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About Literature / Hobbyist Dirk HoderinMale/United Kingdom Groups :iconpnf2-twisted-truths: PnF2-Twisted-Truths
You Cant Fight The Lies
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Literature
Smell A Rat update #13
Whenever Floyd pulled his weapon from its scabbard, he seemed to turn into a different person; no longer the quick-witted and warm-hearted little dormouse he’d fallen in love with, but a fearsome, cold and meticulous assassin.
He had received the same training as all the other mice, but of all of the mice in MI6, he was the one that put in the most time, honing his skills to a point sharper than that on the end of his sword.
Over the years, he’d even noticed that Floyd had began to develop a sort of flair that was all his own.
The blows he dealt were just as fast and deadly as was expected of any british officer, but a particular fondness for the use of his body and free hand to grapple with opponents, stun them or otherwise exploit any weaknesses he could find was a tactic all of his own.
And hopefully one that he wouldn’t have to utilise.
He hunkered down as Floyd unlocked the door as slowly and quietly as possible and checked all around the doorframe for any sort o
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Literature
Smell A Rat update #12
Floyd closed the door carefully behind him and looked round to see if anybody noticed him coming out of the main lift shaft, but still the usual activity continued around him and granted him invisibility, with sharply dressed businessmice shuffling and cutting their way through the crowd, tourists milling around fairly aimlessly and and hotel porters rushing back and forth carrying all the odds and ends needed for the guests.
To his left, another dormouse tried to weave her way between a small crowd of rats that had accumulated by the lifts and he suddenly became aware of the strange smell in the room; a choking, cloying mix of different perfumes and scents over a subtle undertone of the cleaning products used by the staff on both the human and rodent levels to keep the skyscraper looking shiny and new.
Beyond that there was also the smell of the subtle bodily scents emitted by all of the different individuals passing through here, which he found more interesting by far.
He stood on ti
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Literature
Smell a Rat Update #11
The doors led them through to a densely packed lobby, where stairs leading into the building’s ventilation network served the majority of the individuals there, who all crowded and shuffled up the stairs to get to the lower levels of the building, where most of their offices were located, and a bank of lifts that came and went with frequency to whisk others up to the higher floors where hotels and fancy restaurants were hidden away.
The noise in here was quite stifling and Milo saw Floyd begin to retract into himself like he had done in the train station, surrounded by the constant humming and ringing and clatter.
A perky bell sound signalled the arrival of one of the four lifts that formed the bank of doors on the left side of the room, from which a large group of rodents poured out, each of them falling just short of elbowing and shoving each other out of the way.
But of the two ways to ascend the building, a third, single door stood between them, unmarked save for a warning sc
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Literature
Smell A Rat update #10
The Shard had its own station, about ten stops and a line change away from Kingsby.
The train to the Shard hadn’t been so nice this time and the suitcase that Milo had to carry with him had reduced the already cramped carriage to a total crush.
This was the kind of thing that put him off moving sewerside.
Nonetheless, the journey had at least been fairly swift and Floyd now had time to relax as much as he could and set up for the mission ahead.
The station for The Shard was quite unusual in that it didn’t actually lead directly into the building.
At least, not by any conventional way.
The humans had set the building up to be pretty impenetrable to rodents - by design or otherwise -  and so it had taken pathfinder teams working around the clock during the building’s construction and for months afterwards to work out routes and spaces that London’s smaller inhabitants could use.
Consequently, the platform for The Shard actually led them to an unused storage s
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Literature
Smell A Rat update #9
“How do I look?”
Milo turned round for him with his arms out to his side, so that Floyd could get a good look at how his suit looked on him and make sure that none of his armour caught on his shirt or showed up in tighter areas.
Fortunately, the armoury crew were fantastically talented and had created the whole armour set to fit him so well that it was completely invisible beneath his clothes, not even showing up against the well-fitted shirt he wore.
Once everything else went on, it would be impossible to tell that he was wearing any sort of protection or carrying any sort of equipment.
“Flawless” he assured him, “if I didn’t know you were a huge wall of armoured and impeccably trained muscle, I’d say you looked dashing.”
“Thanks” he said as he collected an assortment of five small metallic disks from a bespectacled young mouse man and tucked the four smaller ones - each bearing a robust looking strap -  into the little
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Literature
Smell A Rat update #8
Floyd lay splayed out across his chest and belly, naked and fast asleep with his fluffy tail tucked under his left arm, snoring quietly.
Milo reached out a hand slowly and ruffled his head a little - more to see if he responded at all than to wake him - but apart from making a little snuffling noise, Floyd did nothing and his look of mild irritation quickly faded back to the blissful little smile he’d fallen asleep with.
He looked so cute like that; his usually fierce and sharp-witted companion now slept like a baby, free from any kind of cynicism or worry, lost in his dreams and the warmth from his body.
Sooner or later he would have to get up and disturb him, but right now Milo just wanted to lie there and watch him sleep soundly.
It had been a week since they had begun their search, but unfortunately neither their own efforts nor those of the other officers had yielded any results, and they had both begun to sink into a rut.
Every day had become a drudgery: each morning they w
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Literature
Smell A Rat update #7
If he didn’t know him better, Milo would have been shocked by Floyd’s actions, but about three years ago, he’d made his stance on guns very clear indeed.
Which was to say, that he was deathly afraid of them.
“This is it, Milo. That’s what it’s going to come to. Great big armoured rats carrying those things around and just laying waste and what are we going to fight them with? Pointy sticks. It’s not like you can just carry one of those things around and be all incognito-like.”
Floyd then fixed him with an almost pleading look.
“I give it a year, two at the most, then we’re absolutely fucked.”
He could feel his worry from here. He’d heard the rumours too; that the Americans had already managed to perfect it, that the details of that design were only months away from being figured out by criminals.
That people had already died because one of them fell into the wrong hands.
Of course, they were all just rumours and un
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Literature
Smell A Rat update #6
“Alright, let’s see if Bradley’s pulled through for me.”
Floyd smiled at him and flicked his tail around just a bit as they stood in front of his office door; he seemed excited.
With a flourish, he poked his key into the lock and opened the door to his office, revealing a considerable stack of paperwork on his desk that hadn’t been there yesterday. Floyd now appeared to be positively ecstatic.
“Bloody hell, what’s all that lot?” Milo asked, taken aback by the reams of paper on his desk and his curious reaction to it, though thankfully Floyd explained quite extensively.
“It’s the jackpot, that’s what it is. last night I got Bradley to send out a communication to every active officer to send in any reports of our mysterious red dress lady: lo and behold, it looks like the entire damn operation’s seen her. Seems we’ve got ourselves a veritable celebrity on our hands.”
Milo raised his eyebrows as Floyd hand
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Literature
