I went back to my office to get some work done before getting ready for my date. It sounds silly, but I am almost giddy about going on a real date with the Captain. The heat from the furnace is inviting as I sit at my desk and go over the details of the case.
There must be some link to all the recent chaos. Why did One-Hand-Willy just now show up? Where has he been? Where the hells are the rest of the people that were in the home? The most irritating question still nagged at me: Who the hells blew up my condo? Someone owed me for all the damages. They blew up some of my favorite shoes. Someone will pay for the Italian leather boots and Prada pumps. And don’t get me started on the clothes and purses that were ruined. I want to find the asshole and beat the crap out of him.
The phone rings, interrupting my internal rant about my ruined girly stuff, and I look at the caller ID to see if I even want to bother answering it.
“Captain Renard, our date isn’t for hours. Is everything okay?”
“Yes, and no. We may have to reschedule our date. We got a positive ID on the victim’s dental scans. His name is Raphael Rollins. He is linked in the system to the Consweighas.”
The name hits me hard. “As in the Consweigha Cartel? The drug and human trafficking ring?”
“The one and same.” His voice sounds grim. I understand why.
“Okay, thanks for keeping me in the loop. Let me know if you find anything else out.”
“I will, and you do the same, okay?”
He sounds like he suspects that I know something I’m not telling him, and he’s right. I know one of the sons in the cartel. I have had dealings with him in the past. I am not ready to share the information yet, though. I hang up the phone after a quick goodbye. I need to find out where Julio Consweighas is and get to him before the locals, or the feds, do.
After extensive research and interrogating a few personal CI’s, I trace ol’ Julio to a house in the southern part of the county. I approach the home silently with my .45mm drawn and ready. I don’t want to shoot anyone, but I will if I must. Everything is quiet. If he is here, he isn’t broadcasting it. Swiftly, I go around the back of the property, avoiding any cameras. He is careful, but not careful enough. There is a security system, but it’s not hard to hack. I have more than my fair share of toys from my time with the FBI. They come in handy in times like these.
The light on the security scan clicks green, and I enter the dwelling. Fifty feet from the back door is an armed guard. I silently take him down and drag his body into a nearby closet. I handle three more armed guards the same way and continue to clear the home. Julio isn’t on the first, or second floors. That just leaves the basement. What is it with bad guys doing their nefarious deeds in basements?
I open the door and scan the stairs, then silently descend. Finding the first room clear, I peer around the corner to the second room. There is Julio with two armed guards, a huge pile of money, and a money counter. I can also see an assortment of illegal drugs. I know that if I make my presence known, they will shoot me. I am not in the mood to get shot today. I have too much to do and don’t have the time to sit and heal.
Quickly I pop off two precise shots and take out both of his guards. My silencer muffles the sound, so the outside world is none the wiser. Julio immediately grabs his gun and goes for cover.
“There is nowhere to run Julio, and no one to save you,” I yell out to him.
“Then come and get me, bitch!”
“You kiss your momma with that mouth?” I yell back.
“You keep mi Mama out of your mouth.”
Good, I hit a nerve. If you piss them off, they are more likely to make a mistake. “Ah, aren’t you just the badass? Gonna get your ass kicked by a woman.”
“We both know you aren’t no woman, bitch.”
“Your Spanglish hurts. It would probably hurt more if you were not such a pussy, hiding behind your gun.”
“Put yours down, and I’ll show you what a real man can do.”
He puts his gun down and comes out—cocky little fuck. I holster mine and shift into the open.
“Oh, I hope you are ready because you fucked up a good day for me.”
He charges at me, and I easily avoid the blow. When I was younger, my father taught me that brawn is great, but if you don’t have the brains to back it up, you are in for a real ass whooping. It’s a lesson that I am going to teach Julio today. He turns and rushes me again with a scream.
I sidestep and even kick him in the ass as he rushes by. “I can do this all day. Are you going to keep running by, or hit me? This isn’t tag. Of course, to play you would have to touch me first.”
He screams again. Good, I have him nice and pissed off. This time when he rushes me, I swing and plant a good blow to his head. If it surprises him, you can’t tell. The punch knocks him out cold. He falls and hits the floor with a loud thud. That should keep him out for a while. I walk over and nudge him with my foot just to make sure. Yep, he is out.
“Good night, asshole, I hope that you have terrible dreams”. Yeah, I am trash-talking someone unconscious, but hey, no goddess is perfect.
