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BUYG: Build Up Your Gang IV

Build Up Your Gang

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One question would be: do we carry over to BUYG V the present Mav'-designed system or do we return to the roots of BUYG?

This system for sure; it allows WAY more freedom. If I was stuck with the old system, I'd be stuck with those sh*tty Albanian stories. I prefer being able to switch between different stories. If I want to write for the Pavanos, I'll write for the motherf*cking Pavanos. If I suddenly get a incling to write about the NHH (like I did eariler on the last page) I can do that.

I can also buy vehicles and guns whenever the hell I want, which is fantastic. This system provides way more freedom for writers. I can't wait for it to be put into use properly.



Oh, and b4 I forget, Don G, AceRay and Slingaa, THANK YOU.


Don't mention it. I'll try to get another story up in the next couple of weeks.

Edited by AceRay
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@aragond There isn't a BUYG III still running but here's a list of the ones I could find (SA)








Tah very much for that. Useful list. I have since discovered there are 26 BUYGs, in total, over the years. (Plus there's a mission building version Secrenom President is running, and four variants on the theme: Build Up Your Army, Build Up Your City, Build Up Your Survivor, and Build Up Your Family.)

Twenty-six**. And d'ya wanna know the very best part?

Do you?


Do ya, yeah?


BUYG IV is the most successful of them all. biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif



The two nearest were BUYG of 2008-10 with 66 pages, and BUYSAG of 2008 which got to 55 pages (which, considering it didn't even last 12 months might be more impressive). ** Okay, I have to moderate this claim. Apparently GTAF doesn't have its ancient archives online for searching, only going back to around 2004, which means there may be even more BUYGs in there, and they may outstrip our puny 112 pages.


I'm not dissing the efforts of the others, of course. I'm just amazed BUYG IV has been so successful despite being hobbled this year. (Plus, for all I know, we're all non-story posts while those are fully stories with no chatter.)


I guess what I'm saying is that we should all consider ourselves lucky to have been involved in something that endured.


~ Aragond; The Factuator!

Edited by aragond
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As other users have stated before, I'd like a GTA III Era BUYG with the system we use for BUYG IV. I think it would be interesting, to say the least.


I've been playing through III and LCS, and I've grown to love the old-school GTA's. The only problem is gaining enough people for a III Era BUYG and finding an appropriate place for it.


My idea is use the new system, but start out with Liberty City and the gangs from III. After a month or two of activity, add the Vice City gangs and then the San Andreas gangs.


Only problem would be the LCS and VCS gangs. The Sindacco Family and Forelli Family are introduced in prior installments, but play their biggest role in LCS, so it would be hard to classify them as LCS gangs or if they should be added in other gang blocks(Forellis for Vice City, Sindaccos for San Andreas).


The only other gangs exclusive to LCS are the Avenging Angels and the Liberty City Bikers, one of which is only used for side-missions, the other is a very minor gang.


Nearly all of the VCS gangs not in VC are defunct by the time VCS ends. At least with the Sindaccos and Forellis, they are prevalent enough to get minor mentions in III. With VCS, Vic Vance's gang has crumbled within two years of being established, and the other VCS-only gangs such as the Cholos, Mendez Cartel, and Trailer Park gang are exterminated by Vic.


That being said, I'm happy with BUYG IV. It would be cool to have a III-era BUYG, but for now, let's wait till we get more support. It's just now starting to pick up.

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It's been a while since I stumbled into this topic, most of you probably don't know who i am but i guess you can say I helped sculpt the BUYG into what it is today. I originally brought the Grand Theft Auto: 3, Vice City & San Andreas cannons all into one huge BUYG super topic.


I'm glad to see that this is still rolling and garnering interest and if there aren't any problems possibly start writing again. I am having some trouble understanding what the rules are and how exactly things work with this format.

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o be honest, I prefer the old system. Don't get me wrong, Maverick did an awesome job, but I prefer the old layout. I think that we should continue the IV BUYG with this system, but sort out the staff. We should PM the existing list of staff asking if they want to continue and maybe recruit new staff. Just my opinion.

I agree. And holy hell, when did this get revive with only four writers left? I'll be joining in then, taking the spot at The Irish Mob Steinway Beer Garden. Expect a chapter soon.



EDIT: Screw it, will post a quick one.





Chapter 1: Out


“Goodbye Alderney State Correctional Facility. I don’t think I will ever miss you.” As the cab I was in drove away from that god-forsaken place, I began to wonder, was I truly saying goodbye for good? Given my shady lifestyle, I wondered whether I was going to end up there again. I just spent a year for being caught on a Grand Theft Auto, one mistake which I had regretted the most. But what the hell is left for me on the other side? Sure I got an apartment over at Yorktown Avenue, at least I’m not a homeless bum, but what else?


Those stories you keep hearing about how people change from bad to holy saint after they get out, it’s all bullsh*t. There isn’t a slightest tingle in my brain that’s telling me to get clean. I’m a criminal, big whoop, I really don’t give a sh*t. I had an okay education, mixed around with bad company and did not pursue any ambitions or whatever a kid has. So what do you think I was gonna do? Of course get sucked into the life of crime. To be honest, if I ever get a hold of a time machine, I would probably use it only to slap myself in the past.


I could get out of this life now but hey, with friends like mine, why should I? Gordon, Micky and Eoghan, all of them I grew up with and I really love them all. They’re like my brothers and nobody abandons their family. Speaking of family, my sister deserved to know that I’m free as a scum.


I whipped out my mobile phone and dialed the lovable Maurice O’Welliver, “Sistaaaaar!”

At first, there was silence, then I was greeted by that cheerful scary voice, “Brian, Jesus, busy busy busy.”

“What? No welcome back with open arms?”

“No, seriously, I’m busy, in the middle of a surgery right now. Glad you’re out, really happy about it. Now go do whatever the f*ck you wanna do.”

And then there was that beeping noise.


I should probably mention my sister’s a nurse. She treated some wounds of my friends or as she likes to call them, my goon pals. She doesn’t like what I do but I’m her blood brother after all. We look after each other after our parents committed suicide when we were near our twenties together. To this very day, we had no idea why they did it. The sad thing is, I don’t really give a f*ck.


“Yorktown Avenue mister.” The Indian driver said. I gave him the cash and exited like a boss. Yes I really did.


I was just outside the building of my apartment when I happened to just look at what was behind me. The Steinway Beer Garden, my favorite bar. I swear the light was shining down on it and I could almost hear angels singing in the background. The thought came to me, I’m out and I might as well have a personal celebration.


I walked in expecting some kind of red carpet treatment and I certainly did. The bartender, Sarah Keener, was in such a delight to see me, “Brian! Oh my god, you’re out already? sh*t, free round on the house then!”


I smiled and humbly accepted the offer. I always liked Sarah, she’s your typical girl next door. I spent countless hours keeping drunk weirdos away from her.


And cue the drunk weirdo. There was this black guy throwing a tantrum all of a sudden. ”Beat the sh*t outta him.”


I looked around to see who might have said that but it was actually a voice in my head. A familiar voice I would never forget. I would never ever forget about him.

”Beat the sh*t outta him.”

”Beat the sh*t outta him.”

”Beat the sh*t outta him.”


“Alright shut up!” And the sh*t was beaten out of him.


Edited by mrpain
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How goes the ratings?

Don't fill up the topic with needless spam, PM him if you have to. I'm sure he's working on it right now.

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This story is for the Police at Police stations.


Chapter 2: Fall from Grace.


There are those mornings that every cop knows there is danger lurking in the alleys. Where the streets are no longer safe. Where in one minute, all the rules are broken. At those times, every cop is at their prime, ready to be running vividly towards a mugger and tackling them and apprehending them, putting them away behind bars for a while. Sadly, that wouldn’t make any difference, cause the danger is still present, ready to take another victim. This was not one of those mornings.


“Hey, get my milkshake old man!” yells Walsh from his car but I ignore him. As I step into the cheerful store, a freezer carrying a variety of drinks beckons me towards it. Soon, I am handing an assortment of refreshments over the counter to a chirpy kid with a grin as big as his ego.


“That will be nine dollars, please,” the clerk says. His perky attitude annoys me so I gradually slide the coins across the counter one by one; making sure the scraping noise they make grind his gears to the bare bone. The kid’s smile quickly diminishes until it had turned into a frown full with absolute hatred for me.


“Here’s your drink, jerk,” he says as he throws the beverages into a plastic bag and flings at me, his pathetic arms flinging around like rubber. I laugh at his pathetic antics and walk out of the store with a spring in my step.


When I approach the car, Walsh is panting like a dog, saliva dripping from his mouth probably because he really likes milkshakes. As soon as he has hold of the beverage, he slurps down a mouthful before making a tremendous burp and wiping his face with his greasy sleeve. Meanwhile, I take my Sprunk out, scrunch up my bag and walk over to the slimy garbage bin to throw it away.


As soon as I return, I spot a man falling from the sky, screaming and waving his arms around. I stand in awe as he falls onto Walsh’s car, denting the roof, flopping onto the hood and finally collapsing onto the road, dead. Walsh screams loudly and drops his drink, milk flying everywhere. People start screaming and panicking all around me.


“Oh no, my beautiful interior!” he shouts, his eyes bulging.


“Well, don’t just stand there, get some boys down here!” I tell him. He quickly mumbles into the intercom as I start moving people along. The police arrive and block off the street, ushering people on who were gawking at the body. I spy Mike Rico and his amazing beard, which soon approaches me.


“Hey Steve, what happened to this poor guy?” asks Rico intently, his beard tickling his chin as he speaks.


“This poor guy? What about my poor car? She’s going to be written off for weeks!” Walsh shouts as he stumbles out of the car and examines his dented roof.


“Don’t worry Wally, we’ll get a patrolman to lend you their car. Shiver, go find some leads on this case, I’ll be back,” he says calmly before walking off towards a fresh-faced cop. I walk towards the victim and turn him over so he’s facing the sky, before kneeling over him and inspect his pockets. Unfortunately, there were no driver’s licenses or IDs in any of the pockets. When I checked his parachute, things were different.


“He’s wearing a parachute, a parachute that was cut,” I say. I pull out my notebook and note it down, “hey Walsh, know of any skydiving companies?”


“Don’t Higgin’s Helitours do that sh*t?” says Walsh, approaching me slowly. I take off the parachute, revealing a massive Higgin’s helitours logo on the back.


“Yeah, that sounds right. Let’s check it out," I say. Walsh nods his head aggressively as I talk and walks over to Rico, his beard and the young cop. I drop the parachute and look at the man’s jersey. The label was sticking out considerably, so I take a look. To my luck, a name is written there. I run over to the other three men and declare the news.


“I found a name on the victim’s clothes,” I say. Everyone looks at me in suspense. “His name is Tim Birchfield. Written in black ink on the label. We’d better get our asses over to Higgins and check who cut the cords,” I say, a big smirk of satisfaction growing on my face.


“Neato work, Detective S!” shouts the young lad, holding his hand up waiting for a high-five. A few awkward seconds take place before I break the silence.


