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Prologue

The dark shadow moved with purpose, slowly and quietly, barely visible in the pitch black of the early morning.  There was no glow from the new moon and the only light guiding him down the dock was the faint yellow security light at the very end, which threatened to go out with each erratic flicker.  He glanced at his watch briefly, 3:15 A.M.  As far as he could tell, he was the only person on the dock, and the only noise was that of the water softly lapping against the sides of the boats moored at the marina.

He was dressed all in black and donned a black ski mask as a precaution.   One could never be too careful.  If he were caught now, it would ruin everything he had worked so hard for over the last few years.  All he had to do now was sneak aboard the fifty-five-foot cabin cruiser, plant the GPS tracker, and get the hell out without being discovered.   Piece of cake.

He had watched from a distance as the “Rogue Alpha Team”, as they liked to call themselves, left the cabin cruiser approximately twenty minutes ago.  The arrogant pricks were under the impression their presence was secret.  He grinned under his ski mask at their blatant mistake.  It was a secret to everyone, even their commander, everyone that was but him.  It was going to be like taking candy from a baby.

He had started “working” for Juan Contrada, one of Miami’s biggest crime bosses, a few years back.  The decision hadn’t been a difficult one.  He had been in desperate need of a lot of cash to pay off gambling debts to some very unsavory and powerful people.  The debts had become grossly overdue, and if his superiors found out what he had done and who he had been dealing with, he would lose his job, among other things.

He had no clue how Juan Contrada figured out his carefully guarded secret, and at the time it hadn’t really mattered.  Javier Diaz, Contrada’s second, had come to him with a proposal and a fix to his immediate problem.  Juan Contrada would pay off all his debts and offer him protection against the unsavory and powerful people, and as payment, he would be expected to notify Diaz of important information when asked or when it became available.  Nothing too serious, Contrada just needed a heads up every now and then when either the D.E.A, F.B.I., or other law enforcement agency was planning to make a move on his organization, so he could take the proper countermeasures to ensure his illegal operations would and could continue without interruption or loss.

For the first year, Contrada hadn’t asked him for much information.  Diaz only contacted him once every other month.  Then, after about a year, it became once a month, and before he knew it, he was being contacted almost every day for inside information, especially as the D.E.A’s, F.B.I’s and his own agency’s investigations grew more intense against Contrada’s organization.  As Contrada’s demands grew, he realized too late he had just dug himself a bigger and deeper hole, one which he wasn’t going to be able to climb out of easily, if ever.  He had literally and willingly handed his soul over to the devil.

He learned quickly though, and the rules were quite simple.  Either he supplied Contrada with whatever was requested or Contrada would have his entire family killed and his superiors would be notified of his misdeeds.  He knew refusing to cooperate, or trying to end the relationship would end very badly for everyone he was connected with, and most importantly himself.  If his superiors didn’t incarcerate him, Contrada would see him dead.  Hell, who was he kidding?  Even if his superiors incarcerated him, he would still end up dead, in a cold jail cell, probably with a shank buried deep in his heart or kidney.  He knew without a doubt it would be a very violent and painful death.  Contrada wasn’t someone to be screwed with.  His reach was far and wide and he needed to remember that first and foremost.

During his second year on Contrada’s payroll, he discovered the more covert the information he “leaked” or if he arbitrarily “offered up” valuable information before it was asked or needed, the more money he made.  Since he was ingrained in Contrada’s operations and wasn’t getting out alive in the foreseeable future, the extra money was too hard to pass up.

He knew the Rogue Alpha Team was preparing for The D.E.A.’s meeting with their confidential informant at 7:30 A.M.  The CI was to be handing over sensitive information he stole from Alejandro Rubiano, another Miami crime boss, who was Juan Contrada’s main competition, and who in fact, was now dead, by no less than the CI’s own hands on Juan Contrada’s orders, of course.

The interesting thing was the CI had been Juan Contrada’s mole first and was supposed to give Contrada the information after he killed Rubiano, but somehow the D.E.A. had been able to turn Contrada’s own mole against him and into their own personal CI.  Contrada was more than pissed.  The bastard CI had flipped quicker than a fish out of water, but all was not lost, thanks to yours truly.

Just days before, he had finally been able to hack into the D.E.A.’s databases and dug up the name of the D.E.A.’s undercover agent, John Quinn, and as icing on the cake, the CI’s duplicity.  Naturally Contrada had rewarded him handsomely, in cash of course, for the unsolicited information.  He didn’t give a flying fuck about what happened to the CI.  The guy was an idiot for even thinking of crossing Contrada.  His fate was inevitable, that went without saying.  The crazy thing was, Quinn was none other than one of Contrada’s trusted men and had been for over two years and until he had been able to hack into the D.E.A.’s computers, no one had been the wiser.  Quinn was just a casualty of war and a means to an end for him, a very profitable end at that.  And, if he played his cards right, there would still be more profits to be had.

He grinned to himself as he thought about the huge cash bonus Contrada had given him when he revealed John Quinn was really a D.E.A. agent, working undercover in his organization, and was connected with Contrada’s mole in Rubiano’s organization.  At first, he felt guilty about giving up Quinn’s identity, but that regret was short lived.  Basically, it all came down to either him or Quinn.  Naturally self-preservation won over.  The saying “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” was so wrong.  Anyone with any sense knew in the real world it was all about survival of the fittest.  Kill or be killed, as the saying went.  He would rather kill or be responsible for the kill, than to be the one killed.

For the time being, he needed to continue to be useful and feed Contrada and Diaz information to ensure his status in the world of the living.  Hence, the planting of the GPS tracker.  If things with the current inter-agency investigation continued to progress as he suspected, his cash cow was going to be slaughtered, and soon.  And, before that happened, he knew he had to secure his own retirement plan.  Quinn was just the beginning.  Before he was done, he would get as much money out of Contrada as he could, then he would simply disappear, never to be found again.  Fuck everyone else.

Now, all he had to do was plant the GPS tacker and wait.  By releasing the information in increments, and at the proper times, the potential to earn even more money was inevitable.  He would need every penny in order to get out of the country when the shit hit the fan, and the shit storm that was headed Contrada’s way was going to be like a category five hurricane.

He stepped aboard the cabin cruiser and made his way to the back door.  He deftly picked the lock and let himself in, closing the door silently behind him.  Without the aid of a flashlight, he found the narrow stairs to his right that led down into the engine room.  At the entrance, he dared to turn on a mini flashlight he carried so he could see to pick the lock.  Once he gained access, he quietly walked over to the farthest engine and removed the outer cover.  He pulled the miniature GPS tracker from his pocket, which was no bigger than a nine-volt battery, turned it on and then placed it up and under the fuel line, attaching it securely to the engine.  He wanted to make sure the device wouldn’t readily be seen, if for some reason one of the team had to check the engines.

He tested the tracker with his phone to make sure the signal was being received, then replaced the cover.  As he left the engine room, he closed and locked the door, turned off his mini flashlight, and made his way back up to the deck.

Crouching in a dark corner at the stern, concealed from view, he checked to make sure no one had boarded the cabin cruiser while he was in the engine room and scanned the dock carefully.  Once he was confident no one was around, he stepped up onto the dock and made his way quickly and quietly back to his car, staying in the shadows as much as possible.

As he climbed in behind the wheel of his car, he let out a long sigh of relief.  He checked his watch, 3:34 A.M.  He still had time to make the meeting at 4:00 A.M., without drawing any attention to himself.  No one would be the wiser.