Jane Knight Rogue Officer

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CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

Crank It Up

We are about to leave the warehouse taking a few of the smart boxes as evidence.

The lights come on which startle us. When the lights stop blinkering, we can see that we are surrounded. We are forced to put our hands up. There are at least twenty men dressed in the same black combat uniform.

The warehouse roller shutter doors open. There are four trucks that appear as the roller shutter goes up. The four trucks are reversed so the containers are reversed inside the warehouse.

We are pushed to the side while Vladimir’s men help themselves to the stock. We watch them loading up the crates.

Vladimir eventually walks in from the loading entrance. He has a woman with him. The two of them walk up to us while his men carry on loading the trucks. Vladimir towers me, so I have to crook my neck up to look up at him. He turns round to walk away as I keep looking at him. Charles and I and individually held by two guards each. They pull our arms behind us and lock them in between their arms. We cannot budge.

I spontaneously say, ‘Leave him alone!’

Vladimir looks downs at me as he towers over me, ‘And what will you do? Peppermint spray them. Wave your extensions in their face. Ha ha ha ha.’

I go to try to kick him but he avoids me. Vladimir is not fazed by my attempt and so he does not retaliate.

Vladimir asks, ‘How was your swim? Did you swim with the dolphins?’

Vladimir turns to look at a girl who I have not seen before. I assume it is his girlfriend that we talked about on his boat. She is wearing white snow trousers and white snow boots. She has a white ski jacket on as well. She smiles at me while I stare her out and then she turns to walk away. As I relax, she turns back to me and grabs hold of my hair. She yanks my head back and punches me in the face. The force of her punch knocks me and the man holding me on to the floor.

I was not expecting it to hurt that much. I am on top of the two men half unconscious from the force of her punch. I have an instant nosebleed that is running thick out of my left nostril. She is grinning at me as the two mercenaries lift me up. I look at Charles and he looks upset seeing the mess I am in.

She walks up to me again, ’Did I forget to mention that I am a gold medallist in boxing. Also a heavyweight

champion, with two belts to my name.’ Charles says, ‘You hit her again…’

Vladimir’s girlfriend turns to Charles, ‘And you will do what?’

Charles gives her an evil look, ‘Kill you.’

She gives him a disapproving look, ‘That would be a neat trick, considering you will be dead.’

She turns to me again and talks to me in a child’s voice, ‘Jane, did that hurt? That was for causing Vladimir’s father’s death.’

I give her an evil look, ‘Is this what this is about? I am responsible for closing his company down in Wales?’

She grabs my hair again and yanks it back. I wriggle to try to free myself, ‘This is for failing to die.’

She hits me in my left eye and it stings. I see stars and feel something dripping down the side of my cheek. I feel my eyebrow is stinging. I assume it is a cut above my eye. She laughs at me and Charles is struggling to free himself.

She looks at her handiwork, then walks away.

Charles is still looking at me, ‘It is okay. Looks a lot worse than it is.’

I look at Vladimir, ‘I didn’t close your company. I just wrote a report.’

Vladimir barks at me, ‘You gave them the ammunition to start investigating us! If you did not direct the secret service to investigate the company, then they would not have investigated us.’

I still justify the closure, ‘Your business was funding terrorism. Supplying components to go into weapons.’

Vladimir says in a calm voice, ‘That was down to two men. Not my father. They have been taken care of since.’ Charles is still looking at me in anger.

I reassure him, ‘It is okay Charles. Just a little shaken.’

