JUSTICE IN FLAMES
Posted 28 April 2012 - 08:23 AM
Posted 28 April 2012 - 11:24 AM
|QUOTE (billy james @ Saturday, Apr 28 2012, 08:23)|
|Keep them coming man, I was surprised by ashley going with luis to find Johnny and Nikos and Ramys boss is he a character we all know or is he a new one.|
it's a new character.
Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:28 AM
Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:56 PM
Also feel free to have a peek at the chapter titles posted in the first page kind of a teaser.
There was something strange about Ashley, Luis had noticed. She was broke – what money she had went into rent and groceries. And judging from the place that Luis had seen, she hadn’t done too good a job.
She was definitely depressed. She simply didn’t like her life. Luis assumed that he past contributed to that. He’d gotten the skinny of it from her in the last day. In fact he actually felt sorry for her. He let her sleep on his couch – he had very little temptation to talk her into bed, though that would be easy. Too easy.
It was clear that she was an addict – former addict, he reminded himself. He allowed himself to question the truthfulness of her claim. Had she kicked that habit? From what she’d said it seemed like she’d claimed so before.
Whatever, he told himself. She wasn’t his burden – at least not in the long term.
As a result of his pity, he’d bought her a gift; some clothes. She wasn’t a classy girl, but after a fresh outfit she looked much better. She actually looked attractive.
And so it was that they set off, with a good breakfast in the stomachs, and fresh clothes on their backs. Luis filled up his Freeway with gas and they headed west.
“How much do you remember of the trip?” Luis called into the wind.
“Not a whole lot to be honest. I remember this town… We had dinner. The lake we stayed up all night… The town by that where everyone spent the day hung-over… I didn’t do the whole trip. No way I could have made the whole thing… I was so impressed he had. He was so… I dunno.”
“Where is the first town?”
“Keep heading west for now, on the freeway. There’s a turning next to a gas station and motel, with a huge parking lot. It was down there.”
“You don’t know the name?”
“No, I only remember turning at the gas station.”
“Great.” Luis muttered under his breath.
The Italians were importing weapons. The information taken from the Mafia’s Alderney mansion had revealed where and when. So Niko and Rami, following a quick supply stop, had headed to Port Tudor. They’d spent the morning scoping the docks out before taking the gathered photos and information back to their safe-house – an apartment on Sinclair Street, where they collated the information and decided on their plan of action.
Niko stood hunched over the map they had sprawled out on the table, with photos pinned to it. Rami, after retrieving a coffee – the last one he’d allow himself before the operation – sat and looked at the map.
“One feet down, one eyes high?” Niko suggested, meaning one of them moving into the docks while the other watched from a snipers position.
“Ideally I’d like a perch across the river. But with two of us, that’d remove any dynamic support.”
“What about here?” Niko prodded a spot on the map with a marker.
Rami stare for a moment, then reached to a laptop. Seconds later the screen displayed a street view of the area. Rami manipulated the keyboard and got a view of the perch Niko was thinking of.
“Yeah.” Rami tapped a few buttons, rotating the view to face the docks.
“Ah.” Niko stood straight.
“Yeah, no line of sight. Apart from that it’s a great spot though.”
“But not for the meet.”
“No.” Rami tapped at a pin on the map. Pier B was the target area.
“What about the cranes?” Niko suggested, leaning over the map again.
“Hmm.” Rami stared for a minute. “That could work. Even better, this crane.” Rami tapped a written note that read ‘Pier A’. “You can see more of the pier. Protected by the water.”
“But what you said about… dynamic support?”
“Yeah. It’d be difficult for one of us to aid the other feet-down if needs be.”
“That is a pretty good spot though.”
“How long do you suppose that ship will be there?”
Niko shrugged. “It’s a dock. Could leave in five minutes, could leave in a week. I really wish we could use the tunnel maintenance building for the snipers nest.” Rami tapped the map to the East where a lone building stood, directly over the Booth Tunnel, that served, among other things, to supply air to the road below.
“Wait. What’s this?”
“What?” Rami asked looking at the map. Niko tapped a photo.
“The last photo we took shows a barge or something, half in dock here.” Niko pointed at the gap between Pier A an Pier B. When they began their scouting mission there was a single cargo ship sitting at Pier A, being unloaded. In the last two photos there was a flat barge pulling in next to it.
“A barge. Well there’s the route across to the pier if support is needed. But better to search for alternatives.”
The pair spent a farther fifteen minutes selecting and evaluating alternative sniper spots. They ended up with only one more, though it was not as good as the first.
“What about us both going in?”
“Flank them, or double-team?” Rami asked picking up his now-cold coffee. He screwed his nose up and set the mug down.
“Well flanking doubles the surprise. We may be able to take most of them out quickly. But moving in side by side, if one of us goes down…”
“If I get hit by a bus tomorrow…”
“So plan B, flank them?”
Niko tapped the map. “Move in from here?”
The rest of the afternoon was spent planning their operation. When they were satisfied with their plan of action, they checked their equipment. Then they set off.
Both men had tactical suits on, and they had their goggles fully charged. Their load-out was expanded though. They still had their suppressed pistols, but they also had suppressed assault rifles – not the P90 variants like before, but the P90’s bigger, badder brother, the F2000. Their weapons had grenade launcher attachments, as well as telescopic sights, and heavy duty suppressers. They had plenty of ammunition, in both 5.56mm rounds and high-explosive grenades, a few smoke grenades and a few flash-bangs. Both men also carried combat knives.
Niko was tempted to bring a combat shotgun, but Rami talked him out of it. They’d be outnumbered and a shotgun may not have been the best choice.
Content with their weapons and apparel, the men moved everything to their car – a Sultan RS. They wanted the off-the line speed, corner-speed and toughness that only that car could provide. Niko’s choice was a Turismo, but if they went home hot, then the car, while able to outrun most pursuers, would not stand up to much of an assault. And assault was definitely the word of the day. Every man in the vicinity of the meet would be a target.
Niko looked at the clock, as did Rami. Right about now the mafia would have some low-level goons scoping the place out – early to watch for anyone else doing the same. It was an irony that Rami found beautiful. Almost a paradox, he thought. Both factions sent men to set up for an ambush, in the event the other side was doing the same – and the other side would be doing the same, because they were covering themselves. Neither side wanted to rip each other off – neither side were likely to at least – but both sides prepared for it. What was that saying? Rami asked himself, To achieve peace, one must prepare for war?
War was exactly what was going through Niko’s mind. It felt like they were waging a war – a secret war. Black, as the Americans called it – or did everyone call it that? In the last year Niko had experience with a former KGB colonel, who worked with them and ULPC on a few occasions. The man had some ego, and he liked to recount stories of his life behind the Iron Curtain. Stories of the KGB’s Department V and the mokrie dela – the wet work – that were run often behind everyone’s backs. Wasn’t that what they were doing now? Niko asked himself. Wet work, named for the act of spilling blood – which made your hands wet – that was his trade after all wasn’t it? Morality barely came in to it anymore. Sure, he didn’t want to shoot a kid, but if he was shooting mobsters, drugs smugglers – did it matter? Did honor amongst thieves really exist? Or was every man against the world by default? Niko had done ‘bad’ things in his life – the worst of them probably the smuggling for Bulgarin. Not once did he stop to ponder the fate of his… victims. Most were probably dead, or sex slaves in Africa or some backward part of the world. One countries standards rarely applied across oceans, a fact the Americans failed to acknowledge, at the expense of respect on the world stage – at least to countries that didn’t suck up to the United States.
So where does that leave me? Niko asked himself, looking over at his partner, not realizing that the Israeli was sharing similar thoughts. ‘There are no good guys in Liberty City’, Niko had been told once. He couldn’t remember by whom. He used to wonder if he was fighting for the good guys or the bad guys, but now? Such a thing was subjective; nothing other than opinion. The cold war was a perfect example of that. To the Americans, the Soviets were the bad guys. To the USSR, though, the amerikanski were the zlodyeev. Were either right? Were either wrong? Niko stopped his train of thought there, before questioning the righteousness of the people he fought against – and with – so many years ago.
“All’s good here.” Rami said, pulling himself out of his personal monologue. He was colder than Niko, and rarely worried about morality or if anyone was right, but he did reflect on certain ironies. Today’s internal observation was of the great circle his life had taken. From ‘honorable’ soldier and intelligence officer to soldier of fortune and mercenary. He’d played for both teams.
Niko nodded, putting together the last of his weapon. It was new to him, though Rami had experience with it. Both men had shot the weapons in ‘training’ recently, but the nature of this assignment – to use Rami’s term – didn’t allow too much training, not that either man needed it.
With all the gear ready, packed into bags and stored in the trunk, the two men set off, Niko having the honor of driving. It was a simple and short drive, and neither man wasted their energy on small talk. Both men liked it that way. They had a job to do, and their minds were focusing on that, not what the other had for dinner the previous night, or how intimately tight their previous lover had felt.
They parked a little distance away from the pier, and with their gear all loaded on their persons, they split up, Niko heading for Pier A. He led with his assault rifle, the suppressor – Niko kept calling it a silencer – pointing the way as he moved with a slowness that tested his patience. He kept calm and checked any area he moved through, ready to put someone down. He saw the odd worker moving around, possibly finishing their shifts up, he didn’t know. There was activity down the end of the pier, where men in high-vis jackets walked on and off of the docked boat. A crane lifted crates and boxes from the boat, also servicing a few trucks and trailers sitting on the dock. Niko avoided that end of the dock, instead moving to one of the inactive cranes. He reached it unseen, and climbed the ladder with a final glance around. Once atop the crane he inched to the edge and looked down, using the night vision goggles to search for any threats. Aside from the workers – would the mafia hide any man in amongst them? Niko asked himself – he saw no one on this pier.
Content with his solitude, Niko set up his rifle, lifting the goggles up to allow him to use the rifle’s thermal imaging scope. The first thing Niko did was scan Pier B with the rifle, with the thermal mode off, to get a feel for the – what was it Rami called it? Operational parameters? Niko allowed a little chuckle at the expense of his colleague. Then it was back to business. He took his time learning the terrain across the water, making a mental note of the location of each building, container or stack of crates. Thankfully the thermal mode was quick and easy to activate and once he’d gotten a feel for the area, Niko activated it.
Immediately he saw the Mafia personnel that had taken ambush positions. Niko reminded himself that not all of the bodies that stood on containers or rooftops were Mafia. Some would be the dealers’ men. It made the Serbian think of that most American of images, the standoff at a high school prom, with each gender on their own side of the room, with no man’s land in the middle. Niko wondered if such a thing actually happened, or was it just a Vinewood creation – after all he only knew of such a phenomenon because of a Vinewood film, and not a very good one at that.
The down side with thermal vision was it made indentifying the gunmen difficult. But, Niko reminded himself, he wouldn’t find it too easy to see each ‘side’ without it anyway. Another thing games and movies failed to portray accurately; there was no color code or uniform for either side, this was not a football game, there was no Reds versus Whites. It is us versus them, Niko thought, reminding himself that everyone was a target.
And that was his cue to find Rami – a task that proved more difficult than Niko anticipated. He could not find him anywhere between their car and the pier. Was Rami already in position? Or had he taken the long way round? The answer came seconds later.
“In position.” Rami’s voice sounded, in Nikos ear, like not much more than a breath.
“Ok.” Niko replied, his voice a less cautious whisper, but still quiet. “Where are you?”
“South west corner.” Niko took a second to find the location, for some reason thinking he was facing north. He saw Rami – or rather half his head, one of his arms and a knee – hiding behind a small cluster of containers.
