Chapter 35 – Don’t Lose Them!

The Real Surveillance Begins Now – California, USA

The team was on full alert, monitoring the whole area and all the mobile networks as the limo entered the warehouse. This scenario had been anticipated after the unexpected turn of events after Savannah had met Coco at the apartment on the Friday night. Everything had been going according to plan, but Coco had delayed the process because she had seen the potential of the two English girls. The telephone calls that Coco had made in the apartment had been monitored and there had been significant debate on the subject by both interested parties and the kidnap of Savannah had been delayed and she was to be used as bait to get further unsuspecting victims. It had been agreed that specific clients would pay top Dollar for all three victims and fresh plans had been made for the Saturday night.

There had been a very heated debate between the surveillance team and me for maybe two or three hours. The discussions were not only about the ethics of using the two English girls as additional bait and putting their lives and futures in a very precarious position, but the logistical difficulties that such a position would create. It was clear that the director had to give the final clearance in the matter and that had taken a few hours before the decision was made. The consensus from the top concluded that they (the English girls) would unfortunately have to be considered as collateral damage because the mission could be seriously delayed or worse still, terminated without their involvement.

The surveillance team had gained access to the hostel and planted further tracking devices on the possessions of the two English girls. Other devices had been planted on the girls and in their personal belongings while they had been shown the sites around Downtown L.A. with Savannah and during the entertainment periods and the crowded bars had been a major advantage for the team. They were however very unfortunate in the fact that no tracking devices had been hidden on the persons themselves and this would possibly make any tracking over the next few days or weeks very difficult and dangerous.

The limo had disappeared into the building and the communications systems went into full active mode. Satellites were tracking the activities inside the building for both visibility and sound, everything was being recorded and scrutinized. The director had called in a few favors to ensure the team had the best state-of-the-art mobile surveillance equipment and access to the satellite communications networks and would be personally monitoring the whole operation from Washington.

Data was coming through and there were signs that there were either serious discrepancies with the surveillance reports or the satellites were double counting. There were too many people being recorded leaving the limo inside the building and this had been flagged up almost immediately and the team were on it from every possible angle. They were reviewing the whole limo journey from the pick-up point in Downtown L.A. to the warehouse in Carson Industrial area, an overall distance of approximately 20 miles. The satellite imaging indicated that the persons known and unknown were carried out of the vehicle and displaced in very specific locations around the loading bay area. The director had called to indicate his concerns and had already allocated resources to analyse every aspect of the inside of the building and review the data as per City Hall records.

There had been a total of 5 persons removed from the vehicle and the sound recordings had indicated an altercation between Coco and another male, possibly a more senior operative. There had been what could only be assumed a heated exchange about the persons who had arrived in the limo and it was assumed that Coco had exceeded her authority and had possibly jeopardized the whole operation and there had been several shots from a small arms weapon and all the signs indicated that Coco had been shot dead. The team was frantically reviewing the data because there should have been only 3 additional persons and they were Savannah and the two English girls, so who the hell were the other 2. The director had called again expressing grave concerns as to who the additional persons could be and what if anything could be done to either safeguard them or get them out.

I was not a happy bunny and was very forthcoming on my own concerns and the fact that getting them out was not an option because it would more than likely result in the imminent demise of those persons. It would also indicate that the whole building and persons within it were under surveillance from persons unknown, which in this case could only possibly be Government Enforcement Agents from a wide number of possible agencies. The picture was indeed bad, no not bad, total shit and it was going to get a whole lot worse in the next few hours.

At times like these the important, but very minute details can be missed because of the need to maintain rapid reports and suitable graphic content for those said reports. That said, it was because the team had so much data to review and either action on or put to one side or totally discard as not relevant to the immediate situation. The team quickly categorized what they thought as key to each of those scenarios because so much was going on in the warehouse. The team was finally beginning to evaluate the data and make sense of what was happening when another limo arrived and accessed the building again through the same entrance before coming to a halt inside. This time the satellite images indicated that 4 persons had emerged but only 2 had been carried out of the vehicle and this put a whole new perspective to the situation and there was an uncomfortable silence inside the surveillance vehicle as if we were witnessing something so terrible that it had taken our breath away.

