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JUSTICE IN FLAMES

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Mokrie Dela
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#241

Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:20 PM

Real life commitments most likely - work, or maybe school/exams
Maybe they forgot !
The final chapters may be uploaded together with a little treat at the end tounge.gif

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#242

Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:31 PM

Looking forward to the finale Mokrie. icon14.gif

Kifflom112
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#243

Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:09 PM

QUOTE (Mokrie Dela @ Friday, Jan 25 2013, 10:20)
The final chapters may be uploaded together with a little treat at the end tounge.gif

Cannot wait! That's gonna' be awesome.

Mokrie Dela
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#244

Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:02 PM Edited by Mokrie Dela, 01 February 2013 - 12:18 PM.

Here we go guys, The finale's here (though there still remains the epilogue!)

Chapter Ten - Redemption.


“Welcome home, fellers,” The man said with a theatrical smile. He’d had an ace up his sleeve, and it made one hell of a noise as it was played. Johnny reacted immediately, bringing his gun up with a grimace.
“Uh-uh.” The corrupt head of the United Liberty Paper Company waved his gun and pointed it at Ashley’s head. “I'm actually impressed you two made it through. Bellic and Yalon, yeah I'm not surprised. I'm guessing you figured out my little plan. Well, here’s the thing: Right now I have a team of men, in a small town to the north. You might know it, Niko. Y’know, typical colonial style neighborhood. Nice place; your cousin chose well.” Niko’s jaw muscles flexed and he balled his hands into tight fists. The feeling of déjà vu was so familiar it made him nauseous. “Here’s how it’s going to play out…”


They were moving up the stairwell, questioning the quiet. They passed a door and Karen stopped, backtracking to look down the hallway.
“Jesus,” Michael whispered on seeing the bodies. “They tore through an entire military unit.”
“I told you they’re good,” Karen stared at the trail of death that led down the corridor.
“Failed ambush,” Michael said, shaking his head and looking up.
“Next floor...”
Michael nodded.

“Why, though?” Niko asked.
“Really? You’re asking that question. You became unreliable. Los Santos, for example. I know of your connection to Karen, and I suspected you’d be unable to complete that mission. That and, of course, the fact that the city would want someone to answer for everything. You work it out.” A sigh. “So how are we going to settle this? How about an offer? Bellic, you can leave here and run to your cousin’s pathetic little family. Unless I place a little call within the hour, my men up there will have a little pillage, if you catch my drift.
“Johnny Klebitz, you’re the problematic one, hence your little sweetheart here. Tragic story, by the way. But your brother just couldn’t be a good little boy and die. I hate to say it – actually, I quite like saying it – but he’s going to die today. I knew they’d do something to my CCTV, so I arranged a little surprise for them – no party hats though, I'm afraid. Right now, a squadron of men will be clearing the server room. Karen and Michael won’t survive. You’ve failed gentlemen. Now, the offer’s on the table; you can leave and live – ”
“Bullsh*t.” Rami said. “You’re going to let us all walk out of here – no chance. What have you got planned? C4 planted in the hallway? Snipers outside? You call in the police – or the army?”
The man sighed. “I'm a businessman, and I don’t need you to die to fulfill my goals. It’s no skin off my nose either way. Ok, you don’t want the deal, fine. You’re like little children; always wanting your grubby little hands on everything. No – you’re more like dogs, useful, but feral nonetheless. And you know what happens to feral dogs? They get put down – ”

Michael heard the last two words and immediately knew – well, he assumed, but it was pretty obvious – his brother was in danger. He ran into the room, gun up, and fired straight away.

The ULPC boss flinched but the shot missed. He ducked under the desk as, from out in the hallway, Karen shouted – no one caught what she said, but she darted into the room as bullets snapped at her heels.

Rami looked through the doorway to see the men advancing down the hallway. Almost without thinking his gun came out. He fired, quickly backed up by Niko, who was able to move now that the corrupt boss was cowering by his desk. Inside the room, chaos ensued. There was shouting, and a loud crash.

With the four men dead, Niko and Rami turned back into the room.

The ULPC boss was up, a shotgun in his hand – where the hell had that come from?! Niko threw himself to his left as the man fired. He felt the shot pepper his trailing foot, but it didn’t hurt as much as his landing. Just a graze.

