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Episode 2: A Declaration of Principles


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#51 Lu-Tze

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 12:08 PM

Jing was quite content with where he had placed his stall. A mere 20 or so feet seperated him from the barriers around the podium, and the view was kept clear thanks to the pickled turtle tail that was aging rapidly in the sun. Only the more energetic memebers of the crowd were daring to cross the gap, and regretting it instantly.

Still the huge mass of people managed to provide a fair trade, someone will drink anything when it's the only thing available, even green tea from an old man who seemed to be privvy to some private joke as he served it up. The tea was exquisite though, and was certainly having the desired effect on the crowd. In fact those who had come back for a few extra cups were in severe danger of exploding from excitement.

Satisfied Jing sat back on his chair and let his broadbrimmed hat shade his face whilst he caught up on his reading. Soon The Man would be here.... oh yes... soon.
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#52 TSP

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 05:53 PM

Every plan starts out perfect. Whether it's the most devious way to rob the city's bank, or an elaborate plan to kill your abusive husband, it starts out as the perfect robbery or the perfect murder. But an officer of Jed Lane's experience knew the truth : that the perfect crimes were the small ones. A kid snatching a candy bar, or somebody pocketing your wallet. If you were going to do something big, no matter how good the plan was, it wouldn't account for everything. That new security measure would be overlooked or the ventilation pipe would prove that much smaller than planned. Sometimes the perfect plan would be thrown awry by a single uncontrolled element.

November 17, 1937 was one of those times. The plan was that eyewitnesses would see a trail of people enter D'Arbo's restaurant in downtown, hear gunfire five minutes later and then the police would discover the bodies of all involved. A simple shoot-out, an open and shut case, and the police wouldn't look any further because who cared about the dead? They worked for the Mob.

In this case the first uncontrolled element was one Detective Jake O'Malley. He'd happened to have a tip from one of his street contacts that the Mob was using D'Arbo's for business, and that it just happened something big was going down there soon. Therefore when the trail of people entered the restaurant, Jed had been sitting right next to Jake, eating doughnuts and closely watching the entrance to the restaurant.  As a result, they knew that eight people had entered and what they looked like. Jed had caught glimpses of the faces of a few of them. When eight bodies were found it was easy to overlook the fact that one of the dead was restaurant owner Frank D'Arbo who had already been inside and that the man wearing the black jacket had entered and mysteriously disappeared. It didn't seem like a shoot-out - more a sanctioned assassination. Eight people had been killed for a very good reason.

There are times when your life changes for ever. In these moments of joy, happiness, tragedy, life becomes that much more vivid. You remember the details, the positioning of things, even right down to the timing of the events involved. It's a gift, but it's also a curse. It's what kept Jed up at night, the constant cycling of the events that led to the death of his son. Every time, there was nothing he could do, and usually the events tortured him, but this time he was glad for the memories. He was sure he recognised one of the dead bodies in D'Arbo's as a man who drove past on the fateful night. Whether it was relevant to his son's killing or not, perhaps it offered some kind of lead.

Therefore for the past seven months Jed had been pursuing the D'Arbo case in the hopes of turning up something useful. Perhaps the time to give up hope had come to its end.

#53 Konstantine

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 06:55 PM

The girl left to get a better seat, and Konstance slid her address into his pocket, got up and went to look for something to drink. Pushing through the amassed crowds, he spotted a stall with an area clear around it and pushed up.

"Just get me something cheap" he told the man before looking distractedly around him for some sign of the cop presence. He looked back to Jing (for it was he), there was something about the man which worried him. He seemed to be paying an inordinate amount of attention to Konstance's gonads.

He shook his head to dispel the mental images, as the old man past a steaming green cup of something that smelled vaguely organic, and very dangerous. Something caught his eye, and he sipped distractedly.

His eyes dropped open. As did his mouth. He staggered back. The world warped around him, around the figure on the roof. The man shot. There were screams.

A sudden flash back, and he fell to his knees. The crowds took no notice, the man was soon to arrive.