Smell A Rat update #5
They returned to the MI6 building about two hours later, having taken just enough time in the closest pub to fully process the situation and formulate a plan.
Petersen’s records were impeccable - as all paperwork taken home by any of them had to be - and the assassin had left no trace, save for the tiny fragment of resin on the ground, so their best hope for a lead at this point had to be the archives.
Everything in Petersen’s notes would have to have been taken from the central computer under MI6 headquarters and then redacted and cleaned up for private use later, with the master copy being held in the archive in an unaltered state so that it could be used for later reference by officials.
There would still be the specifics that they needed if they could access his records, and thankfully, Milo’s history with the technical team put them in very good standing.
That and the implied clearance from Mr Bradley to gain access to any and all information necessary for the mi
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Literature
Smell a Rat update #4: In which Floyd swears
It took floyd a little while to get used to having a sword hanging from just below his arm, but his jacket concealed the entire length of the weapon and after he’d walked through half of Kingsby, he’d stopped noticing that it was there at all, save for the occasional tug at his fur by the straps that held the scabbard in place.
Milo didn’t get a sword. Most of the rats didn’t and Milo was no different. Most of the rats that ended up in the field were taught to use brutal hand-to-hand techniques and not to rely on anything to help them. Conversely, the mice were all trained to use swords with deadly efficiency, so that they could hope to hold their own against a rat more than twice their size.
Still, he could tell that not getting something physical to mark his ascension to the top was a little disappointing to him, though it was pretty clear that he wasn’t so concerned about that right now.
“Petersen, Frankford and Golding, man.” Milo mused,
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Literature
Smell a Rat update #3
Internally, the building followed the same design principles, which was to say, it looked breathtakingly ugly.
With the exception of a few paintings chosen for their calm atmosphere, the reception hall was almost wholly undecorated. All the walls were unpainted, showing only the bare concrete and what little flair there was came in the form of wooden beams going from the ground up to the ceiling as completely extraneous features put there only to make the room look a little less like a warehouse.
Even the furniture was ugly, with the chairs and tables being made of lighter metals and wood worked together in a shoddy fashion and with no care to either comfort or style.
Still, at least the receptionist got a reasonably pleasant desk.
Of all the rats in the building, Kevin - who sat behind said desk - was possibly the least intimidating: his piebald colouring made him stand out quite terribly and his small and unassuming stature made him seem no older than an adolescent. Moreover, the pai
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Literature
Smell a Rat update 2
Floyd did at least give him the courtesy of staying awake throughout the journey, though he suspected that it was more due to the insufferable noise aboard the ropey train they headed back from Scotland on, or the excruciatingly bumpy ride they suffered on the bus out of the highlands, than any conscious effort to keep him company during the trip.
Still, from what little he could see from the small rodent carriage slung below the train, the journey wasn’t without its highlights: fields stretched out to the horizon for most of the journey, pulled into a singular patchwork by rows of trees and hedges and where the train ran through the country’s more rugged and impressive sections, he caught glimpses of mountains and lakes.
Sadly though, for the last couple of hours the view was considerably more dull as they completed the journey on a much more comfortable train that ran mostly between big cities, with very little of note between the stops and a restricted view, thanks to th
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Literature
Smell a Rat Update #1
It was cold when Floyd awoke.
The meagre amount of light from the bedroom’s single window pooled loosely in a circle just off to the opposite side of the bed, illuminating little more than a patch of dirt and the small bedside table on Milo’s side, leaving him to squint in the gloom as he slowly roused.
The shadowy tendrils of tiredness wrapped themselves round his mind, goading him to return to his slumbers, but the chill in the air prevented him from falling back to sleep and after a while, forced him out of bed, in order to avoid waking dear Milo with his restlessness.
Floyd carefully rolled himself over the side of the bed and slowly planted his feet on the icy cold earth that served as the floor in the little nest, before finally lifting himself up as delicately as possible, as not to disturb his sleeping lover.
His fur managed to take the chill off the cold air, but still he felt distinctly cold standing naked in the bedroom, separated from Milo’s natural warmth
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Literature
Danny Blake and the Dawn Eater
For the last three hours, Danny Blake had become increasingly fractious.
Perhaps the biggest contributing factor was that “Clash of Candy Bird Ninjas” was not, in fact, the thrill-packed super addictive app its store page had promised. In all honesty it hadn't even entertained him until they'd left their home town.
Moreover,, as of about twenty minutes ago the game's poor quality had become a moot point, owing to the fact that his phone's battery had drained to nothing and despite his best efforts, resolutely refused to charge from the meagre amount of power offered by the car's on board USB hub.
And finally, perhaps he would only be tired and cranky were they taking a more scenic route, but the perfect monotony of endless motorway had been taking its toll on him ever since he realised the app he'd downloaded for the trip was garbage.
As it stood, he was tired, cranky and bored.
He tried his phone again in the hopes that the feeble car charger had at least served up enough
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Literature
Skybound
Penelope had lost count of the amount of times that number six auxiliary engine had failed, but now she was fixing it on her own for the first time, it felt like a rite of passage.
With an almost automatic motion, she tapped her phone on the sensor for the external maintenance gantry, which made a pleasant little ping sound before it unlocked and she pushed it open, letting a rush of cold air into the Aurora's cabin as she did so.
By now the safety procedure was muscle memory; first the primary line went on the guide rail on the right hand side, anchoring her to it by a strong and unforgiving cord that linked to her harness at three different points, then the secondary line went on the same rail, this one was considerably longer and fed into a pack on the back of her harness, then finally the thick, heavy-duty tertiary cord attached to the secondary anchor point that was recessed a few centimetres in the floor of the gantry, so that even if the safety rail broke, she had a final redund
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Literature
The Rise and Fall of Lillethwaite
From up at the top of pioneers' peak, Phoebe could see right down over the little town of Lillethwaite. From the end of the utterly monstrous launch rail that once formed the backbone of the western United States' Mars-Earth transit route, she could see as far as the curvature of the earth allowed.
When she was younger, she liked to think that if she went up on a perfect day, then she would see the coast, with water sparkling and waves crashing against the beaches.
Taking a quick look round, she caught sight of Alice – a good friend of hers – climbing the steep, weather-beaten steps up to the beginning of the launch rail's pier-like extension off the end of pioneers' peak.
She was a funny looking girl; her long and spindly limbs seemed to have been sewn on to her strong, thick-set body and her face bore massive glasses that made her face look particularly owl-like.
For a minute or two, her thoughts went to Alice climbing up to reach her, but like most of the time when she w
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so yeah, this is the newest stuff, there's plenty of old stuff to look through too

