JUSTICE IN FLAMES City of Lies "2"
Joined: May 1, 2009
|QUOTE (AndyGanteks @ Thursday, Jun 7 2012, 10:36)|
| New chapter soon? |
Sure.Chapter Five – It's All About The Guns!
Karen was sitting in a makeshift office in the old casino, a building that had become not only the Remnants MC clubhouse, but her base of operations. They had a routine for when she arrived and left. Johnny was given an iFruit phone, and received a call – by Karen, using an electronically disguised voice, giving a passphrase and an address. Johnny would then send a couple of bikers to pick her up. She’d even dressed in biker leathers.
It was the most secure way, she’d said and when she arrived safely at the old casino, she would whisper Johnny a new passphrase. Only Johnny and Luis knew it. Karen did in fact tell them both two
passphrases. One meant everything was ok, and another mean that she had a tail. A prearranged danger passphrase had also been thought up, and that didn’t change. If Karen spoke that, it meant leave town.
“What’s the deal with that sh*t we picked up from Ramirez’s?” Johnny asked as he entered the room. The walls had been repaired – mostly – and repainted but the place still felt run down. Only a few rooms – what made up the clubhouse – looked like home, or anything close.
“Still looking through it. Confirming a few things.” Karen’s reply was vague.
“How long’s it take to read?”
Karen held up her arms. “I don’t know. Frankly, I’ve had other duties. Has Luis arrived yet?”
Johnny shook his head but, right on cue, felt the hand on his shoulder.
“’sup?” Luis still maintained the wearing of his leather jacket, over jeans and a T shirt. Johnny knew none of it was real biker gear. Rich boy clothes. Luis was alright, but he was a typical money chaser. Expensive clothes – even when trying to look cheap – expensive haircut, expensive watch…
“Good.” Karen nodded. Luis noticed the bags under her eyes. This woman was bearing the stress and didn’t appear to be handling it too well. “In case you haven’t figured it out yet, my boss is not working alone. He’s part of something, and thanks to Ramirez, we know a little more. I haven’t been able to unlock all the mysteries yet, but one thing his notes has
told us is that guns are involved. Right now there’s a cache of guns sitting in a warehouse somewhere.”
“Yes Luis. You both know about the elections and the hot topic of gun control.” Karen held a hand out as she spoke, as if to weight something up. “One side wants to re-legalize guns and control them, the other to clamp down on them and eradicate them from our streets. I’m personally in the latter camp, but it’s a controversial subject.
“My boss has – through that war-lord – obtained a vast amount of military-grade weapons, not to mention a private army.” Karen’s face turned serious. “I spoke to our friend earlier and he gave me some bad news. His men, that were with him in Africa for the last year – most being former soldiers – have failed to report in. According to the news, there was a terrorist attack in Los Santos, last night I think. It’s believed their plane was destroyed as it left the airport – a fact which I’ve confirmed. Also unconfirmed reports suggest there was a shootout, though no-one witnessed it, and that several men were dead. Some people say it was gangs, but most believe it was terrorists.”
“Does that mean what I think it means?” Luis asked.
Karen nodded, swallowing hard. “We have no more support. Rodriguez has supplied my boss and his friends with all the guns they need and a small army to boot. I hoped we’d counter that with our mercenary friend’s men. We wouldn’t have the numbers but we’d have the training. That is no longer an option. Our mercenary friend has also elected to leave us.”
“Game over…” Johnny breathed.
“Not quite, guys. I know your histories. Johnny I know about Billy, among other things. Luis, I know about Bulgarin, and the reason your club was shut down. You two can shoot. I didn’t want to do this, but Johnny I need your gang. Ditch the leathers, put on some smarter jackets or something. My boss has stepped things up, so it’s time to see how he likes it. I want that warehouse leveled. There’s enough explosives in the cache to level that place, but it’s well protected. I want you two to go, and with your men Johnny, lay waste to it.”
Johnny nodded, taking a moment. “Alright but you have to promise me this isn’t a suicide mission – for the brothers as well.”
“I won’t lie, it’s dangerous. People could die, but we need this. I’m starting to unravel the string, and it’s big. We need these guns gone.”
, won’t Rodriguez just ship more guns in?”
“Possibly, but at greater expense. He won’t be happy, and although it’s a small step, it might make him think twice about his companions. If it was you and your guns kept getting blown up, wouldn’t you get a little annoyed?”
“I’m gonna go talk to the boys.”
Luis watched Johnny leave then asked: “I’m guessing we’re not going on bikes.”
Karen shook her head. “No cars. Steal them from the streets – but not from around here. Take them from across the city. Lancaster, Castle, Broker, Bohan, maybe one from no further north than Big Horn Drive.” She told Luis where the staging point was. “Our mercenary friend did leave us with a little present though. There’s some guns out the back.”
The bikers had all done exactly what was told. No one took a car from Beaverhead Avenue, though one was stolen from the nearby car wash. Luis had gone as far as the airport for his. His obsession with 72 had enlightened him to the pedantic nature of spy games or similar operations. It was annoying but it made sense, in a strange way.
Karen had also told Johnny and Luis to recover whatever guns they could. They liked that idea, using their enemy’s guns against them.
Johnny and Luis had scratched together a quick plan and the bikers moved out to take positions. One of them – a guy known as Mouse – was a sneaky little f*ck. He had the first job of them all, sneakily placing a small bomb – a crude device ‘Spark’ (a man who was an electrician by day and a biker by night) had made out of an alarm clock and a pipebomb – under a truck cab.
Most of the men had AK-47s and several had a grenade or two. Every man also wore a balaclava – most made out of a hat or something.
Johnny, with his AK-47, stood beside Luis, watching the warehouse. A few men were outside and there were, Karen warned, probably about fifty men inside. Luis thought that might be an exaggeration but Johnny agreed that they should be ready for it.
Fifteen bikers against fifty men. Not good odds but with the five visible men outside, and the inevitable rushing, Johnny figured it’d be more like fifteen against forty, perhaps thirty/thirty five.
The men all watched Mouse as he did his business. Then, with a loud and flinch-inducing explosion, the battle began.
The men stormed the courtyard, guns up and taking down the patrolling men in seconds. Five down.
Three men came out, not aware a gunfight was taking place. Forty-Two.
Everyone who had a grenade put one through the windows. An almighty cacophony of explosions and shattering glass followed, as did more gunfire. It was one of the craziest things Johnny and ever seen. The factory bellowed smoke and finally, when they dared, Luis and Johnny led their men inside.
Vision was poor. The grenades had filled the building with smoke, and the gunfire made things worse. Fifteen to twenty men had been killed by the grenades – Luis’s idea – and that won them the battle.
The Remnants MC, hit the warehouse like a hurricane. They ran in from every direction, and shot any man that wasn’t their own.
The bad guys – Luis and Johnny still didn’t know who the hell they were – had managed to return fire eventually but by that time it was too late. Some had barricade themselves in various rooms, but the doors and piles of furniture were just not a match for half a dozen men with assault rifles.
Johnny was glad Michael hadn’t joined them, though his expertise would have helped. Part of him did, in fact, wish his brother was here. He’d be proud – technically if not morally.
As soon as it was plausible to move around, Luis, Johnny and Spark rounded up all the explosives and set about placing them by each pile of weapon crates. The other men opened what they could and stuffed as many guns as they could into rucksacks and duffel bags.
Just six minutes after the shooting began, the men were leaving, as quickly as they arrived. Spark had done a wonderful job setting the explosives – radio controlled C4. He’d synched all of it to one controller and, along with Luis and Johnny, he was the last to leave.
They’d driven past the warehouse as sirens began to echo through the Alderney streets. Spark tapped the button on the remote detonator as Luis stamped on the gas.
