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The Beginning of the End


bobgtafan

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In honesty I didn't think I'd ever make another fan-fiction, but I've been needing to get this story out of my head, onto a computer, and out to the world. It's long but hopefully satisfying for all of those who read and those who criticize. I hope that you enjoy my latest story...

 

The Beginning of the End

 

Chapter 1-Let there be light

 

As Karl stepped out of his small development apartment into the retro colored hall he felt a sense of rage crawl up his spinal cord. The power had just been cut off, again, and the phone lines had probably been cut by the bored kids that wandered the streets...again. The kid's whose families didn’t have enough cash to send them to school (The tuition fee was 200 dollars a month, much too expensive for most families in Hepburn Heights). As Karl walked down the small dingy hallway he was overwhelmed with the usual smells of must, excrement, and hopelessness that had been there for a while now. A few graffiti ridden posters, faded of color, stubbornly stuck to the wall proclaiming all the wonderful welfare programs that passed, all the new police added, all the new business coming into town. Of course Karl knew those were simply dreams of some local council man making a quick and desperate attempt for election last year.

 

Speaking of last year’s elections they were as brutal as they were desperate Karl remembered while stepping over a spank’d out homeless man with a large amount of brown substance over his face. The elections had been one hell of a fight, the Patriot Party, lead by President Lawton, had gone into the election looking very weak. Some thought the high crime that bordered on insurgency and national corruption that was halting the economy. Others that the military's offensive in Indonesia was going horribly wrong; partly because of Lawton’s own incompetence and the disbanding of the Indonesian government upon invasion.

 

Lucky for Lawton the opposition, Fred Douglas, was assassinated while visiting Capital City and his vice president, Sarah Tuckerman, was a backwater idiot with no political experience. But even running against a complete fool it was only when Capital City was wiped off the map on 10/10 did Lawton make gains in the polls. Lawton quickly called Congress off of its break and used the fact that most Congressional leaders were dead, to pass the Jingoism act. The Jingoism Act did many things that upset the Liberals but most citizens of Liberty City were most affected by the fact it moved the Capital of the republic from Capital City, which now lay in ruins after the unspeakable attack, to Liberty City. While some were proud that the city was now the Entertainment, Cultural, Financial and Political Capital of the world, mostly the rich property developer Donald Love and his media Conglomerate, most citizens feared Liberty would be next on the terrorist chopping block.

 

In this state of fear and despair Lawton was able to get just enough support to win by a margin. Once the votes came in no one was sure who was really president until the Supreme Court decided Lawton should win after heavy lobbying by corporate interest. In the aftermath of that election many people in Hepburn Heights rioted, but not Karl. Instead he used the opportunity to burgle houses of people who were rioting. He got himself a new TV that night; though now in retrospect it doesn’t seem to matter much since the powers out again. As Karl made his way to the building superintendent’s office he saw a growing crowd of people standing outside of the office door, most screaming for power.

 

“This is the fourth time this week!”

 

“I wanna watch my shows!”

 

“F*** you Lenny!”

 

Screamed some of the angry patrons in the crowd, and soon the whole hall floor was abuzz with activity. Many of the neighborhood kids were pick pocketing the residents, the lesser thugs made their way down the stairs less they too be the next subject of angrier. The hallway was brutally hot, and even though it was October the lack of windows that open and a malfunctioning air and heating unit that Lenny, the maintenance man, wouldn’t fix. This was the perfect atmosphere for group rage.

 

Instead of getting involved in this conformation Karl decided to just lean against a pillar and observe the interaction. That was one of Karl’s specialties, human action. He could spot an enemy from a mile away, and whenever the power went out or at a social event he used this skill to try to predict what someone else was going to do next. Karl had been smarter than most since he was a child. Back when he cared about school, he would always get the highest grades in the class. Even after Karl dropped out of middle school to sell drugs, he would bring in more money than anyone else. Karl always had natural charisma and before he stopped caring most people believed he could do anything in life.

 

Somehow along the way Karl ended up in Hepburn and working for the Diablos. Even though he isn't Puerto Rican like most gang members, Karl's selling ability brought him closer to the top ranks everyday. Since he'd been promoted to the 20th floor he never had to worry about residents back lashing against him like most common thugs. He was under the protection of El Burro and that protection meant the most in Hepburn itself.

 

“I bet the man in the tank top is gonna throw the first punch”

 

Karl thought to himself, as the fragile wooden door to the office burst open. Soon the crowd poured into the office and Lenny was brought out by the collar of his shirt and just as Karl predicted the large Latino man in the faded white tank top punched Karl in the nose; making a little stream of blood come out. A middle aged man walked up to a window with a baseball bat and bust it out, and a cool breeze of fall air seeped into the hall. The large Latino man grabbed Lenny and pushed him through the window opening.

 

Lenny had always been a weird man, with a look that just screamed I'm a child molester. He wore the same dirty office shirt everyday and lived in his office which had been converted from a hall closet before he became building super. From what Karl had heard Lenny got paid double the average welfare sum to be super and yet he worked less than most of the building residents. If your toilet didn't work? Well sucks to be you, file a complaint with the Civic Center. Light bulb out? Better get that form for the Civic Center then. Want more air conditioning during the summer? Well people in hell want ice water. Even though Karl could empathize somewhat with Lenny, Karl had never been a slacker in any job he was in. To Karl whatever happened to Lenny he deserved.

 

Over the dissatisfied screaming masses Lenny started screaming at the top of his lungs.

 

“You damn people! I can’t fix the power! You have to talk to city services! Don’t f***ing drop me!”

The crowd repeated what Lenny said amongst themselves while the Latino man then started removing his fingers from Lenny’s shirt one by one this made Lenny talk even faster.

 

“Listen Listen Listen, folks I know I’m not the best super-buubuuut if you kill me the Civic Center ain’t gonna send you a new one for a year!”

The crowd soon quieted down to that comment and everyone looked amongst themselves about what to do next. Before a group census could be formed the Latino man spit in Lenny’s face and let him go. In one fast motion, Lenny fell 20 stories splattering on the pavement.

 

They had done it, they killed the super. No one would go to jail, the police didn’t dare patrol this area after the Diablo Massacre of 01, when during the investigation of a large drive by the police were beaten by spank’d up hobos. But now they had themselves a bigger problem, who would get the power on? Who would provide the basic maintenance and services the building needed? The group reverence soon returned to angrier as the residents berated the Latino man. Why did he kill Lenny they asked, who would fix the power?

 

What do they do now? Karl had been watching all of this unfold and knew it was time to step in. He didn’t want to go without power because of a bunch of idiots for to much longer. Karl pulled out his 9mm and shot a bullet out a window next to him. The whole crowd was silenced and some of the men moved their hands for their guns. But Karl began to speak.

 

“Listen you idiots,” Karl started, “I’ll go down to the Civilian services and make them get us power and a new super.”

A dirty teen replied, “How you gonna do that?!”

“The same way I got you savages to shut up; if anyone wants to come with me, hop in a car and tail along.” Karl put his gun in his pants and made his way to the stairs, he walked down to the 10th floor and knocked on the door of this friend, Marcus. After Karl knocked o it was a moment or so before Marcus came staggering up to him. Marcus was a 25 year old black guy a little shorter than Karl, something that Karl would occasionally berate him about. Marcus seemed to always be somewhat sluggish and smelled of cheap marijuana.

“What’s going on Karl?” Marcus asked slowly.

“Man we gotta go get the power back on, come on with us.” Said Karl as the formally angry crowd continued down the long flight of stairs to their cars.

“Damn nigga why can’t Lenny do that sh*t?”

“Because Lenny had a very long fall”

Marcus scratched his head and looked at the wall.

“Huh?”

“Lenny's dead you dumb ass”

Realization came to Marcus' eyes and soon he said,

“Damn, alright come on in and gimme a sec.”

 

Marcus opened the door and Karl went on inside the smoky dark apartment. Like most development apartments it was small and without windows. The only natural light in the room were cigarette buds burning out on the floor and a dim flash light that Marcus had set up. Apparently that’s all Marcus needed to get around the squalor that was the apartment.

 

“O sh*t! Damn! What is this in the floor Marcus?!” screamed Karl when he ran into some metal object in the room.

“O yea man that’s my shipment got it from those Triads last Thursday. IN that box we got the stopping power of a elephant”

“Great because that elephant just broke my toe.”

“Man stop whining I’m ready.” Marcus came out of his back room with some jeans, a ripped up t-shirt with Aras shoes symobl and sandals with socks, with the addition of his bullet proof vest.”

“You always got to wear that vest don’t you huh Marcus?” asked Karl wittingly.

“Man say what you want, one day this thing is gonna save my live.”

“Marcus if a bullet comes at you, that 2 inch piece of lead ain’t gonna do sh*t.”

“Whatever man, one day you’ll see.”

 

As they both walked out the room and down the stairs Karl looked out the smoggy windows on each floor at the new downtown skyline. He would give almost anything to get out of the development and downtown. If you were anyone, you lived on Staunton Island. After 10/10 the Federal Government and Love Corp. transformed it into the richest place in America, the new capital building was 100 stories, and at the top the largest American flag in the world was in constant motion. America’s richest stars, politicians, businessmen, lawyers and gangsters lived on Staunton. The closer to the south end of town you were, near the new Love tower, built by Donald Love of course, the richer you were. The few in the middle class that still survived mostly lived in upper Staunton.

 

“Marcus man you don’t ever wanna live on Staunton? Get away from this place? Live up in one of those big new penthouses?”

“Nah man I just want some electri-ta” and then he felt his chin and quickly added, “and some weed and I have my fix.”

“But Marcus man, we could make it there. Staunton, hell I’d be happy living in North Staunton at this point.”

“Man lemme tell you, ain’t no way we can make it to Staunton. You wanna know why? Because we weren’t born into a Staunton family, and we don’t know any Staunton people.”

“True but Marcus I wanna change all that. I know I, we can do better than this.”

“Man it’s that kinda talk, gets niggas killed.”

Karl didn’t have time to respond, they were now on a mission for power. They jogged out the front door of the development building and got into Karl’s Junker of a car.

 

Karl's car had been a hard find, and he even shocked himself sometimes we he remembered he had it. When Karl first came to Liberty he didn't want to use a car because it would probably get jacked. As time went on and Karl joined the Diablos, he knew that no one would dare steal anything of his. He didn't have enough cash to make his Stallion look like the rest in the gangs, and his was still in bad shape, but regardless he took pride in the fact he was one of the few gangsters who were making enough cash to still afford one.

