Brother’s Keeper: Episode 34

New to Brother’s Keeper? Read Episode 1

Mr Petrov stands, alert, and watches Jay step into the room with two guns raised. Jay’s face is almost entirely covered in blood splatter, but there is calmness beyond the blood of several dead men. He turns and stares at Robert and Mr Petrov.

***

Jay stares at Robert and Mr Petrov for a long quiet moment before he turns away from them to walk towards his lifeless brother.

Mr Petrov is momentarily confused by Jay’s action, but it quickly dawns on him that the Captain is in fact Alan’s brother Jay. He attempts to swiftly reach for his revolver, but Robert pulls out the M9 handgun and, without looking up from the ground, aims for his father.

Mr Petrov stops in his tracks and is taken aback. His mind is further mired in bewilderment as he ponders if Jay and his son are working together; and, if so, for how long; or maybe Jay’s employers are betraying him. Suddenly, he smiles, because he admires the move by his son – ruthless and impeccably timed; better late than ever to prove yourself the son of Sergei Petrov. He looks back to Jay as Jay approaches Alan.

Jay crouches to his brother and fights back his emotions as he checks his brother’s neck for a pulse. There is a pulse, although very low, and Jay shuts his eyes tightly in relief. He scans his brother’s wounds and, again, his rage threatens to overcome him. He cradles his brother’s head and softly kisses his brother’s forehead, like he used to do when Alan was just a baby. He turns to Roman and Mr Petrov – they will pay dearly.

Mr Petrov looks away from Jay to his son, who is still staring down to the ground – this bloody coward couldn’t have set all this inmotion; he’s just a pawn; a bloody disgrace.

‘You’ve been played, you foolish boy,’ Mr Petrov says in Russian. ‘Look at me!’ he demands.

Robert, with teary eyes, looks up to Mr Petrov, and Mr Petrov is in visible disdain at his son’s tears.

‘You bloody coward. You are …’

Robert pulls the trigger and Mr Petrov flinches, but there is no gunfire. Robert repeatedly pulls the trigger, but still no gunfire – Jay had emptied the gun clip into the back garden of the safe house.

Mr Petrov realises the gun is either jammed or out of bullets. He swiftly picks up the revolver and shoots Robert – the bullet pierces through Robert’s neck and Robert crashes unto the floor.

Mr Petrov quickly attempts to shoot at Jay, but Jay shoots him in his right shoulder and the revolver flies away from his grasp as his arm becomes limp. He attempts to clutch his severely wounded shoulder with his left hand, but Jay shoots his left shoulder and that arm becomes limp. Mr Petrov screams in pain and falls back unto his chair.

Jay walks calmly towards Mr Petrov with both guns aimed at Mr Petrov’s head. Mr Petrov attempts to speak, but Jay shoots him in the belly with both guns and he collapses unto the floor.

Jay walks around the desk to Mr Petrov, who is bleeding profusely from his belly and shoulders and wailing in pain. He aims both guns at Mr Petrov’s head, and Mr Petrov looks up at him without an ounce of fear.

‘Finish me,’ Mr Petrov says in English, through pain.

Jay slowly lowers the guns.

‘You are finished,’ Jay says, and walks away.

Mr Petrov attempts to object, but he cant muster any words as he is in too much pain and losing blood rapidly – he is dying, slowly and ever so painfully.

Jay walks away from the desk but suddenly stops and turns around to Robert.

Robert is in his last moments of life as he bleeds profusely from his neck, but his dying eyes are focused on Jay.

There is a long quiet moment as they stare at each other. Jay nods softly at Robert, and Robert struggles to nod back but he can’t and instead slowly blinks at Jay. The share a moment of acknowledgment and then Jay turns to walk back to Alan.

He scans the small table beside Alan with the torture devices neatly arranged on top. He places both guns on the table and picks up a sharp exotic dagger.

He turns back to Alan, but then a sudden shotgun blast smashes into him and drives him across the room. He crashes onto the wall and collapses to the floor. He is lifeless and blood begins oozing from him.

Brother’s Keeper: Episode 31

New to Brother’s Keeper? Read Episode 1

Robert gestures at the duffel bag, which is full of money, and says to Jay with a wide smile, ‘You want to count …’

Suddenly, a loudly ringing phone interrupts him.