The car rocked, lifted onto two wheels for a full three seconds as the warehouse exploded violently. Debris flew up to three hundred yards away. The windows in the car shattered – each man was ready for it, as Spark had warned of it – and the heat was felt from a hundred yards away. Johnny looked back to see a mushroom cloud climb from the wreckage.
“Sh*t!” He breathed, unable to say anything else.
Luis, only just able to prevent the car from flipping, rapped off a lyrical curse in Spanish. “Who needs mercenaries, bro?”
Johnny exhaled by way of laughter and just kept staring.
Eventually the men were back – with no tails – to their ‘safe’ zones. From there they ditched their clothes – storing them in bags, and made their way, back in biker leathers, to the club house. Karen would later instruct the clothes to be burnt.
Two men had died, Johnny learned in the old building. Their bodies had been dragged and driven to the Alderney beaches where, sadly, they’d been given shallow graves hidden from any prying eyes.
“Only two?” Karen raised an eyebrow. “That’s not bad. I mean, it’s not good but… You know what I mean.”
“Remind me not to piss you guys off, bro.” Luis said, slapping Johnny’s shoulder. “That was f*cking epic. Horrible, but…. Mierda
.”Click Here to read the next chapter - Welcome-Back Party. This post has been edited by Mokrie Dela on Monday, Jun 18 2012, 10:00
Joined: May 1, 2009
|QUOTE (ACR @ Sunday, Jun 17 2012, 19:11)|
|O, i am always interested to read more of this awesome story |
Thanks. I'm still going to upload and write it of course, but updates come quicker with more posts and more interest.
When this is done though im going to do something original. I wonder how many people will read that?
Anyway:Chapter Six – Welcome-Back Party
Luis woke up to the shrill of the phone. Not his
phone, but the one Karen had given him. He reached blindly for it and put it to his ear, still lying in bed.
“Hola, ¿Qué es?
. He growled.
“Morning sleepyhead.” The electronic voice sounded.
Luis sat up and allowed his free hand to grasp the back of his neck. “Yeah, what you want?”
“Get yourself some coffee. We’ve got two prime targets flying in later. I want you to meet me in Middle Park. Don’t hang around either.”
The call ended and Luis rolled out of bed. He visited the bathroom and walked down the road for a good coffee. He returned to his apartment and showered. He had a light breakfast then left for the park.
Johnny’s morning was much of the same. His coffee was out of a cheap packet, and his breakfast was nothing spectacular. He rode his bike to the park and found Karen waiting, sitting on the side of the fountain.
Luis was already there.
“Thanks for making it. I’ll get straight to it. The men killed yesterday were killed at the orders of my boss.” He face showed shame and something else, Luis noted, almost hopelessness. “Basically I think it’s time to take more aggressive measures. My boss’s men are coming back today. I want you two to meet them, and give them a warm reception.”
Johnny nodded. “These the two that tried to kill Michael?”
Karen shrugged. “Could be. I don’t know who he sent. But I want you to meet them and… eliminate them.” Karen’s voice dropped on the last two words under the weight of the meaning.
“This a spy-style thing?” Luis asked. “Do it without being seen or heard or whatever.”
“Kinda. I don’t want this to make the news. I don’t want any civilian casualties. Just those two and that’s it.”
“Ok. So how we going to do this?” Johnny asked. “Drive up and gun them as they come out of the terminal?”
“They’re getting a commercial flight.” Karen offered, “So they’ll exit the plane directly to the terminal.”
“These guys pros, right?” Luis said. “Once they’re out of the airport, won’t they disappear? Get taxis or a train or one of those tricks?”
“Most likely. I want you two to go to the terminal, and wait for the flight. When you see the men, follow them outside, or take them in the terminal, the choice is yours. Just remember: no civilian casualties, and make sure you get out clear. I don’t want to see your names on tonight’s Terrorist Watch.”
“Then the terminal won’t be a good idea then.” Johnny said. “Would be ironic though.”
“Do it outside then guys. But don’t let them get away. If they split up, you chase them. If one gets on a train, you get on it. If one gets in a cab, you chase it down and take him out – just him, not the cab driver.”
Karen smiled, enough to show something positive, but not enough to hide the worry in her face. “We’re going to use some of the guns we stole. There were some impressive weapons in that cache. I’ve made the drop for you. You’ll find a silenced submachinegun each and a silenced pistol each. This has to be quick. Take them down fast, and get out of there.”
“Wait a sec.” Johnny said. “How are we going to get the guns in the airport?”
“sh*t,” Karen sighed. “I’d overlooked that.”
“What if one of us went inside, then eyeballed the men and…”
Luis shook his head. “They’re going to come out of the terminal aren’t they? Just wait for them outside.”
“Whatever guys, just get going. The weapons are in a car parked on Albany Avenue.” She passed over a set of keys.
The airport was the usual sight. Cabs pulled over and traded passengers as did busses and private cars.
“How long you figure we can sit here until people notice.”
Luis shrugged. “How long until the flight?”
“Any minute now” Johnny said, looking at the clock on the dashboard. “Keep an eye out.”
Niko followed Rami out of the terminal. Both men could feel jetlag tugging at them, and both called out for their beds. Niko yawned, trying to hide it as a cough.
“We going straight to see the old man?” Rami asked as they stepped into the crisp Liberty City breeze.
Niko opened his mouth but didn’t get the chance to reply.
“There they are.” Luis pointed.
Johnny took a breath. “Let’s do this.”
Rami saw the gun first. He slapped Niko on the shoulder and called out: “GUN!”
The people near enough to hear panicked. Some were sensible and dropped to the ground, but most just ran, screaming.
Niko swore in his native tongue. They’d just gotten off the plane, and thus had no guns. They had no choice but to run.
Luis opened fire but the target had moved and the civilians running around complicated matters.
“f*ck this, we can’t get a shot off.”
Johnny shook his head. “There!” He pointed. “They’re running.”
The men jumped out of the car, careful to keep their guns hidden.
“Split up!” Niko shouted, running south. Rami didn’t reply, instead he moved north. He’d already decided he’d make a break for the trains.
Niko was used to running. He’d done a lot of it, but this was the first time in as long as he could remember that he was unarmed while being shot at.
Johnny had turned to follow Niko. Luis shrugged and looked around for the other man. He saw him then followed, knowing he was slightly faster.
Niko leapt over one of the barriers and ran into traffic. A car screeched to a halt as he slid over the hood, casting a look backward to see the man chasing him – or rather the gun.
Johnny had switched to the pistol. Not only was it smaller and easier to hide, and to use while running, but it was actually quieter – the submachinegun wasn’t completely silent. At least that was the assumption he made.
Niko heard the shot hit the metal bodywork of the car as his feet found ground. He turned back to see a car stop. People were running across the road and the panic had spread to the traffic now. Such drastic scenes at airports would scare most people. Terrorists!
People would think. Some cars sped off in squeals of tires, whereas others were abandoned as the motorists joined the fleeing throng. To his right, Niko heard the unmistakable thud
as human body met a vehicular one. There were more screams and engine noises.
Johnny fired again, missing again. He wasn’t good at running and shooting. He stopped and crouched behind an abandoned taxi. He took aim.
Niko felt the shot tear past his arm as he vaulted another hood. Too close!
. He met the ground then crouched behind the car’s wheel. A second later he risked a look back.
Johnny saw the man’s head appear and squeezed off a few shots. None of them hit the target.
Niko ducked back down. Then, knowing he was cornered, he moved along the car, trying to creep away.
Johnny saw Niko out of the corner of his eye. The man was clever. He was using the cars, not only as cover, but to hide his attempted escape. Johnny saw the man move between two of them for the briefest second. He rose up and ran over.
Niko heard the noise of a car hood popping being him to see his attacker land after leaping a car.
