Introduction: In a sense there is a connection to this story and several other non-magic stories I’ve written. Two characters from Mike and Ashley show up briefly. They would be Mike and Ashley. This story, Like “Mike and Ashley”, “Discovery”, and “Cynthia and the Queen of Knight” takes its storyline from the work of someone else. In this case, a production by an Italian fellow named Joseph Green. The story is 16 chapters in length plus an epilogue. I’ve done as much tweaking as I can. Any errors are mine and I will gladly accept constructive criticism; as long as you’re nice.
Costa is celebrating cornering the market on most of the Western Hemisphere drug trade. All the biggest players are there and Costa sees to it that they properly feted. The parts for the generator arrive, and inside there is a bit extra.
This work is copyrighted by the author and any publication or distribution without the written consent of the author is strictly prohibited. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of the characters to persons living or dead is coincidental.
The dinner was Italian from start to finish. Fortunately, Marietta was there to supervise some of the preparation. Anita could cook Italian, but Marietta knew details that helped put the meal over the top. There were seven courses in all.
The antipasti consisted of four large trays of salami, assorted cheeses, assorted olives, artichoke hearts, crusty bread with garlic balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dipping, ceviche with fresh caught mahi-mahi, and a nice Shiraz.
The second course, the salad or insalata started about 45 minutes later. There were choices: Caesar salad with plenty of anchovies on the side, a pasta salad, and marinated vegetables. Tommaso had selected a special chardonnay to go with it. After about a thirty minute interval, the staff brought out two soups: cioppino – a fish soup, and minestrone. The wine continued with the Shiraz and chardonnay. They had probably consumed close to 50 bottles by this time.
By this time several of the guest had taken brief breaks, and others were not so politely belching. There was little letup with the food, though. The pasta course consisted of a spaghetti with mushroom marinara, or spaghetti with a clam sauce. Costa now brought out a merlot and a different chardonnay, as if that weren’t enough.
There were a few good humored groans as the main course was brought out. Several guests didn’t bat an eye. The grilled salmon had turned out perfectly; just moist enough. It was seasoned with olive oil, lemon, and a crust of sea salt. The pork loin was served with roasted potatoes, onions and mushrooms. Anita had created a mango chutney for the pork. As far as she was concerned the orzo with parmesan was perfect. For those who wanted it there were grilled marinated vegetables consisting of asparagus, colored bell peppers and zucchini.
As the china and used utensils were cleared, the staff brought out platters of fruit and cheese. And, as if that were not enough, the dessert was a choice of panettone, white cake, gelatin, dark salted fudge, and a cream cheese pie with blueberries and cherries. Strong espresso and port were poured for everyone.
Tommaso stood and clinked his glass to get everyone’s attention. “Everyone, this has been a triumphant few days for us, and will be even more of a triumph for all of us as what we have worked out comes together.
“Before the entertainment starts, I want to recognize some people who made this wonderful evening possible. First of all, let’s give my beautiful wife a hand for putting this wonderful menu together.” There was good amount of applause.
“Secondly, this wouldn’t have been possible without our wonderful chef, Anita Dangervil. I know you met her yesterday, but everyone give her a round of applause for preparing this wonderful meal.” Once again, the guests responded enthusiastically.
“Now, I would like to make some announcements. First I would like to reemphasize what a coup, what a triumph this weekend has been for all of us. We will control more than a sixty percent share of the cocaine trade in the western hemisphere. We have more than fifty percent of the trade in cannabis. We have more than fifty percent of the opioid market and eighty percent of the methamphetamine trade. Gentlemen, it will only get better. That I can assure you.
“Secondly, I would like to announce officially what many of us have known for quite a while. My lovely daughter, Eleonora and Peter Mongini are to be married next year. We have not set a date yet, but you can be assured you will be on the guest list.
“Peter, Eleonora, please stand so everyone can see you and congratulate you.”
They both stood, smiling brightly. Peters smile was forced but not detected. He was a good actor.
From the dining room, the guests moved to the large living area that sometimes was a small theater. The band and dancing girls had been flown in earlier. The girls, scantily clad at the beginning, became even less clad as the night progressed. Things wound down as the sun began to rise.
Peter and several others departed early. Anita helped with the cleanup, but was back in her cottage by 2:00 AM. She hadn’t seen her father and the other two since early the previous day.
“So as you can see Mr. Costa, this entire unit,” Randy said pointing to the generator, “will have to be replaced. Through no fault of yours, the main seal broke and the generator bearings froze. We have ordered one, but until the road can be repaired, it will have to wait at the airport.”
“Can it not be put on our helicopter?” Tommaso asked.
“Possibly, however the crate is quite large, and it is on a pallet. There is another option, though. Do you have the ability to receive it by sea? I noticed you have a rather nice looking dock down there. I noticed you have a forklift at your warehouse. We would need it to put the generator in place and to remove the old generator.
“That should be no problem. If we can provide it, it is yours to use. How long do you think this will take?”
