Meanwhile hours earlier in Malta…
Following his call in the elevator, to his long-time mistress, Lady Cat (“Neshema“), Mr. Goldman set out on his real mission.
Turning on the tracking app on his phone Mr. Goldman was now able to pinpoint Venomiss’ location via the thumb drive he had given her. He then made his way to his office in the hotel. Grimacing in pain from his carefully self-inflicted gunshot wound, he fished out his pocket watch and took out a Tylenol 3 tablet he had hidden within it. Popping the pill in his mouth, he threw back his head and swallowed the painkiller tablet.
Next, he retrieved and dialed the satellite phone he kept locked in his hidden office safe.
“It’s me. It is a go. I will text the target’s coordinates when she is on the move. Don’t do it in the hotel… bad for business.”
The recipient of the call offered no reply. And hung up.
Then, Mr. Zero made his move. While he smiled with Venomiss casually brushing off his phone call from Mr. Goldman as a wrong number… He secretly pocket-texted his henchman—a consummate sniper, Mr. Nowhere, who was closeby in the trashed Malta hotel suite.
Mr. Zero’s text read…
“She is the mole. Execute!”
Meanwhile, Venomiss had walked over to the overturned settee making plans to don her bulky sweater and flee the scene.
Following Venomiss’ exit from the hotel suite, its swag and swanky furnishing toppled or in tatters, Mr. Zero rallied his team.
However…unbeknownst to Mr. Zero not all of his team had been loyal to him…there was a trojan horseman in his midst.
With a nod to Mr. Nowhere, Mr. Zero without speaking, dispatched him to track and kill Venomiss. Following the execution, Mr. Nowhere was to plant evidence on Venomiss’ corpse implicating her in setting off the bomb at the Malta warehouse, and fingering her ex-husband, Lord Charrington, Vice Royal, British Naval Intelligence, as the elledged mastermind behind The Pale Rider‘s debauchery.
Hours later and a few moments before the earthquake that shook Venomiss aboard the submarine, The Vengeance 2…
Mr. Goldman hurriedly packed his getaway bag stashed in his office and departed the hotel…for good.
He fumbled as he did his utmost to rebandage his wound from the first aid kit in his getaway bag. Nervously, awaiting extraction, his hand trembled while he crouched in the bushes near the helipad a few hundred meters from the hotel.
Moments later, from his hiding place, Mr. Goldman witnessed the unthinkable…
Fire erupted into the Malta night sky. The blast shook the ground all across the island. In the distance, the exploding warehouse facility disintegrated from the bomb blast in seconds; its debris spewed across the night sky like a billion fireflies carried aloft in the Medittearana Sea’s cool night breeze.
Suddenly Mr. Goldman’s phone rang. He shuddered from its vibrating jolt. Then he, disoriented from the Earth violently shaking and rumbling beneath his feet, answered…
“Yes, I saw it. I thought it…would be…uh..less..severe. What went wrong?”
“I don’t know;” answered Lady Cat. “Malta has little history of earthquakes. Our bosses’ (The Pale Rider) seismologists had assessed the threat of earthquakes or tsunamis as negligible. It was supposed to be a contained blast to create a crater large enough, to begin the next phase.”
“Oi vey Neshema, I thought that I would be gone long before the blast. Where is my transport?”
“Sorry lover, you are on your own. This is where we part company.” With that said, without waiting for Mr. Goldman’s shocked reply, Lady Cat ended the call.
Then, she dialed her 128-bit encrypted satellite phone:
“May I speak with His grace please.”
After a long silence at the other end of the call—a jovial unapologetic voice, accustomed to the privilege of others waiting for his time and attention, answered,
“Hello darling how is Mallorjca… or is it Monaco this week?”
“Neither, I am at the Yagur compound… Haifa.”
“What can I do for you my darling Lady Cat?”
“There has been um.. unexpected fallout from the blast…it um… triggered a 9.8 magnitude earthquake out at sea. Mr. Zero and his team used too much of the incendiary your scientists assured us was “safe” to use in large quantities.
“You say “fallout” were there any injuries etc..?”
“Local news reports are sketchy at this time. However, it appears that several people have been admitted to St. James hospital. No fatalities to report, to my knowledge. From my satellite vantage point, it appears that approximately half the island is without power. It will not take local authorities long to discover our warehouse property, as the source of the quake.”
“Do you have someone..er… as a bone to “throw” to the authorities to keep them off our scent?”
“I had one planned, yes. However, she escaped my trusted sniper. But, I have another that I can use…A long time…um…paramour. If you know what I mean…”
“And my darling friend, I trust you to keep my name out of this now messy business that you promised me was a “clean” and safe venture for my five billion Euros.”
“Of course, that is what you pay me for, Your Grace.”
Lady Cat ended that call and dialed another,
“Hey, drop those breadcrumbs to the Malta police about Mr. Goldman. He is currently at the helipad near the hotel. Perhaps you may wish to leak his location along with “the evidence” to the Malta police…as an anonymous tip, of course.”
“Right O,” replied Mr. Zero ending the call.
