Scorpion's Vengeance, "Trackers"
From the Author
First of all sorry that this is so late getting out, the last few weeks have been hectic, to say the least, and there have been a lot of changes going on with my regular job, not to mention the rest of my life, but life is good, and we're moving on.
I'm in a new role with my Job, back on the road in a bigger Bus (takes 85 including 55 seated) barreling down the Highways in New Zealand, but I'll tell you more about that in a hub sometime.
Meanwhile, when we last visited our heroes, they were taking someone into 'protective custody' as the Police call it, but as I said earlier, where Joey and Sandy are, you can guarantee Mayhem isn't far away, and sure enough, it's turned up, and everything has turned to custard.
Oh, and in all this, somehow they have to trick MI6 and the mole into thinking they have the upper hand!
Or has it?
From the last, "They want you dead, let's make 'em think you are!"
Paul was hurt, but he wasn’t shot, Joey’d hit him hard enough to knock ‘the stuffing’ out of him, he’d gone down hard and damn near ‘popped’ his kneecap, he howled with pain, but Joey’d thrown something damned heavy over his head, and was lying on it, holding him down, he was beginning to have trouble breathing, and was beginning to panic.
“Let me up, Let me umph”
“Shut up and lie down” Joey punched him in the back and screamed in his ear.
“Get this bloody thing off me!” he shouted. His ears were ringing with the noise, the voice sounded kind of muffled, he’d no idea a weapon could be so loud, he wasn’t even sure the firing had stopped.
“It’s a Kevlar vest” Joey shouted back, “Bulletproof, now lie still until we tell you to move” He pushed down harder.
“You’re clear” Smithy’s voice cut over the secure channel, he was their ‘ace in the hole’ but this time ‘overwatch’ had been different, his job had been to just ‘spot’ the enemy, and keep track of them, they needed them to get away, this time!
Less than half a second later he was being physically lifted, whatever it was still over his head, bundled into the back of a vehicle, “Keep it on” Sandy was right beside him and pushing him down, “we’ve gotta make ‘em think you’re dead”
“What?” he was terrified.
“They want you dead, the only way to keep you alive is to make them think you are, now shut up and lie down!”
“Control, this is Scorpion Team,” Sandy began a ‘sitrep’ report over the official channel, “Two gunmen, dark Ford car registration Yankee, Charlie, Pappa, four two five Xray, heading north on Victoria Crescent. Am evacuating the package, damaged, but not destroyed, heading for the ‘Prince of Thieves’ over”
A Master of the art.
The body in the river, where the cops got to.
“We got ‘im guv” the young detective shouted down the phone.
“Whoa, hold on Jimmy,” she reached over to turn the volume down. Billie was driving, so she was using the car’s Bluetooth tech with her phone, he was coming over the car speakers. “Now, whatcha got?” the Manchester slang slipping out.
“I’ve got him guv, found yer man!”
“Where?” she shot back, suddenly the traffic wasn't as important as before, “we’ve been looking for days, where was he?”
“I know boss” Jimny might be the youngest one on the team, barely in his twenties, but he was probably the brightest, “that's why I did some lateral thinking,” he stopped for the slightest moment, Billie was genuinely curious where he was going with this, but let him carry on. “You told us to search the river banks right?”
“Yeah” she began, by now she’d found a parking spot, she pulled over, “carry on”
“Well” he began again, “I remembered something from my school geography class”
“Not so long ago for you” she quipped, she just couldn’t help having a dig at his age, or lack of it, “but go on”
“You had us checking all the cameras upriver, cos rivers normally flow downhill right?”
“Yeah” she was genuinely curious, “carry on” she really wanted to see where this lead.
“Well the Thames isn’t a normal river, it’s what they call a tidal river, it ebbs and flows with the tide, sure, mostly it flows downhill, or downstream, but what if the guy went in the river when the tide was coming in, he could have drifted from the east, possibly the east end.”
“Please don’t tell her he’s a sodding mobster!” she exhaled, speaking softly, yet the voice was full of fear, “that’s the last thing we need, a gang war in the middle of tourist season!” then again she thought to herself, ‘it’s London, when aren’t the tourists around?’ she switched the car ignition back on, “Listen, Jimmy, I’m heading right back to the station, have the whole team together, you can brief us all when I get there!
“Tower bridge, that’s where he went into the river”
“But now, it’s a river right, and they glow downhill don’t they?” One of the others asked. It was Frank, he was number two on the team now that the ‘brass’ had decided the case wasn’t such a priority, though how you can go from ‘top priority’ to almost a ‘cold case’ in the space of a couple of days mystified Billie.
“Not the Thames” Jimmy replied, “at least not all the time, it’s what’s known as a tidal river, the tides can affect the way it flows,” he stopped and took a sip of the water he was holding in the plastic beaker, he was nervous, very conscious he was the ‘junior’ here and it’s meant to be the older more experienced cops showing him how to do stuff, “the Thames has tides, and they go all the way up as far as Teddington lock, you know, right past here and all the way to Hampton court, so flowing upriver isn’t a problem!”
“But how’d you work out it was Tower Bridge? that place is closed to traffic, and the public!” Frank came back, “Been closed for months, working on the drawbridge aren’t they?”
“Yeah they are” Jimmy replied, “but I asked the database for people who went in the river for that night, there were three altogether, one in Dulwich, he got rescued about five minutes after he went in, the second was down by Dartford, pulled herself out, and then there’s this guy, the only one I couldn’t account for getting out!”
Where the Body went in, was he alive at the time?
