This is an old project of mine, though it's still unfinished. It's experimental in that, the storyline goes back and forth, so... it could get confusing.

Istanbul, 1942

Mr. Martin Stride elbowed his way through the crowd as if he were swimming through something more dense, more stupid, and generally more malodorous than water. That he found himself holding his breath to handle the tedium made him feel as such. But if he were to escape, indeed, get out of the ocean, and away from his pursuers, he would have to worry a little less about the smell of it making its way to his nostrils.

As he continued to wade through the jungle of the bazaar bizarres, be them merchant or patron, tourist or matron, his stalkers were not idle, but Martin was short, and hid well between the bodies. The only thing they could look for was the tailored grey suit, and the crooked white trilby. And they were desperate to find him, as evidenced by forceful extradition. He only got away because he struck one of their members in the face.

Rogue Mr. Stride looked for an exit. Anxious green eyes were his display of panic. Not a bead of sweat in the summer heat, a raised brow, or a crease in his temple gave it away, just the eyes. The beat skin said local, but awry teeth and swelled nose said Briton.

Then he saw it; a thin alley tucked away from the chaos of the piazza, and at the precise moment he was able, he nearly leapt into it, and hid abreast an alcove. He peered around the wall just enough to be certain no one could see him, hoping the thugs would continue to wander through the mob, and that he would be left unnoticed. When the gorillas had done just that, his pounding heart slowed at the victory, but he felt he still needed to put distance between them. Mr. Stride strode through to the back of the lane, where he discovered a knob on a brick wall, and took his chances.

It wasn't just a room, but a large warehouse, illuminated by a length of windows streaming in from where the wall meets the roof, nearly 4 metres up, though there were hundreds of bay lights hanging from the ceiling, above and between rows and rows of shelves, and in each shelf were wooden crates. Vast, was the best way he could describe the size of the depository.

Now Martin moved to the nearest crate, looking in particular for one with a loose or open lid, and luckily, he found one with a pry bar resting atop it. He could only speculate as to what the contents might be, but if his intuition was right, he would have said munitions and other supplies for the war. He couldn’t say the same for the client or manufacturer. Less than a minute with the tool, and he found he was right. It was no wonder now, why his pursuers had blown their cover since he was so close to the weapons cache.

Swiftly, though with trepidation, Martin looked for an office, for documents, to learn the source of the arsenal, and if it was on its way to Germany.

The stacks, six or seven later, led him to an office, and he quickly stepped inside. There didn’t seem to be much in the way of paperwork in this room, but there were enough radio telegraphs, making Martin doubt Turkey’s neutrality.

Reeling at the thought, and looking at the brand new equipment with envious eyes, he suddenly realised the room was unmanned. Either it had long been abandoned, which seemed unlikely given the state of the machinery, and even the rest of the warehouse, or the staff had gone out for lunch, and were soon to return, so he scrambled. He hopped onto one of the stations, and as fast as he could, transmitted his position, and a guess at how much weaponry was waiting to be shipped.

Immediately, Martin jumped to his feet, ready to leave when he heard voices and footsteps, from where he guessed was the entrance he had used to gain access to the stockpile. Headed his way, were an unknown number of men. He retreated again, and looked for a place to hide, before going to the radio room closet, and closing the door quickly behind him.

Deep and dark in the cupboard, thought Martin, so he felt around, feeling helpless with his arms stretched out in front of him until he found a toggle switch on the wall, though he never expected to find one. He flicked it to the on position, and a dim bulb filled the ambry with a little light; it didn’t provide much, but it was enough to illuminate.

Everything in the closet pertained to him and his outfit; pictures of everyone in the SIS. What they ate, what they saw, where they were staying at the hotel, to which they also had floor plans. There was a picture tacked to the wall, that could not have been taken more than ten minutes ere. He didn’t see much else however, as the door opened to reveal the thugs who were chasing him. They were very close, and they seemed very pleased to see him. One of the men, whose face was bloodied from the blow Martin had delivered, without a word, withdrew a pistol, and fired with a vengeance.

The End

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