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Besides, we're Swiss; we never lose a war.
Lake Geneva, Switzerland the attendant adjusted the halo around Emma's head in preparation for the memory experience. The slight needle prick administered a mild sedative, which allowed her to relax and focus on one of her most cherished memories, that day over ten years ago.
Awareness arrived with the smell of gunpowder and the unmistakable repetitive crack of gunfire. Energized by adrenalin, her senses balanced on knife-edge as she scanned the warehouse rear entry.
Emma called to her partner over a cacophony of sounds. "Guess they knew we were coming."
"Seems you could say that. How in God's name could they know about the assault?"
Stefan had been her partner in the Swiss Federal Criminal Police (FCP) since her rookie days. Older, unflappable and dependable, if not a little too conventional for her taste. She, on more than one occasion, had trusted him with her life, but today was distinctly different. They were temporary adjuncts to this Interpol operation. Well, temporary or not, they were out-manned and out-gunned--time to stop being an adjunct and become the cavalry. I always liked that word.
"Stefan, can you see any of the Interpol strike squad?"
"No, after they sent us to cover the rear exit, they rushed the front. Sounds like that isn't going so well."
She formulated her thoughts then shouted her plan.
"Christ, Emma, we have 9mm Sigs and that racket sounds like machine pistols. Don't you think a breach and entry is rather extreme?"
"Exactly, they'll never expect us to come in the back door. Besides, we're Swiss; we never lose a war."
"That's because we never fight a war."
"As I said, we never lose a war," she chuckled.
Stefan scrambled to his feet, sprinting beside her to the warehouse door.
She felt sure Stefan was flashing back to Geneva last year, when he surely thought she would get him killed. Not this time either; we got this.
She eased open the door and studied the chaos inside. The slight odor of gun smoke, which opened her memory, rose a factor of ten. The hot warehouse, filled with a milieu of sounds--gunshots, desperate shouts, and moans of agony. The drug gang returned
fire at an alarming pace. They not only knew the good guys were coming, they had no intention of fleeing. She leaned closer to Stefan's ear, "If we don't act quickly, this is going to be a goddamn slaughter." She carefully pondered the scene. Her mind placed each bad guy, but she could only see the Interpol team by muzzle flashes. Her earlier advice of coming with more firepower was pretty persuasive at the moment. Never bring a pistol to a machine-gun war.
Spying the elevated walkway prompted the start of a plan. She'd always been decisive, and many times decisive actually trumped right. Pray I'm right this time. "I need to reach the catwalk," she yelled, "that should give me an overview of the general shitstorm. "Did you bring the bullhorn?"
"Are you kidding? I left it outside the door."
"Go back and get it while I ease up the ramp. When you see me in position, I
want you to reenact that stunt we pulled in Ochsengasse with slightly different sound effects." Emma rapidly outlined the scheme.
"That's diabolical--as long as you don't get shot before you reach the catwalk, and given they believe us."
"Stefan, my man, you do your part and I'll convince any nonbelievers."
He slid out the door. She crawled and sprinted around packing crates. Fortunately, the drug boys were facing the troops and Interpol couldn't see her. Making the stairs, she crawled up on her belly. Easing along the runway, she reached a supporting column, which allowed some cover and afforded a warehouse view. She could just make out the Indians through the choking gun-smoke. She turned, to find Stefan in position. Emma crossed herself and gave the signal, she hoped the scumbags understood English. Cavalry time.
His voice thundered through the warehouse. "Delta squad, take up position on the east wall; alpha squad, flank to the west. Attention hostiles, you're surrounded; throw down all weapons. Squads, ready grenades. This is your last chance, throw explosives on my mark." He began a count which reverberated in the confined space, "one, two ..."
Gunfire ceased. Voices in Spanish and English screamed. "What the hell? Que pasa?
Who's shouting?" A high volume bullhorn can be quite disorienting, especially when it's announcing your demise.
A gunman, about thirty meters across the floor, bellowed something in Spanish as he whirled and sprayed machine pistol rounds in Stefan's direction. Emma calmly placed a single slug through his right shoulder. He dropped screaming to the floor.
