Jane Knight Rogue Officer

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CHAPTER TEN

Conspiracy

I am on my flight which has just taken off, bound for Saint-Tropez. Unlike the Bond movies, I was booked on economy with British Airways. The seating is very compact and so just as well I am short. I check out my new phone with the apps installed by Barney. As I look at the apps, I notice there is one for voice recognition. I guessed it was to do with setting up my voice on the phone. I open the app and I am proved wrong. It is about recording a voice and then the software will tell me who the voice belongs to including a photo of them. Wow that is cool. It spurs me on to look at all the other apps.

The next app was like an X-ray. I place the phone screen over my hand and I can see my bones just like an X-ray in a hospital.

The other apps are self-explanatory and so I do not bother going through them. I am bored already, so I flick through one of the magazines tucked in the pouch on the back of the seat in front of me. I find it weird that I am not scared of flying in the light of my parents’ plane crash. I put it down to myself having suicidal thoughts at ad hoc periods. My thoughts move on to when we had a memorial for our parents.

I put the name tag and phone in separate pockets of the front of my jeans and put the watch on my left wrist. It will feel weird for me as I do not wear a watch in general and so I feel it will irritate me at first. I have never seen a Garmin watch before. It has a white strap and the shell of the watch is white as well. The face is digital with a black screen and text is white. The time has been set already.

I look at my new watch and see it is coming up to quarter past twelve. I do not have much time. I fly into Saint-Tropez where my hotel is as well. The flight time is about two hours, with a couple of hours of getting out of the airport. I will be alone in the hotel carrying out a routine operation the next day. I finally close my computer down and check that everything that I want packed away in my desk drawer is packed. I then go to leave the office.

We had the service where our parents used to go their local church. We had a good turnout of their friends and colleagues. It was very sombre and my older sister gave the eulogy for both our parents. The hardest part was dealing with the will.

It turned out that our parents had invested in long-term shares as well as pensions and savings. Our parents’ estate is worth just over a million pounds, including their house, split between the four of us. The estate is still going through, which none of us are in a hurry for it to complete. It is our way of coping with the death of our parents. The probate closure will make it real that our parents are gone. The probate will be finalised next week. I plan on being there.

I am hoping this trip will not open up a can of worms. I want to be back in the office for Monday.

I am sat by the window of the plane, looking out into the world. The on-board flight tracker, on the back of the seat headrest in front of me, shows where the plane is currently flying over now. At the moment, the plane is flying over Clermont Ferrand near Lyon towards La Mole. The estimated time left in the air is twenty minutes.

Once I land at Saint-Tropez airport, I check my email on my mobile for my itinerary to see if a taxi was organised for me. Nothing was arranged. So I look for a taxi outside the main exit doors of arrival. The weather outside is warm for late September. It feels like an English summer. I check the weather on my mobile. The temperature is sixteen Celsius now. Tomorrow will be twenty-four Celsius. I also check the car journey time from the airport to my hotel that Barney arranged. My map on the phone tells me it will take twenty-three minutes. The time now is just after half past eight and so I will be at the hotel by nine o’clock. It does not take long to wait for a taxi.

The drive feels fast as the main route is on the D98 which is a motorway.

The journey from the airport to the hotel is quiet and the city is brightly lit up like London. The hotel is situated in a one-way street. The hotel that Barney booked me in is called the Hotel Pan Dei Palais.

The hotel is quaint with modern facilities in the room with dark wood skirtings and door. There is an outdoor swimming pool behind the hotel. My hotel room is two hundred and twenty-four pounds per night, courtesy of M-I-Six, even though I was only staying for two nights.

The hotel reception has an ambient feel with low spotlights and light wooden floors and reception desk. It is only myself checking into the hotel at this time of night. There is only one person behind the desk which is a gentleman in a hotel uniform, in his seventies, white.

I go straight to my room once I check in. My itinerary is to meet my contact in a bar tomorrow night for about seven o’clock. I will spend tomorrow by the pool and read a book.

For now, I decide to run a bath and turn in before eleven. I look forward to the bath as it is a stand-alone bath tub. I enjoy my soak for forty minutes in a nice bubble bath supplied by the hotel as a part of their complimentary toiletries.

