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Grand Theft Auto: Red Line


slimeball supreme
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slimeball supreme

WINNER OF BEST CONCEPT 2019

SLIMEBALL SUPREME & CEBRA

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theme.

companion piece.

special thanks to

Money Over Bullsh*t

Markyevansy

The Deadite

 

On the streets of the country’s worst city lie many a body. Crack in its heyday, corpses lining the streets in Hove Beach, wiseguys on the wrong foot for the first time in the mafia’s history as indictments sweep. What is it?

 

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In Red Line, you play as two protagonists from two burgeoning sides of the underworld, under threat from all angles as the walls close in. Liberty City is expanded: only featuring the two-and-a-half boroughs of Broker, Lennox Island, and Mid-to-South Algonquin.

 

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Felix Godovsky immigrated to the US five years ago after a youth on the streets of Odessa boosting cars and breaking skulls. A short stint working as a textile cutter lead him into the open arms of local drug dealers - now a leading enforcer for a gang referring to itself as the People’s Court. In America, there are winners and losers. Felix doesn’t intend to lose.

 

Residing in a red-brick in the heart of Hove Beach, Felix drives an ‘87 Karin Gogetter and has around $1500 under his mattress.

 

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Originally from Italian Bantonvale, Adrian Tessa moved to Lennox Island with his nonna after falling in with the wrong crowd. Didn’t work. Crossing the bridge up to Broker on a regular basis, ‘Age’ dropped out in the 10th grade to work closely with up-and-comer Roy Zito and his Gambetti-associated clique of small time thugs. They intend to go big.

 

Living upstairs in a two-family house, Adrian commutes from Cairndow to Bantonvale by subway or his grandmother’s ‘81 Vulcar Motrock, holding $120 in pocket money at the game’s beginning.

 

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- NADYA GODOVSKAYA

It was her idea to come over here: friends and opportunity. The Bronshteins went in the 80’s, sent postcards back painted technicolor. They came. Nadya hasn't found a great job yet, Felix has - he knows America may not be the best for the legitimate, but for those willing to bend the rules, many-a buck awaits.

 

- IZYA BRONSHTEIN

An old friend of Felix's from Odessa, settled down Hove years back before his arrival. A dreamer ever hopeful, ever optimistic of an American Dream gone and let him down, let his wife and his little girl down. Trust: his most fatal, fatal flaw.

 

- GENNADY & GERMAN ROITMAN

The Roitman Brothers were Belarusian wrestlers, steroid salesmen given new life as chief enforcers of the People's Court. German the mad mute and Gennady the brains, relatively speaking: extortionists and usurers now extending meaty fists to the heroin market.

 

- KUZMA 'KENNY' PETROVICH

In the upstairs of Gulag Garden, Hove Beach's king resides. A gifted speaker, he hosts the People's Court; an adjudication body where disagreements of his constituents are debated and settled. He'll take a piece of the action, sure, but as feudal lords come he's mighty benevolent.

 

- LAZAR SARAVAISKY

Kenny's right hand, always open, always thinking. In the 80's considered the obvious successor to the iron fist of Emil Agrov, yet ceded power to his protege when the man passed away. Lazar was never one for the spotlight, preferred to smoke benzos and whisper in the shade.

 

- LEV GEFTER

As ostentatious as ostentatious comes, invited Kenny and a few Pavanos to a party in Vice City last summer: yachts, blow, President masks. The on-the-books manager of Gulag Garden is more businessman than triggerman, a bad draw when the barbarians bang at the gates.

 

- SYLVESTER GANZFRIED

The man with a million jobs - Jewish outreach advisor to President Biff Cochrane, police chaplain, top dog lawyer and rabbi without a pulpit. Least notably, government stoolie and mob fixer. The IAA, Mossad; they love the f*cker to death, and they'll let him do whatever if they get a piece of the pie.

 

- DOLPH BECKLER

The insurmountable Sgt. Dolph Beckler - bridge and tunnel Kraut and veteran crimefighter with connections to some of the city's finest: from Purgatory Sergeant Francis McReary to mayoral candidate Faraldo himself, Beckler commands his own eponymous team of rogue cops from the 70th Precinct. He'll tell you: Beechwood is Broker's stomach. The Beckler Boys are its antacid.

 

- MORI GREEN

In District Park you'll find Ol' Mori - fence, jeweler, kosher wiseguy. Made friends with Bohan Moe in the 70's and met Ganzfried a while later, now buddy-buddy with half the dagos in Broker. Mori puts up with them. Recommends jobbers for the right jobs, guns for the right hits. No matter how brash the client.

 

- MATVEY 'MOTYA' SHVEDIK

Motya is a man with a philosophy. You have a warm spot. You keep your warm spot. You kill those that try to take it. His warm spot is being Hove Beach's number one killer, number one heroin dealer, number one gangster with ties overseas. Many people will try to take it. Many will die.

 

- KITAYCHIK

Yaroslav Pogodin is a showman and a sinner, bare-knuckle boxer called 'Chinaman' for squinty eyes. The name stuck. Sent by the men back in Moscow to take Hove Beach, remove a testy old guard of Jews and the Americanized. He will do so with obscurity: intentions unknown, diplomacy damned.

 

- MARKI ASHVILLI

Looks are deceiving. You think 'art-collector' and 'entrepreneur' and you think Doug Hatchet, turtlenecks and trimmed facial hair. He acts the part as best he can, despite habit and ever-closed doors. Marki plays Kitaychik's point man, money launderer and extortionist with ties to many-a professional hockey player. Perhaps he'll own a team one day.

 

- VIKENTIY RABINOVICH

The boss of all bosses? They call him Smartass, exiled to a fortress in Budapest with guards and anti-aircraft guns. He is, by all means, Europe's kingpin. He wants more. He wants the oceans and the skies and the clothes off every man's back, and no. He doesn't take well to denial.

 

- GRIMWALDO WINOGRODZKI

Where the f*ck is this guy from? Don't ask. Says he's Polish, says he's Italian, says he's Swiss. Only thing for sure... he has blow. Blow, heroin, TV sets, gourmet chocolates; if there's one thing the DOA and AFT don't expect, it's Thai dope on a Polish airliner.

 

- YERALDIN ‘YIYO’ MONSALVE

Flashy, confident, ruthless: the Cázar Cartel's stateside boss doubles as Liberty's cocaine kingpin. And he knows it. Dials up Winogrodzki at 2 AM for coca-powered conversations about sports, plays golf with Kenny Petrovich in chore coats and sweatpants. But above all, a passion... the malparido loves submarines.

 

- RAMI YALON

Lupisellas usually hire in the family, longtime hitman Sonny 'the Saint' Honorato dutifully doing hits since the 50's. But he's Bohan. Dom don't like Bohan. In his place comes 'the Yid’, former Mossad and consummate professional. High fees and low tolerance for guido bullsh*t - maybe that's why he clicks with Kuzma so much.

 

- THE COOPERATIVE

When you do business in Liberty, you cut the Families in. Or else. A committee of three who collect, discuss, and intimidate the gangsters of Hove Beach; wearily meeting at the Piazza Plaza Restaurant in Rotterdam Hill.

  • Lupisella consigliere Gene Pittaluga, ad hoc boss of a teetotal clique. Says little for a confidant, you can see why Puleo sees more blood than silver.

  • Pavano captain Giosuè 'Joshie' Gervasi, assisted by geezer aide-de-camp Juliano 'Julie Schnozz’ Ciommo. Greedy fool. Talks big game, often without playing.

  • Gambetti capo Sal 'Salvo' Salzano of Lennox Island. Peacekeeper. Line straight to big man Gravelli - eager for Russian cash despite disdain for their methods.

 

- MOE SCHWARTZ

Moe never took a side in the whole Broker-Bohan thing, maybe on account of his mixed heritage he thought himself exempt. The Lupisellas' numbers guy, the guy who first came across the Russians on account of campaigning for ZAP with Eshel Schochet, the go-to guy for Ganzfried or the Pavanos or God himself. Consigliere by any other name.

 

- LEO PULEO

There's a problem brewing in the Lupisella family. Huge Henry Rotondi, guy couldn't fit in the goddamn FIB plane, starts talking about ratting on every boss on the Commission. Not good. Puleo, on the run out of state, gets busted in Pennsylvania at a shopping mall. Double not good. Half the family on trial: a mess and a half to clean up. Only one man to do it.

 

- DOMINIC 'THE WRENCH' SEPE

They call him The Wrench for many-a reason, he's the wrench in the works, Mr. Fixit. Or perhaps he'll smash the sh*t out of you with one. Acting boss with big man Puleo in the joint, getting info from the bigger man and organizing a breakout on his behalf. His thirst for blood now justified, vindication on his mind and tongue.

 

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- NONNA TESSA

A crossroads: a grandson with a junkie father and a nowhere mother. What do you do? You take them out of Broker, try get them work, raise them like a son. Son drops out of school, starts acting a ruckus with neighborhood boys, police visit the house and then you're visiting the station. All you can do is pray.

 

- ROY ZITO

Roy and the Bantonvale Boys - hooligans and thugs wreaking havoc north, south and upwards. All over, the sixth family; no liquor store unrobbed and car unstolen, pretty boy in charge with sharp edges and a sharp tongue. The blunt force option, latent inadequacies and all.

 

- ERIC LO IACONO

Eraclide to his mother, to his friends the name dips. Clyde, Ricky, Eric - the North Lennox terror got no respect for his elders. Went down at 15 for Assault and plead "f*ck yourself" on the stand, spat in the public defender's face at the consequence. Still got it down to second degree. A zero sum game.

 

- JON 'JUNIOR' GRAVELLI

Junior clocked Roy years back when Roy still stole cars, two clicked instantly over blow and bad movies. Jon, rich kid from Meadow Hills never got his hands dirty. Roy, poor kid from Bantonvale never knew nothing but getting his hands dirty. Best friends ever since.

 

- ROGER 'BUTCHIE' BOVE

Butch lost his son a couple years back; an ill-fated drive and a broken neck. Roy did him a favor and killed the guy who did it. It's a bond holding harder than kevlar, scruffy Bantonvale capo with a thin neck known for sending thick wads on payday. A man after Jon's own heart: one willing to take chances on youngsters.

 

- PETE REA

Jon Gravelli picked Peter off the streets of Broker in the early Seventies: hard-scrabble braggart with a cross around the neck, hijacker and former boxer. He saw the potential right away. Today he's underboss; a loud underboss who swears at the judge and laughs at the reporters, the most surveilled gangster in the country bar his one superior.

 

- ZURIEL ORZOFF

The man likens himself to Martin Luther, ingenious orator and a diplomat like no other. Unlike King, however? A liar who represents the worst men in the country, bigots and racketeers and killers. His latest challenge is Pete Rea - an open and shut case and probable lifetime sentence. Zurry won't let that be.

 

- JON GRAVELLI

The man behind the Gambetti family has gone sixty-nine years with about two in prison: an excellent record that could very well be tarnished. A racketeering case that's gone far too long getting another crack with obstruction charges, a couple goons running up names on the jury. Doesn't look good. Coming down from the Carraway mansion is one thing, getting pricey cars and priceless art repossessed is a whole 'nother.

 

- SAMMY 'SONNY' BOTTINO

Shrewd, calculating; Sonny made a career out of sniffing out a deal and got drafted to the family by Gravelli himself. The next protege on the chopping block. Neck deep in Florida making movies or working with celebrities or something, vague on the detail and never quite willing to pay respects to a boss he never asked for.

 

- MARLON FARALDO

Former US Attorney; resigned and ran for mayor in '89, lost and hasn't gotten over it. Ambitious as can be and back on the campaign trail early, a lover of broken windows and loather of the poor. And while it's hot on the presses? The number one campaigner for the arrest of Jon Gravelli.

 

- HARVEY NOTO

They say he'd have been Gambetti if things went the right way: met Jon Gravelli sharking in Zephyr Hill and made pals ever since. A manslaughter charge gone awry, he's back on the streets - new Messina boss, friendships to the wind and eyes on the prize.

 

- CALOGERO CAZZINI

Son of Amerigo, scion of Sicilian bootleggers sending barley brew down the St. Lawrence. He's kingpin now. These days, they're saying, the Cazzinis are more a family than the Ancelottis - manpower and muscle, coke and cash. Messinas don’t think so. Big Cal does. Constantly shadowed by bodyguard Hugues Ouellette-du-Tranchemontagne, inexplicably letting the dumb f*cker talk in his favor.

 

- OLLIE 'LULU' GLIUGLIU

They call him Canuck, and for good reason - zip f*cker's in Quebec more than milk bags and inbreeding. Give the guy credit, he's got charisma, married six women going on seven now arraigning the marriage between Messina and Cazzini. It's not going well.

 

- MELVIN SCHIAVONE

He's a people guy; races pigeons with Dom Sepe and Tony Black, shoots the breeze with Wayne Coco. Never let a rivalry get in the way of good business. Six ways to Sunday and family ties to near every family on the Commission and more, if you want a deal brokered you go to Broker Mel. Just pray that don't go to his head.

 

- MARK & FREDO VOLPE

Fresh out the joint is Mark Anthony: off 10 years for manslaughter and back in business with flesh-and-blood Alfredo. After doing a favor for Hal Noto in '82, both brothers got their button - working the extortion patch in Dukes and North Broker, tears and broken glass.

 

- OSWALDO QUIROGA

If you've had a chick in AC, that chick was Ozzie's girl. Pimp, scag dealer, man of fine clothes and fine cigars. An empire spanning half a state and half a city, and a new connection in the ever-enterprising Roy Zito's web of friendly hoodlums.

 

- JAYVON SIMSON

Small timer this close to the big leagues - JJ knows people. Met Joey Corolla, 13 going on 30 with a cigarette and a forty ounce, mob kid with a crew. Met Dwayne Forge, Holland empresario neck-deep in the crack game, 'entertainment' magnate of dubious origin. Sparks fly in his head. The web extends.

 

- JOE COROLLA

Joe ‘the Cowboy’ was always a street kid, growing up in East Holland hung with gangbangers alike; Latino and Black. A neighborhood taboo. You don't talk to the eggplants. Late teens with a fire in his belly, the attention of the men in the social clubs, a mean streak with no end. Easy pickings for a player to play.

 

- MARIA VALVONA

When Louie Valvona 'mysteriously' died, the bosses came to an agreement: "Let the freak do how she pleases". The ostensible front boss of the Pavano crime family is possibly the Commission's longest long con: switching boss after boss after boss at the cost of respect but eyes on the wrong person. Eyes on the Oddmother, on wind chimes and vague prophecy.

 

- ARTHUR ZAPULLA

Not many people go to school at Ivy League, fewer mobsters: but that's what awaits the man who killed Louie Valvona. An open secret, the rat-faced kid with greasy hair, the kid all over Mary like butter on toast, groping and cloying and purring in her ear. It's a wonder charges haven't been made, for a variety of reasons.

 

- VITO MENOTTI

Veets bought a Lennox Island dog food cannery in the seventies, went from nothing to barely something. Barely something's enough. Enough to wash money and grind bones and kinda freak people out at the poker games. He knows what the little men don't, who really calls the shots and gives the kill orders. And they won't tolerate recent disrespect.

 

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Liberty is expanded in Red Line: denser, more square mileage. Only two-and-a-half boroughs are accessible in normal gameplay - the International Center of Exchange gleaming from the skyline. The boroughs:

 

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Liberty’s second city gets a bad rap; churches, art types, gangsters. It’s more than that. Not much more than that, but more than that.

 

UPTOWN

  • Redcape - Traditionally Polish, home of longshoremen and factory workers before they all moved to Alderney. Home to the Redcape Incinerator, the biggest, hottest dioxin and lead polluter in the borough.

  • Hedgebury - Jews and Latinos, sure. But evil afoot. Bohemians. Yuppies in Algonquin have rent at gunpoint, now gentrifying the borders of borough number two. It’ll get worse.

  • Schottler - The Messinas and Gambettis still run this part of town but not by much, modern day hotspot for Dominicans and Puerto Ricans.

  • East Liberty & Suydam - They call it the killing fields. Formerly back in the heyday, the mob’s primary graveyard. They stopped demolishing houses on the Dukes border because they kept finding bodies, wasn’t worth the press. Today, the battles are fought not by wiseguys, but street hustlers and crack kingpins.

  • The Bowels - Technically East Liberty, but worth a mention; a sunken little neighborhood on the Dukes border best traversed on horseback, ‘less you want your car flooded. Trust me: you don’t want that here. Vestiges of the Wild West run amok.

 

WATERFRONT

  • BOABO - Older residents still call it Feldspar Crossing, the developers… not so much. Ground Zero for a new wave of gentrification.

  • East Hook & Navy Yard - Parts of town reckoning with obsolescence as the port moves to Tudor and the boat traffic slows to a crawl.

  • Rotterdam Hill - A lot of churches, a lot of brownstones, a lot of social clubs.

  • Gristmill - The Gristmill Canal is still plays a pivotal role in the waterfront’s ecosystem: a pathway for the movement of barges, and a great place for the mob to tie cement to a dead guy’s foot.

  • Sunrise Park - Formerly dockland central, stevedore Swedes pushed out yonks ago in favour of Latinos and Cantonese. Now Broker’s Chinatown.

 

CENTRAL

  • South Slopes - Still recovering from the ‘91 riots, West Indian folks and Hasidic residents cross the street to avoid one another, dirty glares and confrontation. Fights still ensue, instigated regularly by neighborhood Shomrim.

  • Cork Villa - The land of the stroller. Gentrification personified in brownstone and wrought iron, young families and the odd yuppie priced out of Algonquin hanging their gold-embroidered address plaques while the working class scatters.

  • Outlook Park - Broker’s very own Middle Park, subject to millions upon millions in funds allocated to revitalizing its image since the decade’s turn. The carousel’s back, art deco horses and all. We’ll get there yet.

  • Beechwood & Beechwood City - Mostly West Indian, low-income projects and baseheads copping copper wire. Junkyards, former factories, decades of history… now ground zero for Broker’s crack epidemic.

  • Farnham-Slechtenhorst - ‘Far Sleck’: picturesque Victorians perched behind tree-lined streets mask a history of unfettered racial tensions and blockbusting - Gerry Quigley left in his wake a restoration project that saw itself through the 70s and 80s, the gangs and the cops doing their part to tear it asunder. 

  • District Park - Home of the Hasidim. Good delis, lots of hats - get used to wearing one and pick up on some Yiddish while you’re at it.

  • Vlackwood & Fulham - Boring suburb. Houses, 8 by 8 grass patches masquerading as a yard, the occasional pink flamingo. Thrilling.

  • Pierrepont Cemetery - Block after block after block of gravestones. Where Broker’s dead are buried. Before Outlook, this was Broker’s park.

 

SWAMPLAND

  • Maschapi - Italians and Blacks on the shore of Wampum Bay, with the former overtaking the latter in spades. Lupisella turf, the Broker crew holding on tight despite obvious disdain.

  • Hansen Basin - Laugh in the face of the historians so adamant that the area was once a rural bastion for oyster fishing: tell it to the 8-figure mansions built by the dozen and the private roads twice as maintained as its thoroughfares. 

  • Stoothoff - Old. Old buildings, old people, old smells. Twenty years behind the urban planning curve leaves Stoothoff a little piece of antiquity for the cultured fellow yearning for the rural abandonment you’d typically only find in Lennox.

  • Thalassus Meadow - Despite Outlook’s fame, Broker’s largest park is on the shores of the Wampum. Salt marshes used by the indigenous for crab fishing, now a makeshift landfill with trash, burnt out cars, and the occasional corpse. Mayor Llewelyn ‘Lewie’ Laster leads the charge for its cleanup.

  • Byrd Aerodrome - Mixed use airfield now in the process of conversion into a state park. Nobody really cares. Barren, quiet; it’s local hearsay that unmarked air travel still lands and leaves. According to the government, those rumors are unfounded.

  • Crownover Bay - Quaint, disconnected from public transport, nobody knows why the neighborhood always smells like rain. Has a beach that nobody goes to.

  • Algonquin Beach - Must’ve forgot what borough they were in. Former resort town, the area’s become a second wave enclave to the higher-end Russian Jews from Hove. It’s earned its name again by attitude.

 

SOUTH

  • Hove Beach - Little Odessa. Introductions unnecessary.

  • Firefly Island - Boardwalk attractions galore; the kind that peaked pre-World War II. Subjected time and again to development hell and rezoning court cases since the boom, Firefly Boardwalk is spotted with equal part shuttered, never-opened storefronts and amusement parks - but you’ll never find it empty. Kids and octogenarians love it, and that’s what counts.

  • Goatherd - Former fishing town: home of yacht clubs, piers, bad seafood, aged stucco beach houses way too far away from the beach. Mostly Jewish but transitory: from Russians to Uzbekis, Greeks to Turks.

  • Dartford - Developed in parallel with Firefly but overshadowed by a factor of about a dozen, Dartford has fallen into relative obscurity in the time since - your run of the mill working class neighborhood, dead-end streets, housing projects, the occasional bout of violence.

  • Bantonvale - The city’s hotspot for Italian Americans, second only to Little Italy. Restaurants, social clubs, tracksuits, pudgy old men with itchy trigger fingers.

  • Weir Ridge - Bantonvale’s little sister: the added bonus of beachfront property. Used to be a lot of Norwegians, but the mob probably forced them out like the real estate developers’ll do in a decade.

  • Anger Bay - The local story is the place was called ‘Angler Bay’, devolved because of Dutch incompetence (like so much else). Working class, a lot of Italians, Albanians and Russians butting heads in the shadow of the golf course.

  • Fort Harris - An installation for the US Army in the shadow of the Vespucci-Passage Bridge. Originally built for the Civil War, still holds a few cute toys.

 

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The forgotten borough. They purposefully leave it out of tourist advertisements, blur it out on the TV like guns in a music video. Suburban hellscape - might as well be ‘Derney.

 

LIST UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

EAST SHORE

  • Austral Bank - Seaside sand with a contradictory name making up most of Lennox’s eastern border. Has a boardwalk, the lethargic younger sister of Firefly Island.
  • Cairndow - One of the many Italian neighborhoods sprinkling East Shore, home to protagonist Adrian and Gambetti capo Salvo Salzano’s ‘vending machine servicing company’ - or so he says.

  • Verward Hill - Cute little Italian enclave on the east shore, site of a perpetual territory war with Holle Hill thanks to ill-defined boundaries. Both have hills.

  • Wallonstop - It’s Dutch, nobody who lives here knows what the name means either.

  • Griggstowne - Hit by a rather small tornado last year. Otherwise, nothing of interest. Hope it happens again.

  • Kust Stadt - Italian capital of Eastern Lennox, prime territory for the Ancelotti crime family. Home to ancient mob social club ‘The Scrapes’ - owned by Gio Ancelotti himself.

 

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When you think Liberty, you think Liberty - skyscrapers, Statue of Happiness, pizza, number grid streets, rats. The urban jungle. Only part of the borough is available, terminating at Hematite Street, beyond that the screen fading to static and relocating you to a random switch scene nearby hours later.

 

LIST UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

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  1. An Ancient Art - Adrian robs a poker game. Cliche. Loud.

  2. Status Quo - Felix makes a delivery to a prospective client, and enjoys a bagel.

  3. The Butcher of Bantonvale - The boys assist a store owner on behalf of Mr. Bove.

  4. Bathing in Filth - Felix delivers a package to Motya Shvedik as a way of solving a longtime dispute.

  5. A Great Big Pussy - Movie night at Bobby’s house turns into a visit to a local stash-house.

  6. Neither Down, Nor Feather - Felix discusses failure, is told to help the Colombians, and visits the carnival.

  7. Compromise Be Damned - With little information, the Bantonvale Boys visit a man with a distinctive face.

  8. Order - Kuzma Petrovich holds court with Motya Shvedik and his organizatsiya.

  9. A Web of Friendly Hoodlums - Doing a favor for a celebrity; Roy introduces you to some business partners.

 

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As you do missions for Butchie and the Gambettis, Adrian will occasionally be called over for a favor or two; resolving petty neighborhood squabbles. Monotony. The true face of the mafia.

