The packing was done in a matter of minutes. It was just a matter of the loading a few things into a small lightweight nylon green pack. a spare pair of green camo jeans and a green camo tee went in, as did a couple of pairs of boot socks just in case I had a human partner. It was all about keeping up appearances.
I checked in my storage room and found a dozen of the alum foil pouches of Helen’s version of MRE made for Swamp Thing. I much preferred them to the government issue version. I didn’t eat for nutrition, since it all got wash away. I had to eat for appearances, since I had some taste receptors, I preferred Helen’s, not that it made a hell of a lot of difference. I could eat dog, if that’s what it took to keep the illusion alive.
I also loaded the Kevlar vest with the camo cover. It would at least be a nice fashion statement. I didn’t really need it, but again it was all about the ‘seem rather than be’ thing.
I had long ago cut the legs off camo jeans to cover my rifles while I travel. The jean leg was plenty long enough for the reasonably short .22 mag rifle. It looked like a squirrel gun, unless you were the one who got one of the high velocity .22 hollow point rounds in the head. Then you had to respect it. Actually it was the people standing around you, when your head exploded, who learned to respect it.
I had a couple of light weight plastic canteens I added them to the pack as well. It was getting pretty close to being full. With the box of .22 mag ammo, then the 10mm ammo for the Glock pistol, the small pack was pretty much full. I had only one more item important enough to add to the pack. The last thing I added was possibly the most important piece of equipment in a jungle operation. I added one big ass roll of hundred dollar bills.
I couldn’t load the thing I needed most for two reasons. The first was that it wasn’t a tangible item. The second reason was that I didn’t have it anyway. The thing I needed most was intelligence and I just didn’t have any. Oh I got the case file which was all well and good. The case file told me the fifth ambassador from some banana republic was involved in the buying and selling of humans. He was supplying females illegals from his country to a gang of illegal cutthroats who were running them in a street operation.
The overhead was very low and the profits all in cash. It was a pretty good deal till some cop decided he was a crusader. His whole family paid. It was a South American kind of warning. Fuck with us and not only do you die, we kill your wife kids and even the dogs. It was pretty effective, since there was very little the cops can do to counter that kind of terror. They got pissed enough to round up all the usual suspects and sweat the hell out of them. There were three men on the hit squad and they rolled over on the Ambassador within minutes. They knew that rolling on him got them a better deal and that the Ambassador couldn’t be touched. What they didn’t know was that someone with balls had learned how to get things done in prison. All three got shanked while awaiting trial.
The Ambassador decided that he wouldn’t fight the order to send him home. No one in the government wanted him killed on U.S. soil, but somebody wanted him killed. It was me or a Commando raid which the U.S. couldn’t afford. With me it would look like a rival thug killing.
The plane landed on the grass strip right on time. It was a different plane and a different pilot. The plane was larger than the last one had been, but I was the only passenger. I didn’t have to ride in the co-pilot seat though. There were four passenger seats behind the pilot.
I went into power saver mode, since I had no idea what to expect for the next few hours. It was almost dark when we landed on another grass strip somewhere near the Gulf of Mexico. I tanker truck came out to fill the plane with gasoline.
“So what’s the plan?” I asked the pilot while they were filling the tanks.
“Beats the shit out of me. Once the plane is filled, we are headed for Texas to spend the night, I think. All I know for sure is I have the coordinates for a strip in Texas, where they say I can make a night landing. I think you change planes there, but hell I don’t even know that for sure.”
“Well this is a lot of fun, but I’m getting a little antsy.” I said aloud. I had been trying to get a message to the controller for an hour or so,s but nobody wanted to answer me.
I really was on my own for some reason. I took stock while the plane flew toward Texas. I had everything I needed to do the job except a target. I had no idea where to find this clown or how to get close to him. If I got to where he was, I supposed that I could gather the necessary information. I could lay in the jungle for weeks gathering intel. It was one of the things I was designed to do.
Of course I would prefer that it didn’t come to that. I had too many things I enjoyed more than laying in the rotting undergrowth of a jungle. I know I wasn’t supposed to prefer clean sheets to rotten vegetation, but I had the memory of both. I preferred the sheets, thank you very much.
I tried to contact the controller while we flew toward Texas. I had never had a period when I couldn’t get in touch with them before. I was left to decide what my next move would be, if I couldn’t get any help past Texas.
