The Angel

The Angel by Mark Dawson

Book: The Angel by Mark Dawson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mark Dawson
and laid down suppressing fire. He fired six shots before the gun clicked empty.
    McNair grunted with effort. Pope turned and saw him hauling the dead man, face first, around the corner into the Central Lobby.
    ‘Scouse,’ he hissed, hoping that his words wouldn’t carry to the lob by.
    ‘I’m here.’
    ‘Does he have grenades?’
    ‘No.’
    ‘His Uzi? I’m dry.’
    McNair appeared around the edge of the wall and slid the dead man’s machine pistol down the corridor. It came to a stop adjacent to Pope’s recess. He reached out with his toe, snagged the bungee cord and dragged it to him. He collected it, checked that the magazine was properly engaged and leaned with his back aga inst the recess. They couldn’t have very long. Either the attackers would get into the chamber and do what they had come to do, or if they had more grenades, they would roll a couple more toward him, and maybe he wouldn’t be so lucky the next time.
    ‘Control?’ McNair’s voice was weaker.
    ‘I’m here.’
    ‘Ready?’
    He tried to compose himself for what he knew McNair was about to do.
    ‘Good luck, Scouse. Been an honour.’

    Ibrahim aimed his Uzi at the entrance to the corridor. If anyone was foolish enough to follow him out of it, he would pepper him.
    The Commons Lobby was about forty-five feet square, with a door at each side and all four sides formed alike. Each was divided into three equal parts, the central of which contained a deeply recessed doorway, while the remaining parts, which included the corners, were divided into two storeys. Mo was at the double doors that offered access to the main chamber.
    ‘Come on!’ Ibrahim shouted.
    ‘The doors—’
    Mo took aim at the doors and fired a blast from the Uzi. Chips of wood were thrown into the air, each impact marked by a little explosion of sawdust, but the door was too solid to be disturbed by the small-calibre rounds.
    ‘They’ve locked themselves inside.’
    Ibrahim glanced at the door. He set his Uzi on the ground and unhooked the bag that he wore around his waist. He unzipped the bag and took out two fist-sized portions of military-grade plastique explosive, the fused detonator and the battery.
    ‘Cover me.’
    Nazir grinned. He turned on a diagonal so that he could cover the door to his right and the door from which Ibrahim had entered. Mo and Abdul faced in the opposite direction so that they could cover the door to the left and the main door. They couldn’t see down into the corridor where Faik had been killed without presenting a target, but if anyone tried to storm the lobby, they would be able to shoot them before they got very far.
    Ibrahim took the plastique and tore off the strip of adhesive backing. He had taken two steps towards the door when he heard a loud shout from behind him.
    ‘Hey!’
    He turned.
    A large white man had staggered out of the corridor.
    He was wearing a pair of suit trousers, a bloodstained white shirt and a suicide vest.
    Faik’s vest.
    The trigger was in his hand.
    Nazir raised his gun.
    ‘Don’t shoot!’ Ibrahim screamed. If a bullet struck the vest, it would set off the explosives.
    Nazir fired and missed, but it didn’t matter.
    The man pressed the trigger, closing the circuit and sending an electrical charge to the detonator.
    The vest exploded. Ibrahim was picked up by the blast and tossed across the lobby. As he slammed against the wall, he was just vaguely aware of another huge, tearing explosion. The last thought that passed through his mind, obliterating even the promise of heaven and seventy-two virgins, was that it was his own vest.

Chapter Twenty
    I t had been easy enough for Aamir to get away from the area. The streets around the Houses of Parliament had been chaotic. He had turned onto Whitehall and run all the way to Trafalgar Square. He had made it to the Cenotaph when the first unmarked police car screamed by, its lights flashing and siren wailing. He stopped for breath when he was at the entrance to

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