“Put your hand down boy,” he shifts his hand down slowly.


“Come on, let’s roll out,” says Walsh as we run towards the Police Patrol parked across the street. The young cop and Rico wave as we drive away. Walsh is obviously distressed at not having his own car and seemed to be constantly fidgeting and playing with the steering wheel.


“Dude, this is not right, you hear me? Not right,” Walsh squeals as he scrunches his face at his own dis-satisfaction. I ignore him and instead concentrate on what the weird smell was that lingered around the interior of the police car. I reach under the seat and, after feeling something sticky on my fingers, pull out a slice of pizza. It was disgusting so I wave it in front of Walsh’s face and offer him a piece, to which he shoos away. The pizza slice looked at me longingly, thinking I would be the one who would finally devour it, but I reject it when I throw it out the window and chuckle as it hits the grounds at such high speeds. It would have to take more than that for it to earn my respect.


We were soon there and we leave the car. Walsh wasn’t happy but put on a brave face as we enter the front door and stroll up to the desk, gazing at the various images of helicopters that decorated the walls. The receptionist smiles gently as we approach. She had short brown hair and was wearing peculiar thin-framed glasses.


“Welcome to Higgins Helitours, the finest for all your helicopter and skydiving needs. We are the number one provider of all your helicopter needs. My name is Grace Falling. What can I do for you?” she says as if she practiced it every night in front the mirror.


“We’re cops,” I say bluntly as I flip out my police badge and shove it in her face. “A guy died earlier today when they fell to death when his parachute was cut. He was parachuting from this vicinity. Start talking.” Grace’s jaw drops with shock at the surprise, struggling to spit out words to express her surprise.


“His name was Birchfield. Do you have any information you can give us about him?” Walsh says professionally. Grace holds back tears and composes herself just long enough to speak.


“Yes, why, yes, I remember. He came in this morning with his two friends. Well, they appeared to be friends as they laughed together. Then I helped them pack their packs and lead them off to the helicopter. They were the only customers of the day,” she says in a much more human voice. I note this down.


“When did you last check the parachutes?” I ask quietly. Walsh nods in agreement.


“I check them every night. They were in tip top condition. I also check them when they left, and they appeared to be fine,” she explains, "they signed their names in the logbook over there, have a look,” She adds afterwards.


We walk over and she opens the book with her tiny hands. There, the names lay right there: Thaddeus Glausier, Tim Birchwood and Edmund Hasson, in that order. Next to them lay where they lived and today’s date. Thaddeus Glauseir lived in Lancaster, at 7 Albany Ave. Edmund Husson lived in East Holland, at 9 Denver Ave.


“Yup, it was definitely one of them,” I said to Walsh who nodded in agreement. “The ‘chute must have been cut when they were packen’ ‘em. Wonder how she missed that eh?” I turn back towards Grace to ask a couple more questions, “I assume the three did this sort of thing before. How often did the three come in?”


“Yeah, they appeared to know the ropes so I just kept moderating them,” she said while averting eye content and fidgeting with her hands. I didn’t have the evidence to prove she was lying but I could tell she wasn’t being truthful so I decide to try with the more doubtful approach.


“Are you telling me you didn’t you notice that one of them cut Birchwood’s pack? You stupid woman. You can’t keep telling me that you followed the correct safety procedures when a tragedy like this happened. On your watch too sister!” I scream in her face. She seemed to roll her eyes casually before speaking.


“Okay, fine, I went in ‘cause they knew what they were doing,” she admits. A piece of piano music plays in an upbeat tune inside my mind as I note it down in my notebook with a smug grin on my face.


“Let’s skedaddle,” I say to Walsh as I turn to head to the door. I’m almost outside when Grace calls out.


“What was the name officer?” She asks us.


“Shiver and Walsh. Some police officers will be by later for some questioning about the situation. You may be facing charges. Good day,” I reply. Walsh barges past me as I talk and gets into the Police Cruiser in an angry fashion.


“I thought so,” she mutters to herself as she types something into her laptop. I ignore her and get into the car next to Walsh. He was trying to get the car started but the ignition key was on a kamikaze mission to stop him. When the machine finally gave way, Walsh turned slowly and looked at me slowly, implying he wanted some direction as to what we were doing like a spineless shrimp.


“Go to Glausier’s place first. It’s closer,” I tell him. He gives a wry smile and drives off; cutting off a taxi which started honking loudly but ultimately wasn’t heard by Walsh who was completely focused on the case at hand.


We were there in an instant, Glausier’s building looking about as welcoming as a drug pen, but we walked in anyway. We checked the mailbox, telling us that his apartment was seven. We walked up the stairs in confidence and knocked on Glausier’s door. Some heavy footsteps got closer and closer until the man himself opened the door. He was tall, skinny and long haired, wearing a white tank top and long black track pants.


“Can I help you?” He asked in a voice, flicking his hair back as he spoke.


“Shiver and Walsh, LCPD, we need to ask you a few questions Glauseir,” I said.


“Come inside,” he said pleasantly. He stood back and we walked through into his dusty apartment. “Can I get you officers something?”


“Enough of the chitchat,” I say as Glauseir comes back into the room. “Do you know a man named Tim Birchwood?” Glauseir nods his head vigorously as he heads towards the couch placed in the middle of the room, “Well, he’s dead. He fell to his death earlier today when you went skydiving with him and some dude called Edmund Hasson or some sh*t. His parachute was cut.”


“What!?!” Glausier exclaimed, visually shocked by the revelation. He tries to budge past me to get out of the room, but I push him back onto the couch.


“Not so fast bub,” Walsh says, smirking at the worried Glausier. “Shiver has got a few questions that need answering.”


“Right,” I tell him while I sit down in his recliner. It looked quite fancy and I instantly pulled out the foot rest and lay back, relaxing after the hard day’s pressures. I sigh briefly before I finally realize that Glausier was still present. “Right, where were we? Ah yes, when did you last see, oh what was his name? Birchfield or something?”


“I last saw Tim when we jumped out of the heli. It’s hard to believe he’s dead. He was angry and was taking it out on Eddie, but I can’t believe he would do such a thing,” he said, averting eye contact., but twitching slightly. I was suspicious, but then again, I wasn’t really paying attention cause I accidently tilted the chair back halfway through his speech.


“Huh? Oh yes. Now, um, gee, do you know who did it?” I ask him as it seemed like the obvious question as I pulled my chair back up.


“I guess it must have been Eddie, who else could it have been?" he said nervously. I look him dead in the eye and give him a menacing look.


“Well, it could be you. In fact, I don’t need to take this sh*t anymore, you’ve obviously done it. Thaddeus Glausier, I am arresting you under suspicion of murder. You have the right to remain silent,” I say as I stand up and pull out my handcuffs, ready to cuff him. “Walsh, get your ass in here!” Walsh comes running in. Suddenly, Glausier jumps up and tries to run but I punch him in the face, taking him by surprise and knocking him back. Walsh cuffs him and we take him to car, the suspect looking guilty as hell. We call a police van and it sends him away.


“Find anything interesting?” I ask Walsh finally.


“Nope,” Walsh says.


“Well, let’s visit the other guy’s place and finish this sh*t,” I say as we get into the car.


“Agreed, I think Glausier is guilty, but we can’t jump to conclusions,” Walsh says as he points his bony finger at me and starts the Police Cruiser. I just nod quietly, knowing he was right but too proud to admit so we traveled to Hasson’s apartment in East Holland. We were again in silence but Walsh was considerably less nervous. He knew that if we could get Hasson to admit that he saw Glausier do something suspicious, we could wrap the case up right there.


When we parked up next to his apartment, it was almost too good of a feeling. We hopped out of the cruiser and headed to the stairs.


“His apartment is number four!” I yell out as I read the mailbox. We stride up the stairs and head to his door, chuckling to ourselves as we approach his door. I hear some muffled voices from inside which silenced when Walsh knocked on his wooden door.


“This is the LCPD, open this door or we will break in!” Walsh shouts after standing dormant for around thirty seconds. A large amount of shouting came from inside when out of the blue comes loud gun shots. I pull out my gun while Walsh kicks down the door. I rush inside to see Edmund Hasson lying in a pool of his own blood and the window wide open behind him. I poke my head out to see if there was a suspect running away but they had got away.


“Aw damn, he was our only witness,” I say as we approach Hasson’s corpse. I stared at his bloody corpse lying there as the setting sun shone through the window onto it, creating a creepy shadow on the ground behind him and his leather jacket he was wearing. He was wearing a red cap on his bald head, a bright Hawaiian shirt and baggy brown pants. He was a little bit short but he seemed pretty buff. He looked like the kind of guy who’d try to pick a fight with you when he thought you were hitting on his girl but then quickly apologize when he realized you weren’t.


“Well, we’d better get a detective or something down here,” Walsh says finally. Walsh agrees and hurries down to the car to call in some backup while I look around the apartment. He had the regular things on him: ID, driver’s license, keys. His apartment was completely normal so I hope the next guy has more luck.


I take a seat in his apartment and wait. Soon, police arrive and cordon off the area. Walsh and the detective, Jeff Toast, walk in.


“Ah, Toast, I should have known they’d put you on the case,” I say as I approach the detective while outstretching my arm for a handshake. He was a medium sized guy with short blonde hair and a nose that would make Pinocchio blush. As soon as he saw me, he rolled his eyes in an obvious fashion and scratched his gunslinger mustache, forcing me to retract my handshake suggestion.


“Explain to me why I’m on this case instead of you.” He asks me strait.


“Now Jeff. Can I call you Jeff, Jeff?” I say as I wrap my arm around his shoulders. “I think this should settle any inconveniences, shouldn’t it my boy?” as I put a couple of hundred dollar bills in his pocket and give him a wry smile.


“Keep your mits off me,” he says as he removes my arm hastily and straitens his expensive grey suit. He gives me a threatening stare for a few seconds before calming down and strolling over to the crime scene.


“Jesus, what was all that about Shiver?” Walsh whispers to me as we walked down the stairs and past worried neighbors.


“You know Toast. Always pissed. Never pleased or happy with his case,” I reply as we get outside. “Now let’s bust Glausier and get this over with,” Walsh is taken aback, almost insulted, and stops in his tracks.


“Wait, what? We don’t have barely enough evidence!” He blurts out. I continue towards our Police Cruiser while I reply to his query.


“Well, the way I see it, there are two possibilities. In one, Glausier kills Birchfield, admits he killed him and goes to jail for a long time and in the other; he didn’t kill Birchfield and instead goes to court with it. He isn’t found guilty and we blame it on Hasson if they ask us,” I say as I wait for Walsh to get over to the car.


“But what if Glausier isn’t guilty and goes to jail anyway?” Walsh nags.


“Boo hoo for him,” I note sarcastically, which shut him up for good and we soon got back to the Police Station. It was dusk when we arrived back there and I was ready for a nice long beer so I hurried Walsh up the steps and ran up the desk, pleasantly surprised when I see Patrolman Todd Hickman at the desk.


“Hey Steve, see the races last night? Good sh*t, that new stud from the south certainly was a bleeder,” the overweight man says from the desk.


