Action adventure stories are my favourite, I love reading them, and recently I discovered I love writing them!
From the Author
In the last episode we heard that Billie went to meet with her opposite number in the West Country police force only to find out that just like her, he'd also been 'shut down' by the 'powers that be'
Harris told her that it was Special Branch that shut him down, claiming that they were taking over the investigation, but she could tell he didn't believe a word of it, then she got a strange call from Harris telling her to meet him at a pub named after a very 'infamous' son of Bristol, what has he got to say?
Tell you what, let's go find out.
If you missed the last episode, here's a chance to re-visit
- Scorpion's Vengeance "No one wants to know"
Billie's after the truth, she wants to know what happened, and what's going on, is she the only one? Sure feels that way.
The pub was a typical ‘Olde Worlde’ kind of place, it looked old, but the kind of old that’s well maintained, fresh whitewash on the stone walls, fairly new black paint enhancing the Oak beams that formed the frame of the Tudor style building, the low door was a dead giveaway that the pub actually was old, and probably dated from Blackbeard’s time, not that they were there for the sights.
Gone are the days when walking into a bar your senses are immediately assaulted by the cigarette smoke, and battling the haze was the first challenge, instead the pub looked clean and fresh, Bille could actually see round the room, not that it was large, just four or five tables, two of which had people at them, three more patrons were propping the bar up, two young staff were behind it, making sure that drinks were kept full, and anyone wanting to order something to eat could do so with a minimum fuss.
There was a board with a menu up behind the bar, the fish and chips was ‘fresh cod’ if you count two weeks in the freezer on the trawler as being ‘fresh’ but beggars can’t be choosers as the saying goes, she indicated to Jimmy to order them some ‘grub’ and a couple of drinks while she headed to the table Harris had said he would be at.
“Sergeant Harris?” she asked the guy sat at the table, he was tall and thin, but with an athletic frame, short black hair gave the game away that he was ex-military. He indicated her to take the seat opposite, there were two more seats at the table, he flicked one of them round so that it was pointing towards the next table.
“You must be DS Jones” he didn’t wait for her to reply, “What can I do for you?” he was polite but direct, she liked that.
“As I said on the phone earlier” Billie replied, “I’m interested in the events of the other day!” she tried not to mention the actual incident, it wouldn’t do to give too much away,
“Not a lot I can tell really” Harris replied truthfully, “Whole street got bloody well shot up, but when we got there no one to be seen, just a bunch of cars with bullet holes all through them, broken glass all over the place, but that’s what you get when someone’s spraying and praying if you know what I mean”
“Haven’t heard that term for a while” Billie was surprised, she’d only ever heard ex-squaddies use that term, and it wasn’t complimentary to the shooter! “Where’d you serve?”
“What?” he was a bit surprised, “Iraq, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Afghanistan in ‘04, why?”
“Only people I heard use that term were men and women who knew what they were talking about with weapons that’s why?” Billie replied truthfully, “anyway roughly how many shots were fired?”
Jimmy was back with drinks, he had a Carlsberg for Billie, but he was on Coke, he took the other chair, they waited for him to sit before continuing.
“We counted fifty holes in the vehicles” Harris replied, “all 9 millimetre, in other words, it was a submachine gun, or possibly two”
“What makes you say that?”
“Where the shell casings were found” he answered.
“Really! What was so special?”
What's so special about these?
“There were two shooters, or at least two people using weapons, possibly one of them was the guys taking the kid into protective custody, but they’re missing, so no one could confirm that!” he shrugged.
“I’m guessing it’s where the shell casings were found gave that away?” Jimmy was actually asking a question but trying to sound observant.
“No” the reply came back, “we only found two casings, and that’s why I’m saying two shooters”
“If you’re firing from a moving vehicle” Harris started to explain, “chances are you’ll have the only the end of the barrel outside the vehicle, you’ll probably have a casing catcher fitted, otherwise you stand the chance of hot casings hitting the driver causing them to swerve and crash”
A little logic works wonders.
Both Jimmy and Billie looked a little confused, Harris tried to explain a little more, “Look, we drive on the left-hand side of the road right?” they both nodded, “that means our steering wheel is on the right, and the shooter, unless he’s in the back is on the left, almost all weapons are designed for right-handed people, that means the cases eject flying to the right, straight at the driver, so the best way to stop that is a sock or something over the ejector to stop the casing flying off and hitting the driver, pretty much all military people use them as brass isn’t cheap!”
“Hence no casings for the bullets fired inside the vehicle, but two were found” Jimmy replied.
“Meaning two were firing, one inside and one outside, my guess is the one outside was returning fire, but until we get to talk with them I can’t confirm that!”
“Who was the guy they were picking up?” Billie asked
“Don’t know” Harris replied truthfully, “we were told it was some government operation, some kid who helped stop the Ransomware, but otherwise they’ve clammed up tighter than a ducks arsehole” just a hint of frustration came out.
