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Jul 24 - 10:33:47
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Blood is thicker than moonshine Started by: Franky_Scalise on Jan 04, '17 19:45

Franky sat in the passenger seat of his car smoking a cigar and waiting for the truck he had seen at The Attraction to roll by. Along with the driver and one body guard in this car he had 3 others in another Ford couple parked nearby with instructions to follow when they saw him drive by. By separating his crew into two cars he hoped he would be able to swoop in from multiple sides and surprise the bootleggers before they had a chance to respond. He had no problem filling the smugglers full of lead if they didn’t just hand over the liquor but bodies drew attention and one flying bullets might hit a barrel and waste precious merchandise – much better to let surprise win the fight before it ever started.

They had been waiting in the car for nearly an hour and Franky had to admit he was getting a bit anxious – it was nearly 7:30 and they were nearly 20 minutes from the meeting spot Franky had overheard – that bum Benito should have been here by now. Just as this thought crossed his mind he saw the flatbed truck lumber by with Benito behind the wheel. Franky motioned to his driver and after letting the truck get a few hundred yards ahead he pulled out from behind the brush they had been using as cover and began following the truck – Franky smiled to himself when he saw his other car pull in behind them a few minutes later.

The twenty minutes Franky estimated to get to the meetup spot turned out to be accurate as he watched the truck roll off the main road and onto a dirt road that lead to what looked like an abandoned barn. Franky had his driver go another hundred yards or so up the road before cutting the lights and turning into the desert and stopping. When the second car stopped and his men huddled nearby, Franky began to quietly instruct them.

“Alright boys, this should be a simple enough gig – Tommy, you and Sal here jog out about 100 yards further into the desert here before heading toward the barn there – that should put you at the back of it. Come in quiet until you hear me call out, then high tail it in with your guns raised and ready to fire. Come in loud and strong and make sure those schmucks know you’re ready to blow em’ to oblivion if they so much as twitch got it?”

Getting an affirmative nod, he then turned to his most trusted man.

“Joey, you’re going to take one of the cars and drive back the other way 100 yards or so – then cut the lights and pull off. Run back in quiet like to come in from the other side. You’re going to be all alone over their but I want you to sound like a fuckin’ army of men coming in got it? If bullets start flying make sure you ain’t missin cause it’s gonna be Tony and I on this side and I don’t feel like eating any bullets, understood?”

Once again receiving a nod Franky turned to Tony who easily dwarfed the rest of his men. At 6’ 4” and 275 pounds he would be intimidating enough – add in the large scar covering the right side of his face and what most people referred to as his “dead eyes” and he made up for his lack of smarts with sheer intimidation.

“Tony, you stick by me and just stay quiet and look mean as hell, I’ll do the talking. Keep a sharp eye though and if you see any of these goombas reach for a piece send em’ to hell.”

Tony gave an evil looking smile and nodded, giving Franky all the assurance that he needed.

Motioning for his men to get moving Franky began jogging as quietly as possible toward the barn. Reaching some brush about 20 yards away from the now parked truck he ducked down behind it and waited for the liquor to arrive.

About 5 minutes later, a large flatbed with its back covered in tarps arrived and parked near Benito. Jumping out of the truck Benito waived to the new comers as the driver and two men – one armed with a shotgun and the other with a tommy gun – popped out of the newly arrived truck. The two bodyguards began scanning the area but seemed to think everything was alright as they nodded to each other and the man with a shotgun pulled out and lit a cigarette.

Typical low level thugs, thought Franky – off guard the moment they felt any semblance of safety. Well, that played right into his hands as far as he was concerned.

Franky readied his weapon but signaled to Tony to wait. He wanted to wait until the switch occurred before striking. This both ensured that no additional protection was set to show up and meant he could steal Benito’s truck instead of taking Donnie’s – after all, it was bad enough that he was taking Donnie’s booze, no point in adding insult to injury, was there?

