Tony walked into the Drunken Irishman and didn’t look at the bartender as usual. Something was off, he took off his hat and pressed the base of his palms into his eye sockets and rubbed as he exhaled slowly. His hands were cradling his face and hide the bar from his few until he sat staring at the well worn wooden bar countertop. Mic came over still cleaning a glass and didn’t say anything or disturb him. He just listened and waited, something he was quite good at after many years of practice.
“Death in the Afternoon.” Tony finally said his face ashen as he looked at Mic.
For once Mic didn’t look him in the eye. Tony knew why. As his drink was prepared in front of him Tony didn’t bother to say anything. Mic didn’t push either. The cocktail slowly turned opalescent with just the right about of milkiness. Tony for once did something he rarely did with a drink. He drank it slowly, reflecting on the drink as he drank it as if it was holding a conversation with him and gave him advise and after the third round he finally spook.
“Much like the book more than the drink… today’s been a hell of an eye opener.” Tony cryptically said raising a fourth glass in a mock toast. Mic like Tony wasn’t usually the type to be pegged for an avid reader but he got the notion of what he meant before Tony told him about his day.
After pulling into the docks Bill has got into a political cock fight with the cops, reporters where on the scene taking quotes from the police to claimed not only jurisdiction but claimed the operation and requisition of the illegal narcotics as their own success. Bill was mildly furious since they had been mostly idle in their reasoning until after the fact since it turned out beneficial. In the midst of the argument Bill decided to take it up with the police later. Something about the tuna sandwich he had eaten earlier I had brought not agreeing with him. He seemed only slightly green until I explained it had been egg salad. He turned a paler shade and slightly more green before he took off in an attempt at a full sprint. One hand in front of his mouth, the other behind him you could assume he really didn’t know what was coming out but the nearest bathroom would be a godsend.
Mr. Robert Carlson stepped out of the crowd of on lookers and reporters that were trying to badger anyone who would give them a lead on the breaking story. The sounds of the port and docks quickly disappeared behind us. Small talk ensued; a smirking Robert agreed to meet with us later for breakfast since our spontaneous trip around the bay had left us a bit tired since the sun was coming up. We had had enough time to confiscate a shipment of drugs and get into a shoot out with Italian mafias and Chinese pirates it seemed. They usually shot at most people trying to break up their illegal drug smuggling ring it seemed and vigilante work was tiring at times and never fully done.
A few hours of sleep later and after the second pot of coffee I added in my own spin on the conversation around what was left of the small tower of pancakes and sausage I hadn’t had a chance to inhale yet. Robert had been interested with our small tale of how the biggest gangs in town Shamus Duffy and the Duffy Gang partnering up with the Marco Marconi Family. Especially since there was a blood feud between the two on the account of Shamus’ younger brother getting killed by Marco personally put us at odds since the partnership just didn’t seem to make sense.
Robert’s interest and eyes changed when we mentioned the Asian criminal element. His question danced around the idea of them having Middle Eastern connections to which we were unsure. He had pried information out of the gangster who was still breathing on our boat after our drive in thanks to putting him at gunpoint. He simply wanted us to let him go which wasn’t going to happen. The thought of it being in his best interest of getting arrested and not staying on the streets didn’t seem to be his favorite option until we explained him being on the street when the shipment had been on his boat and now being in federal custody didn’t paint him as the loyal type. It painted him as a stool pigeon even if he wasn’t. Implying a raid of one of his local haunts and arresting everyone with a probable cause except him with officers winking at him telling him he was free to go and to have a nice night not only made him nervous enough to turn deathly white. He started sweating and telling us all kinds of dirty secrets. Most of it was useless or things we already knew. What did spark our interest was later Sunday Marco and Shamus would be frequenting the same restaurant in Chinatown, the Red Scorpion, around the same time.
With nothing to do and a man down since Bill was doing paperwork or in need of more paper for ‘work’ Robert offered to tag along. It might spark a lead into his own investigation into Middle Eastern criminals in New York. Constantine was trying to make contact with some people while myself and Robert cased the restaurant. Robert couldn’t get much out of the two guards out front, not even a light for a cigarette could be granted from the two large Chinese bouncers. Besides a whole lot of ugly with a side of nasty looks and demands to get lost the place seemed pretty impossible to get in from the front. Constantine came back meeting up with us just in time to a car pull up with Marco stepping out. What surprised us was the Frenchman LeRenard was with him as well. It surprising to see someone taking out a guy he was trying to kill to lunch on a Sunday. Stranger things have been known to happen.
We looked around at the place and the building to the left and right and tried to figure out what to do since the front door was not an option. I suggested health inspectors as he came around back. There were a few guys standing watch as people loading goods into a warehouse. They eyed us and we eyed them. We both looked fishing. Mostly us since we were hunting through the trash for a packing slip we could pass off as a notification that we needed to ‘inspect a restaurant’, the fact they kept eyeing their hatchets against the wall didn’t put them as being on the up and up either though.
