Old Friends and Enemies
I do not own the magnificent seven nor do I make any money whatsoever from this story. All copyrights apply.
Thanks to Nancy and Joy as well as my Beta readers.
Authors Note: I am a South African and I live in Cape Town so rest assured all the facts in this story are true. The language they speak in this story is Afrikaans and Ezra speaks Dutch/Netherlands, which is practically the same. This is the sequel to Common Enemy
It was a week after team sevens return to work, after the Ricky Turret incident, when Judge Travis dropped by the office and called an emergency meeting with Larrabee. The rest of the team sat at their desks and tried to keep up the pretences of working all the while casting glances to Chris office door and each other wondering what it was all about. Vin in particular had a bad feeling about it.
"It aint like the judge to just drop by without calling, and yall know how much he hates it when Chris does that to him."
The rest of the team could only nod in agreement and wait as the office door opened and the judge came out in silence. He walked out barely glancing at the rest of the team a grim look on his face; Chris expression didnt look particularly pleasant either as he looked around the office, "Conference room," he barked, "Now!"
Without question the six other men followed their leader into the large room and seated themselves around the long table as Chris stood at the head and gave a mirthless laugh, "You know that Ricky Turret incident that we all thought was over?"
"Oh lord," Buck groaned with a sense of foreboding.
Chris nodded, "Thats right, it seems our good friend Ricky is back in town."
Ezra looked up at this, "Surely not?"
"And why not?" Chris asked.
"Well he would have to be very stupid to come back here of all places and one thing Ricky Turret is not, is stupid!" Ezra explained to the men around the table looking expectantly at him.
Chris appeared to consider this and then said, "Well, someone has been using his house, his cell phone and his locker."
"Locker?" JD asked.
"At the airport, the one he used to stash his drugs when he went out of town," he looked Ezra, who nodded as he remembered from his months of undercover work, "It seems someone matching Turrets description has been seen removing and replacing items in this locker, which, as far as we know, is still registered to Rickys alias."
"Not him," Ezra insisted, shaking his head.
Chris nodded, "You might be right about that, but if not him then who?" he looked at every person in turn as if asking them each for an answer; it was Nathan who gave a possibility.
"What about his friend on the inside, the one you mentioned at the bar that time," he said nodding his head toward Ezra.
They all turned to look at Nathan as one the looks on their faces clearly indicating that they had forgotten about him and couldnt quite believe it.
"Oh, yes," Ezra drawled, thoughtfully, "One of our esteemed colleagues."
"Well, thats all very well but we have no idea who that is or even where he works," Vin pointed out.
"The judge isnt interested in our theories, hes put us back on the case because it was ours before," Chris said, "Now, if he is back in town he back in town with either a lot of drugs or a lot of cash, and hes going to need to stash it somewhere, more than likely his locker."
Ezra shook his head at this, "He only ever put drugs in the locker, money he kept at his house."
Chris frowned, "At his house? Are you sure?" he asked.
"Positive, he has a safe in his garage."
"Either way we need to keep an eye on both," Chris said, "And that means twenty-four hour surveillance," he ignored the groans that went around the table, "Well get help from the other teams but I want at least one of us at each location at all times. Understood?"
The men nodded all mentally working out how much time that would leave them for the inevitable reports and other work. Being there would always be a member of team seven in the know they would be constantly updated and in the event of Turret showing up they would all be on the scene within minutes.
"Well start with..," he grinned evilly as the men at the table slouched down in their chairs and tried to look as inconspicuous as possible. Surveillance had to be the dullest job in law enforcement and nobody had any qualms about making it known they did not want it, "Buck?" the man in question looked up innocently, "Youll take the airport locker first," Chris told him ignoring the glare, turned to his undercover agent, the man physically winced under the scrutiny, "Ezra-," Chris started.
"I know," Standish sighed, "And just for the record, you are currently a hated man."
Chris chuckled at Ezras melodramatics and turned to the rest of his men, "Dont worry boys youll all get your turns."
