Code Name Tequila Ch. 12byTravel_by_day©
Andre Fernandez arrived at Lima's international airport in the early afternoon. The taxi took him to the private aviation terminal, where he quickly boarded a private jet. 15 minutes later, after a short taxi, the airplane took off into a clear blue Peruvian sky.
Ria Ortega and Carlos Sanz watched from the airport perimeter as Fernandez's jet took off into the sky.
Turning towards Carlos, Ria asked, "any luck on finding out where he is going?"
"No," Carlos said. "None of the DAC's informants are working today," Carlos explained, indicating that the Colombian security forces didn't have any contacts in the airport.
Ria took out the secure mobile phone that the CIA had given her. "Let me see if the CIA can assist us in figuring out Fernandez's next move," she said, walking away as she put the phone to her ear.
After passing the vocal security checks, Ria was connected with Black Oak, the director at the CIA in charge of the investigation into the Aguila Roja. Ria updated Black Oak on the information they had discovered that day. Andre Fernandez had been in Peru to check on the progress of a fleet of boats being built. The boats, at least 30 of them, were heavily armoured and outfitted with high calibre guns and rocket launchers.
"After that, Fernandez headed straight to the airport, and he's just taken off. We aren't sure where to, though," Ria concluded.
"Interesting," Black Oak said. "It could be that he is heading to Caracas. April and May are heading to Venezuela with Patterson. It could be that the two men are meeting up there. Why don't you plan to head to Caracas, and if we hear anything different, we will contact you."
The phone line went dead. Black Oak never said goodbye.
Ria returned back to where Carlos was standing. He was reading something on his phone. Without looking up he asked, "What do the masterminds in Langley say?"
"They think he may be heading to Caracas," Ria said. "Patterson is heading there, so they are speculating that Fernandez headed there to meet up with Patterson."
Carlos looked up and smiled. "Ah, Butterfly. Again the Colombians are smarter than the Americans. Fernandez's jet just made connect with the air traffic control for Colombian air space. They are heading to Panama City." Carlos held up his iPhone and showed Ria the message from Colombian intelligence.
Ria raised an eyebrow. "Fine, okay, you win one. How are we getting to Panama, then? Can you check flights on that fancy phone of yours?"
Carlos nodded. "I could, but I have something better in mind."
* * *
An hour later, Ria and Carlos were settling into Cessna Citation II corporate jet owned by the Colombian Air Force. The plane was normally used to transport VIPs, but Carlos had been able to pull a few strings to get use of the plane for a few hours to transport himself and Ria up to Panama.
Carlos sat back and opened up a copy of El Tiempo, the highest circulated daily newspaper in Colombia. Ria, sitting across from Carlos, noticed that Jorge Ortiz was on the cover, the Latin American advisor to the Pan-American racing series. Ria scanned the headline and by-line from her seat across from Carlos. The story wasn't about racing, but was about Ortiz's potential run as president of Colombia.
"Ortiz Calls For End to Drug Culture," the headline said. In smaller text underneath, the newspaper said, "Potential presidential candidate declares that Colombia needs to end violence to seize opportunity to become a world leader for the 21st century."
"Ortiz is on the cover of the newspaper," Ria said.
Carlos let the paper drop and smiled at Ria. "Yes, he is getting some excellent press. Hopefully he can convince the people of Colombia that he is the best choice to run the country."
"You'd like him to run the country? Even though he could be involved with the Aguila Roja?" Ria asked.
Carlos frowned and shook his head. "Jorge Ortiz is not involved with the Aguila Roja, I am sure. DAC has investigated him thoroughly and he is clean. True, he is now, and has been in the past, involved with organisations with links to drug cartels and organised crime. However, there are few successful people in Colombia who aren't linked by one or two people to crime. The corruption is so pervasive in some areas that good people like Ortiz can't help but end up working at times with the criminals. That doesn't make him a criminal himself, though."
"Okay, so he might be clean," Ria admitted. "That does match up with what I overheard him say to Piston Clark back in Santiago. He said that sometimes to build something greater, you have to work with bad people. But what makes Ortiz the best choice? Surely there are other people that are as clean and intelligent that could lead Colombia."
