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Heart City: Empires

Recommended Posts








*warning: contains heavy spoilers of chapter one*

Set one year after the Zaibatsu bombings in Legacy, our protagonist Evan Rivers finds himself caught up in a club shootout on the wedding night of his cousin, Paige Raimi, and his best friend, Charlie O'Malley. The target - a teenage girl by the name of Rebecca Barcalow - escapes execution, but in turn, Charlie O'Malley is caught in the crossfire and subsequently passes away shortly after.

With only a name and face to go by, Evan swears vengeance upon those responsible for his best friend's death -- but nothing is ever as straight forward as simply finding out who was behind a hit in Heart City. Getting answers is hard enough, but when a Caribbean drug cartel and refugee invasion plagues the state, things quickly descend from bad to worse.

Welcome back to the worst city in the world.


Check back later...


I II III IV V VI--- Invasion


16/05/2013: Finished writing the sixth chapter. Things are shaping up nicely. Still no est. time frame on how many chapters this could end up being. I started with twelve in mind, but I'm easily gonna smash that.

19/05/2013: Posted the second chapter up for viewing pleasure.

26/05/2013: Posted the third chapter up. Hopefully this once a week chapter thing is working for people!

02/06/2013: Been a gawd damned month already! The fourth chapter is up!

09/06/2013: Been writing on/off and I'm currently up to the 8th chapter. Also, the 5th chapter is now posted online.

16/06/2013: The 6th chapter is now up and it marks the end of the Invasion act. 7th chapter and onward will resume over Summer. sleepy.gif

02/09/2013: The story resumes with its second act: War -- 7th chapter up and posted.

04/06/2014: Chapter 8 is up. Since I left, the forums have edited their formats, so this main page is a mess now and I'm too lazy to try and fix it.

Edited by TonyZimmzy

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An emerald green NRG900 drifts round a corner, causing a whirlwind of dust and litter to scatter along the burning asphalt as it starts to straighten out. The rider, suited in a black tuxedo and matching helmet, quickly draws the attention of pedestrians beside a set of market stalls.


The closest vendor dives out the way and to the ground, crying out in fear as the bike easily decimates his tattered, rag torn stall, sending various fruits and vegetables hurling through the brisk air.


Hung low in the clear sky, the sun reflects off of the rider's visor. He flips the screen up to assess the damage, laughing as the middle-aged man stands up, yelling inaudible obscenities. His cold cobalt eyes dart from the vendor to the corner when a handful of bikes skid round, haphazardly ripping through the man in the middle of the street, crushing him along with the produce.


Turning his focus from the clutter of bikes back to the road ahead, he smoothly sifts round another corner as he lowers his gear. In the close distance, a makeshift finish line can be seen, with rows of people cheering. Effortlessly, without any competition, the rider crosses the white spray-painted marker on the ground and comes to a halt as the masses applaud him.


A petite Asian girl casually paces over, tossing a wad of rolled up notes, bound by a thick brown band to the rider, who catches it and slips it in to the innards of the uncreased tux jacket.


"You usually have a dapper dress sense, Rivers, but this takes the cake," she jokes, folding her arms.


Evan Rivers takes the protective helmet off and eases back on to the dark leather saddle, smiling. "I'd love to stay and bask in the glory of victory -- again," he laughs, seeing the other riders finally catch up and cross the finish line, "but I've got a wedding to go to."


The Asian girl laughs, shaking her head. "I don't know how you do it."


He shoots her a quick wink before putting the helmet back on and restarting the bike up. "Talent," he says, muffled from behind the headgear. Revving the bike and putting it in to gear, he rapidly peels away from the group, leaving the Asian girl to look up at the crystal blue sky, smiling once more.




"To the most f*cked up wedding I've ever been a part of!" Pete Auldrey drunkenly screams over the constant thud of techno, raising a glass of champagne, sloshing alcohol all over the group.


Sat in a turquoise-lit corner booth of Club Elegance, the group share a laugh and raise their glasses alongside Pete. Evan basks in good times spawned from rough situations, taking a sip of the sparkling liquid. Sitting beside him is the groom, Charlie O’Malley, sporting a pea green tux, matching top hat, and pink ruffled shirt. He's locked hands with his now-wife, Paige, who's buried under endless layers from a black and teal-tinted wedding dress.


"I can't hear sh*t in here, Rivers," Wayne yells, covering his ear with one hand, trying to talk on the phone with the other.


"And that's why we're doing good business," Evan chuckles, taking a look around at all the revelers on the dance floor and a top the balconies; strobe lights bouncing off the mirrors behind the bars, causing alcohol-induced clubbers to shield their eyes as they hazily try to pinpoint what bottles are on the counter top behind each barman.


Dan rests a hand on Evan's shoulder and leans in, loosening his silk tie. "Business is good, huh?" he asks his brother, not taking his eyes off of his wife, Emily, who's stumbling across the packed dance floor with a bottle of champagne clenched tight in her grip.


"Not good enough to keep bailing you outta trouble," Evan laughs, taking another swig of champagne. "Might wanna go straighten her out before you're in even more. She's tanked."


Dan sighs, seeing his wife trying to shove past a group of guys who begin groping her, trying desperately to make her way back to the bar where she's spent the majority of her evening. He stands up and shuffles past the group and out on to the dance floor.


Evan shakes his head, laughing in disbelief at his brother's bad decisions. "So," he begins, turning his attention to the groom and changing his tone, "decided where you're going yet?"


Charlie remains silent, deep in thought, when he's startled by Evan tossing something towards his chest. He fumbles briefly and catches it, examining the wad of cash won by Evan earlier in the afternoon.


"...And that's why I was late. Consider it the wedding present."


Charlie stays silent, looking up at Evan. After a brief pause, he smiles and pats his best friend's shoulder and nods his head in gratitude, pulling him in for a hug.


Almost knocking the circular oak table over, Paige shoots up from the middle of the group. "Carter!" she cries out, seeing a man approach in a heavy trench coat, faded denims, and a red baseball cap.


Carter Raimi, the elder brother of Paige, drops a duffel bag to the spotless marble floor below and slides it under the table with the heel of his boot. "Well, look who finally grew up!" he says, laughing.


Paige leaps over the table and throws her arms around him. Smiling, he looks over her shoulder to Evan and Charlie, who both begin standing up.


"And they said I was late," Evan jokes, watching Paige release her iron grip from Carter. Evan and Carter share a brief handshake, then Charlie offers his hand.


"Yeah, well," Carter begins, shaking Charlie's hand. "I figured I'd let my friend Shuya sort the flight details out... That was a mistake on my behalf," he laughs, now making eye contact with his brother-in-law. "You must be Charlie..."


The usually calm, cool and collected Charlie swallows the dry lump in his throat and nods his head. "It's nice to finally meet you."


Evan notices beads of sweat begin to form on his best friend's forehead. Laughing, he slaps him on the back, causing Charlie to cough. "Relax," he says, slipping back down in to the leather cushioned booth, "Carter's not gonna bust your balls."


Nervously, Charlie laughs and wipes the spittle from his cracked lips and lets Paige and Carter in to the booth, noticing Evan pouring more drinks for everyone.




Charlie and Carter are both slumped over the table, heads resting on the liquid-soaked furnished wooden top, arms wrapped around each other. "I swear," Charlie drunkenly slurs over and over, facing Carter as his hair soaks up the spilt champagne, "I've known you all my life!" he shouts over the blare of music.


Carter bursts in to laughter and nods continuously, trying to keep his eyes open. "You're a top bloke. You really are."


Evan and Paige both shake their heads opposite the duo, smiling. "You'd think they were the married couple," Evan says, finishing up a glass of coke. "Great f*ckin' night. All right, time to sober up and get --"


The sentence is abruptly halted by the all-too familiar sounds of gunshots raining through the club's wound-down dance floor. The four quickly become alert. Evan's eyes shoot to each corner of the building. He sees a strawberry blonde haired girl in a skin tight red dress taking cover by the staff's bar entry flap, with a lone gunman in all black taking aim with a pistol directly at her.


Revelers and employees alike all dash to any and every exit the club has, when both Evan and Charlie stand up simultaneously and without hesitation or thought, charge at the man. The duo tackle him into the bar and begin trying to disarm him.


