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Christine

BLIZZARD OVER MIAMI

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Christine

23. FIRST INDICATIONSWhen Stan reached the office, Sharon passed him to go home. She smiled at him, wished him a nice evening, and disappeared. Angela was switching off her computer, and Ramona was sorting some papers on her desk.Damian had returned. He was sitting at his desk and his hands clinched his SIMPLY THE BEST cup with fresh, steaming coffee. He stared into space, wasn´t shaved, and had big, black rings under his eyes. He didn´t look as if he had slept."What´s new?" he asked hopefully, but Stan answered,"Nothing. I´m the new Lieutenant now."Damian congratulated him and Stan thanked him. He drank a sip of the very strong coffee in hope that it keeps him awake.When he closed his eyes, his fantasy howed him terrible pictures. He had seen too many things while he was working as a policeman. He knew what people were able to do. That was the reason why he couldn´t sleep.Stan started to remove the things off his desk and put them into a box. On his desk, there were several photos standing. Of course, one of the "King", one of Gianna, a good - looking Italian with night black curls, chocolate brown colored eyes, and a little mole on the right side next to her mouth.Another photo showed Samuel Laurence, six years old. He was a blond boy with his mother´s dark eyes and an infectious laugh.Fiona´s picture had been taken a few months ago at her first birthday. She had dark curls and almost black eyes."Something´s wrong with that case," Stan admitted when he almost was ready with packing.Ramona and Angela wished a nice evening and left the office together. It got rather silent."Everything´s wrong with that case," Damian snorted.Stan propped his hands on the box and looked at Damian. "I don´t like Knight, but I can´t believe that he´s an idiot. I think that someone had lured him and Trudy into a trap."Gina returned. She had bought cake and offered it now. While they were eating, Stan said,"I want you to drive to Rachel Anderson´s last known address. Maybe someone there can tell us something."Ten minutes later, Gina and Damian left the office. On the way, Damian railed on Knight and thought about several ugly things he would like to do with him if something bad happened with Trudy.Gina sighed," You´re a too honest man to do something like that, Dam."Damian shortly smiled. "But it feels damned good to imagine that."Rachel Anderson´s last address was a shabby motel with thread - bare carpets on a dull, stained floor. The rendering was browsing off the walls. Sometime it had probably been white, but now it had turned into a nicotine - yellow color. In the old chandelier, not all light bulbs were working, but that was good because so no one could see the dust and the cobweb.In the air, there was a bad smell mixed of sweat, cheap perfume, dust, mothballs, and different kinds of dishes.The reception desk suited exactly to that picture, and so did the receptionist. Gina and Damian suspected that she was between her mid - fourties and her mid - fifties. They couldn´t tell exactly because there was a big make - up layer on her face. For a woman, she was rather tall, about 5,9 ft. Her black colored hair was tousled styled on purpose, but they could see the light hair - line.She was wearing a very tight dress in baby pink with an almost horrifying plunging neckline. Its content seemed to fall out of it.Damian hoped that she either took shallow breaths or that the seams were very solid. He showed her his badge to make clear that he didn´t want to rent a room. He wouldn´t have even rented a room in this motel if it was the only room in Florida.She looked amazed now. "The police?""We´re looking for Rachel Anderson," Gina explained. "In the police computer, we´ve found this motel as her last known address.""Yes, she´s lived here," the woman boringly told. "This morning she had appeared, paid the last rent, and moved.""Did she tell you where she wanted to go?" Damian asked.The woman bended forward. She lifted her bust measurement partially onto the bar, and came so close to Damian that he could smell her sweet, heavy perfume and the alcohol in her breath."Sweetheart," she said and her pale blue eyes seemed to turn off his clothes. "I don´t ask the girls where they want to go to. If they have paid the rent, it doesn´t matter to me.""Thanks," Damian said and stepped back while Gina was already phoning with Carla Scott who was working for the CSI. Gina ordered them to come to the motel and examinate Rachel´s room. She hoped that another member of the magician´s organisation had visited her and that the finger prints could help them to get more names.When Gina had finished the call, she gave the woman an calling card. "Call me when Rachel appears," she said."Sure," the woman replied, but Gina knew that she wouldn´t call. The women of this trade were afraid of the pimp´s revenge.Gina and Damian returned to the office. On the way, Gina received a short message from Stan with a omposite sketch from Rachel. So, they held open their eyes, but, of coure, they didn´t find Rachel.In the office, Stan told them that Rico had called to tell him that he, Sonny, and Castillo had a date this evening with EL GRANDE MAGO´s men in the Florida Villas and that they would call again later to tell him all about the meeting."EL GRANDE MAGO," Gina said and bit into a piece of the cake she had bought earlier that evening. She looked out of the window at the citie´s lights. "He´s got money and he knows Sanchez who had been working for both Calderone´s." She looked at Stan. "Has anybody sometime checked how big the Calderone - clan is?" she asked and again bit into the piece of cake.Stan shrugged. "I don´t know. I only remember that there had been a cousin, but he´s dead. But where a cousin is, there must be an uncle and an aunt."Damian who was sitting at the edge of his desk like a medieval gargoyle ran through his hair with all of his ten fingers. Until now he had been very proud that there were no grey hairs, but during the last 36 hours several hairs had lost their color. "You think that a Calderone is to blame for that?" he asked, jumped up and nervously ran around. "That would mean that it´s all about Tubbs...that it´s personal...""Stop!" Gina shouted. "It´s not only about Rico. Calderone was only a thought because of the connection to Sanchez. But, probably, this connection ha got nothing to do with that case."For a moment, it was very silent. The could hear a plane´s wailing thrust reversal and that noise was mixed up with the wailing of several police cars.The telephone started ringing. Stan picked it up. It was Rico who wanted to tell him all about the meeting in the Villas. Then he asked for the wire and for the checking of Franco, Gracciano, and Bailey."After Stan had hung up he told," They should bring one ton of cocaine to Florida.""One ton!" Gin shouted horrified.Damian and Ben looked at Stan as if they were in doubts of his mind. Stan repeated what he had learned from Rico."Now we´ve got three more names. Ramon Gracciano, Kevin Bailey, and Domenico Franco who should be a good friend to the magician."Then Carla Scott called. Thereafter, a big grin spread out over Stan´s face when he told the others,"And my old friend Howie Wong had recently had a date with Rachel Anderson."Stan thought about the Asian who had owned a good restaurant until he ordered 50 kilos of China White with Lao Li´s grandsons. It had cost him his license and brought him to prison for fifteen years."So we´ve got a lot of names," Ben said.Damian, who was standing at the window, folded his arms in front of his chest. "What´s the connection between these men?" he asked. "They must have something in common."Gina moved closer to her desk, and put a curl behind her right ear. "Let´s start searching for it," she said.IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: AN OLD FRIEND

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Christine

24. AN OLD FRIENDRico and Sonny returned to the motel. A lot of people were on the way, most of them were probably tourists. They thronged the side walks and the tables of the cafés along the promenade.Everywhere around the neon - monsters were awake and they tried to tempt the people to visit these or that show.Several hookers were looking for johns. Their clothes weren´t in a much bigger size than two gentlemen´s handkerchiefs that were sewed together. One of those hookers started arguing with a well - dressed woman. Obviously, she had cheekily offered her service to the woman´s husband. A police car with rotating lights and wailing sirens passed them.Without saying a word, Rico glanced at the city that had been his home for five years while he was listening to Mando Diao, singing "Dance With Somebody".Rico was nervous. All of his muscles seemed to be grown stiff and his nerves were buzzing in excitement. Where were the hostages? He had enough of dancing like a puppet after someone else´s will. He didn´t want to endanger the hostages lives, but he, finally, wanted to do something.Sonny was unpatient, too. In general, he was very quick - tempered, but now he was afraid. Much too often he had heard Caroline´s entired accusation," Where have you been when Billy needed you?"He had always been busy. He had spent his time with drug dealers, arms trafficker, traffickers in human beeings, and other riff - raff. When something bad happened with Billy, Caroline would ask him again," Where have you been...?""They´re somewhere in the Glades!" Rico mumbled. "There must be a possibility..."Sonny returned into reality. "Forget it!" he shouted. "There are about 5000 square miles of swamp and jungle, my friend. Where do you want to start with your search? In the Glades, you´ll never find yourself when you get lost!""Funny," Rico snarled. "Really funny, Crockett!"Sonny stopped in front of the red traffic lights. A white Porsche stopped next to him. In the lights of the streetlamps Sonny noiced an elderly Asian behind the Porsche´s steering wheel. He smiled provocatively at Sonny and reved up that te engine started roaring.Sonny frowned. The Asian´s face seemed to be familiar to him. But then he stopped thinking about that. Instead, he said to Rico,"They´ll call us and we should be attainable. I don´t risk my son´s life..." He raised his right forefinger as if he was a teacher before he continued," And don´t tell me now that your son is also out there. Between Billy and Alessio, there´s a big difference!"The traffic lights turned to green, and though Sonny actually didn´t want to drive a race against the Porsche, he got off to a fantastic start. The tyres were screeching when he raced forward. The amazed Asian saw only the Corvette´s rear - lights.Rico snorted with rage. "In the past I´ve had no choice, Crockett! Nobody had asked me if I wanted to watch how my family died in a fire ball!". With every word, his voice became louder and louder. The vains at his throat were swelling like tightened wires, and his green eyes were beaming like flames.Sonny braked the car on the motel´s parking lot. His patience was at its end. He had barely slept, ate too little, and had drunk too much coffee. Rico´s words were only the ounce hat let the barrel explode."I know, Tubbs, but I won´t risk Billy´s life because you´re keen on playing the "Die Hard" number," Sonny raged.Rico jumped out of the car. He stormed into the motel, and almost ran over a man who was wearing a grey suit and a red tie. Rico said," Sorry!"He crossed the entrance hall and decided to use the stairs. He calmed down as one storey after another stayed behind.Rico walked slower. He was breathing very fast, the blood roared in his ears, and his leg muscles started aching. He had lost his head. He shouldn´t have shouted at Sonny because, basically, Sonny was right. They had too little time to search for the hostages. Besides that, there were too many possibilities to hide the hostages out there.When Rico reached the storey where he and Sonny had rented rooms, Sonny was waiting opposite to the elevator. Casually, he leaned at the wall with his hands in his pockets, and he looked openly at Rico. "One can things exaggerate," he said.Rico knew that he was talking about his run up the stairs, but also about the senseless shouting at each other."One block far from here, there´s a club, the NIGHTANGEL. Let´s go there and have a drink or two," Sonny suggested.Rico grinned and said,"I feel sorry, too."This time they used the elevator, together with two men who were talking to each other in a foreign language. Rico supposed that it was Dutch, but he wasn´t sure.In the lobby, several people were waiting with their luggage at the reception desk. One woman was carrying a sleeping child of about two years in her arms. It sucked his thumb while sleeping.The air was warm and the wind that had been blowing one hour ago, had totally died down.They walked along the street. Rico glanced around and said,"A lot of things have changed since my last visit.""More modern, nicer, and bigger," Sonny answered and pointed at a building in front of them with his right forefinger.The NIGHTANGEL´s door looked like heaven´s gate. It was semicircular with a shining plate on it. In front of the plate, there were bars in the shape of an angel with a trumpet. It was lit by many multi - colored light bulbs.Above the NIGHTANGEL´s door, there was hanging a beaming white flashing angel. the name of the discothek was hovering like sunbeams around its head.But the guy next to the entrance had no similarity with Petrus as people normally imagined him to look like. He weighs about 2cwt, was bald, and had grim expressions in his bulldog - face. His arms looked like trunks, and there were so many tattoo´s on them that kids could deal with them the whole day on a rainy day.He looked at Rico and Sonny up and down without saying a word. He thought that they were OK and opened the door.Opposite to the entrance, there was a door with a plate" NO ENTRANCE - PRIVATE" on it. On the right, there was a narrow staircase that lead to the discothek. Two nice girls were coming down the stairs. They had to squeeze against the wall to pass by RIco and Sonny."Blame It!" was booming when Rico and Sonny walked up the vibrating stairs. In the discothek, they were welcomed by a light - show. There were only tables to stand at and they were spread out in the room. The dancefloor was bordered by a lit rail. It was crowded and the dancer´s hopped, jumped, and twisted around in the lights of the flashing angels above.Opposite to the staircase, there was a bar of about 10 yd with lit cabinet´s and six good - looking girls behind it. The laughing and joking girls, who were wearing white clothes, gave drinks to the patrons. The air was heavy of sweat, perfume, and other scents that mixed up.Rico and Sonny walked to the bar and Sonny ordered two glasses of beer. He suppoed that the good - looking and about 25 years old blond woman had learned how to read from someone´s lips, because it was impossible to understand a word.Only a moment later, she put the two glasses of beer on the bar and she gave Sonny signs to pay them immediately.Sonny gave Rico his glass and Rico shouted," A lot of green young things here!"Sonny raised his glass. He grinned as he answered," Maybe we´re only old!"Rico drank a sip and glanced around. Suddenly a woman screamed," He´s armed!"Other people also started screaming. A shoot tore one of the angels above the dancefloor to shreds. It swung wild back and forth before it crashed on the floor. Multi - colored splitters of glass were raining onto the patrons, and several people were injured. Panic broke out. Everybody pushed forward and tried to escape over the narrow staircase. The air was filled with the screams, the noises of the shoots, and the shattering glasses.Behind the bar one of the cabinet´s exploded while Rico and Sonny were trying to find a way through the crowd to the dancefloor where the gunman was standing.Rico noticed the bar tenders who cowered behind the bar.One of the next shots "killed" another angel that crashed onto the floor with a loud bang. Another angel followed before the music equipment exploded.Rico and Sonny ran ducked forward. They passed a young black man who was dead. He lay on the back and his eyes stared off into space. His blood colored his light - green T -shirt red.Not far away, there cowered a black - haired woman. She was bleeding at her forehead, her right cheek, and there was blood at her hands. She was sobbing and shaking.Rico realized the young, white gunman. At the same moment, someone openend a door that was hidden behind a black curtain. There was an exit."Throw away your gun!" the guy, who had let Rico and Sonny in, shouted. he and another man ran in the discothek.Behind Rico and Sonny, the patrons again started screaming as the gunman pointed the muzzle of his gun at the doormen. But the man with the tattoo´s on his arm was faster. A volley hurled the gunman against the wall. He slid down to the floor and left ugly red stripes at the wall.Most of the patrons had escaped, and in the discothek it became very quiet for a moment. The tables were overturned and they were lying in a mix of splitters of glass and different drinks. One angel was still swinging above the dancefloor. Here and ther, splitters of glass were alling to the floor with a high tone.Someone started sabbing and others joined in while the police and the ambulance were coming closer with wailing sirens.Rico glanced around and brushed the splitters of glass and the dust off his jacket. Then he turned around to walk to the black - haired woman he had noticed before. But behind him, there was standing a man Rico would have recognized everywhere.He had grown old, had lost more hair, and the remaining hair was greyer than in the past. The skin in his face looked a bit like anchient parchment, but he was still wiry, and was wearing glasses with glasses like glass blocks. He was wearing jeans and a blood- red shirt that was open to the navel.There was no doubt: The man in front of Rico was Izzy Moreno."Do my eyes play a trick on me or do I see, in fact, in front of me the nightmare duo of all criminals in this city?" he amazingly asked before he hectically glanced around. He could hear the policemen and the paramedics coming up the stairs. Izzy avoided policemen if possible."It was nice to meet you, but I think you understand that I can´t talk with you any longer," he said.Sonny had glanced around. He noticed the obviously uninjured bar - ladies who forced their way behind the bar. Under their feet, the broken glass was crunching and around them more pieces of broken glass fell to the floor. Most of the light bulbs were broken, so that it was rather dark in the room. The third angel said "good - bye" and fell to the floor with a loud bang.Sonny noticed several bleeding people who had been injured because of splitters of glass. He counted five injured people who cowered sobbing in the corners. Three people were dead.And then Izzy Moreno´s voice soaked into his thoughts.The same moment, Rico grabbed Izzy´s arm. Izzy had always been a walking information center. Rico knew that Izzy didn´t always tell the truth, but if someone in Miami could tell them something about EL GRANDE MAGO, it was Izzy Moreno.Rico was smiling at Izzy as he said in a friendly tone," I think we should go for a little walk, Izzy."Sonny reacted immediately and as he was grabbing Izzy´s other arm he added with a big grin in his face,"I bet, that you can tell us a lot of very interesting things."IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: INFORMATION FROM IZZY

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25. INFORMATION FROM IZZYThe policemen and four paramedics arrived in the discothek when Rico and Sonny were leading Izzy to the staircase. The young policemen looked amazed. Not one of them knew Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs. In the 80´s, when Rico and Sonny took care for law and order on Miami´s streets, these boys, probably, had come to school.Sonny smiled apologizingly as he showed his badge to one of the officers and told,"We take care of him. Alcohol doesn´t agree with him."Sonny supposed that the officer, in the twilight, couldn´t neither have read his name nor his membership to the department in West Palm Beach. Besides that, they had left the discothek before the officer really had realized what had happened.In the street, there were standing several police cars and ambulances with flashing lights. A paramdic examined an injured, sobbing woman. While Rico and Sonny were dragging Izzy along the street they could hear snatches. "It happened suddenly..." "...started shooting."On the other side of the street, there were standing curious people. They had come close enough to realize everything that was going on, but far away enough to be out of someone´s shooting line. In front of them, there was the sealing off band. They were talking about what could have happened."I hope that you´ve not returned to Miami to ruin my old age for me," Izzy said while he was successlessly trying to get his arms free."Izzy, that means to make something more pleasant, not to ruin it," Sonny contradicted and pushed Izzy into a courtyard.On the left side, there was a wall without any windows reaching over several storeys into the sky. On the right, there were several bared windows and a dark wooden door on the first floor, and further windows in the four storeys above.Straight ahead, the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant was bordered to the courtyard where four big dumpsters were standing. The stank of food that was off was mixed up with the harsh animal urine and excrements blew to them.Through the window of the restaurant´s kitchen they could hear the clatter of pots, and somewhere above them a woman started shouting in Spanish."No, you will ruin my old age," Izzy said. "If you decided to return on Miami´s streets, my life would be ruined. You´ve always asked more uncomfortable questions than anybody else and you always faced very bad sanctions."Above them, a man started screaming. He sounded as if he was drunken because his speech was slurred. The woman further shouted at him and they heard the noise of breaking glass.Sonny came to the point immediately. "EL GRANDE MAGO, what can you tell us about him?"Izzy grew stiff. In that moment, something shot out of the window two storeys above. Loudly rattling, something broke to pieces at the opposite wall. The stank of cheap hooch spread out before the wind blew it away.Then someone closed the window with a loud bang. The noise loosened Izzy´s stiffness. "Oh, no!" he said hectically while rising his hands as if he wanted to fend somebody off. "I won´t say something that brings me into his line of vision!""He´s got something that belongs to us," Rico urgently said.Izzy glanced in all directions, even to the windows above. "Forget it!"Rico flicked an invisible fluffy off Izzy´s blood red shirt. With a velvety and fatherly voice he said,", Izzy, if you know something, but don´t tell us and things are going wrong, you´ll spend your old age in a small and uncomfortable apartment with nice bars in front of the window.""And we mean it!" Sonny added.Izzy gave them a concilliatory smile. Tubbs and Crockett had always threatend him, but it had never come true. But his instinct, that had helped him to stay alive all those years, told him that they menat it now."He, guys, don´t get panic, OK? You shouldn´t have to tell me such unpleasant things as we hadn´t met for such a long time." He laughed insecurely, and again he glanced carefully in all directions.Something rumbled in one of the dumpsters and of the restaurant kitchen they could hear a male voice telling something in Chinese. Others bursted out laughing. In the apartment above, it was quiet now."Listen," Izzy quietly said. "This guy... he´s crazy, he´s rich, and he´s unscrupulous. I avoid him and you should do the same.""Izzy!" Sonny grumbled warning. He had really enough of this story and of Izzy´s excuses.Izzy glanced between Crockett and Tubbs. The light was lousy, but Izzy didn´t need light to understand that only a good piece of information could help him getting out of this situation. And it had to be a very good piece of information. Otherwise, Crockett and Tubbs would find him and maybe they would try to push him from the outside through the bars into the cell. He couldn´t run that risk!Izzy took a deep breath. Then he told," In 2006, the Spanish police had caught a drug dealer, who named himself El Viejo, when he tried to import half a ton of cocaine..."Again, Izzy carefully looked around. Some Japanese passed the courtyard. They were laughing and talking in fast Japanese.Izzy waited until they had disappeared before he continued,"The magician will proof that it is possible to bring a bigger amount into this country without being caught.""Let´s jump over the familiar yesterday´s news from all over the world and talk about the local news from today," Rico said as h grabbed Izzy´s arm harder. "Who... is... he?"Izzy avoided like a worm. He had never had an easy life, but it had been more undisturbed after Crockett and Tubbs had quit. Switek, Parson, and Bradford had asked less questions."Let´s take him to Stan. I´m sure he finds a reason to arrest Izzy," Rico suggested. He wasn´t keen about wasting his time with someone who couldn´t help them or who didn´t want to help them.When Rico and Sonny wanted to drag him back to the street, Izzy shouted,"Wait! The son of a friend´s brother..."Rico became angry. He was worried, he was tired, he couldn´t sleep well, and his patience was exhausted. "Give us names, Moreno! The story about a friend´s friend will soon celebrate its 25th anniversary!"For the umpteenth time, Izzy glanced around. "Victor Bonivar," he whispered. "Vic was drunken when he told me that he and the magician had done time together in Bolton. The magician plans a devastating blow against the policemen who had arrested him in the past. I swear with the life of my 87 - years - old mother Carmencita that I don´t know more. I don´t know his name."Rico and Sonny let him go off. Rico told Izzy in what motel they were staying, but that he, in case of emergency, could call the new Vice - Lieutenant, Stan Switek. Then they returned to the motel without saying a word.Both were thinking about all the criminals they had arrested. Rico shuddered as he remembered the case where he was smuggled to Bolton as a criminal. He had almost lost his life there. But Bolton was their best track now.They went along the silent and gloomy hallway to Sonny´s room. They wanted to talk while drinking a beer. But Sonny had hardly switched on the light when the telephone started ringing. Sonny picked up the phone and he heard Sanchez´s voice, "Are you reday for the biggest deal of your life?"IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: CASTILLO´S PREPARATIONS

