Taking Out the Trash
Barry Hampton was not the happiest of policemen as he sat in his office. Not because he was unhappy with his job – far from it, he loved it – but because of what he was reading in the file that had landed on his desk.
He had heard the report of the fire at the Mayhew Research laboratories three days before, but only about the fire. The details he was reading now, on the other hand, disturbed him greatly – and he had seen some disturbing things over the last year or two.
The sound of his telephone ringing made him close the file, shivering for a moment before he answered and said “Yes?
“All right – show them in.” Opening a drawer and putting the file away, he straightened his tie before the door was opened and two men shown in.
“DCI Clark, DS Mayhew – please, sit down,” he said as he shook their hands, and the two officers from the National Crime Squad sat in the seats at the other side of the desk.
“Apologies for dropping in on you again like this,” Clark said as he sat back, “but we need to discuss this matter with you, and you alone.”
“You mean the details in this file?” Barry stood up and opened a cabinet, taking out a bottle of whisky and showing it to the two officers. They nodded in return, as he found three glasses and placed them on his desk, pouring the amber liquid into each of them.
“How did you manage to keep the full details covered up?”
“We always said people died in the fire – we just never explained the full details, not even to the families,” Mayhew said before he sipped his drink.
“The Mayhew robbery and fire – what exactly was taken?”
“Valuable research material and equipment – but they decided to have some fun with the two techs who were working late, and the cleaner, before they set fire to the place.”
Barry rubbed his eyes before he said “I never cease to be amazed at the depths some people will sink to. I’ve got one question before we go on.”
“I can guess what it is,” Clark said, “so ask it.”
“Why are you telling me about this?”
The two men looked at each other, before Clark said “what I’m going to tell you does not go beyond these four walls, unless we authorise it.”
“I guessed as much,” Barry said tersely.
“When you and your – contacts – dealt with the Carpetmen, we asked you specifically for two reasons. First, we have the full record of what happened at Holderness Manor that night.”
“And the second reason?”
“You’re separate from the Met,” Mayhew said. “We knew the Carpetmen had someone high up in the force feeding them information and helping them. We still have no clear indication on who it is – but we do know the same person is controlling this group as well.”
“Intelligence,” Mayhew said quietly. “At any rate, we have strong intelligence that their next target is going to be the Blaketon Laboratory, just outside Holderness. Barry, I know it is asking a lot, but is it possible that your contacts may be able to help us out with this.”
“Without saying anything, why them and why me?”
“Easier to do the second first – because we trust you, and we need to know who the mole at the Met is. If they can help, one objective will be to find out who he or she is. As for the second...”
Clark looked at Mayhew, who nodded as he said “We know of the existence of Project Pink Widow. Not everything – no names – but enough to recognise that was what happened to the Carpetmen. We need their help – if you can get it.”
“You might be in luck, but I need to talk to some people,” Barry said quietly. “Give me twenty four hours – if it can be done, I’ll let you know what I need from your end.”
“If it proves impossible, we’ll try another method – but if we can do this, we can end two major problems at the same time.”
“Like I say, let me make some enquiries. How can I contact you?”
“We’ll call at this time tomorrow,” Clark said as they stood up, “and thank you again Barry. I know this is totally off the books.”
“Won’t be the first time,” Barry said as he shook their hands, “I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
Barry held the door open as they left, and then sat down, swirling the whisky round in his glass before he sat down and picked up the telephone.
“Anne Duncombe please – this is Detective Superintendant Barry Hampton, Holderness CID.”
“Welcome, Mister Hampton, Master Hampton” Mister Bridges said as Barry and Colin got out of the car. “Robert is in the library, and the Holderness-Carter’s are waiting for you in the lounge.”
“Thanks,” Colin said as he came into Holderness Manor, “I’ll see you later Dad.”
“Have fun,” Barry said as he knocked on the door, and walked into the lounge. He found Sarah Holderness-Carter sitting in an armchair, wearing a grey blouse and skirt with flat shoes, and Brian standing by a tray, pouring some drinks.
“Hey Barry,” he said as he looked over in his Australian accent, “can I pour you one?”