“Uh, don’t mention it; I lost almost a thousand bucks. I thought Umber Sky was going to take it out but he was with the also-rans in the end,” I tell him. We stand around in silence, taking in the atmosphere while Hickman gulps down gallons of coffee. “So, you going to be here all night?”


“Excuse me ladies, but can we get back to the case?” Walsh says impatiently, tapping his foot and checking his watch constantly.


“Calm down golden boy, Glausier is in Interrogation Room two,” Hickman says as he nods me goodbye. We go down the hall and head into the interrogation room. Glausier was sitting there, trying to look inconspicuous but ultimately failing due the giant light spot lighted onto him.


“Alright Glausier, why did you kill Tom Birchfield?” I ask him as I sit down. Glausier looks shocked and wipes his brow nervously.


“What? No, I didn’t. And I won’t say anything until my lawyer gets here,” he says quickly. A thin stream of sweat flows down his face.


“Don’t lie Teddy, I know you did it,” I remark quickly, taking him by surprise and making him look even more shifty.


“You’re the worst detective ever! I ain’t telling you nothing!” Glausier spits in my face, seeming cocky.


“Sounds like you got something to hide Ted. Why don’t you come clean right now?” to this, Glausier is visually taken back and seemed quite nervous. He was about to crack. “You never liked him did you Ted?” I continued to which he shook his head in shame. I cracked a smile when suddenly I hear a tapping on the one way mirror.


“We’ll continue this later,” Walsh adds and we depart the depressed Glausier for a moment. Finley was standing there, looking impressed.


“Good job lads, you’ve got him quaking in his boots,” he says. I give him an angry look but he continues obliviously. “Sadly, you’ve got a meeting with some guy from United Liberty Paper. Hickman will tell you the location. Don’t worry about this chump; we’ll get Toast to squeeze a confession out of him,” I was pissed but I sure as hell wasn’t going to say anything. Anyway, I smell promotion! If these United Liberty Paper are so important they pull me out of an interrogation, they must be part of the FIB or something. But as we walked away, Walsh mentioned something about milkshakes then swore and muttered about how bad the situation was. Little did I know that it was going to be much worse than that.


Edited by AceRay
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How goes the ratings?

Don't fill up the topic with needless spam, PM him if you have to. I'm sure he's working on it right now.

He is, and, as might be getting tiresome, he's going to apologise and ask for a little more patience. A fair bit of progress has been made, and I assure you there will be no skimping on the... volume of the rating commentary (so you mofos better read 'em), but my life (working >60 hrs/wk; weekends oft-consumed; lawyers chasing me) is such that we're going to have to wait a little longer.


Thank you for your continued patience, he typed with an almost automated corporate patter.

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Aragond: Don't worry about it, take your time and get lots of rest. I'd happily wait another couple of months for in depth ratings like on page 81 than some crappy one line review. I love going back and reading through those ratings, they give me such a buzz and they really inspire me to write.


Anyway, here's another chapter. review this one next time, I won't mind. hope you enjoy


Pavano Family, Marco's Tobacco & Beer Shop

Chapter 6: Karma Chameleon


I tenderly kiss Maybelle on the cheek as she lay asleep in the bed, who then smiled in her sleep. I smile back and stroke her wavy, blonde hair, grinning at the tranquillity of the night that was there, knowing Chip would soon show up and sh*t would heat up. Oh, how I wish for a better life for me and my family. Things have never been safe for me, ever. Life was just a big continuous circle of killing and avoiding being killed but here, with my loved ones, was where I could feel safe. And I knew nothing could happen to them, not like my old family. I would never let what happen to them happen to Maybelle and Raul.


I soon leave the house, into the violent and mysterious chasm of despair and misery, crime and killing. Also known as East Holland. It was quiet, too quiet. The guy across the street was looking at me in a shifty fashion. His eyes darted around like a shifty cat and he took an imposing stance, challenging me for a fight. In response, I broaden my shoulders and take a few steps towards him.


Out of nowhere, Chip in his black pickup shows up, and pulls me into the big ute, ending the duel right then and there. He looked stressed and had a crazed look in his eye as he stared at me trying to get my seatbelt on.


“Woah, Chip, what’s the rush? You sounded urgent on the phone you know,” I say as he speeds off, the thug looking disappointed in my rear view mirror. Chip was wearing a maroon shirt and black track pants but strangely he wasn’t wearing any shoes and his bad foot odour stank up the whole truck.


“Aye, but she’s cheating on me Gilberto,” he says to me in a husky tone before picking up the beer bottle and slobbering the liquid all over the front. He smelt like bad alcohol and drove like a blind bat. Suddenly, he spewed green vomit all over his front. It was chunky, rolling down his shirt which was soaking up all the liquid sick but Chip didn’t care, he just slowed down to wipe sick off his whiskers.


“Can you please elaborate?” I ask him quietly as we speed up again.


“You know Elsa?” He asks, slurring his words like a weasel.




“Well, she’s cheating on me with a dumbass and I won’t have one whiff of it!” he tells me, crazily banging his head back and forward like he was at a rock concert.


“Wait, what? The funeral was five days ago, you barely have a relationship,” I declare to him. “She’s obviously a whore, don’t worry ‘bout it,” Chip ignores me and laughs, shaking his head in disapproval.


“They’re on an alleyway off…” Chip pulled out a scrap of paper and tried to read it carefully, so I quickly grab hold of the steering wheel and try to steer the big vehicle away from the pavements and other motorists. “… Felpstar, no, Feldspar Street in Suffolk.” He folds up the paper, puts it back in his pocket and takes the wheels again. There was no point in trying to argue. Just go along with it and hope he doesn't do anything stupid.


We were soon there, the towering skyscrapers looking down at us from the heavens. Elsa and a guy were making out right where Chip said they would be. The guy was wearing a fancy beige suit and sported an impressive goatee while Elsa was wearing a long coat over a blue dress. Right next to them was the guy’s expensive Hakuchou. Chip revs the truck and drives strait into the bike, sending it flying down the backstreet on its back. The duo looked completely stunned as Chip hopped out of the truck with a devilish smile and charged the guy, me following close behind. He made like the wind and sprinted into the alley but he was too slow for Chip, who soon caught up to him and ripped his jacket off, igniting rage from the guy.


“I’m going to beat you silly!” Chip shouts out before he takes his mighty fist and smashes the guy’s jaw. Chip grits his yellow teeth when his opponent tries to retaliate but there was no who was going to win. The guy was obviously no street cat. Without warning, Chip sucker-punched the poor guy’s gut and he was on the floor, crying, to which Chip responded by smashing his face with his feet.


“So, you happy now?” I ask as I approach him as he threw down attacks on the guy. Chip chuckled at him and reared his ugly mug at me.


“Yeah, you know what, I am,” he says. Elsa then walks up to us, sobbing her eyes out.


“You monster! How could you do this? It’s over between us!” She shouted at Chip.


“Shut up b*tch, I’m going to cut you a new hole for leaving me,” and with that, he pulled out a threatening combat knife and charged. In that moment, I saw the fear and terror in Elsa’s eyes as Chip madly rushed at her, and it made my blood boil. So, as he swung, I punch him square in the face sending him backwards.


“Run,” I whisper to Elsa. She does just that as I watch Chip trying to compose himself but I then smack him again. He tried to hit the guy again but I b*tch slapped him. Realizing he was drunk and I was superior and willing to defend Elsa to the death, he ran off to his van and drove off in shame. It was just me and the guy in the street. “You okay?” I ask him.


“Been better,” he said with small smirk as he sat up and mended his wounds. He had a few cuts on his face and he was quite bruised. “Thanks,” he said quietly as I approached him, not sure if I was going to hit him or what. But I took a liking to the poor man; he looked like the kind of guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I pat him on the shoulder and help him up to his feet.


“The name’s Gil,” I say as I help him walk to his bike. It was surprisingly durable and was mainly unscathed aside from a few dents and scratches.


“Granville Grosso, stock broker,” He says as I pick up the bike. “Anything I can do to, I don’t know, thank you for not leaving me for dead?”


“You okay to ride?” he nods his head. “Yeah, actually. It’s getting light out and my lady won’t want me hanging round too late. Can you give me lift?” Granville laughs.


“Where to?” he inquires as he mounts the bike.


“East Holland. I’ll holler when we’re there,” I say as I hop onto the back of the back. And without a second to spare, we were off. Granville was certainly an impressive rider, cornering that Hakuchou with the best of them. “Sorry about my friend’s behaviour.” I bellow into his ear.


“Don’t worry,” he said, slowing down slightly to chat. “So, which family are you associated with?”


“What? No!” I say, surprised that that he might guess my true line of work.


“Don’t worry, I’ve worked with families for years!” he shouts back. “In fact, those Ancelotti c*nts killed my brother last month,” he said, tearfully.


“I’m sorry for your loss; I know what it’s like to lose a close family member,” I tell him. “How’d you met Elsa?”


“I was in a club, she said she was single, I didn’t know her ex was a psychopath.”


“Her dead husband died a week ago, can you believe it? F*cking slut!” I shout back. He shakes his head in disbelief as I hold on for dear life as we took a near impossible turn. I decide to change the subject back to families to make sure he wasn’t associated with the Lupisella mob, or even the Triads. “Which mob do you do, erm, business with?”


“I have a few friends in the Gambetti family and I used to rub noses with the Ancelotti boys too. Not any more though,” he said, rather naively, as we rode into East Holland. “Oh, and I bought some shares for the Koreans too back in Los Santos. Very hush hush.” It was reassuring to know he didn’t associate with those who are unfriendly to the Pavanos.


“This is my stop,” I shout and jump off the bike as we stop. “You going to be okay?”


“Yeah, just fine,” he shouted as reached into his pocket and pulled out a hundred dollar bill. “I’m sure Benjamin Franklin can show you how thankful I am,” Granville said, laughing pleasantly. He then pulled a business card. “Give me a call, if you and your, well, business associates want to make a little bit on the side.”


“I’ll give you call. I know the Pavano family are definitely going to appreciate your contributions,” I say with a wry smile. Granville definitely was the kind of guy you could trust, and if he wasn’t, he was definitely going to pay one way or another. He nodded his head, understanding my offer, and drove off into the night.


I quietly pull out my keys and unlock the door. Hoping either Maybelle or Raul don’t hear me, I quietly sneak up the stairs into my bedroom and sneak into my bed next my loving wife, Maybelle. I was home, safe.


Edited by AceRay
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The Law, United Liberty.

Chapter 3: Misfortune


We stood outside in the office waiting what was to behold us. The dull corridor surrounded Walsh and me in the United Liberty Paper building. Walsh was getting increasingly worried, getting up and down and looking down the never ending row of doors.


“I don’t have a good feeling about this!” Walsh squealed out, breathing heavily. “This is going to be the end of me, I can feel it.”


“Pull yourself together man, you’re falling apart. This is probably nothing. I’m more interested in finding out how these FIB douches have the audacity to stop an interrogation,” I say to him, tired to the bone, considering.


