Tammy: Deja Flew - Part 8

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Deja Flew  

Book 12: Deja Flew
 

 

"Deja Flew"
Part 8

 

 
 
Note: This is a work of fiction but a number of real people, places, and institutions are mentioned in fictitious circumstances. In short it's a story!
 
Christmas Day 2017 (Cont)
 

It didn't appear that an analysis of Ms Armaud's Europol communications had been done, this was just the raw data without any annotations. There were a set of non-networked PCs and the trio was told that each of them had access to the same files.

"How much is here?" Asked Kevin.

Maisie was already pushing keys. "It goes back three weeks or so."

"We need to concentrate just on the last few days."

"Kevin, wait, what if there's a report from three weeks ago that she sat on? We can't discount that."

"Well, fine, but I'm going to start on Wednesday and work forward from there."

Tammy shrugged. "Maisie, can you start at the first date available?"

"That's the third of December."

"That date rings a bell? Never mind, that's as good a start point as any, my dear."

"What am I looking for?"

"Anything that ties into what we know about the Lavoskas, Gainsborough or True Freedom. You should particularly identify any references to Brussels, Lausanne, Geneva or Stuttgart, but don't limit yourself. If in doubt, flag it, better that than miss it."

"Okay, what will you do?"

"I'll work backwards from Tuesday evening."

"So we'll meet somewhere in the middle?"

"Maybe ....."

Kevin put his head up. "Tammy, Maisie, come on! Stop yapping!"

Tammy took Maisie's hand. "Come with me."

Maisie did as asked, passing Dave Brown in the doorway.

"Where we going?"

"The loo. Plus, I don't want Kevin to start thinking he's in charge of our group."

"He is a Detective Inspector?"

"Sure, but we're in the Security Service building here and not Scotland Yard. Right now I would be the ranking officer. Ah ..."

She pushed the door and disappeared into the loo, followed by Maisie. Tammy really did need the loo, but a certain amount of self-maintenance was also appropriate.

They reconvened in Room 14 several minutes later and silently started to dig into the communications. Tammy did wonder, for a moment, whether the Europol emails had been obtained legitimately, but set that thought aside as she looked at the data for the previous Tuseday, just five days previously when the girls had flown down.

Kevin made a sarcastic, chauvinistic, comment about females and work ethics but neither girl heard it fully, having fully concentrated on the task in hand. It hadn't been ten minutes when Tammy found something.

"Last Tuesday morning, an overnight from Brussels to Armaud concerning Lavoska: Penelope had been seen by an off duty federal police officer close to the European Parliament building."

"Is that it?"

"Yes, Kevin, but that confirms Penny was in Brussels on Tuesday. It also confirms that Armaud kept information from us."

Maisie seemed to be going through the data quicker than Tammy.

"On the tenth the Zeevaartpolitie in Ostend reported an ex Russian converted trawler called Sophia XIX was in the port."

"Zeevaartpolitie?"

Kevin answered. "The Belgian federal port police."

"Okay, but that places her just North of the English Channel a full week before things started to happen."

"How does that help, Tammy?"

"Armaud suppressed it, so it must be relevant .... did Penny or Sharon visit the boat? Is CCTV of the port available?"

"Possibly, but it's over a fortnight ago and it's Christmas Day, in case you hadn't noticed?"

"Kevin, we just send the request and ask, whether they answer this morning, this afternoon or first thing tomorrow is irrelevant - so long as we've made the request. Maisie, well done, how did you find it?"

"I guessed that the easy search would be to look just in the reports from major cities, airports, Eurostar, that sort of thing."

"I see, that's one way of filtering the information?"

"Yes, but my guess is that although Mme Armaud was actively blocking intel last week, well before she was arrested, she might not have been told about the boats?"

"True."

"So I first looked at reports from the ports, keeping it to Northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands."

"There wasn't a search function for that?"

"I know, so I used the filters to remove what I didn't need, I've used this program before."

"Oh, great, maybe you can show me one day?"

"If we have time, Tammy."

There was a grunt from the other side of the room.

"Do you remember where the European Desk is, Maisie?"

"Yes."

"Print what you have and go to see them, they'll help you send out the request."

"Will do." She gave Tammy a kiss as she went out of the door.

Tammy kept searching but wondered whether there had been a response from SNCF? "Kevin, do you remember me asking about Sharon heading to Stuttgart?"

"Yes, it still didn't fit what we knew?"

