The more I thought about the cover story, the more I liked it. It would be a cover story that was so obviously bullshit, that it would cause the bad guys to sit up and take notice. In the mean time we could work on gathering enough information to form a second more believable cover story. Something that would get the brothers grim, to take a run at us. Since we had Mike recording everything, we just had to be careful what we said. The flip side was that we would have the brothers grim dead bang when we got them.
I had done it before, but Red was most likely going to be a problem. He was a little too macho to let the scene play out to its necessary ending. He would want to just kill the brothers the very first time they took a run at us. I was going to have to watch him closely.
Everything remained up in the air at that time. At that moment I was ready for bed and sleep, not sex. The motel was one of those things with cracker boxes stacked on top of each other. Little more than a glorified version of a flop house. It didn’t matter at all to me. the bed was all I had in mind.
The bed was a king sized behemoth, so there was plenty of room for an orgy, if one was so inclined. Too bad I wasn’t in the mood. I had the brother’s grim on my mind, nothing more. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Martin was the same.
It was all about the job for both of us it seemed. The woman in me was just a little disappointed. Sure I was hurt that he couldn’t at least make an attempt, so that I could refuse him. Oh well, there was always the first night after the danger began. Nothing could beat ‘glad to be alive’ sex.
I wasn’t surprised when Mike called our room at 7AM. “Hey Maxine, is the Irishman available?” he asked.
“Sure,” I said then turned away as I handed the phone to Martin.
“”Hello,” he said then he listened. “Okay but this might be the last time we can be seen together.” After he hung up he said to me. “Breakfast with the TV man,” he said it with obvious displeasure in his voice.
“Okay, we will need to work him into the cover story anyway. This is one small town. Three strangers are going to be linked, whether it is what we want or not.” I said seriously.
“Yeah, I suppose so, but how are we going to explain this little troupe falling out of the sky.” Martin asked.
“I thought about this last night. Then I guess I thought some more in my sleep. It seems to me that we need two cover stories. One for the police and mayor types,, and a second one for the brothers grim. We can use Mike in both of them. Mike can be our bit player, so to speak.”
“The two cover stories I can understand.” Martin agreed. “You got any idea on the back end one?” .
“I think we need more information, and to wait for Anya to call before we work on that. My guess is that it is going to have to be some criminal enterprise to get the brothers all worked up.”
“Yeah let’s see if your buddy with the fibbies can point us in the right direction. In the meantime we can play the front cover story for a while and see what develops,” Martin suggested.
“My thinking too. So now lets go meet with Mike and figure out his part in the cover story.” I liked the plan better as it developed. There was lots of wiggle room. I still had my papers thanks to the Russian’s insistence that I file for a church of the missionary position ordainment. It came from one of those advertisements in the back of the rolling stones magazine. I also had my papers from the state of my residence, entitling me to ask questions. So we should be okay, if we got a casual look see.
“So where do I fit into your plans?” Mike asked.
“We are still working on that. It is going to have to be something that allows you to come and go, because you can never be seen filming. That would be a death sentence for all of us.” Martin said.
“How about front man for the ministry. That would get him out and about, so he could slip in and out of town.” I suggested.
“That should work. Mike can make up some posters and other shit. While we hit the town for the first time, he can have them printed up. He can leave with town anytime he wants, just tell people he is going to put the posters in a neighboring town.”
“Then on the back cover story, he can be a runner or courier.” I suggested.
“Good that would fit in with both covers. I like it,” Martin said. Then he added, “They were right down in the Swamp. You are quite the little problem solver,”
“Well let’s not start patting people on the back, we have a lot of crap to work through. First of all, we need to forget about you and me going into town today. Mike needs to go in and lay his own cover. Get the poster’s printed and posted. Then we come in with some of the cover already down.”
“Okay, I’ll take one of your images and make a quick poster. Since you are the one with the ordainment, you should be the headliner.” Mike suggested.
“Works for me,” I said. “In the meantime Irish and I can go in quietly and look for a place to rent. If we have to say anything, we will go with the cover story about the ministry.”
“Give me a couple of hours and I’ll have the posters and be on the ground in Haymarket,” Mike said.
“While you do that, we need to find a place to rent,” Martin said. “And do it quietly.”
“Since we don’t know what the back cover will be yet, let’s get a place out of town. Something in the country and quiet.” I could see his mind working, a place like that would be hard to defend, but great bait for an ambush.
“Now we are moving from an idea to a plan. We can do our riding around while Mike is working on the posters. If we don’t find a place today, tomorrow we go into town and make some noise.” he suggested.
“Then pay the bill and let’s all get moving,” I suggested.
“You know I’m going to be in deep shit, for getting involved in this,” Mike suggested.
“Yeah, but ain’t it just so cool?’ I asked.
“Yeah, never a dull moment around you Maxine,” he said.
“Do you have a piece?” Martin asked.
“Hell no, I’m a TV producer, not a gangster,” Mike said.
“Shit, I don’t have an extra,” Martin said.
