The darkened room was silent except for the slow tick tock of the antique clock on the wall and the clink of ice in a glass. Laurent sat facing the floor to ceiling windows at the rear of his desk. The hands of the clock clicked to 4 and the small feathered bird popped from his little door.
The stars shone in the early morning sky. There would not be a sunrise for several hours. The small lamp on his desk provided what little light available in the room. The evening that had started with so much promise had ended in disaster. Laurent sighed as he took a slug from his glass of rather cheap scotch. This was one of his few vices. His guests from the party would be shocked to see him drinking such. Laurent appeared to his guests as the opitime of the accomplished gentlemen. The perfect manners, the perfect host, all the act he needed to accomplish his goals. He would retreat to this room with this scotch in the dark times of his life and right now his life was pretty dark. The drink would remind him of the happier days of school. He and his dining club friends from his Ivy League school. The songs and bawdy ballads sung long into the night. Now the drink did little to settle his nerves and gave him a good case of heartburn. His prescription of Nexium sat in the cabinet in his bathroom. It would not help him much tonight. Right now he didn't care, so what if he had a little heartburn, that was the least of his worries.
The evening had started out so grand. All the guests arriving dressed in their best. The guest list a who's who in society. Several stars of the stage and screen mingled with some of the top political and business leaders of the European Union and the United States. The reception line had moved smoothly as he greeted his guests. Two faces now were burned into his memory. They were the faces of Lord John Westmoreland and the Lady Catherine. His security men were just starting to go over the invitation they had presented trying to figure out how it had been made. A preliminary report lay on his desk. His own suspicions had been betrayed by his own demeanor. The couple were so cultured and refined, and so young. Some of the other guests had marveled at the young English Lord and his lady. They danced with a grace few couples could ever obtain. It was as if they worked and moved as one mind. They had perfect manners and appeared to be just who the claimed to be. Who would have believed they were agents of sometype?
The two had defeated the best security he could buy. One guard was in the infirmary, unconscious and sporting a crushed cheekbone. He had yet to regain consciousness. The medical staff suspected some type of drug but nothing could be located in his blood chemistry. Of course he was one of the lucky ones. The guard they had removed from his office had been killed quickly and effectively. His spinal cord had been snapped like a twig. The man had been one of his best operatives, a veteran of several operations. A third house guard lay drugged. There were causalities among the outside guards also. There were three dead, another four injured. A total for the evening, four dead, two crippled, four more injured. However the two did not get away unscathed; a blood trail had been found. Tests were already being done. If DNA was on file with any law enforcement data base they would know the identity of the agents. Fingerprints had been lifted and would be run through the various databanks in the world.
Laurent turned for a moment to glance at phone. He had made a call earlier to the Directeur Central de la Police Judiciaire, head of the Major Investigative Wing of the French National Police The man owed Laurent for his position and was very inclined to give what ever assistance was needed. That included making sure no major investigation would be made into what had occurred that evening. A cover up was nigh impossible. You can't keep several stars of the stage and screen as well as several well heeled politians and business persons cooped up in the ballroom when gunfire could be clearly heard outside. When they started to leave, Laurent could not stop them. Having the police keep them there would have lead to more questions that he did not want asked much less willing to answer. The morning would bring more questions of which he had no answers. There were already news reports of a man with bloody clothing being seen on the metro. A man of the same desription was seen later being escorted by police through the airport and onto a private plane. The plane used got priority clearance to take off and leave French airspace. It would not take long for the shooting at the estate to be tied to the bloody man and his escape Laurent had already checked his computer. It was toast. All the information that he had on it was irretrievable. If someone had the time to destroy the harddisk then they had time to copy what they needed. Laurent dictated to all his staff to backup all of their system. However, due to the information on his computer he never backed it up. Backup's would have caused security problems for the information that he had.
The door to his study opened and someone quietly enters the room. Laurent turns to the side not looking at the person interrupting his thoughts.
"I said I did not want to be disturbed. Be sure to lock the door as you leave."
The intruder walked up to Laurent's desk. Laurent spun around, ready to fire or kill the intruder depended on that person's worth at the time. Even in the dim light of the study Laurent could see the person stood at least 6-6 and was broad shouldered. His suit was from Jermyn Street, from one of the finest British masters. The dark pinstripe was barely visible in the dim light. His pants were creased, his tie in a perfect Windsor knot.
"What are you doing here? Don't you have better things to be doing than bothering me? Why don't you go pull the wings off some butterflies or whatever you do to get your thrills? Just leave me alone."
The man continued to stare down a Laurent. Laurent's stomach gurgled some more. The heat of his heartburn rose a little further. A slight twinge in the area of his heart told him that he would need to call his cardiologist in the morning. If he saw the morning.
The newcomer took a couple more steps toward the desk. Laurent instinctively rolled his chair back a few inches. The man placed a black bag on Laurent's desk and opened it. He pulled a laptop computer from the bag and took a moment to attach a wireless communication card and a small webcamera. He activated the computer, turned it so the screen faced Laurent and then stepped back,
The screen slowly come to life, revealing a maroon cresent facing the right. A status bar crosses the screen, then the screen changes to a figure sitting behind a desk with his chest and face disappearing into a shadow.
