Deckard threw the door open as Pat brought the car to a halt outside the Oaxaca police station. Holding his Kalashnikov at the ready, he proceeded up the steps, striding over a body riddled with bullets as Samantha followed close behind.
A second corpse lay in the entrance, graciously holding the door ajar for them to pass through.
“Better call and cancel that guy’s dinner plans.”
The female police chief snorted.
Behind them, the engine squealed as Pat peeled off to position himself behind the building, just in case everything went sideways on them.
“Alto!” someone shouted at them from down the hall.
Samantha spoke in rapid fire Spanish that was too fast for Deckard to follow.
Stepping from behind an over turned desk, with a snub nosed .38 revolver in one hand, a portly man in a police uniform crossed himself. Obviously, he hadn’t expected to see his new boss again, not unless she was hanging under an overpass somewhere.
In the corner, a muted television showed a broadcast of a masked man brandishing a machete from behind a podium as he gave his speech. Deckard did not need to hear the audio to know the revolutionary was fixing to lop some federale’s head off. Over the last few months Mexico had begun its final decent towards chaos, the federal government not controlling anything outside of Mexico City. Everyone with a gun was moving to fill the vacuum and the disarmed civilian population was forced to resort to the machete, the traditional weapon of peasant uprisings in the Latin world.
Continuing their conversation in their native language, the two police officers led Deckard into the offices. Peering into one of the adjacent jail cells, Deckard spotted the bales of narco-dollars wrapped in cellophane, safely locked behind bars.
“They didn’t come for the money,” he said curiously, referring to the cartels who would want their money back.
“No, senior, the police officer on duty said. Just a few opportunist thinking they might find some easy money. Word must have leaked out on the streets.”
“They had me,” Samantha said. “They thought the money would be theirs to reclaim whenever it suited them.”
“How many police officers do you have on call?”
Samantha looked at her subordinate, who in turned shrugged his shoulders.
“One, including me. The others left, ran away. They will be swallowed up by the Jimenez cartel,” Samantha said referencing the largest and most powerful drug cartel in southern Mexico. “That or they will go to work with them.”
“Along with whatever is left of Ortega’s organization,” Deckard added.
“We have to move on them fast.”
“I agree, but first we need to move the money to our new headquarters. We can keep you safe there as well, along with-” Deckard looked at the sole beat cop in Oaxaca city.
“Officer Lopez,” the policemen responded with a half assed salute.
“Right, let’s get moving.”
Lopez switched back to Spanish, asking his police chief something. Deckard only caught on to one word, intelligentsia.
“I’m not CIA.”
“That’s right, your some kind of gun for hire, huh? Then what do we call you mystery man?” Samantha asked.
“Black will do for now.”
“Well, Mr. Black, I don’t know-” her words were cut short as an old rotary phone sitting on one of the desks began to ring.
“Como?” Lopez said, holding the phone to his ear.
“Si,” he paused before cupping his hand over receiver. “It’s for the gringo.”
“I guess that must be me,” Deckard said taking the phone. “Yeah?”
Heavy breathing sounded over the phone before someone spoke, “We want the money.”
“Who is this?”
“A friend of Mr. Jimenez.”
“You want the money? Come get it.”
“Leave this place now. You don’t belong here.”
“We’ll see who’s standing when the smoke clears.”
“Take a walk and don’t come back. That is the deal.”
“Make your play.”
“I already have.”
The police station was suddenly plunged into darkness as someone cut off the electricity.
This has been a preview of Target Deck, the upcoming sequel to Reflexive Fire!