Redmayne

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 7 (v.1) - Dark Agents in London

Submitted: June 16, 2018

Reads: 30

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Submitted: June 16, 2018

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There was a chill in the air and Trevor yawned as he left the small flat. He’d been able to see the criminal records, and he now knew that Desmond had priors for actual bodily harm, and one grievous bodily harm. There was nothing though that would put him in the company of an international arms dealer. To some this would have seemed like a poor result for all the trouble of hacking into the police network, but to Trevor it just added to the puzzle.

He had left Omni to sleep, having thanked him for help and the use of the couch. Now he had to get back to Desmond’s flat, so that he could see what connected him to Ryan. He had to start early, for all he knew Desmond might already have left home.

*****

The early afternoon terminal of Heathrow Airport was a busy place. Walking through it and joining the queue to the check in was a woman in her mid-40s, she wore casual trousers but not jeans and she wore a tailored leather jacket. She carried with her a laptop which did not look at all out of place in the airport. When she got to the front of the queue she smiled at the attendant.

“Yes, what can I do for you Madam? asked the woman at the boarding desk.”

The traveller handed over a printout of an e-mail that she had readily to hand.  “Hello my name is Valerie Erlin, I booked online.”

The attendant looked at the email and checked her screen. “Ah yes, here we are, I have your reservation right here.” The attendant put the ticket in a folder and then as she was handing it over, “A first class ticket to Jackson Hole via Chicago?”

Valerie took the ticket, “Yes that’s right, thank you.”

“I notice it has come up as a one way flight; is that correct?”

Valerie smiled. “Yes, that’s what I ordered. If my work goes according to plan I won’t be coming back.”

The Attendant smiled back. “In that case, I wish you good luck. Enjoy your flight.”

“Thank you,” said Valerie as she headed off in the direction of Departures.

*****

At that same time, on London's Holloway Road, Desmond came out of his flat and onto the street. He was wearing a suit that he pulled and tugged at as he walked. The knot on his tie did not sit quite in the middle of his collar, and the tie itself flapped in the breeze.

The stubble from the night before had gone, and all that marked his chin now was a small cut on the jaw bone on his left side. Under his right arm he carried a zipped folio case.

Trevor thought to himself “So at last you've come out, and now you're all dressed up for something; I wonder where you're going.” He guessed that whatever had been in the briefcase was now in the folio case. Judging by the bulkiness of the case, it must be something quite thick, probably come industrial patents for a weapon. Having had all of a long morning to think about it, Trevor could still not think what the link would be between this man and Ryan. The best he could come up with was that he was a go-between. Who was he going between? That was the answer Trevor wanted, so he followed.

Through the streets he followed stopping occasionally to look in shop windows or maps of the underground. Not that he was interested in either; he just needed to keep the right distance between him and his mark. Sometimes he would fall too far behind and have to pick up his pace to catch up. At one turn he guessed wrong and had to hasten back to find Desmond again. He knew that was preferable to getting too close and being noticed. At one point, he thought he had done just that when he came around the corner to find Desmond standing watching a spider wrapping its victim in silk. Having no choice, he walked straight past and crossed the road. After shadowing from the opposite pavement, he noted that Desmond never looked his way nor did he seem to be looking back. Trevor’s confidence was restored and he eased closer to his mark.

As he followed along Tachbrook Street, He saw Desmond run his fingers along the black iron railings in front of the terraced houses. As Desmond came to the gap at the front of number 21, he climbed the few steps to the front door and rang the bell.

*****

Desmond had thoughts for only one thing, as he stood with his folio case in his hands waiting for the doorbell to be answered.

The man who came to the door was casually dressed, but not scruffy. In fact, Desmond rather wished he himself could look as smart in the suit which he found an uncomfortable stranger on his body. Nevertheless he gave a big smile as the door was opened and said “Mr Charles Redmayne?”

“Yes,” said Charles, slightly hesitantly.

“I represent a company that traces the heir to unclaimed estates; can I come in?” Desmond said. Charles did not beckon him in straight away and Desmond stood calmly as the householder seemed to weigh him up.

