I left Vauxhall Cross on foot. Anfield had given me a stack of files in a suitcase which I carried at my side and good luck from his comfortable armchair. He'd been helpful... but not as helpful as he could have been. The documents he'd shown me on his PC had given me a very clear picture of what I could expect from my enemy but little more on his identity. I recalled what it had said.
Gender: Unknown, likely male
VDMs: None known
General: Believed to be commanding officer of an international elite mercenary company. The members are handpicked and few. There are less than ten known Stalker operatives active at this time. However, all are specialist black op soldiers recruited by The Stalker for their exceptional combat, reconnaissance, stealth, and weapons abilities. Operatives are hired out into every available warzone in the world working for the highest bidder, collecting bounty targets, performing assassinations, interrogations, sabotage missions, rescue operations, in short, anything they are paid to do provided they are paid well. Intel is unclear as to the use of the money. Apart from maintenance of the company sources suggest The Stalker stockpiles funds and works to an unknown agenda.
The "General" worried me. A free for all hire elite private platoon. Sure it was only about ten soldiers, but SCIT only comprised five members. On top of that the mercenaries would have seen repeated active service throughout the world, probably just as if not more experienced than me. Our best shooter was Crow and while their marksmanship may not stack up to Recondo level it'd be pretty damn close. They wouldn't miss their targets too often. I was SCIT's top hand to hand fighter due to my precision and efficiency but their soldiers would be just as skilled and probably younger with sharper reflexes. Next to these guys everyone else we'd ever fought would be cupcakes. If someone had hired one or two of these mercenaries to carry out a hit on us we were seriously in trouble. They'd have resources equaling ours, technology just as good, funding, weapons, training, you name it they'd be able to use it against us. I had to get back. I'd only been gone a couple of days. I could hop on a plane and get back stateside in no time. We'd prove Crow's innocence then hunt some of these black ops soldiers to find out who had hired them, and possibly locate The Stalker and his headquarters and eliminate him. That was the plan anyway.
* * *
I reached Heathrow international airport about an hour after leaving Vauxhall Cross. I headed over to the check-in desk to get myself on the plane back to the USA. Fat chance.
"I'm sorry sir, there's been a malfunction with air traffic control in the United States."
"No flights to the USA today sir."
"Satellite bug, sir, we can't get flights to the US right now."
It had already begun. They knew I was here. They knew that separating me from the team would damage the unit and they wanted to keep me out of the States. They must've hacked the satellites or the transmitter channels. One way or another I wasn't flying back to America today.