The warehouse had been prepped for the meeting. It was empty, save for a table and two chairs. The windows had been painted black and boarded. Foam baffles lined the walls, preventing remote sound surveillance. Men with guns were positioned outside, on nearby roofs, and at every entrance.

Alberto finished giving the room a third pass with the electronics detector. It came back clean. No bugs or video devices. The white noise generators were ready to go. Motion sensors were aimed at the sky, alert for spotting drones. He’d done his job. The place was as tight as possible.

At the other end of the building one of the bay doors opened with a metallic squeal. Sunlight streamed in and Ahn Tien came with it. She didn’t have any of her men with her, but he had no doubt that they were outside, matching the positions of his own. What she did have, that surprised him, was a basset hound on a leash.

They had met several times before. Sometimes exchanging responsibilities in cooperation and sometimes exchanging bullets in battle. She was as good at her job as he was. Serious with a smile. As professional as possible in a shifting, chaotic, criminal mess. Alberto liked her. Because she worked for the competition most days he wished she was dead, but he liked her regardless. Normally, these interactions of theirs were entertaining. But something about the dog, or maybe her walk, looked out of place. She was off. Not her normal self. It put him on edge.

“What’s with the dog?” He asked.


Working security for the criminal underworld is a risky job, but some things you just can’t prepare for. Alberto is about to come eye to eye with something he’d never imagine. Subscribe to find out what it is.