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My Little Mystery Part 9

My Little Mystery Part 9

The group finds out who installed the camera. Now who are they and what is coming next?

The group dispatched for the camera and control retrieval was no ordinary paramilitary force. Instead, it consisted of highly trained thugs and thieves. They belonged to a company called 'Hooligans Ltd.' This company provided surveillance, protection, kidnapping, murder and mayhem for hire. The client paying for the services had very deep pockets and could afford anything that it needed. Right now things struck a bump in the road, but the dispatched team was the best available. Unfortunately for the team, it took almost two days to plan and execute the plan. They had thirty-six hours, before they were in place. This little delay caused a big concern for the client and the organization. Delays like this increased the risk of discovery and end the particular operation. No one wanted that to happen, this operation was too important. The company headquarters was in Duluth, Minnesota. The forces gathered at a small airport waiting to board a private jet to Long Island. The force comprised two thieves and two thugs. Three large crates of equipment accompanied the men. It was early morning before the plane was ready to depart. Daylight approached preventing the retrieval until it was dark again.

The day dawned brightly over Cal's home. The group awoke to smells of fresh baked pastry and bacon. They walked into the kitchen and found Natasha and Cal busy preparing a full breakfast. Everyone was famished and ate everything placed in front of them. After breakfast, Stefan fetched the camera and control he found the night before. They examined it carefully looking for ID numbers or part numbers, anything that made it traceable. Cal decided that the whole investigation team needed to examine this. He called them and they arrived minutes later. Eric, the leader and Erin his second in command recognized the device. It was a one of a kind available from a small company in Illinois. Eric located the serial number and batch number. Erin took the device apart taking the internal SD memory card out. It held 32Gb of data which was the last bit transmitted. She put the card in her laptop computer and examined what was there. It was a loop of the front of the estate. There was nothing unusual in the first few minutes, but a dark figure emerged from the background. He approached Mr. Wagner's car and placed a box under the driver's side. When he completed the task, he looked up at the camera and nodded. Erin paused the display and captured an image of the bomber. She brought up the image on the screen and logged into a web site to do a search for the identity of this man. The search started and everyone sat back as if to wait for the results.

Eric came back into the kitchen. He called the company that manufactured and sold the camera and control. It turned out the camera and control were part of a lot of one hundred devices sold to a distributor in Minnesota. Eric called the distributor and discovered the whole batch went to Hooligans Ltd. Eric had never heard of the company before, but the distributor pointed him to a web site for the company. Eric took his laptop and accessed the company's web site. He discovered what he suspected. Hooligans was not a company to be taken lightly. It had a long history of disrupting everything from environmental issues, to overthrowing governments. Part of it matched exactly what Cricket liked to do. No one in the current group knew about Cricket ’ s history. She overthrew a few governments in third world countries and took down some powerful organizations before Wolf ’ s Head Oil. Maybe one of them still held a grudge and wanted to get even.

Eric showed the group the web page for Hooligans Ltd. They stood there in awe of it. Hooligans Ltd resembled what the group did but on a more global and public scale. Cal spoke up first, “ Maybe we should contact this group and find out why they are watching this estate? ”

Eric countered, “ No, we need to do any inquiries covertly. We do not want to raise any alarms to tell them we are onto them yet. Let ’ s just let the sleeping dog lie. ”

“ I agree, ” intoned Cricket.

Natasha and Damon nodded in agreement. Stefan was unusually quiet, as it was his discovery. Eric continued to explore the web site looking for clues as to who ran the organization and how to contact them. The site was helpful to a point, but very cryptic as well. When he looked at the underlying code that ran the page it was void of clues too. As he scratched his head, Erin entered the room carrying her laptop. Her facial recognition software got a hit on the person from the surveillance footage. He was Joshua Logan, a local small time crook for hire. His history read like a petty thief who was not good at his job. He had been in and out of jail several times since his teens. None of the infractions were major, but he now put murder on his resume. It seemed that Hooligans subcontracted the bombing to Joshua.

Erin said to the group, “ it is time to pay Mr. Logan a visit. Eric and I will go to him. ”

“ No! I want a crack at this guy. ” Stefan strongly protested.

“ It is not advisable Stefan. ” Cricket warned. “ The last thing we want to do is advertise that we have discovered anything. We want Hooligans to come to us and try it again. We need to catch them in the act to force their hand. ”

“ OK! But I want a crack at these guys. They killed Mr. Wagner and may be responsible for Monica ’ s death too. I want revenge. ” Stefan growled.