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26. CASTILLO´S PREPARATIONSCastillo ran restlessly around after Rico and Sonny had left. He tidied up before he stopped in front of Mai Ying´s photo. He asked himself how she looked like today before he started to think about why she had allowed that her son accompanied a stranger to a foreign country. Why didn´t she call him first? Had she been afraid that he wanted to have nothing to do with his son? That he disappointed him?He turned around, opened the glass sliding door, and walked down to the beach. The wind had completely died down and the moon stared down on him. The black and smooth water looked like ink.Castillo collected his thoughts. He didn´t want to sit idly around and hope that things would go well. That wasn´t his style. Besides that, he thought that Tubbs was right. Castillo also disliked that the kidnappers refused a sign of life of the hostages. But Castillo for sure thought that they were alive.Castillo remembered a case where a rich people´s child had been kidnapped. The kidnappers had demanded one million, but had refused a sign of life. They had promised to give an indication of the hiding after they had received the ransom.They HAD given the indication.... three weeks later. The child was dead and the kidnappers had never been caught.Castillo swore that he would do everything to rescue his son and the other hostages. Determined, he returned to his house while thinking about the, for him, absolutely clear points.-They were somewhere in the Glades where it was easy to feed them to some hungry friends.- They were held prisoner in a house or a hut at a strategically well - situated place one could easily reach with a vehicle.-He thought the house or hut was away from the tourist route and the Seminole - area.When Castillo reached his house he heard the telephone ringing. It was Sanchez who wanted to tell him that the plane with the coffins in it landed on Tuesday at one PM."That gives me some hours of time," Castillo mumbled after he had hung up. He brew up a can of "stomach - killer - coffee", took his maps of the Glades out of his closet, and sat down at the glass table in the dining - room. He openend out the maps, but then he walked to the desk to take the desk lamp. Its light was brighter than light of the wicker lamp above the table.He sat down at the table and bended forward over the maps. He had often spent his little freetime in the Glades. He loved the jungle, its beauty and its danger, its noises and its silence. He had watched animals, but also humans who had passed him by on an arm´s length without discerning him. He knew his way around in the junge.While he as looking at the maps, living pictures arose in his mind. He even thought that he could hear the birds singing. He saw narrow paths and wide paths, roots that winded its way closely under the path´s surface or above it. He saw gnarled trees with hanging down lianas and partial twisted trunks to get as much light as possible. Other plants were winding around the trees and there were living a lot of different kinds of animals. They flew, crawled, ran, or wiggled their way. And, of course, there was the swamp that was sometimes difficult to realize because of the grass and the plants around. In them, the alligators were waiting for prey.Sometime he went to the kitchen to fill the coffee into the thermos jug. Then he returned to the table, filled his cup, and again concentrated on the maps. He bordered different areas. He was like a tracker dog on a track or like a hunter who was searching for a special prey. And he was sure that he would find them!Castillo thought about the hostages. Maybe they hadn´t been drinking water since Sunday. People could stay alive without food for an amazingly long time, but not without water. The last days, the temperature was about 83 degree. In a bad insulated hut, probably without a window, the temperatue raised much higher. Then people needed a lot of liquid.Castillo drank his coffee and made plans. It was far after midnight when he stopped working. He put the maps into the closet. He didn´t need them because all the important information was sored up in his mind.He took the used cup and the can into the kitchen before he walked upstairs, took a shower, and went to bed. The night would only be short for him bcause he wanted to start before dawn. He would show these bad guys what happened if one picked a fight with Martin Castillo!It was good that he didn´t know what a surprisingly hot day was awaiting him!IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: ANOTHER TRACK

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27. ANOTHER TRACKIn the Vice - office, the coffeemachine was gargling and groaning. Every now and then, she made a coughing noise. Gina assumed that she probably broke soon. It would be the second coffeemachine for this year.Gina was copying Franco´s, Gracciano´s, and Bailey´s file when Ramona hurried into the office. Amazingly Gina looked at her watch. "Is it already morning?" she asked ironically.Ramona laughed. "Oh, no, but I think I´ve left my keys in the drawer." She switched on the lights in the back area of the office where the secretaries desks were standing."After I moved into my new apartment, I hadn´t put the apartment´s door keys at my bunch of keys," Ramona explained. She hurried to the desk and opened the drawer where she always packed her purse in the morning. "It must have fallen... there it is!"She closed the drawer and came to Gina´s desk. She saw all the copies Gina had made and decided spontaneously to stay. She told Gina that she would call Sarah to ask her if she wanted to come, too.Stan left his office when Sarah arrived. He told them that Rico had called and repeated what Izzy Moreno had told them about Victor Bonivar."I´ve talked about Victor´s sudden disappearance," Ben said.Gina nodded. "I remember about that. What else did Rico say?""He and Sonny got the order to drive to St. Andrews Island tomorrow at six AM to get the goods," Stan answered.They benden over the files, and while they were searching for similarities, they emptied the thermos jug. The tiredness disappeared now as the knew what they had to pay their attention on."I brew up fresh coffee," Sarah sometime sighed, took the can and walked to the little kitchen."What do you think about having doughnuts with the coffee?" Ramona asked. "Food for our nerves with a thick frosting or chocolate?"Stan grinned and as he tapped on his belly he said,"But you must promise not to betray it to Gianna.""I would never do something like that, "Ramona said while laughing. She collected money from the colleagues and left the office.When Sarah returned, she looked thoughtfully at Trudy´s desk, that was standing at the second window. She liked Trudy and was very worried.Then she walked spontaneously to Trudy´s desk. In a narrow, unlocked drawer on the left side, Trudy kept her special "nameplate". She had to remove it because Knight disliked it.Gina, who rested her head in her right hand while reading in a file, looked up. Damian frowned as he looked at Sarah, holding one page of Emanuel Cruz´s file upright between his right thumb and forefinger.Stan and Ben also looked at Sarah.With defiant expressions, Sarah took the nameplate BIG BOOTY TRUDY out of the drawer and put it at its old place. She looked to the colleagues while she claimed," Trudy returns, but Knight doesn´t."She walked to her desk, took the file she was working on, and sat down next to Gina´s desk on a chair for visitors. "It´s easier to work together if one doesn´t need to shout across the room," she told. "OK, let´s start," Gina said. "Victor Bonivar had done time from 2002 to 2007. In the C - Block. He and two persons unknown had committed the bank robbery in the First National Bank with three killed people the week before last week. Since then Bonivar has disappeared."It was rustling when Sarah turned the page. "Gracciano had done time there, too. I mean, in Bolton, in the C - Block. He had left prison in 2006.""Howie Wong," said Stan almost patronizingly. "He was in the C - Block, too. Arrested in 1984, discharged in 1999. Howie had been in Raiford first. He was transferred to Bolton in 1993."Damian looked into Cruz´s file. Then he said," It´s the C - Block. What about Franco?"He looked at ben who nodded now. "C - Block," he agreed.A moment later they knew that Kevin Bailey and Paolo Sanchez had been arrested in the C - Block in Bolton, too. Besides that, they found notes of the colleagues of the Homicide Division, and also of the colleagues in West Palm Beach that the men were wanted murderes.Gina called the colleagues in Bolton. Maybe she had luck and one of the servants on duty had been working there for such a long time that he could remember an absolut particular big number. EL GRANDE MAGO had definitely been a big number.Stan heard the telephone in his new office ringing, and hurried into the room. When he returned he asked Gina to keep a doughnut for him. Then he hurriedly left the office. In the door, he almost collided with Ramona who returned with a big tray of doughnuts."What has happened?" Ramona asked as she looked over her right shoulder to the door.Gina sighed disappointedly as she hung up. Then she shrugged ans answered," I don´t know."Ramona removed the paper that was wrapped around the tray. She put the tray next to Gina´s left arm before she crumpled the paper into a ball and threw it into the wastebasket. "Food for our nerves," she said. "Did you find out anything important?"In the meantime, Stan was on the way for a rescue operation.IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: IZZY´S HOT TRACK

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28. IZZY´S HOT TRACKWith a lowered had, a woman ran along the street. She was in a hurry, but always glanced around without rising her head. Her footsteps echoed on the asphalt because in this area, it was very quiet. Behind her, there were the flashing and shining neon lights of the bars and clubs. Every now and then, the wind blew voices, laughters, and music to her when somebody got into a bar or left it.Sometimes, a car passed her and its headlights flashed over the woman in the black coat. Basses boomed to her. Then the car disappeared and only the woman´s echoing footsteps stayed behind.Somewhere behind her, a hooker angrily shouted swear words after somebody, who, obviously, wanted to forgo on her service.Not far away from the woman, a drunken appeared in the light of a streetlamp who laboriously reeled along. Again and again he stumbled or propped against the streetlamps, the trash cans at the side of the road, or at the building´s walls. While walking, he talked loudly to himself.The woman with the long black hair changed the side of the street and headed for the public telephone.The drunken staggered stopped walking, and his look followed the woman. "He, Sweedy," he mumbled loudly with an imprecise voice. "Don´t run away. Maybe you can do me a favor... or two... or so..."The woman ignored him. She hurried to the phone booth, but stopped for a moment as she noticed the broken streetlamp next to it. But then she continued walking. It didn´t matter that she had to make her telephone call in the dark. For emergencies, she carried a torch in size of a biro in her purse. The torch´s light would be bright enough to put the coin in the slot and dial the number she knew inside out.After the very surprising meeting with Tubbs and Crockett, Izzy stayed in the courtyard for a moment. He had to think about several things. He thought that Tubbs and Crockett had sounded very worried. Whatever EL GRANDE MAGO had stolen, it was of exceptional importance.Izzy thought that he could demand a reward if he brought it back to them. Izzy always needed money. It had been the reason for the shootout in the NIGHTANGEL. Two weeks ago, the gunman had given him $1000 for a Rolex Izzy apparantly could obtain. But Izzy neither could obtain the watch, nor give the money back. Therefore, the man had cracked up and now he was dead. Izzy felt sorry for that. The good thing was that the man couldn´t demand his money back now.Izzy started to search for Victor. He was sure that Victor would answer his questions if he was drunken. But he didn´t find Victor. Eventually, he thought about the BANANA. It was a Sex - Club with a live - show. It was said, that the BANANA was the hottest club in Miami... if someone liked this kind of live - show.The evening, when Victor had told him about his friendship with EL GRANDE MAGO, he had also wanted to visit the BANANA.Izzy decided to take a short cut and to use the narrow, dark alley to walk to the BANANA. He passed several dumpsters, and he was glad about the full moon that helped him to find his way. His light blue canvas shoes made no noise as he hurried along the alley.From the other side, he heard the noise of a railing drunken, who, apparantly, was on his way home.At the end of the alley, behind a paper bank, Izzy stepped on his left shoelace. Quietly swearing, he squatted to tie it again when he heard someone coming. It was a woman. Her heels were clacking in a fast staccato on the asphalt.Izzy glanced around the paper bank. He realized that she wasn´t a hooker because they never wore coats and they never lowered their heads. They were too afraid to fail to notice a john.The woman walked into the phone booth exactly in front of the paper bank while Izzy was tieing his shoelace. He could hear as she put the coin in the slot and quickly typed a telephone number.An instinct told Izzy that it was much better for him to stay in the darkness. Again he glanced around the paper bank, and he noticed that she tried to close the door, but it was in vain. She swore quietly, and though she had turned her back to Izzy he could understand what she was saying."It´s me," she said, and continued irritatedly," I´m calling from a phone booth, you idiot!" "He, watch out! I won´t take that from you. Stop railing and listen to me! Moreno is blathering on too much and with the wrong people...and the same does Victor Bonivar." She sighed unpatiently. "He´s talked with Crockett and Tubbs!"Izzy didn´t let her out of his sight. Several times, she glanced at her watch and she sounded hectical. "I think someone should take care of Moreno," the woman said and added, "Where from should I know where he is? I´m not his nanny!" She slammed the receiver and quickly walked away.Izzy was terrified, his heart was pounding, and he was sweatting. His instinct had saved his life...for the moment. But his thoughts were spinning around. Someone had eavesdropped on his speech to Crockett and Tubbs and now the magician´s men were hunting him. It would be easy for them to catch him because EVERYBODY knew Izzy Moreno."Switek must save me," he whispered as he was taking the mobile out of his pocket. It had almost fallen out of his shaking fingers. He permanently glanced around and his heart almost stopped beating when the drunken started to sing loudly.Izzy dialed the number Stan sometime had given to him. "Here´s Moreno," he said and glanced around to insure that nobody eavesdropped him now. "I´ve got a very important track for you, Switek. I can deliver the fingerprints of a woman to you who has called EL GRANDE MAGO from a phone booth a few minutes ago. As a demanding in return I charge the admission in your prevention program for witnesses and species threatened with extinction. Switek, they know that I´ve talked with Crockett and Tubbs and the magician´s men want to kill me. Will you help me?"Switek didn´t have to think long about it. Izzy´s voice shook and he sounded as if he was in panic. He was so confused that he could tell Stan where he was now only on the third go.Stan told him to stay and wait for him. Then he called Carla Scott of CSI before he hurriedly left the office.After the call, Izzy fused with the darkness behind the paper bank. He asked himself where the eavesdropper had been. He was sure that there had been nobody else than him, Crockett, and Tubbs.When a very thin cat soundlessly came to him and rubbed his leg, he uttered a little scream and jumped aside. With his left arm, he slammed against the paper bank. The noise seemed to be so loud that Izzy thought that it was heard in the whole city of Miami. And the pain shot from his ellbow down to the fingers and up to his shoulder. Quickly, he put his hand on his mouth. His pulse raised on about 200 while the cat was hissing before it ran away.Izzy rubbed his aching ellbow.A car came along the street. its hood was open and Izzy could hear a part from a song. "...every step you take, I´ll be watching you.""Oh, yeah, frighten me," Izzy mumbled as he stepped restlessly from one leg on the other. "Come on, Switek! Accelerate! The gaspedal is on the right!"Izzy had the very best track and the biggest feeling of anxiety.IN THE NEXT CHAPER: IN THE JUNGLE HUT

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29. IN THE JUNGLE HUTAbhisit took position next to the door. He turned the hand with the snake in it, so that they could look at each other. He grinned and whispered," Make yourself merely usefull. Don´t mess it up!"The snake stared at him. Her tongue leaped quickly forwards and backwards.Trudy saw it and she shuddered. That was all she could do. She felt dazed and dizzy. She lay her head down on the mattress and closed her eyes, but that wasn´t a good idea because it felt as if she was drunken. Everything was twisting. She felt alternately hot and cold.Alessio took position behind the door. He knew that Abhisit wanted to try to persuade Ross to open the door. But he had no idea how Abhisit wanted to succeed.The engine was switched off, two doors were slammed. Someone said," Let me do that, Ross!"Abhisit realized the voice. It belonged to Ramon."We´ve to kill the woman and the Crockett´s rascal first. Order from the boss," Ross said and continued while laughing," Parson won´t be enthusiastic about that. He´s so jealous!"Billy, who kneed next to Trudy, startled in fright, but then he pressed her hand to calm her down."I would like to kill the chink first," Ramon complained as he released his gun´s safety catch.Abhisit swallowed. He had known that the kidnappers wanted to kill them at the end, but now he held a weapon in his hand. That changed everything. Again, he turned around the hand with the snake in it. They looked at each other as if the could communicate. Abhisit smiled, and looked almost like Castillo now."And I would like to kill the Tubbs´ rascal first," Ross replied. "Do you need me, Ramon?""No," Ramon answered.A car door slammed. Then Ramon started fiddling at the padlock. When he turned around the key it sounded as if the padlock was filled with sand.Abhisit´s muscles tensed. He knew that he had only one attempt. The snake´s teeth had to hit Ramon´s throat, and Abhisit hoped that there was little poison left in the glands. He knew that most of the people didn´t die because of the snake´s poison, but of a shock.Alessio had some problems to concentrate. He always thought about the information he had learned more about. It was an information he couldn´t understand. Billy´s name was Crockett, Abhisit´s father was Martin Castillo. As he was the only "rascal" that was left, his father must be Tubbs. But why did Ross know his father´s name? That was something he had not even known himself... assumed that Ross had told the truth.Alessio squinted. He had to concentrate now! The wound at his head started aching as if it wanted to remind him that he had a bone to pick with somebody who had tried to tattoo his skull. Alessio had promised to take revenge. He was sweatting, wiped over his face, and hit after a mosquito. He was surprised when he, in fact, caught the little beast. He heard Trudy sighing.Ramon opened the door. In the meantime, the sun had risen so far over the horizon that she spend enogh light without dazzling. The light flooded into the hut. The moment, when Ramon stepped into the hut, Abhsit´s hand shot forward. The reptile´s teeth sank into the left side of Ramon´s throat. He screemed horrified, his hands shot up, and a shoot went off. The bullet whizzed across the hut, and hit a hole into the opposite wall. Splinters were torn off, and sunbeams fell through the hole in the hut.Alessio reacted. He slamed the door against Ramon´s right shoulder, and the gun flew away. Billy also reacted. He jumped up and caught the gun.After the bite, Abhisit had thrown the snake out of the hut. That wasn´t nice, but the snake would survive it. The moment, when Alessio slammed the door against Ramon´s shoulder, Abhisit´s edge of the hand pounded against Ramon´s chin. His head was hurled backwards, and Abhisit and Alessio could hear that it cracked in his neck. Ramon looked unbelievably at Abhisit, before he broke down and died.The Jeep´s engine roared, and the tyres screetched when Ross cleared off."Damned, no!" Alessio shouted, jumped over the body and ran outside. "Stop! We need the damned car! Come back, man!" Desperately, he looked at the jungle, but the noise of the engine got more and more quiet. Ross didn´t return.Alessio returned into the hut. He looked worriedly at Trudy. She was panting and drops of perspiration were standing on her forehead. Her leg looked dreadful. It was strongly swollen, redded, and when he put his hand on it he felt the heat. Her pulse was racing. Her look was already far - away."We have to take her to hospital urgently," Alessio said. "Otherwise, she´ll die. We´ll, alternately, carry her."Billy nodded. "Maybe we´ve got luck and meet someone who can help us."Hopefully, they left the hut.IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: CASTILLO´S SEARCH

