The two men were on the ferry going from Cows, Isle of Wight to Portsmouth and then on to pick up the Rolls-Royce, which had been driven there earlier by Keith. There wasn't much to do for the time being, so they just admired the view.

The ferry arrived at Portsmouth and the two men walked down the ramp onto dry land. The first man sent a text to his driver to meet them at the Rolls-Royce. They split up and executed anti-surveillance protocols and finally met up at the awaiting Rolls-Royce. The driver got the text, checked out of the hotel and walked to where the Rolls was parked. He checked the indicator for evidence of attached devices and got in.

"Fucking seagulls !" said the first man totally mistaking the splodge of almost invisible dirt-stained UV paint on the windscreen for gull-crap.

"It will be nice to ride in the old girl again." said the second man.

"Do you mean the Rolls or your girl-friend ?" joked the first man.

"She's not that old !" said the second man.

The driver unlocked the two rear doors and the two men got in. The first man pulled back a panel to reveal the touch screen and touched 'RF Scan'. The screen showed there was nothing nearby.

"The 'pig' radar seems unusually quiet, " said the second man " we normally get the odd 'blip' here and there."

"Get ready." said the first man.

"Get ready for what ?" said the second man, slightly confused.

"This !" said the first man. Suddenly the 'pig' radar showed dozens of 'piggy' faces all around them indicating that they were surrounded by many police officers.

"We're trapped. I can't see a way out of this !" said the second man.

"Don't worry, I think I know what's going to happen" said the first man touching 'Protocols' then 'Protocol 1' and finally 'Prepare' on the touch screen. The Rolls-Royce sent an encrypted burst of data to all the other units.

"How did you know that was going to happen." said the second man.

"Friends in high places. Get ready." said the first man.

DCI Coulson and DI Hanson approached the Rolls-Royce which was now surrounded by armed police. The only way out was into the sea.

"Wait here." instructed DCI Coulson to DI Hanson. She walked to the last few yards to the Rolls-Royce and knocked on the rear door. The door opened and she got in.

"I'm DCI Coulson." said DCI Coulson.

"Hello Alison, I suppose you've come to arrest us ?" asked the first man.

"That depends." said DCI Coulson.

"On what ?" said the second man very surprised.

"I need your help." said DCI Coulson.

"To bump off your husband or your bit on the side ?" said the second man.

"You know about him ! ... No, not yet ! there are some things that need to be done that are impossible for any government organisation to do." said DCI Coulson wondering how much more they knew about her.

"OK, tell us more !" said the first man.

"Groups of people can operate in one of two ways. The first group expand the wealth-pie by learning, inventing, creating, fixing, growing, fishing etc. It's their skills that makes our current level of civilisation possible. The second Group are incapable of creating their own wealth, so they take, sometimes by force or by laws, from the first group which normally means the wealth-pie gets smaller and smaller. Over a period of time the wealth creators are rendered ineffective, and we slowly go back to the stone age as all the various skills and resources needed to keep a civilisation going are lost." explained DCI Coulson.

"OK" said the first man.

"The world as we know it is changing because of resource depletion, peak-oil, energy shortages, over-population, deforestation, culture-breakdown, etc. The powered elite know this and are planning for it right now. As this slow collapse continues the governments will be less able to protect their citizens which means that the gangs will take control of large areas. Gangs tend be of the second group, they won't be interested in learning the skills necessary to keep our current way of life going, they will only be interested in grabbing what ever they can at the expense of the first group." explained DCI Coulson.

"OK, we're wealth-creators ourselves so we get that part ... so where do we come in ?" asked the first man.

"We need the first group to survive and the second group to go away ... along with all the other parasitic members of society like spammers, cold-callers, con-men, high-frequency traders, patent-trolls and corrupt bankers. Basically people who consume lots but have little or no social utility. This will be your new mandate ... and obviously, bumping off people's wives will not be part of this !" said DCI Coulson.

"A kind of Human Pest Control." said the second man thinking it sounded a bit like "The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy" where an alien race decide to rid themselves of a useless third of their population by putting them into a huge space ship and crashing it onto another planet.

"Do we include telephone sanitizers ?" he asked. DCI Coulson gave him a blank stare because she hadn't read that book.

"If we refuse ?" asked the first man smiling at the second man's comment.

"Our investigation will be very long and deep. I have enough information to put you two away for decades and I'll plant some if needed." said DCI Coulson.

"And if we agree ?" asked the first man.

"Our investigation will be short and shallow. You evaded us for quite some time so this shouldn't be a problem. You will be free to operate as you see fit and keep whatever booty you get from your endeavours. Obviously, as you will be operating way outside of the law, I can't get involved and will have to go through the motions of tracking you down." said DCI Coulson.

"That sounds interesting !" said the first man.

"Also, to assist my promotion , I need a few high-profile arrests, perhaps you could arrange that too." said DCI Couson.

"Wow ... you don't want much !" said the first man sarcastically.

"So, do I assume helping you get promoted means you can be more useful to us ?" asked the second man.

"Yes, it would. I'm sure we could use some that amazing technology you've developed too." said DCI Coulson.

"That would make our job much harder, so I think not." said the first man.

"Hmm pity. So, do we have an agreement ?" asked DCI Coulson.

"Before I answer, you also need to understand that this arrangement goes both ways. You want lots from us what do we get from you ?" asked the first man.

"At some point, I might be able to arrange access to government resources. I could deflect the odd investigation." said DCI Coulson.

"What kind of government resources ?" asked the second man.

"We have a few unused buildings. Direct but limited access to various police databases and systems. When I get promoted I might even get you very limited access to GCHQ. I also happen to know a few very rich people who would support you, indirectly, of course." said DCI Coulson.

"GCHQ access could be very handy !" said the second man.

"The financial support could also be handy." said the first man.

"So, do we have an agreement ?" asked DCI Coulson again.

The first man looked at the second man who nodded. "Yes" said the first man.

"As I have seen your faces, your escape plan must give the impression that all three of you died. I assume you have that plan ready ?" asked DCI Coulson.

"Of course !" said the first man.

"Well, It's been fun chasing you two, an interesting challenge to say the least." said DCI Coulson

"It's been fun evading you." said the second man.

"So, make it look good ... and I'll see you on the other side." said DCI Coulson looking at the pistol the second man was holding.

The second man looked at the first man, who nodded. The first man touched 'Execute' on his touch screen which responded with a 30 second count-down.

The second man shot DCI Coulson where it wouldn't do too much damage and pushed her out of the Rolls-Royce on to the hard concrete.

"Driver, Drive off the edge !" shouted the first man to the driver.

The police opened fire and the Rolls-Royce drove off the edge into the sea in a hail of bullets.

"Are you OK ?" asked a very concerned DI Hanson looking at his boss's wound.

"I'll live !" said DCI Coulson.

There was a huge under-water explosion.

Index Chapter 20 Chapter 22
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