From the midst of his narcotically inspired fit, Konstance opened his mouth: "I can see the future".

Jing smiled, and leant forward as a man came up on stage to announce the arrival of a particularly important individual to the site...

#54 Lu-Tze

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 08:30 AM

Jing had been watching impatiently over the top of his novel, waiting for the man he had seen in his herbal dreams to come over.

The tea had already been prepared, and sat gently cooling under the stall. Jing looked the would be hero up and down as he approached, he might be lucky with the ladies up front, but maybe a bit of Tigers Chaudron would perk his life up a bit.

The man gabbled something unintelligible, and Jing took his cue as he looked away to crumble some extra ingredients in the brew. If this man would do his duty now, then he deserved to get a little something extra tonight...

He passed over the cup and Konstance took a heavy sip. Seconds later the cup hit the floor, followed shortly after by Konstance.

Jing came out of the little stall and dragged the man to his feet, unconscious customers weren't good for business. As he began to come round he murmured something, but Jing couldn't understand all these modern languages and just shoved him in the direction of the podium, knowing the tea had done it's job.

As Konstance staggered away, Jing returned to his stall and started to pack up. He’d done his job and made plenty of money in the meantime. Jing didn’t charge for his tea, customers left money depending on what they thought it was worth. Already the pot was overflowing.

Certainly enough to afford the next book “Ker Ai Nyu Hai Tansa” and maybe even some women for the night. Payment for his services to the greater good…
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#55 Tony

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 09:32 AM

The park was thronged with people, hundreds of them.  Maybe more, Jake had neither the time nor the inclination to count.  Standing on the dais overlooking this milling horde and taking in the surrounding area, Jake could see this was a bad spot for security.  Any number of potential threats could be waiting in any number of shadowed windows or alleys.  Hell, the crowd could be holding dozens of gunmen and he'd never know it until the bullets started flying.  He looked across at young Serpico, the kid was fingering his new holster and looking excitedly out into the crowd.

"Hey Serpico, stay sharp!  Watch for anything supicious, ok?"

"Sure thing, Jake."  The kid shouted back.

Balloons were drifting across Jake's view.  They were being handed out by an eager young lad obviously doing his bit for The Man and people were letting them go, or popping them in celebration as much as they were hanging on to them.

"Goaddmit", Jake muttered to himself.  He'd be having serious words with someone when he got back to the station.  There were too many people here, and this was to high profile an event for such a small police presence.  God help the higher ups if anything went down.  "The shit'd really hit the fan then".

Jake checked his pocket-watch.  The Man would be arriving any minute, assuming he was on-time.  The knot in Jake's chest left him with no doubt something was wrong.  Jake pulled his pistol from inside his Jacket, cocked it, and continued scanning the crowd.

#56 Jachap

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 04:54 PM

Vinny hit the gas.  

Stupid Johnny and his stupid, stupid plans.  Now, there were only two things that could happen.  The assassination could fail or the assassination could succeed.  If it succeeded, there'd be a civil war.  And a big one.  Vinny would handle that when it came.  If it failed, and there were a number of ways it could fail, then it was bad news all the way.

If the police caught the assassin, The Man would take him off their hands and beat this employers name out of him.  If the assassin survived, then The Man would find him and the same would happen.  There was nowhere you could hide from The Man.  If the assassin got injured, some of The Man's men would lift him from the hospital.  But if the assassin died... then Vinny and Johnny were safe.

Now, Tommy wasn't going to up and kill himself.  The police wouldn't do it effeciently and the Man's men would try and wing him, take him down but not kill him.  They weren't stupid, henchmen that high up, they knew that an assassin was usually employed, he didn't just kill people off his own back.

The only option left was that Vinny found him and killed him.  Killed him good.  That way, not only was he safe, but The Man would trust him more than ever.  

Vinny threw the car round a bend and sped towards where he knew Tommy would be lying in wait.  Johnny had said he only had one round.  That was a relief, at least, but who knew what sidearms the guy was carrying.  Vinny reached down and patted his automatic.

