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Mokrie Dela

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just call it the carraways as thats north of liberty

I'm just gona leave it unspecified tbh

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


Click here to view my Poetry

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  • 4 weeks later...
Mokrie Dela


Chapter two – Target Zero


Rami sat in the terminal, a paper in hand. By natural instinct, he’d almost unconsciously scanned the vicinity, looking for threats and escape routes, ambush points and hiding spots. He knew if there was trouble he won’t run to the left, where there’s a lot of guards and cops. Service areas. Yes that’d do.

He wondered about what Niko had said. Why did the Serbian have doubts? Rami wondered who had the right mentality. Was it him, with his objective eye, seeing everything in an operational way? Or Niko, with his morals so prevalent. Sure, Rami’s detached attitude made him one of the best operators around, but did that mean he wasn’t able to identify the bad guys? Did he care?

He briefly thought of his son and his ex wife. Sure he cared about them, but one couldn’t afford to have that on your mind while working could they?

Rami caught himself. As soon as he’d left his home, he’d been ‘on-mission’. That meant his mind had to be on the job.

He set the newspaper on his leg and folded it.

He saw the movement out of the corner of his eye. A figure approached. Rami saw himself leaping up, grabbing his carry-case and using it as a weapon. He’d stun the man and, with an elbow to the solar plexus, duck behind the man where he could kick out his knees, grab his head/neck and –

“Niko.” Rami said as soon as he made him. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”

Niko sat next to Rami. “Well I am.”

“Evidently.” Rami checked his watch. “Cutting it fine though.”

Niko shrugged.

“You want a coffee?” The Israeli stood and gestured to the terminal’s food court.

Niko nodded “A muffin would be good.”

Rami nodded and walked off toward the food court, careful to hide his smile from Niko.


“I hope you didn’t take offense to my comments yesterday.” Rami said as he sat back down, handing Niko his apparent breakfast. Niko took the muffin, having only had a couple of slices of toasted rye and a coffee. Niko sipped at the coffee, which was terrible. The muffin was alright though, if a little dry.

“No. I understood your point.”

“I think my biggest advantage is my ability to detach myself when we’re working. I think I expect that from everyone else.”

“No one’s perfect.”

“No that’s right. I got myself arrested once.” Niko nodded. He knew that, but not why. “I was twenty three. I’d signed up for the military when I was underage – somehow I got in.” A shrug. “I supposed it happens – World War Two for example. I’d joined Shin Bet and we were pursuing a Palestinian who we believe had something to do with Munich in ’72. I was ten when that happened.” Rami shook his head. “Things went wrong, and I was witnessed eliminating our target. I ended up being charged for it, but later I was released and,” Rami chuckled nasally “deported.”

“You said you were Mossad didn’t you?”

“Yeah, that was after. That didn’t last long. Funny really. They taught me everything I needed.” Niko didn’t know when Rami had left Mossad – or why. He’d never asked.


A moment later their flight was called, and it was time to board. Their conversations on the flight avoided their histories and missions.


Niko was struck by the weather. Flying was not something he did often, and this journey threw him off slightly. He’d woken and gone out in the cool, crisp air, with the sky darkened despite the dawn and threatened rain, and now he walked around the airport, glad he’d chosen a cream linen suit with a white shirt. He’d stepped out of the cold, into a metal container, and then out into almost tropical weather. He felt slightly discombobulated by the transition, despite the several hours spent in the stale air of the plane.

“Hurricane season.” Rami said beside him. Niko turned and raised an eyebrow. “They’re common down here. Up in Liberty we get rain and sometimes storms, but down here, the weather turns angry. Los Santos gets earthquakes, the mid-country gets tornados...” Rami shook his head. “Nature must be pissed with this country.”

Niko chuckled. “How long have we got?”

Rami checked his watch. “Hours yet.” When they had stepped off the plane, Rami had a message waiting on his phone – as had Niko. The target’s flight was on its way.

“Want some lunch?”

Rami cocked a shoulder. “May as well. We’ve got a time. I could go for a good Jambalaya.”

“You think we’ve got time to head into the city for it?”

“We’ve got to pick up our car anyway.” Rami looked at his watch. “Yeah.”



The man walked out of the dingy bar, allowing himself to cast an appreciative glance at the parked choppers. He walked to his car – an old Clover, which wore a patchwork of replaced bodywork and a slightly twisted rear fender, framed with rust. He got in, greeted by the familiar reluctant creak of the door closing. Even the seat creaked. He keyed the ignition, the car spluttering to life after two attempts. It usually took three. He leant over and fumbled with the radio, getting nothing but static.

“Guess you’re not feeling like working today, huh.” The man growled. He sighed and put the car in gear.



Home for him was a static trailer in a trailer park. His closest neighbor – whose trailer was fifteen feet from his own – was, ironically, a man named Billy. He was a decent guy though. A bit of a hillbilly, Billy-Bob was a mechanic with a taste for whiskey and moonshine. He fitted in strangely well. He hadn’t bothered shaving much since he got here, so he’d grown a casual beard. Sometimes he didn’t even recognize himself in the mirror – which was good, he thought; it meant no one else would either.

The man locked his car – the old fashioned way – and went into his trailer. He switched on the light, which wasn’t quite bright enough, tossed his jacket onto a small table, and slumped down on his chair, switching on the TV, which sat on the wooden core of a cable reel.


He spent a few minutes channel surfing before standing up and moving to the refrigerator. After sticking his head inside, he pulled out, sighing, then moving to a cupboard. Inside sat four bottles of Pisswasser.

“Nothing worse than warm beer.” He mumbled to himself, his voice hoarse from years of alcohol abuse – more so recently. While he was up there he had a search for some late dinner, and found nothing other than a box of pop-tarts – a day past their use by date. He examined them for a moment then shrugged, popping them in the toaster. A minute passed and the toaster clunked. He grabbed the pop-tarts and slumped back in the chair.

The TV was crap. He didn’t have satellite – no digital TV for him – and the reception was poor. Three times the picture faded in blizzard of static and, by the time he’d finished his meal, he’d had enough. The signal went completely by the time he got up. He dropped his plate on the floor, tossing the empty bottle next to it. He walked to the trailer’s door and opened it to a wall of rainfall. The sky flashed a bright white then, a second later, the sky rumbled with fury. The man shook his head and lit a cigarette. He didn’t used to smoke but he’d taken it up a couple of years ago. He turned back to his jacket and dug for his wallet. Opening it to no money he sighed. He’d half-entertained hiring a hooker but he couldn’t cover it. Whatever. He turned to the table and pushed a newspaper off, revealing a nudie magazine. A second later he threw it back.


He returned to the door via the cupboard and with another bottle of beer he sat and watched the rain.



Rami had, in fact, ordered the Jambalaya, and a non-alcoholic cocktail.

“So you’re ok with our mission then? Both today and overall.”

Niko nodded. “Yeah. I spoke to my cousin about it...”

“Is he your moral compass?”

“No, but he helped me look at it objectively.”

“Hell, I could have done that.”

Niko shrugged. But you didn't, he didn't say. Isntead he waved his fork about as he spoke. “Either way there’s going to be guns on the streets. Legal or illegal. It doesn’t matter. If they’re legalized, why would you buy from a back-street dealer?”

“In a rush?” Rami took a sip from his glass. “Short of cash?”

“For the most part though. Mostly it’ll eliminate poor quality guns, prevent jams, and them exploding like what happened to that kid.”

“Three people died from that. They were probably gangbangers anyway, but they may not have been. It could have been anyone else.” It could have been Roman, defending his infant child against a house intruder he managed to not say.

“And it’s more money in the city’s pocket – not the gangsters.”

“Exactly, Niko. Either way, I’m getting paid.” A shrug and a mouthful of Jambalaya. What you make of Vice?” Rami pointed his fork out of the window.

“It’s hot. Maybe I should retire here.”

“There’s as much crime here – drugs mostly. In fact there’s probably more drug crime in Vice then in any crime in Liberty. I came here once with Mossad, to see the battle against the drug runners. Massive operations, those guys were running. Smart people. Made it very hard for the authorities to do anything. Lots of nightlife here too. That means a lot of high-end crimes. A sh*t load of money to be made or lost... Kind of makes me want to go to Venturas.”

“Looking for a well paying mob boss like Petrovic then?”

Rami turned and looked out of the window. “I was thinking more of a tan. I think though, when this is over, I may head out to 'Santos. Change of scenery, I feel like working in the sun.”



The two men stood in the large, exquisitely decorated lobby. Hoards of men and woman flocked to and from the trains, and the door to the city streets flapped almost constantly. It had started to rain outside, so umbrellas were on show, being opened and closed.

The larger man leant in and said something to the other man. Both glanced toward the nearest door, where a cop stood, talking in to his radio. The two men shared another word, then returned to watching the crowds.

Five minutes later the smaller man back-handed his partner’s arm. He nodded at a man walking through a break in the crowd, towing a small case behind him. The larger man brought his phone up and looked at a photo on it. Then he nodded and the two moved to follow.


Their car – a grey Washington – was parked opposite the station, in a parking bay on Columbus Avenue. The larger man glanced at the building to the west, where they’d sat and received their orders. Then he turned his attention to the car and got in, nodding at his partner who headed to a motorbike.

They’d made a good guess, they saw a moment later. Their target had flagged down a cab from the street-side shelter and, after getting in, the cab headed toward them, turning west just before reaching the parking bay.

The Washington and bike followed.


He was heading for the tunnel - an obvious observation. The Washington moved to overtake.


A block from the tunnel they made their move. The Washington cut up the cab, causing it to stop abruptly. The man got out and immediately drew his gun – a shotgun. The smaller man had dismounted his bike and was also approaching, a submachine gun in his hand.

The cab driver looked up, his face pale and frozen. Then, as the men brought their guns up, the driver reacted, throwing his car in reverse.

The shotgun protested the move, firing into the cab’s hood. The engine coughed, but the cab still moved. The cab driver put the car back in gear...


That’s when the smaller guy opened fire. He emptied a clip in two seconds and reloaded quickly. The windshield ate the bullets, spider-webbing as the glass broke. The side window shattered, revealing hurried movement from within.

The shotgun fired again, tearing half of the windshield down. The driver’s door opened and a man – the target – fell out. He stumbled to his feet and the shotgun fired again. The door took most of the buckshot, but the man’s leg flinched, obviously hit.


The target lunged forward and, with a limp, ran into a nearby alley. The smaller gunman moved toward the cab and slid over the hood, his gun coming up as he reached the alleyway.

The larger man followed.


The man had collapsed into a heap, and was trying to crawl away. The smaller hitman entered the alleyway and reloaded his gun. Then he had a change of mind, and pulled out a small revolver. He twirled it round in his hand like a cowboy and approached the crippled man, a sinister grin on his face.


He planned to say something clever, and turned to deliver his farewell.

The smaller hitman didn’t expect the man to position his one good leg bent in front of him. He threw all his strength into his leg, springing up with remarkable explosive power. One hand slapped at the revolver, which clattered to the floor. The other hand wrapped around the hitman’s slender body. The hitman stumbled backward until his back hit a wall. Then the man, dodging the swing from the now gun-less hand, grabbed the attacker’s head and slammed it against the wall. The attacker went limp.


The larger man was near now, and bringing his gun up. A single shot sounded but missed, the target dropping to the floor and grabbing the revolver. He didn’t think twice and fired two shots straight away. Then he noticed the submachine gun poking out of the unconscious man’s body. He did a quick swap.


The large hitman had taken cover behind a dumpster. He waited a second then came out, only to see the muzzle of the submachine gun in his face.

“Drop the gun.” The 'target' said weakly. The hitman obeyed, knowing that if the man was unarmed, or even only had a knife, he could take him.

For a moment there was a standoff, the injured man moving round slowly and awkwardly. A minute later the target stood between the large hitman and the alley’s entrance. He began to backtrack.

A few seconds later the distance between them was enough that the large man felt it safe to go for his gun.


The injured man fired, causing the hitman to hide behind the other side of the dumpster. He poked his head out to fire but the injured man’s gunfire made him think twice. He’d got one shot off but it had missed.

A second later he poked his head out again, to see the man had disappeared. He went to run after him when he heard an engine gun. Half a second later he saw the Washington drive past.

“sh*t.” He growled.



They’d picked up the car – a black and chrome Admiral – and driven back to the airport. On the way Niko had gotten a glimpse of the city. It was certainly different to Liberty.


Niko stayed with the car, waiting outside. Rami went into the airport and, just over fifteen minutes later, returned. He walked toward Niko’s car, not once looking directly at the target, who Niko had noticed as Rami had exited the terminal.

“See him?” Rami asked, closing the door. The israeli's demeanor was calm but his eyes were determined, his mind likely focused.

“Yes.” Niko replied as the man got in a Marbelle. He started the engine.

They followed the Marbelle away from the airport and onto the freeway. A couple of turn-offs later they followed onto the surface roads.

“Easy here Niko.” Rami warned as they approached a red light. A minivan sat between them and the target which did a good job of concealing them. The Marbelle turned left and, with a stroke of luck, the Minivan followed. Only once did they get too close to the Marbelle, with Rami warning Niko who eased up on the accelerator. Rami was, rather smartly Niko thought, holding a map up. If the target looked back he’d see two men in a car looking at a map, probably lost. Neither man was worried they’d be identified.

A motel appeared and the Marbelle turned off. Niko carried on, passing the motel and, once out of sight, pulled a quick U-turn. He then pulled over opposite the motel’s entrance, seeing the Marbelle stop outside the reception office. A man stepped out and disappeared into the office, coming back a minute later with keys in his hand. The Marbelle moved forward and the passengers entered a motel room.

“Six.” Rami said, looking through an magnifying eyeglass.

“Shall we get a couple of rooms?”

Rami shrugged. “May as well. No idea how long they’ll be here for. I’ll go in and get it sorted. Keep an eye on the car.”


The tracking device was smaller than Niko had imagined. He sat on the edge of his bed, examining it. Rami had, for some reason, brought his own bed sheets, and set them on both beds. Niko thought it was a little excessive, but Rami insisted that it was important to not leave a trail. Niko shrugged, unsure whether it was actually necessary.

“Best get that on the car.”

Niko nodded and stood, stepping out into the dark. He walked towards the Marbelle, and took cover behind a blue Merit. Then he crept toward the Marbelle and slid underneath. He affixed the tracking device on the underside of the car, securing it in place. Once done, he snuck toward the road and looped round, returning to his and Rami’s room.

“All done.” Niko said once he’d shut the door. Rami, holding the tracker fumbled with a switch. He held it up.


Niko slumped on the bed. “I need some rest.”

Predictably, the target stayed the entire night. The tracker would beep loudly if the tracker began to move. Rami had set an alarm for half five, aiming to be up and ready for the day before their target.


Rami and Niko took a walk across the street to a cafe, where they had breakfast. The target, and his two bodyguards, evidently had the same idea as they walked in shortly after Niko and Rami had begun to eat their breakfast – waffles and pancakes respectively.

“It’s a shame we don’t have time to visit the beach.” Niko said, his cup of coffee in his hand. He sipped it as Rami spoke with a shrug.

“Distractions. We need our minds focused.”

Niko nodded. “I was just saying.”

Rami cocked his shoulder. “How's your cousin?”

“He’s doing great. I never thought he’d be the family man. Nice house in the suburbs, wife, child, a successful business. Things couldn’t be better.”

“But what about you? All very well everything being perfect for him, but you?”

Niko sighed. “I had a conversation with Roman before. I asked him what was I good at. The answer is this.” Niko waved at the cafe table, with a point at the motel. “At first it was because that was all that was open to me. I was not a builder, or a carpenter. I was none of those things. The only option I had was....” Niko frowned, searching for the words.

“Mercenary work.” Rami offered. Niko nodded. Rami took a sip of his orange juice then spoke again. “Did you have any dreams as a kid?”

Niko laughed. “An Astronaut.” Rami couldn’t tell if he was being serious or not. “There wasn’t many options for me following the war.” Niko sighed. “War...”

“...It changes people.” Rami said, finishing the sentiment.

“You never saw warfare?”

“Not the same as you, but we went on operations, secret missions to eliminate someone or a faction or to recover something. I’ve seen my share of combat, it wasn't open conflict and it was hidden from the public eye...” Rami’s eyes went distant for a moment, as though remembering a past trauma. “But we move on. I suppose in some ways we’re still fighting a war.” Rami flicked his thumb toward the motel, referring to the target, who now sat a few tables behind Niko.

There was a short refrain, broken by Niko. “Any ides who this guy’s meeting?”

“No and it would be harmful to speculate to as such. This is a classic assignment style; follow and observe. When we identify the contact we will have to split up, or commit to follow one. With the tracker we can, theoretically, eliminate the contact then backtrack to the target.”

“Do we not run the risk of losing the commander if we do that?”

Rami shrugged. “No more so then we run the risk of being broadsided by an eighteen-wheeler. It could happen, but it’s unlikely, and we cannot plan for such. Unless the tracker is discovered, or the target switches cars – which he has no reason, nor do i anticipate him to – then we should have no problem tracking him down.”

Niko nodded. “I’m thinking it may be better to split up.”

“Perhaps. So far we have seen zero counter surveillance effort from the target. He’ll be relying on anonymity.”

“So we go for one after the other?”

Rami chewed on that for a moment. “You don’t agree?”

“I’m thinking of – how you put it? – the X factor. What if he goes straight to the airport and boards a flight before we get back to him? Or jumps on a train?”

“Split up?”

“We’re both more than capable, and our targets aren’t aware that they’re targets.”

Rami nodded. “Alright, let’s split up then. Who takes who?”

This time Niko shrugged. “Does that really matter?”

“We’ll have to get another car.”

“Easy.” Niko grinned.

“Until someone reports it and the cops pull you over.”

“We can’t plan for that remember.”

“Actually we can avoid it.”



Niko shook his head. “I’ll just take one.”

“What if there are none around?”

“You’re not going to rest until I concede are you?”

Rami smiled. “It’s a small detail, easily rectified, that could compromise the mission.”

Niko nodded with his own grin then, a moment later: “But when will we have time to get a second car?”

Rami stared for a moment then laughed. “Touché, Niko. We should have thought of this earlier.”

Niko chuckled. “What was that about planning things?”

Rami laughed but Niko could see the annoyance on his face. Rami knew they should have planned for this, and their failure to do aggravated him.

The two men finished their breakfast and left their money, walking out the door without looking at the target. They used their time advantage to clear out their motel room and check out.



“Promotion? sh*t, Dess, to what?”

“Your old job, head of security.” Dessie’s statement spawned a chuckle from his boss. “Think about it L. You’re running this place now, and you’re always saying you haven’t got time.”

Luis Fernando Lopez sighed and stared out at the newly renovated nightclub. “How about a trial run.”

Dessie smiled but it was interrupted by a crash that jolted the building.

“What the hell!?”

“Sounded like it came from the road.”

“I bet some drunk’s driven into the bus stop again.” Luis said, leading Dessie outside.

Both men frowned at the Washingon that sat mangled by the door.

“Damn. Guy musta driven right into the building.” Dessie moved to the car. “Hey there’s someone in there.”

Luis approached and had a look. Dessie spotted the wound first. “sh*t.”

“He’s been shot.” Luis added redundantly.

“I’ll go and call the cavalry.”

“NO!” A raspy call sounded as Dessie turned to the club.

“Wha’s that L?”

“Weren’t me.”

“Please.” The voice was quieter now. Luis leant in. “They’re trying to kill me.”

“What?” Dessie said through a frown.

“Who?” Luis asked.

“I don’t know.. I...” The man passed out. Luis stared.

