Part 6

by CM Towns

   TIRO CERTERO stood six foot five inches, bulky build with a weight of over 250 pounds. He wore a tight shirt and jeans, a gold Rolex around his right wrist as well as his trademark mask. Tiro Certero was a heavy hitter, shot caller, and general ‘man-not-to-be-fucked-with’ within the Daga Cartel. At that moment he stood in a junkyard with three Hispanic teenagers behind him. One boy fidgeted, the other kept his head down, the girl sneered. Beside those youngster there was two armed men, each gripping their weapon tightly. Tiro watched as a brown van drove up and turned so its side was facing Tiro. The side door slid open and one man jumped out. Another from the passenger side and the driver making his way around. They grabbed and pulled out three men, forcing them to kneel on a black tarp that had been laid out moments before their arrival. These three captives were handcuffed from behind and wore bags over their heads but it was clear from their uniforms these men were police officers.
   Tiro turned to the youngsters and began, “You wish to join the ranks of the Dagger you must show your ability to been unflinching in the battle of life and death. You must allow yourself to become a weapon, striking at any one-any being-that would threaten our way of life.”
   Tiro snapped his finger and one his men handed him a glock. Tiro then continued, “You will now be tested. Know that failure in this test is punished. To come forth and offer yourself but being able to show us your potential is a spit in the face of our organization,” he then handed the weapon to the first teenager.

   A lanky boy in a tank top and baggy pants with ungroomed hair. He looked at the gun and then up to Tiro Certero. He looked toward the cops and walked forward slowly. He pointed the gun, his hand shook, but finally he pulled the trigger on one of the officers. The others shook to tried to get away but were forced back down.
   The boy walked back and handed it to the girl. Hair in a ponytail, dirty clothes, and an angry demeanor she walked up quick and executed the next officer without some much as a flinch. She cussed and walked back into line. Tiro nodded at the young one. The larger boy was last. He was hesitant at first with the gun in his hand but knew he could not show doubt after the girl. For him girls were weaker than boys so he had to be just as good. He walked up, point blank range, and the last officer was now laying dead alongside his friends.
   “Excellent. You three have done well as scouts and now further show that you are willing to do what is necessary for the organization. These pigs-do not matter. Remove them from your minds. They will be nothing but a fleeting memory. They’re scum standing in the way of you’re ability to grow, to make money, to be happy. Now go wait back in front of the office. Me and the men must speak, then we will be with you,” Tiro instructed.
   He looked over to three of his men already dealing with the bodies and said, “Javi, help them out. Cesar-come here.”
   “Sir,” said the one named Cesar.
   “Get the boys a little cash. Some tools of course. Then call H and have him put them somewhere.”
   “The girl?”
   “I like the ruthlessness in her eyes. Get one of the women to clean her up. Some new clothes. I want you to make arrangements to have her taken in home. Take her to the trainers-we will turn her into a true dagger,” Tiro directed.
   “The trainers-they don’t take anyone that young unless they are advanced,” Cesar reminded him.
   Tiro put his hand on Caesars shoulder and Cesar’s legs started to shake. He whispered, “Did I stutter?”
   Cesar shook his head ‘no’ and went of to take care of business.
   Tiro watched the clean up for a moment before he walked over to a nearby table he had put out. There sat a laptop and a bottled water. He took a sip and checked the time on his watch. He opened the computer and did some quick searches as he waited for the right time. When it arrived he greeted the man on the other side of the camera, “SEÑOR MONTALVO.”
   Montalvo was a dark skinned Mexican man with a trimmed mustache, well maintained black hair, a big smile, and straight nose. He had the look of an older Mexican movie star.
   “Tiro, how is the business in Texas?” Montalvo asked.
   “Moves like clockwork, sir. A few obstacles but nothing I can not handle,” he said.
   “Excellent. Any trouble from our rivals? Or other organizations?” he asked.
   “None directly. We have been monitoring a few small groups associated with Russians,” Certero answered.
   “The structure of the Russian mob is abysmal. No threat even if they confronted us. The Casa Nostra is a different story but they have limited numbers in Texas,” Montalvo said.
   “What is happening elsewhere, sir?”
   “We slowly take from the Colombians. Once our weapons are fully operational we take control of the top families and with it their drug pipelines. Our operatives in New Mexico and Arizona continue to impress. Nevada we still have limited foothold in. California we tread cautiously,” detailed Montalvo.
   “The Guard must be aware of our attacks by now,” Tiro stated.
   “Yes, well, you did leave quite a souvenir.”
   “I apologize again sir. I was tired of letting our rivals or terrorists from other nations take credit for what only we have the guts to do,” Certero said.
   “It matters little. It would have been sooner or later that they connected us to the attacks. Let the Guard come. I welcome the challenge. Our operation is spread enough to ensure we march forward even if they shut down one or two bases,” Montalvo said.
   “The weapons are coming along then?”
   “Half of them. A number of our scientists are baffled by the technology and magic we have gathered. It is a learning curve. A lot of what we have built I would refer to as test models. We will still be relying on our hardware to enforce our will. Does not change that we have lots of nice toys,” Montalvo answered.
   “The Guard will not know where to attack. If they split forces they will be overpowered,” stated Tiro.
   “Exactly. Unlike the Teiwaz we have had dealings with the girls enough to know what to expect. Plus we have kept eyes on the one named Kid Victory long enough to not under estimate the boy as they did,” Montalvo added.
   “He is talented but years away from being at his prime.”
   “The others, we know little but I would argue we know enough to counter.”
   Tiro Certero nodded his head and then asked, “So what is next, sir?”
   “Keep everyone on high alert. Make sure teams are adjusted in size if you have to send people out on jobs. Other than that, wait for my call,” he instructed.
   “Yes, sir. I will do as necessary and if the Guard shall come to my backyard I will make sure the operation is not set back. I will do what I must to hurt them,” Tiro understood.
   “Always good to hear. Speak with you soon,” Montalvo said before signing off.