Heir to a Title 35
Ellie. (Eleanor) The prime Character.
Bill (William) her father, (obviously)
Callie (Callista) Ellie’s only daughter. Initially Callum - a transgendered son.
Charlotte. (Nana) Ellie’s Paternal Grandmother
Sandie (Sandra) Ellie’s Older Aunt
Rosie (Rose) Ellie’s Younger Aunt
Henry Ellie’s boyfriend and husband. (Second son of the Duke of Denton)
Molly Duchess of Denton. Henry’s mother.
Bev (Beverly) Ellie’s aunt (Previously Uncle Bernard and brother to her dad.)
Jennifer. (Jennie) Beverly's older adopted daughter.
Beatrice (Bea) Beverly's younger adopted daughter.
Lucy, Henry’s oldest niece, Callum’s cousin.
Eleanor, Henry’s middle niece Callum’s cousin. Same name as Ellie.
Virginia Henry’s youngest niece Callum’s cousin
Julie Ellie’s sister-in-law.
Angela, (Angie) Beverly’s wife (kidnapped by pirates and rescued.)
Megan Beverly’s only blood daughter by Angela.
Margaret Arnold. (Maggie) Callie's best female friend. (Eventually to become wife.)
Jane Arnold, Maggie's mother.
James Denton (The Ferrety Denton) Callie's ambitious, uncle.
Uncle Phillip Arnold American Relation (CIA)
Abdul Ibn Saud. Spoilt Saudi Arabian prince and convicted sex offender (In the UK)
“Penny for your thoughts darling?” Maggie asked as they prepared for bed.
“It's this Abdul bastard, he's on the prowl.”
“What! Back here – in Denton?”
“Well, Harrogate,” Callie confirmed, “he's booked a suite of rooms at the Majestic. The only local hotel in the village is the Black Boar pub. It has just a few en-suite rooms on the first floor. I suppose he didn't fancy living in a pig, what with his Islamic thing.”
Maggie grinned. “Pigs and beer, yes that figures. D' you think he'll try something?”
“Of course darling, why else would he be here,” Callie confessed, “I think you should move to stay in Dorset until this business is sorted.”
“Is he that serious?”
“Well he's flown from Saudi with several changes before landing at Aberdeen of all places, so he's obviously tried to cover his tracks. Silly bugger didn't seem to realise he'd stand out like a sore thumb in such a small minor airport. Anyway we've located him at the Majestic Hotel and Yorkshire's finest are aware of him. We found him with the new photo-recognition cameras on the A1M.and M62.”
“So what now?”
“We just sit and wait.”
“That seems so 'not like you'.”
Callie sucked her tongue thoughtfully.
“Oh believe me babes, I'd love to do what his government does and just bump him off, but I'm trying to do this legally. Hence all the cameras and computer stuff.”
“So you want me to stay down in Dorset with great Aunt Beverly.”
“Well what do you want to do?” Callie asked.
“Surely if I go then what about Ellie and Molly? Their lives are just as precious.”
“Do you want to stay then?”
“I'd prefer to be with you. Couldn't we hire a couple of body-guards.”
“I suppose so and perhaps some people to monitor the security cameras.”
“Yes that's a better idea. You can't do it all on your own can you?”
Callie was forced to accept that she couldn't and Maggie's suggestion was the more practical solution. By the following evening a hired security team was embedded at Denton Hall.
'Abdul' waited several months before organising his attack. He had located several 'home-grown' jihadists who had identified themselves by their endeavours to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS. Instead the 'Islamic State' had identified them to 'Abdul' who had promptly contacted them and offered them the chance to strike right in the heartland of northern Britain. They met together in Bradford and for once Callie's electronic network failed to locate or identify the newly formed gang. Abdul had by now realised he was being watched and was consequently taking many more precautions. He avoided the internet and all electronic communications like the plague.
He and his associates had decided to lie low for a while. This was a tactic often employed by anybody stalking a victim whether it be a single victim or a whole government. The hunter would go into 'sleeper' mode and wait until the victims caution had reduced with time. Then the sleeper cell would come out of hibernation and strike.
