The Tampa Job: Ep. 4 "Sea Bass"

The sun floods the windows of Pinky’s Diner as Swayer and Hibbs grab a seat at a booth. Looking at the menu Sawyer starts tapping his foot. Hibbs looks up at him over his menu, “Knock it off.” Sawyer ignores him and start tapping it faster. Hibbs puts down his menu and fiercely whispers, “What the hell is your problem?!?”

Sawyer looks up at him and replies in the same tone, “You wanna know what my problem is?!? My problem is that I’m sick of running these dumbass cons up and down Tampa!”

Hibbs now smiling utters, “Oh, really?”

“Yeah! If we keep up this way, we’re just askin’ to get caught.”

Hibbs laughing says, “Your right and it’s ‘bout time you said something.”

“What the hell do you mean ‘it’s ‘bout time’? If I didn’t say anythin’ how long would ya have let this keep up Mr. Miyagi?”

Hibbs rubbing his chin while looking at the ceiling says, “Oh I don’t know…I guess I would’ve stopped it eventually.”

“Why the hell were you waitin’ for me to say something?”

“Well because you were in lock-up and out of practice. I needed ya to get that rust off...Daniel-san.”

Sawyer starting to smile says, “Rust, get outta here, I was running cons all over that place. How do ya think I got out so early?”

“Cons in there are nothin’ like cons out here. But forget about it. I got this job lined up for us and it’s big.”

“Oh yeah, how big?”

“Six figures big.”

Walking to the car after breakfast Hibbs remains tight lipped about the job despite Sawyers interrogation, “…So your not gotta tell me anything?”

“Look you’ll find out when the time is right.”

“Where we headed now?”

Hibbs getting in the car says, “Don’t worry about it.”

Sawyer impatiently jerking the door handle yells, “Open the damn door!”

Hibbs pulls the door lock and Sawyer gets in. Hibbs calmly whispers, “Look we’re goin’ to meet our inside man now. So calm the hell down.”

Sawyer smiles, “I am calm zen master. Now let’s get a move on.”

After a short drive Sawyer and Hibbs arrive at a vacant lot just outside of Tampa International Airport. Sawyer gets out of the car and asks, “So where is this guy?”

Hibbs remaining in the car doesn’t respond. After fifteen minutes a black BMW slowly pulls up. A slightly overweight man with unkempt hair wearing an expensive suit with glasses steps out of the car. Hibbs following suit proceeds to make introductions, “Sebastian Arzt this is James Ford.”

Sawyer proceeds to shake Arzt hand and says, “Just call me Sawyer.”

Arzt nods, “You can call me Arzt.”

Sawyer laughs, “Whatever you say Sea bass.”

“Ha ha, we got a funny guy. We’ll see how funny you are when I cut you out of the deal.”

Sawyer grabs Arzt by the collar, “Well maybe I’ll just cut you out of the deal right here and now specs.”

Hibbs quickly breaks the two up, “Aright, that’s enough small talk. We got some serious business to discuss.”

Arzt straitens his collar, “Ok, well as you already know Hibbs, I’m an accountant for the family and I’m sick of all their bullshit. I’ve been trying to get you guys in so we can con these sons of bitches out of some serious cash but theirs one problem.”

Hibbs slowly asks, “Yeah, what?”

“Well they wanna bring you on for a tryout first.”

“That isn’t a problem. What is it?”

“I’m not too sure. All I know is it has something to do will buying guns from Russians.”

“When and where?” “I don’t know.”

Sawyer quickly interjects, “For someone ‘in the family’ you don’t know much.”

Arzt removes his glasses and wipes the sweat from his eyes, “You know I’m already getting a lot of shit from the family and I don’t need it from you too.”

Hibbs slightly red turns to Sawyer, “Hey, why don’t you go take a walk.”

Sawyer eyes Hibbs for a solid minute then nods, “Whatever you say hoss.” He walks away from the two and takes out a pack of cigarettes. He pulls one out and proceeds to light it. Taking a slow drag he closes his eyes. He exhales as the weight of everything just floats away. The guilt of conning Munson to get out early, denying Clementine as his daughter, and all the helpless people he took advantage of just floats away. His eyes still closed as he whispers, “It’s every man for himself.” Slowly opening his eyes a black cruiser catches his attention. Two men in sunglasses sitting in the front seat absolutely still. Sawyer squints trying to see what their up to but can’t tell. He casually walks back to Hibbs and Arzt. Once at a talking distance he says, “Hey Laverne and Shirley, looks like we got some company.”

Hibbs looks up and sees the cruiser, “Well guess this meeting’s over. Let’s get the hell outta here.”

Jumping in the car Swayer and Hibbs drive in the opposite direction as Arzt. Following the speed limit they casually pass the cruiser. Not ten seconds later the cruiser follows with sirens blaring. Hibbs laughs, “I can’t remember the last time I was in a police chase. This should be fun.”

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