Charles motioned for Desmond to follow him, as he said “Yes of course, come in.”

Charles led Desmond along the hall, past the staircase and into the living room. The interior of the house was at odds with the exterior. The houses were Georgian, but inside this one had modern wooden flooring and was very clean and minimalist in its décor. Once in the living room, Charles turned to offer a seat to his guest. Seeing that Desmond was already unzipping his case, Charles again motioned for Desmond to sit, while he himself took a seat in his favourite chair.

Desmond did not sit; he continued taking the thing for which he had already been reaching, out of his folio case. Charles’ eyes widened as he recognised a gun with a silencer attached to it, but he had no time to react beyond that. Desmond quickly aimed and shot Charles. The first shot threw Charles back into the seat as he tried to rise. The look of confusion on Charles face was fixed by the one mortal shot that had hit him.

Desmond walked a step closer to the chair, and shot a further three times to make sure. He did not hurry, and his breathing remained as it had when he walked in. Putting the gun carefully away in the case, Desmond turned and left the way he had come in. He had to step to one side quickly to avoid the growing pool of blood, but that was the only movement that had any urgency to it. Once outside the front door, Desmond walked calmly away as if nothing had happened.

*****

Trevor saw Desmond come out of the door and pull it closed behind him. He watched as Desmond went down the steps, and without hardly looking down the street, walked away from number 21. Trevor’s stubby fingers prodded the keys to his phone and it was soon at his ear.

“Sid, I need you to do something for me.”

“Oh aye, they all say that.”

“Eh?”

“Come on then, out with it; what do you need me to do?”

Trevor began moving, so as to keep Desmond in sight. “Can you get someone round to check 21 Tachbrook Street?”

“What are you up to?”

“Nothing so far, but I need your help. You know that person you photographed?”

“You’ve been following him, haven’t you?”

Trevor held the phone away from his ear due to the volume of the last remark. “I was just trying to keep my hand in; you know you have to keep these skills practised.”

“You know what I said I would do?”

“Yes, but you never saw me, and neither will he,” said Trevor as he slowed and hid from view.

“I've half a mind to come round there and arrest you myself.”

There was silence for a moment, until Trevor said softly. “Something is happening: I know it, but I can't do anything about it. I need you; please.”

At first Trevor heard only silence, and he got more worried the longer he waited for the reply.

“Okay, what's going on,” Sid said.

“The guy from your photograph went into a house on Tachbrook Street; number 21, and he came out again almost straight away. What’s more, he came out alone. There was no one to see him to the door.  It just doesn’t seem right to me. I’ll carry on tailing him but I think you should get a uniform round there to check it out.”

“Why don’t you just phone 999?”

“And say what; that I have a hunch something might be happening?”

Sid said nothing; and Trevor had no doubt she knew he was right, and that they would only check it out if the request came from inside the force. Trevor had a quick look up the road and decided to start moving again. He'd taken a couple of paces when Sid spoke again.

“Och, you do put me on the spot sometimes. All right, but you take it easy; if anything happens to you we’ll both be for it.”

“Cheers Sid; I owe you one.”

“I owe you more, but you are fast running out, so don’t push it.”

Trevor hung up the call, put his phone in his pocket and then continued to pursue his quarry. His pursuit continued until they came to 17 Wenlock Drive. Trevor saw the door bell being pressed, and a young woman answered the door. When Desmond appeared shortly after, and again alone Trevor texted Sid the address and urged her to check that address as well.

The pursuit continued to Victoria Station. It had been a long tail, and Trevor was by now hanging well back, so that he wouldn't be spotted. As he came around the corner, he saw several possibilities as to where Desmond might have gone, but no clues as to which had been taken. He looked around outside the station and then went inside.

The voices echoed around the station as Trevor scanned around the crowd, hoping to spot a single suited man with a black leather folio case. He saw several, but none was the one he had been following. Eventually experience and gut instinct told Trevor that he had lost sight of his mark. Even as he continued to scour the station “Bugger” came out as a token of his frustration.

