Looking for a different way to answer Jennie's challenge (No. 11), a story about when Bodie and Doyle first met and/or their first op together as partners (including missing keys, a photo album and the phrase "something for the weekend, sir?"), I remembered I'd never done a story to cover challenge 5, a case or event told in the form of diary entries.
Never one to pass up an opportunity, I decided to combine the two.
10/07/75 - Thursday
It arrived, this morning. The letter. Signed by the Controller, George Cowley himself. I was in. I read it four times before I believed it; but the words didn't alter. 'Raymond Doyle - seconded to CI5 with immediate effect. Report for training on 21/07/75.'
26/07/75 - Saturday
8 o'clock, on a Saturday evening, and I'm at home - alone. I'm knackered. This is the first chance I've had to record my thoughts since the course started.
I thought I was fit; the Met doesn't exactly let you get out of shape. But we've spent this week on the assault course, in the gym, and at the range. There are eight of us altogether; four new and four on some sort of refresher that we apparently have to take every few months.
Lake and Williams seem OK; we're getting on, exchanging backgrounds in the very occasional breaks we get. The fourth new man is a different matter. Bodie - that's all he'll be called, no first name - is ex-SAS, ex-army - and ex- a few other things he won't be drawn on yet. Seems like a moody bugger. Competitive too - we came up against each other on the range and we both blasted away our allocation of ammo trying to out-do each other.
He couldn't out-shoot me with a handgun - well, I am the best shot in the Met - but he's good with a rifle. Wonder if that murky past includes a job as an assassin?
31/07/75 - Thursday
We're in the classroom this week. I had thought Bodie might not manage as well here but there are apparently some brains lurking behind that hulking exterior. He was pretty up-to-date with the latest weaponry, a star pupil, in fact. I suppose that was to be expected with his recent background.
But I thought - and turned out to be right today - that once we got onto things like law and procedures, that he wouldn't be so hot. He had an answer for that though. Something about CI5 having a brief where the end justified the means, and the law not having a lot to do with it. Bit of a smart-alec. Not even CI5 can completely ignore the laws in this country.
20/08/75 - Wednesday
Nearly three weeks since my last diary entry. It feels more like three months. It seems they were breaking us in gently (could've fooled me!) and the last couple of weeks have been even more intensive including a series of psychological tests.
I haven't seen Sophie for nearly two weeks, she's beginning to think I'm seeing someone else. I've told her I don't have the time - or energy - but I'm not sure she believes me.
22/08/75 - Friday
Had a row with Sophie tonight because I was late getting to the pub. It wasn't exactly my fault, my car keys had gone missing and I had to scour the training centre for them. Surprisingly, it was Bodie who stopped to help me look, and he found them. I was less grateful than I should have been. He handed them over with a supercilious smirk that could have meant any number of things, and immediately set up suspicions in my mind that he'd had them all along.
Anyway, Sophie was in a flaming temper when I got there; she'd wanted to go and see some new film at the cinema and we'd missed the start. And when she found out that I couldn't see her over the weekend, her mood got even worse.
Monday is a bank holiday. Sophie had arranged to meet Tania and Bob, her best friends, expecting that I would be able to go as well. I tried to explain that CI5 isn't a 9 to 5 job, that in all likelihood it would be worse than the Met, but she didn't want to listen.
I'm starting to wonder whether I've made a mistake in applying to join the organisation. I'm getting on well enough in the Met; and you generally know when you can take time off, even if things are sometimes changed at the last minute. I've heard that CI5's Controller never takes time off, and doesn't know the meaning of the word 'holiday'.
No, I know I'm doing the right thing. Ever since I first heard of CI5, and talked about it to Syd Parker, I've wanted to be part of it.
25/08/75 - Monday
Some bank holiday that was. I've just spent the weekend playing bloody red indians across some kind of bogland in Wiltshire. In best August Bank Holiday weather tradition it's been pissing down. All weekend. I've been completely soaked through for most of it.
