San Diego, the boss of the Devils Disciples, an offshoot of the much larger Wolves Of Satan, sat staring at his phone. He had just concluded a call with the leader of the Grave Runners, an American crew operating south of the Canadian border, in the state of Montana. The two had been trading calls since the news of Roy Thundercloud’s ambush.
Both, San Diego’s Disciples and the Grave Runners from Montana were small in comparison to the Wolves of Satan group in Alberta, but factoring the men spread across western Canada and down into the bordering states, the two bands numbered well into the hundreds.
Shortly after the call ended, the Disciples gathered at their clubhouse in Regina. The Saskatchewan motorcycle gang fired up their bikes and headed west down Highway One for the Alberta border. The plan agreed upon called for them to meet up with the Grave Runners at a small bedroom community twenty minutes east of Calgary. Once joined, the two groups of bikers would ride into the city together.
The Desperados out of Ontario ran an excess of illegal activities throughout an enormous portion of the western part of that province and across the provincial boundary into Manitoba. The Desperados were a couple of days into their trip west before Roy’s shooting occurred. The Desperados leaders were bargained into the looming turf war in Calgary by Roy Thundercloud and had agreed to throw their lot behind the Wolves.
Their help in the war traded for favours from the Wolves. Improved underground lanes to move product and guaranteed protection of cargo as it passed from the Pacific Ocean east over the mountains and across the prairies to Ontario. A decent payoff for their part in assisting the Wolves to remove the Columbian backed Warriors. The cooperation between the Desperados and the Wolves would open a nation of possibilities for both clubs.
Calgary was a hard three-day ride west, but the Desperados had no plans on delaying and missing the fun that was certain to erupt in Cow town.
Most of the gangs Roy had brought into talks already worked under an uneasy truce with the Wolves. All managed to maintain working conditions with each other with the Wolves being an integral part of the drug pipeline from the Orient and South America suppliers
Word of the building war in the Albertan city had echoed across the prairies and farther east. The separate gangs set their differences aside, any resentment of fellow groups stifled with the truce Roy Thundercloud proposed. Each group’s leader knew Roy Thundercloud, at least by reputation, and respected him enough to ride to his aide.
The smaller gangs had begun to feel the ripples in their operations caused by the Warriors and the Moreno Cartel. While joining forces, the growing biker syndicate brought new rules for those partaking in the illegal underground business along with the will to control the illicit drugs flowing from the Pacific inland. Word spread quickly about the new consortium’s power and the disregard for competition. While mounting the war against the Wolves in Alberta, fingers of the Cartel/Warrior venture already had begun its march to gain control over the other provinces.
With the Warriors being backed by the Colombians, the only path open to the smaller biker gangs was to tow the line or be steamrolled by the growing juggernaut. Backing the Wolves was the better, and more favourable option left open for the Eastern gangs who were determined to remain independent.
Early the next morning in Edmonton, the Crypt Riders of the North motored south down Highway Two with plans of hooking up with more of their members along the way. They left the Albertan capitol in the early hours of sunrise, their expected arrival time in Calgary, early that morning.
Two days before Roy fell victim to the hail of bullets at the restaurant, the Lower East End Posse gathered with the West Coast Reapers in Kamloops and together they rode toward the City of Calgary. A war was brewing, and these two groups were allied with the Warriors and backed by the Colombian Cartel. Local police forces and RCMP detachments along the way followed the bike gang’s movements as they headed east across the province.
Once the gang’s destination was determined, phone calls poured into the Calgary Police Headquarters warning of the incoming invasion. Police forces along the way stood aside as the few hundred bikers rode. The riders were careful not to break the law, and as the numbers increased while they headed east, the spattering of law enforcement grew less likely to challenge the growing ranks of criminals and had little stomach to harass the bike gangs.
