World War 3
Posted 09 May 2005 - 02:20 AM
A man stood up in his bedroom in the middle of Staunton Island, a section of crime-addled Liberty City, New Jersey. He slept during the day alot, because he just preferred the night. It was easier to work in, and had such a mystique to it. He'd done plenty during the day in Liberty, like killing the figurehead of a major drug cartel. He smiled briefly as he thought about that. Showed her who was boss, even if he didn't mind it being the other way around in certain other places. He lost the smile and mentally told himself to focus. He slipped a dark blue shirt on. It was evenings like this, as he got ready to work, that he felt like Batman with different resources and no do-gooding teenage sidekicks with gender issues. And he wasn't exactly on the same side of the law. It was the getting what was almost a uniform together that did it. Instead of a cape and a utility belt, he had the black leather jacket that he felt gave him some sort of power. It was also a handy way to stash his firepower. He grabbed the keys to his Kuruma, and stashed them in his pocket with his cell phone. In his other were his cell phone and a wallet with a few different IDs. He tightened his belt, slipped on the jacket, and headed out of his bedroom. Tonight, he had an important meeting. In a position like his in the Liberty underworld, having the right connections, and keeping them, was essential. He stood in the elevator that would take him from the floor of the apartment building that he had taken as his own, and went down to the garage where the cars that he 'collected' sat. At one end was the blue Kuruma that was his car of choice. He checked his watch, hopped into the car, and drove a few blocks to the lot where his closest ally worked.
"How much time have you got?" His friend asked.
"About half an hour before I need to get there," Marc Horovitz said. 8Ball went back into his store. He came back out with a remote control. If anyone knew how to rig up a good set of explosives, it was him. Marc and 8Ball had been friends and allies for over two years now. Whenever one needed backup, they called the other. Every two bit criminal in Liberty knew not to cross them. They'd plowed through hundreds of people, Marc behind the wheel of whatever car he'd just swiped or with one of his many guns, and 8Ball with one of the bombs he could build like he was tying his shoes.
"Now remember, the reciever'll be partially exposed, but you have gotta be the only one who knows it's there," 8Ball said. "Otherwise, it'll ruin the surprise."
"Naturally," Marc grinned. He took the remote and put it in his jacket.
"Sure you don't me to tag along?" 8Ball asked.
"Eh, I think I'll do fine, buddy," Marc responded. "I can handle this by myself."
"I dunno, dawg."
"Did you just call me 'Claude'?"
"What? No. You alright, Marc?" 8Ball asked.
"Just a little on edge," Marc said. "Tonight's gonna be big."
"Yeah, I know. Now, come on man, you gotta get goin'."
"I know," Marc said, looking at his watch. "Later, Eight."
"Later, man," 8Ball waved him off. "Good luck, you're gonna need it!"
Marc had one last thing to do before he got this little operation fully underway. He walked out to the edge of the water, where a woman leaned over the railing, looking at the calm waters between Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale.
"Been waiting long?" Marc asked. The woman turned around. The moon shone down on Maria Vincenza. She smiled her coquettish little smile and approached him. Marc put his arms around her body, and she grabbed the lapels of his jacket. They kissed in the night.
"Ready to go?" Marc asked.
"Of course," Maria replied.
The couple walked arm in arm up the hill on Shoreside Vale. Marc conducted alot of business up here, near the observatory that nobody actually used. Ordinarily, when he needed to meet with someone, and be the only one who left, he took them up here. It was a little odd letting Maria in on this. At the top of the hill, a short blonde man waited.
"Mr. Horovitz!" He called.
"I see you, Rubek," Marc groaned. "Why the hell would you make so much noise up here? Trying to call attention?"
"I am sorry," Arnold 'Ruby' Rubek responded. Marc approached, with Maria close behind. "I have what you want."
"Good," Marc said, his eyes narrowing. "And is it in tact?"
"But of course," Rubek answered.
"Good. You know how I get when deliveries don't come in the way I want 'em. Now go fetch it for me, Deutsch-bag."
"I am Norwegian!" Rubek yelled, as he hurried off to the bushes. Marc watched him carefully.
"Sure he's not hiding something in there?" Maria asked.
"I don't know, a gun or something."
"Maria, babe, I know this guy. He won't try anything."
"So why'd ya bring him here?" Maria asked, leaning on her lover's side.
"This was the soonest I could get the merch from him."