 

“Alright everyone to the Civic Services!” screamed Karl out the car window. He then burned out the parking lot and the rest of the resident followed. On the drive to the Civic Center which was in the former police station, Marcus took out one of his cheap cigarettes and tried to find a lighter.

“Man I need my fix, you got some heat in this car? “

Karl looked under his seat and quickly pulled out a 9mm he kept stashed, and pointed it at Marcus.

“That enough heat for you? Haaha”

“Very funny man, damn near gave me a heart attack. But forreal you got a lighter?”

“Nah, you know I don’t smoke, that crap’s bad for you anyway.”

“Nigga what it matter, this whole damn island’s polluted! Hell you can’t open yo mouth up without getting cancer!”

“That’s an exaggeration”

“Fool say what you want, these cigarettes are good for me anyway.”

“Says who?”

“Says the Redwood Cigarette company.”

“You know you can be an idiot sometimes right?”

“Hey ignorance is bliss”

“Meh in this town it’s dead.”

 

As the caravan approached the Civic Services Center, traffic ground to a halt.

“Man I wonder what’s taking so long,” Said Karl getting more irritated by the second, “Come on speed up!”

Traffic on Portland Road was normally back to back, but the road with the Hospital and Civic Service Center was normally clear. Minute by minute they sit in stalemate. To make the situation worse an ambulance was trying desperately to get into the hosiptal drive way but was blocked. People in near by apartments hung out of their window's talking and screaming, about the scene. Karl was slowly losing patience and punched the car steering wheel.

 

“Bro you gotta learn to stay more calm.” said Marcus as he pulled out another cigarette and looked for that lighter.

“Nigga who can stay calm when gas is 7 dollars a gallon and we’re just sitting here? I’mma just park da car on the side walk we can walk the rest of the way.”

Karl put the car into park and the puttering motor soon died, he got out and soon the rest of the group followed. Once they got to the hospital that sat right next to the Civic Services, they all noticed a police checkpoint had been set up for all cars entering the area. Karl walked up to the cop, who looked uninterested, and asked some questions.

“What’s with the checkpoint officer?”

“We’re conducting random vehicle seeps after a car bomb went off here yesterday.”

“I don’t remember hearing about a car bomb.”

“Of course you didn’t, you think Love would broadcast some sh*t like that? Now do you have a real concern or do you just want to keep bothering me?”

“Yeah we need to go talk to Civic Services about power outages in Hepburn Heights.”

“You and every other slum dog in this city.”

“What did you say?”

“I called you a slum dog, you and your little slum dog friends. All you do is sit in your free development apartment, taking my hard earned money so you can come complain. How about you go get a f*cking job?”

The residents grew outraged, soon they tried to make a rush for the cop but Karl and Marcus held them back.

“Nigga you must not know who the f*ck you’re talking to!” screamed Marcus as he got into the cops face, spitting in-between words. The cop reached for his battalion and swiped Marcus with it. Karl pulled out his gun and fired 2 shots into the officers chest sending him flying back. The residents then jumped over the checkpoint, and stormed the Civic Services Center. Soon National Guard soldiers, who were posted on guard outside the Center, opened fire on the massive crowd of people running for the doors. Random pedestrians and motorist took pictures with cell phone cameras or joined the anarchy. Karl and Marcus on the other hand ran back to their vehicle, as Karl put the keys into the ignition, he looked up and saw that the army shooting most of the rioters were being shot dead.

 

The car screed backwards and they made their way back to Hepburn Heights. As they drove backwards on the sidewalk Karl veered so he wouldn’t hit an old man walking, and got back onto the street. Soon Karl and Marcus were on the main road back to Hepburn.

 

“sh*t, nigga you ok?” asked Karl as his heart resumed to its normal level.

“Yeah, face kinda hurts cuz of that f*cking cop tho, thanks for cappin’ his ass.”

“You know it wasn’t nothing, but sh*t how I’mma suppose to explain to El Burro that a few consumers of mine are all dead now?”

“Nigga this what we gonna do, we go to that new Cluckin’ Bell get some breakfast, and say them nigga’s went down there by themselves. Hell you’ll get some new consumers on dat floor, nigga’s need two things: Housing and Spank, and we provide. Those rooms need to be available anyway, just look out yo windows look at these homeless fools.”

 

Karl looked out and saw poor and dirty families of people walking the streets, hobos sleeping on the ground or doing Spank, groups of teens roaming the streets mugging old people and throwing stones at windows. All of these folks would kill for a chance to live in Hepburn Heights, even though that wasn’t all that great either.

 

“Sure we can go to Cluckin’ Bell but I don’t’ know about what just happened. You know El Burro is reluctant to promote any new folks in Hepburn as it is. Hell if he finds out I got some of the consumers killed and he’ll be pissed.”

“Ok well the news ain’t gonna cover it right?”

 

Karl thought about it for a moment and realized this was Marcus' first rational comment that day.

 

“Right like the cop said Love wouldn’t cover some sh*t at the civic center anyway.”

“And most people in Hepburn ain’t got the internet, and I doubt El burro ever stops f*cking and smoking to look at his internet.”

“True, and everybody that could know is already dead.”

“That’s right, so we’re home free, now hurry the f*ck up and park I’m hungry.”

 

Karl pulled the car into the alleyway in-between the Cluckin’ Bell and Burro’s porno studio.

 

“Hey” said Marcus finally starting to wake up, “You wanna go see one of Burro’s porno shoots after we eat?”

“Nah man, I got to get back to the Heights, make some cash, I can’t stay on that damn 20th floor anymore.”

“What you think Burro’s gonna give you a room up on a higher floor?” said Marcus doubtfully, “Damn nigga’s like you always trying to make a scene, always trying to succeed at something. Nigga can’t you be happy were you are? You got a house, food, money, a car, a tv, hell you already made it to the 20th floor of Hepburn and you ain’t even Puerto Rican or a native.”

“sh*t nigga, why you always trying to dog on my hopes and sh*t?”

“f*ck” said Marcus half way laughing “Cuz you make lazy nigga’s like me look bad.”

 

Karl pushed him forward as they walked into the Cluckin Bell over the hobo sleeping on the steps.

 

“Damn I still don’t understand how they keep these places so clean!” said Marcus still astonished.

“Dude we eat here almost every day and you say the same thing.”

“That’s because this sh*t is so f*cking clean!”

“Or maybe your apartment is just soo f*cking dirty, sh*t like walking through a mine field.”

 

They stood in the long line as large groups of customers and workers ordered breakfast. The chefs in the back of the restaurant putting chicken into ovens, the cashier was looking nervous since it was his first day. Large TV’s were corners of the sitting areas, and pictures of Donald Love, the new owner of Cluckin’ Bell abounded the store. Even though there was almost no standing room it was a relatively non-busy day.

 

“Not too many niggas here” said Marcus

“Probably because of the labor strikes down at Portland Harbor, hell look at the TV, they’re talking about it right now on Weazel News.”

 

The young Asian newscaster began to speak while a picture of striking workers appeared on the screen.

 

“In other news a bunch of ungrateful workers are holding the cities’ docks and ports hostage. The dock workers are protesting for only 50 hour day weeks, basic health insurance and for the asbestos in the ceiling to be removed. Now to our guest to talk about this issue, the owner of Portland Docks, and new owner of Weazel News, Donald Love.”

Marcus interrupted “Man here this rich ass nigga again.”

“Thanks for having me…what’s your name again?” said Donald with a made for TV smile.

“Ms. Lee” who looked as nervous as the teen behind the cash register.

“Yes once again, thanks.”

“So boss, I mean Mr. Love what are your thoughts on the protesters and dock workers?”

“I personally think they’re underestimating how good they have it, with the 40 percent unemployment in Portland there are those who would kill for their spots. Speaking of which,” Love said as he turned to the camera, “make sure to watch Fight4adesk, my new reality TV show when former office workers fight to the death for a job at Love media, and a beautiful home in North Staunton next Monday.”

“Ah once again another amazing statement by my favorite boss-I mean thank you for the update Mr. Love. Now there are those who say it wouldn’t kill you to lower the working hours at the docks, how do you respond?”

Love started to laugh some then replied, “It wouldn’t kill me but it would kill them, if those workers don’t evacuate my property within 12 hours I’m going to call the police and have them removed by force. I’ve already got replacement workers on the way.”

“Mr. Love don’t you worry about the message this will send to the American people?”

“Of course not the American people love, me, and my brands. Now Liberty City has always held a special place in my heart and so it’s going to be the main focus of mine for years to come. I do wish that those dock workers would simply return to work, but after learning of Mafia influence in the strikes I’m not sure that will be a possibility.”

“Mafia influences Mr. Love?”

“You heard right, I believe Toni Cipriani and the shambles of the Leones are behind the strike simply to hurt the citizens of Portland when they most need it. By closing those docks we aren’t getting any new goods, or coal for power. We’ve received reports of major outages in Hepburn and Wichita Gardens.”

“Speaking of which I’m getting reports of that many citizens from Hepburn’s rioted down near Portland Hospital over power outrages, any thoughts Mr.Love?”

“Ohhh f*ck…” said Karl under his breath

“Well” Love said slowly, “It’s sad that those from Hepburn have to display their anger through violence, I’ll make sure the Civic Service finds out who started that mess, don’t worry Liberty Love is working hard for you.”

“Thanks for coming on again boss.”

“Thank you Ms. Chang.”

 

As Karl and Marcus moved up in line they couldn’t help but think that this wasn’t over.

 

“Yes may I help you?” asked the meek cashier.

“Uhh Karl what you want man?” asked Marcus

“Same thing as every day,” Karl then turned to the cashier, “Just need a Value Burger off the 5 dollar menu.”

“What about you sir?” she asked looking at Marcus

“Yeah just gimme one of dem too, all yah other sh*t to expensive.” Replied Marcus rubbing his head at the menu.”

“Alright that’s just 10.95”

“O sh*t,” Marcus said as he dug through his pockets, “Nigga I left my cash at home”

“What?!” replied Karl, “Man..whatever I’ll pay this time but you owe me fool.”

“Yeah Yeah nigga you ain’t gonna do nothing”

 

Karl reached into his pocket and pulled out a 10 New Buck out. With the rapid inflation in 2003 they released the New Dollars and proclaimed they were worth 4 times more than a regular dollar. Making the inflation situation worse than ever before, and soon most people’s savings were reduced to almost nothing. The new dollars were made of plastic and were clear rather than green, though the presidents face and past symbols still were on it.