I pick him up and hoist him over my shoulder, carrying him out like a sack of potatoes. For a mortal, he would have been heavy, but for a goddess, he is nothing. I know exactly where I want to take him. I have a place that I keep just in case I need to be under the radar. I stuff him in the trunk and leave. He should be out for a while.
I arrive at my safe house and turn off my phone. I don’t want any interruptions during this part. As I open my trunk, Julio tries to jump out at me. Little fucker recovered sooner than I expected.
One well-aimed punch remedies that, and he falls back into the trunk. If he were smart, he would have kicked out a taillight and tried to alert traffic of his situation. If I am ever locked in a trunk, that’s what I will do. It’s hard to ignore a waving hand sticking out of a busted taillight. Thankfully ol’ Julio isn’t that bright. He just waited, thinking he would get the drop on me.
I bend down and pick him up, for the second time in as many hours, and carry him into my personal interrogation room. I slump him into the chair and cuff his hands. Once he is secured, I leave the room and lock it behind me. Even if by some earthly miracle he wakes up and escapes his cuffs, he isn’t getting out of that room. I built it myself. It could double as a bomb shelter. He is stuck until I deem otherwise.
I stretch as I walk over to the full kitchen. I make sure that all my places have a full kitchen, bathrooms, a bedroom, and all the clothes and toiletries that I would need if I were stranded for two weeks. Some say I am paranoid; others say I am a preppers wet dream…I just say that I am prepared for anything life can throw at me.
I start a pot of coffee and pop a couple of hot pockets into the microwave. Then I shower to remove any sweat and dirt from the night, and put on clean clothes. Once I am finished, I clean my dishes and get ready to greet my guest.
Before I enter the room, I watch Julio from the two-way mirror. It’s completely impenetrable. Shy of a rocket launcher, he isn’t getting through it.
Julio is awake and struggling with his restraints. He looks scared. Good. I hope by the time this is over he is terrified, as terrified as his victims. I walk into the room with a smile. This is going to be fun. I worry for a moment what that says about me. I’ll have to worry about it later. Right now, I have work to do.
The interrogation room is silent as Julio sits motionless. He thinks he knows what is coming. He has no idea.
I walk in, as cool and calm as a psychopath disposing of his kill. Julio watches my every move, eyes tracking me. The room is so quiet I can hear him breathing.
What comes next is something that I excel at, and have even come to enjoy. The compassionate goddess that I once was, vanishes, leaving only determination and adrenalin. I carefully unbutton my suit jacket and fold it over the first chair. I don’t need to do it, but it has a nice effect. The room looks like any standard interrogation room with wooden chairs and a metal table. I find that it gives the bad guys a false sense of security. The one big difference is that in my interrogation room, I make the rules. The table is all that stands between him and me. I wondered if it makes him feel safer. It won’t do him any good.
I am still wearing my shoulder holster and .45mm handgun. I would be required to remove it in a typical interrogation. They are worried about the perp gaining control of the weapon and using it. I don’t have such reservations.
“Good morning, sleeping bastard,” I say with a wicked smile. He isn’t sweating yet, but he will.
“What am I doing here, bitch? I want my lawyer!” he says calmly.
I laugh at him. A full-throated laugh, and I let the amusement show on my face.
“What are you laughing at? Where is my lawyer? I know my rights. I got a phone call!”
His voice shows some anger. Good. I stare at him as I unbutton my long sleeves and roll them up to my elbows. I am wearing wrist sheaths complete with double-edged throwing knives. I admit that I feel naked without my guns and knives. Usually, I have a small arsenal of assorted weapons strapped to me. It’s comforting.
The last interrogation that I was in, I had to remove all my weapons. I then had to promise that it was all of them. Honestly, I had to stifle a small laugh as they all looked at the pile of weapons on the table. It’s my little magic trick—nothing to see here, folks.
“Hey, you can’t have those in here!” he yells as he sees them.
The gun didn’t faze him, but seeing the knives meant that the rules were out the window. “Who ordered my condo to be blown up, and where is the missing family from Harrisburg?” I ask calmly without even looking at him.
“I don’t know what you are talking about, Chica. Chinga tu Madre!” he yells at me.
“Oh, I am sure you know a whole lot. I am going to get the information from you estas pero si bien pendejo.” The first look of fear crosses his face but quickly changes to anger. “I want my lawyer. You can’t touch me, puta!” He spits at me.
“Spit again, and I’ll cut your fucking tongue out, puto.”
