This story is now on the list to be finished so over the new few weeks, expect a new episode every few days.
The reason why new episodes have been sporadic, there are also other stories to write, and I’m not very good at prioritizing.
But, here we are, a few minutes opened up and it didn’t take long to get back into the groove.
Things are about to get complicated…
We took the underground to Lancaster Gate and parted company before crossing the road and going into Hyde Park. Severin had designated the meeting place as the rotunda, as he called it, in the Italian Gardens.
It was dark, although there was adequate lighting, which made it a good cover for anyone else skulking nearby. And making it easier for Jennifer, who sensibly dressed in black, to scout.
It took my time heading slowly towards the stone building. I was deliberately early so he might not be there yet. In the intervening time I could hear the odd comment from Jennifer, as she looked over the various suspects who were also taking in the aesthetic beauty of the gardens, which would look so much better in daylight.
Oddly enough in all the times I’d been to Hyde Park, these gardens had never been a point of visiting, such was the allure of the pedal boats on the Serpentine.
I did a slow circuit of the building and saw three people seated inside. Two women, together, and a man on one side. It could be him.
“I think he’s already here, just going to check.”
“Nothing stirring out here, so far.”
It was odd hearing a voice almost in my head as if she was next to me.
I came up to the seat in full view of the person sitting on one end of the bench, so as not to alarm them. I could feel their eyes on me as I sat down. If it was him, he would talk to me. I was not going to talk to him.
Something else I noted, there was no direct line of fire from anywhere hidden, so if there was an assassin out there, he would have to do it in the open. Severin had scouted the place earlier.
“You alone?” The man spoke after about three, or four minutes. I’d seen him look around, checking for himself I was not followed.
“As far as I’m aware.”
I moved a little closer. He was talking very softly.
“What happened to Maury?”
“Tortured and murdered by Dobbin I believe. If he knew where the device was, he didn’t give up its location.”
“He wouldn’t. Dobbin you say?”
“As far as I can tell. He was running O’Connell, but you knew that already.” To save time dancing around the truth, and lessen the time being a target I added, “Everyone believes O’Connell is still alive. He didn’t have the device when I searched him. Who shot him?”
“Not us. If he is alive Dobbin must have usurped our cleaners, and spirited him away, which means it’s likely Dobbin has the device.”
“He doesn’t. He co-opted me into his section. O’Connell appears to have done a runner from him too. Did you know O’Connell was on mission to pick up the device from an intermediary?”
“Did you know that Anna Jacovich was there too?”
“Then you know what’s on the device?”
“I wish I didn’t. Or that you two were security guards at the Laboratory where Erich stole the data. What took so long for him to decide to sell it?
“When he was fired by the company after they lost the military contract. He had no intention of selling it, just getting it into the hands of the public so they would be forced to stop.”
“Except he was killed, and Anna decided she needed an escape plan.”
“Which O’Connell provided by wire transfer. The money’s gone, and the data didn’t arrive. It’s still out there.”
“Who was you boss in all this? Monica?”
“Who. No. It’s….”
I heard the phutt sound of a bullet passing through a silencer, and just caught the edge of the barrel retracting from behind one of the pillars. No need to check him, he was dead, still sitting upright as if nothing had happened.
I got out of the seat and moved towards where the gun had been, trying not to alert the other two sitting on the other side, facing the other way, fortunately.
When I reached the outside, there was no one. A quick scan in the darkness, my eyesight hampered by going from light to dark making images blurry at best.
Then I heard a thunk, and a triumphant “Gotcha.”
I hoped that was Jennifer with the shooter.
© Charles Heath 2020-2023