Checkmate, p.1
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       Checkmate, p.1

           Brian Cain
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Checkmate
CHECKMATE

  A NOVEL BY

  BRIAN CAIN

  Checkmate

  Copyright 2014 Brian Cain

  The information, views, opinions and visuals expressed in this publication are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of the publisher. The publisher disclaims any liabilities or responsibilities whatsoever for any damages, libel or liabilities arising directly or indirectly from the contents of the publication.

  Previous novels by Brian Cain

  Circles of Fear

  The Sword And The Dagger

  Previous novels in this series

  Vigilante

  Flaxmead

  Once Upon A Time In Australia

  In The Name Of The Mother

  Jodi Ann

  Bella Elizabeth

  The Hunt For Rose

  Louise Legrande

  Roselyn Victoria Fleming

  Children's series;

  Larco and the Quog

  Larco Builds a Bok Bok

  Return of the Wizard

  The Cave of Knowledge

  Larco and the Dictionary

  Larco the Wizard

  The Dark Hole Of Rainbows

  For Bowsie.

  PREFACE

 

  Roselyn Victoria Fleming was born of wealth and influence, an illegitimate child of aristocratic power, she was sure a chance encounter with vigilante John Stanton was not coincidental but the coming of destiny. The insatiable flower from the Garden of Eden is cast amongst the noxious weeds of dominion, industrial, and political power, not as a puppet, but as peerage.

  Time was of the essence, aristocracy rely on heirs and allies; Stanton drew upon this Roman characteristic fostered by peers of the realm. In the game of chess there is no solace for the humble pawn, but when one makes it to enemy lines they become a sleeping giant. Upon the horses back, the white knight backs the pawn. Checkmate.

  TABLE OF CONTENTS

  PREFACE

  CHAPTER ONE

  CHAPTER TWO

  CHAPTER THREE

  CHAPTER FOUR

  CHAPTER FIVE

  CHAPTER SIX

  CHAPTER SEVEN

  CHAPTER EIGHT

  CHAPTER NINE

  CHAPTER TEN

  CHAPTER ONE

  Two minutes of mixed emotion, Rose, Bella and Louise passed photos to each other of a stately mansion, excitement, sadness and anticipation all in the same breath. Debate on whom and what will be where when they move to their new domicile, a mile long driveway, stately staff, gardeners, a complete contrast to past and current living arrangements.

  Rose held up a picture turning it toward Bella and Louise. "The entrance hall has a chandelier with more lights than all the terraced houses in Pimlico, yuk." She changed picture. "I want this bedroom with the four poster and the mirror on the ceiling."

  Bella shook her head with raised eyebrows. "This is a mission Rose, you may be lady muck but we do have purpose and priorities."

  "I'm redecorating and that chandelier can go."

  Louise chuckled as she waded through the photographs "You can have sex swinging from chandeliers."

  Rose smiled at Bella. "Oh yeah, why didn't I think of that."

  "Because you've never had a chandelier to swing from."

  "Oh yeah, well that's something to think about."

  "John is keeping a close eye on everything leaving the estates, he insists the interior of the place will have to be modified."

  Rose waved a thick report in front of them. "This reads as a nightmare, glad John is overseeing the move, you spoke to him this morning Bell what's going on, or is that your little secret?"

  "No change, this has brought communication to a standstill, no one is game enough to acknowledge peers, can't go on forever but making things difficult."

  "I'm getting sick of sitting tight here."

  "We don't move until we move, John will brief us some time soon, word of mouth or satellite phone only."

  "I checked my internet this morning and my email is sending out all this bullshit."

  "Why don't you read it Rose, then you'll know which direction John is sending the opposition, we better all read them."

  Louise threw the photos into the middle of the table. "We'd know a lot more if the walls in these pictures could talk." While the girls courted excitement, across town things were somewhat conflicting.

  Tense, wired, thwart with rage, he could take no more, he turned from the window overlooking Westminster's St James's Park, the view of natural solitude among the ancient oaks did nothing to calm him. "It's easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled!"

  Gustav Reichmann shot to his feet, the elaborate silk covered carved chair he was seated on feel over behind him, the weight of the carved timber and flamboyant trimmings was useless against the adrenalin infusion fuelled by hapless rage. He pointed at Sir Roland Stillwell with a look of overwhelming rage, his German accent obvious as he shouted back. "You called the shot's, we proceeded on your instructions, since when have anyone been able to fool John Stanton or resist Rose Cavendish."