” He breathed as the gun came up.
Rami’s pace wasn’t a match for Luis. The Israeli identified the problem and turned to run across the road, narrowly avoiding being hit by a car. He’d seen someone else get hit, but they got back up. Luckily the car just nudged them out of the way.
As another car accelerated, right in front of him, Rami felt the stare of a gun. He jumped and used the moving car as a step, leaping over the roof as a shot shattered the car’s window. He landed in a roll that jolted his spine, but ran on.
Luis’s shot had missed. That damned old guy had jumped onto and over a damned moving car! Luis weaved in and out of the traffic, dodging fleeing civilians too. By the time he’d crossed the road, the target had regained his lead.
But Luis got lucky. He saw the target turn toward the train station.
Niko opened the car door and felt the shock of the bullet hitting the metalwork. He slid into the car and started the engine. Someone had abandoned this car, and left the keys in it.
“sh*t!” Johnny breathed, seeing his target enter the car. Then, a second later, the car was heading for him.
It was the only weapon Niko had. He steered past the ditched cars and stood on the throttle, his sights set on the attacker.
Johnny turned and ran. The car ate up the distance in seconds and, at the last moment, he threw his body to the side, rolling over a cab’s hood. He recovered and saw the car moving off. He fired but the shots did nothing. He turned for his car.
Luis ran through the doors as a car sped past. He didn’t even bother looking at it, and just ran up the stairs.
Rami reached the platform and slowed to a walk as he removed his jacket. He weaved in and out of the waiting passengers who were oblivious of the chaos below them. Luis also reached the platform and began walking through the crowd, looking for the target.
Rami reached the end of the platform as the train pulled in. He blended with the crowd and stepped aboard.
Luis watched the crowd as they boarded the train. He looked around at the people left on the platform. After deciding that his target was not among them, and there was no other exit available – Luis looked down the tracks in case the man had tried to pull a fast one – he jumped onto the train.
Johnny followed the target round the airport loop, and both turned off toward Tudor Street. Johnny tried to shoot out of the window, but his aim was terrible. Only one in about six shots hit the car, and that was merely on the tailgate.
Niko wasn’t overly worried. The man behind him – Niko thought he knew who it was – didn’t have a good aim. Niko though, had nothing, so he’d have to rely on his driving skills. He drifted onto Saratoga Avenue, and gunned the engine.
Johnny followed, slower, and executed a messier drift that almost became a spin-out. He fishtailed as he accelerated, wishing he was on his bike, but managed to hold it. He tried shooting again, but missed.
Niko used the straight road to his advantage. He watched in the rear-view mirror as the man shot awkwardly out of the window. That’s when he had an idea. He allowed his car to slow a fraction as he turned into an alley leading to Howard Street.
Luis moved through the crowded train, searching for the target’s face. He had to be on here... somewhere.
Rami watched the man with his peripheral vision. He held his jacket in his left hand, hiding it behind him, and just appeared to stare out of the window.
Luis saw him. He’d ditched his jacket, changing the color of his torso. He was just staring out of the window.
Luis reached into his coat for his gun.
Niko’s target had caught up, and was now mere feet behind him. The chase had led, by Niko’s design, to Huntingdon Street.
The Serbian checked his mirror and, as soon as the man’s gun came out of the window, Niko acted.
Johnny didn’t see it coming. As he fired, the target braked. Johnny couldn’t react. The cars collided and Johnny felt the gun fall from his grip.
Niko saw the gun hit the ground and accelerated.
Johnny shouted out a curse. He brought his car to a noisy stop and retrieved the gun. Then he accelerated to see the target turn onto Inchon Street.
Niko sped up the street then turned into an alley he knew was there. He cut took another turn and headed down the southbound alleyway and stopped near the end. He stepped out of the car and ran toward Huntingdon Street. After checking for his tail, and not seeing him, Niko made his way toward the nearby train station.
Johnny reached Livingston Avenue and looked both ways for his target. He couldn’t see him, so he turned left, heading toward the man road.
“Sh*t.” He breathed, hitting the steering wheel, realizing his target was gone.
Rami saw the gun come out and turned, bringing his jacket up. Luis was struck by surprise as the jacket was hooked over the gun. Rami pulled it down, knocking the gun to the floor.
Luis improvised and led with a fist. Rami dodged that and countered, grabbing the extended arm and pulling the man in. He stepped aside and pushed the man toward the windows.
Luis felt the pain as his arm smashed through the window. Air rushed in, and people gasped. Most stepped back as Rami grabbed Luis’s head to hit it against the side.
Luis kicked backward, knocking the man back. He turned and threw another kick out. Rami jumped back, avoiding it, and grabbed the foot. He pulled the foot, lifting it up too. Luis felt his balance go, and he fell back on his ass.
Rami, still holding the man’s foot, stepped forward and dropped, leading with his knee.
Luis felt the knee strike his stomach. The pain was immense, and his vision faded. He almost passed out, but he somehow managed to throw a kick out.
Rami couldn’t dodge the kick, which connected with his left temple. He fell, suddenly dizzy from the lucky strike.
Both men got to their feet, as the train announced the next stop: Huntingdon Street.
Luis struck out first, throwing two feints and a third real punch. Rami dodged the feints but the third hit him in the face. He shook it off then lurched forward as Luis threw another punch. Rami ducked under the fist and threw a punch out at the man’s armpit.
Luis flinched back as the pain shot through his shoulder. What the - ?
Rami attacked again, with a low sweeping kick. The train finally stopped, and Luis used the opportunity to try to grab his enemy.
Rami ducked out of the school-yard grab, and threw an elbow at the man’s face.
The strike threw Luis’s head back, hitting it against the wall. The doors were open, and Luis threw himself at Rami.
The Israeli stepped aside, and parried the lunge. Luis though, managed to get an arm around one of Rami’s legs, and his superior muscular strength knock the man over.
Luis stumbled to his feet, pain now filling half of his body. Rami too was getting up. Fights didn’t happen how Vinewood portrayed them. They didn’t last for fifteen minutes, with dozens of flying kicks hitting each man’s face, and them to fight on. After a minute or so fatigue set in, mixed with the pain. Both men took time getting to their feet, even though both were used to fighting. Rami’s experience of hand-to-hand combat had, for the last five years, been short. Quick counters, attacks, his fights lasted seconds usually. Luis, while used to longer fights from his cage-fighting days, was used to his fights being against lesser skilled opponents.
After a short stand-off, the two attacked each other again. This time Rami began it, and for the next minute the two men wrestled. Luis was floored as the door-closing message sounded. Rami pushed Luis toward the doors, hoping to have the man’s head caught in between them.
But Luis had other ideas. He threw a knee out to the man’s groin.
There was some things that training and practice did nothing for. Being hit in the nuts was one of those things. Rami recoiled, almost going fetal. Luis grabbed the man and pulled him toward the door.
The world spun for Rami. He saw the interior of the train blur then he saw the light of the blue. He landed on something hard and cold. He heard the rattle of the train as he stood.
Luis got to his feet and saw the man stand as the doors shut. The train was moving now and both men exchanged a look through the glass.
Rami sighed as the train rattled away. He shook his head and turned to the steps.
Niko was waiting for the train to Algonquin and heard the pained groan from behind him. He turned.
The Israeli looked up, allowing a short pah
“What the hell happened to you?”
“The trains in this city are a pain.” He breathed.
Niko shook his head.Click Here to read the next chapter - Sweet Dreams, Niko. This post has been edited by Mokrie Dela on Monday, Jul 9 2012, 18:00
Joined: May 1, 2009
|QUOTE (AndyGanteks @ Monday, Jun 25 2012, 10:01)|
|QUOTE (Mokrie Dela @ Monday, Jun 18 2012, 11:57)|
| Niko heard the noise of a car hood popping being him to see his attacker land after leaping a car. |
“Govno!” He breathed as the gun came up.
