Did you ever notice that one seemingly small, I mean infinitesimal, violation of the rules you set for yourself always seems to snowball into a giant, heaving, pulsating hailstorm?
Well I have! And I’m in the eye of one right this minute with no raincoat or umbrella! The real problem is that it’s always quiet in the eye of the storm until the next tidal wave of excrement slaps you in the face as if you were standing behind a calf with lactose intolerance.
My name is Max Morano, and I’m what you might call a Solutions Provider. Need something retrieved from someone’s secure compound? I’m your guy. Need a safe cracked? No problem. Electronic safeguards defeated? Check and mate.
In a nutshell, I love, love, LOVE stealing, breaking and entering, and basically being one goddamned sneaky son of a bitch. I learned my craft after a stint in the army. A CIA recruiter hit me up because of my language skills and nondescript looks, as well as other training which would lend itself to what is known as wet work. Those guys were the best damned cleaners and thieves I had ever seen. So, I gleaned as much knowledge and training as I could during the 15 years I was with them. I stole many, many very cool toys and jumped with a golden parachute when they were doing a force reductionafter the collapse of the Soviet Union.
While I do occasionally take on wet work, the pay has to be outrageous and the target unsavory. I’m very good at it, but my heart just isn’t in it.
As Austin Powers would say, “That’s my bag baby. Grrr…" I launder the money I make pillaging, stealing and otherwise through a few different legitimate businesses, but after a close call on a job, I quit the business.
Well, at least publicly anyway – no more corporate espionage or overseas business with contingency fees, etc.
Now all my jobscome through the bar I own called The Dive. They’re all in the six-to-seven figure range and I receive a non-refundable twenty-five-thousand cash fee just to check out the job, whether I take the assignment or not. My business partner Clive, an ex-7th Special Forces Group Sergeant, runs the place. He’s also my go-between. Potential clients contact him about jobs, and he takes care of everything in order to maintain my anonymity.
He once asked about hisanonymity and I told him it wasn’t important, because if anything ever went badly enough for a job to lead back to him, it would mean they were too close to me and I’d already be eliminating the entire chain of people involved in the job. Not to mention, Clive's one scary son of a bitch when he wants to be. I’m pretty sure none of our clients would ever so much as dream of crossing him.
Anyway, this whole debacle in which I now find myself started just like any other job ten days ago. It involved a package which was to be retrieved from the safe of one Senator William Hayes from Alexandria, VA. After the client wired the non-refundable deposit of $25,000 to my account in the Cayman Islands, I did my standard week of surveillance to observe security detail patterns, regular sleep schedules, etc. I also like to try a dry run during the day, to get a closer look at security systems, cameras and possible entry points.
Senator Hayes lives in a 7,500 sq. ft. Tudor mansion on 2.5 acres. It was built in the early 19th century but has been entirely upgraded to modern living standards and then some. It’s painted white brick with black shutters and a charcoal slate roof. The diamond-leaded glass windows add beauty and character to the home, especially at night.
On the morning of the planned snatch, as I called it, I donned my pest control disguise, rolled up in my van and grabbed my sprayer. I observed the Senator and his security detail leaving 30 minutes before. As usual, he had left the gates open for deliveries, etc. I drove right up to the front door, rang the bell and informed the maid that I was going to be around spraying for bugs.
She replied, “OK meester,” and I didn’t see her again.
So, I made my rounds, disabled the cellar door lock and wired its alarm circuit closed so it would not register as ever having been opened. I did do some random spraying and appeared as if I was carefully examining the premises for bugs, but I was back in the van and driving away in less than thirty minutes. That night, I waited in the bushes across from the cellar door. As soon as the security guard turned the corner on the other side of the house, I was in.