This is part two of the prequel trilogy to No Remorse No Regret
Danil Burlomov and Oleg Mironov are waiting for the last of the customers to leave their convenience store, they have a job to do tonight and want no witnesses, their store closes at two in the morning, and they will have five hours or less to complete the job.
The last customer, a man approaches the counter carrying a spool of rope, a roll of duct tape and a hunting knife.
“Doing some butchering tonight?” Danil asks.
“Yeah,” the man answers, “I’ve got a fresh catch from my hunting.” The man orders a pack of Marlboros and leaves the store after he paid for everything in cash. The time on the clock now reads five past two, time for them to get to work.
Oleg locks the door to the convenience store and Danil opens the cabinet door behind the counter, pulling out a concrete power saw and then pulls back a curtain to reveal a hole in the wall with just a thin veneer of concrete separating the convenience store from the jewelry store next door.
Oleg had gone to the storage are of the convenience store and returns with a lap top computer and bag of ready-mix cement. The jewelry store owner had tipped them off about a shipment of diamonds that he had recently taken delivery of, he wanted the insurance pay out from the heist, that’s why he told them about it, he had run into some financial difficulties and needed the hefty insurance claim to stay afloat.
Danil plugs the concrete saw into the outlet, pulled safety goggles over his eyes and some earplugs in his ears before starting the saw. Pieces of concrete fly into the convenience store as Danil runs the saw along the remaining concrete, gaining entry to the store in under ten minutes.
One after the other, the two men crawl in through the hole, Oleg disconnects the CCTV camera above them and connects the laptop to the digital video recorder for the CCTV system. He starts uploading a video that was created showing three people in masks entering the jewelry store after breaking in through the front door.
Danil has disabled the alarm system and then tears the alarm panel out of the wall, before taking a glass cutter and cutting out the glass on the door near the deadbolt and the secondary lock. The subterfuge complete, Danil and Oleg go the vault, Oleg takes a cutting torch and cuts through the lock.
Inside the vault lies the shipment of diamonds, they take the boxes and stuff them into the gym bag they brought with them and leave the vault open and leave the jewelry store through the hole in the wall. Danil returns less than a minute later with the bag of ready-mix cement, Oleg hands him the bucket of water. Danil mixes up the cement and plugs the hole in the wall on the jewelry store side of the wall. Before leaving the store, Danil sweeps up the concrete debris left behind by him and Oleg and dumps it in a plastic bag he takes with him. He returns to the convenience store with the ready-mix cement and he and Oleg finish plugging the hole on the side of the convenience store.
They fist bump each other and Oleg pulls out a bottle of vodka from the cooler behind the cash register, Danil has taken two plastic cups and holds them out for Oleg to fill them both. They toast each other and Danil says, “All in a great night’s work.”
The two Russians down their drinks in a couple gulps.
“How much do you think the diamonds are worth?” Oleg asks.
“The owner said they will fetch ten million dollars.”
“Yes,” Oleg replies, “a great night’s work.”
The next day after their heist, Danil and Oleg leave the care of the corner store to a couple of teenagers, Valeri Kucherov and Sergei Kamenski, they have their load already in Danil’s SUV and start their drive away as police are investigating the break in and robbery of the jewelry store. The owner is speaking to the detectives outside in the parking lot giving him a run-down of what was stolen.
“My father is going to love this,” Danil said as he pulls out of the parking lot.
Oleg nods before replying, “How often do we do diamond heists?”
“Rarely,” Danil says, “but when an opportunity knocks, you grab it.”
Oleg laughs in reply. They drive to a warehouse where Danil’s father, Alexei, is waiting for them with another man, presumably the diamond appraiser. They stop the SUV a few feet away from the table where the diamond appraiser is sitting as another of the crew is closing the door to the warehouse. Danil pops the back door of the SUV before turning off the engine and getting out of the vehicle.
“Let’s have a look at these little gems,” Alexei says as Oleg and Danil take the gym bag out of the back of the SUV and lay it down on the table.
The diamond appraiser opens the bag and pulls out one of the boxes of diamonds and lays them out on the black cloth. He raises his left eyebrow at the sight and takes out his magnifying glass to appraise the diamonds. As he does he lets out a low whistle with each of the diamonds.
“Let me guess,” Alexei says. “They are worth more than what we were told?”
The appraiser puts the magnifying glass down and purses his lips before replying, “I’m afraid gentlemen, that you’ve been had.”
Alexei clenches his jaw, “What do you mean?”
“These aren’t diamonds,” the appraiser says, “they’re worthless cubic zirconia.”
Alexei slams his fists on the table and several of the fake diamonds roll off the table, “What are you talking about?”
“Exactly what I said,” the appraiser answers, “these are not diamonds.”
“Check the rest of the shipment,” Alexei orders.
The appraiser pulls out the rest of the stolen merchandise and goes through all the gems and reports back that the whole shipment is worthless fake diamonds.
As Alexei turns to Danil and Oleg, the appraiser gathers up the stones and repacks them, “Shall I get rid of these for you then?”
“Yes, McFarland get rid of them,” Alexei says.
Oleg makes a call to the convenience store and finds out that the police are still outside speaking to the jewelry store owner. “I will go back to the store and follow the jeweler when he leaves,” Oleg says.
