Train From Minsk
On a cold wet night, a long distance call alerted the Turkish Ministry of Interior, followed by many other calls to contacts in Ankara and Istanbul, from London to Madrid, Isle of Man to Moscow. Special Attaché to the Minister of Interior called on the phone to an important contact in Izmir. Oz Altintop drove in the middle of the rainy night to the bay area in Foça. He climbed a boat and there he was giving instructions sipping an ounce of Bacardi.
“Money has been transferred,” Oz told Hakan Baig. “Nineteen million dollars from the Gibraltar Bank obtained under secret Spanish collaboration is allegedly an EU donation towards roads construction in Turkey but this huge money will be collected by a KGB agent in Liechtenstein in bulk cash. It is a top secret agreement between Turkey and the USSR but the Anavatan Partisi hides any connection to the communists. Coskun is the man in Zurich with authority to pass this money to the KGB of whom we don’t have a face. Attaché asked me to protect him.”
Captain of the Bulbul trawler, Hakan Baig, wore a thick overall and a worn out cap. He suggested puffing his cigar rolled on cardboard, “Enes Berk can follow him to the KGB agent.”
“There’s a Spanish portion.” Oz Altintop said, “Two million dollars will remain in Vaduz for sometime in two different deposits. One million will be collected by Coskun and brought here to Turkey as the minister’s share. The other million is supposed to return to Spain, commission or just call it bribe money for the Spaniard and more likely it goes into his Swiss account. It could be one of the last jobs Spain manages to swindle money out of the EU since Spain is now a member.”
Hakan released a laugh, “Are you suggesting we steal the cash in the minute it turns black?”
“Soon as it leaves the money house, none falls into legal hands. There is nobody to claim or to call in the law.”
“I can call my deckhands from Hamburg. Those good Germans are lazy drinking beer. They keep hiring Turks to work in their steel hubs.”
“Indeed, but we are after the seventeen million before it falls into KGB hands. Your boys got to come down to Swiss boarder, carry weapons, cross in vehicles. Make sure of all other arrangements, CH registration or maybe hikers on bikes to Liechtenstein.”
“Swiss boarder is quite secure, no checkpoints, no passports and the good policing effort on bicycles,” said Hakan who heard about the landlocked ease. His regular ports were Italy, Greece and Cyprus. His trawler was part of the mafia.
“We have little time. I don’t have an exact date but here is the address of the money house in Vaduz.” Oz Altintop fumbled for his wallet. “If we don’t get the seventeen, we should get one million at least.”
Captain Luba Mirzoeva worked at the military air base in Belushya on Novaya Zemlya, the abandoned nuclear test sites, assigned on mission entitled to collect technical information with the 641st Guards Interceptor Aviation Regiment operating the newly launched Su-27, NATO coded ‘Flanker’ aircrafts. She was educated at the University of Idaho, in Latah County, holding a degree on high-performance computation and engineering. She could speak both English and German fluently.
She was transferred to Nadym on the previous day where construction work took place massively. Now Luba stood inside one of the most modern facilities and headquarters recently built in the region to implement projects with recent discovery of oil and gas resources in the Yamalia Peninsula, Siberia, the Urals and Volga regions. In 1989, these projects led to the formation of Gazprom holding the world’s third largest natural gas reserves. Most significant political figures like Gerhard Schröder appeared in the Gazprom payroll.
She was ushered to the largest foyer she ever entered. Colonel Andrei Pechorin, on behalf of Brigadier Alexander Balasovitch, sat behind a long table with two officers of the Red Army. She felt a little taken back on time and just turned thirty.
“You’re a pretty professional marksman, aren’t you?” Colonel asked.
“Yes sir,” she said, “First place in eight Russian competitions, seated number one for Olympic Games shooting, trained in small arms and ballistics. Eyesight is in perfect condition.” She mentioned the Los Angeles Olympic 1984 which was boycotted by the Soviet Union, unfortunately, two years ago.
Her eyes appeared cold blue and they were the best pair of eyes in the tundra of a barren Arctic region. Luba stood 5 feet 10 inches tall, in flying boots and a captain’s uniform of the 641 Gv IAP which she did not wish to give up.
