Mommy Dearest

Chapter 54
Safe as Houses

Harm knew it was irrational given the circumstances, but he felt really uncomfortable watching the pregnancy suited and Navy uniformed Agent Jackson climb out of Jen's battered old Escort and walk the few yards to the front door before letting herself in with Jen's key. Although Harm had given his grudging consent to the charade, and he knew it was all being done to protect Jen, Loren and Sasha he couldn't help but feel it a violation that some other woman could just walk into his and Jen's home. Even Loren usually gave a precautionary tap on the door, before opening it slightly and making her presence known before she entered the house. And Loren was the nearest thing he and Jen had for family this side of Belleville.

Nevertheless he forced himself to rise in greeting to his unwanted guest. "Good evening Agent Jackson."

"Commander," she returned coolly, and gave him a measuring look. "Why do I get the feeling that I'm not exactly welcome?"

Harm blinked in surprise, whatever this FBI Agent wasn't, she was certainly forthright, "That's probably because you're not!" he responded, "But your presence here is a necessary evil, and I will try to put my personal feelings on hold and develop a professional working relationship with you, and with the rest of your team, although you should probably be aware that I've not always been on the best of terms with the FBI."

"Yeah, I've read your file," the agent said, "Do you mind if I sit?"

"Of course not, after all, mi casa es su casa!" he replied with bitter irony.

Jackson sat, "Look, Commander, I'm not exactly new at this sort of job, which is why I was tasked with it, and that previous experience has, believe it or not given me some sort of insight into the way you feel. You resent the fact that your wife is not here, and that to the observer I am her. You don't particularly like that there is another woman in your home without your wife being present. And you're probably worried sick about her safety, and the safety of your... sister and her baby. These are fairly common feelings for someone in your position, but if we are to establish a professional working relationship," she turned his own words against him, "then you are going to have to get over them, so try not - do !" she ended with an attempt at a joke

"Now, we need to maintain some sort of normal domestic routine; I strongly suspect that your wife doesn't spend all her waking hours in uniform, so if you could show me somewhere I could get changed?"

"Changed into what? I didn't see any baggage with you."

"No, it's in a sea-bag in the trunk of your wife's car." She saw his raised eyebrows and said, "What? You don't expect me to believe that you're the kind of man that would let his pregnant wife carry her own bags!"

Harm felt his face creasing into a reluctant grin, "No... You're right, I wouldn't. Alright, I'll go get it. You'd best use the second bedroom, that's upstairs and the second door on the left. It has its own shower room, so you'll have all the privacy you need. And if we're going to play house, then while you're changing, I'll start dinner."

Jackson stopped and raised her eyes to his, "Do you normally do the cooking?" she asked in mild surprise.

"On any five days out of the seven, yeah, why?"

"As long as it's routine. So what does your wife do while you're cooking?"

"Well sometimes she tries to steal bits of the raw ingredients, sometimes she just sits and watches me, or just takes a rest, or if Loren visits, which she does three or four times a week, then they'll sit in the lounge with Sasha and talk about whatever women talk about."

"That's a bit sexist, Commander!" Jackson reproved him

"No, it's not!" Harm denied, "I don't have a clue what they talk about, but I can hear their voices, and if I walk into the lounge they stop talking look at me and then half the time they burst into a giggle-fit!"

"OK, I'll let you slide on that!" Jackson smiled, and then became serious again, "You say it isn't unusual for Lieutenant Rabb to visit with you. How does that happen, does she just walk in, or does she call, or..."

"Normally she walks up to the kitchen door, knocks on it, sticks her head in, calls out to let us know she's here and waits for us to call her in."

Jackson nodded, "Then that's what will happen this evening. Having two agents in the house with you gives us better odds. Which reminds me, do you have a weapon?"

"Yeah, it's in the lock box in my study."

"What is it, and do you know how to use it?"

"Browning Hi-Power, with about one hundred rounds, and yeah, if push comes to shove this won't be the first gun battle I've been in!"

"I thought you were a lawyer?"

"I am, but I'm also a Naval Aviator, a combat veteran and a Naval Officer."

"OK, but try not to shoot any of us, alright?"

"If any of you turn out to be like Agents Novak or Kubrick then it'll be hard resisting temptation, otherwise I'll do my best to aim at the bad guys!"

Jackson stopped again as she reached the foot of the stairs and grinned again, "Well, like I said, we have your file, and we've made sure that neither Novak nor Kubrick are on this team! I'll give Agent Mitchell a call, so you can expect to hear her at the kitchen door in a few minutes!"