One of his men walks up to Vladimir and speaks to him in Russian. I remember the app on my phone and try to discreetly pull my mobile slightly out of my pocket and push the app for translation. When I press the app logo, the software opens up and shows a squiggly line across the screen to mimic voice recognition recording the conversation already. I slide the mobile back inside my pocket leaving it on. Vladimir nods his head slowly while the man is talking to him. Both Charles and I can hear the conversation, but I do not know how to speak Russian or interpret the language. I wish I could know what they are talking about. I am hoping the app is working and can pick up the conversation through my trouser pocket. After a couple of minutes, the man walks back to the others, loading up the last remaining crates. It does not take them long to clear the warehouse. Vladimir is waiting for the strong men to finish up and leave. The only people left staying are five men. The four holding us and a man dressed differently to the mercenaries. The other three were a part of the mercenary gun for hire. Vladimir’s girlfriend pretends to hit me again and I flinch almost tripping over one of the mercenary’s foot. I feel a little embarrassed falling for her trick.

We watch the four trucks filled to the brim with the crates, driving off into the still of the night. I look at Charles wondering where the meeting is going to take place and how far the rendezvous is. I can see some remaining boxes and rubbish left behind in the warehouse. It looks like a bomb has hit the place. It does not look like the place is emptied out in the trucks. Vladimir walks Charles and I towards inside the storage room and through to the second door that we did not check out. We are manoeuvred around the boxes and rubbish on the floor created by the mercenaries. The second room looks like it was storage room, about thirty feet by thirty feet with only two old chairs with cobwebs and an old rusty metal workbench. The workbench has a briefcase, open. I could see a syringe and two medical syringe bottles with silver caps. The kind where you put a needle through the silver top to take out the contents. I look at Charles again for reassurance this time and hoping he has an idea where this is going to lead.

I observe that there are two chairs. I think how they knew that we were coming, ‘This is convenient, two chairs.’

Vladimir walks over and towers me, ‘Oh Janey, Janey. You are really thick aren’t you. I think they hired you for your looks, if that was possible. Charles, would you enlighten your colleague.’

Charles seems to put a few things together, ‘You were following us from the start. You already knew about Ivor telling Jane about the data on your server. We saw him at your secret meeting. I believe some kind of society. I guess you knew where Ivor disappeared. So you already had plans for us.’

Vladimir looks impressed with Charles’ process of deduction, ‘Ivor was gently persuaded to stay with us. We gave him an offer he could not refuse. He told us what he had told Jane.’

I look at the briefcase, ‘So what is that?’

Vladimir looks at me again in a condescending way. He really finds me annoying as if he wants to kill me now, ‘Charles, can you do the honours?’

Charles looks at me then the briefcase, ‘Looking at the colour of the chemical in the syringe bottles, it can be one of seven main truth serums. Did you know that the main ones are scopolamine, 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate Midazolam, Flunitrazepam, Sodium thiopental, Amobarbital and ethanol. From the colour of the syringe, it is Ethanol. You do know that truth serums are very subjective. Neither of them have been proven to actually work.’

The fourth man who was not wearing the same clothes as the other four mercenaries interrupts, ‘I beg to differ. This does work. I have made a slight alteration to the serum which will make you feel wasted and encourage you to lower all your inhibitions. You see it is your inhibitions that will let you down. Not what you are trying to hide.’

Charles does not show any nervousness, ‘Well that is a shame. I do not have any inhibitions. Everything I have thought of, I have done it.’

Vladimir shows annoyance, ‘Well Charles, you will talk. Especially her. You will sing like the canary.’

Charles corrects him, ‘Like a canary. Not like the canary. You have to keep up with the clichés.’

I pluck up the courage to say something, ‘If you are going to kill us, at least tell us where the meeting is going to take place.’

Vladimir does not show any expression, ‘How long will you be, Klaus?’

Klaus mulls it over, ‘This will only take half an hour.’

Vladimir nods his head while he stares at us and listens to Klaus, ’When you are finished with them Klaus… kill them. I will meet you at the airfield in about hour.’

Klaus watches Vladimir leave without responding. He looks at us and then motions the four mercenaries to sit us down on the chair facing each other. They tie our hands behind our back over the back of the chair. We are a foot apart, facing each other. I feel nervous and Charles can see it in my face. I feel nervous because of this being my last time on earth. I welcome death. I am nervous that I will tell Charles about my screwed-up life, explain why I am suicidal. Charles is most likely thinking I am scared of dying. Klaus is busy syringing one of the syringe bottles to inject into us.

