Ice monkeys drunk monkey.., p.24

Ice Monkeys [Drunk Monkeys 7] (Siren Publishing Ménage Everlasting), page 24

 

Ice Monkeys [Drunk Monkeys 7] (Siren Publishing Ménage Everlasting)
 



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  Then several browser windows suddenly popped open on her desktop and what looked like raw data streamed down the screen. Black backgrounds with text, Donna couldn’t decipher it because it was moving too fast.

  “I think something’s happening,” Donna said. “I think he’s on my computer.”

  “He is,” Lima whispered. “Everyone in position and get ready. Fish prepping to run.”

  Chief had switched out with Quack, who was on the other side of the coffee shop. He slowly stood, stretched, and took his time gathering his tablet and cup of coffee before walking toward the door.

  “Fish is white male, early thirties, shaggy brown hair, light blue surgical mask, brown short jacket, blue sweatshirt, jeans, dirty white sneakers, khaki messenger bag, two o’clock from bait.”

  Donna noticed a flash of movement out of the corner of her eye. When she turned her head, she saw a guy matching that description suddenly slam the lid down on his laptop, shove it into his bag, and jump from his seat.

  Lima was already up and moving, starting to run. “Fish on the move, go go go! He’ll be at the door in 3-2-1!”

  Donna stared at her screen. “My computer’s acting really weird, guys. What do I do?”

  “Close the lid and come on,” Lima said as he hit the door. “Let’s go. Now.”

  She did as he ordered, shoving her laptop into her bag and yanking her earbuds from her ears. She shoved the earbuds into her bag, too, and shouldered it, heading for the door.

  There was a flurry of voices and commands on the radio, then Victor broke through.

  “Babe, turn right out the door, to the corner, and get in. Fast walk.”

  Chief’s voice came over the radio. “Fish in the net, we’re a go.”

  “Don’t wait on me,” Victor said.

  She shoved the coffee shop door open, heart racing, and shivered as the cold air slapped at her. It had to have dropped at least fifteen degrees since she’d gone in and it left her wishing she’d brought gloves with her.

  Quickening her pace, she heard the SUV racing up from behind, past her, and making the corner in a squeal of tires as Victor slammed on the brakes and threw open the front passenger door for her.

  She dove in and was pulling the door shut when he hit the gas again, not even waiting for her to buckle up.

  “You all right?” he asked.

  “Yeah.” She got her seat belt fastened and pulled down her mask. “They got him?”

  “Yeah.” He glanced in the rear view mirror. “They all ended up with him, so you and I need to take a little side trip.”

  “Why?”

  “Can’t risk anyone tailing us, and I don’t have eyes on our six.”

  “Why did they leave us?”

  “Because me and Chief were about to tell Lima to call off the ops and pull you out of there when we spotted four guys who’d gone in, one at a time, and then came out again and regrouped and disappeared around the other corner not seconds before Lima called a go.”

  He whipped the wheel hard, making a left against a stale yellow light, swerving around a slow car in the left lane as he studied his rear view mirror.

  “What does that mean?”

  “It means,” Lima said over the radio and sounding grim, “that the other chummers were in our pond. Right there. What was that you said about your laptop?”

  “It was acting weird. It was like something took it over. These windows opened up, like a command prompt, and stuff started scrolling through them. It’s never done that before.”

  “Fuck. Hold on.” She heard a noise before Lima spoke again. “What’d you do to her computer? Did you infect it with a virus?”

  She could faintly hear a guy in the background, sounding distorted from it traveling through several of their mics at once.

  “No, man! I didn’t do anything! I screwed up, okay? I clicked a link without thinking and it was a trojan. I was only piggybacking through her connection, I swear!”

