Authors: M. L. Stewart
|The FACEBOOK KILLER: Part 2|
|M. L. Stewart|
### Product Description
We begin to die from the second we are born. The only difference is how long it will take each of us and how painful it will be.
Dermott Madison's thirst for revenge takes him to Pakistan, Mexico and back to England in Part 2 of The Facebook Killer.
WARNING: This should not be read by people with a heart condition, the squeamish or those suffering from fantasies of committing murder.
The Facebook Killer: Part Two.
I hate flying. I always have. The take-off and landings have always terrified me and tonight was no different. A strong crosswind made things even worse. One wheel thudded onto the tarmac, lurching the plane steeply to the left. It felt like we momentarily lifted off again, when the other wheel suddenly made contact with planet Earth. I kept my eyes tightly closed, my heart pounding. A child was screaming his lungs out somewhere to the rear of the plane. A woman, opposite, was muttering something I could only assume was a prayer. We lurched heavily, once again, this time to the right, before slamming down on both wheels. The shrill screech of the flaps being raised drowned out the prayers and the screaming child. The seat belt cut into my pelvis as my forward momentum overtook that of the slowing plane.
The Captain’s announcement meant nothing to me the first time round, but my fellow passengers seemed to take some comfort in his words.
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore. The current temperature is five degrees Celsius and we are experiencing heavy rain. We would like to thank you for flying with Pakistan International Airlines and we hope to see you again soon.”
Norman waited by luggage carousel number five. Half-expecting to stand out a mile from the crowd, we were pleasantly surprised to see at least another forty white Europeans had taken the same flight from London.
We had travelled light. We had been forced to. That bastard Gerradine’s newspaper article had almost messed up everything. On that last drive back to Epping Forest, we’d heard on the radio that the police had intensified their search for Adrian Devoy but were also pursuing another “line of interest”. The bastard had put them onto me.
Gary Pearson’s death hadn’t made the news by the time we fled London and we had no reason to worry that it would be linked to the apple picking. My only regret had been that we didn’t have time to wrap things up properly, we still had one of the original thirteen left to deal with.
Laputa was all locked up and we had covered the path with dead tree branches, leaving nothing to indicate anyone had been there. The camper van was put back in the storage unit, where Devoy was doing well and still being fed and watered. I paid the doctor another month’s salary and informed him of our expected return date. We then took a taxi to Heathrow airport. My hand luggage held the laptop. The suitcase contained Norman, the rest of the cash, a copy of the Koran in braille, a gas mask, a hijab and burka.
And so it was that we found ourselves almost 4,000 miles away from home, lost in a city of over ten million people, of which, we had to track down a mere five. But before we could even think about that, there was some unfinished business to take care of.
Norman, Albert and I had booked into the Avari Hotel. We’d decided that since this may be our last few weeks of freedom, we would take the Executive Club Suite. It wasn’t the twenty-four butler service which attracted me to the Avari, more the armed security guards and wifi connection.
Born Thomas Wilson, 1985. Struck down and blinded by Meningitis aged 4. Converted to Islam aged 20. Known as “Taliban Tommy” to his former friends and Abdul Basir, which ironically means servant of the all-seeing, to his new friends.
Location: Chelsea. Status: Single and living with mum and dad. Likes: Music and discussions on radio. Dislikes: Extremism, bigotry and war.
Now Tommy didn’t try and make a secret of his favourite place of worship, a converted flat in South Kensington, with a capacity to hold thirty people. As Albert so cleverly pointed out, it wasn’t going to be too difficult to spot the blind white man.
However, what wouldn’t prove so simple, was gaining access to Tommy. It turned out his father was the owner of BEA Industries, one of the country’s most prolific manufacturers of armaments. Tommy had been deemed a kidnap-threat from an early age and was therefore accompanied by a bodyguard wherever he went. He was driven to the micro-mosque in a bulletproof car; his guard never leaving his side. To make matters worse, his family home was comparable only to Fort Knox.
Unbeknown to Mr. Gerradine, his newspaper article was actually a blessing in disguise. It was the catalyst for Tommy Taliban’s death. Think about it. The man lives in a bulletproof world, an Exocet missile probably couldn’t get into that house. But I knew something that could.
Serge had transferred the VX nerve agent into a small insulin vial, allowing easy passage through the airport security checks. I followed his instructions to the letter. I’d been warned of its strength, and so, wearing the gas mask and gloves, I slowly drew the lethal liquid into the syringe. Six milligrams is all it would take to kill a man, he had assured me, but for good measure, I had bought fifteen. As I placed a microscopic drop on each raised letter of Braille, I found it hard to believe that the Americans had listed such an innocuous-looking liquid, a weapon of mass destruction. Serge had proudly explained to me that he had mixed it with dimethylsulphoxide, to act as a skin-penetrant. It was a strange feeling to think of young Tommy Taliban opening the package in a week or so, the feeling of pride that his prayers had been answered. He hadn’t been able to find a Braille copy of the holy book for over a year. He had plastered websites with requests in search of one, and I was about to make his day.
