London Calling

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OUTLINE

As Carla's guardian angel keeps her away from danger, Nikitin successfully launches his banking operations on the London Stock Exchange.

Unable to hit, Mossad's new strategy is to plant the debatable notion that a destabilization of European markets would harm the US economy.

Introduction of Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) and USCYBERCOM.

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PORT TAWFIQ, SUEZ, EGYPT

As Pierrot lashes down their trawler, Philippe discusses with a man who met them at the edge of the Suez port. The man, Mr. El-Sayed, is the head and single employee of Suez Environment Services, a local company used to collect a fake Red Sea environmental protection fee from independent Canal users.

Pierrot brushes him away as walks up to Philippe.

-If you stop at every peddler on our way to Mister John, we won't even have money for a beer tonight!

-And the trunk? You want to carry it on your back!

-So ask your new friend for a dolly.

Philippe walks back to Mr. El-Sayed who was standing by.

LLOYD'S REGISTER OFFICE, SUEZ

Mister John sits by his office window overlooking the Suez Canal. Pierrot and Philippe sit across from his desk next to the mail trunk.

-Well, Gentlemen, I can lend you a thousand Pounds which should be enough to fill up and clear the canal, but this trunk is the property of The Royal Mail. I'm sure they will be grateful about your finding but there is no way we could negotiate anything.

Philippe challenges him with his barely comprehensible English.

-Yes but this naufrage was never even declared. Sans nous, personne n'aurait jamais identifié l'épave. More than 70 years.... Isn't domaine public?

Mister John replies jokingly.

-Never... It's not a song, it's the Royal Mail.

Pierrot, who's sorting through some mail on his lap, stops on a letter addressed from Palestine to Australia, then continues.

-Well, maybe not a song but lyrics for the least...

-Then write a book about it, replies Mister John.

Philippe looks at Pierrot, not grasping the humour.

-Qu'est-ce qui dit?

-Qu'on peut aller se faire voir!

-Putain! On s'est fait chier pendant deux mois, sans femmes, sans pinard, dans une mer infestée de pirates...

Mister John tries to smooth things down.

-As a British subject and as Lloyd's employee, you understand that it is my duty to report your findings.

Handing a stack of British Pounds to Pierrot who places the mail back in the trunk and takes the money.

-Sorry... If you guys would have found amphora, I could have found buyers. At least then, the Romans wouldn't have come after you.

MONDAY MORNING, CIRCLE LINE, LONDON UNDERGROUND

London Underground Logo

A passenger reads a Financial Times' article about the introduction of a new bank on the London market named The Russian Middle Eastern Bank.

"The bank, which was born from ashes of the short lived now defunct Dubai Mirage Bank, will also follow Sharia banking practices."

"It will be introduced on the London Stock Exchange this morning under its predecessors, code: DUBMI"

ZABAR'S GROCERY STORE, UPPER WEST SIDE, MANHATTAN

Aaron and Naama, a 24 year old woman, are waiting at Zabar's cured fish counter.

Naama
So you should have told us you were coming. I would have shopped or something...

Aaron
It was a last minute call. You know how it is. I never know much in advance.

Naama
(pointing to the man behind the counter)
Half a pound of Gravlax and half a pound of this Lox right here.
(to Aaron)
So why don't you stay till Wednesday. Ilann's supposed to be back from his trip tomorrow. I know he purposely turned off his phone but I'll check on his Facebook friends who are with him. They might cheat on their woes.

Aaron
What woe?

Naama
Not to login while they're at the beach.

Araron
And they need to make a woe about this.

Naama
(smiling)
You don't get it dad.

Aaron
(playing innocent, while checking the balance on the counter)
I guess not.

CARLA'S APARTMENT, BERN, SWITZERLAND

Carla holds her house phone between her cheek and shoulder as she peeks down at a Bern Cantonal Police car parked in front of her door.

Carla
(on the phone)
Yeah... I prefer to stay alone these day... Thanks Franzi... You've done enough... Yeah, I need to rest...

She hangs up the call and looks at a hand written note that she's holding, the one Uri left in the hotel room in Moscow.

STAY OFF THE GRID - URI

She then stares back at the police car and looks at the few passerby's on the quiet street.

WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER, LOWER MANHATTAN

Aaron is looking at the construction site of the Freedom Tower from the 50th floor of 3 World Financial Center. Two men AAA, 30s and BBB 40s walk into the conference room.

BBB
(in English)
Mr. Hanin... Nice to meet you. Sorry for keeping you waiting, we learned of your arrival this morning.

Aaron
(extending his hand across the conference table)
Aaron... Shalom.

BBB
(extending his hand)
BBB...
(introducing AAA)
AAA works with the SEC... I asked him to join us before he'd start his day.