Rami tried to find cover in the hallway but wasn’t quite fast enough. He felt the shot hit his shoulder and was soon on the floor, staring at the ceiling.

Karen found herself standing by her former boss, her gun pointed at his head. He dropped his shotgun and stared at her, his head cocked. He exhaled, as though being shot would be little more than a minor inconvenience.
“Well go on then. I'm waiting. Let’s see what you’re capable of. Hmm?”

Niko recovered and determined that nothing was broken. He turned to see Rami lying on the floor outside, motionless. He then turned his attention back into the room, sharing a look with a helpless Luis, who was just watching, unsure of how to act. He could see it in the Dominican’s eyes, which snapped to the door for a moment before resting on Niko’s. He wanted out but, curiously, didn’t move.

“Well,” The man continued, “If you’re not willing…” He drew a revolver and pointed it at Karen. “How’s this for a standoff? Or would it be more fitting to aim it at soldier boy? What you think Mister Klebitz?” The gun swung round to aim at Michael’s head.

Niko saw the movement first. Rami – thankfully not dead – was aiming his gun through the door, still lying on the ground. His arm was drenched in his own blood and Niko could clearly see the nasty looking wound. The Israeli struggled to even lift his arm but despite dazed vision and a shaky aim, he managed to get a shot off.

Even with such injuries his shooting was good. The shot wasn’t on target, but judging by the ensuing hole it caused in the window, it had missed the man’s head by no more than a centimeter. The man recoiled and returned fire, reaching into his desk as he did so.

Rami felt one of the shots hit and tired to move. Firing the gun had taken a lot of effort, and now his injured arm refused to work. He had to use his unhurt arm to move – and that prevented him from shooting back. He managed a final look up at his former boss and with all of his will power, commanded his body to get up.

Niko saw the grenade, but there was little he could do about it. The man threw it straight away and Niko, much like everyone else in the room, sought cover.

As the world passed in a blur, Niko heard Rami cry out. Then came the usual percussion as the grenade exploded and with a suddenness that sent chills down Niko’s spine, Rami’s cries stopped. He looked up to see movement inside the room. The bad guy – whose name was still a mystery – had his gun pointing at Michael. Karen was moving, trying to get Michael out of the way. He was important, Niko knew. He got to his feet and moved.

The shot seemed louder than the others. Niko found that strange, but he knew why. The impact of the bullet was unmistakable. He looked down and collapsed to his knees. Michelle had reached Michael, but the bullet was fired anyway. Niko found himself pushing both Michael and Michelle out of the way, and the bullet hit his chest. His arm came out, his hand hitting the floor to stop him falling. Then he looked up.

“Think of the dry cleaning bill...” The man said, now in front of him, his gun coming to aim at Niko’s head.

Johnny was up now. Karen was trying to get Michael out of the room, but the man saw that. Again the gun switched targets. Niko saw that and took his chance. With agonizing effort, and a pained scream, Niko lunged forward.

Despite his efforts, Niko’s attack wasn’t powerful enough to knock the man over. Instead they wrestled for a second, but Niko didn’t have any more strength left, and was tossed aside. For his troubles, Niko received a solid kick to the face. He recoiled, and saw the room spin before it all went black.

The revolver came up once again. There was no delay this time. Johnny, shielding his brother, looked up and the man fired.

Johnny felt the impact immediately but it didn’t feel like being shot. He’d taken a few bullets in the past, but this felt weird. Instead, the pain was in his arm, which broke as he fell and the world was suddenly on its side. Worse still was when he hit his head on the way down. Everything was blurry and he had tunnel vision. Actually, he wasn’t… wasn’t what? He asked himself. Whatever revelation he’d arrived at as gone as he passed out.
The man sighed and stared at Karen, who was vomiting in the hallway. She’d ushered Michael to the door, but hadn’t expected the sight that greeted her in the hallway. The corridor was littered with bodies, most of them in more than one piece. The floor outside the office was a bloody mess, the remains of a couple of soldiers and Rami, where the grenade had exploded. The scene was so gory that she couldn’t even work out which… parts had been the Israeli.
“Unpleasant, I know,” He said as he approached his former employee. “Don’t worry; I’ll make it quick.”

Michael had found a gun and stepped back through the door, pointing it at the man. “No, you won’t.” He pulled the trigger, but heard only the harrowing click as it failed to fire. His blood turned to ice.
“Embarrassing,” The man mocked.

