Javier was seething. On his best day––if there ever was such a thing as a best day for Javier––he was a psychopathic, bubbling cauldron of murderous fury. Tonight, the volcano looked ready to explode.
Javier Lopez was a lieutenant in the Sinaloa Cartel. Barely twenty-four-years-old, he had been a soldado––soldier––since he was fourteen. Javier had earned his way in by putting a bullet in the forehead of a minor police official. He had not asked why or hesitated when his mentor handed him the gun and told him to do it.
They say you never forget your first time, and this is true of murder as well as sex. Javier stepped right up to the terrified, pleading man, pointed the gun and pulled the trigger. This act, a simple squeeze of the trigger, had unleashed the devil inside Javier. Now, ten years later, Javier could not possibly remember how many murders he had committed.
The dozen guards with Javier were mostly milling about trying to keep their distance from him. Every few minutes he would look at his watch and scowl.
A couple of the men carried H & K MP5 fully automatic submachine guns. These two men were older than the others. One was even several years older than Javier. They were comfortable enough not to turn away when Javier scowled at them.
The others were all younger. Some as young as sixteen. They were armed with shotguns. They were trying to earn their way into permanent membership of the Cartel. Despite the short life expectancy––Javier knew he would not live to see thirty ––there was no shortage of applicants.
They were in a transit station approximately ten miles south of Mexicali. The area resembled a large bus or truck stop. Which it was2, sort of. There were a couple dozen vehicles of various types and sizes. They were all here for one purpose; to smuggle contraband across the border into California. Contraband of both the humankind and contraband of the drug kind. Along with the vehicles were three to four hundred desperate, hungry, raggedy-looking people. Most of them were of Hispanic origin. Of late, there were more and more people of other ethnicities, especially Muslims from Africa and a few dysfunctional Middle Eastern countries.
Javier and his crew were a couple of hundred yards away from the hustle and bustle of the main transit yard. Under the glow of a single fluorescent light, they waited for their special cargo; a single, comfortable, air-conditioned bus.
“He’ll be here,” one of the men, the older one, said to Javier in Spanish.
“He’s thirty minutes late,” Javier snapped back at the man.
The man, Berto, patted Javier on the shoulder while saying, “Jose is slow, but reliable.”
Berto was almost like a big brother to Javier. In fact, Javier’s immediate superior had placed Berto with him to calm Javier’s worst impulses. Of the men waiting for the bus, none except Berto would dare to show such intimacy.
“I don’t like it,” Javier replied. “You know I like things to run smoothly.”
“And here he comes,” Berto said pointing at a bus moving slowly past the main terminus.
Berto heard Javier exhale a sigh of relief then Bertosaid, “I’ll move the vans into place. Don’t be too hard on Jose. I’m sure there is a reason for the delay.”
To this last statement Javier only grunted a reply.
There were three, large, dark gray vans parked thirty to forty yards from the light pole. While Javier waited for the bus, Berto went to the vans to get them moving. The drivers and guards who would ride with them were already climbing into them. These were special vans with fully electric, extremely quiet motors. They were designed to move human cargo undetected by way of tunnels under the border going into the U.S.
Jose parked the bus with the exit door in the dark facing away from the crowded area. The vans were backed up to the bus and their back doors were open. Before anyone did anything, Javier wanted a word with the driver, Jose. As soon as the bus’s door was opened, Javier looked at Jose and indicated he should follow him. With Berto hurrying after them to save Jose’s life if necessary, they walked away from the others.
“Well?” Javier asked.
“We were stopped by the policia. The federales. A man whose name is Gallego. Phillipe Gallego,” Jose started explaining, nervously rubbing his hands together.
“What did he want?”
“Money and…” Jose said hesitantly.
“Go on, what else did he want?” Javier asked sensing there was more.
“He walked up and down, looking over the cargo, making lewd comments and scaring them. He was hinting about where they are going. Some of them became frightened and started crying.”
“How much money?” Javier asked.
“Ten thousand, American,” Jose said.
Javier said to Berto, “Do you know this fool, this pig federale, Gallego?”
