As we hustled back to the Villa, I saw the boom box, or whatever it was, hanging from a tree a few yards off the road. I used the .30 cal to shut it the fuck up. It took three shots which alerted Martin that I was on the way.
“Smith is in the back,” Martin said as Eve and I approached.
“Okay I guess we need to go inside and look for the bunker. We can’t spend too much time, but we have to find him. I have about 10 lbs of Semtex left. if we can’t drag him out quickly, we will just seal the Bunker and move on.”
That wasn’t what I intended at all. It was my intent to leave Mexico with the narco terroist’s head in a bag. We were about to head in, when Vlad showed up. “Where the hell is Anya?” I asked.
“She is back with the prisoners. She can handle them don’t worry,” he said. I didn’t like the way he looked at me, but I had no time to be paranoid.
“You and Martin check out the inside of the villa. Pick up anything of interest, as long as you are in there. Eve and I will make a swing around the grounds.” That’s just what we did after we got through the gate. We split up and began our very cautious sweep of the Villa. We were all aware that there were probably four very well armed men inside somewhere.
I turned to Eve, when the other two were out of hearing, “If they went into a bunker to avoid the gas, then there has to be a mechanical ventilation system in the bunker. Listen carefully for the sound of a motor and fan.” I suggested to her.
It took her about five minutes to find the sound. It was coming from a gardener’s shed. Since there were four bodyguards unaccounted for I called everyone but Anya to the shed. “The vent tube is hidden under the slop sink over there. I’m sure they have either a microphone or a camera inside there.”
“Let’s just drop some Semtex down the tube.” Smith suggested.
“It wouldn’t get into the bunker. My guess is the tube has a P trap to keep that kind of thing from happening. We are pretty sure it has filters to guard against gas. It seems Estavante isn’t all that macho after all.”
“Cap off the vent and they will come out.” Smith suggested next.
“It probably would work, but I’m sure there is more than one. We don’t have the time to find and cap them all. We need to find the door. The floor of the shed is a slab of concrete. It is likely part of the roof system. Let’s just look around and remember there are still four bodyguards and one animal down there. They are going to be vicious.
“Let’s think,” I said to Eve after we split up. The doorway has to around here somewhere. Whatever it uses as a door, will probably be blast proof.” I took a quick look around. There was nothing standing upright which could be used as a door. “It has to be a cellar type door,” I said. “It’s the floor of the almost empty shed. That concrete slab is somehow the door.”
Eve got down on her hands and knees and checked. “You are right the whole slab slides.” I looked around the shed but couldn’t find the camera or microphone. Even so, I was sure they were there.
“Okay let’s rig the IED to blow the bunker.” I said so that the microphone could pick it up.
Eve was quick thinking, I would have expected no less. “How do we do it?” she asked.
“First we blow the vent and look for smoke to emerge from the other vents in the jungle. That first explosion will clear the filters and open a straight line down. Once we can get some Symtex inside, it will pop open like a child’s toy. Those bunkers are designed to protect from outside explosions not inside ones. I figure two small explosions and one big mother. Then we just walk in and count the bodies.”
“Sounds right to me,” Eve agreed.
I walked outside then called them all to me. “Martin when you searched the villa did you find any arms?”
“Sure they have a room full of guns and ammunition,” he replied.
“Then go get me a handful of grenades. Vlad, while we are doing this, you do a quick search for a safe of some kind. Might as well make this time profitable.”
While we waited for the men to return Eve and I looked around for other hidden vents. The fans could only draw the air in so far, so they had to be reasonably close. With her better than average hearing, lots better actually, Eve picked up on two more vents. She could set up filters to hear only the range of sounds made by operating fans. It actually made finding the vent easy.
“Here you go,” Martin said as he handed me four American made concussion grenades. Martin you and Eve take the two vents out here and I’ll spike the one inside. Let’s all try to drop them at the same time.” A couple of minutes later I had the grenade with the safety pin removed in hand. “Ready?” I asked. The both responded that they were. “Fire in the hole I shouted as I dropped the grenade into the vent tube.”
We were all standing together several yards from the closest vent tube when the three grenades exploded. Not only were there spouts of smoke and debris from the three vent tubes but from a forth tube as well. It was one which we hadn’t found. It was my guess that there was some pretty foul smelling air in the bunker about now. We surrounded the shed but nothing happened.
“Don’t tell me they aren’t in there,” I said.
“Only one way to tell,” Martin suggested.
