Episode 5 – The Philly Extraction
Saturday, May 27, 2028
Pretty much the entire Team decides to go to lunch at Frank’s Pizzeria. Free pizza and beer appear and a table in the back for Lars and his ‘crew’ is made available. Lars finally gets to talk to Frankie privately. He shows the enforcer the six pictures that the booster leader had given him. It is clear that the mobster knows who these people are, but will not reveal their names. He tells the club owner that he will take care of it, and not to pursue the matter any further.
That night the club has a good turnout. Word is out that the ‘troubles’ are over and Lars’ reputation is on the rise. Sal comes by with a few of his ‘boys’. Lars offers him a champagne room, but he declines. He is here to see Cuddles. Whatever the conversation is about, it upsets the drug dealer, but he seems to be powerless to do anything about it. Sal then calls Lars over to the table and dismisses Cuddles most disrespectfully from his own table! Sal informs Lars that the men in the photographs have been spoken to and they will give him no more trouble. Also, Lars is NOT to take any sort of revenge against them. The issues are to be considered closed. Lars agrees and Sal leaves.
A pissed off Cuddles returns to his table. He and Lars have a talk. Lars tells the young Mobster that the fire that destroyed Cliff and Vera’s apartment also destroyed the entire ganja supply of the Rasta solo. He would like to get a pound of weed for his man. Cuddles says that is not what he usually deals in and it is kind of a high end product due to the damage that the Drug Wars had done to the crops. He does have some in his private stash and promises to send over an ounce from this, on the house. After a few more pleasantries they get down to business. Despite his rather boyish appearance and silly nickname, Cuddles is extremely ambitious. Whether he is really astute about Mob politics Lars cannot tell, but he has a plan. It seems that a number of shipments of chemicals that the Lacono Family uses in their drug operation have been highjacked on their way to the city. There will soon be a shortage and the upper levels of the Mob are almost in a panic. A Road Warrior type gang has been hitting these shipments with uncanny regularity. They have some gang symbols but no one knows where this group operates out of.
Cuddles has a proposition. Lars and his crew will hunt these Raffin Shiv down and wipe them out. As these gangers have been very successful, they must have acquired a lot of loot. If any of the chemical shipments are there, they must be returned to the Mob. Any other ‘salvage’ will belong to Lars and his people. Since Lars lives and does business in Union City, he has to fence any loot through the organization here. (Lars was not aware of this.) Cuddles then explains how this works. If you are a nobody (like Lars), the Mob’s cut, from something like this, is 50% after the fence pays you. If you are a “friend”, the cut is only 40%. An associate’s cut is 30%. A crew run by a ‘made man’ pays 20 to 25%. To avoid this draconian 50% surcharge, the loot will be fenced through Cuddles who only has a 30% cut to pay. He will pay Lars as if he were a “friend” (40%). Also, the Mobster will try to get Lars’ crew recognized as ‘friends’ permanently. Cuddles does insist on being in on the take down of the Road Raiders. He will also bring a few people to help.
While Lars feels that the Mob’s cut is excessive, he recognizes that this is his “in” to the Family. The Team’s battle with the Lords of Metal has given him a little status and recognition, but this will bring him in to the organization, which is his real mission here. The Brit agrees to the proposal. He immediately sets Mario to do research on the gang signs that Cuddles has provided. For the last time Lars suspends the stage fee for the dancers. Business is recovering well as the word of his victory over the Lords of Metal spread.
Sunday, May 28, 2028
Again this day belongs to the church. Those that are inclined to attend church, but the mood is very somber. The afternoon is filled with funerals of those who died in the booster attack of last Thursday morning. Mario does not get much information on these Road Raiders beyond what Cuddles has told them. Lars then remembers. Two years ago he worked with a fixer, Steve Lomax (during the New York City Campaign). The man ran a trucking company in the Free City of Newark, and was gathering intelligence on the various groups involved in truck highjackings in New Jersey. The two were not exactly friends, if fact, the fixer had disrespected him, when they first met. He realized this was not so much personal, but actually a slight directed at retired Admiral Jane Smith, whom he had just served under in Africa. Since those ‘troubles’ he and Lomax had actually pulled off a pair of rather successful operations together before Lars went to the Caribbean, but their relationship was still pretty chilly. Lars also knew that Steve Lomax had been recommended to him as a contact by his employer for this mission. He would contact the fixer tomorrow.
Monday, May 29, 2028
In the morning, Lars goes across the street to talk to Sal’s cousin, the car dealer. Yes, he would like to get the van registered now. The dealer asks how many sets of plates he would like? Lars is taken back a bit, but soon catches on and gets 3 sets of plates for the van. One set of plates is in his name for Union City, and two legal plates are in fictitious names from Fort Lee and Jersey City. It is expensive.
Lars and Max take the subway to the Free City of Newark and then get a cab to Steve Lomax’s warehouse. Max is kept waiting in the outer office and notices that the uniformed warehouse guards are wearing Security Solutions uniforms. Almost as a joke he asks if he can get an application for employment with them. They give him a phone number. It is a private joke as Max was recommended for this current job by the owner of the company, Senator Thomas “Roy” deChartier of Night City.
After a security sweep Lars and Steve get down to business. Lomax claims not to have heard of the group, but says he can look into it. The price, however, might not be in cash. Lars says that will be fine. After, some brief and cordial conversation, Steve Lomax says he will be in touch in a few days after he makes some inquiries. The two then return to the club for an uneventful evening.
Tuesday, May 30, 2028
The day passes by quietly as people recover from the tenseness of the past several weeks. Business at the club is starting to recover and Lars starts advertising the club in the local media, but he is now dangerously low on funds.
Mario takes the time to investigate Max and his claim to be one of the ‘Butchers of Malagay’ who was present at the death of Vesparo, the late world famous solo. His investigations lead to a database that seems to have the exact parameters he is looking for. Unfortunately, when he opens the file, seven programs appear to activate! Three ‘dog’ style programs attack him, and four others race off to alert various people. Mario attempts to jack out, but two of the ‘dogs’ get off a successful attack. There is no apparent damage, but the netrunner can’t be sure if he got away without being traced. This is a public database and he wasn’t doing anything illegal. Someone (or several someones), however, seem interested in Max too!
Wednesday, May 31, 2028
All three license plates for the new van arrive today. That afternoon Lars’ business phone rings. An obviously electronically altered voice gives him a prearranged code word. The ‘Voice’ says that it understands, he looking for information on a certain gang of Raffin Shiv highjackers called the Jersey Horde. This ‘Voice’ continues that it has their location, strength report, aerial photography and the designs of their defenses along with the group’s normal routine. This is all available for a price. This price is a job. Lars is to do an extraction this coming Sunday night outside Philadelphia, and bring the extractee alive and (relatively) unharmed to a location in the Jersey City area. Lars agrees to the job.
The man will have three to four bodyguards. There is a window of one night to do the job. They will only know the location one day before the job has to be done (Saturday). The ‘package’ arrives at 5:25 pm on this coming Sunday, and leaves at 7:15 am the next day. Their opposition will be depending on secrecy rather than overwhelming firepower to defend their charge. Lars is given the location of a NET drop box for a picture of the target, and the ‘Voice’ makes it quite clear that failure is NOT an option. Lars calls Max, Mario and Cliff in and they begin to plan.
Thursday, June 1, 2028
Another quiet day in the Cemetery District passes. Planning continues for the extraction this weekend. Business at the club is picking up a bit as the word is out that the peace between the Team and the Lords of Metal is holding.
Friday, June 2, 2028
It is another normal day in the Cemetery District. The Team continues planning for the extraction. Business is again on the rise, but not back to where it was before the conflict with the Lords of Metal.
