Call Dir: Shadownet/ShadowlandsBBS/>
Select Region: Region=SanFrancisco>
Call SubDir: SanFrancisco/WeBlogs>
Select Blog: Author=V.Six>
Entry 23: 19.07.70>
Dunklezahn’s Balls! It’s happened again! We’ve been screwed, again, and this time by Nunzio’s boy Carlo! Goddamnit… It broke down like this. By the time Orange Jay had deposited us back in Birmingham, Alabama, it was about 9pm.
Ash was still sweating about being out of contact with Daisy so I rang Nunzio and asked him to send some of his boys over to check things out. We had a couple of beers while we were waiting but even the edge of inebriation couldn’t soften the blow when Nunzio reported in that Daisy was missing from her apartment and there had clearly been a struggle.
Understandably, Ash was all for heading straight back to San Fran until I pointed out that it was a road trip of several days back across country.
Instead, I talked him into heading back to Atlanta with me where we could arrange to have a charter plane waiting for us so we could make a quick overnight jaunt back to the Bay Area. He could see the plane was quicker and made more sense, so agreed to do it my way. En route back to Atlanta, Carlo called to say he had set up a meet with a buyer for the guns. We were going to just make it back to Atlanta in time so it seemed prudent to attend before catching our flight. How could we know it would turn out to be a mistake?!
We drove the wagon load of hookey shooters to an abandoned industrial park for a 1am meet and were joined by Carlo and his muscle – a runner named Hilt. In due course, a motor and two transits cruised up and Mr Cowboy himself, Johnny Kickback, lazily hauled his ass out of the driver’s seat and came on over for a chat. He reckoned the guns were his – obviously the Yakuza hit we interrupted was their attempt to spoke his wheel – and didn’t seem to care about the circumstances under which they entered our possession. I told him about the Yaks, pointed out that without our intervention the guns would be a couple of hundred miles away and offered to return them for a small consideration – a finder’s fee, if you will. Well, that just seemed to wind him all the way up to inarticulate rage. He spat out that we had been a thorn in his side for too long, drew down and just started shooting.
I scrambled for cover in the back of the wagon while Ash gave the Cowboy a gutful of hot lead slug. I didn’t see it myself but apparently that was when Carlo turned on Ash and shot him with one of our own guns! Cheeky feck!
Carlo had clearly decided there was a brighter future for him in Johnny Kickback’s employment but fortunately, Hilt has a conscience… Hey, I guess that makes him our kind of Runner! Carlo had told Hilt they were there to sell the guns and make sure nothing went wrong. Clearly Hilt felt that everyone shooting at Ash and I counted as something having gone wrong. As the Cowboy’s friendly neighbourhood muscle lumbered from the vans, Hilt picked a side. Ours.
While Hilt moved off to draw fire away from the unconscious Ash, I did the only thing I could and remoted the Dodge into a position from which I could offer supporting fire. I took care of Carlo as he tried to frag me then concentrated fire on the petrol tank of the transit. I saw it blow, catch the Cowboy’s car before he could escape and the secondary explosion from that was enough to topple the second van. His goons were toast but Hilt said there was no sign of Kickback in the wreckage of his burned out car…
We didn’t have time for mysteries; I just wanted to get the frag away from there. We blazed to the other side of the industrial estate where we could lay low long enough to patch Ash up and give Nunzio a mouthful of abuse for his sell-out staff. I don’t think he knew. Hard to tell with Nunz but I think he was genuinely surprised and hacked off that Carlo would turn his back on the family and compromise our safety.
Either way, he picked up where Carlo had left off and made moves to buy the guns from us himself for the family to use. I took a risk and told Nunzio we were heading back into San Fran. He didn’t push that either – I think he understood that with Ash’ sister missing, there was sufficient personal interest for us to justify heading back into the city against his express warning.
We’ve just handed over the guns to Nunzio’s buyer and taken payment. We’re going to cruise over to the Safehouse and give Ki-rinn, Sickle and Glyph a heads up that it might be time to find new digs. Hilt is apparently a San Fran native so by way of thanks for his help, we’re going to take him on the flight back with us. I’d like one of the others to come with us as back-up too but Ash and I are intending to head back to Atlanta so it might serve our purpose better if a couple of the guys stay with the vehicles and use the time while we are away to find us a safe Safehouse!
On a more positive note, as I mull things over, it occurs to me that we’re probably not going to have to do the Cowboy’s dirty work and fabricate the death of April Walker and Snow to lay a false trail for the Separatist Shamans now. Still no word from Snow though which remains a concern. I just feel exhausted by the bullet train of events we’ve been riding. It shows no sign of slowing, so here’s to Johnny Kickback! May his soul burn in Hell.