AP Productions: Cavalier #8

Getting the Dragon out of the sewage tunnel was trickier than getting the Knight-cycle out. Michael performed a few maintenance checks for his father over the years but he hadn’t flown the craft since he was in high school. Once he got it through the tunnel with a few scrapes along the concrete walls, it handled well enough. His father designed the craft but Rex Robinson provided resources and helped build it with a few added bells and whistles along the way. Despite it being a complex vehicle, the controls were simple and easy to master. Michael punched in the address on the GPS and steered the hovercraft to Brownsville. The New York skyline was beautiful at night, the buildings were lit up and the city bustled below and yet, he felt he was alone. The Dragon glided effortlessly, making very little noise. “I can see why Dad didn’t want to stop flying this thing,” he thought to himself, “Shit, why did I stop flying this thing?” He dipped down, flying over a mostly-abandoned storage yard. The property had a fence around it and there were no lights but as he hovered over, he could see a few men milling about. He pulled up, turning the craft around to bring it to the front of the unit, then slowly descended.

The men below heard a low humming sound and felt a strange breeze which seemed to get stronger as the humming got slightly louder. A second later, a burst of flame shot across the sky, over the rooftop. Michael used the Dragon’s flame-thrower (Dragon’s Breath) to get their attention as he landed. Before activating the flamethrower, he checked the unit number so he knew he was in the right place, although the bullets bouncing off the hovercraft’s plating was also a significant clue. As he landed, he killed the turbines a second too soon and made a hard drop that jostled him but he doubted anyone noticed since the men were scrambling. Michael hit the Dragon Roar, turning it up as high as possible. The screech cut through the sounds of the panicked men, many of whom, flopped to the ground and clutched their ears. Michael let the sound go a bit longer and watched as some of the small windows in the building shattered. With his enemies properly stunned, he slid the hatch open and stepped out. One man rose to his feet and raised a gun at him but Michael rushed to him and kicked his arm to the side, forcing the man to release a bullet in the air, then he brought a fist down to the back of his head. Michael made sure to check over his shoulder for any attacks before he took the laser pen from his belt and sliced through the lock, then opened the garage door. It was there that he noticed a palate containing several packages of cocaine, likely costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Yards away, on the other side of the chain link fence surrounding the property, Mano watched silently. As he watched the Cavalier enter the storage unit, he took the phone from his jacket and quickly dialed. Once someone picked up on the other end, he whispered, “Things have gotten complicated. I need to see you tomorrow.”

Multiple police cars showed up along with a van that were soon filled. Officers loaded the cocaine into a truck while Commissioner Reins approached the Cavalier.

“Glad to see you back on the street,” the Commissioner said as he lit a cigarette, “We were wondering when you’d get involved. With a lotta folks thinking you were dead, some people’ve been causing trouble.”

“Uh, Yeah,” Michael stammered awkwardly, “I might not be on the street much longer.”

Reins looked at him curiously, “Considering you don’t sound like yourself, I suspect this might be your first time. I would ask questions but I doubt I’d get any answers.”

“Basically,” Michael motioned toward the storage unit, “The men who took over this unit work for someone named Big Fun.”

“You might be right but we have no way of proving that. This place isn’t in business anymore so it’s not like we have records of anyone renting this unit.”

“They’ll talk.”

“Wouldn’t count on that. We can get them on trespassing, assault with deadly weapons and possession of firearms, which could still result in some decent jailtime unless they lawyer up. There’s no way of proving they were guarding these drugs though, which would’ve been a bigger win for us.”

Michael was silent.

“Hey, you did great. If you’re the new guy taking over and this is your first -“

“I’m not taking over.”

“Whatever you say… So, I know these goons work for Big Fun and you know that. End of the day, we have no proof the guy has anything to do with a bunch of cocaine showing up in an abandoned storage unit, but you know what would be some sweet evidence to have?”

“What’s that?”

“Rumor has it, this shipment came from Costa Triste. Not sure if you know much about it or not, but that place is being run by some mysterious drug lord that they literally call Nobody. If you found some connection between Big Fun and whatever’s going on in Costa Triste, that would be something.”

“I’m not… certain I’ll take things any further,” Michael shifted a bit, “But I could look into it.”

Commissioner Reins put out his cigarette, “You know, I’ve probably been working with Cav for damn near 30 years. And I saw a lot of weird things,” a knowing smile spread across his face, “In fact, I think it was sometime in the 90s, he had some kid doing a few missions with him.”