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30. CASTILLO´S SEARCH TUESDAY MORNINGCastillo got up at 4:30 AM. He had a shower while the coffee was running. Then he took his old combat uniform and his boots out of the wardrobe. He had never thought that he would have to use these things again. He had put them away after he had left Siam. Now he was amazed that the combat uniform still fitted.While the coffee was cooling down he checked his gun and his Swiss pockett knife that had been lying unused in a drawer for a long time. But the individual parts of the knife leaped silently out and in, and the blades were still sharp. He also put several cabel ties into his pocket. One could never know if he needed them.Castillo drank the coffee and had a final look at the map. His right forefinger slid over the marked areas as if he could memorize everything much better, then. At 5:30 AM he left the house. The birds had already started singing, although it was still dark. It was already warm outside, and he knew that the temperature would rise rather high today. The shower, the weather forecast had promised for today would probably make the warmth unbearable. Only the wind, that was blowing across the ocean could make it comfortable.On the mainstreet, he met several cars, but they were all on the way to the city. Castillo drove to the Interstate 75 that went through the Glades. When he switched on the radio he heard Europe singing "The Final Countdown"."What a suitable song," Castillo mumbled.He knew that his plan was crazy. It was like the search for the pin in a pile of hay or to win the lottery. He didn´t know if the pin was ever found, but he knew that there were always winners of the lottery.He thought about his plan while driving. At Exit 49, one could turn in the BIG CYPRESS SEMINOLE RESERVATION, the road that led to the Seminole area. But he didn´t believe that the kidnappers had hidden the hostages close to the Seminole - area.Castillo thought that the hostages were held prisoner in a new built hut, not too far away from the road. An open path led to it, but it was, probably, not recognizable on the first glance.Castillo reached the jungle, and soon he left the tar road to turn on a metalled road. In the meantime, the sun was risen. It was sultry, and he opened the window. But that was a mistake because the insects that got lost in his car were very aggressive. Again and again he had to hit after them. He caught two of the little beasts, closed the window, and killed the third mosquito after it had bitten in his throat.He stopped at a crossing and left the car. He searched for tyre - tracks, but there were too many of them on the ground. Above him, some birds were crying. It sounded as if tey were laughing at the fool who thought he could find the hiding only because he wanted to find it.Again, Castillo got into the car, and slowly continued driving. His look always darted around in search of the path where his feeling told him that this was the right path.When he found a way that was half covered with hanging down branches he stopped. He examined the branches, but there was no indication that someone had used the path recently.He stopped five times before he decided to return home. It was 8 AM now. He got into his car, and stared through the windshield to the green wall of the jungle. An insect slammed against the windshield, but continued flying. Where did he make a mistake? Had he overlooked anything? Or was he completely mistaken? Were the hostages anywhere in the city? Maybe they were in a run - down, unoccupied house that should be pulled down soon.He drove until he found a possibility to turn the car. He drove back slowly, and again he glanced around. He still believed that the hostages were somewhere in the Glades, and with EL GRANDE MAGO´s will they would die here. Sometime, somebody would find the hut by accident. In it, he would find four skeletons, but the magician would be miles away, then.Suddenly he realized something glooming on the ground. It was tiny, and he had only noticed it because the wind was playing with it and rolled it around. It was a stub! Someone had thrown it ou of the car window recently.He stopped in front of the stub, left the car, and squatted in front of his Ford. He found tyre - tracks that turned to a path on his right. He supposed that they belonged to a Jeep. But now he knew about his mistake. He hadn´t paid attention to that path because it was wide. He had thought that it was used very often. But now he hoped that not an innocent civilian had thrown away the stub.He got into the car, and turned to the path that described a bend after about 100ft. Behind it, the path narrowed. The branches drooped low to the ground. They scratched over the roof and the sides of Castillo´s car. The ground got worse. Roots sticked out of it or wound its way so closely under the surface that it lifted the soil. And there were a lot of more or less deep potholes.Eventually, he realized the roof of a hut between the trees. He stopped, and lowered the window pane to find out more about the muffled thuds he could hear. It was a very loud playing radio. He heard the basses of "Give It To Me" from Nelly Furtado and Timbaland. Nobody heard him coming because of the loudly playing radio.Castillo got out of the car, and quietly closed the door. Then he crept up to the hut. There he saw the Freelander that was parking with its front in his direction. Two doors were open, but he couldn´t see somebody. He disliked that.When he carefully ran closer to the hut, he discovered the man who was lying on his stomach in the door. For a moment, his heart was beating faster as he thought that this, maybe, could be his son. Probably, he came too late, anyhow, and the kidnappers had killed the hostages because off...Castillo took a deep breath. No, he couldn´t blame Crockett. Sonny had only nerves, and they were also tensed, just like his own or Rico´s nerves. In many actions, Sonny had been successful with this sentence.Castillo stopped behind a bush. He listened for voices or cracking branches that showed him the enemie´s position. But he could hear nothing more than the birds singing, the rustle of the wind in the trees, and the music that was coming out of the radio.Martin darted to the man in the door of the hut, passing the Freelander. Then he breathed a sigh of relief because the man was a Latinamrican, probably from Columbia or Mexico. He had a discolor on the left side next to his chin, and his head was stretched. Castillo put his right hand to the man´s neck. It confirmed his assumption. Somebody had broken the man´s neck with a well - aimed step or hit. Besides that, he discovered the two red points of the snake bite at the man´s throat. As it wasn´t swollen he thought that the snake had bitten him shortly before his neck broke.At a glance, he noticed every detail and put it together to a picture. He saw the hole in the opposite wall... probably caused because of a shoot. On the ground, there was lying a wine red high heel, but with a broken heel. Both things were damaged and dirty. The hole close to the wall made him clear, that the hostages had digged a hole in hope to escape through it when it was big enough. Probably, the snake had come through the hole into the hut and the hostages had used it as a weapon.But where were the hostages now?Castillo assumed that the gangster, who was lying in the open door, had come alone. After he got killed, the hostages used his car to return to Miami. If someone had been bitten by the snake, he could only hope thathis assumption was right.Castillo heard voices coming closer to the hut. "Damned, Victor, switch the radio off!" a ho**** voice railed. It was Paolo Sanchez and he sounded very indignantly."Why? Don´t you like music, Paolo?" Victor asked."I do, but not yet. The hostages are gone, you idiot! What do you think will our boss say if he finds out about that?"It became silent, one door after another was slammed."Stay calm, Paolo, our boss never comes to the hut," Victor casually told."But you know about his order because of Joplin and Crockett!"Castillo had sqeezed his back against the wall when Paolo and Victor arrived. A bit more than an hour earlier, Abhisit had been standing at the same place with the copperhead in his hands."What shall we do with Ramon?" Victor asked.Castillo saw the shadow of the man coming closer to the hut. His muscles were tensing. He knew that he got the surprise at his side, but he had to react very fast. Of course, Paolo and Victor were armed, and they wouldn´t hesitate to kill him.When Victor Bonivar appeared in the door, Castillo´s edge of the hand slammed against his chin. With a dark groan, Victor stumbled backwards. Castillo followed him immediately, and inundated him with quick hits and kicks, but without taking his eyes from Sanchez. Paolo dragged his gun now and released the safety catch.Victor dropped to his knees without fending Castillo once off. With a stupid expression on his bloody face he fell to the ground and fainted.Castillo jumped next to the Freelander to protect himself. At this moment, Sanchez shot and the dirt splashed where Castillo had been standing. Several little stones bounced off the wooden wall of the hut. Some birds flew loudly railing up to the sky."You´re dead, man," Sanchez threatened."Sometime, but not today," Castillo replied.Ducked and absolutely silent, Castillo crept to the Freelander´s rear. He was still a hunter, a jungle fighter. He could move like a shadow, and breath so quietly that it only sounded like the wind´s breeze.He darted around the rear to the front - seat - passenger´s side. At a glance, he realized that Sanchez squatted next to the front wheel. He unsuspectedly turned his back to Castillo."What are you doing here in the Glades, Castillo?" Sanchez asked.Castillo showed one of his rare little smiles. He wouldn´t have been taken in by that trick when he had visited the Police Academy. But Castillo darted closer to Sanchez while the man was talking to him. He grabbed into Sanchez´s hair, and hit his head hard at the fender. Sanchez groaned, and blood splashed out of his nose."I´m hunting for rats, Sanchez," Castillo whispered next to his right ear.IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: AT NIGHT IN THE VICE - OFFICE

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31. AT NIGHT IN THE VICE -OFFICEIzzy Moreno had done many crooked deals. No matter what had happened, he had always survived and found a loophole. He had good nerves and was very eloquent. Therefore, he could always change a bad situation into an acceptable situation.It had always been a secret where Izzy had learned how to use distinguished and smart sounding words. Izzy was very self - confident... Normallly! But while he was waiting in the darkness for Stan, his iron nerves were getting into vibrations and it got more and more worse.Every time a car passed by, his heart started pounding and the fear made him break out in a cold sweat. He was sure that there hadn´t been as much traffic as this evening ever before when the only car he wanted to see was the one with Switek behind the steering wheel.Stan raced to the phone booth. Actually, he wasn´t worried about Moreno. He had struggled successfully all his life, but now he was a witness and in danger. EL GRANDE MAGO and his men were rather rough.Stan thought that the magician had a lot to do with the bank robbery in Miami and the murder some of the other members of the gang were involved in. The victims, and also the people who were killed in the bank robbery, were gangster bosses, up -and- coming dealers, or well - known pimps. They all were brutally killed. Theses murderers had no sympathy, and therefore, Stan was a little bit worried now.Stan turned into the side street where Izzy should be waiting for him. In this street, there were only warehouses and store rooms. Most of them were rented by the bars and clubs around the corner in the pleasure district.The CSI - colleagues were following Stan in an unconspicious car. Eventually, it wasn´t necessary to get attention of any people. If Izzy had told the truth, these fingerprints would be a sensational track.Stan realized the phone booth, but there was no Izzy. He switched the high beams on, but he couldn´t discover Moreno. "If this short - sighted rat takes the piss out of me, he´ll be no longer an endangered species, but an extincted," Stan promised angrily as he switched off the high beams. He stopped not far away from the phone booth and got out of the car.In this moment, a ducked Izzy appeared behind a paper bank and darted around Stan´s car. He disappeared in the car and creased himself in the footwell.For a moment, Stan asked himself amazingly if Moreno had been wiped off the face of the earth.The CSI - car stopped crosswise in front of Stan´s car to light the phone booth. The doors opened, and Carla Scott, Damian´s sister, got out of the car. "OK, let´s start," she sighed.Carla was smaller than Damian and chubby. She had a round face wth light - brown eyes and a small nose. She was wearing jeans and a wide flowered blouse that concealed her shape.Stan glanced into his car and caught Izzy´s startled eyes. He was squatting in the car like a dog. All Stan needed was that Izzy started panting."I´ll return now!" Stan shouted.Carla looked at him out of the phone booth. In her right hand, she was holding the brush she needed to dust the graphit powder on the telephone."I´ll call you when I´ve got news for you," Carla promised.Stan got into the car. He started the engine and asked,"What are you doing there, Izzy?"He turned around on the street, and his head lights flashed over the drunken who had given up to find his way home. He was sitting on the ground now and leaned at the wall. His legs were stretched slightly apart and he was sleepig with an open mouth."I´m hiding myself," Izzy quietly answered. "Damned, Switek, they are searching for me. They are responsible for, at least, ten murders."Stan passed by the night - clubs with their shining and flashing neon - lights that reflected in Izzy´s glasses. Sometimes his face was lighted and sometimes it disappeared in the shadow.On the left side the BANANA appeared. Upon its door, there was hanging a big half - peeled, garish - yellow colored, giant banana in which a grinning, buxum, and scantily clad shining lady wanted to bite."Ten?" Stan amazingly asked."Oh, man, Switek, if you are in their way, take a wrong breath, or wink the wrong way, you´re dead." Carefully Izzy re - emerged on the scene, but he put his right hand like a blinder at his face. "I can´t understand it, Switek. I´m sure that there was nobody else than Tubbs, Crockett, me, and a lot of rats. Can rats talk?"The pleasure district stayed behind. Stan glanced at Izzy. He had never experienced Izzy as afraid as tonight."The four - legged rats? No, they can´t talk," Stan answered.For a moment it was quiet in the car. Stan had to stop at two red traffic - lights, and every time Izzy seemed to shrink."Where do you actually take me, Switek? I won´t hope that you want to put me into a cell," Izzy said sometime.Stan grinned. "Stay cool, Moreno. As an exception, there´s a nice and safe beach house waiting for you."After he had Izzy dropped off, Stan called Sonny to tell him what´s new before he returned to the office. He yawned openly, and when he had to stop at a red traffic - lights he wiped over his burning eyes. Since this case had started, he had hardly slept. After the meeting on Sunday night at Tom´s Bar he had driven home, but Fiona, his daughter, had cried half of the night, and he couldn´t stop thinking about this strange story.After his return to the office, he sent Sarah and Ramona home. It was after midnight now and both secretaries had to work the next morning.Damian was sitting at his desk with the umpteenth cup of coffee in his hands. He stared at Cruz´s file without reading. His back was bend and his face stubby. His whole posture expressed anxiety and worry. Ben was tidying up his desk, and Gina switched off her computer.Sarah and Ramona said good night. Sarah switched off the light, and it got dark in the back of the office. Stan told them that they would meet again at seven a.m.Damian stretched backwards to loosen his tensed muscles and he groaned as a weightlifter."You should go home and try to sleep, Dam. You haven´t slept this morning, right?" Stan asked.Damian sighed and ran with his fingers through his hair before he wiped over his face. "What should I do at home, Stan?" Damian tiredly asked.Stan took one of the two doughnuts his team kindly had left for him. Then he sat down on the edge of Trudy´s desk. He ate the doughnut, cleaned his hand at his trousers and took the nameplate BIG BOOTY TRUDY in his left hand. With his right forefinger he went over the letters. He really hoped for a happy - ending."What did Moreno say?" Damian wanted to know while watching Stan. Stan put down the nameplate. "What do you think? He had almost **** himself. He said that EL GRANDE MAGO and his men are responsible for about ten murders."He looked at the nameplate. It was like a positive omen that it was standing at its place again. "I hope for a positive result of the telephone examination."Stan slid down the desk, walked into his office, and returned with his cup in his hand. While he was filling the cup he said,"Izzy is sure that nobody had eavesdropped him, Rico, and Sonny. I talked to Sonny after I had dropped off Izzy and Sonny confirmed Izzy´s caution."Stan put milk and sugar in his cup. Actually, it would have been better to drink something decaffeinated. In his stomach, he already felt the unpleasant pressure that arose when he had drunk too much coffee.He took the last doughnut from the plate that was standing on Gina´s desk, and with the cup in his right and the doughnut in his left hand, he sat down on the edge of Damian´s desk. "Go home, Dam," he ordered. "We´ll meet at seven a.m. Maybe we´ll have news from the lab, then."A moment later he was alone. He walked to his office, made himself comfortable behind the desk, and thought about EL GRANDE MAGO. Sometime between 1984 and 1989 EL GRANDE MAGO was arrested by Rico and Sonny. Stan didn´t know whether he was taken to Bolton immediately or whether he had stayed in another prison first. Stan knew that some of these criminals were transferred during their prison sentence. But Stan decided to concentrate on the prisoners that had stayed in Bolton, C - Block, from the beginning...for the first time. Eventually, he could widen his investigation if necessary.Stan switched on his computer. He sent an urgent formulated mail to the colleagues in Bolton. He asked for a list of all prisoners of the C - Block who had been arrested between 1984 and 1989, and who had left prison sometime between 2005 and 2007.He had to wait. He got up and ran around.Hhe looked out of the window at the city lights that never completely went out. Somewhere out there, EL GRANDE MAGO was squatting like a giant spider and preparing his deal. But maybe he had the brazenness of doing horizontal exercises with a woman while the hostages were feeling bad.With a signal the computer showed Stan that a mail had arrived. In fact, it was from Bolton. Obviously, the colleagues had understood the urgency of his inquiry and had answered despite the unearthly hour.Stan looked at the mail. He found out that his description had matched to 223 prisoners and that 93 of them had been arrested by Crockett and Tubbs.Stan sighed. This night would be very long and he didn´t know that an exciting day was awaiting him.IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: ON THE WAY TO ST. ANDREWS ISLAND

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32. ON THE WAY TO ST. ANDREWS ISLANDSanchez had told that they should drive to the marina at six a.m. There someone would give them the keys for the cigarette boats for their journey to St. Andrews Island where they should take the goods over. On each boat, they would find a piece of paper with the coordinates for the collection and the delivery. Besides that, one of them would find a mobile for more information.A bit later, Stan had called to tell that he had to rescue Izzy, but that they had possibly secured fingerprints of a woman who had a direct connection to EL GRANDE MAGO."I hope that it isn´t Rachel Anderson because she has disappeared without a trace. I hope these prints belong to someone who helps us getting closer to EL GRANDE MAGO.Nevertheless, I´ll send you Rachel Anderson´s composite sketch soon," Stan had told.The night was short, interrupted of nightmares. Rico and Sonny got up at five a.m.Sonny put on sand - colored trousers, a lilac - colored T - shirt, and a light linen jacket. He strapped the holster around his calf, checked the gun, and put it into the holster. Then he left the room.At the hallway he met Rico who had decided to wear grey - blue trousers, a light blue shirt, and a jacket that suited to the trousers. Sonny raised his eyebrows. "Morning, Tubbs. No tie today?""I´ve thought about it, but I´m afraid that I could take it to strangle somebody," Rico answered while they were walking along the hallway to the elevator.They left the motel. Rico bought a HERALD to serch for Graham Foster´s article while Sonny was buying coffee and croissants."Here it is," Rico said when Sonny returned. Sonny gave him a paper cup and Rico tasted the coffee... and burned his tongue. He pulled faces, and decided to wait until the coffee had cooled down. Then he read aloud," As we got to know now, four American tourists got killed in a spectacular accident not far away from the Colombian city of Bogota. The men were the brothers of ex - Vice - Lieutenant Martin Castillo. At an unsolved cause the car went off the street, overturned, and fell down a steep slope. Despite immediately started rescue attempts, the four men died at the scene of the accident. The bodies should be transported to Miami on Tuesday."Sonny put the last piece of his croissant in his mouth. Then he started the engine and drove to the marina while Rico was having a fast breakfast. Rico thought about that he was going to return to the place where everything had started. In the radio, U2 was playing "Still Haven´t Found What I´m Looking For".On the way, Rico received Stan´s texting with Rachel Anderson´s composite sketch. Sonny had a look at it and thought that he had seen her before. But he couldn´t remember where they had met.In the marina, a woman with long black hair was waiting for them."Rachel Anderson," Sonny mumbled as they were walking to her. She leaned at a bench, and, while smiling, looked them up and down.Sonny felt that it started bubbling in his stomach. He also looked Rachel up and down. In EL GRANDE MAGO´s order she had made up to Billy and had stolen his badge.Rachel´s face was thin and she had dark brown eyes. In her hair, sunglasses were sitting in state. She was slim with the curves at the right places and her tight white dress stressed her good figure. The dress had a plunging neckline. Its front consisted of two fabric lengths that were connected in her neck. The skirt of the dress was also tight and ended scarcely under her butt.Suddenly, Sonny remembered where he had met her. She had been in Tom´s Bar, had, apparantly with interest, looked him up and down, and had smiled at him. What a fool, that he had thought about returning to the bar and searching for her at the end of the case.Rachel smiled at Sonny, and when he and Rico stopped she stepped forward. She was standing so close to Sonny now that one couldn´t have pushed a magazine between them.Sonny smelled her perfume, Chanel No 5, and the wind blew a string of her long, black hair into his face. A boat bobbed against the mooring, the water was splashing, and above a seagull was crying."Your son looks very similar to you," Rachel said as she raised her hand and softly touched Sonny´s cheek with her long, white vanished nails. "Would I have an easy job of it with you, too? It was VERY easy to talk Billy round.!Sonny didn´t realize that her left hand reached into his pocket to steal the keys for the Corvette.He grabbed her right hand, looked at her and answered," Retract your claws, Darling. I don´t go for women like you."She looked at him with her dark brown eyes, and she smiled as mysteriously as the Mona Lisa. "On Sunday, it would have been easy for me to talk you round. Do you want to bet?"Sonny didn´t answer her question, but he knew that she was right. He couldn´t deny that she was a good - looking woman, but as he knew now that she was a hooker he could meet her look with contempt."You´ve got something for us?" he asked.Rachel took away her hand and her smile disappeared as she opened her purse with her right hand. Unnoticed, she let the key for the Corvette, she was keeping in her left hand, slid into the purse before she took the keys for the first boat out."The BLIZZARD," she said as she gave Sonny the key. She pushed the ring, where the key was hanging on, over her right forefinger and held it under Sonny´s nose. Sonny took it without any expressions.Rachel took the second key out of her purse and gave it to Rico. "The THUNDERSTORM."Without a word, Rico and Sonny turned around and walked quickly to the cigarette boats that were bobbing against the mooring as if they were unpatiently waiting for the start.It was a windy morning. The clouds were quickly pushed forward over the sky and little scums were dancing on the waves. Some seagulls were sailing in the wind, but otherwise it was quiet around the marina. The people who had been on the way last night had gone to bed now, the others were still sleeping.Rachel´s look followed the two men as they walked to the boats, read the message, and started the engine. When she could be sure that they didn´t turn around and glanced at her she took her mobile and the key for the Corvette out of the purse. She dialed a mobile number, looked at the key and smiled. "I´ve got it," she said confidentially. "It was very easy!"IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: IN THE JUNGLE (TUESDAY MORNING)

