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Grand Theft Auto: Red Line


slimeball supreme

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The Hove Beach Russian Mob.

 

The wall fell and the curtain closed - but they’ve been here long before that. It was the mid-Seventies when the Jackson-Vanik amendment passed through Congress and the late 60’s before when the Soviets started letting Russian Jews into Israel. And among those crowds of legitimate immigrants finding their way into Europe and America; why not empty the Gulags a little?

 

They came, they saw, they conquered. Hove Beach was always Jewish, but for a long, long time it’s been Russian-Jewish. Half devout, half Atheist; so many using an ethnicity they felt divorced from as an excuse to flee a government they felt oppressed by. In America, little would change but the brand names. The Russian Mob in Liberty is equal parts organized and disorganized - a holdout clan from Gulag Garden presiding over hundreds of small-timers and stick-up crews. Welcome to Broker.

 

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Hove’s Feudal Lords

 

The People’s Court are a Hove Beach institution. Crew started almost as soon as Jackson-Vanik passed and a stout old punk named Emil Argov waddled out of Francis International Airport. Emil was a little guy who came in calling himself a jeweler - who also had a history in Leningrad and Europe for running hookers and murdering people. When they were clearing out the gulags of Jewish fiends, he was one of the first. And Hove Beach was his kingdom.

 

Argov established himself as, among a series of wannabe-mob-bosses, the top wannabe-mob-boss. He attracted top muscle and imported guys he knew who’d made their homes in Germany and Israel - guys just like him, Russian Jews with pen ink tattoos and muscles. He ran protection himself, was especially fond of using an electric stock prod to torture businessmen and debtors who owed him a slice - got the nickname ‘Cattle Prod’ Argov. He rowed in with the mafia - with rabbi and mob fixer Sylvester Ganzfried while on a holiday in Frankfurt, and eventually the Lupisella family at large through financial-guy Moe Schwartz.

 

And then Emil Argov took a few bullets to the head. Nobody knows quite who called the hit, and there’s a lot of theories, but the next day it was Kuzma ‘Kenny’ Petrovich stepping into Emil’s office.

 

Kenny Petrovich was a young Russian Jew in Odessa who came to America with a misspelt Israeli passport (they dropped the H) and pockets full of cash. Worked as a Red Army bursar in the Ukraine and smuggled black market contraband for Soviet apparatchiks, fenced stolen art into Western Europe. Got a business degree doing night school classes.  Emil Argov was an asshole, Kenny wasn’t. Kenny was a fun guy, a smart guy, a diplomat who funded charities and hired college-educated men into his organization. He called it “The People’s Court” in the ways of old Russian tradition - the men who ran the neighborhood would solve civil disputes instead of the government. And hey, he’d take a slice too. So what?

 

Kenny, however, was also never a tattooed member of the Vorovskoy Mir. He was a protege of his current number two, Lazar Saravaisky, a man who never wanted the throne and donated it to Kenny in turn. The two were always white collar pros - while Argov ran blue collar rackets, he and Lazar scammed the government out of millions with gas tax scams and highly profited their Lupisella paymasters. When he came to power, it was with the full approval of The Commission.

 

But not the Thieves in Law.

 

Kenny’s organization contrasts heavily with the men back home. It’s organized, it’s efficient, it’s mostly staffed by lowkey Jewish guys and smart businessmen who prefer a dollar to a bullet. Half of them have degrees. And they don’t put much value on old world traditions, on old world tattoos, on old world laws.

 

They’re a structure. And structures can be knocked right over.

 

The Knights of the Court:

  • Lazar Saravaisky - Right-hand man and loyal advisor of Kenny Petrovich, with degrees in both mathematics and engineering. Also impotent and addicted to downers. A quiet man who speaks with his hands.

  • Sylvester ‘Syl’ Ganzfried - The most important cog in the Russian machine: a highly politically-and-criminally connected rabbi with ties to both international intelligence agencies, the insides of the Exchange and City Hall, and the international underworld. A fixer and strong ally of Kenny’s.

  • Venyamin ‘Benny’ Saravaisky - High-ranking brigadier in the organizatsiya given authority thanks to a keen eye, though helped along the way by nepotism. Vindictive prick and former small-time hit guy with a lot of cash to spare. Insecure about his hairline.

  • Lev Gefter - Brainy manager of the Gulag Garden with a knack for flash and flamboyance; has hosted numerous galas and parties on the dance floor with a litany of notables met through mingling at hotels and his apartment in Cleethorpes Tower. Tuxedo dos and cocaine, all the extravagance funded through gasoline bootlegging. Pushover.

  • Gennady & German Roitman - Former steroid smugglers and wrestlers from Belarus who climbed the ladder after strong arming for protection money: Gennady drove for Kenny Petrovich, German bodyguarded for Emil Argov. A hot ball of rage and a black-bearded mute.

  • Naum ‘Kuvalda’ Alekhin - Kenny Petrovich’s top bodyguard and gunman. A beefy boxer and martial artist, as well as a veteran in the Soviet armed forces.

  • Ivan ‘Vanya’ Bytchkov - Cat burglar and white collar criminal; has a dozen Medicare and Medicaid fraud schemes under his belt.

  • Maksim ‘Max’ Firsov - Newly-arrived protection enforcer and arsonist with a passion for printing presses and travel agencies. Often works with Vanya.

  • ‘Boba’ Chapkevich - Former weight-lifter and bouncer bodyguarding for the Roitman Brothers. Lev Gefter’s brother in law. Allergic to pork.

  • Felix Godovsky - One of the Roitman Brother’s enforcers. Prick.

  • Sasha Petrovich - Kuzma’s older brother and owner of a chain of gas stations. Kenny’s government connections got the family - parents, wife, Sasha - pristine Israeli passports. Even with the spelling errors.

  • Gordei ‘the Pozharnik’ Goldman - Pozharnik means ‘Fireman’, but he’s called that for the wrong reasons. He was a top arsonist in the old days. Still comes up to Hove Beach now and then, but right now he’s in Vice City; running a strip club and working as Kenny’s boy for the Colombians, going by the nickname ‘Gorilla’.

  • Grimwaldo ‘Remo’ Winogrodzki - Italo-Polish-Swiss smuggler of British birth. Don’t ask. Contact in Europe with a connect to Middle Eastern heroin and a holding company in Poland. Smuggles dope on planes and boats.

  • Faivish Waldvogel - A spy for the KGB in Israel who was imprisoned and bailed out by the end of the 80’s. Now a close associate of Syl Ganzfried and Mori Green. Conduit to drug and diamond smuggling organizations in Sierra Leone and Liberia, including the infamous Francophone Wome Family; he plays squash with warmongering patriarch Jean-Baptiste.

 

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Motya’s Brigada

 

Matvey ‘Motya’ Shvedik is not Kuzma Petrovich. Shvedik was born in a Kishinev ghetto in the early 50’s to a tailor and a seamstress, and initially followed them into dressmaking. But he split. What Motya Shvedik knew, seeing the men in tattoos who would sing songs about thievery and beat cops and do what they wanted, is that the only way he was getting out of the slums was by robbing.

 

So he robbed.

 

Shvedik joined a gang of young hoodlums, and then a gang of old hoodlums, and helped burglarize homes and extort other boys and beat them if they didn’t give. They called him ‘the Zhyd’ because he was Jewish and his father went to the synagogue. Motya didn’t. He took beatings because he didn’t. He didn’t care. He became a prison pickpocket, left, came back, left: had the cops beat his kidneys so bad he was pissing blood and still didn’t say a word.

 

By his twenties, he was the right-hand of his crew and had tattoos. He was vory. He was made. And when the Soviets opened the borders for Jews to Israel - Motya took his wife, his two daughters, and his ailing mother from transit point to transit point so he could go to Hove Beach.

 

Hove Beach is a thief’s paradise. You could rob, you could steal, and nobody cared. So Motya robbed, and he stole. In those days gangs were fickle - you gravitated toward the biggest boy in town, and as soon as he showed weakness you made a move. Motya was a mover. Motya robbed jewelry stores in Hove, and then Couira, and then Los Santos; extorted store owners and street vendors for petty cash. He tried joining up with Emil Argov by the mid-80’s, failed to do so, and ended up in South America trafficking cocaine and guns to Europe.

 

He got busted. Nobody knows exactly what happened, but to cut a long story short: a lot of people went to prison for something Motya may or may not have been involved in, and Motya may or may not have cut a man’s arm off with an axe.

 

By 1990 he was back in Hove Beach.

 

And by 1990, Motya had an army.

 

Kenny and his boys didn’t all have tattoos. They weren’t all vory, but they acted like it, because they were under mafia protection. Some bullsh*t like that. But who gives a sh*t what the pasta eaters have to say? Motya was a vor. His guys were vory. He sold coke in South Broker and sent diamonds back to Moscow, had the backing of elite thieves in Russia and on the Adriatic.

 

Since 1991, Motya and the Roitman Brothers have had beef. The beef is now at fever pitch.

 

He found a bomb when his kids were in the car.

 

The Shvedik wrecking crew:

  • Gleb ‘Pushka’ Zastenker - 6’5 and nearly 300 pounds of pure muscle. Motya’s bodyguard and a veteran of the Soviet-Afghan War with at least seven dead Mujahideen to his name. Good at chess.

  • Afanasy ‘Fanka’ Dobrodzhanu - Motya’s second-in-command and advisor. Has a crippling addiction to cocaine; of which he deals by the ton from a safehouse and weapons cache in Algonquin. Paranoid and delusional.

  • The Two Nikitas - Nikita ‘Kroshka’ Khabalov and Nikita ‘Nico’ Abelev; two Medicaid scammers and money counterfeiters who kill on the side for Motya. Kroshka drives an ambulance, occasionally ‘borrowed’ for hits.

  • Boghos ‘Tiny Bobby’ Soghomian - He’s 5’4”. Chubby Armenian lieutenant of Motya’s involved in cross-country diamond dealing. Threw a grenade through a debtor’s store window in Los Santos. Part-time cheese maker.

  • Margarita ‘Margo’ Opalova - Bonnie and f*cking Clyde. Motya’s psycho mistress who, on occasion, tags along on hits. Shoots the Yutzi herself and then’ll f*ck him in the back of the ambulance. A freak.

 

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The Men Back Home

 

Across the ocean, there’s a world. The underworlds of Europe, from Madrid to Helsinki, from Oslo to Malta, across the continent-spanning mass of Russia; the organizatsiya has made its mark. They are the Vorovskoy Mir; the Thieves in Law. In the prisons and gulags of Soviet Russia, to become a true criminal, to become a crowned thief, you needed to become a vor.

 

In Russia, the men becoming oligarchs are men with tattoos drawn with ink in the bowels of a Siberian work camp. As capitalism spread, crime spread, and the gangsters infiltrated the highest echelons of corporate and government power. When the Jewish gangsters spread forth in the late 60’s and early 70’s - they set the groundwork for an international criminal syndicate. And when the walls fell down and they could move by the late 80’s, the world was the Russian Mob’s playground.

 

They don’t all work together, naturally. There are different families, different bratvas, some united ethnically or by hometown or by prison block. They fight, they squabble, they row for territory. You can’t unite them all under one flag.

 

But Vikentiy Rabinovich is as close as it gets.

 

Rabinovich is the boss of all bosses. A criminal mastermind dating back to the late Seventies scamming Jews out of tickets to the US. Made his cash through bit-fraud and robbery until he became a key money laundering contact for a man named ‘Khokol’ Nozdrin and his Biryulyovskaya Bratva - was his consigliere and one of the richest men in Russia by the end of the Eighties. He moved to Hungary with his girlfriend, laundered money through a legitimate bank, used the proceeds to buy real estate in Budapest and Prague and Berlin. When the Soviets fell apart, he was indirectly owning that bank.

 

He was more powerful than his former bosses. He was richer than his former bosses. He committed tax fraud and laundered money and trafficked arms and sold whores and killed people without lifting a finger. He kitted out his mansion in Budapest with anti-aircraft missiles and tanks and private military.

 

In 1988, Rabinovich, Nozdrin, and eleven other mob bosses convened at a hotel in Bangkok. Unofficially, they formed the Krasny Treugolnik. The Red Triangle. An alliance of disparate criminal gangs from Vladivostok to Tbilisi to Madrid. And a chubby Jewish man named Rabinovich was their de facto leader.

 

But they don’t run America. That is a problem.

 

Their emissary is a man named Kitaychik - Yaroslav Pogodin. A street fighter-cum-shakedown artist turned into one of the best contract killers in Moscow. Too good. In 1981, he soaked a burglary victim in acid while he was chained to his radiator. Committed arson and killed cops like it was nothing. By ‘85 he was back in the gulag for a murder of a high-ranking Chechen gangster. And by ‘91, he was bribed out of jail by a man named Rabinovich; and put on a flight to Francis International a year later.

 

What he does is his business. But he has a million men, and a million guns, and millions of dollars.

 

The many faces of the triangle;

  • Marki Ashvilli - A philanthropist and businessman in Georgia given the role of money-launderer and money-maker for Kitaychik. Has a taste for especially young women.

  • Timur the Georgian - Top lieutenant and bodyguard for Kitaychik, worked as a premier hitman in Tbilisi. Now tasked with handling rackets he doesn’t quite understand. Loves rock and roll.

  • Bogdan ‘Khokol’ Nozdrin - One of the first guys to understand the Israel trick; it’s a government notoriously against deportation. With an Israeli passport despite not having a drop of Jewish blood, Khokol started out as a Moscow waiter and quickly rose up the criminal ladder to become Moscow’s kingpin.

  • Pavel Pavlovich Pavlov - When the Chechens encroached on Moscow turf, P.P.P. merged his gang with Khokol’s bratva and became his right-hand man. Said to have control of rackets on much of the MKAD.

  • Valentin Prigoda - The Russian Moe Consoli. A Ukranian Jew leading a double life; part pop singer and Russian crooner with a close friendship to politicians and presidents, part gangster and racketeer now the spiritual leader of Western Russia’s crime syndicates.

  • Soso Ujmajuridze - A Georgian crime boss from Khashuri with a political bent; a hardline nationalist formerly in de facto control of Georgian paramilitaries, now in de facto control of the Georgian state. Helped force out the president and now running the country through a military council. Drug trafficker and extra-judicial killer.

  • Rodislav ‘Ray’ Bulgarin - Call him a proto-Kitaychik. A human trafficker and drug smuggler who tried carving out an empire in LC during the late 80’s; got deported after getting caught with a container full of Albanian teenagers. Top man in the Adriatic.

  • Dimitri Rascalov and Mikhail Faustin - Dima the Jew and Misha the Cossack. Drug dealers and enforcers for the Biryulyovskaya Syndicate with a brotherly bond; have tattoos on the hands to match. Former military personnel and arms smugglers from Vladivostok, now exonerated of murder charges by the hand of Rabinovich.

  • Sergei Crossmarks - Prolific Kurgan-born contract killer. Why do they call him that? All the names he crosses out. Hired almost exclusively for high-profile hits in Europe.

 

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Hoods and Swindlers

 

Fact is, whether you’re talking FIB archives or the inane ramblings of amateur crime journalists, even the authoritative voice of the Liberty Tree - nobody quite has a grasp on Russian organized crime as anything but a monolith. 

 

It’s anything but.

 

So you glaze over the names. Russian mafia. Odessa syndicate. The Black Sea mob. Nonsense. And if you’re really in the know, you see Hove Beach as it really is - dotted with more thieves and hustlers loosely affiliated with the syndicate than you can imagine. The opportunists, the foolhardy, those looking to make a quick buck just outside the confines of a greater organization, the useful idiots. The movers and shakers and street punks, scam artists and semi-legit faces.

 

It’s an ecosystem after all.

 

Straddling the periphery of Little Odessa:

  • Taras the Fool - Cat burglar and drug fiend with the inside scoop on criminal scores. When you’re stealing sh*t that ain’t legal, who’s gonna call the cops?

  • Efrem ‘The Good Doctor Rema’ Shapira - They call him the Good Doctor for a reason - the real white coat, loves to hand the kiddies lollipops from the glass bowl kinda doctor. Dom the Wrench used to be a patient; guy also owns the Las Antillas Banquet Hall in Hansen Basin, they say Lazar Saravaisky’s inherited dibs on an office there. You connect the dots.

  • Cheeky Igor - A boardwalk scam artist. Offers you a bag full of antique gold rubles, gives you a sample coin. You take the bag? It’s full of turnips.

  • Shernazar Yuldashev - Trusty old Uzbek with a Goatherd garage. Kids and grandkids in Bukhara, he ups the retirement savings ante by occasionally moving smack courtesy of his Russian compatriots. Hard of hearing. Loves bagels and denim.

  • Marat the Gunsmith - Grateful recluse. Hopped on a plane in the initial furore of Jackson-Vanik in the early 70s with dreams of a dog and a two-car garage and lawn to mow. Don’t know why he picked Liberty. Old life of KGB schematics and clandestine ops now a world away; just makes tea and bombs and forgets about his yard upkeep.

  • Adam Cohen - A Hove Beach carpet seller and fraudster on both ends: finnicks with the papers, lets the neighborhood guys use his place for fraud, and in turn gets a good table at the card games.

 

Part Three: Liberty's Organized Crime

Edited by slimeball supreme
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slimeball supreme

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Disparate racial clans fighting over the melting pot.

 

In Liberty, to get ahead of the competition, you need a hierarchy. Support systems bubble and rise from ethnic enclaves, gangsters from the old country come here to reap the rewards. Be it Chinatown, Steinway, Cerveza or Little Bay - in a newly globalized world, come the globalized gangsters.

 

Meet the Cartel, meet the Albanians, meet the Triads and Jamaicans. Bikers and Italians too small-time for the Commission. Meet the guys who aren’t big enough to get a big slice.

 

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Street Cowboys

 

The Albanians in LC go a long way back. When the Albos hit the scene in the early Eighties they were starting fights and robbing fools and - on one occasion - riding right through the pedestrian section at the Pennyford County Fair with baseball bats and handguns, jumping some Italians for pocket change and speeding off through a horse track. In the States, they’re wild.

 

In Albania, they’re wilder. Number one smuggling spot in Europe. You traffic heroin through the Middle East and no matter how far authorities track you, as soon as you hit the Albanian border you might as well have vanished. You wanna send some hookers across the Adriatic, drop them off in Durrës. Albania now - post communism, post prosperity, in deep sh*t with ponzi schemes and the IMF and on the verge of economic collapse. The gangs in Tirana and across are clan-based: ethnic squabblers, lunatics and killers.

 

Some of them turned up in the United States.

 

A lot said they were Albanian, a lot didn’t. A lot of these guys came with Italian names and passports and incorporated themselves into the same neighborhoods, but don’t let the vowels fool you, they aren’t your regular zips. They switch between three languages and the cops can’t keep up. There’s old guys, and there’s young guys.

 

Young guys. Young guys in Bohan and Lennox Island who call themselves goofy names and beef with Blacks and Latinos. Kids who deal pot and sell guns and shoot themselves for nothing - leaderless and mindless. In Bohan: a car drives down filled with four friends, the windows roll down, a gunshot, and 17-year old Shpend Ukaj is thrown out the backseat onto the highway. Gets mangled by traffic.

 

Old guys. Besnik ‘Nick’ Gjoka runs East Bohan Albanians who drip right down into Dukes and Lennox Island; a tough-nut former Gambetti associate who clipped off a few Italians into his makeshift crew of wiseguys tired of only getting a small slice. They’ve been working their way up. They’re running parts of Pennyford and illegal gambling in Little Bay, scrapping with already-entrenched organizations, working as Gambetti muscle. One day, they’re enemies. The next, they’re offering themselves up as hired thugs. It’s an old strategy: you get in the good books, then wipe ‘em out when they don’t expect.

 

Everyone expects the Albanians.

