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Sting of the Scorpion Part 2
Last week we started a bit of an adventure, actually more like a "white knuckle ride" with some strange happenings in the Middle East blowing up in the faces of the people involved.
This week let's see what happens and what it all might mean?
For those who haven't read the first
- Sting of the Scorpion part 1
When all hell breaks loose and the war on Drugs joins the war on Terror who do you turn to? SCORPION ONE is ready to take the fight back to the enemy!
Forty five minutes later the first words after the greetings were spoken, “Twenty miles out” The pilot turned to the air crewman, “Time to light us up” darkness had closed in but he didn’t mean navigation lights. The crewman leaned forward and flicked a switch on his console “I.F.F. on” He spoke quietly to all, “they’ll see us in a minute” he pulled a small screen down from the overhead console, it came to life as he pulled away, “They have us, we’re good to go!”
I.F.F. stands for “Identify Friend or Foe and is a similar system to what all fighter planes use to ‘talk’ to friendly radar, a more downmarket version is used for civilian air traffic, this was a bit more advanced.
Most Londoners think that the ‘Ring of steel’ air defences were put around London for the London Olympics, they weren’t, they’ve always been there, the difference is they only guard certain places in London, Parliament doesn’t get it, but Downing Street and Vauxhall Bridge both get protection along with a few other places, all what happened during the Olympics was it was expanded and some of the sites weren’t taken down as promised, it was the IFF that had just locked on, identified them as friends and let them through, no one contemplated what might happen if they didn’t get identified as there would be no warning, just a downed helicopter and six dead soldiers.
Joey looked out the side window, he could see a Police helicopter in the distance moving up and down, he figured the Police chopper was about ten miles away (at night at this height the navigation lights can be seen that far away) and by the way it was flying it was checking the traffic on the M1 motorway heading north, probably not even aware they were in the air. The Police chopper also had the I.F.F. fitted but clear orders not to stray from their route, besides Thames House kept an eye on even the ‘allowed traffic’ and any violation would not be good for the one who breaks the rule!
As soon as the skids touched the pilot began shutdown procedure, it took about fifteen seconds to stop the blades turning, they were getting out when they saw a guy running towards them with wheels under his arms, as they entered the building they saw him clamping the wheels to the skids and he and the two aircrew were manhandling the aircraft into the small hanger on the roof that looked just like a penthouse within three minutes there was no trace there’d ever been a helipad on the roof.
The Story continues
The four of them walked through the building in silence, they knew where they were going, the operations centre or ‘Ops’ as they sometimes called it (or Oops when there’d been a screw up, more often than not it was the Oops centre when the proverbial hit the fan!
“This way please gents” a voice spoke out in the stillness, moments later a head appeared out of a doorway, the head belonged to a quite attractive redhead, it disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.
The door was to ‘Briefing room 2’ or at least that’s what it said on the door, but what lay before them was unlike any briefing room in the Army! A large LED screen made up the far wall, it was showing news feed from the situation in Turkey, except it wasn’t the news playing, the screen went blank as they entered.
In front of the screen was a long dark table, it looked like oak, but that could be just a veneer, around the table were seven chairs, all leather and three had occupants, the redhead was on the third chair.
The Briefing room
One true story
Just a peak!
“Take a seat boys” the man at the head of the table, an older man in a grey suit, the kind of one you wouldn’t notice on a busy day spoke quietly, “Welcome to our little place”
The four of them took seats without saying a word, no need really, they all knew where they were and it was about to become obvious as to why, besides you get to know who the director of MI6 is even if you never meet him in person. “Glad you invited us Sir Michael”
“Captain Jackson” Sir Michael spoke, “How much do you and your men know about the situation in Turkey?”
“Are we speaking about the Bombs in Istanbul Sir Michael?” he asked, “If that’d the case only what the news media has told the public”. There was a jug of water on the table in front of them, Joey, as the junior in the squad leaned over and taking the four glasses lined them up and began to pour four glasses of cold water, starting with Jacko they each reached out taking a glass. “I take it there’s more to the story?”
“Very much so” The redhead took over, “with your permission Sir Michael?” it was clear she was taking over the briefing.
“Do take over Sandy” Sir Michael handed the rest over to Sandy, short for Sandra, a career intelligence officer that the team had dealt with previously, very good at her job and as the red hair indicated one not to be tangled with!
Sandra Little, graduate of Oxford “Where all the best operatives come from” she’d pointed out to the team, that was until Joey had pointed out that Philby, Burgess and McLean had also come from there!
“Cambridge you idiot” was the reply and for the next few weeks working together his life had been hell!
“The Bombs were a cover for something else” Sandy began.
“Forty five dead, sixty injured and that’s only a cover?” Mac spoke up! “Remind me not to piss these folks off too often” in most military units Mac would be silenced smartly, not with the Regiment, in the SAS everyone speaks their mind and ‘Officers’ better get used to it, as it was both Sir Michael and Sandy had worked with them before and knew what to expect, the man, in uniform was ‘the boss’ Lt Col Simpson.
