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Episode 2: A Declaration of Principles


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#26 Serpico Pirello

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 05:42 PM

Serpico walked out into the car lot. Jake was leaning against a car throwing stones against the wall. He looked up and saw Serpico. Serpico trotted over.

"Gun? Badge?" asked Jake

Serpico held them up.

"Great!" he said, taking his keys out and a packet of cigarettes from his pocket. He tossed the keys to Serpico. "You drive,"

"I can't," he said "We've never had a car,"

Jake sighed and put the cigarettes away. He took the keys from Serpico and got into the car. Serpico joined him. Jake backed out of the lot and onto the road.

"What time is it?" he asked as they started along the road.
"About twenty past nine," replied Serpico looking at his watch, an eighteenth birthday present.
"Great, we'll get a cup a coffee at this place I know. Quite swanky but I know the owner."

#27 Ednos

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 06:05 PM

Dropping Tommys' body, Ednos rose, staggering slighty, he moved towards the cupboard that hung on the wall of the gangs squat. None of the gang members moved to stop him, he renched open the doors and drew from it Tommys gun, a perfectly crafted WiS vz35, a gun that Tommy had treasured, Ednos wondered why Tommy had not taken it with him that day and had he would he have been dead now. Ednos shook away these thoughts and picked up the gun, it's cold metallic grip felt right in his hand.As he turned to leave the building, one of the gang members called out to him.
"Ednos, don't do anything stupid, think about this man." He said, an edge of fear in his voice. Ednos said nothing, he didn't even look round, his face black, he set off outside. He had a score to settle with The Man.

#28 Masked Dave

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 08:32 PM

Tony walked into one of the city's various 'Social Clubs', he waved at the barman as he walked in,

"Hey Jules, the usual thanks, are Jimmy and Frank in here?"

"When are they not?" replied Jules as he handed Tony his whiskey. Jules nodded behind him, "They're at the table."

"Cheers, put in on the tab wouldya?"

Jules gave him a look, "Yeah. Sure."

Tony shot a shallow grin back at Jules, they both knew he'd never have to pick up that tab, and he couldn't help feeling a little guilty about it. Even after all these years he was still a garbage man inside.

He made his way towards the back room where his mates would be loosing at poker but was intercepted by a cute young waitress with long dark hair.

"Hey you!" she said, poking him in the ribs. "So what happened to calling me, huh?"

Tony spread his arms and smiled his most charming smile, "Hey Lisa, I meant to, really! But I put my pants through the laundry and forgot that your number was still in the pocket."

She gave him a look not disimilar to the one he'd just had off Jules. This time he didn't feel so guilty though.

"You've had plenty of time to come and talk to me since then!"

"What am I doing now? And you know how it is, The Man's kept me real busy lately."

Some of the anger dropped from her face and was replaced with excitement, "Oh?! What kind of stuff?"

"Hey, come on Lisa, you know I can't tell you that."

"Damnit Tony! You're such a tease. Next time I'm gonna just carve my number into your arm!"

"Next time?" he asked with a grin.

"Yeah," she said, her voice tough and annoyed but her eyes warm and playful, "I've decided you're worth a second chance."

She wrote her number in the note book she used for food orders, tore off the page and handed it to him.

"Make sure you don't loose it this time," she said as she turned and walked away, waving over her shoulder.

Tony shook his head, "I won't," he called after, watching her walk away for a couple of seconds before pocketing the scrap of paper and heading into the poker room.
"It's amazing how deep we had to drill to find our key difference,
but it seems that whilst I am Amazing you are Ultimate."- Lu

#29 Jachap

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 10:07 PM

Johnny Dark was pleased with himself.  He took out a packet of cigarettes, leaned back in his chair and lit up, blowing the greasy smoke through the gaps in his teeth.
He immediately sat up and straightened when Vinny entered, almost immediately after Tommy left.

"What's all this about?" Vinny asked, "who's the punk who keeps coming here?"
"Nothing that concerns you, Vinny."
Vinny leaned forward on the desk, "If you're screwing The Man, Johnny, we'll both get burned."
"What are you talking about?" Johnny frowned, "The Man keeps us in work.  I rely on him as much as you do.  Hell, I like the old man."
"Even so, Johnny.  He doesn't have much reason to trust us."
"He doesn't have much reason to trust you, Vinny.  He knows who you are.  Me, I've been with him since the beginning.  We're practically family."
"And he's treated me well.  This sort of scheming is not a good way to repay him."
"There's no scheme, Vinny.  It's all above board.  Just a deal going down this week, that's all."
"Sure."
"Enough of that, Vinny.  Have I ever done anything that has made you distrust me?  Anything?  I've looked after you.  Ever since your sister brought you here.  Doesn't that mean something?"
"It's not that, Johnny.  Just... seeing it from his perspective... we've expanded this entire operation so much."
"With his consent.  Come on, I wasn't going to play Fagin to a bunch of street kids forever."  
"But you love all the expansion, Johnny.  He could be threatened by your ambition.  He doesn't like threats."
"Leave it, Vinny.  It's okay."

