Pike pulled Jimmy Swift to his feet and jammed the barrel of his pistol into the center of the larger man’s back.
“March,” Pike said. “I want to be out of hear before the Federales arrive.”
“Fat chance,” Swift said. It came out as Bat chance.
They climbed the steps to the resort. At the top, Jiminez’s man was standing, albeit weakly, and leaning against the railing.
“You’re alive,” Pike said.
“I’m a tough little wetback,” the man said in Harvard-accented English.
“Not so little,” Pike said. “What’s your name?”
“Smith? You’re kidding.”
“That’s what everybody says.” Smith pointed his gun at Swift. “Is this the bastardo who shot me?”
Smith lifted his pistol in preparation to strike it across Swift’s nose.
Swift covered his face with his hands. “Not the nose! Not the nose!”
“Later,” Pike said. “We have to get out of here. The police...”
“Won’t be a problem,” Smith said. The three of them walked through the resort, back to the lobby. Smith kept up pretty well for a man with a gunshot wound. Sirens were sounding as they started back, growing closer, and finally dying out. Law enforcement had arrived at the Imperial Laguna.
By the time the lobby came into sight, the sky was throbbing with red and blue lights. Many of the resort’s occupants were standing on their balconies or peering through their glass patio doors.
“So, is there another way out of here?” Pike said. “We could never slip past them, not with the way you look.” Smith’s shirt and jacket were stained with blood.
“You’re right. No one would believe such a handsome native would be hanging out with two such ugly gringos. But, really, it won’t be an issue.”
Two Federales, sub-machine guns hanging from their shoulders, crouched over the body of Jiminez’s other man. One of them looked up as Pike and the other two men approached. He whispered to his companion and pointed. Both officers stood and unlimbered their weapons.
“Stay here,” Smith said. His pistol stashed under his jacket, he walked toward the two Federales. One hand was raised in the air, the other held his side.
“This day sucks,” Swift said. Sucks came out as suds.
“Jimmy, if they arrest us, I swear to God I’m punching you in the nose again before they cuff me.”
Swift stayed quiet.
Smith returned to them. The two cops stood talking to each other.
“Come on,” Smith said. “We can leave.”
“How did that happen?”
“I’ll explain later.”
The three of them climbed the steps to the lobby, where more Federales stood. Most of them smoked cigarettes and ignored Pike, Smith and Swift. When they reached the parking lot, they found several Mexican Federal Police trucks and more officers smoking and trying not to pay attention to them.
Smith pulled a cell phone from his pocket. He spoke into it for maybe two seconds.
“The car is on the way,” he said.
“So how come we’re not on our way to jail?”
“Mr. Jiminez is very generous to many of our government institutions.”
“Right,” Pike said. “And what about your late friend in there?”
“Mr. Jiminez will pay for a nice funeral and supply his family with a healthy stipend.”
“What about me?” Swift said.
“We’re gong to have a nice conversation, Jimmy, and pretty damn soon,” Pike said.
“Let me talk to him,” Smith said. “I won’t take very long.”
“Easy, buddy,” Pike said. “I think you need a hospital first.”
As they spoke, a black van pulled up in front of the resort. Pike noticed it, primarily because it wasn’t their limo. It was probably the Mexican version of crime scene techs.
The van’s side door opened, and Pike saw a man dressed in a white jumpsuit. Yeah, a crime scene guy.
The man in white picked up a metal tube. The design looked familiar. The man placed it on his shoulder like a rocket launcher.
That was odd.
For a few seconds, nothing happened. Eventually, sparks flashed from the tip of the cylinder.
Pike knew why he recognized the design.
“Run,” he told the others. “Move your asses.”
He grabbed Swift’s arm and jogged for the topiary at the edge of the drive. Smith was close behind.
“Tell your cops to get out of the way,” Pike said.
Smith shouted something in Spanish. It was too late.
Black lightning roared from the cylinder, followed a dark shaft of light. The light sliced through three of the Federales, cutting them in half. The lower halves of their bodies stood for a moment, as if refusing to acknowledge the end. Then the body parts tumbled to the asphalt, spilling fluids and ropey loops of intestines to the hard surface.
The beam continued to the front of the Imperial Laguna, cutting a swath of destruction through the structure. The path of the black wave of death changed. It moved in the direction of Pike, Smith and Swift.
“You’re right,” Pike said to Swift.
“This day sucks.”
To Be Continued
© Mark Justice 2011