 

The two-headed eagles roost:

  • Besnik ‘Nicky’ Gjoka - Montenegrin citizen came to Liberty in ‘87 and wasted absolutely no time making a name for himself. Didn’t long take to acting like insulation for Gambetti big boys so took matters into his own hands - forgoes his own insulation in favor of still tagging along on murders himself. Unassailable. Tough motherf*cker. 

  • Settimo Schettino - His parents must’ve hated him. Brother of a Gambetti soldier and protege of another, passed over for membership and territory by a zip. Now Gjoka’s right hand man.

  • Shefqet ‘the Chef’ Xhafa - Used to work closely with Tony Black before he got locked up for gas bootlegging. Now Gjoka’s main lieutenant and a messenger on his behalf. If you have a meeting with the Albanians, more often than not you’ll get the Chef.

  • Gazmend ‘Shkopinj’ Bytyçi - The Italians call him ‘Gary Chopsticks’, and the name stuck. Nicky Gjoka’s number one man: often an enforcer, occasionally a bodyguard. Never too far away from him. A bald, fleshy bundle of rage.

 

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Badmen

 

The Jamaican crews started setting up shop in Broker and Dukes and Bohan by the end of the Seventies, mostly street guys and former project thugs from Kingston; the occasional former political operative with experience blowing up cars for the right-wing JLP. Among the top guys there’s still rumors of political connections, drug money flowing from the posse pockets to the donor reels of Jamaican senators.

 

It is what it is.

 

Shady connections indeed - to Jamaican politicians, to testimony connecting bosses to the IAA. All alleged, all evidence scrubbed and redacted. In Beechwood: the Jamaicans sell crack, coke, hydroponic pot packed tight and shipped from British Columbia. They’re Public Enemy Number One for the Beechwood precinct, and ire from Dolph Beckler cannot be ignored. Especially when Beckler’s Boys are beating you with batons.

 

The Hillside Posse are Liberty’s Yardie chieftains. A drug crew based equal parts in Tivoli Gardens and Northern Gardens - they’re top drug suppliers for much of the Five Boroughs and headed by a tag-team of Beenie and Bigga, half of whom coasted to the US on a university scholarship. He didn’t exactly attend.

 

Tek a look pon de rude bwoy shotta shottas:

  • Azavier ‘Beenie’ Reid - One of the two Jamaican cartel bosses: grew up in West Kingston, did good enough in school for a Vespucci scholarship, hung out with his family in Bohan and never went. Handles distribution in Dukes and Bohan.

  • Baptiste ‘Bigga’ Suggs - It was his father, Norman ‘Juglip’ Suggs, who founded the Hillside Posse in the early 1970’s. When Juglip died, Bigga took over. Handles distribution in Broker and Vice City.

  • Freddy Paparo - Flamboyant, narcissistic, living large. Paparo grew up in Willis and got brought into the Hillside Crew; now makes a living distributing crack to the corners and reaping the rewards. Has a thing for suits, nice hats, and 60’s cars with f*cked rims.

  • Mervin Eskuchen - Standout Willis white boy, Big Merv made good with Freddy Paparo at Meadow Hills International - graduating class of ‘80, though neither of them did. When Freddy got in with Hillside Merv stayed on the periphery; still occasionally dabbles with crack distribution to the bridge and tunnel crowd and they split the profits.

  • Leo ‘Bugsy’ Brodell - New blood, always carried himself like hot sh*t. Flipped burgers and roasts at a dive on Tutelo Ave; Bigga Suggs caught him on a smoke break outside and they shot the sh*t over jerk chicken. Liked him. Still small time but he’s got his in - slings lowdro at the park right across Homebrew Cafe.

 

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The Gentlemen

 

It was in the early 70’s when what would become the Cazar Cartel got its start; the Sepulveda Brothers were rich kids in Colombia who trafficked marijuana and kidnapped foreign tourists for high ransom. The latter wasn’t exactly a long-term business opportunity, and the former didn’t have great turnover.

 

So they started selling coke.

 

The guys split off from the kidnapping crew and formed their own: Los Caballeros, the gentlemen. While the DOA was busy chasing heroin, the brothers set up shop in Liberty and Vice City and (for a time) were partnered with León Izquierdo and his Encajarse Cartel. The Caballeros were affiliated, and then they weren’t. When the Cazar Cartel’s output started matching the Encajarse, they went to war. Bodies lining the streets of Vice City and bullets in Cerveza Heights drug fronts.

 

But the Cazar Cartel stood the test of time. The US Government reached out for a hand, and the Cazar shook it - helped crack down on the Encajarse guys. To this day, Izquierdo is still on the run in Colombia from Cazar-funded death squads, and the Sepulveda Brothers are sipping cocktails on yachts in Italy. They run the US coke market now.

 

The Sepulvedas are Royer and Yerson - Royer the elder as CEO, Yerson as CFO - now running a corporatized, military-trained clique of coke and opium traffickers. Royer’s well-educated, smart, groomed; a regular at wine-and-dine galas in Bogota. Yerson a money-man and strategist with a million wild plans for deceiving US surveillance: submarines and taxi cabs and dressing up smugglers as rabbis. Meanwhile in America - LC’s their nexus point for east-coast coke shipping, headed by COO and party boy ‘Yiyo’ Monsalve. Call it their regional headquarters.

 

So, the Cazar Cartel, the gentlemen. They’re running the Colombian government, importing mercenaries and foreign scientists for combat-training and drug-creating, and pissing the IAA off at every turn (when they aren’t working with them, that is).

 

You truly love to see it. An entrepreneurial success story.

 

The coca killers of Cauca Valley:

  • Yeraldin ‘Yiyo’ Monsalve - The head of the Cazar Cartel’s Liberty City operations. An eccentric in the ‘I don’t give a f*ck’ kind of way where he’ll walk out onto the street covered head to toe in powder for the payphone without a blink. Has an affinity for underwater travel.

  • Nicolás ‘Enano’ Ospina - Real extension of the entrepreneurial success tale: came to the US on an engineer’s work visa in 1975 only to become a Grade-A coke supplier by the 80’s. Great with money, words, more connections than the 3 line - currently fomenting international connections between the Cartel, the mob, and various nebulous political entities back home.

  • Edwin ‘El Tigre’ Obregón-Lopez - Top guy in charge of cocaine distribution back in Colombia; he’ll never step foot in Liberty City, but his shadow is always felt. Whether that’s the constant name-dropping by big wig wannabes, or it’s the pretty tiger logo printed on every brick of Cazar coca.

  • Aldemar Garzón-Amero - Polymath: Cartel picked him up after hearing tales of his expertise in far-right guerilla warfare; knew guns like the back of his hand, disappearing folk and squashing dissent in labor unions alike. Naturally, does security now. Major ego problem.

  • Ainsley Sinclair - Thinks he’s Endeavour Chambers. He isn’t. Former MI5, sure - bungled a handful of Pakistani anti-proliferation ops in the mid-70s before being gently reshuffled to the ‘public welfare’ department. Hung around in the right bar at the right time, just maudlin enough for Yiyo to take a liking to him. That was ‘85 or so. Now designated ‘resident tactician’ - which means he waits in the parking lot.

  • Benji Liggett - In Loughgall; shot a civilian and ran into a door. In Gibraltar; discharged his weapon and caused a gas station fire. In Belfast; supposedly found an inactive explosive that detonated in a bomb squad van. It wasn't until he used a superior as a body shield during Operation Conservation that Liggett was removed from the SAS; but his training and affection for kung fu movies made him a perfect fit as Yiyo’s chief bodyguard.

  • Kihachirō ‘Deme’ Ennosuke - Lunatic who happens to be very talented in the art of chemical composition. Stranger in the strange land of Liberty City, Yiyo’s whims brought him stateside. Top drug cook for Yiyo’s Dukes operation.

 

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The Chinatown Tongs

 

Chinatown gangster history is a 19th century affair - always centered around the Tongs. Tongs are Chinese merchant societies: fraternal collectives of businessmen and eventually ‘businessmen’, many affiliated with the Kuomintang until the Chinese Revolution. They warred for domination. Over dead prostitutes and busted up opium dens. From those fights in the early 20th century, two came out on top of Chinatown’s underworld: the Cung Hau Community Association and the Gat Zoeng Chinese Merchants.

 

These days, the Tongs aren’t the place for combat. Membership consists of older men who run the businesses - not the muscle. The Tongs began to insulate themselves from criminal activity, using farm team street gangs: Cung Hau had the Red Dragons, Gat Zoeng had the Lucky Whispers. They bickered, made peace, bickered, made peace; and united into a council by the late-80’s to stop the squabbling.

 

They still squabble.

 

The council, the Tongs, are deceptively organized. The leader and second in command of both the big two and a few other associations meet with a mutually elected middle-man between them and the gangs that represent them. Middle-man relays orders to the leaders of the street gangs; essentially placing him as the head honcho who lays down the beatings and insulating them from management. Currently, that man is Hsin Jaoming.

 

Hsin Jaoming isn’t technically his legal name - spells it wrong as an affront to Maoist naming customs, he says. Or something like that. He also bets on sports teams based on the color of their uniforms. When he was appointed the middle-rung of the ladder, overseeing the activities of the street gangs, he wasn’t running a Tong; the White Sun Society was started as an anti-communist lobbying organization in the heart of Chinatown. And typical of that sort of thing, they did extortion and blackmail on the side.

 

A violent, narcissistic moron. The perfect face. 

 

Rigby Tse. If the Jaoming name begets the depraved face of Chinese organized crime then Tse is its affable antithesis. Long as the sun’s in the sky Rigby’s on Wong Way - criss-crossing narrow alleys with his trademark cane, chatting up vendors or playing Pai Gaw under the banners; if it weren’t for a Senate subcommittee hearing point-blank naming him leader of the Cung Hau Tong less than two months ago the average Joe strolling down Cavity Lane wouldn’t know the difference. 

 

Cung Hau though? That same subcommittee put everything in perspective. They run the gamut of giving their subordinates an air of legitimacy: smuggling, drugs, prostitution and murder, Red Dragons insulating the dabble into smack as the mob power vacuum surged; sweeping up a good chunk of the market as the wops fell to bullets and indictments alike all the while turning to coke. 

 

None of these guys are too friendly but you don’t f*ck with the Red Dragons. Chuckie Lee and strongarm brother Kenny; under the wing of ‘Puppydog’ Wesley Yip, a trailblazer who popped ‘Broker’ Kwan, the Dragons’ scag trade-averse leader, to take the reins in ‘83 (and don’t ask about Tse’s blessing). They’re not averse to much. You name it, they’re at least a couple fingers in the pie. In the middle of all this, they’re trying to act like independents while Cung Hau tries to go semi-legit: community outreach attempts and charities and sponsoring festivals. Yin and yang.

 

Then you got the Lucky Whispers and their Gat Zoeng benefactors. Gat Zoeng’s a different animal; in lack of their own Rigby Tse, leadership finds itself passed down through equal parts family ties as formal appointments - currently at the helm? A triumvirate of the siblings Tam: Ho Man, Ho Seng, sister Wing Shun. A mouthful, sure: they go by Long-Ear, King Duck, and Janet, respectively. Thing is, they’ve long left that whole idea of pragmatic insulation behind; King Duck, on paper he’s proper president of the Gat Zoeng Chinese Merchants’ Association. Janet handles cash flow - association credit unions in her name, pulls a lot of strings with it, real purveyor of vice.

 

And Long-Ear’s at the helm of the Whispers.

 

They’re intertwined to the max - and the history befits; Gat Zoeng got their start half a century back by putting the squeeze on local shop owners with the oldest trick in the book: protection rackets. They’ve never quite cared about airs of legitimacy.

 

And why would they?

 

At the moment they’re embroiled in conflict with the KEA - Vietnamese street punks with a real penchant for challenging the Triads’ authority, kids with no scruples and no business sense presenting a real obstacle in the middle of it all.

 

And now it’s 1992. In the end you take one lesson away: the Tongs have never shied away from finding a synthesis in the old and the new - old traditions and new faces as likely as the inverse. 

 

The dai lo and ma jai of Chinatown:

  • ‘Puppydog’ Wesley Yip - Since ‘83, the leader of the Red Dragons. The Chinese Pete Rea; diversified into heroin trafficking when the mafia’s monopoly collapsed, now one of the tri-state area’s number one dealers.

  • ‘Blackjack’ Chuckie Lee - Big boss in the Red Dragons: also a philanderer, a drunkard, and a degenerate gambler. Even with a love for mahjong and cocaine, he’s known as a diligent worker-bee with a proficiency in running rackets and propensity for calling hits.

  • Kenny Lee - The younger brother of Chuckie and the enforcement arm of the Red Dragons. To this day, still personally tags along for debts - smashes shop windows with tire irons, beats the owners, burns the place down after.

  • ‘Flathead’ Truman Mok - Affiliated with the Cung Hau chapters in Toronto and cross-coast in San Andreas; a deal-maker and deal-breaker.

  • Chun Chun Fung - Chinatown’s biggest arms dealer and a would-be criminal socialite; mingles with the Italians and the bikers and everyone he can as a way of cultivating buyers and weaponry.

  • Zhou Ming - A shining star in Algonquin Chinatown with a talent for counterfeiting watches and branded clothing. Works the markets and dresses flash; sees himself as a businessman.

  • Chan Jaoming - Wrap your head around this sh*t: on his birth certificate, his name’s Zhou Ming-chan. His dad’s too bull-headed for that, so in America he’s Chan Jaoming. Not exactly like Chan gives a f*ck, though - he calls himself Falcon because he really liked The Redeemer. Hsin the Idiot’s idiot son given membership in the Red Dragons for his surname. Or, y’know, surname.

 

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The Steinway Easties

 

The McReary family are a dynasty. A bloodline going back to the 1880’s in Purgatory, the Kitchen Kids who scrapped for political bosses against nativists. When Prohibition came, they made bank bootlegging with Cormac ‘Spuck’ Carlow, helped him buy hockey teams, had their own people inside Colesqua Ward. It was Taidgh ‘Teague’ McReary who took the helm and ran protection downtown until the Italians and Jews began to chip away. He had a son, and his son had a son, that son was named John Jack McReary.

 

John Jack ‘Jackie’ McReary. Born in 1932, one of nine children - his father ‘Lucky Luke’ Lorcan running numbers in Purgatory, his mother Denise the princess of an influential political club that ruled over city councilors. Jack dropped out of high school as soon as he could, helped his father with the business and did his own armed robberies for cheap. Would meet an Irish girl at his church named Maureen who he’d fall in with despite a less-than-legal age gap; would take her along for robberies and hid out at her home in Dukes numerous times in the Fifties.

 

When she was 21, she had her first kid. She’d have four more.

 

The McReary crew in Purgatory were bullies and psychopaths. Then Jackie took over in the early 60’s, and the ante got upped. The gigs were bookmaking, burglary, loansharking, protection - their most lucrative racket was kidnapping businessmen and gangsters and holding them up for ransom. Jack worked personally for Jon Gravelli, outsourced his crew as hitmen for the mob, beefed with the Pavanos over real estate, and came up short when the cops booked him for racketeering.

 

Today, the gang is split down the middle - half old school lunatics from Purgatory, half hired guns and hoodlums from enterprising McReary son Gerald. Rumors abound that Old Jack still gives out orders from prison to emissary Kev McEniry, working as de-facto Algonquin boss as territory quickly shrinks. To support a gang, you need a network: and most of Gerald’s boys only rob part-time, working at pizza places or washing cars, dealing pot and robbing crooks on the side. Are the McRearys still an organization, or a glorified stick-up crew?

 

Jack holds onto his legacy. The prosecutors are knocking for a plea. If Jack gets out early, what’s a few wops on the fire? Time will tell.

 

The fightin’ Irish:

  • Roderick ‘Kit Spoils’ Whelan - Son Derrick never wanted to be a member of the gang, so Jack mentored Kit instead. A promising tough in the Seventies went batsh*t as he aged: diagnosed with schizophrenia, in and out of mental hospitals, a history of hallucinations, hearing loss from hit after hit after shotgun-blast-to-the-brain-f*cking-hit.

  • Kevin ‘Kev’ McEniry - An older member of the McReary crew: a youngster in the good days, a makeshift acting boss today. Even headed, even with his own vices. Commutes from Berchem.

  • Gerald McReary - Only 19, Gerald was smoking at age 12 and was coming home soaked in blood by 15. A man in his father’s image: uncompromising, vicious, sly. Though he never liked his old man.

  • Derrick McReary - A rebellious youth who stayed far away from the family business to pursue political activism: read Derrida and Gramsci, smashed store windows, beat cops. A heroin addiction lead to fun-robbing with idealistic friends, Sligo and O’Malley, the three skipping town in ‘88 to fight for the Provos in Ireland. They haven’t returned.

  • Aiden O’Malley - Aiden was born in Skimmer Tip but grew up homeschooled. Kept the accent he should’ve shed. Grew up with stories of Celtic warriors and Gaelic kings; enough to convince the elder Derrick of the Republican cause and ship a trio off to fight.

  • Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Sligo - Bucky dropped out of high school but still read Marx anyway. Attended Vietnam protests with McReary and later O’Malley, professed his love for Uncle Ho over lines of good coke. When the protests turned bad, Bucky turned to robbing. After robbing turned bad, Bucky found himself a cause with the IRA. He’s fighting the good fight.

  • Arbi ‘the Muz’ Hasangjekaj - One of the more astute members of the McReary Crew: an Albanian without a single drop of Irish blood. A practicing Muslim and admirer of the Kosovan cause, his presence in the crew isn’t exactly encouraged by the old-timers. Where's the purity, they cry. Gerald doesn't have time for it.

  • ‘Jelly’ Phil Donovan - His father Gilroy worked with the Lupisellas in East Liberty and helped rob the airport, got shot before testifying. Jelly Phil brags about him. He wasn’t testifying, he was taking over. A two-bit schmuck. One of Gerald’s lackeys.

 

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The Greek Family

 

The Greek mob in Liberty goes back to the 1950’s. Greek and Greek-Americans always clustered around Steinway alongside Irish and later Arabs and Albanians - at the time, Irishmen mostly held court in Purgatory. So the Greeks held court in Steinway. It was Eli Balteas who jumped into running barbut and dice games, started shylocking and selling heroin. After a couple years, ‘the Greek Crew’ in Steinway started paying up to Lupisellas and providing muscle.

 

And then Eli vanished.

 

Nobody knows what happened to Eli. Nobody ordered his death, nobody wanted him dead, he just dropped off the face of the Earth. His crew was never organized and never had a hierarchy, just 20-30 Greek goons who gathered to work, so leadership jumped around and scattered from man to man. Until Dimosthenis ‘Dino’ Cosmoglou.

 

Dino the Cosmonaut was born in Southern Greece, moved out to Dukes in his early twenties to live with his parents. Got married working the tables there. Made cash on the side hosting dice games in the back. When his dad found out, he lost his job, but Dino’d made enough money to start his own social club and really start reeling in the big bucks.

 

Dino wasn’t a killer - he was a businessman. The high stakes barbut games were good, but they weren’t good enough, so he became Steinway’s top bookie: hosting card games, dice games, horse races, satellite broadcasts of every sport from football to soccer. Made good dough cheating customers by broadcasting a little later, so he’d know the scores before the gamblers.

 

By the time the Lupisellas came-a knocking, he was de facto boss of the unofficial Greek Mob. Not because anyone really answered to him, but half the Greek gangsters were in debt to him and the other half were his best f*cking friends. He was a peacemaker. So when Dom the Wrench and his buddy Huge Henry started demanding more cash and respect and loaning out his buddies, Dino did it all in the name of friendship. When Dino started helping the Lupisellas with their gambling rackets, it was good for everyone.

 

But there’s Albanians in Steinway now. Kids who don’t give a f*ck. There’s Gambettis saying they’re owed a slice of whatever happens in Broker as their crew expands. Huge Henry’s on the stand willing to give everyone up. Dino ain’t a boss, and he’ll probably learn that the hard way.

