General Fiction posted May 19, 2024


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Tucker series ending.

Tucker (The Last Harrah Part-12)

by Ric Myworld


Tucker (The Last Harrah Part-12)

Tucker jumped in a cab minutes after El Mencho had left La Perla Restaurant. The taxi driver raced to catch up, sliding around the curvy cliffs, and arrived only seconds behind the entourage, but still too late to avert the massacre.  

 

Six guards stationed outside El Mencho’s La Cima Club home, and four inside: all dead by the time Tucker arrived.

Daniel Farnsworth’s snipers and cleanup crew had followed his exact instructions, against Tucker’s strict orders to stand down until further notice. Sizzling tension between Daniel and Tucker etched alarm on the exterminators’ faces.

“I know it’s a mess Tucker, and I apologize.” Daniel avoided eye contact and continued his explanation, “A branch broke beneath my guy in the tree and forced him to open fire.”

“Don’t give me that crock, Daniel.” Visibly disgusted, Tucker turned away, still mouthing, “You already had men in the house before anything happened outside. Don’t play me for stupid.”

Daniel Farnsworth knew it was senseless to keep explaining. Tucker’s mind was made up. “Look Tucker, you and I are just alike . . . we can’t stand to lose—”

“Farnsworth, I’m nothing like you.”

“Oh yes, we’re both win at all costs.” Daniel spun right up in Tucker’s face, pointing and snarling. “You protect your image with principles . . . but face it, you’re just like me.”

“Bodies aren’t expendable to me, Daniel. I have a conscience. Unlike you.” Tucker shoved Daniel out of his space. Daniel bristled and stiffened. Refusing to be bullied, Tucker shoved him again, harder, causing him to stumble and fall.

Glaring, Tucker stood over him, daring retaliation. Momentarily, Daniel considered the challenge, then scampered out of Tucker’s angered path.

“We aren’t anything alike, Farnsworth. I grew up sleeping on my grandmother’s couch in the den and left at 15 for a rollaway in a racetrack tack room. I scuffled to survive on bologna sandwiches and an occasional bowl of beans, Van Camp’s Beanee Weenees, cheese and crackers, or stale cereal, without milk.”

“I don’t want to hear your sob story, Tucker. You’ve done alright for yourself.”

“Yeah, guess I’ve done okay. But coming from the homerun derby’s grand-slam king, it doesn’t comparatively seem like much.”

“What do you mean by that, Tucker?”

“I’m just saying . . . unlike you, I wasn’t born rounding third base . . . playing with a golden bat and private instructors, a full-fledged staff waiting to wipe your snotty nose, and nurses to doctor scraped knees.

“And as you grew older—your athletic prowess was wasted on swindles, intimidation, and armed robbery—when you weren’t porking the maids.” Furious, and at a loss for words, Daniel sulked. A piercing daggered scowl gave witness to his fury.

Farnsworth’s deceitful eyes bored into his adversary’s inner most concerns. Menacing gestures offering no hint of Daniel’s own thoughts—sharp as a fillet knife—slice by slice, Tucker’s soul dissected without remorse or recrimination.  

The large warehouse behind El Mencho’s home seemed out of place. Nowhere in America would such a monstrosity be permitted in a luxury subdivision. Luckily, the eyesore was partially hidden in surrounding growth, all but the two roll-up doors.

Tucker eased over, snatched the digital code-box from the doorjamb, yanked out the wiring, and touched the brown and blue wires together with the terminal posts to complete the circuit. Immediately the door on the left raised. Then he repeated the previous steps on the righthand code-box.

Inside the storage building were twenty-four pallets, each wrapped in heavy plastic. Tightly bound $100 bills in $50,000 bundles. Each pallet holding 1,280 bundles or 64-million dollars. The 24-pallets of cash totaled $1,536,000,000.

Four 24-foot rental trucks pulled into the driveway, more evidence of Farnsworth’s premeditated slaughter.

The first two trucks backed up to the building, the forklift driver quickly loading twelve pallets or $768,000,000 per truck. Ten million $100-dollar-bills weigh over 10-tons, meaning there was over 7 ½-tons loaded onto each truck.

The second two trucks, which would be the first to leave, had been previously loaded with dummy pallets of bundled-paper-copies resembling currency. Unless examined closely,  perfect decoys of similar size and weight.

The distance between Acapulco, Mexico and the U. S. border is 999-miles, but the road distance is 2928.7 miles, taking approximately 19-hours to drive.

