G’day! The Inside Job is a new story that I’ve been working on. Hope you enjoy it. I have decided that at the start of a new story, I will include the link(s) to my previous work(s) on my blog. The first three is the “Zion” trilogy. It is a science-fiction, action-adventure, dystopian with some romance in it. Here’s the links:
Next is a short comedy skit I wrote. It involves a mother trying to keep the kids from ruining the house before her husband comes home from the army. Here’s the link:
And here is another short story I wrote for a writing challenge:
By the way, with this story and future novels and novellas, I am going to try and leave little “easter eggs” to each other. This story will just include little “easter eggs” for the “Zion” trilogy. Future stories will include easter eggs to the previous stories. Basically, it’s like what they do with the Marvel movies. But I won’t be doing that with my short stories, a.k.a. Flash Fiction. They are all going to be in their own separate universes. Now, on with The Inside Job!
Outskirts of Adelaide, South Australia
With a groan, Maria Cooper threw the Australian Geographic magazine onto her desk. She pressed her knuckles into her forehead. Come on, call already! I’m dying here, Cooper silently complained. She pushed her swivel chair back, stood up and started to pace. Cooper did not know what to do. She had returned home two months ago after an assignment. This was the longest that she had ever stayed at her house at one time after she had completed a job. It was strange staying at home. Cooper was not one to stay still for long. She was itching to have another job.
Cooper practically dove for the phone and picked it up. She put it to her ear. “Hello?”
“Ms. Cooper,” the computerised voice said with a monotonous tone, “we have an assignment.”
Cooper listened carefully to the instructions given, and the put the phone back down on its cradle. She exited the office and shut the door. Her office was at the top of the stairs. Cooper went down the stairs and turned a left at the bottom and opened a door and entered her bedroom. She lived in her parents two-story house, which Cooper had inherited. Her room was big and spacious. The ceiling was painted green and a chandelier hung from the ceiling. The walls and doors were made of solid oak and paintings of her and her family hung on the walls. She had a queen-sized four-poster bed with curtains that she could draw all the way around it. The floor was made entirely of black and white marble. There was potted plants and flowers lining the walls. She paused and briefly looked at a photo of her parents holding her as a baby. She wondered for the thousandth time if they hadn’t been just a little bit extravagant with their house. But her parents were Italian immigrants to Australia and her mother was the daughter of the Italian Prime Minister, so Cooper figured that they had decorated the house that way to remind themselves of home.
Cooper quickly packed her bags, taking only the necessary things. She opened a drawer and pulled out her gun. It was a SIG Sauer P226. She stashed it under her clothes in her suitcase and her two spare changes of shoes. She shut the drawer and turned to the mirror. She picked up her hairbrush and began quickly brushing her hair while giving herself a once-over. Cooper was dressed in a white long-sleeved blouse and Kickflare high ankle jeans with black high-heeled boots. She paused in her brushing as she looked at her face. Amber eyes set in a pale freckle-face peered back at her. Her ginger hair spooled across her shoulders as she let go of it and put the hairbrush down. Her hair was naturally wavy. She had inherited her eyes, freckles, and wavy hair from her father while her ginger hair came from no-one. No-one in her family had had ginger hair before – on either side. She absentmindedly touched her emerald necklace that hung around her neck, a gift from her mother for her fifteenth birthday eight years ago. She focused on the task at hand and made sure her earrings were in place and slipped on a pair of dark sunglasses before picking up her suitcase and heading for the front door.
Two days later
Hotel Belvédère du Rayon Vert, Cerbère, France
James Connery checked his watch. Two minutes more and then he would enter the Hotel Belvédère du Rayon Vert. The hotel had been built between 1928 and 1932. It was shaped like a ship. According to his dossier about the hotel, it featured a tennis court, ballrooms, theater and restaurant on its roof, and was situated by the French Mediterranean and railway tracks. Sadly, it was abandoned in 1983, which was funnily enough, the year he was born. It was declared a protected site in 1987, according to the French Ministry of Culture. At the moment it was undergoing repairs to keep it looking brand-new.