Klaus looks at me with the syringe, ‘This will not hurt as much as being hit by Natalia. The effects will be drowsiness and the feel of the room spinning. Then you will feel your inhibitions go away.’

I look away when he pushes the needle in my arm just below my shoulder. He is rough and I wince in pain as he puts it in up to the hilt. He then wields the needle inside my arm causing me more pain. Charles looks at me helpless and not knowing how to react. When Klaus empties the whole chemical inside me, he gives Charles the other syringe bottle. I can see he is gentle with Charles and does not wield the needle inside his arm. Charles is able to look at the needle going inside his arm in the same place. When Klaus is finished, he places the empty syringe back into the briefcase.

Klaus says, ‘I am going to allow the serum to do its work. So I am going to be back in about ten minutes. The serum will start to kick now but I want to allow ten minutes. You will be eventually sleepy but your mind will be conscious. I will start with Charles.’

Charles looks at Klaus, ‘Don’t be too long. When I am drunk, I just go to sleep. You wouldn’t want me to go to sleep on the job.’

Klaus goes to walk outside, back into the warehouse with the four mercenaries.

Charles makes me smile and I have to look away. Surely as Klaus said, I start to feel drowsy and see the room spinning. I do not feel sick as I normally would do if I was drunk. Charles now looks blurry to me, almost seeing two or almost three of him. I have to shake my head to think it will return me back to normal. I ask Charles if he feels the same as myself.

As I talk, I feel my speech has slowed right down, ‘C-h-a-r-l-e-s. I-s… t-h-e… r-o-o-m… s-p-i-n-n-i-n-g.’

Charles appears drowsy to me and he sounds like his speech has slowed down, ‘Y-e-s.’

Our whole conversation is like this.

I am shocked how true Klaus was to the serum, ‘This really works.’

Charles is in denial, ‘Not really.’

I try to prove him wrong, ‘Can I ask you something that you would normally lie to?’

Charles looks drunk, ‘Go ahead.’

I try to think of something that he would normally lie about, ‘Can you speak Russian?’

Charles looks like he is in deep thought, ‘Nope.’

So the truth serum is working. Not a lot of people choose to learn Russian or learn to speak Russian in education. The probability was a lot higher, with Charles saying no to being able to speak Russian. I have another thought on my mind, I can use this opportunity to have all my inhibition thoughts answered. I have so many unanswered questions and thoughts swimming around, in and out of my head. With time not on my side, with about seven minutes left before Klaus comes back, I think of the most important questions I want answers to.

My first question was about the conversation Charles had with Mary when Charles told me to meet him downstairs at my desk, ‘What did Mary say to you?’

Charles is slow at replying, ‘Mary said you are volatile, so you are suicidal.’

I want Charles’ opinion, ‘What do you think Charles?’

Charles quickly replies, ‘Personally?’

I want his answer now, ‘Yes.’

Charles does not hold back with his inhibitions down, ‘You are irritating. Wind me up. Always right. Too honest. Polite. I think that is it. My turn. Are you really screwed in the head?’

I do not feel embarrassed by what he has said. But I am thinking it, ‘Yep. You drew the short straw, when you were paired with me.’

Charles asks me a question this time, ‘That night when you came back to mine and tried to kill yourself, what happened Jane?’

Where my inhibitions are down, I do not have any trouble telling him my deepest darkest thoughts, ’Well, I guess this is a good enough time. We are going to die right. Ha ha. Stephanie beat me up in the changing room as well as on the football pitch. It was my parents’ anniversary death and that girl called me ugly. That is about it really.’

Charles is pleased with himself, ‘I knew it. I knew she hurt you in the changing room. I saw blood on the floor.’

I ask him what else he wants to know, ‘Do you have any other questions?’

Charles does, ‘How did it start?’