"The problem is that presidential campaigns cost so much money. To run and win a campaign, you have to be rich or have rich backers. Unfortunately, much of the money comes from illegal sources. People like Rodrigo Tabernas or the Aguila Roja, spending their ill-gotten blood money to spoil the election and ensure their criminal activities get overlooked. Ortiz is one of the few who is honest and can fund his own campaign. Ortiz is incorruptible because he doesn't need other people's money."
Ria scanned the front page of the paper. She spied a headline that mentioned another presidential candidate, General Santos dos Torres. "What about that candidate? He is a general. I would have thought that you, as a member of the Colombian forces, would have supported him."
Carlos shook his head. "No, Santos dos Torres is one of the most corrupt men in all of Colombia. The DAC have looked at his finances, and they are very suspicious. We haven't been able to pin anything on him yet, but we are sure he is accepting large funds from the drug cartels, both foreign and domestic. Santos dos Torres is soft on drug crime, but hard on the Marxist rebel groups in the North. While I don't want the Marxists to take control of the country, Santos dos Torres plans to crack down on them are just to clear the way for the drug cartels to take control of the land for drug production. That will only lead to more drugs and more violence. Ortiz would bring stability to the region. Santos dos Torres could plunge the region into war."
"Sounds a lot like what Aguila Roja is planning," Ria said.
Carlos nodded. "I would not be surprised to learn that the Aguila Roja is one of the major contributors to Santos dos Torres' presidential campaign."
Ria bit her lip, deep in thought. After a moment she broke her silence. "The thing I can't understand is why Aguila Roja seems to be intent on starting a war. He already controls much of the drug and weapons trade in the Americas. Armed conflict could only work to destabilise that situation."
Carlos sat back. "I've been wondering the same thing. We are obviously missing some pieces of the puzzle. All we can do is keep our eye those we suspect might by the Aguila Roja, or at least who are working for the Aguila Roja. We just have to keep following people like Fernandez, Patterson and Tabernas, and see where those investigations take us."
Ria and Carlos sat back and silence and let the Colombian Air Force plane take them on the next step of their investigation, towards Panama City's Tocumen International Airport.
* * *
The Colombian Air Force's Cessna Citation II landed in Panama City a few hours later. Exiting the plane onto the tarmac, Ria and Carlos were met by a well-built man in his forties with salt-and-pepper hair. "Hello, welcome to Panama," he said. "My name is Iago Francisco Ferdinad, but everyone calls me Don Pico. I am special attaché with the Colombian embassy here in Panama City. I'll be your contact here in Panama."
Ria and Carlos shook hands with Don Pico, who then pointed them towards a large black Ford Explorer with tinted windows. "I have arranged for transport for you to the hotel, where you will have a car at your disposal. I have arranged with Panamanian customs for you to be pre-cleared, so we can leave immediately."
"Have we kept an eye on Fernandez?" Carlos asked as they walked towards the SUV.
Don Pico nodded. "Yes, he has checked into a hotel in the El Cangrejo area of town. Fernandez is there now, in his room. We have four men on the hotel, so he shouldn't be able to get out without us know. I have booked you into a hotel about a block and a half away. We should be there about forty-five minutes. We'll give you a ring if he makes a move."
Carlos smiled. "Perfect."
Don Pico climbed behind the wheel, and Carlos climbed into the passenger seat beside him. Ria took a seat in the rear of the Explorer, and they were off.
The SUV drove through scrub brush and forest for about 30 minutes until suddenly emerging onto a causeway running over the water. To the front and sides, suddenly the landscape changed from natural to man-made, with glass and steel towers rising into the air, glistening in the late afternoon sun.
"Wow, it's quite urban," Ria exclaimed.
Don Pico smiled and nodded. "Yes, Panama City is a very modern town. Thanks to being at the heart of the shipping industry, it has a lot of investment from international companies."
"Does the canal pass close to here?" Ria asked, speaking of the Panama Canal. The canal was completed in 1914, and links the Caribbean Sea with the Pacific Ocean, cutting more than 10,000 kilometres off a voyage from the east coast of the USA to the west coast. More than 14,000 vessels pass through the canal every year, carrying more than 300 millions tons of cargo. It is arguably the most important waterway in the world, and many ships are built to a standard called Panamax, specifically designed just to fit through the canal.
"The mouth of the canal is to the north of the city, and the nearest lock is the Miraflores lock about an hour from your hotel. I don't know how much time you will have during your visit here to Panama, but if you get a chance, I would recommend going out to see the locks," Don Pico suggested.
Ria smiled. "That sounds like fun!" she exclaimed.