Saturday, June 3, 2028
Lars has the Jersey City license plate put on the van and heads out that afternoon with Max and Cliff to Philadelphia. They get the address of the safe house they have to hit and drop off Max and Cliff to scope it out. It is a small one-story home in a nice neighborhood on the expanded outer ring of that decaying American city. There are cameras on the front and back door, but they did not bring Mario, the netrunner. They check out all approaches to the target both through the various back yards and streets around it. Lars feels that it would be best to have Mario for this so the three return to Union City to pick him up.
Sunday, June 4, 2028
The Team rests in the morning at Union City after last night’s drive, but leaves in the early afternoon to make Philadelphia before nightfall. They get to a commuter parking lot that they had checked out yesterday. Mario turns the cameras away or loops them as necessary so there will be no visual record of their presence. He then sends a remote to check out the ‘safe house’ they are to hit, and it is now occupied. Mario, Akemi and Vera remain with the van.
Lars, Cliff, and Max go the two miles on foot to the target house and arrive there a little before 11 pm. They have a Grid Bug with them. They wait until it seems that some of the occupants have gone to sleep. The blinds are closed and appear to be IR resistant. Max goes around to the front and hides. Lars releases the Grid Bug, which Mario directs to the rear camera and loops it. The remaining two slip up to the back door. Cliff picks the lock, and tries to open the door only slightly to check for electronic sensors on the door. He sees it and is not sure if it is triggered. They go for it and enter an empty back room. The two quickly go to the next door and look into the room on the other side. There is a panel of monitors and a blinking red light on the panel. A man steps through the arch and notices the light. Lars cuts him down with a short burst from his silenced Enfield LPN. The two quickly rush to the arch and look around the corner. There is a bathroom straight ahead, and a door on both the left and right walls. Lars kicks in the left door and a woman rises from the bed with a pistol out. Lars kills her with another short burst. Lars then rushes to the other door and kicks that in too. A spray of a heavy SMG fire greets him. The Brit’s armor barely turns the bullets (a bit of impact damage only). The man is yelling, “Code 7! Code 7!” into his phone. Lars shoots him dead also. Meanwhile the target slips out the window from a third bedroom and tries to make his escape across the front yard. The windows on the street rattle as Max fires his .454 Ameritech Magnum revolver. The bullet hits the escaping man in the leg and drops him. The three swoop to pick up the unconscious body as the lights on the street start to come on. The three make their way across various yards towards the commuter lot.
Lars calls for the van to come get them. As Vera is driving to pick them up a Philadelphia police cruiser pulls them over. Mario jams the police’s transmissions. As the officers approach the car, they are wary, but not overly so. Vera puts them at ease, but they ask to look in the back. Vera goes around and opens it for them. Akemi blazes away with a silenced A-80 assault rifle. Well, as silenced as it can get anyway. The cops are cut down. No one is around so they toss the bodies in the trunk of the cruiser. Mario removes the hard drive from the dash camera, and clears the cache to remove all record of the stop. The two speed off to pick up their fleeing comrades. It seems the report of the extraction had not yet reached the Philadelphia Police Department. The pickup is swift and unobserved. The getaway is good also.
Monday, June 5, 2028
Mario spoofs any cameras that might have seen them, and by seven in the morning they are in Jersey City. They call the number they have and are directed to an abandoned warehouse in Elizabeth where a pickup Team meets them. This pickup team confirms the identity of the ‘package’ with a retinal scan and a quick fingerprint check. They give Lars a chip with information on the Jersey Horde on it. The six leave the warehouse, switch the license plates, and destroy the old one. The news reports are alive with the story of the killing of three Federal agents and the kidnapping of a protected Federal witness. There is also the mention of the murder of two Philadelphia police officers, whose killing may be connected. Lars orders that the van be cleaned and repainted.
Most of the Team spends the day looking at the information. It is a complete dossier on the raiders, known as the Jersey Horde, with their location, plans of their HQ, guard schedules, strength and vehicles. Lars can tell whoever wrote this had special operations training. Steve Lomax, who may or may not have been the source, is a retired Marine Corps scout sniper. As good as the information is, some are beginning to worry. The Federal government has announced the formation of a special task force to hunt down the killers of the three Secret Service agents, two Philadelphia Police Officers, and the kidnappers of the protected witness. Things promise to get hot for someone.
Episode 6 – Hammering the Horde
Tuesday, June 6, 2028
During the day the Team works out their plans. The Horde’s complex is at a crossroad. This headquarters is in the southeast corner of the intersection. At the corner there is an old café with apartments above that serves as their clubhouse and some non-functioning fuel pumps in front. There are some function fuel pumps behind the main clubhouse to the southeast. Just to the south is a series of garage bays and to the east is a two-story building with three independent stores that pay off the road raiders with an old motel above which the gang also uses for housing. Continuing east there is a tent complex where they keep their communal ‘bitches and brats’ near the north gate. There is an armored auto gun turret at the northeast corner. There is another gate in the center of the west fence along the north south road and an armored watchtower there. The second watchtower is across the complex on the east side just south of the previously mentioned northeast auto gun turret. There is a large warehouse covering most of the southern area of the camp and a second armored auto gun turret in the southwest corner. A chain link fence surrounds the entire complex with razor wire on top and minefields. The east and south minefields are up against the fence. The west and north minefields are across the road.
The Team decides to check out this information contained in their briefing. Lars, Cliff, Max, Mario and Tyrone will go out to one of the two ‘safe’ rally locations a mile from the Horde’s HQ and send Tyrone in to check the GPS path through the minefields. While there Mario will use his remotes to scan the enemy camp. They drive out of town and as they head down the road, Lars notices a spike strip ahead and swerves wildly to avoid it. Luck is with him (2 points worth), and he makes the roll by one! A few stray bullets from the awaiting ambush slam into the van, but Lars hits the gas (or CHOO) and escapes. They find the camp on their map. Cliff goes forward with Tyrone to watch his back and check out sniper positions for the coming attack. When they reach the Horde’s HQ, Mario goes outside to launch a drone to do his surveillance. He chooses a Bumblebee. He goes back into the van and he and Lars watch the progress of the remote. Max stays outside the van on look out.
Cliff finds a few good sniper positions, and settles in one to keep over watch on Tyrone. The prowler gets to the beginning of the minefield and asks what he should do next? Lars replies, “Follow the GPS coordinates in.”
“How do I do that?” replies Tyrone.
There is a pause as Lars tries to contain himself. “Just turn on your GPS device and make sure you stay in the safe path.”
“Oh,” says Tyrone. “Well, I don’t have a GPS device.”
The silence was deafening. Lars mulls over in his mind the detailed plan that he had worked out with the Team. Yes, the necessity of Tyrone having such a device (such as a Datatell Mapmaker with NavStar option) was discussed and Tyrone said nothing. Oh well, he is only sixteen years old, and he is out of range (and sight) of Lars’ rifle at this point. The Brit calls the two back to the van.
As the two start back, Mario is working on scouting the perimeter of the enemy camp. He chooses his range as 150 meters. Well, the Bumblebee is small, but not that small, and it is old technology. It is spotted by a guard in the east armored watchtower. The last thing Lars and Mario see through it is the muzzle flash from the tower’s gun port before the Bumblebee goes down. Cliff and Tyrone hear the shooting and the report and switch to complete stealth mode. It is a conservative choice, but a safe one. Unfortunately it slows their return to the van.
A short while later outside, Max, who is on guard, notices another Bumblebee hovering about 250 meters away looking at the van. That is NOT one of theirs. In the distance he can hear the sounds of multiple vehicles approaching. It is time to leave. They can’t wait for Tyrone and Cliff. Hopefully the Horde has not detected them.