“Come in!” shouts a voice from inside. We sheepishly walk into the room and see a guy sitting at a wooden desk in a dark suit. He looked around fifty years old and had thick framed glasses on his face. He motioned us to the two chairs in the centre of the room as he wrote onto a few forms on the desk. “Now I believe you are Wallace Walsh, am I correct son?”


“Yes sir,” Walsh uttered, fiddling with his hands nervously as he sat down. The man rapidly wrote onto a piece of paper and straitened his tie as he turned to me.


“And you are his partner, Steven Shiver?” he said, pointing his pen at me. Angered by the situation, I stand up and whack it out of his hand, surprising him but he remained ultimately unfazed.


“Okay, listen bub, for a start, he is my partner. Don’t you forget it. Secondly, what gives you the right to drag us down here in the middle of an interrogation?” I yell in his face, to which he stood up and jeered at me.


“Shiver, calm the f*ck down. I ain’t the kind of guy to be f*cking around with,” he spoke softly and calmly in my face. I would have whacked him right then and there, but he certainly seemed powerful enough to make me regret it. Furthermore, Walsh was anxiously tapping me on the shoulder to sit down, so I swallow my pride and sit down guiltily. “Now, I believe you two witnessed the death of Edmund Hasson?”


“Yes, it was a tragic loss. Detective Jeff Toast is investigating the case as we speak,” I say confidently.


“Well guess what smart guy?” he said, leaning forward. “Edmund Hasson was the alias of a United Liberty agent, meeting with an important Russian businessman.” I sigh heavily, knowing that I screwed up. How could I miss that? “You jeopardised a nine month operation and put this whole organization at risk. Got anything to say for yourselves?”


“Uh, I guess I could say I’m sorry?” I suggest and shrug my shoulders apathetically. He gives a whole hearted laugh and shakes his head.


“We were going to whack you two, put you six feet under. But then, Grace discovered some… interesting details on your past,” my heart sinks, knowing that he had me in the palm of my hand. “Oh, Grace! Come in here please!” he shouts out. Suddenly, the receptionist lady from Higgin’s Helitours walked into the room.


“Oh my god! Gladys! You were an agent!” I exclaim as she entered.


“Um, no, my name is Grace. I told you that remember,” she said sarcastically. I then remember where I met her and nod understandably.


“Grace has discovered some interesting things on your past Shiver. Blackmail, corruption, bribery. Just the usual. Then there was that unpleasant incident with your brother, Sheldon Shiver, wasn’t there? We could get your badge revoked and a couple of years in the slammer for you,” he said, grinning ecstatically. I wasn’t proud of all those things, but hey, a boy’s got to put bread on the table, one way or another.


“But then we looked at your history Walsh, boy did we find some fascinating details… about Mexico, of all things,” Grace said wryly. Walsh jumped up aggressively and his normally chiselled face mutated with anger as he shouted.


“How dare you bring that up! It wasn’t my f*cking fault! I’ll rip your f*cking heart out!” he screamed with rage, to which Grace raised her eyebrows and chuckled with pity.


“Wallace, please, pop a chill pill and relax. It’s quite rude to yell at a woman,” the guy said with his rough voice. “I think you’d better leave Grace,” and to that, Grace waved us goodbye and exited the room. Walsh, realizing he had lost professionalism with his burst of anger, awkwardly sat down in his chair and waited for what the guy had to say. “We know about your little… incident over the border when you were in the army and if this got to Finley, you’d find yourself being everyone’s new b*tch in prison for the next, oh, few hundred years,” he stopped to take a sip of water to savour Walsh’s frightened image. “They might even execute you for crimes against humanity,” to this, Walsh clenched his fists and looked evilly at the man behind the desk, trying to control his anger.


“Jesus, I really want to know what he did,” I say, chuckling slightly. The guy gave me a harsh look and I regret the comment.


“It was a mistake in communication, I didn’t mean for it to happen,” Walsh mumbled as the guy put down his pen and clasped his hands together, his elbows resting on the surface.


“Well, I tell you what boys, it you two don’t follow our orders, we’ll hand your files to Finley and you’ll find yourselves so f*cked your grandchildren will feel it,” he said, sternly. It sent shivers down my spine. It was the first time in years I’ve truly felt threatened.


“I’ll do anything,” Walsh says looking so guilty it made Jack the Ripper look like a saint.


“Okay, I want you to take your shirts off and make out with each other…” he said, trying to keep a straight face, Walsh and I stunned at the request. After a couple of seconds, Walsh begins to unbutton his shirt. “I’m joking! I’m a raging heterosexual, really, ask anyone around here,” he says, laughing heavily. Walsh, obviously embarrassed, slowly buttoned up his shirt and gave a nervous smile. “Right, I want you to get the reports on Hasson’s death from Toast. Call me back when you have them,” he then pulls out two pieces of paper and hastily wrote down a phone number on each and handed them to us. “Now get out of my sight.”


“What’s your name?” I ask him as Walsh exited the room.


“Irrelevant. Get back to me in a week or you’re history,” he said to me as I left. We walked to the elevator and got in, standing there in awkward silence.


“So, uh, what’d you do in Mexico amigo?” I ask Walsh nervously.


“Screw you Shiver, find your own way home,” he grimaced as we exited the elevator and walked out of the United Liberty Building. “I’m going to get a milkshake,” he mumbled as he entered his Police Cruiser.


“Don’t be like that!” I say to him, but he was long gone. It was just me in the night sky. The skyscrapers towered above me; making me feel small in the vast metropolis I was situated in. It was almost as though powerful corporations and government agencies were suffocating me with a concrete pillow filled with broken dreams. Feeling down, I pull out my wallet and check if I still possessed my bus pass. It was sitting right there, looking at me longingly. Smiling at the helpless thing, I pull it out and walk towards the nearest bus stop.


Edited by AceRay
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Build Up Your Gang

Ladies and Gentlemen,



user posted image


Welcome to the FIRST REVIEWS of 2011!!!!


It's not actually true (here's the last lot from late March), but I knew you'd believe it, so I wrote it. wink.gif


There's currently 19 stories to review, which basically means Staff is not going to get through them all in one king hit, but as you've all been incredibly patient, Staff will post as many as he's gotten to. It's a bit of a shame that BUYG staff have flagged like this. Ten people have been writing and no one's been reviewing. (Yes, Staff knows that includes him, but he's been trying and trying to get back and my work just keeps getting worse and worse.)


@Craig, if you're up to it, please feel free to return to both ratings and writings. You were a writer of absorbing skill in BUYG IV and I'm sure everyone would love to read your stuff again, albeit under a new pseudonym. wink.gif


@Mascaron, just keep writing. Staff will eventually get to all the stories. We hope. wink.gif


@all: Staff has traditionally written reviews for everyone's benefit, but he's not sure everyone reads reviews for players other than themselves, so that kinda becomes a waste. Well, except for the player themselves. Well... Staff assumes players read the reviews Staff writes more than just the score. So, Staff is thinking he should instead have an introduction highlighting the things he is looking for in player's stories, rather than appear to be offering advice to or, worse, criticising that player. Would anybody read it? Let's find out.


Grammar is not your father's mother.

Staff has, perhaps, a reputation for banging-on about grammar as though lives were at stake or the very fabric of the space-time continuum was under threat from Daleks. However, this is for a very simple set of reasons: grammar is easy, because it's just a set of rules; grammar makes it easier to read player's stories; grammar, therefore, makes-up about 25% of player's ratings; but it doesn't have to be perfect to get top-marks in that 25%.


(Refer also: this two year-old post on grammatical rules)


Some basics: you should keep each line of dialogue in paragraphs of their own, and paragraph should have a blank line between them. Yes, it will make the story take up more space on the page. Don't worry about that. It does not take that many more bytes to download, and page-space on GTAF isn't rented by BUYG IV by the hour. But it DOES make it soooooo much easier to read, so much easier to follow what is going on if each line of dialogue is a new paragraph. Don't know what Staff means? Try this:


"Martin, I need you to collect a video."


"I'm not sure about this man," Martin asked suspiciously. "What sort of video?"


Gavin chortled. "The kind with weed inside, maaan."


Each person's turn to talk was a new paragraph, a blank line was between them. Each quote ended with a full-stop unless there was a "he said" after the dialogue, in which case a comma. Every sentence begins with a capital letter. Commas and full-stops go inside the quotes, not after them.


You really would be surprised how much easier it makes reading your stories, and the easier it is to read players' stories, the better Staff feels about that story and, ultimately, the better your rating.


He said, she said, they said, we said.

Now, don't feel obligated to have a "he said" in every line of dialogue. You'll note that Staff hasn't always in the example above. Furthermore, you can get away without mentioning their names at all except in dialogue, which is a really effective way of writing the mighty kubelgog used in one of his stories that impressed Staff. It ought, however, to be done relatively early on, because you don't want to force your reader to have to re-read an entire chapter because only at the end do we learn it was Bill and Ted talking, not Gavin and Martin. UNLESS that's your intention. Dropping in at the end can make a piece of dialogue interesting to re-read when one of the characters admits to being the killer or the cross-dresser or some other salient point toward the end of the conversation that makes the reader go "ooooh, I didn't realise that. So does that mean when he said... ooooh".


Do you get Staff's point? Making readers think is highly prized in writing. Messing with their heads is something of a Holy Grail, though since the price of stuffing it up is very high, you might want to hone your skills in getting readers thinking first. Which brings us to an important point.


Hey! Hey! A.D.D.-boy! Focus!

Players ought to be constantly mindful of why they're writing. Yes, alright, to get a good score so you can buy the big guns and then get an even bigger score and so on. But, on the way to bigger guns is your readers. And even if you don't feel you're attracting Daily Mail-sized readership, remember that in order to rate your story, Staff first has to read your story. So you have at least one reader. biggrin.gif


So, with this in mind, remember that every word you type MUST -- one way or the other -- add to your story. There should be NO wasted words, no wasted thoughts, no wasted paragraphs. It should all somehow add to the story by telling your readers about the characters, about the situation the characters find themselves in, or about the main or minor threads of your storyline. Of course mentioning that your protagonist finds Russians to all be criminals is a fine statement, because it tells us your character is either a racist, has bad experiences of Russians , or both. This might be useful to know about your character when Micky introduces his business partner, Ivan.


And it is fine to tell me about the bums on the sidewalk warming themselves by the open flame from the recently exploded gas mains your character's recently exploded when fighting the Jamaican gangs. This adds character to your environment, a small piece of humour, and may provide a brief opportunity for your character to recoil, should be be "hobo-ist". smile.gif


BUT... and this "but" is big and furry: DO NOT GET CARRIED AWAY! Make these asides brief, or your readers will get bored reading about the stock prices in Japan and wondering what the fridgemagnet this has anything to do with Jamaican gangs encroaching on Ivan's territory.


No, no, no: I infer, YOU imply.

Players also ought to be constantly mindful of why they're writing. You're writing to entertain your readers. You're writing to make them read your waffle and say "Why, that's quite good." And the path to this enlightenment is getting your readers engaged. Engaged readers care about your story, they care about what you've written. They actually, for reasons the rest of us might find quite mad, WANT to read more about your characters.