And they did, four days of monotonous watching pasted and Buck and Ezra had only just finished their second shift and Vin and Josiah started, when someone was spotted entering Turrets garage through the side door. Vin immediately called the rest of the team including Josiahs surveillance team at the airport; they arrived stealthily at the house within ten minutes. The garage was quickly surrounded and instead of risk his men, Chris decided on another tactic, using a loud hailer he spoke to the man inside the building, "Just for your information, you are surrounded by exactly seven federal agents, armed I might add." Larrabee waited hoping the man would panic and dash out the door, but the only answer he received was silence. Buck shared a look with his boss, who handed the loud speaker to him. Wilmington took it with a grin, "The man aint lying you know. Now dont make him have to come in there, that would only make him mad and you dont want to get Chris Larrabee mad, do you?" he said into it. This received him an instantaneous reaction from the man inside, "All right, all right! Im coming out!" came the voice from within which sounded slightly muffled but clear enough for those hearing it to know the man was decidedly nervous. He came out the side door hesitantly with his hands above his head and was instantly tackled by the closest two agents, Nathan and Josiah. Once cuffed and suitably restrained the man was escorted to the city detention centre where he was placed in an interrogation room and left to sweat, while the seven studied him from the other side of the one-way glass.
"Well he must be related to Turret," Ezra said after a while, "He could be his brother with that nose. And they have the same jaw line."
The rest of the team looked at him from this point of view and saw what the undercover agent meant; there was a definite similarity between Turret and the suspect sitting fretting to himself. Chris was heading for the door when Vin piped up.
"I get first dibs on beating it out of him if he doesnt talk," he said.
Chris chuckled, "You may beat the crap out of what ever is left when Im through with him, you have my word."
The man in black entered the room silently and took the chair opposite Turrets possible brother, the man was trying his best to appear cool but his hands where clasped tightly in his lap and the occasional nervous glances toward the one-way window wasnt helping either.
"Are you Ricky Turrets brother?" Chris asked straight out, but only after a strategic silence intended to make the man feel even more nervous. It worked. The man eyes went so wide that Chris was sure they would fall out of their sockets onto the table in front of him.
"How do you know that?" the man whispered.
Chris smiled evilly, "Whats your name, son?" he asked instead of answering the question.
The man looked for a second like he was contemplating saying nothing, then he sighed, "Oliver."
"Oliver? All right, Oliver, you want to tell me what you where doing in your brothers garage?"
"Not particularly," Oliver said in a burst of bravado, "I was picking up his money," he added quickly when he saw Larrabees expression.
"Well, his savings from the last few years. He kept it all in the safe there."
"Oliver," Chris said carefully, "Where do you work?"
Oliver winced visibly, "You should know it," he told the black clad man wryly, "You work there to."
Chris resisted the urge to groan, and then looked up sharply as something occurred to him, "What do you do there, I mean whats your exact job?"
Oliver laughed lightly, "Im the message boy on the 3rd floor, running around like a mouse all day long." There was a bitter tone to his voice and Chris felt like telling him he wouldnt have to worry about working there ever again, but didnt.
"And thats how you got the information to feed to your brother, from the messages you werent supposed to read, but did," Larrabee surmised.
Oliver Turret nodded as he smiled, enjoying the joke.
"And where is he, Oliver?" Chris asked, finally.
Oliver Turret dropped the smile abruptly and glared at Larrabee, obviously resenting the position his brother had put him in, "Cape Town," he said vaguely.
Chris looked surprised, "Cape Town, South Africa?" he asked.
Oliver nodded, looking more and more depressed by the minute, while Chris glanced meaningfully at the window. On the other side Vin turned to the rest of the team, "Anyone been to South Africa before?"