  Stillwell walked to his desk, he attempted to stand over Reichmann but his desk prevented him, he lent forwards with his tall frame, hands on the desk top to support himself looking directly at Reichmann, his unblinking eyes shot with blood and his face red with rage. "You were instructed to deal with the whore in a professional manner! You even call her Cavendish, explain."

  "She is the heir to the Cavendish fortune, no court in the land would relinquish her right, doesn't matter if you own the judiciary, such a decision would rewrite litigation and achieve nothing!" The Carstairs Brandon and Wolverbrower law firm CEO stood his ground.

  "The line of control was carefully chosen, someone has cocked up, find them!"

  Reichmann continued to wield his finger. "You can blame no one for this, you are the top, the king pin, everyone else just doesn't cock up at the same time, he'll come for you not me, I work for him?"

  "You mean to tell me you have been working for Stanton, you are privy to information of state." Stillwell calmed a little and stood up straight. "My god man!" He turned and walked back to the window, the atmosphere calmed, Reichmann stood his chair up and sat down, he folded his legs and waited. After a short difficult silence, Stillwell used a far lighter tone as he looked at the view with his back to Reichmann. "So you think I answer to no one, think again."

  "You told me you had complete autonomy."

  "I lied."

  "Who are we dealing with?"

  "I don't know."

  Reichmann sat forward in his chair. "What!"

  The people below us don't know of us, and I don't know of my peers, it's how things are organised, the people below us take the heat and we take the heat for our peers. The pyramid stays in place no matter what foundations crumble."

  "You need to find your peers, or suffer the consequences."

  Stillwell slowly sat down, he ran his hands over his head, his fingers through his thick grey hair with his elbows on his desk and sighed. He looked at Reichmann. "We could be dead by tomorrow morning, I'm sure you understand my peers are as powerful as I."

  "Not one part of the western world is immune to Rose Cavendish taking control."

  Stillwell sat back and sighed, he nodded and half smiled. "Humph, I have no idea how to approach this, without control we may as well vanish."

  "He'll find you."

  "Damn man and his whore cohorts, I find it hard to believe a soldier and a whore hold us in the palm of their hand."

  "Again you underestimate them, status has no bearing on power, information is power."

  "You lost control of Jodi Stanton's media empire, I should have considered this, we need refocus, what do you suggest?"

  "Jo
di Stanton is gravely ill, her daughter has taken control, she is worse than her mother, the advantage is she knows nothing of the past, things are on a need to know basis and she didn't need to know."

  "Mmm, well, the first positive thing I have heard. How long before this women moves into the Buckinghamshire estate."

  "A month from the paperwork was finalised a week ago."

  "I have heard nothing from my peers, we are lambs to the slaughter. You would imagine a barrage of condemnation but contact has been cut."

  "And we don't know who can be trusted."

  "No."

  "Have you attempted to trace information trails?"

  "Silence across the board, no one is game enough to so much as send a birthday greeting on facebook."

  "So we are on our own."

  "I assume Stanton knows more than I have wanted to believe, and my peers are busy vindicating us for obvious reasons."

  "There is one person who can find them."

  Stillwell held one eye open further than the other, the restricted one twitched nervously. "Are you suggesting I collaborate with Stanton?"

  "What else can you do, I am open to suggestions if there is something you haven't told me."

  "Collaborate with a man I despise."

  "I despise most I deal with, I can find no alternatives."

  Stillwell again stood and walked to the window, Reichmann stood and looked over his shoulder from a distance. "When Stanton brought that damn horse to Ascot, he wounded my soul; he knows my weakness and used it to cloud my judgement. You speak the truth I am responsible for neglecting the obvious because I didn't want to believe. While he was operating out of Foulness Island we still don't know exactly what he got up to, he can shut down security systems across the planet, redirect military operations, submarines, war ships, distribute delicate and damaging information. I have underestimated this man." He looked down at the floor. "I need redirect my priorities, I cannot match this mans moves."

  "Checkmate."

  Stillwell turned and looked at Reichmann. "He just moved a pawn to our backline and rises with a queen, damn the man. Contact every hidden agent you can and have Rose Cavendish tailed everywhere."

  "I sent three, they were all found in the Thames this morning with large holes in their torso's, one had no head blown off by a powerful weapon."

