122 new Marshal in town.
During the time Gwen drove, and when she didn’t try to film for TV, I tried to decide on my next move. Actually I tried to decide what my next move might be under several different scenarios. We were most likely going to stay out of jail on this one. What else we did was up in the air. I was determined to make the Atwood bothers pay for my pain, as well as their past sins.
When we pulled into the yard, I saw the Georgia State Police car, complete with it’s driver, sitting at the end of the drive. Martin’s SUV was in the yard as well. The two wrecked cars were gone. Most likely to a crime lab somewhere.
I struggled from the rental car Gwen had brought from Aster. It was one of those compact economy things. “Hey Max, I see you survived the ER visit,” Martin said as I stepped onto the porch.
“Yeah thanks for the loan of the coat, but it’s a little too big for me.” I suggested.
“Well, first chance we get, we will pick you up something. We can put it on my expense account,” Martin suggested.
“Hell not, it needs to go on Mike or Gwen’s account. They are the real reason we are her and therefore the reason for all this carp,” I said accusingly. Once we were in the house, I made the bic lighter signal and he killed the audio feed. “Are there any other cops?”
“Just the one, by the way I got your toys out into the woods,” Martin informed me, with a big smile.
“I think they need to stay there a while. We don’t need to try to explain the arsenal to cops who are working on three dead bodies. Besides they have my .38 and the derringer that’s enough cooperation.” I said.
“I know they have my M4 as well.” Martin said.
“Well, I do hope it’s legal. If it is, you will get it back eventually.” I thought about it a minute then added, “Surely that’s not the only weapon to which you have access?”
“Well let’s say that it is my favorite. We can also say, they are going to need a warrant to search my SUV.”
“With three bodies in the morgue, I’m sure they could get one, if we give them any reason. Let’s try to be cool till the GBI agents get here. Then we will try to work a deal with them.” I suggested.
“Yeah, I can see that’s as our best bet, to keep this from going to a criminal indictment,” Martin agreed.
“If we can get the cops to back off, we might be able to get the Atwoods to come out and play again,” I suggested.
“I still want to find out what the deal is on that lab in the woods,” Martin suggested.
“I’d bet someone else is cooking in there. The brothers probably have all kinds of criminal associated down here,” I suggested.
“I would suggest we trust no one, not even the cops,” Martin said.
“We need to use the cops, but maybe trust would be taking it a bit too far. They are going to have their own best interest at heart.” I said in agreement.
I drank coffee and popped the pills supplied to me by the hospital before I left. It would be impossible to buy anything anywhere until morning. I might could make a run to the next largest town. I might even find an all night convenience store, but I doubted it. The cop in the drive most likely had orders to keep us all locked in safely until the GBI arrived.
“Martin I am knocked out. I need sleep. Call me when the GBI guys get here,” I said that as I stood to wobble to the bedroom and then crawl into the bed on the floor. Too much had happened, even so those little pink pills made everything seem less urgent. I wanted sleep not sex and Martin could tell.
I woke up to his voice at the doorway. “Maxine the heavy hitters are here,” he informed me.
I walked into the living room, where I got my first look at the GBI team. “I’ll be right back, I need to pee. I took care of that while I processed the group. There were two men and two women all of them looked just average. All except one man that is. He was tall and heavy. Not heavy like fat, heavy like blocky muscular. he had to be at least 6‘ 3“ probably more even. He was a giant of a man.
The second man was about 6‘ probably 200 pounds just very average. He even looked rather bookish. The two women were standard issue police women detectives. One thirty pounds over weight and one very light in the ass. I stopped in the kitchen for coffee before I went back to the living room to face the inevitable interrogation.
“I’m Marshal Hall,” the giant said.
“Of course you are,” I agreed.
“So what happened. Don’t hold back and don’t pull any punches. Anna says you are connected and damn good at what you do.”
“Let me get a little of the coffee down and I’ll tell all. At least all you need to know.” I said.
“I need to know it all, if I’m going to help you,” he said. “You know that this doesn’t look good.”
I actually laughed. “Are you seriously trying to intimidate me. Obviously Anna didn’t tell you enough.” I thought she must have changed her name to the more American version of Anya.
“What is it you find amusing about this?” he asked.
“Let me see, first of all we were attacked and defended ourselves. The fact that we have a better gunslinger than the Atwoods, doesn’t make us guilty of anything. So if you threaten me again, I call my lawyer, Jen in Aster, and we all shut up till she gets here. Now Agent Hall do we understand each other.”