  • Human Resources - A dissatisfied customer of a Gambetti garbage contractor files a phone call. Adrian is tasked with returning his trash.

  • Parent-Teacher Interview - A kid or two helps out at the Butch’s butcher. Didn’t get a great report. Roger’d really appreciate putting the screws to their principal.

  • Art of War - Cousin’s landscaping company took a hit, now Weir Ridge terraces are being handled by some Ancelotti nephew’s numbskulls. Teach some gardeners a few lessons in pest control.

  • Deconstructive Criticism - Whiny associate, Clarkie Contina, just made soldier. Won’t pay his dues to the capo but happy to flaunt a new house and a new Lampadati. Wreck the car. Do donuts in his pretty garden.

  • Clean as a Whistle - Building contract, looks great. One problem: asbestos. Too expensive to dispose of legally… or at least, more expensive than they’d care to pay. Take the truck and dump it out in Wampum Bay. Pollution for a pretty penny.

  • Owe Me a Couple - Foreman cut a few contracts and put a lot of no-shows out of work. Pay him a visit and convince him to rethink his decision.

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Weirdos, nobodies, egotists, degenerates. The best the city has to offer.

 

- DB-P & P.G. Jackson

Adrian’ll meet them through good ol’ Ozzie Quiroga: hip hop legend and head of Big Joox Records, DB-P, alongside his omnipresent protege Clayton. In halfway feuds with half the country’s rap scene, from Bohan’s Q-Whispers to Madd Dogg on the West Coast - sometimes brutality needs a little outsourcing.

 

- Ephraim Pendergambit

Investigative journalist; in deep sh*t, needs an underworld contact, willing to pay in cash. Felix finds him scoping out a Russian connected cafe in deep cover, decides to steer him in a different direction.

 

- Toby de Vivo

Guido dork from Adrian’s neighborhood, rap sheet full of petty assault and birdbrained B&Es and desperate to get in with the mafia. Piggybacking off Age’s connections, pulling him into a variety of rackets lacking in any kind of forethought or planning.

 

- Helen Kafengauz

Little old widower who sits outside the stoop with the other women in the neighborhood, gossiping with tanning reflectors. Taking a new kind of diet pill, Helen requests lifts to increasingly confusing locations, and Felix begins to question her sanity.

 

- Gad & Tad Dierkes

A pair of yokel Midwestern con artists, shaking down tourists and Floridians in bars and at pool games. Adrian accidentally gets thrown into a scheme, decides to tag along as they start screwing with the wrong people.

 

- Officer Regis Frumpley

Encountered via newspaper classified or simply hiding on street corner in Beechwood, the perpetually down-on-his-luck cop Frumpley puts the player in a series of harebrained, moronic schemes and obviously fake street crimes to boost his reputation.

 

- Darcy Pembroke

Absent-minded Australian tourist bumbling around Algonquin looking for the ‘real Liberty City’. If that means going into the ghetto and having his shoes stolen and camera smashed, so be it, and you bet he’ll be doing it with a smile on his face, mate.

 

- Chester LaSala

Mediocre stand-up comic and raging anti-semite with a poor sense of fashion and overactive sweat glands. Bombing at comedy clubs, he has a much quicker path to fame in mind - succeeding Casey Edwards as host of Late Night. By any means necessary.

 

- Shane Tovar

Itchy skinhead who did a few tours in the Gulf and Panama. Loopy as a racetrack, dull eyed and bored, he’s found himself a new hobby. Urban hunting; scouring ghettos for stray dogs and big game.

 

- Taras the Fool

Russian stick-up man, crack-addict, and lover of World War II memorabilia with questionable political views. Looking for accomplished thieves to help an accomplished thief rob accomplished thieves: bikers, gangsters, drug dealers. A lack of forethought and passion for his craft will find him in more trouble than expected.

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It’s 1992; Ammu-Nation still play ads on half the country’s TV stations. The Gulf War ended last year, bringing rough-and-tumble military trained outcasts back home from murdering civilians in the desert. The Union falls, bringing more illicit arms than the underworld knows what to do with.

 

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Here’s the lowdown.

 

LEGAL & ILLEGAL

Ammu-Nation may be lax on background checks, but when it comes to buying weaponry you’re not gonna be walking out of there with a minigun. Ammu-Nation in Red Line only sells hunting supplies and mostly-legal weapons: pistols, rifles, knick knacks.

 

To get the real stuff, you’ll need to go underground. Dotted across the city are underground weapon dealers who can get you automatic weapons, assault rifles, heavy explosives, and tactical modifications. Some underground dealers, pertaining to owner and location, also sell unique weapons. Chun Chun Fung in Chinatown can get you unique melee weapons and PRC rifles, Marat in Hove Beach has the finest in former Soviet arms, and Wade Johnson in South Lennox hands out nail-bombs alongside anti-government manifestos, among others.

 

LOADOUTS

While a few melee weapons can be purchased, the player is encouraged to pick up anything off the ground - be it garbage, loose sticks, helmets, sports equipment, or otherwise - and use it to their advantage. Melee in RL is messy, brutal, and unchoreographed, always playing dirty and always desperately slugging at each other or biting and kicking.

 

Guns in Red Line also carry limited ammo; heavy weapons can’t be carried on your person at all and must be lugged around via car trunk - slings can be bought, but police spotting you with a rocket launcher on your back will instantly give you a wanted level. Shootouts are manic, constantly switching between your weapons and the weapons of fallen enemies, sweating bullets and running-and-gunning through desperation.

 

MODIFICATIONS

Constantly swapping guns might not bode well for attachment, but sometimes a job requires extra precision. Underground dealers offer a variety of scopes, suppressors, and extendo clips that can be applied at your own peril - they can be retrieved from your personal vehicle after a shootout, but nine times out of ten if it’s dropped, it’s lost.

 

Particular weapons also have unique mods: the SNS can be equipped with a drawer slide for surprise executions, the 750 and Noch 17 can be tweaked to allow automatic fire, the high-tech D7 and GS9 allow for military spec attachments including laser sight and assault grips, and the Chitarra MP can be attached with a forend grip and dual wielded: inaccuracy and all.

 

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Natural to a game, you usually have to play it.

 

MODERN CONVENIENCES

The good old days when everything was much harder and far more boring.

 

Cell phones are clunky and, at the best of times, a luxury: Sumo and Celltowa brands purchasable at certain outlets for more than $900, barely fitting in your jacket. Dotted around the city are payphones by the dozen, contacts accessible either through your Notebook (described below) or by jamming the numbers in yourself.

 

The internet hasn’t hit the mainstream yet: meaning purchasing power is wielded in cash and closed fists. Cars can be bought at dealerships, cheap newspaper advertisements, or magazine catalogues the player can acquire. If the radio gets boring and personalisation is up your alley, buy a Sumo Beatboy and purchase a variety of tapes in catalogues and music stores.

 

Newspapers also come back in a big way: The Liberty Tree as the nation’s premier centrist broadsheet, the Liberty City Post and Morning Horn butting heads over top spot as the city’s tabloid, and a variety of niche foreign language papers and magazines for purchase at any local newspaper box. Includes a remarkable amount of functionality;

  • Front Page Stories are the window into the greater world; crime, corruption, capitalism. Overseas conflicts and foreign policy, like a war in the Balkans nobody quite understands, general politics like the ongoing presidential campaign between incumbent George Lawton and saxophone centrist Dean Boykin. And of course, massacres and mayhem - Jon Gravelli’s trial, story events, or even your own open world carnage taking the front cover.

  • Classifieds act in a similar way to your modern-day Craplist: odd jobs and favors. Hidden within the lines are a remarkable amount of random missions and shady purchasings; cheap cars that could be great getaway vehicles, manual labor and delivery part-time that get employers out of the grips of those pesky ‘unions’ and ‘worker’s rights’. Better still - an occasional heads up for the odd stranger or freak.

  • Entertainment is your way on catching up on gossip, rumor, sports and stupidity. Celebrities, film and TV reviews, stories from Vinewood, and odds for upcoming sports and horse races to help alleviate stress at the bookmakers.

  • Advertisements are the universal American language - a remarkable amount of mail order guff and coupons ready for clipping. Find an ad, cut it out, mail it and wait a day. The world’s riches ready for purchasing.

 

NOTEBOOK

For phone calls, and a mirror of RDR 2’s journal, is a handy notebook both protagonists carry on their person. Contained inside are contact numbers for pay-or-cell, the occasional recording of financial exchange, and a more personal account of the game’s events from the protagonists. 

 

You might learn some quirks, too: Felix’s notes written almost exclusively in his native Russian alongside sketches, Adrian’s enthusiasm for music and film (to the point of writing his own ideas down), short stories and stamp collections, and a shared love of dogs.

 

TRANSPORT

Getting around in the big city. Gridlock, psycho drivers, road ragers with a golf clubs. In a city of 7 million, there’s so many ways to get around.

  • Cars - Personal vehicles coming back from GTA 5, more often than not you can easily just smash a window and hotwire to your heart’s content. It’s grand theft auto after all. However, you’re still encouraged to use other forms of transport - thick traffic citywide and thicker than thick gridlock in Algonquin, not exactly great for a car chase unless you stick to alleyways and think smart. Yellow cabs return from IV, just as before driven by a legion of Middle Eastern psychopaths.

  • Subway - Deteriorating, falling apart, graffiti laden… but they’re improving! Governor Ignazio ‘Iggy’ Iorio is in the process of introducing UnderPass cards for better transit, installing more cops on the trains… don’t ask how they’re paying. It’s the best it might ever be, so take a ride, rob some folks, enjoy the golden age.

  • Bicycle - The courier and delivery man's favorite, perfect for navigating through a wall of unrepentant traffic. Great exercise.

  • Bus - Nicknamed ‘The Fox’, LTA’s bus system runs across the five boroughs and works as a nifty fast travel system. Another great spot for a captive audience happy to hand over their belongings at gunpoint.

  • Foot - Unlike previous games in the series, the cops will remember your licence plate. It’s easy for a switch at a pay-and-spray… but why not book it? Liberty’s possibly the most walkable city in America, so take a stroll. A million nooks and crannies, great for hiding and certainly great for seeking.

 

HEROES OF ILL REPUTE

Justice in Liberty City - hard to find, if it was ever there to begin with. But who are those fighting for it?

  • The Liberty City Police Department is an institution; the very first in the country, so much history the book’s five inches thick. Great for beatings. More than two-thirds dirty, they play dirty too - getting busted won’t just result in the mandatory bribe, it’ll get you bruises as well.

  • The federals - DOA, FIB. Higher wanted levels or more specific crimes’ll bring these f*ckers in, drug busts and undercover deals a regular threat in certain side activities and money making schemes.

  • A group in its own right are the especially corrupt: Beckler’s Boys at center stage. On good terms with gangsters alike, they aim their sights at the impoverished, beating drug dealers and minorities, planting drugs, or alternatively selling them. In the game’s drug dealing minigame, these guys often have some of the best prices… and the drugs the most baggage.

  • In District Park and South Slopes are the infamous Shomrim Patrols, ostensibly fighting burglaries, molestations and assaults in the city’s Hasidic Communities. They themselves are great fans of police strategy - mainly asset forfeitures and excessive use of force.

  • An occasional fixture on Liberty’s subways are the Avenging Angels, headed by spotlight-lover Jesus ‘Max’ Sentenz - poorly trained volunteer vigilantes. If you mug the wrong guy on the subway or look at the dude in the red beret funny, they might end up pulling a switchblade.

 

DEALING N’ STEALING

For the aspiring crook in the nation’s most decrepit city, the old faithfuls always stand tall. Red Line offers a variety of ways to alleviate your fellow man of their belongings: Mugging, Home Burglary, Hijacking and good old Armed Robbery - special tips from other crims leading you to bigger and better paydays. After grabbing hard cash, it’s valuables next - which can lead you down to any of the city’s fences. Mori Green operating out of a District Park jewelers, gab-happy Wade ‘The Fixer’ Johnson with the inside track on any number of robberies and hits, and many, many more.

 

On the other end of the spectrum is Drug Dealing, back from Chinatown Wars with a vengeance. 8 drugs are available:

  • Acid - For those who like to watch the moon melt in a cornfield.

  • Cocaine - The classic.

  • Crack - The reboot.

  • Ecstasy - Goes by many names, and twice as many colors.

  • Heroin - A classic, sophisticated high.

  • Speed - A favorite of rednecks and bridge-and-tunnel clubbers.

  • Tranquilizers - For the hangover.

  • Weed - The gateway drug.

Dealers can be encountered across the map in various nooks and crannies, special tip-offs can be heard whispered through a variety of the city’s hangouts. Stop by - could be a DOA bust, could be an ambush by a cocky stickup crew, or could be the week’s best payday.

 

MOBSTER MISCHIEF

You’re a friend of ours - act like it. With your place in the underworld, Felix as a well known enforcer and Adrian as an up-and-comer, doors are open that many won’t have access to. Extortion is available as a side gig anywhere and everywhere, simply talk down to a shop owner and you’ll have a good chance of getting some money out of it. Make it a habit and you’ll have your own protection racket. Watch where you do it though, the wrong neighborhood and you’ll have rivals on your backs or shotguns in your face.

 

Felix can access Russian hotspots at a variety of shady apartments and gas stations used for money laundering and gasoline scams, Adrian has access to a variety of Gambetti affiliated social clubs (and eventually other families as the story continues). Within are chances for conversation, side activities, or a good bet or two.

 

Speaking of betting; the player also has access to a variety of bookies across the city, great for the degenerate gambler willing to go ape for horse races and football games. But don’t go overboard - run into debt and you’ll have the worst collectors in the city on your heels.

 

CUSTOMIZATION

Haircuts, clothes, cars and cribs. Buy yourself a good reputation at a variety of designer stores or bargain bin thrift shops; from Gnocchi smartwear and Crowex watches, Heat tracksuits, Flying Bravo and Gaunt brand polos, or mismatched crap from a local Binco, on top of a considerably larger selection. Fresh haircuts from the timeless to the timely: from ponytails to curtains to frosted tips.

 

Cars can be modified and customized - it’s the age of the tuner after all. Lowriders are a bit more west coast but you can still put some hydraulics on it, no matter how tacky a white guy in street wear in a lowdown Voodoo looks. Aside from blacking out the windows and just giving your honey a little extra, certain cars can be taken to local street races, where morons with terrible taste put their gaudy ricers up against half the city’s traffic.

 

A few safehouses are purchasable around the city for a little extra leeway and valuable storage, all thanks to some wheel greasing on behalf of the housing department. Though your main houses will get the most appearances in the story, all of your homes can be customized with a variety of furniture, exotic decoration, and tasteless decorum straight out of Montana’s mansion.

 

HANGOUT & ABOUT

Back from IV and V are outings with friends: both protagonists with an assortment of folks to just chill with. Felix’s sister Nadya and old pal Izya, any member of Adrian’s Bantonvale Boys. With more to unlock along the way - from Rami Yalon to Joey Corrolla. Maybe Yiyo Monsalve will want to hang with you.

 

Take ‘em all over: bars, restaurants, movies. Chill at home, see a show. Depending on the company, commit a few felonies together. Visit a strip club, hold up a liquor store, go to the local cockfighting ring and pick a rooster. Whatever works.

 

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Life is short - have some fun! Watch glorified cutscenes and inhabit the world, from mangled looking burgers to cabaret to ecstasy-laden dockland raves. Take a friend!

 

TELEVISION

The boob tube is still America’s favorite pastime aside from overeating and violence, so enjoy prestige programming from the top networks in the nation.

 

WEAZEL: Trashy programming. Cartoons, violence, silicon.

  • Dangers to Democracy - With special assistance from the Federal Investigation Bureau and Liberty’s US Attorneys Office, host Stacy Picnic (he’s a man, and he’ll make sure you know it) fields calls, brings on special guests like mayoral candidate Marlon Faraldo, and airs the faces of minorities who may or may not have committed a crime to an audience of millions. Guilty until proven guilty.

  • IGW Suckerpunch Murderthon - The Intergalactic Wrestling Championship brings you a weekly glimpse into male insecurity; a bunch of oiled-up actors repeatedly having marriages on stage, melodramatically shouting at each other, and then rolling on the floor together.

  • Republican Space Rangers - Dick, Butch and the Commander are faced with a new challenge: when the Consortium of Interstellar Socialists falls apart, they have a whole new brand of alien weaponry to smuggle into ghettos and a brand new group of religious zealots to buy drugs from. Fighting the good fight.

  • Rockford Reprobates - Insufferable, culture-shocked Midwest kids spoiled rotten are exposed to the glitz and glamor of Los Santos’ creme-de-la-creme and all that accompanies them - hard drugs, mental disorders, fast cars, and masked orgies on spotless linoleum. In no particular order.

  • CUFFS - The nation’s premier medium for heavily sanitized police brutality. If you want to see wife beaters, minorities, and suburban mothers who went 5 over the speed limit get beaten with batons: this is the show for you.

 

CCC: Tacky sitcoms. Pretentious executives.

  • The Coolest Cat in Vinewood - Urban-meets-Upscale sitcom starring down-on-his-luck Lenapia punk Bad T, moving into his uncle Theo’s Richman mansion to avoid a triple manslaughter rap cross-country. Hilarity ensues. Remember: he’ll whoop your ass in cricket, and the cops can’t come in without a warrant!

  • My Five Uncles - Is it punching down, or a celebration of Boykinite corporate diversity? The producers want the latter but are only smart enough for the former. An orphaned girl is adopted by five funky men who get way too close for comfort in a cramped Chumash bungalow. Homophobic jokes sandwiched between bizarre moral lessons that only make sense to the coked out Vinewood moneymen who wrote it.

  • CCC Logicpalace - True crime and investigative journalism bordering on entrapment. A panel of anchors and presenters take you on a journey through the underbelly, guided by undercover reporter Clive Pope - a man with an unbridled love of blackface.

  • Tell My Dad To Stop! - Father of a family of four, Borris Starnes is diagnosed with crippling lumbago and a psychosis-addled penchant for constantly renovating the family home in Carcer City’s suburbs. Despite quickly deteriorating health, sanity, and pleas from loved ones - Borris won’t stop until he builds the goddamn deck.

  • Cooperation Cove - Faring the high seas from the poop deck of The Bloodborn Altruist, a manifold crew of outcasts, pirates, and gargantuan felt parrots extoll the virtues of mutual aid and assistance agreements through a variety of family-friendly song and dance numbers. The rum hooked on Captain Petey’s belt is no prop.

 

FILM

Blockbusters are almost here: but for now the film industry teeters between creativity and monopoly. Enjoy a show!

  • Ya Gazma: A Gulf Tale - Fred’s Pictures are back at it again, commodifying morality tales so they’re fit to slap on a lunchbox. A mix-and-match of just about any vaguely Middle Eastern story they could find, Ya Gazma tells the story of a silly young boy who discovers a genie in the rubble of Kuwait City. Voiced by somewhat beloved actor Mitch Dexter, he’ll grant any wish you desire… with a catch. Every third gets a random house drone striked by the US military.

  • Shoulder of Orion II - The long awaited sequel to the 1988 sci-fi bombshell, renowned director Barry Andrews hit the director's chair once again to bring you almost exactly the same movie, albeit with plants instead of lizards and several weird circlejerk scenes that the script didn't need. A box office flop and critical calamity sure to inspire nerds 10 years from now to proclaim its genius and awkwardly quote its famed lines at family members: "Pluto?! I said Mars, ya cocksucker!". It's... a martiassacre.

  • The Price We Pay - A major box office hit; a war drama about a court martial for war crimes and high treason within the US Marines. A lengthy battle and a lot of melodrama as people talk down to each other a lot about torturing people in Guantanamo. Luckily, the right secretary shreds the right documents, and all are acquitted. The day is saved and consequences are never felt.

  • Staycation 2: Losing It in Liberty - 9-year old sadist and terminal worrywart Ethan van Eisman is back at it again: stranded in Liberty City after a distracting mime brought him on the wrong Couira International flight. Acting out the best way he can; stealing his mom’s credit card, boobytrapping his rented Cleethorpes Tower apartment with shotgun traps and anthrax on the doorknobs, and fleeing from a psychopathic pair of vaguely-Italian criminals with a lust for his blood.

  • Prevent & Serve III: Operation Save-the-Streets - One cop’s black. The other one’s white. The streets of Los Santos rage when a new drug, Crazy Cakes, takes the ghetto by storm. Making the user more addictive and damage-resilient, cake addicts are committing acts of terror at the hands of villain Phineas ‘Kop Killa’ Ampleton and his mixed-race gang of equal opportunity drug dealers. There’s only one way to stop him, and it’s with a few broken windows.

 

SHOWS & CLUBS

A great time for you or a group - live music, live trips, live embarrassment. Or for the entrepreneurial spirit: a great place to offload some ecstasy.

  • Nightclub culture, you gotta love it. 40-foot ceilings, glass bridges, pink lighting rigs and smoke machines by the dozen and all that’s identifiable is equal part smells of sweat and hairspray backed by thoughtless EDM. You’ll get lost in the pulse of the crowd and in the time it takes to adjust to the fact that nobody has any faces you’re already on your second molly been handed out like a communion wafer by an 18 year old with a buzzcut and cheekbone hennas. 

    • Algonquin clubs; the nerve centre, the cream of the crop. Swank venues of techno and upper-induced euphoria range from Meaculpa in Midtown, Globo in Easton, Gay Tony’s Platonic Fury and The Fifteenth Minute on Denver Ave. Swallow your pride and compete with the bridge and tunnel crowd when it comes to arbitrary admittance.

    • Broker, mostly unregistered and ready for a police raid any minute. Down the deteriorating corpse of Broker’s docks are a couple midnight rave parties great for molly, coke, or designer cocktails. Spitzer, XS, Polygraph; warehouses where the rust got painted over and the sound systems got stolen.

    • Lennox’s party scene. Guido hell, energy drinks, hip hop at CRYPT with performances from little known underground acts like the ‘Wu-Tang Clan’ and ‘Q-Whispers’, upstarts best juxtapositioned with the cutesy exterior of The Substratum belying its reputation for raves and its regulars f*cking by the bathrooms. Like headbanging that’ll have your neck off its axis by the time you’re 40? Look no further than Blackhead. People love forgetting they’re in Lennox.

  • Live performances of sweaty men putting their hearts out: whether that’s boutique folk cafes in Papaver Village, replete with boho poets proclaiming their revolutionary love through verse or rock-and-metal at the infamous Dutch Oven on The Vole and Merriam Ballroom up Easton… or stand up comedy. White middle-agers willing to crack as many racist jokes as it takes to get the crowd going.

  • G-string dollar bills, pasties, peach scented lotion and whiffs of Bouche to spare: you know what you’re getting into but you’re doing it anyway. Who you kidding? You can’t resist. For an establishment where lapdance turns into happy ending for no more than a dub look no further than the Kitten’s Paw off the Firefly drag or Dagga Den in Beechwood. For something a little more refined, the looky-no-touchy ordeal and some drinks a little less watered down, luxuries afforded only by membership fees, look no further than Nasha’s Lounge in Westminster.

  • Cabaret clubs: a Russian classic with ten of its kind down the Mohawk Avenue drag. Try Gulag Garden, Motherland, and the famed Perestroika. Lennox Island specialties like Crepi! ran by geeps and wiseguys: mostly singing Moe Consoli covers over bowls of bolognese and bottles of Chianti.