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33. IN THE JUNGLE (TUESDAY MORNING)Trudy felt rather bad and and again and again she lost consciousness. The men had decided to carry her alternately, and Alessio had admitted that he hoped to find help soon. He took Trudy on his arms while Abhisit was carrying the bottles of mineral water.Alessio thought about Ross´ words. Billy was the "Crockett - rascal", Abhisit´s father was Martin Castillo. Therefore, he could only be the "Tubbs - rascal", but he didn´t know anybody with that name. He thought about it, but he was sure that his grandmother never had mentioned that name. In fact, she hadn´t told him a lot about his parents. She had said that his mother had been a business woman and his father had been a civil servant. That was all he knew."In what direction should we go?" Abhisit asked as they were standing in front of the hut.Alessio glanced around. "Ross had used the right way and so do we," he decided and walked into the jungle. Trudy was lying in his arms like a rag doll. Every now and then, she sighed quietly. Alessio saw the sweat on her forehead and he could feel the fever through her clothes. Her leg was badly swollen and the bite shone red.What luck, that it was already rather light. The sun was searching for a way through the leaves of the trees. She signed golden patterns on the uneven path that was strewn with potholes and roots. Everywhere around, it was rustling and cracking. The jungle awoke. Its inhabitants were chirping, singing, and cheeping. With a loud flapping of its wings, a bird left its place on the branch above them.While Alessio was attempting not to stumble with the burden on his arms, he thought again about Ross´ words. Trudy had told them that Billy´s father, Sonny, had had a partner named Ricardo Tubbs while working as a policeman in Miami in the 80´s. But this man, Tubbs, couldn´t be his father. His father had worked for an authority..."Policemen also work for an authority," he thought and blew because a mosquito was summing in front of his nose. "But grandma had told me that my parents died in an accident. Why did she tell lies to me? Or is Ross mistaken? That´s it, they must have kidnapped the wrong man!"Trudy distracted him as she sighed. Her eyelids fluttered. "Water!" she said quietly.They stopped. Billy took one of the water bottles that Abhisit was carrying. They all were half - full. With a hissing noise, Billy unscrewed the top. Trudy heard it and in expectation of the delicious water she licked her lips.Billy held the bottle at her lips. "Drink slowly," he advised.Trudy grabbed the bottle to tip it over. Her mouth was as dry as the desert sand. A bit water was running from her mouth to her throat. Then she felt the thickle in the throat. Billy took away the bottle... and Trudy brought up the water on Billy´s shoes.Worried, the men looked at each other. Billy screwed on the top of the bottle before he took his right hand on Trudy´s forehead. "Hot like hell," he mumbled.They continued alking and Alessio asked,"Ricardo Tubbs, what do you know about him, Billy?" He kept his eyes on the path because this part was strongly rooted and the potholes were deep."I´m sorry, but, in fact, I know almost nothing," Billy regretted. My parents divorced shortly after my father and Ricardo Tubbs became partners. I was six years old, then... Shall I carry Trudy for a while?"Alessio shook his head. "No, thanks, it´s OK. I´m not tired yet."He walked around a pothole, but kicked against a root. Billy realized it and grabbed Alessio´s arm to prevent his fall. Above them, a bird was crying. It sounded as if it was laughing.For a while, they walked without talking, but it seemed to them as if the path was endless. Alessio, however, was sure that Ross had used this way and they hadn´t discovered a turn - off. Had they overlooked anything?Trudy sighed again. She opened her eyes, but her look was glassy. She glanced at Alessio and with a half - haerted, wiping move of her hand she mumbled," No favor today, Rico." Then she fainted again.A moment later, Alessio gave her to Billy while Abhisit was inspecting the ground. "Here´s another path," he said. "There are tyre - tracks! Maybe Ross had turned off!""I hear a car coming," Alessio suddenly said. "They´re coming back and then they´ll kill us."Billy and Abhisit heard it, too. It sounded like a Jeep, and it was coming out of the direction they were walking to. As there was only the hut behind them, Alessio was right. Probably, Ross had brought some other gangsters for support to do away with the hostages and get rid of them.As fast as possible, they disappeared in the way Abhisit had discovered. They ran until they thought to be safe now before they stopped. Trudy sighed and groaned in pain the whole time. Then Billy laid her on the ground and gasped for air. He had stopped smoking six weeks ago and his lungs hadn´t recovered. He had wished to rest for a few minutes until he could breath normally and until his pulse stopped trying to jump out of his head. But Alessio didn´t give him time."We urgently need to disappear," he said. "When they arrive at the hut, they´ll see that we´ve escaped and then they´ll search for us." Hectically he looked around. "Maybe we can walk parallel to the way the Jeep had used. That won´t be easy, but it´s our only chance to escape."Billy got up and then straightened Trudy on his arms. He looked around. The grass between the trees and bushes was high. A bindweed with pink blooms winded its way through the grass. They were dangerous stumbling blocks. Lianas were hanging from the trees and one of these lianas suddenly moved. It was a snake.On the branch of a tree, he realized a snake, too. He suspected that it was a phyton, but in the grass he noticed a third snake ba accident. it was green and he only noticed it because it had moved.Billy thought that Alessio´s proposal was dangerous. therefore, he contradicted," It´s too much danger out there. I think we should use their way and keep our ears open. They don´t calculate that we use it."Alessio and Abhisit also realized the snakes and agreed. They returned to the other way and walked in the direction the Jeep had come from.But only a moment later, they heard another car coming and again disappeared behind the bushes. A black Ford station wagon slowly passed by. Alessio, who was the tallest, saw an elderly, grey - haired man sitting behind the steering - wheel. He was on his own and stared through the windshield.Trudy was violently sick. She asked for water, but she was quicker sick than she could drink the water.Worried they continued walking. Billy asked himself how they should know who they could ask for help if there was a happy gangster - meeting in the jungle today.About 15 minutes later, they arrived at the main way. Abhisit was carrying Trudy now. She had definitely fainted.Every now and then, one of them turned around because they thought that it was strange that no vehicle returned. In the meantime, the gangsters must have checked the hut´s surrounding.Suddenly Billy sniffed. "Do you smell that?"Alessio also sniffed and as he glanced around he answered," Smoke!"Then they heard a car coming along the path that led to the hut. From there, the wind blew the smoke to them.Again they disappeared hurriedly behind the bushes. They were really in big difficulties.IN THE NEYT CHAPTER: AT MORNING IN THE VICE - OFFICE

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34. AT MORNING IN THE VICE - OFFICEGina appeared at 6:30 a.m., together with Sarah and Ramona. Gina was carrying a big bag of fresh baked croissants in her right arm. The good smell was seductive.Ramona switched on the lights, Gina put the bag on her desk when she realized the light in Stan´s office. She walked to it and found Stan sitting at his desk. His head was lying on a pile of files and he was sleeping. He snored quietly. His computer was running.Sarah brew up a can of coffee while Gina was having a look at her watch. "Sonny and Rico are on the way now. I hope everything goes well," she sighed.Sarah switched on the coffee machine as she answered," Don´t be too worried. They are experienced policemen."Stan appeared in his door. His hair looked tousled, big rings were under his bloodshot eyes, and stubbles covered his face. His Hawaiian shirt was crumpled. He didn´t look like a Lieutenant.Stan passed through his hair, came closer, and sat down on the edge of Damian´s desk. "Morning," he grumbled, looked at Gina and asked,"Did you know that Crockett and Tubbs are responsible for the arrest of 93 top dealers who had to spend their prison sentence in Bolton?"Gina opened the paper bag, walked to Stan, and offered a croissant to him. "Ninety - three?" she amazingly repeated. "Did you check them all last night, Stan?"Gina walked to Sarah and Ramona to offer croissants to them."Only fourty - seven. Can I offer you some of the other fourty - six files?" Stan asked as he already slid off the desk. He walked to his office, returned with a small pile of files, and distributed them generously while eating the croissant.Ben and Angela walked into the office. Angela was trying to persuade Ben for a dinner together. "I´m a great cook," she insured.Gina looked at them and smiled. Ben and Angela always reminded her of Sonny and herself. Maybe she hadn´t gazed so adoringly at Sonny as Angela did with Ben, but it was a similar situation.Ben and his wife, Joana, got divorced in October, but on his desk, there was still standing a photo of her. He was still struggling to cope with his divorce and not willing for a new relationship. Angela didn´t see it or she hoped that Ben could forget Joana when he was with her.Gina could have told her that this doesn´t work. She had been with Sonny... sometimes, but Sonny always felt restless inside because he couldn´t forget Caroline."Did you get any results of the checking of the fingerprints?" Gina asked as she received several files from Stan. Then she returned to her desk, sat down, and got herself a croissant."Fingerprints?" Angela asked curiously as she took some files with her right hand and fished a croissant out of the bag with her left hand. Stan told them about the things that had happened yesterday evening while they were eating. He also told them to what hiding he had taken Izzy to. "He was afraid that he would have to spend a night in a cell," he said, grinned, and continued; "This hiding isn´t the most luxurious one we´ve got, but I think it´s the most comfortable house where Izzy ever had stayed."Stan´s telephone started ringing and he hurried to HIS office. That sounded geat. He picked up the phone. "Lieutenant Switek," he said. He grinned from one ear to another because that sounded REALLY good. But then he listened and the grin disappeared."Are you sure?" he asked while he was sinking on the edge of his desk and bended forward to have a look out of the door at the same time. "OH, no, I´ve got no doubt at your competences," Stan said. "I´m only surprised. Thanks for calling."He hung up, walked to the open - plan - office, but Gina and Ben were alone. At the same time, they looked at Stan who glanced around. "Carla has examined the fingerprints she had secured in the phone booth. I know now who´s the connection to EL GRANDE MAGO."IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: A BAD SURPRISE FOR SONNY

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35. A BAD SURPRISE FOR SONNYRico put the piece of paper to his mobile into the right pocket of his jacket before he took off the jacket and laid it on the bench in the boat. With the piece of paper, he had found a mobile. He put it into the mounting next to the steering - wheel before he followed Sonny.On the way he thought about the trip 24 years ago, the meeting with Angelina on the beach of St. Andrews Island, the dance at the Jambaroo - Festival, and her screams when her father, his enemy, Orlando Calderone, died.He also thought about their meeting again one year later, and her desperate look at the light - house - bay a few minutes before she had decided to sacrifice her own life for him.It seemed like an irony to him that he was on the way to St. Andrews Island again, and that their destination was the same beach where he and Angelina had met for the first time.Sometime, on the ocean, he heard his mobile ringing, but he couldn´t reach it. He suspected that it could be Stan or Gina and, therefore, he stopped the boat. But when he took the mobile out of the pocket, he groaned when he realized Alaina´s number.He pushed the button and said," Morning, Alaina, whatever your problem may be, I haven´t got time now. I´m busy with an important investigation.""Dad, it´s...," Alaina said, but Rico cut her short because Sonny´s boat got smaller and smaller. "I´ll call you back," he promised. Again, he pushed the button, put the mobile back into his pocket, and accelerated.But Rico was worried. It was eight a.m. and Alaina, who was on holiday, was a late riser. He hoped that everything was OK in New York. Nevertheless, he ignored the mobile when it started ringing again. He had to concentrate on the things in front of him because, at the horizon, St. Andrews Island appeared.Sonny´s mobile also started ringing and, like Rico, he thought it could be Gina or Stan. But it was Jenny. She said," Morning, Sonny. Luke Sanders is standing next to me. He says that he´d tried to tell you something really important on Sunday, but you were busy, then. Do you have time to listen to him now?" She sounded as if Luke was getting on her nerves."Tell him that I call him back in the afternoon," Sonny answered. "I´m very busy at the moment.""It´s about Miss Fowler!" Luke shouted in the background. "I´ve got important..."Sonny heard a beep, then it became silent. The accumulator was empty. Sonny swore. Why were these things always empty in the wrong moment?Above him, a seagull was crying. It sounded as if she made fun on him. Sonny angrily raised his look, even though he knew that he couldn´t impress the bird.At the horizon, St. Andrews Island appeared, but Sonny´s thoughts were in West Palm Beach. What did Luke want to tell him? What had happened with Georgina? Had she had an accident? Was she...dead?Again, Sonny swore and decided that he would really call Luke in the afternoon. He urgently wanted to find out what had happened with Georgy.Rico followed Sonny to the beach. Time seemed to have stood still there. He discovered the trees where he had met Sonny after his first meeting with Angelina. From there, he had watched as Angelina was riding by boat to the yacht where Calderone was waiting for her.In his imagination, he saw her standing on the beach. She´d been wearing a white dress and a hat to prevent the sun, the pallet in her left, and the brush in her right hand.Now there were standing two Range Rovers and eight men all together, four of them were armed. Two of them were holding M4 Carabines in their hands. There were 100 shots in one of the magazines and Rico knew that one could kill a flee on a wall 1500ft far away with it.The other two gangsters had Desert Eagles, each one with nine shots in it. Nine too much for him and nine too much for Sonny.Rico and Sonny dropped anchor after they had driven to the beach as close as possible."Get out of it!" a man ordered and aimed to the beach with his M4.Rico and Sonny obeyed the order. Rico pressed his lips together. He hate it when his shoes were ruined by salt water. the water soaked through his trousers, and sealed it at his skin.They walked to the beach where four guns were aimed at them. The men weren´t masked.Rico eyed the man curiously who, apparantly, gave orders. He was a bit smaller than he, himself, also black, and he had a muscular build. He had an angular face with a dimple in his chin. His lips were full and his nose was light crocked. Probably it was broken sometime. Coffee brown colored eyes stared at Rico. His night - black hair was short. He was wearing army - clothes and boots.The other man who was armed with a M4 was in his twenties, tall, and his upperrms were tattooed. His light blond colored hair was very short, and his eyes were brown.The two men with the Desert Eagles were young and black, and the four unarmed men were Latin - Americans. These four men loaded the boxes with the cocaine from the Range Rovers into the boats.They had hardly finished their work when a car arrived. Rico and Sonny curiously turned around. Two armed men, the "boss" and the blond man, came so close to them that the muzzles of their guns almost touched Rico´s and Sonny´s back.A silver BMW Jeep stopped, and a woman got out of it. She was slim, had long black, curled hair, and a small face. She was good - looking and wearing a tighty, lobster - colored dress. She walked around the car, stopped, and pushed up her sunglasses for a moment. She smiled before she slowly pushed back the sunglasses on her nose.Sonny looked at her and felt as if the bottom has dropped out of his world. He squinted and stopped breathing. He must be mistaken. This could only be a purely coincidental resemblance."Georgy?" Sonny said arduously. He stared at her as she was walking closer to them with swaying hips.Rico glanced at Sonny. "You know her?"Sonny clenched his fists without taking his look from her. "Georgina Fowler. She´d been my girlfriend until Saturday."Georgina strolled to them, stopped in front of Sonny, and smiled mockingly. "So we meet again, Sonny," she said.Sonny saw her provocative smile, but he couldn´t see her eyes behind the almost black glasses. Sonny felt that he was boiling with rage. He snorted like an angry bull. "You´re hand in glove with the kidnappers?" His voice sounded dangerously calm. Rico knew about that. It was like the calm before the storm, but when the storm began, Sonny couldn´t control himself."Sonny," Rico mumbled warning. The two M4 and the Desert Eagles were still aimed at them and Rico wasn´t sure if the gangsters wouldn´t shoot. But Sonny didn´t realize his warning."This bitch has only used me!" he shouted angrily.The "boss" pushed his gun into Sonny´s right kidney. Sonny turned half around and shouted,"OK, man, kill me, and see how to carry my 600 pounds of cocaine to Florida because my partner can´t carry the double amount!"Rico put his hand on Sonny´s shoulder to calm him down. He glanced to the gangsters who looked very determined. With a loud noise, they released the safety catches. It was a quick, skillful move and just as quick as they would shoot. All that stayed behind of him and Sonny would be their bloody meat."Stay calm, Sonny," Rico advised.Sonny didn´t listen. "Why?" he asked as he was staring at Georgina. He felt a huge urge to grab her by the throat and shake her until the whole truth would fall out of her mouth like the coins fell off a piggy bank."Charlie Glide," Georgina answered as she was taking off her sunglasses.Sonny tried to remember that name, but it was almost impossible. He had worked on too many cases during his career.Georgina looked at him as if he was a disgusting insect she wanted to kill. "I hadn´t expected that you remember him. You´ve lured him into a trap to blame him on murder and drug dealing in 1985."Sonny suddenly remembered that case. Glide had always been one of the careful dealers they couldn´t catch because they had too little evidences. But then Sonny´s girlfriend, Sarah Davis, died when one of the drug packs, she had swallowed to smuggle it for Glide, bursted in her stomach. That´s what they had found when talking to Sarah´s brother, Tim, who had worked for Glide. A few hours later, Tim was found shot to death. The murder weapon was licensed on Charlie Glide who always denied the murder."What do you have to do with Glide?" Sonny groaned. He clinched his fists so hard that the knuckles turned white."I´ll keep it short because you´re in a hurry. Charlie Glide was my father. He and my mother weren´t married, but he took care for us. I often visited him and he always told me that he wasn´t a murderer. I believed him. By the way, he died aged 55."The wind was playing with her long hair, and Georina brushed it out of her face. She looked provocatively at him and smiled arrogant, cold, and condescending. "It was easy to talk you round. If you weren´t the nasty bastard and cop Sonny Crockett...!"Sonny exploded. He punched his left ellbow into the black man´s face and quickly turned half around, because the black guy shot. The bullet whizzed away and hit one of the Range Rovers with a light tone. Then Sonny grabbed the "boss" and used him as a protection. He squeezed his throat with his left forearm while snatching the M4 away with his right hand. He shot at the other men and they returned fire.Sonny could feel as the "boss" shook when the bullets hit him. A bullet grazed Sony above his right ear, and for a moment he thought that his head would burst.Rico had known it and, as in past times,he reacted in sync to Sonny. He slammed his right ellbow into the blond man´s stomach. The gangster hadn´t calculated with that and collapsed like a pocket knife.Rico grabbed the M4 and dealt him a hefty blow on the chest. The blond man stumbled against one of the young black guys who fired his Desert Eagle. But the bullet that was intended for Rico hit the blond man through his back into is heart.Rico dropped, rolled over the sand, shot, and jumped on his feet. He noticed that three gangsters were dead and that one tried to escape, but was caught by a bullet of any gun.Ducked, Rico ran to the ocean. The four guys, who had loaded the drugs on the boats, were also armed now. Rico felt a hit at his left shoulder when a bullet grazed him. The warm blood was running along his arm. Around him, the sand was splashing and he could hear the light noise when the bullets bounced off the cars.Rico ignored the pain at his shoulder, and shot at a Latin - American who was lying on the ground and aiming at him. His forehead was like a target for Rico. He saw the Latin - American´s head exploding like a ripe tomato.Rico spinned around and kept on running to the boat. Behind him, something exploded and as he was glancing over his shoulder he realized that it was one of the Range Rovers. A big, black cloud was rising to the air. Some individual parts shot around, and a tyre killed one of the black gangsters who aimed at Sonny while lying on the ground.Then it was over. EL GRANDE MAGO´s men were dead and so was Georgy. One of the bullets had hit her heart when she tried to escape. Now she was lying next to the BMW, and her eyes stared into the sky."I hope that the magician isn´t waiting for a call from his men," Rico said while having a look at his injury. It was painful, but harmless. "Couldn´t you control your temper?""No," Sonny answered with a disgusted look at Georgy. The wound above his right ear was bleeding and paining. A blood - stripe was running from his ear to his throat. In his ear, there was an unpleasant whistling and sometimes things looked hazy. He squinted and shook his head lightly. "How can one be so mistaken in someone?" he asked before he waded to the BLIZZARD. He took the gun with him.Rico waded to the THUNDERSTORM. He was worried because when EL GRANDE MAGO was awaiting a call that didn´t come, he could, in anger, give the order to kill the hostages... if he hadn´t given that order after the occurence in the FLORIDA VILLAS.Rico and Sonny started the engines and slowly drove out of the shallow water before they returned to Florida.IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: IN THE HIDING PLACE

