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The Release of Sonny Franzese Started by: SonnyFranzese on Oct 06, '23 17:05

Sonny was called to a sit down with the local Godfather of Chicago. He hadn't expected the call but knew better than to refuse such an order. Climbing into the back of the waiting car he checked in the rear view mirror and saw his security detail tailing closely behind. Making idle small talk with the occupants of the car Sonny lit up a smoke as the sights of Chicago sped passed his window. 

 

The car pulled up at the gates of a well built and guarded mansion in Prairie Avenue District, also known as Millionaires Row.  The stone building was three stories high with wings and towers at either end. A well tended garden filled the boundary leading up to the wrought iron fence and gates. The heavy gates were thrown back and the car allowed access. Driving down a short drive and parking outside the mansion's front entrance. 

 

Sonny was welcomed with open arms by the members of the Chicago Outfit crime family. The crew held ultimate control over Chicago running the local rackets and prostitution rings under the loose collection of the Chicago Outfit. Sonny followed a local enforcer by the name of Vito Buccieri through the well lit corridors. Lavishly decorated and furnished in the trappings of wealth, ostentatious to a fault as the owners openly displayed their impressive wealth. Sonny knew the enforcers name, said to have taken part in the bloody mob wars of the 1920s. He led Sonny to a shuttered room, knocking twice he opened the door as a muffled voice called out to enter. Sonny walked into the room and took a seat on the large circular oak table at the middle of the room.

 

Sat opposite him was Godfather Accana. The man was wizened with age, his tanned hawkish features covered in liver spots. Any man who had survived such turbulent times and grown to an old age in this life of theirs demanded respect. Sonny accepted the drink and cigar the ageing Godfather's underboss offered him. Taking a seat he lit the cigar savoring the rich aroma and taste. 

 

Godfather Accana began, "I've heard good things Sonny," Sonny sat in silence holding the aged Godfather's icy gaze. 

 

"Godfather Fluff phoned ahead and let us know of your coming. I trust you are enjoying your time in the city," continued Godfather Accana in a deep voice which belied his ageing frame. 

 

The godfather beckoned Sonny forward so he knelt on one knee to kiss the man's finger ring. As Sonny moved to stand the ageing godfather grabbed his hand with a strength which Sonny was not expecting. He passed a note into his hand and nodded at him. Sonny stood and thanked the godfather for his hospitality. Sonny tucked the note into his breast pocket and made his way towards the building exit. Outside he found his bodyguards casually chatting with the Godfather's men, exchanging crude jokes while smoking cigarettes.

 

Sonny climbed into the back of the car and told his bodyguards to drive him back to the hotel in the loop. As the car drove out into the cold night Sonny retrieved the note from his coat pocket and opened it. Inside was a scribbled note with a name and a location on it. Sonny swore to himself. This would make things complicated, with the FBI tailing his every move it would prove nearly impossible to meet with this man without drawing unnecessary attention.

 

****

 

Agent Smith watched as Sonny left Godfather Accana's compound. This was an opportunity he could not waste. With all haste he fired up the engine of his car and sped back towards the FBI headquarters in Chicago. Pulling his car into the underground carpark he rode the elevator up to Director Stevenson's floor and knocked twice on his office door. Director Stevenson welcomed Agent Smith into his office and offered him a drink, Agent Smith politely refused, preferring to keep a clear head. Relaying the information he was gathering on Sonny's movements, suggesting that the Godfather's estate and his men should be watched.

 

Director Stevenson stood from his desk and walked over to the door ensuring it was locked. He turned to Agent Smith and asked whether he knew about Chicago's troubled past. Director Stevenson warned that the godfather was one of the cities untouchables. He declared that Agent Smith was to leave the godfather well alone. The fragile peace which existed in the city of Chicago would be disturbed should the godfather feel any pressure from the FBI. Director Stevenson thanked Agent Smith for his dutiful service, but warned once again that the godfather was strictly off limits. Director Stevenson wanted to find out what had happened to Agent Swanson, he did not want any further disturbances.

 

Agent Smith walked out of the directors office with his world turned upside down. He trusted the director to be a man of honor, a man who could not be bought, but such direction left him with a sour taste in his mouth. Agent Smith was a zealot officer believing that the agency was outside the usual law of government, outside the usual degrees of corruption which ate away at the heart of America. Returning to his office he found Agent Johnson hard at work building a picture of Frank Giancana's operations. Having caught a couple of street level criminals Agent Johnson had gained some key information. A big shipment of god knows what was being delivered to the docks tonight, with some hard evidence and some arrests under their belt the agents would gain invaluable information and leverage over Frank Giancana's crew. 

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Agent Johnson and Smith checked the bullet proof vests they both wore over their suits. They each strapped police issue S&W Model 10 revolvers to the holsters at their belts. Agent Johnson checked the drum magazine for his Thompson sub machine gun while Agent Smith loaded shells into his shotgun. The pair could not rely on the local corrupt police, speed and overwhelming violence were the keys to their success. Satisfied they climbed into Agent Jonhson's black Buick Super and drove towards the docks prepared for the nights raid.

 

The pair struggled to get comfortable within the cramped confined of the car wearing their heavy gear, but should it come to a firefight they would rather have at least some protection. They waited late into the night before a clandestine boat pulled into the dockyard and the target warehouse threw opened its door as mobsters wearing their usual fedoras and expensive suits rushed out to grab the cargo. The gangs of Chicago expecting no trouble from having bribed the police into turning a blind eye on this cold winter night. The cargo was offloaded in crates, which were carried by two men at a time as they rushed to put them inside the warehouse eager to be out of the biting winds of Lake Michigan. 

 

Agent Johnson turned to his friend and nodded it was time to move. Climbing out of the vehicle they walked around the back of the car to the trunk and retrieved their weapons checking they were locked and loaded. Agent Johnson nodded at a back entrance to the building while he approached from the front. On Agent Johnson's call they would rush into the building and apprehend as many suspects as possible, hoping to catch the gangsters off guard. 

 

Agent Smith rushed to the backdoor stilling his heavy breathing from the short jog. Checking the breach of his shotgun one more time he steeled himself for the coming fight. Listening out he heard the crack of a wooden door falling to a heavy boot, the signal for their attack. Turning to the door in front of him he smashed his foot into the weakest part and rushed inside.

 

He heard Agent Johnson's voice shout, "FBI get on the ground now." 

 

Rough voices answered him laughing that he was fucked all on his own. All hell broke out as the gangsters reached for their weapons, Agent Johnson filled the room with hot lead forcing the men to the nearest cover. Return fire shot out as Agent Smith entered the room and put the nearest gangster to the ground with the butt of his shotgun. The next man turned to the threat with his weapon raised and Agent Smith put a round of 12g buckshot in his chest. The gangsters taken off guard were caught between the two FBI agents who used their superior training to lay down fields of fire as they moved from position to position flanking the mobsters who huddled behind the crates stacked in the middle of the room.

 

"Put the fucking weapons down," shouted Agent Johnson as he reloaded his Thompson sub machine gun while taking cover behind a nearby car's engine. 

 

The mobsters either too dumb or proud to lay down their weapons continued returning fire. Agent Smith noticed one of the mobsters using the covering fire to try and flank his friends position, he felled the man with another shot from his shotgun. The return fire changed direction as the mobsters reacted instantly, Agent Smith felt the wind get knocked out of his lungs as a bullet hit him in the chest. He would have to check for damage later, diving behind a nearby supporting column as fully automatic gunfire spattered off the heavy steel pillar.

 

Agent Johnson watched as his friend fell to the floor behind a steel pillar. They were losing their advantage and he had to act quick. Diving from his cover he opened up with his sub machine gun and watched with satisfaction as two men fell heavily to the floor their bodies riddled with bullets. The remaining men shouted out in anger at their fallen friends turning their attention to Agent Johnson who was caught outside of cover. Agent Smith pulled himself to his feet and laid down a field of suppressing fire felling the last of the men.

 

The two FBI agents ears rang at the sudden silence. The warehouse silence only disturbed by the cries of the dying gangsters. Agent Johnson noticed his friends limp and told him to take a second to catch his breath, while Agent Smith walked to each of the mobsters and ensured they were unarmed. Walking to the nearest crate he prized it open and found it stocked with guns and ammunition. Walking to the next crate he founded it filled to the brim with heavy packages. Taking out his knife he cut one open and found a white substance he presumed to be cocaine. No wonder the gangsters fought to the end, Agent Johnson estimated the street value of the drugs alone to be in the millions. His thoughts disturbed by a nearby groan as one of the mobsters struggled to his feet. Reaching for the pistol at his belt Agent Johnson pointed it at the man's head and told him to reach his hands to the sky.

 

As the man turned around Agent Johnson smiled, "Its nice to finally meet you Frank Giancana." 

 

****

 

Sonny approached the address scribbled onto the note. He'd spent all day checking if he still had a tail, after hours of driving around the city he was satisfied that the agents must be busy elsewhere. Climbing out the car he told his guards to keep an eye out as he walked towards the door of the abandoned factory. Knocking on the door twice he was grabbed by rough hands and pulled into the building entrance. He was patted down and checked for a wire before being permitted entry further into the complex. 

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Sonny felt his anger rising as he marched into the dark empty warehouse and sat down on a wooden chair. To his front was another chair still empty with the only light in the room set up above him. Lighting himself a smoke he crossed his legs and waited with his impatience rising. He heard the approaching footfalls echoing through the cavernous warehouse. Godfather Accana's right hand man sat in the chair in front of him. The man was well built and his otherwise plain facial features marked by a scar that ran across his face. 

 

With a smile he stated, "Apologies for the rough treatment but we can never be too careful now adays," Sonny waved off the apology and waited to find out why he had been summoned to this dingy part of the city. 