Kill him.  Kill him good.

#57 NoWave

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 02:48 PM

The man stepped on stage to calamatous applause.  Smiling and waving at the audience he stepped up to the podium.  "It pleases me to speak to you today..." The man began

----------

"Keep talking you scumbag" murmured Tommy as he lined the gunsite up with the mans head.  He tapped his pocket for the second bullet.  He knew what he'd promised Johnny but this town was full of back stabbing.  It wasn't like one more was going to make a difference.  He put his finger on the trigger.

----------

Vinny screeched to a halt in front of the building and made for the stairs.  He slammed through the metal door at the foot of the staircase.

----------

The sound carried up the staircase, distracting Tommy at the last second.  The bullet whirled over the mans shoulder.

----------

On the ground everyone paniced and fled from the scene.  The man was bustled into the car by his bodyguards.

Inside the car the bodyguards were already madly trying to cancel the mans dinner appointment at the pintocha cafe when the man calmly stated "No.  We will continue as planned.  I will not be driven into hiding by these people."

----------

Vinny heard the shot from the roof.  "Shit!" he shouted and continued up the stairs.

----------

Tommy heard the man downstairs swear and continue to run upstairs.  He grabbed the rifle and ran down the fire escape.  "Shitshitshitshitshit" he repeated over and over.  PING.  A bullet from the roof bounced off the fire escape.  The man from the staircase continued to persue him.

He came out the fire escape and seen the car parked outside the building.  The door was open and the keys were still in the ignition.  He lept into the car and started it.  As it growled into life he seen Vinny come out the fire escape and recognised him as one of Johnny's men.  He pulled away in the car.  The back windscreen shattered as a bullet whirled through it.

"Damn you Johnny, why!?"

He remembered the original plan and turned down the road leading to the Pintocha cafe.  This wasn't over yet...

#58 Tichinde

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 03:05 PM

Walker was working out in his apartment when the frantic knocking started.

"Alright! alright!" he shouted, wiping the sweat from his brow.

The man at the door was clearly out of breath "Someone has tried to assasinate The Man."

"Shit. Has he cancelled his appointments for the day?"

"No Walker. He insisted he continued with his schedule."

Walker sighed "You've done well. Go take a rest."

He changed out of his sweats as quickly as he could and jogged to the Cafe.
No one was stupid enough to try a second attempt on The Mans life, but Walker hadn't lived by ignoring potential double bluffs.

Walker knew the cafe, it was a nice place with good coffee. He tried to recall the street layout as he ran. "Where would I be to take him out?" he muttered.
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#59 Jachap

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 04:24 PM

"Hey you!"

Vinny turned and shot the policeman in the knee.  The man screamed and went down, his pistol falling from his hand.

"Today's your lucky day.  You ain't dead yet," said Vinny. "Leave the pistol and you'll stay lucky."

The policeman rolled onto his back and groaned.

Vinny unloaded the clip from the automatic, slid a new clip in and worked the action.  

"God, I love that sound," he said to the policeman.

Grinning, he ran to his car. He'd always enjoyed a chase.  On the streets, picking people's pockets, he'd loved having to escape, jinking through the crowds, hopping over fences, doing his best to put distance between him and his pursuer.  Now, he realised, the pursuit was not quite as enjoyable.  Too much pressure.  

Tommy wasn't getting away so easily.  It was all still up in the air.

#60 Serpico Pirello

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 05:33 PM

The shot rang out, women's screams sounded and a candle, long extinguished, was ignited in the back of Serpico's mind. A wall, errected ten years before crumbled slightly. Serpico had ducked out of instinct as soon as the shot had rung out and only now did he stand up. He glanced across and saw Jake running across to him, gun drawn.

Serpico drew his gun.

"Jake!"
"Kid! You see where it came from?"
"No, I can't see bullets,"
"The flash! The flash! Did you see the flash?"
"No,"

Jake sighed.

"Probably long gone anyway,"
"What do we do now?" asked Serpico
"Now, it's time for a shakedown," replied Jake, checking his pistol before holstering it.

