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Likely Lads (IC) [Closed]

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Reverend Norv
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Likely Lads (IC) [Closed]

Postby Reverend Norv » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:59 pm

~ Prologue ~



Friday, April 3, 2015
The Orange Arms Pub and Grill
New Leiden, Portocielo
18:00


Teddy Larkin loved the old tunes.

Lilliburlero. The Sash My Father Wore. The Orange Lilly-O. All tin whistle and fiddle and drum. A few years back, Teddy had put in a new sound system at the Orange Arms. A few weeks after that, he’d played nothing but Robbie Burns for an entire evening. Rowdy cops started hollering, and the whole pub cheered when Teddy finally switched - to the Rolling Stones.

Teddy loved the old tunes, after all.

In the back room of the Orange Arms, the skirling of fiddles and tin whistles was a muted drone, blocked by a soundproofed wall and a heavy wooden door. The back room was Mack’s haunt. It was cozy: leather-padded walls, hardwood floors, a big fireplace to counter the full-blast air conditioning. No windows, but a half-dozen seascapes by Andrea Cuypers dotted the walls. Ten overstuffed armchairs surrounded a massive oak table. There was a private bar near the wall, and a private door to the kitchen for food.

A flat-screen TV was mounted on the wall of the back room. It played local news. The Troopers were gearing up to play the Puerto Rico national team; no one expected them to win, but no one was willing to speak the sad truth aloud. Obama was talking about removing Cuba from the federal list of state sponsors of terrorism. A bill was moving through the Territorial Assembly, with bipartisan support, to give Pope Enterprises the contract to start work on the proposed PC2 highway. Obama was talking about taking Cuba off the federal shit-list. The production of Hamlet by Don Lanza's Men, up in Plezier, was getting unexpectedly good reviews. Obama was talking...

Liam Mackenzie reached for the remote on the table in front of him, and turned the TV off. Portocielo. Even in an Ulster pub, it would never let you forget that you were in the Caribbean.

Without the TV noise, Mack could hear the dull roar of many overlapping voices. He heard the noise right through the padded walls: off-duty cops, knocking back pints in the main bar with their brothers in blue. Cops drank hard on Portocielo; the voices were loud. Now and then, Mack could hear a shrill whoop or a clamorous burst of laughter. Everything else was just blurred into background noise by the time it reached the back room.

Mack didn’t mind. Teddy’s barman was former SRT, and he kept a twelve-gauge pump in easy reach. The knowledge offered some peace of mind.

It had been a busy week for the Goon Squad. On Wednesday, Luis Diaz had whacked his last rival. That officially made Diaz king of the Familia Libra. Wednesday had been the first of the month: April Fools! It seemed appropriate, given the Familia’s record on avoiding internal power struggles.

Mack and his lads knew more than most about that sordid business: Diaz had won his crown with Comanda Paraiso guns that the Goon Squad had sold him. It was a calculated risk: Luis Diaz was volatile and he would never do favors for the cops, but those same facts meant that Diaz was guaranteed not to last. Someone would off him soon enough, and then there would be more killing. If the timing of Diaz’s death was right, then Monteflores would be too caught up in its own misery to vote in the mayoral election in November. Which suited Rafael Pinto and Gustavo Silva just fine.

Diaz’s brief reign would postpone the resurgence of the Familia’s civil war. Diaz would bite a bullet at the exact moment when unrest in Monteflores was most politically useful. Rafael Pinto paid well for those kinds of favors.

So it had been a long week. But the Goon Squad had all showed up to the Orange Arms. Mack leaned back in his armchair and looked around the table. The lieutenant’s grey-green eyes jumped from face to face. There’s Ronnie, rawboned and sad-eyed. There’s Celestia, all dark Spanish beauty, craziness trapped inside like a kiln fire. There’s Yin Kwan, the chink built like George Foreman, eyes lazy as a pothead’s.

Mack had a tumbler of Bushmills on the table in front of him. Mack hadn’t slept in two days. Mack chain-smoked hand-rolled Turkish cigarettes to stay awake. Mack thought: opium.

There’s Felipe, and there’s Alan next to him. Carilla and Costello. God’s joke: maybe Mack’s joke too. The man who thought he was a snake, and the snake who thought he was a man. Alan was white, unremarkable-looking, eyes as unreadable as stones. Felipe was tall, sallow. He’d decided to keep the Errol Flynn ‘stache. He still occasionally fidgeted.

Mack smoked like he had a grudge against the cigarette. Mack’s fingers were thick and blunt as sausages. Mack wore a tan gabardine three-piece suit with a white linen shirt and a blue silk tie. His tie clip and cuff links were gold. He looked like a buzz-cut grizzly bear dressed up for its son’s christening.

There’s Raijen: race ambiguous, size obvious, dogtags glinting under his open collar. There’s Christopher, the six-six skeleton, his eyes watchful, ready to meet Mack’s gaze.

There’s Rebecca, young and beautiful, hair and skin both golden. Mack remembered her naked, with a bag over her head. Mack loved her like a daughter.

There’s Harry, the Yid who looked like a corn-fed rugby forward. Mack wondered if Harry would order a drink. Mack wondered if Harry could keep himself from ordering a drink. Mack slugged back half his Bushmills and thought: opium.

The week was over. The city was back to normal. Soon, soon, Mack could drift away into dreamland.

But there was a last bit of business to be done first.

Mack took a final drag on his cigarette, and ground out the butt on a ceramic ashtray. Mack stood, and picked up a big nylon duffel bag that had been sitting beside his chair. Mack smiled.

“Lads, our Amazonian amigos are very pleased with the outcome of recent events in Monteflores.” Mack raised his eyebrows. “And they are inclined to manifest their appreciation.”

Mack turned the duffel bag upside down. The bag was open. An avalanche hit the table: dozens of vacuum-packed wads of bills. Each bundle was thicker than Mack’s palm. The bills were twenties, mostly old and discolored: a good sign. It meant that they were probably street money - therefore almost certainly unmarked.

There had to be a hundred bills neatly wrapped up in each vacuum-packed wad. There had to be thirty wads scattered across the table. That added up to sixty thousand dollars, give or take.

Mack always split the take equally. That broke down to six grand apiece. Six grand went a long way on Portocielo.

Not bad for a week’s work.

Mack smiled. His face creased: laugh lines fanned from the corners of his eyes. “Three packages each, lads.” The big cop raised his tumbler. “And here’s to peace in Monteflores.” Mack knocked back his Bushmills, and headed to the room’s private bar in search of the whiskey bottle. “How will you lot be spending it, then?”
Last edited by Reverend Norv on Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:47 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Aurinsula
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Postby Aurinsula » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:31 pm

Felipe Carilla was used to this. He was used to the Irish bar, though he'd never go there for his own entertainment. The first few times Mack had called a meeting, he walked in slow and cautious like he was afraid to get jumped. He was afraid to get jumped. He looked all around and he didn't say anything, 'cept to double up what someone else was ordering. He'd spent enough time in his life in places where outsiders weren't welcome to appreciate the fact that he was an outsider.

Well, fuck it all if he wasn't welcome - the money was welcome, and he was welcome to it. He picked up his three stacks demurely, one-at-a-time, as though that made up for the fact that he went for them first. One by one by one, so everyone could see he was just taking what he was entitled to, and he shuffled them neatly and tucked them away gently into the inside pocket of his jacket.

Felipe couldn't suppress a little feeling of pride. After all, he was one of the guys who did the actual negotiating, was on point during the hand-over of all these hot pistoleros. He found himself playing point-man a lot when it came time to talk to these lowlifes; they found him just non-threatening enough to deal with.

Once his money was safely pocketed, he lit up a cigarette - Brazilians being the new thing on the street, cheap and good flavor and followed by all the other Brazilian shit - and gave a little tiny titter of a laugh.

"Gotta put up some money for home repairs," he said. "And I need to fix the suspension on my girl." Girl? Felipe didn't have a girl. Felipe had a motorcycle. Oh, he never fucking shut up about that bike. Rain or shine, looking bored or looking pissed, if you were in that break-room or at a restaurant or anywhere with Felipe for more than 30 seconds, and he'd start about that goddamn bike of his. Laverda 750SF. Everybody knew, because it was impossible not to know because he never stopped reminding anyone and everyone in earshot about it.

As for home repairs, Mack knew well what that was code for. Felipe was in debt to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, most of it held by the Lanzas. He had to keep a roof over his mother's head, and he had to keep up with his mortgages. To his eternal credit, he'd never asked for any help with it; he paddled furiously to keep his head above water, and if things got rough then he just paddled harder. Besides, things could always be worse for him. If he was in real trouble, he could always bring his mother into the house with him.

He swirled an ice-cube out of his glass and crunched on it. He'd been drinking the well scotch. He didn't want to stick out and he didn't want to be left out.

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Postby Cylarn » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:59 pm

For the lawmen of Portocielo, the Orange Arms was a place to unwind. A safe haven in a city of death, where you could kick back and have a brew, catch a soccer game, or chat with your colleagues. You were supposed to be away from the ills that plagued you, but that was not the case for Ronnie Viljoen.

It was those fucking watercolors, the ones that Andrea had painted, original works by her skilled hands. Three of those, she painted while she was married to her "rough-and-tumble cop." Each time Ronnie saw them, he could recall the times when he'd enter her office in the golden hours of the morning as she painted her masterpieces. She was one who could dive into their labors of love, and lose themselves. Andrea loved to do that. As she painted, Ronnie would walk silently into the room, careful that the oak door didn't creak as he opened it to reveal his wife, wearing a nightgown with her hair in a messy bun, her face devoid of makeup. Ronnie didn't care about the makeup; she could bring out her beauty even without it.

He would stand in the doorway, just watching as his love delivered a seascape of old Webb Beach to the canvas before her. Even with her chocolate, dark-brown hair, the sunlight traveling through the large glass window brought out the light in her hair, making it seem as though she was shimmering. As he watched her, Ronnie wondered if he had married an angel, as opposed to the daughter of a crooked politician. He couldn't help but give a true smile, one motivated by joy and true, unconditional love. Andrea was a beautiful creature.

Then, she would stop painting, suddenly aware of another presence nearby. She never appeared startled; she always moved normally, putting her paintbrush by the side and turning in her stool to see the presence. Unlike the gorgeous creature, Ronnie was always a weathered, muscular, intimidating soul, in body and spirit. Unlike the PTPD and the crooks on the street, Andrea saw a gentle soul in the cop, who was accustomed to chasing down vehicles at high speeds and engaging in lengthy gunfights with the worst of the city. She knew that he was capable of love, that he could see the true beauty in life, all with a little help. Her smile had the power to melt even the coldest heart.