“Dess, you think his neck and back are ok?”

“He was moving them weren’t he? Why?”

“Help me move him. Get him inside.”

“I don’t think so.”


“If they’re trying to kill him, you want him inside?”

“Good point bro.”

“Take him hospital or something, I’ll get this car moved. sh*t, might need to tow the f*cker.”

“Alright bro. Till I get back you’re in charge.”

Despite being exactly what he wanted, Dessie didn’t smile.


Luis was guiding his Tampa down the road, heading to the hospital when he heard a groan from the seat beside him.

“You awake bro?”

“Where you taking me?” The man’s voice was weak and coarse. Luis was troubled by the man’s wounds. If he had to guess, he’d say this guy had eaten a shotgun round.

“Hospital bro. You aint looking so good.”

“No, not hospital." The man seemed terrified. "J.... J...John.... Take me...” The man fell out of consciousness again.

The hospital was ahead and Luis slowed. But he didn’t turn. Something troubled him. The injured man was clearly in trouble and seemed sure that a hospital wouldn’t be safe. Luis couldn’t let this man perish. It surprised him that he gave a sh*t.

“I need to lay off Seventy Two.” Luis said, referring to the TV show he’d gotten hooked on the last few days. CNT had a series-long marathon the previous night, and Luis stayed up till 4 AM watching it. Right now he felt like a tired Judd Parker, caught up in some conspiracy.

Luis headed to the only place he could think of – his mothers.

He turned the corner and saw a man selling drugs. Not much changes up here, he said to himself. Then he had a thought. He grabbed his phone.

“’Sup A?”

“Hey L. How’s things?”

“Bad. Real bad. I need help. Where are you?”

“Home. Why?”

“Do you know a doctor?”

“Not many doctors up this part of town.”

“I’m not talking a nine-to-five hospital doc.”



“sh*t, okay. Come pick me up, I’ll take you to him.”

“Get outside ready – I don’t think this guy’s got a lot of time.”

“sh*t, L, What you in to?”

“Just be ready.”


To Luis’s relief, Armando was ready, with Henrique unsurprisingly in tow. Luis followed Armando’s Cavalcade after realizing that they won’t all fit in his Tampa. Soon though, they were there, and the three carried the mysterious man in through a door that held no promises.

“So what’s going on, L?” Henrique asked in the dingy waiting room. It reminded Luis of a cheap car dealership. The paint was cracked and faded, the furniture worn. A radio played quietly, some country and western music. The magazines appeared old – one that Luis picked up was at least five years old...

Luis dropped the magazine on the table – which wobbled in protest – and turned to his friend.

“I dunno, bro. Was with Dessie, and someone crashed into the club. Went outside, found this guy. He seemed really opposed to a hospital. He said...” Luis looked around.

“You can talk here, L.”

“He said that they were trying to kill him.”


“I dunno A, but he wanted to avoid the hospital. What if there are powerful people after him?”

“You been watching too much Seventy Two, Luis.”

Luis chuckled and shrugged. “It’s a good show.”

“So who is he?” Henrique asked.

“I don’t know.”

A minute later the ‘doctor’ appeared.

“I think he’s gonna be okay. Shotgun wound to his torso wasn’t as bad as I thought The spread must have been large, and the shot wide; it's just a graze really. Small bullet wound to the leg and there’s some bruising and a nasty cut on his head which may or may not be serious.”

“So he’ll survive?”

The doctor shrugged. “Probably. I’ve done all I can. I only usually get small gunshot and knife wounds, maybe the odd broken bone. What the hell happened to this guy? You find him in the middle east or something?”

Luis held his hands out and the doc nodded. “Either way he’s down for the time being. It’ll be a few days before he can walk properly.” Then the doc laughed. “At least he’ll be able to tell you when a storm’s on the way.”

“Is he safe here?” Luis asked.

The doc nodded. “This is Lords turf. What you think?”

“He’s cool.” Armando clarified. The doctor coughed, holding his hand out.

Luis nodded with an unsurprised smile. “How much, bro?”

The doc spoke the amount and Luis winced.

“Just pay the man, rich boy.” Armando said.



The target led Rami and Niko to what was apparently the meeting place.

“The beach?” Niko laughed. Then: “When in Rome, I guess.”

Rami stared for a minute. “This is smart.”


“At a cafe you can listen in easy. But on a beach? They’ll be moving around, in open space. They’ll spot a tail like that.” Rami snapped his fingers. “Unless...”


“You got internet on your phone?”


Rami looked around for a moment. Then he pointed. “Internet Cafe.”

“What’s so important about the internet.”

“Do an Eyefind search and see where the nearest electronics store is.”


“To buy a directional microphone.”

“To listen in... I like it.”

“Only problem.” Rami pointed at the target car as it circled round the car park. “Gotta be quick.”

Niko nodded and jumped out of the car, sprinting across the street to the internet cafe.

Rami parked the car and kept the target in his sights.


Niko did his best to not appear in a rush. He paid the fee and sat at the nearest computer. A minute later he was typing frantically.


Rami had parked the car and walked casually toward the beach. The target had already reached the sand, and had sat on the wall that ran along the beach’s parameter.

Rami began to walk down the path beside the wall and stopped part way down, placing one foot on the wall. He had his phone out and began imitating a phone call. He watched the target with his trained peripheral vision.


Niko had located a store but it wasn’t that close. He left the store and spotted a motorcycle parked just down the road. He smiled and ran to it.

With a squeal of rubber, the bike wobbled and surged forward. A minute later Niko had reached the electronics store – he actually missed it on the first pass and had to back track – and ran inside.


Rami had noted the appearance of another man, wearing a cream-colored linen suit with a pale, open-necked shirt. The man had received a nod from their target and now approached him.

“Come on Niko.” Rami whispered.


Niko returned the bike to where he found it and sprinted across the road. A slow moving car, looking for a parking space, jolted to a stop, the driver leaning out of the window, shouting something at Niko, but the Serb had already reached the sidewalk.

It took a moment but Niko saw Rami. He had his hand on his cell phone, about to call the Israeli operator – to use Rami’s word. Niko forced himself to slow down – only to a rushed walk – and approached Rami.

Rami tore open the packaging and was glad to see Niko had bought batteries. Ten seconds later the microphone was powered up. Niko had thought enough to buy some headphones too, small, ear-bud type ones that would be hard to spot.

Rami took control of the mic, hiding it skillfully with his arm. He listened then nodded to Niko.

“This is our man. They’re talking about exposing the operations.... Liberty City... Some war... 'It’s not safe to talk here'.” Rami was, cleverly, sitting sideways on the wall, his arms folded, the mic hidden under one arm, pointing at the beach. Rami faced away from the target, and Niko sat too, facing Rami. They looked like two men talking. Rami kept watching the target out of the corner of his eye.

“Split up then?”

“I think it’s best.”

“Which one do you want?” Rami asked.

“I’ll leave the new guy to you.”

“Got you. Rendezvous?”

Niko glanced out at the sea, careful to not look at the target. “May as well say the airport?”

Rami nodded and stood up. He headed for his car.

Niko was sure he’d got the easier task. He had the bike from before, and he was armed. As soon as the target was on a relatively straight road, he’d take him.


The target didn’t appear to be worried much about a tail. Rami guessed they assumed that meeting so far away from Liberty would hide them. Not today.

Niko’s target was crossing the bridge that he hoped they’d take. The causeway was straight for about two miles. Long enough to do what was needed.

Niko resisted the temptation to open fire on the car. Thankfully though, things were going his way. Traffic was light, at least on his side of the road. There wasn’t another vehicle within fifty feet of them and traffic on the other side was moving too quick to notice.

Also the target wasn’t used to the heat down here. He had his windows open, most likely relishing the breeze on his face.

Niko gunned the engine on the bike, suddenly conscious of, and comforted by, the helmet he wore - for two reasons.


Rami’s target’s cab had pulled over and the man stepped out. Rami also pulled over and stepped out, aware of the dangers here. If the target hailed another cab – like he would – he’d lose him.

The target was heading in to a shopping centre, and Rami was now feeling tense. He’d stay close and, if the target approached a cab, Rami would have to steal a car to follow, risking a chase.

Luckily though, the target handed Rami himself on a platter. He turned to the restrooms.


Niko pulled alongside the target’s car and turned his head. The target also turned, looking at this biker. Niko saw no concern on the man’s face.

Then he drew his gun.

Instantly the man’s face dropped and he shouted something. The car accelerated but so did Niko, anticipating it. He should have breaked. Niko brought his gun up and fired a single shot, straight into the target’s forehead. The man’s head slumped back and Niko opened the throttle fully.


Rami followed the man in to the toilets, one eye keeping watch for security cameras. He saw none pointing anywhere near the restrooms. There was one other man in there, standing at a urinal. Rami followed the target to his urinal and stood at one behind him. He turned his head and saw he was clear. He turned, pulling out his supressed pistol. He brought it up and took practiced aim at the target.

A gentle squeeze on the trigger was all it took. He was careful to not stand too close to avoid any blood splatter and he used a small, lowe speed munition for this purpose. The target’s head jerked forward, bouncing back as his body began to fall before landing, face first, in the urinal.

The restroom’s other patrol turned round, his hands coming up in surprise.

“Sorry.” Rami shrugged before bringing the gun up and firing into the man’s forehead.

Rami moved to the door and opened it a crack, glancing out. There was no one near so Rami turned back, already donning a pair of gloves, and dragged the bodies into a cubical. He sat one on the seat, and the other on top, then locked the door before sliding under the door, thankful that the floor appeared to have been cleaned recently.


Niko had dumped the bike and taken public transport to the airport. One thing he liked about Liberty was the subway system. It made things much easier. Vice though? It had good weather, and a charm to it, but...

Niko sighed as he walked into the airport, curtousy of a bus. He sat at the agreed cafe – Niko had texted Rami to alert him to this – and ordered a coffee. He wanted to find a bar, but wasn’t sure if they still allow the sale of alcohol at airports. He would go to a bar back home.

Niko stared into the dark coffee. He had no concern for the targets they’ve eliminated. His conscience – as battered as it had been over the years – was not troubled by them. He thought about what Rami had said to him, what Roman’s words seemed to echo. Over-thinking. Sometimes it worked in his favor; covering all the bases, hedging your bets or whatever saying applied. But sometimes it got in the way; doubts and second guesses. So far he was yet to dither while operating – Niko had begun to agree with Rami about the correct terminology for their work.


Rami sat down beside Niko.

“Took your time.” Niko complained lightly.

“I had to return the vehicle. Then catch a few cabs here.”

Niko nodded and downed the last, lukewarm mouthful of his coffee. Rami rapped Niko on the shoulder. “Now for the least fun bit.”

Niko stifled a small grin and a slight chuckle.



Click Here to read the next chapter - The Mysterious Man.




Edited by Mokrie Dela
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The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


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Good job with the new part Mokrie. It's a shame not a lot of people read this part anymore, and don't give much feedback to anyone really.

Keep it up, i like reading these!


Btw, i'll feature a bit on the WD in the upcoming issue of MM. Hopefully it helps gain back some attention....a bit.


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Mokrie Dela
Good job with the new part Mokrie. It's a shame not a lot of people read this part anymore, and don't give much feedback to anyone really.

Keep it up, i like reading these!


Btw, i'll feature a bit on the WD in the upcoming issue of MM. Hopefully it helps gain back some attention....a bit.

cool. Thanks for checking it out, i'm open for criticism, thouhts and suggestions too btw.


post a not-so-subtle reminded in [Y] When it's done and i'll check it out. If i don't post in there, send me a PM reminding me! tounge.gif

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


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Finally found time to sit and read the latest chapter through in peace and I'm finding it to be a great read as expected. I tend to find from time to time that when stories jump from scene to scene, it can sometimes ruin the flow of the piece, but thankfully you managed to introduce Luis and the others without ruining the mood set by Niko and Rami's tail quite well.


Keep up the great work, I can't wait to read on. icon14.gif

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Mokrie Dela
Finally found time to sit and read the latest chapter through in peace and I'm finding it to be a great read as expected. I tend to find from time to time that when stories jump from scene to scene, it can sometimes ruin the flow of the piece, but thankfully you managed to introduce Luis and the others without ruining the mood set by Niko and Rami's tail quite well.


Keep up the great work, I can't wait to read on. icon14.gif

thanks fish. I have scrapped about 4 chapters in the process of writing, due to them being crap or out of place. I think fan fics take more skill, in some ways, than writing something from scratch, as you're limited to what you can do - the characters confine you to their own morals etc, so you have to be intricate when putting it all together.


Create your own characters and setting etc and you can take shortcuts to make this scene work, make your character's morals different. With Niko, Johnny and Luis, I don't have that ability. They'll react how they react.


Thanks for the reply fish. Hopefully more poeple will reply and give feedback.

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


Click here to view my Poetry

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Mokrie Dela


Chapter three – The Mysterious Man


Luis helped the man out of the building, glad to be rid of the stale air of the so-called doctor’s office. The place reminded me of a doc’s office in a western movie. The guy seemed competent enough, and had patched the man up well.

“So what the hell happened to you?” Luis asked.

The man was still quite weak. His voice tired and husky. “I’m not sure. These guys just started shooting at me.”

“Do you know why?”

“I...” The man stared blankly for a minute as Luis reached his Tampa. “I don’t know.”

Luis shrugged as he opened his car door. He waved for the man to get in also.

“Do you have a name bro?”

“Yeah, Mike.”

“At least you remember that.”

“I guess. And you are?”

“Luis, bro.” They two shook hands and Luis keyed the ignition. “Where’s home?”

“I... Where are we?”

“Liberty City.”

“Yeah... Home’s not here. I was here... Why?”

“Visiting someone?”

Mike snapped his fingers. “Yes!” Luis managed a smile. “But who?”

“Well you’d know, Mike…”

“Yeah, you’d think so. But...”

“The doc did say you’d have some amnesia, but that’d clear up soon.”

“I don’t like that word. Too serious.”

Luis shrugged. “So no idea who these people are?”

“No. I... You think it’s best if I leave the city Lewis?”

“It’s Luis bro, but it might be an idea.”

“I... Don’t know.”

“There was an address in your wallet. Perhaps there?”

“You looked in my wallet?”

“Trying to make sure you weren’t a terrorist or a cop or anything. Didn’t want to get caught up in anything.” The irony wasn’t lost on him.

Mike reached in to his pocket and pulled out his wallet, along with his passport. “So you already knew what my name is?”

Luis shrugged. “Was just trying to be polite.”

“Or to make sure I was who I said I was?”

“And who are you? What do you do – why are people trying to kill you?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know what I do or why they’re trying to kill me. A mugging?”

“No. You told me they’re trying to kill you, and you seemed to really hate the thought of a hospital.”

“That sounds weird. Wouldn’t a hospital be the best place for me?”

“For some reason, you didn’t think so.”

Mike looked at the address. “I suppose you’d best take me here then.” He handed Luis the piece of paper.

“Alright.” Luis said.


Rami hated debriefings. This new guy seemed to want every detail. The Israeli was surprised he wasn’t asked the size of the target’s genitals. At least his predecessor kept them short.

Finally, however, the man sat back in his chair. Content with the past mission, he changed subjects.

“With guns completely outlawed, and any methods of smuggling enforced, how do you think guns are still coming in to the city? Remember the docks are watched. Security at the airport’s tighter then a vestal pudenda.”

“So how do they ship them in?”

“Through backdoors. Backdoors set up by the current mayor.”

Niko blinked. “You’re saying the current mayor’s smuggling guns into the city, to circumnavigate his own blocks?”

“Profit...” Rami wondered out loud.

“Pretty much.” Their new boss said. “The movement of guns is not restricted in any way, shape or form. There is no moderation or quality control on them. Just the unbridled flooding of guns on to the streets via illicit cut-outs.

I’m working with the party who want to avoid this. By legalizing the sale of guns, they will starve the already-established network of gun smugglers and restrict the flow of weapons.”

“Makes sense.” Rami said with a nod.

“So what’s our action?” Niko asked. Their boss nodded.

“We have to attack the criminal elements of this city. However we do not do this directly.”

“How so then?” Rami asked.

“We play them off against each other. That is your job.”

“To start gang wars?” Niko asked with a raised eyebrow.

“You’ve done it before haven’t you Bellic?”

Niko nodded his concession.

“Plus we have the benefit of the violence between these elements highlighting the current mayor’s failure to restrict the movement of guns.”

Niko frowned. Something didn’t add up.

“It’s a little of a dirty ploy, but one that’s necessary. My predecessor was killed because he was working on locating the aforementioned gun smugglers. The mayor is already playing dirty to ensure he remains in office for his own gain.”

Now Niko understood. But, after thinking about it, did it matter? One side or the other – there were no ‘good guys’.

“So first things first, we’ll approach the more accessible gangs. The Spanish Lords and the North Holland Hustlers. Hardly best friends, but it’s time to make things uncomfortable for them. Also the Hustlers are connected to the Pavano family. This will make them weary, likely threatening the connection between them and the Hustlers. Also other ‘families’ may be concerned. That leaves the door open for a move on the mafia families.”

Niko slowly nodded. “So for now we’re attacking the Lords and Hustlers?”

“Indeed.” The new boss went on to outline his ‘plan’. Niko and Rami left the building shortly after, with an idea on how to proceed. They both agreed to take some time to prepare. Niko suspected that Rami was ensuring any acquaintances of his were being warned. For Niko though, he had a couple of house-calls to make himself.


What a sh*thole, Luis thought, pulling his car onto the darkened dirt track. He guided his car to an area that appeared to be a car park, but was likely just unused turf. Both men got out of the car and looked around.

“What number?” Luis asked.

Mike looked at the slip of paper. “Thirteen.”

Luis looked at the number nearest to them. “Four.”

“We passed two on the way in.” Mike offered.

Luis nodded and pointed. “That way then I guess.”

Lyle Greenhorn and Marcus D’Amico sat in their car, watching the pair across the road. Lyle had just gotten off the phone, talking to some old friends. For just a little bit of money they’d agreed to help them out. Marcus wasn’t sure if their boss would be happy with outside help. He mentally shrugged; He could always eliminate them later.

A minute later an old Cavalcade FXT pulled up behind them.

“He made no effort to hide did he?” Marcus said.

Lyle shrugged, opening the door. “You’d think so, with all that business with the Mafia.” Lyle stepped out, shaking his head. “The Fool.”

Lyle walked to the 4X4 and spoke with the men there. Marcus stared at the photographs of both targets. It had been simple actually. After a rather angry talk from their boss, Marcus had gone on the net and, using the target’s surname, found a likely contact that shared the same name. And it paid off.

Marcus stepped out of the car and opened the trunk. He reached in and pulled out an M4. Lyle leant in and grabbed a street-sweeper shotgun.

“Ready?” Lyle growled at his ‘friends’. They nodded and cocked their guns.

Luis wanted to get out of here quickly. They’d just passed a lot with garbage lying inches from the door. In the distance a dog barked, and a train rumbled past. The dog barked again, instigating a shout and a faint smacking sound. The dog whimpered and went quiet.

“Thirteen.” Luis said, pointing at the sign ahead.

“Jeez.” Mike whispered.

“So why were you coming here?”

“I don’t know. I...”

Luis reached into his jacket and pulled out his .44 pistol. He allowed Mike to see it then hid it again.

Mike nodded and relaxed a little. Luis held his hand out, offering Mike to take the lead.

He was used to hearing the odd noise. People would argue all the time here and fights were not uncommon. They did, at least, tend to keep themselves to themselves.

But something had woken him – and that pissed him off. He sat up, was hit by the hangover, then fell back down. Then the bang sounded on his door, pounding on his head like a hammer.

