Was it just another surveillance job – Episode 4

I’ve had time to think about the next part of this opening sequence.

Long plane rides that leave in the dead of night are always conducive to working through plotlines because being on a plane in economy, the chances of getting any sleep is nigh on impossible.

And yet, this time the impossible is possible, which means that sleeping has overtaken the thinking process, and it will have to wait till I’ve woken up.

Of course, as usual, being in this interesting situation has provided another tangent, which is doing the impossible.  It reminds me of a saying I once heard, ‘if you want the impossible it will take some time if want a miracle, that will take a little longer’.  Temper that with ‘how long is a piece of string?’

When we last visited our intrepid wannabe hero, we were left with a cryptic ‘is anyone ever in the wrong place at the wrong time?’

Sometimes, but not for our particular hero.

 

It could be worse, I told myself, while the paramedic cleaned up my cuts and abrasions and gave me a concussion test, which, I suspect, might not quite discover if I was or not.  But, at that moment, it didn’t matter.

I’d lost the person I’d been assigned to keep under surveillance.

It was meant to be a doddle, but of course, no one could ever predict what the conditions might be in any exercise, and whilst I was one part of a team effort, it had been on my watch, and I only realized what it was that I’d been doing when a voice in my ear started asking for an update, because it was coming up to the changeover.

I was surprised the noise of the explosion hadn’t been transmitted to the others.  I waited till the paramedic had finished, a minute at most.

“I got caught up in an explosion, a couple of over-enthusiastic bank robbers, and taken down.  The target was ahead of me.”  I gave the team leader the exact location of where I’d last seen the target, then waited.

If the team was functioning properly, one of the other three should have been close enough to predict where the target would be at the change over point.

“Are you alright?”  It was a question I’d expected earlier.

“Got caught in the aftershock, got a few cut and abrasions, and a ringing in my ears, but otherwise ok.  The paramedics want me to go to the hospital to be checked over, mainly for a concussion, but I’m ok to resume if you want.”

A minute, two, of silence, then, “Do as they say.  We have the target still under surveillance.”

And that was it, what I regarded as a massive fail, despite the circumstances.

I watched the paramedics load the battered policeman onto a gurney and head towards the ambulance.  I went over to the cuffs and picked them up.  A souvenir of the event, if nothing else.

Lights flashing and siren wailing it left, heading for the hospital.

I took a last look at the scene and started walking away in the direction I was originally heading, and once past the perimeter, walked through the group of bystanders who’d gathered to watch the event unfold.  On the other side, I stopped, took another look back at the scene, and did the proverbial double take.

Standing not ten yards from me was the target.

And a quick look in every direction for the members of the surveillance team showed none of them was anywhere near the target.

I spoke quietly into the communication device.

“Target, I repeat, the target is in sight.  Is anyone nearby by?”

Silence.

 

So we now have a dilemma, if there is no answer from the team, are they maintaining radio silence, or is something more sinister afoot?

 

©  Charles Heath 2019

“What Sets Us Apart”, a mystery with a twist

David is a man troubled by a past he is trying to forget.

Susan is rebelling against a life of privilege and an exasperated mother who holds a secret that will determine her daughter’s destiny.

They are two people brought together by chance. Or was it?

When Susan discovers her mother’s secret, she goes in search of the truth that has been hidden from her since the day she was born.

When David realizes her absence is more than the usual cooling off after another heated argument, he finds himself being slowly drawn back into his former world of deceit and lies.

Then, back with his former employers, David quickly discovers nothing is what it seems as he embarks on a dangerous mission to find Susan before he loses her forever.

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What happens after the action-packed start – Part 18

Our hero knows he’s in serious trouble.

The problem is, there are familiar faces and a question of who is a friend and who is foe made all the more difficult because of the enemy, if it was the enemy, simply because it didn’t look or sound or act like the enemy.

Now, it appears, his problems stem from another operation he participated in.

 

The debriefing team were not quite what I expected, a man and a woman, one a Major, the other a Lieutenant, and it was apparent they had just met before coming into the room.

