Chapter 29 - Trouble In Paradise
“Wait? How do you still have camera footage?” Madrid exclaimed as he eyed me.
I chuckled. “I made sure to put some cameras in the walls. The walls I set them in were made to stand through anything - even a cannon blast.”
Madrid rolled his eyes, chuckling at my innocent face. “You did good, grasshopper.” I rolled my eyes at his words until I saw a section of the wall rise and two men push to their feet.
“How many lives do they have? They are like cockroaches,” I muttered, clearly angry at the two being alive. They limped out of the cave, the wall long gone, and started barking orders at their men. They wanted them to find us and bring us back to them, killing off the Shadow Cat’s, my father, and my brothers.
I hit another button. “I don’t think so, ass-wipes.” They looked around them, noticing the camera I wanted them to see. The enforcer crawled up the tree and yanked it out as he looked around for more. He found two of them and couldn’t find the others. They stomped out of the area as I followed them with the other cameras in the trees, under some bushes, and in a few knotholes in the tree. Some of the knotholes had animals in them and they didn’t even look in them.
“Hey, how did you get cameras out there?” Dragon asked the question I didn’t want to answer.
“Yeah, how did you do it?” Madrid asked, a smirk on his face. He knew but he wanted me to say it out loud.
I sighed and pinched the bridge of my nose. “I, uh, changed some of the orders for the men you and my dad had out here helping. Sorry.” He knew I had hacked his computer. I had changed the ones to protect us. I couldn’t help how my mind worked. “I won’t do it again, I promise.”
“Next time ask your dad or I, okay?” I nodded. “Any suggestions to help our missions are greatly appreciated,” Madrid commented as he gave me a side hug. I let out a quiet breath, happy he wasn’t mad at me. I was only trying to help and I could see some holes in his plans. I should have known to ask him, but I’m a kid and I was worried he wouldn’t listen to me.
“Come on, we need to go before they find the tunnels. I have a surprise this time,” my dad said as I raised my eyebrow and smirked, letting him know his surprise wasn’t a surprise to me. He rolled his eyes and chuckled. We followed them to the next tunnels until we couldn’t go any further. I noticed Eagle had carried Sophia to this tunnel a few miles back. I wanted to roll my eyes at her laziness. I noticed Cruz had kept up and he had a determined look on his face. I was glad to see how much more he was listening and doing. He didn’t complain once. He looked up and I nodded my head, a small smile surfacing. I was proud of him for finally getting his act together. I could hope it lasted. He needed to toughen up and fly right.
“Alright, can you bring up the screen from before, Cat?” I nodded and raised the screen on the wall. I watched as my dad pulled a computer from his go bag and set it up on a barrel. He watched my screen until two men moved closer to the wall we had gone through earlier. One of the men pushed on the wall. I heard the click as the door opened and snapped my head over to my dad, knowing he opened it for them.
“Go let the twins know we found their tunnel, I’m not stepping in until they tell us what to do,” one of the men ordered as the other one nodded and ran out of the cavern. It wasn’t a minute later that the twins came into view, calling more men to come to him.
“When the other men get here I need you to lead them into the tunnel and let me know what you see. We need to catch them,” the cartel leader ordered as he handed the man a radio and earwig. The man nodded, but grimaced when they turned their backs.
About twenty men showed up and the man led them in the tunnel. I could tell he was scared of what he might find, but he kept walking until he couldn’t. “Push on the walls and find the opening to the next tunnel.”
The man, who was with him earlier, leaned against the wall, his arms crossed over his chest. There was a click heard and everyone stopped. “Found it,” the second man said sarcastically. It seemed as the two men had bad blood between them and he didn’t like taking orders from the man.
I watched as they stepped through the next tunnel and started walking, the door closing silently behind them. It was a second later a gas like substance started hissing in the tunnel. The men tried to get out of the tunnel. They were pressing the walls frantically looking for a way out, but there wasn’t one. I watched as each of them succumbed to the gas. All I could hear was their final gasp as they died.
“Time to get out of here. I’m going to blow the tunnels in under a minute,” my dad informed us. He led us out of the hatch in the ceiling after making sure the coast was clear. We scurried out after him and ran to the trees, keeping our bodies low to the ground. Stupid Sophia looked as if she was taking a stroll through the rainforest. My mom hissed at her to hurry up and duck down.
I couldn’t believe she thought it would be okay to leisurely stroll through the woods, as if we didn’t have people hunting us. If she got any one of us caught I was going to beat her black and blue. I didn’t understand her and never would. It was as if she wanted to be caught, as if she didn’t care if we were caught or killed. I scowled at her as she turned her back to me.
“Okay, we are going to be huffing it, but we need to stay quiet and together.” My dad looked at us and sighed. “Sophia, are you listening to me?” He asked sharply.
