"The 'Stelvio Pass' crash report from Interpol is interesting ..." said DI Hanson to the police officers sitting in his office.

"How so ?" ask DS Cooper.

"Well, the doors seem to have come off during the fall, not at the point of impact, plus they couldn't find enough bio-matter in the burned-out wreck to account for one woman, even a fairly small one." said DI Hanson.

"Didn't the intense fire burn it all away ?" asked DS Cooper.

"Yes, but you would expect to find the odd bit of bone and fat. And here's another thing, it seemed like she knew the location of the other police cars and was able to avoid them." said DI Hanson "It's almost like she had some kind of radar !"

"A pig radar !" joked DS Cooper to some mild laughter.

"Yeah, the other police units have had similar experiences." said another officer.

"Paul, I think we need to look at that crash site for ourselves, can you make the arrangements ?" said DI Hanson.

"Sure." confirmed DS Cooper.

"And what about the shoot-out a few days back ?" asked DI Hanson.

"It seems to have been two gangs having it out. One side used low velocity 9mm rounds fired from sub machine guns and the other side used high velocity 7.62mm armour-piercing rounds, and they seem to have won ... in more ways than one !" said DS Cooper.

"How so ?" said DI Hanson.

"We can't trace their van. It seems to have vanished. ANPR didn't pick it up anywhere. Also there were odd witness accounts of a van changing colour, we're assuming that's a trick of the light." said DS Cooper.

"It might not be, " said DI Hanson "our techs came up with an idea on how a van could change colour using some new weird paint. It might be an idea to trace who's been buying it."

Thousands of miles away in the Mediterranean the two men were on the top deck of their Drettmann yacht.

"That last hit was very messy !" said the first man.

"Sure was, and our client was trying to back-stab us and then shooting-up our guys to find one of our secure workshops. I think he needs to be punished." said the second man.

"He does, but not directly by us, we're too hot right now. We need to find a way for another gang to take him out." said the first man.

They looked out at the vast Mediterranean sea spotting the odd shark, stingray or flying fish.

"I've got it !" said the second man "Remember awhile back when we re-directed that police sting to one of your enemies ?"

"Yes." confirmed the first man.

"They are probably wondering how the police found them. So, we get our black-hats to lay a digital trail back to our gangster 'friend' and let the other gangsters take him out." said a slightly excited second man.

"Oh that's brilliant !" said the first man "make it so !" he added trying to sound like Captain Picard from Star Trek:TNG.

"Hows Debz ?" asked the second man.

"After a long slog, she got back to the town and checked into a hotel. She will make her way back to the UK soon. And, before I forget, get another car ready for her." said the first man. "How are we doing with re-hacking the police systems ?"

"We have made progress but it's obviously much harder this time round as they have upgraded the security on their systems." said the second man.

"Good. The police use special software to predict where certain crimes are likely to occur by using statistics, I think. It would be very useful to get into that system and possibly 'tweak' the results in our favour." said the first man.

"That's an interesting idea. We will be able to see if our 'statistically insignificant' hits are just that. I'll get the black-hats on it ASAP" said the second man.

"... Police are investigating a car crash in the Stelvio Pass involving a woman believed to be English. Police were unable to find a body in or near the wreckage. Police are asking for witnesses to two shootings in London the other day. Several gang members and a woman were shot dead with automatic fire ..." said the newscaster

"Wow the boys have been busy !" said Deborah examining the deep cut on her leg. She re-dressed it and covered the dressing with make-up to disguise it as much as possible. She had checked into the hotel a few hours before looking like she had been in a war, so she couldn't stay too long before the word got to the local police. Naturally she paid by cash but was getting short as most of her cash and belongings were burnt to a crisp on the side of a mountain. She picked up her phone and dialled.

"Hey boss, I'm all cleaned up and ready to move again, but I don't want to use my cards for obvious reasons, so I need some cash." said Deborah knowing that they hide small amounts of cash and other useful items in various countries for just this kind of emergency.

"So ... I need to get to Germany and there is a cache there !" confirmed Deborah trying to figure out how to make a long journey to get cash without any cash.

"OK, thanks. I'll figure it out !" Deborah hung up. She was starving and decided to spend the last of her cash on a meal and then check-out. She went down stairs to the restaurant, sat down and thought about various 'grifting' techniques. She noticed a large group of people getting up at the next table and leaving a large pile of cash on top of the bill. Deborah waited until they left, swiped the cash and moved to the other side of the restaurant.

"Hey where did they go ?" asked a very angry waiter.

"I think I overheard them say they were going to their rooms to get some cash. " Lied Deborah wondering if they had a CCTV system.

"OK, if they don't return soon I can find out which room reserved that table and add it to their room tab." said the waiter "What can I get for you ?"

"I'm still choosing." said Deborah estimating she had about ten minutes before they sussed her out.

"OK, I'll be back in a few minutes." said the waiter.

Deborah waited until he was out of sight, got up and checked out of the hotel. She found the nearest clothes shop and went in. She selected the cheapest dress from the mark-down rack, went to the changing room and put it on. She went to the check-out counter.

"I'll take it ... and could you cut the label off, please. Oh! and could I have a bag to put my old clothes in ?" said Deborah.

The lady at the counter pulled out some scissors, cut off the label, took the cash, laid a plastic bag on the counter and handed Deborah the receipt. She turned around to put the cash in the register.

"Thanks. Bye !" said Deborah swiping the scissors and walking out. She soon found a train station and went to the ladies toilet. She gave herself a severe haircut with the scissors and walked out into the main station area. She got a ticket with her new wad of cash and waited for the train.

After a few hours, Deborah was back in the UK, and she made her way to Safe House 2. She had a long bath and thought about the previous days. She got out, got dried, got dressed in some new clothes and went down stairs. She went to the safe and got a new burner phone for herself. To protect the location of the safe house, she left and walked a few hundred yards down the road before she turned the phone on. She texted the two men her new number and got a message back. She had to go to one of the workshops to pick up her new car.

Index Chapter 14 Chapter 16
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