Connery was dressed in a light black hoodie, black trousers, and black boots. He looked at his watch. It was time. He walked over the railway tracks and entered the hotel. He stood there for a few seconds, admiring the interior. White polished walls, staircases, intricate inside. Quite nice, actually. It was dark in the room he was in. The room was bathed in shadows. He nearly jumped from surprise when one of the shadows detached itself and came over to him. “Hello, James,” the man said as he peeled back his hood. At least, that was what Connery thought he had said.
“What?” Connery whispered, though he knew who it was. “You’re not speaking bloody English.”
“Drop that shtick,” Washington said, a warning tilt in his voice.
Connery rolled his eyes. Washington might be a good friend, but sometimes terribly hard to understand with his Aussie accent. Connery knew he should not have made that quip, but he could not resist. “Okay, okay. Are the others here?”
Washington nodded just as two other figures dressed in black stepped out of the shadows. They peeled back their hoods. One was a female in her mid-twenties and one was a man in his thirties. The woman had jet black hair that was in a single braid that was draped over her right shoulder. She had olive skin, green eyes, and a piercing gaze. She was tall and slender. The man had light brown hair, white skin, and grey eyes and was about a head taller than the woman. They were both dressed in identical black hoodies and trousers. The woman spoke first. “I’m Yvette Smith. FBI.” Connery noted that she had a slight European accent.
“Scott Lincoln. CIA,” the man introduced himself.
“Reynard Washington, ASIO,” Washington introduced himself.
“James Connery. MI.5,” Connery introduced himself. “Have you done a sweep throughout the building?”
“Yes,” Lincoln confirmed. “Everything is secure.”
“Good. Cooper will be arriving here at 2223 hours,” Washington said. “Our orders are to meet in the theatre.” Without a word, they all climbed up the stairs. They stepped off the stairs and walked down the aisle. Smith turned on her torch and the beam danced as it kept crossing from door to door. Connery noticed Smith’s beam had stopped infront of a door and then he realised why. It was the door to the theatre – he remembered the blueprint he had studied of the place. He and Lincoln started heading for the door, but he was stopped when he felt a hand grab his shoulder. He looked behind him and saw that Smith had grabbed him. He then noticed Washington had also grabbed Lincoln. He sent a quizzical look at Smith. Her green eyes were hard and flickered towards the door.
Connery turned his head to look at the door. At first, he did not notice anything. Then he did. The door was slightly ajar. Which was odd, as according to the dossier which had been meticulously researched, all the doors were shut and locked each night, which had been an hour ago after the workers had finished repairs for the day.
They crept over to the wall which the door was in and pressed themselves against it, guns raised. Connery watched as Lincoln peered into the room.
Lincoln peeked through the gap between the door and the doorway. Moonlight was streaming into the room. Rows of plastic foldable chairs all folded up and leaning against the walls. The stage was sitting there half bathed in moonlight half in shadows, empty and silent. Then amongst the shadows on the stage, Lincoln glimpsed a glint of steel for a second.
“Watch out!” warned Lincoln as he and the others flung themselves away from the door and onto the floor as bullets shot through the door and the wall right where they had been. They quickly crawled into two nearby rooms, opposite each other. Smith and Connery in one; Lincoln and Washington in the other. Lincoln saw Washington stick his head into the corridor, then quickly snap back as a spray of bullets slammed into door frame just above where his head had been.
“How many, Renard?” Lincoln asked as he quickly fired into the hallway with a silencer and then immediately ducked back inside the room. He had counted at least three people with guns.
“I thought I saw seven.”
Lincoln saw Smith aim her Glock G19 and fire a few rounds. He heard some of the people cry out and a THUD! “Two down,” Lincoln heard her mutter to herself.
Lincoln flashed a smile at Washington. “Make it five,” he quipped. Five against four. I like those odds he thought as he fired a few more rounds at the people shooting at them. He heard more people fall to the ground.
