Authors: Chris Ryan
‘You will be forcing an entry, won’t you?’ Zak asked quietly.
Gabs smiled. ‘We’ve never let you down yet, have we, sweetie?’
There is not one flashbang, but two. Even though he is half expecting them, the shock of them almost knocks Zak sideways.
The next bang comes from a gun. A round from the direction of the door smashes into the spotlight that is lighting up the room. It is plunged into darkness, but only for a second.
There are two figures at the door. They’re carrying assault rifles. Fitted to each rifle is a powerful Maglite torch that cuts a directional beam through the darkness.
Voices. One male, one female, shouting at Rasnovic and his crew to hit the ground. No more rounds are fired, but the air is suddenly filled with dull thuds as fists and boots meet stomachs and knees. After the beatings Zak has endured, he can’t help feeling a certain satisfaction that his tormentors are getting a taste of their own medicine.
He hears Scott whimpering on the floor. In the semi-darkness he’s aware of Morton and Holden cowering pathetically in a corner.
Rasnovic is also on the ground, but he appears to have other plans. He manages to jump up and, still holding the noose, makes to slip it over the head of one of the newcomers.
‘NO!’ Zak gets there just in time. As the rope slides over the assailant’s head, he leaps forward and places his forearm in front of their face. The noose tightens, but Zak’s arm stops it from closing around the neck.
And then the second of the new arrivals is there. He knocks Rasnovic to the ground with a short, stubborn jab from the barrel of his rifle. A thump as he hits the floor.
It is Raf loosening the noose from around Gabs’s head. Zak lowers his forearm.
‘I thought you’d never make it,’ he says.
‘It’s a double-camera trick,’ Raf explained. ‘You know, when you make someone think—’
‘That they’ve spotted a hidden camera so they don’t bother looking for the one that’s actually watching them. One of your favourites, isn’t it?’
Raf shrugged. ‘In this case, the first “camera” is the wire you’ll be wearing. It’s crucial that Rasnovic’s footsoldiers see that you’re wearing it. They’ll remove it, destroy it and assume that they’ve dealt with your tracking device before taking you to their boss. It’s Rasnovic we really want. Scott and his boys are just the heads on the hydra. Cut one off, and another will grow in its place. If we want to put a stop to this gun crime, we need to kill the monster itself. Metaphorically speaking, of course. If everything goes according to plan, Rasnovic is looking at a long spell behind bars.’
‘Then we’d better hope they don’t locate the real tracking device, right?’
Raf gave him a serious kind of look. ‘Right.’
Rasnovic, Scott, Morton and Holden have their wrists cuffed behind their backs. They have been moved to a ground-floor room while Zak, Raf and Gabs wait for a police unit to take them away.
Zak pads towards Scott. He removes his trainers from the gun-dealer’s feet. ‘I think these are mine,’ he says.
Scott gives him a hateful, narrow-eyed look as Zak takes the shoes.
‘How did you find me?’ Rasnovic spits out the words. He sounds like he doesn’t want to ask the question, but can’t help himself.
Zak smiles. He holds up one of his trainers in his left hand. With his right, he takes hold of the heel and, with a little effort, twists it a quarter-turn clockwise. The heel comes away in his hand. From inside, he removes a thumbnail-sized tracking device.
Rasnovic and his crew stare at him, dumbfounded.
In the distance, there is the sound of a second helicopter. The police are arriving.
Gabs sidles up to Zak, her white-blonde hair mussed from the struggle in the basement. She indicates the tracking device. ‘Put it back, sweetie,’ she says. ‘We can’t give away all our secrets.’
He does as he’s told. Once he has refitted the heel, he puts on the shoes again and carefully ties up the laces.
The police arrive, four men, flak-jacketed and armed. ‘They’re all yours,’ Raf says, before nodding at Gabs and Zak.
Zak understands what he means. It’s time to go. The police can take it from here. He ignores the stares from the police officers – he is unusually young to be at a scene like this, after all – and leaves the room with his Guardian Angels.
There is a fifth police officer guarding the main entrance to the house; female. ‘Nice shoes,’ she says as Zak passes.
‘Thanks,’ Agent 21 replies. ‘Thanks very much.’
• Joined the SAS in 1984, serving in military hot zones across the world
• Expert in overt and covert operations in war zones, including Northern Ireland, Africa, the Middle East and other classified territories
• Commander of the Sniper squad within the anti-terrorist team
• Part of an eight-man patrol on the Bravo Two Zero Gulf War mission in Iraq
• The mission was compromised. Three fellow soldiers died, and four more were captured as POWs. Chris Ryan was the only person to defy the enemy, evading capture and escaping to Syria on foot over a distance of 300 kilometres
• His ordeal made history as the longest escape and evasion by an SAS trooper, for which he was awarded the Military Medal
• His books are dedicated to the men and women who risk their lives fighting for the armed forces
If you have enjoyed meeting Zak Darke, check out his full-length missions – available now and published by Random House Children’s Publishers:
When Zak Darke’s parents die in an unexplained mass murder, he’s left alone in the world. That is, until he’s sought out by a mysterious man. ‘I work for a government agency,’ the man tells him. ‘You don’t need to know which one. Not yet. All you need to know is that we’ve had our eye on you. There’s a possibility you could help us in certain . . . operational situations.’
AGENT 21: RELOADED
Sneak on board an enemy ship. Gather information. And then destroy it . . .
A year ago Zak Darke became Agent 21, working undercover for a shadowy government agency. But for now, training is over. Zak is in seriously deep water.
AGENT 21: CODEBREAKER
An unknown bomber is terrorizing London. Where will he strike next?
Zak Darke is highly trained and perfectly placed to intercept the terrorist and stop the next bomb. But he’s not just up against the enemy. He’s operating against the clock as well . . .
The heroic, real-life personal account of Chris Ryan’s most famous mission,
The One That Got Away
is now reworked for a new generation.
Some authors just write about it. Chris Ryan has been there, done it – and here is the gripping real-life tale . . .
To find out more about these books, plus Chris Ryan’s ALPHA FORCE and CODE RED series, visit him at
AGENT 21: THE WIRE
AN RHCP DIGITAL EBOOK 978 1 448 17407 2
Published in Great Britain by RHCP Digital,
an imprint of Random House Children’s Publishers UK
A Random House Group Company
This ebook edition published 2013
Text copyright © Chris Ryan, 2013
First produced exclusively for World Book Day by Random House Children’s Publishers, 2013
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