After the fish fry, we drove back to the compound for the boat ride to the waterway. The flat bottomed boat was pretty slow but even so we made the inspection trip in a few hours. Like almost all our inspections of anything, it came up empty. There just weren’t that many fish and game law violations.
Hugo and I walked the cut and rode the waterway for the next two weeks. We also checked one end of the sound just to keep busy. All and all I was bored out of my mind. The trike and running was my one salvation. I rode the trike. or I ran along the road during my down time. Hugo thought I was crazy for running with no one chasing me.
It was at the end of those two weeks. when the call came from Agent Mission. The raid was on. The best they could figure odds were about 50/50 the bad guys would be at the dock that same night. They hadn’t given us any notice for security reasons. If I had taken the call I would have explained that not trusting us was laughable. Regardless we were to meet in the parking lot behind the church Hugo and I had used to review the film files.
The church was two miles from the dock, but it was the closest place they could park the tech van with some cover. So Hugo and I drove his Bronco to the frame church. I put on the ski mask before I left the Bronco.
A guard approached us. “Agent Mission is expecting us,” Hugo said. “Just tell her Hugo and a friend are here.” I hadn’t said a word which wasn’t like me at all. I had decided to let Hugo do all the talking. It just might make a difference though I doubted it.
The guard went to the door of the van. Agent Mission came over to us, “Hugo good to see you again.” She said that for the benefit of the guard. “We want you two as our backstop. We want you to infiltrate and set up a backstop in case they get past the arrest team.”
“Where is this arrest team?” Hugo asked. Good man Hugo, I thought.
“Since the road is a dead end they will be coming from an old logging road about half a mile from the dock,” she informed us.
“How about the boat?” Hugo asked. “What you going to do about the boat that delivers the stuff?”
“Since they are coming in from the south, we have a boat waiting around the bend north of the docks. They are going to come down when the party starts and grab the ones in the water. What we need from you two, is to make sure if the bad guys try to take to the swamp, they don’t make it.”
“In other words we can sit back and watch the real cops make the arrests,” Hugo said. I knew he was right that was exactly what she was saying, Still it was their show not ours. So my mind switched to how to make it happen.
I pulled on Hugo’s sleeve. He turned to me looked at the masked me a few seconds and said, “Yeah, not a lot we can do is there?” I shook my head.
He took the Bronco about a mile past the dock. He pulled over at the end of the road. “Well Terry, we should walk back then set up as the fucking backstop,” he said.
“Hugo the SBI doesn’t think anyone is good enough to work with them. So lets just do the fucking swamp thing and get this over with. Look at it this way, maybe we can save a few girls tonight,” I said.
“Okay which side of the parking lot to you want to backstop,” he asked with a smile.
“Hell, I’ll take the downstream side,” I said. “You know there is an upside to this.”
“And that would be?” he asked.
“I won’t have to wear the ski mask all evening since no one is going to see me. I might need to put it on when we leave.” I admitting.
“Whoopee shit,” he said. I laughed at his high pitched voice.
I could have run the mile back easily, if it weren’t for the shotgun I carried. That made it a little harder to run, so I walked. Also walking allowed Hugo to keep up. When we reached the parking lot Hugo disappeared into the swamp on the upstream side of the parking lot. I went to the downstream side. It was obvious to me that the SBI and Sheriff’s deputies had assigned us the backstop job because we were going to be sitting in the cold damp swamp for hours.
We might get to watch the arrests, if the bad guys even showed up tonight, We waited almost three hours in the dead cold. I always hated the cold more than anything else, and it just kept getting worse. A big Mercedes pulled into the parking lot first. It was a nice crew car for the Russians, if that’s who they really were. I was glad to see it starting to go down, since I might be able to get warm soon.
Then a medium sized van pulled into the parking lot. Oh shit I thought the size of the party was growing. Two more men got out of the van. There were a total of three of them standing in the parking lot speaking in tongues. I had no idea what they were saying or what they were waiting for, I only knew that there were more of them than anyone expected. Three on the shore and probably three in the boat if they had cargo to unload. It looked as though it was going to be a bigger party than any of us expected. Since we didn’t have any radios and they would be too dangerous to use, even if we did, Hugo and I had to assume the plan was still on.
I sat quietly waiting for something to happen. The man from the Mercedes went to the dock and waited. I heard the motor of a boat about fifteen minutes later. It looked as thought the dance was about to start. The big flash light in the Mercedes driver’s hand blinked twice, then after a pause it blinked three more times. Then a few minutes later a very larger boat pulled up to the dock.
Even though it was a large boat, it still had only two outboard motors to propel it forward to the dock. I had an idea then, it might prove not to have been a good idea but it seemed to be a good one at the time. My idea depended on a lot of things going my way.
First of all the boat was not carrying whores. It was carrying drums of chemicals. There were six large drums, My guess was that the drums were plastic. While two men from the boat helped the three men in the parking lot off load the drums, I used the time to slip closer to the boat.
By the time the agents moved into the parking lot, I was where I wanted to be. The agents cars roared in. Just when they stopped before they even got out of the cars I put two round from the 12 gauge into each of the motors. I sure hoped the cops knew that I was in the woods or they were likely to begin shooting at me, when they finally got out of the cars.
The boat didn’t explode like in a move, but it wasn’t going any where. The two men on the boat surrendered to the agents just as soon as they were confronted. So did the men in the parking lot.
The only injury occurred when an over excited agent fired a shot into the swamp where the shotgun was blasting away. He hadn’t realized he wasn’t the target. so he fired into the dark. Mission was there screaming no, but it was too late, I felt the pain in my left hand immediately, but I knew that it wasn’t anything serious. I even knew that it wasn’t a real gunshot wound. The agent had missed me completely but he did hit a tree beside me. The round from the large caliber assault weapon splintered the tree. As luck would have it, I got a large chunk of wood and bullet fragments traveling at a high rate of speed in the palm of my hand.
Mission walked to the edge of the parking lot. “Are you alright?” she asked.
I pulled the ski mask down before I stepped out of the swamp. “More or less, anybody got a towel.” I asked before I fainted.
The emergency room nurse explained, “If your body hadn’t been so cold, you I probably wouldn’t have fainted, but you probably would have lost a lot more blood. It was kind of a trade off.”
“So I have warmed up now, right?” I asked.
“Yes, and you are not being admitted to the hospital, even thought we would like you to move to our observation room for a couple of hours,” she said. “You know it’s part of the affordable care act. We don’t dare release you till we are absolutely sure there won’t be any complications during the next month. At least not any we could have foreseen.”
“Hey, if they have coffee I’m good with that,” I said.
“They don’t have coffee there, but there are a lot of people outside to make sure you are okay. One of them will probably go to the snack bar for a cup.” the nurse said.
When they rolled me into the observation room, I found myself with a man who was sitting up in bed. I smiled at him as the bed rolled in. “What you in for?” I asked.
“Automobile accident, they said I was unresponsive, so they brought me here. How about you,” he asked.
“Friendly fire,” I said simply. I know he wanted more details but Mission came in.
“Shut up Terry,” she said.
“Send someone on a coffee run and I will,” I said.
“I’ll be right back and not another word from you, understand?” she asked.
“Yes boss,” I agreed. “Two black,”
She obviously sent someone else for the coffee because she was back to be sure I didn’t tell the younger man in the bed beside me anything. I guess she thought that since he was good looking, I might spill my life’s story to him.
“Listen up,” Mission said. You are going to have to talk to a shooting review board. Partly because you had the accident and partly because you fired your weapon. So don’t talk to anyone till they get a your version of the story.
“I’ll make you a deal, I won’t talk to anyone if you will find my vest. Someone must have taken it off me and I want to be sure to get it back. As a matter of fact I want it right now,” I said.
They had cleaned the wound on my hand and bandaged it. That wasn’t what they had been worried about it. They had the most concern because I was out and wouldn’t come back at the scene. It might well have been shock as they suspected because of the low body temperature. I wasn’t sure about the shock since my body had been kicked around a lot in those last few years. It could be anything. I planned to wait until I faced the state shooting review board and got cleared by them, before I gave it too much more thought.
“Two cups of black coffee,” Hugo said. He stopped and looked me in the eye and then turned to mission before he added. “I am sorry I didn’t get to kick the SBI guys ass yet, but the day is young.”