He fumbled around for a weapon – a baseball bat – and rolled out of bed. He stumbled to the door and took a peek through the door. What the-?


The door swung open – outward – almost knocking Mike over. Luis grabbed his pistol in anticipation.

“Michael?!” The man growled, his voice sounding as bad as he looked.

Recognition flashed across Mike’s face. A memory returned to him.

“John.” He said with a small smile. Luis cocked his head, attracting Mike’s attention.

“My brother. Lewis, meet Johnny Klebitz.”

“Got some memory back then?”

“Yeah... So it seems.”

“Memory?” Johnny asked.

“Yeah... Can we come in?”

“sh*t, yeah sorry.”

Luis hung his head briefly. “I’m gonna go lock my car. I’ll be back in a minute.” Luis hoped that didn’t offend this Johnny. Not bad-mouthing where you live or anything, but...


The first thing Luis noticed was the men’s dress sense. The men definitely not live here.

Then he saw the guns. He didn’t think they noticed him, but he ducked behind a trailer and watched as they approached.

He stood there for a minute, trying to figure out what to do. He moved backward slightly, getting his body further out of sight. As he did so his foot scuffed on the gravelly surface. He froze and looked up, an idea in his head. He peeked round at the men, all holding serious guns. Whoever they were they meant business.

Another giveaway that they weren’t locals was the fact that they seemed lost. They followed the route that Luis and Michael had taken – Johnny’s trailer just visible from the road.

Luis waited until his line of sight was blocked by another trailer and picked up a small stone. He hurled it towards the trailer then, when it hit, turned and headed to his car.

Michael was telling Johnny how he’d escaped – he seemed to remember that – and had gotten to the part where he’d crashed into the night club. He couldn’t remember much after that point, or before the ambush.

Johnny was about to say something about amnesia when something hit the side of the trailer.

“What the hell?” Johnny moved to the window and peeked out. “Holy sh*t.”

“What?” Michael blinked.

“There’s a lot of men with a lot of guns heading this way.”

Michael joined Johnny at the window and swore. “They’re the same two that attacked me.”

“What the f*ck are you involved with?” Johnny darted to his bed and dove under it, returning a minute later with an automatic pistol and an old, battered AK-47.

Michael blinked. “You expecting world war three or something?”

“Don’t bullsh*t me Mike. After the sh*t that happened a couple of years ago, you think I’m gonna stay here un armed?” He threw the pistol at his brother. “We can’t stay in here. We’d be like fish in a barrel.” Johnny looked out of the window again – rather out of the only patch clean enough to look out. The men were close now, but their weapons mostly slung over their shoulders. One of them moved their weapon and adjusted it – locking and loading, as it were.

“Now!” Johnny called to his brother, turning to the door. He checked his gun them swung his door open. He surged out of the trailer and brought his gun up, firing immediately.


Greenhorn and D’Amico flinched and darted for cover. Lyle’s men did the same, but slower. They also split.

Johnny moved left, firing at the men and hitting none. Michael followed and moved to the first cover he saw.

Luis heard the gun fire and turned to see the flashes. He caught a glimpse of Johnny through a gap in the trailers but that was it. His line of sight was blocked.

He opened his car door and grabbed his gun then turned back. He paused. Was this really his fight? He’d helped the man find his brother...

Luis shook his head and jumped in his car. “You’re on your own bro.” He said. He gunned his engine.

Johnny popped up from behind his cover and fired, now aiming at the men, as opposed to just spraying.... what was it called, suppressive fire?

One of the men jerked backward, the bullet striking his shoulder. Michael also fired but in a slightly more reluctant way. His bursts came less often then Johnny’s and seemed to serve more to keep the attackers back then actually attack them. I thought you were a soldier, Johnny thought.


Johnny changed targets, missing and hitting the trailer next to them. One of the bullets hit something metallic and the second one spawned an explosion. Greenhorn’s men dove from the explosion that took out one of them. Greenhorn himself, along with D’Amico ran for different cover, shouting orders for the men.


“Move!” Johnny shouted.

“Where to?”

Johnny pointed at the small shed made of corrugated aluminum. Billy-Ray would hate him but... f*ck it, Johnny thought. He was probably done here now anyway.

Michael ran to the shed, as bullets chipped away at the ground by his feet. Johnny rose and fired at the man shooting at his brother.

“F*ck off!” He shouted. The man who was firing at the shed fell, his gun spewing ammunition into the air before ceasing.

Johnny took cover again while the other men fired. He waited a moment then rose, and fired again.


Nothing happened. The gun clicked but no bullets came out.

It had jammed.

Michael had leant out of the shed and now fired toward the attackers. That’s more like it! Johnny said to himself.

“Come on!” He shouted. Johnny sprinted toward the shed, dropping his AK-47. He dove in, landing in a sloppy roll just as more gunfire sounded.

Johnny got up and noticed a few cases of Moonshine in the corner of the shed.

“Get on the bike.” Johnny said, moving to the moonshine. He grabbed a jug of it and hopped on the bike.

“Jesus, it’s been a while.” He closed up the kickstand and the bike almost fell over.

“You’re telling me.” Michael said.

Johnny started the engine and tore off a corner of his shirt. He set the scrap alight and stuffed it in the jug. “Hold on.” He said as he accelerated hard out of the shed. He swung his arm out and threw the bottle of moonshine toward the attackers.


D’Amico saw the jug coming and knew it for what it was. He sprinted to his side and dove behind a trailer. Lyle was far enough away that the heat from the ensuing splash of flame merely knocked him back.

The men recovered and ran over to the shed.

“They’ve gone.” Greenhorn snarled.

“I can see that.” D’Amico snapped back. “What about the ni*ger?”

Greenhorn shrugged. “He aint here.”

“Probably just a driver.” D’Amico dismissed.

“Still maybe we should track him down.”

“How? He’s just a black guy. We didn’t get a good enough look. We can’t just take out every hoodie-wearing black guy hoping he’s one of them.”

“Why not?” Greenhorn enquired darkly.

D’Amico dismissed him with a wave. “Neither of them are here anyway. We’d best vacate the area before the cops turn up.”


Click Here to read the next chapter - Lords and Hustlers.

Edited by Mokrie Dela

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


Click here to view my Poetry

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Sorry for not checking it out for the last 3 chapters, I completely forgot about this. I've read trough the first chapter now and will read the rest later. I enjoyed it and especially liked the fact how you present the characters. Niko is still the same old Niko in JIC.

I'm very interested where this is heading icon14.gif

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Finally found time to sit and read the latest chapter through in peace and I'm finding it to be a great read as expected. I tend to find from time to time that when stories jump from scene to scene, it can sometimes ruin the flow of the piece, but thankfully you managed to introduce Luis and the others without ruining the mood set by Niko and Rami's tail quite well.


Keep up the great work, I can't wait to read on. icon14.gif

thanks fish. I have scrapped about 4 chapters in the process of writing, due to them being crap or out of place. I think fan fics take more skill, in some ways, than writing something from scratch, as you're limited to what you can do - the characters confine you to their own morals etc, so you have to be intricate when putting it all together.


Create your own characters and setting etc and you can take shortcuts to make this scene work, make your character's morals different. With Niko, Johnny and Luis, I don't have that ability. They'll react how they react.


Thanks for the reply fish. Hopefully more poeple will reply and give feedback.

That's understandable, but even with the constraints of the character's personalities, you still manage to successfully impose your writing style well.

Its also nice to see another chapter up, I'd actually meant to head into the GFX section rather than WD so it turned out to be a happy accident. Keep up the good work. icon14.gif

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Good job again Mok(rie) with the new chapter!


Can we call you Mok? tounge.gif


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Mokrie Dela
Good job again Mok(rie) with the new chapter!


Can we call you Mok? tounge.gif

You can call me debbie sue if it makes you happy.


Actually no dont.


You can call me that if you want. tounge.gif


Mati - thanks for checking in. Appreciate it smile.gif I'll upload more in the next few days hopefully - the more replies i get the quicker i'll post as i want to avoid double posting where possible.



Fish: some of the best things are found by accident - like fish with tartar sauce and sweet chilli!

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


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Sorry I did not reply faster but I haven't been on the Computer the last couple of days. I like where the story is going I was kinda confused in the first few chapters with Niko's Story but now it's becoming more clear. Keep it up I like how it's kind of the same story as C.O.L. but it shows different situations. Good Work.


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Just finished reading the second chapter, I loved it. Really, good work so far man icon14.gif


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this is really good man! icon14.gif


cant wait to see what happens with johnny & his brother!

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EDIT: Whoops, double post blush.gif

Edited by universetwisters
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Mokrie Dela


Chapter Four – Lords and Hustlers


Their plan of action was clear. The North Holland Hustlers had a shipment coming in, courtesy of the Pavano mafia family. Niko and Rami’s job was simple. Ambush it.

Niko was wearing a yellow hooded top with blue jeans. Rami wore a yellow pullover under a white basketball vest, with beige khakis. Their boss had provided them with the appropriate vehicle. Rather than stealing a Lord’s vehicle, they’d gotten a Cavalcade, sprayed it red and fitting gold rims and trim. The windows were tinted – enough to make identifying the driver/passengers difficult and both men wore yellow rags over their mouths. It would be hard to tell that neither man was Puerto Rican.

Niko was driving, having been designated the more skilful driver. Both men were armed, Rami with a MP10 and Niko with a micro-uzi.

“Any minute now.” Rami said, checking his watch.

Both men sat and waited, the Cavalcade hiding in an alley entrance.

“Here we go.” Rami said, nodding toward an approaching Serrano, followed by a modded Landstalker that belonged to the Hustlers. Niko started the engine and, as the Serrano passed, pulled out of the alleyway.

Rami wound the window down.


Rami’s aim was, as Niko had expected/hoped, impeccable, and the first shot perforated the Serrano’s driver-side window. The driver was hit and slumped over the steering wheel. The Serrano veered right, mounting the sidewalk and bouncing back off of a wall, leaving behind chips of paint and brick.

Ahead a small crowd of people, alarmed by the shooting, screamed and ran. Most fled in through shop doorways, or round the corner, but one froze like a cat in a headlamp. There was a distinct thud – instantly recognizable to anyone who’d hit a pedestrian before, and disturbing to anyone who hadn’t. The woman’s body flipped upwards, her legs smashing into the Serrano’s windshield as she tumbled over the top of the vehicle, landing in a heap behind, most likely dead.


Rami fired again, hitting the passenger in the back of the Serrano. Niko had slowed to match the now coasting Serrano as Rami turned his attention on the Landstalker. He fired a good drill into the front grill, immediately seeing steam rise from under the hood, then attacked the wheels. By the time he had to reload he’d punctured all three visible tires and was confident he’d hit the radiator. He allowed a few shots to ride up the hood and windshield for good measure, aware that they wanted some survivors.


The Israeli tossed his gun on to the back seat after it had clicked empty. He reached down and pulled out his ‘secret weapon’.

“Get ready.” Rami said, holding the high-explosive grenade. He tossed it out and saw it fly in through Serrano’s shattered window.

“GO!” Rami called. Niko stamped on the pedal, causing the Cavalcade’s wheels to spin and the back to fishtail. He held it though and within seconds they were speeding away.

The passengers in the Landstalker – crippled a good fifty feet behind the Serrano, which had stopped after crashing into a row of pay phones – alighted.

“Get the product!” One shouted as he looked at the burst tires. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell – to call backup.

Two men were approaching the Serrano when the grenade’s fuse expired. The grenade exploded, sending flames through the windows and the trunk – the trunk door flying off and actually hitting one of the Hustlers. The explosion was so ferocious that the Serrano leapt into the air, as if lifted by fire. It crashed back down, engulfed in flames as a thick black smoke bellowed from the rear.

Only two of the Hustlers had survived the whole thing – one would be scarred for life down one side of his body and the other was still on his phone,

“Motherf*cking Lords!” He shouted before running over to the only other survivor, who was screaming in agony from his horrific burns.

Neither Niko nor Rami heard the North Holland Hustler’s cry, but the explosion had said it all. The escort was crippled, thus preventing any tails, so all they had to do was disappear.

But first they had to get to Bohan – the agreed upon ending point. If anyone saw the SUV, they’d see it heading back into Lords turf.

They also wouldn’t dump the vehicle. That was, they had decided, a bad thing to do. A dumped vehicle usually means that whoever had used it did not want anything connecting them with it. In this instance that would be suspicious; the vehicle was obviously belonging to the Spanish Lords – dumping it would imply a set up. No, they’d arranged to have the vehicle resprayed in a garage in Bohan. Once done, the rims would be taken and disposed off – whether sold, dumped or trashed, neither Rami nor Niko knew, or cared. The trim would be removed too, likely replaced by matt black plastic. With this process done, the Cavalcade would be taken away to be crushed. Niko and Rami – once dropping the car off at the garage – would simply have to disappear, something both men knew how to do.

Neither man was surprised by the almost anticlimactically nature of the operation. Combat rarely lasted long in truth. Many operations – or military battles – were often over in mere minutes.


Rami had chosen the train – he rode the B/C train to Frankfort Avenue station, where he’d catch a cab to Star Junction. From there he’d walk south, enter Easton station and head to the airport – with another dry-cleaning transfer at Huntingdon Street. Once his dry-cleaning was done and he was satisfied, he’d collect his car at the airport multi-storey car park and drive home. There’d also be a change of outfits in Easton’s toilets, using the crowds to blend before and after.


Niko simply caught a cab to Hove Beach, where he got the train to Chinatown. He walked through the bustling market atmosphere until he reached City Hall, using the time to reflect on their past mission. It wasn’t bothering him anymore whether the reasons behind their work were noble or not. Liberty City played host to few noble people. Even the non-combatants, as Rami would say, would step over your injured body to go about their daily tasks. This was a city where very few cared about others. Rami was right. A conscience had no place in this line of work, and he’d certainly done his share of dishonorable things hadn’t he?

Gracie Ancelotti sprung to mind. There was no honor in that mess, but Niko didn’t care. She was just a spoilt rich girl, a product of capitalism, in a country where money is everything.

But what about Packie’s brother? Niko had no reason to do what he did there and that didn’t bother him did it?

Just business, Rami would say.


Niko found himself within reach of City Hall’s subway station. He descended and traveled to West Park, where he continued his musings with a stroll around the lake. He saw a couple walking hand in hand. The female reminded him of Mallorie, which made him think of his cousin. The transformation had astounded him. That was down to the child, Niko realized, but Roman had changed. It was a change that Niko welcomed – his cousin had grown up – but it reflected the opposite in Niko. Where Roman had come to America and indulged in all the vices available here, living like a child in a candy store, Niko’s inner child had been brutally slaughtered. That was something he’d envied in Roman – how he’d just have fun. Despite the loan sharks, the Albanians he had problems with, the Russian puppet masters that ultimately had revealed themselves as a deadly nemesis, Roman had still lived his life to play. Sex, gambling, nightlife. That was Roman’s life. Was. But at the same time, Nikos was smuggling and killing. They could not be more contrasting.

And now?

Now Roman was a father – something that still sounded strange to both men – and had a family. His cab business had expanded, his business mind evolved. Roman had, actually, featured in a magazine six months ago – or was it a newspaper – in an article about local businesses. The article praised ‘hard working foreigners’ who had ‘aided local industry growth’. Basically by coming to this country, avoiding crime (or at least avoiding being caught), and working hard, Roman had created jobs for Liberty City residents, and a service that evidently seemed to be in demand. He would never compete with the yellow cabs – all run by the same company probably – but, where they offered convenience and quickness, Roman catered to a more refined crowd. Bookings mainly. His company, in the last year, had driven thousands of teenage girls and boys to prom parties, ferried men and women to and from weddings and even provided transport for funerals. You couldn’t turn up to a wedding in a yellow cab, though people did, or use one as a funeral limousine.

Still, Niko was happy for his cousin. Plus he’d always have a job with him. Niko didn’t want to spend the rest of his life driving cabs, but he knew that if he was ever short of money…

This was an amazing city, Niko thought. Both fantastic and harrowing. He’d heard about Los Santos – where you could stand in the ‘ghetto’ and literally cross the road to a more prosperous district. He had no idea how true it was but he could believe it. These cities were so cramped; people literally lived on top of each other. Even here he’d walked through a prosperous district – was that the right word? Rich district? – and glanced down an alley to see the homeless. Poor people sandwiched between the rich.

None of this surprised him though. People here lived their lives without a thought for these homeless. Niko usually gave something to the jazz players he saw in the subway – he actually liked them – even though they were not poor. He could afford to give the odd dollar to the bums too and it was usually easier to toss them a bone then deal with them asking for money. In one case he’d given a guy some money and then got in a fight. To his amazement, the bum had run over and helped him out!

He wondered where his life would have left had the war not landed in his back yard. Ironically, probably nowhere. Roman would probably not had fled to America, he would not have met Mallorie and would not have had little Katie. Niko himself would not have lost part of himself that day, would not have vowed revenge and would not have spent ten years working his way across Europe. He would not have been involved in the smuggling, he would not have arrived in Liberty City looking for Florian. He would not have had the life he had now – and if there’s anything he can call his life, boring would not be it.

He’d walked a long line – longer than most. He had eyes that had, as the saying goes, seen too much. He’d seen too many people die, some by his hand, some not. Memories of his childhood were just that – memories. Distant memories at that too.

He looked down at the back of his hands, seeing how he had aged. He chuckled to himself. In films or soap operas this would be where a slow piano riff would be played, in a minor scale, perhaps with a cello or violin in the background.

“Your life is so tragic.” He said, self-mockingly. Get over it.


The truth was that his life was actually pretty good. He had money, and a job that he actually liked – once he got past the moral queries. This was work he was good at, plus there was an element of adrenaline addiction. Definitely the danger. Only the best would survive. The ultimate game, he’d heard it called. Win you live, victorious, and glorious. Lose, you die. The greatest gamble.

The strangest thing was that Niko didn’t resent his past. He’d suffered and at great cost of his soul as Ilyena Faustin once put it, he’d gotten his revenge. But he didn’t regret it. He had worried that life out here would corrupt him, that he’d end up a money hungry drone like everyone else. But… who cared?


Niko allowed himself an amused shake of the head before finally heading back, via a couple of alleys in a final sweep for tails, to his apartment.

At roughly the same time Luis was sitting in his office, supposedly working, but thinking of the mystery man. He was probably dead now. Should he have gone back and helped him?

It was one thing simply helping a man out but when you’re being shot at things change.

Luis tossed his pen down and shook his head, perplexed. What does it matter? He stood up and walked out to the club floor, checking his watch. Almost opening time. By the time the girls started flooding in he’d forget all about it.


Niko woke the next morning and began his usual routine. Shower and coffee. He sometimes put the news on, sometimes electing to buy a paper. Today it was a paper – he fancied a decent breakfast today and bought a paper to go with that.

It was a short walk to the café he liked. Nothing fancy, just quick – and surprisingly good – food. He had what the owner – a Brit, though the man’s accent was weak – called an English breakfast. Egg with bacon and sausage and mushrooms, hash browns and fried toast. It usually came with baked beans but Niko never fancied beans for breakfast.

The café owner himself – with an unnatural passion for serving food, Niko thought – placed the meal on the table.

“Americans always mock our food, but they don’t realize we have some of the best food in the world.”

“Yeah – you’ve said before.” Niko said. The two weren’t friends, but the man knew Niko’s face. Rami would probably call that bad tradecraft, but Niko was no robot. He actually liked the food here and the staff was friendly enough. A family business – and most family businesses were friendly.

“Come down for dinner sometime then.” The British man said. “My wife makes a fantastic Toad in the Hole, and her Beef Wellington is second to none.”