 

Karl and Marcus waited for their food to get finished, and waded their way through the crowd to get their food. Afterwards they made their way back to a corner table that happened to be open, and began to eat their food. Karl liked it somewhat but since this was the 10th day in a row of getting the value burger he didn’t think much of it. Marcus on the other hand never seemed to stop liking Cluckin’ Bell, and would always eat his faster; even though he was smaller in size than Karl.

 

“What you think Burro’s gonna say during the meeting tonight?” asked Marcus in-between bites of the gray burger.

“Man who knows, probably the same ol” speech about how we need to get out there and sell more, we can still be sent back to foot soldier status, and all that crap.”

“What you think about Love and those strikes? You think he’s gonna have the army go in and crack some heads?”

“Sure, public opinion ain’t very strong for unions these days, besides you know it’s just the Leones behind the strikes anyway.”

“Yeah that’s what D Lo, said. Man us Diablo’s really have those Mafia fools by the balls huh?”

“Don’t celebrate yet, Toni is still a head turner, that old man probably has a few tricks up his sleeve. The Mafia may be limited to Sal’s old mansion and the street down to his mom’s place but you remember the news reports and rumors about that fool back in the summer of ’98?”

“Man all that’s unconfirmed.”

“Yeah? Well I know the Original Diablo Massacre wasn’t, I heard that dude killed over 100 Diablos on foot IN Hepburn Heights. Burro denies it but I know that’s what happened. Plus you know back when we were in High School and Fort Staunton was destroyed?”

“They never found the terrorist.”

“That wasn’t no terrorist, fool. That was Toni, who else would plant bombs in Forelli terrority?”

“True but that don’t mea-“

 

Marcus was cut off by the TV as it raised in volume and Breaking News flashed across the screen. The Asian newscaster that had just interviewed Donald Love a few minutes ago was back on the screen.

 

“Hello Liberty City, breaking news” she said with a sense of seriousness, “We have received reports that the pro-union terrorist that started the Civic Service Center riots was none other than this man.”

 

A surveillance picture that vaguely showed Karl’s face appeared on the screen, all Karl could see was him shooting the officer.

Edited by bobgtafan
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This is grim and fits the GTA III theme perfectly - I always thought the III-era is the darkest.

 

Beautiful.

 

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read it all as I'm tired.

But, wow!

This is absolutely brilliant, I greatly appreciate the dark and descriptive writing style, the whole scene is set alive.

 

Brilliant.

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Thank you so much! I've always wanted to do a proper GTA 3 fan fiction. I'm really encouraged that you both took the time to read my wall of text. biggrin.gif I'll make sure to keep it good, look for updates soon!

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Really enjoyable, as the others said this piece really gets across the atmosphere and gritiness of a more modern, almost "delapidated" Liberty City. Really good vibe from this, eagerly awaiting part 2 smile.gif

U R B A N I T A S

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I've been busy this week. End of Part 2 will be here by Monday. I've updated Chapter one, some what rewritten, and somewhat just added content. Thanks for reading and please enjoy! Here's the beginning of Chapter 2 for your reading pleasure. The end will be here by Monday!

 

Ending of Chapter 2 by Monday, thanks for reading!

Edited by bobgtafan
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This is grim and fits the GTA III theme perfectly - I always thought the III-era is the darkest.

 

Beautiful.

Nonsense III era is one of the greatest history making thing and I believe its not gonna get over. GTA SAN ANDREAS is my favourite from all the III era games and there are many people who love it. Well IV era games are cool and have gigantic set of features but still III era has its own originality.

 

I hope this is not the end.

You should not misspell my name - pw

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And with the clock running down I have completed chapter 2. No doubt it is full of errors of the grammatical sort but those will be re edited in the coming days.

 

Chapter 2- The Goodfellas

 

“Mr. Karl...what's your last name?”

“I forget.”

“Of course you do, well Mr. Karl, did you believe your little incident would go unnoticed by the authorities?”

“A man can hope can't he?”

“Maybe so, but it seems your hope has run out. Now Mr. Karl you have upset some very important people in this city. Very important people. I think it's in your best interest to cooperate.”

“Why wouldn't I?”

 

“That a boy.” The agent, slapped Karl on the cheek, not hard but almost as a taunt. He turned away from Karl and looked at El Burro. This meeting was far from what Karl expected when El Burro called him to his penthouse earlier that day. The few times Karl had been in Burro's penthouse it was a massive party. El Burro's porn stars flirting with every man (and woman) in sight. El Burro's large strobe lights flashing hardcore rap with Puerto Rican themes blasted. The regular lights would be off and only the glow of Burro's flat screen would illuminate the room.

 

Today the penthouse was in an in creditably different state. Burro never cleaned it, it seemed, and even though the sun was setting there was a large amount of light in the room. So much light that Burro himself seemed to be having a hard time opening his eye's fully. The agent moved further away from Karl and walked to the penthouse window, Staunton lights shining in the distance. The window was large and clean, and was in direct contrast to the apartment itself. El Burro raised his dirty tank top and starched his large bulge of a stomach. He gave Karl a look of almost disgust but then began concatenating on the agent.

 

As silence gripped the room Karl looked around and remembered that he hadn't been up here many times. Most of the time Burro would hold group meetings down in the basement. Of course this was far from a regular day. The agent came from the window and decided to break the silence.

 

“Karl, I'm going to be straight with you, you're competent. I've been going over your file and you haven't even gone to jail! And amazing feat for a black man such as yourself. Now maybe that means your good, or maybe it means you haven't taken enough risk in life. But now I'm here to up the risk.”

“What do you want from me? Agent...Agent...what's your name?”

“Agent Freeman.”

“Bullsh*t.”

“Of course it is, but my name isn't important, for I am simply a representative of something larger than you can even imagine.”

 

Karl hadn't taken the time to notice but Agent Freeman, or whatever his name really was, seemed to fill the room with his very presence. The way he carried himself suggested an air of importance that Karl had only seen amongst Kings on television long ago. But with that sense of royalty, of officialness he was still very modern and still very much more than a image on a screen.

 

Agent Freeman wore an all black suit, with a black tie and black sunglasses which contrasted heavily with his white shirt and skin. The most astounding thing about Freeman that Karl noticed was that his hair was stark white. Freeman didn't appear very old, he couldn't of been much older than Karl himself at 31. To Karl he seemed to almost play out a stereotype portrayed by the media on what an “agent” would look like. In the back of Karl's mind he couldn't help but believe this was the effect Freeman wanted him to perceive.

 

“Enough with the chit chat Karl, we have business to attend too.”

 

Freeman grabbed Karl and sat him down on Burro's old couch. Burro grabbed his remote and hit a large red button. Burro's large flat screen lowered from the ceiling, covering the window. The large crystal like screen flashed with the image of Karl shooting the cop. It was set on a instantaneous loop and Karl's face was very clear.

 

“So do you now understand the gravity of the situation Karl?” Freeman said while slowly walking around the couch, hands behind his back, simply peering at Karl though his glasses. Karl could feel his eyes, and that same feeling from before in the hallway returned down his spine. The only difference was that this time the rage was gone. Only a feeling that he reaching a point of no return began to enter his being.

“Karl let me give you a brief history lesson.”

“O what do you know my favorite subject.” Karl snapped back

“Shut the f*ck up Karl!” Burro shrieked from across the sectional raising his arm with authority. Karl could tell that Burro was far from happy about what was going on and Karl complied.

“Always have been a smart ass huh Karl? But let's move on.” the agent walked to Burro and took the remote. He hit a small button in the middle and a picture of Salvatore Leone and Toni Capirini appeared on the screen.

 

“Back in 1998 Salvatore Leone and Toni Cipirini began an aggressive campaign of expansion. They destroyed the other two mafia families of Liberty, assassinated the mayor, rigged the election, stunned the Yakuza for years and controlled City Hall for many years afterward. They even took the Red Light district and controlled the whole cities sex trafficking and prostitution rings. The Leone's were at the height of their power and everything was going their way...until El Burro here came on the scene.”

 

“The Diablos and craved out the area of Hepburn Heights and took it from the Mafia after years of gang wars. In any case the agency I work for was fine with this. The Diablos were checking the mob in at least porn, prostitution and sex trafficking. And by the time we got to 2001 the mob was losing the drug trade to the Colombians, City officials to the Yakuza and everything else to the triads and you all, the Diablos.”

 

Karl raised his hand sarcastically as if he was in a classroom.

 

“Yes Karl?”

“You gonna hurry this sh*t up teacher? I got sh*t to do.”

“Karl you're going to find that every sh*t you take from this moment is my sh*t. Now shut the f*ck up.”

Karl let him continue but mumbled, “sh*t eater”

“To get to the point the Leone's were in good graces with us, until after 2001 that is. Toni demanded of some leadership pay him 10 percent of their revenue. Then they killed the mayor in a horribly public way in 2002. After Sal died Toni's “leadership” ran them into the ground. Now they barely keep control of Little Italy. They're supporting those union assholes at Love's factories, and are trying to supply those looters with weapons. We need Toni and the Leone leadership dead, without them this whole strike will break up and the military won't have to go in.”

“What do you want me to do about all that?”

“We want you to kill Toni Cipirini and Luigi tonight at the Mafia's little get together. El Burro will supply you with more detail.”

“And what if I refuse?”

Agent Freeman simply let out a half smile and put the TV back on the clip of Karl killing the police officer.

“Then you'll go to jail, for a very long time Karl. How about life? Now it's your choice. Not mine, not Burro's. You can work for us, or you can go to jail.”

“Hell I'll do it, I don't really have a choice, but why do you keep saying us? We and such?”

 

Agent Smith put the remote down and left the TV on Karl killing the cop. He turned around and left the penthouse with only one comment left leaving an echo in the hallway.

 

“We're always watching Karl, always. Always.”

 

Karl and Burro simply looked at each other and then Burro got up frantically.

 

“So now some FIB creeps have been snooping around this bitch. The news can't stop talking about this bitch, and everyone else is trying to take gain on me like I'm a bitch. Do you think I'm a bitch Karl?!” screamed El Burro his stubby finger in Karl's face.

“No El Burro you're not a bitch.”

“Then why you trying to get everyone to think I am?!”

 

Now it was only Burro and Karl in the room, the smelly awkward silence was broken when Burro turned around.

 

“Karl, I'm a fair man, why don't you just tell me your side of the story?”

“I wanted to get some power for the Heights. We went down there and things got out of hand very fast when some crooked cop started talking sh*t.”