“I got you.” Niko said. A few minutes later he observed more people arrive and meet up. There was talk, and it looked like the deal had been arrived at. Crates were opened. “We’re a go.” Niko said.
“Copy.” Rami replied. “Moving in.”
The plan was simple really. Rami was going to move in and take down the mafia personnel. Niko would cover Rami, and take out the men that Rami couldn’t see/get to. Niko was also loaded for bear – an American expression he liked – that, if he wasn’t mistaken – meant he was sufficiently armed enough to take on a grizzly bear. If sh*t hit the fan – another western expression – he was able to come to Rami’s aid. It was a tactic Niko thought was clever. Rami moves in from the south, while a sniper attacks from the north. Then he’d move in from the northwest, making the targets think there were three men. Perhaps four, as an advantage of snipers was you could never be sure where the shots were coming from. But the plan was… surgical, that was the best word, Niko decided, thinking like Rami. Quick, accurate, silent. No one would know there’s an assault. By the time anyone would think to call a check-in, everyone would be down. It was this surgical strike that made Niko and Rami a good team. They went straight for the head, quick, silent. Deadly.
Rami, Niko saw, was moving. He was using his cover well, and his first target was a man standing on the back of a trailer. Rami climbed up and surged forward. Niko didn’t see the knife. He didn’t see it penetrate the base of the man’s neck, but he saw the man collapse, and the Israeli set the body – doubtlessly noiselessly – down with misleading care.
“Target down.” Rami noted, almost unnecessarily. “Clean.”
Rami moved on, dropping noiselessly to the dock. He allowed his knees to bend on landing, taking most of the noise out of the drop. That was one mostly unknown fact about stealth operations; it was hard on the knees. In fact Rami wore knee supports during such ops, and would wear lighter supports for the next day too. Oh to be young again. Rami allowed himself to yearn. That was the ultimate misbalance. Youth had the physical requirements for such operations, but not the experience. With age came such experience, but at the expense of physical capabilities. That’s what training was for, Rami knew, so there would be a peak in both experience and physicality, a crossing point where the soldier would be on top of his (or her) game.
The next target was leaning against a container with a cigarette in his mouth. Rami moved in and, as the man pulled the cigarette away from his mouth, Rami moved in.
“Didn’t anyone tell you smoking kills?” Niko heard in his ear. The target managed a quizzical breath before the knife severed his spinal cord. “Target down, clean.” Rami whispered, gently setting the second kill of the night down.
The third target didn’t go so well. As Rami’s hand grabbed the man, his other knife pulling the knife back, the target reacted with a cry. Not a loud one – Niko barely heard it through the mic – but enough to attract the attention of a mafia overseer who stood on top of a container. Out of Rami’s reach. Niko moved the thermal sight and lined the crosshair up on the man’s head as the target drew his gun.
Rami turned, hearing the thump of the body drop. “Target down.” Niko said. A second later he gave Rami what he wanted. “You’re clear.”
“Copy.” Rami moved on. Their code list was clear. When taking a target down, Rami would say so, and also add how. ‘Clean’ meant the target was down without notice. ‘Noisey’ meant that the kill made noise, and was likely heard. ‘Messy’ meant that the kill had immediately attracted attention and that Rami would be actively engaged in combat.
The difficult thing for Niko was whether to shoot or not – and who to shoot. Rami was moving forward well, but was approaching the concentration of guards/goons. That was where Niko had to be sharp. Rami, with his instincts and night vision goggles, could see most of the men, but Niko had the responsibility of warning Rami of anyone not in his line of sight.
“Be advised,” Niko said into his microphone, taking a cue from the police chase shows he sometimes watched, “You’ve got three men round the corner.”
Rami tapped a button on his headset – he didn’t want to risk being heard now – that transmitted a squelch of static to Niko, a signal that he’d already established meant an affirmative response; ‘ok’ ‘yes’ or ‘copy’. Two squelches mean no.
“Can you take two?” Niko asked, receiving a burst of static after Rami had risked a quick glance. Yes… probably.
“I’ve got you, I’ll shoot on your cue. I’ll take the one farthest from your position, slightly to your right. You got the left hand and the closest one?”
Rami tapped his headset once, then moved round the corner, his gun up.
Niko saw Rami move and fired on his target. Two men fell, almost as one. Then, as Rami adjusted his aim, Niko saw, the remaining target had his gun up ready. Niko fired.
Rami, too had fired, and the man collapsed in a heath. Rami’s bullet hit the man in the forehead, just above an eye, and Niko’s struck true in the back of the head. The result was the man’s head almost collapsing in on itself. Rami was thankful he was far enough away to avoid the blood splatter.
Onward, both men thought. They had half of the mafia men down, but the remaining men seemed better armed. The deceased were just watching the road, and not very well.
Rami scanned the area and considered his options. No one was patrolling. Rami guessed they were used to not being disturbed. All the better, he thought.
He decided to loop round and eliminate some of the dealers, allowing Niko to take the high road while he skulked about on the ground. Then he’d try to eliminate the rest.
It was almost boring to Niko. He watched Rami move then starting picking off the idiots on the roofs of containers and whatnot.
But it was too easy. Rami grabbed one man and plunged the knife in, but the man cried out, a rapid response to the touch. He flinched and, instead of a silent kill by severing the spinal cord, the knife embedded itself in the neck/shoulder muscle. The man screamed and other men turned round.
Gunfire erupted from the docks. Rami left the knife sticking out of the man’s neck – the man himself was on the floor in pain – and darted for cover, his suppressed assault rifle coming out. Niko opened fire on anyone posing a direct threat to Rami, then shot at anyone on a roof – most were jumping down with their guns ready.
Rami saw the man closest to him fall as if his legs were kicked from under him. He flipped and hit the ground face first. Rami rose from behind… whatever the hell it was, and fired at anyone he saw.
Niko had run out of targets, and he knew at least six men were left. They were likely flanking Rami. Either way, Niko had no shots.
Rami had moved cover after whatever it was had broken apart. Unfortunately, his run took him out of Niko’s line of sight.
Niko was now out of the game. He set his rifle down and begun Plan B, by descending the ladder.
Rami had to reload but was running the risk of being overrun. He got up and moved, firing as he ran – toward a man with a carbine. As he reached, having killed one man and hit another, he used the butt of his gun to stun the man with a swing to the face, then ducked behind him. Rami grabbed the man and used him as a human shield. This saved his life.
Niko sprinted across Pier A and up the access ramp onto the waiting ship. He dodged a worker and dismissed a security guard with a running elbow, then ran across the boat.
Rami rapped into his headset. “I’m in trouble here.” But he couldn’t understand the reply.
Niko leapt off of the walkway and into the air. He saw the water pass below, then the side of the barge. He fell and landed in a roll, feeling a jolt of pain shooting up his leg and spine. He carried on and leapt at a ladder on the side of the dock. He climbed it, ignoring the pain.
As he reached the top he pulled out his mini assault rifle and moved toward Rami’s position.
Rami’s training paid off. He brought it up and fired with speed reminiscent of a Wild West showman. The speed and accuracy – headshots – saved his life. But, inevitably, he ran out of ammo and had to reload. But, worryingly, a man appeared, bringing a shotgun up.
Niko saw it but lacked the time to stop, bring his gun up and aim. Instead he went for a more direct, hands-on approach.
At the last second the shotgun man turned his head, looking at something behind him. A shadow came out of nowhere and tackled the man. The shotgun clattered to the floor.
There was no Vinewood moment of appreciation. No brothers-in-arms embrace, or hand shake. Rami simply picked up the discarded shotgn and opened fire on the other men that were approaching.
Niko stood, having snapped the man’s neck. His gun was now free and aiming for targets.
Rami vaulted – seemingly in slow motion – over the cover. The shotgun empty, he dropped it and fired his pistol, mid slide.
Niko moved round, using a container as a makeshift cover. He fired and within seconds the men in range were down. Niko caught Rami’s attention and point up. Rami gave a thumb up in acknowledgement.
Niko’s move to the top of the containers allowed him to see the threats – the few of them there were. He used his pistol to take down the ones in range before moving on.
Rami ended up where the gun dealer leader was, trying to get away. Again, Rami avoided the Vinewood clichés and said nothing. The only noise, following the man’s gasp – was the metallic action of the gun as the bullet fired. The man’s head snapped back and he fell, his lifeless head bouncing on the concrete.
Niko understood combat. He wasn’t intimidated by it and he knew what to do. But now was the part he hated most. They’d taken everyone down – or so he thought. He saw no threats. No more targets, but that didn’t necessarily mean that the area was clear.
But that didn’t matter. Rami’s voice sounded, reporting all clear, and their night vision goggles showed no threats. They two rendezvoused and, after a quick check of the area, made their way stealthily back to Pier A.
Niko got in the car after retrieving his rifle and putting it in the trunk. He also had the honor – or chore – of driving.
“Mission success?” Niko asked lightly. Rami exhaled, half from relief, half out of humor.
“I believe so. The dealers’ leader was neutralized, The Mafia lieutenant was eliminated – he was one of the men you’d sniped.” Rami sighed. “Better go back to the old man and report.” Niko merely nodded.
They’d found one of the bars the bikers had stopped at. Eventually. Luis had figured out – from semi admissions, and from clues – that Ashley had been wasted – or high – for most of the trip. Her memory was hazy. Unless, he told himself, drug use affected your long term memory. Did it?
They walked in to the bar a couple of hours after sun down, and Luis found himself holding his breath. He expected the bikers to all stop and stare but they didn’t. The two were barely noticed.
The barman saw them though – he saw potential customers. This was not a gang bar. The security men were armed – their jackets open and Luis could see the butt of a submachine gun poking out of one of jackets. The man’s eyes had that steely look of a man who was no stranger to dealing death. Luis wondered if they got a lot of rival gangs here.
“’help you?” The man asked with a southern accent.
“Yeah. Two whiskeys.” Luis slapped a note on the bar. The man took it and returned with two glass of the golden brown spirit. He didn’t offer any change.
“Anything else?” The barman asked after seeing Luis’s stare.
“Yeah. I’m looking for someone. He was here years ago, but he might have returned.”
Luis pulled a photo from his pocket. Its former home was Ashley’s wallet.
“Can’t say I recognise him. That tattoo’s hard to miss. Pretty cool actually. What is it, an eagle?”
“You sure he passed through here?”
“No. We think he did.”
“Why you looking for him. You don’t look like the biker type. She does – ” The barman offered Ashley a suggestive nod and a wink – “You’re not cops are you? I got no problem but many of the patrons don’t like cops.”
“No, we aint cops. I been inside. We’re looking for him cause…”
“Tell him.” Ashley said. But Luis took initiative.
“She’s his old lady. And she’s got one in the oven. It’s his. We need to find him before he does something stupid. They had a bust up and, well he took off.”
“So what are you then?” The barman asked.
“A friend.” He said, keeping his voice soft and passive.
“Well I still aint seen him. Sorry. ‘Nother drink?”
Luis shook his head. “Better hit the road again.”
“Come back soon.” The barman said as they turned away. “Try the gas station up the road – pretty much every biker that passes through stops there. If he’s been through and given his hog a drink…”
Luis nodded in reply and led Ashley out of the bar.
“Well that was a waste of time.” She said.
Luis shrugged. “Let’s try that gas station.”
They were in luck. “Take away the tattoo and beat him up a bit…” The gas station clerk said.
“You seen him?”
“Not that man. I seen someone who looked a bit like him. Guy bought some camping equipment and fishing supplies.”
“Yeah. My guess is they’re heading for the lake.”
“Lake?” Ashley asked. “That might be it.”