 

The Greek gangsters:

  • Yiannis ‘Little Coz’ Cosmoglou - Dino Cosmoglou’s younger brother. Heroin and gambling addict, which is ironic, since his brother’s the neighborhood supplier for both.

  • Martin ‘Tinman’ Rouphos - They call him Tinman for getting a medal while serving in, I sh*t you not, Granada. Bravo, Marty. Regardless, Tinman still enforces for Cosmoglou and Lupisella debts.

  • Christos ‘Corky’ Korkizoglou - In a family of contractors for other men, Corky Christo regularly associates and enforces for Dom ‘the Wrench’ Sepe. Or, he would, if anyone knew where Dom was.

  • Doug ‘the Greek’ Hatzidakis - Young Greek-American tough with an ear to the street. Associates regularly with Gerald McReary’s misfit Easties crew. On parole.

  • Hankie ‘the Italian’ Lanza - Despite being on-track for a membership with the Messina Family, who he still regularly associates with, a longtime friend of Doug the Greek has been sticking to the Cosmoglou Crew more often than not.

 

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Angels Forever, Forever Angels

 

The prototypical OMG, whose name today conjures up images of every neo-Nazi on a Western across the continent, has its roots deep in a history of running against the grain: originally a brotherhood of pissed off vets who’d earned the name on the hills of Okinawa, it was formed in a rotwood San Fierro dive in 1949 - under a six man charter membership including an angry little man named Hugo Arnold, the hard-nosed crew united by a love of choppers, barfights, and a plain old love for being white soon had chapters across the whole of northern SA.

 

They called Hugo ‘Big Man’ - because his voice was big and his brass knuckles were big and his ego insurmountable. And some combination of these things caught him some lead in the shoulder in ‘54, and a drunken misunderstanding in Birchwood a year later caught him some more - this time in the head.

 

Hugo left behind a kid named Dave, kid with only half his father’s affinity for the white race but twice his love for choppers - kid who by 1968 had his own gang of marauders carrying on the spirit of the AOD in the same town it was born. With a kid of his own to think about, Dave spent his entire life trying to avoid taking any bullets - a feat all the more impressive with the amount of smack his gang was peddling at the behest of some shadowy contacts he’d made in Korea.

 

Angels had diverse interests - played right into the hand of counterculture, busted two heads for every one kilo of scag they moved, conducted only half-legit security ventures courtesy of AOD charter member Dirk Dunne, rolling in the dough they needed to crawl across the nation over the next twenty years. As the years went on a pipeline got built: you join the Angels, go to jail, f*ck with the Nazis in the joint, come out Aryan, spread the code.

 

Angels used the swastikas and the SS bolts for shock value. And then they didn’t.

 

Despite this, the Angels sold out a long time ago. Brand names and documentary teams and merchandise sold for big bucks in the South. But boy, do these guys still sell drugs, shoot guns, and get busted up for racketeering. They’re the nation’s top biker gang, and they don’t give a f*ck. When in doubt, knock ‘em out.

 

The Local 14’s biggest boys:

  • Ray ‘Oogy’ Ughi - The famous AOD clubhouse in Easton was inherited by none other than Raymond ‘the Wop’ Ughi. Big f*cking guy with greasy hair and a middling IQ.

  • Lester ‘Arnie Lester’ Arnold - Did he follow in daddy’s footsteps? You bet. Moved cross-country to the East Coast and now Vice President of the Liberty Chapter. A make-do consigliere.

  • Enoch ‘Knocko’ Frankel - The club’s spokesperson and top PR guy, seen on the news outside the clubhouse giving explanations for drug charges and homicide convictions. He’s Jewish, so trust him, the AOD ain’t racist! Very litigious.

  • Albert Lawson - If there’s anyone most dedicated to the ‘white power’ thing in the club, it’s the guy with the Swastika painted on his face. Sergeant-at-Arms.

  • Joseph ‘Joe Jon’ Johnson - Club prospect and school dropout with a fetish for Nazi regalia. Pals around with Lawson. Carcer City expatriate.

 

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The Almighty Forgives...

 

The Lost were born in Hanoi - eight Marines sharing drinks in the jungle, eight men with no hope and no prospects bar getting shot by VC, eight men saw their way through the conflict and back to the east coast by the time they called them ‘the Sixties’. 

 

Being told you’re leading a just cause in killing those stinkin’ gooks only gets you so far - and when even that cause turns out to be slightly less than just and comes with the spectre of disillusionment with Good Government bullsh*t and in some cases a dishonorable discharge, Bobby ‘Frogskins’ Kurtz found it easy to unite a few wayward and embittered men under the banner of a people dedicated to drinking, f*cking, and burning rubber on the open road. And along with that disillusionment came a central tenet of what would soon become the Lost MC under Kurtz’s leadership: racists f*ck off. The refusal to let the state cut the man down meant no color would get in the way of the good times.

 

So that’s what they did - burned that rubber through towns and past police outposts with one hand on the handlebars and the other on a 40, dotted themselves across the map beginning in ‘66: left Kurtz’ hometown of Acter, Alderney for wherever the tar took them - touched base from Carcer to Couira to Indianapolis and west, made national One-Percenter before the year was out with chapters springing up all over the Atlantic Seaboard. Spending the night at any old country watering hole they’d inevitably get asked ‘Where from?’ and Bobby, ever the fan of a good narrative, had his mirror-practiced response at the ready: Ain’t from nowhere. We’s The Lost.

 

In 1968, Kurtz and the original prospects landed in a little town called Pleasance about 100 klicks from San Fierro and, needless to say, before long it was under their wing - and by then funding their blithe ventures with the occasional strongarm and pot sale left them in the sights of a nascent SF-based Angels of Death under David Arnold’s leadership, him too looking to expand their territory.

 

The rest, as they say, is history. The ‘original’ Lost were back on the east coast within the decade.

 

In 1992 Liberty, long divorced from the reign of Bobby Kurtz, The Lost MC’s eager Alderney origins have been shunted in favor of prospect riders come down from the regional nexus in Montresor and Canada alike. Kurtz’ one-time moral preference to ‘avoid the hard sh*t’ - gone in favor of an active participation in the tri-state scag trade, and the closest thing any OMG can claim to being ‘racially blind’ has made them inroads with street gangs aplenty - Puerto Ricans and Dominicans to split the biz, good terms with the goombahs they share clubhouse grounds with and good competition to a decidedly insular Angels of Death. But along with that big tent invitation to the Alderney chapter has come the final nail in the coffin of Kurtz’s vision.

 

Regardless - one thing the good time-havers didn’t see coming? RICO. Drug trafficking, extortion, still dabbling with the AOD over infantile turf wars - all fall under the predicate umbrella. Should’ve seen it coming from the moment they made One Percenter.

 

The open roads might be closed, but Liberty’s an open market. So much for the good times.

 

Lost, but not forgotten:

  • Otis ‘Tito’ Sudbury - Who’s the messiah? Motherf*cking cocksucking Tito goddamn Sudbury. In the Acter chapter, he made a name for himself as a killer loyal to the brotherhood flags. When he made chapter president, he might as well have been made national president, ordering numerous hits all over the Midwest and East Coast - from Florida to Carcer to Liberty f*ckin’ City - against AOD and rival drug dealers alike. Charismatic and psychopathic.

  • Winnie ‘Horse’ Nest - Llewyn Nest was one of the first guys in the Acter Chapter; a badass motherf*cker with an anti-authority streak. When he made Vice President, he passed on leadership to Tito after ‘Roman Lou’ Neculcea went to prison. Never felt built for leadership.

  • Harper Garafolo - Club secretary might sound boring, but it ain’t for Tats Harper. The only Italian in the Acter chapter acts as the emissary and point man for club partnerships: the Alderney guineas, the uptown dealers, and yes, the AOD.

  • ‘Sick’ Mickey Whorton  - Call him sick ‘cause he looks like a freak, born without eyebrows or fingernails or hair. But he can f*cking party. Couldn’t get a job and couldn’t get many friends, started robbing ‘til he found the brotherhood.

  • Clay ‘Crowdog’ Simons - Never part of the original eight, but hell, he’s as old as they come. Served in Saigon during the Fall and bounced around Alderney with a hog and a Gadsden flag. Found his Lost patch later on. Still open to serving again.

  • Shane ‘Bozo’ Kraska - Broker chapter Polack sh*t-stirrer. Doesn’t back down, never backs down, flips the switch and turns an argument into a fistfight into a homicide.

  • Jim ‘the Fitz’ Fitzgerald - Still touchy about a short stint in the Marines and a discharge he won’t say is honorable or otherwise. Young Prospect still earning his stripes.

 

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Wannabes

 

Pegorino history, from the beginning, has been little but a series of concessions. The Tudor Family, the Guernsey Family, the Alderney Mob - the organization wasn’t even considered a separate family at all until the early 1960’s reign of Guglielmo ‘Bill the Gun’ Il’Brancaleone, a ruthless boss and charisma magnet who doubled the family’s made men. A man of honor, he cultivated relationships with both the Messina and Pavanos - the latter representing his seat on The Commission and Bill personally acting as an emissary for the former as the Messina Wars began to heat up.

 

After his arrest in ‘72 and retirement in ‘79, underboss ‘Johnny Cheese’ Pegorino took the reigns. John Cheese? Major asskiss. Aligned himself with Gravelli’s Gambetti crew and supplied themselves as muscle during the 1980’s Gambetti War. When Teflon Jon took power, Cheese let Gravelli represent him on the Commission and, in turn, Cheese became a puppet leader for Gravelli. If the Gambettis had business across the West River, more often than not, the Pegorino clan took charge. This was his downfall. A 1984 homicide bundled into a racketeering charge that got Cheese a life sentence in ‘87, and the stacked deck fell when he was diagnosed with skin cancer.

 

Who else to take charge but his son? In came James.

 

Jimmy ‘the Peg’ was never top muscle for the Pegorino crew - he was tasked with busting skulls throughout the seventies with Bippy Dog bids for car theft and burglary. For the Gambettis, he partnered with the McReary Easties and met their patriarch and their sons; hijacking trucks and robbing stores for petty cash alongside the McReary-Sligo-O’Malley trio. To most everybody, he was a top f*cking moron. He was made at 25 at a birthday party and never made capo before his promotion to boss; but he read half of Macchiavelli’s The Prince before giving up and pretending he finished.

 

When his father got a bid, it was sheer luck the crown fell on his lap after beating a manslaughter charge for (allegedly) killing a hotel doorman with his Schyster. Anyone else who woulda been promoted went down with his daddy. In 1992, Jimmy is acting boss with his father inside - and has proven himself rather impervious to the RICO cases the other families have been slammed with. Their shadow is felt in Liberty.

 

The Guernsey goombahs of the Pegorinos include:

  • ‘Vinny Lumps’ Pegorino - Johnny Cheese’s younger brother. Would be boss right now, but he won’t be out of prison until 2004 at the earliest. His nephew’s keeping the seat warm, but he probably won’t get off.

  • Teddy Boccino - Part owner of Drusilla’s Neapolitan in Little Italy alongside his cousin ‘Tony Black’ Spoleto. The son of made Gambetti guy Sebby Boccino. Unfortunately, reputation follows the Boccino name. How the mighty fall.

  • Stan ‘the Man’ Mendizarza - A cousin of Mel Schiavone, who woulda' guessed, too cocky and too loud to get made in Liberty. The story of half the wiseguys in the family. Now a soldier under capo Ted Boccino and illicitly working in Algonquin.

  • Abel ‘Bobo’ Gallo - A family man, a Knight of Columbus; a high ranking, lowkey soldier of the Guernsey crew. Helps out with the taxman at his brother-in-law Phil’s behest: at Jimmy’s strip joint and an Italian restaurant on Cockerell Ave.

  • Phil Bell - One of Jimmy’s closest friends and a confidante; like his little brother. Even if there’s an official consigliere, Jimmy always asks Phil second. Would’ve been made if it weren’t for the surname.

  • Izzy D’Avanzo - A hitman-for-hire who’s represented all stripes; a variety of vices have thrown him into debt with just about every degenerate in the metropolitan area. Does jobs for the Five Families, the Russians, the Greeks, the Chinese… and now, worst of all, Jimmy Pegorino.

 

Part Four: Street Gangs

Edited by slimeball supreme
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Vivid and charming descriptions of all the gangs, without breaking the style or immersion of the concept. Great work.

Edited by DownInTheHole
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The Coconut Kid

I've just read through your Underworld posts. Exhaustive and incredible -- as good as any true life archive, never mind GTA. Next level stuff.

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slimeball supreme
21 hours ago, The Coconut Kid said:

I've just read through your Underworld posts. Exhaustive and incredible -- as good as any true life archive, never mind GTA. Next level stuff.

that is extraordinarily high praise and thank you for it lol. a lot of it swerves between real stuff and creative license and we're really happy how it turned out. its a good way for anyone to keep track of names and keeps the deliberate stylization we have with the OP while being more on-its-nose informative. we may have two or so more in us so anyone reading should stay tuned for that but regardless thank u for this

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The Coconut Kid

Two or maybe more?! Lawdy lawd. It's crossing my mind after reading Greed & Grit that the LCPD might be future candidates for one of your future underworld posts? I'd give my left nut to see someone flesh out a corrupt police force with its own organization not unlike a crime family, let alone the two of you.

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slimeball supreme
12 hours ago, The Coconut Kid said:

Two or maybe more?! Lawdy lawd. It's crossing my mind after reading Greed & Grit that the LCPD might be future candidates for one of your future underworld posts? I'd give my left nut to see someone flesh out a corrupt police force with its own organization not unlike a crime family, let alone the two of you.

sh*t he's onto us!!!!

 

essentially the fourth'll be the less 'organized' territory-or-drug oriented crews, which is predictable, but number 5 will absolutely delve into the good guys, supposedly. specifically local law enforcement who we really want to put across as their own prowling unit, the vigilantes like the avenging angels or the south slopes shomrim, company men and of course some of the intrepid reporters for local media

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The Notorious MOB
On 4/5/2020 at 9:35 AM, The Coconut Kid said:

Two or maybe more?! Lawdy lawd. It's crossing my mind after reading Greed & Grit that the LCPD might be future candidates for one of your future underworld posts? I'd give my left nut to see someone flesh out a corrupt police force with its own organization not unlike a crime family, let alone the two of you.

A police force in many ways is structured like a criminal organization, in fact that's why they call it organized crime - because there's a structure to it. In terms of a crime family though, each precinct is probably like a regional faction. 

 

On the bottom rung you have your officers, which are analogous to associates. Then once you prove yourself enough to manage a crew you can take responsibility for a group of officers and be made sergeant. At this level you take responsibility for the work being done and report to your lieutenant, who in the world of the mob would be most like a captain. Then you have the actual captain of your precinct who overseas everything with that specific geographical areas. He gets paid from the fruits of the labour done by the whole borgata. After this you have the whole administrative wing - Deputy Chief, Department Chief etc. Right up to the rank of commissioner. The NYPD is a lot more complex than most PDs in terms of its structure but Liberty City in GTA IV is a much smaller area so it will interesting to see how you guys play it. Or whether you'll even include the upper management structures at all.

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Two blips. A big iSGiLs5.png and an BngppE3.png. Former lingers across in Broker: in Bantonvale. Pick and choose, but Butch doesn't wait for nobody.

 

The Salumeria.

 

Same crowd of sunglasses and tracksuits and tanning mirror eyes you as you walk in on your lonesome to the entrance, Clarkie following you again inside as you pace through the meats and the cheeses and the shopping carts to the doors at the back. The Bantonvale Boys are already there, waiting.

 

Eric is bored. Checks his nails. Jonnie pulls a good “‘Sup, Age?” as Roy leans against the wall all cool-like to the left. Looks at you, then Clarkie, then puts up two fingers and nudges his head.

 

Clarkie nods and leaves.

 

Age, “Hell was that?”

 

Roy shrugs.

 

“We headed in?”

 

Roy gives a smirk back. “C’mere.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“We stirred up some sh*t the other day. Butchie’s sittin’ down.”

 

Now Age’s interested.

 

Camera lingers and zooms in as Age gets closer and the talking inside gets louder, loud enough for an ear to the door to reveal the whole thing. Roy smiles in the corner and smile gets wider as you realize who the other voice is.

 

This peaky, scratchy, heavy Broker accent is in chastise mode. “I understand ya’s frustrations--”

 

Butch, “Yeah?

 

“Yeah, sure Butch, yeah. But youse gotta understand where they’s comin’ from. Mark Anthony came down to the social club in Dukes and he was drippin’ out the f*ckin’ ear and he just falls to the ground. You know that. You know he woke up in the ward and he was sayin’, and I’m tellin’ you, the first thing he says is ‘is Fredo okay?’ and I mean- the kid loves his brother.

 

“Don’t we all, Melvo.”

 

It hits. Age whispers, “‘S’that f*ckin’ Broker Mel?

 

Roy shushes. Thumbs back and keeps the toothy smile. Mel keeps the scritching from behind the door, “You don’t get it, Butch. That kid’s got his button. Both kids got their button. And Mark Anthony, he- he, I don’t mean this lightly, but you know how he feels. Hal says these kids mean a lot to him, that they did a good thing for him, that you can’t do that.”

 

“And they shoulda’ spoke to me before he decided to go around Cork Villa with his rat f*ckin’ twin. I’m owed that.”

 

“I don’t understand why.”

 

“You know why.”

 

“And you know I told you I’d talk to Hal and we’d compromise and I told that to Jon, too, but facts is facts. We’s can’t go no higher than what we’s previously told youse.”

 

This pause. Butch is gruffer now, “And I told you that we’d get back to you on that.”

 

Mark told me- listen, I’m trying to be fair here. I’m trying to offer youse what we can offer youse.”

 

“I’ll put in a good word for you, but you know my opinion, Skivs.”

 

Listen to me. This can’t keep up.”

 

“Yeah, sure. I think we’ll see about that, definitely. That’s good.”

 

And this is where Roy stops, and nods, and says, “I think we should greet the big man before he goes.

 

The boys agree.

 

Mel the Skiv is in the middle of saying something else, some other thing veiled in honey-coated niceties, before the door swings open - gives you and the boys a full scope of the room. Butch leaning back in his chair in an open shirt revealing a wifebeater and a crucifix; Broker Mel hunched over with his meatface screwed into apologetics and the eyebrows up and the lipcorners down in a frown.

 

Roy beams. “Bad time?”

 

Butch laughs, “No, no - excellent time. Mel, you met the kids I told you about, Roy Zito?”

 

Mel scans the faces but doesn’t stop on Roy, stops on Jon Junior. Lips straighten up and brows stay curved, “Well, how you doin’?”

 

“Yeah,” Butch says. “They’s paid them Volpes the visit, you know. Gave ‘em the what-for. Boys; this is my cousin Mel Schiavone. Friend a’ Harvey Noto’s.”

 

Mel’s face doesn’t change. “How you doin’.

 

Roy holds out a hand, “It’s a pleasure to meet youse, Mr. Schiavone, I heard a lot about youse. At the reunions half the words they’re sayin’ is Mel, Mel, Mel, right?”

 

Mel’s face is frozen. “Yeah.” Doesn’t shake, leaves the hand limp. “Yeah, yeah.”

 

Age, “I didn’t know you was Butchie’s cousin, though.”

 

Another laugh from Butch, “He’s everyone’s cousin! Right? Eh?”

 

Mel stands, can’t stop nodding. “I got this thing.”

 

“That’s okay. You’ll tell Harv’ what I told you, right?”

 

“That you’ll- yeah, you’ll consider but he knows your opinion.”

 

That’s right.”

 

“Yeah.” You can feel the teeth grit. “Yeah, I’ll tell him.”

 

“Good.”

 

Mel looks at Junior again. “Boys.

 

Junior frowns.

 

Mel scurries out the door.

 

There’s this moment or two where the dust settles and the doors drift shut and the silence is pierced with this booming laugh from Butch again, gets joined in by Roy and Age and Eric and Jon. Butch wipes eye, “God.

 

Roy, “We scared the f*ckin’ sh*t out Skivs, huh?”

