Scorpion's Vengeance, 'First Nail'
'The Great game master'
From the Author
In the last episode, we saw the team launch a surveillance operation against the man they suspected was behind everything, only to have him give them a huge 'runaround' and seemingly come up with nothing.
Then they got a call to 'get back here, PRONTO'
What was that about?
Let's read on and see what comes out.
Before we go on, I'd like to say that this is totally a work of fiction, but the further we go in the story, the more I realise it's closer to real life than I thought it would, and who knows?
“What gives boss?” Joey asked Jacko as soon as he climbed in the car, “any ideas?”
“Not a clue” Jacko replied as he put the car into gear, checking behind he indicated and pulled into the traffic, it wasn't too bad, but they were barely able to do twenty miles an hour, he indicated to Joey to give Sandy a call.
“Whatcha got for us?” Joey spoke so quickly the accent came over strong.
“Got a bit of a situation in the West country, needs a delicate touch” Sandy replied.
“Okay, I'll drop Joey off and pick up a sledgehammer” Jacko chuckled. “that's far more delicate than he is” they were both laughing.
“Maybe” Sandy replied, “but you might need his talents for”
“Destruction?” Jacko couldn't resist, he may be the commander in the team, but everyone was equal in their eyes, and that meant making fun of each other.
“A message from Mildred” Sandy went on, “the car's gone active again, we think it's headed for its final resting place”
“Scrapyard?” Joey asked, his specialty was explosives, and by default of the fact they're often set using electronics it included ‘all things electrical’.
“Chop shop” Sandy replied, “recycle the parts, turn the scrap into profit”
“It's a good vehicle though”
“That the cops are looking for, even if they change the chassis plate and numbers, there'll be telltale signs, better to get rid of the vehicle, anyway, it's on the move, and we need to get there before the cops find it”
“They don't know where it is, do they?”
“They will when we tell them, but we need those trackers back first” Sandy replied, “that's what the message was about, she wants the kit back, and not tied up as evidence in some court case” she finished off, “I'm giving you a head start before we call the cavalry in, I'm sending you the location.”
The location was in an industrial area just north of Cirencester, not exactly known as a hive of criminal activity, just a quiet place in the suburbs, being just off the M4 motorway meant it was easy getting to and from it, ideal if you want a car to disappear ‘fast’
“Got the location, will be there in an hour” Joey spoke as Jacko gunned the engine, “that's if we survive the drive!” he couldn't resist a bit of payback, “what about Smithy?”
“Car did a circuit, went back to the garage, he's on his way to you folks, should get there just before you do”
“Have him set up an O.P. across the road” Jacko spoke, he was smiling, the thought of Smithy trying to navigate the motorway on a moped that struggles to go above thirty miles an hour would have Smithy ‘cussing like a good un’ as he would say, not that they would dare say anything to him.
“Figured that,” Sandy said, “He's already got it sussed, should be in position by the time you get there”
"We gotta get in before they find ‘em”
“About bloody time you got here” Smithy spoke up, from the sound of it he wasn't impressed, “I'm set up in the building across the street, there's an entrance at the back, use that one, third window from the right, top floor” he stopped for a moment, then went on, “We need eyes round the back, boss head down the end of the street, at the T junction take a right and the next right at the lights, that should bring up and the back of the building, that way we get a good idea where things are at”
“Roger that” Jacko replied glancing over at Joey, it would be Joey going into the building, he knew where the trackers were, he’d been the one taking the shots in the first place, he was also the best of the three of them at disarming burglar alarms and the like, “What about Joey?”
“Looks like a standard burglar alarm from here” Smithy replied, “place has cameras, wouldn’t be surprised if they were connected to one of ‘ems phone, not sure if there’s a blind spot yet though” Joey was making a mental note of everything he was being told, “three cameras out front, one on each corner looking down each end of the street, and one over the door looking at whoever enters the building, the two on the corners are wide angle, but the one over the door seems to be for recognition only”
“Thanks for that” Joey replied, “gives me an idea for if I don’t find anything out back”
“Any ideas where the car is?” Jacko asked they couldn’t see anything that resembled the Mondeo outside, then again it would have been pretty dumb to leave it there, they just hoped it wasn’t in the back.
“Nah” Smithy replied, “not seen it, must ‘have arrived just afore I got ‘ere” there was a slight pause before he went on, “Probably in the back, that could be a problem if they’ve already started work on it”
“Hopefully” Sandy cut in, she’d been listening, “they’ll just think they’re bullets that bounced off something soft before hitting the panel” but even she sounded doubtful.
“One look at ‘em will show even the rank amateur that’s not what they are, they’re stainless steel casings” Joey went on, “even armour piercing don’t use that, anyone who knows about this will know the casing is protecting something, we gotta get in before they find ‘em”
This car could easily 'get lost in a crowd'
"On my way"
Six cameras surrounded the building, covering every angle when you approached from the street, it looked almost impossible to approach without being seen. But looks can be deceiving.