"Leave me alone!" the downed girl screams, crawling behind the bar. "I don't know anything!"


Another shot is fired, and both Evan and Charlie lose their grip on the lone gunman, who breaks free and takes aim at Evan with the pistol.


"This is what you get for--"


Carter calmly places the ice cold barrel of a Colt. 45 against the back of the assailant's neck and tenses his jaw, pulling the hammer back. Cutting his speech short, the man in black raises his hands in surrender, but Carter fires a single shot, regardless. He closes his eyes and embraces the splatter of blood flung in his direction, as the gunman slumps to the ground and drops his pistol.


"Close one," Evan exhales with relief, breathing heavily. He looks over to Charlie, who's covering his midsection with both hands, cradling himself tightly.


"Yeah, close one," Charlie says, smirking, pale as a ghost; eyes locked on Evan's as he leans against the warm counter top and slowly begins sliding down to the ground.


Evan's eyes shift from Charlie's to the very apparent red spilling through his suit, as his best friend continues to slide down the bar front. The screams and cries from Paige are muffled by a growing white noise as Evan's chest tightens, seeing Charlie slump down to a sitting position on the ground.


Paige grabs hold of her husband, tightly pulling him in as the sickly dark red spills from him to her. Carter drops his piece a top the gunman's dead body and takes a few steps back, watching his baby sister cradle her husband.


The light drains from Charlie's ocean blue eyes and they shut. Paige buries her head in to the curve of his neck, crying out so hard it causes her voice to crack.


The only thing audible to Evan is the exact same numbing white noise caused from the explosions of the Zaibatsu bombings that claimed his fiancée's life, as he watches his best friend take one final breath.




Joan Morgan, 1985 – 2013.”

Charlie O’Malley, 1982 – 2014.”


Both sit comfortably beside one another on stone slabs dug deep in the damp soil. Evan stands tall, keeping his head down and his hands rested inside of a camel crombie coat, covering a black suit and tie.


Beside him, Paige stands with a blank stare on her face, watching as the wood fired oak casket containing her husband is lowered in to the earth. A chilling wind begins to bite and causes Carter to fold his arms across his chest, creasing his tie as he stares up at the cloudless sky. Behind them stands Pete, Dan and Emily, who awkwardly discuss what transpired that night.


Evan glances across the grassy hill and sees the same strawberry blonde haired girl from the bar standing beside a pale yellow Kuruma, now suited in a short black number. "I'll see you back at home," he says to the group, not taking his eyes off of the girl, no older than eighteen. Slowly, he begins to walk in her direction.


"I'm..." the girl begins, shying away as she sees Evan walking up the hill towards her. "I'm sorry about your friend," she finishes as Evan arrives.


"Why was that guy after you?" he asks, removing his hands from the crombie jacket and opening the passenger side door of the Kuruma.


"I don't know..." Sheepishly, she avoids eye contact with Evan, glaring down at the group burying Charlie below.


Evan tongues a scar on the roof of his mouth and nods his head, placing his hands on his hips, looking down at his black shoes. "You don't know?"


A silence befalls the two briefly, then Evan pushes her in to the car as she cries out and resists.


"Get the f*ck off'a me!" she screams to the response of nobody in the area. Forced in to the passenger side of her own car, she straightens her hair out and feels the thud of the door slam as Evan paces around the front of the car, not removing his glare from her.


"You don't know," he repeats as he yanks the driver's side door open and gets in. "You're gonna tell me everything you know," he states, starting the car up and shifting it in to gear, "or they're gonna find this car with your remains in the bottom of the Stanford Canal."


The girl hears the malice in his voice and still can't bring herself to look at Evan.




"...Rebecca," she replies. "Rebecca Barcalow."

Edited by TonyZimmzy

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f*cking sweet. A fitting beginning. Loving the revenge angle. It's so refreshing to see some prose.



He flips the screen up and assess the damage





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f*cking sweet. A fitting beginning. Loving the revenge angle. It's so refreshing to see some prose.



He flips the screen up and assess the damage





f*ck! There's always at least one LOL. Fixed.


Chapters will be posted weekly between 9-12 GMT every Sunday, which equates to... around 4-7 EST. American. dontgetit.gif

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Wow that was fast, I didn't expect Tony's next Heart City to be up so quickly, a day before I release my story inspired by Tony itself. Will read the chapter when I have time.

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Well that started with a bang!. Awesome stuff, looking forward to seeing where this goes especially with Rebecca B making an appearance.

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You're not the only one who's looking forward to seeing where the story progresses to with the involvement of Barcalow lol.gif I started writing with one plot in mind, now that plot is looong subsided. I've just finished the fifth chapter and things are taking an extremely dark turn. I'm really trying to make the reader truly despise and loathe this antagonist. It's gonna be interesting. New chapters every Sunday! Mark it down!

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Master of San Andreas

RIP Charlie cryani.gif


Anyway great chapter, reminds me of the wedding mission in Sleeping Dogs where one of the characters in the game die, not sure if you took inspiration from that but nice stuff.

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A pale, freckled boy sits surrounded by supporting family and school friends in an American-themed diner, all of whom are wearing multi-coloured paper party hats. The boy grins ear to ear as he leans forward to blow the candles of a two-layer cake out, when a strawberry blonde haired girl in a skin tight black dress barges past multiple party-goers with an unlit cigarette pinched between her full, supple lips. She places her cracked palms on the scrunched, ketchup stained napkins a top the oak table and leans in, letting the tip of her cigarette touch a single flame from one of the wax candles, then proceeds to take a long, hard drag, closing her eyes in bliss as the rich smoke hits her lungs. Parents stop clapping, and the kids' faces turn a similar shade to that of the cake.


"Oh, real classy," Evan scoffs, folding his black suit jacket across his left arm, reaching between the group of party-goers with the other, tightly gripping a hold of Rebecca's tricep and yanking her from the group. "You can't even smoke in here," he states, lowering his tone and checking to make sure middle-management has yet to see the scene transpire.


"What the f*ck is it with you," she starts, simultaneously pulling her arm away from Evan's grip and taking the cigarette from between her lips, raising her voice, "and putting your f*ckin' hands all over me?!"


Drawing the attention of many restaurant-goers, Evan quickly shuffles her in to the nearest booth. Rebecca drops the cigarette and stamps it out with her heel, then slips in to the dark leather cushion, taking a deep breath and closing her eyes as she straightens her hair out.


"All right, little girl," Evan downsizes her with a harsh tone immediately as he keeps his eyes on the many families enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon lunch before easing down in to the cushion opposite her. "You've got information I need," he says, now with what feels like a sense of urgency and desperation. Placing his forearms a top the oak table, he clears his throat.


"Welcome to Shake-Aways! My name's Amy, I'll be your server today," the all-too-peppy waitress starts before even fully reaching their table. Upon arrival, she's instantly dismissed with a wave of Evan's hand, who is yet to break eye contact with Rebecca.


"I was pretty hungry, actually," Rebecca refutes, staring up at the waitress who smiles, preparing her pen and notepad.


"If this is a date," Amy starts, brushing the brow of her chestnut hair out of her face with the ball of her pen, "then I sure hope--"


"Does this look like a date?" Evan snaps back, now making eye contact with the waitress, who quickly hushes. "I just buried my best friend, so take your pep," he motions to the 'staff-only' door with his hand, "and go get us a couple of waters, okay, Amy?"


Silence befalls the trio for a moment as the waitress gently taps her pen on the blank notepad. "Two waters, comin' up," she murmurs.


Evan watches her leave, then turns his attention back to Rebecca as a ray of sunshine comes through the slanted blinds, causing him to shield his eyes with one hand. "Now, who was after you on that night at the club?"


As Rebecca opens her mouth to speak, she's halted by the sound of Evan's phone vibrating. Her crystal clear eyes focus on his finger, giving off the universal sign to hold on.


Evan arches his back in to the cool leather exterior and digs deep in to his suit pants' pocket, withdrawing his Blackberry and tapping the answer button. "Little busy, mate," he says, trying to unslant the blinds with his free hand.


