Mad dog, p.7
Mad Dog, page 7
Fred Guy left Winnipeg early on the Friday morning; his intention was to make the 1300 mile trip to Detroit in two days, stopping overnight in Thunder Bay. His route was simple, take Canadian Interstate 1 east and continue following it when it converts into Route 17, straight to Thunder Bay where he would stop over at Landmark Hotel, a particularly nasty little hotel but with extremely pleasant staff and a great tariff, then the following day head to Sault Ste Marie at the northern tip of Lake Superior and then sliding down Route 75 between Lakes Michigan and Huron and straight on to Detroit. Well his planned route was simple but unfortunately as often happens in Canada, the weather was anything but simple and by late Friday he’d progressed no further than Dryden some 400 miles into his journey. The weather was absolutely dreadful, in fact he couldn’t remember worse weather and he’d been driving since he was twenty three some twenty four years earlier. The truth was that every time he got delayed by the weather he claimed to not remember worse weather in all of his years driving. Whether it was worse than ever or not was irrelevant, Route 17 was impassable past Dryden. The decision was simple; he turned round and travelled back 75miles to join Route 71 that took him south to Route 11 and then east to Thunder Bay where he could rejoin Route 17. He’d travel a lot further but he’d save time and he had a tight schedule to meet, that half French prick Bernard Legrand, a wholly inappropriate name for such a weasely little man who didn’t reach five foot six in his bare feet and must have tipped the scales at all of ten stones (Bernard meaning bear like and hardy and Legrand meaning the large one), had written into their contract all sorts of penalty clauses, one of which was that he had to arrive in Detroit, with his furniture and belongings in tact, prior to midday on the Sunday. By two in the morning he had reached Fort Frances and stopped there for what was left of the night. At six thirty he set off once more and as a result at seven fifteen he and his big bright yellow truck were hurtling at a steady sixty five past the Sturgeon Falls Indian Reserve.
Alan heard the truck coming long before he could discern it’s colour and only turned, smiling as broadly as his chattering teeth would allow, and stuck out his thumb once the truck was within vibration distance. Fred for his part had spotted Alan at the side of the road long before he turned to smile in his direction or before he stuck out his thumb unnecessarily, after all what else was someone going to be doing walking along the side of a freezing, deserted Canadian roadside if not hitchhiking? His first reaction was to drive right by but then he considered the facts that he was tired having slept little and that company might be just what he needed. As a result he pulled to a halt alongside Alan and wound the window down to ask the question that was designed to give him and all other truckers an out if they felt that their prospective passenger gave them bad vibes;
-Where you going? -
-East-, answered Alan as if there existed an option,-Duluth if possible. -
-Hop in; I can take you as far as Thunder Bay at least, from there on you’ll need to look for other transport I’m afraid. -
Alan climbed into the passenger seat but almost climbed back out immediately, apart from the awful dirge of country music, the liking of which he hadn’t inherited from his father, there was the overwhelming smell of a large fat slob of a man having slept in the cabin. Fred was a brute of a man and deodorant and soap were not two of his favourite words.
Alan quickly acclimatised to both the music and the fragrance and was rapidly becoming at ease with his host. It turned out that deodorant and soap were not the only things that Fred avoided at all cost, he loathed the news channels and anything that resembled a newspaper, erotic magazines not coming in to the latter category. This was excellent news for Alan as it meant that whatever the result of his trip to Duluth, Fred was not going to get to know about it and that gave him an enormous amount of peace of mind. As Fred’s list of dislikes became more extensive Bernard Legrand, time penalties and bad weather got included which produced what Alan quickly seized on as an opportunity;
-Err…Fred, I have a heavy goods licence, I mean I’ve had one since I turned twenty one, we’ve all got one in Ely, what with farm vehicles and the likes, and I was thinking, if you want I could second drive for you if your insurance covers it, that way you can make up the lost time. I’ll go with you all the way to Detroit if you like, if you could drop me off near Duluth on your way back. -
-You serious?- blurted Fred, clearly delighted by the idea,-Give us a look at your licence then, Jesus that would be brilliant, I’d drop you off at the door step, never mind NEAR Duluth, if you can do that for me. -
Fred pulled over, checked Alan’s licence and then passed his details on to the tachograph that would legalise his driving. Alan was a little nervous about his details being registered but considered the possibility of them being picked up by the CIA or any other law enforcement agency to be extremely slim and besides he was sure he could remove it before Fred and he parted ways.
Their mutually beneficial deal was done and they sped along towards Thunder Bay. Laseine, Flanders, Mathieu and Elizabeth slid by as did Kashbow, Postens, Kabagan, Shebandowan, Shabagua Corners, Sunshine and finally Sistoners Corner before they finally arrived a little after mid day at the grim Landmark Hotel where Fred ate one of his favourite greasy hamburgers, a speciality of the house, whilst Alan contented himself with a T-bone which as it turned out was also greasy, greasy being the speciality of the house not hamburgers. At three thirty they were back on the road and as it was Alan’s turn to drive Fred was quickly snoring away in the cabin behind him, a situation that was to the liking of both of them.
