Global Shot by Trevor Scott by Trevor Scott - Read Online

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Global Shot - Trevor Scott

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years.

1

Copenhagen, Denmark

Her contact was late. Sirena didn’t want to check her watch, but she guessed it was ten fifteen. The Euro-techno beat resonated off the brick walls of the warehouse-like discotheque, the strobe flashes and black lights turning scantily-clad dancers into spastic zombies in a choreographed tantric orgy. White teeth. Breasts nearly bouncing out of tops. The strange odor of cigarette smoke blended incongruently with sweaty bodies, flatulence, and sticky booze that stuck to the bottom of her leather pumps as she strode elegantly toward the bar.

She had heard her contact liked places like this, so she wasn’t really surprised that this is where he would want to meet. She had dressed the part, with tight designer jeans and a blonde wig over her normal long, black curly locks. Narrow non-prescription glasses that made her look like a school girl. She had even put on those black pumps, which she hated because of the immobility. Her only modest concession to practicality was her top, a semi-tight silk button up. But she kept her leather coat on, her .40 caliber automatic concealed in a specially designed holster. No purse. She rarely carried one. They always got in the way.

The bartender plopped two beers down in front of her. From her position at the end of the bar, her back to the wall, she could see almost the entire place. Only the back part of the balcony was out of view.

Where the hell was that asshole? Her contact had promised a couple of names for her, dealing with a signal intercept of suspicious activity. So Ft. Meade had sent her halfway across the globe to talk with this scumbag.

One song blended into the next and Sirena knew there was no way she would be able to properly interview this guy. But she had come prepared for this and hoped that technology would overcome this hostile environment. Why did people think this was a great place to find a mate? The combination of lights and sound and constant motion were making her physically ill. Perhaps mentally as well.

She checked the crowd for anything out of the ordinary, yet everything seemed out of the ordinary. Men fondled breasts openly. Women kissed other women. And that was all on the dance floor. Who knew what was going on in the balcony?

There. Her contact weaved through the narrow area between the bar and the dance floor, where people waited two-deep for drinks. He was a tall, skinny guy dressed like a disco king from the late 70s, with puffy red and white shirt, tight black polyester bell bottoms, and heels that added three inches to his height.

As he got closer she raised a beer and waved it at him, the signal. He smiled, surprised, and nudged in close to her.

Nobody said I’d be meeting a super model, her contact yelled into her left ear.

Hey, you look just like John Travolta, she lied. Then she shoved an earpiece into his right ear and swiftly taped a small microphone under his collar. Two moves so smooth others would see them as simply the affectionate touches from a lover.

Why?

She squeezed down onto his arm. Talk normal. She slid her hand inside her coat for a second and then picked up her beer and took a drink.

His brows rose, knowing he could hear her perfectly now. Cool. His oblong head bobbed up and down with approval, in sync to the throbbing beat.

Get to the point, she said, sipped her beer, and gazed past his face to the spasming crowd.

All business, he complained, his eyes glancing about the room but ending up at her breasts. Let’s dance. He grabbed her hand and started to pull on her, but with one twist she had his pinky contorted and pulled him back to the bar. She let him go.

The Abo men will kill me, the man whispered loudly.

What do you know? I want names, plans and locations.

I don’t know that much, he pled, his eyes focused now across the dance floor. Shit. They’re here.

Who’s here?

Can you protect me? No. You’re just some blonde super model. These men will kill me.

She tried her best to see what he saw. Tried also to figure out the man’s accent. Was he Danish? She didn’t think so. She was only told that they thought he was Scandinavian. But now she wasn’t sure. Maybe Baltic.

The two men at the other end of the bar, she said, forcing herself not to look at them but knowing they were concentrating on the two of them.

The throng of people around them seemed to be collapsing in on them in a wave. She should have never agreed to meet him here. No control.

He shook his head and said, Soon. In America. All over the world. You can’t stop them.

She was about to strangle this guy. Who? Give me names.

Suddenly the man’s face went blank as he fell toward her. She caught him and lowered him to the floor, her left hand feeling warm moisture, and she knew exactly what that was. Blood foamed out the side of his mouth. He was dead by the time he lay onto the hard cement floor.

Her eyes scanned the crowd, settling on the back of a head above the others, moving away, a thick blond skull with short, cropped hair.

She removed the contact’s ear piece and mic and pocketed them, her eyes peering around the crowd and back toward the two men across the bar. They were gone. Damn it. Nobody seemed too concerned, probably thinking this man was drunk and had slipped. The two had distracted them while another moved in.

Not having time to think, she needed to move fast. Find the two she could identify. She slipped through the horde of people on the dance floor, concentrating mostly on the balcony. There would be a lookout. A tall man scooted back behind a pillar.

