The Brit returned to the hotel carrying a couple of knapsacks full of gear. Knapsacks seemed to be common locally and nobody looked twice at someone carrying them. He went straight to the suit’s room and dropped them off. Out of one sack he pulled a small bundle of euros and handed them over.
“Perfect. I should be able to carry that amount on my person and in my carry-on without attracting too much attention. Do we have the car yet?”
“I’m off to get that now. Should be back in an hour or so.” “Good. Then you can make our other arrangements.” On his way to buy another vehicle, the Brit’s disposable cell phone rang. He recognized the number so he answered.
“Quite a pile of information you gave us.” “Thought it might come in handy.” “You mentioned being able to perform some roundups if we could get you transportation.” “It’s possible.”
“There are three cells we would like rounded up. We can get you a plane to Germany from the U.S.”
“You have my email address, do you not?” “The Hotmail one?”
“That will work. Send everything you have to it. I will talk with my people and see when we can get them. You wouldn’t happen to have a boat around here, would you?”
“Need to extract three members from here and get them to international waters for pickup. Planning on driving them to Mangalore and finding someplace along the shore line to quietly leave.”
There was muttering in the background, then the conversation resumed.
“Will your cell phone work there?” “Presumably. If not I will pick another up while there and call you.” “In three days we can have a rubber duck team on the beach north of Mangalore. They can take you and your guests to a sub. How many people?” “Three of them and myself.”
“I will call you in two days to confirm.” “Very good.”
The phone call ended. Hans was never going to believe this. That little information payment they made was returning dividends. He knew the man in the suit didn’t want the Americans involved, but these guys were working so far off the reservation nobody knew they existed, much less any reporters. He dialed the man in the suit’s cell phone.
“We need to have an emergency powwow. I’m going to sneak to the office. Call Hans and tell him we are both coming.”
The Brit knew this was going to be trouble. Best to get it all out in the open now. If the man in the suit didn’t want it played this way, then he wouldn’t leave India. Here, one could make his death look like a hate crime. You didn’t have to bother getting rid of the body.
An hour later they were all back at headquarters. The Brit had actually bought the second car and parked it behind the building. He was a few minutes late because of it. At least he brought some fresh bread and bottled tea for the meeting.
“In two days we get a phone call to confirm we are ready to extract,” he started the meeting. “A rubber duck will meet us along the coast just north of Mangalore. They will take myself and the three members to a sub that will take us out to international waters.”
“How did you get a sub? How did you do this without leaving town?” inquired the suit.
“Received a phone call from some people needing a favor. Told them I needed a favor before I could give them a favor.”
“What favor do they need?” inquired Hans. He knew, he just wanted to hear it.
“I need you to check my Hotmail account for the next few days, Hans. We will be getting one or more files of cells and or cell members to be rounded up in the United States. Flights in and out will be taken care of. We just need to provide boots on the ground and local transportation.”
“These people who need the favor, they don’t want any information about where the suspects end up?”
“No. They just want to know what they know and be done with them. They have more evidence than they need for conviction, but due process would be strategically inconvenient.”
“Meaning it came from an illegal covert OP,” said the suit.
“All covert Ops are illegal somewhere. These guys own big planes, have use of airports and landing strips around the world. They say getting us from America to Germany is nothing. We just have to perform the nab and get them to the airport or landing strip.”
“Why do they want us?” asked the suit.
“In case it goes bad,” Hans said without looking up. “If there is an explosion, firefight, or film on the news we will be left hanging out to dry. They can’t protect our people once the media gets some footage of them. With us being the ones to get caught, they can say it was done by foreign nationals without the knowledge or consent of the government.”
“One thing is certain. Neither Hans nor I should be in the United States handling this. At least not in the field. Film at eleven of a Brit will make it difficult for them to deny.”
“Yes,” said the man in the suit, “If there are white guys involved, the press won’t buy the cover story. It needs to be Arabs and/or Chinese doing the actual roundup, probably just Pakistanis. If one of them is nabbed, my government can play it up saying they were rooting out terrorists wherever they found them, which is what they had publicly pledged to do.”
“Either way, film at eleven will eventually be a major problem,” said Hans.
The suit concurred. “I am heading back in the morning to arrange for the Huey. I will see what we have left for a roundup team that can be sent. Find out how much coordination and technical support they are going to provide when the email comes in.”
“Speaking of the Huey,” Hans interrupted.
“Don’t tell me you already have one!” “No! I wanted to tell you that there will be a care package at Pakistani headquarters first thing in the morning. The guy who was there a little while ago said he would sign for it and not open it.” “Indian currency won’t do me any good.” “Euros.”
“If you send the team on commercial flights, they can exchange their euros for American dollars at the airport.”
“Not an entire Twinkie.”
“True, but there are currency exchanges and they could take turns coming to Germany escorting prisoners. The Americans won’t be able to know about the rest of the operation, so best to have our own people on the plane to handle the loading of the vans.”
“OK,” said the Brit. “I’ve relayed my information. I’m going to take the rest of these bottles and spend the next two days in my hotel room. I will put my phone on a charger there. Simply let me know what to say before they call back.”
With that, the meeting was over. He handed the car keys to the suit, grabbed the remaining five beers and walked out the door. The suit fired up the car and drove back to the hotel beating the Brit by a long while. He parked where he could find parking, but it was getting late and people were bedding down in the street. Pakistan may be poor, thought the suit, but it doesn’t allow this kind of squalor.
Back in the three-man team apartment, the one watching the external surveillance cameras saw something he had never seen before. Someone actually knocking on the trainer’s door. He quickly woke the others since the man was carrying a small bag. Once they cleared their eyes, he played those few seconds back for them. The other two gathered a bag and a club along with the car keys and went to wait for the man in the dark. If he was just a courier, he would be coming out soon and never be seen again.
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