Chapter 1: Deployment
05:08 WIB (GMT+7)
Friday May 2, 2026
Taman Impian Jaya Ancol
Pademangan, North Jakarta, Jakarta
A few weeks later, on the other side of the world, Sarah is doing her morning run, accompanied by a large German Shepherd. A brunette with fierce blue eyes and light-tan complexion, she’s clearly of Eurasian descent. She’s tall and athletic with broad shoulders and a slim waist. Her body is toned and pleasingly muscular. She’s stunningly beautiful, even with sweat dripping from her morning run.
Sarah’s running toward her house in Jaya Ancol Seafront, a luxurious complex near the Taman Impian Jaya Ancol resort in North Jakarta, Indonesia. When she enters the main gate of the housing complex, both on-duty security guards come out of the guardhouse, stand to attention, and give her a crisp salute.
“Selamat pagi, Komandan!” they say. Good morning, Commander!
Sarah nods and smiles at them, her usual response. About a year ago, she volunteered to be the chief of security of the housing complex. All the security guards under her command speak fluent English, a requirement for the job as so many foreigners live in this complex. Visitors from the UK are always surprised when they talk to the security guards because their English accent sounds quite posh. They learned that from their commander.
About half a mile from her house, Sarah starts to sprint. As usual, her dog races past her. A few moments later, a black Toyota Fortuner honks its horn and also passes by. Sarah smiles in recognition and kicks her pace up a notch. Arriving home, the Fortuner has already parked in front of the house and its driver playing and talking in German to the German Shepherd.
The driver is a young man with Eurasian features. With his blue eyes and two-day stubble on his face, he’s what some would call rakishly handsome. He’s tall, athletic, and has a swimmer’s physique.
“Hai, Kak,” greets Sarah to her older brother.
“Hai juga, Dik,” says Tony.
“You’re early,” Sarah points out. “My flight doesn’t leave until nine.”
“Yeah, well, I have a good reason to eat Bibi’s fried rice for breakfast then,” says Tony, grinning.
“Hmm… Lydia’s fried rice not tasty enough for you?”
“Bibi’s tastes better.”
“I’m telling Lydia you said that.”
“Don’t you dare!” says Tony, punching his sister’s shoulder.
Brother and sister laugh as they go inside the house, followed by the family dog. Bibi, their housekeeper, has cooked them an Indonesian version of a full English breakfast. After taking a quick shower, Sarah joins Tony.
Tony looks at her eating. “You don’t usually eat this much for breakfast, Dik.”
“You think you’re the only one who likes Bibi’s fried rice?”
Tony laughs. “Lydia is jealous of you, you know.”
“How is that?”
“You eat so much but you still have a six-pack.”
It’s Sarah’s turn to laugh. “Tell her to return to the gym, Kak.”
“She’ll probably start again after Jonathan stops breast-feeding.”
“How is Jonathan?” asks Sarah, thinking about her adorable baby nephew. “What can he do now?”
“He rolls around a lot. He keeps trying to stand up, but ends up falling arse over teakettle.”
“By the way, has Interpol told you yet about what sort of job you’ll be doing in England?” asks Tony.
“Not yet. They told me to go to Manchester and meet the boss. He’ll be the one giving me the full briefing. They only told me to be ready for a six-month assignment. I’ve no idea what I’ll be doing there.”
“Any plans to visit Poole?” asks Tony.
“Maybe during the weekends.”
“How about Credenhill?”
“I’m not military,” says Sarah, surprised at the stupid question. “Why on earth would I go there?”
“Just asking,” answers Tony, trying to look innocent.
Sarah frowns. She thinks her brother has been hiding something ever since he returned from Credenhill a couple of years ago. She’s gearing up to ask him about it when they hear someone coming down the stairs. Their twelve-year-old sister, Cindy, is in her uniform, ready to go to school. Her features are a photocopy of her older sister’s, but her skin is distinctly more Asian. All three siblings get their extremely good looks from their European mother.
“Hai, Kak,” greets Cindy to her older brother, kissing him on the cheek.
“Hai juga,” says Tony. “Join us for breakfast, Dik.”
“Oke deh,” says Cindy, sitting next to her sister.
Cindy is the quietest of the three, but has countless friends. Only a few seconds after she sits down, her smartphone’s bleeping away, indicating the arrival of emails, tweets, Facebook notifications, and texts from around the world. She ignores them all. They’re not allowed to play with their smartphones at the dinner table.