Vinny nodded, slowly, crossed the room and paused beside Johnny.

"What?" Johnny said.

Vinny moved in a blur, turning and grabbing Johnny, hauling him from his seat and slamming him next to the wall.

"Tell me what's going on, Johnny.  What are you planning?  Tell me."
"What the hell are you-"

Vinny leaned back and slammed a fist deep into Johnny's stomach.  Johnny fell forward and met Vinny's knee.  He hit the floor.

"Tell me.  We can fix this."
"Nothin' is going-"

Vinny kicked Johnny once, in the chest.

Johnny spluttered and gasped.

"There is, Johnny.  I'm not just one of your boys.  So, tell me," Vinny pulled a gun from his coat and aimed at Johnny's head.  He pulled back the cock with his thumb, "Or I'll redecorate the walls with you."

If anyone else had said it, it would have been an empty threat, just impotent words.  But Vinny had a far-off look in his eyes.  A look which spoke volumes.

Johnny felt like going for his pistol but knew, knew that if he did, he'd be dead before his fingers grasped the handle, let alone before he drew it.

"A hit.  On The Man."
"You goddamn fool."
"Vinny - he squats on everyone, he holds us down, holds us in place, remove him and we could own this city!  We could buy up most of his top men and you... me... the boys... we're an army!  A goddamn urban army!  We could kill the others, we could-"

Vinny's foot connected with Johnny's mouth.  Teeth gave way.

"Never talk like that again, Johnny, understand?"
"Vinny - I was going to-"
"Shut up.  There's a way we can solve this.  A way we can make it right.  Maybe even make The Man trust us more."
"You're going to sell my man out?  You're going to give The Man Tommy?"
"Better than that," said Vinny, glancing at his gun.  "I'm going to kill him and give The Man his goddamn head."
"But why?  Why not just... you're as ambitious as me, dammit," cried Johnny, blood dripping from his shattered mouth.
"There's a lot of roots to power, Johnny.  A lot of ways to the top.  I'm as ambitious as you... yes.  More so, maybe.  I've even got a score to settle.  But, dammit Johnny, I'm a helluva lot cleverer.  Tommy's a punk, like I said.  He won't do this right anyway.  The only way to do it and do it right is to make sure of The Man ourselves.  Myself.  Then systematically annihilate the upper echelons of his organisation.  Purge him like he purged the old families.  That's the only way.  And we're not nearly powerful enough to do that."
"You want to raise your own goddamn gang?  You know that's suicide."
"No, Johnny.  I want to start a civil war.  But start it at my leisure.  When I know I'm at the head of the winning side."

Vinny bent down and hauled Johnny back into his chair.

"Now, you're going to tell me everything about the hit.  You're going to tell me everything about Tommy.  And we're going to make this right."

#30 Tony

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 10:24 PM

Peter O'Malley took a quick furtive glance at the street below and tucked the case behind the small chimney stack that jutted skywards beside him. He could see a cafe below, looked pretty swanky. "Goddamn toffs", he muttered to himself. Glancing quickly at his watch he noticed it was getting late. He still had to get across town and place the second case.

Taking one quick last look over the side he noticed the unmistakable sight of an Ocean's Peak Detectives car. The 'Berry' that he'd heard Jake mention countless times was resting on the dash, currently unlit. He grabbed the suitcase and scuttled towards the fire-escape. It wasn't technically much of a crime him being up here, but he'd no desire to get caught either way. Besides, he didn't know what was in the cases he was carrying. Could be anything. He reached the bottom of the fire escape and prevented the final sprung stairway from sliding back into place and out of reach with a quick stretch of cord attached to a drain. That was part of his brief, to ensure that the cases could be reached by someone who lacked his ability to get into places he ought not be. The tram was passing by on the street at the end of the alley. Sprinting for all he was worth, Peter jumped on the back of the tram and paid the 5-cent fare.

