Anchored - Part 37 "Trouble at St Paul's"

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 Anchored  

Part
 
Thirty Seven

 

"Trouble at St Paul's"

 

Final Chapter

 

Tammy's Tales Book 6

 

 
Thursday 12th November
 

"Come on Tammy, we'll be late!"

"There's plenty of time, Di, we had an hour to kill yesterday and the coffee's pretty dire at the court."

"Look, there might be a problem with the Docklands Light Railway today?"

"Worst case we walk to Canary Wharf and grab a Jubilee Line train."

"Walk? In those heels?"

"I'm not on an assault course, this is London."

"There are similarities."

"Yeah, anyway it's a nice day and I fancied dressing up a bit, it might also be the last day I'm required in court?"

"That remains to be seen, can we go?"

"I haven't done my make-up yet, do we have any bottled water in the fridge?"

"Yes, but we'll need more."

"Can you drop a bottle in my bag please?"

Tammy went off to her bathroom, hoping that today would indeed be a better experience. It was clear that defence barrister Harriet Grover didn't like Tammy and tried as heard as she could to discredit the witness. Harrier hadn't, unfortunately, much time to prepare and couldn't cross-examine Tammy using the exact same questions as the previous week. That meant she frequently resorted to personal attacks that were continually subject to objections as well as multiple breaks so she could confer with Kelmendi. Of course, Kelmendi and Berisha had both insisted upon interpreters.

Progress was very slow and the judge's patience was being stretched.

Finally, around half three on Wednesday afternoon, Berisha was put on the stand. This was a near total waste of time as James Mortimer, the prosecution barrister, couldn't even get Berisha to confirm who he was. It was almost comedic trying to show that he was the money man behind the air traffic control bombings the previous Christmas or had even been caught with Tammy's help. This was more absurd as Grover had tried to belittle Tammy's story but had confirmed to the court that her client had indeed been arrested at Brent Cross shopping centre a year earlier.

Unsurprisingly the defence had offered no evidence in the case of R v Berisha.

The judge had called a halt at half past four, clearly angry. Kelmendi was due on the stand today, it certainly couldn't get any worse.

"Come on, Miss Smart!"

Tammy declared herself ready for the outside world and stepped out of her room. There was a sudden crash of thunder and it started to pour down.

"I won't be a minute, I'm going to change."

---

Tammy was thankful that she'd bought a pair of boots the previous day. She had considered changing her skirt for a pair of trousers but that would have meant re-evaluating everything she was wearing. She folded her umbrella as they reached the platform, a train was approaching.

It was clear that a few other passengers hadn't brought umbrellas, nor waterproof jackets. Di prodded Tammy and suggested they moved further down the carriage, even though they were very close to the rear of the train already.

"What's up?" Whispered Tammy.

"I'm not sure, I'm testing a theory that we're being watched."

The train was already at South Quay.

"We'll hop off at Canary Wharf, okay?"

That was two minutes later, they stepped onto the platform whilst Di scanned the passengers who also disembarked.

"I can't see anything."

"Okay, let's vary the route?"

"Fine, Jubilee?"

That meant going from an elevated platform down to street level and then a bit further down.

"I don't know the route from here, Tammy."

"We'll ride to London Bridge, take the Northern Line to Bank then Central Line one stop to St Paul's."

"How long is that going to take?"

"About forty minutes, instead of fifteen to Bank on the DLR."

Tammy couldn't be certain that the threat was genuine, she hadn't even seen who had caused Di to be concerned. This alternative route was a bit of a run around, she wished she'd bought a newspaper. Fortunately, as they boarded the tube train she spotted a discarded copy of the Metro free paper, she settled down, allowing Di to do her job of threat assessment.

At London Bridge it meant an escalator up one level then another down, a long way down, onto the Northern Line for one stop, under the Thames. Bank Station is a maze but Tammy led Di through the crowds.

Finally, after ten or more minutes, they reached the Central line platform. This was another one stop journey, which is a longer walk underground than a walk along the street.

"I wish we could have walked it from here?"

"Tammy, the threat increases the more time we spend on the surface, at least this way it's only about five minutes walk up top."