The image of Andrea in the golden light would soon be replaced by a battered woman laying in a hospital bed, her face bloodied and blue as cords and other devices were hooked up to her body, Ronnie's hand firmly grasping her's. He knew that she would never want him to remember her in such a way, but he could never wash away the image, not with all of the cachaça in New Leiden, or all of the young tail on the island. Monuments of Andrea's contributions to the art world of Portcielo were everywhere, and they always invoked the same memories for Ronnie. Christopher was only two when his mother passed; he would never see how truly beautiful his mother was. Paintings, home movies, news broadcasts, photographs; there's beauty that cannot be encompassed by such material devices.




Times had changed; Ronnie had sold his soul to the Devil for vengeance, and here he sat in the cop bar with a glass of Bushmill's in his right hand. Here he was, his brown eyes staring at the fat stacks on the table. Guns for cash, with the guns leading to the politics of New Leiden remaining ever in the favor of Liam Mackenzie. The man was truly the Devil, but the world was gray. He gave Ronnie the chance to invoke the wrath of retribution upon the scumbag hood that had raped and killed Andrea, and he was the man that pulled the strings in the city. Everyone thought of Mack - of the Goon Squad - as simple tools for their ends to be met. Luis Diaz thought that they were tools for him to win control of the shittiest leadership position in the city, and Pinto and Silva thought that the Goon Squad were the perfect tools to maintain the status quo. The Goon Squad weren't mercenaries; they were realists who saw the logic in such a transaction, and thus won the greater victory in this case.

The Sergeant was clad in a tailored grey suit with a black tie, a pair of black leather shoes, a black leather belt, and a white shirt. His jacket was draped over the back of his chair, and his belt was complete with his badge attached in a leather case on his belt. The badge sat close to a retention holster, made of hardened plastic with a button on the side allowing for the weapon's release. Tucked into the holster was a black Glock 37. He looked like the typical detective; well-dressed, with a gun on his hip, and a badge on his waist.

He set his glass down on the table, and grabbed three of the stacks, stacking them in front of him. Mack asked what they were going to do with their cut. Ronnie looked over at him, and picked up his glass of Bushmill's. When he spoke English, Ronnie sounded like a Yankee, though his Dutch was on par with that of a native speaker, given that he had grown up in a bilingual household.

"I'll be taking Jamie out to Ortolan's soon," he said, before taking a swig of his beverage. "After that, I figure I'll buy Christopher a 20 gauge, so that I can take him out to hunt. The rest, I guess will go to whatever I want it to go to."

Ronnie took another swig, and set his glass back down.
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Rudaslavia
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Postby Rudaslavia » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:02 pm

Monos de mierda. Comanda Paraiso, Familia Libre, the "Gangsta Disciples" -- all were grime on the sacred floors of New Leiden. Celestia's own ancestors had forged the city from the unforgiving jungles, battling swarms of Carib savages all the way. Their magnificent work had since been corrupted by these...these fucking barbarians. Celestia detested them to the core.

But none could match the evil of the Fronte Nacional. Those so-called "revolutionaries" were a rotten cancer that gnawed at Portocielo's soul. Celestia would stop at nothing to tear them apart. If that meant working with the Goon Squad, she would have to tolerate Mack's immoral dealings for the time being; for there would come a day when Mack, too, came into her crosshairs.

Celestia was a woman of aesthetic taste. She wore an orchid pink dress shirt, slightly unbuttoned at the top in accordance with the Portocielan humidity. Her shirt was accompanied by a gray blazer and matching pencil skirt, allowing the skin on her lower legs to breathe. The entire ensemble was neatly wrapped up by a pair of strapped high heels. It was an attractive attire, but one that simultaneously boasted of her professionalism. The garb reflected her persona in being both formal and unceremonious at the same time.

Her hair was tied into a neat ponytail, and her face methodically decorated with just a hint of makeup. Celestia wasn't one for heavy use of cosmetics. She found such practices whorish and aimed only to sharpen her natural features. Her delicate application of eyeliner, mascara, and blusher allowed for a presentable look with the added affect of absorbing a bit of sweat in the heat.

de Jaager gulped down a small glass of Casa Noble tequila (her favored brand). While not an alcoholic, the woman could sure as shit put down some booze. Puffing another dose of her cigarette, she placed a small briefcase upon the table's surface and equably collected her rightful share of the cash.

"How will you lot be spending it, then?" asked Mack as she closed the case and secured its locking mechanisms.

Up until that point, Celestia had generally remained quiet in thought. She had to be watchful of every word that slipped from her mouth. Mack and his Good Squad cronies were a clever assemblage of individuals. One mishap could potentially have undone all the work she and Special Agent Wallace accomplished.

But de Jaager wasn't the nervous sort. She kept her calm and took another drag from her cigarette before placing the briefcase back on the floor beside her. "Personal savings." she stated with the serenity of her accented voice. "I plan to repurchase my family's ancestral haciendas...but Mother Mary knows how long that will take."

In a way, this was not a lie. Celestia had always desired to restore her family's position as Portocielan elites. But not a dime of this money would go to "repurchasing her family's ancestral haciendas." This was dirty money, and thus untouchable under the supervision of Kate Wallace. While de Jaager would be permitted a slight 10% cut of the take, the rest would be invested in their secretive persecution of the Goon Squad. It was sheer irony; Mack paid Celestia for her illegal doings, and almost every penny was then put towards throwing the bastard into a prison cell. Life as a turncoat was difficult, but it was a necessary component of Celestia's task.

She finished off her cigarette and stood from her seat, bringing her empty tequila glass to the bar with an elegant strut. "Any more Casa Noble?" she asked Mack, scanning over the contents of the bar.
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Postby Walabam » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:26 pm

"Alright, mum! I'll try, okay?"

Rebecca ended the call and stuffed her cellphone into her pocket. It wasn't the first time this had happened, neither would it be the last. Rebecca's mother would call every day to remind her dear daughter of her spending habits. She seemed to be the only van Rijn that was aware of the family's financial situation. The irony of all this, however, was that her mother had just spent an astronomical sum of money on a shopping spree. Her father, a car enthusiast, never seemed to stop buying cars for himself and the family. Sure, he was an intelligent man, with a wonderful business mind. HUnfortunately, he seemed not to notice that Henry Pope, now the richest man of Portocielo, had taken control of the import and export lines, which meant the family business was about to go down the shit hole. Rebecca calmed herself down before entering The Orange Arms Pub and Grill. Her face was red with anger - it always was. Of course, she wasn't the kindest of all, but neither was she bad to the core.

Now on the topic of being "bad to the core"....

The doors of the pub swung open. A gush of wind could be felt by those sitting nearest to the door. The entrance was as dramatic as that of a peacock opening its feathers - at least that's what Rebecca thought. Losing confidence in herself was never her strong suit. The patrons of the pub glanced at her. Some laughed, while the others turned back to their friends for a feast of daily gossip, not giving two shits about her. Rebecca never had a good reputation within the department; some called her a slut, while others just couldn't take her attitude. Thankfully, she no longer had to face such verbal abuses. Obviously, it wasn't some miracle, neither was it the work of God. If it was the 'work of God', however, He would've been named "Liam Mackenzie".

Yes, Liam Mackenzie. Or, you could call him 'Mack'.

On one hand of the PTPD, he was hated by many. On the other hand, he was adored by more than many, one of them being Rebecca. Everyone knew him, from the top guns in the PTPD, to the lowest of lives in the street gangs of Portocielo. Everyone knew not to fuck with him; only the girls in The Yellow Rose could. Everyone knew what he was made of - even Rebecca herself knew - which was why she had maintained her silence throughout the meeting. Though she knew it wasn't easy to offend Mack, she did not dare to speak, in fear of saying something wrong - which was common of her - thanks to her reckless nature.

The condensation from her glass of fine XO cognac on the rocks dripped down onto the cup coaster. The crowd chattered and frolicked like a bunch of monkeys, seeming to forget their identities as police officers. As a member of the not-so-prestigious Goon Squad, Rebecca knew that she, too, was allowed to forget her identity sometimes. "Sometimes" included the moment when Mack retrieved a duffel bag, pouring out cash that had been nicely vacuum-packed. Rebecca twitched at the sight of the wads of cash. She was eager to jump onto the dollar bills and claim them all for herself, but she knew she'd probably be damned by the Goon Squad. The youngest member of the team, Rebecca waited for all her fellow detectives to collect their share, before she reached out for her own. Opening one of the three packages, Rebecca sniffed the dollar bills, inhaling the scent of various sweaty palms and the degradation of paper. It wasn't long before a huge grin appeared on her face.

While dipping her nose into the bills, Mack asked the lads a simple question - how was the team going to spend it. Simple question, sure, but certainly not for Rebecca. She wasn't going to tell Mack that she was going to spend the money on some random male stripper that was eventually going to pound her out, and neither was she going to tell Mack that she was going to stack the cash onto her massive pile of money at home, which she frequently 'dived' into. Given her reputation in the PTPD as being a promiscuous lady, though, it wasn't going to take much for Mack, or rather, the entire Goon Squad, to guess what she was going to use the money for.

Still, she wasn't ready to tell the hard truths. Instead, she "would spend the money on her sea-fishing hobbies, and giving some of the money to charity," the former being a truthful statement, and the latter being an utter lie. Rebecca picked up her glass and gulped down its contents, hopeful that no one could see through her lies.
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Nude East Ireland
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Postby Nude East Ireland » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:15 pm

Alan's eyes met those of the men on the bills. His hand reached out into the world, thin fingers wrapping around a glass of scotch. His eyes never moved, even as his glass pressed against his lips and the poison rushed down his throat. He remembered learning about these men in history class; he remembered cashing his first check; he remembered the foreign money he got during his time in the Legion (most of which still remained, since had little opportunity to spend money in Côte d'Ivoire); he remembered the last time he was given dirty money by Mack; and he remembered the smell of the fire, and the feel of the smoke on his face and in his hair. He never told anyone on the Squad, he never told his wife, and he would have never told himself, were it possible.

There is more dirt on this money than there is on the ground, he thought. His fingers ran along the bills, absorbing the texture.

"Money is Man's way of reclaiming paradise," he quietly spoke. "God banished Man from Eden; in a vain attempt to wash away the suffering, Man made his own garden, with his own leaves."

He lifted his hand away from the money, to itch his brow. His toes curled in his shoes, as he adjusted his legs to a more comfortable position. The Gospel of John states that it was Judas who carried the Apostles' money. He chose not to share that thought; the last thing he needed was to give off an overly-aggressive tone. What he had said would join the other abstract observations he made.

He carefully glanced at Felipe. If Alan believed in God, he might think that Felipe was the second coming of Iscariot.

