Assassins, p.1
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       Assassins, p.1

           Ray Timms
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Assassins


  Assassins

  Italian mobsters, a Swedish hitman and an ex-trapeze-artist-turned-assassin have all been hired to kill one man: Scotland’s new King, Gavin Brewson, (supposedly a descendent of Robert the Bruce).

  Following Brexit and then the election of Donald Trump, Scotland breaks away from the UK and crowns an English council parking official ‘King of Scotland’. All hell breaks loose. Scotland’s First Minister wanted a stupid king, one she could boss around and control. Instead she gets a headstrong, idealistic monarch.

  When Gavin is secretly handed an ancient scroll that empowers him to overrule the politicians, he devises a plan to nationalise just about everything. With their careers potentially finished, should the new King be allowed to enact his new laws, Scotland’s First Minister and the UK Prime Minister hire assassins… with orders to kill the King. But instead of focusing on their target, the assassins get caught up in a jealous spat over which of them is the Number 1 hitman and who will get to assassinate the monarch.

  With the King about to take the short trip from Holyrood Palace to the Scottish Parliament Building, where the world’s media awaits his pronouncement, D.I Frank Guardo and a squad of armed police descend on Holyrood… only to find a body covered with a sheet in the courtyard. Are they too late…?

  Author: Ray Timms.

  Copyright@2017 by Ray Timms. All rights reserved.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Some historical events and characters have been adapted purely in the interest of literary enjoyment.

  Dedicated to:

  Massive thanks to Jenni Timms for the painstaking proof reading and to Elly Preston for the excellent cover illustration.

  Chapter One

  London. 10 Downing Street.

  ‘It’s that bumptious Scottish woman,’ said Charlotte Sweetwater holding her hand over the mouthpiece of the telephone. ‘What shall I tell her Sir Roger?’

  ‘Tell her I died,’ the Prime Minister said… ‘No, give it here I’ll tell her myself.’ He waggled his hand at her.

  The Prime Minister and his PA were the only two people in the tiny discrete office tucked away at the back of Number 10 Downing Street. The PM liked this little room because it gave them some privacy.

  ‘Good morning Mary, ‘the PM said with little enthusiasm and motioned with his free hand for Charlotte to pour him a stiff one. After this conversation he will need one. He could guess what Scotland’s First Minister was ringing him about. It’s always the same thing.

  ‘If this is another attempt to try and browbeat me into allowing you another Independence Referendum you are wasting your time Mary because it’s not going to happen. I am not going down that road again and before you bring up Brexit as an excuse it doesn’t change a thing. Now unless there is something important that you wish to discuss with me, I have some things here in my study that I need to attend to.’ Sir Roger swallowed the single malt in one gulp.

  So Charlotte could listen in the PM had put the call on speakerphone.

  Mary Dewar, the minute she heard his PA, the blonde–skinny bimbo, pick up the phone, Scotland’s First Minister knew what he was busy with.

  ‘Good morning to you too, Sir Roger.’ Mary said sounding uncharacteristically cheerful.

  Sir Roger raised his eyebrows. Gone was the Scottish growl, the menacing bark in her voice that made others sit up. When Charlotte, so she could hear better, leaned over his desk, the PM closed his eyes. He could drown in the scent of her perfume. When Scotland’s First Minister spoke it was like a stone hitting the surface of a pond.

  ‘Sir Roger, out of courtesy, I thought that you should know the Scottish Government has decided to hold another Scottish Independence Referendum and we shall do this without your permission.’

  ‘What! But you can’t.’ Sir Roger blustered. ‘Need I remind you Mary, Scotland is still a part of the United Kingdom and as long as I have breath in my body I shall fight to keep the UK together.’

  ‘As I just explained to you Sir Roger, if you had listened,’ Mary said coldly. ‘The purpose of this call is to inform you that after the Scottish voters have given me a mandate to make Scotland Independent, which I confidently predict they shall, I am duty bound to make that happen.’

  ‘Huh!’ The Prime Minister guffawed. ‘Mary, this is utter madness. Not only will you be wasting Scottish taxpayers money, such a thing would be unenforceable and downright illegal.’

