Conspiracy of Swords
(See Part 1 for Disclaimers)
Shadowriter can be reached at Shadowriter@kc.rr.com
They were a few minutes early getting to the airport. The plane Dawkins was on wasn't due for another fifteen or twenty minutes. They took their time getting to the gate, keeping an eye out for Treville.
He wasn't there, but Alex did spot an old nemesis.
"Shit," she whispered. "Ken, you see him?"
"Yeah. What the fuck is he doing here?"
"Who?" Teren asked.
Alex answered through clenched teeth. "Captain Davies."
The unexected appearance of the Philadelphia police captain put them in a precarious position, Alex realized. The only one of the three who had met Dawkins or Treville was Teren. Alex and Ken could have trailed the men without problem. However, Davies knew both of the FBI agents. Which meant that, instead of only Teren staying in the shadows, all three of them had to.
"Got any ideas, Teren?"
"Maybe." She pulled Alex into a souvenir stand. "Listen up. Ken, you and Alex are going to hang back a bit. I'll get a baseball cap, and pull it down. With my short hair, and the cap, Dawkins probably won't recognize me. I'll go to the gate and watch for him. You two stay out of sight -- but not too far away. Alright?"
Ken started to speak, and both women glared at him. He closed his mouth, and nodded.
Alex turned to her partner. "What if Davies is picking up Dawkins?"
Teren frowned. "Why would he be here for Dawkins? Maybe he's just getting a flight back to PA, and it's at the next gate. Or he could be picking up someone else."
Her partner shook her head. "No. Think about it." She began ticking things off on her fingers. "One, Davies was a guest at the banquet where Dabir was killed. He's a police captain, and should have either pursued Mather or stayed to help -- but if I remember from the reports, nobody saw him for a long period of time before or after the shooting." She looked at Ken. "Is that what you remember from the reports?"
He nodded. "He said he was in the restroom, and nobody questioned it because he's a captain. But, I don't think anyone ever verified where he was."
"Right. Number two, Davies is the one who didn't want us bothering Kyle Brogan. He said we were harassing him for no reason -- even after we found the pictures and fingerprints."
Teren nodded. "Go on."
"Three, Davies is the one who arranged for the back up car -- and he handpicked the officers. How hard would it have been for him to slip into the back seat?"
One dark eyebrow went up into Teren's bangs.
"Four -- who was it that tried to pin that on you, Teren? Even though the cop that drove you there told him otherwise?"
"That's right," Ken said. "The patrolman had to go to the press to get anyone to listen to him, cause Davies wouldn't believe him."
The other eyebrow joined its twin.
Teren nodded. "Alright. So, Davies is a very possible suspect." She shrugged. "Doesn't change the plan. If he is here to pick up Dawkins, I'll trail them, and you two trail me. Got it?"
"Right. We'll keep out of sight." She reached out and touched Teren's arm. "Careful, partner."
Teren grinned at her. "No problem." She winked and headed up to the counter to pay for her new hat.
Along with her new cap, Teren got a magazine, and sat down to read. There was actually a very interesting article on the newest computer gadgets, and the time passed very quickly. Before she knew it, the plane was in, and the passengers were disembarking.
It wasn't hard to spot Dawkins. He had an entourage of several people traveling with him. Davies greeted him with a smile and a handshake, and Teren heard him mention Treville, and "meet at the hotel." She waited a few moments after they left the gate area, then casually joined the crowd heading toward baggage claim.
She noticed Alex waiting behind a magazine rack, and saw that she had gotten a new cap of her own. Teren motioned with her head for her partner to slip into the group just in front of her. After Alex was in position, Teren leaned a little closer and whispered.
"They're headed for the parking lot. Treville's waiting for them at a hotel." She paused, as they came to a bottleneck point. "I'm gonna keep tailing them, you try and keep an eye on me. Send Ken for the car -- got it?"
A nod, and Alex was moving away again, pushing her way through the crowd.
Teren watched as the men got into a white Taurus with local plates and a rental barcode on the window. Davies was in the driver's seat, and he started the car and pulled out of the parking lot, driving past the CIA operative, who was walking and reading her magazine at the same time.
Within a minute, Ken was pulling up next to her. He opened the driver's door, and let her slide behind the wheel while he climbed in the back.
"I don't know what hotel they're headed to, but Treville is going to be there. There are four of them, Davies, Dawkins, and two guys from Dawkins' staff. The rest of his group stayed to get the bags." She pointed to the sedan, which was several car lengths in front of them. "That's them, in the white Taurus."
"Right. So what's our plan? Follow them, and then what?" Ken asked from the back seat.
