Two letters

Dear Mum and Dad,

I know that you will be a bit surprised to receive this. Ever since I set the two of you up with an email address I haven’t even sent a birthday card through the post. But I felt that for something of this importance, a letter was the way to go.

As you know, I’m coming up to my last semester in university and I’m on course to get a first. However, something has come up and I have decided to leave. I do hope you will understand.

I recently took part in a series of tests and exams for an outside agency. At first I thought it was for the Government or the NSA over in America. Then I got the offer and I discovered it was more exciting than that.

The job offer was from Sebastian Slasher who is at the cutting edge of new technology. I know, I know he does have a reputation for being a bit on the, well, evil side of the good/evil scale.

But this is an opportunity I feel I simply cannot turn down. The technology he has access to, the technology he has created, is something I will not get to even see at any other job. The wages are insane and the benefits package is unrivalled in any other line of work. It is, quite simply, the job of a lifetime. Even my personal tutor has said that he may not like who I’d be working for but that I’d be an idiot to turn it down.

There is a lot of talk about the eventual fates of his hired goons but you need not worry. I’m not going to be a mere henchman. When situations like the failed attempt to rob Fort Knox go down I will be nowhere nearby. R&D, that’s my sole job in the organisation, working from his top secret lair.

I understand that you may not like what I am going to be doing but, I implore you, please understand why I need to do this. Just remember that I love you and give Stephen a hug for me.

Your ever loving son,

Nathanial Cook.

Dear Nate,

It was a bit of a surprise to receive your letter. At first your mother and I were wondering who it could be from, not knowing anyone else in Aberdeen, then we recognised the handwriting on the envelope. I am writing the response as your mother, after I read the letter to her, needed a lie down and I thought it necessary to respond right away.

Son, you cannot be seriously thinking about taking this job. When your friend John dropped out of university you spent the best part of a day talking about what an idiot he was making of himself, quitting before getting his degree. And now you are thinking of doing the same. For what?

To work for a complete madman. Did you see the news today? Your future boss has tried to destroy New York, Washington DC and London. Yet again. Thankfully Corporal Lynx was able to stop him. I know how good you are at building things but why do you want a job building things designed to destroy? Is that really a good use of your skills?

I understand your explanation that you will not face the same risks as the mooks but are you aware of the legal peril you will find yourself in? Ignorance about the use your inventions will be put to will not be a defence. You face a lengthy jail term, if not a death sentence. Nothing me, your mother or your brother can say or do will be able to change that.

You will also likely be asked to cease all communication with your friends and family. Do you think that Mr Slasher will risk you revealing the location of his lair to us? It will be like when your uncle was forced by the Church of Scientology into cutting us out of his life.

Stephen has just found out that he is a finalist in the Young Musician of the Year competition. Wouldn’t you like to join your mother and me in supporting him at that event?

Please son, don’t leave university yet. Come home for the holidays, talk things over with us, it’s the least you can do.

With all my love,

Omar Cook.



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