  The PM motioned with his hand for Charlotte to pour him another drink.

  Pouring him a small whisky this time, Charlotte tutted and pointed at her watch face to remind the PM that it was only five past ten in the morning.

  ‘Prime Minister,’ Mary Dewar said. ‘The Scottish people are justifiably angry at your administration dragging us out of the EU. Immediately after this new Independence Referendum, when the result goes in my favour, as I predict it will, I shall begin holding talks with our EU partners with the intention of having Scotland become a full member of the European Union.’

  ‘I shan’t allow it.’ Sir Roger bellowed down the phone.

  ‘You can’t physically stop us Bottomley?’ Mary Dewar stormed back at him. ‘Unless you are planning on invading us.’ She slammed down the phone on him.

  The Prime Minister was tired, as well he should be. After the Brexit fiasco he had the media and even his own MP’s reminding him that he should never have nailed his colours to the flagship of the Remain campaign. Even Dame Edith, his wife, forever his greatest critic, told him that he was a dullard. Bottomley sighed and ran his pudgy fingers through his thinning grey hair. Eighteen months into his second term in office, Sir Roger’s career had been going swimmingly well. He should never have listened to his so-called bloody experts who had advised him that never in a million years would the British people vote to leave the EU.

  After the astounding result, Dame Edith, had told him outright, “Roger, for once in your life do the honourable thing and resign. You know the Tories have no stomach for losers. You must quit now before you make me a laughing stock in my bridge circle.”

  ‘Bugger that, and bugger you. I am not resigning.’ He’d yelled in her face. ‘In 1942, did Churchill back down to the Nazi aggression? No he did not and I will not run from the fight. I will take on and confound my critics. I will not be hounded out of office.’

  ‘And how are you going to achieve that,’ Growled Dame Edith, ‘when even your own Cabinet Ministers wont support you?’

  The way she said it so smug and so true, got his dander up.

  ‘Bah to you and your, your skinny, veggie friends.’ Sir Roger snarled. ‘You’ll see. I might be backed into a corner but I shall fight my way out of this.’

  The whole point of her calling up Sir Roger was not so much to tell him that she planned to hold a second Independence Referendum, but rather it was to annoy him. It amused Mary to think that he had no idea what she was planning. Even her own Ministers will be astonished at the utter brilliance of her new plan that, like most of her utterly brilliant ideas, came to her while she was on the loo.

  The following morning looking positively gleeful, in Cabinet Room 2, surrounded by her seventeen Ministers, only Angus McFlintock had been excused on the grounds that he had died last Thursday, Mary played them the recording of her phone conversation with Sir Roger.

  When a couple of weeks back, using Brexit as a valid excuse, Mary told her Cabinet Ministers that in open defiance of Westminster she was going ahead with a second Independence Referendum, as usual it was only Duncan Cruid, her Internal Affairs Minister that had balked.

  Cruid had been pl
anning on retiring in three months time. Now, with all this political upheaval going on that would have to be put on hold. Just watching the way she was grinning told him there was more. He suspected Dewar was about to announce yet another of her utterly brilliant ideas that had come to her whilst she was on the loo. Cruid cast his eyes around the faces at the table. Not one of them had the guts to stand up to her. Sheep, every one of them. Cruid sighed knowing it will be left to him to explain the salient points at which her utterly brilliant plan would come unstuck.

  Cruid, at the age of sixty-five, and forty of those years spent in politics had a knack for avoiding the sort of jobs that usually ended up in a painful and public resignation.

  After slamming one hand down on the table to silence the murmuring. (She hated murmuring). Mary said.

  ‘You are not going believe this…’

  That was another thing that Cruid hated. Her starting a sentence with the words: “You are not going to believe this…”

  ‘Last night, while I was in the bathroom…’

  Cruid: I knew it!

  ‘This utterly brilliant idea came to me right out of the blue.’

  Cruid: right out of somewhere else I suspect.