Luis asked how to get to the lake, and the man gave him directions.
Luis pulled the bike over at the end of a gravel track. Ashley’s memory had returned apparently as she ran off down a hill. Luis followed, catching up with her after a minute. She was surprisingly quick.
Ashley stopped, twenty feet from the lake.
“Wha’sup?” Luis asked.
Luis looked at the ground in front of them and saw a burnt out campfire, and a lighter patch of grass where a tent had sat. It was then he realized that Ashley had merely followed a set of bike tracks in the grass. Luis sighed.
“Now what?” He asked her.
“I don’t know.”
“Is there anywhere else he’d go? Anyone else he knew?”
“The only person he’d turn to would be Jim but…”
“But what, lets go find Jim.”
“I wonder if he would have… No.”
“I’m thinking that maybe he might have gone to Jim’s wife’s.”
“And where’s that?”
Ashley’s directions weren’t great and it took an entire day to get to the suburb where Jim’s wife lives. Luis had no idea where the hell they were. Ashley explained that Jackie – that was her name apparently – had moved away from Alderney after her husband died, and Johnny had promised to send money to support them. How noble, Luis thought.
So Luis knocked on the door and the door opened.
Luis breathed a sigh of relief. “Johnny.”
Click Here to read the next chapter - Reunion
Edited by Mokrie Dela, 02 May 2012 - 10:46 PM.
Posted 01 May 2012 - 03:34 PM
When to expect next chapter?
Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:29 PM
|QUOTE (ACR @ Tuesday, May 1 2012, 15:34)|
| I had read city of lies last year, it deserved to be the best fan story, i think it will be the same case with justice in flames. Keep up great work .|
When to expect next chapter?
Good question. Once I've written some, proof read some and got the time to do that and post it. Truth is, not many people are replying, which means progress will be slow. More replies I get, more ill be able to justify prioritising this over other things
That sounded so reply-whoreish! Haha
Seriously though, thanks for the reply, the interest and compliment. Part 2 will be better - and crazier.
Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:51 AM
Edited by billy james, 02 May 2012 - 08:38 PM.
Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:44 PM
“What the hell are you doing here?” Johnny asked. He stammered. "How did you find me?”
Ashley appeared. “Hello Johnny.”
Johnny sighed. There was an awkward silence. “You better come in.”
They sat in the sitting room where Michael leapt to his feet.
“Before we start going at each other’s throat, does anyone actually know what’s going on?” Luis asked with his hands up.
“I told him what I knew but I still don’t know everything.” Michael said.
“Yeah. Well we spent the last few days tracking you down because you’re in some deep sh*t.”
“Yeah, we kind of gathered that.” Michael said.
“No – it’s more. Some woman contacted me – she works for some agency and her boss was killed – she thinks by the same people that tried to kill you. I’ve been told to track you and – ”
“Sounds like a trap to me.” Johnny said skeptically. “They trick you into finding us then finish us off.”
“Look, I don’t want to be caught up in all this, bro, but I am. You can either come with me, and try to get this sh*t all sorted, or you can stay here hiding, or camping at lakes like a pair of lovers.
“So why’s she here?” Johnny asked, staring at Ashley, his eyes caught between different emotions.
“She helped me find you. Come with me – I’ll sort out a meeting somewhere you’re safe. After that… do what the hell you want.”
Johnny turned to Michael. “Well?”
“We can’t run forever Johnny.” He sighed. “Let’s go.”
“Wait.” Johnny said. “Before we go I got a call to make.” He made the call then after putting the phone down turned to Luis. “We leave tomorrow. Ok?”
Luis stared for a moment. Then he gave in. “Fine, bro. You think we better hide my bike?”
“Put it in the garage.” Johnny said.
Niko and Rami had been busy attacking the criminal elements of the city. Now they sat in the office with ‘the old man’, as Rami called him, talking to them.
“Crime is up, gentlemen. The chief of police announced that today. Polls suggest that confidence in the current mayor is falling. People are starting to look at the opposition – us, in a way. Stage one is complete. Thank you gentlemen.” Niko noted that Marcus and that oaf Lyle were not present. He guessed they were still searching for their lost target. “Your professionalism is appreciated. But stage two beckons. I need you to help put the pieces in place. First an easy pick up. Hector Rodriguez is coming to Liberty City. I want you to take him from the Airport to the safehouse.
“That it?” Niko asked. “Seems a bit simple…”
“What’s the catch?” Rami agreed.
“He’s not the most welcome man in this city. He’d on the FIB’s most wanted list.”
Niko blinked at that. But Rami asked the question: “Then how is he going to get in through the airport? FIB will pounce on that.”
The man shrugged. “That is not your concern. I’m sure you have a few tricks on that subject though.”
Rami nodded his concession.
“Is there heat on this one?” Niko asked.
“Potentially. There’s a chance the FIB may try picking him up at the airport if his efforts to enter covertly fail.”
So that’s why he’s sending us. Niko and Rami thought in unison.
The old man – who, Niko noted, wasn’t that old really, possibly even the same age as them – gave them the appropriate information. The two men memorized the details then stood.
There were no nerves. Both men were too experienced for that. Too hardened. This ‘job’ (he liked to annoy Rami with the very terms the Israeli disliked) reminded Niko of his first few days in Liberty. He remembered his awe as he’d explored the city. He remembered getting lost, he remembered the mindless taxi jobs he did for Roman – one of which introduced Niko to his best friend, something he’d lacked since a teenager. It occurred to him that most, if not all, of his childhood friends were dead.
But today he was transported back to his first week in Liberty City. Freedom city, as he’d once mistakenly translated to a shipmate. Today he was a driver, on a mindless pickup. But, he reminded himself, it could all go wrong. Both men lived ready for such situations.
The drive was characteristically quiet. Business as usual as both men focused their minds on the job. For Niko driving the car did that perfectly. He didn’t like being a passenger – a psychologist would cite issues with not being in control probably – but actually driving from his home to the ‘office’ served as a change of mindset. Some people meditated, some people worked out (Niko often jumped on the treadmill too), but for Niko it was driving. It also served to relax him afterward.
They reached the airport in the Cognoscenti and turned onto the access road that looped behind the main building. A pass – Niko didn’t know if it was real or fake – got them unhindered onto the tarmac, and they drove toward where the plane was. Rami had explained that their passenger would probably use a disguise to sneak through customs as he boarded the plane. Then they’d pick him up as the plane landed, hopefully avoiding the feds who’d be predictably waiting inside the terminal.
The plane was already taxiing off of the runway as Niko pulled the car up. They’d inadvertently timed their arrival perfectly. To a true professional, Rami had explained – even using the word he disliked – would expect his car to come to a stop as the plane door opened. If the car’s too early, people might see it and attention may be attracted. Too late and, well, Rami said, the cons of tardiness didn’t require explaining did they? But it was unreasonable and unrealistic to expect the car to arrive in perfect synchronization with the plane. A trick Rami had told Niko was to park in an appropriate place and, upon seeing the aircraft touchdown, drive to meet it.
But that was all moot; they’d accidently got their timing spot on. Lucky, Niko had noted, hoping that they hadn’t used all of it.
Niko couldn’t miss the man. He strolled off of the plane and immediately to the car. One of his entourage approached Niko and Rami, who stood outside now.
“Mister French? Mister Horne?” The man asked. Niko was Mister Horne and Rami Mister French. The names were random and the code phrase established.
“Bonjour.” Rami’s cue was obvious.
“Mister Handy?” Niko’s role was to confirm the bodyguard’s identity.
“Good weather for a drive, is it not?” The bodyguard said, theatrically looking up to the sky. It was all Rami could do to not laugh – this guy should be on Burlesque!
“Or a walk in the park.” Rami played his part in what he felt as an overly complicated code-phrase.
“But what if it rains?” Niko said, also starting to feel stupid.
“Well then you’ll need an umbrella. A Spanish one.” Unbeknownst to Niko and Rami, the latter sentence was code for Hector and the rest of the security detail. ‘Spanish’ meant everything was ok. ‘Russian’ meant trouble.
Hector approached the car then stood, expecting the door to be opened for him. Rami took care of that, wanting to punch this arrogant asshole in the face. Covert? He remembered The Old Man’s words. F*cking amateur.
The drive toward the Airport loop was simple. Hector – to Niko and Rami’s relief – did not talk. His security men would split off to another rendezvous where they’d be taken to Hector later. Although this method was less secure than a convoy, Rami and Niko knew the reasons for it. For soldiers, security meant a hundred men and big guns, good lines of fire and adequate support. For intelligence officers – as Rami (and, in a way, Niko) had become – security meant anonymity.
They turned onto the airport loop and, as Niko put his foot on to the throttle an intrusive wailing sounded.
“Feds.” Rami said redundantly. Niko floored it.
Rami was tempted to open the window and shoot, but that would counter the purpose of the blackened windows. Niko had experience at loosing the cops and they’d set up four clean cars throughout the city. The closest was parked under Hove Beach station. One was parked in Bohan, another in the underground car park in Lancaster and one parked under Union Drive in southern Algonquin.
Niko guided the car in and out of the traffic, slaloming his way west. He pulled a tight handbrake turn and drifted off of the loop and under the expressway. He turned left on Tudor Street, and cut through to the far side, gaining a small lead on the FIB.
Rami switched on a scanner that was mounted on the dashboard. Police chatter came through and they heard themselves mentioned.
“…east on Tudor street.” Niko had to take that turn but he had another trick up his sleeve. Plenty in fact. So far. He almost overshot the turn but expertly maneuvered the car onto a dirt track. The FIB cars broke hard and one completely overshot the turn. By the time they followed, Niko had gained a considerable lead.
Helicopters were the threat now. The dirt track took them under the expressway and around the intersection for Meadows Park. He followed the track, driving like a rally driver – mostly drifting sideways – until he reached Hewes Street. He darted across a busy intersection, dodging a 4x4 and a truck cab and almost spinning out. He held it though, and clawed the car back on route, turning down Dukes Drive. The feds fell back even more but Niko knew it wouldn’t be long until the helicopter caught them. They had to get out of sight by then.
He sped along a track just south of Dukes Drive and down Concord Street, the sirens now quieter but still visible in the rearview mirror. He turned on Hooper Street and then turned again a moment later, gunning the engine.
The car gave everything it had to give and climbed up the hill, leaving behind deep muddy tracks. He got to the top and turned on to the East Borough Bridge just as the FIB cars reached the bottom of the hill. The first one drove straight past, not seeing the tracks but, with the road empty ahead of them, the second turned onto Valley Forge Avenue. The third and final FIB car saw the tracks and climbed the hill.
Niko now had a significant lead on the feds. He knew of the tolls ahead, though, and weighed up his options.
The approached the tolls but Niko didn’t slow down. He floored it and actually over took a Marbelle in an arched drift, straightening the car out expertly as he powered through the toll booth. He then overtook a large truck, carrying a container, which conveniently blocked the view from behind. Unseen to the tolls or the feds, now approaching the tolls with the trailing cars approaching the turn in the road, Niko ducked onto the turn for Algonquin. When the feds reached the turn they had to split. Only one car took the turn for Algonquin, but he’d radioed ahead.
Niko didn’t realize his mistake until it was too late. But he didn’t think it’d affect the plan that he had explained to Rami and Rami was now explaining to Hector. Niko hoped Hector could run in that ridiculous suit.
The police station was awake as Niko approached it. Sirens came to life and Niko put the car into a tight turn. He pulled into the gas station on Topaz Street and screeched to a stop next to the pumps. Rami reached under the dashboard then under his seat. He came up with an Uzi. Niko already had his.