"Free yourself up, pronto," he hears through the sound of static and gunfire on the other end from Wayne Hallows.


Evan stops playing with the blinds; the harsh rays of sunshine beat down on his already golden hair as his face drains of all colour and emotion. Quickly, he slides out of the booth and stands up, turning his back on Rebecca and covering one ear with his free hand, blocking out the noise of a screaming child two booths over.


"We've been waiting for you for half an hour. The f*ckin' shipment," Wayne yells, pausing as more gunfire and screaming can be heard, "the f*ckin' shipment sat here too long -- it's being raided!"


"I'm on my way," Evan assures him, hanging up and turning back to face Rebecca. Opening his mouth, about to tell her that he'd be back shortly, he finds the booth empty. His sorrow-glazed cobalt eyes are drawn to the diner door they entered in from a moment ago, now wide open.




A black taxi skids to a halt outside of Wayne's Bar. Evan grabs a hold of the back seat and balances himself out, throwing a ball of crumpled up notes to the driver in the front. "Keep the change," he says, opening the door and stepping out as a light shower begins to pour from the sunny afternoon sky.


As the car quickly pulls away, Evan charges around the side of the club, withdrawing a 9mm. pistol from his waistband as he reaches the club's parking lot. Aiming, he turns the narrow corner, seeing Wayne stood beside a petite, green-haired female leaning against the back of a lorry's shutters.


"Well," Wayne starts, not looking at Evan, who's now slowed his pace to a crawl, "we got the shipment back..."


Wayne smirks, letting out a slight laugh as he shakes his head, pushing off of the metal grates. "...But Bobby's dead."


He paces past Evan, giving him a shoulder tap as he goes. "Nice going."


Evan lowers the gun by his side as rain drops fall to the soaked pavement below from his wet fringe. Sighing, he treads over the littered cigarette butts from club-goers the night before, unable to look at the woman, who's still resting against the shutters.


"Look, Trixie, I..." Evan chokes on his own words as a mixture of sweat and rain envelope his smooth face.


The woman shakes her head, folding her arms across her chest as she follows Wayne's lead.


Massaging the throbbing left side of his head with the rough grip of the pistol, he exhales hard, staring up at the sky. His train of thought is snapped by his phone vibrating once more. He rests against the shutters of the mule van and takes the phone from his pocket with his free hand, answering it.


"I can tell now's not the best time," Pete Auldrey starts on the other end of the line, "but can you get over here?"


Evan contemplates everything that's happened today as he listens to Pete breathing frantically. The burial, forgetting to collect the shipment, letting Rebecca go.


Pushing off the mule van's shutters, he walks towards his parked bike a few empty spaces over. "You've got five minutes."




Evan releases the throttle of his NRG900 and stops at the docks. The light shower has subsided for now, leaving the sky once again clear. The sound of open water and boats swaying side to side, held down by coiled rope, begin to ease Evan's racing train of thought. He rests back on the saddle and turns his attention to Pete, who's standing with a group of olive-skinned men in front of a warehouse.


"You all right over there, Pete?" Evan calls out, catching the attention of everyone in the group. He sees Pete nod and begin to wave him over. Evan steps off the bike and starts walking in their direction, shielding his eyes from the sunlight until he reaches the shade.


"I'm guessing you boys forgot about us, huh?" one of the olive-skinned men questions with a thick accent, now turning to face an approaching Evan.


Evan looks the man over, who's sporting a knee-length brown leather coat and matching aviator sunglasses. He looks back at a baffled Pete for direction, then back to the man in question as he arrives.


"Alvaro," the man states. "Alvaro Cortez. I was promised me and my men here would be picked up this morning."


Evan takes a step back. "No," he starts, looking at Pete, "you told me next week -- there's no way I could've done today. You know that." Evan raises his voice over the sound of water crashing against the wooden support beams from the raging ocean below.


"Hey," the man snaps, catching Evan's attention over the relentless waves. "Look at me when I'm talking to you, my friend. Do not disrespect me."


Evan and the man stand in silence above the harsh gales, glaring at one another.


Pete attempts to intervene and ease the tension. "Simple timing error, fellas," he declares, trying to sway the inevitable situation back in his favour.


Waving the entire group off, Evan laughs as he turns around, rolling his eyes. "Yeah. Yeah, all right," he says, making his way back to the bike he arrived on. "Thanks for this, Pete. I really needed this right now."


Alvaro watches as Evan steps back on the bike and starts it up. "Who was that man?" he asks, removing his dark glasses as Evan begins to speed away.


"Evan Rivers," Pete nervously replies, staring in to the dead eyes of Alvaro Cortez -- one of which has been severely damaged and is void of any colour.


The man smiles, looking back at his group of men, giving them a sombre nod.

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Eeesh ...This will probably make me sound like a lazy fak but ...

Could you break the chapters up into parts? They don't even have to be separated but just ...I point where you can stop and easily remember where, and continue reading later.



Edited by IDredMan

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Hi, DredMan, if possible can you please edit your post and remove the chapter from your quote? You didn't need to quote the whole chapter. Once done, I'll reply to your post. Thanks.


Thanks, it was just an eyesore on the page. The chapters are broken up. If you check, you'll notice that there are larger spaces between paragraphs where a scene will change. In chapter two, there were three scenes, each separated by bigger spaces.

Edited by TonyZimmzy

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Eeesh ...This will probably make me sound like a lazy fak but ...

Could you break the chapters up into parts? They don't even have to be separated but just ...I point where you can stop and easily remember where, and continue reading later.



Are you trying to confuse us more? The chapter is a chapter because you can read it in one sitting. Asking somebody to set the story around your own needs IS lazy.



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Eeesh ...This will probably make me sound like a lazy fak but ...

Could you break the chapters up into parts? They don't even have to be separated but just ...I point where you can stop and easily remember where, and continue reading later.



Are you trying to confuse us more? The chapter is a chapter because you can read it in one sitting. Asking somebody to set the story around your own needs IS lazy.

Sorry, short attention span and the story seemed interesting enough.



Also, thanks man.

Appreciate it.

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A smooth, eggshell white door is eased off its hinges as Evan sluggishly stumbles in to his apartment. He knocks the door shut with the heel of his shoe and tosses a set of keys down on to a small wicker table beside the wall, cluttered by unopened letters and an unblemished porcelain bowl containing various untouched, week-old fruit.


Digging his rough fingertips in to his sore, sleep hungry eyes, he exhales with force as he slumps down in to one of two cream leather couches in the living room.


The burning white hue from the floor-to-ceiling window opposite the couch coats the entire room. A set of plants' shadows shimmer and dance off the unrippled walls in reflection to the crystal clear sea view from outside.


He lets his hands fall to his sides as his heart rate slows. Sitting in the same position, completely silent for what feels like minutes, he finally seems to be catching up on some much needed rest.


In reality, just ten seconds have passed, and he breaks the silence.


"And who the f*ck are you?" he questions, barely moving his mouth, keeping his eyelids heavy.


On the twin cream leather couch opposite sits a man of Japanese descent, nursing a half-empty bottle of beer on his lap. The unknown man keeps his head down, navigating through his phone, not even remotely acknowledging Evan's words. Long, dark hair covers the majority of his face -- running all the way down his neck, nestled perfectly on the shoulder blades of a white teddy coat with maroon trim.


"Shuya," he finally replies, still not taking his eyes off of his phone screen.


After the brief formality of introduction, the only audible thing left is the constant button-tapping from Shuya on his phone. Evan exhales hard once again, then places the palms of his hands on his knees and pushes off, slowly standing up from the couch. Slowly, he paces towards Shuya and stops in front of him, then in one swift motion, rapidly withdraws a 9mm. pistol from behind his waistline, whilst simultaneously, without batting an eyelid or taking attention away from his phone, Shuya releases the neck of the beer bottle and withdraws his own 9mm. pistol from the innards of the teddy jacket.


Both men aim the pistols at one another as Shuya continues texting with his free hand.


"All right," the voice of Carter Raimi can be heard across the room from the kitchen. "Less of the macho bullsh*t, fellas," he finishes, entering the room.


Evan releases the hammer of his pistol and turns his attention to Carter, who's holding a plate in one hand, with a slice of carrot cake occupying the other.


