Stickman Readers' Submissions September 23rd, 2006

Crime Suppression Unit

A beat up four door sedan pulled over to the curb on a deserted street in the Klong Toey district. One tire was almost flat, the car was missing a headlight and all of the hubcaps. Most of the street lights were out and garbage spilled from round tubs made from truck tires onto the sidewalk and gutters.

This was an industrial area, mostly factories and warehouses. Metal grates were pulled down and locked. No one walked by.

He Clinic Bangkok

It was one o'clock in the morning and the street was deserted. The only light came from a Singha beer sign in the window of a small grocery store. There were a few bottles of whiskey on the shelves and a cigarette stand on the filthy wood counter manned by a skinny lady wizened with age. She wore a old apron over a filthy house dress.

Two tough looking men exited the car. They had rough features and wore loose fitting blue wind-breakers. They strolled toward the store without looking around as if they had been there many times before. A third man went unnoticed as he slumped down on the back seat of the rusted automobile. A Kalashnikov automatic rifle rested on his lap. The weapon was fifty years old and was as dependable as the day it was made. It weighed a heavy 4.3 kilograms and was virtually indestructible.

It held a thirty round clip and fired an incredible ten rounds a second. It never jammed or misfired and was one of the reasons that the Vietnamese outfought the Americans in the 1970’s. The two men that left the car did not even glance at the men standing inside a doorway across the street, wearing cheap plastic rain coats on a night without a cloud in the sky. The Crime Suppression Unit Officers entered the decrepit store. They were comparable to the SWAT teams in the States but with one difference. They were pro-active. They didn’t wait for a crime to happen. Act first, explain later or maybe not.

CBD bangkok

One of the men was a colonel and the other a captain. This mission was high priority. They didn’t bother with arrest or search warrants. There was no reason. No reports would be filed on this operation which would be a fast in and out. They needed information and then they had to act on it quickly.

The Colonel leaned over the counter and pulled out a roll of thousand baht bills. Ya bah was all that he said. The old woman nodded to a doorway at the far end of the room. It was covered with drapes that were pulled back slightly.

The Colonel knew that there was a man sitting just inside the room with a machine gun, probably pointed at him right now.

It was a sloppy set up. They should have a steel door with a peep hole and a sliding slot for the merchandise. They were doing to much business to be bothered and besides they were firmly protected by the local precinct. The men in the warehouse had a good reason to feel secure. The Superintendent of Police received one hundred thousand baht a month. The men just beneath him, from twenty five to fifty thousand. The cops on the beat got ten thousand every month. If the Army or the American Drug Enforcement Agency wanted to make a raid, the local police would have to be notified first as a matter of courtesy and procedure. The warehouse would be warned well ahead of time. The Captain stayed at the front counter and bummed a cigarette from the old crone, keeping his back to the rear of the store.

wonderland clinic

As the Colonel came closer to the curtained doorway he reached inside of his jacket, as if to take out the large wad of cash. Inside of his jacket, clipped to his Kevlar vest were two stun grenades. He had removed most of the primer himself. The fuses would be no longer than two seconds.

He also carried a Walther-PP8 automatic, small and lethal.

It was understood that there would be no shooting because of the close quarters and they needed the men inside alive. Surprise was still the most effective weapon and if everything went as planned there would be very little shooting. The store was a big operation and the people working there certainly knew who the supervisors were and how to reach them.

No Thai criminal in his right mind would ever have killed Colonel Pratt. The crime bosses had stupidly hired two drug crazed Vietnamese punks to make a drug exchange and it went bad. Now it was about to get worse, much worse.

The entire Bangkok Police force wore black arm bands but not the CSU. They wore death on their sleeves.

CSU knew that it was a big warehouse and was not sure if just a stun grenade would take care of all the people inside.

There were boxes and crates piled high offering protection. There was also a steel plated back door. Right now there were three men in full battle gear at the rear of the building. Black boots and fatigues, Kevlar vests enforced with steel mesh, black steel helmets.

Each man had a Heckler and Koch automatic rifle clipped to the front of his jacket. Slightly over two feet long and weighing only five and a half pounds the nine millimeter weapon fired single shots, two or three round bursts or full automatic. They all carried SIG Sauer P226 automatics holstered to their belts. It was a small brutish looking weapon, less than eight inches long and held fifteen nine millimeter rounds. It would win no beauty contests. CSU disdained the Glocks for show offs and hot doggers.

