Bona-Brown, the Prime Minister of Cali, looked over at Cindy Barbilla the Executive Director for the SD-LA (San Diego-Los Angeles) political area. Cindy’s staff enjoyed joking about her name, behind her back of course. Sin barbilla means “no chin” in Spanish. The name fit.
“What can you tell me about crime in Sdee-La?” Bona-Brown asked. “Is the Cartel making any noise?”
“No boss. Things have been really quiet. The only Cartel violence was when a building in Willowbrook collapsed due to a “natural gas” explosion. The explosion killed about twenty skin-heads. Word on the street is they jacked a truck that belonged to some Cartel thug named El Patrón.”
Frank Spirochete’s ears perked up. Frank was head of Bona-Brown’s personal security detail.
“That’s unusual.” Frank said. He rarely spoke but people paid attention when he did. It was almost always worth your time to pay attention when he did.
“Why is that?” Bona-Brown asked. He was ready to close the meeting and resented anybody who might prolong it.
“You never hear of anybody in the Cartel ‘owning’ things. It always belongs to the Cartel. Unless, of course, you are talking about the head of the Cartel. That report suggests that the Cartel just moved it’s headquarters to LA.” Frank said.
“The other thing is that ‘El Patrón’ means ‘big boss’ or ‘Godfather’. I don’t know who ‘El Patrón’ is but I can guarantee that he is not some random, low level Cartel thug.” Frank said.
That was perplexing information. Bona-Brown’s power was based on the delicate and precarious balancing of competing factions against the other. The Cartel was a heavy-weight with the potential to bring down Bona-Brown’s fragile power coalition.
Bona-Brown looked over at Spirochete. “I want you to find out what is happening. Obviously, Cindy does not have a clue.” as Bona-Brown fixed Barbilla with a withering stare.
Four days later a tall, burly man with a shaven head and multiple neo-NAZI tats walked into the Chop-Chop Shop, a biker/sports bar in Lynwood, California a half hour before midnight. He had the bulky muscles of a serious weight lifter with a penchant for ‘roids. This was the third bar he had checked out this evening.
He was, in real life, a prison guard at a women’s psychiatric prison. He did not expect to meet anybody he knew professionally.
He drank a couple of schooners of beer and ate a basket of fries as he scoped the place out.
He was looking for trouble. He did not have to look hard. It found him.
A couple of beefy skinheads bracketed him. “Where ya from, Bro?” the one asked him.
“Modesto.” was the new guy’s answer.
“Kind of far from home, ain’t ya?” the other asked.
“Depends.” the man said. “I can feel at home pretty much anywhere.”
“Well, boy, you are in the big leagues now. This is the big city and it ain’t like back home.” smaller and mouthier of the two said.
“Hmmm.” the newcomer grunted noncommittally. “That ain’t what they are saying up-state. Up-state they say you are a bunch of pussies.”
“Whaddya mean?” the smaller one challenged him.
“The word in Modesto is that a handful of the local Spics knocked off twenty of you and you didn’t do anything about it. Your guys ripped off a truck which shouldn’t be any big deal. And the Spics ripped off your nuts.” the burly man said, taking a large quaff of his Budweiser.
The smaller one puffed up belligerently. “That ain’t how it went down.” he said.
The weightlifter from Modesto said, “So what is your story?”
“It was over in Willowbrook. Our guys jacked a truck on East 135th Street. It was a big, old Peterbilt and it was being driven by shit-kicker from the central valley.” the mouth one said.
The weightlifter nodded. That jibed with what he had heard.
“We did not even get it unloaded. A bunch of Spics showed up out of nowhere and shot the shit out of our guys. Usually you can get a truck unloaded and dump it somewhere before anybody figures out what is going on but it is like everybody knew something was going down because this truck wasn’t going where it was supposed to go.” the mouthy guy said. “It was like you had kicked a bee hive.”
“Where do you think the truck was going?” the weightlifter asked casually.
“Hell, there is only one place it could have been going. There is a big-ass, abandoned warehouse on 135th. That is the only place that could take a semi like that.” the mouthy skinhead said.
“Damn!” the weightlifter said. “That is not the story we heard up north.”
“Sure is curious. It’s a pity you never found out what was in that truck. Musta been full of drugs to make the Cartel go ape-shit like that.” the weightlifter opined.
“Drugs! Shit! Some of them bags broke open and you wanna know what was in them? Corn. Nothing but corn. Craziest damned thing I ever seen.” the mouthy skinhead exclaimed.
The weightlifter from Modesto bought a few pitchers of beer for his new, best friends as he closed the bar with them. He did not learn anything more that was useful.