"I know you're on edge right now," Carter says, taking a chunk out of the moist cake with his teeth, "but I've got something that'll ease your blood pressure a bit," he assures -- the words half-muffled from the mouthful of tangy sponge. "Come on," he laughs, tossing the slice of carrot cake a top a small glass table next to the couch Evan was sitting on a moment ago, causing icing and crumbs to smear across its surface.


Shuya releases the hammer of his pistol along with Evan and slips it back in to his jacket, while Evan pieces his back behind his waistband, keeping it easily visable as he's still wearing a tucked white shirt and black trousers from the funeral a few hours ago.


"You're barely breaking twenty-six and you're going grey, man," Carter says, nodding his head towards the front door for Evan to follow his head. "We're goin' for a ride."




Rebecca Barcalow has been pacing back and forth in the lavish lobby of a bustling thirty-storey building for the past ten minutes. She finally loses patience and approaches one of many reception desks and places her hands a top the cold, steel counter top. "Can you hurry her up?" she asks, gritting her teeth, tapping a lone heel on the floor.


The baffled receptionist discontinues typing on the computer in front of her, throwing her hands up. "Yeah, okay," she snarls back. "I'll just call the Commanding Chief Officer of the company and tell her, hey," she says, making accusing gestures with her hands as she does, "there's this slutty-looking lunatic kid here to see you -- quit signing the merger documents and come down immediately!"


Rebecca laughs and takes a step back, dismissing the receptionist with both hands. "f*ck you, blondie," she yells, causing a handful of men and women in the lobby to halt their conversing and focus on her sudden outburst. She turns around and starts to stride towards the security-patrolled walk-through doors; high heels clipping the speckled marble floor with each fast-paced step, when she's stopped by a familiar voice calling.


"Becki!" she hears from somewhere above.


Slowing down, she turns around and scouts each high-level balcony until she sees the woman, who waves down at her. "'Bout f*ckin' time, Lynn," she calls up, causing a few gasps from more people in the area.


The woman laughs and shakes her head. "That's Ms. Grolschea when you're in my building, Becki," she jokes, putting one hand up and letting her know she'll be down in a moment.




Dust particles are heightened by rays of sunshine beating in through the cracks of paneless, half-boarded up windows, shifting and dancing lightly throughout an abandoned garage on the outskirts of Heart City.


A termite-infested board is easily breached and splintered as Carter takes a swing with a loose piece of lumber. Evan sits a top the leather saddle of his bike, keeping half of his focus as lookout, and the other half on his Blackberry.


With the second swing, Carter smashes through and tosses the wood and remains on the shrubbery beside some empty cardboard boxes. "All right," he says, exhaling from exhaustion as he digs his fingertips in to the innards of the window, pulling himself up. Before dropping down inside, he turns to face Evan. "Toss me that flashlight."


Evan locks the phone and slips it back in to his pocket. He bends down and picks up a flashlight from the damp concrete and slowly paces over to the window. "How much money?" he questions, handing over the flashlight to Carter.


"I told you," he starts, flipping the switch on the flashlight and turning the bulb on Evan, causing him to shield his eyes, "I can't remember. Donny wasn't solid with figures."


Opening his eyes, Evan hears the echo of Carter dropping inside the building. He grips the sharp windowsill himself and hops over, landing on both feet, causing a small expulsion of dust to arise from under his suede shoes.


"What a mess," Carter sighs, looking around at the web-covered machinery and rusted car parts scattering the area of the abandoned garage.


Evan slowly wanders over to a spot where the light from outside is completely shone upon and unhindered by obstacles, seeing an old 15-inch block television on a wooden counter beside some rags and wrenches. He checks around the back, seeing the half-chewed wires still connected to the plug socket in the wall below.


"Probably still works," Carter calls out, shining the light over Evan's way. "Ol' hunk'a sh*t took beating after fall after beating, and it always worked. Hit that switch there."


Evan comes around and notices Carter shining the light at the switch on the box set. Flipping the switch, and to his surprise, the black and white television starts up without any delay. Standing back, he views it over, seeing the countless bumps and imperfections mentioned by Carter; half the glass screen covered in dry motor oil, with a crack domed right down the center.


"Got it," Carter says, slamming a floorboard shut and pocketing a wad of cash. "C'mon, no need to stick around here any longer than we need to."


Carter brushes past Evan, who stands perfectly still; the burning light from outside shining down directly on his face, turning his cold, grey eyes a shade of bronze as dust particles cling to his statue-like state.


"C'mon," Carter repeats, now by the window.


He keeps his eyes solely fixated on the screen at the default channel, broadcasting Green State news. Carter makes his way over and stands beside him, now focused on the screen as well.


Feeling a cold shudder run down his spine, Evan swallows hard and continues watching the news report play. "This is bad," he's barely able to murmur, trembling on the spot. "This is really bad..."

Edited by TonyZimmzy

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I loved the almost mexican standoff between Shuya and Evan. It didn't last long but I think what made it so good was how Shuya and Evan seem to be like polar opposites of one another. Will be interesting to see where this goes. You got a basic ending in mind or are you just writing it as it comes along?.

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I loved the almost mexican standoff between Shuya and Evan. It didn't last long but I think what made it so good was how Shuya and Evan seem to be like polar opposites of one another. Will be interesting to see where this goes. You got a basic ending in mind or are you just writing it as it comes along?.

I've got a rough ending in mind, or at least where I'd like the story to end up. Still uncertain of what will lead to it, but I started this with a clear vision of it in mind. New chapter will be up tomorrow, and every Sunday. sleepy.gif

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The sleek and modern feel inside Lynn Grolschea's office hurls forth a powerful vibe -- crystal white, mat black or platinum silver decor consumes every inch of floor-to-ceiling in her spacious, luxurious office. She stands tall, overlooking the bustling city below as the sun begins to dip between the heavy clouds, in transition from a varied-weather afternoon to a humid evening.


She turns around, straightening out her blazer and short black skirt, now facing a seated Rebecca. Smiling, Lynn motions for her to help herself to an array of assorted drinks, neatly pieced side by side on the long furnished table in front of her.


"Got any cherries?" Rebecca questions, leaning forward and gripping the neck of a square glass bottle full to the tip with a smokey brown liquid.


"Old Fashioned?" Lynn asks, pacing round to her side of the desk and pushing a throne-like black leather chair aside with one knee.


"A toast to the dead," Rebecca says, smiling as she pours the smooth liquid in to an empty glass.


Lynn briefly laughs before hitting the switch of an intercom sat beside a computer monitor on the table. "Can we get..." Lynn pauses, looking to Rebecca for direction.


"Ms. Grolschea," the half-distorted male voice on the other end halts any further request, "have you not been informed?"


Lynn and Rebecca both turn their attention to the voice on the intercom, quickly removing the smiles from their faces.


"Turn on Green State news, ma'am," the voice finishes.


Sensing the sorrow clouding each word he spoke, Lynn turns back to Rebecca, who is already making her way up and over to the plasma screen perched on a small glass counter at the back of the room.




The navy sky, coated by mist and fog, envelopes the entire docks Downtown with a sense of malice, as both Evan and Carter each take long strides across the wet wooden walkway boards, passing under street lights which seem to alternate from flickering to simply broken and switched off completely.


The only static light in the area is that of a trash can fire being occupied by several heavy-clothed homeless, occupying the walkways and stacking crates and blankets down for the night ahead.


"You said it'd be five guys," Evan cries out, arriving at Pete's shack, dawned at the end of a long walkway. "You said just five!" Evan repeats, banging on the door relentlessly.


Pete Auldrey opens it up, staring at an enraged Evan and Carter before looking to his left and hurrying them inside with a wave of his hand. "I know, I know," he starts, closing the door behind the duo.


Evan tramples his wet shoes across an old, stained white rug covering broken floorboards as he makes his way to the fireplace opposite the television.


"I'm as f*ckin' surprised as you are, dude," Pete assures Evan, crossing his arms and watching as he un-modestly raids his alcohol collection.


Carter steps forward, placing his hands on his hips and bearing down on Pete. "The f*ck do you mean? How are you as surprised as us?"


