Scorpion's Vengeance "A Museum Piece!"
From the Author
That sounds like a tall order for just one chapter, and it might be, but we'll see how far we get into the story before making any more comments.
Jacko Mac and Smithy are racing across the country to try and get to the safe house before O'Flanagan and his thugs show up, and Smithy has ditched his usual Sniper rifle for a museum piece, a damned .303 Lee Enfield!
The .303 Lee Enfield was standard British Army issue from 1902 through to the 1950s, and anyone who's ever fired one will tell you there's no better rifle ever made, but it belongs in a Museum, or does it?
Read on and see for yourself.
Museum piece? Think again.
From the previous, O'Flanagan and his cronies
“Do yer have any idea who's guarding the kid?” O’Flanagan was beginning to lose the plot, “A flamin’ team o’ the best, that’s who! Trust me, I’ve dealt with these pricks afore! They’re gonna come at us from all bloody angles, and I want your boys to stop ‘em coming in from the east,” he stopped for a moment to let that sink in, “let me deal with the kid, and if it gets too bloody hot, you hit ‘em from the east, but we don’t let ‘em know you’re there until we bloody well have to, have you got it?”
Stefan didn’t like the plan, it meant he wouldn’t be able to confirm whether ‘the mick’ had done the job, “Serkhov want confirmation” was all he said.
“Then I’ll make sure to post him a bloody picture!” the Irishman quipped back, “Look, your boys seal off that road, I’ll leave a couple of lads to seal off the other, and the rest of us will go in and finish the bloody job, Got it?” he paused again to make sure the Russian understood, he could see the anger in his face, but he also knew the Russians were outnumbered in this one, they had four guys, where O’flanagan had brought his whole cell, six of them, more than enough for the average, but this was no average hit. “Now, what did you bring?”
Jacko's driving, "Someone call this idiot off!"
“Boss” Mac spoke up, they'd been driving for a while, “I reckon we’re about forty-five minutes out, the roads get a bit narrow from here on in” he glanced nervously over at the speedometer, he couldn't tell the speed, but the needle was well over on the right-hand side. The dial went up to 90 mph, but it looked as if the needle was well off the dial, and in a Land Rover, that wasn't crazy, it was suicidal!
“Boss” Mac spoke up again, his knuckles were white with holding on, but Jacko, in fact, all of them had done the police pursuit driving course, it was part of the training, “message from Sandy, ” he looked over at Jacko who glanced back, Jacko didn't like what he saw.
“Says at least two teams, one Russian, one Irish” Mac put the tablet back in the recess and grabbed hold tightly, “Ya better stop playing around and get a move on boss.”
“Looks like two entry points boss” Smithy added to the conversation.
“Yeah” Jacko was concentrating, they were fast approaching a car doing the speed limit, but he had no intention of slowing down, there was a slow lane just in front of the car, he was plotting the best way forward.
The car wasn't moving over, Jacko blew the horn, but all he got back was a ‘one fingered salute’, he swerved left and gunned the engine, considering he hadn't slowed in the first place the Lannie flew past the car, Smithy obliged with a return ‘salute’.
The lights at the crossroads ahead were changing, they were yellow or ‘amber’ heading for red. A car was pretty close to them coming from the left, the driver had anticipated the change and was cruising up. The lights changed and he started to go as Jacko flew into the junction literally ‘drifting’ the Lannie round the other vehicle, no horn came on, but seconds later a police siren came on as well as red and blue lights receding but pursuing them.
“Boss” Mac joked, “I know we're gonna need the cops later, but bringing ‘em with us, that's bloody ridiculous!”
“Shut up, ” Jacko responded, “and get on the blower, get someone to call this idiot off”
“Roger that” Mac reached for the phone, “Smithy, directions, now please”
The difference between map reading and high-speed map reading is for high speeds you have to read the map a couple of miles ahead of where you actually are, at ninety miles an hour you're travelling at thirty feet per second, identifying an object, recognising what it is from the map and relaying the information might only take five seconds but you're already nearly a hundred feet past the object, then you've got to break, turn round and get back, all time lost if you got the map reading wrong.
“Half a mile turn left, then four hundred yards, crossroads turn right boss”.
“Got it, hang on” Jacko braked and yanked the wheel in a hard left turn, half way round he gunned the big V6, she growled in delight at finally being able to ‘lose some traction’, Smithy tried to throw himself as much as he could onto Mac's side of the vehicle as the two wheels on that side left the ground, they came back down with a thud, dust spraying everywhere as they left the tarmac road and entered a gravel one. The ‘Lannie’ was doing what she was made for, and if she could talk she'd be trying them how much she loved it.
The cop had been slowly gaining, that was until they hit the gravel, then they seemed to back right off, stone chips were flying off the ladies back trees like bullets, anything behind them was going to get pelted with them.
“Ya got through yet?” Jacko shouted at Mac over the engine noise, “or am I gonna get a roadblock?”
“Chambers is trying now” Mac replied, “Smithy, alternatives?”
“Four hundred yards on the left, dirt track boss, should avoid any roadblocks, brings us out three miles south of the farm, but she's pretty rough.”