***

Alan appears lifeless, but he’s still tied to the chair in the expansive backroom of Sophia’s Place. All his toes are smashed and bloodied and the fingers on his left hand are also smashed and bloodied. Vasily stands over him, cradling a bloody hammer and admiring his brutal work.

At the other end of the room, Natalia sits on the desk beside her father, who is evidently anxious and deep in thought.

‘I’m going to their house,’ she says to him in Russian.

‘You want one of the boys to accompany you?’ he asks, also in Russian.

She glares at him with a raised eyebrow, and he nods – almost apologetically.

‘Call your brother before you go,’ he says.

She nods and makes the call. It’s answered after a few rings.

‘Are you done?’ she asks Robert, through the phone.

‘No, why?’ he snaps at her.

‘What do you think, Roman?’ she replies, hiding her annoyance. ‘Alan is here. He has nothing for us.’

‘What’s he doing there?’ Robert angrily questions, and continues fuelled with anger. ‘I gave him till tomorrow.’

‘Calm down, dad wanted it this way.’

‘What the …’

‘Hold on,’ she says, and passes the phone to her father.

‘Why haven’t you called?’ Mr Petrov demands, in Russian. ‘I’ve been waiting.’

‘I was going to …’ Robert begins responding in Russian.

‘Going to?’ Mr Petrov questions with more than a hint of hostility. ‘The Captain has done it?’

Robert hesitates for a moment. ‘Yes, but …’

Natalia watches her father face fill with worry and she as well becomes incredibly worried, hoping its not what she fears.

‘But what?’ Mr Petrov demands.

‘Yes, he did, but …’ he hesitates for a beat. ‘Fyodor was killed. It …’

‘What?’ Mr Petrov screams.

Mr Petrov’s distraught startles Natalia and confirms to her that it is what she fears – Fyodor is dead.

‘It was an accident,’ Robert says. ‘Fyodor was caught …’

‘Bring the Captain to me,’ Mr Petrov sternly commands.

‘I can deal with him.’

‘You can’t deal with anything!’ he screams, and pauses for a beat. ‘Nothing, you fool! Bring him to me, NOW.’

Mr Petrov ends the conversation and stares down at his desk, seething. Natalia and Vasily watch him with deep sympathy as he struggles to fight back tears.

He slowly pulls open a desk drawer, picks out a silver revolver, and places it gently on the desk.

‘I’ll wait with you,’ she softly says.

‘No. You go,’ he says coldly.

Natalia attempts to object.

‘You go!’ he barks at her.

***

‘Fuck!’ Robert yells, and tosses his phone hard onto the ground, shattering it.

The room is silent as Jay curiously stares at the duffel bag, not at all bothered by Robert, although he is somewhat surprised that Robert can speak Russian – he isn’t entirely sure it was Russian, as Russian is one of the few major languages that he doesn’t at least have a passing understanding.

Suddenly, he recognises the bag – he’d seen it in Slim Charles’ house – and it immediately becomes apparent to him that Robert is in fact Roman and “What is he doing there? I gave him till tomorrow,” must be in reference to Alan.

He looks up to Robert and says, ‘I can help you with that.’

Robert stares intently at Jay, unsure of the exact meaning of Jay’s offer.

‘Your problem,’ Jay says, and gestures to the shattered phone. ‘I can help you with that.’

Robert takes a moment to contemplate and then looks to Samuel for approval; Samuel nods approvingly.

Robert takes a deep breath and says, ‘Okay.’

The room is silent as Jay and Robert stare intently at each other.

‘You’re going to need a weapon,’ Robert says, breaking the silence.

‘What about the M9?’ Jay asks.

‘I’ll be using that,’ Robert says, and pulls out the M9 from the brown envelope. He tucks the gun in his waistband and asks Jay, ‘Are you good with a knife.’

Jay nods.

Robert pulls open a desk drawer, picks out Slim Charles’ knife, and hands it to Jay.

Brother’s Keeper: Episode 30

New to Brother’s Keeper? Read Episode 1

Natalia’s smile broadens and she scrolls through the contacts on Alan’s phone to “SUPERMAN”. She calls “SUPERMAN”.