Within two days, preparations where made for team seven to go to South Africa with Oliver in tow to show them where they would find Ricky. Judge Travis made arrangements with the SA authorities for the team to have jurisdiction and the SAPS (South African Police Services) where more than happy to have this case off their hands, being busy with numerous cases already. As Oliver was only being charged with obstruction of justice they couldnt force him to come with them and instead offered him a deal, that if he came, all charges would be dropped. Their plane touched down at Cape Town International airport at approximately 9:30 the next Monday morning and having flown direct overnight the team wanted nothing more than to check into the nearest hotel. The hotel they had been booked into was The Cullinan near The V&A Waterfront, quite a posh hotel by anyones standards but affordable to them because of the weak Rand (South African currency), but they still had to share rooms with the exception of Chris who got his own room. Buck and JD shared a room only because nobody else wanted to put up with Bucks snoring or JDs idea of a clean room. Josiah and Nathan shared and that left Vin and Ezra shacked up together. Oliver was to spend the night in the holding cells down at the city police station on orders from the South African authorities, the last thing anyone wanted was Oliver to go running to his brother with news of team 7s arrival. Besides Chris had told the younger Turret brother, they would only be staying two days, three at the most, in the hopes that it would be a quick in and out, pick up Turret and put him on a plane to the nearest American soil. Chris told him this despite his own knowledge that it was never that easy and the infamously slippery Ricky Turret was bound to give them problems. They spent the night in deep slumber and where up early the next morning, with the usual complaints from Ezra, which had by now become a familiar background noise for the rest of the team. They stopped only briefly at the holding cells to pick up Oliver Turret and were told by the warden the man had been as well behaved as new born lamb, a fact which Chris was pleased to hear and added to his good mood. They managed to fit into two rented Opel Corsa Sedans and follow Olivers instructions on how to get to a suburb of Cape Town called Observatory, where they would find an old nightclub near the train station called The Planet. Oliver told them that Ricky had bought the building and was planning on renovating it; they would more than likely find him there with his architect going over plans. They parked the cars in front of the station and quickly made their way to the old nightclub. Unfortunately there was no back entrance, it being a semi-detached, a fact that lessened Chris unusual good mood. They where now forced to make a frontal assault on the building, with the usual freeze ATF shit that the entire team, save maybe Buck and JD, could not stand. And although JD was responsible for com-links, he had to be near enough to maintain contact, so he came along on this bust. Although much to his disappointment he told to stay with someone at all times and not to become involved. Sometimes he really wished he wasnt the computer expert.
Team seven stood in two groups either side of main entrance of the nightclub while they waited for further orders from their leader, who stood to the left peering around the wall at the wooden front door. Finally he looked up and addressed his team, "Vin, you go high, find a way in from the top," Vin nodded and made his way to the fire escape, "Ezra you stay here with Oliver and JD, watch for any new arrivals," the undercover agent nodded without looking at him. "The rest follow me," Chris said as he cautiously opened the front door. Not the most allusive way to enter a building but it seemed they had no other choice, though they all had to admit it did feel kind of strange just walking in the front door. Chris entered first, followed by Buck, then Josiah and finally Nathan, who left the door open behind him to prevent them getting trapped. Anybody wise enough to make an escape that way would be running straight into an undercover agent fully armed with a semi-automatic rifle, not to mention an arsenal of side arms. Upon entering they saw a large empty hall with metal walkways crisscrossing the air above it, in one corner of the space was a raised soundproofed office. The four men quickly spread out, keeping to the walls and checking the walkways sporadically, which seemed to go and come from nowhere, just part of the look. Chris saw the light was on in the dark office and motioned for Buck to follow him up the metal stairs leading to the door, Nathan and Josiah stayed down below weapons at the ready. The leader of team seven then kicked in the door giving whoever was inside no warning, he was therefore disappointed to find that, after all the caution he had exercised, the office was empty. Although he did wonder, if the nightclub is empty, where is that gunfire coming from.
Vin made quick work of getting to the top of The Planet and noted the big fibreglass world that was stuck on the roof. The roof was flat with a façade stuck to the front, giving it the look of a pointy roofed building when in fact it was modern, with a flat concrete roof. The only thing breaking the concrete was a small skylight to one corner, above what Vin assumed was an office, he was therefore only mildly surprised when two men came through the window, carrying silver briefcases and guns, moments before the sniper heard Chris kick down the door with Bucks freeze ATF following directly. Vin immediately dropped to one knee and brought his rifle up to view, as the two men ran in his direction. They didnt seem to have noticed the agent on the roof, but all that was changed with an accurate shot millimetres in front of the lead mans shoe. The man behind instantaneously dropped everything he was carrying and put his hands up, his companion however was not so wise and raised his weapon to return fire, but he didnt stand a chance. Vin shot the weapon out of his hand without even touching the man holding it, shouting, "Hold it," and stepping out of his place of concealment. At about the same time Chris climbed out of the same window the two men had exited and Ezra appeared on the fire escape behind the sniper, both looking alert with weapons ready.
"Calm down boys," Vin said without taking his eyes off of his suspects, "Got em under control."
Chris came forward then, followed by Buck who had also climbed out the window and was disappointed to find that neither of them where Ricky Turret, one was a black man and the other was white with a moustache.