Earlier that evening following Venomiss’ exit from the dangers of the trashed hotel suite at Malta’s prestigious Xara Palace Hotel, shooter Phill De Blanc (aka “Mr. Nowhere”) climbed to the roof of the hotel. His favorite sniper gun (Broom Hilda) was slung over his shoulder.
His cellphone vibrated. It was a text from Mr. Goldman with Venomiss’ precise location. He fed the coordinates into his rifle’s electronic scope. He then scurried and skulked about on the vacant hotel roof wriggling on his belly in between the palm trees and the beach-like setting of the beyond-lavish rooftop decor.
He spotted Venomiss at the lamp pole poised to fire her Glock 17 Luger at the light housing on the pole. She was squarely in his sights. Yet, he did not fire. Instead, with split-second timing, he waited… until Venomiss sped a safe distance in the darkness she had purchased with the destruction of the light; and then he fired…at the lamp pole.
He skillfully squeezed off another of his sniper rifle’s subsonic bullets, well-timed to just nick the edge of the passenger side of the dark purple Lamborghini Countach’s armored windshield after Venomiss was safely inside.
It was now midnight in Malta.
A shadowy figure ran full speed to the coastline road, taking advantage of the power outage and the earthquake’s chaotic aftermath. Barking dogs and car alarms joined in a cacophonous uproar only to be drowned out by the island’s emergency warning system’s sirens wailing, mourning the darkness.
The shadowy figure ran with ninja-like speed and agility to Malta’s coast near Tower Road. He boarded a small boat and responded successfully to the boat’s onboard computer’s tedious sequence of identity checks: retina, blood sample, and code-phrase recognition. Then the small boat, powering itself, guided the shadowy figure into open water on the Meditteranean Sea.
Suddenly, the boat stopped directly above The Vengence 2 submarine.
Then the shadowy figure donned his scuba gear and oxygen tank that was hidden onboard and launched his body with familiar ease backward, overboard. The small boat turned around with its self-guided remote controls and floated back to the Malta coast unseen.
Meanwhile below… arriving at an underwater hatch to The Vengeance 2 submarine, the shadowy figure banged his fist on the submarine’s hull delivering his assigned sequences of knocks.
Suddenly, the shadowy figure was sucked into the hatch’s underwater outer chamber and was then unceremoniously dumped on board along with a hefty pool of seawater to a watery reception at Captain “Skiff” Phelpson’s feet.
“Welcome aboard,” said Captain “Skiff” Phelpson, greeting the shadowy figure, with a smile. “Out for swim, tonight?”
“Permission to come aboard Captain!” asked the shadowy figure, grinning as he pulled off his scuba mask and unhooked his oxygen tank.
Meanwhile, Venomiss’ in her “home office” on the bridge onboard The Vengence 2 submarine continued her conference call…
“I am sorry Your Grace. We just experienced an underwater shockwave from an earthquake. Things are moving faster than we expected, I am afraid.”
She paused, feverishly scanning her news feeds on the numerous computer screens in her “home office. Then, Venomiss continued…
“News reports indicate that a 9.8 magnitude earthquake shook underwater just off the Malta coast. Satellite images show a large blast created a sixteen-acre wide crater where once stood a vacant warehouse facility in the middle of Malta’s Western District. Ownership records are buried under a dozen “shell” corporations—however, I believe that “The Pale Rider” owns that warehouse facility.”
“Any news on injuries, fatalities?”
“Few injuries are reported in the warehouse’s vicinity. However, Saint Joseph Hotel has been inundated by cases of injuries sustained from falling debris inside residential homes near the coastline. My feed from inside that hospital shows that triage is being performed in the hospital’s Emergency hallways on dozens of makeshift beds.”
“So let me be clear Captain Venomiss… You suspect that this Pale Rider group detonated that warehouse explosion intentionally so that they could free up land space to commence their mining of the earth’s magma?’
“Yes, Your grace, it is the only explanation that makes any sense. I must get to Haifa…before it is too late. I will need help—this is not a one-person operation.”
“Well, Captain Venomiss, you have had “help” all along…but you did not know it…”
“What do you mean Your Grace…who…”
(Suddenly there was a knock on the door to Venomiss’ “home office” aboard The Vengeance 2 submarine…)
The door opened…
And, in walked the shadowy figure who recently arrived on board, still in his scuba wet suit. The wet suit had no markings, save for a small square patch with an American flag etched into the neoprene fabric, on its right shoulder.
“Hello Captain Venomiss,” said the shadowy figure stepping over the threshold.
The voice on the other end of the conference call spoke,
“Captain Venomis, allow me to introduce your “shadow” over the past eight years. Former Navy Seal shooter on loan from our cousins “across the pond” in Langley. I believe that he goes by Mr. Nowhere?”
“Mr. Nowhere!” exclaimed Venomiss… “I…I… did not suspect! Well, in that case… nice shooting there in the alleyway late last night. It is good to have an ally who knows how to shoot… but, even better—a true friend who knows how to miss a target convincingly.”
***To be Continued Next Week Sunday***`