“No more than a day once we have everything. I do have some good news, though. This particular unit had two version. This is the later one. The drive shaft connecting the diesel to the generator was redesigned. It used to be a single shaft to that U-joint that broke. In this unit, the shaft is bolted to the engine drive shaft. We just disconnected it at the engine. We have ordered the two sections of drive shaft and a new U-joint. We no longer have the need for a machinist.”
“Good, I do not like not having the electricity,” Tommaso said.
“I have a suggestion,” Robert said. “We have a saying, and you probably do too: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. What you really need here are three or four smaller generators. That way it would be highly unlikely that you would ever be without some power. Locate them at your most important locations. If you’d like, I can have one of our engineers do an evaluation to see where they should be located.”
“I don’t think that will be necessary. Just get this generator working.”
“I don’t like those guys,” Adolpho Mongini said. Adolpho, Tommaso, Luigi, and Paolo Medina were in the library behind closed doors discussing things over a brandy
“I know what you mean,” Luigi said. “There’s just something about them. They smell. They know what they are doing with the generator, but they’re too smooth. They don’t ask questions about what’s going on here. They don’t even seem to be curious.”
“We’ve been monitoring all their calls,” Adolpho added, “and they seem to be perfectly legitimate. They go to the factory, and all they talk about is the generator. Well there is a bit of small talk, but nothing that even hints of anything out of the ordinary. I just have this feeling. That girl, the cook, has been fixing meals for them in the morning. But to me, she spends too much time with them. I don’t think she’s fucking them. As far as I know, she’s a lesbian, and that’s been pretty much confirmed. No, somethings rotten in Napoli.”
“Paolo, do you have anything to add?” Tommaso asked.
“I share your concerns. I don’t think we have enough to go on, though. I think we should bug their cottage to see if we can pick anything up. If they are spies, I say kill them as soon as they fix the generator. Don’t do it the usual way. Just shoot them. Luigi can do it. Just weight their bodies down and drop them in 4,000 meters of water.”
“I say kill them anyway,” Tommaso said, taking a sip of brandy. “Where is that girl? I asked her to bring some antipasto.”
Anita took that moment to knock on the closed doors.
“Excusez-moi, we had a little accident in the kitchen. I had to prepare another tray.”
“Thank you, Anita, just place the tray there,” Tommaso said indicating a place on the table. “Will dinner be at the usual time?”
“Good, we will call you if we need anything else.”
Anita had heard everything.
Anita was preparing pizza dough when Peter came in the back door. He smiled at her and stood next to her as she sprinkled flour on the marble pastry slab. “Why do you do that on marble?”
“It keeps the dough from sticking. It just makes it easier to work with.”
He wrote “Bugs” in the flour with his index finger, then wrote “Both.”
She sprinkled more flour on the spot and dropped the mass of dough on it. She rolled the dough out before wadding it up again. She added more flour to the marble and rolled out the dough. She looked at him and mouthed “They know.” It was not a question.
He nodded almost imperceptibly.
The pizzas were for her father and the other two. She topped the dough with the ingredients they had ordered and placed the pizzas in the oven. While they were cooking, she went to the wine cellar and picked out three bottles of wine. She carried the bottles in an ice filled wine cooler – a pinot Grigio, pinot noir, and a cabernet. Maria carried a tray of antipasti.
As Anita set the large cooler of wine down, her father had a look of horror on his face. He looked at her with a very perplexed expression.
“Messieurs, the pizza will be ready in about fifteen minutes,” Anita said in halting English. As Maria left, Anita pointed to her ear and then to the room. It suddenly became very clear to them. Something had happened.
FedEx delivered the parts to Port au Prince two days later. They had removed the old generator using the forklift Tommaso had supplied several days before. It would end up being donated to the scrap collectors who would make a small fortune from the copper. A truck then transported the crated generator to the harbor where it was loaded onto a very small freighter that would take it around the west end of the island before turning back to the east. The trip was more than 350 nautical miles, and would take nearly two days rather than the four hours it would have taken by truck.
Although the boat owner had been paid handsomely to deliver the generator, he was antsy to get it unloaded as quickly as possible. The forecast was for a hurricane to be entering the Caribbean in about a week, and the ship had several more stops to make. As the small ship pulled away from the dock, a forklift brought the pallet containing the new generator and parts to the pad below the crane. The pallet had been nicely shrink-wrapped to protect it from the elements. The crane had been marked on the boom “2000kg” which assured Randy and the others that it would have no problem lifting their precious cargo. The last thing they wanted to do was unwrap the pallet, and have to bring up several loads of parts.
Randy, who really was a jack of all trades, drove the forklift to the concrete pad and set the pallet next to where it would be mounted. It was getting late; however, they removed the shrink wrap. There were two ways to get the generator on its platform. The outer protective shell over the unit had been removed when they demated the original unit. There were two eye bolts on the top of the unit for hoist purposes, and there was a steel box permanently mounted on the bottom.
In the gathering darkness, after making sure none of Costa’s personnel were close by, Robert reached into the space, removing the packages that had been securely taped in place. The three 9mm Glocks and extra clips were quickly secured. Robert placed the fully charged cell phone in his pocket. The odds were shifting a bit in their favor.
The generator is finally fixed, and now they are going to have to get the heck out of Dodge. It aint going to be easy.
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