Evan hits the television's switch with the heel of his shoe and takes a quick swig from a clear liquid in the bottom of a small glass. The screen shows more from the news report earlier in the evening.


Dozens of refugee ships and boats are pulling up alongside the outskirts of New Stanford's countryside -- mobile phone-filmed fan footage from a far shows of people exiting the boats and climbing to shore; and it then cuts to scenes a few minutes later, haphazardly slapped with a 'warning' sign ticker-tapped across the base of the footage, showing police arriving at the scene, and quickly being gunned down by automatic weapons from the armed-refugees.


Evan winces from the rich burn in his throat as he finishes the drink. Slamming the glass a top the television set, he turns back to Pete. "There's at least fifty Caribbeans there alone!"


"I can see that!" Pete refutes back, now beginning to pace back and forth, trying to catch his breath. "Look, Evan," he starts, now standing still facing the duo in the cramped shack, "you've gotta help me here. We go back!"


Pete grips Evan's shoulders in desperation as his voice cracks. "These guys are gonna kill me when I don't deliver!" he violently cries as tears start clouding his baby blues.


Evan breaks away and turns to the door. "You're on your own," he murmurs under his breath, angered by Pete's increasingly poor business decisions. "You brought that Alvaro cat over, you deal with him," he says, opening the door.


"Please!" Pete cries once more, watching as Evan and a shadowing Carter disappear outside, leaving the door wide open.




Rebecca and Lynn have just finished catching up on the reports of the Caribbean refugees entering the New Stanford countryside. After switching the television off, Lynn turns her attention back to the monitor in front of her, now noticing her office interior has grown dark since the reports had re-played once more, with the only source of light solacing the room being that of the computer screen.


"Well, this is all the state needs." Lynn sulks back in to her chair and gently sways side to side, tapping her palms against her thighs.


"Speaking of which..."


Rebecca stands up from opposite Lynn and walks over to the foot of the office, turning the lights on. "That coke gang's leader is still after me."


Lynn sighs and sits still, watching Rebecca slowly pace back over. Leaning forward, she starts navigating the mouse and tapping the keyboard, now focused on the monitor. "Who was that guy you mentioned? Something... Rivers?"


Rebecca slouches back down in to the felt black seat opposite Lynn and she nods. "Evan Rivers," she confirms.


Lynn resumes typing on the keyboard, alternating her glare from what she's typing to what's appearing on-screen. After a few moments in silence, she smiles, turning the flat screen monitor to face Rebecca.


Squinting, she leans forward, reading an archived news report aloud. "Noted entrepreneur Evan Rivers and local business owner Wayne Hallows were both thought to be linked in the downfall of the distribution of cocaine through out Green State... Though not confirmed, and through lack of evidence... Decline in drug trafficking... Yadda, yadda..."


"I'm thinkin' these two took down that gang a year or so back," Lynn interrupts Rebecca's mumbling. "Nothing much on Rivers," she says, turning the monitor back to face her as she resumes typing. "But Hallows on the other hand...well, he may be of some use to the boss..."

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The moon hangs elegantly in the navy sky, partially veiled by a thin layer of mist. The Stanford Canal shimmers below, reflecting the porch lights from rows of houses a top the verdants above, sat perfectly side by side on the finely cut grassy knolls of New Stanford.


Patrolling the gated-off community is a lone un-armed officer, who slowly paces in circles - night after night, month after month, year after year, never seeing a hint of trouble caused in the upper-wealth suburban area of Green State.


"Yeah, well," he says, talking in to the receiver of his mobile phone, "she's growing up; she's gonna start seeing boys. What did you expect to happen?"


Resting his shoulder blades against a stone pillar, he arches back and yawns, feeling a cold breeze sweep by and nibble at his skin through the two-layer uniform.


"Ah, you know, same old," he states, patting his jacket pocket down, fishing for his pack of smokes.


The rustling sound of tree branches being trod upon from the countryside below quickly draws his attention. Turning around, he looks down the opposite side of the shimmering canal to the dark forest; catching glimpses of moving shadows swaying from tree to tree.


"Who's down there?" he asks, removing the phone from his ear, etching closer to the edge of the vertical slope; peering over a set of large stone pebbles protecting pedestrians from falling, firmly planted in the grassy earth.


Chilling waves from the ocean crash into the steep cliffs in the distance; the sound immediately drowned out by a constant ringing of automatic gun fire. The patrolling guard is immediately caught by stray bullets, penetrating his chest, abdomen and thighs.


Losing balance and crying out, he falls head first down the vertical slope; his body bending and breaking with each thud along the rocky terrain.


In hoardes by the dozen, armed Caribbean refugees begin scaling the slope, each following the cartel member in front of the last, balancing on fallen branches and jagged rocks, pushing off and climbing higher, keeping a low center of gravity, clawing their dark gloved-finger tips into the cold soil for leverage.


Several hundred yards from the gun fire, a satin black BF Injection sits by the tall stretch of gates that lead in and out of the community, headlights dimmed, engine still purring. Alvaro Cortez leans against its metalic frame, keeping a constant eye on the minute hand of a gold watch, tightly clinging to his bare wrist.


Pushing off when the minute hand strikes twelve, he turns to face the driver. "Let's go," he commands, now walking towards the polished gates.


Switching the ignition off, the driver climbs out of the BF Injection, arriving at the gate's entrance alongside Alvaro, who's already begun to scale the slightly-chipped metal bars. Seeing him drop down the otherside, the driver begins scalling shortly behind.


"Emilio!" Alvaro calls out, visably watching as the breath escape his mouth, hearing more gun fire errupt close by. The driver drops down alongside him and both men begin marching towards the sounds of automatic fire, breathing heavier with each step.


"Over here, sir," he hears in the closing distance. Slightly alternating his pace to the left, he treads up a small grove until he reaches the man who responded.


"Emilio," Alvaro starts, surveying his dark outfit and tightly gripped M16 machine pistol. "How many survived the initial entry?"


Cracking a smile at the question, Emilio nods his head, watching as another flock of refugees make their way a top the slope. "They all made it," he assures his boss.


"Good. Now..."


Alvaro pauses, then locks eyes with the many upper-class citizens peering down in fear from their lit windows; seeing mostly middle-aged fathers stood beside young sons and daughters, noticeably trembling. He resumes, now looking back at Emilio. "I want this entire row," he states in cold blood.


Emilio chuckles briefly, running the grip of his machine pistol across his thick stubble, grating it. "And the consequences?" he asks, noticing the complete lack of emotion in his commanding officer's face, causing him to change his tone. "...And the consequences?" he repeats, more seriously this time.


"They all die."


Alvaro faces Emilio and glares intently, ignoring the question.


"...They all die," Emilio confirms back, now looking at the sixty-odd refugees all standing a top the cliffside.




Inside the well-lit living room belonging to Dan and Emily Rivers, the wake and service for Charlie O’Malley is drawing to a close. Most guests have come and gone, paying their respects to Paige, who's barely said two words throughout the day.


Showing another guest who's finishing up the last of the varied finger sandwiches to the front door, Dan pauses and turns to his wife, who steps aside and lets the man see himself out.


"How do you think she's really holding up?" Dan asks worryingly, keeping an eye on a seated Paige through the archway to the living area.


"I can't get her to eat or drink anything," Emily says, shaking her head, watching as the guest closes the door behind himself.


Grunting, Dan slowly strides back through to the living room, pocketing both hands as he has no idea of how to use them in this situation. "Paige," he says with a comforting tone, easing down on the edge of a creamy leather sofa cushion, "you're more than welcome to spend the night in the spare room," he offers with a smile.


Paige takes a moment to react, then nods her head, keeping her hollow stare glued to the muted plasma television screen across the room, playing news footage from the Caribbean refugee invasion.


Emily paces over, keeping her arms folded across her chest, noticing the sickening footage being broadcast live on the air. "What the f*ck?" she whispers, picking up the remote from a small wicker table and upping the volume.


Paige's trance is broken by the live report emerging from New Stanford, showing graphic images of shot dead men, women, children, and babies - all piled up, bound together by bullet-torn flesh and haggard clothing, stacked along the muddy walkway of the Stanford Canal.


