The Bard of Bel Air
: The Harbor Cruz! by michaelcahill
Communication between Lucy and the group at Harpster's cabin was sparse, but to the point. A plan began to take shape, but a lot of it would have to be played by ear. There were several wild cards now, not the least of which was Winston. In his paranoid state, there was no telling what might be brewing in his drug-addled mind. He certainly had surprises in store for Dr. Khin.
Harpster tried to consider all the contingencies, but he didn't know what all of them where. "It looks like Lucy and Ruby are going to be there for the exchange. That is where we make our play. I would have preferred to make our move right here. This little compound is almost an office for Winston. There isn't more than twenty people here at any one time."
Q had his opinion. "Look, I know you have some mixed feelings about Winston. But, I can almost guarantee you that Winston is not your flesh and blood. Junior is debatable too…"
"I know all of that. But, there was a time that they were little boys bouncing on my knee. You have to know that it gives me pause. Winston's sick. That drug is twisting him. He's not the man I know. That damn Khin. He's the one I want. But, Winston has to be stopped, what will be will be... like the song. Too late for Dr. Phil to step in now. The play is at the dock. But, number one is the safety of the girls." Harpster looked at Tenaya.
She responded, "Lucy is more than equipped to handle any situation. Me and my friend here are ready for anything." She nodded at the Bard who was staring blankly off into space. "You take care of things up here and we will take care of our end. We know the risk. We have no choice but to take action. We know what they have in those suitcases and how many lives are at stake. We have to stop it."
The Bard looked over to Tenaya and smiled. "We have this."
"Oh God. Now I'm worried. I like it better when he sounds like he's auditioning for Saturday Night Live. "We have this?" That sounds like Law and Order." Diamond started laughing.
The Bard smiled slightly, "I have to make an effort to live with these boring people for a little while. It isn't easy. Why would anyone eat buttered toast when there is sugar and cinnamon sitting right in front of them?" He found that highly amusing and began doing one-handed push-ups while laughing hysterically.
"That's better!" Diamond laughed with him.
Tenaya gathered up her things. "Let's go. I want to be in position long before anyone arrives." She nodded to Harpster. "You know what to do".
"Everything is a go here". Harpster looked confidant. "A lot of people have been waiting for this moment for a long time".
"You just make sure that my baby is safe. All the rest of it… that's your game. I just care about my girl". Diamond was the only one that showed any nerves. The others were just better at covering them up.
The room emptied and everyone traveled towards their destination. Everything had been planned for. Winston and his cohorts had no idea what would await them at San Pedro Harbor.
Everything looked like it should as the three Humvees pulled up to the parking facilities near San Pedro's Harbor area. The vehicles arrived at different times and parked in different areas so as not to look like a contingent.
Winston, Khin, Lucy and Ruby looked ready to do some fishin' and have a little picnic. The product was in a picnic basket and an oversize tackle box. Winston carried a large duffel bag that looked like it might have fishing gear in it. It didn't, but it looked like it might.
The other vehicles parked and their passengers exited in similar get-ups and headed to pier six. It was late afternoon, so there were people to blend in with, but it wasn't overly crowded.
In Winston's group alone, the level of betrayal was amazing. He had been correct to suspect Khin. Khin had set him up. Ruby had not been far off the mark with her little story of intrigue. If Khin had his way, the Chinese would be dumping Winston off in the Pacific later that evening. It would be a swim that Winston would be unable to complete. As the saying goes, "dead men don't swim".
Winston planned to give Khin a shot of his own product. That seemed amusing to Winston. The question was when. He would take his cues from Ruby. It depended on what the Chinese had to say and where the money was. That was number one to him. As far as the product went, he didn't have any. He had a duffel bag that did not carry any product. If he was caught, he had a roll full of fishing equipment. "Yes, officer, I have no idea what these people are up to. I'm a war hero. I'm just here to do a little fishin." In his mind that would get him off scot free.
"Ruby, we've got to watch these two. They may off each other before anyone else gets a chance".
"My eyes are open, believe me. They have been. I've been around speed freaks before. Winston's off the deep end. There's no telling. Khin's little plan to control him is going to end up a little different then he planned".
"Okay, our people should already be in place. We just have to trust that they're there".
Lucy could see several of the opposing players trying to blend in with the crowd. She hadn't noticed any of their own people and that was good. She knew they were around and still couldn't find them. That meant that the enemy wouldn't have a clue.
One of the Chinese approached Winston who was leaning against the railing looking out over the Pacific chatting with Doctor Khin. Lucy and Ruby stood behind them within earshot. The man dressed in a business suit looked somewhat out of place, but not entirely. There were all kinds on the docks. He took up a leisurely pose looking out over the ocean. He didn't look all that leisurely to Lucy, but wouldn't stand out to a random passerby.
"Everything is set and we are go on our end". The man spoke softly and did not look towards Winston.
"We're good to go here. Give the word". Winston spoke a little louder and looked directly at the man.
The man felt obviously ill at ease under Winston's scrutiny. Winston was pleased.
Khin said something in Chinese. The man responded once again without averting his gaze or seeming to acknowledge anyone.
Ruby slipped up beside Winston and whispered into his ear. "Stay sharp". She wasn't making anything up this time. Khin had said, "taking him out" in the form of a question. And the man had responded, "it is set".
Ruby removed her sun hat and ran her hand over her hair brushing it back. She replaced the hat back on her head. Lucy turned and knelt down to tie her shoe. They had limited signals worked out. Lucy had just told her team that there was something amiss between the parties making the deal.
That left a lot of room for discussion. But, at least Tenaya and the Bard knew that this would not be a smooth deal. They knew to expect the unexpected within the bad guys themselves. Hell, maybe they'd get lucky and they bad guys would take each other out.
Winston turned and caught the eye of one of his other men a little ways up the dock. He crossed his arms briefly and received a head nod in return. It seemed obvious to Lucy, but she imagined that it probably didn't to anyone else. Double cross. That's pretty easy to catch. I hope Tenaya saw that.
Double cross. That's a little obvious. We'll, I was looking for it I guess. Tenaya conferred with the Bard. They were right on the dock in plain view. They were disguised in full Navy dress and had stationed themselves near a Navy cruiser used to take troops to and from shore. For today, the vessel and its entire crew were on duty under the auspices of National Homeland Security. Seems they had gotten wind of terrorists making a major biological-weapons purchase today.
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