***



Jake slipped out of the car and motioned for Serpico to follow him. Nodding up at the sign that said Pintocha Cafe, Jake spoke. "I've known the owner of this place for years, we go way back. Helped him out of a tight spot with some local sleazebags. Ever since then, whenever I've popped by for a coffee or a bite, Pintocha's been good to me." Serpico nodded mutely, and Jake looked across as smiled. "It's ok kid, I remember my first day on the force too".

"How long you been a cop?" asked Serpico.

"Over ten years, an' I've loved every minute of it. I tell you kid, there's nothin' on Gods green Earth that's better 'an solving a crime and puttin' away the bad guy at the end of it. You got somethin' about ya'. We see rookies come through here but you can see from a mile off most of 'em are goin' nowhere fast. Not you. You stick at it kid, you'll do well here, you hear?" They slid into a table bathed in bright sunshine and Jake motioned for the waiter to come take their order.

"Thanks Jake, thanks alot. I sure will. This has been my dream from ways back. I sure would like to make Detective one day." The waiter had bustled over, and as he ordered Jake examined the surroundings. Something didn't feel right, around him the quiet hum from the conversations of the cafe patrons was no different from any other day.

Sending the waiter off to fetch two black coffees and a blueberry muffin for the kid, he eased back into his chair and took another, harder look around. Speaking slowly he announced, "You stick with me, kid. And you'll go far".

"Something the matter, Jake?"

"I don't know kid, I just don't know."

#31 TSP

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 10:43 PM

"Damnit, Jed," the Chief of Police exclaimed as he rushed into Jed's office.

"Problem, sir?"

"Yes, there's a problem. The D'Arbo case, you're still wasting time on it I see."

"There's something to it. I can't explain it, but Jake and I have been discussing it and we think ..." Jed attempted to explain his position but trailed off as his superior interrupted again.

"You may think you're taking over my job, but I'm still here until the end of the month. That means you obey my orders, and I'm telling you to drop it. It's a mob shooting, we have hundreds of them every year, and they rarely warrant investigation by our top detectives."

"But sir, it's Jake's case and he's got some very interesting leads."

"You know, your persistence in this matter is making me think that maybe you've got some ulterior motive in this. Leave. It. Alone. I'm old guard, Jed, and I know what I'm doing. Jake may be the rising star of the force, but I'm the voice of experience. You are too. Jake is trying to make his career by turning your regular mob shootout into some sort of grand conspiracy. You and I know that in two years whoever killed those seven people is going to wind up dead. They were gangsters, no-one is going to shed a tear."

"Eight," Jed paused for a moment of silence. "Eight people died. The restaurant owner, Frank D'Arbo, was among the dead."

"Yes ... an unfortunate casualty of war. It's war out on the streets, you know more than most thtat tragedy can happen, but that's no reason to throw away your career on a minor case. You're confusing Mr. D'Arbo with your son, you see this as an opportunity to deliver the justice you could never find for the death of Dudley. But I'm telling you now, put the case file away. It's over," Chief Atkinson yelled as he stormed out of the office, slamming the wooden door behind him. Jed sighed and slowly took the file out of his desk drawer and tucking it neatly in the pocket of his jacket. He wasn't going to give up so easily.

#32 NoWave

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 12:50 AM

Tommy climbed up the fire escape to the roof and scoped out the shot.

This wasn't good.  He was way too visible up here.  Anyone who looked the wrong way was going to spot him.

There was a viable shot at the rally before the man even went to the cafe.  He would try there instead.

He checked the case that was left for him.  One rifle with a scope on it.  One bullet.  "Johnny, I'd almost think you didn't trust me..." he muttered.

He grabbed the case and headed off to get ready before the rally began.

#33 Jentastic!

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 03:02 PM

As much as Karen wanted to be at the rally, Mrs Bruller had insisted that she mind the store. Karen heaved a sigh as the owner of the boutique sashayed out in one of her magnificent creations.

"Now, mind Karen - I'm leaving you in charge. Do be careful with my babies."
"Yes, Mrs Bruller."

It was odd, Karen thought, how Mrs Bruller continually referred to the dresses and jewellery she made as her 'babies'. Still, geniuses must be given respect, and despite her faults, Mrs Bruller made beautiful things. Beautiful expensive things.

Beautiful...

Karen stared at the doorway as he came through. She rose from her chair and opened her mouth, then closed it again. With no idea why he was here, or who he was, or where he was from, she fell in love. Just like that.

