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Authors: Murray McDonald

Divide & Conquer (26 page)

BOOK: Divide & Conquer
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Sean considered a number of options, making a break out the back of the house and circling round but there could be many more out there. Luis had seen six earlier. It would also leave Katie at the mercy of the guys from the front if they kicked in the basement door. Of course, charging the front meant again leaving Katie exposed to those who may come in from the rear. The one thing that seemed to be a common factor was that he wasn’t going to take the risk of leaving Katie. Which left one option, stand and fight. From the voices, he at least had one piece of information. There were at least two Russians left or one that talked to himself with different voices. Unlikely.

Sean rolled across the hallway floor and took up position in the living room which gave a slightly better angle to the doorway and protected him from the rear windows. It also offered him one of the most wonderful sights he had ever seen. One of Luis’ men’s AK47s lay propped against the wall of the living room. Sean reached over and grabbed the assault rifle, a little more firepower was never a bad thing in a tight situation.

He heard the first footsteps enter the hallway from the front door. He spun towards the doorway of the living room and prepared to enter the hallway selecting full auto on the AK47. Hopefully, one long blast would kill everybody in the enclosed space. Before he made it to the doorway, the back door crashed open and his position became completely exposed. He had no option but to change tactic and dive back into the living room as a hail of bullets raked the doorway. As the first of three flashbangs were tossed into the room all Sean could think, as he waited for the blinding flash of light and shockwave of sound that would disorientate and blind anyone within its range, was who the fuck was he up against?

Their maneuver had been timed to perfection and superbly done, entering a split second earlier from the front door had drawn Sean out and exposed him to the team from the rear. They were among the best Sean had seen and certainly had orchestrated the move quickly and effectively and with little time to plan. They knew what they were doing. The flashbangs also suggested that either they wanted Sean alive or evidence that it was definitely him that was dead. Otherwise, it would most certainly have been fragment grenades that had been thrown into the living room. Although Sean was under no illusion, he was aware of his ability to turn thoughts into actions almost instinctively. On tests of clicking the button when you see the item appear, he scored almost instantaneous times. Had his reaction times not been off the charts, they’d have already killed him twice over. They wanted him dead and they wanted proof.

Sean had practiced for years in kill rooms. As much as you prepared for a flash bang, without the correct equipment, you were going to feel the effects. He dropped the AK, placed his thumbs in his eardrums and covered his eyes with his fingers.

The bangs exploded milliseconds apart, one he could have coped with having experienced it so often before but three was overkill. Or exactly the amount you would use for somebody that had experience of flashbangs. These guys were exceptional.

Sean grabbed the Gyurza pistol, the AK47 was too cumbersome in the living room. He made out the image of the first Russian into the room, his weapon up sweeping the far side of the room. Sean tried to raise the pistol and aim at the mass but his balance had gone. The second Russian entered immediately behind his colleague, his weapon swept towards Sean. Sean’s mind screamed for his hand to move up and to the right but his body wasn’t really sure where right was. He pulled the trigger anyway. The gun went off and the Russian spun around. He had hit him. Sean’s gun wasn’t even aimed at the Russian. It didn’t make any sense. Sean watched as the Russian spun but didn’t fall, his weapon tracked back out the door. Somebody had come in behind them. Sean in his present state was not as pressing a threat. Sean screamed at his body to control its actions and for his mind to take control. They figured Sean would be out of it for a few seconds. A few seconds on a room breach was like a few minutes any other time.

***

Luis had pulled himself from the floor and rushed to the door of the empty house just in time to see the CIA Team Leader’s head explode next to Sean. A fraction of a second later, three more CIA team members were down. Not one shot had rung out. They hadn’t stood a chance nor did the fifth and final team member. He stood up, caught in the middle of the driveway, desperately trying to see where the threat had come from. His body rocked one way then the other as two bullets landed one from either side a fraction of a second apart. Luis tried desperately to see what had happened to Sean and Katie but they were nowhere to be seen. They must have made it into the house he thought.