Two men stood guard while the third man stuck Semtex to where the hinges and bolt should be. The hardware was on the inside for security so they had to make an educated guess. Another guess was how much explosive to use.

Too little and the door would not fall in. Too much and when the door blew it would crush everything in its path.

Detonators about the size of a half of a pencil were pushed into the putty like substance. The three packages would be set off electronically by one of the men as soon as they heard the flash-bang go off.

The Colonel had moved closer and tossed the grenade through the curtains. He stepped sideways a few feet and held both hands against his ears even though he had a cigarette filter jammed into each ear. There were three semicircular canals in each inner ear half filled with liquid. It was what helped you keep your balance. But when the grenade went off, one hundred and eighty decibels of sound blasted through your body throwing the inner ear into a shambles. You might be sitting down but you felt the room spinning violent around you. As for the flash part of the flash bang as the stun grenades were nicknamed, It affected your eyesight so that the last thing you saw was imprinted on your brain for the next five to seven seconds. You were blind but you did have that lasting visual impression.

A deafening blast filled the air and a blazing white light flashed through the doorway. The curtains flailed like kites in a windstorm. A second blast blended into the first one as the back door blew in. The three team members moved swiftly through the now open doorway. All had halogen flashlights searching through the grey swirling smoke. They found one man under the door blood pouring from his ears and nose. A second man lay unconscious sprawled on the floor and a third slumped against a stack of wood crates. The CSU men taped the men's hands with plastic strips and dragged them to the black SUV parked in the rear. Two other things happened at the same time. Across the street, at the sound of the explosion, two men brought up automatic weapons from slings under their raincoats and started to run towards the store. The CSU man in the back of the old car had the barrel of his AK-47 resting on the open windowsill. His eyes had never left the two men. Explosion or not if they stepped off the curb they were dead. As the lookouts raced towards the store, they were knocked back by the force of the bullets tearing through their chest. They didn’t have a chance and probably didn’t even know what had happened as their legs folded up underneath them and they crashed to the sidewalk, weapons tumbling in the gutter.

The officer in the old car kicked open the door, took his weapon and gathered up the two weapons that had fallen in the street.

He moved rapidly towards the store, hardly glanced at the scum on the sidewalk. The Captain talking to the lady at the counter had kept his eye on her and at the sound of the blast he reached over and grabbed her by the shirt front, pulling her almost over the counter and at the same time, pulling downwards and smashing her face against the hard wood surface. Her nose snapped and blood poured down the front of her face as he lifted her up and shook the revolver from her hand. With the amount of time she would be facing in jail she had no illusions about ever getting out of prison in this lifetime. The officers left the rusted car in the street and piled into the large black vehicle in the rear of the building. The warehouse was stacked high with stolen TV sets, crates of DVDs and plenty of drugs.

The officers grabbed a fifty kilo rice bag of amphetamines, bags of ecstasy and a few wood crates of counterfeit United Statesone hundred dollar bills from North Korea by the way of China. They didn’t need the evidence but you never knew. The entire operation had taken six minutes. They figured they had a hour or two before the entire town knew something had gone down.

Could have been the police, the army or a rival gang. The team drove to an abandoned building not far away.

They drove the car right inside and pushed out the captives. The large cement room was empty and littered with filth. Homeless people and junkies had been living here at one time and possibly from the stench they still did.

The halogen lights were set up and the four captives were taped to the round steel posts holding up the building. The interrogation would not take long. Either the men would give up their bosses or they would not.

Either way they were dead. Give up no one and be killed by the CSU. Trade information for your life and then try to get you and your family as far away as possible which would not be far enough. They would question the men first. After all they weren’t animals. They just needed information and who knew how long the old woman's heart would hold out.

CSU wore gloves while they used fiberglass masking tape to fasten the men against the poles. Most likely they would leave the bodies right where they were. Tape went around their chest, arms, legs and ankles. Wrists taped to their sides.

One man removed a pair of pruning shears from his jacket pocket.

Not the long shiny ones with red handles and long thin silver like blades for neatly trimming hedges.

These were short and mean with thick sharp blades and fat handles. They would snip the fingers off each man.

Sometimes they did one finger joint at a time. Then ears, noses, lips, eyes. Or they might start with lower body parts.

They needed information and they wanted it now. One officer turned on the automobile radio to the loudest setting.

Stickman's thoughts:

Nursing a splitting headache so no comments on submissions today. Sorry.

nana plaza