"Even so, did the request get sent?"

"Emily handled it."

"How would she have sent it?"

"To the Met's European desk, and .... oh."

"Let me guess, to Europol?"

"Yes. I'll see if it's in this lot."

"I'll look for it, Kevin, if you don't mind?"

"You want ownership?"

"No, I'll call it continuity."

Tammy poured herself a coffee and sat to search through the communications, Maisie returned a minute later.

"All done?"

"Yes, the manager there invited me to spend a week with the unit in the new year."

"That's interesting."

"Dave Brown was there, he said he would make sure I had the right experience."

"Considering he's supposed to be retired?"

"He knew all about me."

"Interesting. Come on, we've got a pair of terrorists to find."

Tammy soon found the replies from the Police de L'aire et des Frontières, containing a set of CCTV stills. These showed Sharon back at Gare Lille Europe an hour after she'd apparently left there on a train to Brussels, additional photos also caught her boarding the TGV to Stuttgart.

"Got her." She printed it off and continued her search through the messages. "If only she'd been stopped at St Pancras?"

It was approaching midday when Kevin found a set of emails.

"Shit!"

Tammy and Maisie looked up but waited for Kevin to continue.

"Lavoska was stopped in a restricted zone at Brussels Airport on Friday."

"Was there an address?"

"Yes, Hotel Novotel."

"That's on the airport approach road, Dad and I stayed there a few times. We can ask the Belgian police to arrest her?"

"True, I'll make the call."

Dave Brown was in the doorway. "Progress?"

"Kevin may have located Penny Lavoska and I've confirmed Sharon Gainsborough's movements after she left here, whilst Maisie is looking at the boat that was abandoned mid channel."

"Excellent. There's a buffet in the restaurant if you want to take a break?"

They took a short break but were back in the room half an hour later, via a freshen up. There was a fresh pot of coffee waiting, along with an agitated Detective Inspector.

"Tammy, we've heard from the French."

"Gainsborough?"

"Yes, they want to prosecute her for the murder of the Interpol officer."

"Damn, we can do her for terrorism here?"

"Indeed, but I doubt she'll get an easy ride through the French legal system? She's going in front of an examining magistrate tomorrow, when she's released from hospital."

"Hospital? I don't suppose she tried to escape?"

"The CRS account is that she assaulted an officer and they restrained her."

"Silly woman. I've seen the CRS in action."

"Even so, Tammy, we can concentrate on locating Lavoska now."

Kevin's phone rang, he rang off a few seconds later.

"Okay. The Belgians visited the Novotel, Lovoska checked out on Friday. There's no forwarding address."

"But was there a phone number for her, or an email address?"

"I'll be sent all the information as soon as they have it, but my office wanted me to have the headline straight away."

"Okay, although I find it strange that she checked in using her real name?"

"Real name? It's just an identity she uses, Tammy. Perhaps she's stayed there under that name before so couldn't use a different identity?"

"I'm pretty sure that's her birth name, but good point? I wonder if we should check the other hotels nearby?"

"That's going to take hours, even if you can get an answer? It is Christmas Day!"

"She could have taken a train or driven out of Brussels on Friday?"

"Or she could have stayed in town? How about finding evidence rather than guessing?"

Suitably chastised Tammy slunk into her chair and woke up the terminal.She didn't get anything done though.

"Is he an MCP, Tammy?"

"Not usually, but I think he may have put in some extra effort tonight?"

"How do you know him?"

"He came to see me, in Sarah's shop, after my first kidnap failed. That was almost exactly three years ago."

"And I got you out of trouble a few times, Miss Smart!"

"I think that one goes both ways, DI Edmunds?"

"Truce?"

"Agreed."

They continued trying to join dots for another couple of hours but without finding usuable intelligence. Kevin received a message just after three.

"The Brussels Federal Police are going to survey all the hotels tomorrow morning, and have called in additional officers to do this. Apparently it was a local police officer who went to the Novotel and he didn't ask for a copy of Lavoska's invoice."

"Damn, so nothing more until they do their searches?"

"No, Tammy. Why don't the pair of you go home?"

"Sure, that'll please Angela. What about tomorrow?"

"Stay at home until you're contacted. But, please, keep the alcohol to a sensible level tonight, in case there's an early start in the morning!"

"Understood."

The pair visited a loo before retracing their steps to the subterranean reception desk to collect weapons. Finally by half past three they were driving out of the carpark.

