Venomiss and Mr. Nowhere finished the last bits of their respective submarine sandwiches on board British Naval Command Zeus Class Submarine: The Vengeance 2. Sipping her expresso Venomiss asked:
“So what do we know?”
“Lady Cat is part of The Pale Rider organization. I believe that she is even one of the secret four. She wields an incredible amount of power for someone who claims to be a mere “middle-person” in this sordid business. I heard rumors, unconfirmed gossip mind you, that Mr. Zero and she were secretly married after her very public divorce from the British Foreign Secretary, three years ago.”
“What! She and Mr. Zero! Well, that has been a well-kept secret!”
“Apparently the gentleman you know as “Your Grace” performed the marriage ceremony in Morocco.”
“Well…that’s news to me. His Grace and I work on another front very closely. I am surprised that he did not share this. But then again I have been undercover for years…”
Suddenly, there was an authoritative knock on the door. Before either of them could reply, the door flung open…
In walked Commander Kolcannon (Venomiss’ getaway driver in the deep purple Lamborgini Countach, from last night)…
“Pardon the interruption my friends…there is a message repeating at 32 and 34-second intervals on and off and back on again. The message was sent to an apparently defunct dial-up modem at the old listening post in Malta which suddenly came back online (on its own!) Captain Skiff decoded it. He said you— (looking at Venomiss) can verify the message, as you know the ciphers from the Cold War Era.
Commander Kolcannon handed Venomiss the paper with the coded message and its decrypted version written by Captain Skiff Phelpson:
Venomiss nodded confirming the Captain’s accurate de-cipher of the message. Then, she handed the decrypted message in Captain Skiff’s handwriting to Mr. Nowhere. It read:
“Yagur neutralized. Package delivered to 32.009444, 34.882778.“
Spinning around dropping her coffee cup in the process, Venomiss grabbed the large hockey bag of “equipment” and sped with Mr. Nowhere, still confused, hustling along beside her.
“Let’s go Mr. Nowhere! A Message from His Grace…We have got to get to Ben Gurion International airport…to finish this.”
“The coordinates 32.009444, 34.882778 are to the Ben Gurion airport then?” asked Mr. Nowhere racing at Venomiss’ side. Both of them now heading towards Captain Skiff Phelpson standing at his post on the bridge.
“Yes, Mr. Nowhere. We don’t need to go to Haifa. His Grace appears to have convinced Mossad to take care of the situation in Yagur. Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion) International airport is our new heading. We have business in our sights to attend to…if you know what I mean.”
“Got it!” replied Mr. Nowhere (finally in sync with what Venomiss had in mind.)
“Commander Kolcannon, we need the fastest ride you can scrounge up to airlift Mr. Nowhere and me into Ben Gurion International airport. Please hurray!”
Commander Kolcannon stopped mid-stride along the way to the bridge and spoke to the Seaman in charge of Logistics:
“Please scramble Airship – Icarus to meet us top-side immediately, Seaman.”
While Venomiss and Commander Kolcannon were speaking. Captain Skiff Phelpson was already commanding The Vengeance 2‘s navigation team to bring the submarine to the surface off the Malta coast.
The Vengeance 2 submarine surfaced in the Malta Dawn to a pale orange sky. Its mammoth hull creaked as seawater ejected from its massive bilge pumps, like the giant Leviathan fish-serpent breathing air for the first time since the creation of the world; its gills awakened from its watery slumber unfolding and breaking free from the grip of the great fishhook, The Meditteranean Sea.
In response to the writhing submarine inhaling the surface while it hovered over the deep, The Meditteranean parted like the Red Sea and pointed The Vengeance 2 towards the shores of The Promised land.
Hovering overhead—a Merlin helicopter (AgustaWestland AW101) awaited its passengers. The Merlin helicopter flung down two cables lashing The Vengenace 2 submarine’s hull with friendly taps. In a well-practiced move Venomiss and Mr. Nowhere each grabbed hold of one of the cables. Immediately the two spies were hoisted hockey-bag, and all, into the belly of the Merlin helicopter.
The Merlin’s three Rolls-Royce turbo-shafted engines whined in well-oiled precision. Then, the helicopter banked right, away from The Vengenace 2 towards its new heading—Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel, thirty minutes away.
It was now 3:45 a.m. in Malta (4: 45 a.m. in Israel)
Lady Cat’s illegal mercenary activities did not go unnoticed by her peers within the nobility. In fact, she had been under surveillance for some time by a secret society inside the Peerage of the United Kingdom known as “The Tailors.”
Therefore, when Mr. Zero her husband, changed the route to Lady Cat’s escape flight plans he was acting at the behest of His Grace (one of The Tailors.)
Inserted three years ago, by marriage, into Lady Cat’s confidence, Mr. Zero had finally secured conclusive proof of her latest crime. He had secured a recording of Lady Cat’s latest plot, in her own words, from a bug he had planted in her Louis Vuitton carry-on luggage. The voice-activated bug recorded every word as Lady Cat, gloated about her plan to incite the British Navy to bomb a foreign ally’s homeland endangering thousands of lives.
Moreover, Mr. Zero had finally decided to take “His Grace” up on his long-standing offer to deliver Lady Cat up to be tried for her crimes. Therefore, after he changed course while seated in the Dassault Falcon’s cockpit of the couple’s getaway jet plane, Mr. Zero texted the new heading to His Grace. The new heading—was Ben Gurion International airport.
Furthermore, Mr. Zero understood well his wife’s paranoia…about everything— including checking her bottled water to ensure that it was thoroughly sealed before opening it. Therefore, he had slipped a sleeping draught, via syringe into Lady Cat’s bottled water when he helped her pack her Louis Vuitton carry-on luggage. Thus, when she sipped her water in comfort on their private jet—she did not suspect that the water’s contents had been the cause of her sudden overwhelming sleepiness.
