‘I have the guns that Khalid supplied, plus a few dozen clips.’

‘Where were Chaudhry and Malik supposed to go?’

‘They were dropping us at one of the car park entrances that would put us on the first floor. We were to chain the doors, start shooting and then escape via Marks amp; Spencer.’

‘Spider, it looks as if most of the vans are heading to the car parks. We’re taking them down now so the imminent threat is from the terrorists arriving by the tube and by bus. The likelihood is that they will be heading for the main entrances on the ground floor and the lower ground floor.’

‘Which is where I should be?’

‘Exactly. The first ARVs to reach the mall will head for the main entrance too and move in that way.’

Shepherd looked at his watch. It was eight minutes to six. ‘Charlie, you have to give them my description. Blue jeans, black polo shirt, brown leather jacket. I’m wearing Harvey’s green parka but I’ll dump that as soon as I get off the bike. The last thing I need is to get caught in friendly fire.’

‘It’ll be done,’ said Button. ‘We have ARVs en route but most of them are going to be getting there after six so you’re going to be on your own for a few minutes.’

Shepherd’s stomach lurched as a bus pulled out in front of them. The motorcyclist had seen the vehicle and accelerated at the same time as he leaned over to the right. Shepherd leaned in sync and they missed the bus by inches. ‘How’s Raj?’ asked Shepherd.


‘Raj Chaudhry. I left him at the van with a gun.’

‘The van has just been secured. We’re taking him to see Malik. Spider, one other thing. We’re going to start evacuating the mall within the next couple of minutes. We’re on to the mall people now and we’re going to start emptying the first and second floors through the department stores.’

‘What about just sounding the fire alarm?’

‘If the terrorists lock the ground-floor doors we’ll just be sending people towards the guns,’ she said. ‘Best you and the ARVs get there first.’

Shepherd looked over the shoulder of the motorcyclist. Ahead of them was Westfield mall. ‘Almost there, Charlie.’

‘Good luck, Spider.’

Button looked up at the screen showing the view from the police helicopter. She could see the motorbike arriving at the main entrance to the mall. ‘Commander, how are we doing with the ARVs?’

‘Two minutes until the first one arrives,’ he said. ‘Two minutes after that we should have a vehicle at car park B.’

‘And the vans in transit?’

‘Two have been stopped without shots being fired. We should have the third within the next minute or so.’

Button looked over at Zoe. ‘What’s happening with the evacuation?’ she asked.

‘I’m having problems getting someone there to approve it,’ said Zoe. ‘No one seems to know who’s responsible for authorising it.’

‘Head of security, presumably.’

‘He’s saying that unless he knows the nature of the threat he’s not prepared to evacuate the building. I’m contacting the owners of the mall as we speak.’ She held up her hand and began talking into her headset.

Button caught the commander’s eye. ‘Do you have any uniforms close by?’ she asked.

‘Two TSG vans already, more on the way,’ he said. ‘No blues and twos and they’re staying in the vans until needed.’

‘I think we need them in now, Commander,’ she said. ‘Tell them to go straight up to the top floor and get people moving through the department stores.’

Zoe waved at Button and Button nodded for her to speak. ‘It’s okay. The CEO is on to the head of security now. He’ll get the security teams to begin moving people out.’

‘Through the stores, not through the main entrances,’ said Button. She looked back at the commander. ‘We still need your people in there, Commander. We need to start getting people out. But discreetly. No panic.’

‘They’re on their way,’ said Commander Needham. ‘They’ve been told to say that there’s going to be a power cut.’

Button looked at the screen showing the overhead view of the mall. Shepherd was standing by the bike, opening his backpack. It was five minutes to six.

Shepherd rested the backpack on the pillion of the motorbike and handed the helmet to the driver. ‘Thanks,’ said Shepherd.

The driver slid the helmet on as Shepherd unzipped the backpack. The guns were both Glocks, similar to the MI5-issued one that he’d left with Chaudhry. He pulled one out, ejected the magazine, checked that it was full and then slotted it back into place.

‘Anything I can do?’ asked the driver.

‘Are you firearms trained?’ asked Shepherd. He slid the Glock into his shoulder holster.

‘Afraid not. Strictly surveillance.’

‘Then thanks but no thanks,’ said Shepherd. He took off Malik’s parka and gave it to the driver. ‘You can hang on to that for me, if you don’t mind.’ He shouldered the backpack and began running towards the main entrance.

Zoe waved over at Charlotte Button. ‘The security guards on the upper floor are now directing people out of the mall and into the department stores.’

‘Excellent,’ said Button. She looked over at the clock. Four minutes to six.

‘We’ve just intercepted the fourth van,’ said the commander. ‘It was heading for car park B. Four men in custody; no shots fired.’

‘And the ARVs?’

‘First one will arrive in about one minute. Second one two minutes later.’

‘Make sure they have a full description of Spider and explain that he is armed. I don’t want any friendly fire incidents.’

‘They’ve been informed,’ said the commander.

Button looked up at the screen showing the overhead view from the helicopter. Spider was running towards the main entrance.

Heads turned as Shepherd ran through the crowds. He scanned the faces, his trick memory comparing them with the photographs he’d seen at Thames House. He slowed to a jog as he reached the entrance. The glass doors were wide open as shoppers poured in. He walked into the mall and checked his watch. There were three minutes to go before six o’clock. That meant that the terrorists were almost certainly already in place. He looked around, breathing slowly and evenly.

Two security guards were standing to his left. They were Asians, wearing black suits and with their identification cards in clear plastic cases strapped to their arms. One was in his forties, dark-skinned and wearing tinted glasses. The other was younger, with lighter skin, and carrying something in his hands. Shepherd moved to the side to get a better look. The man was holding a length of chain and a padlock. The older man looked at his watch. There was a black Timberland backpack at his feet. The two men were standing with their backs to the wall, watching the shoppers walking into the mall. Two middle-aged Chinese women went over and asked them for directions and the younger security guard pointed up to the first floor.

Shepherd walked over, his hand slipping inside his jacket. ‘How’s it going, guys?’ he asked.

‘Can we help you, sir?’ asked the older guard.

Shepherd stood facing them, using his body to conceal the Glock as he pulled it out. ‘I need the two of you to stand facing each other right now,’ said Shepherd. ‘If you don’t I’ll shoot you.’ The younger guard opened his mouth to speak but Shepherd jabbed the gun in his stomach. ‘Don’t say anything. Just do it. I don’t have time to fuck around.’ The men turned to face each other. Shepherd patted them down but didn’t find a gun. He kicked the backpack to the side. It was heavy. He took the chain and padlock with his left hand and gestured with the gun. ‘Put your arms round each other, like you were hugging.’ The men hesitated and Shepherd jabbed the younger guard again with the barrel of the gun. ‘Do it or I swear I’ll shoot you both.’

The two men put their arms round each other. Shepherd kept hold of one end of the chain and let the rest fall

Вы читаете False Friends
Добавить отзыв


Вы можете отметить интересные вам фрагменты текста, которые будут доступны по уникальной ссылке в адресной строке браузера.

Отметить Добавить цитату