He turned around and bowed his head curteously in her direction, awakening her to her duties.

"I'm sorry, sir, were you looking for something in particular?"

He looked at her, not exactly smiling, but not exactly not smiling. Waving his hand towards the jewellery he muttered "Just wanted a little something for my sister. It's her birthday coming up, y'know. Whaddaya reckon a pretty young girl would be wanting in the way of jewellery?"

Karen blushed. She went over to the jewellery counter and showed him some of the more delicate items - a couple of bracelets and a necklace.

"This is no good."
"I'm sorry, sir?"
"I can't see whether they're any good this way. Why don't you try this on?"

He held out the necklace to her. Stammering, she turned away, muttering some half-complete, inarticulate sentences. The young man came up behind her, and softly slipped the necklace over her head. With a startled look in her eyes, Karen turned around.

"Perfect," he said.
Existentialism? Don't even get me Sartred.

#34 Josh

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 04:15 PM

Jorro looked into her eyes and smiled. He saw her lips quiver, and inside, rejoiced at his power of the girl.

He stepped away, and looked around, noting out of the corner of his eye that her face fell; then he turned the full power of his smile on her. He couldn't see to be sure, but he knew her legs were shaking.

Jorro Piorelli had spend seven years searching the city for the right girl. She had to be just naive, just innocent, just... weak enough to be enticed by his glamour without thinking to question his occupation or career; and looking into her big, expressive eyes, he knew that he had found his girl. She would be very useful.

He brushed her hand with his as he handed her the cheque, looking into her eyes from underneath his long, effeminate eyelashes. He didn't look back as he left the shop and signalled for his driver to pick him up, but her could feel her eyes on him, and knew that someday he would break her heart.

---

Jorro Piorelli was already gaining a reputation as a cold, ruthless man. In some of the more educated parts of the city, they were calling him then Prince in Waiting, the man who would be there when The Man met his maker. His fortress, the old Piorelli estate, was a hive of activity, protected from the eys of the law by the Law's own footsoldiers, and it's own natural enemies - the army of lawyers retained by the Piorelli family fortune, which had been bolstered by some of Jorro's more shrewed business ventures.

Very little of what Jorro did these days was illegal, as he knew that he would not be able to withstand if the Man exerted his full power on him - at least, not yet. But there were just enough unlawful acts ordered to keep Jorro on the rise, just enough to lubricate the wheels of fate and speed the re-ascendancy of the Piorelli household.

The car entered the driveway, and the gates were firmly closed behind them. As they drove through, Jorro could have sworn he saw the face of Lance Capri, the journalist from the newspaper. Perhaps the Man would prove not to be his biggest worry after all. He wasn't ready to go public, not just yet.

---

At noon, when Karen O'Malley was briefly relieved for he lunch break, she was stopped just outside the door by a cleanly-presented boy, of no more than 8 or 9, who delivered to her a single red rose before running off without a word.
George Alagiaaaaaaargh: I lost my pecker in the siege :(

#35 Konstantine

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 05:30 PM

Konstance straightened his tie, left the police building and got into his car. After six attempts, he abandonded the engine as being dead and set out on foot. He passed through the slums and desolate areas that were around the district, through the middleclass areas who had gardens: Little patchers of life and vitality in the dead city - each jealously marked out with white fences.

A youth bumped into him, and he fell to the floor. The teenager didn't help him up, but just stood and stared at him with yellow eyes. Grumbling, Detective Conner pulled himself up to his feet and set off.

He arrived at the rally early, grabbed an espresso from a stall and began to look around. There was the stage, already with its grey suited sentinels staring at each passer by as if they were brandishing an automatic weapon.

A young woman sat at the same bench, and took out a paper; obviously attempting the crossword. A few comments were exchanged, and a conversation was begun. Cassandra Creed, she was called, and she'd got the starting time wrong. Her conversation helped to kill the time before the speech, and the coffee helped to settle the vaguely nervous feeling that may have been apprehension, or desire - the two were so often linked.

Konstance smiled, and rubbed his unshaved chin, looking like someone from a pulp novel. It was this kind of time in the traditional noir story where the hard-boiled hero offers the femme fatale a cigarrette. The detective reached into his pocket, but could only find a few rounds of extra ammunition. However useful the gift might be, it wouldn't have the same narrative rightness.

#36 Dystopian Rhetoric

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 06:59 PM

Alex and Annie arrived and the restuarant to find Annie's parents already seated. Her father stood to meet them, spreading his arms in greeting.