Luis felt as though he was watching a movie. He was just standing in the corner, frozen. He had seen a lot of death tonight and had been immobilized by the shock of it all. The explosion had made everything surreal. The Israeli, the expert gunman was now fragments soaking into the carpet. The smell was foul too, like rotten meat on a barbeque.
All this death, he told himself, knowing he just stood there and let it happen.
“F*ck it,”

The punch was unexpected. The man’s eyes were fixed on Michael, but before he could squeeze the trigger, Luis Fernando Lopez, the man who everyone had underestimated had stepped up, leading with his fists.
“I’ve got no problem beating you to death, bro.” He said, throwing another punch. The man ducked it and swung back, but Luis was too quick for that.
Hey, Asshole!
Johnny had come to and everyone turned on hearing him shout. The anger in his voice was so hot that it made Karen flinch.

Niko had also come too, and saw Johnny’s nod. It was as if he was working with Rami; with such a subtle gesture that no one else had seen, both Niko’s and Johnny’s minds synchronized. Lying on his front, he ignored the pain in his side, face and head, and fired. The man buckled and yelled in agony as his kneecap was shattered. Considering his state, Niko thought it the finest shot he’d ever fired.
Michael ran to Johnny and helped him up. Johnny winced from the pain in his arm, but managed to stand at least. He shook his brother free and moved forward, nodding for the revolver that Luis had picked up. The Dominican – the youngest in the room – was ready to pistol-whip the corrupt ‘businessman’ should his movements become anything more than writhing in agony.

Niko was also to his feet, though his entire body slouched to one side. He shared a look with Johnny and both men aimed.

Johnny, from only a couple of feet away, couldn’t miss. The first shot was aimed at the man’s crotch, and the conspirator gasped at the impact. The screaming came a moment later, the delay making the rage-filled vengeance more pleasing to the biker. Johnny bent down and grabbed the man by the jaw, lifting him up. He was ignoring the pain in his arm – which now held the gun, the barrel pushed into the man’s stomach.
“You f*cked with the wrong guy.” He snarled through gritted teeth, pulling the trigger as he did so. He felt the shock of the impact through the man’s body and saw his eyes go wide as his life left him. He let go and the man fell to the floor. Niko stepped forward and put a single bullet into the man’s head, exterminating any remnant sign of life.
“For Rami, you bastard,” It was a clean shot, and one fitting to end the madness, he felt.

Johnny sighed then turned to look for – “Oh god!”

Johnny practically fell to the floor, his hands grabbing Ashley. He looked down at her face, which was pale and strangely childlike.
Her mouth fought to form the shape that sounded words. Her breaths were weak, shallow gasps and her eyes were wide and unfocused. Johnny remembered now. He knew why the shot had not felt like a bullet. The gun was aimed at him, but it was Ashley that he felt hit him, not the bullet. The shot had hit her just above the abdomen and the blood was dark, almost black, and already all over his hands.
“I…”
“Don’t speak, Ashley. We’ll get you to a hospital,” Johnny said, in denial.
“P – Please... Johnny…” Tears were now dripping out of her eyes. “One last time, Please,” Johnny grabbed her hand, feeling her squeeze frailly back. “I'm scared, John…” Ashley’s eyes sought out and locked on Johnny’s. “I…. I love you. You… were the best thing…. The only thing… I miss you.”
Johnny wasn’t overtly emotional. He hadn’t cried since he was a kid, except for once; in the toilets at Jim’s funeral, something he had revealed to no one. He didn’t know what to say. He just stared into her eyes, seeing the infinite glow of the color, seeing the reflection of a younger version of himself, of her… He saw their past, their future, alternate realities that lived in glory, not devastated by drugs. He saw her true beauty and her innocence, made all the more obvious by the grim situation.
“One last… My knight in shining armor...” Tears were flowing free from her eyes. “Save me again Johnny.”
Still, Johnny didn’t speak. He knew. Ashley knew. Everyone in the room knew. He leant in and held her close. “I wish…” she said, her voice weakening. “We could start again. I wish… I was stronger. Like you, John…. I… You were always…. There… My turn… this time…”
“Why do you think I always helped you? I would always have helped.”
“I… I know, Johnny.. I….” Ashley blinked, and her eyes looked up, locked on Johnny’s again. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” Johnny replied, finally losing the fight to hold back his tears. He’d run from it, left town to deny the fact, to distance himself from the pain, from seeing her, not who she really was, but an empty shell of a person, a distant echo of an old memory. He’d refused to admit it to himself, but if he’d stayed in Liberty City he’d be constantly running to her rescue, not because she’d asked, but because he cared. He’d turned his back on her, given up on what they’d had. He’d thrown it all away, and now he realized that he could never get it back.
Her eyes began to close, and Johnny found himself cradling her. A couple of seconds later she whispered her very last words: “Why can’t we start again, Johnny?”
Johnny sobbed then. Niko watched on, silent with the rest, seeing this tough-guy biker release years of torment. He’d been there. He’d seen the person he cared about die. Niko knew the feeling, but in front of him was something deeper, something that he could not fathom, despite his experiences.

