Day 37: 07 Sep 2010
One thing I can tell you -- wherever it is they're holding me, it's close to the sea. I can smell it.
That scent of salt and decay -- tide must be out -- has been a constant in my life since I was a little kid, so I know it instantly. I guessed we were no more than twenty miles inland from the ocean or at least a bay or gulf -- but which one? I had no real idea. I don't know how long they had me in the van, or how long I was out after the Thunderbird met its end. Could be anywhere, I guess.
This room was better equipped than the one the Russians had me in. There's a bed and a small couch, for starters, which is nice. Also, as I mentioned, there's a TV. An armchair and small table round out the furnishings, but there's yet another bonus. A bathroom. It's separated from the main room by what looks like a thick shower curtain, but the fact that it's there puts this place way up.
You know, as hostage accommodations go.
They're feeding me better, too. One of the Chinese guys from the van comes in twice a day. So far, I've had Chinese, Mexican, and Italian -- takeout, I think. Still, better than the cholesterol sandwiches the Russians had.
So, I've established that the prison was a bit nicer -- but it's still a prison, and I'm still not in any way happy to be here. At least this time, I know why they took me. And if Dane was right, these are probably the guys who have the slug.
Had a visitor at some point today -- I'm not sure of the time. He came in, smiled, and sat in the armchair. He wasn't Chinese. Or, at least he didn't look Chinese -- I heard him talk to a guard on his way in. He definitely sounded Chinese, but he was tall. About my height, six feet or so. His skin wasn't olive, more of a pale gray. His hair was salt-and-pepper, though he was young.
"Mr. Travis," he said, motioning me to sit across from him on the couch. "Pleased to have you here, we all are."
"That I am. Are they keeping you comfortably?"
Mr. William's tone was the same as always -- soft and steady. His English, while fucked up grammatically, was accentless.
"That is something I am pleased of," he said, smiling again.
"I would ask what you want, but I'm pretty sure I know the answer," I said.
"A smart boy, you are. Tomorrow the package arrives. After bonding, about two weeks you will be ineffective. We will see to your needs during that time."
"You joke. But much looking after you'll need. We will provide this to you, as you will soon provide services for us."
"The West Coast Syndicate, initially. For years have we been trying to move south into the US via the West Coast. Unsuccessfully. Around Vancouver, your brother keeps us stalled. Neutralizing that advantage shall be your first service to us."
"That we will discuss later. I am expected today at many meetings, but breakfast in the morning will have us meet again. Sleep well."
Still smiling, Mr. William stood, doffed an imaginary hat in my direction, and left.