Another End Tied Up (A Lieutenant David Chan Mystery, Part 34)

The first vessel, the Doo Sei Nam, was enormous, a good 250 feet.  It looked more suited for the Korean Navy than for longline fishing.  The crew were all over it, washing down equipment, painting, sorting line, and loading bait and supplies.  They were obviously headed out.  If this were the one they were looking for, they could see that time was short.  But everything looked normal.

The second vessel, the Wae Soh Hyun, was smaller, maybe a 200 footer, and again, the crew were all busy performing various tasks appearing prefatory to setting out.  Seeing two strangers walking by didn’t phase them.  They seemed like fishermen who really were only interested in doing just that.

The last was the smallest, although at some 125 feet not tiny.  Like the other two, the Li Kee Tae was sizeable enough to be out on rough seas for a long haul.  Here, there was no activity.  The two sat down a few hundred yards away and observed it for a good twenty minutes. Nothing fishy.  No one boarding, no one coming off.

“Eh,” said Yamamoto finally.  “Lemme go check um out.  Give me a signal if you see anybody coming.”

“What kind of signal?” Chan asked.

“How about you scream get the fuck outta there!”

Chan agreed.  He watched his partner walk very slowly toward the ship,  trying to appear to be out on a casual stroll.  When he reached the slip, Yamamoto moved like a cat.  He was up on deck and disappeared down below in one long smooth run.  Chan never ceased to be amazed at how fast his huge Japanese partner could move.

Under the sun, Chan began to perspire.  He drew his revolver, wondering what was taking Yamamoto so long.  Getting more nervous, he stood and ran closer to the boat, all the while keeping an eye out for anyone who might be approaching.

When he was within 50 yards, Chan began to move faster, worried now.  Just as he was about to break into a dead run for the boat, Chan was startled to see Yamamoto running up on deck.  He saw Chan coming and screamed, “Get the fuck outta here!” as he leaped from the boat and ran like Jesse Owens toward Chan, who had frozen, but now turned and ran too.

Just at that moment there was a tremendous explosion.  Both Chan and Yamamoto were thrown off their feet.  Flying through the air clumsily, they both came down hard.

When Chan came to, there was a crowd around him and Yamamoto.  Chan jumped up and ran to check on his partner.  Yamamoto was staring up in the air.

“David, is that you?”

“Yeah, Vic, yeah.  Are you all right?”

“We dead yet?”

“No, Vic, we’re not dead.”

Relieved that he had cheated the grim reaper again, for the second time in three days, Yamamoto sat up.  Chan offered him a hand.

Miraculously, aside from not being dead, the two seemed to have avoided damage of any kind aside from some small cuts and scratches.

“I kid you not, David, if I’m gonna almost die every couple days, I wanna raise.”

They both turned to see what was left of the Li Kee Tae.  It was a burning mass of twisted metal.  A crowd had gathered.  The sound of many sirens grew louder.

“What happened?” Chan asked.

“They were all down there with a shitload of artillery.  All of um were sitting at a big table, looked like for breakfast.  All slumped on the table or on the floor.  I turned a couple over to see, just in case there was some kind of wound.  Nothing.  I scanned the food and the drinks.  I was just wondering what we’d need to test for gas or poison.  Then I noticed the bomb under the table.  I saw the timer hand ticking.  I didn’t know how much time was left.  Shit, I have never run so fast in my whole frickin life.”

Chan shook his head.  Was it that they were lucky to be alive, or unlucky to have arrived on the scene just in time to nearly die?

Yamamoto said, “Was like they were ghosts or something.  You been right all along, boss.  The only person who can pull off a mop-up job this big is Byung Yu.  The next time, he could kill us.  Let’s go get him.”

“Whoa whoa wait, Vic.  Where’s the probable cause?  Really, we don’t have anything.”

“How about let’s just go over there and take him out.  It’s our turn.”

“No, we have to do this right.  Everything by the book.  We need a nice, clean, clear-cut case here.  He may think he’s the one doing it, but we’re the ones who are going to tie up all the loose ends.  You know how good he is at getting away with everything.  Slippery.  An escape artist.  We need this to be airtight.”

“Yeah, I know,” said Yamamoto.  “But just in case he goes for a gun or something, I guarantee you I won’t be firing a warning shot over his head.”

* * * * *

Aloha #WriterFriday, I hope you had a good, safe week. Today’s #WritingPrompt is

loose ends

Use it to inspire a piece of writing, and then post that piece on your site and link back to me, or simply leave it as a comment below. I would love to read it : )

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