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Critiques


This is very well written; the flow and the imagery is especially nice, with the little rhetorical questions and whatnot, that said, I ...

Journal History

Here's a thought, DA.

I'm writing a spy thriller about rodents who go round stabbing each other and hiding from humans and whatnot. Perhaps it might be more prudent to recommend, say, James Bond fanfiction or gay romance or maybe a drama about a family of rats trying to live in a postapocalypse or something like that.

I'm really not here to bash "Blank X Reader" stories - seems they're popular on here and all, but I'd very much like it if DA could put some more suitable material in the "more from DA" section, because I'm pretty sure somebody interested in Smell a Rat wouldn't be interested in "Fem!LokiXSad!Reader" stories and vice-versa.

Or maybe it's just that there's so much of all that kind of stuff that it's the overwhelming result in any literature search? I don't know. I'm definitely not about to bash on fanfiction because I've written a load of it myself, but damn, there has to be more to the writing side of this site than "XReader" stories.

Anyhoo, rant over. Go about your business.

Activity


Whenever Floyd pulled his weapon from its scabbard, he seemed to turn into a different person; no longer the quick-witted and warm-hearted little dormouse he’d fallen in love with, but a fearsome, cold and meticulous assassin.
He had received the same training as all the other mice, but of all of the mice in MI6, he was the one that put in the most time, honing his skills to a point sharper than that on the end of his sword.
Over the years, he’d even noticed that Floyd had began to develop a sort of flair that was all his own.
The blows he dealt were just as fast and deadly as was expected of any british officer, but a particular fondness for the use of his body and free hand to grapple with opponents, stun them or otherwise exploit any weaknesses he could find was a tactic all of his own.
And hopefully one that he wouldn’t have to utilise.
He hunkered down as Floyd unlocked the door as slowly and quietly as possible and checked all around the doorframe for any sort of trap or alarm that she might have set, then barged into the room as quickly as he could.
Milo followed swiftly to back him up as he crossed the threshold and went further into the room, then yelped with surprise as a rat carrying a large knife came out of the bathroom on the left.
Quickly, he turned round to the other rat - a scrawny and dishevelled looking thing with patchy brown fur - and lunged for his right hand, knocking the knife from his hand quickly before pushing him back and letting him fall over the toilet.
From the hallway he could hear about three different sets of feet moving quickly around the main room and occasional snarling and threats.
Whoever was in the room had to have been armed when Floyd came in or else he would have just killed them to avoid this kind of a standoff.
The scraggly rat seemed to recover from the tumble fairly quickly but Milo had already closed the gap and took a good hold of his coat, then pulled his face towards the toilet again, growling with effort as he did so.
His opponent’s face hit the bowl hard and Milo punched him in the back of the head a couple of times to inflict as much damage as possible until blood began to run onto his gloves.
He’d done this so many times before. It didn’t mean he liked it.
He grabbed the other rat by the ears after the third blow and landed another heavy punch across his jaw in the hope that would be enough to lay him out, but he was graced with no such luck as the other rat managed to finally pull himself free of Milo’s grasp and drove his elbow hard into his stomach.
Milo hardly even felt it, but the cry of pain his opponent made indicated that his armour had held fast well enough to possibly damage one of his bones.
Quickly, the scraggly-looking rat rushed for the knife that had fallen in the shower, but Milo put his foot down hard on his tail and he fell to the ground pathetically.
Now shouts of aggression and a ring of clashing swords came from the bedroom and Milo realised that he would have to finish here quickly to help floyd.
From the sounds of it he was definitely outnumbered, and as good a swordhand as he was, being outnumbered in a cramped space was dangerous.
He wasn’t going to leave him by himself.
Quickly, Milo grabbed hold of the rat and smashed his head against the tiled floor, then directed a punch with all the force he could muster towards the back of his neck.
It worked and he stopped moving immediately, the blow being enough to completely break his neck.
Quickly he got back to his feet as a much larger rat appeared at the doorway, clutching a fairly nasty looking saber-style sword but quickly he turned his attention away from him as another sword came into view.
As the rat turned his attention to Floyd, Floyd’s sword penetrated his gut and moments later Floyd himself appeared, to deliver the finishing blow.
Milo watched as Floyd grabbed hold of the rat’s arm and thrust his sword into his armpit, causing his whole arm to go limp; disarming him and causing him to let out a bloodcurdling scream before he finally made one last stab through his ribcage and the other rat collapsed the moment Floyd pulled out his sword.
A mouse wielding a similar sword to the rat now came into view to attack Floyd as he had his back turned, but Floyd turned round and Milo hurried towards the door to assist him.