Tammy didn't exceed the speed limits but it seemed as if all the traffic lights were aligned and she escaped out of Central London without any trouble. Her Satnav gave a few options but she went for the motorway route, once she reached the bottom of the M11. Tammy and Maisie walked indoors barely forty minutes after leaving one of the most secure buildings in London.

"Oh, you're back from saving the planet?"

"No, Angela, just the country."

"Mum rang, they were about to have dinner."

"Damn, I meant to call them."

"Well, call after we've eaten?"

"Sure, hopefully it won't be too late there?"

"Okay, how about giving me a hand with dinner?"

"Of course, I'll help with the wine. Is it red or white?"

 
Boxing Day (26th)
 

"How much longer are we going to sit here, Tammy?"

"As long as necessary, Maisie dear."

"Have you heard anything?"

"No."

The morning news broadcasts had concentrated on a sports star and a soap actor who announced their 'secret' relationship, although most of the national press were present for a joint statement earlier that morning. The internet and phone lines were working normally so weren't worthy of a mention.

"Is Penny's video still visible?"

"No, Tammy, it's gone from everywhere. If you try to google her name, it fails."

"It seems the internet companies can block terrorists after all!"

The house phone started to ring, Tammy was closest.

"Oh, hi Mum."

"I was expecting a call from you yesterday and instead I was just worrying myself. Tammy, what is going on?"

"There's been a few problems."

"The BBC is saying there's still no flights, we're meant to be coming home in a few days?"

"I'm sure that will be sorted by then."

"Come on, Miss Smart, what is really going on?"

"Terrorists."

"And?"

"And this is an insecure line."

"I expected you to spend Christmas Day with your sister, instead I get her on the line as she doesn't know how to make Yorkshire puds? Where were you?"

"In the City, helping out."

"Somebody else could have done it?"

"Err, I don't know."

"Whilst Suzie is sent far away, where?"

"If she couldn't say, then neither can I. Sorry, but it's important for everyone's safety that I don't say anything more."

"You've told me nothing at all, young lady."

"When it's all over I'll see what I can tell you."

"Hmmm, I'll believe that when it happens. At least you're indoors today?"

"Yes. Maybe we'll take a walk later into Epping Forest?"

"Your father and I thought about that the last time we stayed there? It'll be good for you to get some fresh air?"

"Yes, Mum."

At least they didn't finish the call on a bad note, but Tammy now had a tune running around her head, with the line "I went for a walk on a winters day". It took her a minute to find California Dreamin' by the Mamas and Papas after her memory failed.

The three girls had lunch together, which Maisie prepared, but the idea to take an afternoon walk was thwarted when a visitor arrived at the door.

"Angela, do you remember DI Kevin Edmunds?"

"Err, yes, hello?"

"Good afternoon. Tammy, Maisie, can we go somewhere to talk?"

Angela decided she would take a shower and that resolved one security issue. Tammy first put the kettle on then they sat in the lounge but Kevin insisted they put the radio or music on first. Tammy found a rock station and turned the volume up; clearly Christmas tunes were not on the playlist.

"Okay, Kevin, is someone being paranoid?"

"Given the circumstances, it's this or a secure briefing room."

"Understood, what are we talking about?"

"This briefing is Top Secret, do you both understand?"

That explained why he hadn't called in advance. "Yes."

"One of the teams in Thames House yesterday went back over the interviews from when you exposed the True Freedom moles in Six, plus the new interviews with Helen Bell and Paula Lavoska."

"New interviews, who did those?"

"Emily."

"Ah, good, what did she get?"

"A reformed Paula. She gave us a few names."

"Good, what about addresses of their hide-aways, storage facilities?"

"Possibly, they ran out of time but Emily is going back to see her again this morning."

"Okay, Helen?"

"More names, and Helen knew Emily had already seen Paula."

"What does it all mean?"

"We have a bigger mole problem than we thought, deep sleepers mostly."

"Hence the secrecy?" Asked Maisie.

"Indeed. There are a load of disgruntled mole hunters being sent out, instead of watching football on the telly this afternoon."

"We were going into the forest for a walk until you turned up."

"It's freezing out there!"

"That's a warm day for Scottish folk!"

The radio station played an advert then "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" started up. Tammy wondered if someone was reading her mind?

"We're getting off topic."

"The kettle's boiled, I'll make a pot of tea." Tammy went to get up but Maisie was already at the kitchen door.

"Stay there, you can brief me on anything I miss."