Aaron
(shaking hands, gauging AAA's allegiance)
Aren't you guys in Washington.

AAA
Actually our New York offices are just two floors down... In this building.

Aaron
(cutting to the chase)
We have been monitoring the activities of a Russian national, Alexander Nikitin, for some time now and it's become difficult for us to nail him as his business moves are rather... unpredictable.

AAA
Yes.. The Russian Middle Eastern Bank which just opened on the London Exchange. They haven't filed with us yet, but BBB mentioned your concern so I look into it.

BBB
(turning towards Aaron)
AAA uses our internal network...

Aaron
(to AAA)
We can't get to him in Dubai. Not directly, nor through official channels... So what we need I guess is for the US Treasury Department or even your agency to break him.

BBB
(to AAA)
Aaron's people can feed you as much intelligence as need be on Nikitin's activities to eventually justify the United States' intervention.

AAA
The problem is that from what I gather... this bank's activities are out of our jurisdiction. I don't even see how the Treasury could intervene.

Aaron
What if they destabilize Europe's markets... Won't this affect the US economy.

AAA
Not automatically... and it's not necessarily bad... I mean for US interests.

Aaron
Well it's in our interest that Nikitin does not extend his reach.

Silence...

AAA
Well I assume that if we are provided with specific and clear intelligence that a foreign bank, even if out of our jurisdiction, is deliberately manipulating numbers to hurt one of our exchanges, our people will get in touch with the relevant law enforcement authorities.

Aaron
Intelligence is not the problem here... It's getting it to the right people and then getting these people to bring it to the other set of right people who will finally act upon it.

BBB
(looking at AAA)
All this needs to be monitored and well coordinated.

AAA
Remember I don't run the shop here, I'm just a case manager.

Aaron
You're a young and energetic man. Grab this as an opportunity to make a name for yourself...

AAA looks forfeit.

JUMEIRAH BEACH, DUBAI

Najwa swims underwater for several seconds before coming out to breath. She calls Fan who's sitting on the beach holding a veil over her head. She signals Najwa that she's not going in.

Najwa
(walking out of the water)
Why don't you come, it will do you good.

Fan
(looking at the glaring sun)
Too much sun!

Najwa
(grabbing her towel)
Wow this was good.

Fan
(impressed)
You swim like a dolphin. I thought you had disappeared for a moment.

Najwa
(smiling, wiping her body)
I was once snorkeling in Socotra and... I was so focused on looking out for stuff at the bottom of the ocean floor that I didn't notice a pod of dolphins swimming all around me for several seconds.

Fan
Maybe they thought you were one of them. Where is Socotra, in Greece?

Najwa
Yemen... That's where I met Alex.

Fan
(fixing her veil to better hide her face from the sun)
You've known each other a long time.

Najwa
Like 2 years...

Fan
He's a wise businessman.

Najwa
Yeah... I guess...

ELAINE'S RESTAURANT, NEW YORK CITY

AAA walks into the busy restaurant Elaine's and squeezes at the bar between two mini-skirted 40 something ladies who are waiting to get noticed. They seem put off by AAA youthful and bleak appearance.

One of the women
(sarcastic)
You mind standing like, not just in between us... We're kind of waiting for someone... And that's not you.

Barman
(to AAA)
What do you drink sir!

AAA
(uncomfortable, to the woman)
Oh... Yes, sorry.
(moving behind the other woman while answering the Barman)
Euhhh... Rolling Rock please.

AAA seams uneasy in this stuffy Upper East Side ambiance.

Barman
(serving the beer)
There you go, that'll be six dollars.

As AAA searches his pocket for money, Dan Reilly, a 50 year old FBI agent walks up right in between the two women who seem rejoiced by his demeanor.

Dan
(to the Barman)
His money's no good. Put this on my table Sam. (extending his hand to AAA, over one of the women) AAA... Dan Reilly, FBI... Nice to meet you... We're sitting right there. (to the women)
Sorry to kidnap him from you ladies.

The two women look at each other defeated as Dan and AAA walk away.

Dan introduces AAA to two other man siting at his table.

Dan
So this is AAA from the SEC. KKK works out of Langley and GGG is based in Fort Meade, although I'd say he mostly hangs out here. (jokingly to GGG) Don't know what kind of operation you guys are running down there but doesn't look like serious work to me!

KKK
(to AAA)
Sit AAA... Don't listen to this cold war relic...

Dan
At least I still pick up without having to pull out my wallet.

GGG
No but I'm sure you pull out your police badge! (to AAA) Did he say like Dan Reilly, FBI, when he came up to you between those two ladies?

Dan
(cutting short)
Ok guys... This young man's got other things to do than to listen to Viagra poppers like us...
(to all)
AAA's gotten intel about this Russian based in Dubai who's financial dealings on foreign markets could be of interest.