 

RESTAURANTS & BARS

Get a bite, maybe several. Wash it down with cheap liquor and sorrow.

  • You’re in the food capital of the country, sure, but why not get some corporate fast food? Burger Shot, Bolt Burger, Food Fortress, Rusty Brown’s, good ol’ Cluckin’ Bell. Alongside these are a variety of homogenized family-owned places mimicking the colors for the sake of brand familiarity - they call that the Lennox Island Specialty.

  • If you’re not in the mood for a taste of the corporate future, try the family-owned, domestic abuse-bred past. Al Dente’s may be around, but why not dine at home grown Italian fare like Ali Mac’s near East Hook or Alazones in Bantonvale - even the infamous Gunter Halz Steakhouse in Hedgebury. From Italian to Chinese to near every ethnicity on the planet, all with their own great flavors and racketeering fronts.

  • Some days you look in the mirror above the prescription meds and premium pomade and mouthwash that only gets opened for the buzz, and you see a king - and a king should be catered to. Raid the closet for your favorite navy-or-black three-piece, gel the hair, and ready your appetite: sea urchin ceviche at LuPrizzo, caviar and couscous at Squintillius, a Rouennaise and ocelot pheromone reduction at Jane Lane - you’ll know when oxfords hit concrete floor and cigar smoke hits 40-foot industrial beam ceiling that you’re right where you belong: a harem for the virile; you and every other 20-something from The Exchange. You’ll feel it again when you pick up the tab.

  • Rotten mahogany thanks to piss and an assortment of other bodily fluids, an air of desperation grace of the assorted clientele: blowhards too cheap for pay-per-view here to see the big game from ripped faux leather benches, deadbeat husbands supposed to be working overtime. You know. The boys. Aesthetic and ethnic bent be damned it’s all the same and there’s no shortage; be it mozzarella sticks at The Dugout in Lennox, a headless pint in McDonnell’s Taphouse up Easton, pelmeni and vodka at Comrades Bar, century-old barstools at Handee Howff and Donnie’s in Suffolk. The list goes on. Some crowds never change.

 

FUNLAND, FIREFLY ISLAND

It’s called Funland. You may be here because you’re bored or high or just a hapless tourist, but so goes the official story: fun. And boy, is it ever a four-letter word.

  • Carnival Games - Mindless pastimes, undoubtedly rigged, and a great way to get the kids off your back: voluntarily offer yourself up as a mark for the outdoor games Funland is famous for - Whack-a-Rat, ring toss, skeeball; dunking a 400-pound man in the tank or lining up at the kissing booth. Win a balloon or giant teddy bear perfect for furnishing your apartment.

  • Drug Dealers - No less Firefly than cotton candy and indecently long queues, off-season boardwalk goers can spy the odd trenchcoat-wearing bozo with dark under the eyes. A contested spot for dealers and, on some days, an open air market.

  • Homeless - Sleeping under alcoves and benches before the planning department set their eyes on anti-vagabond measures, good luck crossing the boardwalk without one trying to bum a cigarette. But show the slightest inkling of compassion and you might hear some tales - both high and useful.

 

GAMBLING

You got money - spend it, double it, lose it all on the wrong horse. Get found face down in the Humboldt. The way it goes.

  • Bookmakers - Across town, the bookies’ll tend to the degenerate gambler in you. Football? Baseball? The handball game at the stoop across the street? Bet large, lose larger.

  • Inside Track - Legal gambling is also a fun diversion: horse and greyhound race free for the pickings. It won't be mobsters knocking, but the IRS knocks harder.

  • Backroom Card Games - Blackjack, Texas Hold ‘Em, Hi Lo, Durak, Rummy. A thousand different rules for a thousand different neighborhoods. Dominoes and mahjong also a good distraction.

  • Dice Games - Street guys might balk when you come down but they won't mind a wager. Let the die rip, get the numbers good, get a few bucks. That simple.

  • Blood Sport - In underground spots across town, feel free to walk in on some good old cock or dog fighting - roosters and pit bulls duking it out. If it goes a bit too far, cause some ruckus, maybe let the animals free. See what they get up to with a room full of meat.

  • Russian Roulette - A wager like no other. Spin. Click.

 

ON THE STREET

Dip into the park, the pool hall, the projects or the crackhouse for some fun, family friendly activities.

  • Chess - The thinking man’s game, or so they say. Grandmasters in parks aplenty, a favorite pastime of the Russian emigres with little else to do but play kings and queens under the oaks without the gusto to ever place a wager.

  • Basketball - Find yourself a housing project or public playground and you’ll no doubt stumble upon a lanky group ready for an outside challenge to stir things up. Friendly pacts of two bucks for three pointers.

  • Stickball - Momma’s broom handle and a tennis ball - when the boredom hits you make your own tools, and now hitting it out of the park really means losing the ball to the gutter by the liquor store around the corner.

  • Darts - You throw the pointy arrow at the board and try not to miss. A test of your booze-fueled marksmanship - play the intellectual who remembers you’re aiming for 180 and not a bullseye and you’ll do alright, occasional drunken challenger who wants the dart passing between his fingers aside.

  • Bowling - The Liberty City classic. A pastime so admired that the only sure thing is that by the time you get to the alley you’ll be stuck with a pair of shoes four sizes too big.

  • Pool - Pool to the crowd only playing it to pass the time between pints, billiards to the practiced connoisseur of the art of the cue ball.

  • Arcade Machines - QUB3D, the USSR’s last gift to the world. ConSumo and Duality, staples of every other pool hall across the country. Classics of old meeting modern blockbusters like Invade & Persuade II or Fatal Dominatrix - popping quarters ‘till your parents get bored of the bowling alley Pisswasser. Ports for the Degenatron DOOF and CJD 500 are available via catalogue for safehouses - on top of original games like Stu & Uwe: Lebensraum Lunacy or Pinko the Platypus.

  • Caricatures & Buskers - Good luck rounding a corner in Lower Algonquin without a caricature artist backed by a sax solo - we call it atmospheric. Appreciate the big-lipped Dean Boykins and elephant-eared Casey Edwards or ponder the thought of forking out $15 for one of your own, drop the change in the busker’s instrument case. Cherish and frame it like the Canadian tourists.
Edited by Cebra
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slimeball supreme

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The worst time in American history.

| SEE YA ONE DAY |

 

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| PART ONE - THE ITALIAN MAFIA |

| PART TWO - THE RUSSIAN MOB |

| PART THREE - CRIME SYNDICATES |

| PART FOUR - STREET GANGS |

| PART FOUR½ - MAFIA FARM TEAMS |

| PART FIVE - THE LAW |

 

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The sounds of the city, monotony and all.

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| FULL RADIO LIST |

Because this forum is hell and I don’t want to risk embedding problems, the radio list is available here. Will be updated.

 

With this selection comes a wide array of talk radio:

 

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WSOS 2000

News Bulletins

Alongside its own station comes regular news bulletins replacing the Weazel News updates in prior games. Reporters Mike Whitely, Susan Gevorkian, Sergio Carballal, Wint Kupferberg, and Hannah Zoss bring you regular news about bloodshed, basketball and balmy weather on the streets of Liberty City with an anxiety-triggering jingle and a lot of human interest stories. Enough to make you forget they actually broadcast at 1096.

 

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LIBERTY CITY FREE RADIO

Talk Radio

 

The Martin Serious Show

Liberty’s number one talk radio show since 1988, starring premiere shock jock Martin Serious. Crazed jokes, stunts, and scandals - alongside crazy characters like Goomba Rocco, Rick the Stunt Boy, and Lisa Lynn (who they’re always ready to slur out). They cross the line, win awards, and speak into a foghorn a lot while just skirting the FCC guidelines. He won’t sell out. Never. Anyway, buy his new book: it’s got a censored swear in the title!

 

Entertaining America

Nationally syndicated entertainment show. Lazlow Jones takes the stage and interviews Vinewood talent - musicians, actors, a Walk of Fame mascot who dresses as the Parasite. After an interview goes awry with popstar Anita Mendoza, new host and bubbly former intern Andee takes over and brings a more flaccid, boot-licker interview style that won't irritate any talent agents. Pat ‘Mr. Zoo’ Flannerdy, Wayne Tearson, Jack Howitzer live from Bolingbroke. A headline grabbing interview with partnered Los Santos rappers Madd Dogg and OG Loc, their domineering manager ‘CJ’ Johnson representing the West Coast's premier hip hop label. All the hits, flicks, gossip and slander to start your morning strong. Lazlow, meanwhile...

 

Chatterbox

Moving back to the LC area, Lazlow jumpstarts his own attempt at shock jock radio: Chatterbox. Call-in humor and interviews with self-help authors and whoever catches his eye on the news. Lazlow also has a short stint attempting Serious-style street pranks; usually resulting in his daddy issues and insecurities running wild or being escorted off the premises of his ex-wife’s condominium complex by security. Eventually starts taking meds and chills out a bit.

 

The Wild Traveler

Syndicated from WCTR, James Pedeaston gives you a very special episode of his hit radio show. Broadcasting from the palace of deposed Nigerian prince Sodiq Ughiadughe in the Congo, the listener slowly learns much about the Prince’s past: from his fortress to his child soldiers to the eventual revelation the man was never Nigerian royalty at all. But Pedeaston seems much more interested in the foot massages given by seven-year-old servants than the hot button politics.

 

The Fat Lady Sings

Morgan Merryweather, part-time Liberty Tree columnist in both opinion and music review, hosts his own radio show in the dead of night nobody listens to about classical opera he hasn’t seen, occasionally discussing politics he’s severely uninformed about. Empty call lines and special guests - like his Korean landlord or his neighbor who wants to just f*cking sleep.

 

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PUBLIC LIBERTY RADIO

Talk Radio

 

Intelligent Agenda

Famed Mike Riley holds a panel discussion between himself, Boykin presidential representative and full time wonk Curtis Colgate, and card-carrying socialist Owen Flement. Mike fields calls from people barely listening, repeatedly talks over Flement, and eventually decides to exclude him from the conversation altogether. Partisan hackery and compromising to the right wing sound a lot more easy, fun, and ‘realistic’ than any actual positive change to the status quo - so get voting, folks!

 

Modern Intellectualism

Your host Marcel Boer brings you today’s daily dose of science news from the fields of biology, anthropology, and phrenology. Alongside him are very special guests, all great friends: genetics researcher Gabriel Jade, cognitive psychologist Val Dippold, and their best buddy bankroller - Algonquin financier Norman Mauskopf. Expect lengthy discussion often interrupted by Norman shouting “What’s that gotta do with pussy?!

 

Rational Voice

Host and esteemed contrarian Flint Vaughan is vaguely-liberal-vaguely-libertarian-vaguely something. Doesn’t matter exactly - he leans vaguely left and it makes dough. A proud supporter of US interventionism, hater of religion (especially the one the browns like); Vaughan brings on political commentators and pretends to know a lot more than them even when it’s glaringly clear that’s untrue. And no - he’s not racist. He f*cked a black girl once.

 

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WKTT

Talk Radio

 

The Clay Kohler Show

Veteran broadcaster Clay Kohler brings old school conservatism with a healthy dose of old school bigotry. Since the 60’s he’s been putting a voice for the voiceful on the national airwaves with condemnations of liberal pussycats like boxer Malik Evander - now campaigning for Marlon Faraldo and the reelection of George Lawton. A heart attack during an especially impassioned rant midgame cuts his show short.

 

The Richard Bastion Show

Replacing Kohler’s slot comes Rich Bastion, young blood conservative with no patience for bleeding hearts. With Clay in the hospital on heavy medication unable to give screeching, insane rants spoken near-totally in tongues, the next best thing is a balding fat prick from Florida with a love of facial toner and benzodiazepines. Come one, come all, Bastion’s Buddies, and here’s to the future.

 

Behind the Headlines

Investigative reporter and vertically challenged journalist Chad Pickett is onto a big scoop - even if he made that scoop up. Near-slander smear campaigns as Pickett hires small time con-artists to lie about Lynette Boykin and spins ridiculous yarns about her past. Sneaks into her Middle Park East apartment and finds himself in prison by the end of the game.

 

Gather Round The Tree

Broadcast from Pastor Richards’ Hawaii superpalace, at the foot of his solid gold, 150 foot tall radiation-proof statue of himself. After being disgraced from the mainstream pentacostal scene for numerous prostitution scandals, the evangelical pastor has given up the ‘big megachurches’ altogether. But to survive the impending apocalypse deemed a necessary sacrifice by the servants of the Almighty, you need to send money. And lots of it. Very quickly. Now. Now now now. Now.

 

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What’re you gonna do? Take the subway?

 

While Felix has free reign over a personal vehicle, at the start of the game Adrian is only able to access his grandmother’s car on the weekends or after work. Otherwise: yellow cabs, piss-stained train seats. However, the player can purchase a variety of replacement personal vehicles for both protagonists that can appear in cutscenes - buying Age a little independence and Felix a cute new set of wheels. A number of cars can also be purchased for storage in garages.

 

FELIX’S REPLACEMENT VEHICLES

Canis Mesa

$11,250

 

Brute Franger

$18,000

 

Vapid Riata

$20,500

 

Gallivanter Baller

$38,000

 

Benefactor Dubsta

$115,000

 

ADRIAN’S REPLACEMENT VEHICLES

Zirconium Zodiac

$4,500

 

Bravado Primm

$16,975

 

Chariot Europa

$30,500

 

Emperor Magnate

$46,000

 

Ubermacht Oracle

$82,750

 

| FULL CAR LIST COMING AT SOME POINT MAYBE |

Edited by slimeball supreme
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The 90s in Liberty City, pretty interesting time period tbh, though I would personally set it in '94-'96 as opposed to '92, since it was the period where Ray Giuliani, the man who cleaned up NYC and turned it into the expensive amusement park we see today, took office, the effects of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Slavic immigration (and along the same lines, the Russian Mob) to the American East Coast were much more pronounced especially given Felix's background, and the fact that RICO was coming down hard on criminal organisations like the Lucchese Crime Family at the time, which would create a far more interesting dynamic and storyline imo (and also because San Andreas already did 1992). Lots of good albums, especially in East Coast Hip Hop (like Nas's Illmatic and Jeru The Damaja's The Sun Rises in The East in 1994, Mobb Deep's The Infamous in 1995 and Wu Tang's 36 Chambers in 1993) and industrial metal/gothic metal/grunge (such as Type O Negative's Bloody Kisses and Iggy Pop's American Caesar in 1993, Killing Joke's Pandemonium in 1994 and White Zombie's Astro-Creep 2000 in 1995) also came out during this time.

 

Otherwise, fantastic concept so far, and you folks have a knack for writing crime fiction, though I gotta admit, and I'm guessing it's because it's still a work in progress, some sections (especially the characters) are pretty heavy on the slang so it's a bit hard to discern what is going on. 

 

Would love to see more of the soundtrack and gameplay features, and the mission descriptions.

 

 

Edited by DownInTheHole
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universetwisters

Boy do I hope the Zirconium Zodiac is an 82 Wagon model like one I used to have.

I'm excited to see how this pans out, but I'm skeptical how being able to access only part of Algonquin would work.

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slimeball supreme
34 minutes ago, DownInTheHole said:

Early 90s in Liberty City, pretty interesting time period tbh, though I would personally set it in '94-'96 as opposed to '92, since it was the period where Ray Giuliani, the man who cleaned up NYC and turned it into the expensive amusement park we see today, took office, the effects of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Slavic immigration (and along the same lines, the Russian Mob) to the American East Coast were much more pronounced especially given Felix's background, and the fact that RICO was coming down hard on criminal organisations like the Lucchese Crime Family at the time, which would create a far more interesting dynamic and storyline imo (and also because San Andreas already did 1992)

1992 was picked for a variety of reasons - there's that end of the rugged liberty city theme going on with both the '92 election and the perpetually upcoming liberty mayoral election: dean boykin as bill clinton and his especially neoliberal policy, marlon faraldo as giuliani still sore after '89 and riling up people on this idea of a new liberty city. it's the very cusp of the ecstasy age, gotti's trial, the dirty thirty. almost everyone in the character list actually has a real life parallel that you can probably figure out by looking hard enough

 

the rico stuff is also getting shined on here - 1992 was the year gotti got sentenced and the bloody amuso reign finally started to come to a close. same with the russian mafia stuff, much of the street warfare waged by people like yaponchik and monya elson are right here.

 

san andreas'll get a few nods too. same general timeframe means we can make some deliberate stylistic departures and shine a different light on some of it's recurring themes; the crack epidemic, corruption of public services.

 

40 minutes ago, DownInTheHole said:

some sections (especially the characters) are pretty heavy on the slang so it's a bit hard to discern what is going on. 

it's a stylistic thing, we'll try to make things clearer. hopefully when the missions start coming out people get a better understanding of the who and the what

 

13 minutes ago, universetwisters said:

I'm skeptical how being able to access only part of Algonquin would work.

basically think desynchronization in assassin's creed: vhs style static effects blurring until you cut to black, transition, back on the street. we wanted to include more of algonquin but we left the cutoff where brooklyn ends - it's a whole lot of city up there lol

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The Notorious MOB

Great to see this finally posted guys 🙂

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22 hours ago, DownInTheHole said:

Would love to see more of the soundtrack and gameplay features, and the mission descriptions.

I bet The Beat 102.7 played house, breakbeat and dance music (like a mix between Wildstyle in Vice City, SF-UR in San Andreas, Rise FM in Liberty City Stories and Fresh 105 FM in Vice City Stories) in 1992 before switching to hip-hop and R&B a year later, kinda like its real-life counterpart, Hot 97, and kinda like Vladivostok FM changing the music genre from Eastern European music in IV to eurodance and house music in The Ballad of Gay Tony. If that's the case, then I think east coast hip-hop would be played on The Liberty Jam (a returning station from Liberty City Stories, but on the 104.1 frequency instead of 101.3, implying that The Liberty Jam later became The Classics 104.1).

Edited by Ivan1997GTA
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The Notorious MOB
1 hour ago, Ivan1997GTA said:

I bet The Beat 102.7 played house, breakbeat and dance music (like a mix between Wildstyle in Vice City, SF-UR in San Andreas, Rise FM in Liberty City Stories and Fresh 105 FM in Vice City Stories) in 1992 before switching to hip-hop and R&B a year later, kinda like its real-life counterpart, Hot 97, and kinda like Vladivostok FM changing the music genre from Eastern European music in IV to eurodance and house music in The Ballad of Gay Tony. If that's the case, then I think east coast hip-hop would be played on The Liberty Jam (a returning station from Liberty City Stories, but on the 104.1 frequency instead of 101.3, implying that The Liberty Jam later became The Classics 104.1).

I always thought of The Liberty Jam as a weekly show that would've theoretically played on The Beat 102 in the same way The Friday Night Street Jam played on Hot 97. If you were to truly map out the stations based on their real life counterparts you'd just end up with 10 different pop music and Adult Contempary stations which just wouldn't be fun, nor representative of the musical diversity of the time.

Edited by Money Over Bullshit
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3 hours ago, Money Over Bullsh*t said:

I always thought of The Liberty Jam as a weekly show that would've theoretically played on The Beat 102 in the same way The Friday Night Street Jam played on Hot 97. If you were to truly map out the stations based on their real life counterparts you'd just end up with 10 different pop music and Adult Contempary stations which just wouldn't be fun, nor representative of the musical diversity of the time.

Oh. Well, in that case, maybe the Beat 102.7 can have two music segments, one being the aformentioned "The Liberty Jam" that plays east coast hip-hop and R&B, and another one that plays house music.

Edited by Ivan1997GTA
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20 hours ago, Ivan1997GTA said:

I bet The Beat 102.7 played house, breakbeat and dance music (like a mix between Wildstyle in Vice City, SF-UR in San Andreas, Rise FM in Liberty City Stories and Fresh 105 FM in Vice City Stories) in 1992 before switching to hip-hop and R&B a year later, kinda like its real-life counterpart, Hot 97, and kinda like Vladivostok FM changing the music genre from Eastern European music in IV to eurodance and house music in The Ballad of Gay Tony. If that's the case, then I think east coast hip-hop would be played on The Liberty Jam (a returning station from Liberty City Stories, but on the 104.1 frequency instead of 101.3, implying that The Liberty Jam later became The Classics 104.1).

Yeah you've more or less got it - the breakdown for these in particular is essentially that The Beat 102.7's predecessor is The Pulse on the same frequency, much like Hot 97 they're still tailored to dance tracks at this point in time before transitioning to hip hop under the Beat name in 1993. east coast hip hop and particularly boom bap will be featured on 104.1; we're bringing back III's The Game rather than Liberty Jam in its place.

 

8 hours ago, JC_HUMBLE said:

I would love if you guys make a map

we've tried to go for a certain logic of expanding the setting to more realistic proportions than you'd typically see in a game but naturally there's a disconnect between what's actually feasible and what would be ideal for the setting. I made a map way back in 2016 for Bohemians & Blackjack and I've since learned that when you get to the nitty gritty, making direct references to particular locations in the storyline and whatnot, things tend to get muddied when you're trying to refer to your interpretation of a GTA map while also keeping in line with real life landmarks. Instead of an original map we've considered making a variation of it able to be explored through Google Maps. slimeball actually did this for Red Triangle and it's worked out well - it's kind of a compromise where you get to visualize certain settings (or at least their influence) directly without us having to sacrifice accuracy to adhere to the cuts that are always made to make the map seem feasible in-engine.

 

so in this case you'd have the actual map consisting of Staten Island, Brooklyn, and the lower third or so of Manhattan - or rather Lennox Island, Broker, Algonquin - but labelled with the landmarks and points of interest from Red Line and the streets and fixtures from IV alike. this leaves you able to explore the basis for our takes on certain locations, ones we'll add to dynamically as the storyline moves along - without readers only having a static map to refer to.

Edited by Cebra
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Francesco Bonomo

Excellent topic @slimeball supreme and @Cebra! I knew you guys were working on projects but this still surprised me. Liberty City in the early 90's was always something that intrigued me and cannot wait to see the delivery. I know it will be a great concept in every detail.

 

@Money Over Bullsh*t Did you also help with this concept?

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The Notorious MOB
1 hour ago, Francesco Bonomo said:

Excellent topic @slimeball supreme and @Cebra! I knew you guys were working on projects but this still surprised me. Liberty City in the early 90's was always something that intrigued me and cannot wait to see the delivery. I know it will be a great concept in every detail.

 

@Money Over Bullsh*t Did you also help with this concept?

No, it was all Slimeball Supreme and Cebra. Not exactly sure who did what but I can't take the credit for any of it I'm afraid. I'm just as eager to see how it develops as you mate.

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slimeball supreme

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“You ready?”

 

Screen fades from black: four guys. Red Declasse Accomplice idles on the road in pitch dark. Car's on that good part of Dillon Street; restaurants and delis and pizza places, pretty brownstones. Wet road painted neons of green and red and blue, storefronts open late or dead for the night with the doors shuttered.

 

“This whole deal is startin’ to feel way too f*ckin’ familiar to me.”

 

You ready?

 

Cut to face. Young face with serious eyes. The first look at our protagonist as he holds his own at the rear-passenger door, Age Tessa. “Born ready.”

 

Passenger side, pretty boy, turns head. Roy Zito. “Remember,” he says. “No names. This goes back to us…”

 

“Yeah, yeah.”

 

“I’ll talk. Jon.”

 

Driver, big nose and cropped hair, “Yeah?”

 

“You hear gunshots? Don't move the f*cking car.”

 

“I--”

 

Don't move the f*cking car.

 

“Christ, Roy. Fine.”

 

Roy points, side eyes. “Move.”

 

Cutscene continues, three guys get out. Desperadoes, Roy leads the pack, puts a hand up instructing masks. Masks on.

 

Hockey masks from the jackets.

