Home > End of Days (Pike Logan #16)(3)

End of Days (Pike Logan #16)(3)
Author: Brad Taylor

“They have it, but the beer is the near side signal.”

She took the drink and said, “What’s taking so long? The meet time has come and gone.”

Aaron took a sip and said, “Calm down, dark angel. He’ll be here.”

They were in a place called the Temple Bar, an Irish watering hole that was one of several such franchises in Tel Aviv, Israel. This one was unique, in that it was within spitting distance of the headquarters of the Mossad. If one looked on Google Maps, one would see a hundred different stores or restaurants surrounding a large field of grass with nothing. Roads going in and out, but nothing to say why. Go to satellite, and one would find a large building in that field, with once again no representation of why that building was there.

Because that’s the way the Mossad wanted it.

His partner took a sip of the beer, winced, then said, “You think they have a mission for us? Is that why the call came in?”

Aaron grinned at her eagerness and said, “If it is a mission, when it comes to us, it’s guaranteed to be a shit storm. I’ll listen, but I’m not jumping in just because they want us to. We’ve both been here before.”

She said, “Yeah, but this is the Caesarea. They wouldn’t have called unless it was urgent.”

Caesarea was the section in the Mossad that dealt with targeted killing. The sharp end of the spear. In a previous life, Aaron and his partner had belonged to the unit, eliminating terrorists all over the world. Now they were private contractors, sometimes working for the Mossad, sometimes for others.

Aaron said, “We have the wedding. That’s more important. We leave in two days.”

“Yeah, but that’s just the rehearsal. We could probably do this mission and make it in time for the real thing.”

Aaron looked at her and said, “Seriously? After what they did to attend our wedding? You’re really going there? This was our vacation. We haven’t been anywhere for over a year because of the damn pandemic. And you love Charleston.”

Chastened, she said, “Nephilim would understand. If it’s important. But you’re right. Some things are worth more than others. I won’t miss the wedding, no matter what this guy says.”

She took another sip of the beer, winced again, and said, “Why on earth did you buy this mud?”

“Because that’s the near signal. If we had a rum and Coke, he’d wave off the meeting.”

She muttered, “Well, that’s one strike against this asshole.”

She turned to the door again, her urgency causing him to smile. He took her hand and said, “You look like a dog waiting on someone to throw a ball. Do you mean what you say? Because when he comes inside, he’s going to ask us to commit.”

She turned from staring at the door to him, took his hand in both of hers, and said, “Yes. I will not let Nephilim down. Or Jennifer. No matter what he says.”

Aaron nodded, and the door opened, the commander of Caesarea walking through it. He looked around the room casually, saw them, then the beers in front of them, and came over.

The bartender watched the scene intently. He didn’t have any ulterior motive, but he knew where his bar was located and was curious. He saw the man lean across the table and kiss the woman on the cheek.

The visitor turned to the seated man, and the size difference was palpable. The new man looked like a bureaucrat. The one seated looked like a killer. He stood and was a head taller than the visitor, his frame overshadowing the other. The pairing with the woman was confusing to the bartender. She was lithe, like a teenage boy, without any womanly curves, but her face was like a porcelain doll. Model pristine, but hiding something sinister. When she’d talked to him, it had been disconcerting. She did some kind of weird stare, reaching into his soul. It scared the hell out of him.

Both of them were people he didn’t want to meet ever again. He didn’t even want to serve them again. If they left right now, he’d be happy. He knew something was happening in his small bar a stone’s throw from one of the deadliest intelligence agencies on earth, but he knew better than to pry.

The men shook hands, then glanced his way. He ducked his head and moved to the back of the bar. They went deeper into the establishment, getting out of his earshot.

The new man gestured to seats at a corner table, saying, “Shoshana, it’s been a while. Still in the game, I see.”

She gave him a stare that caused him to recoil, saying, “Jeremy, I don’t play games.”

She took a seat, setting her beer on a windowsill to grow warm. He looked at Aaron, who smiled and said, “I don’t, either. Why the call?”

They both sat down and Jeremy said, “We have a delicate situation in Europe. We want you to investigate. We’ll pay the way, of course.”

“But?”

“No but. This time we aren’t looking for a cutout for operational reasons. Well, we are, but not why you think. We believe we’ve been compromised over there, and we need someone completely clean. A team that hasn’t been used in a while, with no contact to Mossad.”

“What happened?”

“You know Gideon Cohen, correct?”

At the name, Shoshana stiffened, a little of her dark angel leaking out. Aaron said, “Yes, of course. Way back when he was the man who placed Shoshana on my team.”

Shoshana said, “He was the only one in the Mossad who believed in me.”

Jeremy nodded and, without any preamble, said, “Well, he’s been killed.”

Shoshana took the words like a physical slap, her eyes going wide. Aaron put his hand on her arm, then said, “What do you mean, ‘killed’?”

“He summers in Switzerland, and he’d taken to paragliding. The man who took him up into the air killed him.”

“How on earth did that happen? He’s a former Ramsad, for God’s sake.”

Jeremy raised his hands and said, “I know, I know. Trust me, the security team is going through their own hell. The bottom line is that the man that usually takes him up—who had a background check—was found murdered. And the new man who took his place killed him.”

Shoshana hissed out, “Who did it?”

“We don’t know. That’s why we want you. It’s like 1972 all over again. If they’re starting to target us, they certainly knew enough to penetrate. We can’t trust our infrastructure there. In fact, we’re spending all our time protecting others in the continent now. We need someone clean. Which is where you come in. All we want you to do is find out the connections to the paraglider, track them down, and then give us the intel. No wet work. Just tell us who it is.”

Shoshana said, “That’s not going to happen. If I find them, I’m going to kill them.”

Jeremy drew back and said, “No, you won’t. You operate under our parameters. We don’t want to start an international war here. That’s the mission. Can you do that?”

Shoshana started to spit something out and Aaron touched her hand again, saying, “We can do that. What do you have?”

Jeremy went from Shoshana to Aaron, then said, “The riser to the paraglider was cut intentionally. The rescue parachute on the pilot’s back was nothing but dirty laundry. Inside of it was a note. It was intentional, no doubt, and the note says it’s going to get worse.”

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