General Fiction posted July 26, 2022 Chapters:  ...11 11 -12- 12 


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Lochlan and Nathan get right for their flight.

A chapter in the book As The Crow Dies

Asian Arrangements Part 1

by Tom Rinkes




Background
Lochlan and Nathan get right for their flight to the East, and Learn their real mission.

 Back at the station, they silently took to their respective desks. They sat as if in a daze, not really comprehending what had just transpired. Then Nathan, the perpetual smartarse, wrote a message on a small piece of paper, folded into a small airplane, and sailed it to his mentor. Lochlan caught it in mid-air and read,

            Do we dare tell anyone?

Lochlan shook his head “No” and wrote a message of his own that read “Never.” Then he sailed it towards an unsuspecting Nathan, and it bounced off his forehead. Nathan calmly held up two fingers, tugged on his right earlobe and Lochlan knew what that meant. 

Lochlan’s curiosity as a good detective compelled him to enter a name in his computer. Time and time again “Charles Ellsworth Phillips” came up as “Not Found” as if the man didn’t exist.  Lochlan really didn’t expect anything more than that, knowing if Mr. Phillips was either MI5 or MI6, he was most assuredly invisible. Lochlan needed a sidebar.

“Time for a cup of tea?” Lochlan asked his partner.

“I was thinking the same thing meself,” Nathan answered. “I’ll meet you out back.”

“Out back” was a small, canopied area behind their station, with tables and chairs set for the employees to gather and talk without the prying eyes and ears of the general public. Not that these people were a threat to anyone, but spies abounded everywhere, especially in a crowd. They sat, sipped their morning beverage, and enjoyed what sunlight Scotland had to offer. Lochlan could tell his partner was dying to say something, so he broke the ice.

“My friend. Aren’t you at least a little curious about what may happen in this?”

“Aye. I am,” Nathan said. “But didn’t we tell Mr. Phillips we’d do ‘anything’ to help out his cause?”

“Aye, we did. So, we are both in agreement. Whatever his mission is for us, we will accomplish it promptly, without forethought or pending guilt. Is that clear?”

Nathan took a sip of his tea and lit a fag. His momentary silence seemed to bother Lochlan, and Nathan could see it in his face.
“Aye. It tis crystal clear. Pardon me pause, but it’s now sinking in what we may occur. I just … don’t know if I’m worthy of this honour. I do have a shady … past.”

“Have you ever sexually abused a child?” Lochlan asked quickly.

“Oh, Good Lord no!  The very image of that makes me want to vomit.”

“Have you ever forced yourself on a lady and committed rape?”

“Absolutely not!”

“Then you are a normal human being who now looks out for our innocent ones. As far as I’m concerned there’s no greater honour than to protect these children from harm and I’m perfectly willing to await my fate on Judgement Day. Are you?”

“I am now, sir. My mind and will is one with yours now, and I thank you. I just needed to talk it out.”

Lochlan smiled and took a drag of his fag, but before he could answer his mobile rang. The short conversation went like this.

“Hello. Aye, this is he. What time? We have got a what to catch? I see. Of course, we can turn them off. We will be ready. Should we pack an overnight bag? That’s what I thought. Good day to you too.”

“We will be on our way in less than an hour,” Lochlan said as he turned off his mobile, telling Nathan to do the same.

Nathan was about to ask a question but thought better of it. He and Lochlan went back inside to their desks, sat and waited for a call.

-2-

At about noon Lochlan’s landline rang. It was the call they expected, and Lochlan told Nathan to grab his coat and follow him. They walked silently two blocks to the right of their station and hung a left. There, at the end of the alley, was the Rolls and Mr. Phillips. The doors unlocked just before their hands reached the handles and they went in, sat quietly and waited for their instructions. Phillips tapped on the window separating them and the driver, told James to go and they started to move.
There wasn’t much informative conversation during the fifteen-minute commute. Phillips only asked them if they could tolerate hot and humid weather for a day and they said aye, but no more than that. He offered them a half-glass of Scotch and at first they declined but Phillips guaranteed them they wouldn’t be driving anywhere, so they gladly accepted. Lochlan saw the Heathrow Exit and knew they were on the M4-M25 interchange, flying to points yet unknown.

As they entered the airport Lochlan noticed they went completely by the main complex and were traveling on a small, neglected-looking road. After a mile or so they stopped and upon their exit they saw what appeared to be a brand-new Lear Jet. Lochlan could find nary a bug on it anywhere as they walked the few steps inside and was aghast at the luxurious interior. He counted six high-back, leather seats with small tables and a small vase of flowers on each. It was homey, he thought, but knew this kind of comforting affair came at a price. After Phillips told them to sit and buckle up, they left the hidden runway quicker than either one of them had ever experience. When the G force lessened and they levelled out, Lochlan could no longer hold his tongue.

“Sir. Might I just ask where it is we are going?”

Phillips broke out in laughter. “Why Inspector Kincaid. I’m amazed you waited this long to ask. I would’ve thought you’d say that back at your house. My compliments on your patience.”

Lochlan didn’t appreciate being taken so lightly and it showed on his face and his reply.

“And it grows thinner per each thousand feet… sir. I think we should get down to business now. Don’t you?”

“Uh huh,” Phillips said as he passed each man a dossier. “Take a few minutes and look these over. I must visit the men’s room,” he said after his stomach growled loudly. After he closed the door Nathan had a burning question.

“Sir. When a man takes a shite on a plane, where does it go after the flush?”

Lochlan looked up at his young partner with amazement he’d even think of that at a time like this. 

“Well, I believe it’s thrown out the back where a race of birds, who always fly high and we never see, consumes it in mid-air. I believe they’re called Shitebirds—what the hell are you asking me for!? Now buckle down and read what’s been presented or you may be deep into what just flew by the back window.”

Nathan immediately put his nose in the paperwork and didn’t look up till he was done. Lochlan began his read with one question in mind. Why this man? He looks like a respectable businessman. Could he be a danger to anybody? Yet, the more he read, the more sense this mission acquired.

Poor Yut.
 


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