By reading any further, you state, that you are at least 18 years old.
The following content contains violence and situations, which might be offensive for some readers.
So be warned and do not read on, if James Bond like situations do not appeal to you.
[Please be aware, that I once wanted to study forensic science. So the next part goes into some more detail than you might feel comfortable with. Please swap this chapter in this case. The next will continue lighter and takes up with the results and emotions following this chapter. – I just entered this, as I wanted to give credit and some space to an overlooked character of Spooks 9, I thought the series did not do justice to.]
George Henley greeted him at the door. He still wore his violet rubber gloves while he was wildly gesticulating and explaining, what researches he had already done.
Harry took a long look round the dissecting room.
“We are still alone? Might someone come in to disturb us?”
“No, no. Have no fear. Percy just called, the other man on shift today. He needs the morning off, as his pregnant wife needs to see a doctor. So we are free and to be absolutely certain, we will lock the entrance door.”
With these words, George turned the key in the lock and with a satisfied smile on his face let the key drop into one of the pockets of his apron.
Now he took up the cover from the naked body on the metal dissecting table and took up a pad to slightly touch one corner of the large black Blake tattoo on Lucas’ breast. When he came up, black was marring the before pristine white pad.
“I tested all of them. Not a single one of them is real. – Colour and texture suggest a very sophisticated method, not just a supermarket tattoo colour. Still, all of them would have faded in a few days time.”
“Have you tested the blood group and checked with Lucas’ records?” Harry asked this, aware that he could not tell, if these records had been made with data of John Bateman or the real Lucas North. But George’s continuous mumbling soon caught his interest.
“... including his new dental records after his return from Russia.”
George now had Harry’s full attention.
“You say, the records had been checked after Lucas’ return?”
“Yes, completely. – That is routine procedure as the Russians might have swapped our agent and replaced him with their well trained spy tool.”
“And the blood group did match and still does?”
“Oh, no, back then, yes, but now, no.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Lucas was Lucas, when he came back from Russia. But this guy most definitely is not Lucas. – He is a bit younger, as far as I can tell, but in lesser shape. This guy had nothing to lose. He would have been dead soon anyway.”
“Ah, hmmm. You see...”
With these words he opened part of the skin on the stomach, which had been cleaned and replaced so much, that the damage from the fall had nearly not been visible.
Harry took in a sharp breath. He had not realised, that George had already cut open the body. The flaps of the skin had been cleaned and re-arranged so well, that, focussing his attention on the main tattoos, he had totally overlooked that detail with all the bruises on the body.
George once again gestured for Harry to come closer. He inserted a metal stick and pushed the intestines away. The liver now was clearly visible or at least the black mass which should have been a liver.
“What caused that destruction of the inner organs?” Harry asked surprised.
“Most likely a hard blow. Possibly he was a boxer. An untreated infection with a heavy cold, bad nurturing and hard living conditions most likely did the rest. – Sometimes, soldiers coming from imprisonment and torture have starting signs of similar conditions. Warm temperatures, rest and good food normally prevent these cirrhosis symptoms after an illness.
“Would have a liver transplant saved him? He still seems much too young for such a severe cirrhosis.”
“No, his other organs are infected too heavily for that. He most likely came out of imprisonment far too late for that to be an option.”
Harry had to look away from the bloody mass of destruction and for the first time directed his gaze to the heavily injured head of ‘Lucas’.
The fall had destroyed it like a water melon and he just could not bear the thought, that Lucas could have met such a fate.
But now that it was likely, that the body was that of a stranger to him, he had a closer look. He did not know why that thought made it more bearable to him. It still had been a breathing and living human being, who deserved his compassion. Not much of the face and the back of the head were still there to be recognized.
“Oh, by the way”, the forensic scientist interrupted Harry’s thoughts. “I extracted this ‘beauty’ from his back.” With ‘this beauty’ he meant a big and golden shimmering, but heavily deformed bullet which he now held between index finger and thumb.
“As far as it is still possible to tell so far into the examination, he was shot from behind, with one of MI-5’s standard equipment weapons. – And he was well dead before the fall. Clear shot severing the spine.”
“Further on, he holds strong resemblance with our victim, replacing Lucas at yesterday’s operation. He was not examined so far and was not on my shift, so I cannot tell if the blood groups are matching, but when I last looked, his body was gone. So at least it would be possible to be him.”
Relieve washed over Harry and taking in a steadying breath, he stepped back from the strong smelling body on the dissecting table. Calm settled upon him and his thoughts began to fly.
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