After my relaxing bath, I rub my cream that I packed for my trip on my face in front of the mirror of the bathroom, in the hotel’s bathrobe. It helped to relax me and feel human again.

The idea of being in a holiday town sounds great but I am alone not knowing anyone and not having a tourist map of the town. I do not have a boyfriend or my girlfriends to share with. I have had no time to plan a excursion and I am only here for two days.

It is gone nine in the morning. I get up and put my one swimsuit on and go for a swim to wake me up before getting a late breakfast. While I am swimming, I am thinking about tonight wondering what this guy looks like. My itinerary tells me that the man will be wearing a pair of navy blue shorts and a white shirt. He will stand at the bar drinking a white colour drink. When I see him, I am told to ask him for the time. That way it will not be suspicious. I have his picture and my people told him my description.

I am the only person swimming in the pool. Also the hotel is quiet as it is out of season. The only people here are business travellers. I feel I am on my own in this hotel. The hotel appears to have a skeleton crew. It would have been nice to have time to sightsee and window shop. Instead I ponder on the company I made my report on when I first met Miles. The company traded in components and was one of Vladimir Mashkov’s companies. I do not know what happened to that case afterwards. I do not know what happened to him. I should have asked Miles what happened to him.

After I finished my half-hour swim, I went back to my room to change for breakfast. I had a continental to include a bowl of fruit with natural yoghurt. Finished with an Americana. By the time I am set for the day, it is gone eleven.

I go back to my room to relax before my meeting. I spend my boredom flicking through my phone and go in and out of consciousnesses. I am going stir crazy.

I do not want to go for a walk because I do not feel that this is an excuse to feel like a holiday. I also wonder why Miles asked me to go. I have no experience of interviewing or interrogating suspects. I could have had the information electronically sent over. Why does this man want one of us to come over and see him in person. He must have demanded it. Miles has sent me as a friendly face and not hostile. Someone who will not confuse the situation by having sex. Now I know why he sent me. Why would anyone want me.

It is close to seven o’clock and I am already in a taxi to go a bar called Bar Du Port. I asked Reception to book a taxi for me. I told the taxi driver the address is 9 Quai Suffren 83990.

I decided to dress similarly to him so that we look like we are together. So I am wearing a cream pair of jean shorts with turn-ups, with a navy blue polo shirt. I am wearing designer faded brown boat shoes with bare feet. If he is too old, then I will look like a gold digger and him a sugar daddy. If he is a snotty nose kid from Eaton, then I am a cougar. Either way, being in a rich town, I will fit in. The drive only takes two minutes. Could have walked it in four minutes. But it is dark now and I do not want to walk alone in the narrow one-way streets.

The bar is light which makes my life easy to find this man in navy blue shorts and possibly no suntan like me. The bar has a light brown wooden effect. The floor looks like Antico. The bar is busy with people, three bodies’ deep. They look local from their features and their brown leather looking skin. So my contact will be easy to spot from the crowd. I am glad it is late season.

I see a man amongst the crowd at the bar which fits the description from my email. I remember that my line is ‘Do you have the time?’ I did not want to be too obvious, so I try to stand near him while trying to get a drink.

I am given room to get to the bar. While I wait for my drink that I ordered, I look around the bar to see if I can spot him. When I think I can see him, I walk away from the bar with my drink of neat vodka with a black straw. I walk over to the other side of the bar to talk to him.

I confidently say, ‘Hi, can I have the time please?’ While I try to be seductive, biting on the straw while he looks at me.

He looks at me then looks around past me, ‘You got to be kidding. I was told by Miles that I was to expect a tall black man.’

I am taken aback, ‘I was sent here to meet you. I assure you, don’t let the blonde hair fool you.’

Ivor looks disappointed, ‘Right. Aren’t you a little short to be an agent. You look twelve.’

I feel embarrassed and feel that people nearby could hear him, ‘They wouldn’t have sent me if I couldn’t do the job. So are you going to show me?’

He looks at me still and sighs, ‘Not here. We will go to my place. It is all there.’

We leave our drinks on a nearby table and leave. He neglected to mention that he has a car parked outside. I was about to flag a taxi. There is a car across the road opposite the bar. I take a double look as it is the only car there. It is a sports car. I am not very good with cars. I never was interested in cars. It is not a car I recognise and would not have an opportunity to be in one.

