Arizona was one of the states part of the Four Corners region. It had borders with New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Californiathe four of which all came together at one pointand also a border with Mexico.
Illegal activities such human trafficking, and smuggling goods, had been rampant along the borders with Mexico. Not only in Arizona, but in other states as well.
As Mexico was a coastal country, it had well-established trade routes, roads and highways; no doubt important characteristic that helped smugglers bring goods into other states from there.
The news that Hans had gotten was that a batch of smuggled goods was being hidden in a storage unit at The Vagabonds Storage Company.
According to American Laws, smuggled automobiles, motorcycles, and bicycles would be seized once they were found to be smuggled goods; anyone found related to the case would be put under investigation and held accountable.
Checks conducted on vehicles were based on verification of the license plates.
Although motorists had been told that it was a legal requirement to have license plates on their motorcycles, most Americans did not bother doing so. This was the case with most Chinese motorists as well.
And Hans had specifically used the word "heavyweight bikes" instead of a motorcycle, which meant the storage units contained big motorcycles: the heavyweight motorcycles.
The heavyweight motorcycles were a popular choice for smugglers, as they could sell them to drag racing enthusiasts at a lucrative price. This group of drag racing lovers were mostly anarchists or were anti-government. They might not have even put up their car license plate, let alone their motorcycle one.
Hence, Hans and Li Du were not concerned about the issue of selling the smuggled motorcycles. Those drag racers would only be concerned about the speed, and not where the bike had come from.
There were five units that would be put up for auction: unit 41, 42, 74, 112 and 130. They were all big units, full of stuff.
Li Du did not go near the entrance of the units. He sat at a farther location where he used the little bug to survey the five units, but there was no sight of any motorcycle, big or small.
Li Du furrowed his eyebrows, but decided to do another search, a detailed one.
He spent about an hour controlling the little bug, going through boxes and cartons, but nothing was found.
In any case, a heavyweight motorcycle, pre-assembled or not, would be easy to locate; their parts were big in size to begin with.
Li Du was therefore positive that Hans had received a piece of inaccurate news.
However, circulation of erroneous information was common in the storage auction business. Just like gossip, most information was untrue, especially considering the fact that some news was also intentionally fabricated to mislead.
The hour-long search had worn Li Du out. Looking spiritless, Li Du shook his head. "I didnt see anything valuable. Looks like my ancestral prospecting skill didnt work this time."
"Maybe you should have gone closer?"
Li Du shook his head once more. "Not todaylets see how things go tomorrow."
The weather was grey and cloudy the last few days of June. When the next day arrived, there were dark, somber-looking cumulonimbus clouds hanging over the sky.
Not sure if the weather was reflecting his mood, Li Dus face was as gloomy as the clouds up in the sky when he left his apartment.
Rose left the apartment at the same time. When she saw his moody face, she tried to cheer him up. "Hey, come on, give big sister a smile."
Li Du wanted to flash her the middle finger, but he could not pluck up enough courage to do so.
The lady cop deliberately pulled up the hemline of her skirt for a secondnot for the purpose of showing off her long, well-toned leg in black stockings, but to remind him of the gun strapped there.
Li Du gave Rose a sharp glare instead. She turned to grab a black katana from her bag, and just before she unsheathed the katana, Li Du stopped her.
Li Du broke out in cold sweat. "Sh*t, what are you doing? Why are you so hot-tempered?"
Rose had a look of innocence on her face. "Huh? What about my temper?"
"This, what is this for?" Li Du said, pointing at the katana.
"Its for you." Rose handed the object to Li.
Li Du smiled reluctantly. "I dont need this. My job only entitles me to bid on and win storage units. I am not fighting for turfs."
Rose unsheathed the black object which Li Du had mistaken for a katana, and she laughed heartily. "Ha! See? This is an umbrella. I never knew that umbrellas were used to fight for turf now?"
Li Du had been pranked by the lady cop. But he decided to forgive Rose as she offered the umbrella to him.
Rose walked light-footed, in high spirits, toward her car. When the Chevrolet passed by Li Du, Rose wound down her car window and made a face at him before vanishing into the horizon.
Li Du felt like Rose was behaving like a kid.
There was quite a crowd attending the auctionabout a hundred of them. Obviously, the treasure hunters must have also heard the news of the heavyweight bikes.
The Ricks appeared when the auction was just about to start. They noticed Li Du just as Li Du had noticed them. Dog Ears Rick was expressionless, but Lil Rick made a throat-cutting gesture at him.
At 9 a.m. sharp, the auctioneer waved to everyone for their attention.
"Todays weather doesnt look good, so we should quickly get this done and over with. Nobody wants to look like a drowned rat, right?" The auctioneer had to shout so everyone could hear him.
"Alright pal, lets begin," someone shouted in response.
The auctioneer nodded. "Okay, the first unit is open now, please queue up and abide by the same old rules. Break the rules and out you go!"
While everyone was lining up to view the unit, a white-top, blue-bodied police car suddenly drove in. The police car had the letters "ICE" on it.
The treasure hunters became curious and started to talk amongst themselves:
"Are they from Immigration?"
"What are those b*st*rds here for?"
"F*ck, someones in trouble."
Two white officers of great stature got out of the police car and walked toward the crowd.
One of them, who was wearing shades, spoke, "We have received a tip-off that there are illegal immigrants here. Please cooperate with our investigation."
Arizona Senate Bill 1070 (SB 1070) was a legislative act that was considered the broadest, strictest anti-illegal immigration measure ever passed in the state. Under the act, if an illegal immigrant got caught, they had to be deported back to their homeland, and they were forbidden from entering America again.
As the legislation was overly harsh, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down several provisions as violations of the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.
However, there were still a few clauses in the bill that were rather stringent.
For example, ICE enforcement officers could execute a "lawful stop, detention, or arrest," under reasonable suspicion that the individual was an illegal immigrant.
This was a provision that had spurred considerable controversy; on what grounds did the enforcement officer determine that a person was an illegal immigrant?
Different people would have different standards to determine this. This meant that there might be a possibility of officers abusing their authority to arrest or detain anyone they deemed fit.
The treasure hunters looked on coldly as bystanders. The two officers eyeballed each and every one of those present at the auction and soon enough, they had their sights locked on Li Du.