#61 Jen

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 05:42 PM

Tony had gone into shock when heard the sound of the gunshot. He stopped dead in his tracks. Memories of that night so long ago had come unbidden to his mind.

-------

Adie ran forward, she knew Tony wasn't beside her but all she could think about were her two sisters. What if they were hurt?

-------

Paola started up at the gunshot, instinctively thinking it was herself that had been shot at. When she saw the Man being bundled away she too turned away and made for the car. A Fiorelli at the site of a shooting? Not a good idea.

-------

Sophie clutched her hand to her arm, wincing in pain.

"What is it, kid?" Parker asked anxiously, "Not the bullet?"

"No," Sophie shook her head weakly. She raised her hand from her arm and showed Parker the large wooden splinter that had been projected from the stage when the bullet hit. Blood seeped around the wound, she could tell it was deep.

"Damn," Parker said, paling slightly, "Alright, kid, you keep the pressure on and I'll see about getting you to a hospital"

"Thank you," Sophie said quitely. Parker squeezed her free hand and ran off into the panicking crowd.

-------

"Sophie," Tony whispered, grabbing his own arm as sudden pain ripped through it. It was enough to shock him out of his trance and send him flying down the street to thw square. If he ever got his hands on the person who caused his sister pain they'd wish they were neer born.

-------

"Adie!" Paola cried as she spotted her sister running into the square. Adie ran across to her.

"What happened here, Paola?" Adie asked breathlessly.

"Get into the car and I'll tell you," Paola said, motioning to the open door.

"But...isn't Sophie here?" Adie asked hesitantly, looking around at the crowd.

"I doubt it," Paola snapped, "She's only a junior reporter. Now get in"

With a last look around Adie climbed reluctantly into the car.

--------

"Sophie! Sophie!" Tony shouted as he ducked and weaved through the crowd. He couldn't think where she would be. He collided with a shabbily attired man and cursed at him.

"Hey, it's not my fault," the man spat, "You weren't lookin -- Jesus, you're the spit of my apprentice"

Tony looked at the man and vague recollection came into his mind, "Parker...the mentor?"

"Yeah, got it in one," Parker flashed a smile, "That'd make you Tony I guess"

"Where's my sister?" Tony almost shouted.

"Press line, of course," Parker said, noticing that Tony was clutching the same arm Sophie was, "She's alright you know, it's just a splinter"

Tony looked at him, then nodded letting go of his arm at the same time. Then he ran towards the press line.

Parker shook his head and continued to make his way to the edge of the square.

--------

"Sophie? Sophie, are you alright?" Sophie heard the voice almost more familiar than her own as Tony sat down next to her and hauled her into his lap.

"Yeah, just a flesh wound right?" Sophie smiled slowly, "Are you okay?"

"I wasn't here when the shot went off," Tony said, "I was still walking with Adie. But it...it scared me Soph, hearing that sound again. I don't want to hear it anymore"

"I know, Tony, I know, none of us do"
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#62 Tony

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 05:54 PM

The park was in chaos.  The Man had been bundled into his car and whisked away.  Jake'd have to pay a visit to the man's estate later and have a little chat.  He didn't think the Man would have any information he'd be willing to share with the Police, but it was more than his job was worth not to at least get some sort of statement.

His pistol hanging loosely in his grip, Jake scanned the dais.  It wasn't empty.  Running over to the crumpled body, Jake holstered his pistol and gently rolled it over.  It looked like the remnants of Mr Hagen.  Tom Hagen was one of The Man's top lawyers.  A highly appropriate use of tense, a large part of his skull had been blasted away by the high-calibre bullet intended for The Man.  Jake could see no sign of the bullet, it must have passed clean through the unfortunate individual.  Serpico was stood next to Jake, staring fixedly at the carnage at his feet.  Blood had washed over the edge of the dais and onto the green grass below it.  Bits of skull littered the area.

