Venice Beach, California
Agent John Arrowhawk is growing impatient, for good reason. He’s sitting alone at a wire-framed table covered by an umbrella shade waiting for arms dealer, Derrick “D-Tech” Sylvester. What kind of silly nickname is D-Tech, anyway? Arrowhawk wonders as he checks his watch. The arms dealer is more than thirty minutes behind schedule, and Arrowhawk fears that the deal may have already fallen through before it’s begun.
Sylvester supplies weapons to many in Southern California’s criminal underworld. He also has ties to many South and Central American drug lords. Posing as a rising cocaine trafficker in the L.A. underworld, Arrowhawk has arranged a buy with Sylvester. He’s been working on this meeting for weeks, with hopes of not only arresting Sylvester, but also obtaining his client list. Arrowhawk taps his earpiece.
“He’s got cold feet, the deal’s off-”
His field leader interrupts. “Hold it, we got him on surveil, he’s heading right for you.”
At that moment, a thin man with a close-cropped hair, and dressed in an Armani suit, arrives at Arrowhawk’s table. His appearance comes off more like a GQ cover model than an arms dealer. The well-dressed man pulls up a chair across from Arrowhawk.
“You got the money?” he asks calmly.
“No money till I see the merchandise,” Arrowhawk answers.
Sylvester nods and the two get up from their outdoor table and head inside the café. The pair walk past the various café patrons and into a side room just across from the kitchen. In the room are an oval wooden table and three chairs.
Sylvester places a two large metallic suitcases side by side on the table and opens them. Within the foam-lined cases lies an assortment of weaponry, including two Glock-36s, one Walther 9mm submachine gun, and an Uzi.
“This is just a sample,” Sylvester says. “I’ll take you to the rest once I see the cash.”
Arrowhawk looks at the weapons and then at Sylvester. He presses a button on his wristwatch. “Thanks, but that’s all I needed to see.”
The door is kicked open, and suddenly, Sylvester is accosted by a slew of café patrons. Unknown to Sylvester, most of the café patrons are in fact undercover agents. He slips his right arm free to grab the Glock from one of the suitcases. Arrowhawk closes the lid of the second suitcase and bats the gun out of Sylvester’s hand with it. He’s then slammed to the ground face-first with his arms pulled behind his back.
“You set me up!” a bewildered Sylvester blurts.
“Way to state the obvious, Tech,” Arrowhawk replies.
“I’ll get you! You ain’t seen the last of me!”
“‘You ain’t seen the last of me.’” Arrowhawk mocks. “Do you know how utterly unoriginal that sounds? You sound like a perp from a bad cop drama. Let’s be honest, you’re just mad ‘cause you got caught.”
He slaps Sylvester on the back of the head as he’s lifted off the ground by one of the agents.
“You gotta be slick, my man.”
Arrowhawk motions to the agent. “Get him out of here. I want him in interrogation within the next half hour. Also, make sure we get a team to the industrial park to recover the rest of his caché.”
“Right away sir,” the agent says. “But, I’m just curious, why didn’t you just zap him when he pulled the gun on you?”
“Because it would’ve been too dangerous in close quarters like this. I can’t risk one of our guys getting hurt.” As he turns to walk away, one of his colleagues pulls him aside.
“Samuels is on the line for you, John.”
He takes the cell phone. “Arrowhawk.”
L.A. office Special Agent in Charge Kevin Samuels comes on the line. Arrowhawk worked briefly under Samuels as his ASAC, but stepped down shortly after the Kerrington affair. The two still maintain a fun yet professional relationship.
“How did it go?”
Arrowhawk responds in his own slightly satirical way.
“As well as it could have. Some of these arms dealers aren’t that bright. They wouldn’t recognize a sting operation if it ran up and bit them in the crotch.”
“You know, I really could’ve done without that mental image, John.”
“Anyway, make sure you write up your field report before your hot-shot press conference.”
“The Vigil thing?”
“What time was it again?”
“Do I look like your secretary?”
“No, sir, but you are one of the most informed and astute people I know,” Arrowhawk responds.
“Enough with the brown-nosing. It’s at two o’clock, east coast time.”
All characters are trademark and copyright Paa-Kofi Obeng