“You will be leaving on a top secret mission for a couple of weeks to Austria with a group of gymnastic students from Belarus. You’ll be an aerobics instructor for the moment. Major of the Militarised Security here will join you on this journey to collect seventeen million dollars in cash for project financing. We are shifting our focus to energy issues, oilrigs, refineries, gas resources, commerce. This money is obtained from the EU but it is essential that no European Member should know about the transfer, stop it or follow it, or suspect a Red Army engagement or of our motives. All arrangements are put in place. You follow instructions from Major Zolotov. He is assisted by Customs Petty Officer Fyedor Smirnov.” Colonel introduced the two officers seated before him.
“First we need to process her travel documents, briefing and undergo a minor treatment to install the microchip in her body. We go to my office at once,” said Major Igor Zolotov who already got a microchip planted on him along with his comrade who would join this trip to Austria.
“I want to hear from you at Minsk immediately on your return.”
“Yes sir.” They dismissed Colonel Pechorin who pushed back the chair and swung to face a door on the rear wall. Someone wearing a black tunic entered the hall. He was a KGB agent planted on the collection unit.
Captain Mirzoeva was briefed by the Major, it sounds very simple; she got to carry four big suitcases full of lady’s clothes and be just the instructor. Once the cash got collected, they would return by train to Warsaw and to Minsk. That one-stop transfer at Warsaw would take place within the Eastern Bloc so there seemed no apparent danger. Nobody in the money house in Vaduz would enquire about the money. Most credibly their stay in Austria and the cross through the countryside could change matters if the whistle was blown. In that case, Major Zolotov got a plan in hand for an escape and the three would break off with the money.
Captain Luba Mirzoeva sat by a corner reading a newspaper, sipping a hot coffee. She had not removed the fur because it was cold outside. She raised her eyes and for a moment observed the white landscape with fir trees and shrubs. Luba noticed a young girl wearing a white angel dress standing some distance away, pretty unusual for someone to come out in a single peace of cotton cloth when temperature dropped to 9º Celsius. Just then Major Zolotov joined with a glass of Vodka to distract her, “This is going to be a wonderful holiday up in the autumn Alps.”
“Definitely, I love it so much. After a long time since I stepped on Europe,” she forgot about the girl for a moment. “I was in Germany two years ago.”
“I was there last year. I’m usually entitled to the diplomatic bureau so I have to travel often.”
“Fyedor is occupied with paper work. When he is done, we leave at once to Minsk and wait there a week until the visas are ready for the whole team and you will be dressed like a gypsy.”
She frowned glancing out of the window. The girl was still standing in the cold, “A gypsy! I can smell one already.” Suddenly, the girl vaporised as melting ice. “Hold on!” Luba said and walked out of the bar heading towards the fir trees. She searched for the girl but there was not a sign of her on a deserted space with not much places to hide around.
Major Zolotov asked when she returned, “What are you looking for?”
“Nothing,” she replied.
Major noticed those blue eyes of Luba appeared like seeing fright. “What are you staring at?”
“I’m not. What about the microchip?”
Major explained, “It’s a painless operation you need not worry. It’s a bio-gel injected into your earlobe, you cannot remove it. This gel activates to body heat, it is a kind of thermal fluid, lab tested, and one of those Zenit spy satellites will watch you.”
Captain Mirzoeva received this minor operation of administering the bio-gel into the epidermis of her left earlobe because she was right-handed.
Two days later, this team reached Minsk, got introduced to the mentors and the gymnasts touring to Austria, to Feldkirch in the western boarder. That made matters easy for the absolute mission since it only took eight miles to Vaduz. Moscow arranged with a school in the beautiful little village to take the group on European tour to Vorarlberg and the team waited expecting for visas from Austria.
The Italian Connection launched shortly after the Solidarity Movement created in Poland stopped at Feldkirch briefly before leaving for Milan.
It was during this week in Minsk that Captain Mirzoeva noticed the girl in a white dress had followed her. She had seen that girl twice, once in Gorky Park and next in the Opera and Ballet Theatre. Luba feared to talk about this strange appearance of that girl knowing her mission to Austria was top secret affair. No one would want to hear of spies following.