The other mouse was fast to strike, but Floyd moved towards him and parried with his sword, forcing the other mouse back and allowing him to reach out with his free hand to strike him in the chest.
By now Milo had reached the door of the bathroom and he saw the look of fear cross the other mouse’s face.
Quickly he turned his attention to Floyd again and headed back, but Floyd lunged for him, forcing him back into the main bedroom.
The bedroom itself was just as extravagant as the hotel suite it was situated in and were he not already engaged in an intense fight, he might have been impressed by the décor.
As it was, he was too focused on making sure the rather erratic-looking mouse desperately looking for an opportunity to attack Floyd never got one.
Again the little tan mouse launched an attack at Floyd, who nimbly hopped back to get clear of the blade and Milo now saw his opening as the mouse tried to return to a guarded position.
By the time he managed to start swinging his sword at him, Milo had already got close enough to hit him hard and square across the face.
The mouse’s head spun around at an alarming rate and his front teeth flew out across the room, then Milo reached for his bottom jaw as he recoiled and howled in pain.
He grabbed his bottom jaw firmly and took an equally authoritative hold on the top of his jaw, forcing his mouth open for Floyd to finish the fight.
He stepped to the side as Floyd took aim with his sword, then watched with morbid appreciation as he rammed his sword into his open mouth and out through the back of his neck.
With a guttural choking sound, the mouse stopped moving and fell back once Milo let go, probably dead before he even hit the ground.
Years of experience had made dealing with the shock easier, but neither Floyd nor Milo believed they could ever fully become numb to the kind of feelings that came after the fights.
Between them they had agreed never to look at personal effects on anybody they had to kill; neither one of them wanted to see anything about them other than what was strictly necessary.
They had both spent enough sleepless nights thinking about their victims to know that dwelling on it was bad for their health.
In the end, it was Milo who broke the silence
“You’re going to want to clean up a bit. There’s quite a bit of that big guy all over your suit.”
Floyd nodded and wiped the blood from his sword on the duvet on the bed before replacing it in its scabbard.
“Alright” Floyd sighed, “Have a good look round while I clean up: If she’s got security here then she’s got something to hide here. Find it.”
With that, Floyd turned round and headed for the bathroom, closing the door as he went, so that nobody could see the mess they’d made and leaving Milo alone with the corpses.
Smell A Rat update #13
Hoooo boy. I really hope that didn’t come off too sudden or hardcore. I really wanted to avoid Episode-1 style sword twirling and tried to go for a Casino Royale kind of vibe for the fighting. Bottom line is this is about as brutal as it gets here, though.
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Floyd closed the door carefully behind him and looked round to see if anybody noticed him coming out of the main lift shaft, but still the usual activity continued around him and granted him invisibility, with sharply dressed businessmice shuffling and cutting their way through the crowd, tourists milling around fairly aimlessly and and hotel porters rushing back and forth carrying all the odds and ends needed for the guests.
To his left, another dormouse tried to weave her way between a small crowd of rats that had accumulated by the lifts and he suddenly became aware of the strange smell in the room; a choking, cloying mix of different perfumes and scents over a subtle undertone of the cleaning products used by the staff on both the human and rodent levels to keep the skyscraper looking shiny and new.
Beyond that there was also the smell of the subtle bodily scents emitted by all of the different individuals passing through here, which he found more interesting by far.
He stood on tiptoes to try to get a better view of the crowd milling around him, but his stature prevented him from seeing much more than a fleeting flash from over the shoulders and heads of the smaller folk and that precious glimmer of vision disappeared instantly the moment any of the rats in the crowd moved infront of him.
He shuffled about on the spot then slowly moved over to the lifts, being careful to check for any threats as he went, until one of the lift doors opened silently and another rush of rodents spilled out and threatened to whisk him off his feet like a crashing wave, before the inevitable counter-rush came from behind and he was forced into the tiny little box.
A group of about six well dressed rat men formed an impenetrable cordon and hemmed him in against the corner of the lift as they all got in together and stood fast in their little group, as yet more rodents packed in, allowing Floyd to only peer out between their legs and hips to see any approaching threats.
“Going up! Call your floor” the attendant announced and a quick succession of numbers were called out - his desired floor among them - before the attendant pulled a lever and closed the door, then stopped as one last passenger got on and requested floor forty with a woman’s voice that bore a slight estuary accent.
Again, the doors shut and Floyd was left in the back as floor after agonising floor went by, raising him higher and higher above safe ground and further into the bowels of The Shard.
He wondered how high up Milo had got by now.