“Fair enough.” Niko said, reaching for his orange juice. Opposite him sat Jacob Hughes – a man he’d befriended almost instantly after meeting. Niko internally remarked on the fact that it was Jacob who handed him his first gun in this city. Was there irony there? He wasn’t sure. Fittingly enough he’d also been there when it counted too, while avenging Kate’s murder.

“So what’s wrong Niko?” Jacob had gone for a more simple breakfast – one of the café’s popular bacon buns.

“Where do you get your guns from?”

“Trade secret, breda. Something wrong with them?”

“No.” Niko said from behind his fork. “Just…” He leant in and lowered his voice. “Had to warn you.”

“Warn me? About what?”

“Your gun running. Those who smuggle them into the city… they’re on limited time.”

“Limited time, Niko?”

“The people I work for…. Things are going to change. They’re going to legalize the controlled sale of guns. Most people would buy them in a shop, get bonus card points for them and a receipt. But I think my boss… Whoever is still selling guns like you do… I think he’s going to have them all killed. Some kind of city-wide purge.”

“Bumbaclot.” Jacob breathed. “That will make things dangerous.”

“You’re still going to do it?”

“It’s all done through the dreads, Niko. No one knows about it…”

“Look, they’re clamping down on it. Keep yourself covered.”

“I’ll bear that in mind, Niko. What is going on?”

“Political corruption.” Niko sighed. “One party’s playing dirty, the other’s playing equally as dirty.”

“And who’s in the right?”

Niko smiled darkly. “Is anyone ever in the right?”

“I hope you’ve chosen your side carefully Niko.”

Niko nodded, not knowing how to answer it.


Luis didn’t like mornings. Sure he could get up when he had to, and sometimes had a run, but he was a night owl. Running a nightclub pretty much dictated that, but it suited Luis fine.

Today was a day he’d planned to sleep in but his phone had other ideas.

“Yeah?” He growled groggily.

“Luis Lopez?” The synthesized voice woke him up immediately.

“Who the hell’s this?”

“No one you know.”

“Then why–” Luis sighed and sat up. “What you want?”

“Met anyone interesting lately?”

Luis frowned. “What the-?”

“You probably don’t realize it yet but you’re in the middle of something… big.”

“How big?” Luis asked automatically. He shook his head then stood, walking to get a drink of water.

“That remains to be seen. Why did you help him?”

“Help who?”

“Michael Klebitz.”

What the f*ck?! How did this guy know about that?!. “Uh… I…”

“Don’t worry, I’m not the bad guy.”

“So what’s this Michael got to do it?”

“It was a hit. He escaped, and evidently crashed into your club.”

Luis frowned. “How do you know that?”

“CCTV, Lopez.”

“But I cleared the tapes.”

“Yes, but not the apartment building opposite.”

“So is this blackmail?”

“No. Think of it more as… recruitment.”

Luis took a moment. “Am I going to get paid?”

“No, unless you want to mug someone.” Luis missed the joke.

“So what then?”

“I want you to find out some things for me.”

“And how can I trust you?”

“I suppose you can’t.”

“But you have me don’t you? What, if I say no you’re gonna call the cops? Set me up for attacking that guy?”

“You went out of your way to help him. I stumbled across you helping him by luck. I have, though, found out that you drove out past Alderney to take the man to his brother. I figured you went through that much effort, you must care. Don’t worry I won’t tell anyone. Your strong-silent-type persona is safe.”

“What do you want me to do?” Luis said after a minute.

“Find out who tried to kill your new friend.”

“Yeah, just one problem with that.”


“He’s dead,” A shrug. “I think.”

“Dead?” Luis couldn’t tell if the voice was troubled, but it seemed it. “How?”

“Some guys tore up the trailer park.”

“And you just walked away?”

“Yeah, bite me.”

There was a moment’s silence. “Well the good news is his body wasn’t recovered. Police reports state that two men escaped on a bike.”

“So he’s alive?”

“Yeah. I’m guessing you don’t know where he is.”


“That’s not ideal.” The voice said outloud.

“Well what you want me to do?”

“Meet me.”


“You’ll see.”

The call ended and Luis stood there, staring at his phone in confusion.

“What the hell was that about?”


A drug dealer was their next target. He’d be dealing on Lords’ turf in Bohan. Niko’s first job had been to steal a Patriot, and deliver it to the workshop, where it’d be ‘blinged’ up slightly.

Rami met Niko there, with a bag of clothes. Niko put on an oversized puffer-jacket with a fluffy hood, and a pair of baggy jeans, with brilliant white sneakers. Rami had bought for himself, a massive white T-shirt and a black zip up hoody, with beige cargo pants. His shoes were, to his own amusement, bright red. He also had a baseball cap.

Once dressed, and with their make-up on (they’d used face-paint to make the exposed skin on their faces and hands look chocolate), they examined the vehicle. Rami wondered what would happen to the vehicle afterwards, whether it’d all be scrapped or torn apart and each part sold for profit. He shrugged. Who cares?

Niko would drive to the location they’d already scoped out. They’d park the car then walk the half-block to the target’s patch. Both Rami and Niko had a small-caliber pistol each – the less noise the better, but they couldn’t use silencers as the Hustlers didn’t really bother with such things, and police forensics may reveal the use of them. They really didn’t need much more. Both were expert shots with a pistol, in fact Rami insisted that he was more dangerous with a pistol then most American Gangstas were with machine guns. Rami’s style was, much like Niko’s, clean. They were both deadly with the three tap drill. Shot to the chest and let the shots rid up to the head. But both men had the habit of going for the head. So far it had yet to fail.

“Do gang bangers go for the head?” Niko thought out loud as he pulled the Patriot out of the garage and into the Algonquin night. The garage was located on Algonquin’s western riverfront, underneath the access road to the Hickey Bridge. The drive to Bohan would take the men through N.H.H. territory. The perfect approach, they’d agreed. Over the Northwood Heights Bridge.

“That’s a good question. In my experience Americans shoot first and aim later.”

“If they aim at all.”

Rami actually laughed at that. It was well known that the Russians – specifically Chechens, Spetsnaz and KGB agents – pioneered the technique of shooting for the head. One well aimed bullet, to the forehead was more dangerous than fifty un-aimed ‘sprayed’ rounds.

“Spray ‘n’ Pray they call it.” Rami said. “Shoot and hope one hits your target.”

Niko needed no lessons in shooting. The ‘Russian’ method of shooting had spread and even westerners used it. Law enforcement officers though were usually trained to shoot for center of mass. That made the criminal’s day. Years ago the amount of robberies that were successful was staggering, especially when the eastern Europeans gangsters settling in Liberty City. American cops shooting at body-armor-wearing Russian bank robbers’ chests, while they returned fire to the head. Times had changed of course, and that Russian/American border on shooting style had pretty much fallen with the Berlin wall. Niko wondered how accurate that thought as. Not very, he mused. He wasn’t aware of the generalizations either.

“We don’t want to make a mess.” Rami said after a moment’s thought. “The longer we’re there for, the more likely we’ll have a full blown shootout. That we want to avoid.”

Niko agreed. “What about a distraction?”

Rami stared at the Serb for a moment then smiled. “You walk up as if to buy drugs, while I come from behind, kick his knees out, and put a bullet in the back of his head?”

“Gangland style they call that don’t they?”

“I think so.” Rami nodded. “Gangland execution?”

“Good idea. What if he turns round and sees you?”

“Then you shoot him. Or club him over the head as he turns.”

“What if instead of shooting, you used a knife?”

Rami shook his head. “Not that common. A knife kill like that – slit his jugular you mean? – implies something personal. It’s the kind of thing you’d to a gang’s lieutenants, not to a bottom feeder drug dealer. Street walkers.”

Niko nodded. “Good point there.”

“Plus, Niko, the Americans have an acronymic saying. KISS.”

“Keep It Simple Stupid.” Niko confirmed.

“Americans love their acronyms. But that saying is a good one. Why muddy the waters with unnecessary compilations?”

“More to go wrong.”


“Won’t the dealer have backup?”

“Yes, probably. We’ll identify his men before moving in.”

“So I’m on crowd control?”

“To some extent. When I eliminate the target, you turn and put down your man. I’ll then take down the other, and if there’s a third, he’s yours.”

“Two each.” Niko nodded. He knew how this was played. They’d ID the targets on arrival and mutually assign themselves to them. Rami would have the easier job. Once the target’s neutralized, Rami could use the dealer’s body as a shield. Contrary to movies, he wouldn’t be able to face a barrage of bullets from machineguns, but he’d withstand a little small-arms fire long enough to fire back. He might even cause the gunmen to hesitate.


The passed the target’s turf at a decent speed. This was the trickiest bit. Both men were trained shooters, and could shoot apples off of heads all day long. But even driving training didn’t warn them of this risk. If they drove too fast, they’d ‘fly-by’ the target, allowing only a glance to survey the area. Too slow and they’d immediately be identified as a drive-by. Just under the speed limit, Niko told himself. It helped that the target was near an intersection; they had a reason to slow down.

“One primary, two seconadaries.” Rami reported. Niko did not look. Although the vehicle had darkened windows, Niko trusted Rami to observe. A passenger looking out his window is normal. The driver taking his eyes off the road, to look at a pedestrian…. Most people didn’t do that.


They parked the vehicle literally round the corner from the target. Rami rushed off down the road, heading round the block to creep down the alley. Once the Israeli disappeared, Niko strolled round the corner.


The dealer’s men noticed Niko immediately. Niko offered the man a sharp nod and reached into his pocket, pulling out a wallet. He timed it perfectly, passing under a street lamp as he pulled out the paper money. He saw the men relax – but not completely.

Niko reached the target, who had turned to squarely face this ‘customer’. This was the bit Niko didn’t look forward to.

“Yo, wassup homie?” Niko rapped, in his best black-American accent – he’d practiced. This was also the signal for Rami to move. “What yo’ sellin’?” Niko dropped his wallet, the money spilling onto the floor.


Good work Niko, Rami thought. He’d snuck down the alley as Niko approached – the Serb distracting all of the men. No one watched the alley. Rami loved amateurs, unless he was working with them.

Rami moved forward, his gun in hand.

Niko was almost as surprised as the Lords. He was expecting to see Rami, but he didn’t. All he saw was the drug dealer fall to his knees, with a shocked and painful gasp.

In his kneeling position, Niko drew his pistol. One of the men had automatically – and foolishly – bent down to help the ‘customer’.

It was a fatal mistake. As soon as the drug dealer collapsed, Rami’s foot stamping on the back of his knee, Niko moved forward, grabbing the crouching man and firing into his stomach, a split-second after Rami’s shot echoed through the alley. Niko stayed on his knee as Rami fired his second shot. Both men looked round to check for more threats.


“Perfect.” Rami said with a smile.

Niko nodded then followed Rami as he ran to the Patriot.

One down…

The next target would prove to be trickier. This dealer – with threebackup men – was evidently more experienced. Rami approached, and one of the men called out for him to halt.

“Put your hands up, man.” Rami obeyed. “What you want?”

“Nothin’ but a good time,” Rami said, in an almost flawless accent. “What you got?”

“Got a blade, man.” The dealer said, almost dropping the ‘n’. “Wanna dance?”

“You got me all wrong, playa. I’m just shoppin.”

“Yeah?” Another man said, in a deeper, more gravelly voice. “Well we ain’ sellin’ so f*ck off.”

Fantastic customer service, Rami thought.

“Alright.” Rami said, seeing Niko behind the dealer.

“Wait a sec.” The final backup man said. “What the f*ck wrong wi’ yo’ face?”

Oh sh*t, Rami said to himself. One of the backup men moved forward, pulling out a knife. He held it to Rami’s throat.


Immediately Rami reacted. His left hand darted up and round, grabbing and pushing the knife away to his right. Then his right fist landed three punches to the man’s face, followed by a kick. With the man stunned, Rami thrusted the man’s own knife into his stomach, four times, then floored him with a leg sweep.


A man from behind Rami kicked out, knocking Rami to the floor. The dealer, now with a gun drawn, approached.

“You’re going to regret that.”

“Let’s waste this fool” The man said from behind Rami.

“Night night, bitch.” The dealer said, putting the gun to Rami’s head.


Niko watched as Rami went to his knees. He had to move now, but anything would likely make the dealer shoot. Rami didn’t look scared though. He looked bored. That’s when Niko realized that it was the dealer in danger, not the Israeli veteran. Niko changed tactics, and set his sights on the man nearest his position. He drew his gun.


Rami noticed movement behind the dealer. No one else did though; all eyes were on him.

Rami looked up at the dealer as the gun came within range.


With speed that surprised the backup men, and Niko, Rami’s arm came up, grabbing the gun’s barrel in a fist, moving it to the side of his head. The Israeli’s head also cocked to the side slightly, successfully getting out of the line of fire. The Dealer flinched and pulled his hand back, but not before Rami’s second hand clasped on the back of the gun. Rami used the dealer’s backwards momentum to pull himself up, and, with the gun now directed beside his hip, Rami’s leg came out to kick the man square in the groin, twice, the dealer’s motion helping build the kicks’ power. Rami then lurched backward as the men pulled out their guns, the dealer’s gun now under his full control. Within a second Rami had turned and fired a single shot at the man that had stood behind him.

Niko fired at the remaining man, as Rami took down his. That left the dealer who was on all fours, coughing from the pain in his gonads.

Rami stared at the dealer and, without a blink, or a word, put the gun to his head. He fired, and the dealer went limp.

Niko looked at Rami.

“Remind me not to get into a fight with you.” Niko said.

Rami chuckled before turning to head back to the car.

Niko blinked. The ex Israeli Special Forces soldier wasn’t even out of breath.


In the car Rami reloaded their guns, as Niko drove. They had one more target – a drugs lab. This was the crux of their plan.

There would be many men inside – the lab was no more than an apartment – and they two men would likely have to fight their way to – and from – it. Rami reached under his seat and came up with an Uzi. They’d already decided that Rami would not have the weapon that came from his own country, but Niko would. Rami wanted to duel wield the pistols. Niko knew how deadly this man was with one pistol, but two?!


It was plain sailing until they reached the third floor of the apartment block. It was this floor that had the gang on it.

There would be no subterfuge this time though. Rami led, both pistols up, taking down two men simultaneously – one shot from each gun. Niko was impressed – he only heard one shot. Rami had fired both guns – once – in perfect synchronicity. Both shots hit their targets between the eyes.


Niko darted forward as the men fell. He hit the floor as he reached the door-less portal to the hallway. It reminded him of a job he did for Jacob – was that against the same men?

On one knee, Niko fired down the passage way, taking out two men with two short bursts. Rami stood behind Niko and fired two shots, both hitting their target – this time just one man. Then the men moved forward.


Two men darted out of an apartment, and Rami once again impressed Niko. Niko didn’t see the first man until the latino gang-runner hit the floor, Rami’s cat-like reflex flooring him with a shot through… the ear!. Niko fired at the second man while remarking on that shot. This wasn’t challenging, pitting yourself up against multiple armed men, but working with someone as good as Rami, it was easy. Both men knew each other’s style, and worked with phenomenal teamwork.


They reached the apartment and Niko kicked in the door. Rami got low and darted in, turning left. Niko followed, going right, and high.

Both men fired and, within three seconds, all five men in the room were dead – the last one taking bullets from Niko’s Uzi to the chest, and one of Rami’s pistols to the head.


Rami went left farther – into a kitchen – and Niko went right, into a bedroom. Niko fired at a man who had evidently been receiving fellatio; the woman was cowering at the foot of the bed and the man was reaching for his gun, his wilting erection almost making Niko laugh. Niko fired anyway, hearing a single shot from Rami.

“What’s going on here?” Rami asked, appearing behind Niko, doing well to keep his African American accent up.

Niko shrugged.

Rami pointed at the bed. “Was he about to shoot?!”


Click Here to read the next chapter - Parlay Crashers.

Edited by Mokrie Dela

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


Click here to view my Poetry

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Wow man that was awesome, I like how you have the hit on Mikey Klebitz and how it returned from the first story, keep up the good work.

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Mokrie Dela
Wow man that was awesome, I like how you have the hit on Mikey Klebitz and how it returned from the first story, keep up the good work.

thanks. Your support and interest is greatly appreciated, and valued smile.gif


Yeah - Both stories run with the same backstory. If you remember in City of Lies, Michael was killed by two men. Those two men Johnny tracked down in a liquor store, leading to a stand off against Niko. Those two men are the same - Greenhorn and D'Amico. Many of the major point in COL will appear in this one too, but this time, everything's different. Also it's going to get a lot more exciting.



The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


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I've finished reading the third and fourth chapter. I'm going to agree with Billy on this one, how you put Mike in it is simply awesome. When I'm reading trough the chapters, it's surprise after surprise. That's why I simply love it.



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Mokrie Dela


Chapter Five – Parlay Crashers


“Phase one’s successful.” Niko’s nameless boss began as they sat in his office, with Marcus and Lyle already there. “The North Holland Hustlers and Spanish Lords are certainly at odds. However, they’re holding a parley, with both sides claiming innocence. What we need is for that parley to go south.”

“No rest for the wicked.” Rami noted. Their boss ignored the remark.

“Make your way up to North Holland, to the basketball courts on Wardite Street. Set yourself up with some decent vantage points, and wait for the meet to start.

“Lyle and Marcus, you’re on the Lords. Niko, Rami, you’ve got the Hustlers. Make sure you stick to your targets. Who wants the drive by?”

Greenhorn’s hand rose. “Please sir, me sir.”

Their boss frowned at the joke that made Marcus smile. Niko and Rami either didn’t see the humor or were above it.

“That leaves you two with rooftops then. Find a good spot – take out who you need to – and set up.”

“Weapons?” Rami and Marcus said at once. Marcus had a destructive glint in his eye.

“Mainly street – all weapons have been obtained from street dealers and former owners. We’ve got one RPG launcher – Niko, Rami, that’s yours – two AK-47s, a sawnoff and double barreled shotgun, a few Uzis, one Mac, three 9 millimeter pistol and a desert eagle. There’s a handful of homemade pipebombs too – good for cars.”

“The RPG,” Niko said, already deciding that was his – Rami preferred smaller weapons. “How many shots?”

“Only two. Use them wisely.”

“Cars.” Niko said.

Rami nodded and added: “Convoy?” Niko nodded.

“So I’m thinking,” Rami said, “That Niko hits the convoy with the RPG. Then he immediately takes cover, and moves to another position. On hearing and seeing the convoy go down, you two,” Rami gestured at Greenhorn and D’Amico, “move in, and take down the other group of cars.

“I’ll begin firing at the hustlers, once you’ve made your move on the Lords. Once you’ve hit the vehicles, get the hell out of dodge, as they say.

“Niko once you’ve hit the convoy, get off that rooftop, or you’ll be pinned, and we can’t hang around too long. Move to the next one, and get another RPG off.”

“My rooftop – is that on the Lords’ side or the hustler’s?”

“Lords side – make it look like the Lords are attacking. You two, you should come from the Hustler’s end.”

Nods were exchanged and the men stood minutes later. The plan was simple, and everyone was clear on their roles.


Niko selected his location, knowing the area pretty well. He stood on the rooftop – wearing street clothes in subtler tones of the gang colors. He rested the RPG by the ledge and checked it over. Then he checked his secondary weapon.

Rami had done the same – he’d cleaned his weapons and checked them thoroughly. He stood on the rooftop, seeing Niko for a second on the roof to his left. Lyle and Marcus were in their car – a Presidente – waiting round the corner. They’d have the lead on this. Everyone would move on their action.