Carlos, who was playing with his iPhone shook his head. "I've already seen it, and its not that interesting. Besides, we are here for work, not pleasure."
Ria crossed her arms and pouted. "I'm interested in seeing it," she said softly.
Carlos looked back and smiled. "Oh, poor Butterfly. I don't know that we will get to see the canal this trip, but there is a race scheduled here in Panama later in the year. I promise you that I will take you then, okay?"
Ria scrunched up her lips, but agreed.
"We are almost there," Don Pico said, turning the SUV down a small side street. The Hotel Azul del Mar was a nine story building with a small courtyard with a pool and a very small casino off the main lobby. Don Pico already had checked in Ria and Carlos into a suite on the top floor, and handed them the keys. "It's is suite 903. You have a private balcony. It is quite nice. The car I rented you is in the parking garage underneath. The keys for the car are in the room."
Don Pico took out a small map. "Fernandez is staying at the Hotel Torre de Oro, which is just a few blocks away. I am sorry to say that it is much ritzier than your hotel. I think you'll find the Azul del Mar comfortable enough, though."
Carlos took the key card and map from Don Pico. "I am sure that the hotel room will be fine. Give us a call as soon as Fernandez makes a move." With that, Carlos hopped out of the car.
Don Pico looked back at Ria and raised an eyebrow. Ria just sighed and climbed out of the car.
* * *
That evening Carlos and Ria walked down to the waterfront, where Carlos had made reservations for a waterfront restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel. They were shown to a table on the terrace, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The sun was just hovering over the horizon, about to sink down into the ocean and plunge the world into darkness. At present, though, the sun was throwing off a light show of reds, oranges and yellows across the sky.
Ria scanned the horizon, and saw a number of large container ships anchored off the shore. She counted at least 30 ships. "Look at all the ships," Ria said.
Carlos looked out over the water. "Yes, all waiting their turn to go through the canal. Probably the same again on the Caribbean side, and more still sitting in the middle of the country in Lake Gatun."
"What is Lake Gatun?" Ria asked.
"It is a large lake in the middle of the country that was created with the opening of the canal. There are three locks on this side of the country rising the ships up from sea level to the level of Lake Gatun. The ships then travel across the lake to another set of locks on the Caribbean side, where they are lowered back down to sea level," Carlos explained.
"It sure would be nice to see the locks," Ria said, smirking.
Carlos shook his head. "You never give up, do you?"
Carlos' iPhone beeped. He picked it up and scrolled through some information.
"You have been staring at that phone all day," Ria said. "What are you reading? The latest scores from the Colombian football league?"
Carlos laughed. "No, nothing like that. I've actually been getting a number of analyst reports from the DAC, trying to hypothesize what Aguila Roja could be up to. As you said earlier, the volume of weapons being amassed doesn't make sense. It is much more than would ever be used in protection for the drugs business. But there is no way that Aguila Roja could hope to overthrow and maintain one of the governments in any of the nations around here. The armour is enough to create a destabilizing war for a period of time, but Aguila Roja would eventually lose that war. It defies logic."
Ria nodded. "We need more information if we are to determine Aguila Roja's motive. Hopefully one of the leads that are being followed will lead to fruition."
"Enough talk about work," Carlos said, spying the waiter approaching. "Let me put away my phone, and we'll have a nice dinner." Carlos slipped the phone in his pocket as the waiter arrived to take their drink order.
Ria sipped her glass of Ice cold Reisling, cool and refreshing on the hot Panama evening. Carlos sipped a crystal clear chilled Martini. As Ria and Carlos finished their drinks, a hush came over the restaurant terrace. All the dinners had turned to watch as the sun sunk quickly into the Pacific Ocean. The sky above the horizon quickly changed colours, the reds and oranges quickly deepening in hue until they transformed into blues and purples. Looking straight up into the sky, Ria noted that the sky was dark black. She slowly brought her head forward, noticing that the sky gradually lightened until it was a deep navy blue at the horizon.
"What a beautiful sunset," Ria said, watching the last of the colour fade from the sky.
"Not as beautiful as you, Butterfly," Carlos said. Ria blushed.
The waiter brought the starters for the table. Ria ate a bowl of crunky and fresh Gazpacho, a cool, crisp soup that refreshed after a long day. Carlos savoured a plate of six meated seared scallops wrapped in bacon.