“Oh hell, you want a 9mm or a 10mm,” I asked. Both men just smiled. “Listen it’s a collector’s piece don’t lose it.”
We walked to Martin’s car where I recovered the 9mm Glock from the trunk. “I’m serious, it came from the sell off of cop guns in LA. Their was some information that it was part of that bank shoot out in the streets out there. Don’t you lose this thing.”
“How many weapons do you have salted away in my trunk?” Martin asked.
“Enough, I hope.” I said seriously.
Mike left us to return to his room and work on the posters. Martin and I checked out of the motel. Then we drove toward Haymarket. Ten miles out we began driving down the side roads looking for a house that appeared to be for rent.
We circled Haymarket a couple of times before lunch with no good results. For lunch we drove back to the interstate and found a chrome and glass chain restaurant that specialized in travelers. Martin even called Mike to join us. Mike had been at the printers, so we waited for him before we ordered.
The poster Mike tossed on the table was actually quite good. Especially considering it was conceived and laid out in an hour. “Nice job,” I said to mike. “Damn I look old, but it’s still a nice job.”
“Well I could have made you look younger, but I thought you looked more conservative as an old lady,” he said with a laugh.
“Gee thanks, I sure as hell don’t look threatening that is for sure.” I admitted.
“So did you two find us a place yet?” he asked.
“Not yet, but I think we need to do something else while we are out and about. I need to pick up some burn phones.” Martin suggested. Some that can’t be traced back to our real lives. This could get rather messy as Maxine said earlier.”
“In that case I need to send our raw data files out every night.” Mike said.
“Send them by US Mail, not over the net. We don’t need them back home fast, but we do need them back home securely.” I demanded.
“Fair enough,” Mike said.
“So, I’ll get the burn phones after lunch and we will keep looking. If you run across anything while you are putting up the posters let us know. Keep your room at the motel and we will meet there after the day’s search is over.”
“It gets dark early, so I’ll be expecting you about six and we can all go to dinner.” Mike suggested.
After lunch Martin bought the phones in a convenience store. We decided to wait until we got back to the motel to activate them. My handbag played the theme from The Magnificent Seven again. Martin laughed his ass off again. I shook my head as I pushed the button and said, “Hello Anya what do you have for me.”
“Maxine we got nothing on your bothers, but I made a call to the Georgia field office, and they gave me a name for you. Marshall Hall at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation can help you. If he doesn’t have what you want now. he will have it tomorrow. Our man in Atlanta gave him the heads up.”
“Good deal Anya, I’ll give Hall a call.” I said.
“Be careful Maxine, these country boys can play rough,” she said. Then she read off a phone number for me.
“I will, I promise I won’t piss them off,” I said.
“Now, I’m really worried. You are either lying to me, or you are delusional.” she said. “Now I have to go, but seriously be careful.”
“I will, bye.” That’s how I left it with Anya.
We headed back out into the countryside looking for a house to rent. At mid afternoon we saw a small sign nailed to a tree beside a dirt driveway. It simply said ‘house for rent’, and gave a phone number.
“Should we drive down that dirt drive?” I asked.
“I have no idea whether the house is down there, but the road looks in pretty good shape,” Martin suggested.
“Okay, if it turns bad, you can always back out,” I said. I was concerned about getting stuck in the afternoon and having to spend the night in a cold car. I didn’t say anything but I was worried.
As my concerns usually do, those proved to be unfounded. It was a long driveway, but well maintained. At the end of the drive sat a small house. It most likely had only four rooms. My guess was that it was some kind of starter home for a young farm family. I dialed the number of the owner, while we sat in the front yard.
“Sir, I’m calling about the small house you have for rent?” It was a question more than an comment.
“Yes that was my son’s house. He and his wife built a new house. They have a new baby on the way.”
“So you are going to be a grandpa?” I asked trying to be nice.
“Yes, but it won’t be our first.”
“So cool, so how much is the house rent?” I asked.
“$500 a month with a five hundred dollar deposit,” he informed me.
“I would really like to see the inside,” I admitted.
“If you are there now, I’ll come right down. I only live about a mile away.” he said.
“That would be great. We will wait here for you.” I suggested.
“So it’s small, but that’s a good thing,” Martin said. “If Mike brought his bag of tricks, we can get a quick surveillance system installed.”
“I expect it is the size of my old cabin but with a couple of bedroom on the side.” I suggested.
“I never saw your cabin, but I heard about it, so maybe it is.” Martin said.
The owner came, we saw the small clean house, and we paid the deposit and the first month’s rent. We arranged to move in the next day. The house had propane heat and a cooking stoves which also used the liquid gas. It would be ready to go with just a quick call to the local dealer.
Martin managed to get the call in and arranged for a delivery the next day. Even with Martin’s unlimited credit card, the best we could do was to get a morning commitment. I managed to get the power turned on based on my credit record from back home in Aster.
We would be good to go the next day. In the meantime it was back to the motel for one more night.