"Annie! Over here!"

Annie ran up to her father and embraced him, before turning and greeting her mother. Alex followed at a rather less enthusiastic place, before taking his seat at the table, opposite to Annie's father.

"It's good to see you kids again. You look well, "her father turned to face the waiter hovering nearby, "a bottle of the '98 please."

His gaze returned to the young couple, hovering over Alex.

"So... how is college? Good?"

"Good enough Mr. Peterson."

"That's what I like to hear. I do so like it when my daughter, and by extension, her friends and associates, do well."

At this point the waiter returned, filling their glasses with the wine.

"Let me be frank here Alex. You and Annie have been... together for a while now, correct? Well, I've heard promising things about you my boy and well, I'm very much in favour. Annie is going to need a husband and..."

"Don't be so tactless Frank. There's no need to rush things," interjected Annie's mother.

"Right... right... no rush, but do understand Alex, that doors will open for you if you happen to have the right people as family. Take my firm for example, we're always on the lookout for new junior partners, if you know the right people, things start to go your way, if you follow my meaning."

"I follow you Mr. Peterson, and as Annie well knows, I'm willing to commit to commit to marriage if she's ready."

Annie looked across the table at him, "Of course I am... Alex, I've wanted this for a while, I just needed my parents' approval before I could really say it."

Annie's father's face broke into a huge grin, "It's settled then. Waiter! More wine."

Alex leaned back in his seat slightly, holding his drink. He was obviously happy, but the whole affair had sounded more like a business deal that a marriage proposal.

#37 Tony

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:25 PM

Peter slid one of his many lockpicking tools into the newly oiled lock and began probing gently.  Feeling the first pin in the barrel click open, he continued to apply pressure.  Before long, the door was sliding open and Peter was inside.  It had taken no more than sixty seconds.

This building overlooked the site of todays rally.  Peter wasn't stupid and could feel the solid weight that he was carrying in the briefcase.  There was a very real chance he was caught up in something quite nasty, but he was being paid to break into a place, that was all.  Quietly he slipped through the house and to the back door.  This was the door he was to leave unlocked for.... whoever.  He slid the bolts back and checked the door would indeed now open before pulling the door closed again.

Hurredly now, the bad feeling about what might be about to occur here rising in his chest, he leapt up the stairs two at a time and bustled into the room he'd been asked to leave the case in.  As he already knew, it directly overlooked the rally sight.  He thrust the case under the slight over-hang of the window-sill and fled as quick as he could - all semblance of the professional Thief gone.

#38 Antonia

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 10:37 PM

Antonia left the kitchen and quickly returned to her room. Somehow this day of all day she felt lonely. She didn't know why but suspected it was because she had temporarily ran out of things to do. Her mind was thinking, and it was thinking about her brothers. Not Jorro, he was always there, he was always Jorro - it was the others she thought about, those she still could not find after 10 years.

She hadn't particularly looked, she was busy helping Jorro rebuild her family. Still, she had spent some time but to no avail. She was alone an young then and had no help, now when she could get help any trace was long gone.

"Antonia!" Jorro shouted up the stairs, "Hey, I am back. Did you speak to Jerry this afternoon?"

"Yes," she said coming down, "He's agreed to meet you, but only if I am there. He's real afraid of you Jorro, he thinks you've got it against him."

"What does he think that for? This is the guy we need."

"He realises that too and wants to take precautions. You can't blame him Jorro, we've already got a reputation," Antonia shrugged referring to the new Pirello family.

"So why isn't he afraid of you?" Jorro pointed and froze there awaiting a reply.

"He doesn't know just how much I am involved. And we'll keep it that way."

"Great. I'll see him here Thursday," Jorro smiled and walking into his study took off his coat and sat down.

"Here?" Antonia asked sarcastically cocking her head.

"Right. In The Airplane Diner then."

"Everyone knows you own that."

"Fine, anywhere then, you name a place."

"Ignatio's. They have good food," she smiled a little, then left.

She looked at the vase in the hall. Observed it's finer elements. Somehow it was all going like clockwork, routine. There was no crisis for so long. Things simply couldn't hold long like this.

#39 Jen

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 11:22 PM

Sophie arrived at the rally site and made her way to the press line in front of the podium. Only a few of the really eager reporters were there this early, she recognised Billy Simpkins from the Inquirer and waved. He smiled and waved back. She continued on to the end where Parker was, unsurprisingly smoking and lazing on a concrete bollard.