Stefan, your timing is perfect. Except for your kids and my vow to never date cops, I would screw your brains out.
The Mexicans gaped at their shrieking compadre. Weapons began dropping to the floor.
Emma turned and saw Stefan lying on the concrete. Stomach clenched, she holstered her pistol and ran down the catwalk. Even in her abject panic, she had the presence to run with raised hands, yelling, "Interpol! Interpol!" My end as a friendly fire accident would be the definition of ironic. As she ran, officers rushed to the wounded, cuffing drug dealers and calling for ambulances. She vaulted down the stairs screaming "medic" at the top of her lungs. Reaching Stefan, she saw movement and felt tears streaming down her checks. Gingerly rotating him on his back, she saw him grimace.
"Christ, Emma, I always knew you had a thing for me. Still, this is an extreme way to get me on my back."
Two bullet strikes on his Kevlar vest drew her frantic eyes. The Mexicans had 7.65x17 mm CZ-Scorpion machine pistols, and their vests were more than up to the task. Of course, they had no head vests.
"Well, you know how it is; a girl has to get sex where she can find it. Don't flatter yourself, you're just convenient."
"Now that you've destroyed my ego, help me over to that crate. This hurts like a son of a bitch."
Medical personnel rushed over. She sighed, indicating the vest. "He's okay; I've got him."
They sat on the crate helping each other stay upright. Until you've been there, it's impossible to explain the ebb of an adrenalin high. The immediate and utter physical exhaustion can only be matched by the mental drain.
We should help with cuffing prisoners, but who has the energy, Emma justified thoughtfully.
"Stefan, my man, you were epic. I knew the plan and I almost threw down my gun.
Grenades?" She chuckled, "No one takes grenades on a confined assault."
"Yeah, I was pretty sure they didn't know that. I wish I'd a couple of practice grenades to toss. I'm pretty sure they would've pissed their pants. You know I had you covered on the catwalk. If they looked up, I would have cut loose. Well, until they shot me, of course."
"Never a doubt in my mind. Although, if I get you killed and leave Eva with the boys, she would kill me anyway. Funny, just a second ago, I flashed to Ochsengasse Street.
When you started on the bullhorn with that recorded siren, I don't know how many prostitutes sprained ankles trying to run in high heels. When the Council of States Councilor drove down the street, and later reported to Parliament the Swiss police had cleaned up the area, everyone got what they wanted." She cackled, "Parliament claimed victory, the FCP looked good and the ladies were making a living the next day."
"It's a blessing and a curse to have the baddest Swiss rich girl for a partner. You really should be like a NATO commando or something."
"I tried to apply for the new Special Forces group, Detachment Ten, but they say initial recruitment will be limited to male Swiss military personnel. Those bureaucrats couldn't find their dicks with both hands. Translating into, you're stuck with me. I do get your hint though, I'll buy the drinks. but, I'm not drinking that warm piss you call ale."
Stefan's laughing retort was sidetracked by both a shiver of pain and a summons for Sergeant Bossert. He shook his head as he watched her stride across the room to Interpol Deputy Inspector Moubray.
Moubray was French, so he pretty much had three strikes against him right out of the box. He'd come from Lyon to spearhead the investigation. Seems this Mexican group ran large quantities of heroin up from the Mediterranean. They'd never seen a Mexican crime group in Switzerland, although times they were a changing. He needed local support for his task force and had grudgingly accepted them. Overall, he'd proved to be competent and less condescending than most French.
"You and your partner were assigned to cover the escape route. You could've become friendly fire incidents. We made a backup call to the FCP, they were thirty minutes out."
"Sir, with all due respect, if we hadn't intervened, your entire squad would have been hostile fire incidents. It would've taken FCP near an hour to get the firepower necessary for this shit storm." She recognized as she finished her retort, her mouth might be getting her ass in too deep, yet again. Moubray slowly shook his head and grimaced, or maybe that was his idea of a grin.
