One Hundred Sixteen
“So you just shot him,” Peter Simon said.
He was the first person to speak after all twelve of them got on the last boat and sailed into the sunrise. By now, they were far enough away that the smoke from Harker’s lair as it went up in flames had dwindled to the point where it looked like an extinguished match.
“In all fairness,” said Tomo, “he did threaten to rebuild and come after us all. Jenny especially.”
“Who wasn’t the one who killed him,” Peter Simon noted.
“We’re not going to have some big theology debate the whole way back, are we?” asked Charlie. “Let me know so I can swim to shore from here.”
“We’re probably still around Ohio,” said James. “Harker’s influence and his haters are going to be tougher to deal with here. At least wait until we get over the state line by Erie.”
“Why the state line?” Tia asked.
When she didn’t get a response right away, she pressed, “You’re telling me that something like this, there’s no federal involvement that’s going to make it tough on everyone, eh?”
Andy finally responded, “The states over here, for years they were asking to have more involvement in their own affairs and less federal oversight, and when they got it they found themselves alone more often than not in just about every way.”
“Unless they can prove Harker was a terrorist or a foreign-born,” James added, “it’s not going to follow us back to Buffalo. And considering how many people wanted to see Harker taken out in Cleveland, hoping someone would stand up to all the persuasion he threw around to stay in business, no, I don’t see a lot of people pushing on this case.”
“That’s just crazy,” Tia replied.
“It’s the American way,” Tomo said. “Speaking of borders, I think I know a few people in Depew who we could offer a cut to that can get us access to a secure cash machine network node, allow us to pull all of Harker’s assets over here into hard cash without any questions.”
“For those of us staying over here,” Charlie shot a glance at Tia.
“You might find having a reputation for getting blood on your hands so quickly to be a liability,” Peter Simon noted.
“Are you just upset,” Jenny finally added, “that she couldn’t, maybe, make it look like an accident?”
Tia looked over at Jenny, who gave her a slight knowing smile.
“And besides,” Jenny added, “isn’t there a whole ‘forgiveness of sins’ thing out there?”
“Old ones, yes,” Peter Simon replied, “but that doesn’t mean not keeping your distance if this is going to be a regular occurrence.”
“Around you guys, I think that’s not likely.”
“So are we all one crew now?” Andy asked.
“Geeze, I don’t know,” Jenny finally said. “I got a lot to work through for a bit, trying to look for the big picture the way Shaun would, and right now…”
The boat was silent for a bit save for the motor before Jenny continued. “Right now, I got a few loose ends to look at, a few things that need to be cleaned up on both sides of the lake. And on top of that, Harker getting popped is going to be a big invite for all sorts of people trying to pick up some of the trade he used to do.”
“Like Big Bobby?” Tomo asked.
“He’s not that bright, but he might make a try, yeah. And if it all gets too unstable, the Canadians are going to probably make an effort to quiet it all down, because this side sure as hell won’t.”
“So you’re saying you’re getting off the lake?” Georgie asked.
“You know, I hear now and then about the shipping traffic through the Nunavut Straits. Lots of high end cargo, plenty of inlets you can base at, ain’t it?”
“That’s crazy,” said Dutch. “They must have better patrols through there than on the lake.”
“And it may be ice free all year now,” said Tomo, “but it’s still damn cold up there.”
“Are you serious?” Tia asked. “What are you thinking?”
“Right now,” said Jenny, “my first thought is, we’re going to need a bigger boat…”
All content Copyright © 2013 James Ryan