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With the cigarette lit, the bodyguard leaned up against the back of the Diamond T Super X flatbed truck. His companion pestered for one too, which resulted in both men holding their guns casually in one hand as they juggled helping one another to light a second tobacco stick. Both men began puffing away as a conversation began between the two about the latest football scores.

With the bodyguards at the back end of the flatbed, Benito stepped toward the truck's front end. He started approaching the delivery driver, who slipped off his hat and gave it a wave as he also walked to greet Benito. The two weren't exactly buddies, yet knew what was what. A simple delivery of booze. It wasn't complicated. The initial greeting was a casual recognition of one another's roles in the process.

"My friend!" Benito said, happy as a clam.

"Ah, molto bene!" his non English speaking colleague replied just as happily, yet assuming he'd just been asked how he was doing.

"Let's get this moving, shall we?" Benito pushed on, with a small idea of what the Italian's response was. He definitely figured he was Italian though.

"Si, si, Benito. E tu?" came the reply with no understanding to the question at all, yet with a bigger smile to mask the fact.

Interestingly and oddly enough, as they both stood in front of one another and shook hands, they weren't the wiser that both had exactly the same name. The English speaking Benito figured he was being referred to by name. The Italian speaking Benito thought he was being asked what his name was with the prior question.

When the English version skipped the 'And yours?' follow up question from the Italian, after he professed his own name being Benito, it rubbed Mr Italy the wrong way. Not too much, but small talk before business was a definite thing for those more traditional and still connected to the old country.

The energy that had started so well was now a little more at odds. Benito that was here to receive the goods, the English speaking variety, moved casually toward the back end of the flatbed truck as the Italian muttered some swear words in his native tongue under his breath. He followed aggressively along, spitting once to the side after his little foreign rant.

As the two reached the bodyguards, the English Benito turned to face his Italian namesake, who changed on a dime to be all smiles again. Italiano gave a strong pat to his American associate on the shoulder and gave him a wink as he spoke a few more words in Italian.

"Mettilo nel culo."

Benito the Italian then got straight to work and pulled the tarp off the back of the truck. His two bodyguards burst into laughter, understanding the sly comment made to the American born Benito. With smokes in mouths and laughter flowing, the heavies followed their boss and placed the guns down on the flat bed, in front of the numerous wooden crates of liquor, before starting the unloading process.

Completely oblivious, Mr American smiled and figured he'd get to readying his Dodge UI-C 1-ton stake bed truck for the transfer of the goods. Before he could carry that thought into action, a bright headlight shone on the truck. Everyone suddenly stopped what they were doing. Italiano was standing on the flat bed after having moved several crates to the back. He yelled out as the approaching vehicle rolled to a halt on the dirt road before them.

"Che Cazzo?"

What the fuck indeed. This was a surprise to all present, who had now focused solely on the vehicle parked a decent distance away. The bodyguards quickly grabbed their guns. The headlights of the 1932 Marmon V-16 stayed on as the engine was cut off.

Axel and his men sat inside the vehicle, waiting. Each had some sort of firearm with some decent fire power. Sub machine guns were the obvious choice. Axel liked the scream Betty made when she shouted her presence. If he loved anything in his dreary life, it was her. He slid his right hand along the cool metal, looking down at her.

Axel wasn't too fussed about what was happening outside the car and in the artificiality lit up space in front of them, let alone all around them in the shadows of the area surrounding the abandoned barn. He was getting re-acquainted. He also knew if you'd give a man enough time, he'd let fear set in. The unknown meant fear to most men, and the longer you let that sink in the more that power shifted hands. Power being the ability to stay cool when all others weren't.

It was at least two minuets before the car doors opened. Simultaneously, each of the four men exited the vehicle. The car doors stayed open, and all but Axel kept themselves behind the doors, with guns dangling at their sides. The headlights were still on, making it hard for the Benito's and the bodyguards to catch a proper glimpse of the men.