Bodie, of course, was in his element. Dressed in combats, face blacked up (well, as blacked up as you could manage with the rain washing it off) he naturally took charge and led our team competently through the course, evading capture and getting us to the checkpoints well ahead of time.
Cocky bastard. Took all the congratulations with a smug grin on that smooth - and admittedly handsome - face. I suppose he did buy a lot of the drinks last night, though.
With a few drinks inside him, Bodie opened up a bit. Talked about having been a mercenary, out in Africa, and how he'd only just escaped death several times. Difficult to tell, with him, how much of it was bravado and how much true. He's the sort to dress up any story to make it - and himself - sound bigger and better than anything or anyone else.
I'd had a few myself, so I'm having trouble remembering the details, but I definitely have the impression that for all the 'devil-may-care' attitude, Bodie's been through some rough patches. There's something deep about him, as if a lot of the 'real' Bodie is buried.
I wonder how he'll get on - really get on - in CI5. We've been told that once we're through the initial training we'll be paired off. It'll be just my luck to be paired with Bodie. But I don't suppose it'll happen; anyone can see we don't get on.
29/08/75 - Friday
Had another argument with Sophie. After a workout at the gym we've got a half-day tomorrow; first time in weeks that I've got any time off, and she's busy. Meeting Tania and Gillian, and going shopping... Charming.
31/08/75 - Sunday
Well, I learnt one thing yesterday; Bodie can drink. My head's thumping. I'm not even sure how I landed up going to the pub with him.
I remember sounding off yesterday morning about not being able to see Sophie, and not getting a lot of sympathy. Bodie came out with some sarky comment about using the time to visit the barber - he reckons I'm starting to look like a golly - but not to worry about picking up 'something for the weekend, sir' because I obviously wouldn't need it.
I took out my frustration on him, on the judo mat. I generally come off worst when we're matched; Bodie's slightly taller and heavier than me, although that doesn't necessarily mean he will always win. Judo is about using your opponent's weight against them. But he's good, and usually sneaky with it.
But I was steaming, and that gave me the edge. A few throws later and I had him floored in an arm lock. Somehow I expected him to be angry or resentful, or at least attempting to fight back, but he was grinning in that smug, infuriating way he has.
Later, in the changing room, he came over and suggested we went for a drink. God knows why, but I agreed, and within 10 minutes we were in the bar of the most local pub.
Bodie's not someone I'd normally choose to go drinking with. We're like chalk and cheese; oil and water. We don't mix. But we're going to be part of the same team and I'm curious to find out what makes the man tick.
I certainly didn't find out much to start with, although we did manage some conversation. I established he was originally from Liverpool but that he'd bailed out of there as soon as he could. There was a certain amount of glossing over of what followed, but I did learn he'd joined the paras before moving to the SAS where Cowley had recruited him.
I somewhat reluctantly filled him in on some of my background; I'd already heard what he thought of 'flat-footed coppers'. But the anticipated sarcasm didn't materialise. He asked me a few questions about cases I'd covered, where I'd worked and - a question that could have been sarcastic but wasn't - what had I done to bring myself to Cowley's notice?
So it was true then. I'd always heard you didn't just apply to the organisation, that they found you.
The answer wasn't hard to find, once I thought about it. The Drugs Squad were trying to put a plug in a major drugs pipeline. We'd gone in armed for the warehouse stakeout since we knew they would be, and I'd played a key role in the gun battle that followed. I'd been given a commendation for the protection of fellow officers at the risk of my own life. Not that I'd thought about that at the time. But that was probably the sort of thing that would attract the attention of CI5.
Bodie had nodded approvingly when I'd told him, then as they were calling last orders, had suggested we found an off-licence and stock up, then go somewhere where we could watch the racing.
The 'somewhere' turned out to be here. I was keen to see his place - the man was still an enigma - but he dismissed my suggestion with a casual line about 'avoiding a bird'.
Beer can in hand, Bodie prowled about, reading the titles on the bookshelves and peering at pictures and photos, and flipping through the small photo album Sophie had given me with the record of our Easter break in Brighton. In spite of the interest, he didn't comment on anything, and I tempered my annoyance with the thought that in his flat I'd've been doing the same; he was probably as keen to learn about me.
