Good evening folks! Sorry for the interminable wait. #TeleTuesdays ran into a snag on our last post in the series, hence the late posting. Our Finale is however split into 2 this time. Exhibit A…
“No Tracy, I don’t see how I can help you get on the Rig. At least, not until you tell me where you have been ever since you disappeared and what you were doing!”
Kwamena was adamant, which was actually an improvement from his initial abject distrust when she showed up at his door with a smile.
“You wouldn’t understand Kwamena”, she replied in a patient but exasperated manner. “There’s stuff about the Association I know that you wouldn’t understand and it would take a lot more time that we don’t have to explain it to you! Can’t you just take my word for it that it’s very important for me to get to the Rig today?”
“Oh, now you so casually toss the name about in conversation! After I begged you on numerous occasions to just let us know of the location of the Association HQ in this area so we could at least keep an eye on it and you kept on refusing – I bet it never occurred to you that you might need someone with an eye on things to help you out someday huh?!”
“Oh Kwamena, don’t be like that. Besides, you didn’t sound surprised when I asked for help getting on the Rig – I guess you already knew then. So what’s the fuss about me not telling you earlier anyway?!” she ended with a coy smile, shaking her head at his seeming pettiness.
“What’s the fuss?! I nearly lost my cousin to some of the freaks your people had on that bloody Rig! That’s how I found out about the secret base.”
Finally he had her attention. Tracy’s eyes bugged at his words as she moved her lips wordlessly in shock.
“Lewis?! He was on the Rig?! When??!!”
Kwamena sat back in the armchair on the balcony overlooking the sprawling town center and her cobbled streets in the warm afternoon sun. “Funny you should show up today actually. Barely 24 hours ago, he swam up out of the sea over there and was knocking on my door. He’s in Accra now, in case you’re wondering, at IFAS HQ. You could have given us a heads up before going underground you know? He was devastated too…”
Tracy was running her hands through her hair now. She got up to lean against the railing with her back to Kwamena.
“I’m sure you didn’t know this but I found out 2 weeks before I left that Lewis was planning to propose to me…sure I’d been lying to him since day 1 to keep my cover, but I couldn’t stand to go through a false wedding even to keep my cover intact.” She turned slightly to look at Kwamena with a pensive look on her face.
“He really fell for me hard, you know? I couldn’t carry on the charade that far then. Add to the fact that I heard the Association would be picking him up soon and I didn’t have any reason to stay by him any longer. If they’d picked him up then, I would be called back to the Rig or sent on another mission – and I couldn’t risk being sent somewhere else when I was so close to finding out the most accessible data hub the Association had – Kumasi.”
“What do you mean?” Kwamena sat up in his chair.
Whipping out her phone, she tapped a rapid fire sequence unto the screen and turned it round to show him an IP address. “Right here – access to all the data on the Association I could dump from one of their datacores. You’re welcome!”
“You know you could have led with that instead of being all dramatic there, right?” he said drily.
“Yep. I know. But this is waay more interesting now, innit?” The impish smile was back again and this time Kwamena couldn’t stop joining in. This was the biggest coup the IFAS had ever attained so far in its fight against the Association. Coupled with identifying the Association base in the last 24 hours, this was Huge!
“Now, will you please help me get back on the Rig??” she cajoled.
“Hmmmm…Okay then. There’s a strike team set to arrive here within the hour anyway. I could suggest to the Commander to add you to the Alpha Team. We might benefit after all from someone who knows the base well.”
“Oh thank you Kwamena!” She beamed with relief in her voice and sat down once more.
Kwamena looked across the glass coffee table at her and shook his head again.
“On one condition: the moment this jazz is over, you sit Paa Kwesi down and explain everything in detail to him. That man nearly got lost, you know?”
She sobered up again, now with just a small wry smile on her face. “I know Kwamena, I know. I might have actually fallen in love with him too if not for Jeremy…”
He shook his head once more as he muttered, “Love triangle papapaa…”
“You monster!” Dr. Aruba roared in indignation, stepping forward angrily but halting at Mr. Calder’s shifting balance from one foot to the other, exposing the cold glint of the gun in his belt holster.
Calder narrowed his eyes suspiciously. He’d expected Jeremy to give himself away when he saw the dead carrier pigeon, not this show of anger.
“I found this pouch on its leg too. Unfortunately, it was empty. Looks about the right size for a micro disc maybe though. What do you think Dr. Aruba?,
“What do I think? I think you are a sick, paranoid man who gets off on killing anything that has even an ounce of beauty which your dark fetid soul could never hope to achieve!”
Calder’s face darkened as he flung the dead pigeon at Jeremy – which he caught reflexively – , fluidly unholstering his Beretta in the same motion.
“I know I’m right. You know I’m right. I know that you know that I’m right. You are a spy Dr. Aruba, and the game is finally up for you!”
“There is something desperately wrong with you Calder,” Jeremy began, tapping the right side of his head with his index finger. He was desperate now and had just realised that his only way out of this particular pickle was to bluff his most daring so far.
“You perversely killed this innocent bird because of some grand paranoid delusion you had, only to come gloat with its body. Just take another look at what you’ve done!”
He was now within a few feet of Calder and thrust the bird’s body in his face. A split second of divided attention was all he needed – and got – from Calder. Leaping forward and aiming low, he slammed fully into him, slapping the sidearm out of his hands to skid off the platform!
