Sheriff Porter 38
“Well?” I asked Liam after I came back in the room. “The Geek is checking the stored drone film. I still don’t believe he left the compound by boat. The dock camera showed nothing.”
“He was counting on that to get more time. He is out of here and on the run,” I said.
“Well we need to find out how he did it, so we know where to look,” Liam said.
“He had an accomplice, that’s the only way he could do it. Someone got him in a boat and they sailed off into the Sunset. I’m going to question Ginger,” I said.
“Not till Colonel Martin gets here tonight,” Liam said.
“Fuck you Liam, this is what I do. We get ten hours closer to him if she gives it up now,” I said.
I left the office while he was trying to connect to Colonel Martin. I returned to Fred and Ginger’s cabin. “Well Ginger it is official,” I said through the translator. “Your husband Fred is in the wind.”
Please rephrase came the translator’s request. “Your husband Fred is on the run.”
“I do not believe it. The rebels have him captive,” she said through the machine. I had to believe that she might at least believe it, but I wasn’t about to give her that easy a time.
“No Ginger he walked away from you. He is on the run without you. Now you either helped him, or he has deserted you. If you helped him, you know something that will help me. If not, you are a victim as much as any of those people he killed. So take a minute and think about it.”
I sat there very quietly, while she thought about it. She had to know it made sense. “I do not know anything,” she said again through the machine. Do you know anyone that he knows in this country? Anyone who would help him?”
“No,” she replied.
“I want to take your husbands computer,” I said.
“I have my personal information on that computer as well as his,” she said.
“Alright can you access your bank records?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said and began to touch keys.
“Son of a dog,” she said. “All the money is gone from our account.”
“He is on the run, and he planned it,” I said. Then I placed a call to the swamp. I gave him all I had, and promised to have the computer sent down immediately. Then I went to the office again carrying the laptop. “Liam, send someone to where ever the Geek is located.”
“Can do,” I got in touch with Martin. He said to give you whatever you wanted. It’s a three hour drive to the Geeks office in Metropolis.” We had code names for everything like it made a difference. Metropolis was the largest city in the state. Duh. Never mind I thought. I carried one of my burner computers from my cabin to Ginger’s.
I set the translator back on the table. “Send the email I have written to your husband.” The Email read, ‘no matter how far or fast you run, I’m coming for you. When I find you, I’m going to bring you back or kill you. Porter.’
She had no idea what she sent him, but she sent it anyway. She was either genuinely pissed, or she was a hell of an actor. “Think Ginger what did he say to you that could help me. Did he give you any instructions just in case something happened to him?” I asked.
“He said it was all taken care of not to worry,” Ginger said. “I guess what he meant is that I’m not worried, because when I’m gone, I won’t give a crap.”
“Seems so, check all the bank accounts with this computer and any he missed close and put the money somewhere else. If you don’t have an account of your own, open a Pay Pal account and transfer the money there. It’s as good a place as any to hold your funds,” I suggested.
She went right to work trying to find accounts to close. That also helped to convince me she had nothing to do with Fred being on the run. I gave her some space to do her thing, while I went to search the shoreline. I expected to find nothing so I wasn’t disappointed. I saw Liam come down the trail at a fast walk.
“What’s the word,” I asked.
“You need to see this,” he said. “The Geek sent it up.”
The image came on the big screen TV. The picture was from a lazy drone circling overhead. It shot the area around the compound. There was an image of a white pick up in a clearing near the lake. The pickup had just pulled into that spot. It had what could be two small craft in the bed of the pickup. The tailgate was up so they are less than six feet long.
“Kayaks,” I said to those assembled. “Get the Geek on the line.” While I waited for him to come on line, the drone moved on. The next time it came back around and the tailgate was open. The drone came around every ten minutes. We didn’t have boats in the truck but we had the empty truck and the boats on the lake. There was a white man in the front boat with a second boat in tow. Kayaks were notoriously unstable so he had it on a very short rope.
The drone showed him sitting off the shoreline with a fishing rod. How he would explain the second boat lashed to his I had no idea, but he had a fishing rod for cover. He was in that position through three rounds of the drone, then he was loading another man on the next sweep.
“He waited off the shore for well over twenty minutes. He didn’t call up Fred till he was in position. When he was, Fred went down to meet him as soon as I was gone,” I informed the others. The next drone sweep showed them rowing back to the white pickup truck. They left the boats to drift and just took off in a rush. A controlled rush so as not to bring attention down on themselves.
“Liam get someone over to pick up those boats. You need to tell them to go by boat,” I said. Then I thought better, “If you haven’t already sent them.”
“I did and they are bringing them back in our own pickup,” he said. “The Geek is on the line.”
“Liam tell them to come back and get a boat from the dock. I don’t want them driving in that field.” He nodded his understanding.
I turned my attention to the Geek on the phone. “Can you get me a tag number on the truck?” I asked.
“The drone’s camera is pretty low tech to cut down on the weight. The images won’t be worth a crap,” the Geek informed me.
“Is there a chance the truck stopped for gas in a nearby station. You know he might want to have a full tank when he leaves the compound so he can go far and fast before he stops again,” I said.
“I can’t do it, but you can do something. You are Sylvia Fucking Porter,” the Geek said.
“Fuck you Geek,” I said.
“Please,” he repeated with a laugh.
I turned to the permanent party at the compound. “You two get your Homeland Security ID and don’t tell me you don’t have one. Go out in your most sinister vehicles, one go north and one south. Review those tapes for the hour before the drone spotted him. Then if you get something bring them back here. If not go to the motel around here and check for a man with two Kayaks checking in. Again get tape and all the information you can. Be sure you stay in touch and time is off the essence so get to it.”
“Liam get your trainees over to Boris and Ginger’s cabins. They get to babysit with a full compliment of arms. This may be a light jab. Someone may be coming with a full body blow while we are all tied up with this shit. I doubt it, but it could happen. If you need to clear it with Martin, do it quick,” I said.
I forgot all about Boris and Ginger they weren’t my problem anymore. What I did was call the courthouse. “This is Sylvia Porter is Simpson around?”
“He is in the field,” the dispatcher said.
“How about Deputy Osborn?”
“She is off today,” the dispatcher said. “Would you like to leave a message.”
“No I’ll call Osborn at home,” I said. That was exactly what I did.
“Melissa this is Porter no time for pleasantries, you want a better paying job. If my settlement comes though I need an assistant and you can be it. If you are interested we need to go to work right this fucking minute.”
“Where do I report,” Osborn said.
“Are you sure,” I asked. “I can carry your salary maybe two months, if the settlement doesn’t come through you might have to scramble.”
“I’m there, just tell me where there is,” she said.
I explained it all to her. Then I called Wilson in the lab. “Wilson have you ever been fired,” I asked.
“Never, but I always wondered what it would be like,” he asked.
“Are you doing anything that can’t wait?” I asked.
“Nothing at all,” he replied. “You want me to come do you a favor. One for which you will reward me with a new fly rod?”
“You have it,” I said.
“Give me about an hour to properly store these samples and tell me where you want me,” he volunteered.
I gave him directions and then I got off the phone. I went into a small room to think of anything I had missed. The sun would be down in four hours. Wilson would only have a few hours on the scene. I didn’t think he couldn’t tell us much, but it was worth a try. I wanted the son of a bitch, even if Martin didn’t.
The prick left his wife and made me look like a jackass. I did what protocol said to do so I was personally covered. Suddenly I had a flash of intuition. “Fuck me,” I said out loud. I went back to Ginger’s cabin.
Before I said a word I got the meat cleaver from the beautiful set of knives. Then I sat Ginger down at the kitchen table. “Ginger how well do you know the reputation of Swamp?” I asked with the translator off. “Just in case you don’t know who we are, we are tenacious. We never give up. We also figure out how to get things done. That’s one of the reasons people hire us. Another one is we are willing to do whatever it takes to get things done. Right now there is you and me in this cabin. No one to help you or to stop me. Men get a little squeamish about cutting off a woman’s fingers and such. Let me assure you, I don’t have a problems like those.”
I let her sit there with her dumb look on her face then I went on. “Now I know you helped your husband break away. Why he ran, I’m not quite sure. I am sure you helped him. I am going to begin asking you questions. I am not going to use the translator. If you don’t answer me I am going to start cutting off pieces of your hand. Now just so you know I’m serious I’m going cut the first joint of your pinkie before we begin.
I had to fight her to get control of her. I stretched her hand out as she struggled. “If you keep resisting I will just kill you, since you will be of no use to me,” I said that and that’s when I knew she understood for sure.
“Wait,” she said. “Alright I will talk to you.”
“Her English was not perfect, but it was also not as bad as she had pretended.
Edited by Walt