“Yes, jefe, I know who he is,” Berto replied.
“All right,” Javier said. “See to the transfer. Thirty-three is that correct?” Javier asked Jose.
“Yes, jefe. All were fine. Then Gallego got them worried,” Jose said again.
“I’ll deal with that. You help Berto.”
* * * * * * *
While Javier walked off for privacy to make a phone call, the transfer from the bus to the vans took place. The cargo was thirty-three girls, all between the ages of thirteen and sixteen. They were beautiful, young girls forcibly taken from a caravan of illegals––some taken while their families helplessly looked on––moving through Mexico to the U.S. border. These beauties would not work as servants, hotel maids, nannies for well-to-do Americans. Theirs was not going to be a life of opportunity. No, these pretty, precious youngsters––all medically certified virgins––were about to be swallowed up by a nightmare. The worldwide international sex-slave trade for the wealthy was their fate.
Because of their value, the girls’ transportation into the U.S. was the envy of the illegal immigrant marketplace. After selection, they had been put up in nice hotels, heavily guarded and well-cared for. Pampered even. They were told lies about being selected for special grooming to become wives of wealthy Americans and Europeans.
Two or three days of this, then placed on Jose’s bus and driven north. It was a bus that any Anglo or European would find comfortable for transport.
While Berto smiled and spoke kind, reassuring words to them, the girls were transferred to the equally comfortable vans. Javier and his crew did this two or three
times a week, usually without a problem. Except tonight, the foolish federale had scared some of the girls.
The vans were necessary for the final leg of the journey across the border. In Mexicali, the Cartel has an industrial park built near the U.S. border, almost up against the new, forty-foot-high, double steel and concrete wall along this portion of the American side.
The vans will be driven into a warehouse. A small drone will be used to fly recon over the area and when it is safe, the vans will finish the crossing. They will drive down an incline into a tunnel from inside the warehouse. Once inside they will slowly drive the three-quarters of a mile up and into a warehouse on the U.S. side. Because of their electric motors they were virtually silent as they traversed the tunnel. Even with the technology of the gringos, any listening device would be unlikely to pick them up.
When he finished his phone call, Javier joined Berto in time to see the last of the girls enter the van. The final two were refugees from Iran. Of the thirty-three girls, these two were Persian, six others were from various Muslim countries and the rest were from Central and South America.
Javier had been in attendance when the last two, the Persians, were selected for the journey. They were fifteen-year-old identical twins with light, caramel colored skin, straight, thick black hair and black, oval-shaped eyes. Javier’s knees had almost given out the first time he saw them.
The girls had been part of a group of two hundred or so refugees who had traveled through Venezuela then came to Mexico by way of Colombia. Their parents had died in Columbia of a mysterious fever and the girls found themselves alone. A man claiming to be from an international group assisting refugees, latched onto them, and put them in a filthy refugee camp. The camp was filled with Venezuelans fleeing the socialist paradise of Venezuela. Tonight, four months later, the girls found themselves still together in the back of a van. Both were savvy enough to know they were not headed to the freedom and opportunity of America.
“Don’t even think about it, Javier,” Berto teased the younger man. Javier was staring at the two Persian beauties and continued to do so until the van door was closed. The driver threw the latch and secured the lock.
“I’ve never seen such beauty,” Javier said. “How much do you think?”
“Together they could fetch a million dollars. Maybe more,” Berto replied. “You want me to fetch this fool, Gallego?” Berto asked.
“Yes. Call some people. Reliable people. Have this cop pig Gallego here when we get back,” Javier said. “Let’s go.”
It was almost 11:00 P.M. when the three vans formed a small caravan. With two cars filled with guards in front and one in back, they started for Mexicali. Javier and Berto rode in the trail car. The entire trip through the tunnel and back would take them just a bit over four hours. At the very exclusive auction, the thirty-three girls would bring between ten and seventeen million dollars.
True to Javier’s wishes, a beat up and bloodied Phillipe Gallego was stuffed in a car’s trunk waiting for them. After seeing the condition of the policeman, an angry Javier told the others to follow him. The two cars drove off down Highway 5 about ten miles then turned off into the desert.