“It'll have to do” Jacko replied, “hang on.” This time he yanked the handbrake and turned at the same time, all four wheels locked as she slid sideways a around the corner gravel flying in all directions, half way round Jacko let go of the handbrake and floored the accelerator, all four wheels spat gravel as they searched for traction, as soon as they got it the vehicle jumped forward pushing them back into their seats with a force that slammed their heads against the headrests.
The Lannie made the turn but fishtailed coming out of it, she went on fishtailing a few times before Jacko finally got her under control, “Guess she didn't like that much then?” Mac shouted above the engine.
“I’d say she loved it” Jacko replied as she straightened up, “Didn’t even hit anything!” he smiled as they took off like a bat out of hell, “Any sign of the cops?”
"Not good at all, Gimme Options people!"
Jacko’s phone was mounted in a cradle on the dashboard, so far the phone had been silent, and that was a good sign, that was the number Sam and Hene had for emergencies, right at that moment it chose to come to life with Queen’s ‘Another one bites the dust’ that wasn’t good.
“Go” Jacko shouted just after pressing the answer button, it was already on speaker, pleasantries would have to wait, “What ya got?”
“Jacko” it was Sam on the phone, “Bozos got round the security MI6 put out, but Hene got four cameras on the north and eastern routes, we’ve got three pax north with two vehicles and four with another to the east, not sure how many are coming our way yet but the cans just went off!” she stopped, then came back on and added, “Vehicles look like SUVs, possibly seven-seaters”
“Thanks, Sam” Jacko replied, “Now get Paul to the bolt hole, I want you and Hene to do a token, no more than three each, then into the hole yourselves GOT IT!” he was emphatic.
“Got it” Sam replied, “Paul’s already there, we’ll do as you say” the line went dead.
“Shit” Mac cussed, “that isn’t good, no bloody good at all, we’re ten miles away, even at this speed it’s gonna take seven minutes at least, then we gotta close in”
"Ask no questions, and I'll tell you no lies!"
“Gimme options people” Jacko had the foot to the floor, but they were racing into something they just didn’t know how it would go, and they had no idea how many there were. There were three vehicles, possibly seven-seaters, that meant potentially twenty-one bad guys, against three! That meant serious trouble, and the only weapon they might have was taken away from them as the mole had gotten the location, they could be driving straight into an ambush!
“Boss, three miles ahead there’s a clearing, drop me and ‘Lee’ off there” Smithy waived the rifle he had in the case in the rear view mirror, it was his own personal .303 Lee Enfield. Classed as a ‘hunting rifle’ the fact is the .303 Lee Enfield is just about the best sniper rifle ever made bar none.
“What the, How the hell did you get one of those?” Jacko shouted, they’re regarded as a dangerous weapon, and as such there are strict regulations on who can hold them, Smithy had never let on that he had one.
“Ask no questions boss” Smithy replied, “and I’ll tell yer no lies, and no you don’t have to check the armoury logs” he knew that’s the first thing that would be thought if word got out, that he’d stolen it from the armoury/.
“Okay” Jacko replied slowing down for the clearing, “what’s your plan?”
“The eastern vehicle is four hundred yards that way” he pointed to the right, “And I’m loaded with tracer, ten minutes and I put two into their tank, should give a nice little fireball, it’ll give a bit of a distraction.”
Both of them knew better than to point out that a full fuel tank doesn’t really burn that well, especially when the fuel is Diesel, but they also knew that out here, the tanks wouldn’t be full, and Smithy knew exactly where to aim to ignite the fumes, that would heat the fuel up causing more fumes that would ignite causing more etc until the whole thing just exploded.
They were now five miles away, and it was time for Smithy to leave.
“Go” Mac shouted as the vehicle slowed to less than ten miles an hour, the back door flew open and Smithy forward rolled out of the vehicle, as soon as he touched the floor the wheels span as the Lannie accelerated away
Meanwhile, Joey and Sandy "Duped"
Sandy was still working on the devices, a lot of it was encrypted, but there was a huge amount that wasn't, but it was in Russian which was almost as bad.
“Joey” Sandy looked up from the device she'd been working on, they were still in Serkhov's office, she was at the desk. “Send Jacko a message now, ” there was some urgency in her voice, “oh give me the tablet, it'll be quicker if I do it, I can put all the relevant information in” she reached for the tablet Joey was handing her.
“Any problems?” Joey asked not sure if he should be worried. He came round to her side of the desk to see what she was working on, Billie was still in the room waiting for the crime scene people to arrive, she looked curious, “anything we can help with?”
“Not at this stage” Sandy looked up, then thought again, “second thoughts you know anyone in the Cheshire Police force?”
“Not really” Billie replied, “but I could make a few calls, why?”
Sandy finished typing the message, “cos I think there's gonna be a bloodbath in Eastern Cheshire, around a place called Macclesfield forest in about half an hour, that's why!”
Billie was alarmed, she grabbed her phone and began punching numbers, as soon as someone came on the line she started barking orders, “put me through to the North West operations centre NOW!” turning to Sandy she asked, “What do you need and where?”