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36. IN THE HIDING PLACEDamian had just arrived when Stan told the traitor´s name. Damian had hardly slept, had turned himself from one side to the other, and often woke up with a start. In his nightmares, he saw Trudy, almost died of thirst, lying in a dark dump, or, raped of EL GRNADE MAGO´s men, lying in that dark dump. Maybe she was dead and buried somewhere where he could never find her.Eventually, he got up and after a shower he drove to the office in a bad mood. He hoped to get coffee there, but above all he hoped for positive news.Now he was looking so amazingly at Stan as if he had watched additional growing ears at Stan´s head.Gina looked unbelievably at Stan and Ben asked," Are you sure?"Stan nodded and folded his arms in front of his chest. "Carla is absolute sure. Where is she?""In the washroom...I think that she´s there...to wash her hands," Gina stammered. She jumped up, and hurriedly left the room. She rushed along the hallway to the washroom, almost bumped into two colleagues, and in the washroom door she bumped into Sarah."Youé really in a hurry," Sarah said amazingly. "Has anything happened?""Where is Ramona?" Gina hectically asked.Sarah turned around and glanced at the room with its white tiles on the wall and the dark - grey tiles on the floor, even though she knew that it was empty. "I don´t know," she said. "What...?"Gina spinned around and ran to one of the windows with a view over the parking lot. Ramona Allen owned a lemon - colored Convertible with a black roof. She always parked close to the entrance, but the car had disappeared.The door had hardly closed behind Gina when Ben jumped up. "She knows about Izzy´s hiding place!" he shouted, grabbed his jacket, and left. Damian followed him and on the hallway he almost bumped into Gina. He grabbed her shoulders to prevent her from falling."She´s disappeared," Gina said as Damian was pushing her softly aside."We know it," he answered.Ben and Damian left the headquarter. They jumped into Damian´s Jaguar XKR Coupé and while listening to "Get On Your Boots" from U2 they raced through the city like a bat out of hell.Damian passed by right and left and rather broke every valid traffic rule while Ben was trying to call Izzy several times, but Izzy didn´t pick up the phone.Eventually they reached the hiding. Damian parked the car at the streetside and they ran along the wall, that bordered the property, to the cast ironed gate. It was open and they could see a black Van that was parking close to the front door.Damian and Ben pulled their guns, released the safety catches and darted carefully along the driveway to the house. The entrance was covered by a roof that was propped up by two marble columns.Damian gave Ben signs that he would run to the front door. Ben nodded and told Damian the same way that he would run to the backside of the house.When Ben reached the backside, he could hear Izzy´s desperate sounding voice. "He guys, stay cool. I didn´t tell a name because I don´t know names, and I swear that I haven´t seen you."Ben squeezed his back against the wall. Next to him, there was a big glass facade. It belonged to the living - room and to one of the bedrooms. From both rooms, one had a breath - taking view over the ocean. One could, however, also close the vertical blind if he wanted more privacy or to lock out the sun.The vertical blinds at the windows were closed, but the sliding door was open. Ben darted closer to the door and at a glance he oversaw the situation. Izzy was sitting on the white leather - couch and he didn´t look good. He wasn´t wearing his glasses, but Ben had noticed them on the light wooden table. He thought," No wonder, that Izzy swears that he hasn´t seen the gangsters. Probably, Izzy is as blind as a mole without his glass blocks on his nose."Izzy´s nose was bloody, the skin under his left eye was swollen and turned blue, and his lips were also swollen and opened up. There was blood on his light - blue shirt, and red stripes were on his left hand. Probably, he had wiped over his face.Three gangsters were with him. A white man and an Asian were standing casually in front of the bar with their guns aimed to the floor. The third gangster, a black man, was standing in front of Izzy, and while Ben was glancing into the room, the black man slapped Izzy´s face. It moved left with a jerk, but Ben didn´t believe that Izzy neither had noticed him nor that he had recognized him. But he was mistaken."I ask myself how you could find me," Izzy slowly said. "And you THREE guys should know that I dislike drugs and GUNS."Ben thought that Izzy wanted to tell him how many gangsters were in the house, and that they were armed."Shut up, Moreno!" the black gangster shouted."Let´s kill the little rat and...," the Asian said.Ben couldn´t wait any longer. "Miami Vice! Freeze!" Ben shouted as he was aiming through the door.The black man looked at him with a jerk and Izzy reacted at lightning speed. He draw up his legs and slammed his feet in a well - aimed kick between his legs. The man gasped for air and collapsed.THe white man and the Asian fired at Ben who returned fire while jumping behind an armchair. He looked around it and fired again. He saw Izzy falling to the floor and so did the white man. He heard that Damian kicked in the front door. The armchair´s inside was thrown around him when it was hit by several bullets.Ben felt a hit against his chest. For a moment, he could hardly breath. Blood colored his white shirt red, and he felt the pain spreading out in his body. Nevertheless, he fired again and saw the black gangster collapsing. With his last ounce of strength, Ben glanced around the armchair. He saw Damian sliding down the wall and Izzy and the gangsters lying on the floor. Then Ben fainted and suddenly it was ghostly silent!IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: AN ATTACK ON CASTILLO

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37. AN ATTACK ON CASTILLOCastillo looked very confidently when he tied up Paolo´s hands and feet with cable ties. After Paolo had initially hesitated, Castillo had shown him how they had persuaded people in Siam if they didn´t want to talk. In the jungle, one was rather rough. Paolo realized it rather quick and sang like a bird at dawn. Castillo wasn´t sure if Paolo had told him everything, but, nevertheless, he was confident. So, he send him to sleep because he wasn´t keen on talking any longer with that rat.First he thought about packing Paolo and Victor into his trunk, but then he decided against it. Should the colleagues come and call for them. It couldn´t harm if these guys had to wait in the hot hut for some hours. Eventually, they had expected the same of the hostages.Castillo didn´t even lock the door after he had dragged the gangsters into the hut. He knew that they couldn´t release themselves without help.He had a look at his watch. It was 10:15 a.m. now. He had enough time to return to the city, talk with Stan, and to drag EL GRANDE MAGO out of his hole.He walked to his car, got in it, and reversed until he reached a wide part where he could turn around the car. He didn´t notice the man behind the bushes.Alex Kingston had walked a bit farther than his pals while searching for the hostages. When he heard the shot he thought that it was sign for him to return because the hostages had been found.Then he saw Victor lying on the ground. His face was badly injured and he was without consciousness. The next thing he realized was Castillo who was giving Paolo a hard time. Paolo´s nose was bleeding, he had a cut at the left temple, and his left eye was swollen. On Paolo´s light - blue shirt, there was a lot of blood.When Alex had watched Castillo´s fight against the waves on Sunday he had known that one shouldn´t underestimate that man. While he was watching now how Castillo treated Paolo, he was really glad that he hadn´t been at the hut when Castillo appeared. but he knew that his boss wouldn´t be enthusiastic that Paolo had given so much about their plans away.Alex hurried to Castillo´s car, and with quick fingers he manipulated at it before hiding himself behind the bushes. Alex noticed what Castillo oversaw when he left, the wet track on the ground.Alex left his hiding and, while grinning, lit his lighter. "Bye - bye, Lieutenant Castillo," he said. He held the flame at the gasoline and watched as the fire first was shooting up before it followed Castillo´s track.While Alex was running to the Freelander, he glanced at the hut where Paolo and Victor were captured. He ran into the hut. Paolo looked at him."Help me, Alex," he said. It was hard for him to speak. His face was so swollen that probably not even his motherwould have recognized him."I don´t help a traitor," Alex answered, grabbed Victor´s arms, and dragged him out of the hut. he looked to the jungle where the smoke was rising into the sky. He could hear the flames cracking, and the panicking cries of the birds on their flight. He could smell the smoke and the burning wood, and he felt the wind that fanned the fire. He ha to hurry if he wanted to escape.He dragged Victor on the backseat before he got into the car. Victor sighed and groaned as if he was regaining conciousness.Alex accelerated. He used another path that described a curve and, eventually, ran parallel to the path where Castillo was trying to escape.. But the path that Alex used was worse than the other one.Therefore, it was more difficult for him to drive, and he really had to hurry because the wind pushed the fire quickly forward.Castillo fished his mobile out of his pocket to call Switek. With a look at the display he found out that he had no reception. He snarled," If one needs these things..."He put the mobile back into his pocket, and concentrated on the way. Again and again, the car jumped up when Castillo crossed roots or it rumbled through potholesHe had to clasp the steering - wheel with both hands so that the car couldn´t break out. But suddenly he realized a light in his rear- view mirror. Something strange was happening behind him. Again he looked in the mirror and he saw the flames that filled the mirror. Unbelievably, he turned around. He saw the fire licking up the trees. It set the branches and the leaves on fire, funned through the wind. Sparks were flying around, burning leaves sailed dying to the ground, and branches broke cracking.Castillo put his foot down. Only for a moment he asked himself where the fire was coming from. Then, he pushed away all the thoughts and concentrated on the trip.The car jumped up when he crossed roots, and every time he drove through a pothole he felt a hard hit in his neck. Branches scratched over his car´s paint, and it sounded as if they were shouting in panic for help.Again and again, the Ford tried to break out. It swayed, slit, and its rear crashed against a tree. Castillo was thrown into the belt. For a moment, he could hardly breath, but he had no time to rest. With the collusion, the car was skidded around so that its mussle showed to the flames now, that came closer and closer.Castillo slammed into the reverse gear and drove until he found a possibility to turn around. Then he pulled the steering wheel round hard and accelerated. He looked over his shoulder and oversaw a deep pothole. When he was on the way to the hut he swerved and managed to avoid the pothole. Now he stuck in it, and it seemed as if he couldn´t get out of it on his own The engine roared when he put his foot down. The wheels spinned around, but without success.Castillo slammed into the reverse gear, reversed, and was relieved that it worked. Again and again, he had a look into the rear - view mirror. The fire came closer and closer. With a loud crack, a tree fell onto the way, and sparks spread out.Again, Castillo put hi foot down. If he believed in his feelings, the main path wasn´t far. But suddenly the car lost speed. At a glance, he knew what had happened. There were three of them. The thirs man had damaged the Ford´s tank so that the fuel ran out, and then he started the fire. Now the car was without gasoline.The fire jumped up the trees, and as the wind permanently changed its direction the fire seemed to be everywhere around.The engine coughed, spit, and then it died.IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: ON THE WAY TO KEY LARGO

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38. ON THE WAY TO KEY LARGOSonny had the feeling as if a very small man with an air hammer was working in his head. He had touched the wound, but, fortunately, it was only a graze. It was bleeding and aching, it funned his anger, but he would survive.What made him worry was that he sometimes things saw blurry. Then he pinched his eyes behind the sunglasses, squinted, and everything was OK again... for a few minutes.Sonny thought about Georgy and angry accelerated. The boat shot forward. The water on the left and on the right foamed and the spray splashed.Several weeks he had breakfast at NADINE´S CAFÉ. It wasn´t comparable with JIMMY JOHN´S, but the coffee tasted well and the croissants were fresh and crispy... like Nadine.She was 31, French, but she´d been living in the USA for six years. She was slim, had a thin face with a pretty mouth that always smiled friendly. Then she got little dimples in her cheeks. She had a snubnose, grey - blue colored eyes, and honey - blond colored hair. She spoke English fluently with a sweet little accent.That were the reasons why he liked having breakfast at NADINE´S CAFÉ. Besides that, he could watch the poeple who passed by the deck. That was very entertaining.On a Sunday, Georgy suddenly appeared at his table. Amazingly he had looked up to her. She had fantastic legs and was wearing a royal - blue, tight, and short, but not too short skirt. Her waist was slim and she was wearing a light blue top with nothing under it.Her golden necklace consisted of several small chains that were twisted around each other. The suitable bracelet adorned her right wrist, and a watch of Cartier her left wrist.Black curls reached down to her back, and when Sonny had looked into her face he met her sky - blue eyes. She seemed to be a perfect woman.She had asked him if she could join his company and he couldn´t say no. It was great to talk to her and they had laughed a lot. Before noon, they had landed in Sonny´s bed and first left it on Monday morning because Sonny had to work.Since then, they´d been a couple. Sonny had thought that she was in love with him. He thought that her interest in his children was real, but in reality she had only spied everything about him and his life. When she had known enough, she picked a quarrel, packed her stuff, and left."Bitch!" Sonny grumbled and squinted because everything looked blurry again. His headache grew. He thought that the sun was also to blame for that. He would be very glad when everything was over.Rico raced next to Sonny. The graze at his left shoulder was burning and the blood that had dried in the sun made the sleeve hard and scratching, but that wasn´t his problem. He was worried because of Sonny.Sonny often unconspiciously touched his head, and he drove slalom. Therefore, Rico thought that he had problems with his eye - sight. But he could also see Sonny´s rage and determination.Rico could always... mostly... read in Sonny´s face as if it was an open book. But the rage, he could read in it now and the way he was racing over the ocean was alarming.Rico´s private mobile started ringing, but Rico ignored it. He wasn´t keen about discussing with Alaina now. He had told her clearly that he would call her back.Rico thought about Charlie Glide. The man had always claimed not to be Tim Davis´ murderer. Apparantly, he didn´t know about that until he had learned about it in the Vice interrogation room. That was a lie. Rico remembered that Glide had said something like that this wasn´t a good week for the Davis´ family. Thereupon, Sonny almost flipped his lid, and Rico had to stop him.Glide also claimed that he hadn´t known about the drugs Sarah had transported. At court, he had praised Tim to the skies and feigned sympathy for the Davis´ family.Whether Glide was guilty or not, considering Tim´s murder, could never be resolved. The possibilities for the CSI analysis were more restricted in the past than today.At the end, Glide was condemned for dealing (it was about 220 pounds) and Sarah´s death. He didn´t have a clean report.Rico glanced at Sonny who didn´t look at him. Rico´s mobile started ringing the fourth time. Above him, several seagulls were crying in the postcard - blue sky. The countdown had begun, and more surprises were waiting for them.IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: MORE TRACKS