"Come on kid, there's nothing more we can do here.  Grab me that shawl over there would you?"  Serpico moved to pick up the abandoned shawl.  Noting his wooden movement Jake spoke again, "It's ok to be upset kid, this won't be the last body you see.  It's not pretty, I'd think less of you if you weren't bothered by it.  The trick is to fight through it.  Now we need to check the area, hang on."  Jake covered Hagen's body with the shawl and stood.

"He's dead?"  Serpico knew this was a silly question, the man was clearly not going to pull through.  There was a curious funk swimming across his mind though.  His thought processes were still running at a million miles an hour, but they didn't seem connected to the rest of him.

Jake looked at him knowingly, "Yeah kid, this one ain't gonna' make it.  Judging by the direction the body's fallen in, and the area the bullet's impacted in, the shot must've come from those buildings.  Let's go check 'em out."

#63 Konstantine

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 06:46 PM

Konstance fell to the floor shouting as he charged towards the stage, locked in the throws of the past (not to mention the brew). He was sure he could here his siblings screaming from that distant house, out of his reach to rescue them.

He spotted two figures and stumbled towards them. Pushing Sophie and Tony aside, he fell to the floor and curled up in the foetal position. How can you fight things that don't exist, can't be reached and cannot be struck?

Konstance was lost in familiar ground, treading paths he knew well but could not see or feel; lost in the shadow of a lightless enemy.

#64 Jentastic!

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 06:58 PM

Victoria watched Jake contemplatively. With a flick of her slender wrist the cigarette fell to the floor and she trod the ash into the ground with her heel. She'd seen enough.

As she swung her bag back on her shoulder and walked away from the scene, Victoria failed to notice the two men across the street. One was taller than the other and adjusted his sunglasses as he watched the young woman's progress. The other dusted down his suit.

"What do you think, Sam?"

"Nice. Very nice."

The two looked at each other with the air of having made some important decision. Sam looked towards the dais and the body and gave a half-hearted laugh.

"Poor old Tom."

Sam gave his suit another quick dust down with his handkerchief and sauntered down the road, followed by his colleague.
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#65 Ednos

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 07:23 PM

Ednos heard the shot ring out through the square, he knew who the target had been, the same man he himself had wanted so badly to kill but could not. He pulled himself upright and made his way through the throng of people into the square, he glanced at the dais and saw only two policemen looking around, he guessed the would be assasin had failed in his deed.
Sighing deepley Ednos startded the long walk back to the gangs' headquaters, he had decided that he would find the man who tried to kill the man and he would find who sent him. Perhaps that would help him fit together the pieces that made up his life.

#66 Jentastic!

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 10:38 AM

Karen twirled into the house, humming and holding a red rose. She danced past Victoria and into her room, flinging herself back onto the bed.

"What do I care how much it may storm?
For I've got my love to keep me warm"


Unable to stop smiling, Karen put the rose on her bedside table and picked up a jacket that was lying on a chair. She held onto it, slipping one empty sleeve over her shoulder and holding the other, and began to waltz.

"What do I care how much it may storm?
For I've got my love to keep me warm"

Existentialism? Don't even get me Sartred.

#67 Tony

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Posted 27 July 2004 - 09:41 PM

Jake looked around, hoping to catch some useful information.  Cars were lighting up tyres and racing from the area of the park quicker than he could count them.  Any one of them could contain the would-be assassin.  A gunshot mixed with the sound of squeeling rubber and tinkling glass blasted from behind the buildings he'd already earmarked as the likely point from which the shooting took place.

Serpico had already started towards the sound of the gunshot, young legs carrying him down off the dais in a flowing motion.  Jake rose from his crouch by the body of the late Tom Hagen, drew his pistol and started after the kid.

"Serpico!  Slow down!  The walls kid, use the walls for cover, don't stand in front of an alley!"  Jake had seen a good number of coppers wind up in a box in the ground with a flag draped over it through silhouetting themselves in the entrance of a darkened alley.  Obediently, Serpico moved away from the alley entrance, and flattened himself against the red-brick wall of a nameless building.

"What now Jake?"  He queried.