“So the cop made you mad? What next did you put on a f*cking tampon this morning? So you start a riot because of a random cop?!”

“El Burro, sir, what you've seen on the news isn't the whole thing. The cop hit Marcus! You got to see the whole thing!”

Burro turned away from Karl and picked up his TV remote.

 

“You know Karl.” Burro said while still looking at the screen, “The truth doesn't matter, what really matters is what everyone else thinks is the truth. But you know what Karl? My mom always told me to turn lemons into lemonade. Before she died of AIDS that is.”

 

Burro got up from his grimly section couch and went into his bedroom. He started shouting to Karl about his plan.

 

“Karl the only way to get rid of news is make new news!” the sound of objects moving and chasing projecting over his voice. Karl walked back into the main room with a large metal crate, he set it down on a table in front of his couch and motioned his hand for Karl to come over.

“Karl, every news outlet in Liberty is talking about this. Politicians that aren't in my pocket are talking about increasing the amount of police in Hepburn. Now we haven't had a cop in this area for 3 years and I want to keep it that way.”

Burro opened the box and dug around inside, he continued talking

.

“I think the main faction trying to muscle in police are the mafia. Those scum bags want to draw attention away from their role in the union protest. I'm not sure if it's Toni really running things or Luigi but like that Agent said we aren't going to take any chances. In a few hours the mob is going to be having one of there little get together and that's where you come in.”

 

Burro finally pulled out what he was looking for.

 

“Use this to kill those bastards. The party is at 7 o clock at Sal's old mansion. I'm not sure how you'll do it, but get the job done and DON'T BE SEEN OR CAUGHT.”

“Uhh a dildo?”

 

Burro quickly threw it across the room,

“Hell no! This!”

 

Burro handed Karl a Sniper Rifle and some bullets.

 

“Now leave this place and come back here when you are done.

 

 

Karl stood up from Burro's couch and dusted off his pants in case he sat in anything. Karl simply looked at Burro and without pause and left his penthouse. The hall outside his penthouse looked dramatically better than the sh*t hole Burro called home. It looked like a hotel room hallway that had been freshly cleaned. Karl tried to recall the last time he'd been in an environment this nice but his memories of his childhood wouldn't formalize.

 

There were only a few doors on this level, which suggested that each of Burro's top men had large rooms like Burro. As Karl made his way to the stairwell he heard the sound of a housemaid whistling. Karl looked and saw a small Latina women with a cart leave an apartment while whistling brokenly the sound of some traditional song.

 

“She's probably the only female on this floor no one is screwing” Karl thought to himself with a smirk as he walked down 5 flights of stairs.

 

Once Karl got to his floor he noticed it was much colder than before and realized that multiple windows had been broken out of the hallway. Now that Lenny was dead there was no telling when, if ever, the window's would be fixed. Now that it was getting into the night and the sun was setting the hall had cooled down and now just as all things in Liberty, it was extremely cold.

 

Karl opened the door of his apartment and reached for the light switch, but caught himself.

“The powers still out down here.”

 

As Karl stumbled around his apartment he thought back to the fact that El Burro had electricity.

“Probably a generator, just another reason I need to make it to the top.”

 

Karl found his old jacket with the wore out logo of the Liberty City cocks, the cities football team, and made a make shift sling for his new rifle out of a old t shirt he didn't wear anymore. As he walked out of his room and started making his way too his car he felt a sense of fear. This was going to be the biggest job he'd ever done and the 20 stories worth of stairs seemed to take longer and longer to walk down.

 

Just as Karl was passing the 10th floor were Marcus resided he almost tripped over a hobo in the hall way.

“What the f*ck you moron?! Why the hell are you on the stai-”

Karl stopped he saw that it was Marcus.

 

“Marcus what the hell man?!”

“Nigga calm yo self, nigga trying to get some rest.”

“On the stairs?” Karl looked at Marcus and noticed that Marcus smelled of weed, and his eyes were heavily glossed over.

“How many blunts have you smoked my nigga?”

“Uhhh I lost count after 13.”

“Good God, Marcus, have you done anything else?”

“Just a little acid with Juan maybe...”

 

Juan was the “club” body guard who was probably the dumbest person Karl had ever met, besides Burro. The only reason he was still kept around was because he always could find you any type of drug; even rarities.

 

“Come on Marcus I'm taking you back to your apartment.” Karl grabbed Marcus by his body armor and helped him up.

“Man nigga you a real friend and sh-” Marcus stumbled back quickly.

“O Jesus! It's the f*cking donkey again! Karl shoot the donkey! Now now!”

 

Karl just shook his head and tried to open his door. The ancient red pant had faded and the Diablos' mark had been craved so that all burglars knew to stay away. The rusted lock wouldn't budge and soon Karl became frustrated. Marcus began signing some old Irish song he'd heard to “appease the donkey”, the whole time a few residents were gathering somewhat near and looking at the episode.

 

“O come on you piece of crap door!” Karl raged as he kicked the door.

“This sh*t is Bananas!” an old lady screamed

“Why is he doing this?”said a Diablo drug dealer, while smoking a blunt.

Karl finally got the door open and walked with Marcus inside. He carefully avoided Marcus' piece of Hardware this time and put him down on his couch. Marcus finally stopped screaming about the donkey and seemed to lose consciousness.

 

“Damn fool” was all Karl had to say as he walked out of the room and shut the door as much as he could. The crowd had dispersed and Karl made his way down the rest of the stairs faster than he thought he could. It was getting darker and Karl knew 7 was coming nearer by the second.

 

Once Karl was outside the building he looked around for a cab. He didn't want to take his car since he'd be identifiable with it, and Salvarote's mansion wasn't too far away to pay the fare of a cab. The sun had set behind a building and cast a orange glow on all of the Heights. The hobo's seemed to be setting up for the night in their tents near the building, while trash flowed on the ground like a sea of decay.

 

The main concrete square in the middle of Hepburn was now a squatter city. Make shift tents and shacks had been set up on every spot of land. Families roamed trading, talking, or signing. Restless teenagers gathered on the hill near the main road, doing drugs and causing trouble. Even though these looked as if they were temporary dwellings, most of these people had lived here for over year. Some were refugees from Capital City, others illegals from south of the border, but most were simply those who fell through the cracks when the economy split.

 

Walking through the shacks made Karl remember how good he had it in his 3 room apartment. He may not have electricity but at least he had a proper roof. In the middle of the middle was a payphone that seemed to ring constantly and yet because it had the symbol of the Diablos no one ever bothered it. The people in the slums didn't seem to care anymore, and didn't seem to aspire for anything better. Most of them tried to get into the Heights long ago and failed. Most of them tried to get a job and failed. Most of them tried to kick Spank and failed. The fact was if you didn't have connections, which many didn't, then you didn't have a future.

 

Karl was just about to get to the road when he was stopped.

 

“Sir! Sir! Do you have time for you future?!” shouted a small young man caring fliers for the United Corporatist Front. With their brand of politics they mixed Christianity, Authoritarianism, Corporatism, and Patriotism in one potent brand. The corporatist had spread ever since 10/10 despite being banned by Lawton for “national security” reasons.

 

“I'm a Diablo son, don't bother me. You're only allowed to pass that crap out as long as you don't interfere with Diablo actions and remember that.” Karl continued to push past people and waved for a taxi just as he got in the dirty little child shouted,

“One day you'll care!”

 

 

**********

The cab ride cost Karl a full day's profit but he knew that he couldn't take his clunker into the heart of Mafia turf. Karl stepped out of the taxi and looked at the dirt path to Sal's house. He was across the street and saw the massive limo that blocked the path in. Karl knew he couldn't just go in guns a blazing, since he didn't have a death wish.

 

He looked at the two mobsters carrying riot shotguns and knew they meant business. IF he was going to do this he'd need a vantage point. He looked up and saw a large building that over looked the mansion, and knew he had his choice. Karl had the gun under his jacket but still looked out of place in this almost all Italian neighborhood. He walked across the street into the large gray building and looked immediately for a stairway to the top.

 

The building was residential and Karl could tell that at one time it was more up scale but now it was deteriorating. At the front desk an old man slept with his hand on a broom. From what Karl could tell the old man did a good job considering the circumstances, though the interior was still showing it's age. The carpet was tearing, the furniture had holes, the air was full of dust; and yet it all seemed like Karl stepped into a comfortable home.

 

Karl walked up to the counter were the man was sleeping and slapped it.

 

“Gahh!” the man shirked as he let go of his broom and readjusted his glasses, “O my, um I'm sorry you just scared me there for a second. Can't sneak up on an old man like that. So what can I do for you sonny?”

“Yes uh Mr. Issac” Karl said squinting at Issac's name tag, “I'm looking for my girlfriend's room, she lives on the top floor. Can you direct me to the stairs?”

“You have a girlfriend who lives here? Well hell kids these days...the stairs are to your right.”

“Thank you Issac.”

 

Issac grabbed his broom and began sweeping the carpet. Karl began his long trek to the top of the stairs. It seemed to Karl that stairs had become a permanent fixture in his life like breathing lately. Karl got to the 9th floor without seeing a soul but then spotted someone above.

 

“What you doin' here pal?” the Leone said while walking down the stairs.

“I have a person to see.”

“What do you think? I'm dumb or something? I know a black guy like you doesn't have anything waiting on him in this place. Why don't you turn around now?”

 

Karl looked at his watch and saw the time continue to go by. It was 6:58 and if he wanted to get both Toni and Luigi he had to act now. He pulled out his pistol and fired a shot into the mobster's face. The large man quickly fell and Karl grabbed him and set him down quietly. He ran to the roof and took out his rifle. The limo was pulling onto the dirt path now and Karl took aim.

 

The Leone's party was a large fan fare. From the roof Karl could see massive swathes of limos. Even without looking down the scope of his rifle Karl could tell the group looked important. The limousines all seemed to be in marvelous condition and Karl wondered to himself who still cared enough about the Leone's to attend. He took the sniper rifle off his back and put the bullets into the chamber. The scope was rusted and the glass somewhat broken and yet it still worked. The wooden frame of the gun was battered but otherwise intact.

 

The limo pulled up to where all the others were and through the scope Karl could see Toni get out and hug Luigi. Joey, Sal's son, came out of the house too and they began talking. Karl inhaled, and knew that in one second his life was about change. He lined up the sight to Toni's head and his finger slowly pulled. The bullet was dead on and Toni fell to the ground. Luigi took cover behind a car while Karl reloaded. The whole event began descending into chaos and mobsters ran out of the mansion with semi automatics and shotguns. Karl didn't see any assault rifles so he knew he was safe. Furthermore no one knew were the bullet came from yet.