 

"I'd hoped to keep this meeting brief but events are quickly spiraling out of control. One of our local enforcers, a man you know by the name of Frank Giancana has just been arrested by the FBI. Our moles in the agency think it was part of a sting operation being ran by the two agents who are on your tail," the mobster said in a thick Chicago accent. 

 

"As I'm sure you've noticed we are all under heavy surveillance, the fragile peace which exists between ourselves and the police force is at risk due to outside influences. The men we have put in key government positions are unable to help. Godfather Accana requests your services, we've a number of men who need to disappear and we think you and your crew best place to perform this task," the mobster continued.

 

Sonny took a moment to digest the news, it certainly wasn't what he'd expected from his visit to the windy city, "I've a couple guys in my mind who'd be perfect for the task, but I will have to distance myself from this place to get those bastard agents out your hair. I will have a couple of my guys contact you soon."

 

"That's all we ask, I will pass on your compliments to Godfather Accana," the right hand man finished standing from his chair and shaking Sonny's hand.

 

Sonny was led out of the warehouse climbing into the waiting car. He asked his driver to take him to a nearby pay phone and rang back to his hands in Las Vegas asking them to send out a crew of guys to Chicago. Climbing back into the car he asked to be taken back to his hotel. 

 

Sitting down heavily on the a leather chair back in his hotel room Sonny took a swig of his whisky and a long pull from his cigar. He was confident in the members of his family that would be sent to complete the task, but he needed a plausible reason for his leaving. Mulling the idea over his head he decided with Frank Giancana arrested and in the FBI's custody it would look natural for him to flee the city. He would wait a couple of days until he was sure the FBI agents were back on his trail before leaving the city and taking them on a goose chase across the United States. 

 

****

 

Agent Smith joined Agent Johnson in the interrogation room. Sat before them was Frank Giancana smoking a cigarette acting like he didn't have a care in the world. Agent Smith could tell already this man would be a hard nut to crack but welcomed the challenge. 

 

"A nice little haul you had in that warehouse, should be enough to see the rest of your miserable life spent in a cell," began Agent Johnson.

 

"I ain't going no where," Frank responded with a smile.

 

"We aren't the local PD, you're as good as fucked," responded Agent Johnson. 

 

The interviewed was interrupted by a knock at the door. Director Stevenson informed Agent Smith that Sonny was on the move, last seen boarding a plane out of the city. Agent Smith stated he would follow shortly keen to prize as much information from Frank Giancana as possible. The director turned to the agent stating that Frank Giancana was not their assignment he had many capable agents able to break this man. Agent Smith went to refuse but Director Stevenson's expression changed, turning to the man he reminded him this was not a request but an order. 

 

As the two marched off down the corridor Director Stevenson entered the room and unlocked the cuffs which held his wrists. 

 

"Quite the pickle you've got yourself in here son," Director Stevenson said.

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Sonny was awoken by a late night call to the phone in his hotel. Pulling himself out of bed he held the receiver to his ear and was given an urgent message to call a number from a nearby payphone. Scribbling the number on a piece of paper he lit himself a smoke and rang ahead to his bodyguards hotel room he asked them to ready the car while he got showered and dressed. Reaching for his heavy coat he climbed into the elevator and met his bodyguards in the hotels reception. 

 

Sonny picked up the payphone and rang the number he'd been left. On the other end of the phone was Fluffy's RHM who explained there was a situation in Chicago and he needed to meet with Fluffy, scribbling the address down on a piece of paper he climbed into the back of the car and told his bodyguards where to drive.

 

Knocking on the door twice Sonny was welcomed by a collection of America's most infamous gangsters. Godfathers, Dons and their henchmen hard at work planning an operation in the city. Sonny took a seat and listened to his orders. Fluff wanted him to surveil a group who had set up in the city. Sonny stood and rushed to complete the orders, keeping in regular contact with Fluff back at their base of operations. After finding the last name on the list Sonny was told to leave the city immediately. Boarding the next flight to Las Vegas Sonny made sure his movements were easy to track.

 

****

 

Director Stevenson washed his hands in his private bathroom. He didn't get his hands dirty very often anymore, but he had to make a show of interrogating Frank Giancana. He picked up his phone and rang the private line he used to contact Godfather Accana. 

 

"I've given our friend a reminder to keep his head down in the future," he stated to the ageing Godfather on the other line.

 

"I trust he's been released with no charges?" asked the godfather rhetorically. 

 

"We're pinning the charges on one of his associates, I trust you can arrange for a suitable accident when he hits the prison yard," Director Stevenson responded.

 

"Forget about it," the Godfather stated before putting down the phone.

 

Director Stevenson knew he was playing a dangerous game with these two overzealous agents, he would keep their attentions pinned on Sonny Franzese in the hope that they would not find out his involvement in Agent Swanson's untimely demise. His end was unfortunate but the man had made enemies of the wrong people in Chicago, and ultimately Director Stevenson cared more for keeping the fragile peace in the city. 

 

****

 

The two agents trusted Director Stevenson to bring Frank Giancana's operation down. With the hard evidence they'd found in the warehouse he would be serving the rest of his life in a federal prison. Boarding the next plane to Las Vegas they followed their prey. They needed to find what the man knew about Agent Swanson's disappearance. 

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Having arrived in Las Vegas Sonny set about settling his business in the city under the cover of night. Guessing he had at least a couple of hours head start before the FBI caught up with him. He'd phoned ahead and arranged to meet his trusted man Salvatore. Back in the comfortable confines of his Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Vito lit himself a smoke and chatted to Salvatore. They caught up about the business, Sonny impressed by how much it had grown. Turning to Salvatore Vito handed the man a list of names he needed taking care of back in Chicago.

 

Salvatore turned to Vito shrugging, "Forget about it, I've got a few good boys who can help out with this problem of yours." 

 

"You'd be doing me a personal favor, I'll make sure you're adequately rewarded upon your return," returned Vito.

 

With their business settled Vito dropped Salvatore off at a nearby bar. Asking his bodyguards to turn tail he sat back and relaxed as they drove him to the nearest airport. He needed to distance himself from Las Vegas and his new business venture, not wanting to the FBI to catch wind. The bodyguards parked the car at the airport and strolled into the airport boarding the next flight. Vito smiled to himself, he may as well enjoy the sights of the country while leading the FBI astray.

 

****

 

Salvatore made a couple calls from the bars payphone, gathering his gang of killers to his side. Damn right that old fuck Vito would see him rewarded. He'd made the man millions of dollars through his business venture, if only the stupid old fuck knew how much he was taking off the top. Salvatore knew his business. He knew how to climb the ranks. Knew how to pander to those stupid old fucks that ran the mafia. He'd be a Don in no time. 

 

He climbed into his car loaded with guns, booze and good powder. Meeting the other members of his motley crew they formed a fearsome display of 1950s badassery. Slicked back hair and expensive suits covered the group. They drank from expensive whisky bottles as they climbed into their waiting cars and drove across America to the city of Chicago. Vito had been very clear, they were to travel via land not wanted the FBI to notice them arriving by plane. 

 

Vito had been away too long. He hadn't seen the man Salvatore had become. At such a young age success could be a corrupting element. The man spent his days passed out drunk or buzzed on quality cocaine, but still he'd kill those people on the list. For what he lacked in brains, he more than made up for in brawn. 

 

****

 

The two agents barely put down in Las Vegas before they were boarding the next flight out. Using their connection in the FBI they interrogated all departing flights surprised to see Vito's name on a flight to Los Angeles. Swearing to themselves they boarded the next flight and left the city. The fucker must be scared running with his tail between his legs. 

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Sonny sat back in the reclining chair of his rented Los Angeles mansion and took a sip from his whisky. The rear of the Hollywood hills property had a pool and decking which Sonny now sat on, watching as the sunset over the sprawling city below. Taking a long pull from his Cuban cigar he savored the rich flavors. The mansion behind him had three stories, the rear of which had high ceilings and bay windows. The many rooms inside were spacious and lavishly decorated in marble and the trappings of wealth. Sonny smiled to himself, the rent alone was costing him a fortune but he had the money to spare and time to kill. 

 

A welcome disturbance interrupted his thoughts as one of Sonny's bodyguards tapped him on the shoulder and nodded behind him. Stood in the door was a beautiful woman who looked like she belonged in the movies which made the hills famous. Smiling to the bodyguard he offered her a drink and took her upstairs. Los Angeles was proving to be a good opportunity to unwind. 

 

****

 

Salvatore awoke from a drug addled and drink riddled sleep. His head was banging, reaching for an advil he washed it back with a swig of whisky. His group of killers lounged about a swanky penthouse apartment in the Loop, Chicago. Pushing the prostitute's arm from across his chest he climbed out of the king size bed with a groan. The lavishly decorated apartment was in ruins, the group having partied long into the morning. Salvatore felt the starts of the morning shakes so poured another generous portion of whisky into his mouth. As the dark liquid burned his throat he felt the shakes lessen. While he had no respect for Don Sonny his misfiring drug addled brain still knew better than to cross the mob. He'd come to Chicago to do a job, party time was over. 

 

Walking into the penthouse's lounge he kicked his men awake, shouting at the prostitutes to get the fuck out. Where shouts were insufficient he resorted to threats of violence and beatings. His gang of killers looked pathetic outside their flashy clothes and flashy haircuts, most barely old enough to grow hairs on their chins, but still they were men Salvatore could trust, even if that trust was based on their reliable greed. 

 

Turning to his gathered killers he outlined the plan. They would head out into the city of Chicago and start to gather information on their targets. Once they knew their movements and the areas they frequented they would know where best to hit them. Sonny had provided a detailed list of the targets and names of people within the city who could help, but Salvatore was either too dumb or proud to take heed. He would take matters into his own hands, he'd spent enough time in the streets to know how to organize a hit squad.

 

As his gang of killers left the penthouse he sat down heavily on a nearby leather arm chair, lighting himself a smoke and taking another advil and swig of his whisky to try the numb the pain of his aching head. Reaching into his breast pocket he pulled out the bag of cocaine, pouring a generous portion on his index finger he snorted it and felt clarity return. He'd kill these motherfuckers then he'd go back to Las Vegas and kill that stupid fuck Sonny Franseze. 

