Chapter 43 – Zodiacs in NYC

The World is Caving in – New York City, NYC

Although the director was pissed off and up to his neck with my requests, he still had the time to ensure that I was provided with regular updates on all matters that related to the Zodiacs. The latest update had been sent through and included information on the Zodiacs who would be travelling from all over the world and were due to meet later that day at a designated hotel in somewhere in central New York City.

Kirill was a very careful and professional adversary, but the agency was also part of a network that could locate, track and evaluate the movements and private affairs of almost any person on planet Earth. Nobody was really safe anymore, because basically everybody had a price, and almost nothing was sacred except for the chosen few and those chosen few tended to have very deep pockets and very numerous “Get out of Jail Cards” that the normal citizens of this world would never have access to!

The other major element in long term agency survival was that lady luck had to be on your side and the golden rule for that long term survival was very simple indeed, in that, if you were not having any particular luck in a situation, then you had to make that luck happen. The long term survivors were those who did indeed have an edge to not only make it happen but make damn sure that it absolutely failed to happen for their opposite numbers and allowed the strongest to survive just in any other genetic code of species.

I speed read the latest information on the Zodiacs and told the team to be ready in a few minutes to go over the updates, we needed to stay focussed and maintain our discipline. The day was going to be another long stretch and the team was already pushing the boundaries and those boundaries were going to be pushed even further and I was pleased that I had maintained my fitness program. The cigarettes and the Irish had not helped me physically but I felt in control and I was running on adrenalin and the team had performed far better than I had ever expected, and without them we would not be in the position we were in now.

The latest information on the Zodiacs appeared on the screens and we assumed that there had to be a mole or informer because of the sheer volume of information that simply had to from a Zodiac or a very trusted source at the heart of their operation!

Kirill had done a wonderful job against all the odds in finding all the Zodiacs so quickly and then completing the arrangement of the complex travel details. This alone had given the organization a breathing space, all but a very short one. Kirill had been able to access the best professional help of course and serious money had paid for the travel arrangements, but he was both a very angry and worried man. His career and very life was now very much on the line, and all really because of the greed of the organization and the hopeless mediocrity of the Zodiacs who had now become a coven of complacent arrogance and the opportunities for his escape were now evaporating by the hour.

The Zodiac world was falling in around them as they were now ordered to New York to somehow collectively work their way out of an almost doomsday scenario. The shit had literally hit the fan and Kirill had no desire to sink and die with the bitches that he would be addressing in only a few very short hours.

How had he allowed himself to lose control and become sloppy and complacent with his own personal survival plan. Was Victoria now a major part of his impending doom? She had affected him immensely over the previous months and that had impacted on his long term thinking and planning. That plan was the ultimate disappearing act, but he had failed to recognize the impact that Victoria had over his personal circumstances and how they had now changed certain elements of it. As a direct result that plan not been revised and upgraded over the last couple of years and that lack of attention to detail could very well cost him his precious life in the very near future.

But if he was going down, then as sure as hell exists, there would be several others who would also be joining him on that very same path to eternal damnation and that would probably be his only solace from the very miserable position he now found himself. It seemed now a lifetime ago that he was enjoying the wonderful solitude of his self-indulgences of Christmas time amongst his favorite haunts in St. Petersburg, the second city of his homeland of Mother Russia. His major regret had been that Victoria was thousands of miles away enjoying classical music with the elite of New York Society.

There was substantial information on the Zodiacs and what they were doing over the Christmas period and how they would be travelling to New York.

Taya Morozov – “The Ice Maiden”

Taya could not stand or cope with the fierce Russian winters and always returned to the splendors of Vienna where she had a luxurious home in the Spittelberg area of the city. She was always on top of her work and maintained constant vigilance on her subordinates. But she also enjoyed the cultural aspects of Vienna and enjoyed watching her favorite operas at the major venues in the city which included the Vienna State Opera, Vienna Volksoper, Theater an der Wien, the lesser Raimunnd Theater and the Wiener Kammeroper.

Her second passion was shopping especially the Eingensinnig Wien the most exclusive clothing shops and the Goldenas Quartier Wien which she considered the best shopping anywhere in Europe. Taya very often dined alone or in the company of an attractive and expensive chaperone. She also enjoyed dining at Julius Meini am Graben and the Restaurant Rote Bar which had a very romantic atmosphere enhanced by the live performances of classical music.

She was certainly not a fool, there would be risks travelling to New York, but she knew that after so many good years that it was only a matter of time before there would be a balancing of her luck and although she did not show it, deep down she was petrified after Kirill had explained the urgency.

She would fly from Vienna on a private charter and this time she would travel alone. Her security associates were denied access to USA and Kirill had made the necessary arrangements for her visit and she would be met at the airport by the close protection team who would then escort her to the hotel and shadow her until she returned to the departure zone for her flight home.