Emily gasps, covering her mouth with both hands and takes a few steps back, now avoiding the gruesome death tally broadcasted on-screen.


Hearing the front door slam shut, the trio turn their attention to the archway and see an exhausted Evan and sombre Carter walk through to the living room.


"Have you seen this?" Dan asks his brother, motioning to the news reports playing on the television, now showing scenes of the refugees standing in a guard-like manor outside each family home, wielding various machine pistols and wearing balaclavas to top off their menacing dark outfits.


Evan's eyes shift and scan each and every refugee being shot from a grainy, farback lens, until one man in particular catches his attention -- the only man not wearing a balaclava -- Alvaro Cortez, who stands in front of a huddle of armed men, equipping a blurred object in his right hand, slightly concealed by his long coat.


In one swift raise of his arm, Cortez withdraws what appears to be a wooden crossbow and fires it, causing the screen to jump to static and the sound of the scenary to void.


Evan swallows the dry lump in his throat, hearing both Dan and Emily exhale in horror and disbelief as he stands inches away from the grainy black and white lines on the television.




Pinching the butt of a lit roll-up cigarette between his scarred lips, Alvaro Cortez stares off into the dark, bleak distance of the dirt road leading in and out of the gated Stanford community.


He takes a deep drag, watching as Emilio and another group of his men make sure the camera crew are all disposed of; tossed in the pile with the other innocents. Placing a crossbow down on the foot of the porch, he awaits Emilio to come back over.


"I know you've got a plan," Emilio starts, awkwardly trying to holster the machine pistol over his shoulder and lift the balaclava from his face whilst handing one of the cameras to Alvaro, "but we're gonna be open targets -- the police know exactly where we are."


Alvaro brushes the comment off, exhaling a thick cloud of smoke into the chilled Spring air as he snatches the video camera. "Exactly," he affirms with confidence. "It's time we really introduce ourselves."


Emilio looks over his shoulder to the approaching group of refugees; all keeping their machine pistols tight in their grip and to their chests, then back to Alvaro.


"It's time for Auldrey to make good on his promises," he states, removing the cigarette from between his lips. "Gear up," he orders of Emilio, now examining the slightly cracked, mud-coated device.

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This is great!

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This is great!

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Nyer mah gerd... People are...reading this...?!


In that case, the next chapter I'm posting will be the end of the first act. The second act is still in progress. It contains scenes of graphic violence, and yadda, yadda. We're all adults here... Except VProductions. wink.gif

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With an ominous clang, the towering clock overlooking Downtown's train station sends chills through Pete Auldrey's body as it strikes midnight, signalling last calls for Gadebridge City.


For the past three hours, he's sat silently in darkness - almost waiting, expecting the forthcoming army of Caribbeans. With one final attempt at calling Evan, he decides this time to leave a voice mail.


"Evan," he barely chokes out, desperately trying to level his tone and stop himself from tripping over the following words: "If I'd of known this is what they were gonna use the docks for, I never would've gone in to business with them. I swear," he says.


The shack's innards are lit up from multiple high beams arriving outside, with ignitions switching off and doors slamming shut. Pete turns his attention to the windows, resting the phone down on the television set, yet to hang the receiver up.


Cautiously, he approaches the front door and places his hand on the knob, staying as silent as he can possibly muster; taking tiny hiccup-paced breaths, resting his entire body flat on the decaying wood.


To Pete, it felt like an eternity, but only a few seconds had passed. Footsteps came and footsteps went. Sighing with relief and shutting his eyes, Pete eases back from the door and picks the phone up, about to speak in to the receiver once more, when the door is effortlessly kicked from its rusted hinges.


Startling Pete, he drops his phone and it bounces off the rug and under the television set's base. In the door frame stands Emilio, baring a long-stretch metal case in one hand; and armed with a small pistol in the other, with heavy rain hammering in to his body before he makes his way inside.


"Look," Pete starts, inching backwards, constantly checking behind himself, making sure not to trip over any loose objects scattered around, "I haven't got the deeds yet. Just tell Alvaro--"


Pete's sentence is cut short by noticing Cortez standing inches behind Emilio - and that his body had come to the back wall.


"Tell Alvaro what?" Cortez inquires, eager to hear of Pete's attempts at distilling this situation.


Both men simultaneously pace into the shack's living room, with three other balaclava-clad, machine pistol wielding subordinates behind them.


Pete's eyes are drawn to the long metal case in the right hand of Emilio, who places it down in the center of the shack, then back to Alvaro, who callously smiles.


"It's okay," he calmly states, hoping to cut some of the tension in the room. "All you need to do is go collect the deeds with my men here, and all will be fine and dandy."


Pete's hands pace against the rough wall's exterior, swallowing hard as beads of sweat rush down from his thick hairline.


"Unless, of course... well, you haven't got the deeds at all, Mr. Auldrey."


Alvaro's smile is quickly dismissed upon seeing Pete's reaction to the words. He gives a nod to Emilio, who strides towards a frantic Pete.


"Wait, wait!" Pete pleads, placing his hands up in a sign of surrender and submission.


Emilio cracks the butt of the pistol over Pete's forehead, causing him to let out a gasp of shock, sending him down to one knee, gripping the mark on his head where he was struck.


"Have you got the deeds to this dockyard or not, Mr. Auldrey? You have one more chance," Alvaro yells over the sound of crashing rain through the swaying door.


Breathing heavily, Pete glares up at Alvaro, keeping one eye pinched shut, and his hand clasping the now-apparent wound on his head. "Rivers owns fifty-one percent of it," he declares, shaking his head. "You said it w--"


Pete's sentence is once again halted as Emilio grips hold of him, underhooking both of his arms from behind and tossing him on all-fours in front of Alvaro.


"You said it was five guys!" Pete cries out in desperation, scurrying away from Emilio, who's once again walking towards him. Digging his fingernails in to the scratched wooden floorboards, he arches back and kicks Emilio in the shin, screaming as he does so.


Emilio absorbs the kick and grips Pete's body, lifting him up and facing him towards Alvaro, who bends down slightly, coming face to face with a frantic Pete.


"I didn't lie to you," Alvaro says, now smiling once more.


Pete attempts to turn his head away, wincing his eyes closed as he's ragdolled in place by the larger Emilio, feeling the warm, stale breath of the Caribbean drug lord engross his entire face.


"Maybe you misunderstood me, Mr. Auldrey. I said it would be five guys," Alvaro says, now nodding his head with compassion, but transitioning the smile to a grimace.


Pete slowly opens his eyes; his heels claw against the floorboards as if he were on black ice, trying as hard as he physically can to push back and create some space.


"I just failed to mention that the five guys were your executors."


His deep, hollow tone sends the coldest chill down Pete's spine, who begins to breathe out of rhythm with his increasing heartbeat, feeling Emilio's grip grow ever tighter. Trying with every ounce of strength he has left of his adrenaline-dumped body to fight back, the three masked men pounce forward and attack him at once, discarding their automatic weapons.


Alvaro paces backwards; the grimace remaining on his face as he bends down and clasps the metal case, hoisting it up, not taking focus off of the situation forming in front of him.


Pete screams out in fear and agony as he's punched and kicked out of Emilio's grip, crumbling to the ground below with a thud. The cartel members begin violently stomping on his downed body, extinguishing any fight left in the thirty-year-old dock operator.


Emilio makes his way over to Alvaro, who now opens up the metal case, revealing inside a steel hatchet. Emilio attempts to take the axe himself, but Alvaro pulls back, glaring at him with his one working eye.


Giving an understanding nod to his commanding officer, Emilio paces over to the doorway and slams the swaying door shut. One of the drug cartel gunners walks over to the television set with a small silver object in his left hand.


"Please," Pete slurs, profusely bleeding from his shattered mouth, spilling strings and streams of dark red across the floor as he's dragged to the center of the room by the two remaining cartel members.


Alvaro takes a few tall strides, keeping the hatchet by his side, ending up behind Pete, who can barely keep his head up any longer.


Emilio gives a nod to the cartel member by the television set, who's set up the same cracked and mud-coated digital camera from the dead television crew earlier in the evening. He switches it on, causing its static red light to begin blinking green.


