Scorpion's Vengeance, "Payback" Part 2
From the Author
In the last episode, we left the team about to get a bit of 'payback' for the ambush earlier, but how can they do it without getting caught? They were ambushed and someone tried to gun them down in the street (along with the guy they were taking into 'protective custody'), but in the United Kingdom guns are prohibited on the street, and in London, if guns appear, the response is rapid and devastating!
The team know it, they used to be part of the response. So, the question is, how to do get payback when guns are out of the question?
I hope you like what we have in store for you.
From the previous, 'A gilded prison'
“Only one he smuggled here that it turned out well for” Sandy came back, “but even she’s on a very short leash, gilded prison if you know what I mean?” it came out more like a question.
“Hence Gromatski” Joey replied as they saw the man leaving, he was looking around, as if trying to spot any unwelcome visitors, like journalists, or cops, no one was looking at a black taxi cab seemingly arguing over a fare, Jacko was decked out as the driver, Joey and Sandy as the tourists, Mac and Smithy were close by, they would be needed for the next part, “I take it, no one ever found any evidence then?”
“Always a whiff” Sandy replied, “Never any proof, and too many friends in the right place to make sure no one asked questions”
“And here we are” Jacko came back into the discussion, “One of his men driving the vehicle that takes potshots at one being guarded by MI6! Makes you wonder at times”
“No one ever said criminals were the smart boss” Joey chipped in cheekily, “But it must be hellishly important to them, whatever they were hoping for”
“About a billion reasons and I’m talking pounds sterling, not US dollars” Sandy replied, they both turned and stared at her, their jaws on the floor, “What?” she went on, “where did you think the new toys you got to play within Iran came from? You don’t honestly think HM government would put up the money for the Op did you?”
“Sandy” Joey spoke slowly, “we knew that it’s just that the amount, it’s bloody huge”
“And it put a serious hole in the drug trade worldwide” Sandy replied, “we were getting nowhere with the old methods, so we turned things around, we knew we could get at some of the money, but rather than just locking it up in bank accounts, and getting them to freeze the accounts, you freeze an account, all you do is reward the Bankers for being corrupt, take the money and everyone is at each other’s throats, no one trusts the others, that’s what we did”
“And what did they hope to achieve?”
“Simple really” Sandy replied, “They’ve got someone on the inside, once the ransomware got as far as MI6, with Farid out of the way, their person on the inside could send the deactivation code, but with a difference, it would have MI6’s Banks listed, and they’d be able to clean us out, not just of the money we took, but everything, secrets as well, and that means every agent in the field, the motherlode!”
“Here they come” Jacko cut across the conversation, he reached for his phone, tapped in a few letters and numbers, then pressed send.
A gilded prison or cage
'Losing the tail'
Joey and Sandy both broke off and walked hand in hand towards the entrance, to the rest of the world they looked like lovers who only had eyes for each other, that was only partly true, both of them were scanning their ‘peripherals’ making sure everything went to plan.
“They're not bothering to watch” Joey whispered to Sandy as they got level, “get ready”
Sandy tripped ‘right on cue’ flailing slightly as she went down, Joey reached out and caught her just as she ‘fell’ against the big ‘bear’ of a guy escorting a young blonde towards the Mercedes, what people didn’t see was Sandy slip a small metal device inside the wheel well at the back, “trackers in place” she whispered into the small lapel mike.
On the other end, about two hundred yards down Brompton road, the main road through Knightsbridge, Smithy and Mac were waiting, Mac’s phone went off, the message came up. “It's a white Mercedes 280 SLK rego”
“There she is” Smithy started the car, a Nissan Pulsar, he pulled into the traffic three cars behind, he’d been following the GPS screen.
Anywhere else in London a white Mercedes convertible would stand out like boils on a baby’s bottom, but in but in Knightsbridge it's the Pulsar that sticks out, no one is poor enough to want to own one!
“We just turned left” Mac spoke, they were using earpieces, everyone was on the same frequency, “Old Brompton road”
“Roger that” Sandy replied, “her place is near Earls court, we’re heading there now, should be about ten minutes.”
“I’m south of there” Jacko cut in, “got a visual, any minute now he’s gonna try and lose any tail.”
Gromatski would be careful, it was almost second nature to him in some ways, a lifetime of crime kind of built the skills he had, they were good, but not good enough. He was looking around, using the car’s mirrors, that didn’t make much difference though, he was still cautious, the light ahead had been on green for a while, he got ready for the light change.