 

Luigi made his fatal mistake when he got up and tried to get to the mansion. Karl adjusted his aim for Luigi's running speed and fire, the bullet hit him in the neck and he dropped his pistol to tend to the wound. From what Karl could tell he was bleeding heavily but just to make sure Karl put another bullet into his head. All movement in the body came to a halt. Karl was about to take aim for Joey just to be safe when he noticed that the party goers seemed to be aware of his position. This was confirmed when bullets started flying towards his direction.

 

Karl put the rifle back on his back and crouched his way back to the stairwell. He began to run down the stairs hopped over the dead body and tried to formulate a plan in his mind. Karl was about to the fifth floor of the building when he heard footsteps below. Now they knew he was in the building and he turned quickly into the 5th floor.

 

In the hallway Karl looked around and saw a half opened door. He pulled out his pistol and went to the side. Inside the room he could hear the sound of a woman's voice, and the sound of a television. He pushed the door open some and looked around. The voice in question began to speak.

 

“Who is it? Is it you Chico? If so put my drugs on the counter, the money's there too.”

Karl stuck out his pistol and entered the room closing the door behind him. The woman in question was sitting on her bed watching TV, she didn't seem to notice who it was.

 

“You got that good stuff for me Chico? You know those pills last week weren't all that good, Zaibatsu pharmacy normally has better sh*t than that.”

 

Karl's mind was racing about what to do, in the hallway he could hear the sound of footsteps and knew that the thugs weren't too far from here. The apartment was about the same size as Karl's only nicer and laid out like a hotel room. To the right of Karl was a spotless restroom and then in front of him the bedroom. The television flashed and Karl could tell it Donald Love's new show, fight4adesk, as a matter of fact an Asian intern had just been stabbed in the eye.

 

“What's taking so long Chico? You gonna give me the drugs or what?”

 

Karl put his pistol back up and walked right in front of the TV.

“Who the f*ck are you?!” she screamed while grabbing the remote and throwing it at Karl.

“Just stop! I'm not here to hurt you!” Karl shouted by trying to grab her but it was too late, she was cussing loudly and punching Karl. Karl twisted her fist and threw her on the bed. He pulled out his pistol and regained his posture.

 

“God damn it! If you would of just let me finish I would of told you that I'm Chico's new partner. Now would you stop all the damn screaming?”

Karl looked at her and noticed the lack of clothes she wore. The things she did have on were tiger stripped and seemed moderately expensive but still tacky. Her face didn't convey any meaning but instead some type of sick longing. Her hair was stark black and she seemed to be Italian. Outside her window the sun continued to set and the little light left shined on her eyes and lips, which projected fear but not necessarily at Karl.

Next to her bedside sat a large pill bottle that was turned over and empty and the dresser with the cash she had been talking about. Karl struggled to think about what to say but his thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door.

 

“Is everything alright in there?!”

 

Karl could tell the knocks were too hard to just be concerned neighbors. He put his pistol back up and looked around. He then looked down at the tiger stripped woman and knew how he was going to get out of this.

 

“Listen to me, those are Leone goons out there. I need you to go to the door and tell them everything is fine and no one else is in here.”

“Why would I tell them that? Chico has been cool with the Leone's for a while now.”

“Well he's not any more. Why do you think he's not delivering your goods right now?”

 

The door pounded again and he could hear the sound of guns loading.

 

“Listen listen! You need to go now!”

The woman slowly sat up from the bed and walked leisurely to the door. Her figure was highlighted by the see through cloth that was draped over her body, showing her shapely back and her rear to perfect amplification and yet for Karl, the thought of trying to get out of this building was all he could think of. He took out his pistol once more and walked to the wall between the bathroom and the main room. From this point they couldn't see or hear him and if the woman failed to get them to go away then he'd been in a perfect position for attack.

 

The woman open the door and Karl could only think of the surprise of the gangsters.

“What can I do for you two gentlemen?”, she said her voice thick with accent.

The voices paused and no doubt looked her over before responding,

“We just heard some co-motion and thought you might be in trouble. Toni and Luigi just got whacked.”

“O no boys that was just my television you know how loud Love programing gets.”

 

Karl couldn't exactly hear what was said next but instead his focus turned to the window. Now the city was enveloped in darkness and off in the distance he could see the towers of the heights standing like black obelisk. Only on the top floor of the main building could he see any sign of life. Directly to the left of the Heights the Red Light District was ablaze with strobe lights, street lights, sign lights and Karl could even make out the sign for a Vintage Porn studio and Candy Suxxx giant portrait. While Karl gave attention to those for a while his eyes were still set on the massive heights of Staunton and his wish to be there.

 

Karl's thoughts were interrupted by the sound of force near the door.

“Get off me you pervert!” shouted the woman while running back to the main room.

“Get your fine ass back here! I've been wanting to f*ck a hot piece of ass for a while now!” one of the figures yelled.

Karl knew it was now or never and moved around the corner with his gun drawn. Both of the men stopped dead in there tracks.

 

“What the hel-” was all one of them was able to pronounce before Karl had put bullets into their brains. Blood spread across the multiple colored carpet and the sounds of gunshots reverberated through the floor.

 

Karl searched the bodies for cash and any ammo, all he found was 2 new bucks and turned around to look at the woman.

“That's dinner money” Karl thought to himself.

 

She stood in a daze struggling to comprehend what just happened. She slowly opened her mouth to speak but no words would come. While standing up Karl talked to catch her attention.

“ I know this must be a lot for you but I need to get back to the Heights. Can you take me there? Do you have a car?”

She captured the words she'd been looking for and finally let them free to be said, “ You, you saved me from those goons.”

“I know, I know it's a big deal but I have to get out of here. Do you have a car?”

She looked at her dresser and then glanced back up at him,

“Yes, yea sweetheart I can take you there, my name is Maria by the way.”

“OK then Maria, mine is Karl, now we need to go now. Is there another way to get to the ground without using the stairs?”

“There's the fire escape at the end of each hallway.”

“Great then let's go.”

 

Maria threw on a tiger fur coat and grabbed her car keys. Both of them stepped over the bodies and began walking quickly to the fire escape.

They were half way there when all of a sudden a voice from behind shouted down the hall,

“Hey you two stop!” the deep voice commanded. Karl turned around and put his hand on his gun but before he was able to shoot the man released his own bullet and it went flying into Karl's arm. In spite of the bullet Karl felt no pain and instead took out his 9 and put two bullets into the man, one in the arm for revenge and the other in his stomach.

 

Karl gripped his arm and ran with Maria through the opened window. Even though it was night time outside Karl could still see the lights of the city in the distance and the moon illuminated the way down the building. From the fifth floor Karl could see that the street was largely empty and despite the shooting about 30 minutes earlier the road that lead to Sal's house was sparse. The limo and guards were gone and Karl couldn't help but think that all the Leone's who weren't at the hospital or at Toni's house were looking for him.

 

Karl and Maria walked down the fire escape and finally got to the street.

“OK so where is this car of yours?” Karl said as he tried to stop the blood from leaving his arm.

Maria took out some lip stick and a mirror and began putting it on.

“It's right there.” she said as she puffed up her hair and Karl wondered what kind of woman would want to put on lip stick in a time like this. Karl walked up to the driver's side of her car and got in. It was an old, but maintained, sentinel and Karl knew he was going to get blood on the inside of it.

 

“He's the key baby.” Maria said suggestive while pressing her breast on him.

Karl ignored her advances and decided not to comment on them while he was still bleeding. He started the car and it came to life with a roar. As they began to drive Maria began to talk more and more.

 

“So you don't really work for Chico do you? I always liked Chico, you didn't kill him did you? Are you a killer? O my you look like one with those arms, and that gun, You know you really turn a girl on wi-”

“Stop!”Karl shouted, but calmed back down in case he raised his blood pressure and lost more of it. “I don't know a Chico, I just said that so you'd shut the hell up.”

“Then who are you exactly Karl?”

The way she pronounced his name somewhat irritated him, and he was thankful that this ride would be over in a little while.

“I'm someone who had to do something big.”

 

Maria turned her head to the road then looked back at Karl.

“You know Karl, I've always needed a big strong man in my life. I had one once, his name was Claude, I wonder whatever hap-”

Karl pulled out his gun, he couldn't take anymore of her talking. He was about to pull the trigger but then noticed that she hadn't stopped.

“Woo so you like kinky stuff too? You really know how to treat a woman, Claude did the same thing once, even shot his gun off, boy that man was sexy. So you gon-”

 

Karl put it up, he knew it was hopeless and besides he was out of bullets anyway.

 

They finally go to Hepburn and Karl got out of the car and slammed the door.

 

Maria got out to drive but then stopped in front of Karl's way. She tried to put her face in front of Karl's and tried to kiss him but he stepped to the side.

 

“Don't play coy! I need a man like you! Why don't you invite me in?”

 

Karl thought fast and grabbed the kid that was passing out the fliers from earlier.

“Here kid I have a new member for you, you little fascist.”

“Hello Madam I've heard you're interested in the United Corporatist Front?”

“Maria talk to this kid.” Karl said as he disappeared into the slums around the Heights.

 

Back in the Heights building Karl gripped his arm as blood poured out. Karl needed a medic but knew he couldn't go to Portland's hospital since Joey and the whole mob was probably there. He walked into the building and remembered that the Diablo's had a de facto medical unit in the basement club. He ran past the hobo's on the ground and some kids playing with a dead rat to the stairwell.

 

The stairs were painted black, red and orange and absorbed the blood from his arm well. The Diablo club house had a large metal door with a slit in it.

 

“Let me in! Let me in!” pleaded Karl as the blood continued to drip, pain increasing in his body. The slit opened and Juan saw Karl's wound. He opened the door and helped Karl to a chair.

 

“Whoa Karl! What the hell happened to you?!'

“Juan, not now! Get me the first aid kit and some vodka!”

“Alcohol now? Of all times?! We need to get you to a hospital!”

“Shut up and do it!”

 

Karl pulled out his lighter and his knife. He flicked the lighter on and took off his jacket. He put the flame under the knife. He let the knife get to a burning blue glow.”

“Ok Ok here you go, Karl, O sh*t what the f*ck man?!”

Karl was digging the bullet out of himself with the burning hot steel. Blood was all over the floor and Juan was somewhat glad Karl wasn't doing this over carpet.