Hurry Sirena. Quickening her pace, she almost reached the front door, when a hand grasped her right shoulder from behind. Swiveling to her right and simultaneously wrapping her right arm over a man’s leather-clad arm, she snapped a kick to the large man’s right knee, buckling him. Followed that with an elbow to the guy’s jaw as he fell, and he immediately crumpled to the floor just like her contact had. She sensed movement from behind, caught a quick glimpse of another man, his eyes wild, approaching her swiftly, and she just had time for a rear kick, planting her pump into the man’s crotch. He hit the floor on his knees, his hands covering his groin.

She left him there and ran outside, where she noticed men climbing into the first two of four cabs waiting at the curb. Getting into the third cab, she told the driver to drive. Nothing more.

All three cabs ran in tandem, the first two close together and Sirena’s back a ways, she having the driver keep their distance. She pulled off the wig and wiped the blood from her left hand, where she had touched her contact’s knife wound, getting most of it onto the fake white locks. Then she ran her right hand through her thick black curly hair like a comb, fluffing it over her shoulders. Now she tied the wig into a tight ball, powered down the window, and flung it out into the darkness, putting the window up in a hurry.

The driver exited onto another freeway, and it soon became clear where they were heading—the airport.

The lone man from the balcony had seen everything. The meet. The set up. The knife slide out of his subject’s sleeve, into the contact’s back, twisted and removed, and then back inside the sleeve. Then his subject simply disappeared into the crowd. Calm. Calculated. Professional. The other two men had taken a parallel path across the dance floor, reaching the front entrance at the same time as the tall man he had followed from London. What was the point? A hit.

The why would have to wait. He sat now in the back of the taxi cab, his eyes on the three other cabs ahead. It looked like they were going to the airport. Great. Now where was he going? Sinclair Tucker was working undercover for British MI-6, having been assigned to follow the tall blond man with the short-cropped hair. He had been told the man went by the nickname, The Big Finn, based on his huge size and the fact that he was from Finland. Tucker had first caught up with the man in Dublin walking along a harbor pier, taking photos of ocean cargo ships. From there they had gone to London, and then here to Copenhagen. And then an hour ago at the hotel, the other two had shown up in a cab and taken the Big Finn to the disco.

Once at the disco, Tucker had taken a position on the balcony. Moments later, he saw the blonde woman take up a perfect tactical position at the end of the bar with her back to the wall. Her only fault in this entire incident was being distracted by the two men at the other end of the bar while the third came in for the kill. Yet, he might have done the same thing. Especially working alone. And it appeared like she was working alone. Who was this woman? And how did she fit into what was going down this fine October evening in Copenhagen?

He flipped open his cell phone and quickly dialed a number from memory. When a woman answered, he simply said, Left the disco. On my way to the airport to catch my flight. He saw the cab driver look at him in the rearview mirror and then shift his gaze back at the road. He listened to instructions and then added, It was a bloody disaster, his English accent coming through in full force. ‘Bloody disaster’ was his code, saying someone had died.

Your friends are going to the airport, the cab driver said, catching a view in the mirror again.

Just follow them, Tucker ordered. Into the phone he said, Sending a couple of photos from my wonderful stay in the Danish capital. He hit send on his phone and waited as the digital images flew through the air to London. He sent a second image and waited. When they were done, he said into the phone, A prize to whomever can identify these landmarks. One photo showed the dead man just before he was stabbed, from a distance that would require some enhancing on their end. And the second photo was of the blonde woman as she was kicking some poor bastard in the family jewels. A little blurry.

He thought about those two men the woman had disgraced, and believed they had had nothing to do with any of this. They were more likely just bouncers in the wrong line of work. Have to find a new job after word got out one woman had taken them for a quick go.

Bye, love, Tucker said, flipping the phone shut and returning it to his inside pocket.

By now they had crossed over onto the island where the international airport was located. In fact, Tucker had only been in the city since early that morning. Although he had followed the Big Finn to the hotel, neither had checked in. Instead, he had watched the Finn at the lobby, the restaurant and the bar. Wasting time, Tucker knew now. Until the other two had shown up to get him.

Now where? He had a feeling he’d know that soon enough.

The first two cabs pulled over in front of the departures area and five men hurried out, led by the Big Finn.

Once inside the terminal, the five met a sixth man holding a stack of papers.

The Big Finn approached and shook the man’s hand. Then he took the stack of tickets and shuffled through them. He sneezed, shook his massive head, and then yawned. Caught a damn cold in London, the Big Finn said in Finnish. Here. He handed each man a ticket. Then he nodded his head to a man nearly his height and tapped him on his chest. Don’t get in any trouble in America. See you soon. Without any further fanfare, the Big Finn plodded off toward the security check point. He wanted to go with them. They needed him. Always had. Now he’d have to trust them to do the job on their own. But he’d catch up with them soon enough. First he needed to take care of one more thing. It would start soon. Nobody could stop it. He smiled thinking about that and then sneezed again.

Behind him the five men broke up and went in two directions, three one way and two the other.