“sh*t!” Johnny breathed, seeing his target enter the car. Then, a second later, the car was heading for him.
Why is it so important that the characters breathed when they said "sh*t"
I'm just messing, great chapter again mokrie!
It's supposed to convey how
they said it.
"sh*t!" He shouted - you can imagine him shouting loud.
"sh*t," He breathed - imagine someone saying it as the exhale, almost like a whisper. Completely different imagery.
Thanks, i'll get new chapter up soon.
Joined: May 1, 2009
| Chapter Seven – Sweet Dreams, Niko
Niko sat with Rami in the office, with The Old Man scowling. It wasn’t their fault, and the man knew neither man would tolerate any unprofessional berating. There was the necessary expression of disappointment though.
“I think I know who it was.” Niko offered.
“Go on…” The man encouraged, trying to keep his frustration under control.
“The man looked familiar – it was the same man that tried getting us when we went to Ramirez’s house. We fought. Well I remember years ago, doing a deal that went bad. He was there. Later on we worked together again.”
“The heroin deal and diamonds fiasco?”
Niko blinked. “How do you know about that?”
The man shrugged. “Firstly it was through Torres that my predecessor employed you. Secondly everyone and his mother knew about the diamonds fiasco. A huge shootout in the museum, two men fleeing with the mob shooting at Sthem on the streets
and some psycho in a Buzzard shooting at helicopters. Investigations eventually led to certain elements of the Pegerino family; Ray Boccino, though he was dead by the time he was found out. Then by the time they got enough to move on Pegerino, he was dead too.” Niko nodded. “So who is this guy?”
“A biker named Johnny.”
“Klebitz…” The man breathed, in statement more than question. Niko nodded as his boss leant back in his chair, his hand coming to his mouth, fingers stroking his light stubble in thought. “That means Michael must be around somewhere.”
“That’s not the big question though.” Rami said, getting a raised eyebrow in return. He explained. “We’ve had at least three instances now where our operational security has come in to question. One can be explained by Michael’s knowledge – Ramirez for example; Klebitz might have known about him keeping things at his house. Another can be explained by poor security from others; your contact could have had a leak. But the most recent one… they knew we were on that flight, from Los Santos. That was no guess. Klebitz – Johnny – and whoever the hell that other guy was were there for us. This wasn’t a robbery, or a coincidence. Someone is giving them information.”
The Old Man nodded. “I am inclined to agree with you.” He took a breath then made a decision. “There was also an attack on a warehouse under the protection of a contact of mine. It was being used as a weapons storage facility, and was quite secure. Someone attacked it, killed all of the security detail, and destroyed the place. And I’m not talking about street hoodlums seeing it as a threat to their gang. Reports suggest it was a strangely militaristic operation. The place was assaulted – no other word for it – by a large number of men; the security there was too good for such a result to come from just a couple of men. An alert was called in, but by the time Greenhorn and D’Amico got there with back up forces, the place was rubble.”
“You think the army did it?” Niko asked.
“No. Someone else. Who in this city, might I ask, has the men and resources to do such a thing?”
Niko and Rami shared a look. “The mob?”
“On the surface it’d appear to be so. I think you’re right gentlemen, we have a mole. Someone is feeding information to them – the mob, whoever it is. They know they’re targeted by us, and are trying to fight for their survival.”
Niko nodded. “Who is it then?”
“I’m not completely ruling out you two, though almost getting yourselves killed is a little over-the-top concealment plan. It’s possible it’s D’Amico or Greenhorn. Those two do like to gamble – I’m aware they frequent an illegal casino set in a liquor store over in Willis somewhere… that information might come in handy one day. There’s a few other people who are necessary for these operations to run. I’ll have to look into this…
“For you two though, keep working as you are. We’ve still got things to do and time is slowly ticking away. When the time comes, you can take the mole out, but for now, keep focused. Maintain operational security, and good operational integrity outside. You know what that means.”
“Dry-cleaning, yes.” Rami said.
“Excellent. Well get yourselves some rest. It’s possible I may put you on Klebitz, but knowing this Johnny’s in the city makes me think Michael is.”
Karen had been milling it over. She sat in her apartment with the television on, though she wasn’t watching it. A plate of lukewarm dinner sat in front of her, hardly touched, and a glass of wine sat dormant too. She had the file open on the table, and she was twirling her fork round in her hand, intermittently moving it to her mouth as she thought.
She remembered it well. It had started as a job, just a job. Her last one. She’d made mistakes in her life – who hadn’t? – but had been both lucky and unlucky with them. She got into trouble; that was the bad luck. The good luck was that there was a way out. All she’d had to do for the last one was to spy on him. That’s it.
She still liked him. She didn’t know why. It had been a couple of years, and she’d seen him once or twice in the office. She didn’t think he saw her, though if he did he would have ignored her.
She sighed and put the fork on the plate. Right now she had to choose. Her heart, her conscience, or the lives of others. One life against them all.
How much was one man’s life worth? How much would a hitman charge for this task?
Kill one man to save another, that sort of thing didn’t seem worth it. But kill one man to save hundreds?
Could she kill someone she loved, to spare hundreds of strangers? Would it be at the expense of herself?Decide!
The voice inside demanded.
“I need more intel.” She breathed. She was fatigued. She was stressed. Just what the hell was going on here? That warehouse, full of guns. They were waiting for something. But what? War? With who?
Who had he been meeting with? Who were his contacts? How far did this go?
How far did what
Why had she stayed on? She’d done what was asked, and was free. She could have moved away. She should
have moved away.
She wanted to help people. Settle her guilt? Sure the company wasn’t a real law enforcement agency. They didn’t arrest people; they killed
people. But it was for the Greater Good, wasn’t it? Terrorists. Drug smugglers. Threats.
She looked back at the file and the face on it.
She sighed then picked up the phone, feeling sick to her stomach. It had to be done. But she hated it, and by the time the phone call would end, she’d hate herself even more.
Luis was at the club. He sat in the backroom going over some of the figures – something usually dealt with during the day, and something he wished Tony still did. He threw the paper to the desk and leant back. His mind was elsewhere.
Right on cue his phone rang. Not his work phone or business phone. That
“We need to meet.”
He sighed at the scrambled voice. “Ok where?”
“Castle Drive. Get there and try to hail a cab.”
Luis had gotten two cabs then the train. He didn’t like the subway – too dirty – but that was one of the things he was told to do. He exited Feldspar station and walked onto Castle Drive.
Karen had timed it well. She’d been parked and on seeing Luis appear, walking from the subway station, she moved.
Luis saw a cab, and called for it. The cab stopped and he got in. Immediately the car drove off.
“No tails?” Karen asked from the driver seat. She wore clothes typical for a cabbie, and a baseball cap to hide her face. The clothes were slightly baggy, enough to conceal her breasts, which weren’t large enough to worry about strapping down.
“Don’t think so.”
“So what’s going on? Where’s Johnny?”
“It’s just you tonight. I’m giving you a target I want you to eliminate. Look under your seat.”
Luis did and found a file. He saw the man’s name, and where he lived. He also saw an attached photo of the man, and the building in which he lived.
“I’m still trying to track down his partner, but for now it’s just him. He’s dangerous – I cannot overstate that. You have to be quiet. Get in – sneak
in. Take your time. Catch him when he’s sleeping and put a bullet into his head. Don’t try to be clever. No talking to him, don’t wake him up. If he sees you, you’re going to be in trouble. Don’t take that file with you. Put it back under the seat. Guns are in the trunk.”
“I got it.” Luis swallowed as Karen pulled into a parking lot. sh*t just got serious.
Niko was used to them. Every now and then they’d wake him up in the middle of the night.