Alan dared not think of who on the Goon Squad would be Christ.
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Postby Astrolinium » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:13 pm

Harry Schwartz had never liked this place. It was loud, the music was bad, the whiskey was shit. He would order some anyway, probably, because bad whiskey was better than sobriety on a Friday evening -- and besides, shabbos would be starting soon, and that was all about relaxation, wasn't it? But he would wait to order. He thought he hid how direly he needed his poison fairly well, though he was sure Mack knew all about it. Mack was a fucking owl -- Schwartz was pretty sure that would've included the ability to turn his head in a full circle, if Mack had ever wanted to. But he didn't care if Mack knew, because if Mack had wanted him on the Good Squad, he must have seen something redeeming in Schwartz beyond his ability to kill himself slowly. And besides, they all had their own poisons.

Harry Schwartz scowled at the money in front of him and pushed it away, hoping Shape would maybe take it. Shape was an okay guy, Harry thought, and he had a daughter to take care of. That was admirable, Harry thought. There were precious few admirable men on this island, and Shape was probably the only one in the entire PTPD. And there were some fucking creeps in the PTPD, especially on the Goon Squad. Schwartz didn't trust Costello or de Jaager one bit, for example: fuck, Costello was fucking muttering to himself. What a creep.

Schwartz looked up at Mackenzie and sighed. He'd known the man for seven years: Schwartz had arrived on the Goon Squad two after Agthoven's untimely demise. He didn't much like Mack (he didn't much like anyone these days), but he trusted him -- you had to trust your fearless commander, especially when that manifested itself in a man like Mack. Oh, Schwartz had little doubt that if he ever got in a spot tight enough, Liam Mackenzie would sell him out for his freedom or his reputation, but who wouldn't? And the bills in front of Schwartz's spot at the table were a testament to how much attention Mack paid to Schwartz.

"You know I don't touch macaco money, Mack," he said simply. "Someone else can have my share, consider it tzedakah."
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TriStates
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Postby TriStates » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:15 pm

When Old Man Pavel Skorzeny showed up to graduation and pinned that Portocielo PD badge on me, he said to shake hands with the citizens of the city with a firm, right hand. But keep a knuckle duster ready on my left for the ones who forgot their manners. He also told me that the moment I ever felt safe, to remember that I'm still the same deaf, dumb 'Afghan-a-Jap' who hitched a ride back to civilization on Mother Russia's ruble. As capable as the greenest rook or hardest Vet of buying a plot, a medal and a filler in the Obituary pages.

'Cause a bullet doesn't give two shits who you are or what you're packing. How you've lived your life, what you've done. Who you've fucked, and who you've been fucked by. To it, you're just a meat-bag in its way, one in need of serious ventilation. So don't be a hero, don't stick your neck out, and always keep on the bounce.

Must have listened, 'cause I'm still here... thought Raijen, giving the money mound a casual side-long glance. He had remained quiet as the Lieutenant spoke his peace- his mouth moving with purpose, facial expressions conveying what was left unsaid- keeping one eye on him, the other on his book. Ratty looking and dog-eared to death, the front cover was the best looking part of this bargain paperback. The faded ink on the large print title still present enough to read clearly: The Lord of The Flies.

The antagonist was bad-ass, who Raijen could sympathize with. The protagonist was a pussy, who annoyed the hell out of Raijen. The ending could have been better, just like life. And it was one of the Oriental detectives favorites. Eye drawn back to the page he was on, he almost missed the very last of what The Mackster had been saying.

How will you lot be spending it, then?


The Spaniard was the first to make a move. Raijen's dark eyes followed him over the top of the book, watching him make for the bills with all the arrogance of someone laying his claim. Which he played off with smooth handling of the three stacks. He reminded Skorzeny of a strutting chicken sometimes. Chest stuck out, all cocked up. That tittering little laugh of his own crowing call. The mental image got to Raijen, causing him to stifle a chuckle. The smirk was harder to wipe off.

Stupid. Wasting good money on a keyed up Italian job...


Carilla could have learned a lesson from him; who was known around the Department for owning that Ford Granada '78 that backfired when going into gear, and had nicked the Captain's car that one Christmas Eve. Shitty little green four-door some might call it when he wasn't around (they didn't dare say anything when he was), but it got Raijen from A to B to C and back again. And thats all that mattered.

Next was Ronnie, of whom, Raijen approved of his spending habits. The Japanese Detective nodded, eyes closed, a thoughtful look on his face after the man had spoken.

20 gauge for the boy? Commonsense. Much better than tossing it at a road wreck waiting to happen.


Celestia was saving up for some Caribbean plantation. So much for that Catholic frugality...

Rebecca, the Lieutenants little darling, didn't even have to say anything about her spending plans. They would be the talk of the water cooler soon enough. Not that Raijen disapproved (he made it a point to dipped his own wick more than usually). Rather, the shit lies that her little centerfold brain managed to crank out. Fishing & Charity... Okay. The former he could get behind. But seriously... Charity? He mentally cringed. The Goon Squad didn't even belong in the same sentence as that. Rook, if you were going to bullshit Mac.. at least put some effort into it..

Alan. Was Alan. Some minor mumbling that Raijen only half caught. The words he did get rang of scripture. And the young Skorzeny got enough of on Sunday Mass. He was content with the book he already had in his hands, thanks.

And of course. There was Harry. Watching the words leave his mouth, Raijen couldn't help but move his gaze from Schwartz to Felipe, then back again.

What? Does the Department issue dumb asses in pairs? If so, nobody gave a fuck to drop him a memo.


Harry. What can be said about him that didn't make Raijen roll his eyes in exasperation. What was the damage with this fool? For you had to be a fool to turn down your own part of the 'bonus pay'. Probably for the best though. The man happened to be a drunk. He'd probably booze himself up real good with whatever he got here. Better it went to someone with an actual head on their shoulders, like Shape.

Guessing that this was as good as time as ever, Raijen folded the book in his right hand with a grunt. The pair of old stainless steal dog-tags jiggled, Cyrillic lettering glinting in the rooms low light, as he rose from a chair, walking forward to the table. Separating three packages, Raijen eyed each package carefully, before looking up at Mac. Signing with his left while folding the bills in his pockets, Raijen said,

"What doesn't fit the mattress and goes to the Old Man, you'll probably see at the Rose soon enough."
Last edited by TriStates on Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:25 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Vytautas wrote:There are two kinds of people in this world:
* people giving a fuck,
* people not giving a fuck,
Drink Vytautas, give a NEGATIVE FUCK!
The Burning Sun wrote:...you seem to experience what I shall completely non-offensively dub the Triplex, or TriStates Complex - you spend a ton of time crafting a beautiful work of collaboration, and then you mysteriously disappear...

The Starlight wrote:
TriStates wrote::( I don't like change...

It's coarse and dry and gets everywhere. :p

But I do get what you mean.
My Past Adventures: After World

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Mnar Secundus
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Ex-Nation

Postby Mnar Secundus » Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:32 am

As he went to pick up his share of the wealth with meticulous, precise movements, Christopher Shape had a thought that had been coming to him often in recent times: since he had joined the Goon Squad three years ago, he had an unusual problem. He was making too much money.

Christopher was a man of small expenses. Thanks to careful resource management, he had no outstanding debts, and his hobbies weren't expensive; he didn't frequent prostitutes, gamble or buy things for the hell of it, and his anxiolytics were covered by his health insurance thanks to an ... arrangement with a doctor he knew through acquaintances in the Forensics department.
All in all, his largest regular expense was Aliah's school fees, and that could have been taken care of by his regular salary, even though the school was among the most expensive and demanding in Portocielo -- working several hours overdue on a near-daily basis had its material advantages. Therefore, when remarkable amounts of money suddenly found their way into Christopher's hands like it just had, he didn't really know what to do with it, and it mostly ended up just sitting there, either in one of the accounts he had set up to provide for his daughter or in his apartment's safe (which, it had to be said, lived up to its designation quite honorably).

When the money was probably unmarked like here, it wasn't as much a problem as an encumbrance, but Christopher's less legitimate revenue often came in more financially -- and sometimes quite physically -- dirty specie, at which point he had to find ways of spending it quickly. He had already replaced his previously cheap car, bought a new fishing rod and a laptop, renewed the contents of his bookshelves and given Aliah a bicycle and all the clothes she could want, which to her credit wasn't much in the first place. The twelve-year-old had been pleased, of course, but she had also made it clear that she would prefer him to take some time off at some point. Perhaps this was an opportunity ...

As Aliah's smiling face came into sharp focus in his mind, Christopher shut down that line of thought, the familiar mix of profound love and unspeakable dread settling comfortably on the back of his brain. The anxiolytics weren't doing the trick as well as they used to. Presumably Shape was developing a tolerance to them, which was hardly surprising considering his natural toughness, but he was reluctant to up his doses: his daughter may have been barely starting her teens, but she was as sharp as a scalpel, and he knew she was worried about him even if she didn't quite understand why. There would be severe aftereffects if he overdid it -- anxiolytics were dangerous stuff.

Speaking of dangerous ... Christopher looked around the room, sipping slowly on a Witch Doctor as he glanced over the rest of the Goon Squad. Ronnie, looking nervous and wary for some reason; Celestia, casual but watchful; Yin Kwan, possibly the only woman in Portocielo who could look Christopher in the eyes without bending backwards; Rebecca, defiant as always; Alan, the unreadable Frenchman; Felipe, looking elated yet on edge; Raijen, short but muscular, his trademark dogtags obvious. Harry, Christopher's partner, clearly trying to delay his drinking -- a praiseworthy effort, albeit probably pointless. And of course, the big man himself, who very much lived up to the appellation: Lieutenant Detective Liam Mackenzie, built like a bear and dressed like a gentleman, looking tired but as lively as ever.
His comrades-in-arms, as they were, crooks and criminals to a man. He trusted them to varying extents (Schwartz was reliable and a good partner as far as alcohol wasn't concerned, Mack was corrupt to the core but took care of his men, Raijen could generally be trusted in person but seemed to have prior loyalties, de Jaager occasionally felt a bit off ...), but that didn't really matter to Christopher. In the first place, I'm hardly one to talk, he thought against his better instincts, at which point he downed his glass and discreetly called for another.

Christopher was supposed to avoid alcohol, what with the psychoactive medication, but a couple highballs once in a while ... Could do a great deal of damage, actually. Nevertheless, he drank today: it wasn't that he really enjoyed it, indeed his sense of taste wasn't as sharp as it could (and probably should) have been these days, but he felt like he deserved the break.