Unfortunately these tactics had been devalued somewhat with the advent of electronic surveillance. Cameras and computers remained eternally alert provided they were maintained. Disabling the cameras was a retaliatory option open to the stalker but firstly, all the cameras had to be located. Some of the cameras however had been placed in position by Callie alone so even bribing the installation company would not entirely disable the system. The cameras that Callie had installed herself were monitored in her own bedroom closet and inaccessible to all but Callie and Maggie.
In the end, Callie's extra precautions were surplus to requirements.
When 'Abdul' attacked, the ordinary cameras infra-red detectors had picked him and his associates up as they endeavoured to make a secret approach.
By the time the gang had crossed Denton Moor and sneaked through the woods up to Denton Hall, Callie had plenty of time to contact the police protection squad. A well planned and rehearsed ambush closed around the intruders.
The security team monitoring their cameras had followed the gang to the boundary of the woods where the pine-martens still lived. The gang however, had obviously hired somebody trained in stalking for at the boundary they had deviated from any pathways or bridle tracks to crawl through the dense bracken and thus be invisible to all but the infra read cameras. The security team soon lost them in the dense metre high bracken.
Callie however, being the owner of the woods and therefore well qualified to determine what surveillance devices would best serve, had located her own private camouflaged cameras mostly in the trees looking down onto the bracken. Once the human shaped images had flashed up as bright white 'ghosts' Callie was able to track them easily and so advise the ambush where they were likely to emerge from the woods.
“It looks as though they'll emerge where the ha-ha dips down to the feeder stream that supplies the pond.” Callie advised the police inspector.
“Got that, Miss Denton.” He replied. “Can you tell if they're armed?”
“No. The images are bright but fuzzy.”
“Well I've got a team of firearms officers with me anyway and night-vision equipment. We'll pick them up. Where are your own security squad?”
“Mostly at the entrances to the house whilst one is monitoring the cameras with me in the security suite. Once they leave the woods to cross the lawns the only route with any cover after that, is to use the ha-ha wall and depression for cover until they reach the ancient Cypress tree then blind-line as best they can as they cross the lawns. There are six of them, so I suspect they'll split up between the Cypress tree and the side of the house. Then they'll probably rendezvous somewhere between the stables and the old barn that now serves as the visitor centre. They'll have plenty of cover around those outbuildings”
“That's where we'll ambush them. - Ah! We just saw movement by the brook just as you said.”
“How many do you make?”
“Six. Just like you said.” They've just crept down below the ha-ha
Callie and the hired security camera operator studied the displays and eventually four white images slowly emerged at the base of the Cypress tree. Callie tensed nervously as she spoke to the inspector.
“There are two missing. Can you see them.”
There was a soft curse as the police inspector checked with his team. Then he replied to Callie.
“Dammit! They’ve disappeared.”
“They can’t have,” Callie protested, “They’ve got to be somewhere in the ha-ha.”
“No, I’m looking all along the ha-ha depression, nothing.”
Callie racked her brains trying to work out how they had given the observers the slip but she had not known of the new drainage trench that her grandmother the dowager duchess Molly Denton had authorised while Callie had been at college. It had been to assist with draining the wet area below the forest edge and the large grass expanse leading down towards the lake. The drainage trench had been back filled but the contractors had left a slight depression at the opposite end of the curve in the ha-ha and that hollow now provided some slight cover almost to the decorative balustraded wall that bordered the geometric gardens at the side of the house. If an attacker slithered forward flat on his belly, he could just make it to the balustrade. Callie, having been at college when the work was completed, was ignorant of the minor change in the contour towards the side of the lawn above the ha-ha.
Callie cursed as she left the camera operation room and dashed to the large, eastern bay window that gave a wide view of the garden and the extensive lawns. She arrived at the window just in time to hear but not see people crunching softly through the gravel path that ran just under the house windows.
“Damn! They’re already at the windows!” She declared into her radio, then added on the open channel for all the police and the security guards to hear.
“The large bay window and ‘French doors’ of the breakfast room. That’s where they’re attacking. The doors are vulnerable by their very nature and extensive fenestration.”
Callie dashed back to their bedroom to alert Maggie who was already wide awake. Then she alerted her mother Ellie and her grand-mother Molly. Quickly the foursome re-joined the camera operator in the reinforced, secure Camera room and advised the police of their actions as they locked themselves in.
