The first thing we needed was to hide out somewhere while we worked out a game plan. We also needed tools so we approached my place first. Eve pulled the camera files up on her smart phone. Since she didn’t really need the phone to see them, she would have just told me what she saw, if Jen hadn’t been in the car.
She ran the files from the time we left home that morning until the very moment as we sat outside. “It doesn’t appear that anyone has been here.” she said after reviewing the file.
“We are going in and grab what we need, then hit the road. Jen you can run home and to get whatever you think you. Make whatever calls you need to in order to reschedule everything from here, just in case they get traced.. When we have everything we need, all of us will vanish for a while.”
“Like hell,” Jen said. “I’m calling in all the favors your boyfriends owe me. Estavante doesn’t have a foothold here yet. I’m going to get me some high level body guards and stay right here.” Jen said all filled with righteous indignation.
“Then you are not an idiot, Just do as I say. If you just have to bring Bob with you. If you stay, when you die in a car bomb, who will I get to replace you?” I asked. “And of course they are going to get Bob as well.
“Then put your shit in my car, while I make the calls. Then we can go get my shit. If it is that bad, I’m not letting you out of my sight.” she rightly demanded.
“Make the calls from my land line.” I said it so that she knew I had agreed to her terms.
“Geeze time flies when you are having fun, I said as I looked at the giant Wonder Bread advertising clock over my work bench / dining table. The tiny dining area sat on the second floor of my downtown house. Eve and I had left early in the morning and now it’s 6PM. So damn much had happened and it wasn’t even dark yet.
I went to the old safe, which had been salvaged from a local hardware store. Since lots of the downtown buildings were being scraped, or being re-purposed like mine had been, I was able to find all kinds of unique things available just for hauling them away. My re-purposed gunsafe had been the most difficult to get into the building.
I put a blanket on the work bench, which I used as a dining table, and began to pile weapons on it. First, I put in the light sniper rifle. I had three of sniper rifles but the one I chose was the .22magnum bolt action, single shot Remington. I had a letter from the man who supposedly used the rifle in the cross country rifle Winter Olympic trials of the 1950s. It was a highly accurate, lightweight weapon and would be easy to carry forever, if need be.
Beside it I laid my Chinese AK47 set up simi automatic. Machine guns didn’t appeal to me, since I wasn’t in a real war. Besides I had seen too many images of men standing in the street firing on full auto into a tree line. Any reasonable person knew, that one man inside those trees, with only a decent sniper rifle, could have killed them all and still had time for a take out lunch. I found my old antique .30 cal carbine from World War II. Like all my guns it came with a story, It was supposed to have been used by a member of the 101 airborne on D Day.
I loaded my 10mm Glock as well as the smaller, lighter 9mm Glock. I would loved to have had the whole safe full of weapons, but Jen would need room for her girlie things in the SUV. I just couldn’t resist putting the .410 gauge derringer in my pocket, since it wouldn’t take up much room.
I loaded a handful of panties into one of those cheap ‘Save the earth’ cloth shopping bags. I even topped it off with half dozen Henley Collar Tee Shirts. That was my total packing for the hide out. \
If I hadn’t done one last look around, I would have forgotten the expensive blond wig. I didn’t bother with the fancy clothes that went with it. I did go back to the safe where I removed one small and one larger box. The small box had a generic dumb cell phone, which had never been activated. There were four prepaid cards in the box as well.
The larger box held an assortment of gold chains and wedding rings. I had picked up both from a gold dealer, who used to set up to buy them at flea markets and craft shows. I paid about what a pawn shop would have, since he got them considerably cheaper. The man was tired of traveling and wanted to get out of the business. I had the gold tested to be sure that it wasn’t a total ripoff, then I made him an offer. I had kept them in one safe place or another for over a year. If you need untraceable money on the run, gold and cash are your best bets. I had a supply of both.
Eve packed her very few clothes. She only had to change if she spilled something on her generic clothing. That and just everyday soil happened about as often as it did for me. The Vietnamese mother and daughter laundry did both our clothes, but I expected that I would be buying them while on the run.
I called Blevins from the land line in my place after about twenty minutes. “I’m on the run Blevins,” I said into the house phone.
“So I heard, I couldn’t believe Wilson had sold out, especially not to someone who wanted to take over the whole damn town.” He paused a moment then asked, “So what are you going to do?”
“I’m going to do whatever I can, what about the local cops?” I asked.
“Hamstrung, these guys fly in from Mexico commit their shit and fly out. Wilson is puking information all over the place. You found out just in time. They would have had an army of assholes in here soon.”
“You know he wasn’t the only one?” I said.
