Cassidy sat in the midday sun, outside a small Parisian cafe. Tony joined her with two cups, one coffee and one tea.
"Okay the meets been arranged, he thinks Saunders, me is here on a business trip and wants to take the chance to meet him"
"You're sure he's never met him, aren't you?"
"Well that's what our intel tells us, if he has met him before it's likely to be a short meeting"
"God Tony, be careful"
Just as Cassidy spoke a slight wind blew across the cafe frontage. It blew a paper coaster on the floor. Tony scooped down to grab it. As he dipped a bullet short over his head. The cafe window shattered in to a million tiny shards, flying in all directions. Tony grabbed Cassidy to the floor, they crawled behind a large plant pot with a tree growing out of it. More shots rang out, the pot shook heavily. Cassidy spoke.
"Tony what's going on?"
"Russians I expect"
"Russians? I thought you said they were mostly harmless"
"Yes, exactly! They're mostly harmless, these however are the harmful ones"
"I thought you also said that no one knew we were here"
"Yes I did say that didn't I. We'll discuss this in more detail if we get out of here"
"Don't worry we will!"
Tony grabbed her and pointed to the doorway. They made a run for it. More shots rang out piercing and splintering the door frame as they passed. They took cover in the cafe.
"I'm not so sure I like Paris after all Tony"
"Well next time... we'll try Paris, Texas instead".
By now the French police were arriving sirens could be heard in the distance getting louder by the second.
"Come on let's go"
Tony walked towards the front door. Cassidy frowned and looked at the back door.
"Tony shouldn't we go out the back?"
"Don't worry we're safe now, the Ruskies are long gone"
"How do you know?"
"Because if I was the shooter, that's what I would have done. Come on"
They walked out of the front and disappeared round the corner, just as the police screeched to a halt in front of the cafe.
"Is this all you guys do, just go around trying to kill each other?"
"Well there's rouge elements in all government military departments Cassidy, even yours. Especially yours actually. The Russians are just particularly pissed with me at the moment after an incident in Georgia"
"What kind of incident?"
"Look, I'm Sorry Cassidy you haven't got the clearance"
"What! WHAT! Haven't got the clearance. I'm your partner god damn it. I..."
"Okay calm down, it was a joke. I slept with the wife of a senior Russian party member. When he found out he came after me. He found me in a bar and wanted to talk about it. It didn't end well for him"
"Oh great so now we're getting shot at because you can't keep your pants on, what did you do kill him?"
"No. He used to beat his wife, so I returned the favour"
"Talk about holding a grudge. He sends men half way round the world to kill you"
"Don't worry the bloody Russians can't shoot strait anyway, there mostly harmless"
They returned to Tony's apartment. Tony went to get changed. He looked himself up and down in the tan suit. It was not a colour he would choose. He opened the large oval box on the side and removed a large ten gallon hat. He placed it on his head. He ran his finger around the rim as he studied himself in the mirror. He walked out.
Julie was the first to see him, she ran her hand down his jacket lapel then she put her fingers to her lips, made a kissing sound and fanned her fingers out in front of her mouth.
Julie nodded and winked at him. Cassidy walked in.
"Howdy cowboy, are you ready to knock 'em dead?"
"Well little lady, I think I'm ready as I'm gonna be, fool me, can't get fooled again". He laughed.
"George W Bush said it"
"Okay none of that nonsense, Tony. I know they're a little strange in Texas, but keep it real okay".
"Have you done your homework?"
Tony was now in full character.
"Yes ma'am I have"
"Where was you born?"
"Okay let's get the makeup on you"
They had to make Tony look fifteen years older. Cassidy placed small silicon prosthetics around his eyes. Then she put on makeup to hide the edges. His eyes looked wrinkled and old. After about an hour he was ready.
He arrived outside the villa that looked over the south coast beach. He was greeted by Francois Demont, Saunders supply line contact.
"Ah. Mr Saunders, so nice to finally meet you, how was your trip?"
"Great, now cut the crap boy, the boss wants to know if your handling the situation down here alright"
"Well I can assure you Mr Saunders that our operation is second to none. We can move merchandise anywhere you need with a minimal time window"
"Good... well I tell you boy, you've got good living down here"
"We run a tight ship, Mr Saunders".
"Good he'll be pleased to hear that, he wants to come and see you himself, sometime soon"
"Ramzi is coming HERE! When?"
Tony ignored him, he could hear the panic in his voice. The meeting continued for about 30 minutes then Tony left.
Tony arrived back at the apartment. Julie was relieved, she hugged him. Cassidy came through.
"Thank God your safe, how did it go"
"I got a name"
"It's not good news"
"Why! Who is it?"
"Ramzi, Khalid Ramzi to be precise"
"Al Qaeda, Khalid Ramzi?"
"The very same, he works out of Iraq. It's not good news for us"
"I'm not very welcome there at the moment"
"About two months ago I tried to kill him. When he found out who it was, he wasn't pleased to say the least. I think there's still a bounty on my head"
"So how dangerous are we talking"
"Well somewhere between very and extremely. I still have friends there though. There's a lot of people that want Ramzi dead, it's just a case of persuading them that killing Ramzi is preferable to drawing the bounty".
"Are you likely to be able to persuade them?"
"Well, I've spent a lot of time with those guys, so maybe"
"That's it, maybe. Maybe are our best odds?"
"Maybe's good, it's certainly better than definitely not!"