Chapter One – The Psychic Agency
Quietly scratching away, the gold-nibbed fountain pen gracefully swept across the expensive
cream-coloured, hand-made paper. There was a muffled roar and then a short high-pitched squeal
of tyres as an RAF fighter jet landed anonymously, somewhere nearby. The tall, bird-like man
looked up from his desk. He surveyed the moonlit airbase from his comfortable antique-
furnished office. He was three storeys high in an immaculate, white-corniced Victorian building
on the edge of a military compound somewhere in the south of England. The ex-military man
loved the dark mahogony tones of his office, his rounded wood-framed chair, the expensive oak
floor. He especially enjoyed looking down on things from high up here in his ‘perch’. But now,
he steepled his fingers, closed his small and suspicious looking eyes and went deep down within
his own mind.
‘Sigil? Snake!’ cried the man telepathically.
‘I am here - master. Why do you trouble me so Alistair?’ came the hissed reply.
‘That disabled boy is nearly ready, you know the one, your favourite neurode. Get him to
send this message to the global mind, straight away – if you can,’ Alistair, who still had his eyes
shut tapped the paper on his desk, his prim Oxford accent ringing out across the ether. It annoyed
the snake entity, the green slits of its eyes flashed. He disliked humans and had no favourites as
Alistair knew. ‘And prime his mind ready for occupation Sigil. You can call me, Master Civil by
the way. Mind who you’re talking to snake.’
‘Your kind don’t frighten me,’ it whispered slowly, emphasising each word.
‘You wouldn’t want me to have a little chat with the Elif again, would you old chap?’ Alistair
breezed. The snake entity suddenly felt itself chilled to the core. Even the agency was said to fear
Alistair smiled slyly and slowly levered his long slender middle finger against the antique,
black, bakelite phone that sat to the right of his desk. For a moment, Alistair briefly admired his
perfectly manicured nails. The phone was a working 1920’s model. He picked up the cup-like
receiver from the candle-stick cradle with a cold, thin left hand and began to enter a number with
his right. The moving dial at the base clicked through the digits with a satisfying grace. Instantly,
the snake entity felt itself dissolving, transported, controlled…
On the other side of the country, an owl called out hauntingly as it glided past Danny’s
bedroom window. There was a loud crack of breaking wood from a tree outside and a fox ran for
cover, startled. Danny strained to see over the blue padded cotsides of his bed. He could smell a
faint tang of urine and sweat. The full moon shone against one side of the big old ash tree tree
that stood outside his sash window. The light against the branches created a beautiful silver
sillohette. Faintly, he could hear the midnight chimes of a church-bell in the distance, evocative
of things lost but half-remembered.
Something felt amiss. There was a menacing, cold feel in his room, as if someone was
sucking the heat from the grimy, stagnant air. Danny felt a chilly sliver of fear slowly crawl up
his spine and then run back down again into his bladder. There was something evil, a cold
presence gathering in the room. Bit by bit, a swirling circle of grey energy formed near the
ceiling until it looked like the ouroboros trying to swallow its own tail.
‘Ssso, you’re the one they call Danny?’ hissed the sly, snake-like voice that suddenly
appeared inside his head, ‘think you’re going mad do you?’ it added with a slight sneer.