Kevin waited until the kitchen door was closed. "Is she cleared?"

"Yes, bumped by 'Five', otherwise she wouldn't have been there with me for the past few days. The Military have also uprated her."

"Okay, thanks."

"You could have asked? She did an induction course at AA House a few months ago."

"I didn't know."

"Clearly you didn't need to know."

Maisie returned with a teapot on a tray, plus the appropriate crockery.

"Best let that mash for a while."

"Don't you mean 'brew'?"

"I know what I mean. Did I miss anything?"

"No. Where were we?"

"Mole hunting. Any names, Kevin?"

"Nobody you've dealt with, not directly."

"Is there a threat to my family?"

"Not specific, Tammy, other than the Lavoskas."

"Okay, how much has been leaked?"

"Not too much of the current investigation, but that's only at first sight. I also have limited access to some intel at present, remember?"

The Pink Floyd track ended, followed by an advert. Tammy tried to place the next track, remembering it as something Krystal had played.

"Okay, but what's the risk?"

"One of those being detained worked in communications for the Security Service."

"Shit!"

"The potential is that any call to or from Thames House could have been compromised." Maisie started to pour the tea.

"What's the timescale?"

"This person has been in post for the past two months. The total scope is hopefully just a few targeted calls or operatives. That will become clearer over the next few days."

"So our secure phones are not secure?"

"They are, handset to handset, but not if you are calling Thames House."

"Great. What's his issue?"

"Money, it would seem, plus a belief in a new world order, whatever that means today?"

"Okay, what's my orders?"

Tammy sipped the liquid nectar, Maisie had used Suzie's Lapsang Souchoung blend. Kevin's phone pinged.

"That's from Emily, there's just one word 'Geneva'."

Tammy's phone pinged with the same message.

"Did Emily know you would be with me today?"

"Yes, and we'd agreed in advance she'd supply limited intel to us."

"Okay, so am I going to Geneva?"

"Yes, current plan is that you wait until after dark then fly into Geneva. You'll be met and briefed on arrival."

"Nothing more?"

"No, and I don't know who's running that show."

"Are you coming with us?"

"No, the pair of you are going under a NATO guise because of your military ranks, I'm not covered for that."

"So what will you do?"

"Remain here with Angela, she's not armed, is she?"

"No. Is that necessary? I thought you said there wasn't a direct risk to my family?"

"Not as such, but this address goes down as Suzie's home so will appear in the Security Service records. They're checking what's been accessed, and by whom. Right now Angela could be used in order to prevent your involvement. That, however small, is an unacceptable risk."

"I can't say I'm happy but..."

"I'm not happy either!"

None had noticed that Angela was now stood in the doorway in a dressing gown. "I came to see if there was any tea left and I hear my name."

"Maisie and I have to go and do a job, so Kevin will stay here."

"Hmmm, what about dinner?"

"That's a good point, Angela. Question is, what time are we due out of here?"

"At the airfield by seven."

"Okay Kevin, but I'll need an IFF squark code."

"Sorry, I have no idea what that is."

Tammy checked the time, it was half past one so there was plenty of time.

"Maisie, I'm going to get an hour's kip and then prep myself."

"I'll join you."

"Kevin, I guess this meeting is adjourned?"

"Okay, I'm off to the local police station so I can login, I'll be back by four."

Kevin went out the door and Tammy turned the music off, vaguely recognising it as a German Metal band.

"What about dinner?"

"It looks like you're just doing something for yourself, and maybe Kevin too? Isn't there a fair bit of turkey left?"

"Yes. What time will you be back?"

"Tomorrow, maybe?"

"Maybe?"

"That's what I said."

"Fine bloody Christmas this is, I should have stayed at home!"

"And cooked for yourself there? Look, we've had some fun shopping, been to the ballet, eaten at the Ivy ... none of that would have happened in Thurso."

"Yeah."

"Look, I'm sorry that things happened but I think I would have been involved even if we'd stayed in Scotland."

"It's just not fair."

"Why?"

"Mum's not here, Suzie's not here ..."

"Phone your sister, she might be able to tell you when she's coming back? Don't ask her any more questions though."

"Okay."

Tammy & Maisie took themselves upstairs. Both plugged their phones in to charge whilst Tammy took her weapons out to clean them, instructing Maisie to do the same. Eventually they packed everything away and lost their clothing before climbing into bed.

A few cuddles later and they were asleep.