He hit the side of the Famous HMS Belfast, a floating WWII Maritime Museum
And ended up near here, How?
What about a 'crime scene'?
“But if he fell in” Billie started, “How come no one noticed?”
“Like Frank said boss” Jimmy replied taking a sip of the water he was holding, “It’s a construction site, the weekend, no one really around to see it”
“But what about the security company?” the young female in the team, her name was Joanne, “aren’t there CCTV cameras? Wasn’t someone watching?”
“Apparently not” Jimmy replied, “they’ve got cameras, and they’re working, but because it’s a construction site, they’re only really interested in when people nick stuff from the site, they only look when stuff’s gone missing!”
“Just great” Frank spat the words out, he’s got a coffee in his hand, standard practice for a cop with ten years ‘on the job’. “A deserted building site, no cameras worth a shit, and no one taking responsibility”
“Oh and that’s not all” Jimmy butted in, “we also got the time he went into the river wrong, he went in at eleven the night before, high tide was at three, so the body drifted downriver, got stuck and was found where he was” Jimmy was a little more precise than me meant to be, getting carried away with the excitement of the moment, no one stopped him though.
“What did he get stuck on?” Frank asked, no one really noticed that Jimmy had switched from the personal of talking about the man to the impersonal of talking about the body.
“Not sure boss,” Jimmy addressed his comments to Billie, he wasn’t ignoring Frank, just following the protocol that everything ‘goes through’ the boss in these situations, “but there are a few ships moored nearby, the Pathologist says there’s paint, ‘Navy gray’ he called it” he made the two-fingered sign for inverted commas, “that probably came from the Belfast, but there are other boats that the body may have washed up alongside”
Is this a crime-scene? and if so. which one?
How can a man be 'drunk as a skunk, yet have no drugs or alcohol in his system?
“This gets worse!” Billie was beginning to regret being given the case, not that she’d had much of a choice in the matter, you never do, she knew from the start it was a ‘make or break’ case, it would either make or break her career, and right now it was looking like the latter, “what you’re saying, or at least seem to be saying” she went on, “is that the Royal Navy’s floating museum and two of London’s most iconic tourist attractions are our crime scenes! Sodding wonderful!!”
“Boss” Jimmy cut her off, he was about to deliver the biggest blow, “I’m not even sure there was a crime, take a look at this” he’d had his laptop with him, now he reached down, opened the laptop, turned it on and flipped it around so that everyone could see, three clicks on the inbuilt mouse pad and he was onto the camera footage from the time of the incident, they all watched with interest.
Everyone could see the victim, he was staggering along, seemingly drunk or ‘under the influence’ staggering from side to side before he staggered off to the left and over the barrier, the makeshift barrier gave way, and into the river he fell, fifteen metres straight down.
“So” Billie was annoyed, really annoyed, she was trying to hold in the anger, but not succeeding very well, “what you’re saying, is we’ve been sent on a flaming wild goose chase through the bleeding streets and cesspits of this sodding city just to come up with this bullshit?” Jimmy looked sheepish, they’d all done their jobs to the best of their ability, but all they’d come up with was the man was seeming as ‘drunk as a skunk’ fell over and pretty much drowned in an accident!
“Wait a minute boss” it was Joanne who stopped the flow, “We’ve got the pathologists to report, I put it on your desk an hour ago, figured you’d look it over when you got back, that should tell us if it was alcohol or drugs” she started for Billie’s office, fifteen seconds later she had the report and presented it to her boss, she already knew what Billie would find, but there was no way she was going to ‘steal her thunder’ she gave it over, “Here you are boss”
Billie snatched the report, she’d normally have the manners to say “thank you” but she was too frustrated at the wild goose chase, she studied it for a moment, “Wait a minute” she blurted out, she leaned back against a desk and read out loud, “Blood alcohol level was nil, no drugs found in his system,” she went through the rest of the report, “Nothing” she looked up, holding the rest of the team in her stare, she blurted out, “anyone care to explain how we can have a man ‘drunk as a skunk’ on video, yet no alcohol or drugs found in his system? Do we even know who he was yet?”
'Someone doesn't want us to know who this guy is'
Everyone looked sheepish, it was clear, the answer was ‘no’ on both counts. Billie’s eyes were boring into each one, in turn, they’d done their jobs, yet it felt like they were naughty school kids being told off by the school principal. Nervous fidgeting was going on around the room.
Something clicked in Billie’s brain, she figured the same thing had either clicked in their brains too, or was about to, and that was someone out there, didn’t want the cops finding out who this guy was, and that someone was either in the government, or had connections very high up, and that made her very uncomfortable.
“We still need to find out who he was,” Billie ignored the stony silence, she knew she’d be pushing the limits, “a family had a husband and possibly a father who didn’t come home a few nights ago, they’re probably frantic with worry, we owe it to them to find out, and let them know what happened, we’ll use that angle to cover our arses with this” she pointed to the board where all the details of the case were, “meanwhile, I’ll get hold of the pathologist, and see if they can explain what we saw, that sound like a plan?”
Saying 'Hi and Bye'
From the Author
So, the cops seem to be hitting a 'brick wall' in a few ways, but they've got a few strange questions. One is how can a guy seem as 'drunk and a skunk' on CCTV yet have no drugs or alcohol in his system?
And why was he on a deserted construction site in the first place?
This week I just wanted to let you see there's more going on than just the mayhem that Joey and Sandy are causing, but it'll tie in later in the piece, that I promise.
Bye for now.
Please don't forget to leave a comment and let me know what you liked in the story, or what can be improved on, this is only the first draft.