Nikki dressed in all black and ditched her heels for more practical boots. I didn’t expect we would have a situation that went out of control. After all, she was just going to make everyone nice and docile using her vampire mojo while I sat in the background. I didn’t normally like when she did that, but there was a certain expediency to it, namely in getting info without causing any kind of big brouhaha. I certainly had ways of getting the info using normal surveillance and discrete questioning, but that would take time, and Nikki was already testy.
This way, we could allow the people who were just doing their jobs like the guys at the hangar and didn’t know of anything illegal could just get out of the way. Okay, so the guys at the hangar were technically sidestepping customs and FDA regulations regarding foods, but I didn’t care about that. Fancy people want to blow all their cash on potentially tainted food, fine by me.
“What is the plan?” Nikki asked.
“I have a plan?” I asked, not taking my eyes off the road.
“Matthew, do not be tiresome. I’m sure that even before my arrival you had worked out a method to track down our objective.”
“Yeah, but if I just do it, I look cool and knowledgeable,” I grinned. “If I explain it, I sound geeky and nerdy.”
“Let me assure you, your encyclopedic knowledge of hard-boiled detective books and film, coupled with mythology and folklore secure you a permanent position of geek and nerd nobility, if not part of the royal court.”
I snuck a glance her way. Completely stone-faced. Not even a hint of mirth or irony.
“You really know how to hurt a guy. Okay. Just remember, you asked for it.”
I steered us onto the westbound loop, headed straight for Shoreward.
“So, I downloaded the harbor schedule going back a few days. It’s a matter of public record which ships arrive in port and at what times. Also, some of these ships, as big and loaded as they are, can take days to offload all their containers, even going 24/7. So, our job is to go and contact the dockmasters of each dock that had a ship during that time. The delivery yesterday was at four, so we know any ship that arrived after that time is off the list. We talk to the dockmasters, giving them the truck and trailer numbers, and they look up the info for us. The one that has the info is the dock and ship we need. Then we can proceed to ask drivers and ship’s crew for more information. There’s every chance they’re innocent as well, but there’s also a good possibility of more shipments to be taken over.”
“I would expect as such if they took the trouble to bring ships across the Pacific. Perhaps different people ordering from the same vendor?” Nikki suggested.
“You’re pretty nerdy about this, too,” I smirked.