The next day David said he had to take a trip to help an old friend. His personal bodyguards went with him. The two men were named Mike and Rick, but everyone called them Mike and Ike. They were identical twins working as professional bodyguards with checkered pasts making it hard to find work. People don’t hire men to act as guards after spending time in prison for grand theft auto. They weren’t the brightest on the ranch.
Mike had once said, “I wanted all-white suits, but David said it would look a little goofy and Klan-like.”
Dressed in all black, the two six-foot nine-inch men were imposing. Two days later David came back in a better mood. David called for a new mass meeting that night.
David said, “The plan is working. Cities across California are calling for help from the feds because of the escalation in gang violence. The government that stayed silent while good men and women, your families, your children died are now being forced into acting. Some would say we should stop, we lost good people, and that should be our legacy………. Legacy, what does that mean to us?
What's more important, how we are remembered or if we enact real change while remaining anonymous? I say NO, our friends wouldn’t want us to stop until our job is done. We will need to change how we do things to keep up the pressure because only with pressure can we deal justice to the dealers.”
From their motel room, Alice counted their funds. They had about two thousand dollars on one card and forty thousand dollars in cash. With the money on hand, they could take a breath. Max suggested they go see her mother’s grave.
He said, “you never got the chance to say goodbye to your father, and he may be buried next to her.”
Alice replied, “Someone could still be looking for me. We should go see the grave my grandfather made for my mother.”
Alice then suggested Max should take off his pants. She pushed the cash off the bed and got into his lap. The two made love into the wee hours of the morning. The trip up the coast to Napa was long with them stopping overnight at a quaint little bed & Breakfast that didn’t have any issues in taking cash. By noon they arrived at the cemetery. The grave wasn’t hard to find. In the middle, surrounded by a brick and iron fence was a black monolithic stone marked with the family name “Beacon.” There was a problem, the grounds were being set up for a funeral. A plot was dug out under a headstone reading “Jackson Andrew Beacon.” The grandfather she would never meet was dead. Max and Alice kept their distance.
The next raid was on a house near an elementary school. Before anyone else spoke up, Ruth said she wanted in on this one. The advance team said this guy sits outside his house as a crossing guard for the school. He helps kids cross the road while he sells drugs from his post. He dealt mostly Ritalin, pot, and ecstasy. People described him as “the nicest guy you will ever meet.” He looked like a grandfather in his bib overalls, a flannel shirt under a button-down sweater and straw hat. He mainly dealt to elementary school children and high schoolers. They noticed in his demeanor that when a pretty schoolgirl walked by his post, he would linger just a little too long on the girl. The advance team suggested they try a honeypot.
The team consisted of Alice, Max, April, June, Bill, and Nancy. Despite being the youngest Alice was in charge. In training, Alice was the best with the gun and unflappable in stressful situations. She was best described by everyone in the group as being cold and detached to everything except Max. After a quick tutorial behind the wheel, the group decided that even though she was their leader, Alice wouldn’t do any of the driving. Ten minutes of white knuckling butt cheek clinching horror as she drove like the car was stolen with the entire police force ala OJ Simpson in hot pursuit had Bill taking the keys away.
Jennifer was on her way with everything she owned in a bag. David drove her to the ranch, a large stretch of land in New Mexico David bought about seven years ago. It was mostly brushland with little value near Harris town. With some effort, David and a couple of friends built something like a summer camp. It consisted of the main building with a meeting hall, offices, and a kitchen. The main building was all that was left of an old west town called Dan Town, which was just a one building town. Behind it was a series of camping trailers around a fire pit. The trailers varied in size and age. Each circle had eight trailers. Altogether there were four circles of trailers. The trailers had power and water connections, including sewer. David said that on the other side of the property was another set of cabins. This is where what he called the gang of eight would stay away from the rest. He would explain it all tonight. Jennifer didn’t care about that. She was in shock over what had just happened to her father and how quickly her life changed.
At sixteen, Alice was the typical all-American girl. Lean, fit with long straight blonde hair and a kiss of sun freckles across the bridge of her nose. An artist rendering of the average high school girl, the type you would see in the movies, but nothing was typical about her. Her real name was Jennifer, but Alice hated that name. She was one of seven girls named Jennifer in her class. The name was so overused it became a slang term in her school for generic or someone to overlook, “just another Jennifer.” Nothing about Alice was basic or straightforward. Next to her was a boy named Max. He was tall with curly black hair and a soccer players body, lean and well-muscled. The two sat in the back seat of a tan Honda Civic with two other people in the front. In the driver’s seat was a middle age white guy with a bulging beer gut and lousy combover named Scott. On the passenger’s side was a short-haired brunette named Cindy.
In times like this just before the action started, Alice thought about her mother and father. She knew the basics of how they met and was there for the end. Her mother Natalie was flawed, her father cared more for others than his own family, but still, she would have traded all of it for just one more day with them
The Honda slowly approached a row of houses on a city block. A man was sitting on a step, talking to some kids. He was an African American with gray hair underneath a gray New York Yankees baseball cap dressed in a gray tracksuit. The car came to a stop. The man nicknamed Gray Dog looked up as Alice shot him in the head using a 22/10 rifle fitted with a suppressor. The kids scattered. One of them grabbed a bag beside the dying man and ran. A voice came over the radio, “get that kid.”