“Hey, kid,” he said as she walked up, “I see the old man sent you down here after all”

“You knew?!” Sophie said, crestfallen.

“Of course I knew,” Parker said, rubbing his stubbly chin, “I told ya I’d pull some strings, kid”

“Quit calling me kid,” Sophie said grumpily, “You’re only five years older than me”

“Aww, don’t worry about it Fiorelli,” Parker said with a laugh, “It’s a term of endearment, nothin’ more”

“Well, alright then,” Sophie said, with an answering laugh, “So how long till this thing starts?”

“No-one really knows,” Parker said, stubbing his cigarette out on the bollard, “The Man likes to keep his schedule to himself. Keeps the attempts on his life to a minimum”

Sophie smiled at her mentor’s pragmatic manner of speech. She’d blushed a little when he’d said ‘endearment’ though – she wasn’t sure why but every time he said a word like that she’d get a little thrill. She was worried that she was starting to like him too much -  he was completely incorrigible and constantly unshaven. His dark hair appeared as if it had never been brushed or combed in his life and his shirt was untucked and disreputable at all times.

Despite all his faults Steven Parker was a damned good reporter though, and every bit the mentor who should be to the young girl. And he was undoubtedly charming…she could be forgiven for being overly fond of the irascible older man.
---------------------------------------------------------
I lost some time once...it's always in the last place you look for it. Violent Becoming Downtown, Olympus Town

#40 Carlisle Dave

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:03 AM

Pintocha Cafe

Mr Pintocha came across personally with the coffee and muffins.

"Hello, Mr Jake. How are you today?"
"Good, Joe, good."
"And who is this?" he asked, his thick Italian accent as obvious as an elephant in the fridge.
"This," said Jake, his mouth full "is the rookie Serpico,"
"Serpico?" said Pintocha, a hint of shock in his voice.
"Serpico Pirbright, sir," replied Serpico extending his hand.

Pintocha looked at him for a second before shaking the extended hand.

"Nice to meet you Serico," he said. Serpico smiled and took a sip of the steaming coffee.
"What's going on Joe?" asked Jake
"Going on Mr Jake? I don't know what you mean,"
"Ah come on. I can sense it,"
"I don't know Mr Jake, I'm not supposed to say,"
"We're the police Joe. The only thing you can't tell us, is if it is illegal."
"I guess so, Mr Jake. Okay, the Mayor is coming to dinner tonight."
"Really? Meeting any one?" asked Jake over the coffee in his hand.
"I don't know Mr Jake, I just give him the best table and cook my special risotto,"
"Okay, Joe, okay,"

Mr Pintocha went back to the kitchen. Jake looked out of the window.

"Is everything okay Jake?" asked Serpico.

Jake grimmaced slightly. Call it what you will: sixth sense, womans intuition, but Jake knew something was going on.

#41 Masked Dave

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 08:33 PM

Tony had finally managed to drag Frank and Jimmy out of the poker room and they were sat with him in his car as he drove to China Town.

"We're not working security at the rally then?" asked Jimmy, surprised by their direction.

"No, we're meeting with the Red Dragons. They've got some issues with some tea house owner. I don't know, they can't handle it themselves, as the area is hot with Purple Hand, and the ninjas aren't getting along."

"So its just the three of us?"

"They're giving us some backup, we're heading to the rendezvous now. The gear's in the back. Shouldn't be anything to worry about, just some old man."
"It's amazing how deep we had to drill to find our key difference,
but it seems that whilst I am Amazing you are Ultimate."- Lu

#42 Tony

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 10:50 PM

Jake snapped his pocket-watch shut, replaced it in his top pocket, and slurped the last of his coffee down moving to get up at the same time, and sliding a crisp green bill under the replaced coffee cup as he did so. "Come on kid, make that muffin to go, the day's not getting any younger, and we've gotta' get movin''."

Serpico grabbed the part-eaten muffin and threw the last of his coffee down his throat, "you any closer to figuring out what's wrong, Jake?", he questioned.

"Nah kid, I'm over tryin'. This job's like that. I still think something's goin' on here and I might swing by here later and look things over, but I ain't got time to worry about it right now. You can give me a hand if you're still on shift." Serpico nodded keenly, mouth full of muffin.

"Thanks Pintocha, catch you later." Jake waved vaguely in the old man's direction and strode quickly towards the car without looking back. Clambering in and pulling the door closed, he fired the ignition and waited for Serpico to get himself in the car. "Switch the lights on would you kid? We need to haul ass".