Therefore, a few short minutes after she boarded her private jet…Lady Cat fell fast asleep. She was unaware that her plane had not been heading for Morocco. In actuality, it landed thirty minutes later on the Executive Jet landing strip at Ben Gurion International Airport…
It was now 5:30 a.m. Israel Time…
Lady Cat awoke groggily. The wind swirled around her— kicking up gravel and dust in its vortex…
She looked downward to discover: that both her wrists were zip-tied to her Louis Vuitton carry-on and that she was carefully laid out in the fetal position on an airport tarmac.
Lady Cat hoisted her torso up and looked around. Now seated on the cool dusty tarmac, she took in her surroundings. She quickly determined that she was at Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv. No one else was in sight. She could see airplanes in the far distance in Israel’s early dawn, rising into the drowsy sky. It did not take Lady Cat long to realize her undesirable predicament.
“Bloody hell…the bastard double-crossed me. That’s what I get for marrying beneath me!” She muttered as she let loose a series of other expletives while feverishly attempting to free both her wrists from her carry-on luggage’s sturdy handle.
Suddenly engines rumbled as vehicles approached her position, in haste…
A throng of twenty military vehicles emblazoned with the Israeli Defense Forces’ insignia (a sword entwined with an olive branch inside the Star of David), and a black SUV sped toward Lady Cat. The advancing brigade’s vehicles kicked up dust and gravel creating a swirling haze in Dawn’s dim light as the vehicles encircled Lady Cat. She ran. But there was no escape. She was surrounded.
She stopped and waited.
A young officer with a Staff Sargent Army insignia on his uniform, and obviously in charge, jumped with enthusiasm and vigor from his jeep while the vehicle was still in motion. He straightened his green khaki skirt tucked into his belted trousers with a hefty tug, and then spoke—
“Lady Cat, allow me to introduce myself, I am Staff Sargent Gilead Shalit. Welcome to…”
Lady Cat interrupted him…
“I have diplomatic immunity! You, Private, cannot arrest me! I claim my rights.”
Stepping forward with deliberate swagger in his steps, ignoring Lady Cat’s obvious demotion of his rank, Staff Sargent Shalit said politely;
“I know M’Lady…But he can.” With that said Major Shalit stepped aside as the door to the black SUV opened. Out walked “His Grace,” the Security Advisor, to H.R.H’s Private Secretary.
Lady Cat, stunned, struggled to her feet. She walked towards “His Grace” dragging her Louis Vuitton carry-on luggage still zip-tied to both her wrists. She did not know that her suitcase contained all the evidence that His Grace required to recommend that the courts freeze Lady Cat’s assets and sentence her to exile or, worse…
Twenty seconds later…
No one heard the sub-sonic bullet from the Tango 51 rifle fired from atop the airport tower roof—one kilometer away...
Without warning, as Lady Cat walked towards His Grace— she fell to the ground…lifeless…blood covered her face.
One kilometer away from that scene, two snipers (one—the shooter, the other, his spotter) together folded the Tango 51 sniper rifle’s tripod and placed their equipment into a large hockey bag. In silence, the two silhouettes climbed down from the roof of the Ben Gurion International airport tower and walked away separately into the shadows.
Six months later…
Two silhouetted figures meet at a cafe table at Baka Marrakesh, Morocco.
Sitting down beside her shadow, Mr. Nowhere, Venomiss asked cordially—
“So what’s new? Long time no see.”
“Oh not much, you know— my usual…shooting in and out of town,” Mr. Nowhere replied with a cheeky smile.
Smiling back at Mr. Nowhere, Venomiss replied; “That was quite the shot at Ben-Gurion International airport…one kilometer, must be a record of some kind eh?”
“I could not have made that shot without your assist as my spotter.” Thank you. We had to get it right.”
Venomiss and Mr. Nowhere waited—both deep in thought, as the barista brought their piping hot expressos in glass cups to their table and then departed.
“So…” Mr. Nowhere asked.
“…Did the evidence from Lady Cat’s compound in Yagur, point to those involved with The Pale Rider?”
“Yes, but, unfortunately, those suspects have the means to evade the authorities. But we’ll get them, eventually. At the very least, now they are too busy hiding, to brew up schemes to mine the Earth’s magma for profit.”
Venomiss paused and then inquired with a smile…
“And where is Lady Cat these days?”
“Oh, alive and well living in exile for her crimes as per His Grace’s generosity. If she had refused his “offer” she would have been sentenced to prison for a very long time. How is her um…health after the “shooting” incident?” Mr. Nowhere inquired.
“She was hospitalized for a short while after the attempt on her life. The doctors say it was a miracle! The bullet ricocheted upward off the handle of her carry-on luggage and nicked her chin’s flesh just missing her jaw bone and her forehead. Nice shooting, my friend. We could not have had a better outcome. No bodies left on the ground on this one.”
“Smiling into his expresso cup, Mr. Nowhere responded: “You know me, old butterfingers on the trigger…people seem to resurrect from the dead after my “kill” shots. Call me anytime. Happy to oblige. Oh by the way…any repercussions um… from His Grace on your end…I mean from us two disobeying his direct order to shoot to kill?”
“Well, happily I have been demoted once again,” Venomiss laughed with sincerity and relief in her voice. “I never wore the rank of Captain, Special Boat Services (U.K.’s version of Navy Seals) with ease. I am relieved, to be honest.”
“Yes. His Grace has been very pleased with Lady Cat’s continued and voluntary sharing of crucial intelligence that she alone had gathered over the years. I am assuming— as you and I had hoped all along— that a sobering scrape with death would have motivated Lady Cat to confess, then turn and repent…”
*** The End****
*Coming Next Week: “The Tailors“