A Return Journey Part 4
Let’s see how this goes down.
DOING STUFF FOR SOMEONE LIKE HARRY PETTIT YOU NEED TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS. Every job. Every fucking step you take you have to cover your arse. You got to have a back door. That’s rule number one. Rule number two – don’t tell him nothing more than you have to.
I work for Harry as a security consultant. That means I’m the bloke what turns up unexpected at one or other of his ventures and scares the shit out of them. Normally just showing my face keeps people in line. Harry’s got other heavies for day-to-day shit — two-planks who’re stupid enough slap anything that moves. I don’t do none of that. They all know the rumours. When I go somewhere I’m everybody’s mate.
Harry’s had me on a string since I came home so he could use my “skills” when he wanted someone sorted. I didn’t just roll over. He had to agree to my terms. He gives the name and place. I do the rest. He never knows how or when. It just happens. That’s the limit of his involvement and I won’t do jobs for no bugger else. My way or no way.
I “live” in a faceless one-bed flat in Camberwell. I use it as the office for my legitimate security consultancy firm. I set it up a few years back so Harry could pay me a retainer. That makes me self-employed and Harry a customer. When I do a special for him I get a cash “bonus” which he thinks I keep in a safety deposit box in town. That’s all he needs to know. The prick having me on a hook is more than enough for me.
IT’S BEEN SIX DAYS SINCE I LEFT LONDON. I’m in the bar of The White Horse in Neatishead. A village in the north part of the Norfolk Broads. I’ve got a meet with Guido’s contact. We agreed I’d stay out the way until he had some news on what went on in Antwerp. When I passed by Great Yarmouth I got a text. The beer’s here’s pretty good.
One of the things Harry don’t know is, I’ve made investments. The first one right after Harry told me do someone. That’s when I knew I needed the back door.
I bought a small second-hand cruiser on the Norfolk broads. Miles of water to get lost in and virtually zero mobile cover. Tourist boats a ten-a penny here. It’s turned out handy as a place to have a break when things are quiet. I keep it in a small yard near Wroxham when I’m not using it. As far as the owner’s concerned I’m just another punter with a bit of spare bunce who likes fishing.
Half-twelve and this geezer walks in and comes straight over to my table. I stand up and we shake hands like we’re old colleagues. I know him. Never met, but I’ve seen him before. After we’ve said the legion oath I get him a beer.
‘Quite a trek. It took me a while to find this place.’
He’s got a faint Scottish accent.
‘You not based around here?’
‘We’re pretty thin on the ground. East Anglia’s a big place. Four hour drive.’
‘I saw you in Algiers.’
‘Passing through. Like you I imagine.’
While we drink our beer he gives me a secure number and key word. Other than that we talk about anything and nothing. When we finish he says he has to get back.
‘I’ll see you to your car.’
When we get there he unlocks it and sits inside. He holds out his hand to shake a farewell.
‘Guido says take care and good luck.’
He closes the door, starts the motor and drives off. I slip the SD card he palmed in my pocket and wave. It’s a ten minute walk back to the boat.
The mooring they call a staithe filled up while I was in the pub. The boats are packed in tight and there’s a lot of people milling about. I unhook Karen (my boat) and set off to find somewhere quiet to anchor up where I can concentrate on Guido’s message. I leave the place with two boats fighting over the gap I left.
Bonjour, J — It’s written in French but that’s not a problem — The contact you were to meet was found and neutralised. She was not terminated. We Interrogated her. She was smuggled into Belgium by these pigs for use in the sex trade. She was picked up outside Kiev after escaping from Belarus and brought here with a batch of Ukrainian girls.
Her job was to lure you into taking her to your room for the night. You were to be killed within minutes of entering. She had to get the car keys, papers and all forms of identification. You would not be found until the next morning. She was to leave the keys in the left tailpipe of the Chrysler then take a tram to an address in Antwerp.
She said she was forced to do this otherwise she would be sent to the authorities in Belarus. If she was successful they promised to let he go. She was electronically tagged to prevent her from running away.
They used her because she knows English and being from Belarus, could not be traced if caught on CCTV. We have no doubt she was to be killed after the job whatever the outcome. We decommissioned the tag. For the moment she is in a secure house in France.
We collected the individual who came for the car. We are still extracting information. So far we know these animals want to take over all Harry’s operations to get a foothold in the UK. He made a deal with them and plans to retire with a pay-off of several millions. You would not have been the only member of Harry’s staff to be removed. You were to be first to convince people within Harry’s operation to put up no resistance.
J, I cannot stop you from taking action now, but I would advise you to be patient until we have finished squeezing the car man.
I SMILE AS I SWITCH OFF THE LAP TOP. I almost feel sorry for the cunt. Nobody extracts information like ex-special-op legionnaires. Guido don’t need to worry about me. Patience is everything in my game.
I always thought Harry’s weakness was making the odd dodgy decision. I’ve had to get him out of bother a couple of times, but I didn’t think he could be that fucking stupid. A move like this is insanity. Didn’t he realise just talking to blokes like this is suicide? You can’t negotiate with people like that. If he thinks he’s made a good deal he’s got his head up his jacksie.
Harry’ll probably survive any come back from Antwerp, although it’ll cost him a lot of gelt. They’ll want a quiet take over. Waves attract attention and not just with the filth. They won’t’ve got that big without knowing that.
Give it a year or three and Harry’s gonna be falling off a yacht in the Med or the Caribbean or somewhere. Except for one thing — he’ll be long gone by then. I’ve got some plans of me own.
Great interior monologue, it has an authentic feel. With these underworld characters i’m wondering why the seeming trust in Guido or anyone else. Is it because they all served in the French Foreign Legion? Good build-up of tension.
Thanks CW for going back and checking out part 2. I did a bit of research on the FR, it seems they have a sort of ex Legionnaire fellowship where they swear to help each other out. I think it’s the L’accord reprisal. I don’t know how deep it goes, but it suits this story. Certainly Legionnaires have to swear allegiance to France. Yes at first Jess wasn’t sure how Guido would react because he had gotten in with Harry’s organisation, but as Guido knew, Jesse owed Harry so he decided to help. Guido has welcomed him back to the… Read more »
The story is now clicking into place. “Karen” is a good touch.
I’m still mulling over Jess’s next move. I might need a week or two. Finding time to think between dog walks can be tricky sometimes. First I called the boat Traycee, but then I remembered Karen the non existent lover.