 

Pack moves down the street, into an alley, camera lingers on the sign at the entrance saying ‘Piazza Plaza Restaurant’ as the trio funnel into the rear door with guns out.

 

Player’s given control and the reigns are his, third place of the three with Roy skulking up past garbage and gutter trash. Middle boy, silent for once, brandishes shotgun and scratches his side, sweeps hand through slicked back hair, duffel bag slung over his shoulder. Player can stay silent, can, has an option to hold the left-trigger down and focus on the guy ahead.

 

“Eric,” he says. “You good, man?”

 

Roy swipes, “I told you, Age, no f*ckin’ names. Not ‘til we’re past Outlook and we got nobody on us.”

 

“Christ, man. Fine.”

 

Eric shrugs, “Ready’s ready. Just wanna get this sh*t over ‘fore the speed wears off.”

 

No time for this. Three guys stop at a red door at the end of the alley, little frosted-over window peeking light through the dark. You can hear noise, hear ruckus and color from the other side, laughing and blind chatter.

 

“This is it.”

 

“This is f*ckin’ it,” Eric goes.

 

It goes. You get a button prompt, you take the lead. Press it.

 

You kick the door down.

 

Thing half blasts off the hinges and interior spills out into the alley, warm with the air heater going nuts. Neon lights lining the roof, Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac playing on LRR. These guys were having a good time; two-make do poker tables lined with ten guys each, a couple more with beers and sandwiches by the bar. Cards and chips splayed.

 

They all stare at you a moment. Could hear a pin drop, just a dozen eyes on you.

 

And then they start bickering.

 

It's bedlam, just guido rambling, “f*ck youse” and “mothaf*ckas”, almost as loud as before, maybe louder. Hints of Italian in between, some getting up.

 

“Hey--”

 

Noise noise noise.

 

Hey!

 

Noise noise noise.

 

Shut the f*ck up!

 

They stop.

 

Roy leads, moves to the center and points his gun around the room. “You know what the f*ck this is.”

 

Halloween?

 

The Pavanos laugh.

 

Eric, “Three of us are gonna alleviate youse a’ unnecessary valuables.”

 

“Get the f*ckin’ cash out! Not a f*ckin’ word.”

 

They don't listen: keep talking, music keeps playing. You're in command.

 

Shake ‘em up a little.

 

Prompt is simple, go up to anyone. Press the assigned button. Watch Adrian reel for the back of the guy’s head, grab him by the scruff of his neck, and slam the gun into his temple.

 

A few guys jolt. “Settle the f*ck down.”

 

Roy, “Settle the f*ck our f*ckin’ money!”

 

It’s repeat business: young toughs on the old gruffs who let go of their last dollar with fire in their eyes. If looks could kill they’d be from men not used to being on the wrong side of a gun.

 

You go from one to the next - fat fingers linger as long as possible as they pull their wallets, toss the wad into Eric’s bag, repeat. Think they’re making a point of drawing it out.

 

Age quips, “Just be happy we let you keep your credit cards, fellas.”

 

By now Roy’s circling the table, shark around the school of fish. Eyes catch on a big guy, purple polo under blazer and palms flat on table, silver watch glistening. Roy whistles. “Crowex. Anything but fugazi, huh?”

 

Guy doesn’t speak.

 

“Hand it over, old man.”

 

You’re still in control as Age: watching it unfold in real time, Eric hovering with the bag, shuffling hundreds, Roy with the gun getting ever closer to Mr. Watch’s temple. Jumps for effect: “Clock’s tickin’!” as the guy starts loosening it from his wrist.

 

Hold your sights down on the men, flaccid men who can’t make eye contact no more. Rhiannon’s kicked into chorus again - man flaps the watch face-down on the felt and Roy snatches it right up.

 

Roy whistles again, checks it a moment. “F*ckin’ purty, huh?”

 

“F*ck you,” wop snarls. Roy just pockets the thing.

 

“Now,” Roy’s ready to get up on the tables and start shouting, keeps himself down on ground level. “Youse got f*ckin’ safes? Where’s the house keepin’ the, uh… what’s the f*ckin’ word…”

 

Eric chimes in, “Pot. The pot.”

 

“You guys ain’t just got f*ckin’ loose fifties, you got f*ckin’ pots. Empty the pans, where the f*ck are they?”

 

Wiseguys can chime in too, “Up yours.

 

“Cheap f*ckin’ toddler f*ckin’ chumps!”

 

Roy twitches.

 

Points gun at guy.

 

Relents.

 

Deep breath in, deep breath out. Can almost hear him thinking. “You--”

 

CRACK, bathroom door gets wiped clean off its goddamn hinges, shotgun shells fly and people duck. Surprise lunatic decided to play hero. Adrian hits the floor, bullet cuts into the stereo and the song stops and fizzles out, just whirring and static and electro-gore. Fires off another round and the wiseguys start to jump up, reach for ankle holsters.

 

F*ck this!

 

Roy takes off, Eric joins second.

 

Gameplay hits.

 

You’re in the hot seat so get booking - Mr. Pump Action at the door doesn’t have bad aim, neither do the people you just robbed who made sure to grab extra protection before settling in. Pummel out the back door into rain, kick puddles and hear gunshots ring out and scream down the alleyway.

 

Roy’s booking it, Eric’s wheezing, nearly trips and half-falls into a puddle and soaks himself. No time for no goddamn remarks since he’s back up again, shoulder-to-shoulder with you.

 

Jon’s at the passenger rubbing his schnozz.

 

What the f*ck?!” Roy’s screaming, Jon’s barely holding on, barely awake. Throws himself down the backseat shouting “You f*ckin’ basing on goddamn--”

 

No time, no goddamn time, Age throws himself over the hood and into the driver’s. Eric hits the back, scrambles through the door Roy half closed outta instinct.

 

Shotgun prick starts firing at the street.

 

Go, go, f*ckin’ go!!

 

Wheels tear off, roar into the distance with the car screeching down the road. You’re driving, throw down north, east, west; south if you wanna risk running into Pump Action f*ckhead - but Roy’s probably louder than the gat blasts.

 

“--f*cking idiot!

 

“I’m sorry--”

 

“You got one f*ckin’ goddamn job! One job! Moron!

 

“I’m pickin’ up your sh*t and I was in the shop,” Age goes. “C’mon.”

 

“You was in a long f*ckin’ time!”

 

Two minutes goddamn long time! That a long f*ckin’ time?!

 

“I’m sorry, Roy!”

 

You’re not the only moron on four wheels squealing through half the borough: check the rear view mirror. Two-or-four psychos in a grey Zirconium Malta, can tell it’s the Pavanos you just robbed thanks to the ProLaps tracksuits and loud striped polos brighter than the fog lamps. Naturally, they’re too scared to shoot out the windows.

 

Good.

 

“These guys made?” Eric’s calm. Cool. Must’ve been bad speed.

 

“What?!”

 

“Wanna make sure ‘fore I shoot.”

 

Jon, “Don’t matter, like they f*ckin’ know who we are!”

 

“Small town.”

 

Eric’s prepped to lean out the window now - easy pickings. Slow down and let the guys pick up, maybe turn the corner easy; give Eric a good shot and he’ll start spraying his Lupara and dressing the Pavano windshield in blood.

 

Or play it safe. Hit the pedal. Roy might prefer it.

 

Keep going. Keep going until the cutscene kicks in; when you’re reasonably far enough away from the sirens and the restaurant, when you’ve lost the tail via bloodstain or skidmark.

 

And then nothing. Just the camera on the dashboard - a second or two of silence with the guys looking forward.

 

And then cheers.

 

We f*ckinnn’ did it!!

 

Something snaps and the energy explodes, Jon hits his head, Roy’s near jumping, Eric’s got his head back dog-eyed at the roof with the sweat dripping off everyone.

 

Turn the f*ckin’ AC on, Age--

 

“Yeah, Age, c’mon--”

 

“--heat’s f*ckin’ killin’ me--”

 

Fine, guys.” Click. Adrian reclines. Deep breath. “Fine.”

 

Cut to black.

 

Lasts a few seconds until an alarm goes off, a few seconds until plastic smash and it stops.

 

Color floods through the apartment window. The clock is on the floor.

 

Felix Godovsky sits down on the bed, half asleep, undershirt on. Just looks out at the street a moment.

 

Breathes.

 

Gets up.

 

You’re in control again. Bedroom is small, apartment made for one means trading between sofa and bed with sister Nadya. A lot of taupe, not much leg space. Get up - hit the closet or wash your face first. Closet is mostly leather, denim, black sweaters and jeans. You can hear the sink running in the kitchen so don’t walk out ‘til you’re ready.

 

Or do. If so, Nadya’ll look up from the dishes, chuckle to herself. “C’mon, Felix.”

 

Apartment’s old: old mouldings, old red fleur de lis wallpaper the landlord’s been saying he’ll replace for half a year, floral print furniture, flooded with light during the day but dim and dank at night. Wouldn’t be surprised if the place didn’t have gas heating, but lo and behold.

 

In Russian: “Have I got any calls?” Felix asks.

 

Nyet.”

 

Just a ‘hmph’. Opens the fridge, pulls out an apple.

 

“Good night?”

 

Felix shrugs, throws himself on the couch, stares up at the ceiling. “Is, uh… I tell you much about Lev?”

 

“No.”

 

“Guy is a f*cking headache, man. Gets on my f*cking-... what’s the word… the uh, the gears. They grind. I don’t know. My nerves. Вот и всë.”

 

Phone rings.

 

Felix near jumps, leaves the apple unbitted on the coffee table, scrambles for the phone.

 

“Приве́т? Gennady?”

 

Speak f*cking English.

 

“Sorry. Sorry. What, what is it?”

 

“You need to see us at the club. Soon as possible. Do I have to say this in f*cking Russian so you understand? See me at club?”

 

“No. I get it. I told you, it’s a f*cking habit, come on.”

 

“Speak f*cking English, see me at the f*cking club. That’s orders. Hit the f*cking bricks.”

 

Line goes dead. Felix puts the phone back on the line.

 

“Good time?”

 

“Nadya they-... sh*t. You know.”

 

“I would if you tell me, huh?”

 

Felix snorts. Too early in the morning for a witty comment.

 

Gameplay starts again - quick safehouse tutorial. Paper’s on the desk, TV’s ready for watching, sofa and fridge and bed and sink and phone. Get dressed if you haven’t, you head to the club in underwear you’ll never hear the goddamn end of it, but do as ordered. 

 

Hit the bricks, kid.

 

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+$650
(Adrian)

 

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ANOTHER BUMP IN THE ROAD FOR ALLEGED GAMBETTI DON

By Desi Tondro

As prosecutors began to draw the long-running trial of ‘Teflon’ Jon Gravelli to a close, alongside co-defendant and alleged Gambetti underboss Peter Rea; authorities have announced a retrial after evidence implicating the two in obstruction has arisen. Charges levied at Rea and Gravelli include jury tampering and yet more conspiracy, news Judge Rudolph Gross accepted with an eye-roll and habitual gavel-slam, and mayoral nominee Marlon Faraldo cheered on with raised fists at an early election rally.

 

With this news, justice can finally rest, get some much needed beauty sleep,” said Mr. Faraldo while holding a burning effigy of a ferret onstage. Justice’ll wake up strong in the morning, brush its teeth! Its teeth!

 

The retrial marks another hit for the Liberty City mafia in recent years with three of the five families hosting leaders in court; Lupisella boss Leo Puleo’s recent racketeering indictment and the still-fugitive status of underboss Dominic Sepe, the recent conviction of Ancelotti underboss Raniere ‘Neri’ Cantù and several co-conspirators, as well as the death of Luigi ‘Louie’ Valvona in 1990. 

 

According to lead prosecutor Linda Galione, the upcoming case “won’t be easy” for the mafia kingpin; with counter-measures like anonymous jurors being considered to prevent potential corruption and tampering. Gravelli’s lawyer, Zuriel Orzoff, decried the addendum as “unconstitutional” before throwing his coffee in this reporter’s face.

 

Do these recent arrests signify a shift in La Cosa Nostra’s iron fist around the Liberty underworld? Will the Gambetti Family bounce back from these indictments, or will Gravelli’s hands finally find themselves in a pair of permanent cuffs? Are we finally seeing the end of the mob?

 

I don’t know. Maybe.

 

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PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL CHARMS ON THE SAX

Viewers were delighted on last night’s broadcast of The Fraction Anderson Show when presumptive Democratic nominee for president Dean Boykin sprung from an interview on Fraction’s trademark purple velour loveseat, donned a pair of Rimmers sunglasses, and began honking away on a saxophone in front of a live studio audience. He received a standing ovation.

 

Boykin, who has seen his polling numbers stagnate of late and still holds third in the three-man race between himself, incumbent President George Lawton, and upset frontrunner Spud Laskey, made a valiant effort to endear himself to Anderson’s predominantly young, black audience by gamely - and by common consensus, failing - to jam his golden horn to a variety of blues tracks performed exclusively by white musicians. 

 

Washington hardliners from both sides of the aisle have been quick to ridicule the performance, calling into every radio show from coast to coast in an effort to shame it. One anonymous legislator with a particularly high, breathy voice said: “It demeans the political process. To play dancing monkey to an audience of -- uh, an audience of potential voters, frankly, it’s unheard of. And it’s not that I can’t play an instrument. I can. I play the flute and the clarinet. I was a Boy Scout. But I only play for my wife. Look, the point is that this is how democracy dies. It dies here, not with a bang but a goddamn sax solo.

 

This is WSOS, I’m Sergio Carballal. The truth bagpipe has been blown.

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I suspect there might be a segment of The Martin Serious Show on LCFR, which has an interview with Wilbur Spum, a cartoon creator who was recently fired from his cartoon for delaying the episodes multiple times and one of the episodes being too vulgar for the kids network to air. Unbeknownst to Martin's recurring guest and voice actor on Wilbur's show, Alfred South, Martin Serious plans to have them talk to each other and stir a fire between Alfred and Wilbur's already crumbling friendship.

Edited by Ivan1997GTA
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The radio section has been premiered - from the ever-present Head Radio tailored to the 'aging divorcée with a penchant for false nostalgia' demographic to the endemic boom bap of Game Radio 104.1 and reliably smooth classic jazz of JNR - whatever your niche, Liberty City's airwaves have got you covered.

 

also on offer are the range of talk radio shows: the returning PLRWKTT, and LCFR joined by the manic newsflashes of WSOS 2000. Questionable dialectics and flashes straight from the newsroom.

 

still to come: T&S, love letter to funk and soul, The Pulse with its dance tracks throbbing through every nightclub in the boroughs, and WBEX - when you like your backing track to murder and mayhem to come from string instruments.

 

Stay tuned.

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  • 2 weeks later...
slimeball supreme

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Hitting the apartment hallways after mission one leads you straight into an ambush: Izya Bronshtein toying with his apartment locks like he’s just about to leave. He isn't and hasn't - he's been out there about ten or so minutes waiting for you, with keen ears you'll probably have heard the jangling and muttering while getting dressed.

 

“Just the man I wanted to see!”

 

Felix stops, scrunches brow. “Clearly.”

 

“Are you busy, Felyen’ka?”

 

You are. “I have work, Izya.”

 

Then where is the suitcase! Ah? Ah?”

 

Brows keep scrunched, “...Что? What do you- I don't have a suitcase.”

 

“Is a joke! Is a joke. We can walk and we can talk, can we?”

 

Izya’s in a red flannel shirt looking especially disheveled, barely past 8 and it looks like he’s either just woke up or had a remarkably long day. Keys, still billowing cigarette, sh*tty little magazine catalog all multi-color, glossy paper, a fair bit crinkled. He’s rubbing sweat off his brow and looks like he’s got more to say than just “how’s the weather?”

 

Felix loosens, “Sure,” he says. “Walk and talk.”

 

“Walk and talk! Easy.”

 

Easy - walk down the hall. There’s this uncomfortable pause when gameplay kicks in and you can start heading for the stairs, Felix clears his throat, “So…”

 

“How’s the weather, eh?” Maybe you misjudged.

 

“Is--”

 

“I been,” Izya laughs, “My mail all f*cked up, I want this- I buy something from magazine, and- and- and the postman says there need to be- heh, I-... is strange. America - a lot of money! A lot of thing to buy. Just not so good when you don’t have to buy the money, eh? Or, ah, you know. You don’t have money to buy new TV or the new music player or so on. My wife--”

 

“How is Anichka?”

 

“You know. The baby… it takes up a lot of time. And she was working before so now, you know. Now the hands are full! I been here ten years I still don’t got my English so good, but she,” made a little explosion noise with his mouth, “She excellent. And when she quit it’s- you know. Not fantastic. But it’s worth it for the attention you can give, yeah?”

 

“Sure, Izya.”

 

“You can come in anytime! You haven’t been over for a while. Door’s always open to you. I’m always open for a phone call, you know.”

 

He’s right by the by - his door is always open in gameplay. You want to borrow a newspaper or have a talk with Izya or Anichka or borrow a pint of sugar or whatever, you can. It’s a privilege extended to both you and another neighbor you might see from time to time, Shoshana; she’s a physical therapist who heads down to the city on the regular, but she’s always happy to drop by with Izya or Nadya for a coffee and a chat.

 

Not important. “Sure,” Felix says. He’s warm, warm as he can - knew Izya in the old country and was happy to move next-door when they came down to America.

 

Izya was too. “Good. Good. Hey--”

 

You’re approaching the exit by now, you’ve gone down a flight or two of stairs and have finally passed by the mailboxes. Cutscene bleeds in, Felix does a cursory check of the box reading GODOVSKY. Nada. “Are you okay, Izrail?”

 

“Izrail, yeah… haha. You know what they say about Izya, da?”

 

Izyaslav to goyim and Izrail to your boss.

 

“Yes, yes, I’ve said that one--”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Yeah…” his face hardens, he gets serious, “Look. I- uh… I need a favor. I need some help.”

 

“Money?”

 

“No! No. Maybe, but no. Look - I’ve… I’m in some sh*t. With some people.”

 

“Ты в опасности? Аничка в порядке?”

Are you in danger? Is Anichka okay?

 

“Don’t worry! I just… if you come to my apartment and maybe talk maybe I can talk more. Please.”

 

Felix looks into his eyes. Deep. “Конечно.”

Of course.

 

Immediately back loose, “Great! Great! Here, here- take this.” Izya hands you the magazine, still crumpled, makes you hold it and doesn’t let go ‘til you’ve got it clutched. “A gift from me.”

 

Felix looks down. Budget Consumer Weekly. “Okay.”

 

On that, Izya spins on his heels and heads right back upstairs. Cool.

 

You can use the Catalog for mail order purchasing - neat tech, neat stuff for your apartment, neat miscellany. This one’s pretty cheap and’ll run the gamut of stuff considered ‘brand spanking new’ before 1985. You can find better just lying around, and if not that more specialised - be it cars or clothes or junk.

 

Why Izya gave you a mail-order mag as a ‘gift’ is completely beyond you. Put it in your jacket or toss it. Head outside.

 

Hove Beach.

 

You’re on the east-to-west running main road of Mohawk Avenue. Overhead subway train screams up above you, women in cowls and garish colors squawking Slavic, street vendors hawking newspapers and pastries. The occasional tough in a leather jackets, track pants, shaved heads and ponytails.

 

Hove Beach.

 

You can drive to the blip on the radar - your car’s right ahead of you, a red Karin Gogetter in the designated parking spot. But, Gulag Garden is only a few blocks away, so you’re better for a stroll. Take in the sights, say hi to some friendly faces and get “Приветствую, друг!” or “Отвали!” right back.

 

Get a paper, the Tree or the Horn or your standard cyrillic. Get a pirozhok.

 

Gulag Garden looms.

 

It’s on the corner off Mohawk on Hove 1st, means the line runs down the block when the place opens, green awnings and gold cursive - GG. Cut into an apartment complex where the old ladies who reside gotta pass by the waiting patrons.

 

Across the street from Kenny Petrovich's house, sandwiched between an alley and more apartments.

 

Employee outside sweeping the leaves off the door you gotta walk over without bumping into. Into the Garden: the green from the entry transitions to the roof, these supports and these floral patterns. The floors and tables in deep velvet red. Cobalt-black statue of a lady in the center.

 

It’s beautiful: in a tacky, ugly kind of way.

 

Past the bar and the stage where the bands play and the singers sing is the VIP table, walled off and stuck in the corner out of sight, means the civvies and politicians have to walk up past rows of thugs before they ask for a favor.

 

In the boss’ seat, Gennady Roitman. Skull head, bald, sagging eyes. To his right, his brother German, black bearded and thick headed in a permanent pout, sticking his bottom lip out and staring with nothing eyes.

 

Felix opens, “Living the dream, huh?”

 

“The f*ck you say?” sniped right back.

 

“Sit where Kenny sit, live like king. You want to be king?”

 

Shadowed, “In another life,” he says. “For now - I king of you. I rule you. You respect me. Sit the f*ck down.”

 

Felix opens palms, holds ‘em up, sits down with arms folded. “What was the urgent I come here for?”

 

Gennady doesn’t pick up on the mocking: “Delivery.”

 

“Get some prick to do it.”

 

“You’re my prick. Remo, you know Grimwaldo?”

 

“The polack. Or the Italian. Or the Swiss. Or the I-don’t-f*cking-know. Winogrodzki.”

 

“Our South American partners are gearing up for, eh… new shipment. This beautiful sh*t, they cut it in Thailand, some f*cking cooking Coq au Vin sweets and spices sh*t going to blow the nose off half the yuppie from here to Exchange.”

 

“Right out the gate. You wearing a wire?”

 

“I don’t like the f*cking attitude, Felix.”

 

German motions like he’s about to say something, puffs his chest out. Doesn’t. Sits back down. Felix scratches neck and ignores, “So what am I doing here? Congratulate on the job well done?”

 

“You were right I could get any schmuck. You were right. But I sending some product, some scag, car full in the car outside--”

 

“Car full in the car?”

 

Voice harshens, “--and I don’t trust nosy Uzbek f*cker who Benny set me up with.”

 

Benny Saravaisky?"

 

“Yes Mister f*cking Wire, Benny. It’s from up the ladder so shut the f*ck up and get the f*ck out. Musor Motya f*cking Shvedik do bullsh*t we need to f*cking deal with.”

 

Up the ladder, of course.”

 

“Yes, up the goddamn ladder. You don’t make no f*cking wisecracks with this guy, his name Yuldashev. Garage in Goatherd. He turn this scag down I cut you f*cking tongue out and Benny cut mine.”

 

Felix tries to speak.

 

Gennady shuts him down: “Get the hell out of here.”

 

German nods in agreement.

 

Guess you’re getting the hell outta here. Their eyes follow you as you leave.

 

You might’ve noticed a black Remington curbside near GG - probably not since I didn’t mention it, but that baby is your ride. Too fancy for a drug car you’d think, but whatever, galant f*cker that the broom lady got told to stay away from. You can pop the trunk: shotgun, dope. Shut it quick. Hop in and you’ll get hit with the sounds of WBEX, Tchaikovsky’s Valse Sentimentale and directions set for 19th Street.

 

Switch to first person for the thrill of being right inside the goddamn land yacht: cream leather glistens in the sun, red velour accents on the dash and lining the seats remind you of your grandmother’s couch. Decadence 15 years past now just unashamed self-indulgent luxury - hit the gas while Felix slaps the column shifter and mutters;

 

Land yacht. Jew canoe. Вялый кусок дерьма, скорее.”

Slow piece of sh*t, more like.

 

Slow piece of sh*t is jet black, pedestrians recoil at the glare stopped at red lights. You’re not too far so you can make the drive in shadow within five minutes - running under the elevated tracks’ Broker line through Hove, zebra-filtered sunlight from glare peeking through creases and the occasional screech and rumble when the Route 3 car barrels above you. Slow roll past warm-dressed casuals brunching under unshuttered shopfronts, a congregation outside Goatherd’s Chabad synagogue, foot traffic galore ‘til you reach your destination.