 

**** 

 

Agent Johnson and Smith sat in their unmarked police car and watched the address where Sonny Franseze resided. The bastard was taunting them, flaunting his wealth renting a lavish mansion in the Hollywood hills. To make matters worse he'd left his blinds open so they had a full view of him making love to a beautiful woman. Agent Johnson swore as he watched Sonny throw the woman up against the window and take her from behind. 

 

The pair of FBI agents had discussed their dismissal from Chicago, and it left them with a sour taste in their mouths. They'd been making significant progress with their investigation into Agent Swanson's untimely disappearance. Neither wanted to voice their thoughts that Director Stevenson was either protecting the perpetrators or could be on the mobs payroll, but both of them felt it at their hearts. They felt they were wasting valuable time. Sonny Franseze may be a notorious mobster who deserved a lengthy spell in prison, but they could find nothing linking him to the disappearance of Agent Swanson. Sonny had been recovering in a hospital bed and then in Cuba during the agents disappearance. The pair of agents had built careers working on gut instincts, and their guts told them something stunk about this whole sordid affair. 

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Salvatore strode through the apartment his cocaine fueled rage building. The list of men he'd been sent to kill were proving difficult to isolate. Politicians, police officers and even agents of the FBI, how the hell did he expect him to kill these men? Would he accept Sonny's assistance and approach the names he'd scribbled on the piece of paper? Would he meekly go back to Sonny and ask for help? Fuck no, he'd sooner see all his men dead in the attempt. Reaching for the bag in his coat pocket he poured a slug of cocaine on his index finger and snorted it all in one go. The spark of an idea formed in his drug addled mind. What did he care if the job got messy? Speed and brute force were they key, hell he might even come to enjoy this. 

 

As the cocaine coursed through his veins he knew he had to act. Turning to his nearest crew member he started to outline his orders. After a few moments of frantic activity he was surprised that the man hadn't moved. Raging towards the man as he lay slumped on the couch Salvatore kicked him again, walking to his front he noticed his pallid skin and distended tongue. Looking down he noticed the belt tied around the man's arm and the needle which stuck out below it. The stupid fucker had overdosed. Salvatore shouted at the other's to get rid of the body. Turning to the next man he repeated his orders, they needed guns and the fastest cars money could buy. 

 

The room awoke to urgency as the men rushed to escape the worst of Salvatore's rage. The room emptied in seconds, leaving Salvatore alone with his thoughts. Doubts started to creep into his mind so he reached for the bag in his coat pocket and snorted another bump. Walking into the bedroom they were using as a crude base of operations he started to build a picture of how they'd accomplish the task. It would be risky and he would lose men, but he wanted this over and done as soon as possible. He was sick of the windy city, he'd much rather be warming his bed with the denizens of the local brothels in Las Vegas. 

 

In his drug fueled state he started to assign teams to each of the names on the list. Their only priority would be speed. Rush in, kill their marks and any witnesses and get the fuck out of the state. The reasonable part of his mind that he kept on a tight leash with a combination of high proof alcohol and high grade narcotics made an attempt for him to see reason, to see that a more detailed plan would be required to achieve their objective, but he quickly squashed this with another mouthful of whisky. 

 

****

 

Sonny sipped at his whisky and took a long pull from the Cuban cigar which sat in the corner of his mouth as he sat back in a booth and watched Frank Sinatra perform a new number. In the booth with him were a collection of well dressed high-ranking Los Angeles mobsters. Another round of drinks was ordered as the food arrived at the table, Sonny helped himself to expensive steak and lobster, while taking a sip from a vintage wine. The bosses and don's of Los Angeles were introduced to stars and their other halves, all the film and music stars knew who ran this city, so would pay their respects rather than risk their offense. 

 

Leaving the swanky restaurant Sonny climbed into the back of his rented car and asked his bodyguards to drive him home. He smiled as he noticed a pair of car lights turning on and following him. Those poor bastards got an expenses paid vacation to Los Angeles and chose to spend their nights following him around rather than enjoying the city of angels. Climbing out the back of the car Sonny walked up to the mansions phone. Ringing the number hastily scribbled on a piece of paper in his coat pocket he told the woman on the other end of the line he'd send a car over to pick her up soon.

 

Sonny settled back into the reclining chair in the mansions back garden, pouring himself another whisky he watched the stars as they spread out over the city below. It was doing him good to get some R&R, but the sooner he could get these FBI agents off his back the better. He knew he would need to return to this headquarters in Las Vegas soon to get back to business. His thoughts were interrupted by his bodyguard, with him was the beautiful woman he'd met in the club tonight. Well there was always tomorrow, for tonight he was at least going to have a little fun. Walking back inside he smiled at the woman and offered her a drink.

 

****

 

Agent Smith stormed into the motel reception his rage simmering just below the water line. Another night wasted following Sonny around the city of Los Angeles as he went about perfectly legitimate business. Sure he was meeting with some shady people, but who didn't meet shady people in this cesspit of a city? His raging thoughts were interrupted by the poor person having to man the reception area in this shit hole of a motel.

 

"Senior, please ring this number," the man spoke in heavily accented English.

 

Agent Smith nodded as he grabbed the piece of paper out the man's hand and stormed back to his room. Agent Johnson was already inside nursing a cup of coffee as he tried to piece together Sonny's activities and draw any logical conclusions to why the fuck they were stuck in Los Angeles following the man on a merry-go-round. 

 

Reaching for the phone Agent Smith rang the number scribbled on the piece of paper, the person on the other line answered immediately. 

 

"It's about Director Stevenson, he's in the hospital having narrowly avoided an attack, we need you back in Chicago," began the shaky voice on the other line, Agent Smith recognized the voice belonging to Director Stevenson's assistant, an ageing woman who'd been with the Bureau for decades. 

 

"Of course Donna we'll be on the next flight, is he ok?" Agent Smith asked genuinely concerned. 

 

"Its bad Steve, just get back as soon as you can," Donna sobbed trying to hold back her tears.

 

Agent Smith turned to his partner and told him the news. Agent Jonhson stood aghast, attacking a director of the FBI was akin to suicide. The pair packed their meager belongings and rushed to the nearest airport to book the next flight back to the windy city. 

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Springer had received his orders from Salvatore. He was to take his crew and hit a couple of local detectives. Why they were here to kill these men didn't matter to him, the fact that they were Chicago detectives barely registered in his drug addled brain. What he did know was Salvatore would throw one hell of a party and pay them handsomely once the deed was done. Springer reminded his guys to keep their heads straight, no shooting up or drinking on the job, as they walked towards the car he reached into his coat pocket and poured a healthy lump of cocaine on his finger, taking a long snort. As far as he was concerned he was taking a performance enhancer, Salvatore couldn't beget him that.

 

The car sped through the busy Chicago streets with rock and roll music blaring from the speakers. Salvatore had left the bulk of the planning to Springer, who wasn't the brightest bulb in the bunch. He figured they'd just park up opposite the police station and wait for the detectives to leave, and hit them quick and fast. They'd spent days tracking the pair of detectives, so knew their movements and their faces. 

 

****

 

Slim Sam was pushing 300 lbs of fat and blubber, he'd long stopped caring about the name given to mock his massive size. He pushed the prostitute off his lap and pulled his pants back up. Throwing a wad of cash in her general direction he told her to get fucked. He'd been up for days, no wonder he couldn't get it up. Reaching into his pocket he did another bump and whistled into the night. His crew rounded the corner climbing into the car. Their mark had left his house for the first time in days. Slim Sam planned to ramraid the politician bastard. Hit 'em quick and fast and be back to the party before morning. 

 

Turning over the engine he told his crew to tighten their seatbelts as he sped towards Governor Wilson's car. The car was pulled up at an intersection waiting for the traffic lights to change. The engine roared as Slim Sam drove his vehicle into the side of Governor Wilson's car. The impact was jarring, throwing him forward in his seat. Slim Sam's huge bulk smashed into the steering column knocking him out. 

 

****

 

Tony Two Fingers was a gambler at heart. He'd earned his name as a kid, gambling dice on the streets of Boston. He'd fled the city as a teenager, owing every loan shark in the state large sums of money. He'd received his orders from Salvatore and sat opposite the Agency office in Chicago waiting for their mark to leave the building. Director Stevenson was a careful man changing his mode of transport regularly. To meet this threat Tony had posted his crew below in a vehicle, while he waited atop a building opposite with a high powered sniper rifle. If the rat bastard tried to make it out in a car he'd be met by his crew, if the bastard tried to escape on foot Tony Two Finger's had a bullet with his name on it. 

 

****

 

Salvatore nerves were on edge, his head pounded and his body poured with sweat. He'd been awake for days frantically planning while snorting absurd amounts of narcotics. Last night he'd let his men shoot him up with a healthy dose of heroin. He'd awoken in a cold bath having clearly having overdosed. He'd climbed out and done his best to wash away the worst effects, but he still felt sick to his stomach. The bravado that he boosted with narcotics was fading quick.

 

Searching frantically he finally found the suitcase he kept stocked with all the narcotics a junky like himself could need. Reaching for a recently restocked bag he poured a portion on the kitchen counter and snorted it all up in one. His heart felt like it would explode, so he reached for some nearby whisky and poured it down his throat. This was the worst part, the waiting, he'd sooner be out there with his crew riding into battle with fire in his eyes, but he knew as their leader he had to maintain an air of superiority, so instead he sat in the empty apartment and waited. 

 

An idea sprung to mind, his crew would be expecting a party when they returned, so why not start early. Reaching for the payphone which swung loosely from the wall by a thin wire, Salvatore rang a local dealer and gave him a long list of narcotics to bring over to the address. Next he rang a local pimp and told him to send all of his prostitutes over. Smiling to himself he settled into his seat and poured another bump onto his finger. 