He had been working even more than usual for the last week or so. It hadn't been glamorous work, even by the Goon Squad's remarkably low standards: paperwork, mostly, which, being paperwork, nobody wanted to do. Nobody except Christopher. It had become a well-known fact in the precinct that if you had a tedious, annoying task you wanted to get rid of, you gave it to Detective Shape, who would take it off your hands with a polite thank you, do it quickly and efficiently and wouldn't even claim the credit.
Mackenzie's Likely Lads, being policemen, had to work around police procedure rather than through it, and so be it for legitimate law enforcement, frame jobs or arms dealing, there was always paperwork: alibis had to be fabricated, expenses justified, false reports checked against the rare genuine ones and filed ... In short, it was a matter of keeping up appearances, if only so that the federals wouldn't get a lead on the Mackster. It was good that everyone implicitly knew about the Squad, but that didn't mean anyone should get a grip on them. As a result, Christopher practically hadn't slept in nearly five days, and even he was feeling numb and drowsy as the music drifted into his ears.

Reverend Norv wrote:Mack smiled. His face creased: laugh lines fanned from the corners of his eyes. “Three packages each, lads.” The big cop raised his tumbler. “And here’s to peace in Monteflores.” Mack knocked back his Bushmills, and headed to the room’s private bar in search of the whiskey bottle. “How will you lot be spending it, then?”

Christopher didn't really pay attention to the others' projects: he was busy reflecting on what he could do for Aliah with this money. Generosity was fine and dandy, but he didn't intend to make a habit of spoiling her -- that would be bad education. He saw that Harry refused the money, and respected the thought, but didn't share it; for someone like Christopher to refuse dirty money, after the things he had done, would be the height of hypocrisy. Besides, he had finally found a way to spend it.
Christopher answered his superior's query in a voice that, despite its softness of tone and volume, seemed to spread through the air like ink in clear water: "Aliah's birthday is coming up soon." The little girl's actual date of birth was unknown, so they had arbitrarily fixed it at the day he had found her -- the 24th of May. "I am thinking of taking her abroad for her next vacations. France, maybe. I'll discuss it with her."

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Reverend Norv
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Reverend Norv » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:01 am

Mack fished around behind the bar: Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniels, Casa Noble, Crown Royal. There: Bushmills Black Bush. The taste of home.

Mack grabbed the bottle and refilled his tumbler. He considered calling into the kitchen for some food. Teddy Larkin's Mexican chef made a mean fish and chips: beer-battered Caribbean tilapia, with hand-cut fries and homemade salsa verde. Mack hadn't had a sit-down meal since breakfast the day before. The food sounded pretty damn good.

The hair on the back of Mack's neck pricked up. Mack turned around. Sure enough: there's Celestia. Note the pencil skirt. Note the strappy heels. Note the way she moves. Mixed signals: fuck me/fear me. By the time a man figured out where he stood with Celestia, she'd have him wrapped around her little finger. Or dead. Whichever she preferred.

Mack smiled to himself. Celestia de Jaager was a magnificent animal.

Celestia's glass was empty. She asked if there was any more Casa Noble. Celestia came from old money. She had expensive tastes.

The Goon Squad drank for free at the Orange Arms. Mack leaned over the bar and grabbed the bottle of Casa Noble that he had seen before. He opened it and refilled Celestia's glass.

There was a twinkle in Mack's eye: avuncular, knowing. Mack savored the moment. Mack said. "Enjoy, lass."

Back at the table, Felipe Carilla had of course taken the money first. Felipe needed the money. Felipe loved his mother, but he didn't want to share his house with her, and two mortgages did not come cheap.

Mack had never known his mother. Mack didn't waste time feeling sorry for himself.

Felipe was in debt. Mack had a hunch that Felipe was in debt to the Lanzas. So Felipe's loyalties were questionable. But Felipe also could sweet-talk eyewits like no one else. And he was one of Mack's own. That counted for more than anything. If Felipe ever asked, Mack would find a way to make Felipe's debt go away. But Felipe never would ask - and that was exactly why Mack respected him. Chicken/egg: the virtues that caused Felipe to deserve Mack's respect prevented him from enjoying the benefits of Mack's respect.

Mack felt a headache begin behind his eyes. Mack sipped his whiskey. Second glass: drink it slowly, now. Mack wanted to eat fried fish and drive home and sleep. His fingers itched for the opium pipe. He lit up another cigarette instead.

If Felipe needed the money too much, then Harry Schwartz didn't care about it enough. The Yid who turned down free money: the joke was too easy. Mack didn't make it. After all: Harry was one of Mack's own, too. And Harry was a crusader, a little like Ronnie: a man out to punish the world for having taken from him the one thing that he could never get back. Mack understood that real well. A man like that had a bit of the flagellant to him - because he himself was a part of the world that he was punishing. A man like that was attracted to self-denial - charity - tzedekah.

It would never be enough, of course. Ronnie took the money these days. Ronnie had a kid. In time, Harry would take the money too. It was inevitable.

Mack just shrugged. Mack told Harry: "Your call, lad."

Mack pointed his cigarette at Alan, and then at Felipe, and then at Ronnie, and then at Christopher. "You lads have folk depending on you for sustenance. There's six grand there. Why don't each of you take fifteen hundred? Get a head start on those home repairs; put some cash in the college fund for wee Christopher and Aliah and Maria."

Ronnie Viljoen and Christopher Shape were already thinking along those lines. Ronnie wanted to take Jamie Cuypers out to Orolans, and buy his kid a twenty-gauge. Mack studied Ronnie for a moment. The two men had known each other for a long time. Ronnie chased tail: Mack accepted that, understood it, and withheld judgment. But Ronnie also chased powerful tail: there couldn't be too many men who had schtupped not one but two of Old Man Cuypers' daughters.

Ronnie had never gotten over Andrea. Ronnie was screwing Andrea's sister. It wasn't healthy. Mack didn't pass judgment. But he did worry. Mack and Ronnie had known each other for a long time, after all.

Mack said: "Ed Pritchard knows a gunsmith on Hamburg Street in Eindhoven. Old Dutch mucker. He could get your lad's initials in the stock of the shotgun, or some such other business. Wee Christoper might like that."

Big Christopher Shape was thinking along the same lines. He wanted to take his lass on vacation for her birthday. Mack had been a Marine MP for a decade; those contacts didn't just evaporate. Mack knew where Aliah came from, and how Christopher had come to have her. He knew that Christopher's heart was as generous as it was broken. Mack loved and respected that about Christopher.

Mack considered the possibility that the trip to France might be cover for Christopher, a chance to do something that Christopher didn't want Mack to know about. Mack discarded the thought. Christopher Shape had nowhere else to go except the Goon Squad. He had walked a long road, and the Orange Arms was where it ended. There was no next step for men like that, nothing to plot or conceal.

So Mack just smiled, and said: "Provence is lovely in the spring."

Other replies were less ingenuous. Celestia claimed to be saving to buy back her family's haciendas. Mack doubted that very much: who would she buy the land back from? It wasn't like the Fronte Nacional took cheques, and no matter whose name was on the deed, it was the FN that controlled the countryside these days. And Celestia was more interested in killing Caribs than in paying them. But at least the woman lied smoothly.

Rebecca did not. Rebecca claimed to want to spend her cut on fishing and charity. Raijen almost laughed aloud at that. Mack shot him a warning glance.

It was ridiculous, all right. Mack had watched Rebecca grow up. He knew what she was. She was broken. She had been broken for a long time. But she had nowhere else to go except the Goon Squad. Anywhere else, she would be in prison or dead within a month. And that inclined Mack to care about Rebecca as much as he cared about anyone in the world, because he was responsible for the conditions that let Rebecca have some kind of a life.

Besides, it was never a good idea to call anyone on a lie unless you already knew the truth that they were hiding.

Raijen stood. Raijen ripped open the vacuum-wrapping on his packages and stuffed twenties in his pockets. Raijen looked at Mack and signed with his free hand. He was going to stash some of the money, give some to Pavel Skorzeny, and spend the rest at the Yellow Rose. It was one-hundred-percent plausible. Mack chuckled and sipped his whiskey, and signed: "I'll let Clara know that you're on your way."

And then there was Alan. Alan stared at the money. Alan touched the money. Alan said: "Money is Man's way of reclaiming paradise. God banished Man from Eden; in a vain attempt to wash away the suffering, Man made his own garden, with his own leaves."

Mack considered that. Mack decided that, in its roundabout, pitch-black, overwrought Nietzschian way, it was probably true. Mack was not the least bit concerned by that fact.

"Aye," Mack said. "But everything we do is in vain, one way or another. That's the nature of life in this postlapsarian world of ours." Mack shrugged. "So tell me, Alan: how are you going to reclaim a little bit of Eden in the middle of Gomorrah?"
Last edited by Reverend Norv on Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
For really, I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest he. And therefore truly, Sir, I think it's clear that every man that is to live under a Government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that Government. And I do think that the poorest man in England is not at all bound in a strict sense to that Government that he hath not had a voice to put himself under.
Col. Thomas Rainsborough, Putney Debates, 1647

A God who let us prove His existence would be an idol.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Nude East Ireland
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Ex-Nation

Postby Nude East Ireland » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:23 am

Reverend Norv wrote:And then there was Alan. Alan stared at the money. Alan touched the money. Alan said: "Money is Man's way of reclaiming paradise. God banished Man from Eden; in a vain attempt to wash away the suffering, Man made his own garden, with his own leaves."

Mack considered that. Mack decided that, in its roundabout, pitch-black, overwrought Nietzschian way, it was probably true. Mack was not the least bit concerned by that fact.

"Aye," Mack said. "But everything we do is in vain, one way or another. That's the nature of life in this postlapsarian world of ours." Mack shrugged. "So tell me, Alan: how are you going to reclaim a little bit of Eden in the middle of Gomorrah?"

Detective Costello was silent for a moment. "Keeping my family safe," he replied. He picked up the money and held it cautiously. He wasn't lying to Mack; burning the money would mean that there would be no evidence. He had enough saved so that his wife and child could leave Portocielo, so the dirty money didn't matter. His legitimate income provided enough support, along with that of his wife. Alan made eye contact with Mack.

Alan had been working with Mack for a few years. He wouldn't cross him; not out of fear - Alan didn't really fear Mack - but out of a respect. He wondered if it was warranted; but it truly didn't matter.

"What apple do you bite into?" Costello asked. "What idols do you build?"
Part One of the Incredible, Invincible Team Dai-Zarkeland!

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Walabam
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Ex-Nation

Postby Walabam » Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:59 am

Rebecca blushed with embarrassment upon seeing the reactions of her fellow squad members when they heard she was going to use the money "for charity". Of course she wasn't going to do so. Her wealthy background had fueled her sensitivity and dislike towards poor people in general. She'd rather spend the money satisfying her own desires. Rebecca looked left towards the Detective Lieutenant's trusted partner, Ronnie, and then to the right at the one whom had almost burst out laughing at her pathetic attempt at lying, Raijen. She took a deep breath, before muttering; "I'm going to spend the money on some man-whores, 'kay?" Rebecca hoped the noise of the crowd would drown out her muttering. Besides, she only opened her mouth about it for conscience's sake - though she didn't quite have one anyway.

