We had no time to rent cars, so we stole them from the streets around the hotel. Police wouldn’t find us fast enough anyway so we should be OK. We had an hour to find our locations.
Dave and Psycho faced two locations each and if no one warned them they would be able to take no 14 and 15 down fast as their locations were close to each other.
I had one of the five bosses to entertain and at exactly 1400 hours directed my right foot at his door and jumped in. I would have liked to open it silently and sneak up on him, but the door was locked, and I was in a hurry.
So, he would have a few secs. to prepare which meant I had to be ready to take down an armed guy.
I quickly swept the apartment and I found him in his office waiting for me. With a gun as expected of course.
With precision, I positioned my firearm at the threshold, lowered my aim, and discharged a barrage of bullets from my magazine.
Swiftly reloading, I unleashed a few more rounds before peering into the room. There, I caught sight of my target cowering behind his desk in a desperate attempt to shield himself. I aimed my gun at the desk’s edge and strode forward, firing strategically to keep his head down until I could close in for the apprehension.
– Show me your gun! Slowly! I commanded.
But he didn’t. Well, he did but not the way I meant. As I scanned the room, I caught a glimpse of his firearm protruding from the top of the desk, his hand tightly gripping it. In a desperate attempt to regain control, he blindly fired in the direction of the door – a futile effort as I had already anticipated his reckless behaviour and taken precautions.
The corners of my lips curled into a smirk as I observed his foolishness, believing I would be foolish enough to occupy any space in his line of fire. Little did he know, I was one step ahead.
He fired a few rounds more before I shot at his hand. Dunno if I hit the gun or his hand but he dropped his gun on the floor while cursing loudly.
My chance. Fastly behind the desk and introduced his head to the grip of my gun. He fell mourning to the floor. And bleeding I should add.
– I know what you do, and I am here to stop your dirty business. I want to know where you operate on peoples, or I will operate on your brain with a 500-degree hot bullet! I hit him again to indicate the sincerity of my intentions.
– Your organisation made a grave mistake a week ago. You snatched a 10-year-old American boy. I have made a heartfelt promise to his mother to reunite her with her son. And the cost is of no significance to me! Do you understand?
He didn’t answer.
On his desk, he had a framed photo. He was in it. So was a woman and two kids. Maybe 8-10 years old.
– These your kids? I asked and threw the picture at him. I pushed him harder to the floor and forced him to look at the image, by holding it in front of his scarred face, while noticing his nose hair was long enough to almost touch the image.
– If you don’t tell me where Luca is you won’t see your family anymore. I won’t kill you. I solemnly promised my sister not to. But I will make sure you will never see your kids again and that you will be alive to regret what you did and miss them for the rest of your pathetic life.
My skinny biceps don’t look impressive but my anger from this injustice provided me with the strength I needed to pick him up and drag him out of the apartment, down the stairs and into the car.
– You drive! Fast!
Took us twenty minutes to reach the city limit where he pointed out an abandoned factory behind a tall metal fence.
– This is a big place, where do I start looking?
– The basement. He spoke.
I cuffed him to the wheel, and I went in. I messaged the address to Len and called her on my way down the stairs.
– I’m in an old factory looking for operating facilities. I just sent you the address. Come over as soon as you are finished.
– I just got the same address from my perp! On my way! She said.
This was a huge place – couldn’t figure out what they once manufactured here, and I looked in every room I could find but nothing looked like an operating room. Everything smelled old and musty like no one had been here for years. The floors were dirty like you won’t believe it. Everything made of metal was rusty.
There was a heavy metal door behind some stairs, and it was securely locked, but I couldn’t leave without taking a look in there. So, I took my pick and started working on the door while Dad entered the room.
– This is getting crowdy, I said while I smiled at him. We must be at the right place.
The door gave up after two minutes and voila. Here it was.
The smell of chemicals revealed everything. But no Luca.
– Did you take your perp here? I asked dad.
– Yes, he is in the trunk of my car.
– We need to ask him a question or two.
We ran upstairs and dad escorted his perp violently into the building while I dragged my perp the same way.
– The boy we are looking for isn’t here. Where is he?
Dad’s perp did some kind of fast movement with his eyes to avoid eye contact. I interpreted that as if he knew something. So, I hit him in the head with my gun and he fell to the ground.
Being hit in the head has a way of taking the energy out of people.
– Who is the doctor and who disposes of the dead bodies?
No answer. These guys are peculiar.
But dad took his arm and twisted it so far up his back he could pull his own hair if he had some, that I couldn’t hear if it snapped or not because the sound of broken bones would have drowned in his screaming.
But we got a name. And an address. It was where Alma was. I immediately called her. She was en route with her perp – the doc and five minutes later she arrived.
She dragged him out of the car. That woman has a firmly grip on men!
I did the same to him. I mean… The gun to the head at a certain velocity. And he dropped to the ground.