"Sergeant, I'll be leaving Bern tomorrow; even so, I insist you join me at 0600 for a discussion. I've a proposition you should find professionally and personally gratifying. Now, I've much to finalize here so you and your partner are dismissed. Before you inquire, in your less than tactful manor, yes, they knew we were coming, and I don't have a fucking clue. You two did good work today; now get out of here and I'll see you in the morning."
The memory faded; Emma became conscious and smiled. I really love Interpol, and how I got from FCP to Interpol is one of my fondest memories.
When she graduated from the Swiss Business School with her economics degree, she'd always intended to continue to IMD for her MBA. Then Jeffrie came along. The romance wasn't serious, at least not for her, nonetheless, she found his FCP work captivating. He went the way of all my boyfriends, though quicker than most. Why did they all want to marry? She had little trouble joining FCP, and the wrath of her father ... ell, that was another of her favorite memories.
Before the joy of her memory faded, her thoughts drifted to Stefan. He had been sad to see her leave the FCP, yet, joyous in seeing her embrace a new chapter. She visited him and his family as often as the new job allowed. Then the news came, Stefan had pancreatic cancer. She couldn't handle the speed of his demise and the family agony. Never before had she run from a challenge; this time she became a coward. Her visits to his wife and children became less and less, then not at all. Her grief overwhelmed her sense of duty. She was not proud of her weakness. To ease her conscience she set up college funds for both the kids. She mentally squared her shoulders as resolution took hold. I will call Eva and the boys and stop being a child.
The enjoyment of one of her best recollections combined with the commitment to stop running from her friend's death, were joined by the realization she was hungry.
She rang for Sonja, time for some fresh salmon and a bottle of Genoels-Eldersen Chardonnay.
"Later on this holiday, I must revisit my father's reaction to his girl joining Interpol; that's always fun." Grandfather, I may be wasting some of my trust fund, but not my life. I think you would be proud. If you were here, we could toast to father's righteous indignation.CHAPTER 2
Both of you have big ones, so play nice.
Ten years prior to Emma's Lake Geneva holiday: San Francisco, California.
The Embarcadero One offices of Stuart Breckenridge were designed with, to coin a phrase he was fond of, shock and awe. First time visitors couldn't help being impressed by an inspiring view of San Francisco bay. The plush surroundings of soft leather chairs, original art and oriental rugs accented by an expansive antique Mahogany partner's desk circa 1890, completed the message clearly. I have the money, your plan had better be great if you expect my help with funding. Few petitioners had the plan and expectations were low for his ten o'clock.
The intercom buzzed. "Dr. Kirby and his associate have arrived."
"Thanks, Alanna, give me five then show them in." Stuart Breckenridge took a few minutes to once more scan the skillfully compiled proforma on his desk. He couldn't remember such a carefully crafted business plan addressing all the financial points, while leaving the technology artfully vague. Stuart straightened his Hermes tie, quickly ran a comb through his longish brown hair, and stood to greet his next appointment.
"Ah, Dr. Kirby, please have a seat. Would you care for any refreshments, coffee or, perhaps, tea?"
"No, thank you," Dr. Kirby responded. "Mr. Breckenridge, although we've corresponded and conversed on the phone, it's good to meet you in person." He indicated his companion and continued, "Simone St. John is my administrative assistant"
"Dr. Kirby, it's my pleasure to have this meeting, and I'm pleased to make your acquaintance, Ms. St. John."
Covered from neck to knee in beige Emilio Pucci knit, which emphasized her stunning figure and complemented her lustrous auburn hair, Simone smiled. "Thank you."
Stuart could not help but linger a second on the silhouette in front of him. Damn, that's one beautiful woman, and obviously used to finer things. I'd bet anything that dress goes for at least two grand. This is an odd duo.
He pulled himself back to their meeting. "Dr. Kirby, please call me Stuart."
"Only if you'll agree to call me Peter."
Stuart noted that Ms. St. John occupied her chair with natural poise. She had an air of confidence, which complemented her uncommon beauty. Unless I badly miss my guess, she's no ordinary administrative assistant.
"Stuart, securing money in the private sector is new to me, and I'm afraid I'm at a loss as how to begin this meeting. I understand my objectives, but I'm short on procedure." Simone had specifically coached Peter to start the meeting from weakness, hopefully, instilling over confidence in this money man. Never show all your cards too early.
