The asset code-named Etienne has prepared his verbal briefing—no notes, nothing on paper—and is delivering it to the senior staff of the service. The police generals stare, pensive, nodding softly when they agree, shaking their heads lightly when they are stunned. Etienne’s plan is reasonable, but elaborate and fragile. There are many moving parts. The cost will be incredible.

We will methodically abduct and interrogate our own officers, using subcontractors to conceal the fact that we’re behind it. Anyone who doesn’t crack is a loyalist. The rest we keep rolling up until we’ve determined the extent of the rot.

A staff officer bursts into the meeting; there’s been a fresh outrage; a colonel has been found in the alley behind his mistress’, dead, his throat shorn so deeply his head nearly came off, shot in the chest seven times, presumably with Dufort’s pistol as it was found stuffed in the colonel’s ass, empty. There were no witnesses. It appears his body has been there at least a day.

The generals are terrified, trembling. What if we’re next?

Etienne is informed he can have anything he wants to make this happen. He follows the generals out of the room and into the command center. He waits for shift change to tell the incoming finance officer he needs the cards and books for a First National Bank South Africa account.


For all installments of “The Ambush,” click here.

Previous installments:

  1. Part 1: The Body
  2. Part 2: The Colony
  3. Part 3: The Surveillance; or, the Vigil over the Dead
  4. Part 4: The Philosophy of the Hammer
  5. Part 5: The Escalation