"We pick them up," Alex said grimly. "The CIA will house them for the time being -- after all, the BKA might want to talk to them about the money from the Swiss bank accounts. Even if they don't, we should have enough evidence to put them both behind bars -- but we're not allowed to bring the FBI into this again until we know who the traitor is." She was concentrating on watching the car Teren had pointed out, and didn't notice the look on Ken's face.
He hesitated a moment, and then asked, "They didn't really pull your badge, did they?"
Alex licked her lips and swallowed. "Well, yes and no. Officially, I'm no longer with the Bureau. The Agency, however, has given me a temporary position as Teren's partner. This way, whoever CJ is, and whoever he's working with, won't have any way to control our investigation. We have the backing of the Agency if we need it, but an awful lot of leeway as well."
Ken nodded. "I figured it might be something like that." He frowned. "Only thing I can't figure out is why you didn't tell Cliff and me. We were really worried, you know."
Alex said nothing. Teren glanced at her, then looked in the rear view mirror. "Ken -- to be honest, we have reason to believe that Cliff is CJ."
Their friend shook his head. "No way. Not possible."
"How do you know?"
"Cause I know, Cliff, and so do you, Alex. You know he couldn't do something like this."
She stayed silent, wanting very much to believe her fellow agent.
"Alex, come on. He put his own badge on the line to warn you, to let Teren know what was going on."
"Was he warning us, Ken, or setting us up? It didn't take long for him to declare Alex a rogue. Barely 48 hours, if I remember right."
"Yeah, okay, I wondered about that, too. But when I asked him, he said the order came from over his head. He was given a direct order to sign the papers -- he did. He still regrets it, Alex."
"Don't you think that would be unusual, Ken? For someone to order him to do such a thing?"
"Not if the guy who gave the order is CJ."
"Did Cliff tell you who the order came from?"
"He said it had three signatures. I didn't ask who, but any of the three could be CJ."
Teren shook her head. "Ken, there are other things as well, things that just don't add up. Cliff is an experienced agent, with a good record. Yet from what he told us, someone has been micro-managing this task force since day one, and he hasn't even given it a second thought. You'd think someone with Cliff's record would be given some leeway -- or would be asking questions as to why not. Cliff hasn't asked."
"That's pretty flimsy, Teren."
"Yeah, I know, it's all circumstantial. I could be wrong. If I am I'll give my personal apologies to Cliff."
Alex turned to her. "And if you're not?"
The blue eyes turned cold but Teren said nothing.
As they were heading into the downtown area, Teren pulled her new phone out and dialed. She handed it to Alex.
"Here. Talk to Graves. Tell him we can get Dawkins and Treville at the same time. He needs to have back up waiting at the office -- I'll call the code in when we know what hotel they're heading for."
"What are we doing?"
"We're setting up an ambush of our own."
"I thought no CIA operations could take place on US soil?"
"Right." She glanced at him. "What's your point?"
He chuckled and shook his head.
They followed Davies' white Ford to an underground parking lot connected to a five star hotel in downtown DC. It appeared they hadn't been spotted.
Teren dialed another number and waited for an answer.
"This is Ghostflyer, command number one-four-seven-dash-seven. Status is red, and the operation is a go."
There was a pause, and then the voice came back. "Ghostflyer, confirmed. Need current location."
She told them where they were, and the kind of car they were following.
"Location received. Redhawk is on the move."
Teren pushed the off button and slid the phone back in her jacket. "We'll have a team joining us." She turned the car onto the second underground level, catching sight of the white sedan they'd been following.
The center of each level held the elevators that took people up to the surface, which sat in the middle of a cluster of hotels and office buildings. The second floor was no different, and there were several cars surrounding the elevator. The car Davies was driving didn't stop there, however. Teren pulled into an open space, and kept an eye on their quarry which had continued on into a car corner which was fairly deserted. The only other car was a black limousine.
As the Taurus stopped, a man stepped from the front seat of the limo, and opened the back door. John Treville left the back seat, straightening the lapels of his jacket as he did so.
Alex pulled her gun, and checked the cartridge. Ken did the same, snapping the safety off. Teren sat still, her phone in her hand. When it rang, she lifted it and said simply, "Level two, northeast corner. Do not fire unless fired upon."
She turned the phone off again and tossed it on the dash.
Alex nodded, her eyes never leaving the figures in the corner of the lot. Teren glanced at Ken and raised an eyebrow. He nodded once, and reached for his door handle.
Teren led them through the cars, telling them to keep low. When there was only a single vehicle and the driving lane between them and their quarry, she held up a hand.
"We wait here. Redhawk should be here any second."
Even as she spoke, there was the sound of several car engines and vehicles began to pour down the ramp.