Johnny knew that he’d thrown it all away. He hadn’t tried hard enough to help her – no one had. The sh*t with Billy had distracted him and he pretended like he didn’t care. But she’d done it. It had taken years, the deaths of two people close to her and the abandonment by the man she’d loved, but after all that, she had beaten her habit. And he’d walked away. He had told himself that he’d lost her when the addiction had taken over, but the truth was now clear. He’d lost her when he walked away, but there was always the chance of a reunion. Recent times had shown him that, perhaps, once all this was over, they could try again. With the indescribable sorrow that felt like it was tearing him apart, Johnny let out a twisted cry of anguish. It was a harrowing sound that Niko knew would stay with him and haunt his dreams forever.

For a moment, Johnny held Ashley’s head into his chest. He was sobbing, howling like a dog. Niko swallowed hard, staring at the tragedy in front of him. It reminded him of Kate, of Roman, of –
sh*t! Roman!
Luis looked up as Niko ran for the door.
“The f*ck you going bro?”
“Roman, remember? The men he’s sent up there?” His phone was out and he dialed the number. “No answer.”
“sh*t. Let me make a call, bro, I’ll get us a helicopter. Or at least a fast car.”

Michael put his hand on his brother’s shoulder but Johnny quickly threw it off. He stood, turning and picking up the nearest gun. He approached the dead ULPC boss and opened fire on the corpse, screaming as he did so. The gun clicked empty and he threw it at the man’s head. Then he kicked at it, finally breaking down in tears as Karen tried to console him. No words were said – none would do – Instead Karen watched the man breaking down in front her, feeling responsible for it all.

Kifflom112
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#245

Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:35 PM

Awesome. Can't wait to read it tomorrow.

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#246

Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:31 PM

Great chapter man. Shame for Rami, you had very well developed Rami's character and i really feel like he was part of GTA series, shame that he has to go.

Mokrie Dela
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#247

Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:49 PM

QUOTE (ACR @ Saturday, Feb 2 2013, 15:31)
Great chapter man. Shame for Rami, you had very well developed Rami's character and i really feel like he was part of GTA series, shame that he has to go.

Rami was a relentless merc, the kinda guy who wouldn't be killed easily. But the focus in this scene had to be on johnny a to a lesser extent, niko.

I'm glad you're enjoying it!! biggrin.gif also happy that you liked Rami smile.gif

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#248

Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:40 PM

Poor Rami sad.gif

When's the epilogue out? tounge2.gif

AndyGanteks
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#249

Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:33 PM

Daaaaamn, so much death in this chapter, actually made me sad a bit.

sad.gif

Mokrie Dela
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#250

Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:53 AM

QUOTE (AndyGanteks @ Saturday, Feb 2 2013, 23:33)
Daaaaamn, so much death in this chapter, actually made me sad a bit.

sad.gif

I'm glad - i wanted it to be sad more than the cliched action climax. Everyone's true nature's exposed,. For me, Ashley's death was a sad moment - every time i rewrote it i felt like sh*t afterward, like i was subjecting a friend to pain, and causing it myself - i hope you all got that..

I'm glad that you're finding the end sad, and not the usual relief of getting the bad guy.

Still, it's not over yet...

wink.gif

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#251

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:18 AM

I haven't read it yet, but I'm assuming something terrible happened judging by my glances at the comments(barely read them though).

I'm pretty excited now.

Mokrie Dela
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#252

Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:21 AM

I wouldn't recommend reading the replies before the chapter tbh tounge.gif

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#253

Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:09 PM Edited by Kifflom112, 06 February 2013 - 03:34 AM.