A day before the train journey, somewhere near Victoria Square Luba saw the gypsy tent behind Belarus State Circus. That night Luba entered the dim lights of the street corner and reached the gypsy tent. A rugged voice spoke from behind a curtain, “Here comes the girl from the Promised Land.”
She was offered to read a future and ushered to sit behind the crystal ball with her hands placed gently on the table surface. A luminous orange light lit under the white solid ball warming inside the darken tent with black drapery squaring the twosome within inches and a one square foot table placed before them. Gradually, the white ball turned blue and liquefying. For a split second, Gypsy Isis saw but in the eyes of Luba Mirzoeva, they turned white completely.
Suddenly, Luba shrieked grabbing at her knees. Some strange hands felt her legs. Her head knocked on the table and she fainted. She got blots of blue blood on her trousers.
Gypsy Isis never experienced this phenomenon. Somehow the crystal ball turned to stone and solid ice with cracks and splits. Typically, she would read from a vision forming on its surface. It did not happen. That night all what she saw was in the eyes of Luba Mirzoeva staring with a pair of white goggles.
She was still fainted when the gypsy placed the Tarot cards in her left palm and felt them for a moment. Then the gypsy spread the deck for a Celtic Cross.
As the tenth card was laid, ‘The Chariot’ placed in the fourth place moved on its own to the third place interchanging with ‘The Tower of Destruction’ and just happened without any visible physical mechanism. The gypsy woman realised in fair bewilderment that in this rare phenomenal spread, ‘The Fool’ happened to be the Diviner. She picked the cards together.
Luba opened her eyes.
“You are going on a long journey but somehow you’ll triumph. I really do not understand what is wrong about tonight but the girl you are seeing is your double soul and she is lost. Or she was perhaps, but not now…” she pointed a crooked finger, “She’s inside you.”
“Inside me?” asked the girl puzzled.
The gypsy nodded.
Luba shook her head unbelievably.
Gypsy Isis continued, “You are not a believer. You will soon find one day you know a different world, see things others can’t, know things others don’t and do things others won’t because your soul is transmuted to become an angel by the name of Anzala Fahsha. So be warned.”
Suddenly, the glow inside the tent extinguished along with the candles into a total blackout. Gradually, Luba could see patterns of abstract images in striking orange and red stripes in the black curtain.
Following night they set on the trip to Austria. There were three dozen girls and boys and six mentors who belonged to the gymnastic group. She got no idea but some of the senior trainers were already part of the KGB.
As the cold took inside the coach, Luba heard the loud squeal over the Walkman she was listening to in half sleep, still wearing chukka boots. Luba Mirzoeva remembered nothing of the sudden past as the train left the outskirts of the city into the grasslands in absolute darkness. Only their faces appeared on the windows in the cabin lights. She listened to a song from Joan Baez and apparently the cold frontier seemed to disappear to dawn a new world where the East ceased to exist.
“Luba, it was only the finest wine,
Means or no means,
Only the finest place to dine,
Paris in the sixties,
You had three sons,
Handsome husband by your side,
I flirted with everyone,
On his years in French Underground,
But you, Luba, the Baroness,
It was really your blue blood,
No one could touch you with kid gloves,
And no one ever should…”
Luba opened her eyes in the cold-eating dawn. Inside a poorly heated coach everyone slept snoring too loud. She realised someone’s wakeful presence so she stepped out of the couch and moved to the rear. As she passed coupe number 4, Luba felt nauseate with some misdemeanour that also reminded her status of a virgin. She paused and reached for the knob. It was locked and she did not try to turn the knob because precisely the touch brought instant vision of the cabin interior in the abstract art, at first, as if she entered a gallery but soon this image cleared to perfect sight. One of the gymnasts lay in a couch bed with a naked passenger on top of her body.
He the stranger caught a red light flashing on his wristwatch. He stopped every action and put his face at the door. Luba saw his face clearly but she did not know that he was receiving a signal of her presence. He dropped his legs. Luba turned to move and on the spot she saw the chief mentor, Viktoria Panova, watching at the far side. Viktoria Panova hurriedly disappeared from the narrow corridor.