Chris tucked his gun into his belt and addressed the black man first, "Wheres Turret?" he demanded. The man exchanged glances with his companion, but remained silent. The second man piped up then, after looking the man in black up and down, speaking in a language Chris could not recognize, "Wats met al die swart? (Whats with all the black?)" he seemed to be asking a question, one that Ezra answered much to Larrabees suprise.
"Wat is verkeer met swart (Whats wrong with black?)," the undercover agent shot back in the same language. The man turned to him in surprise as Ezra asked him Chris question, "Waar is Turret? (Where is Turret?)" he asked.
The man seemed to like the fact that this agent could speak his language, "Ek weet nie (I dont know)," he told him.
Ezra turned to the leader of team seven, "He says he doesnt know where Turret is."
Chris grinned mirthlessly, "Ask him what hes doing here then."
Ezra turned back to the suspect, "Wat doen julle twee hier? Dit is Turret se plek, ja? (What are you two doing here? This is Turrets place, yes?)"
The man sneered at him and said nothing, Ezra sighed in frustration, "I dont know enough of their language, its similar to Dutch but not the same. He wont tell me any more," he told Chris, who promptly glared at the men in front of him, both quailed visibly but still remained silent.
Later, after they had taken the two suspects to the Cape Town police station, they managed to find someone who spoke Afrikaans to interrogate the suspects. Half an hour after that the big Afrikaner they had found came out of the room with all the information they needed, leaving two quaking and nervous men behind him.
"Theyre Turrets men alright," Officer Smit told them, "And good for you, they gave up his current location."
"Where?" Chris asked immediately.
"Big, larny house in Clifton, very expensive neighbourhood."
"Larny?" Josiah wanted to know.
"Oh, I mean posh."
"Whats the address?"
"1253 Beach Road Clifton, its just off the main road near the beach."
Chris was silent for a moment then asked Smit, "You wouldnt happen to have a map book would you?"
Officer smirked despite himself, "Ill get one for you."
Larrabee glared at his retreating back, then turned to the rest of his team, "Hopefully this one will go a little smoother," he said with a glare for Oliver, "This time we get him and get this whole mess over with. As for you Oliver, its back to the holding cells."
Oliver sulked but Ezra seemed opposed to this option, "Mr Larrabee, there always the possibility that Turret has found out about this incident and Id be willing to bet that hes also found out where were procuring our information from. Oliver Turrets life could be in serious jeopardy, and I dont mean from you," he added just because he couldnt help himself.
Chris smirked, "Are you volunteering to baby-sit?"
Ezra returned the look, "Against my better judgement, yes. It might be best if Ricky Turret did not find out that Im ATF just yet, according to him I was arrested at The Lucky Duck."
Chris appeared to think about it, then nodded slowly, "Alright," he agreed, "Good idea, but not alone. Maybe we can get Officer Smit to come out to the hotel to help out."
Ezra wasnt about to argue but he would have preferred it if one of team seven could have stayed, but unfortunately all of them where needed for the bust going down in a few hours. The team used those hours to prepare, scouting out the house, a massive 3-storey condo, and returning to the hotel to prepare coms and arms, meanwhile Ezra called Officer Smit and requested assistance in protecting Oliver Turret. Smit checked with his captain and it was agreed that the sooner they got both Turrets out of the country the better, so half an hour later the officer arrived at the hotel room.
Team seven minus one left then, and Vin promised to let those staying behind know the minute it was over. It was hoped that the bust would take no more than a few hours because hopefully Ricky was still oblivious to their presence in South Africa. Once left alone with Standish and Smit, Oliver immediately began pacing, clearly nervous. Ezra soon became irritated and snapped. "Mr Turret please have a seat, youre in good hands," was what he snapped. Oliver stopped for a moment but didnt sit; instead he went to stare out the window. Ezra sighed in frustration and went to stand next to him, "Mr Turret," he said as patiently as he could.
"Mm?" said Oliver distractedly.
"Not by the window-," the undercover agent started to tell him but was interrupted by a knock at the door. Ezra immediately drew his gun, and Smit did the same, as he made his way to the door and stood to one side before calling out, "Who is it?"
"Room service," came the reply and Standish shared a look with Smit for the obviousness of it. But whoever was on the other side of the door was not stupid because they interpreted the silence and concluded that the game was up. They settled for kicking the door in. No one got more of a shock than Ezra, as the door centimetres from his head exploded inwards and two armed men entered the room, one turned to Standish and the undercover agent recognized none other than Ricky Turret himself. Before Ezra could even get his gun raised the gun smuggler put the barrel of his own slightly larger weapon to his throat, "Hello, Mr Simpson," Ricky said coldly as he relieved him of his Sig Sauer as well as his sleeve gun.