 

Once the bullet was out, Karl took the vodka and drank some, he then poured it over the wound. His body went into involuntary convolutions and he let out a massive roar as pain filled every inch of being. Karl knew that he wasn't over, and that if he wanted to live he had to snitch up the wound. He took the hot knife and burned his wound close. He opened the rusted first aid box and poured all the disinfectant he had on the area. Although that sent further jolts though him the worst was over and he wrapped up his wound.

 

“Damn Karl you're a crazy motherf*cker! What made you do that stupid sh*t?!”

Karl simply looked at Juan, looked at the blood on the ground and then looked around at the large number of people looking at him. This whole time the gang bangers, their hoes, and the development teens that hoped to join the gang looked in amazement at him. Karl didn't say anything, he simply got up and went upstairs.

*****

Karl entered Burro's penthouse to the sound of music and flashing lights. His wound hurt like hell but bandages applied enough pressure and he had stopped bleeding. The whole room was full of people dancing, doing drugs, and general partying. Karl even swore he saw the donkey from a porno he'd seen but after he looked for a second he decided not to look at what was going on.

 

Burro stood up from his couch which was now full of women with a drink in his hand.

“Karl! You do that sh*t for me?” Burro said while stroking one of his “stars” head.

“Excellena! Hey Juan get some more weed and beer! Ladies why don't you show Karl a real good time?”

 

Karl had more fun than the donkey that night.

Edited by bobgtafan
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Damn these things take some time to write but I hope you all enjoy. This one is probably full of errors as normal but they will be corrected in the coming days. I'm always happy to read criticism and feedback from anyone reading and once again thank you for reading!

 

Chapter 3- Play um' like Poker Chips

 

“Well Ms. Lee I don't believe the original Jingoism Act went far enough. Sure it gave us the power to surveillance without a warrant, set up non-free speech zones, eliminate terrorist supporting groups, faster enact martial law, permanent detentions, revoking of citizenship rights, and such but the government needs more. Much more.”

 

“What ideas do you have in mind Mr. Lawton?”

 

“Well first of all we need a NEW domestic agency committed to anti-terrorism. The FIB is mainly a federal crime agency that's not built for such task and the CIA is for out of nation affairs. I'm thinking of a creating a new agency for the task.”

 

“What would be the name of it?”

 

“My administration has put much thought into it, some of us wanted to name it after the Homeland. Others simply domestic security, but in the end we decided on N.O.O.S.E which stands for National Office Of Security Enforcement. It will enable us to limit military operations in urban environments. We'll be able to rapidly deploy to terrorist situations. We could develop a more comprehensive list of foreigners in our nation, those who are prone to descent, and other unpatriotic citizens to ensure the safety of this great nation.”

 

 

“So will N.O.O.S.E be apart of the Jingoism Act 2?”

 

“Absolutely, and all American's need to remember that the Jingoism Act is for their protection.”

 

“Thank you for coming on Mr. President.”

 

“Anytime and thank you.”

 

Karl loved watching television when he had free time and when no one else was around he would often turn to Love News to find out what was going on in the world. Karl knew more than anyone that if he was going to stay alive he needed to know what was going on in the world, even if it was only what Love wanted everyone to know.

 

Karl's new apartment was just what he aimed for when he moved to Liberty, albeit on the wrong island. His new apartment was on the top floor and only 2 doors down from Burro's. A week ago Karl could of never imagined this would happen. Without leadership the Leone's collapsed after Joey was killed in a car “accident”; though Karl knew better. Then Burro finally saw the chance to take over the Red Light and Karl lead the assault. With the end of the Leone's the cities union's fell and electricity was returned to the slums.

 

Now that the Diablo's controlled the Red Light they're the most powerful gang in Portland. Constant waves of Latino immigrants are still arriving from south of the border to add to the ranks, the threat of police presence in Portland from politicians was silenced and supply of Spank was still through the Diablos.

 

“In other news real estate developer John Homes has died today ma-”

 

“Man nigga why you watching this boring ass sh*t?” asked Marcus as he woke up from Karl's couch.

 

“You know I got to stay in the know nigga, besides I'm kinda wonderin' what that nigga Freeman's gonna come back. I'm tryin' to free my mind.”

 

“Who is Freeman?” Marcus half questioned half yawned.

 

“O sh*t I never told you about him did I? Well f*ck it don't matter, I'll tell you one of these days.”

 

Marcus took out a blunt and tried to find a lighter, Karl turned the TV to Weazel Sports and set the remote down. He pulled out his cell phone and noticed he had a new text message from an unknown messenger.

 

“Go to the hall now.” was all that the message read.

 

“I'll be back in a bit Mark.”

 

“Yea Yea, hey you got a lighter man?”

 

“Look in the kitchen.”

 

Karl walked into the hallway to see Agent Freeman standing there.

 

“Hello Karl, how do you enjoy your new life?”

 

“It's cool, real cool. So what do you want now?”

 

“I've come here for mutual benefit Karl. Lets take a walk shall we?”

 

Karl nodded his head and followed Agent Freeman to the stairway. They didn't say anything to each other until they got to the roof of the Heights.

 

“Ahh a beautiful city is it not?” Freeman said while motioning his hand to Staunton.

 

“Yea, it's real nice, but what do you want Freeman?”

 

“Well Karl I told you before that you need to take more risk and as you have seen more risk comes more rewards. You're at the top now Karl, you're one of the most powerful men in Portland. How does it feel?”

 

“Pretty good but where is this leading?”

 

“We need the Diablo's to remain in a stable leadership position in Staunton and that will require cooperation with the Traids. They have a new leader in from San Andreas named Wu Zi Mu. You may of heard of him he owns a casino, well in any case he's intent on restarting Liberties casino industry in Chinatown while investing in Portland industries. We need him to succeed.”

 

“You and this we sh*t..OK then what do you want me to do?”

 

“We want you to meet with this Wu Zi and do what ever necessary to get an alliance between him and the Diablos. If you can do this you will finally get that place in Staunton you've always wanted. O and take this.”

 

Freeman handed him an ATM card and began walking towards the other end of the roof. Karl looked down at it and then wondered, “How the hell do you know about that?” but when he looked back up Freeman was gone.

 

“Damn that nigga's weird.” he said as he looked at the Liberty Bank card. As Karl made his way back down to the penthouse level he could hear Burro and Juan talking about the next shipment of Spank.

 

“Karl there's the man I've been looking for! Listen have you talked to Freeman yet?” Burro said as drinking a large bottle of tequila.

 

“Yeah just got finished.”

 

“Damn he's good! We'll you already know what do to, come to my apartment when you done.”

 

Karl nodded his head and went to his apartment. He stood outside of the door for a moment just looking at it. There was no telling how this meeting was going to go and he was going to need some real armor. Inside he saw Marcus on his couch watching the crystal flat screen, from what he could tell he had it on Candy Suxxx. Marcus didn't notice Karl was in so he slowly walked up behind Marcus on the couch.

 

“What you doin?”

 

“AHH! WHAT THE f*ck!?!” Marcus yelled as he fell off the couch and pulled up his pants. “sh*t nigga you can't just do sh*t like that!”

“Then stop jerkin' off on my damn couch!” Karl said as he turned the TV off. “Mark I got some business to handle with the Traids you want to come along and not f*ck sh*t up?”

 

“Well hell you know how I do, hell my middle name is not f*ck sh*t up.” Marcus picked up his blunt and grabbed his body armor. Karl walked to the door and looked around his apartment, o how far he had come.”

 

They walked to the elevator and got in, the elevator had been reserved for High ranking members only and now Karl loved the fact he could say goodbye to stairs for good.

 

“So what's the plan man?” Marcus said taking his last puff out of his blunt.

 

“I need some weaponry in case things don't go so well. I got this ATM card and we'll see if we can't go to Ammu Nation and get strapped.”

 

“What we got to do with the Traids anyway?”

 

“Burro wants to form an alliance with the Traids but if things don't go well I'm gonna start cappin'”

 

“Alright I feel you.” They got off the elevator and Marcus threw his blunt on the ground.

 

Karl and Marcus stepped outside and walked to Karl's car. To both of their amazement Karl's car was significantly different. It was painted black with professional flames, the engine was pushed out the hood while the back was given a large spoiler. The rims and tires had been replaced with a sports kit. Once they walked closer in almost a daze they could see the interior had been redone with a full leather finish and a GPS system had been added in the middle console.

 

“Holy sh*t!” was all that Marcus could say as he got into the passenger seat and felt everything.

 

“This is f*cking amazing! f*ck it must have been Freeman!” Karl hoped into the car and pushed the red button that was the ignition. The car interior was something off of CMT's pimp my life and Karl burned out of the parking lot like never before.

 

“Hey nigga turn on that radio!” Marcus exclaimed as he lowered his seat back and raised the window next to him. Karl turned the sound system on and was amazed by the clarity, the sounds of Game FM came flowing out the speakers like water from a lake, and soon they were both enveloped in the music.

 

“Damn this car the sh*t!” Marcus said while moving his head to the beat.

 

After a few minutes of driving they arrived at the ATM which was right across the street from Ammu Nation.

 

“Alright lets check this money out homie,” Karl said as he got out the car. Marcus got out and followed him to the machinate. In front of it a homeless man slept with a beer bottle in his hand.

 

“Move nigga!” screamed Marcus and the homeless man stumbled down the street. Karl went to the machine and put the card inside. The account information flashed across the screen and neither Marcus or Karl could believe how many zero's were there.

 

“Holy sh*t nigga! We paid!”

 

“Damn this is unbelievable!”

 

“Nigga I don't know who this Freeman is but if he does this I like him!”

 

“sh*t! I can't wait to spend this money!” Karl said as he withdrew a maximum amount cash. The ATM only had about 100 new bucks.”

 

Karl and Marcus walked across the street into the decrepit Ammu Nation. The store window had been removed and replaced with a cardboard placeholder with the store name gratified over. The store sign over the front had been put inside next to the counter and Karl noticed some rats had burrowed into the wall. Unlike most of the other stores in Portland there weren't any gang members, teens, or hobos outside of it and Karl knew why after looking at the owner.

 

“What can I do for you boys?” said the unkempt owner, he was an older white man with a large pony tale. He had an oversized dirty shirt on and a faded blue jacket. He smelled worse than most of the hobos in Portland and had a large cigar in his mouth. Karl glanced at the wall full of high arsenal weapons, this man had pistols, Uzis, semi automatics, rocket launchers and shotguns. “Can I get two of your Uzi's?”

