“Geese, after taking all our money, Eve is going to buy breakfast isn’t she?” Jake asked.
“She is standing right here Jake, ask her,” I said.
“So Eve are you buying?” Jake ask playfully.
The game was a simple fun game because everybody put up $100 dollars. No one was allowed to bring more money into the game. When the money was gone, so was the player. “I’ll buy your breakfast, but anybody who orders over a hundred dollars worth of food is on their own,” Eve said playfully. I was still surprised that now and then she seemed more human than I did.
I had some kind of apple thing that wasn’t a pancake exactly and wasn’t a strudel either, It was somewhere in between, but it was all delicious. The coffee wasn’t bad, so the dozen of us sat there drinking coffee and eating a little of everything on the menu.
“Give all the checks to that skinny blond chick,” I said to the waitress. “ She is part of the the hospital staff.” Funny thing, but after that people avoided us.
Back at the base camp, such as it was, we crowded into Martin’s cabin, “There are so many of us now that we are going to make this short. Maxine and I will meet each group separately later.” Then Martin introduced Smiling Jack and the Navy group to all the others. He explained what we had waiting for us logistically. He also explained how each unit was going to be interrelated during the operations. “So if you have any questions, voice them anytime and we will work out an answer.”
“I know you all want to know when we leave. It should be at least a day or so. We have a few things to clear up with intelligence, then we need to pick up the boat. But don’t leave the compound.” I said. “Security is Martin’s job. For those of you who are new to this kind of thing, he takes it seriously. We all do. Now get lots of rest, and stock up on carbs, like a long distance runner.”
“Alex, let’s take a walk,” I stayed quiet until we got to the picnic table, which sat by the road. I still had Martin’s electronic scrambler, so I flipped it on just in case.
“So what do you need Max?” he asked.
“I just wanted to tell you that when you take control of the boat, disable all the electronics on board. You won’t be needing them. The instruments to run the engine and gauges you will need, but not the navigation or radios gear.”
“Max that’s a hell of a long way to go without Navigation tools,” Alex said with a lot of concern in his voice.
“Alex you have to trust me, we will have all that. Besides aren’t you the one who told me the Gulf was just a big bathtub?” I asked.
“Yeah but it’s a really big bathtub,” he did smile as he said it.
I handed him my tiny laptop. Take a look. There are three websites listed. Each of them seems to have a boat large enough for our needs,” I said.
Alex was better with the computer than me. He not only checked the websites but he flipped around checking other things about the boats. “You are right all three of these are large enough. This is the newest of them, and it appears to be well maintained, if this is a current photo. We are going to have to see them in person though.”
“After we see them, we may have to steal one. If we can’t book it for the day we need to sail,” I suggested.
“Then let’s see if all three will work, so that we have a choice. Maybe we can get one of them to fit into our plan, without a theft from the dock. From my work I can tell you hijacking it is much easier.
“Take the Martin’s SUV and go see the boats. When you get back, we can make a decision.” I said.
Alex nodded, then walked back to his cabin to get someone from his crew to go along. I could only hope they wouldn’t act too suspicious. Nothing of ours would hold up to an in depth investigation. At least I had him in a motor vehicle that would check out should he be stopped by the locals for some bullshit traffic violation. Biloxi had been a good choice for a base of operations, because there were lots of out of state tags on the cars running up and down the roads.
“So Eve, is our Narco Terrorist home today?” I asked upon entering our cabin.
“He is home. Along with his wife and son,” she informed me.
“Why didn’t anyone mention his family before?” I asked.
“It isn’t relevant,” Eve replied.
“Everything is relevant, some of these men have kids of their own. They will never be able to pull a trigger on children. Even if they are being groomed to be drug cartel leaders.” I replied.
“Then we keep this to ourselves,” she suggested.
“Good, more ghosts to visit me on Halloween,” I suggested. “What does the security look like?”
“Twenty to twenty five trained mercenaries on site any time that Estavante is in residence. He also has four body guards that travel with him always.” Eve said.
“When he leaves the compound by car how is the configuration?” I asked.
“Usually there are three to five Ford SUVs. They are all bullet proof. He will be in one of the center vehicles. It differs as to which one.” she said.
“So we use the IEDs to stop the vehicles, then we kill car one and the rear car. Give them an order to come out of the others. If they hesitate, which I am sure the will, we kill another car, then give it again, if Estavante doesn’t come out quickly, then we will have to search the rubble for his body.” I said.
“That won’t be pleasant,” Eve suggested.
“It won’t be my first rodeo,” I said. I changed the subject because frankly I didn’t want to think about it any more. “What’s the long range forecast look like?”