*****

Jason sat back and stretched. He looked across the room; not at anything particular, he just wanted to focus his eyes on something other than the screen in front of him. They were feeling gritty having scanned many pages. He listened for a moment to the radio, which was currently playing a song he was sure he’d heard twice already today. At least it was a bit of background noise to have on throughout the fruitless searches he had made.  He had tried just about all he could think of, and though it had led him down some roads, each one turned out to be a cul-de-sac. He had found reference to some ancient monk but the connection seemed very tenuous, and it gave no direction as to what the aims of the Evil One might be so he abandoned that avenue.

As he looked around, partly hoping inspiration would come his way, his eyes fell upon the picture of him and Patricia as children. They were standing in front of their parents and he was holding a football. He smiled to himself as he remembered that he had refused to have his picture taken without it. Looking at Patricia’s image he shrugged and said “Sorry Sis, our family has just been too good at hiding the existence of the Evil One.”

“Here is the news at Four O’clock,” said the voice on the radio. “Police are on the lookout for a man they believe is responsible for the murder that took place in Tachbrook Street in London. The body of Charles Redmayne was discovered in the living room of number 21, this morning; he had been shot. Police say they have a lead on a suspect, and we will, of course keep you informed of any further developments.”

At the mention of the name in the news report Jason looked around at the radio which sat behind him next to the papers and books that he kept near his chair.  At the end of the item he turned back and started tapping at the computer with renewed vigour. He called up the online telephone directory for people called Redmayne. Using the London area codes to narrow down the list of people, he formatted the list and printed it out. The printer strained on the edge of damage as Jason tugged at the emerging pages.  

Taking the printed list over to the phone, Jason rang the first number on the list but got no answer. He tried another, but again there was no answer. He tried a third number and this time he got a response.

“Hello, you don’t know me but my name is Jason Clarke. You might have heard on the news about the murder of Charles Redmayne in Tachbrook Street this morning.” Jason paused as the answer came back. He continued desperately “I’m not a reporter and I realise you aren’t a close relative. I just wanted to warn you; I believe the killer might come looking for you so please... no wait.” Jason looked at the receiver and then hung up the phone. “I suppose I do sound like a nutter.”

Jason crossed that number of the list, picked up the receiver and began dialling the next number on his list.

*****

The sound of heavy footsteps and rustling Kevlar heralded the arrival of Constables Wilkins and Ballard as they climbed the flight of stairs. It was a plainly tiled magnolia painted hall that led to a landing with two doors opposite each other. Ballard reached the landing first and he stopped to wait for his colleague. Wilkins was not far behind having caught up quickly after having had a quick scout around before entering the stairwell.

Wilkins rang the bell and the two police officers waited, listening intently for sounds from within. Having got no reply Ballard knocked again. When no response was forthcoming, Wilkins looked in through the letter box and shouted through it. “Mr Redmayne; it’s the police, can you come to the door please?”

While she was calling, the door to the flat opposite opened and the two police officers turned to look.

“Are you his neighbour?” asked PC Wilkins as she fiddled with her fringe.

“Yeh, I'm Deborah Wyatt, I live just here,” said the neighbour while pointing through the doorway in which she was standing. “Ain't he answering?”

Ballard turned to speak to her. “No he's not. Is he out at the moment do you know?”

Deborah shook her head. “I don’t think so; he was bloody well about earlier. He’s usually at home around this time in the afternoon.”

“Do you have a key?” Ballard asked eagerly.

Deborah shuffled uncomfortably. “No, I bleedin' well haven't. What’s he done anyway?”

Wilkins smiled gently. “He hasn’t done anything but we do need to speak to him. My name's PC Wilkins and this is PC Ballard. We just want ask him a few questions, but he's not in any trouble.”

Ballard knocked again, and they all stood, but there was still no sign of life inside.

Wilkins turned once again to Deborah. “He might be afraid to come to the door; will you see if you can get him to come and answer it?”

Deborah hesitated for a moment. “I will if he's there,” she said as she went to the door. She bent to look through the letter box.

Wilkins nodded to Ballard who then left.