The car is left-hand drive and so I had to walk around the other side of the car. I walked around the back of the car and noticed the exhaust pipe was in the centre. The exhaust was a rectangular hexagon in steel. The car is a three-door with the engine in the back as I notice it through a glass that overlaps three times. I pull the door open and feel I have broken it when the door moves up to a ninety-degree angle.

He smiles at me, almost laughing at me, ’That is normal.

Get in.’

I feel he is checking my body out as I clamber into the car awkwardly. When I am properly in, I feel I have fallen in a wheelbarrow. I am glad I wore a pair of shorts. I wish I wore long jeans. I notice him looking at my legs.

I still do not know his name. He turns the ignition and the engine roars. We move off into the road. When we get into the country resident roads, he opens the car up and I can see the speed dial from here. The car goes from thirty to eighty in seconds and the trees become a blur in the night.

He seems to be trying to impress me with a chilled-out look, ‘It is the perk of the job. It’s a Lamborghini Reventon if you are wondering.’

I reply with my accountancy head and a look of not being impressed, ‘It is tax deductible?’

He looks at me sharply while still driving at eighty, ‘The bank allows incentives like this to succeed at work. The house is also owned by the bank.’

I stare in front of me, depressed, ‘My only perk is a credit card. But limited to a few thousand.’

He doesn’t feel sorry for me, ‘You get to come out here.’

I quickly reply, ‘Only for two days.’

During our ride, I was taking notice of his features. His legs were tall, slim and slightly hairy. He had a slight suntan which tells me he has been in Saint Tropez for a few days in hiding. He looks a bit between David Hasseloff and Colin Firth. He looked six foot tall in the bar. He has a plum voice as if he studied at Eton or Oxford.

He appeared confident driving the car which told me an air of arrogance and ‘I am better than everyone’.

At the same time, the car was glued to the road and I noticed on the instruments that there is an anti-skid mode.

So the risk of going out of control is significantly reduced.

It is not long before we arrive at his villa. The villa is set on a hill with a driveway and railings in front. You zigzag up the hill to get to the house. The house is submerged amongst trees and foliage. It looks homely and pretty.

He sees me struggling opening the car door and comes round my side to help me. I welcome it. It was like struggling getting out of a bin with your bum stuck inside.

When we get inside the house, we have the talk.

He walks me into the living room. There is a drinks cabinet by the window. The villa has stone floors which are smooth. The walls and ceilings are skimmed smooth in white. The ceiling has spotlights.

I watch him pour out a dark-coloured drink from a decanter into a glass tumbler. He looks at me, waiting for me to choose my drink. I see a bottle of martini half empty. I point at the bottle. I take the poured tumbler from his hand and we both stand by the window.

He looks out of the window holding his glass close to his chest, ‘So, what is your name?’

I look at him while he is still looking away, ‘Jane Knight.’

He looks at me with his wondering eyes, ‘I apologise for earlier. If he told me you were a girl, I would have been prepared.’

I think it is an apology and laugh it off, ‘I get it all the time.’

He looks at me with a quizzical look, ‘What do you do?’

I am very vague, ‘I count money all day.’

He looks at me with a deep thought, ‘A banker like me.’

I smile when he gets my profession wrong, ‘Easy mistake. An accountant by trade. Now, an analysis. My first outing as a field agent.’

He smiles, ‘You don’t fit the profile of an accountant. You are… too attractive and more like an air hostess.’

I do not know how to react to his chauvinism. I ignore

it, ‘So what is your name?’

He still gazes at me, ‘Ivor Peteski.’

I almost laugh, ‘I did not think that you would be English with a name like that.’

He looks as if I offended him, ‘My father wanted me to have an English education so I would have a better life. You can take the man out of Russia, but you can’t take the name out of Russia. I wanted a man to protect me. I think my life is in danger.’

I think out loud, ‘I wanted a Russian man who had contacts with Vladimir Mashkov.’

He shrugs his shoulders, ‘Sorry to disappoint.’

I smile, ‘Me too.’

We move over to the sofa. I want to get the ball rolling with the intelligence information. But Ivor starts first.

