12A.The Epilogue. Simon Neidermyer’s Country Estate, Hampshire, England
Waving as the embassy car drove away from the front door of the mansion house and on down the long drive to the main road, Simon Neidermyer sighed heavily. It had been a long tiresome evening entertaining the Yemali Ambassador, but he supposed it had been worthwhile, at least for now. Turning as the car’s red tail lights disappeared into the dark Hampshire night; Neidermyer walked back into the house and pulled the front door closed behind him.
“Will there be anything else this evening sir?” Neidermyer’s butler asked.
“No,” Neidermyer paused as he headed for the door to his study, “no, that’s all.”
“Good night then, sir,” the butler replied.
With a terse ‘good night’, Neidermyer opened the door and walked into his study before closing the door firmly behind him.
His study was the only place in the house that he felt he could truly be alone. Walking across the expensively furnished room to the table that stood in the centre of the room. Neidermyer helped himself to a brandy from the tray that had been placed next to his prize chess set; an antique that had cost him a small fortune. Looking at the chess board he contemplated his next move in a game he’d been playing against himself over the last few weeks. He found chess so much like his business deals. The opening moves as each player sort out the other’s weaknesses and then the triumph of having his opponent at his mercy as he moved in for the kill. Standing over the chessboard, Neidermyer sniffed at his fine old brandy as he reached out to move one of the pieces across the board. Before he’d even touched the piece the door behind him opened.
“Yes, what is it Andrews?” Neidermyer asked not bothering to turn around and look at his butler.
“There will be something more tonight Neidermyer,” Cordy slipped into the room, gun in hand, and closed the door quietly behind her; she looked down at the board, “go ahead make your move.” Cordy watched as Neidermyer moved the black knight, “That’ll be mate in two,” she smiled she'd taken chess lessons from Faith, “I’d like to see you get out of that….but that’s for some other time, right?”
Cordy pointed her pistol at Neidermyer as he turned to face her; she had to give it to the bastard, he didn’t look even one little bit scared of what she might do. Perhaps he thought he could talk himself out of trouble.
“There are six servants in the house,” Neidermyer told her as if that was going to deflect her from what she’d come to do.
“Six?” Cordy replied slightly surprised, “I’d guessed ten,” she grinned, “how do you make do?”
“What do you want Chase?” Neidermyer snapped; Cordy was surprised that he’d even bothered to get to know her name. “I know you’re dying for me to ask, so, how did you get in here?”
“US Army Rangers do a very good course in breaking and entering and how to disable security systems,” Cordelia pointed out, “you’re not very safe out here. I’m sure you're dying to know how I got out of Yemalia.”
“Oh I am indeed,” Neidermyer took a step towards Cordy but she just backed up a little and pointed her silenced pistol at the middle of his chest, Neidermyer came to a halt still two yards away from her.
“Look,” Cordelia sighed, “if I gave you a blow by blow account we’d be here all night,” she explained, “lets just say it wasn’t easy…but it helps if you have friends in high places.”
“Ah,” Neidermyer smiled, “the CIA connection.”
“And other people,” Cordy nodded; the Watcher’s Council people had been more than helpful too; they’d made the surviving mercenaries disappear even when the CIA and their home governments wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole.
“You are a great deal of trouble, Miss Chase,” Neidermyer relaxed and smiled, “I have contracts out on you and your friends
all over the world…”
“Won’t do you any good,” Cordy shrugged, “but first I have my own ‘contract’ to worry about.”
“What, me?” Neidermyer almost laughed but stopped himself when Cordy moved her pistol and reminded him that he was in danger of being shot at any moment. “Perhaps we can come to an arrangement
“Yes we can,” Cordy sneered, “you owe people a great deal of money, there are eleven men still alive and I haven’t started to count the widows and orphans yet,” Cordelia smiled and gestured to the painting hanging over the fireplace, “let’s have a look in your safe…very quietly.”
Neidermyer turned towards the painting with its concealed safe and hesitated.
“Don’t worry,” Cordy reassured him, “I disabled the alarm in the frame…like I said you’re not very safe out here.”
Walking over to the fireplace, Neidermyer moved the painting like he was opening a closet to reveal the safe. Turning the dial on the safe’s door he quickly had it open to reveal the bundles of neatly counted money inside. Taking a cloth bag from her jacket pocket, Cordy tossed it to Neidermyer.
“Put the money in the bag,” she ordered; Neidermyer hurried to comply stuffing the cash into the bag, “Jeez,” Cordy whistled, “thousand dollar bills, I bet the Secret Service and the Treasury have been wondering where that’s been.” Satisfied she’d got all the cash, Cordelia rested her back against the wall and relaxed a little, “Okay, tell me about this arrangement?”
“There’s five-hundred thousand dollars there,” Neidermyer told her thinking that her type
were easily bought and sold, “about a tenth of what I owe you and the survivors…now I’ll lift all the contacts on you and your friends and pay you the balance in cash wherever you choose.”
“And I trust you?” Cordy asked, she couldn’t stop the incredulity she felt that Neidermyer thought she was stupid enough to accept his offer, from slipping into her voice.
“You do,” Neidermyer nodded.
“And I don’t kill you,” Cordy clarified.
“Correct,” Neidermyer smiled thinking he’d got Cordelia where he wanted her; he was unaware that Cordy had little interest in money...she had so much of her own, she didn't want his.
“No,” Cordy sighed heavily as she pushed herself away from the wall, “you know I had this speech ready,” she explained. “It was all about honour and duty and all that good stuff you and your kind don’t understand, I’ve been rehearsing it for a couple of weeks, it was pretty darn good; Faith would have been impressed, you’d have been impressed. But now I’m face-to-face with you I don’t really want to go through all that.”
Neidermyer started to look worried as Cordy continued to explain how she felt.
“You see I wouldn’t mind taking your money, but to have you offer me money for your life,” Cordelia shook her head, “what with Faith and all those other guys lying dead all over Africa it’s like degrading, you know?” Cordy paused for a moment before adding, almost sadly, “So I turn down your arrangements.”
“I see,” Neidermyer actually smiled at Cordy, he turned full on to her from about six feet away, “I suppose you’d better kill me then!”
He didn’t think for a minute that Cordy would actually fire he’d convinced himself that this little ‘whore’ of a Marine could be paid off. So it was with some surprise that he saw Cordy lift her weapon and aim it at his chest.
“Yeah I suppose I better had…” Cordy said sadly as she aimed her gun, “...if not for my own peace of mind, then in memory of Faith.”
“No!” Neidermyer cried realising he’d miss read his opponent, he raised his hands in a defensive gesture, “No, wait a minute I…!”
The pistol bucked in Cordy’s hand and there were two soft *PHUTS!* as the bullets hit Neidermyer in the chest and his blood started to stain the front of his expensive suit. Picking up the bag of money she went to stand over Neidermyer’s body, pointing her pistol she fired once more into his head, right between his eyes.
“For Faith,” she told herself before walking over to the French windows and on out into the night shrouded garden.
Walking swiftly around to the side of the house she saw Shaun Fynn waiting in his car. Stuffing the pistol into her pocket, Cordy walked over to the car, opened the passenger door and got in as Shaun started the engine.
“Do I have to ask how it went?” Shaun asked.
“No,” Cordy shook her head.
“Thought not,” Shaun put the car into gear and drove off out of the estate and back towards London.THE END.
Author's note: 'Taps' possibly the very last story in the 'Faith in the Army' Series follows almost immediately.