The Russian paced the room, waiting, he didn’t bargain for this.. It was supposed to be a simple pick up in Africa. Now here he was, stuck in Nigeria, his KLM ticket lay on the bed. The Jacket flipped open. As he paced the room, he took an occasional glance at the ticket, with his passable English he could make out the words ‘Departure’ and that appointed time was 12:00. ‘Destination: Moscow. He hated being too far from his Service pistol. Naked wasn’t the word; vulnerable was appropriate. Now the departure time had elapsed.
Part of the deal his employers had ridiculously agreed to with the apparently inept Nigerian secret service was the guarantee that he would not be carrying a weapon on the trip.
He felt vulnerable being without his service pistol, not like he couldn’t handle himself, in fact he was far more dangerous than an average man wielding an AK47 rifle on a good day.
Considering part of his training had consisted of 16 hours with barely any warm clothing while being thrown into the Siberian Wilderness and left to fend for himself for that duration of time.
He had come out a changed man. His training officer had promised him; “if you can live through this Drakov, you can live through anything..”
The man had been right, 13 years and 8 gun shots wounds sustained while on two separate stints in Sarajevo, he had gained notoriety within the walls of the FSB as ‘The Ghost’.
Drakov lived for one thing and only one thing; his job. Having experienced extreme poverty during the dying days of the Soviet Union he saw his country change before his eyes but it never changed for him and his household. His Father, a local drunk but a proud and loyal socialist party member forbade him from partaking in what he called ‘the Western Devils reaping’.
The only place Drakov was allowed to find work once he was done with school was in the Army. There his father believed, were the last of Stalin’s Children.
He believed Gorbachev to be a rat, a cowering one at that.
Drakov had the advantage of being athletic and bright and therefore it placed him at the top of his regiment for all activities. He was a brilliant marksman and was soon noticed by the Elite Russian Commandos. It didn’t take long before the FSB came seeking his services.
On his first day at FSB headquarters he wondered what his father would have thought. he recalled the heart-break the man felt upon hearing of the disbandment of the KGB. He simply shrugged the thought aside, according to his briefings he wasn’t supposed to reveal his new operational status to anyone.
Siberia surely changed Drakov, his colleagues still whispered and made up stories about those hours he spent in the wilderness. The rest of them never lasted longer than 5 hours before shooting off their flares (the one and only thing they were allowed to carry). Drakov on the other hand came back to base on his own spending the full 16 hours.
To the Nigerians, the Russian’s protection was adequate but Drakov still didn’t believe their claims that his presence in the country was completely off the radar. His detection would have set off alarms in such places as Langley and M16. Intelligence analysts scrambling to find any form of connection with an active Russian agent’s presence in Nigeria and any other piece of significant information.
He still paced the room, he was due to make a phone call to his superiors.
Alexi Drakov was a man with little time. The package had failed to materialize and true to form the guys at local relations at predicted that lines of communications would be poor so he was on his and in the dark as to why he had not received the package or had not being updated on the condition of the package.
Drakov took out his special issue cell phone and pressed a single button. After two rings the line at the other end became open. The voice was indifferent and gruff; “has Damocles been recovered?”
“It still hangs by a tread” was all Alexi said. The line went dead.
He placed the cell phone back in his pocket and picked up his pack of cigarettes.
He needed something right now only one man within a 500meter radius could provide for him. He headed right out the hotel room and as he predicted was halted by his ‘sitters’ , two completely inept Secret service men who didn’t seem to discuss anything other than the English Premiership. He swiftly walked past the two of them and gestured with his hands that he’d be returning shortly then he bumped into a lady who seemed to have been keeping vigil over the adjacent door to his room. She seemed slightly flustered and immediately apologized.
Drakov didn’t wait to receive it but kept on moving towards the service stairs. One habit he had learned was never to spend longer than 2 minutes in any confined space in a building he had not secured personally.
His trainers had always told him; “you might as well put a bullet through your head if you don’t know what to expect when taking a long trip in an elevator once the door opens.
Drakov was soon at the Hotel bar and he immediately ordered 4 straight shots of vodka. In quick succession he knocked each glass back before lighting a cigarette, taking a long drag before exhaling deeply.
He had to find a way to get information out of the Director he had met late last night upon his arrival without looking desperate.
Sadly, he was not one known to be subliminal or subtle.
The priority for him was getting the parcel to Moscow and no one could stop him.
Damocles needed to be secured and he was chosen for this special reason. He was the best.
He need to act fast even if it meant torturing the two ‘sitters’ left at his hotel room door.
With a clearer head and a sharper brain Drakov headed back to his room with a plan gradually forming in his head. He took the service stairs back up only to see his two minders sluggishly coming down the stairs obviously looking for him, he walked past them like they were strangers to him. They immediately queued up right behind him and continued their endless discussion about the finer points of the offside rule.
Just before they turned the corner onto his hotel room corridor, Drakov motioned the two ‘sitters’ to be quiet. He had heard something and didn’t want to take any chances. He made his back flat against the wall and drew up to the edge, after peeping over for about 5 seconds he drew back and started walking back towards the service stairs again. The two sitters looked at him puzzled for a split second before retreating as well and pulling out their cell phones. Drakov spun around and in one swift move dispossessed the two men of their phones.
He wasn’t going to take anymore chances with these guys.
He pulled out his special issue cell phone and pressed the single button. The response at the other was almost instant; “confirm receipt of Damocles….”
Drakov didn’t care to hear the rest of the encrypted question from his superior; “Damocles has been intercepted! I need Pegasus!” he cut the line immediately the voice on the other end of the line had given him specific instructions. He turned around to look at his two ‘sitters’ they stood staring at him motionless.
Drakov now had to revise his plan, he hadn’t anticipated this new development; Right in front of his hotel room stood two men and the same lady he had bumped into on his way out. The man in the middle held the parcel he had come to collect, Damocles.
He walked back to the corner turning into the hotel hallway in front of his room, as he peeped he watched as Dubem, Justice and Feyi deliberated on the brief case. Drakov wondered if he would have to kill any of these people. They seemed harmless.