 

A block of redbrick masonry sitting not-so-pretty opposite bungalow townhouses on 19th - easily a dozen clunkers crowding the street outside in various states of disrepair, some with three-four-five parking violations slotted onto the windshield and nobody paying them any mind. Pull up where there’s not already a car and you’ll see the place is particularly nondescript: two massive garage doors graffitied over, signage: Автомастерская over a phone number and the requisite assurance - Registered by Liberty State ! We do LCS inspections ! - ersatz plaques, and not just one but many apiece.

 

Felix steps onto the curb and squints, looks up at the signs, eyes draw down to some guy by one of the doors, short and denim-clad and aging like mold - the type you’d get away with calling ‘bulbous’ with a little black newsboy cap. He’s got a bagel.

 

Hey!

 

No response.

 

Yuldashev!

 

Little man gets up, waddles halfway over. Good guess. Crumb-filled “Извините меня?” before realizing who he's talking to. Jolts, “No problem, no problem!” and signals you inside.

 

Felix stays put and smirks. “Yuldashev,” points to the sign, then the next sign, then the next sign that says they do LCS inspections. “You do LCS inspections?”

 

Da, da, we do LCS inspections, we certified and everything.”

 

Smirk graduates to a laugh, he says okay and follows Yuldashev inside.

 

It’s a garage. Dank and concrete-stained, one car jacked up on a lift and an office squared off on the side, glass blocks peeking TV light and fans running and fluorescent track lighting and some goddamn whirring from god knows where. Garage stuff. Second exit through another steel door leading out back.

 

Man keeps munching on his bagel, sesame seeds falling by the dozen. Intent look that old men often have while their neurons are still firing.

 

“What is your name? You are Saravaisky’s boy?”

 

Felix scratches his head, ponders impatience. “Not nobody’s boy. I am Felix, eh, Roitman sends me. Look, can we do this? I got soup on the burner at home.”

 

“Oh, Roitman. That, uh, Gennady, yeah? And his brother. Немой. You know,” he finishes his bagel and starts licking fingers, “You know, you hear such bad thing and stories about these boys, these men. I seen them myself, types that could break you with the hand alone so is probably true. But I always say, we say at home - В тихом омуте черти водятся. You’ve heard this?”

In a quiet pool, demons dwell.

 

“I’ve heard this. In English you say uh, the waters run wide? Or is something about the devil, I forget.”

 

“Yes - but I say know your enemy. Now we are not enemies, hopefully never, but I stay close to the predictable man. And these Roitmans, they may be a violent pair but they are predictable. So is not so bad that they send you.” 

 

“Thanks you for your insight, Yuldashev, you are so very wise. Like university or some sh*t. You want to see drugs now?

 

Yuldashev laughs at it. “You uh, come pull car into the garage. I will do inspection. Felix, yes?” 

 

Nods.

 

“You want bagel?”

 

Nods.

 

Go fetch the car. Street’s quiet for foot and regular traffic alike; deserted actually, save a white Pony parking at the nearest cross street. Felix asks the Remington if she missed him before cranking the ignition. Mount the curb and the bumper probably scrapes because it’s a f*cking boat, pull into the garage as Yuldashev closes the door three-quarters and rubs his hands together.

 

“Let us see what we have here.”

 

Felix gets his bagel. “Spasibo, Yuldashev.”

 

You’re sitting pretty while Yuldashev does his thing: camera cuts to him intermittently - the goods hidden in the spare wheel, under the seats, not genius sh*t but at that quantity you’re already facing a whole heap of trouble no matter how hard you might try and hide it. 

 

Bagel gets tossed on a tool chest as Felix reaches for his Redwoods and starts patting around for his lighter.

 

Yuldashev’s head pops out above the Remington. “Unless you want fumes in here to maybe ignite I think maybe you go out back. Better for the both.”

 

Yeah

 

So Felix totes his bagel and smoke and crosses into the back courtyard through the second garage door, gets comfy on a set of doubled-up tires besides. Place is flanked by high-rises with tiny balconies, kind from which you admire your hard-earned view at least bimonthly to convince you the rent is worthwhile. Felix sees someone doing just that from fifteen stories up, waves like a madman.

 

Yuldashev joins. “В полном порядке.”

Right as rain.

 

“So we - my associates - we have a deal?”

 

“Of course. Of course.”

 

“My ever-predictable associates.”

 

Yuldashev laughs, seats himself right up next. “I’ll be pleased to eh, uh… spread the wealth. Actually --”

 

The camera picks up and gives a pan of the garage while Yuldashev gives voice over - “I’m willing to extend my services to you, to your associates. Predictable that you may need… Я не знаю, respray. Maybe license plate change.”

 

Camera swoops over the entire garage from street level while the tutorial goes. Pay and Spray. While it goes down, more people wave from the windows, a car comes in from the end of the alley.

 

“Again, thank you, Yuldashev.”

 

“Hey, is no problem. Remember--”

 

Bang.

 

His head gets blown near-clean off.

 

NEXT ONE IS FROM MOTYA F*CKING SHVEDIK!”

 

Outta clean f*cking nowhere gunfire starts hailing down - a bunch of Russian goons with AKs on the fire escapes, two in the Scion at the end blasting with shotguns. You turn for the exit, white van screeches up in to block and the rear doors swing open.

 

“ВЫ НЕ ТРАХАЕТЕСЬ С ДЕТЬМИ!”

YOU DON’T F*CK WITH A MAN’S CHILDREN!

 

Felix dives into the garage soon as they begin unloading, bullets striking rubber and metal and ceramic. Cover in the doorframe with the rest of the garage to spare, easy way of getting the guys on the fire escapes. Pop, pop, pop - rest of the hit squad is about to roll into the garage.

 

Get away. 

 

There’s ample cover inside - cars being worked on, tools and toolboxes, machinery, the Remington. Round the side, off the hood, guys come bursting through balaclava-clad and bullets fly. Wherever you are, they dig deep into what’s in front of you, Remington tire bursts and the car sinks its rims into the concrete as it deflates and the bullets bounce and it glows hot red in the craters. 

 

If you’re playing it smart you angle around the corner and pull the shotgun from its hiding spot on the passenger seat while their numbers are thin - surprise, f*cko: they’re surely not expecting much in the way of firepower so they get an extra shock when they’re blasted back into tire piles and tool heaps by 12 gauge. Their herd soon stops crouching in from under the door Yuldashev had closed mostly-but-not-completely: before they’re all dust someone’s stray bullet blasts the button mechanism to sh*t and it slams shut. 

 

Back door’s a death sentence: courtyard’s walled in and who knows if they still got numbers on the fire escapes. Thankfully you’re in a garage - assign the shotgun to one hand and find a lone crowbar lying around; there’s bound to be a dozen. Grab one by the glass blocks peeking into the office - they’ve been blasted apart, you can see inside that the TV’s in a million pieces, someone cowering in the corner must not have had a gun so they stayed put. 

 

Not your problem.

 

Get to the door - essentially dead weight, f*cker’s heavy as hell. Dynamic minigame puts you in the position of prying it open just enough for Felix to peek under and ensure all he sees outside are the barrage of ticketed cars before really putting his foot down, stomping the metal hard enough for the garage door to fly upward along the track, ricochet off the stopper on the ceiling. Daylight awaits.

 

You got Shvedik’s boys off your back, good on you - but sirens are honing in and there are half a dozen bodies bleeding into concrete. 

 

“Пиздец на хуй блядь.”

What a f*cking clusterf*ck.

 

Clusterf*ck means run

 

As soon as you start hoofing it a LCPD cruiser makes its turn around the same corner the Pony was parked earlier - light goes off with that realization but they’re all dead anyway, problem is if you’re headed in the same direction you’ve already been seen and Felix couldn’t be more conspicuous if he tried. f*ck.

 

Alleyways, a godsend - a million nooks and crannies across the boroughs mean a million places to run through, hide in, cross to evade a line of sight through the smells and the muck and the homeless that know better than to snitch about which direction you ran. Search radius isn’t all, and it’s peripheral to the concept of foot-cops having their eyes on you meaning a whole heap of trouble. You’re safe even inside the radius as long as you’re outside their gaze, but they won’t stop looking ‘til you’re outta there.

 

Gennady needs to hear what happened. Oh god, does he ever. 

 

Payphone. Stat. Again, you’re not in lack but be sure to patronize one off the main streets - if you’ve still got it Felix puts his shotty atop the booth, struts his collar out from his neck. Scowls and dials.

 

Gennady. Speak.”

 

“Is Felix.”

 

“Ah, yes… compatriot. How'd it go?”

 

He's dead.

 

“Y- I- what?!

 

“Car is gone. Shot to sh*t. Drugs is gone. You hurt his f*cking kids?”

 

“Yuldashev kids in f*cking Bukhara you f*cking chump!”

 

Motya.”

 

Deep breath on the other end. “Bozhe moy.

 

“What the f*ck you do to Motya Shvedik’s goddamn kids?!”

 

“The Remington was Benny’s--”

 

“I don't care about f*cking land yacht, I care about pissing off crazy f*cking nutjob! Crazy nutjob who send half a f*cking army to come kill this f*cking guy, what the f*ck you f*cking do?!

 

“Wasn't meant for no goddamn kids! His kids are fine.”

 

“So what the f*ck?!”

 

“We put a bomb on his car. The bomb go loose and the thing don't go off and he find the f*cking thing hanging off his muffler when he pick up his kids for school.”

 

“You did what?

 

“Well, janitor found it.”

 

“He come f*cking try to kill me you f*cking idiot!”

 

“I'm your goddamn boss, you don't forget this sh*t!”

 

“You my boss? You become boss of f*cking paste I didn't make it out of there! This Yuldashev f*cking old man don't got no goddamn head no more!”

 

“And Benny Saravaisky don't have no car.”

 

“Why the f*ck he use his own goddamn car for delivery?! That's probably why they try to kill me you--”

 

Nondescript scream on the other end. Line goes dead.

 

“Gennady? Gennady, hello?

 

Pause a moment.

 

Slam the phone a few times into the glass before letting it hang off it’s wire.

 

“Глупая сука!”

Stupid f*cking bitch!

 

Phone left buzzing and beeping and you left with a headache. Whatever. Guess you’ll walk back home.

 

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+ Sumpmark 600

 

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RUSSIAN SHOOTINGS NOTHING TO FEAR, SAY LCPD

By Betzalel Vaksmakher

Another rash of shootings in the Hove Beach area have led to panic among a community of Russian emigres - and warnings from police that said panic is unfounded.

 

In Goatherd, mechanic Shernazar Innokentyevich Yuldashev was found dead in his garage, along with a rash of several other Russian men all toting weapons, and an illicit stash of drugs stored in a car with an, as of writing, unnamed owner. Many suspect foul play. The police gave a simple explanation. A lover’s quarrel.

 

“The Russian-Jewish community has been slighted with simply spurious allegations: of fostering racketeering and extortion, of criminals gone - pardon my language - bananas,” Sergeant Dolph Beckler of the LCPD’s 67th Precinct and outspoken campaigner for police affairs told a reporter for Emigrant. “Nonsense. No matter how many shootings, gang crime isn’t in Jewish neighborhoods. Drug crime isn’t in Jewish neighborhoods. What is this, 1920? The problem is crack; and I’d know. I’ve been fighting it for the better part of a decade.”

 

Not much has been disclosed of Yuldashev: a devout conservative Jew and ‘unassuming old man’ according to local conjecture. Some have speculated in the past that his mechanics office on 19th Street, the scene of the crime, was a front for an illicit motor theft ring, and the associates found dead alongside him were members of a loosely-affiliated band of thieves known as “Motya’s Brigada” - named for a criminal still believed to be at large in Tel Aviv. Beckler speculated the man, contrary to his religious beliefs, could have slept with any number of women, or something, or whatever, before telling us to leave.

 

“There is no Russian mafia,” said local restaurant owner and philanthropist (and owner of Emigrant) Kuzma Petrovich, an interview he happily gave adorned with a yarmulke at a Goatherd soup kitchen. Giving borscht to homeless and orphans, or so we assume as the soup kitchen was empty at the time of the interview, Kuzma beamed with a ladle in hand alongside Rabbi Shlomo Stiglitz, happy to slip three $100 dollar notes into this reporter’s shirt pocket as a sign of goodwill. “In Russia, the only mafia were the Communists. Here, we have found an escape.”

 

We couldn’t agree more.

Article translated from Russian.

Edited by slimeball supreme
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a. outlandish

Ok, that was a one good piece of writing to the bone. You seem to really have knack to writing. I mean, whatever you do, give a goid hard time to decide about being a professional writer. I feel like, you can be a really good screenwriter, or true grit/crime genre writer. Bravo my friend.

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Switch to Adrian - could’ve switched before but go ahead now, static effect as the camera swoops into the sky and flies over clouds before ducking down, down down, into suburban Lennox Island. A lot of little brick one-or-two stories, white picket fences and greenery a world away from urbania, a million more Manganos and Morellis than you’d find across the river.

 

It’s noon; you can find protagonist Adrian doing a lot of things, snacks or breakfast or music or the like, getting nagged on by his grandmother. Now, however, the camera lingers on him in the backyard.

 

Green lawn, stone-white angel statues and wrought iron chairs. Picture perfect. He’s sat down. Writing in his notebook.

 

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He pauses.

 

“F*ck.”

 

Checks the time, roll-up sleeve and his cheapo Kakagawa digital watch. He’s late. Late? I mean. maybe. Never exactly late in this line of work, but f*ck it right? Roy’s waiting. 

 

Roy’s always waiting. 

 

Blip pops up on your radar as Adrian gets to his feet, big R miles away. You’re Broker-bound today, like most days.

 

Head inside or go around the house, overgrowth and a gate to the left or right, but straight behind you is the back patio, some pavings with the hose and the lawn mower and whatnot, the glass sliding doors belying the interior of the two-family home. Only half inhabited. Inside are granite-topped counters, dining table, Nonna Tessa running ragged inside with the phone’s wire coiling around kitchen island.

 

“Age,” she coos frantic-like. “You seen my keys?”

 

“Huh?”
 

“Keys, car keys, key car car key. I can’t find ‘em and the boss is--”

 

“I got ‘em.”

 

This encounter coulda’ gone two ways - you slipped into the wrong one.

 

“Hand ‘em over, c’mon.”

 

“I need to see- I was gonna see some friends.”

 

“Friends like yours ain’t friends. They’ll just break windows one-down, I need my keys.”

 

“It’s part-time work, nonna.”

 

“Please hand me my keys, Adrian.”

 

There’s no choice in the matter. Pull them out the back pocket of your Ranches, dingle-dangle them disappointed. Nonna near-throws the phone and scrambles for them and snatches out of your hands. 

 

“Like that gook--”

 

“Adrian! Changgok. Mr. Changgok.”

 

“Whatever he--”

 

“I raised you better than that!”

 

“I’m--”

 

“None of that in my house. None of that!”

 

“Okay, nonna! Okay.”

 

She squints. “For shame.”

 

Leaves.

 

F*ck.

 

Hear the engine rumble and piss off from the driveway: you’re stranded. You coulda skipped this encounter by going around the side of the house and hopping in the car, but y’know. Your grandma would be stranded instead. If she beats you to the car, which is more often than not, you’ll need to find an alternative means of transport. It’s not too difficult, granted, especially for those who don’t mind a carjacking. But it is, if anything, an inconvenience.

 

Cairndow.

 

You’re kind of in a double bind when it comes to transit: you’re in the worst borough in the city. Closest bus stop is a couple blocks away from your little neighborhood street and the only subway line rides north-to-south, and most importantly, doesn’t leave the island. Hop it to the bus stop and you’ll be free to ride the line into South Broker Weir Ridge-way. Or just nick a car and travel up the Vespucci-Passage.

 

Regardless, it’s a decent trek.

 

The Vespucci-Passage is a long motherf*cking bridge, sweeping shots of bay and skyscraper that flow into brownstone. It flows past the Baldric Parkway and the aging walls of Fort Harris and the golf course spanning mile after mile. You’re in Broker now: a Little Italy too large for its name. Bantonvale, Weir Ridge - it’s all colorful storefronts, elevated train tracks, bakeries and butcheries and furniture stores.

 

Bus has a terminus a little ways away from the meeting spot. Book it, or don’t.

 

On 18th Avenue there’s an empty lot, used to be an apartment block until it burned down in the 80’s. It’s a lot of rubble and grass growing and the remnants of what they used to demolish the ruins, cracked cement barriers and walls up against the other brownstones. Right in front - three folding chairs.

 

Eric, Jonnie, and Roy.

 

Roy’s in a red sweater with the sleeves rolled up and these fat plat rings, arms folded, leaning back. Eric’s listening. Jonnie’s talking. On the approach, it gets clearer: “--he’s telling me what, he’s telling me f*ckin’ nothing. Fuggedaboutit.”

 

“Y’know, Jon-boy,” Roy goes, “maybe these guys tell you that ‘cause they hate f*ckin’ being around you.”

 

“C’mon.”

 

“You gotta judge a guy’s character. They judged your character, thought youse were a f*ckin’ cokehead sleaze, told you to f*ck off.”

 

Eric laughs, kicks a pebble, nods up to you. “Age.”

 

Roy now, “Took you f*ckin’ long enough, Adrian.”

 

“Sh*t with my nonna, Roy.” Depending on what happened over at the house, this dialogue might be different. Roy doesn’t take the excuse anyway, cocks a brow, but it’s worth a shot.

 

“Your ma works at one of those Korean places,” Jon asks. “Right?”

 

Adrian ignores, “I have to f*ckin’ race her for the car. Either I get it or I don’t.”

 

“F*ckin’ committed,” Roy goes.

 

“What? My fault?”

 

He stands, “You're livin’ with your grandma and usin’ her f*ckin’ ride. What, this part time?”

 

“C’mon, Roy.”

 

“This is big boy sh*t.”

 

“It's all I can do right now, man.”

 

Roy breezes past, looks to the others, “C’mon, guys.”

 

The guys get up.

 

“What's goin’ on? We goin’?”

 

“We’re goin’, Age,” Junior says.

 

Roy, “Chop chop.”

 

Chop chop is right, follow along. The guys cross the street past Albanys on the curb and broke fire alarm boxes to Bantonvale greater: townhouses brandishing the green, white and red and pizza parlor after pizza parlor. It's Little Italy.

 

The guys walk ahead in a three. You can lag behind or keep up, if the latter the boys'll spread a tad to accommodate your position. You're a posse, a pack.

 

Roy starts again, “There's this guy, he sells these discount autos out Europe--”

 

“You f*ckin’ kidding me?”

 

“What, Age?”

 

“What? What I say?”

 

“Like I can afford that sh*t.”

 

“Hey, that’ll change.”

 

“Yeah, go to the lotto, peel off some scratchers,” Age snipes. “Make it a day.”

 

Eric, “Eh.”

 

Beat. “Huh?” Adrian goes.

 

Junior laughs, “See, we won the f*ckin’ lotto already.”

 

“You peoples is speakin’ just f*ckin’ metaphors today, huh? Spit the sh*t the f*ck out.”

 

“We’re seein’ Butchie.”

 

Get a groan outta Age, “So we’re playing cloak and dagger because a’ capos?”

 

Eric lowers his voice, “Ya’ never know who’s listening.”

 

“The day we get up on Bureau corkboards,” Age goes, “is the day Jon kicks blow and we graduate to f*ckin’ 401Ks. You think anyone gives a f*ck about us, you’re insane.”

 

“Now, now, Adrian,” Roy keeps on the lead, “Butchie’s happy with what happened up at the game.”

 

“We nearly got brained.”

 

“We got some dough.”

 

“We didn’t get most a’ the dough. We coulda’ got fifties and made it out with fives and table cash. Some wiseguy pinky rings. You wanna count the brass from the shotgun shells?”

 

“You cannot put a price on sentimental value, Agey-boy.”

 

“We have to put a price on it, Jon, you f*ckin’ numbnuts. We’re not stealin’ memories.”

 

Roy snaps, “Shut it.” It’s time.

 

Butchie Bove runs a butcher shop or a pork store or whatever the f*ck you’d call it up the street from Destiny Park. Down there it’s chess tables and playgrounds where the junkies might gather, but Butchie’s spot is this proud, wide market with green text on beige.

 

Bove Family Pork & Meats

SALUMERIA - BUTCHER - CATERING

The Secret You Won’t Wanna Keep!

 

There’s a little seating area outside with a bunch of chairs and tables with checkered tablecloth - place is either empty or the guys seated there don’t allow many strangers. Today it’s the latter, a lot of old Italians with paunches and tracksuits lounging; reading, talking, one’s got a sun reflector soaking rays.

 

They give you a look as you head inside.

 

It’s a maze of meat.

 

“You smell that?”

 

“Meat, Jon?”

 

“Them good meats.”

 

Sure.

 

You’re immediately shadowed by a silent-guy type with an arm cast and this dumb stare who seems to respond to eye contact by weirdly squinting and scrunching his face. That’s Clarkie. Don’t say hi, he won’t respond, just keep following Roy through the meat maze past jars of anchovies and neighborhood ladies with shopping carts full of cheese wheels and antipasto. A door opens and you’re blasted with cold air into the back where kitchen guys in kitchen whites are hacking carcasses with knives and wiping sweaty brows with rubber gloves.

 

Butchie is one of them. He’s working some veal and his apron is covered with blood when he turns, “Madon’, f*ckin’ finally, eh?” It’s friendly, he drops his knife and comes in for the hug and lets a Puerto Rican employee of his take over.

 

Embraces Roy like a grandfather, Roy near-winces in fear of stains. “Traffic, you know.”

 

But no blood comes off. “You coulda’ come down early, I’d a’ been more prepared. Made some heroes, f*ck it.”

 

“That easy?”

 

“That easy. You brought the boys, huh? Adrian.”

 

This awkward half-wave, “Hi, Butch.”

 

“That’s good. C’mon, c’mon.”

 

You’re herded into the back office - there’s a fan going because the room doesn’t have good AC even if the air outside is winter-cold and opening the doors lets in ice-chill. It’s okay sized, a little couch and a mini-fridge, though six people’s probably pushing it.

 

“Clarkie?”

 

“Yeah, boss?”

 

“Can you f*ck off, would ya’?”

 

“Well, I was--”

 

“Please, f*ck off.”

 

Clarkie scrunches face and f*cks off. Roy chuckles, “This guy, huh?”

 

Butch just shrugs. “Things is things. How’s things, Zeets? How’s your brother? He still a f*ckin’ retard?”

 

“Kinda.”

 

“Kinda. Good youse is seein’ changes. Good about that.” He goes to address you and the others, “There’s sodies in the fridge. Beam or the Sprunk, you know.”

 

You and Jon have already taken to the comforts afforded - Jon sits, you lean by the wall. Both decline. Eric’s the exception, he’s still pacing, reaches into his flight jacket and pulls out a wad of money. “Roy said you wanted some cut a’ the thing.”

 

Butch just eyes it.

 

“‘Cause we ain’t here for f*ckin’ no soda.”

 

Does a little wag of the finger, “Who are you again?”

 

“Eric, Butch. Eric Lo Iacono. I wasn’t here--”

 

“La Eye-a-Corner. Got it. I don’t want no money. I told Roy, youse can keep it. I told you, right?”

 

Roy, “That's right, Butchie.”

 

Back to Eric, “I don’t know you, kid. Keep to sir. Okay?”

 

“Yeah, sir.”

 

Nods. “I know you got the boys in East Holland a bit screwy. Guappo ass f*ckin’ Joe Gervasi goes whinin’ to the big boys about this thing, about his game, says it’s outta line. I am very happy seeing that prick squirm.”