Then, she turned to look at Mack. Rebecca knew, that Mack knew, that she was going to spend the money on partying and getting things wild as shit. She felt guilty that she had to lie to him, since he was probably the first to see through her lies. She fixed her gaze on Mack for at least a minute, wondering why he seemed to know so much about her, and why she found his face more familiar as the days went by.

"Hey, uhm, Lieutenant Mackenzie,' asked Rebecca while she saw him pouring some Casa Noble into Celestia's glass, "could I get some of that too? Or, maybe, some Cachaça?" Rebecca addressed him that way as a form of respect. She did not dare call him Mack, at least not yet, although the pair were on pretty good terms already. While she thanked him in advance, Rebecca's phone started to vibrate - it was a text from Jaime Cuyper, Rebecca's only best friend, and also the daughter of The Ranting Dutchman, Wayne Cuyper. Although Wayne Cuyper was one of the van Rijn's arch-enemies, and vice-versa, Rebecca maintained good relations with Jaime, despite objections from both families.

Rebecca opened the message and it read;

"Hey girl, whatcha doing? Wanna go shopping Downtown?"

"Sorry girl, not for today. Have...work, lol."

Rebecca wanted to hang out with Jaime badly, but she knew the team was more important than going shopping.

And the money. The money was important too.
wat.

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Rudaslavia
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Corporate Police State

Postby Rudaslavia » Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:33 pm

Casa Noble. It was the distiller's masterpiece -- a crystalline reservoir of pure agave nectar. Celestia savored every drop. While others chased their liquor to dilute its taste, Celestia embraced it. She savored the sensation of its flavor, rejoicing in the euphoria it promised to bring. She carried the glass back to the table. Her heels gracefully clicked against the floor with every step.

The look that Mack had given her as he refilled her drink...she didn't like it. Celestia always maintained an exceptional heedfulness in the presence of the Goon Squad. But Mack's intuition demanded a whole separate level of caution. She scrutinized his every gesture, diligently watching for signs of danger. Liam Mackenzie was a feral bear with the civilized cunning of a fox. That was what made him so bloody dangerous.

But Celestia was a true master of deception. She countered Mack's guile with the illusory camouflage of a chameleon. She could look him in the eye and reflect his thoughtful grin.

Their subconscious interactions were parallel to a Grandmaster's game of chess; as one made an incisive move, the other negated it with an equally keen strategy. How long could this back-and-forth struggle ensue? Someone would win in the end...and Celestia was determined to be that winner.

Suddenly, Rebecca's corrective murmur graced de Jaager's ears. "I'm going to spend the money on some man-whores, 'kay?"

Despite how much she loathed prostitution, Celestia couldn't help but chuckle at the statement. She returned to her seat at the table beside her partner, Ronnie Viljoen. "Usted y Ronnie haría excelentes amigos!" she joked towards Rebecca before taking a swig of her tequila. Whether or not van Rijn understood Spanish wasn't Celestia's concern. She only hoped that Ronnie had heard and comprehended the quip. Celestia thoroughly enjoyed teasing her partner. She loved him like a brother, and treated him accordingly.

de Jaager's relationship with Viljoen was...complex, to say the least. Ronnie was arguably her closest friend. Did she trust him enough to divulge her deepest secrets to? Fuck no, and she likely never would. But she loved him nonetheless. There had even been a time when she was attracted to him, but his ties with the Cuypers and his fidelity to Mack quelled those feelings pretty swiftly. Celestia prayed on a nightly basis that Ronnie would turn to the order of God. She hated Viljoen's allegiance to "the Mackster's" will. It was a pity. He had so much potential to act for the island's purification, but he wasted it on greed and corruption. Celestia wouldn't hesitate to put Ronnie in cuffs, and she would kill him without question if need be. However, she did not anticipate taking pleasure in the act. Normally, she reveled in the demise of criminality. But Ronnie had some form of indescribable purity within.

Plus, she doted on his son Christopher as if the boy was her own. Celestia's inability to bear children left a gap in her heart. To compensate for her lack of offspring, she turned to alternative substitutes -- namely Christopher Viljoen and her beloved dog, Virrey.

"Oye!" she said to Ronnie as she lit another cigarette. "How is my sweet little Christopher, hm? I have not fucking seen that boy in weeks!"
Last edited by Rudaslavia on Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Reverend Norv
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Reverend Norv » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:22 pm

Celestia said not a word as Mack refilled her glass. She was perfectly reflective, like a mirror. She bounced back at you whatever it was that you felt when you looked at her. It was a gift.

Rebecca was transparent. Rebecca muttered something under her breath about man-whores. Celestia laughed and teased Ronnie. Mack thought that Celestia had once loved Ronnie, in her stunted way. Maybe she still did. It was hard to tell. Celestia was a mirror.

Rebecca stared at Mack. Mack pretended that he didn't notice. Mack knew that Rebecca stared at him more with every passing day. She was starting to remember; Mack felt it in his gut.

Mack knew that he ought to tell Rebecca that it had been him in that warehouse all those years ago: that he had blown out the brains of each kidnapper and carried her out into the light. He ought to sit her down and tell her everything that he had kept from her. There was no shame in any of it. But a secret kept for a decade and more took on a power of its own. It became harder to tell with every passing year. When a thing is buried for long enough, it changes color, and it no longer looks right in the unforgiving light of day.

Eventually, Rebecca stopped staring and asked for a drink. Mack smiled and strolled back to the table: Bushmills in one hand, Casa Noble in the other. He slid the tequila over to Rebecca. "Help yourself, lass."

And then there was Alan. Sometimes Mack forgot just how fucking weird Alan Costello actually was.

Mack understood it, at least mostly, at least he thought he did. It was the consequence of too much intelligence, too much moral fiber, and too much trauma. Something had to give. So Alan's worldview warped under the pressure like a shatterproof windshield under a sledgehammer. And Alan got weird.

Which didn't make it any less disconcerting for Mack to turn from refilling Rebecca's glass, and find himself trading Biblical metaphors with Alan.

Alan wanted to keep his family safe. That was normal. Alan wondered about Mack's original sin. That was less normal.

Mack thought of his father bleeding out. Mack thought of how the knife's handle had felt sticky for days afterwards.

Mack smiled. Mack picked up a vacuum-wrapped wad of cash. Mack quipped: "My idol's right here, lad. The Golden Calf."

A pause. Mack's voice turned serious, and kindly. "How is your family, Alan? I haven't seen Susan in - why, it must be months now. Everything all right at home?"
Last edited by Reverend Norv on Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.
For really, I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest he. And therefore truly, Sir, I think it's clear that every man that is to live under a Government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that Government. And I do think that the poorest man in England is not at all bound in a strict sense to that Government that he hath not had a voice to put himself under.
Col. Thomas Rainsborough, Putney Debates, 1647

A God who let us prove His existence would be an idol.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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TriStates
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Ex-Nation

Postby TriStates » Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:47 am

Reverend Norv wrote:Raijen stood. Raijen ripped open the vacuum-wrapping on his packages and stuffed twenties in his pockets. Raijen looked at Mack and signed with his free hand. He was going to stash some of the money, give some to Pavel Skorzeny, and spend the rest at the Yellow Rose. It was one-hundred-percent plausible. Mack chuckled and sipped his whiskey, and signed: "I'll let Clara know that you're on your way."


That brought a genuine grin to the Oriental detectives face, replying simply with a thumbs up. He'd probably stop by the nearest flower shop, pick something up for his special ladies. It was a little game they played, ever since his first time at the Portocielo bordello.



He'd been a lowly Recruit back then. Just out of the Academy, 30-something years young, brand new to Patrol. And paired up with an FTO who was a little too old, and a little too fat, to be doing anything beyond the edge of a desk. Their beat happened to take them past the brothel. The Sergeant, Raijen couldn't recall his name, consider himself a smooth talker. Real hot shit. Walking right in, all puffed up and strutting in his PTPD suit, he looked like a blue turkey who thought he's a rooster.

I gave him 5 minutes. The ladies promptly chased him out in 3. As the Sergeant and his ego beat feet out the front doors in a hasty retreat, I managed to make my own way inside, all the sudden commotion at sparking some interest. They took one look at me, and roped me with the Sergeant, and people like him. One girl in particular, made it a point to say just as much. Of course, I couldn't hear here. But that didn't make the words I made out any less sharp. So, I decided it was time to fish, or cut bait.

I moved my hand past her, causing her to pause, reaching for the inside of an expensive looking vase. Plucking a particular flower from it, I then offered to her. A curious, questioning look was on her faced, as she looked at the flower, then back at me.

"A thorny Rose... for a.. thorny Rose.."


My play on Shakespeare. The words came out scratchy, like gravel under a boot, but she heard what I had to say. Her face, pretty when angry, looked prettier completely stunned. I guess that had been the last thing she had expected to hear. Her wry smile that followed, as her mouth moved in laughter, is one of those things I'll probably never forget.



While his mind reminisced, Raijen had finished folding the bills away in his jacket and trouser pockets. Walking right back to his chair, he sat down reversed, book in hand and elbows balancing on the chairs back. Eyes treading just above the page, Raijen signed back to Mac.

"Whats your cut going to?"
Vytautas wrote:There are two kinds of people in this world:
* people giving a fuck,
* people not giving a fuck,
Drink Vytautas, give a NEGATIVE FUCK!
The Burning Sun wrote:...you seem to experience what I shall completely non-offensively dub the Triplex, or TriStates Complex - you spend a ton of time crafting a beautiful work of collaboration, and then you mysteriously disappear...

The Starlight wrote:
TriStates wrote::( I don't like change...

It's coarse and dry and gets everywhere. :p

But I do get what you mean.
My Past Adventures: After World

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Cylarn
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Cylarn » Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:34 pm

Ronnie nodded at Mack's suggestion. The PTPD's mechanics weren't always the best, so Ronnie preferred to take his vehicles to Ed Pritchard, even back when he was driving a marked Charger. Ed knew how to give a run-of-the-mill patrol car the extra "umph" it needed to catch the fastest, super-charger sports car bought by some trust fund kid and stolen by some two-bit hood. A custom shotgun, probably an over-under masterpiece with polished wood furniture would do just fine for his boy. It wasn't Christopher's first gun; Ronnie had passed down an old M1 Carbine to the boy, one that had once belonged to his own grandfather, Major Willy Viljoen of the Korps Nationale Politie. Of course, the boy was too young to shoot the carbine, so he had to settle with a Ruger 10/22. Christopher would love his shotgun; he loved anything with an expensive price tag.

