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Port Newark, NJ – April 22nd

Mitch Hasslet aimed his lens at the aft of the ship parked a hundred yards away. He narrowed the viewfinder on the cracked white letters.

Dorian Gray.

Christ, he hoped there was a portrait stored somewhere that flattered this old bucket of bolts. Perhaps in its heyday, the freighter shined with fresh black paint and gleaming brass fixtures−but now it looked like a ghost ship ready to embark on a voyage to a prehistoric island.

On deck, crewmen were busy preparing for their valuable cargo as Mitch swung his camera in the direction of two police cars entering the barricade. In their wake, a trio of armored trucks stamped with the Museum of Historical Art and Antiquities insignia were flanked by two additional patrol units. The entire convoy pulled up idle at the foot of a ramp that led into the bowels of the Dorian Gray.

Mitch’s curiosity flared at the sight of wooden crates towed on mobile skids by the armed security representatives of the HAA Museum. Some of the fanfare in the papers came to mind.

Rare Mayan artifacts. Brutal pieces of art that stirred up controversy, and even warranted a disclaimer at the entrance of the museum.

Not for the faint of heart.

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