Water under the bridge
Brussels – 12 October
The president of the European Court of justice sat back comfortably in his official car, shuffling the papers on his lap. Eventually he selected page six which carried a brief summary of the hearing about to take place. Today at 10:15 am the court was to sit in plenary and the case concerned the British member. He looked up and out of the window. Strange, even as a German he could not help but feel some sympathy for the British for unlike France, Germany and Italy, for example, who were virtually unchanged, Britain had now been totally dismembered with the English in particular, overwhelmed by immigrants, fragmented and completely stripped of their nationhood.
There was a Scottish Parliament and a Welsh Parliament, but England was now comprised of no more than eight assemblies and did exactly what she was told to do and no more! Even now he found it hard to comprehend how a British, government under Scottish direction had taken such a perverse delight in destroying the United Kingdom!
To think that at one time, and not so very long ago either, the very word British was synonymous with respect and if one was honest the United Kingdom had throughout its past set a shining example to the world too. Unfortunately far too many British people blamed Europe for the downfall of their country, he was well aware of that. Hatred for the Commission also, he and others were well aware of that too. The way the British Government had handled entry was very much to blame of course. Had they not been riddled with such hatred for England’s upper and middle classes, things might have been totally different today.
He sighed a deep sigh; really it hadn’t needed to be this way. Still all water under the bridge now. Glancing down at his watch he saw it was 9:36. Good, they were almost at the end of Ave John Kennedy and like all Germans he liked order. In particular he set great store by punctuality.
Peter Brand, Clive Crispin Dick Atkins, Janet Ainsworth and Roger Clarke closed in on the car, as they too liked punctuality. The Brussels hit was going to be very much on the same lines as the Luxembourg hit. This was no coincidence as both Peter and Nick Ashton had spent much preparation time together and had come to the conclusion that this method of attack, subject to fine tuning and local conditions could be applied to each target and offered the best chance of escape.
This, bearing in mind the overall complacency in Europe, was a realistic view as politicians had become very comfortable complacent and on the whole felt quite secure in their day-to- day travels within Europe.
Peter had made it quite clear to Harry that, while he appreciated the difficulties involved, he wanted the front windscreen on his transit van made of a clear plastic with a facility to fall flat onto the bonnet! It had been a tall order considering Harry’s commitments but he had risen to the occasion, doing a fine job on the vehicle
Peter watched the vehicle approach, three hundred yards, two hundred, one hundred. ‘Now!’ Peter snapped out the command. They had practiced this move many, many times so by the time the vehicles were fifty yards apart Dick Atkins and Janet Ainsworth had hit the release handles on either side of the frame and slammed the screen forward. At thirty yards Roger Clarke had swung the transport front on to the oncoming car and escorts and braked to a halt.
The President had just started to put the papers in order when his driver reacting to the imminent threat, slammed on his brakes thus throwing him forward. The driver of the car was an old pro and had in fact felt a little uneasy about the van when he first spotted its approach from some distance away. Instinctively he knew that his only chance was to reverse at high speed, leaving the front escorts to deal with the threat.
Unfortunately for him Clive beat him to it. The hollow point came through the windscreen tearing the driver asunder while the screen separating the driver from the rear virtually exploded, sending thousands of tiny pieces of glass and
shrapnel into the body of the President.
The escorts with no time to dismount died under a hail of bullets from Peter and Roger. Behind them the four by four had stopped twenty yards to
the rear and left of the Presidents car at which point both Kevin Barry and Liz Hicks leapt out and proceeded to wipe out the two rear escorts with sustained bursts of fire. Mere seconds later Barry had lined up his shoulder fired anti-tank weapon and sent a missile into the heart of what remained of the car. It was just about then and thanks to Luxembourg that things first started to go pear shaped as unknown to them and within five minutes of the first hit taking place in Luxembourg a warning message had been flashed to the Prime Minister and Minister for Defence in Brussels.
Almost immediately the Defence Minister had the Chief of Police on the phone. He was terse. ‘No questions, I want properly armed units dispatched now to protect the President of the European Court of Justice and I mean right now, move.’
He spat out the last word.
They started the break for Rue Claus only to see blue lights flashing as two police cars raced down Claus to intercept.
‘Chris!’ Peter shouted, ‘it’s much too quick, something must be wrong, the bastards are on to us already!’
Clive shot a glance to where Kevin and Liz were. ‘Hells bells, there are more of them and closing in on Kevin and Liz too. ‘You’re right! Christ only knows what’s happened but we have been sussed. Go, Roger, go like hell!’
As they raced away, the reality of the situation suddenly hit Peter. Bloody hell, we are not going to get out of this. Looking at the others it was plain to see that they all knew it was finished too but no one was going to say it. He braced
himself against the swaying of the vehicle then yelled, ‘OK I say we have no choice. If we let these bastards take us, then no matter what happens we will never get out of jail, not ever.’
Janet was pale but full of guts. ‘Well, fuck them; I’m not spending the rest of my life behind bars with a bunch of butch bandits.’
Dick raised his UMP and shouted, ‘I’m in so go for it.’ There was a thud and the vehicle lurched as they hit the kerb on rue Claus. Roger heaved the vehicle around back on line shouting ‘Come on, you bastards,’ then died instantly as he took a
bullet through the head from a marksman already in position. The vehicle careered back across the road, hitting the kerb the other side, its transit rear doors bursting open.
Peter was first out, yelling and pumping rapid shots from waist level at the rest of the police who had already screeched to a halt around them. Hard on his heels came the other three. Crouching and firing, they went straight for the two police cars broadside, ignoring the one to the right. Their sheer aggression momentarily took the police by surprise and by the time they had covered half the distance three policemen had died, but death was upon them and they all knew it.
