Boulder (Riders of Apollo #5)

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Riley Everett

I’m starting to hate this job more and more. It’s not necessarily complicated, I have already managed to collect enough information to form a relatively basic plan of how to dismantle the whole thing.

A few leaks, a few explosions and well, a little bit of a cull, the entire thing will come crashing to the ground. There is one confusing part though, the militia is already on the turn-down meaning that they’re losing money and territory so I’m astounded that MI6 would get involved in it. Going off the info, I would say it’s another six months, maybe a year, before it disbands on its own.

They may have run out of money and supplies but they haven’t run out of psychopaths that would string me up from my fucking ears if they found out what I was doing. So, what I don’t understand is why they would send me out here to a country I’ve never been to with no help, besides Chief and Johnson who remain in England.

“Johnson, is Chief with you?” I’m currently on the phone in my shitty flat with a beer in hand. I know I’ve still got stalkers, there’s four people lingering outside - one from each mafia and then one Rider, currently it’s Runner - watching through the window. I’ve also left the bugs in my flat because I sincerely don’t give a shit what they know and what they don’t.

“Yeah, what’s up?”

“This whole thing is messed up, boss. Why am I really here?”

“What do you mean, Riley?” Chief sounds concerned, he’s basically my father and obviously he’s going to be worried that I’m on enemy territory with back up over ten hours away.

“The French are weak, they’re losing power, money, territory. What made them send me out here now? It’s been years since Vicca, they could’ve used me long before this.”

“What are you thinking?” He sounds just as sceptical as I am.

“I’m not entirely sure, I’m playing with a lot of theories right now. You and Johnson need to be careful, try and stay out of the limelight and don’t tell anyone everything. Give them snippets of info to keep the quiet, for now, we only trust each other.”

“What are you planning?”

“Looks like phase one is happening tonight.” I take a gulp of beer as Chief starts going off about safety and no back up which I just listen to silently. “I’ll call when it’s done, stay safe.” I toss my phone and head into my room to grab everything I need.

I change into black jeans with a black short-sleeved shirt and strap my Kevlar to my chest. I holster two pistols to my thighs and a knife at the base of my back before twisting a suppressor onto my assault rifle that I throw over my shoulder soon after.

I slip smaller knives into my combat boots before grabbing my mask and heading out to my car. I first head over to the group of people waiting on me, my gun making them take theirs out. “Relax, I’m not gonna shoot you. I have something to get done tonight, don’t follow me or you will be killed.”

“Are you threatening us?” The Italian growls and I roll my eyes.

“I didn’t say I’d be the one killing you, dipshit. Look, you guys come and you’ll ruin the whole thing, probably get us all killed. I will explain shit after, just fuck off.”

I turn around, satisfied with their simple nods, and slip into my car. Now the plan is to take out Monsieur Pontiac and all of his little minions that live in his big mansion up the road. He is a point of contact and I think that killing the messenger sends a decent enough message.

I’m hoping to find more information about whoever the French are using outside of their little club. More specifically, I need to find out if there are any of the high ranked people are British or have strong ties with the UK. I don’t trust the real reason I’m here, especially not now and the doubt I have right now is probably gonna get me killed but I don’t have any other choice.

I keep an eye on my rear view mirror and sigh in relief when I don’t find any tails, at least they’re starting to trust me even though they probably shouldn’t. I park my car a street over from his house and creep through gardens to then jump his back fence. It’s the worst protected entry point, proved when I am greeted by two guards instead of the ten at the gate.

I duck under the massive light on the roof so that they don’t spot me and drag the bodies behind the bins. Can’t have them finding them until I’ve got what I came here for. I slip through an open window into the basement of the house and find three empty cages the size of humans. So, I either have three hostages to free or three massive fucking dogs to avoid.

Great.

I slip through the basement door and immediately find a guard. I yank him back into the basement and shoot him twice, locking the door after I leave. I press my back against the wall as I sneak towards the fuse box, I need the power off so that they can’t see me on the cams. Within seconds of me cutting the power, avid movement begins.

I step back under the shadow of the stairs and wait for a group of six to pass. I watch them as they head around the corner and out into the garden. Hope they don’t find the bodies...

I drop two more guards before I reach the top landing and I crouch behind the wall as I reload my gun. “I don’t think anyone’s here, he’s just paranoid as shit.” A guy says, standing at the top of the stairs with a bloke next to him. They’re less than three steps away from me and I breathe quietly to avoid them noticing me.

“We are close to the Mexicans and you know they’re the ones he’s scared of. Plus them Rider dickheads are real close with the other two mafias, if they get involved big man is fucked.”