Zhen Li – “The Virgin”

Zhen Li enjoyed her home life amidst all the possible luxuries and comforts that her wealth afforded and lived in the Chaoyang district of Beijing with her pair of Tibetan Mastiffs. Chaoyang is part urban, part suburban, and sprawls in a huge arc around the northeast and eastern sides of Beijing. The district housed the three main diplomatic compounds, the Sanlitun and Chaoyang drinking districts, and the so-called CBD (Central Business District) around the China World Trade Center. This is the richest district in Beijing, the result, according to some, of the district’s good feng shui.

Kirill had to monitor her constantly due to her liberal lifestyle and sexual excesses. She was a complex person who lived very much on the edge of the very wealthy conservative elite and the powerful criminal fraternities.

She would fly from Beijing in a special status aircraft and her protection team would travel with her to New York where they would be replaced by a Chinese-American team which would as usual, be all female.

Suzu – “Ding Dong”

Suzu had a delightful residence in the opulent area of Kansai which is the central area of Japan that includes Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Kobe. The location was of significant importance because her favorite theater was only 75 mins from Kansai International Airport in Hyogo. It was the Takarazuka Grand Theater which is an all-female theater company and she watched as many shows as she could when not travelling or catching the latest movies.

She would fly from Kansai to New York in a private plane with her own long term protection team.

Sabrina Bellucci – “Godmother”

Sabrina was always asked why she did not live in Milan which is the richest city in Italy or Rome, the second, Turin was third and she lived in a magnificent luxury villa in Piedmont only a few miles away from the city. The magnificent luxury villa was set in a landscape of exceptional beauty.

The building was impressive and majestic, and set in a landscape of exceptional beauty. It was made of exposed brick in the Piedmont tradition and reached via a tree-lined street after the gate of the property with 2 spectacular twin staircases of great scenic impact, at the top of which is the owner’s residence.

This luxurious dream house enjoys breath-taking views, where the surrounding valley extends up to join snowy peaks in the distance. The elegant and sumptuous interior is built around the large central hall with vaulted ceilings and a frescoed porch, and in all there are more than 10 magnificent boardrooms. On the ground floor, in every room, there are splendid frescoes of biblical and mythological themes, and while climbing the majestic staircase we find ancient sculptures and decorations of worthy of note and then there is access to the balcony with panoramic views.

The exterior of the villa has flower beds, a fish pond, paths, trees and stone statues depicting the 4 seasons, all projected towards the panoramic views.

She would fly from Turin in a private charter plane with her own protection team that had family connections across the Eastern Seaboard of the USA.

Susanna Bancroft – “Psycho”

Susanna had a very conservative, almost basic home in Little Neck, Queens, NYC and during the winter season spent every possible moment in her Ski Cabin in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

She was at this moment at a location in Brooklyn being observed by ourselves.

Victoria Stafford – “Toff”

Victoria was already in New York, she had flown over in mid-December for a few private Piano Concerts in some of the most seriously wealthy family homes in New York State.

Tamara Krause – “Jackboots”

Tamara was staying at home in Starnberg, Bavaria but she had been very difficult to communicate with because December was always a very busy football schedule in Germany. She was an ardent fan of Bayern Munich and had an exclusive box on level 5 in the Allianz Arena which had been built in 2005 and they ground shared with Munich 1860 and she respected their Ultras as being hard core supporters. She had already travelled to Mönchengladbach where Bayern had lost 2-1 and then SC Frieburg where they had won 3-1 and the home games had all been victories over Tottenham Hotspurs from the UK and Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg.

She had enjoyed December with the football, her horses and a few theater shows that were always very special around the Christmas period.

Tamara would fly from Munich with her normal happy German disposition accompanied by her usual sour faced Aryan protection team.

There were many more pages of individual details, but we had, or we thought that we had, all the information that was needed and knew the location which was being suitably prepared for their meeting which was due only a few hours later.

We were on highway I-95S heading towards Baltimore, MD and ultimately Savannah, GA being supported by the director in Washington, DC and the satellite network in the skies above. It was going to be yet another long journey, but this time heading southwards across several U.S. states and were all pretty-well exhausted by now and needed some sleep, even if that was just a couple of hours, so I insisted that everybody got some as we drove on.

We could not all just sit and wait, we had to be professional and productive and that meant being smart with our time. We had studied and followed the Zodiacs so closely over the last year or so and now we almost identified them as family and now that they were all heading for New York from all points around the world into what appeared to be a giant self-inflicted trap that could hopefully result in their own demise.

Eventually the director called to tell us the Zodiacs had gathered in their hotel and were meeting in one of the conference rooms. The agency would provide updates asp. He was also chasing up on my requests and would have some substantiated information within the hour. He told us that Cormack Walsh was hanging back and waiting for the director to brief him before taking any further course of action, but he intimated that he was not prepared to wait too long, because Government officials and diplomats were demanding action and guarantees for the safety of the hostages. He could not of course offer any guarantees, only the fact that he had the best agents in the field working towards a swift and successful conclusion, in other words the usual bullshit to get them off his back.