"Mmpf, sure Jake", said Serpico through the remains of his muffin. He reached over to the red light sitting idly on the car dashboard and switched it on. The tyres squeeled in protest as Jake gunned the engine and sped off down the street. "Are we supposed to use the lights when we don't technically need to?" Asked Serpico.

With a grin Jake looked across at his young compatriot, "Of course not kid, but we are in a rush, and this way's a helluvalot more fun than doddering along." As he said this Jake was weaving in-between cars at some 50 miles per hour. Eyes goggling, Seripco grabbed the hand-hold above his head. "Relax kid, you'll be in hairier situation's before your time's up, trust me."

Serpico looked across Jake, noted the grin tugging his features and realised what danger there was in hurtling through traffic at such speeds, was minimal. Jake knew what he was doing. With a smile he let go of the handrail and enjoyed the ride.

#43 Janek

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 10:41 AM

"Yes, sir, may I help you?" Fung had finally persuaded Big J to work in the teahouse, and J sounded bored already.

"Um, something to help my headache. It's killing me, it really is."

"Er.." Fung, passing by holding two cups of tea, stopped for a moment to whisper something in J's ear. "Oh, yes. Wutai herbal tea will do the trick. I'll just go to the kitchen and make some up."

Fung nodded as J went to the back of the shop. Giving the two other customers - who looked like lovers - their tea, he accepted their payment and took the money to the till. Punching the transaction into the machine with a satisfying clunk, clunk clunk, ting! he withdrew some change, and returned it to the couple.

Walking to the front door, he sighed. He hoped the incident with Yun Chin wouldn't have consequences. It already had J curious about martial arts, and that wouldn't do at all.

Fung stopped, tilted his head slightly to one side. Several engines were approaching. Unusual for automobiles to be travelling together, especially in this area. Unless..

"Oh, no."

A black car with tinted windows pulled up outside the teahouse, flanked by four motorcycles. The riders wore their jackets proudly.

The Dragons dismounted from their bikes, and advanced menacingly on the teahouse, stopping a couple of metres away from the entrance. One of them nodded towards the car. Three of the doors immediately and simultaneously opened. Three white men in impeccable suits stepped out, closing the doors with a quiet but ominous thud.

Flanked by the other two, Tony Miller walked towards the entrance.

"You should have paid your protection money, Mr Fung."

"What about those guys in the café?" asked the man on his right.

"Good point, Jimmy. Hey! You in there! Scram! Go on, get outta here."

The man with the headache rushed out through the front door, closely followed by the two lovers. The girl appeared to be crying.

The sound of the girl sobbing brought Big J back into the main part of the teahouse, half-made cup of herbal tea in his hand. His eyes widened as he saw Fung being advanced on by the thugs and the Dragons. It would be the last time he saw his foster-father. Just as he was about to shout, a muscular hand siezed him from behind, covering his mouth and pulling him back into the kitchen.

"There is nothing we can do." The voice was that of Yun Chin. J trembled with rage and fear. Chin held him still, then led him towards a back door. "The Purple Hand shall shelter you."
Ah! Harvard University! The special jail where people with too much math are imprisoned forever and forced to teach each other about poems.

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.

#44 Masked Dave

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 08:46 PM

"You don't have to do this you know," said Fung paitently staring straight into Tony's eyes.

Tony grimaced, "Gotta pay my bills somehow."

Fung sighed deeply, "Yes. I see for you that is true."

"Hey, none of that cryptic shit, talking funny don't make you any wiser than the rest of us. Just make this easy on yourself."

"What am I doing that makes you think otherwise?" asked Fung, arms spread wide.

"You don't want us to do it here, do you?"

"This is my home. If I am to die then I'd choose it to be here than in some strange and unknown place." Fung appraised the seven men arrayed before him, "Is this not a lot of people for one old man?"

"You know the Dragons, they like to make a show of things."

Tony couldn't believe it, the old man actually chuckled.

"Let it be done then."

Tony took aim, then paused, "You not even gonna shut your eyes?"

"I wish to see my fate."

"Fair enough," Tony pulled the trigger, and closed his eyes.
"It's amazing how deep we had to drill to find our key difference,
but it seems that whilst I am Amazing you are Ultimate."- Lu

#45 Jentastic!

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 08:19 AM

Victoria looked at her watch. No doubt the rally would be starting soon. She leaned back against the building she had selected as the best vantage point and lit a cigarette. It was lucky that she had good eyesight. No doubt Victoria could have found a spot slightly nearer, but her dignity would never be able to stand being crushed in a crowd - she preferred to be at a distance.

