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Entry 17: 29.06.70>
Creed, like the vagrant he took fashion advice from, had moved on by daybreak. Evidently he preferred the cold hard planks of a park bench to the warm soft cushions on the sofa or decided he didn’t want to share any more bounties with Ash and I. For our part, we resolved to head after drug addled fattie Zhang Jie while our intel was hot. He was worth £25k to us if we could bring him in alive and given the number of goons and mooks we had seen caught up in the gravitational pull of his flabby gut we knew we’d need a bit more back-up to have any chance of pulling the job off. Glyph and Ki-rinn got the call and both responded – it was beginning to feel like the team was back on song.
Given the time of day, we decided to look in on Fu Hong at the Paper Dragon restaurant and see whether we could do anything about collecting his bounty as a bit of a Brucie Bonus. We did see him hanging around the fringes, haranguing some poor fool on the other end of the telephone in warp-speed Cantonese but by the time we had decamped and moved into a position from which we could attempt to throw down a kidnap, he had jumped into a vehicle and steamed off. There was every chance he would return however so we had the rest of meal put into doggie bags and settled down in Ash’ pick-up to stake out the streets for his return. Like all of our stake outs thus far, it proved to be fruitless and after an idle few hours we reset the stake out outside the Province strip joint.
Security had been ramped up, front and back and even on the roof. There were disposable ninja everywhere we looked and it was obvious that getting in after our man was going to be far from easy. Ki-rinn found himself a sniping position, Glyph and Ash set up to watch the streets and I took my balls in my hand and headed inside to scope the joint. Apart from the increased security, all was as it had been 24 hours earlier although there did seem to be some sort of high level bigwigs meeting going down on Zhang Jie’s all-you-can-eat balcony. That part of the venue was thoroughly rammed with muscle so when I thought I saw one of them gesture in my general direction, my sphincter squeaked and I fled double-time.
Agreeing that discretion was the better part of valour, and that life as a coward was the better part of a short career as a brave fool, we decided there was no way we were dumb-ass enough to try and raid Province until the heat was off. We hung around figuring they’d have to go home sometime and sure enough the party began to break up as the night ticked by. Now we took visual idents of as many of the main men as possible, just out of curiosity, and Ki-rinn ran an agent over them on the Matrix and we turned up the movers and shakers from all of the major criminal organisations on the West Coast.
Hell, even Nunzio and a couple of his Mafioso batty boys where there. Not getting involved was beginning to look like the best tactical decision we ever made and that was confirmed when the place finally emptied out with no sign of Zhang Jie. Fatty Jap Perp was still holed up inside and by our reckoning there were no more than a dozen toughs left at his side.
The operation was sweet. Ash and I used the winch on his pick-up to rip the security grills off of the front doors, while Glyph used an improvised explosive key on the fire door at the rear. Ki-rinn played commando, sniping the guard on the roof and then swinging in through a skylight. Flash-bangs flew, followed in short order by hot lead and after a few minutes of mopping up, we were winching Cartman Hong’s fat ass down the fire escape and onto the load bed of the pick-up for a one way trip to the local Lone Star precinct.
Say what you like about Lone Star but if nothing else, they pay out promptly on their bounties and that meant I had some green with which to go cruising for a little race action down on the strip.
Now this dog who called the meet had hooked himself up with a sweet little gig. Four racers take each other on for Pinks, lured in by a tidy looking little Mustang charger being offered up as a prize. The hit is, while the winner keeps their car and drives away the charger, the Big Dog keeps the three losers rides – all of which are custom, race tuned rides. He essentially trades one stock boot for three custom sleds and keen to prove that they’ve got the biggest balls on the circuit, dumb Street Racers keep falling for the gig. Now how could I resist?!
The kid Bumfluff who’s trying to make a name for himself with his souped up, welded together Toyota Commuter was there on the starting line along with a couple of lads I didn’t know by the names of Pimp and Quarterback. I again lost out at the start to Bumfluff but got the drop on the other two both of who dropped it sideways into the wall at the first corner. They came back strong though so as well as trying to gain ground on Bumfluff, I had to watch my mirrors and hold off the pressure they were putting on me.
Down the back straight, I was pushing Bumfluff dodging the rims, wing mirrors, door seals and bits of exhaust pipe he was shedding as the welds began to fail. Quarterback had some top end under his hood and put it to good use, screaming up like a cat amongst the pigeons but he tried to take the penultimate corner too fast. His brakes gave way in a shower of brake dust, carbon and glowing metal and he hit the bricks hard. Bumfluff had a sticky moment and by keeping the revs high and the ride smooth and consistent I was able to draft past to take the final corner and the flag with a flourish. Hand over the keys Poppa Smurf, Daddy’s taking his new girl home tonight!
Celebrations were short-lived. Someone picked up on the fact that Quarterback had taken a pretty heavy hit when he span off and collected the corner of that warehouse. I’m not sure if he’s alive or dead but it was the sort of accident to get the Heat steaming in on our location so we had to split fast before I could find out. I’ve never met the guy before but we all feel it when one of our own buys the farm in a race. If you’re gonna go, go doing what you love I guess but no one deserves to die because they couldn’t make the turn.
Mood: Subdued. Here’s to the Quarterback’s memory.