  Victor spoke up. “Lima, hold on.” He grabbed his sat-phone and made a call even as he drove one-handed. “Omega, fish in the net, we’re split up, though, and may have the other chummers on our tail. We need an alternate location to take the fish and the bait other than the boathouse…Roger roger.” He hung up. “Lima, Omega will text an address to your sat-phone for us to meet him and Uni at. Proceed there. Enact radio silence until then. Sat-phones only.”

  “Roger roger,” Lima said. “Going silent. Lima out.”

  “Victor going silent, out.” He turned to her. “Shut down your mic pack, babe.”

  She fished it out of her jacket pocket and turned it off. She realized he’d done the same. “Why?”

  “We don’t know who those other people were, if they were really after our fish, but it sure is coincidental. If they had the means to trace him the way we traced you and him, it stands to reason they might be able to trace two-way radios.”

  “Oh. So how do we talk to the others?”

  “Sat-phone, if we need to.” He made another turn, to the right this time, and then another left a block later. “I need you to do something for me, and this is very important, okay?”

  “Yeah?”

  “I need you to sit there but turn and watch behind us. Pay close attention to any other vehicles who stay with us. You don’t worry where I’m going. You watch for patterns. Only when we’ve gone at least five minutes without you seeing any cars who might be following us do you tell me it’s safe.”

  “How do I know?”

  “They could be in multiple cars and peeling off, staying in radio communication and trying to get ahead of us. Just watch for the patterns.” He glanced at her. “You found that money trail, so this should be easy. Look for them trying to match speed, make turns with us, anyone who turns onto the same street we are after we pass and then catching up, any of that. If you think someone’s following us, you tell me that, too. Even if you’re not sure. Okay? A suspicion is good enough for me.”

  She nodded, fear sending her pulse pounding in her temples. She turned in her seat and started watching. From the cars closest to them she worked her way back, until she spotted a small, black two-door car weaving through traffic.

  “Black Honda, two doors. Eight cars back.”

  She looked at him and saw him glance in the mirror. “Got it.” He slowed, then floored it, gunning through another stale yellow and immediately hanging a right, punching it hard and weaving around another car.

  It ran the light behind them, nearly causing a wreck. “They’re still with us.”

  “Okay. Let me shake him. Keep an eye out for anyone with him. Remember, they could be in radio contact with each other.”

  “Okay.” Terrified, she watched the car creeping up behind them as Victor weaved in and out of traffic, heading west away from downtown. The car was trying to catch up, but then Victor timed it just right to blow through a red light, and the car behind them spun out as it tried to avoid a collision.

  “They’re gone,” she said as he raced through several more intersections before hanging a hard left.

  “Watch for others.”

  She thought she spotted a red car, but wasn’t sure. She was about to say no, they were clear, when she saw it again, this time blowing through a red light behind them.

  She described it to Victor and he took off again, quickly shaking it.

  After that…she was afraid to say there weren’t any other cars. They were out of the downtown area now and heading north in a more rural region. He pulled off the road into a shopping complex and behind a grocery store, speeding behind the building to the other end before pulling out and parking.

  “Keep watching,” he warned, his head swiveling around.

  They waited ten minutes, not speaking, Donna terrified even more when she realized Victor had pulled out a gun and had it lying on the seat next to him.

  “Anything?” he asked.

  She watched. Other than people hurrying through the damp, bitter cold into the grocery stor
e, she didn’t spot anything out of the ordinary.

  “No.”

  “You sure?”

  “Yeah.” She looked around, focusing on all the moving cars, and the people out and walking.

  Nothing.

  On the street, traffic was moving normally at the stop light where they’d turned off the road and into the parking lot.

  Then, she saw it. “Wait.”

  The black car, and then the red car, with a white one between them, all moving north the way they’d been heading before Victor turned off, away from them.

  “That’s them,” she said, pointing.

  He waited until the three cars were past the intersection and no longer visible due to buildings before pulling out and heading east on the side road.

  “Keep watch,” he warned. “They probably were just guessing now. They’ve lost us.”

  “You sure?”

