Blonde hair, beady eyes, two tables back, over my left shoulder, that’s who’s tailing me. Yeah the big guy, must be at least 6ft 3. Been following me for a couple of hours now, ever since I left the cafe this morning. If I’d known then I would have offered to share my breakfast with him. Poached eggs on granary and a pot of breakfast tea. It’s the same everyday, I’m a creature of habit, that way I can tell straight away if it tastes funny. You can’t be too careful. But I choose a different cafe everyday right at peak time.
Vary your pattern and stay within cover.
That’s one of the Moscow rules, I live by them.They’ve kept me alive, safe from the opposition.
My lanky tail has three thick callouses on his left hand’s fingertips suggesting that he’s a stringed instrument musician. Either that or he likes longbows. I noticed them when I wandered past his table to borrow some salt. Along with the scar on his right cheek…Kali knife fighting? It could be a coincidence that he keeps looking at me from behind his paper but…?
That’s another rule.This guy has the worst technique in the world. I mean who reads the Observer nowadays. Rank amateur.
Anyway it’s time to go, so I finish my Ham and cheese panini and cortada, same as always have for lunch and then leave slowly, not checking whether or not he’s following.
Don’t look back, you are never completely alone.
Another rule. Once you realise this you learn not to constantly check if your being tailed.
Walking out onto the teeming streets of Piccadily, I merge into the pedestrian traffic, going with the flow and blending in, becoming invisible.
I’m good at that. Blending in, becoming invisible. Sometimes I feel all I do is hide myself from the public eye, whilst in plain sight.
As I pick up the pace, the stares of a thousand strangers chase me, boring down trying to steal the secrets that are locked deep within my mind. Secrets hard fought and bitterly won. Knowledge that could bring the world to its knees. That’s why they are after me.
Taking a left off Regent street I head past Gaucho’s. Nice place, I had a great night there with a Yugoslavian counterpart once.
Although I’m tempted to run, I have to keep it cool.
Keep my options open.
That’s another rule, but a glance in a shop’s window tells me that Blondie is close, and he’s found company. His companion is hard eyed sinew and muscle, shorter than blonde but with more lethal intent. Looks eastern European. I’m gonna call him Pavel. He looks like a Pavel. Either way not one to be messed with. They train you how to assess your opponents at the academy. Espionage 101.
It’s getting serious now and it doesn’t look like I’m going to lose them. So I start whistling and slow down, pretending to window shop.
Lull them into a false sense of complacency.
Then after leading them up and down Regent street, in a haphazard meandering fashion, I turn right into Denham street. Halfway down I turn and sprint towards them catching them by surprise.
Pick the time and place for action.
Rule number 7.
I catch Blondie by surprise as I launch myself at him feet first, smashing him on his temple. My honed technique sees him crumble to the floor and I raise my foot to finish him off. Then he catches me. Pavel the sneaky bastard, sucker punches me from behind tackling me to the ground. As I struggle Blondie gets up swearing and helps his partner restrain me. Turning sharply I bite down hard and taste blood on my tongue as I spit out a mouthful of flesh. Then I see stars as a wicked blow lays me low, darkening my senses. Bollocks. They’ve got me.
“The little shit bit me. He bloody bit me.”
“I told you he was loopy mate. You sit on him and ill call it in. It’s not too bad. ”
I hear Pavel breathing hard as he sits on my back. Every time I try and dislodge him, I’m pushed back down into the cobbled street.
Then I hear Blondie’s voice.
“Hello. Yeah it’s Derek Frances. Look we’ve had another incident with Julian Brown. No I didn’t….Yes I know who he is. No I did like I’ve been told. Kept our distance but kept an eye on him. Look I’ve been a bloody carer for 6 years so don’t have a bloody go at me. He charged us down, came out of no where. Look I’m bringing him back to the home. We need to assess him. It’s not right….no I’ve got the car. Okay bye. ” Blondie hangs up his phone.
Shit. They are taking me back to the home. Should have been more careful.
Trust no one.
The most important rule.