"Who the fuck is there?" shouted Benito the American. He shifted his position to be at the side of the truck, hoping it would give him some cover if anything kicked off. The two bodyguards simply stood strong with their guns pointed toward the car. Their driver, the other Benito, was kneeling behind a crate on the back of the flat bed with a pistol in hand.

"Relax. The name is Axel, you may have heard of me." came the reply as Axel stepped forward and positioned himself in front of his car. He leaned back against the grill.

Axel believed that based on his reputation he could talk these guys into submission. That, and the other three men he was with had submachine guns waiting to tear shit up. Betty was tucked away under his over coat, also ready should his plan fail to deliver the desired result. He'd fucked over, killed, and confiscated many runs into Vegas. He was hoping this would be enough weight to hammer home his request without the need for violence.

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Trudging up to the group through the desert sand, Fate calls out to the assembled men in and around the open warehouse.

"Excuse me, fellas? Help a lady out? I blew a tire, I think!" She yells out while gesturing behind her toward her vehicle on the side of the empty highway. The men all stare at her for a moment, then at each other, a bit confused. Technically, she hadn't witnessed anything, so if they just fixed the broad's tire, she'd be on her way and out of the picture. Shrugging, both Benitos jerk their heads toward her they and the rest of their men follow her to her car. Axel shifts his weight, not following the rest of them but definitely interested in seeing how this would play out.

Ten feet away from it, Fate spins around and pulls out a Tommy Gun from under her trench coat, aiming at the closest Benito's chest as three heads pop up inside her car and brandish the same arsenal in the general direction of the gathered group. 

"Yeah, I don't really need a tire change. Could sure use that load of liquor, though!" She chirps, smiling brightly. "Couldn't help but overhear you fellas in the bar the other night. Hell, I bet half the joint heard you flapping your gums. You really should be more discreet, if you care to stay in the business," she says with a wink. "So, who's got the keys?"

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Franky couldn’t believe his eye’s, just as he was about to make a move another car had rolled up but instead of additional protection that Franky had expected he saw a man jump out and introduce himself as Axel – that was a name that he certainly recognized.

”Well fuck, things just got a bit more interesting Tony. Axel’s with Don FitzChivalry. We can’t just go busting up on him, but I’ll be damned if I am walking away from this score that easy.”

Just as he was about to order Tony to follow him in another lady pulled up and said she had a flat. Not wanting any outside witnesses or potentially innocent victims Franky settled back to wait as he watched some of the men follow the lady toward her car.

To say Franky was shocked when he saw the lady pull a tommy gun out of her coat would be an understatement – it also added another wrinkle to his plan as this lady was an unknown. With Axel he knew who he was and who he worked for so Franky had been confident that they would be able to work out some kind of deal to split this little enterprise. This lady he didn’t know from Adam and for all he knew she may want to fight rather than talk. Deciding that all he was doing at this point was wasting time he motioned to Tony and made his move.

Stepping out from behind the brush he waved his arm above his head briefly and saw a wave back from just behind the barn and another from the other side- his men realized something had changed and had been watching for him as they should. Now they would follow his lead instead of just rushing in as was originally planned. Franky whispered back to Tony “Look mean and keep your gun leveled but pointed at the Benitos not the new gal or Axel.”

Franky then stepped into the light with his tommy gun pointed at the Italian Benito’s chest.

“Well, well, well, it seems we have a bit of a conundrum here. Axel, had I heard word around town that you were after this guy I would have backed away – but now I have my boys here and they are expecting to get paid so I can’t just disappear, I’m sure you understand.”

As he said this he glanced around the edges of the open area were shadows could just barely be seen moving to positions of cover – he saw the others eyes search them out as well so he knew that they were aware that his men now surrounded them all.

“Now Axel, word is that you are a reasonable man, so I’m sure we can work something out, yes?”