Tammy woke to her phone beeping, she looked at the message and cleared it.

"Err, what time is it?"

"Six O'clock, Maisie. It's time to get moving. Bring your case."

They dressed quickly, Tammy opting for the darkest clothing she had, but wondered if she would need the certain outfit hidden in her mid-size suitcase. She picked up her weapons, suitcase and signalled Maisie to follow her downstairs.

"Suzie says she'll catch the Night Riviera tomorrow, if all goes well. I asked her what that meant but she wouldn't say?"

"Sorry, sis, but my guess is that she knows even less than me, and that's bugger all!"

"But why are you dressed like that?"

"I have to go out, we have to go." She waved Maisie to stand with her.

"I thought you knew nothing?"

"I received a message telling me to get ready, that doesn't mean I know why I've been asked to get ready."

"You haven't had anything to eat since lunch?"

"Do you have any of those oats and honey breakfast bars? We'll take a couple each."

Tammy and Maisie made their way out to the car.

"What message, Tammy?"

She handed over her phone after unlocking it.

Thistle Maiden: Boots and Saddles

"Boots and Saddles?"

"It's from the Wild West."

"Oh, okay, getting ready to ride a horse? Like the Cavalry?"

"Exactly."

Tammy pulled away and was soon on Epping High Street heading North. They passed Kevin just before the turn onto Epping High Street, clearly on his way back to the house. Tammy wondered for a moment if Angela would open the door, given he was severely overdue? She ignored the thought as largely irrelevant, she had other issues to deal with.

"Find Sean MacTaggart in my phone contacts and call him please."

"Sure." Maisie docked Tammy's phone then hit the call button.

"Miss Smart?"

"I require a non-commercial IFF for a flight to Geneva, Sir."

"Understood, I'll send the information to your phone."

The airfield main gate was closed but a gate guard saw Tammy's headlamps pull up.

"Ah, Miss Smart, we were told to expect you." One gate slid open and they drove through, towards the hanger Tammy had left her Epic.

It was sat outside the hanger, Tammy started putting the preflight through her mind and smiled when she remembered that she'd bothered to refuel on arrival. DI Grieve was waiting by the plane.

"What are you doing here, Sophie?"

"I received a message, an instruction."

Tammy sat in the plane and checked her phone, a secure text had just arrived with her designation and IFF, although for now she was a civilian flight. Next she phoned the North Weald Tower to file her flightplan. With that done she deplaned and did her walk around.

"Tammy, who is that?" Maisie asked, looking past the Epic.

A person wearing a long dark hooded coat, pulling a suitcase, approached.

"Greetings, Cousin." A female voice said, slightly amused.

Tammy smiled, recognizing the woman with a combat painted face. "I should have known. Nice to see you, Cousin. I just filed my flightplan."

When she hugged her, Tammy felt the weapons concealed under the coat and whispered. "I'm glad you're here, Tiffany."

"No problem." The woman said just to her then turned to the plane. "The flightplan is being updated as we speak. Time to go."

Sophie leaned to Tammy. "Just who is that and why is she acting like she's going with us?"

"She is going with us and that's all you need to know."

Luggage was quickly stowed and the plane checked over while coffee brewed. Tammy was surprised when Tiffany set up a laptop, as were Maisie and Sophie. Tammy continued her preparations, switching her IFF code to the one provided. Now she had a temporary NATO designation; Claymore-Three-Seven.

"Why the laptop?" Sophie asked.

"Updates." The woman replied simply then turned to Maisie. "Staines, right?"

Maisie nodded slowly. "Yes."

"I'll be riding second-seat en route. I understand that's your usual gig, but this is different." The woman said then went forward to the cockpit. "Okay, Cousin. Two channels; one is ATC and the other is Stronghold. I'm Sierra Delta, you're Tango Mike. Got it?"

Tammy nodded. "Got it

Maisie looked over at Sophie to say something, but stopped. Sophie was staring at the laptop intently. Across the screen were two windows and both were scrolling code at high speed.

"What is that?" Maisie whispered.

Sophie glanced to Maisie then back to the laptop. "Military-grade encryptions. I've never seen a laptop process so much so fast before."

Suddenly the codes stopped and the windows were dropped then other windows appeared. Maps and other imagery, clocks, status of the plane itself and some kind of audio feed.

"Oh dear God, this is direct contact with some kind of Space Tech Operations Centre. They most likely hear and see everything we do." Sophie whispered to Maisie.

