Buried Treasure

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Loose Ends

Manilo Correria’s POV
Orlando Safe House

I was in a bad mood as I met our Cartel contact at the airfield. Jose had been given what I thought was an easy job; torture and kill the traitor and his family, and bring the tape back home. If he did it right, nothing would lead back to us, and the killers would be a thousand miles away. After twenty years, no one would suspect that the Sons of Tezcatlipoca had finally exacted our revenge.

I raised Jose like he was my son, and he had fucked this up spectacularly.

The traitor and his wife were dead, but they hadn’t waited for the daughter to be there too. Then she gets away, and the bitch makes it five miles with them in pursuit, leading them into a trap at a fucking BIKER CLUBHOUSE. Three good men die, and our Club is exposed because the dead men were wearing our cuts.

Instead of killing the girl, she’s now in Federal protective custody, and our people inside don’t know anything about it. They say the Feds think we have her, but we would have dumped her body in public if it had been us. No, someone in the DEA was holding her location very tight to the vest. We will find her eventually. No secret can survive time, money, and opportunity.

“Mr. Correria, this way,” the woman said as she opened the door to a Mercedes SUV. She followed me in, and the driver left immediately. “As you instructed, the surviving members have been isolated from each other and have not been questioned. Here are the eleven survivors of the attack.” She handed me the list of names.

They were good men. “And Jose?”

“He did not return to the extraction point and has made no contact with us. Our contacts in law enforcement don’t have him. It’s like he disappeared.”

Our Club hadn’t heard from him either, but the terms of his task were clear. He was to complete it or not return. That was our way.

“Your assistance in this matter is appreciated. On behalf of the Club, I apologize for the difficulties this is creating.”

“Our involvement remains unknown. You are to contain this, for the sake of your organization and mine. The law enforcement pressure will continue to build until they get the men responsible.”

She wasn’t kidding. Killing three cops and nearly killing another had the authorities falling on our Chapters like a ton of bricks. We were losing money with every day; we couldn’t operate our businesses under the surveillance and scrutiny we were facing. The Presidents of our Chapters were unified in this, and I had been sent here to fix it.

We arrived at the warehouse in an industrial section of the city. The door was opened only long enough for us to drive in, then it closed again. I found an office, and the guards brought me the senior man left of the group. “Ghost,” I said as the man was led and sat in a chair.

“President Manilo,” he said as his eyes widened before he looked down.

“Where’s Jose?”

“I’m not sure,” he said. “He was on one of the buildings in front, none of the men with him made it out. I was hoping he escaped on his own because he didn’t make it to the rally point.”

“Why did you run off? You had them trapped and burning, yet we lost as many men as they did.” This was the part that disgusted me; if they had stuck around for a few more minutes, they would have wiped out most of that damn club.

“We lost containment. Men were pouring out the front and shooting back, and the police were coming fast. Jose told us to fall back to the vans when they got close enough, and we did.”

“When was the last time you saw Jose?”

“I caught sight of him through the smoke just before we left. He stood up, men and dogs had made it onto the roof of his building. The smoke blocked me for a moment, and he was gone. I saw several big dogs fighting a jaguar; then the smoke blocked my sight again. I never saw Jose again.”

“You saw a jaguar fighting dogs.”

He nodded. “Three big fucking dogs, they looked like wolves. And where did the Jaguar come from?”

“Did you tell anyone about this?”

“Ten Taco saw it too. We couldn’t figure out where it came from, none of the guys knew where the cat came from.”

“I guess we’ll have to figure it out. Wait here.” I went outside to speak to the Cartel woman. “Do you have a secure transport?”

“We have a delivery truck we used to get them here. No windows, roll door in back locks from the outside.”

I wrote down an address and handed it to her. “I need you to have some of your men go to this address and verify no one is there. Have them disable any alarms and get the door open, then wait for us. I’ll take the men in the truck with you, and our problem will be solved by sunrise.” She nodded; her orders were to assist Manilo in the cleanup. “Open up the back of the truck and get them all loaded.”

I waited by the back, greeting the men before they hopped up into the box truck. “Keep quiet and don’t move around; we’ll be in the new safe house soon.” I rolled the door down and latched it closed. Getting in front, I found she had already set the navigation system to the address I gave her. I pulled us out of the warehouse and onto the road.

The trip took almost an hour in the Orlando traffic before we arrived in the quiet neighborhood. She looked down at her phone when it dinged. “It’s clear, and the side door is open for us.”

“Good.” There was a park down the street. I found a spot between the streetlights and pulled the truck over. “Give me a few minutes. I’ll get ready then I’ll send your men back here. Tell them they are walking individually, so we don’t attract attention.”