***

Jay calmly steps into Palm Palace Shisha bar – seemingly forever busy – and walks to sit on the empty chair opposite Robert. He places the envelope – containing the M9 – on the table.

Robert gently strokes his half empty glass of gin and sprite as he stares intently at Jay. He is tipsy – he’s had four glasses of gin and sprite – and is battling severe anxiety as he questions his decision to instruct Jay to kill Fyodor – his 2 years old half brother – and ponders its unavoidable far-reaching consequences.

‘I added sprite,’ he says, gesturing to his glass. ‘It tastes much better.’ He pauses and vacantly scans the bar. ‘I like sprite.’

He downs the rest of his drink and remains silent as he continues to people watch, and Jay stoically stares at him.

He turns back to Jay and asks, ‘You want a drink?’

Jay doesn’t respond.

‘I can’t imagine it’s easy to kill a kid,’ Robert says flippantly, in an effort to disguise his true sentiment.

Jay instinctively shakes his head as a response to the comment – “it’s certainly not easy,” he’s thinking.

‘You did it, right?’ Robert earnestly asks.

Jay doesn’t respond.

‘I know,’ Robert says, hiding his resignation. ‘I got your text. Well, not me per say. I’m professional.’

Jay pulls out Cameron’s wedding ring and places it on the envelope.

Robert reaches for the envelope and drags it to himself. He stares at the ring for a moment and nods.

‘Where’s the money?’ Jay asks.

‘I don’t carry that sort of cash around. It’s very conspicuous. I like that word – conspicuous.’

‘Where is it?’ Jay sternly asks.

‘It’s in my office … back of a little butcher shop where I lay my head during the day. It’s close. Might even pack you some fucking tasty sausages to take with you.’

Jay calmly stands and says, ‘Let’s go.’

Robert leads Jay out of the bar to a black Range Rover Sport parked in front of the bar. He turns to Jay with a smile and says, ‘I didn’t think my man in the brown leather jacket needed to hide any more.’

Jay hides a smile; when he was approaching the bar, he’d noticed Samuel – the man in the brown leather jacket – sitting confidently in the driver’s seat of the car. He follows Robert’s lead and steps into the back seat.

Jay slots his hands into his jacket pockets and clutches Slim Charles’ gun – tucked in his waistband – through the large hole he’d cut in his right pocket earlier in the day.

‘Captain,’ Robert says to Jay, and gestures to Samuel. ‘Meet man in the brown leather jacket.’ He turns to Samuel. ‘Brown leather jacket man …’ He gestures to Jay. ‘Meet Captain.’

Samuel and Jay acknowledge each other through the rear-view mirror.

‘I tried to get him to wear another jacket,’ Robert says. ‘I thought it had become too conspicuous.’ He laughs for a moment. ‘But he didn’t listen. Stubborn fucker, he is.’

Samuel exaggeratedly nods.

‘To the office,’ Robert instructs.

***

They are ten minutes into the journey to the butcher shop and the car is silent; you could cut the air with a knife.

‘So, Captain, you have a family?’ Robert asks.

Jay turns to Robert, but doesn’t respond.

‘I thought so,’ Robert continues. ‘You strike me as one of the no attachment types – nothing you can’t leave in thirty seconds flat and shit. You have it right; family is fucking overrated.’

With that, the car returns to silence.

***

The Range Rover parks by the back entrance of a high-end High Street butcher shop and Jay, Robert, and Samuel step out of the car. Robert leads Samuel, and Jay, who still has his hands in his pockets and is firmly clutching the gun, to the back door.

Samuel does his best to act cool, but is evidently on edge.

Jay, on the other hand, appears absolutely calm but his mind is in overdrive working out the smoothest way of eliminating them both, disposing their bodies, cleaning up the scene, and escaping in just over an hour – which is all the time he has left from the three hours of silence he’d requested from Cameron.

Robert stops by the door and stares expectantly at Samuel, but Samuel doesn’t react.

‘The key?’ Robert asks, and gestures to the door.

Samuel pats himself, searching for the key, and then has a moment of recollection. He forces an apologetic smile and walks briskly back to the car.

Robert turns to Jay and exaggeratedly shakes his head in disappointment. Jay sees through their elaborate charade and has the urge to put a bullet through Robert’s eyes right there and then, but no, he’ll wait till he gets the money.