“ I didn ’ t tell you the whole story of what the manufacturer of the camera and control unit told me this morning. Not only are these units remote controlled, they have a built-in self destruct mechanism which can be triggered remotely. It seems this one was not triggered because Stefan removed the battery pack. What that means is that Hooligans will be sending a team to recover this package. ” Eric injected. “ The team that is coming will have two components: one; a recovery team and two; a kill team. If they can ’ t recover the unit they will kill the people who are close to it and recover it afterward. The whole group is in danger. ”

“ We will be ready for them. I have built a small armory here of weapons to defend against such an incursion. ” Cal responded shocking the group as a whole.

“ When were you going to tell us about all this? ” Stefan asked.

“ I don ’ t like knowing, that there are guns and other things in the house here. ” Natasha cried. She remembered her first kill, which she hated.

Damon and Stefan looked at each other and smiled. They wanted to take up arms and defend the area. Cal saw their smiles and gave them a warning look to cool it. Cricket went to comfort Natasha, as she visibly shook.

Eric walked over to Erin and whispered to her, “ I don ’ t like how these people are reacting to this news. I think we need to get reinforcements down here to help out. Can you get the rest of the team here and set up for an incursion tonight? ”

Erin took out her secure phone and called the rest of the investigation team. The team packed up their equipment and within minutes arrived at Cal ’ s place. Cal had a small guest house where the team set up the lab equipment. He showed Eric, Erin Stefan and Damon the small armory. Eric checked it out and found it more than adequate for their needs. They had small arms, grenades, rifles and plenty of ammunition; enough to last a few days. The armory was complete, just what they needed. It showed that time and patience went into planning it. Eric felt confident now. Eric and Erin left the group to find Joshua Logan. He had an address in Amityville Long Island. “ That address sounds scary, ” chuckled Eric. Erin laughed. They got in Eric ’ s car and drove out of the estate slowly. Erin grabbed her cell phone, called the investigation team lead and advised him to put the team ’ s vehicles out of sight in the barn.

Eric drove the twenty miles to Joshua ’ s office. It was in a small storefront off Amityville ’ s main street. The lights were on which meant he was there. Eric parked down the street after cruising by checking for anyone watching the place. He and Erin walked up the street and entered the office. The radio played oldies as they looked around. It was non-descript and sloppy. There were a few seats in what appeared to be a waiting room flanked by an empty desk. The desk had a few file folders on it and pictures of a family and children. It was obviously a woman ’ s area from the decorations. A closed door was behind the desk, which Eric assumed was Joshua ’ s office. He knocked, but got no answer. Erin opened the door with Eric standing by with his gun drawn. A strong putrid odor emanated from behind the desk there. The office had papers strewn about. Eric walked up to the desk and peered over the top. There were two bodies lying on the floor, both shot in the head. It was Joshua and a woman. Eric assumed it was the woman whose desk was outside the office. They were dead. Eric and Erin quickly and quietly left the office and exited the building. It appeared that Hooligans struck there first. The recovery team was in town. Eric and Erin quickly drove back to Cal ’ s place. Everyone gathered to hear what happened with Joshua. When Eric told them Joshua was dead, a murmur ran through the group. It was time to get ready for a fight. Cal and Stefan stood up as if to go lock down the house.

“ It is premature to start locking things down and waiting. We need to plan for the upcoming onslaught and be ready to evacuate if need be. ” Eric said.

“ The women must leave and go to Cricket ’ s house. We can defend this place easier that way. ” Stefan said. “ we don ’ t want them hurt or captured. ”

“ No way am I leaving this house! ” Natasha cried. “ I am part of this now and I want to help. ”

“ Putting us in my house only adds to the level of protection we would need. ” Cricket said. “ If we stay together, then they will have a larger force to reckon with. We can beat this group. ”

“ It is agreed then, we stay together. Now let ’ s sit and plan how to defend this place and set up to take away the element of surprise. ” Cal added. “ We also need to plan an escape route and method if we need it. We have the two SUVs hidden in the barn that can be used to escape. We must leave the other cars to distract the intruders if they want to disable them. ”

“ It is agreed then that we have an escape plan. We now need to set up a defense and warning system for when they approach. ” Eric told them. Everyone smiled. “ We will watch for them to approach using infrared cameras that we have brought with us. We won ’ t need any lights outside. The moon is full now and that will be enough light. Erin and I will monitor the cameras on our computers. The rest of you will be in the bedrooms faking being asleep. The only approach to the estate is through the front gate so it is easy to catch them there. ”

Everyone grabbed a gun and some ammunition. Natasha sheepishly took a pistol. She was still not sure if she could kill another human being. She hoped she never will again. She sat at the table staring down at the gun placed in front of her. Damon came up and put his hands on her shoulders, bent and kissed her neck. She relaxed and turned her head to look up at him. She raised her arms, wrapped them around him and pulled him down to kiss her hard on her mouth. Her courage rose as she kissed Damon. Her resolve to see this through grew stronger. Now she stood, turned to hug and kiss Damon again. “ Get a room. ” Cricket said. Natasha and Damon laughed and sat down holding hands. Natasha was ready now. Damon was her rock. He sensed her needs and fulfilled her every wish and desire. They loved each other and wanted to stay together through this ordeal.