Deborah put her mouth to the letterbox. “Gerry, Gerry; are you in there, you deaf bastard? The filth are here, they just want to have a word with you. Gerry? You ain't in no trouble, so you can come to the door you dozy sod.” She waited for a moment listening and then she stood up. “It’s no good; if he is there he ain’t coming to the door.”

Wilkins put her arm on Deborah’s shoulder and ushered her back to the door of her flat. “Well thank you for trying; you’d better wait in your flat now; we’ll handle it from here.”

As she was being ushered back, Deborah saw Ballard coming up the stairs with a ram for breaking doors, and stopped. “I thought you said he ain’t done nothing?”

Wilkins said “He hasn’t, now please return to your flat.”

Deborah shrugged off the Police Officer’s grip and said “I should cocoa.”

Wilkins did not try to hold her; she just motioned for her to calm down. “All right, but you have to keep out of the way.” She bent down to speak in through the letterbox again. “Mr Redmayne this is the police; if you don’t come to the door we will have to break it down.”

There was no response and so Ballard made ready to use the ram to break the door down, but just as he was about to smash the door just above the door handle, there was a voice from inside.

“Hang on a minute.” The door opened slightly and Gerry was standing there.

Deborah pushed in front of the Police Officers and spoke to him around the door. “Why didn’t you answer before?”

Gerry opened the door wider; when he saw for certain it was his neighbour. “I was warned about answering the door to a stranger.”

“Tell me about this warning,” said Wilkins.

Gerry waved them all inside, and they followed him in, closing the door behind them.

*****

Martin sighed as he put a last few things in his suitcase and zipped it up. Putting the crystal in a small hand luggage bag, he looked around at the bland hotel room; it had no personality and yet it was a room he did not want to leave. He knew now where he was going, having taken the message from Ryan and his orders from the Evil One that stemmed from that message.

Though he knew the destination, which would brighten the mood of most people, his face had no smile and his movements were slow as he took time to pack each item. A casual observer would expect to see three shirts being packed for a final public engagement. Once he was certain that everything was put away in the suitcases, he picked up the luggage and took one last look around before he left the room.

*****

Brandon Street was deserted as Desmond walked towards the destination for his next house call. Not that he cared or noticed, on his mind was the next call. He checked his notes looked again at the number seventeen on the door. He walked up and knocked on the door and looked along the road as he waited.

The door opened, but the sight that greeted him was not what he had expected. Instead of his next victim, there was an armed police officer holding a gun pointed straight at him. Desmond calmly turned and walked away, but as he did so, he saw a across the road in each direction a second and third police officer blocking his escape.

The marksman from the doorway shouted “Sir put the case on the floor and raise your hands slowly.”

Without any hint of panic or despair, Desmond began to unzip his case.

“Sir, do not open the case; put in on the ground.”

He continued to open the case.

“Sir, do not open the case.”

He reached in.

“Sir I am authorised to use deadly force.”

Desmond pulled out the gun and held it up to shoot.  Three shots rang out and he dropped to the ground. He felt the pain in his body and he saw a man in a kevlar vest, carrying a rifle running up to him. As his eyes closed the last thing he ever saw was the laced boots of that stopped near his face.

*****

One man who would have been happy to have joined Desmond in the next life was Martin. The afternoon was all but over as he came through Customs at Heathrow Airport. He had the shuffling gait of a much older man who had not been blessed with good health. The energy had been drawn from him, but he was unable to do anything other than keep going towards his destination.

“Do you have anything to declare?” asked the Customs Officer.

Martin did his best to smile, as he shook his head and put his bag on the desk.

The Officer seemed a bit distracted as he looked at Martin, but he said nothing and just checked the bag. As he opened it there was, in plain sight, the crystal. Just as he seemed about to say something, his expression changed, and he simply closed the bag again and handed it back to Martin. “Have a good flight,” he said as he waved Martin through.

As Martin moved on past the customs point and went on his way to get the flight, the queue moved forward. Ryan, who was some way behind Martin, moved forward with it.


© Copyright 2019 Kevin Broughton. All rights reserved.

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