Monday, November 01, 2004

The young woman moved through the railway car, pushing a cart and offering refreshments to the passengers. Traveling by rail wasn't the dominant form of travel in Estonia, but it did get people to where they were going, if not somewhere near where they were going. The woman, dressed in the standard uniform, with her long blond hair pulled back in a bun and black rimmed glasses sliding down her nose, cautiously dumped the food cart in the galley and, picking up a dome covered food tray, left the dining car. She headed toward the first class passenger car, but at the last second, ducked into a small utility room. Lifting the lid to the food tray, she grabbed the electronic devices and hurriedly got them ready. "Head nurse to OR, I'm in position. Do you read?" the woman whispered into a transmitter.

"Head nurse, this is OR, we read you. Your extraction is on schedule. Go when ready."

The woman left the utility room and entered the first class passenger car, walking briskly to the other end which led to the baggage car. Using keys she had appropriated from the original owner of the uniform, she unlocked the doors to gain access to the baggage car. Then, quickly, she got to work trying to locate a certain package that contained not only about a million dollars worth of illegal drugs, but a small encrypted data disk The tool she used in locating the package was a little gem built by three of the best tech geeks in the business. It was designed to hone in on a certain rare metal that was a component of the spray the woman had sprayed onto the package as it was being loaded into a truck in Latvia. Since the color of the package and the spray were a near match, the only sign that the spray had hit the package was a slight discoloration that no one would suspect at first glance. Finding the package, the woman cut it open and extracted the disk, then shoved the package back down inside a pile of other packages and sacks of grain.

"I have the disk. Heading for extraction. Three minutes."

She left the baggage car and began to retrace her steps back to the galley when she met up with security. Nine times out of ten, brushes with security are just that. The trouble is, you don't know until it's too late which time will be the one out of ten when it's something more. Like this time. For some reason that the woman would probably never know, the security patrol suspected she was up to something and pulled their guns. They ordered her to kneel on the floor with her hands behind her head. She, however, had other plans. She charged the men and disarmed them in a few quick moves.
The hand to hand battle wasted any extra seconds the woman had built into her timetable and stole a few more that she didn't have.

Deciding it wouldn't be good to go back to the galley now, she backtracked to the baggage car, pausing a few seconds to place a small but effective explosive charge on the joint that attached the baggage car to the rest of the train. Then she climbed outside the car onto the roof and pushed three buttons on her watch, signaling her position for extraction. When she saw the lights from the helicopter approach, she detonated the charge and separated the baggage car from the rest of the train. Unfortunately, three security guards had managed to get into the baggage car before the explosion and they were making their way to the roof of the car. As the helicopter approached and kept up with the moving car, hovering about ten feet overhead, the woman fought the guards. It took several good moves to get them out of position, but finally, the woman found herself with a small window of opportunity. She hurriedly pulled off her watch and pushed a series of buttons. Leaving the watch behind, she jumped up and grabbed onto the chopper.

As the chopper flew out of sight, an explosion took care of the three guards and the baggage car. The woman took a look back at the fire rolling down the tracks and then a look up at the chopper that was flying her to her next rendevous point. Although some wouldn't think so, this was just another mission for Tamsin Garrett.