He looks at me intensely, ‘I was only told your surname and initial. Assumed your first name was John, James or something.’

I smile and look at my drink, ‘I didn’t get a say in the matter, either. I was only asked to come because there were no spare agents.’

He hesitates and then says, ‘It’s just, this is a man’s world. I am scared for my life. And they send me a woman.’

I try to be humorous, ‘Well I did not expect a man named Ivor Peteski to have a plum in his throat.’

He smiles and says, ‘Okay. Okay.’

I stand up and turn round to face him while he is still seated.

I give a serious look, ‘You told my people about information that can bring down Vladimir.’

He finds my comment amusing as if I have it wrong, but sarcastically laughs, ‘Ha, ha, ha. Vladimir. This is bigger than Vladimir.’

I ignore his comment and still come across serious, ‘Can I look at the information?’

He looks at his glass as if he is about to give me disappointment, ‘well that is a problem. Hence why I had someone come here.’

I want him to cut to the chase, ‘Talk to me.’

He ponders at his glass of dark rum, ‘My father is dead and I am to take over the family business. When checking over the finances, I came across a file. Vladimir was a part of the list. It was then I put two and two together. The same list is on my executive account at the bank. I think my employer is in bed with an underworld.’

I do not sympathise and specifically say, ‘I was told to pick up documents to support illegal trade. Something like goods received notes. The description of the materials will indicate if they can be used in weapons.’

He sits back in the sofa and sighs, ‘I think it is bigger than that, Jane. The names were not generic. There were names I could associate as being influential.’

I go to sit next to him again, sat upright and ask, ‘So where do you have the information in here?’

Ivor is still slouched back in the sofa, looking drunk, ‘It is held on a server. You will need a USB. The data is big. So… I am thinking a hard drive.’

I ignore what he said and focus on the ‘you’. ‘What do you mean, “you”. We are going together to get the information.’

Ivor smiles and points at himself, then laughs, ‘The servers are not at my company or the bank. I only get remote access. I cannot go back to the bank. I was almost killed. That is why I fled here. I am planning to head to Montenegro. Our head office is there.’

I close my eyes when the penny drops, ‘That is why you came here. Your employers do not know you are not coming back.’

He nods his head, ‘Yes.’

I am now deflated, ‘So where is the server, that the data is stored on?’

He raises his eyebrows and goes to take a swig of his drink, ‘Nice.’

I am intrigued about this data, ‘Tell me more about the data.’

He sits upright and gathers his thoughts, ‘They are rich beyond your dreams. Mingle with high society and politics. Some are billionaires… Jane, you are dealing with people similar to Vladimir. This is not Downton Abbey. Think of it like Dynasty or Dallas. Ruthless, calculating and they will do anything for a quick buck.’

I look at him with amazement with what he is telling me, ‘What lengths have they gone to so far and when did they form?’

He looks at me with serious eyes now, ’Think of

Brexit, Berlin Wall. They date back to World War One.

Now you know the scale.’

I am open-mouthed, ‘How do you know all this?’

He looks sad when he says, ‘My father was dying. I was at his bedside when a man came to the house. He wanted me to take over from my father. I didn’t know who he was or what he meant. I asked who he was and he told me. It was Vladimir. He was matter-of-fact, as though it was normal. It was from then that I started looking into him and then reported it to the authorities about him and the bank. It is how I met your boss.’

I give a quizzical look, ‘Where can I find these people?’

He chuckles to himself, ‘They are in plain sight. Think of them as Freemasons.’

I am curious if any of them are in our organisation, ‘What about M-I-Six or M-I-Five?’

He comes across as fed up, ‘You will only know when you get the list.’

I come across as knowing, ‘They assumed you would be like your father. They underestimated you.’

He comes across as if he suddenly realises, ‘I now think my father wanted me to get away from this. Send me to England.’

I come to the conclusion, ’And now they don’t want you to leave. How does Vladimir fit in all of this? I

thought our meeting was about him.’

He reassures me, ‘Vladimir is on that list.’

I am concerned now and want to head back as soon as possible, ‘My people do not know what a can of worms has been opened. I need to head back to England to warn my people.’