  Stillwell frowned. "I heard of the findings on the news, you never told me this."

  "We only just got there, we have been too busy organising disunity, a regular tactic of Stanton. The media are pumping it up as a gang war caused by the volatile situation in the stock market, the tracing of laundered money from the Middle East."

  Stillwell nodded. "Damn the man, time to take several steps back, see if you can contact Stanton and organise a meeting."

  "He's been in London for the past three days, hovering over Rose Cavendish. The operatives Bella Fonteyn and Louise Legrande also surround this woman."

  "Mmm, at least they are out of the trenches where we can see them."

  "I have a string of claim cases from Stanton's son's, they know just about everything, you are going to have some really pissed off allies, I have advised they capitulate or face ruin, or imprisonment, perhaps execution in some cases."

  Stillwell shook his head with a half smile. "And I thought I was in charge, we need find my peers and eliminate them."

  "We need give as much information to Stanton as he asks."

  "Once he has enough what then?"

  "You give nothing and your peers remain unchallenged, what then?"

  Stillwell sighed. "I'm not used to being an underdog, I must study Stanton more closely."

  "You're not capable, you lack interest and a waste of time, been tried, irrational, overwhelmingly independent, loyal to no one apart from one."

  Stillwell looked up as he went to sit down. "Who?"

  "Albert Hollis."

  "You're sure."

  "No, but observations and information leads me to believe."

  "Albert Hollis is well into his latter years."

  "But he still holds office right where Stanton needs power."

  "Eliminate Hollis, are you insane."

  "Just pliable information, if you really want Stanton, you need give him Brannigan's killers."

  "I have no idea who did that, although I thought if would be an act that rid us of Stanton for good, I had nothing to do with it."

  "Then we need find out."

  "Would be plenty of rats deserting sinking ships, we should see what we can find."

  "Stanton will not act unless he can verify the truth."

  "A weakness that may become his downfall."

  "Or yours."

  "Stanton is getting old, he won't last for ever."

  "He has sons."

  "Without his guidance they will just be lawyers."

  "I have reason to believe there is a John Stanton junior." Stillwell sat down behind his desk with a puzzled look, Stillwell sat down and pulled his chair closer to the desk. "Quite some time ago, a Russian operative was eliminated by John Stanton."

  "What's unusual about that?"

  "At the time John Stanton was observed at Vauxhall Cross."

  Stillwell shrugged his shoulders. "A master of deception and dead ends."

  "I had a private investigator gather information about Stanton, he lasted only two days before being murdered, he searched birth certifications, he had a contact inside births marriages and deaths. He found a birth lodgement among the many John Stanton's, father John Stanton, mother Bella Elizabeth Fonteyn."

  Stillwell looked unconvinced and shook his head. "I don't buy it."

  The contact in the government department disappeared the same day as the private investigator. The person is still on the missing persons list, never found."

  "How sure are you?"

  "I have seen all the paperwork, the person is still listed as missing, I can show you the link on the net."

  "Access a document pertaining to what you claim, should it be true they would end up in the Thames the same day."

  "And we would know it could be true."

  "You have an expendable."

  "Not so many with what is going on."

  "Mmm, a cross between John Stanton and Bella Elizabeth Fonteyn, fostered in the mould, would be systematic adversary. Should this be the case I would give way to Stanton's support."

  "You think Stanton will trust you."

  "No, but I can find the Brannigan killers."

  "I'm a politician, support of the power base is essential, no matter where it may be."

  Reichmann's accent became more prevalent as he struggled to understand. "This man is a ruthless killer, a vigilante, you wish to be associated with such a person."

  "All this time in London has made you none the wiser, we seldom question the patriotism of privateers be it Sir Francis Drake or John Stanton. We're playing for time and its running out, contact Stanton immediately and arrange a meeting."

  "How, we will be discovered."

  "Call his daughter, currently running the media in Australia, inform her we wish to talk to Winston Blake about a second appearance of Flaxmead at Ascot."

  "Brilliant."

  "Stanton will intercept the information and come looking for us."

  "Is that not too obvious?"

  "Hopefully, he would also know you are here and when you leave, the call to his daughter will coincide."

  Reichmann stood and walked to the door, he turned back nodding in a positive manner. "I will make the arrangements immediately."

  "Indeed."

  Reichmann gently closed the door and left.

 
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