Head Trip - The Extraordinary World of Harry Edwards Styles

Harry Edwards Styles - Secret Agent, Jedi Knight, Wizard, Time Traveller.

Harry Styles, Man of Mystery. In his world everything is possible.

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1. Man of Mystery

 

Jazz music softly was playing from the pianist in the corner of the room. The tune familiar to my ears, yet I was unsure of where I'd heard it before. The low lights cast a purple almost blue tint to the room giving a very intimate feel. Lights placed above each table cast their light downwards catching smoke beneath the beams. Each table looking like a tiny island isolated in the darkness. Cocktail glasses filled with enchanting colourful liquids stood on the polished surfaces. Indistinct chatter from the tables escaped the surrounds of the islands and filled the void between them with noise. 

I noticed the smoke which hung in the great clumps from the cigarettes that everyone seemed to be smoking. I sniffed the nicotine stained air picking out different blends of tobacco, Turkish, Egyptian and a whiff of menthol were easily discerned by the hairs inside my nasal cavity.  

Adjusting the bowtie around my neck and shooting the cuffs of my dinner jacket I walked purposely towards the bar at the end of the room. I felt, rather than saw, the women in the room turn towards me as I passed. I knew I looked good, desirable and suave. Sensing the jealousy from the men in the room towards me, I smiled. Running the fingers through my dark brown hair, I detected that it was a few centimetres too long and made a mental note to contact my barber first thing in the morning. 

"What can I get you sir?" The barmaid asked in her most seductive voice. 

I eyed her up and down smiling. 

"Martini, shaken not stirred" I said. 

"And your phone number" I added. 

The girl prepared the drink and placed it on the bar. Hesitantly she placed a slip of paper beside it. I smiled and picked it up, placing it into my pocket. 

Leaning against the bar I sipped his drink, looking for the person that had brought me to this god forsaken jazz club in Paris. It was a place I normally would have given a wide berth to but work, and duty called. My eyes wandered to a tall women in a little black cocktail dress, legs that went up as far as her armpits and a body that visibly smoked. 

"Have you got a light, monsieur?"  

A seductive female voice interrupted his gaze. Turing I came face to face with a woman. A little too much lipstick for my taste, but the low cut gold lamé dress promised much. Paris really was full of beautiful women. 

The lighter came to my hand instantly and I flicked it open sparking a flame. The woman held her cigarette in it's long slender holder close to the flame. Her face, which at first looked young and fresh showed it's age under the flickering light. Too many late nights had turned her once youthful features into lines that were kept at bay by foundation. 

"So what brings you to a place like this?" she asked. 

"I'm looking for Zayn Malik. Is he in this evening?" 

"Malik?" She said slowly. 

"Malik the international playboy who uses women like others use a tissue. "  

"Ah that Zayn," she said, "what do you want with him?" 

"He has something I want,"  

"He's over there at the far table, with the Countess of Sussex" she said. 

I followed her gaze and saw through the smoky fog and saw Zayn sat there in a white tux. Playboy indeed. Little did most here know how dangerous he really was. He was the scourge of the world, plotting the downfall of society everyday. His criminal organisation SMERK had its tentacles into every corner of the world, its grubby paws riding roughshod over the values hold highly. Once we were on the same side, fighting the bad guys in the service of the nation. Now he'd gone renege and was now on the side we once opposed. 

He didn't see me walk up. The woman opposite was his usual fix. Too much makeup, tan and dripping with diamonds, she reeked of money. 

"Zayn" I said measuredly as I stood just outside the light island. 

I saw him squint into the dark trying to make who was there.  

"Ah it's you" he said nonchalantly, "Linda my dear, would you go and powder your nose." 

Linda leant across to kiss him before disappearing into the gloom.  

"Classy,' I said as I sat down opposite him. 

"Quite, she's out of your league." 

"Does she know about you?" I asked. 

"Why would she need to know about me, she's just grateful I spare her the time..." 

"Ah, as conceited as ever. I see your ego is as high as ever." 

"They get what they want, I get what I want," he said laughing lightly. 

"Drink?" He asked, "don't want to appear unhospitable." 

I nodded. 

He clicked his fingers. 

"Laura, a martini, shaken not stirred please my dear." 

"You remembered," I replied, "after such a long time." 

"How could I not remember a drink as lame as that. Real men drink scotch... neat" 

I tried not to rise to the bait but watched him closely. He was putting on a bit of weight these days, no longer the slim fitness freak he'd once been. I guess years of debauchery had started to take its toll. I relaxed a little. It would be easier to deal with him as he was. A few years ago I'd be wary of going up to him one on one.  

Laura placed drinks in front of both of us. 

"A funny place for you to frequent?" I said sipping my drink. It was good, just the right amount of gin to vermouth.  

"It has a certain class to it, and I can keep my eye on my investment." 

Then it was correct what I'd heard and this gin joint was owned by SMERK.  

"Pleasantries over, what brings you here?" He said toying with his glass sloshing the ice around. 

"You have something I want" I replied. 

He smiled. 

"And what would that be?" 

"I think you know. A few weeks ago some of your agents broke into a research facility in North Ferriby. They took away all the plans for the latest surveillance drone and then left enough plastic explosive to create a crater one hundred metres across and twenty deep. Luckily there were no human casualties but the office cat was incinerated. There are a few office workers there who are after your balls for that. You know how sentimental we British are for our pets, unless you have forgotten that." 

"And what make you think that I had anything to do with this?" He said smoothly. 

