We investigated a small laundry shop the Yakuza were supposed to be operating out of. The only thing we found were five men who put up a very large fight. No information was gathered. Everything on the computer hard drives we found was destroyed.

Pouring a jug of sulfuric acid on a hard drive tends to corrupt all the stored data.

We took out three men. One of them had a shoulder wound, and I’m betting it was my shot from when the rider got away on the bike. The other two took their own lives.

Took their own damn lives.

Leaving us with yet another cold fucking trail.

Information on the Yakuza who are hitting us is too fucking small at best. They’re using ambush tactics. Hit us and run. I’ve tried pulling out information on which family it is that links these guys, but so far, I’m grasping at straws.

We need an equalizer. Something to get us back on an even playing field.

Lucifer was right to say we needed more men, we do. We’re like a rubber band stretched too thin. You can see something’s about to snap if we don’t remove some of our burdens.

And right now, as much as I would rather skull-fuck my own eye, bringing in his dog… would be our best bet.

Damn.

“One minute out. Fence on the left is the landing strip’s property,” I say over our radios.

“Roger that,” Andrew says.

“Roger,” Thad says shortly after.

“How far is she away, Simon?” James asks.

Checking my phone, I say, “Quarter mile. It shows she’s on the landing strip. They are getting ready to move into takeoff position.”

“Got it. I’m going to have Andrew stop soon. I need to get a visual of the plane’s tires. I want to shoot them out. What’s the chance they will hurt Meredith if their plane is disabled?” he asks.

“Eighty-twenty,” I say after pushing the talk button. “Asad wants revenge too much, and his father wouldn’t be happy with a corpse coming back. They have too much honor at stake.”

“Got it. I’ll try to hit the pilot first. I’m taking out a wheel… then the engine if it comes down to it. She ain’t going anywhere.”

“Copy that. If you get the pilot, take out anyone that comes in view through the cockpit window,” I say.

The entrance comes up rapidly upon us. Thankfully Johnathan is proficient enough in driving this large vehicle that he doesn’t tip us on our side as he takes the turn.

Slamming the pedal back down, I get thrown back into my seat as he guns it towards the already ripped off gate hole.

“Get ready with your gun,” he growls to me.

“Pull as close to the plane as you can,” I say. “But we need to be careful in case they have another RPG they can use against us.”

Pulling up my HK417, I eject the full clip to check it one more time. Never hurts to be thoroughly prepared. Popping it back into the slot, I make sure the safety is turned off.

“Check mine too if you can. I don’t want a cartridge breach out there.”

Pulling Johnathan’s assault rifle up, I quickly go through ejecting his fresh mag and pulling back the hammer. Everything looking good, I set it back up.

“Clean and ready. Excellent looking rifle… I’m surprised it’s so well taken care of,” I say as I put it down beside mine.

Up ahead, I see a black luxury plane idling on the runway. Johnathan spots it too as he slams the accelerator of the Escalade towards the left side of the plane.

“Halfway to top. I got a shot of the front wheel of the plane. I don’t want to wait until it moves,” James says.

“Can you spot the pilot?” I ask.

“Yeah, he’s looking frantic. Some other asshole is yelling at him. Maybe a gun being waved around,” he says. “Fuck, he’s pointing out to Thad’s Tahoe.”

“Yeah, I’m going to park it right in front. They’ll have to pull back to get around us,” Thad says.

“Wheel shot now blocked by Thad. Going for the pilot.”

“Take the shot,” I say.

There’s a loud cracking noise from our left as we come screeching to a halt next to the plane.

“One of the pilots is down. Will take out the second when he pops up,” James says.

“I’m five minutes out, Simon. Can it hold?” Lucifer comes over the radio.

“We’ll have to see—” I start to say before the cockpit door opens up.

“Shit! RPG!” Thad screams over the radio.

I watch as he and the two guys he’s been training start running from the vehicle.

A white trail of smoke and then a huge red explosion comes from the Tahoe that was blocking the airplane. Chucks of metal go flying out as the guy pulls back into the plane.

“Shit!” Johnathan growls as he grabs his assault rifle from me.

Both of us exit the Escalade at the same time. He stops in front of the engine and lines up a shot at the back door of the plane.

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