I’m back home and this story has been sitting on a back burner for a few months, waiting for some more to be written.
The trouble is, there are also other stories to write, and I’m not very good at prioritising.
But, here we are, a few minutes opened up and it didn’t take long to get back into the groove.
An unlikely ally?
It seemed that I had managed to scare her. Either that, or she had decided to be a little more forthcoming. I stopped and waited until she caught up. I was nearly at the top of the stairs.
“Look, I have to go back to my people, and I’ll get them to look into those two people you don’t seem to trust, who were they, Nobbin and Severin?”
“I don’t think you want to do that. You start making waves, your people will send out feelers and they’ll get to hear about it, and they will know exactly where it came from, and it’ll come back and bite you. For your own peace of mind, I’d let the sleeping dogs lie.”
She seemed over-eager to get ahead using this as a steppingstone. I’d seen the type, in the training ranks, and in former jobs. She was clearly assigned this job because of her looks, and she might be a good agent too, but she hadn’t thought this through.
“Are you telling me to back off?”
“I’m trying to save your life. If I have no idea who to trust, then I have to assume both of them are theoretically the enemy. I’m still counting the blessings I’m still alive, but I suspect that will only last until the USB is found. The rest of my team are dead.”
Now that put the right amount of fear into her.
“If they’re willing to kill everybody that’s come in contact with this information, I doubt they’d stop at killing the both of us if we got in their way.”
“Then you have a plan?”
“At the moment that plan consists of one line. Stay alive and find the USB before they do. After that, I’ll see what happens.”
I caught sight of an incident, two people almost colliding, and one, I noticed, was more intent on his phone which is what caused the clash. And, a second later, I thought I recognised one of the two.
Maury. Severin’s offsider, and more likely cleanup man. My guess, he was the one searching O’Connell’s flat, and Jan’.”
I think it was safe to say she was compromised.
“Ok,” I said quietly, “we have a problem, well two problems.” And if I was wrong about her, and she was one of Severin’s people, which, seeing Maury just turned a probable into a likely, I had three.
If she was, I hadn’t seen that coming.
Time to test the water.
“One of Severin’s men is downstairs, mingling, which means he knows I’m here, and maybe you two.”
I did a quick check of my scan of O’Connell’s, thinking I might have picked up a bug. It was the only explanation why Maury was here. And, it was likely he was not alone.
Not me. Jan?
“Did you take anything from O’Connell’s?”
“Are you sure. Think”
While scanning the lower floor of the station looking, no doubt, for Maury, and anyone that might present a problem, she looked like she was recounting her steps.
“Damn. A pen. I left it there the last time I saw him.” She pulled it out of her bag and went to toss it in the bin.
I snatched it, and as someone brushed past me, I dropped it into their pocket.
A flash of annoyance, then, “Hey, that cost a lot of money.”
“Then be grateful it didn’t cost you your life. Yet.”
We waited, keeping far enough back from the stairs, but with still a good view of the station. I kept an eye on the man whom I gave the pen as he made his way across the floor towards one of the platforms. Luckily it was at the furthest end, and as he approached it, I saw three figures, and Maury slowly make their way towards him forming a blockade so he couldn’t escape.
“Time to go.”
She had noticed the movement too.
We went down the stairs and headed towards the first available exit. As we were going out the door, we heard a commotion, the team obviously apprehending the wrong man, who would be wondering why four burly men were accosting him on his way home.
We didn’t wait to find out what happened to him.
© Charles Heath 2019