I finished reading it hours ago. sad.gif
I'm sad Rami had to go, and in that way too. He was a great character and I actually liked him as one.

I'm hyped for the Epilogue though. Hope it comes soon.

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#254

Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:03 PM

Mokrie I just want to thank you for contributing the WD with two great stories and we cannot wait for the next one. I read the entire story from the Prologue to the current update and it is just mind blowing. Rami was such an effective character and I never thought I'd feel sad for Ashley. Excellent work. cookie.gif cookie.gif cookie.gif cookie.gif cookie.gif

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#255

Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:54 PM

It's so hard waiting for the Epilogue.

Mokrie Dela
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#256

Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:13 AM

My sincerest apologies for the delay; personal & family events that I can't go into and a few other things got in the way

It's coming, and I might share some deleted chapters as a bonus

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#257

Posted 21 February 2013 - 03:54 PM

Looking > to it!

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#258

Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:12 PM Edited by Mokrie Dela, 04 April 2013 - 02:11 PM.

Right people, here it is, the final chapter. Quite an emotional moment for me, I'm proud of this, and hope you've all enjoyed it. It's been an honor to entertain you all while you're on the sh*tter ! biggrin.gif

Also, I managed to snag permission to use some music as a "closing credits" Sort of things. A huge thanks to Ben Draiman for so gracefully giving me the permission to use the song.


EPILOGUE.


Luis hadn’t managed to get a helicopter to them. Liberty City was a no fly zone with the war that raged on the streets of Algonquin and despite his money and pseudo-power, Yusuf’s fleet – to use the Emirati’s own word – was grounded. Instead, Luis had called Henrique who’d faithfully delivered a Bullet GT. Both Latinos were glad to see each other had survived the chaos; evidently Henrique and Armando had backed away from the battle, having fulfilled their roles. Armando was watching Luis’s mother, Henrique explained, with all but one of their men – the exclusion was Henrique’s ride back. Luis knew that the community to the north would be ‘on lockdown’, with everyone watching everyone else’s back. It was the code of the streets – or something – and while Armando’s priority was to his own family, he had no hesitation protecting a woman who was like a second mother to him. Armando’s own family would be safe – Luis wouldn’t wager against them all being together, as much as Adriana would hate being surrounded by so many miscreants, though Luis was sure she’d prefer their company to his, and she would at least be safe, which was the most important thing.

The drive was a quick one, offering Luis little time to reflect as he drove. Niko sat in the passenger seat, his hand pressed at his wounded side, eyes fixed on the road ahead, his jaw muscles flexing. Luis had seen enough to see that Niko was a dangerous man, and right now he was a nervous one. God help the men who got in his way – as many had, and not lived to talk about it.

The car hadn’t even fully stopped when Niko got out. He was panting from pain and fatigue by the time he reached the sidewalk and that’s where he froze. On the lawn of Roman’s house, beside a set of muddy tire tracks, were four dead men – all in black coats with submachineguns by their bodies. He ran into the house, his gun up.
He almost fired at the man, so sudden had he appeared, but Niko managed to identify the face as friendly and dropped his hands, his finger coming off of the trigger with a sigh of relief and weariness.
“Dwayne.”
“Niko. This sh*t is f*cked up, man.”
Niko blinked and turned to the bodies – some of which were in the hallway. “Is Roman okay?”
“Yes, he, Mallorie and the little one are fine. We all hid in the basement while – ”
“Wait, you didn’t do this?”
“No. I don’t know what happened. There was shouting, then a car engine, more shouting, then it all just… stopped. I waited five minutes and it was still quiet. I came up, saw the bodies and then you turned up. Five minutes earlier and you’d have walked right into it. It’s like divine intervention man, it really is.”
Niko turned to enter the basement and again stopped. He bent down, seeing the two suppressed pistols, leant perfectly against the wall, their barrels crossing each other. He reached for them, his mouth stretching into a disbelieving smile.
Niko laughed then, surprising Dwayne. “Divine intervention? No.” He shook his head, too tired to question the how. “Amazing.”