By the time Agent Jackson had changed into a pair of maternity slacks and a smock, Harm had started cooking dinner for three, watched by the blonde Agent Mitchell, who had changed out of Loren's uniform and was now wearing a cotton blouse in Loren's favourite pale blue and a black, knee length skirt.

"Hey, you two, what you got cooking? Smells real good!" Jackson enthused.

"Stir fried vegetables, with plain, steamed rice," Harm told her. "The rice is just about done, and as soon as it is, I'll be ready to serve the stir fry. If one of you wants to make yourself useful, there are plates in that cabinet, there," he indicated with his chin, "silverware in that drawer, and there's a selection of soft drinks in the 'fridge."

The two agents bustled about for a couple of minutes, swiftly setting three places at the breakfast bar and in response to Harm's quizzical look, Mitchell shrugged, "Hey we're here almost on sufferance, so we're not going to presume on your family space. You're not required to feed us, but we're very grateful that you are. Now, I'm going to presume that you have a cooks don't wash up rule, so we'll do that as some sort of payment for the dinner."

"What do you and... Jennifer, isn't it? What do you do in the evenings before you hit the hay?" Jackson asked.

"Well, we sit and talk, or we sometimes play cards or a word game, maybe watch a movie on DVD, then there's uniforms to prepare for the morning...I take it you'll be borrowing Lieutenant Rabb's uniforms?" he asked Mitchell, "and you'll be borrowing Jen's?" he looked at Jackson.

She grimaced, "Yeah, and I can tell that's something else you're not too happy about!"

"No, I'm not," Harm answered mildly enough, as he started dishing up the food, "but I'm trying to remember that it's all helping to protect two women and a baby who are very dear to me!"

Mitchell nodded, "We do try to keep that in mind too, so we will try and keep our intrusion into your life to a minimum, but there is inevitably going to be some impact!"

Harm nodded again, as he took his seat, "Now in the morning the baby sitter will arrive at zero seven thirty, to take over the care of Sasha - Lieutenant Rabb's daughter - from what I understand, she will be fully briefed as to what's going on and will be offered the chance to back out, in which case she will be replaced by another agent. But in any case there will be an agent in place in the ranch house at all times. Do I have that correctly?"

The two agents exchanged glances, "Well, she won't be fully briefed, just apprised of some slight degree of danger, but otherwise, yeah, you've got it down pretty well pat," Mitchell answered.

Harm nodded, "OK, jut so long as she is aware. Now that we're in summer, the uniform of the day is whites, which, you will discover are a bi... are hell to keep clean. So we've developed the habit of taking one set each to the cleaner's each day. Up until today, we have used two cars; Jen's duty station is at the Pentagon, while mine and Loren's is at Falls Church. Using the pretext of Jen being TAD back to JAG, we will only be using the Lexus tomorrow, and for the foreseeable future. It's not armoured, but it is pretty well heavy enough to bulldoze anything smaller out of the way if need be. Got that?"

"Yeah, we got it," Mitchell answered, while Jackson nodded her head in agreement.

"OK, so we need to be ready to roll by just after zero seven thirty in the morning. Usual practice is for Loren to hand off Sasha to the sitter, then come straight up the path across the yard to the kitchen and then we head straight out." He looked at the two FBI women, "Anything, from either of you?"

"Yeah," Jackson smiled, hefting a forkful of stir-fry, "this is damn good!"

After dinner the two FBI agents settled down to play cards while Harm grew more agitated as the hands of the clock crept towards eight o'clock. Jackson and Mitchell said nothing, but exchanged meaningful glances as he paced around the room, adjusting the placement of photographs, straightening books on the shelves and eventually wearing on the nerves of the two women. At last, he abandoned any pretence at doing anything, and threw himself into a chair, muttering a "For God's sake!" as the minute hand moved past the hour.

Jackson threw her cards on to the table, "Look, Commander, I know you're anxious, but this isn't doing you any good. You need to..."

She was interrupting by shrill chirp of Harm's cell 'phone and he practically threw himself the length of the room to grab it up from the book case on which he had left it.

"Jen?"

"Yes, Harm, it's me. We're all safe and sound!"

"Oh, thank God! Where are you?"

"I don't know. Someplace safe, warm, dry and comfortable. Loren and Sasha are with me, so is Webb. He's gotten me a change of clothes and has arranged for more. There are guards here, outside, and it looks like Webb is staying with us too."