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Springer was fucked. It had all started so well. They'd hopped out of their car and emptied magazines of fully automatic gunfire into the detectives car. He'd watched with satisfaction as their bodies jerked about as they filled the car with hot lead. Problems arose the second the police station began returning fire. His men were cut down in seconds having left the cover of their vehicle to approach the detectives car. Springer had at least made it back to his car, jumping behind it to take cover, but he was now fucked. The officers had him surrounded and were shouting at him to drop his gun and put his hands up.

 

Reaching into his coat pocket he poured the rest of the cocaine onto the trunk of his car. Reaching into his other pocket he added the rest of his heroin. Snorting the whole combination up he picked up his thompson sub machinegun and with a roar that would have impressed a viking raider he charged at the police opening fire with his gun as the first bullet hit him in the chest. The mammoth amounts of narcotics pumping through his veins kept him running towards the police much longer than he should have. Finally after his whole body was riddled with bullets he crumpled to the floor in a bloody heap. 

 

****

 

Slim Sam awoke with a strangled gasp, his fat chest covered in the blood which flowed freely from his broken nose. Using his immense weight he leaned against the cars door and fell onto the cold concrete below. Climbing to his feet he took a moment to check his surroundings. The Governor lay slumped over his steering wheel with a bullet in his head. His men were no where to be seen. Fuck his head was pounding. He stumbled towards a nearby alleyway wondering why he hadn't thought about an escape vehicle. Once in the dark confines of the alleyway he took a moment to still his breathing, reaching into his coat pocket he took a bump and stole away into the Chicago night. 

 

On the other end of the alley he called for a cab and gave him direction back to the apartment they were using as a base of operations. Slim Sam must have passed out in the back of the cab. He came to as the driver was demanding extra money for bleeding all over his seat. Slim Sam, too concussed to argue handed him a wad of cash and clambered upstairs. 

 

****

 

Tony Two Fingers watched as his crew fired up the engine of their car. He stood aghast as they drove the vehicle into the directors car. For fucks sake he'd told the idiots to tail him and to find a quiet opportunity to take the director out. What sort of fucking idiots had Salvatore given him. While Tony liked a drink and liked to frequent the local brothels he hated narcotics, so wherever possible he stayed the fuck away from Salvatore and his crew during the evenings. The men he'd been given to look after dived out of their wrecked vehicle and filled the directors car with bullets. The idiots were quickly cut down by the well aimed fire from the FBI agents rushing out of the building.

 

Packing his high powered sniper rifle into a nearby suitcase Tony swore profusely as he climbed down the fire escape. Gunning the engine of his car he sped into the cold Chicago night. With his mind racing he decided it would be wise move not to return to Salvatore. If any of the other hits had gone this badly they'd be wanted men by morning. Instead he drove out of state, he'd head back to Las Vegas and place his bets on being able to talk his way out of this mess. If Sonny had realized how far his trusted man had fallen he would never have sent him on this misson.

 

****

 

Salvatore was hidden behind a mound of cocaine and heroin he'd piled onto the only table in the whole apartment that hadn't been broken over their weeks of partying. He'd already sampled each of the prostitutes and given them enough narcotics to keep them invested in the party. There was a knock at the door, so Salvatore shouted at one of the prostitutes to open it.

 

Slim Sam stumbled through the door with his shirt and face covered in blood, drawing a booming laugh from Salvatore's drug addled brain. The man reported his mission had been a success but his crew had been killed. Salvatore shrugged the news off and told the man to sit and sample all he desired. He'd done well and deserved a suitable reward. 

 

As the night wore on Salvatore's drug addled mind became more and more paranoid. None of the others had returned. He had no idea whether they'd succeeded in their task. A logical person would have fled the city while they could. Salvatore was so doped up he instead resigned to his fate and continued to chip away at the mound of cocaine to his front. Slim Sam could be heard rutting with the prostitutes in the back room. Salvatore was left disappointed as the next bump didn't calm his nerves, so instead he reached for a nearby belt and needle and decided to shoot up. As the narcotics entered his blood stream he slumped into blissful happiness. 

 

****

 

Agent Johnson and Smith landed in Chicago and rushed to the FBI offices. Inside they spoke to Donna who explained that a pair of madmen had driven their vehicle into Director Stevenson's car and shot automatic guns at him. The pair exchanged concerned looks. This sounded too amateur to be mafia related. Thanking Donna they rushed upstairs to a briefing being held by the acting director. The man explained that multiple targets had been hit across Chicago city, they had dead politicians, police officers and out of town nobodies hyped up on a lethal cocktails of narcotics, but no witnesses. 

 

Donna knocked on the door and explained they had a phone call from the local police station. Agent Johnson stood up immediately and said he would take the call, Agent Smith would fill him in with any information he missed.

 

Agent Johnson picked up the phone, the police station sergeant on the other side explained they had a cab driver who had driven a large gentleman away from the scene of the crime to a nearby apartment block. They had plane uniformed officers surrounding the building, but knew the FBI had jurisdiction on this case. Agent Johnson told them to pull their men back and to watch the building, if anyone attempted to leave they should apprehend them but not to enter until they had backup. 

 

Agent Johnson stormed back into the building explaining the phone call. The acting director turned to the pair and told them to get to that apartment and apprehend the suspects. Rushing towards the armory the agents armed themselves with shotguns and bullet proof vests before climbing into their cars and driving towards the apartment building. 

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Agent Johnson led the charge up the stairs, with Agent Smith and local PD following closely behind. The rest of their units waited outside, preparing to catch anyone trying to flee the scene. As they'd entered the building one of the apartments doors opened and an old lady reported the coming and goings of an apartment a couple of floors up. Agent Johnson reacted instantly, knowing that this is where they'd find their man. Stopping either side of the door Agent Johnson and Agent Smith waited for the police officers to form a line behind them. Counting down with his fingers Agent Johnson stood in front of the door, on the count of three he kicked the door in and rushed into the apartment. 

 

Inside was a shit tip of broken chairs, tables and other furniture littering the floors. To the right of the door lay a man with a needle sticking out of his arm. Agent Johnson turned to his partner and pointed at the doors at the other end of the room while he crept closer to the man. Taking each step steadily as to not alert the sleeping man Agent Johnson noticed the sweat patches under his arms, and the slow steady climb of his chest as he breathed. In between him and the man lay a table covered in all manner of narcotics, this group fit the bill for the random killings that had taken part across Chicago. 

 

Agent Smith inched the door at the back of the room open slowly. Reaching to his belt he shone a light into the dark room and kept his gun raised in case of any returning fire. As he crept into the room he found a giant 300lb man who fit the taxi drivers description, but he was dead. He had a needle sticking out of his arm and his pants were wrapped around his legs. His mouth and chest were covered in vomit, from where he had been sick in his sleep and died. Moving over to the corpse he checked for a pulse and shook his head to the man behind.

 

Agent Johnson let his guard drop. The man in front of him was clearly in some narcotic induced coma. Letting his shotgun hang from its strap he pulled the needle out of the man's arm and undid the belt that that was tied below the needle. Reaching for the man's neck he checked for a pulse, faint and irregular but a pulse all the same. Pulling a torch out he shone it in the man's eyes. Agent Johnson turned to the men who had cleared the room, he told the local police officers to bag up the narcotics as evidence and call for a medical team. 

 

Agent Johnson and Smith stood in front of the man slumped over the sofa and argued in a hushed whisper about their best course of action. Neither felt they could trust the local police officers to apprehend the suspect, but Agent Smith had his reservations about trusting the local FBI officers too. 

 

****

 

Salvatore was startled as he awoke groggily. The last thing he remembered was plunging a needle into his arm the night before, and now stood before him were two armed agents. He stayed completely still listening to their hushed argument. 

 

"I'll tell you everything you need to know, but you've gotta get me out of here. The men I work for will be sending someone to clear this up," he stated urgently to the agents. 

 

"You're in no place to make any demands, consider yourself under arrest, there's enough narcotics in here to give you life in prison a couple times over," responded Agent Smith. 

 

The two agents walked out of earshot which annoyed Salvatore deeply. While their backs were turned he leaned forward and stuffed as many bags of cocaine as he could fit into his pockets. By the time the agents turned around again he was sat slumped on the couch. 

 

"We're gonna put you in witness protection and get you out of state as soon as possible, just follow our lead and keep your mouth shut until we're out of Chicago," Agent Johnson whispered to the man as he cuffed him from behind.

 

"Under one condition, get my suitcase from the back, it's got important documents that will lead you to my employer," Salvatore lied as he was pulled to his feet. He was confident the agents wouldn't go through the bother of breaking the lock on the suitcase in their haste to get him out of there. 

 

Salvatore was marched out of the apartment as a local police sergeant blocked their path, "We'll take it from here," the officer stated.

 

"Not a chance, this fucker is responsible for the murder of a Governor of Chicago, this is FBI business," returned Agent Smith barging the man out of the way. 

 

Salvatore was dumped into the back of the car and they sped out of Chicago, the pair clearly not trusting the local police not to find a convenient accident for Salvatore in their prisons. 

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Sonny lounged in the mansion's back garden, tanning himself in the warm Los Angeles sun. He was interrupted by the arrival of one of his bodyguards. The man had an urgent message from Las Vegas. Sonny rushed back into the mansion, packing his belongings before climbing into the waiting car. A private jet was waiting for him at the airport, climbing aboard he sat back and worried during the short flight back to Las Vegas.

 

Landing at the airport he was met by his Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended waiting on the landing strip. Rushing down the stairs he climbed into the car and told them to gun it back to his headquarters. The sights of the strip sped by as he lit himself a smoke to help calm his nerves. Rushing through the doors of the Outfit casino he was greeted by his staff, who he exchanged welcomes and courtesies with making haste to reach the doors to his headquarters. Once inside he followed the winding corridors to his sealed and sound protected office. 