They flee south a couple of miles in the van and stop. Lars gets out and looks back. Yes, the remote is still trailing them at about 250 meters. He takes a shot at it, but misses. The remote pulls out to extreme range but still keeps them in sight. Off in the night they can hear the vehicles of the Horde’s pursuit coming their way. Lars hides himself and sends the van south towards the nearest east-west main road. The remote follows the van and gets to within medium range of him. Lars takes careful aim and fire a single round from his Sternmeyer assault rifle. He hits, but the Bumblebee is a robust little thing and survives the shot. The remote picks up speed, dodges, weaves and drops out of his sight. Lars still gets another shot off, but misses. The remote continues to pursue the van. The Horde’s vehicles are getting closer, so Lars heads off into the woods to avoid them.
The van reaches the main road, stops and looks back. Yes, the remote is still there. Max asks, “What is the range of these things?”
Mario replies, “Two hundred and fifty miles.”
They immediately start heading towards Jersey City. They arrive in the early morning of Wednesday, and drive around until Mario is sure that the Bumblebee has had to return to base. They then go back to the club. Both he and Max are in need of rest.
Wednesday, June 7, 2028
Lars hears the pursuing vehicles bypass his position and continue after the van. He radios Cliff and Tyrone and gives them directions to his location. Well, Cliff botches his Wilderness Survival (to orient himself in the woods) and heads off to the northeast instead of south. As dawn approaches, he realizes his error. The two then decide to head for the Hudson River to the east and get home that way.
Lars eventually figures out something is wrong, but by then the other two are out of radio range. He pulls out his cell phone, but he has no signal. The Brit also decides to head towards the Hudson and home. The three Team members (in two groups) spend their day moving across the desolate and (mostly) abandoned area of central New Jersey. Back in Union City, the rest of the Team waits by their radios and phones. The missing three do not return that day.
Thursday, June 8, 2028
The Team waits by their phones and radios as Lars, Cliff and Tyrone stumble across New Jersey. Tyrone has a large supply of water due to his experience on his first stake out of the Lords of Metal HQ, so he and Cliff do well. Lars has not expected to be doing this so he is rather dehydrated. Still, by late afternoon they get in cell phone and radio range, and the three get picked up. They get some rest for the remainder of the day.
Friday, June 9, 2028
The Team decides to postpone any more surveillance for few days to let the Jersey Horde calm down a bit from the past few days’ excitement. Lars does go out to get a DataTel Mapmaker with NavStar to check out the locations of the minefields. Business at the club is starting to build slowly.
Saturday, June 10, 2028
Another teenage girl, Angela, disappears in the neighborhood. She has no connection to the Post Oriface. This is not a totally unusual incident as attractive Hispanic girls have a habit of disappearing occasionally. The police take a report, but other than that does little. This fuels speculation that the Mob may be involved.
Sunday, June 11, 2028
It is another quite day in the neighborhood as the residents go to church to get their weekly dose of salvation. Prayers are said for Angela, the missing girl, but no one holds out much hope.
Monday, June 12, 2028
Lars, Max, Cliff and Mario head out to central Jersey again to scope out the Horde. They use the last ‘safe’ camp in their briefing. This one is to the northeast. Cliff puts on his Arasaka Blackjack and checks the minefield locations with the clear paths through them. Mario meanwhile switches to a Bell Minibee remote, which is harder to detect and puts a Grid Bug on the roof of the warehouse. Once there it uses its induction leg to tap into one of the security cameras to cover Cliff’s approach and to check out the security system. Mario learns that the security system is tied into a central computer, which looks fairly sophisticated. His deck is not set up for a datafortress intrusion so the Netrunner does not try to enter. Meanwhile Cliff slips up to the two new electrical junction boxes shown in the briefing (one on the warehouse and one on the main ‘club’ house. He drills a hole into the conduit where it cannot be seen by casual inspection to allow a Grid Bug access to the wiring. Then Cliff pulls out and repairs the breach in the fence with a special epoxy. At Lars’ behest, he also covers the repair with dirt from the round by it so the repair will not stand out. The Team then leaves to allow Mario time to get some intrusion programs to be able to penetrate the Horde’s datafortress.
Tuesday, June 13, 2028
The Team returns that night, but this time Mario goes in with the intrusion group. They do not penetrate the wire, but they do get Mario close enough to set his Grid Bug to tap into the security system AND use his ‘locate remote’ function. There are no surprises as he learns that the briefing they had purchased with the blood of three Federal Marshals and two Philadelphia police officers is up to date and accurate. Lars wants him to penetrate the datafortress, but Mario feels that there is not much more he can learn when weighed against the risk of alerting the Horde to a NET intrusion attempt. The group then returns to Union City. On the way back they are approaching the patrolled zone when six bikers pass them going the other way. It is six members of the Horde. As they watch them pass, the Team notices that one of the Raffin Shiv looks in his side rear view mirror for a second, then turns to the other riding next to him. The six (and the Team) continue on their separate ways.
Wednesday, June 14, 2028
Back in the city, the Team learns that the missing girl, Angela, has been found along the railroad tracks by a couple of members of the juvie gang, the Tonnelle Street Irregulars. She had been beaten, tortured and raped repeatedly. The police dismiss suspicion against the Irregulars as the young girl’s brother is a member of that gang, and the gang is furious over the attack on the sister of one of their own.
Again, the Team returns to their hidden camp near the Horde’s HQ that night. Max notices that their repeated trips are starting to leave evidence of their passing, so this should be the last recon before they strike. They deem sending the Bell Minibee to drop off the Grid Bug at the main clubhouse to be two risky, so they send Cliff in to carry it. The solo slips up to the compromised junction box and lets the Grid Bug go to do its business. This junction contains all the internal communications of the camp and routes it to a security room, which must be located in this building. It also contains the control cables for the two auto gun turrets. Cliff retrieves the Grid Bug and makes his way out of the camp, sealing his intrusion point in the fence again and disguising it. The Team decides to remain in position for another day and do one more night of surveillance.
Thursday, June 15, 2028
The Team remains quiet in the day. That night they send the Bell Minibee to the warehouse roof and release the Grid Bug. The Bug goes down to the junction box and taps in. This box feeds communications and video feeds to the other box that they have already compromised. They collect a series of images to use when they ‘loop’ the cameras for the attack. Mario then uses the Minibee to do surveillance (at a healthy distance) to check if the guard routines have been altered. They have not.
Friday, June 16, 2028
The Team returns to Union City in the wee hours of the morning. Lars sends a message to Cuddles that the attack will be this coming Sunday night, and they will meet tonight for the final planning. The Team then rests until evening.
That night Cuddles and his chief lieutenant, Victor Gigantino, the grandnephew of Carlo Gigantino, the Consigliere of the Lacono Crime Family meet with Lars, Max, Mario and Cliff. Victor is heavily modified and fast. He is a solo, a crack shot and a well-trained martial artist. He and Carmine (Cuddles) are childhood friends. The plan is to sneak into the compound through the hole in the defenses, neutralize the armored watchtowers with heavy weapons fire, and then slaughter the members of the Horde. They will send in a Scorpion remote to cut the communications and controls to the auto guns, and have Mario scramble any of their radio communications. The two mobsters approve of the plan. They will be coming and will bring two more fighters. One will be a heavy weapons specialist with a RPG-A. He will pound the armored watchtowers down. The other is one of the Lacono Family hitters, a sniper. Cuddles will also serve as a sniper as he is a good shot with a rifle. Victor will go in with the main assault in heavy armor. Cuddles also announces that he has arranged for three tractor trailer trucks with two men each to be standing by at a nearby fortified fuel stop to be ready to haul out and loot that they may find. The plan is approved and they set a meet time for Sunday to head out.
