Episode 1: Rumblings in the Bowels of a City
Posted 25 June 2004 - 03:45 PM
People she vaguely recognised greeted her as she whipped past them, but she stared mutely ahead. She didn't have the time.
It didn't take long for Victoria to arrive at the large house which was her destination. Almost a mansion, in fact. Her quick rap was answered almost immediately by the opening of the door and an elderly man stood before her.
"Ah, Miss Victoria. We have been expecting you. Do come in."
He ushered her inside.
Posted 25 June 2004 - 04:22 PM
Posted 25 June 2004 - 05:32 PM
He'd taken him into his home (the floor above the teahouse) and soothed the boy, who was now laying on Fung's bed, sipping some herbal tea. He was still crying, naturally, but had calmed down somewhat.
"What.." J sobbed, composed himself. "What will I do now?"
Poor boy. Fung hated having to tell this kid his parents had died (he now knew they had, he'd checked with some friends to confirm the attack against the families). Which is why he'd come to a decision.
"I'll look after you, J. I'll look after you."
J tried to smile, not having much success. The resulting expression of pain coupled with defiance almost caused Fung to start crying.
"Those men? Dragons? What was that about?"
Fung sighed. Another bad situation, that was. Still, at least J was trying not to wallow in grief. Amazing how resilient children can be. Best not to let him know, though.
"They.. they didn't like my tea."
J gave Fung a puzzled look, then lay on his side. He was asleep in moments.
Sandwiches are better than people. You can put anything you want in a sandwich, and it won't complain.
You spin me right round, baby, right round, in a manner depriving me of an inertial reference frame. Baby.
Posted 25 June 2004 - 08:36 PM
“Thank God for that,” Paola muttered to herself. Adie had fallen asleep on her shoulder nearly two hours ago. Paola was sure she’d never be able to feel her arm again.
“Look, Tony, Luigi’s,” Sophie said around the dead weight of Vito in her arms. Tony looked up and smiled for the first time since they’d been sent running from the house. They’d been taking turns to carry Vito when it became clear he couldn’t walk anymore.
“Just imagine some of Aunt Maria’s freshly baked bread,” Sophie said as their pace picked up, “She’ll have had it in the oven since last night so it’ll be big and fluffy and soft. Just like the pillows on the bed we sleep on when we stay over”
There was a cry and bang from Luigi’s and the children stopped dead, fearing that the terror was about to start all over again.
“Children! Thank heavens!” called a strong woman’s voice.
“Aunt Maria!” the Paola, Sophie and Tony called back, waking up their sleeping siblings.
Maria came flying out of the front door of the store, her apron flapping about behind her, her face like one big smile.
“We were so worried when we heard the news on the wireless this morning,” she said as she came up and tried to hug all the children at once, “They were saying such dreadful things. But here you are. And you’re alright!”
She began to heard them back up the street to the store.
“Hey! Poppa! Mama’s found our cousins!” called Pipo Fiorelli, 21 year old son of Lugi, from his upstairs bedroom.
“She has?” Luigi leapt up from the kitchen table and ran to the front of the store just in time to see the five bedraggled children ushered in, “Oh, children. We were worried”
“Bad things, Unca,” Adie said sleepily from Paola’s arms.
“We were scared,” Vito said, now clutched to Maria’s expansive bosom.
“I bet you were,” Luigi said as he reached out to hug the children as well, “You don’t have to worry now. You’ll be safe here”
“Pipo!” Maria called, “You come and help with your cousins. I’ll get everybody some breakfast. Fresh bread,” she said, turning to Sophie, “Just the way you like it”
Pipo came bounding down the stairs all brown skin and smiles.
“Hey little cousins,” he said, winking at Paola who couldn’t stop herself from blushing, “I hear you had a rough night,” he held out his arms to take Adie, “Cousin Pipo will make it alright though, you just wait and see”
Adie giggled as Pipo tickled her.
Sophie smiled as Tony finally let go of her arm to be hugged by Luigi. They would be safe now, for a little while at least.
I lost some time once...it's always in the last place you look for it. Violent Becoming Downtown, Olympus Town
Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:17 PM
Without thinking, Vincent strode straight in. The door was unlocked. Konstance, behind him, noticed the gouge in the frame. Splinters littered the front door step.
"Ma!" the other boy was shouting, "Ma!"