  “No. That’s why you’re going to keep watching.”

  * * * *

  Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!

  Hacking 101—never click a fucking link in an e-mail!

  When the trojan swept through Ax’s computer and directly into alonegirl’s computer, he realized something really bad had just happened.

  Slamming the lid shut on his laptop, he shoved it into his bag and decided it was as good a time as any to vamoose.

  He’d have to fry and dump the laptop. He couldn’t risk opening it again and it revealing anything about him. It looked like it’d hooked directly onto her laptop and not his, but he couldn’t take any risks.

  Sorry!

  As he bolted through the door, the cold slammed into him, but then he found himself spun around and shoved, hard, face-first into the wall.

  He didn’t even have time to protest as someone grabbed his bag and cuffed his hands behind him before lifting him and carrying him across the sidewalk and throwing him into an SUV.

  “Go go go!” a woman yelled as the driver peeled away from the curb.

  “Let me go!” Panic set in. “Who the hell are you? Let me go!”

  “Shut up,” another man ordered as someone pulled a pillowcase over his head.

  “Where’s our bait?” the woman asked.

  “Victor’s got her,” another man said.

  “Please, I don’t know what you want—”

  “Shut up,” the woman ordered. “We’re not going to hurt you, but those other guys would have.”

  Someone stuck one of his fingers. “Ow!”

  “Clear.”

  “Other guys?” he asked.

  “Yeah, genius,” she said. “They—”

  Another man, who’d been talking to someone on a phone or something, from the sound of it, interrupted the woman’s response to him. “What’d you do to her computer? Did you infect it with a virus?”

  “No, man! I didn’t do anything! I screwed up, okay? I clicked a link without thinking and it was a trojan. I was only piggybacking through her connection, I swear, that’s all!”

  “Hold on. Quiet.” Everyone in the SUV went silent, except for the sound of the engine racing as the driver swerved through Atlanta traffic. Then, “Roger roger. Going silent. Lima out.”

  They got him sitting up, and it felt like he was between two other people. The woman’s voice came from the front passenger seat.

  “What do you want with me?” he asked.

  “Oh, you damn well know what we want with you,” a different man said. “Same as those other guys want with you, only you’ll get to keep your fingers and your life with us.”

  “We just need you to play ball with us,” Lima, the guy who’d asked about the computer said.

  “What?” His heart sank.

  “Mary Silo. Her husband is after her, and you’re posting content being fed to you by her.”

  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

  “Bullshit,” the woman said. “You know exactly what we’re talking about. Lucky for her and you both, Reverend Silo is no friend of ours, either. We want to take that fucker down.”

  “What?” He didn’t even think about being hopeful. The easy way to get info would be for them to pretend they were on the same side, earn his confidence, and then let him naturally spill his guts to them.

  Before they spilled his.

  He knew he was, at this point, worth far more alive to them than dead and hoped that advantage would hold.

  “I…I’m going to miss work. They’re going to fire me.”

  He didn’t know why, but everyone in the SUV started laughing.

  “Wow,” Lima said. “They sure do have a crazy good work ethic here in Atlanta, don’t they?”

  For some reason, that made everyone laugh even harder.

  * * * *

  Hannibal Silo answered the burner cell. It was his guy from Indianapolis.

  “Got a partial data dump, but the connection was interrupted.”

  Silo fought the urge to scream in frustration. The team in Atlanta had just called him minutes earlier to notify him that not only had they missed their target by mere seconds, but another team had stolen him right out from under their noses and then shook their pursuit.

  Even though they’d fallen off his radar, Silo had no doubts the other team had been the Drunk Monkeys.

  Those men had become the bane of his existence. Them and that damned General Arliss running them.

  It would have shocked him more had it not been them.

  “How long to figure out who he is?”

  “I’m going to work on it all night, or until I have an answer for you.”

  “Call me back as soon as you find out.”

  “Will do. Still keeping this from Jerald?”