Stuart smoothly renewed the conversation.
"Peter, I must say, I've rarely reviewed a proforma where the financial premise is so artfully outlined. Your projected cash flow, balance sheet, and general financial needs are clearly stated. Your capital needs are well thought out, and in general, I don't see this level of financial savvy from technical entrepreneurs. Did you have an investment house prepare the documents?" "No," Peter said quickly. His eyes darted in Simone's direction. "I'm a thorough person and used to doing my homework."
Stuart's years of experience told him there was more to the story and much more to Simone., he would leave that discussion for later, if the meeting lasted that long.
"Peter, I've a number of projects in the fire, so please excuse me for being blunt. I've discussed your process with a number of professionals, within the scope of our nondisclosure documents, of course, and to a person they reiterate there's no documentation in the literature for your claims. An extensive search by my staff has found no publications or pending publications in this particular area."
Stuart cut Peter off quickly with an upraised hand. He was a master at controlling Conversations and planned to control this one.
"I spoke at length with a Dr. Wentworth, and although he concurs with your premise that memories are formed forever and the pathways to retrieve them probably degrade with time, he feels your process to reactivate them is, in his words, a wet dream."
"That's quite enough!" Peter rose to his full height of five foot ten, his slim build making him appear taller. The veins on his forehead started to pulse, his face turned red, and his lips curled into a snarl. "Bill Wentworth could not carry my books and you quote his uninformed delusions to call me a fraud!"
Simone had told him this man would use some ploy in an attempt to take charge of the conversation, nonetheless, he never expected this.
Peter stood and stalked around Stuart's desk, forgetting all the self-control she'd so diligently preached.
Stuart immediately realized he'd overestimated Dr. Kirby's negotiating skills. This man didn't have any idea how to play the game. He sincerely hoped this didn't turn physical; he didn't want to call security.
"I'll sue if any of your discussions lead to my work being infringed upon by my so-called competitors."
Stuart was getting ready to stand and confront this threat when Simone cleared her throat forcefully.
"Gentlemen, I believe this meeting is degenerating into a flurry of misconceptions. Dr. Kirby, if you would please assume your seat and allow me some latitude, I believe I may be able to facilitate a return to a civil discussion."
Peter looked at Simone sheepishly, realizing he'd screwed up and returned to his seat.
Stuart, who had orchestrated this confrontation to place Peter on the defensive, smiled. This lady is indeed not your average assistant, and she does know how to play the game.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Beware of Memories"
Copyright © 2018 Patrick K. Jaynes.
Excerpted by permission of CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A great sci-fi with a touch of mystery and adventure. I definitely love this new series and cannot wait for the next book! Awesome action with characters that are wonderful. Keep these books coming. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Reviewed by Stephen Fisher for Readers' Favorite Beware of Memories by Patrick K. Jaynes, PhD. and Darlien C. Breeze is a flawlessly written science fiction adventure tale about an extraordinary concept - that of being able to access memories with the help of a safe drug, and the modern technology that allows the subject to relive the memory in exquisite detail. The story begins with an action sequence memory of how Sgt. Emma Bossert was recruited to join Interpol. From there she assigned to work with Scotland Yard's Detective Inspector Gardner Poole when a former British dignitary, Lord Wooten, is found dead in a hotel room. Although the scene appears to be suicide, the detectives quickly discover that he was murdered. The Albanian security team of the multi billion dollar firm, Lifetime Memories, is now wanted for questioning, as the suspects begin growing in numbers and the security team is at the top. The team of Jaynes and Breeze has created an epic masterpiece that is filled with a cast of jet set characters who are believable and realistically described. This story packs a punch on a global scale right from the get go, from the execs at Lifetime Memories to the diabolical bad guys that seem to just grow and multiply as the story progresses. The painstaking details that Jaynes and Breeze were able to capture helped to make this plot fire on all cylinders. I was glued to this story from beginning to end and I was thoroughly entertained on all levels. Beware of Memories is fast paced and smartly written. All I can say is Wow!