 

The store owner turned around and pulled two tech-9's out of a crate and some clips of ammo. “Now you don't want to tell anyone you got this from me, all I have are tech-9's today, those damn corporatist sucked the store clean dry.”

 

“The tech will be fine”

 

“Well then that'll be 50 new bucks.”

 

Karl reached for the ATM card and slid it across the counter. The owner put it into his ancient computer and a few moments later it popped back out.

 

“Come back again amigos.”

 

Karl took his card and handed Marcus an uzi and clip of ammo. They began to walk out of the store and Karl spoke, “Now we each only have one clip so make it last if we get into trouble, don't just spray.”

 

“Yeah you got it man, I'm on target.”

 

They made their way through the stream of taxis, and beaten down cars to Karl's stallion. The same homeless man from before was sleeping heavily on the roof.

 

“Hey man WTF?!” Karl shouted at the vargent. The man half rolled half stumbled to the ground and crawled away towards Trenton.

“Damn hobos,” Marcus said as he got into the car.

“They do get on my nerves but remember that could be us," Karl said as he pushed the ignition.

“Yeah nigga but it ain't.” Marcus closed his door and looked out the window, Karl started the car up and they made their way too Chinatown.

 

The building Wu-Zi was a large well kept place, with the air of a Chinese Palace but this was contrasted by the Triads that walked up and down the street with tattered jumpsuits. After 2001 when the Fish Factory was destroyed and the Mafia went to war with the Triads Chinatown had lost much of it's grandeur. Chinatown was still the nicest place in Portland and there weren't any tent cities like you'd find in Hepburn but the citizens had the same lifelessness Karl saw in the eyes of the slum dwellers. To make matters worse the Triad gang members didn't have vehicles anymore or working guns for the most part.

 

Karl pulled the car into the parking lot in front of the building and got out. Marcus took out his clip and put it into his gun. He moved it into his jacket while lighting up a Redwood cigarette he'd found in his pockets. Karl put his gun on his waist and moved his shirt back the slight bulge. The two seemed somewhat out of place in the all Asian neighborhood but Karl didn't feel like he did in Little Italy. Here in Chinatown all the people weren't suspecting per say but rather indifferent.

 

They walked up to the door and knocked on it, soon a mid sized Asian man with a black suit arrived.

 

“What can I do for you gentlemen?” the man asked. Karl glanced at him and noticed he was rather old with black hair and some wrinkles. He had a pistol in his hand but his finger wasn't on the trigger.

 

“We have an meeting with a Wu- Zi for the Diablos.”

 

“O yes Wu-Zi-Mu has been expecting you, but before we let you in you must rid yourself of all weapons.”

 

Karl turned his head to look behind the man in the door and could see the faces of a few other Asians. Undeterred Karl responded.

 

“I'm sorry but if Wu-Zi wants to meet with the Diablos we must be treated as equals. I can see very clearly that you have weapons and no doubt those guys behind you do also. If you all want to build a relationship of trust you must respect this one wish.”

 

The man scratched his face and seemed to contemplate a response. A moment later he had found it.

 

“Maybe so but if you truly come in peace what is the need for guns?”

 

“I could ask the same about you Mr.9 mm. Now this isn't as big a deal as you think. Neither of us have a suicide wish and I can tell we're outnumbered. Even if we could kill one or two of you we'd be dead before we hit the floor. So can we just go in?”

 

The old man thought about it and moved out the way. Karl and Marcus walked into the dimly lit hallway and up few flights of stairs. At the top a door with some specks of blood incrusted on it. Karl walked in first to the room and saw two men playing a Degeneratron.

 

“Damn pogo monkey!” one of them screamed as he threw down the controller. “Wu Zi I just don't understand how you win all the time!” he said as he rose from the couch to greet the two. “Hello, you are here for?”

 

“We've the envoy from the Diablos.” Karl said relaxing. Neither men were threatening looking and the entire room had the air of calmness. For a moment Karl's mind went empty only be brought back to life by the sound of a monorail rushing by outside.

Wu Zi stood up from the couch and moved towards Karl and Marcus. He out streched his hand and both of them shook it.

 

“Nice you meet you Karl and and I'm sorry what's your friends name?”

“My names Marcus.”

“Marcus? Very good very good. Karl you already know that the Diablo's and the Triads need to be united. I know how to run a business and let me tell you, between your drug operations and my investment Portland will be in the plam of our hands.”

 

Wu Zi stepped back and turned off his television. Karl noticed that there was something particular about him but he simply couldn't put his finger on it. Wu Zi was a skinny man and a few streaks of gray hair showed age but unlike his friend he didn't seem to show any signs besides that. His face was wrinkle free and he had an air of relaxation about him.

 

“Karl,” he went on, “You wouldn't happen to be Karl Johnson would you?”

 

“Karl who?” Karl was confused and didn't know were this was going.

 

“Karl Johnson, a close friend of mine from long ago, haven't seen him since the 90s, I always wondered what happened to him...” Wu Zi turned around and opened up a window, the train from before began to take off from the station and Karl could see some people trying desperately to get on.

 

“In any case Karl here's the deal, these Triads in Liberty are pathetic but my old rival Salvatore is dead thanks to your efforts. This has freed up a window of opportunity for both of us. The Triads and Diablos need real guns. For instance those tech-9's you have on you wouldn't stand a chance if they happened to jam. Ammu Nation's products haven't been of the best quality of late.”

 

“How'd you know we had Tech-9s?”

 

“Like I said Karl I can be a very powerful ally for the Diablo's. Now listen the Triads need guns, I want to raid the old fish factory that's now my property, for the sight of my new casino. I can't do that if all they have is butcher knifes and machetes. Right now the Corporatist movement has sucked the gun market of this city dry and Lov- I mean Lawton is about to close those shops. That said the only major inventory of guns is the Civic Center.”

 

“Man the Civic Center?” Karl said as he remembered the riots, “What you want us to do break in and steal some M16's?”

 

“No Karl I want you to bring it down.”

 

There was silence in the room and Karl couldn't believe what he was being told.

 

“Karl I know this is a large task but trust me when I say that it had been sanctioned. You don't have to worry about jail, or about Freeman. This is what must be done.”

 

Marcus mind came back to a furry as he remembered that Karl never told him who Freeman was.

 

“Wait Wait Wait nigga, who's Freeman?” Marcus asked.

 

“Freemen is a close friend of Karl, me and many other important figures in Liberty Marcus.” Wu Zi explained to Marcus, he then walked away from the window and entered a back closet. He came back out in a minute with two large guns in his hands.

 

“Karl, Marcus, the Civic Center is the main apparatus of Liberty's police in Portland. Without it a vacuum will emerge. Right now the only part of Portland the police control is the factory district and they aren't very effective. Love is concerned that the unions or corporatist might seize it and shut the power out for the whole city. Right now large crowds of Triads have started riots and Burro has sent groups from Hepburn to do the same. You two need to fire on the police and get the mobs to storm the center. The mobs will take care of the rest.”

 

Wu Zi handed Karl and Marcus the M16's and gave them some clips, they turned to leave and Wu Zi spoke up once more.

 

“O and Karl, I see big things ahead in your future.”

 

Karl continued laughing and only responded,

“How can you see my future when you can't see anything?"

 

Marcus didn't understand and from the little bits of conversation Karl picked up after they left the room that Wu Zi was astounded Karl figured it out. As they got back into Karl's car Marcus was still confused.

 

“So wait man wait he was blind?”

 

“Yeah man wasn't it obvious, the way he walked, the dark glasses indoors, the fact he never looked into your eyes when he speaks.”

 

“Wow nigga you pay to much attention to sh*t.”

 

“Whateva.”

 

Karl and Marcus loaded the weapons as Karl drove into the heart of Chinatown and closer to the Civic Center. The main road became more and more crowded and Karl knew it was a mistake to bring the car.

 

“sh*t we should of walked!” Karl shouted as we swerved through the mob.”

 

“Nigga just run um down!” Marcus said as he put his head and gun out the window, “Move nigga's move!”

 

“Marcus get back in I'mma park it in an alley way and we can make the rest of the way on foot.”

 

“Cool”

 

Karl and Marcus got out the car and streamed into the mob of angry citizens. The closer they got they could see that the military wasn't at the Civic Center like last time and instead only riot police stood. Triads threw rocks while citizens pushed the crowd closer and closer to the doors of the establishment. The police weren't firing at the mob yet but Marcus pointed out that a few officers on the roof had guns drawn.

 

“Hey Marcus you take that side of the street, I'll take this one, let your weapon be seen by the crowd then start firing. Once I hear you're ready I'll start and we'll move forward. Hopefully the mob will catch wind and storm the place.”

 

“Alright nigga, see you inside.” Marcus said as he ran through the crowd.

 

Karl held his gun to his side and went to the front of the mob. The riot police's line was moving slowly back and the rocks from the crowd continued to fall down on their heads. Karl could see in their eyes a general sense of fear. Karl raised his gun not at the men on the front line but the ones on the roof. He knew that they hadn't seen him yet but he wanted to get the upper hand. Suddenly Karl heard Marcus fire and he released the bullets onto the roof top.

 

The riot police dropped their shields and ran into the center only to be trampled and beaten by the Triads. As they moved into central intersection Karl shot most of the police officers on the roof. By the time he had to reload the remaining cops had left the roof and Karl could now see more and more Diablo thugs helping the Triads enter the building. The police cars were set on fire, the doors of the station were broken down and a large group of yellow and brown masses.

 

Karl lowered his gun and ran with the group, he pushed through the mass and ran upstairs to the Civic Center's Administrators office. The door was open and the administrator was half way out of his window.

 

“Please please don't shoot!”

 

Karl raised his weapon and closed the door behind him, he could hear the sound of screams downstairs.

 

“What do you want from me?! I did everything Love said!” the man screamed still halfway out the window.

 

“Listen to me step away from the window, I won't kill you, if you just answer some questions I have.”

 

“Ok Ok but I'm not coming from the window.”

 

“Fine fine but just tell me what is Love up to? I could understand killing the Leones, destroying the unions and all but why does he want the Diablo's and Triads running Portland? Why does he want you all out of the way?”

 

“What you don't know?” the porky man said as he started to move out the window.

 

“Wait wait! I said I'm not going to kill you!” Karl said as he ran towards the window.

 

The large man jumped to his death and the room was soon full of Diablos' and Triads looting. Karl left the building and eventually found Marcus outside smoking a blunt.