Saturday, June 17, 2028
The Team prepares their gear in the day. At night the club does an increasing but still losing business. Lars has had to borrow 10,000eb from Cliff just to keep the place open. This operation better have a big payday or the Brit will be in serious trouble. Mario makes up eight one-kilogram ‘door buster’ charges from the failed devices that Lars did for the attack on the Lords of Metal. It is a ‘hurry up and wait’ kind of day!
Sunday, June 18, 2028
By afternoon Cuddles, his people and the Team are on the road to central Jersey. Lars brings Cliff, Max and Vesposer to use as an assault Team. All but Vesposer dress in assault armor. The poser is wrapped in heavy custom clothes with strong ballistic protection. Mario remains in the truck with Vera driving and Akemi defending them. Three empty Mob tractor-trailers with six drivers drive to a truck stop 15 minutes from the Raffin Shiv camp. The rest arrive at their last surveillance spot about one mile northeast of the target. They move into their position just before midnight. Mario flies his Bell Minibee carrying a Grid Bug to the roof of the warehouse. The Bug scuttles over and uses its induction leg to allow the netrunner to loop the security camera feed that watches the eastern approaches to the fence. Cuddles and his sniper take positions at the tree line along with the Mob heavy weapons specialist. Victor joins the assault Team also dressed in assault armor. At 1 am they start.
Monday, June 19, 2028
Cliff moves out and penetrates the perimeter. He moves to the main clubhouse and sets out a scorpion remote by the junction box there. At his signal the rest of the assault team moves through the hole in the fence and makes its way to the clubhouse. They gather at south door, which is protected from observation from the west guard tower by the repair bays. It is decided to burst into the quiet café on the first floor and lead the assault with flash bang grenades. Lars gives the go. The scorpion remote starts to cut through the housing of the junction box. An RPG-A round streaks across the night sky and impacts the top of the eastern armored guard tower. Two guards on patrol go down to the snipers. The assault team finds that the door is locked. A quick kick discovers it is also barred! They set a demo charge, but by now the Raffin Shiv are responding. Fortunately for the Assault Team, they have not yet been discovered. The door blows and they sweep into the café, but no one is there. Lars and Max cover each other as they check the main room. Vesposer and Victor do the same through the kitchen. Cliff watches both pair’s backs. Outside the sounds of the RPG-A continue as he pounds the watchtower. Mario, now controlling the scorpion succeeds in getting into the junction box. He decides to cut communications first. Well, the auto gun continues to fire and is able to critically injure (and knock out) the RPG-A. Finally he cuts the control cables for both guns and silences them.
Inside, the Team hears the Raffin Shiv forming up on the floor above. Lars orders everyone upstairs and charges up. Well, Max says they should check the bathrooms downstairs first, and the rest of the Team hesitates. Lars does not. He runs up the stairs, comes around the first corner and into the hall where an assault rifle and SMG await him. The assault rifle misses as the two Raffin Shiv start to scream at the sight of the heavily armored Lars. The 10mm SMG hits with ten rounds, but they just wash off. Lars replies with five rounds of 12.7mm borg assault rifle fire into each. The two virtually disintegrate in a spray of flesh and blood. Lars now hears more screaming from around the next corner, so he continues his charge. Max hears the firing and at once runs to his partner’s aid as the remaining three check the bathrooms.
Around the next corner, there are three more waiting with a pair of assault rifles and another SMG. One of the gangers shouts, “Power Armor!” (Lars is actually wearing Assault armor.) The sound of Max also pounding up the stairs strikes fear into the road raiders; well, not so much that they don’t light up Lars. The SMG’s fire is ineffective. The 5.56 rounds from one rifle get a couple of impact hits through, but the 7.62mm actually gets a few hits in. Still this does not slow down Lars. He returns fire blowing off limbs from each ganger and killing all three. At this next corner the Brit waits for Max and Cliff. They discuss leading the next move with a grenade, when one actually bounces off the opposite wall and lands at their feet. Again, their heavy armor saves them. They decide to clear out the couple of rooms they have just bypassed. As they start they hear Cuddles over the commlink. “The rats are leaving the ship!” This is followed by an increase the volume of fire outside.
They rush to a window to see the Raffin Shiv fleeing the building and heading for the tent camp in the northeast corner. Smoke is beginning to cover that camp and the open area to the north gate. Lars orders everyone to fire, and the three on the second floor begin to mow down the panicky, fleeing gangers. On the first floor, Vesposer comes out the back door (there are no windows on the first floor facing in that direction). There he meets the rear guard. Assault rifle and shotgun fire drop him well into mortal. He maintains consciousness and makes his death save exactly. The final insult is that a satchel charge lands at his feet. He dives inside for cover, and the thick building walls shield him from the blast. Victor pulls him to safety. The rear guard joins the retreat, but wisely doesn’t run out into the killing zone. The remaining Raffin Shiv flee so Lars orders a cease-fire. Then he realizes they are retreating right toward the Team’s camp and van. He tells the van group to move immediately, and they make their way to the now liberated Raffin Shiv HQ. Cuddles calls for the trucks.
They have killed twenty one of the forty gangers present and about half of the remainder are wounded. The few women and children that fled with them used as human shields, but most left their ‘bitches and brats’ to their own fate. Raffin Shiv are NOT like nomads in their concern for family. Vera arrives and keeps Vesposer and the Mob missile man alive. The warehouse contains the Mob’s missing drug shipment, and quite a store of stolen goods. There is another tractor-trailer truck inside with a fuel tanker, so they drain the CHOO in the pumps and refuel all of their vehicles. The last section of the warehouse contains twenty attractive young women chained to the wall. Cuddles is ecstatic. He offers the Team ‘freebies’ before he sells them into the white slavery ring that the Lacono Family runs, but no one takes him up on the offer. Cuddles does interview the girls to make sure there is no one important in the mix. The mobster also looks over the remaining Raffin Shiv women and children for any candidates for the ‘trade’. He takes those he likes and shoots the rest. The mobster and the Team loot the three ‘independent’ stores in the complex and kill the owners and their families. Cuddles suggests and Lars approves a ‘no witnesses’ policy. They kill every man, woman and child, that they do not sell into slavery. If Cuddles or Victor had any questions about Lars’ level of ruthless, they don’t anymore. Some of the Team are not comfortable with this level of carnage, but no one objects.
In a couple of hours the now large mobile column is on its way back to Union City with as much loot as they can carry and all the Raffin Shiv’s vehicles. The Team destroys anything they cannot take. Back in Union City, Lars and his people take some of the weapons and vehicles, but Cuddles takes everything else and begins the job of fencing it all. Vesposer is put in a makeshift infirmary bed and Vera tends to him. They are all knee deep in the blood of the Raffin Shiv and many innocents.
Tuesday, June 20 thru Friday, June 23, 2028
It is a typical workweek back at the club. Business is slowly building, but the club continues to lose money, especially with the advertising campaign. Lars gets an invitation to a party in the Pyramid from Cuddles. He is to bring his chief lieutenants and “some cute girls”. It is clear this is to be an important affair.
Saturday, June 24, 2028
Cuddles shows up just before the club opens with Victor and two more bodyguards. Victor has a suitcase with him. They go to speak to Lars in his office. There Max and Cliff join them. Cuddles looks at a nervous Kicker and tells him to get out! The manager is gone like a shot. The fixer then goes over the inventory from the Horde. The figures are a little beyond Lars but Cliff follows the math well enough. When all is done Cuddles announces that Lars’ cut is 417,000 eb. The mobster smiles and says let’s just call it 420k even. Victor then opens the suitcase and places 42 stacks of 10,000-eb apiece on the desk. The mobsters then leave.