"Stronghold to Tartan-One."

Tammy recognized Kimberly's voice and smiled as she looked over to Tiffany. "Tartan-One, we have you."

"Sierra Delta aboard. Tango Mike and I standing by for Tower, Actual." Tiffany replied.

"Copy. Status of Tango-One is unchanged. Still on site outside Geneva." Kimberly informed them.

Sophie asked aloud. "Tango-One?"

"That would be Lavoska, Detective Inspector Grieve." The woman on the laptop answered.

Though she had suspected everything in the plane could be seen and heard, it still surprised her to be answered. Being addressed by name and title slightly disturbed her as well.

"Actual, we'll need to refuel on arrival." Tammy said, now understanding the dialogue.

Kimberly answered. "A fuel truck will come to you. It may be waiting or arrive shortly after. Sierra Delta, have you arranged ground transport?"

"Affirmative on Transport. We need a Load-out." Tiffany replied.

"Assault or Penetration?"

Tiffany looked at Tammy then replied. "Assault; by four and disposable."

"Copy. You'll have to stop and pick it up."

The Tower interrupted the conversation. "Claymore-Three-Seven; you are cleared to Taxi."

"Roger Tower, Claymore-Three-Seven Taxi to Runway." Tammy answered.

Tiffany spoke up on the other channel. "Roger that, Stronghold. We just got cleared to Taxi."

"Copy."

Tammy had taxied out to the designated runway. "Tower; Claymore-Three-Seven standing by for permission to take off."

"Standby Claymore-flight."

Tammy looked over. "So where exactly are we going?"

"Off-the-books strip outside Geneva. We'll have more privacy." Tiffany said then handed Tammy a page with printed instructions on it.

Tammy frowned. "I've never landed without lights before."

"Relax, Tango Mike. I just got confirmation, somebody's home and the lights will be on for you." Kimberly broke in.

"Claymore-flight; you are cleared to takeoff. Outbound; climb to twenty-five thousand on heading zero-nine-five." The Tower called out.

Tammy confirmed her instructions. "Roger Tower, Climb to Angels two-five on heading zero-nine-five. Taking off."

Tiffany reached over and added her hand to the throttles. "Not alone, not afraid. We're with you. Let's go."

Tammy smiled at the reassurance. "Yes. Let's go."

Everyone was silent as Tammy sped down the runway then climbed up into the night sky. Tammy then reached over to turn on the music and almost laughed as classic Rolling Stones came up. She fell to the temptation and sang along with the opening lyrics, with slight variation.

"Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a girl of wealth and taste." Tammy sang.

Tiffany added. "I've been around for a long, long year. Stole many a man's; soul and faith."

A glance to the side showed Tammy being grinned at so she returned it. She felt confidant. Though it was multiple firsts for her, she didn't feel swept up in fear. Within a few minutes she could see the dark ground shift to sparkling water and knew they were now flying over the North Sea. She wondered if she should announce it and looked over to Tiffany.

Tiffany understood without being asked. "Stronghold; Tartan-One is feet wet and on mission."

"Roger that."

Tammy isolated herself and Tiffany to talk. "Aren't the other aircraft called Vendetta?"

"Yeah." Tiffany answered.

Tammy continued on. "And I'm Tartan." Tammy adopted a deadpan voice. "I wondered why that is?"

Tiffany laughed. "Actually Vendetta are all the military aircraft plus the Gulfstream. The civilian part of the fleet have the company name for them. Stronghold thought you'd appreciate having a designation. Of course, you only use it when talking to us, but they thought you'd like it anyway. I think it's cool."

"I do like it." Tammy giggled.

"I heard you were curious about the other houses." Tiffany commented.

Tammy nodded. "Yes. Even now."

Tiffany smiled. "One is mine. I'll try to be home next time you come."

Tammy looked back to see if they were being overheard then asked. "Will you be at the races on the Isle of Man?"

"I wish, but no. If I'm lucky, I'll be in Japan. If not..." Tiffany trailed off.

Tammy understood the unsaid. Tiffany wouldn't always know where she would be before she had to go there and plans could change at any time.

"Perhaps I shouldn't ask questions like that." Tammy said, mostly to herself.

Tiffany shook her head. "It's fine. Now that we've met, I'll let you know when I'm around. Okay?"

Tammy smiled. "I'd like that. Oh, was it you that sent the tickets?"