“What are the locals saying?” Billie asked, she’d seen that ‘Little Stoke’ was a run down place, so it wasn’t likely that they were saying much to the cops, especially if they thought it was gangs or drugs, you just don’t cross those people, and you certainly don’t ‘snitch’ that could seriously cut your life short.
‘Not much” he replied, “it was the middle of the day, so all the decent people were at work, the CCTV cameras were on the blink, had been for a couple of days, wasn’t due for repair until later in the day.”
"Gone Rogue and MI6 is shitting bricks"
“Sounds to me,” Billie said, “Like someone knew there would be a blind spot, and set the hit up, but why?”
“That’s what I thought” Harris replied, “but it’s been taken out of my hands” he shrugged and sat back in the seat, clearly frustrated at the turn of events, looking up he asked, “how does this tie in with you?”
“A case we’re looking into” Jimmy jumped in, Billie aimed a blow right at his shins with her right foot. He looked at Billie a little confused,].
“Just something of interest” she cut in, “in a case the Met thinks is gang-related, any idea what kind of weapon was used?”
“ I just said they were nine millimetre” he replied, “both weapons that is, I’d say the one we got the casings from was probably a handgun, a Glock or something like that, the other I’d guess was either an Uzi or MAC 10, they're the only ones with big enough magazines” he reached for the plate of sausage rolls the waiter had just brought over, taking one he took a bite, the flaky pastry falling onto the table as he chewed, “and before you ask, there was only one mag used, there’s never enough time to reload in a drive-by, it’s a blast away and get the hell away kind of deal, anyway, you didn’t answer my question, why the interest, especially if it’s gang related? You’d have all that information from your own wouldn’t you?”
“Truth is,” Billie said, “its a murder and the guy who was killed worked in computers, cybercrime to be precise” she waited for a reaction. She got none, at least not that she could see, so she went on, “If he’d been alive at the time, he’d have been the man the government turned to when the Ransomware hit, as it was” she shrugged, “he was killed two days before the attack” she stopped, watching Harris closely to see if there was any reaction, there wasn’t ‘I wouldn’t like to play poker with this guy’ she thought to herself.
“And my one” Harris started to say, “was the snotty nosed kid who lived with mum and dad, yet managed to foil the whole thing right?”
“And I’d say someone was extremely pissed off that he did” Jimmy cut in, they both gave him filthy looks, “what?”
“Yeah, that about sums it up” Billie replied, “that and fact that someone is trying to shut both investigations down” she reached for a sausage roll, they were a decent size so she took a bite and held the rest of the roll in her hand, “someone wants both investigations to go nowhere”
“Not quite” Harris replied, “I was told unofficially the reason the home office took over the investigation is they think the team doing the guarding of the kid has gone rogue, and they’ve got no idea where they are, they’re literally shitting big bricks over this, that’s why they took over, they don’t want a panic, at least that’s what the word is” it was plain as the nose on his face, he didn’t believe a word of what he just said, but it was the ‘official line’
From the author
Gone rogue? You are kidding, right?
Maybe, maybe not. We'll just have to see how the story plays out, or maybe it's the mole spreading lies and rumours, we'll just have to wait and see.
Hope you enjoyed this week's episode, don't forget to leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Robert Sacchi on June 15, 2019:
Yes, it is a crime within a crime.
Lawrence Hebb (author) from Hamilton, New Zealand on June 15, 2019:
Thank you, and I tend to think of it as a 'crime within a crime' but I enjoyed writing the piece anyway.
Robert Sacchi on June 15, 2019:
The infamous inside job and a crime before the crime. Nicely done.
Lawrence Hebb (author) from Hamilton, New Zealand on November 27, 2018:
Thank you, glad you enjoyed the story.
Nell Rose from England on November 27, 2018:
I agree with the other comments, great explanations and dialogue, intriguing stuff!
Lawrence Hebb (author) from Hamilton, New Zealand on November 25, 2018:
Sorry to disappoint, but the pub is a figment of my imagination, then again, if you know the British Police most crimes are solved over a few pints in the pubs up and down the Land!
I'm sure there are many places like that but wanted a famous name from the area and Blackbeard is so famous (or infamous) he should have a pub named after him!
Down in the West Country, it would have been Cider of 'Scrumpy' you had a few of, the big difference is if the bits of apple were still floating in the drink then it was Scrumpy, and that's like rocket fuel!
Glad you enjoyed the story, and thank you for the big compliment.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 25, 2018:
Excellent Lawrence. I am right there with our team. I am quite sure I swilled a few in that pub ;-) Or at least 2 or more just like them. Loved the dialogue on the casings - really cool stuff.
To my limited mind you have progressed to near perfection with dialogue.
Lawrence Hebb (author) from Hamilton, New Zealand on November 25, 2018:
This will be around the middle of the book, and the pace seemed just right at the time I wrote it, sounds like I got it right.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 25, 2018:
Usually you start out running, with fast-paced action. This time you took your time to set the stage, and you did it well. I was walking into that pub with your characters and I saw it all.
Great job my friend