Vincent wandered from room to room. The house was largely untouched, here and there, there was a mark on the wall that hadn't been there before, a table knocked over or a chair moved. Vincent felt the chill returning, a deep, haunting pain in his stomach. He shuddered.
He headed to the kitchen. Konstance blindly followed. When they stepped through the door, Vincent had to push hard, something was obstructing it.
When he stepped through, he saw what. A man was lying face down, his back a pulped mess. Another man was lying propped up against the stove, his chest similarly shredded. Then, in the centre of the room, their lay Vincent's mother. She had been shot several times.
Vincent looked up. There was a figure in the shadowy corner of the room with a shotgun, sitting at a table, huddled over a steaming mug of coffee.
"Vinny," said a voice.
"Dead," said Vincent, his tone older than his years.
The figure sighed, "Who's your friend?"
"From the big house," said Vincent. "Konstance."
The figure stood, straightened and stepped out of the shadows. It was a girl, older than them both.
"We've got to go. I was waiting for you. There's somewhere we can go. Someone I know," she spoke in simple, disjointed sentences, making it easy for them to understand.
"Vincent's hurt," said Konstance.
"Johnny will patch you up," said Vincent's sister.
"What about ma?" said Vincent, voice teetering on the edge of sobs.
"Nothing we can do for her now. I was just a little too late," said the girl with a long, mournful sigh. "Come on, let's go. The bastards had a car."
Posted 27 June 2004 - 07:21 PM
The garden was silent. Fir trees stood like impassive sentinels, casting sharp shadows into which Jorro and Antonia stared until they saw spots.
"Jorro..." said Antonia, but the boy held up his hand. Although he was certain that the men would be gone, he still acted like he didn't want any noise; if anything, it spare dhim further questions.
He pointed to the garden house. She glared at him ferociously for a second, then took Serpico by the hand.
The doors were all locked, but a downstairs window was broken, presuambly from a stray bullet. Jorro gingerly slipped inside as the first rays of sun his the ground floor walls.
Posted 27 June 2004 - 07:57 PM
Tommy rifled through the corpses pockets. In his year on the streets he had learned a lot about death. He has learnt how to avoid it. He had learnt how to induce it. (although he'd never actually had to, something he was eternally thankful for) But most importantly, he had learnt that it was inevitable and in a way, that made him fear it much less.
He heard somebody come in through the broken window about three rooms across.
Goddammit, they must have come to clean this mess up.
Where was this guys wallet.
He was no nearer to it when Jorro Pirello's opened the door to the room. He dashed across and hid in a cupboard before he could see him.
As Jorro walked through the room he thought "He's just a kid. He couldn't be... no.. He wouldn't have been able to get out alive. But he looks just like Jorro..."
He stepped out of the shadows behind them.
"What are you doing back here? The clean up men will be here soon!"
Posted 27 June 2004 - 11:03 PM
He had planned to call in sick today but he decided he couldn't stay in his apartment. Alone. He was tired though, his eyes kept falling shut and every time they did he saw the flash from the end of his gun and heard the screams of the women as they tried to flee and then his vision would be filled with the unmistakable living red of blood.
A sharp banging noise snapped him back to reality, the echos of the dream still ringing in his mind his first thought was of gunfire and he jolted, preparing to dive down into the footwell, when he realised it was just one of the others slapping the side of the truck, signalling that they were done and it was time to move on.
He released the handbreak, shunted the engine into gear and slowly pushed his way through the grime covered streets that The Man was trying to clean.
but it seems that whilst I am Amazing you are Ultimate."- Lu
Posted 28 June 2004 - 05:04 PM
"Sorry, he got away. He had to come inside," she spluttered to Jorro. She looked at Tommy and frowned. She'd never liked him.
Serpico meanwhile had surveyed the scene, taken none of it in and then spotted a familiar dress. He rushed over and fell to his knees by the body of his mother. He put his hands on her back and shook her.
"Mamma, wake up. It's morning mamma," he said desperately.
The others turned to look at him, unsure of what to say. Antonia started to cry at her little brothers desperate attempts to wake their mother from her eternal sleep.
"Mamma," Serpico said again, before looking up at Jorro "Mamma won't wake up!"
"I know Pico, I know. Mamma's sleeping," he said, knowing that Serpico couldn't comprehend death. He still looked out of the window each morning to check if Flopsy had come home.
"Then why won't she wake up?" he asked shaking her again.
"She... can't wake up. She's in the middle of a dream,"
Serpico stood up and looked down at Mamma with a curious look on his face.