Dick and Roger went first, hit by a barrage of shots by the now recovered police, then a bullet from the right took Janet through the abdomen then out the other side, tearing her innards apart as it did so. She dropped her weapon, clutching
her stomach in sheer agony then sank slowly to her knees. Two more rounds from the police to the front smashed into her chest, forcing her body back onto her haunches. Arms splayed out as she fell back already dead, shoulders resting back on her heels. Her head flopped backwards, exaggerating as it did so the smooth white curves of her throat. A tear as if in sorrow ran slowly down one side of her face mingling with, and then coming to rest in her soft damp curls.
Peter had got to the first car, killing two of the police as he closed in. Then his ammo ran out. In his heart he knew that the others were dead so he could have run into the traffic, as there was always a chance, but he didn’t hesitate, he swerved and raced for the car on his right continuing to scream obscenities as he did so. Almost immediately he took a hail of bullets and was dead before he hit the ground.
Kevin and Liz Hicks in the four by four saw the action taking place as they closed up. Without hesitation Kevin accelerated towards the car on the right ploughing into it, killing another three policemen who had taken cover during the firefight.
Liz threw herself out of the vehicle and as she hit the ground rolling she briefly glimpsed Janet’s dead body. Almost at the same moment she saw Kevin and Clive breaking away from the four by four firing rapid bursts as they did so, then she was up on her feet firing too. Dodging around the police car hit by Kevin she saw him and Clive die reeling under the impact of bullets, but it gave her a momentary chance and she took it.
She raced for the road and traffic and relative safety knowing the police would not dare open fire for fear of hitting members of the public; but before she could get in and amongst the cars completely, there was a shot followed by a searing pain in her thigh. She half stumbled around the bonnet of a car, then swung around to face two policemen coming straight for her but as she had anticipated, hesitating to use their weapons. Liz, however, had no such qualms and she could see the mixture of surprise then fear on their faces as she went straight for them. Her tenacity despite her wound, plus the snarl on her face was enough to make them hesitate further and that was fatal.
In a split second she had taken them both out screaming out loud ‘Sod you, Sod you!’ Adrenalin still pumping she whirled around and dragging her leg made her way down the road where civilian cars had now stopped. Liz headed for one
but as she approached she saw the startled driver reach to lock his doors. ‘Fuck you too!’ she screamed, putting a burst through the window into his head.
She wrenched open the door and ignoring the pain in her thigh heaved him out and pulled herself into the car. Expecting the worst at any moment she slapped it into gear and mounting the Pavement, tore off, bumping her way back
onto the road three hundred yards further on.
She shouted with glee. ‘By God, Liz, you lucky bastard! You may make it yet now slow down and try to disappear.’ Twisting and turning, she took every turn she could in her attempt to throw off any pursuit. Suddenly spotting a multi-
storey car park she took a chance and drove into it, still talking out loud to herself. ‘Right, Liz, calm down and think. One thing for sure is that you are not going to get far on your own with a gammy leg.’ At the second level she spotted a relatively quiet spot, parked the vehicle and waited, head low, applying pressure as she did so to her wound, which was by now bleeding profusely. She didn’t have too long to wait as seconds later a woman pulled up just three spaces away. Liz got out of the car
as quickly as she could and limped towards the woman who was by now, busy getting something out of the boot.
‘Get in the bloody car,’ Liz snarled. ‘Get in or I’ll blow your fucking guts out.’ Emphasising the point she jabbed the muzzle of her weapon hard into the woman’s side. Terror-stricken the woman scrambled back into her car. ‘Now listen I don’t care if you speak English or not. You’re, going to do as I say and if you so much as squeak, you’re dead. Do you understand me, you bitch.’ Once again she jabbed the muzzle hard into the woman’s side, causing her to screech with a mixture of pain and fear.
She spoke, and in English, ‘Yes I understand.’ ‘Good, we are leaving town so let’s move and take it easy.’ An hour and fifteen minutes later, and much to her
amazement they had crossed the border with nothing more than a wave of passports. The woman while inwardly terrified had managed to compose herself and chatted fairly naturally as ordered. During the drive Liz had taken her medical dressing and applied to the leg and thank God had stopped the flow of
blood. At the first safe opportunity she ordered the woman to pull off the road into a wooded area.
‘OK, stop the car here. Now get out because we are going for a walk into the wood.’ The woman started sobbing incoherently.
‘Come on, come on, I am not going to hurt you. I am just going to tie you up for a while. Don’t worry, I will telephone someone soon and tell them where you are.’ Five minutes later she walked back to the vehicle. She had hated doing it to an
innocent but there was no option but to shoot her, as there was far too much at stake at this stage of the operation.
Further up the road she made a phone call and three hours later a courier picked her up, taking her to a safe house where someone was waiting to treat the wound. only then did she allow herself the luxury of tears.
It was at 09:30 as planned that the first of four explosions took place at major intersections, with smaller explosions rapidly following. It was these explosions that had assisted Liz by hindering follow-up so aiding her in her miraculous escape. The diversionary explosions designed to aid them had come too late save the rest of the teams. Fate had dealt them all a deadly hand but despite that they had achieved their main objective in more ways than one. Brussels was in total and utter chaos, services were completely overwhelmed and the local
population was in a state of blind panic. Fifty-three people lay dead with many more wounded. Foxtrot and backup had won the day but had paid a terrible, terrible price for success and her dear, dear friend was dead. As had many others before them, the European Commission had thought England was dead, only to discover she would not lie down. Against all the odds Liz had made it and was safe but she wept openly for the others. The President was dead but at a heart-breaking cost to the force.