The police cars came to a stop as the men bailed from the car. They all had their guns up and began firing at the police cars. The cops ducked behind the cover of their engine blocks as the FIB arrived on scene.
Rami had told Hector to stay close to him, and he backpedaled. He knew where to go, and hoped Hector wasn’t as stupid as he appeared.
Niko glanced over his shoulder to see Rami was in position. Both men were still firing, keeping the cops busy. As Niko’s clip ran dry, he reached into his jacket pocket.
The gas station erupted into flames as the pumps were torn open by the car bomb. Burning fuel spread across the forecourt and cops jumped back. Any patron of the gas station had fled when the gunfire started – even the attendant in the shop had ran.
Niko was also sprinting, the wall of flame hiding him from the cops. He caught up with Rami and Hector as they entered a doorway to the building. Niko made sure to shut the door behind them.
Rami led them through the building and made their way out the front, through a Derriere store. The three men sprinted across Bismarck Avenue, dodging yellow cabs and dull town-cars. They headed straight to the double doors of the opposite building. They found their way to a stairwell and went down, heading to the car park.
The car was a Landstalker. They piled in and Niko calmly exited the car park, taking the southern exit on to Silicon Street. He merged with the traffic and headed south on Bismarck, looping round and heading to the safehouse near the city university.
The four were up and ready mid morning. Jackie – Jim’s wife – was not too happy about the guests but she said she owed Johnny. It hadn’t occurred to Johnny that he was putting them at risk.
Everyone was in the kitchen, ready to go when Johnny disappeared. Outside he met with the man who handed him a package with the utmost respect. Johnny opened the package with care and held the object in his hands, his thumb stroking the wording on it.
“Been a long time.” The man said. Johnny nodded. He took a deep breath. Then, for the first time in two years, he put the jacket on. He was aware of the weight of the moment, and another man might take a second for some philosophical reflection, and the impact of the jacket and its words. For Johnny it was a slightly emotional moment, though he kept whatever feelings he had hidden. In a movie a tender arrangement of string instruments would sound and Johnny almost heard something in his head. Instead the memories of The Lost Motorcycle Club played through, like a tragic clip show. Johnny had decided on this last night and was surprised at how quick it had been made. Mind you, how long did it take to sew a patch onto a jacket?
Johnny led the two men into the house and to the kitchen. The walk seemed eternally long, and was just the first step of his journey.
Luis saw him enter first, followed by the rest of them. Jackie, who’d made everyone coffee and pancakes this morning (they weren’t very good), breathed what Luis thought to be a disappointed sigh.
Luis and Ashley already looked the part, though the Latino’s face was not one of a biker. Anyone would see through that. That’s why Luis was handed – by one of Johnny’s new guests – a biker helmet; not one of the common motorcycle helmet, but an American chopper styled one.
“Time to go.” Johnny said to the congregation. He tossed Michael a biker jacket and a helmet similar to Luis’s “Michael, you’re with me. Luis was it? You’ll take Ashley, bring up the rear.” He stepped toward Jackie and the two had a private conversation. Luis looked on, seeing Johnny talk tenderly and the woman reply with frustration, or anger that she was trying to hold back. Within a few minutes they were outside and Luis was getting on his bike.
Johnny sat on the back of Clay’s bike. Terry took Michael and the men headed to the lockup, not far from his – now former, he guessed – home.
The moment was lost on Luis, but Ashley looked on, wishing she could approach Johnny and put her hand on his shoulder. More than anything she wanted to hold him, to share this monumental occasion with him. The fact that she couldn’t tore her up, and that it was her fault as to why hurt even more.
For Johnny it was like something from a science fiction film. The garage door opened with an exaggerated slowness that was merely in his mind, revealing the shadowy interior inch by inch. It was another moment where the Vinewood orchestral soundtrack would kick in, a musical piece starting quietly and building with tempo and/or volume as the door opened. As the crescendo would have sounded, the door fully opened, Johnny walked inside, a deep breath having readied himself for it.
“Hello old girl.” He said tenderly after removing a tarpaulin, allowing his hand to stroke the metalwork for the first time in over two years. “Been a long time.”
Ashley watched Johnny disappear into the dark garage. A moment later came the mighty roar that announced the return of Johnny Klebitz. But not of The Lost Motorcycle club. Johnny had said so to his lieutenants the previous night. Instead a new club, risen out of the ashes of The Lost. Phoenix MC was taken – formed by the remaining low-level members of The Lost. Instead Johnny’s chosen name was The Remnants Motorcycle club. And for him if was a means to an end. He wasn’t looking to resurrect the days of The Lost brotherhood, a well established clubhouse, activities and rides… No. The Remnants M.C. was born out of war.
Johnny then took his rightful place at the head of the group of bikers. The row of garages echoes the first, steely war cry of The Remnants Motorcycle Club, and Johnny led his men out to the road, with his brother – an honoree member – on the back. Ashley’s back was the last thing any onlooker would have seen as they passed. Johnny turned his bike for his former home.
The soldiers of Remnants MC headed for Liberty City. The bikers marched their steel horses to war.
Click Here to read the next chapter - The Road to War.
Edited by Mokrie Dela, 10 May 2012 - 11:38 PM.
Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:00 AM
Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:55 AM
|QUOTE (ACR @ Thursday, May 3 2012, 00:00)|
|I'm surprised that Luis didn't recognized Johnny who organized ambush to take those diamonds in EFLC. I'm pretty sure he saw his face at least for 1 second. Maybe he will recognize him later in the story.|
Fair point. The way i looked at it, Luis didn't pay much attention then, and doesn't remember the face too well. Plus he's not too observant now - he just wants to get home, and doesn't really care who he's working with/against.
Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:42 PM
|QUOTE (Mokrie Dela @ Thursday, May 3 2012, 10:55)|
Fair point. The way i looked at it, Luis didn't pay much attention then, and doesn't remember the face too well. Plus he's not too observant now - he just wants to get home, and doesn't really care who he's working with/against.
Well i guess Johnny doesn't remember man who ambush him with AK47 in museum. Well, when they shot at you, you just look for cover i guess, and Luis don't wear the same jacket all the time so it's harder to remember.
Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:45 AM
Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:52 PM
|QUOTE (dannyz @ Saturday, May 5 2012, 10:45)|
|I voted this for the Best Story. I hope you win because this is just as good as City of Lies. I can't wait for more.|
Thanks some epic chapters in the works. Part two is where sh*t gets serious
Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:10 PM
P.S keep up the good work
Edited by billy james, 06 May 2012 - 08:21 AM.
Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:24 PM
At long last Karen stood in front of Michael Klebitz. Johnny’s men had gotten the old Casino to use as their clubhouse. Johnny’s wheelchair-bound friend was arranging some people to do the interior up. Luis simply hoped that the place was structurally safe and tetanus free.
“So you gonna tell me what the hell’s going on?” Karen was taken aback by Michael’s question.
“I was hoping you could do the same.” She said.
“What? All I know is someone tried to kill me.”
“Well I think I know who that is. My boss was killed recently, and he was looking in to something. Whoever killed him also tried to kill you and…” Karen’s face dropped.
“Your unit’s commander was killed a few days ago in Vice City. I’m beginning to believe that it’s all the work of the same person.”
Michael sat down on a crate which creaked under his weight. He sighed. “Do you know who did it?”
“Yes. I believe It’s my boss – my new boss. I think he killed my old boss, to get himself in his position then tried to kill you as well. I was hoping the whole process of finding you wouldn’t take as long. Unfortunately we’ve missed an opportunity.”
“Opportun…. What?!” Michael stood now, his face showing his frustration and grief.
“They were being silenced.” Karen said, keeping her voice calm, which she found hard. “Your commander knew something, or had something on them. So do you.”
Michael stared. “I don’t…”
“What happened in the middle east, Michael?”
Michael blinked. “I…” Then his face changed, realization overriding his other emotions. “The guns.”
“Tell me what happened.”
“We secured a large cache of weapons from some insurgents.”
“Except they weren’t insurgents were they?”
Michael paused. “I don’t think so.” Karen stared and Michael shook his head. “No. They were mercenaries.”
“And the guns?”
“Former military issue. Taken off of killed soldiers. Ramirez – my commander – figured it out first. Or at least part of it. We got one of them alive. Well, he was alive.”
“Start from the top.” Karen urged.
“But if you know all this…?”
“Not all of it. There’s something you know that’s the key to this.”
Michael sighed. “We encountered heavy resistance at first. Well armed, well trained insurgents. We managed to fall back but they were out there. Anyway one of our scouting groups uncovered their base of operations – an old village in the hills. Ruins really. No one lived there, just… them.
“There was this intelligence guy, working with the CIA or DIA or something. He was tight with our base commander. Anyway we were sent out to eliminate this threat. We went in and came up against this group of mercenaries. Well trained men.” Michael paused. “We took them out and secured the arms caches. This was normally spec’ op’s work. Not for us. But we didn’t destroy it. We were supposed to bring it all back.”
“And you did?”
“Except…. We were ambushed. We had to fall back. We were under heavy firepower and though we gave as good as we got, we were overpowered. We sustained heavy casualties – half were dead. We dragged the bodies out and managed to make a retreat.” Michael’s eyes flashed anger. “We got no support. No air support, no back up troops. Nothing. Until we got out of the hills, our radios weren’t responding. We had to abandon the weapons, and our three day excursion was for nothing. The intelligence man had disappeared, and our base commander refused to acknowledge his existence. It never happened. Officially we were simply ambushed.”
Johnny not sat on a crate next to Michaels, staring painfully at his brother. Ashley listened, horrified but Luis looked on, feeling dethatched – he just wanted to go home.
“Anyway after that we went on a recovery mission to try to retrieve what we could. Bodies, equipment… Ramirez found a man bleeding out. One of their men we’d obviously got. He must have been lying there for forty eight hours, slowly dying. I don’t know how the hell he was still alive. Anyway I was with him as we spoke. The man told us they were hired by an American. Ambush us and retrieve the guns, and to not allow any survivors. At the time we didn’t understand but it turned out that the plan – by that intelligence man – had gone wrong. We were supposed to retrieve the weapons but one of the mercenaries had escaped – I guess he warned someone. Whoever planned it – we assumed that intelligence man – hadn’t expected that. The mercenaries weren’t meant to be there. It was meant to be locals. But the locals had f*cked up and we hit English speaking people. We knew something was amiss – we never should have done that mission anyway. It was all Top Secret, and we were meant to assault insurgents.”
“So then what?” This came from Johnny after Michael stopped.
“The intelligence man, he’d obviously hired more mercenaries to come ambush us. He knew the exact path we’d take… when and how to hit us. Eliminate us, retrieve the weapons…”
“But you escaped.” Karen said, filling in the gaps. “And he wanted to tie up loose ends.”
Michael blinked, the realization finally hitting him. “You mean… they tried to kill me because I knew?”
“You and Ramirez.” Karen said. “Both knew something damaging.”
“His name.” Michael said. “The dying mercenary we spoke with. Ramirez… ‘persuaded’ to talk.” Michael cringed. “We know his name.”
Karen leant in and rested her hand on Michael’s shoulder. He told her the name and she nodded.
“That’s my boss. He was there?”
Michael nodded, weakly at first but then with more conviction.
“Jesus Christ. I was right.”
“What?” This was Luis, actually finding himself drawn into it. His father was a soldier. He found it hard to be objective now.
“That man – the man that was tight with your base commander. The man that planned the entire thing? He’s my boss. My new boss. My old boss was looking into something and he found something out, and he killed him.”
“What was it?”