“You mean the weather?” she asked. I nodded. “Chance of shower all over the gulf but no real fronts moving in.”
“Then if Alex gets a boat, we will be operational, when the time is right.” I said it more for myself than Eve. She probably knew what I was going to say before I did.
Alex was back by noon from his fact finding and planning mission. “Okay I solved our problem, I think. The ‘Flying Dutchman’ is a small party boat or a large charter boat either way it fits our needs fine. It has been recently serviced and is fully insured.”
“So how about the other one?” I asked.
“It would work as well, but after I did my research I think Dutchman is the one,” he suggested.
“Why?” I asked.
The skipper is about thirty five. He is divorced and lives alone. When he finishes his charter, he swings by and fills the boat up with diesel. He wants to have it ready for the next day. He will be pulling the boat into a more or less empty dock at 7PM. Now and then he takes on a night charters. So if we grab him and the boat, then load it with a minimum of fuss, there shouldn’t be anyone the wiser. There also won’t be anyone to miss him for a day or two.”
“How about his first mate. His website says there is a crew of two,” Eve stated.
“I expect we can convince the captain to call and cancel his one man crew for the next day. It’s a slow time of the year, I doubt that it will be the first time a charter has canceled at the last minute.” Alex said.
“If we leave around 7PM the timing will be right,” I admitted.
“That’s what I thought as well,” Alex said.
“Is he out with a charter now,” I asked.
“Yes, he will most likely be in between 6 and 8PM.” Alex suggested.
I called Martin. “We have a ride. Let’s leave at five this afternoon, can we do that.”
“Wouldn’t tomorrow be better?” he asked.
“Why, just more time to worry. We are going to be en route 30 hours. Isn’t that enough time to finish planning.”
“I can get the SUV loaded and ready to go by three so yeah we can do that. But it is going to rush the hell out of everyone.”
“Good less time to worry,” I admitted. Just like that it was on. I loaded my sniper rifle, the ,30 cal carbine and my new pistol into what looked like a large canvas mail bag. I didn’t bother with anything else. I was armed with my hammerless .38 and my cane as I left the room. The expensive and fancy wig was history along with all my personal items. Eve had taken them to the car in a plastic bag, which was on it’s way to the trash can. After the trash run I parked the econo box in a really bad section of town and pulled the tags. I climbed into the rented van along with everyone else. The renting of a van, and the loss of the untraceable SUV from Swamp Thing, were just an additional cost of doing business. Both would be left in a parking lot by the boat dock.
We ran back and forth like crazy getting things done so that we were ready to hijack a boat by 6PM. It was a mad house, but we all made it to the parking lot. Alex and I waited on the dock. The others were in either the van or the SUV. Alex was dressed all in black, but I had held out a red tee to wear with my black jeans. The plan was to wear it until we were ready to go over the side. Then I would change into a black tee. The red was just in case we needed to talk to someone. Like to convince a boat captain that it was alright to stop for us.
“Hey Captain, I have a question,” I said as he tied up his boat.
“What can I do for you miss?” he asked.
“Let’s go into your office and talk for a bit,” I said showing him the hammerless .38.
“I swear, I don’t have any money,” he said.
“Then you are about to make some. We want to rent your boat for the next couple of days,” I said.
“And if I say no?” he asked.
“That’s why I have this pistol. You really don’t want to say no, do you?” I asked.”
“I guess not,” he replied.
“Good, now you can sail with us and help out, or I can handcuff you to a post somewhere. You won’t be found for a day or so, but you will probably be safe. Your choice?”
“I guess I’ll go along,” he said.
“Good choice, now my friends are loading the boat and getting it ready to sail. It won’t be long now.” I said.
One of Alex’s men came in. He looked at me, then turned to the captain. “Cap how much diesel does the tank on you boat hold?”
“Twenty Gallons and it’s full,” he said.
“And what is the range on those twenty gallons?” the crewman asked.
“Between 200 and 300 nautical miles depending on how hard I push it.” the captain said.
“Do you have any extra gas cans?” The crewman asked.
“In the storage room back there. Two ten gallon cans,” the captain said.
“Okay sit tight, we need to buy some more diesel before we leave. It won’t take long. Alex is doing some mods on the boat. Your man Martin went shopping for us over lunch, so we don’t need anything but diesel fuel.
We were on the water by 9PM. Our ETA at the Creek was some time after midnight the next day. The captain joined Alex on the bridge, just as soon as we were completely loaded. “What have you done?” he asked Alex.
“I pulled all the electronics that could be used to locate the boat. Most of it will leave us blind, but we have our own Satellite hookup.” Alex had no idea how it worked. The smart phone looking thing that Eve let him use, was actually a terminal reader from her internal computers.