Mack and Ronnie had known each other for a while. Long before he entered service with the Mackster, Ronnie never really liked the guy without never really knowing him. He knew Agthoven; every uniform knew that Sam Agthoven was a piece of shit who'd throw people at a problem and then take credit for solving it, while treating the uniforms like crap. It was outside Madalena's, where Ronnie and Mack were properly introduced.

Ronnie was boozed up, angry over his wife's death. A Green Cobra, his jaw shattered and blood pouring from the various wounds on his body, was still biting the curb and bleeding out. The stupid thug had wandered into Madalena's, and began bragging about the "hot pussy" he had come across on High Street three nights prior. That was the wrong thing to say around a pissed-off cop, drunk out of his mind and ready to give someone a curb party. Play stupid games: win stupid prizes. Comanda Paraiso men were pulling up, ready to "pop a pig" for causing trouble in Little Rio. Civilians looked on from the safety of nearby buildings, watching as Ronnie began to reach for his pistol. He had nothing left to lose; he was going to go out in a hail of bullets, having already taken one of the Green Cobras with him. His hand gripped his sidearm tightly and his eyes narrowed on the paramilitary gunmen, who raised their rifles in anticipating.

Before the triggers could be pulled, the commanding voice of Rafael Pinto rang out, shouting in Portuguese for his men to lower their weapons. Reluctantly, they did, but Ronnie was stupid. He was in the process of pulling out his sidearm to waste them when his vision went dark. He came to in the very room in which he was sitting in now, his head ringing. Before him was Agthoven's old crony, the one who had made the man disappear. Ronnie thought that he was going to be shot dead, as his sobriety returned to him. It wasn't uncommon for cops to kill each other; you fuck someone over, and you better pay the damn toll. Instead, the Mack scolded him for a few minutes, calling him an idiot for trying to pull a gun on the Comanda Paraiso; they'd never forget that. However, the Mack made an offer: they'd find the scumbags who did the unspeakable to Andrea, and Ronnie would soon be working for the Mackster.

It wasn't a week later that Ronnie found himself standing beside Mack, shoving restrained men into a pig pen out in some laagveldt hacienda. They had kidnapped 5 Green Cobras, all of whom had raped Andrea. All 5 men soon became piles of bones and guts trampled upon in a pig sty, their fates left in the hands (or mouths) of pigs, ready to chomp on anything covered in slop. No one cries over the loss of lowlifes, and their disappearances were largely forgotten. No witnesses, no evidence, no nothing; the only two men who knew what had happened were satisfied. Vengeance was swift, but young Christopher would never have the nurturing guidance of his dear mother. Mack had other jobs for Ronnie, who felt he owed a huge debt to Mack. So, Ronnie did jobs, killing scumbags for scumbag politicians, planting evidence on scumbag politicians so another scumbag politician could take power, and so forth.

Indeed, Mack and Ronnie knew each other. Mack pulled strings for the RPR supervisor to transition over to OCU, and Ronnie finished out his time with the unit by serving as the FTO for Chris Shade, a new officer whose service in the military had merited him to join RPR. Even before he left RPR, Ronnie was running jobs for Mack, often bringing Chris along. He was a good guy, with a love life similar to that of Ronnie's. He shared a name with Ronnie's son, and Aliah became a friend to young Christopher, despite the age gap between the two. In a way, she was a bit like a big sister to Christopher at times. Chris was giving Aliah money, and Ronnie approved.

Then, there was Celestia, Ronnie's partner. She was nuts; beautiful, but absolutely insane, and Ronnie thought she was hilarious. Back when they first got assigned to each other, Ronnie wondered if the beautiful woman had an attraction him, and Ronnie would have certainly acted on it had Jamie Cuypers not decided to comfort her grieving brother-in-law. Celestia wasn't the kind of woman who would accept a fling; she wanted a strong, committed relationship. Still though, they were fast friends. She was great with young Christopher, and Ronnie often left his kid in her care whenever he had business to attend to. Virrey, on the other hand, hated Ronnie, but in a strange way. He never tried to bite Ronnie or maul him; Celestia taught her dog better than that. But every time that he was at Celestia's house, Virrey would always get in his way, trying to trip him over, or he would knock over Ronnie's drink and just stare at him with a smug look. That dog hated Ronnie, but he loved Christopher.

"Usted y Ronnie haría excelentes amigos!"

Ronnie laughed at that quip. He was a notorious poon-hound in the PTPD, notorious for his romantic bouts with two Cuypers girls, a one-time fling with the striking Commissioner Santos at last year's Christmas party, numerous flings with numerous female officers, and many other incidents. Rebecca van Rijn was of a similar reputation, though Ronnie actually got high-fives for his sex life. She was cute, but Ronnie was a bit reluctant to mess with her, on account of his knowledge of her friendship with Mack. He couldn't get on Mack's wrong side.

"Oye! How is my sweet little Christopher, hm? I have not fucking seen that boy in weeks!"

"Boy's doing boy things," he said. "He's been at camp for the past couple of weeks. They're doing something over at Larksburg with the Marines. He's coming home sometime later this week."
Last edited by Cylarn on Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Aurinsula
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Postby Aurinsula » Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:09 pm

Reverend Norv wrote:Mack pointed his cigarette at Alan, and then at Felipe, and then at Ronnie, and then at Christopher. "You lads have folk depending on you for sustenance. There's six grand there. Why don't each of you take fifteen hundred? Get a head start on those home repairs; put some cash in the college fund for wee Christopher and Aliah and Maria."


Didn't have to tell Felipe twice. He picked up another package, pulled out five hundred-dollar bills, and put the change back on the pile.

"Someone's gonna end up with just loose change, I think. Sorry." Then he tucked his new take in with his old take, hidden securely under a fiberglass plate. As several perps had found out to their dismay, Felipe was such an avid motorcyclist - and such a cautious one - that he always wore a quality biking jacket, with armor to keep away road rash. It also worked nicely against slashing wounds to the arms. Wasn't a bulletproof vest, by any means, but detectives didn't often get in shoot-outs.

Nude East Ireland wrote:"What apple do you bite into?" Costello asked. "What idols do you build?"


"He's always like this, Jefe." That was what he called Mack, and it was the actual Spanish translation of his official title. We might translate it as "chief."

"I try to loosen this guy up, but he won't do it. C'mon, man, I'll spot you for coffee tomorrow at Artemitha. It's good shit. Eat and be merry - let me get you another drink."

That was Carilla; he tried to be nice. He hopped up to get another round for his gloomy partner.

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Rudaslavia
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Corporate Police State

Postby Rudaslavia » Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:39 pm

Celestia smiled. "Extraño a mi pequeño ángel lindo." she told to Ronnie. "But the boy needs more spiritual guidance, no? I would like to start taking him to Mass." She paused and made the Sign of the Cross. "One needs God on this motherfucking island."

Celestia had always wished to bring Christopher with her to Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of San Joaquin. She believed that the child would admire the extravagance of the Roman Catholic Church. Its ceremonial practices were of regal magnificence. Celestia had always been aware of Ronnie's agnosticism. How could the truths of Christ's teachings be denied? It was baffling, and de Jaager did not wish for such views to infect Christopher's mind.

"On another note," Celestia said to her partner, taking another drag from her cigarette with a sip of tequila. "How goes your relaciones with Jamie Cuypers?"

de Jaager rarely asked of Viljoen's liaisons with the Cuypers heiress. She fucking hated that family -- a lineage infested with corruption. They were the proud butt-buddies of the Lanza Mafia, and they used such connections to sustain their backwards political misconduct in Portocielo. Why would Ronnie be so drawn to the spawn of those suited pigs? Sure, Jamie was one hell of a beautiful woman...but what else did she have to offer? She was well-educated, but jobless. She suckled off of her family's fortune like a parasite. Useless! At least Andrea had been a productive member of society.

Perhaps Celestia was subliminally jealous. Perhaps she was merely overcritical. In any case, Ronnie was still her best friend. If he wanted to stick it in some idle brat, that was his prerogative. Celestia wouldn't chastise him for it.
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Cylarn
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Postby Cylarn » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:29 pm

Celestia wanted to take the boy to church, and Ronnie had to control a sigh. It's not that he disliked religion, but he was still iffy on whether or not to allow his son to be exposed to religion. Ronnie's parents were religious, his mother a Methodist and his father a Calvinist (supposedly). Ronnie was raised as a non-denominational Christian, though he had lost his religion by college, choosing instead to believe that while some intelligent entity likely created everything, from the universe to all of existence, he could not comprehend it and thus no religion was to be correct until the day he died. He didn't want Christopher to subscribe to any religion; he felt as though it would make the boy less-tolerant of other religions, and he knew full-well that his partner was baffled by this. However, he couldn't deny the benefits of allowing Christopher to attend Mass. He'd be learning about religious culture, and thus learning more about the island.

"Eh...you know me, Celestia," he said, before taking a sip of his beverage. "I don't want my son to subscribe to one religion and discriminate, you know? If he wants to believe, let him, but to me, religion is nothing more than a construct of humanity, just people thinking that they're right and everyone else is wrong. But nevertheless, you can take him to Mass, but I hope you can talk him into it. He's got his nosed always pressed into that TV of his, playing those video games."

Celestia had also brought up Jamie. It was a complex procedure; he and Andrea were the same age, and they were both 24 when they met. Jamie was barely 10 by that time. When Andrea was murdered, she was around 17 or 18, about to go off to Yale. Whenever she was on break and not backpacking around Europe, she had agreed to help out with wee Christopher, who was but a toddler doing toddler things. She would often babysit the boy and help out around the house while Ronnie worked, and Jamie had formed a bond with her nephew. Ronnie remembered when they began to hit it off; she was 19, and it had been a long day for Ronnie, who had worked from 8 in the morning to 8 in the evening, and Jamie had spent the day looking after Christopher, who was 3 or 4 by this time.

Jamie had already put Christopher to sleep by the time that Ronnie got home, and there she was, standing in the foyer, dressed in some short-shorts and a tank top, smiling at Ronnie as he entered his house. Up to that point, they had been flirting a little bit with one another, and Ronnie decided to ask her if she wanted to just chill out and watch some TV. It started off as such, until they both began to make moves, and eventually, Jamie woke up in Ronnie's bed the next morning. It began as just fooling around and remained as such for around 4 years, until Ronnie began to actually take Jamie out on dates. He had some reservations; he knew her when she was just a little girl, and it was weird at first, banging your dead wife's little sister (who was all grown up). However, he had since gotten over that taboo, and it seemed that Old Man Cuypers tolerated it, so far. It was better than letting her get a rough, abusive fuck from Gabriel Lanza, the esteemed Mayor of Plezier.

