"I sold the microchip yesterday," Stavich said. "I did not know the man, only that he had traveled a very long way to come to Prague to buy the microchip. He said he was from Scotland."
Hank thought for a moment, his teddy bear hostage still in his hand. “How do I know you’re telling the truth Stavich?” Hank asked.
“I have it all on video,” Stavich said, still looking uneasy that Hank was threatening his stuffed animal. “Please, do not hurt my teddy and I will show you the tape.” Stavich walked to the cat walk’s ladder and began to slowly climb down. Hank cautiously kept his gun trained on Stavich, ready for any surprises. However, when Stavich reached the floor he said, “Please follow me to the surveillance room and I will show you everything you want to see.”
Hank followed Stavich deeper into the back of the warehouse and into a room in which one wall was covered with monitors. Stavich sat down in the vacant chair and brought up the footage as he had promised. The video quality was a little grainy, but the audio was clear. The video showed Stavich and a man in a suit sitting in an office talking.
Stavich: It’s a pleasure to finally meet you in person. Communicating only through anonymous emails can be tiresome Mr. …?
Gunn: For the purposes of this meeting you may call me Mr. Gunn. Do you have the microchip?
Stavich: Very well Mr. Gunn. [pulls a small black case from beneath his desk] It’s right here. And my money?
Gunn: It has been transferred to the account number you provided.
Stavich: [checks computer screen, smiles, and slides the case across the desk] Very good Mr. Gunn. It’s a pleasure doing business with you. [both men stand, Stavich opens a drawer and extends a bear to Gunn] Can I interest you in one of my fine teddy bears Mr. Gunn? They are the finest in the world.
Gunn: [takes the bear and looks it over] This is a fine bear Mr. Stavich. But the finest teddy bears in the world come from my Scotland.
Stavich ended the video and looked up at Hank. “As you can see, Mr. Gunn (if that’s his real name) bought the microchip, just as I said. Now please, do not hurt my teddy.”
Hank placed the bear on the desk and then handcuffed Stavich to a water pipe. Hank then took out his cell phone and dialed a number. “This is Hank Maximum…I’ve captured Stavich, but the microchip is headed to Scotland with someone using the name ‘Mr. Gunn’…Yes sir, I’ll head to Scotland right away…Of course sir."
END CHAPTER 1
As Hank's plane touched down in Scotland the sun was setting. Hank caught a taxi and told the driver where his hotel was. As they drove, the cab driver struck up a conversation. "What brings you to Scotland?" he asked.
"I'm here on vacation," Hank said, using his standard cover story.
The cab driver eyed Hank through the rear view mirror. "I've been driving a cab for over 20 years," he said, "and you're not on vacation. The suit, the small suitcase, the tired look on your face. You're here on a business trip."
Hank, slightly annoyed that the cab driver had seen through his cover story so easily, said, "Look just get me to my hotel okay?"
"Whatever you say," the cab driver said.
A few moments later they reached Hank's hotel. Hank checked in under the fake name Waldo McDunkervan and took the elevator up to his room. As Hank walked into his room a flicker of movement caught his eye. Reacting instinctively, Hank whipped his pistol out and took aim. Hank found himself pointing his gun at...
1. A large cat.
2. A mysterious man in black.
3. A curtain blowing in the breeze.