Looking up and down the road, Victoria checked her watch again. It couldn't be long now.
Existentialism? Don't even get me Sartred.

#46 Ednos

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 08:49 AM

The streets flew by as Ednos hurled himself along the narrow alleys, his lungs felt as though they might collapse from the extreme exertion but he fought his way on, finally in an alley adjacent to the square where the rally was due to take place, he stumbled and fell, blood clouding his vision from a cut on his head he sat against the cold wall. He couldn't do it, he wasn't a killer, even  the man, who had caused so much hurt in his life did not inspire that bloodlust within him. Ednos bowed his head and waited for the rally to begin.

#47 Janek

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 09:25 AM

"He's dead, isn't he." Big J sounded entirely drained of life. His voice was a monotone.

Yun Chin nodded sadly. "Yes."

J looked around, at what he presumed was the meeting place of the Purple Hand. He was in a small office, sitting on a leather sofa. Chin sat opposite him in a plush armchair. Two walls were totally covered by packed bookshelves. In the next room, a small hall, several men in white robes appeared to be practicing some form of kung fu.

"Who.. why?"

"Fung's shop," began Chin, noting how J cringed at the name, "was in Dragon territory. They forced him to pay protection money, and have done for many years. But recently he hadn't paid. So the Dragons called in their most powerful ally."

"Ally?"

"The Man. The Mayor."

J's eyes had been dull while having the conversation. But now, given a target, the seething rage and hatred was evident beneath them. Though his voice remained totally calm and controlled.

"I will kill The Man. You will help me."

Chin started to protest, but hesitated. This young man was dangerous. To let him loose now would be unwise. They should train him, as Fung did. Teach him to control his anger, so it may be used for the good of all, not just for revenge.

"Very well. But we must teach you much. When the time comes, we believe we can help you, or at least introduce you to someone who can. Someone you once knew, long ago."
Ah! Harvard University! The special jail where people with too much math are imprisoned forever and forced to teach each other about poems.

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.

#48 Jen

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 10:29 AM

The sleek black car pulled up to the sidewalk and Paola stepped out. She was all in black and determined to look as sophisticated as possible. She could hear the noise of the gathering crowd as she came around the corner to the rally. She ran an eye over the press line, certain that Sophie would be there, but not sure if she saw her.

There was a bench at the back of the square that was too far away from the podium for anyone to want to use it so Paola walked across and sat down. She pulled a cigarette out a slim case and lit it slowly.

The crowd was made up almost entirely of the lower citizens of Ocean’s Peak. Members of the underworld that had been lying dormant since the Fiorelli/Pirello killings. They were here to see what the Man had planned for them next. Paola wouldn’t be surprised if the Pirello’s had people there to watch the rally. Jorro Pirello would never come if there was someone who he could send instead.

Men were moving about on the podium. The Man’s rally was obviously going to begin soon.
---------------------------------------------------------
I lost some time once...it's always in the last place you look for it. Violent Becoming Downtown, Olympus Town

#49 Serpico Pirello

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 03:02 PM

The Rally

Quite a crowd had turned out to hear The Man get tough on Organised Crime. Jake swerved the car to a halt a few feet from a bank of spectators. Serpico fell out and vomited. An old lady waved her hand at Jake and called him reckless.

"I'm a cop, lady. I'm allowed to be reckless," he said. He walked round and looked down at Serpcio. "Waste of a muffin," he said before picking the youngster up.

Serpico wiped his mouth with his hand. "What now?" he asked Jake.
"To the podium," he said "The Man will be here soon, and if we aren't in position, they'll string me up"

Jake started to walk through the crowd pushing them out of the way, badge in hand. Serpico followed in his wake. The podium was on a stage. Jake stopped infront of the stage, just to the left of the podium. He pointed to where Serpico should stand.
"Just keep your eyes open," he said and uncliped his holster.

The Man was due.

#50 Josh

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 03:14 PM

A boy ran into Jorro's office.

"The Man is due any minute!" said the boy, stammering with excitement. Jorro nodded, before waving the boy away.

He looked down at the piece of paper. On it was writen a comprehensive plan as to how he was going to get her to marry him. It involved getting her fired and declared bankrupt.

This must be what love feels like, he thought.

In the distance, he heard the florish of trumpets and trombones, and didn't care.
George Alagiaaaaaaargh: I lost my pecker in the siege :(