"Now we go down the alley, but stick to the sides, and we go in pairs, covering each other.  Come on, and cock that pistol - I don't want you shooting civilians, but at the same time, anything making a hostile move needs to be dealt with.  Gottit?"

Jake took the left-most wall and began to move quickly and quietly down the dark alley.  Serpico took the right side.  Past rubbish bins, and old boxes they moved.  The cry of a disturbed cat spun Jake round, pistol trained and searching for a target.  The sound of running feet rattled gently down the tight-walled alley.

"Serpico?"

"Yes, Jake?"

"Go get the car.  Bring it round back, ok?"

"I told you Jake, I can't drive yet!"

"Just do it kid, it ain't hard.  I gotta' feeling we're gonna' need it.  Oh, and run kid, run as fast as you can."  With that, Jake tossed the keys sideways and started moving quickly down the alley.  Serpico caught them deftly and sprinted in the other direction.

Poking his head quickly around the corner, Jake saw a heavy-set man reach a parked car at a dead run.  The pistol that was currently pointed at the ground was pretty much all the evidence Jake needed.

"Freeze you sonuvabitch!  OP-PD!"  The only answer was a hail of gunfire.  Jake sheltered around the corner as shards of brick rained across the sidewalk.  As soon as the shots stopped, he threw himself around the corner again and began blasting.  The individual in question had managed to wrestle the car door open, and jump inside.  Jake put bullets through the window and the bodywork desperately trying to get lucky.  The roar of a started engine told him he hadn't succeeded so he switched his focus to the car itself, but even as he aimed at the rear tyres, the car screeched away.  Jake fired his last couple of rounds but none of them found their target.

#68 Jachap

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Posted 27 July 2004 - 11:32 PM

"Jesus!" Vinny hissed, ramming his automatic into his waistband and clapping a hand to his arm.  Blood welled up, through his fingers and he gasped in pain.  

He glanced over his shoulder as the last few rounds screamed past the car and shook his head slowly.  The pigs were getting keen these days.

#69 Serpico Pirello

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Posted 28 July 2004 - 05:22 PM

Serpico jerked up the car just as the car Jake had fired at drove off. Jake leapt into the car and pointed.

"Follow that car!" he yelled
"But Jake, I can't dr..."
"Yeah, and I can't get any at home but it doesn't stop me trying," snapped Jake "Now drive!"

Serpico shrugged and set off. However, he stalled.

"Sorry," he muttered starting the car again. This time he used too much gas but at least they got moving. The car was in the distance but still in visual range. Serpico sped for. He clipped some boxes, sending them flying.

"Damn boxes," muttered Jake.

#70 Antonia

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Posted 03 August 2004 - 02:04 PM

Antonia quitely knocked on Jorro's door and after a quiet "Come in" from her brother she entered.

Jorro was still bent over some paperwork. He briefly looked up and continued writing, waiting for what Antonia had to say.

"You don't look bothered at all Jor," she said slowly expecting Jorro to understand.

"Bothered about what? Currently I have to deal with a few very interesting accounts and agreements that have come my way," he sighed from his desk.

"There's been an assasination attempt, someone fired-" she began.

"On me?!" Jorro pretended to be surprised.

"Stop it. On the man! Someone's been trying to kill 'im. And they're gonna think it's us."

"We didn't do it though," Jorro continued quietly, "Did we? You haven't tried to kill the man behind my back?"

"It doesn't matter what the truth is and that we have nothing to do with it. People think, the police thinks, The Man thinks!" Antonia was becoming a little enraged by Jorro's attitude.

"The Man is clever I believe, he'll see that we could not have possibly done it Antonia. Please calm down sis," Jorro looked up at her and stopped whatever he was doing.

Antonia looked at him.

"Something else wrong?" he inquired.

And Antonia wanted to say something, tell him how unhappy and mostly how lonely she was... but something stopped her. She'd managed as before.

"Nah."

"Okay then, I'll see you at dinner."

"No you won't. Remeber? You're going to Ignatio's"

"Of course."