If she were allowed to look at her Facebook account, she’d only see pictures of herself and her friends. Cindy loves her brother and sister, but she isn’t allowed to share pictures of them. This is because her siblings’ jobs prohibit them from having their photos taken and featured on social media. Her older sister has a Facebook account, but the family know that it’s only used as cover for her secretive day job. Sarah hasn’t updated it for a while, not since she was transferred to an even more secretive role.
“Remember to bring some souvenirs from England, Kak,” reminds the young girl.
“What do you want me to bring?” asks Sarah.
“How about a good-looking English boyfriend?” suggests Cindy, a big grin on her super-cute face.
Sarah laughs. “Why not ask me to bring home Prince George instead?”
“Yeah! That’s even better!” exclaims Cindy excitedly.
“I think you will get married before your older sister, Dik,” comments Tony.
“Sarah doesn’t respect anyone who can’t take her down in unarmed combat, you know.”
Cindy laughs. “Is that why all her ex-boyfriends need cosmetic surgery?”
They all laugh, taking the mickey out of each other all through breakfast, until Cindy leaves for school and Sarah goes to the airport.
17:15 WIB (GMT+7)
Friday May 2, 2026
Terminal 3, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport
Kota Tangerang, Tangerang, Banten
At the same airport that afternoon, an Irishman is picked up by Santoso, his chauffeur. Besides being his chauffeur, Santoso is also the chief of security and butler for his house in the Pondok Indah area, an elite district in South Jakarta. They greet each other in Bahasa Indonesia, the official language of the Republic of Indonesia.
“How are you, Santoso?” says the Irishman.
“Fine, pak Patrick,” answers Santoso with a friendly smile.
Patrick has asked him many times not to use the word pak, which means mister, but always in vain. “How’s the family?”
“They’re well, pak.”
“Good to hear.”
“Do you want to go home first or go straight to the factory, pak Patrick?” asks Santoso.
“Let’s head home first. Could you please take me to the factory later this evening?” orders Patrick.
“No problem, pak Patrick,” answers Santoso.
Santoso drives the car to his employer’s house in Pondok Indah. His house is much larger and more luxurious than his house in North West England, and more than big enough to accommodate over fifty of his organization’s men, who are mostly Irish. They need almost three hours to reach Patrick’s house because of the heavy traffic, which is typical for Friday afternoons in Jakarta. Patrick is in a sour mood when he finally arrives home.
“I see ye’ve had a pleasant journey, Paddy,” says Richard, sarcastically.
“Fuck off!” snaps Patrick, giving him a nasty look. “Any grub here before we go?”
Richard accompanies him to the dinner table, already loaded with Indonesian food. Quite unlike Patrick’s house in England, his house in Jakarta has twelve housekeepers, mostly members of Santoso’s extended family. They’re tasked with doing all of the cooking, washing, and cleaning.
It’s no wonder Patrick and his men prefer to stay in Indonesia instead of the UK or Ireland. Despite having left the European Union, the UK is still an economic superpower and everything is cheap in Indonesia, including sex. The Brits here can live like kings, meaning they can have daily sex parties with Indonesian women who look like actresses or supermodels.
“Where’s the package Frag sent ye?” asks Patrick.
“I sent most of the longs and all of the shorts to the factory as soon as they arrived. I’ll give ye the honour of distributing them to the fellas,” answers Richard.
“How’s production?” asks Patrick, taking some food from the table.
“Still not enough to produce for the Australian market, let alone the Indonesian market,” answers Richard. “I’m even having problems fulfilling the quota for Ireland. The problem is in the supply chain, not in production.”
Patrick nods. “I’ll send Frank here again so he can also sort out the supply chain cock-up for Swan’s Mill. Any problems with the local authorities?”
“None that needs Niall’s help,” says Richard, “but I think we’re ready to proceed with Phase Three.”
“Did ye get the info from Lukas yet?”
“Last night,” answers Richard.
“Easy… I got him really pissed,” says Richard, smirking.
“Can’t ye do Phase Three yerself?”
“If I could then we wouldn’t need Niall, would we?”
“In that case, I’ll text Niall and have him fly over. Frank will then come here to continue with Phase Four. Ye should gather intel based on the info from Lukas before Frank arrives,” orders Patrick.
“Aye,” says Richard.
Patrick finishes his dinner then opens a small bottle of Bir Bintang, their favourite Indonesian beer. They are then driven by Santoso to their factory in Bogor, which just happens to be the largest ecstasy factory in the world.