 

“You shoulda’ seen him before he came in. Pissed his f*ckin’ pants,” Butch grins. “God, that sh*t gets me goin’. Poseur f*ckin’ cafone f*ckin’ fa**ot. I love the guy, but madon’. Unbelievable.”

 

“f*ck was that?”

 

Butch rustles under the desk, pulls a drawer, grabs a pack of Redwoods and looks for match or a lighter or something - “We,” takes a breather a moment to put the cig in his mouth, “-are barkin’ up the right f*ckin’ trees.”

 

Age, “So they’ll leave the Cork Villa patch and go on their own? Shy in f*ckin’ Cerveza or whatever?”

 

“Oh, I don’t give a f*ck about that.” Finds his lighter, gold Dippo encrusted with something shiny. “You like?”

 

Roy stares, doesn’t answer. “So why we go up there?”

 

Ah. That’s the golden question.” Lights the tip, lets the smoke billow, “I don’t give two f*cks about no rat f*ckin’ Volpes no matter who they done. Who they done, who they did it for, who-gives-a-f*ck. I used to know their father, stunad’.”

 

You can see Eric scrunching up his face trying to take it all in. “Okay?”

 

“Mark Volpe wants to put his little paws in me and tear out my heart, throw it on the grill. I tell Melvo to tell Ollie to tell Marky Mark to go f*ck hisself. But no, they don’t concern me. Neither does Cork Villa - I talked to the capo up there he din’t know the Iranian f*ckin’ existed. Turns out he’s got some arrangement with the Ancelottis, who gives a sh*t. You won’t be talkin’ to that fez no more noways anyway.”

 

“Yeah,” says Jon. “So what the f*ck?

 

“So the f*ck is that Volpe’s is muscle for Ollie Lulu, and Lulu has bullsh*t up with us and we wanna cut a deal. He won’t cut a deal, so we ruffle some feathers and try to grease the wheels.”

 

“One Messina’s any Messina,” Roy goes. “You know who they are. You know what they’re like.”

 

“I do,” Butch nods, puffs, pulls the cigarette out for a draw, “I do. I know that the Volpes wear buttons. I know Messina guys who do things I know about and Jon knows about, but these chumps ain't keen on bendin’ their knees for no peoples like us.”

 

“You want us to try and- euh, reach out - talk this through?”

 

Butch chuckles hard, “Correcto, Roy. Correcto.”

 

Butch stands. Butch approaches and puts a hand on Roy’s shoulder and beckons him closer, playing f*ckin’ favorites, spins him around to face the guys. Roy isn’t exactly sure what’s happening, just goes “heh” and puts on his best big boy face.

 

Gets this slap on the back. Butch rubs his nose, adjusts the cigarette, “Da’ first method for estimatin’ the intelligence of a king is ta’ look at the fellas he has around him. Yeah?”

 

A lot of squinting.

 

Butch tries again, thinks a moment, “Euh, okay - how’s this: lions can’t protect themselves from no traps, and foxes can’t defend themselves from no wolves. So youse gotta be both to recognize the traps and frighten the wolves, yeah? You get?”

 

Squinting.

 

Eric, “What?

 

Machi-f*ckin’-velli. The Prince. This is f*ckin’ stratategic sh*t. This is what they f*ckin’ teach the emperors, teach f*ckin’ mongol warriors and f*ckin’ Genghis Kang and sh*t. This is the f*ckin’ mountaintops. Me and Jon, y’see, we read this sh*t, we think f*ck. This is it.”

 

Roy’s just fake-smiling, “Yeah, exactly. Exactly.”

 

Butch, “Exactly. Harvey Noto, he’s a good guy, he’s a good king. But his peoples, the guy’s he’s got in charge a’ talking to the Canadians, the guy’s he’s got running these things we want, they’re f*ckin’ idiots. Me- we- we’re f*ckin’ wolves and we’re f*ckin’ lions.”

 

“Okay,” Age says. “Sure.”

 

Another pat on the back - Roy this time on Butch, “He’s right, he’s right. He’s right. I get it. Like- you got the wolves, they spin outta bed lookin’ for predators, right, and- euh, but what’s the use if they got no leaves to lie on, right? Heh. Yeah.”

 

Butchie’s grinning ear-to-ear like a proud parent. “Exactly.”

 

Age really, really wants to ask what the f*cking point of this all is.

 

He’s beat, “So what the f*ck are we doin’?” asks Jon. “We- f*ckin’... we gonna go to Harvey Noto and tell him philosophy? He’s a f*ckin’ pussy?”

 

Butch blows smoke out his nose, “No.

 

The point cometh.

 

Butchie takes the arm off Roy and circles around back to the desk drawer, ruffles a little before pulling a note out and holding it up. Can’t make out exactly what it says, but it doesn’t matter, Butchie slaps it face down on the table.

 

This made guy. Kissass. Runs his thing out a little limo rental depot, has these offices going up the second floor opposite a gas station in Schottler, some bullsh*t. I don’t know his name. Somethin’ zippy. You kids familiar?”

 

Silence speaks volumes - no.

 

Butchie slides the paper across the table. “Here.

 

It’s a drawing.

 

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Okay. Well. This helps.

 

Butchie adjusts the cigarette, “Clarkie drew it.” 

 

Jon, “Yeah. That’s good.”

 

Yeah. He’s got the inside track with the guy. Me - I hardly f*ckin’ know ‘im. Weir Ridge guy or sumn’, woulda’ been Pavano, I don’t know. I never met him but he got put on distribution for this thing with Jon and Harvey and he’s a weak link. I’d ask but, y’know, too late.

 

Age looks at the drawing. Scrunches face. “Yup.”

 

“Say hi.”

 

Eric, “Just hi?”

 

“Yeah. Just hi.”

 

Is this what f*ckin’ Prince Matchabelly said? We trade f*ckin’ business cards?”

 

Butch doesn’t smile. “Sure. I don’t know. Anything to get this sh*t straight, sure.” turns to Roy, “You know?

 

Roy nods. “I know.”

 

“Good. Now get the f*ck outta’ here. Go, c’mon.”

 

Go.

 

Onto the street.

 

Age f*cking cracks up.

 

Jon, “What?”

 

He’s got the picture out. 

 

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“What the f*ck is this? We goin’ off this?

 

Roy’s smiling too, “Ooga booga.

 

“How the f*ck- how doesn’t he know this guy?! Everyone knows everybody in this town, what the f*ck? He Canadian? Goddamn pickle chin, dick chin, f*ckin’ ball chin motherf*cker.”

 

Smile fades. Roy puts on his serious face, captain face - “We’ll figure it out. We get there, we get there.”

 

Jon’s car is down the block.

 

Get to the depot.

 

You’ve got a f*cking drive to Schottler.

 

Asshole Butch keeps sending you cross-borough on thirty minute drives to run f*cking errands. Drive or don’t but the brownstones fade into windblur and noise and the radio’s tuned to Lips 106. Eric leans through the center of the seats and tunes it to The Pulse 102.7.

 

“Kiss f*cking ass.

 

“Eric,” Roy goes. “You gotta just… don’t f*ckin’ question none of it.”

 

“It’s f*ckin’ stupid.”

 

“Sure. But he’s- you know. That’s Butch.

 

“Just say sh*t normal.” Eric scrunches his face up, “f*ck’s his problem?

 

And Roy sighs. “It’s for the wiretaps. Or, like, you know. Nosy motherf*ckers.

 

“So it’s for the feds? He know they’re listening?

 

Adrian, “It’s f*cking precautionary.”

 

“It’s what?”

 

Just in case.

 

And Eric does this big f*cking labored breath and says “Whateva’.

 

Jon, “So we ain’t killing this guy?”

 

“No,” says Roy. “Made. So we kick the sh*t outta’ him since we got the okay. We didn’t kill those two fags at the jewelers, yeah? We break a few bones with Joe Caveman and then jog the f*ck on back down.”

 

“I don’t get none of this sh*t,” Eric goes.

 

Let the f*ckin’ cooler heads in here prevail, Clyde. We got philosophical. We got inspirational. And now we head on and bust some f*ckin’ skulls. Your specialty.

 

Heh. Yeah.”

 

“You gave those twins the what for, right?”

 

Yeah. That f*cking bitch Marco’s gonna have the scars-or-what with the eyes I done. Ace.

 

There’s more driving and radio noise before Adrian butts in again, “So what’s the deal with these Volpe brothers?

 

And Roy laughs. “It’s history.”

 

“Yeah,” goes Jon. “Ancient.”

 

So clue me the f*ck in,” Age snaps. “History lesson.”

 

Belabored sigh.

 

Roy clears his throat.

 

Jon says “Nah, it’s simple. Harv Noto and my father got history goin’ back a while and Harv picked these kids out the crib in Dukes during the Eighties.”

 

“All that sh*t with the snitch?” goes Age.

 

Yeah,” says Roy. “And Memo Smokes and the micks and all that other sh*t. And the rumor is that those two guys were on the crew that knocked off Memo. They’re f*ckin’ weirdos. That Mark guy that Eric done up especially, he’s an animal. In the joint upstate, what is it the guy did? f*ckin’ tore off some ni**er's fingernails with his teeth? f*cked up sh*t like that.”

 

Toenails,” Jon goes.

 

I-don’t-f*ckin’-know, the guy’s a nut. And the Fredo guy is tryna’ get his nut on Harry Hall’s daughter’s kitty or some sh*t. So he’s basically family. Are they dating?” Roy says it like it’s a question but just moves on, “So even though they just got their buttons, they’re kinda like f*ckin’- like Harvey’s mentorin’ them. Or somethin’. And Jon--”

 

My father,” Jon butts.

 

“We f*ckin’ get it, madon’. You gonna invite us over for f*ckin’ macaroni, some f*ckin’ gravy with your pops?

 

John groans, “You know that ain’t that simple.”

 

“Yeah, I f*ckin’ do. So shut up.”

 

Age, “What, what’s this?

 

“Pop got caught givin’ the dick to our housemaid a long time ago,” Jon goes.

 

Pfft. “Yeah?”

 

“Yeah,” Roy says. “And now Jon tells me they might as well be f*ckin’ divorced.”

 

Catholics don’t believe in divorce.” Something creaky in Jon’s voice but the guy goes on, “But whatever. Pop don’t come to the house no more. Ma stays there. Pa jumps around. He’s got this apartment in Algonquin, this f*ckin’ tract mansion f*ckin’ monstrosity in East Island. We don’t see sh*t. I ain’t seen the guy in, like, a f*ckin’ month. Two. So f*ck him.”

 

You watch what you say about Mr. Gravelli around someone else, man.

 

“Shut the f*ck up, Roy, he’s my f*ckin’ dad.”

 

And that kind of zips everyone up.

 

Onto Schottler.

 

Schottler’s deep in the well of ethnic displacement; would get some of the old guys back at the salumeria moaning about it. Too many a’ those Mexes! Neighborhood used to be almost entirely Italian in the days of yore. Not so now. The brownstones. The city doesn’t see fit to restore minority neighborhoods to the extent of ones with a lighter shade, so the roads get a little more broken up and the buildings get a little more tagged. Beaters and beautiful murals on the street corners and the bodegas. A guy outside one of them with a Rottweiler on a chain leash with a skullie and a cigarette.

 

You get close enough and Eric’ll roll the windows down and fling his own at him and laugh.

 

Hell was that?!” Roy goes.

 

N’yeah, he’s loiterin’,” Eric says back.

 

The depot is on the corner. Half attached to a gas station in a sort of triangle with the limo building proper rising up a storey above the lit up red of the Globe Oil sign. You or Jon’ll pull the car onto the curbside and park up.

 

The limo service. ANNUNZIATA LUXURY LIMOUSINE is sprayed above the big garage doors. Someone with deep Mediterranean skin and a mustache chewing a cigarette outside the door proper.

 

He Arab?” goes Jon.

 

The boys are out the car now all lingering. “Who?” Roy says.

 

“Smokes out the doorway with the thing.” Points at the aforementioned.

 

Roy’ll stick the tongue under his lip and hum a little. “Okay. Alright.”

 

Cross the road. You don’t have to talk to the doorman, but worth a shot. You’re in the lead, so jaywalk. Get the posse following in your stead trying to look real inconspicuous.

 

You look real conspicuous.

 

Cutscene comes in and the camera’ll stick on the guy looking real confused at the four early-twenties motherf*ckers coming closer and closer. Roy takes a brisker pace and comes ahead of you, “‘Ey, cugine! Buddy.”

 

Guy says “Wha’?

 

“You work here?”

 

Yeah.

 

“I got my car over there needs some sh*t done to it. This a body shop?

 

“Nah,” guy says. “We do limousines.”

 

“You drive limos?”

 

“Yeah,” guy goes.

 

“Was told this was a body shop.”

 

“Nah,” guy goes. “Nah, not anymore. I don’t know, I ain’t worked here long.”

 

“You know any mechanics or nothin’ or you got a tow? Engine’s makin’ this f*ckin’ noise an’ I don’t know what the f*ck. I’m scared it’ll f*ckin’ blows itself or somethin’,” Roy fakes a little chuckle. “You know cars?”

 

“A little,” guy goes. “I’d tell ya’ but I don’t live around here or nothin’.”

 

Nah, nah, it ain’t a problem. It ain’t too much to ask, can youse talk to one of the guys at the place and check out the f*ckin’ thing and see if the thing is busted or what? Or you got a phone?

 

“My boss is busy,” guy goes. “But I can check the car out for ya’. I ain’t gotta do nothin’ now or--”

 

Jon says “For real?

 

And the fella hesitates. “Sure,” he says. “Nah, it’s fine, I’ll take a look.”

 

“Can we go inside?”

 

Guy stops. “No need.”

 

Roy, “You sure?”

 

“My boss is busy, yeah. No need.”

 

“Yeah, but we need to use a phone.”

 

Guy goes hmm. Gets the cogs goin’ in his head. “Alright,” mechanic goes. "Just stay downstairs, don’t talk to nobody, don’t touch no sh*t--”

 

Aw’right, aw’right, don’t worry. Clyde, can ya’ show him what’s wrong?”

 

Eric’s eyes light up. Oh.

 

Guy looks at Eric.

 

Uh. Yeah,” Eric says. “Yeah. Okay. Yeah, with the car. C’mon.”

 

They start walking.

 

Roy chuckles to himself. “C’mon.”

 

You can watch Eric trying to keep the guy occupied as long as he can, it’s a good sight: “It’s the stuts,” he says. Mechanic asks if he means the struts and Eric goes “No, not that. It’s under the car.” Guy asks why Roy was talkin’ about a noise in the engine and Eric goes “No, not that.

 

He ain’t a conversationalist.

 

The depot must be some kind of converted warehouse or mechanic or some kinda’ thing, Jon don’t remember the last time he saw a double-floor f*ckin’ car place or whatever it’s called. A couple blue collar guys working on converted Chariot rides, that kinda’ thing. You keep your eyes peeled and you’ll realize that some of these guys aren’t working.

 

They’re Italians. They’re in folding chairs or in the corners. Tracksuits. Definitely not boiler-suit mechanic coverall sh*t: it’s ProLaps and Eris and yadda yadda. There’s some stairs going upward and a lot of grease on the floor. A phone to the eastward away from them.

 

The three of you ignore the phone.

 

Start creeping up the stairs.

 

Goons.

 

Catwalk goons.

 

Little office goons.

 

Dozen of them maybe between up here and downstairs. Clock it. Faces to names, no dice - Jon asks “you got that f*ckin’ royal portrait?” and it’s up to you to pull it up with the contextual button.

 

fGfRhfe.png

 

There he is. Watching you.

 

Age can’t hold back the chuckles every time he folds it out from pocket but you know one thing for sure: that goon ain’t one of these goons. You wouldn’t mistake that face a f*ckin’ mile away.

 

Nobody’s giving you the stink-eye just yet but your little trio doesn’t exactly blend in neither; really a show of opposites compared to the employees. Don’t stumble around too long or the action’ll kick off a bit too soon for comfort. 

 

Catwalk leads to a series of little offices; three against the outside wall. Big place for such little business - makes sense downstairs to fit the limos, but up here? Smacks of something else.

 

Age asks “Where the hell we gonna go?”

 

Roy points forward, says “Forward.”

 

You don’t have much choice. Catwalk crosses over the garage between two hydraulic jacks, one with a stretch suspended on some iffy weight distribution, one empty - leads to bathrooms. 

 

Halfway there Roy grabs the sketch himself, crinkles the paper. Stares.

 

“This thing’s got an energy. Should have a bone through the schnoz’ or somethin’.”

 

Jon Boy goes “What?”

 

“S’a vibe. I dunno. Don’t even wanna know the guy’s name, y’know? It’s like that. f*ckin’ spooky.”

 

Age watches Roy watch. “It’s a sketch.”

 

“I know it’s a f*cking sketch.”

 

Age, “Can we get a goddamn move on before Eric loses his head down there and pops the guy’s skull on a scissor jack?”

 

The answer is no, because Roy stares some more.

 

Goes “Ooga booga” again. Laughs.

 

Puts the thing back in Age’s fist. “I gotta piss.”

 

“You’re f*ckin’ wit’ me.”

 

“Nah. I gotta piss. Think I’m sh*ttin’ you, Adrian? What, you wanna come check me out?”

 

Puts the paper away again. “f*ck it. Jon, c’mon, let’s check out the offices.” They start walking, he looks back to Roy: “Wanna inspect the stalls while you’re in there? Huh?”

 

“Cute.”

 

Now you’re two.

 

Jon’s getting jittery. “I dunno Age, think it’s just a matter a’ f*ckin’ time before one of these grease monkey-come-latelys asks what the f*ck we’s doin’ here.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

Offices are small, not used as offices - peek through the windows and the grilles and the dust to see a couch, water cooler, minifridge. Third down the way’s got a fold-up bed, pin-ups, a TV playing mostly static but also what looks like skin flick. There’s a door at the end of the catwalk here, one way out - wall’s not just a wall, it’s brick. You put two and two together from outside, you realize the converted warehouse whatsit doesn’t quite justify the size of the place: door’s retrofitted, leads into the next building.

 

It’s locked.

 

Of course.

 

Trying to turn the handle all subtle-like segues to cutscene - Jon again cat-skittish turns to Age by the wall. “So we find this guy- then what? Butchie’s a lotta things and info-ma-formative ain’t f*cking one of ‘em, Age.”

 

“I dunno.”

 

“You dunno.”

 

“No, Jon, I don’t f*ckin’ know. You don’t neither. Roy’s gone off to piss an’ primp. We all got our dicks in our hands here and I don’t want Eric down there with that motherf*cker a second too long, y’know?”

 

“Yeah-- hey, hold up.

 

Turn - camera turns, Roy’s come out the f*cking bathroom just after this guy looks a goddamn lot like the f*cking sketch with the hollow cheeks and the curved brow. Still might not’ve noticed if Roy wasn’t behind him gesticulating like a f*cking mime that this is the guy. He’s coming your way, just not looking - chit-chatting with the wops on the garage floor as he crosses the catwalk. “Yeah, Frankie, get the f*ckin’ heros comin’, I’m hungry!”

 

Age goes running into that office with the skin flick playing through static and Jon follows.

 

Thank God no one’s on watch here - literally, Age crosses himself crouched below the window. Gorilla man comes past in leathers: the jacket that hangs past the knees, some f*ckin’ zebra print button down beneath.

 

Doesn’t suspect a thing. He heads right past, right to the door, pulls out a keychain with fifty f*cking keys on it while Roy sticks around the corner trying to look inconspicuous.

 

Inserts and turns and in five seconds he’s on the other side.

 

Roy comes forth. “What the f*ck?”

 

Jon asks “What?”

 

“You wasn’t gonna grab him or nothing?”

 

Age comes out, stares. “Who are you kiddin’?”

 

Nobody.

 

He’s kidding nobody.

