There was just too much we didn’t know to make a rational decision. The thing I knew was what I didn’t know. I didn’t know what the structure of the drug business was in Aster or Tryon. It seemed to me that would be job one.
To do that I needed an information sharing arrangement between the dope squad in Tryon, Aster and me. Then most likely I would need DEA to share information on Estavante. Since there was no arrangement in place, it appeared that I needed to setup one and do it on an emergency basis. Of course I had to have some excuse to get me inside the meeting.
The words that sprang to mind were Task Force. The problem was I had no official standing nor did I want any. I just wanted the information from them all, not their bodies on the ground necessarily. Hacking the police computers would be difficult at the very least. But then I had the ultimate computer sitting on a very hard, very straight chair across from my downstairs bathroom. She was doing what I supposed was was robot version of sleeping. At least she was recharging her batteries, which is more or less what sleep does for me.
While Eve rested and recharged, she also got upgraded and received information form her monitoring circuitry. She could do something only huge networks were supposed to be able to do. She could scan large data banks for random entries.
“So do you think scanning the Internet at selected times and places while I am on recharge might help?” she asked.
“Is there a downside?” I asked.
“Very slight, if I wait until my power supply is replenished completely to start, then the energy I use would come from the system. It would not effect my maximum performance when I unplug myself.” she said.
“Is there any chance they could trace you back to this location from your random scan?” I asked. “Security is a big deal.”
“Ah I see. I can do a couple of things to minimize that possibility,” she suggested.
“Get the odds of a trace to 1% or below and then we will do it,” I suggested.
While I sat on my combo sofa/bed trying to think who best to share the file with, Eve scanned the local police department’s dope files. She was looking for any of the known associates from the Estavante file she had begun to build earlier.
The only things of which I was sure, was that I did not want to live in a Narco Terror state, nor did I wan’t get my ass involved with a DEA or CIA operation. That left only one entity to which I could turn for help. As much as I hated it Swamp Thing could arrange something I could not and something our government lacked the balls to arrange.
The problem was I might be aligning myself with one devil to fight another. If Swamp thing sold this to the highest bidder, I could end up working for a different trafficker or even Estavante himself. There were just no guarantees with Swamp Thing.
There was only one person more devious than any of those agencies. The only person who could sort through the political end of the equation was Jennifer. Just a small town country lawyer, she told the politicos when she first met them. Of course Sam Ervin had said that the whole time as he brought down the First US President to ever resign from office. Goes to show, you never under estimate a small town southern lawyer. Mine especially, since she looked so harmless, but was one bad ass bitch.
“Jennifer, are you going to have some time for me tomorrow?” I asked when I had her on the phone.
“Depends is it business or monkey business?” Jennifer asked.
“This is serious shit and it is all business. We need to decide what to do about the missing money from the drug raid.” I suggested.
“So now you know what happened to it?” she asked.
“Yeah I know, but it’s going to be a lot more than that one drug raid gone sideways,” I suggested.
“Then come by the office after your morning walk. I’ll work it out somehow.” Jennifer said. One thing she knew was that I never cried wolf unless I was up to my ass in snapping teeth.
“Fair enough,” I suggested.
I shouted down the stairs, “I’m going to sleep. Monitor the perimeter, If anything urgent happens come get me.” It seemed like a good thing for Eve to do, since she couldn’t really shut down completely anyway. If she was going to monitor the net, she might as well monitor my on line cameras as well.
I slept very well. I suppose knowing Eve was watching the perimeter as well as scanning for information on our bad guys was a positive sleep aid. I awoke the next morning with shower first thing on my mind. Eve must have heard the water running because she was waiting outside the upstairs bathroom.
“So what are we doing today?” she asked.
“Well. first we are going to find me something to wear. Then we are going to go find me something to eat, since unlike you I need real food. Then we are going to go to the mall to walk, because again unlike you I need exercise. My next plan is to go see Jennifer, my partner in crime.”
“Very well, then I suppose I should tag along.” she said.
“That would be good. Do you drive?” I asked.
“I learned to drive and to ride a bicycle for this assignment. I have driver’s licenses in all 50 states.” she said.
“How many hours do you have behind the wheel of a car?” I asked.
“Not more then a half dozen hours total,” she said.
“Well if you don’t mind, I think you will be the passenger for a while. I will see if I can get you a motorized bicycle. Even though I know from my experience with Lucy, that you can ride under your own power all day.”
“Good the motor bike will allow me to conserve on my power consumption.” she admitted.
“Yes and people won’t be wondering about you biking faster than the traffic,” I agreed.