Engaging a reader is achieved, in part, by implying facts, rather than out-n-out telling them. Staff doesn't want people to over-read that, but as a general rule it is better to say that "Lil' Frankie was shaking so hard a great stream of p!ss appear beneath him" than to tell me outright "Lil' Frankie was sh!t-scared." Get expressive. Don't have your protagonist say it would be bad to drop the torch into the water, tell your readers the water was murky. Make them infer that dropping it would be bad, don't instruct them to realise that.


The only real exception to this idea is when the think you need them to realise is critical to the story moving forward. But, it is still better to get them to figure out what is important than to tell them. Some things your readers will read as obvious. Sometimes you need to make it obvious, but don't just SAY it, imply it


Lastly, firstly.

Opening lines; Staff cannot be more effusive about good opening lines. They're very important because they grab your reader's attention. Have a look at Rush's opener. A *good* opening line. Drops the reader in at the deep-end. (Who's nervous? Why are they nervous? Where are they sitting that they should be nervous?) It demands answers in your readers' minds and this is a very good way to start a story, becasue now the reader must keep reading to find out those answers!


Alright, enough from Staff or this post is going to exceed length limits. (It's already >8kB long!)




Apologies for the gargantuan length of what follows...

Apologies not every story has yet been reviewed. There's a lot, and Staff thought posting what he had was better than making these the "first reviews of 2012!!" wow.gif

Apologies not everyone who wrote a story has had one reviewed.

Apologies if anyone's feeling miffed by a review. Staff was actually pretty impressed with the quality of these stories, and is actually looking forward to reading more.

And apologies future reviews are unlikely to be this long. Or maybe that's a good thing.




The Albanian Mob | ??? | Chapter 2: Ghosting Gez

$40 + $-,--- = $-,---Player card pending

Overall, you should be fairly happy with this effort. There is certainly room for improvement, but you've managed to make an interesting story that, despite its GARGANTUAN length, Staff actually found easier after the first third to follow through to the interesting end.


That said, there were some issues. Obviously, this being an AragondStaff-review, there simply HAS to be some attention paid to grammatical errors. :-D That said, Staff admits to being a little loathe to get back into critiquing people's grammar -- least of all you, AceRay, who's put in more effort than anyone into writing -- but old habits will not die. :-p


No, seriously, Staff wants players to attention to grammar because it does represent a quarter or so of your score and it's pretty easy to get right, really. It's just rules. Getting the rest of your writing is harder to teach. (Huh. Maybe that's why Staff likes to pick on grammar, aye?)


"Otto, I'm making popcorn, can you go off and check on it" He says as they scroll should be: "Otto, I'm making popcorn; can you go off and check on it," he says, as they scroll.


Secondly, EVERY line of dialogue for each individual person should be its own paragraph, and paragraphs should have a line between them. So:

"I don't know man; there is nothing I really want to buy." I say.

"Well, I want to buy a van, man! It could be awesome to ride...

...should be:

"I don't know, man, there is nothing I really want to buy," I say.


"Well, I want to buy a van, man! It could be awesome to ride...

Lines-between-paragraphs just makes your text easier to read. I'm sure you tried to compact it all because the story was taking up too much real estate on the forum page, but don't: someone's gotta try and read little tiny characters all bunched up together. And Staff knows you reserved adding extra lines for between the sections of your story, but don't bother -- people will figure out what is a new section and what isn't from the narrative. And if you're still worried about making a section break, and you can't split the story up (obviously not if you end-up with two 500-word stories), then insert an actual, physical line or a bullet or something like it into the story to make it clearer. You'll find Aragond has done this, as have others. It's not a bad habit, though you ought to try to make the narrative tell this story rather than relying on lines or bullets. Just better.


Finally, the phrase bight to eat should, of course, be bite to eat. And "Wait until they are out of site" should be "sight". While "Isaac runs swiftly threw the traffic" should be "through".


Now, grammar aside, Staff knows this will be shocking (moreso given it's Aragond reviewing), but at 4,147 words, this story is too long and might have benefitted from some trimming or splitting in two. Don't be afraid to make a story out of the first 2,000 words that only establishes the characters a little more, in which nothing of action happens. That can still be interesting, if done right.


The thing is, it took 1,500 words before the story really began, when we meet Isaac. Establishing the background, the introduction isn't a bad idea, but if the meat of your story, is going to be 2,647 words, you might want to ditch or severely tighten anything extraneous that doesn't explicitly add to that story. Because Staff thinks the latter 2,600 words were good reading, but worries other readers won't be so diligent to wade through the first 1,500 to get to the good stuff.


Not that the first 1,500 words were bad. It's just they didn't seem to add anything, didn't seem to have a point to them. The bit about the Xbox wasn't bad, but Staff was left wondering whether you weren't just describing your last Sunday afternoon rather than telling a story. In the same way, once Otto leaves the house the story appears to be inspired by actual GTA IV gameplay, which is not a bad thing. (Staff happens to know this is exactly where much of the inspiration for events in Aragond's stories comes from, and I'm sure it applies to most writers in BUYG - afterall, BUYG is a GTA IV-themed story-writing game.) However, you should have a point behind it, it should somehow add to the story, to understanding the characters, or to explain the plot. Be judicious with what you write, be purposeful. Always be mindful that you're writing to entertain your readers, and writing to tell them something important about the story, your characters or the setting.


Where this seems to break down is the interruption in Otto's mission by an altercation in the middle of the street which compactly takes place within a single paragraph (albeit one Staff was panting at the end of), from putting on a coat to pelting down Mohawk Avenue to flee a cop. Same thing applies to the immediately following interaction with the bum. And then the hot-dog vendor, and the street names, and the bums in the alley. What is the point of these? You seem to pick them up as interesting asides, but then toss them away equally quickly ("but there was no time for that"). If there was a point, if you were seeking to tell your readers something with these distractions, then do that. But not so haphazardly. Be deliberate and spend some time on these asides. But then, of course, split the story in two. Because, boy!, making this leviathan any longer would cause fuses in Staff's head to blow! biggrin.gif


Anyway, once we meet Isaac, the real story begins. (I suspect Isaac had "green, beady eyes", rather than "greed, beady eyes", perhaps?) The drive was long, but you managed to keep Staff's attention with some interesting dialogue. Good work! Time passing is most easily conveyed to the reader by dialogue, by a conversation, and you managed to have enough of it, drip-feeding your readers little facts, to keep the story well-paced. This Staff liked. Also much appreciated was the whole subterfuge at the airport -- interesting and well done. (Though you should stick to calling the car's boot a "trunk". They're American characters, I guess.)


I don't think "Isaac then makes an evil look at an imaginary camera" and the whole actor business really worked. We're at the exciting pointy-end of the whole story and you're getting distracted. Keep the pace going when you get toward the end, don't let your readers start re-imagining the whole story with Isaac as a Frenchman.


Furthermore, never tell your readers how to feel, let the situation or sometimes the characters' dialogue do that for them. So, instead of "I decide to get up, holding the torch firmly, not wanting to drop the torch into the water, which would be catastrophic.", maybe try this: "I decide to get up, holding the torch firmly so as not to drop and lose it in the murky water." This lets the reader decide that dropping the torch in the water would be a bad thing, which readers prefer.


Finally, don't end your stories with "Who knows what the future could hold?" It's too conversational, too much like an episode from 1960s Batman, and not at all reflective of the grim situation. All you needed to do was lose that sentence alone, because crashing "down on the mattress" into a deep sleep, "filled with feelings of mystery confusion and fear." actually sounds very cool.


Overall, though Staff has a lot to say about your story (1,460 words worth!!), he did like it. To keep Staff's attention for over 4,000 words is an astounding achievement in itself! biggrin.gif But, please do consider ways of shortening any future effort. Now, since you have a substantial backlog of stories, Staff will not re-state any issues over and over, but mention them only the first time he sees them, which should help shorten these reviews!



the mighty kubelgog

Petrovic Bratva | The Cabaret Club | Part 1, Chapter 1

$39 + $0 = $39Player card pending

Straight into it! POW! And Staff likes that.

However, Staff's not entirely convinced of the premise. A gang war doesn't start by negotiation, does it? They don't all sit down and say "we're going to war and some o' youse is gonna be dead by Christmas", do they? It just doesn't ring true. That said, Staff is not deducting dollars for it.


Still, Staff liked the story-telling. Everything was tight and to the point. Punchy. You do need to patch-up the grammar, though. Commas at the end of quotes ("Pluck you," he said.), and the "he said" should be in lowercase unless "he" is someone's name. Stick to the rules around "your" and "you're" (not "youre"). And "Before I knew it, we were there." should probably be the beginning of a paragraph since it's a new topic, but generally you got the paragraph breaks right.


Overall, at a thousand words, it's a right length, fast-paced, ends on an explosive high, keeps Staff interested, and despite some minor grammatical issues and a plot device Staff wasn't entirely convinced of, this caught Staff's interest to be looking forward to more. That's what counts.



the mighty kubelgog

Petrovic Bratva | The Cabaret Club | Part 1, Chapter 2

$37 + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending

I'm willing to bet the murder statistics are the body count from your latest game in IV, amiright? biggrin.gif To put them in historical perspective, according to this, a murder rate of 1,153 people a year would make it the highest only since 1996, and positively enviable compared to the 70s, 80s and 90s. (Alright, fine, that's for NY state entirely. But, according to the NYPD site, in 1990, NYC saw 2262 people killed, so NYC does represent most of the state's murders.) Just thought I'd toss that in. tounge.gif


Alright, to business. Read Staff's notes above on grammar. Please do keep dialogue in paragraphs of its own, each paragraph with a blank line in between. Do have capitals begin every sentence, even dialogue, and full-stops at the end of dialogue (inside the quotes), unless you're adding the "he said" at the end, in which case a comma. There's also sentences without full-stops, and the quotes seem to appear before the space at the beginning of a sentence, which is just odd.


Despite this, on the grammatical positives, when dialogue is one person speaking, as Kenny was, not adding "he said" every time, as you did not, is a good thing. It's often better to convey facts in your story by inferring it, to tell us without actually telling us, not telling your readers outright. And that includes the who's talking. Now, I had to deduce it was Kenny and not Alexei talking from the fact that he refers to Alexei as the second driver. Now, that is very good style, and Staff is impressed. Although, it's not-so-good to have that inferred fact mentioned at the end of Kenny's paragraph. Maybe adding a line earlier to tell us this would have meant I didn't have to re-read the paragraph this time firmly realising it was Kenny speaking. Maybe just like this:

"Close the door and take a seat." It wasn’t really the warmest welcome I had been expecting. "You know Alexei, right? Okay, Lev, we are short on muscle, you know this."

D'yaknow what Staff means?


This whole inferring business, you should have tried instead of lines like This last man intrigued me. Don't tell me that the protagonist are intrigued by Brother, make ME intrigued myself. You want your readers to feel those emotions because that's what makes a truly GREAT story: emotional connection. So, maybe, instead just describe Brother's cool and calm manner of speaking, or go straight into what he wore.