 

Age lets his arms go limp in frustration, goes for a spiel in whisper: “We ain’t gonna pick this f*cking thing and good f*ckin’ luck if we gotta make enough noise to kick it down. Out here in motherf*cking goddamn Schottler just to shadow some monkey-faced prick and we don’t even--”

 

He’d put a hand on the knob halfway through the spiel.

 

Turned. Clicked.

 

Opened.

 

Dipsh*t forgot to lock it behind him.

 

“Oh.”

 

Roy puts on his best pretty boy grin, walks up and pats Age right on the cheek. “I’ll let ya’ run off at the mouth more often.”

 

Goes right past without a second thought.

 

Jon shrugs, you just the same - back to gameplay, head through.

 

It’s dim, smoky; dark green paint on the walls peeling from the top, water damage coming through the ceiling. You can tell there’s not a goddamn window open and you can guess why. 

 

Hallway opens up ahead, big room: from the other end you can already catch a series of desks, some chit-chat. Roy shushes you, half-crouches around the corner. Phones ringing. Voice going “Get the motherf*ckin’-cocksuckin’ PBX guy on the f*cking line then, cugine.”

 

“Ruby, buddy, I don’t even know his f*ckin’ name.”

 

“We’s not on the first-name basics you seem to think, a’ight? Don’t get the wrong f*ckin’ idea, pal.”

 

“No, it’s just--”

 

“It’s just nothin’. It’s nothin’. Nunzio, we got two canadians on the Bandits, f*ckin’ five fold overlay, how we lookin’ at halftime for the Hoops?”

 

Pandemonium picks up steam - might as well be Barium Street lite in a Schottler brownstone, phones up and phones down and metal clashing against the receivers. Roy whispers, “They all like this?”

 

“Huh?” Age says.

 

“The wire rooms. I ain’t never been.”

 

“Focus, dipsh*t.

 

You’re not going to step right into the midst of it, no sir - or well, you could - it would just be f*cking stupid. Because the closer you inch to the room at large you see the guys behind desks: dozen or so. And half of them still look like they could give you a f*cking beatdown.

 

Ruby, one of ‘em said - that’s your guy. f*ckin’ name.

 

Desks perpendicular, parallel, willy-f*cking-nilly. There are vending machines, trash cans, every motherf*cker’s got a cigarette in hand. Blinds’re pulled. You can hang back, not like there’s a goddamn plan, until your boy dips around another corner. 

 

“We’re gonna act like we belong.” That’s Roy.

 

Jon goes “What?”

 

“Follow my lead. Keep the strut.”

 

Roy abandons the f*cking crouch and goes for broke - right around the corner, into the dragon’s den.

 

Follow. What else can you do?

 

Wires, hundreds, running across a filthy f*cking carpet. There’s a little closet by the back near the windows, this electric panel blinking a thousand different blinks. Humming.

 

Age’s practically shaking in his boots but he doesn’t let it show. Roy doesn’t make eye contact with the desk guys, doesn’t say a word: just heads in Ruby’s wake. You can tell Jon’s gonna have a goddamn panic attack if someone speaks a peep in your direction. Looking dead ahead.

 

And it doesn’t happen. Not a glare.

 

And you’ve rounded another corner. And you see Ruby in a little kitchenette, alone, surrounded by cupboards with doors fallen off the hinges and a fridge must be forty years old. Making coffee.

 

Roy takes the lead again without a second’s hesitation. “You gonna make me some drip?”

 

He looks over, sees the three of you hanging by the doorway. Takes a sec. You can see the gears turning.

 

“No offense, kid, but youse a little too f*ckin’ greasy to be the PBX guy.” Voice like guinea sandpaper.

 

Jon, “Why, you got medigans running ya’ wires? That ain’t right.”

 

Ruby puts his cup down. Coffee starts dripping as the eyes dart around the trio. “Who are you an’ how the f*ck’d you get in here?”

 

Roy, “Just came to pay the operation here a visit. Nifty f*ckin’ sh*t. You still takin’ parleys this late into the day?”

 

“I said who are you, ya’ f*ckin’ morons? Ya’ know who you’re f*ckin’ with? Just wandering the motherf*ck in here like youse on Indian land or somethin’? You know who’s running this sh*t? Do you?”

 

Roy turns to Age, to Jon. “You know? I dunno,” pauses for effect. “Lemme guess - wouldn’t be a f*ckin’ Messina op, now would it?”

 

He pauses. “You those little cocksure runt f*ckin’ cunts outta Bantonvale, aren’t you?”

 

Smiles.

 

“You’re f*cking dead.

 

Jon came closest throughout the exchange - Ruby goes for broke and f*cking heaves the freezer door open and the kid gets it right in the goddamn forehead. He yells, Ruby backs up and throws the goddamn coffee machine off the counter and calls for “Nunzio and Dino” to “gimme a f*cking hand, you useless cunts!

 

Turned to gameplay halfway through. Roy jets out of the room after him, Age hands back a sec to check on Jon: “You good?”

 

“Yeah f*ck I’m fine godmotherf*ckinggoddamnsh*t--”

 

It’ll do - get out there into the room that’s turned from pandemonium to pandemonium. Won’t be such a cinch past the corner this time ‘cause one of those beefier looking goons is right there waiting for you with a clothesline. Fraction of a section response time is needed to duck under with the contextual button; right before you counter with a swift punch to the guy’s beer gut you can catch sight of the other end of the room - Roy’s on Ruby’s f*cking back, trying to pound the guy down as another duo are clawing him off. 

 

He’s screeching “I’m a made guy! Are you outta your f*cking mind?!”

 

Gotta duke it out with the big guy before worrying about that. Age doesn’t have much at his disposal but fists and kicks and the biceps only get him so far against brutes like that: stick it out long enough for the camera to point out a fire extinguisher on the wall just behind, glass pane already removed. Useful for blunt goddamn force. 

 

Guy’s clawing, trying to grapple, yelling about you f*ckin’ Gamgoon f*ckin’ cocksucking worm wait ‘til Noto gets an earful a’ this you goddamn retards between attempts to get a good punch in. 

 

You get the extinguisher first.

 

Takes a two pronged move: kick to the balls for the prick to double over so you can bring the thing down on his head - twice.

 

Soon as you do Jon comes out of the kitchen screaming like a goddamn banshee.

 

Sprints past and executes the best f*cking jump kick you ever seen on a goon who might’ve even been putting up a fight, who could tell - gets back on his feet, sweeps the desk and all the sh*t on it with one arm, sends the chair flying with a flat foot. “Age, Age, let’s go, let’s trash this motherf*cker!”

 

“What about--”

 

Roy’s fending for himself by the windows.

 

Your choice: Jon’s trashing, Roy’s thrashing. 

 

Roy’ll do alright but why let him have all the fun himself? Make a beeline past the desks with Junior’s destruction behind you, feel free to pick up anything on the way - that’s pens, books, phones, the chairs - and launch whatever it is at Ruby’s pal.

 

Whatever it is turns the action to cutscene as it makes contact: he recoils, Roy’s still on Ruby as he corners him up against a desk while the bonefaced wop pulls kicks to fend him off, kicks dirty, tries to sweep him off his feet and fails.

 

“Get your f*ckin--get your f*ckin’ hands off a’ me, you little fa**ot!”

 

Adrian’s head swings past to see Jon flipping the desks, sending the wire lines taped across the carpet into tangled disarray - swings back to find Ruby’s pal recovered and winding up a fist: connects with Age’s jaw and he braces, holds back a second before barreling his entire body into the guy and sending the two flying back into the electric panel.

 

Smokes.

 

Sparks.

 

Guy’s not down for the count - Age dodges a right hook, retaliates by filching a hot ashtray off the closest desk and pitching it right at the f*cker’s face.

 

It does the job - bounces off his skull, covers the guy and the panel alike in hot ashes; he slides down gasping for breath: “goddamn motherf*ck…”

 

Flip around: Roy’s circling Ruby like a goddamn shark.  “You get the message, you midget f*ck? Think you just gets to be the weak link and walk away unscathed?”

 

Ruby’s still kicking: “You want ‘scathed’ you buncha retards, wait ‘til they hear about this up the ladder, I swear to God they’ll have you strung up by ya’ cocks--”

 

The words distracted - he was reaching for a gun in the drawer.

 

Pulls it but Roy grabs his wrist in time - they struggle for the f*cking thing and pop off a couple rounds through the ceiling in the process. Only a second or two go by but it feels like a century before Age kicks into gear, runs up and gives the guy the fire extinguisher treatment - just with a phone receiver.

 

Ruby falls.

 

Goddamn phone starts ringing.

 

Roy’s got the gun - aims it at the prick on the ground. “What’s it they say about bringin’ a gun to a fistfight?”

 

Moaning and groaning to go around - the goons are dealt with but it’s only temporary. You’re on borrowed time.

 

Roy don’t act like it though. 

 

oLpZCBv.png

 

“Sketch wasn’t the worst likeness, was it?”

 

“Roy, we gotta--”

 

Sniffs.

 

What’s that?

 

Age about-faces.

 

Oh.

 

Oh.

 

Electric panel’s on fire.

 

Guy slumped on the ground below it, he’s not looking too good.

 

Jon goes “Oh, what the f*ck?”

 

It’s an electrical fire - and that means the ashes are doing a good job of accelerating. Just as the boys notice the goddamn thing it goes boom - blue sparks rain down, a single streak of pure f*cking fire runs down the carpet across the room: right up the wall.

 

“Holy f*cking sh*t!”

 

Age kicks it first: “Let’s get the f*ck outta here!”

 

Jon’s ahead and makes for the opposite direction first: fire’s blocking the way you came and f*ck if you’d make it back through the depot anyway. Follow him, Roy trailing behind. “What the f*ck happened?!”

 

“Thing just went up, I dunno!”

 

Something else is coming up - the pricks with their heads bonked out, the will to survive bringing them to their feet.

 

There’s a wood door at the other end of the corridor, same way as the kitchen - Jon pushes, wiggles the knob, it doesn’t give.

 

“Give it some muscle, you scrawny little f*ck!”

 

Age pushes him out of the way, kicks the thing off its hinges. Makes good time too - because those newly awakened motherf*ckers are firing their .38s over your head and you better thank f*ck they can’t see through the smoke.

 

They’re residential apartments but it might as well be a goddamn maze. Fire’s spread before you know it and people are popping out the doors into the corridor and the words are shooting past your head as you fly down the stairs: “¿Coño, qué diablos está pasando!? ¡Algo se está quemando! Ahh!”

 

The .38s are in hot pursuit but you’ve made enough f*cking trouble for a day, for a year. No retaliation - just make a break for it.

 

The three of you fly past a Dominican family on the bottom floor past the linoleum and right into daylight.

 

Age goes “Jesus Christ- f*ck--” when he sees the crowd that’s assembled outside. 

 

Roy hits him on the back. “Nah, we don’t got time for that, c’mon,” and makes a run around the corner.

 

You couldn’t look guiltier if you tried. But you got ten seconds on your pursuers and that’s an advantage you wanna keep.

 

Get one last peep before you turn the corner - smoke billowing out of every window on the third floor.

 

God.

 

Eric’s right there on the corner by the car running his fingers through his hair, smoking, swearing.

 

Gives a “What the f*cking f*ck” with no room for interpretation when he sees you.

 

Gets ignored. Roy tells you let’s go, let’s get outta here, f*ck, and he’s never been more right.

 

Jon’s car’s still streetside. That mechanic, who knows where he is, who gives a sh*t. It’s time to go.

 

The boys pile in and you better f*cking kick it.

 

Get the hell out of Schottler.

 

Turn back the other way with the logic you don’t want that crowd making the car - Roy’s f*cking screaming pure energy as the radio kicks on in the midst of Rock The Casbah.

 

Eric repeats the question. “What the f*cking f*ck?!”

 

Roy’s turned to mad laughs now. “Butchie’s gonna be f*cking beaming, man.”

 

The adrenaline’s still going but Age cools it. “I dunno about that.”

 

“I do. Holy sh*t. Woooo!”

 

Eric’s still begging for answers - he’s just not getting them. Jon’s gone f*cking mute.

 

Minute passes. The second you cross the Schottler border into Far Sleck, the veil is lifted. You made it. For now.

 

Look first person: deep breaths all around. Roy pulls the goddamn sketch out one last time.

 

fGfRhfe.png

 

“Gonna tell Clarkie he should take up that courtroom sketch sh*t. For real.”

 

Idiot.

 

fI91JhZ.png

You will be paid on return to the Salumeria.

Edited by slimeball supreme
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YFYsXWCpvDYq3rg7O5mEvgdFdOWht71yLKBggZZczxvf-KHMtJ-aO_MIaLx1cHFqGVs4OZyNmLBHmuuxjqViRjOSvtqPR6T9vddtXubA5NR8NlquhCPY7Nw7UDOpcO2yRoIjKxRb

 

The People’s Court is in session.

 

That’s what you’re told, anyway.

 

It’s red alert after what happened at the boardwalk. They’re talking about it in the papers, the powers that be getting rowdy, that kind of thing. Take a day to recuperate: do some errands, visit Izya, see the sights. You’ll get a phonecall soon enough.

 

Pick it up.

 

Gennady says “You need to come to the Garden.

 

“When?”

 

Now. Kenny. Now.

 

He hangs up.

 

It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing - the mission starts. The objective becomes clear as day.

 

Get to Gulag Garden.

 

When you stop on Wappinger it might as well be a funeral procession. Gleaming black European luxury cars lining the street. Benefactors by the dozen and folks on the pavement keeping purposefully ignorant. Get out.

 

There are two men at the door of the restaurant. This is not usual. You recognize one, he recognizes you: says “Felix, hey. They wait for you inside.”

 

He’s Maxim. You say “Spasibo, huh. You okay?”

 

“Yeah,” Max goes. “When all hands are on deck you can’t help but have your willies, I don’t know. Something.”

 

Gets a pat on the back from you as you go on in, “Eyes ahead.

 

You don’t see him nod.

 

The restaurant is full of men. Dour, sour-faced looking men scowling and mostly staying away from the stock of booze in the center or the people there. A lot of them are recognizable, some aren’t. An old face named Ivan Bytchkov talks up some hare-brained little f*cking fraud-scheme to a near-comatose Benny Saravaisky in the corner. German keeps to himself by the kitchen slug-faced. Et cetera, et cetera. You naturally gravitate to the men of the hour.

 

The man of the hour, the man among men, is Kuzma Petrovich. Kenny’s this thin-eyed little fella in a tailored raincoat over a tieless two-piece. He’s got muscle with him, this big triangle-chested yahoo in a turtleneck with a caesar cut. He’s Kuvalda. The sledgehammer.

 

“You know how- you don’t. I don’t even have to say this.”

 

“You don’t, Lev.”

 

That’s f*cking right, I don’t.

 

Lev’s this sputtering, furious little Jew bastard giving Gennady the what-for. Gennady is a moron. Gennady f*cked up, and Gennady is getting his.

 

Felix can hardly hide the grin. “Mr. Petrovich.”

 

Kenny looks up, nods, says “Godovsky.

 

I really, really hope you aren’t as much a f*cking idiot as Gennady.

 

Gennady takes the whipping from Lev with a simple “Okay.”

 

“No,” goes Felix. “I hope not.”

 

You don’t escape the f*cking blame. You lucky you don’t have to talk to my sister, and sit with her, and cry with her. Because even if Boba a f*cking little idiot he was my f*cking brother-in-law. He has f*cking kids who no have daddies no more.”

 

Felix says “Idiots and their kids seem to be uh… a continual f*cking problem.

 

“Maybe. Except these kids are my nephews.

 

“We are all men in mourning,” Kenny says. The group quiets with him. “We are all brothers. Every man who falls, or every boy - and Boba, he was a boy - we mourn as family. Our own brothers, or god forbid, our own sons.” Feels like he’s full of sh*t. They’re all giving him eyes like he’s not.

 

Lev says “Those responsible. We hold them to f*cking account.

 

Kenny is stern, “And we will. Do not be mistaken. I’m sure they have grievances of their own, fair grievances--

 

“Fair f*cking grievances?”

 

“Lev--”

 

My f*cking sister is f*cking- Kenny. Kenny.

 

“Cool your head, Lev.”

 

“Я выпотрошу этих сук, как чертовых--”

I’ll gut these bitches like goddamn--

 

Be calm. Justice will be served. For the good of the community.

 

Lev, like a dog, yields.

 

Felix says “So.”

 

Kenny replies “So.

 

“So what happens?”

 

“I need you up there, Felix. Presiding over this is me, is Lev, is Lazar - he’s already upstairs - and is Benny. Benny is… Benny, Benny!

 

Benny cranes his neck from behind Vanya Bytchkov and shouts “Chto?

 

Kenny just points back at him, circles the finger back to himself; “Is Benny and Lazar and me and Lev. Kuvalda, he sit behind. You come too. Then is just Gennady defending himself and Motya. Motya and whoever he brings.

 

Felix asks “Is he going to be heated?

 

Kenny nods.

 

Felix frowns.

 

Lev says “He’s bringing his whole platoon. His brigada, as much as possible. And we do same so fine, fair is fair. Only he and himself come the f*ck upstair, though. No guns there. Everyone else is down here. You get to be lucky viewer. Since, you know.”

 

Gennady pipes “Since you nearly got your f*cking head blown off twice by these gorilla motherf*ckers.

 

Kuzma, “In a word, yes.”

 

“Is a f*cking exciting thing for you, Felix? You love to see it?”

 

“See what, Gena?”

 

See Motya Shvedik get a f*cking ass raping.” That little remark gets a side-eye from just about everyone else.

 

Felix shrugs.

 

Kenny’s clearing his throat for something else.

 

Stops himself.

 

Noise.

 

Black and silver cars start riding down Wappinger through the restaurant windows and everyone knows who it is. Conversation ceases. Eyes follow. That, them, they - it’s Motya f*cking Shvedik. The brakes grind and the doors slam.

 

You can make out a lot of gorillas. Leather jackets and denim and open blazers and dress-shoes-paired-with-blue-jeans. And among them, and the black-and-silver sedans, is a familiar car.

 

The seafoam Benefactor.

 

In a camel coat trench comes Pushka, the big guy. Heads out the driver-side door and scurries over to the rear door facing the restaurant. And there’s Motya. Motya’s scowling, ‘cause the f*cker’s always scowling, but he’s dap-dapping his shoulder and rubbing it underneath his quilt leather jacket. He’s followed by another guy with buzzed hair and a cigarette; head bald likely for the sake of a receding hairline than any real stylistic compunction.

 

The trio are with a legion of gangsters. It’s Pushka who pushes the door wide and holds it open for Motya and the bald-man. Baldie slips the lit cigarette behind his ear.

 

Motya, still scowling, strides straight through the sea of scumbags with eyes fixed directly on Kenny. And his arm outstretched. Kuzma watches his face, and then his hand, and shakes.

 

Firmly.

 

Motya croaks “Kuzma Petrovich.

 

Kenny says “Matvey.”

 

“You know,” he goes. “I want sit down from day one. You know this? You know, I want talk to you about this, this is what I want. But these things escalate.”

 

Kenny says “Of course.”

 

Motya thumbs behind himself with his posse of two - directs attention to the bald man. “You know Fanka Dobrodzhanu?

 

Felix doesn’t, but Kenny does. Shakes his hand and says “Afanasy.” Eyes flit while the silence swells and Motya’s gaze wanders.

 

He scowls at Gennady.

 

And then he looks at you.

 

Motya blinks. He smirks, calm: eyes still cast down, sizes you up. Says “Were you the one who tried to kill my children?

 

Felix doesn’t break. “No,” he says. “But I shot you pretty good.”

 

Chuckles. “And I give you good thwack to the forehead. That’s good. Cocky f*cker, that’s good.”

 

Gennady blinks.

 

Motya turns to him. “This means you, only you, going be skinned alive for try killing my kids.”

 

Gennady blinks. But he does not reply.

 

Kenny says “We’re here for peace.

 

And Motya says “Absolutely. Render unto Kuzma.”