It would be around page thirty that his breathing would start to falter, five pages later, he ought to be feeling dizzy and a little nauseous. By my reckoning, the spasms should kick in a couple of pages after that, quickly followed by total paralysis and then death by asphyxiation.
The book was mailed in an airtight, padded envelope. The enclosed letter simply read, “May Allah be with you.”
We had been forced to leave England in such a hurry that we hadn’t had time to plan properly. The VX was the only thing we could bring. The rest of the hardware was still in the storage unit. I had had great plans for the Pakistani apples.
I was once waiting to meet a friend flying into Gatwick airport, when I saw a man, around Norman’s age, pushing his elderly mother, in a wheelchair, through the security checks. She was asleep and connected to an oxygen tank via a facemask. No one woke her; they just checked her passport, which her son was holding. I couldn’t help but think to myself, “now if I ever wanted to smuggle a load of drugs into the country, that’s how I would do it.” And that had been the plan, bizarre as it may sound. I was going to have a one hundred year-old woman made from latex, together with an accompanying passport. Her insides would have been hollow; to allow us to transport everything we needed to achieve our goals in Pakistan. Yet, that bastard journalist had screwed things up for us.
The only downside to our Executive Suite was the complimentary drinks service provided; of which Norman had taken full advantage from the moment we arrived. Aside from that, the suite, itself, was of a reasonable standard. A large living area, led to a quite luxurious bedroom, complete with a four-poster bed. There was a separate office, which also contained a safe. This is where the laptop slept, alongside our cash.
I spent four hours the first night trying to get used to wearing the burka. I found it disorientating, hot and almost soundproof. My second attempt wasn’t so uncomfortable and I was thankful that we hadn’t arrived here in Lahore’s one hundred degree summer.
And so there I sat, in front of my laptop at twelve midnight, wearing a burka, my belly full of vodka and orange and proceeded to make, potentially, the biggest mistake of my entire life.
Dear Mr. Gerradine,
I am writing to you today with regards to your published article in the Daily Mail newspaper entitled “The
Facebook Killer: Are they looking for the right man?”
May I begin by congratulating you on your very astute observations of the situation. Investigative reporting at it’s finest, your Editor must be very proud. However, you made one error. You stated that Abdul Hamid’s whereabouts are unknown. That is factually incorrect. We know exactly where he is and, as the Lord is my witness, we will bring him to the most horrifying justice imaginable.
You, and your informant’s, assumptions about Adrian Devoy are quite correct. He is not the one they should be looking for, but he
part of the wider conspiracy.
I am sure you will be shocked when you open this email, Mr. Gerradine, and no doubt be wondering why we are writing to you in the first place. Please allow me the indulgence to explain further.
I am offering you a choice. You can go straight to press with this information, thereby never hearing from me again,
you may remain patient and I will give you the story of the decade, which will undoubtedly make your career.
I shall read your newspaper’s online edition tomorrow, where I am sure your decision will be made apparent.
Matt Gerradine was a mountain of a man, 31 years old and still a bachelor. He worked, predominantly, from his messy rented flat in Soho, normally accompanied by some form of alcoholic stimulant for his writing.
He sat at the pine kitchen table staring into his Blackberry, the Malt Whisky growing warm in his other hand. This had to be a joke. An hour later and the Assistant Chief Constable was sitting in silence, opposite him, staring at the message, sipping a malt of his own.
There was an undeniable similarity between both men, not in their social habits, but appearance. Apart from the twelve stone weight difference, they both bore the same public-school blonde quiffs and indoctrinated, accompanying accents.
What the hell is this Anonymouse thing?” Asked ACC Bill Pearson.
It’s a system that allows you to send emails anonymously. That’s why it took so long to come through; they store it so that the sender’s location can’t be linked to it. They get time to move, to give themselves an alibi. Pretty clever stuff actually,” replied Matt.
So there’s no way we can reply to this person?”
No,” shaking his head.
So this could be some crackpot for all we know?”
Quite an intelligent crackpot, judging by his writing.”
That means nothing, Matt.
means nothing,” he said, tapping the Blackberry’s screen, “I’m afraid we don’t have a jot of evidence here. For all we know this could have come from Devoy himself.”
So what do you suggest I do?” Matt asked.
He says that he’s going to read the online edition?”
Pearson checked his watch. It was almost 9:00pm.
When is the next updated version scheduled?” He asked.
We can update it at any time,” Matt replied, “the only problem is, with what? Like you said, this isn’t an admission of guilt that we can run a story on.”
A moment’s silence followed, both men stared into their glasses, contemplating this strange twist in events.
Let us assume, for one moment, that this message
from our friend Madison here. Why do you think he would want to contact you? He knows we’re concentrating all our efforts on catching Devoy,” asked Pearson.
I don’t know, Bill. I mean, my article basically pointed the finger at him, but I didn’t think he would get in touch, never mind admitting to being the killer. The most I expected was a letter from his lawyer. I mean Christ! We didn’t even know if he was still alive.”