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39. MORE TRACKSFor a moment, Damian felt dazed. He wasn´t caught by a shot, but by a small metal vase that was lying next to him on the floor. It was badly dented because he had a damned hard skull.He thought that Ben had fired the shoot that had hit the vase. It hurled up and slammed at Damian´s head. He touched his forehead where a pretty swelling was growing. If it had finished, he would look like the last unicorn.The white gangster raised his head, and Damian immediately aimed his gun on him. He was sitting on the floor, with his legs stretched and his look said," Breath the wrong way and you´re dead!""Don´t shoot! I´m a policeman!" the man shouted. "Angelo Crispi, Department for Gang Crime in West Palm Beach. Sonny Crockett is my boss."Sighing, Izzy raised up in front of the couch. His face was swollen. His nose was bleeding again, and when he wiped it away, he sneared it over his right cheek. "Crockett and Tubbs," he said as he was taking his glasses to put them on his nose. "Since these two guys have appeared in my life again it´s dangerous and uncomfortable."Damian got on his feet. He felt dizzy and he swore. He squinted, leaned at the wall, and slowly breathed through his mouth. "Do you have any identification, Crispi?" he asked.Angelo nodded, and carefully he took his badge out of his pocket. As long as Damian aimed his gun on him, he didn´t want to make quick movings. He gave Damian the badge."Ben?" Damian shouted while having a look at the badge and, for the comparison, at Angelo before he gave it back.Ben didn´t answer, and Izzy ran around to search for him."Damian Parson, Miami Vice," Damian said and gave Angelo his hand."I´ve found Bradford," Izzy shouted. "He´s injured!"Damian joined Izzy and kneed down next to his friend when Ben regained consciousness. Groaning and with painful expressions, Ben touched his right rips. "It´s not so bad," he claimed as he was slowly sitting up. Damian introduced Ben and Angelo to each other before he took his mobile to call the ambulance for Ben."What are you doing here, Crispi?" Damian askd while they were waiting for the ambulance.Angelo told him about Sonny´s order. They decided that Angelo should disappear and tell the guys in the magician´s headquarter, that he could escape before the cops arrived. Then Damian and Angelo changed mobile numbers before Angelo disappeared through a window at the other side of the house.Then, the ambulance and two police cars arrived with wailing sirens. Four policemen stormed into the house, but Damian could calm them down. The only gangsters in the house were dead."OK, Izzy, let´s drive," Damian said after Ben was taken away to hospital and the two gangsters were put into body bags."To be hones, I would like to choose another way as you, Parson," Izzy answered. "It´s not personal, but I hope you understand that my trust into the police and their witnesses protection is badly affected because of this occurrence."Damian grabbed Izzy´s right arm and dragged him out of the house. He always disliked Izzy´s smart sayings. "I haven´t got time for your whinging, Izzy," he said while they were hurrying along the driveway. "We had a leak in the department, but she´s on a flight. SHE betrayed you and if you´re running around in town...""You´ve convinced me, Parson," Izzy cut him short and startled glanced around because the enemy could be waiting everywhere.They ran to Damian´s Jaguar, and a moment later they were on the way to the headquarter."You should particularly take care for the man who tried to model my face in a new way,"Izzy advised.Damian indicated right and turned to the Expressway. In the radio equipment, it was rustling, and the radio was playing "Kayleigh"."Why?" Damian asked."I only know that his name is Bruce, but he claimed that he had a very close connection to the big boss," Izzy replied as he was making himself comfortable in the seat and having a bad - tempered look at his covered in blood hands."Why didn´t you tell me about that immediately?" Damian asked annoyed.He took his mobile while steering the Jaguar on the Expressway. Then he gave the order to examinate the black gangster first. When he hung up, it rustled again in the radio equipment. "The yellow car, that is sought after, is driving on the Collins to Biscayne," a female voice told. "We take up the pursuit."It was rush - hour, and Damian needed a few minutes to find a gap in the traffic that was big enough to change the lane."Crockett, Tubbs, and Castillo are in big trouble," Izzy said.Over the radio equipment it was told that mre police cars took up the pursuit of Ramona Allen."Izzy, if you know something we should also know, tell it to me," Damian snarled. "Except, that you want that your new address is a prison cell number soandso."Izzy uttered a little, bleating laughter. He had heard threats like this so often that he would be a rich man today if one had given him a dollar for each of this threats."It´s really funny, Parson," he said. "Everything changes, the time, the fashion, the music, Miami´s appearance, and several faces by Vice, but the threats never change. Crockett and Tubbs also threatened to put me in prison if I didn´t help them, but they´d never done it.""I´ll do it because the magician helds Trudy prisoner, and if something bad happens to her because you refuse to be drawn, then you´re for it, Moreno," Damian promised.Izzy glanced side long at him and he saw clearly that Damian meant it.Again and again, they heard Damian´s colleagues telling about their and Ramona´s position. It seemed as if the pursuit turned out rather difficult."EL GRANDE MAGO is an influential, smart, and rich man, Parson. He had prepared everything long before. He wants revenge," Izzy quietly told."Revenge? For what? Do you know his name, Izzy?" Damia dragged the Jaguar to the right lane because he had to leave the Expressway on the next exit.Izzy took off his glasses, and cleaned them with a checkered handkerchief. "No, man, I know nothing and that´s better for my health."When they reached the headquarter´s parking lot, they got to know that Ramona was captured.Damian took Izzy to the office. He told him to sit down on a chair next to his desk. "Do you think you can stay on this chair or do I have to put you in chains?" Damian asked when he gave a coffee - cup to Izzy.In the office, it was humming as in a beehive. Gina was talking to someone on the phone who didn´t want to see why Vice urgently needed the visitor´s lists of the C - Block from 2005, 2006, and 2007.The other telephones were also ringing, someone slammed a drawer, and Sharon and Sarah were talking to each other, even though three desks were standing between them. Angela returned to the office, carrying some files under her arm.Izzy looked at Angela, smiled, and answered,"I don´t run away if I´ve got so pretty company.""Angela is a secretary, not a companion," Damian mumbled before he walked to Stan´s office to tell him what had happened in the hiding."And what´s going on here?" he askedStan sighed, stretched his tensed back, and rubbed his neck with his right hand. "I´ve tried to call Sonny, but I think his accumulator is empty. Castillo and Rico don´t pick up the phone. I don´t like that!""Me neither," Damian mumbled as he wa staring out of the window at a silver shining plane on its way to somewhere.Stan looked at him, knowing that Damian was talking about Rico´s presence in Miami. "Dam, put away your damned jealousy. You´ve got no reason for that. We´d been a great team and we´re good friends... Trudy and Rico are just good friends."Damian sat down on the left chair in front of Stan´s desk. It´s frame was out of chrome and it had a black leather - cover. He put his hands on his lap and stared at his fingers. "One can´t get rid quickly of some mistakes, Stan. I´m very worried because Trudy is the best that had ever happened to me in my life.""And we´ll rescue her and the other hostages," Stan promised.When Damian returned to the open - plan - office, he realized that Izzy, in fact, was talking with Angela, Gina received the visitor´s lists over her fax, and Ben stepped (grinning) into the office. "I wasn´t hit by a bullet, but by a spring. It tattooed my badge´s form on my chest and I´ve got a bruise, but I´m OK. I want to be with you in the final."Gina gave him some pieces of paper. "It´s the Who´s Who of the visitors for the prisoners in Bolton´s C- Block from 2007. We need to find out who Ramona had visited."Damian received the pile of 2006 while Gina was having a look at the list from 2005. Suddenly she said," I know who EL GRANDE MAGO is."IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: A MEETING IN THE JUNGLE

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40. A MEETING IN THE JUNGLEAbout 650 ft from the junction of the main path the black Ford stopped. Castillo jumped out of it and looked over his shoulder while he was running for his life. He saw the flames, heard the rustling of the fire, the cries of the animals on the run, and he felt the heat that the wind was blowing in his direction. Sparks were flying everywhere around, and leaves were sailing to the ground like glow - worms.He felt a burning pain on his head, his arms, and his back when sparks landed on him. He tried to wipe the sparks away, but there were too much of them.The wind was his biggest enemy. He permanently turned around and blew the fire to him from all directions. The smoke was making his eyes water and irritated his lungs. His throat felt rough, and he started to cough while he didn´t stop wiping over his head, his arms, and, as far as possible, over his back.Again, he turned around, oversaw a pothole, stepped in it, and twisted his ankle. A bad pain shot up to his knee, and he fell down. He gasped for breath and clutched his ankle. Fortunately, he raised his look to the fire. He saw a big, burning branch zooming down. Castillo ignored the pain and threw himsel aside. The branch crashed down at the place where Castillo had been lying a moment before.Cstillo jumped on his feet. He had learned to switch off the pain and that´s what he did now. He didn´t think, just ran for his life... like in the past in Siam."Martin, it´s a trap! Lao Li has lured us into a trap!" Colin Lucas shouted. Bullets were flying around them. They pulled shavings out of the trees. These shavings were like bullets and two of them stabbed Martin´s men.It was dawning. The sun was just rising over the horizon, and Lao Li´s men were invisible, but everywhere.Martin grabbed Colin, who was startled, and dragged him behind thick undergrowth. He ordered Colin to lay down and to stay. Castillo, himself, ran ducked from bush to bush and from tree to tree to search for his men. He fired until his gun was empty, loaded, and fired again. He heard the injured people yelling and groaning. The stink of blood and innards was filling the air.Lao Li´s men fell dead from the trees and lay behind the bushes and the trees, but Martin also found his men´s bodies. Their open eyes stared into the sky, and the intestines were gushing out of the torn up stomachs.Suddenly, Colin jumped up and he ran around in panic."Colin, no!" Castillo shouted, but his voice went under in the storm of the shots. He ran into Colin´s direction, tried to reach him, somehow, but then he felt a dreadful hit at his left side. Blood gushed out of the wound and his legs felt mumb. He broke down and his only thought was,"You must survive!"It was the same that he thought now. The main path was in front of him now and he felt the heat of the fire behind. Even though he was in a great form, he felt shattered now because of the smoke he had breathed. He wiped away the tears and thought strangely enough,"Shouldn´t it rain today?"They heard the engine roaring and they saw the smoke, and the flames between the trees. It was rustling, cracking, and creaking when a branch fell to the ground. Birds fled loudly crying.They disappeared behind the bushes, but continued walking. It wasn´t easy for Alessio with Trudy on his arms because there were a lot of invisible stumbling blocks, that were covered by grass and other plants.Billy always looked over his shoulder, awaiting the gangster´s car, but nothing happened. Instead, he realized a man who was stumbling onto the main path. He would have recognized this man everywhere."Wait! There´s Castillo!" he told and ran to Castillo while the others were waiting."Lieutenant Castillo!" he shouted.Castillo heard a familiar voice calling his name. Again, he wiped over his eyes, coughed, but continued running. He squinted, and recognized Billy."Oh, Crockett, I´m really glad to see you. Where are the others?" Castillo asked."Over there," Billy answered. He told Castillo what had happened until they joined the others. Next to them, branches creaked to the ground, and the wind, that had turned around again, blew the smoke into their eyes.Abhisit stared at his father. He had imagined the first meeting with his father to be quite different... and also his father. He couldn´t tell how he had imagined his father to look like, but, in any case, he had thought that he was younger, less grey - haired, and not in a combat uniform with fire holes in it.Castillo had also noticed Abhisit. He looked him up and down and tought that he looked like his mother.They smiled at each other and Castillo said,"I´d liked to welcome you in a different way."Abhisit nodded. In his throat, there was a lump he couldn´t swallow.Castillo looked at Alessio, who had a great similarity with Tubbs, probably because of his unbelievale green eyes.Then he looked at Trudy. He put his hand on her forehead that was hot like hell and he had a look at her leg. He put his hand on it and found out that it felt cold beneath the belt. If he didn´t open the belt, maybe Trudy would loose her leg, but if he opened it, she probably lost her life. It wasn´t hard for him to make a decision."Let´s go," he said.They walked for about ten minutes. Castillo took his mobile out of the pocket, in hope that he had reception now. "Empty," he mumbled as he was putting the mobile back into his pocket. Then he iped some sparks from Abhisit´s shoulder."How far is it to the next house?" Alessio asked. He was still carrying Trudy on his arms. He felt the heat of the fever, and he was worried because of the fire that spread out very fast."With a car... about fifteen minutes," Castillo honestly answered."Trudy will die, then," Abhisit whispered horrified.Some sparks fell onto Alessio´s upperarm and he had almost let Trudy fall down while he was trying to shake off the sparks. Billy saw it and quickly wiped the sparks away.Castillo shook his head. He hadn´t started this fight to lose it. He wanted to rescue all the hostages, but at the moment he didn´t know how to manage it.They were wrapped in smoke. On the right side, a tree fell creaking to the ground, and burning branches shot around. Billy had to jump aside if he didn´t want to be hit by one of them. Suddenly they heard the noise of an approaching car.IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: THE INTERROGATION

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41. THE INTERROGATIONGina and Damian had compared theirs lists after they´d found out, that the prisoner it was about had already left Bolton in 2007. Since 1998, after Ramona´s 18th birthday, she´d been visiting him twice a month.Rico and Sonny had arrested him in 1986. Expect of drug dealing he was tried for unauthorized possession of a firearm, blackmailing, and a young man´s death. Archie Ellis, so claimed the prosecutor, was shot by Curtis Walker in his sedan.Ramona was taken to one of the interrogation rooms that all looked uncomfortable. There she had to wait. She sat at the table, held her head up high, and stared provocatively at the dark surface at the wall that was as big as a mirror. She knew that her colleagues were watching her from the other side. Every now and then, she looked at her watch, and then she smiled. She seemed to be self - confident and her look said,"You can all go to hel!""Let´s talk with Miss Allen!" Damian snarled before he stormed into the interrogation room. He slammed the door so fast that Ramona startled in fright and the door jumped out of the lock. They looked at each other, but if Damian had thought that she lowered her look, he was mistaken. She looked at him cold - blooded while his rage was growing more and more.Gina watched the scene from the other side. Stan joined her. He sighed and ran the fingers of his right hand through his hair. "I can neither reach Rico, nor Sonny or Castillo. I don´t like that."Gina folded her arms in front of her chest while looking at Ramona. "She always looks at her watch, smiling. I don´t like that either."Sharon walked in and gave Gina a message she´d been waiting for."Surprise!" she said monotonously singing.Gina had a look at the message and suddenly several things became clear.Damian walked to the table, stopped next to it, and looked down at Ramona. Again Ramona looked at her watch, demonstratively, as if she was waiting for something special. Damian knew the answer. It was nearly noon. At one p.m., the coffins should arrive from Columbia, and about the same time Crockett and Tubbs should deliver the drugs."Let´s talk in plain language, Miss Allen," Damian said and propped his hands up on the table. Damian had arms like tree trunks, in anger, a deep and grumbling voice, and a look that could kill. Normally, female prisoners were intimidated when he came so close to them, but with Ramona, it didn´t work."I don´t say anything without my lawyer," Ramona replied with a cold and arrogant sounding voice.Damian had never reacted violently against a woman, but now he felt the almost overpowering wish to grab Ramona and beat the arrogance and the truth out of her."You´ll get your lawyer, but I get answers," he grumbled while staring at her. "Since 1998, you´ve driven to Bolton, regularly like a clockwork, to visit Curtis Walker. Why? What have you got to do with him?"Ramona´s corners of the mouth twitched mockingly. She knew that he would prefer to wring her neck. Damian suggested that she set out on that. The upright policeman, who had gotten seven awards should crack up and attack her. Her lawyer would later take care for that every evidence, that he had worked on, was ruled inadmissible. At the end of the trial, Ramona would only get a little or no sentence. But Damian wouldn´t do her the favour and attack her."Why?" he repeated. "What do you have to do with Walker?"Ramona shrugged. "I´m very social..."She looked to the door where Gina walked in. She was carrying some papers in her hand, and she looked very confident. Until Sharon gave her these papers, she had asked herself why Ramona Allen had visited Curtis Walker in prison. It didn´t make a sence. Ramona had been six years old when Curtis "Count" Walker was arrested. They neither were born in the same area, nor was Ramona grown up in the area where Curtis had been living. But now she knew the answer."I can tell you about the reason, Dam," Gina said. She could feel the tensions in the air, and the way how Damian unconspiciously played with his muscles showed her that it was hard for him to control his temper.Damian set upright. His jaws were grinding as he was looking at Gina. He folded his arms in front of his chest because that was better than to put his hands around Ramona´s neck."Your mother´s maiden name was Roberta Walker. Curtis was her illegitimate son," Gina explained. "When your father, James Allen, married your mother, he didn´t adopt Curtis, but persuaded your mother to let him with her parents."Ramona slowly raised her hands and clasped with an ironical smile in her face. "Good work, Detective!"Gina didn´t shown any expressions on her face. She walked to the table, sat down on the chair opposite to Ramona, and put the papers on the table. "Do you know that your brother, Bruce, is dead, Ramona? He died in Izzy Moreno´s hiding."Ramona swallowed. She looked at the scretched, light - grey table top before she shrugged. Curtis had a great plan. If everything had worked, he wanted to show her Europe. That was what he had promised and she believed him. Therefore she said," Great plans require big vistims."Gina looked at Ramona. She didn´t know much about her because she had first started working for Vice on year ago. But she´d always been helpful and friendly. Gina had thought that Ramona liked Trudy."Ramona, talk to us. It´s your only chance for a better position. Bruce is dead, Curtis lands in prison again, and so do you. You have stolen Knight´s mobile and therefore you´re responsible for Trudy´s kidnapping and for Noella´s death...""You can´t proof that," Ramona cut her short.Damian slammed his right fist so hard on the table- top that the furniture seemed to groan. He was boiling with rage. Ramona knew about the hostagss hiding and he wanted that she told him about that."You´ve called Walker!" he shouted. "Your fingerprints on the telephone buttons proof that. You betrayed Izzy Moreno! Damned, Ramona, talk to us!"Again, Ramona had a look at her watch. She smiled. "You can´t stop it. It´s too late!" she said.IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: AT THE SAME TIME IN THE JUNGLE

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42. AT THE SAME TIME IN THE JUNGLEThey heard the car coming, but couldn´t see it because of the smoke. They knew that it was a Jeep. Castillo thought immediately at the third gangster who was on the run with an Explorer. He decided to stop the car to bring Trudy to hospital because it was her only chance to survive."We´ll stop that car," he told the others.Trudy mumbled incoherently. She breathed heavily and with a rattling sound, and every now and then she coughed.Abhisit hit some sparks from his head and his right arm. Worriedly he looked to the burning trees, that were violently moving in the strong wind. The fire spread out very fast and an alarming squeeking showed him that some trees were going to fall down soon.Alessio laid Trudy down behind a bush before he, Abhisit, and Billy walked on the path and waited there side by side. Castillo hid behind a tree. He was the surprise for the gangster. He looked into the direction where the car was coming from, and he saw the car first. But it wasn´t an Explorer, but a Hummer. It was dusty, charred branches were lying on the hood, but they slid forward and to the sides when the Jeep rumbled through a pothole. The windshield was clean because the windshield wiper was switched on.Castillo recognized the driver, left his hiding, and shouted,"I know him! Go, and get Trudy!"The driver recognized Castillo, stopped, and put down the pane. He was an Indian with an angular face, and a skin that looked like leather. His eyes were almost black, and his varnish - colored hair was bonded in his neck."A bad day to go on a trip, Martin," he said.Castillo sighed. "I´m so glad to meet you, Bob. We´ve got an injured person. A snakebite."Bob looked at Trudy who was lying lifeless on Alessio´s arms. "Get in," he said. "And then we should disappear."Worriedly he looked to the burning trees. For a long time, the fire had reached the main path and jumped from treetop to treetop, and from one side to another. It was glooming everywhere around and the smoke got thicker and thicker. It was raining ashes, burning leaves, and little branches. Again and again, big branches broke with a loud crack and fell like comets to the ground. Behind the Hummer, a tree fell down, and sparks spread out in all directions and also hit the car.When everybody was in the car, Bob put his foot down. A burning branch landed on the windshield with a loud crack, another branch fell on the roof. Bob switched on the windshield washer unit. The fire went out and the branch was squeezed aside by the windshield wiper.In front of them, a burning tree bended forward onto the path. It was groaning and seemed to cling to the opposite tree. Branches broke, and they were spinned around by the wind.The engine roared when Bob put his foot down. He stared concentrated, serious, and determined through the windshield while the windshield wipers were madly rotating to get the view clean.The tree fell as the Hummer was racing towards it. In the car, everybody stopped breathing when Bob steered the car underneath the tree. The branches were shreeking over the roof, sparks spread out, but they had succeeded."It´ll rain soon," Bob said. He had a deep voice that reminded of a baer´s growling. His hands clinched the steering wheel and again and again he made way for potholes, fallen trees, and big branches while the radio was playing "Get On Your Boots"."May I use your mobile, Bob?" Castillo asked.Without a word, Bob gave him the small, silvershining gadget. Castillo was glad that he had memorized Stan´s number. He called him to tell him what´s new, and Stan told him that EL GRANDE MAGO´s real name was Curtis Walker.When Castillo finished the call, he, actually, could be confident, but he wasn´t. Something was missing, but he didn´t know what it was.Bob stopped at the Biscayne General´s emergency room. Billy ran into the hospital to ask for help while Alessio and Abhisit were taking Trudy carefully out of the car, and Castillo thanked Bob.Then they sat down in the waiting room. Trudy was treated by a Chinese doctor in one of the cabins. The four men sat there and watched exhaustedly everything around. Nurses were hurrying around, injured people were pushed in, and disappeared behind the cabin´s shades. A woman, who was carrying a crying child on her arms, asked for a doctor.Suddenly, Damian came in. He ran so fast that Gina, who accompanied him, could hardly follow him."Where is she?" Damian asked.Castillo pointed at the cabin. "She´s there," he said as he was getting up. Then he looked at Abhisit. "We have a lot to talk about, Abhisit... when everything´s finished.""Show them...Dad!" Abhisit said as he nodded.Gina and Castillo left the hospital. It had started to rain. Thick raindrops were falling while they were running to Gina´s car.On the way to Castillo´s house, Gina gave Castillo the little box with the wire that Castillo had ordered. "Jones asks you to be careful when you remove the preventive film. The adhesive on the wire is so strong that one couldn´t remove the wire from your fingers without an operation," Gina said.Castillo thanked her and put the box into his pocket.Gina stayed in the car while Castillo had a shower and changed clothes. The whole time, he was thinking of the missing puzzle piece."Even though you know a lot of things now you can´t stop our boss. He´s smarter than the police. Whatever you do the cocaine will find its way to Florida," Sanchez had claimed.When Castillo was bonding his black tie, he suddenly knew the answer. For the last time, he ran his fingers through his hair and over his moustache, took the box with the wire, and left the house.They drove to the airport. The monotonous noise of the wndshield wiper had an almost anaesthetic effect. Castillo´s look followed a landing plane. Then he took the little box out of his pocket, and laid it down in the middle console. "I don´t think that I need that," he said. "The cocaine comes in on a different way."Gina was so surprised that she nearly had passed by the exit. In the last moment, she dragged the car to the right lane. Behind her, brakes were screeching and someone was sounding his horn. Gina ignored it. She glanced at Catillo and asked," Does that mean that the coffins are empty?"Castillo grinned. He looked like the hero of an action movie shortly before he eliminated his biggest enemy. "Believe me, there IS cocaine in the coffins, enough to bring me to prison. I bet, that they´re already waiting for me."Gina didn´t talk until they reached the airport´s parking lot. Her thoughts spinned around, but she couldn´t sort them."You´ll not go to prison," she claimed after she´d parked the car. "You were blackmailed..." She counted at her fingers. "We´ve got the photo, the message, and the fingerprint..."Castllo put his hand on her arm. He had never touched her before and Gina looked surprised at him. "Gina," Castillo said and sounded so soft as if he was talking to a child. "Walker had planned everything exactly. He had enough time while he served his time. I had asked Graham Foster for the article with MY name in it, but I haven´t got brothers. I receive the coffins and I´m sure that there is cocaine in it, throughout the evidences have disappeared. You and the others from Vice can swear that I was blackmailed, but you can´t proof it. In the trial, they´ll accuse your loyality."Gina had unbelievably listened to her old boss. It all sounded crazy. In her head, all the thoughts spun around like little tin soldiers who didn´t know where to run to make a line."What should we do?" she asked desperately.This time, Castillo showed such a big grin as she had never seen before on his face. "You´re from Vice! Arrest me!"IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: SOMEWHERE NEARBY KEY LARGO