I struggle not to tell him but the serum is too strong, ‘I was bullied as a school kid. From the age of six to sixteen. I was severely hurt when it stopped. But it was too late by then. Ten years will do something to you. Hence why I am damaged goods, Charles. Mary was telling you the truth. I am volatile, so volatile, I have already tried to kill myself four times. The fourth time was at your flat. I tried to kill myself with your gun.’

Charles did not show any interest in how my bullying had an effect on me. He was only interested in how my bullying began, ‘Why were you bullied?’

I am relaxed and calm to tell Charles about my bullying, ‘When I was seen as popular by the boys. But not in a sexual way.’

Charles shows a genuine interest into my past life, ‘What did they do to you?’

I start to think back and wonder when my bullying first started, ‘It first started when I was in a school football team, being the age of six at the time. I don’t know why, but the boys seemed to find it interesting watching girls playing football. I seemed to have all the boys hanging round me. I was told I was very pretty and I was seen as the best football striker. I was also naturally academic. So the other girls started to hate me for it. It was not like I knew it at the time. I thought it was because I was odd. So the first time I was bullied was when I was playing in a football match. At the time, I could not understand why I was not picked in the other team. All the girls who hated me were in the opposition team. During the second half of the game, each time they went to tackle me, they picked on me. First it was a kick in the shin. The second time it was being pushed over. The third time was when I was running full pelt kicking the ball in front of me to get to the goal post. As I was in mid-dribble at high speed, I ran into a fist and it knocked me out. I next woke up in hospital with concussion. I had a heavy nosebleed. I was told my nose could have been broken. I also had two black eyes from it.’

Charles looked sorry for me, ‘You said you were bullied for ten years.’

I start to play back in my head the, the worst day of my life when I was still at school, ‘That was the start. The worst day was when three girls followed me from school. When no one was around, I was cornered. One of them pushed me on the floor. She sat on my stomach to stop me from moving. She punched me in the face until she gave me a nosebleed. Then the other two girls did the same. When they finished with me, two of them grabbed a leg each and spread my legs. The third one kicked me as hard as they could. The pain. The pain made me pass out. I only came to when it rained, and the waterfall woke me up. I cried that day.’

Charles watches me slowly start crying as I cannot contain my emotions any more, ‘Do you want me to get a couple of hit men? They can make it look like suicidal.’

I start to laugh through my tears, ‘No. That will be alright. Maybe rustle them up a bit.’ As I continue to laugh through my tears.

After we calm down with laughing about killing my bullies, I start to think about my second question which leads to my third and final question, ’Charles. I want to ask you a question and want you to answer it before Klaus

comes back and before the serum wears off.’

Charles still looks drunk, ‘I can’t lie Jane.’

Because I am still under the influence of the serum, my inhibitions are still low. So it does not hold me back to ask more intimate questions I would never ask if I was myself,

‘Do you find me attractive?’

Charles comes across as matter-of-fact, ‘Nope.’

I feel my question is not completely answered, ‘Not one bit?’

Charles gives me the same answer, ‘Nope.’

I feel sad that another man who I really like comes to the same conclusion. I think out loud without realising. ‘Oh I wish you would.’

Charles still looks lethargic and cannot see if he is really here or not. Out of the blue, ‘I find you sexy though. Are you a lesbian?’

I am a bit shocked with the question but I give him the answer straight away, ‘No.’

Charles then looks at me with a puzzle look, ‘Are you a virgin?’

The truth serum does not allow me to say nothing or even… lie. Again without realising, I just come out with it, ‘Yep.’

Charles suddenly has a look as if he has a light bulb come on, ‘That explains it.’

I do not get where he is going with this, ‘What?’

Charles gives me the same look as Vladimir gave me earlier, ‘That explains why you are so naive and come across stupid, most of the time. You really have an innocent mind. You are really clueless when it comes to analysing people’s feelings. You don’t even know when someone really… likes you.’