“Thanks – I need it,” Barry said as he sat down. “I take it Anne has been in touch.”
“She has – and don’t worry, the people who talked to you have appropriate clearance,” Sarah said as she took a drink from her husband. “So what can you tell us?”
“There is a gang – one of the more ruthless ones,” Barry said as he sat down, “that has been targeting research establishments around the UK over the last few months. They have a very simple MO – enter the premises at night, secure and silence all staff inside, find what they want, and then leave.”
“So why can’t the normal force handle them?”
“Because someone is watching out for this gang. The people who have approached me have their suspicions, but no certain evidence.”
“How high up?”
Barry looked at Brian, and said “very high up.”
Sarah looked at her glass, and said “What sort of research are these places carrying out?”
“Medical research – gene therapy and such like.”
Barry could see both Sarah and Brian look at each other. “Does that bother either of you?”
“Painful memories,” Sarah said as she rubbed her hand. “So why do you need our help?”
“My contacts would like you to infiltrate a local establishment – Blaketon Laboratory – and be in place for when this gang attacks. When they do – you do whatever you have to do to save any other staff and stop them. But, and this is important, my contacts need the name of the mole.”
“So we’re basically in place as the last, best hope to stop this gang? Why us?”
“Because I’m told this same mole tried to protect the Carpetmen – he doesn’t know we’re involved again.”
Brian and Sarah looked at each other again, before Brian said “All right – when do we start?”
Blaketon Laboratories were based on a new industrial estate outside Holderness – the building consisting of a central reception area, with four corridors leading off, like a cross. As the woman walked in, she looked round the circular reception area, nodding to herself as she walked to the main desk.
“Welcome to Blaketon Laboratories,” the receptionist said, “how can I help you?”
“Oh hi,” the redhead said as she took out a letter, “I was asked to report here for a staff orientation session – I’m going to be doing the night shift in the laboratories here?”
Looking at the letter, the receptionist picked up a telephone and punched a few numbers in.
“Miss Willecker? I have a Miss Dunston here to see you – staff orientation for the night shift?”
After listening for a moment, she looked back at the redhead and said “Please, take a seat – she’ll be with you in a minute.”
“Thank you,” she said as she sat down, watching until a woman in a grey pinstripe jacket and skirt walked out.
“Sally Dunston? I’m Barbara Willecker, the head of HR. Thank you for coming in this afternoon.”
“It’s all right,” Sally said as she stood up, “I understand these things have to be done during office hours.”
“Good – well, if you’ll follow me, we’ll get the paperwork sorted out and issue you your pass for tomorrow night.”
As they went through, they passed two men, one wearing a smart blazer, dark trousers, a white shirt and tie, the other more casually dressed.
“So I think that’s everything you need to see,” he said as he turned to the younger man. “You start tomorrow at nine, ten hours shifts. I trust that’s not a problem.”
“Nope,” he said in a soft Australian accent, “I think that will be just fine.”
“Good,” the other man said as they shook hands, “Welcome to the security staff, John.”
“Thanks for having me,” John said as he looked round.
“Hi – I was told to report here. I’m Sally Dunston?”
“Oh you’re the new night shift tech? I’m Jacquie Miller – welcome to Blaketon Laboratories.”
“Thanks,” Sarah said as she shook the older woman’s hand. Jacquie was in her early fifties, and was wearing a white lab coat over a blue floral print dress. “So where can I put my bag?”
“Come with me – we’ve got a locker sorted out for you,” Jacquie said as she took her to a staff room. As Sarah opened the locker, she said “So how many people are normally on the night shift?”
“Three of us – Charlotte is here, but getting a coffee. You’ll meet her when we get back. I take it the job’s been explained to you?”
Sarah nodded. “Routine processing of experiments for the main staff, and also testing of blood samples the police bring in. I understand the main interest here if pharmacogenetics?”
“Yeah – identifying genetic markers for new drugs, gene therapy, that sort of thing. I don’t understand everything – I’m not a medic – but that’s the idea.” Sarah smiled as she looked at Jacquie, her greying hair held back in a ponytail.