 

Render unto Kuzma, as the king will hold his court. The unspoken rules - no weapons, no men aside from the advisory must follow - are understood. Motya does not need an explainer. Kenny beckons, and you will follow.

 

You follow the procession as they move into the back and up an isolated staircase guarded by two men in the same sort of leathers and denim elsewhere. They nod, unblinking; avoid eye contact with their lords but glaring into the faces of Motya and his knights.

 

Into the People’s Court.

 

The room is dim. Motya says to Fanka “Why don’t they turn the f*cking lights on?” but that comment gets ignored as the men take their places. A round table in the center of the room surrounded by these fancy, baroque, red velvet chairs.

 

At the front, facing the door, is Kenny’s throne. An upholstered armchair with pseudo-gold leaf, bestial in its extravagance. The king sits there. His lords to his left and right. Motya must sit at the back, back to the door, facing the stern eyes of Hove Beach’s barons, and state his case.

 

You do not sit. Neither does Gennady, or Pushka. You are muscle. Pushka, too. Gennady has both wronged, and been wronged, and must state his case.

 

Side-eye Pushka. He’s side-eyeing you. Felix snickers, gives him a wink, and stands to attention.

 

The cases must be stated.

 

There is a long silence.

 

Motya lets out a “Do I go?

 

Kuzma says “Yes. State your case.

 

Motya blinks. Lets his jittery little eyes dart around the room. Goes “Okay.” Looks to Gennady standing off to his left near Felix and begins, “It is only fair, in my experience, for a thief to earn his way. A thief must also cooperate with other thieves, and a thief must demand convocation of inquiry for the settling of disputes. To me, I have done my best to uphold this. And Fanka, too. This is the thief’s way. But Gennady? No.

 

Gennady, “Listen--

 

Kenny puts up a hand and says “Let him speak.”

 

Gets Gennady huffing like a bull to a matador. He yields.

 

It’s a move that gets a smirk from Felix but nada from Motya. He’s dead serious, “We are not bitches. Rumors may arise, but they are that. Materials of which are given in Hove Beach are not given fairly to nobody. It is in a thief’s interest to accrue a warm spot, no? It is apparently in Gennady Roitman’s interest to place car bombs and try to kill my children.”

 

I did no kill your f*cking kids.

 

“You nearly did.”

 

You nearly are f*cking moron, Motya.

 

Lev, “And what about my brother? My sister’s husband? He’s killed. And this is justice?”

 

Motya looks over to Lev, to his right, and says “This is the cost of war. Seeing as my children could be murdered in attempt to kill me, Boba Chapkevich killed in effort to exterminate a rat.”

 

Gennady, “I’m not a f*cking rat. You a rat. Musor cyka--

 

Kenny, “Gena. Shut your f*cking mouth.”

 

And Lev says “You want to tell my sister to shut her f*cking mouth too, Kuzma? You want to do that?”

 

That is enough!

 

His men quiet.

 

Kenny looks to the defendant and invites him to continue.

 

Motya sits attentive with hands clasped. He does. “In the old country these disputes were handled fairly. And I understand, Kuzma, these are your men. They have a right to their keep as much as I do, and I do not wish to exterminate them or their works unless this is act of war. I do not wish for war. I wish for a thief to be given his opportunity for thievery. So is of my opinion of a tax to the Roitmans and for the slate to be wiped clean. For an apology for the car bomb--”

 

“And you apologize for the Shernazar and for the Boba?” Gennady rubs his bald head and gives this dumb f*cking satisified grin.

 

“Yes,” Motya says. “And if I need pay for this to be solved, I will pay my way. As is only fair, as I see it. But I want, just the same, assurances I can operate in Hove Beach. I no want no more car bombs or murderings just the same as you peoples. And I don’t want my f*cking kids killed. So’s all I want is apology and assurance I can operate my own ways, and I will pay my tax and I will do as much as I can. That’s all.”

 

Kenny nods.

 

Motya repeats, “That’s all. Reasonable.”

 

And Kenny nods again, and Kenny rubs his temple two-fingered, and Kenny says “Okay. And the court?” That’s an address to his barons. His men. Lazar, Lev, Benny, an empty chair Gennady would have occupied if not for the charges levied against his person: all silent.

 

Benny says “Is bullsh*t.

 

Lev points a finger in agreement and says “We are not authority, or are we not an authority?”

 

The blinking man Motya blinks wild and fast. Utters a stifled “What--” but the guy gets cut off, Lazar murmuring in a quiet agreement.

 

Is a disgraceful,” the guy goes, “this conduct, Motya.

 

Gennady goes “Is what I say!”

 

You are punishable, no? Is a disgraceful.”

 

Motya, “You can’t--

 

Kenny puts another hand up. Order. “That’s enough.” Clears his throat, gestures to Motya, “The court is unanimous.

 

“Excuse me?”

 

“The court is unanimous. All of my judges have ruled against you, and I must do the same. We rule in favor of Roitman.”

 

Are you f*cking kidding me?

 

“It is in my belief,” Kenny says, “you must pay twenty thousand dollars both in part to families of Shernazar and the widow Chapkevich. I also want a fifty thousand dollars tax for the--”

 

Kuzma, 90,000? Ninety-f*cking-thousand?”

 

“Matvey. Order must be upheld.”

 

I don’t f*cking believe this! Is you f*cking joking me? Can I get a f*cking apology for my f*cking kids?!”

 

Consider--” Gennady starts, but stops. Stops to snicker.

 

Fanka goes “You cannot be f*cking serious, there is not even a compromise--

 

“No apology,” Kenny says.

 

Motya, the man with the wild eyes, freezes. Gob agape, staring straight ahead into the face of the man on his throne. Not even twitching. “And… so I get sh*t?

 

Kenny doesn’t reply.

 

“Can I work in Hove Beach?”

 

Kenny doesn’t reply.

 

Advisor Fanka goes to stand, “This is a farce, and you f*cking know it, Kuzma.

 

“This is order,” Kuzma says.

 

“Order?”

 

Yes, Motya, f*cking order.

 

“Order.”

 

Gennady, “This stuttering little f*cking musor, he--

 

Motya says calm-like, “I show you order. I’ll show you some f*cking order.”

 

Kenny says “What?”

 

Motya pulls that signature giant eight-inch Redback revolver out his f*cking jacket and aims it right at Kenny’s head.

 

That’s f*cking order.

 

The rule was that nobody could bring guns to the sitdown. Motya’s boys disagreed. Motya’s signal gets the other two pointing gats; Pushka pulls a Chitarra out his waistband and Fanka brings it to three. Three guns at the ruling committee.

 

Thing was? Felix didn’t get the memo.

 

He freezes.

 

Motya, “You people are tyrants and f*cking jokers. My f*cking kids.”

 

Gennady, “I gonna eat you heart for this, you little bitch musor--

 

“You call me musor one more time, one more time! One more time I turn you to the f*cking garbage, huh?!”

 

Felix slowly reaches for his belt.

 

Kenny, “Simmer down.

 

“Eat sh*t,” Motya goes. “Eat sh*t. You no f*cking thief. You are no f*cking thief. You call me a musor. You are a bastard, not a thief. You are no authority. Think youself a f*cking king with your--”

 

The court, Motya--

 

“Your court is a rape.

 

Pull your gun.

 

Pull your gun.

 

Felix pulls his gun.

 

Felix whips a Chitarra out his belt and aims two handed at Motya. A couple heads turn and Motya stares at you but his attention goes back to Kenny. It’s Pushka who’s got his gun on you. Fanka’s aiming at Gennady.

 

It’s a f*cking stand-off now.

 

Clever chicken,” Motya goes. “Clever little chicken.”

 

Put the guns down.

 

This is a corrupt f*cking nothing. You think because you eat Italian cock you Hove Beach bosses. Screw you. I talk with motherf*cking Rabinovich. I talk with Smartass. I talk with f*cking Bulgarin on the Adriatic. Oh. And you call me a musor, Gennady? After what happen to Bulgarin?”

 

Kenny, “You shut you little f*cking rat mouth--

 

Fanka cries “f*ck a dick!

 

“That’s right,” Motya says, “that’s right. Go f*ck a f*cking dick. No tax, no nothing, I get my f*cking apology for my f*cking kids or I kill you and then I go kill you little mafia rat friends after this joke court--

 

Gennady says “I rather die before I say I sorry.

 

Motya turns wordless and points the gat at his head. Gena flinches.

 

You’re in the driver’s seat. Aim at whoever. Don’t fire. Don’t fire or the guns go off and the People’s Court turns to ashen nothing. There’s a long pause for you to drift between the three angry men before Felix pipes up, finally, “You back up. You leave.

 

“You.”

 

Don’t.

 

“You. Oh, you. I like you f*cking spunk. I put you on my mantle like Boba Chapkevich.”

 

Lev stands up and f*cking screams “What?!

 

“His f*cking pelvis and his black little spine I have on my fireplace charred up from the car, and I do little f*ck this guy next--

 

“Felix,” says Felix.

 

Felix?

 

“My name is Felix.”

 

Lev is seething. His hands flat.

 

Motya chuckles and says “The little man is going to cry, no? Tears. Dribble from the Italian cock and f*cking tears.

 

“Lev,” says Kenny. “Sit down.”

 

Lev looks at Kenny.

 

Kenny says again, “Sit down.” There’s a coolness to him. It commands.

 

Lev obeys, and Lev sits down.

 

“Shvedik.” Kenny’s making this sick appeal, “Shvedik. Listen. This is how my men rule. This is how they have decided. I cannot deny a unanimous verdict, no?”

 

Not even a f*cking compromise?!

 

“You have disrespected a sacred tradition by bringing guns in here, Matvey. I can’t.”

 

“You no even have a single f*cking tattoo. You haven’t served a day in f*cking jail.”

 

“This is America, Matvey.”

 

You say this a tradition and you spit in the face of every one, you f*cking--

 

“Please. Put the guns down. And we can compromise. Maybe you only play 50 thousand, huh? We can sort this out. We both want peace. We both want calm. And maybe you--”

 

Motya fires a shot at Kenny and misses.

 

He didn’t mean to.

 

So pissed his finger slipped.

 

You know what that means?

 

Anarchy.

 

Lazar dives to Kenny and brings him to the floor; the others duck down with hands over their heads and Motya's boys start firing wild. They’re popping off warning shots at the roof, pow pow f*cking pow, backing up, shouting mumbled nothings in Russian. Felix is already on the floor aiming at the doorway to see if they pop their necks out but no. No.

 

They’re firing downstairs.

 

And then there’s more.

 

And then there’s more. More screaming, and more gunshots, and more more more.

 

Get to the ballroom.

 

You don’t get up. You crawl. Gun still pointed and eyes still narrowed, under the table, waiting while the bosses stick behind you.

 

Gennady mutters, “Felix, hey, you got no more gun Felix?

 

Don’t reply.

 

Keep going.

 

A man pops up from the stairs with a shotgun and aims around and shouts “You f*cking Kenny bastard--

 

Fire.

 

Bang.

 

The scumbag topples from a shot to the knee and then falls down the stairs. Place a few more rounds. He’s gone.

 

Get up.

 

Felix kicks the Utica across the wax floor past the table. “I got more gun.

 

It’s not Gennady who grabs it, it’s Kuvalda. Big fat feet stomp over and he racks the thing. Checks ammunition. Takes cover in the doorway with you eyeing the narrow steps down. Take a peek - one of the guards from before is dead. Lying there with the bozo you shot; got riddled like nobody’s business, forehead popped open six times with Chitarra rounds.

 

Chitarra rounds are still being fired.

 

The objective stands.

 

Get to the ballroom.

 

Follow the noises and you’ll find the path the trio carved through the hall. The same path you walked in was walked out - the walls pocked with bullets, painted with blood. There’s no time to dwell. Peeking through an opening into the ballroom is a f*cking massacre. An ongoing massacre as Motya’s lingering boys fire shots like they were prepared. They were. The entrance glass is shattered.

 

Run. And when you do, Felix leaps.

 

Overturned tables and blood. There haven’t been many casualties, or at least not many deaths - a lot of gangsters on both sides have gotten hit but (at least with Kenny’s boys) have slumped over in hiding. One of them is German. Big f*ck took a shot to the thigh but he’s still pumping rounds at Motya’s crew walking back out the door.

 

Fire.

 

There aren’t many. Bullets whiz. Motya’s nowhere to be seen, but he’s to be heard when you see the f*cking seafoam sedan blaze through an alley parallel to the cabaret. Get up and fire more shots and you’ll see the bulls have started moving out into the street. No cops.

 

No cops. This is your neighborhood, not f*cking theirs.

 

Felix can run through and observe and see the remainders - Vanya’s nowhere to be seen, German still firing silent-mouthed but barrel-flaring. Onto the street, behind the cover of the luxuries one of the doormen lies with two shots to the chest dead. The other’s Max.

 

Max cries “There, there!

 

Follow the brigadiers.

 

Some are pumping shots while running backwards. Some are booking it. Roll over the hood of the car and cross the street into the alley where you see a gate got kicked through into the amassed backyards and fences of the brownstones lining Hove Beach’s streets. Cover is sparse or all-encompassing - there are chain link fences for shooting through, and there are wooden fences for cover. Bullets go through both.

 

Most are escaping. Smartly. You hear car wheels screeching from the other side of the block and realize the gangsters are getting picked up, they probably hid in their whips or circled around or something. No time for theories as lead gets slung and you round a tree and hear a dog barking and some little old woman shrieking in Russian and Felix stomps through fresh flowerbed.

 

They’ve scattered by the time you hit the other side. Remainder either dead or hightailed.

 

Felix screams some visceral f*cking nothing.

 

Get back.

 

Camera cuts to the interior staring at the agape door of the Garden as Felix busts in. Camera pans. Kenny’s smoking. Lazar, the big f*cker, he’s with them. Everyone’s scattered or still hiding.

 

Felix heads straight for the big man.

 

Wild eyed. Wild tongued: “What the f*ck was that?!”

 

Kenny looks at you. Nearly amused. Blows smoke but makes sure not to get it in your face.

 

“You had to poke, and poke him, and poke him.” There’s spittle coming out Felix’s mouth. “All this for some f*cking Burlesque bullsh*t!

 

The boss is calm. His eyes say ‘how the f*ck dare you speak to me like that’ but his mouth refrains: “You think that animal gets anything?”

 

What?!

 

“After he shoots up a funfair?”

 

It clicks. He never intended to give Motya anything.

 

Lazar, the consigliere, he goes to say something and just mumbles: “Wehavetomakesure… of the neighborhood, his-of-the-conduct-is-the-unbecoming. Da?

 

Felix spits it back, “Yes? A goddamn yes?

 

Kenny says “Yes.”

 

You lost men.

 

“We will mourn them.”

 

For a gesture. For nothing.”

 

Kuzma stands. Leaves the cigarette flat on the counter. “You come here soon. You’ll know when.

 

“What? The bar? What?

 

“You will. And you won’t talk to nobody. And you’ll talk to me like I am your f*cking superior, because I am your f*cking superior. And we are going to swat the flies. You answer from me now. Disrespectful f*cking sh*t.”

 

Felix is dumbfounded. Doesn’t believe what he’s hearing.

 

Kuzma’s eyes says he doesn’t care.

 

Blink.

 

Blink.

 

Petrovich is unblinking.

 

“You-...” Felix wants to say something. “You can f*ck this.” And he spins on his heel and storms the f*ck out.

 

Kenny watches as the smoke billows.

 

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No reward.

 

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RUSSIAN MAFIA FEUD COMES TO BOIL, BUT OVERLOOKED

By Ephraim Pendergambit

Following a sudden outbreak in Broker gang violence that culminated in a bloodbath at Hove Beach's landmark Gulag Garden, leaving five dead earlier this week, a question has risen to a popular murmur across Liberty City's airwaves and the evening news: what the hell is going on out there?

 

What exists of an answer is more complicated than it may seem.

 

It began with whisperings of an inter-gang dispute among Russian nationals; then word came down that it may not have been inter-gang at all. Organized crime at the hands of emigres of the former Soviet Union and its satellite states has reached an all-time high in recent months, and splintering within the greater sphere of Russian criminal activity has made the endeavor to differentiate between them all but impossible. With city and state politicians still denying the existence of a Russian organized crime element at any large scale, it is unlikely that any clarification is soon to arrive.

 

Whatever the nature of the complaint, tensions have undeniably have mounted in recent weeks: your correspondent's sources in South Broker connected the impounding of a Benefactor Schafter in Vlackwood earlier this month to an assassination attempt on one Matvey Shvedik, a Hove Beach-based businessman with connections to international criminal persons of interest. Then, another car bombing in Firefly Island and subsequent shootout through the Funland amusement park resulted, among others, in the death of one Boris Chapkevich, 41; a known associate of Lev Gefter, himself the general manager of Gulag Garden. The LCPD have yet to levy charges on any individuals in connection with any of these events, nor make any public statements as to their relation. Your correspondent reached out to various Broker-based LCPD precincts through official channels for comment, all of which refused to provide a statement.

 

Officers from the 60th Precinct barricaded a section of Wappinger Avenue in Hove Beach following the Gulag Garden shootout; the banquet hall remains closed until further notice, subject to an ongoing investigation. The Garden has been a Hove Beach fixture since the mid-1970s, previously under the purview of Emil Argov, whose extortionate tendencies earned his nickname "Caddle Prod" among local residents before being shot to death outside his apartment in 1985. Despite Hove Beach being under the jurisdiction of the 60th Precinct - whose reputation has been sullied by corruption allegations since the early 1980s - sources say the Garden investigation has been "handed off" to the 70th Precinct of Beechwood. Reached for comment, Sergeant from the 70th Dolph Beckler referred the Morning Horn to the precinct's nonexistent spokesman.

 

Investigative reporting has turned up one common denominator among this confluence of factors: Kuzma "Kenny" Petrovic, 36, a beloved Russian-born entrepreneur, who counts among his assets Hove Beach Russian-language newspaper The Emigrant - and a stake in Gulag Garden. A local philanthropist, Petrovic has long denied any connections with Russian criminal activity. While sources say Petrovic has had a long-standing beef with Matvey Shvedik, it is unclear what its nature might be - or if the death of Boris Chapkevich was retaliation by either side.

 

Whether this spate of violence is the result of an inter-organizational power struggle, individual egos vying for power, or something more complex; only time will tell. That is, if the LCPD ever takes an interest.

Edited by Cebra
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Holland, Broker, Lennox, Bohan. The streets.

 

What is the difference between a street gang and organized crime? The answer is - very little. Even the term has holes wrought through it; the Spanish Lords, in many ways, are more organized than most organizations on the streets of Liberty City. Patria Boricua and so many crews like it operate solely within prisons, certainly not the street. Perhaps, being a street gangster instead of organized means being more likely to identify with a name, a block, a brand. To shoot people over neighborhood lines or solely operate one or two rackets in the drug game. But then again, this applies to plenty of gangs considered ‘organized’: the Albanians, the Irish, the Greeks, even the Italians.

  

So what does it mean to be a member of a street gang and not organized crime, if you’re all gonna get charged with RICO anyway?

 

The answer is simple. You’re a minority. You’re black or you’re latino in a country that hates black people and latinos. It means you’re an underclass, or you’re more likely to get stopped by a pig. It means, to the powers that be, you are muscle or you’re street scum. Or, as the mayoralty of Marlon Faraldo looms - it means you are public enemy numero uno.

 

These guys come in all colors, but they storm the same stomping ground. Meet the ‘street gangs’, whatever the f*ck that means.