"Well your organisation are always at the centre of international espionage. However we picked up one of the perpetrators this last week in London. With a little … persuasion … we managed to convince him to tell us everything. The money you gave him to carry out this raid won't be much use to him for a few years. He'll be kept at his majesties pleasure for quite a few years, and then we might turn him over to those secretaries who'll extract their own revenge." 

Zayn shrugged. 

"There's little point in telling you a lie, is there. You after all are the jewel in the crown of the British security service. The agent at the peak of his powers. I could never measure up to you, the golden boy. No one even gave me a second glance," he replied. I could feel the contempt in his voice rising as he spoke. His normal cool exterior dropped as the venom inside him came out. 

"You want to know why I left the secret service? It was down to you. Everyone loved you, I never stood a chance. All I did was stand in your shadow, picking up the dregs in your wake. Look at me now. I'm master of my own destiny, I'm rich, held in high regard and I no longer have to bow down to anyone." 

"The scum who look up to you aren't fit to tie the boots of decent people. You feed off the soft underbelly of society along with the pond life. You're welcome to the money, the fame. I'm happier doing the job I'm committed to, protecting society from the likes of you." I replied. 

"And yet you put yourself at risk coming asking me for something. I just have to click my fingers and you'll be dead within seconds." 

"I never found clicking fingers that exciting" I said noticing in the shadows some of his goons. 

"I'm getting bored with you now. I can't imagine why I stuck around you for so long." 

"I'm not going until I get what I came for, the plans Zayn, give me the plans" I said with  steely determination. 

"You mean these?" He said producing a green memory stick from his pocket, "how much are you prepared to pay?" 

"You know how this works Zayn. We don't pay for anything, not when the defence of the realm is at stake." 

He laughed.  

"Then we have nothing else to discuss" he said dismissing me, "on your way" 

I sat still. 

"I'll take the stick" I replied not blinking. 

I felt rather than saw the movement behind me. In a flash I was on my feet. The nearest goon was approaching with a knife. Grabbing his arm by the wrist I pulled him past me knocking the knife to the floor. A hand chop to the back of his neck send him unconscious to the floor, the old Nepalese method of instantly disabling an assailant proving it's worth once again. 

Turning I avoided the second goon who lurched towards me blade shining in the light. It missed me by a hairs breath. I tripped the man with my leg sending him sprawling to the ground. Kicking out at his kidneys I watched him grimace and lay still.  

"Your henchmen aren't up to much Zayn. Maybe you let them drink too much." I said. 

Just then another goon came running towards me. Sidestepping I pushed him into a table scattering the glasses. The tables leg broke like matchsticks and the goon lay groggy on the floor. 

I moved towards Zayn.  

Yet another of his henchmen came towards me.  

"This is getting boring now Zayn" I said as I despatched this one with a kick to the groin. I almost saw the eyes bulge in his sockets as he fell to the floor clutching his crown jewels. 

"You not going to dirty your hands?" I taunted, "let your lackeys eat the dirt instead of you?" 

"You can never take me'" he said standing up from his chair. 

We stood facing each other. I could sense the eyes of everyone in the room on us now. The tension was as thick as the cigarette smoke that hung in the air. My eyes watched his every move waiting for him to make the opening gambit.  

Zayn kicked out with his left foot in a move designed to take me down. Luckily I was the one who'd taught him that tactic and had been expecting it. Zayn was, thankfully, always predictable. I dodged his kick moving to the side to get to abreast of him. He swung round but was slightly off balance as I aimed a chop towards his neck. He tumbled backwards but managed to keep his footing.  

"Had enough Zayn?" I mocked. 

"In your dreams" Zayn replied. 

I was pleased to hear him slightly out of breath. Maybe this would be easier than I thought. I smiled as I approached him but then was caught unawares. In a quick move, definitely not one a HM agent would use, he grabbed one of the metal chairs and like some WWE wrestler from the colonies, swung it at my head connecting with me forcibly. I was dazed and slumped to the floor in a heap.  

"You think you're so good, don't you?" he taunted. 

How ungentlemanly of him I thought as he tried to aim a kick at my head. I grabbed at his foot yanking him down towards the ground beside me. I guess he thought I was rattled but I wasn't. A schoolboy error had brought Zayn down. What is the phrase? 'Never hit a man when he's down?' Well Zayn had found that out the hard way. As he fell over, toppled like some dictator's statue I was quick to pin him down, my knee in his chest.  

All that rich living had made him soft. He was dazed by such a little fall. 

"The data stick please Zayn" I said. I always thought it better to say please, more polite. 

"In...my...pocket," he replied sucking in huge breaths of air between words. Of course it was mostly the acrid nicotine polluted air but beggars couldn't be choosers. 

"Thank you," I said reaching into his inside jacket pocket and extracting the slim object.  

"If you've made any copies of this then I'll be back and next time it won't be only your pride that is hurt." I said. 

Standing up I shot the cuffs of my jacket and adjusted my tie. It wouldn't be done to be seen looking anything but immaculate. I finished my drink and wandered towards the exit. As a passed the bar one of Zayns goons decided to have a last go, I saw him coming in the mirrored glass behind the bar. As he was about to throw his arms around me, I ducked hunching my back. As he came over the top of me I hoisted him up and threw him against the back of the bar. Bottles of spirits shattered, along with the mirror.  

"That's seven years bad luck" I flung the words to him as I walked towards the exit. 

"Who are you?" The barmaid asked, her eyes wide with awe.  

"The names Styles, Harry Edward Styles" I said with panache. 

"Licence to Kill" I added as I left the building. I padded my coat pocket, feeling the note from the barmaid. I'd ring her later. Maybe I should have added licence to thrill.

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