” “spell.” Use the word “spell” any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use it in the first sentence. “
First sentence, eh? Ok then…
The Accumulator, part thirty one.
Scene: Interior of a windowless black van, which, due to the unusually hot spell of weather, is already an unbearable ninety degrees by ten o’clock in the morning.
The six man assault squad, dressed in black fatigues and rolled up ski masks, have been sitting in the sweltering heat for over an hour, following a report from the overnight surveillance shift that Carlisle hasn’t been seen since entering the target residence, nearly eight hours earlier. They are getting restless and beginning to grumble irritably, tired of waiting for the order to go in.
Carlisle had always refused to wear the combined bugging and tracking devices The Department issued to its field agents; he claimed it made him feel uncomfortable, mostly because the targets often started begging for mercy and he didn’t like the idea of the monitors eavesdropping on that, it seemed…undignified.
So, because Carlisle’s spotless record and impeccable loyalty allowed him a certain amount of flexibility, the powers that be granted him this small idiosyncracy; the compromise being that a covert surveillance team was despatched to all of his jobs. Without his knowledge, of course.
They were told never to interfere, (The Department needed to retain its facade of plausible deniability, after all) but were to report back on any deviation from his established routine, just in case damage limitation was required. Up until now there had never been a problem, but Carlisle was well known for his quick turnaround on this type of critical operation, so the assumption was that he’d been compromised and the big guns had been called in.
The man closest to the sliding side door of the van, designated “Alpha One”, wipes the sweat from his eyes and looks at his watch, raising a hand to silence his muttering colleagues as he pulls a mobile phone from his pocket and punches a speed dial button.
“Hello, this is Alpha One, the area is clear. I repeat; the area is clear, you are green to proceed.”
The squad leader ends the call and nods to his men, watching as they pull down their masks and perform a final equipment check, then he climbs over into the driver’s seat and opens the window, letting in a mercifully cool breeze in the process, and listens for sirens; his cue to begin the attack.
Now our POV drifts over Alpha One’s head and out through the window, (the director has just got himself a new drone camera) where it speeds down the street; past Patrick and Cathy’s innocuous suburban house and dozens of others exactly like it, until it reaches the main road, where it glides smoothly to a stop and rotates, to show us a line of four police cars, parked just around the corner.
Policemen with their sleeves rolled up and collars undone lean against the cars, chatting quietly and smoking in the heat, then a phone rings and a few seconds later the order comes;
“Ok you lot, let’s make this look convincing. Remember, we’re only here as window dressing for the spooks, so I don’t want you putting yourselves in harm’s way, but any nosey neighbours are supposed to think tomorrow’s Daily Mail is right when it comes out with some bollocks about an “Islamic Terrorist cell in shootout with Home Counties police”, you get my drift?”
There is a chorus of replies, on a variation of “Yes, sarge”, as cigarettes are flicked into gutters, doors slam and engines roar into life.
The cars pull away from the kerb, turn the corner, and accelerate rapidly; sirens blaring, lights flashing, followed by the drone camera, filming from overhead, before screeching impressively to a halt, sideways, blocking the street with two positioned on either side of Patrick’s house, just as the anonymous black van swings into his driveway.
This is the moment the assault squad have been waiting for and, as the police officers set about conspicuously “securing the area” for the benefit of any curious members of the public, the door of the van slides open and the six heavily armed men pile out.
The camera zooms down to get us right in amongst the action.
Two of the team disappear around the rear of the house and another two make for the back wall of the garage and station themselves by the connecting door that opens into the kitchen, while Alpha One takes up position at the front door with Alpha Two, who carries a compact steel battering ram.
Raising three fingers to his second in command, Alpha One nods and silently counts down;
Three. Two. One.
He drops his clenched fist in a chopping motion and Alpha Two swings the ram, splintering the wooden frame and smashing open the door in a single impact.
Without hesitation, the squad leader charges headlong into the darkened hallway and the camera follows him, as the screen..
…fades to black.
To be continued (using next week’s prompt)…