Tonight’s was no different. Dimitri was holding Katie hostage. He was speaking, but there was no sound. Mikhail was shouting at him to put the gun down, and Dimitri shouted back. Niko saw himself shoot the Russian. It was raining in the living room.
Mallorie was sitting across Vlad Glebov’s lap, who sat with an obnoxious grin on his face. Roman was hiding.
His eyes opened to see the dark apartment, the light from outside just leaking in. Niko sat up and sighed, running his hand across his sweaty face. He rolled out of bed, leaving the bed sheets in a knotted muddle.
He moved to the bathroom.
Luis thought he’d heard movement. He hadn’t. Somehow Karen had managed to get a key to the apartment. Luis didn’t know how, but Karen had managed to steal his keys and get them cut while he was at the office. She’d returned them before he’d got back from the job he was on.
It wasn’t long after that that Niko had ceased leaving his coat at the office. The changing seasons had possibly explained that; winter demanded one wore a coat, so Niko didn’t leave it anywhere. Rami had also warned Niko of poor fieldcraft.
So, with the illicitly cut key, Luis had entered Niko’s apartment. It was a pretty nice one actually. Niko had decorated it about a year ago – Luis didn’t know that of course – and it looked good. An off-white carpet had been laid and matched the walls, which bore a beach wood skirting at the bottom. The windows looked out over the Humboldt River and Dukes.
Luis was grateful for the carpet. He was also unaware that Niko didn’t allow anyone in with shoes on, not that it mattered to Luis. He was here to do worse things than muddy up the carpet.
The gun Karen had supplied him with had been taken from the warehouse. He had a silenced pistol and an Uzi with a silencer. He’d also changed clothes and now wore black jeans, and a black top, the hood pulled over his face. He wore gloves too. He was a shadow.
Niko had run some cold water over his face, and used a damp flannel to wipe the rest of his body. He then dried himself and decided to go back to bed.Take your time
. He reminded himself. He crept as slowly and quietly as he could. He’d found the kitchen and dining area easily, and guessed the bedroom was at the far end of the apartment, through a door.
He crept forward, his eyes darting all over the place, but his gun remaining straight ahead. He put each foot down slowly and transferred his weight on it with care, so as to not make any floorboards creak. The carpet absorbed most of his steps, and there was no unwanted noise.
He reached to door and pushed it open gently. Inside he saw the bed, with the covers in the middle.
It was strange. In front of him, messily wrapped up like a baby in the duvet, was the man that Karen had warned was dangerous. And yet he’d never know what hit him.
Luis aimed the gun at the body, and inched forward. Slowly the pillow appeared. Luis took a breath.
Luis blinked in confusion. There was no head. The body was there but… Oh no –
Niko saw the man by his bed and, even in his sleepy, groggy state, had no doubts as to what it was. He acted on instinct rather than sleep-hindered logic.
Luis turned his head, seeing movement. His eyes went wide but there was nothing else he could do. He had no time to react.
Niko had dove at the figure and tackled him. Both men fell to the floor.
Luis dropped his pistol as he hit the floor. Even though it was carpeted, it still hurt, and he still had the bruises from the fight on the train.
He scrambled to his feet, ignoring the tight pain in his belly, and reached for his other gun.
Niko was on all fours, and he slapped at the floor for the attacker’s gun.
Luis saw Niko grab the gun. He backpedaled and went for his submachinegun.
Niko got there first and quick-fired at the shadow. Luis had seen it though and darted out of the door.
Niko got to his feet and grabbed a pair of trousers from the dresser. He put them on hurriedly, and grabbed the first coat he could find, putting it over the T-shirt he wore in bed.
Luis saw the movement in the door and, as he moved toward the kitchen for solid cover, fired.
Niko was just about to peek through the door and fire when the bullets chipped at the wood. He head a strange crack
from the apartment and what could only be a electrical arcing.
One of Luis’s bullets had hit the TV, cracking the screen and causing a few sparks. The TV fell and landed on the carpet, still sparking.
Niko risked a glance and saw, beyond the fallen TV, the shadow by the kitchen. He got off two shots but the intruder returned fire.
The bullets had missed Luis by inches. One hit the oven behind him, shattering the glass door.Seems a shame to f*ck this apartment up.
Niko’s next glance worried him more. The blue sparks from the TV had now gone yellow.
One more exchange of gunfire, which left Luis reloading, allowed the yellow ‘sparks’ to reveal their true identify: flames.
Niko heard the slap of the reload, and decided to move. He darted out of the door, ignoring the fire now spreading to his sofa, and made a break for the door.
Luis fired as soon as he could. Niko had darted past the TV and was heading for the exit. Luis focused and fired.
Niko heard – and felt – the bullets pass him and hit the wall. One shattered a vase that Mallorie had bought him for Christmas and another struck a lamp.
Niko fired blindly at Luis, and sprinted for the door. He knew none of his shots would hit but…
Luis tried to track the man as he ran. He then moved the gun quicker, trying to cut him down.
Niko felt the tearing of his skin on his right bicep. He ignored it, despite his arm feeling numb, and charged harder for the door. He used his numb arm to crash through the door to the elevator.
Luis followed but only managed to see the doors closing. He fired at them anyway, emptying his gun.
Niko heard the bullets ping
on the metal door, but ignored them. The lift was now moving down, and he collapsed backward, clutching at his arm, which now hurt like hell.
Luis was now trapped, and the fire was spreading across the carpet with a pyromaniac enthusiasm. He stared at the elevator as he kept hitting the call
Niko sprinted out of the doors and onto the street. A few people were around but none paid attention to him. He had to smash the window of his Comet, and he hotwired that in seconds.
Luis had gotten in the elevator and was running across the lobby when he heard it. The building shook.
Niko saw the explosion tear out of the windows in his rear view mirror. He swore.
Luis stood on the street seeing the empty parking space.
“I should have rigged his cars.” He breathed. Niko was gone.Click Here to read the next chapter - The Remnants of The Lost. This post has been edited by Mokrie Dela on Monday, Jul 16 2012, 09:26
Joined: May 1, 2009
| Chapter Eight – The Remnants of The Lost
Rami was good at tracking people down. He’d hit the net first – so many people lived in ignorance on how much information on them was stored there – and done the usual search for Johnny. Nothing had come up – nothing of use at least. He’d learnt the history of The Lost, via the former MC’s website, and the chapter’s final days via news websites, but personal information? There was next to none. Strange that. Someone like Johnny didn’t drop off the radar like that. That took skill. He had help.
The realization had come to him but he couldn’t figure out from whom. Someone who’d owe him? Someone he’d threatened?
Rami couldn’t answer that question, but it had to be someone of some power, most likely political, unless Johnny had an old friend in the FIB.
It was a trail of breadcrumbs, but the old cliché had risen. The girl. There’s always a girl.Ashley Butler. Links to the Italian mafia? Interesting
It was a lead that paid off. Tax and Welfare records gave him an address, and he and Niko had set about watching it.
Sooner or later, Miss Butler had turned up. And she wasn’t alone.
“Yup,” Niko said, having just been woken from a nap. “That’s him.”
The next step was following him. Johnny was obviously not too worried about tails – but then, Rami had to remind himself, he was a biker, not an operator. Finally, they had a location, one that Niko found disconcerting. Rami knew why.
Niko made the call and within twenty five minutes, Marcus and Lyle arrived in a pickup truck with five other men, three of which rode on the back bed like rednecks.
Lyle didn’t like Rami or Niko. He growled at the plan, and wanted to just run in there. Idiot
, Niko managed to not say. Finally an agreement was made.
Lyle and Marcus would enter on one side. The backup men would go round the back and Niko would go with Rami to the far side, flanking them.