"OK, why were you late calling?"

"We've only just got here. We stayed at an apartment in somewhere in DC until it got dark enough to travel safely."

"OK. How are you..."

"Harm, I've got to go... Webb's giving me the cut-out signal. I'll call you again tomorrow. I love you."

"I love you too, Jen!"

The phone went dead in his hand and for an instant it looked as if he might throw it against the wall, but he just tossed it onto the coffee table and sat with his feet apart, his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. He wasn't sure how long he sat like that, his brain seething in turmoil, but he was eventually disturbed by Jackson, who shook his shoulder and said, "Here, drink this. It looks as if you need it!" and handed him a mug of fresh-brewed coffee.

"Thanks," he muttered, but made no real effort to drink it, just placing it on the table next to his cell 'phone.

"Look, Commander. We've done enough of these jobs to get an inkling of how you feel." Mitchell said, "And tearing yourself apart over something over which you have no control isn't going to help."

"That's the problem, or part of it," Harm confessed. "I'm not used to sitting about and waiting, it's normally me that's out there looking for the bad guys."

Mitchell and Jackson both looked a little concerned at that, but both nodded in a show of understanding, "OK, we get that. But this time the best thing you can do is to do nothing. We've got a top team trying to find Kozlovsky, and we've got another good team coming in here - they should be here any minute. That'll give us six guns, seven, including yours. So in a way I kinda hope Kozlovsky does make a try for one of us."

Harm's head shot up at that, "You'd best hope that doesn't happen. If Kozlovsky comes he'll be loaded for bear. We know he's got M4 assault rifles, and we think he may have gotten his hands on some P9s as well."

Jackson looked at Mitchell with a wry grin. "It would have been nice if Fornell had told us that!" she commented. "Or would it have been nice if your people had told Fornell?" she asked Harm pointedly.

Harm could only nod. He had no idea whether or not Fornell had been given that piece of information, but he couldn't imagine the Admiral, with his SeAL background, leaving out such a vital piece of intel.

Mitchell interrupted her colleague, "Look we can play the blame game later if it becomes necessary, in the meantime, where the hell are the night shift?"

Jackson looked troubled, "Yeah, it's only near on twenty past. They're supposed to be here by half-past. Give 'em a few minutes before we press the panic button, OK?"

"Well, technically they're supposed to be on duty at half-past, they're not giving themselves much time for a briefing!"

As if in answer to her impatience a soft knock was heard at the kitchen door. Both agents lost their casual attitude and sprung to full alertness. Laying a finger on her lips in the universal sign for silence, Jackson drew her sidearm, indicating that the others should follow suit. All three of them, weapons in hand, then made their way to the kitchen. Jackson signalled to Harm to move to one side of the door so that he could get a clear shot as the door opened if that was what was needed, while Mitchell crouched to the side and Jackson risked a glance through the glass upper half of the door.

"Skinner and Hofmann," she confirmed to Mitchell, but neither agent relaxed as she pulled the door wide open and sprung back, her weapon levelled at the doorway.

Agent Hoffman, a tall, burly individual with a nose that had been badly broken at some stage in the past looked like a linebacker for a professional football team, his hair was so close cropped it looked as if it had been recently shaved and was just growing back in. Skinner was almost as tall as his partner, but was much slimmer, and his hair, while not exactly long, curled over the collar of his suit jacket.

Greetings between the agents were brief and business-like. The only real comment made was by Hoffman to Jackson, "Guzman and Larczeny are waiting for you in the dog run."

Jackson nodded, but then turned to Harm, "Is this too early for Lieutenant Rabb to be going home after dinner?"

"Slightly earlier than usual, but she has left earlier than this on occasion."

"Good enough for me," she said with the hint of a smile. "I'll see you tomorrow morning, Commander." And with a nod of farewell to her colleagues she cut straight across the yard to Loren's home. Harm waited until he saw the lights come on in the ranch house, before he turned to face the men he had already come to think of as his baby sitters. "Gentlemen," he acknowledged them

Hoffman who seemed to be the senior agent, returned the greeting and then said, "Could you give us a quick tour, commander? It will help us decide where we'll be during the night hours."

"Sure, follow me." Harm acquiesced.

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Loren eyed the last slice of pizza, but shook her head and groaned, "Jen?"

"No... I'm full, thanks!"

Webb looked at his colleague, a tall, slender African American woman in her early thirties, whom he had introduced only as Gloria.

