Wednesday, September 24, 2003


He parked the rental car, a Buick sedan, about a block and a half from the house featured in Westways. According to his research, Chan was most likely in San Fran right now, but that was no guarantee. The house seemed dark though.

It was a beautiful two story villa, in the Spanish style. On the beach side of the street, deep in the Kahala suburbs. He’d gotten lost a couple times on the way, but his Brian’s Guide had pulled him through. The night air felt cool and sweet on his cheeks. The wind on Oahu was a vibrant, living thing, almost always there.

He crept up to the wall around the back yard on the right side of the house, careful to stay in the shadows. He could hear a dog, not giving any signs of anger, but it sounded big. Climbing a tree by the wall, he got a look at it, a large shepherd/pit bull mix, now steady growling, eyeing him. Dark pulled a small round object from his backpack, and threw it down to the dog. As the canine sniffed at it, a silent stream of grey gas came out of the mini-gas bomb. Seconds later, the dog, after a quick run away from the gas, passed out into quiet dreamland.

Dark was quickly over the wall, confident no one had seen him in the dark of the night, safely hidden under a large mango tree. The back yard was large and filled with plants and flowers. A multi level pool with adjoining hot tub sat down the hill, between him and the house.

Dark pulled another device from his bag, this one a small scanner. At the push of a button, an antenna came out, and the scanner hummed to life, taking reads for any type of security device in the area, tracking their locale and identifying them. The readout indicated a sensor alarm on the front door, side door, and the sliding glass doors by the pool. The alarm would sound when any door opened, and was silenced by a code on the inside.

He was prepared with a jamming mechanism he kept in his cell phone. Just one of many little gadgets he’d picked up one summer doing side work in Florida. Dark had, in the past, done protection work and strong-arming for an underground Miami rap star by the name of Pootymouth. Pooty had liked Dark from the start, meeting him at the LA Club where Kylie Dusk worked, as they both tipped out a long-legged Puerto Rican girl named Bubbles. Beers consumed, edited stories shared, and the two had been tight ever since.

When Dark wanted to take breaks from LA, vacation time, he’d sometimes go down to Miami and do odd projects for Pooty, just to pull in a few extra figures while on vaycay. The rapper wanted to help out his homies, but he wasn’t a believer in charity, so he’d set up a side business based on robbing scouted-out locations stocked with certain items and hawking the goods through a variety of discreet middle-men. Pooty’s information was always amazingly accurate and there had never been a hitch.

One summer Dark and some of Pooty’s crew had jacked one of those spyware retail companies. The warehouse they’d ransacked had all kinds of monitoring devices, jamming technology, everything to spy and prevent people spying on you. So of course Rion had gotten his own of everything, with the rapper’s blessing of course. Dark wondered how his old friend was doing. Pooty had been locked up for about 7 months now, totally unrelated to his “side-venture.” Something about a domestic dispute happening and a corrupt probation officer who’s palms hadn’t been lined quite thoroughly enough.

So one of the toys he’d jacked from this job was an adaptor for any cell phone that could allow it to alter alarm signals. Different numbers for different systems. He figured this one was a four. Hitting the number, the phone lit dark red, indicating the alarm would be disabled for thirty seconds. He ran down the hill, around the swimming pool, jimmied open the sliding glass door, and slipped in the home.

Too bad he didn’t have infra-red goggles, but he was confident. The house felt empty. Flipping on his mac light, he found himself in a large living room, decorated with early Hawaiian artifacts. An outrigger canoe hung from the rafters.

A quick search confirmed there was nobody home. He checked all the doors, finding only one with a lock, which Dark picked his way through. It was a den, decorated in a Chinese style. Robbie Chan’s den. There was a file cabinet on one side, a desk with computer on the other. First the files then he’d see what he could hack out of the computer.