St Johns Wood, London: 0427hrs
Carmichael had finished dressing and had put the kettle on for himself. The coffee percolator bubbled and hissed with Alexandra’s favourite start to the morning. Striding to the kitchen window he pulled open the curtains in order to behold the new day.
“Shit!” breathed a black clad police officer of the team about to assault the rear of the address.
PC Tony Stammers froze motionless in a crouch on Carmichael’s herbaceous border; he kept his head down and attempted to imitate a lethally armed garden gnome. Lying prone and using the garden hedges as cover the remainder of his team were less than impressed.
Carmichael had been interested in the state of the sky rather than the progress of his Liliflorae and dropped the curtains back into place. Scuttling sideways into cover the gnome mimic received a thump on the top of his helmet.
“Next time you hug the cover, you don’t take short cuts!” hissed his Sergeant and emphasised the salient point of his argument with a second, harder blow. Constable Annabel Perry, the errant SFO’s partner, was looking at him with a despairing look on her face.
Intending to take Berria her morning coffee in the bath Carmichael raised one foot to mount the stairs when several things happened at once.
Having climbed rubber clad storming ladders at the front and rear bedroom windows four SFOs burst through in a cloud of flying shards of glass to toss stun grenades onto the landing and over the banister rail.
At the sound of the windows shattering Carmichael dropped the china cups and saucers he had held and was reaching down for a small handgun in its ankle holster.
Berria had been rather more switched on, she knew that what would come next would be mind numbing. Placing hands across her ears she slid below the water’s surface to muffle the sound.
Four stun grenades went off with two of them within three feet of Carmichael, temporarily ruining his vision and hearing. Despite the pain in his ears Carmichael raised the gun in front of himself defensively and that was the sight that greeted the first two officers to burst through the front door.
Berria emerged from below the surface of the bath water the second she judged all the grenades had finished and heard two gunshots so close together that the sounds almost merged. Fishing below soiled undies in the linen basket she withdrew and cocked an Uzi sub machine gun and extended its wire stock before opened the door to the landing.
Hearing the sound of door being opened Tony Stammers was bringing his MP5 around to bear on the direction of the noise but he hesitated, for just a milli-second, at the sight of a dripping wet and naked blond in the bathroom doorway.
The Uzi roared, intensely loud in such a confined space, and floral wallpaper on the wall at his back sprouted several holes but his ballistic body armour stopped both the rounds that struck him at chest height, however the round that pierced his left bicep shattered the bone behind it.
Annabel Perry had also heard the door but she had dropped prone at the sound. Alexandra Berria’s only burst of fire was cut short as Annabel shot her between the breasts. The butt of the sub machine gun remained in her shoulder but Berria came out of the aim and stepped backwards drunkenly with a wide eyed and open mouthed look of surprise on her face until the back of one leg struck the bath tub and she sat down heavily upon its edge. By accident or designed the muzzle of the Uzi swung toward the prone officer. Instantly, Annabel raised her point of aim and shot Berria again, this time below the right eye.
Alexandra was left draped over the side of the bath with legs akimbo, sticking over the edge, and with her head below water now turning crimson.
At the foot of the stairs Carmichael was staring up at the ceiling whilst one of the officers who had shot him applied direct pressure on a wound dressing.With the building secure, para medics from the London Ambulance Service entered and having told Carmichael’s first aider to save his energy they moved on up the stairs and gave the same advice to an officer working on Berria.
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