“Gromatski just came round the corner” Jacko spoke into the Bluetooth device he was using, “Just as we thought, he’s on Bolton Gardens, just missed a car at the intersection of the A3218” the fact was, his training was such that he was actually predictable, and that’s what they’d done, the tracker in his pocket had helped, but they knew every journey he made, at the third junction he always made the same move.
“Roger that” Joey replied, “we’re ready to roll, everything in place”
About three hundred yards down on the left was a four-story building that looked like a house from the Regency period, early nineteenth century, the distinct red brick build on top of a the first storey of granite with carvings that looked as if they came from the Roman period, the window frames all painted white, giving off a stark contrast to the red brick.
The car pulled up outside the red-brick building, the double yellow lines indicating ‘no parking’ were totally ignored, not that there were any parking wardens around. The building did have secure car parks, but he was taking the car somewhere after if Sasha, needed transport she’d give him a call.
He jumped out and moved round to open Sasha’s door, she may be a teenager, but she was the boss's mistress, piss her off and Alexei was likely to hear about it, and that wouldn't be pleasant.
“Where’s my purse?” Sasha was mumbling and fumbling as Gromatski moved round to open her door, she found it and began to climb out as the door began to open, “Ouch, YOU BIG, what the hell?” she knocked her head, her foot was stuck, trapped in the half-opened door with an unconscious Russian bear like man falling against it.
“I think he’s had a heart attack” someone shouted from the other side of the door, they were trying to pull the big guy away, she got her foot free, got into the car and locked the door, “Did you hear me?” the guy shouted, “Call a bloody Ambulance!”
“But I have no phone” Sasha replied through the closed door, her strong accent giving her away, “Not here in car”
“Then bloody haul ass and go get your phone” another one, this time a female shouted, she’d seen what was going on and came to help, “Look, I know first aid, and can help here, but you need to go get a sodding Ambulance! RUN!”
She wasn’t sure why she obeyed the voice, it sounded more like a school headmistress than anything else, a voice that in her native Russia must be obeyed at all times, she was out of the car and off at a sprint up the steps to her apartment.
It took Sasha fifteen seconds to reach the apartment, twenty seconds to unlock the door, and dive into the apartment, she heard a car start but nothing much out of the ordinary.
“Emergency services, state the service you require” the voice demanded, she wasn’t totally sure, she’d only been in England six months.
“My friend, he have a heart attack” she began, “he is dying”
“Where are you, madam?”
“Earls court, Bolton Gard”
“Bolton Gardens Madam” the voice was male and speaking very gently, “is your friend breathing?”
“I not know, I ran inside, make a phone call” she began to move back outside, the phone was cordless, “I check for you”
“Thank you, meanwhile an Ambulance is on its way”
“No” she cried, “NOOO” outside there was no Pietr, no car and no people helping a man who’d had some kind of attack and been rendered unconscious.
Trust a doctor?
“Let me through” he bellowed, “I’m a doctor” which was partly true, Mac was a ‘doctor’, he didn’t have the fancy title or degree, but he did have years as an Army combat medic, and a few years working as a junior doc at Hereford General’s Accident and Emergency department. He crouched down and began examining Gromatski, all part of the charade, he knew exactly what Joey had administered, and how much, he’d prepped the syringe with the Chlordiazepoxide in the first place.
Chlordiazepoxide or ‘Librium’ is pretty easy for Doctors to prescribe, it’s a sleep serum you mix into a liquid and inject directly into a vein, in this case, they’d gone straight for the Jugular, and Gromatski had gone out like a light, similar to what they were going to blame it on.
“Sudden heart attack” Mac looked at Joey, he had a stethoscope out and was doing a check of the heart rate, partly to make sure everything was going correctly, but mostly for show, they knew exactly how much they needed to give the guy, and not one milligram more, ‘This prick isn’t getting away so easily’ was the thought, ‘death is not an option’. He looked at Joey, “we need to get him to a hospital, and the Ambulance will be too slow, gimme a hand, we’ll take him in our car” he motioned to Smithy to come and give a hand, “how far is the nearest Emergency department?”
“That’d be the Chelsea and Westminster,” one of the people looking on said, “five minutes away, that way”
“Right then” Mac replied indicating for Joey and a few of the others to grab an arm or a leg and lift the big Russian into the back of the vehicle, “No time to lose, the bloody Ambulance will be at least five minutes, he hasn’t got that long, come on, every second counts”
If anyone had stopped and thought about things, they’d have realised that everything they were doing was probably the wrong thing to do in the situation, but that’s what the team were counting on, that no one would! No one would challenge a ‘doctor’ who seemed to know what he was doing, yes there was a chance that there’d be another health professional on hand who would challenge things, but the risk of that was so small they decided to ‘run with the plan’, besides, all they’d really challenge would be the choice of vehicle, then Mac would get them to listen to the rapid heart rate, a precursor to a major cardiac arrest, they had everything covered, except that none of that was happening.
