I had learned to sleep anywhere, and I did. I slept just fine in the motel room. It was a little noisy, and I guess I should have been worried but I really wasn’t. I believed more in misdirection than it gun play. I lay in bed thinking about what kind of trail I had left.
First of all my cover got blown with the rescue raid at the vineyards. The officer in charge of that raid was so wrapped up in saving my ass, he wasn’t trying as hard to cover it and that was okay, I was blown anyway.
Then for some reason known only to god. he told the press their had been an under cover agent in the compound, when it caught fire. And that she was a loaner from the Warren County Sheriff’s office, named Sylvia Porter. All this went on of course, before they assessed the threat to me.
Meanwhile after the debriefing they arranged a ride home for me. That all took a few hours. So I’m home alone over night the first night. I imagine they had lost track of me, but some asses were sore that next day from the chewing, I’m sure. While they got the threat assessment done, my complete protection that first day was the Warren county Sheriff being alerted that I was back. Even that I did first. Long before the state came along much later.
But when they moved I have to give it to them, they did it right. First they sent Agent Mission to collect me. I had never liked Mission, but I did recognize and trust her. She convinced me to take a state job, where they could control me. They would know quickly, if anything happened to me, In moving to that particular job I would leave no footprint.
No one would think to look for an active cop in the Fish and Game Department. They probably figured by being in the enforcement devision, I would be satisfied and not be too big a pain in their asses. That remained to be seen.
After Mission convinced me to take the job, she did exactly the right thing. She packed me up and got me out of town in an hour. She knew the what and where all along, but I knew less than nothing. If I knew nothing, I could let nothing slip in my desire to stay in touch with my friends. Of course since I had no real friends, it was not a problem. I was safe since it would be hard for the CIA to find me, let alone the Green family’s business associates.
So that’s why I lay in a cheap motel bed, next to the SBI agent Mission that Wednesday Morning at 7AM. I finally gave in to the need to pee and slipped from the bed, whose covers were a wreck. Evidence be damned, no matter how illogical it was, I still tossed and turned in my sleep.
While I was in the bathroom I took advantage of the shower to soak my ass and wash my hair with less pain. It was heaven to be hot soapy and clean all at once. The only thing better would have been for Mission to rub lotion on my back, but I wasn’t going to push my luck with that one.
I put on the jeans I had worn the day before but I did find a clean tee shirt in one of the boxes of clothes I had packed hurriedly for the move. The jean were blue of course, but the shirt was GI jungle green and it was also more or less a men’s underwear shirt. It was sexy as hell, when I was sweaty in the summer. Too bad that it wasn’t quite that warm yet.
I looked at myself in the mirror and realized I hadn’t given the state all that much choice in hiding me. I would exactly fit in as a receptionist in AG’s office. I left the bathroom and Mission rushed in as I did. She must have been laying in bed waiting for me to vacate. If she had asked me, I could have let her in sooner. You could tell we weren’t real roommates or I would have known or she would have asked.
“Eat a good breakfast,” Mission said as we sat waiting for the waitress to come back. “You might only get a pack of crackers for lunch.”
“Sound fine to me,” I said. I did however have the ‘hungry man’ breakfast. That was three eggs three pieces of bacon and two links of sausage with toast. If they had served good biscuits it would have been perfect. Well with that terrible blend of coffee that restaurants serve it could never be perfect, but it would have been better.
On the way out Mission’s handy dandy credit card came out. I was absolutely sure the state paid the monthly bill on that one. She sorted through her driver’s license and other cards to find it.
We continued eastward for another hour, Then she pulled off the interstate highway and into a medium sized town. I hadn’t been paying attention but I could see a low skyline from the impound yard. She pulled right up to the office and we went inside.
“I’m Mission is there someone named Edward Brady here?” she asked.
“Yeah, I’m Brady,” the guy with grease under his nails said. “You guys sure ask a lot.”
“Well Mr. Brady I don’t know about that. All I know is that you have a contract with us, and I would like to see that contract honored. If not, we just have everything moved and stored somewhere else I suppose.” Damn Mission can be a bitch, I thought.
“You people,” he said. “Wait outside and I’ll bring it around.”
I knew better than to spoil Mission’s surprise, so I just stood and waited. I watched the forest green Ford 4wheel drive pick up come around the corner of the building. Brady got out of it and left the driver’s door open. “Want to test drive it first,” he asked.
“No thanks, but I will test drive the Ford Bronco I’m here to pick up,” she said with a smile. I could tell she liked this advisory shit.
“I called the GAO officer and explain that on this short noticed the only vehicle I could get ready was this pick up. He agreed speed was more important than the right model. He said as long as it had a heavy duty trailer hitch and four wheel drive it would do. You can see that it does.”
“Then I guess I need to call my boss,” she said. I got back in her car to sit down the pain of standing was getting to be pretty awful. I sat there about a half hour while they worked out the details of the transfer. Evidently Brady stored state vehicles for the eastern part of the state. We were supposed to get a four wheel drive Bronco with a hitch but it would take too long to put on, so we had to take something with the hitch already on it.
“What do you think Terry,” Mission asked.
“Uh about what?” I asked. Her using my new name was a jolt. I was Terry Madison, girl game warden, I tittled myself.
“The truck, can you get in an out of it alright?” she asked.
“Honey I have climbed in and out of a duce and a half all day long with sixty pounds of shit hanging on me. I think I can handle this little bitch,” I said.
“Did you have broken ribs then,” she asked.
“Good point,” I said. “Let’s give it a try and see.” I climbed up in the truck. It hurt like a mother fucker getting up to it, but once I got to the right level, I used the steering wheel to get inside. “I’m just going to have to dope up before I try this for a while.”
“Then don’t get out. You need to follow me. How is this thing fixed for gas?” she asked.
“The tank is almost empty,” I said.
“Okay follow me to a gas station. You stay in the car, I’ll pump the gas. I’m also going to try to find you a bandanna. That hair stands out like a sore thumb if anyone is looking.”
“Somewhere I have a knit cap, but it is too hot for that anyway,” I said. “A biker’s head scarf would be good.”
“Only till you get a uniform. The hat will distract from your hair. Hell you will look like a boy in the uniform I expect. They will be wondering when we started hiring teenagers,” she laughed.
After gassing up the truck to the tune of a hundred bucks more or less, I followed her onto the highway. The power steering made the full size truck easy to drive. After a short drive on the highway we were back on a side road for a few minutes. Then we pulled into another storage yard.
I got down to go pee and when I returned there was a long RV attached to the truck. “Now it still smells some,” the man who ran the lot was saying to Mission. That should go away pretty quick. I left two windows open to blow it out while you drive, the smell is mostly disinfectant anyway. It isn’t noxious or anything.”
Mission nodded then turned to me. You want to see your new home. It used to be a drug headquarters, but it wasn’t meth so it isn’t poisonous. It just smells of pot, when it gets damp. They always do.”
“I can wait,” I answered.
“You going to be alright driving this?” she asked.
“Gas trailers attached to a 2 1/2 ton truck, headed down roads filled with IEDs and guys with machine guns, yeah I can handle this,” I said.
“But did you have broken ribs,” she asked.
“Good point, but I will manage how far do I have to go,” I asked.
“No more than a hundred miles, but some of it road probably suck,” she said.
“Well you have gps and that map thing going for you, so we can make it,” I said. We did make it even though the hundred miles took three hours. I followed her down a dirt drive where I wasn’t at all sure the trailer would fit. The road was wide enough there were just some tree limbs hanging over the drive.
When I came to the clearing at the end of the drive there was a small house attached to an office sitting off to one side. There was a river running behind the house with a boat dock sticking out into the river about twenty feet. There was also a flat bottomed boat tied up there. I saw that it did not have a motor attached, but there was a reinforced rear motor mount. It was easy to see all that at a glance, what was more difficult was what was going on around all the tree trunks and bushes in the yard.
The parking lot was a great deal like the boat dock. It was open to the inspection of Mission and me both. There were two of those same green colored vehicles. One was probably like the Bronco that Mission had expected. The other was a mid sized American car. I had a bad feeling about the car parked out front.
“Mission,” I called out to her as she stepped from her car. “How about finding out where they want this camper before I park it in the wrong place.”
“Right,” she said disappearing into the house. That was when I took the time to note the dock and boat in the rear. At least I might be able to do some fishing, I thought.
“Put it on that concrete pad next to the office,” Mission said when she returned.
It was a snap putting the camper in place. There was plenty of room to maneuver in the parking lot. It was no more than packed sand with some kind of light binder to keep it from blowing away. I was highly familiar with things that could be done with sand.