As they made their way up to street level, after arriving at St Paul's, Di tugged Tammy aside. Unfortunately this caused others to walk into them so they had to keep moving.

"What is it?"

Di didn't answer but pulled Tammy to come out of the station exit onto St Martins le Grand instead of the easier Newgate St exit. Di led Tammy away from the exit so they were out of sight of the main road.

"I saw the same guy who was on the DLR this morning."

"Okay, but there's every chance he was heading this way anyway - the Stock Exchange is just along the road as well as just about every financial institution in the country."

"Tammy, there might be a logical explanation but it's not worth taking the risk."

"Okay Di, but was he already on the train this morning or did he get on at Mudchute with us?"

"I don't recall him on the platform."

"Was he wet or dry?"

"Dry."

"So he wasn't caught in that shower?"

"That's not conclusive proof, Tammy, come on, let's circle around."

Di attached the earpiece for her radio and made contact with the City Police Control. Tammy meanwhile, started walking, Di hurried to keep pace with her. Her father's office had originally been near here, so she knew the area well, she went around the block ending up back on Newgate St nearly opposite the Stock Exchange. Di had given into Tammy's street knowledge and was trying to clarify something - the noise of buses, taxis, vans, cars and more buses didn't help.

Tammy threaded through the almost stationary traffic and joined the throng on the pavement as they approached the court buildings. Kevin was waiting just inside the entrance they were using. They quickly walked to a private room, Kevin wasn't happy.

"Where the hell have you two been?"

"I saw a threat, Sir, we changed our route." Di gave a quick summary of their morning travel.

"And you saw the same guy just now?"

"Yes, I asked the City controlroom to stop him."

"He's part of your backup team."

"Oh, no-one said who they were."

"Yes, and now you've had him taken down. He wasn't meant to be seen by you, none of them are. That team is now useless for this job."

"Kevin, how many are keeping an eye on me?"

"A few Tammy, but their main task is to be inconspicuous. Clearly this guy wasn't. Why didn't you phone me?"

"My phone was in my bag this morning, I didn't think."

"Plainly. The whole point of this was that it didn't look like you had protection, therefore you didn't stand out. Anyway, you're needed in court. Go!"

---

"That was unexpected, Kevin."

"And very welcome."

"But, changing his plea like that?"

"His cousin was killed trying to dispose of you, then Ibramovich sings like a canary. His goose was well and truly cooked."

"Whoa, you'll be quoting the dead parrot sketch next if you keep up the avian theme."

"It was nailed to the perch I tell you!"

Tammy shook her head. This trial, at least, was over. The jury were out on Alban Berisha, who had maintained his innocence, and his silence, whilst Kelmendi had changed his plea to guilty and would be sentenced a week later.

"Do I need to stay?"

"No, no, go home."

"What about Di?"

"She stays with you, for now, until a replacement is arranged."

Tammy went to the loo then rejoined WPC Di Straight for the walk back to St Paul's underground station. This was the most exposed part of their journey back to Tammy's Docklands apartment, but the area was always full of tourists, traders and merchant bankers.

They walked along Newgate Street from the Old Bailey, this was the direct route to St Paul's Underground and passed along the north wall of the former, notorious, Newgate Prison. The traffic was crawling along next to them, Di resisted saying anything until they were free of anyone who might overhear; they were just passing the Northern side of the London Stock Exchange.

"I'd like to see my family at the weekend, Tammy."

"That's not up to me, but I hope we're near the end. Hey, it's only two o'clock, why not play at being tourists for once?"

They turned to their right and headed into Queens Head Passage, which was bollarded against motor vehicles. A car that was travelling slowly towards them suddenly accelerated and mounted the pavement, hitting the bollards. Everyone stared for a moment and one or two went to check if the occupants were okay.

Tammy and Di ran. They had no idea if they were being targeted but took no chance and didn't look back.

Di pulled her radio from her bag and hit the alarm button, Tammy grabbed her phone and called Kevin. They'd reached the cathedral, Tammy suggested going around past the main entrance which would be full of tourists, and pigeons.

Judging by the screams that they could hear, someone was on foot and the public was scared.

"We're heading around the south side of the cathedral, Kevin."

