1

'She's with Riker again,' Nick thought.

This was Nick's fifth day of observing the Riker Striker's headquarters and, more specifically, the woman.

Or Monica.

By now, Nick had learned quite a bit about Monica.

First, she was the only female main member of the Riker Strikers.

Second, she was physically quite a lot stronger than the average member of the Riker Strikers.

According to the members, Monica was so strong because she had an attuned Zephyx Synchronizer.

She essentially handled the men of the Riker Strikers like children.

While this wasn't suspicious to the Riker Strikers, it was very suspicious to Nick.

After all, there were almost no abilities that just flatly increased an Extractor's physical power.

The only one Nick had heard of was his own, and that increase in strength also only appeared when certain conditions were fulfilled.

Based on what he had seen and heard, Monica was at least three times as strong as an adult man at any given moment in time.

Nick had also seen her a couple of times, and Monica definitely didn't look as physically imposing as Manela or anything like that.

She looked rather beautiful and wasn't even that big or muscular.

Yet, she handled men like they were toys.

'Either she has an ability vastly superior to mine in every way, or she's not a normal human with an ability,' Nick thought.

'She's most likely an ex-Zephyx Extractor.'

'Alternatively, she may have been around Riker so much that her body absorbed Zephyx he was giving off, which turned her into a Peak Newbie after a couple of months or years.'

Either way, Monica was the most dangerous person inside the gang, except for Riker himself.

She was also Riker's personal bodyguard.

Whenever anyone made problems, Monica would take care of them.

Naturally, when someone created a volatile pot of violence, such as the Riker Strikers, they would find themselves on the receiving end of violence at some point.

What stopped the insane people of the Riker Strikers from just banding together and killing Riker?

Monica.

She was what stopped them.

From what Nick had heard, Monica had also killed more than one member of the Riker Strikers before, and none of the corpses had ever been found.

Nick presumed that she had just thrown them into the sewers, and the Parasite ate them.

Naturally, none of the Riker Strikers would dare to go to the city guards.

Lest the city guards also investigate them.

After following Monica for a couple of days, Nick was certain that she was the person who made all the money vanish.

In these five days, Monica had confiscated over 2,500 credits from all the members of the Riker Strikers.

She hadn't left the headquarters during that time.

She had not used the money in any way.

Nick had also searched through her room while she was gone, and he hadn't found any credits anywhere.

He was also quite sure that Monica didn't just casually carry thousands of credits with her all the time.

This meant that the credits could only be in one place.

Riker's room.

Nick hadn't seen Riker's room yet since he wanted to be sure that Riker wouldn't notice him.

He would only try to enter after Riker left his room.

From time to time, Riker left his room, but Nick hadn't found a good opportunity yet.

Additionally, he had been busy following Monica.

But now, Nick would turn his attention to Riker's room.

Monica had just entered Riker's room, and Nick was quite sure that Riker would leave soon.

He hadn't left his room in two days, which was unusual for him.

He had to come out and show his face to his people.

"Well, let's hope they're not causing too few issues," a charismatic, smooth, but dangerous voice said.

Naturally, this was Riker's voice.

A moment later, Nick heard Monica and Riker walking away from his room, and Nick started to become active.

'There's no opening in the floor,' Nick thought. 'The door in the hallway is also locked and without any holes. They would definitely notice that I have been in there if I break the door open.'

Nick went to the neighboring rooms but noticed that the walls between them and Riker's room were extremely thick and without any holes.

'Can't go from below. Can't go from the front. Can't go from the sides,' Nick thought.

Nick "left" the headquarters and floated towards the space behind the headquarters.

Riker's room faced outward at the back, and Nick searched for an opening there.

'Nothing. Just a solid wall.'

'That means there has to be a way to get in from above. Monica is a human, and she needs light. There has to be a light source inside Riker's room,' Nick thought.

Nick left the sewers and stealthily made his way back to the Dregs.

The building the Riker Strikers were in was quite big, and the headquarters had several floors.

Nick turned into fog and slowly floated through a window on the second floor.

Luckily, Nick had already looked around this floor earlier, and he knew about a room that was almost always empty since the occupant was constantly outside with his friends.

A couple of minutes later, Nick stood in front of the door leading to the room above Riker's room.

The door was extremely solid, and there were no openings.

Nick also noticed that there was a ton of dust on the door, which meant that it hadn't been used in a long while.

But instead of breaking in, Nick decided to go to the third floor.

Sure enough, the room on top of that room was open, and Nick entered.

There was a big bed in the room, and Nick squeezed himself halfway below the bed.

It was a bit dark here, but not so dark that the Nightmare could use all of its powers.

At most, Nick was hearing a couple of voices that weren't there.

Then, Nick used the blade of his fist weapon to make a small cut in the ground.

After that, he looked through the cut into the room above Riker's room.

And what he saw shocked him.