“Yes I think we do,. You are under arrest for the murder of three John Does.” He said.
“Cool, call Jen,” I said to Gwen as I stood and turned my back to the GBI agents. I even went so far as to put my hands behind my head. I waited but didn’t feel the cuffs.
“Let’s start over.” the big man suggested. “Tell me what you know about The Atwoods please?”
“How about I tell you one, and then you tell me one?” I asked.
“Fair enough,” the big man replied.
“Thomas Atwood is a lousy fighter. He slapped me and I kicked his ass. He went to the ER in his brother’s car. Earlier tonight the brother came to talk to me. He threatened to kill me, and all my friends?
“I don’t suppose you can prove all this?” he asked.
“Mike set up a little show and tell,” I demanded.
“My pleasure Maxine,” Mike said as he sat his laptop on the folding card table. First he set up the video of Thomas Atwood slapping me hard across the face. Then there was the close up of the blood on my face. He kept the camera running while I kicked the shit out of Atwood.
A couple of adjustments and it was Blain Atwood telling me how he suggested his brother do a drive by shooting, but Thomas wanted to make it personal. Then telling me they would be coming for me.
“Okay they are stupid and it’s enough to put us on their trail for tonight’s shooting.” The big guy said.
“Since they didn’t pull the triggers, they might be able to squirm out of it,” The heavier of the two women suggested.
“So now, you tell me something I didn’t know,” I demanded.
“You know the Atwoods as thugs and general pains in the ass bullies, but obviously there is more, if they can get a crew to come try to kill you.” the big guy said.
“Actually I think it was a kidnap plan, but tell me what they are into besides the pain the ass things.” I demanded.
“We think they are distributing drugs for some Mexican cartel.” The big man suggested.
“It is more likely they are selling to them, than that they distributing for them.” I suggested.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“We think we stumbled on a Chrystal Meth lab on the Atwood farm. They could be trading Meth for rock,” Martin said. “I hear Meth is getting to be a hot commodity in Mexico City.”
“That’s a lot to digest. We are going to need time to work this information into our profile of the brothers.”
“They obviously don’t like strangers. That is the real reason they gave us such a hard time,” I suggested. “They didn’t want us to stumble onto anything.”
“Probably true.” the skinny female said. Most likely only because she hadn’t offered anything to the conversation.
“So what do you have in mind,” The big man asked.
“Maybe we can get rid of the Atwoods and take their place. Just long enough to find out who you are looking for. then we all just disappear.”
“Why would you do that?” he asked.
“We are here to take down the Atwoods. So help us, or at the very least don’t get in our way.” I said it and watched the reaction of the Big Guy. He was obviously in charge.
“Well if there was something I could charge you with, I would. Those tapes make it obvious what happened, so we need to look into the Atwoods,”
“Good, while you are playing with that, we are going to pin another tail on the donkey. The more shit we put on the wall, the more likely it is something will stick. It’s probably going to be confusing for a while.”
“You know I have to tell you, this is not approved by the GBI. If you break any laws, we will arrest you. I am leaving an officer outside just to make sure nobody comes back. It’s really for your safety.”
“Marshall, if this is a drug cartel type thing, the Atwood boys picked it up in Mexico, If so your officer is in as much danger as we are. Sending four men, to kill four people is heavy duty shit,” I said.
“I doubt he has too many more good old boys, who are going to be willing to go up against you guys. He may want peace, or he may want to just back off and let you have your church.” Marshal said.
“So we are going to stay with this, with or without your help. When the shit goes down, just remember who the good guys are.” I said.
“Are there any good guys here, you can’t prove that by me, or the data on file with the FBI. We did a background checks on all of you in the middle of the night.”
“Oh and what did you find?” Martin asked.
“One washed up mercenary, one shady sort of PI, who people keep dying around, two TV producers, who of late keep getting right in the middle of some sick reality TV crap. All in all you are a crew that should probably be in jail somewhere.” When he said it, he was looking at Martin. I wondered if he realized he had made a promo for the TV series.
“Well, should we do a background check on you guys as well,” I suggested.
“I heard you had a world class hacker back home, but you won’t find anything.” he said talking about Lucas.
“There is always something to find,” I suggested. “So I guess we are through here?”
“For now, but we will be back.” Marshal said.
“Of course you will,” I said in agreement.
We waited patiently for them to clear out. “So what are we going to do first,” Mike asked.
“You are going to come along and film whatever we do. Get your camera ready for the cook house surveillance. In the meantime, if the cop is going to watch the house, we can all go to breakfast together.