#71 Serpico Pirello

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 05:17 PM

Serpico braked hard to avoid hitting a truck laden with melons. They'd reached a cross roads which Vinny had driven right across, narrowly avoiding an accident. Jake banged his hand on the dashboard.

"Damnit! We'll never catch him now,"
"I'm sorry Jake,"
"Not your fault kid," replied Jake lighting up a cigarette. "C'mon let's get moving."
"Where to now Jake?"
"Shakedown. I want to see my brother."
"Your brother? How can he help?"
"Never you mind kid, just know he aint like me."
"Where does your brother live then?" asked Serpico starting off again, his driving improving all the time.

Jake gave him the directions.

"On the way we're going to make a stop," he said a look of seriousness in his eyes.
"Where?"
"Somewhere I think we can find answers. The old Pirello house."

Another candle ignited in the back of Serpico's mind. He knew the name. He was sure of it.

#72 TSP

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 05:49 PM

Some fool had attempted to kill The Man during his speech at the rally. It wasn't the best of news, but it had presented Jed Lane with an opportunity to get the chief off his back. It seemed that Officers O'Malley and Pirbright had gone off in pursuit of a suspect. Jed sighed. Not everyone could be a hothead, and someone needed to be present at the scene to take statements and provide a face for the press.

No doubt it would be a waste of Jed's time, but the small details always mattered. Look after the small things and the bigger picture deals with itself. That was part of being a policeman. His impending promotion to chief-of-police might put him in a prominent position, but it was the people on the streets who got the job done.

***

Davey watched from the balcony of his apartment as a shiny silver car pulled up in the park and a well dressed man got out. Immediately a few policeman flocked to the man's side. Obviously this was a man of importance.

He had watched the entire spectacle as it unfolded. The opportunity had presented itself to watch his employer's entire speech about whatever phoney motives and morals he was pushing that particular week, and Davey had decided to spectate. It always amused him ... to see the thug he had for a boss put on his public face, to engage in this cherade. He was convinced that no thinking individual would be taken in by it, but perhaps people simply wanted to believe.

Not that he knew what The Man was really like, either. All he was ever given were small jobs, minor tasks. Somebody dead here, some money missing there. He was merely the job man for The Man's lieutenants.

He had therefore been shocked by the situation that presented itself before its very eyes, as a stray shot had missed The Man. Probably just an opportunist. No-one who had anything to lose would try to kill The Man. Or at least, no-one with anything left to lose would risk The Man surviving to know about it.

"Heya, honey," Lauren beckoned from inside, and handed Davey a glass of wine. He might have just witnessed his boss almost die, but perhaps it would be an enjoyable evening after all.

#73 Jentastic!

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Posted 14 August 2004 - 06:31 PM

"Who is this?" Victoria frowned.

"You don't need to know that right now. Will you be there?"

Victoria studied her reflection in the mirror. There she was, holding the phone to her ear and listening to somebody she had never spoken to before telling her about the job that could be hers...

"I'll be there."

"Good. I knew we could count on you."

Sam hung up the phone. A few seconds later, Victoria, on the other end hung up, too. She sat down, thoughtfully. It was difficult to imagine why somebody would play a hoax like this - she didn't think anybody wanted to kill her just at this moment. Maybe she'd ask Jake to wait outside, just in case, and tell him... tell him what? That she was going to meet The Man in a cafe she'd never been to in her life? That there was the possibility that she might be working for the most important man in the city? No, he'd either wouldn't buy it, or would say she couldn't go. Not that that would stop her, but it could make things difficult. Victoria didn't like things to be difficult for her.

She would go alone. The man had said that she must be there at 10:00am sharp. Mentally, Victoria planned her outfit and what to say. Working for The Man...

Victoria wondered whether The Man knew who she was, knew whose daughter she was, and came to the conclusion that he must. He must have heard of her reputation as a lawyer, certainly. Perhaps he had been following her doings... after all, everybody had predicted wonderful things for the daughter of Stephen Tanner. They would not be disappointed.

