Tuesday, August 7, 2007

EDGE of PARADISE Episode 8


"Andreas, did you see the news from the states?" asks Antonio. "Yes, I did," Andreas responds abruptly. "And...what did you think," asked Antonio, trying to pull some conservation from Andreas. After a silent moment Andreas speaks. "Antonio, we have known each other since we were boys running in the streets of Havana. Even before we knew we were half-brothers we were working the streets. And I, my brother, have always looked up to you".....Andreas pauses...."What? Como que hermano?" asks Antonio. "Please let me say this.....You are a natural born leader, you are incredibly intelligent.....but....Antonio" Andreas makes a hail Mary cross and kisses the back of his thumb. "Those poor innocent men, they had families.....children. I know in the past we have had to do things to protect our business. Things.....unspeakable things....but we were dealing with banditos, competitors. Antonio, these are American policemen.....gringo lawmen. They will not take it laying down. You know how they are. I'm concerned for you, for me, and for the business." Antonio puts his arm around Andreas' neck in an effort to comfort him, but Andreas is resistant and pulls away. "Andreas, escuchar,.....listen, have I ever endangered us or the business. Have I ever done anything without endless consideration?" "No, Antonio, you have not, that's why I have dedicated my life to our business, that's why I've walked into rooms full of pistoleros with you, and never let a moment of fear cross my mind. Antonio, por favor, think very long and clearly before you move against the gringos again." 'Thank you Andreas; you always keep me in perspective, listen can we talk about something infinitely more interesting." " And what's that," Andreas asks. "You're going to Miami for that electronics show next week, right." "Yes, so?" "I'm getting tired of these Latina girls. Would you look out for some gringo girls while you're in Miami? You know what I like. Invite them down here to the island, or I can come up to Miami and stay in the condo on South Beach." "I will look for girls if you promise me you will think about what I said and talk to me before any more crazy business mi hermano loco."