With a few more beers, and a discovered common interest in horse-racing, the rest of the afternoon passed swiftly, disintegrating into a blur by the evening when the pubs opened again. I have a few recollections of learning more about Bodie's background; he's half-Irish - although I can't remember which half - doesn't have any siblings, or close friends.
I do remember his claim that girls couldn't resist him, and then attempting to prove it with the barmaid. He took her rejection remarkably well, considering.
I think we were thrown out at closing time. Last thing I remember was Bodie hailing a taxi - by standing in the road in front of it - and staggering home.
Thank Christ I don't have to report for training today. Wonder if I should phone Sophie?
01/09/75 - Monday
Sophie phoned earlier, demanding to know why I hadn't called her on Sunday. I couldn't really tell her I hadn't wanted to see her because I'd had a hangover. I'd pleaded a headache and attempted to change the subject by telling her about my day, but she wasn't interested.
It's funny, Sophie suggested I keep this diary so that I'd remember to tell her things if we didn't see each other for a couple of days, but it seems that I'm telling the diary instead of telling her now. Anyway - my day.
Today was our first day at CI5 Headquarters. Despite all the training over the last 6 weeks, I haven't really felt like a member of the team until now.
For the moment, though, we're still agents-in-training; the newcomers, that the rest of the field agents take little notice of. We've got assignments which will ensure we learn everything about CI5. For the next couple of months we'll cover the filing and communication rooms, and do deskwork on existing cases.
In between, we'll continue the physical training, honing our skills. Doesn't sound too bad - although it's clear we won't get much time off.
Don't suppose that will please Sophie either.
06/09/75 - Saturday
Another week gone. It's getting hard to keep track of things. I've spent this week in the filing room; no particular hardship, I've done enough of that in the Met. I wonder how Bodie will get on when it's his turn?
One big difference between the Met and CI5 is how easy it is to get information. In the Met, if you need to know something from another region, you go through channels. And you wait, while the request is passed along the line, and the information passed back again. In CI5, there's no rank, no channels. You ring up, and someone rushes to the files and back to the phone. No waiting. Maybe the police force will get there one day.
Anyway, some of us are meeting up for a drink tonight. I'm going to try not to get as drunk as last week; I've promised to pick up Sophie at 11.30 tomorrow because of lunch with Tania and Bob. She wasn't pleased when I said I couldn't see her tonight, but I'm getting fed up with her expecting me to fall in with her plans every time.
07/09/75 - Sunday
I've had the feeling all along that Bodie was trouble, and I'm right.
The evening started out calmly enough. We were supposed to be celebrating Morgan's engagement, but that was just an excuse for a piss-up, and about 10 of us descended on the pub most local to CI5 HQ. The barmaid greeted several of the others by name, so it was obviously a popular watering hole, and we ordered in several rounds of drinks and took over one corner.
Whatever the excuse, it gave us time to get to know each other. One of our part-time instructors, Barry Martin, was there, but he's still one of the lads, someone who's got the knack of getting on with everyone. He's one of the first CI5 recruits and still calls Mr Cowley 'the Major' from their Army days. Matheson and King were busy taking the piss out of each other and spiking Morgan's drinks, so that Morgan was already the worse for wear by the time his partner, Murphy, turned up, with several pretty girls in tow. Bodie had managed to convince several girls already in the pub to join us, and it turned into a proper party.
We were thrown out at closing time and the party moved to someone's flat - I'm not sure who it belonged too - but there was no shortage of drinks. I woke up this morning on the sofa, with an unnamed girl in my arms and a raging headache - far too late to get home, change and get to Sophie's by 11.30 - even if I hadn't had a hangover.
I stumbled to the phone and rang her immediately to make some excuse about having to work, and I think she'd have bought it if it hadn't been for Bodie blundering in and grabbing the phone. Before I got the receiver back she heard enough of his loud-mouthed comment about the blonde on the sofa to know I was lying and put the phone down on me.