Same goes for: I was behind a gas tank. Obviously not the greatest place to stay when bullets are being fired I know bullets are bad for gas tanks. You don't have to tell me when it's "obvious". So, instead, tell me how you're reacting to realising you're in a bad place to be caught, and how the hell you're going to get out from behind it. So, maybe something like this: As the bullets began flying, I realised I was caught behind a gas tank, so I made a dash to the car where the rest of the guys I picked up where hiding behind. Eh, even Staff isn't convinced, but it's in the right direction.


Also bear in mind that unless it is important to the story that your protagonist is stuck behind a gas tank, unless it adds to the drama, you don't have to include little facts like that. Rule of thumb: unless it adds to the story, lose it.


Overall, though, this is a pretty good effort.




Gambetti Family | ??? | This Goombah, he's a Putz: Part 1

$32 + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending

Firstly, if you're not trying to be artsy or "different" as some novelists are want to do, don't centre your text. The English-reading eye is attuned to scanning a page left-to-right-then-down-a-line, so it becomes hard to find the next line and therefore takes much longer and is more tiring on the eyes to read when the beginning of the next line isn't on the far left.


However, that said, one-line-per-paragraph wins you back the browny-points, as does the 919 words. Good work. But, DO read Staff's essay on grammar: you're missing a lot of commas and full-stops.


Instead of "...quickly strolled over to his car. It was a silver Sentinel." you could have shortened it to: "quickly strolled over to his silver Sentinel." Just shorter and punchier.


Finally, the sentence "It was very early in the morning, so early you'd think it was still nightime and not tomorrow." doesn't really work. If that's something that one of your characters is thinking, then express it as a thought bubble, but unless you're writing in first- or third-person narration (that is, the narrator is a character either in the story or someone else completely), your narrator should be seen and not vere heard. EVER. So, there is no "you", and all observations should be strictly third-person and informal, written professionally not in the way someone casually thinks. Do you understand Staff's meaning?


Your story is a set-up, an introduction and overall it was fairly well-done. The characters, the plot, the environments were all very clear and involving. (Staff had the distillery clearly pictured in mind.) But, you're letting your story down with what seems to be a lack of reviewing: a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. (Staff's rating is sympathetic, though, since, if memory serves, you are not a native-English typer.)




Petrovic Bratva | The Cabaret Club (Perestroika) | Chapter 1: I Shot You Down

$44 + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending

Staff was *very* impressed with this impressive first-time effort. That you have not posted since a few days after this story worries Staff that his adoption of you as acolyte with have failed to take and Staff will never again read your wares.


While there was 1,582 words and good grammar (though please do consider adding line-breaks after dialogue paragraphs), it was the nice writing style completed by some "implying" gold and pearl-encrusted phrases that made this an consummate joy to read.


"The wrong words jutted up so often, jagged and ugly, slicing through conversations. ????? instead of blood, food instead of ????." VERY good expression, especially "jagged and ugly, slicing through conversations." BRAVO! Coming across gems like these expressions in stories makes reading them so much more pleasant. As does the line beginning "Would all those paper targets..." It's evocative. Dare Staff say, it's an example of the very engagement the introductory 1,400 words prattles on about. In one, short, expressive sentence, the reader immediately realises Kostya is a greenhorn who got gun-trained in back alleys but has never really fired a gun in anger. The reader's mind then floods with thoughts around Kostya's readiness to be in this situation.


Furthermore, the reader is left to infer these things, as you haven't spelled them out, but implied them with the phrase "count for anything in a narrow alley, up close and personal?" Engagement. Good stuff! As is the line "the cleaners were hard at work scrubbing away the bloody smear". Again, you do not state that Lev's broken body was dumped at the hospital, you hide that statement amid clever phrases. And that you seemlessly segue into the GTA-IV storyline and emerge at the end in the post-Niko Bratva was a brilliant set-up for subsequent stories!


However... if there must be one... this story is also a textbook case of how this same implying can miss the mark and leave readers wondering "Now, hang-on, who said that again?" The back-n-forth outside Lev's hospital bed is one case. It is very, very good to have skillfully avoided that-old-"he said"-chestnut, but Staff was left wondering for a while whom it would give "more pleasure" to kill Vlad, because it came after what Staff assumes was Kostya saying "Let's not", buuuut... Likewise, it wasn't until a re-read that Staff understood that Vlad had beaten-up Lev over what one assumes (but still doesn't really know) was an attempted robbery of a dealer on Mr Faustin's turf.


Yes, it's more than possible Staff is thick, or his brain mooshified after hours of reading stories. But, it might pay to carefully re-read and make sure all the salient points are clearly expressed. It's not a big complaint -- Staff managed to catch-up -- but there is a clear line between genius and madness, and this story tips over the crest a pinch too far. Regardless, a pleasure to read.




The Lost MC | The Lost MC clubhouse | ???

$28 + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending

A'right, a nice short one. At 693 words, it's probably a few words longer than "too short". It is a very brief story, grammar is missing commas -- though, on the plus-side, it is properly formatted with lines between paragraphs -- and lacks a fair amount of background, the characters could have been better developed or described. Still, it seems you're not a native English-typer, and the story did get punch it's way succinctly to a conclusion.




Pegorino Family | Pegorino Mansion | ???

$-- Not-sure-if-serious.jpg + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending

Alright, firstly, no. Just "no". Stories cannot be that short. It reads very much like an episode from Algonquin Assassins. Secondly, "I did this. I did that." isn't a gripping style of writing. And thirdly, I get the impression you weren't actually serious about joining.




Pegorino Family | Drusilla's | Chapter 1

$36 rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending

From the first sentence, Staff's interest was piqued. A *good* opening line. Drop the reader in at the deep-end. (Who's nervous? Why are they nervous? Where are they sitting that they should be nervous?) It demands answers in your readers' minds and this is a very good way to start a story: 'cuz they're going to keep reading to find out those answers!


Story was brief, but at 715 words (lower limit), and actually being a pretty good "nothing happens" story, Staff won't complain. You express yourself well, but please do break-up your paragraphs at least by the lines of dialogue. Watch your commas (a few missing, such as "Nice to meet'chu, Tommy,"), but generally grammar was pretty good. This is a good story, expertly introduced and ably concluded with the aftertaste of "Yeah, I'll have some more o' dat." (Sorry, your references to chugging tequila set Staff off.) smile.gif



The following are awaiting rating:



The Albanian Mob | ??? | Chapter 3: My enemy’s enemy

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending



Pavano Family | Marco's beer and tobacco | Chapter 1: Family reduction

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending



Pavano Family | Marco's beer and tobacco | Chapter 2: Revelation

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending



Pavano Family | Marco's beer and tobacco | Chapter 3: Things heat up

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending



The Law | ??? | Chapter 1: The handyman

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending



Pavano Family | Marco's beer and tobacco | Chapter 4: Chip off the old block

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending



Pavano Family | Marco's beer and tobacco | Chapter 5: Dirt nap

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending



The Law | ??? | Chapter 1: Alphabetized

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending



Albanian Mob | Deli Grocery Tobacco Shop | Chapter 1

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending


Don Giovanni

Triads | ??? | Chapter 1: In The Beginning

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending


Don Giovanni

The Law | ??? | Chapter 1

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending



North Holland Hustlers | Playboy X's Loft | Chapter 1: Welcome to Liberty City

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending


Ratings courtesy of Aragond More to come!

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I wasn't even on the waiting list. *Sobs*

Yeah, I think Staff have missed a couple of players out because he wrote the list of stories that needed review after this post, which was a week or so before you published your story. And there was more than yours since then, so, the following were missing from Staff's list:



Irish Mob | Steinway Beer Garden | Chapter 1: Out

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending



The Law | Police Stations | Chapter 2: Fall from grace

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending



The Law | Police Stations | Chapter 3: Misfortune

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending



Pavano Family | Marco's beer and tobacco | Chapter 5: Karma Chameleon

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending


I'm sure Staff's sorry about that. smile.gif

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I honestly can't remember much about that story, I actually wrote the most of it around a whole year ago but didn't finish it until a few months later. So, I'm flattered by the attention. Thank you for the in depth review. It was enlightening, to say the least.


@MrPain: While I am, again, flattered, I don't know barely enough to warrant being promoted to staff level. I've only had two stories rated so far anyway, or even have a writers card, so i don't it would be a good idea. I much prefer to read Aragond's ratings anyway.

Edited by AceRay
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I was a staff once, and I can tell you'll make a good one.


It's really simple if you yourself are good at writing. Just check out for length, grammar, you know the basic stuff and all that. So what say ya?


Unless Staff is happy with the way things are, then nevermind.

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Pavano Family | Marco's beer and tobacco | Chapter 5: Karma Chameleon

$-- rating pending + $-,--- = $-,--- Player card pending


Excuse me, but it appears you've written this as Chapter 5. It is in fact actually Chapter 6, so I thought I'd point that out. Just a small mistake.


Anyway, as much fun as becoming part of staff would be, I'd just like to concentrate on writing the stories for the moment. Unless there is an influx of stories which Aragond cannot review, I'd rather not.

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@MrPain: While I am, again, flattered, I don't know barely enough to warrant being promoted to staff level. I've only had two stories rated so far anyway, or even have a writers card, so i don't it would be a good idea. I much prefer to read Aragond's ratings anyway.
Anyway, as much fun as becoming part of staff would be, I'd just like to concentrate on writing the stories for the moment. Unless there is an influx of stories which Aragond cannot review, I'd rather not.

So, I *think* what I'm hearing AceRay say here, mrpain, and I might be going out on a limb here, but I'll hazard a guess that he's saying "no, thanks".


I could be wrong, of course. But I *think* I've heard this. tounge.gif



Excuse me, but it appears you've written this as Chapter 5. It is in fact actually Chapter 6, so I thought I'd point that out. Just a small mistake.

Future Staff reviews, I'm reliably informed, will retag that story as Chapter 6.

Edited by aragond
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Alright, enough chit chat, now back to the stories.


Pavanos at Marco's

Chapter 7: Abort This!


I knock on my girlfriend’s old wooden door before looking around nervously. If my wife knew I was here, she would rip my face off and use it for kindling. The street in Broker was full of crime; there was danger at every turn. Looking over my shoulder, everything looked peaceful but I knew it wouldn’t last. Suddenly, the door opens and I see Violet standing there, smiling as soon as she saw me.


“Hey baby. You said you wanted something. Can I come in?”


“Sure,” she replied as she welcomed me into her house. Her warm and inviting living room greeted me as we walked in and sat on the couch. She pressed her body against mine as we kissed passionately, the sun shining off her silky brown hair. After half a minute, she stopped.


“What is it dal?”


“I’ve got something to tell you Gil,” she said, stroking her hair back in a concerned fashion, “I’m pregnant. You’re the father,” it takes me back to the last time I heard those words. I reminisce for a moment. It was back in Italy, a couple of months before Maybelle and I moved to America. She was so happy, but I wasn’t so sure. The last time I had kids, it didn’t end so well. We were going to live in Sicily in a nice house but then sh*t hit the fan in the mob I was working with so we jumped ship. Raul was born over international waters and I thought I’d be a dad, like all the other dads, but things never work out the way you plan, what with Edgar and what not. Suddenly, all those feelings of anxiety came flooding back.


“Are you sure it’s me?”


“Are you calling me a whore? Of course it’s you; you’re the only one for me.”


“No, no, I’m just… so surprised. I’ve… never been a father before,” she gives me a smile and kisses my cheek before getting up.


“Good. Now, we’re going to have to get a few supplies, we’re going to need a crib so we’ll stop by the…” she continued, but I didn’t hear a word she said. I was still in shock. I suddenly think what would happen if I just socked her right now and beat her to the bone, terminating the pregnancy, but then common sense reared its ugly head. I just sat and nodded at every second sentence as I stared into space, wondering how I’d ever have the time to live two different lives, or even bigamy. Throw in the work for the Pavanos and there is a sh*t load of work to do. Soon, Violet walks back in and hands me a coffee. I thank her and the warm drink brings me back to reality.


Suddenly and without warning, the door is broken down like it was a twig and Wes Lombardo barges in with two Lupisella thugs following behind.


“This is on behalf of Federico Avico!” he shouted as he knocks over a cabinet, sending plates and DVDs flying all over the floor. Wes had changed his appearance significantly; he was now bald, wore a white singlet and sported a massive beard. The two guards behind him laughed crazily as the one with a wooden plank smashes an expensive vase. The other was carrying a shotgun but before I could react he had already raised the weapon and stuck it in my face. I throw my hands up in the air in fear.


“Well look what we have here,” the thug with the plank laughed as soon as he saw Violet. She shrieked with terror when Wes waved his fist in front of her eyes. He then punched her square in the face and she fell backwards onto the floor.


“Time for a little fun!” he chortled as he took pulled down his pants and started to rape Violet. She tried to fight back but Wes was just too strong and would punch her viciously whenever she tried to get away, instead inserting his d*ck even harder into the screaming woman. The thug took it upon himself to beat Violet with his plank and did so whenever the opportunity presented itself, hideously deforming when he did.


“Jesus! Stop it now!” I shout out, only for it to fall onto deaf ears. I now regret leaving my pistols in the car; I felt it wasn’t right to be armed when in the presence of a lady. I sure do regret that now.


The guy pointing the shotgun at me seemed mighty distracted by the show so I took this opportunity to escape. I slam his shotgun away and he, taken by surprise, fires a shot through the window, smashing the glass. I jump out the window and run to my car, narrowly escaping a few shotgun blasts in the process. Hopping into the vehicle, I quickly rummage through the glove box and pull out my duel pistols and some ammo.


“Rah mother*ckes!” I scream as I empty two rounds through the window as I get out of my car. I was unsure of the situation but at least the guns felt steady in my hands as I approached the window. The house goes silent so I run in there again. Wes and his two cowards were nowhere to be seen, only Violet beaten on the ground, moaning at her wounds. Her face was covered in blood and her body was beaten to a pulp. The room was a complete mess with almost all of Violet’s prized possessions on the floor in pieces. A cool wind blows against my cheek, which makes me turn my attention to the back door that was wide open. I run up with a pistol in each hand and dive out the door, ready to kill Wes without hesitation. Sadly, they were nowhere in sight; the alley way was deserted. They were probably barrelling down the highway right now. Visually depressed, I walked back inside to see Violet in a better state sitting down on the coach crying. I try to sit down next to her and put my arm around her but she pushes me away.


“Get away from me Gil,” then, she started to cry, sobbing uncontrollably. “You mafia boys are all the same. Now my child is dead…”


“Baby, you know I never meant for this to happen! I’m so sorry,” I tried to apologize, but she would have none of it.


“Get out of my sight!” she screamed, jumping off the sofa. “I never want to see you again.” She then tried to stumble away, but fell over and started crying away, shouting at me to go away. Pressured, I took one last look at her and walked away, out of her life forever.


When I walked back to my car, a weird feeling overcame me. It was a mix of sadness and relief. After the initial shock of the event, I soon felt like a big weight was lifted off my shoulders. It was almost as though I was happy that Violet was raped. I was disgusted with myself for feeling such things, so I take out the hundred dollar bill that Granville game me and looked at it worryingly. I enter my car and drive off, clutching the money in my hand. I soon pull up on the side of the road and cry a few tears that fell onto my ski jacket and made my eyes red as hell. No matter what I did to try to rich, people close to me got hurt, and I couldn’t do anything about it.


Edited by AceRay
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Might be getting back into this at some point in the future. I have a lot of writing and ideas stored away on a broken laptop that I may be sorting out soon, so if I can get that, I may just show my face again. How're things going around here? smile.gif

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How're things going around here? smile.gif

Pretty slow, but I think regular-ish reviews are gradually getting reintroduced. I figure that all the remaining stories are going to be wiped off the reviewing board by at least the end of January, could be closer if Staff spends some time over Christmas reviewing stories. Although he might be spending with his family or something like that, but who knows?


And with that, here is another Pavano story at Marco's


Chapter 8: Calm before the Storm


In the middle of the night, two men stood under the cliff on the beach in the Northern Gardens. They looked very shady standing next their gleaming, white Calvalcade with massive rims. Edgar, Emilio and me left the safety of Edgar’s Sentinel’s headlights that shone so sweetly on us to meet the duo. One of them looked over at us. He was a little overweight, wearing a red rain jacket over a blue Hawaiian shirt with some scruffy jeans on his legs. He looked like a douche. The man next to him was wearing a charcoal suit with a red shirt underneath and he appeared worried by the situation.


“Ah, you must Vito,” Edgar exclaimed excitingly before approaching them. Suddenly, three goons popped out from the rock beside them with assault rifles and pointed them at us, menacingly.


“Are you armed?” The man said putting his hand in his jacket, flashing his revolver to show he was business. Edgar pulled out his pistol and pointed it at him with a sly look in his eye. I pull out my pistols and point one at the guy in the suit and the other at the goons.


“Keep your d*ck in your pants, son. We just want to be a part of this deal. Be friends and all that,” the guy in the suit whispered something into the fat guy’s ear and he ordered the goons to lower their weapons. In turn, I lower my guns and listen to him, Emilio still pointing his pistol at.


“I am Vito D’Orazio. Capo of the Ancelloti Family. This here is my closest business associate…” Vito paused to clear his throat. Nervousness had overcome him for a second but he maintained his compose himself. “This is Barry Moretti. Barry heard you need some help with the Lupisella problem, so we’re going to cut you a deal. It’s a case of you look out for us, and we don’t look out for you, got it?”


“That’s correct. It’s a pleasure to meet you both,” Edgar remarks sarcastic as he puts his pistol away. He and Vito then shake hands. Edgar calls us over and we all stroll round the corner. We are met by a large Steed, ready to cart masses of imported goods from Europe. The Ancelotti guards walked up to the van and started prepping it for the incoming load.


“The boat is arriving soon,” Barry said calmly to Edgar. “Now let me get this straight. You want two boxes of counterfeit money and two boxes of those fancy Egyptian cigars, no?”


“Yeah, that’s right,” Vito laughed and tried to make a sly comment, but Edgar changed the subject and asked him a question. “See any action recently?”


“Well, now that you ask, we haven’t had any gun fights since we capped that stock broker’s brother last month. The little b*tch was screaming like a girl, and then I shot him. In the face too. It was very funny,” Vito takes his hand, makes it into a gun and mimes shooting into the sand. “It was real quiet since then, until those Lupisella c*nts screwed up. There was this dude called Wes Lombardo,” at this, I clenched my fists in anger. Even the mention of his name made my blood boil. “He was a pretty nice guy but then he just shot Troy in the face when we were about to do some business!” he then turned to a guard who was packing something into the truck. “Wasn’t that terrible Danny?” the guard either didn’t hear him or was ignoring him. Vito was enraged by this. Without hesitation, he picked up a rock and threw it at Danny, screaming with rage. Danny felt the stone hit his arm, which would have caused injury had it not been for his heavy jacket.


“Ouch!” he yelled before composing himself, embarrassed by both his and Vito’s behaviour, “Yeah, yeah, I miss Troy a lot,” then he turned back to his silent work. Barry, also embarrassed, whispered something in Vito’s ear and handed him a pill, to which Vito sat down on the nearby rock and closed his eyes, trying to cool down.


“Yeah, well, what Vito is trying to say is that Wes is a no good two-timer. And so is their leader, Federico Avico. He’s a real ruthless sociopath,” Emilio, silent until now, pushed past Edgar for explanations.


“What did you say?” he shouted at Barry. The whole mood changed. Everyone at that moment reached for their weapon, expecting a shoot-out to occur right then.


“Yeah, Federico Avico. You know him?”


“Federico? Federico is my f*cking brother! I haven’t seen him in years!” Emilio replied. I pull Emilio aside, who was obviously confused by the situation.


“Hey, cool it. We’ll talk about it later,” Emilio sighed. It was a lot to take in a few moments. His face turned from confusion to anger to understanding. He kept professional for the moment, holding in his anger for a later date. Everyone soon calmed down when we walked back composed.


“Aren’t you going to introduce us to your friends Di Luca?” Vito asked in a calm voice.


“Oh, these two? Yeah, this is Emilio here and that’s Gilberto,” Edgar mumbled.


“Nice to meet you. Hope Barry and me can work together with you boys, you know?”


“Yeah, sorry for that,” Emilio managed to mutter. “It’s a bit of a surprise.”


“Don’t worry ‘bout it,” Barry smirked.


Suddenly, we saw a boat in the distance. Everyone began to prepare for the incoming load. After a few minutes, the boat reared into view. It was a medium sized ship, around fifteen feet long and covered in about eight angry Turks with scurvy.


“You two, get the sh*t and take it back to the car,” Edgar told us, to which we humbly agreed. The boat was tough and imposing. It looked like the kind of vessel that could tell a tale or two. I waded into water but only up to my ankles. I couldn't swim, and swimming made me nervous. Whenever I enter the water, it feels as though it was pulling me down and drowning me. Darkness surrounds me and everything goes hazy. Spending a few months on a boat getting to America were some of the tensest moments of my life.


“Come on Gilbeto! It’s not that deep!” Emilio shouted from the knee deep water next to the boat. I anxiously stray deeper but then freeze. Emilio, annoyed but understanding, holds my wrist and helps me get in deeper. I lean against the boat but one of the guards barks at me, making me jump. One of them throws crates at us, taking all our skills to catch them. We saunter out of the water balancing two crates on our mitts and I calm instantly to be back on solid ground. As soon as we got back, the Ancelotti goons run over to the boat and pick


“This could be the beginning of a beautiful business relationship!” Vito exclaimed as Edgar handed him the money for the loot.


“I know, ain’t it just beautiful?” Emilio, Edgar and I walk off. “See you round!” Edgar shouts out. The Ancelotti members then get busy putting imported goods into the Steed. We stumble back to the Sentinel and start loading the crates up into the car.


“Right, there’s no room in the car so you’ll have to take a cab or something,” Edgar murmured as he hurried into the driver’s seat. I scuffle my feet in annoyance. Edgar then drove off, spinning his wheels in the sand and blowing sand all over Emilio and me. We then walked off to the street, avoiding the Ancelotti guards at the top.


“So how are things with you and Sarah?”


Emilio sighed. Things were obviously not going well in the relationship, “I don’t man, it’s not going so good. She said she’ll be staying at her cousin’s place while we work things out,” Emilio looked out to sea for a moment, contemplating his life. He knew that he could never truly give Sarah what he wanted, and it was the exact same feeling I had with Maybelle. "But then you have Federico and all… F*ck it man, I just want settle down sometime, you know?”


“Uh, yeah, yeah, I know what you mean.”


“Want to spend the night round? We’ll get some pizza; rent some movies, what’d you say,” Normally, I’d jump at the opportunity for such fun, but then I remembered my plans tonight.


“Can’t tonight bro, got to spend time with the family, or at least appear to. They’re probably asleep now,” I say.


“Which one? Pavanos or your actual one?” Emilio asks curiously. I take a deep breath as I contemplate whether it actually mattered anymore but I decide to just be ambiguous with my answer.


“You know what, I don’t even know anymore. What’s the difference?” Emilio laughs at this. Soon we reached the top of the road and parted ways. Emilio was depressed as he slouched off into the night, wandering the streets like a lost dog. He was my best friend, but that’s no great achievement; Desmond was a douche, Chip was a psychopath, Axel was a stoner and Benito just talked weird. Still, Emilio was good guy. He was always there and he reminded me of me. It wasn’t nice to see him down and out; he’s normally rather cheery but things had taken his toll. It was as if something paranormal had entered our lives.


As I entered the cab I just hailed, I ponder that maybe things will never be normal for us.


Edited by AceRay
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I hope someone is f*cking reading these things sometime. I am generally interested in feedback so please PM me if you have any thoughts!


Chapter 9: Invisible Wars


Sweat dripped off my brow as I sat in the seat nervously. This was it. This was the move that was going to win it all. It had all come down to this.


I picked up the bishop, moved it across the board and shouted ‘Checkmate’ in one swift moment. Axel took the joint out of his mouth in surprise. He thought he had me. I lean back on my chair and shoot him a smug grin.


“Play again?” I offer him.


“Damn, you’re too good at this,” he uttered as we set up the pieces again. Suddenly, Chip comes up from the bedroom and laughs at me for some reason.


“Hey, Gil, I heard you fell out with Violet…” Chip said, chortling like a schoolboy.


“And…” I say, expecting the worse.


“Well, let’s just say that her and I are something now…” I jump up from my seat and shove my fist in his face.


“If you hurt her, I’ll hunt you down and kill you. You hear?”


“Oh, touch a soft spot, big boy? Can’t handle a little… competition,” Chip laughed as he walked out the door, me left steaming on the spot at his childish antics.


I sat down and was about to play when suddenly Edgar burst through the door of Marco’s, sweaty and worried.


“What’s the problem boss?” Desmond asked from the counter.


“Some Lupisella businessmen are going to be coming round to make amends. It’s the beginning of a new partnership.”


“What?!” I shouted in anger. I grit my teeth at the thought of allying with those thugs. Edgar obviously didn’t know about my encounter with Wes at Violet’s but I couldn’t bear it. “How could we work with those dumbasses?”


“Gil! I was expecting more from you. You know that gang wars are bad for business,” Edgar said, shaking his finger at me. “Tut, tut, tut.”


“I don’t understand. Why don’t we just get the Triads or Angels on our sides, like we did with the Ancelottis?”


“Yes, but then we can’t pay them with counterfeit money for their goods!” chuckling lightly with that, he turned to Desmond and barked at him. “Get Emilio down here and tell Benito to get the cash! Don’t want things going too sour.”


As Axel packed up the chess pieces, I lean against the wall and sign, checking that I have my guns at the ready. The Lupisella family were up to something; no doubt about. I don’t get how Edgar could be this stupid. He keeps trying to be friends with everybody, but it doesn’t work like that in the criminal business. Hell, Edgar should know this; he’s ten years older than me. Every time I look at him, I have to stare down at his gigantic bald spot. Yet he’s still clueless at it all. He hasn’t got what it takes to be a mobster.


“Hey, Gilberto, you look lost in your own thought!” Emilio takes me by surprise when he speaks, his voice surprisingly calm for the gargantuan event that was about to take place in his life.


“Nah, all good… You going to be alright with Federico and whatnot?” I say, changing the subject.


“Yeah, I’d say so. I’m hoping this can be a new beginning with my relationship with my brother.”


“Really?” I asked suspiciously.


“Yeah. You know, when we were kids, our father beat us regularly back in Tuscany. But Federico, he took the worst of it. But underneath, he was a cool guy. When we were alone, he used to open up and… he was just a nice guy. Then he fell on bad times when we moved to America and things went sour,” Emilio sighed depressingly, angry at the circumstances of it. “I hope right here, things will be different.”


“Quite optimistic of you,” I whispered to him.


“I guess. But that’s the way I want things to work out. I’m going to buy a big house with a white picket fence and the works. And I’m going to have two kids with Sarah, a boy and a girl…” as Emilio trailed on in his imaginary life, I pitied him. I couldn’t believe he thought that tonight would go smoothly and everyone would walk into the sunset, happy and satisfied. I knew what was really going to happen, absently caressing my pistols.


After about ten minutes, we heard two cars pull up outside. Everybody readied themselves for the incoming slaughter. Edgar stood near the door with Axel, Emilio and me standing behind him. Then, Federico walked through the door with two greasy guards next to him. He tilted his cowboy hat when he saw us and sneered, exposing his yellow, broken teeth.


“Edgar! So good to see you!” he exclaimed, stretching his arms out to sides. “So, you got my money!” He hadn't recognized his brother yet or was just ignoring him, despite Emilio’s constant coughing.


“Yeah, got it right here,” Edgar handed the silver case to him. “All twenty-five grand!” Surprisingly, Federico looked offended at the offer.


“No, no, I’m talking about the real money,” Federico demanded. Edgar looked nervous when, without warning, Axel grabbed a duffel bag from the ground and chucked it at the guard, grinning at Federico.


“He sold us out.”


“No, I sold you out Gil. I sold you out,” He yelled, pointing his finger at me and emphases the ‘you’ part of the sentence. I was about to scream obscenities at the creep but Emilio decided to input his two cents first.


“How could you do it Federico? To your own brother?”


“Half-brothers,” he corrected him. “You always, always leave that part out, don’t you? You know your mom was a slut and that’s why daddy beat her all day, every day!” he screeched into his face. He then turned to walk away, with Axel following close behind. The guards raised their shotguns at us.


“Finish them!” they screamed as they ran out. The guard then sent a shotgun pallet right through Desmond’s skull, killing him. I never liked Desmond, and I even felt glee when the blood slowly soaked into the floor from his head wound and his eyes glazed over into a dead stare. I pushed any form of remorse to the back of my mind. Benito almost got killed, but instead of exploding into shower of blood, all that exploded was the cheap liqueur than showered over him as he dived for cover.


Edgar and Emilio had already got to cover but the shooters were busy tearing out the freaking place. I grab my pistols and fling them out, my trench coat blowing in the wind. Within a second, I had sent two bullets into each of their brains, making them smear all over the walls. They slumped to the ground like twigs, but the fight wasn’t over.


“We’ve got to get him!” I shout, my guns still smoking.


“That’s right! Take my car!” Edgar shouted as he tossed me the keys to his Sentinel. “Take Emilio with you.”


As soon as we got outside, I could see Federico and Axel speed off in their Sultan. We rushed towards Edgar’s car around the corner and jumped in as quickly as possible. Emilio let out a tear as we screeched around the corner to see the Sultan tearing down the street.


“Damn, damn, damn! How could I let this happen?” Emilio squealed when we drifted round the streets trying to catch the bastards.


“Don’t worry ‘bout it now. I’m gonna cap their asses,” I say cold and dry, to him as I roll down the window and lean out with my pistol firmly gripped in my paws, ready to whack the two. The first shot hits the back window and shatters the glass, scaring the driver. The second shot I fire hits the passenger and the shots ring in my ears. They turn down Suffolf in a desperate bid to escape but it was all over. I fire three more shots as they turn a corner; the first two hit the tires, causing the car to barrel roll and while it was upside down in mid-air, I fire another, killing the driver. As soon as the car rolls back the right way, both Federico and Axel were dead.


“I can’t believe it,” Emilio spits out as I exit the car and stroll to the wreck, chuckling at my success. Excited to see the duo, I pop open the door and am horrified by what I saw.


A random guy looked me strait in the eye, dead. Axel and Federico were nowhere to be seen. It was a decoy. They had gotten away.


“What is it?” Emilio shouts out as he struggles to pull himself out from the Sentinel.


“It was a f*cking decoy! That’s what!” Emilio almost puked up when he heard me utter those words. In anger, I fired my pistol into the goon’s face until it turned into a bloody, broken mess that dripped blood onto the floor. Knowing that Federico, Axel and Wes were still out there, the lurking dangers in the shadows, endangering my family and my loved ones just made me sick. “Okay, let’s go back to the store and try to think things through.” I say as I enter the Sentinel again, hiding my true anxieties to the already-unstable Emilio, who looked green.


When we strolled back into the store, everyone looked grim. There was a red bloodstain where Desmond’s body once lay and a trail of blood leading towards the basement.


“What are we going to do now?” I ask Edgar.


“Nothing,” Emilio sits down on the couch and nods in agreement. Benito looked on, depressed.


“Are you f*cking serious?!” I shout out. “You call yourselves tough? How about we crush those Lupisella fools to the bone! We’re going to show those wannabee tough guys what it means it be a tough guy!”


“Okay, big shot, what do you say?” Edgar asks suspiciously.


“Right, first, we ally ourselves with the powerful Gambetti family and convince them to destroy the Lupisella. Then we mop up the rewards!”


“How we gonna do that?” I whip out my phone and laugh.


“Like this,” I dial Granville’s number, waiting for him to pick up the phone. Through him, we could get to the Gambetti family and rise to the top, taking down every gang from the street banging M.O.B. to the international Russian mobsters. I was excited, but nervous. And as Edgar, Benito and Emilio looked at me with confusion, Granville answered the phone.


“Who is it?”


“It’s Gil, and have I got a business proposition for you!”


Edited by AceRay
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Hi all, just quickly: my computer has died (I type at work, smarty-pants), and this will be an [insert-your-best-guess] week delay for me getting back to ratings.


Don't worry, this infuriates me more than it does you. mad.gif I'll let y'all know when I do.


PS; Thanks for the PM, Ace, I appreciate all the work you're putting in. You *sure* you don't have Staff aspirations? sigh.gif

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