“I don´t like this,” said Edenmack, “you better leave right now.”
LT calmed him, but Edenmack became so nervous, that he threw part of his dinner to the garbage can. The computer expert refused to give them information on the lab even though he had been there a few times, but Clarity convinced him to give them directions to the isolated compound and a few explanations about its daily activity.
“Let´s go to bed,” said Clarity, “tomorrow we´ll need to buy a few things to get into this lab.”
They thanked Edenmack and called Trecker who let them sleep in his apartment, conveniently located five minutes from Senor Frog´s. The lively entertainer had finished his evening at Mandara, a stylish night club perched on a mountain which offered a panoramic view of Acapulco Bay. Clarity, who had a light sleep cycle, heard him open the apartment door around five o´clock with an attractive oriental girl wearing a University of Arizona sweatshirt.
The next day, after breakfast, Clarity led Lanai and LT to the fruit market, buying a small wood crate filled with various fruit, including canistel, an orange-yellow fruit with a texture similar to egg yolk, black sapote, also called Chocolate pudding fruit, and strawberry guava, whose pulp and seeds had to be scooped out.
“What´s that?” asked Clarity to the fruit vendor, pointing to a purple fruit.
“That´s caimito señorita, it´s delicious, served fresh for dessert.”
“Put a few in, please.”
They continued their buying spree in a hardware store, where they bought a portable metal cart to place the crate. Finally, Clarity bought at the same store a pair of blue overalls and three discrete, non descriptive, grey caps. Trecker solved the transportation problem and provided them with an old Volkswagen van normally used by his construction worker friends to carry material for building sites.
Around eleven thirty, they were ready and drove to the lab, less than fifteen minutes by car through a winding road stemming from the coastal Miguel Alemán. As expected, a security guard was blocking the entrance to the barbed wire enclosure. Inside the small sentry box, Clarity heard the hoarse bark of a big dog.
“Que quieren?” said the guard, annoyed by the visitors who had interrupted the viewing of his baseball match on DVD. Clarity let LT, who was driving speak his perfect Spanish. Clarity, who was sitting in the passenger seat, lowered her cap and looked away from the guard. She glanced at the back seat and saw Lanai focus on a piece of paper they had prepared, the invoice.
“Buenos días, we come with the special delivery of fruit.”“For the new cocktail?”
“Exactly,” jumped LT, “for the new cocktail.”
“Come in,” said the guard, “dock number five at the end of the trail.”
Clarity grabbed the invoice from Lanai´s hand, which was starting to shake.
“You talk, LT,” said Clarity, placing the invoice in LT´s front pocket, “I´ll try to sneak inside the lab. If you have to leave without me, wait for me near the entrance, tell the guard you´re stopping for lunch.”
As they reached the dock, Clarity saw a few workers enjoying their lunch break. She saw LT get out of the car and strike a conversation with them, carrying the cart with the fruit inside. She waved good bye to Lanai and closed the passenger door as silently as possible. Directly across from her, there was a door leading to the inside of the building. In a few steps, she was inside, and nobody had noticed.
She walked through a set of corridors and opened a large metal door labelled “Laboratorio. Authorized Personnel Only”. In front of her, an area the size of a football field was filled with forty to fifty medium-sized cylindrical metal containers open from above. At the foot of the containers, a control panel shone with a few green, yellow and red LED indicators.
A vapour cloud from one of the cylinders reached her. It smelled of sugar mixed with pineapple. She walked around one of the cylinders and came face to face with a small staircase leading to the top of the cylinder. She heard several voices to her left and turned her head. Two lab employees dressed in white coat were walking towards her.
Without thinking twice, she climbed the stairs until she reached the top. She climbed down a small set of stairs on the inside wall of the cylinder until she reached a fluid. Below her, a combination of fruit and what looked like a sugary syrup were mixing together. Clarity listened to the voices below and translated their comments in her head.
“Do you know when the new cocktail is due in the market? We have to change the cylinder mix.”
“The formula is not complete, the final ingredient is missing.”
“La señora Avenworth is still testing then.”
“I think so, she´s out today. I went to have a drink at the cocktail water fountain near her office but it´s out of order.”
TO BE CONTINUED, HERE - THE ACAPULCO COCKTAIL.
Previously Released: THE MALIBU CASE.
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