Lars, Max and Cliff stare at the huge pile of cash. The Brit immediately pays Max and Cliff the money he had borrowed from them. He also puts aside bonuses ranging from 1000-eb to 5000-eb for various members of the Team. Also, all other members of the club staff will get an additional 300 eb bonus in Monday’s pay envelope. After all is paid out, Lars has just a little less than 300K left, which he holds on to. After all, he is responsible to finance the rest of the Team’s operations in Union City.
Sunday, June 25, 2028
Lars, Trini, Max, Vera, Cliff, Mario, Vesposer, Lee and Alize get dressed up in their finest and go to the party at the top of the Pyramid. It is clear that this is a who’s who of the Mob and their ‘friends’ in Union City. There is a tension in the room as partisans of the two major factions hob nob and plot. The center of attention is the Team’s new best ‘friend’, Carmine “Cuddles” Ippolito. He is there with his friend and bodyguard, Victor Gigantino. Victor pays his respects first to his great uncle, Carlo Gigantino, the Consigliore of the Lacono Crime Family, but it is apparent that there are ‘issues’ between the two. Anthony Ippolito, city councilor from the Southside Precinct and Cuddles uncle, is there acting as the proud father. Cuddles’ parents were killed in an ‘automobile accident’ (car bombing), when he was a child. Even the mayor is there showing off his new mistress, Cybill Greene.
All of the chief mobsters disappear about an hour into the festivities only to appear about 45 minutes later. Cuddles is beaming. Those team members who are wise in the ways of the street (i.e. made their Streetwise rolls) realize that Cuddles has just been anointed as a ‘Made Man’ in the Mob. One of the first things he does is to bring over ‘Junior’ (Mathew Lacono Jr.), the chairman of the ruling council (and Godfather wanna-be) and introduce Lars and his crew as Cuddles’ ‘friends’.
The Mob boss looks them over and extends his hand to Lars with the words, “Any friend of Cuddles is a friend of mine.”
With those words, Lars’ realizes that he has finally succeeded in the first part of his mission. He has his foot in the door and his crew is now recognized as part of the Lacono Crime Family albeit of the lowest order.
The attitude of those in the room changes towards the party. It is clear that most of the mobsters are aware of their recent actions with the Lords of Metal and the Jersey Horde. The ‘dance’ commences as members of various factions introduce themselves, but it is apparent that all of them are calculating how best to use these new guys to their own advantage. Victor brings over his great uncle, Carlo Gigantino, who is clearly sizing up the new ‘friends’ of Cuddles. They also meet Salvatore Sallucci, head of the White Slavery operations, who expresses his appreciation for the fine new crop of ‘merchandise’ . Marcel Giovanni, who is charge of drug manufacture, comes to express his thanks for the return of his missing batch of chemicals. All in all they make the acquaintance of 10 formally unknown ‘Made Men’ and about a dozen ‘Associates’ along with innumerable ‘Friends’. Cuddles makes sure that Lars is aware of all of these people’s roles and functions. After all, Lars is recognized as Cuddles’ ‘Friend’. The young wanna be Drug Lord is proud of his new ‘Junkyard Dogs’.
Lars does notice one person, who he recognizes. There is a freckle faced, red haired young man that he remembers from the half a dozen photos that the leader of the Lords of Metal gave him. This is one of the people who hired the Lords to drive him out. The man is Patrick O’Neill. He runs an ‘associated’ Irish crew from the Bergen Precinct. It is not lost on Lars that he shares the last name of the leader of the Bergen Precinct’s SWAT team. Lars makes note, but there is peace between the two groups, for now. The Team also notices that Chief of Police Barone is taking more than a casual interest in Vera. However, Mrs. Barone is here also so all are discreet.
The party finally breaks up, and the Team heads home. Lars ponders how best to make use of Chief Barone’s apparent attraction to Vera. Finally things are starting to go the Team’s way.
Monday, June 26, 2028
Lars spends the day putting together his first report for his employer after almost two months and 180,000-eb of expenditures. The report is short on photographic evidence, but the names and their position in the Family’s organization is a gold mine of information. His employer will be pleased.
The rest of the Team kicks back today and recoups from last night’s party. The club does a decent business for a Monday. The future is starting to look brighter.
Episode 7 – These Are the People in Your Neighborhood!
Tuesday, June 27, 2028
In the late morning Vera decides it is time to replace her wardrobe that the Lords of Metal burned along with her apartment house. Mario, Cliff and Lars go with her to the Pyramid and its superior stores. Around noon three unmarked police cars along with a marked Union City police car pull up to the front of the club, and another Union City police car pulls up to the gate in the back. Eight suits and two uniforms approach the front door casually. The two officers in the rear get out. All of the uniformed officers had long weapons. They knock once as they announce they have a warrant and enter the premises. They are here to interview Lars. Only Kicker, Wally and Trini are there. The LawDiv forensics’ expert goes out back and begins testing on Lars’ van. The remaining three LawDiv agents, two Federal Marshals, and two Union City detectives go to Lars’ apartment where Trini tells them her husband is not at home. The Feds acknowledge that Lars is not there and ask Trini if they may enter the apartment. She says no, but the LawDiv men claim ‘exigent circumstances’ and try to enter to execute a search. The two local detectives tell them that their warrant doesn’t cover the living space, they have already accepted the fact that Lars isn’t there, so they can’t enter. They make it clear that they (and the heavily armed uniformed officers outside) are prepared to stop this search immediately if the Feds don’t back off.
About this time the rest of the ‘shopping”\’ crew is approaching in a cab. Lars gets dropped off, but the others decide to keep the cab and be elsewhere. This ends any confrontation upstairs. The police detain Lars immediately, who asks to see their warrant, which the Feds produce. They inform him that they are investigating the murder of three Federal Marshals, two Philadelphia Police Officers and the kidnapping of a Federal witness three weeks ago. Lars is disrespectful and flippant, which enrages the Feds, who ask the following questions:
One: Where was he on the night of Sunday, June 4th and 5th?
Answer: Lars lies and says he was here. The Feds realize it, but it is not enough to hang him with yet.
Two: Lars is shown a group of six pictures and asked if he knows any of them.
1 – Caitlin Jones: Yes, he knew her two years ago in New York City – True
2 – This is a picture of a man he does not know and he tells them so – True
3 – This is a picture of Steve Lomax, the fixer who sent him to kidnap the Federal protected witness. Lars tells the interrogators that yes, Steve was his former landlord a few years ago. – True
4 – This is a picture of a woman he does not know and he tells them so – True
5 – This is a picture of the Extractee. Lars says yes he saw his face on the news. – True
6 – This is a picture of another man he does not know and he tells them so – True
The final question is: Do you have any personal knowledge of the Extraction three weeks ago? Here Lars’ lies but beats the interrogator’s human perception. The lead LawDiv agent is furious at Lars’ attitude and tries to go over the head of the local police to a Federal judge, but since his current warrant has yielded him nothing, the request for an expanded search is refused. The various authorities then leave.
The Feds here have no idea that Lars led his Team on this extraction. From the evidence at the scene they pulled out bullets from an Enfield LPN assault rifle. Lars is NOT known to possess such a weapon. The Federal Witness was going to testify to a Federal Grand Jury sitting in the matter of the assassination of Archbishop Jonathan Saint Michael two and a half years ago. His testimony would tie Bruce, a fixer from Balsam, NC, who had brokered the job to the assassin, Caitlin Jones, and to Bruce’s man in the area, Steve Lomax. Lomax had left town immediately after Lars had contacted him about the Jersey Horde and used the Brit to silence the leak that threatened his operation. When the operation was given to Lars by the ‘Voice’ and went down, Steve Lomax was out of the country in the presence of a number of foreign officials and other notables including the American Ambassador to Trinidad! Lars was a secondary known associate of Caitlin Jones, who does possess a rare Enfield LPN assault rifle and as such is the primary suspect in the extraction. The Feds finally got around to talking to Lars as he was not deemed a high priority contact of the suspected assassin.
