The Crimson Emperor

Order 3: French Connection

April 4th 2012 session

Tony shuffled into his old haunt, the Drunk Irishman Tavern, and sat down at his usual stool. Rolling his shoulder he was still a bit sore from the gun shot that nicked him in the arm the previous night. Nodding to Mic before stating, “French Connection.” Mic gave him an odd look before Tony held up two fingers sideways before saying ‘two fingers’ of Cognac and two fingers of Amaretto in an old fashioined. Mic nodded and slide Tony his drink with the ease of someone who spent many years behind the bar. Tony was staring at an ID card and shaking his head. He was smirking slightly but his brow was still furrowed. Turning the card around to read Mic asked a logical question which no doubt had a story behind it. Mic didn’t mind he was a good listener and as of late Tony’s stories were of something current sometimes dumb or on the side of poor judgement but always somewhat dangerous and always exciting it seemed.

“Why do you have Councilman Benard Deutsch’s ID?” Mic inquired.

“I took it off his unconscious body before putting him in a cab last night.” Tony replied.

“You’re hanging out with city officials now? Maybe I should charge you extra…did you just say he was unconscious?” Mic began.

Tony shrugged after taking a pull off his drink, “He was out cold because of me decking him. But I should probably begin at the start if I’m going to tell you what happened.”

I got a call from Constantine about a job he got from a Mr. Simms from upstate New York. His daughter had gone missing, but considering she was 21 the cops would not let him file a kidnapping or missing report considering she had freely moved out of the house about three weeks ago. Plus Mr. Simms knew she was in New York City so she was neither kidnapped or missing since he knew where she was.

Mildred Simms seemed to have been a nice girl and quite attractive. When a guy from the bad area of town in New York City came through her town she was told by her father she wouldn’t be living under her father’s roof if she was going out with the likes of him. She was quite stubborn her father had stated since he figured that was the reason she had moved out. Normally he would leave it at that, a rebellious daughter that needed to live her own life and make her own mistakes. That was until a friend from New York City sent him an article clipping from the paper.

Constantine had been shown a newspaper clipping of the shooting of a suspected gangster, Jacky Keegan. Constantine was quick to pick up on the fact that if the reason his daughter left was dead she might want to come home. He didn’t ask if the man thought his daughter might be hurt or dead as well. Although he hadn’t agreed with her decision that didn’t change the fact the man loved his daughter and wanted to know if she was okay. After signing off a contract for the job Constantine had given me and Bill a call to see what we could find out before he hit the streets himself.

Bill I found out from telephone tag with Constantine had found out the Duffy Gang and Marciano Family were the big time ‘players’ in New York City being the two major and opposing factions of the city. My part had been to find out what I could. What I found was Re Nard’s gang was a lot smaller only having a business or two in a small district inside Marciano’s Territory but he seemed to be running a prostitution ring. Mildred Smith was a new girl at the French Riviera Café, a place the frenchman owned, and seemed to have shown up right after Keegar had died. The Café was a ‘business’ owned by Re Nard but I was pretty sure he was selling more than cocktails and cigarettes.

We all had heard the rumor that Keegan had been shot by none other than Shamus Duffy, leader of the Duffy Gang himself. We opted to go to the café since there was a chance we’d find the girl there and that was what Constantine was getting paid for. Since he was giving me a bit of compensation for helping and paying for my drinks I didn’t see why I couldn’t have a drink at a nice place, maybe a little sleazy but nice. Besides I had five suits and I looked good in them. Maybe not the best but for the most part from a little distance I looked good.

Constantine slipped the bouncers a tip and we got in easily enough. We noticed the guns were packing pistols.

The café was nice; there was a singer with a piano player accompanied with a trumpet player and a hand full of customers. It was still early and Bill took up a table off to one side of the main room close to the entertainment platform while Constantine got a drink, I loitered for a bit. Talking up the bartender got Constantine little info except that he could discuss things with the boss if he wanted to talk to or know about Mildred, pointing over to the line of booths where the boss was sitting with women all around him, he was a sleazy looking Frenchman we assumed to be Re Nard. Constantine mentioned what he had gotten and what he seemed to not get out of the bartender as well. We noticed from our booth closer to the front door the customers frequenting a path from the front door upstairs and back out in about an hour. The rumors of the place being a brothel seemed possible we thought when we asked about it our waitress explained it was a ‘special club’ and if we would like to join there were ‘ways’. Constantine chuckled before saying, “Like talking to the boss?” which got an odd look from the waitress before she said there were other ways.

Shortly afterwards a man came over with a bouncer and gave us the song and dance about the ‘special club’ and asked if we’d like to get started on the paperwork for membership. Eyeing the bouncer’s gun as well I gave Constantine a look, he noticed but seemed quite busy explaining a preview of what he was going to be getting into was possible. And that was the point where things got hairy.