Alex, who'd been watching Treville and Dawkins, saw the men scatter. Dawkins and his two staff members jumped back into the white sedan. Treville and Davies, along with Treville's chauffer dropped behind the limo.
The CIA vehicles turned to face Treville and company. Agents opened their doors, and slid out of them, weapons at the ready. Teren stuck her head over the trunk of the car, and aimed her gun. Alex did the same over the hood of the vehicle, shouting as she did so.
"This is the FBI. You are under arrest. Get down on the ground and put your hands behind your head."
The answer came in the form of a shot, which struck the car she was hiding behind. Immediately, there was return fire, and Alex cursed. With this much lead flying around, it would be difficult to take any of the men alive -- but that was exactly what they needed to do.
She slid down the length of the vehicle, to Teren's side.
"Do any of your pals have a megaphone or something? A PA? Anything?"
Teren nodded. She grabbed Ken's shoulder and told him to cover their movement. He raised up partly over the car and fired several successive shots, emptying his cartridge in an attempt to hold the other men's fire.
Teren pulled Alex to a stop beside a man with a rifle and a black hat with a red circle on it.
"Redhawk, this is Agent Reis, FBI, currently on assignment to the Agency. She wants to know if you have a PA."
He nodded. "In the car, ma'am. You want to try to talk to them?"
He crawled into the front seat, and flipped a switch on the radio. Then he pulled the microphone toward them, handing it to Alex. She keyed the mic once to make sure it was working, and heard the squawk over the come over a loudspeaker that she couldn't see.
"Treville. This is Agent Reis, FBI. Hold your fire."
There was no answer, only more shots.
"You're trapped, Treville. There's no way out of here. If you wanna walk out of here, you'll have to drop your weapons."
Teren put a hand on Redhawk's shoulder. "Tell your men to hold their positions, and their fire. Let's give Alex a chance to talk these guys out of there."
He nodded, and pressed a button on the headset he was wearing. "Hold your fire. Repeat, hold your fire."
The gunfire in the garage tapered off into an occasional burst from behind the limo. Then that stopped as well.
"Treville? You there?"
She waited, crossing her fingers.
"You're trapped, John. You must have realized that already. You really wanna go down like this?"
"I wouldn't mind. Long as I can take you with me."
"What about your wife, John? Think she'd want you to die like this? Don't you think she wants to see you again?"
"I should have known, Reis, that you'd bring my wife into this. You're a dyke after all."
Alex saw Redhawk raise an eyebrow. She worried for half a second what his reaction would be, then ignored him.
"Dawkins? How about you? You wanna die in that car?"
A different voice called back. "No! Don't shoot! I'll come out --"
"Shut the fuck up, Dawkins!" There was a gunshot, and the sound of shattering glass.
Alex motioned Redhawk forward.
"He's gonna kill Dawkins. That's why he was here in the first place. Can we get agents up to that car and get those three men out?"
"Are you sure Dawkins hasn't been firing as well, Alex?" Teren asked.
Redhawk held up a hand, and waited for a moment. Then he looked up at Alex. "I've got a report that one man in the sedan is injured, possibly dead. He's slumped over the wheel. The other two have not been firing. There's a possibility one or both are injured. Their friends fired several shots at them even before they jumped in the vehicle." He paused a moment listening to the voice in his ear. "My men think they can get up to that car, and take out the shooters from behind. They can also get the injured men out of there."
"And if they're wrong, and they're fired upon?"
"Then their backup will pull them out, and I'll tell them to load with APC's."
Alex frowned. "What's that?"
"Armor piercing bullets. It'll go through the car, the men, and out the other side."
She hesitated, glancing up at Teren. But she made her decision.
"Send them in. I'll keep talking on the PA, and try to cover their movements. You tell your men, I want them alive if at all possible."
"Got it." He nodded at Teren and moved away slightly to give the orders.
Alex closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
"You killed Radcliffe, didn't you." There was no doubt, and no question, in her voice.
"White killed him. His fingerprints were on the gun."
"No, you killed him. Because Radcliffe could identify you, and you figured, since it was all unraveling, why not make sure all the people who knew you and CJ were gone. That's why you wanted Brogan dead."
There was silence.
"But, you see, it won't work. We have the papers from Franz Eisenbein. Your name is on them -- even a letter from you, Treville. I have White, but I don't need him, or Dawkins, or anyone."
"They won't let you use those in the US courts!"
"Maybe, maybe not. But the Bundeskriminalamt can certainly use them. And I'm sure we can push the paperwork through for your extradition."
"What are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about you hanging for your crimes. The BKA was specifically set up to combat Nazi activities. And the US government wants to keep Germany as an ally, so you'll be on a plane for Germany before you know it."