At about floor twenty-two, the crowd in the lift began to thin out and the odious rats that had hemmed him into the corner finally departed, taking their agonisingly dull boardroom politics with them and leaving him with something approaching a clear view of the floors that went by and the people in the lift with him.
For the most part, those who remained were simply tourists and casual visitors, but a single mouse standing near the door and off to the left, caught his eye.
Her fur was a fine, silky grey and obviously cared for quite meticulously and her posture was perfect. Her tail was just a little too short for her body, but her dress was exquisite; a simple red number that reached from her neck to her knees and fell in a flattering, completely straight line past her waist.
Angela Charing was standing there, waiting to go up to floor forty, completely unaware that he was there behind her.
He could kill her now, he thought.
He could take his rapier and drive it through her spine right there and then and have revenge for all the officers she’d killed over the years, but as much as the thought appealed to him, making such a display would certainly result in a complete and total PR shitstorm.
The public liked MI6, just so long as they weren’t doing anything they were aware of.
He stooped down a bit as the doors closed again to get a better look at the case she was holding and took note of its unusually intricate design.
It was made of what appeared to be rosewood, stained to a lustrous dark brown all over and featured a singular rose gold clasp that held it tight shut, but the most prominent feature of the whole item was a large letter C inlaid intricately on the lid of the case in mahogany, stained to the same degree as the rest of the case and making it stand out in a dark and foreboding red over the dark brown.
He noticed the red of the letter C was not dissimilar to the shade of red of the dress she wore and wondered for a moment if that was deliberate.
Like some sort of advertisement, maybe?
He stood back up so it didn’t look like he was just staring at her and fixated on the metal door to the lift, checking to see if there was any sort of visible reflection in the metal that she could see him in, but thankfully it was dull enough not to reveal any activity behind her.
His floor came up and slowly he shuffled through the crowd, taking one last glance at her as he  made his way to the front and out of the lift.
If she suspected anything of him, she didn’t show it, neither did she act on it.
Which suited him just fine.
He pulled his tail in close to his legs as he walked clear of the door and as soon as the door shut behind him, he cursed himself under his breath.
Years of fighting against dangerous opponents had taught him to move his tail as close to his body as he could, to make himself harder to grab hold of, but if she’d seen him do that, then that might have been all she needed to identify him as an enemy.
The corridor he now found himself in was lavishly decorated, featuring a thick, plum-purple carpet that ran the whole length of the room and an unusually thick coat of cream paint on the walls to offset it, while fairly minimal chandeliers were placed at regular intervals across the ceiling and doused the corridor in a soft white light, far removed from the harsh, cheap lights he’d grown used to at home.
Even the doors to the rooms seemed to be made of solid wood instead of just laminates on plastic or artificial board and each one featured a silver doorknob with little grooves in it to aid grip and which gleamed in the light.
At the other end of the corridor, a maintenance and emergency door offered access to the evacuation staircase; in the event of fire or human intervention or any other reason that might warrant it, the door would be opened and the rodents would all flee down a staircase that led deep into the ventilation network and offered an immediate way of escape.
It also offered an unguarded point of entry, as Milo demonstrated by opening it from the other side and stepping through.
In an ideal world, he would love to be able to do the sort of things that he did, but being a mere dormouse limited Floyd to much more low-tech options for infiltration.
Milo, on the other hand, had no such limitations and had dedicated years of his life to sneaking into places he shouldn’t be, using whatever toys the armoury wanted to provide him with.
Like the electromagnets he’d used to get up here and avoid detection effortlessly.
He envied him sometimes.
“Beat you” Floyd teased as Milo pulled the door to behind him and used one of the magnets to prop it open in the event that he might have to make a quick exit.
In response, Milo just sauntered over to him, drew the key out of his pocket and handed it back to him, then gave him an infuriatingly confident grin as he put on the gloves that the armoury had provided.
“Don’t look so smug, she’s on floor forty right now” Floyd explained and Milo just rolled his eyes “So you’re saying I climbed up here for nothing?”
He shook his head and Milo smiled, “just like Milan, then?”
He examined the key in his hand, then reached into his jacket and withdrew his sword.
“Just like Milan.”
The doors led them through to a densely packed lobby, where stairs leading into the building’s ventilation network served the majority of the individuals there, who all crowded and shuffled up the stairs to get to the lower levels of the building, where most of their offices were located, and a bank of lifts that came and went with frequency to whisk others up to the higher floors where hotels and fancy restaurants were hidden away.