"So why up here?"
"It's special," Marc said, cryptically. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the remote control. "Later on, you outta thank 8Ball for this."
"Why?" Maria asked.
"Just trust me." He handed it to her. "I've gotta go talk with Ruby. Do something for me. When I'm coming back, past that third tree, hit this button."
"Marc," Maria pleaded. "I don't want to get into this."
"Sure you do," Marc leaned down and kissed her forehead. "Just this once, babe."
"Alright," she said, looking at the remote.
Marc hurried down to the bush where Rubek was waiting. The European smuggler handed him a small, navy blue package. Marc opened it, and looked at the contents.
"What you wanted?" Rubek asked.
"Of course." Marc smiled and turned around. He walked away slowly. Once he was past the tree, Maria nervously pressed the button on the remote. There was a burst of light, and a loud noise. Maria turned around, not wanting to see what she had let Marc make her do. She loved him, but sometimes she wondered if he was really a human being. There was a blinding light. For a moment, she thought that it was a police light, and that she and her infamous boyfriend were busted. She looked up, and it wasn't what she expected. Fireworks lit up the sky. She smiled. Marc snuck up on her and wrapped his arms around her.
"Hey honey," he whispered.
"Cute, Marc," Maria smiled, "but why all the set up for this?"
Maria looked again, and saw it. The fireworks formed words. In the sky, green slowly dissipating letters spelled out "MARIA, WILL YOU MARRY ME?" Maria gasped.
"Did I get the right color?" Marc asked.
"Of course," she answered, tears welling in her eyes.
"Ruby, get out of here!" Marc yelled. Rubek hurried from the bushes down to the road, and into his red Banshee. "Now, about that question..."
Rubek got back to his small warehouse. Some boxes with the merchandise he'd just had brought in from Tanzania were on the ground. He groaned as he cleaned up some of the diamonds that had spilled on the floor. He was glad he'd had one of them put in the ring that Marc Horovitz had asked for. Still, it was odd that his stuff was in such disarray. A shadow fell over him, and the last thing Arnold Rubek, Norwegian smuggler, felt was a piece of wire wrapping around his neck.
Posted 09 May 2005 - 04:06 AM
Posted 09 May 2005 - 11:29 PM
Posted 11 May 2005 - 02:18 AM
Maria sat in bed, admiring her engagement ring. It had been two days, and she was still marvelling at it. The diamond in the middle was perfectly cut, and the band was sterling silver, and shined brightly with the light. Marc walked in, and grabbed his jacket.
"Gotta work, hon?" Maria asked. Marc popped down on the bed and draped an arm around her.
"It won't take too long," he promised. "I've just gotta break some guy's daughter out. From where, I'm not exactly sure. I mean, I've got a location, but it doesn't seem like anything important."
"Have fun," Maria smiled. "You know I'll be waiting." She kissed him. Marc smiled and walked out.
The door was locked. It was too what was once the gym to Liberty City High School, before the old campus had been condemned. Marc checked his watch. He could hear footsteps, and hoped his colleague tonight had arrived.
"Don't call me that."
"Sorry, Marc," came the gravelly voice of Tony Cipriani. "You been waitin' long?"
"Not really," Marc answered. He felt around for his pistol. "So what's the game plan?"
"You go in and do your thing," Tony said, frankly. "Then, me and my guys watch the exits. Anyone but you and the girl comes out, and we blow 'em away. I just wish I knew who these creeps were."
"Leary says they're a cult," Marc responded, referring to Dr. Leary, the father of the kidnapped girl, and the man who had hired him to rescue her. "Called 'The Riders of Phyrexia'. The cops won't go near 'em for some reason or another."
"Cops don't go near anyone," Tony pointed out. "It's why we have careers."
"I guess you're right. Wish me luck."
"Like you need it," Tony replied.
Marc slammed his shoulder into the door, and knocked it down. He went in with his gun drawn and held in both hands. Nobody seemed to be there. Marc turned to see Tony backing away from the door. He shrugged, and kept on. Suddenly, the door slammed shut. All the lights in the dark gym came on, and Marc realized that there were about fifty people.
"Who dares trespass here?" Came a laughably nasal voice. Marc's brow furled in confusion. "Who dares invade Phyrexia?"
"What in God's name is Phyrexia?" Marc called.
"Fool!" Came the voice that didn't sound like the kind of person who should be shouting 'fool' like that. Marc couldn't see who the speaker was, then he looked up. The voice belonged to a chubby man with red hair. He was wearing a green cape, and had a saber at his side. He and several others were up on the rafters. Marc scanned around, and saw, in the middle of the basketball court, a girl strapped to a table.
"Why have you come here?" Came the man who had to be the leader. As Marc looked, he noticed that nobody here seemed much different. All looked like they lived in their mothers' basements, and were dressed like they worked at a Renaissance Festival. Some probably did.
"Business," Marc responded. "I'm here for Mabel Leary."
"The virgin is ours!" cried the leader. "You shall not touch her?"
"Look, Shakespeare, I don't know who you think you are, but you do not want to f*ck with me!" Marc shouted, loud enough for all to hear. "Give me the girl, and no one gets hurt!"
"Archers?" Marc saw that the other men on the rafters held bows and arrows. They were pulling back, aimed at him.
"You have one last chance, intruder!"
"You must be kidding me, right?"
The leader thrust his arm out, and the archers started firing. No arrows came near him.
"That was, umm..." the leader struggled to find an excuse. "It was a warning!"
"Sure," Marc groaned. He advanced to get to the girl.
"Do not come closer!" The leader took the saber from his side, grabbed a climbing rope, and attempted to slide down. Halfway, he lost his grip and plummeted several yards down.
"I'm terrified," Marc deadpanned.
"Avenge me!" The leader squeaked out.
"Bill of Roosevelt Boulevard has fallen!" Came another nerdy sounding man. Marc was not surprised to see that all the cult's members were men. "I, Brian the Congested, am the new leader!"
"Hail Brian!" the cult members all said at once. Marc wondered why he was bothering here.
"Destroy him!" the new leader ordered. The archers started shooting again. Now that he was closer, he was in real danger. He raised his gun, and started shooting. One by one, the archers fell from the rafters
"How do you like that?" Marc mocked.
"He is using modern weapons!" gasped Brian the Congested. He drew a broadsword that looked like it had been dulled when he'd first bought it at a pawn shop, but was poorly sharpened now. The other Riders of Phyrexia started to advance. Marc pulled out his switchblade, cut away the bands holding the girl down, and grabbed her. A short, skinny man with a bad chain-mail shirt and a rickety mase charged. Marc shot him in the knee. He paused briefly to reload, and led the girl closer to the exit.
"She is ours!" came the pained voice of Bill of Roosevelt Boulevard. He crawled across the ground, much to the shock of the other cult members. He grabbed at the girl's leg. She shrieked, and Marc kicked him in the head.
"Will you piss off?" he snapped. "Why don't you guys get him to a hospital, and then all of you go down to the Red Light District and get laid? There is a world beyond "Lord of the Rings", you know."
"I never saw the third one!" one of them piped up. The others looked at him, shocked. Marc took the chance and ran with the girl.
Outside, Tony and two Yakuza were waiting. Marc emerged with the shaken young girl.
"So Marc," Tony started, "I had some guys run a check on these creeps, and-"
"I know, I know," Marc snapped. "They're a bunch of geeks who got ahold of some swords and thought they were playing "Magic: The Gathering"."
"That's about the long and short of it," Tony replied.
"Tony, do us all a favor and torch this place," said Marc, as he walked away. "I'm tired, and I'm going home. Maybe I can get Maria to give me a back rub or something."
"Don't call me that!"
Posted 02 June 2005 - 03:42 AM
Posted 03 June 2005 - 03:40 PM
"Yeah?" came the voice of Tony Cipriani.
"Tony, we've got a little problem," Marc said, pacing up and down. "Rubek's dead."
"What? Ah, goddammit!" Tony snapped. "How?"
"Can't tell," answered Marc, going back to the body to examine. "He's been out for a few days. That I can tell."
"Hell," Tony muttered. "I'll be right over. Stay sharp, Marc. If someone did this to him, they might be watching to make sure nobody like you comes to investigate."
"I'll be fine." Marc ended the call. He pulled out his Desert Eagle, and found a spot that wasn't in view of the skylight or the door.
Two men, both clearly Middle-Eastern, stood on opposite ends of Liberty City park. Most ignored them. There was a big Arab-American community in Liberty, so they weren't exactly a novel sight. That was all the cover they needed. The one on the far northern end reached for a walkie-talkie, and contacted the other.
"It is time," he said.
"Amir, is this really the right thing?" the other asked.
"Of course," he replied. "These people must be forced to know the truth." He reached into his backpack. Someone who overheard them began to sweat nervously and try to get some distance.
On the other side of the park, the other man made for the video projector that was showing a feature on the charity boat races that most people actually knew funded a few select Mafioso on Shoreside Vale. He slammed into the projector operator, who called for security. With the expert precision that only someone who'd spent the last two days practicing could have, he stopped the projector, replaced the reel with one from his own pack, turned it back on, and ran.
"You can't hide what is really happening forever!" He cried.
The mayor was giving a speech on the other side of the park. Amir made his way up to the stage that had been set up slowly. When he was close to the stairs, he darted past the two cops that guarded it, pulled out a megaphone, and started shouting.
"You are all monsters!" he cried.. Security guards bumrushed the stage, trying to get at him. He turned over his back pack over the front of the stage and dumped its remaining contents on the crowd in front of him. The mayor watched in shock. Papers spilled out. One random woman looked at one of them, and fainted.
Amir's friend was restrained by security, who also raced to shut off the offending video. People complained endlessly about the disgusting images now on the screen. There was a montage of animals being maimed and tortured in various awful ways, set to The Who's "See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me".
Amir himself laughed in triumph.
"This is what you allow them to do to animals every day all around the world! You cannot claim ignorance to it anymore!" he shouted. The papers were flyers with pictures similar to the slide show's images, along with information on slaughterhouses and clothing lines that used fur. Each had the PETA logo on it.
"Quiet, you damn hippie," snapped the guard holding him.
"I've done all I need to," Amir smiled.
As both men were being brought to squad cars, they gave each other triumphant glances. Their message was delivered. Suddenly, an explosion rocked to the park. People ran screaming away. Smoke rose from what was once the entrance to the underground restrooms. Amir and his companion were as stunned as anyone.
Tony knelt over Rubek's dead body.
"Look at the neck," he said. "Those marks aren't naturaly. Someone strangled him."
"Tony, if you weren't a gangster, I'd say you should write for "CSI"," Marc marvelled. His phone wrang. "Yeah?"
"Fido!" a familiar Southern twinged voice yelled.
"Phil, don't call me that," Marc groaned.
"Marc, I'm at Liberty Park," Phil Cassidy said, gasping for air. "There was an explosion. Something's going down!"
"Phil, I'm busy."
There was another explosion on the other end of the phone.
"Come on, man!" Phil pleaded.
"Alright," Marc resigned. "Tony, someone's setting off some explosives at the park. Phil wants me to come be his knight in shining armor."
"Who'd wanna blow up the park?" asked Tony.
"How should I know?" Marc walked out, and got in his car.
Posted 09 June 2005 - 02:12 AM
"Took you long enough," Phil said, as Marc got out.
"Took me twenty minutes," Marc pointed out. "That's the right amount of time."
"You come armed?" Phil asked.
"Cops are gonna crawl this place," Marc answered. "So just the Desert Eagle and a switch. Look, I don't know what you want me to do, Phil."
"I saw this kinda sh*t in Nicaragua," Phil answered, leading Marc along. "Someone's trying to make a big fuss. I think the worst is gonna come soon, but it ain't gonna another bomb."
"Who'd bring any heavy artillery into this zoo?" Marc asked. Phil began looking around, nervously.
"Not into it, buddy," he explained. "Nearby, though. The mayor's coming. We've gotta get someplace safe."
"Phil, what do you know?" Marc probed.
"This is a simple tactic, but a damn familiar one," responded the one-armed man. "As soon as a figure head shows up, the bullets are gonna rain."
"Why did you wait to tell me?" Marc asked.
"I didn't," Phil replied. "I tried to tell law enforcement... God, that felt wierd to say. But yeah, nobody listened. They just wanted to herd us all out before another bomb that wasn't really there went off. It was when I saw the mayor getting rushed away that it hit me. This was all orchestrated."
"So what do I do?" Marc asked.
"Wait for it to start, than find the gunmen and work your magic on 'em," Phil explained. "FBI is showing up. That means the clean up is almost done. Soon as they know there aren't more bombs, the mayor will come back and it'll get bad. I just wish I knew a good vantage point they'd be at."
"Where'd the bombs go off?" Marc asked.
"One at the clubhouse by the pond, the other on the other side where they keep that collapsable grandstand. If I know anything about how officials act in this town when something big goes down, they'll wanna get as close to Ground Zero as they can. It makes for a good photo op for the newspaper, and since it was already hit, security'll figure it's now a safe spot."
"You really do know this kind of thing, don't you?" Marc asked.
"I've seen it way too many times," Phil responded. "A guerilla leader, Alexai Nemkova, sent over by the Soviets to try and get some goodwill with the rebels, he had 'em do stuff like this all the time. We never did find the Red sh*t-eater."
"You think it might be him?" Marc asked.
"Or someone who works for him."
"How long have we got before these people make the next move?"
"Depends how long it takes for the mayor to get back."
"You sure it'll be the mayor?" Marc asked.
"Knowing this town, of course," Phil replied. "All the mayors here are like that. I can't find any major differences between this guy and the one in charge when I first came here. Ask Vercetti next time you talk to him, and he'll back me up."
"Let me call for some back-up," Marc suggested. "I'll see if Asuka can spare some of her cronies."
"No!" Phil almost shouted. "Yakuza suddenly showing up, it'll look terrible for 'em. Too high profile. No gangs."
"Alright, I'll get 8Ball." Marc pulled out his cell phone, and contacted his associate, who said he'd come right down.
"When the mayor shows up, and trust me, he will," Phil started. He paused to think. "He'll be. Right. Over. There!" He pointed to the area by the grandstand that had been decimated. "It's in the light, so camera crews'll like it more, it gets a good view of some of the destruction, and everyone can see him easily, looking like he's in charge."
"Damn, Phil," Marc laughed, "where were you on 9/11?"
"Buying all the gas I could," he responded. "Aw, sh*t!"
The police escort and the limo only meant one thing. The mayor had come back to make some sort of pseudo-inspirational speech. Soon, if Phil was right, the next stage in the attack would begin.
Posted 11 June 2005 - 07:44 AM
Posted 15 June 2005 - 11:55 PM
"This'll look great on camera," the mayor whispered to one of his aides on the way up. "Okay, let's get this show on the road."
Marc and Phil both backed up.
"Don't look too obvious," Phil said. "They'll think we're in on this."
"No sh*t," replied Marc, then adding: "How about the fact that we knew this was gonna happen in advance. If anyone finds out, it wouldn't look good."
"Hey, remember, I tried to warn the authorities," Phil pointed out. "How long has it been since I did that?"
"I don't know." Marc scanned the area, knowing it would be too early for 8Ball to arrive. The mayor began to speak. Marc waited for chaos. After a few minutes of calculated pandering on the mayor's part, he began to think that Phil was wrong.
"...The criminals responsible for this evil will be found, and I personally will see to it that they get the proper punishment, if you know what I mean!" With that last phrase, the mayor's voice picked up, and the few people who had gathered in, reassured by the large police presence, cheered.
"Sorry, Phil," Marc said. "I think the massacre ended before I got here."
"I- I could swear that it was him, that it was Nemkova," replied a dejected Phil.
"Phil, some bombs went off," Marc said. "That isn't necessarily the work of a brilliant strategist."
"'Ey!" 8Ball approached.
"That was quick," Marc marvelled. "What'd you steal?"
"Wouldn't you like to know?"
"Who is keeping major attacks like this down?" The mayor shouted. "Who has had more wannabe domestic terrorists than ever before caught and arrested in his term in office?" This was a lie, as that had never happened in Liberty City before, but nobody cared to point that out. "And who is going to personally see that these people never, ever, commit a crime like this again! You know who? I'll tell y-" Gunfire drowned out the end of the sentence.
"Hate to say 'I told you so'," Phil said. "Now lock and load, boys!"
Posted 20 June 2005 - 04:21 PM
"Phil!" Marc shouted over the noise. "Where the hell do we go?"
Phil, who had hidden himself behind a tree for a moment, scanned the directions that the shots came from.
"Cops are taking the closest one!" He replied. "That one over there!" He pointed to an insurance agencies office. "They've got someone over there!"
"You two go for that one!" 8Ball called. "I think I can get into the close one."
"How the hell can you do that?" Phil asked.
"You just wait and see, Uncle Jesse!" 8Ball grabbed his Glock and made for the closest building where shots came from.
"Careful!" Marc yelled.
8Ball stayed just outside of the area of the gunfire, where unfortunate police-men and FBI agents scrambled to evacuate people. The mayor had been hit, but not anywhere mortal. The same could not be said for the cop who had pulled him away from the speaker's post attached to the grandstand.
"The hell is he planning?" Phil wondered.
"Don't worry about it!" Marc growled, grabbing Phil by the shoulder and dragging him off. "We've got something to take care of."
Yeah, you just keep sprayin' and prayin', 8Ball thought, silently mocking the gunmen. Y'all'd ever bother to take a real shot, maybe you could stop the Magic 8Ball from wrecking your sh*t, like what's gonna happen in a minute.
"What the hell do you think you're doing!" A police officer screamed to 8Ball, who was now close to the street-level department store that would take him into the building he needed to get to. "No access for civilians, buddy!"
"Civilian!" 8Ball snapped. He reached into his pocket. "Agent Michael Werner, FBI, I was here undercover!" The cop looked at his badge, and let him in. 8Ball entered, and kept flashing the phony ID to policemen who were combing the building.
Marc found a back-door that wasn't blocked by law enforcement trying to keep people inside their place of work. He kicked the door in, and led Phil inside.
"Any idea what floor?" He whispered, putting his gun away.
"Fifth," Phil replied. "I could see the reflection from his scope."
"Sure there's only one?"
They found the stairway, and silently made their way up.
"FBI, let us through!" An agent shouted.
"I thought you guys had already gotten here?" A guard explained. "Someone who'd been undercover's already in action."
"We didn't have anyone in this area undercover," the agent replied.
"Well he had the proper identification," the guard responded. "Least that's what some of the cops here said."
"He probably left whatever he was up to somewhere else," another agent reasoned. "Probably just one of our guys on some small business."
"Either way," the first one said, "have someone check in with as many of our light-undercover people as you can. Something doesn't seem right here."
Posted 21 June 2005 - 07:23 PM
Posted 26 June 2005 - 04:13 AM
"In that hall," Phil whispered. Marc nodded. He spun around Phil, into the hallway, and opened fire on a man in a white suit, carrying an automatic weapon. At first, nobody else came. Marc advanced, cautiously, Phil close behind. They peered into the next hallway. The lights were out, but daylight still poured in from the windows. A door was open to a closet. Marc crouched down, and looked in. There was nobody at the window, but he could hear somebody breathing. A man was hiding behind a cabinet. Marc walked in, quietly. The sniper hiding in the closet jumped out, holding a smaller gun. Marc shot him in the shoulder.
"Phil, watch him," Marc ordered. "I'm gonna sweep the rest of the floor. Grill this creep, see who he works for."
8Ball smacked the sniper again.
"Who's ass hired you?" he snapped.
"I tell you nothing, American!" the sniper spat.
"I heard voices over there!" someone shouted. 8Ball knocked the sniper down.
"Got any friends here?" he whispered. The man said nothing. "Aww, f*ck it, you ain't talkin'. Let the feds deal with you, man." 8Ball hurried to the access stairs, hoping he could slip out unnoticed, though that was unlikely.
"Hey, you!" somebody shouted. "Get back here!"
"I need to talk to some of the people downstairs," 8Ball responded, reaching for his fake FBI identification.
"You aren't with us!" the real agent called. "I saw you earlier!"
"Son of a bitch," muttered 8Ball.
"We ran a check, and all our light-undercover agents are still on their jobs!"
"Well, I thought this was a priority," 8Ball said.
"What's your name, agent?"
"Agent Werner, you do what you need to now, but you are not hearing the end of this!"
"Sure I ain't," 8Ball muttered, making his way down the stairs again.
"He's Russian," Phil explained. "Didn't say who he worked for, but said they were 'establishing themselves'. I'm thinking it's a new crime family. Russians trying to make another stab at the States."
"Think it was the guy you fought in Nicaragua?" Marc asked.
"Him? Right there?"
"No! The guy behind the attack."
"Could be, but either way, it was his tactic," Phil said. "Now come on, before the feds find us."
"Good thinking," Marc started, "but what about the bodies? The guy in the hall, and the sniper?"
"Lets just say it looks like a little scuttle between those two got out of hand," Phil laughed. "Come on, we need to get out of here."
Posted 04 July 2005 - 11:33 PM
"You!" somebody called. "You just came from upstairs, right?"
"Yeah," 8Ball answered.
"Agent Werner, right?"
