Pine has defied Burr’s order to come in from undercover and is determined to bring Roper down.
We open with Roper and Pine flying to a place known as The Haven. Roper explains that after being in the army he should “feel very much at home”. Roper hands Pine a coded summary of the entire operation, advising that International Enforcement Agency operative Angela Burr has a copy of it, and with only Sandy Langbourne and himself having access to it, he asks how did Burr get it? To his credit Pine doesn’t even register at the mention of Burr’s name. Roper advises that Apostole is “no longer with us” and Pine suggests they cancel the operation. Roper says no, they just need to find the leak and ask if it’s him (Pine).
Kasimli, Southeast Turkey: The group has landed and Pine is introduced as Birch, who we shall refer to as that from now on (stay with us, it gets confusing). Heading out to the Haven they pass through the refugees. Birch asks about the taxis on the side of the road, and they’re for the “aid workers who can’t get to the airport quick enough”. As they drive through Roper notes their “little contribution to the Safe Haven for the wretched of the earth”. They have photos taken of Roper handing out aid to the refugees. As they continue on to the base, Roper tells Birch it’s their justification for being there so no one asks about their other activities.
Haven: Birch takes the whole camp in and Roper advises Birch “you’re in charge of the fireworks display, do your homework make sure you know what you’re selling”. Langbourne hands him the file with the weapon specs on it.
London: Mayhew is called to see the Permanent Secretary, and is advised that the Palace has been in touch. It’s hinted he could take a role as Private Secretary to the Queen. Burr’s team is frantically searching for where Pine has gone when Mayhew arrives. Burr runs her op information to Mayhew and he pulls her aside to advise that he is no longer managing enforcement agencies, effectively leaving Burr out in the cold.
Haven: Roper and Birch are dressed in military clothing, and Roper explains how they train and offer mercenaries as well as arms deals. Roper arrives to the mess and his various soldiers, and introduces Birch. They talk about why they became mercenaries. Langbourne and Birch chat about how Roper is treating Langbourne like “I just shot his mother”. Birch says Roper is worried about the “rotten apple” and Langbourne laughs it off. Later that night, a convoy of cars heads across the desert. Bagharti and his men hop out and Birch greets them. Everyone is seated and with a little flare and flair, they blow up a car and then they proceed to show off a bevy of weapons’ firepower, which lights up like a Christmas display. Nothing quite as pretty as napalm at night! As the sun comes up, and Birch walks Bagharti to his car, he notes the truck’s licence plates. He then sneaks off and makes a note of them in a notebook.
The convoy of trucks then takes off to the Syrian border.
London: Steadman believes Pine/Birch is so far in he has defected and that the IEA should burn him. Burr is unsure and suspects she is under watch too. Steadman advises her Limpet has been mothballed, he is off back to the USA. They realise a lot of people don’t want them doing this operation. He tells Angela to go home and rest, she is now heavily pregnant.
Haven: Corky arrives at the Haven with Jeds in tow. Roper is happy with the arms travel progress and proposes a toast, when no one responds; he screams at the group. Tensions are high. Roper knows someone at the table (Birch, Jeds, Corky, or Langbourne is the leak). Jeds and Birch make small talk, Corky takes a dig at the pair about their cottage liaison. Corky tells Birch that the fact he and Jeds are there doesn’t augur well for anyone.
Angela Burr makes her way home late at night and discovers Mr Burr has been busy prepping the nursery. Her phone rings and it’s Dromgoole, calling from outside her house. Burr is suitably shaken. Talking on the doorstep, Dromgoole asks about the papers and Burr denies any knowledge. Dromgoole knows about Limpet having an inside man, and explains that it’s not as easy as just bringing down Roper, and threatens her safety if she continues to follow the operation.
Lights are out at Haven: Jeds questions why she is there. Roper accuses her of being the spy. Security discover the genny has been deliberately tampered with. Roper goes with them to look, Birch sneaks in to Roper’s tent to see Jeds, she wants him to take her away, but of course he can’t. He reveals he is British Intelligence. He tells her everything. They have to let Corky take the blame. He promises to get Jeds out and with a kiss is gone. Roper returns to Jeds. She tells Roper she took a photo of the list with her phone. She tells him it’s because she wanted to know what he does for a living. She tells him it was there for a week before she deleted it, and that she showed no one. She then implicates Corky knowing about it. Turns out our Jeds is a lot cleverer than she has let on.
Under the cover of darkness, Birch manages to get beyond the fences. He makes his way to the taxis he saw earlier and pays the driver to take the truck information to Istanbul.
Shots ring out in the night, terrifying Jeds; is that Birch or…?
Slipping back in to camp, Birch is discovered by Corky. The pair wrestle and Corky has the upper hand, but Pine’s skills eventually win out. Discovered by the other guards, Birch yells that he caught Corky coming back in through the fence, they race off to get Roper but Pine kills Corky with a crack of his ribs. They bury him quickly and quietly.
Istanbul: The taxi driver delivers the information to Burr’s team. While in London, Burr is overjoyed at the information and calls Mayhew. They have three hours to get a team in place to stop the weapons cache. When she approaches Mayhew, he tells her the operation is off. She pleads to him and he agrees to sign off on it.
Washington: Steadman in his office receives the news that Limpet is happening, the coded name for bringing down Roper. Steadman makes a call to get the trucks in place, he advises Burr. They set up to watch the operation.
Haven: Back in the command centre, Roper’s mercenaries track the trucks to the border, they too are watching the operation. All the while keeping a very cool eye on Birch, is that because he’s very cool for a man who just killed someone one? Roper brings Jed in to watch the trucks cross the border.
As tensions mount, the trucks marked with United Nations logos are stopped and searched… all they find are grain and other agricultural equipment. The plan has been foiled. Roper has tricked everyone. Steadman thinks Pine has turned, Burr worries Roper knows it’s him.
Angela comes home to a dark house that’s been ransacked, her husband has been beaten. Her warning she got too close.
Back at Haven, the team prepare to clear out, and Birch is still unclear just what happened. Roper tells him they knew they were being watched so the arms were never there. He calls Hamid, and they set off to Cairo.
Could all Pine/Lunden/Quince/Birch’s plans be about to come undone as we end up back where we started; at the Nefertiti Hotel?
Apart from writing for 4YE, Jacie has her own blog https://thejaciea.wordpress.com/ and is also on twitter @mrsjanderson.
When not fangirling over Marvel, DrWho, Shakespeare,Tom Hiddleston, Richard Armitage, Game of Thrones and a large list of pop culture,Jacie listens to a lot of wide and varied music (preferably on vinyl) and is also currently writing a fiction novel a well as dabbling in FanFiction.
In between all that she finds time to be a mother and the occasional acting gig.