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43. SOMEWHERE NEARBY KEY LARGOThe deserted cove appeared in front of them. It was one of these coves that gives one the feeling to be stranded on a lonely island. The beach was white, palms were swaying in the wind, and again and again the waves were licking over the sand. Some piece of drift wood were lying around and rotting.The thicket between the palms was thick, filled with red berries, and it was a good prevention if one wanted to hide himself.But the big, almost black clouds that were covering the sky, and the rain that was pouring down didn´t suit to the postcard idyll. But at the horizon, they could actually see pale stripes.Rico and Sonny were soaked to the skin what put them into a bad mood. They had thought that EL GRANDE MAGO´s men were awaiting them on the beach to unload the boats.On the return journey, Rico had called the Vice - office to tell Stan where he and Sonny should deliver the drugs. But Stan, however, was in an interrogation. Rico reached only a secretary who promised to transmit Rico´s message.Rico deliberately oversaw the indication to the six calls in absence on his mobile.While they were approaching the beach, Rico looked around. He assumed that the colleagues were waiting in the thicket and that they leave it while the gangsters were unloading the boats. He thought that it would go the usual way. The policemen shouted that the gangsters should drop their guns, but, instead, they would shoot at the policemen. An exchange of fire would start and Rico hoped that one gangster stayed alive at its end so that they could ask him some very important questions.Rico had thought that things could go that way, but on this beach, there was not even a hermitcrab.Rico and Sonny stopped next to each other. They were at a loss. Suddenly the mobile, Rico had found on the Thunderstorm, started ringing. Rico switched on the loudspeaker before he received the call.An arrogant male voice asked," Did you really think that we´re dumb enough to tell you about the place for the handing over in advance?"Rico had enough. He was wet and exhausted. He´d prefer to throw the cardboard boxes into the ocean, and tell the guy that he should dive when he wanted to get the stuff."What the hell do you think you´re doing?" he shouted angrily.The man stayed calm, cold, and arrogant. "Drive to the ocean, and anchor next to the cigarette boat, SNOW WHITE. Return to Miami with the SNOW WHITE, and wait in your motel for further orders." Then he hung up.Rico and Sonny looked at each other. Sonny raised his right forefinger and claimed,"I´ve herad that voice before."Rico agreed, but there was no time now to think about that. All he wanted to do now was to finish this story, return to th motel, and change clothes.They steered the boats to the ocean. Fortunately, the rain eased off. Here and there, the sun flashed through the clouds.They didn´t have come that far when Rico´s private mobile started ringing. Rico thought about ignoring it again. Eventually, he had told Alaina very clearly that he had no time noe. But then he decided to have a look at the display. Maybe it wasn´t Alaina. His assumption was right. The number belonged to Stan´s mobile. Stan wanted to know what had happened on the beach. The policemen had been waiting in vain in the pouring rain. They weren´t enthusiastic now.Rico told him about the new order, and listened when Stan told him what´s new. Rico was so surprised that he pulled round the steering wheel hard. He could hear it bang when the boxes tumbled around.When Rico had finished the call and accelerated, he realized a cigarette boat that came closer, but not too close. The magician had sent an observer.Then he discovered the SNOW WHITE that was swaying on the water. But the call with Stan aroused his mistrust. Maybe the SNOW WHITE´s engine was connected to a bomb that exploded shortly after they´d started the engine.They stopped at the left and the right of the boat and threw anchor. Sonny jumped onto the SNOW WHITE, but Rico stayed on the THUNDERSTORM."What´s wrong?" Sonny asked. "Did you take roots in the rain?"Rico shook his head. He glanced at the observer´s boat. He was sure that the observer called his boss immediately after he and Sonny took course to Miami or if the explosion had taken them apart. Then EL GRANDE MAGO would come to take the cocaine... if the stuff in the boat really was cocaine."Stan had called me. He´d tried to call you, but without success," Rico told after Sonny joined him on the THUNDERSTORM. "The hostages are free, but Trudy feels bad because of a snakebite. And Castillo was arrested at the airport."Sonny unbelievably looked at him, but Rico continued," Stay cool, partner. Gina had arrested him. Besides that, we know EL GRANDE MAGO´s real name now: Curtis Count Walker."Sonny drummed his right fist onto the steering wheel. "I knew that I had heard that voice before!"Rico took a deep breath. Again, he looked at the observer. "In the coffins, there were about 20 kilos of cocaine, enough to send him to prison for 15 years. The colleagus of the drug squad office had gotten a suitable indication. They were waiting for Castillo, but Gina could make clear that the airport is Vice - territory.Again, Rico and Sonny looked at each other before they glanced at the boat. The rain eased off more and more, at some parts the clouds tore off and they could see a piece of the blue sky.Sonny´s head moved a bit to the right. That meant,"Let´s go downstairs!"Rico nodded. They walked downstairs and realized that all the boxes were in a muddle. But only because of this, they noticed the red marks at the bottom of some of these boxes."Ten," Rico said and took his pocket knife out of his pocket. He opened one of the boxes with a marking and found cocaine in it.Sonny opened a box without a marking, but therein he found only white sand of St. Andrews Island."I´ve really have enough of it now, Tubbs!" Sonny snarled and his eyes were flashing in rage.Only once, Rico had seen such a mad expression on his partners face. In that case, they were hunting a burglar they had called "The Shadow". He was burglarized into houses without damaging doors or windown, made a big mess in the kitchen with the flour he´s found, ate raw meat, and had drawn pictures on the wall with the female resident´s lipstick.Throughout that case, Sonny had hardly slept and eaten, the same what Lieutenant Gilmore had done. He had worked on this case first and was, eventually, sent to a secure unit. There, Sonny had almost kept his company.Now he looked at Rico in the same mad way."Stay calm, Sonny," Rico advised. "Castillo thinks that Walker wants revenge..."Sonny flipped his lid. Angrily, he kicked against the box he had opened. It jumped up and the sand spread out. Then it fell to the ground and turned over. "There´s no sense in it, Tubbs!" Sonny shouted without thinking about the senseless things he was doing now. He lifted another box and threw it in rage into the other boxes. It tore open and as Rico noticed the red marking at the bottom he knew that at this moment cocaine of about $600,000 mixed up with sand of St. Andrews Island.Three further boxes with sand in it followed.Then Sonny was standing in the middle of the room and was snorting like an angry bull. What was missing were the little clouds of smoke coming out of his nose."Where´s the logic, Tubbs?" he asked. He stretched his arms out as if he wanted to hug the whole world. "This is the ocean, my friend! What kind of revenge should it be? You and me and 38 boxes of sand and additional ten boxes of cocaine out here. So what?""I don´t know it either, man," Rico answered.Suddenly, a mean smile flashed over Sonny´s face before he spun around and ran up the stairs. Rico tried to follow him, but he didn´t get that far."Crockett, what the hell...?" He didn´t even reach the stairs. Then Sonny had weighed anchor, switched on the engine, and accelerated so hard that Rico lost his ballance. He stumbled backwards, kicked against a box, and landed in the mix of sand and cocaine.What did Sonny wat to do?IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: ACTION IN CORAL GABLES

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44. ACTION IN CORAL GABLESAfter Castillo´s call, Ben drove immediately to Maria Montoya´s house. There, he would meet the colleagues of the SWAT - team and their leader, Sam Sullivan.On the way to Coral Gables, Ben thought about the little information Stan had given to him. Castillo had called while on the way to the Biscayne General because something had happened with Trudy. This devil had obviously found the hostages, and he had asked Stan to rescue Maria Montoya. Walker´s men wanted to kill her because she was a very important witness. Castillo had been afraid that the gangsters could be in Maria´s house already and that it, maybe, was too late to rescue her.Ben was on the way with an inconspicious car. But, unfortunately, it didn´t drive as fast as he would have liked it... and he also disliked the big, black clouds above.When he turned into the silent street where Maria was living, the colleagues of the SWAT - team had already arrived. Their also inconspicious cars were parking at the side of the street. One policeman was talking to the woman who was living in the opposite house, another policeman was speaking with an elder woman with a fat dachshund at a leash. The woman nodded with startled expressions, turned around, and left in a hurry, dragging the poor dachshund.Ben knew that it would only take ten minutes until everybody in this street knew that the police had arrived.Ben parked the car behind the silver - colored NIssan X - Trail that Sam Sullivan was owning. Sam left his car whe Ben walked up to him. The men shook hands.Sam was about 45 years old, a bit taller than Ben, and black. He was wearing self - tinting glasses on his wide nose. His face was round, his shoulders wide. A little belly bulged under his dark -blue shirt and over the waistband of his also dark - blue trousers. His gun was in a belt that was strapped around his shoulders. In the walkie - talkie, it was quietly cracking."They´re already in the house," he told. "The Mercedes station wagon is licensed to Mrs. Montoya, the Explorer belongs to a man named Ross Miller. He´d been doing time in Bolton until last year. A nice guy with a pretty résumé. I don´t believe that Mrs. Montoya had invited him to a comfortable breakfast."The young policeman who had talked to the neighbour in the opposite house joined them to show them the sketch the neighbour had drawn on a piece of paper. He said that this was, approximately, Maria´s house. The living - room was behind the front -door. The window on the right side next to the front - door belonged to Alessio´s room. On the backside, there were the kitchen and the laundry and both rooms had doors to the garden. From the garage, there was no access to the house.Ben ran to the house. He was glad that the windows of the living - room were on the left side of the house. Therefore, nobody saw him coming. He glanced at the Explorer. The fact, that the gangsters were still in the house gave him hope that Maria was still alive.Even though he knew that nobody could discover him from the living - room, he used several bushes and palms as a hiding. He realized four men of the SWAT - team coming from the right side, either they were climbing over the hedge or they had found a way through it. Above him, he heard the noise of a plane in approach... and then it started to rain. It wasn´t a light and soft rain, but drumming, in big drops which were falling like a curtain.Ben looked at one of the SWAT - officers who came around the garage´s corner. He rolled his eyes and Ben understood wht he wanted to say, "Why does that happen right now?"Together they flashed to the wall next to Alessio´s window. They waited for a moment before Ben tried to have a look into Alessio´s room, but the window was covered by a curtain. Ducked, he ran beneath the window to the front - door. The rain was drumming on his back and even though it was warm, it felt uncomfortable.On the deck, there was hanging a hammock motionless in its mounting. On a round table, here was standing a pot with daffodils. He heard a woman crying and saying something he couldn´t understand.Ben darted to the corner of the house and looked around it. He had hoped that he could have a look into the living - room, but the window was too far away.With his back squeezed at the wall and his gun in his hands, he pushed himself along the wall. He couldn´t understand why the gangsters hadn´t killed Maria immediately. Eventually, they didn´t want to take her hostageBen glanced through the window.Iit was difficult to realize something because this room contained almost as much plants as the jungle. But then he noticed the gangsters. There were two of them... and one was Angelo Crispi.Ben smiled as he was squeezing his back against the wall. Again, he looked into the living - room and then he discovered Maria. She was sitting in an arm - chair with the swollen, abused face in his direction.Ben looked at the bushes where three colleagues were waiting for the start - signal.Ben pointed at the window, showed two fingers to tell the colleagues how many gangsters were in the house. Then he showed his thumb and pointed at the badge that was fixed at his belt to tell that one of the gangsters was an undercover - agent.The colleagues nodded.Ben took a deep breath, counted to three... and then all hell broke loose. With his gun, he smashed the window. The colleagues at the front - door and the side - doors considered it as a start - signal, and kicked in the doors that slammed cracking against the walls.Maria started yelling horrifiedly. She threw her hands before her face, but stayed in the armchair.The gangster who was armed with a Mach 10 started to shoot furiously. Angelo rushed upon Maria and dragged her to the floor.Ben also shot while he was hiding himself behind an armchair for the second time in the last 24 hours. Shoots from the kitchen and the front - door flashed through the room.The gangster, a young Asian, was hit by many bullets that let him twitch around in a grotesque dance of death.The bullets tore the plant pots to shreds, tore holes in the walls and the furniture. The picture frames bursted, and a light bulb exploded. Glass and china fragments raced around and embedded into the couch and the armchairs. An officer who flashed ducked into the room got injured.Eventually, it was over. Maria whimpered and sobbed, and an officer who had come in through the kitchen shouted at Angelo that he should put down his gun and get up with raised hands. Angelo obeyed the order slowly, but immediately."He´s a policeman," Ben told as he was climbing over some embedded plant rests. Under his feet, it was cracking. Behind him, a fragment broke out of the damaged glass door and shattered on the floor with a light tone."Detective Angelo Crispi, Departement of Gang Crime Division, West Palm Beach,"Angelo explained while he was carefully taking his badge out of his pocket.Ben kneed down next to Maria and put his hand on the woman´s shoulder. She was still sobbing. "It´s over, Mrs. Montoya. Alessio and the others are rescued. They´re in the Biscayne General now.""It isn´t completely over, "Angelo said with a look at his watch. "If we want to stop Walker, we have to hurry."IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: SURPRISE IN THE GLADES

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45. SURPRISE IN THE GLADESRico got on his feet and ran upstairs. The THUNDERSTORM ploughed through the water with top speed. The observer, who had realized that Sonny wanted to catch him, had started the engine, and was on a flight now. The rain had stopped and the sun found its way through the clouds. The wind tore at Sonny´s hair."Damned, Crockett! What´s going on? Are you crazy, or what?" Rico shouted when he joined Sonny.Sonny was staring at the other boat. Again and again, its driver looked hectically over his shoulder. Sonny´s facial expressions showed a wild determination. "Far from it, Tubbs! My mind is working absolutely perfect. We capture the bad guy in front of us and then he´ll betray us everything about his bosse´s plans. We haven´t got any alligators here, but if he doesn´t squeal we feed him to the hungry fishes."The distance shrinked. The mobile, Walker had given to them, started ringing, but Rico wasn´t keen on talking with someone of the magicians family."You should pick it up," Sonny advised. He was stressed out because the distance didn´t shrink fast enough for him. Angrily, he hit on the steering - wheel with his right hand as if the boat would drive faster then.Rico took the mobile and switched on the loudspeaker before he received the call. "Yes?" he shouted."You´re late and you know what that means," an arrogant sounding male voice said. Now as they knew that it was Walker´s voice they recognized it immediately. But Walker, apparantly, that they didn´t know that the hostages were free. Nevertheless, his comment was strange.Surprised, Rico and Sonny looked at each other. For a moment, Sonny forgot the chase."Damned, what are you talking about, man?"Rico asked indignantly. "We were in the cove, but nobody was there. You´ve called and ordered us to drive to the boat on the ocean. Don´t blame us for your forgetfulness!"Sonny accelerated to chase after the person who´s lead had increased. The whole occurrence turned more and more weird."Listen, man," Rico said. "If you´re keen on that stuff, drive on the ocean and get it!"But Walker had already hung up.The THUNDERSTORM chased after the other boat the man was steering into the swamp now and disappeared.Sonny angrily pressed his lips together. At the confluence, Sonny pulled the steering - wheel round hard. The boat rolled, its back broke out, and the THUNDERSTORM twisted around once.Rico stopped breathing for a moment and clinched in wherever he could find hold.Sonny got the boat under control again and steered it into the right direction. Then he continued the chase through the narrow channel. The branches drooped deep down. Again and again, branches broke when they touched them, leaves were falling. A breaking branch hit around and brushed Rico beneath his right eye. Rico saw the danger coming and flashed back, but, nevertheless, he felt the hit and a light stinging. When he wiped over the skin, there was blood at his fingers."Do you wanna kill us, Crockett?" he shouted, but Sonny didn´t throttle the engine back. He stared straight ahead and his hands clinched the steering - wheel.Suddenly, Rico noticed a sandbank in front of them. It was almost as wide as the channel. Only at its left side, there was space for a boat to pass, but Sonny didn´t swerve.Rico shouted, "Crockett!" At that moment, the boat hit the sandbank, was catapulted in the air, and flew over it. On the other side, the boat splashed hard on the water´s surface. They could hear the boxes tumbling around, Rico felt a hit at his neck, and he had almost hold.Sonny throttled the speed, and he and Rico started at the jungle. Suddenly, Rico realized the white boat on the right side in another channel between all the green plants."It´s there!" he shouted as he was pointing with his finger in the appropriate direction, but Sonny had also noticed it. He put his foot down, shot around the curve into the other channel, and took up the pursuit. The man in front of them realized it and tried to escape.Two times he almost got stuck and tormented the engine to get the boat free again while he was always glancing over his shoulder.Sonny drove grimly and concentrated. Every now and then, Rico had to bend forward quickly to avoid further hits of the branches in his face.In front of them, the engine of the other boat was roaring again, but this time it had definitely stuck. The driver hectically glanced over his shoulder. He realized the pursuiters close to his heels, and hurriedly climbed off the boat.Rico saw the guy in the darkblue raincoat disaapearing in the jungle. He couldn´t see much of him because he was still wearing a hood."Sonny, he escapes!" Rico shouted and jumped out of the boat when Sonny had hardly stopped at the banks. He took up the pursuit and had to swerve hanging down branches, had to jump over roots, and a tree that was lying crosswise on the ground.As Rico crossed a muddy ground, he felt as the water got into his shoes. He knew that the loamy sludge would ruin the leather so that he could only throw away the new Gucci - shoes. The anger about that increased Rico´s anger and his speed.The distance between them shrinked and, eventually, Rico jumped on the guy´s back. He heard a muffled tone when he and the guy fell into the mud. The panting, that he heard, didn´t sound male and the shoulders he grabbed didn´t feel male, either.Rico got on his knees. A bit breathless, he turned around the person he had captured... and he looked in Rachel Anderson´s face!"What a surprise!" Rico snarled angrily. "I didn´t expect to meet you out here!"Rico got up and dragged Rachel on her feet. Standing lateral, he grabbed her arms. "Let´s talk in plain language, Miss Anderson!"Rachel snorted. "I don´t know what you want from me," she claimed as she was arrogantly raising her little nose."Oh, I´m very sorry," Rico ironically answered as he was pushing her forward. "I´ve disturbed your daily fitness - programm, then."Suddenly, he remembered wher he had seen her before, except from their meeting in the marina this morning. She´d been sitting in the motel - lobby when he had arrived. She had smiled at him and he thought that she was very pretty.Sonny appeared breathless between the trees. "Oh, man, one has to give you that...you again!" Sonny stopped and stared at Rachel in open hostility. As Rico he thought that he hadn´t expected to meet her in the jungle."She doesn´t want to talk with us," Rico casually explained. "I think we should tie her up at a tree and return to Miami, then. What do you think who´ll find her faster? Walker or the insects and the other stuff out here?"Sonny put his right forefinger at his lips as if he had to think about the answer. "A good question, Rico," he admitted as he was hitting with his left hand at his right forearm."After Walker´s call I see things more clearly now. I think Rachel had joined up with Georgy. Georgy had marked the cocaine boxes Rachel wanted to collect on the ocean. The ladies wanted to steal Walker´s stuff.""You wanted to steal Walker´s cocaine?" Rico slowly asked, aparantly horrified while he was pushing Rachel to a tree trunk that seemed to be suitable to tie her up on it. It was standing close to the channel, but the best was the wasp´s nest at one of the branches. The busy wasps were humming around everywhere. "It isn´t a good idea to steal Walker´s stuff!"Rachel realized the wasps and also a big, black spider in the net it had built in a bush. In panic, she tried to defend herself and tear off. "You can´t do that! You´re policemen!"Sonny had folded his arms in front of his chest. He enjoyed Rachel´s panic and thought how to tell Rico about the news he had learned about while Rico was chasing after Rachel. Now he looked at Rico who had his hands full with holding Rachel, the wildcat."I think the insects and the other stuff will find her first and Walker will get the rest," he claimed and as to buttress his statement he hit on his arm twice as if he had to kill some mosquitoes. "The patrol has arrived already." Grinning, he pointed at Rachel. "As you´re having her under control, I go and get the rope. After we´ve tied her up we should disappear."Rachel panted horrifiedly. A mosquito was buzzling next to her left ear and the fat spider was springy in its net as if it was a trampoline. Rachel thought about the snakes, the bugs, and all the other spiders around here, maybe bigger ones than the spider opposite."Wait!" she said. "Don´t leave me back. OK, Georgy, Jessy and I have stolen 225 pounds of cocaine and Georgy had streched. - Damned, nobody will realize that! Not with the big amount Curtis wants to bring to Florida!"Again, Rachel tried to defend herself. She was really afraid that Rico and Sonny could leave her tied up at a tree in the Glades.Sonny sighed as he generously said, "OK, let´s take her with us, Tubbs!"IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: SNOW OVER MIAMI