“I don’t know. He was going to get me on board, but too late. All I know is that he’s not alone. Now he’s in control of this… this little black agency, that’s not on anyone’s list. And he now has Hector Rodriquez on board.
“Who?” Michael asked, looking up.
“International arms dealer. Was a nobody until a few years ago, when he began working with Frickie Van Hardenburg. It wasn’t until his boss was killed that he took over, and assumed the role of his former…”
Luis remembered the name. All of a sudden he was more involved than he thought. Or was he? Mierda, why couldn’t he crash into someone else’s nightclub?
“So what the f*cks going on then?” Johnny stood. “Some corrupt army guy’s trying to kill him?”
“Pretty much but…” Karen shook her head, “I don’t know, there’s more. He’s got his own little hit squad. Two of them tried to kill Michael but… it’s the other two that worry me.”
“They’re good – I mean they’re skillful. They’re dangerous – on their own but together? They’re deadly.”
“So?” Johnny said, casting a glance at his brother. “You work for the same place? Take them out.”
“I can’t do that.” Karen said, though she couldn’t explain why.
“Then what the f*ck are we going to do? Fight the government?”
“It’s not the government, Johnny. It’s… this one little agency that no one knows exists, except a few people on the Hill, and a few mercenaries. What worries me is the fact that our friend has had his little teams running around for the last week, doing assignments that I don’t know about. There’s too much activity, it’s like… they’re hit squads.”
“So again, I ask what we’re going to do? What did you want Michael for?”
“To confirm things and to…”
Karen shook her head. “I don’t think it’s going to come to that. I think we have to fight fire with fire.”
“What do you mean?”
“I have to get some information but… If I get caught…”
“So we do it instead?”
Karen looked toward Luis.
“No. f*ck that.” Luis stood and motioned to walk off. He turned back. “You want me to walk into the dragon’s den and steal from his nest?”
That struck Karen as a little too poetic for the macho-man. But he was right. “I need to find out. I can get you in, past the security but… If I distract him, I need you to get something….”
“Like what? You think he’ll have his masterplan written down on the back of an envelope? This isn’t a Vinewood espionage blockbuster…”
“No but contacts. He’ll have a list of contacts. Copy it – take a photo of it, then get out. That’s it.”
“That’s it?” Luis scoffed. “You’re not asking me to steal a car, but to break in to what – a secret army base?”
“An office, Luis, just an office.” She sighed. “I can send you all off to a contact of mine who will train you but we’re short of time.”
“I can do it.” Michael stood. “I’ve had some covert training.”
“No.” Karen said solidly. “We need to keep you away from this.”
“Is that even possible? If they’re looking for me…”
“I know a place you’ll be safe. I’ll send you to Los Santos, and – ”
“Not gonna happen.” Johnny said. “I aint letting him out of my damned sight.”
“I…” Karen faltered then ran her hands over her head. “Jeez, I’m no good at this.” She muttered. After a minute she spoke louder. “Ok, stay here. Protect him but… If our friend finds out that he’s here, he’ll send his personal grim reapers. I’ll warn you, if he sends, his A team then… God help you. You won’t stop them.”
“He got Judd Parker or something?” Luis couldn’t stop the inappropriate humor from leaking out.
“No.” Karen said, he face set like stone. With a serious expression she said something that ran his blood cold. “Worse.”
“How does a man just disappear?!” The man said angrily, several miles away. “You got him didn’t you? Cornered him? You say you shot him, yet he’s not appeared in any hospitals. Explain.”
D’Amico and Greenhorn looked at each other like naughty schoolchildren.
“Backstreet doctors?” Niko offered. Their boss turned.
“Backstreet doctors. So he’s patched up you think?”
This man was pissed, Niko saw. “Possibly. If he’s got any sense he will have left town.”
“Right. Well we’re going to make damned sure if he’s here. You two, you fix your f*ck-up and find this guy. One word – he breathes one word and what you think’ll happen? All our efforts will be for nothing. Contrary to what you think here, we are heading in the right direction. We just need to get in position and then we’re home free.”
Niko knew the elections were coming up. But what? If the ‘right’ party gets elected into office, what then?
Greenhorn and D’Amico stood and left the room, their faces looking like scorned children.
“You two.” The man said once the others had left the room. “You’re still on your current assignment. You’ve caused problems with the Hustlers and the Lords, The mafia and Russians are looking at each other antagonistically. Now I want you to move on to the Triads. They’ve had a turbulent time with the Koreans the last couple of years. They were business associates, then they had open conflict, and recently they’ve been trying to get that back, though there’s still conflict. So the objective here is to ensure that they remain at each others’ throats. They previous conflict did get a little messy.”
“So we hit the triads and the Koreans?”
“Yes. But this time, things are slightly different. I want you to steal a shipment, and to dump the van in Korean turf in Alderney. You’ll have to be quick though, as the triads… well a source says there’s a tracking device on the vehicle. You’ll have to dump the truck, and get the hell out of dodge before the Triad cavalry arrives.
Niko nodded. “But…?”
“But the triads won’t let the truck go without a fight. You’ll both need to hide your faces too.”
Both men nodded. Details were shared and within minutes, Niko followed Rami out of the building. They headed south, after collecting some gear, and headed toward the docks under the Broker Bridge.
Niko took a moment to survey the area. He pointed out what he thought was a pair of convoy cars. Rami agreed and the Israeli retrieved a grenade launcher from the trunk. The two men also donned balaclavas and gloves.
Niko gave Rami a nod and Rami brought the grenade launcher up.
The Triads didn’t see it coming. All of a sudden the two parked cars were thrown in the air as their gas tanks exploded. One flipped and landed in the river.
The Chinese mobsters reached for their guns and begun firing toward Rami and Niko’s position.
Both men now had assault carbines and begun shooting immediately. Niko moved to cover as Rami laid down some suppressing fire. Once behind the concrete block, Niko popped up and began firing. Rami moved to cover in front of Nikos.
Both men kept firing – actually aiming for the triads as opposed to merely firing wildly – as they leapfrogged toward the Triads’ position.
They got closer and their gunfire became deadly. Triads fell, and the returned volley of gunfire grew less threatening.
Niko threw a grenade out, alerting Rami of it first. The explosive took out three Triads, with Rami up on his feet instantly.
Niko followed and, within a few minutes, they’d cleared the entire area.
But more Triads were arriving – a car of oriental gangsters were watching from the road.
Niko darted for the truck’s cab as Rami leapt into the back. He secured himself in place and pulled the package off his back and set it on the tailgate.
“Go!” He yelled to Niko. Niko put the truck in gear and pulled out. “We’ve got company!” He called out as the first Triad car arrived. The truck sailed past them as the windows opened and guns came out.
Niko’s only job was to get in front. Rami clicked the safety off on the Advanced Machinegun. As soon as the first car came into his sight, the former Israeli special ops soldier unleashed a barrage of 5.56mm bullets. In less than two seconds the car veered off and stopped against a lamppost. Niko pulled out onto the road and began his drive west.
For Rami it was easier. Niko was trying to squeeze every ounce of speed from the truck, whereas Rami simply had to aim and shoot. Simple.
The Triads kept coming and Rami’s gunfire was focused on the pursuing engines.
Niko spent the drive glancing intermittently at the wing mirror. He’d opened the window and was firing a Mac out at whatever cars approached from ahead. In mere minutes they’d reached the Booth Tunnel.
Niko threw caution to the wind and floored it, using the steep access road to his advantage. He called out a warning to Rami who replied with a profanity.
The truck tore into the tunnel and smashed a Rhapsody out of the way. Niko laid on the horn and did his best to guide the truck through whatever gaps in the traffic there was.
The Triads had followed relentlessly but hung back slightly as Niko sped through the tunnel like an automotive wrecking ball.
Rami’s aim suffered with every jolt as the truck rammed an unlucky car. But he fired anyway, glad that he’d used one of the straps usually used fasten cargo down to secure himself in place.
Niko neared the west end of the tunnel and saw, ahead of him, a small boxtruck.
“HOLD ON!” Niko yelled. “It’s going to be a big one!”
Rami braced himself as much as he could, but it wasn’t enough. He felt himself pulled backward and his grip on the machinegun loosened. Rami watching on helplessly as the machinegun fell out of the truck and clattered to the asphalt.
Niko did his best to avoid the truck but the corners of the bumpers met. Niko’s truck slowed instantly, the rear kicking out to the left. Niko touched the brakes and then spun the wheel left, standing on the throttle. He managed to power the truck out of the fishtail, and began climbing the road into Alderney, the Triads picking their way through the carnage in his wake.
Rami reached for his assault rifle that he’d strapped to his back – more to avoid leaving anything behind than in the possibility that he’d need it. He fired as the truck crawled up the hill, glad that they weren’t going the other way.
Niko turned right then took the turn for the backstreet. Rami cleared up the remains of the chasing Triads as Niko stopped the truck. Both men jumped out, guns at the ready.
They’d parked the car here before and now they scrambled to load the drugs up. Rami actually opened one of the packages and allowed some of the powder to fall on the floor. But he carried that package in the opposite direction. Niko asked about it when they got in the car.
“A very subtle sleight of hand.” Rami said as Niko pulled the car calmly into traffic. No triads were in sight and both men had taken off their balaclavas and dark jackets, revealing light colored shirts underneath. “They’ll see the trail and think the car was facing the other way – that should lead them west.
Niko nodded as he pulled into the eastbound tunnel. As they exited on the Algonquin side, he saw a fleet of emergency vehicle approaching the RTA scene.
By the time Niko and Rami reached their destination, the Triads had found the truck. One of the surviving Triads had seen the direction the truck had taken and, with backup, had tracked it down. The triads were coming out of the alleyway, fuming when an SUV of Korean mobsters passed by. The SUV slammed on its breaks and reversed. Four men got out.
Words were shared, cautious at first, and ultimately turned in to shouts. Inevitably, with the frustration of the Triads and the territorial righteousness of the Koreans, gunfire was exchanged. Of the dozen or so men that were there, only four survived. Two Triads fled as two Koreans retreated for cover. Both pairs would report back to their bosses.
Within a couple of hours the Triads sent a convoy of cars full of heavily armed men toward Alderney. The slaughter that ensued would be reported on for days, and served to warn of what was to come.
Click Here to read the next chapter - Capture the Flag.
Edited by Mokrie Dela, 10 May 2012 - 11:34 PM.
Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:31 PM
Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:30 PM
|QUOTE (ACR @ Thursday, May 10 2012, 12:31)|
|I like how Michelle is describing Niko and Rami as grim reapers, she is fearing that nothing stands in the way of this deadly duo.|
She is scared of them. Her history adds to that, as does her guilt.
I mean, would YOU want to go up against them?
Talking of which, how about a new chapter? "Because I am kind"
Niko sat watching the morning news, a coffee in hand. He didn’t feel like visiting the Brit’s café today. It was one of those where he wished to go back to bed. The cup of coffee was made from fresh beans and Niko welcomed the quality. Anything less simply wouldn’t suffice.
Weazel News had a special on about crime across the city. Niko watched, remarking on how his boss’s plan seemed to be working.
“Gang violence erupted explosively last night, when members of the Jaoming Triad based out of Chinatown in Algonquin launched what can only be described as an assault on Korean criminal elements based out of Alderney City. This follows an unexplained vehicular rampage by an unknown perpetrator in a heavy non-articulated truck believed to belong to the Jaoming Triad through the Booth tunnel. Police forces from Liberty City and Alderney arrived on scene after the carnage and the tunnel was closed overnight while a massive clean-up operation was carried out. The tunnel is expected to reopen by lunchtime today, an LTA spokesman has said.”