On hearing his cousin’s voice, Roman appeared, with Mallorie clinging to him like a schoolgirl. “Niko!” They both called out at once. Roman’s was a cry of relief, Mallorie’s of concern. She saw the bodies and how close they’d gotten and her eyes shot to Roman, in a natural act of panic.
Niko stepped forward. “How’s…?”
“Sleeping,” Mallorie nodded, realizing that danger had passed. “Blessedly with no idea what’s going on. Lucky for some.”
“Good.”

A few minutes later Niko sat shirtless in the kitchen as Dwayne’s men – on Niko’s command – had set up a parameter. He owed Dwayne so much, and knew that such a debt could never be repaid. Dwayne had caught the message in Niko’s stare, and replied with a simple nod, which said more than words ever could.
Niko winced as Mallorie applied the disinfectant – “like a baby”, she mocked with a soft chuckle before reaching out for the bandages.
“Your wound doesn’t look that serious,” Mallorie said. Roman merely watched in amazement as his wife patched up his cousin – a skill her mothering instincts had demanded she spend two nights a week at college to learn while the baby grew inside her.
“You’ll still visit the hospital though,” she added. Niko knew he had no choice whatsoever in that.
Mallorie gave her husband a private look.
“Cousin,” Roman said, looking through the doorway to the hall at the bodies that remained. “About that move…”
***
“…has been a dark few days for Liberty City. But I can say, with absolute certainty, that everyone involved has answered for their crimes. I have to commend Liberty City’s police force, fire and rescue departments EMTs and hospital staff for their reactions and tireless efforts – not to mention the few civilians who attended those in need. They have saved hundreds – perhaps thousands – of lives. The circumstances of this appalling occurrence are quite remarkable, but I am honored to be able to stand up here today, thanks to the acts of a small group of people, and give thanks to those people. Now I know they are reluctant to stand in front of you and receive the praise that they deserve, so I must respect that. Instead I say, on behalf of the city and its residents, thank you to those who fought tirelessly behind the scenes to protect our freedoms, sacrificing everything.
“Now, as a rather more sober matter, I have a list of names of those who perished in this disaster…”

Niko listened to the names, feeling deeply ashamed. He knew their blood was on his hands – albeit indirectly – and every name was like an emotional dagger, each one a person who’d never smile, laugh or cry again, a father or son, mother or daughter who could not see their parents, siblings or offspring – even friends – again. It was ironic, he felt, that if he’d perished, he’d be up there, listed with the heroes, despite his role in causing it all. He was also finally realizing that it wasn’t his fault, per se – though he could not shake all responsibility. What got him more though, was that he’d been through another hellish saga; yet again he was responsible for various deaths, and once again he’d endangered Roman, Mallorie and their infant child. He reminded himself that he’d started seeking revenge, justice perhaps, but definitely retribution for the deaths of his countrymen, over ten years ago. How had he gone from such an honorable mission to this? Was such an undertaking honorable to begin with? Regardless of whether the disaster was by his hand or not, he still had a heavy conscience.

His wound was healing, but still sore as hell, although he’d managed to stand in the mayor’s office. The corrupt deputy mayor was arrested, and other conspirators had been neutralized – Niko suspected that that Marc had done his fair share of work on that front – under the supervision of the political savior, who now rewarded the Balkan with the exoneration Niko didn’t feel he deserved. He’d seen and caused his share of death, and he’d found himself in a situation that was all too familiar. He’d forgotten how many times he’d endangered Roman, and then there were the horrors he’d inflicted onto his friend Patrick. What kind of person kills their friend’s brother? It was an endless, repetitive cycle, and it was getting old.

It was too much. He’d been working as a mercenary for years, and was getting sick of the guilt and danger that was unfairly inflicted on others. The last fifteen years had been torment for his soul – if he believed in such a thing. He thought of the scene in his homeland, where he’d seen the row of murdered civilians, all leant up against that dirty wall. He remembered that he thought it the work of a monster, a creature of unrelenting evil. He realized, even though he’d tried to ignore it, that that was exactly what he had become. He was that demon and while he was shaking hands with a grateful mayor, receiving thanks on behalf of the city, he knew he didn’t deserve it.