“I feel a vibration,” Eve said. She scanned the grounds then added, “Over there.” She was pointing to a spot about twenty feet behind the shed.
Sure as hell a head popped up. Before I could swing the .30 cal in that direction I heard Martin’s Chopped down AK rattle. “Don’t shoot we are coming out.” The voice shouted. four very dirty men came from the hole in the ground.
“Anyone else down there?” I asked.
“No one,” the man who could only be Estavante said.
“Okay, we will just throw a couple of concussion grenades in there to make sure nobody comes up behind us.” I said nodding to Eve. We only had one grenade left, but Estavante didn’t know that.
“No,” he almost screamed “My wife and daughter are there.”
“You are short a body guard,” I said. Call him up and your family won’t be harmed. But if we have to fight our way in, everyone dies, no exceptions. You surely know how that works.” I sneered at him as I spoke.
He called down in Spanish and the last of the body guards came to the surface. He had his hands behind his head as he rose from the dungeon.
“Eve go down and stay with the family.” We duct taped the guard’s hands and legs. We even covered their mouths. I could see that Vlad wanted to kill them all.
“Do you know who I am?’ I asked Estavante.
“I have seen your picture,” he replied.
“You really should have stayed south of the border. It was a fatal mistake to come to my home town.” I informed him.
“It does appear that way,” He said terrified, but he trying to hold it together.
With out warning I swung the heavy machete, which I had been holding since I sent Eve away. It took three blows to remove his head. “I sure wish he had a pony tail,” I said as I stuffed his head in the grocery bag, which we had brought along for that purpose.
“What about the body guards?” Vlad asked.
“They are guilty of many murders and torture I’m sure. The ones in the SUVs were soldiers of sorts. These are just stone killers. You don’t turn a man eating lion loose after you capture him. They can expect no better.”
“I will do it,” Vlad said.
“We all do one. There will be no innocents, we are all in this together and equally guilty.” I said.
“You okay with this Smith?” I asked.
“Not a problem for me,” he said walking to the man on the left. He shot him in the back of the head with his cut down AK.
After that each of us, with the exception of Eve, shot one of the men in the head. I stepped back and turned away. I took a few steps then I threw up. It was the memory of what I had just done. I wiped my mouth then said, “Get anything you can carry from the house. Pull hard drives, and flash memory sticks from any computers you find. They will be worth more than gold.” I said that as I sent them all on a scavenger hunt.
The black nylon packs that had held law rockets and ammunition when he arrived, mostly held computer parts and cash as we exited the compound on foot. We were out of the compound and humping down the road toward the ambush site when we heard the sound of gunfire. We all hustled even faster. When we arrived, Anya was standing in the middle of a half dozen bodies.
“Vladimir you can’t tie thugs up worth a shit.” she said in accented English.
I knew she had killed them since is was easier than dealing with them. Dead men tell no tales, I thought, even though I would not have done it. Lets get to the rubber boats and then find the motor launch.
The plan had been to walk into town, but with all the noise we had made and the extra time it took, I decided the rubber boats would be a better choice. They had always been my plan B.
Plan B was simple: paddle to the sea wall, find the late Estavante’s motor launch, then run it to the yacht. The yacht would take us to some quiet island while we worked out the rest of our escape.
On the way to the sea wall we had two people paddling in each boat, and one up front with a machine gun to keep the route clear. Since we hadn’t needed all the packs for booty, we carried a few LAWs with us, just in case. The paddling took us at least half an hour. It would have given the police plenty of time to set up road blocks, if they had been so inclined. I don’t know if they had been so inclined or not, since we bypassed the road they might have blocked..
There was only one large power boat tied up to the seawall. Actually it was the only motor launch all the others were fishing boats. So we were pretty sure we were stealing the right boat. At that particular moment, it just didn’t matter, whether it were the right one or not. It was going to take us to the Yacht period.
“Alex,” I said into the radio.
“Yes,” his voice answered. “How are things on your end.”
“We are good, just awaiting your arrival,” he said cheerfully.
“We are on the way,” I said. I had called him while Martin rewired the launch. “Just as soon as the Irishman finishes his magic, we are off.”
“I am waiting like an old maid at a slave auction,” he said. He had given me no indication that anything was amiss, so I was ready to go when the engines fired.
Martin was an adequate boat operator so we arrived at the yacht in a few short minutes. Once we were tied up to the ladder hanging down from the yacht, I felt much better. I held back so that I was the last one out of the motor launch.
“I’m sorry Maxine, I couldn’t warn you.” Alex said.