Spooks: Chapter 2
CHAPTER TWO: The shooting gallery…
Cold steel glistened in the amplified sunlight of the mid-winter day as the hectic airport had suddenly become even more hectic. In the middle of all the hysteria and motion was the small pavilion known as the Morning star Café. This was the quiet place that had suddenly become the center of the hurricane, the proving ground for one, and the arena for another.
Frightened travelers and waiters littered the ground here, moaning and praying in their fear of the two men in the center or the room. Toward the pavilion’s entrance, the young agent Stilling stood, green-eyed gaze directed across the floor toward his current opponent, the world-renowned terrorist known as Tammen. The tall casually dressed man stood there, a smug smile on his face, the familiar chill of the professional reflected in his own gaze. He knew he had the young agent, as the value of human life was still a basic part of agency training, and he was the one holding a hostage at gunpoint.
Stupid Pup, Mr. Black thought as he surveyed the situation inside the café, his hand resting on the handle of his own sidearm of choice, a Beretta Elite II (stainless steel slide the rest a black matte finish), didn’t you read the report? Tammen never kills innocents. He only terminates his objectives.
“Well, Andy,” Tammen spoke, that smile on his face once more as he took a second to acquire the scent of the woman’s hair, his eyes never leaving those of Stilling, “it appears you have a choice to make. You can either put the gun down and leave, or stand here until your muscles fail you and die a heroic death.”
Stilling’s brow was now matted with sweat, his stretched arm wavering as the nervousness filled him, the uncertainty of his course. Still, he kept his gun pointed at the terrorist’s head, his gaze placed along the shiny metallic barrel. “Who says I’ll drop my arm, German Boy, it might just as well be you,” Andy spoke, his voice already wavering.
“Freeze!” came the shout from the security captain, and immediately five 45caliber Colt arms were pointed at the two men and the hostage, along with an H&K MP5 machine gun. Tammen and Stilling both glanced over at the blue-uniformed troopers, their guns still pointed at one another. The tension within the café rose as the standoff widened. All sides were prepared to shoot, and all were waiting for a signal.
Sighing, Tammen glanced at the new situation, his eyes sparkling as true amusement filled him for a few moments, then faded. Then he just pulled the hostage closer, whispering a few words into her ear, words that managed to bring a crimson flush to her silky brown skin. A smile spread on her lips as he let her off a little, the gun still pointed at her head.
Then it happened. One of the hostages, an elderly lady, rose to run toward the security men, but managed to knock over a table in the process. The crashing sound set off an almost apocalyptic chain reaction, as the security men lost their nerves, their guns blazing, bullets ripping through the glass windows and decorative posters.
Tammen, seeing the firefight begin, immediately pushed the frightened Amanda from him, sending her sprawling into Andy’s arm, thus throwing him to the ground. He then sank, his own gun firing once, twice, the sound of screams and empty shells filling his ears as the security captain’s chest exploded in a shower of crimson, his bulky form crashing backwards into his own men as he fell, dead.
“Jesus wept!” Black cursed as he saw the scene unfolding, his own weapon drawn, still hidden under the newspaper. He knew he could not engage right now, knew that he was only here to observe Andy and teach him a few things about the business. He waited, knowing that Tammen would probably manage something, and he hoped that Andy would somehow be able to survive his first firefight.
At just this moment, the rookie agent laid on his back, watching the chaos unfold all around him while he held the waitress, who was clinging to him, salty tears rolling down her cheeks. His gun was buried under her form, and he fought hard to free it, as he still had a perfect shot of the kneeling terrorist.
Hostages were screaming now, crawling away from the fire fight, trying to hide behind tables and counters as the deadly spray of lead continued on the main floor. One of the officers circled around a table, coming out to flank Tammen while the others were still firing at him, and he was returning their fire at times. Tammen’s gaze swept across the café, and even as he fired two more bullets at the foremost of the security men, one striking his shoulder while the other missed high, his hand moved across the side of his belt as he saw a relieved look on one of the hostages. Spinning halfway to lie on his back, the man’s hand came up and back, then shot forward just as the young security officer came around the bend, weapon trained at the enemy. His weapon dropped along with his jaw as he felt the piercing pain, then blood streamed from his open mouth as he collapsed, a thin throwing knife stuck in his throat.
Observing the move, Black’s lips curled into a smile at a memory he had of a previous encounter with Tammen, and words the terrorist had spoken as he had used just that maneuver to rid himself of a mafia boss. Never bring a knife to a gunfight, Tammen had said, in his stylish mixture of a German and British accent, only an imbecile would follow a rule like that.
