…”It was Siri’s ideas to separate everyone into factions. And it worked too. She used to go by (edited) back in the old days but for obvious reasons couldn’t use that anymore so she just shortened it to Siri.”
“No she wasn’t in charge, you guys need to stop thinking like that. You keep getting hung up on this name or that. It was a culture, it was a, it was a, look it was just how things were okay? There wasn’t this clear organizational hierarchy that you can sketch out on a blackboard and pin photos under.
“It wasn’t how things started out but that’s how they ended up. In the beginning everything was new and fresh and exciting.”
Officer (redacted): (redacted)
“Well, we didn’t want to use our real names. If someone really tried hard enough then sure they can find you but if you don’t even take that first step then anyone can find you. And let me tell, those weren’t always people you wanted finding you.
“So basically what happened was that power was constantly in flux. If you were strong then you could dictate how some things happened, the more power you had then the bigger your influence. It seemed like every couple months someone new came to prominence and that was all everyone talked about for awhile. Sometimes they stayed and sometimes the blowback pushed them into obscurity. Now and then the weaker guys banded together but the bigs were always there, waiting in the shadows.”
“No, I wasn’t there at the beginning but the information is there if you know where to look. I started a little over a year after things got set up. People like to talk and I like to listen.
“Sure, I’ll give you another example. So people always need merchandise or gear. Berserker looks like some dumb hillbilly inbred monster but he could get you anything from chainsaws to heavy equipment. This one time he was after one of those big Liebherr bastards for a client. He set up a crew with Michael, Blade and Donovan to go…
Officer (redacted): (redacted)
“No, I don’t want to talk about that.”
Agent (redacted): (redacted)
“Look, there’s just some (profanity) that I don’t want to talk about okay? Ask me something else.”
CI’s Lawyer: (redacted)
“(profanity) you guys alright, (profanity) you and your (profanity).”
CI is allowed a 15 minute private conference with their lawyer
“Well it looks like I don’t have the right to say no. Nice crew you got here, looks like you’ve got my (deleted).
“Alright, so back in the day when some real gangster types ran the city, there were these three poor kids living in the same neighborhood. They weren’t brothers but that’s basically what they became. And when I mean poor, I mean so deep into poverty that that (profanity) was (profanity). It got so bad that they ran away from home and never went back and no one ever missed them.
“Well those 3 kids grew up quick. They all went to different gangs and got their education. Thing is, they never stopped being brothers so to speak, only no one knew it at the time. Pretty soon they worked out ways to take over their gangs and expand, mostly by working together on the down low. Pretty soon after that, they ran the whole damn city.
“Keep in mind, I’m summarizing a lot of (profanity). Y’all have no patience, that (profanity) could fill a whole book.
“So, like, something changed. Keep in mind I was a greenie at the time, straight off the (profanity) dock or some (profanity). Even I knew something was wrong. See at the time I was a low level driver for ole (profanity)-face Francis. Yeah, Frank okay, just shut up.
“No one ever really got told what happened but I knew some alright. Frank was approached by someone from the black market. Someone big and dark and scary and unknown. That’s how you knew someone was serious back then, when they just (profanity) rose from the deep like some kind of (profanity) leviathan and humbled even the greatest of us.
Agent (redacted): (redacted)
“Nah man, not the Baron but on his level to be sure. I never learned his name but he could make or break empires an little fish like me kept far away.
“Anyways, there were a couple phone calls and I’d be driving Francis out to all sorts of places at all sorts of times and he never came back happy. How’s that sound to you (profanity)? A fella like Frank with his pull and allies, and he’s being jerked around like that? That (profanity) no good is what.
“Now I was privy to some (profanity) that not all were back then. Francis’ old lady was knocked up at the time. Y’all know that pretty little piece now but back then she was still in her ma’s womb. And let me tell you, well, I wasn’t supposed to hear some of the talk but people like to talk and I like to listen. A lot of late night talks were had about Frankie’s old lady and soon to be wee one, some kind of trade-off. One night Victor came over right around dinner time and after about an hourish, he comes blazing out of there mad as hell, scary mad.
“Shoulda known, shoulda known some dark (profanity) was going down but hey, what does some (profanity) kid know?