Luba entered the water-closet that stood next to the man’s coupe. She assumed it was his coupe. Soon she discovered her eyes like white in the mirror. Luba found a golden necklace around her neck and a silver girdle on her hips wound in several folds. She took off her coat, boots and garments. She saw a black armband on her left biceps. They were solid metal but weightless. She could not remember stealing them, buying them or wearing them. Luba could hardly remember wearing a fragrance that emitted the scent of orchids coming from her skin and filled the water-closet.
The door swung open and the girl entered. Her name was Medina. She got blonde hair, green eyes and a thin figure. She belonged to Turkmenskaya. Inside the water-closet, she could not see or feel the presence of Luba who happened to be invisible that instant but she could smell the fragrance.
Medina got washed. Finding someone’s overalls left on the cabinet, she fumbled into the pockets. She smelt the coat looking for a source of scent. She found brand new ten thousand Austrian Schillings which she tucked under her panties and walked away.
Meanwhile, the odd passenger in coupe number 4 tried to listen to the water-closet by putting his ear on the panel and gave up immediately because it was loud to hear anything. He kept grasping and glancing at his wristwatch in a nervous tension. He lost the signal quite abruptly. Luba observed his actions though through the solid panel. And when the girl called Medina entered the coupe, he asked, “Where is she?”
Medina replied, “She’s not there?”
He slapped her face, “What do you mean, not there!”
She cried painfully, “She’s not there…”
Luba quickly got dressed and returned to her couch.
Minutes later, the guy left the coupe. He wore a tunic. Medina rapidly stashed the money under a bunk just in time before Viktoria Panova came in. The mentor gave her a harsh time and beaten her up. Luba heard the girl’s cry. She thought that the girl misbehaved. Medina Kalimullina was ushered out of the coupe forcefully and guided to the next coach. Viktoria held her firmly by the biceps.
Luba wasted no time. She entered the coupe in a swift move. She knew precisely where the money was hidden as it appeared in form of abstract art – the face of Sigmund Freud, the master of unconscious mind, on 50 Schilling bank notes. She retrieved them from under the bunk and got out. In her next move, she reached the exit door and stepped outside of a train moving at 80 km per hour. It was light. Luba Mirzoeva wanted to dig into this passenger who posed a stranger on the train from Minsk. Unfortunately, she couldn’t locate him and find who he was. He’d gone several coaches up. It was cold and breakfast time reached near. In two hours, the train would arrive at Warsaw.
Over breakfast, she observed the gymnasts and the trainers, all wore expressionless faces. Later when there seemed more movement around and in presence of no senior mentor, Medina stepped into Luba’s coach. Medina passed by within inches but failed to notice the white coat which she touched in the water-closet. She entered coupe number 4 in Luba’s coach.
It gave a shuddering shock to the skinny girl when somebody tapped her shoulder in the minute she reached for the bunk. “Is this what you’re looking for?” Luba was holding the bank notes. Medina noticed the white coat but paused to say nothing because she did not know who it was.
Luba asked, “Who was the person with you?”
She remained hushed.
“I give you money, a hundred Schillings. Who’s he?”
“Uri…I don’t know him.”
“Did you do it for money?” Luba asked.
The girl shook her head negatively.
“Did she ask you?”
“Aha…” the girl nodded.
Luba dropped the tip and left. The train arrived at the station.
Transfer stop took two hours at Warsaw. Luba tried to spot the character by the name of Uri and also curious about the things she was seeing recently. Luba entered a changing room in the train station to check if she could find the silver and gold on her body. She did and it was so unusual. Meanwhile, Uri who followed her was receiving the green signal on the wristwatch that showed she was in range. Then it turned to orange and red. He paused for her to come out. Then it turned back to orange and finally green. Uri thought she actually did not enter the changing room and instead passed by him down the terminal. Luba found herself passing through the solid wall. Uri lost the signal.
They continued with the journey to Austria on the Italian Connection, travelling through Prague and Bratislava, then Vienna and arrived at Feldkirch in the next morning at 1.40 hour. The journey passed without incident. The team was driven to Landeshaus in the city plaza where the hinterhofs served cafeterias and cheese markets. It was in the fall and some cool rays sprayed on the Alps with snow-capped peaks in the picturesque surrounding. Things turned to normal and the gymnasts performed in an institute at Feldkirch.
