But first a sonnet!
Catesby, Fawkes, Percy, Keyes, Bates, Wintour, Wright
Plotted to overthrow a government
Wintour, Digby, Tresham, Grant, Rockwood Wright
Complicit in the parliament's torment
Plot uncovered - a missive to Parker
Discovered beneath the Lords at midnight
1605 on 4th November
Chased by Worcester conspirators in flight
The courts decision to hang, draw quarter
Assassins reward a gory ending
Four hundred years of fiery honour
Countless money in flames we're spending
Should we celebrate such evil intent
As well as the legal but vile punishment
©David L Atkinson November 2012
'I Have To Get It Right' (continued)
I went down to breakfast early and had the works. Full English because I wanted to work without having to break off for lunch, and also because I love full English breakfast!
I set off to the building site at Glebe Park on the outskirts of Washington again. I wanted to get an idea of the ‘atmosphere’ of the place. How it is organised and what other businesses link with McSwann? If I am to deal some kind of body blow to the builder I need to know how he operates. That is what I am assuming Sumisu san wants. I was fascinated as to how that could be done. It’s relatively simple to get rid of a single person but a whole business! No it couldn’t be that, but I know I am somewhere near the mark. So I need to think about what is possible.
I arrived around ten on what was a very pleasant and clear spring day. Not the best for covert surveillance. I called at a newsagent I had passed on the way into the estate and bought one of the more middle class tabloids. Newspapers can be useful tools when you want to be inconspicuous. I drove to the bottom of the park and walked back up across the grass and found a park bench just below the tree line so that I was at right angles to where the work was going on and settled down with my newspaper. The only equipment I had apart from concealed weaponry was my very neat 8mb digital camera with built in zoom. I intended to become very familiar with the goings on round this newly built sports complex and those who were involved. I spent an hour photographing the workers I could see and the vehicles that came and went. I walked back to the car and drove back up to the end of the approach road and pulled up just past it. I sat in the car and ‘read’ and photographed vehicles and number plates. I left just before lunch and drove into Sunderland to the library. I looked at maps and addresses and found some of the firms involved with the McSwann project. On the face of it everything seemed legitimate and there was no reason why it shouldn’t. The companies supplying McSwann had no need to have any knowledge of the Italian connection; all of them would have a sprinkling of foreign workers thanks to the damn common market open borders policy.
I went back to the Ramside and got my laptop out. I downloaded the pics I had taken and printed them off and spread them out on the bed. I grouped them into people and vehicles. I listed all the company names I could see on the sides of wagons and vans. I now needed to create a plan. To do what? I still don’t know what Sumisu has in mind. I wondered if he wants me to take out the Italian I had identified – Jacomo Torino? But I had no proof that he was anything other than an ordinary worker. Looking at the photographs of the people entering and leaving the site I couldn’t begin to pick out nationalities. Looking at the suppliers list there was nothing out of the ordinary. I did pick out the big guy I had flattened! I wasn’t even sure of who was in charge. There was a guy in a shirt and tie with a yellow safety hat who was probably part of the hierarchy. Even he may have no real idea what was going on if the Mafioso, if that’s who they are, were keeping a low profile. I could follow James Thompson and see whom he met up with but that could take weeks. He may only be contacted by mobile - like me. I needed to think of a method of creating a reaction. See who reacted. Find the real leader. I couldn’t do anything that would attract the wrong kind of attention, like the police so no popping my Glock at the workers. A germ of an idea began to stir at the back of my mind. If I created problems at the site someone may make contact with their employers! It would be then a case of monitoring traffic out of the workforce to wherever.
Ok then! How would I do that? Cut off the supplies to the sports centre? Engineer a few ‘accidents’. A mixture of things going wrong should provoke a reaction. The people who were on site were those completing interior work. The structure was complete it was the second phase with a number of tradesmen all working in conjunction with each other with a common aim – to complete their work on schedule so that no contractual penalties were incurred. It would be simple enough to sabotage various aspects of the site. I needed to visit under cover of darkness taking special care not to disturb the ‘night watchman’. No ‘gung-ho’ clouting of the aforementioned incumbent, he might become suspicious. I decided to have an early night and set my alarm for 4am. It would allow me to be on site when anyone there would be at their lowest ebb, or sound asleep. I would bet on the latter.