The two cartel members lower their stance and shift aside, yanking Pete's head back in a ferocious fashion, hurling forth a mixture of blood and spittle across the worn rug in front of them.


Alvaro tightens the muscles in his calves and digs the soles of his feet firmly into the wood, and with one fell swoop of the axe, he plants the sharp steel into the back of Pete's neck.


Letting out a sickly gasp and widening his eyes, Pete's body jolts briefly before going completely limp.


With one more malicious swing of the axe, Alvaro severs the spinal cord and blood begins erupting like a fountain down Pete's back.


The two cartel members start tearing at Pete's head, trying to detach it from his body completely, causing Pete to let out a series of gut-curling cries.


Without hesitation after failing to remove the head from his neck, they toss his broken, blood enriched body to the rug below, which quickly turns to a shade of dark red from the massive gaping wounds in his neck and upper back.


Alvaro swings the axe clean over his head as if he were chopping logs and plants the hatchet into the back of Pete's head - the mind-numbing thud of steel shattering skull and easily mashing brain matter drowns out his last attempted cries.


The two drug cartel members each palm knives from their waistbands and begin cutting away the excess flesh, muscle, and pulp. Finally, they remove the head from its neck - one grips it tightly between his fingertips, causing the other to let go. Standing upright, he faces the recording video camera; holding the head out - almost as a trophy for bragging rights; faded blue eyes still half-open, with a vacant and far away stare in them.


"Move out," Alvaro commands, breathing heavily as he drops the axe on the ground.


The cartel member etches ever closer to the video camera, making sure the entire wide-angle lens captures every inch of Pete's face as close up as possible.


Watching on, Emilio snickers, re-opening the door. As Alvaro's about to walk through the arch, he turns to look at the cartel member, who's silently holding the head in front of the camera.


"We're done here, boy."


The cartel member looks over at Alvaro and Emilio, then without hesitation, drops Pete's severed head to the ground below and grabs hold of the video camera, making his way over to the group with the other two subordinates.

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Slumping down onto an already damp stool at the bar's front, a soaking wet Evan motions his hand to the bartender -- the same petite green-haired female from earlier in the day in the club's parking lot. Wiping down the last washed pint glass with a tattered rag, she smiles upon seeing him and slowly paces over.


"Does this place even generate revenue anymore, Trix?" Evan queries, catching a glimpse of the time on his silver watch as he arches his forearms across the sticky counter of Wayne Hallows' last active business in Gadebridge City.


Bending down, Trixie places the dry glass under the counter with all the others and exhales with force as she stands back up, tossing the rag at Evan, who catches it. "Punters stopped coming round after you quit managing the place," she reveals, slouching over the counter, now level with Evan.


He twirls the rag between his fingers; guiding the damp spots left over from the warm soapy water over each sore tip. "You been here all day?" he asks, keeping a straight face and vacant stare locked on the wash cloth.


"Oh, but how could I leave?"


The blunt sarcasm is enough to crack a smile on Evan's face as he now watches her stand tall, getting ready to close up for the night.


"Last orders, everyone!" she calls out, echoing through the entirely empty tavern.


Watching her walk to the back of the bar, Evan rests the rag down on the counter top, closing his eyes and letting his head fall to his palms. "Could really use one of your optimistic pep-talks right about now, Joan," he says, simultaneously dropping his hands and staring up at the ceiling, as if waiting for an answer to fall from above.


He sits in complete silence, resting his hands between his thighs. Across the bar from him sits the long-stretch mirror running from the start to the end of the bar, littered by dusty bottles that clearly haven't been touched in months.


His phone begins to vibrate as the clock above the mirror rings in midnight. Evan glares back at his own reflection, ignoring the constant buzzing, until the sight in front of him becomes too much to bare.


The rusted hinges of the saloon-like doors creak as they're slowly opened.


"Christ," Wayne yells, dripping wet as rain begins hammering in from outside, drenching the wooden floorboards. He shakes himself off as he enters inside and slips out of his coat. Tossing it down on the floor, he glares over to the bar, seeing Evan sat on a stool.


"What a nightmare tonight has been," Wayne says, trying to catch his breath as he paces over to Evan, who finally acknowledges his presence.


"Sorry. Mind's been elsewhere tonight," Evan murmurs over the constant vibrating as he turns to face Wayne.


Scratching the steel legs of a stool across the scathed boards, he drags it over to Evan and begins coughing violently. "Catching my death out there tonight, making sure everyone's outta Stanford," he says, sitting down on the stool in a similar fashion to Evan. "You gonna answer that?"


As Evan contemplates answering Pete Auldrey's sixth time trying to reach him tonight, the vibrating comes to an end.


Wayne shrugs off Evan's lethargic attitude and watches as Trixie comes through the archway from the back room, tallying up the apparent minimal takings from across the day in her hands.


"Another solid day of business," she sighs, tossing a few notes and coins a top the bar's counter, glaring down at Wayne.


"Jesus," he exhales, shifting back on the bar stool in discomfort. Sliding a few notes and coins to Trixie with his wet palm, his dark eyes express sorrow as she shakes her head in disappointment. "Don't suppose I could convince you to go trash a few more bars in the area like old times?" he asks, turning his attention to Evan who's checking over his Blackberry.


"Not a chance." Tapping the buttons on his phone and checking the voice mail left by Pete a few minutes ago, he puts the receiver to his ear and watches on as Wayne and Trixie argue back and forth about the lack of wages and takings. Their conversation is quickly drowned out by the flood of panic heard on the other end of the line by Pete. Multiple unclear voices are heard downsizing his, followed by ghastly cries, screams, and finished off by hollow thuds.


"I think Pete's in serious trouble," Evan states, shooting up from the bar stool and interrupting the pair's bickering. He starts taking quick strides to the door as he slips his Blackberry back in to his pocket.


"Hold up," Wayne yells, standing up from the stool and increasing his pace, arriving alongside Evan. "What do you mean?"


The torrential rain once again crashes in to the bar as the doors are flung open from the outside in. Both Evan and Wayne halt in place as three men stand at the door's entrance -- all three wearing the same militia-like outfits as the Caribbean refugees, holstering M60 machine rifles.


The reverberation of thunder echoes through the pitch black sky outside as the three hoist the rifles up in place, taking aim solely at Evan.


Quickly diving out of harm's way, Evan rolls behind the nearest booth as the three men start firing rounds into the desolate bar. Trixie is immediately struck and torn to pieces as the glass behind her shatters to a thousand tiny reflective crystals, crashing down to the floor below, along with her bullet-riddled body.


One of the militia-uniformed men steps forward as they cease fire. "You, get him," he commands of the man to his right, seeing Wayne, unarmed, pacing backwards with both hands up in surrender. "You, kill the kid," he motions with a nod to the other man, looking over to the booth which Evan rolled behind.


The man re-holsters the rifle on his waist strap and parries Wayne's hands down to his side, locking him by the hip and dragging him towards the door with little resistance.


The other man treads carefully over to the booth, keeping his rifle aimed directly in front of him, firmly gripped and pointed at the hard-edged lining of the felt cushion. He pauses and waits for any erratic movement on the other side.


Hearing the door crash shut a few meters away, Evan, laying face down behind the booth, blindly takes aim with his 9mm. pistol from the ground and begins firing, catching the militia-clad target in both feet, causing him to fall to the ground and scream out in pain, dropping his weapon as he thuds to the ground.


"Go! Get him back to her!" the commanding officer yells to his subordinate who's now outside, holding Wayne captive. He raises his machine pistol up and starts blasting the entire clip in to the booth's spacious four-person cushion, splintering the wood and ripping the linen to shreds.


As the clip empties and falls to the hard floor below, Evan pounces up and takes aim, only half-shielded by the booth. He fires a single perfectly placed shot between the man's eyes, causing his body to hurl back and slam into a circular table before dropping to the ground.


Evan checks the barrel of his pistol, then turns his attention to the downed man a few feet over, wincing in pain as blood seeps from his camouflage trousers and black boots. "Why'd your man take Hallows?" he queries, aiming the pistol directly at his chest.


