Sorry for the delay.
Connery raised his arm and checked his watch. They should have arrived by now. “They are probably just being careful, or have a tail.” Connery looked to his right where Cooper was standing near him, eyes focused on the cars going in and out of the airport car park. How can she tell what I’m thinking? Then again, she always had been able to read him like a book ever since they first met four years ago. A smile slowly spread across his face as he recalled the feisty, self-confident ginger-haired girl with big dreams and ambitions. She was just starting out in her career as an ASIS agent. He thought about how easy it was to talk to her and how they could talk for hours on end.
He grunted in reply to her comment. He saw out of the corner of his eye her pull her grey button-up coat closer to her body and her left hand reach up and tuck some strands of hair behind her ear, which the breeze swiftly dislodged. He glanced down at his watch. “Hey,” Cooper said. He looked at her curiously and saw that she was finally looking at him. “They’ll be here.”
“I know,” he replied. It came out more forceful then intended. “Sorry,” he apologised, his voice softer. She nodded in acknowledgement of the apology. “So, Lincoln and Smith will visit Mrs Flaherty; Washington will visit the bank, and you and I will go visit Dr Mueller at the Leibniz Gemeinschaft institute.” He carefully avoided her gaze.
“What’s this Leibniz Gemeinschaft institute and Dr Mueller have to do with this mission?” Cooper asked, confusion quite evident in her tone.
“Do you know what this institute researches and studies?” Connery asked.
Cooper frowned as she searched her memory. He knew that she was interested in the same topics that the institute studied. Or at least, had an interest. He did not know whether or not she still did or not. “Engineering, ecology, economics, natural science, social sciences, humanities, and spatial science,” she recited after thinking. There was a pause. “Why?”
“There was a brief mention of the institute and a Dr Mueller in the report,” he informed her, his voice low so that only she could hear what he was saying. “Apparently, fsutopia was in contact with this Dr Mueller. Probably to do with what fsutopia was investigating. So you and I are going to go there and have a talk with this Mueller to see if we have any leads there.”
Understanding dawned in her eyes. “You weren’t forthcoming earlier because you have suspicions about some of the others?”
“How did you know?”
“Because I do as well.” She was silent and Connery could tell her gears were turning inside her head. “Has Grandfather checked on him yet?”
Connery shrugged. “I have no idea.”
Before anymore could be said, Lincoln and Washington came around the corner and over to them. “Any sign of Smith?” Connery enquired.
“No,” they said in unison. Where is she?
Ramirez kept his eyes on Yvette Smith as she walked through the crowds. He made sure he kept a distance of three people between him and Smith. Once Smith led him to the other four, he would report to get assistance. He saw her turn to her right, and continue walking. He bent down and pretended to be tying his shoe laces while watching his target out of the corner of his eye. She walked over to a door that said ‘STAFF ONLY’. There was a guard standing next to the door. What’s she doing?
He saw her walk over to the guard, pull something out of her jacket and show it to the guard. Ramirez frowned in confusion as the guard straightened to attention. Smith said something to him. Ramirez strained to hear what was being said, but was not able to due to all the noise. The guard nodded and walked away, saying something over his shoulder at her. Ramirez caught the words “-go get your coffee” before the guard left to find a coffee machine. Smith just leaned casually against the door as she lit a cigarette. Putting the lighter away, she opened the door and disappeared inside, shutting the door behind her.
How could she have gone in there? What is she up to?
Quickly checking to make sure the guard was not coming back, Ramirez went over and opened the door, stepping inside. Shutting the door behind him, he looked around. There was conveyor belts filled with suitcases and other equipment. Smith was nowhere to be seen. Ramirez slowly crept forward, hiding behind the equipment.
He saw a flash of movement to his left. He ducked down. A person stepped out from behind a conveyor belt. It was the security guard from out the front. Squashing a sudden flash of fear, he turned to leave.
“Where have you been?” Cooper said as Smith walked over. Smith looked at her and raised an eyebrow.
“Someone was following me. I had to get a security guard to help me by using one of my many ID cards,” Smith explained. “Taken care of now. So, what’s the plan?”
“You and Lincoln will visit Mrs Flaherty and find out as much as you can from her,” Connery explained. “Washington will go and visit the bank.”
“And you and Ms. Cooper?” Lincoln enquired. Cooper saw Connery glance over at her. They were not going to tell anyone where they were going.
“We are going to check on our temporary residence here,” Connery said. “Let’s go.”
He groaned as he came to. Rubbing his eyes, Ramirez sat up. Everything spun around him and he shut his eyes, taking deep breaths to calm his stomach. His neck throbbed in pain. He pulled a tranquilizer dart out of his neck where he had been “shot”. Good girl. Standing up, he headed for a back door. Slipping out into the luggage loading area, he stuck to the shadows as he tried to find a way out of the airport. Pulling out his phone, he quickly began typing a message.
Need help locating the package.
A few seconds later, his phone pinged! as a reply arrived.
Have found all the packages. Repeat: all the packages. Tracking. Sending directions.
His phone beeped again. He looked at the screen. It showed a map of Berlin and showed three little bleeps moving around the city with the letter ‘A’ on one, ‘B’ on another, and ‘C’ on the third one. He sent a reply.
I’ll follow ‘A’. Will need assistance. Send others to follow the other two. Deal with the packages once they are found.
There was a slight pause before a reply arrived.
A little while later…
Dr Hermann Mueller adjusted the microscope as he studied the organism. He leaned back, pinching his nose, as was a habit of his when he was stressed. There was a knock at his office door. “Reinkommen,” he said, welcome for the distraction. Come in. His assistant and apprentice Finn Becker poked his head in the room. “Doktor Mueller? Einige Leute sind hier, um dich zu sehen,” Becker reported. Doctor Mueller? Some people are here to see you.
“Schick sie rein! Sckick sie rein!” Dr Mueller said, failing to conceal his eagerness. Send them in! Send them in! At least I don’t have to study archaea anymore. Becker disappeared and returned a minute or two later with a man and a woman. Becker quickly left the room, shutting the door behind him. The man was muscular, tall, and had dark handsome looks. He also had a commanding presence about him. The woman had blonde hair, blue eyes, wore spectacles and was dressed in high-heels and a business suit. He noted that the man wore a business suit as well and carried an important looking suitcase. They must be important. And dealing with important people meant he could avoid studying archaea a little longer.
He stood up and shook their hands. “Doktor Mueller,” the man said with a Swedish accent. “Es ist mir eine Ehre, Sie kennenzulernen. Mein Name ist William Johansson. Das ist mein Assistent Alice Nilsson. Wir sind hier, um mit Ihnen über ein wichtiges Thema zu sprechen.” It is an honour to meet you. My name is William Johansson. This is my assistant Alice Nilsson. We are here to talk to you about an important matter.
“You are Swedish, yes?” When they both nodded, he continued. “Very well, Herr Johansson und Fraulein Nilsson. What do you want to talk about?”
Ramirez watched through the car window as Yvette Smith and a man entered the unit of apartments where that meddlesome agent had resided. “They have entered the apartment block, sir,” he said into his comwatch.
“Eliminate them and any witnesses,” Kubica ordered.
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