  ‘It occurred to me, ‘ Mary began. ‘Westminster cannot prevent us holding another referendum. Fair enough. Say we get the result we want. Ok, that is all well and good but there would be no point if we then couldn’t enact the result.’

  ‘Which is precisely what I was about to point out.’ Cruid said interrupting the First Minister.

  To shut him up Mary held up a hand.

  ‘Cruid, if I may be allowed to explain my utterly brilliant plan. After the Scottish voters give me a mandate to break from the UK…’

  ‘It would be an embarrassing and costly catastrophe.’ Cruid persisted.

  ‘Ah, that’s where you’d be wrong mister clever clogs,’ Mary chided. ‘The minute the result goes in our favour, which it will, I shall announce a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.’

  There was a triumphant smile on Marys face when she sat back in her chair to enjoy the reactions.

  ‘You are joking?’ Cruid said incredulous at the suggestion. He hadn’t been expecting that.

  ‘I most certainly am not,’ Mary said. ‘In 1776, the Americans did it. They dumped Great Britain. The Irish declared their independence in 1916 and Rhodesia did the same thing in 1965.’

  Oh crikey, Cruid was thinking he had better nip this in the bud before the other Ministers started applauding her. ‘Mary, the circumstances in those other countries were different. We are talking about a time when Great Britain was at war with the Americans who happened to be on the other side of the Atlantic, not like England just down the road from us. The Irish UDI came about after a painful uprising against the English, and Rhodesia was a rogue colony.’

  ‘None of that makes a jot of difference, Mary snapped and then looked at the faces of her other Ministers who were not at all sure where this was going. ‘Hands up those of you who will back me.’ The threat was not exactly implied but those around the table were left in no doubt they had better back her, or go clear out their desks.

  Only Cruid’s hand was slow going up.

  Mary sat back in her chair and smiled. ‘Ministers, it is time for Scotland to once more take its place in the world as a free and independent nation. You must remember this is not a unique situation for Scotland. Before we mistakenly agreed to join the United Kingdom back in the seventeen hundreds we had been a respected nation state. This will rectify that mistake.’

  Cruid said. ‘Have you checked to see if this plan of yours, which I have to admit may have some merit, is legally possible?’

  ‘No, not yet, but I would argue that as an independent state Scotland would be quite within its rights to pass its own laws.’

  Secretly, Cruid, had to admit that this plan of hers might actually prove to be utterly brilliant. ‘Hmm,’ he confessed. ‘It is certainly worth us looking into the possibility of UDI.’

  Mary smiled. Cruid, the old cynic, was actually warming to her idea. ‘You have to agree Cruid my idea is utterly brilliant, go on say it.’

  He nodded.

  ‘And you know the best part,’ Mary said excitedly. ‘There is not a thing the English can do to prevent it.’

  ‘They could invade us.’ Cruid warned.

  ‘Cruid you old duffer, this isn’t exactly Culloden.’

  Although on the surface Mary’s plan looked workable, the devil was in the detail and until he had had a chance to look into the legal aspect of UDI, he was only prepared to give her plan a cautious approval.

  In defiance of Westminster and ignoring the apocalyptic warnings, the Scots, this time around in a second Independence Referendum, went ahead and voted to break away from the UK. Mary Dewar had got the result she wanted.

  South of the border, upon hearing the result, the media now tore into Sir Roger Bottomley accusing him of being feeble and not doing enough to prevent the breakup of the United Kingdom.

  This was a catastrophe. The Union Jack’s, world-wide, would all have to be replaced with flags that didn’t have the blue and white flag of Scotland. He was told the Queen was going ballistic.

  Chapter Two

  Six days after the Scots had voted to leave the United Kingdom, Scotland’s First Minster, Mary Dewar, was on her feet and about to address her cheering Scottish MSP’s in the Assembly Hall of the Scottish Parliament Building.

  ‘The people of Scotland have spoken,’ She announced. ‘Scotland is to leave the UK. As a result of this momentous decision, I hereby publicly announce to the world a Unilateral Declaration of Independence. As of this moment a free and independent Scotland will stand proud among the nations of this world. We shall, as a united people, forge new alliances abroad and take on the responsibility for our own destiny. I can today report that our European friends and allies in Brussels are ready to begin the negotiations that will clear the way for Scotland to become a full member of the EU.

