Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Twenty Four

In spite of the late hour, Harley was anxious to meet with them. "That's good information you got," he told the girls, "But it's almost too late to be of use. It's after midnight and you're talking about an early morning assassination when you don't even have a location."

"So?" Diana looked at Will and Coyote. "We can scout it tonight."

"In the dark?"

"There's a moon."

"And do you have a plan for dispatching Strecker’s guards?"

"We kind of thought you or Alexander would know what we should do,” Diana said.

"Maybe we could use Ellie Mae and her girls,” Will suggested. “They owe us a favor. And they have as much an interest as we do in seeing Strecker doesn't live long enough to disrupt the conference."

Harley sat back, smiling slowly. "Tell me more. Where will you station them, and with what orders?"

Will considered. "It will depend on where we decide to kill Strecker, of course. But our most likely spot would be on the plaza because there’s plenty of buildings. Secondary would be somewhere along the road, if we can find good cover. The cemetery will probably be out of the question because there's not likely to be enough places to hide."

"How many guards will be with Strecker? And if they're not all with him, how will we find the rest so they don't make trouble?"

Will had been feeling pleased with himself, but now his face fell and he looked at Diana.

“He’ll have at least three,” Diana said, “Since the guys we talked to tonight were all going.”

“Actually, it will be at least four,” Macy added. “Enrique says Strecker has a thing for even numbers."

“We can handle four,” Will said. “We’ll have cover and they won’t.”

Harley sighed and shook his head. “You’re speculating. None of you has told me anything that gives me confidence that you won’t end up being ambushed, yourselves. I can’t allow—

“But it will be four," Coyote said. "Send a group to the Aguila Dorada hotel around noon. Tell them to kill the workmen in the ballroom—that’s where the rest of Strecker’s guards will be, disguised as ordinary workers and placing explosives ahead of the conference."

“How do you know this?” Will asked.

“I don’t know.” He shrugged and looked away.

“Makes me wonder why we bother going spying, if we’ve got you,” Diana said. "What else do they say?”

"Nothing." He looked at Diana in bewilderment. “Nothing important.”

“I'll ask Ellie Mae to send some of her people to the Aguila Dorada, then,” Will said. “We can send Boeing and Dell to check Strecker's room, in case he’s in the habit of leaving someone there. That’ll just leave us to handle Strecker and his guards on the cemetery road, and it should be no problem."

"You’ve gone from guessing to trusting someone who hears voices in his head," Harley pointed out. "This is no way to earn your own command."

“Well, I don’t see where we’ve got any other options. It’s not like you haven’t listened to him, too.”

"I know,” Harley said. “Since time is running out, I suppose it’s worth chancing as long as we take reasonable precautions. Sending a few people to the Aguila Dorada won’t hurt, even if it doesn’t help, and I like your idea of asking Ellie Mae to give you a few of her girls for backup on the sniper mission. Maybe Jane and a couple of her friends would like to do it."

Will nodded. "So you think our plan will work?"

"I’d rather you were acting on concrete information, but it's as good as anything I could've come up with under the circumstances. I'll go with you tonight to scout for your sniper's perch. Leave Diana here to rest."

"I don't need—

"Diana." Harley gave her a serious look. "Babies sap a lot of a woman's energy, and you'll need a steady hand tomorrow. Go to bed. And drink plenty of water. I can smell the gin on you from here."

1 comment:

Alice Audrey said...

If they end up in a shoot out tonight, it could ruin their plans for tomorrow. Not to mention being dangerous and all.