"Jamie and I are steady," he said, before finishing off his beverage, setting the glass down on the tabletop.
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Walabam
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Postby Walabam » Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:59 am

"Usted y Ronnie haría excelentes amigos," exclaimed Celestia while she chuckled. Rebecca looked at her, not really understanding the words she was saying. She could, however, make out the words "Ronnie", "excelentes" and "amigos". "Ronnie and I, best friends," she thought. Rebecca turned to look at Ronnie, smiling, and then looking back to Celestia. "Sure...sure," mumbled Rebecca while she cleared her throat in an awkward manner.

Ronnie had a somewhat similar reputation as hers, though he attained more cheers than jeers from his peers. Rebecca knew what Celestia meant when she said the pair would be best friends. She, too, had found Ronnie attractive, though she knew her best friend, Jaime, was in a relationship with him. Although Jaime probably knew of his sex addiction, his casual sex with others, and that he frequently engaged the services of prostitutes, Rebecca did not want to risk ruining the friendship between Jaime and her. Rebecca's stance, though, could change at any moment, thanks to the known fact that she had difficulty keeping her pants on.

Holding her empty glass with one hand, and the bottle of Casa Noble that Mack had just passed to her, she started to fill the cup slowly, turning back to stare at Mack once again as she did so. She frowned, putting her thinking to the hardest, trying to remember where she had seen that face before. Was it the abortion? No, certainly not. Was he a family friend? That wasn't quite possible. Was it her kidnap? Rebecca froze as the memories poured into her brain, just like how the tequila filled the glass.

"Shut up, bitch! Stop screaming! Rebecca laid on the cold, hard ground, constrained, blindfolded and badly abused. She hoped for someone to save her. It had been days since her disappearance, and her kidnappers wondered how she still had the energy to scream. The kidnappers laughed while the TV played the news, showing a clip of the van Rijns begging for their daughter's release, together with the Police Commissioner "advising" the kidnappers to give themselves up. "The Police are on our payroll anyway. They can't do shit," uttered one of the kidnappers. Rebecca shivered in both fear and from the cold. She was given nothing to cover herself with, not even a piece of cloth. Her stomach growled, while her captors feasted on delicacies. Her hands started getting colder, and colder, and colder...

The people in the pub looked on as Rebecca overfilled her glass. Her hand that she used to hold the glass was drenched with alcohol. She awoken, looking around before she realized she had been dwelling in her past for a tad too long. "Sorry, lads. Just...thinking about stuff." Rebecca set the glass down, standing herself up before excusing herself to the restroom.

Rebecca stood in front of the sink outside the toilets. She looked at herself in the mirror, her eyes welling up with tears as she clenched her fists tightly. It was a memory she wanted to forget, but she never could, no matter how hard she tried. Hoping to truly forget these painful memories, she resorted to wallowing in her self-pity, degenerating herself by throwing her own into the arms and beds of strangers. She tugged on her own hair, crying her guts out while washing her face - an attempt to hide her tears - before she walked back to her table.

Rebecca sat herself down. Her make-up was obviously ruined. Her eyes were red and a tad bit swollen from all the crying. She picked up her glass and gulped all of its contents down. "I'm okay, guys. I'm okay," uttered Rebecca, answering possible questions that were going to come her way.
Last edited by Walabam on Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
wat.

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Rudaslavia
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Postby Rudaslavia » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:27 am

Christopher and those fucking videogames! Technology, technology -- it seemed to be all the new generation cared for. Sure, Celestia spoiled the boy to a great extent. But her gifts never consisted of electronic gadgets. Instead, she bought him jewelry, toys, and sports equipment. Children were not meant to spend hours on end in front of a screen. It was unnatural.

Celestia did not understand this new world. When she was a toddler, her family didn't even own a television. It was somewhat ironic; both the Trinidads and the de Jaagers were of old aristocratic stock, and yet they could scarcely afford the modern era's basic luxuries. By the time Celestia was born, their wealth existed only in name. She was raised in the Trinidads' age-old villa -- a crumbling relic of Spanish colonial dominance whose disrepair had rendered it a hazard to one's safety. When she wasn't working alongside her father in the fields, she was allowed to play with one single toy. It was a Castillian porcelain doll she'd christened "Rosa," and it was the only plaything her parents could afford to buy her.

Celestia was still fascinated by how far her bloodline had fallen. Still, she never complained about her one doll. She loved Rosa with all of her heart. It was simplistic and pure. When she was a child, Celestia never needed wild shooter videogames to entertain herself. Christopher, on the other hand, would probably laugh in the face of something as mundane as a doll or action figure.

Kids had grown too complex...and not in a sophisticated way. They just weren't satisfied with everyday life anymore. Everything had to be "BOOM! BANG! RAPID-FIRE MACHINE GUN! EXPLOSIONS! CAR CRASH! SMASH! KABAM! BLOOD AND GORE!" Why the fuck would parents let this happen? Who the fuck thought these absurd videogames and CGI movies were a good idea? These children were being raised to become little assholes, and Celestia couldn't stand it.

She was overjoyed when Ronnie granted her permission to bring Christopher to church. The Roman Catholic faith would be good for him.

Then Rebecca began overfilling her glass, allowing the Casa Noble to spill onto the table. "Are you fucking kidding me?" Celestia quietly whispered to Ronnie in frustration with the wasted booze. "Do you know how much money that shit costs? Follar ridículo!"

But Celestia comprehended the situation. She didn't criticize Rebecca for becoming lost in thought. She remembered the van Rijn kidnapping and all the hype it provoked throughout the police department. It seemed as though Celestia and Rebecca had more than a few things in common. Of course, both of them handled their strife in different ways. Whereas Rebecca sought to suppress her sorrow, Celestia utilized it as a weapon.

"Oye!" de Jaager called to Rebecca as the young woman returned to the table. "You and I shall speak one-to-one, ? Stop by my place for a drink sometime."

Rebecca van Rijn had only been a part of the Goon Squad for a short period. Thus, Celestia hadn't enough time to formulate an opinion regarding the girl. Rebecca was pretty...but also as promiscuous as a rabbit in heat. She had to cut the bullshit before she hurt herself. Other than her sex addiction, though, Rebecca seemed an intuitive (if not spoiled) young lady of respectable birth. The de Jaagers and the van Rijns had known tensions in the past; both were high-ranking Dutch elites competing for economic control. Hindsight, it seemed as though the van Rijns had won, given the fact that the de Jaager fortune had collapsed into poverty by 1930. Despite this, Celestia didn't hold much of a grudge against the family. She identified more with her Spanish heritage anyway, and the Trinidads had very few historical interactions with the van Rijns.

Celestia finished her drink and put out her cigarette. She was now somewhat buzzed and decided to ease herself off the liquor for the night.
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Nude East Ireland
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Postby Nude East Ireland » Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:20 am

Reverend Norv wrote:And then there was Alan. Sometimes Mack forgot just how fucking weird Alan Costello actually was.

Mack understood it, at least mostly, at least he thought he did. It was the consequence of too much intelligence, too much moral fiber, and too much trauma. Something had to give. So Alan's worldview warped under the pressure like a shatterproof windshield under a sledgehammer. And Alan got weird.

Which didn't make it any less disconcerting for Mack to turn from refilling Rebecca's glass, and find himself trading Biblical metaphors with Alan.

Alan wanted to keep his family safe. That was normal. Alan wondered about Mack's original sin. That was less normal.

Mack thought of his father bleeding out. Mack thought of how the knife's handle had felt sticky for days afterwards.

Mack smiled. Mack picked up a vacuum-wrapped wad of cash. Mack quipped: "My idol's right here, lad. The Golden Calf."

A pause. Mack's voice turned serious, and kindly. "How is your family, Alan? I haven't seen Susan in - why, it must be months now. Everything all right at home?"

Costello nodded, before diverting his eyes from Mack. "Susan's doing good. Her sister visited last weekend, so she was busier than usual. Maria is doing well in school. Not much else."

Alan admired Mack's care for the members of the Squad. While he could never be as personable as Mack, he did consider himself loyal to the other members; even Felipe, despite large concrete barriers that separated their ideologies. Nevertheless, Alan appreciated it when Mack asked about his family. He never had too much to actually say, but he felt that having little to say was good. Susan did most of the talking in the relationship; at least, most of the casual talking. She was used to his metaphors and thoughts, but he was noticeably more open at home with her and Maria. Perhaps he put more effort into his family relationships than his work or social ones. He did not mind that.

Aurinsula wrote:"He's always like this, Jefe." That was what he called Mack, and it was the actual Spanish translation of his official title. We might translate it as "chief."

"I try to loosen this guy up, but he won't do it. C'mon, man, I'll spot you for coffee tomorrow at Artemitha. It's good shit. Eat and be merry - let me get you another drink."

That was Carilla; he tried to be nice. He hopped up to get another round for his gloomy partner.

Alan let out a quiet sigh, nodding slowly as Carilla went to get him another drink. "Coffee is good," he replied. He did not have much else to say to Felipe; admittedly, he had little to say to anyone else in the Squad. But Felipe was his partner. Which supposedly meant something.
Part One of the Incredible, Invincible Team Dai-Zarkeland!

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Rupudska
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Postby Rupudska » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:11 pm

Yin was quiet when Mack asked his Goons what they would be spending their six grand on. She, like a few of the others, had few problems with real debt - her house was a very nice one on Webb Beach, and any pockets she managed to pick did well enough to pad her paycheck alongside the dirty money to keep it that way. So instead of saying outright what she'd do with it (and having to change her mind later), she listened to the others' ideas, sliding her six grand into the pants pocket of her dark green pantsuit - really a men's suit she had tailored to fit her voluptuous figure.

Felipe, of course, claimed it was for some 'home repairs' and to fix up that damn motorcycle of his that he never shut up about. Sure, motorcycles were nice, and Yin loved them just as much as Felipe did, but at least she didn't constantly yap about her lovingly-modified Hayabusa. Except when it was to shut the fink up after he (inevitably) started talking about the superiority of Italian to Asian engineering. In her mind, you could tell time by the number of breakdowns an Italian car had had that day.

Celestia's idea wasn't much more truthful. The haciendas were all FN territory now, hers included. And the ones that weren't controlled by FN members were controlled by people sucking off members. Well to fuck with even trying, Yin thought. And to fuck with the FN. If they wanted their independence so bad, give it to them, and see how long they lasted.

Rebecca, however, damn near made Yin pop the buttons of her vest in laughter. You could've fertilized all the fields in China with the bullshit that came out of her mouth. Charity indeed! Even Mack was plainly unconvinced, though he was too polite to show it. If any one of those bills didn't end up in the Speedo of a male stripper, she would be truly shocked. Especially since she'd probably be at the same facility as Rebecca. Maybe. There were a lot of male (and female) stripper bars on the island, along with love hotels, prostitutes, hell there was even a nude beach along the southern shore of the island, the only one in the country.