“Yeah, Dad,” Sophia answered as she glared at me.
“Don’t blame me for your lack,” I bit out and glared back at her. I moved away from, not wanting to be close to her. I was tired of her bullshit. I was tired of her blaming everything on everyone else, of her fits.
I listened to what Madrid and my dad were talking about. They wanted to split into two groups. I was to lead one and my dad the other. All I could think about was; please don’t let Sophia be on my team. I didn’t think I could handle anymore of her shit.
I sighed loudly when Sophia wasn’t on my team, causing all of them to look at me and Sophia to glare. “What? She needed to go with dad. If she whined the whole time with me you would have found her tied up in the treetops.” I shrugged my shoulders and saw my mom smirk, hiding it immediately.
“Be nice, Cat,” my dad said as I snorted at his comment. There was no way in hell I would be nice. Sophia had brought everything on herself and if my dad couldn’t see it then he would soon.
I had my team set and ready to leave. We would be going east as my dad’s team would be going west. I noticed my mom was on my team as well as Dragon and Digger. I internally snickered. I knew they didn’t like being around my sister and her whiny voice. If she didn’t give dad and Madrid away it would be a miracle. I was sure Madrid would be carrying her most of the way - not something he would willing want to do. He was a warrior through and through and didn’t like having his hands full unless it was a gun.
I pulled out our earwigs and passed them around, setting our channel to the one Madrid had said to use. I wasn’t sure about the channel, so I switched our settings. I had a feeling the traitor had told the twins of our channel. I could tell Martim knew why I had changed them, but he never said a thing. I just hoped we wouldn’t need a rescue mission at the end of this journey.
“Let’s go, stealthy and quietly,” I murmured as everyone pulled their rucksacks on. Martim and I went first and kept a steady pace. It was quiet for a long time and I was enjoying the rainforest. I loved the sights, the sounds, the smells.
“Yeah, the smell of men coming from our south,” my jaguar chuckled, almost making me miss a step.
“Incoming,” I quietly murmured as we dug in the ground. I had dove for a tree and dug myself in as quietly as I could. I could tell the guys were dug in three feet apart from me. Close enough to help or close enough to observe. I figured they wanted to watch how I worked. I knew we had two new people in our group, but I also knew how they worked and I liked them, well, except one of them. He gave me the creeps and I couldn't figure out why. This was their first assignment and I hoped they didn’t screw up anything.
I heard the loud voices before I saw them. The next thing was their smell. They smelled of sex and sweat. I wanted to wrinkle my nose and sneeze but I didn’t. How these guys thought they could sneak up on someone was a mystery to me. I could have smelled them for miles if my head had been on straight - something I would never do again.
“Do we kill them?” I heard Martim quietly murmurer. I clicked my mic once, knowing they would get my message of no. I didn’t want to leave bodies on our trail to the bunker. I didn’t want to arouse suspicions of where we were headed. We would only kill if we needed to.
After the men were out of ear shot, I quietly dug myself out, brushing off the bugs on my neck. “I don’t want to kill them unless we have to, it would give away a trail leading straight to us, okay?” They nodded. “Let’s head up into the trees for just a little bit, I want to see if they have a regular routine of scoping the rainforest.” They all nodded and followed me up into the trees. I was happy the new men were just as quiet as the rest of us.
“I don’t trust the brown eyes man, Cat. There is something there not right,” my jaguar, Rowdy, told me as I thought about her words. I had the same thought the first time I had seen him but I chalked it up to him being new.
"Great. Trouble in paradise. I want to get this over, now I have to watch the asshole and see what he does next," I told my jaguar, trying not to sigh out loud. I was tired of the cartel infiltrating the military.
I looked over at Martim and signed our channel quickly, making sure the man didn’t see me. Martim looked at me strange but clicked his mic over. I walked over to him and leaned into his touch. I kissed him and laid my head on his shoulder by his ear. “We might have a problem with the new guy, the one with brown eyes. My jaguar is agitated by him and I can’t help but feel the same way. We need to change our channel and listen in on anything he might be saying to the cartel.” I kissed his lips again as he nodded his head.
“Come, we need to keep moving,” Martim said aloud as he tapped the palm of my hand twice - effectively letting me know he would do as I suggested.
We took to the animal highway at a slow and steady pace. I was glad the two men were not in the old bunker before we had talked about our weapons or any pertinent information. I didn’t mind the blue eyed guy knowing but it looked as if he was friends with the other man I was watching. I made sure to look at each of the men, wanting to make sure I didn’t point out I was watching him.
"Because we can handle it. Let's teach this bozo tiger a lesson, Cat," my jaguar, Rowdy, said.