“Oh sh*t.” Luis said, looking out of the first floor window.
“What?” Karen stood and moved to the window. “F*cking hell.” She almost screamed. “Michael!” Michael appeared with Johnny. “We’re moving. Now.”
“What?” Johnny blinked. “Why?”
“We’ve got company.” Luis noted.
“And no escape route.” Karen said, almost in a whisper. “How could I be so short sighted?!”
“How dangerous are these guys?” Luis asked. “I mean I know about the Niko guy, I even remember him now, but how dangerous?”
“The big guy and his mate are nuts. But they’re like any other gun man. Niko and the Israeli are crack shots. Why?”
“I think I know how to get us out of here.”
“Oh yeah, smart guy?” Johnny growled. It’s not your brother in danger.
Luis told him.
“How quick?” Karen asked
“Alright. Go. We’ll try to not die.” Karen said in panic. “sh*t, how did they find us?”
“Who cares?” Johnny was now at the window. “They’re splitting up…”
“Flanking us.” Karen was on the edge. She was genuinely scared. “Get to the roof with your brother. Get some men to join us up there. Every single man has to take good cover; don’t allow any – any
one to flank you. Get some men to the roof now – shoot them before they reach the door!”
Luis was amazed at his luck. He’d stashed his bike – he’d come on a Vader – in the building. He jumped on it and pulled out an Uzi. He gunned the engine.
Marcus heard the engine and, in seconds, the bike tore out of the doorway. The biker, whose face was hidden by a helmet, fired an Uzi as he sped toward the road.
“What the f*ck!?” Lyle called out, returning fire. He missed.
Niko spotted the men on the roof at the same time as Rami. Both ran for cover but, round the back, the backup men didn’t see anything. The gunfire took them down in seconds.
Niko and Rami, taking cover across the forecourt – saw the gunfire from the roof.
“They’re organized!” Niko observed.
“No sh*t. What gave you that idea? Who the f*ck’s behind them?”
“Biker gangs are tight. Mess with one, you mess with them all. They must have seen us coming.”
“Or Johnny played us!”
“No. If his brother’s here he wouldn’t endanger him.”
“Who was that on the bike?”
“Just now, as the shooting started, someone left on a bike. Almost took out Lyle.”
“I didn’t see him.”
“Wake up Niko.”
Luis placed two phone calls on his rushed journey. He almost crashed twice, but he reached his destination quickly.
“You’re lucky.” The man said. “I was just about to take this up.”
“Whatever bro. I’m good for the money, so that cool?”
“Yeah, just don’t crash it.”
“You better tell your boss someone lifted it, this aint coming back pretty. Two grand.”
“You better be good for it Luis.”
“You know I am.” Luis said, stepping in to the vehicle. “We learnt how together, and I was there for you with that pimp. Call this even.”
The noise from downstairs was crazy. Men shouted and guns fired. Johnny had placed a phone call then, as they reached the roof, called out “Five/ten minutes.”
“I hope we can last that long.”
Johnny nodded, grabbing his gun and ushering Michael behind him.
Niko and Rami shot back at the rooftop gunmen, but their position was too strong. They got a couple, but speed was their friend. They reached the building and ran down the west side. The finally found a door.
Lyle was trying to muscle his way in, but even he wasn’t that stupid. He had to take cover, but they were wearing the men down. Marcus was with him, and they took turns to shoot/reload.
Luis watched the ground pass by in a blur. He’d never done it like this, not this fast, not this low. He saw the old casino ahead.
The SUV skidded into the Casino’s forecourt. Four men piled out.
“Who the f*ck is this?!” One of the bikers called out. Karen moved to the edge.
“I don’t know. Backup for the – oh sh*t, they’re shooting at them
not at our guys!”
“Guardian angels.” Johnny breathed. Michael inched to the edge of the roof, prompting a shove from the former MC President. “Michael! Get back!”
“sh*t, Jon. They’re Luis’s guys. I remember them.”
Luis saw his friends below. “Please remember what I said, A.” He mumbled, guiding himself in.
“Here we go!” Karen pointed out at the sky.
Johnny laughed. “Here we
go.” He pointed at the road. He reveled in the chaos that was about to ensue, and the confusion their enemy had to be feeling.
“What the f*ck’s that noise?!” Lyle shouted out. Marcus turned.
“Wait.” Rami held his hand up at the door. “Is that…?” Niko nodded.
Ten choppers tore down the access road, each with two men on. The passengers all opened fire immediately. Once stopped, the others joined in. Within seconds a standoff turned into a full-on war. Even Michael, with his military experience in the Middle East, was slightly taken back.
Luis guided the helicopter to the roof. As soon as they touched down, Karen pushed Michael aboard, jumping onboard with Johnny. Terry and Clay had joined them on the roof, and they climbed on too.
“NO YOU DON’T!” Greenhorn shouted. He turned his attention to the helicopter as it tried to escape.
“Taking fire!” Luis shouted. “If you got ‘em, use ‘em!”
“They’re going, A!” Henrique shouted out.
“Alright. Let’s go ladies!” Armando led the men into the SUV. With the three passengers shooting out of the windows, Armando drove off, taking a few bullets to the tailgate. He made a mental note to remind Luis that he owed him. Big time.
Niko whispered something in Serbian and Rami said something similar in Hebrew.
“Retreat?” Niko asked.
“I’m no f*cking idiot!” Rami quickly regained his composure and nodded. They leapt the railing. Not for the first time in his life, Niko Bellic was swimming for his safety.
Marcus had to order Lyle to retreat. They were going to be slaughtered! The two men ran in the only direction open to them – northeast, to the beach. The bikers didn’t chase them.
Niko, drenched and out of breath, choked his profanity. “That was f*cking insane!”
“Yeah. They’re organized. You think it’s that mercenary we saw meet in the rain?”
Niko shrugged. “I don’t know but we can’t risk this again.” He shook his head, swearing in Serbian again.
“If the bikers and that helicopter hadn’t turned up…” Rami thought out loud. “What a f*ckup.”
Niko merely nodded.
Alarms were sounding in the cockpit. Too much gunfire. They were losing fuel, and one of the engines was bellowing black smoke.
“We’re going to have to put her down.” Luis announced.
“Where?!” Karen blurted out.
“There!” Johnny pointed to the northern end of Algonquin. “Lots of grass.”
Luis guided the helicopter down but as they approached ground it became clear that Luis didn’t have full control.
“Hold on!” He shouted. He didn’t share his worry about the landing, though it wasn’t hard to see.
The ground came up too fast for Karen’s liking. The helicopter crash-landed, more like a plane than a helicopter. The skids scraped across the grass and dug in, stopping the helicopter and causing it to roll on to its side.
Luis was the first out, pulling Karen free. Her arm was at an unnatural angle – broken, Luis knew. Her face was as white as a sheet, and she immediately collapsed to the floor.
Michael cried out in pain. Johnny, hit on the head had passed out. He came to as Luis tried to get to Michael, who had a dislocated arm. Johnny’s head was oozing blood, but he had enough to help his brother out, despite his vision being blurred.
Luis ran to the nearby high-rise and stole a car from the car park. He returned to see Johnny at the helicopter, which was now on fire.
“Terry’s unconscious.” Clay, who had a nasty gash on his arm, and judging by the position of his foot, a broken ankle, said. “We gotta take him to a hospital. No backstreet doc. A f*cking hospital.”
“Alright.” Luis nodded, ushering the men into the car. “We’ll tell them it was a car crash.”
Luis had barely guided the car to the road when the helicopter exploded. Everyone was too battered to react.Click Here to read the next chapter - Exit Polls. This post has been edited by Mokrie Dela on Wednesday, Jul 18 2012, 09:59
Posted: Wednesday, Jul 18 2012, 09:57
Joined: May 1, 2009
Well you may as well have another chapter Chapter Nine – Exit Polls
Niko’s boss wasn’t happy, but Rami made him see logic. There were no scolding words from the old man. Rami was giving him a look that prevented that.