"I don't want it; you go ahead and finish it. It was your idea," he said somewhat bitterly.

"The problem with you, Webb, is that you don't appreciate good food!"

"The problem with you Gloria," the peeved spy shot back, "is that you wouldn't recognise good food if it jumped up and bit you on your ass!" He had left the procurement of dinner to his colleague and to his disgust she had turned up with two large pizzas and four bowls of salad. To add to his disgust it turned out that Gloria, like Harm, was a vegetarian and her choice of toppings reflected her dietary preference.

"Hey," she had said with a shrug, when Webb had complained, "I didn't know if any of you were vegetarians, but I figured that even if you weren't, carnivores would eat vegetables, while vegetarians won't touch meat. And again even if you were carnivores, a healthy meal wouldn't come amiss!"

"Since when has pizza been a healthy meal?" Webb snarled.

"Well Roast Vegetables is healthier option than a Meat Lover's Feast!" Gloria had retorted.

But despite his grumbles, both Jen and Loren noticed that Webb ate at least his fair share of the meal.

The meal over and the debris consigned to the trash can, Webb turned to the two Rabb women. "A few rules: you don't need to know where you are, suffice it to say you are at an establishment owned by the agency. It is a secure facility with controlled access and the boundary fence is electrified and set with alarms. This bungalow will be your place of safety for as long as you are here. There will always be at least one agent with you at all times. You are at liberty to leave the house and take some exercise in the form of walking. Stay on the paths, and do not speak to anyone you might meet. They will neither approach you or permit you to approach them. Gloria has done some shopping on your behalf; I'm sure you saw the bags in the bedroom earlier," he said sarcastically.

"If you need anything else, let the agent with you know, and we'll get hold of whatever it is you need. Note, ladies, need, not what you think might be nice to have. OK?"

Loren and Jen looked at each other and then back at Webb, "Yes, we understand!" Loren said, "Now if there's anything else, I'm going to see to Sasha and get her settled if I can!"

"I'll come with you," Jen decided, levering herself out of her chair.

Webb watched them go into the bedroom and then turned to Gloria. "Make sure the house is secure, and you stay with 'em. I've got something I need to do." With that enigmatic sentence he slipped out of the house and climbed into the Expedition, started the engine, and without turning on the lights, he drove slowly back towards the main gates.

Braking to a gentle halt, he pressed the switch on his microphone, "Lee, this is Webb. Are they still there?"

"Yeah, but backed off a bit, now they're about a quarter mile from the turn-off." He heard a quiet voice in his ear-piece.

"Everybody in position?"

"Yeah. All set, just waiting for you to finish having tea with the ladies," came the faintly mocking reply.

Webb bit down on his irritation. He had noticed recently that he had developed a tendency to lose his temper for trivial reasons. He could only try to control it better and hope that it wasn't a sign that he was beginning to lose his edge.

"Right, I'm exiting the gates now, running dark. Meet me at the turn off, we'll go on foot from there."

"Roger."

It took a few minutes before Webb reached the junction of track and road where he was met by Agent Lee, who handed him an M4 Carbine and three magazines. Grimacing at the necessity, Webb slipped two of the magazines into his jacket pockets and loaded the weapon with the third. "Alright, lock and load," he whispered, suiting his actions to his words.

From the darkness around him came a dry, metallic rattle as other agents hidden in the shadows of the trees obeyed the order. After a few seconds of silence, Webb drew a breath, "Alright, move out!"

Three shadowy figures, with Agent Lee in the lead, dashed at intervals across the road to be swallowed up by the shadows cast by the trees, while Webb turned to the two agents left with him and whispered, "Let's go."

At a cautious trot the six agents closed on the target vehicle, stopping about twenty yards short. Webb signalled his two men to pass him. One stopped just about level with the car, while the other moved a further twenty yards past it.

Once again Webb whispered into his lapel mic, "Mobile One, go! Mobile Two, go!"

With a roar of engines and in a blaze of light two black Expeditions closed in on the blue Malibu, one from behind it, one from in front of it, both slewed cross the road blocking its escape either forward or in reverse.

The Malibu's engine started as the occupants realised that they had been detected, but the driver had reacted too slowly and their escape was blocked by the much more solid SUVs. The Malibu's doors burst open and three men dived out and started to run for the shelter of the trees. Webb heard Lee shout "Halt - Federal Agent!"

The answer to Lee's challenge was a burst of automatic fire to which Lee and his two agents instantly responded. Webb dashed across the road, behind the Expedition, in time to see a fugitive with some sort of handgun running towards him.