After a few more minutes, Washington signalled to the others to stop firing. They listened and heard nothing. They slowly and cautiously stepped out of the rooms and found their opponents lying on the floor, with blood splattered around on the floor. Bullet holes decorated the walls. Someone’s gonna’ have to redecorate.
Connery watched as Smith turned one of the corpses over and then frown. He followed her gaze and saw there was a swastika on the man’s right sleeve. “Nazi sympathisers,” she stated, standing up.
Connery frowned. “I’ll go and make sure the room is safe. If it is, you three,” and he pointed at Smith, Lincoln, and Washington, “will carry the bodies into the room so that I can check for any ID.”
They all nodded and he entered the room, gun at the ready. He conducted a quick search of the room and determined that there was no-one else hiding in the room. What are Nazi sympathizers doing here in hiding and why were they trying to kill us? Mind in a turmoil, he let the others know it was safe. He helped the others carry the bodies into the room as working helped him think. After they placed the bodies on the floor, Connery knelt down and rummaged through their pockets. He collected all the things he found and placed them in a pile on the floor. He sat down on his haunches and stared at the pile.
Wallets, passports, some guns and daggers, and a sealed envelope with the words “TOP SECRET” printed on it – nothing else. He pocketed the instructions, intending to read it later. Washington sat down on the edge of the stage, Lincoln crouched down next to Connery while Smith casually leaned against the wall. Connery quietly studied her. Her posture was casual and seemingly relaxed, and she had put her gun back in her holster, though he noted that her hand was very subtly near her gun. He also noted that her feet were poised for flight, though at the same time she managed to make it look like a casual and relaxed position. He straightened up. Lincoln went to stand up, but he motioned for him to remain seated. “You were supposed to make sure that everything was secure,” Connery stated coldly.
“We did,” Lincoln said, this time rising to his feet.
Connery shook his head. “You can’t have. Or not very well. You seemed to have missed the people in here,” and he spread his arms out to indicate the whole theatre. He stared at Lincoln, though he watched Smith out of the corner of his eye. He noticed anger in Lincoln’s eyes and that his nostrils flared as he caught the insinuation.
“We did not know that they were there,” Lincoln stated tersely.
He saw Smith push herself off of the wall and turned his head to look at her. She took two steps forward, her face unreadable, though he noticed that her lips were pressed together tightly. “We did a thorough search of the place after the place was shut down for the night. No-one was here except us.” She then pointed a finger at Connery. “I don’t know how those people got there or why, but you better watch it.”
They stared at each other for a few seconds before Smith went over and sat down next to Washington. Connery simply turned to Lincoln, whom Connery could tell his pride was still wounded. Connery did not care at the moment. “Did you check this room for bugging devices before we all met downstairs?” Lincoln nodded. “Do it again.” He then turned and went over to one of the windows and folded his arms across his chest. We can’t be too careful right now.
Washington rested his chin in his hand. He quietly watched Connery, who was still staring out the window and looked like he was deep in thought. Did we actually miss something? He thought over Connery’s earlier implication and he discreetly glanced at Smith, who was still seated next to him, and then at Lincoln, who had checked the room for bugging devices and as none turned up, he had then checked the room again for any bombs planted. Since there was none, Lincoln was now pacing the room. Could there be a leak? “So,” he said tentatively, “what’s this meeting all about?”
“Once Cooper arrives, we are supposed to call our supervisors and then they will explain what this is all about,” Lincoln replied. Washington grunted in reply.
He then heard footsteps climbing up the stairs. Everybody glanced at each other. Connery quietly stepped away from the window and they all pulled out their guns and aimed them at the doorway. Washington clenched his teeth and focused on the door as the footsteps grew louder. His finger hovered over the trigger. A shadow appeared in the doorway and someone stepped into the room. Washington forgot to lower the gun.
“Well,” Maria Cooper said dryly, “this is a fine welcome.”
Washington tuned out as Smith and Lincoln explained what had happened to Cooper. He watched as Connery simply turned and continued staring out the window. What’s he staring at? He opened his mouth to ask, but before he could, Connery turned and ran away from the window, throwing himself to the ground.
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