KKK
(to AAA)
We're well aware of Alexander Nikitin, (looking at GGG), I'm sure you guys are monitoring him as well.

GGG
Seen the name around but it never landed on my desk.

Dan
(joking)
What desk! (serious again)
Sorry... We actually have nothing on him.

GGG
(to AAA)
And how do you see this affecting us?

AAA
Our sources tell us that... by opening on the London Stock Exchange... Give's him the ability... Short currencies... Betting against our interest... Getting some to crash...

Dan
(skeptical)
We'll who are your sources.

AAA
IOSCO members... Various international and foreign agencies in Europe and Asia similar to the SEC... We're in permanent contact with each other... Trying to monitor the financial grid.

GGG
No offense, but why does the SEC sends you? Why hasn't it gone up the ladder? Through proper channels?

Dan
(smiling at the women at the bar)
Proper channels... This, here, is the proper channel.

The women smile back Dan.

KKK
Well, I'll see what I can dig. This is not really our realm of business.

He turns towards GGG.

GGG
We might already have a team on this. You have to give me specifics.

AAA
(pulling a USB flash drive)
This contains the transaction history of the past few months, still mostly amongst CIS countries but it'll give you an idea of how he operates ... Check for swaps between their owns clients. Follow who gains and who loses.

The two woman approach the table, cutting short AAA's pitch.

PRIVATE SALON, THE BALTIC EXCHANGE, CITY OF LONDON

Alexander is standing by the window of a private salon on the 5th floor of The Baltic Exchange, looking up at the Gherkin building across the street, as Jack Markson, enters the room followed by three other men carrying folders and laptops.

Jack
(from behind)
So what brings you to London, Alex!

Alexander
(turning towards Mark)
Jack... You haven't changed one bit!

Jack
(looking at Alexander, grabbing him by the shoulder)
Well look at you... All suited up like a City banker! Congratulations by the way. Read all about it. From shipping to banking... Risky path.

Alexander
That's what we live for Jack. Isn't it what pays off for guys like you...

Jack
(looking at the Gherkin)
What pays off now is one thing Alex, at one point we have to start wondering what will pay off in the long run... Look at what they've done to the old exchange...

Alex
(admiring the architecture)
I don't mind it actually.

Jack
(sitting down in a sofa)
You know a man from Tallinn purchased the rubble.

Alex
(sitting opposite)
Yes... It came to my ears.

Jack
(smiling)
What doesn't... So let me introduce you to my colleagues...

OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, SECURITIES & EXCHANGE COMMISSION, WASHINGTON D.C.

Washington's Union Station Eagle

HHH is in JJJ's office overlooking the tracks leading in and out of Washington's Union Station.

HHH
We got the lead from AAA, case manager in New York... He's in contact with some kind of joint task force... FBI, CIA, NSA...

JJJ
Why did they go through a New York case manager.

HHH
Who knows. Anyways, what he's got seems like a hot lead.

JJJ
(looking at the document)
Yes but not enough to indict the guy here.

HHH
Shouldn't we tip the Brits then?

JJJ
Well, not sure they would act upon it. This might tip off the Russian instead.

HHH
We can continue tracking him.

JJJ
We definitely will, but following his transactions will not prevent much... We gotta know more about him.

HHH
Request assistance from intelligence agencies? We'd have to go through DoJ.

JJJ
Or not...

WHITE'S GENTLEMEN'S CLUB, LONDON

Alex discusses the ZIB case with other Russian expats at White's Gentlemen's Club. How it was orchestrated by some in Moscow to seize his pipeline assets before he could cash out through the RMEB. Now that the money has infiltrated the system, he says he aims to lay low not to upset the only ones who could reach him –the US. He also refers to fuck ups including the Bern failed hit on a Swiss prosecutor.

He is introduced to a beautiful Asian escort and while he spends some time with her, he leaves the club before getting down to business.

STREETS OF LONDON

London Telephone Boxes

Alexander wanders on King's Road at night. Noticing a funky dress in a window, he takes a photo with his phone but then can't find an open WiFi signal to send it to Najwa. He continues walking around and notices a poster for the Venice Simplon Orient Express on the display of a travel agency. Still unable to get a WiFi signal, he walks to a telephone box across the street.

Alexander
(over the phone)
Naj...

Najwa
(surprised)
Habibi...

Alexander
No Epyks...

Alexander notices a street surveillance camera pointing right at him as he exits the telephone box.


Alex cannot connect to Najwa via Epyks so he uses a public phone (camera sees him, call tapped by NSA, from USCYBERCOM tip noticing the failed Epyks login attempt).

She'll tell Fan, who'll tell ????

Alexander walks alone in the London night and sees an ad for the Venice Simplon Orient Express and and tries find an open Wifi connection on his mobile device fails to log on.