Meanwhile, the battle continued within the café, .45 and 9mm bullets piercing tables and more windows as security attempted to restore order through violence, a favorite among security forces everywhere. Stilling had almost managed to free his weapon now, while Tammen squeezed off another two shots, easily dispatching another gunman with a double tap to the head. The terrorist had not lost his smile, even through all of this violence, but his eyes now reflected the killer’s persona, no longer that of an amused businessman. Outside, security officers were bellowing for backup while they struggled to reload their guns, and not suffer the fate of their colleagues.
Finally, the machine gunner had a brilliant idea, and employed his sure arm, tested in several years of high school football, to deliver a smoke grenade which landed by Tammen’s side, forcing him to move rather quickly, or suffer blindness and inhalation damages. The terrorist crouched as he waited, then leapt, evading the shrapnel-like shell particles as he landed right by his adversary’s side. “Hello again Andy,” the terrorist spoke, that annoying smile remaining on his lips, “did you miss me?”
Andy cursed, his anger apparent now, and finally managed to free his gun. Quickly, with agency-trained reflexes, he switched hands, and then held the polymer pistol to Tammen’s ear, his fingers firm on the trigger. “One more move and you are history, asshole,” Stilling called out, then screamed in pain as a bullet struck the ground close to his face, a piece of plaster blown off and screeching through the air, cutting into Andy’s cheek.
The momentary confusion and pain was all that Tammen needed, his elbow rising, pushing Stilling’s arm upwards. He then lifted his own gun arm, placing the barrel to Andy’s armpit, before depressing the trigger. Stilling’s scream rose in pitch as he felt the bullet entering and emerging from his shoulder, rendering the arm useless. Tears stained the young agent’s eyes as he clutched his shoulder, crimson blood streaming from his cheek and shoulder to mix with crimson carpet.
The terrorist did not wait at that moment, and got up once again, a fake rose from one of the vases dropped to land on Amanda’s cheek while he lifted the agent’s gun, his gaze toward the window at the back of the café as he pulled the triggers on both weapons, sending a hail of bullets toward the growing number of guards. The previously wounded man was struck in the stomach and throat, and collapsed, blocking the view for the other two momentarily, while the terrorist began his run toward the window, a single round fired to break the glass.
Another waitress had seen the man’s steps and had risen, carefully as her rounded belly indicated her pregnancy. She attempted to run, foolishly crossing paths with Tammen. The terrorist wanted to push her down, but failed to reach her, as the machine gunner resumed his fire behind them, his bullets streaking toward Tammen, but thrown off by air pressure. As Tammen ran, he saw the waitress out of the corner of his eye, then heard her scream as three bloody holes appeared on the back of her dress, two of which were in her belly, another higher, in her torso.
The tall man’s brow curved in silent anger, his mouth tightening as he saw the murder committed, the worthless act of violence, and the death of an innocent. His thoughts changed now as he began his leap through the window, then turned in mid air, both guns raised, his cold gaze on the gunner as he set the exact shots, one striking the man’s thigh, the other through his liver, allowing him to die slowly, painfully. There would be no coup de grace for a killer in Tammen’s eyes.
Black, who had by now changed position and discarded the paper, saw Tammen’s action and the death of the waitress, and also saw the black blood flowing from the wounded guard. Admiration filled the experienced man for a moment, as he witnessed the reason why Tammen was so popular among rebels and freedom fighters, a hero almost. The man was fair, and he did punish only those who deserved it. Crime and Punishment, Mr. Black thought as the terrorist landed on his back, and then came to his feet.
Tammen stood, stretching his back for a moment before turning toward the easiest exit, and stopping, in a crouch. Well, if it isn’t the famous big black man, the man thought, that smile coming to his lips once more, he must have been here with the kid. They really want this disk. Rising slowly, Tammen’s lips curved into a bright grin, and he came up with his Beretta tucked into his pants and the Glock in hand, a waving motion done with it to signal the challenge.
You cocky old bastard, Black told himself as he saw the man’s motion, the saw him head off down a side corridor, pressing through confused groups of airport staff and tourists toward the A terminal and the observation deck, maybe this will be our last meeting. And he was off, pushing along the crowd, his bulky physique allowing him to force his way through while his size granted him the advantage, as he was able to see his nemesis in front of him.
As the chase began, the remaining Security agent moved to the closest airport phone and summoned the police. Within five minutes a SWAT team had been dispatched, and was racing toward the airport. The quiet winter day had suddenly turned into a deadly day of small time warfare, and what had begun as a simple transaction was now a major gun battle.
Copyright © 2001 Jan And Smokey