Samuel steps into the driver side of the car. He opens the glove compartment with one hand and surreptitiously opens a secret compartment underneath the steering wheel with the other. He quickly picks out a matte black sawed off shotgun and tucks it into his jacket before he picks out the back door key from the glove compartment.

He shuts the compartment, steps out the car, and walks briskly back towards Jay and Robert.

Samuel opens the back door and Robert leads through a small hallway into an expensively furnished office. Samuel waits at the door, and Robert walks round to the front of his desk.

Jay glances back to Samuel at the door before he walks up to the desk.

Robert picks up a duffel bag from the floor and dumps it onto the middle of the desk.

Samuel reaches into his jacket and grabs the shotgun. His nervous finger is on the trigger and he waits for Robert’s signal to shoot Jay. It’s not his first rodeo, but he has only one shot, if he misses or isn’t quick enough, he knows he won’t live to regret it.

Robert gestures at the duffel bag, which is full of money, and says with a wide smile, ‘You want to count …’

Suddenly, a loudly ringing phone interrupts him.

Brother’s Keeper: Episode 28

New to Brother’s Keeper? Read Episode 1

Jay takes a deep breath and walks away – it’s on now.

***

Jay softly lands in a dark corner of the safe house back garden after deftly scaling the wall and immediately notices a motion detector light above the back door. The light is off, but any sudden movement could switch it on. He slowly pulls out the M9 pistol – now with a suppressor attached – and carefully aims for the light bulb. He pulls the trigger and there is a sharp impact sound as the bulb shatters.

He waits motionless in the darkness for almost a minute before he stands and walks quietly, in a crouched position with his M9 raised, to the back door. He slowly attempts to open the door, but its locked. He steps back and scans the building – there is a slightly open upstairs window.

***

Jay slowly sticks his head through the window into an upstairs bedroom, which is dark and empty. He carefully climbs into the room through the window. He pulls out his M9 and walks quietly to the room door.

He pushes the door open very slightly and listens – loud noises from a television across the hall, with accompanying loud banter from male voices; two distinct male voices.

He steps out of the room and remains motionless in the hallway. Across from him are two doors. One leads to the toilet, which has its lights switched on, and the other leads to the room where the television noises and banter emanate.

He quietly walks to the room door. He swiftly opens the door and steps into the room with his M9 raised. Two uniformed London Metropolitan officers are sat on a sofa a short distance away from the door, jovially watching Top Gear on the large television hung on the wall, and with their assault rifles resting by their feet. They casually turn to Jay in the doorway and instantly become motionless as they stare nervously at him.

The older officer can’t stop glancing down to his rifle. Jay focuses on him and shakes his head. In the next moment, the younger officer reaches down for his rifle. Jay charges at the officer and viciously knees him in the head as the officer grabs the rifle. The officer collapses onto the floor, unconscious, as the older officer reaches for his rifle. Jay stumps on the rifle, trapping it underneath his feet, and smashes the butt of his M9 into the officer’s head. The officer slumps onto the sofa, unconscious.

Jay drags the younger officer to the column radiator attached to the wall. He pulls out the officer’s handcuffs and cuffs the officer’s wrists to the radiator. He then drags the older officer to the other end of the radiator and handcuffs him to it.

He pulls out their phones and radios and walks across the room to the television remote control. He increases the volume of the television to a deafening level and places the phone, radio, and remote on the sofa – far out of reach for the officers.

He walks out of the room to the toilet door and softly taps on the door.

‘Yes?’ comes a frightened whisper from inside the toilet.

Jay taps the door again and aims his M9 head height. The door slowly opens until the uniformed officer inside the toilet is staring down the barrel of the gun.

‘I’m the guy,’ the officer says frantically. ‘I’m …’

Jay swings the butt of the M9 into the back of the officer’s head. The officer loses consciousness on his feet and Jay catches him before he collapses.

Jay drags the officer into the room and to the radiator. He pulls out the officer’s cuffs and cuffs him to the radiator between the other officers. He takes the officer’s phone, radio, and shoes.

He places the shoes and radio on the sofa, slots the phone in his pocket, and walks out of the room. He shuts the door gently behind him and sneaks down the stairway.