The sound of squealing wheels and gun shots outside had Constantine and me looking at each other knowingly before we were up on our feet pushing past the sale pitch guy and bouncer. Constantine commented that the bouncers really weren’t doing that good of a job considering they didn’t even move when there where sounds of gunshots right outside of the building. As he opened the door we saw what the sounds were from. Bouncers outside by the front door lay dead sprawled on the ground. Guys walking toward us, possible murders had Tommy Guys in hand raising to waist level. Definitely the cause and not who I wanted to talk to. Bill only had enough time to come over next to us before I had my mind off and started to do something when things are going bad and I forget to think. Something stupid. Slamming the door I shoved Constantine out of the way stepping back and lifting one of the large tables and shoving it at the door jamming it shot. After commenting I’d like to see them get around that Constantine reminded me there was the other door about fifteen feet away from the door I had just blocked.

Everyone had stopped, even the band, due to what I had done. Constantine yelled for everyone to run since there were guys out front shooting and they were coming in. The customers erupted into a mass of wild frightful panic. He had made it to the stage when bullets came through the door and table one slicing through my shoulder. Cursing I staggered back as Bill dragged me away from the door closer to the stairs telling me to snap out of the shock. A gun fight ensued mostly from the unblocked door as Tommy gun toting gangsters came in laying down lead and anyone in their way. I yelled at the bouncer next to me to do something since we were going to get mowed down at this rate. He said he was waiting for someone to come through the door, to which I reminded him that it would be a while since I had jammed a large table up against the door as I ran up the stairs. Banging on the first door I yelled I hoped everyone was decent before opening it to see Mildred getting dressed next to a guy old than Bill.

Mildred was flustered and wondering what was going on and why I had busted in. Greeting Millie and saying her father says hi and that we needed to get her out of here and possibly home before the bullets downstairs became bullets coming upstairs just confused her more. As she looked more confused I broke it down even more. Clothes on. Now. Downstairs. Bullets. Bad. Get out now. Maybe window with bed sheet rope. Good. I mentioned for her to start tying sheets together since I didn’t really want to run through several guys with Tommy Guns again. I yelled down to Bill that I had found the girl.

Constantine we found out afterwards had searched the back and had been next to Re Nard at one point in the confusion. In the kitchen and the dressing room he hadn’t found Mildred. Ducking behind the bar after several sprays of bullets put him next to a dead bartender but also next to a loaded Tommy Gun. Supposedly he had a hell of a time fighting off mobsters but eventually after wiping his fingerprints off a weapon that may or may not have killed a few of the gangsters walked out the front door. Later I commented after he told us what happened it was pretty good turn out for him considering he brought a knife to a gun fight.

Bill came up stairs and guarded the door as Mildred and I frantaically worked on the makeshift rope out of bedsheets and I knocked the window open and shimmied down to make sure the coast was clear. The next person down wasn’t Mildred or Bill but the old guy. I had watched him shove Mildred out of the way and clammer down the rope. It floored me, I couldn’t believe the stones on the guy. So I hit him. As soon as he was down and turning around towards me he saw me from around my fist as it connected sending him to see Mr. Sandman. Bill popped his head out in a bit and said the fight was over and I ushered Mildred down to just in case she wasn’t ‘allowed’ to leave the club. While she came down I had looked through the wallet of the guy I had decked. Benard Deutsch. When Mildred came down I pointed and asked if it was the Councilman Benard Deutsch. She blushed a bit and nodded. I shrugged and pulled his ID and his cash and hefted him over my shoulder and told her to come with me while we got Deutsch a cab home. After hailing a cab and giving him the address and money for fair I tucked Deutsch’s wallet into his front jacket pocket.

Mildred attacked me with questions about if I was serious about her father and that he had been angry, real angry. I calmed her letting her know reconciling with a daughter you love is always easier than burying a daughter you couldn’t save. Mildred stood and cried silently for a bit. I let her recompose herself before I went to meet up with Constantine and Bill. Cute kid I figured and in the end she’d be okay. We still had some questions for her but I figure it could wait.

Bill and Constantine had figured out the Tommy gun wielding gangsters were from Duffy’s Gang and Marciano’s Family. This just raised questions with little hope of immediate answers. Were the two biggest factions in NYC forming an alliance? What had happened for them both to come here to shoot up Re Nard’s club? Had they come for Re Nard or Mildred? What had happened with Keegan? Bill pulled the his car off the curb and we drove off before the sight of lights from cop cars came. We heard the sounds of sirens long before they showed up. From the backseat I had asked if we were going to a diner or if we were going home and to sleep. Milly slumped in the backseat against the window probably tired from a hectic night.

Tony finished his fourth French Connection feeling the burn as he did and sighed.

“I still can’t believe you hit a councilman…” Mic muttered while cleaning a glass and shook his head.

Tony shrugged, there were probably going to be worse things he’ll do.

2 XP Awarded

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