Putting on the lab coat, and closing the locker, they walked back to the lab where a twenty two year old woman was sitting, looking at a computer screen.
“Charlotte, this is Sally. Sally, Charlotte.”
“Hi,” the young woman said as she looked over. She had short blonde hair, and a pair of black boots could be seen under the hem of the lab coat.
“Right – let me walk you through the... OH hey Tom.”
“Hi ladies,” the security guard said as he appeared at the door, “I wanted to introduce John – he started working here tonight. Tom, the lab night shift, Charlotte, Jacquie and...”
“Sally – I started tonight as well.”
“Pleased to meet you all,” the tall man said as he shook their hands.
“Right – onwards,” the other man said as they left, and Jacquie said “Okay – your workbench for tonight...”
Barry was working at his desk when the telephone rang.
“Barry? It’s DCI Clark. How’s the infiltration going?”
“They’re in place – I just hope your intel is good.”
“We think it is – which is why I’m calling. We’ve heard they’re going to make their move in the next forty eight hours. Are you prepared?”
“You can’t prepare for what’s about to happen – you stand back and pick up the pieces, but I am forewarned. I’ll be told if a situation is arising.”
“And you’ll call us?”
“When it is resolved, one way or the other.”
“Understood – good luck.”
“Another night, another set of tests,” Charlotte said as she opened her locker door, hanging her denim jacket inside. She was wearing a checked blouse, the sleeves rolled up to reveal the black undershirt, jeans and knee length brown leather boots.
“Yes, but you get three days off after this,” Jacquie said as she fastened her lab coat over her grey coat dress, before taking off her heels and putting on a pair of flat white shoes.
“Which is more than I get,” Sarah said as she took out her lab coat. She was wearing a dusky pink blouse with a grey skirt, and smiled as she fastened the lab coat over it.
“Right – let’s get to it,” Charlotte said as the three women made their way down to the laboratory.
In the main reception, Brian was sitting at the front desk, as Tom put on his jacket.
“I’m going to do the first walkround,” he said as he pressed his ID card to a reader, a set of glass doors opening, “you be all right for a while?”
“Sure – what’s going to happen,” Brian replied with a smile as Tom went off, the doors closing behind him. He looked at the monitors, and smiled to himself as he saw the three women in the lab, getting to work.
Looking at the clock, he made a note in the book. “9 pm – no problems,” he said to himself before he sat back, watching the screens showing both internal and external views.
Sarah glanced up at the clock, the hands showing it was 1 am as Jacquie said “I think we can take a meal break now. Charlotte, can you make sure those samples are locked away before we head to the rec room?”
Brian could see the women getting ready for their break, as he stood up and went into the rear room at the reception, Tom sitting and watching the monitors as he did so. He filled the kettle, plugging it in and putting it on before he felt the cold metal circle pressed against his back.
“Sorry John,” he heard Tom say, “you’re a really nice guy, and I hate to do this to you, but you need to stay in here for a little while.”
“What’s going on,” Brian said quietly as his arms were pulled behind him, and he felt cold metal on his skin as a pair of handcuffs was fastened around his wrists.
“Some people are coming for a visit,” Tom said quietly as he forced Brian to sit on the floor, “and I’m going to let them in.”
He watched as Tom fastened a second pair of cuffs around his ankles, and then tore a strip of duct tape from a roll, pressing it firmly over his mouth.
“Stay there, stay quiet, and you might live through this,” Brian heard him say as he closed and locked the door, the sound of the boiling kettle the only other thing Brian heard as he took stock of the situation, and then looked round.
“All right,” Charlotte said, “that’s...”
“RIGHT!!! ALL THREE OF YOU, ON THE FLOOR, HANDS BEHIDN YOUR HEAD RIGHT NOW!!!”
Sarah turned to see four men in the lab, dressed from head to toe in black, two of them armed with guns, the third carrying a large black satchel as the fourth looked at them.
“You heard us,” he shouted out, “on the floor, hands on your heads, or we kill you right now.”
Sarah slowly raised her hands, noticing the face starting to turn pink, as she dropped to her knees and placed them palm down on top of her head.