He steps off the stairway into a small but brightly lit hallway and remains in a crouched position with his M9 raised as he turns to three doors – two open and one closed. The open door to his right leads to the living room, which is dimly lit with faint noises from a television; but there are no accompanying voices or sounds of movement. The other open door, which is in the middle of the doors, leads to a dark and evidently empty kitchen.

The closed door is closest to him on his left and he sneaks to it. He listens and the room sounds empty. He quietly opens the door and pushes it open to reveal a small toilet.

He quietly steps into the living room to see Cameron – looking extremely weary and almost unrecognisable from the picture he was shown – sat on a sofa, glumly watching the television, and her toddler is asleep on the sofa beside her with his head resting on her lap. There is a female officer sat on an armchair beside them, also watching the television but with far more enthusiasm than Cameron. An automatic shotgun leans on the wall beside the armchair.

They haven’t yet noticed him – this though is always the case; his target never sees him until its too late, unless he wants it; he’s a ghost in plain sight. He slowly advances towards them with his M9 aimed at the female officer’s head.

Cameron and the female officer see him approach at the same time. Cameron instantly reaches into her blouse to grab something as the female officer attempts to reach for the shotgun.

‘Don’t,’ he commands.

Cameron and the female officer stop; the female officer sits back comfortably in her chair, as if she’d rather die in a comfortable sitting position, but Cameron stares defiantly at him, still grabbing the item in her blouse in one hand and covering her sleeping son’s eyes with the other.

‘Pull it out slow and place it on the ground,’ he commands Cameron.

To the female officer’s utter surprise, Cameron slowly pulls a sawed off shotgun out from her blouse. Cameron wields the gun with ease; like she’s held one many times, and also looks like she’s fired one before and wont hesitate to fire it again. The wife of a Russian crime lord – a toddler in one hand and a sawed off in the other, par for the course, it seems. She fights her better instincts as she carefully places the shotgun on the floor by her feet.

‘Cuff yourself to the radiator,’ he says to the officer, and gestures to the column radiator a short distance away from her.

The female officer is reluctant to stand.

He lowers his gun and calmly says, ‘Do it.’

The officer walks to the radiator and cuffs her wrists to it, but the handcuffs are evidently loose. He stares at her expectantly, and she diligently fastens the cuffs.

He calmly walks to the officer, keeping an eye on Cameron, and the officer does her best to hide her fear as she stoically watches him approach. He swings the butt of his gun into the back of her head, and she falls to the ground, unconscious.

He takes her radio and her phone and walks back to Cameron.

As he approaches, she gestures to her son and passionately declares, ‘I wont let you take my son!’ She glances at the shotgun by her feet. ‘I’ll fight you to the death.’

He blankly stares at her for a long moment, before he places the phone and radio on the coffee table.

‘You don’t think I can?’ she angrily questions. ‘I’ll do …’

‘I’m not taking him,’ he says, and tucks his gun into his waistband.

She stares at him, deeply confused. ‘What do you want?’

‘I want three hours of your silence.’

‘What?’

‘Three hours,’ he says earnestly and pauses. ‘Without alerting anyone of what’s happened here.’

‘Why?’

‘You’ll know. In time.’ He glances at the wedding ring on her finger. ‘I need the ring.’

She glances at the ring. ‘He sent you to kill me.’

He glances at the toddler. ‘He sent me to kill you all.’

She is aghast and turns to her son, and he watches as she lovingly caresses her son’s head. She turns back to him, pulls off the ring, and hands it to him.

There is a moment of silent acknowledgment between them.

‘The officers upstairs are unconscious,’ he says, and glances at the female officer. ‘They are also handcuffed to the radiator. The one without shoes let me in.’

‘Sorry?’

‘You’ll see what I mean.’

She nods. ‘Thank …’

‘No,’ he says, and instinctively raises a hand to object. ‘Three hours.’ He gestures to the female officer. ‘They might wake up before then, but they can’t do anything without you.’

‘Okay. Three hours.’

He nods and pulls out the corrupt officer’s phone. He sends the blank text to the number Robert specified and offers her the phone.

‘You might need it. It belongs to the one without shoes.’

She takes the phone, and there is another quiet moment between them as she fights the urge to thank him.