Meeting at a Warrior’s hang out west of Calgary, the members of the East End Posse and the Reapers drank and partied with the host Warriors and a smattering of Cartel underlings before receiving instructions concerning their expected actions. The next day the hunt was on for any, and all associates tied to the Wolves. Businesses managed by the Wolves came under attack.
Rojas and Cartwright decided to end the turf war before the Wolves were able to bring in reinforcements to swell their ranks. The following night, after the attack on Thundercloud’s acreage, a car full of Colombian gunmen was sent to deal with the Wolves leader.
By the time the local cops got wind of the attacks, the deeds were complete. Wolves’ members were hunted. Nightclubs and other businesses of illegal repute were swarmed, some burned to the ground. For two long days, the Wolves of Satan tracked and dealt with, the surge by the Moreno Cartel culminated with the shooting of Roy Thundercloud.
The combined forces of the Colombian drug Cartel and the Warriors bike gang were on the verge of claiming another major city with undisputed rights of running the profitable underground.
The city of Calgary had blossomed into a world-class center for the past number of years, which meant a lot of young, affluent people living in its limits. The perfect scenario was unfolding for the growing drug and gambling trade to flourish.
The Cartel wanted to expand east from the coast, and with the Warrior’s providing muscle and insight, the only thing standing in the way was the Wolves of Satan…and a fishing guide.
The morning after Roy Thundercloud was gunned down, the rumble of bike engines rattled a small city east of Calgary. The Devils Disciples flooded the parking lot of a local eatery when they arrived in town. The roar of the bikes could be heard in the restaurant before the first metal two-wheeler crossed into the parking lot.
Nervous early morning diners peeked warily through the slits of the restaurant's blinds and into the rising sunlight. Mumbles of disbelief interrupted family meals as tentacles of uneasiness and fear settled over the breakfast crowd. Parents with young children pushed aside partly eaten plates of pancakes and eggs, called for their bills and slipped from the restaurant as quickly and as meekly as was humanly possible.
San Diego sat with his men. Grim smiles streaked their faces as they rested on leather bike seats, smoking and watching the scared families with amusement while the parking lot emptied. He and his men waited. The Runners were to join them shortly. After breakfast, they would ride as a group to meet Thundercloud’s men.
Brand stood on the outside of the damaged building looking back up at the Warrior’s clubhouse, the front half of the truck sitting inside, intermitted flashes of light reflecting off the metal frame of the damaged cab. Brand lifted a cigarette to his lips, flicked his lighter then scrolled his phone screen for Detective O’Brien’s contact number.
“O’Brien.” The tired, annoyed voice of the detective’s answered.
“I got a tip for you.” Brand replied. “Wake up the uniforms at the station and send a couple of squad cars to the Warrior’s compound.” Brand rattled off the address. “Seems like somebody drove an 18-wheeler into the clubhouse.” Brand listened to the detective curse across the phone line. Cutting O’Brien off before he asked the wrong questions, Brand added as an after thought. “Oh. You better send an ambulance or two along, also.” Brand told the detective. “Warn your men to be cautious when they enter the premises. There’s a big man inside and when he wakes he’s probably going to pissed.”
Before hanging up, Brand said. “Detective, you might want to take the time to make an appearance. A trailer full of evidence is attached to the back of the semi tractor. Check amongst the pallets of produce. I’m certain you’ll find that the product in the trailer matches the stuff on the streets the Warriors peddle.” He ended the call not waiting for O’Brien to waste time asking needless questions.
Walking across the yard, Brand sorted through the damaged bikes. Some escaped the path of the eighteen-wheeler’s tires. He walked to one leaning to the side of the clubhouse, the bike still drivable. He stood the bike up and pulled the ignition wires loose. Before climbing onto the bike he took a gun he recovered from inside the house and shoved it into the back waist of his jeans, slipping his coat over and spun the bike around heading away from the crash scene, his destination north of the Warrior’s clubhouse.