  Four weeks after Scotland’s UDI, with both governments making all manner of threats and counter threats it was hard to see how either side could step back from the brink of hostilities.

  Locked away inside his private study in Number 10, Sir Roger was having his brow mopped by Charlotte Sweetwater. He was thinking how delightful her bosom looked today, but then he had those thoughts most days.

  ‘Is that better Sir Roger?’ Charlotte cooed.

  ‘Hmm?’ Sir Roger murmured, at present he was mostly preoccupied with staring at her “mummy bits.”

  ‘I wish there was more I could do to help ease your burden Sir Roger,’ Charlotte said frowning and stroking his hair. ‘I hate to see you in such distress, you poor thing. I can always tell you know, when you are down. It’s as if our hearts and minds have this uncanny, almost telepathic connection. Could this be true love?’

  Feeling her fingernails running down the back of his neck, making his skin crawl he could think of something that would definitely take his mind off his worries. But then they had this agreement.

  ‘It’s all the fault of them horrible Scots and those horrible Minister’s of yours belittling you, bad-mouthing you, and stirring up trouble for you. Poor you, having all those awful people getting on to you. My God, I don’t know how you cope? You are such a strong man Sir Roger. And where is Dame Edith while you battle through this? Surely a decent, loyal wife would be at your side. I imagine she is out there, in some sleazy hotel room, with that personal trainer of hers, the one with the tight little bum, Marcel DuPont.’

  When Charlotte came and sat down on the edge of his desk and leaned over. Her lovely face–her pink lips–her ample bosom tempting him beyond reason, Sir Roger’s eyes widened.

  Charlotte, her voice sounding like melted chocolate said. ‘Just remember Sir Roger, no matter what; I shall always be loyal to you. I shall never turn my back on you, not like all them others.’

  Charlotte’s eyes became hooded. Stroking his cheek she
said. ‘I am always here for you Sir Roger. And if there is anything that I can do for you, anything at all, my darling all you need do is ask.’

  ‘Ah, now you mention it…’ Sir Roger said reaching for her.

  ‘Not that, you naughty man.’ Charlotte said jumping down off his desk, out of range of his groping fingers. Smiling she wagged a finger at him. ‘We agreed no touching, did we not?’

  Sir Roger sighed.

  ‘Poor you,’ Charlotte said and patted his cheek. ‘This is just as hard for me as it is for you.’

  He doubted that.

  Later that day in Cabinet Briefing room B, Prime Minister Sir Roger Bottomley tore into his Ministers and Special Advisers who had assured him that the Scots would never vote to leave the UK. These were the very same idiots who advised him Scotland’s UDI could never happen. Turning on Lord Soper of Bath head of MI5 he said.

  ‘Right. I need to know what the Scot’s are up to. I need to know what they are planning, and when.’

  ‘Ahem,’ Lord Soper cleared his throat. ‘I have spies in the Scottish Assembly and I have a few MSP’s on our payroll. I will be kept informed minute by minute. At present my people tell me Mary Dewar hasn’t a clue what she is doing. The people of Scotland are being led by a megalomaniac.’

  ‘Surely,’ said Sir Roger. ‘There must be people in Dewar’s government opposed to Scotland leaving the UK? Don’t they have a say in the matter?’

  ‘You’d have thought so,’ agreed Lord Soper, ‘however, with all the celebrations that are going on up there, a lot of flag waving and the awful din of the bagpipes it’s hard to find anyone that hasn’t been caught up in the whole nationalist frenzy, driven, I have to say, by a media hostile to the UK.’

  ‘So tell me,’ The PM prompted. ‘What do you know of their plans?’

  ‘The latest I have is Mary Dewar is about to begin talks with Brussels–with the Russian’s, the Chinese, the Indian government, Brazil and even Venezuela…’

  ‘Venezuela?’

  Lord Soper shrugged. ‘Would you like me to have my people to look into the Venezuela angle, see what that’s all about?’

 

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