them to retrieve it and filling them in with what has been going on.’
He stands up and stretches. At 6ft 6in he is not a man to be ignored. He stares around the room but fails to notice an inoffensive man sitting at a corner table not too far away. He appears to be immersed in his newspaper; his head bowed studying a page.
Rogers looks down at Alex: ‘Stay with the Naomi broad and keep me posted. I should be back in a week or so and you can bring me up to date. But if anything breaks you have the panic number. Right?’
Naomi nods. She is appalled by what she has just heard. No wonder they want the files back. She can imagine the outcry if it ever became public at what the US is planning. It would make the global environmental protests look like a tea party. A waiter approaches and asks if she would like more coffee. She nods dumbly.
The man in the corner quietly folds his paper and walks out.