 

“Can’t snitch on nobody when you don’t know who ya’ snitchin’ on.”

 

“Precise-a-f*ckin’-lise-ly,” Butch chuckles. “Precisely. You guys make a good buck at the game?”

 

Roy shrugs, “We needa’ pawn some things, but it’ll be okay. Coulda’ been better.”

 

“Pavana’s are still mad, so f*ck if I care.” He puts his hand up, “Old news. I got youse more gossip.”

 

Gossip means orders. “Sure,” Age says.

 

Sure. Gets Butch to lean back in his leather desk chair smug-like and intertwine his fingers and grin a toothless grin, “Love ta’. You heard a’ Ollie Lulu?”

 

Roy, “No.”

 

“I known this guy too long. Too long. Zip f*ck with a zip ‘stache and- whatever. Runs with the Messinas.”

 

“So nobody.”

 

“Sure. He lives up Dukes or Bohan or sum’n and goes to Canada f*ckin’ eight days a’ the f*ckin’-” Butch interrupts himself again, gets breathing a little quicker. “I gotta hand it to him. I gotta hand it to him. He’s clever. This guy gets his own on the protection, the fees, up Schottler and Cork Villa and North Broker. He’s been doin’ this for years. And he ain’t even live there, he ain’t even capo there.”

 

“Yeah,” Roy laughs. “F*ckin’ genius.”

 

“And it’s funny.” Butch says. “We run those patches. And these Messina guys can come step on us and f*ckin’ get away with it. And they don’t even tell nobody. They just got back on the Commission and they pull this.”.

 

Eric frowns. “That don’t sound clever to me. Sounds--”

 

But Butch blasts past, “Ollie the Canuck f*ck from Canada has these two kids workin’ for him. Volpes, Mark and Fredo. These Volpe kids are built like f*cking brick walls, lucky guy, smart picks, and they play smart and hit f*ckers clever so they don’t say nothin’ to nobody.”

 

Age perks, “You want ‘em on an express ticket?”

 

“Nah,” Butch goes. “Their buttons got just delivered.” Translation: made men.

 

“So what?”

 

“There’s this jewelry store. Ran by this Middle-Eastern Persian Iranian f*cking guy and his little dick kid. I got the address,” slides a little piece of paper to Roy. “You can pay him a visit. Say howdy-f*ckin’-do. They drive this cream Albo Secousse, hip car. If it’s parked outside, those cool Volpe kids is there and you can say hi. If the car ain’t there, then the owner, his name’s Jafari, he’ll be right over. But I have a feelin’ he’s there.”

 

Roy just nods. “Fellas.”

 

Butch leans back, smiles, waves as the guys leave. “Hurry! Youse might miss a hello.”

 

Hurry is right, you cut straight from the office to streetside where Junior points out his good ol’ Accomplice. “You drove all the way up here, walked down to Roy, then walked back up?” Irrelevant - you got two choices. It’s styled like LA Noire’s driving system, press the contextual button to drive up to Cork Villa yourself, or hold the button down to pass the wheel to Junior or Roy.

 

Eric can’t drive right now; still has his license confiscated from that DUI.

 

If you’re driving, you’re driving. If you’re not, it’s sweeping cinematic shots as the car’s stuck in traffic and dialogue plays out - you can skip the ride like a taxi if you want. Eric just snaps, “What the f*ck was he talking about the f*ck back there?”

 

“Y’know,” Roy goes, nonchalant. “What we’re doing.”

 

“He told us to f*ckin’ visit them and f*ckin’ say hi. The f*ck?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“That’s not what he meant,” Age sighs.

 

“Yo, he didn’t want a cut?!” That’s Jon. “We gonna take bumps up for this sh*t and get a little extra, or what?”

 

Adrian, “Why didn’t you tell us, Roy?”

 

“Youse- well, I was- you needed the encouragement.”

 

“Prick.”

 

“I wasn’t gettin’ your hopes up!”

 

“We gettin’ more cash, Roy?”

 

“When we sell this f*ckin’ watch and those pinky rings and that, sure. You’ll get what he was gettin’. We get the calculators out, f*ck it. Do some accounting.”

 

“Prick,” more playful. Roy just laughs.

 

It’s a decent drive cross-borough as you get the workman’s tour from south to north. The brownstones are still brown, but crossing through the ethnic neighborhoods and the overhead train tracks and the broken windows, you’re passing into where the whites live.

 

That means the brownstones are cleaner and the cops don’t like the litter so much.

 

Jafari’s Jeweler is aptly named… Jafari’s Jewels. It’s on 7th Avenue past a lot of those historic white facade apartments, where the street signs are still black and the residentials came before the storefronts. It’s got an immediately recognizable black paint job and gold lettering, underneath the name screaming HAND-PAINTED FINE LUXURY QUALITY until the cows come home.

 

The windows are shuttered, way too early. And more importantly, a cream Secousse waits out front with a parking ticket.

 

“Is that white or is it cream?”

 

“He said cream, Jon,” Roy says. “Looks cream.”

 

Eric, “S'got, y’know, a bit of melanin in it. Look at it in the sun, c’mon. Cream.”

 

Adrian spins, “The f*ck are you talking about? You mean pigment, right?”

 

“Sure.”

 

“You said melanin, like f*ckin’ skin.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“To be honest,” Jon mutters, “thing looks champagne to me.”

 

A well-oiled machine.

 

Get close to the door with the cute red sign reading Sorry, We’re Closed and you’ll hear banging. Shouting. It’s not a cutscene yet as Roy gets close, wiggles the door handle a little before cracking a grin. “It’s open.”

 

Now it’s cutscene.

 

Camera opts for an angle in the corner as the Brothers Volpe work their magic - Fredo, this rat-faced looking guy with curls who stands lanky, paces the room with eyes darting everywhere except the entrance. Mark is different, he’s big, built hard and handsome with his hair slicked back and this snarl. He’s slapping a little Persian man, the one and only Jafari, right around with open palms, holding him by the scruff of his collar.

 

“We've been here all day you sand monkey motherf*cker,” Mark is saying. “All f*ckin’ day!”

 

“I- look, you are- you have to--”

 

Pap, another dumb f*cking slap to the top of Jafari’s bald head. “You what? You f*cking what? What you have to f*cking do, dumbass?”

 

Fredo says nothing.

 

He looks.

 

Looks to the door.

 

And sees eyes looking back at him.

 

“Hey--”

 

Doors burst open and sunlight streams in with the shadows of you and three others, note how there’s already missing jewels and broken glass and an open door at the manager’s office.

 

Enter: the Bantonvale Boys.

 

“What the f*ck is this?!”

 

Roy takes leadership as the pack splinters off to the sides, “You were warned, Volpe.”

 

“Who the f*ck warned me? Who the f*ck are you?” Drops Iranian to the ground and lets him scramble away, “This pencil-neck fa**ot fanook thinks he's a f*ckin’ gangster, huh? Come on!”

 

“This ain’t your patch.”

 

“You bet, fa**ot?”

 

He bets - fists are prepped.

 

It’s two against four in what’s most likely your first example of the game’s melee combat. No holds barred slugfests where the choreography is less choreography and more scumbags slinging fists and arms wild, eye gouging shin kicking sh*t. No rules, no art of war.

 

Fredo plays smart and goes for the gut or kicks at the legs; tries to maintain distance, this ain’t his forté. Mark has no scruples - grabs Eric by the shoulders and slams him into a display on the sides, carousel prongs in the back, tries pummeling only to get pulled off by Jon with an arm around the neck. It's your choice who to go for, either help Jon and Eric by slamming fists into captive Mark or try grabbing Fredo as he flails legs.

 

Eventually, something gives. Mark breaks free, half-runs-more-scurries to the manager’s office and picks up a little something-something from behind the open door. Aluminum baseball bat. The playing field levels.

 

Everyone backs away, Mark just swings. Wild swinging with no intended target, taunting complete anarchy more than anything else while the guy is swearing up a storm - “Two faced f*cking motherf*cking cocksuckers come on, what, f*ckin’ pussies- c’mon! Fredo! C’mon!” If you get too close, the motherf*cker slams you to the ground by the head and wipes off a chunk of health.

 

Mark narrows on Roy; Eric takes the challenge, launches onto the guy’s back like a chimp.

 

Mark drops the bat a moment to claw at Eric’s face, Eric just screams, pushes and smooshes and pulls hair, uses the momentum to slam Mark’s head into a glass display case. You see blood drizzle and things get worse; drizzle turns stream and Roy picks up the bat and hits Mark in the back, and hits and hits and--

 

A door opens with push-bar echoing. Emergency exit. Light floods in from the other side, footsteps. Fredo’s getting away.

 

Get Fredo.

 

Roy and Eric have Mark so it's on you and Jon, burst out after him into a maze of alley and follow in the direction of noise. Fredo has pace on his side and plays crafty, darts to the sides and grips walls and tosses trash cans to block.

 

Even in this city there's only so much alley.

 

There's a fence to jump and Fredo only just clears it, you hear him grunt and, when you and Jonnie get over, see him slamming and slamming into a metal door to escape. Door doesn't budge. He turns, gives you puppy dog eyes, yields fast with hands up.

 

“Look, I didn’t want no part of this, alright?! Wouldn’t- wouldn’t hurt a man with nowhere left to go, huh? C’mon! It's Mark, Mark was- c’mon!”

 

Jon, “You're Fredo?”

 

Adrian mocks. “Big bad Freddy Volpe.”

 

“Look- look,” he’s getting smaller, backing into a corner, “I’ll go. I’ll go! I don’t know youse, youse don't know me, I mean- we’ve already- we’ve already done enough, man, we’ll leave the f*ckin’--”

 

“You’ll leave the Arab alone?”

 

“Won’t get a f*ckin’ scratch! I swear!”

 

He's in no position to bargain. But is that enough?

 

Hands on century-old brick, rock and a hard place. Pitiable sight, he’s 30 seconds from blubbering into filthy concrete. He’s at your whims.

 

Choice. You let him whimper away, he’s got the message loud and clear - give him a few seconds more staredown and he realizes you’re letting him off easy, double-triple checks with an uneasy glare before hoofing it past rotten garbage bags God-knows-where to change his pants. 

 

Or - you’re half a contextual melee into making sure your point’s a home run; he’s practically on his knees now. Kick him and Age lobs a side foot right into the chin, something pops, Fredo collapses with screams piercing and scratching and clawing at a broken jaw - you leave him in fetal position. Else punch-wise Jon gets in on the action: waits for the nod before lifting Fredo by the scruff, lets Age wind-wind-wind for effect before popping him straight across the face. When blood flies from split lips or nose or both he goes limp, gets dropped like a bad habit.

 

Jon wipes hands and looks down the alley. “Think we made too much noise?”

 

Age shrugs, “Like the yuppies holed up ‘round here got the balls to come take a look, this ain’t Maschapi. Let ‘im rest.”

 

Take the long way ‘round - Fredo didn’t make it too far, 7th Ave cross-street alley behind the coffee bar and synagogue on the corner. Main streets speak Age’s prophecy, couple oblivious suits and sundresses dotting otherwise barren sidewalks. Lunch hour stragglers.

 

Adrian and Jon walk in lockstep, have some back and forth on the way.

 

Age: “Eric really flips like a f*ckin’ switch, huh?”

 

“Always been like that. Asked around ‘bout when he got pinched in ‘83, ‘84, whenever - never asked him what the beef was about but the stories, they run downhill. Grapevine sh*t.”

 

“Heard it was about some cooze.”

 

“I dunno. Kid lost an f*ckin’ eye though, had to get that reconstructive surgery sh*t. And, you know, juvie stint after telling the judge to go f*ck himself?” Laughs. “I mean, that’s Eric. f*ckin’ balls like nothing and you know Roy loves it.”

 

“Yeah.” Age pauses, “Don’t think Butchie likes him none though.”

 

“Butchie’s, you know- Butchie’s Butchie. Eric’s prickly. Honestly, youse lucky he goes outta his way to pay you any mind, Adrian.” Picks words carefully. “It’s just Roy and- y’know- Butch’s a nice guy and everything- but I dunno. Couldn’t pay me some, y’know, courtesy after everything my father’s done for him? Something more than some f*ckin’ sodies?”

 

Waits on a response - Age doesn’t bite, he knows better.

 

Caps it. “But I dunno. Whatever.”

 

Storefront’s still shuttered - ‘cept now there’s a little trail of blood droplets from gilded doorway to empty, Albo-less spot by the curb. Inside, Eric and Roy crowded around the manager’s door, Eric arms-crossed, twitchy, Roy leaning on the doorway with the bloodied bat against the wall nearby. The place has known better days.

 

Age and Jon pull up, stand back.

 

“-and, I mean, I think I speak for us all here when I say that getting the Volpe boys off your back, that ain’t no small feat. You’d agree, right - that this, it could’ve gone a lot worse a lot quicker, huh?”

 

Jafari’s seated, rubbing his dome either ‘cause it’s sore or it’s just a tic. “You- Mister Roy, please, I cannot truly give you my gratitude in any-”

 

Eric stops twitching for a sec and pops into the doorway, “Sure you f*ckin’ can.”

 

Roy plays the game. “He ain’t wrong.”

 

Jafari looks up, alternates quick glares between the Bantonvale Boys before standing up in a hurry, making for the doorway. “Okay. Okay- okay, I get you something, just give me a moment, just-”

 

Eric blocks his path. “Lemme’ come.”

 

Jafari lets it register, nods frantically as he grabs keys from pocket and leaves the manager’s office for another office, locked up behind shattered display cases and shadowed by Eric.

 

“Move it, c’mon.”

 

Just the three of you.

 

Roy shrugs, pops himself down on Jafari’s office chair and starts playing with a loupe on the desk. Gives Age a staredown with one eye closed, lens on the other, goofy kid grin.

 

“These things is stupid looking.”

 

Jon: “Whaddaya call ‘em?”

 

Age watches on as Roy gives the thing a real look-over. “It’s a loupe.”

 

“It’s a loupe. Think it’s worth copping, Age?”

 

“God no. My cousin Brando, he used to work the cash at some jeweler in Kust Stadt - things go for a dub at best. There’s probably ten of them in that drawer there.”

 

Roy opens that drawer there. At least ten.

 

“Gonna turn your nose up at two hundred bucks?”

 

“C’mon, Roy…”

 

“You two dealt with that f*ckin’ piscialeet’?”

 

Jon, “Done and dealt. I’d say we came through for Butchie in f*ckin’ sp-”

 

Eric walks in with Jafari behind, interrupts without hesitation by tossing Roy a little tied-up silk bag. “Check this sh*t out.”

 

Unties a cute little string, empties the contents into his palm: “Oh man,” Roy holds it up to the light between index and thumb, angle from above all too familiar while light dances wild in the fluorescent glare. “These is some beautiful f*ckin’ roughies. Age, check it out.”

 

He does. “Roughies is right,” looks over at the still-tepid jeweler, “can’t move these as-is. The hell you doing with uncut gems, Jafari?”

 

Says “No” to a question that wasn’t a yes-or-no. “No- I, we- is no matter, please take them as reward. Please, it is my pleasure- please take them with you.”

 

Jon laughs. “They’s blood diamonds.”

 

Eric doesn’t. “The f*ck we gonna do with that?”

 

Loupe hits table, Roy stands. “Ayy, no sulking, gentlemen. Let’s get outta here.”

 

No second word - Roy’s on two feet, the boys take turns shrugging before following suit. Jafari just kinda watches, pokes at his head.

 

“And you,” Roy spins around with the door half-open, angle stands high to display the store’s absolute state of ruin, “anything like this happens again, pieces of sh*t like that walk in thinkin’ they own the place… you know who to call.”

 

Jafari does a lot of nodding. Frantic.

 

Back into daylight, street still dead quiet as everyone walks back to Jon’s car across the street, Eric goes “So f*cking what?”

 

Roy’s all smiles. “So I know this great Jew in District Park, friend of Gabriel’s, pawn guy who used to offload glove box loot.”

 

“What’s a guy offloads sterling silver and old books gonna do with rough-cut ice?”

 

“Nah, not him, this guy’s high-end, ain’t nothin’ like Gabe. Y’know, difference between pawnshop and loan office sorta thing. Real f*ckin’ hebes, name’s Mori Green.”

 

Get to the SUV and Age’s designated driver this time. “Alright, let’s get it over with.”

 

South Broker: winding avenue passing around the solemn time capsule of Pierrepont Cemetery, black-clad grievers through wrought iron and lots of lunch-shuttered storefronts and tree-lined sidewalks.

 

Roy pokes. “What’d Butchie say the guy got the Volpes on the leash’s name was? Lolly f*ckin’ Lulu, some sh*t like that?”

 

Eric, “Ollie.”

 

“Yeah. f*ckin’ name. Thinks I’ve heard word about him come down from Bohan, come to think, pretty sure he owns some jewelry store himself up there. Real big mouth.”

 

Jon. “Whaddaya gonna do, Butchie says he’s in with the Messinas and a f*ckin’- uh... F*ckin’- Adrian, hey- what’s the opposite of a snowbird? Y’know, moron Canadians go down to Vice for some sun and blow, but- but the opposite.”

 

“A prick.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Button or no I’ll put a hole in both f*ckin’ Volpe’s heads myself ‘fore I ever let a Messina keep me up at night. Believe you me.”

 

Wasn’t the longest ride, really just a straight line dodging park grounds - and you’re here. Green’s place is as described - certainly ain’t no pawn shop, no barred windows or skeevy digs, typical District red brick townhouse, gold accents and big wood garage doors.

 

“It’s uh- it’s the stairs down over there.”

 

Park up. Get out. The stairs over there are the stairs down there, driveway slope under parallel the front steps of a place real prim and proper, stone flower pots lining the walkway and over-tailored lace curtains in big living room window. Whatever - you’re headed down.

 

“You sure he’s down here? Thought Jews like these didn’t like the dark none.”

 

Age goes for it, knows maybe it was a joke but doesn’t take chances on Jon: “The f*ck does that mean?

 

Doesn’t get an answer anyway. Roy pounds on the door. Silence, a lot of it - then a slot moves horizontal, beady eyes squint: smile. Door opens wide.

 

Shortish guy, bad hunch. Corduroy sweater vest, smart collar, hasidic curls framing a face fast approaching middle age - but he’s happy to see you if nothing else, opens arms wide and gestures everybody inside and gets touchy-touchy with their shoulders as they walk past: “Ahh, Roy, long time, long time.” Soft voice.

 

Place inside is, if nothing else, cozy - see the door’s metal-reinforced on the interior, place totally scattered with trinkets; not pawn-shop sh*t, not at all - antiques, unmatched chairs and carved wood tables, grandfather clocks. You know it smells old, parquet flooring and tin ceilings hitting it home.

 

“Boys. Boys. What can I do for ya’? I don’t- uh--” Gets disturbed real quick - by the back wall next to a series of dressers draped in fabric, foggy glass hiding a staircase going up, bunch of kids - just boys, really - go running, running and playing, something electronic in hand, early double digits holding their kippahs tight.

 

“Hey!” snaps fingers, “Hey!” You’d think he’s yelling - Mori Green doesn’t yell.

 

Taller boy in full get-up shadowing the kiddy train with another older though, he hears. Acts like he doesn’t.

 

“Isaac, get in here!”

 

He does, head bowed and curls dangling, typical teenage little sh*t. Comes close, Bantonvale Boys start fidgeting, Roy takes up his throne on some filing cabinets. Kid peps up, his attitude might just as well have been for show.

 

“Yeah, Mori?”

 

“Come on, tatte. Mir hobn gest. Get- bring the boys back upstairs, will ya? Just give us a couple minutes. Close the door after you, huh?”

I have guests.

 

Kid doesn’t talk, you get the idea he doesn’t talk much at all - kinda mumbles as he walks off and herds the kids away with the other, shepherds them up the stairs and shuts the door as the air hangs heavy.

 

Roy’s all smiles now. “Protege?”

 

“Eh, something like that.” Mori’s on two feet, clears his desk and shoves clutter in drawers and moves-moves-moves. “He’s uh, he sang in the choir at the synagogue. Kid’s a smart nut, lemme tell you - straight A, klug like nothing. Real drive. You didn’t hear, he got a speech impediment- one of those you can’t uh, can’t enunciate your Rs, you know? And he ain’t let that stop him from the choir, nothin’ but success in school. An Ivy Leaguer in the making, no doubt- you know, bezrat hashem.”

 

He takes a seat on the corner of his desk, interlaces fingers. “What can I do for ya’ today?”

 

Boys’re tired. Roy pulls the sack from jacket pocket, silk or satin, whatever - hands it right over. 

 

Mori knows what he’s holding.

 

“Oh, boys, boys. What’d you get into this time?”

 

Roy shrugs. “Some stunad’ f*ckin’ Persian or something, whatever the f*ck. Decent score, you know.”

 

“Oh,” Mori pulls the ice out into palm, holds it up to light, “Jafari?”

 

Guessing game. Roy checks Age for affirmation, he nods. “Yeah.”

 

“Yeah, figured. Place’s a shvindl anyway, no big loss, insurance’ll come through.” Pause. “His son’s a c*nt- you, you meet his son?”

 

Heads shake.

 

“Ah. Well- gimme a second here.”

 

Loupe. Desk. More waiting - proper exam, everyone stretching and rubbing necks and swallowing loud enough you can hear it. Footsteps pitter-patter upstairs.

 

“These is scuffed, huh, Roy?”

 

“Are they?”

 

“Eh. Certainly no virgin gems, who knows where Jafari got his hands on ‘em. Can’t trust no jewelers like that- ‘less you’re dealing with your big names you don’t go to the storefront with the gold-bezeled doorways. Trust me on that.” Clears his throat. “Don’t worry though, I’ll still fetch you boys a pretty penny.”

 

Just like that. Jewels go into jewel bag, jewel bag into drawer - beside pencils and sharpeners and snowglobes and notebooks. But they’ll see a profit eventually.

 

Eric doesn’t like eventually. “Hope you got a quick turnaround on these things, pal.”

 

Mori gapes Roy for something, back at Eric. “Well, well- usually I’d say, uh, gimme two weeks. Three at the most. Like I said they’re scuffed, not beyond repair or nothing, but, you know. Scuffed. I’ll work my magic, kid. No zorgers at Mori’s, huh?”

 

“What?”

 

“Don’t worry. We done here, Roy? My wife’s having a little get-together upstairs, wants me to show my face, you know?”

 

“Yeah. Yeah, we’ll get out of your hair. You still got my number?”

 

“I do.”

 

They shake and a lightbulb goes off. “Oh- sh*t, hey, Mori, hold.” Roy clasps the Crowex off his wrist, slaps it down on Mori’s palm. “Think you can take this off my hands?”

 

Mori puts it on, weighs it around. “You got the box and papers?”

 

Just looks at him.
 

“Alright. Still- I only seen one of these in person, this poor schmuck from Dukes on his fourth divorce. It’s a Crowex alright, self-winding, sweeping hands, date aperture. Real snazzy. I got the thirty-day hold on these now, least officially, but I’d get you at least eight Gs for it. Least.”

 

“No sh*t?”

 

A nod, he unclasps it. “I can take it off your hands now. Won’t have to wait no weeks for a turnaround on this.”

 

Thoughts bubble. Roy considers, answers by taking it back and wrapping it right back on. “I dunno, Mor', wrist feels a bit light without. I’ll be back.”

 

Jon’s already shadowing the doorway. This close. Roy clicks his tongue and points two handed; that’s the goodbye cue.

 

“Hey, give my regards to Gabriel, alright? Haven’t seen the guy in a while now, starting to think that liquidation center’s gone to his head, huh? Some kind of macher now, I dunno.”

 

“Ain’t seen him in weeks neither,” Roy on his way out, “but uh, I see him I’ll let him know you’re longin’ for the guy.”