 

“Do you know what we've done?” Karl said as they made their way back to the car.

 

“sh*t nigga we just won the town.”

Edited by bobgtafan
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  • 1 month later...

I've taken a break from this one, but I feel it's time to finish Act one. As a result I will post the last chapter by the end of today. Thanks for reading.

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Chapter 4- The dirty bit- 1 month later

 

“20 percent”

 

“No, that's to damn much.”

 

“I don't give a damn, I've busted my balls for this gang, I want 20 percent.”

 

“10”

 

“20”

 

“12?”

 

...”20”

 

“Oh f*ck you Karl!” Burro said as he took a step back from the conversation and looked out his penthouse windows. Burro knew he wouldn't be where he was if it wasn't for Karl, but at the same time 20 percent was a lot of money. Burro turned around and continued,

 

“Can't you just take 12 percent and leave? Why do you have to make this so difficult?”

 

“Because I get what I deserve Burro, and you know damn well I deserve 20 percent.”

 

Burro rubbed his stomach and for a moment Karl was reminded of Buddha, but Burro then dug into his dirty pocket and pulled out an ATM card.

 

“Here Karl,” Burro said with a look of resignation, “I suppose you have done us well, sh*t I'm the strongest man in Portland now, something that couldn't of happened without you.”

 

Burro handed Karl the card and put his hand on his shoulder, “It's to bad you can't stay Karl.”

 

“Yeah well you know how things are, and I have to say, out of all the drug dealing pornstars I've worked for you've certainly been the best!” Burro laughed some and Karl put the ATM card into his pocket. With this card he now got 20 percent of all profit the Diablos made. 20 percent from Spank, from protection, from the Red Light, from their deals with Triads. When added to Agent Freeman's card Karl was going to be better than well off.

 

“Karl since you're going to be living with Staunton stars now I guess I'll have to ask for your autograph Mr. Bigshot?”

 

“Nah, from what I understand it's only Northern Staunton but it'll still be a great place.”

 

“Well now that you're rich and sh*t, don't be a stranger Karl.”

 

Karl turned around and began to leave Burro's apartment, “Don't worry I won't, it's been decent Burro, see you around.”

 

Karl closed the door behind him and walked into his former apartment.

 

Karl's apartment was still full of furniture but Marcus couldn't be found, everything had been cleaned up from parties before and even the heavy marijuana smell from Marcus couldn't be found.

 

“Damn that cleaning lady is amazing.” Karl thought to himself. He walked into his bedroom and got his backpack, he put in all his last minute things that weren't already loaded into his car. He took the picture of his little brother off the dresser and for a second his mind was drawn back to him and his family. Karl knew he need not spend time on such things and besides he was moving on to new things, and today wasn't the day to dwell on the past.

 

Karl looked through the dressers and made sure he wasn't missing anything. He closed up his backpack and left the room. As he looked one more time out of the window he could see the lights of Staunton and his only thought was that he had made it. As Karl looked he saw the capital building standing above the city like a stark white obelisk. To the direct right of it there was the almost as tall Love Building, which looked more neo-modern than anything, with a giant waterfall down the middle just for looks. The rest of the city was pretty dazzlingly bright with neon lights, with ads for the Zabitusba company here, and Cluckin' Bell there. Karl couldn't wait to go.

 

He walked out of the apartment and shut the door behind him, the hallway was largely empty and Karl was seriously wondering where Marcus was. Karl had told Marcus a week ago that they were going to Staunton and for the most part he thought Marcus was on board.

 

“He's probably just passed out again.” Karl thought to himself and he got into the elevator to the 10th floor. As soon as Karl stepped off he was overwhelmed with smells of excrement again, and realized he hadn't left the penthouse level for about week since he was partying so much. Karl got off and turned left to Marcus' room. He saw the door had been fixed and knocked.

 

“Marcus!” Karl shouted, “You in there?”

 

For a moment Karl could hear only silence but then he heard a rumbling.

 

“Marcus?” Karl said as he knocked on the door again, the rumbling got louder and Karl lost his patience.

 

“f*ck this.” Karl said, as he kicked the door open until it shattered from the hinges. He walked over the remains and turned on the light. He saw Marcus on his couch.

 

“Nigga get up! It's time for Staunton!”

 

Marcus shifted some and then looked up at Karl. His face had lost most of the playfulness or unconcern that was normally displayed. He was in his normal attire, but something about his whole manner had changed despite the fact he wasn't doing anything extraordinary.

 

“Karl, my nigga, I goin' to Staunton, I'm staying my black ass right here!”

 

Karl walked a step back and put his hand on his head.

 

“Why nigga?” Karl responded.

 

“Because! I don't belong in Staunton! I've been in the Heights since I was a little kid! Remember the time when Rick got eaten by that dog? Or the time we killed that guy for acid? Or that time I thought you were a skyscaper so I ran into you with a plane?”

 

“...What the f*ck are you talking about?! That was all from the plot of Alter World on Realitytime TV!”

 

“O yea...man that was a good marathon, well at any rate I'm not going.”

 

“Gah I don't have time for this Marcus.”

 

Karl dug into his pocket and pulled out a syringe full of spank concentrate.

“Come here Marcus.” Karl said as he lugged for the couch. Marcus jumped up and hopped forward and to his crate.

 

“Wait wait wait man! Ok ok I'll go but damn get that sh*t away from me!”

 

“Ok then finally” Karl put away the syringe, and Marcus put his crate on his back.

 

“What's in that crate anyway Mark?”

“That hardware, it's going to come in handy one of these days man.”

 

“Well any case come on man, we got to get to big things now.”

 

Marcus grabbed his box and bag and they both walked to the elevator. As Karl pushed the grimy button for the car to come, he could only think of what was going to happen next. The elevator door opened and they stepped into the black and red car. As the elevator went down Karl lost his sense of time and his mind was still focusing on the journey ahead. He hadn't been to Staunton his whole life, except when he first came to Liberty years ago. Even then he'd only gone through the tunnels and wasn't allowed above ground.

 

Karl and Marcus didn't say much on the way down, but Karl knew that even though Marcus was uncertain, he too had been waiting for this day. The elevator stopped and they left the car. The door to the outside was already open and they both stepped out and simply let the moment carry them forward. Both had a sense that the reality they had known was gone, and the greatness of the future at hand. They needed not words to say it, but only to bask in the moment.

 

They side stepped the slums out front and went straight to the Diablo parking lot. They put their things in the trunk and got in. Karl started the car and turned on the radio.

 

“This is Love News, and I'm Ms. Chang. In today's news the Liberty City police department has been disbanded and is going to be reorganized under Liberty State guidelines. Citizens who notice less of a police pre-”

 

“Lets roll”, Karl said and he burned out of the parking lot into the street. They drove through Hepburn one more time to see all the Diablos roaming the streets, to look at the buildings one more time. They drove through the Red Light District to see the raves, the drugs, the whores, and the good times. They drove through the old Civic Center Square to see the now burned out hull of the Police Station. And lastly they drove through Chinatown to see their new allies, and uplifted spirit.

 

Things were just like normal until they got closer to Callahan bridge. For the first time in a week Karl saw police officers, though they were only guarding the ramp to Staunton. Karl assumed that these were the only ones left in Portland, and wondered why they weren't more heavily armored. As they got closer Marcus reached for his gun but Karl calmed him.

 

“Now now, Mark, these cops ain't gonna do anything. We're big power players now, they know better.”

Karl pulled the car up to the checkpoint and leaned out the window.

 

“State your business and show identification.” said the police officer in bland voice, Karl could tell he hated his job from the look on his face.

 

“Residency in Staunton and here's my I.D” Karl handed him his new I.D which had his old picture. The only difference was that it was colored blue to indicate he was a resident of Staunton.”

 

“What about your friend here?” the officer asked while handing Karl back his card, and pointing towards Marcus.

 

“He's a resident too, do we really have to waste time like this?” Karl said calmly.

 

“Meh I suppose not, have a good day sirs.”

 

“Thanks,” could barely be heard as he peeled out onto the bridge. The bridge was largely empty and Karl knew that most Staunton residents never even traveled to Portland, let alone faced I.D screening from guards. If you owned something in Portland it was only by helicopter or boat that you got around to begin with. While Karl thought about it the only other traffic on the bridge were a few coal trucks, probably delivering it to Love's power plants.

 

Karl and Marcus turned their attention to the Capital Building and skyline. The towers were so high they almost cast a shadow over the bridge, and even though it was morning time the lights were so bright as if to be a new sun. Karl looked forward into traffic and noticed that it had slowed.

 

“Umm this is weird, the bridge doesn't even get that much traffic, why are they slowing?” Karl said while trying to peer ahead.

 

“Maybe the guards are givin' some fool a hard time,”

 

“I don't know about this, looks kinda fishy.”

 

Karl pushed ahead and they came to about a stand still, halfway over the bay. As they sat Karl turned up the radio,

 

“-king news! The Liberty City Tunnel System has been attacked by terrorist! A few minutes ago reports streamed in that both the Shore-Side Dale and Portland Tunnel have been flooded after vans full of military grade explosives were detonated. The casualties are in the hundreds and now Liberty Security forces are searching for suspects and trying to stop further attac-”

 

Karl stopped listening and slammed his foot on the gas, he drove in the middle concrete median and even somewhat on the wrong side of the road.

 

“What in the hell Karl?!” Marcus screamed while fanatically searching for the seat belt.

 

“They're about the blow up the bridge!”

 

As Karl drove on the wrong side, and swerved in and out off large coal trucks he heard the sounds of a shoot out on the bridge and looked over quickly to see a few men in all black mask shooting Bridge Guards. The last thing Karl heard was Marcus screaming,

“OOOO f*ck KARL! THE TRU-”

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Tony Branston

Not enough non-script III-continuity stories on here.

 

One thing is you probably didn't have to explain everything that had happened in American politics in the intervening years. Probably just dropping a few radio snippets and comments could let everyone here fill in the blanks themselves.

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  • 3 months later...
Not enough non-script III-continuity stories on here.

 

One thing is you probably didn't have to explain everything that had happened in American politics in the intervening years. Probably just dropping a few radio snippets and comments could let everyone here fill in the blanks themselves.

Thanks for the advice, I'll add some more cameos. But the highlights of the political situation are more than just to lay out the atmosphere. The reasons why will show as the story progresses.

 

To everyone else I know it has been a while, but I now find myself with time to write more.

 

Act 2 coming soon!

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