"Greetings Mr Laurent. My associate here had some disturbing news for me about tonight's activities. Would you care to elaborate?"
Laurent's eyes switched to the hulking figure in front of him then returned to the webcamera.
"Mr. Brotherson, please allow me to explain."
The figure's hands steepled in thought.
"Yes, Mr Laurent. Please explain how you failed to accomplish such a simple job as obtaining the files from the embassy that I desired. We discussed that you could obtain other files of interest in order to cover your true intentions and but apparently your greed clouded your judgment and you obtained more files than necessary. That has brought your activities the attention I did not desire.."
Laurent wiped his hands on his pants to remove the sweat sheen. He could feel Big Daddy's eyes boring into him. "Mr. Brotherson, I obtained the file from the British Geological Service. But I had to obtain some more sensitive material to hide the fact that the file had been taken. I…I…needed the extra cash to cover the cost of the operation. Plus, I made some bad investments and needed the money to cover what I lost."
Brotherson's voice tightened.
"I have no concern about your problems. I am concerned that your activities brought the undesired attention of certain people. Now explain what happened."
Laurent swallowed as he stared at the screen.
"The ball was held as planned. Somehow a pair of agents were able to defeat my security and entered the villa as guests. Sometime after the ball started they left the party and entered the upper floors. A device was found that gave an accomplice access to all of the security systems. One guard was found in the library; whatever drug was used on him caused a short team memory loss. He also suffered a severe fracture of his face. Another guard was found unconscious in the hall. He is still unconscious and we have no idea when he will wake up. We assume the first dead guard surprised the agents as they were destroying my files. The others were killed in the gunfight that occurred later. Whoever they were, they defeated my best security men. However they did not get away unscathed. The man apparently was hit. A blood trail was found in the woods. Samples have been sent to my labs and we hope to have a DNA profile soon."
The shadowed figure nodded.
"You said two agents, one being a man. May I deduce that the other was a woman? What were the names that they used and what are their descriptions?"
Laurent picked up a paper.
"It was a young couple approximately 20-25 years old. They used fake identities. The man was 5-11 approximately 180 lbs, blonde hair, brown eyes. The woman was 5-5, 120 lbs, red hair, green eyes."
Brotherson sighed as if in thought.
"Very well, Mr. Laurent, you have been a very useful employee. However I am very dismayed at your failure to provide the services that were your duty."
Laurent slowly stood and started to take a few steps backwards as Brotherson's thug started around the desk toward him.
"Mr. Brotherson...Please I have already made the necessary contacts to locate those responsible."
Laurent tripped and fell backwards to the floor. Brotherson's thug stood over him and reached into his coat. Laurent screamed and covered his face.
There was total silence in the room. Laurent uncovered his face to see Brotherson's thug standing over him presenting him a white envelope. Laurent took the envelope and looked at it.
Brotherson's voice came over the speakers.
"The hardship of your home being invaded and the gunfire have unsettled you. You are going to the Highdelmere Clinic in the Alps for two weeks to recuperate."
Laurent sighed as he laid his head back. He sat up and noticed that Brotherson's thug was extending his hand. Laurent smiled and took it to pull himself up. When he regained his feet his eyes popped open in surprise. Jerking his hand away, he stared at the small prick the ring had given him. His mouth flapped open and shut a number of times then he collapsed to the floor. The anomyous thug bent down, retrieved the envelope and placed it back in his coat. He turned and stood silently in front of the computer.
"Well done my friend. However, we must thank development. It took him 3 seconds to die. The venom of the Blue Poison Arrow Frog is the best yet. Now, attach my system to his computer."
The hulking man pulled a cord from the bag and made a connection between the two computers. The screen of the laptop began to flicker.
"Hmmm, apparently someone did a very good job on the hard drive. Now let's access the hidden drive we installed in his system. It would have recorded video of whoever was sitting at the computer."
The screen began to flicker again for a few seconds till it froze.
"My, my what a lovely face. I wonder if her temper is as fiery as her hair."
The printer in Laurent's office came to life as the brute stepped over to it. He picked up the paper and stared at the picture.
"My friend, your job now is to identify that pretty face. It will be such a shame to have to burn it off."
Brotherson's thug turned and placed the photo on the desk as he disconnected the computers and started to pack up the equipment. A beam of light illuminated the picture as it lay on the desk. Kim's face stared in concentration into the picture, a stray lock of red hair hanging down into her face.
"Oh, and one last thing," came Brotherson's voice from the laptop. "Pick me up one of those wonderful chocolate bars, the one with nougat in it."
A/N: First, I apologize to anyone who gets this twice but my original A/N didn't make it the first time around.
Second, most of the credit for this chapter goes to Captainkodak1. Without him, this story would still be dead. I had tried several times over the past two years to get this story going again, but could never get Ch 11 off the ground. Without his invaluable help, this would still be in limbo.
Having said that, from here on out, the story will be a collaboration between myself and the captain and all new chapters will be posted under the name GJAgents. This chapter will be reposted on Tuesday under that name (fanfiction has a 3 day wait for new accounts to post).
Once again, my sincere thanks to the captain for making this happen.
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