“So Francis comes out right after and hollers at me to bring the car around. He was in a mood alright and that hot-as-balls summer air wadn’t doing him no good so I got that air on right quick and pulled around.
“It’s just us which was weird but I at least knew enough to keep my damn fool mouth shut. He barked out the meet-up and nothing else so I just drove.
“That’s a drive I wish I coulda taken back. You ever think back on those drives through them street lights on your way to who knows what, ever think back on them and wish you could have just stopped or turned around or never went on? That’s how I feel about that damn night. That’s what I’m left with when I can’t sleep. Some damn fool wishing for a flat tire.
“Now Frankie meets up with his mystery friend, although friend is just about the (profanity) opposite of what he really was. And that one had a whole damn crew with him. Some of the (profanity) out there, guys like Manic, Yokozuna, Saw – a real (profanity) gaggle of (profanity).
“We all caravan out of there and when Francis tells me where to go I figured we were on some kind of job because it was his other “brother”. Maybe Victor had gotten pissed an bailed?
“Now this fella lived out a bit in this real classy neighborhood. See, he had a whole family thing going on and as (profanity) bloody as his hands were, he at least tried to give those moppets a chance at some kind of normal livin.
“Ole Frankie gets out and tells me to stay put. His friend’s cars just stay put but it’s clear they’re there to watch eh? Francis gets himself up there to that front door like he’s on some damn planet with extra gravity. I swear I didn’t think he was going to make it. The door opens and I’ll never forget being out in the darkness looking into that glimpse of light and love. I ain’t never seen it again, ain’t gonna deserve to I guess. His two youngest come bouncing up to the door to see Uncle Frankie but are shooed away.
At this point the CI breaks down and requires several minutes before continuing
“Ole Frankie stands there a bit and then he and his best friend head out alone around the house to this here trail that gets on into the woods. We all watch them take off and I start getting this prickly feeling down my neck. (profanity) is wrong, (profanity) is hella wrong.
“Sure enough, as soon as they’d been gone a couple minutes the other cars started opening up. Those (profanity) bastards started piling out and locking and loading.
“The (profanity) do you think I did? Think I got regrets cause I got outta the car and saved the (profanity) day? I’m no (profanity) hero, I ain’t no (profanity) hero…
“I was a soldier, but I was basically a dog and when I was told to stay put – I just did. I ain’t known what I coulda done but anything is better than staying put like some ole dog. Dog wouldn’t been better, dog woulda ran or at least gone in. I ain’t a man and I ain’t a dog, somethin worse I suppose.
“I watched em, watched em swarm up them steps and kick in that door. You could hear the screams even out in the car with the windows up, the air on, the stereo as loud as I could get it. I ain’t gonna go into details, y’all can lock me up I don’t care none.
“And then it was over and they was pouring out of that broken home. They wasn’t even triumphant about it. Y’all think evil is some kind of cool collected professional or some kind of gory maniac, that (profanity) is somewhere worse in between. That dame Arendt had it down, she knew. Y’all think I’m some retard I’m sure but you sit through some (profanity) like that and you’ll be off looking for answers, let me tell you. And she woulda known em, she woulda recognized their evil. She woulda seen em ‘doing their job’. Y’all think you’re so different but that (profanity) is a fine line, it’s a mighty thin red line. Think I’m wrong? Y’all just go ask Duke, that was his first case.
“So they stayed just long enough for Frank to come ripping out of the woods, just long enough for him to see what they’d a done, just long enough for him to watch them drive off and get the message.
“They thought they’d done it but good, they was wrong. Sure enough, that there oldest happened to not be at home. That oldest found out what happened I reckon and done escaped and went off to live with an uncle or some (profanity). That kiddo donned the mantle of nemesis and came back years later but that’s a different story.
“Something inside of old Francis broke that day. I ain’t never met no one who could explain it but that’s the truth. He ain’t never been the same. I hadda drag him to the car and we beat feet out of there. Fella cried the whole ride back and I ain’t gotta tell you that seein a powerful bloke like that curled up and sobber-ballin in the back seat was a pretty appropriate punctuation to the whole cursed evening.
Officer (redacted): (redacted)
“Took him home I did. Brought him up there to his swollen up wife and he just laid there crying in her lap and hugging her belly. He done saved his family but at the cost of another God help him.