End of the week, October 17th, that was Friday, Luba Mirzoeva and the two Russians joined in a meeting at Wolff House in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. They were in company of Coskun from Turkey and Ramos Cieza, the Spaniard who arrived with the cash. Ramos Cieza would return with the share for the Spanish minister. It took many hours served with meals, cakes and lot of coffee in the conference hall when they eventually adjourned this meeting. By then, four big trunks of pink-coloured suitcases were packed with seventeen million dollars ready to leave for the Soviet Union.
Berk was in the black Fiat van parked outside Wolff House keeping an eye on the chrome-plated Ford Capri on which Zolotov arrived with his pretty partner. Still another Peugeot 205 followed and Fyedor Smirnov entered Wolff House. As hours passed, Enes Berk took a little nap.
His comrade tapped on a shoulder and Berk got up scratching his eyes and balls to see the Ford driven up. Luba and Zolotov appeared by the entrance hall with Smirnov giving a helping hand to load the pink cases. Berk realised there could be other Russians around. In his observation, Berk missed one important fact. He did not realise the weight of the bags by the way Smirnov handled them.
Igor Zolotov drove the Ford out of the ground followed by the white Peugeot driven by Fyedor Smirnov heading towards Herrengasse to climb Landstrasse and Feldkircherstrasse in the slight mist. One of those Berk vans followed them. He noticed another car, an Aston Martin, following those vehicles but Berk did not take it seriously and failed to report to his boys in Feldkirch.
Berk followed a Renault Espace that climbed Zollstrasse and headed to cross the Rhein towards Swiss boarder. Metin Coskun was in it with one million dollars and his bodyguard chauffeur. Ramos who was staying this mission in Liechtenstein took walk to his hotel. He did as instructed – transferred the money to the Spanish minister’s Zurich bank.
Enes Berk somehow took the lanes and climbed in front of the Renault van before it reached the bridge and still another Fiat followed right behind. They were moving swiftly over the road in Swiss country when the rear door of the black van opened. The driver noticed a man in hood aiming a muffled shotgun but it was too late. A bullet ripped through the windscreen and hit his face killing him immediately. The vehicles kept moving on Rheinstrasse but slowing down. Coskun was helpless at that point. He saw the Turks who climbed his van and to cause him serious fatality but only after he informed the Turkish ministry about the money safely collected. A Turk took over the steering and the three vehicles on twelve wheels kept going. They climbed off the road and changed course to Buchs where they got three different escape plans. There were trains to Bavaria, alternative vehicles, sky cabs, autobahns, aeroplanes, or bikes and carts.
Luba and Zolotov reached Landeshaus where the cars were parked on the street. They picked the pink cases and entered the motel. Each carried two pieces. Sait Levent who followed them in another Fiat realised the cash was not collected because the bags were light but it was too late. His comrades were already inside the apartment expecting the couple to walk in. He began to page them. Sait climbed down to take a closer look of what would follow next, perhaps.
Uri Chekhol stayed calmly in his car observing the whole scene. He knew they didn’t carry the cash but he just came to know of those Turks following them. He turned the hood on and checked his gun loaded. In the next move, he stepped into a booth and dialled Viktoria Panova informing about the armed men inside the hotel room waiting for Luba Mirzoeva and Igor Zolotov. Uri warned to remain calm. He knew it was blown – he got to kill all three Russians if necessary.
Sait asked for a room at the reception but the blonde girl by the counter said the place was houseful. Sait stepped out and entered a sidewalk where he knew the taverns gave good view of Luba’s room on the third floor. By then, Luba and Zolotov unlocked the door and entered the room. Shockingly, they heard silent clicks. They were both held at gunpoint by two masked men. The phone started ringing.
Zolotov dropped the two pieces of luggage to the floor. So did Luba.
“Where is the money?” one of the masked men asked.
“You are Turk,” he recognised at once.
“Shut up! Where’s the money?”
“We do not have it.” They redeposit the money to be picked on another day. The phone kept on ringing.
“I don’t know?” replied Zolotov.
“Pick up the phone and watch your tongue,” he waved the gun.