 

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Almighty Nation of Lords and Ladies

 

When it comes to the Almighty Nation, where do you start? Is it in Couira City, or is it in Liberty City? If you want a history of the Spanish Lords proper, it starts in the Midwest; it’s the 1930’s, and there’re Puerto Rican kids on the South and West Side feuding over scraps. Then it’s 1954 - it’s the West Side in Heinrich Park where those warring kids, now older, team up together in the name of ethnic harmony. Taino and boricua, men and women, lords and ladies. The Sixties saw the club get bigger as the civil rights movement blossomed. The late Seventies saw the Peace Nation, founded by the Thug Apostles as an alliance of gangs in prison. The Spanish Lords were excluded - so they founded the Love Nation in response with their own tribes. The feuds were originally along racial lines: they were black gangs on latino gangs and latino gangs on white gangs and so on and so on. Now it was if you threw up a P or a L, if you flagged on your left or your right.

 

That’s not Liberty City. LC was never a city of colors like Los Santos or Couira City - it was organization, it was hustling for a profit over symbolism and clique politicking. If there was ever an indication the tide was changing, it was when the Diablo Spanish Lords were founded.

 

It’s 1980. The Mariel Boatlift brings 125,000 Cubans into the United States, and among them is a man named Camilo del Otero. Camilo, 18 at the time, gets out of Florida and finds himself in Heinrich Park in Couira City. Instantly? He hooks up with the Spanish Lords. He hustles, he grinds, and then he shoots two people during a liquor store holdup in 1982. He tries fleeing the state, but turns himself in to the police after shooting his girlfriend three times in what the courts decided was manslaughter in the second degree. Instead of doing time in Illinois however, the guy nicknamed Lord Devil is doing time at Alderney State Correctional Facility.

 

Lord Devil gets permission to start his own sect of the Lords, deemed The Diablos, after word gets to the Coronas in Couira City. By 1986 there were more than 500 Spanish Lords and Ladies, both in and out of prison, who repped the Diablo Faction. By 1990, it was nearly 2000. They hole up in East Holland, all over Bohan, East Liberty - there’s Diablo Spanish Lords in Botolph and in Virginia and in Vice City. Lord Devil still reigns as Supreme Mayan and presides over every tribe on the eastern seaboard from his cell at Macedon Correctional in Upstate Liberty.

 

What is a Spanish Lord? Not who, but what? Spanish Lords wear black and gold. They run in tribes which answer to Coronas, who answer to Supreme Coronas, who operate in councils and then report to the Supreme Regional Mayan. That’s all organizational - but the Lords are a belief system. Being a Lord is an ideology: complete with strict guidelines and discipline, a manifesto, monthly fasting. It’s a belief system that gave addicts and thugs direction. Many Lords believe themselves adherents and revolutionaries who fight against anti-Lord inequalities like racism and imperialism - they probably aren’t, but they believe more than anything they’re in a brotherhood of like-minded men and women. They’re an army, roughly ten thousand strong. Some Lords aren’t believers, some aren’t Lordists. But many are.

 

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Forge’s Boys

 

What happens when you give a kid the keys to the kingdom? What happens is the North Holland Hustlers, the Lords of the f*cking Flies.

 

Ruford Forge had maybe seven women on the corners in Northwood, and he f*cked all of them and made sure to tell his wife when he was done. If there was a word for what he was, it was misanthropic, maybe vile. He came at people with his own words, and when that didn’t work, it was fists. A wife beater, a proud adulterer, and an aspiring stick-up man. The last one didn’t work out so well - Warbly Ruford tried robbing some neighborhood cats, and the cats came back with a sawn off to his apartment in the Greg Johnson Houses.

 

He had two kids. His firstborn died during childbirth, and he never had a name. His second was born in 1973, and the boy’s name was Dwayne. He was 11 when his dad died; he wasn’t spared the balled fist from his father, and he grew up with his mother Sallye, diagnosed bipolar who dipped between love and hate with her kid. Dwayne always had good memories of her, but it was never so simple. Her abuse was verbal. Some days she loved her boy and other days he was fat, and worthless, and better off dead. And Dwayne tried to compensate: he joined a local boxing club, lifted weights, and caused f*cking trouble. When he was sixteen, he and his best friend broke into a neighbor’s house and tried stealing their TV - which got him thrown through a window on top of a good few months in a detention center. Which was lucky, since he’d been selling crack for three years at that point. 

 

Pernell ‘Nell’ Bynum was that friend; two years Dwayne’s senior and the guy selling him crack. Nell had been getting that crack on behalf of a guy named Maestro Dozier (no, that was not his nickname), who got twenty five-to-life for a murder charge. Nell was only 18, but he saw a potential - he’d met with Maestro’s supplier through a mutual friend, secured some connects in Bohan and Alderney - and through profit alone was the guy running Holland. When Dwayne got out of juvenile hall he was 215 pounds of muscle, looking like goddamn Cam Odom, and he hooked up with Nell as his second-in-command.

 

A year later, Nell was shot twelve times and left on a beach in Bohan.

 

Dwayne was running the Hustlers.

 

For the two years Big Dwayne’s been in charge, the Hustlers have been printing money like it’s nothing. Maybe three million a year - and he’s running out of ways to spend it. His boys flash hard: designer clothes and coordinated colors, tricked out cars, handing out hundred dollar bills to kids on the street so they can come back over and either start selling for them or buying from them. Dwayne balls as hard as anyone else, sure, but he’s playing CEO now; he’s buying ‘real estate’. He’s bought a club in Bohan, he’s got a few houses he owns solely for stashing drugs or money, and he’s got his North Holland penthouse. He’s trying to court rappers now, big names, and maybe it’ll work. Time will tell.

 

The young hustlers of Holland:

  • Monte Cooley - Second-in-command, if there really even is one rocking with the Hustlers. Helped make the hook-up with some of the suppliers when Nell was still above ground; he missed the kid the hardest. 

  • Wilguens ‘Dubby’ Diallo - Dwayne’s bodyguard is the oldest guy in the crew; he’s 28. He never rocked in the same circles, but he met Big Dwayne at the gym in Holland and learned they were from the same projects, just on different blocks. Enjoys poetry.

  • Napier ‘Laylay’ Alvadalejo - One of Dwayne’s main boys, half Dominican on his father’s side from a long while growing up in Northwood. A slick motherf*cker who can keep his mouth shut; he knows where the bodies are buried, and usually helped bury ‘em.

  • Jayvon ‘JJ’ Simson - Dwayne’s inner circle are mostly old friends, wary of outsiders even though their organization probably rides in the triple digits. Jayvon isn’t from the same housing project, so he’s on the wrong foot already. A small time hustler, Dwayne’s only really paying him mind for two reasons: he’s playing ambitious, and he’s Cherise Glover’s cousin.

  • Cherise Glover - Cherise is just a kid, and she sees all the boys with the Hustlers as big brother figures; even her cousin JJ who lived out in Pequot until recently. Always been something… weird going on, especially with the boys a few years her senior. Especially Dwayne. But that’s nothing, right?

  • Trey Stewart - The boys from the neighborhood nicknamed him Peewee. He’s Dwayne’s protege, was the first kid he ever rocked up to on the street and just handed a couple hundreds to. Dwayne thinks he’s the smartest kid he’s ever met, gone and put him on the street hustling rocks before middle school. He’s like a son.

  • Rick Arcade, the Most Resplendent - His real name is Winfrey, but the Most Resplendent loves himself a show. Not a criminal by any means, but Holland’s top haberdasher and essentially Dwayne Forge’s personal tailor. Dwayne has introduced him to hip hop stars on the basis of his idiosyncratic and customizable counterfeit goods, bedazzled with as many stolen logos and flashy colors as possible. Simply splendacious, as the man says, who loves his sh*t multi-syllabic.

 

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Zig-Zag-Zig

 

When the MOB fell apart by 1990, dominant dealing operations on East Island migrated from Broker up to Dukes - into Willis and Wampum, and into the open hands of the ZZZ’s. It started with Lamont ‘Cypher’ Boubacar: born 1960, delinquent kid born to two Haitian immigrants, a litany of juvenile offences despite them. In his late teens, still in high school, the kid saw the light; and he joined the Five Percent Nation - reborn as Cypher after meeting a kid named Adell Smiley, who went by Savior Self. By age 20, he’d graduated and Smiley’d dropped out - both true believers still, and both looking for a way to make money. Turns out, Smiley had met up with his uncle Maestro Dozier in Holland, who happened to be looking to expand outside of Algonquin. Smiley just didn’t know sh*t about math.

 

Cypher did, and thusly was reborn again. He was King Cypher, and he was running with a couple of other Five-Percenters near the Sabrina Park Projects. They went by ZZZ or the Triple Z Click - which meant Zig Zag Zig, a term for the path of going from spirit to knowledge to understanding. They had the spirit, and now they’d acquired the knowledge; they were Dozier’s number one guys in Dukes for distribution. Their knowledge in the mid-80’s was distribution of crack from Maestro’s supply of coke, working their turf as a fortress. Trust that isn’t easy to come by.

 

In 1985, King Cypher got a good two years on a possession charge and got sent upstate - so it was up to Smiley to relay orders from the pen while simultaneously knowing jack sh*t about management. Cypher kept the numbers straight but Smiley couldn’t help himself dispatching motherf*ckers who crossed him: it was torture, movie-style street beatings and displays to people on the avenues that the Z’s don’t get f*cked with. When Cypher was out in ‘87, he got another five years for ‘engaging in a criminal enterprise’ almost entirely for charges they threw at Smiley.

 

It’s 1990 and Cypher’s out on parole - and the Z’s have a reputation as hard hitters. Not only that, but now Maestro Dozier was doing life after a friend of his went and told on him for leaving bodies under some brownstones in Holland. Smiley was floundering. So Cypher picked up the mantle of leadership again and played himself like Robin Hood: he opened a barber shop, started saying he was gonna move into the movie business, hosted basketball tournaments and invited rappers over to the houses. Lied about going legit. King Cypher never saw himself as a hood, he was a king - and Gods with knowledge gotta overstand they can’t just break the community, especially if they want to keep making money. He doesn’t play flashy like Dwayne uptown - no logomania custom clothes, just tracksuits or those same fatigues and Hinterlands. These fly leather coats on occasion. Gotta stay fresh.

 

Of course - he still deals. He needs the money to make f*cking pictures and run those goddamn concerts, right? In the joint he hooked up with Dominicans and when he got out he crossed lines with the Jamaicans. Now he’s buying from the wholesaler, no more middle man sh*t with Maestro. And now, the Gods rule East Island. They’ve got the crack, and they’ve got the understanding.

 

Those with Wisdom:

  • Adell ‘Savior Self’ Smiley - Savior’s his preferred name, but everyone just calls him Smiley. Cypher’s number two who’s helmed the Triple Z’s on and off between Cypher’s terms in prison; he plays bad cop. The muscle of the crew without much the know-how for generosity nor leadership, but often finds himself in the role besides.

  • Keeshon ‘K-Grandiloquent’ Duffy - One of the chief ZZZ lieutenants: born in Alderney (which 5-Percenters call Al-Aqsa) before a relocation and a change of faith. Known for a sort of verbosity that comes from reading a glossary and not really understanding what the words mean.

  • Rhondell ‘Ronnie’ Irby - One of the top shooters for the Triple Zees, rocking with Smiley’s boys and personally running guys up for him. Gifted enough with numbers, but ingenious when it comes to planning three of Smiley’s favorite things: ambushes, stick-ups, torture.

  • Syretta ‘the Goddess’ de la Renta - It’s often said, to a Five Percenter, that men are gods and women are the earth - necessary but secondary. So really, you gotta give credit to someone who gets by in the chauvinistic worlds of both belief and crime. They call her the goddess for a reason: she works corners, has her own team, and sleeps motherf*ckers. She’s a zig-zag-zigging god like the rest.

  • Clayton ‘PG’ Jackson - Was the smallest of small timers in the crew from Willis originally - a reputation as a soft touch and a lightweight - until DB-motherf*cking-P caught him spitting at a cipher. Now he’s flying to LS side-by-side with the king of the East Coast, and it’s pissing off Smiley and Cypher he doesn’t take DB-P around to Dukes. What’s next, is he gonna write a f*cking song with their names in it?

  • Elmon Bacon - The guy on the inside; it was dumb f*cking luck when Elmon B. from the neighborhood got assigned as Cypher’s parole officer. He takes bucks to make sure his lips stay shut about whatever’s going on, and in exchange sends the boys any info he can find.

 

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Fingers Crossed

 

Back in Puerto Rico, independence is what it is. A dream or a goal or whatever the f*ck that might be - and in the joint, you band together for causes (or at least you do initially). Often times that cause is racial, sometimes it’s ideological.

 

Patria Boricua formed in 1980 in Oso Blanco near San Juan. It had been a few years of Puerto Rico correctional facilities being dominated by a crew known as Y Blancos; shoddy Spanish that translates to ‘And Whites’. They were pro-independence in a vague sort of way - Patria Boricua was founded by a former member of the FALN named Güicho Colberg. Güicho was a hardliner who’d gone to prison for reasons totally unrelated to his political convictions, seeing as he’d gotten busted for a truck hijacking of furniture that went awry and left two cops dead. But Güicho was popular inside, especially with the younger inmates, and he founded the PB as, ostensibly, an organization for inmate rights. Plus, as protection against And Whites.

 

Güicho called his rivals in the Blancos ‘La Manchas’ - the stains. The clique retaliated by calling PA ‘Las Rosas’. By then their squabbles had been on-and-off, but that f*cking nickname pissed off Güicho so much he declared war, official war. And the first and final act of said war was three members of La Manchas smuggling a gun into the prison, shooting Güicho three times in the head on the basketball court, and then stabbing him to make sure. This was seen as enough reason for the government to crack down on YB, and by 1985 they essentially didn’t exist.

 

They got replaced by Patria Boricua.

 

PB go by a bunch of names: the Motherland, La Cuerda, the Rope, simply Patria, sometimes the Boricuas. Much like the Lords, they still see themselves - at least inside - as an organization dedicated to Puerto Rican independence and prisoner’s rights. They aren’t, or at least not anymore, especially after guys got out of prison and migrated to the United States only to end up back in prison once again. All diluted, regardless of if they say they support Los Macheteros or otherwise. Right now, both the Lords and the Patria dominate Liberty prisons, and they squabble much the same as the Patria squabbled with Y Blancos. You rarely find them on the street, outclassed by their competitors when it comes to East Holland corners, but there are chapters all over the East Coast going right down to South Florida.

 

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Urban Legends

 

The crack game in Broker, and maybe Liberty City, was pioneered by the President. Not Hogan - though he helped - but Jameel Singletary. He went by the moniker President, and from maybe 1986 until 1990 he was running the streets of East and South Broker. Jameel grew up in Far-Sleck in the original Firefly Houses - living with his uncle after his mother passed away from a melanoma and his father took a stray bullet walking in South Slopes. Jameel ended up a latchkey kid with his uncle working regular hours and two different jobs, and eventually, started clicking with the wrong kind in the FPJ’s.

 

And then crack came to Liberty City.

 

The President’s clique was MOB - Money Over Bitches or Bullsh*t or both, depending on the mood. The Prez didn’t discover crack when it floated over from the west coast on the back of Colombian and Dominican dealers, but the Prez saw an opportunity for franchising with just baking soda and boiled water. His uncle was gone by ‘84, so the President got some of his guys to reach out to coke contacts uptown and did the impossible. He took over the Firefly Projects. The LCHA had largely been ripped apart and defunded by 80’s era budget cuts and Hoganite austerity: so they never sent any patrols or inquired when people started moving out with bruises. MOB became the Burger Shot of drug dealing, and Firefly was their home territory. They had designated guys regularly getting in white directly from their source in Nicaragua - f*ck middlemen and wholesalers or Colombian stooges - they had specialists for cooking, cutting, packaging. They had dealers all over Beechwood, the Slopes, anywhere bordering Outlook. All headquartered from their White House in Broker.

 

And the President owned it. He never hid it - he became a street messiah. He laundered money through a dinky charity organization that washed more dirty bills than it ever gave to the homeless, but the reputation was enough. Jameel bought out luxury clothes and cars and turned his apartment in the FPJ’s into his own oval office. He wore a 40-thousand dollar pendant that said GRADE-A-LOONATIC and fashioned himself like a regular Tommy Vercetti. You said the name ‘The President’, they assumed Jameel, because he’d drive down the street and guys would cheer him on. He was making 100k a day - more than the Gambettis on some days - and he never paid any tax to the mob because by the time they caught on, he’d gotten himself busted.

 

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In the span of 18 months, Jameel had ordered 18 killings, and got a couple more in change. One of those murders was a police officer who disrespected him when he was drinking without a brown bag - so he got two of his guys to follow him afterward and execute the pig in his squad car. Cops don’t tolerate cop killers. Jameel made bail and he made it easy, and when he did, he did a finger gun and pointed right at the prosecutor. He pulled the trigger, and ordered three more hits.

 

When the cops got him again, it was 1990 and he’d been on the lam for half a year. He was holing up in the neighborhood, which was a move so dumb the cops didn’t even look there, and when he was escorted out a crowd was cheering his name. He tried for the insanity plea and desperately tried to convince by doing push-ups in the courtroom and randomly shouting numbers.

 

It didn’t work. Most of his boys testified, and he got life.

 

The MOB still exists in some capacity, but everyone who made it out without a snitch-jacket or a bullet in their head is working in different ways for different people. Jameel’s got rep in the joint but he sure isn’t calling shots right now. The assets all got repossessed and the towers are government owned once again - not safe, but not a crack factory neither. But that brand name, man. You say MOB on the streets and people know what the f*ck you’re talking about. And still for some, Jameel Singletary has a ring like any other president. And that monopoly of power has still never been replaced.

 

What remains of the MOB:

  • Hodaviah ‘Hoeman’ Chatman - The President’s very own Lance Vance with a lisp; born up in Holland and known for his presence in city nightlife. Or was known, because when the President looked like he was going down he rolled on him and went states. One of the first black men the FIB saw worthy of WitSec - somewhere in the Midwest now, probably.

  • Vandwon ‘Birdie’ Diggs-Gary - Birdie was a more lowkey member of the crew who worked financials mainly: book-keeping, collections, so on. When Jameel went down he gave sealed testimony but still wanted to be king - he did a couple months on a smaller charge, but the streets talk. He’s dead now. A couple guys ran up on him with razors in Schottler.

  • Beaumont ‘Boo’ Ximénez - One of Jameel’s main dogs, who refused to talk. Worked muscle and spent a lot of time talent-scouting at the courts for new recruits. They brought him down on possession, on attempted murder, on a lot; doing twenty five-to-life, because the poor bastard forgot the golden rule. Don’t get high on your own supply.

  • Timothy ‘Theep’ Wooten - Rolled with Hoeman in the night-life and a pioneer when it came to the mechanization of dealing down in the Firefly. When Jameel went down, Theep got out without a charge - and pulled a Birdie. Right now, he’s an independent dealer in East Hook and Holland, often crossing paths with Forge’s Hustlers.

  • Mario ‘MG’ Gore - Most of the guys who got involved with the MOB either died, got jail time, or kept balling and selling rock with different folks. Not MG. Mario, the President’s bodyguard, took his leave after Jameel called his first hit on parole. Took what he had and laid low until the MOB collapsed. Now he gives anti-crack speeches at high schools, a great racket for easy cash.

  • Quantell ‘Buck Fifty’ Blount - Never actually a member of the MOB, Buck Fifty comes from up Buttress in Bohan; over there, he’s leader of a gang called the A-Nines. In Astors Island, he ended up becoming the President’s cellmate, and in turn a good friend. Buck has a philosophy - the Patria and the Spanish Lords run Liberty prisons. Perhaps, instead, there should be a brotherhood of ballas who lock sh*t down. The President’s keen - might even sanction the MOB as a set. Borrow a few names, for a greater cause.

 

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Feuding Dominicanos

 

The Santanas came first, a trio of criminal acquaintances and inmates at Astors Island that found necessity in the idea of Dominican strength in numbers inside the prison’s walls: so they made it official, christened themselves in the tradition of the national junta commander and first president of the Republic. It was 1988, and they were three: Cristóbal Corniel, aka El Pichon, in for battery and grand theft auto; Eutropio Valoy-Lora, aka Bobadilla, in for a parole violation; and Seve Lantigua, aka Gándito, in for attempted murder. Gándito always found himself the third wheel thanks to his stature and total inability to intimidate - the charge was a fluke, a mishandling with the safety off. He started to wander, started to talk sh*t. A chaplain found him with a shiv in his throat on New Years’ Eve ‘89, aged thirty-five.

