It was well after 1:00 AM when I reached the Cooper Motel. Our room was untouched. Thankfully, law enforcement had not yet gotten too far along in their investigation. I pulled out the money Grant and I had stashed away and began stuffing it in a duffle bag. We hadn’t brought any heavy guns, so a magnum was all I had to rely on. It would have to do until I reached Switzerland. Maybe then I wouldn’t have to worry about guns at all. I found several fake passports and stowed them in the bag. I saw my cell phone light up underneath the white cotton of the bedsheets. The number was withheld.
There was silence for a few seconds. I almost spoke again before it was broken by a vaguely familiar voice.
My eyes widened. I took the phone from my ear and looked again at the screen.
“Really? This isn’t a good time... but then again, maybe he could help me.”
I let my thoughts coalesce for a moment before grabbing the duffle bag and throwing it over my back. I took the battery out of my phone and threw it away. Such was the protocol for meetings such as these.
I will see you soon, my old friend.
Sam gave the phone back to Su Jin, who was still wearing his plastic cat’s grin.
“And what does ‘sixty-seven’ mean, hm? Some kind of code for trouble? You know I could take the lives of your children and wife easily if I so desired.”
Sam maintained a stoic expression.
“For a bloke who has everything under control, you seem a bit paranoid, Shaman. Not to worry. It’s simply code for meeting up and discussing possible future operations. He’ll suspect nothing. What is it you want with Victor, anyway?”
“As I said before, Sammy, it is much easier to deal with an enemy when you have access to all his moving parts. Tell me, what do you know about the Cordaro family business?”
“Not much, except that it’s a fairly high-profile weapons distributor.”
Su Jin chuckled, “Surely you know more than that, Sammy. After all, you did help them out of that mess several years ago by taking the police off their tail. You’re good at covering your tracks, and the Cordaro’s trust you.”
Sam only stared blankly at the slim Asian man.
How on earth does he know so much? He’s certainly done his homework on the Cordaro’s.
“I’ll cut to the chase, Sammy. I need weapons. Lots of them. Our client practically hired out the entire Korean mafia to smuggle as many weapons as possible into China, close to the North Korean border. From there, we were not told where the weapons will go, but that is none of my concern. We will be making a fortune if we are successful.”
Sam scowled, “So you’ve decided to stage a coup at one of the largest weapons companies in the world? Why not just intercept the shipments?”
“Intercepting shipments across national borders is risky, especially outside of our usual area of operations. Plus, we would have to intercept at least twenty shipments to reach our quota. We decided to go directly for the source, and things would be going quite smoothly right now if it weren’t for those damned Cordaro brothers.”
“What’d they do?”
The Shaman breathed in annoyance, “The point is, you are not my target in this operation. Once this is over, I will let you go, and we will go our separate ways. Understood?”
“Sure,” grunted Sam.
“Good. Now, where is it that we will be meeting young Victor?”