Disclaimer: Characters from The Professionals are © Mark-1 Productions Ltd
and are used without permission but with no intent to defraud.

Lyrics reproduced without permission but with no intent to defraud
Running Man
© Al Stewart/Peter White (1980)

Running Man

Before the phone hits the receiver
You're halfway to the door
The voice said 'get out while you can,
There's just ten minutes, nothing more'
Time for only the essentials
Better gather them and run
The false name inside the passport,
The gold bars and the gun
And once again they've come out of the past
And though your mind is cool your heart is beating fast
You've been through it all before
Each time you wish a little more that you could ask

"Silver?" The voice didn't wait for acknowledgement. "CI5 are onto you! Get out now!"
          I dropped the phone, and took several strides to the bedroom, knowing I needed ice-calm control.
          CI5. More specifically, Cowley. It wasn't the first time we'd crossed paths - or swords - would today be the last?
          I snatched up the briefcase, the one thing I'd take with me, which already contained the essentials for flight; money and forged passports.
          And my gun. I hauled out the drawer of the bedside table and retrieved the Beretta from the back panel where it was taped.
          Time to move.
          The screech of brakes was close; I peered around the edge of the curtain whilst making sure I couldn't be seen. The sleek gold car was at an angle to the kerb, both doors flung open.
          I knew them. One dark, dangerous-looking; the other curly-haired, none the less lethal.
          Cowley had sent his top team after me, as I'd known he would. I'd evaded them twice before...

"What do you want from me?
What do you need from me?
There's no rest for the running man
Why can't you let him be?"

Too late to leave the building...

It's a long and twisting journey
From the sweeping northern plains
To the outcrops of the jungle
Bowed beneath the tropic rains
In the customs hall the officer
Takes you to one side
And his eyes reveal no feeling
As you hand over the bribe
And once again you've bought a little time
And once again you're fading out of sight
Still the fox is growing older
As he calls over his shoulder to the night:
"What do you want from me?
What do you need from me?
There's no rest for the running man
Why can't you let him be?"

Crouched in hiding, I waited...

I was tired.
          Tired of the chase, tired of running.
          It was only three weeks since I arrived in England. Three weeks since I left Singapore; it seemed longer. I closed my eyes, seeing again the lavish, artificially-cooled airport where I'd fled to escape.
          It was cold here. I'd grown used to the temperature in the last nine months. It was the longest I'd stayed anywhere in twenty-five years. Finally, I'd felt settled, felt as if I could have a life. I had money, connections. I was accepted by the expatriate community...

Here, come over here
Beneath a sympathetic moon
We'll sit and talk over old times without a fear
Another beer, from the cafes of the night
The tumbling rhythms of guitars ring loud and clear

Angelina. I'd had no time to call her. And even given time, I couldn't. She didn't know anything about me, better for her to have her memories...

One by one they've nailed the others
But you always got away
What it is that keeps you just that step ahead
No one can say
In one last raid the agents
Of the dawn break down the door
Of a house where you were standing
Maybe just an hour before
And still the thread continues to unwind
You take the hidden roads that only you can find
And should they come upon your tracks
There's just a question hanging back you left behind

I heard feet on the stairs, shouts and bangs on the door, then cracks as the weak timber gave way under the agents' onslaught.
          I could visualise their moves; the sort of moves I was trained in. They would check the rooms together, alert to any small noise or movement; perfectly synchronised.
          I could hear them quite clearly; even the normal speaking level of their voices carrying to me.
          "Nothing. Missed him again." That was the dark one, sounding disgusted. I heard the wardrobe door slam. "I tell you, Ray, this guy must be psychic. He must have a crystal ball to keep escaping us like this. That, or he's a myth, and Cowley keeps sending us after him just to keep us on our toes..."
          "Bed's still warm. He was here, just an hour or so ago." Doyle, the curly-haired one. "And he's real enough. Abraham Silver, aka Quicksilver, aka Silver Fox, aka... We've heard enough about him, Bodie."
          "Yeah, and most of it from the Cow. Who, let me remind you, is on his way and he isn't going to be pleased..."
          Cowley was coming himself. I should be honoured. I should also get out of there...
          "Since when was Cowley ever pleased? Chasing twenty-five year old shadows like Silver wasn't what I joined CI5 for..."

"What do you want from me?
What do you need from me?

I joined the excited throng of neighbours near the front door, blending in without effort. The two young agents wouldn't recognise me; the photos they were working from were years old. I would have to be wary when Cowley arrived...
          There he was. Stepping from a car driven by a young woman, striding forcefully - but not self-importantly, that had never been Cowley's way - towards his two men, the frown on his now-lined face familiar.
          "Well?" Even from that distance I heard the bark.
          His men shrugged, the dark one answering. "Gone when we got here. Few clothes left in cupboards, that's all."
          Cowley scowled. "Outwitted again! The pair of you! Show me..."
          Resigned glances were exchanged as they turned to follow their superior, Doyle ushering his partner ahead of him...

No rest for the running man
Why can't you let him be?"

Just before I melted away, I saw Cowley pause at the door. "Did you say something, Doyle?"
          "No, sir..."

"What do you want from me?
What do you need from me?"

© 2001 July - Carol Good

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