As the darkness of night set upon the city, natural light was replaced by man-made light. The tall glass towers along the waterfront lit up, towers of light making a wall rising up from the dark waters of the Pacific Ocean. Ria scanned the horizon and noted that the container ships had turned on their lights, dots of light bobbing slightly on the horizon. Scanning her eyes to the right, Ria noted a well lit spit of land jutting out from the shore.
"What is that spit of land out there in the ocean?" Ria asked.
Carlos looked over his shoulder. "That's Casco Viejo, one of the oldest parts of Panama City. It is connected to the mainland by a thin strip of land. It has some very pretty parts, including the Presidential Palace, but has some very dangerous areas as well. It makes a nice place to tour around during the day. Perhaps if we find some free time, we can go and see it."
Ria smiled. "Or we could even go and see the Miraflores lock," she said.
Carlos rolled his eyes. "I get the feeling you aren't the kind of girl that is used to hearing no," Carlos said, smiling.
Ria raised an eyebrow. "Usually the only time I hear no is if I ask the question, 'do you want me to stop?'" she said, laughing.
Appetisers were cleared, and a moment later the waiter brought out the mains. Carlos has a rare tuna steak, with roasted new potatoes and grilled green beans. The Tuna was meaty but not too filling, perfectly cooked so that the middle was still sushi raw. Ria had a plate of cold shrimp on ice with cocktail sauce and a side salad. The shrimps were large and meaty.
As they finished dinner, Carlos felt Ria's foot rub up and down his leg. Carlos looked over at Ria, who had a sly grin on his face. "Do you want desert?" Carlos asked.
"Why don't we go back to the hotel and have desert there," Ria said, sliding her foot between Carlos' thighs, making it clear that she wasn't interested in any desert that you would eat.
Carlos quickly paid the cheque, and the two caught a taxi back to the hotel. In the back of the cab, the two were all over each other like teenagers. Carlos' hands pushed up Ria's shirt and massaged her firm tits. Their tongues clashed in their mouths. Ria reached down and started to massage Carlos' thick cock through the fabric of his pants.
Up in the hotel room, Carlos could not resist the urge to get on his knees and pull Ria's engorged cock from her pants and start sucking on her. After a few minutes of sucking, Ria and Carlos moved to the bed, falling on it and kissing. Ria reached down and pushed Carlo's pants down. His hard cock sprang out fully erect. Ria moved down to take his dick in her mouth, and positioned her hips by Carlos' mouth. The two were soon mutually sucking each other.
Carlos started to rim Ria. Soon her ass was open, so Carlos moved Ria into a doggy-style position on the bed and started to finger Ria's ass, first with one finger and then with two.
Once Ria was open, Carlos entered her from behind. He started very slow and gentle but after a few moments he increased the speed and depth of his thrusts. Ria moaned and asked for more.
After twenty minutes of deep thrusting, Carlos was on the verge of coming. He moaned and pushed himself as far as he could into her, and released his load. After he was drained, he pulled himself out of Ria's ass.
"I want to taste you," Carlos said. "I want to taste your sweet cum."
Ria stood up while Carlos started to suck and wank her cock until she was ready to explode. Ria pushed her throbbing cock in to Carlos' mouth and proceeded to fill it with her cum.
The two lay back into each other's arms, and gently kissed until they drifted off to sleep.
* * *
The next morning Ria and Carlos were woken by a knock on the door. "I took the liberty of ordering breakfast in bed," Carlos said, getting up and putting on one of the fluffy, white terry-cloth robes provided by the hotel. Ria stayed under the covers as Carlos opened the door, signed for breakfast and brought it into the room.
The breakfast came on a tray that had small folding legs. Carlos flipped down the legs and placed the breakfast tray so that it straddled Ria's stomach. Carlos removed the cover on the tray, revealing a continental breakfast plate for two, with toast, croissants, blueberry muffins and pain au chocolat, along with pats of butter on ice and small jars of strawberry, raspberry and grape jam. Ria grabbed a pain au chocolat while Carlos lay down beside her and cracked open the strawberry jam. He sliced open one of the croissants and spread the jam liberally in the middle before taking a bite.
Ria and Carlos lay in bed, lazily enjoying their breakfast until the respite was broken by the buzz of Carlos' iPhone. Carlos reached over and looked at the screen. "It's Don Pico," he announced before answering the phone and putting it on speaker.