He looks at me with a serious face, ‘When you helped close Geegore Industries, you caught the attention of the group of people.’

I ask him, ‘Does the organisation have a name?’

He looks in deep thought, ‘I didn’t get that far.’

We stop talking and Ivor goes for a top-up of his drink. He motions if I want a top-up. I have hardly touched my drink and so I motion him with a no. I can see Ivor getting slightly more drunk. I do not feel comfortable, both of us getting drunk, as I do not know this man. When he is not looking, I see a plant not far from where I am sitting on the sofa. I pour some of my drink in the soil of the plant.

I start to put two and two together on how Ivor knew of me, ‘You asked for me because of my knowledge on Vladimir. That is how you knew my name. The report on his company. Your contact is Miles.’

He stands up shrugging his shoulders and then turns round to face me, swinging his glass around, ‘I wanted someone to believe me. No one has heard of this society. But you have heard of Vladimir. He is with the society.’

I start to think that he has a plan, ‘What is your exit strategy?’

He holds out his arms, ‘I go to the airport. Get on my flight.’

I have a puzzled look. ‘How are you getting there?’

He stumbles his words from the effect of the drinking, ‘I am driving. The bank has a car port at the airport. They rent it for space. Why?’

I give him a stern look, ‘We need to get the data before you swan off.’

He looks fed up, ‘But I told you, I am not coming.’

I mention about needing transport, ‘I don’t have a car.’

He has a look of I don’t care, ‘So?’

I say in a fed-up voice, ‘I need you to drive me there.’

He becomes defensive, ‘No way. I have a flight to catch. I’ve told you where to get it.’

I sigh, ‘Let me use the car after you get to the airport.’

He reluctantly accepts, ‘Well, I will be gone.’

I recap on the plan, ‘Okay. This is what is going to happen. We go to the airport. Then I will take the car with me back to my hotel.’

He is too tired now, ‘Okay, whatever… I’m tired. I am going to bed. My flight is at eight tomorrow morning.’

I think the same, ‘Where can I sleep?’

He thinks about it, ‘You can sleep on the…’ I give him a scolding look, ‘…on my bed. I will sleep on the sofa.’

I am smug, ‘Good.’

The next morning I am woken up by the light coming into the bedroom. I startle as I wonder what time it is and if Ivor has left already. I quickly run to the living room. He is not there. I can hear the shower, so check to see if he is in there. He may be tricking me. The door is slightly open and I can see his outline behind the shower curtain. He must be used to living by himself.

I realise that I am naked. It did not dawn on me that I did not want to tarnish my clothes or underwear, knowing I had to wear the same clothes today. I quickly rush back to change. I am glad I did not bump into him. It would have been an interesting conversation.

It is close to seven o’clock and we are in the kitchen having coffee and breakfast. We do not say much. After breakfast and showering, we are ready to go to the airport. I choose to drive as I feel he is still over the driving limit. We are sat in the Lamborghini and Ivor is giving me a quick instruction on how to drive the car.

He points at the steering wheel, ‘The paddles on the steering wheel are for changing gear. You have the stick if you are traditional. You have to change gear at high revs, so anywhere above six thousand.’

So on the way to the airport we hit the D98. Ivor is looking at my legs again but I ignore him. I will not be with him for much longer. I am fascinated with this car. I do not own a car due to living in London where transport is easily accessible. This moves. While approaching small traffic, I check in the rear view mirror for oncoming traffic to overtake. Even though this car shifts.

My eyes catch a glimpse of more than one motorcycle. I thought nothing of it. The motor bikes are red and the riders are in red also. You cannot ignore them.

I quietly say, ‘Do you get bikers over here?’

Ivor looks at me oddly, ‘How do you mean?’

While I am looking in the rear view mirror, ‘I notice at least three bikers. Oops, make that four.’

Ivor twists in the passenger seat, ‘Let me see.’ He turns in his seat to look at what I am seeing.

I stare in front of me at the traffic, ‘What do you think?’

He twists his head to look at our speed, ‘They are going fast.’

I look in the review mirror again and take a double look, ‘Hey, do bikers normally carry guns as well.’

He panics with worry in his face, ‘Whoa, this is getting serious. I should drive.’

