It was a very German click. Solid, not aggressive, confident but not brash. It was a noise that had been developed by engineers and artisans to inspire confidence and security in those that heard it.
“Fucking stupid for an indicator.” Charlie said to it.
Charlie was in the car, but the car was in a hedgerow. The car had turned its own hazard warning lights on and Charlie had been sat listening to the lights turn on and off, for quite some time.
He was still miles away from the city, but could see what looked like a power station a few fields away from where he was sat and if he could have seen the view from the satellite tracking him, he would have seen the two collection wagons barrelling down the motorway towards him. But he couldn’t.
“Looks like I’m walking again.”
Charlie pulled on the door handle, which opened the door with another well engineered noise and stepped out into the hedge. He climbed over the car and headed off across the field towards the power station. This was easier said than done, as the field was about waist high in what looked like densely packed wheat.
Daniel was stood outside the front door of you know who, arm poised ready to lift the heavy brass knocker. One thing for certain was, his superior had a considerably nicer abode than he did. He paused for another beat, fighting the rising angst and bile filling up his throat, then lifted the knocker and gave one loud knock. He resisted the urge for a friendly rat a tat tat.
After a short pause, the hallway light turned on and after some shuffling of locks and latches the door was opened by an older woman.
“Can I help you sir?” Her voice was as creeky as the door knocker was sonorous.
Without hesitation, Daniel pushed past the old lady and stormed down the corridor. It was late, not so late that everyone would be in bed, but late enough Daniel hoped for the children to be out of the way.
He found his boss sat in his study, nursing a large glass of something that looked like scotch. He looked up as Daniel entered and it became apparent that it was not his first drink of the night. Daniel shut the door quietly and pulled up the chair opposite him.
“I’m sorry friend, but I don’t recognise you. Were you an old acquaintance of my wife?” Asked Charles.
The other man smiled. “No not an old friend of hers, I only came to know of her very recently in fact. It is very sad what has happened to you. I have had similar experiences myself. Perhaps we may talk about them?”
Charles looked at the man in an effort to assess whether his instincts were correct, or whether, he was just very drunk. Well, he knew he was very drunk, but he wasn’t sure whether this was impacting his instincts.
“Could you hold on a moment, I just need to get someone.”
Charles walked back to Alex.
“Alex, could you come with me and meet someone please.”
“Charles, I’m busy here.”
Charles grabbed Alex and dragged him away from the group.
“Hold on old chap!” Alex protested, but Charles had him well held until they reached the man at the other end of the room. By now, the whole room was watching.
“I’d like you to meet my cousin Alex.”
“Ah yes Alex, we have crossed paths, a lifetime ago.”
“Apologies, I don’t remember you at all sir!” Alex responded.
“Just keep walking” Charles said under his breath to his colleagues.
“Well there isn’t much else we can do is there!” The pilot replied.
“Es tut mir leid, papieren bitte?” The voice behind them came again, this time followed by the familiar metallic crunch of the bolt being drawn on a German Gewehr 98 rifle.
“It’s no use, we’re going to have to stop.” Charles said slowing and turning on the spot.
“Guten abend, der nacht ist sehr schon mein hehr. Meine papiere sind zu hause.” Charles hadn’t had to use his German for a while, but hoped the fact that the uniform he was wearing, outranked that of the guard questioning him, combined with the fact that the pilot was wearing a German police officer’s uniform, would help disguise that.
“Wo ist deine hause? Kapitän?” The four men were now stood facing each other.
“Oh come on, it’s three to one, let’s stop messing around.” Alex said in English, before, with lighting speed, slamming the butt of his pistol into the German’s gawping face.
“Come on let’s hide him before he wakes up.”
They dragged the man down a side alley, tying him up with his own boot laces.
The arrival at the house had been met with some fanfair, which was a little shocking to Charles as he was not expecting it. Kath’s icy response to Alexa, had also led him to believe that she would have poisoned the soup before they appeared, however, this was not the case and the full staff met them at arrival.
Charles was currently being dressed for dinner, well really, he was being dressed for cocktails before dinner, but the attire was the same, full black tie. Alexa had feigned concern that she would not have anything smart enough to keep up with her English counterparts, but Charles had experienced Alexa’s wardrobe in full swing and knew that she would leave the English women in awe and a little jealous.
“What’ O’ Charles, knock knock. Quite a woman you bought back with you from the colonies dear brother. Don’t suppose you bought one for me?”
Charles turned to meet the half dressed vision of his brother, Thomas, stood in the doorway.
“I thought you would have the girls hanging off you with your cricket prowess dearer brother and you’re about to sit your finals, so your mind should be on higher things.”
Charlie’s newly found power had gone a little to Charlie’s head. He was currently sat in a very nice German luxury car, driving at speed down a country road. He wasn’t really sure where he was going, he couldn’t work the Sat Nav in the car as it didn’t recognise his voice and unbeknownst to him, the car had called the police to tell them it had been stolen and would shortly be providing them ongoing GPS references of its location.
In short, Charlie was fucked, but was having far too much fun driving fast to care.
At the quite literal rate he was going, he would make it back to the city in no time at all and was looking forward to getting back to his flat, to hopefully spend at least one night there before they came for him. He had realised that there was no hope of escape and had decided to just push the envelope until it broke, or someone glued the flap closed on him.
The scenery was glorious. British countryside at its finest. Completely useless for anything other than looking at, but it was excelling wonderfully at this purpose as Charlie hooned through it.
Red apologised for being late, circumstances out of her control at the agency, had delayed her. They had eaten dinner together, but at separate times, due to the disparity between when they ordered and were now walking arm in arm down one of London’s back streets.
“The job has been called forward.” Daniel said.
“Oh.” came Red’s reply. “What are you going to do?”
“Do? What do you mean? I’m doing as we discussed, I just need to work out a way to get the target to believe what I am saying.”
“You’ve told him then?”
“Yes today, he reacted as I expected, perhaps I just need to go and explain again in person. Fancy giving me a ride?”
“Sure, the car’s around the corner. Where do you need to go?”
“I’m going to visit our man at home. Make sure he understands the weight of the situation.”
“Well I can think of worse ideas, you’ll have to direct me.”
They jumped in Red’s car and were soon parked in the very nice bit of West London, that Daniel’s boss called home. Red leant over and kissed Daniel on the cheek.
“Good luck, I think you’ll need it.”