The TV showed clips recorded moments after the carnage occurred. “These destructive scenes show the extent of damage caused by what police suggest are not Triad elements. Twelve men have been confirmed dead, as of this morning, and it is suggested that these are all members of the Jaoming Triad, though that has yet to be confirmed.
“The tuck was recovered in a nearby alleyway which has sparked talk of a gang war…”
The TV changed to a man in a suit, with the caption labeling him as Weazel’s ‘Crime Expert’.
”What we have here is a clear incident involving two opposing gangs. Firstly the truck, which is speculated to belong to the Triads based out of Algonquin. Couple that with the trail of bodies, and you’re presented with an obvious conclusion; the truck in question was stolen and, as the Triad owners tried to get it back, they were fatally attacked. The location of yesterday’s events suggests little other than Korean interference…”
“Jimmy Lambert, talking this morning…”
Niko stood and took his now empty cup to the kitchen, where he filled it with water and set it in the sink. He returned to the TV with intent on switching it off.
“…happens after other an apparent explosions of criminal activity throughout the city. A meeting between the North Holland Hustlers and members of the Spanish Lords came to a violent end, following the mysterious death of several drug dealers affiliated with both gangs. Also, in the last week, several Russian citizens – speculated to be members of the Russian Mafiya – were murdered by unknown assailants. It has been suggested that this was the work of Italian Mafia elements and, though no better explanation has been offered, this has yet to be confirmed. Last night, the mayor commented on the recent events…”
The Mayor appeared on screen, as part of a press conference, evidently held the previous night. “… recent events, culminating to today’s incident in the Booth tunnel are not believed to be connected.”
“Mister Mayor,” A female journalist said from off screen. “Today’s events seem to just be the last in a line of gang-related violence over the last couple of weeks. Statistics show that crime is rising, worryingly so. Do you care to comment?”
“A city as big as Liberty will always have crime. Over the last year we’ve worked hard to lower the rate of crime, and the recent events seem to be coincidental in their chronological proximity to each other. There is no connection between recent occurrences.”
“But the fact is that there has been multiple instances of violence across the city. Firstly there was the slaying of several drug dealers in Bohan – criminals that belong to both the Spanish Lords gang, and the North Holland Hustlers. Following that there was the meeting between those two gangs – speculated to be a peace meeting – which ended up with both gangs killing each other. I also must mention the death of the Russian men in Broker, suspected to be work of the Italian Mafia. Now there is this incident, between the Chinese and Korean criminal groups. You can no say there is no rise in crime. What is being done to alleviate the worries of the City’s residents, who are very worried over this rise of crime?”
Niko didn’t stick around for the answer. Part of him felt guilty for putting the mayor – a seemingly honest man – in such a difficult position. But, he reminded himself, was this not the man who’d supposedly killed Niko’s former boss? The man who was apparently playing dirty to win?
Niko shrugged and walked to the exit, grabbing his jacket on the way out.
Luis hadn’t caught the news. He never bothered. The weight of the news report would have been lost on him anyway. He’d woken up and switched the radio on – to the reggaeton station – and headed to the shower. He’d then completed his morning routine of fixing his hair, shaving and grooming himself before spraying on a liberal amount of bodyspray, deodorant and cologne. Then he got dressed.
Thirty-five minutes, and one breakfast later, Luis entered the old building in Alderney, home of The Remnants MC – a stupid name, he told himself. Mind you, he didn’t think much of ‘The Lost’ either.
Karen was already there, as was Johnny – no surprise since the guy would probably live there. Ashley was also there, in the same clothes. Evidently she also hadn’t returned home.
“Time’s running out.” Karen said, by way of a greeting.
“Morning to you too.” Luis replied, his answer laced with sarcasm. Karen ignored him.
“The elections are coming up, and I think I’ve worked out what our friend is after. There have been some instances of gang violence the last week or so. Crime rate has risen and, as we speak, the Russians and Italians are at war, the N.H.H and the ’Lords are at war, and the Koreans and Chinese… things are getting very messy. This morning a small café under Triad protection in Chinatown was hit. The Triads will likely retaliate by the end of the day.”
Michael appeared. “So what’s that mean?”
“It means that the people that live in Liberty are wanting the mayor out. The elections are very, very soon. What do you think they’ll do?”
“Vote the other way.”
“Exactly, Michael. We need to find out who our friends working with.”
“You think it’s the mayor – the next mayor?” Luis speculated.
“The opposing candidate? Yeah. But it doesn’t make sense. I can’t figure out what the middle east has to do with this.”
“Yeah. You recover the guns, then get jumped. You lose the guns and a few of you survive. Then they try to tie up the loose ends? All for this election?”
Luis nodded. He’d stopped watching 72 – there was no need seeing as how he was living it. “There’s something bigger going on…”
“Exactly, Luis. But the question is what?”
Michael sat and rested his forehead on his fist. “I don’t know. You say I know something? I… Apart from that intelligence officer – your boss, wasn’t it?”
Karen shook her head. “No, there’s something more. If your base commander was friends with my boss….”
“They weren’t friends, but our friend was certainly giving orders.”
“So the US Military were used to steal some guns?” Johnny offered. “Then they tried to eliminate the soldiers? Sounds pretty damaging to me. If that got out, your boss’s friends would be finished.”
Karen nodded. “I like your thinking, but I still think there’s something else. Michael, did your unit at any point do any other mission that seemed strange?”
“We… Well there was one, but…”
“There was a group of extremists we captured. That’s what bought our friend to the base. They were shipped back to the states for trial.”
“This didn’t make the news?” Johnny said with a frown.
“Course not,” Karen turned. “That kind of thing never does. What’s weird about that, Michael?”
“Nothing in itself, but it involved our friend.”
Karen thought for a minute. “There any record of such?”
Michael shook his head. “Ramirez might have made a note but that’d be on the base, and wouldn’t our friend have recovered that?”
Karen stared again for a moment before speaking. “He was meeting someone in Vice City. A reporter…”
“He was going public?”
“So,” Luis chipped in, “He had something big.”
“But what?” Karen thought out loud. “That’d be the key I think.”
“Ramirez was smart.” Michael said. “I’m thinking of those spy films. They always have a copy of the tape.”
Karen snapped her fingers. “Where’s he live?”
“Hicksville.” Michael said. “Some tiny town miles from here.”
Karen nodded yet again. “We’ll have to check his house then.”
“Shall I rally the troops?”
“No Johnny. We don’t want to attract any attention. Michael, go with Luis. Johnny, go with them too. Take a car, stick to the speed limit. Sneak in at night if you can – I doubt Ramirez’s wife would be too happy if you knocked on the door and began poking around.”
“Isn’t it a risk sending Michael?” Johnny asked cautiously.
“Yes, but we have no choice. We need to recover whatever Ramirez had.”
“What if he didn’t keep it at home?” Luis was now leaning on a wall.
“Then we’d better pray he has something at home.”
“Lewis is right.” Michael nodded. “We need a backup. If this is a wild goose chase, what next?”
“Then we’d have to find information out from my boss. That’d be risky, and a move of desperation. Luis didn’t seem keen on that idea before.”
“So Ramirez’s house.” Michael said, standing.
Niko’s boss was happy with the progression of gang violence. Niko noticed that D’Amico and Greenhorn were not present.
“The city’s criminals are at war. Good work gentlemen. Although they may need help keeping the fight going, for now we can take a well deserved breath. I’m putting you two on something else. The other two are not impressing me with their tasks. So while they try to fix their mistakes, I’m putting you two on what they should be on. They failed a simple hit, which leaves the task they should be on open. You did well in Vice City, but there’s one more thing. I want you to check his house for anything he may have left. I spoke with him once, and I’m under the impression that he’d keep some ‘evidence’ hidden away. I want you to recover it and destroy it. Or bring it back here. Here’s the address.”
Niko and Rami looked at the address.
“Road trip.” Rami said lightly.
“Yes. Gentlemen, I want this done quietly. Sneak in, recover it, sneak out. Silent.”
Michael Led Johnny across the lawn.
“Don’t go all psycho biker-dude on me, John-boy.” He whispered.
“Want another stereotype? I am capable of doing something without blowing sh*t up you know.”
Michael shook his head disapprovingly and continued toward the house. Within a minute he’d picked the lock and entered the building.
“You’re full of surprises.” Johnny noted.
“Yeah.” The reply was sarcastic. “Well I kinda picked it up… in the army. It’s not all for criminals you know. It does have some practical use, unlike a biker gang.”
“Even now, with all this sh*t going on, you bring that up. We’re not all born to fight for freedom you know, and right now that gang that has no purpose? We’re the ones that’s got your back, so why don’t you drop it?”
“You think a few bikers could stand up to that hit-squad?”
“Hell f*cking yeah. Bring it on.”
“Real good attitude to have when you’re protecting someone, Johnny.”
Johnny let out a silent breath and followed his brother in to the house. “Let’s find his office and get out of here.”
Martinez’s home office was a small room with a desk and a computer occupying half of the room. A chest of drawers stood under a window at the far side.
“This is then?”
“Looks that way.”
“What are we looking for then, Mike?”
“I dunno. Something interesting. Something….”
“How ‘bout you search and I watch your back…”
“Yeah you do that.”
Rami was swearing at the traffic on the freeway. Some idiot had wrapped his sports car round the back of a trailer and traffic narrowed down to a single lane.
Niko just sat silently thankful he wasn’t driving. Traffic always annoyed him.
They pulled over within sight of the house, unknowingly parking a block away from Luis. They stepped out of the car and collected their gear from the trunk.
Niko took the lead and made his way to the building’s side door. He was surprised to find it unlocked. Rami shrugged and thumbed the safety on his gun. Heads up.
Niko inched the door open and moved inside. Rami hung back and followed.
“I think I got something here.” Michael called out as loud as he dared. Johnny turned back in to the room.
“What is it?”
“It’s a… bank statement. But it’s not his.” Michael handed it to his brother.
“Yeah, a whole folder.”
“Take it, give it to Karen. Let’s get out of here.”
“Yeah… I wanna know how he got this… I mean…”
“Contact!” Niko whispered urgently into the headset. Rami heard it of course and both men’s guns were up.
“Weapon’s tight.” The Israeli reminded. He wants this done quietly.
“Copy, weapon’s tight.”
“Yo, Mike,” Johnny said, moving away from the door. “We’ve got company.”
“F*ck. Ok, out the window, Johnny.” Michael turned and opened the window. He flashed a quick look back before climbing through. Johnny followed and saw the two men appear at the doorway as he lowered himself into the night air.
“sh*t!” Rami rasped.
“You search the room, I’ll go after them.” Niko turned and ran downstairs as quietly as he could. As soon as he was outside he sprinted toward the front of the house in time to see the two men disappear down an alley.
Johnny was merely following his brother, who was running on reflex more than anything else. Neither man realized at first that they were heading the wrong way. They only saw the man behind them.
They reached the far end of the alley and Johnny cast a look over his shoulder. He saw the man had caught up and was no more than a few feet behind him.
“Go back to Luis!” He called. Michael looked back to see the biker stop and turn, then tackle the pursuing man.
Niko wasn’t expecting it, and he hit the floor hard. His gun came loose and the man threw a quick and heavy punch. Niko managed to dodge the second and knee the attacker’s stomach.
Johnny gasped as the air escaped from his lungs. The man pushed him off and rolled clear. Johnny shook his head and saw the man – he vaguely recognized him – reach for his dropped gun. Johnny went for his.
Both guns came up, their barrels inches from each man’s head. Johnny, on all fours actually managed to get his on target first but he saw the other gun find its target before he thought to fire.
