OK, I haven't been very fair to everyone. I decided to write a really long chapter and it's not even half done. Rather than making you all wait a whole other week or two for me to finish it, I decided to post it in sections so you're not bored out of your minds. Took me a whole 2 hours to figure out how to get my avatar to do that. Note about the formatting: Spanish dialogue followed by words in < > is an English translation and words in < > is just Spanish dialogue but written in English. Hopefully it isn't too confusing.
Anyway without further adieu, here's the next chapter. Enjoy
Chapter 4 (part 1)
Soon after they’d left the property, it was silent among the three. Keith couldn’t take it anymore. He had wanted to be polite and wait for Martin to explain what happened to his arm, but it seemed like he wasn’t going to. So he decided to ask. “So …” he whispered. “If you don’t mind, could you tell me what happened to your arm?”
Martin wondered why Keith was whispering, but happened to look over his shoulder, and saw Light sleeping.
“Light gets tired after riding in a vehicle for a while,” Keith quietly answered Martin’s unasked question, while still watching the road.
Martin shook his head, his smile disappeared. He quietly proceeded to tell Keith about the sinister events that transpired during the assassin-pack crisis. (Valerio’s Story Series Season 1 – Episode 10) He didn't leave out any grisly detail, as the ex-marine listened with increasing interest ...
Eventually, Martin came to the climax of the story. "The last of the dogs had come for me, threatening to kill more innocents if I tried to avoid the confrontation.” Martin started to tear up. He had been increasing in volume throughout the explanation. “So, after leaving my beloved ones in the house and sealing it, I met with that...thing. He went for my throat, but in the end, knowing that no other options were left, I went for his." Martin snickered, but turned very pale at that memory. "As the dog lunged, I used his own momentum to stick my left arm down his throat, and crush his windpipe. It worked, but unfortunately, he was able to bite my arm clean off before he died. He rubbed the bridge of his nose, with his one good hand, trying to hide the tears. “I killed him, I didn’t have a choice, but … I still regret it.” After a moment, he seemed to have calmed down, as he was wearing his usual smile. “Amazing. The advances in medicine, we’ve achieved,” Martin said, indicating his bandaged arm.
Keith had listened to the story intently while driving, still staring straight ahead at the road. He could only think of one word to describe this man, admirable. “Yes, they are, amazing,” he responded, smiling.
Light turned over in his sleep, and smacked his lips.
In a small town, a street full of people were shopping, playing, and going about their business. A man sat on the front porch of a bank. He was hunched over, head down, face partially covered by a jacket hood. His hands were in the jacket’s pockets. His eyes looked around nervously from behind the cloth hiding his identity. From deep within the tree line, about half a mile away from the village, Light was staring at him through a pair of prototype Steiner 10x50 Range Finder Binoculars. Keith had used a specially developed spray paint for use on animal fur, his own invention, to camouflage Light for the general area. Light had also added his own touches with some native foliage to enhance the effect. He had been scanning the town for possible obstacles to the reconnaissance that was taking place, when he noticed the suspicious character. Light placed a claw on his earpiece attached to his collar radio, like a Secret Service agent. “Bravo One, we may have a problem.”
Across the street from the bank, Keith, was tucked away in a narrow alley, sitting up against a wall, his head to one side. He was partially dressed in native Colombian clothing, his face covered by a San Francisco Giants baseball cap, a half empty bottle of aguardiente laying beside him. The people in the street passed by, paying him no mind. He was there for a reason. On the other side of the wall, inside the building, there was a discussion taking place, a discussion that would reveal the location of their target, Carlos Diego Morales: drug trade kingpin, ruthless, ex-Colombian Military Officer, commander of a small army, and kicker of puppies. Keith and Light had tracked the cartel to the higher echelons of its organization.
Keith recognized the voice of Carlos’ younger brother, Juan Camilo ‘the Chameleon’ Morales. He was discussing with the group the location of the next pickup. “Mi hermano, el líder supremo, va a ser a cargo de esta. Él quiere dar a los clientes la más fresca, que va a darles la más frescos. Esta vez será recoger la mercancía directamente desde la fuente. <My brother, supreme leader, is going to be overseeing this. He wants to give the clients the freshest; he’ll give them the freshest. This time they’ll be picking up the merchandise straight from the source.>” he said, emphasizing the words by banging on the table with his fist. “Aquí, voy a escribir la ubicación. Asegúrese de llevar la fuerza de seguridad habituales.” <Here, I'll write down the location. Make sure to bring the usual security forces.>"
Suddenly, Keith heard Light over the concealed earpiece. He looked around and saw the man sitting on the steps of the bank. This wasn’t good. Keith knew a first time bank robber when he saw one. The nervousness, the hood covering the face, and he was wearing sunglasses, despite it being overcast. From his line of sight, Keith knew Light couldn’t see him, and there was no way to signal him without giving away his position. He had to buy some time until the conclusion of the meeting. A bank robbery was the last thing he needed right now. It was times like this he wished Light wasn’t a wolf. It would be much easier for him to walk around towns with him. Keith decided to risk it.