Alexei directs his other son, Nicholas, to bring Oleg back to the convenience store. Danil checks his phone and sees the blip on his screen that indicates the tracking device they put on McFarland’s car, he had already left the warehouse a couple minutes before hand.
“I will go after him,” Danil says as he turns to his SUV. He gets in, starts the engine and drives to the rolling door of the warehouse that is being opened by one of the crew.
With his cellphone attached to a holder on the dashboard of the SUV, Danil follows the map of where Tom McFarland the diamond appraiser is headed. He better not had been lying about the diamonds and trying to sell them to someone else.
The shadowing of the diamond appraiser goes on for an hour until he stops at his house. The man had done several double backs and pull overs to see if anyone was following him. Each time he did, Danil would drive past him, the diamond appraiser had no idea that they had put a tracker on his vehicle. From deep in the warehouse where they were, a member of the Czarists crew had shot a silent weapon that put the tracker on the rear bumper of the car.
Danil noted the evasive actions that McFarland had taken, trying to avoid the cops or did he lie to us? When he stopped his SUV, he phoned his father and requested a couple more of the crew join him at McFarland’s house. He told his father about the evasive driving that McFarland had done, concluding that he had something to hide.
His father agreed with the assessment, he told him of Oleg’s report that once the police were finished at the jewelry store and the door was replaced, the owner went straight home. Alexei said he would have Oleg and Nicholas meet him at the diamond appraiser’s home.
Ten minutes after the phone call ended, another vehicle pulled into McFarland’s driveway, the driver got out and looked around. Interesting, Danil thought. He waited for the man to go inside McFarland’s house before getting out of his SUV. Carrying an eavesdropping device and walks around the side of the house to where he can hear the muffled voices of the two men talking inside.
He points the laser microphone at the window where there is a small crack in the curtains, enough to get the laser inside for him to hear the conversation in his headphones.
“You sure we’re safe?” the new arrival asked.
“Of course,” McFarland said. “I told them these are worthless cubic zirconia rocks.”
“They are worth the full ten million you said?”
“Yes, they’re worth every penny. The Russians will never know the difference.”
Danil hears footsteps leaving the room and takes the headphones off, assuming the man is about to leave McFarland’s house. His assumption is right, and the man gets in his car, Danil sees Nicholas approaching, slips on a set of brass knuckles and calls Oleg to get Nicholas to block the man from leaving McFarland’s driveway.
Nicholas parks his own SUV right in front of the driveway and the middle man between McFarland and the buyer jumps out of his car and heads to yell at Nicholas. “What do you –”
He never finishes his question, Danil has slammed his fist with the brass knuckles into his jaw sending him to the ground unconscious. Nicholas and Oleg get out of their vehicle, secure the man’s wrists and ankles and put a duct tape gag over his mouth. They pick him up and put him in the back of Nicholas’ SUV.
Danil goes to the front door of McFarland’s house and rings the doorbell, footsteps approach a minute later.
“Did you forget something,” McFarland asks as he opens the door, his face turns pale as he sees Danil standing there.
Danil kicks the door further in and grabs McFarland before he can turn around, he lands a blow to the man’s jaw with his brass knuckles and knocks him out. Danil takes the man, throws him over his shoulder and carries him over to his own SUV, where he ties the man’s wrists and ankles before he also gets a duct tape gag placed over his mouth.
“See you back at the warehouse,” Danil says in Russian.
Nicholas gets in his SUV and Oleg takes the middleman’s car and they all drive off in three separate directions to get to the warehouse. They rejoin each other and Alexei back at the warehouse at twenty-minute intervals over the course of an hour. The captive men are pulled out of the SUV’s and forced to their knees in front of Alexei.
Both are giving off the fecal stench of having soiled their pants from the fear of what they know is coming next. The middle man has his gag torn off his face, tears are flowing from his eyes “Please,” he begs, “I didn’t know he had tried to double cross you.”
Danil hands his father the recording of the conversation between the middle man and McFarland. Alexei presses play, and with the sound of his own voice in the playback the middle man starts screaming, begging for mercy.
“It seems you did have some knowledge,” Alexei says. “Who was your buyer?”
The man gives him the identification of the buyer, Alexei thanks him for the information, takes out a gun and shoots the middle man in the forehead. He turns to Oleg, “Park his car with him in it out front of their establishment.”
Oleg nods as he and Nicholas grab the now dead middle man, one of the shoulders and the other by the ankles and carrying him over to his car and put him in the trunk.
Alexei turns his attention to McFarland, “As for you, it won’t be that painless.” He motions to Danil and Nicholas, “Sons, you may indulge yourself.”
McFarland manages nothing more than muffled screams as Danil and Nicholas start laying a beating on the man. “We’ll take him on a boat ride in a couple hours,” Alexei declared. He also informed them of a drug shipment that has been dropped off wrapped in plastic and stuffed in a gear bag.
With McFarland bloodied and unconscious, he is dragged to Danil’s SUV where a plastic sheet has been laid down in the back and McFarland is dropped in and a blanket placed over him.
That’s the conclusion to Danil’s part of the prequel, if you’d like to read more, check out the book below: