Blood seeped through cracked bones, skull fragments protruded fleshy pulp, as the stench, corrosive and strong, pungent in strength, of heat and gun-smoke filled the air. The purple t-shirt was torn and bloodied, as crimson spilled through the tears onto the brown, tinted skin beneath. No air came from the vessel as somebody else lowered a steaming shotgun, most likely a 22. Gauge, one of the others had thought as they all stood with their arms raised, their mouths agape; amazed at the figure that stood before them.
Leather gloves slipped from the handle of the shotgun and it lowered to the floor with a metallic rattle. The mystery shooter slapped his leather-gloved hands together and let out a sigh. “Alright, let’s get started.”
Nobody moved. The poker table was overturned, and it lay strewn across the floor, the dead body which slowly had begun to seep most of its once-retained fluids onto the dirty warehouse floor. The mystery shooter looked around, as the three purple-clad gangbangers sat upon their boxes and stools, terrified that this was their day of reckoning. No more money, no more dunkin’ on baby-mommas, no more slingin’, no more cluckin’ bells on Friday nights wid the boyz. Oh yea’.
Shotgun Man looked at the three survivors; a fat one, wearing a purple jersey: number 22 Jackson Pollock. Two others sported purple shirts, one light pinkish, and another dark. He himself felt a little underdressed: a tan-trenchcoat, black jeans and a tight black t-shirt, and a black woolly hat. “You there,” he pointed a gloved-finger at number 22, “get me a chair.”
Number 22 obliged, looking at the other two who remained impassive, frozen, contemplating a life without air. He stumbled over to the strewn poker table and grabbed the metallic fold-out chair which was on its side; empty, and still warm from where their boss had once sat not five minutes ago, dealing out sh*tty blinds and smuggling one or two aces. The chair screeched across the floor and the mysterious man sat down, placing his left boot on the shotgun beneath. “Sit down.”
Number 22 sat down.
Shotgun Man rubbed his face, took off his sunglasses, and looked at the three men who still did not make a single move to run. That was good, they’re competent.
“Now I have reason to believe I just shot your top man.”
They all exchanged glances.
“What? No? Is there somebody else in here I should have shot first?”
“Now, eh—Hold on, dawg you got it all wron’—We just playin’ a pokah game, yeah?”
“One more outburst like that, Number 22, and I’ll put you over there with your boss.” He didn’t look at him as he spoke, his eyes remained down, on the fear that if he was to see his eyes he would somehow chicken out. The first shot was lucky, the second would be a miracle.
“Look, man. What you want?” asked Pinkish as he wriggled in his seat.
“Good question! What do I want…Now what would a honky like me, want?”
“Yo—You want green? Ain’t much but we got a lil sumthin…” stammered the one in dark purple.
“Ever since Grove got back on its feet, what have you guys been doing?”
“What?” they exchanged glances again betwixt themselves.
Shotgun Man slapped his gloves together, as if to make a point, schooling the younglings. “What’s your situation on drug distribution? What’s your deal on prostitution?”
“sh*t, man. We’re not exactly on the top end of sh*t, you feel me?” Number 22 crossed his arms.
“You,” Shotgun Man pointed to Pinkish, “how much product, and what kind are you slinging? What’s your turf?”
“sh*t…I—I dunno, we got um,” he took a second to think. He concentrated, looking forward, like he was back in school, doing those tricky-dick bullsh*t algebra shots. “Not much, a few loose temple-drive blocks: Grove done took everything from the beach up to the mu’f*ckin’ high-rises.”
Shotgun Man rubbed his chin. Hmm. Most of Los Santos is for them anyway.
“I want your names.”
“I’m LeBron, Marcus,” said number 22.
Shotgun Man look to Pinkish. “I’m Treyshawn Wallace.”
“What about you, purple nurple?”
“My name’s Phillip.”
“Hmm, expected something more along the lines of Philliquisha or Phillip Thirteen—“
“f*ck you tryna say? What? Cause we all gang-bangin’ slayers we gotta have stupid-ass long-ass names?”
“Well ‘Phillip’, what if I was to break my own stereotype. All you f*cks see is a scrawny looking whiteboy, ready to ice you mu’f*ckas dead. What if I told you I can help you break down the grove, corner the drug market, pick up the slack, and make sure you can take a sh*t right in the heart of the Grovelands?”
“What your name, D?”
Shotgun Man stood up, looked at his men, and strolled to the window overlooking the broken down ghetto below. “I don’t have a name, but you can call me Jerry for now.”
Pain came quickly to enemies. The first step of the journey was putting one foot in front of the other, proverbs stated that this was key motivation for future endeavours. Proverbs were full of sh*t that coated sh*t with glossier sh*t. A journey is no more a journey than a well-strategized plan. Jerry had sat down with LeBron, and Treyshawn; but Phillip was the smart one of the group. Of course, he had his doubts, like any smartass would when you just realized somebody was overtaking the throne you were set for, but a few hours deep into conversation, a few buckets of Cluckin’ Bell, and an explanation and Phillip was prepared to die for Jerry. That was how it was meant to be.
He was smart, he was calculated, and when Jerry decided to offer him information of key lieutenants within Los Santos, Phillip all but puckered up his ears in anticipation. These men would be the lieutenants, and they would spread word that the Ballas would rein true. That was important, that was fundamental because without supporters, your cause is lost. LeBron managed to round up more people. Like Hitler, like Saddam, like many others—You needed a frontman, somebody to explain information, and when the warehouse was full, when the body of the ex-boss was dragged out, and the walls were stuck shoulder to shoulder with purple-draped men, then the speech would commence.
There was no fear.
“Alright, you sack of loose sh*ts!” he began. The response was just a bunch of murmurs and mumbles.
“Look at you! It was once under my own impression that the Ballas were the biggest thing in this city?” He leant down to a short man at the front, craning his neck down. “Did your spines fall out? Balls shrivel up?” The man refuses to eye Jerry, only pursing his lips, and looking away; angrily.
“What happened to the days where temple-drive meant that green rags weren’t allowed on the set? Huh?”
Mumbles. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and opened them once more.
“I have a lot of things in this whiteboy head of mine,” he said as he pointed a gloved-finger to his temple as he tapped it. “I know many things that you don’t. I know where the Grove street operates, in and out of Los Santos,” he looked around and paused. The mumbles grew louder.
“I know exactly who operates outside and inside, I know who runs what. I know the names of all the key players on the Santos circuit chessboard. I am, for all intents and purposes, you purple c*nts—Your living, breathing redemption into the world of Los Santos.”
The room erupted into questions and yells. Phillip came forward, raising his own weapon, a Tec-9 which he fired abruptly into the roof, a quick succession of bangs silenced the crowd. Jerry moved forward and patted Phillip lightly. “Thankyou,” he turned back to the crowd as
Phillip nodded and slipped back to sit on a crate close to the front.
“Questions? One at a time.” Jerry pointed to a beefy man in purple, sporting a black cap.
“Who da f*ck are you? Where the boss be?”
“I’m your boss.”
“f*ck dat. Day a white-ass f*ck runs the Ballas, the day I die.”
“You may be right. Phillip, shoot that man in the head.”
“EH YO—WAIT! I—“
“One more outburst from you Mr Black Cap and I will personally shoot you in the temples, do you accept that?” his eyes squared down the man until he shot his head back and let out another creepy smile. “Any other questions?”
“Who are you?” yelled somebody in the crowd.
“Why should be we believe what you say is true, whiteboy?”
A bunch of supportive murmurs broke out.
“Because I shot your so-called leader with a twenty two guage shotgun without killing a single person, because I wouldn’t stand in a room which could easily overpower me without a good cause, because I’m smarter than you, and because I’m white, and I see past the silly notions of slinging crack. I can bring you back to the top, if you’ll only have me as your leader.”
“As a show of good faith, I’ll prove something to you—Ballas are low on turf and territory, am I right?”
Supportive murmurs supported Jerry.
“Right, well there’s a man—A lieutenant: Marcus Campbell—He runs surveillance and the crews down near Unity Station. I’ll take four volunteers to help me take it back from the Grove by the end of today, now who would like to help?”
Silence. Jerry sighed and rubbed his eyes, keeping his hands covering them. “Look, I’ll make you all a promise.” He lowered his hands.
“What time is it?” he asked himself as he lifted his sleeve and eyed the watch. “Ah! It’s three-forty six. I need for volunteers, and you Phillip, and I promise we can take over Unity Station’s surround turf by seven o’ clock tonight. Alright?”
“f*ck it. I’ll do it,” yelled Black Hat. Boy he turned quick.
Phillip nodded, he was in. Three others chimed in simultaneously.
“The rest of you, stand by. You can wait here til’ seven if you want as proof, you can attempt to help, or you can keep holding onto the scraps of your sh*tty one-turf neighbourhood—Your choice.”
Nobody moved, except for the crew that was ready and willing. A few began to leave, and then Jerry cleared his throat. There was some prep work to be done in the next hour or so.
The warehouse had filtered down to an even forty members who stuck around, patiently waiting to see what would happen come seven o’ clock. Jerry stood, staring at the four volunteers who sat slumped on crates in the clearing. “Alright, get up.” They slowly got up with groans.
“This won’t do…This won’t do at all…” Jerry mumbled to himself as he walked over to and folded up his metallic chair. One of the volunteers, a scrawny man with dreadlocks and a purple-checkered shirt groaned as he stood up, letting his head sway left and right. He let out a scream as the metallic chair thrashed against his body, launching him to the floor. “AY YO THE f*ck!?” he screamed as Jerry slammed the chair down again, and again, and again. “STOP MAN-ARGH.” Jerry launched the chair at another volunteer; this one rotund, sporting a purple jersey and purple shorts. He fell backwards lightly onto a crate where he slumped. Jerry gripped the scrawny kids shirt and dragged him back away from the crowd.
“This,” he said through gritted teeth, “is why you’re fighting in the streets with guns and rocks.” He let go on the scrawny man whose face sported a fresh cut. Blood seeped down his cheek.
“I’m sorry I had to do that,” said Jerry as he looked away out of the window briefly. He turned his head. “It was to prove a point—You’re lazy, you’re sloppy. I’ve no need for sloppy f*ckers on this run.”
“What the f*ck is your problem!?” screamed the rotund man.
“My problem?” Jerry stomped over to the man and gripped him by his jersey. “My problem is you dumb ni**ers are fighting fire with fire,” he let go of the man and moved back, eyeing over the mess he had made. “You think the way of the future is paved with bullets and blood on the sidewalk? Do you believe you’re gonna get a sliver of this city back with Tec-nines, drive-bys, and gang-wars? No. You’re not.”
The room remained quiet. The scrawny boy got to his feet. “Who made you king of the mu’f*ckin’ gang-tactics?”
Jerry stared down the young man for a moment until he broke his stare.
“How long would it have taken you to get this Unity Station on your own terms? Huh? How many bodies would get in the way?”
“So stop talkin’ dawg and put your money where your mouth is! Show us what we need to do, yo!” yelled the third volunteer, a light-skinned, bald-headed man in a t-shirt and purple shorts.
“Good. Compliance—Makes the world go round, it does. Now—Anybody else got any questions?”
Nobody uttered word.
“Right, you,” he pointed to the Rotund Man, “You’re Alpha.”
“You!” he pointed to the scrawny boy who wiped blood from his cheek, “You’re Bravo.”
“You,” he said to Phillip, “You’re Charlie.”
“You,” he said to the third man with the purple shorts and bald head, “you’re Echo.”
“And you,” he said to the last man, a young kid who seemed no older than sixteen, “You’re Delta.”
“And you?” asked Phillip as Jerry slipped past them, ushering them out.
“Me?” he asked as he turned back with a smile, “I’m Jerry.”
Jerry slipped away with the crew behind him, and slowly they all filtered out to the parking lot below. “So what’s the plan?”
“Wait until we get to my van.”
They followed him around the corner, until he made notice of a large black van parked across the road, opposite the Pig Pen strip club. He opened the back door, ushered everybody in, and then climbed in after them. Below them there were at least sixteen or seventeen bags of things which they all climbed over to sit on.
“What’s in these bags, yo?” asked Delta.
“Guns and stuff.”
“sh*t,” said Charlie.
“Shut the door, and listen up.”
Phillip shut the door with a sigh, and then, as if the day hadn’t already gone from real to f*cked up, he realized he was in tow with a deranged, weaponized white-boy. All of the Ballas seemed to be shoulder to shoulder. Jerry huddled them together as if he was coaching little league.
“Alright. We’ve got a good two hours before anything needs to be done, but we’ll do this smooth, and by my book.”
“What are we doing, Jerry?” asked Phillip, fed up.
He cleared his throat. “Never question what I tell you, that’s rule one. You listen, you abide, and you’ll do great things.”
The crew nodded silently, prepared as they ever would be.
“Okay,” Jerry nodded with a sly grin. “Here we go.”
Everybody huddled in closer. “Unity Station’s not your typical turf—You’re forgetting that Grove runs that sh*t like clockwork, and since the regrowth, they’ve gotten smart,” he looked around with a determined hint in his eyes, “they’re capitalizing on the trains, and every so often they bring guns in—Not all the time but enough for people like me to notice—“
“Woah, woah—You want us to collect weapons now?”
“Rule one, nigga!” Alpha slapped Delta on the back of the head.
“Thankyou, Charlie,” replied Jerry sincerely.
“Anyway—we’re not going to be collecting any weapons, Delta. We’re going to take out all the gang-members, the permanent residences, and then we’re going to cripple one of their key incomes of weapons, all by seven o’ clock.”
“How—“ Delta quickly quietened himself.
“Alpha and Bravo, you two are going to be coming with me, Phillip here is going to coming with me while we handle a little business about the next non-public train to be arriving at the station. Delta, you’re going to be doing the most special task of all.”
“You get to do two special things, one, you provide pickup of Alpha and Bravo once they’re finished with what I tell them to do, and two, you get to destroy a well-known convenience store which covers as a Grove hangout with some beautiful equipment—Fun right?”
Delta’s face became a mixture sequence of confusion, appraisal, happiness, and confusion again. “You’re bombin’ a Grove place, D,” said Phillip.
“That’s a little dramatic though, eh?” he replied.
“Ask yourself, do you wanna be the leaders of Los Santos once more?”
“Yeah,” they mumbled.
“I didn’t hear you?”
“Yes,” said Alpha and Bravo loudly.
“One more time?”
“YEAH,” screamed Delta.
“ALL OF YOU,” screamed Jerry loudly.
“YEAH, f*ckING HELL, MAN.
“f*ck-AROONEY, f*ck, YEAH MAN AWW sh*t.”
“Good!” Let’s get underway! Delta, drive us close to Unity, we’ve got a little setup to be doing.”