Surely no one checked people trying to get into Mexico illegally. I would just rent a car and do the tourist bit. I could always drive to the town where my bad guy was supposed to be and just gather information when I got there. One of the big pluses to this change was that over night I had learned a dozen new languages. Any language that had a computer translation program, I could speak pretty fluently. That part of the new me I did love.
Actually except for the time required to pull it off, it was a pretty good plan. I tried to keep my mind from running off in all directions. It wasn’t productive and it used power I couldn’t replace at that moment.
I sat quietly looking out at the black of night. The pilot turned to me several hours later. When he was sure he had my attention he motioned that we were going down. I found that interesting. I saw a line of lights marking what could easily have been a flat piece of highway. It was instead a single strip of concrete probably used by drug runners as well as spies.
Sure I was nervous, but I’m not sure it was fear. I think since the change everything was more logical. The odds of survival were way on my side. There was nothing I could do to improve them, so there was not much sense worrying. Still, I was anxious for it to be over.
The larger but still small plane landed between the lights. He stopped at one end of the concrete strip. One of those smaller RV things pulled up beside the plane. A man who was really tall, 6‘4“ at least, got out. He walked like a man with a stick up his ass. He was obviously military or former military.
Once the side door of the plane was open he said, “Stone you need to get off the plane now.” It wasn’t a suggestion or a request. It was an order. I knew I could kick his ass, on my worst day, or his best one, but for some reason I felt compelled to do as he said.
As I climbed out of the plane I saw Eve get out of the RV and climb into the back of the plane with a back pack similar to mine. I saw the man turn and re-enter the RV. He motioned for me to follow, so I did.
“Ms Stone, my name is Deacon Burke. I am going to be your operations officer for this mission. I’m going to brief you then send you on your way. Let me make this clear, this your mission and there will be no passing the buck out there, or when you get back. Is that clear?” the tall man with the shaved bald head said firmly.
“I have never passed a buck and I don’t plan to start now,” I said. “But I also tell the truth about a mission. I don’t cover for other people.”
“Right, unless they are old lovers,” he said smiling.
“Burke, you ain’t an old lover, so get it right,” I said to show my own balls.
“Fair enough, the farm lost contact with you when you left Aster. They will contact you through the EVE. She is in constant contact with the controller. If that link is broken you will be her controller since she can’t think for herself more than the most simple of thoughts.”
“Fair enough,” I didn’t mind losing the controller in my ear as long as I had a good mission briefing.
“If you tell her to do something and she refuses or she is doing something you think is dangerous say to her ‘Change Direction Now’. Once you say those words, the controller will no longer have total control of her. Your commands will over ride the controller. I do not want you to do that except as a last resort. We don’t want the farm to know that we can hijack their EVE.”
“Am I part of a conspiracy?” I asked with a smile.
“Frankly yes, but you will see why I hope in a minute.”
“Okay,” I replied.
“Now your target wanted to send a message to intimidate cops north of the border. He did it because he knew no law enforcement could touch him. He didn’t reckon on us.”
“Who is us?” I asked.
“You don’t need to know that. What you need to know is that your target is one vicious cocksucker. The only thing wrong with that, is that there is always at least one cocksucker more vicious than you. And you are looking at that one.”
“Okay, I accept that. So I don’t just kill him, I send a message to the rest of the diplomats.”
“Yes, and that message is play by the rules, or there is no sanctuary. I want you to kill him as many times as you can. I want you to kill his family including all the animals on the place. I want there to be a river of blood. If you can’t do it the EVE can. Just put her to it and get out of the way. Now the controller might wimp out. That’s why I gave you the override code. If you can’t do it, I will find someone who can.”
“Bullshit there is no one but EVE and I who can do this. We are not going to be a problem, because both of us have about half a pound of C4 in our guts,” I said.
“Well they said you weren’t just able to think, but that you could out think any of us.” He said smiling.
“What about reinforcements and no I don’t mean me,” I said.
“We are going to make sure there are no helicopter reinforcements. That will give you an hour more or less from the first shot until the trucks full of soldiers arrive.”
“So how do I get into the area?”
“We are going to land you five miles from the hacienda where Abbyroad resides. No that isn’t his real name it’s his code name for this mission.” Deacon said.
“Okay, I got it.” I said.
“Maxine, not even an old yeller dog survives. We want it wet and nasty,” he said.
“I’ll bring back pictures,” I said.
“Good,” Deacon said and he wasn’t smiling.