Niko saw the car approach, and the windows wind down. The big man had gotten a couple of his men to help him. Niko knew Rami would be fuming at that, and their boss wouldn’t be too happy. But for now though, they did their job, the Presidente slowing to a crawl and gunfire erupting from within.

Niko rose to a kneeling position and aimed the RPG. He had two shots and he planned on using them both. The first shot flew unsteadily toward the parked cars at the far side of the court. The RPG actually dropped too much and ricocheted under the car, exploding a millisecond later when it hit the underside of the vehicle.

The Hustlers vehicles exploded with a spectacular flash of light. Nearby Hustler members were thrown through the air like toy soldiers. Niko ducked behind the ledge as Hustlers’ gunfire was directed in his direction. His ears were ringing, despite the ear-protectors he wore, but he shook it off and moved to a different position. He came back up a second later and fired his second and final RPG. This one was sent into the uncouth phalanx of Hustlers men. He saw the men fall down like bowling pins, or perhaps a splash of bodies.

The gunfire reached him quicker now, with the Hustlers already firing in that direction. He ducked just in time, feeling the warm tear of air as a bullet missed his head by mere centimeters.

Rami had the simplest job of just shooting from his perch. He focused his aim on anyone who was shooting toward his partner, receiving some fire for his troubles. But he’d exploited the age of the building on which he stood. Previous instances of violence had caused damage to the building’s front and this manifested itself on the roof by the odd crack in the ledge or, in one case, a sizable chunk missing. Rami found that his gun fitted in the small gap easily, and kept himself almost totally hidden. Much like the top of a castle wall, he said to himself with a smile.


The Presidente was taking fire, so D’Amico – who’d drawn the short straw – floored it. He spun the wheel and directed the vehicle down a street away from the so-called peace-meeting, with gunfire still trying to reach them.


“The budgie’s out of the cage!” Rami said into his headset, alerting Niko that D’Amico and Greenhorn were done.

“The bird’s free.” Niko replied in acknowledgement. He’d begun to fire at the Hustlers after his second RPG hit, but the returning gunfire was now cutting through the Lords.

Niko turned away from the slaughter and slung the RPG onto his back. He clutched his AK-47 with both hands as he bounded across the rooftop and jumped to the next. Then he ran and leapt across to yet another, landing in a roll, and running to the fire-escape.

Rami’s retreat was similar. He’d remained hidden and jumped to another building, and taken the interior stairwell down.

Niko and Rami both reached their car at the same time. Niko jumped in the driving seat and, as soon as Rami’s door was shut, Niko put the car in gear. They could hear the gunfire and, even from four blocks away, as the police finally deployed their SWAT units, the war-like cacophony still echoed off of Algonquin’s myriad high-rise buildings.

D’Amico and Greenhorn had problems though. They were followed by a battered Cavalcade. Gunfire was exchanged as they headed uptown and, at the foot of the bridge to Bohan, the Presidente coughed its last breath. Greenhorn leapt out of the car with a grenade, the pin already pulled. He ran – he wasn’t a fast man, but the Lords weren’t expecting it – and threw the grenade toward the cavalcade’s open window.

But he missed. The grenade hit the frame of the door and bounced back. Greenhorn dropped to the floor as the grenade exploded, close enough to flatten one side of the SUV, killing the passenger. The driver, however, escaped unseen as Greenhorn followed his partner and his two friends toward Frankfurt High station.

One of Greenhorn’s friends was formally a biker in The Lost Motorcycle Club and he was known to the surviving Lords driver. The Lords would later half-learn, half-assume that one of the men that attacked the Parlay was affiliated with The Lost MC. It would later be argued that either the Hustlers were in tight with The Lost, or the bikers were setting everyone up.


Click Here to read the next chapter - Italians and Russians.

Edited by Mokrie Dela

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


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Lovin' the story so far, can't wait for the next part, speaking of which what's the ETA on Chapter 6 ?

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Mokrie Dela

You can have it now - Think of it as a thanks to the people who've nominated me/this for the awards.



Chapter Six – Italians and Russians


Their next assignment was to cause more problems between Algonquin’s Italian mafia families and the Russians over in Hove beach. This pleased both men, as it allowed them more finesse. Sniper rifles and car bombs were now options. But it wasn’t the weapon choice that worried Rami. The Israeli had woken earlier then needed and hadn’t seen any reason to go back to sleep for so short a time. Besides, he had an errand to run before meeting Niko. That was probably why he hadn’t slept well.


He sat on a bench, looking out at the sea as a helicopter lifted off a ways from his left. The Statue of Happiness was visible to his right. The day was mostly overcast, but a break in the clouds lit half the famous statue up. Rami remarked on that; the statue of happiness, one half in glorious light, the other in the shadows. He saw himself in that one simple thing. He was one of the most successful operators in the city – perhaps the country – yet, work aside, he had what? A son who went to the grave without respecting his father, an ex wife, who’s love Rami had eroded with his profession.

Rami suddenly wondered if that’s why he and Niko got on. They both knew sorrow. Niko had become what he was due to unfortunate events, whereas Rami had unfortunate events happen to him because of what he was. The symmetry and irony was darkly beautiful, Rami reflected.

Is this why I work so much? Rami asked inwardly. Do I hide in the very thing that destroyed me?

‘That’s who I am!’ Rami heard his memory echo, ’Right or wrong. Rich or poor. Ever since I was a child.’ Ever since I falsified my age to join the army.

Rami looked down at his hands. When did I get so old?. Next he wondered how much blood was on these hands. How many lives have these hands ended?


Rami lit a cigarette. He enjoyed his work, despite the lows. He was good at it – can a man truly be good and killing another?

At the end of the day, does it even matter? We all live, we all die. What choices we make in between are irrelevant. Does my career choice have any impact in the world? Have I killed The Next Hitler? Or have I prematurely ended the life of a man destined to solve world hunger? Some people are doctors, some people are writers, some people strive to make an impact on others’ lives – successfully or not – others pursue the paycheck. Dead end jobs, one day to the next. Settling.

Some men terminate the lives of others.

Yeah, sure.


Rami clicked his jaw – a habit he did while contemplating important decisions. With that unaided movement of his mouth, hearing the click! in his ear, he changed gears. He took a long final drag on the cigarette and flicked it nonchalantly into the water, standing and reverting to his usual self. Everyone died, few had their dreams come true. Only in the West did one pursue women, for example, based on appearance. Well, that wasn’t actually true, was it? Human nature is human nature.

And there is no greater human nature then the desire to wage war, Rami concluded. No, he was not ashamed of his choices. He did not regret his profession. In that moment he felt closer to Niko, but this was not the time to entertain such emotions. They had a job to do – which reminded Rami Yalon of his errand, one that he was still unsure about. More philosophical men would place their souls and pride on the scales to see which won. Rami saw it – fittingly – more in black and white. Loyalty or selfishness.

Contrary to what people thought, he was not a monster. He'd had a wife – and a child, didn’t that prove he was capable of love? So should he help an old friend, or work for his own benefit?

He paused and stared out at the sea again, more specifically out towards Broker.

“f*ck it.” He said after a second, and headed to his car. Half an hour later he approached the door of a large, expensive house. Point of no return.

He took a breath and reached out.



Luis Fernando Lopez wanted to talk to someone about the strange phone call. But he couldn’t. Armando would likely just rip into him – something that was getting tiresome. He wished the guy would get over his jealousy or whatever the hell it was. Luis had bent over backwards for him, and was he grateful?

Luis shrugged. That was just how Armando was. Since school, he’d always shown his ‘love’ by making fun of people. At least he couldn’t mock me for being skinny any more.

Henrique? No, he didn’t have enough on the ball for that kind of conversation. They should hang soon – Henrique came out of his own when Armando wasn’t around.

Who did that leave?

Who the hell was this person?


“You gonna work, or stare at the wall?” A voice sounded from behind him. “Hell, you see the girl that just walked in?”

Luis looked up to see Dessie nodding towards a slender girl that walked towards the dance floor. She was wearing a pair of super-skinny jeans, that clung to her toned legs like a wet T-Shirt on Foam Night.

“Alright, easy tiger.” Dessie said with a chuckle.

Luis waved him off. This girl was his next conquest. He smiled and turned to the barman to order a ‘complimentary’ bottle of champagne. So far no girl had resisted that – especially when they found out he ran this place. Hell it even worked when he was Tony’s monkey boy.

“Hey.” A subtly playful voice sounded from his left. It was just loud enough to hear, but not loud enough to sound over-enthusiastic.

Luis turned and saw a woman who was probably close to the club’s patrons’ upper age bracket. She was still attractive though, and ordinarily, Luis wouldn’t say no. That girl’s culo!

Luis waved at the barman. “Give this girl a drink on the house.” He turned to the woman. “Sorry, but I’ve got to take this bottle over to…” He pointed and walked off.

“That’s fine. Michael can wait.”

Luis froze. “What did you say?”

The woman smiled politely. “I said we’d meet soon.”

Luis motioned for the woman to follow him, but she didn’t move. She flashed a naughty smile and motioned him over to her.

Luis leant in as the woman whispered: “You’ve got to put on a little show. Make it look like you’re pulling me or… I’m pulling you.” She flashed a wink.

Luis smiled, forgetting the mystery and seeing his usual routine. Another conquest. He waved at the barman for two exotic drinks and, him being the boss, received them almost immediately. The woman sipped the drink and smiled.

“That’s good.”

Luis nodded and set his drink aside. He leant in, stroking the nape of her neck, and settled his lips just below her ear, his breath causing he to close her eyes in mild pleasure as he spoke. He wondered if the reaction was real or not…

“So what’s going on? You phone me, meet what, just to play around?”

“Keep the game going big boy.” She giggled before resting her hand on his chest. “How bout we go somewhere more… exclusive?”

Luis smiled, “This way…”


The Dominican guided the woman from the bar, his hand resting on her buttock – and liking what he felt. If he was to play this game he might as well enjoy it. He offered a little squeeze too, getting a little yelp from her.


A moment later they were in his office, having entered looking like they were about to kiss. The woman kicked the door shut then withdrew. The game was over.

“What was that?” She asked slapping at his hand.

“Hey, you chose the game, don’t complain if a player’s good at it.”

The woman sighed and sat down. “Alright fine. Just so you know, we’re not going to have sex.”

Luis laughed. “I usually go for…”

“Younger girls?” Kids, she wanted to say.

Luis stared for a minute then shrugged. “Yeah.”

The woman shook her head. “Anyway, my name’s Karen.”

“Good to meet you Karen… I guess.”

“And I suppose you want to know what’s going on.”

“Yeah. How much sh*t am I in?”

“A bit.” Luis realized that this Karen still had her drink. She sipped at it. “Basically, something’s going on, and the only person that knows is Michael.” She sighed. “I’ll start at the beginning. It all started in the Middle East. Michael was part of a squad sent to eliminate a group of mercenaries working with the insurgent forces out there. Only thing is one of them talked, and his unit learnt some things. What they said I don’t know. The mercenaries were all killed. Then, on returning from this country, someone jumped Michael – as you know. Trying to shut him up.

“At the same time my previous employer was killed and I believe that he was killed because he knew something about this. Michael is either a good guy with precious information, or he’s a bad guy trying to be eliminated. Unfortunately, with my employer no longer being a link between myself and a once-valuable contact, I am pretty much on the outside. I no longer have access to the information through those two that I did, and I do not want to share this with anyone else, out of concern of…. Corruption within my own company.”

“That why we done all this charade?” Luis waved his hand at the club.

“Yeah. Sorry. My job’s always involved lying to people. I’m ashamed to say, people got hurt.” Luis saw regret wash over her face, and he had little doubt of its authenticity.

“So this Michael knows something, that what it’s all about?”

“Yeah. I don’t know if he’s a good guy or a bad guy. The hit on him could have been done by the people who he’s found out about, to shut him up, or it could be done by the good guys because he’s a bad guy. Either way he’s in possession of valuable knowledge.”

“So you want to find him to find out what he knows.”

“Yeah. I…” The woman sighed and took a large sip of her drink… two large sips. “I was assigned to watch someone. Some nobody from overseas. I wondered why the hell this guy was interesting. Petty crime. Turned out he had links to known big times out in Europe. It got complicated and let’s just say I got too close. It didn’t end well.”

Luis didn’t seem to care. “Right, so what you want from me?”

“With the… – yeah, I’d say assassination is the right word – of my employer, my connection with the contact is gone. In other words, I don’t have anyone to help me here.”

“You mean you want a lackey to run around and do your sh*t?”

“To be blunt…? Yeah.”

“You gonna pay?”

“I can’t give you a large paycheck, Luis, no. But I can offer you protection… to some extent. Get yourself picked up for boosting a car, I can get you out a couple of times – don’t take the piss though. I can get you some – some good weapons, cars and information.”

Luis’s mind casted back to the 72 episodes he was watching. “So now I’m like Judd Parker?”

Karen laughed, but there was a dark undertone to it. “Not quite…. But kind of.” She finished off her drink.

“So what you want me to do?”

“Find Michael Klebitz.”

“How the hell am I gonna do that? He could be anywhere.”

“He’s with his brother – used to be in a motorcycle gang.”

“Right. Find the biker gang?”

“Maybe he’s hiding with them. Maybe they know places he might be. Safehouses, old haunts. That kind of thing.”

“If I find him – then what. You want to kill him?”

“God no. I need him alive. He knows too much.”

Luis sighed, not wanting to hear any of this. All I wanted was to get laid…. “What if I say no?”

Karen stared, her eyes sad, as though she expected this but hoped otherwise nonetheless. “I’ll be honest with you, I’ll have run out of ideas.”

“And this is important?”

“Yeah. I don’t know what’s going on, but something is, and it’s big. Michael’s the only person who can help, but he doesn’t know there’s any friendlies out there.”

Luis sighed. “Alright, I’ll do it, but you gotta tell me where to start. I aint no detective.”

“The Lost Motorcycle Club. The Alderney chapter is disbanded but not the Broker chapter.”

“You think they’ll help me?” Luis shook his head. “You know what these bikers are like, they hate outsiders. Why would they help me?”

“Use your charm.” Karen stood. “Thanks for the drink.”

Luis watched her leave and sighed. What the hell…



“One thing about this city,” Rami said into his headset, “is the criminals in it never change. There’s always some deal going down.” In this case that was a drugs deal between the Russians and some unknown drug ring. It was known that the Pavanos were at odds with the drug dealers, and word on the street had it that they’d placed a price on the drug dealers’ heads. The Russians would be, of course, aware of this. Although this one would be more subtle than the last, Rami was confident the Russians would read this with their eyes closed. Petrovic would, Rami told himself.


Niko stared through the rifle’s scope, watching the shiny black car roll to a graceful stop. Out stepped the Russian lieutenant. Probably quite high up in Petrovic’s hierarchy, Niko thought. He moved with the authority and confidence of a lieutenant. He was quickly flanked by two burley men – one of which had opened the car door for him – and entered the park.

From his abstract perch atop the elevated rail, Niko could see most of the park and, in the distance, the pay n spray that had ended one of his first car chases with the LCPD. Niko resisted the urge to get sentimental, however. After he’d settled in Hove Beach he’d become fond of walking around this park. He knew the layout well – admittedly not hard seeing as it’s only a small park. Right now he watched the Russian and his men enter the park. They had guns and the men were looking around.

Niko’s rifle rested on the rusted railings of the emergency access walkway that flanked the tracks, a blanket draped over him – Rami’s idea – and attached using safety pins to prevent trains’ turbulence from sweeping the blanket away. This way no one on board the train would see a gun man, but instead the hunched, blanketed shape of what was likely a homeless person. No one would pay any attention.


The drug dealers had entered the opposite end. Rami had taken position on the roof of an apartment building. Although Niko had selected an excellent position – in terms of angles and elevation – he would also suffer from the trains passing – the reason Rami had not taken such a perch. Whilst a train approached and passed, Niko’s aim would no longer remain static or stable.


Niko also had the risky job – another reason why he’d chose the rail as his perch – escape. His first shot would take out the Russian lieutenant and immediately draw attention to himself. Farther shots would only expose himself more, and the Russians, with AK-47s – modified by the looks of it – would undoubtedly open fire rapidly.

Niko could quickly break the line of sight, by running north. There was a few buildings he could jump to, or he could reach the bridge, and if he got that far with no chase he’d be home free.


Rami however was obeying that most American of acronyms, KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. He’d parked a Sultan Sport behind the apartment building, accessible only by running out a side door and round the block or, in Rami’s case, hopping out of a first floor window, to a carefully placed Dumpster. He’d had a few test runs at his ‘escape’ and, within two minutes, he’d be half a mile away, courtesy of the Broker Bridge. It would take a minute and a half – give or take a few seconds – for the Russians to reach the apartment building from the park and run round to the back. He’d also set up a nice trap for the Russians at the apartment entrance – consisting of a smoke grenade, a flashbang and a remote detonator. Another Ace that hid up Rami’s sleeve was the gun he had. The serial number and identification he’d made no effort to remove. What that meant was the gun was easy to trace – something the Russians would probably do. Rami knew from his time with Kenny that the man had a few skilled trackers. Sooner or later they would trace the gun… to the gun store in Chinatown – next door to Little Italy. He was also using a rifle caliber known to be preferred to a Mario Antonelli, a known Pavano hitman. But none of these ‘clues’ would shout out at anyone. The Russians would have to do their homework. Then they’d uncover something they’d believe. Rami had had a lot of practice at this. Even his escape route – into Algonquin – would hint at the Italians. If the Russian’s managed to chase him they’d lose him in Chinatown or – if they’re good – Little Italy. It was there where he’d do his chameleon act. Ditch the car, duck out of sight and re-emerge a different person.

Rami Yalon had not evolved in to one of the best operators by luck alone.


Niko was tracking the Russian as Rami’s voice sounded in his ear.

“We have our drug dealers entering the park. How’s or Ruskie?”

“I’m on him. He looks like he grooms himself well. His hair is immaculate. Eyebrows look plucked or something.” Niko never understood why American women – and men – plucked their eyebrows.

“Nancy boy.” Rami completed the jokey exchange. They always seemed to make such observations and joke about them. “I’ve got our man in my sights. Waiting for your cue.”

Niko waited until the deal began. A clichéd suitcase was opened and both sides began talking.

Niko waited as a train rumbled by. Then, once his aim had settled he lined the sights up. He took a breath. Routine…


Rami’s sights were centered on the drug dealer. The Russian was visible – just about – on the edge of his sights. He saw the man’s well groomed head jerk forward with a splash of red. The man dropped and the drug dealer jumped back. The Russian’s guns came up, their faces evident of raised voices. The dealer tried to protest his innocence then, as soon as Rami identified on a russian face that look – the change of the eyes when a man decided another would die – he fired. The drug dealer went down.


Niko’s second shot caught a Russian in the shoulder. The man fell backwards, spinning, and faceplanted the floor.

The second Russian goon had figured the general direction the shot had come from and opened fire. Niko heard a shot hit the rail ten yards from him. Nowhere near. He centered his sights on the man’s head.


Rami’s second shot caught one of the drug dealers in the chest. The man was thrown backwards, his body folding in mid air. The remaining drug dealer turned just as a Russian’s eye exploded, covering him in a vile red. The man freaked out and ran. Rami let him go, rather turning his fire on the Russians. Attention had to be shifted toward Rami now.

Niko was getting gun fire – from the drug dealers, surprisingly. They were running in his general direction, leaving their vehicles, and ignoring their downed comrades. They were getting close enough that they’d see the shape of a gun man.


Time to leave, Niko decided. He got up and ran, taking his rifle and blanket with him. He left behind nothing.