Cal and Natasha went back into the kitchen and started to prepare a meal for the crew. It was still daylight, so they knew it was safe to cook and eat. The recovery team only came in the dead of night. Instead of a big meal like they had at breakfast a small light meal would do. It was a salad and some cold chicken with bread and cheese. Everyone sat in silence eating. When Stefan dropped his knife, the tension drained from the room. Everyone relaxed. From that point on a lot of banter spewed forth. Jokes and stories permeated the air. Cricket and Erin cleared away the dishes. A huge pot of coffee stood on the stove hot for the night. Everyone got up from the table and moved slowly out of the kitchen looking around. It was just before 9:00 pm. The moon rose and bathed the area in its cold light. Eric and Erin took up their positions to wait for the recovery team.

Cal and Cricket went to her room, but stayed dressed, guns at the ready. They sat on the bed with Cricket laying across his lap looking at his chiseled features. She thought this is the man I love and want to marry. Her heart beat slowly as she relaxed in his company. He caressed her hair and held her hand. It was a lovely sight.

Natasha and Damon went to his room. Damon sat on the bed with his gun next to him. Natasha paced the floor in nervous anticipation of the night. Damon reached out and grabbed her as she went by. He pulled her down on top of him and wrapped her in his arms. She pushed away but not very strongly. Damon pulled her closer and she melted into him. He stroked her hair and caressed her face. As he caressed her she relaxed and fell into a soft easy sleep. This was what Damon wanted her to do. She needed to relax and rest for the night to come. Natasha pulled herself closer to Damon and fell into a deep sleep. She would be ready, when she woke up to fight.

The other technicians sat in one of the empty rooms talking easily and telling a few jokes. The talk was light and easy. No signs of nervousness existed there.

Stefan paced the house, checking windows and doors. He was nervous and wanted the excitement to start. He hated waiting. He was a man of action, preferring to be in the thick of a fight, rather than on the edge or waiting for it. As he walked, he noticed the specter following him. He turned and stopped. Monica stopped too.

“ What is it my love? ” Monica asked.

“ Can you help us by going outside and watching the road from the tree where the camera was found? When something happens come find me and tell me. That will help us with an early warning system. Remember darling, I still love you and want you to be with me forever. ” Stefan replied.

Monica shook her head, brushed his lips with hers and went out through the wall to the trees. Stefan followed her ascent and felt confident that she would not fail him. His steps around the house became lighter and he relaxed noticeably. He walked from room to room looking and checking out the windows.

Just after midnight Monica found him sitting in the kitchen with a cup of coffee. She brushed his hair with her hand sending a shiver up his back. “ There was a car coming down the road with its lights off and it stopped next door in the street. Four men dressed in black got out. They were heavily armed and wore night vision goggles. ” Monica reported. “ I will go back out there and follow them. You can see me and then you will know where they are. I love you Stefan. ” Stefan turned and mouthed the same back to her.

He got up from the table and found Eric and told him the news. Eric notified Erin. Stefan walked down to Cricket ’ s room and told Cal the news. He proceeded to Damon ’ s room and notified them too. He let the other technicians know. He returned back to Eric and reported that everyone had been told.

He saw Monica hovering over the team and pointed it out to Eric. Eric moved the camera to that area and saw them coming. Rather than split up, the team stayed together. There was safety in numbers, they thought. That was their first mistake. They went to the garage and disabled the cars; cutting off what they thought was the only means of escape. When they left the garage, Erin picked them up and watched. The team boldly walked to the house and picked the back door lock. They entered the house and proceeded to search each room. Eric and Erin followed them quietly from behind.

In the first bedroom Stefan, Cal and Cricket waited. The trio disarmed them and tied them up. The recovery failed. The team captured and subdued. Each member was isolated to a separate room for questioning. Not a shot was fired. It almost seemed too easy. Monica was nowhere to be found. Where was she? What happened to her? No one thought to ask Stefan. Something was wrong.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Cal Erickson, aka frogprince

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