It took Alan just over six hours to get to the Sault Ste. Marie on the Canadian/American border where he traded places with Fred. Fred like ninety percent the truck drivers was waved through customs, the other ten percent being the unlucky ones that statistical requirements demanded. This system did not apply to any other traffic where one hundred percent of them were checked, however, illegal immigration was not precisely considered a problem by Americans in respect to Canada, neither in one direction nor the other, well not since the days of Vietnam at least and any “foreign” looking drivers inevitably fell into the ten percent “random” checks anyway.
At midnight they pulled into the Holiday Inn Express Saginaw just to the south of Bay City where they parked up for the night.
The following morning they enjoyed a leisurely three hour drive down to Detroit where they arrived safe and sound an hour and a half ahead of schedule much to the chagrin of the misnamed Bernard Legrand who had seen the weather reports and had been convinced that he would be saving a large chunk of the removals fee.
They split the 750 mile trip to Duluth into three parts, the first taking them past Chicago on the southern tip of Lake Michigan and stopping at Elgin for an mid afternoon break, the second took them almost straight north as far as Eau Claire, as with the first stage almost completely restricted to the I94 and the I90, where they stopped shortly after nine at night for their evening meal and then they were to travel north towards Duluth. It was this stage of the journey that was a bone of contention between the two. Fred insisted on taking the I35 from St Paul straight to Duluth where he would take Route 53 up to Fort Francis and connect with Route 71 in the opposite direction to their outward journey, Alan on the other hand wanted to be dropped at St Paul from where he would thumb his way to Duluth, thereby allowing Fred to continue on the I94 to Fargo and then the I29 directly to Winnipeg and home. The difference to Fred would be no less than six hours of far less comfortable driving but he would hear none of Alan’s protests and simply drove straight past St Paul connecting to the I35. As a result they arrived at Duluth Port at two in the morning where they parked in the lorry park and slept until eight, when, after a quick breakfast, Fred and Alan embraced before parting ways, Alan with his tachograph keep sake in hand, a strange thing to want as a keepsake to Fred’s mind but one that he was only to happy to let Alan have, after all it was unlikely to be of any use to him.
Alan stayed the night at the ridiculously long named Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Duluth - Downtown Waterfront where for the US$110 he paid in cash; he enjoyed a good steak and a comfortable bed. At seven o’clock he was surprised to find that George Jnr had already arrived and therefore had no option other than to ring the intercom and announce himself. He was just about to do exactly that when he saw a smartly dressed young women walking briskly towards the office. As he watched nervously she walked directly to the entrance removed her key and entered the offices. She had paid absolutely no attention to Alan as she passed in front of him but he on the other hand had paid great attention to her, smart but perhaps a little tarty, urgently nervous including he thought, possibly a little excited, more makeup than necessary and heavily perfumed. Alan’s years as a journalist told him one thing; she was either George Jnr´s lover or was determined to be so. This changed his plans and he needed to think so he returned to “his” bench and did exactly that. It was a dilemma for Alan, he didn’t know exactly what time George Jnr started work although he suspected that it was shortly before seven, he didn’t know whether he would work late or would “work late” with the young lady that he rightly assumed to be his secretary nor where they would work late together, he didn’t know whether or not he would leave work alone that evening, in fact he didn’t know much but one thing he did know, he didn’t like the situation and he felt uncomfortable, he felt vulnerable and unprepared, he was unlikely to be able to act quickly and cleanly and he couldn’t risk just sitting there and drawing attention to himself. As he sat contemplating the situation he suddenly became aware of two young stiffly dressed males heading towards the office, his sense of discomfort quickly turned to dread, one of the two males was Agent Paul Evans and the other looked like a CIA agent, which was precisely what Agent Cliff Cooper was.
Michael Mizaei was studying to become an Imam at the Qom´s Hawzah in Tehran when his call to duty arrived. Michael was the only son of Abdullah Mizaei an ex Commander in the Metropolitan Police Force. Abdullah an Iranian born Muslim with dual nationality had named his son Michael so that he would fit into British Society with greater ease. That was when he was an up and coming officer who seemed to be permanently being promoted. Life was good for Abdullah and his wife Farideh Burujirdi who was simply known as Mrs Mizaei (Iranian women don’t change their names on marriage but are allowed to use their husband’s surname), at least it was good until he reached the heady heights of Commander at the age of forty and was made aware that his promotion was not due to his ability but rather to the statistical need to have more Asian officers in higher rankings. At the same time he was made aware that neither he nor any other of “his kind” would ever rise further. The efforts of Abdullah to unveil the innate racially discriminative nature of the Metropolitan Police Force caused constant problems for his superiors who finally being unable to tolerate any further public outbursts from him started a campaign aimed at discrediting him. So successful was the campaign that three years later he was sentenced to three years in prison for malpractice and perverting the cause of justice. On the day that his father was sentenced and sent down to Wandsworth Prison, Michael swore revenge on the Metropolitan Police Force and only weeks later, with the help of their local Imam and the British Iranian Chamber of Commerce who had never lost faith in his father, he was offered a place at the Qom´s Hawzah in Tehran to study Islam with the declared intention of becoming an Imam. Michael was quickly immersed in the propaganda machine that surrounded the Radical Islamic Movement and prepared himself for the day that he could serve Islam and at the same time avenge himself on the Met and the people of London in general.