The noise in here was quite stifling and Milo saw Floyd begin to retract into himself like he had done in the train station, surrounded by the constant humming and ringing and clatter.

A perky bell sound signalled the arrival of one of the four lifts that formed the bank of doors on the left side of the room, from which a large group of rodents poured out, each of them falling just short of elbowing and shoving each other out of the way.

But of the two ways to ascend the building, a third, single door stood between them, unmarked save for a warning scrawled on it in paint and unused by any of the crowd that passed them by.

It was this door that Floyd opened with the master key.

The door opened on to the shaft for the lift that ran up the centre of the building and once Floyd closed the door behind them, only a dim fluorescent light provided anything to see by.

No mouse, rat or human was ever supposed to be down here unless maintenance was required to the lift, and therefore, in contrast to the rest of the building, the bottom of the shaft was just about the only part of the building entirely devoid of any sort of flair or decoration.

It was also singularly the gloomiest place he'd ever been in that wasn't the London underground network.

Two sets of four metal pillars stood next to each other, reaching up from a grubby, concrete floor into the abyss-like heights of the building and which shook subtly once every few seconds along with the mechanical whine that accompanied the lifts descending and ascending.

“Race you” he mused.

He reached into his waistcoat and pulled out the little set of discs that had been hidden away before he left, then fitted the first of them round his left paw and used his right to unspool the cable attached to the battery on his back.

Floyd looked impressed as he fitted the cable into the first disc, then repeated the process until each of his feet and paws bore a little disc that linked to the battery on his back.

He casually leaned backwards and put an arm out behind him to test the device, and found that once he came close enough to the lift’s guide rail, it pulled him towards it with ferocious force.

“One Pitman express going up. See you on thirty six.”

Floyd smiled and walked over to him, then gave him a long, almost pleading look, which he’d come to identify over the years as a look of worry.

He wanted to go with him, but he knew he couldn’t.

“Be careful, Milo” Floyd urged as he turned round and set his other paw onto the rail, tugging hard at it to see exactly how much force he would have to exert to get the little electromagnets to release.

He looked back again to see Floyd still there, watching him as he got ready to climb his way up, still looking at him and silently wishing for his safety.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be up in no time” he said as he pushed the first two magnets up and hopped up, then swung on them to plant his feet squarely on the metal pillar.

The foot-mounted magnets pulled aggressively towards the pillar and stuck firmly, and once he was sure they would hold him, he moved his right arm up to begin the climb.

“Wait” Floyd called to him, then slipped the key he’d taken into his back pocket, “good luck.”

“You too” he said, glancing back again to see Floyd moving back to the foyer, then he hunkered down and pushed with both of his legs to climb up.

By the time he reached the ground floor, Floyd had closed the door and the only thing keeping him company was the indistinct murmur of the humans that milled around in the building.
The Shard had its own station, about ten stops and a line change away from Kingsby.
The train to the Shard hadn’t been so nice this time and the suitcase that Milo had to carry with him had reduced the already cramped carriage to a total crush.
This was the kind of thing that put him off moving sewerside.
Nonetheless, the journey had at least been fairly swift and Floyd now had time to relax as much as he could and set up for the mission ahead.
The station for The Shard was quite unusual in that it didn’t actually lead directly into the building.
At least, not by any conventional way.
The humans had set the building up to be pretty impenetrable to rodents - by design or otherwise -  and so it had taken pathfinder teams working around the clock during the building’s construction and for months afterwards to work out routes and spaces that London’s smaller inhabitants could use.
Consequently, the platform for The Shard actually led them to an unused storage space that was near the skyscraper but not actually part of it; from there, mice and rats alike would have to carefully head to the official rodent entrance, situated within a large and particularly dull-looking crate.
It was cold in the store room and poorly lit, forcing him to squint as he explained what semblance of a plan he had to Milo.
“Alright. I’ve made my mind up on this: we’re going to try to capture her alive, but the moment she becomes anything like more trouble than she’s worth, we just put her down there and then and have done with this whole thing. Sound good?”
Milo nodded as he knelt down to the suitcase and flicked it open.
“Sounds about right to me. Do you reckon we’ll get a strong enough signal up there?”
Milo gestured to the contents of the suitcase and Floyd nodded, then reached out to take the radio out of the suitcase.
A small pair of microphones and earpieces similar to the ones he was accustomed to seeing on telephones came out of the top compartment, and Floyd handed a set to Milo before he lifted the actual radio out.
The unit wasn’t much smaller than he was, but nonetheless, it ran on a tiny internal battery and was able to send and receive radio signals to and from their individual kits.
If not for this rather bulky little thing, he and Milo would have to go everywhere together or agree to meet up somewhere. The only other alternative would be to carry a bulky all-in-one unit each, which would be just about as discreet as a firework display.
Floyd turned it on and pushed a button on it to connect it to MI6, then spoke as clearly as he could into his mouthpiece, “Ugly ducking calling home, come in Mother Goose.”
Of course, Kevin answered and his ever-cheerful speech decimated the otherwise perfect quiet. “Mother Goose copies good. I’ll be here for you guys, just call in whatever you need and I’ll get it to you. Over.”
Floyd turned to Milo and shrugged, “Thanks, Mother Goose, we’ll keep you posted. Ugly Duckling Out.”
He put his microphone and speaker into his pockets and took hold of the radio, then dragged it over to a corner behind some old boxes of soup and left it there.
A particularly large spider didn’t seem too happy about him putting it there, but at least that told him that the storeroom was indeed almost completely unused by humans and therefore the station and its users were about as safe as they could be, this close to the human domain.
“Alright MIlo. You ready?”
Milo nodded and pulled on his gloves, then leaned in to kiss him.
Neither of them wanted to say it, but it was pretty obvious from the way he did it that Milo meant that to be a kiss goodbye.
In case one of them didn’t make it.

He felt profoundly uncomfortable walking into the big box and down the stairs that had been carved out by whole teams of rodents into the main foyer for The Shard.
As the foyer above was used by humans that poured in and out of the massive skyscraper, so the many rodents of London all congregated in an equally glamorous grand foyer, or about as glamorous as was possible with the materials and resources available to rodents.
Single LED lights inset in the ceiling bathed the cavernous room in cold white light and light grey paint covered the bare walls while on the floor, tiny pieces of garishly coloured plastic had been set in the concrete to form a mosaic that depicted a rather affluent young rat woman holding a suitcase, ready either to go somewhere important, or do something important.
She was up to something important though, and that was the main thing.
Without noticing it, he began holding and fiddling with his old Pathfinders’ identification badge: MI6 saw fit to have him keep that years ago, so that he would have a genuine piece of I.D. to use whenever he went out within the UK.
The problem was, he now felt guilty masquerading as a pathfinder around the building, because he knew just how many pathfinders had all met their demise in order for the rodents of London to be able to use it, and he knew first-hand just how much it hurt to see a fellow pathfinder die on the job in a dog’s jaw or beneath a human’s boot.
The human drill didn’t work.
Milo shot him a look of compassion; he’d explained all of this to him years ago in a drunken stupor, so Milo knew exactly how he felt about using his I.D as part of his disguise.
Consciously, he stopped fiddling with the badge and with a deep breath, he composed himself in order to speak to the young lady mouse on the reception desk.
She looked fairly astute as she tended to the documents on her desk and had unusually large ears and short-trimmed whiskers, as was the fashion among women of her age and wore a flattering, but professional-looking black outfit over her well groomed white fur.
They came up to her together and gave her a friendly nod to signal that they wanted to speak to her.
She turned her attention to them fairly quickly and Milo took the moment that her attention was directed to Floyd to scan over the guest register; subtly, he tapped on his foot to indicate he’d found her.
“Good afternoon gentlemen, how can I help you today?”
She spoke with a fairly calm and clipped tone and Floyd found it endearing, but quickly, he washed her pleasant tones out of his mind and produced his identification badge for her to inspect.
He went to start speaking quickly, taking only the briefest of glances at Milo, who was trying to glean as much further information as he could from the unguarded paperwork on her desk.
However, the receptionist spoke first.
“Oh. I thought we were given the all-clear last week. Has there been another incident?”
Her tone was now much different: she retained her clear and calm delivery, but rising behind it was a clear nasal intonation and a slight waver in her voice.
It upset him to hear that sound; it was a sound he’d hoped he would never have to hear again since he joined MI6.
He decided to be kind to her and told her the more pleasant of the two lies he usually went with.
“No. No more incidents, but we’re here on follow-up duty - make sure no poison’s been left out and disarm any traps that might have been put down. Can’t be too careful.”
The receptionist seemed to cheer up a bit as he said that and so he continued, glancing again at Milo as he did so, to see the quick hand gestures he was making to signal the number of the room that Angela was staying in.
“We were told it’s likely there’s fresh poison been put out on floor thirty six so we’d like to check that out first and go through the building from there, if that’s okay?”
The receptionist nodded her understanding and handed him a master key, then pointed to a large pair of doors.
“Stairs and lifts are through there. Thanks for doing this for us.”
Milo thanked her for her time and Floyd did the same and they left quickly, so that she could get back to her work.
Floyd heard her start to cry as he opened the big main doors.
Smell A Rat update #10
Extra length update for you today because I've been writing this super hard the past couple of days and I'll take any excuse to give you peeps an extra dose of Smell a Rat.