“Well this is wonderfully clichéd.” Johnny said. “How bout we put these away?”
“After you...” Niko said with a scowl.
“Ok. Well I’m going to stand…” Johnny stood. “How about we both just back away? Nice and slowly.”
Niko shook his head. “Can’t let you do that.”
“So you think we should just shoot each other?”
Niko’s aim wavered slightly. Johnny made his move. He slapped at the gun, knocking it back the ground. Niko reacted by ducking and diving at Johnny.
Both men fell to the floor and Niko was first to his feet. Johnny ate one kick to the torso but rolled clear and got back up. Niko stood back and Johnny punched out. Niko ducked and delivered a blow to Johnny’s stomach. Johnny tried to hit back but Niko’s next attack knocked the biker over again.
Johnny found himself on all fours again, coughing. He looked up to see Niko turning for his gun. Next to him was a wooden post, once part of a fence, now broken covered in muck. He grabbed it and got to his feet.
Niko turned to see the wooden pole swinging toward him. He jumped back, but Johnny kept attacking. One hit connected, hitting Niko on the side of the face. He went down, his cheek torn. He cried out but crawled clear as Johnny swung the pole toward him. The wood hit the ground and Niko kicked it clear of Johnny’s hands. He kicked again at Johnny’s legs, but the biker had jumped back, moving into the light. Niko followed and both men froze.
“You.” Johnny growled.
Niko frowned. “Johnny, wasn’t it?”
Johnny nodded. “So you’re on that side of the tracks are you?” Johnny’s face changed. “You try to kill Michael?”
Before Niko could answer Johnny jumped at him and they were fighting again.
Both men got some good hits in, but Niko managed to get the upper hand when he rolled clear of the biker and kicked his legs from under him. He leant over him and pushed his forearm on to Johnny’s throat.
The noise was unmistakable. Neither man heard the car pull up, but the cocking of the gun went over neither man’s head.
Niko turned to see the man, a hood pulled over his head, and a automatic shotgun in his hands.
“Get off him.” Michael said from beside Luis. Niko obeyed, moving slowly. Johnny stood quickly and grabbed his gun. “Let’s go.”
Niko watched as the men got in their car, the guns still aimed at him. Seconds later the car was gone. Niko sighed before collecting his gun.
“Who the f*ck was that?!” Michael shouted as they turned on to a main road.
“That the guy who tried to kill you?” Luis asked.
“Nah. I… I’m pretty sure it was a bigger man. Not that man.”
“So who the f*ck is he?” Johnny blinked.
“I’m just guessing here bro, but I’d say someone working for the other side.”
Rami hadn’t lucked out. He’d found something that Michael had lost.
“This should help us find him.”
“What is it?” Niko asked, rubbing the side of his face.
“Address book or something. So you lost him?”
“He’s got help; his brother – a biker guy who I did business with a few years ago – and some black guy.”
“Any idea who?”
“No, I didn’t see his face. He had a hood up. We should have just taken them down in the house.”
Rami shook his head. “No. We were told to keep it quiet. No opportunity for quiet action presented itself.”
“I’ll let you tell him that then.” Niko said with a sigh.
Click Here to read the next chapter - Let the Voting Commence.
Edited by Mokrie Dela, 12 May 2012 - 11:47 PM.
Posted 12 May 2012 - 05:15 PM
Posted 12 May 2012 - 11:32 PM
|QUOTE (Lightning Strike @ Saturday, May 12 2012, 17:15)|
|I'm so glad to see this series win back to back medals. You really deserve this Mokrie, thank you for the great entertainment that you've provided us so far and I can't wait to see what happens next.|
Thank you and everyone else who voted. I won by 33 votes (or thereabouts). Last year was by 2 or 4.
It really feels great to have people vote for my story, and for BOTH to win feels even better. I will strife to make parts two and three as best I can. I will try to entertain you, make you wonder, surprise and to move you.
Again thank you so much, but a special thank you to Mati, who also won an award for life's price - the character of Rami came from his idea and that concept.
Thank you again, for reading, for voting and for being part of the award.
Posted 12 May 2012 - 11:37 PM
Karen had found something out from her boss apparently. Luis sat next to Johnny as they listened to the explanation.
“Our friends our making a pick up. We’ll look through the evidence you picked up later, but I want this pick up stopped.”
“What is it?” Johnny asked.
“They’re picking up some documents or something. My boss isn’t letting me in on all the intricate details, at least on the operational side of things. But the document in question is an intelligence report. I don’t know what of, but it’s something I want.”
“Give us some answers.” Luis thought out loud.
“Exactly. They’re planning something. They’ve been involved with the recent rise of crime – I suspect they’ve been setting the gangs up. But there’s more to it. We need to find out what, and this document will help.”
“So just grab it?”
“Pretty much. Locate the contact and grab the document.”
“What if the pickup’s done before we reach the guy?” Johnny asked.
“Then you follow the guys picking it up, and recover it.”
“Kill them?” Luis had a serious look on his face.
Karen shook her head. “I’d prefer not. We just want the document.” She paused. “But if you have to…”
Johnny and Luis nodded.
The contact was an average looking man in a suit. He sat at an outside café drinking a coffee.
Luis pointed him out to Johnny from in the car.
“So what, we just walk up to him and point a gun in his face?”
Luis nodded. “Any sign of the bad guys?”
Johnny looked around, seeing dozens of men and women in suits. They were in the southern area of Algonquin, with hundreds of offices surrounding them. And it was lunch time.
“Could be any one of them.”
“We better do this quick.” Luis looked at the man drinking coffee. “That’s definitely him.”
Johnny nodded. “Looks like the photo.”
Rami had seated himself on the table next to the contact, and set his briefcase down next to the contact’s. He’d ordered a Panini and began to read the paper.
Niko was inside the café and looked out, waiting for Rami’s cue. Rami finished his lunch and threw the napkin theatrically to the plate.
Niko walked out of the café, putting his coffee cup in the bin by the door. Outside he walked unsure of himself, a map in his hand. He paused by the contact’s table, and looked around.
“I think it’s happening.” Luis said to Johnny as they walked toward the café. They watched as the man spoke with the contact. The seated man pointed as he replied, and Niko moved around to try to look in the direction he was being shown.
Rami stood casually and picked up the briefcase. He allowed his eyes to look down – not moving his head – to see the brass clasps of the case. He walked away with no hesitation and moved down the street.
“Wait a minute.” Luis said. “I think that guy just took the wrong brief… Oh sh*t, we missed it.”
“The one in the beige suit. Walking toward the – ”
“Oh I see him.”
“You stay on the map-man. I’ll get the other guy.”
Niko thanked the man and adjusted his baseball cap. He was dressed like a tourist – complete with a rucksack which held a change of clothes in case he needed them. He walked off, looking intermittently at his map and the city.
Luis was following the man in the beige suit who seemed oblivious to him. He reached into his coat pocket and touched his .44 pistol, wondering where to take the man…
Niko wasn’t bothered about his tail. He knew who it was and the temptation was there to turn and fight, but he had to just walk on.
Rami was almost on autopilot. The stupid spic was walking arrogantly, thinking he could play this game. Well, Cabrón think you can step up to the big boys? Bring it on.
Rami turned and headed across the road blending with the crowd. Luis followed but rushed across the road. A minivan sounded its horn as it came to a sudden, noisy stop. Luis turned to see the minivan’s driver lean out of the window and offer a typical Liberty City four-letter word insult.
Rami didn’t look round. He heard the traffic through the crowd, and used the distraction to duck into the subway station.
Luis hurried to the sidewalk and looked around.
“Mierda.” He couldn’t see the man he was following. But he saw the subway entrance and rushed down there.
Rami had pulled a fast one. He exited the far side of the subway station and hailed a cab. Luis reached the platform as Rami was two blocks away, laughing to himself.
Niko still had the biker behind him, only – judging by the reflection in the shop window – he was becoming more and more annoyed. Niko decided to use that. He rounded a corner and sprinted, heading down some steps to a backstreet car park. An elbow to a car window later and the Serbian was accelerating into the Liberty City traffic.
Johnny reached the steps and looked around. He shouted a curse that resulted in a dozen looks.
Click Here to read the next part - REVELATIONS: Funding an Army.
Edited by Mokrie Dela, 12 May 2012 - 11:48 PM.
Posted 12 May 2012 - 11:41 PM
“Looking through the things you got from Ramirez’s house,” Karen said in the old casino, “I’ve decided we need more support.”
“The brothers not enough?” Johnny said with a wave aimed to encompass the Remnants MC.
Karen shook her head. “If sh*t hits the fan, and we have to commit men to some sort of combat, then no. The bikers are capable of shooting other bikers, sure, but we’re talking about professionally trained mercenaries. You fight fire with fire.”
“You’d be surprised. The Lost could bring the fight to anyone, and many of these boys were in The Lost. I wouldn’t underestimate bikers.”
“Johnny think about it. Would you pit your bikers up against Navy SEALS?” Johnny blinked then shook his head. “Exactly. For gang activities and things like that, they’d work, yeah…”
“Why didn’t you just resurrect The Lost?” Michael asked. “Why make a whole new club?”
Johnny sighed. “The lost were important to me. You never understood that, Mike, but it was like a family. Then when all that sh*t with Billy and Brian, the so-called brotherhood turned on itself. It broke down – the one thing I believed in consumed itself with petty bickering and power struggles. That broke down, the whole thing fell apart, and I left the city. I left it all behind me, I can’t go back to that. I miss the MC, yeah, but The Lost stands for nothing now. So we start a new one, with the remnants of The Lost. Start afresh.” Johnny shrugged. “Perhaps this time things will be different. Maybe it’ll last, I don’t know.”
“I think the name’s sh*t, bro.” Luis added lightly. “I’d have called it Phoenix Motorcycle Club. Y’know, rise out of the ashes? What about The Found Motorcycle –”
“Ok, that’s enough. I need to meet with a contact to try to get some mercenaries to come on our side. With Rodriguez on board with the – let’s say the opposition – they now have a plethora of weapons and as many of Rodriguez’s men as the arms dealer feels necessary. We need to match that.”
“So we’re hiring mercs.” Michael said by way of confirmation.
“How we gonna pay them?” Luis’s question turned some heads.
“We have to get some money.”
“Do you have a plan for that?”
“I sort of do. We have a few options. Firstly you each have ways of making money, right? Johnny, you used to race didn’t you? That’s an assumption on my part but I know the bikers in this city have regular races.”
“And Luis, you used to race too. And do cage fighting.”
“F*ck that, bro, I aint doing the fighting again. I’ve stopped that, it’s too…”
“Option two is to rob a bank or something.”
“Forget that.” Michael offered. “This day and age you won’t be away with it.”
“Not necessarily true.” Karen countered. “Remember the big robbery two years ago?” She turned to Luis who nodded. How could he forget? Seeing that have-a-go-hero get shot right in front of him. “One of the men who did that is working against us. I believe you had a fight with him, Johnny.”
Johnny blinked. Him? “Well he certainly gets around…”
Karen shrugged, her face looking like she wanted to say more. Luis, the lady’s man, saw something in her face but didn’t pursue it.
“So what we just walk in and rob the place?”
Luis had turned away slightly and was staring into nothingness.
“Get some brothers, go in, hold the place up… We’ll need some explosives – we can’t just pick the lock on a vault.”
“Be better to hit smaller places – less security – but I can’t say I’m happy robbing a bank…”
“Smaller places are probably a safer bet.” Karen said, ignoring Michael’s grievance. “Less security. Hit a bigger place the cops will be all over it. I’d like to avoid that.”