Lars handled this encounter well. He played the ‘wiseguy’ good enough to help his cover, but not enough to get arrested. The rest of the Team was right in avoiding meeting the Feds. Cliff worked with Caitlin during the Fourth Corporate War, and the Feds are interested in talking to him also. His official address is in Queens, NYC, but since he is a very low priority interview the authorities aren’t spending a lot of resources looking for him. Vera and Mario just got cleared of any legal problems of being associated with one of the world’s most wanted assassins and poster child for the Biogenetic Menace. Had the Feds found all of these people together, the Team would have earned themselves a small Federal task force to check up on what they are doing. However, they chose well and dodged a very big bullet!
At the club later that night Tyrone sees Frank “Frag ‘em” Kelly, the psychotic solo that he once got caught trying to pickpocket. Kelly and his ‘oath’ to tear Tyrone’s arms off is what made the kid leave Manhattan. Actually, he is here on another matter. He is looking for a member of the Vesparados, the Vesparo Poser gang that Vesposer is a member of. Frank has been hired to tear a cyberarm off of this other poser. It seems this Vesparado had smacked around some rich kid. Now Kelly was high as a kite when Tyrone tried to rip him off and can’t remember what the kid looks like. He has (mostly) forgotten about the incident, so he will do nothing if he sees Tyrone unless he is reminded. Well, Tyrone doesn’t know this so he is understandably nervous and tells Cliff that he might have ‘trouble’ with the solo. Frank Kelly glances at Tyrone quizzically for a second, but doesn’t connect him with the incident a few months back. Still Cliff walks Tyrone home after work just in case.
Wednesday, June 28, 2028
It is another normal day in the Cemetery District. The club is also quiet except for a couple of older teenagers dressed as ‘wiseguys’ that come into the club. They spend money.
Thursday, June 29, 2028
That morning one of the Tonnelle Street Irregulars, the local juvie gang, knocks on the door of Vesposer’s and Mario’s apartment. Vesposer won’t open the door but asks him what he wants. The ganger says he has a message for him. Vesposer tells him to leave it by the door and leave. The confused teenager does so. The solo then grabs the note and reads it. It is from Michael Rotelli, the capo of the Bergen Precinct telling him to come down to the Palermo Restaurant immediately. He calls Lars, who says he will go with and to meet him on the corner. There Vesposer, Lars, Cliff and Max meet and walk to the place.
About five minutes after they all leave there is a pounding on Mario’s and Vesposer’s door again. This time the voice says, “LawDiv, open up, we have a warrant!”
Mario looks out the peephole and sees some serious looking men in dark suits with badges hanging from their coat pockets. The netrunner opens the door and lets the agents in. He asks to see the warrant, but they tell him to shut up. The Feds seize his phone, ear commo piece and Cyberdeck then march him to a waiting limousine. They drive off quickly.
When the Team reaches the Palermo Restaurant they are stopped by one of the ‘guards’. Vesposer shows him the note and the enforcer looks confused. The capo is informed; who sends back word that he never sent the note. The Team returns to their neighborhood confused. Vesposer comes home and his apartment is unlocked and Mario is missing. The poser calls Lars immediately who rushes over with Max and Cliff. They check the apartment thoroughly and then head across the street to the pizzeria. Frankie isn’t there, but the one of the enforcer’s men tells them about Mario leaving with suits with the badges. That lookout also gives the Team the license plate number of the vehicle (it was from Newark). They call the police, who say they will look into it. Finally Frankie calls back and tells Lars that LawDiv is denying any involvement, and the limousine was a rental to a fictitious name.
That evening a couple more of the Button Men and their ‘Molls’ will show up and get in an argument with a delivery driver at the back of the club. Lars comes out and smoothess things over. One of the gang claims the driver was looking at his ‘moll in an inappropriate manner. A round of free drinks sends the Button Men into the club, and Lars has his staff unload the truck, as the driver recovers from his swift kick in the balls. The Button Men are very deferential to Cuddles and Victor. When they find out who Lars is they also are respectful to him, but a little less so. They spend their money freely, so all is good.
(GM Note: The Button Men are a teenage poser gang of sorts that imitate the ways of the old ‘movie Mafia’. The Mob here is generally amused by them and occasionally uses them for small jobs.)
Friday, June 30, 2028
So what happened to Mario? Well, he is driven around for hours and ends up at a warehouse in Elizabeth, NJ. The extraction team, yes, of course they are not really LawDiv agents, put a black bag over his head so he would not know where he was going. They also pulled the battery out of his phone and cellular deck. They also jammed any signals, but their own leaving the vehicle or their warehouse. Mario was tied to a chair and allowed to sit throughout Thursday with no access to a bathroom, food or drink for twenty-four hours. They then tied his legs to the chair (which was bolted to the floor), took off his shoes and placed his feet in a metal bowl filled with water. The interrogators attached electrodes to various parts of his body. Some of these were attached to a lie detector; others were attached to a powered electrical resistor. You all get the picture I am sure.
They take the bag off Mario’s head and the lead interrogator explains that they need a little information. Now their instructions are not to kill him, if possible, but they have a lot of experience at this, and he will talk, eventually. This can be quick and relatively painless, or….well, you know. They set a few baseline questions, then get down to it. The questioners are not particularly interested in what the Team is doing in Union City. In fact they do not seem to be aware, or care, what is going on. They are interested in Max or whatever his name really is. Mario tries to play the good soldier, but a few good shocks and a dose of drugs later, and spills what little he knows. It is quickly apparent to Mario these people are responsible (or work for the people who are responsible) for the NET ambush he encountered on May 30th last month (see Episode 5). His investigation into Max’s true identity has landed him in a big pile of shit! It is obvious that a lot of money is behind this. Mario tells them about Max’s outburst at Vesposer over the incident where the poser’s hero was killed. This seems to satisfy the interrogators, and he is again bagged and hooded. They drive him around for an hour in a van. Mario is told that he is being released. When they open the door, he is to walk straight ahead into the train station, and return to Union City. He is not to look back or contact anyone before he reaches home. They will have someone following him (not really), and if he doesn’t follow these instructions to the letter, he will be terminated. His phone, radio, and cyberdeck are returned, but disabled. He may repair them, after he gets home. His captors give him train fare and drop him off at the Newark train station. Mario follows their instructions and returns safely to his apartment.
Vesposer is surprised to see him walk through the door, and immediately calls Lars to tell him that Mario is back. Lars tells them both to come to the club. Once there, Mario is asked what happened. Well, Max is listening too. By now Mario realizes that Max, or whoever he is, is not a zip, but a VERY dangerous man, who plays in a league far above him. The netrunner says he was taken to a dark room and drugged. After that he doesn’t remember a thing until he was released. The Team is suspicious, but believes him, at least for now. At Lars’ insistence, Vera gives him a complete medical examination. She notices the now very faint electrical burns on his body. What Lars was really looking for is evidence that he had been braindanced, which she did not find. Mario spent the rest of the afternoon repairing his equipment, and the Team changed all of their communication frequencies.
That evening Lee, one of the featured dancers, doesn’t show up for work or even call, which is unusual. There is no answer when Vera calls her. Later that night two Vesperados, members of the poser gang that Vesposer belongs to, show up at the club. One is an old friend of that Team member. They had met in Grenada four years ago. (The Grenada Campaign) The two get a bit of razzing from the Button Men, but it appears to be lighthearted. Unfortunately, posers don’t take insults to their hero well, especially from other poser gangs. Still the night remains peaceful.
Saturday, July 1, 2028
Lars, Max and Cliff go to Lee’s apartment house to check up on her. She lives in the Central Precinct in a fairly secure building with a doorman, who refuses the three entry. The doorman is polite and tells the Team that he last saw Lee Thursday night. He also takes a message and promises to call Lars at the official club phone number if he sees her. Lee again is a no show that night. No one has seen her.