The bang on the back door revealed a confused overweight Chinese cook who looked at the three of us and before he could ask was bombarded by Robert and Constantine. Between the flashing of a private eye page a quick showing of a request for an inspection that fortunately was not looked at or would have been noticed to be a shipment order for something else and the thought of being shut down by the city immediately the man just backed up and let us in. After our last attempt to sneak in to a club from the kitchen we moved around the tiny kitchen asking about their food storage, why there was no uniforms and what was the policy if waiters or cooks showed up to work dirty basically. Constantine fast talked his way into getting a free meal at a table next to the gangsters outside in the main room. I came along for an extra pair of ears plus a free meal if the food was good.
From the look on the Frenchman’s face plus the nervous shaking and sweat I’d say he was a little scared about being here. That and the large man standing behind him who looked like he was just waiting for someone to tell him to put a bullet in the man’s head. What surprised me was the lady with them sitting at the table. A red slinky dress and a lot of leg showing had me thinking it was a shakedown with the Frenchman along to show what could happen to people not falling into line. Until I saw the look on Marco’s face, he wasn’t making contact and the pursed lipped expression on the lady’s face looked like it was baking him alive in his chair.
She demanded to know why the Frenchman was there although by her tone it seemed like she was talking about a stray animal or some flea ridden unimportant thing. It was quiet clear she didn’t see him as a person since he was only a few feet from her and she completely disregarded him of being able to figure out what she was saying. Marco quickly tried to smooth the situation out claiming it was out of respect and that he, the Frenchman, could be useful. The red Scorpion Lady said she was not happy and that the Emperor was not happy either. Mention of this person got Marco pretty worked up and he started to look around asking if the guy was in New York right now. You would think by his reaction the guy was the boogie man himself or cops had just surrounded the place. The meal while we listened wasn’t that bad. Constantine I guess was use to having money since the fish head floating up to the top of his soup put him off the meal from the first bowl. After stuffing my face it seemed the trio with guard was going to be leaving.
Constantine reminded me under his breath if Robert was caught in the back not actually inspecting having two crime bosses, a hired gun, and the lady who made them nervous show up behind you might be a death sentence. I couldn’t get back there in time since they were already past our table and halfway to the back plus considering the amount of food I had eaten moving quickly was going to have to wait or I was going to throw up. With a depressed look at Constantine he started saying no as my finger went to my mouth as I turned away from him. He shut his eyes and looked away. The sound of throwing up doesn’t always turn everyone in your direction if it’s just a little bit and you make it to a bathroom or a trashcan. I had neither and I was trying to make a scene. Granted the fish head was the only odd thing I had actually been able to determine, the rest I had no idea. Once you start throwing up odd found realization verbally of what you might have eaten sometimes make you sick again. In my case it was several times. Between wet body shuddering bouts I made comments on various things, how the fish eyes had managed to form back up when I had chewed them up, why there was a patch of fur or hair on something, why would people each these kinds of things considering that it did this to them and could kill them. Mentioning needing a bathroom seemed a defeated purpose even after asking someone else if they thought something looked like a whole chicken’s foot I had thrown up.
Constantine helped me up and into the back as Robert made comments to the cook as the trio walked out the back about how his food had made one of the inspectors from the sounds of it ‘violently sick’. Stumbling out the back put us on the alley way. We hadn’t really planned on trying to sneak into the warehouse, it was light out and there were too many guards or flunkies that could notice what was going on. Plans to come back at night and investigate sounded better.
Plans and good intentions are fleeting things we found out. As soon as we were turned and facing the alley to walk out three Chinese workers with hatchets stepped in front of us saying they wanted a word. Making a comment about the inspection being the cause of why they seemed upset didn’t seem to faze them as they kept coming towards us, plus the two off the dock had us pulling out pistols real quick. It’s one thing to bring an ax to a gun shoot out, it’s a totally different to be unaffected by seeing the gun.
I’m not going to get into the long drawn out part of where we fought them off trying not to shoot them. They kicked our asses and when things were getting dicey we started shooting. This only complicated things by notifying Marco who decided to open up on us and the Chinese guys with a Tommy gun. I did find out in a bind Robert is a pretty good shot
In the drone of the fight I think I heard the Frenchman over the machinery in the warehouse. They might have killed him I wasn’t sure. I was preoccupied trying to make sure a similar fate didn’t happen to us. We eventually knocked out the workers and Marco supposedly got shot up pretty well took off. Without Bill around we needed a reason to come back and we were all cut up pretty bad. I backed the delivery truck back into the dock entrance and crashed it into the building setting the gas tank ablaze as we left. I probably got ride of some of the evidence from what was going on inside but I’m not a nice guy, you ruin my suit and cut up me and my friends like a fish monger I tend to take it personally.
Tony leaned back looking at the sixth empty glass and sipped the remains from a seventh.
“So you’re all melancholy since you could have died today.” Mic offered finally.
“I’m down on account I was off my game, we all were. Plus trying to not shoot people so they’d backed off nearly got us killed…” Tony commented after a bit. It seemed like things were getting more complicated and things might get more violent before they’d figure out what was really going on.
Tony giggled wildly suddenly which surprised Mic, “On a sidenote, this drink is really kicking my ass too…” Tony said with an odd smirk.
2 XP awarded