Ken and Marisol, accompanied by her security detail, left the airport in the sort of luxury car one would expect from a prominent dignitary. Marisol, sitting next to Ken in the back, leaned into his firm and upright form. Ken glanced over at her, and then at the two security guards sitting across from them, before looking out the tinted windows.
“Your homeland is as beautiful as you made it out to be.” Ken said, “But you did not call me here to show me all of this, did you Marisol? Whatever trouble you’re in, it must be severe if both your own security detail and the government’s armed forces cannot handle it.”
Marisol nodded to one of the bodyguards, and he produced a box.
“Nothing grisly, I hope.” Ken said.
The bodyguard opened the box, and within it Ken saw a manila envelope all bunched up and a small photo album. He handed the album and the envelope to Ken. Ken opened the envelope and saw a hand-written letter, followed by a photocopy of a mock-up wanted poster for Marisol’s husband. The photo album displayed photographs of her husband’s predecessors, slain in various assassinations, and more depicting the worse fates of the wives and daughters of those brave men- slaves to the cartel men, or sold to others of similar character and means.
“I presume that your husband is undaunted by such threats to himself.” Ken said.
“He knows no fear.” Marisol said, “Not for himself.”
“I can feel the muscles underneath that finery. He does not worry for you either.”
Marisol nodded, confirming Ken’s suspicions.
“My elder daughters are already far, far away from here. They are in Spain, attending the same preparatory school that I did years before.”
“So, this is about your youngest child, isn’t it?”
“Your youngest, Rosa, then. This is about a threat upon her. I assume that you’re not asking me to play bodyguard, because I think that your security detail is sufficient for that role.”
One of the bodyguards cleared his throat.
“Col. Martinez acknowledges that, in his present capacity, he is trapped in a defensive position. While we can hold our present position quite well, we are dependent upon intelligence from sources that are not under our control and therefore we cannot take offensive measures to deal with the threats before they approach us.”
“So, the cartels have the imitative.” Ken said, “You also are not confident that the government is behind you.”
“Correct.” the bodyguard said, “We believe that the Colonel's rivals in the government intend to allow the cartels to assassinate him and destroy the household."
Ken sighed. Not this shit, again.
“The Colonel is not in favor with Washington, is he?”
“The State Department, and the D.E.A., make many statements praising my husband’s efforts.” Marisol said, “But the C.I.A. maintains their long-standing ties to their cartel assets.”
“Typical.” Ken said, “This really is a mess.”