The Ed Waller Stories: Book One - Algeria Here I Come

Chapter Eight: Ready, Aim, Fire

Brahim and I allowed sufficient time for Amir and Allie to leave, before we departed the room.  Hussein had the car waiting for us. Brahim looked at Hussein, "We need to go to the Police Station and file a missing persons report.  Please keep your eyes open for Allie."

I guess we started toward the police station.  We crossed a set of railroad tracks so Brahim made a turn and we were headed toward the garage again.  I was so lost that I was beginning to think that I was directionally impaired.

Brahim had no more than pulled into the garage than Kadeen and Salah were there waiting to take us to Inspector Khalid's house.  What a difference twenty four hours makes.  Kadeen was speaking in English, "You will be glad to know that Allie has totally corrupted my two sons.  Maybe I should report you for child abuse."

Brahim was getting concerned, "Kadeen, what did Allie do that was so bad?"

Kadeen was starting to laugh, "He had them actually fixing lunch and my wife didn't know what to think.  He told her, that they were old enough to fix their own lunch and clean up the mess that they made.  My wife is ready to adopt the young man.  He was absolutely no problem at all."

We arrived at Khalid's house.  Kadeen parked behind the house and we went in through the back door.  Khalid met us, "Sorry that you had to come in that way.  We have reason to believe that Amir and Allie might have been followed.  It appears that you four were undetected."

Khalid took us to the dining room and Amir, Allie and Mr. Kazan were already seated.  Khalid apologized, "We need to eat now because Operation Ready Aim Fire is going to take place as soon as it is dark."

As we were eating Khalid explained what was going to happen. "Brahim, I want you to go with Kadeen, Salah and Amir so that you can make sure the facility is secure.  The Army will surround the facility  at the appropriate time.  You are to make sure that all entrances to the facility are secured so that no one and I mean no one can escape."

"The Navy is going to secure the harbor area and the harbor patrol will be searching for anyone who tries to escape in the water.  Mr. Waller, Mr. Kazan, Allie and I will be on a harbor patrol boat.  Allie, I hope you have your sling shot with you.  I want you to shoot out the lights in the distribution area if you can to create confusion.  I don't want anyone to hear the sounds of gunshots.  I am hoping that this can be a bloodless arrest.  I hope that the bad guys have no idea of what is happening."

Mr. Kazan spoke, "Gentlemen, I am very pleased of how you have all performed.  Mr. Waller, I am especially pleased with the way that you, Brahim and Allie have acted during this entire situation.  I realize that you were assisted ably by some of Algeria's finest.  I commend all of you.  If things go as planned tonight, all of you who were involved will be well taken care of."

Allie leaned over to me and whispered, "Dad Ed, what did he just say?  It was like he was talking in circles."

I looked at Allie and shrugged my shoulders to indicate that I had no idea what Mr. Kazan was talking about.

As we finished dinner, Mr. Khalid accompanied Brahim, Amir, Kadeen and Salah to the door.  "We'll be at the distribution site in about half an hour.  When the lights on the dock start to go off,  throw the switch to indicate that there is an emergency and start the alarm that there is a fire."

As soon as the four men left, Mr. Khalid looked at the three remaining people, "Please be careful tonight.  We don't want any of you to be hurt.  These are not nice people and the Algerian government would be embarrassed if anything happened to the three of you."

That comment made my hair start to stand on end, "Are you saying that it is okay if something happens to Brahim, Amir, Kadeen and Salah?  Are they any less important than Allie, Mr. Kazan, and me?"

Mr. Khalid knew that he had misspoken, "Mr. Waller, if something should happen to you and Mr. Kazan, this would become an international incident.  If something happened to Alexander, the opposition party would be out in force demanding to know why the government would put a person his age in jeopardy."

Mr. Khalid looked at his watch, "Gentlemen, we need to go.  Everyone should be in place by the time we get to the pier."

Khalid was actually driving this time as we went to the Harbor Patrol facility.  Allie was sitting in front with him and they were talking in Arabic so I had no idea what they were saying and I'm guessing Mr. Kazan didn't either.

When we arrived at the Harbor Patrol facility we were met by the same officer, "Good evening gentlemen and Uncle.  The boat is ready for you.  All of our craft are ready to follow our lead."