They arrived in a small canyon and Gallego was dragged out of the trunk. Normally, Javier took pleasure in watching while the condemned shoveled out their own grave. Gallego was too sick, weak, and injured from the beating to do it.
Instead, Javier made the three men who had done this to Gallego dig the hole. Gallego was propped up on his knees and forced to watch. They went almost six feet down before Javier let them stop.
Javier walked over to the hole and taunted the policeman. “You’ll be quite comfortable in there.”
“Please. I beg you, Javier,” the man pleaded. “I didn’t know it was you. I never…”
Javier stepped back to him, held a finger to his lips, leaned down, smiled, and quietly said into the man’s ear, “Sssh.”
Javier bent over in front of him and said, “I have changed my mind. I am not going to shoot you and throw you in this hole.”
Javier indicated to two of his men to help Gallego to his feet. “No, I think you have learned your lesson. You won’t do it again, will you?”
“No, I swear on my children,” Gallego blubbered. “Thank you. I will be loyal. You’ll see.”
Javier nodded his head, stepped aside, and nodded toward the empty grave. The two men grabbed Gallego by the arms and threw him face down to the bottom of the hole.
Gallego lifted his head, his arms still bound behind him and began screaming.
“Fill it,” Javier coldly ordered.
After crossing into Calexico, the girls were taken roughly fifty miles into the desert. From there they were quickly flown to a very private, heavily guarded estate near Palm Springs, California. They were kept lightly drugged with a morphine derivative anesthesia. This was done to make them more compliant and it was a pleasant experience on top of it.
The staff, all very disposable “undocumented female workers” ––young women working as slaves––took care of the girls. They were supervised by a woman who once had been sold to a Mexican drug lord at age thirteen by her junkie father. Her name was Consuelo Hart and at her age, forty, she was still a beauty. It was also her job to prepare the girls and conduct the auction.
The auction took place over a two-day period and lasted more than ten hours. It was “attended” by over a hundred buyers. Most of the actual buyers were represented by a trusted individual or firm. Attendance for most was by a secure, untraceable, one-way video. There were, however, several who enjoyed the hospitality of the estate’s owner and took advantage to attend in person.
For the auction itself, the girls were dressed in lace lingerie and posed in a seductively decorated room. Not all the bidders were watching on the closed-circuit TV. There were twenty special rooms encircling the stage. Each girl was paraded in front of those rooms while the men and women inside watched through one-way mirrors.
The bidding for each girl, once started, lasted precisely twenty minutes. The winner then had ten minutes to wire the winning bid into an account in the Caymans. If he or she failed to comply, the second-place bidder would be declared the winner.
When the thirty-first girl had been sold, the Cartel and their host had collected a total of eighteen-million, six-hundred thousand dollars. Much better than expected.
It had been decided by the auctioneers that the last two girls would be auctioned together. The bidders were only given the option of bidding for both as one item. This had never been done before, but it was believed these two would bring a better price if done together.
Of course, the last two were the Iranian twin sisters. Their first names were Abia and Salma. When they were led out, they each wore black lace lingerie and a matching veil.
The bidding started and within minutes it had climbed to two million dollars for both. It stayed there for several more minutes while Consuelo slowly led the girls around the circular room. When they finished their first complete traverse, Consuelo seductively removed their veils. Finally, seeing how flawlessly beautiful each girl was, a feeding frenzy began. Seconds before the time was up, a bid came in over a million dollars higher than the next highest; seven and a half million dollars for both. Caught by surprise, the clock ran out before anyone else could respond.
“Are you nuts?” the American lawyer said to his client. “Seven and a half million for teenage pussy?”
“They’re beautiful. Priceless. Look at those eyes. Besides, it’s not a lot of money to me. Sometimes you just have to pay what you have to pay to get something you want,” the client replied.
“What are you going to do with them?” the lawyer asked.
“I’ll have Evan get them to the island and make sure no one touches them.”
“Enjoy,” his guest said holding up his drink as a salute.