Lord Duncan arrived exactly at 7:55am. He walked to the door carrying ‘breakfast burritos’, pastries and orange juice. He knocked and Boris let him in. Lord Duncan was wearing a duplicate of the outfit he wore the night before, right down to the tweed jacket with the lopsided button. Boris knew that jacket very well right down to the button.
“Ah, so glad to see that you are still prompt. I so appreciated that about you before, but one never knows how a person will change over time. It’s been some years since I’ve seen you, in fact it was when you brought me that delightful young woman. What was her name?” Duncan asked.
“Lynne,” said Boris.
“Was it? Oh yes. She changed it to Belinda I believe. Lovely woman,” Duncan said. “Hope you are hungry,” Duncan noticed that the tea cups had been set out and he hoped that tea was brewing in the pot.
“Not really, but I will eat. Tea is made,” said Boris.
They moved to the table and Lord Duncan took the chair facing the door, leaving Boris no choice but to have his back to the window. Lord Duncan ‘played Mother’ and poured the tea. When they both had a cup, he relaxed into his chair and stared at Boris. The food sat on the table along with plates and silverware. “This is excellent English tea,” Duncan said.
Boris said nothing. He tried not to fidget. Part of him was screaming while the other was relieved. Neither side knew what to do next. He waited.
“Odd things these. Smelled good and I have it on good advice that they are rather spicy,” said Duncan as he unwrapped the tortilla filled with sausage, eggs, potatoes, cheese and salsa from the foil. He cut into his and took a bite. “Ah, they were very honest. Spicy and filling.”
The two men were quiet as they ate. The burritos were followed by a couple of pastries and more tea. After Boris cleared the table, Duncan took out a small notebook and pen.
At 5’5”, Duncan was one of the shortest men to ever serve in the SAS. He was a hand to hand combat instructor who delighted in terrorizing big men. His own soldiers who worked with him at demonstrations were often heard to ask him to be gentle. While the crowds of people thought it was a jest to make a comic statement, it was anything but that. Any soldier who underestimated Duncan soon found out just how lethal he could be.
Ah Boris, why is it always a crisis or chaos when we meet?” asked Duncan. “What was it this time?”
“You know. There was incident with James,” said Boris.
“Yes. You told me that all was handled. The woman, Ivanka Eltsina, and her henchmen had been handed over to the proper agency. You also stated that you were under control. However, I find you in an isolated location, working to exhaustion, drinking and more Boris Korsak or Borys Chunko at home than David Howard. What happened?” he asked.
Boris stared at his hands.
“Come now, it can’t be that difficult,” Duncan said softly. He took a sip of tea as if they were talking about the weather and not a man who had lost control.
“It is. Mistakes were made. People hurt. It isn’t suppose to happen this way!” Boris said finally thumping his hand on the table and rattling the cups and teapot. “She was dead!”
“Ah, but it did go that way She didn’t die as we thought. Now start with Sally’s call and tell me everything,” Duncan said softly. “And this time, don’t lie to me. Report.”
Boris flinched at the whip cracking tone of that last bit. He took a deep breath. He sat up in his chair and began his narration. When he got to the point where James was kidnapped in the park, Duncan made a note in a small notebook. Boris continued. He described how the people pulled together to make the sting at the BDSM club, the Flail. Duncan smiled. He made another note or two as Boris continued to talk. Boris’ English was becoming less accented which pleased Duncan.
When Boris got to the point where the people were tied to the picnic tables and raped by the drunks and hobos, Duncan had a wane smile cross his face and he made another note.
“And then Garrett picked them up. I drove van back to the Flail, cleaned it out and left it there. Then picked up Sally and returned her to her house and James. I call you, drive here,” finished Boris.
“Alright Boris. Now tell me what really happened from the point where you strapped at least two men to the picnic tables,” said Duncan.
“I have,” Boris said.
“No, I don’t believe you have. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. You wouldn’t have felt guilty, nor done something you felt necessary to fix what you felt was wrong, and then punish yourself for not acting appropriately. For that is what you’ve been doing. Shall we try again?” asked Duncan.