As Luis watched, two pairs of men appeared from either side of the house and congregated at the door. The four carried rifles with thick barrels which Luis assumed must be some type of silenced sniper rifle. Luis watched as they huddled and conversed while they swept their weapons covering every angle. Twice he moved away from the tiny crack in the door that he was watching them from, despite the fact he knew they couldn’t possibly see him from that far away. A few nods suggested they were doing something, two split off and went back around the rear of the house.

Luis pulled away from the door. Sean was a dead man, he thought. Whoever those guys were, they knew what they were doing. They were far better than anybody his uncle employed, that was for sure. Luis stood up with every intention of getting out of the slit in the back patio door and hightailing it as fast as he could to whatever border crossing he could get back into Mexico from. He stopped at that thought. He had promised his uncle the contacts; it was the only reason his uncle had stopped beating him when he gave him the rifle. Sean Fox was probably the only man alive that Luis knew that could get him the contacts within the timescale he had promised. Luis, without them was as good as dead. He looked back at the house, two men were ready at the front door and probably just waiting on a call from their colleagues at the rear. What could he do though? He looked around, nothing, no weapons. He ran up the stairs where the men had rushed down from and sent him flying and found the gun that looked like a MAC 10. Rushing back down he skidded to a stop as he neared the door. What in the hell was he doing? He’d never killed anyone before and these were the best trained men he’d ever seen. Well that wasn’t quite true. Sean Fox was at least as god as these guys. He peaked through the gap as the men moved in to the house across the street. He was running out of time.

Luis ripped the door open and sprinted as fast as his legs would carry him. As he neared the front door, the thunderous bang had him thinking it was too late. He tried to stop but his momentum was too great and as he careened towards the doorway, failed to notice the CIA Team Leader’s body, tripped and crashed headlong into the hallway of the house. As he skidded across the polished wooden floor, his finger pulled inadvertently on the trigger of the machine pistol as he tensed and braced for the impact of the far wall. The small gun deposited its thirty round magazine down the length of the hallway in less than a thirtieth of a second. No matter how good the Russians were, none had anticipated Luis’ freak maneuver.

The two Russians guarding the hallway soaked up a third of the bullets and crashed to the floor. The other two already in the living room and about to end their mission, spun towards the most pressing danger, the hallway.

***

Sean had a lifeline, a fraction of a second, to act. The Russians’ attentions were diverted but Sean couldn’t do it. His thoughts and actions were not in synch. He tried desperately to raise the pistol as the Russians quickly moved back towards the hallway, covering one another. Whatever had diverted their attention was about to be countered. Sam’s mind suddenly comprehended who that could have been, Katie. She was in the basement. She could have come at them from the basement door. If he didn’t act she would be as good as dead.

He couldn’t, wouldn’t let that happen. He focused his mind like he had never before and raised the pistol. His actions were beginning to work in synch. He fired and caught the nearest Russian in the ankle. He crashed to the floor, dropping his weapon. The other instantly reacted and spun again to the most pressing threat. But Sean was back, the action of the recoil, pulling the trigger, whatever it was, his mind cleared, his reactions returned. He raised the pistol as the Russian desperately swung his rifle. The pistol was far easier to maneuver and with the range less than ten meters, just as accurate as the rifle. Sean pulled the trigger and shot him straight through the heart, killing him instantly. Despite losing most of his ankle, the other Russian desperately scrambled to retrieve his weapon. With the possibility of Katie in the hallway and in range, Sean didn’t hesitate as he put a second round straight through the Russian’s head.

With his sense restored, he pulled himself to his feet and rushed to the hallway. Katie was nowhere to be seen. Luis was pulling himself up opposite the front door, the MAC 10 style machine gun at his feet. Luis had saved his life. That certainly was unexpected thought Sean.

“Any others?” asked Sean looking at the two Luis had killed in the hallway.

“There were four,” replied Luis nervously seeing the two dead in the hallway and realizing he had killed them.

Sean indicated nonchalantly behind him. “The other two are in there.”