All four trucks pulled out and turned right at 10:37 pm, headed for Mexican Federal Highway 95D. The toll road a straight shot north to the United States border, then an additional two-hour drive to San Antonio, Texas. The two trucks loaded with fake/funny money continued up the highway. The trucks with palleted cash veered off the exit toward Acapulco International airport.

___________________

T. D. McCann and Tammy Jo had sped into Opa Locka (OPF) Airport just North of Hialeah Florida. An unseen dip launched the car airborne and, slamming to the asphalt it bounced and swerved, T. D. nearly losing control. Tires squealed, and metallic sparks danced from the dragging frame and muffler.

Parked just outside the hangar, a 19-passenger Gulfstream G600 sat running. T. D. and Tammy screeched to a stop, jumped out, and climbed the plane’s steps. Inside the cockpit to the left was pilot Johnny Fields, his co-pilot seated at the controls to his right.

Down the aisle, 12 soldiers sat with heavy weaponry and equipment stacked between them. An obvious answer for those having wondered if Black Op troops exist. They do, but only in deep secret, used by the CIA, and covert government operations.

Unbeknownst to Johnny’s passengers, per Tucker’s phone call and instructions, their flight plan was set for the 3-hour and 20-minute trip to Acapulco International Airport.

The attendant snapped the hatch shut, and before the arriving twosome could slip into their seats, the plane taxied for takeoff.

A sweeping, methodical turn onto the runway—a quick, interim stop—and no sooner than Johnny’s voice bellowed “buckle up . . .  it’s boogie time,” engines roared, and tremendous thrust sent the jet racing down the airstrip, vibrating, it rumbled and shook, tires thumping over every seam until it rocketed skyward.

The G600 cruises at speeds of Mach 0.85 to 0.90, which is 652 to 690 mph. Eastern Departure time: 9:18 pm. Two hours ahead of Acapulco time. Estimated arrival: 12:38 Eastern, or 10:38 pm on Mexico’s Central Standard time.

Touch down 10:27 pm, 11-minutes ahead of schedule, at Acapulco International. Johnny Fields wheeled the Gulfstream to an outside exit lane toward general, independent company facilities. Destination: Wallingford Aviation. Finally, nearly a mile off the beaten path, an arrow on a faded sign pointed to duel-hangars in their own fenced-off location.

Things were quiet. But knowing Tucker, Johnny didn’t expect the solitude to last. And as if right on cue, two Cadillac Escalades cruised up beside the inner hangar. Eight men got out and walked to the rear of the vehicles, and when they stepped back into view, they were loaded for battle.

Notorious Francisco N., labeled by authorities as the “great generator of violence.” El Mencho’s main general. He snapped and waved directions, signaling his men into position.

Tammy and T. D. aren’t likely to ever forget the sadistic monster—having been tied naked to spinning wheels and tortured back at the Universal warehouse in Orlando—humiliated forever.

T. D. eagle-eyed Francisco from the planes rear window, far from the aircraft stairs that Francisco’s eyes were locked onto.

There are many elements of war. Calculated strategies. The least considered: surprise. But it’s one of the most effective tools if managed properly. Most give credit to lopsided numbers and superior weaponry when seeking an unfair advantage; but tactical surprise often renders those assets defenseless.

Street fights don’t allow time for planning— quick thinking required. And every thought matters. Like every poet’s words. As Robert Frost once wrote: “Dancing is a vertical expression, of horizonal desire.” No wasted time or effort. People lacking character, fight to show worth. Minds perpetually strive for a single gleam of brilliance; mostly, churning muddy water.

The left-side window shades pulled closed upon landing. T. D. eased toward the cockpit and leaned over the stairs. No sooner than he saw Francisco stop watching and walk away, he swung his feet up on the handrail and slid down, picking up more speed than intended. He hit the ground with a thud, legs crumpling beneath him, but managed to rollover twice and come up on his feet running.

An aging drunk, 30-plus-years past his prime. T. D. sped faster than anyone could have imagined, showing glimpses of the Ohio State Heisman candidate of old.

He neared the dope peddler in a flash, the kingpin spinning about face. T. D. lowered his shoulder driving it into Francisco’s chest, snapping his neck forward on contact. T. D’s crushing 230-pounds slammed the back of Francisco’s head against the concrete, the sound resembling a neighbor’s Halloween pumpkin bursting into mush on the street. Blood puddled.

Curiously, none of the cartel soldiers were anywhere in sight. So, instantaneously the evacuation slide inflated. The Black Ops team slid two at a time, one group after another, the second and third pairs sandwiched Tammy Jo for protection. Not wanting to be trapped between the hangars, the soldiers stayed on the frontside, lookout-men peeping around the corners.