Holly shit, the phone rang and the director was speaking rapidly with an accusing voice before I told him to calm down and listen because we had no knowledge of there being another vehicle or the non-factored in possibility of another, we had to wait and see what would happen next! This is not a hit TV show or Fly on the Wall Documentary, this is for real and real people have to make decisions and live by them, not like the cotton wool left wing actors who would never put their lives on the line for anybody, I remember reading how brave Stallone really was and why he would not fly across the pond because he was so scared of terrorists, but the Brit grannies couldn’t give a shit and would not be beaten by them and they flew all the same, putting the so called Italian Super Hero to eternal shame, what a pussy!

But that was a long time ago and there was no requirement now for gutless thinking and we had a serious job to do and while doing it hopefully save a few people at the same time. Everything was turning to rat-shit as we kept evaluating the next possible outcome and strategy, it was a complete nightmare. The techies and nerds were doing their stuff and all I could do was be useful somehow, anyhow possible. With that I took one of the support trucks and headed for the nearest fast food joint which would hopefully be a 24/7.

It was thank goodness a 24/7 drive-thru but I did not want to cause any scenes at the counter because I was intending on ordering one hell of an order to go, so the truck used the parking lot at the side of the building and one of the guys came with me. Luckily there were only a few other customers who were ordering at the digital till, I walked straight up to the counter and went through a list in my head and to be on the safe side ordered double of everything.

The assistant asked the manager for help, she was on the ball as I flashed a badge and said that we had an emergency, nothing too serious but the guys had not been fed for hours and I was making myself useful, she smiled in an understanding way as if it happened every Saturday night and I finished the order by asking for a couple of the large trays, they would be paid for of course. I gave her two large bills and told her to keep the tip for the guys and she offered a drink while we waited for the order and I took the opportunity of a hot tea and the use of the rest room. The manager was very thorough, and we had the order in what seemed only minutes and it arrived ready stacked in two large trays. I told the manager we may be back for breakfast depending on how the next few hours panned out. She had a great smile and gave me a quick wink as we headed for the parking lot.

The promise of cheeseburgers and shakes had really got the techie nerds moving and there was pandemonium inside the truck as they waded into the fast food trays, and anyone watching would have concluded that they had not eaten for days, but it had been a good decision because the calories and the sugar boost was beginning to get results.

The route the limo had taken passed several buildings that offered high rise bars with food and entertainment. The Everson Royce Bar, 71 Above, Spire 73, The Rooftop and a few others, the traffic had been slow and the satellite data that had been reviewed was only that of the vehicle and not the persons inside it. The whole team then focused on the monitors and an hour later it was evaluated that the limo had stopped outside the entrance for the Spire 73 which had an open air sky high rooftop bar on the 73rd story of the Intercontinental Hotel and specialized in craft cocktails.

But there was a problem because the images provided from the data of the cameras that were monitoring the street level entrance of Spire 73 indicated that there were clearly 4 people who got out and then only a few minutes later 6 people got in, so who the hell were the other 2 people? And not only that did the 4 people who got out actually get back in with the additional 2 people or were they different people entirely?

But this was not the only problem that the team were trying to solve, because there was additional activity around the warehouse which totally stunned the whole team. Another limo had arrived and gone through the same door which had closed immediately behind it, just as before and the director had been informed, the satellites were recording everything. A few minutes later the information came through that the limo had come from Santa Monica and there were 5 people inside and 4 had been carried out. This meant that the team could only conclude that the warehouse was a holding center or distribution hub for the slave trade.

The director was going ballistic in Washington and it was clear that we did not have the resources to fully commit to the events that were unfolding on our screens. We needed some news from the streets and fast before we lost everybody. Luckily no vehicles had left the building and there was no substantiated data on the persons inside the building or their intentions over the next few hours or longer.