Allie looked at Khalid, "Are you related to everyone?"

Khalid started to laugh, "Nah, I only have about ten living relatives.  This young man just happens to be my nephew."

Allie muttered, "You're lucky.  The only relative that I have is Brahim and Mr. Waller is trying to steal him away from me."

Mr. Khalid looked at the officer, "We need to get underway.  Allie, we'll discuss the fact that Mr. Waller is trying to steal both of you away from Algeria later.  We have work to do.  Get your sling shot ready."

We boarded the Harbor Patrol boat and the officer was giving orders to the person at the helm.  When we got to the refinery dock there were two ships and it appeared that there were eight or nine oil tank trucks and we couldn't determine how many railroad tanker cars that were being loaded or waiting to be loaded.

Inspector Khalid pointed at some lights that could detect our presence if we moved closer, "Allie, can you hit those lights and cause them to break.?  The bulbs aren't covered by a protective covering."

Allie reached in his pocket, "I'll try sir.  It would be better if we could get closer."

 The pilot let the boat drift closer and Allie let loose a shot and the first light went out causing sparks  to fly everywhere.  When he let the second shot go another light was out of commission.  He fired a third shot and when the third light went out alarms were sounding and the people were running around like little ants trying to figure out what was happening.

People started to climb the ladders from the Navy ships and they took control of the two ships that were being loaded, and the army had completely sealed the area so that the trucks and railcars couldn't move.  Khalid finally allowed us to climb the ladders so we could see what was happening. 

I was confronted by Mr. Stransky, "You son of a bitch, we'll take care of you.  You could have been cut into the money, but no, you have to be a goody two shoes.  There are going to be some people out to get you.  The Algerian government is nothing.  They are our pawns.  You will all rue the day that you interrupted this operation."

Khalid turned to Allie and me, "Guys, go back to the boat.  I'll join you as soon as I find Brahim and Amir.  I want to get you all out of here as soon as possible."

Mr. Kazan was leading the way as we climbed down the stairs,  I was pushing Allie in front of me.  "He looked up at me, "Dad Ed, why are you pushing me?"

"Allie, just go.  I don't want you to be hurt.  I caused this mess.  You didn't."

We had just gotten on the boat when there were several gunshots.  I instinctively fell to the deck.  Allie decided to stand at the front and watch what was going on because he was so enthralled with the activity.  There was another single gunshot and Allie reeled backwards.  I rushed toward him and he had blood all over him.  The young officer came and was assisting me trying to take care of Allie.  We finally got the blood to stop flowing from Allie's arm. 

Fortunately we were joined by Brahim, Amir and Khalid.  Khalid ordered that we get back to the Harbor Patrol compound as quickly as possible.  He was talking on the phone in Arabic and I couldn't understand what he was saying.  Brahim was pacing back and forth on the deck.  I was holding Allie in my arms.  He had passed out and all I could think was that he was dead,

He seemed to be breathing but it was a very shallow breathing.  I was getting concerned.  When we arrived at the harbor patrol pier, there was an ambulance waiting for us.  Only Brahim could go with Allie in the ambulance.  Khalid put a light on top of his car and we followed the ambulance to a hospital.  We met Brahim in the waiting room.  A young lady doctor came to us after we had been sitting there for almost an hour and a half.

"Mr. Allie Safi will be ready to leave in about an hour.  There will be no permanent damage from the gunshot other than a scar on his left arm.  He was very fortunate that none of the ligaments or bones were damaged.  He will probably be able to resume normal activities in  about two weeks.  Make sure he drinks a lot of fluids.  He will need to take these pain pills every six hours for several days.  I have given him a week's supply and here is a prescription for some additional ones if he needs them and a prescription for an antibiotic.  We gave him a tetanus shot to be safe."

Khalid visibly let out a sigh of relief, "Mr. Waller, as a result of the threats that Mr. Stransky made tonight.  I think you, Brahim, and Allie should spend the night at my residence.  We will somehow get your things from the suites without the opposition knowing what we are doing.  Please give Amir whatever he needs to get your personal things."

