When I checked the email, I found one from someone called Wolf. I knew that it was a dummy account for Peter. The email simply said call me. I had told him to leave me a dead drop email and I would call him. It was only part of the cyber security, which I forced on him.
I explained to him that one day someone would grab his computers and try to trace his movements back to me. He needed to set up a system to make if difficult, if not impossible to do. One thing about ole Peter the Wolf, he listened.
He explained that he went to a swap meet in Tryon. There he bought a five year old laptop. He got a really good deal because it had a very small hard drive and memory capacity. It also was at least two generations behind in processors.
“A big processors and lots of memory is very. very important if you are playing games, or downloading movies. However, if you are just going to do research. a slower, older computer is fine. Memory might be a good thing, but most computers, even the old cheap ones, can have more memory added. That’s what I did.” he explained.
“Okay, so now you have an old computer that they can grab and trace back to me?” I suggested.
“Well not easily. I took the hard drive out completely so it is impossible for the computer to save information internally.” He saw my curious look. “I went into the BIOS and forced it to recognize the USB drives and to write to them, It isn’t even a hard thing. Most BIOS programs have a setting you just need to engage it.”
“Okay, so if you have no hard drive how does it work?” I asked.
“I run the operating system from a CD. It loads into the RAM memory and just runs from there. If I download anything it goes to the USB drive, aka thumb drive. When I am finished with the session, I remove the thumb drive and put it in my pocket. I can dump it if they come to the door with a warrant.”
“And if you don’t dump it and the cops get it?” I asked.
“ The number one program on the drive is an encryption program. If they break the encryption but don’t do it exactly right, there is the nuclear option. It totally destroys the drive making it unusable for about twenty thousand years. It is truly a thing of beauty. The whole system was devised by a hacker name Bullrider.” Peter said.
“He sounds gay,” I replied.
“Who knows and who cares in cyber space,” Peter informed me.
“So your home computer is clean?” I asked. I was about to suggest that being totally clean would be suspicious as well.
“Not exactly, I have some pictures of naked women on it. Just in case they do grab it. I want them to find something. Another suggestion from Bullrider,” he informed me.
“Very good plan. Do I know any of the women?” I asked playfully.
“You might,” he replied mysteriously.
I placed the call to his burn cell phone. I was a little surprised that he was still using the older one. “Peter, you need a new phone,” I suggested.
“After this call, I’m going to the marina.” he said.
“I didn’t need to know that,” I replied. Just to let him know not to trust anyone. “So what do you know?”
“I know that you are dealing with one miserable son of a bitch. He is one of the worst mother fuckers it has ever been my displeasure to run across. The family, that’s who has the lease on the casino is one nasty bunch of assholes. The head of the family came to the USA after the fall of the Shaw of Iran. He took all the money he could smuggle out and ran. He knew the new regime would behead him as an enemy of Islam. He wasn’t wrong either.
So he came to the US with something like two million bucks on deposit in Europe. He invested in things that would make the most money. From night clubs and disco’s to illegal back room casinos. The night clubs sold drugs and he took a cut.
He married and had children. In the tradition of those third world countries he took them into the family business. He brought them in, when they were old enough to understand his warped sense of right and wrong. The last few years he has tried to get the kids into more legitimate, but still highly profitable operations. Enter the Cruise ships,” Peter explained.
“Okay so far I don’t much like the family, but there are lots of family’s, which I don’t like,” I said.
“This son of a bitch decided five years ago he wants to die back in the old country. But he wants to take a lot of his money home with him, and leave his kids in the west with a big chunk of it as well.” Peter said.
“Go home to die, that isn’t all that unusual either,” I said.
“Remember he is still on the revolutionary guard’s kill on sight list. So he can’t go home without making a deal. He also doesn’t want to go back to Iran to live in poverty. So he started to negotiate with the Quds Force quietly. The cocksucker has been helping them smuggle men and bombs from Iran to the West.
Your operative friend thought he had turned Akmed, but Akmed rolled over on him. His price was a ticket home. That is the story anyway and it plays well with the facts I can find.”
So because we have a wimp in the white house, we won’t touch Akmed, since he is in bed with the Iranians. Some members of the government sure as hell don’t want him to walk away clean. That explains why there is going to be a coordinated raid on this cocksucker. Since we have who we have in the Oval Office, it also explains why I am doing this and not their own people. I would bet my ass that the admiral has people on the other two cruise ships, where Akmed leases the casinos. It added one more thing to the mix for me. One of Akmed’s kids managed the casino on my ship for sure.
