“Juan Carlos Reynoso,” Matt said.
Dane’s head hung low. His eyes were glossy marbles of fear.
“He is the top boss for the Mexican Mafia in Tijuana,” Matt continued. “Every business in the city pays a monthly fee to Reynoso for protection. A tax really. To stay alive.”
Dane didn’t raise his head but it was obvious he was hearing Matt’s description because his lips began to tremble.
“And so we need you to bring us to him,” Matt said, “so we can find the source of the Uranium.”
Dane was shaking his head without real conviction, a toddler trying to disagree with his parents and yet knowing he couldn’t win the argument.
“Yes,” Matt said, bending low to judge Dane’s expression better, “this Uranium is extremely troublesome. We don’t know if this is the first batch Reynoso has tried to smuggle into the border, or the tenth. So it’s very important we stop it before it becomes a real threat to our nation.”
Dane rubbed a hand over his face. “Man, I just can’t do it. Can’t you put me into like a witness protection deal?”
“Sorry pal. That’s only if you testify against someone and we don’t even have Reynoso in custody.” Matt’s face brightened. “Hey, but you can help us put him there. And that’s one step closer to witness protection.”
Dane didn’t appear convinced. Matt could tell the kid wasn’t about to risk his life over a stupid decision that he regretted the moment he’d made it.
Matt pointed to a remote control sitting on shelf just below a small TV hanging in the corner of the room. Nick swiped the remote from the shelf and tossed it to Matt.
“Would you like to watch a little TV?” Matt asked.
Dane sat motionless, staring at the black screen. “What?”
“TV,” Matt said. “We have security cameras around the perimeter of the facility and sometimes it’s interesting to see what’s going on outside. Gives one a little perspective.”
Matt held out his arm and pointed the remote at the TV. A moment later the screen came to life. Matt could tell by the confused look on Dane’s face, he wasn’t getting it just yet.
The first camera image showed cars going up and down a busy two lane road. A light sprinkle made the street glisten. A few seconds later the screen flashed to a view of the parking lot. There were twenty or thirty cars randomly parked across the stretch of asphalt according to the shift someone may have started and how busy it was at the time.
Dane looked at Matt. “Is there a reason we’re doing this?”
Matt put a finger to his lips. “Just watch.”
The next image displayed an empty street along the side of the complex. There was a deep expanse of woods on the far side of the street and nothing but the cyclone fence of the compound on the near side. It was completely vacant but for one solitary vehicle sitting along the shoulder with the windows down. There were two men inside the dark green sedan. It was obvious these men were of Latin descent. Two Hispanic men stared at the correctional facility. The driver wore sunglasses even in the drizzle. He wore the tediously wicked expression of an assassin who was bored with such an easy target.
“Wha . . . what . . . who are they?”
Matt pushed a button, then placed the remote down on the table. The screen remained focused on the sedan. “I think you have an idea who they are,” Matt said quietly.
Dane’s eyes widened as the realization hit him. “They’re waiting for me?”
Matt said nothing.
Nick sipped his coffee and kept quiet.
Matt watched the kid stare at his future assassins with a complete sense of his mortality sinking in. Dane was plummeting to his death and Matt was right there to offer him a parachute.
“Now,” Matt said, clasping his hands together on the table like a friendly schoolteacher. “Let’s talk about your future.”
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