 

“Sure. See you, boys.”

 

Daylight. Sun’s caress kisses you warm, kisses you deep out of basement depth, away from broken glass and blood and jewelery. Parked cars galore and a Trashmaster putting along with a rhythmic shift as it picks up sh*t.

 

Adrian’s on fidgety feet, ready to leave business behind. “So that’s that, huh?”

 

“That’s that. Mori’s a good guy, y’know. Just gotta give him some time.”

 

Eric, “Better sooner than later. Don’t trust nobody holding onto jewelry, Roy.”

 

“You can trust him. We can trust the guy, I got no question. C’mon.”

 

“Where we headed, Age?”

 

C’mon. It’s just as much an invite as filler - your business is done but you’re already grouped up, Jon’s Accomplice still waiting curbside for transport to anywhere and everywhere - mid-afternoon bars are inviting as ever, quick bite, f*ckin’ stroll on the pier - it’s up to you, wop posse and unlimited possibility. 

 

Or maybe you’ve had your fix of their friendly faces for the day. Age’ll break off with niceties, you’re on your own down the boulevard as the guys chuff off in the SUV, high-end stores in arms reach even if the prices ain’t. But you can browse.

 

You’re free.

 

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+ $1,800

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SPORTS: TROUBLED SF LINEBACKER CONFUSES SLURS

By Barry Cherry

Star linebacker for the San Fierro 69ers, Cecil Zubrzycki, yet again courted controversy at the conclusion of a recent game against the Liberty City Wrath by accidentally calling defensive back Adel Tolbert a ‘little f*cking honkey’.

 

The game, a 31 - 14 rout in the 69ers favor with the Wrath playing to a dejected crowd in their home stadium, ended in bewilderment as Zubrzycki attempted to start a fight with Tolbert but ‘used the wrong insult’ as Tolbert recounted in a daze in a post game interview. “I don’t- I think he was tryna’ call me the n-word, but just… was it the mood? I don’t know.” Tolbert wandered off in the middle of further questions with his head in his hands.

 

An emergency press conference hosted after the game by the linebacker ended in pandemonium as an increasingly anxious Zubrzycki further apologized and justified himself. “In the future,” he said, “I will call the man a coon. But a honkey, that’s- I get my- look, you- I get- I don’t mince my words, I f*cked up, but- you, look- I- mincin’ is, I- you callin’ me a queer?” Zubrzycki was further defensive to reporters stating that: “I am great at the sports [sic] and with my hands, that I love. I don’t mince words, I don't- I just- just don't do none of that faggy sh*t."

 

The conference concluded with the player tearing off his shirt and screaming before running into traffic; a move that his agent described as “not influenced by steroids or chemicals or nothing, just white pride.” He did not respond to further comment.

Edited by Cebra
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a. outlandish

Your dialogs are crafted masterfully, it feels so organic.  doesn't feel like it is from any kind of scripture. Pretty good job, if i may say so.

Edited by a. outlandish
Reduction and sh*t
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  • 3 weeks later...

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The Garden is empty when you arrive again. Look left, look right, one of the staff - girl barely in her twenties, is fixing up and scrubbing down and adjusting cloth on the table. Felix approaches, airs out his jacket, asks quiet “My- er… I have meeting.”

 

She's bored. “Yes?”

 

“Do you know Mr. Roitman?”

 

Still bored. “Which?”

 

Cut - banging behind metal door. Kitchen door with a little glass submarine window all steamed up, door pushes open and the banging gets louder and it's shouting.

 

“БЛЯДЬ! БЛЯДЬ! БЛЯДЬ! СУКА БЛЯДЬ!”

F*CK! F*CK! F*CK! F*CKING BITCH!

 

Camera cranes closer, Gennady is just tossing pans and kicking and thrashing, tantrum time, lunatic screaming at nothing and nowhere. “Gena?”

 

“YOU SHUT THE F*CK UP, C*NT.”

 

Felix stares. Gennady stops. Blinks. Reflexively slicks back hair that isn't there, drops his hands to his hips and eyes to the floor. Mess. There's stains all over and you can't place exactly where they're from. There's stainless steel in a million places. You look a second longer and Gennady’s shirt is drenched, top buttons undone.

 

Felix keeps staring. “How long has it been?”

 

“I don't need this.”

 

“Where are the cooks?”

 

“I cook- you want to know what I been cooking? I cook little deal, I get Kuzma, we talk about this and that and- we get Remo, he talks to these boys in Colombia.”

 

“I know.”

 

“I don't need this.”

 

“Yes.”

 

Gennady sighs. “German.”

 

German side-steps from behind the door with his hands clasped behind his back.

 

Felix cracks up.

 

It's a good few seconds of just laughing when Gennady lets out a weak “Заткнись,” gets harder when the laughing don't stop. “Shut up, Felix.”

 

German gets dangerously close to saying a word.

 

“How the f*ck long you behind the door, German?”

 

“He's not behind the door.”

 

Felix wipes eye, “He's just standing there and door open and he doesn't f*cking move?” Turns back to German, “Buddy, why don't you move?”

 

“Felix--”

 

“No- no, really,” he spits between new spurts of laughter, “is like f*cking TV show or something. Is very good comedy timing, German, man, maybe you are in the wrong line of work. What, you don’t want to see me?”

 

German almost blushes - he’s usually red anyway but now he’s either flustered or just wants to crush your throat. And he could.

 

Gena doesn’t want that, roars “Enough!”

 

Reverberates. Felix hardens and plays it off with a handwave, “Ah, you no fun.”

 

“I no fun.” Gennady starts to walk, his brother and Felix shadow before he suddenly stops short and turns around, wags a finger right into the latter’s face. “No, Felix, I know fun. Do not be saying this. This no time for fun.”

 

“Sure. So sorry, next time I will read room.”

 

Girl from earlier just finishes patting down red tablecloth, places one of those battery table lamps and goes - she ignores the little grouping and goes onto the next as Gennady sits. Says “Sit”.

 

Felix sits. German sits.

 

“You want drink?”

 

“I thought this was serious.”

 

“It is. And the bar is closed.”

 

“Very cute. Комик. You know if you two was тройни- uh, how you say, triplets, we would have real team. Three Stooges or some sh*t.”

 

Gets a pause. “They were not triplets.”

 

“Ah, whatever.” Felix looks over shoulder, back where they came. “Who gonna clean up kitchen?”

 

“Listen to me, Felix,” Gennady leans in, interlocks fingers. “You listen now. The sh*t is not good. And now you gonna stop f*cking me around.”

 

“The sh*t?”

 

“The sh*t. Whatever you want to call the sh*t- the sh*t where you kill small army of Motya Shvedik’s own f*cking militsiya at garage in Goatherd, where I try to put thing in arrangement with Remo and he tells me about ‘we making international waves’ because of f*cking musor f*cking Motya Shvedik. That sh*t.”

 

“Oh, that sh*t.” Felix feigns indifference. “Yes. Why you keep calling him musor? You been calling him musor plenty, too much. I can think of more creative insult.”

 

Blows a f*cking gasket. “Because he is f*cking musor! Selfish f*cking rat! Everybody know this, he speak to some ment about gun ring through whole f*cking Europe - Leningrad to f*cking Budapest he f*cks over to save his own ass. Thing falls like f*cking house of cars. But you think Rabinovich care none?”

 

“I don’t know what Rabinovich care.”

 

“None. Motya sit pretty right here in Hove, he hears people saying this all the way back in Moscow. Is rumor, what you do? You let it die. People know you good enough, it dies a death. Especially if it one man. Maybe if you have business there, yes, you go home, you teach lesson.” Gennady’s incensed, veins pulsating above eyebrow worming hot onto scalp. “But what Motya do? What Motya do- he hears this, he take first plane back home, first axe he sees. Finds him. Chops his f*cking arm right off shoulder, hacks and bleeds him into the gutter.”

 

Cute story.

 

Felix lets it simmer. “Yes.” Nods, “and this is man whose kids you try to blow up?”

 

“We not having that conversation again. We having new conversation.” Gennady kind of glares at German for some affirmation, gets it through an utterly blank face. Some kind of twin telepathy at play.

 

Arm sprung around the chair’s back, Felix eyes the Garden’s prize statue in the center.

 

Gennady speaks, “You are going to kill him.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“You are going to kill him.”

 

“Who?”

 

“Who? Долбоёб- Motya goddamn Shvedik.”

F*cking idiot.

 

“Oh yeah?” He’s laughing again. “Just like this?”

 

“Just like this.” Eyes German yet again, you get the idea he’s playing some kind of interlocutor. Maybe they’re just f*cking weird. “You want dragon dead? You cut the head off.”

 

Enough games. “Is snake. You cut head off goddamn snake. And the point here, you correct me if I am speaking sh*t, Gennady- the point here is that Motya Shvedik ain’t no f*cking head. Or- or he is head, but just one of f*cking Hydra.”

 

“Of what?”

 

“Hydra, I don’t know, f*cking beast with thousand heads.”

 

“No.” Nonplussed. “You cut head and the body dies. And I ain’t gonna worry about no f*cking car exploding around me every time I turn ignition key. German either. It goes far enough, Felix, and I will not be a fool. You are going to kill him. Today.”

 

He’s staring at that f*cking statue again.

 

Looks Gennady in the eyes. Then German.

 

“Sure.”

 

“Very good, you are smart like whiz. So- you going to go to his home. You not going to do it there, not just because of f*cking kids or whatever, but because I know he has men watching it and I do not want your brains on sidewalk. You follow him- he loves little bar on Z Street, thinks nobody knows this.”

 

“But you know this.”

 

“I do. I also know he drives ugly green Benefactor, can’t miss it, dirty color garbage sea-foam green bullsh*t. He going to go and get drunk, you going to go and get bomb.”

 

“What, bullets don’t get job done?”

 

“It send a message.”

 

“Yes, so I blow parking garage sky-high. That it?”
 

“If all goes as it should, yes. You are going to pick up bomb from Marat, I think you know him, lives on 7th Street, big red house, works in cellar. He knows you coming.”

 

“Anything else I can do for you?”

 

“This not just for me. It also for Kuzma, for Hove Beach, for you. No more militsiya coming for your little head, huh? It good for everyone, everybody. We gonna celebrate right here after it done. You gonna come.”

 

“We’ll see.”

 

“We’ll see.” He’s made his point and now he’s echoing - looks at German, they share a chuckle. “Go. Get out of here. Ни пýха ни перá.”

Break a leg.

 

Felix don’t answer.

 

So - you’re Marat bound. Table girl’s made it all the way to the other end of the resto, bathrooms-adjacent, still turning and tucking tablecloth. She offers up a maybe-sheepish smile as you walk past, Felix nods back and keeps nodding and keeps nodding.

 

It’s late afternoon - back into the daylight it seems like every building’s glossed over with this sheen, little windows between brickwork reflecting right into eyes, that last deep blue gasp before sunset. Your Gogetter’s curbside. You could take a taxi- you could even walk, big red house on 7th barely a jaunt from Hove 1st, but you might as well just get behind the wheel, squeeze your way out ‘tween a funky-colored Barbican Payola and Annis Lamia way too close. Bumper meets bumper, Felix quips. Whatever-- you’re the one in the SUV, right?

 

It’s a hard right just before the overhead tracks start, radio’s tuned to JNR, Mingus and John Handy going ham on gospel sax - you pass car service, accounting offices, people flurrying about Mohawk Market on the corner. Marat’s house is a real Hove thing, bright red wide-grain siding on a two-story sandwiched between redbrick apartment blocks. Park up in the narrow drive ahead a Regina - opt to leave the truck idling rather than killing the engine by tapping the contextual button.

 

Lawn’s dead grass, strewn with chairs, cans, a workbench clearly unused. Felix goes “Свинарник.” The man likes organized disorder. This is not that.

 

Entrance by the side, down a little flight. Steel door. Knock-knock.

 

Immediate:Da?”

 

“Eh, Marat, is you? It Felix Godovsky, I come for Roitman boys.”

 

“Roitman?”

 

“Roitman. Gennady, German. They say you expecting me.”

 

Pause.

 

Long.

 

“Roitman?”

 

Felix’s forehead meets the door.

 

“Oh, Roitman! Da, da, разумеется! Felix, come, come!”

 

A few latches click, crunch, a chain unhooks. Door opens wide.

 

Striking face: old face, hooked nose and wide-rimmed glasses, this checkered button-up only half done-up and revealing fluffs of white hair. This is Marat: one-time Soviet gunsmith, inventor trained in pneumatics, recluse grateful as ever his name never made it into a single history book before he jumped on a plane courtesy of Jackson-Vanik.

 

You’re in with him, this little cellar with wood beam ceiling way too low, cobwebs and concrete. “Felix, Felix, long time, eh?” Acts like he wants to play pleasantries, doesn’t. “Roitman. I don’t think of surname, sorry, sorry. It was, uh, bomb, yeah?”

 

“So I hear.”

 

“Yes, it was bomb.”

 

He scurries away like a mouse, some corner past shelving covered with spare parts and paint cans and bug spray. Light bulb on a chain sways as he walks past. He’s misplaced his bomb.

 

The man is very old.

 

Felix leans up on a workbench. “Your car outside, Marat - it nice. I always say, wood panels on American cars very ergonomical. Make me sad the people don’t seem to like it no more.”

 

He’s preoccupied, “What is ergonomical mean?”

 

“Don’t know, I saw it in magazine. Is true though, huh? They don’t make ‘em like that no more. Real big, real family car. Very American. They call it woodie. Is good name, right?”

 

“I don’t know, Felix. I bought this car when I came to the country in ‘77, it was already old then. I am not picky and I don’t know what is ergonomical. It do the job.”

 

Beat. Glum: “Sure.”

 

Returns into the light, now carrying something rectangular covered in cloth - Marat places it on the workbench. “For you.”

 

Felix just looks at it. 

 

Marat just looks at him.

 

Breaks the silence with an “Okay,” pulls the cloth off and tosses it aside. 

 

Definitely looks like a bomb. 

 

He goes on, “So - is for Roitmans, yeah? I get a call few days ago, I not heard from them for a while, mind you, but I pick up anyways. German, he give me the runaround, you know what they li--”

 

“German? German don’t make phone call, Marat, German don’t talk. I not so sure thought goes on behind little eyes of his at all.”

 

Shrugs. “No, I am sure it was German. But it don’t matter. He say to me, he go, ‘Marat, Marat, you make me this bomb, but it has to be, you know, идиото-непроницаем. We take no risks. Must be foolproof, it can absolutely not go wrong.’”

 

Smiles mask a little indignation. “I think better translation is idiot-proof, Marat. Thanks for this.”

 

“Ah, you know what they like. I think you probably capable, but- you know, they want, so I make it foolproof, idiot-proof, what you say. So is easy for you - bomb is ammonium nitrate, fuel oil, jelly booster. I fix it with tilt cap also, very simple: you stick it real good onto muffler, by the time car pulls onto main road the heat from exhaust activates it. You do this wrong- I don’t say you will, but if, mercury in tilt cap makes sure it blows to a smithereen anyway the first time he hits pothole on Iroquois. You barely got to worry.”

 

He’s satisfied with himself - been doing this for half a century, sure, but it doesn’t wane.

 

“Thank you, Marat, I always happy to hear I don’t got to think too much.” Felix picks the thing up like a pizza box. “They tell you who this for?”

 

“No. Не мое дело - this how I work.”

And it’s none of my business.

 

“К лучшему. ”

Maybe that’s for the best.

 

“But,” a scraggly finger wags, “I read Liberty Tree. Give it an extra pat for Mr. Shvedik for me, yeah?”

 

Old man knows the score. Felix lets it go. “Hey, while I’m here, you still got those, eh, чертежи? You know, your old schemas, schematics, whatever- for gun, things you slip in boot and don’t need no silencer, this thing.”

 

Happy you asked, memories of years gone by, “I always have these. It’s just- to be honest- you know what I do, Felix. The men come to me, they ask for this, they ask for that. And I do. But lately is no market for inventions make for covert affair. We in ammonium nitrate and Krokodýl culture right now, мальчик мой.”

 

“But if?”

 

Echoes. “But if.” 

 

There are some papers strewn willy-nilly on a second shelf above the workbench, stained, crumpled - you see Cyrillic and coffee rings. Marat peruses real quick, picks a couple out and places them all gentle-like right on top of the bomb.

 

“You want, you get - but you find parts, huh? Take a look- you can still read the language, yes?”

 

Gets a look.

 

“All I ask. I like to keep busy since Katulka passed, you know.”

 

“Yeah, I’m sorry, Marat. I’ll be by again soon though, huh?”

 

Old man was all smiles, bashful almost - it freezes over as you’re on your way out. “Hey- before you go. You uh, forgetting something?”

 

“I came here with no bomb and now I have bomb. I don’t think so.”

 

They stare, one-two-three seconds too long.

 

“Do not tell me they not f*cking paid you.”

 

Shrug.


Okay.

 

No choice - Felix digs through pockets for wallet, slaps a fifty down on the table. “Чертов скряга. Tell me this enough.”

F*cking cheapskates. 

 

He doesn’t. “One more.”

 

A hundred down. Get the bomb and f*ck off, a happy Marat folding the bills behind as you head back out. 

 

Go to Motya’s house.

 

Explosives on the seat beside, hop back into the SUV and get going. You’re Hansen Basin-bound, easy access via the on-ramp to the Baldric Parkway off Cruspen, highway carrying you through Goatherd and a not-so-scenic drive running parallel with the inlet, unkempt grass and community service litter-pickers in the median. What a life.

 

Once you’re through the cloverleaf interchange ‘side the Byrd Aerodrome you’re smooth sailing through suburban hell - that’s mansions drawn sans-architect on one side, beer tastes and champagne pocket homes; Hansen Basin’s homes half stucco shells imported from down Vice and plopped down on swamplands, half wannabe colonial redbricks. Not an ounce of class.

 

But Motya’s is no wannabe.  

 

The place is on the innermost rung of whatever urban planner thought Hansen would be best suited to a bunch of semicircular streets spreading outward. 101 Shuttlecock, big glyphs say, real colonial, the red-brick-white-column deal, sloped garage around the corner.

 

Sloped garage has sloped driveway with a sea-foam Benefactor in it.

 

It’s running. Either you’ve made good time or you’re pushing it far too close - you’re in that limbo where the sun’s gone down but it’s not quite dark and cars new enough for auto headlights have them on: yours being anything but new you look nice and inconspicuous in your bright red SUV parked across Shuttlecock and you only look suspicious when little old ladies in their dusk jogging groups saunter by and Felix practically puts himself on the floorboard.

 

Benefactor lights stare down a baroque garage door - opens, some big meaty prick hobbles out with a toothpick in his mouth, a big gun arm grabs and tosses it aside before climbing in the passenger and shaking the poor car on its suspension. 

 

Is Motya in there? Well- his house, his car, damn well better be. You’re right in the money, he’s practically within arm’s reach, soldiers right in the muck of a dirty war. 

 

Car backs out of the drive, meaty man gets out and closes the gate and gets back in. Car guns it down the main drag.

 

One, two, three - enough for a drag behind, kick it into gear yourself. The tail job’s nothing new but it’s revamped - obey traffic laws ‘else you’ll garner more suspicion than you’ll gain by being too scared to lag behind an extra few seconds. Target car crosses right through Thalassus Meadow, doesn’t take long to come to the conclusion that he’s being a dick - tensions running high, sure, but he’s either doing his best to lose a hypothetical tail and doing a sh*t job of it or he might as well be driving an Uber - gunning it through yellow lights at the eleventh hour and cutting through traffic on Royal Highway like there’s not a cop in Broker. And maybe there ain’t- least not one that’ll pull him over.

 

He cuts through avenues and thoroughfares and it gets darker and darker and the store shutters come down and lights turn on and the rhythm of the pursuit gets a stronger pulse - and you better temper it because the second he feels his suspicions are anything but that you bet your life he ain’t going where he’s going.

 

“What the f*ck you doing, Felix?” Felix asks Felix.

 

Nobody answers. 

 

Radio’s running ads and ads- jingles and bullsh*t and you could just as well kill it and keep focus, Gogetter engine serving the score.

 

He slows. Felix on alert.

 

Cutscene grabs the screen - view from the top of a building as the car pulls into a parking lot illuminated by streetlights under purple sky, circles once before finding a single spot in a sea of cars. God knows where their owners are - it’s full up but the place is deserted, whole area: spotted restos gobbling up the populace, not a soul.

 

Perfect storm.

 

The driver climbs out - oversized brown leather jacket gleams and he looks around and looks around again as his little muscle man does the same. Turns his head and it’s a head full of thin hair but a lot of it, face of tough brows and scarred lip and these squinting eyes that don’t stop moving and thinking.

 

Motya f*cking Shvedik f*cking musor.

 

Motya f*cking Shvedik f*cking musor takes a few steps, starts crossing the lot with muscles in shadow, quick pace and he checks his watch and looks back and forth and speaks gruff and direct, “Вы голодны?”

You hungry?

 

Gruffer voice, less direct. “Вы получили ту доставку кориандра, которая должна была прийти вчера? Я жажду харчо.”

Did the truck come by with the coriander delivery yesterday? I’m jonesing for some kharcho.

 

 “Я делаю светскую беседу. Следите за гребаной дорогой.”

I’m making small talk. Keep your eyes on the f*cking road.

 

Felix can’t hear. But Felix sees and Felix watches as the duo make their way across the lot and across the street divorced from the traffic on the avenue just up the road, start walking parallel these shuttered storefronts until they reach some pink painted stucco place right on the corner and don’t waste any time shuffling inside into warmth. Place’s got no windows. Walled off.

 

Alone.

 

“Боже помоги мне.”

God help me.

 

Car’s there in a sea of cars. Bomb’s still on the seat.

 

Go.

Rig the car.


You’re in control of Felix in a half-crouched motion as he leaves the SUV streetside with explosive held tight against his leg, complete silence other than the wind whirring and traffic down the next cross street might as well be a world away. 

 

Not a f*cking soul.

 

Benefactor’s clicking and whirring down as the engine cools. Sea foam looks black in the night.

 

Felix takes one more look down both directions, stares hard at the pink building, waiting for something, for life. 

 

Not a f*cking soul.

 

Crouch with the left thumbstick, takes Felix half a second to realize this ain’t working - Benefactor diesel engine f*cking exhaust is high mounted, deeper into the undercarriage than it should, muffler inaccessible. Great.

 

So he crawls underneath, further, until he can’t move no more and the legs are still sticking out. 

 

So you’re transformed to first person, undercarriage piping and slick parts half an inch above your vision.

 

So now you can install the bomb, slick it with the directional controls, pad it tight. It’s not that easy. “Идиото-непроницаем, ah?”

 

And then you hear footsteps. 


And they come closer.

 

And is it ever claustrophobic under there, and you can’t escape, can’t move or manipulate the camera or do anything but stare straight up at pump assemblies and fuel filters as the loafers hitting asphalt come closer and you know they’re not just some schmoe on his way back from a first date.

 

Motya’s back. Motya walks. Just as he makes to the driver’s door and you hear the door click and swing open you realize this might be your only opportunity to get out alive - pop-up orders through the urgency, use the thumbstick to wiggle Felix as quickly and quietly as possible back out where he came, jeans dragging through black and loose rocks on asphalt, whatever the f*ck Motya’s doing in the car can’t last forever-

 

And it doesn’t.

 

Felix - about three quarters out from underneath.

 

Motya - about three quarters on the way to the trunk.

 

“Ебать мой хуй?!”

What the f*ck?!

 

That’s right.