Everything suddenly went pear shaped as 5 vehicles emerged from the warehouse. A black SUV at the front followed by three limos then another black SUV at the rear. They moved swiftly but indications were that there was only a driver in each of the limos and 3 persons in the lead and rear vehicles. They headed towards the I-110 and then the convoy headed northwards towards Los Angeles. The director indicated that they would be tracked and evaluated in due course.

Only a couple of hours later there was significant activity in the warehouse and the data from the satellites indicated that all the prisoners were being moved and allocated spaces, but into what, it was not sure at this point. But again, the data did not tally up with what had been observed to this point. People were being carried into what appeared by the satellite images to be a large container truck and each space was clearly indicated and separate from each other and it must be double stacked. Images of persons were also picked up and assumed to be coming from an underground storage location because the images had not been picked up before.

It was a full fifteen minutes before the loading was complete and the numbers of people involved was simply astounding. The whole team could not believe what they had just witnessed on the screens around the walls of the vehicle. It subsequently took me a long time to actually write down everything that had happened during that surveillance period and we all felt a sense of shock and horror at what was going on in the warehouse and I could not remember all the feelings that were expressed, but mine included a sense of shame and helplessness but we all had to maintain a level of professionalism and attention to detail as we watched the scenes of despicable inhumanity across the monitors.

We had started the week by following only 1 lone individual, that figure rose to 3 by Saturday evening, up to 5 after midnight, then up to 11 by the arrival of the third limo and by early Sunday morning that figure had risen to a staggering 32 persons who had been carried onto the container vehicle. The satellite images indicated that there were 16 persons on each floor of the container. So much had gone on across the screens that it was difficult to remember what had been seen and there was no time to confirm what had been seen because the truck was suddenly on the move and exited through another bay which had opened to the right of the building.

It appeared to be a typical container truck designed for long haul across US Highways. Now I must confess that I am no truck expert but it was white with no identification marks with 3 rows of wheels under the truck cab and 2 rows at the back under the rear of the container which was also just plain white with again no markings of any kind. The truck was moving at the legal speed so not to attract attention and after a couple of turns it was clear that it too was heading towards the I-110, a short while later it was confirmed as it joined the interstate and headed north. We had no idea where it was going or how long it was going to take, but we all prepared for the long game, so everybody took up their positions and the real time surveillance procedures were kicked into operational mode.

The next phase had started but there was even worse news to come as we headed north following the container and the cargo of despair. The limo carrying Savannah and the English girls had only stopped briefly and it very much appeared that there had been problems with access to the rooftop bar due to excessive numbers of patrons and elevators that had malfunctioned. They had met the 2 other persons inside and had they apparently knew the English girls very well indeed.

The director called in and told us that these young women had one thing in common and that was their parents or guardians were alleged to be members of the secret society know the world over as the Illuminati an enlightenment-era society founded on 1 May 1776 in Ingolstadt, Germany. The director told us he would keep digging and get as much information as possible, he sounded as if he was losing control and that concerned all of us because this was new territory for the whole agency and the stakes were getting higher by the hour!

And that news that I alluded to was indeed even worse than we could possibly have imagined in our own very worst nightmare scenario. The 2 English girls were related to British and Italian Industrialists and the 2 friends were from senior diplomatic ranking and wealthy American and Japanese families. We could not believe just how bad the situation had become and the director knew that we could have all kinds of bad-ass government agencies crawling all over us and that would only be the start. This was seriously life threatening for not only the victims but for the members of our team.

The director was concerned that we could all be compromised and would have to start rolling out a backup plan and that could take time, and that was time that we really didn’t have. But at this point in the operation the simple fact was that our top priority was to follow the truck and did not lose a single person inside it. I can only hope that I have recorded everything that is relevant to the successful completion of this operation, but that may possibly only be determined at the final debriefing session, there is so much more to record and that started with the surveillance. The director had finished with language we had not heard before and was very explicit in what he said to all of us across the speaker system, “don’t xxxxing lose them whatever you xxxxing do”!