“I know there are probably more cops and drug dealers all over the place who were in on it.” he said.
“They have a lot invested and their reps are on the line, they aren’t going to quit easy,” I said.
“So, I say again what you gonna do?” he asked.
“First, I’m going to ground. Then I’m going to take the fight to Estavante I think,” I replied.
“That is going to take an army,” he said.
“Well at least a few good men and women,” I said.
“You aren’t going to get mixed up with those Swamp Thing thugs are you?” he asked.
“Our thugs can whip their thugs,” I said, then laughed. “I have to make a another stop or two before I put it in the wind. I’ll call you later. Find out all you can about the Aster and Tryon cops and how far they are into the pockets of Estavante,” I demanded.
“I’ll let you know what I find out,” Blevins said.
We left the downtown house with the just the bare essentials of my business. The drive to Jens fancy house in the suburbs, such as they were in Aster, was uneventful but still nerve wracking. Because if the bad guys had time to plan we could be ambushed. We were doing the expected, which was never a good thing.
Jen had made two calls from her smart phone. She called her husband Bob who chose to go fishing for a month rather than on the run with us. That being the case I was sure fishing meant he had a new girlfriend or in Bobs case maybe a boyfriend. Hell it could have been both for all I knew. Bob liked to watch, as Jen said.
I told Jen she had 15 minutes to load her shit, then we were gone. “Be sure you tell Bob no contact with anyone until he hears from us.” I warned Jen. I stayed in the caddy to keep an eye out for strangers, but I sent Eve in with Jen to make sure she moved things along.
I wasn’t all that much surprised when three people came from the house carrying sports type duffel bags. Bob opened the rear door and entered the Caddy. “Changed your mind huh?” I asked. “Did the seriousness penetrate your thick head, or was it the sight of Eve?”
“A little of both, and it’s good to see you too Max,” he said. “I brought that Colt 1911 you bought for me. I might not be able to hit anything but I can sure make a lot of noise with it.”
“It’s a loud weapon for sure,” I said. “Bob listen to me very carefully. All of you listen, these guys have more cash than the US government. If you have seen cop shows on TV where the cops find people by tracking their electronics and cars, these guys have the money to do the same things. Plus these guys don’t have a problem killing a dozen innocent people to get to us. So make no mistake your old life is over until we end this.” It was a speech I had to make even though I knew Jen and Bob had no concept of what it was going to be like.
There were two phone the bad guys couldn’t trace. My burn phone with the battery out of it, and Eve’s satellite link. I had to come up with a way to dump the Caddy. First I needed to know what our assets were.
“Eve is your credit card traceable?” I asked after I got her out of hearing from the others.
“It can only be traced by the team,” she informed me.
“Good,” I said. I walked back to Jen and Bob who stood by the Caddy in the garrage. So how much cash do you have?” I asked.
“Thirty thousand from the safe,” Bob said. “I can convert some stocks and other assets quickly though.”
“Bob, listen to me carefully. In about thirty minutes none of us are going to exist any more. If you try to come back into the world before Estavante is finished, you are going to die. I’m not kidding. If you go in to pick up money. they are going to kill you, only after they torture you for information about me and Jen. So from now on you are on a budget. That budget has a total of 30k to last you forever.”
“I have about 15k in cash and another 20K in scrap gold which we can convert without leaving a trail back to us. We probably have access to another 50k but it will bring some attention to us. That might not be a bad thing, since the people who can trace that money already have a way to track us, but I think they are harmless for now.”
“I’m not sure that I am comfortable with you being in charge,” Bob said “After all you are the one they are looking for.”
“Jen how do you feel about it? Before we move on I have to know who is with me and who isn’t. This is war not a democratic exercise. We are not going to be electing generals.”
“Are you going to throw Bob out in the cold?” Jen asked.
“He is gone, now it’s just a matter of do you want to take your chances with him or me. Make no mistake, you are both targets for kidnap and torture. You are dealing with Mexican Drug Lords,” I informed her. “Jen I got you into this, and I can get you out of it. I can’t have someone around who is going to make a call because they didn’t believe me, when I said it would get us all killed. Bob will be calling one of his chippies, because he thinks he is smarter than the cartel thugs. In doing so, he will get us all killed. If you choose to go with him, I will understand. I am positive it is a deadly choice, but it is up to you.”
“I don’t think Bob would risk our lives,” Jen said. “I want him to come with us.”
“Okay I’ll tell you what I’ll do just for you Jen. If we search him and his bags and there is no cell phone, I will take him along. If there is, he gets an earful of advice and a good luck wish.” I said it to Jen, but I was staring at Bob.