Grappling on the ground, Calder managed to put his legs together to spring Jeremy off him into a stack of crates before scrabbling to his feet. Jeremy picked himself out of the splintered flimsy crate and got to his feet, dusting himself up slowly as he stared at the other man warily.
Calder had a grin on his face now. “Aha! The rat now shows his face!” He seemed happier now that his suspicions were confirmed. He slipped his hand behind him to a sleeve clipped onto his belt to slide out a combat knife which he proceeded to flip from hand to hand as he crouched and started forward slowly, watching Jeremy with a determined look in his eyes.
“Rat? In your dreams! I’m just protecting myself from a crazed man. Observe.” Jeremy slipped off his white coat, twisting it lengthwise around both his hands to form a makeshift rope between them.
Calder just flipped the knife just then, grabbing it by the hilt with the blade downwards in his right hand and launched himself straight at Jeremy, left palm outstretched to grab the coat from his hands. In a flash, Jeremy had let go of the coat and thrown it in Calder’s face, surprising him for another second – which was all he needed. Stepping backward to avoid the forward momentum of the confused thrashing figure, Jeremy swiftly sidestepped and braced himself against a metal support girder and thrust out his left foot aimed at Calder’s flank. Right kidney, he told himself mentally as the kick landed and Calder howled in shock and pain.
Not waiting for him to regain his footing he twisted to his right, leading with his right elbow, and delivered an elbow drop right into Calder’s exposed back, Coccyx. The man on the floor was sure to have a coccyx fracture by now, but somehow he was clambering to his feet even then as Jeremy got up himself. Flinging the coat from over his head, Calder got up from the floor swinging wildly causing Jeremy to jump back to avoid him.
In response, Jeremy began some light footwork with front foot thrusts and jabs to his midriff, trying to put him off balance. Calder had now lost his temper and was now intent on charging at Jeremy with the knife somehow impossibly still in his left hand with his right hand made into a fist, despite Jeremy’s antics. Had he calmed down a bit, he would have recognized that Jeremy’s movements to avoid him were not all that random. This was to be his downfall.
Calder grunted with rage and threw another straight left punch at Jeremy, stepping closer. In a flash, Jeremy countered by moving his right foot forwards, lowering his body and shifting his weight to his right leg. He then straightened his right leg, propelling his balled up fist into Calder’s chin, slamming his lower jaw violently against its upper companion! Mandible, Maxilla, Temperomandibular joint, Skull base. Jeremy mentally traced the path of the force just applied as Calder staggered back, somehow still on his feet.
“Traitor!” Calder managed to whisper from between spasming clenched jaws.
Jeremy stared at Calder with an expressionless face for a few seconds before shaking his head slowly as he stepped back a few steps.
“I would have felt sorry for you Mr. Jonas Calder, if I didn’t know of your involvement with Coupe Coupe on a ‘purely consultation’ basis over the past 6 months.” He took a step forward as he continued. “You recommended on several occasions that raiding parties drive right through several villages instead of around them because – how did you even put it? Yes! ‘A real man doesn’t shy away from any conflict, especially one he’s destined to win hands down.’ You’ve traded in blood for so long that your hands should be practically stained with it by now.” At that, Calder smiled slightly, teetering a bit.
“Their losses have cried ever since to be repaid, while you stayed here safe from harm or recompense in kind. No more Calder, no more!”
Now closer to the reeling man, with his legs slightly bent, Jeremy exploded his body forward off his back foot towards Calder’s head, wrapping his hands around the back of his neck and pulling it down towards his right knee in a Muay Thai knee strike to his face! Nasal bridge, Zygomatic arch, Supraorbital foramen.
The sickening crunch let him know it was now over, though Calder’s breathing came in irregular rattling wheezes through the fragmented bones and other tissue.
He proceeded to drag the semiconscious mercenary into an out-of-the-way supply closet after binding his wrists with the remains of his white coat, slashed earlier in Calder’s rage.
Leaning against the closet door, he let up a pent breath and muttered in a whisper “Spy business is dangerous business Mr. Calder,” before striding away.
Gotta get outta here…
The .45s went off like a pair of well-behaved cannon in his ears as he emptied 6 rounds in quick succession into the chest of the first Gardener as his world fell away for a split second and C-Mode fully kicked in.
Despite the dark blood trickling from the cluster of bullet holes in the chest of the Gardener, it still lunged at him once more, unfazed.
The Gardeners won’t be fazed much by that Lewis. The key to stopping them is to cause a break in transmission of electrical impulses from their augumented brain to the rest of their body.
So in essence, break the spine at any convenient point – the higher the better though – to stop them, right?
Sure. Let’s try something new.
Lewis flipped both guns into the air, grabbing them by the barrels and sliding the safety lever back on in a fluid motion, ending up in an open martial arts stance, left arm outstretched in front of him with his right arm over his head.
Barely pausing, the Gardener’s momentum carried him/it forward as Lewis neatly sidestepped the shears and brought his arms forcefully down with the gun grips slamming into the center of his/its upper back right between where vertebrae C7&T1 would be in quick succession! Wham–Bam!
The Gardener stumbled forward past him and was pivoting to charge once more when an audible crack was heard. The Gardener collapsed to the floor in a heap as his/its spinal column gave way, unable to support him/it. He/it kept trying to get up, thrashing about on the floor.
Lewis then calmly walked over to him/it as his/its ‘face’ swiveled to follow his track.
I hate this Mel…
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