Sweet Sammy Brown left in a black Cadalac Escalade just after midnight. The timing seemed appropriate for the job at hand. Sweet Sammy was about to disappear as drug dealers and pimps often did. He would be missed only by his junkie customers and his girls, none of whom would be calling the police. In a few days, after some medical care, he would suddenly reappear to be handed over to the DEA, or the CIA, depending on to whom the admiral sold his sorry ass. Soon he would no longer be a criminal, he would be an asset. All that would take at least a week, so that was my time frame to move on up the ladder.
The gang’s tag was 666. I’m sure the most intellectual of them thought that it would be appropriate. The only problem was that most of the other gangs and their members would have no idea of it’s significance. That being the case, they had to be truly bad ass in their own right in order to earn respect.
All that was bullshit as far as I was concerned. My concern was to hit them, before they missed Sweet Sammy Brown. I was sure that even by then he was late checking in. Since I was just an ‘enemy of my friend’ kind of hit. nobody would pay a whole lot of attention. We did have his cell phone and Lucas the Geek had cracked the codes on it. All we got was a bunch of cell phone pictures of naked whores and videos of some black guy with a huge cock. Something that might have been of more interest on another day. There were a couple of dozen numbers on his speed dial. Only one interested me at that moment.
We knew from Sweet Sammy that the gang honcho was named Dante. He prided himself on not believing in anything but dope, guns, and money. Dante as the name implied was black. He was also big and mean as hell, according to Sweet Sammy. If I did not have the wires hooked to his hands, we would have been more afraid of Dante than me. I had expected as much, which is why all the elaborate game playing had been necessary.
“So Lucas you and Earl have been studying the tapes from my conversation with Sweet Sammy, where is the best place to snatch Dante?” I asked.
“He has thee chicks. He spends the night with one of them almost every night. The problem is he is surrounded by his posse even then.” Lucas said.
“So can we find him on most any night at 3AM in one of those houses?” I asked.
“Yes, you can find him there most any late night,” Lucas said.
“Okay we can find him, so how do we grab him without a bloodbath. If we get him out clean the cops will never get called. These guys don’t go crying to the cops.” I said.
“The Swamp Thing intel officer was at the meeting as well. “Flash bangs, tazers, stun guns, shotguns with bean bags. Two men with live ammo as backup. If people have to die, I want them to be their guys. We can always clean up on the way out.” he said. I gave it some thought and I decided that it was the only reasonable way to go.
“We go in hot and fast, grab Dante and get the hell out,” I said in agreement. He just nodded. “How long will it take to get the equipment?” I asked.
“The team that took Sweet Sammy brought it up with them. They also brought a few other things just in case.” Since I didn’t want to know that he had body bags, as well as weapons, I didn’t ask.
“There is a website with a low light satellite image 24hour feed. It is about five minute delay but it’s a good image. We can find out which of the chicks Dante is visiting on any given night.” Lucas said.
“Okay, you guys work up the entry plan, I’ll try figure out what to do with him after we get him.” It was obvious they knew more about assaulting Dante’s hide out than I did. I had to live with what happened to him, so I was concerned about that.
“Do we plan on you coming along,” the older Swamp Thing operative asked.
“You bet your ass I’m coming along. You are working up the plan, because it is mostly your people at risk. My people will be there doing what has to be done from our end. So you breach the house, but we are going to take Dante out of there alive. We need information you know that,” I repeated.
“Look Maxine, “ he said. “Don’t get me wrong. I know this is your operation, but we practice this kind of thing all the time. I would really like for you to hold back and let us do our job.”
“I appreciate that, but you try to appreciate this. It’s my ass he tried to have killed. I will be there and I will look him in the eye while we take him down. Now if that is a problem, I can find some people to breach the door, but then your boss loses face. I can bet you he won’t be happy about that.” I said it while being as much in control, as I could manage at the moment.
“Alright Maxine when do you want to do it,” he asked.
“Find him before 3AM and we go tonight. That gives you and Lucas two hours to work on it.” I said. “If they aren’t sure where Sweet Sammy is, we have a chance to surprise them.” I started from the room, but stopped near the door.
“I am not sure you guys ever worry about the end game but tonight you will. Figure out some way to lay the blame on this somewhere else. The gang might know who did it, but I want the neighbors and anyone else who glances at us to make the wrong ID.”\
“Good idea, how about we go in as terrorists in black ninja masks. We could be DEA or FBI that way. Cover up completely and just hope they are confused.
“Then we go in your SUV with the tags off. Surely you have them on magnets,” I suggested.