He sends an SMS' to Najwa.

WHAT ABOUT RIDING WITH ME AND TORIOP?

EUCOM ROOM, FORT MEADE, USA

A 20 something analyst passes the feed to the night shift room supervisor.

Supervisor
Toriop?

Analyst
He usually inverts the spelling of names. It's stupid but it beats our key words recognition system.

Supervisor
And what does it gives you?

Analyst
Poirot

Supervisor
Who the fuck is Poirot?

Analyst
I have a hunch that he's referring to Hercule Poirot, a fictional character in Agatha Christie's novels.

Supervisor
That's all we needed now...

ALEXANDER'S APARTMENT, BURJ KHALIFA, DUBAI, UAE

Najwa and Fan sit next to each other on the sofa with the TV on as both women use their personal devices to communicate with others.

Najwa types in POIROT on her iPad and hits the first link.

She looks up at Fan.

-Hercules Poirot... You know anything about Agatha Christie?

-Well, Murder on the Orient Express.

-Right. Never read it. Not much into murder mysteries, but he is. You read that in China?

-Of course. In elementary school!

Najwa
(responding to Alexander on her iPhone)
-IN YOUR DREAMS.

Fan
(to Najwa)
He want's you to meet him London?

Najwa
(to Fan while still looking at her screen waiting for an answer)
I told him I won't.

Alexander's response appears on Najwa's screen.

-YOU GOT TIME TO CATCH THE EK 2:50 FLIGHT... RUN NAJWA RUN!

Fan
(noticing Najwa's smile)
So?

Najwa types in.

-I TOLD YOU I'M NOT GOING TO NODNOL...

Najwa
(to Fan)
He's hard headed!

Alexander's responses appears.

-THEN MEET ME HALF WAY!

BUREAU OF INTELLIGENCE AND RESEARCH, DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON D.C.

QQQ, a 45 year old Department of State intelligence officer sits at his desk as a colleague, RRR, enters his office and shuts the door.

QQQ
The SEC?

RRR
Yep... They went straight to Langley.

QQQ
And what the fuck do they care about the Russian Middle Eastern Bank?

RRR
Some kind of scheme on the London Exchange.

QQQ
Who gives a fuck.

RRR
According to what we gathered, SEC claims that a destabilization of European Markets would affect us.

QQQ
Yes, but in a good way.

RRR
That's what we've always thought.

QQQ
Well we'll beam it up to the Assistant Secretary. I got bigger issues to worry about.

RRR
(raising his hands as he walks out of the office)
Hey, don't shoot the messenger.

QQQ
(pretending to shoot)
By the way, where are we at with Wang?

USCYBERCOM

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, BERN

Carla gets to her office at the Department of Justice. She is greeted by her Assistant who opens her door to show a flower bouquet on her desk.

Carla
(to Assistant, admiring the flowers)
Wow...

Assistant
(smiling)
You have a secret admirer!

Carla
(smiling as she opens the attached card)
I wish... It's Feurer.

Assistant
You're sure it's not too early for you to have come back?

Carla
I'll be OK thanks. Just came in to check on my files, sort things out before I come back next week.

Assistant
By the way, a bunch of us are going to Zimmermann's tomorrow night for his 30th birthday. It'd be great if you joined us.

Carla
That's nice, but I promised my grandparents I'd spend the weekend with them. I haven't seen them in months.

Assistant
They're in Emmental right?

Carla
Yes.

Assistant
(looking at a pile of documents and letters on Carla's desk)
Well... I've sorted the internal correspondence here and the external mail there... I'll let you settle in.

The Assistant leaves as Carla sits and pops out her laptop. She starts sorting through the pile of internal documents as her laptop boots up. As she gets to the external mail pile, she finds a canton of Uri emblem post-card. She flips it to read:

PS: YOU SNORE... SOFTLY.

She notices that the card was mailed from Tallinn, Estonia the week before. She flips it again to look at the cow's head with a buckle through its nostrils and smiles.

VICTORIA STATION, LONDON

The Orient Express at Victoria Station

Alexander boards the Orient Express and reaches his compartment. He removes his shoes and settles comfortably on the berth.

In the bar car, the barman, a black man in his early 40s, pours champagne flutes and distributes them to arriving guests.

At the head of the platform, Uri shows his ticket to a costumed controller.

-You'll be traveling on your own sir.

-Yes

Seeing that Uri only carries a small shoulder bag.

-No luggage?

-No

-Welcome on the Orient Express.

-Office of the Treasury and Financial Agency will tip off newly formed USCYBERCOM in order to get the US and Jouni involved into terminating Nikitin.

-Fan's ties in Shenzhen will alert Najwa of the Jouni/USCYBERCOM's plans.

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