Ray Sullivan publishes science based fiction adventures on Amazon, Smashwords, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, WH Smith and other good eBook retailers as e-books. Additionally all of his books are available in paperback on Amazon. He also muses on technology, posts comedic books in serial format and discusses the world of self publishing.
Books written by Ray Sullivan
Monday, 4 March 2013
Parallel Lives chapter 66
Martin sat fuming, surrounded by armed police and crumpled
cars following the chase.
The idiot at the car park had irked him, it was true, and
Martin had realised that he had been persuaded to stall Sam's car somehow. Sam
hadn't shown the common sense to counter-bribe the man and Martin was just
about to intervene, pulling out his wallet, trying to work out how much would
be needed to ease his way out of the car park. Preferably, he had thought, they
would get past the moron before the car containing the Howells' woman and the
HSE inspector disappeared completely.
As he leant towards Sam's open window, Martin became aware
that the cool winter air entering the car had become a steady, face stinging
breeze as the rear, driver's side window slid down silently. The look on the
attendant's face caused Martin to swing around in his seat, which in turn
provided him with a view of Jim pointing his 9mm Browning pistol directly at
the attendant's head.
'Raise the fucking barrier,' growled Jim, his eyes staring
unswervingly at the attendant who, after a moment's hesitation, readily
obliged. Sam muttered under his breath words that Martin was thinking but was
too surprised to voice. As the barrier rose, Sam flushed the accelerator pedal,
slipped the clutch and screamed out off the car park, rear wheels spinning.
Within minutes Sam had found himself hemmed in between
police cars belonging to the local Armed Response Unit. He had tried to comply
with their insistence that he pulled over but it appeared that his reluctance
to pull up as sharp as they felt he should resulted in one of the police
vehicles ramming him, buckling his door panels.
Sitting on the low wall, watching the police complete their
routine, Martin mused over the events that had followed, and the problems
caused by the airforce man's actions. Martin had regretted insisting on arming
Jim very early on, in fact as soon as it was clear his people were not going to
take the bait he had prepared. Unfortunately, the officer that Martin had
persuaded to supply a man complete with weapon proved harder to dissuade
afterwards. He had simply turned the arguments used to convince him that the
airman needed arming back on Martin. In the end it had seemed easier to let Jim
carry the handgun, which Martin was certain would remain holstered. What he
hadn't reckoned on was Jim reading more into the cover story and believing he
was required to intervene when they were stalled by the car park attendant.
They might have gotten away with the incident if Martin had
had more time; he had been in the process of calling his people to get them to
smooth things over with the police through normal channels when they were
intercepted by the Armed Response Unit. An armed robbery had taken place
several blocks away which had spawned a major police operation. Several
response units were en route when the call came that a car carrying three men
had held the car park attendant at gun point. Coincidences regarding gun crimes
are rare, consequently Martin found himself buffeted by police cars forcing Sam
Once his credentials had been checked and the RAF pistol
removed, locked in a mobile armoury pending the arrival of the Royal Air Force
police from a minor unit in North Wales, all Martin had to do was wait. He had
clearance to proceed once Jim had been passed on to the RAF, but his only
vehicle was now unroadworthy, Sam was a gibbering wreck and there were major
discussions taking place in London regarding his future. The only good news was
that he had been authorised to enter the Howells' home in search of clues as to
their destination, but the permission was internal so he couldn't ask the
police for a lift.
Sam walked over, gripping a plastic beaker of tea, his hand
shaking and tea spilling down his trousers.
'What's the way ahead then?' he asked, his voice quivering.
Martin explained how they had to wait for the RAF to relieve them of Jim and
for a hire car to be delivered. He didn't go into any detail about how he was
almost certain to be hung out to dry, not that Sam was likely to be interested.
Sam nodded at his car, itself waiting for the low loader breakdown truck to
'I'm not sure how I'm going to explain that to the
insurance,' he said. Martin shrugged.
'I expect I'll get the department to sort it out,' he lied.
So far the operation was at best only semi-authorised and he fully expected the
fund managers to be polishing their personal barge poles as he spoke. 'Once the
hire car turns up I've got authorisation for a covert entry into the Howells'
house,' he said, 'and I'll fully understand if you want to maintain a distance.
This day must have unnerved you.' Sam considered these words carefully for a
second, then pitched in.
'No, I don't think abstaining now will help. Whether I like
it or not, I'm up to my neck in this one and I'd like to have some influence on
the outcome. I'll sit outside if you think I may be a liability, otherwise I'll
take your lead,' Sam said, convincing himself as much as anybody. Martin looked
pleased at this response; he was beginning to feel totally isolated by the
unfolding events. He knew that any repairs to his career would be down to him,
but he welcomed the support.
'One bit of good news,' he offered, 'the powers that be are
taking the project very seriously now indeed,' he said, carefully omitting to
mention that he had personally suppressed all departmental knowledge of the
project with the exception of the minimum he needed to secure ongoing support.
It was only the complaints from the military that had forced his hand.
'Apparently something in the transcript I sent after the
inquiry has hit a raw nerve,' he said. Martin had phoned the details directly
into his computer using voice recognition software. He had stood outside the
Council Hall with his mobile phone held to one ear and a dictating machine held
to the other. Without reviewing the dictation tape he couldn't begin to guess
what it was that had raised so much interest, converting the mumbled words into
a report on the hoof had proven quite difficult and he had little recollection
about the content. A mild concern flashed through him as he remembered
interpreting some of the rambling statements; what if Martin had inserted
something that meant more than it should have? That was one reason to restrict
distribution of his reports until he had time to read them through himself, he
'Great.' responded Sam. 'So when's the hire car due?