– I assume you operated on a 10-year-old American kid one of these days and I want to know where he is. What did you steal from him?
– I… I… took a kidney. Yesterday. I should have taken both, but lightning hit the building and the power disappeared.
– So where is the boy now?
I kicked him so hard in his stomach that he probably broke a few ribs. He whined like a chicken farm right before feeding time.
Me and José drove him south to the landfill. He was dead so we dumped him there.
As my heart filled with sorrow and anxiety, I cuffed my guy to some pipes and dragged the pseudo-doctor to the car and headed for the landfill.
– Dad, you better call all the guys. If this is a big place, we need them all. Maybe also call the police and see if they got some dogs.
It took a little more than twenty minutes before we arrived at the landfill. It was huge.
– Take me to the place you threw him, I commanded.
The doc walked around searching for something recognizable. We walked for ten minutes, and my patience was about to run out.
– I believe it was here. We all looked around. Busses, cars, bikes, plastic bags, bricks, tires, cans, bottles, rats, barrels, rusty pipes… as long as I could see. It all looked the same. Dad, Alma and I searched but it was an insurmountable task.
Dave and Psycho arrived first, and they also started looking. It was getting dark so if this was going to take much longer, we needed light. We all had flashlights and it helped but the visibility slowly got shorter.
Rachel, Garcia, Goldie, Wes, Mason, Owen and Angel also arrived. They all had their perps cuffed in the car or the trunk.
We searched for hours as it got real dark.
The police and two paramedics in an ambulance also showed up – Dad told them the entire story on the phone, and they arrived six men in uniform with two dogs.
But we still didn’t find anything.
Then I saw it. A big truck. With a yellow five-pointed star on the door. I immediately remembered what Celestine told me.
– Over here! I shouted. It’s here!
I ran as fast as I could. Fell a few times but finally reached the truck and started looking around it.
I removed a lot of plastic bags. Fast. He had to be here!
After turning fifty or sixty plastic bags and a few rusty bikes I finally noticed something that didn’t fit in. An arm.
– He is here! I shouted. Bring over the medics!
I removed the last pieces of garbage, and he was free.
I immediately checked his breathing and his pulse. Nothing.
– Fuck! We are too late, I said but started giving him CPR anyway. Len was here as fast as a hurricane and started blowing air into his lungs while I gave him CPR.
We had to go on until the medics could take over, but we couldn’t move him until his heart started beating.
One of the paramedics gave Luca an injection, maybe adrenalin but Len and I continued to work on him while Angel held his hand.
Actually, the medics and us took turns in holding his hand, breathing for him and pumping his heart. Len is a nurse, and we have all done this before. We weren’t strangers to injured or lifeless persons.
Time went by fast, and two hours felt like ten minutes. I would NOT give up! This is not fair! An innocent ten-year-old boy! And some jerkoffs stole his kidney nd dumps him to die on a land fill!
To this day I dunno what happened but, in a flash, I suddenly saw Celestine leaning over Luca in a flood of light and placed her hand on his chest and a warm golden light flowed from her hand to his heart. And boom! His heart started beating!
– Got a pulse! I shouted. Get ready to move him!
The paramedics had everything ready and after two more minutes Luca also started breathing and we carefully moved him to the stretcher.
He was still unconscious, but the medics had an electronic beeper that indicated Luca’s heartbeat rate until we got him in the ambulance, and they took over.
The ambulance started driving with full sirens and we all followed in our stolen cars. The police didn’t even think of checking! They took all the perps back to the station.
We arrived at the emergency room 12 minutes later and the doctors there had everything prepared.
So now we could only wait.
Dave came over and hugged me.
– You did a wonderful job tonight!
I didn’t know what to say. I don’t think I did anything that anybody else wouldn’t have done.
– Geeeeeezzzzz what a fucked-up world we are living in, I managed to say while burying my face in his jacket.
Two hours went by before the doctor came out. It was two very difficult hours not knowing if Luca would make it or not.
– Thanks to all of you he will make it, the doctor who came out of the operating room said.
– He is missing his left kidney, but he will be able to live with only one. He will recover and we will keep him here for a few days.
– He was delirious when he got here, because of an infection. He said one word right before we anesthetised him. He said “Angels”!
My eyes got wet. I know exactly what he meant. It was Celestine! She was there at the exact moment he would have died. And she helped him. She guided him back. We couldn’t have done it without her!
– Will you call Luca’s mother? I asked Dave.
If Goldie hadn’t worked all night on the intel and if Dad hadn’t arrived with his friends and if Goldie, Garcia, Rachel and Angel hadn’t flown the helo in advance and if that lightning hadn’t taken out the power and if we didn’t steal all those cars and if Celestine hadn’t told me about the star…
It could be pure luck. It could be destiny. It could also be because we are so God damn good at what we do…