“Keystone cops?” queried Prik Dum.
Vince sighed and took a slug of his beer. “This ‘Magnam’ character you got coming with us. Is he from Mars or something?”
“Not understand. He bank manager, remember?”
Vince glanced around the terrace bar. Usual patronage of ‘five star’ tourists, a few office executives on a lunchtime break and a couple of working girls dressed in designer gear. Or designer copies. Like his Black TAG Heuer 'Formula 1' watch he’d picked up on his travels through the seedy underworld in Chinatown. Rabbit warren arcades criss-crossing alongside main highways; respectable businesses fronting illegal activities, selling anything at a price.
Nothing unusual registered. No one looking out of place, most deep in conversation. He focused his attention back to the taciturn police lieutenant. Prik Dum was out of his depth, just another amateur. It was time to set the record straight. In short, sharp and clear phrases.
“Understand this. I’m an ex- professional soldier, now a security consultant. The other recruits are an ex-bank manager and small time robbers. That means they are somewhat limited in terms of experience and expertise; let alone the ability to act as a cohesive and deadly unit.” He paused while Prik Dum absorbed the information. “Apart from that, going into confrontation with the Chinese would be a piece of cake.”
“Piece of cake?” queried Prik Dum.
“Like there won’t be many pieces of us left when they finish chewing us up,” clarified Vince.
The Lieutenant’s head began nodding like an out-of-control doggy-toy. “No problem. Black man use gun, kill Chinese. Magnam use knife, kill Chinese. Police not worry. You professional, can teach,” replied Prik Dum, as if that was no problem as well. “But time is short.”
Vince saw him glancing at the TAG, a puzzled look on his face. Probably wondering if it was real or not. “How short?”
Prik Dum was now all smiles. Like he enjoyed handing out impossible tasks. “Maybe yesterday or day before.”
Vince winced. “I’ll call you back. Soon, I hope.” The lieutenant nodded, got up and disappeared amongst the office workers. Vince then ordered another beer while he went through the options. Okay, Prik Dum seemed to be trying his best to improve the odds, and this Magnam could speak the lingo. So…
The remodeled Magnam didn’t talk much, but he was a quick and willing learner. His time in prison had hardened his body and mind. Vince transformed him from being a bitch and a love loser into a tolerable Thai-Terminator, with a talent for knife fighting. Vince was impressed.
But not with Elroy and Innocent. While they accepted the new hardened Magnam, not only were they unpredictable, they flourished in their new life style. Lazy bastards wouldn’t last ten minutes in the field. Always complaining. “Major, it’s friggin’ hot outside. Can’t think straight.”
“Elroy, it ain’t Major, it’s God to you. This isn’t a fucking democracy, you hear me. I’m the one that can put your ass in jail.”
Innocent just glared at him. The strong silent type with no brain. That gave Vince an idea. “We’re going to trash the Chinese, big-time. Especially Jackie Chan. With you or without you.” He could see lights going on in the big ape’s head. “You have two choices; rot in hell or kick ass.” That hit the spot. Elroy started to listen and Innocent started to pump iron in the gym. While there was no love lost, what the hell, Vince had the semblance of an operational crew.
“So how many police have we on standby?” queried Vince. “I’m ready for action.”
“Enough,” said Prik Dum. “Maybe two or three, maximum.”
Vince expected that. Undercover operations using outsiders did not include large numbers of Thai police putting their necks on the line. But there was another option. Call in the professionals.
“It’s a two phase operation. First stage, no sweat. No aid needed, and should be soon. However, I’ll need back-up for the final stage. That’s crucial. ETA, probably one month later. Short notice, could be only hours. Sorry, cannot be more specific now.”
“Hang on a minute.”
Vince heard what sounded like papers being shuffled. It didn’t take long.
“Timetable is ok. Not much on then. Just let me know when the countdown starts.” Mr. White chuckled. “Contact the emergency number and the doctor will deliver.”
Vince thought Mr. White had a good bedside manner. And probably expensive.