He turns and walks away towards the back door.

He steps through the back door into the back garden and pulls out his M9. He aims for the grass a distance ahead of him and fires a shot into the ground. He repeatedly shoots into the grass.

Brother’s Keeper: Episode 26

New to Brother’s Keeper? Read Episode 1

Jay walks purposefully along a quiet residential street close to his home and surreptitiously tosses the black bin bag into a skip he’d seen the night before; he then heads off towards Epsom railway station.

***

It’s early evening as Jay steps out of Guilford Railway Station and walks briskly towards Palm Palace Shisha Bar – about 15 minutes walk away.

***

Jay stands across the street from the shisha bar, observing the bar and its surroundings for almost a minute before he chuckles and walks across the street towards the bar.

He walks into the busy bar and immediately sees Robert sitting at the same table as the night before. He walks to the table and sits opposite Robert.

Robert solemnly stares at Jay as he strokes his half empty glass of double gin and soda. There is a thick brown envelope on the table beside the glass.

Jay notices Robert’s bloody lip and makes sure to make it apparent to Robert that he’d noticed it – that usually elicits a verbal acknowledgement; although most times the acknowledgements are tall tales or blatant lies, but he can detect that and it helps him further analyse the person.

Robert forces a smile. ‘You should see the other guy,’ he says.

Jay forces a smile; he knows Robert lied.

‘Want a drink?’ Robert asks.

Jay softly shakes his head.

‘I usually don’t drink, you know,’ Robert says, and glances at the glass. ‘It tastes fucking horrible.’

Jay doesn’t respond.

Robert stares at Jay for a long moment and then laughs softly to himself.

‘Okay,’ he says. ‘Details. You know the TARGET. The address for the safe house is …’ He pauses for a moment to look through his phone. ’23 Westcroft Close.’

He stares at Jay expectantly, but Jay doesn’t react.

‘Want to write that down?’ he asks.

Jay softly shakes his head.

‘Right,’ Robert continues. ‘I don’t know how many officers are in the house. I don’t care. For what I’m paying, it shouldn’t matter.’ He pauses for a moment, expecting a reaction from Jay, but there is none forthcoming. ‘We have a man in the house. At 8:15 – or 20:15 as you military boys say it – our man will disable the alarm. The moment he does that, he’ll fuck with the lights …’

‘Fuck with the lights?’ Jay asks with a raised eyebrow.

‘Switch em on and off a few times, you know. The upstairs bathroom … facing the street, I suppose … I’d hope.’

Jay nods.

‘He thinks you’re going to let him live, shoot him in the arm or something. You kill him.’

‘Okay.’

Robert pulls out a small piece of paper from his pocket and slides it across the table to Jay. Jay looks down to the paper, which has “07776543983” boldly written on it.

‘Send a blank text to that number with the man’s phone when it’s all done.’

‘I hope this isn’t one of your numbers?’

Robert chuckles. ‘No, it’s not. I am a professional too. But thanks for caring.’

Jay slides the paper back across to Robert.

‘You don’t want it?’ Robert asks.

‘I’ve seen it. I’m good.’

‘If you forget it though …’

‘I won’t.’

‘Okay then,’ Robert says with a hint of sarcasm. ‘Anyway, Cameron has a wedding ring. I want it.’

‘Okay.’

‘And the kid,’ Robert says, and pauses to consider the gravity of his next words. ‘You kill the kid too.’

‘That wasn’t …’

‘That is the deal. For the price you’re asking, I’m sure you can do it.’

There is a long moment of silence before Jay nods.

‘Thought so,’ Robert smugly says.

He pushes the thick brown envelope to Jay.

‘I was told the M9 is your weapon of choice,’ he says. ‘With hollow point bullets.’

‘Suppressor?’

‘Yes. I was told that too.’

Jay nods, and there is silence as both stare at each other.

‘Anything else?’ Jay asks.

‘No. We’ll meet here when you’re done.’

‘You’ll have the money?’

‘I always do.’

Robert cracks a distant smile and stares intently at Jay.

‘So, is your dad proud of you?’ Robert asks. ‘Being a serial killer and all.’

Jay doesn’t respond.

‘Not much of a talker, are you?’

‘I listen,’ Jay answers softly. ‘And it seems to me like you want to talk.’

Robert is pleasantly surprised and leans back into his seat with a smile. He opens his mouth to speak, but Jay stands and picks up the envelope.

Jay gestures out the window and says, ‘Talk to your man in the brown leather jacket waiting in the black Range Rover parked outside. I’ve got things to do.’

Robert’s genuine smile transforms into seething rage, but he fights to maintain a forced smile as he watches Jay walk out of the bar. He then slowly takes a sip from his glass and suddenly slams the bottom of the glass onto the table and all the gin and soda left in the glass splashes over him.

‘Fucking hell!’ he mutters, and pulls out a handkerchief to wipe dry his face, but then he smiles – he’s sure going to enjoy putting a bullet through the fucker’s head.

Brother’s Keeper: Episode 4

New to Brother’s Keeper? Read Episode 1

He runs, incredibly fast, towards the elevator door as it slowly opens …

Jay slides feet first into the elevator just as its doors open wide enough for him to fit through and he immediately takes out the legs of a SWAT officer just beyond the doors.

The are four officers behind the first officer, and all are momentarily surprised and confused by the first officers sudden wild fall, but in that very brief moment of their indecision Jay jabs the electroshock baton into the first officers neck – delivering an electric shock that renders the officer unconscious – and jabs the baton at the groin of the next officer, who immediately collapses, unconscious.

The next officer behind attempts to aim his assault rifle at Jay, but Jay leaps to his feet and as he rises he pushes the gun’s barrel up towards the ceiling with his left hand and drives the baton into the chin of the officer – like an uppercut, which by itself could’ve knocked out the officer, but the shock from the baton renders the officer unconscious anyway. The officer falls backwards like a log and an extremely stocky officer behind him frantically stumbles away from the fall to far right corner of the small elevator as another officer in the left aims an automatic shotgun at Jay.

Jay doesn’t hesitate; he charges at the stocky officer as the officer attempts to regain his balance – he knows the officer in the left corner wouldn’t shoot the shotgun at him in such a confined space with his fellow officer squarely within range of the shotgun’s wide pellet blast.

The stocky officer aims his assault rifle at Jay’s head, but as he pulls the trigger Jay swings the baton at the rifle’s barrel and the bullet whizzes past Jay’s ear. Jay then uses his momentum to drive his left elbow into the jaw of the officer before the officer can repair his aim and fire again. The elbow strike stuns the officer and Jay jabs the officer’s ribs with the baton, but there is no shock as the baton is damaged from its impact with the rifle. Without pause, Jay swings the baton into the jaw of the officer three times in under a second, knocking the officer unconscious, and then tosses the baton at the right arm of the officer in the left corner, who is pulling out a handgun holstered by his hip.

The handgun flies away from the officer’s grasp and the officer ignores the intense pain in his arm and readies himself for hand-to-hand combat as Jay fast approaches. He swings a good tight right hook at Jay, but Jay deftly catches the punch, traps the arm, and uses it to pull him down. Jay viciously knees his head, drives it hard onto the floor, and drops an elbow onto the back of his head – all in one swift motion. Needless to say, the officer is unconscious.

Jay runs out of the elevator towards the window across the hallway. He leaps over the incapacitated officers and pulls out his M9 – tucked in his waistband. He shoots at the window three times in a tight cluster and the window shatters. As he approaches the window, he detaches to top of his large belt buckle, which has a seemingly unending very strong string connecting it to the belt. He stabs the sharp hooks of buckle into the wall underneath the window and dives head first out of the window.

***

The second elevator opens and six officers, wearing night vision goggles and their assault rifles raised, cautiously step out. Four of the officers remain by the elevator and intently scan the hallway while the other two others enter the first elevator. A brief moment later, the two officers return and one of them approaches the officer leading the team.

‘Unconscious but alive,’ the officer whispers to the team leader.

‘Alive?’ the team leader questions, without turning to the officer.

‘Yes.’

There is a moment of silence as the team leader ponders.

‘Radio for the medics?’

‘I tried. Radio’s still not working.’

‘Okay, take them down and bring up a couple medics.’

‘Sure?’

‘Yes.’ He gestures to the incapacitated officers in the middle of the hall. ‘They are alive too; still reading heat on the infrared.’

The officer rushes back into the first elevator and a short moment later, the elevator doors close and it descends.

The five officers, led by the team leader, strategically advance along the hallway, carefully sidestep the unconscious officers, and approach Jay’s open room door. The team leader tosses a flash bang into the room; it detonates, and three officers surge from behind him into the room. He and the last remaining officer wait by the door, alert.

Suddenly, there is a loud explosion outside the hotel. The team leader instantly turns to the shattered window, as it’s apparent the explosion came from that side. He and the officer standing by the door run towards the window and stare out into the alley below where a blaze rages. He then notices the string coming up from the alley and traces it to the buckle clamped on the wall.

‘Fuck!’ he exclaims. ‘He’s gone!’

Brother’s Keeper: Episode 3

New to Brother’s Keeper? Read Episode 1

‘Captain,’ Mr Smith says, with a soothing elderly Texas accent. ‘They are coming for you.’ …

Jay doesn’t speak and walks to the window. He discreetly parts the closed curtain and peeks down to the street. He can’t see the front of the hotel, but across the street a crowd of onlookers grows. They are staring captivated at the entrance of the hotel and also up towards the roof of the hotel. He walks back towards the bag.

‘I know,’ Jay says into the phone, with a cultured English accent. ‘We agreed no calls.’

‘It’s a secure line. Captain, you need to give yourself up.’

Jay picks out a matte black M9 pistol with an extended magazine from the bag. He ejects the magazine to confirm it’s full; it is. He reinserts the magazine, chambers a round, fully cocks the hammer, and engages the safety – all in one smooth sequence. He tucks the gun in his waistband by his right.

‘No, I won’t be doing that,’ he calmly says.

‘You have to. You have no other choice. You killed one of theirs. The wrong one,’ he adds with evident exasperation, which is very unusual as Mr Smith never shows emotion – well, he’s just a voice, so he never voices his emotion. He pauses, as if silently scolding himself for his mistake, and continues. ‘He was an 18-year veteran. The wife also saw your face. Now they’ve sent the cavalry for you. Give yourself up, Captain, and we will take care of you. But attempting to shoot your way out of there will create a sizeable international incident that we cannot … we will not … contain. You know we …’

Jay glances at his slick digital wristwatch, which displays a countdown currently at “02:54:38”.

‘It’s still three hours to extraction. I’ll be there in good time.’

‘No. The extractor is a sitting duck. The city will be crawling with police.’

Jay resets the countdown to fifteen minutes.

‘I’ll be there in thirty minutes.’

He ends the call and switches off the phone. He tosses the phone into the bag and wears it across his body – the bag is left open on his left side. He swiftly advances to the door – like a glide, making no sound – and leans his back against the wall by the doorway. He opens the door.

***

An NYPD SWAT team of six officers, who rappelled off a helicopter onto the roof, quietly step through the stairway door – which is across the hall from the elevator – into the tenth floor hallway with their assault rifles raised and tactically advance towards Jay’s room. As they approach the open door, a grenade gently rolls out of the room into the hallway and the door instantly shuts behind it.

‘Grenade!’ two of the SWAT officers simultaneously declare, and they dive away from the grenade.

The grenade detonates, but instead of an explosion a visible electric charge bursts from the grenade both ways across the hallway. The SWAT officers are incapacitated by the charge and instantly collapse, unconscious, as the entire floor loses all electric power.

Jay opens his door and steps out of his room wearing night vision goggles, but as he turns to run towards the large window beside the stairway door he hears one of the officers having an epileptic seizure. Jay feels the ground underneath his feet shake as the large officer’s body shudders violently against the ground. He hesitates, but then he runs back into the bedroom and a moment later runs out with a pillow. He rushes to the convulsing officer, uses his feet to push the officer’s assault rifle away from the officer’s head, and then gently puts the pillow underneath the officer’s head.

Suddenly, he hears one of the two elevators across the hall, which is now powered by an emergency generator, arriving on the tenth floor. He glances across the hall to the window, then towards the elevators, and then down to his watch. It reads “13:22”. He pulls out a sturdy electroshock baton – black and the size of a relay baton with two metal electrodes at its end – from his bag. He runs, incredibly fast, towards the elevator door as it slowly opens.