“Shows how important the target was to them” Col Simpson spoke up, listen up boys. The LED screen came to life with a giant picture of a man. “Meet Steve Chambers, sorry Sandy but I know Steve, hope you don’t mind me doing the intro’s” he continued on, “Until last year he was our liaison with ‘6’ and a bloody good man for a spook” Sandy couldn’t help a small smirk as that was high praise coming from him.
“I knew Chambers” Jacko replied, “If he’s in trouble you’ve come to the right place”
“Bit more than that I’m afraid” Sandy took back over, “Chambers had a meet at that Coffee shop at that time, he was there!”
“Bad luck” Jacko spoke up, “But if he’s killed or injured why the need for”
“He’s not dead” Sandy headed him off, “Least not yet as far as we know!”
“Isis planted the Bombs right?” Joey spoke for the first time in the meeting, “Was he working on something linked to them?”
“That’s what Turkey’s told the world” Sandy replied, “But it’s not the whole picture!”
She pressed a button on the remote she’d just licked up, a new picture came up. “Remember him?”
“Al Jabbari” the four almost spoke in unison, “one of the most feared Bomb makers of the Iraqi’s and someone thought dead! “Jeez boss, what next?” Joey carried on for all of them. “You going to tell us Saddam’s still alive? Or is it Osama?”
“Neither” Sandy was the one who spoke up, she’d been sitting but at this point she stood and walked round to the front of the table. “But it seems that the Yanks may have missed with an airstrike or two” she flicked another slide up, “the signature is the same, so he may also have changed paymasters!” she pointed to the screen, it was a series of names, dates and places with what looked like figures of some kind of material besides them; “This is a rundown of interceptions of quantities of heroin in the last year, take a look at the amounts”
“Quite a few kilos” they were all impressed, but Jacko was the one vocalised it.
“That’s not kilos” Sandy replied, that’s how many truckloads were seized, or rather consignments over ten kilograms!”
“Pretty impressive” Smithy, a quiet northerner with a lanky frame and a ready smile finally spoke up, “but what’s it got to do with us today?”
“Chambers was the one gathering the intelligence!” Sandy came back with a quick reply, she switched the machine off, “He’d got contacts feeding him the information as to when and where the drugs were coming in” she paused partly for effect. “Naturally they got suspicious as to where he got his info from”
“So they took him out?”
“No!” Sir Michael spoke sharply, “We think they took him for information”
It took a moment before the boys took it in, “So he’s alive, and you think they’ll squeeze him for information?” Jacko spoke up, “Let’s cut to the chase here Sir Mike, this is an Rescue or Destroy then?”
‘Rescue or Destroy’ often known as ‘RoD’ missions, where an operative with vital intelligence is captured by the other side, the intelligence they’ve got often so vital it could literally tip the balance of power makes it critical that if they fall into enemy hands then the order is given to either get them back of eliminate them! It’s a last resort and everyone hates them, “pity the poor sod who has to carry ‘em out” Jacko knew his team would perform miracles rather than carry one out, they’d heard of the order before, but only in the distant past when war was raging, now in peacetime they were being told to prep for an ‘RoD’ mission.
“Those names you saw,” Sir Michael’s voice was so quiet you’d think he knew the drug barons were listening in, “They’re the names of the people arrested, before we arrested them, or at least before we let it be known they were in custody we looked into their Bank accounts”
Stealing from a thief!
“We moved some of the money and whom it was sent to afterwards” Sir Michael went on, “You understand I’m telling you way more than I need to don’t you?”
"Wait a minute" Jacko was stunned, "you're telling us you took the money?"
"Not exactly" Sir Michael replied uncomfortably, "we just moved it to our account! They didn't need it anymore!"
"So you stole it" Jacko butted in, "How much?"
“I think you understand Sir Michael” the Colonel spoke up for his men, “You give an order for us to kill one of our own and we damn well want to know why?” he wasn’t angry, but there was a firmness in his voice "So I think you'd better square it with these lads, after all they're the ones going into harm's way!" His look bored directly into the director making him squirm.
“Three hundred million and counting!” Sir Michael explained “And that’s pounds” He stopped mid sentence to see what they were thinking, they were computing how many nights on the town that lot would pay for, quite a few years. “Not dollars! Not to mention all the linked accounts we found out about!” he finally finished the sentence when he saw the figures sink in.
“Not a lot then?” Joey was trying to make light of the situation, the others didn’t even think about the situation “Stealing from the drug barons, no wonder!”
Most military units work on the junior ranks doing what the senior ranks say no matter how dumb it might be, the SAS is different, with the ‘Regiment’ everyone has a say and everyone can say exactly what they think, Sir Michael knew it, and MI6 had too many dealings with the Regiment not to respect it no matter how much it ran against the grain, they got things done, and that’s what mattered.
But an RoD was hard to swallow especially for one of your own, and Steve Chambers was one of theirs, he was a mate, they didn’t say it but the expressions said it all “Hell will freeze over first!”
That's all for now
That's all for this installment folks, got to admit I'm really enjoying writing this series and I'll keep them coming regularly as long as I'm ahead in the writing
Hope you're enjoying the series too
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