Light was still waiting for his response from Keith. He hadn’t seen him come out of the alley so he must have still been there. He concluded the only reason he wasn’t responding was because he couldn’t. Then, suddenly, he heard a reply over the radio, “Myanmar, ‘07.” Light recalled the scenario and responded instantly. He stood up once he was out of view of the village and ran to their camp. Then, after hiding their gear, but not before grabbing a stack of magnetic tracking device, he sprinted through the trees as quickly as possible being careful not to be seen. He came around to the side of the village where he had seen some Mercedes-Benz and BMWs parked. He was still far enough into the forest to not be seen by the villagers, but the forest was only a few yards from the town on this side. Luckily, there didn’t appear to be very many people, but there were a few stray dogs and cats. Light picked up a small rock and threw it in front a skinny, young, naïve looking cat with gray, matted fur and a hungry look in its eyes; drawing its attention. The curious cat walked into the forest to see who had thrown the rock. “Pssst* Light whispered to it, the cat looked in his direction. “Habla Ingles?”
“Si,” the cat replied, “Yes. I learn from American TV.”
Light came out from behind the tree slowly, holding an open can of tuna. The cat’s jaw slackened and his eyes turned to needle points, the dog was bigger than any dog he’d seen and was colored like a monster. He wanted to run, but his stomach was overriding his instinct. Light set the tuna down in front of the cat and sat down. “I need a favor.” he pleaded.
The cat slowly walked forward sniffing the tuna, it was the freshest smelling fish he’d ever had the privilege to experience.
“I will give you 500 dollares Americana if you put these,” Light said, showing him the tracking devices, “on those.” He pointed to the cars. “But you can’t be seen. Got it? No vista.”
“Money.” The cat said, after having polished off the tuna.
Light showed him the $500 but pulled it away when the cat grabbed at it. “Ah-ah-ah, not until after the job. I think I’ve proven my trustworthiness with the fish.”
The cat thought about it for a brief moment, then nodded. He took the tracking devices given to him by Light and casually walked towards the cars. Light got out his binoculars and watched the cat go to work. “The kid’s a natural,” he said to no one in particular. The back door opened to what appeared to be a restaurant. Light turned the binoculars to the doorway and a man walked out carrying a trash bag. Light turned the binoculars back to where he last saw the cat and cursed. He didn’t see the cat anywhere, at first he though the cat had ditched the job, but after the man went back inside he saw movement in one of the wheel wells. “Hoo-boy, nice one, cat.”
When the last tracking device was placed, the cat walked back to where he first met Light. But when he got there, he didn’t see anyone. “Chucho estúpido!” he yelled. Then he spotted it. The cat’s eyes widened. “Dios, mio.”
There was $1000, on the ground with a note attached with a rubber band. Buen trabajo. No lo gaste en un solo lugar. Recuerde, usted nunca me vio. –Anon <Good job. Don’t spend it all in one place. Remember, you never saw me.> – Anon
The cat smiled, turned and left.
Keith had gotten up after ‘telling’ Light what to do. He had hoped to save some money on the mission but he had to call an audible. He sighed. He picked up the bottle and took a swig, swaying a bit and hamming it up. When no one was watching, he spit it out. He ‘staggered’ walking across the street to the bank. He kept his head down and used the baseball cap to cover his face. Oye, ¿tienesh un shigarrijo? <Hey, do yoush havsh a shigrette.> with the best slurred Spanish he could manage he asked the nervous looking man sitting on the steps. The man looked up and then fumbling with his jacket pockets brought out the cigarettes, but a knife came out with them and fell to the ground. As the man reached for the knife, Keith placed it boot over it and put his finger to his lips looking at the man. The man looked very scared. “Shhh, que esta bien.” <Shhh, it’s ok.> Keith reassured him.