The man with the bag put it on the work surface, and leered as he opened it, producing several lengths of rope. “Right,” the other man said, “lab coats off, and hands behind your backs ladies – we’re going to keep you nice and cozy...”
“Look,” Jacquie said as she walked forward, “I have no idea who the hell you think you are...”
The back of the gloved hand struck her on the cheek, taking her completely by surprise as she looked at him.
“My friend said, get the labcoats off and put your hands behind your back,” he said as he pressed the barrel of his gun against her stomach, “or I kill you, right here, right now.”
Charlotte was starting to cry as Sarah put her arms round her. “All right,” she said quietly, “we’ll do what you say, just please, don’t hurt us.”
“Smart woman,” the armed man said as Sarah removed her lab coat, noticing the look in his eye as he did so. “You two follow suit – NOW!!”
Jacquie knelt next to the other two, removing her coat as the man with the rope came behind them, and Sarah felt her wrists being secured together. “Brian, I just hope you’re on this,” she thought to herself, before grunting as the ropes were pulled tighter.
“They’re real cuties,” one of the other two men said.
“All right, all right – you two get what we came here for. You can have your fun time later.”
“Wha dsshmmnbtthhtt,” Jacquie said, her words cut off by the red ball that had been pushed into her mouth, the straps tightly secured round her head. Sarah took a deep breath as she was gagged using a white ball, and prepared herself.
Slowly, carefully, Brian pushed himself up onto his feet, taking great care to make as little noise as possible. He could see his ‘partner’ Tom through the door, manning the reception desk with his back to the door, and the last thing he wanted that idiot to see was what he was about to do.
Finally getting to an upright position, Brian took several deep breaths, and then started to jump towards where the kettle had just switched off. He took his time, wanting to minimise the sound of the cuffs, but as he approached it he turned and opened a drawer, taking out a small screwdriver and holding it in his hand, as he closed his eyes for a moment – and then placed the blade into the hole for the keys.
He concentrated for a moment – this was more difficult sight unseen, but not impossible – before he let out a muffled grunt and brought his hands round, one cuff still attached to his wrist.
He then shuffled over to the door, and waited...
“Thtfkinhrts,” Charlotte said as the man pulled the rope tight around her body, her blouse bursting open as her chest was forced out by the bands above and below it.
“Good – makes what else is going to happen all the more exciting,” the man sneered as he tied the ropes off, and then reached round, squeezing her chest hard as the other two looked on.
Jacquie could feel the ropes encircling her legs above her knees now, her ankles already secured and the front of her dress threatening to burst open as the ropes held her arms firmly to her side. She watched the man with the gun, seeing him stare at her and nod with a look that told her all her fears may be about to come true.
Sarah looked at both of the women, the little line of drool running down her chin as she did so. She wanted to start, secured as she was now, but could not until she knew they were both secured and distracted – and crucially, safe from her once she began.
As she watched Charlotte’s legs been tied, the door to the lab opened and the other two intruders came in.
“We got everything – Tom’s loading it into the van now.”
Jacquie looked at the men, her eyes wide as she screamed “Hfknnhllnthm?”
“Oh yes – we have someone in place everywhere we visit,” the gang leader said, “but don’t worry – he’ll join you soon enough. First though...”
Charlotte moaned again as the man behind them grabbed her chest, and then Jacquie’s, as the two men said “so who do we get to have fun with first?”
“Showtime,” Sarah thought as she closed her eyes, the dial of her watch slowly turning red as she looked at the three men in front of her, their eyes fixed on hers.
“I don’t know,” the guy behind them said as he grabbed her chest, Sarah moaning as he did so, feeling her nipples harden. “That’s right,” she said as she moved with him, “keep doing that, see how our colleagues feel when they see me...”
“Hey, this little cougar’s actually enjoying this,” she heard him say behind her.
“Yeah – yeah I can see that,” the gang leader said as he put the gun down, “I can definitely see that.”
“So can I.”
“And me – let me have her boss.”
“No – I want her.”
“Hey, hey,” the man said behind Sarah, and she heard him stand up, “who the hell says I’m willing to stop?”
Charlotte and Jacquie were both looking at Sarah as the four men moved and stood facing each other.