Webb dropped to one knee and shouted, as Lee had, "Halt - Federal Agent!"

Again the only answer was a burst of automatic fire, and Webb instinctively flinched as the rounds cracked above his head. Flicking the safety off on the M4, Webb fired an answering burst, aiming low, hoping to shoot the man's legs from under him and so take him alive. But just s he squeezed the trigger the target either fell, or dived for cover, bringing him directly into Webb's sight picture. The CIA agent instantly released the trigger as the other man slumped to the ground.

With his M4 still aimed at the now prone figure Webb cautiously approached, and as he stood over the man, kicked his weapon out of reach. There was no need to check for signs of life. One of Webb's half a dozen rounds had hit the man in the top of the head as he was falling and the powerful bullet had shattered open the back of his skull.

Trembling still with adrenalin shock, Webb licked his lips, and spoke into his lapel mic, "Webb here, everybody OK?"

Agent Lee replied instantly, "No! Agent down! We need medical assist now!"

Hard on the heels of his words the door to the rearward SUV flew open and two figures rushed towards Lee's position, now made obvious by his torch which he used as a beacon.

"Targets?" Webb snapped

"Two down, here." Lee reported back, "neither of 'em in any shape to talk now, or ever. One ran east towards the front of the ambush."

"Yeah, got him, he won't be doing any talking either. Damn!" Webb cursed; he'd really wanted at least one of the former occupants of the Malibu alive and talking.

Shaking his head in disgust, he bent down and hooking a finger through the trigger guard he picked up the dead man's weapon and pursed his lips in surprise, an Austrian made Steyr TMP. Webb engaged the safety on the weapon, and using a handkerchief taken from his pocket; he released the magazine, and then worked the cocking handle to clear the weapon.

"I need evidence bags over here!" he shouted, waving his arm to attract attention. Once the bags had been produced by a junior agent, Webb walked up the road towards Lee's position. Lee stood by a worried expression on his face as two medics worked on the unconscious Agent.

"Who is it, and how's he doing?" Webb demanded.

""Mercier," Agent Lee said sharply, and looked at Webb, "A good kid, and a good agent!"

"Not good," the senior of the two medics replied, "Two hits to the centre of mass. He's lost a lot of blood. Probably bleeding internally, and I suspect he's got a collapsed lung. We'll know more when we get him to the farm. The ambulance is already on its way."

Webb nodded, "Good. Who's the on-call doctor tonight?"

"Doctor Bowen, we've had her and Doctor Redfern, the anaesthetist paged, so there shouldn't be too much delay. We've got him as stable as we can, so now it's up to them!"

"Good work." Webb acknowledged, and then turned to Lee, "Walk with me!"

He led the junior agent away from the others and then hissed, "What the fuck happened? This was supposed to be a quiet operation, not a re-run of the OK Corral!"

Lee bit back an angry retort. He had disagreed with Webb's plan right from its inception. He had been in favour of a silent approach, a quick yank to open the doors of the Malibu without giving the occupants time to resist. It had been Webb who had insisted on using the SUVs as road blocks, and it had been them roaring onto the scene that had spooked the guys in the Malibu.

"As soon as the SUVs appeared they tried to drive out, when they couldn't they abandoned the car and fled. As soon as I challenged they started shooting, we returned fire. What did you expect us to do, stand there like cut-out targets?" Despite his best intentions he couldn't keep the edge of his anger from sounding in his voice.

Webb snorted in disgust, and removing the magazine from his M4 he worked the action to clear the breech and then thrust weapon, magazines and the ejected round at Lee. "As soon as Mercier is out of here get your men to clean up all the brass they can find. I want all weapons tagged and bagged and at forensics before daylight. I want an initial report on my desk by oh eight hundred hours. You know what to look for, prints, biometrics, and all the rest, and I want a full run down on that Malibu. It's a recent model, so it might well be a rental. Get it checked."

"Got it!" Lee said shortly, "Anything else... sir?"

The delay in adding the honorific was just long enough to let Webb know that the other agent was seriously pissed off. But Webb just shrugged his shoulders, and stepped into Lee's personal space. "I don't care what you think, Agent Lee, you've got your orders, now carry them out!"

Lee stared into Webb's face for a long minute before he turned, in no way intimidated and started barking orders at the three agents still standing.

