Action adventure stories are my favourite, I love reading them, and recently I discovered I love writing them!
Like a 'Manchester screwdriver'.
From the author
This week we have a question to ask, Special forces are a great asset for any nation, but they're meant to work 'in the shadows' and just get on with the job without too much fanfare.
That's not always possible, but does that mean they might be the wrong tool for the job?
Then again, there are good reasons why they might be the right tool for the job even when it seems so wrong to use them!
Totally confused? Tell you what, let's read on and see if the story might help us understand what I'm talking about.
From the Previous 'The Princess'
The ops room was frantic, the handful of the staff was frantically trying to collect every piece of information they could find, anything would do. Each one had their own responsibility, police, MI5, GCHQ, local authorities and even local security companies, anyone who had any way of tracking what might have gone on, they were all being monitored. Six of them were working frantically, the room had no windows, three were facing the wall on the left, three more on the right wall and a small walkway down the centre, Jill, the supervisor was pacing up and down the middle.
“I can't believe this” Jill was young for the position, early thirties, slim build and blonde with blue eyes, but don't let the Scandinavian good looks fool, everyone in the room had at least a university education, usually in one or more languages, she was fluent in a couple, but that wasn't relevant, she also knew computers, that was why she was working there, “Does no one follow the bloody rules” she threw her arms in the air, frustration was written all over her face, “we should have had some warning it was going down! How the hell do we explain the whole screw up?”
“It gets worse” he chipped in, “that was ‘the Princess Margaret’ herself on the line, she wants details for the boss, like yesterday” he inverted the commas in sign language.
Continuing, "Operation Keen Wind"
Margaret may be Sir Mike's secretary, but she wasn't that well liked, “too bloody good for us” was the feeling.
“Shit! What DO we have?” Jill was almost pleading, “give me anything!”
“I might have something to tell them” another of the operators chipped in, “but it'll cause more questions like how the whole thing was missed!”
“Speak” Jill demanded, she whipped around and faced the one who'd spoken.
“Well, it's kinda strange, you see, they did notify but” his specs were slipping down his face, or at least that's what it felt like when he got nervous, and he was terrified, he just wanted to crawl into the nearest hole and hide, and what he was about to say wasn’t going to go down well with ‘the Brass’, “but they emailed the local cops HQ that they were running a keen wind exercise!”
“They did what?” Jill was furious, “who the authorised that?”
“Didn't need authorisation” the operator cut in, “it was local, the station superintendent signed off in it, called it a snap keen wind!” he shrugged.
“No use arguing about this” Jill really wanted to argue with someone, but it wasn't going to get them anywhere, “find the email, and create a file, they're gonna want to see all that for the debrief, ” she turned back to the other operators, “meanwhile someone get me the details on what a local keen wind is supposed to look like!”
‘Keen wind’ is the code name for the precautions taken to thwart a potential terrorist attack.
Intelligence networks do their best to listen in to anyone wanting to cause a problem. As soon as they get an idea of a threat to a place the local security services in the area are brought to a higher state of readiness, on military bases things like the guards at the gate are doubled and issued live ammunition, extra searches of sensitive areas.
For the civilian population, the cops also get extra powers and if a place is suspected of being a target, then the Army can be called in and bomb experts search for devices. This usually only happens when someone in Whitehall decides, but occasionally the local station can ‘pull’ an exercise to test their own response times that's what they'd done, and now everyone was scrambling, dealing with the crap no one knew was there.
“Look” she cut across his tirade, “we’ve been damn well blindsided by this, and we need to get it together” Margaret was angry at this, angry and scared, for the first time she was beginning to see just how dangerous what she’d been doing really was, she wasn’t a bad person, at least she didn’t think she was, but she was trapped, trapped in a life she got through one of the seven ‘deadly sins’ her father, an Anglican priest had always harped on about, she turned her back on his teachings as soon as she’d left home, now she was paying for not listening, “and it’s much worse than you think”
“But you were meant to warn us of anything like this!” Serkhov was angry, he was directing the anger at the little secretary sat here on the park bench with him, but the truth was his anger was more at himself for not having much of a contingency, “instead I’ve got a missing right-hand man, and now I learn from the TV that the police have hit the garage!” he stopped for a second to let the information sink in, she was there to stop them doing this, or at least give him some warning the raid was scheduled, she did neither. “What else haven’t you told us?” the look he gave made hse shiver inside.