From the position he was in to grab the knife, the man sat back down. He placed his face in his hands. A foreigner?
“Habla Ingles?” Keith quietly asked. The man just shook his head. Keith offered the bottle of aguardiente to the man, without removing his boot from the knife. "<You don’t look like a bank robber.>” The man looked a little surprised, but the stranger didn’t seem like a normal person. He took the bottle and gulped a mouthful, coughing afterwards.
“<Let’s talk over there>” Keith said, indicating the alley he was in before. “<you’re attracting too much attention>” Keith stealthily slipped the knife into his boot and they both walked across the street. “<My name is Juan Do,>” Keith said, offering his hand. “<What’s your name?>”
The man switched the bottle to his other hand and shook Keith’s, he was almost beginning to regret thinking about going through with the robbery. “<My name is Hector Garcia… and you’re right, I’m not a bank robber.>”
They sat in the alley; Keith was against the wall again. “<Then why were you planning on robbing that bank?>”
“<Well, what about you? How’d you know?>”
“<I’m a cop,>” Keith lied, “<I’m here on vacation from California, Edgar Rentería, is my favorite baseball player,>” he continued, pointing to his baseball cap. “<I’ve always wanted to visit this country.>”
“<You speak Spanish very well,>” Hector looked at ‘Juan’ suspiciously.
“<Well, like I said, I’m from California.>”
Hector shrugged. “<I’m at the end of my rope. My pet cat, Alandra, is very ill … she’s my whole life. I don’t have the money to get treatment, and I don’t know how much time she has left…>” as the man was talking, his eyes were tearing up and by the end he was full on sobbing.
Keith was staring at the man and listening to the meeting behind him, on the other side of the wall. Unfortunately he hadn’t heard the location of the next pickup, and it was ending. He heard chairs scooting away from the table. He hoped Light had been able to pull off the assignment he’d given him. “<Did you consider, what would have happened to her if you’d been taken to jail, or worse, killed.>” he said to Hector.
He shook his head, his hands over his eyes.
“<I think the best thing you can do right now, is spend time with her, ok?>”
Hector nodded, and wiped the tears from his eyes, he seemed to have calmed down. “<You’re right, of course.>”
The back door to the building opened and Keith looked down the alley to see some men getting into vehicles. One of them, a large bald man with hairy arms, was waving goodbye to the others and started walking down the alley towards the two of them. He stopped midway, undid his zipper and starting urinating on the wall.
“<Excuse me a moment,>” Keith said to Hector. He walked to where the man was urinating and stood beside him. Keith stared at him and smiled. The man looked at him. “¿Que carajo quieres?” Keith whipped out a taser and tased him. The man slumped down between some garbage bags and a trash bin.
Hector ran over, “<What are you doing? Do you want to die? That man is dangerous, he’s one of the cartel big wigs.>” Keith ignored him and continued searching the man’s pockets. “¡Aí dios mío, aí dios mío…! Hector continued quietly, trying not to attract attention. He was pacing back and forth.
Keith took out a cell phone from the man and began searching the menus for files. He opened one that looked promising and smiled. <Wednesday Drop: 02:30am – Location: 11°22'37"N, 72°08’51”W
> Hector watched as he quickly took out his Smartphone and connected it to the man’s cell phone. After downloading everything he replaced the man’s cell phone and stole the money out of his wallet. “<You need to get out of here.>” he said to Hector.
Hector nodded and walked out of the alleyway towards the street and walked down it towards his home, thankful he didn’t try to rob the bank. He remembered something important that he saw. <Wednesday … 2:30am 11°22’37”
After Hector left towards the street, Keith peered out from behind the trash bin towards the other end of the alleyway where the parking lot was. All the other men that were in the meeting had left. He jogged quietly towards the woods through the parking lot. He spotted a young cat nearby sticking a large sum of money under his arm, trying to hide it, but just continued towards the forest, with a smirk.
The young gray cat didn’t think much of the man that was running by, only that he might have stolen the money if he’d seen it. He hurried along the edge of town with the new-found money towards the house of the most beautiful cat he’d ever known. With this money he felt he could finally ask Alandra to be his girlfriend.
Several minutes later, Hector arrived at his house. “<Alandra, I’m home>,” he called out entering the living room.
Alandra was lying in her bed, lying against the best pillow they had, and reading a book on how to speak English. She coughed as Hector arrived. “<Hi, dad.>” she replied weakly.