Boris looked at Duncan. Something shifted behind his eyes. “When I realized who it was, I felt frustrated. Angry. All those years ago, I failed. And because of that, James was kidnapped and hurt once more. I should have prevented that. I should have made sure that Ivanka was dead. I didn’t do my job. I didn’t keep him safe in the park,” he said.
Duncan watched as the sweat began to bead on Boris’ hair line. “Continue. You were upset because someone you thought was dead had reappeared. Someone who was smart enough to stumble on or find our friend James. Worse yet, even though you knew what could happen, James was ripped from your care yet again. Hurt again by the same women,” Duncan stated.
“Yes! I should never have let him meet her alone!” Boris said savagely.
“Ah, but the alternative might have been that both you and James may have been taken. Then that would have left your wives in danger as well as everyone you love or hold dear. Don’t underestimate just how nasty she could have been. Yes, mistakes happen. However, one must expect that. Life isn’t perfect, nor does it go to plan,” said Duncan softly.
“Everything was right. Everything had been taken care of, except I did not make sure that bitch was dead the first time I rescued James,” said Boris.
“Ah, the first chink in the armor. Now tell me Boris, what was your job all those years ago?” asked Duncan.
“To rescue James,” said Boris.
“Exactly. Did you do that job?”
“Yes,” said Boris.
“And at that time, when you shot her and sent her spinning across the room, was it your duty to make sure she was dead?” asked Duncan.
“Nnn…no. It was to get to James, free him dead or alive. Return to the rendezvous point and get out of the country,” said Boris.
“And you accomplished that did you not?”
“Then you did your duty. As for her survival, that was a fluke. Not your responsibility,” said Duncan.
“But if I had checked, double tapped her, she wouldn’t have done what she did last week!” Boris yelled at Duncan.
“And if you had taken the time to shoot her twice, would you have made it out of the building? Would you have achieved your objectives? Would you have made it out alive?” asked Duncan in the same even tone.
Boris started to answer and then stopped. He thought. “No. We might have died. We might not have made it out,” he said at last.
“Exactly. You did your job. If you had made sure she was dead, you yourself may have died. Now, move on,” Duncan said.
Boris looked puzzled. “Move on?”
“Yes. You stated that you carried out the operation along normal parameters with competent safeguards in place. James went to meet her first, to see if things could be ended in that manner, while you observed,” Duncan said leading Boris back to what happened.
“And yet the very cover you needed provided her an opportunity to snatch James,” added Duncan.
“Therefore, you started your back up plan and executed it in a professional manner,” said Duncan.
“It could have gone better. James could have not been kidnapped in the first place,” said Boris.
“Stop. Once again, no plan is perfect. This has always been your issue Boris. Learn that sometimes life is not perfect. One must be adaptable,” said Duncan. He watched Boris seem to take in what he said. “Now, the three of them are loaded into the van. You by yourself, take them to meet Garrett and set up a little entertainment for the local homeless.”
“Yes,” said Boris, the sweat now soaking the collar of his shirt.
“What really happened?” asked Duncan. “No omissions. No lies. I’m done with that.”
Boris drained the last of the tea from his cup and took a deep breath. “Ivanka was still in the back of the van. I never told Garrett how many he’d pick up. Just where. When I left, I drove out to a feed lot that had pigs,” Boris said softly.
“I knew that if I gave Ivanka to Garrett, that she would get out. That she would come back for us again and I could not let that happen,” said Boris.
“Logical. She was far too lucky. Now, what happened?” asked Duncan.
“I hauled her out of the van over to the fence by the pigs. I made sure they knew she was there. I slit her throat and fed her to the pigs, making sure to remove the plastic cuffs and duct tape.”
“No torture? No extra beatings? No rape?” asked Duncan.
“No! I eliminated her. Destroyed any evidence that she existed and then picked up Sally. From there, I called you and drove up here,” said Boris.
“Now, let me order this. You saved James, gave the bad guys to the authorities, killed the woman who should have died a long time ago, returned Sally to her husband and then lied to me. Oh, and then you ran away from yourself. Why?” asked Duncan.
“I… I don’t know,” answered Boris.
“Well, it is nearly lunch time. I’m going for a brief walk. When I return, at 1pm, I expect an answer,” Duncan said and then walked out the door leaving Boris still sitting at the table.