“Roman told me everything,” Mallorie had said in a private moment on their way to the press conference. Niko exhaled sharply, as though he’d been punched in the gut. Her words, while spoken softly, hit him like a sharpened blade. He respected Mallorie, and had always tried to keep his activities hidden from her, in some abstract attempt to impress her, perhaps. Her knowing everything was shameful for him.
Niko couldn’t speak. His legs had ceased moving, but Mallorie’s hand came out and rested on his shoulder. Her other one grabbed his hand, in one of the most tender gestures he’d ever felt. In some ways that made it worse.
“It’s ok, Niko. You didn’t cause this.” But his eyes flared in their refusal. She saw it and pulled him in closer, her voice becoming softer still. “Answer me one question, Niko, honestly please. If you knew what they were doing… What would you have done?”
Niko swallowed hard and managed to force out a hoarse whisper. “I would have tried…”
“To stop it?”
Niko nodded, feeling much like a naughty schoolboy.
“Then, Niko, you have nothing to feel shameful about. You are going to retire though. As a mother, and a wife, I have to insist that it’s us or the work.”
Niko nodded without delay. “I’d already made that decision.”
Mallorie smiled. “I thought you had. You’re a good man, Niko Bellic, despite what you think.”

Outside, Karen stood taking a deep drag on her cigarette.
“You did well,” Her boss said to her. For a moment she didn’t answer. “Considering the cards you’d been dealt.”
“Look at them,” She said, waving her cigarette toward the men and women that exited the building. Johnny was with his brother and biker friends – even the wheelchair bound one – present for both physical and mental support. In front of him, looking suave in a tailored suit – black in its entirety – was Luis Lopez, with his mother and his two friends behind him. Niko’s cousin was there and… yes, there was Niko, with Roman’s wife. “They’re the real heroes. They all almost died, a dozen times. Michael had the key information to connect the dots, and your plan to disappear to bring out the snakes – they’re the words you used – was a bad one.”
“I admit, it might not have been perfect, but it was necessary, Karen, you know that. No one could have anticipated the scale of their plans.”
“Yeah, well… Look, I know I’ve done some sh*t, right? That’s how you hire people isn’t it, entrap them and blackmail them to do your bidding. Well I paid that dept a while ago, and now? I'm out.”
The man just nodded at that, watching the unsung heroes take their places for the service. He noticed a few glances toward the camera – anxiety, or wishful thinking, he asked himself.

Niko saw Michelle standing by his former boss and approached her.
“Michelle,” He said awkwardly.
“Niko.”
After a moment he extended his hand. Michelle swallowed and took it, unsure if her surprise showed or not.
“For what it’s worth, I think you handled this all well. Luis and Johnny were telling me earlier how you coordinated them, and how much stress you were under.”
Michelle/Karen shrugged. “We all have our atonements, Niko.”
Niko nodded. “I have had a lot of betrayal in my life. Yours stung more because I liked you. But I realize now that you had no choice – this while terrorist thing has shown me that. I'm done though, this time for real. This kind of thing is all too familiar, and Roman’s been put in danger too many times. I started out to settle the score with Darko, but it’s led to this.” Niko shook his head. “In another life, perhaps, things would be different – funny, I thought that when I came to this city, but it was not why I came here. It was just a lie, to myself and others. In truth I didn’t try all that hard to make things different. It’s time I did.”
Karen nodded. “Perhaps, then Niko, we might meet again someday, under more pleasing circumstances.”
“I doubt it. This chapter or my life is being closed, forever.”
Karen managed a smile, taking Niko’s words as advice. “For what good it’ll do, Niko, and despite my work, I did care for you.”
Niko pressed his lips into a thin smile. “Goodbye Karen.”

“…Rami Yalon, Forty Eight and Ashley Butler, twenty nine. May you all rest in peace.”
Niko couldn’t suppress the smile that came when he heard Rami’s name. He’d always had an ace up his sleeve, he thought and had outdone himself. He owed him a great debt, but knew he could never repay it.

Johnny had no more tears to shed – that well had long since run dry – but he felt a chill as Ashley’s name was read out. It was final – even though he’d cradled her body as her life abandoned her, hearing her name read out to thousands – millions perhaps – was like a devastating exclamation mark, on a nightmarish story.
That was it, he said to himself, looking at the monument that stood proudly in front of him, her name, with so many others, immortalized in bronze. The ceremony/press conference ended and people were allowed up to the monument to pay their respects. A queue formed, but certain people were given the opportunity to skip the line – Johnny headed that line.

