Fiction

AFTER THE FACT (HCC 32)

The Hannah Carmichael Chronicles

Your Briefing:

Hannah Carmichael has witnessed a murder. While undercover in the crooked spy agency, CGT, and retrieving a USB containing important information, a shooting killed someone close to Hannah. Evelyn Carmichael, Hannah’s mother, still wants the USB and Hannah is more determined than ever to stop CGT and her mother’s terrorist attack. So who died? Was it Zeke, Hannah’s husband, or Ian, her ex-boyfriend?

THIRTY-TWO

Hannah opened both arms at her sides, waiting as the full body scanner bathed her in a red glow. She exhaled as the electronic voice confirmed her identification and she moved through the machine, making room for Stephanie after her.

“Are these precautions necessary?” Hannah asked Anthony, as she stepped into the new CGT headquarters.

He nodded, “afraid so Hannah. After what happened with Moroz a few weeks ago.” Anthony paused and gave Hannah a sympathetic smile. “I’m so sorry about Ian.” He said softly. Hannah nodded and started following Anthony as he gave them a guided tour of the building.

From the outside, it said this was a corporate investment firm, but as Hannah moved past the reception and security area, it was clear this building was made for more. As they settled into a briefing room, Anthony scanned his fingerprint on a reader at the head of the conference table, the mission details regarding Evelyn popping up on a large screen.

“So, we’re still chasing down leads on Evelyn Carmichael.” Anthony lowered glasses which were perched on his nose and looked at Hannah. “Especially after Ian’s death.”

She rolled her shoulders and straightened slightly. “Yes. Evelyn needs to be taken down.” She said, her voice firm and cold. Anthony nodded and turned back to the screen.

“Is there any word on what she did with Zeke?” Anthony asked, pulling up Zeke’s file.

Hannah took in a quick breath. “With everything surrounding Ian’s death, I didn’t get a chance to mention that in the course of chasing down leads, Zeke popped up.” Hannah kept her voice low and watched Anthony’s eyebrows shoot up.

“Really?” He asked, sitting and leaning forward. “Where was he?”

“According to Zeke, he was being held in a small, remote cottage by a few of Evelyn’s men.” Hannah took a breath and tried a smile, “he managed to escape when they were distracted by the fire at her Safe House.”

Anthony smiled and stood, clapping his hands together and rubbing them. “That’s great news Hannah.” He reached for the keyboard and typed in a command. Zeke’s heading of ‘missing’ changed to ‘location known’ and he closed down the file.

“I’ll bet you’re glad to have him home.” He smiled and she nodded. Turning back to the screen. Anthony used the keyboard to switch back to Evelyn’s file.

“Now we can focus all our attention on stopping Evelyn.” Anthony turned and raised his left eyebrow. “Do you have the USB drive?”

Hannah heard a hint of desperation in his voice and she balled up her fist under the table. Taking a small breath, she plastered a smile on her face, “yes I do.”

Anthony exhaled and handed out his palm. “We need to go over that with a fine tooth comb to find out exactly what Evelyn is going to do.”

Hannah didn’t move and Anthony frowned.

“Is there another reason you don’t want to give me the drive, Hannah?” Anthony’s voice was low and she smiled softly.

“No, of course not.” She reached around her neck and pulled the drive off the chain. Slowly, she held out the USB and Anthony reached forward, clutching the only clue to Evelyn’s attack.

Author’s Note:

Thanks for reading this week’s instalment of the Hannah Carmichael Chronicles! Hannah will be back soon for the next part of her adventure – we both look forward to seeing you there!

Christy Grace

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