 

BigEasy was waiting inside with Jammin at his side. They passed him a Chicago Times newspaper, the headline read, "Night of Terror in the Windy City," swearing to himself Sonny asked what they knew. The pair had some solid information. All the men on the list were dead with the exception of the director who was intensive care fighting for his life. Sonny asked what the fuck Salvatore was thinking. He was a reliable member of family. BigEasy seemed to be keeping something from him, so he asked what he'd missed. BigEasy explained that the men had developed a habit, which was not unheard of among the members of the mafia, but it seems Sonny's habit had become more of a daily occurrence. 

 

Sonny thanked his dutiful hands, he should have been paying more attention. He should have been here to see the decline of Salvatore. He'd been so swept up by events that he missed obvious things. These were not the actions of a crew leader.

 

Sonny asked Jammin to reach out to Godfather Accana, to see if there was anything that could be done to repair the damage. Using a protected line Jammin called the Godfather's underboss and spoke briefly to him. The Chicago Outfit thanked him profusely, thinking he'd employed outside men to preform the hits in a stroke of genius distancing the mafia from suspicion. Sonny smiled as he heard the news, well maybe Salvatore wasn't so useless after all. Jammin continued that Salvatore was last seen being arrested by FBI agents. The Chicago Outfit's spies in the Chicago PD had informed them that he was under witness protection. 

 

****

 

Salvatore hid in the motels bathroom and poured himself a bump. His nerves settled slightly as the narcotics entered his blood stream, reaching for the other bag he added a bump of heroin and inhaled that too. The drugs kept his mind clear, and he would need a clear mind if he was to worm himself out of this predicament. Flushing the toilet for good measure he crept back into the motel room he was sharing with the two FBI agents. They were somewhere in Illinois, heading with all haste for the hills to escape the clutches of the corrupt Chicago judicial system. 

 

****

 

Agent Johnson and Smith knew their business, they'd informally put witnesses under their protection dozens of times, but this time was different, they no longer had the support of the bureau. They needed time to work the information out of Salvatore. The man was a drug addled mess and would never be able to take the stand in court, any lawyer worth his weight would tear the man apart. Instead they needed him to provide them with the clues that would lead them back to whoever had ordered these hits. Salvatore was remaining tight lipped, refusing to talk until he felt some measure of protection, he was buying time, but that was fine by them.

 

The pair of agents turned a blind eye to his blatant drug use. As far as they were concerned, the more the narcotics flooded his system the more he'd be willing to talk when the time came. Both had spent enough time around junkies to know they needed their fix. This leverage would improve invaluable once the man was clucking. Packing their bags they climbed back into their vehicle and sped out west, the further they got away from civilization the better. Agent Johnson had a destination in mind, a secluded hut he owned, so far off the beaten track that even the agency would struggle to catch up to them. 

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Sonny busied himself in preparation for the inevitable. There was no way he could let Salvatore turn federal witness, not only would it jeopardize his own freedom, but it would bring his crews operation to a halt. The funds which continued to flow in from defrauding the government millions in tax income from the gasoline business were too great to risk. Salvatore was too close to that venture, in order to protect himself and his family the man would need to have an unfortunate accident. Sonny had put the word out he wanted the man found, he'd put up huge sums of money for any and all information.

 

Having finished meeting with BigEasy and Jammin Sonny left the safe confines of his headquarters and headed out onto the casino floor. It had been too long since he had shown his face. He needed to check in on the business, and make sure the vast sums of dirty money gained from the gasoline business were being laundered through his crew fronts. Walking across the casino floor he exchanged kind words and jokes with his employees, stopping to chat with those he recognized as regular gamblers. Sonny took a slight detour to check in with the casinos chief of security, making sure there'd been no incidents during his departure.

 

Arriving in his lavishly decorated office he sat down on the leather chair and lit himself a Cuban cigar. Reaching for his phone he called through to the casino's accountant. A shrewd business man he kept on the payroll to hide the illegitimate earnings of his crew. Sonny was happy to hear all was well with their accounts. Tax was being paid on the casino and his other legitimate crew fronts, and the money was being laundered efficiently through a number of local banks at a low cost due to his accountants connections.

 

Sonny moved to wrap up the meeting, satisfied all was well with his accounts but the accountant had noticed some suspicious activities with the gasoline accounts. Large sums of money were being drawn out and transferred directly to Salvatore, while Sonny had been absent the accountant had presumed this was an authorized move. Sonny swore to himself, the bastard was robbing him blind. Kids now a days had no god damn respect. Sonny asked his accountant if he could track this money, hoping it would eventually lead to Salvtore's location. With their business settled, Sonny handed the man a stack of clean cash, thanking him for his services. 

 

Swallowing his pride, Sonny called ahead to Godfather Fluffy's headquarters. He needed to pay his respects, and more importantly inform him of his current predicament. Godfather Fluffy had a network of contacts throughout the cities, and Sonny hoped he would be able to help him locate his former crew member. 

 

****

 

Director Stevenson awoke to the clicks, whirs and beeps of machinery surrounding him. His mind felt groggy as it struggled to piece together the events of the past few days. The last thing he remembered was driving his car out of the FBI offices underground carpark. He recalled the sounds of a revving engine and the smashing of a car hitting him on the drivers side. His world shook as he was thrown about the car, he remembered the taste of blood in his mouth as his head smashed against the steering column. He had tried to climb into the passengers seat to escape the vehicle, but was met with a hail of automatic gunfire. His morphine riddled mind had numbed the worst of the pain, but he felt dull aches all over his body where bullet had met flesh.

 

Gasping for water Director Stevenson tried to pull himself out of his bed, the beeping machineries tempo building in response to his quickening heart rate as panic set in. His world was shaking apart, he'd always been careful in his dealings with the mob. By providing a blind eye to their business enterprises he had ensured the fragile peace of Chicago was upheld. This attack could not be random, even if the attempt was amateur at best. A nurse ran into the dark room, switching on the heavy lights blinding Director Stevenson briefly. She told the man to lay still as she poured water into his parched mouth. Reaching for a pipe she dunked another shot of morphine directly into his bloodstream and he fell into an uneasy sleep.

 

****

 

Agent Johnson and Smith were glad to reach the cabin nestled in the forests of Wyoming. They followed a long dirt track, once used by logging companies towards the small cabin. The small wooden building had a nearby well for water, wood stove for heat, rough wooden chairs and tables, an outhouse and a couple of beds for the men to sleep in. The living would be uncomfortable so far from society, but they would be safe.

 

Stopping off at the nearest town the agents had stocked up on food, guns and ammunition, prepared for a long stay if necessary. Salvatore was a wreck, they'd given the man few opportunities to sneak his usual dosage of narcotics into his blood stream, and the worst effects of withdrawal were starting to show. 

 

The men went about their business preparing the cabin for the stay. Agent Johnson stood outside bare chested cutting logs for the wood stove, while Agent Smith prepared a meal and watched over Salvatore, who was cooped in a backroom sweating out the worst of his withdrawals. In hushed tones the pair had discussed how tonight would be a perfect opportunity to question the man. With the promise a hit, from the narcotics they had found in his suitcase, the man would sing like a canary. 

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Salvatore was fucked, he'd snorted the last of his supplies before leaving the state of Illinois. The rest of the days driving had been hell, he'd never tried to kick his habits before and now he suffered. His whole body ached, his stomach churned, he'd lost counts of the amount of times he'd had to shout at the men to stop the vehicle so he could rush into the nearest bush and relieve himself. Salvatore had spent whole months of his life chemically intoxicated. What he would give for a hit, just a small hit to take the pain away. 

 

He rolled back and fourth among the sodden sheets of the cabins bed. His stomach started to cramp as he fell into the fetal position sobbing pathetically. Regret ate away at his sanity, he was fucked, there was no way he would leave this cabin with his freedom intact. He tried to pull himself to his feet but was hit by another wave of nausea, he fell to the floor retching as the contents of his stomach fell into a nearby bucket. 

 

****

 

Sonny walked into Fluffy's headquarters, careful to place an offering with the gang of cats that lazed around the buildings receptions. The cats purred and meowed at him, so he stooped to give them belly rubs and tickles behind the ear. The cats, satisfied with their tribute went back to cleaning themselves and perching on bookshelves and cabinets, watching the coming and goings of Fluffy's crew. Sonny stopped first to see Ketamine, checking she hadn't been sampling her own supplies again, fortunately she seemed relevantly cognizant and he checked in with his former crew, asking after friends and exchanging pleasantries. 

 

Knocking on Fluffy's door Sonny entered the Godfather's office, taking an offered seat he explained his current predicament. Fluffy shook his head, fucking rats he responded with a growl. The wise Godfather said he would put the word out, this former crew member would be found and brought to justice. While Sonny had been careless entrusting such a man, if there was one thing the mafia could not abide with is rats. Those people's actions would see the end of their lifestyle, their warrior code would not allow such actions, this man would be found and he would pay for his transgressions. Sonny left Fluffy a sizeable tribute before leaving the building. 

 

Once back on the strip he climbed into his waiting Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended and asked his bodyguards to drive him to a secure line. The sights of Las Vegas sped by his window as he sat back and lit himself a cigar. Once outside the city limits the car pulled into a diner which bordered the desert. Climbing out of the car Sonny retrieved a bundle of coins from his coat pocket and stacked them next to the payphone. He called a number, which in usual circumstances he would never dare ring. 

 

"Stanley Burning Private Investigation Services," the voice on the other line began.

 

"Cut the act Stan, its your old friend," Sonny responded.

 

"Now this is a call I wasn't expecting," Stanley returned with a touch of anger turning his put on accent back to its New York origins.

