San Betral, California had seen its fair share of chaos in the past few months. The Diablo Kids' car bombings. The shootings at Thompson Yard. The Nick Lincoln incident, leaving countless parents mentally scarred. None so physically warped the city than when Frostbite - ice manipulator extraordinaire - broke the city in two with a massive glacier. Ever since then, San Betral's lower district felt the strain of having been split down the middle. Though this would normally have led to massive migration out of the devastated real estate, the locals continued as if it were business as usual. After a few weeks and when the glacier finally melted, crime and chaos had resumed wholesale even while being temporarily overwhelmed by the destruction. No effort was put into the city to rebuild. They couldn't with the crater facing every relief effort sent downtown. Over there, it was pure war, plain and simple. Mobsters rose like gods and fell like martyrs to a cause of freedom and dominance. Men and women alike took this opportunity for cheap booze, hot cash, and all the guns, drugs, and whores money could buy. San Betral had become a concentrated hellhole of gambling and prostitution within little more than a fortnight. The architects of this grand transformation are all dead except for one man.
Top Dog, El Jefe, the Boss, Big Boss, Big Dick, the Dicker, Four-eyes, Cop-killer, Alpha Male, Nate the Great.
"F*CK!" Mouthy shouted, his blood pumping and dripping out of his cocaine-laced nostrils as he convulsed in a beanbag chair.
"Shut the fUck up down there! People are trying to enjoy themselves up here!" Tony said from behind a peeled-back beaded curtain serving as the door to his bedroom on the second floor. He was stark naked and muttered to himself as he went back to getting his money's worth from the latest floozy he purchased for the evening.
Even higher, on the third floor of the compound, sat another man named Lonnie. He trained a red laser on the sights of his Barrett M95 on Tony's head, dry-firing the anti-material rifle with a sick cackle hissing along his tongue clasped between his teeth bent in a sadistic grin. Beside Lonnie was a fourth man, Rupert, who casually smoked a joint and kicked his legs up on the railing to the third floor.
"I wonder if Tony's head would bleed hot gas instead of blood," he snorted.
Lonnie cackled and 'reloaded' the Barrett, this time aiming for the hallucinating Mouthy.
"Bang bang! Dead motherf*ckers. HA!" Lonnie grinned. "The scope on this bitch is so good. I bet I could shoot off the ash on Boss's cigar if I had it loaded,"
Lonnie's laser dot trailed down to a man counting briefcases full of money on a level of the warehouse lower than the rest. Hundreds of cases were around him, all aluminum and all filled to the brim with cash. He stopped counting once he saw the dot and he pulled out his shotgun, firing off a casing full of buckshot that inevitably scattered too much to hit Lonnie anywhere from such a distance. But the sound echoed through the warehouse all the same and startled the gang members as if they really were shot.
"C*cksucker made me lose count," Nathan remarked, dropping the billfold into the stack set before him in the briefcase.
"How the rent this week, Dick?" Rupert shouted, his ever-present smug grin a stark contrast to the fact that Nathan had just tried shooting at him and Lonnie. Rupert knew more than anyone that Nathan was just f*cking around with some live ammunition involved in his antics.
"Thirty grand and..." Nathan stopped again.
"Thirty grand and what, Boss?" Lonnie inquired, peering over the guardrail.
"Someone didn't pay. We're short one. Tony! Get your fat ass down here!"
"I'm busy, Dick!" Tony said with effort. He was close to finishing.
"Tony, get the F*CK down here or I'm cutting off your dick and burying that slut in the clay with it in her snatch!"
Tony scrambled out of his room with a full boner desperately hidden by a handful of wet bed sheets.
"That's better. Didn't you say something about an empty unit last time you went down to the Blocks?"
"Yeah, so?" Tony said stupidly.
"So? Obviously, someone skipped town dingus. Thanks to you we're going to have more cops up our asses,"
A pause in the overall tone of the warehouse took over, then a series of laughs - started by Nathan - replaced it. Shortly after the uproarious cackling began, Nathan became serious again.
"Okay, SHUT UP!" He said, to marvelous effect. His underlings became quiet once more.
"Now, I have important business to attend to. You all know what to do regarding the pigs coming to collect their slop. Don't let anyone interrupt my meeting with O'Panell. A potential business partner from the East Coast is more important than you cocksuckers realize,"
Nathan took one last, long drag of his cigar before grinding the embers into an ash tray. He took a briefcase filled with three-hundred grand and stood up.
"Tony, get dressed and put Mouthy in his muzzle. We're going on a field trip to the parking garage."
The gang members all hooted and hollered, with Lonnie prancing around clapping his hands exclaiming "Field trip! Field trip! Field trip!" like and excited school kid. He unhinged the anti-material rifle from its pivot on the guardrail and followed Tony and Rupert (who were both escorting an unconscious Mouthy) into the back of a black van with Nathan at the wheel. Around the four were automatic weapons as well as shotguns with enough ammunition to put an army battalion to shame. Nathan cranked up the engine and the tunes and sailed away to a Creedence Clearwater Revival CD Nathan refused to take out of the radio.
About an hour later, the quintet arrived at the location of the proposed transaction: a fucking parking garage, and in the basement no less. Nathan looked around, his glasses catching the fading glimmer of dying underground lamps.
"Come out come out wherever you are, Mr. O'Panell. It's time that West met East."