Ashley was listed with the policemen, firefighters and military personnel; the heroes that had saved Liberty City. Even though their identities had not been read out, it was obvious that she was among one of the heroes. Flowers were placed at the bottom of the monument, but Johnny placed something else. His jacket, with The Lost MC written on the back, alongside the keys to his Hexer. They would be here only for a few days, though. Then they’d join Ashley as she was buried.
Johnny stood. He’d never ride again.

Well over five thousand miles away, the man walked through the concourse of Ben Gurion Airport. He passed a news stand and saw the latest headlines.
Zbogom, stari prijatelju” The man said, offering a nod at the newspaper.


If you liked this song, please visit his youtube channel and check out his others - his album is available on iTunes too




A deep thank you for all who took the time to read, and support this huge project. June/July 2011 - Feb 2013, 19/20 months, 155,570 words in all.

Also, I'm told several of you nominated this for an award - unfortunately it's not eligible for such award, because "it was started in 2011".

Billy james
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#259

Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:16 PM

I really need to get back to reading this, the last chapter I read was the 3rd last chapter.

I'll start tomorrow

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#260

Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:41 PM

Bah, i don't like endings. sad.gif






Well done on the JiF Mokrie, even though it wasn't eligible this year, i'm sure you'll win the best writer award in the forum awards at least! You deserve it!
I only started carefully reading it about halfway through it, but i think i caught with it, and i really liked it. The finale chapter was by far the best one ever in terms of action.

I look forward to reading more of your work in the future. I'd really like to see that AC fanfic of yours see the light of day. With the way you write and your ideas, it'll definitely amuse me!

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#261

Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:54 PM

sad.gif Such a great story! I'm gonna' read this today.

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#262

Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:00 PM

I'm gonna read this over the weekend... Seems interesting, I've read the first chapter.

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#263

Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:34 PM

It's sad to see it end, then again we've always got your next great work to look forward to. My overall impressions of the story are amazing, truly one of the best works of fanfiction I've ever read, well done Mokrie and I can't wait to see what you'll work on next.

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#264

Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:36 PM

QUOTE (Lightning Strike @ Friday, Feb 22 2013, 13:34)
It's sad to see it end, then again we've always got your next great work to look forward to. My overall impressions of the story are amazing, truly one of the best works of fanfiction I've ever read, well done Mokrie and I can't wait to see what you'll work on next.

Thanks you - all of you.

I have 2 projects in the pipeline - one is an Assassin's Creed FF, another a Fallout FF (which I'm exploring options to make it a standalone, "original")

I'm also toying with a couple of ideas for original works - i hope you'd all enjoy them too!


Andy, I won't win best writer, because I don't regard myself to be one. I see myself as a good writer, but i can think of several i would regard as better!

I shall also make a PDF version of this story too.

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#265

Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:35 PM

Congrats on finishing JIF Mokrie,your writing style is absolutely amazing,looking forward to seeing your Fallout and Assassins Creed works. smile.gif

I voted for you for best writer btw tounge.gif

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#266

Posted 22 February 2013 - 06:43 PM

Wow thanks man. I'm overjoyed people are enjoying my work and think I'm good!

I do hope that you all give that song a listen too, It works well IMO

The way I write is I see it in front of me like a movie and I just write 'what I see' per se

I also though of a song that - if this was a movie - would be played at the end of 'redemption' and that would be 'exogenesis symphony part 3: redemption' by muse - that fits perfectly IMO

I'm interested in what you think of the song - I know it's not writing but I felt it appropriate, and think it works

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#267

Posted 23 February 2013 - 02:49 AM

Congratulations Mok, that was amazing, cookie.gif cookie.gif cookie.gif you deserved them

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#268

Posted 23 February 2013 - 05:05 AM

Just finished. Man how awesome! I really enjoyed reading this! cookie.gif cookie.gif cookie.gif cookie.gif

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#269

Posted 24 February 2013 - 04:17 AM

Great story, great conclusion. So, Mokrie it seems that Rami is actually alive or i misunderstood
last paragraph of epilogue. colgate.gif

Mokrie Dela
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#270

Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:12 PM

QUOTE (ACR @ Sunday, Feb 24 2013, 04:17)
Great story, great conclusion. So, Mokrie it seems that Rami is actually alive or i misunderstood
last paragraph of epilogue. colgate.gif

You didn't misunderstand! The clues are there tounge.gif

Thanks to those who voted for me btw - it seems I got my ass kicked by gta king haha




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