A story – part 88


The security man from whom I had had assistance when I suspected Philip may have abducted Anthea called me and asked if he could have some time with myself and Anthea. I asked if anything was wrong.  He replied that no one was in physical danger, but he had some information that affected both of us. I immediately phoned Anthea and asked her to come to the palace, but not to worry.

He arrived a few minutes before Anthea, but we barely had enough time to greet and for me to thank him again for the assistance he had given when we couldn’t find Anthea.

When the three of us were settled at the meeting table in my office, he started out by saying how happy he had been when it turned out to simply be the earthquake that had ‘abducted’ Anthea and not Philip.

“However”, he continued, “we were sufficiently interested in that man’s activities from the short time we followed him. We continued the surveillance and have come up with several things he has been up to that no real diplomat would be doing.  The thing that affects both of you is purely personal, yet because of your positions and your impending marriage I thought you would want to deal with this immediately.”

He pulled out a laptop, started it and began to show us photographs. Some of Anthea, that had been taken by Philip when they were together. Then the others, Anthea’s face on a body doing some pretty unspeakable things.  Some purely sexual in nature, some so sadistic that it took me a minute to understand what I was seeing.

I stared in horror, as he explained that these had been edited and that although they were good, here and there the editing was obvious. He explained that it was fortunate they had raided the forger’s home and had all of the evidence of the different sources of the pictures; as they were originally, at some stages in the editing, and the finished products.

He said, “I was alerted by the editor of the Daily Sun who received these along with some rather wild stories about you.” He looked at Anthea. She just sat there, looking stunned. I could hardly contain my anger. “Who did these and the stories, and why?”

“From our backtracking and the fact that we have evidence of Philip being recorded meeting these rather unsalubrious people, we may not have been sure. But the editor has the identity of the source of the story as brought to him as the man is looking for quite a lot of money for a unique story”.

“The editor of the Daily Sun called me, and it has taken us 24 hours to track down the person who altered the photographs. The story source is less easy to find.  The editor is waiting for a call from you.”

We phoned and put him onto the conference call facility. He explained that sometimes really nasty content was delivered by the same source, and sometimes it was real. But as he always liked to check up, the only corroborating contact he had been given was a man very recently dead in a nasty murder, he had felt rather concerned about the material, that was why he had called in the security man, who was a friend of his.”

Anthea, now quite calm thanked him and assured him the stories were not true. The editor said “I was sure they were not, but now that the material and story are out there, the next step is to decide what to do about it. And quickly too, because of your wedding next week. If we don’t run the story in the next 24 hours, he has told me that it will be offered elsewhere, and they may not be patriots like I am.”

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