 

The last Sonny had seen the man was back in the 30s, when Stanley was serving in the New York PD. Their association had caused quite the scandal. The man was on Sonny's payroll, helping him smuggle large sums of Canadian whisky into the city. They hadn't spoken in over 20 years. Sonny had never given up his associations name, having the whole case pinned on him instead. Stanley should have escaped scot-free but he'd gotten greedy and gotten caught. His reputation in shambles he was fired from the police and he put a large sum of the blame on Sonny, who'd first turned him from the path of a righteous police officer, to a life of crime.

 

Stanley now operated his own private detective service, a service which Sonny would pay handsomely for. Stanley was a shrewd PI, and had connections to the local PD forces.

 

"A call I didn't wanna make, look can we meet up, I've got a job for you," Sonny kept his voice neutral not rising to the bait. 

 

"A meeting with the great Sonny Vincenzo, what the fuck would I want to do that for?" Stanley raged.

 

"It's a job and it'll pay well, if you're interested call me, if not get fucked you big baby," Sonny clicked the phone shut, not bothering to listen to the venom laced response. 

 

Sonny sighed to himself, well that went exactly as planned. He'd have to pin his hopes on the mafia to find the necessary information to hunt Salvatore down. Climbing back into his Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended he relit his Cuban cigar and sat back in the comfy leather seats of his car. Asking his bodyguards to drive him back to The Outfit Casino Sonny began to put together a plan of how best to catch Salvatore.

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Agent Johnson nodded to Agent Smith who stormed into Salvatore's room and roughly pulled the man out of bed. Dropping him on the cold floor they pulled him onto a nearby seat. Agent Johnson walked to the nearest window and pulled back the heavy curtains letting the bright sun into the cabin. Salvatore looked as sick as a dog, his usual tanned skin was deathly pallid, his eyes sunken into his skull and his lips cracked. The man looked like he'd been lost at sea for months, his usually slicked back hair was growing wild.

 

Agent Jonhson and Smith both sat opposite him, a rough wooden table separating them. The pair sat with backs straight, while Salvatore slumped on the table, in the throes of withdrawal. 

 

Agent Smith clicked the voice recorder on, the whir of machinery filled the small cabin, "Salvatore, we'd like to ask you some questions regarding the recent series of hits in the city of Chicago." 

 

Salvatore lay slumped over the table, his only response was a pathetic groan.

 

Agent Johnson walked over to Salvatore and pulled him roughly from the table, "Answer Agent Smith's question," he demanded while holding him up. 

 

****

 

Salvatore's head throbbed, his throat was dry and his stomach churned. He was being held in place by Agent Johnson's rough hands, his frail body lacked the strength to hold himself up. This was the worst he'd ever felt in his life.

 

The same question was repeated to Salvatore, "We'd like to ask some questions regarding the recent series of hits in the city of Chicago."

 

Salvatore's mind was unable to work his way out of this mess, he just needed a little hit to get him some clarity, "The answers are in my brief case, bring it here and I'll show you."

 

"We've searched your brief case Salvatore, there's nothing of any use in there, we've already flushed the contents," Agent Smith responded with a smile.

 

Salvatore's fragile mind gave into despair. He just wanted to crawl into a dark place and die in peace. The little resolve he had maintained in his heart left in that moment. 

 

"I'm fucking dying here, I need a fix," Salvatore begged with tears in his eyes. 

 

Agent Smith smiled in response, "I can see you are sick Salvatore, but first you need to answer our questions," if Salvatore had the strength he'd reach over the table and smash the stupid grin off the man's face. Instead in the face of his immediate predicament Salvatore's resolve faded, and he began to tell the agents all he knew.

 

****

 

Agent Johnson joined Agent Smith warming his hands in front of the wood stove. They'd given Salvatore a bag of coke and heroin and left him to his misery following their interview. The pair were elated, the man had told them everything. From Sonny's involvement in a tax evasion scheme to him ordering Salvatore to kill these men on behalf of the Chicago Outfit.

 

The pair knew they needed to report back to headquarters, but both knew this would prove difficult. Given Director Stevenson's involvement with the mob, they could not be too sure who to trust. Instead they decided that Agent Smith would drive to the nearest town and send an urgent telegram back to an old friend they felt they could trust in the bureau. 

 

Agent Smith grabbed his coat and walked towards the cabin door. Agent Johnson would be more than capable of handling the pathetic waste of a junkie they had in the backroom. Climbing into their car he fired up the engine long journey into the nearest town to prepare a telegram. 

 

****

 

Salvatore cowered in his room cradling his precious drugs. He pulled a fresh needle out of his suitcase and sucked up the diluted contents of the heated spoon to his front. Pulling the belt tightly round his arm he tapped his vein and plunged the needle in. Sweet bliss filled his aching body. Clarity settled down upon his tortured mind. He felt relief for the first time in days as the mixture of cocaine and heroin entered his bloodstream. Fuck he'd missed this.

 

He awoke in a crumpled heap in the middle of the floor with his heart racing. Fuck he must have overdosed, there was a wide puddle of sick covering his cheek and the floor in front of him. Pulling himself to his feet he found the bag of cocaine and poured a generous portion onto the nearby bedside table. Snorting it in one go he felt an idea plunge forward from the dark recesses of his brain. He remembered hearing the agents planning to split up before they left. The narcotics lending him bravado he decided now was the time to escape. Sneaking the suitcase of narcotics with him he opened the rooms only window and jumped outside. 

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Walking through the Casino Sonny was called over by his receptionist who was holding a call for him. Sonny asked Maggie to send the call to his office, knowing the line was secure. He walked the short distance to his office and picked up the receiver. 

 

"Fine, I'll hear you out, but any funny business and I'll shoot you myself," warned Stanley on the other line.

 

"It's nice to hear from you too, consider it an expenses paid trip to Las Vegas, call me when you land," returned Sonny as he clicked the phone dead.

 

The phone rang again, Sonny swore to himself and picked it up, "There's a call waiting for you on the other line sir," his receptionist stated.

 

"Thanks Maggie, put it through," Sonny returned waiting for the call to be transferred over.

 

"Boss we've got some info you'll wanna hear, meet me at the old diner," the phone clicked dead, Sonny smiled to himself glad that his men were being cautious. 

 

Sonny phoned Maggie at reception and asked that his car be brought round the front. Grabbing his hat from its rack he walked out of The Outfit Casino and climbed into the waiting Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended. His bodyguard driving the car turned and asked where they were going, Sonny gave him the address, sat back and poured himself a whisky. Things were coming together. With any luck this unfortunate series of events would be dealt with by the months end.

 

Driving out into the desert the car pulled up at at the diner. Sonny told his guards to stay put and climbed out walking towards the nearby car, Jammin climbed out the back and shook his hand.

 

"I've just heard back from our contacts in Chicago, seems Salvatore never got booked into the location stations," he began taking the offered cigar from Sonny and stooping while he held a lighter over its end. 

 

Taking a deep pull of the cigar Jammin continued, "they were last seen fleeing the scene with Savlatore in their custody, our contact thinks they've left state. He enquired with the FBI who were tight lipped about the business, but as far as he could tell they didn't have a clue where the agents were." 

 

Sonny swore under his breath. This made things really difficult. Who knows where the bastards would have stashed Salvatore.

 

Mulling over the information Sonny asked, "so the agents are working on there own, outside the bureau's control?" 

 

"Certainly seems that way boss," Jammin returned.

 

"Good work, lets see what else your agents can pull up, make sure they're paid for their info," Sonny returned clasping his hand over Jammin's shoulder in thanks. 

 

Sonny's mind raced with possibilities as he climbed back into the waiting car which drove back towards The Outfit Casino. 

 

****

 

Stanley boarded the next flight to Las Vegas, walking into the first class lounge he smiled to himself, as far as he was concerned that bastard Sonny owed him. Stanley, having rarely left the city of New York was overdressed for the journey. His overcoat and jacket not fit for the warm climes of Las Vegas. Sitting down he ordered himself a drink and watched with pleasure as the hostess walked away.

 

The years hadn't been kind on Stanley, he'd long lost his mojo following his dismissal from his prided role in the New York Police Department. His fitness had declined over the many years of heavy boozing that followed. His hair now receded and grey framed his podgy features. Stanley was glad for the extra room afforded by his first class seat, he'd have taken up two seats otherwise. He was a large man with an even larger appetite, but for what he lacked in physical fitness he more than made up for with his keen mind and detective instincts. Before boarding the flight he had already made enquiries with his contacts in the Chicago PD, building a picture of Sonny and his recent activities. 

 

With a kind word and a gentle shake of his arm the air hostess woke Stanley up, their plane had landed. Grabbing his few belongings he shuffled down the aisles, sweat already running down his back from the dry heat of the desert. Collecting his baggage he walked to a nearby payphone he called ahead to The Outfit Casino. A lady on reception answered explaining she would send a car to pick him up. Stanley removed his hat, using it as an improvised fan as beads of sweat ran freely down his head. Dropping his bags he removed his heavy coat, but it did little to help with the midday heat. 

 

Climbing into the back of a dark Caddilac Stanley was drove from the airport to The Outfit Casino, as it came into view he swore under his breath, fucking Sonny Franseze, the man was going to have to pay for his services. Walking through the front door he was greeted and taken to a penthouse suite and told to make himself at home, Sonny was busy with business but would contact him soon. 

 

****

 

Salvatore hit the floor heavily, his drug addled brain misjudging the distance between the window and the floor. Pulling himself to his feet he grabbed his suitcase and ran straight into the woods. With no real sense of direction or tracks to follow he fumbled and fell through the heavy bush. The primitive part of his brain smelt freedom, and with that hope he shot off as quick as his legs would allow. 

 

Panic began to set in as darkness crept into the heavily wooded area. Had Salvatore been capable of thinking straight he might have brought some water or food with him. The man's stomach grumbled constantly, not even capable of remembering his last meal. His greater concern was a lack of water, he'd spent hours running through the woods, smashing through bushes of brambles tearing his sweat soaked clothing and cutting his arms and legs. Reaching into his pocket he poured another bump on his finger, just another little hit and he'd feel some clarity, the demon on his shoulder told him.

