by: Mark Jones
Without hesitating I slumped over onto my right shoulder as Amm’s shrieks gave way to whimpering sobs in the blackout. I knew the shit storm Baey would bring wasn’t too far away but in the few seconds before it erupted the two hoods were putting on a comedy show.
“Alai wa, mai chorp muert (what the fuck, don’t like dark),” said the young punk as he waved his revolver about.
“Eeeh, fai mai burri (cigarette lighter),” said the gang boss reaching into his pockets and pulling out his lighter.
Their agitation distracted them from hearing Baey opening the side door to the workshop. As they fussed amongst themselves I heard the “chink” sound of metal being broken and then a scratching noise at the lock. The gang boss flicked his lighter twice and a weak yellow flame illuminated the both of them standing there with their revolvers hanging loosely at their sides. Call it perfect timing, call it the will of the gods, but the weak flame sputtered out just as a phantom stepped quickly through the opened side door in the re-enveloping blackness.
“Phii, Phii (ghost),” shrieked the young punk in terror.
“Alai wa,” said the boss as the door shut quickly making the phantom invisible.
That would be their last utterances as Baey clicked on a blinding white spot laser and double tapped the gang boss before he even had a chance to raise his gun. The shock of seeing his boss drop before his eyes snapped the punk out of his terror and into mad panic, as he began spraying rounds wildly about the workshop. The muzzle flash of each round he unloaded provided instants of blue light in which I caught a glimpse of Baey calmly dropping to one knee and firing off two precise shots at the punk. The first one caught him high, spinning him to the left. The second, unfortunately, was a clean miss. As the punk fell backwards he fired off another wild round directly at the four of us across the workshop and, as he hit the floor, I heard a gurgling, choking sound. Regrettably, I knew one of the others had been hit. As the punk was writhing in pain Baey turned on his spot light again and moved in to finish him off. Click, and click again.
“Damn, a round’s jammed,” he said kicking the punk’s revolver clear of his hand.
“There’s three others upstairs as well,” I said.
“No problems,” said Baey as pulled out a Mag-lite, sprang at the door into the house and engaged the internal dead bolt.
“Just in time,” I said as he pulled out one of his short bladed knives and began slicing through the cable ties.
“Hell,” said Baey shining his torch on the slumped bodies of Amm and Det.
“What’s wrong?” said Pete standing up and coming to his senses.
“Det and Amm have taken rounds and they’re both unconscious,” he said as the bad guys started hammering on the door.
After freeing us Baey jumped back across the workshop floor and caught the punk, with a wicked boot to the jaw as he was edging towards his revolver. The bangs on the door became louder as the gang on the other side started kicking at it. Just as Baey got a hold of the dead gang bosses snub-nosed thirty eight, the first round came cracking through the door.
“Fuck,” said Pete ducking for cover.
“Time to go,” said Baey as he dropped to one knee again and unloaded a quick succession of rounds into the workshop door.
“Let’s go,” said Baey throwing the empty revolver to the floor.
The kicking at the door stopped momentarily and then more rounds were returned from the other side. It was mayhem as the door splintered and bullets ricocheted off the cement floor. As Baey and I dashed for the exit Pete veered off towards the prone figure of the gang boss.
“What the fuck, you’re mad,” I said as I watched Pete gather up the loose documentation.
“I’m not leaving all this for those bags of shit,” said Pete as we dashed through the side door and out into the rear courtyard.
“What now,” I said as another round ricocheted around inside the workshop.
“This way,” said Baey leading us to the back gate.
“The side road?” I said as the rusty gate screeched open on its seized rollers.
“You got it,” said Baey leading the way along the access road towards the scrub covered slope.
The incline up the side road was roughly three hundred meters from where the back gate exited and as we moved along at a quickening pace, Pete and I began to focus after the chaos we’d been caught up in.
“Good job mate, you were pretty fast getting in after you cut the power. How the hell did you manage that?” I said jogging up next to Baey.
“Well the fact the golf buggy was parked in the back yard was a good indication you lot were in the workshop. After I pulled the fuses, in the power box at the front of the house, it was simple job to cut the padlock on the outside bolt on the door,” said Baey as we neared the slope.
“Yeah but you still had to open the door,” I said wondering at the speed of his entry.
“Luckily I kept those keys, we copied at the hardware shop in Korat, for the first op,” said Baey stopping at the base of the scrub covered slope.
“Jesus mate, that was a piece of good luck,” I said as Pete, breathing hard already, caught up with us.
“Hey Mike, who’s got the money?” said Pete as he pulled up next to us.
“No time for that now Peter, we’ve got company,” said Baey as two stabs of torch light panned across the golf course and began moving towards us.
“Exit stage right,” I said as Baey lead the way up through the scrub towards the vehicle.
A few seconds later we were pushing our way through the barricade of trees and climbing over the fence.
“Damn,” said Baey as he flashed a soft, red light across the rear of the pick-up.
“What’s the problem?” I said as the chasing torch beams flashed ever closer on the road below us.
“We’ve got a flat tire,” he said removing ski mask.
“Oh shit, what’s plan B?” I said as we began hearing voices below us.
“Quiet?” said Baey putting his finger to his lips.
“Can’t you fix your gun?” said Pete in a whisper.
“I need light and a workshop for that,” said Baey in a whisper as he unlocked the pick-up.
“Shit,” I said indicating up the side road to what appeared to be vehicle headlights.