Thinking of beaches, she finally decided what she would do with her own six grand.

"I may as well pay off some of the lifeguards on Webb Beach to stop reporting me. Again." Bastards. One payoff was never really enough for them, was it?
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On Karlsland Witch Doctrine:
Hladgos wrote:Scantly clad women, more like tanks
seem to be blowing up everyones banks
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which show a bit more than just their panties

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Rupudska wrote:So do you fight with AK-47s or something even more primitive? Since I doubt any economy could reasonably sustain itself that way.
Presumably they use advanced technology like STRIKE WITCHES

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Reverend Norv
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Reverend Norv » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:51 am

They were a good team.

Raijen asked Mack what Mack would do with his cut. Mack chuckled; he spoke and signed his reply simultaneously. "I'm going to give some stimulus to the local economy, Raijen. Support some honorable institutions, like this one." Mack waved a hand around at the Orange Arms. "Money can only you so much, but one of the things that it can buy you is favors. And favors can buy you anything."

At Mack's side, Ronnie and Celestia chatted about Ronnie's boy, Christopher. Celestia wanted to take the lad to Sunday mass. Ronnie agreed to allow it. It was a gesture of great trust.

Felipe stuffed bills into his bike jacket. He did his best to cover for Alan's weirdness. Alan's sister-in-law had visited, which made his wife happy, and his daughter Maria was doing well in school. Alan always seemed a little shy when he talked about his family, as if even to speak their names in Mack's presence was to risk exposing them to some corruption.

Mack wasn't offended by that. Mack was corrupt. And Mack loved Alan for his care in trying to protect his family.

Yin lazily watched everyone. She said that she was going to bribe some lifeguards with her cut. Mack thought that you didn't need six grand to bribe lifeguards, but he let it go. Yin almost laughed at Rebecca.

Rebecca stared at Mack and refilled her glass. Rebecca had a flashback. Mack saw it happen. The girl's eyes went blank, hollow; her jaw went slightly slack; her hands went rigid on the bottle of tequila. The glass overflowed and liquor poured onto the table.

Rebecca came back to herself. She excused herself and hurried off to the restroom. Mack wanted to follow her. He didn't. She was a detective among detectives; coddling her would not be doing her any favors.

Rebecca returned to the table. Her eyes were red. Her makeup was smeared. Mack scratched an old scar on his jaw and said nothing. Celestia invited Rebecca over to Celestia's home for a drink. Mack smiled again at that. Celestia might be crazy, but she was trying to help the rookie. There was real compassion there.

Yes, they were a good team.

~ Chapter One ~



Friday, April 3, 2015
The Orange Arms Pub and Grill
New Leiden, Portocielo
18:20


Creak-whoosh. The big hardwood door connecting the back room to the main bar swung open. A wave of noise hit the Goon Squad: cops laughing, cops arguing, cops hollering to be heard over each other. A soprano with a Belfast accent like a circular saw howled about undying loyalty on the sound system.

Teddy Larkin stuck his head in through the open door. Teddy was bigger than he looked, which wasn’t hard, because Teddy looked like a stick with a beer belly. He was going bald on the top of his head. He had a hangdog face and a boxer’s broken nose. He was as sweaty as a cokehead.

He was holding a phone.

Mack raised his eyes to the door. Mack’s expression said: this had better be important.

Teddy said: “It’s Sergeant Estevez. He says there’s something he needs to tell you.”

Mack put his hands on the table and pushed himself up out of his chair. Mack walked over to the door. Mack said: “Thanks, Teddy.”

Teddy Larkin bobbed his head and nodded and smiled a rueful just-remember-that-I-knew-you-when smile. He gave Mack the phone and retreated.

Mack pushed the door closed behind Teddy. The noise of the main bar was abruptly muted back to a dull roar. Mack raised the phone to his ear. Mack said: “All right, then, Hector. Say what you have to say, mate.”

There was a long moment of silence. Mack occasionally said, "Got it," or "Aye, aye." Mack grabbed a ballpoint pen off the back room's private bar, and scribbled something on the back of his hand. Mack said: "How many?" and "Who caught the case?"

Another long moment of silence. Mack said, "Aye, aye, Hector. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I am grateful for your vigilance and your loyalty." A pause. "Aye, Hector. You take care too. Give Mariana and the kids my love."

Mack dumped the phone on the bar. Mack turned to the team. Mack said: "Five spics just got dropped on High Street, six blocks from Pope Tower. They look like a family. This time tomorrow, it's going to be all over local news." Mack spread his hands and made imaginary headlines. "Green Cobras Slaughter Children With Impunity in Heart of New Leiden." Mack shook his head. "That's embarrassing for everyone. We're going to grab the case, and give the papers a different headline: 'Police Shootout Slays Killers Within Hours of Family's Murder."

Mack grabbed his hat off the table. It was an Ecuadorian Panama hat, with an optimo crown and a wide brim, the sort of hat that a United Fruit executive might have worn in 1935. Mack said: "Bluesuits have sealed off the scene; we're headed up to High Street between Lincoln and Zaan. We'll rendezvous there." Mack stared around at the team, and rapped his knuckles sharply on the table. "Let's go!"

The back room of the Orange Arms had an exit of its own; the door led out to a corner of the parking lot where the Goon Squad left their vehicles. The evening air was muggy; mosquitoes hummed around dim streetlights. Mack's hand dropped onto Rebecca's shoulder; it felt like it was made entirely of lead. Mack said: "You'll ride with me for tonight."

Mack had paid Ed Pritchard almost a quarter of a million dollars for his car. The money had came from Mack's savings, which in turn had come from the profits of the heroin business that Mack had run for a decade while he was in the Marines. The car, in Mack's considered opinion, was worth the cash. It was a '56 Cadillac Eldorado two-door hardtop sedan. The outside was black with a white roof; the inside was mahogany and baseball-glove leather. Pritchard had torn out the car's guts and put in modern power steering and brakes; improved suspension; a police radio; a security grille between the front and back seats (since the car had only two doors, there was a folding panel in the grille through which to stuff perps into the back seat); and a 650-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 engine. The windows and windshield were bulletproof glass; there was a half-inch of kevlar in the doors. The car was Mack's calling-card, his signature. Cops all over New Leiden waved when they saw it pull up.

Mack looked at Rebecca, and nodded to the front passenger seat. "In you go." Mack himself swung into the driver's seat, grabbed a blue Kojak light from the glove compartment, and stuck it to the roof of the car. He gunned the big engine, turned on the Kojak, pulled out of the parking lot, and headed east on Seacrest at about sixty miles per hour. Evening traffic fled to the curb like the Red Sea parting before Moses.

Mack's eyes were locked on the road. The pulsating blue light of the Kojak played across his face, casting strange shadows. Mack spoke without looking at Rebecca.

"This is your first big case as a detective. I want you to stick close to me and do what I say. If I tell you to follow someone else, I want you to stick close to them and do what they say."

The lights of Claes Beach glimmered to the south. Mack ran a four-lane red light and turned north on Meer Boulevard, heading toward Truman Square. Traffic fled the road.

Mack said: "This is a Green Cobras killing. It will be ugly, and we will have to get ugly before the night is over. Are you ready?"
Last edited by Reverend Norv on Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
For really, I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest he. And therefore truly, Sir, I think it's clear that every man that is to live under a Government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that Government. And I do think that the poorest man in England is not at all bound in a strict sense to that Government that he hath not had a voice to put himself under.
Col. Thomas Rainsborough, Putney Debates, 1647

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Cylarn
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Posts: 14610
Founded: Nov 25, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Cylarn » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:45 am

"I wonder what 'ole Hector has to say," Ronnie said, as Mack got up to answer the phone.

Hector Estevez and Ronnie Viljoen went way back. The two guys were classmates at Rookie School, and became lifelong friends. They were in Patrol together, and both men had done time in RPR. To his kids, Ronnie was almost like an uncle, as Hector and his family at dinner with Ronnie and Christopher (and formerly Andrea) on multiple occasions. Hector, 2nd Precinct's Patrol Supervisor, was Mack's eyes and ears within the department, telling them of what was going on in the other divisions. Whenever Hector called, he always had something important to say.

"Green Cobras Slaughter Children With Impunity in Heart of New Leiden."

Ronnie didn't care about spics too much, but he reviled the Green Cobras. Even the mere mention of them conjured up bad memories. He could see that Green Cobra's face in Madalena, guzzling liquor and talking about pounding that "rich bitch" and just leaving her on the side of the road for whoever came by looking for an easy fuck. The hood's gloating ended with him biting a curb and taking 7 heavy stomps to his dome piece until a mixture of bone, blood, sticky goo, and grey matter had been strewn about. Ronnie's blood boiled; he was going to get his hands on another Green Cobra and throw them a curb party. He looked towards Mack, giving him a serious, determined look.

The Mack gave the order to move out, and Ronnie grabbed his jacket, following him out the door. Ronnie's dark black, unmarked 2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit was sitting just outside. It was a beast, with kevlar built into the body, tinted windows, a suped-up engine (thanks to Ed Pritchard), interior pursuit lights and grille lights, and a bull bar on the front. It was a real beast of a car, and Ronnie often took that thing on pursuits with the uniforms whenever Mack had nothing for them to do. He opened up his door and hopped in, giving Celestia a moment to hop in. With her inside, he took off down the road, turning on his lights and sirens as he sped down the road.

"Those fucking hoods!" Ronnie said, his voice full of anger. "No one wants to fucking burn down High Street and put an end to those cunts! I hope Mack realizes that enough is enough!"

Cars were screeching and attempting to not hit the Charger as it recklessly disregarded traffic. Ronnie wasn't phased at all; his left hand was on the wheel, and his right was unlocking his Colt M4 from its locking rack, though leaving it in place so that he could grab it quickly. The rack separated Ronnie and Celestia, containing their long guns of choice, while Ronnie had a Benelli M4 and a Marlin 336W in the back. Ronnie's M4 was all tricked out like he was in Baghdad; forward grip, attached magazines for quick reloading, a AN/PEQ5 laser sight, an optical sight, and a flashlight on the barrel. All you really needed was a rifle with a good set of iron sights and maybe a forward grip, but Ronnie kind of liked to show off, plus a suped-up rifle would scare the shit out of anyone.

He kept close to Mack, following him to the call.
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If you are serving the US and its allies right now overseas, thank you for what you do.
Recipient of the Best Crime RP'er Award and the Best Crime RP Award for 2013 in P2TM. Recipient of the Best Crime RP'er Award of 2014 in P2TM.

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