Denver, Colorado, USA 12 July 2017 1844 Hours MDT I meandered through the plaza, two shopping bags joining the brown leather purse hanging from my left shoulder, while I sipped an espresso.
It had been a long day, running SDR’s, caching equipment and rehearsing contingency plan after contingency plan.
I window shopped my way along the periphery of the plaza as I approached the Asset.
The asset was an older gentleman currently sitting at a table outside a small café, wearing a grey three piece suit,
an exquisitely knotted blue tie with thin, maroon diagonal stripes adding a splash of color. He didn’t know what I looked like, and he wouldn’t until I sat down and established my bona fides.
I could see Michael sitting at another table half a dozen yards from the asset, talking animatedly with a couple sitting across from him.
I swear, the man is brilliant. He suggested hiring an actor and actress to role play a well to do couple meeting with their broker.
Michael arranged it through an acting agency, and told them we were shooting a low key movie scene,
with Michael starring as a private eye who needed a pair of actors as cover while he surveilled a suspected spy.
The best cover stories always have plenty of truth in them.
The man mimicked Michael with a sport coat and button down shirt over jeans, while his partner wore a violet blouse and navy blue skirt with sensible beige pumps.
Michael showed them paperwork from a briefcase, and they talked back and forth about stocks and bonds and other financial gobbledygook.
I couldn’t see Frank, but I knew he was sitting in the fourth floor of an office building across the plaza, his .308 ready to rain death down on anyone who tried to attack us.
I tossed my head as I approached the café, making sure that the dirty blond hair of my wig covered the blue tooth earpiece that linked me to Michael and Frank.
Stopping just past the asset, I turned and laid a hand on his shoulder. “Excuse me, I don’t mean to intrude, but you remind me so much of my grandfather.”
He turned to look over his shoulder at me, his features smoothed into an expression of surprise with a hint of melancholy. “Your intrusion is a welcome one my dear.
I might have had a grand-daughter about your age if my Maria and I had been able to have children.”
The second portion of our recognition signal complete, I smiled down at him and completed it. “My grandfather passed away a few years ago.
Would you mind if I joined you and enjoyed a grandfatherly chat?”
The asset smiled wider and he stood and gallantly pulled a chair out for me.
Only a serious professional with the perfect sight line would have seen his hand dip under the edge of the table in front of my chair. I sat, and he slid me into my place at the table.
Returning to his seat, he waved at the waiter as I crossed my knees, removing the thumb drive stuck to the underside of the table and slipping it into my boot.
I was just opening my mouth to continue acting out our scene as grandfather and adopted granddaughter when Frank’s voice came over my earpiece.
“Contact. Two tangoes coming up from the rear, two from the front.”
I glanced over the asset’s shoulder and spotted the two men approaching from the south immediately. With their tactical pants and untucked button downs, they screamed tactical.
Their heads were swiveling, scanning the crowds sitting and walking nearby. We were going to have to cut this short.
Frank’s voice returned, calm and smooth as ice. “You’re shielded to the rear by a planter. Mr. Blue, shield her from the front. Execute in ten.” I looked the asset dead in the eye.
“My grandfather died of cancer.” The asset’s face lost a hint of color as the phrase registered. Cancer was the agreed upon code word to abort the meeting.
Now we just needed to get away from him. If he was under surveillance, than we didn’t want those watchers to transfer to us, and vice versa.
As I hit the seven second mark in my head, Michael and his two associates stood, shaking hands and exchanging goodbyes,
conveniently blocking my line of sight to the two operators approaching from the south. I stood quickly and moved towards the alley to the left of the café.
I stepped around the corner into the alley, my eyes scanning ahead of me and my right hand dipping under the shawl and creeping back towards the Glock.
Never knew if the other team had put guys in the alley. I would have. I heard Frank’s voice in my ear again.
“Tangoes from north in pursuit. Tangoes from south have sped up. Activate distraction.”
Michael’s voice came back, “I have the southern two.”
I slipped my hand into the shoulder bag and removed the tablet. Pulling up the trigger program, I pressed two thumbs to the two red dots, watching them turn green.
I replaced the tablet just as two large men stepped into the mouth of the alley in front of me. My hand was closer to my gun than theirs were.
My Glock cleared the holster and was pushing out towards them when the four giant flashbangs went off to the east of the plaza.
Each of the two in front of me took two rounds to the upper chest before I transitioned to headshots.
The guy on the left took a round through the bridge of his nose, while the second round hit the right hand target just above his right eye.
I spun to face the two operators who had spotted and started after me.
Both had just entered the alley, and though one had been momentarily distracted by the explosions behind him, the other was focused on me like a laser,
a Glock of his own locked in a two handed grip as he glided down the alley. I wasn’t going to be fast enough.
Frank’s .308 bullet hit the focused tango in the back of his head and he dropped instantly, leaving a pink mist hanging in the air for a split second.
The second was just turning to face me when his partner’s head exploded. I’ll give him this, the guy was fast.
He was already starting to move to his right when Frank’s second bullet caught him in the spine, neatly severing his T4 vertebra.
He joined his partner on the ground as I turned back to my escape and bolted for the getaway car.