We were to find out that the hotel was evacuated because there was a fire alarm and all of our things mysteriously disappeared from the suites.

When Allie was released it was if he nothing had happened to him, "Guess what, they kept feeding me orange juice and put this thingy on my arm that was hooked to a machine.  It had some numbers on it, but I don't know what the numbers meant.  The doctor said that I shouldn't get my arm wet for 10 days so I guess I won't need to take a bath."

I took exception, "Excuse me, Mr. Allie Safi, if you are going to be living with me, then we will figure out how to make sure that you get a bath or a shower."

"Look Dad Ed, I already owe you one for pushing me earlier.  You better be careful, Algerians can be really mean when they feel like someone is picking on them."

When we arrived at Inspector Khalid's house, Amir was already there.  "It's nice to see you looking so well, Mr. Allie Safi.  I put your things in the room at the top of the steps.  Mr. Waller and Brahim, I put your things in the room adjacent to Allie's to the right."

Allie started to giggle, "I guess you put your things in Inspector Khalid's bedroom."

Brahim put his hand over Allie's mouth.  "Allie, that's none of our business."

Allie pulled Brahim's hand away with his good arm.  "Look Bra, I've had to sleep in the same room as Amir for several nights.  I've heard him talking in his sleep.  Someone needs to worry about him."

Khalid was laughing, "Well, what did Amir say in his sleep that was so interesting?"

"Inspector, I would be too embarrassed to tell you what he said.  Brahim would probably wash my mouth out with soap if I told you."  Allie continued, "Mr. Waller would be totally shocked."

Amir started toward Allie, "I'll get you for that."

Allie backed up, "Watch it Amir, remember I'm a cripple."

Khalid excused himself, "I need to make a couple of phone calls to see what is happening at the refinery.   Amir take Allie and get him something to drink.  Allie, you need to take your pain medicine or you're going to start hurting."

Khalid went into a room off the living room and closed the door, so Brahim and I followed Amir and Allie into the kitchen.  Amir fixed Allie some sort of drink that looked like an orange slushy like you would find in the United States.

It must have been good because Allie drank the entire drink and took his pain pill.  It was wasn't long before the events of the day began to catch up to him.  I picked him up.  "Come on, wonder boy, we need to get you to bed."

"Okay Dad, all of a sudden I'm very tired."

Amir led us to the bedroom and Brahim undressed Allie and helped him go to the bathroom.

He was out like a light and we returned to the first floor after Amir showed which room we would be sleeping in.

We were in the kitchen having some tea when Khalid came looking for us.  "The refinery is secure and the bad guys were not able to do any damage.  It seems that Stransky has been making a ton of money.  The two ships had paid the cash money for the products  directly to him.  They in turn sell the goods to other nations at a huge profit.  Stransky has been able to hide what he has been doing for approximately five years, but he has been getting greedier and greedier."

"It seems that there have been some government officials who have been involved with Stransky, so we think that you should remain out of sight as much as possible, especially you Mr. Waller.  Brahim, Mr. Kazan thinks it would be wise for you and Allie to also stay out of sight as much as possible.  Don't worry, you will still be paid."
"I have decided that it is probably best that you just stay here for the time being.  I'll have Amir stay here with you and you will still have the same protection that you had with people following you around the clock.  Kadeen and Salah are observing the house as we speak.  I suggest that we go to bed since, I have no idea what tomorrow might bring."

I poked Brahim, "I know when we've been told to disappear.  They want to go to their bedroom and play games.  We need to go check our bedroom to see if there are bugs in the room."

Brahim snickered, "So are you saying you want me to check for cockroaches or listening devices?"

Amir stifled a laugh, "Wait a minute, I think the two of you need to watch your 'P's' and 'Q's.'"

I shook my head, "We don't have any of them Q thingies.  Come on, Brahim, we need to sneak into the Inspector's bedroom and hide.  We might learn something new."

Brahim and I started up the steps, "Don't do anything we wouldn't do."

Editor's Notes:

It looks to me as if there was a bit of corruption removed in this chapter.  I sure hope Alli's arm heals up nicely.  He is a very lucky young man.  Those crooks would have just as soon killed him. I certainly hope everything will turn out all right.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher