Chapter 3: My enemy’s enemy.
After another couple of dark hours, I woke up again. The crash was still a vague memory and I had no more information on Isaac or Javi, but my mind was much clearer than before and not as hazy as it was before.
I put my cold hand to my face, and I feel what could be a massive scar or burn on the right side of my face, permanently screwing up my perfect complexion. If I just had a mirror I might assess the damage fully, but this was no time for beauty checks. I had to save myself from this chamber.
Instead of rolling off the smelly bed in an unruly fashion like last time, I find my feet well enough and get off the mattress in perfect harmony. The ground was still flooded and the room was black with darkness.
I stumble up the stairs in anger and frustration. Whatever has happened, someone put me down there on purpose and I needed to know what happened on that fateful day.
I reach the top of the long staircase. Looking back on the dark cave that was behind me, the door looked heavenly. My mind briefly turns to Isaac for a short moment and I wonder if he has met a similar fate to me, or even Javi. Javi was still lying lifeless in the greasy bathtub, and probably his final resting place. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the Spanish fool; his death really makes me wonder about Pete, my friend who had Javi in custody the other day. Does Javi’s death mean that something terrible has happened to Pete or Andri? I sincerely hope not.
I take one final look at the door and using all my body weight, I manage to knock out the lock with fairly little sound. The wooden door swings open, creaking quietly. I am surprised at my success, considering I was out for ages, possibly.
I poke my head through the door way, and am struck by a dim-lighted hallway. Cold air hits my bare skin and the trendy blue trench coat I was wearing at the crash so I start to shiver gently but still enough to be a pain. The rusty lock on the door was broken but not beyond repair, or at least not beyond looking proper. I could easily make it look right by just propping it up.
Knowing my torch won’t do anything good, I check my T-shirt for anything of use. It still has the sticker from the day I bought it so I pull the sticker off, fold it in half and stick it onto the backside of the lock. It doesn’t look convincing, but it doesn’t need to be. How often does one focus on a lock?
Quietly closing the door makes my escape look unnoticeable so I proceed left to the door on the other side of the hall. I quickly make my way down the hall and crouch behind the brown door and poke my curious eye through the tiny key hole. The room is just a simple janitor’s closet. I could see the whole room from the keyhole, and there was no point in scavenging that dark hole. With a disappointed look on my face, I swivel round and have to head to the door on the other side of the corridor. I pick up my feet and head back to the other side of the room.
This door had no key hole, so I had no idea what dangers could be lurking behind the door. Ready for anything, I brace myself and open the door a little bit and I follow by quickly poke my head round the door to see what is there.
What I saw in front of me was some sort of mechanic garage. 10 or 15 shady looking people were scattered around the large room, and a lime green Sabre GT was slowly getting disassembled in the center of the room. The walls were grey and covered with grit and mud. There were no windows, and smoke fumes filled the air. Knowing that my current observations were very risky, I quickly move behind a couple of barrels I spied earlier so that people can’t see me. If some dick with a stick spotted me, I’d be screwed.
After taking position behind the cover of the grim barrels, I decided to study the room a little more. Without exaggeration, there were car parts scattered around the room, as though a thousand car factories had exploded and had landed on the floor. This place had to be some kind of chop shop.
I over hear a conversation between two souls sitting on tires after one of them mentions the name Gezim. Gezim, the traitorous rat, was the dude I was following the day of the crash, so listening into the conversation would help me locate him.
“… Are you kidding me?” says the one in the yellow jacket and blue jeans. He was a burly man with impressive sideburns and short coconut colored hair who was addressed as Napoleon by the other one, and he was swaying from side to side like on a small dingy on the Themes. He had a low voice, which went high towards the end of each sentence.
“Aye, would I screw with you, Napoleon? Luan told me, he overheard Nelson saying he don’t trust that Albanian SOB, even if he had all the money in the world.” The other one replied. This one was a bald muscular lad in a black singlet and red track pants. He wore peculiar yellow sunglasses with a white rim which were perched upon pointy red ears. He spoke quickly, and I had trouble understanding him at some points, but with some practice he became understandable. When he turned his back to get a warm beer out of the crate behind him, he had ‘Denver’ written on his singlet in big Impact writing so that is what I will refer to him by.
“Colin Nelson is a damn fool. He can’t trust anyone” yells the fat one.
“Yeah he can, he has that bitch of his Luan to feed on him hand and foot. They say he co-owns it, but everyone knows it is Colin’s business. Luan Cobaj is just an assistant.” said Denver in a quiet voice as he pulls out a fat cigar out of his pants and lights it. It is at this point at which I realize where I was and what happened. I was at Colin Nelson’s chop shop. After the crash, Gezim and Luan had captured me and put me his basement. I was a prisoner the whole time. Some questions persist. What happened to Isaac? Why was Javi dead? I needed to know.
“Pass me a puff.” Napoleon exclaims quickly. Denver hands it to him. “Well, I suppose. He puts bread on the table and pussies in our scratching post, if you know what I mean! Eh? Eh?” Napoleon says jokingly. Denver just cuts him down with a cold stair and keeps repeating
“No, just no.” Napoleon stops laughing and takes a short blow. Denver takes a long sip and shakes his head solemnly.
“Well, you are right. Best to keep our head down and follow orders.” Their conversation is interrupted when two men carrying the Sabre GT’s hood walk between the spaces between them. The muscle car was slowly being torn apart, ready for sell as legit items. Once it had passed, the two comrades get up and walk to the other side of the room.
Napoleon throws his cigar onto the floor, crushes it to a fine powder and starts to talk some more. I didn’t hear much, the last meaningful sentence I heard him say “so Delgado’s thoughts about suicide has come to a big shock to me too…” and goes onto to ramble random fragmented sentences about how he helped with his Aunt’s suicide. “She gave me her crossbow… the river was rapid… It was a clean death… Stevie was very happy” and so on. Alberto Delgado was the leader of the Spanish mob, so knowing about his depressive thoughts could help me answer why Javi is dead.
After that revealing conversation, I spy what looks like an office in the corner to my left. This must be Nelson’s quarters. So, after a few heavy breaths, I run out of cover and quickly behind a support beam. I notice that a short man with arms covered in oil was staring in my direction. He starts to walk in my direction with a mysterious look on his face, but then exclaims “I must be dreaming.” And goes into the hall way I came in through. I wipe watery sweat from my brow and prepare to keep moving.
I check round the corner again. It worries me that the two men Napoleon and Denver were talking at were facing my direction, but then Napoleon walks behind to show them something on a poster of a heavily modified Banshee.
After this perfect opportunity, I crouch quietly and slowly squabble to the door of the office. I was nervous of the 5 men who had gathered to whack the Sabre GT with hammers, but they were too busy laughing at one of them who had the misfortune of pulling a muscle. When I reach the white door, I turn the golden handle quickly and enter.
Nelson’s office was very contrasting to the garage outside. It was very clean, and everything was white. There were huge windows, but some velvet curtains with flower patterns were covering them. The small room was largely empty, with the exception of a desk table with a 90s computer and a phone on it, rolling chair and some cabinets to keep files in and what not.
I quickly and swiftly move to the desk to see if there was anything of use on it. Most obviously, there was a list of about 20 names lying there on a piece of white A4 paper. I quickly eye over the page, and one name sticks out over the rest which was my name. Rilind Maniani. I much prefer to go by the name Otto, as whenever I introduce myself as Rilind, I sound like some sort of medieval knight ready to fight dragons and ride horses and whatnot. People ask me where they can find Arthur and if there is a seat on the round table.
It was very worrying. Am I part of some sort of puzzle piece in a massive jigsaw puzzle? Furthermore, did Nelson know I would escape and purposely left it there for me to find? It brought up a whole heap of questions.
There were some other names of interest on there. At the top of the list was none other than Sinclair Paul III, the man who apparently faked Jack Pegorino’s death around 10 years ago. Some people believe that Jimmy’s abuse had driven Junior to jump off the top of the Getalife building, but Andri once told me a rumor that spread around in 2000. According to police files, a bunch of pulleys were assembled up on top of that building, and foul play was suspected. Jack could have been set up in a trap and thrown, even pushed, off that building. Now Jack was depressed, but he wanted to one day rule the Pegorino family. The Gambetti family believed that Jack was much stronger a leader than his father so they organized to get Sinclair Paul III, an assassin of almost mythical status, to fake his suicide.
Of course, that could be all myth. There was no proof that Sinclair Paul III even existed, and it is almost certain this is untrue. The media stated that Jack committed suicide so the public soon forgot about it. But his name makes me uneasy, as Sinclair Paul III still pops up in the occasional news article. Jimmy is so paranoid he even killed his right hand man the other day so he tries to not believe it, but it keeps coming back to him. Alberto Delgado’s name was there too and he was also having suicide thoughts too, it just confirmed that something is fishy around here.
Most of the other names there were unknown to me. Amusingly, Ted Ardent, the captain of the Swingers baseball team, was there at the bottom with a baseball rather skillfully drawn next the name. I slip the paper the paper into my pocket, and I go and snoop round the rest of the room.
I check Nelson’s draws for anything interesting, but before I get anywhere, the phone on the desk started ringing. I freeze as I let the machine take it.
“Please leave a message after the beep” the voice said in a dull monotonous voice. What a cool job that guy has I think to myself.
“Hello Luan. It is me, Gez Veseli. Sorry about Nelson’s demise, but it is done.”Gezim said in a slow gravelly voice. Something tells me that I’ll never find out what Nelson knew about me.
“Anyway, I left his body in the cabinet. That fool never knew what hit him.” He then chuckles a little. I open the cabinet behind me and the man himself tumbled out of the closet. Nelson was an average sized man wearing a teal vest over a white shirt and his pants were black as the night sea. Nelson’s face looked calm, almost asleep, but at the back of his head there was a massive cut.
“I’m driving through Broker to find some more, erm, assets. Might need to stop for fuel soon at that gas station on Main Street. Remember to tell Stevie I’m sorry. Gez out” and he hung up just like that. I check Nelson’s body for anything good. He had 50 bucks and his phone, which for me was all I need. I get up, and take one final look at the dead man. I almost felt sorry for this man. He was the enemy of my enemy, so he could have been a friend. But one thing was for sure, I knew where Gezim would be. This was my chance for revenge for Isaac, wherever he was, and for the Albanian Mob.
Opposite the door to the hallway, there was another door. That door was my target. Gezim would be lost soon, so I had to be swift in my actions. I clutch the handle and simply run to the door. The men had reduced the Sabre GT a lot, and to see their faces twist with surprise brought amusement to my senses. Napoleon and Denver were shouting and waving their hands around. I’m too fast for anyone to react properly.
When I got outside, I’m struck by the cold dawn. I could see the sun rising in front of me, bringing a sense of warmth and freedom over me, as though I was a little dove who had escaped from my little cage free to fly over the world. At least until a raven eats me, which was very possible if I stopped moving. The Bohan landscape surrounded me. In the pound, there were a couple of burnt out shells of cars. 10 men were outside, either drinking, smoking or listening to their MP3s when I appear, where they all drop what they were doing and try to get me. Pausing only for a moment, I run left out the tin gate. Out in the open, I realize I’m in Bohan when I see the giant S&M sign behind me.
I was on Guantanamo Ave, and I had to get out of the vicinity as fast as possible. Behind me, I could hear the gate swing open again, so I quickly run across the street and quickly jack the nearest parked car. I didn’t even see the make; I was too busy looking at Napoleon holding a massive assault rifle at my head on the other side of the street. I just manage to cross those red wires in time to get away before the back half of my automobile gets filled with bullet holes. I turn into Rocket Street and breathe again for the first time in 30 seconds.
I figure out my vehicle is a Hakumai, judging by the heavy steering and fast acceleration. Better to be in vehicle then on foot.
I head to the East Borough Bridge as quickly as I can, but find myself driving the wrong way down the motorway. It is very scary to see a Patriot heading towards you at 70 mph. The safest way to get down the highway was right down the middle, because taxi drivers are surprisingly scared of a Japanese salon ramming down the street. It is a surreal experience, and one I don’t want to experience again. Just before the toll booths, I spy a gap in the wall to the other side of the highway and I drive the big car to the other side and am stuck behind an old woman in her grey Primo. I am struck with both relief and frustration by being stopped.
After granny had been let past by the guards, it was my turn to pay the toll. Liberty City police were irresponsible pigs who had no respect for the rules of the road so seeing me going down the wrong way down the motorway was not out of the ordinary.
“That would be five dollars sir.” the overweight policeman says inside the booth. He seemed to stare at me in a curious fashion due to the scars on my face which I still don’t know the extent of. The car was in a bad shape and was missing mirrors and a few other essentials. I didn’t have to time to chit chat about life so I chuck him a ten dollar note and speed off as fast as possible. Realizing I had Nelson’s phone in my pocket, it would seem obvious to speak to a friend at this moment. Despite traveling at over 80 miles per hour, I quickly dial in Pete’s number. I was worried about that man; Pete could be dead for all I know.
“This number is no longer in service. Please dial again” says the automated woman’s voice, mocking me with her stale tone. I stare at the phone, angry and pissed at Pete’s disappearance. The loss of concentration almost ends me up in a Steed’s rear, and not in a good way. As I leave the highway and turn onto the Dukes Boulevard in Cerveza Heights, I decide to concentrate fully on the road and on the rat: Gezim Viseli.
I could just see the RON gas station about a couple of hundred meters in front of me. It screamed global warming because of its wasteful exterior, but more importantly it felt like the building was whispering ‘Pyromaniac’. Sounds like my sort of place.
As I got closer, I could see Gezim driving into the gas station in his gold Emperor, with a satisfied and mysterious look on his face. The glasses perched upon his face hid eyes which had witnessed all sorts of atrocities. He was wearing a green beret making him look even more sinister, and even a little bit queer. He stayed in his car after he parked, and I could make out that he was checking his gauges or something, probably the last thing he’d be checking.
I speed up because I had a plan. Let me paint a picture for you for a second. In every action film I’ve seen, whenever there is a gas station, the main character accelerates his car towards the gas station and bails out at the last second, then looks up to see his vehicle, usually a taxi, run into a gas pump, blowing up the whole station in a glorious explosion killing up all the baddies. If I put my foot flat on the floor and open my door slightly ready to bail out, there may be a fireball to witness.
Gezim looks up from his seat to see my body dive onto the pavement and a rusty Hakumai speed quickly towards the oil pump next to him. While I get bruised and battered as I tumble around on the hard pavement, I briefly catch a glimpse of Gezim’s worry and anguish. His spectacles were flying in the air and his face was twisted like a Scream mask. It made me happy, despite the fact I was getting beaten by the floor. It actually wasn’t so bad, but made me really sour was that when looking up to see a fire, the car had actually missed and one hit the steel pole at the end of the pump. I then remember that in those movies, they were always approaching the station from the side. I raise my weary hand to whack an imaginary Bruce Willis laughing at me.
But there was no time to attack hallucinations, as a very real threat was running towards me in polished shoes and a purple jacket. It was Gezim, and he was pissed off as I could see it in his eyes as I struggle to get my numb body up in order to fight him.
When I got up, Gezim was in his fighting position, shouting insults at me with a sly mouth that made me uneasy. I was just getting back to normal from my bail out when he knocks me one in nose, then quickly followed by a kick to the stomach which didn’t help with me winning. As I recover, I manage to catch him with his guard down and send him a flying punch to the nose before he could do anything else. Gezim is taken aback and he holds his poor hands to his nose to stop blood gushing out like a tap. Seeing this as an opportunity, I move my mitts to the shove position and initiate the action, making Gezim fall to the ground like a legless orphan.
Gezim is a tough bastard though, and it wasn’t long until he recovered. I took this opportunity to jog over to the gas station to look for anything I could use to defeat the angry man. As I stand in front of his Emperor, I could hear him run behind me and there wasn’t much there at the freaking site that would be helpful to attack him with. I could see people staring at us from the sidewalk but then this sort of thing happened every day so they didn’t think of doing anything.
However, I soon realize, I’m at an explosive petrol site! If I could somehow subdue Gezim and set the whole site a light, then he’d burn like a steak on summer’s morning! I am interrupted by the beautiful ballad that is Gezim screaming behind me.
“I’m not a snake that hisses but I do bite!” yells the running man, who had blood running from his nose into his mouth like a waterfall. I get in the cover position as just as Gezim throws his fist at my arms. After a couple of punts at me, Gezim randomly charges me, knocking me onto the hood of his oversized car. I manage gather up some strength to push him away and round the side of the car, only to get in the shin by his heavy foot and have my back pushed against the car’s rear.
Gezim thought he had me as he moved up close to me and started to punch my face many times, but I saw the cigarette butts on the dashboard and I could smell smoke in his breath. This man would die because of his smoking addiction, but nicotine won’t save him.
It was time to fight dirty. I look into his deep brown eyes for only a millisecond, because after that I had sent my two fingers into them, blinding him. Gezim screams terribly, letting go of his grasp of me in the process.
As he rubs his eyes, I quickly trip him up and kick him about three times in the gentleman’s stick to give my plan a little more time to organize. The Emperor’s window is soon smashed to smithereens as my elbow shatters it and I reach in to grab a handful of cigarette butts, some of which were still smoking. Better yet, there was a lighter on the passenger seat, which I also pick up.
As the fat man still squirms around in blind pain, I search around for some sort of gas canister. Gezim was still on the ground but was recovering quickly. I give him a nice kick in the face which knocks him out, and at the same time I can see a gas can next to the main building. After pouring all its contents onto the poor man, I look at his face. Even in the face of death, Gezim had a vague sense of smugness on his face.
Realizing that the cigarettes were useless since I had smothered the life out of them with my clenched fist, I take the lighter, light the flame and without looking twice, set fire to the poor sole. He was dead before you could say ‘inferno’, which is what the whole gas station was going to become and I didn’t want to be part of it.
I left the burning corpse there as I turn to run. I was so tired, yet it was important to get out. The fire would soon spread to the Emperor which in turn would set the whole damn thing up like the 4th of July. After getting to the other side of the street, I bring out my phone. The fire had spread to the Emperor now, and the front was now burning. As I type in Andri’s number, Gezim’s vehicle had exploded into a burnt shell which set off a chain reaction with all the gas pumps. It was a glorious explosion, and it set a flame in my heart.
“Otto? Is that really you? Man, we all thought you were dead!” exclaims Andri from the celluar phone.
“Yeah, I guess it is. I’m just going to hobble over to ye old Platypus” I say as I get ready to leave. Man I’m hurting now.
“You can’t. Well, you can, but I don’t think you are well enough to take down a bunch of Russian bulldogs guarding it”
“What?” I shout in surprise. I start to walk into a nearby alleyway to avoid any attention I might get from the arriving fire department.
“Oh, yeah, you’ve been asleep for last week. Let me tell you. Skender needed some quick money, so he sold it to some Dimitri Rascalov. I don’t know. I’ve checked this guy out and I think he’ll be dead in less then a week’s time.” Andri says over the phone. I arrive in the nearest alleyway, and clump down in a tired frustration.
“Can you send someone over to pick me up? And can you tell me about Pete soon?” I inquire.
“Sure man. Talk to you soon.” And he hangs up the phone. I crawl out of the darkness of the alleyway and into the lightness of the streets.
I see a red Futo race round the corner and Isaac at the wheel a couple of minutes later. He looked mostly unchanged from the last time I saw him, other than a heavy bandage on his forehead. It was nice to see a friendly face for once.
“Woah, what is up with you face?” Isaac remarks with both admiration and fright as I dive into the rear seats of the hatchback. ”Don’t fear, we’ve got a place to go…” But that was all I heard before I pass out and rest for a while. Man it has been a long morning.
Edited by AceRay, 21 November 2011 - 08:19 AM.