Early in the evening outside the club a group of Vesperados ambush and beat the shit out of a couple of the Button Men on their way to the Post Orifice. They do not bother the ‘Molls’ who are with the ‘wiseguys’. The Tonnelle Street Irregulars watch but do not intervene. In fact, they cheer the Vesparados on. T he juvie gang has been taking insults from the Button Men for a couple of days now.
About halfway thru the evening Frank “Frag ‘em” Kelly returns and quietly sits in the back. When the celebrating Vesperados are down to three members present he quietly follows one into the bathroom. A few moments later a scream is heard coming from the bathroom. Frank Kelly walks out carrying a bloody cyberarm. The two remaining posers decide not to confront the well-armed psychotic solo and rush to find their friend as does Vesposer. Meanwhile, Frank leaves. No sense in throwing someone out, who is heading for the door anyway. Lars has Frank’s picture entered into the visual recognition database they maintain and is now banned from the club.
Sunday, July 2, 2028
It is another quiet Sunday in the neighborhood. The local priest thunders from the pulpit about the growing violence in the neighborhood. No names are mentioned, but he is talking about the Post Orifice.
There is a message is in Lars’ Net drop box. It has the first specific mission from his employer. He is to contact the Jose Marti Brigade and find out what they want. He and Max discuss how to do that, but since the Brigade is a secret terrorist group they are at a loss on how to do that.
Monday, July 3, 2028
Lars goes to the police station and files a missing persons report on Lee. He gets the feeling that they don’t really give a damn. Vesposer takes Tyrone to Newark to buy a spytech body stocking for the prowler. Lars tells Mario to do a detailed research on the Jose Marti Brigade.
That night a large group of the Button Men shows up at the club. They are sullenly hostile to Vesposer, but do not in any way disrespect him. After they leave, this group goes over to the
center of the square and beats the shit out of a few of the Tonnelle Street Irregulars. They seize one of the girls in the gang, but Frankie’s men intervene and prevent them from taking her off to a ‘party’.
After the club has closed, and cleanup is done, Tyrone walks home to hisroom outside the relative ‘safety’ of the square. On his doorstep he confronted by four members of a street gang, who beat and rob him at gunpoint. Since he carries all his money on him, Tyrone is now broke and without his pistol. The young man calls on his radio for help, but Lars, Max and Cliff arrive too late to help. They take Tyrone back to the club to be treated by Vera. He is hurt, but will recover quickly.
Tuesday, July 4, 2028
Tyrone goes back to his apartment with Cliff and moves his stuff out. Lars has given him a place inside the club to sleep. (There is an extra bunk in the off duty security room.) Tyrone works his
street contacts and discovers that the group that mugged him are four members of the Terror, a small gang from the ruins of the shopping center south of the Cemetery District. The shopping center houses about a dozen small gangs, who live there for mutual support. They fight amongst themselves, but bandtogether against external threats. The Terror makes the Team’s ‘to do list’,
but not right now.
Mario finishes his research quickly as there is not a lot of relevant
information on the NET that they don’t already have. It is a secret terrorist group after all with
a major Union City police task force assigned to catching them, so they are
VERY hard to find. Lars sets Mario to the task of getting information on the Jose Marti Friendship Society in Perth Amboy that supposedly serves as the terrorist group’s political front (much like the Shin Fein, supposedly, does for the IRA).
Lars asks Maria, one of the waitresses, is she knows anything about the Jose Marti Brigade, but she
denies any knowledge.
It is the Fourth of July, Independence Day. There is a heavy Police presence in the
neighborhood today so there is no trouble at the club! In the evening there are fireworks and a good
time is had by all!
Wednesday, July 5, 2028
Mario finishes his basic NET investigation of the Jose Marti Friendship Society and quickly realizes that there is nothing on the NET to connect thento the terrorist organization. The police would have found this long ago, if something like this existed. Lars and Max ponder what to do next about this.
When the employees show up for work Lars asks Carlos, the bartender and Carla, the dancer about the Jose Marti Brigade. The two try to hide the fact that the very question terrifies them, and deny any knowledge of the group.
That night at the club a Police detective, Tony Wachowsky, from the their precinct comes over and says he interviewed a victim of a rape found by the waterfront in the Weehawken Precinct that they believe might be connected to a series of rapes in this neighborhood. The victim was beaten so badly she couldn’t talk, but it might be Lee. She is at the Union City Hospital. Lars decides to go tomorrow and see.
Thursday, July 6, 2028
Lars, Max and Cliff go to the hospital, but are told that the ‘Jane Doe’ has checked out already. The three then go to her apartment, where the doorman tells them she has not yet returned. A frustrated Lars decides that if Lee doesn’t want to talk to him, then he can replace her.
That night the Vesparados show up in some numbers and are well behaved. They spend much money! The Button Men are not to be seen.
Friday, July 7, 2028
Max has an idea. They need an advertising agency for the club to drum up business. The current ad campaign is OK, but not well focused since Lars (or anyone else on the Team) really has no experience in that line of work. Since they are acknowledged ‘friends’ of the Lacono Family, they also need to polish up their credentials with the Hispanic community. Why not hire a major Hispanic advertising agency from Perth Amboy? Lars sets Mario to research some likely candidates immediately.
That night, outside the club, a large group of Vesparados shows up. A larger group of Button Men step out of the buildings and cars along the west side of the street and ambush the other poser group with Thompsons, BARs and pistols. A major gun battle develops. Vesposer is on the door. He pulls out his new 14mm pistols and starts to blaze away at the Button Men in support of his gang. The Brownings start to target Vesposer, but he guns down his attackers. The Tonnelle Street Irregulars join in, firing at the Button Men and within five minutes whine of the AV engines is heard approaching. The Irregulars head for the hills the second they hear the AV’s. It is C-SWAT and they start to fire at everyone in the street. Two Vesparados make it into the club and hide in the bathroom. Others scatter quickly in all different directions while some head to for graveyards to hide. The Button
Men find that the doors of the buildings that they came out of are now locked. Some scatter to the railroad tracks to the west. Others also take refuge in the graveyards. That is the last anyone ever hears of fools who entered the domain of the Dead Boyz. Many are just gunned down in the street
by C-SWAT. When the police are done it looks like a war zone outside. Customers cars are in flames and bodies are lying everywhere. C-SWAT enters the club and drags the two Vesparados out who are hiding in there. They do not bother Vesposer. ‘Pizza’ has its privilege. The club empties out quickly after the police leave.
Saturday, July 8, 2028
Sal has the blasted wrecks of the vehicles towed away and the square quickly returns to its appearance of normality. That night the club is like a ghost town again. Lars waives the stage fee.
Sunday, July 9, 2028
It is a usual quiet Sunday except that the priest leads a vigil outside the club for the young men that died in the fighting two days ago. This time there are no hidden recriminations against the club.
Monday, July 10, 2028
Vesposer takes his clothes to be repaired in the morning and the tailors take care of it on the spot. Later in the afternoon Mario brings his research on Hispanic advertising agencies in Perth Amboy to Lars. It seems that one (Rodriguez & Rodriguez) also handles all promotions for the Jose Marti Friendship Society. They call the ad agency to set up a meeting.
Lars asks Vera to ask the other dancers if they know anyone who might want a job to replace Lee. The girls say they will ask around.
The police come by that night and take Vesposer away. He is suspected in the kidnapping of one of
the Button Men’s girls. They can and will hold him for 72 hours at least. The girl went missing last night.
Business is still bad that night, so Lars again waives the dancer’s stage fee.