“Right – we settle this amicably,” their leader said, “we draw lots.”
“Stuff that,” one of the other three said, as he drew a knife and plunged it into the other man’s stomach, all three of the women screaming as he fell to the floor, blood pumping from the wound.
“Anyone else want to argue with me,” he snarled, as Sarah started to move round, her chest bouncing in the ropes, and the buttons on her blouse began to part. She was aware of the way the breathing of the two women next to her had changed, as she thought “come on, come on – I need one of you to take me away from them...”
“Yeah, I want to,” one of the other two said as he lunged at the knifeman, the two of them wrestling on the floor as the third man walked slowly over, his eyes not leaving Sarah.
“What the hell is it about you,” he said as he looked at her, and then ripped her blouse open, exposing her chest in the pink bra.
“Hmgddnnn,” she moaned as she squirmed round, “plslsdntlthmmsthsss.”
He looked either side of her, and nodded as the two men behind him continued their fight. Suddenly, the knifeman looked up, his eyes wide before he fell backwards, as all three of them saw the hilt of the knife protruding from his gut.
“Well,” the other man said as he stood up, “you got an...”
The bullet went straight through his forehead, the man putting the handgun down as he looked at Sarah, eyes wide with lust as he went behind and grabbed her, forcing her to her feet as he caressed her chest.
“You two can wait your turn,” he growled as he half carried, half pushed Sarah to the other side of the laboratory, their muted cries falling on deaf ears as he pushed her to the floor, and pulled her skirt off her, leaning down and kissing her neck roughly as his hands slipped between her legs.
“OH that’s right,” she thought as she arched her back, parting her legs as much as she could to allow him to feel the dampness, “you’ve won me fair and square, now come and get your reward.”
“My god, you’re hot,” he whispered, leering as he pulled the cups of her bra down, and started to roughly massage her chest, her nipples hardening as she moaned in encouragement.
“Yes, yes, that’s what you need to do, my hero – bring me closer to that edge,” she thought, moaning in encouragement as she squirmed under his touch, and then felt his lips on her nipples. Closing her eyes, she arched her back and let out a long, low, sensual moan, encouraging him as she felt the ropes being cut away from her legs, and then having them spread apart...
“Right, that’s that done,” Tom said as he came back into the lobby, “now to see how my young friend is doing.”
He walked behind the reception desk, opening the door and walking into the room as he said “Well, how are you...”
There was nobody sitting by the wall, and Tom stared at it for a moment, wondering what was going on.
“Where the hell are...”
A sudden pain shot through him, as Brian pinched a nerve cluster at the base of his neck, watching as Tom slowly dropped to the ground. Removing the keys from his belt, he soon found the right ones to release his wrists and ankles, using the cuffs on Tom before he peeled the tape away from his mouth.
“You’re bloody lucky I need you alive,” he whispered as he rubbed his wrists, “something tells me you have the other information we need.”
He then went out of the room, locking the door behind him before he made his way to the labs.
Sarah closed her eyes and moaned as she felt the masked man stroke between her legs, pushing her hips up to encourage him along. “that’s it, come on,” she thought to herself, blocking out the moans from her colleagues as she heard a zip, and then something falling to the floor.
As he pushed himself in, she wrapped her legs around him, feeling the throbbing as his member entered her passage, gripping him as she pushed herself forward onto him. The passion was rising within her now as well, the burning inside as she felt him push forward hard, and she tightened her grip around his waist.
“YSssssggdddd” she whispered through her gag as she felt the urges growing, heard his pants and grunts as he expanded inside her, gripped him as tightly as she could, waiting for the orgasm to come and envelop her.
When it came, it came suddenly, Sarah throwing her head back and screaming as he gave inside her, hearing his cries as well as he did so, the hot rush lost in the heat of her own passion – and the knowledge of what was to come next.
He kept going for as long as he could, and then went out, turning and putting his pants back on as Sarah sat up, panting as she watched him.
“Right – now for your friends,” he said as he turned round, the colour draining from his face as he looked at her.
“What the... What the fuck...”
Sarah smiled as she stood up, flexing her muscles and breaking the ropes around her as he backed off.