Four of the cameras had wide angle lenses, they were set on each corner looking diagonally across the street, with almost one hundred and eighty-degree arcs the interlocked in places, but not directly in front or behind the building, other buildings got in the way.
Over the two entrances (one front, one at the back) were two more cameras, but they had a narrow focus covering only the path to the door. Approach to an angle office or ten degrees and you wouldn't be seen, that was the first thing Joey noticed.
The second was where the junction box serving the alarm pad was, it was on the outside, just left of the back door.
The control pad itself was inside at the front, but tap into the system and you can bypass the pad, that's what he intended to do.
One last check of everything and he was ready to go, as soon as that was done he spoke into his lapel-mike.
“Are we good to go?”
“Good from here” Smithy was first to reply.
“All go here” Sandy spoke next, she was monitoring everything electronically, even the building’s phone system, hopefully, if it did detect Joey's approach she'd be able to warn them even if she couldn't stop the signal being sent.
Joey looked at Jacko who just gave him a ‘thumbs up’, he opened the door and stepped through, “on my way”
"Good use of a Manchester screwdriver!"
Joey came at the building from an oblique angle. Avoiding the cameras was vital, he didn't want to leave any trace for what he was about to do. He was carrying a holdall with the tools he was going to need for the job, as soon as he got to the door he put the holdall down, unzipped it and took out a Stanley screwdriver, the screwdriver had multiple heads, he selected a Philips and got to work undoing the junction box.
The junction box for the alarm was just to the left of the door, but the camera looked directly at the path, there was a blind spot right at the door but off to the left, the camera covered the alarm security pad, but not the junction box.
It took him about two minutes to bypass the alarm pad and disable the security alarm. Another minute and he had the lock picked, the door creaked slightly as he opened it, a clear sign the back door wasn't used very often.
Reaching for the holdall he put the screwdriver back in its place, zipped the bag back up and checked he’d left nothing behind, finally he eased the lid of the box back on, it would look as if everything was intact.
Slipping in silently he waited a few moments for his eyesight to adjust to the darkness.
There was a second glass door, on the right was the office, the left had the lunchroom. The office looked too small to go all the way to the edge of the building, but he couldn't see any door, ‘must be in the main workshop’ he thought as he cautiously began trying the door, it was unlocked.
Four cars were in the workshop, not unusual for the size of the garage, but the security on the building was all wrong, where's the sodding Rolls Royce?’ he thought to himself, ‘with this security, the sodding place should be full of ‘em, that or a Ferrari or two’. Instead, they were two Japanese cars, a BMW and a Volvo, nice cars, but way below the price tag for the security.
In the next room was a different story, four more cars, two of which were high-end sports jobs, to Joey they looked like a Ferrari and a Maserati, they were partly dismantled, the third one was just a chassis, possibly a car being rebuilt. The last one looked really odd due to its ‘ordinariness’, it was the Mondeo.
The Mondeo looked out of place, in that it looked so ordinary compared to the others, something just wasn’t right, he couldn’t say what it was, but it just didn’t seem right having an average car in the same garage as the two supercars, also the fact that they were half stripped down gave a strange feeling, there was something else going on here, that he was sure of. ‘Better get my arse into gear, get the job done and get the hell out’ was his immediate thought.
He’d brought a torch, an Army issue one which had the light sitting at a right angle to the handle, the bottom of the battery pack (which was also the handle) was flat so soldiers could stand it up anywhere and still have two hands free to work with whatever they needed to work on. He clipped the red filter on and turned the torch on, it gave him just enough light to do what he needed to.
A quick search of the back of the Mondeo showed where the bullets had hit, they’d passed through the back panel, a couple of seconds later he’d popped the boot open and searched inside. Both bullets were in the back panel, smashed into the back wall.
A pair of tweezers came in really handy, and a little gun oil, dabbing a tiny amount of oil onto a rag he used the tweezers to push the rag into the crevasse the bullet had made, slowly a tiny amount penetrated between the bullets and the car, eventually popping the round out.
The criminals would know that the car had been shot at, and the bullets were still in the boot of the car if they saw the holes but no rounds they’d know something had been tampered with, he was prepared for that.
He’d take the cases off two rounds earlier in the day, now he took the first one out, punched it between the tweezers and pushed it into one of the holes, as soon as it was wedged in he did the same to the second, as soon as both were in, away went the tweezers, out came a rubber mallet and both were hit hard enough to knock them firmly into place.
How to use a 'Manchester Screwdriver'
"If Dad could see me now!"
‘Good use of a Manchester screwdriver’ he smiled to himself remembering what his Dad used to call a Hammer, ‘if only you could see me now dad’ he packed everything away.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too.
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make a heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!
I just had to put something in from Kipling, not just because I used his photo, but also it just felt right, and the poem 'If' is one of the best summaries of what it means to be a man that I can think of.
We do have to leave things there, and no, the poem isn't going to appear in the book, it just felt like a nice way to tie in Kipling, then again, these people are used to 'keeping their heads when others are losing theirs' so maybe it fits anyway.