Webb turned away, content that he had imposed his will on the other man and strode briskly back to the junction of track and road and his parked expedition.

xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

A J Chegwidden looked up at the knock on his office door, "Enter!" he called.

The door opened to admit FBI Agent Tobias Fornell. Chegwidden rose to his feet, although they had only met twice before for short periods, he liked the FBI agent's demeanour and his world weary air of cynical tolerance in regard of the rest humanity, until they crossed his line in the san.

"Good morning Agent Fornell," he said as he came around the side of his desk, his hand held out in greeting.

"Good morning, Admiral. Well, I hope it is. Firstly I understand none of your people were hurt last night..."

"What do you mean?" Chegwidden interrupted, "None of my people hurt! What the hell?"

"Ah..." Fornell looked uncomfortable for a moment, "I may have said too much if you haven't had the report yet." He gathered his thoughts, "In brief, Webb and a half dozen other agents were involved in a fire fight near the hidden facility to which they had taken the Rabb women. They suffered one casualty who is, I understand, being taken care of in a classified facility, but unfortunately they were compelled to shoot and kill all the suspects."

"Damn it!" How did these people get so close?"

"It is my understanding that they tailed Webb." Fornell replied, "But don't quote me on that!"

"Webb! I should have known that incompetent son of a bitch would screw the pooch!"

"Don't quote me on this either, Admiral, but I doubt that incompetence had any part of Webb being tailed. The execution of the attempted arrest however is a different matter."

"Not incompetence?" Chegwidden's eyes nearly popped from their sockets as his face empurpled and a vein started to throb on his right temple. "If that son of a bitch deliberately let himself be tailed and put the Rabb women in danger I'll kill him myself! No, I won't," he instantly changed his mind, "I'll let Rabb have him!"

"Would Rabb enjoy that as much as you would, Admiral?" Fornell asked dryly.

"Damn right he would!" Chegwidden said emphatically, "Webb has nearly got Rabb and his partner killed on at least a couple of occasions... In fact I broke his nose for him on one of those occasions - that's classified, and need not leave this office!" he added hastily, "So, yes, I think Rabb would relish the chance to pound on him some!" He calmed down slightly after his outburst, and although still breathing heavily and still red-faced, he invited Fornell to continue, "You said 'firstly', so I assume you have other news?"

Fornell nodded, his face creasing in one of his rare grins, "I do... We've spent the last two days searching for the eldest James daughter. She wasn't in any of those photographs and that gave us hope she was away from home when her mother and her sisters were snatched."

"We tracked her down a little earlier this morning, "She's a student at Columbia University, and has been away for three weeks on a field trip. She's in our custody now, and is being flown back from a dig in Wyoming."

"Wyoming?" Chegwidden asked in surprise.

"Yeah, apparently she's a palaeontology student. She was totally unaware of what's been happening back home, didn't even know that he father had been arrested and that her mother and sisters were missing."

Chegwidden winced, "Poor kid, does she know..."

"Yeah, our agents had to tell her in order to persuade her to go with them. No details of course, just that her youngest sister had been murdered."

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Webb sat in his office in the CIA Headquarters building at Langley studying Lee's initial report. The Malibu had been rented at JFK ten days ago for two weeks by an Alexei Dvornikov, a Russian citizen according to his diver licence and passport, the former of which had been recovered from the body of one of the men shot by Lee's agents. The rental had been paid cash. The other two men carried no identification, but they had all been well armed, between them they'd had a Steyr TMP, a Mini-Uzi, a Beretta MX4 and a StarZ84, all modern fast firing sub machine guns, and each had carried a back up hand-gun, two Glock 17s and a Beretta 92F, all 9mm calibre weapons But what was more interesting was the US Army ammunition box in the trunk of the Malibu that had contained 500 rounds of 9mm ammunition, less what was loaded into the various weapons. The box was new and the ammunition cartons all carried the same batch number. The manufacturer was in the process of being contacted to find out to whom the ammunition had been sold.

Hopefully, Webb thought, that would at last give them a lead to either Kozlovsky himself or to another one of his confederates or dupes. For a moment he considered calling the FBI DC Field Office and passing that information on to Fornell, but only for an instant.

xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxx-xxxxx

"Da, da. Spasebo! Dosvedanya!" Kozlovsky put the 'phone down with a smirk and turned to his lieutenant, "It is useful to have contact in CIA!" he exclaimed in heavily accented English, "Especially contact who remembers how much help he was given against Soviet tyranny in Afghanistan. It is also philosophically pleasing to help pit former allies at each other's throats!"