Waiting on the Tarmac
A special trip
Most international cities have two, or maybe three airports, and a port. London has five airports and literally a dozen wharves where big ships can come in. Heathrow has five terminals and deals with forty million passengers alone, then Gatwick deals with thirty million, then there are Luton and Stanstead both dealing with a couple of million, but sat right in the heart of the city, dealing almost exclusively with small charter flights or the odd private plane from a very rich person who wants ‘no questions asked’ is Docklands, right next to the financial capital of the world, the City of London.
Sat on the tarmac was a solitary plane, no markings to reveal what airline it might belong to, it didn’t, it belonged to a government, but not one that wanted it known that the plane was there, beside it three men were stood, one they recognised straight away, it was Jacko, the other two, both of whom were either Military or ex-military, the short hair, bulky frame and ill-fitting suits made them stand out a mile.
“Took yer time didn’t yer” Jacko joked with them as they climbed out of the vehicle, “How’s the ‘pax’?” his only concern was that Gromatski was alive, that was the deal with the Ukrainians.
“Sleeping like a wee one” Mac replied cheerfully, “I think I got the dose slightly wrong, not that it’s gonna harm him any, it’s not lethal, just means he’ll sleep a little longer, should be out for most of your flight” he turned to the two stood with Jacko.
“We could just get ‘em to kill him here!” Joey suggested, “None of us would say anything” it just didn’t feel right.
“Nah, Killing’s too good for this one” Jacko replied, “besides, this way families in the Ukraine get real closure for what was done to them, and besides, we need this creep gone, what better way than to make sure he’s never found” he turned to the two men, “Right?”
The one nearest Jacko smiled, a sickening, almost glazed-eyed smile, it said volumes, “Da, and we have a special room in the ‘Hotel’ Litvanska in Kiev specially prepared for him, please, don’t disappoint us!”
“Oh no,” Jacko replied, “that's not going to happen,” he motioned Mac to open the door so they could get the sleeping giant out of the car, “all we ask is if you do decide he should learn to fly without a parachute, please wait until you’re outside British airspace”
“Da” the Ukrainian replied, “you don’t want the mess, da?”
“Nah” Joey butted in, “personally I’d waste this arsehole with a smile on my face, but we’ve got bigger fish to fry, and if he shows up, it’ll screw everything up”
By now they had Gromatski out of the car, the other Ukrainian picked the Russian up in a fireman's lift and headed up the stairs towards the door of the plane, he wasn't being gentle, the loud crack as he smacked Gromatski’s head against the doorpost made everyone cringe.
“Careful” a voice from inside the plane shouted, “you’ll damage the plane”
“Shut up, and let's get going” the first Ukrainian shouted back as he released Jacko’s hand from the handshake they’d given each other, as soon as they were in the plane Jacko descended the steps and pulled them away.
As soon as the steps were clear the pilot opened the throttle, the engine noise began to rise.
“Let’s get outta here” Sandy headed for the vehicle, “we’ve got work to do.”
From the author
If you were to look up the term 'Extraordinary rendition' Wikipedia would tell you it's a form of 'state-sponsored abduction of a person to bring them to trial, it would then tell you that the first to use it was the Americans in 1987 when they Kidnapped an Airline hijacker who got away from the hijack and took him back to the USA to stand trial, but reality was it was the Israelis used it first in 1956 when the kidnapped Adolf Eichmann from outside his home in Argentina and took him back to face trial in Israel for war crimes.
Some people do things so terrible that the only way for us to deal with them is to forcibly take them back to places to answer for their crimes, but the act of kidnapping someone and forcing them against their will to go back and face trial is also considered a crime against humanity.
I'm not making a statement here (not intentionally) its just that it fitted better with the narrative, and felt REALLY good writing something like this, but stop and think for a moment, which is better, swift 'justice' or the slow process of taking someone back to the scene of the crime and the terror that might involve for the war criminal? Just a thought.
Which is better for all
When a horrible crime like a hijacking takes place, which is better for those who have to 'pick up the pieces' of their lives?
Reason for the question
I had a friend years ago whose daughter was on the plane brought down by a Terrorist bomb over Lockerbie in Scotland.
He used to work in the Aviation industry and got heavily involved in trying to find out the truth of what really happened, that is until one day he was told by the British and American governments (along with the families of the 250 people also killed that day) "You can have the truth, or you can have Justice, but we'll never be able to get you both!"
Which would you prefer?