Sean bent down and picked up one of the AS VAL rifles and tossed it to Luis.

“Protect that door with your life,” he pointed to the basement door before slipping carefully out of the back door.

Five minutes later he appeared back through the front door, pleased to see Luis standing in front of the basement door, his gun at the ready.

“It’s fine we’re all clear,” he said, walking towards Luis and taking the rifle from his shaking hands. “Go sit down,” he ordered, indicating towards the kitchen.

He knocked on the basement door and got no response. “Katie it’s me, Sean!” he said loudly and heard the click before the door burst open and Katie launched herself into his arms. “You’re OK?!!” she said tears streaming down her face.

“Yes, I’m fine.”

“Sean, Sean is that you?” Sean heard a muffled voice saying his name. “Sean?” it said it again. He noticed the phone in Katie’s hand and took it from her.

“Hello?” he said.

“Oh, Sean, thank God you’re OK!” Sean recognized Jane’s voice instantly.

“I’m fine Jane, is V there? I need to speak to him urgently!”

“Oh God Sean something terrible has happened!” she managed before she burst into tears.

Chapter 50

As Governor Brown returned to his official mansion, he looked down from the chopper to what looked like every TV news crew in Texas. The frenzy had started. Texans loved nothing better than a strong Republican President. When he was one of their own, the love affair became an obsession. He had discussed all of the options with his campaign manager, press secretary and major contributors on a two-hour conference call on the ride home. They were all agreed, the return from his Moscow trip after meeting the Russian President was going to be the time to announce. He would never look more presidential, particularly as he would be disembarking a private Boeing 747, very like Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base. A refueling stop that wasn’t actually necessary had been planned and that was where he would announce, before flying back to his home state to kick off his campaign.

The invite from Moscow to visit had been arranged many months earlier and to say the timing was opportune would have been an understatement. Moscow had initially sent a half-hearted invite to The White House giving the date of a state banquet to be hosted by the Russian president. The guest list read like a who the hell is that of state leaders. Unsurprisingly, the US President declined. Governor Brown received his immediately after the president had declined and was advised within his team to accept. To say the list of attendees had transformed would have been an understatement. The question on every other leader in the free world’s lips was why had the US President declined to attend when everyone else it seemed had accepted. Only a British royal wedding could have outshone the event that the Russian President was hosting and the US attendee at the State banquet of the year was going to be Governor Rick Brown.

As the chopper landed, the Governor was met by his Chief of Staff running towards the helicopter. The same Chief of Staff who had failed, very uncharacteristically, to dial in for the conference call. Rick expected a huge smile and hug of congratulations. They were nearly there, years in preparation were finally about to pay off. The look was anything but congratulatory. In fact, it was the most somber look he had ever seen on his Chief of Staff’s face. Rick instantly thought back to Laredo, the CIA had screwed him, it was all a play to destroy him and not in fact to help him. Jesus, he suddenly realized all the news crews could be there to destroy him, not anoint him and of course, it explained his Chief of Staff’s absence from the conference call.

“Jesus what’s wrong?” asked Rick. “Have the CIA fucked us?”

His Chief of Staff shook her head, her blond hair swooshing as perfectly as any TV model promoting the next best hair product. The sun caught her tanned and sallow skin and it shone with a luster that even cosmetic companies would die for. She was the single biggest weapon in Rick Brown’s campaign and over the years had destroyed every contender who stood in Rick Brown’s way. As smart as she was beautiful, few could compete with her intellect and even fewer with her beauty. TV loved her, voters loved her, even the politicians she had destroyed loved her. Fortunately, Rick Brown’s wife, Nicole, a former Miss Texas could match her on the beauty stakes and loved her also. Unbeknownst to all but the two women, a little too much. Initially threatened by his choice of Chief of Staff, it had not taken long for Nicole to be won over. Particularly as it appeared the Chief of Staff was more interested in her than Rick.

A tear rolled down her cheek.

BOOK: Divide & Conquer
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