13th April 2023

Lothly decided on the fly to visit Alois Fennels hotel on his way back to his Spa accommodation that evening. He also rather truculently decided to keep his assistant Joanna deprived of his decision for a few hours. There was no obvious reason him him to suspect that he had a spy in his close personnel, but if he did then Joanna Spivey was the most likely candidate.

Fergus Lothly’s overtly consulting but extraordinarily forceful sway in the chain of command of both governmental and administrative security systems made his present mission at minimum delicate, and in the extreme verging on suicidal. ‘Twas a tightrope well-greased and begging for an abrupt and painfully irrecoverable fall, but most unusually Fergus considered the issues presently at stake much more vital than the continuance of his own rather stellar career. Once Lothly was obliged to find and take a position he was the stoic representation of the Rock of Gibraltar in the empiric fold.

“You Spaniards, beware!”

He was thus incorrigibly inclined to mutter in the charioted statue of Britannia’s ever available cast bronze ear at such pivotal moments. His very British sense of diplomatic duty exceeded any very easily understood by lesser products of the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries.

The tail lights of Gordon’s still loaned to Joanna vehicle exited the hotel car park just as Fergis’ seconded Jaguar was arriving. The most alert Jaguar chauffeur noticed the departing limousine and surreptitiously pulled to the side so that he and Fergus could watch the exited Joanna Spivey, accompanied, and respectfully distanced by Darlene Gillespie, enter the hotel reception. Lothly was not the slightest surprised to see Joanna at the hotel. He was well aware that Claudine Millar was also a resident, and that she and Joanna had at minimum has a close, if not intimate, working relationship. Derlene was an entertaining addition to the mix. Someone that Fergus himself had considerable control over and would relay whatever details were necessary for him to follow any likely complications.

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