“They’re working outside of the system” she began to reply, “We’ve got a team at the moment that seems to be running amok in the country, some of the divisional heads are saying they’ve ‘gone rogue’ and they’re the ones creating the havoc” she reached into her purse, “here’s what I can find on them, they were the ones sent to the West Country a couple of days ago, to protect the hacker” she slowly took out a plain brown A4 envelope, it was about an eighth of an inch thick, “They were also the ones in New Zealand a few weeks ago” she stopped giving him time to digest the information.
“And in Iran?” she nodded in reply, that answer told him volumes, he’d heard of what happened there, and the damage they’d done to the organisation, this was one job he was going to take great delight in carrying out, and he would destroy them even if it was the last thing he did on this earth. “What else is here?” he held the envelope up.
“Enough for you to set a trap” she came back, “they’re onto us, but we can destroy a large part of their evidence, maybe not all, but enough to make them think twice,”
“You think they’ll back off?” he was surprised.
“The team won’t” she replied, “but they’re already working outside the system, but a string of bodies littering the countryside will make anyone else think twice, and MI6 are crapping themselves that word of a rogue team might get out, so you can pretty much guarantee they’ll back off for a while.”
He thought for a moment, he’d come here angry and frustrated, but the beginnings of a plan was forming in his head, it wouldn’t stop them hunting him, but it might just buy enough time for him to go to ground, but the operative word was ‘might’ he glanced over at the woman, she was showing no emotion whatsoever, something that surprised and yet didn’t surprise, they were people she’d worked with for years, okay she’d worked against them for a lot of that time, slowly climbing the ranks, waiting until she was in a position to be of some use, and by that time her original bosses in the Kremlin had been replaced with, well let’s just say ‘same people different agenda’.
“Look” she began again, “I’m giving you the information, it’s up to you what you do with it, you can cause enough carnage to maybe slip away in the night, or you can do nothing and hope, but rest assured, now they have the garage, the car and the weapons, they’re coming for you and me, as for me, I’m hoping it’ll buy me enough time to get out while I still can, I really don’t fancy the rest of my life in Holloway or Dartmoor.” she stood up and began to walk away.
Like a fish on a hook.
Serkhov didn’t leave immediately, he waited a good fifteen minutes, it looked like he was reading the news on his tablet, but he was reading a note that had been on the envelope, it simply said, “all communication devices are tapped, whatever he arranged would have to be done the ‘old way’.
He looked as if he was watching the other park benches, and pedestrians walking past, but he wasn’t paying much attention to the trees and such, he didn’t see the slight rustling of the trees a few dozen feet away.
Less than a dozen feet away Chambers had watched everything, he’d also managed to record most of the conversation, best of all he could confirm the mole had just betrayed themselves.
“Let her go, at least for now” he whispered to himself, he hated the idea, but sometimes a little ‘evil’ is necessary for the greater good, at least that’s what he kept telling himself.
There was one thing he could do though, and that he set about doing. Taking a small plastic piece of equipment out of his pocket, he pressed a button on the side and waited as the small phone came to life, it went straight to the email programme, typing in an email address he sent a simple two-word message, it read “Bait taken”
As soon as the message showed up as being sent he got up from the bench, checked there was no one watching and began walking off in the same direction Margaret had taken.
That's all for this week.
We've got to leave things there for this week folks.
It looks like we've finally got a line on who the traitor is, but how are they going to deal with the situation?
That's something we're going to have to wait and see.
Bye for now.