I need to somehow kill them and move their bodies before someone sees. If I shoot them though, luck would probably make them fall down the stairs and make everyone down there aware of a threat. I could run and let them see me but they would alert them as well. I look around me and smile when I see a small ornament on a decorative table.

I grab it quickly before tossing it down the hallway. As expected, they come flying around the corner, weapons drawn and I drop them quickly. I pick the lock on the closest door, clear the room before dragging them inside and locking the door again. Hopefully nobody notices the blood on the carpet, thankfully it’s dark in here.

I need to find this idiot. Fast. The minute he’s dead, I’m gone. I continue down the hallway, keeping my weapon up and my back close to a wall. I don’t have anyone watching my back so I have to be careful.

“No! Search the entire property again! They’re coming after me!” I grin at the fear in his voice. Poor baby.

“Marcus, Pete, let’s go.” One guy says, all three of them come flying out of the door at the end of the hallway and I roll into the closest room, shutting the door gently behind me. I can hear their angry mutterings as they pass the room and I wait until I hear their feet on the stairs before I sneak out into the hallway again.

Thankfully, the door to the room is unlocked and I manage to sneak in without Pontiac or either of the two guards noticing me. Idiots. Do doors suddenly open and close on their own?

I shoot the two guards and punch Pontiac in the face as he opens his mouth to scream. I place my blade on his carotid and dare him to speak. He quickly surrenders, his body going limp under my grip. I force him into the closest chair and cable tie him to it.

I make sure I’ve locked the door before shooting out the cameras - just in case - and taking my mask off. “Miss Ivan.” He whimpers.

“Sorry for the deception, Pontiac. I am Riley Everett, with MI6. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you properly.”

“You-you-you...”

“Well yeah, look I just need a little information and you’re the perfect person to give me that.” He starts wriggling and I force a cloth into his mouth before he screams. “Look, we can do this the hard way or the even harder way. I just want to know what the plan is. You guys have lost money, territory, supply, are you just planning to go out with a bang? That’s why you wanted to blow up Buckingham Palace?”

His voice is muffled so I yank the cloth out as he pants heavily. “We don’t wanna blow up Buckingham,” He heaves in a breath, eyes slightly unfocused and scared, “the guys we were working with to try and gain territory in England were crazy. Look, we aren’t a threat to the UK or anything.” He starts crying which makes me roll me eyes.

“Who were you working with?” I grab his face to try and make him focus on the task at hand but he’s ready to faint from panic.

“I-I don’t know. They never told me! I run the American division. Mattieu would know! Ask him.”

“Mattieu who? Where does he live?”

“Mattieu Durand, he has a mansion on Florence Boulevard. He’s my boss, please! He’s the one planning things.”

“What has he got planned for the mafias and the bikers?”

“The mafias? Umm, they want to blow the Mexicans to kingdom come, they’ve got a massive C4 shipment coming in next Wednesday, the ship is called Queen Elizabeth.” That’s the intel I interrupted, they weren’t planning on blowing up the Queen, the C4 is on the fucking ship.

“The Russians and Italians?”

“He’s scared of them so he’s planning on taking their family!” He cries harder so I punch him in the stomach, keeping an ear out for prowling guards. “Lorenzo’s wife is going to her friend’s birthday on the seventeenth, they want to slit her throat in front of everybody to send a message. The Russian’s son, he goes to the private school in town, the coach there is gonna poison him and carve the French logo into his chest.”

“That boy is fifteen!” I exclaim in outrage, they’d kill a fucking child for this shit?

“Yeah, I know. That’s why I’m leaving, I’m gone. I booked a flight to Hong Kong and everything.”

“What about the bikers? What are the plans for them?”

“Take the Queen, torture her for information and then shoot the entire place up. The Bikers are outnumbered two to one, they’re gonna go in heavy once they figure out the weaknesses of the compound.”

“Fuck!” I stand up and start pacing. “What do you remember about the English group you were working with? Do you remember what they were planning?”

“They were gonna give us three million pounds to help them smuggle in thousands of weapons. RPG’s, assault rifles, grenades, everything you could think of they ordered. I don’t know what their plan was but the main guy we spoke with was tall, well-spoken, always wore a suit and had brown hair. Please, that’s all I remember! Let me go and I won’t tell anyone anything. I’ll leave to Hong Kong and never come back.”

“You know they’ll come after you, they’ll torture it out of you.”

“Then do it quickly, put me out of my misery.” I agree to his request and do as asked before taking off. I slip out the window and land softly on the grass of the garden. I jump the fence and sprint to my car, hoping beyond hope that everyone is there.

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