I take it in my stride, ‘Don’t panic, I also had training in evasive manoeuvring.’

There are now four bikers in the rear view mirror. They start firing where I can see sparks flying out the ends of their machine guns. Nothing is hitting us yet. I put my foot on the accelerator further down and hear the engine in the back roaring.

There are multiple saloon cars, lorries and trucks in the road ahead to weave through. I have three lanes to overtake and undertake the vehicles in my path. The four motor bikers are gaining on us and the noise of the guns are getting louder through the road noise.

I get in the outside lane, far left, to undertake three saloon cars. Then cross over the middle lane to the inside lane, far right, to overtake two trucks to then pull into the middle lane. The motor bikes weave in between the same traffic using all three lanes like snakes sliding through the grass.

After overtaking the trucks, I see a lorry in the distance in the inside lane, far right, overtaking three lorries in the middle lane on a slight bend. I choose to follow behind the overtaking lorry. It takes the lorry a number of minutes to overtake the three lorries in the middle lane. The bullets have been whizzing past us and a couple hitting the bumper again during our overtaking of the three lorries. Once the lorry in the inside lane has finished overtaking the three lorries, I pull into the middle lane almost clipping the front of the third lane. The truck driver sounds his horn and flashes us, but it does not cause the driver to swerve out of control. The bikers are able to undertake the three lorries to gain on us.

I drive parallel to the same lorry that is still on the inside lane. I am focusing through the noise of the machine guns and hearing the bullets hitting the left-hand side of the car.

I look over my right shoulder to look at the trailer and the lorry. Through the road noise and the sound of gunfire, I check my spatial awareness. I can see that the ground clearance of the trailer and the distance between the lorry and trailer’s back wheels can fit the car. Just as I drive under the trailer for shelter from the hail of bullets, the back window is hit and there is a loud smash. The glass disintegrates into pieces of splintered glass. Both of us duck our bodies and head to avoid being hit by the bullets and glass caving into the car. The bikers are side by side of us, on our left. The right side is the barrier. The lorry driver decides to get in the middle lane. I can see in the right wing mirror, cars waiting to overtake. I mirror the lorry to stay under the trailer. This allows the bikers to straddle us both sides.

The bullets hit both sides of the car. It sounds like the doors and the side panels are getting riddled with bullets.

The left wing mirror goes.

Throughout this chase, Ivor has been going white as a sheet turning into a gibbering wreck. I am too focused on the road, other drivers and the bikers to stress under pressure. I notice the lorry and us are doing eighty. The lorry is slowing down. I need to get out of here. I floor the car and drive into the inside lane. There are two of the bikes on the inside lane. I almost hit them as I pull away. They break to avoid me. I overtake the lorry to pull into the middle lane. I have an idea.

I shout in a calm voice, ‘Ivor! It will be over soon! I am going to get past the lorry and then get in the middle lane. There are lorries in the outside lane. I am going to slow down, then have them crash into us!’

He has fear in his face and shouts, ‘You what!’

Once I am in the middle lane, I speed up to encourage the bikers to follow us in the middle lane, while having the lorries down our left and the lorry behind us that we were driving under. There are not as many cars among us. We are still getting shot at. I need the lorry to get back into the inside lane. Even though we are still being shot at, I slow down gradually to make the lorry driver overtake us. After a few seconds, the lorry driver takes the hint and goes back into the inside lane. The four motorbikes are in the middle lane now, two by two, behind us. We have a lorry ether side of us like a sandwich. The front two bikers try to pass us, either side between the two lorries.

I keep my concentration and bite my bottom lip, ‘Hold on tight! Get ready, get ready… now!’

Ivor is starting to go white as he is scared, ‘I don’t think I am ready!’

I slam the breaks on and pull the hand break up. I then turn the wheel hard right making the car spin into a right angle of the motorway. As the car spins, the front and back of the car catches the two motorbikes either side of us. The two motor bikes get crushed between us and the two lorries either side of us.

Ivor freaks out and grabs the dashboard with white knuckles, ‘Whoa! Look out! They are carrying guns!’

I start to wonder why I agreed to join the agency, he said ‘the job is sitting at a desk most of the time. Waiting for a big break. It is rare you will get a big break. You will not need a gun.’