 

Instincts kick in, literally - a critical melee press and Felix uses his momentum to send boot flat right into Motya’s shin, one or both of them start yelling and making animal sounds and flailing, Motya’s on one knee scrambling for the gun in his waistband and Felix claws his way out from under the goddamn stupid f*cking Benefactor f*cking Glendale, charges him while he’s still in a scurry and goes for this awkward choke but overcompensates and they both hit asphalt real hard while still yelling and maybe laughing, f*ck knows: “Иди сюда, сука, я тебе зубами сердце вырву!”

Come on, fa**ot, come on, I’ll eat your f*cking heart!

 

Shvedik keeps on making noises, his knee or his shin or his whole leg is f*cked but now he’s got his hand on this goddamn giant Redback revolver, nickel finish gleaming in the street lamp above as he stands and Felix stands and they’re a couple feet apart-

 

“Тупой мудоеб!”

Stupid motherf*cker!

 

He pulls the trigger.

 

And Motya’s little baby, his little nickel plated custom ammo motherf*cker - it misfires.

 

So he throws it at Felix’s head.

 

It connects above the eyes, Felix yells again, rapidfire fury, “Shvedik! Ты, грёбаный кобель!”, and now with your input he’s finally got his hand on his own Chitarra, surprise f*ckhead, but blood’s leaking into his vision and the camera’s red blurred and Motya’s about to claw your goddamn eyes out so you mash the trigger - bang bang bang bang bang blindfire, someone screams down the ave and Felix can’t f*cking see, stops shooting but keeps aiming, and you don’t know what hit until Motya suddenly stops charging and he’s got a hand on his shoulder and red oozing between fingers. 

 

Taking it like a champ - stalemate. “The f*ck are you, Jack Howitzer?”


“You are dead, you rotten f*cking mutt, I kill you now or I kill you in a month but I gonna burn you and your whole goddamn family to nothing, you and f*cking Roitman f*cking piece of sh*ts!”

 

“Why you couldn’t just stay in the bar, prick?!”

 

“You the one try to kill my f*cking kids, too?”

 

Felix is doubled over, absurd standoff comes to a close when something clicks and Motya turns tail to the pink palace and starts yelling for Pushkas and Igors and assorted sacrilege, and debilitated Felix gives chase because what else is he going to do, he can’t barely f*cking see, and you’re in control up to and under the awning that leads inside.

 

It’s an ersatz Gulag Garden, pinks and peaches and scary Russians of a different fealty. Motya probably wants to feast on your throat but he’s no dummy - as you enter he’s already headed out back exit with the kharcho-craving giant. F*ck.

 

Two goons and a bartender, some kid who totally freezes up: first goon was waiting by the entrance, knocks Felix’s gun straight out of hand the moment he walks in, gut punches and pins your arms while you’re doubled over. Numero dva waltzes up to make an example and overlooks how easy it is for you to send a foot into his balls, crush the first moron’s nose by sending Felix’s head backward - if you’re quick you can finish him right here, grabbing his head while he’s tending to the nose, smashing it once-twice-thrice into the brick f*cking wall and leaving him be once he’s bleeding out the ear and goes limp.

 

You got a moment enough to reach for your gun on the linoleum, dive for it and dome Mr Balls, have his skull go ragdoll on the nearest table on the way down - or you can play to some dumb code of honor and just break his f*cking jaw before he recovers and you have to rough it out.

 

Line up your sights with the bartender for good measure: kid winces, covers his eyes with forearm. He’s got nothing.

 

Get the f*ck out of here.

 

Chaos assembles outside, busy ave now right in your face and a wary hoi polloi keeping their distance as you wander out bloody and bruised with a gun in hand. Holster it with your last shred of dignity and f*cking run to your car.

 

See on the way - Glendale’s abandoned, some old Bravado was parked next to it suddenly gonzo.

 

You do the math.

 

“Oh my god.”

 

Take off before those discordant sirens become one unified wail saying f*ck up.

 

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-$100

Edited by Cebra
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slimeball supreme

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Crime is endemic to Liberty City.

 

So endemic that it was the first place in the United States where the nation’s criminals decided organization was key to the path of domination. That domination of spheres public and private alike ended a couple decades ago when the government decided the mob was just too cozy with the labor unions. And if there’s one thing the government never liked: it was unions.

 

For now and probably forever, organized crime is an inseparable part of the Libertonian ecosystem: entrenched in city government and infrastructure, desperately staring down the police’s incompetent barrel, and always in the newspapers with flashy hits or flashier demises. As the city slowly turns into a theme park for tourists and tycoons, the grimy corners of Liberty will seep further and further into obscurity. But not yet. There’s bridges still to cross.

 

This section of the concept will cover that world in several parts.

 

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The Commission. The Five Old Families. Liberty’s Italian Mafia.

 

1992: a loosening grip on crime yet still absolute; even despite a million up-and-comers of a million ethnicities gunning for the big prize. If you want to get somewhere, you cut the Commission in. You pay the tax or you pay a bigger price. That simple.

 

Bombarded by racketeering case after racketeering case; the RICO Act hasn’t exactly been kind, and an era of headline-grabbing mob bosses shooting men in broad daylight is quickly being shuttered. This side of the mob will be covered in the Zeitgeist section; but for now, meet the undisputed kings of LC’s underbelly.

 

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The Biggest and Baddest

 

Lead by veteran gangster and quiet eccentric Jon Gravelli; the years have had their ups and downs for house Gambetti. When the boss finally, officially picked up the mantle after the death of ailing don Sonny Cangelosi, a war kicked off throughout the mid-1980's between Gravelli loyalists: ambitious, Young Turk wiseguys of a new generation; and followers of longtime underboss Bartolomeo ‘Bart the Chink’ Chiarugi: traditionalists and experienced killers with ties going back to the 1950's reign of ‘Gus the Grave Digger’ Gambetti.

 

The old guard’s thunder was stolen after Chiarugi was gunned down outside a Midtown Algonquin steakhouse.

 

Today, the Gambetti Family is considered the most powerful of Liberty’s five: based predominantly in Broker with their fingers in just about all of the city’s pies. Their connections run deep. This is something many families would choose to obscure, but not the Gravelli regime, deep into the third year of an ongoing media fiasco as every hotshot lawman in the city tries to throttle their cage and put the bad guys in jail.

 

Jon Gravelli is a name that everyone knows. An old school soldier who hasn’t spent a day in the clink since the 1940s, ‘Teflon Jon’ rode to power with a vicious crew of Young Turks who weren’t afraid of the spotlight and especially unafraid of killing in the name of their don. Jon’s quiet in person but you wouldn’t tell from his public persona - a man who wears threads that only know glitz and glamor, drives only European imports, and single-handedly keeps the Algonquin art scene in linen with his penchant for the modern oeuvre. You can say so much in words, but you can say a lot more wearing a yellow pinstripe suit in your ‘92 Ocelot Lynx.
 

Second to the Gambetti Family’s name is underboss Peter Rea - an East Liberty thug and one of the first inductees into the original Gravelli crew in the 1970's. Constantly shadowed by aide-de-camp Tony ‘the C*nt’ Babbo, the two made waves in the 80's fighting alongside Gravelli and masterminding various hits on his behalf. He’s undyingly loyal and unflinchingly stubborn, attributes that have gotten Pete Rea a reputation as the family’s ‘face’ in the media and a reputation in mob circles as a blue-collar blowhard braggart. He’s a man many want to impress, and impressing Pete Rea often comes with a lot of bloodshed.

 

Make sure to look out for these names in the Gambetti hierarchy:

  • Tony ‘the C*nt’ Babbo - Pete Rea’s best friend and the capo of his former crew, a constant bodyguard of his in public. Dresses like a clown.

  • Michael ‘Mikey Test’ Malatesta - Took over the consigliere role from deceased Mingo Pepi (who died in his car from heat stroke in 1987). Construction racketeer and hijacker with a head on his shoulders and a golden tongue; both used to worm his way into the company of businessmen. Bipolar disorder.

  • Sammy ‘Sonny’ Bottino - Major point man for Gambetti operations in South Florida. Incredibly powerful capo stationed both down south and up in Liberty. Protege of Jon Gravelli after Pete Rea got too old to be a protege; has been groomed for a high-ranking position from a young age. Resentful. Regards himself a self-made man and has little respect for his mentor. Loathes his nickname.

  • Roger ‘Butchie’ Bove - Proprietor of a well known Bantonvale salumeria and highly respected, if not stubborn, Gambetti captain. Sees himself as Machiavellian, whatever that means.

  • Zuriel ‘Zurry’ Orzoff - A high-profile, high-acquittal mob lawyer who's made himself a special reputation for representing some of the worst scum in the country with a sadistic furor. From subway shooters to zionist supremacists to, of course, Gambetti racketeers.

  • ‘Salvo’ Salzano - Vending machine mechanic and extortioner. An upstanding Lennox Island capo, and a longtime personal friend of Jon Gravelli. Gland problem.

  • Oreste ‘Opie Gap’ Fago - Sonny Bottino's second-in-command and brother-in-law. Best friend growing up and elevated to his rank from Bottino's reputation. Often in charge of Liberty rackets while Sonny tends to his priorities in Vice City. Half a f*ck-up. Means well.

  • Napoleone ‘Nappy’ Posa - Very charismatic for an enigma. Former P.I. and Gambetti point man at Francis International going back twenty years, always been extra chummy with Gravelli himself - even after an arrest two years back for labor racketeering. Judge let him off light, said he knew too much. f*ck only knows what it meant.

  • Alphonse ‘Ali Mac’ Macaluso - Old school restaurant owner and longtime Gambetti associate who might as well be made. A friend of Pete Rea’s, lets him hold court in the upstairs of his place, Ali Mac’s Bistro. Supposedly has an IQ of 149.

  • Clarkie Contina - Idiot associate of Butchie Bove.

  • The Bantonvale Boys - Who could forget? A farm team of teenage guidos loyal to Butch Bove.

 

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Shrouded in Secrecy

 

The oldest of the Five Families; these guys were those initially responsible for organizing the national Commission and officially chaired the collective until a 1957 summit in Upstate Liberty left 60 mobsters in police custody. Oops.

 

Before 1990 the Pavano Family was run by Luigi ‘Louie’ Valvona; a protege of Eufrasio ‘Don Zio’ Pavano’s in the 50's and 60's working out of a social club in Papaver Village. Louie Valvona ran rackets involving seamsters in the Garment District and made a name for himself as a union organizer and philanthropist, a reputation that stayed with him until his death from ingestion of ricin. According to the testimony of various mobsters, his wife took his place.

 

Maria ‘Mary’ Valvona is a walking violation of mafia law.

 

Maria moved to the United States at age 10 and immediately got involved with local tough guys in East Holland smuggling heroin. Working as a seamster in Garment District sweatshops led her to the doorstep of unhappy patron Luigi, whom she later married. Footnote: rap sheet aside, there’s no evidence to suggest Maria was ever actually made a member of the family - and her position as boss is a contradiction of one of the first rules of la cosa nostra: Women cannot be a part of this thing.

 

As a result, it is obvious to seemingly everyone except prosecutors that Maria Valvona does not run the family. Unfortunately, the Pavano clan are very good at hiding who does run the family.

 

Maria Valvona has taken much of the spotlight as a mystic and spiritualist - The Oddmother as the newspapers call her - as well as cultivating numerous boyfriends of younger persuasion. Among these is her latest lover, Arthur ‘Artie Zap’ Zapulla, a lecherous 24-year old runt and Mary’s longest running boyfriend from as early as 1987. Currently being funded through a law degree at Vespucci University by Valvona, Zapulla is also personally suspected of poisoning Luigi.

 

Anyone with eyes can tell the creepy little f*ck did it.

 

Big names in the Pavano syndicate include:

  • Gil ‘Trunks’ Polo - Official consigliere of the Pavano Family. Funny story; he loathes Mary Valvona. You’ll never see him in the same room, same f*cking block, as each other on a given day. Which, really, says all you need to know.
  • Vilfredo ‘Willy the Head’ Nannini - Currently doing time for the little ‘window cartel’ thing the Lupisellas got him in on, he won’t be out for another 13 or so years. Longtime underboss of the Pavanos with an eye for white collar crimes and a very large head.
  • Humphrey ‘the Hump’ Ragusa - Longtime Pavano strongman: ran gay bars and vice dens in Star Junction through the 60's and 70's, graduated to running garbage routes in the 80's when the money dried up. Strong contender for potential real boss to Maria's front after getting out of prison this year. Served in World War II.
  • Vito ‘Dog Meat’ Menotti - Capo and emissary for the Pavanos. The owner and operator of a dog food cannery in Lennox Island. Smells weird.
  • Giosuè 'Joshie' Gervasi - A newly-minted capo based in East Holland and Bohan who represents Pavano interests in Russian gas bootlegging. Strong ties to the Ancelottis through imprisoned Tony Black and his old civil rights buddy Readale Rice. Stingy, stupid.
  • Emidio ‘Ernie’ Elardo - Only 35 and already one of the highest ranking members of the Pavano clan. An old school mobster in an old school way, where nobody quite knows much about him.
  • Juliano ‘Julie Schnozz’ Ciommo - As far as anyone can tell, Julie's never hurt a fly. But he was made anyway. They’ve never seen him commit a crime, but he pays on time to his capo every week. Everyone loves Julie Schnozz.
  • Joe ‘the Cowboy’ Corolla - An up-and-comer from East Holland who’s too friendly with blacks and Latinos for the liking of the brass.

 

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Thugs in Suits

 

Traditionally the Lupisella family has been based in Bohan, dating back to 50's boss and family namesake Carmine Lupisella. Those were the good old days; the family running rackets in Algonquin’s Garment District, at the burgeoning Francis International Airport, and flexing muscles over several LC Teamster chapters.

 

However, the family’s power base slowly shifted to Broker. 

 

The Lupisellas of the modern day have been led by a powerful duo - Leo Puleo and Dominic ‘the Wrench’ Sepe, especially homicidal even for the mob and iron fisted rulers of their collective. A murder spree cut short by the testimony of former capo Henry Rotondi has already led to Puleo’s arrest, and in response, Dom the Wrench has gone missing. Under these two, the Lupisella clan have a reputation as street thugs and murderers unafraid of lead when silver doesn’t work in their favor.

 

Puleo rode with Ancelotti goons in the 60's on behalf of the Panza Brothers and defected Lupisella when the war got hot. Always a killer, he made most of his money with construction unions and contractors for the LCHA - getting the Lupisella Family a monopoly over project construction and the fitting of windows on government buildings. Whenever the other families complained, Puleo replied with a bullet. When the Lupisella Alderney Crew disputed, Puleo ordered every member in Alderney killed. He was handed down a life sentence in 1991.

 

In his place was longtime advisor Dominic ‘the Wrench’ - Puleo’s consigliere turned underboss and forever a rising star within the mafia. A man who preferred to talk to the big men instead of being one, Wrench made money from gas scams and illegal casinos, cultivated connections with Greek and Russian killers. Ever since Puleo was nabbed the man has been a fugitive at large, still yet rumored to still give out the kill orders from God-knows-where.

 

And who can forget the man behind the men? Moishe ‘Moe’ Schwartz has been the family’s number three since the 60's, originally tying his allegiance with the Lupisella dynasty of Carmine and his twin sons, but opted to work with just about anyone after loyalties became obsolete. A financial genius and math whiz who helped smuggle heroin with Corsian criminals - Schwartz moonlights as a right-wing zionist lunatic and proud supporter of Kuzma ‘Kenny’ Petrovich.

 

Watch out for these names in the Lupisella crew:

  • Gene Pittaluga - Officially consigliere despite being an inelegant idiot. Not exactly one for big words. Pulled the trigger on a dozen hits and got the position because of how often he shines his superior's boots.
  • ‘Huge’ Henry Rotondi - Weighing in at 512 pounds is a man befitting the name. Turned state's evidence after he absorbed 12 bullets and credible threats against his wife.
  • Mori Green - A close associate of Moe Schwartz, Mori’s a jeweler, fence, and fixer for wiseguys who need quick employment and don’t ask too many questions.
  • Vincent Lupisella - Long retired for personal reasons, Vincenzo still maintains his old connections to Lupisella figures. And the DA’s office love to haul him in on occasion for the papers.
  • Sonny Honorato - A made contract killer for the family with loyalties only to Bohan. Serving a five-year bid. Sadistic pervert.
  • Rami Yalon - A favorite hitman of Sepe’s with quickly rising rates. Get him while he’s hot.

 

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Longtime Black Sheep

 

Being one of the first families incorporated into The Commission gets you a long ways, but not too long, turns out. It was Joe ‘the Mess’ Messina who cemented the family’s reputation - plotted to take over the whole city and faked his own kidnapping. He retired and moved west. In the aftermath, the family was riddled with power struggles and feuds over turf, a situation that boiled over into undercover police, the death of a man named Memo 'Smokes' Trungale, and the family’s dismissal from The Commission.

 

So it goes.

 

Even though the Messinas have found their way back in, on the street level things have never been more dire. Seen as nobodies, they’ve been given little breathing room to operate and a lot less bargaining power when it comes to rackets; meaning new boss Harvey Noto has had to play a little less fair.

 

Noto - juvenile delinquent since age 12, loan shark at age 20. Who knows where he got the cash, but the kid had it in spades and if you borrowed you gave it back. Or else. One of the most enterprising mobsters of the new generation and protege of Smokes Trungale, Hal Noto killed his own mentor for the top spot and is working hand over fist to get the Messinas back to prestige - even if that means he has to burn bridges.

 

To his side is ‘Harry the Hat’ Hall - 100% Irish but f*ck it didn’t stop him climbing up the ladder. A long time pimp, being the family’s official consigliere despite his heritage was a black mark against the Messinas; commonly referred to as the ‘Irish Family’ and considered taboo to work with as a result. Not for nothing but Noto never cared; tradition never much his forté.

 

To compensate Noto brought in the most Italian man alive into underboss - Melvin ‘the Skiv’ Schiavone was offered a button from just about every family in town but went to the Messinas out of personal respect for Noto. A people pleaser who races pigeons from his rooftop and hangs out with made men from all of the families five, he’s a common peacekeeper when it comes to intra-family disputes and just about everyone’s cousin thrice removed.

 

If you care, have a look at the Messina’s big dogs:

  • Oliviero ‘Ollie Lulu’ Gliugliu - A Bohan capo and zip, Lulu is the Messina Family’s number one with the Cazzini Family of Montreal. A coke dealer with a bad mustache.
  • Mark Volpe - Out of a crowd of hoodlums, Noto picked Mark to help kill Smokes Trungale. A psychopath with boiling blood, he’s a reputable man who always loved his brother.
  • Fredo Volpe - Mostly a dealer of heroin and pills and a user all the same, with an unbreakable bond to his elder helping him to become a made Messina.
  • Howard ‘Howie Hoagie’ Noto - Owner of a submarine sandwich shop chain, recently made and hungry for territory. Reportedly using his dives to sell heroin and play cards - but it’s just that, reports. Well-groomed prissy f*cking dandy. Hal Noto’s kid brother.
  • Rubiano ‘Ruby’ Montalbano - A high up soldier and top coke importer with a very distinctive face.
  • Graham ‘GQ’ Quattrocchi III - The third Graham of the Quattrocchi line; his father Graham II went by ‘Gary Glasses’ for the glasses he'd sling and the bottles he'd smash over goon heads at his Broker bar. Glasses wasn't exactly a man for the big rackets - GQ is - already made at 27 even though his pop's in the can. A big fan of golf; frequents the driving range at Golden Piers for pleasure. Served in the navy as a submariner. Nuclear.
  • Calogero ‘Cal’ Cazzini - Despite being the boss of his own family, the Cazzinis of Montreal have never had the stature of most clans in the states. He may run his own crew across the border, but in LC, he’s with the Messinas.
  • Hugues Ouellette-du-Tranchemontagne - A Cazzini confidante. The less said, the better.

 

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Hooligans and Fools

 

It’s hard to come to a succinct impression of the Ancelotti Family. In the 60's, two wings of the family - one led by boss ‘Vinny Whites’ Bianco, the other led by brash and flamboyant capo ‘Mac the Kid’ Panza - went to war. After a spree of murders, Panza got the book and Bianco retired. Panza worked his way inside, read books, partnered with black gangsters, got released in ‘71, and (allegedly) almost immediately hired someone to kill the family’s new boss the very same year. That boss’ name was Pasquale ‘Pax’ Ancelotti - the organizer of the Italian American Association Against Discrimination - proud ‘civil rights activist’ and loudmouthed idiot.

 

Pasquale didn’t die. But he was paralyzed everywhere aside from two fingers on the right hand and a toe. Legally brain dead. Mac Panza, funnily enough, died pretty shortly after. Giovanni Ancelotti, Pax’s nephew, took control of the family.

 

Gio Ancelotti, by all accounts, is a snake and a fiend. A former associate of Panza, Ancelotti helped kill Gus Gambetti in the barbershop and was one of Panza’s first allies in the First Ancelotti War. Kidnapped his uncle alongside him and got off out of his uncle’s good will and naivete. He then sold Panza out for a higher spot on the hierarchy. That’s the Ancelotti way. Gio initially infuriated The Commission’s bosses after his ascent to power - ruling under the pretenses of ‘underboss’ with his father in the official role and his older brother Virgilio in the acting position.

 

Virgilio had multiple sclerosis, a lazy eye, and owned a chain of convenience stores - more importantly, he had not been inducted, or even associated, with a criminal organization in his life. This, alongside Ancelotti’s flagrant partaking in cocaine and heroin trafficking, was deemed clause to eject the Ancelotti family from the Commission until 1978 (when the jig was up - a lingering Pasquale died of natural causes shortly before Virgilio took a bullet meant for another man).

 

The Ancelotti Family recovered but has been mired in numerous power struggles in the following years - the most recent being a 1991 power grab from the family’s Broker wing after underboss Raniere ‘Neri’ Cantù tried to take out Alderney enforcer Wayne Coco. The ensuing war got too many wiseguys pasted to count, more than double that busted, and risked the family being completely dissolved. As of now, they’re still above water: the family’s spheres of influence now lie in Lennox and North ‘Derney - enough to convince most they aren’t much a family at all.

 

The dark horse gangsters of the Ancelotti family include:

  • Raniere ‘Neri’ Cantù - Made himself out to be a businessman while having never been legitimately employed in his life. An underboss never quite satisfied with the work ethic of his superior; Neri made a grab for the Ancelotti crown and got three life sentences as a result.
  • Charles ‘Chubby Charlie’ Matteo - A top capo for too long, with the arrest of Neri Cantù he’s now Ancelotti number two. Ran a prolific crew across the West River and made his bread and butter selling loans by the dozen with an extortionate vig. Orchestrated one of the worst botched hit attempts in mafia history. Aging remarkably poorly.
  • Anthony ‘Tony Black’ Spoleto - A senior capo and gasoline bootlegger working side-by-side with Russian gangsters. Don't worry much about him, though: he's been doing a ten-to-twenty upstate for federal racketeering and hasn't said a f*cking peep. Tony Black always valued omertà.
  • ‘Crazy’ Wayne Coco - Crazy Wayne, Kuckoo Wayne, Bill Coconuts; the strongest supporter of Gio Ancelotti through the 90's war and a veteran enforcer. A shadow of his former self today: under house arrest, blind in one eye, and diagnosed with HIV from a blood transfusion.
  • Vincenzo ‘Vince’ Pelosi - Giovanni’s brother-in-law and made man in Matteo’s crew. A strong personal friend of Ancelotti’s and a great drinking buddy. Has a rolodex of slurs. Can grill a mean steak.
  • Antonio ‘Frenchie’ Rivetti - Spelt Rivette on his birth certificate thanks to a generationally-old mistake on Misbrook Island. Hence the nickname. A Broker soldier who kept his scalp by pledging allegiance to Ancelotti, rewarded with a promotion on Cantù’s downfall.

 

Part Two - The Russian Organizatsiya

Edited by slimeball supreme
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