Between fits of catching his breath, the man shakes his head. "Third-party client wanted him taken in alive," he barely gets out.


Evan pulls the hammer back on the pistol and tightens his grip.


"All right, all right," the man pleads, trying to shuffle out of range of the loaded barrel. "Lynn Grolschea."


Evan tilts his head and raises an eyebrow upon seeing the man desperately claw at his pocket, pulling out his phone and extending it out to him. He snatches the phone from the man's grasp and instantly fires a lone shot to the man's chest, causing his arm to drop to the ground as he exhales with force.


Shuffling through the list of contacts, he slowly paces back over to the door as he reaches Lynn's personal and business information. Pocketing the phone and shielding his vision from the downpour of rain and heightened rays of neon lights across the street, he starts to make his way to the parking lot.

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Central Gadebridge City is completely lit up and bustling with life in the early hours of April this morning, with people in the dozens impatiently awaiting some form of justice and security outside of GCPD Headquarters in the pouring rain regarding the Caribbean invasion in New Stanford.

Attempting to make their way through the aggressive crowd, Dan and Emily both halt around the center, keeping close to each other under a bright yellow umbrella, being shoved and elbowed by pedestrians all demanding answers themselves.

"Can't believe this is happening," Dan sighs, catching the attention of heavily-clothed men and women around him, most not sporting any form of umbrella or rain visors.

"Just when this place was becoming a safe environment to raise a family again," a middle-aged man concurs, shaking his head, cradling a sleeping infant in his arms; rocking her gently, trying to avoid the aggressive mob further in.

A dark skinned woman in her mid-thirties is pushed in front of Emily, who catches her as she's about to fall. "Arrogant prick!" she cries, trying to assess who shoved her. She smiles at Emily, straightening her long, smooth hair out. "Thank you."

Raising his voice over the constant stream of racist remarks and senseless yelling, Dan turns to face the small group in his area that are trying to gain shelter under his umbrella. "People are turning on each other out here. This is crazy."

"Could be worse," the man starts, making sure his infant is still sound asleep in his grasp. "What about last year, when that sick son of a bitch broke in to that military base and bombed half the city?!"

The dark skinned woman nods her head, agreeing as she folds her arms across her long cream jacket. "I remember very well," she recalls, now shaking her head in disappointment.

Dan awkwardly avoids the question and further eye contact with the group, remembering who caused the blasts that were deemed a second set of terrorist attacks. He turns his startled attention to the large stone building, where police are finally taking control of the rioting at the front, with a senior officer taking to the center of the walkway with a megaphone in hand.

"I understand this is a time of crisis," the officer states with a sense of sorrow in his half-distorted tone, "but we, as a community, must stand strong through this."

The short pep talk is met with a flurry of disagreement; objects both light and heavy being thrown in every officer's direction.

"This is out of our control now," he states, easing his way back to the front doors; checking behind to make sure the path is clear. "Homeland Security will be taking over this case from eight a.m. sharp," trying to assure the disheartened pedestrians.

"And a lot of good they always do in these situations," Emily silently refutes to herself and Dan as they both turn away and start making their way back home.

"Wake up."

An unforgiving female tone followed by a thud to his mid-section forces Wayne Hallows to become alert as he gasps for air. He attempts to cradle his ribs for comfort, but feels his hands bound together by nagging rope, burning into his grazed wrists, tied behind a chair he's been sat on for the past fifteen minutes.

"What the f*ck is this?" he mutters, sucking in the humid air of a cramped, windowless room.

He looks to each dark corner, seeing the room virtually empty. A leaky water pipe sits over the only door in and out of the room; and the same lone militia-clad man that brought him here stands guard by it, keeping his machine pistol holstered on his waist strap at ease.

Footsteps clacking from high heels on the stone floor behind him loom closer. He feels a smooth pair of small hands rest elegantly on his shoulders as long, chestnut hair brushes by his neck. The sweet, warm breath of the female pats his ear as she taps lightly on his tense shoulders.

"Do you know what it's like to see one of your best friends constantly under threat from mistakes made in a past life?" she questions, keeping her hands on his shoulders as she walks round to his front, now bearing down on him with a malicious glare.

Wayne stares up at Lynn Grolschea, squirming in place, attempting to break free. "The f*ck are you talking about?!" he cries, feeling the burns dig deeper in his wrists with every feeble movement.

Lynn brushes his question off with a smirk, digging her long nails deep into his shoulder blades. He screams out and winces in pain as a crimson red is immediately drawn through his white shirt.

"I'm going to need full co-operation from you," she begins, releasing her red-stained fingernails from Wayne's deltoids, causing him to re-open his eyes and exasperate each breath with relief.

"About six years ago, this state had seen an all-time high in gang-related warfare and activity. Now, my boss saw to it that this state was wiped clear of all threats," she reveals, once again standing tall over Wayne. "He is a great man, who had invested millions of pounds out of his own pocket to make sure this state stayed vermin-free all these years."

Wayne spits on the hard stone floor, washing out the flakes of dry blood attached to his gums, then stares back up to Lynn with a look of disdain. "And this has to do with me, how?"


Her voice trembles as she starts slowly pacing around the small interior; Wayne turning his neck, trying to keep an eye on her as she walks behind him once again.

"Time can play a game of great favour... but eventually, it'll be the burden of each and every one of us."

The clicks of her high heels stop in place when a vibrating sound can be heard from within Wayne's pocket. "I'm guessing that'll be Evan Rivers," she says, aggressively.

She ignores the vibrations echoing through the empty cellar room and continues. "What feels like a life-time ago, I was brain washed into believing that something I was doing was for a purpose much greater than my own... I was very young..."

She pauses as her tone shifts to that of sorrow and regret. "...and very foolish."

"So I know exactly what it's like to be in my best friend's position right now," she states, her voice now becoming aggressive and forceful once more. "Over time, my boss' health has greatly deteriorated -- so greatly so, that he was unable to rid this state of one last gang," she reveals, stopping in front of Wayne again, glaring down at him in accusing fashion.

Wayne hangs his head, quickly realizing where this is going as she finishes.

"The 'Snowman' and his small-time 'caine pushers."

The vibrating finally stops and Lynn eases her fingertips on Wayne's chin, perching his head up to look at her as she speaks. "Any of this sound familiar to you?"

Blatantly veiled with sarcasm in her tone, Wayne chuckles, shaking his head and arching as far back from her fingertips as possible.

"Have it your way then, sugar," she says with a coy smile.

Making her way to the lone door, she gives a sombre nod to the man holstering the machine pistol in his guard-like stance before passing through it.

He unholsters his weapon and firmly places it on the ground, not taking his eyes off of a defenseless Wayne Hallows, who keeps a fronted smile plastered across his face, watching on as the man begins to pace across the room towards him.

The torrential downpour floods through the open wooden door to Pete Auldrey's shack, turning the massive amounts of blood staining almost every inch of his floor a dull shade of pink, declining in vibrancy the closer to the door frame.

In the corner of the shack sits Evan Rivers, with Blackberry to ear, surrendering his posture to the smooth panels below the window.

"Just get it done, Carter," he finishes, swallowing the lump in his throat, not letting his eyes stray from Pete's beheaded body the entire call.

Hanging up, he drops the phone to the floor between his legs and closes his eyes, wincing in emotional pain as a ringing from a phone other than his is heard.

Patting his pockets down, he finds the phone he took from the mercenary an hour ago and checks the caller ID, seeing Lynn Grolschea's name appear on the bloodstained screen's surface. Tapping the accept button, he slowly places the receiver to his ear.

"I'm guessing he got away as he tried to call Wayne," he hears on the other end of the line.

"Yeah, he got away," Evan replies with a sombre tone, keeping his eyes fixated on Pete's body once more.

"...Clever," Lynn scoffs. "Me and my associates are going to need to borrow Wayne for a little while -- I ask you not to interfere."

As Evan inhales, ready to reply, he hears a familiar voice in the background on the call. Though hard to make out, he can distinctly hear Rebecca Barcalow talking. Staying silent, he pinches his eyes shut, trying to make out word for word what she's saying, before the line succumbs to silence.

"...I'll see you both soon, Lynn."

Edited by TonyZimmzy

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