It broke his heart every time he saw her like this, and she was like this every time he had seen her these last two weeks. He knelt down and kissed her on the forehead. “<I can’t take seeing you in pain anymore” he said, his eyes watering over. “I’ve got to do something for you.” he continued, embracing her.
“<You’re here, that is enough for me.>” Alandra replied, returning the hug.
“<Wait here, I’ll make dinner.>” Hector said, while Alandra returned to her book. He went to the kitchen, tears streaming down his face. After he pulled himself together, he grabbed the phone and called his friend that ran a small PC café on the other side of town. After the phone rang a few times, a man picked up on the other line. “¡aló!”
“<Hello. David? It’s me Hector.>” he said quietly, so as not to disturb Alandra.
“<Hello Hector! How can I help you, my friend?>”
“<I need you to look something up on Google Earth for me.>”
“<Of course, of course, just let me open it up here.>” then after several moments, “<Ok, go ahead, ask me anything.>”
“<Where is 11°22’37” located?>” There was a pause from the other end.
“<Those could be coordinates, but I don’t know if they’re North, South, East, or West. Do you have anything else to go with them?>”Dang it, why can’t I remember the other coordinate number?
Hector thought for a moment. “<Yes, it should be nearby … somewhere in Colombia?>” He heard typing from the other end of the line.
“<Ok, it looks like it’s a longitudinal line that runs through Colombia. But it’s not a very exact location.>”
“<Can you see if there is anything near our town on the line? A structure or building, perhaps?>”
There was another pause. “<I think I see something here on the map, around 11°22'37"N, 72°08’51”W>”
“<Ah yes, now I remember,>” Hector replied. “<Thank you so much for your help David.>”
“<But why did you n->” was all Hector heard from the phone before he hung up.
At that moment, in the living room a knock was heard at the window by Alandra’s bedside. Alandra looked at the window and saw a young, lanky, gray cat, waving enthusiastically on the other side. “Toni!” she exclaimed, smiling.
Alandra was the type of cat that treated others based on their character, not their social status. The fact that Antonio didn’t have an owner meant little to her. Antonio opened up the window from his side. “Hola, Ali.” He replied walking towards her. He lay down beside her and they hugged, rubbed their noses together.
Hector was watching from the kitchen. He was happy that Alandra had found a friend. She seemed in good spirits whenever he visited and that helped calm him down. He went back to preparing dinner while planning Wednesday morning’s ‘activity’ in his head.
Alandra unconsciously twirled her claw around one of the ends of a dirty piece of yarn wrapped around her collar tag. Antonio smiled. He’d given her that as a present when they first met, and he’d never seen her without it. “<How are you doing today, Ali?>” he asked.
“<Better, now that you’re here?>” she responded licking his nose.
He smiled, “<That’s great. I need to talk to your dad a moment.>”
He got up from where he was lying beside her and walked into the kitchen. Alandra watched as he walked away, a slightly confused look on her face.
Antonio cleared his throat *ahem* “<Sir, I love your daughter and would like to live with her.>”
Hector looked at him with surprise. After what seemed like minutes, he began laughing, quietly at first but quickly picking up volume. “How could I possibly afford another cat?” He stopped laughing and his face became serious. Then, quietly to Antonio he said, “I can barely afford to keep Ali alive with all these vet visits.”
Antonio took out the $1000 and shoved it at Hector. He was staring into his eyes. “I will do anything
he said with quiet intensity.
Hector looked at the cat intently, then at the money he now held in his hand. He seemed to care about Alandra as much as he did, maybe even more so. And he helped raise her spirits when he was around. $1,000 wouldn’t be enough to treat her, but maybe he could afford to keep the grey cat around for a while with this money.
Suddenly, Alandra appeared in the doorway with her paws on her hips. Hector quickly hid the money and looked at Antonio nervously; he looked back at him, also nervous. They both tried to act casual. “<What’s going on here?>” Alandra demanded.
“<Alandra, you should be in bed. The vet said it isn’t good for you to be exerting yourself.>”
She glared at her dad.
“<Um, well, that is to say … Toni here ... is um, well by sheer luck he happened to find some money … apparently … so I said I’d consider letting him stay with us…>” Hector looked at Antonio, “<if he behaves himself, and doesn’t do anything to upset you.>” he added, with a weak attempt at a smile.
“<Um, yeah?>” Antonio said in agreement.
Chapter continued: viewtopic.php?p=102203#p102203
Not much of a cliffhanger, but hopefully it will keep everyone satisfied until next time.