“Time to head into the jungle,” said Baey grabbing his black gear bag from the rear seat and leading the way back over the fence.
The occupants of the vehicle must have seen movement in its full beam because we were no sooner over the fence when the thing came roaring down the slope. From the sound of it I was certain it was Pete’s Fortuner. The pair with the torches were roughly one hundred meters beyond our position when the sound of the vehicle caught their attention.
“Peter, what’s on the other side of the golf course?” said Baey as we worked our way quickly down the slope.
“Another fence then a drop down into a river gulley,” said Pete as the torches began moving rapidly back towards us.
“Good, let’s go,” said Baey breaking clear of the cover and leading us in a sprint across the undulating, darkened expanse of the golf course.
Even though it was a moonless, cloud covered night, eyes without the interruption of an artificial source of light, eventually become accustomed to low light levels and are able to pick out larger shapes and masses. The tree-line we were sprinting towards, some two hundred metres distant in the darkness, was easy enough to make out. Luckily we were running across an expanse of fairway and the ground, although undulating, was reasonably easy going. Just as I thought we were getting clear the torches panned across us and a second later two loud cracks echoed into the night.
“I fucking kill you all,” said the muscled thug as more shots rang out and the torch beams honed in on us.
“Whatever you do, don’t slow up. When we reach that tree-line we’ll have more cover,” said Baey still powering ahead in front.
The muscled thug, and whoever was with him, were gradually gaining on us as they benefitted from their torches lighting up the ground immediately in front of them. Unfortunately for them we were also benefitting. Each time they panned their light across the fairway we had a better look at the ground ahead of us. More shots rang out just as we disappeared into the cover of the next stand of trees. The muscled thug was still barking out insults in Thai and as we kept running towards the dark mass of jungle covered peaks looming ahead of us, Baey started laughing.
“Stupid damned mafia, pea brain,” said Baey taking out his infra-red torch again so we could pick our way around the greens and bunkers.
“Wait up,” said Pete beginning to lag behind.
“Move your unfit ass, mate,” I said feeling high on the adrenaline charged situation.
The torch beams spotted us again as the hoods began working their way through the tree stands.
“Where’s that fence Peter?” said Baey as more wild shots zinged through the air.
“Straight through that next stand of trees,” said Pete breathing hard and still clutching the rolled up bunch of paperwork.
“Lead the way,” said Baey handing over the torch and pushing him on.
Pete, having played this course so many times in the past, knew the ground like the back of his hand. With the aid of the dull red glow from Baey’s torch he was able to skirt around the sand traps and take the easiest route to the course’s outer perimeter fence. With pursuers torch lights still flickering to our rear we melted into the final stand of trees before the fence line.
“Another fifty meters this way,” said Pete weaving his way through the tropical foliage.
We followed a small track through the stand of old growth trees and finally broke clear to be confronted by a final open stretch of what appeared to be thick grass land before we hit the perimeter fence.
“Straight across there,” said Pete pointing with the torch and then handing it back to Baey.
A few seconds later we were confronted by a ten foot high mesh fence.
“Throw that damned paperwork in this,” said Baey quickly unzipping the gear bag.
“Yeah, good idea,” I said as Baey zipped up the bag and slung it over his shoulders again.
“Straight up and over,” said Baey as we all took hold of the mesh.
“What the hell is that?” I said as more torch lights and a high pitched whizzing sound came careering down the fence line towards us.
“My fucking golf buggy, those bastards are gonna blow the motor driving at that speed,” said Pete in a pissed off tone.
“That’s the least of our worries,” I said following Baey’s lead up the fence.
It was a mad scramble up the mesh as the golf buddy careened across the long grass, rapidly narrowing the distance between the hoodlums and us. As we swung over the top of the fence onto the outer side, the distance was down to barely fifty metres. A couple of seconds later we dropped into foliage on the outer side of the fence, the distance barely twenty five metres. As we turned to crash our way through the dense foliage and down the embankment to the river below, the scumbags were out of the golf buggy letting loose with more rounds. Pete stumbled over a log right in front of me and, as I bent down to help drag him into the cover, the momentary pause was enough to bring our assailants well within target range. That two second delay gave one of them a clean shot at my rear leg as I was disappearing into the jungle. I felt the same sting I’d felt the last time I’d been wounded.
“Fuck, I’ve been hit,” I said as Baey paused to make sure we were okay.
“Where?” he said as we came crashing down the slope to join him where the ravine leveled out to meet the river.
“In the calf,” I said turning my leg towards the soft red light of Baey’s torch and pulling my cargoes up to reveal the wound.
“It grazed you, nothing to be too worried about. Now you’ve got a wound in that leg to balance the one in the other,” said Baey throwing a bit of black humour into the moment.
“Yeah, great. Balanced bullet wounds, that’s all I need mate,” I said as the blood seeped down my lower calf.
“Do you know where this track leads to Peter?” said Baey shining his torch into dense blackout of the jungle beyond.
“It skirts the river, into the National Park. It ends at a major waterfall roughly three kilometres from here. I’ve been up there once a couple years ago,” said Pete looking shell shocked after all the physical exertion.
“I think we’d better get going then,” said Baey as we heard the mesh fence rattling with the sound of people climbing over it.
“On the run into the jungle then is it Baey?” I said trying to make light of the situation.
“No Mike, we’re leading them into trap. They’re on my turf now, not their decadent fleshpot in Pattaya,” he countered with a deadly glint in his eyes.