Michael was silent once again.

“Never knew what that was about. At this point, Cav is probably as old as I am so I knew he would hang up the cape sooner or later. Anyway,… if I see you again or if I don’t see you again,” he nodded slightly as he walked away, “Take care of yourself.”

The next day, Mano walked through the halls of the Costa Triste embassy, a manila folder firmly clutched in his hand. A set of double doors were opened by guards as he entered the office of the Ambassador. Ambassador Guerrero was a thin, balding man with a bushy mustache. He appeared very unassuming and one would be forgiven if they didn’t suspect him of being a former chief of the defunct Costa Triste Secret Police. Guerrero stood to his feet, came around his desk and hugged Mano, “Hello, my boy. How are you?”

“I’m fine, sir,” Mano sat down at the Ambassador’s desk, “As I told you over the phone, there were complications. Before we begin, our employer wishes to send his apologies if he’s keeping you from your administrative duties.”

Guerrero chuckled as he sat down, “Nonsense. On most days, I’m bored dealing with bureaucratic shit or American politicians. I welcome a little distraction every now and then,” there was a slight gleam in his eye, “Besides, it seems this little secret mission might take me back to my glory days.”

“Certainly, as you know, Nadie wanted you to be ready in case we needed you.”

“Did that fat American bastard agree to our terms?”

“To be fair, he hasn’t reached the deadline yet. Personally, I think he would have continued to ignore us, but that’s neither here nor there. Last night, the Cavalier found the shipment and turned it over to the police.”

“Damn. If the Americans just let us take care of storage, this wouldn’t have happened.”

“We need your security team to act sooner than expected. Nadie would like to meet with him in the next 24 hours.”

“Absolutely. Do you have intel?”

Mano placed the folder on his desk, “This is his address, hang outs and his lawyer’s office. It’s all I could find on such short notice but I’m sure that’s enough for your team.”

“I’ll make sure he’s on the plane tonight. What about his men?”

“I’ll take care of them and ensure no one else will get in our way in the future. I’ll meet your team on the airstrip tonight before take off.”

The gleam returned to Guerrero’s eye, “Ah, just like old times.”

Michael leaned against the Dragon with Arthur sitting at the work bench. Arthur smiled as he looked at his son in the armor, “I still don’t know how comfortable I am with this but… it looks good on you.”

“It doesn’t fit perfectly but it’s kinda fun to wear.”

“It’s awesome that you found the shipment so quickly. But are you serious about going to Big Fun’s house, searching for evidence?”

“We have gear that can knock out his security, right? I sneak around his mansion a little, maybe get his laptop and bring it back. If something’s on it, great. If not, well, I tried.”

“Just remember, that armor is tough but it makes a lot of noise.”

“I’ll have the Dragon hovering outside. If anything happens, I can hop into it.”

Arthur became a bit serious, “You still don’t have to do this.”

“I’m just seeing this to completion,” Michael gave a reassuring smile, “It’s over after tonight, one way or another.”

Big Fun left his lawyer’s office that afternoon, his two bodyguards following closely. “It’s gonna take a shit ton of money to get our boys out of lockup,” he growled, his usual laidback demeanor having disappeared, “And even if we do, our product’s still gone.”

“Could be worse,” one of his men reassured him, “The cops don’t got any evidence on you.”

“Yeah,” he waited on the street for his SUV to pull up, “Have the Costa Tristans made a move, yet?”

“Nah, no word.”

“We better call the old man. I don’t think he’s in any position to wage war but I don’t need the added shit, neither,” his SUV pulled up, complete with shiny rims and tinted windows, “But just in case, I asked everyone left to stay at the crib. I want the whole squad locked and loaded. People better understand Big Fun is ready for anything.”

Big Fun climbed in the back of the SUV, his two bodyguards sitting on either side of him. Once inside, there was the telltale THUNK as the doors locked. He looked up curiously, noticing his driver was missing, replaced by two men he did not recognize. They quickly turned, silenced pistols at the ready; the bodyguards reached for their weapons but weren’t quick enough as whispering flares burst from the barrels. Big Fun raised his hands over his face defensively just before being splattered with blood from both directions. From the outside, no one would have been able to see the blood splatters through the tinted windows. “The hell is this?,” he shouted while trying to push the two dead bodyguards off him. The man in the front passenger seat trained his gun on him without saying a word. The other one quickly drove them from the area,

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