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Awakenings Chapter 5: Focusings, Page 13

“Good evening Robert!  I am glad that you could make it this late. I see that you brought Juan in with you. Why did you bring Eric Chatfield in here with you? Have a seat, would you like a drink?”

Robert smiled back at Mr. Grainger. “No thank you Mike. Eric has proven himself by helping us to penetrate the FBI.  He has proven his loyalty.”

“I have learned to trust your instincts.  Getting an inside track into the FBI will be very valuable.  I asked you here so that we can discuss our problems with our Chinese friends.”

“Yes, the real merchandise inside the grape juice operation is netting our clients billions of dollars.  It would not be possible without our control of customs and key people in the Department of Homeland Security. We raised our fees by only 50%, which is a drop in the bucket compared to what they are making, and they have refused to make their latest payments.”

“Their insolence also threatens our operations in Long Beach, Seattle, and Galveston. They must pay us or die.  When will you issue your ultimatum?”

“Tomorrow.  However, they have a sizeable force and are well armed.  I need resources.”

“I will give you resources.  How many men do you need?”

“I think thirty more will suffice.  I need some real firepower.  I want to be ready to stop their ship that will be anchoring tomorrow to wait its turn for unloading.”

“What do you have in mind?”

“Besides more submachine guns, I will need these additional men to be equipped with M4 carbines, night vision goggles, and, dare I ask, several rocket propelled grenades.”

Mr. Grainger’s bushy red eyebrows rose pronouncedly. “I have some RPGs that I have been getting ready to smuggle into our Colombian operation, but what on earth do you need these for?”

“If I hit their ship right at the water line, I can cripple it and maybe even sink it. That would teach them a real lesson.”

Mr. Grainger looked hard at Robert. “Like I said, ever since Vietnam, I have learned to trust your instincts. What you are planning is going to make the front-page headlines.  Just don’t do anything to bring the government into this office. Remember that even you would have a heavy price to pay for failure.”

“Yes sir, I will not fail.”

After dinner, Joe sat in his den surfing the web to learn more about the Illyrians and the ancient cultures of the Adriatic. He also started down some more directions on alchemy. He decided to refresh the advantage he had obtained from drinking a small amount of his Great Grandfather’s two special zinfandels blended into a single glass. Doing so, he was again reminded how old these wines were, they certainly were far, far past their prime drinking point. Joe sipped this wine blend while surfing. After a while he began to sense something really unusual.   His clairvoyance sensed some sort of large scale of tension that permeated everything and everywhere. It seemed like the very earth beneath his feet was tense. The Divinatio wine allowed him to perceive some threads    that he just did not understand. He could see trees shaking. Could this be the wind? He could sense that intense fear would be triggered. What did the howling of dogs mean?

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