The mission was clear: track down all NR members and associated people and—if necessary—eliminate them. But before Kelly could do that, she needed to contact the other three members of her team. She sent a copy of Jean Fey's update to Akira who was still in the field tracking down a data-mule somewhere in Tokyo. Kelly sent another copy of the update to Yuri and Boris in Moscow.
Not long after, a videocall came through and Kelly patched it to the glass screen interface. A lean yet rugged-looking man in a heavy winter jacket appeared on the other end, standing outside and dusted in snow.
'Captain, I hear we've got new intel,' said the man.
'That's right Yuri, we need you and Boris back in Tokyo, ASAP.'
Yuri murmured something in Russian, then said, 'That might be a problem, captain. Boris has gotten himself into some shit. Idiot went and got captured by the fucking Bratva.'
'The Russian mafia?' said Bec, alarmed.
The Solntsevskaya Bratva were the chief most powerful organised crime syndicate in the Russian mafia. Bec knew that the Russian mafia in turn had agents working from Australia who were tied to Australian syndicate, and one agent in particular who Kelly believed was associated with Bec's old boss.
'What about Dimitri Aleksandrovsk?' Kelly demanded.
'The lead was solid' Yuri went on. 'He was with the Bratva, then disappeared about a year ago, right when you said he would. Boris was fleshing out the details when his cover was blown. No doubt they're probably going to interrogate him.' He scowled and scratched his nose. 'How do you want me to proceed, captain?'
Kelly's decision was swift and absolute.
'Stand by at the safehouse. We're on our way.'
The screen cut out.
Kelly looked at Rebecca and said, 'How good's your Russian?'
'I can't speak Russian.'
'I thought so, well, hopefully you won't need to.'
'We're going to Moscow?'
Kelly headed to her room, looked back and said, 'Affirmative. Bring a jacket.'
Turbulence kept Rebecca from sitting still—that and her memories of Robb, playing over and over again in her mind as she tried to fathom what the hell he'd been doing with NR. Her thoughts, this small chaos in her mind, made the ten-and-a-half-hour direct flight from Tokyo to Moscow seem just a little bit longer. As the plane began its descent into the snowy city Rebecca peered out the window at vast fields of white and grey. She had never seen so much snow before.
Yuri waited by a black Sedan parked near the runway. As Rebecca stepped off the plane a gust of icy wind lashed at her jacket and beanie. Kelly and Connor seemed unphased by the cold.
'Hello,' said Yuri, and he shook Rebecca's hand. 'We never officially met. My name is Yuri Petrenko. Welcome to Moscow.'
They entered the Sedan – Kelly in the passenger seat and Connor next to Rebecca in the back. Once they were moving, Yuri driving them to the Moscow safehouse, Kelly said, 'How bad is the situation?'
'With Boris?' Yuri shrugged. 'Bratva has kept him locked up in a train yard for two days. Don't know if they plan on moving him on the train or not.'
'Either way we'll have to act quickly.'
'Don't worry. I've been working on a plan for extraction.' He glanced at Bec through the rear-view mirror. 'The weather here clearly doesn't agree with you. Where are you from?'
It was warmer in the car but not by much. Rebecca thought she'd hidden her shivering.
'Australia,' she said.
Yuri chuckled in response and said, 'Well, you will get used to the cold.'
In truth Bec didn't really mind the cold, because she realised that she was afraid, and the cold helped to hide that fear. She'd dealt with criminal organisations before, but the prospect of facing off against the Russian mafia seemed like something else. To say she lacked confidence in her dear captain was probably an understatement. But then again, she valued her life, and if playing ball was what it took to get out of this alive, then she would follow Kelly's orders, like a good little soldier.
A fuzzy bird's-eye-view image of the trainyard slowly rendered on Rebecca's laptop. A maintenance road ran the length of the train track that meandered away to the east and disappeared into a tunnel. She observed two large warehouses and smaller buildings like sheds and offices. In the corner of the trainyard a cemetery of rusted locomotives were strewn about like the corpses of iron giants. To the south, facing the main entrance, the rocky snow-covered terrain sloped upwards providing a perfect lookout over the entire mission area.
The satellite surveillance performed a geographic scan that converted the image to a 3D map which Rebecca uploaded to the main holoprojector. Kelly paced slowly around the map, her eyes crawling over every detail. Yuri stood with his arms crossed, also carefully observing the map.
'This is pretty good,' the Russian said, approvingly.
Rebecca sat on the couch. Connor on the other side.
'So, Yuri,' said Kelly. 'You have a plan?'
Yuri stooped over the map.
'I do, captain. During recon this morning the Bratva had Boris here,' he pointed to a tiny square on the map. 'I think it's some kind of small office. Security looked to be lacking but you know very well not to underestimate a Russian with a gun, especially these cowboys. This train is the real problem. It is armed to the teeth,' he pointed it out. 'I saw fifty-calibre machineguns. The train is obviously meant for delivering precious cargo. Too dangerous to bring a helicopter anywhere near this thing. I'll have to go in posing as Bratva, sneak Boris out of there and use a getaway car to get us out of the hot-zone for extraction.'
'Alright,' said Kelly. 'In that case, I'll run overwatch, here,' she pointed at a sniping position in the hills above the trainyard. 'Rebecca, I'll need you with me. Connor, you'll be our getaway man.'
Working these missions was going to be exactly the same as running tech support for certain 'jobs' Bec worked on back in the day, except that this time she'd be closer to the action. The excitement grew like a bubble in her chest, becoming more and more intense as they spent the next hour preparing. Then Kelly issued the dispatch order, Bec collected her laptop, and they went out into the cold.