  “Unless you want me sending some friends of mine up to visit you when they’re finished with their errand in Atlanta.”

  “No problem. Just clarifying.”

  Silo hung up on him and stared out the window. The weather had deteriorated, going straight past snow to ice. There was a total work stoppage outside, meaning the reinforced concrete wall the engineering team was still putting into place couldn’t be finished yet. They had three concentric rings, starting with barbed wire and electric fence, and then razor-wire-topped chain-link, followed by electrified solid metal fencing, also topped with razor wire. They didn’t currently have the solid metal fencing electrified. It was designed so that it could be activated in case of a threat. Otherwise, it’d take too much power to run all the time.

  The inside ring, the reinforced concrete wall, was meant to sustain a blast from a car bomb. He hoped it was never needed for that purpose, but one never knew.

  Best to be prepared.

  He thought about the girl he’d picked for this compound. The girl who was now living there with her parents, little brother, two little sisters, and her paternal grandmother. All of them guaranteed a place to live, food, medical care.

  Security.

  Jobs for the parents in clerical.

  Schooling for the children.

  And all she was going to have to do was spread her legs and be his good girl, but he couldn’t even make that happen yet. Not with Mary missing and all the media attention on him. If he even tried to suggest the girl could be his new bride it would raise questions.

  She might be brainwashed, but her parents sure as hell would notice something wrong, the timing awfully hinky.

  He closed all the blinds, turning on a lamp to keep some of the darkness at bay. He felt the meanness growing in him. He was used to putting Mary through her paces at least once a day, and then he’d been milking his own seed for the Legacy Project—another plan on hold, thanks to the cunt—and now…

  He wasn’t a man to idly masturbate, but his rage had only increased when he’d tried three different times to rub one out and couldn’t even get it up.

  The latest time that very morning while in the shower.

  Not only had Mary sidetracked his plans and made a fool out of him, but she’d also taken that from him as well.

>   That fucking bitch is going to pay for this.

  Not even the thought of his beautiful, virginal bride unknowingly waiting for him could sharpen the lead in his pencil.

  Oh, Mary. I hope you’re enjoying your little joyride of freedom. Because once I have you back, I’m dry-fucking your asshole until it bleeds and then I’m going to choke the breath right out of your body as I come in your whorish hole.

  But not even that thought hardened him in the slightest.

  Not even a twitch.

  Chapter Thirty-One

  Donna didn’t relax for the better part of an hour, until Victor finally pulled up at a red light, looked at her, and reached over to squeeze her hand.

  “You did good, sweetheart. I’m proud of you.”

  Outside the day grew darker, the wind picking up as cold rain fell on the area. If the temperature kept dropping at this rate, it’d be sleet before long, if not a full-blown ice storm.

  “Guess we don’t have until next week, huh?” she quietly asked.

  He squeezed her hand again but didn’t answer.

  It was near six o’clock when they turned off a rural road and pulled through an open gate on a thickly wooded property. They drove down a rutted road through the trees.

  “Where are we?”

  “Omega sent me this address. It’s our new safe house here.”

  It didn’t look like much, the gloomy weather and darkening skies only adding to the purple shadows in the trees. “Here?”

  “Well, we’re not spending tonight here,” he said. “This is just acting as a holding area for now so we can question this guy, talk to him, convince him we’re the good guys, and get his help before we move back to the other safe house. We have some work to do here yet to make it move-in ready.”

  It was a large, concrete block building, one-story tall. The rutted driveway opened into a gravel parking area. Behind the building, she spotted an open, but overgrown field.

  Large enough to land a helicopter, for sure.

  There was even a loading bay in the side of this building.

  The other SUVs were parked outside.

  “What’d it used to be?”

  “I think Uni said it was a chemical plant at one time.” He caught her hand after he parked the SUV next to the others. “I mean it. You did really good today. I’m so fucking proud of you.”

 

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