He was Major Lallo, Army intelligence, and the woman, Lieutenant Jill Monroe, a familiar name as I’m sure I’d heard it before.

Lallo was not a fighting soldier, he was a paperwork man.  I suspect he was more at home with an order book, and filing communications though that didn’t explain the rank, which he would have to have front line experience to attain.

Monroe looked to me to be the sort of woman soldier that had to prove she was better than any man and had the muscular form to go with it.  Not the sort of a woman to get into a fight over or against.

She stood at the end of the bed, and I suspect by her posture that she was there to make sure I didn’t run, which, by the way, was physically impossible.

Lallo sat in the chair beside the bed, tried to make himself comfortable.  He was going to ask the questions.  He had a small notebook he took out of his pocket with a list of questions.  The small pencil that slotted into the binding was there to write down the answers if any.  I was not sure I was up to answer any questions.

Settled, he started with, “You don’t have to answer, but I suggest you do.  I think by now you are starting to realise that, no matter how strong you think you might be, you’re not.  If you decided to be unforthcoming, then you can be assured that we will be interrogating you with a lot more, shall we say, enthusiasm than in the past.”

By the way he said it, I got the impression he would be the one.  His tone had changed suddenly, to a man who enjoyed others discomfort, and he was looking forward to breaking me if it came to that.

“And if I don’t have the answers to your questions, or should I say, not the answers you are expecting, what then?”

“One step at a time.  We’ll start with the easy questions first.”

I’m not quite sure what he classified as easy.  I didn’t think there were any.

“How long have you been at this base?”

Maybe I was wrong.  “Two months, three days.”

“How did your transfer to this specific base come about?”

“I don’t know.  I was at a training base in Ohio one day, then being presented with orders to get the next transport out the next.”

“Did you, or someone else you know, request your transfer to a new base?”

I didn’t think that was possible.  Someone of my rank went where they were told to go.

“No.  I’m a Sergeant, not a General.”

But was it possible Colonel Bamfield arranged for me to be transferred.  Given the fact he was here, now, it was not beyond the realms of possibility.  But if so, why?

“What was your function at your last base?”

What had this to do with my current situation or anything else for that matter?

“Instructor.”

“In what?”

“Infiltration, covert operations.”

“And I’m assuming then you been involved in these, shall we say, covert operations?”

No use denying it.  It was obvious he had seen my file, which all of a sudden had some very disturbing possibilities.  Just how much information though.

“Yes, but they’re classified and I can’t tell you anything and that.”

“Normally that would be the case, but…”  He left the sentence hanging there for a few seconds before adding, “There was a problem with your last operation, the reason, it appears, you were transferred to the training base in Ohio.  Is that correct?”

A mission that I had been told never to mention, speak of to anyone, no matter how high their rank in the military or government, or even think about again.

A mission I was told had been buried so deep it would never see the light of day.

Until now.

 

© Charles Heath 2019

“One Last Look”, nothing is what it seems

A single event can have enormous consequences.

A single event driven by fate, after Ben told his wife Charlotte he would be late home one night, he left early, and by chance discovers his wife having dinner in their favorite restaurant with another man.

A single event where it could be said Ben was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Who was this man?  Why was she having dinner with him?

A simple truth to explain the single event was all Ben required.  Instead, Charlotte told him a lie.

A single event that forces Ben to question everything he thought he knew about his wife, and the people who are around her.

After a near death experience and forced retirement into a world he is unfamiliar with, Ben finds himself once again drawn back into that life of lies, violence, and intrigue.

From London to a small village in Tuscany, little by little Ben discovers who the woman he married is, and the real reason why fate had brought them together.

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Was it just another surveillance job – Episode 3

Back to the explosion at what was first thought to be at a takeaway.  Certainly, it had been levelled, but so had several other building in the near vicinity, but we haven’t got to that part yet.

The boredom of the flight is still giving me an opportunity to explore the opening sequence a little further, where we left our man on the scene under tight police guard.