I wasn’t wrong. It was a pleasant spring early morning. There was no one around so I parked a little closer. I walked up the street at the front of the Sports Centre and noticed that one of the houses for sale was still empty. That could be useful for me later. I walked up to the top of the perimeter fence and squeezed through the gap between that and the hedge that formed the top barrier. All was quiet and I did nothing to change that, moving slowly and carefully towards the main sports hall and keeping away from the prefabricated structures that formed the site office. There was a little light from the street lamps, which worked in my favour because they were behind the site office and cast me in shadow. I found an entrance to the main block, which of course was locked but proceeded down the side until I found a fire door. The carbon steel blade of my knife had no problem with the latch on the fire door and I was inside what felt like a very large cavernous space – the main hall. I had my flashlight with a restricted beam which I snapped on and toured the perimeter of the gym and found what I was looking for. Scaffolding! I also found spare joints and assembling kit. I slackened a couple of the cross braces at the back and a joint at the corner. Gave it a shake and it still felt pretty solid but I was sure that once a load was put on the front that it would tilt and maybe fall or collapse. I left the way I came and crossed the street making straight for the empty house; I went round the back, slipped the lock and went in. No beeping alarms and very definitely empty. It had that slightly damp, echoing atmosphere. I did a quick tour round but found nothing except the few carpets that had been left and the blinds and curtains that had been unwanted. I found an estate agents’ pack with the price. It was going to be empty for a while at that price, very optimistic! I went into the master bedroom, made a makeshift bed from some carpets and a rug, and settled down for a couple of hours sleep. I couldn’t stay long I have a meeting with Sumisu later on.
I didn’t have long to wait. I set my phone alarm for 07:45 and was just rubbing my eyes when I heard shouting. I afforded myself a lookout position that left me unobserved from the outside. Two or three workers were running into the sports hall. Yes! No one came out for a few minutes then I saw a guy making a call on his mobile. Ten minutes later an ambulance arrived and took someone away on a stretcher. First Blood. I put the carpets/rugs back where I found them and then eased my way out of the house and off down the street. The attention of the nosy neighbours was on the incident across the road. I regained the car and was back in my room by 09:00. I got my sports gear on and used the gym facilities in the hotel before having a shower and a late breakfast.
I was reading the paper in the residents’ sumptuous lounge when my ‘boss’ arrived. He sat next to me in an adjacent armchair, smiled and said,
“Konnichiwa, Steele San. O genki desuka?”
“O genki desu, Arrigato. Anatawa?”
He replied with a relaxed smile,
“Genki desu, arigato.”
He inclined his head slightly. He paused for a long time as if he was mentally moving on from the formal greeting that is an essential part of all dealings in Japanese culture. I waited patiently. He had shown no curiosity or necessity at me being at the Ramside earlier than him. Almost as if it was what he would expect from a proactive employee. The lounge was quite quiet; there was tasteful piped music classical a pleasant atmosphere. The conversation took a completely different tack to what I expected.
“Aikido! You haven’t started yet! I need you to be part of the culture as well as the team. You will attain a higher level of performance and understanding that will show more efficient ways of undermining the performance of another organisation rather than random acts of sabotage! You will start on Monday!”
He knew! How the hell did he know? I hadn’t even known myself until moments before I entered the sports hall. I didn’t like the look in his eyes. There was a warning that brooked any further discussion.
“Ok!” I sighed.
“You will spend a week with the Sensei. Then you will come here again at the same time next week. I will know if you have taken the lessons to heart.”
“Now we enjoy the rest of the weekend. Do you play golf Steele San?”
My thoughts were too confused to make sense. I went to restaurant in Durham and to a club afterwards in a daze. What about my plans for the building site? Had I done wrong? What did he want me to do? Why do I have to go to a martial arts class – really!!! On the other hand I get paid well and enjoy testing myself. New skills and ideas could enhance my performance! We will see!