Marcus and Lyle had already spoken to him. Niko was amazed they were still alive, but then didn’t cockroaches possess the ability to survive almost anything?
“We can’t try anything like this again.” Rami warned. “They’re organized.”
“What happened with the bikers? Who were they?”
Niko shrugged. “Johnny’s friends?”
“The Lost? I thought they were disbanded.”
Rami shook his head. “Only the Alderney Chapter. There’s a chapter in Broker or Dukes.”
The old man shook his head. He wasn’t actually that old, despite the nickname to which he was oblivious to, but he had experience. “Alright, we’ll come back to this. It’s all over the news, but that’s probably going to work in our favor. More gang violence. More discomfort with the current mayor.”
The man changed gears as he picked up a file. “We’re close. Preliminary exit polls put everything in our basket. The scales are tipped in our favor.
“I looked into our possible mole. I’ve discovered that one of our contacts has been compromised. I will not go into details but it’s looking like there’s links to organized crime elements within the city. I’m not convinced but I’m bringing forward the next stage of the operation. We’re so close now that timing is not too much of an issue. “The man slid a file over the desk. “Your target gentlemen. Gloves off.”
Rami looked at the file and nodded. He knew this was coming, it was just a matter of when. He memorized the faces then looked at Niko.
“Lethal force, gentlemen. Full sweep.”
The operation was, through mutual agreement, delayed to nightfall. They spent the afternoon preparing their equipment like before. Both men had a suppressed pistol and a suppressed Advanced P90 submachinegun. They had night vision goggles (not thermal) and the fitted tac-suits. Both men cleaned and checked their weapons and, once again, Niko set out to collect a car.
He’d chosen a Sentinel. He’d bought it used from a dealer in Willis and had it checked over by an agency affiliate.
He reentered the apartment and gave Rami a thumbs up. The two got changed and were shortly ready to go.
They’d spent their spare time looking at the map and blueprints of the building. They’d been there before, but the difference was tonight the building was full of targets. Not men to be avoided, men to be sought out.
Entry points were selected, and plans were drawn up.
They took their time. They left the apartment at dusk and arrived at the mansion in Alderney under the cover of darkness.
“Six hours.” Rami said, looking at his watch. He’d had to push a button to see the display, but he started the stopclock. The watch would vibrate when time had run out. He’d thought enough to disable any chimes.
They had decided to mimic their previous entry, at least for the first part. The two men climbed the wall and took their positions in the same group of plants. They both scanned the area, Niko with the night vision, Rami with his natural vision.
“Two targets.” Niko whispered with a strong sense of déjà vu. “North side, level one.”
“Confirm that.” Rami replied. “No other targets visible.”
Both men split up and moved forward. Once again Niko used a line of deck chairs as cover. Rami had moved right up against the eastern wall/fence and moved along in total darkness. Both men kept their eyes on the targets and each other, using their night vision to see in the dark.
It took several minutes but they finally reached their targets.
Rami held up his hand, with a knife in it. Niko did the same, and Rami lowered his. The two men moved.
Neither target saw it coming. Both operators timed their approach perfectly and their actions mimicked each others. Both reached up and reached around their target, covering the mouth. The knives followed, plunging into the necks of the targets. Both men then dragged their target into the shadows.
Both men moved toward the door. They took position on the door and Rami picked the lock. He opened the door a crack and scanned the room.
Niko moved in first, scanning the area with his night vision. No body shapes were visible in the grainy image. He gave Rami a thumbs up and moved farther into the building. He took cover at the first opportunity, allowing Rami to catch up and move ahead while he watched his back.
They reached an intersection of hallways. Ahead of them the corridor continued into darkness, but to the right stood a doorway to the main lobby.
Rami pointed Niko straight ahead and the Serbian moved slowly, keeping in a low crouch. His gun led the way and he never looked in any direction without pointing the gun that way.
Niko found himself at a doorway. He peeked through the partly-open door. Two men were inside – no, three.
Niko held up his hand, three fingers extended. Three targets
. He pointed out their positions. Straight ahead, near left, far left.
Rami nodded his acknowledgement.
Niko moved to the door and put a hand on the doorknob. Rami pointed at himself and motioned to the left. Niko nodded, pointing at himself and ‘straight ahead’. Rami nodded then gave Niko a visible countdown. Five. Four. Three. Two…
Much like TV and movie filming, there was no ‘one’. Niko opened the door on the unsigned ‘zero’ and Rami moved in, staying low, his eyes never straying from his gun, which pointed at the first target instantly.
Niko moved in quicker and slightly higher. He fired a single round into his target’s head and adjusted his aim to the next in time to see him fall by Rami’s bullet. Niko immediately scanned the room for farther threats. Finding none he gave Rami the thumbs up. All clear
. Rami nodded in agreement.
Rami took point as they exited what had turned out to be a kitchen. They’d turned the lights out in case anyone saw them exit through the next door - which, Rami saw, was a dining hall. Two of the three downed targets – which Niko had moved out of sight – were chefs. Too bad,
Rami thought coldly.
With Niko covering, Rami moved out. He ventured forward into the empty dining room and took cover on the far side, looking through a large, open archway.
Niko watched through his goggles as Rami pointed at Niko then waved him over with a single sweep of a down-pointing hand. The action almost looked like he was slapping his own ass.
Niko inched forward, his gun at the ready. He kept an eye on Rami who, without ever looking at his partner, held a fist up. Stop!
Niko moved directly to the wall and got low. One of Rami’s hands came across his body in the signal for ‘enemy’. He then held up two fingers, in a V shape. Two enemies
Niko saw the Israeli’s hand move upward, his forefinger and thumb extending. Pistols
. Then Rami turned his head slightly. Niko held up his hand in the universal ‘ok’ gesture. Rami then nodded in the direction of the two enemies. Niko nodded, pointing at himself then toward his side of the room. Rami nodded in return, giving Niko the countdown again.Five. Four. Three. Two…
Niko moved out, keeping low. His gun came up and, out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Rami not moving. That meant Rami was already on target.
Rami used his peripheral vision to watch Niko’s movement. As the Serbian’s gun came on target, Rami fired.
Both men dropped within half a second of each other. They moved quickly to hide the bodies and moved on. Perfection
They came to another hallway junction, with several targets. One turn was a bar, and the other opened up to the entrance lobby. The bar held four guards, that Rami silently told Niko, and the Serbian noted three men in the lobby.
Niko pointed at himself, then to the lobby. He patted the air, instructing Rami to get low, then waved his hand in a gesture that motioned for Rami to go behind something – something that Niko then pointed to.
They’d look a strange sight, Rami thought. Two soldiers constantly using sign language. To the informed, it was nothing but to those not familiar with their actions, it might look funny. Rami read Niko’s instruction to creep behind the bar. The Serbian then pointed at the man at the far end of the bar, and reached his arm across his chest, his hand coming over his other shoulder. Rami knew what this sign meant. He showed Niko the OK sign as he nodded.
Niko waited for Rami to move first. The Israeli moved expertly and silently. He got really low and disappeared behind the bar. Niko timed his movement to have the same pace. He reached his first target from behind and rose up with his arms out.
The man tried to call out first. But Niko’s sleeper hold was so tight the man couldn’t breathe. He was already starting to black out.
Rami too rose – from behind the bar. The area was lit here, and there was no way they could have taken the men out one by one. Seven men, taken out almost as one was no easy task.
By selecting two of the men – Rami mentally commended Niko’s tactical vision – they’d taken two men down without even starting. Five left.
The first two didn’t have time to react. The bullets were fired from behind human shields into the front of their heads.