She looked at the quiet neighborhood. “You sure this will work?” From her eyes, I knew she had figured out what I was doing.

“Yes.” I got out and walked across the street and to the house without looking back. They had turned off the lights, so when I walked in, I could hardly see the guys waiting. “All clear?”

“Yes. Three bedrooms, living room and kitchen here, double garage and workshop through that door.”

“Perfect.” I sent them to fetch the guys one at a time then send them to me in the garage. While they were gone, I made sure the only lights in the garage were dim along with the kitchen. I moved everything out of the way, then screwed the silencer onto my .22 caliber subsonic pistol. The noise would be no louder than a cough, not enough to disturb anyone.

As each man came in the door, I greeted them like a brother as my pistol came up to the back of their head and fired. When I left, eleven bodies piled together in the middle of the spot where their car would park. I made sure I wiped the gun clean and left it in the kitchen.

I had my Cartel contact call 911 using a burner phone, reporting lights and noises from inside the house. The other Cartel guys left, while the two of us watched from the truck as police descended on Mongo’s home. “The cops will think the Brotherhood took their revenge. Two of the guns found will match those used to kill the other cops,” I said. “Closure.”

Chase Nygaard’s POV
Orlando Temporary Clubhouse

Mongo and the Club were determined to rebuild the Clubhouse when the insurance money came in, so it made sense to stay close. There was an office/warehouse building for lease next door; it was the one opposite the building where we had killed Jose. Half the building was open, air-conditioned warehouse space. The other half had offices and conference rooms on the ground floor, while the second floor had a cafeteria and kitchen along with offices and storage rooms. The building had ample outdoor parking spots and surrounded by an eight-foot chain link fence.

It had the makings of a great clubhouse, one larger and better equipped.

I contacted the owner and made a cash offer to lease it for six months with an option for six more. I handed Mongo the keys yesterday, and we got ready for visitors. The bodies of our dead had started to be released from the Medical Examiner’s office already, and all of them would be by tomorrow morning. The largest funeral service in the history of the Steel Brotherhood was tomorrow afternoon.

Mongo, Three Tequila and the Ladies were overwhelmed with the preparations. Members were arriving from all over the country, over five hundred Brotherhood and Ladies so far, with more coming in. I told them to get the help they needed and don’t worry about the cost. Delivery drivers and caterers had been showing up all day long. The big warehouse space filled up with thirty rows of folding chairs, and a temporary stage was set up at the front. The Club had banners printed, each about ten feet square, with photographs of the members lost.

It was impossible to look at the stage without choking up. Sean (Easy) and Kelly (Peasy) Ryder were on the left. Next to them were four faces I didn’t expect. The three police officers executed before the attack each had a spot; the Police Chief refused to appear with our Club, but the head of the Fraternal Order of Police chapter agreed to eulogize them. Nate’s poster was a surprise; someone had taken a picture on their cellphone of him at the bar, beer in hand, and a big smile on his face. Mongo said it was right to include him since he was the first to die and was being patched in posthumously. “You get to talk about him,” he told me. “He was your friend first.” I just nodded; I later made arrangements for the body to travel to the airfield after the service. Rori was flying down on the plane tonight, and we would fly back tomorrow night to bring his body to the Oxbow Lake Pack.

The other eleven, I had seen around but didn’t know well. The Club was reeling and would take years to recover from this. I had been on the phone all afternoon, lining up every motorcycle hearse I could find for the bodies. Three of the fallen would return to their home Chapters after the service; almost their entire Chapters were coming to bring them home. The eight from here, five would be buried immediately after, while the other three would return to the funeral home for individual services and burial. The Club would ensure all services were well attended.

In true Biker fashion, they would ride from the morgue to the service by motorcycle hearse, and from here to the grave. Putting a biker in a car for the final ride wasn’t cool.

It was pushing ten, and I was exhausted. I found Three Tequila and Mongo talking with the caterers. They would have to remove the chairs and set up tables in the two hours we expected to be at the cemetery. The party would go well into the night, as we sent them off in style. “Mongo, I need to head to the airport in ten minutes to get Canvas. Do you guys need anything else?”

“Nope,” he said as he pulled his wife closer. “We’re leaving soon as well.”

We were interrupted by shouts from the entry. Police arrived, at least a dozen uniforms and some detectives, and they didn’t look happy. Mongo signaled for them to be let in, the last thing he needed was to piss the cops off tonight. “Detective Jackson,” Mongo said as he recognized the leader.

“I have a warrant for your arrest,” he said as the men flanked Mongo.

“For what?”

“Eleven counts of first-degree murder.”

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