Sirena had to stay out on the sidewalk and observe the meet through the obscurity of dark windows. She thought she saw the white headed man for a moment, but then there were five men. Who to follow?

She went into the departures terminal just as the five broke up into two groups.

With a sudden brush of air, a tall man hurried past her toward the security area. Must have been late for his flight, but rude nonetheless.

Who the hell to follow, Sirena? The two from the bar. She could easily identify them. And they had to know what her contact had known.

But first she’d have to find out where they were going and buy a ticket. At this time of night there would have to be seats. One consolation.

2

Prince of Wales Island, Southeast Alaska

The sun had come up hours ago, but Chad Hunter knew they probably wouldn’t see it all day with the heavy cloud cover. With an average of 150 inches of rain in this part of Southeast Alaska, the place was a rain forest. A cold, damp rain forest. Dressed in camouflaged wool and topped off with Gortex rain gear, Chad sat at the stern of a sixteen foot Kodiak boat, his rubber-gloved hand on the throttle of the forty-horse Honda engine, trying to keep a slow and steady pace along a narrow offshoot of Moira Sound, on the Southeast side of the more than 130 mile long Prince of Wales Island—an island made up of tiny fishing villages and logging camps and more bear than people. They had put in more than 20 miles already that morning, and Chad would have to be careful to have enough gas to get back to his cabin. He carried a spare gas can, but he had already hitched up to that a few miles back.

The wind blowing across the bow made Chad happy he had let his hair and beard grow. It wasn’t like he could walk down to the barber, though. He was either a long boat ride or a float plane away from any real civilization. He only shaved when he had to go to the lower forty-eight for a conference or to discuss financing his research with government officials. Didn’t want them to think they were dealing with Grizzly Adams.

In the bow of the boat, scanning the clearings on shore with 10x50 binoculars for any sign of black bear, Frank Baldwin swiveled around and glanced back at Chad. Got any coffee left in that thermos?

Chad let up on the throttle and the boat eventually came to rest in the rising tide. He shook the thermos. Little bit. You cold? It’s a little different from Wyoming.

Not as windy, Frank said, that’s for sure. It’s the damp I can’t seem to get used to. Seeps right to my old bones.

Chad smiled. What are you. . .sixty now?

Ha, Ha. He ran his strong, weathered fingers through his long, speckled gray hair. Got five more years for that milestone. Not looking forward to it either. He poured the last of the coffee into a metal cup and then sipped it. Where the hell are all the bear? You said there were as many bears as mosquitoes.

True. I also told you to come in the spring. We’ll have to make our way inland tomorrow and give that a try. I know of a place along a little river where the salmon run is going hot and heavy. I always see bear there.

Sounds like a plan, Frank said, drinking the last of the coffee.

Better head back. Should have just enough gas to make it.

It took them more than a half hour at full throttle to cruise back up the sound, round the point and head northwest along another narrow bay to Chad’s cabin. There were only two other cabins on that strait, and both of those were only used during the summer months. Forest service land ran nearly the entire length of the island, and only a few pieces of land in the outer areas, away from the half a dozen larger towns, were available for purchase. Down at the end of the sound lay the nearly abandoned Tlingit village. Most had retreated to logging towns and fishing villages for work or mates.

Chad tied the boat up to the small dock and the two of them strode up a grassy area toward the cabin.

Stopping to look back, Frank gazed out onto the small bay. A bald eagle soared above and landed on a thick branch of a Western Hemlock, its eyes keen to any prey in the salt water.

Helluva view ya got here, Chad, Frank said.

It’s a bitch, but you get used to it. Come on, let’s fire up another pot of coffee and figure out a way to get you a bear.

Inside, the main area of the cabin was nearly all wood—from the floors, to the walls, to the ceilings. The large wood stove, perched on a cement base, took up much of the room. A trophy bear rug occupied most of an entire wall.

So that’s what those black devils look like, Frank said, plopping down on a sofa covered with a wool blanket and pointing at the bear. You take that with a bow?

Chad was in the kitchen area across the room filling a pot with water and then setting it onto the propane stove. He laughed, Yeah, I did. He looked up to the loft deck off the master bedroom above. Right from up there. Shot him in my front yard. He was down at my boat getting my salmon. I finished fishing but had to take care of business, if you know what I mean, and came out to find him with my fish in his mouth. Chad came over and rummaged through a pile of wood. Finding the one he wanted, he looked over at the bear.

You should have mounted a fish in his mouth, Frank said.

Putting another log into the stove, Chad opened the damper and blew a few times to stoke the coals to a bright orange, and a flame rose onto the log. Satisfied, he closed and clamped the door.

Moments later, a coffee mug in each of their hands, the two of them sat on the sofa taking in the warmth from the stove.

Why the hell’d you move way up here, Chad? Frank said.

Chad guessed that question would have come the day before when the float plane first dropped Frank off out front. It’s pretty and peaceful. No distractions.

You got a satellite dish, Frank