"I can wake up in a dream," he said
"I know, but this dream is so good Mamma doesn't want to wake up,"
"You mean she doesn't want to see me?"
"No, it's not that..."
Serpico cut in and started to cry again.
"It's my fault isn't it, my fault that Mamma doesn't want to wake up and that Pappa went away."
His tears fell like thunder but they couldn't muffle the sound of the engine.
"Shit," said Tommy "The Cleaners are here,"
Posted 28 June 2004 - 10:47 PM
"Serpi..." he said, in a pleading voice; then "Serpi!", a command this time. The engine abrubtly stopped. I don't have time for this, he thought.
So he planted his feet and pulled. Serpico was yanked rudely to his feet and dragged across the room.
"Jorro!" said Antonia. "Stop it! Just... you're hurting him!"
"Come on!" growled Jorro. "We HAVE to get out of here!" He looked down at Serpico, but he couldn't meet the boy's hurt, confused and angry stare.
Tommy looked doubtful, but ran over and grabbed Serpico from under the arms. Jorro vaulted out of the window and took Serpico; the child was kicking wildly, and Jorro caught a foot in the chest, but he simply held the boy tighter. Tommy lept out, then turned back to help Antonia, who looked at him furiously before vaulting out herself.
A set of headlights momentarily illuminated them. Fortunately, the sun was behind them; they dived around the corner into the back garden, but already they could hear the sound of footsteps on gravel.
Antonia grabbed Jorro's arm, and pulled him towards the summer house. Jorro motioned to Tommy, then ran with the kicking infant in his arms. Serpico opened his mouth to scream, but Jorro was expecting it; he put his hand in his brother's mouth. Serpico bit down hard, and Jorro grimaced, but kept running.
Antonia pulled the door open, and Jorro sprinted in; Tommy was close behind. With everyone in, Antonia dived in and closed the door behind her. They all hunkered down as a torch beam ran along the windows.
A rough, male voice drifted in from outside.
"Hey, Gillespie," it said. "Sun's nearly up. Are we gonna have to do as good as we did at the Fiorelli's house?"
The other voice was distant, more muffled.
"Nah, apparently this was a smaller job. You know the Fiorelli's breed like rats."
"Ain't that the truth," said the first voice. "Die like 'em an all."
"It's all ground floor work," came Gillespie's voice, "so start in the kitchen and we'll ignore the rest. OK, let's get to work!"
Jorro relaxed his arms on Serpico, who slid out of his grip and over to the other side of the room, where he curled up in cushions and softly sobbed. Jorro watched him sadly for a while; but within half an hour, he, his brother, and their companions were all fast asleep.
Posted 29 June 2004 - 01:00 PM
It was quite warm, certainly a change from the wether they had experienced the previous night. The wind blew softly.
Inside the house was no lifeless. The bodies were gone, stains cleaned up, various items roughly shoved back in their places. Without the lights on it looked almost ghostly.
Antonia felt a little sob coming on and stood around, fiddling with the armchair for a while. Then she went to check the kitchen where there was still some food, water, pans... the stove was still intact. Their rooms, likewise were undamaged.
The house was almost as they had left it.
She returned to the summer house and stirred Jorro, they'd have to do some work.
Posted 29 June 2004 - 01:26 PM
He grunted. Happier things. He touched his brest pocket. The money he had bought with him was running out. It was that Benny characters fault, his food had been that good.
Time to find a job.
Walker bowed to the setting sun.
Posted 29 June 2004 - 05:32 PM
"We need to get going,"
"I'll get Pico. Where's Tommy?"
"He's already up. Was up when I came back,"
"Back from where?"
"I wanted a last look around the house," she said sadly
Jorro sighed. Was he the only one who realised the danger? He got up and went over to the pile of cushions that Serpico had buried himself under. He threw a couple away before frantically kicking the others away.
"He's gone! Serpico's gone!" he said incredulously. Antonia gasped.
"It's your fault!" cried Antonia repeatedly, rushing over and beating her fists againsts Jorro's chest, before collapsing into his arms sobbing. "Serpi, Serpi..."
Serpico waited until they were all asleep. He carefully got up, clutching a cushion and biting down on a corner. He carefully and quitely let himself out and went into the house. He went to the dining room but Mamma was gone. He stood in silence for a while but going out of the front door. He calmly walked down the street after crossing the garden, dragging the cushion behind him.
By the time Jorro and Anotnia had realised he was gone, he was half a dozen blocks away.