 

Fumbling in the dark he fell down a gully, a strangled cry escaped his lips as his body hit a fallen log. He felt something break as his body continued to tumble down the gully, landing with a splash he struggled to stay afloat as the rivers current tried to drag him under. Kicking out with his feet he cried out in pain as he struggled towards the rivers bank. Pulling himself a shore he fell into a crumpled heap, reaching into his pocket he began to sob as his precious drugs were sodden and unusable. 

 

Salvatore awoke shivering, the pain in his legs and side must have made him black out. His sodden clothes and the nights chill air were sending his body into hypothermia. His whole body was wracked with pain from his broken bones, but shook uncontrollably. He'd never been more miserable in his life. Salvatore was barely able to keep his eyes open as his body began to shut down. All the money in the world couldn't buy him out of this predicament. 

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Agent Johnson swore out loud. He'd gone to check on Salvatore but found the window hoisted open and the man missing. Charging into the front room he grabbed his coat, a torch and piled provisions into a rucksack that he threw over his broad shoulders. Running behind the log cabin he tracked the man through the woods. The idiot hadn't even been heading towards the nearest road, he was heading further into the bush. What exactly he thought to achieve by running further from civilization Agent Johnson did not know. 

 

Tracking the man was easy, trampled grass and body sized holes in bushes and hedgerows evidence of his passing. Night was starting to draw in so Agent Johnson took note of his general direction in relation to the direction of the lodge. The man had spent his youth hunting in woods with his father, so was well prepared for such a venture. Agent Johnson swore as he found Salvatore's briefcase at the edge of a large gully. Reaching into his rucksack he took out the torch and followed the gully's edge shining the light along the rivers banks. His trained eyes picking out a crumpled heap down river. 

 

Agent Johnson reached into his bag and retrieved a rope tying it to a nearby tree he began to lower himself down the gully's edge. Down by the river side he checked Salvatore for a pulse, it was weak but the man was still somehow alive. Searching the river's edge he found some dead kindling and logs to build a fire. Lighting it he pulled Salvatore's soaking clothes off and placed his body next to the fire. The man was hypothermic, his only chance of living was in raising his body temperature. Checking his body over Agent Johnson found evidence of a broken bone in the man's left leg, building a rudimentary splint he used a length of to tie the broken limb down. Wrapping Salvatore's pale body in a blanket he'd stashed in his rucksack he took a seat next to him. Satisfied with his work he reached into his rucksack and pulled out a slab of dried meat. 

 

****

 

Sonny steeled himself for the coming meeting with Stanley. The man had never been easy to get along with, but he didn't imagine that time had healed the wounds Stanley felt he was responsible for. Ultimately Sonny didn't greatly care, he knew the man and knew his greed. He could be bought and Sonny had money to spare. Calling ahead to reception he said he was ready to meet with Stanley. 

 

There was a gentle knock at Sonny's office door, he called out to come in. His receptionist Maggie entered the room and smiled stating that Stanley was here to see him. Sonny thanked her and offered Stanley a seat. The years hadn't been kind on the man, to be frank he looked like shit. Sonny watched as Stanley sat his massive frame down in the chair opposite him. An expensive oak table separated the two men.

 

Reaching into a draw Sonny pulled out Cuban cigar, cutting the end he offered one to Stanley, ever the glutton he took the offered cigar without so much as a thanks and asked for a whisky. Sonny bit back his retort, Stanley clearly trying to bait him into a response. 

 

"Been a long time Stanley," Sonny began taking a sip from his own glass of expensive whisky. 

 

"Not long enough if you ask me," Stanley returned with a cheeky smile. 

 

"I'd love to stay and chat, but I've important business that needs attending to so I'll cut right to the chase. I'm hunting a man named Salvatore Dionachi, an ex-crew member turned federal witness," Sonny bit back the worst of his anger, keeping his tone neutral. 

 

"The name's not familiar, but I've a few people who might be able to help, where was he last seen?" Stanley asked his interest piqued. 

 

"Last I heard he'd been picked up by a couple of overzealous FBI agents in Chicago," Sonny continued taking a long pull from his cigar. 

 

"The fucking FBI? Are you serious? If you want me to go snooping around the bureau that's gonna cost you," Stanley winked with a Cheshire grin written over his fat face. 

 

"These agents are working outside the bureau's control, they've gone rogue, if you get results cost will not be a problem Stanley," Sonny returned reaching for a briefcase of cash he'd stashed under his desk to emphasize his point, he turned the briefcase round unclasping it and opening to reveal the contents. 

 

"Well now we're talking, I could call you a lot of things Sonny but cheap was never one," Stanley laughed greed reflecting in his eyes. 

 

Sonny smiled in response, he had the man. They discussed details, how Stanley would keep in contact and key milestones that would lead to further payments. Sonny reached into the briefcase and threw a couple thousand bucks onto the table calling it a fee for his retained services, reminding Stanley there would be plenty more cash if he was successful. Stanley stashed the heavy loads of cash into his pockets and got up from the table, stating he would be in contact soon. Sonny had given the man a number for one of his hands, distancing himself from involvement to the best of his abilities. 

 

****


Agent Smith drove through the night to get back to the cabin, the nearest town being close to 50 miles away, and a lot of that journey over old logging roads where he could barely go above 5 mph. Walking into the cabin he was surprised to find it empty. Rushing into Salvatore's room he found the window open. Swearing loudly he packed a bag with gear he thought he might need then rushed to the back window. Checking the floor he saw heavy boot prints that could only be Agent Jonhson's, he followed the tracks into the woods.

 

After a short journey through the woods he found Agent Jonhson in a gully below nursing Salvatore back to health. Shouting to his friend he said he would build a stretcher so they could lift the man up the steep banks. Grabbing an axe from his pack he began to cut down lengths of wood, using a rope from his bag he weaved it between the ropes making a rudimentary stretcher. Tying a rope to a nearby tree he lowered the stretcher into the gully and shouted for Agent Johnson to tie Salvatore to the stretcher. 

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Salvatore awoke to burning pain shooting through his limbs. He screamed out in pain as Agent Jonhson lifted him like a sack of potatoes and dropped him onto a bush craft stretcher. He thrashed around fighting against the man screaming out his agony. Agent Johnson reached into the suitcase, grabbing a needle he plunged a shot of heroin into his arm. Salvatore felt the heroin numbing his pain as he fell blissfully into a heavy sleep.

 

****

 

Agent Smith pulled with all his might, dragging the stretcher back up the gully's edge. Agent Jonhson stood below holding a guide rope to stop the stretcher from smashing into steep bank. The pair worked steadily, careful not to cause any further damage to Salvatore. In Salvatore rested their only hope, without him and the key information he kept in his tortured mind, they were fucked.

 

After what felt like hours Salvatore was finally back atop the deep gully. Agent Johnson climbed the rope with relative ease, having spent a good portion of his life mountaineering. Agent Smith shook his friends hands and reported his mission being a success. He had managed to get a telegram off to a trusted man in the agency. He'd left instructions to send a telegram back as soon as possible, and Agent Smith would check back with the nearby station regularly. 

 

The pair grabbed the stretcher and walked the short distance back to the log cabin. Once inside they stoked the fire and dropped Salvatore next to it. Agent Smith checked his body for injuries, the leg break looked nasty but the bone had not broke through the skin. Putting his ear to Salvatore's chest he noticed a struggling wheezing breathing pattern. Turning to Agent Johnson with a swear on his lips he explained the man needed hospital care. He had probably broken a rib on his fall and might have punctured a lung. The pair knew the inherent risk of taking him into town, but knew they had little choice. While they had got some good information from Salvatore they needed more to fill in the blanks that would ultimately lead them to the people who had ordered the hit in Chicago, and a lengthy prison sentence for Sonny Franseze. 

 

****


Sonny met with Jammin in The Outfit HQ, the man had important news consider Salvatore. Stanley was certainly earning his money. The man had intercepted an urgent coded telegram from some agents operating out of Wyoming. Jammin had paid the man to make his way to the state and observe the town where the message had come from. Sonny commented that it could only be the agents he was after. Satisfied that they would have a location soon Sonny thanked Jammin and left his headquarters. Walking back to the casino to attend to his duties about the casino.

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Salvatore awoke groggily in a dark room echoing with the sounds of bleeping machinery, his left leg was elevated and covered in a thick cast. His breathing was labored and painful, each draw of breath causing a pain in his chest. He wanted to cry out as his body went into withdrawals but found he didn't have the energy. The last he recalled was fighting for his life against the strong currents of a swift river. His body was wrapped in a heavy blanket, restricting any attempts at movement. 

 

The clinical smells of a hospital ward hit him next and he began to panic. Had the two agents done away with him since his confession, discarded like an dirty rag? He was truly fucked now, without their protection he'd be meeting a painful end once he hit the prison yard. Salvatore knew the fate of rats in prison, the bastards would make him pay. He began to thrash around in his bed, trying to get out. A squad of nurses rushed into the room and demanded he stay still, shouting that he needed to rest. Salvatore would not have it, lashing out like a cornered rat at the nurses and orderlies who tried to subdue him. One of the orderlies grabbed his arm and he felt an injection being plunged into his veins. A sweet relief took over his body as a heavy dose of morphine entered his bloodstream. Well fuck, he could get used to this....

 

****

 

Sonny put all thoughts of Salvatore Dionachi out of his mind, tonight proved to be a good night, having received news that his old friends Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano were in town. He was glad to hear the pair had escaped the hell hole that Cuba was becoming. Each man had his own private residence in the city of Las Vegas, both owning huge chunks in the casinos across the strip, hell they both had a decent stake in his own casino, providing the labor and funds necessary to build such a venture in the city limits. 

 

Calling ahead to The Outfit's accountant Sonny was glad to hear that the worst of Salvatore's financial transgressions had been undone. The money was moving freely between his Sonny's legitimate enterprises, being laundered and reinvested in business across the city. Walking the floors of his Casino Sonny made his daily rounds, checking that the day to day running of the Casino was in line while conversing with the guests.