Black hearses and black limousines line the narrow streets of the Coral Valley Cemet
ery in West Miami. A crowd is gathered for services, a number of news cameras are on hand for the dramatic edge a funeral adds to a nightly report. If edited properly the solemn activities can give old overused footage new zeal. A small crowd is assembled around six mahogany caskets covered with American flags. The wives, children ,and families of the six slain police officers are standing silently as Father Mathis from Santo Espiritu Catholic Church in Hallendale is saying a few words. "Beloved - these men laid down their lives that we might have a better life, a safer life. They knew the risks that were inherent in their work. Yet they looked beyond the dangers. Jesus told us in the Gospel; no greater gift a man has than to lay down his life for another. No greater gift. These men gave us the greatest gift they had to give. These men laid here to rest today surely have given the greatest gift to this community. Father, we know you have received these young men's souls and they are now at your side in paradise. God bless their souls and may God bless their loved ones who have been left behind, and may the comfort of peace be with them during their time of mourning. In Jesus' name we pray Father, Amen. " Seven police officers in dress uniforms hold rifles to the sky and present a 21 gun salute to their fallen comrades in arms. American flags that covered the six coffins are folded into the regulation triangle by four officers and presented to the widows and family members by the Chief of Police. Rusty Tyler and Bill Tanna are standing in the officials area just behind the tent covering the grave sites. Bill and Rusty are speaking in hushed tones as the service is ending. "We have some suspects. I would like for you to take a look at them when we get back to the office," suggested Bill, hoping Rusty would be impressed. "Good, I want to move on this quickly. I am concerned that these businessmen as they call themselves could be planning another attack. Another shot at us would be within standard strategic operandi." As the two men are walking out of the service with the others who are leaving Bill is surprised Rusty didn't find his speed in developing suspects impressive. Just like the old days, no matter what you do for Rusty he never appreciates it. Bill begins to remember all too clearly how indifferent Tyler was about everything. As Rusty and Bill enter their office lobby they both pass by the front desk and retrieve their messages. Bill has a couple, but Tyler is handed a large stack. This is somewhat irritating to Bill because this is his department and he has always known what is going on, but clearly here's a guy who has taken over and Bill knows nothing about him or what he's up to. Bill and Rusty walk on back to Bill’s office. A very well appointed office, nice view above average furniture, but still sparse compared with Rusty's office in Washington. Officials in the N.R.O. are treated like executives of a major corporation rather than a mere civil servant and Rusty loved that, it gave him a sense of confidence and importance. Perhaps that's what Rusty's boss had in mind. Bill Tanna was already starting to be annoyed by Rusty's big shot Washington demeanor and he was checking himself. Maybe it's a North-South thing he told himself, but what ever it was, it didn't sit well. A knock at the office door shocked Bill and Rusty back to the here and now. A beautiful woman is standing at the door with a stack of file folders in one hand. She is thirty something and has auburn hair, green eyes, porcelain white skin, with a few well placed freckles over her nose. Rusty is transfixed. He doesn't want to be impolite, but he really is curious. He notices her short skirt. She is dressed very professionally but it's pushing the envelope, her low cut blouse is tempered by her sport coat, she is businesslike but has a hard edge of sensuality. "Oh Rusty, I want you to meet my Chief of Staff, Victoria Douglas. Vicki, this is Roscoe Tyler, Special Agent in charge. He's with the National Reconnaissance Office." Roscoe offers Vicki his hand and Vicki responds with a firm handshake. "N.R.O." Vicki says, "that's right, those guys who lost all that money.....4 billion or something. I hope you are better at finding killers than keeping track of a few billion in change." Tyler looks at Tanna with a surprised look on his face. His first encounter with this woman, and she makes him feel like a bumbling idiot."Victoria, are you always this nice to everyone or am I just special?" asks Rusty. "Hey, I'm a G-5 government employee, but I'm as outta joint over government waste and corruption as the guy on the street," Vicki blurts with conviction."Vicki ,come on in and show us what you've put together, I told Roscoe earlier we had a suspect list." Vicki bends over Bill's computer keyboard and inserts a CD-rom into his rom drive. Due to her low cut blouse Vicki's breasts are close to spilling out. Only her bra is restraining her ample top side, her clothes fit well, but in her bent over position each time she reaches over the computer the hem of her skirt rises up and comes close to revealing her perfectly round bottom. Tyler and Tanna are very amused and make eye contact behind Vicki's back. Suddenly an image comes up on the screen and Vicki returns to a standing position. She makes a quick little wiggle and her skirt falls back to its proper position. "OK, there we are. I've narrowed my suspect list down to three men from a possible fifteen. The first one you see here is, Randy Teal, a former shrimp boat captain out of Coral Springs, Florida. He was arrested for importing 50 million in cocaine which he hid in raw uncut lumber. He spent two years in a federal prison in Pensacola. He was released in 1992. He openly told police and others he would get back at law enforcement and the U.S. Government, and get this, he owns and flies helicopters. I have agents from Tampa tailing him. We also got a judge to give us the go ahead on wire taps.” "And behind door number two is Urnesto Guzman, a Venezuelan diplomat who heads up that country's drug activities. Guzman would have the contacts and the capital to pull of an extravagant operation like the one that killed our policemen, However he's very chummy with a number of elected officials, senators, congressmen, and the like, and I don't see him burning these bridges no matter how much U.S. officials cut into his drug dealings.” "Number three, Antonio Luis Diega, this is my choice for top suspect. He is incredibly successful, a multi-billionaire. He is into everything but his cash cow is cocaine. He was raised in Havana and later attended the University of Miami. We believe his father, who is deceased, was a close advisor to Fidel Castro and his brother Raul, who is Secretary of Defense and Chief to the Cuban Military. He spends a lot of time at an estate on the Isle of Joven, a Cuban protectorate just south of mainland Cuba. The estate was built in the 50's by a rich American casino owner, but when Castro took over the owner abandoned it. Diega has the clout, the cash, and the balls.""Sounds like you admire this guy," says Tyler sarcastically. "Well I guess in a way I do, I've been compiling a portfolio on him and 20 other high profile drug dealers for the last five years. They're my babies. "So, you think this guy could have planned the killings?" asks Bill. "No, he's smarter than that. He would bring in Russian, Cuban, or Israeli Intelligence Officials to plan and carry out his wishes. It's very possible that this guy is our duck." "Have you brought the D.E.A. in on this theory yet, they may have more background on this guy," questions Tyler."The D.E.A. doesn't even know this guy exists. Watch, I'll show you." Vicki sits down in Bills' chair and hammers on the keyboard of Bill's computer. " I have complete access to D.E.A. files, look, checking Antonio luis Diega or Companias del Cubana, Diega’s conglomerate, nothing.” The screen blinks with no listings found. "If they had a confidential eyes-only file we would get access denied - clearance required. The D.E.A. doesn't have a clue." "What about any of the Washington intel agencies?" Tanna asks Vicki. "Nope, I've been in all their actions and enforcement files and I haven't seen squat." " Lets bring in the D.E.A. and Coast Guard and show them what we've got," suggests Rusty. "What do you think Vicki?" "Bad move, the D.E.A. guys work both sides of the fence. They go undercover and they forget who their working for half the time. As far as the Coast Guard goes, someone over there is up to his eye brows in this." "So, what's our next step," Tyler asks. "I know what he likes, and I know what to use as bait," Vicki says with confidence.
"Oh yea, and what's that," Bills asks with anticipation.
"Girls who like girls."