She could still hear Karen singing. Foolish girl.
Existentialism? Don't even get me Sartred.

#74 Janek

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Posted 14 August 2004 - 07:09 PM

"Big J?"

J put down the set of weights, and looked up with dull, emotionless eyes at the Purple Hand member.

"Yun Chin would like to speak with you. Something's happened." The man left the room. J hesitated for a moment, then followed him across the courtyard.

The Purple Hand compound was deceptively large, and since he moved in with them this morning, he hadn't explored at all. He stayed in his own room, in an annex near the front gate. He'd also been shown the gymnasium, and the sparring dojo. Other than those landmarks, he still needed some help getting around, even to the communual hall and Chin's office behind it.

Walking briskly to catch up his guide, he entered a winding passage. Why they didn't just build a straight corridor he didn't know.

The pair stopped outside a room J had never seen before. The purple-robed man nodded his head slightly, gestured towards the door, and left.

Entering, J observed a round table. Yun Chin was seated there, along with several other old, wise-looking men.

"Yes?" Chin winced slightly at J's bluntness. Much as Fung had tried to settle him down, he was making only slow progress. Understandable given his circumstances, but dangerous nevertheless.

"As you know, we were trying to arrange a meeting with someone opposed to the mayor." At the mention of The Man, J's mouth tightened into a thin line, and his eyes flashed momentarily with rage. "Unfortunately, things have been made slightly more.. complex. We've just received word that someone's attempted to assassinate The Man. We think at least some of the people we were going to try and contact were there. What's more, security will be increased somewhat. So we'll have to tread carefully. But we think we can still get in touch with them sometime soon."

"It is someone we believe you used to know quite well," one of the other old men joined in. "We want you to meet them. When you feel up to it."
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.

#75 Serpico Pirello

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Posted 29 August 2004 - 09:55 AM

Serpico pulled up just outside the Pirello residence. He and Jake got out and looked up at the house. Serpico had never really been to this part of town but he didn't know why - something just kept him away. Jake dropped his cigarette to the floor and stamped it out.

"C'mon kid," he said walking through the gates. He looked at all the cars, which were expensive and well kept. Jake only knew three types of people who could afford such cars: movie stars, criminals and lawyers. He liked them in that order. He walked up to the big door, Serpico trotting up behind him. He pulled the bell chain.
"What is this place?" asked Serpico
"Pirello place," replied Jake "Apparently no-one knows what's inside - or at least, no one is talking,"

Serpico felt confused and was about to ask Jake what he meant but the door opened. A well dressed man, in his late fifties, stood before them. He was tall and his hair grey. His eyelids drooped slightly, giving him a contemptuous gaze.

"Yes?"
"OPPD" said Jake profering his badge. Serpico did the same.
"Very good," said the man, obviously bored by there presence.
"Can we come in?" asked Jake, leaning against the door frame. The man looked at him, frowning slightly.
"No, I don't think so," replied the man, his voice dripping with contempt.
"Okay and who might you be?" asked Jake, obviously getting annoyed with the mans attitude.
"The Pirello family lawyer. Now officers, unless you have a Search Warrent, I'll have to ask you to leave."
"We don't want to do any searching, just some talking,"
"Well Mr Pirello doesn't feel like chatting."
"Well can you take a message?"
"No, I cannot."
"Can you at least tell him we called?"
"If you wish, though it will be of no interest to him at all. He is a busy man."
"Okay, well tell him anyway." said Jake turning to go.
"Your names?"
"I'm Detective Jake O'Malley"
"And the mute?" asked the lawyer motioning to Serpico.
"That's Officer Serpico,"
"Serpico?!" asked the lawyer, unable to hide his surprise and anticipation.
"Serpico Pirbright," said Serpico.

The lawyer looked at him for a while before closing the door. As he did so, Serpico caught a glance at a long hallway and expansive dining room inside. Sounds of women screaming and children crying filled his mind, but he mistakenly thought that was to do with the attempt on The Man.

"C'mon kid, let's go see my brother."