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46. SNOW OVER MIAMIRico clinched Rachel´s arm while they were walking to the boat. Sonny hurried them up. Therefore, Rico suggested that Sonny had gotten information over the mobile he didn´t want to tell him while Rachel was listening."We take the THUNDERSTORM," Sonny said when they reached the boats, and added, "By the way, Rico, I should give greetings to you from Stan."Sonny got into the boat before he helped Rachel to climb in it.Rico nodded as he also climbed in. Sonny´s words confirmed his suggestions. Morosely, he looked at his muddy shoes and then he discovered the rip in his very dirty trousers. Both things were ruined and he would have to throw them away. He was glad that he had left his Versace - jacket on the boat. Besides that, Sonny couldn´t have talked with Stan without using Rico´s mobile because the accumulator of Sonny´s mobile was empty.Sonny started the engine, turned around the boat, and manuevered it through the channel. In a provoking, slowly way Rachel opened her raincoat´s zip. Now, as the sun was very hot again, she was sweattng in it. Because of the rain the atmospheric humidity was higher than normal and it felt as if one breathed through a wet sponge.Sonny had to concentrate and look ahead. So, Rachel looked provokingly at Rico while opening the zip. She was used to men reacting on her attractions and she knew how to use them. Eventually, she earned her money with them."That doesn´t work," Rico said and contemptuously looked her up and down. Under the raincoat, she was wearing black, shining leggings, and a raspberry colored top with a plunging neckline. "Not if someine like you is trying it. Sit down!"He put on the sunglasses with the reflecting glasses so that he could watch her inconspiciously. But he disliked what he saw.The smile disappeared, Rachel sank, in fact, on the bench. Even though Rico repremanded her, she was looking arrogantly and self - confident now. Sometimes, she glanced at Rico and Sonny and then a mocking smile twitched in the corners of her mouth. Rico disliked it because she looked as if she had a ace in the hole."Georgy is dead," Sonny said while he was steering the boat past the sandbank. He glanced over his shoulder, noticed her horrified look, and turned around again. He waited fo a reaction, but nothing happened. But Rico noticed that she closed her eyes for a moment, took a deep breath, and then she stared at her well - groomed hands with the delicate pink colored nails."Who´s Jessy?" Rico asked.Rachel shrugged. She had herself under control again and pertly answered," Why don´t you find it out, SUPER COP?" She pressed her lips together and stared at the ocean while Sonny was driving along the coast now.The wind had completely torn off the clouds and blew powerful around their noses. A plane hovered down to the airport and a big cruiser plowed the ocean on its way to the south.When Sonny steered the boat through a high wave, it was lifted out of the water and then it fell down again. The spray splashed into the boat and they got wet. Rachel yelled in a high tone and a fiendish grin spread out over Sonny´s face. Rachel´s make - up ran down her cheeks in dark stripes and Rico thought that she looked like a clown now. But, nevertheless, she was smiling in an alarming way."I think we should throw her into the water and let her swim to Miami," Rico suddenly said.Amazed, Sonny pushed his sunglasses to his forehead and looked at Rico. He knew that hs old partner would never purpose something like that without a reason. Therefore, Sonny suggested that Rico had watched something alarming and that he wanted to make Rachel talk.He throttled the engine as he casually answered," A good idea. The boat is over - ornated, anyhow. I think we´d throw over board what, obvioulsly, isn´t useful for us."Rachel jumped up and she would have retreated if there was a possibility. She mistrusted Rico and as was sure that he would have let her tied up at a tree in the Glades, it would put in past that he throws her into the ocean.Rico grabbed her wrists and he looked at her with his meanest look."No! Please wait! Please... Mr. Crockett!" Rachel horrifiedly shouted. "OK, I´ll tell you everything, but, please, don´t throw me over board! There are 20 kilos of cocaine in your trunk. Curtis had given the Drug Squad a tip. They´re waiting for you at the motel to arrest you. But that´s all I know. In fact, I didn´t want to return to Miami. I wanted to meet with Georgy and Jessy in Nassau. the day after tomorrow, we´ve an appointment with someone who wants to buy the drugs. Thereafter, we wanted to disappear."Rico pushed her back onto the bench. his facial expressions revelaed his anger and Sonny accelerated in a very hard ad angry way."Who´s Jessy?" Rico snarled.Rachel took a deep breath. She saw clearly that she had lost. Georgy was dead, she, herself, would disappear in prison for many years. Maybe it was helpful for her if she helped the police. "Jessica Landon," she sighed.Rico called Stan to give him the information and Stan told him what Sonny had kept quiet for him. Vice knew now about the real place where the drugs should be delivered."We want to be there when the package will be delivered," Rico said and noticed that Sonny nodded.Two police cars with four policemen in them and one unmarked police car were awaiting them in the marina. Two policemen arrested Rachel, the other policemen took are for the Corvette´s examination. After Walker´s men had put the cocaine into the trunk, they put the key into the ignition so that Sonny should think that he had forgotten it there when he returned.Ben got out of the unmarked car. The three men shook hands before Ben told them that Stan had sent him so that they didn´t miss the final."What´s with Trudy and the other hostages?" Rico wanted to know while walking to the car. He gave the gun he had taken from the gangster in St. Andrews Island to an officer. Sonny had left the gun he had taken on the BLIZZARD other colleagues were taking care for now.They got into the car and Ben started the engine. "Trudy was bitten by a copperhead. The doctors do everything fo her, but it´s too early to say something about her condition. The other hostages are OK."He switched on the flashing blue light that was installed on the dash- board. Then he put his foot down. While he was racing out of town he told that they came across some old friends of Rico and Sonny as they were investigating in that case: First there was Howie Wong, an ex - restaurant owner. Probably, Walker had put Howie on to Rico because Howie had flown to New York on March 13th, and returned to Miami with the same plane as Rico.Then there were Zhang and Chang, grandsons of a man namend Lao Li, who were arrested because of selling 50 kilos of cocaine to Howie Wong. In 1992 they were transferred from the Raiford prison to Bolton where they met another friend of Rico and Sonny: Ross MIller.Ben explained that Miller had worked for a man named Juan Carlos Silva. He was a big drug dealer who was shot to death by his daughter Rosella.Miller was accused of drug dealing and the murder of, at least, six people, but he had always denied it.When Ben had finished talking, they reached a little, private airfield. It was fenced by a 6,5 ft tall dark green wire fence with a suitable iron gate in it. The gate was open.On the left side, there was a little warehouse and on the right, there was the plane garage. A plane was parking in front of it and two policemen, who were wearing the orange - colored mechanic - overalls, were apparantly screwing at it. Two further policemen were mowing the lawn with sit - on - mowers. They were wearing jungle - green colored suits with a big sunflower on the back. Each petal ended in a letter of the name BELLAMY. A suitable Van was parking in front of the warehouse with four policemen in it. Two further cars were parking on a paved space at the left side of the warehouse.In the warehouse and also in the garage more poicemen were waiting and so did Stan, Gina, Castillo, and Angelo. They said hello to each other and Rico added,"What a crazy story!""You say it," Stan answered while giving guns to his friends. As they were checking them Sonny asked,"What about Walker?"In Stan´s walkie - talkie, it was cracking and hissing, the engines of the sit - on - mowers were roaring, and one of the "mechanics" let a wrench fall down to the concrete ground by accident."We haven´t found him, Stan answered. "He had already eft the villa when we arrived and his sister...? The three monkeys are real blubbermouths in comaparison with her... if you know what I mean."Rico glanced to the sky. If one wanted to transport such an amount of cocaine he either needed several helicopters or a military helicopter. But all he could see were some cirrus clouds that were pushed forward by the wind. Dust was dancing in the air.Again, it was cracking in Stan´s walkie - talkie. Then a male voice said,"Two trucks are coming, followed by a sedan.""Let´s go and spoil Walker´s day," Sonny snarled.Rico took position at the right gate pillar, Sonny hid himself behind the next pillar. The others also took position.In the far, they could hear the droning of a military helicopter that quickly approached. The two trucks rumbled through the gate followed by the polished black sedan. The three vehicles drove to the runway and stopped.Over the trees, the helicopter appeared like a giantic dragon - fly with unbelievable din. A lot of dust spun up as the helicopter sank down.Eight men in combat uniforms and boots and Mach 10´s at their belts jumpedout of the two trucks to unload the helicopter.The sedan´s doors opened, and Curtis Walker and the Bolivian, Emanuel Cruz, got out of it.Like in the past, there were arrogant expressions on Walker´s face. He looked frail. A light hat with an indigo - blue band, suitable to his suit, was sitting on his head. His right hand was holding the hat so that the helicopter´s wind couldn´t blow it away.Cruz was 29 years old. He was about 5,7 ft tall, and he had night - black, wavy hair that reached to his shirt´s collar. He had a long face with high cheekbones, a sharp cutted nose, and lips one would classify as sensuous. His shoulders were wide and his hips slim. It was said that women loved him.Cruz glanced around. It seemed as if he disliked something. Maybe, there were too many people "working" at the airfield. Suddenly, he looked to the garage. He started shouting and hectically waved his arms so that the helicopter should leave."Go!" Stan ordered into the walkie - talkie.Walker tried to hide himself into the sedan while Cruz and the eight men were pulling their guns.Two police vehicles raced along the access road to block the gate. The first shoots rang out on both sides. The policemen who had been waiting in BELLAMY´S van jumped out of it and together with their colleagues in the warehouse they took the helicopter under fire.Cruz fired at the policemen in the garage. He was hit by several bullets and he was shaking before he broke down. He fired two more times before he died. One of these buleits hit a sit - on - mower´s tank and it exploded. The wave threw the policeman, who had covered behind the mower several feet back. He was burning, yelling, and rolling around in panic and pain.Sonny noticed it and ducked he ran to the man through the hail of bullets. He tore off his jacket and threw it over the man to extinguish the flames. The policeman who had covered behind the other mower supported him. But then he was hit by a bullet and fell dead to the ground.Three of Walker´s men died an so did a further policeman. Walker´s driver tried to rescue the sedan with his boss in it. The tyres were screeching when he put down his foot and raced to the gate. With a bang, the rear window broke into pieces and bullets bounced off the vehicle with a high tone. Above, the heicopter´s engine was splattering and coughing.Rico fired at the sedan´s tyres. Ducked, he left the garage and covered behind a container that was standing close to the gate.Several bullets went through the windshield, the tyres at Rico´s side bursted. The driver reared up before he broke down over the steering - wheel. The car raced forward. RIco´s colleagues at the entrance to the airfield shouted to warn everybody.The sedan crashed into the police cars that were parked at the other side of the gate. It exploded and a ball of fire was rising into the sky. Several individual parts shot around and an undamaged tyre rolled away.Everybody who was standing close to the explosion turned away his head for a moment and closed his eyes to protect their faces against the unbearable heat.Rico looked to the helicopter. Smoke was coming out of it. It spun, coughed, and splattered more than before. Rico could hear the injured people crying, Stan was giving orders through his walkie - talkie, someone asked loudly for an ambulance, and some colleagues ordered Walker´s men to lay down their guns."Everything OK, Rico?" Sonny asked when joining Rico.Rico nodded without taking his look from the helicopter. "Very well, man," he answered.In the same moment, the helicopter´s crew threw out the ballast... one ton of cocaine.Rico grinned at Sonny. "It´s snowing in Miami. When did that ever happen before?"Sonny also grinned. "Above all, when it´s 81 degree outside."The wailing sirens of the fire brigade and the ambulances were coming closer. A coleague ran to a building site and asked a digger driver to come and clear away the cars in front of the gate.Stan joined Rico and Sonny. "Ben drives you and Castillo to the Biscayne General. I think some people are there waiting for you."IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: IN HOSPITAL

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47. IN HOSPITALThe four men were very quiet while riding to the hospital. In the radio, Razorlight was singing "Wire To Wire". The last days tensions fell off and they all fell exhausted.Rico´s mobile started ringing. He sighed when he took it out of the pocket and noticed Alaina´s number on the display. Nevertheless, he received the call because he couldn´t always get rid of her. "Hello, Alaina," he said tiredly."Hello, Dad, can I talk to you now?" Alaina carefully asked."If it is about the car...," Rico said as he leaned his head back. He wasn´t keen on a discussion with Alaina. He was very tired and he knew that he would sleep like a stone the next night."Oh, no,Dad," Alaina cut him short. "It´s about something very different. I think... well, I´m not sure... but maybe... it´s possible that I´ve done something very silly."Rio sat up and several "silly things" twisted around in his mind: She´d been caught by stealing something, she´d used drugs, she was pregnant..."You always tell me that I shouldn´t give someone your telephone numbers, but ten days ago...or so... a man was waiting in front of the school. He said that he is one of your old friends from Miami and that he would like to surprise you. His problem was that he couldn´t reach you because your numbers aren´t in the telephone book. He looked nice and therefore I gave him your landline network number."The first moment, Rico felt relieved. No theft report, no drugs, and no pregnancy, but then he realized what Alaina´s words meant. Walker´s men had found his family. He would never find out how, but he felt a nausea when he thought about the things that could have happened."How did he look like?" he asked, even though he knew it."Oh, he was old," Alaina answered. "At least fifty years!"Rico pulled faces as if he was suffered by bad tooth - ache, but he didn´t indicate his daughter that he would become 59 soon."He was an Asian, Chinese or Japanese," Alaina continued. "He wasn´t that tall. In any case, smaller than you, and he had almost grey hair."Rico knew that she could draw the man for him if he would ask her to do so. She was good in drawing.Ben steered the car on the hospital´s parking lot. Therefore, Rico decided to talk to her later about her silly behavior. Now he wanted to get to know his son. He told her that there was no need to be worried, but he asked her not to give one of his numbers to strange people again. Then he hung up and a moment later he, Sonny, and Castillo hurried into the hospital.They took the elevator to the 6th floor. It was a strange feeling for Rico to know that he was going to meet his son. He was curious about him and very excited. Castillo seemed to be calm as Rico found out when he squinted to his former boss. He knew that Martin had met his son earlier that day, but they hadn´t had time to talk that much.Castillo, in fact, was outwardly calm, almost emotionless. His face showed the well - known obscure expressions. Only he, himself, knew about his nerves strong vibrations.Billy and Abhisit were sitting in front of Trudy´s door again. Billy had borrowed money from Damian and he and Abhisit had something to eat. Alessio didn´t want to join them because he wanted to stay with his grandmother. But he asked his new friends to bring a hamburger and a double portion of french fries.In the meantime, Maria had told him everything she had to keep for herself for all those years. Alessio listened unbelievably to her and every now and then he asked a question. Now he was waiting for his father.Billy got up when the elevator doors opened and Rico, Sonny, and Castillo got out of it. Sonny hugged Billy while Castillo and Abhisit were smiling at each other."Did you give it to the bad guys?" Abhisit asked.Casillo´s corners of the mouth twitched. "Oh, yes, we did." Then he hugged his son. Abhisit looked over his father´s shoulder at Rico and said," Number 612."Rico knocked at the door and then he stood opposite to his son. He had to raise his look because Alessio was taller than Rico, but, unambigously, he looked more similar like his father than his mother, Angelina.They smiled at each other and Rico asked," Are you OK?"Alessio nodded and raised his right hand to the back of his head where he was hit by the cudgel. "I think I´ll keep a scar as a memorize, but that´s all."Rico walked to the bed and shook hands with Maria. Her right eye was bluish colored and swollen and a dressing was covering her right cheek. "I´m very sorry that you were injured, Mrs. Montoya," he regretted.Maria waved her hand. "I´ll survive. Did you catch the mastermind?"Rico thought about the sedan that was riddled with bullets before it exploded. He nodded. "He´s dead."Castillo and Abhisit walked to the cafeteria. Castillo drank Cuban coffee, Abhisit ordered Chinese tea. Then he told his father what had happened and how crazy he had been to ignore his mother´s warnings.Castillo ofered him to stay with him in his house. Eventually, they had to talk about a lot of things. Besides that, Abisit´s papers and his luggage had disappeared and he had no money."That´s really cool," Abhisit said. "I barely get to know my father and already have to touch him for money." He smiled and Castillo thought that the similarity to Mai Ying much was clearer because of this.Half an hour after the arrival in hospital, Rico walked to Trudy´s room where Damian was sitting next to his girlfriend´s bed and holding Trudy´s hand. Her leg was put up, the bite was covered with a dressing. An infusion was dripping into the vein in her right arm, and oxygen was additional streaming into her lungs through two plugs in her nose. At her right ear, there was another dressing. She was connected to an EKG that beeped regularly.The two men looked at each other. Damian thought,"He´s in his late fifties, but has only few grey hairs. He looks good for his age. Dynamic, athletic, and he emenates an air of calm and composure."Rico thought,"He´s jounger than I´ve thought. Maybe at the beginning of his fifties. He´s got only few grey hairs and he´s an athletic man, but now he looks rather tired... the same as we all do."He reached him his hand. "Ricardo Tubbs."Damian took the hand without hesitating and thought," A firm, but not squeezing handshake." Then he answered loudly,"Damian Parson.""What´s with Trudy?" Rico asked as he looked worriedly at the long standing friend.Damian touched Trdy´s left hand without thinking about it. "In any case, not worse than some hours ago. Probably, she´ll keep her leg. Is Walker finished?"Again, Rico thought about the sedan, riddled with bullets, and the explosion. There wasn´t that much left of the sedan after this. He nodded. "He´s finished. You´ve missed something. I had snowed in Miami... one thousand kilos of cocaine."Damian grinned. "The birds will be very glad about that. With cocaine spiced eathworms and bugs, a seldom delicasy."Rico laughed. It was over and the good guys had won the fight. That wasn´t obvious. Too often Rico had watched, exhausted and sometimes injured, as the bad guys disappeared in the sunset. But that wasn´t valid for Walker and that was why Rico felt very happy.IN THE LAST CHAPTER: THE LAST EXPLANATIONS

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