The other man had meanwhile disarmed Smit and brought him along with Oliver, "Ah Oliver, what have you been telling these men?" Ricky asked his brother before abruptly and calmly shooting him between the eyes. Ezra gaped unashamedly but still had enough sense to use the opportunity to his advantage, grabbing the remaining Turrets arm around the wrist he expertly twisted it around its owners back making the gun smuggler drop his gun. The ATF agent then rammed Rickys head into his associates midriff, winding the man with a small "oof" of air. Unfortunately, this caused him to pull the trigger on his gun and the automatic weapon let of a burst of fire that peppered the wall above Ezra, who quickly ducked pulling Ricky to the floor with him. The other man then turned his gun on Smit, but the South African officer had since retrieved his ankle gun and shot the man twice in the chest before he could get a shot of. Ezra, on the floor was distracted by this enough to allow Turret to elbow him in the face thus making his let go of the gun smuggler, who quickly scrambled to his feet recovered his gun from the floor and shot Officer in the thigh on the way up. He then ran back out through the smashed doorway and into the hall. Ezra meanwhile jumped to his feet, holding his bloody nose to stop the bleeding, and went to help Smit, but the Afrikaner waved him off, "Im fine, you go and get that arsehole."
Ezra nodded and followed the former owner of The Lucky Duck out the door.
It didnt take Chris and the rest of the team long to realize no one was at home. The expensive house in the upmarket area of Clifton on the beachfront was deserted and the garage was devoid of cars. Although the trip wasnt a complete waste, the surveillance photos of the hotel and the team with Oliver at the Planet that they found in Turrets office were of particular interest to the leader of team seven.
Ezra paused for just a moment when he went out into the hall; unsure of which way Turret had gone. Then he heard a scream to the left and assumed someone had spotted a gun and let loose. He ran in that direction and rounded the corner just in time to see the elevator doors close in front of the gun smuggler, who waved at him as he disappeared. Standish swore out loud and instead of waiting for another lift headed towards the stair well, running down the stairs at break neck speed, taking them three at a time, he managed to arrive at the foyer just as Turret came out of the elevator. The gun smuggler immediately let off a burst of gunfire, to which Ezra dared not return, for fear of hitting an innocent bystander. Turret had no such reservations and happily hailed the pillar Ezra was taking cover behind with bullets. That was until he ran out of bullets.
"Fuck!" the gun smuggler swore and dashed for the entrance. Ezra considered trying to shoot him, but again worried about the panicking people in the foyer, instead he gave chase out onto the street. There he saw something he was not expecting. Turret ran just ahead of him through the traffic, straight into the path of an oncoming tourist bus. Ezra just behind called out, "Turret!" but the gun smuggler could not stop in time. The undercover agent slid to a stop just in time, grazing his palms and elbows on the tarmac, and he and the driver of the bus watched in horror as Ricky Turrets now lifeless body was flung like a rag doll and landed on top of a fast approaching Opel Corsa Sedan. The Opel Corsa Sedan that happened to contain four very shocked ATF agents, namely Chris, Buck, Vin and JD, skidded to a halt. An identical car just behind them braked to a near stop and out spilled two more equally shocked agents, Nathan and Josiah. All six agents gathered round the dented bonnet of the rental to survey the body of one Ricky Turret and didnt turn as Ezra came forward stiffly, the exertion of chase catching up to him. He eventually had to risk a throat clearing to get their attention. They turned in unison and looked at him in disbelief.
"What on earth did you do to him?" Buck asked incredulously.
They called an ambulance for Officer Smit, who seemed unaffected by the bullet in his leg, and a meat wagon for both the Turrets and the bodyguard. Chris could only shake his head as Ezra recounted the events of the last few hours and Nathan tried in vain to apply anti-septic ointment to the undercover agents elbows and hands.
"How do you do it?" Nathan wanted to know, having given up on the ointment, "Somehow the suspect gets it and youre never to blame. You must have the biggest body count in which none of the deaths are actually your fault."
Ezra couldnt help but grin, "Its a survival trait Mr Jackson and it happens to work very well."