Luis, who’d been silently staring through the walls, suddenly turned. “I think I got an idea.” All eyes turned to him. “We need money – I think I can get it.”
“How?” Karen voiced everyone’s thoughts.
“I know someone who’s got the money. If I can convince him to lend it…”
“No.” Karen protested. “We can not pay it back. At all.” She shook her head. “If you get the money it won’t be a loan.”
Luis nodded. “Maybe we can earn it.” Karen frowned. “Favor for a favor.”
Karen chewed on that for a minute. “Who is it.”
“Yusuf Amir. He’s certainly got the bread,”
“Son of a prince or something isn’t he?”
“Something like that.”
“Ok. I don’t think he’s connected with any of this. Go convince him.”
Luis had called Yusuf and was relieved to find out the man was in the country. They met at Yusuf’s penthouse.
“Luis! How’s it going my nigga?”
Luis exhaled. “Look, bro I’ve said about that before. It aint cool.”
Yusuf held his hands up. “Whatever homie! What you need?”
“Money, Yusuf. I need money.”
The Arab moved into a drawer and pulled out a wad of cash. He under-armed it to Luis who fumbled the catch.
“This is cool bro, but it aint enough.”
Yusuf sat on his couch, raising one leg over the other. “How much do you need?”
Luis said the amount that Karen had decided on. Yusuf whistled. “I can’t just give you that, Luis!”
“Fair enough, bro. What about a favor then?”
Yusuf stood and walked to the windows. “I tell you what. You get something for me, I’ll give you all the money you need.”
Luis thought that sounded reasonable. “Alright bro. What you need?”
“A Hydra, niggah!”
“Hydra. It’s a VTOL.”
“What the f*ck’s that, some kind of drug bro?”
“It’s a motherf*cking jet plane. Vertical Take Off and Landing.”
“A Jet? Like a fighter jet?”
Yusuf nodded. “f*ck yeah homie.”
“Where the f*ck is that then?”
Yusuf smiled mischievously. “An army base.”
Yusuf shrugged. “That’s my deal, bro.”
Luis sat and pondered that. After a minute he said, “Alright, bro. Where is it and how do I get in without being shot?”
Yusuf smiled. “Go find a Patriot. Take it to a Transfender or some place like that. Get it done up to look like an army truck, then drive to the base up north.”
“Just drive in, steal the jet and leave?”
“You could shoot your way in if you want, but I don’t think you’d be too successful. Dress like a soldier, drive your army truck in, who will stop you?”
“And once I steal the jet, then what. Actually bro, how the f*ck do I fly the jet? I got a helicopter license, not a jet license.”
Yusuf went back into his drawer and came out with an iFruit pad. “The internet my niggah!”
Luis shook his head.
“Mercenaries.” Rami said the word as if it was a curse. “Who is this guy then, the king of mercs?”
Niko shrugged from behind the wheel. “What are we then?”
Rami cocked his head with a nod of his shoulder. “The question that should be asked is why is this mercenary coming to Liberty now. He’s not working with us, he’s arriving in the middle of this so…”
“Working against us?”
“That’s what he says.”
“You don’t believe that?”
“That’s missing the point, Niko. We’re working for one goal–”
“And a paycheck.”
“And that – it stands to reason that people will be working to a goal on the other side of the coin to ours.”
Niko shrugged. “Well let’s just tail him like we’re supposed to and see who he goes to.”
“That’s the plan.”
They arrived at the airport – so many people land here to start their life of crime, Rami thought – himself included – but they didn’t consider how easy it was to be found out that way.
The mercenary looked like any other. He wore a casual leather jacket, a shirt and a pair of jeans. He walked out of the terminal and hailed a cab.
“Here we go.” Rami said into his earpiece. They’d hedged their bets on this one, and both selected different vehicles. Niko sat in a Ruiner, parked a little way out from the airport. Rami, in the Washington, began to tail the taxi. He made a note of the car’s license plate and informed Niko of it. Every turn the cab made the Israeli reported to his partner, who followed a long way back.
Rami followed the cab two car lengths behind it as Niko drove a street away. When it was time for the change over, Niko took the turn and sped toward the correct street. He pulled out just after the target cab passed, and Rami confirmed Niko’s positioning. Rami then turned off of the road.
Niko followed for the next half-dozen blocks and the second switchover was made just before the bridge to Algonquin. Rami, now in a new – stolen – Peyote, had caught up and took over tailing duties. Niko moved lanes and overtook the target. By the time they reached Algonquin, Niko had switched cars and began following on an adjacent street.
The leapfrog style of tailing continued to a store in Bohan. The mercenary didn’t even change cabs.
Complacency, Rami assumed.
He was wrong. The target walked one block to Frankfurt high station.
“He’s taking the train.” Rami said into his headset. Heading back to Algonquin, next stop… Frankfurt high.”
Niko simply had to drive quickly now. The target wouldn’t see him, so he didn’t worry about being seen. He’d changed cars to a Sabre – a decent little car, despite its mediocre appearance – and sped through the city following Rami’s instructions.
Rami sat on the train of course, at the far end of the carriage to their mark. Not once did the Israeli look directly at the mercenary.
The target transferred at Easton, and Rami expertly followed. Finally the mercenary returned to street level and took another cab. Niko had done well keeping up and Rami rapped off the license plate as he hailed a cab of his own.
Niko saw the cab immediately – in fact he saw the target leave the station. He’d raced ahead and now followed in routine fashion. Rami had his cab go a block away where he’d collect a new car.
Niko was starting to get annoyed. Finally the target reached his hotel and, as Niko drove past, he saw him enter. Rami, once caught up, entered the hotel in time to see the target hit the button for an elevator.
“We got him.”
Getting the clothes was the easy bit. The fancy-dress shop had taken care of most of it, and Luis had bought the camouflaged army outfit with no problem. Finding the Patriot was almost as easy; Luis picked on up from a car park near the university.
The downside was paying for the vehicular modifications. When he was done, the vehicle had been converted to look like an army truck. The back was slanted, and the entire vehicle had been colored in military green. Everything looked the part.
But Luis was worried. He began doubting the plausibility of his mission. Firstly getting in – wouldn’t he need a form of ID.
Luckily Yusuf had thought of that, and had supplied a false ID card. As Luis approached the army base he found himself questioning the likely hood of this working.
He saw the facility ahead. Men in combat fatigues walked around the parameter, and before he knew it, he was passing the armed watch towers. Then he was there.
His heart was beating fast now and he felt himself sweating under the costume. He forced himself to take a deep breath as he turned off of the road.
The gate was down and a female soldier appeared to look at the ID. Luis showed it having thought to note the details written on it. His name was Javier De Zeuuw. A strange name he felt but there it was.
The soldier was actually hot. She must have been barely twenty. Likely still in training or something, Luis supposed. It took some self control to resist hitting on her, and he didn’t want to do anything to be remembered. He also found it hard to resist pulling his cap down further over his face.
The soldier looked at the ID and nodded. She handed the card back a moment later and the gate was opened.
Luis wanted to laugh but he held it in. He drove the Patriot onto the military base and knew he was now in the lion’s den. He had to be careful.
Driving around wasn’t as hard as he thought. The place was huge, with a lot of open space. He passed a pair of soldiers but apart from that he came no close than thirty yards or so to anyone else. Finally he parked near the area with the helicopters and hangers. It occurred to him that this was an air force base, not an army base, but that didn’t matter much did it?
Luis began to walk toward the hangers and within a minute he saw the Hydra. No one looked at him, as he ‘looked like he belonged” but it felt like forever as he approached the Hydra.
Finally he got there and climbed aboard, hoping the things he read online would allow him to fly it.
It took a few prods at the controls to start the engines and he gripped the controls. He took a deep breath then activated the throttle.
For Luis it was a strange sensation. He expected the jet to move forward, but it began its flight like a helicopter. He watched the military base fall away and, once he was high enough that he wasn’t going to crash, he activated horizontal flight, worried he was going to hit eject by mistake.
The take off was slow and unsteady. Luis’s true jet flight took him away from the base but the radar in front of him informed him that two more jets were now in the air. He knew he had to lose these. He climbed high.
The other two Hydras were controlled by more skilled pilots. They caught up and Luis got a warning shot. He ignored it and reached for his phone.
“Yusuf!” Luis shouted. He just about heard the reply over the noise of the jet.
“Luis! You get it?”
“Yeah but I got two after me.”
“Where are you?”
“Heading to the city.”
“I wouldn’t. Lose the jets first.”
“How the f*ck am I going to do that?”
Yusuf, unheard to Luis, scrambled around for his Fruitpad. He then began listing the controls of the jet, telling Luis what button to press.
The result was a shaky arched turn, and Luis released two missiles that automatically homed in on their target. The Hydra didn’t see it coming and exploded in a bright orange and blue fireball.
But then, from behind him, the other Hydra fired. Luis panicked and shouted out to Yusuf who, after a second told Luis exactly what to press.
Luis, thanking the hands free kit he’d hurriedly put on, felt the jet jolt as the countermeasures were released. Luis then dove and the radar reported that the missile had been fooled by the countermeasures.
Luis was starting to get the hang of it. He’d looped down and under, managing to get behind the remaining Jet. He unleashed his onboard machinegun.
The Hydra wobbled then dove, black smoke coming from its rear. Luis climbed and turned, flying away, hoping the jet was sufficiently crippled.
And it was. Now Luis headed back toward the city. Yusuf advised he took nap-of-earth flight, and Luis hated it. He flew under the bridges on the Humbolt at over two hundred miles per hour, knowing one tiny error would end his life. Finally though, he climbed and found the helipad in southern Algonquin. He landed on his second attempt, having missed the building on the first, and finally, to a blissful relief, Luis’s feet touched something more solid.
“You did it!” Yusuf was on the rooftop with half a dozen men who immediately began to scurry around the jet. Luis noticed a hum from beside him, and saw a huge square machine.
“What the f*ck’s that?”
“Scrambler niggah! The jet’s got a transponder on it. We’re going to disable it then take it down there.” Yusuf pointed to the sea and on the horizon was a large yacht.
“Right. Well that was f*cking insane, bro.”
“You loved it.”
Luis laughed. “I didn’t love being shot at by the f*cking army.”
“But, my niggah…” Yusuf bent down and came up with a silver briefcase He opened it and revealed the money stuffed into little piles inside. “Was it worth it?”
Luis took the case. “I hope so.” He said with a shake of the head.
Yusuf laughed. “If you ever want to borrow it….”
“Are you gonna paint it gold?” Luis was too wired to laugh at his own joke.
“That’s not a bad idea, Luis.” Yusuf smiled.
“You’re a crazy mother*cker, Yus’”
“Haha, that I am!”
Luis headed for the elevator, still shaking his head by the time he reached the street.
Click Here to read the next chapter - Right Under Your Nose.
Edited by Mokrie Dela, 17 May 2012 - 11:50 AM.
Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:03 AM
Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:04 AM
Posted 13 May 2012 - 11:22 AM
|QUOTE (billy james @ Sunday, May 13 2012, 10:04)|
|It's good to see Yusuf's name pop up and a VTOL, you,ve been playing to much Saint Row The Third haven't you. Well done Moc|
Well the VTOL was in San andreas remember - the Hydra. I'm not adding anything major that's not in a GTA game
@Lightning Strike Thanks. I'll add a new chapter in the next few days. I've always said as a rule of thumb, the more replies i get, the quicker chapters come. Usually i try to avoid double posting (previous chapter was an exception as i wanted to say thanks ).
Talking of which, time to write some more
Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:50 PM
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