Mike Alvarez put the phone down. He loosened his blue tie and tried to throw a rolled-up ball of paper into the bin via a mini-size basketball hoop. The paper hit the rim and bounced onto the floor. This somehow seemed appropriate given the news he’d just heard. He summoned three people into his office, attached to security at the embassy, three people who had been in the army in their day and who were experts in their field.
When the three had sat down, Alvarez spoke to them.
“Gentlemen, you’ve been seconded from your security duties here, to help us track down the killer of the American tourist in Santiago de Compostela, two days ago. The exact identity of the killer is not known, he’s an expert in avoiding detection, and seems not to be who we first thought he was, if that makes sense.”
“Not really,” said the first man, whose code name for the operation would be Washington. “We understood he was a Muslim terrorist from somewhere in North Africa.”
Both Adams and Jefferson nodded.
“That was the initial understanding, but now after some investigations here in Leon and at Interpol HQ, it seems like we’ve a more rounded impression of who our target is.”
“Who is he?” asked Jefferson. “Is he Russian or Chinese?”
“No, he’s not, he’s British, or that’s the perceived wisdom. He’s British military, but not their regular army, one of their specials.”
The three men on the other side of the desk looked at each other and smiled.
“Where did he get his weapons from, sir?” asked Adams.
“According to the Policia Nacional, who have interviewed the staff at the restaurant where he had a drink, he didn’t come armed with the rifle and the grenades. It seems his North African friends brought those to the party and were killed for their trouble.”
“I find it hard to believe that he had any connection with the terrorists,” said Jefferson. “The knife was his, but the guns and grenades weren’t. He would probably throw the knife at the train, but the terrorists were there first and gave him a surer way of killing the tourist. Do we know where the terrorists came from in Spain? With that kind of hardware, they must have had a hideaway somewhere in the city or somewhere in… which state is Santiago in?”
“Galicia,” said Washington, “and it’s an autonomous region, not a state, so we should remember that, especially when you realise they kicked out the Muslims a thousand years ago.”
“Right,” said Adams. “I wonder if the Muslims want it back?”
“Probably,” replied Alvarez, “but that will be difficult for them to achieve after Franco’s reign. He got rid of most of the Liberals and the intellectuals, and the commies. Anyway, enough of this, head over there, separately to A Coruna, Santiago de Compostela, and to Vigo, one of you to each of those places, and see what you can track down. He doesn’t appear to have flown and is sticking around, so he might weigh up another target to kill, another American perhaps. Let’s go, fellas, and get this tea-sippin’, gin-swillin’, Queen-lovin’ Limey before he causes any more problems for the United States of America.”