“Christ, no – what are you?” he said as he picked out of the bag several strips of dynamite, taped together and with a timer attached to the top.
“Stay back,” he screamed as Sarah walked forward, unstrapping the ball gag and removing it, “stay back or I’ll blow us all up.”
“No you won’t,” Sarah said quietly, “right now, your legs are giving way under you, and you bowels are emptying. That’s nice – I prefer my food nice and clean.”
“I swear, I’ll blow you and all of us to kingdom come, you sick freak...”
“Run – run, now...”
He screamed and turned, bolting from the room – and straight into Brian, who grabbed him by the throat and said “Talk – who told you to raid this place?”
“Get out of my way, you bastard – there’s a monster coming this way...”
“Then talk fast – who told you to rob this place?”
Looking to the door, the robber saw it slowly open out, and screamed “I’ll tell you – just save me from her.”
“Name – now!”
“Rogers - Terrence Rogers. He paid off your friend as well, the other guard Now, for the love of God...”
He screamed as Sarah came through, looking at him with her head to one side as she said “Well, isn’t that nice – my life partner got you for me. I’ll thank him right after I eat you...”
He screamed as his hand twitched, and flicked a button on the bomb, before he collapsed to the floor, his eyes vacant as Brian picked up the device.
“Piece of cake,” Brian said as he pulled the wires out, and then took from his pocket a can of aerosol, spraying Sarah as her watch face slowly went to green. “The others?”
“In there with Jacquie and Charlotte. Where’s your fellow guard?”
“Waiting for me to have a word with him – I’ll explain later. Call Barry – I’ll take care of the other two.”
Sarah nodded as she went to the reception, Brian entering the lab as he said “Jacquie? Charlotte?”
“Vrrhhrrr,” the call came back, as he ran over and removed the ball gags, wiping the drool away as he did so.
“Sally – where’s Sally,” Jacquie said once she had finished coughing.
“Gone to call the police – sit still, I’ll get you untied...”
“Where are they,” Barry said as he arrived with two squad cars.
“In the lab – you need to take care of these two,” Brian said as paramedics came in, tending to Charlotte and Jacquie as Sarah stood to one side.
“Who... Who are you,” Jacquie said as she looked at her.
“I was asked to come and make sure if something like tonight happened, you would be safe. Don’t ask any more than that,” Sarah said quietly as Barry took her and Brian into the room behind the reception desk, police officers moving through the building.
“Now what have we here,” Barry said as he looked at Tom, sitting on the floor with his wrists and ankles secured.
“We got a name from the gang member I talked to, Tom – now you are going to tell me everything you know about him.”
“DCI Hampton, what the hell does this guy think he is? He jumped me and...”
“Stow it Tom – and you’re out of date, it’d Detective Superintendent Hampton now. What I need to know is why you agreed to put the lives of the women here in peril.”
“What? I was told just to keep him out of the way while the place was robbed, and nobody would be harmed.”
“Tom,” Barry said as he hauled the other guard to his feet, “would you like me to show you the bomb I defused – the one that was going to blow this place to kingdom come, with you and the women in it?”
“Oh yes,” Sarah said as she walked forward, “and would you like to hear what they did to us, and threatened to do to us, before they did that?”
“Look – Rogers never said anything about a bomb. I... I got bills to pay, my wife’s in a home now. Hampton, I swear, that’s all...”
Barry looked at Brian, who nodded and said “he’s telling the truth. So who is this Rogers character?”
“He was in the local CID, and then got promoted. You,” he said as he looked at Tom, “will co-operate, or I leave you in a room with her. Trust me, you would not like the experience.”
Tom nodded as Brian let him drop to the floor, and looked at Barry.
“thanks – again,” he said quietly. “Go back to the house and get some sleep – I’ll be in touch later today.”
“What are you going to do about this Terrence Rogers?”
“I need to think about ADC Rogers,” Barry said, “but go home and rest. You both did good tonight.”
“Come on,” Brian said as he put his arm round Sarah, “I’m taking you home.”
“Nice place,” Mayhew said to Clark as they pulled up outside Wissenden Hall, “any idea who it belongs to?”