 

In five minutes, perhaps less, the whole scene had turned into countless vehicles with red and blue flashing lights, screams from the victims, and yelling from the rescuers.

I was still under police guard, but coming from the other side of the scene, a rather battered and bleeding street policeman came running towards us, stopping short of the man standing back, the one I assumed was in charge.

“Tell me you’ve got them,” he gasped, then looking from the man in charge to me then back again, looking very concerned.

“We have.” He looked very calm and pleased with himself.

“What?  Him?” He nodded in my direction. “He was blown up in the blast and from what I saw was chasing the real culprits, two men covered in dust, one of whom was carrying a large duffel bag.”

“This guy was caught running from the scene.”

I decided to add my bit to the discussion.  “Your car drove straight past them.  I can’t see how you missed them.”

He was starting to look worried.  “We were given your exact description from an anonymous tip.”

The battered policeman bent over and the collapsed to the ground.  Two of my captors went towards him, but he motioned them away.  “Of course you did, by the two men escaping.  Get after them, before it’s too late.  And free this guy.  He’s got nothing to do with the blast.”

After removing the cuffs they jumped back in their car and headed back in the direction they came.  Too late now, the two men would be long gone.

I went over to the policeman on the ground just as another ambulance pulled up and as the paramedics got out, I motioned to them to come and attend him.

“What happened,” I asked him

“A bank robbery, the clowns used far too much explosive and almost brought the building down on them.  Not so lucky for the neighbours.”

He was looking around, then stopped, looking at the place where I’d just been held down. I followed his gaze and then saw what he saw.  The cuffs were still on the ground where the man who removed them had obviously dropped them.

His expression changed, and for a moment I thought he was going to explode.

“What’s wrong.”  Obviously, something was but I couldn’t see it.

“The cuffs.  We haven’t used those for years now.  They weren’t real police.”

My mind clicked into gear at the same time as he uttered the words.

They were there to help the others escape whilst holding us both up with a phony arrest.  I wonder what they would do if they hadn’t been sent after their fellow robbers.

The battered policeman just sighed and lay down on the pavement and let the paramedics work on him.

Only then did we notice he had a piece of an iron bar sticking out of his side.

Then, of course, people just\  don’t happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Or do they?

 

© Charles Heath 2019

“Echoes From The Past”, buried, but not deep enough

What happens when your past finally catches up with you?

Christmas is just around the corner, a time to be with family. For Will Mason, an orphan since he was fourteen, it is a time for reflection on what his life could have been, and what it could be.

Until a chance encounter brings back to life the reasons for his twenty years of self-imposed exile from a life only normal people could have. From that moment Will’s life slowly starts to unravel and it’s obvious to him it’s time to move on.

This time, however, there is more at stake.

Will has broken his number one rule, don’t get involved.

With his nemesis, Eddie Jamieson, suddenly within reach, and a blossoming relationship with an office colleague, Maria, about to change everything, Will has to make a choice. Quietly leave, or finally, make a stand.

But as Will soon discovers, when other people are involved there is going to be terrible consequences no matter what choice he makes.

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“The Devil You Don’t”, be careful what you wish for

John Pennington’s life is in the doldrums.  Looking for new opportunities, prevaricating about getting married, the only joy on the horizon was an upcoming visit to his grandmother in Sorrento, Italy.

Suddenly he is left at the check-in counter with a message on his phone telling him the marriage is off, and the relationship is over.

If only he hadn’t promised a friend he would do a favor for him in Rome.

At the first stop, Geneva, he has a chance encounter with Zoe, an intriguing woman who captures his imagination from the moment she boards the Savoire, and his life ventures into uncharted territory in more ways than one.

That ‘favor’ for his friend suddenly becomes a life-changing event, and when Zoe, the woman who he knows is too good to be true, reappears, danger and death follows.

Shot at, lied to, seduced, and drawn into a world where nothing is what it seems, John is dragged into an adrenaline-charged undertaking, where he may have been wiser to stay with the ‘devil you know’ rather than opt for the ‘devil you don’t’.

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