It stopped ringing as he reached for the phone. It was Viktoria Panova who gave the ring. She changed her mind to call Fyedor Smirnov. She got connected to him, “They are in trouble. I believe some Turks are with them.”
“Turks!” asked Smirnov, “Did they follow us?”
“They were behind you. Who did the banking?”
“I did,” replied Fyedor Smirnov.
“So you got to stay away from here.” She hung up and decided not to call Igor Zolotov.
In Luba’s room they sat on the burgundy sofa held by the two gunmen planning to get out of the place with the two Russians. They could collect the cash from Vaduz on Saturday morning before banks closed for the weekend.
Luba demanded, “I need a wash.”
“Let her,” said the gunman in charge, “Watch her! Stay with her.”
Then again the telephone buzzed. She paused to listen. The gunman behind her back nudged her to move. The one in charge gestured to Zolotov to pick the telephone, “Watch your tongue. One word and you die.” And he raised the gun.
Igor Zolotov answered this call passed from the operator, “Someone’s calling you, Mr Igor. He wouldn’t give his name.”
“I’m here, Zolotov,” he spoke.
The voice on the other end asked for a gunman, “Gul?”
The Turk grabbed the handset, “Yes?”
“It’s me Sait. Look! You got to pull out.”
“What you mean ‘pull out’? I’m coming with the two. We stay tonight in Switzerland. Tomorrow we pull out with the money.”
“Impossible. We got to quit.”
Luba dropped her trousers and sat on the toilet while the gunman standing by the door looked down at her. She uttered, “What are you looking at? Haven’t you seen a woman?” She started to pee undoing her brown shirt and removing them all. “Take your eyes away from me.” He slipped the mask over his eyes and grinned at her to see enough of her boobies.
Gul, as now known, insisted to carry on but Sait Levent knew they failed and got to pull out fast before it turned more trouble. They mistakenly got into a house with no money and yet they were holding the source to obtain that deposit.
The second gunman turned around to find her denim and brown shirt dropped on the carpet but she was nowhere in sight. He flung the door wide, waving his gun and searching around, “She’s gone! She’s gone!”
“Gone?” There was no possible way for her to leave the closet. “Wait!” he asked Sait Levent and joined the gunman. He returned in a moment and passed this message to the phone on hold, “She’s gone. Sait, are you there?” The line was dead so he tried to dial the number but it was engaged.
Gul sighed. “Selim, stay focused on this guy. I can’t understand how the hell he returned without the money!” He grumbled.
It was falling dark. Uri stood beside the booth observing Sait and the Fiat van parked in a distance. Sait was speaking to Gul. Uri put his gun on Sait’s head and produced a muffled shot that only sounded like a clap of hands. Sait Levent dropped the receiver and before he fell down, Uri grabbed his collar and hung him on the handset rest.
Uri used another booth to call Viktoria Panova and told her to expect police any minute to gather here in the area because Sait Levent was dead.
Luba Mirzoeva entered one of the girls’ rooms on the second floor and pulled on a white frock from Medina’s closet. She walked out from the water-closet in that tight little frock, “Mind if I borrow this?”
“Why? Where did you come from?” the gymnast asked surprised.
“I’ll explain later,” she walked out of the door.
Luba climbed the third floor using the escalator and walked down the long corridor to Viktoria Panova’s room because she did not want to cross her own door with two Turkish gunmen and Zolotov held in custody. She tapped, “It’s me, Luba. Open please!”
Viktoria Panova checked the girl standing in the corridor through the eyehole and she could hardly believe. “How did she know to come here?” she thought. She rang another instructor on the same corridor and asked to check whether she got company standing at her door. She got that confirmation before letting her in, “How did you get out?”
Luba told her, “I climbed out of the window. They let me go to wash.”
“Look! You cannot stay here. You cannot come here. I’ve got other responsibility. You’ve got to escape with Smirnov. We are expecting cops any minute now.”
“Because Uri killed the Turk outside,” she told Luba.
“Who’s Uri?” Luba asked.
“You obviously know him, remember, the train from Minsk.”
“What has he got to do?” Luba could hear the faint sirens of police cars arriving outside Landeshaus.
“I’ll call Smirnov. You two run...” she turned to the phone.