Franky then turned to the lady

“I don’t know you but I like your style – even if it is one hell of an inconvenience at the moment. I’d simply have my boys . . . remove you from the situation . . . except the confidence you showed jumping into this little heist makes me think we can maybe do some work together in the future. Not to mention I’m guessing you have connections just like Axel and I here and I’m not looking for a war. You willing to work something out that doesn’t involve any bloodshed among friends?”

The tension was obviously thick in the air as Franky waited for a response from Axel and the lady. Just as it seemed that Axel was about to say something a piercing siren cut through the silence and the night suddenly became bright as three police cars filled with cops flew into the area with their spotlights on and pointed at the clearing. A voice magnified by a loudspeaker announced:

“This is the Las Vegas PD, drop your weapons and hit the ground!”

Franky suddenly felt himself being propelled forward as Tony roughly grabbed him and drug him behind one of the trucks

Peaking around the corner he saw that in the moment of confusion everyone had found themselves something to put between themselves and the cops while also trying to stay out of the line of fire of each other – after all, no truce had been agreed to by any of them.

Franky kept his finger on the trigger as he waited to see what would happen next.

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Hectic was an understatement. The scene had turned into an orgy real quick. A rather dry affair, as the destination of the liquor was still to be determined at this point. One moment Axel felt in control, ready to take his share of the deal, which he planned to be all of it. The next, well, it all happened so quickly, as they say.

A skirt appeared that had the Benito's and their men following like puppy dogs. Axel did smirk though when he saw them receive a Tommy gun in the mug for their dickish decision. Boys will be boys, he thought. And then seemingly from the shadows another fuckn army appears, who momentarily had the whole shit on lock.

Axel liked this guy. He had balls, brains, and respect. Just what got you ahead in this world. Ahead in a business sense, and certainly a bit of head if this were an actual orgy. Innuendo's aside, the place was one big fuckn warzone ready to kick off. All it needed was some country needing to bend another over. Lucky for Axel, the one doing all the talking didn't seem like the type to fuck you over and run. He seemed generous. Maybe a bit of three way action? About those innuendo's though.

The threesome were very much in a hostile situation that could've went any which way, especially given the half American half Italian Benito crew were still to be dealt with. Who would've thought it could of got any more hectic. Enter. The coppers. Those greaseballs were the type to not at least give you a reach around while they did you in the ass, before slipping out through the night.

No more innuendoes, these guys were just direct about it. They'd take your money, your goods and somehow make you believe it was just a tip. When in all honesty, they were balls deep in political underhanded power games and you weren't getting no breakfast in bed. They were here to screw everyone over, and Axel knew it.

"Why the fuck not." Axel stated to himself as the three cop cars burst into the immediate area. They drove down the dirt road entrance and skidded to a halt blocking a direct getaway. The other various vehicles were between them and the old abandoned building.

As things became very apparently clear, Axel pulled back his overcoat. Betty had been itching to be seen. She was like any dame, loved to be out and about it all, socializing, showing how pretty she was. Or maybe this was just Axel's twisted way of thinking. Axel gave a sharp whistle and waved his hand toward to three cop cars as he moved into a better position behind his own.

"We deal with the uniforms first." he firmly instructed his men.

By this stage the various police cruisers were emptied and the authorities had guns aimed in every which way, yet mainly forward, as everyone was practically between them and the old barn.

Axel and his men had their own submachine guns pointed back at the police, who made it their duty to vocalize their presence once more, adding on a little fuel to the already sizzling time bomb.

"I say again, this is the Las Vegas PD, drop your weapons and hit the ground or we'll be forced to take action!”

A moment of silence then filled the air. Axel could hear himself breathing and thinking as it seemed like time lingered a moment. He was mostly calm, yet perspiration was beginning to form at the point between the his fedora and forehead. It was tense, no doubt about it.

No-one knows for certain what exactly happened to trigger it, or what lead to the first bullet being fired, but what was for certain is that one of the police officers struck first. The bullet itself cut through the air at lightning speed toward where Fate and her crew were.