Inside the open left hangar, two forklifts loaded plastic-wrapped pallets into a Lockheed C-130 Hercules freighter, a four-engine turboprop. A Tronair tug’s towbar already connected to pull the plane out.

The soldiers waited. But once loaded, the tug groaned easing the plane forward. Against both walls, the Black Ops crew stealthily advanced to the back of the hangar. Within seconds an all-out war broke out. Massive gunfire. The battle over in minutes. Then, complete silence.

Another black Escalade crept up around the first storage unit. And from around the right side of the second, pulled a dilapidated, multi-colored cab.  The two vehicles stopped bumper to bumper. El Mencho stepped from the Cadillac. Tucker from the cab.

“El Mencho . . .” Tucker held his hands open, shoulder high. “I’m unarmed.”

“Then you are disadvantaged, el cabrón.” El Mencho raised a Sig Sauer 45-Nightmare. “Now, I’m in charge . . . as I should be.”

A deep guttural laugh echoed through the night as Farnsworth stepped up behind El Mencho and said, “Who’s in control now, pendejo?”

El Mencho whipped around. And instinctively, Farnsworth shot him three times, twice in the chest, and once in the forehead. The drug baron dropped like a sack of corn. And Farnsworth turned his attention to Tucker.  

“Well, Mr. Samuel Tucker, looks like it comes down to me and you.” Farnsworth laughed again, then fired two quick shots at Tucker’s feet. The second shot bounced off the concrete and grazed his left ankle. He flinched, but only slightly. “Oh, come on, Tucker, dance for me.” Farnsworth chuckled, finding himself amusing.

“What are your plans now, Farnsworth?”

“Well, since your boy T. D. has already killed Francisco N. And El Mencho is dead at my feet. I guess, I’m going to live happily-ever-after with all that beautiful money.”

“Daniel, you know I won’t let that happen.” Farnsworth grinned, shaking his head.

“What can you do, Tucker? You’re about to join the deceased . . . so, who’ll stop me.” Farnsworth pointed his pistol at Tucker’s chest, but before he could pull the trigger two shots rang out. Farnsworth turned, trying to see who had shot him, but Tammy Jo shot him twice more. He flopped face first in the roadway.

Tammy ran, throwing her arms around Tucker’s neck. T. D. and Johnny Fields climbed the steps to the C-130 Hercules and waved Tucker and Tammy to come on up.

Tucker thought long and hard, but this one time, principles be damned. The bureaucracy’s dirty work done, and without rightful living claimants to the money, he and his friends had earned every crisp new Benjamin.

The government had all they cared about— Farnsworth, the gangster—and both the cartel drug lords.

And since Tucker couldn’t leave the money to finance new, incoming drug-trafficking kingpins. He remembered a dirt runway that sat 273-feet to the rear of “The Castaway's Café and Bar,” next door to a hotel/restaurant once called “Gringo’s,” in Honduras.  Framed by majestic mountains—arched around a calm bay and beach paradise—last frequented by Oliver North during the Iran-contra affair, back in August of 1985. It seemed the perfect place to celebrate life and make new plans.

But one thing for sure . . . neither Tucker nor Tammy planned to spend every day and night for the rest of their lives trying not to remember the one person they could never forget. This was about to become closer to a fairy-tale ending than anything they’d ever dreamt possible.

____________________

 

Throughout the dense forest of life, we all struggle to find a stable path. Few things truly black or white, true, or not true, but rather, varied degrees of mixed.

Johnny Fields found solace back in Clewiston, Florida—same little house in the woods. His newfound wealth allowing for a better boat and more time to cast skirted-spoon baits and pork rinds into sawgrass, anticipating a monster Okeechobee black bass strike. Big ol’ juicy shiners make fishing easier, but Johnny thinks it’s cheating.

T. D. McCann’s worn-out pickup line “Hello, Betty” had finally caught the attention of an attractive waitress in Tupelo, Mississippi. He kicked the sauce and sobered up, first time in 30-years, having found a better way to spend his time.  

Tammy and Tucker packed their life experiences and emotional baggage into the same suitcases. Off to see the world . . . together!




Story of the Month contest entry

Recognized

#1
May
2024


The cartel and characters I used throughout this story are real and second only to the Sinaloa Cartel. The most prominent threat and acting gang based in the Mexican resort city of Acapulco, Guerrero, and its surrounding territories, is the La Barredora ("The Sweeper Truck").
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© Copyright 2024. Ric Myworld All rights reserved.
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