We, meaning the team had to concentrate on how the Zodiac Meeting was progressing, my goodness there were so many aspects to the operation that could really turn to rat-shit and we could not afford a blood bath, but that was seriously on the cards as the information on the zodiacs  really started to mount up. There was no other option than to follow what was going on at the meeting and we knew that the director would enable us all to be completely in the picture from their location.

We were all exhausted and not really sure how everything was going to pan out – this was not the make believe of Hollywood, and real people were wrapped up trying to save real lives in a very toxic environment. Thank goodness I had a stash of rolled up cigarettes, and a rock solid crew who were prepared to do whatever it took and that was just the tech side, the other team members knew that their turn for doing their jobs would happen sooner rather than later.

The director had made available the most sophisticated surveillance on the planet and the team were listening in, and most were thinking, how this level of surveillance was available unless sanctioned from the very top echelons of Government in the USA.

Kirill had wanted to call the meeting to order, but there was a serious problem because Victoria was not there and neither he, nor any of the Zodiacs claimed to have any knowledge of her whereabouts. They all presumed that she was being delayed and with good reason, and would surface sooner or later. Kirill did not believe that for a moment, firstly, it was totally out of character for Victoria to be late, ever, it was just not in her nature. She had not indicated the possibility of any delay to Kirill which had always been the usual protocol. This attention to security had always benefited the Zodiacs in the past and now there appeared a general lack of concern about her non-appearance at the meeting.

Kirill knew that time was precious, and that he had to start the meeting, there were just too many issues that had to be addressed and resolved, because it was not only his future that was on the line this time. Something was wrong, and he knew that this would not be the usual well-mannered meeting and was not sure as to the real reason why the senior Zodiac had called the meeting at all when that person had no intention of attending it. The Zodiacs sitting in-front of him had not come fully prepared for what needed to be done and they had grown a little soft over the last year. The corporation was doing well, probably too well and they had taken their eyes and ears of the ball and now there was a price to pay.

Kirill had their attention and went straight for the jugular, adrenalin had kicked into his veins, it had to be attack mode, with no holding back, time would not allow it and they had serious work to do and so little time to save their skins.

His voice fired the words at the Zodiacs who sat in frozen anticipation to their precious seats. They were in New York for the simple reason that there were hostages and those unfortunate hostages were related to their very own business associates who were collaborating in the development and manufacture of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence products in the USA. In short and to the point Kirill explained why the Zodiacs in-front of him should be concerned, yes very concerned for their future wellbeing.

The Zodiacs were on the defensive because the problem lay directly at the desk of the American Zodiac and Kirill wasted no further time in addressing Susanna to explain what exactly had gone wrong on the USA operation. Why there were so many problems, not just ordinary problems, but serious business melt down problems. If the hostages were not to be returned safe and sound there would be global repercussions against the corporation. There were many aspects of the situation that needed immediate explanation and they included:

  • The Los Angeles operation was no longer fit for purpose!
  • There had been no checks on the hostages, the Zodiacs had promised due diligence and there had been none.
  • Why had Coco been murdered?
  • What had happened at the compound in Mountain View, MO?
  • Where were the hostages/victims/slaves/kids travelling to?
  • How were the kids going to be returned safely without compromising the business?
  • What was Susanna doing about the overall situation?

Susanna sat motionless during the personal assault and when Kirill had finished, she stood with an air of confident invincibility and cleared her voice before directing her reply to the remaining Zodiacs who were sitting in uncomfortable silence. The main points in her speech included:

  • The Los Angeles operation had been terminated and all evidence of their activities had been erased and that included, premises, vehicles and of course the personnel.
  • Coco had been terminated for her failure to follow corporation protocols and guidelines.
  • The compound in Mountain View was being destroyed as she spoke by the same assassin team that had cleaned up Los Angeles.
  • The hostages were now on their way to Savannah, GA and would arrive in a few hours.
  • On their arrival there would be specialists to greet them and there would be casualties and amongst those casualties there would be a fall guy for the corporation.
  • The hostages would be taken to another location and the authorities would be notified.
  • Again, all links to the corporation would be eliminated.

Kirill was not impressed, because everybody in the room knew that Susanna should have been the fall guy and any other time Kirill would have ensured that to be the case. What Susanna had failed to mention was the impact on the senior Government Officials in Washington and what their own actions would be against the corporation for putting their careers, families and very own lives in serious jeopardy. Those officials commanded immense power and influence and there would be retaliations, and they would come in the very near future, of that Kirill was dead certain. But first things first and that was the safe return of the hostages.

Kirill rubbed his hands during her speech and as he looked at his watch the ring on his left hand became visible and I asked the guys to zoom in. It was a gold Russian Cross in the same style as that worn by Victoria.

I called the director with the updates and he informed us that the compound at Mountain View was in flames and that special forces were moving in. He told me a helicopter would pick me up and take me to the airport where a jet was waiting to take me to Savannah, GA. He would call me on the way because he had some fresh news on Claude Tremblay and other persons that I knew very well, but he had to speak with Cormack immediately and terminated the call.

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