Michael stood in front of Imam Sayyed Abdul Abad Al-Kazim, Head of the International Organization for Islamic Studies, otherwise known as Qom´s Hawzah, fearing that in someway he had disappointed in his studies. It was therefore of enormous relief when he was informed that he had been chosen to serve Islam and that he was required to attend the Supreme Council that very evening, that he was being sent back to London to serve their cause and that he should join them in cleansing prayer and Shahada, an honour he knew to be reserved only for those that were about to sacrifice themselves.
The thrill of his forthcoming martyrdom and ascension to heaven was still surging through him when he was struck by the army truck that had been waiting for him to leave the Hawzah with the precise intention of sending him to join Ala and Mohammed the Prophet. Michael didn’t even feel the impact of the truck dieing instantly, his father Abdullah however certainly felt the massive fatal heart attack that ended his stay at Wandsworth, on being informed of Michaels death.
The Iranian Embassy in London organised the repatriation of his body and the funeral that was to be held at The Central Mosque on Regents Park. The Embassy made it very clear that they would be “seriously disappointed” if the body was in any way interfered with by the British Authorities, the family of Michael already having suffered sufficiently at their hands, and that to ensure that the body of Michael remained inviolate they were sending over Imam Mohammad al Abad (who was actually Hari Sayeghi Alam) to accompany the body.
Michael’s remains were given exquisite treatment by the British Authorities at Heathrow as was Imam Mohammad Al Abad who wasn’t even required to present a passport or identify himself, when they arrived in the UK on Friday 23rd June.
Al Qaeda had killed two birds with one stone, Hari had entered the UK and so had the package that was inside Michael’s body.
Monday 26th June started well for Harvey at his weekly briefing with the PM but turned terribly wrong as the day wore on.
The previous day’s meeting of Mad Dog couldn’t have been more animated; after all they had discovered the name of Alan’s company and had an address for it. The address was that of a company called Clarkfield Outdoors. Charlie was explaining how he had been playing with anagrams of Alan Jacks and Alf Fowler in order to expand the searches of companies both in the UK and the States when Paul had suggested that he do the same using the names of the twin brothers Matthew and Mark, it didn’t seem to him likely that Alan would use his own name and the fact was that of the hundreds of links that Alan Jacks and Alf Fowler had produced none appeared to be remotely convincing. When he discovered that Matthew Jacks was an anagram of Wamth Jackets his interest heightened and it didn’t take long for him to come up with names incorporating Mark. It was when they added Warmth Mark Jackets to the search that they hit the jackpot, it had to be Alan! A company dedicated to the production of hunting garments, located in Minnesota! All they had to do now was decide the course of action.
Agent Paul Evans who was in England giving a personal update on their lack of progress was dispatched to the States that very afternoon to pay a visit to Clarkfield Outdoors.
Whilst Harvey had been with Harris he had decided to pick his brains or rather his instincts on the matter of the explosion. He still had a nagging feeling that he was missing something. After explaining his suspicions about the identity of the three dead he was detailing in d
-Why did you ask them to search for three men that will have checked out the morning of the blast? I mean I understand that the three men would not require a room or whatever from then on but the people that they replaced would and where better than somewhere where they already felt safe and where them going missing could cause suspicion. -
-Good God I didn’t think of that-, exclaimed Harvey picking up his phone and calling Agent Bradley giving him the appropriate instructions to reinitiate the search.
-Better late than never- quipped a grinning Harris,- mind you I suppose the only question is why didn’t you think of it earlier. It brings to my mind a saying, something about the right question getting the right answer. -
-Yes well we don’t know if the question was right or wrong yet, I hope it was right to be honest, I don’t want to imagine what they’ve been organising in the last few weeks if it wasn’t! -
Harvey’s briefing with the PM was therefore going extremely well, the killing of what they considered one of their main threats, Imam Hussein Al Sayeghi Alam, the confirmation of the deaths of two terrorists in a accidental explosion albeit a little tainted by the death of their plant, and now the closing in on Alan. The PM wished him luck and terminated their meeting earlier than usual, at ten that morning. It wasn’t until five thirty five that afternoon (ten thirty five in Clarkfield Minnesota) that Agent Evans informed him that they had drawn a partial blank at Clarkfield Outdoors, that they had acquired Warmth Mark Jackets only a week earlier and that the only details that they could give him were those of a law firm in Duluth, that he had spoken to the law firm and arranged to meet George Brine Jnr of George Brine Associates Law Firm the following morning at seven thirty, “nothings ever simple” thought Harvey as his phone rang.
by William Fegan have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes