This is Home?
At the hotel we had a security meeting in one of the rooms. “I know you are all tired of having your every move watch and criticized, but this is a dangerous place for Americans. Surely you knew there would be some security. Right, let me introduce your security detail. I’m Sylvia Porter and I’m sorta in charge of this group of misfits. Now this young lady,” I said putting my hand on the barn red haired young woman, “is code named, Brit Chick. This very serious lady is Island Chick. She will double as part of the kitchen staff but trust me she is not a trained cook.
These three hunky men are interchangeable. Raise your hand when I call your name,” I added. “Gator,” the man who had already changed into jeans raised his hand.
“Boston guy,” I said and the man from Massachusetts raised his hand.
“Finally we have the ‘Country Gentleman’, or just ‘Country’ for short.” He raised his hand as well.
“Now here is the way this is going to work tonight. We have five identical rooms rented for you. In each room there are two beds and a sofa. When you go to sleep tonight you will be two to a room. There will be a bodyguard as well. He or she will move the sofa in front of the door and sleep there. No one goes in or out after midnight, unless it is a true emergency.
Any time you wish to go out to see the sights, either here or in the bush, you will use the buddy system. That means two students and one body guard minimum. I would prefer six students and three body guards minimum, but I know that is not always going to be practical.
Trust me ladies you do not want to be kidnap by either terrorist or bandits. Their idea of prisoner treatment is pretty dismal. If you cooperate with me, I will cooperate with you. Now are there any questions?” I asked.
“I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say we will try to cooperate as much as possible. We are serious students not party girls, which does not mean we are adverse to having fun,” she said smiling.
“Just try to keep your fun to public places with good security. We are here to see that you all go home safe and sound. So if there are no more questions we will get to the public auction of bodyguards. Let’s start with the girl with the long blond hair,” I said.
“I’m Kay,” she said.
“Okay Kay, I probably won’t remember your name. That does not mean that you are not important to me. That goes for all of you. So Kay pick your body guard, and your roommate,” She picked the Brit Chick.
It continued with Jenn. She picked me but I had to decline. I was the extra bodyguard and would keep an eye on the hallway, since we were all on the same floor. So Jenn picked Gator which was fine with me. I did the same with a few more girls until everyone was in groups of three.
“One last thing, bodyguards keep your pants on,” I said.
“Does that apply to me as well?” the Brit Chick asked.
“Especially to you,” I replied. “Now you can all decide where to go for dinner or we can all go together. Just let me know what you want to do.”
Jenn came to me later and said, “Most of us are willing to eat in the Hotel dining room, but three of the girls want to go to a restaurant and lounge that is advertised in the hotel brochure. It is about a mile away.”
“Okay I will send one of the men and one of the women body guards with them,” I said.
Since our earlier meeting, I had found our tools in one of the rooms. I had immediately passed out a 9mm Glock knock off to each of the bodyguards. They understood that the knockoff, though a little dicey in quality, were the weapons of choice to the street hoodlums. “We can wipe it clean and toss it. It should be as if we never existed to the police forensic specialist.
I hope I do not need to remind you to wipe the ammunition clean of fingerprints and the magazines before you load them into the weapons. Make the shots count. You do not want to install new magazines. That is when you will leave fingerprints which are harder to wipe off. So Gator, you and Island chick will go to the nightclub. The best time for a snatch and grab will be when one of the girls goes to the ladies room. So you go with them Island girl. Your job, Gator, will be sure to get them into a clean cab and make sure their drinks don’t get tampered with. Everything with these girls is going to be a huge pain in the ass,” I reminded them.
We broke up the meeting and they went back to their respective rooms. My hope was that we could do everything else by radio. If we could, it would mean that everything was going as planned.
After dinner the seven girls in the hotel went back to their rooms and their geeky computer activities. While Island girl was gone I filled in for her with the one girl who remained in the hotel. I joined the chubby red head in using a computer to check in with Wilson.
‘So you are waiting up for me Wilson?’ I typed into the messenger window.
‘Yes I am. Things are really boring without you….’ he wrote.
‘How sweet. We are an old married couple,’ I typed.
‘Sure, old married couple without the sex,’ he typed.
‘Isn’t that typical of an old married couple?’ I typed intentionally forgetting our drunken storm party.
‘True… BTW the estate of Agnes Murry owns the Railroad B&B. I have left a message for her lawyer to call me,’ Wilson typed. ‘Haven’t heard from them yet.’
‘Wilson it’s only been one day. Give it sometime. When he does try to work out a bargain basement cash out price with the heirs. I don’t want that building torn down, but I’m not in the market for a money pit either.’
‘Right you are boss,’ he typed.
‘GTG, I’ll send you a message tomorrow,” I typed then closed the messenger program.
The second group of girls and Island Chick got in at 1 AM. I didn’t sleep at all till they arrived safely. When they did I went back to my room at the end of the hall. I turned on the Swamp Dog alarm and camera system. The alarm would buzz every time anyone entered the hall. I could then look up to see if it were friend or foe. I could alert the team and ambush any enemy. It was the best possible system for a portable surveillance. I wanted one just like it when I got back home, if I did.
I watched the camera and cat napped now and then all night. When I awoke I skipped my morning run. Instead I took a quick shower and dressed in clean clothes. I dragged my tired ass to the hotel’s dining room. I checked the kitchen and then had a seat at a table away from the windows.
I had coffee and waited as the girls assembled in the dining room. While they had breakfast, I sent half the team back to shower, and the other half to watch over the girls and eat. I kept the girls in the dining room a few minutes after they finished eating while the security team switched. I gave them ten minutes then we went back up stairs to pack.
We cleared the hotel in the chartered bus with ten rows of seats. Every girl had her bag beside her. “If we encounter a problem put your luggage on the floor against the wall and get down on the floor between the seats. That is the spot that will offer you the most protection. Trust the bodyguards and do as they say. They are trained professionals and I trust them with my life. You must do the same.
The bus ride into the interior took almost all day. Lunch was packed by the hotel’s kitchen and was stored on the rear most seat in the bus. I think when the bodyguard team broke out the M4 carbines the seriousness of the situation became apparent.
“Are we really in that much danger?” Jenn asked.
“Do you wait till your car runs out of gas before you fill up the tank?” I asked.
“No of course not,” she said.
“Then think of us as that extra trip to the gas station. We are here just in case,” I explained. “A body guard is mostly to be seen, so that wrong people don’t get any ideas. He will jump on an incident before it becomes a problem. If it does become a problem, he will try to avoid an incident. If there has to be violence, his job is to make sure the client is not injured. He is tasked to use whatever means is necessary to be sure that doesn’t happen.” I waited for a reply. Instead Jenn looked around her, then just nodded her head.
The bus stopped once for the girls to eat and use the bathroom. After that it was pee in the charter bus’s toilet. Nobody wanted to use that thing, not even the men. When we arrived at the dig, if the girls expected a house of some kind they were disappointed. They were going to be living in tents and using an outhouse with a tent over it as well. The conditions were primitive at best.
“Did you see the college girl’s faces when they saw the reality of how they were going to be living?” The Brit Chick asked.
“I’m surprised that no one explained it to them earlier,” I said
“I think it has something to do with the fact that the dig is to raise money for it’s continued existence. They need rich socially conscious girls to come here, so their parents will donate,” she said.
“And how do you know this?” I asked.
The Brit Chick handed me the brochure one of the girls had left in the hotel room. “Read between the lines with your skepticals on,” she advised.
“Well I guess we will have to try to stay out of the pictures. Any idea who is in charge here?” I asked.
She pointed to the picture of Professor Roister. He looked Latin so I assumed he was with some Mexican University. I didn’t bother to read his bio, since I didn’t give a crap. I expected trouble from him. Even so if I had to confront him at some point it might as well be sooner than later, I thought.
“So Brit Chick any idea where he might be hiding?”
“Probably down in the pit over there,” she said pointing to the roped off area.
“Do you wanna go with me to be my witness in case there is a trial later,” I asked.
“I think he is coming to us,” she said nodding her head toward the man in jungle fatigues walking our way.
“Hello and welcome, I was told that this group brought their own protection team. We have paid for local security guards, but you are most welcome to observe. I am, however afraid I must ask for your weapons,” he said with an edge to his voice.
“I am afraid I must refuse to give them up,” I said.
“You have no choice,” he replied.
“Sure I do. We can keep them or escort our ladies back to the capitol and onto a plane home,” I said. “Trust me your ragtag security guards are not going to stop us.”
“You do realize you will be tried for murder,” he said.
“And you realize that the dead make terrible witnesses?” I asked.
“Perhaps we can meet with the leader of the local militia. You can attempt to work out your differences. Usually that is just a matter of a token payment.”
“If you feel comfortable making that payment, be my guest. I don’t and I won’t. I will take them to the head of their commanding officer, if you wish me to offer him a token. Or you can tell him, he may continue protecting the site, but we will protect our charges.”
Edited by Walt