“What about Igor?”
“Leave him. What about him? It’s Smirnov who deposited the money.”
“He’s staying out of this place.”
Three others in the Fiat van got the crime scene outside Landeshaus in picture. They moved out slowly. Uri Chekhol watched them carefully. The Fiat stopped outside another booth and they paged Gul. When the call got through, a Turk explained, “Sait is dead. Killed. You’ve got to get out of that place quietly and hurry up. If you kill anyone, it will create more problems for them and for us too.”
“We cannot walk out like that! The girl escaped. There are more Russians watching us.” Gul responded angrily.
“Use him,” returned the Turk. “Forget about the money.” He hung up and climbed the van.
Gul was left with one choice but to use him under his hidden gun and walk out of the building. He took off his mask and asked Zolotov to cooperate to let them escape. He agreed to the Stockholm Syndrome. So the Turks got away with Zolotov while a crowd gathered with police cars and sirens outside Landeshaus to find out a murder.
In the next few minutes, Uri Chekhol followed Zolotov’s signal taking them away from the crime scene. Right outside Landeshaus it was a night of a murder. People gathered but nothing linked to Landeshaus so far. The police alerted a search for the murderer and the murder weapon.
Turks new they would be pointed as possible suspects everywhere they stopped. So they wasted no time. They killed Igor Zolotov and dropped him on the roadside so the police would have a lead to Landeshaus and the group of gymnasts from Russia. Uri Chekhol got the signal in zero momentum and he was closing up the body. He saw his body lying in the grass. He ran over the grass, stopped, climbed down, picked his body and put it in the dickey. He gave one last call to Landeshaus, “I can’t call you again. Zolotov is dead. I’m disposing his body.”
Viktoria said, “Smirnov did the banking. Luba is with me.”
Uri got surprised, “What’s she doing there with you? Well, ask them to pack and leave, go home. Don’t collect the money. If they stay, you are in trouble. They must reach Warsaw on their own somehow.”
Viktoria Panova passed this order to Luba who borrowed a small gun and returned to her room to do her packing. She got changed into her denim and brown shirt. She reloaded her own gun. Picked her money and thought of a way how to carry them. She remembered Medina and tucked them under her panties.
Smirnov called and Viktoria Panova gave orders to unite with Luba, pack and leave without collecting the money.
They did not check out from the hotel at the reception because Zolotov was missing. By then there was a lesser crowd around the corner lit in floods and police activity continued. They were stopped by a police checkpoint by the turn but given a pass without trouble.
The KGB agent, Uri Chekhol, did not stop there. He followed Fyedor Smirnov driving the Ford Capri with Luba Mirzoeva in the front seat. They were heading for Liechtenstein and that alerted him to pay attention. He received good signals from both agents of the collection unit on his wristwatch.
The Ford Capri stopped by Wolff House and in a flash Uri lost the signal of Luba. He concentrated on Smirnov who deposited the money. He stayed in the car. After few minutes, he lost the signal from Smirnov too. Uri climbed down the Aston Martin. It was close to ten in the evening.
Uri Chekhol stepped closer to the Ford to find no movement in Fyedor Smirnov. He picked his gun and reached the car. He found Smirnov was shot and killed. There was no sign of Luba Mirzoeva. His mind stormed. Did she defect? Should he expect to come under a gun? If she gave one call now, the police would rush after the Aston Martin which got Zolotov’s body in the dickey. Did she know that? And how the hell did she manage to get away? He knew he should step out of the scene.
Slowly, he pulled the door open to find Smirnov amputated of his right limb. “She’s after the money…” Uri found a Swiss knife she used to cut off his hand. He slammed the door and hurriedly stepped into the dark watching the money house and thinking how she would appear in the morning to fetch the money with a human limb in her handbag. She would certainly emit the signal then and it was the only one left to follow. He wondered if his car was safe to climb and drive away.