“Peter it is time to lose the phone, and that drive at least,” I said.
“My thinking exactly. Is there anything I can do to help fuck this guy up?” he asked.
“If there were, you would already know, since I would have ask. You are part of my Band of Merry Men now, like it or not,” I said.
“Cool, bring your ass home safe,” he demanded then broke the connection. The phone and the thumb drive at least would be headed off the bridge on the way to the marina. The same marina where we sometimes went to lunch.
So what I had was an old man who thought he was untouchable. He had the Quds Force in front of him and a wimp ass president behind him. I would bet my ass that he also had Swamp Thing and me between them all.
The information Peter gave me was the final piece in my plan for the ripoff. It would be intricate, but completely doable. It would also be fun for Simon, I expected. Best of all, it was something that could be sold by the farmers.
Timing was going to be important, but that to was doable. Emails began to fly between me and the pig farm and also between me and the hacker Peter had called Bullrider.
Email to Bullrider:
Can you get into their computer and turn off all the power on my signal? Even the reserve power?”
Email from Bullrider:
I could do that when I was sixteen. The communications link to the ship is going to be a problem, but that too is easy enough. I just can’t stay on line very long.
Email to Bullrider:
It won’t take more than that one message I hope.
Email from Bullrider:
Just give me the message.
Of course there were a lot of more detailed messages, but those are the important ones.
Message to Pigfarm:
Do you know where we will be at 2AM?
Message from Pigfarm:
Unless something happens we know. We are also tracking that fat ass tub. If anything changes we will know.
Message to Pigfarm:
You know what the plan is and you approve?”
Message from Pigfarm:
We know, but you don’t need our approval. We will just have the people there to do their jobs, no more, no less.
Message to Pigfarm.
Make damn sure they keep their hands off the merchandise or there will be a second bloodbath I assure you.
Message from the Pigfarm:
You are dealing with pros, not thugs.
Message to the Pigfarm:
Everything seemed to be more or less set with the outside people. Next it was time for us to get our own shit in order. To do that I needed a planning session with Simon Jerrod.
“Simon all the research in the world is not going to tell us some things. We just need eyes on the ground. People we can trust and who no one in the whole would would suspect of being involved in this kind of plot.”
“Two swishes with no sense of guilt?” he asked with a smile.
“Yes, we need them to follow the crew around and keep track of their movements. Also to photograph some areas of the ship. They need to keep it casual. What we don’t need is for us to ever be seen in those areas of the ship. After the initial intelligence we can see if they can be of any more help without having to be a part of the plan. Oh yeah we need them to steal us two maid’s uniforms.”
“Are we setting them up to take the fall?” he asked.
“And if we were?” I answered.
“I will not kill them,” he said. “Not just so that I can make a few bucks.”
“What if they had a fifty, fifty chance to survive and using them would keep us out of prison. And hurt some really bad assholes. How about then?” I asked.
“I could do that,” he said nodding his head in agreement.
“I give you my word they will have at least that good of a chance. In exchange you have to promise me not to let them get even a clue that they might be in any danger. Or give them any reason to think this might be more than a simple surveillance job. Explain that we need the uniforms so that we can watch some people in the casino nothing more.” I demanded.
“I can do that as well,” he said.
“Fair enough lets get them started. We want to get this done tonight,” I said. “And Jerrod this isn’t just about the money. There is more, just like there was in the jungle.”
“I never doubted that. I know that sometimes we don’t always get to do things that are absolutely right. Sometimes we have to just do the most right thing.”
“Sadly, that is true,” I admitted.
Jack and Michael were so excited when they brought us the maid’s uniforms. Both were size 16 which meant mine was going to hang awful, but on Jerrod it would look pretty good. When I showed it to Jerrod, Michael was still in the room.
“Let me get my kit, it won’t look great, but it will look better. I don’t have everything I need, but I do have a needle and some black thread. I can do some tucks.”
And that is how I came to have a maids uniform that didn’t look all that bad on me. “Now listen you two. I need you to meet me again to night at 2am sharp. Meet me where I gave you a blow job last night No matter what you hear, just go there. It might be a matter of life and death.” I figured they would love the drama of the life and death thing.
After they had gone I said to Jerrod. “We will take our life jackets to them.”
“What the hell is going on?” he asked.
“You have to trust me Jerrod. Can you do that just one more time?” I asked.
“Of course,” he replied simply.