 

****

 

The two agents had left Salvatore in the care of the hospital, Agent Smith would remain in town to keep an eye on him while Agent Johnson had organized a meeting with the man they trusted in the FBI. Neither were happy with the series of unfortunate events which had befallen them, but being seasoned agents they adapted to the changing tides. 

 

Agent Smith set up shop in a nearby motel. In normal times he would have flashed his FBI badge and ordered extra security for Salvatore, but given their predicament neither agents thought it prudent. The last thing they needed was word getting out of their activities. Caution was their safest bet, so instead Agent Smith spent his days observing the coming and goings of the hospital from his car, keeping his visits to a minimum. 

 

Agent Johnson left on the next train out of town. Heading towards Wisconsin to meet with their trusted FBI Agent. While they both felt they could trust this man they felt it best to have the meeting away from their current location. 

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Vito sat back in the private booth with Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano, the trio watched as tonight's entertainment worked the crowd into a laughing frenzy. The man was short and balding but what he lacked in stature he more than made up for in his art. Walking from table to table he berated each of them in turn. Sonny found himself roaring with laughter after each jibe, he came as a recommendation from an old friend, and Sonny felt he was worth every penny. 

 

The man approached their table but turned at the last second noticing who sat around Sonny. Lucky Luciano was famously short tempered, a feat which hadn't simmered with age. The trio were distracted by the arrival of their dinner. Plates filled with expensive lobsters and thick slabs of steak were settled in front of them. Sonny reached for a lobster claw tearing it from the body and breaking it apart with a hammer.

 

Raising his glass of vintage wine Sonny said, "Saluti," and nodded to each of his friends. 

 

Tucking into the meal with relish Sonny spoke of past times with his two old friends. He was always keen to hear stories from Lucky Luciano of the old days, when this thing of theirs was in its infancy. Lucky was happy to oblige, telling Sonny of his time spent with the Five Points gang. Sonny, only having heard rumors of the pairs actions during his time away, so enquired with Lucky how he had been exiled from the country. Lucky explained that he was facing 50 years in prison, but with Meyer's genius he had avoided the lengthy sentence by providing assistance during World War 2. Lucky's reward for his efforts was a deportation back to Italy. 

 

Sonny sat aghast at the pair's ingenuity. How far they'd come from their lives as poor migrants arriving in the New York city without a pot to piss in. Sonny had met the men on the streets of New York, immigrating from Italy as a child. The trio finished their meal and retired to Sonny's headquarters to talk over more sensitive matters. For Lucky was taking a big risk showing his face in public, he was the most famous mobster in all America, all it would take is one phone call and he'd be back in prison in a heartbeat. However, all three doubted this, for who would be stupid enough to snitch on the worlds most famous mobster. 

 

Settling into Sonny's office he opened a bottle of old Canadian whisky and poured them each a glass. Reaching into his desk draw he retrieved three Cuban cigars and passed them to the men. They drank deep into the night, settling businesses and agreeing dates for repayments of Sonny's loans. Meyer was a shrewd business man but he considered Sonny a friend and gave him favorable interest rates. Neither of the men really needed the money, both of them could have three times over, but they liked their work, it kept them honest. 

 

****

 

The next time Salvatore awoke his mind felt fuzzy and his body didn't ache, fuck morphine felt good. He'd never had the opportunity to try the substance before, but he'd gladly give up his heroin habit for this feeling. He didn't have a care in the world. Fuck the FBI, fuck the men he'd killed and most of all fuck Sonny fucking Franseze.

 

Pulling his body up he climbed out of bed, careful to keep his weight off his broken leg. Finding a nearby set of crutches he limped out of his room. Salvatore looked down either end of the corridor noticing a medical supply cupboard at the end of the left turn. Setting off at an ambling pace he made his way to the door. Finding it locked he searched around frantically for a set of keys.

 

He was disturbed as a nurse rounded a corner asking him why he was out of bed, he explained he was desperate for the toilet but had got lost. Believing his story the nurse led him down the corridor, as he walked behind her he noticed a heavy set of keys at her waist. With the deft hands of a lifetime thief he feigned a fall grabbing the keys and tucking them into his hospital gowns pocket. The nurse called for orderlies who hoisted the man from the ground, one of the men helped him to the toilet where he relieved himself before being assisted back to his bed. 

 

Waiting until night he crept out of his bed and stole away into the medical cupboard. Grabbing a nearby bag he filled it with morphine and IV needles. If he was going to escape this place he'd need a clear head, his drug addled mind never saw the irony. 

 

****

 

Agent Johnson waited at the arranged location, he was impatient, his nerves on end fearing the worst about their trusted friends intentions. No one stood against the combined might of the agency. Even the most stoic or radical agents believed in the office of the FBI, Agent Johnson and Smith had turned renegade out of their own fears. Had they acted too hastily? Should they have brought Salvatore in for questioning? Doubts crept into his mind, his usual fanatical zeal at risk as worry continued to worm into his thoughts. 

 

Just as Agent Johnson was prepared to get up and leave his friend entered the restaurant. The ageing agent had served the FBI for the vast majority of his long career. Agent Johnson noticed that his white hair was thinning on top and his once lean body was starting to pack on extra weight. Agent Samson was fast approaching his 50th birthday, and felt every day of it. Taking the offered seat Agent Johnson looked over at the waitress who sauntered over asking them if they'd like a coffee. Both men asked for a black coffee with no sugar, prefer the bitter taste.

 

"Long time John," Agent Samson began with a smile, not many knew his first name, let alone the fact that Agent Johnson was just a moniker. 

 

"Trust the wife and kids are holding up," Agent Johnson responded taking a sip from his steaming coffee. 

 

"Just fine John, but why all the secrecy, and why'd you drag me this far out of civilization?" Agent Samson asked with questioning look.

 

"We've a little problem, think we uncovered some serious corruption in the FBI, the kind that won't just go to bed," Agent Johnson responded holding his friends gaze. 

 

Whistling through his teeth Agent Samson continued, "Well fuck, there's been rumors for years but no one's been able to find anything solid, I trust you can back up these claims?"

 

"We're working on it, but now we need your help," Agent Johnson continued in hushed whispers. 

 

The pair worked out the details over a breakfast of pancakes. Agent Johnson felt some relief having spoken to his old friend.

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Agent Samson stood from his chair shaking Agent Johnson's hand. Walking towards his car he swore under his breath. He'd long since lost his zealotry, times were hard and he'd taken the easy route. Agent Samson was one of the officers under the mobs payroll. Driving a short distance he pulled his car over and slotted change into the payphone. Phoning ahead he spoke to his contact in the mob. Information like this was the cornerstone of his interactions with the mob. They'd pay massive sums of money for witness locations, and that poor dumb bastard had just given him the location of a federal witness. He might have felt bad, but he had a hefty gambling bill which needed paying, and everyone had their vices. 

 

****

 

Sonny awoke cuddling a beautiful woman, their bodies entwined in last nights passion. Looking around the unfamiliar room drunken memories began to return. Following the conclusion of their business the three men had hit the strip. A debauched night of drinking, gambling and womanizing leading to Sonny's current predicament. Climbing out of bed on unsteady legs he retrieved his clothes from about the room, careful not to wake his temporary partner. Fuck his head hurt, it seemed every time he met up with his own friends he came out a little more worse for wear. 

 

Walking into a reception adorned in marble with high ceilings and rich carpets Sonny asked the lady at reception to use the hotel's phone. She asked if he'd had a good night with a smirk, clearly noticing his disheveled appearance. Sonny laughed in response, phoning ahead to the Outfit Casino for a pick up. The receptionist was quite a flirt, so Sonny lit himself a smoke and enjoyed his time with her, he left the building with her number scribbled on a piece of paper and a smile on his face. 

 

Climbing into the back of his Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Sonny sat back and lit himself another smoke. He asked his driver for an aspirin, the man laughed in response and asked if he'd had a good night. With a gulp of water he swallowed the pill and sank back into his chair hoping to catch up on some much needed sleep. Pulling upside the Outfit Casino Sonny kept his sunglasses on, shielding his sore head from the worst of the glaring lights.

 

Walking into the headquarters he made jovial chit chat with the people he encountered on his short journey, but kept the conversations short. Following the winding corridors he entered the elevator which accessed his penthouse apartment. Once inside he removed his clothes and fell back into bed. 

 

****

 

Salvatore waited for the lights in the hospital to turn off before reaching under his bed and retrieving the bag full of stolen goods. Loading a needle up he plunged the sweet morphine into his veins. Climbing out of bed on unsteady legs he grabbed a pair of crutches and prepared to make his escape. Careful not to get spotted he hobbled down the long corridor towards the hospitals exit. Waiting at the corner he was glad to hear the phone ring, the nurse at the front desk's attention distracted as she answered the phone and chatted idly with a friend.

 

Sucking in lungs full of fresh air Salvatore felt giddy as he hopped along the car park. He felt elated that he'd made his escape, glad to be free of those bastard agents and the hospital orderlies. He was left surprise as a pair of headlines turned on, dazzling him. An overweight man climbed out shouting at Salvatore to get in the car quick, he'd been sent to aid his escape. Salvatore's mind so dulled by morphine barely registered any suspicion. Climbing into the back of the car he sank into a morphine induced sleep.

 

****

 

Stanley couldn't believe his luck, the dumb fucker had got into his car without so much as a fight. He drove away from the hospital with an eye on his rear view mirror for anyone in pursuit. Pulling over at a nearby motel he entered his rented room, throwing open the door before going back for Salvatore. The man mumbled incoherently as he helped him out of the car and carried his dead weight into the motel. Locking the door Stanley dropped his heavy frame back into the car. Driving to a nearby payphone he rang the number left by Sonny and reported the good news. 

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