The connections drag the car along the motorway.

I try to calm him down, ‘It will be over soon. Shit! They are firing at us!’

The two motor-bikers fire at us, at both ends of the car while being dragged along. The two bikers with their bikes are jammed between us and the lorry’s trailer.

Ivor looks to our right still being scared, ‘Shit! The… the…’ Ivor crouches in his car seat. It makes me look up to see what he is seeing.

I am open-mouthed with disbelief, ‘Incoming!’

The other two motor-bikers hit the side of our car on the front and back panel. The two bikers and their motor bikes flip over the car and crash on the other side of us.

Ivor is flabbergasted and cannot believe that they missed our bodies, ‘Where did they go!’

I get frustrated with Ivor panicking, ‘Take it easy! It’s time we split!’

The bikers get crushed under the car with their bikes which causes the car chassis to raise off the ground. The motorbikes create sparks from the friction of sliding along the motorway under our car.

I react to the commotion, ‘This is going to be a bumpy ride!’

Flares start to jet from underneath the car chassis caused by the bikes scraping along the road. The two riders finally come from underneath the car chassis and roll along the motorway behind the us. They are hit by the oncoming traffic and die instantly.

I make a comment, ‘Two speed bumps gone! Just the motorbikes!’

Ivor is still freaked out, ‘Yeah!. What about these two! They are still firing at us!’

I am fighting with the car steering wheel to straighten us out, ‘I only just got rid of the other two! Give me a break!’

The bikes finally dislodge from under the car chassis and flip in the air and then crash to the ground and explode in a ball of flames. The explosion disrupts the traffic behind us. The other two bikers are still jammed against the lorry trailer and us.

I have full concentration on the two remaining bikers. ’Ivor! I am going to yank the steering wheel to my left!

The car will straighten up, the bikers will fly right by!’

The two bikers are still firing at us, hitting the dashboard and engine behind us. They are not getting a clear shot of us luckily from the position they are in. I finally yank the steering wheel left to straighten up and face the same as the lorries and other traffic. Being wedged between the motorbikes and the lorries help to get the car to spin parallel to the two lorries. The two motorbikes disengage from the car and slide under each lorry’s tyres. Both motorbikes explode under the two lorries’ trailers with the bikers. The back of our car catches some of the fluid leaking from the bikes and catches fire on the back of the car bumper. I can see it in the review mirror.

The carnage soon gains distance behind us. Ivor cannot believe that we made it through the chaos. I feel too pumped up from my adrenalin to be relieved from it all. The flammable liquid soon burns off from the back bumper.

We finally make it to the airport. The Lamborghini engine starts to splutter and struggle to carry the car with us in it. It just manages to get us to his private aeroplane on the runway before it rattles then dies. The person waiting outside the private jet to take care of his belongings, comes over open-mouthed at the state of the car. I smile at him with a nervous grin.

We get out of what is left of the car. The back and door windows are smashed. There are bullet holes on the roof, doors, back bumper and side panels. The front and back of the car lights are smashed in due to being wedged against the motor bikes and lorries. Both wing mirrors were shot off. The engine in the back received a few bullets. Liquid is leaking from underneath the engine.

We both get out of the car to hand the keys to the man.

I nervously say to him, ‘Here are the keys. His employer will deal with the mess.’

I stay with Ivor till he goes on board his private jet. I feel that I should oblige to travel with him as a confidante or protector until he gets to the other side. He thanks me for getting him here in one peace.

He is grateful and smiles, ‘You were good. If you should quit your job, come and work for me.’

I smile back, ‘Thanks. But I prefer not to have a sensible job. Been there, got the T-shirt.’

He shakes my hand, ‘Good luck with retrieving the data.’

I suddenly realise, ‘You never told me the address or what floor it is on.’

He goes into his pocket for paper and pen, ‘Here, I have written down the address. I don’t know what floor it will be.’

I look at the paper and say, ‘I will be able to figure it out somehow.’

He looks at me one last time before getting on the plane, ‘Goodbye Jane.’

I have a solemn look, ‘Goodbye Ivor.’

We smile at each other and eventually he goes on his plane and takes off. I get a taxi to go back to the hotel. The idea of using the car to go to Nice is now out of the question.

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