It had taken Brand time to to pry the Manager’s whereabouts out of Bakker but eventually the giant of a man succumbed to Brand’s charms. James Cartwright was at a sleep over at his girlfriend’s apartment. The friend’s place was in the northwest part of town, one of the fast growing, new subdivisions in the expanding city.
Brand felt the wind tug at his hair as he left the Bowness area, turned onto Shaganappi Trail, and wound his way through the deserted city streets toward the far reaches of the north end.
Leaving the bike in an alley, he walked up to the apartment’s entrance and studied the buildings security system. The front door was locked and he couldn’t count on many people leaving or entering at this hour if the morning.
Avoiding the buzzer to Cartwright’s girlfriend’s apartment, Brand randomly pressed buttons hoping for an annoyed or otherwise non-caring resident to grant him entry without any questions. A few annoyed and suspicious patrons refused his attempts. Tired, curious voices asking who he was and reminded him of the late hour. Several failed beckoning rings passed before the buzzer on the front door notified him that the door had been unlatched. He quickly seized the door handle and entered the main building.
Walking through the deserted hallways, he stopped at the elevator, pushed the up button and waited for a ride to the fifth floor. Turning left in the upper hallway, he paused in front of the apartment number Bakker had given him. Had the big man lied? A few moments of pondering the truthfulness of the information, he pulled his lockset out of his pocket and quietly let himself into the dark unit.
Standing motionless behind the closed door, he breathed shallow, allowing time for his senses to warn him of unwelcome movements. When he was satisfied that his entry went undetected, he moved about the apartment searching for the bedroom, his final destination. Again he remained immobile, his hand on the doorknob, his ears strained for sounds of activity from the other side of the door.
Brand retrieved the gun from behind his back, pushed the door inward and stood silhouetted in the doorway as he studied the layout. His eyes adjusted to the dim light seeping past the window blinds from the streetlights outside the building. Two dark lumps lay among the shadows on the bed, the bigger obviously the Warrior’s leader; the man lost in sleep while his snoring disturbed the otherwise silent room.
In two long strides, Brand reached for the prone form lying in the bed and with his left hand, he clutched the man’s t-shirt in his fist, his right hand holding the gun at Cartwright’s head. The Manager’s eyes snapped open, his pupils expanding at the sight of the gun in his face.
The biker started to yell and Brand smacked the butt of his gun into the side of the man’s face.
“Quiet.” He growled. With the gun remaining tight to Cartwright’s face, Brand slowly pulled the man into a sitting position before easing his grasp on the t-shirt. Brand took a step back. His gun unwavering, pointed at the Manager’s head. The commotion in the room woke up the apartments owner. The woman startled awake, her eyes zeroing in on the gun and then up at Brand. A scream burst from her lungs.
“Shut her up or I swear I will.” Brand warned. The Manager turned his attention away from the gun and with a few sharp commands quieted his girlfriend.
“Grab a sheet and tie her up.” Brand instructed the Manager. “Not too tight though. She’s so damn skinny I don’t want her to die of hunger before she can get loose. Quickly,” Brand urged. I’m in a hurry.”
Standing back to give the Manager room to complete his task, Brand waited impatiently. With the woman bound, Brand spoke. “Find your clothes. You’re coming with me.”
Brand had thought about questioning Cartwright in the apartment, but changed his mind. Too many variables to consider and then the problem of containing the man when he was done created another problem. He didn’t view the girl as a threat, he doubted she had no idea who he was and if she was aware of what line of work her boyfriend was involved in, that ruled out the possibility of her running to the police, at least for the time being.
With his gun held at the Cartwright’s back, Brand escorted the man out of the building and over to part of the building dark in shadows as he surveyed the street.
“What do you drive?” Brand asked. The two leaving the premises on the stolen bike, awkward, he realized.
“My truck.” Cartwright answered pointing past the building toward visitor parking.
“Lead the way.” Brand nudged with the tip of the gun, the barrel pressed tight to Cartwright’s back. The hard metal of the handgun digging into flesh made the biker wince.