Rami had gotten off several rapid shots, revealing his position. The Russians saw him and pointed, yelled, and begun shooting.

Rami ducked out of sight and darted for the door – leaving his rifle. He ran down the stairs and took a quick look through the dirty window. He saw the outlines of the Russians through the grime, run out of the park and into the road.

Rami kept running.


Niko didn’t think anyone would catch him. He had a direct route to the bridge. The people from the park would have to run round the block, then follow the route of the tracks. He had at least a fifteen second advantage. Maybe as much as twenty. He also carried a couple of weights in a bag on his back. His legs burnt with about twenty kilograms of iron on him, and his back began to tire, but the bridge was in sight. He reached round and tore the bag off his shoulder. As he ran he fixed the bag securely – using zip-ties – to the rifle. He made sure every pocket was sealed so no ammo would escape. He glanced behind him, ensuring that no train was about to mow him down, then crossed the tracks.


Rami slipped out of the window and landed on the dumpster. He heard shouts from the front of the building as he reached his car. He’d pushed the unlock button on the keychain just before he exited the building so now he got in the car straight away. Five seconds later he was accelerating casually – no tire squeal – and slipped into traffic. Another ten seconds later he was ascending the on ramp for Algonquin. He glanced to his right and could just about make out a figure as a man reached the back of the apartment building. These guys were sharp, he told himself.


Niko was now jumping off the tracks onto the walkway on the north side of the bridge. He had intended to drop the gun off on the south side but realized that someone from Broker may see that, so he changed his mind and headed to the north side.

He had to jump, but he managed to hurl the bag and gun over the safety fence on the first go. He didn’t wait for the splash though, but ran on. He timed his run right and, as a train passed, ducked across the tracks. He emerged on the central – and busier – walkway unnoticed and slowed to a walk. He took off his gloves and pocketed them. His balaclava that hid his face was also in his pocket.


Rami didn’t notice a tail. He was sure he was alone, but stuck to his routine. He parked his car in Chinatown and walked through a busy street and alley into Little Italy. He didn’t check for tails – that would tell anyone following him that he knew they were there. Instead he ducked into a building – locking the door behind him, and recovered a hidden package.


Half a minute later he had a new jacket on, and biker pants over his slacks. A motocross helmet was slipped on as were gloves and he exited the front of the building to a bike he’d parked earlier. He was thankful no one had lifted it.

He gunned the engine and sped down the road. A minute and a half later he parked in a car park and disappeared into a subway station. He had another costume change there – taking off his biker jacket, pants and gloves, and stashing them in the helmet. He took his slacks off too – revealing shorts underneath – and took off his zip-up top. Now he was a man, with a T shirt and shorts. He donned a pair of shades, a used a plastic bag – waiting in his pocket – to carry the discarded clothing. The only thing he’d been unable to change was his shoes – he’d worn dark grey tennis shoes in the thought that they looked generic.


Niko had reached Algonquin unhindered. Any chaser would have opened fire. He caught a cab south – to Little Italy. There he entered a building via the back door and emerged out the front in different clothes. It was the same trick as Rami’s and now Niko sat in a cab heading to the rendezvous.


Rami’s train had taken him to his usual taxi change – then he’d walked the last block to the ULPC unofficial headquarters.


Niko was there before him, waiting for an elevator.

“Timing.” Rami said, slapping his hand on the Serbian’s shoulder.

Niko smiled. “Perfection.” The two men laughed.


The new boss of United Liberty Paper took the news with a simple nod.

“That leaves the Italians in this round.”

“I’m not sure we even need to make a move there.” Rami said. “The Russians will find our little trail. They’ll suspect the Italians for jumping this. Couple that with the fact the Italians have put a price on the dealers… they haven’t even tried to hide it.”

“And if the Italians say they didn’t do it?” Niko asked.

Their boss nodded. “Rami, you’ve worked with these guys. Will the Russians believe the Italians if they say they had nothing to do with it?”

Rami screwed his face up. “Petrovic would investigate.” He shook his head. “There’s no way to prove they did or didn’t. We have to be careful here. If the Italians are hit and blame the Russians… they might figure it out. Besides I didn’t work with the Pavanos.”

“So, do we hit them?”

Rami took a moment and stared out the window. He turned back and gave a sharp, militaristic nod. “Yes. But not in the same manner as the Russians.” Rami was quiet for a second. “I know exactly what to do.” He outlined his plan to the man across the desk. Afterward, Niko agreed with their boss. They had a go.



Luis sat in the internet café, a milky hazelnut coffee with a dash of caramel and frothy cream and chocolate sprinkles on top. A new Bean Machine had opened next door and a section of the internet café had been knocked through to join the two establishments. He rarely used the internet café but he liked ‘his’ coffee, and the staff were beginning to know him by face and remember his usual. He'd also managed to sweet-talk the regular girl into a discount.

Today though he felt too paranoid to use his own iFruit laptop, and had elected to use a public one – they can’t track that right?

What Luis was doing at the internet café was research. He’d run a search for Johnny Klebitz – it took him four attempts to get the right spelling – and had found some news reports. Most interestingly was an article about the incarceration of onr of Johnny’s friends.


Luis shut down the computer and stood, dropping his now-empty cup in a bin on the way out.

He flagged down a cab and stepped inside.

Luis rapped the address, and the cab pulled out into traffic.


Click Here to read the next chapter - Italians and Russians: Part II.

Edited by Mokrie Dela

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


Click here to view my Poetry

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Mokrie Dela


Chapter Seven – Italians and Russians: Part II


Their objective was a simple one, though not an easy one. For Niko it was déjà vu. They’d picked up the supplies in Willis and driven to Alderney. A new highway had recently been finished connecting Alderney, Bohan and Dukes. So Niko took the turn onto the Algonquin-Dukes expressway, turning off just before the airport, heading north. The new intersection stood in place of the turn for Meadows Park, a complex three exit clover. The highway no longer carried on west to Dukes Boulevard – instead Dukes Blvd looped round to this junction. Instead the highway – open for two months now – headed north over the bay and flanked Bohan’s Northern Expressway, making use of the empty land just next to it. Bohan had two intersections with the highway – one where a rarely-used carpark once sat, and the other being an extension of up rock street.

Another local road change that Niko had noticed was the now-finished connection between the East Borough Bridge and the Northern Expressway. Traffic in and out and around Bohan had been significantly improved by the changes, and Niko, with Rami in the passenger seat, had circumnavigated Bohan via the new bypass in just a couple of minutes.

The highway looped round the northern tip of Algonquin and was flanked on one side by the west river, and on the other by the higher elevation of Ivy Drive North and Grummer Road. The hickey bridge had been overhauled with the new highway now running underneath the old route, emerging beyond the turn for Hubbard and Franklin and connecting directly to the Skyway. The Westdyke turn had been improved too – adding a turn on/off on the southern side. It was this, newly completed turn that Niko used, following the off-ramp to the same location as the north-side off ramp. They drove past the target, resisting the temptation to turn their heads. Instead they allowed their eyes to do the work.

Niko turned onto Bedrock Street and a minute later pulled over to a small no thrills motel – one that sprung up a year and a half ago and seemed to thrive, catering to all sorts of shady characters. Niko entertained the image of a Senator coming here to have illicit relations with his secretary.

“You know that’s the first time I’ve actually driven on that road.” Niko observed. “I’m glad they added the second Westdyke turn too.” Both men did a lot of driving, thus took a natural interest in the road systems.

“Shame they can’t sort the tunnel out.” Rami added. LTA had not – despite residents’ wishes - made any efforts on the Booth Tunnel bottleneck. Niko was reading an article just a few days ago about the public’s annoyance over it.

“Didn’t they reopen the ferry terminal?” Rami asked as the men entered the reception. In December 2007, the Algonquin side of the Algonquin ferry line, based by Golden Pier, had burnt down – it was suspected to be due to gang activity.

Rami paid for the room as the men continued their discussion.

“Yeah but that only had a small effect.” Niko said. “The traffic problem’s still as bad as it was. Besides, you have to pay for the ferry.”

“Saying that, how would they expand it?” Rami led his partner out of the reception. “They’d have to close the tunnel for months.”

“But they could expand the entrance tunnels one way, route the traffic through that while they do the other one.”

“But that would mean shutting the tunnel anyway, then the bottleneck would be worse.” The two reached their room and entered.

“But after that it’d be better.” Rami shut the door.

“That’ll do.” The Israeli said with a chuckle.



Luis Fernando Lopez was nervous. He stood outside the biker bar in Broker, half a dozen hogs lined up beside him. An old battered pick up sat the other side of him. It was the first time he’d seen a four wheeled vehicle outside such establishments. He took a deep breath and moved forward.


The bar was exactly what he expected. Slightly dark, with a slightly Smokey atmosphere – no one here cared about the smoking ban. Hard rock was playing on the classic jukebox, and there was the audible clinking of glasses as the patrons slowly got wasted. Hoarse voices roared and laughed, and profanities were plentiful.

Contrary to cliché, the bar did not fall silent like Luis expected it to. Nevertheless, Luis felt a dozen eyes on him, and none of them were friendly. He made a beeline straight to the bar and waved for the bartender, who deliberately took his time to get to him. No one came up to Luis, no one asked him to leave or to ‘step outside’. In some ways, that made Luis more uncomfortable.

“Yo.” The barman said with a nod. Neither gesture was as friendly as it looked, and Luis knew it.

“I’m looking for someone.”

“Dating agency’s up the road.” The barman growled.

Luis laughed nervously. “Used to be in the Alderney chapter?”

A few nearby heads turned – likely former Alderney chapter members.

The barman stared for a moment before deciding the best way to get rid of this spic was to play ball. Still…

“You a cop or something?”

Luis scoffed. “Do I look like a cop?”

“You look like a rich boy.” A nearby patron grunted. Luis shook his head.

“He’s in a world of sh*t.” Luis decided to throw a little truth in there. “He’s got a price on his head and, to be honest, I’m trying to help him.”

“You some kind of nancy boy then? Trying to save your boyfriend?”

Luis chuckled. “No, I have a different girl pretty much each night.” Luis heard a distant voice say ‘Yeah right’, and decided to add more information. “I’m just trying to protect a fellow soldier.”

“You’re a soldier?” The man perked up.

“And my captain’s in danger. He’s the brother of Johnny Klebitz who was a member of the Alderney chapter.”

The barman chewed on his lip for a moment. “I served my country too.” He said after a minute. “First Gulf war. I don’t know Johnny though – not that Johnny anyway.”

“Any former Alderney guys in here?”

The barman nodded. “Bear over there, with the cigar.” The barman nodded and Luis saw a largely overweight man in the corner, smoking a cigar. “He steals those things from some dealer in Algonquin. That’s what he claims anyway. Some people say he really buys them but no one’s stupid enough to call him on it. If you’re gonna approach him, do something good… get him a drink. That will stop him snapping your skinny neck – at least while he’s drinking in.”

“Alright then.” Luis slapped a bill on the bar. “Get him a double. Me too.”

Luis put the glass on the table in front of the man – he mentally questioned how the man stayed on a bike. That was a strange image, the man was probably three time Luis’s size.

The man – Bear – looked up and slowly pulled the cigar out of his mouth. He stared at Luis then, after a minute, said “Yes?”

“Drink for you.” Luis said.

The man’s face tightened. “You coming on to me?!”

“Nah, bro, I aint like that.” Luis shook his head. “I want a favor.”

“Can’t be much of a favor.” Bear picked up the glass and downed it in one go. “What?”

“I’m looking for someone.”

“Do I look like a matchmaker? F*ck off.” The man returned the cigar to his mouth

Luis held his hand up. “Johnny Klebitz.”

Bear blinked and withdrew the cigar again. “Johnny K?”


Bear sighed and kicked out a stool. “Sit.” Luis sat, immediately regretting it. The stool was hard and massively uncomfortable. “So Johnny K. There’s a story for ya. Goddamned club tore itself apart.”

“So you know where he is?”

“Maybe. Maybe not. One thing about MCs is we stick together. I wouldn’t go against Johnny or even Brian and Billy.”


“Forget it. You want me to help you… why the hell should we?”

It was then that Luis realized this beastly man was the leader of this chapter – if not the leader then a very senior member.

“How about a favor for a favor?”

Bear took a deep nasal breath and exhaled through his mouth as he thought about it. “Alright. A favor for a favor.” Bear slid a cigar box across the table and opened it. “Take one.”

Luis obeyed and Bear cut and lit it. Luis wasn’t a big smoker but he knew how. He took a breath in, let it fill his mouth then exhaled.

“Good aren’t they?” Bear growled. Luis nodded. “That’s a gift. Now I get these from some Jewish guy in The Exchange. Ironic that. But lately he’s been up to it. Last month I almost got killed by the Yiddish prick. I want you to go steal some. Simple.”

“And in return?”

“I’ll point you in the right direction. That’s it. It’s that, or the door.” Bear took a pull on the cigar. “Remember my little gift.” In other words: You owe me.

Luis sighed then held out his hand. “You got a deal.” Bear grabbed his hand with his gloved hand, his grip almost breaking Luis’s fingers.


Niko Bellic, 32, and Rami Yalon, 48, sat in the black Rebla as they pulled up to the car showroom. They stepped out of the vehicle, balaclavas and gloves on, and pulled out their AK-47s. The men spilt up, as per their plan. Rami crossed the forecourt, weaving in and out of cars, as Niko headed straight for the main entrance.


Niko kicked open the door and strolled in. He brought his AK-47 up and fired at the people inside. Rami, at the far side of the forecourt, moved into the building and began throwing out cross-fire.

A few customers panicked, some managing to flee into the forecourt. Rami and Niko let them go. The Italian goons were all reacting – drawing their guns. But the attacking duo held the advantage; their guns were already out and aimed.

While some Italians tried to shoot Niko, others tried to turn for cover, but were presented with Rami, whose gun was perforating the men his side. They fell immediately and the men caught with their pants down in the middle were slaughtered just as quick.

It took under two minutes. Like shooting fish in a barrel, Niko thought.

Once all the men were taken out, and the duo had done a quick sweep of the building, they moved back outside and to their Rebla.

Rami opened the trunk and pulled out two duffel bags. Niko took one and headed to the forecourt. Rami headed inside the building.

Niko moved from car to car, placing the satchel charges under each car’s gas tank. Each satchel was programmed, and with a push of a button, Niko set up a delay. The Russians had become known – just like the Italians – for sending messages. The Italians would read this with their eyes closed. They’d know the Russians had hit the place – both Rami and Niko were sure that one goon had escaped. That meant that reinforcements would be here in minutes.

Rami had placed his charges – stronger than Niko’s – in strategic places around the building. The two met up and headed to their Rebla. Niko drove off, taking it round the corner and parking under the skyway, the car dealership just visible.


They waited.


Luis made his way across to Algonquin, and checked out the cigar store.

The establishment was decorated, outside and in, with an expensive looking wood. Luis opened the heavy door and walked in, instantly greeted with the unique smell of cigars waiting for consumption. It was a new smell for Luis. He’d smelt the smoke, but never smelt freshly made ones. Did they make them here, or just sell them?

“Can I help you?” A Hispanic man in a white suit stood behind the counter, a welcoming smile on his tanned and gracefully aged face.

“Just looking bro.”

The man nodded, his smile still there, but less sincere. He went back to a book he’d laid on the counter. Luis felt his eye on him though.

As Luis looked in the humidors and cases – all locked probably – for the right brand. He allowed his eyes to wander and began to case out the joint.

The counter was the usual counter – made out of a dark wood – and Luis suddenly realized why he’d walked through two doors coming in to the shop. This place used to be a jeweler and had the airlock-styled double security door. A straight up raid was out then.

Luis turned to see the white-suited Cuban – he looked like a Cuban – standing next to him.

“Most people do not spend time looking at cigars. Can’t decide friend? You can sample them – I sell them individually too.”

“I’m looking for a specific brand.” Luis said.

The man smiled. “Ah. What brand?”

“El Burro Del Diablo.”

The man nodded. “Hmm.” He walked to a humidor then stopped, facing Luis. “They’re not very popular. Not that cheap and not really that good.” The man scoffed. “There’s only a few people that buy them.”

“Any trouble with thieves?” Luis waved to the door.

“Sometimes. I’ve lost the odd shipment but it’s rare enough that there’s nothing I can do. No one’s stupid enough to try to steal from here directly. So you want the cigars?”

“Yeah how much for a box, bro?”

“Two fifty for ten.”

Luis blinked, genuinely surprised at the price. “Erm, that’s more then I have on me.”

“Then may I suggest coming back when you do?”

Luis nodded and laughed. “Sorry bro. This is embarrassing. My brother’s getting married and you smoke these at that time don’t you?”

“That is true.” But for weddings, I'd recomend..."

“I’ll come back when I got time… when do you get new stock in? I don’t wanna come here and you’ve run out.”

“We won’t run out. I get new shipments once a month. It’s a slow – but steady – market.”

“So when’s the best time to come in then?”

The man shrugged. “Delivery’s on the first of every month. So the second or so.” Then his jaw set and he frowned. “But as I said you won’t run the risk of running out of stock – especially with theBurros. Some of the Cubans do run out, but with those we get monthly orders so we ensure we have enough. Allow me to get the security door for you.” The man said, deciding to warn his so called customer. Luis guessed that security would be beefed up tonight.


It took five minutes. Both men had made a bet, and now Niko laughed. “Pay up.” He said.

Rami shook his head. He thought it’d be under five minutes – Niko thought longer. By about six or seven seconds, Niko had won.

The two SUVs came to a screeching halt and the men began to pile out.

“Now?” Niko asked. Rami nodded with a smile.

Niko pushed the button.


The first Italian out of the vehicle led the rest toward the showroom. He was pushed back by the shock of an explosion – two to be precise – as the cars nearest the road leapt into the air, flipping in a ball of flame.

Before any of the men could recover or even curse, the next two exploded. A domino effect of explosions rocked the forecourt, each one half a second behind the last, until the building itself went up. The final explosion – or group of explosions – actually threw the men back, as well as tossing the burning vehicles carcasses over. One of the SUVs fell to its side and the flames took hold of the ruined building.


Niko and Rami both exclaimed incomprehensibly as the chain of explosions rocked the ground. They could feel the shock even in the car. The windows were open and they even felt the heat.

“Impressive!” Niko said after a second, putting the car in gear. They’d left the engine – and their balaclavas – on. Niko accelerated.


“What the f*ck!?” The lead Italian cried out, picking himself up. One of his men was dead – hit by a flaming bit of wreckage and another was somehow caught light, but had shed his jacket quickly and was now jumping on it.

“Somebody tell me what the – ”

Niko drove past at a crawl, and Rami leant out of the window. The Italians were surprised, and disorientated by the explosions. Rami wasted no time – he’d reloaded his gun a minute ago, and now squeezed the trigger in his almost automatic controlled manner.


Three Italians went down immediately as Niko played his part. The Serbian tossed a grenade out of the window and hit gold. The projectile landed right next to one of the SUVs, which jumped up as the explosion tore the bodywork apart. Another Italian was killed by the grenade, as Rami took down two more. That left three men.

Dvigat’sya!” Rami called out. Niko floored it. Within seconds they had drifted round the corner and out of sight. Unsurprisingly they were not followed.


Click Here to read the next chapter - Close but No Cigar.

Edited by Mokrie Dela

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


Click here to view my Poetry

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Just read it; good job yet again Mokrie. Keep it up, i wanna read the next one already. tounge.gif


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Mokrie Dela


Chapter Eight – Close but No Cigar


Karen – whoever she was – was no help. Luis had elected to go alone – he had little choice really. Karen didn’t want to know about the crime he was to commit, but she’d conceded that it was a necessary evil. Instead he’d searched for the Cuban store’s website and found out that their cigars – those not handmade on site – were delivered from Vice City via plane. Luis had checked the arrivals on Francis International Airport’s website and found out when the Vice City Cargo plane was due.


