Revell rose and pulled out his cellphone. "I will contact Tinker about new door." He headed toward the bar.
"You heard him, right?" said Mouse. "What Hosaka said?"
"I did," I said and started for the back hallway. "Come on. We've got some prepping to do."
Mouse got up and followed behind. "Clear of Lotus for good," she said. "Finally."
That wasn't all we'd be clear of.
* * *
Specs was leaning against the wall by the back office, hands in his pockets.
"Is it over yet?" he said.
"They're gone," I said. "You're safe."
"Don't be foolin' around," he said and shuddered. "That gave me the freaks."
"High roller like you?" said Mouse. "You're kidding, right?"
"Don't get me wrong," said Specs. "I can hold my own with most of the yahoos I gotta deal with. No prob. But that was Hosaka. White Lotus head honcho. Different fuckin' league altogether. I sneeze funny and he don't like it?" He made a slicing gesture across the front of his throat. "End of Specs."
"Well, you're still here," I said, "and we need a few things."
"Good," he said. "Take my mind offa' escapin' death."
* * *
After Specs left, I made a call to Fast Eddie and told him what I needed.
"You're in luck, Ladies," he said, his Cockney-tinged tenor sounding a bit sing-song. "It just so happens I have more than enough time to handle your request."
"How many Tsunamis have you had, Eddie?"
"More than I should, luv," he said. "But I'm sharpening me multi-tasking skills so this is wiz."
"So you can do this."
"I, Fast Eddie the Strong, can do it all," he said. "And in less than twenty-nine bleedin' hours."
He gave a long, hearty cackle.
* * *
Mouse was passed out on her bed, a one hand partially wrapped around the grip of a Bowie in a worn leather sheath, and I was re-assembling Bonnie when my phone chirped.
"Go ahead," I said.
"Found your little wanker," said Eddie.
I checked my optic clock.
"Ten hours," I said. "Impressive."
"Yes, I am," said Eddie.
* * *
By 16:00 the next day we were rolling east on 45th in a silver ChrysFord loaner courtesy of Specs.
As we hopped onto the Highway 401 northbound onramp, Mouse and I went over the plan again.
"You see any weak spots?" Mouse said when I finished.
"Nope," I said. "Still solid as far as I can tell. Why?"
"Got a bad feeling about it."
"What about exactly?"
"Nothing exactly," she said. "Just a hunch."
I said nothing.
But I was starting to get the same feeling, too.
* * *
As we got off Highway 610 and headed toward the western loop of San Marino road, my phone trilled.
Mouse pulled it off the dashboard holder and checked the screen.
"Sakura?" I said.
"Yeah," said Mouse. "Harada's on site. Cameras will go out in ten minutes. Says be ready by the gate at 17:00."
I popped my optic clock.
"Done," I said, and stepped on the accelerator.
* * *
Hosaka's mansion sat at the end of a curving lane on a little over two acres of property enclosed by a three-meter tall gray stone fence wall topped at regular intervals with a security camera and twin-headed lamps.
I slowed as turned on the lane and popped my optic clock.
Just in time.
My phone trilled.
"Cameras?" I said.
Mouse checked it and nodded.
"Yup," she said. "Cameras."
"Good," I said.
I parked the car just before the curve in the lane under a stand of trees. Mouse and I got out and made one final check of our gear.
The Twins were combat loaded--twelve in the mag, one in the chamber--and I carried eight extra mags in the four double-mag pouches on my gear belt. One hundred twenty-two total rounds of AP--armor piercing--ammo. I also had two flash-bang grenades in my jacket pockets and two frag grenades, one in each thigh bellows pocket of my BDU pants, plus a KA-BAR on my left hip and a ballistic knife on my right.
Mouse had her twin wakizashis--Japanese short swords--in a back scabbard and was patting herself down. I knew she had a pair of Bowies strapped to her hips plus an untold number of throwing blades hidden about her person.
Mouse loves her pointy toys.
A good start.
I popped the loaner's trunk, pulled out the FN-FAL and the Colt-Springfield M4-A. Handed the M4 to Mouse.
"We went over this," I said, seeing the expression on her face.
"I know, I know," she said, taking the rifle and checking the magazine. Then she slapped the mag back in and racked the charging handle.
I did the same with the FAL then pulled out the small duffel bag loaded with more toys--twenty extra mags for the Twins, and ten more mags for the FAL and M4--and slung that over my shoulder in a cross-carry fashion.
Then Mouse reached back into the trunk and pulled out the M79 40mm grenade launcher--the blooper--and grabbed the bandolier of 40mm grenades. She slung the bandolier over her shoulder in cross-carry then slung the blooper over her shoulder.
* * *
Mouse and I jogged the rest of the way toward the house, keeping off the lane. When we reached the fence wall by the ornate wrought iron gate, I popped my clock again.
"Three minutes left," I said, the FAL at low-ready.
Mouse nodded, the M4 also at low-ready.
I took a deep breath, then let it out.
Counted down with my clock.
At 17:00 on the dot, we heard a loud clink of metal.
Turned to look.
And the front gate started to swing inward.
"Let's go," I said and headed toward the gate.