"You weren't supposed to leave your stake-out," the FBI agent said. "The powers that be are pissed. Just giving you the heads-up."
"Hey, thanks, man," 8Ball replied. "Now I think I'm gonna go get back to work. Damn creeps downtown can't go unwatched all day." He hurried out, and jogged all the way to his car. Once there, he pulled out his phone to page Marc. He got a response within seconds.
"You make it out alright, 8?" Marc asked.
"Yeah, man, I'm good," 8Ball said. "Close, though. I beat down some Euro-trash with a scope before I left. Didn't find anything out from him. You?"
"They're Russian," Marc answered. "We didn't get much more than that. Phil thinks it's a Russian mob syndicate trying to muscle in on Liberty City, and they were doing this for attention."
"All this to say 'Hey, we're here'?" 8Ball wondered. "Morons."
"Don't count them out yet, man," Marc said. "We don't know what else they've got up their sleeve."
"Alright then. I'm gonna lay low for a little bit, Marc. Call me later if you find anything out."
"Can do," Marc answered.
Posted 13 July 2005 - 03:14 AM
"Sir, Asuka will see you now," a receptionist said. Marc glanced at her, and got up to enter the office.
"You new?" he asked.
"Yes sir," the receptionist replied. She was a chipper young blond woman. Marc could never stand the type.
"You know I don't usually need to wait in the lobby to see Asuka, right?"
"I was not aware of that."
"Well," Marc leaned in close, "that's how it is. I don't come for your typical business meetings."
"Sir, I'm very sorry-"
"Whatever, you're new." Marc entered. Tony Cipriani was facing the window, smoking a cigarette. Asuka was grinning. "Am I interrupting something?"
"No, you just missed it," Asuka said.
"I knew it," Marc laughed. "I f*cking knew something was going on with you two!"
"He gives the best shoulder rubs," Asuka smirked.
"I got blessed hands," Tony said, turning around. Tony was one of the most prolific gangsters in Liberty City. He had been a freelance strong-arm, like Marc once was, before officially becoming a member of the Leone family syndicate. He'd stuck with them long after Marc had run away, though had begun harboring resentment once Don Salvatore's son Joey had taken over, after Marc killed Salvatore. Joey was impulsive and paranoid, which Tony couldn't deal with. Eventually, Tony had to start embezzling funds from the family to pay for his mother's rising medical bills. When Joey found out, Tony had called on the Yakuza's aide, and Marc himself had spirited him out of the Portland district of Liberty City. He had clicked well with Asuka ever since.
"Well, you guys said you had some info for me on the Russians," said Marc.
"Possibly," Asuka replied, getting serious. "Alexai Nemkova is a former Soviet strategist-"
"Who got into organized crime after the Union collapsed, and now he's trying to move in on Liberty," Marc cut in. "Phil told me all about him."
"Good instincts," said Asuka. "Nothing is certain, but a few people we've talked to point to someone like him. More specifically, someone who is actually named Nemkova."
"That'd be a good hint."
"Call your friend Phil for me sometime," Asuka said. "I want to know about this possible threat."
Posted 21 July 2005 - 01:34 AM
"I was born here in Liberty City," Amir said. "I grew up here. My father is a respectable businessman!"
"Probably sends all his money down to give more Arabs flight lessons," the cop sneered. "Nah, wait, he's gotta keep some for you to mooch off, so you can get all your materials for your little hippie 'save the animals' campaign. Bet that's the real way the terrorists got to you. Found one of your hippie Greenpeace rallies, helped you blow up an oil tanker or something."
"Go to hell."
"Gonna send me there?" the cop mocked.
Amir slumped back in his cell, down on the lower level of the Liberty City police department. The phone rang. A minute later, the cop opened the door.
"Guess what, Osama?"
"Your wife told you what we were up to?"
"Your rich daddy bailed you out. Go figure. Now get outta here! Let a judge decide what to do with you!"
Amir, who had been stuck in the cell for hours, while his friend had been bailed out by a relative almost immediately, had been able to leave. Outside, a driver beckoned him into a black limousine. He got in, to face his irritated father, Nasir bin Hadim. He owned a contracting firm, which had seen alot of business in the last few years, with all the gang wars leading to endless property damage.
"I have told you not to waste your time with these foolish protests," bin Hadim said, sternly. "After what happened today, I am not even letting you out of the house without a chaperone."
"Dad, I'm 23, you can't do that," Amir said.