Posted 29 June 2004 - 06:07 PM
He'd been looking for the keys when Jorro had arrived.
Now they were there he felt guilty about robbing there house. He sighed. He had gotten about a hundred from wallets before Jorro had arrived. He had nearly broke when Serpico cried at the feet of a woman he had just finished with about a minute before.
He couldn't break, not now. Johnny Dark had promised him a way to get to the man, he just needed to get the cash together. This was no time to get involved with some kids who didn't know there way around.
He heard Antonia and Jorro coming towards the house and fixed his concerned look in place. He would help them while he could, but eventually he would have to abandon them.
Posted 29 June 2004 - 06:22 PM
The room that Serpico and Jorro had shared was equally empty. The window was open; Jorro closed it and shivered.
The Pirello children's parents room was unlocked, but Jorro couldn't bring himself to enter. Through the partially-opened door, he could see that the furniture had been removed and replaced; it looked like a different room. He turned his back on it, closing the door behind him; he knew that Serpico would not have gone in there.
Finally, he found himself in his father's study. This room had been taboo; he entered it unwillingly, knowing only that it was that taboo that would have drawn his brother. Sure enough, draws had been opened, but his brother was no-where to be seen.
Jorro stared at the desk for a second, then climbed into the large seat behind the desk. He opened the top drawer, and saw a gun; but he closed the drawer, as such things had never held any interest for him. What he was looking for was in the drawer below.
His father's diary and telephone number book was a large, battered black book. Jorro flicked irritably passed the page after page of his father's 'friends'. He was not a naive boy, but he knew that his family's old allies would be dead or unwilling to aid the 15-year-old scion of the line, and thus they were useless to him. He found the number he was looking for at the back:
Alfred Montano: Lawyer.
An hour later, Antonia timidly pushed the door open, Tommy close behind. Jorro was idly flicking through the book, but he looked up when she entered.
"Jorro..." her voice stuck in her throat. "What about Serpi?"
"We can't help him," replied Jorro. "Hopefully, he'll come back here, in time."
"We can't stay here..."
"I think we can. This house was left to the family, and as Piper's still in hiding, that means the house will be free until she comes back. I..."
"No, Jorro!" said Antonia. "This is the house where..."
"I don't care," said Jorro calmly. "This is our home, and I'm not going to be forced out of it. Tommy, the Pirello's are down but not out. If you or any of Johnny Dark's other boys know what's good for you, you'll stay onside; we don't like the Man any more than you do, and what works for us works for you. Understood?" Tommy looked at him, his face unreadable.
Jorro looked at Antonia, who's face was agape. He shrugged. He didn't know what he was going to do, but he knew he was going to do something. He would not stand idly by.
Posted 29 June 2004 - 06:38 PM
Jorro was right. We cannot just stop, we are Pirellos, our parent... may be gone, but we're alive, we have to do something, at least not sulk to honour their lives.
Antonia began to sob a bit.
"I am with you Jorro, you need help? I'll give it."
Posted 29 June 2004 - 07:57 PM
Posted 29 June 2004 - 11:28 PM
Tommy turned to leave.
"I'll put out a message on the underground, telling them to keep an eye out for Serpico. Thats the best I can do for you right now."
Tommy was out the door when he thought of something. He turned back.
"Don't live off this. Don't make it the most important thing in your life. You've only dealt with this pain for a day. I've been dealing with it for a year. If I can help you take him down, I will."
Tommy went out the door and started to wander towards Johnny Dark's building. It was the quiet part of the evening after the honorable and respectable day people had gone home but before the night people were awake. Tommy pulled up his jacket and listened to the city come alive around him.
Posted 30 June 2004 - 05:48 PM
He reached out and picked up and apple and put it in his pocket. He was going for another when an elegant, masculine hand reached out and grabbed Serpico's wrist.
Serpico burst into tears.
Posted 05 July 2004 - 11:06 PM
Try as she might Paola hadn’t been able to sleep. She knew that was a bad thing as she’d likely been awake for well over 36 hours now. But every time she closed her eyes she heard the screams, the shouts, the shots. She envied the other three that could sleep so easily. Absently she wondered at the conditions of their other brothers – she hadn’t seen Konstance or Thom since Nanny had rushed them out of the house.