She waited, wondering if she'd gotten through to him at all.
"What do you want, Reis?"
It was a different voice, but one she recognized easily. "Davies? From you, I want your badge -- nothing more. From Treville -- I want CJ."
Treville's voice cut through the garage again.
"If I give him to you, will --" There were two quick shots that stopped his question, and then the sound of a motor revving up. The limousine began to move away, gaining speed, crashing through two other cars. Taking a quick turn, it headed for the exit ramp.
As it did so, Alex saw three cars pull into position, blocking the vehicle's escape route. At the last possible second, the driver in the limo yanked the wheel, away from the ramp heading up to the exit, and onto the ramp leading down to the next level.
It wasn't soon enough. The right front tire hit the curb, lifting the front of the long car. The back wheel did the same, and the car entered the tunnel at a high rate of speed, on two tires. The tires that were up in the air hit the side wall, and the car flipped, just as it dropped from Alex's sight. There was the screech of metal on cement, and a loud crash.
Alex glanced at Redhawk who was listening intently. After a moment he raised his head.
"One body in the car. Dead from massive head wounds."
She nodded, and looked over at the area where the limo had been parked.
Treville lay on his back, staring at the ceiling. There was a perfect hole in the center of his forehead, and a growing puddle of blood spreading out from under his head. The chauffeur was lying a few feet away, his throat torn open by a bullet.
Dawkins and another man had been pulled from the sedan, and were being handcuffed. Ken was there, reading Dawkins his rights, even as another agent strapped a bandage around the prisoner's bleeding arm.
Alex felt a hand come down on her shoulder. She flinched, then realized who it was, and sighed. "You alright, Teren?"
Teren squeezed her shoulder again. "We got Treville, Alex. There's only CJ left. And with Dawkins in custody, we'll get him. Don't worry."
"Right." Alex shrugged the hand off her shoulder and approached Ken, who was still watching Dawkins get his arm bandaged.
Ken saw her and turned. "Hey, Alex. It must have been Davies in the limo -- he's the only one not here."
"Uh-huh." She stepped past him and grabbed Dawkins by the lapels. Yanking him up from his seat, she pushed him back into the hood of the car, scowling at him.
Ken frowned and reached over to stop her, but Teren held his arm. He looked at her and she shook her head, no.
"There's only one thing I want from you, Mr. Dawkins. And that's a name. Do you understand?"
"Ummm, I think --"
"No, don't think. Just listen. I want a name. I want you to tell me who CJ is. And I want you to do it now."
"Agent Reis," he stopped and licked his lips. His eyes were wide and glassy. "I'm afraid I can't."
Her jaw clenched, and she glared at him. "Why not?"
"Well, because I don't know. None of us did. Only Treville knew his real name. He never told the rest of us."
Dawkins flinched at the fury in Alex's eyes.
"You know he works for the FBI?"
"We believed so, yes."
"Believed? You didn't know for sure?"
"No. It was hinted at, but never confirmed." He swallowed. "I'm sorry, Agent Reis. Treville could have told you -- but I can't."
"Is there anybody else who knew? Anyone who knew his real name?"
Dawkins started to shake his head, then stopped."I'm not positive, but Martin might know."
"Yes. He and Treville were very close. I think Treville introduced him to CJ. He might know who he is, but I can't be sure."
Alex let go of Dawkins, and motioned to him to sit down. She moved away, fists clenched. Teren followed, and Ken trailed behind them.
"Alex? Where we going?"
She turned and glared at him. "You're staying here. You make sure nothing happens to Dawkins. He and White are the only two witnesses, and we need to keep them alive. Got it?"
He nodded. "What about you?"
"New York. Teren and I are gonna go ask Richmond who CJ is."
"And if he won't tell you?"
She glared at him, her fury evident in the twisted features. "Then I'll kill him myself." She stalked off towards the car, not waiting for Teren.
The taller woman turned to Ken. "Stay with Dawkins. Redhawk has his orders, and he'll be taking him to a safehouse. You go with, find out everything you can." She took a deep breath. "I'll take care of Alex."
"Alright. You might wanna start, though, by telling her that Richmond isn't in New York."
Teren stared at him. "Where the hell is he?"
"He's here. For Stephen Radcliffe's funeral -- same reason Dawkins was flying in."
Her eyes widened. "Think Alex knows that?"
Ken shrugged. "Don't know."
"Thanks, Ken. Talk to you soon." Teren gave him a slight wave and started jogging towards her partner who was halfway across the parking lot.
Ken shook his head and moved back towards Dawkins.
Continues in Chapter Forty-one