Charles looks up at the ceiling. I think he is frustrated, ‘You have to speak to me like I am a two-year-old. I need a straightforward answer. Will you be my boyfriend?’ Charles does not answer my question straight away. He smiles at me and then, ‘Yes.’

I smile at him, ‘You would?’

Charles smiles back, ‘Yes. I will.’

I am relieved, ‘I am glad we had this serum. I would never have asked you.’

Charles replies with, ‘Nah. I would have got you drunk.’

I correct him, ‘I wouldn’t have told you. I cannot lose my inhibition when drunk. I have tried.’

Charles just looks at me, ‘You are s-o-o beautiful.’

I know he is telling the truth, ‘Being told you are a loser and no one will ever like you, is easier to believe.’

Charles sympathises with me, ‘Yes. They are.’

I cry again, ‘I believe you when you tell me I am beautiful.’

Charles looks like he is worried now, ‘Will you still try to take you own life?’

I am honest with him, even though I cannot lie, ‘Being suicidal is like being an alcoholic. You know you are, but you don’t want to do it. I choose you, over taking my own life.’

Klaus comes back with the four mercenaries. We stop talking straight away. We are still affected by the serum. I cannot stop thinking that we are now boyfriend and girlfriend. Klaus walks over to us and takes it in turn to check our eye pupils. He is rough with me but is gentle with Charles. It looks like he is ready to begin now.

Klaus looks happy, ‘Once we are finished, they will kill you then dispose of your body. So we don’t attract the police.’

It seems Charles is trying to make light of the situation, ‘So what happens now? You torture us, then kill us.’

Klaus humours him, ‘No. The serum will be torture enough when I ask some embarrassing questions.’

Charles continues, ‘I have nothing to be embarrassed about.’

Klaus smiles, ‘Excellent. Now is there anything you want to tell me?’

Charles responds, ‘Jane is a virgin. Did I just say that out loud?’

I cannot believe Charles just told Klaus, ‘Any other day, I would be extremely mortified. But for now, I just can’t believe you told him that.’

Klaus looks up in the air with disappointment and is not phased by Charles’ comment, ‘As interesting as that sounds, is there something else that you need to tell me?’

I without any awareness say, ‘Charles said he will be my boyfriend.’

Klaus is getting frustrated, ‘Right. Let’s be more specific. Do you want to tell me who you have told about our plans?’

Charles speaks for us, ‘Not yet. But in about ten minutes, our people will know.’

Klaus finds Charles’ statement preposterous, ‘You are dreaming.’

I back Charles up, ‘Yes. They know where we are right this minute.’

Klaus ignores us, ‘What does your organisation know about our society?’

Charles is still over-confident, ‘That you people are lunatics and are no threat. So they shelved you.’

Klaus asks, ‘So why have you still pursued us?’

I jump in, ‘Our people only want Vladimir. He was flagged up by Ivor.’

Klaus feels that he is getting somewhere, ‘Ah. That is how you managed to find the location of our server with the names in our society. I am assuming the names did not mean anything.’

I speak up, ‘We do now. When we tell our people, we will be all over you.’

Klaus is amused by Jane, ‘Tough words. Vladimir is right. You are not very bright. How do you function to get out of bed?’

Charles casually says, ’That is a shame. I was going to

let you live. To lead us to Vladimir rendezvous. Now I think I will kill you.’

Klaus smiles, ‘And how are you going to do that? You are as brainless as her.’

Charles looks around in the store room, ‘I will use you as a human shield. I will kill the other four. Then make you apologise to my girlfriend. Then I am in two minds to break your neck, or let you die screaming in flames. I will then go after Vladimir and… kill him. But before that, I will untie my hands.’

Klaus chuckles to himself. The other four look at Klaus and start to laugh with him. Charles starts to laugh with them and eventually I start to laugh. This goes on for about a minute. I am laughing nervously rather than understanding the reason.

Klaus eventually stops laughing to ask the question, ‘That would be a neat trick. Now how will you do all that, with your hands tied and still drowsy.’

