“Who Dares Wins” – everybody knows that motto right? It’s kinda been emblazoned on everyone’s conciousness since the Iranian Embassy. Our blokes and the Head Shed forgot that the BBC can be right sneaky fuckers. They’d managed to sneak in cameras and were filming everything as the lads blew the windows in and stormed the place from top to bottom.
However the real motto of Special Forces should be either “Hurry Up and Bloody Wait”, or “Check and Test, Check and Test Again”. I’ve lost count of the numbers of times I’ve been sat up in the arse end of nowhere just waiting for the nod to do whatever skulduggery I’ve been sent to do.
Today’s mission however should be nice and straightforward. For a while now I’ve been seconded to the Sneaky Beaky bunch. MI5 not CI5 and certainly not Nine till frigging Five. I’m sure they are called spooks because of the colour of their skins the no sunlight fuckers as opposed to being “shadowy ghosts” of the intelligence arena. Having said that I always had a soft spot for Bodie and Doyle. Either that or I really liked Ford Capri’s or possibly perms and tight jeans.
So the job is simple piece of undercover work. For the last few days I’ve had this post office under my watchful eye. Lovely little thing in the centre of the village – runs up a slight hill which is a one way street. Fucking nightmare for parking so the job will be a mixture of vehicle and good old fashioned mark 2 boots. Not army of course as they would stand out a mile. Something more Gucci that’ll hopefully fit in with the neighbourhood. No good perfecting a local fucking accent then dressing like mannequin from Next when every chavvy little bastard is head to toe in Primark's latest.
Anyway, easy-peasy it’s simply a matter of into the Post Office, then pick up some “paperwork” that’s been sent there just for me and off into the sunshine. I’ve already done a Close Target Recce or CTR for you acronym freaks.
The layout is turn right at the pub which sits at the bottom of the one way system. Looking straight ahead on the right is a chemist, chip shop, sandwich place, dog grooming parlour with fucking tattoo shop over. No idea if the last two are owned by the same person. Could be a growth market that, shave your dog downstairs and tattoo the bloody thing up stairs.
Just past the dog place is an alleyway leading from the road back behind the shops to some local parking and old people’s flats.
On the left of the road there is a small cake shop, entry for off road parking, a pet shop of sorts, a bus stop and then the post office itself.
I like to use a dog for cover. Not to hide behind but who the fuck takes any notice of a dog walker? That is unless you let the dog shit on the ground and don’t pick it up, then some do-gooder will chase you up the road. Given the shops on this road a little dog has been perfect. I’ve also affected some breathlessness to excuse the short dog walk and lingering at intervals.
Infiltration time. Nice and easy does it. Check the dog is settled and I get on the net to let control know that I’m active. “That’s Delta going Foxtrot” which means I’m on foot heading out. I make it to the transport unmolested but keep an eye out as I get myself settled in. Back on the net “That’s Delta complete” so everyone knows I’m good to go. “Delta going mobile” and it’s easy away down through the main road into the village.
It’s only a mile to the turn off before the pub. I keep a running commentary going as I drive. It’s finely tuned skill being able to give a commentary so everyone on the net is aware of what’s going on and what you can see whilst keeping your wits about you. You don’t want to get that engrossed delivering war and fucking peace and then some player catches you with your pants down and introduces your head to Mr 9mm.
Turning right at the pub I head up the hill and reverse into a parking space just up from the alley which leads to the post office. In the event of any drama I want to be able to hightail it the fuck out of here using the vehicle as a ram if need be. It's a pain in the arse doing all of that whilst going backwards. Sitrep on the net and a quick “Delta is going Foxtrot” lets them know I’m out and on my way.
Alleyway seems clear but this is an antsy area on any day of the week. I’m proceeding at a nice even pace walking through with that aura of Colgate freshness. Looking at me you’d think I’d been born and brought up here. Every signal I’m giving off says that I’m here and I belong.
Quick left and right at the end of the alley and it’s are over the road and into the Post Office. I’ve timed it so there should be no queue. All the coffin dodgers were in the day before and the Primarni's are all out shopping for something nice maybe with fucking checks on it.
This is the easy part. The guy behind the counter doesn’t know me from Adam. All I have to do is speak the correct words and I’ll get what I came in here for.
Up to the counter, smooth as you like. Not a hair out of place not a bead of perspiration to give me away. “Morning” he says.
A simple “Morning” back and we are off and running.
“How Can I help you today?”
“I’d like to draw my pension please”
I reach into my pocket, easy like so he knows there’s no threat and draw my bankcard out. Into the machine it goes – no alarms yet so it looks like I’m home free. Punch in the PIN, cash out, a quick “Thank You” and I’m out of there.
Another right and left check takes me safely across the road and down the alley where I’ve parked my mobility scooter. “That’s Delta complete” I say into my hairnet and ease out along the pavement, hang the left at the pub and make my way out of the target area to return to base.
Back in the post office the postmaster is joking to his assistant. “You must have seen that old biddy before” he said.
“Not that I can remember” she replied looking quizzically.
“Ah, she’s lived here for years. Went a bit doolally when her son got killed over in Afghanistan. Turned out he’d been in some secret unit or other doing interesting things behind enemy lines. Official line was that he died of a heart attack whilst training in extreme temperatures but it took them six months to send his body home, which kind of suggests they were either waiting to get the body back or at least some of it.....”
“So, she went to the library and started reading every Special Forces memoir she could get her hands on to try and find out what his life was like as he never ever talked about it.”
“Ok, so she’s a history buff then”
“No, it’s gone further than that – she believes that she’s one of them now – fighting the good fight against the Provos or Al Queda or the guy on the corner who puts non-recyclable rubbish in his recycle bin”
“What’s her name?” she asked.
“Funny thing is, I can’t remember her real name it’s been that long since she used it. After a year or two of submerging herself in the books she changed her name by deed pool. We simply know her as Mandy McNab.”