Meanwhile, Luba, in her invisible form emitted no signal because she got no body heat to activate the bio-gel, left the amputated limb on the reader machine in Wolff House. She got the vault open, the locker and the safe open. It appeared in abstract form of graphics and sparks from the electronic locks. Luba picked the money in two large plastic bags, rolled on a trolley to the fire-escape and dropped the lot to the ground. She pushed the trolley to the other side of the road. Picked her clothes and stuff from the car, paused at the Aston Martin and she received the image of her comrade Igor Zolotov lying in the dickey. She pushed the trolley and walked all the way to Feldkirch. Luba Mirzoeva arrived at the railway station some eleven miles on the contours after three and half hours.
Uri felt pretty cold standing for an hour in the dark alley. There was a moment when he got the signal from Luba but it was very faint. It disappeared too fast. He couldn’t follow her. He got busy with the Ford Capri to drive it out of sight and hide the body of Smirnov. He returned with uncertainty to his car and drove it out of sight. Uri Chekhol booked in at a hotel close to Wolff House in order to receive her signal if she showed up. He was expecting Luba to return Saturday morning to obtain the money.
Saturday morning Luba met Medina Kalimullina outside Landeshaus and escorted her to a stroll down the lanes. She asked, “Are you prepared to go to Paris with me and never return to Russia?”
Medina agreed voluntarily.
“Go, pick your stuff. You do not need clothes and bags but albums and things like that. Here’s the key for the Peugeot outside the hotel. Don’t let anyone see you. Drive up here in thirty minutes. I’ll wait for you. We walk out from the cold.”
In thirty minutes, Medina was driving the white Peugeot with Luba towards the railway station. Medina asked, “What happened to your friends?”
“Killed. You heard the murder outside? It’s Uri who killed the Turk.” Luba told her.
“Uri?” she asked amazed.
“Yes. He’s KGB, Viktoria too.”
“Uri gets a signal on his wristwatch when you appear near to him.”
“Really!” she paused and pointed to a drugstore on Bahnhofstrasse, “Stop there, I got to buy something. I thought the bio-gel in my earlobe would only give the signal to the Zenit satellite. Anyway, I must get rid of it.” It was the only shop where Luba appeared under a CCTV. She purchased a first aid kit.
She cut her left earlobe with a pair of scissors and ditched it in the railway station by the abandoned Peugeot. Medina cut her hair short and dyed in a dark colour. They were never seen again. This girl knew that Luba carried another soul of a spirit she called Anzala Fahsha that made her powers turn into an angel.
At Landeshaus this Russian case had blown. It was Sunday almost. A request from Turkey alerted the Swiss Police to look for a missing diplomat by the name of Metin Coskun who escaped with one million dollars from Wolff House in Liechtenstein. The money house was closed for the weekend but this signal alerted them to discover a theft. An amazing CCTV footage showed a trolley that rolled on its own. No alarm systems or infra-red lights that barred the solid doors got disturbed. The money was missing.
Four Russians were reported missing including a gymnast by the name of Medina Kalimullina. Police were looking for the missing people and all the vehicles, black Fiat vans, a Renault Espace van, a chrome-plated Ford Capri, a cream-coloured Aston Martin, a white mini Peugeot and a man called Uri Chekhol – a fifth Russian believed to be a KGB agent. Viktoria Panova was taken into police custody.
All these vehicles were found abandoned in the boarders and in the cities of Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria but no person was found except the dead bodies of Smirnov, Zolotov, Coskun and his bodyguard. There was a red alert notice passed to police stations, boarder petrol, customs, airports and bureaus to look for Luba Mirzoeva, Medina Kalimullina, Uri Chekhol and a band of Turks.
After two years, somewhere in Europe, Medina decided to marry a rich man and start a new life. She was captured on camera in a live telecast during a grand prix in Monaco among the crowd wearing a white coat and a white hat with a pair of dark sunglasses. She was twenty-one. She was never seen again.
The EU grants withdrawn from the Gibraltar Bank got pass with a hand of British involvement from Thatcher’s Government allegedly in favour of Mikhail Gorbachev’s economical new reforms. Panorama blew up numerous fraud cases linked to the Gibraltar Bank in the 1990’s leading to major investigations extending to the USA, Isle of Man, Ireland, London and Madrid, many offshore companies and so-called Mickey Mouse banks in Liechtenstein. This fussy case of the Russians and the Turks, simply coded ‘The Chekhol’, remained a mystery unsolved, people and money at large.