“Suck mi cojones! Lawyer! LAWYER!” he starts to yell.
Apparently, he isn’t taking me seriously. My only response is another full-throated laugh. I let the humor of his ignorance show in my eyes before allowing rage to fill them. “Oh, you’re an ignorant little shit. Do you think you are in a mortal interrogation? You are with the Gods now. You get nothing. You will be lucky if I don’t crush every bone in your body while I’m extracting the information I need.” I let the smile curve my lips. His fear and distress become evident as he starts to sweat.
“So, Julio, we can do this one of two ways.” I pause before continuing, “Either you can tell me what I need to know, or I extract it from you. You can try and resist if you are stupid, but I think you are smarter than that. You’re not stupid, are you, Julio?” His hands start to tremble slightly. “You’re afraid, that’s good. It means you know how this can go. Who rigged my house to blow? What happened to the family in Harrisburg? Are they connected? What does all this have to do with me?”
He looks at me and musters some courage. It’s a lie, though, he cannot completely mask his fear. “I have no idea what you are talking about. LAWYER!” He draws out every syllable of lawyer, to make a greater impact.
I stand up and slam my hands on the table. The sound vibrates through the room, echoing and bouncing off the walls. My hands sink into the metal, and the table makes a groaning sound as it threatens to buckle.
“I ain’t telling you nothing. You don’t know what will happen if I talk. He will kill me!”
“I will kill you if you don’t talk!” I shout at him.
He jumps and starts yelling, “Someone help me, this bitch is crazy! She is going to kill me! You can’t let her do this! It ain’t legal! HELP! HELP! HELP!”
I laugh again and throw the table. I only need to take a couple of steps to close the distance between us. Grabbing him by the collar of his shirt, I slam him against the wall. The chair falls apart from the force, leaving him dangling from my grip.
“No one is going to help you. Now tell me what I want to know.”
“Okay, okay, okay, I’ll tell you anything, just please don’t kill me,” he whimpers.
I drop him to the floor where he falls into a slump. I walk over to my chair and kick it over to him. “Get up and sit your ass in the chair,” I tell him coldly. I have no sympathy for scum like him.
Slowly he gets up and sits in the chair. His eyes are wide and showing too much white. He never takes them off me as I smooth my clothes.
“Ready to talk, or shall I make you bleed first? For instance, did you know that the body’s most sensitive areas are the fingertips? That’s why acupuncturists never put the needles there. If I were to drive wooden spikes through them, you would be in unimaginable pain.”
“Please, no, no, I’ll tell you anything.”
“Good, now we are getting somewhere. Now, answer my questions.”
“Si, I’ll tell you anything. The family was taken. Most of the blood was from the father. Si. He tried to put up a fight. The wife and ninas were taken. They are to be sold.”
“What does this have to do with me? Why try and kill me? I mean, it won’t happen, armies have tried and failed.”
He swallows audibly. “Because we know what you are, Chica. You are a danger to our operation, and mi familia know the only way to continue is if you are dead.”
“What do you mean? What am I? Because I work with the FBI and am a Private Investigator?” Not everyone knows that I am a goddess, although it is not something that I try to hide. Typically, I don’t care who knows. It only helps my reputation and keeps people from interfering with my affairs. If the cartel knew and decided to put a price on my head, let’s say that life would get a lot more interesting if I didn’t do something about it.
“No, Chica, we know that you are the Athena. We know that you are the daughter of Zeus. You are a goddess.”
Well then, there goes that. “You said that the woman and children are going to be sold? Sold where?”
“I don’t know, I swear. All I know is that a big meeting is going down tomorrow, I can give you the address, but that’s all I know. I swear por favor no me mates.”
“I’m not going to kill you. You hijo de puta.” I figured I would put it in words that he could understand.
He broke out in tears, sobbing wildly. I have broken him… good.
“Buenas noches, puto,” I tell him as I punch him in the face.
He immediately slumps over and falls out of his chair. He hits the ground hard. Sure, I could have stopped him, caught him, so he didn’t hit the floor, but I don’t. He doesn’t deserve it. I pick him up and exit the room. It doesn’t take long to stuff him back into my trunk and drive him back to his house.
Once he is cuffed and bound, I call in an anonymous tip to my contacts in the FBI. I am sure they would love to arrest him and his surviving buddies. Of course, seizing all the drugs, weapons, and cash, will be the final nails in his coffin. I leave the scene and go home. I have to get ready for my date.