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Fate had been waiting for any sign of camaraderie or threat from either Axel or the newcomer. She'd heard a thing or two about Axel in and around Vegas...the guy was becoming a legend of sorts. The stories never included an ending where he fucked someone over, though...well, nothing beyond stealing their shit, anyway. He was honorable as far as criminals went. The new guy was a wild card, however. He seemed level headed, but 'seemed' could get you dead, so she was studying him carefully as he spoke. She didn't have a lot of time to make up her mind, unfortunately, because the cops were now crashing the party.

She listened as they barked orders for everyone to drop their weapons and hit the dirt. That wasn't happening, and she was fairly certain everyone else on this side of the law was on the same page about that. So when some asshat fresh out of the academy jumped the gun and fired a bullet that whizzed so close to Fate's face that she could smell burned hair, she made a sound that could only be described as a combination of humor and a mind made up. 

"Huh!" She said before turning on her heel and leveling the tommy gun on the cops, barrel blazing as she sprayed bullets in their direction. Her guys didn't wait around, they were already firing into the group of cops before the Benitos could even grasp what was happening. Both they and most of their men were mowed down by the return volley as they were reaching for their weapons. Fate is having a grand old time, firing away happily when she sees her guy Leon slump down in the back of her car. It was just enough of a distraction that she loses focus and manages to take a hit herself in the right shoulder. Her arm goes numb immediately and she drops the Tommy, cursing her own stupidity as she slides down behind the car and reaches clumsily for a handgun with her left hand. Leon's hand is dangling out the window above her head, and with nothing better to do at the moment, she reaches up and checks for a pulse. His skin is already cooling in the chilly desert air.

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Franky ducked back behind the truck he was using as cover as the bullets started to fly. It seemed that one of the cops had an itchy trigger finger and just couldn’t wait to scratch it. Now what was supposed to have been an easy day at work was going to turn into a bloodbath. Worse still he didn’t know who was on whose side yet – for all he knew one of the other involved parties could be working with these badges to split the profits; it wouldn’t be the first time the local cops had been paid off to work security.  

As he was contemplating the best course of action he saw the dame take a bullet to the shoulder and drop. That cleared a few things up for Franky – he was pretty positive that Axel wasn’t working with the cops, it just wasn’t his style, and given that the other gal had just been shot by them he doubted she was either. The Benito’s were another story but he didn’t want a war with Donnie either – even if the schmuck didn’t have the firepower to do much – so that left the cops as the primary target for now.

Laying his gun town for a moment he cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled out to his men

“Take out these damn pigs! Leave the others be for now, we’ll sort that shit show out later.”

With that he picked up his tommy gun and turned toward the cops once again. His men had apparently heard the message loud and clear as he suddenly saw them all open fire toward the 3 police cars causing the cops to duck down behind the cars for cover. One of the cops was too slow and a bullet grazed his side sending him down. A moment later though it became clear that he was injured but not dead as he began to return fire from his position on the ground just in front of the cars front tire.

Too his left he saw Tony crouch down for a moment to reload is gun before he saw a feral grin on his face. Turning to Franky he said, “Them old police cruisers still have the gas tanks near the back right? Just in front of the bumper?”

Franky nodded wondering what Tony was thinking but before he could even process it enough to caution Tony of the possible downsides to his plan Tony had stood up and began spraying the car to the left with bullets aimed just in front of the rear bumper. The cops who were huddled behind the car thinking they were safe as this idiot wasted his bullets didn’t know what hit them as the car suddenly burst into flames and then exploded sending the 4 cops that were behind it flying.

