Shevlenko lies in the back of the van, and starts to speak.
“We were losing agents, they were being found with their throats cut. Do you know BND? The West German security service? It was the pijavica, in Yugoslavia.
I became Kim Philby’s handler. He worked for MI6 and learned a lot in the war. He was investigating Wunderwaffe projects, ICBM’s, jet fighters, atomic bombs. The Nazi’s were trying anything.
They had a Lebensborn programme, Himmler wanted to breed pure Aryans. Kim intercepted documents in 1944 about a secret part of that programme. Using new biological technologies to enhance human capabilities.
When the tide turned for the Germans, they accelerated the methods, to enhance fighting ability. To create elite super soldiers. They used a transfusion of body fluids from, from racially pure subjects.
There’s a codeword “Der Gral” We got reports of soldiers with enhanced strength, pain tolerance and healing. The Unternamen Wehrwolf. In Autumn 1944, Dr. Krotzmann."
He stops, Sergei checks his pulse, “He’s still alive, but weak.” The van corners hard, and Shevlenko speaks again.
“There were rumours of throat-cutting. What became of the soldiers and children? They disappeared. Thaler is one.
Harry St. John Philby was Kim’s father. He was an Arabist, a writer and head of SIS in Palestine. He had sympathies for the Nazi’s. He gave the medallion to Kim. He said there was a terrible elder race that would rule the world, from the secret files of DH Lawrence and Woolly, the explorer. He discovered something. Karkemish and Ur and Ubar in the lost quarter in Arabia. There is part of a key, if complete it can control the world."
He looks Katya in the eye, “You must promise me something. You must look after Anna.”
Katya nods, “Yes of course.”
“Here is the medallion, and this is crucial information about the infiltration of the FSB and the mafia. This will safeguard Anna with the CIA. Give me a pen and paper.”
He shakily hands Katya the medallion and USB stick. She passed the medallion over to Sergei, but puts the USB stick in her bag, retrieving paper and pencil. Shevlenko scribbles coordinates on the paper, from memory. Then adds “GLONASS”
“There are more attacks on Western agents, mafia hits. There were units fighting alongside Croatians in the war. They wanted Philby’s key. There are infiltrators in the FSB and mafias. Shadowy forces. They want the key. I hid it here, in Vienna in ’93. I was going to pass it to the CIA. To put an end to it.”
He closes his eyes, breathing heavily. Katya waits, but he seems to have exhausted himself out. Somerset calls from the front, “We’re ditching the van, going to swap vehicles.”
Katya looks at the old man, the traitor. Now or never. He has damned himself from his own mouth, he cannot give Russian secrets to the CIA. She puts a pistol to his forehead. At the touch, he opens his eyes, and looks at her without fear or surprise. Katya squeezes the trigger.
The sound is deafening, blood and brains spatter over the back of the van. Sergei and Patrick shout their surprise. Somerset swears, trying to drive and see what happened.
Katya puts the gun down, “He was dying anyway.”
The van stops hard, Somerset leans over “What the hell did you do that for?”
“He couldn’t give that information to the CIA.”
“What do you care? You can’t go back to Moscow!”
Katya looks hurt “No, it’s Chechnya I can’t go back to.” she lies.
Patrick is angry, Sergei confused. Somerset hotwires the people carrier parked in front. The atmosphere is tense, silent. The people carrier drives off, the van with Shevlenko’s corpse burning by the side of the road.
Patrick looks at Katya, coldly. “What did he give you?”
She fishes out the paper “It’s some coordinates.” Patrick opens his laptop and squints at the coordinates. “What’s GLONASS?”
“It’s the Russian satnav system, you should be able to convert.” Sergei says.
No-one has left anything worth keeping or incriminating at the villa, so Somerset calls Nate and tell him to hand Anna over to the CIA. Patrick vents his anger on Katya and they argue about handing over the USB stick. Eventually Sergei mediates, and it’s agreed that we’ll give it later, after we’ve looked at it.
We’re discussing how to get out of Austria, when Patrick reports he’s found the coordinate location for the key. It’s in the middle of a wildlife sanctuary, in Austria. Somerset spins the carrier around and we head for it.
The GPS leads us deep into the middle of nowhere, we park the carrier at the end of a lane, and trek for hours, in the dark across the countryside. The coordinates are a large area and it takes us hours to find, but eventually Patrick digs up an old sack, wrapped around a metal box with a broken lock.
Inside is a Koernerbank passbook for a safety deposit box, Beirut branch.
Back at the people carrier, the sky is beginning to get light. The radio has non-stop rolling news about the terrorist incident in Vienna. Police have discounted the video, and are remaining silent on current theories, which is worrying.
We head towards the Swiss border, planning to take a train across. Patrick logs on and confuses our trail as much as he can, Somerset books a set of flights out from Vienna in our names, with no intention of taking them.
At Innsbruck we abandon the people-carrier, change in public toilets and five new faces take seats on the first train to Zurich.
We make it to Zurich, and collapse in a hotel. Patrick says “Bad news. Koernersbank Beirut branch closed in the 70’s. I’ve called the HQ here in Zurich, and all the assets are now here. But due to the impending takeover everything is frozen.”