And now Luis was at the airport, waiting for the delivery truck to leave. He almost missed it actually – he’d actually sneezed. That’s something you don’t see in spy films. Luis had the image of the world legendary spy, going to save the world, hiding in the shadow, and having a sneezing attack and being found and killed.

His chosen vehicle was an Akuma, stolen from Rotterdam Hill. He gunned the engine and pulled out his Uzi.


The truck’s driver was a forty year old freight employee. This was considered a low risk job, so he earned little more than minimum wage. It wasn’t a thrilling job – which was precisely why he took it. Relaxing, sort of. He had the radio on – tuned to Alderney State Talk Radio, or A.S.T.R – and enjoyed the various shows. His favorite show was one now – actually a gardening show. Gardening was his favorite–


He didn’t see the biker, nor hear the gunshots. He felt the vehicle drop on the left and control was lost. He applied the brake but the wind screen shattered as the truck spun to his left.

He’d never been shot before so when pain shot through his shoulder and his arm went numb, he thought it was a heart attack. He panicked and clutched at his arm. That’s when he saw the blood.

He cried out as more bullets hit the truck – he wasn’t sure where – and pulled the E-brake. He opened the door and practically fell out of the door. He saw a figure approach him but ignore him. Instead the figure jumped in the truck and sped off.

The man crawled to the side of the road and pulled out his cell phone. The first call was to the cops. The second was to his wife.

Luis managed to reach the Algonquin-Dukes expressway before the police caught up with him. They were coming from the opposite direction and screeched to a halt, crossing the expressway and following the stolen truck. He glanced in the rear view mirror to see a few more police cars – N.O.O.S.E Patriots to be precise – in the distance. He guessed they’d come from the airport police station, that Luis had passed.

Luis switched gears and drifted to the left-hand lane. The police cars followed, but Luis downshifted and jerked the wheel hard right. The truck surged across the expressway, crashing through the water barrels and catching the off-ramp at the latest possible moment. All the LCPD cars overshot the ramp, one of them actually crashing into the concrete divider as another grazed the barrier. The N.O.O.S.E vehicles were far enough back to follow the stolen truck easily enough.

Luis pulled off a risky powerslide at the bottom of the ramp, going on two wheels, but counter steering and accelerating quickly enough to bring the truck back on four wheels. In fact he almost flipped the other way.

The N.O.O.S.E vehicles followed as the truck skirted the acute intersection, heading through the bus station. Luis set his sights and put his foot down. He was used to the feeling of acceleration present in Bullets, Super GTs, Comets and other super cars. This truck, however, lacked the torque. Right now, Luis would have killed for that. He guided the truck through the busy bus station, dodging a moving bus and threading the needle between two loading buses. The N.O.O.S.E vehicles followed as Luis threw the truck down the hill past the child’s playground. A minivan slammed their brakes on as Luis’s truck crashed onto Mohawk Avenue, narrowly avoiding the minivan. The first N.O.O.S.E Patriot, however, didn’t. It ploughed straight into the minivan, flipping the civilian vehicle and itself careering off into a lamppost.


Luis now had a small lead on the pursuing vehicles, and he guided the truck in between the Algonquin Bridge’s support structures, and up the steps with a violent jolt.

The Patriots had no problem climbing the steps, though they’d slowed. Luis accelerated hard as he leveled out, sounding the horn to clear the way of pedestrians. The pedestrians jumped and dived out of the way, many scrambling onto the train tracks. Luis threw his elbow out and smashed the truck’s window. He checked the wing mirrors to see the first Patriot level out. Using the mirror to help him aim, Luis fired backward. Two shots, three shots. The missed, but the cops would now know his intent. The fourth shot, however, struck the Patriot’s windshield. Luis saw the Patriots drop back considerably.

Luis gave the truck everything, as lampposts began striking the front of the truck. More people screamed and did their best to evade the truck, though one or two failed. The lampposts clattered to the floor. They slowed the cops down even more.


Luis Fernando Lopez was no stranger to dangerous driving. He still had the naïveté of youth, and was a regular on the underground racing circuit. Such experience led him to being accustomed to good braking. A trait this truck did not have. He had to slam the brakes full on as he reached the Algonquin side of the bridge. Luis almost crashed into the roof of the small tunnel as the brakes began to smoke. The truck jolted downward and Luis had to fight the downforce, as well as the temptation to brake fully.


By the time the truck hit the bottom of the steps – which broke the front bumper clean off – he had a considerable lead. In a moment of quick thinking, he turned left, turning again. The cops didn’t see the turn so, by the time they’d reached Albany Avenue, Luis was already out of sight, heading south, across the tennis courts east of Albany Avenue.

The police and N.O.O.S.E cruisers and Patriots split, heading north and south.

Luis maneuvered the truck down some steps and ended up beneath Union Drive East. He stopped the truck under the Union Drive East/Gernet Street intersection and hurried to the waiting car.


“We better be getting a good cut, L.” Armando Torres rapped, stepping out of the new-model Bobcat – this version had a hardtop covering on top of the rear flatbed.

“Don’t worry, Once I delivered what I need, you get the rest, bro.”

“Hey,” Henrique said, appearing beside Luis as if by magic. “You reckon we could cut these with weed?”

Armando raised his eyebrows. “That’s not a bad idea, man.” He nodded.

“Yeah, do the business meeting later, A?” Luis nodded toward the truck. “We gotta shift this quick.”


The three men moved to the truck and begun unloading it. Once done, they retrieved three cans from the Bobcat and proceeded to soak the truck – inside and out – in gasoline.

“You know you don’t get this much anymore.” Armando said.

“What?” Luis replied, making sure to drop some gasoline on the wheels.

“Using gasoline to burn a truck – in fact people usually siphon it out first. We should have done that – used the truck’s own fuel to burn it.”

“Aint enough time, bro.” Luis said, emptying his can. All three men wore gloves, more to avoid getting the pungent liquid on their hands than anything else, and deposited the empty cans in a bin liner in the Bobcat’s cabin.

“Let’s go!” Luis called out. Armando squeezed in to the middle seat and laughed.

“You’re driving L.”

Luis shook his head and tossed the crash helmet under the seat. He ignited the engine and spun the 4x4 round, heading up the steps, ironically right next to the police station.


Click Here to read the next chapter - The Hunt for Johnny Klebitz....

Edited by Mokrie Dela

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


Click here to view my Poetry

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Nice one again. Bit late, but only just saw it. icon14.gif


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Mokrie Dela

Thanks for the interest man. Interest has died down a little again, so hopefully it'll pick up some more!


Here's a little treat for ya tounge.gif



Chapter Nine – The Hunt for Johnny Klebitz...


Bear was pleased with the Cigars. Armando had dropped Luis and his cigars off in The Meat Quarter. After ensuring they were secure – in a lock up the three men had used for the last few years to store drugs – Luis called the number the biker had given him. After the call, Luis had packed them into a Rancher – stolen or, as Luis thought of it, borrowed, from a nearby parking lot – and driven to the meeting place, which was under the Northwood Heights Bridge in Algonquin.


Armando and Henrique had been drafted in as backup. They took up hidden positions. Henrique, with a sniper rifle, had made his was up to the rail bridge and up position against a metal bridge support. Armando was sitting in his car in the car park north of the bridges.


Bear turned up with three other bikers, all riding in formation. They stopped in the car park, in between Armando’s car and the bridge. Luis didn’t think they saw Armando. Bear stepped off his bike and said something to his men. He walked toward the underpass where Luis stood.

“How it go?” Bear growled by way of a greeting.

“Cops were all over me, but I lost them bro. I got the cigars.”

Bear nodded. “I’m gonna call the boys over and load up, yeah?”

“Yeah, cool bro. They’re in the car.” He gestured over his shoulder with his thumb.

Bear turned and waved the men over. They approached and Luis opened the tailgate.

Bear’s eyes opened wide. “I’m impressed. There must be two, three month’s worth here.”

Luis shrugged. “What you wanted bro.”

“Yeah… where’s the rest?”

“You didn’t want the rest, man.”

Bear laughed – a laugh that started as a deep rumbling in his chest that turned into a hearty bellow. “Alright well we’ll take these.”

“And Johnny?”

Bear nodded, breaking open a pack and taking a cigar out. He lit it. “I’ll help you. A few years ago some of us went on a ride – from here to Los Santos.” The man smiled, remembering fond memories. “It was a hell of a ride. Tiring. I was a kid myself, and I almost didn’t make it. Almost got swiped by a Linerunner, almost got hit by a train, and the nights in Los Santos… oh, they were enough to make your forget yourself. Some of us didn’t make it. No one died, but some had to get a lift back. That’s shameful, you know. Only the hardcore get these.” Bear rapped his knuckle on his jacket’s patch that read ‘I Rode Mine Los Santos 2004’. “I became a man during that trip.” He waved at the yellow, black and white patches on his jacket, though Luis had no idea what in the hell they meant.

“Anyway, we stopped at several places - f*cking loads actually. Anyway I remember this chick – this crazy fun-loving bitch. She was seeing J-K a bit, and she was there on the final leg. She was out in... I dunno, Hicksville, or Bumf*ck, Nowhere or something. Visiting her uncle or something. Anyway we swung past near there and John-Boy rode out to pick her up. Proper puppy love.” Bear chuckled.

“Cool story, bro.” Luis said, watching the bikers load up the last of the cigars. “But how’s that help me?”

Bear laughed. “Sorry, I got a bit nostalgic. One night they both rode off. They didn’t come back till the next morning. Judging by the way those two were for the rest of the trip, I reckon he touched-down in her end-zone for the first time that night.”

Luis raised an eyebrow. “Really? He didn’t strike me as the sentimental sort.”

Bear shrugged. “Bikers have feelings too, you know.”

Luis shrugged. “Where was this?”

Bear shrugged. “It was a wild ride, I dunno. Find her and see.”

“What was her name?”

“Ashley Butler.”

Luis nodded. “Where can I find her?”

“I dunno. Maybe she’s on a dating website.” The man snickered.

“This is serious bro. To be honest, all you’ve done is tell me the guy’s girl. I almost got my ass shot off, bro.”

“Yeah? Bite me.”

Luis glowered at the Bear.

Bear sighed. “Alright. Go find Ashley. If you need more help come back and see me. One more though – that’s it. And I aint seeing combat for you.”

“Fair enough.” Luis said, begrudginly. Both men turned to their respective vehicles. They did not shake hands.


Luis had used the internet café in north Holland – he didn’t want to have any part of this tied to his phone or home computer – to track Ashley down. It wasn’t hard and he’d headed over to Alderney to her apartment that same day.

Luis approached the door, double checking the address, and knocked. There was no answer. He knocked again. He looked around, wondering if the woman was at work or something. Was she employed?

He knocked again before shaking his head. He turned away then stopped. This was important wasn’t it?

“What the f*ck am I doing?” He asked himself. He stared at the Freeway parked on the road. He’d donned some dark fitted jeans, picked up a pair of grunge-styled boots from Didier Sachs, and draped a leather jacket – also from Didier Sach’s grunge-styled line – over a black pullover. He’d fished out a pair of fingerless weight-lifting gloves too. He thought he looked like a biker. Bear certainly didn’t pick up on it. Little did he know that the heavy-set biker saw him as just another rich-boy.

The door opened a crack and a woman’s face appeared in shadow.

“Yeah?” She said with a weak voice. Had she just woken up? “Who are you?”

“I’m looking for Johnny.”

“Johnny? Oh man, that’s a name I haven’t heard in a while. Who are you?”

“Name’s Luis.”

“Right. And you’re looking for Johnny. Wh-What you want with Johnny?”

“Well, he’s in trouble. Him and his brother.”

Ashley exhaled and the door shut. Luis sighed but the door opened again after Ashley disengaged the chain “You better come in then.”

Luis followed Ashley in to the apartment – which was far too dark. Luis noticed the curtains were pulled closed; only a crack of light broke through, casting a line of white on the floor. As they walked in to the sitting room, the Dominican began regretting coming. This place is a sh*t hole.

“Sit down if you want.”

“Nah, I’m cool.” Luis said, shaking his head. Ashley shrugged and collapsed on her sofa.

“So what you want with Johnny?”

“He not here?”

“Why the hell would he be here?” She said with an almost-laugh.

Luis shrugged. “I dunno, boyfriend?”

Ashley scoffed. “Boyfriend? No, I burnt that bridge a long time ago. We haven’t spoken for years.”

sh*t. “So any idea where he’d be?”

“You deaf?” Ashley shook her head. “Besides, even if I did, why would I tell you? What so you could go and kill him?”

“I aint trying to kill him. In fact it’s the opposite. I’m trying to help him.”

“Yeah, right. How gullible do I look?”

“I’m serious. Listen, my name’s Luis Lopez. I run Marionette Nine in Algonquin.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone, tossing it to Ashley.

Ashley’s reactions were poor. She missed the catch and the phone landed on the sofa, just missing one of her breasts. For a second Luis thought about what was under there, but shook it off. Not the time or the place, L.

“Check me out.”

Ashley picked up the phone and tapped at it. She takes a few minutes, partly due to not being used to the phone.

Once done, she threw the phone back and Luis casually snatched it out the air.

“Alright, fine, so you’re not trying to kill him.” She sighed. “So… What?”

“Believe it or not, Johnny’s one of the good guys for once.” Luis assumed that the biker was, at least, a bit of a rebel. He felt sure that mister Klebitz was a criminal. After all, who wasn’t in this city? In this case, it paid off.

Ashley looked at something on the messy end-table, sighing.

“He was always good to me, you know.” She turned back from the end-table, looking at the strange man in her living room. “He always looked out for me. Even when he hated me he still came to my rescue. And I pushed him away. I f*cked up.”

Luis sighed, shaking his head, staring down at the floor. He didn’t want to hear some stranger’s sob-story. Who cares? Just tell me where Johnny is so I go back to picking up women at work…

“I just need to find him, I don’t need to hear your life’s story. Him and his brother are in danger, it’s important I find him. They’re the good guys, and right now the bad guys, whoever the f*ck they are, are trying to find them. I need to find him first.”

Ashley sighed, and stood. “Alright I’ll help but I haven’t seen him for two years. He just upped sticks and left town.

“It’s been a hard two years. I thought maybe I could get better and he’d come back but that aint happening.”

Luis stared through a frown. “Get better? You ill?”

“No. Well some people call it a disease. I don’t know.” She turned. “Drugs.”

Ah! Luis knew this story.

“Listen, I spoke to a man called Bear. Remember him?”

Ashley stared, her eyes unfocused. “No.” She said after a second.

“He rode to Los Santos with Johnny. Apparently that was a special trip for him.”

Ashley stood there for a moment, still. Then it hit her. She smiled and sat, tears welling up in her eyes.

“From what I’ve heard, Ash,” Luis began, “He cares about you. Maybe, if people are after him, and they’ve driven him out of his home, he’s got nothing and no one… maybe he’d go to one place that give him happy memories. One place away from everything.”

“The lake.” She said, a tear making a track down her cheek. Luis wasn’t sure if they were tears of happiness or sadness. “We spent the whole night there. We… you know, then watched the sun come up. It was beautiful. Just us…”

“Where is that?”

“Oh man I… I don’t remember. Johnny rode out, I was on the back. I…” She shook her head. “No, it’s gone. But he walked away from me. Why would he go back there? He didn’t want anything more to do with me.”

Luis shrugged. “It’s a start. I’m like a detective here, I need to find him and I’ll take any lead I can get.”

“I dunno.” She slammed back into the sofa. “We weren’t that far out from a biker bar place. There was a motel too. But…”

“Can to remember the town name?”

“No… Maybe your friend can?”

Luis snapped his fingers and pointed. “Yeah, maybe.”

“C- Can I come?” She asked a second later. “It’d be good to see him again.”

Luis pondered that for a minute. “You might wanna tidy yourself up a little.” He pointed out. “If we do find him... maybe you can work things out.”

She smiled at that. “Yeah.”


For the first time in… a long time, Luis had found a woman who didn’t take four hours to shower. After Luis called Bear, Ashley returned looking more human. She’d washed and had clean clothes on.

“I feel like a teenager again.” She said, looking into a dirty mirror, laughing – he laugh sounded so sad, too. “Nervous, like I’m going out on a date.”

Luis nodded, wishing she’d shut up. A couple of minutes later they were walking out of the door.

“You actually have a bike.” She said, getting on the Freeway behind Johnny. “I figured you were a rich boy, driving a sports car or something.”

Luis chuckled. “I’m just trying to find Johnny.”

“Yeah, so you keep saying.” Ashley put of a crash helmet as Luis started the engine. “What’s this all about anyway?”

“I can’t say!” Luis called back as the bike began moving. “Truth is I don’t really know. I don’t usually do this you know. I run a club, I’m not a secret agent.”

“This is some big sh*t then?”

“Yeah. It’s not good.”

“I feel like I owe him you know.”




“’cause the way I f*cked up. We had something good – no, great. I love him, Lewis.”

“Luis.” He corrected. She ignored it.

“I tried, I really did. After he left I hit rock bottom. I… I don’t know. I’ve no idea how long I spent high. I almost died. Truth is, I wanted to die. I almsot did. Then I meet this woman. I was wasted somewhere and she saw me, took me in and helped me. Turned out she was Jim’s wife.”

“Who’s Jim?”

“Johnny’s best friend… He got killed.”


“Well she helped me, she was… there was this family, all alone, missing their dad, her husband. I don’t know, something clicked. Life’s too short you know?”

“So what you’re clean now?”

“Yeah… Kind of.”

“You’re either are or you’re not.”

“I am. Two months. The last two years have been hard. I’ve been in and out of rehab. Different rehabs. I don’t touch that stuff anymore. I want Johnny to come back and to take me, for us to ride off into the sunset together.”

“That sh*t only happens in films, y'know.”

“I know, but I can dream can’t i?”


They weren’t in till the afternoon, so Niko had slept in and had a late breakfast even managing to squeeze a jog in between the two. He arrived at the building on Columbus Avenue right on time, and caught Rami by the elevators.

“All good in Niko-land?” Rami asked.

“Yeah. You good?”

Rami nodded, concluding that conversation. Their relationship was more business than personal.


“More work on the Italians, gentlemen.” Their boss said as the men sat. He slid a manila envelope across the desk to them. “They’re being smart and keeping their operational information locked up.” He chuckled, “Not unlike a government agency actually – it’s being handled on a need to know basis. Who of you are familiar with the concept of insurance?”

Rami and Niko nodded.

“Well the mafia have been doing as such lately. Ever since the problem with that truck last year. The big bosses keep records, implicating others or protecting themselves.”

“Self protection and blackmail.”

“Something like that. Anyway there’s another shipment coming in for the Mafia. An LCPD undercover agent managed to get that information to his handler. We don’t know where or when the shipment’s coming in, but it’s a great opportunity to stir things up.”

“Alright.” Rami said, seeing he job – assignment – coming. “Hit us with it.”

The man nodded. “You’re to infiltrate the Mafia leader’s mansion and locate the information about the shipment.”

Niko spoke up. “Wouldn’t keeping information about the shipment implicate the mafia, not protect them?”

“Usually, yes, but its kept where no one can get it – legally at least. By the time a warrant’s marked up the information can be moved or altered – the latter almost certainly done anyway. The information and proof can be compiled and used appropriately.

