I didn’t get the last part of the opening sequence sorted until after we arrived in Vancouver. I made a start on it before breakfast was served, though it was rather odd calling it breakfast when outside the plane it was nearly six in the afternoon.
In finishing it much later, I think I’ve come up with a different direction to the one I planned, but in truth, I was never happy with where it was going from the start.
That’s why I prefer to plot on the run so that it doesn’t necessarily get bogged down with a certain result in mind. For me, that is the biggest bugbear is writing to a plan. For some, though, I’m sure it works. For me, not so much.
So, what happened to the rest of the team?
Just in case I’d made a mistake, I kept one eye on the target, who seemed to be consumed by the events unfolding, and another taking a wider search of the surrounding area to make doubly sure the team was still in control of the mission.
They were not.
A hundred yards back in the direction I’d first seen the target heading when the explosion took me out of play, I found one of the team, Jack, a relatively new member of the surveillance division, roughly hidden behind a dumpster, dead, a victim of a clean, accurate, and methodical stab wound to the heart. No noise from the weapon, or the victim.
The target knew we were onto him. It also meant that it was likely the other two members of the team were also out of play, I preferred not to think they might be equally dead, and I didn’t think the chances were good that he might not know about me.
It wasn’t a good sign that he had come back to the site of the explosion because I doubted someone of his stature had time to stand around and watch a search and rescue.
And if he was looking for me I had to make sure he didn’t find me. Good thing then it was exactly what I was thinking when he turned and started to scan the outer perimeter, as I had, and just managed to miss his gaze in my direction.
Yes, he was definitely looking for me, so it was a good bet he had tortured one of the others to get the information he needed.
All the more reason for me to take him down.
I moved closer, all the time keeping him under surveillance and avoiding his searching eyes.
Then, satisfied I was not at this location, he started moving to the next, before I’d last seen him in the distance. It was the epicentre of the explosion and the one where there was a high concentration of police and rescue workers.
He stopped. I used the cover of the confusion, and in a way, a very efficient organization, to move closer.
I saw him take another look around, perhaps he suspected I might be near, then again satisfied, moved on.
It was clear I was not going to be able to take him on while we were in the immediate vicinity of the explosion, there were too many witnesses. Perhaps he was hoping that the abundance of cover would aid his mission.
He stopped again, among a smaller group of observers, and checked both sides of the line. From there he had two choices, to consider if I had retraced my steps, or gone ahead thinking I might catch up to him. Obviously, he’d realized I’d not kept up, and it had been due to the explosion.
Just as he was about to see me on another sweep, a minor explosion of sorts came from the main disaster site, what sounded like part of the structure collapsing, which explained dust rising into the air, and when my attention returned to the spot I’d last seen him, he was gone.
Not a good sign. He could be anywhere.
But he wasn’t just anywhere.
It was an unfamiliar voice, not expected, but I’d been more or less wary from the moment I lost sight of him. And because I had been alert, it saved me from a far worse injury. I felt the knife thrust through the fleshy part of my side and caught him with my elbow to the side of his head which sent him sprawling and knocking the knife out of his hand and sliding into the area where three bystanders were.
The scuffled turned their attention to him first on the ground, and then hastily getting to his feet and running away, leaving the weapon behind and me chasing after him.
No one said a word.
And this time he didn’t have a very big break on me and driven by rage at what he had done to the members of my team, it didn’t take long to catch up, in a place where we were alone.
In those few steps I’d made up my mind, he was not going to walk away from this.
So, is revenge on the menu, or something else?
© Charles Heath 2019
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