Sine Qua Non - Without Which Not
It was a damp and foggy night, the docks were empty of containers and there wasn't a soul in sight. I stepped out of Simeons lock-up and pulled a Redwood from a fresh deck. The most satisfying part of a fresh pack is tearing the clear plastic from the cardboard with a satisfying ease. Tapping the end of the filter on the pack to settle the tobacco I put it to my mouth and was about to light when I saw a car driving slowly past.
Instinctively I drew back into the shadows thinking it could be a drive-by. Looking throught the tinted glass I saw the figure of what I presumed was a dock worker, high visibility vest, hard hat on the parcel shelf. I thought for a second about phoning my mechanic, in the same second I had already made a move for the car.
I grabbed the handle of the passanger side as it cruised past slowly, I pulled and stealthily entered the passanger seat before the driver knew what had happened. By the time realisation hit him he was in the gutter and the vehicle was careering towards a guard rail, a concrete one.
Swiftly I pulled the hand-brake and the wheel to get a slide going just through a gap in the barrier.
Just the check-point to go, and i'm clean..
I like talk radio, but I wasn't in the mood. I pressed the dial and it changed to that Pop station. Rhianna, Only Girl in the World, let's turn this up I thought. With increased volume, came increased pressure on the gas, it wasn't until I drove past the Cop Shop that I realised how fast I was driving. Suddenly sirens hailed and cops started shooting. Someone must've seen me at the docks, or stealing one of the cars, or just speeding? Can't be..
3 stars and i'm hauling ass towards home in the North West of the city, crossing the old steel bridges made an unbearable vibration throught the wheels of this 98' Sultan, just a few blocks and I can lose the 5.0 in the alleys of downtown. Red light, I run it, Red light, I run that too, clipping the tail light of a soccer moms Baller. Sending me into a flat spin towards on-coming traffic.
The car screeches to a halt in a silent intersection, it usually would have been very loud, one of the loudest in Los Santos, horns, sirens, people, trucks, construction. Everything had paused to rubber-neck the accident.
I hit the gas, car felt ok, I felt dizzy, but ok. This wasn't my first rodeo, I instinctively knew what to do.
The intersection went back to it's normal business of screeches and horns, the sirens were a distance from me now, the aftermath of backed up traffic had slowed and disguised my escape into the alleys. I was only a few blocks away, but I was safe.
Stealth, lights off, engine off, radio off, the window slightly ajar to hear the distant hum of life in the city. I won't even smoke so as to help with my night-vision. My mobile buzzed in my pocket, I pulled it out of my ripped jeans and inspected the screen, 7 messages, 3 missed calls. I guess Rhianna, engines and sirens had masked my Gangnam Syle ringtone.
My messages consisted of, a crew text, a PPI cold call, and another one from an unknown number. The calls were unknown, no voicemail.
I felt something in the air, the wind had changed, noise became louder. I quickly opened the text, it turns out I have a bounty on me, 9k. Probably from one of the owners of the cars I jacked.
Tyres on tarmac, crash of sports car against garbage cans like Ten Pins. I turned the key and drove, fast.
A rival crew member had found me, somehow. I was being hunted, like a deer running from a game-hunter in his Bodhi.
I was moving so quick away from him I hadn't even put the lights of the car on. This Sultan was old, but it sure was quick. Made me drive it like I stole it. Probably had a few performance mods as sounded beautiful in the damp early morning air, probably the reason he put a bounty on me..
The sun was thinking about rising and a feint orange glow was appearing on the horizon. I was driving as hard as I could, but I couldn't lose this guy. He was in an Adder, why would he need 9k? I thought to myself, probably does it for fun. The only way I can avoid being shot is by using the 4 wheel drive and pretending to be Ken Block. I did teach him everything he knows, but now's the time to prove it.
There must be a way. I thought as much as I could between avoiding automatic gunshots, navigating gang territory, avoiding police contact and crashing.
There was, I saw a multi-storey car park and thought about laying my trap.
Perfect, the entrance led up in a single lane around a blind corner to the 1st floor, and repeated to the 5th floor. I drifted around the first hairpain clipping my spoiler on the wall just enough to scratch the paint. My assailant wasn't having as much luck as I heard prangs, screeches and smashes in close proximity.
2nd floor hairpin. I pulled a slab on C4 and threw it on the wall, drove up to the 3rd level and found a prime seat.
The city was once again silent as I gazed upon it from my high-level apartment. Who was this guy? Will he try and get me again? He looked dead, but was he? So many questions..
I kept the car, I survived the bounty, and outsmarted the smartest.
My head hit the fresh cotton pillow, eyes started to close, the doorbell rang...