She looked out the window, it overlooked the concrete yard at the back of the Marinaro house. Her siblings weren’t yet old enough to realise that Luigi and Maria were only related to them by marriage. Luigi had married Maria, sister of Lucia - the wife of Pappa’s elder brother. She could see Pipo working on his motorbike, stripped to the waist in the late afternoon sunshine.
She knew it was silly but she couldn’t help really liking Pipo – even though she knew he was so much older than her. He’d never step out with me, she thought as she watched him. Still, she couldn’t help wistfully daydreaming about her strong and handsome ‘cousin’.
Pipo looked up suddenly to the back gate of the yard. He walked over and opened it to admit a man in black coat and wide-brimmed hat. Paola thought it strange that he’d be wearing such a coat on sunny day. Pipo smiled and embraced the other man as if he were his brother. Her interest piqued Paola reached across carefully and opened the window. Voices drifted up to her.
“It’s good to see you, Caesar,” Pipo said.
“And you too, Pipo,” Caesar said as Pipo turned back to the bike, “Now, why did you ask me to come”
“You heard about the Pirello/Fiorelli massacres last night?” Pipo asked in a business like manner.
“Of course,” Caesar said, taking his hat off out of respect, without his hat he suddenly seemed a lot younger – more Pipo’s age, “The underworld is buzzing. Why do you ask”
“You know that I’d trust you with my life?” Pipo said, shooting a look at Caesar who nodded, “Now I’m trusting you with my cousins. We have five of the Fiorelli kids here”
“Shit, Pipo,” Caesar said looking around, “Why are you telling me this?”
“I got plans, Caesar,” Pipo said, stopping his work, “With Pappa Fiorelli gone and Antony still missing there’s no-one to take up the business”
“Surely the girl’s the next in line,” Caesar said, “Or one of the out of town relatives”
“Maybe they are,” Pipo said waving a hand dismissively, “Caesar, Paola’s only fifteen, she won’t be taking over anything yet”
“What are you suggesting?”
“Maybe you and I take over the business?” Pipo said, “As caretakers, you know?”
Caesar looked at Pipo hesitantly.
“I don’t know Pipo,” he said, “It’s a big deal, a bug thing for two twenty-one year olds to handle”
“I know where a couple of Pappa Fiorelli’s advisers have been hiding since he disappeared,” Pipo said, stepping up to Caesar and grabbing his arms, “We could do this Caesar. We wouldn’t have to worry about anything again”
Caesar stared at Pipo then nodded slowly. Pipo smiled and began speaking in a low voice, Paola couldn’t hear what he was saying. She leant back slowly, shocked. Pappa isn’t even officially missing and Pipo wants to take over? she had to admire his courage. The out of town family wouldn’t be pleased. He’d only said caretakers though – for her. Maybe…maybe she could really be the first female Fiorelli head.
Paola looked up again and saw that Caesar was gone. Pipo was whistling loudly and merrily to himself, his muscles shifting clearly under his skin as he rubbed a cloth over the metal of the bike. She smiled. Perhaps she could turn his ambition to suit what she wanted.
I lost some time once...it's always in the last place you look for it. Violent Becoming Downtown, Olympus Town
Posted 06 July 2004 - 05:33 PM
"Now now boy, don't cry," he said "Why were stealing?"
"I'm hungry," sobbed Serpico
"Well, that's no need to steal. Don't your mother and father feed you?"
"Pappa went away and Mamma's dreaming," said Serpico looking up at the well dressed man.
The man drew breath.
"Dreaming?" he asked
"That's what Jo said," mumbled Serpico.
"Shall we get you home?" asked the man. People were starting to look and he felt uncomfortable.
"The cleaners are in and Jo and Tina said it isn't safe."
The man paused for thought.
"You better come home with me," he said "My wife will be able to give you some food. We'll take you back home later,"
He held out his hand. Serpico paused for a second but the promise of food made him take it. They set off, Serpico still holding the cushion.
"What's your name boy?"
"That's a lovely name," said the man looking down and smiling at Serpico.
Serpcio smiled a weak smile and gripped the mans hand tighter.
Posted 06 July 2004 - 05:56 PM
The Night The Families Died
Fiorelli and Pirelli Dynasties Wiped Out
That was how it ran, though I won't go into the details because they were few and far between and you already know more than ever did. At the time we thought they'd all been wiped out: we didn't know about the children. The next day however, word came through that on the ticker that they'd survived. Some were taking up the reins, some were supporting them, some were missing and others were just plain surviving. In the years to come the balance of power shifted. In the years to come The Man would make his Check-Mate move.