Ralph stopped Dick and Shirley in the hall. “Who are the Munsters?” Without waiting for an answered, he continued, “I found out something.” He pulled the remote garage door opener from his pocket. “I’ve been trying to figure out this number on the back. Remotes don’t have serial numbers, and it’s too short for a phone number. I tried locker combinations, bank accounts, …”
“Come on, Ralph,” Shirley interrupted. “We don’t have time for this. Get to the bottom line; what did you find out?”
“Well, it’s a tail number for a small twin-engine aircraft.”
“And I suppose it’s a bogus number?” Dick asked.
“Well, yes and no, the number is to an aircraft shot down in Vietnam during the war. Drug smuggler and the CIA like to use the real tail numbers of old planes no longer in service; makes them harder to trace.”
“So, it’s of no help?” Shirley asked.
“I checked with the FAA. All planes in the US have to file a flight plan before they take off -- that can’t be faked. So I hacked into the FAA data base and found a flight plan with this tail number. The plane is located at a small airfield in the suburbs. The remote opens the overhead doors on the hanger. Here’s the address.” Ralph handed Dick the remote along with a print out with the address on it. “Just promise me, if you find Hugh, call for back up. He could be armed and dangerous.”
“Thanks. Yeah, yeah, we’ll call you if we find the plane.”
It was late afternoon by the time Dick and Shirley arrived at the hanger. The hanger was two stories high with an overhead door wide enough for a small aircraft. The overhead door was open, and the lights inside were on. They could see an aircraft inside and someone loading suitcases into the plane. They approached the building with weapons drawn, found a rear entrance that wasn’t locked and made their way inside the hanger. The odor of aviation fuel permeated the air. The door opened to a hallway with small offices on either side. The hall was dark, so Shirley pulled out a pen light and turned it on. Dick turned on a flood light.
“WTF?” Shirley said in a loud whisper as she grabbed the light and turned it off. At the end of the hallway, she used a small pocket mirror to look around a corner into the main hanger area. “He’s in there,” she whispered to Dick. “He’s loading suitcases onto the plane. Should we call for back-up?”
“Hell no. The Captain has been on our case all week. If we call in back-up, he’ll come in with a SWAT team and take all the credit and blame us for something. I say we bring this guy down ourselves. He’s alone and there’re two of us. We back up each other. I’ve got your six; you’ve got mine.”
“I won’t say yours is a six, more like a five or five and a half--max,” Shirley replied. “but he’ll see us or maybe hear us if we approach from this direction.”
“I’ve got an idea.” Dick removed the remote from his pocket. “I’ll close the overhead doors to distract him. The noise will cover our footsteps.” Dick held up three finger and then two.
“I know how to count, idiot. Just go and I’ll follow you.”
“You go and I’ll follow you. Like I said, I’ve got your six.”
Dick triggered the remote and the overhead door started to close. Hugh dropped the two suitcases he was carrying and stared at the door. Dick and Shirley ran toward him and got within ten feet when he jerked around. “Freeze!” both Dick and Shirley yelled.
“Miami PD. On the ground. Now!” Shirley commanded. Hugh complied by laying on the floor with his hands on his head. “Cuff him,” Shirley ordered Dick. Dick took out his hand cuffs, put them on Hugh, and then helped him stand up.
“Planning a trip to Haiti with five million, are we?” Dick asked.
“Yes, we are,” a voice behind the detectives answered. “Now you freeze.” Dick and Shirley turned around to see Mary Smyth pointing a pistol at them. “Drop your guns and take off those cuffs.” Dick and Shirley dropped their guns, and Dick took the cuffs off of Hugh. Hugh kicked the guns across the floor and under the aircraft. “Now finish loading the luggage and start the plane.” Both Hugh and Dick started toward the plane. “Not you, dick-head.” Dick and Hugh both stopped. Mary rolled her eyes. “Hugh, you finish loading the plane and start the engines. You,” pointing at Dick. “get over by sugar-cakes.”
“What are you planning to do with them?” Hugh asked.
“We’ll have to shoot them. I’ll use the plane’s engines to drown out the gunshot noise.”
“Here, use this one. It has a silencer.” Hugh removed a pistol with a silencer from his waist band. and handed it to Mary. “We’ll take the bodies with us and drop them from the plane into the Caribbean. I know a place where sharks feed.”
“Good plan.” Mary kissed Hugh, and he picked up two suitcases and headed for the plane. Mary looked at the two detectives. “Well, well, if it isn’t detectives Dick-head and Lacey.”
“Shirley,” Shirley corrected her.
Mary smiled. “You know, I thought there was something going on between you two. You’re more than just partners, aren’t you? Let’s make it official. Put the cuffs on you both.” Shirley put the handcuffs on her wrist and then on Dick’s wrist. “Now isn’t that sweet? You’re now engaged. You can thank me later.”
“How could you?” Shirley asked.
The End of Part Nine.