Rami adjusted his aim and got a shot off at one of the men who was staring with his mouth open. He was slowly and absentmindedly going for his gun.
Niko took out his second target and managed to distract one of Rami’s bar friends. That gave the Israeli time to shoot at the remaining man whose attention was on him.
But the man was fast. He moved and the bullet missed. Niko was now converging with his partner and snapped the neck of his shield. He then moved quicker.
Rami saw Niko and adjusted his aim. He ignored the man who had dodged a shot and instead took out the man who was caught in between two enemies. That man died with a puzzled expression on his face.
Niko’s bullet struck the back of the final man’s head. Rami had dispatched his human shield too, and was scanning for more threats.
“All clear.” Niko offered. Rami nodded and crouched down to hide the fist body.
No more men were present downstairs. The time had come to move up.
But they avoided the stairs. Too much open space. Instead they moved to the side of the lobby where Rami offered Niko a leg-up. Niko rose, feeling very unstable but trusting the man beneath him. He reached up and grabbed at the stone wall, getting a secure hold.
The next part came hard. Not for Rami but for Niko. Rami reached up and grabbed the back of Niko’s body armor. He hoisted himself up and began climbing.
Niko, the human ladder, felt the weight and strain immediately. They knew of the patrols from their previous visit, thus any ascension up the stairs would be foolish. If climbing the stairs was foolish, what the hell was this?
Niko’s mind asked. The tactic was a little over the top, even if it helped avoided detection, unless they fell.
Finally, after what felt like forever, the weight was relieved. Rami had climbed onto the upper level and was scanning for threats.
Immediately he found one, and he fired quickly; the man was looking in their direction with a frown. He’d seen something but didn’t know what. The last thing he saw though, was the hampered muzzle flash.
Pondering the futility of their move, Niko had pulled himself up and checked his body for his weapons and armor. He looked at Rami. Was that really easier?
The revolutionaries – as Luis jokingly referred to them – met up again. Karen had obtained a safe house – one not connected to her boss, she’d said. It was an apartment in Hove Beach, chosen for its escape routes. If trouble came, they could sneak out the back into an alley, which would take them to the train station. Or they could move through the apartment building and out a window directly onto the track. Another option was the roof – a short jump across the alley would take them to the next building, where they could exit the front. Karen had set up a safe house in that building too, with weapons and several changes of clothes.
Each person sported their various scars. Luis, somehow, had walked away unscathed. Johnny had nothing more than a mild concussion, whereas Terry was in hospital with a collapsed lung, or something like that. The doctors hadn’t questioned the story of a car crash – such events were common in Liberty, and the doctors rarely bothered following the incidents up. They had too much to do to worry about that. Clay’s broken ankle had rendered him on crutches and he’d had twenty stitches for the gash on his arm, but he was at the hospital with Angus. It was unlikely they’d offer support any time soon.
Michael had only dislocated his arm, and it had been set easily enough. He was in a sling with prescribed painkillers that he wasn’t even taking.
Apart from her arm, Karen had only suffered shock – down to her stress, the doctors had said. She was very uncomfortable with being in the hospital, but nothing had come of it. Luis had voluntarily hung around, keeping an eye out for anyone taking an interest in the patients. Although the bad guys would find out about the medical care sooner or later, they had dodged another attack.
Police had pounced on the wreckage of the helicopter. Luis hoped his old friend from helicopter school wouldn’t be reprimanded, but if he had done what Luis had said, he should be alright.
“Where are your boys?” Karen asked. The doctors had given her some sedatives and, although she still refused an overnight stay, it had calmed her down. She’d had almost eighteen hours sleep in the two days since the crash. The irony was that the crash was the best thing that had happened to her in weeks, broken arm aside.
“Well we’ve abandoned that old casino.” Johnny said. “For now they’re just hanging out with the Broker chapter of The Lost. Not much point in getting another clubhouse or something now. It’d probably just get attacked again.”
“Safety in numbers?” Johnny nodded, allowing Karen to continue. “And Michael?” The two had had a discussion in the hospital about him. Johnny had finally agreed that he’d need to be taken somewhere safe.
“Where were you thinking?”
“Well first I thought with one of the gangs in the city, but then I remembered that our friends have been f*cking with them. No one’s safe. I lack the resources for a secure safe house – I have access to them, but Niko and his friends will know the codes and location. I think the best thing is to keep him hidden. He won’t like it but at least he’ll be safe. Up in Bohan I think.”
Johnny nodded. “Let’s take him up there then.”
Karen nodded. “He’ll need some men to protect him. Good ones.”
Niko and Rami continued their silent rampage through the mansion. Things got harder upstairs though. They had to move slower and hide a lot. They had to time their attacks right and hide each body. It took some time, but finally they reached the mafia boss’s personal bedroom.
A harrowing thought swept across Niko. What if, after all this, he wasn’t in?
But he was. Rami saw him through the door, after they’d taken out the guards in complete silence. He was on the bed, moving a lot.
A grin grew across Rami’s face. Niko, keeping watch on the hallway, cast an inquisitive look that Rami got, even through the balaclava. Rami brought his hand up first pointing at his eyes, then making a circle with his thumb and forefinger, and put the index finger on his other hand in that circle. He moved it in and out.
Niko almost laughed, but he held it back. He held his hands together then opened them, his fingers blossoming out to symbolize an explosion, then swept one hand across his neck.
Rami found the sign language crude, but it conveyed the message. He shrugged,
Niko looked away, thinking for a moment. He looked back at Rami.
After a moment Rami motioned with his hand, waving it upward and pointing at the door. He pointed at Niko and left, himself and right. He then pointed at Niko again, making the sexual intercourse hand gesture, and bringing his finger up. He then pointed at himself, and brought the ring up.
Niko nodded, giving back the OK sign, which he now found funny. He held out a fist, and thrust it toward the door, then opened his hand slowly.
Rami shook his head and copied the latter hand gesture. Niko nodded.
Both men took one door each and opened. The double doors revealed a well decorated bedroom, and neither of the two coitus participants noticed.
Niko and Rami moved round the bed, flanking the target. Their guns were already up, and ready.
Niko actually felt slightly bad. But, he said to himself, they were worse ways to go out. He brought his gun up.
The girl was on top, so Rami allowed Niko to fire first. The target arched his back slightly and went limp, though Rami suspected not all of him was. He followed Niko’s shot up before the woman could even react.
A shame, Rami allowed. She had nice breasts. But that was why he’d allocated the target to Niko and the woman to himself. He doubted Niko would be comfortable shooting a woman, let alone a – relatively – innocent one. Another day, the Israeli said to himself, it may have been him enjoying her wares. A shame to kill such an attractive woman, but it was what it was.
They moved out of the bedroom, Niko wondering if the woman was a prostitute or a mistress. He didn’t dwell on it.
The apartment was typical to the area. The building left a lot to be desired and the interior was even worse. The apartment itself wasn’t that bad. It had been decorated on the cheap, but it was livable. Michael wasn’t too happy about staying here, but Johnny had explained, or rather argued, that they had little choice. Johnny ultimately agreed to stay there with him, with a couple of bikers nearby. Karen gave a brief on how to behave, when to leave the apartment and how to do so.
She left with Luis, finally content that Michael was safe – safer, at least. It was ironic in a way, that a bad part of town was the safest place for him.
Niko and Rami had reemerged outside and cleared the front yard. That was almost as easy as clearing the bedrooms. They hid in the plants, and behind trees, a plant pot or the columns by the front door, and dispatched all their targets with no noise, and with no one seeing.
Finally, they exfiltrated to their car.Click Here to read the next chapter - The Culling in North Holland. This post has been edited by Mokrie Dela on Monday, Jul 23 2012, 18:48