"Yep. I was told you would be in town, so I sent four of my tickets to you." Tiffany told her then asked with a smile. "Madam Olga liked you. She said your sister was charming."

Tammy laughed. "I liked her too. Did everyone really think she was a spy?"

Tiffany laughed as well. "Some still do. Actually she hated what they used to do back in the Cold War. I don't blame her. I know she probably told you that she's still a virgin. Did she smile?"

"Yes. I almost laughed about that. I believed her." Tammy admitted.

Tiffany nodded. "The story is true. The smile was fake."

"Fake? Why?" Tammy asked.

Tiffany sighed. "She almost didn't get a choice. A couple of GRU assholes planned to rape her to force her into the game. She got really lucky, it was a Command performance for Gorbachev. Only he didn't send for her, he showed up. If he'd been just four minutes later, he'd have walked in to the studio and saw it happening."

"In the studio? Seriously?" Tammy asked in dismay.

"Yep. Right in front of a bunch of ten year olds. Instead, they had to explain to ol' Gorby what they were doing, showing up with their pants unzipped. He didn't appreciate the 'salutes' they were sporting either." Tiffany explained.

Tammy's jaw dropped and then she asked. "What happened?"

Tiffany shrugged. "Good question. So said; nobody ever saw or heard of them again. The only thing known for fact is; the Man was beyond pissed. That and he ordered both onto their knees and instructed all the girls to kick them twice. Seventeen of them; do the math."

Tammy laughed. "My maths skills say they didn't walk out of there!"

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the action

Maddy Bell's picture

is about to ramp up!

And why would you brew tea? you brew beer.
Of course you put tea to mash, 'ow else does tha mek it?

Lookin' forward to more Chrimbo day I guess.
Mads


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Madeline Anafrid Bell

Mash, brew

Speaker's picture

Mash is mostly north of England, brew is mostly south. Or you could just put the kettle on ...

Speaker

Dena flew

I thought common knowledge was a mash was for fermenting and tea was for brewing, but I am a yank and common knowledge says we know very little about tea or beer.

Time is the longest distance to your destination.

Mash or brew

Robyn B's picture

I have always brewed tea, but then I'm Aussie...

Brewing usually implies fermenting of something. I guess the difference between tea and beer is that tea is only fermented for a moment whereas beer is fermented for days or weeks.

Mash, in this context, is what is left over after the process ie: the tea leaves or the grain residue from beer...

Robyn B
Sydney

Mash or brew

WillowD's picture

I have always brewed tea, but then I'm Canadian...

The first time I ever remember seeing the word "mash" in reference to tea is in this awesome series of books I'm currently rereading about a young cyclist named Gaby. Although, I'll tell you, after reading this chapter, I'm tempted to re-read the Tammy series. I found this chapter particularly riveting.

As you are referring to it....

D. Eden's picture

A mash is not necessarily for brewing, but rather for fermentation. Hence why a sour mash is used for many types of whiskey. It refers to the use of an older mash to jump start the new mash fermenting. It is very common for the production of bourbon for instance.

D. Eden

Dum Vivimus, Vivamus

Junkies

Robyn B's picture

I'm all good now that I've had my Tammy fix.

But those damn cliffhangers...

Robyn B
Sydney

being kicked by 17 girls

Gorbachev's response is right up my alley

DogSig.png

Whata

Great tease! Can't wait.

Warmest,
Stalya

And Gorby Was A Good Guy

joannebarbarella's picture

Just imagine what Putin would have done to them.

P.S. We called it steeping in Brighton and Hove (actually).

The plot thickens...

Since Tiffany is now in the thick of things, it may become very interesting. Her Majesty's government hasn't given permission to kill, if I recollect from a chapter or two previous. But Tiffany doesn't work for the British services. Of course she could use her training to do an information extraction and leave Leskova a mindless, psychotic wreck- but still alive. Information extraction would also reveal the extent to which the government of Great Britain- and others- have been compromised by True Freedom and, i there is any justice in this world, the various agency people who threw Tammy to the wolves will be revealed to be compromised by True Freedom.

Angela = mom?

Jamie Lee's picture

Angela acts so much like their mom, always asking questions Tammy can't answer, or whining because things aren't as they want them. National needs hold no interest to either one.

Whoa, Tiffany is along for the operation. Someone best find a deep hole to hide in.

Maisie has been working with Tammy long enough to know if she needs to know something she will be given that information. She didn't need to know about Tiffany so wasn't informed.

Others have feelings too.