Also, bit of a downer at the end there, but unfortunately that's what life's like for topsiders. It's either hide in underground towns or put your life in the hands of the pathfinders. And as good as the pathfinders are, they can't possibly prevent everything.

Some day in the future there will come a time in the universe of SAR where human and rodents coexist peacefully, but that's not going to happen either Floyd or Milo's lifetime.
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“How do I look?”
Milo turned round for him with his arms out to his side, so that Floyd could get a good look at how his suit looked on him and make sure that none of his armour caught on his shirt or showed up in tighter areas.
Fortunately, the armoury crew were fantastically talented and had created the whole armour set to fit him so well that it was completely invisible beneath his clothes, not even showing up against the well-fitted shirt he wore.
Once everything else went on, it would be impossible to tell that he was wearing any sort of protection or carrying any sort of equipment.
“Flawless” he assured him, “if I didn’t know you were a huge wall of armoured and impeccably trained muscle, I’d say you looked dashing.”
“Thanks” he said as he collected an assortment of five small metallic disks from a bespectacled young mouse man and tucked the four smaller ones - each bearing a robust looking strap -  into the little holders that had been carefully sewn into the lining of his waistcoat.
The largest of the five metal discs Floyd recognised as a common button battery, and it slipped into a discreet carrying pouch with a small collection of fine cables coming from it, that the young mouse provided for him.
The man slipped the battery and pouch into a slot held on the back of a strange, shoulder holster-like collection of straps that Milo put on, then he put on the waistcoat, which perfectly fell over the battery and straps.
Presently, a much older looking mouse lady came over to him and presented him with a rather curious looking scabbard arrangement.
Traditionally, the British Intelligence concealed scabbard and belt was a fairly simple thing that reached across the chest as opposed to across the waist, to allow a full length sword to be hidden beneath a modest coat or jacket and featured a fairly unique swivel point that allowed the sword to be angled forward before being drawn.
The first versions of the scabbard didn’t have the swivel point and had quickly been fazed out long ago after one officer had accidentally slashed his own arm in a fight.
But this version had a couple of extra features.
For the most part it was the same old design, but the horizontal chest strap on this now had a clasp on it and the scabbard now had a long vertical strap that ran down to the side with a strange channel cut in the middle of it.
He saw Milo raise an eyebrow as he put on his jacket and the lady snapped her finger at him to demand that he take off his existing carrying equipment.
He did so somewhat reluctantly and put on the new model before tightening it up on himself, so that it didn’t misbehave when he moved, “One of the few advantages of Delta” the lady explained.
“You get to be our guinea pigs.”
Milo chuckled at that as he took his sword and placed it carefully in the scabbard, “That’s a new design we’re trialling. We’re calling it a drop-scabbard.”
The lady pointed to the clasp, “the new design features a mechanism that releases the scabbard from the straps and allows it to fall along the new side strap, thus facilitating a more traditional waist draw.”
To demonstrate, she poked the clasp and his sword immediately dropped to his waist, with the hilt naturally angled forward for him to grab.
“Neat” he remarked.
She took a firm grasp of the hilt for him and pushed it back up the strap until it returned to its usual position and locked into place; demonstrating how he could reset it once he had finished using it.
“And that’s your lot, Floyd” she said, then left with a smile and a wave, allowing him to speak with Milo, who was still being outfitted.
He looked at the set of gloves that the remaining armourer was supplying him with; they looked rough and were made of dense, black, heavy duty material, but most interestingly, along half of the length of the fingers and across them, a solid mass seemed to be sewn into them.
He’d never seen those before.
The young man fitting him seemed to sense his confusion and explained as he tried to put the gloves on Milo’s hands, “big ceramic plates around the gloves. Makes for a much heavier and harder punch. Padded inside to transfer as little of the force to the user as possible.”
As he finished speaking, he finally managed to get it on Milo’s hand and Milo flexed his fingers about in it, to get used to how it felt.
Quickly and carefully, Milo threw a punch at thin air to see how the added weight affected his motion, then raised an eyebrow as he took it off.
“No clear difference, good work.”
The young man beamed with pride at that and bid them farewell, before Milo took off the gloves to put them in his pocket.
Impressed with all that Milo had been given and also struck by just how handsome he looked in his full suit, Floyd couldn’t help but admire him for a little while before he spoke.
“Damn… you look good.”
Milo smiled at that, “You don’t scrub up too bad yourself. So, you got any ideas?”
Floyd shrugged, “nothing concrete yet; I’m pretty set on our cover but honestly, beyond that there’s not a whole lot of plan going on here.”
“So, same as usual then?”
“Same as usual.”
Smell A Rat update #9
And here we have the obligatory spies gadgeting up sequence. Get ready folks, something tells me this here's gonna get real, real soon.
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thefailmaster
Dirk Hoderin
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United Kingdom
I'm a writer with a head full of ideas, a love of tech and a movie collection that's threatening to get out of hand and overwhelm my living room.

As of now, I'm the author of "Smell a Rat" a spy thriller about a rat and a dormouse who are also a gay couple, (because why not) that updates weekly and can be read here or on tumblr, so why not stick around and enjoy yourself some silly spy goodness.

feel free to browse my page at your leisure and please do take the time to leave a comment if you like any of my work, I really appreciate it. and marvel at just how awful my stuff was back then.
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