The Chimera Within

Chapter 32

Tom and Elias returned to Eduardo's house to assist Miguel and his men in their search for clues. To everyone's frustration, Eduardo was continuing to stay one step ahead of them by means of his connections to corrupt police officers who had been bribed to protect him.

Yet upon their arrival, Miguel seemed to be in a positive mood. "How goes it, Rooster?" asked Elias.

"Not bad, tío. We've found more than five million in ransom money, along with a surgical knife. Might be useful."

"Yeah, but have you found anything that will help us find him?" asked Tom.

Miguel was shaking his head as a 'no,' when the house phone rang. Miguel picked it up. "¿Bueno?"

"How is my family?" asked the agitated voice on the other end.

"Man, who is this I am talking to? Could this be the great Eduardo 'Lobo?'"

"You know who this is. Tell me about my family!"

"They're fine. They're in our custody. Why don't you come see for yourself?"

Tom stepped closer to Rooster and tried to whisper suggestions as to what to say. "Tell him …" Miguel waved Tom back, but he insisted. "Tell him: we missed him here at the party…"

"Tell you what, viejo," Miguel said, "I'm going to pass the phone to my friend here."

Tom took the phone. "Eduardo. Yeah we missed you here at our little party. I guess we scared you off by our superior organization. We tend to have an intimidating effect on people."

"You think I'm scared of you, gringo?"

"Yes. Prove to me that you're not. Come and talk to us right now."

Tom listened to the passing moments of silence, followed by infuriated laughter. "You think you're pretty smart, eh? Why don't you show me that you're as smart as you think. Accept my deal; I'll give you ten million dollars if you release my family."

"You see, I don't think you're getting it, Eduardo. We're all trying to make a name for ourselves, and making a deal like that with you won't win me any respect. No, we want a face-to-face. So if you want your family back, then quit being a pollito and come and get them yourself."

"You're going to regret this, you stupid Americans! I am going to kill all of you!" Eduardo screamed, loud enough that Elias and Miguel could hear.

"Yeah, whatever," interjected Elias into the conversation. He spoke up into the receiver. "Tell Eduardo, that candy-ass from jerkwater, that this is the deal: He can turn himself in, or we are going to kill his family. That's it, take it or leave it."

Tom raised his eyebrows, and sighed. This negotiation was getting out of control. It's true that he was trying to provoke the ire of Eduardo, but threatening to kill the man's family was over the line, even for him. Not withstanding, it certainly had the desired effect.

Eduardo was really starting to lose it, although the angrier he got, the more controlled his voice became. "I know that you bastards shot my son. You shouldn't have done that."

"Well that can happen when their father's a coward and he abandons his children to suffer for his sins."

"No. You listen to me, you little turd. You are the cowards. Shooting my son was a cowardly act and you will hear from me very soon." *Click*

"Well he hung up," said Tom to the others.

"What was that about?" asked Miguel.

"I was trying to make him angry."

"Well I think it worked."

"The idea is, if we can goad him into a rage, then hopefully he'll make a mistake and we'll be there to catch him. Now we should call up Lydia."

"The lady journalist? Why do you want to talk to her for?"

"Hey. Nobody knows the cartels, the gangs, or how this country functions politically better than her. Plus, we need her to do us a favour."

"What's that?"

Tom held up a document that he had taken from Eduardo's bedroom that had his photo, along with the name Eduardo Norori. "We release his true identity to the press, and Lydia can use her influence to make sure that all the media outlets in Mexico publish his face. Just when he thought his business was getting trickier, we'll make it impossible for him to cut a fart without us hearing about it."

Tom laid out their plan to Lydia, and was waiting on her opinion.

"So based on the information that you got out of the gangsters from the house, we know of seven of his safe houses, and you have to be able hit them all at the same time."

"Yes Lydia, that is correct. What do you think?"

"For this to work, you are going to need more help. You should call the policía federal, la policía Judicial del Estado de México y del Distrito Federal. Also, it would be good to involve the Centro de Investigación and CISEN to assist with the detention of Eduardo."

"Whoa," cut in Miguel. "Let's just wait a moment. How will it be possible for all these agents from the different institutions to work together, let alone work with us."

Lydia tossed her pen on the desk where she was sitting. "Mire. You asked how you could invade all of 'Los Lobos' bases at the same time, and this is the answer. The authorities are under a huge amount of pressure to capture this band of kidnappers, and especially the head: Eduardo. Even Presidente Peña Nieto caved into the pressure and gave a direct command that 'Eduardo must be captured by any means necessary.' So, the authorities are going to work together, even if that means allowing the participation of the grupos auto-defensas."

Miguel looked to Tom. "And thinking of the situation, how do you feel about having a bunch of government agents right amongst us?"

Tom paused a moment to think. Glancing at Elias he replied, "If the police are half as bad with communicating amongst themselves as you've said, then I'm sure we'll be able to come up with a plan when it is necessary."

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