“Either way gentlemen, this assignment has three levels to it. This is the mafia’s headquarters – in this city anyway. High security. Firstly, choose an entry point – there’s a map in the file. Secondly the grounds are split into three sections. The outer area – the gardens, pool et cetera – the mansion’s interior and the more protected parts of the mansion.

“The first rule here is to not be detected. Detection in the outer parameter, while preferably avoided, isn’t fatal. But if you do have contact, bear in mind that the Russians would likely take a lethal approach. Once in the mansion itself, avoiding detection is critical. If they know there’s an intruder, they may destroy the information. Worse, if they see you and realize you’re not Russians…

“Once you get to the more protected area – where the boss sleeps et cetera – then security may be even tighter, but detection in this area is absolutely, with no exceptions, a no-no.

“Remember, gentlemen, that you have no support once you leave this building. If you’re snatched by the cops, we’ve never heard of you. If the Italians grab you, we don’t exist. Capiche?

Rami smiled thinly at the ironic joke, then nodded his understanding.

“No satellite tracking or surveillance or backup teams.”

“What’s the legality of what we’re doing?”

“The governmental term would be black. The civilian term? Illegal. You guys aren’t soldiers remember – anymore anyway. You’re criminals and if you’re caught, it’s game over.”

Rami snorted. “Not much different to my life in Mossad then.”

Their boss stared for a second, and Rami suspected he wasn’t fully aware of how and why the Israeli’s intelligence career ended.

“We have got you some gear though.”

“Different to working for the mob.” Rami said again. Niko was looking at the map.

“Yes. Although you get not support, doesn’t mean we don’t prepare you properly. I’ve arranged an equipment drop at a safe-house. The equipment is government issue. Not bleeding edge, or ever cutting edge, but it is of recent generation.”

“That’s the thing about the mob and government. Government have the resources but they have restrictions. The mob has no restrictions though, but not the government restrictions.”

“Well we’re kind of the best of both worlds. A compromise.”

“Right here.” Niko said, tapping the map. “This is the way in.”

“Back garden.” Rami noted.

“Yeah. There’s a kind of garden here. A little pond, some flowers. Shrubs?” Niko pointed at an attached photo, taken from an obscure location – possibly through a scope – showing a slightly unclear patch of green at the back of a patio area.

“Good cover, survey the area. Best way in,” Rami agreed, “but we’ll be faced with a fifty yard expanse of open space.”

Niko tapped the photo again. “You can see here, deck chairs and parasols. How recent is this photo?” He asked their boss.

“Last three days.”

“Cover to reach the building here.” Niko tapped the map again.

“Security patrols?” Rami asked.

The boss offered a sideways nod. “Standard. A posting in the gardens, roaming patrols in the house. Possible to change. Survey the area first.”

“Ok.” Niko said. “Bypass the security… what’s this?” He pointed at the map.

“A shed?” Rami suggested, confirming it on the photo. “Yes, a shed.”

“Hmm.” Niko nodded.

“Backup entry point, Niko?”

Niko stared at the map, but Rami tapped it first. “Here, by the front, on the corner of the neighbor’s yard. Lots of greenery, cover to the garage, easy access to this.” He tapped the side of the house that had a door - and a chef smoking by it – and a wooden frame, holding up ivy.

“Ok fellers. Go retrieve the equipment. Here’s the address. You have until Five AM to complete this mission. Any later and the risk of exposure is too great. Dawn will prevent a stealthy exfiltration. The men nodded.

The safe house was exactly what they both expected. Nothing fancy. It was a low-rent apartment. The interior was lazily decorated – the walls mostly bare, the floor covered by a cheap carpet. Rami shut and locked the door as Niko walked in to the lounge – a room with two sofas, a TV and a small round dining table. A portable radio – sat on the lone window ledge, where light filtered in lazily.

Niko found the two cases, and set about opening them.

“sh*t.” He breathed. Rami, hearing the curse, approached the case.

“He weren’t joking.” The Israeli observed. He reached in and pull out, first, the military vest, then the fitted suit that went with it. It was kind of a jump suit, but made of a thick, but lightly stretchy, material. The apparel looked dull in the light, like matted rubber. He nodded for Niko to open the other box, and the Serbian did. Inside laid weapons. Two submachine guns, resembling a suppressed P90, two silenced pistols, and a few grenades.

“Flashbang, gas and smoke.” Rami noted.

“Silenced pistols.” Niko picked up a western recreation of the Soviet PSS Silent Pistol. All he saw was a gun with an unattached silencer.

“Suppressed, Niko.” Rami corrected. “No such thing as a silent gun or a silencer.”

Whatever Niko thought.

“Anyway, two suits here, one’s for you I assume and – hello…”


Rami pulled out a protective casing and opened it. Almost in slow motion, he pulled out a set of night vision goggles.

“I suppose the American expression is we’re loaded for bear.”

“This is some serious equipment.”

“Yeah but don’t be assumptive of these.” Rami carefully handed Niko the goggles.


“Films and games portray these things incorrectly. You can put them on, then run around for ten hours. The battery is much less than that. We’re talking a few hours, with compact models like these.”

Niko put them on – for the first time in his life – and was amazed at how heavy they felt.

Rami shrugged. They weren’t that heavy. One got used to them quickly, and one was not in danger of injury just from wearing them.

“These are compact?”

“Yeah. Light infantry will need lighter and less bulky models. Pilots and people who don’t have to worry about weight or bulk… they have bigger batteries.”

Niko shrugged. “Well let’s go and get changed then.”


The first thing Rami thought of when putting on his military jumpsuit was a wet suit. It had the same sort of fit and feel to it. But thicker.

“This takes me back.” Rami said.

Niko, sitting on the sofa, putting on his boots, looked up. “Back?”

“Yeah. Shin Bet. We had gear similar to this. Last time I used night vision though – in an official sense at least – we cut the power and assaulted the target. Not tonight though.”

“Would you ever go back?”

“Back? Israel?” Rami sighed. There was a belt in the case, that he was about to put on. The belt held a back-holster, and pouches for the grenades, toolkits and a first aid kit. He set it on the table. “I don’t know. There’s not much there for me now. We had an operation for wrong, and they turned their back on me. That’s why I crossed that line that separates us from them. The line between lawfulness and lawlessness. No, I don’t think I would go back. It’s strange, so many of us – more notably eastern bloc residents such as yourself – come to the land of the capitalist fascists. We look at their culture as corrupting. We see people – like your cousin – come here and get corrupted. But then the same happens to us, this land of … we get enchanted? We realize we’re not corrupted but in a land of more opportunity. Is life better over here? I’d say so. Truth is I never planned for what to do after. Retirement? One thing about military service around the world. Every country looks after its own. You get a pension, and when your winter comes, you’re set.

But with this line of work? There is no pension.” Rami stood and grabbed the belt again. “Imagine a workers’ union for mercenaries, hit-men and assassins! Solders of fortune filing for wrongful dismission!”

Niko laughed too. “I wouldn’t be too surprised in this country. People sue for everything.”

“Yeah. ’Can I have a hot coffee?’ ‘Here you go sir.’ ‘Oh no, I spilt it on myself. It’s hot, I’m suing you!’ Pathetic.”

Niko laughed and picked up his weapons. One thing Rami had taught him was how to look after your weapons. Before every use they disassembled, checked, serviced and cleaned their weapons. Niko had struggled with this at first but now he could strip almost any weapon down easily enough. He began taking the pistol apart.

“What about you then, Niko?” Rami asked. “Would you go back?”

“I don’t know. I planned to find Darko, end it all, then take the money back home. After the war, things were bad. I planned to go back and run a farm. But with Roman now a family man… I don’t know. If I was living what my cousin would call an honest life, I’d bring my mother out here.” Niko sighed. “I don’t know.”

Rami finished putting his gear on and began checking and cleaning his gun. “Well you never know. Maybe you can still retire.”



They waited for nightfall before moving out. They put on light baggy jackets to hide their outfits, and had the weapons snug in a bag in the trunk. The car was an old, but reliable, Ruiner. Fast but inconspicuous.

They parked a block from the target’s mansion, in a dedicated parking lot. Then they donned their gear, headsets and all, and made their way to the back of the mansion unseen.

Niko went over the wall first – it being his idea – and scanned the area.

“Clear.” He whispered into the sensitive microphone. A noise gate took care of any loud noises. Rami climbed the wall.

“Contact.” Rami’s voice sounded through Niko’s earpiece, and from Rami’s mouth a foot away, in unbalanced stereo. “I see two men, at one o clock.”

“I got them. Can’t see anyone else.”

“Nope, just them.” Rami brought a small night vision monocular and zoomed in on the men. “Idiots, don’t they know smoking kills their night vision?”

“Obviously not.” Niko replied, seeing the tiny orange glow of a cigarette move across the guard’s silhouette. “Armed?”

Rami shook his head. “No visible weapons, but loose fitting coat, left undone.”

“They’ll be packing then.”

“Definitely. SMGs I bet.” Rami pocketed the night scope. “No access to the entry point.” Rami referred to a second floor balcony. The climb up was right next to where the smoking guards stood. “Check out secondary?”

“No.” Niko whispered.

“Hold up. I got movement. Level two, right side. At entry point.”

“Another smoker.” Niko observed.

“We’ll wait.” The man had his smoke before disappearing back in to the building. “No alarm on that door?”


“Our friends still in place. Check out secondary entry point?”

“No; I’ve got an idea. Take cover behind the lounge chairs.”

“Copy.” Rami began to move, cautiously slowly, his pistol in his hand, one eye watching the guards, another watching the ground in front of him.

“In position.” Rami’s voice sounded in Niko’s ear.

“Copy. Hold.” Niko replied, moving to the shed on his left.

He pulled out his toolkit – a Swiss army pliers knife – and unscrewed the lock from the door. He allowed the hinge to hang from the shed itself, with the screws still in place, and made sure to file out the screw holes slightly. After checking the screws went into the now oversized holes with no struggle, he opened the door and pushed it open. It naturally closed again and Niko used his glove hand to prevent a slam.


Niko pushed the door open then scurried away, moving to the shade of the garden at their entry point. He reached a bush, which he ducked behind, just as the shed door slammed. There was a second, metallic, noise as some tools fell over.

“Movement.” Rami warned, seeing the guards turn toward the noise. They said something – in Italian, or with an Italian accent – and began moving. “Weapon sighted. Looks like an MP5. Suppressed.”

“En route.” Came Niko’s reply.


Through his night vision goggles, Rami watched Niko approach. Niko reached him as the guards reached the shed.

“Move out.” Rami said, covering Niko with his pistol. Niko moved to the truss-like frame that held up some deliberately placed ivy. Niko moved up, quickly, hearing the creaking of the wood as it protested his weight. Twice he felt sections give and crack, but he reached the balcony. Rami was up next and climbed with more agility. He broke more though – one section actually falling off. Niko helped the Israeli onto solid ground, and looked out at the guards. He could see, with his scope, one of the men inspect the ‘broken’ lock. They didn’t look worried – they had holstered their weapons and moved with no urgency. One of them got on the radio as another tried to push the screws in with his fingers. The door just opened again.

“We’re clear.” Niko said.

“Good plan.” Rami replied, turning to the door, and setting out picking the lock.

Within half a minute the door was open. Rami scanned the entire door frame – and the door – for evidence of alarms. “No alarms.” He said, confident in that statement.

“Ok. Let’s move.”


Rami had point – Niko had conceded that honor in light of Rami’s experience. The Israeli led his partner into a hallway. Their goggles were down, and active, their guns up. Niko matched Rami’s pace, hanging back enough to cover him. Rami moved slowly down the hallway until they reached the first doorway. Rami’s hand came up in a fist. Stop.


Niko moved to cover the hallway as Rami pressed himself up against the wall by the door. He hooked his head round and scanned the room before moving in, following a quick hand signal to Niko. Niko moved toward the doorway, watching the hallway but ready to move into the room if contact was made.


Rami moved his gun around, keeping it pointed in the direction he was looking at all times. This was a small bedroom – a guest room probably – with an en suite bathroom. Both were devoid of inhabitants, so Rami gave Niko the thumbs up and turned back to the doorway.


Niko now had point, until he’d cleared the next room, where Rami continued the rolling lead system.


Niko ducked into the room as Rami was checking it.

“Incoming.” He warned.

“Copy.” Rami’s reply was calm. Routine.

Niko took cover behind the door as Rami rushed the check of the room.

“All clear.”


Niko checked his gun as the footsteps approached. They stopped and, by Niko judgment, the owner was right outside the door.

“Hold position.” Rami’s voice sounded in the Serbian’s ear. The Israeli was whispering as softly as he could, the microphones just about picking it up. Niko was quietly impressed at the tech.


Rami watched the man stare in to the room. He’s sensing something. Rami wondered how things would go if they were captured. They’d likely get killed, he knew, but he wondered. Would his previous affiliation with Liberty City’s mob help him, or condemn him?

This was him in his element though. Life and death on the line, separated by a 5.7 mm bullet. Rami knew this gun well. It was used across the world, even with the US Secret Service. Rami was deadly with most weapons, and this gun felt comfortable and natural in his hand.

The man turned and walked off. Amateurs would breathe a sigh of relief, but Rami merely noted the event.

“Contact lost.” He informed Niko. “Room’s clear. Move out.”

Niko ensured that Rami was in range before checking the hallway. The guard disappeared round a corner and Niko waved Rami to follow him.


They cleared the next room until they reached a lobby. A large staircase stood leading to the ground floor, and a large hallway. Walkways flanked the lower floor, held up by Romanesque columns. Niko moved to one of the walkways which was in shadow, and hid – the suit allowing him to blend in to the darkness. Rami moved and took cover across the stairs from Niko.

Both men began watching the lobby area. The reason? Voices were coming from downstairs. Several voices.

“Cover me.” Rami ordered before slipping over the railing and dropping silently down to the floor below. Niko was impressed with the man’s agility and flexibility – impressive at least for his age. It was only through the goggles that Niko could see Rami as he moved through the shadows to take cover by a roman column. Niko kept scanning the area – both on his level and Rami’s, and after confirming Rami’s observation that all was clear, saw the former Israeli special ops soldier and ‘spy’ move across the lobby.

“I got several bodies. Guards. Security center by the looks of it, or recreation room.” Rami heard the click-clack of pool balls being struck, then a voice. “Yeah, recreational room. Rookies.”

“Anything else down there?”

“I see what looks like a bar next to it, and two hallways. Two closed doors, main entrance. No immediate threats down here.”

“Move on?”

“Move on. Coming back.”


The next stage of the operation was the risky bit. Outside they could get away with being seen – run away then come back via the secondary entry point. It’d seem like a foiled robbery. Inside things go a lot more dicey. Detection would raise the alarm and the question of why anyone was breaking in would also be raised. With paranoia factoring in to the mix, that was too risky, though not fatal. Any intruders would be treated as assassins – and an attempt to attack the mafia boss would have to be made, even if for show. Both men had wondered if that’d aid their overall mission.

The next area, however, was the mafia boss’s personal area. In military facilities this would be the high security wing. In this place though, it’d mean more guards – likely more alert and experienced guards – and maybe security systems such as cameras and alarms – Rami was surprised they hadn’t seen any of them yet.

Rami backtracked to the side of the stairs then executed what Parkour and Freerunning athletes called a Tic-Tac, before grasping the rail and pulling himself up to his original position.

“In position. Regroup.”


The two men moved on, toward what would be the high security wing. Surprisingly the only thing that separated the two was a locked door which Rami opened in just under a minute.

Niko moved in, his gun up, and scanned the immediate area – just another lobby/hallway. He saw no one.

“Clear.” He whispered as Rami caught up. The Israeli cast his mind back to the blueprints he’d memorized, not even bothering how their boss had obtained them.

“I’m on point.” He informed Niko, moving to his right and toward another door. They had to use their goggles now; the lights were all off.

According to the map they had one more hallway to enter. One more door –


The door opened on its own accord. Immediately Rami waved for Niko to take cover. Rami was already moving.

Two men entered the hall, their voices speaking rapidly – but not urgently.

“…god damned lights in this place.”

“Been here long enough to know where the door is Marco. What’s the big deal?”

“We should at least have one little light in here.”

“We have ‘one little light’. You get the lights from the hallway.”

“Yeah one tiny little light.”

“You blind or something? It’s enough to not walk in to a door.”

“Yeah well I still don’t like it.” The two men walked into another hallway, heading in to a weak orangey glow of light coming from within. Rami moved to observe them, noting their fading voices as they turned a corner out of sight.

“You don’t have to……. Money we’re on….. and then some.”

The voices faded out and Rami waved for Niko to follow. Again Rami led with his gun, down the hallway where the guards had come from. They switched roles at the corner of the hallway, with Rami covering as Niko set to lead round the corner.

“Contact.” Rami warned. Niko froze in his tracks. “Three men. Two by the door, another patrolling.”

Niko found a secure position and risked a peek. “No access.”


Niko shook his head, keeping an eye on the men. “No conjoining rooms?”



Rami blinked at that and turned to a nearby doorway. He tested the door, finding it open. He moved in, gun up and clearing the room.

“Area clear.” Rami noted. Niko moved in as Rami approached a window. He checked for alarms and found none.

“After you.” Niko gestured to the window. Rami climbed out and lowered himself to the ledge that stood outside. With his gun holstered on his back and his arms held out, palms stroking the decades-old brickwork, Rami inched sideways. It took almost a minute – contrary to films and games – to reach the next window. Niko followed suit, taking fifteen seconds longer than the Israeli. Still, neither slipped or fell, and the ledge connected to a balcony. The men climbed on to the balcony and Rami checked and opened the door.

Rami pointed at a wooden filing cabinet in the corner of the room. Niko headed in that direction as Rami sat at the computer. He was no hacker, but he knew a few tricks. This mafia crew, he whispered into his mic, was a joke. No alarms, only basic computer security – even the antivirus was out of date. The only thing the mafia seemed to do right was lock the file cabinet – which Niko defeated in half a minute. He began flicking through the files.

Life was no film, Niko knew. You saw it all the time, top secret plans kept in a filing cabinet. Not tonight. They weren’t that lucky.

Rami, on the other hand, was well equipped. He’d brought a flash-drive – actually something he’d obtained from his late son. On it was a few simple tools that allowed one to circumnavigate basic account security. It didn’t take him long for him to load the Mafia desktop – the wallpaper was that of a very slim, yet busty, blonde, likely a porn star. Rami began looking through the folders and eventually came to the email client. Again his tools unlocked the account and he began looking at the emails. In the deleted folder he found what they wanted. Thankfully.

“Got something.” Rami copied the file to a second flash drive and, once verifying the contents were copied and contained what they wanted, he removed the device.

Niko was already standing by the desk. His search had come up empty but Rami’s had gotten – by the skin of their teeth – what they needed. He gave Niko the thumbs up sign and allowed the Serbian to take point.

Niko led Rami to the balcony and their extraction plan was simple. Drop down to the side of the building, and either backtrack through the back garden, or out through the front and to the street.

Niko was the one that had the climbing rope. He hooked it over the balcony’s balustrade, and climbed over, lowering himself down with the rope. He dropped the last few feet and darted to the building, his gun coming out to cover Rami.


On Niko’s command, Rami dropped down. He too drew his gun and surveyed the area. Niko moved to the rope and disengaged the clasp, retrieving the cable.

“Good to go.” He informed Rami, who led Niko back to the garden. The two guards were walking around now. Niko held his hand up and through his night vision Rami saw the Serbian gesture to the fence. Rami nodded and followed Niko over the fence into the neighbor’s yard. From there they made their way back to their car.


Click Here to read the next chapter - On The Trail

Edited by Mokrie Dela

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


Click here to view my Poetry

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