I think the same, ‘Yes, how are you going to that?’

Charles lifts his arms up in front of himself, ‘My ropes, I cut them.’

Klaus is open-mouthed when he sees that Charles has freed himself.

Charles holds Klaus by the collar and turns him round with his back to him. Charles then uses Klaus as a human shield. He takes the syringe from the briefcase and throws it in the eye of the first mercenary who reacts by firing his machine gun aimlessly taking out the other two. Charles then breaks Klaus’ neck.

I am stunned in how long it had taken Charles to take out four people. He did not have any expression in his face. Just coldness. I have never seen him like this before.

As soon as it is over, his normal expression returns in the room. He walks over to me, chilled out, ‘You okay?’

I just nod open-mouthed at what I just saw happen in front of me. He wipes my nosebleed with his thumb while looking into my eyes and smiling. After he wipes my blood from my left nostril, he kisses me passionately, ‘Let’s get outta here.’

Charles unties my hands then checks that the three men are dead and takes their weapons. I just follow behind him like a lost puppy.

Charles and I are still affected by the serum and trip over the rubbish on the floor but steady ourselves. It takes a bit longer to walk through the warehouse due to being drowsy.

Charles wants to burn the contents in the warehouse. So he searches for any flammable chemicals and a source of heat. He also gets me involved with the search.

I struggle through the drowsiness looking for fuel to light this place up.

We look inside the crates for any source of light. Luckily there are grenades that we can see. Charles asks me to empty them in the corners of the warehouse. Once I have finished pouring the crates out into the corners of the warehouse, Charles is waiting for me outside.

Charles is sat in one of the vehicles left behind. I walk over to Charles with the vehicle and get into the passenger side. I see Charles has a grenade in his hand. He pulls the pin and holds the grenade in his hand.

Charles looks at me with endearing eyes, kisses me passionately and says, ‘Jane, where do you want to go on our first date?’

I look at him with glazed-over eyes, ‘Somewhere in London.’

Charles kisses me again, then throws the grenade in the warehouse. He then puts the accelerator hard to the floor before the warehouse becomes a ball of flames.

When we are a few feet away, the whole building ignites simultaneously and the ground tremors slightly.

Now it is time to find out where Vladimir’s arms deal is.

I ask Charles what he has in mind, ‘What is our next move?’

Charles almost swerves off the road from the effect of the truth serum, ‘We need to know where that arms deal is taking place. We also need to know which airport they are flying from. I wish we spoke Russian.’

I think of the app and hope that it has recorded the conversation that Vladimir had with his mercenary, ‘Maybe this will help.’

I get my mobile out from my pocket. I have to move the phone towards my face and away to get focus, while the drug is still wearing off.

Charles looks proud of me, ‘Great. That is great. Let’s get some bad guys then. Get me the name of the meeting point. It is only us that can stop the arms deal.’

I play the recording to get the rendezvous, ‘They are going to meet us for nine o’clock this morning. The meeting point has not changed. The plane is ready to leave. We will land at Aerobratsk. Then drive from there to Kurravaara.’

I feel that I have contributed to our mission and it gives me a buzz. Charles is grinning from ear to ear that we know where Vladimir is going and we did not need to worry about not having Klaus to guide us. The risk paid off, killing all the five men in the warehouse. Now the worry was how we were going to get there.

I look at Charles for answers, ‘Do you have an idea how we are going to get to Kur… ver? Whatever you call it.’

Charles talks through the corner of his mouth as he focuses on the road, ‘I have an idea. We just need a credit card and find someone to fly us there. We only need a small plane. I am thinking of a Cessna plane.’

I am clueless what he is talking about, ’What is a

Cessna?’

Charles looks at me, ‘You will see.’

Charles’ driving is improving as the drug wears off more. As the drug wears off, I can see his confidence is making him drive faster. The app on my mobile is telling me an estimate arrival to Kurravaara of six o’clock this morning. Vladimir will get there about an hour before at around five o’clock in the morning.

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