"You still live in my home, you follow my rules."
"I only stayed because Mother insisted."
"Amir, do not argue!" bin Hadim snapped. "Your prescence right before a major terrorist attack does not send a good message."
"How many white people were there?" Amir asked.
"Explain that to them!" bin Hadim shouted.
The rest of the drive home was mostly silent, and entirely uncomfortable.
"So tell me again when you turned into a super hero?" Maria asked. She lay on her side in bed next to Marc, resting one hand on his chest.
"Phil called me over," Marc said. "I didn't know what the hell else to do."
"Tsk, tsk," Maria teased. "Always taking orders."
"I thought you liked that," Marc replied, smiling. "I am worried, though. I just thought of something today. Rubek wasn't Russian, but he was from that part of Europe, former Soviet block, you know? I wonder, since these new creeps are supposed to be Russian, if maybe he knew them."
"So you think they may have killed him?" Maria asked.
"Maybe," Marc said. "If he disagreed with them, said he was gonna tell me or the Yakuza something about them before they had a chance to make a big move. It'd make sense."
"I guess," Maria said. "You're the one who knows about assassinations, not me."
Marc sighed. He stared up at the ceiling fan, watching it rotate.
"You real worried?" Maria asked.
"A little," Marc answered. "I don't know. We'll see how all this turns out."
Posted 26 July 2005 - 02:57 AM
Posted 27 July 2005 - 08:41 PM
Everywhere Marc went for the next few days, he found himself looking over his shoulder. It was nothing new, but never a convenience. Today, he found himself on a dirty beach at Shoreside Vale, near the spot where he'd gotten in a vicious bat fight with the Purple Nines, having been hired by a rival gang, the Red Jacks, to wage war with them a long time ago. Today, he was waiting for a boat. Not much beyond that. It was a little too dull for his liking. He checked his watch, and saw that he had five minutes before what Asuka had insisted was a precise meeting time. He darted his head around, occasionally feeling for his gun concealed inside his jacket. He had a shotgun in his car, but that was parked far off, and he'd have to run to it if he needed it.
The boat showed up exactly on time. Three Japanese men were on board. Marc leaned back on a tree trunk. One of them pulled out an Uzi and pointed in his direction.
"Easy!" he called. "I'm your rendesvous."
One of the other men berated the one with the gun in Japanese. Marc could hear the word gaijin, or white man, in it somewhere.
"I apologize and ask your forgiveness," the gun-toter said, jumping off of the boat and onto the beach.
"You're forgiven," Marc mumbled, knowing it was just Japanese custom. "Now come on. Asuka's expecting you in an hour." Another boat could be seen speeding in. "I take it they're not yours?"
"No," one of the Japanese men said. They all hurried out of the boat, and up the beach. One carried a package about the size of a KFC bucket. Marc drew his weapon. The one with the Uzi also held up his gun, but Marc beckoned for him to go on.
"Blue Kuruma, on the corner of the closest parking lot!" Marc called. "Stick by it and stay down!" The new boat was bigger than the other, and carried four people.
"Who the hell is this?" one of them asked, jumping out of the boat.
"Toll-taker," Marc called. "Ten fifty per person. Who's paying?"
"Kill the joker," the boat's driver ordered. Marc jerked his gun to hip-level, and shot the one getting out first. The other two that weren't at the wheel ducked and went for their guns. Marc strode up, holding his gun up at eye level now. Seeing a good angle, he shot one of the men in the boat in the shoulder. The other popped up and fired. Marc threw himself to the ground as soon as he saw the man moving. He squeezed off a shot, blowing away the boats windshield. The driver jumped backwards, bits of plastic flying in his direction. Marc hopped up, and jumped onto the stern of the boat. The one with the gun inside grabbed at his ankle, and pulled him down. He jumped on top of Marc, and punched him in the face. Marc put his gun down, then lifted it by the barrel, and smashed the handle into his attacker's skull. He knocked the injured man into the shallow water, and picked up the driver.
"Still want the joker dead?" he asked. The driver shook his head. "Good. Now, what have they got that you want so bad?"
"A-" the driver coughed, "a jewel on display on my boss's boat."
"You wasted my time for a jewel?" Marc tossed him down. "Tell your boss not to waste his gas next time."
With that, he hopped back down onto the sand, and walked off. The gunman in the water stirred, and groped for the side of the boat. Neither wanted to go after him.
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