The secure camera room had been installed initially as simply a camera room but after taking further advice Callie had upgraded the security considerably and even prepared for a gas attack. Knowing the lengths to which the psychopathic ‘Abdul’ had already gone in the previous instances, Callie was taking no chances. Once her family were secured, she handed out gasmasks, infrared torches and infra-red night sight goggles. To the family and the security man. Through the ordinary cameras Callie and the security guard grinned as the power was isolated to the whole site. They already had their own ‘back-up’ supply to keep the cameras and security systems running. The emergency generator kicked in even as the main lighting flickered off.
The attackers had tried to do their homework for Callie and the guard soon detected footsteps in the bedroom outside the camera room. However, the attackers had not bargained for the security preparations. When they attacked the door it proved impervious to their efforts including the attack with their automatic rifle.
The sound of the bullets hammering at the steel lined door cause Maggie and Ellie to squeal in fear but Molly was made of sterner stuff. She screamed through door in rage.
“Just try it you bastards! We’re ready for you!”
Callie had to suppress a smile as she watched her grandmother bravely aiming her shotgun at the door. It reminded her of an old frontier’s-woman fending off the Indians.
The repeated shots were followed by a muffled ‘whump’ of gas and stun grenades but again the door defences held while the emergency ventilation system sucked in air from the external roof area and forced any invading gas backwards, out through any tiny gaps around the door or cracks in the walls. Then the defenders heard more shots and a violent commotion in the bedroom as the attackers were captured by the police and security guys. Callie checked with her radio to confirm with the police that it was all clear and eventually they emerged unharmed.
The police congratulated themselves on a job well done insofar as nobody was killed or injured but the security team were slightly miffed that the attackers had even managed to enter the house. As always after a successful op the security team faded away silently back to anonymity.
Fully an hour later did Maggie ask.
“Where those security guys the SAS?”
Callie smiled non-commitedly.
“No names, no pack-drill, darling they wanted to catch the bastards alive, and they did!
“Was Abdul amongst them?” She pressed.
“Not among the six who attacked the house. He was caught at the boundary of the estate waiting with his cronies for the six attackers to return with us as prisoners.. The inspector confirms they’ve had a rich haul of bad’uns tonight. Including some that have been on their watchlists for a while. Apparently tonight’s operation has given them some excellent leads into a whole range of criminal stuff here and abroad.”
Maggie gave Callie a hug as they shared the umpteenth pot of tea and scones with the attending police. Dawn was breaking when the police finally left with plans to return for forensic evidence.
The consequences of the capture spread far and wide for the arrests enabled the police to investigate 'Abdul's' associates. They were found to also be involved in a slave-trading, rape-gang organisation with connections throughout Britain and Europe. One of the leaders of the organisation was found to be a peripatetic Wahhabi Iman who had been paid for by Saudi money to preach at different mosques throughout the UK.
'Abdul's' association with these organisations and his holding a diplomatic passport caused uproar right up to the highest levels. Furthermore, Callie used her hereditary membership of the Upper House of Lords in Parliament to ensure that the furore did not abate. Abdul and several other high-ranking foreign diplomats were detained for questioning under both British and European warrants amidst much back-biting and in-fighting at the highest levels between the Saudi Royal Family and the British Government. His passport was retained by the British Foreign office but he was not remanded in custody though he was required to attend Paddington Green police station in London three times a week. This was the main police station in London for dealing with terrorist and associated crime.
In addition to this onerous duty, he was required to live in a secure location until the trial which would take nearly a year to prepare for. The whole issue had really stirred up bad relations between Saudi Arabia and Britain, not to mention Europe and the United States. The House of Saud had a lot of ‘fence-mending’ to attend to, not least being the total denial of any diplomatic help or immunity while Abdul was facing trial.
Finally, at the trial, he was sentenced to another twelve months then deported from the UK and the EU for a further year. It was only his position in the eventual succession to the Saudi throne that won him clemency after two years banishment.
For Callie at least, a degree of peace and security finally returned to her life and she could get on with running her estate while rearing her and Maggie’s son then daughter as legitimate heirs to the Denton dukedom and other titles.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.