Bodie seemed to think he'd done me a favour, getting me out of the lunch date. He doesn't seem to realise he could've put paid to me and Sophie as well.
It's nearly 8. I've tried calling; Sophie either isn't home yet or isn't answering the phone.
Thing is: I'm not sure whether I want her to.
11/09/75 - Thursday
Still haven't spoken to Sophie. I went round to her flat earlier but she wasn't there - at least, not unless she was sitting in the dark. Maybe I should call Tania; see if she knows where Sophie is.
12/09/75 - Friday
Well, at least Tania told me Sophie's OK. She wouldn't tell me where she was though. She might be Sophie's best friend but I've never really liked her. Guess the feeling's mutual.
It's been another crap week in the filing room. It's only a minor consolation to know Bodie will be doing his stint there next week, since I only get to move as far as the Comms room.
14/09/75 - Sunday
Sophie finally called. She wouldn't listen to me; she just called to let me know she'd be away for a couple of weeks, and not to bother Tania. (As if I would.) She agreed to call me when she was back, but said she needed some time alone to think - and maybe I should do the same.
02/10/75 - Thursday
Just finished talking to Sophie. We're going to meet tomorrow night; just for a drink and talk. Sounds ominous.
Apart from the odd evening, it's been weeks since we spent any proper time together. When we were first together, we couldn't go 2 days without seeing each other. I haven't seen Sophie in nearly a month now - but I haven't really missed her.
05/10/75 - Sunday
Keeping this diary has become strangely addictive. I'm not sure I understand why it's comforting to put things down on paper that I probably wouldn't even discuss with a best friend, if I had one.
I've done a lot of thinking since Friday. About Sophie, me - and CI5. And I'm not sure I'm any closer to an answer.
Sophie's looking for commitment. I suppose I knew that; after all, we've been going out for months. But as I told her, I can't give her that sort of commitment, not right now, with the new job and everything. Can't, or won't, she asked.
I couldn't answer that because I don't know.
08/10/75 - Wednesday
We're back on the assault course this week. I'm relieved; the physical training gives you less time to think about things so to a large extent I'm not brooding over what Sophie's said.
I must've given something away though; Bodie asked me earlier if I was OK. He obviously has some hidden - well-hidden - sensitivities.
10/10/75 - Friday
Sophie called last night to say she was working over the weekend and wouldn't be able to see me.
I'm relieved. I probably shouldn't be; but I've been tossing thoughts around all week and I'm no closer to knowing what to do. I can't give her the sort of commitment she's looking for at the moment. To be honest, I'm not even sure she's the one I want to make any commitment to anyway.
I suggested we meet next weekend, just for a drink, and she agreed. Maybe we both just need some space.
16/10/75 - Thursday
Bodie asked after Sophie today. He couldn't remember her name - why doesn't that surprise me? - but sounded as if he regretted his part in the rift between us. I haven't told him much but I've already noticed there's more to him than meets the eye and it doesn't take Einstein to work out what's bothering me.
Anyway, when I said I was seeing her Saturday he suggested a double-date. He made it sound like I was doing him a favour since he's got a new girl, but as far as I can see it's a sacrifice on his part. I've done it once or twice and it's no fun double-dating with a couple who are going through a rough patch; you can end up in a war zone.
But I said yes, it would be a great idea. Definitely cowardly, but I'm not sure I want to be alone with Sophie when I can't come to any decision about all the deep, meaningful stuff.
19/10/75 - Sunday
It's nearly 10. Bodie has just gone.
He turned up unannounced, with a bottle of whisky as a peace-offering. I was reluctant to let him in at first, but he gave me one of those looks I'm already becoming familiar with: a sort of 'little-boy-lost' expression which is tinged with whatever emotion he wants to convey - remorse, at that moment.
I'd been thinking all morning about Sophie. Initially she hadn't been keen on the idea of the double-date but once she saw Bodie she changed her mind. She practically threw herself at him and being Bodie, even with a girlfriend along, he lapped it up.