"Tammy, I've been told about Diane's alarm, we're trying to get units to you and to see who's following."

They followed the Southern side of St Pauls and entered the gardens, the girls stopped running and took cover next to the walled Festival Garden. They both drew their weapons. Sirens could now be heard, but this was not uncommon in London.

The screams were getting closer and finally two individuals appeared, stopped and started searching. Tammy gasped as she recognised one of them, "that's Hilary Bull!"

Her phone was still connected and Kevin heard her speak.

"Stay where you are, units are close."

"Where's the support team?"

"Not in place for another hour!"

Hilary was sweeping the area and was growing concerned with the number of approaching sirens. Tammy saw three marked police cars pull up about a hundred metres from their position, Hilary saw them too and made her escape, along with a man.

"She's gone."

"We have a UAV up and we're tracking her."

"What's she up to?"

"Not now, Tammy."

Di was clearly confused. "You recognised that woman?"

"Yes, and I thought I trusted her?"

"We need to get out of here now!"

"See those police cars? One of them can take us back to my apartment."

---

Back indoors Tammy went to the safe and removed the encryption key, but the phone was ringing before she reached it.

"Wait ... okay it's secure, hi?"

"It's Jenny, hold a moment, okay we have a conference call with Kevin and Sophie on here as well."

"Great, could someone please explain what the hell is going on?"

Kevin: "We've had our concerns about Hilary for some time."
Sophie: "Heather and I knew her as Helen Ball."
Jenny: "She's been suspected of working for others."

"Like a double agent?"

Jenny: "Yes, but it's not that simple."

"So, when I was in Scotland, was she training me or was that just a ploy to get her to expose herself?"

Jenny: "Both."

"I've been used!"

Sophie: "We all have, Tammy, but we needed evidence."

"And was I the carrot?"

Sophie: "In a way, yes, but all of us have had to play a part."
Jenny: "Tammy, this does not change your position with the agency."

"Right now I don't know if I can trust any of you?"

Kevin: "That's understandable, and you've been through alot, but we couldn't tip you off because we had no proof."

"What proof do you have now, apart from her trying to run us down then chasing us around St Paul's Cathedral?"

Sophie: "I can't go into specifics, but she's the reason why your mother went missing before the weekend."

"How many times did she see my mother?"

Sophie: "We're still interviewing Tara but at least six times."

"I'm guessing here that she was the one who suggested my mother came up to Thurso when we didn't want her there?"

Kevin: "Yes, we're reviewing all of your contact with Hilary and all of her trips. Not everything she did was corrupt, it was more subtle than that."

"Do you have her in custody?"

Kevin: "Yes, Tammy."

"Who was the male?"

Sophie: "Billy Trethgarwyn Junior"

"From the Scillies? Wasn't his father convicted of smuggling?"

Sophie: "That's right."

"What's her involvement with them, they were enough trouble in Scotland?"

Sophie: "That's part of my investigation."

"Is that it?"

Jenny: "What do you mean Tammy?"

"Is someone else out to get me?"

Kevin: "We believe we have everyone, did you hear about the Scottish cases?"

"No, I'm out of touch?"

Kevin: "Three guilty verdicts in Edinburgh today, Berisha and Kelmendi too."

"I suppose I should be pleased?"

Kevin: "It was your strength that helped convict them."

"I didn't feel that strong at times, I just wish you could have told me what I was up against?"

Jenny: "Sorry Tammy, but that was my decision. We couldn't risk Hilary becoming aware of our investigation. That was one reason why we didn't want you to stay in Cornwall for a while."

"Was the investigation being run from there?"

Sophie: "In part, yes."

"Will Hilary be prosecuted?"

Kevin: "It's too early to say and it won't be a decision that any of us make."

"Beyond your payscale?"

There was a chorus of confirmation, Tammy decided to change the subject.

"Fair enough, so what's happening with the office in Thurso?"

Jenny: "Are you ready to run a multi-agency operation?"

"I'm nineteen years old and I'm supposed to be doing a degree course!"

Jenny: "You can restart that next October, how about some R&R before the training starts again?"

"Cornwall?"

Sophie: "Yes, and you can help Heather with this mess."

"I'm in!"

***

End of Book 6



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