“Apparently, it’s the home to the future Lord Holderness – Our friend Barry Hampton is good friends with the family.”
“Holderness – as in Holderness Manor? You mean...”
“All I know is he asked us to meet him here,” Clark said as they got out of the car, and walked up to the front door, a young man waiting just inside.
“DCI Clark? DS Mayhew?”
The two officers showed their badges to the man as he said “Very good – Mr Hampton is waiting for you in Mister Holderness’ office. If you will follow me?”
He led them through the hallway and to a door at one side, knocking as he opened it and said “your colleagues are here, Mister Hampton.”
“Thanks, Abraham,” Barry said as Clark and Mayhew came in. “Take a seat, gentlemen,” Barry said as the door closed, “I take it you’ve read the report?”
“We have – we don’t need to worry about that gang again,” Clark said, “but the other news you reported – are you certain?”
“As certain as I can be – it’s ADC Terrence Rogers who is the inside man.”
“Dammit,” Mayhew said, “how certain can you be?”
“Absolutely – this is why I asked you here. I consulted with some contacts in the FBI, and they have agreed, given the circumstances, that you should be fully briefed on Project Pink Widow.”
“In what way?”
There was a knock on the door, as Mister Boyle said “Your other guests are here Mister Hampton.”
“Show them in,” Barry said, as Brian and Sarah came in. Brian was wearing a sweatshirt and jeans, while Sarah had on a grey fleece and joggers with pink trim.
“DCI Clark, DS Mayhew, may I introduce Brian and Sarah Holderness-Carter. Brian, Sarah, this is...”
“Clark, Mayhew,” Brian said, grinning broadly as he shook their hands, “how long has it been?”
“Must be six years since the Isle of Wight,” Clark said, “and that alone explains a lot of things. You’re right, Barry – my apologies for doubting you.”
“You know these gentlemen,” Sarah said as she looked at her husband.
“We crossed paths when I was – with my previous employer,” Brian said with a smile. “Clark, Mayhew, this is my wife Sarah.”
“A pleasure – someone finally managed to tame him,” Clark said as they shook hands.
“Actually, he tamed me,” Sarah said as she held Brian’s hand.
“So you’re part of Project: Pink Widow now,” Mayhew said as they sat down.
“Oh yes – you could almost say intimately,” Brian said as he looked at Sarah.
“So who else are we waiting on?”
“Nobody else Mister Clark,” Sarah said, “we – Brian and I – are Project: Pink Widow.”
The two men looked at the middle aged couple, before Clark said “Oh. Then you are...”
Sarah nodded, as she said “we don’t need to go into what happened - all you need to know is Brian and I are almost a weapon of last resort for certain situations. We get sent in – and you’ve seen the results twice now.”
“Yes, we have,” Mayhew said quietly. “How did you know, Barry?”
“The Holderness Manor case - what the files don’t say is that that night, Agent Anne Duncombe of the FBI arrived in my office with Sarah, Brian and one other person. They had somehow been warned of something bad happening at the Manor House that night, and when the alarm went off Anne insisted she and Sarah went in first.
“Well, you’ve read the official report – unofficially, Sarah saved the Craig women from a horrible fate, while Agent Duncombe killed the ring leader. The fill story of that night must remain classified, but trust me – Sarah is an asset that can never be publically acknowledged.”
The two officers looked at Sarah, who smiled and said “I - my family – have always helped those in times of their greatest need. I just continue the tradition.”
“All right then,” Clark said quietly, “so what do you know of our problem?”
Brian looked over, and said “Twice now we’ve brought ruthless gangs to justice – the Carpetmen, and last night. From what Barry has told us, the evidence is clear the name we got last night is that of a high ranking policeman.”
“It is – near the top of the Met, publically decorated, feted in the newspapers. It makes me sick to think he’s been aiding and planning for these groups.”
“What’s the public spin on last night,” Sarah asked.
“Foiled break-in – a security guard alerted the police, but the gang fought amongst themselves first and all but one died in the fight. The one survivor is in a secure unit.”
“And what about Jacquie and Charlotte?”