“No but we do have the plate lights on a cut off switch and the plates on with push pins. They can be blacked out or removed in seconds.” the Intel officer said.
“It’s after midnight. Dante should be finding a place to hole up by now,” I suggested.
“It’s a weeknight so maybe, but usually these guys are up till 2AM at least.” he said.
“Then I’m going to take a nap. Wake me when he lands somewhere even if it’s too late to make a play.” I demanded.
“Maxine wake up,” the voice said. I wasn’t sleeping deeply, so I jumped right up.
“So what is it?” I asked my sniper buddy.
“Dante showed up at one of his girlfriend’s house,” he said.
“He just got there,” Abra added.
“It’s 2AM give him an hour to screw, and an hour to sleep, then we can hit them at four. We can still be out of there by daylight, if we do it right.” I said.
“Response time should be about five minutes,” Lucas suggested.
“Then we do our planning and set up very quiet. When we hit the door the clock is running four minutes and we are gone. It’s going to be close,” I said. “Anyone want out?”
Nobody spoke. “Then let’s get started that direction. Dress warm, it’s still chilly even in the spring.” the intel officer said. He obviously was going to be team leader.
I quickly dressed in a pair of dark gray cargo pants and a black long sleeve knit top. I wore a thermal sweater, and my vest under it. When I left the bedroom, I took a shotgun and a box of bean bag rounds with me. I also had my stungun, pepper spray, and the colt stainless steel .357 revolver. I was carrying a lot of weight but I didn’t want to leave any of it behind. I could lean on the shotgun so I did sacrifice the cane.
“I’m going along,” Lucas said.
“Not this time Lucas. You are too valuable to me monitoring the house. I don’t want to rush into a trap, or into an empty house. You have to keep an eye on that house.”
“Why is Earl coming then?” he asked angrily. Bitchy little girl, I thought.
“Earl works for the TV Network, you know that. He won’t be coming inside until it is all clear and we are going to be bugging out by that time.” I said.
“I don’t like this at all,” he said.
“I know, but I need you here to keep me straight. I don’t trust mercenaries, you know that,” I said.
“Well that is true. You don’t trust them,” he agreed with his eyes diverted.
The five Swamp Thing operatives and I piled into the one Escalade. The intel officer was behind the wheel and he had the gps set. He was also following it faithfully. I was getting more and more into the ‘middle midnight’ raid thing. The adrenaline was beginning to pump.
When we arrived at the house, it was hand signals only. I understood most of them. Enough for me to be in the right place at the right time. I was going in shotgun up, some were going in with tazers. The sniper was going in with an M16, which was equipped with a drum type magazine. It was just in case someone from the bad guy team came got a weapon into play.
My job was to go up the stairs. Most likely Dante would be up those stairs. He was also the most likely to come out with a piece. I insisted that I be the one to go up. Limp, or no limp, I planned to be the one to pull a trigger on that son of a bitch.
When the SUV pulled up we all got out. I had a pretty good idea where the stairway would be. Since it was public housing and the diagram was easy for Lucas to find.
Being third I stood back with a flash bag as well. When the red light came on the signaling device, which was the signal that the ones in the rear were ready, we counted to three by holding up fingers. On three I threw a brick through the front window first, then the flash bang. The other two hit the door at the same time. I was ready to go through the window, if the door held, but it didn’t. It easily popped open. The two swamp things people with me headed into the living room. The rear team was already in the kitchen with smoke coming from both rooms. I took the stairs as quickly as possible with two people behind me. I was almost at the top when Dante showed up a the top of the stairs with a big pistol. I couldn’t stop so I ran into him and hit him with the stungun. From behind me I heard more popping, but nothing as loud as a gunshot. There were three body guards down in the living room and Dante on the upstairs hallway floor. The girlfriend was in the bedroom unaccounted for. I took a deep breath and went into the room. She had a pistol pointed at me, but lacked the will to shoot it. I pointed the shotgun at her. “Put that down or I’m going to shoot you. Do it now,” I said. She put the pistol down. I pretty much ignored her afterward.
“Come on lets get the fuck out of here,” I shouted as I moved out of the way. The dark haired trooper and the blond guy got Dante up and walked him down the stairs. He was still disoriented so he didn’t give them any trouble. The sniper and the live M16 were the last to clear the house. I looked at the timer on my wrist and saw that we had been inside three minutes.
The older man drove the Escalade through some less traveled streets on our way out of town. All in all it was a picture perfect raid.
“Didn’t you realize that Dante was planning to shoot you? the sniper asked.
“Sure, and I knew if I gave you a clear shot, you would kill him, so I just rushed him. I have on my vest.” I said.