We ended up in Helen’s sit down with me dressed in worn jeans and Eve dressed in much better ones. She also wore a masculine cute shirt, but it was clingy enough for anyone looking carefully to notice that she had boobs. She looked more androgynous than butch to me.
“Hey Max whose your new friend?” one of the cops asked.
“This is my friend Eve,” I said with a smile. I didn’t much care what they thought of our relationship.
“Well hello Eve where are you from?” one of the younger ones asked.
“Hello officer, I’m from Louisiana,” she said.
“New Orleans,” he asked.
“No, small town fifty miles north,” she said smiling. He returned the smile.
Eve had obviously practiced eating. She was much better at faking it than Lucy had been. We sat across from the cops and pretty much ignored each other and them as well. It was more a ‘each of us lost in our own world’ kind of thing.
For some reason, I wondered what she was doing, so I whispered. “What the fuck are you doing?” It was obvious that she was lost in deep, deep thought.
“I think I just came across some information that will interest you.” she said.
“Well hold it till we get to the car. I don’t want to be going Gee Whiz in front of these guys,” I admitted.
“Yeah, I thought as much,” she replied.
I finished quickly but I did take time to refill my coffee cup. We were in the car when I finally had to ask, “Okay Eve, what did you pick up?”
“It’s the trail from Estavante to Aster.” she informed me.
“So where do the footprints lead?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“It means, where does the trail lead.” I shook my head in despair.
“There are two or three links that had to be made first, but it looks as though Estavante’s man here is Charles Allen Wilson.” She said.
“That hardly sounds like the name of a Narco Terrorist.” I suggested,
“I know but he is their ‘go to guy’ here,” she informed me.
“How do we know this?” I asked.
“He has been the subject of some very productive surveillance. I have no idea why no one busted him before, but he is definitely in business with Estavante,” she informed me.
“Get me everything you can on him. I want his business and family contacts. I want to know where our leverage is, if there is any at all.” I said.
“Very well I’ll work on it as soon as I get back to a secure computer. Well back to your place, my computer office there is secure. I will be almost impossible for them to back trace us.” she said.
“Thanks for trying to include me but they will be back tracing you not me. I wouldn’t have any idea where to begin.” I informed her.
“Well let’s try to be a good team then,” she said.
“Okay as a good team member, we need to introduce you to Jennifer.” I said.
“I know who she is. How are you going to introduce me?” Eve asked.
“Depends, do you think you could fool her into thinking you and I are lovers?” I asked.
“I am sure I could,” Eve said. I really should have told her that if Jennifer were convinced she was screwing me, Jen would not rest until she had Eve in a bed or something like a bed.
“Then we tell her we met yesterday and it was love at first sight. What kind of background cover are you planning?” I asked.
“I worked in a massage parlor?” she asked with a grin.
“You look more like the type who worked on a horse farm,” I said.
“Give me and hour and I can tell you everything there is to know about Eve the horse trainer,” she assured me.
“Tell Jen if she asks, that we met at Cowboys Bar and Grill. We need to go there tonight do not let me forget.” I said it as we pulled into the parking lot of Jennifer’s office. “While I meet with Jen you do your homework and set up your background cover story. Let me know the details later.
I left Eve in the reception are while I went through the door to Jen’s office. “So Max what is it that is so important?” She asked.
“Put this in your computer, but first unplug it from the internet. When I say unplug it, I mean take the cord out of the computer or remove the wifi card.”
“Geeze that’s a lot cloak and dagger,” she said after she had the network cable disconnected.
“Necessary,” I said as i handed her the cd , which I had made the night before from the file. She ran it without any more comment. When she finished she started it again. “This could work. The liberal press hates the cops.”
“The conservative cops hate the liberal press. So there is a good chance this could get some traction. Maybe not revolution kind of traction, but Narco Cartels operating more or less with impunity here kind of traction.” I said.
“So what are you going to do?” she asked.
“It’s not up to me to do anything,” I said. “I just want to know who is the safest person to pass this to.”
“I don’t know if there is anyone safe enough. One leak and this becomes the poison pill. They can get you so many ways.” She seemed to think a long time then she finally said, “Why not just destroy the file and let them all go to hell.”
“You know I can’t do that. Too many good men died fighting terrorist to let them have free reign here.” I replied.
“Yeah, then at least throw away the rulebook for this one. There is no way you can follow the rules and walk away from this.” she said.
“That was my thought as well.” I agreed.
“Let me think tonight and tomorrow we will talk.” she said.
“Jen I have a computer expert who says they may be doing random back check, so be careful who you even look at.”
“I’m going to be very careful,” Jennifer informed me.