“In hospital – I’ve made arrangements for you to see them later.”
“Sarah not only ends the situations – she provides a counselling service for those who have had similar experiences. All part of her gift.”
“We really need to talk longer at some point,” Clark said, “but right now, our immediate problem is Rogers. We cannot allow this to continue – but we also cannot arrest him. We just don’t have the hard evidence.”
“In the old Soviet Union, he would have quietly disappeared or been re-assigned to other climates,” Barry said sarcastically.
“Well, we live in a democracy,” Sarah said, “so that’s not an option.”
“No –but he has been responsible for ordering multiple deaths, and all that went with them.” Clark looked at Mayhew, and then at Barry, before he said “we could try and make him resign?”
“He won’t go – I knew Terrence Rogers when I was a rookie, and he always said he would do the job.” Barry then fell silent and looked at the other policeman.
“My first year in CID, there was a robbery at a farmhouse outside Holderness. Family trussed, gagged, and then shot in the head before the house was stripped. We thought it was an IRA thing – the farmer had connections with the UDF – but now...”
“Now, you’re wondering if he was behind that as well?”
Barry slowly nodded as he looked round the room. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“Yes,” Brian said, “but you can’t say it, Barry. You can’t even think it.”
“Brian, Sarah, can we call on you for one last thing, to bring this to an end?”
Looking at each other, Brian nodded and said “what do we need to do?”
“This way please,” the secretary said as she escorted the couple along the corridors of New Scotland Yard. The woman had long blonde hair, the ends falling over a grey jacket which she wore with a matching skirt and a pink camisole top, and grey heels. The man was dressed in a tailored suit, white shirt and grey tie.
Stopping outside a door that had a plate reading “ADC TERRENCE ROGERS”, the secretary tapped at the door and entered on hearing “yes?”
“ADC Rogers? I have Doctor Brian Brown and Doctor Sarah Smart from Cornell here.”
“Oh yes – the American psychologists – please, show them in.”
As they came in, Terrence Rogers stood up, coming from the other side of the desk to shake their hands. Even with his greying hair, he still looked the experience policeman, but as he shook Brian’s hand his attention was drawn to his female companion.
“It’s good of you to find the time to see us, sir,” Brian said as they sat down. “As you know, we are doing research into police interview techniques, and we wanted to ask you a few questions about some of the techniques employed in the London force.”
“Of course,” Rogers said as the secretary closed the door, “How can I help you?”
Fifteen minutes later, the silence in the corridor was split by a scream, as Sarah ran out and grabbed a passing officer.
“Call an ambulance,” she said, “ADC Rogers is having some sort of seizure.”
As he ran in the opposite direction, another officer ran in to see Brian performing CPR on Rogers, the officer lying on his back, his hair white, his eyes fixed, and his mouth frozen in a silent scream...
“A high ranking policeman? And they say there is no honour amongst thieves...”
“Less of the wisecracks, Mark,” Yvonne Williamson said as she sat opposite her husband at the dinner table, Brian and Sarah sitting with them.
“I know – and it is not unheard of, of course, but – this one needed to be done. I trust to your discretion?”
“Oh naturally,” Mark said with a smile. “Still, I’m glad you dealt with them. I know we’re not exactly whiter than white...”
“On the grand scheme of things, Mark, you and Yvonne are the angels, and these guys are the lowest of the lowest of the low.”
Yvonne looked at Brian, and said “the way you said that, it sounded personal.”
“Sorry,” Brian said as she looked at Sarah, “it’s just attacks on research facilities kind of made us what we are. When I was a lot younger, I was in a gang that raided a research lab near my home town. For me, it was about excitement, but when the rest of the gang stated to assault some of the female workers we had secured – I took offence, and started fighting them instead. That was when – well, when I was injured on a genetic level, put it that way.”
“Ah – so this was personal for you?”
“And me,” Sarah said as she rubbed her hand, “it was a lab accident in my case as well.”
“Which explains the funny look on your faces,” Yvonne said. “Still, it’s done now, isn’t it?”
“Yeah – I really hope so,” Sarah said as she kept rubbing the scar on her hand...