Tuesday, July 11, 2028
Rodriguez & Rodriguez calls back and says they will need a 5000 eb payment up front. Lars sends them the money. They tell him that they will study the situation and make an appointment for next Monday at their offices to meet with him.
Carla comes to work all beaten up. It is the Button Men ‘getting even’. Lars isoutraged. He gives her 200-eb and sends her home to recover after Vera treats her. Then the Brit calls Sal and informs him that he must strike back at Button Men. The Mob lieutenant tells him to hold off and he will intercede. It seems that many members of this poser gang are connected. The missing girl that Vesposer is accused of kidnapping is the grandniece of a ‘Made Man’. Lars agrees, but just for now.
That night business is slow, but is starting to recover.
Wednesday, July 12, 2028
Cliff hears the buzzer for the back gate ring early in the morning. It is a large number of police along with a large contingent of the Button Men, an ambulance and other emergency response vehicles. They demand he open the gate. He does not, but instead goes upstairs to wake Lars. When the two come back downstairs, the police are now at the back door. A look in the cameras shows that the police have pulled open (and wrecked) their electrified gate. They are now swarming the back parking lot. Lars goes to the back door and angrily demands to see their warrant. He is manhandled by a couple of furious policeman and dragged to the back of his parking lot. There lies the body of the missing Button Men’s ‘Moll’. She has been beaten, tortured, raped and killed. It is a gruesome sight. Still, Lars remains his cocky self and dismisses the incident as a cheap frame-up. He shows no empathy at all for the dead (and very well connected) girl. The police arrest him (for being an asshole), and take him away. As the police check the scene, they notice the security camera that watches the parking lot. They enter the club and rip the hard drive from the computer. This damages the computer and crashes the entire security system. Mario is eventually allowed to leave and get a new hard drive and repair the system.
As the day and the investigation progresses the police review the security footage and find the time when the body was dumped there. It shows a figure in a hoodie bite the corpse violently and then through the body over the fence. A forensic examination clears all the party members but one, Tyrone. He is detained and impressions taken of his mouth. Lars and Vesposer are released late in the afternoon.
That night at the club Detective Wachowsky, who is investigating the local rapist comes by to talk to Lars. He informs him that they believe that this local rapist has now escalated to murder. This same man may be responsible for the Vieira’s granddaughter’s rape right thru Lee’s disappearance. Now that the suspect has killed a ‘connected’ person, there is a ‘task force’ being formed to catch him. He has now gone from leading the investigation to just being a member of the task force. Tyrone was detained because he fits the height and weight of the suspect, and really has no alibi. Since the suspect seems to like to bite his victims the police are waiting for the dental impressions they took from Tyrone to come back to see if they match. In fact, they have now nicknamed this suspect “the Chomper”. Lars thanks him for the information. He then tells the detective that he went to see Lee at the hospital, but the people there said she wasn’t there anymore. She has not returned home so he believes that the hospital is shielding his dancer from non-family members. Could he look into that? He needs to know if she is all right. Detective Wachowsky agrees and says he will stop by the hospital tomorrow morning and look in on her.
Thursday, July 13, 2028
By morning a forensic examination clears Tyrone and he is released. Detective Wachowsky calls and tells Lars that Lee did leave the hospital when the staff there said she did. The girl was checked out by a Lorenzo Calberia, who paid her bill. The hospital wanted to get rid of her since she had no insurance. Lars thanks the detective and set Mario to look this Lorenzo Calberia up. It dawns on Lars that maybe he has found an honest cop, who actually gives a damn.
That night the club’s business starts to rebound a bit. Cliff talks to Cuddles about getting a reliable supply of ganja for the Rasta solo. The dealer is more than happy to arrange this. Lars in surprised when he gets an invitation to dinner for tomorrow night by Carlo Gigantino, the Consigliere of the Lacono Crime Family. The mobster will send a car. Lars realizes that this is more of a ‘command performance’ than an invitation.
Friday, July 14, 2028
In the morning, Mario informs Lars that he can’t find a Lorenzo Calberia anywhere in Union City. Lars waits for Cuddles to come in and asks him. The drug dealer says no doesn’t know him, but he will make some inquires.
Later that evening, a limousine arrives and Lars, Cliff and Max are ready to go. Cliff and Max are asked if they received an invitation. Well, no, so they are told to ‘fuck off’. Lars is driven away. He is brought to the hotel where the peace with the Lords of Metal was negotiated. There the Consigliere is waiting for him with another man is a dark suit, who is introduced as a ‘Mr. Smith’.
The dinner is very pleasant and the conversation is innocuous. Finally Carlo Gigantino gets to the point. He starts to wax poetic about how things work around here. “People do favors for people” even when there is no immediate reward for it. It just so happens he needs a “favor”. Mr. Smith slides a file over to Lars. Carlo tells Lars it would be wonderful if the five people mentioned in the file were to “be no more” by the end of the month. Lars looks at the file and sees the targets. The names are Sara Woodson, the current Dean of the Ezra Stiles College of Yale University, Hector Sands, the current Master of the Ezra Stiles College, James Osterman, co-editor and chief of the Politic (the Yale University Monthly Political Journal), Carl Farnham, former commandant of the People’s Community Corps (PCC), which serves as the militia of the People’s Commune of New Haven, and Claudel “Clement” Gaston, a graduate of Yale Divinity School and ordained Presbyterian minister founder of Haven Ministries. Reverend Gaston is one of the leaders of the moderate wing of the Commune’s leadership. Lars quickly realizes that this is a major political hit list, and he is being asked to do it as a ‘freebie’. Without any hesitation, he looks up from the file and agrees to do the job!
As a GM, I must say I was stunned that he agreed so fast. I had assembled a whole file of blackmail material (actually things the character had done “in game.”), but I didn’t need to use it. I will hand that info off to the GM, who has this character next! The reason the player gave for taking the job so readily is that this would cement his position in the local Mob quickly, if he succeeds. That is very true; if he succeeds.
Saturday, July 15, 2028
Lars lays the job out to his ‘command staff’ (Max and Cliff). They are stunned but start working on ideas to implement it. The rest of the day is uneventful. That evening when Cuddles comes in he is looking for Lars. Lorenzo Calberia is a Mob Associate that runs a squalid whorehouse in the Southside Precinct. He uses, abuses whores that are on the way out, and caters to the most cruel and violent fetishists. Lars, Max and Cliff grab a cab and head there at once. There are heavily armed guards openly carrying assault rifles outside. He walks up and introduces himself. It is apparent that his ‘reputation’ precedes him. Lars takes a completely different approach. When granted a meeting with Lorenzo, alone, he informs him that Lee is one of his women, and thanks the mobster for paying her bill. Of course, he (Lars) will reimburse him, and offers to ‘compensate’ the man for his trouble. Lars then asks how much Lorenzo feels this ‘compensation’ should be. Lorenzo is a little dumbfounded because of Lars’ reputation, but this gives him an out that will make him a little money and allow him to save face. Also, this puts Lars in his debt if he is not too greedy. Lorenzo smiles and says. “Two thousand euro would be sufficient.”
Lars doesn’t bat an eyelash and produces the cash immediately. Lorenzo sends for Lee. She is in horrible shape. Cyber vultures have gouged out her cybereyes after “the Chomper” dumped her body. She still can barely make a sound as her windpipe has been damaged. The bite marks on her body are still visible and she has a number of fresh bruises given to her by her recent clientele. The Team rushes her home and she is placed on the bed in her dressing room. Vera treats her, but her examination reveals that Lee will need at least 10,000-eb worth of plastic surgery and a new set of cybereyes after she recovers from her current trauma. That puts Lars in a dilemma on how much he wants to or should spend on her. For now, Lee just needs to recover. The other dancers are horrified by what happened to Lee but they look at Lars with greater admiration and respect.