 

For a while, Santanas were limited to working behind bars: ethnic brotherhood kept the Domincanos protected, bonds were forged, and the occasional member granted an early release spread word back across the five boroughs - but they paled in the grand scheme. PALZ, meanwhile, was building up in its own right: their year was ‘89, founded at a bolted picnic table in a Bohan housing project between two eighteen year olds with half as much brains as balls - Demetrio ‘Ciguayo’ Suriel, Hernán ‘Pingo’ Pimental de Souza: latter nickname on account of how much he f*cked. They were premised on a favorite turn of phrase: pa'lante zafacón, meaning either “let’s go, trashcan”, or “into the trash”, depending on who you asked. 

 

But PALZ blew up - Pingo caught a bullet the same year, survived, but on his reprieve started seeing dollar signs in those same women. Word of mouth travelled in a way conducive to rep, if nothing else: housing blocks reserved for pimping on one floor, moving coke on the next. Older members forged their way in with connections to Colombianos - not the cartels, but Colombianos nonetheless - and paved the way for greener pastures. It couldn’t be that long lasted. Bobadilla Valoy-Lora was released in ‘91, found himself faced with expectations of branching out - some territory in Bohan got eased in on by PALZ. Same for a couple blocks in Holland - a Santana flag-carrier tried setting up shop on the East two doors down from a PALZ whorehouse and got his shins sliced. Bobadilla and Ciguayo parleyed. They came to an agreement: a territory split, corners assigned, PALZ would keep a majority of the coke trade. 

 

It lasted three months.

 

Then, the comeback: Santanas made international connections. Some older guys went back to the DR, some went to Spain; made real good progress on the arms-drugs pipeline. PALZ never knew how to keep it on the DL - rowdy boys made sure they were known. Someone talked sh*t? Their whole brownstone got met with a volley of gunfire at 3 AM, Dinkas skidding down the block. Santanas was just as vicious, just not as loud: didn’t roll deep, preferred machetes to unsilenced automatics. They ran a tight operation and membership bloomed. Do they still feud? You f*cking bet. PALZ never let go of the idea that they got usurped; they’re not afraid to draw blood for it.

 

With names now long established, there’s a footnote in play: a semi-autonomous Santanas set split between Hickey Heights and Dukes going by The Blowouts, named after the homeland hairstyle. Run primarily by the three brothers Payano - Efraín, Merlín, and leader Yadiel - they are f*cking ruthless. Gold-painted Benefactors and massive egos; they run coke independently: source it, slice it, sell it. They one-upped the PALZ prostitution model with an extra dose of brutality. Yadiel has a stutter, goes by Balbo - one of his girlfriends made fun of it in public and when he got home he shot her in the shoulder. She ran to LCPD. He beat the rap. An ex-cop sniffed too close to their Hickey Heights coke op: he got his throat cut in broad daylight. The brothers themselves are based in Dukes, split their time between a barbershop and an auto shop. One thing they didn’t consider? The ire going independent might draw. Not just from their fellow Dominicanos, but something bigger: the Colombians.

 

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Cartoons and the Code

 

If you let the theme fool you, don’t say you weren’t warned: with Lazerforce, the reputation precedes - the indelible image of serious gangbangers with a cyborg spin based on a cartoon is hard to shake. But nevertheless a brotherhood forged between spats on the S-train in 1985 by Superior Chief Oraboid and Master Borg Epucator - nee Jerquis Morris and Patrice Polk: two sixteen year olds who’d been shuffled between borough schools their entire childhoods, two kids perpetually bullied without the physical presence to stand up for his own. But they had ideas: so they made Lazerforce, and Lazerforce was made concrete by becoming a united front for bullied kids and kids who just wanted the excuse to f*ck sh*t up while pitted against rival crews. The 90s ushered in a second generation that found Lazerforce graduated from a family to a gang. Family was just that: bonds of bullied kids from sh*tty homes who found strength in numbers under the wing of the aforementioned. Gangs spiralled outward: members from just three high schools spattered across Broker snowballed because being Lazerforce meant you couldn’t be f*cked with - and that meant black kids from sh*tty homes far and wide proud to call themselves Lazers just as it did Latino sects popping up all the way up in Bohan. But familiarize yourself, and you’ll find being family or being a gang are not mutually exclusive: Lazerforce is bond, Lazerforce is creed. Broker? They call it the planet Broquite via Quoton. Together, they run legions: factions in the matrix covering a few blocks’ territory apiece, all running with Kung Fu Lazerforce crew names running twenty years back. It’s a lifestyle. If there’s one consolation, it’s that their interests don’t lie outside the borough each legion was founded in - brothers in spirit, not in practice.

 

Fact is, nearly a decade down the road Lazerforce know they’re marketable: and the more licks they hit and the more beatdowns they give, the further that extends. The gang finds itself on its third generation of semi-autonomous cliques across the borough, and the cash has the potential to be raked in: that’s branding, EPs, the life. Make no mistake; initiates are hazed before any young buck off the street can go flying flags like any self-respecting hustlers  - but they’re far more running on the iconography alone than they were a decade back. Third gen legions try to evade that best they can, exhibit number one the Lazerettes: all-female Lazerforce sect out of Schottler under the helm of Nubia Pugh, aka Queen Mega Exocet, who see initiation rituals in the form of one-hit KOs and slashing innocents on the LTA. Before her, female Lazers - they didn’t have the privilege of the new name - had to f*ck their way into the mix. Exocet earned the respect of her brothers. She also just turned seventeen. 

 

But marketability has turned to myth, to some degree: the streets of LC have never seen more than a hundred Lazers, tops, but the lasting nature of the cartoon mythos has kept their name alive far longer than high school spats and low-level beefs would have otherwise. And that means the name will live on in lack of a finite structure; Chiefs Oraboid and Epucator never wanted in on the rap game or the gimmicks as much as they just wanted motherf*ckers at school to know they were hard, that they wouldn’t be f*cked with with a family under their wing. As the name grew, so did their heads: and they wandered into a liquor store on Saratoga Ave in 1989, a little too high and a little too proud - and the former left with $44 cash, an empty magazine, and an APB on his ass; latter with an extra hole in his head but a heart still beating. Patrice Polk is living his third year in Schottler Medical Center’s coma ward. Jerquis Morris is wanted for armed robbery and attempted murder. But Lazerforce lives on.

 

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Da Nang Boys

 

The KEA were founded around 1987, but their history goes right back to Saigon with a man named Đặng Tiến Dũng. He went by Mackie; a nickname given to him as a teenager ferrying himself between American G.I.s and local drug dealers. His father was one of those drug dealers and a wealthy affiliate of the Bình Xuyên - he’d gotten his product from them - until that wealth evaporated when the city fell to the Communists. His father went to re-education, but Mackie got out thanks to his poppa’s money, and found himself smuggled into the United States.

 

Mackie kept the nickname when he found himself in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He was working as a dishwasher and living at a home for boys attached to a local church - but Mackie found himself bored, and Mackie stole $150 from the priest running it and used that cash to catch a Dashound bus to Liberty City. Mackie in the big city. In Liberty nobody really gave a f*ck about Mackie, and in Chinatown nobody really gave a f*ck about the Vietnamese: Mack had the English skills he’d gotten from working Americans, but he was still essentially homeless and bouncing from job to job as a busboy at various midtown restaurants. However, he’d learned a precious skill while combing Diamond Street - and that skill was counterfeiting.

 

Counterfeiting watches was an easy enough game, and it actually bought the kid his first apartment in Purgatory after getting a woman pregnant with twins. It also got him ingratiated with a kid named Broker Kwan, who was happy to give him membership in the Red Dragons. The talent for faking a Crowex was good for Kwan, who took Mackie under his wing, but the Lee brothers and Kwan’s number two - Puppydog Yip - saw him and the Vietnamese in Chinatown as coffee boys. Cannon fodder and morons; an accusation that made Mackie smash a glass over Blackjack Charlie’s head and essentially put him out of the crew. Kwan kept in touch, but then Yip got him killed over heroin. So Mackie was down to square one with a couple of other Vietnamese guys.

 

So he went back to selling watches.

 

And he made bank. By 1986 ‘Goddamn’ Mackie Dang was Diamond Street’s premier watch counterfeiter: if you wanted Kronos, Crowex, Gaulle, goddamn Kakagawa digital watches then Mackie was your guy. And he spread the money around to the Vietnamese kids he’d been hanging with on the street. And by ‘87, there was enough of them with enough money to call them a force. And that force went by Kill ‘Em All.

 

KEA have been scuffling with the Lucky Whispers all over Diamond Street as of late - thanks to a personal rivalry between Mackie and a young counterfeiting prodigy named Zhou Ming. Zhou’s a young guy, but already made top dog in the Whispers hierarchy on the back of his talent and flash alone. All the same, they’ve traded shots with their old allies in the Red Dragons over the smack trade, never forgiving the Lees. The KEA swear no allegiance to any Tong or Triad organization and run rackets any and everywhere they can: they extort restaurant owners, force Diamond Street salesmen to sell their watches, run women on the street out of a brothel the size of an apartment block. They rebel against a deeply ingrained system of power on Chinatown’s streets, with rumors even swelling of Mackie Dang personally spitting in the face of old Hsin ‘the Idiot’ Jaoming. That’s not entirely true, but they don’t f*ck around all the same.

 

Neither do the government. The AFT are looking into forgery and weapons possession charges on KEA leadership. All the same, the crew are getting more vicious against the Chinese as shootouts and murders continue to escalate. The only question is how much longer the KEA have on the streets: if Mackie will reign forever, or if he’ll get swooped up in the indictments slicing Chinatown into chunks. Not long left to find out.

 

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Show Biz Ozzie

 

At the age of eight years old, Oswaldo Quiroga was a pimp. The kid grew up in the Historic Center of Lima as an orphan after his mother died - she was mugged and stabbed in the throat with a broken bottle - meaning he had to fend for himself. Which he did. It was at eight when he got his first woman, and then at ten he’d made it twenty mostly prowling the tourist center among the grandiosity of Ciudad de los Reyes. He was also, largely, apolitical - mostly because he hadn’t hit puberty yet. It was 1965 when he got into the skin game while Peru was still under liberal leadership in President Belaúnde - and he was still bribing the same city cops after the left wing coup that installed General Velasco. The tourists stopped coming, which f*cked with business, and it was right back to liberalism when Morales-Bermúdez deposed Velasco in the Seventies. That’s when he became political: when he learned there’s no money in the pimp game when they’re trying out socialism.

 

By 23, he was the perennial king of sex in Lima. Quiorga had put his stock in the liberal government even when everything went to sh*t in the Eighties - when the border squabbles with the Ecuadorians flared up and the communist insurgents started shooting people in the countryside. Quiroga had started sending money and weaponry he’d accumulated to the anti-Shining Path ronda squads in exchange for cocaine, but things started really going bad when the currency caved in. It was early 1985 when Quiroga made the legal migration to the United States, and he was happy to do it even when the Peruvians replaced sol with inti (which ended up crashing anyway).

 

Now he was in Alderney City, and he was essentially all alone. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, however, because Oswaldo went right back to pimping and pushing again. He had his old contacts in Peru who ended up smuggling the same cocaine he’d sold in Lima right out to one of his buddies in Pequot. Just the same, he was hooking up with Marielito Cubans and other latino expats and rebuilding his old stable - he had people on the border and old friends back in the country happy to recommend him as a go-to for illegal immigrants, and when those migrants came over he’d entrap them into prostitution in exchange for documentation and a place to sleep. Naturally, they’d almost never get the documents.

 

In 1990, back in the old country, Alberto Fujimori came to power - and Oswaldo was so f*cking happy he nearly packed up his sh*t and moved back. But the money was too good. He was now ‘Big Ozzie’, and he had a mansion in Lennox Island and the deed to two apartment blocks in AC where he kept some of the homeless girls. He had a network of pimps, and even better, he’d started recruiting any runaway he could get his hands on by saying he was in the entertainment industry: hosting lavish parties and rocking with celebrities like DB-P or Wayne Tearson. Of course most of them stayed on the streets, but occasionally the best performers would get sent over to skeevy smut sets, or maybe down to where the producers were staying. He’d be hooking up most of his women on drugs by then, so at that point the logic was they’d care more about getting a score than what they were getting it from.

 

But Peru? It wasn’t all bad. Because Ozzie had made friends, a long time ago, with a man named Vladimiro Montesinos. He’d been buying cocaine from him in the Seventies and Eighties and giving it to street cops for distribution. In 1990, Vladimiro became the head of Peru’s spy agency, and Ozzie personally met President Fujimori at Palacio de Gobierno, a couple blocks away from where he’d pimped his first bitch at eight years old.

 

And now he was buying cocaine and heroin directly from the government. Technically two governments, actually - but we don’t talk about the second.

 

But most don’t really know that side of cuddly O.Z. Quiroga. Most know him as an opulent entertainment magnate, and maybe as a pimp. He’s got a few women, sure, hangs out with musicians and actors. You see him at movie sets on the occasion. But hold on. He never has any problems with supply, but nobody knows who he buys from. He’s been arrested a few times already, and never served any jail time or even been considered for deportation. Any wonders as to why that might be?

 

Hm. Probably just connections in Vinewood! Nothing to see here.

 

Friends of Ozzie:

  • ‘Babyface’ Darwin Nogueira - Born in England before heading to Leftwood’s Portugese community; Babyface is in the skin flick pimp game and one of Ozzie’s lines into smut production from here to Florida to Vinewood. Makes connections and helps funnel impressionable women into prostitution. Cokehead.

  • Edel ‘Didi’ Sotolongo - Born in Havana, skipped a trip with the Marielitos and spent the early Eighties in Vice City. Didi’d moved to Guernsey City around the same time Ozzie found himself in Alderney City and found himself as one of Ozzie’s recruiters.

  • Dana Clinkscales - Head of security with Ozzie after hooking up at a film set. Looks for big guys to wear tight black t-shirts and sunglasses at Quiroga’s house parties so he looks legit instead of a gangster.

  • ‘Fair’ Chavis Goines - Most of Ozzie’s security is hired, but his guys on the street are all personal friends. Chavis was at one point an Alderney City bail recovery agent (fancy way of saying bounty hunter) that crossed paths with Ozzie in the Eighties. Now he’s one of the fat Peruvian’s best pimps.

  • Paul Yarkpawolo - Ozzie’s main guy from Lennox Island. Liberian-American pimp simply called Paul the Homie on account of his mouthful of a surname. Ambitious, which means nothing working women on corners in the suburbs.

  • ‘Lightskin Hank’ Butte - A Lenapia thug who moved up to Liberty City in the Eighties, and ended up Quiroga’s driver and bodyguard after Ozzie tried bribing him to get into a nightclub. Glorified courier who knows the intricacies of the business the same as Ozzie, but doesn’t really do damage unless it’s intimidating some new blood.

  • Fazlallah ‘DB-P’ McKnight - Broker rapper and founder of Big Joox Records; DB-P made it big early in the golden age and used the influence to put himself on the map while starting as much sh*t as possible. It could be argued he started the West Coast-East Coast feud with his song ‘Every1 From LS Gay', which he followed up with a Madd Dogg diss called ‘I F$cked Rochell’le (It Was Consensual)’. His stage name is multifaceted: DickBalls-Pussy, DouBle-Penetration, DimeBag-Puffa - at the same time, DB-P is a lot of people. A businessman, a gangster, a former gangster, a gangster-wannabe, and a man who really cannot take criticism.

 

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Buckmakers Alike

 

In the city you stay organized. The cliques listed above are the ones rocking in the double, triple, quadruple digits: but in Liberty City there’re a million names and a million players who help the heart of the underworld beat. Sometimes, they play harder than the big dogs. But if there’s a thing you gotta understand, it’s that the entrepreneurial spirit sometimes demands you don’t tie yourself down to one of the big dominant powers. These are communities of the disenfranchised, and when a few friends click together it’s often just natural they start rolling deep - if there’s no other opportunity.

 

There are probably more Puerto Ricans in the entire Liberty metropolitan area than in Puerto Rico itself. You head up to East Holland or South Bohan and you might as well be in San Juan - the tricolor flags, the Spanish, the music. Even a word for it: a Libertaíno. They certainly aren’t all Spanish Lords. Nor are all the Dominicans in LC affiliated with PALZ or the Santanas, nor is every Holland hustler a North Holland Hustler.

 

Sometimes it’s just more rewarding to work your own outfit. No monopolies in the city. Or better? Run solo, and see where the f*ck that gets you. 

 

Street entrepreneurs, independent or otherwise:

  • Bastard Gott Charm - There were two crews: the Wylin Vo from East Liberty, and the Fly-By Boys from South Slopes. BCG was a Puerto Rican kid from the former, and he united the two into the Flyers, and around their clique formed a subculture focused entirely on shoplifting as much Flying Bravo as possible. It’s given a kind of clothing seen only as ‘country club chic’ a new life on the street, enough to get shouted out in rap music.

  • Máxi ‘Papi’ Encarnación - 22 year old Hedgebury drug dealer who’s the best of both worlds: half Dominican, half Puerto Rican. Called Papi for two reasons: always happy to lend a helping hand to a corner kid in need, and always happy to call ‘em papi.

  • Patches - Broker stick-up kid in his mid-teens. Salesman of stolen product to independent buyers and always a reliable source; keep an eye out for the name and the missing eye when you’re looking for a good dealer.

  • Q-Whispers - Rapper on the Bohan independent circuit who got out of petty crime purely on his talent, something DB-P picked up on while scouting at ciphers. He signed him to Big Joox, but didn’t account for two things: one, that Q was still doing petty crimes, and two, that Q would think DB-P was the most obnoxious man he’d ever met.

  • ‘Corna-Na’ - Eccentric fence for stolen goods who makes no secret of his affiliations, driving around in a convertible with a boombox on full blast in the backseat.

  • José Manuel ‘Memel’ Gomez - Northwood-born, Memel Gomez was the progenitor of Uptown Algonquin’s underground street fighting scene. He started ‘The Cage’; a basement-turned-squared circle in an alley off Xenotime. Started in the past tense - he went into the ring and took a sucker punch so bad he wound up in the coma ward. Unlikely to ever wake up, he’s survived by his two sons and the institution he founded.

  • JuJuan Bolden - Since Theep Wooten broke off from the MOB, his main man has been JuJuan. They call ‘em Bee and Dee for the black-and-white sweaters they’ve worn on the occasion, and also for both getting busted on a B&E, and also for being plain fruity motherf*ckers.

  • Thuliso - Rolling out of De Oesterbank in eastern Lennox Island is Thuliso: a big headed cat with a thing for styled hair and talking in the third person.

  • ‘Itchy’ Isidro - Cocaine supplier of unknown origin: some say Colombian, some say Borinquen, some say Dominican. But most don’t even know he exists - he’s just the name Big Dwayne refers to as the guy he buys his coke from.

Edited by Cebra
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This reads and plays out like an actual GTA game. Right down to the naming, the tropes, even the fictional news stories. It's f*cking amazing. Your nihilistic descriptions of GTA's crapsack world are also right on the money. Why haven't R* hired you as a storyboard writer yet?

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slimeball supreme
10 hours ago, LeakyLine said:

This reads and plays out like an actual GTA game. Right down to the naming, the tropes, even the fictional news stories. It's f*cking amazing. Your nihilistic descriptions of GTA's crapsack world are also right on the money. Why haven't R* hired you as a storyboard writer yet?

this stuff really makes it worth it lol. thank you

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On 2/10/2021 at 11:28 AM, LeakyLine said:

 Why haven't R* hired you as a storyboard writer yet?

they did, check the newswire soon™

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