2 . 27A.M.
(ORIO AL SERIO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT BERGAMO, ITALY)
The plane finally skidded to a stop and the rung was let down. She took the briefcase containing her mission, from the carriage bin spanning along the roof of the passenger plane.
“Benvenuta in Italia,” she muttered to herself as she surveys her surroundings.
The plane had left Hercilio Luz International Airport, Florianopolis, Brazil from where she had received the briefcase from the messenger, the mysterious and notorious underworld criminal, with the brief of what she was expected to do. She felt honored running an errand for him.
It could only mean one thing; her fame had gone far beyond Brazil. The lethal contents of the briefcase had been saved from the prying sensors of the CAT radioactive scan by means of a new technology which the briefcase employed - an odorless, rubber-like material, brown in color and made from an exothermic emulsion reaction of some plastic constituents of bitumen. This invention would mask the contents of the suitcase from the CAT radioactive X-ray scan by imposing its own image on any scanning device thereby masking the object hidden within it.
The blonde Brazilian walked to a closet in the main building of the airport and washed all the artificial tan off her face so as to suit the passport on her next flight ticket, she equally styled her hair. She walked out of the closet and soon located the section where flight tickets and visas were checked.
“Please, what time is Flight A7 departing?” she asked the airport staff with a practiced Italian accent, producing her flight ticket, visa and other particulars.
“Sorry signora, but you’re almost late,” the female staff said proffering her hand to receive the particulars. She checked the fake passport on the national ID with the face of the strange woman who had a distant air.
“Madam, please do get in here for scanning,” she pointed at a round cubicle surrounded with glasses.
“This is the last call for the passengers on Flight A7, late departures should board immediately. We’ll begin general boarding in just ten minutes,” the public address system echoed all over the departure hall.
She looks her over and types on her computer studying the x-ray photograph of the suitcase.
“Can I see the contents of your briefcase ma’am?”
“C’mon that won’t be necessary. I’m a flight Marshall on official duty and as you can see I’m running a little late,” she flashes the attendant her badge with her ID.
“But we already have an air Marshall aboard the flight to France. Hold on let me confirm,” she reaches for a telephone.
“It’s a top secret assignment. Nobody else can know I’m on that plane. But if you want to put the lives on that plane in danger, you can go ahead. Make the call,” she paused hoping the reverse psychology would work.
“You’re cleared, you can now go down over there and submit your briefcase, I hope you have a safe flight signorina,” the female staff waved at the strange lady who gave her a cold stare before grabbing her suitcase and heading towards the plane.
The Boeing 777-9x she boarded is a massive passenger airline with a capacity of over 406 (3 class) passengers plus the crew and was bound for France.
“Good morning ladies and gentlemen, please all carry-on luggage must fit in the overhead bin. If you’re having any problem with that, notify us and we would fix it for you. Thanks as you comply; have a nice flight,” a female flight attendant announced on the public address system on board the plane. Just then, the pilot came on the speaker.
“Ground, this is B9x-A7.We’re ready to disconnect from ground power, over. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome aboard Italian Orio al Serio Flight A7, non-stop to New York. I’m your Captain for this flight, Roosevelt McCarthy. With me in the cockpit is…”
“First officer, Stephen Bradley. We have a perfect flight weather condition today, so we’re expecting a smooth and wonderful ride,” he winked at Roosevelt, who gave him a go ahead, “Just sit back and enjoy the flight. Thank you.”
A sleepy old man is sitting beside Benita and snoring loudly and on many occasions leaned lazily on her shoulders. She narrowly missed a drop of spittle from his open mouth which drips down to the floor; she is becoming infuriated looking at her watch from time to time. She shoves the old man with her shoulders. He grunts before leaning on the head rest. She reaches overhead and grabs the briefcase from the carriage holder; she stands up and walks down the aisle of the plane to the plane’s store cabin; some passengers cast suspicious glances at her. But she didn’t mind; they wouldn’t live to tell. When she gets to the store she grabs a parachute bag from one of the shelves and made for an adjoining cabin which had the ‘EMERGENCY ONLY’ symbol on it. As she was heading for the closet an air hostess followed her behind.
She was conscious of the suspicious glances some passengers cast at her,
The Messenger had promised that arrangements had been made to wipe out all the information in the plane’s black box as soon as she was through.
The black box is an indestructible device found in virtually every plane, and contains all the flight data. It is indestructible in the sense that it can withstand fire exposures of over 1,1100C for an hour and is unaffected by water.
“Hello, can I help you ma’am?” the air hostess asked from behind her. She stopped in her track and wheels round to face her.
“Oh yea thank God,” She flash her badge at the air hostess “I’m an Air Marshall and I’m here to help. We got a tip that this flight is in danger, I just have to figure out exactly what it is.”
“Is there a bomb on the plane?” the hostess asked looking wide-eyed and horrified.
“Probably, that’s what I’m about to find out with this bomb detection equipment. I need your help to open this briefcase it’s stuck, I came here to look for something to open it with,”
“Um…okay,” she moves closer and tries to help her open the suitcase. Benita quickly grabs her hand, twists it behind her back and grabs her by the neck. She chokes her till she collapses and she lets her down quietly on the floor.
She drags her body and hides it behind some cabinets. She then opens the heavy metal door and walks into the plane’s engine room. Heat radiated from large vents and turbines and the room is vibrating as she tries to steady herself. She kneels down on one knee and props the suitcase open. She takes out a pen knife from her boot and cuts out an imperfect square round a rubbery material covering the suitcase and lifts it up to reveal a time bomb encased inside. She takes it out with its small key and a duct tape she found inside the briefcase.
Using her teeth, she tears out a sizeable length of tape and place the electronic time bomb against the wall; she tapes it to a panel.
She adds more tape and when she is done, she locates the emergency exit of the plane and uses the sharp and powerful beam from a 3000mW Infra-Red laser pen to make a neat cut on the high security padlock that is used to lock it. She packs all her paraphernalia into the briefcase and latches it shut. She dials the Messenger’s secure number on her smart watch.
“It’s done. I will activate it when I see them cryptos in my wallet.”
“Check your Swiss account balance,” The Messenger said in his raspy voice.
An alert of R$ 5,000,000 appears on the watch.
“Fuck. I told you I only take payments in bitcoin. Swiss banks are not as safe as they used to be,”
“I told you my client is the fucking mafia from Nigeria. They don’t know what the hell is crypto,”
She heaves a sigh.
“Ok boss. Over and out.”
She pulls off the woolly glove she was wearing and puts on a leather friction-pad glove. She is removing the small activator key from between her teeth when she heard thuds of footsteps; she now works faster as she inserted the key in a slot beside the bomb. The LED display unit came alive and began the countdown from 30seconds.
Just then, a heavy-set man appears at the doorway of the cabin. For some seconds, he just stood there staring at her. Then, his gaze travels to the blinking device on the control panel and he reaches for his side arm.
“U.S. Air Marshall, put your hands where I can see them!”
“Você não viverá dizer, my cara”
She kicks the emergency exit door open and let herself be sucked down by the strong wind ensuing from the speed of the plane. The thought of the five million reads (R$ 5,000,000) waiting in her Switzerland private bank account overwhelmed her.