I don't know what Sophie was up to. I think she was trying to make me jealous. And she did, but not in the way she wanted. My confusion over my feelings for her merely crystallised into one thing as I watched her flirting with Bodie. I was jealous - but of him. Of his freedom, to pick up and put down girlfriends, and not being tied down.
By the time Bodie arrived I was simply trying to decide what to do. It seemed the remorse lasted only as long as he needed to establish that I wasn't actually going to hit him, before he visibly relaxed and poured us both a drink, favouring me with his interpretation of how to handle women.
I wasn't taken in by the disclaimer that he didn't usually chat up mate's birds. I've already spent enough time with Bodie to know he just can't resist attractive girls, and reckon I'll have to be careful who I introduce him to. And if he's such an expert, how come his girlfriends rarely last past the third date? Still, some of it made sense.
The bits about only caring about Number One; that if you're worrying about someone else it takes the edge off you. And in the situations we've been trained for, we need that edge.
We drunk the whisky between us; me more than him, I suspect. I'm not drunk. But I can't think straight.
21/10/75 - Tuesday
Sophie called last night. She sounded both annoyed and concerned that I hadn't called her since Saturday, and wanted to know when I was going over. I pleaded work - an excuse neither of us believe any more.
We're nearing the end of our official training and induction; just 10 more days to go. End of one phase; start of the next.
31/10/75 - Friday
There's been a lot happen over the last 3 months. A lot of changes; I'm no longer the Ray Doyle I used to be. Leaner'n'meaner, Bodie would call it.
And tougher as well. I've made my decision, and will see Sophie tomorrow night.
03/11/75 - Monday
This morning we saw Mr Cowley. We've been under constant evaluation so there's been no exam to pass, but from this morning we're officially on the team.
And at last we found out. I hoped it wouldn't happen but it has; Mr Cowley has paired Lake and Williams, and me with Bodie. Mr Cowley anticipated any objection I might have made about how different we were, by adding that our differences would make for a solid team - two halves of a whole.
Not too sure about that, but it's not like I hadn't considered the possibility of this pairing. For all his irritating habits - and I'm sure there are more I haven't discovered yet - Bodie's not so bad.
Anyway, for all I know he may not be pleased about being paired with me either. He didn't seem too put out though, grinning engagingly and suggesting a drink later with the girls to celebrate the newly-formed partnership.
He nodded thoughtfully when I told him Sophie had dumped me, and added that she'd been screwing me up, I could do better, and he'd make it his personal aim in life to help me.
Mr Cowley seems to think we should be like Siamese twins, now it sounds like Bodie's making me his personal responsibility. Well, we've already proved we can work together; maybe some sort of friendship will be possible as well. Maybe this partnership won't be all bad.
06/11/75 - Thursday
'Today is the first day of the rest of your life'. The phrase never meant much to me before.
Bodie and I handled our first real job together today. We were out in the car when we picked up an emergency call about armed bank robbers a couple of streets away. We were the first there, had the car across the road and were in cover by the time the two raiders tried to leave.
They had a hostage. Our shouts for them to drop their weapons and surrender only drew their fire.
So we fired back. This is what we've been trained to do, after all. Bodie's shot took out the faster-moving, lone robber. His accomplice with the hostage fired back at Bodie, who ducked, and began to turn the gun towards the terrified woman in his grasp. I didn't hesitate. I knew I could hit him.
Mr Cowley found us in the closest pub, which Bodie had immediately sought out. He didn't seem surprised or annoyed at the location and for all his reputation for being tough there were a few words of congratulation for a job well-done.
I suppose it depends what you interpret from 'well-done'. We stopped the robbery and released the hostage unharmed. We upheld the peace, maintained law and order, all in the name of justice.
I always knew joining CI5 would change my life. Today I've taken a step forward, and I'll never be able to go back again.
'Today is the first day of the rest of your life'. Words. Phrases. They're meaningless, pointless.
Today, I fired a gun. And the bullet lodged in a man's brain.
Today, I killed a man.