“There’s a cop car following our team now, he's got the sirens and lights on” Sandy began, “Tell the maniac to back off, we need a five-mile perimeter set around this grid, nothing in or out, our people are outnumbered four to one and aren't going to be asking questions if you get the drift!”
“Too many bodies causes mayhem” Sandy replied, “and these boys don't need any help causing that, but we should try and keep it to a minimum”
“Okay” Billie turned as the phone came back to life, “this is DS Jones of the Metropolitan police, we've got a situation developing in East Cheshire, in the Macclesfield forest, one of your squad cars need to back off the chase they're involved with” it took a full ten minutes and raising her voice at a few people but eventually she put the phone down, looking at Sandy she said, “you've got it, but they're not happy”
“Be even less happy when they see the result” Joey muttered under his breath, thankfully only Sandy heard him, she gave him a filthy look. “What?” Joey asked, “you ever tried to follow Jacko, that cop's got real balls!” He totally changed the subject.
“SHIT, I DON'T BELIEVE IT” Sandy stared at the screen her mouth open, “Shit, blast the bloody swine!”
Both Billie and Joey stopped what they were doing and focused on her, “what?”
“ That's not Serkhov!” she pointed to the man the cops were putting into the back of the police can, “we've been duped!”
“What? How?” Billie demanded, she held up the picture they'd pulled off the police database earlier, “that says he is?” She was emphatic.
“I'm tracking calls from Serkhov's number at the moment” Sandy cut her off, “and we just got a video call to his private plane, take a bloody look” she swung the small device she'd been using round so that both of them could see. “Look familiar?”
The face on the screen was the spitting image of the man they’d just had taken away, it had them stumped.
“A double?’ Joey asked confused.
“No idea” Sandy replied, “but he just told a pilot to get his plane ready, he'll be there in half an hour, any idea where that plane is?” she began searching for information.
“Half an hour you say?” Billie was on her phone again, hoping the people at Lloyds could help, “five airports in London, where did the call originate?”
“Pinged cell towers inside the M25 Sandy replied, “half an hour from there has to be Docklands, see who's got a private plane at Docklands and where they are.”
“Screw that” Joey shouted as he ran for the door, “yer can get that info as we go, let's haul ass, COME ON” as he bounded down the steps.
“JOEY” Sandy shouted as she bounded down the steps after him, it was the first name Billie had heard for any of the team, “Joey, where the hell are you going?” she caught up with him as he climbed into the vehicle, she started to climb into the passenger side, Billie was only two steps behind and was halfway as he started the engine.
“You just said the pilot was told be ready in half an hour right?” Joey started to explain as he put the Lannie into gear, “ the only airfield let alone airport that close is Docklands, that's where most of London's billionaires keep their flying toys, so that's where I’m going” he was just about to pull away, he stopped, then threw the drivers door open causing total confusion, looking back towards Billie he said “second thoughts you drive, we need to get ready, ” it sounded ominous.
Billie jumped out of the vehicle, running round to the driver's door she unclipped a small cylinder out of the glove box. It had two lights on the top, one had a red filter, the other blue. On the bottom a small wire about twelve inches long leading to an electrical jack.
Slamming it down on the roof there was a metallic thud as the magnets gripped, next she pushed the jack into a socket at the end of a wire that exited the driver's doorpost at the top.
Flicking a switch on the side, the lights came on along with a police siren sound, she looked over at the two who were little surprised. “You're meant to be bomb disposal remember!” She almost smiled, “they all have this kit!”
As soon as the vehicle took off both Sandy and Joey went to work checking their equipment, that meant weapons.
“What's that?” Billie glanced curiously at Sandy, “doesn't look standard issue!”
“It's not” Sandy replied, “least not here, one of the perks of the government department we work for” she smiled back, “we get to choose our own weapons, mine's a Makarov, Russian made, pretty reliable” she turned to Joey, “so how are we going to play this?”
“Who exactly are you people?” Billie was driving fast, threading her way through the traffic, but that didn't stop the detective mind asking questions.
“You mean you haven't figured it out?” Joey acted surprised, he knew she knew, but was wanting confirmation.
“I figured the security services”
“Good enough, now let's get moving” Joey cut in. “just don't say anything more okay”
They were on the A13, the slip road to the left took them onto the East India dock road, the old docks that used to trade with the East, now long gone except for the names, names from an era long passed but not forgotten.
“Sandy sitrep?” Joey's request sounded like he was barking an order.
“Plane’s a Cessna” Sandy replied, “and I don't mean a poxy little trainer, it's a Citation, with a range of about two thousand miles, it can take two or three passengers, the pilot was told to expect two, no prizes for guessing the guest list!”
That's all for this week
Things are moving at their usual lightning pace right now with the plan changing with every second. Or at least that's what it seems like, and Smithy's carrying a rifle that Noah used to protect the Ark with!
Just what is their plan, do they have one? We'll just have to wait and see next week.
But you can bet there will be a few more twists and turns as we go.
Bye for now, and don't forget to leave a comment.