Being Greedy Doesn't Pay

by Mary Ann

(Beta Melissa)

The young man watched from the safety of the undercover van. He was glad he didn't have to be out in the heat like the rest of his team. He adjusted the headphones and wiped the sweat off his forehead. JD Dunne blinked the sweat out of his eyes then stiffened. A dark car came slowly towards him. He touched his mike and whispered, "Car coming in. Dark maroon, Ford, windows dark. I can't see inside."

JD was sure no one could see into the old broken down van, he didn't move. The van looked battered and abandoned, covered in graffiti. One front tire sat on a pile of garbage. It tipped the van at an angle to make it appear to have a flat tire. The passenger door hung from the bottom pin. JD didn't breathe as the car passed his decrepit looking van. The car continued towards an entry to an open, three acre field. An old dilapidated two-story building stood to one side of the overgrown area.

"They're at the edge of the field. Okay, they're heading onto the driveway and towards the building. Can you see them?" JD reported.

"Yep, they're in view," Buck Wilmington answered into his headset.

The hidden ATF agents watched as the car slowly rolled towards the building. Emmet Stafford, aka Ezra Standish, and John Sails, aka Josiah Sanchez, waited beside a silver Mercedes. Josiah, posing as Ezra's bodyguard, crossed his arms over his chest. His hands mere inches from the holstered guns under his jacket.

The dark Ford slowly approached the two undercover agents and came to a stop several feet in front and to the side of them. The front doors opened. An extremely tall and thin man stepped from the car. He glanced around as three more men joined him. The guards hands rested on unseen guns under their jackets.

The tall man asked. "Well Mr. Stafford, did you bring the money?"

Ezra answered, "Indeed Mr. Ingram. Did you bring the weapons that were ordered?"

"Of course." Ingram snapped his fingers and one of his men walked to the back of the car and opened the trunk. "If you will step over here you may check them

Ezra glanced at Josiah and with a nod to him he walked towards the other vehicle. He looked into the trunk at the three new AK 15 M4 Carbines and the M92 AK Short Barrel Rifles. Ezra picked up one after the other and examined them. He knew the AK 15's sold in stores for close to $1600.00 and the M92 for almost $2000.00. On the black market, with no background checks, they would be between $3000 and $4000 each. He laid the M92 back down and turned to Ingram.

"This is exactly what my client requires. How many do you have? Are they obtainable right now? How much for all of them?"

"Depends, I want to see your money, first. Then we'll talk delivery." Ingram replied.

Ezra walked back to Josiah's side. "Please retrieve the briefcase, Mr. Sails."

Josiah removed the briefcase from the back seat.. Ezra took it and placed it on the car fender and opened the case.

"As you can see Mr. Ingram, I do have the funds." Ezra said, with a flourish of his hand, to the briefcase of money.

Ingram strode to the car. He picked up one of the bundles of bills, then another. He fanned the bundles and then nodded. "We have a deal Mr. Stafford."

"Thank you Mr. Ingram. When can I expect the guns?"

"Right now, I have a van waiting and it can be here in a minute."

"My contact's order was for 30 of the AK 15's and 15 of the M92's, do you have that many available?"

"Yes, I will supply that many."

"If my contact wants more are you able to supply them?"

"Of course. Just a moment, I will have the van come with the guns." Ingram said. He reached into his jacket pocket. He pulled out his hand and spoke into the small radio he retrieved.

JD listened to the conversation and reported that a van was on its way. Moments later he watched as a dark green Chevrolet van appeared and made its way towards the field. He notified his team members.

Vin Tanner lay, on the top of the building, in the shade of a crumbling chimney. He held his rifle's scope on the tall man by Ezra. He moved it several times to watch the guards and check the area before turning back to the men. He watched closely for any hand movements. When the van began its slow entry into the field, he adjusted his scope to see it clearer. Something felt off to him and he spoke into his mike, "Heads up, van feels off."

"Got it Angel," Chris Larabee, the team leader answered, then clicked his mike. "Doc can you see the back of the van from your position?"

Nathan Jackson replied instantly, "Got it in my sight Chief; am watching it closely."

Vin tensed as the van stopped beside the maroon Ford. The passenger door opened. A man slid out. Vin could see one more person. The slide door opened and three men jumped out.

"Trap, trap!" Vin exclaimed. His aim was true as he shot the man who aimed his gun at Ezra and Josiah. Chaos reigned as gunshots exploded into the quiet afternoon.

Chris yelled, "ATF, freeze!" One man aimed for Chris. Vin's shot took the gunman down. Vin searched for Ingram. He spotted the man jumping into his car. Two other men jumped in with him.

Chris was too far from the car to stop Ingram. As the Ford started he fired and watched as the windshield formed spider webs. He fired at the van, taking out two side windows, but both vehicles were accelerating.

The driver of the van slammed it into another gear as three gunmen dove inside. He drove it into a tight circle looking to get around the Ford and make his escape. The silver Mercedes Ezra and Josiah were using as their shield, was sideswiped, making the two men jump back away from the car. The van bounded off the Mercedes and headed in another direction. The two agents fired into the Chevy as it plowed away from them flattening two tires. The van careened out of control heading for the old building.

Vin fired again. His bullets hit three tires of the car and it slewed to a stop. A man jumped out firing. Gunfire sounded and the man went down. Another man stepped out of the car and raised his arms in surrender. A gunshot from inside the vehicle knocked him down. The car door closed and the engine roared as it was put in gear, it lurched forward. The flat tires dug into the ground as the car, barely under control, headed towards the van that was rapidly nearing the building.

With a curse, Vin rose and raced for the steps. He needed to get off the partly caved in roof. Just as he reached the steps a loud, metallic screeching crash sounded below him and the building shuddered. Vin tried to stop as the staircase disintegrated. His foot slipped and he started to fall towards the hole where there had once been stairs. Twisting hard he managed to roll away from the gaping hole. After several shaky seconds, he rose and ran for his second escape route. He heard cracking and shouting, then the car and van exploded. The building shook and more of the roof caved in. Flames erupted and spread swiftly. Reaching the back of the building, he looked over the edge and with a nod slung his rifle across his shoulders. The rope he'd tied earlier to the second chimney, hung along the side of the building reaching to the ground. He rappelled to the grass. A minute later he trotted across the grass behind the burning and collapsing building. In the distance he heard the sound of sirens coming their way.

Chris came running around the corner with Buck and Nathan behind him. They all stopped upon seeing Vin safe and sound. With claps on Vin's back, the men headed around the building to Ezra, Josiah and JD's sides. They stood watching the burning building. The collision of the two vehicles together caused them to explode when they collided with the structure. The old, bone dry building erupted into flames. The hungry blaze was eating away at the collapsing building. The seven men were alert for anyone escaping, but they doubted anyone survived the blaze.

"It's too bad Mr. Ingram was so greedy. It didn't pay off for him this time." Ezra commented as several fire trucks arrived. Firemen grabbed gear and leaped into action to fight the inferno.

"It was not a good day, for those men at least." Josiah announced with a shake of his head.

"At least a number of weapons are off the street." Ezra responded as they watched the fire consume the old building. Ezra's glance took in their sharpshooter who nodded his head at him before turning his gaze back to the fire as police arrived.

'It's over, except for the paperwork, and we are all fine' Ezra thought with a grateful sigh.


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