That was four cops out of the fight for good and one fighting injured; unfortunately, there were still at least eight other cops to deal with – and that was hoping these three cars were the only ones on the way. Franky peaked around the corner of the truck again and saw a Sergeant still holding a bullhorn in one hand and his pistol in the other standing slightly behind the other men. The fool was standing in the open – as if he thought his rank would keep the Mafioso from taking a shot at him.  Well, Franky was ready to relieve him of that idiotic thought. Taking aim, he squeezed the trigger of his gun, releasing a hail of bullets in the direction of the Sergeant. The man’s body shook on the spot before collapsing as at least four of the bullets Franky fired found their mark. Franky smiled as he considered that he had just removed the head from the snake . . . this unfortunately meant the rest of the snake took notice of him as the remaining cops all turned toward him and began to fire. Franky quickly dove back behind the truck as he thanked whoever was listening that none of the bullets had found a new home in his skull.

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With bullets flying every which way, it was the warzone that was bound to kick off. If it weren't for the stinkin' cops though, it may not have been so chaotic. Axel and his men immediately ducked behind the still open doors to attempt to use them as shields as the bullets started flying. Axel himself was at the very rear of the car, and kept his Tommy gun at the ready as he stayed out of harms way initially.

Axel's men began immediately returning fire. The bullet casings popped off and clashed with the metallic body of Axel's favourite ride to date. Betty may have been his true love, but he enjoyed riding Ronda a lot more. Two of Axel's men began walking out from behind their little bit of cover. They were sporting the latest Thompson sub machine guns, and whenever they usually hit a load not many would return their invitation to leave without the keys. And those that did caught a quick case of lead bite.

Coppers though, stinkin' fuckn cops. They were armed just as well, and with more than a handful of guys left it wasn't like they had the upper hand. One after the other, two men dropped right before Axel's eyes. Their bodies riddled with bullets and their souls kicked on to another life, or at least the beginning stages. One fell to the side, the other ended up falling back against the car and lay close to the front passenger door. It was Legs, Axel's most trusted bodyguard. They had a long history, and this wouldn't sit well.

Till this point Axel was somewhat calm about things, if you'd call sweating from the gills and short sharp breaths calm. He was accepting of the situation though, like a mother watching her babies from a distance. His men these days carried the brunt of his orders, and became his extended hands and 'leave it and go' voice. Now though, that acceptance wore off. Seeing Legs fall and the life just spill out of him with the ongoing pooling of blood beneath his body, he snapped.

Without thinking anything through, Axel gritted his teeth and gripped Betty hard by the handle and scooted around Ronda. Once in open space he grabbed the far handle with his other hand and let 'er rip. He squeezed defiantly on the trigger as bullets pumped through the magazine and out through the nozzle. Betty purred something fierce and lit up the nearest police car like it was still new years eve.

The tires, the windows, the bonnet, all got to feel his wrath. More importantly, one of the dirty sum bitches copped a chest full of cold hearted 'fuck you sir!'. As soon as Axel saw him take the first few bullets and bounce out from behind the car he started moving forward and aiming solely at the uniform, directing all his hatred and aggression as the gun recoiled with every bullet spent.

Once the magazine had been emptied Axel shouted 'Fuck you all to hell!' as he fell to his knees, still pulling fierce on the trigger. One of his comrades noticed and swooped in. He quickly dragged Axel back behind the cover of Ronda, who now had more holes in her than Vegas had prostitutes.

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Fate remained slumped behind her car door as the situation quickly escalated into a shitstorm. She watched as two of Axel's men hit the ground, and they must have been something special, because Axel didn't take too kindly to it. He came out from behind his vehicle screaming bloody hell while releasing a barrage into the cop huddle before one of his remaining men pulled him back to cover. She couldn't see Franky anymore, but she could judge by the sound of his weapon where he probably stood, which was towards the front and other side of her car.

Feeling inept, she stewed for a moment. Left handed gunplay in a group of machine guns wasn't gonna get her anywhere but dead. What she needed was...well hot damn. She'd nearly forgotten the gag gift her crewmates had given her. Pulling open the car's back door and moving aside as Leon's body slid out, she reached inside the pink-wrapped box that Don Hec had presented her at the time of her recruitment. Nestling three of the six 91 frag grenades into the crook of her bad arm, she leaned back out and scooted left on her ass in the dirt in order to be better seen in Axel's line of sight. He was obviously distressed and didn't notice her initially, but when he did, his eyes lit up at the gift she skidded toward him. Leaving him with his consolation prize, she then digs in with her feet and slides several feet to the right over rocks and more dirt in order to find Franky. She can see him now, firing away, but he doesnt notice her there on the ground. Hoping against hope, she sticks a curled thumb and index finger in her mouth and emits a piercing whistle. Franky must have heard or sensed something, because he glanced in her direction. Fate then rolled the second grenade toward his feet. 

Not waiting around, Fate pulls the pin on the third, raises up on her knees, and throws her grenade over the roof of her car and into the cops.

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Franky was about to jump away thinking the women had decided to thin the herd a bit when he realized that the pin was still in the grenade rolling toward him.

He had just grabbed the grenade when he saw the lady throw her own toward the cops. Ducking behind the truck he was using for cover he heard the grenade detonate with a resounding thud a moment later followed by the screams of men and finally the sound of another police cruiser’s gas tank blowing. When he looked out from behind the truck and saw that the middle car had been blown to hell – and from the gore he saw he assumed that the four cops that had been hiding behind it had gone with it.

Smiling evilly, he pulled the pin from his own grenade and lobbed it toward the only remaining cop car – the one to the far left. He watched as the grenade soared over the heads of the watching cops and land about 10 yards behind them. The cops scattered as another loud thud ripped through the air. While not nearly as effective as the young lady’s grenade Franky did see one cop take a load of shrapnel to the back and neck. With blood pouring from his numerous wounds he fell to the ground – only 2 cops to go.  

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Fire scorching earth and metal. Bullets tearing through flesh and hitting various materials, namely Ronda. Then the flashbacks. They took what felt like a lifetime to let go of. Sarah's face was right before him again as the surrounding environment that had turned into what felt like world war three faded away. If bullets were being fired at him he wouldn't have known it.

All he could see was her. Her deep, deep blue eyes. That peaceful smile amongst the smudged make up. Her shimmering blond curly locks. She was so vivid. So real, yet surreal. As if he could reach out and touch her face, just one last time, for the first time. He was stuck in a moment of time. All the pain, the anguish, the misery had resurfaced and with it, her.

The image lingered as Axel reached out his hand, all the while to his complete non realization the crew member who had pulled him to safety moments earlier was shouting at him to keep down. Then it hit him. A hand grenade had rolled and bumped into his thigh which caught his attention. As he looked down, crouched on his knees, he noticed the mini bomb sitting on the dirt next to him. That's when everything came rushing back.

The sounds of the immediate warzone got louder and louder which caused him to fall back on his ass and look out at what was around him. Dead bodies, fire, Ronda pumped full of lead. He was back in the present moment again and before he could fully get a handle on a course of action a police car blew the fuck up. It leaped off the ground a foot or two as a grenade hit its target. Then as if that wasn't bad enough, another bomb went off right near it.

With Axel still not completely himself, Hands DaBone grabbed the grenade, pulled the pin and threw it for his boss. It followed the trajectory as a half court basketball shot would if the target were the remaining cop car and it was spot on target. As it hit it blew the absolute shit out of the vehicle and killed two officers using it for cover, their bodies tossed feet away like ragdolls. Suddenly things quilted down.

Slowly but surely the sounds of guns ceased. The burning wreckages of all three cars were left to fill the background noise. Those still left from the winning side had a moment of respite to take in the seeming victory. That is, until another siren could be heard faintly. The red and blue lights were what caught Axel's attention. He staggered to his feet, using betty as a crutch, and then watched on as a single police vehicle sped toward the scene down the dirt road entrance.

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After the three detonations and resulting carnage, Fate's rush of adrenaline drains away as yet another patrol car approaches, lights and sirens piercing the night. She smacks the back of her head repeatedly into the car door, hard, in a futile attempt to jolt loose an idea, even a half baked one. Nothing comes to her.

Knowing full well that her cohorts have got to be low on ammo by now, she crawls in through the open back door over poor Leon and pops her head up for a split second, enough time to discern how much more bacon just fell onto her plate. 

Three. Three more cops. Jesus, did they breed them out here in the desert?

She props her fucked up arm on the window ledge of the car, aims carefully, and squeezes the trigger. The driver's window of the cop car goes red as the bullet takes the top of his head off before he can even exit the vehicle. Fate never sees it though. The jolt of the recoil traveling up her arm is too much, and she blacks out.

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Franky grit his teeth as he heard yet another set of sirens approaching – he couldn’t fucking believe it, more cops . . . they were like cockroaches, no matter how many you killed they just kept showing up.

Franky was concerned at this point, he was down to his last magazine and a quick glance at Tony who was now holding his Colt .45 instead of his Tommy gun confirmed that he was low on ammo as well. He couldn’t see the rest of his men but Franky assumed that they too were in dire straits if this didn’t end soon.

Franky saw the lady who had saved their asses with the grenades climb into the back of her car and take a shot at the approaching police car – looking out from behind the truck he was crouching behind in time to see a red mist cover the driver’s window and the car then plowing into a tree at around 20 miles an hour.

The cop in the back seat jumped out from the far side of the car. He quickly wheeled around and fired two shots from his pistol before crouching down below the car. Out of the corner of his eye Franky saw the Italian Benito wheel around and fall to the ground clutching his shoulder – it seemed that one of the cops wildly fired shots had found it’s mark. The American Benito seemed to think this was the last straw and jumped out from behind the crate he was hiding behind and began running as fast as he could toward the barn. It was obvious he was abandoning the rest of them and for a moment Franky thought about putting a bullet in his back just for good measure but the dwindling ammo stayed his hand.

Turning his full attention back to the newly arrived police car Franky saw the first cop helping the cop in the front passenger seat out. The second cop seemed to have a gash on his forehead and was looking around with glassy eyes as the first one dragged him down behind the car.

Just as Franky was about to start firing at these two hoping to end this fight before even more backup could be called in he heard the cop yell out in a thick Irish accent

“Wait, just fuckin wait one moment will ya. They told us this was supposed ta be an easy knock over, not a God forsaken blood bath, I didn’t sign up ta be slaughtered.”

Franky considered the man’s words for a moment trying to decide what to do. He looked over to the lady to try and gauge her thoughts but saw that she was passed out. Looking over to Axel and saw that he was barely standing and seemed to be leaning on his gun for support. This cop obviously didn’t realize just how bad off the people he was facing were but it also seemed he didn’t expect any more help to be forthcoming. Deciding to make a decision and live accept whatever ramifications it may cause later he shouted back to the cop,

“Throw your and your partners guns off to the side and then slowly stand up. Make sure your hands are where we can see them or I swear to God I’ll fill you with lead.”

Franky stood up and pointed his gun toward the car as he saw two pistols and a shotgun be thrown off to the left of the newly arrived car. The first cop then stood up with his hands held high and shouted back,

“My partner hit his head when we hit the tree, he’s barely conscious and can’t stand on his own. I got rid of our weapons – trust me just for a moment and I’ll get him standing as well, please!”

Franky heard the desperation in the cops voice and nodded to him once. He then watched as the cop bent down and struggled for a moment as he got hold of his friends weight before standing up with the other man’s arm wrapped behind his neck and his own arms steadying his body. The second cop looked to be out on his feet but Franky wouldn’t take any chances until he was sure neither was concealing a weapon. Nodding to Tony he sent the man to check them both for weapons. When Tony confirmed they were unarmed he ordered them to the front of the car were they could be easily watched and set Tony to guard them.

Turning toward Axel he said, “Well this turned into a hell of a shitshow now didn’t it?” Franky then laughed slightly.

“Look Axel, we all would have been screwed if it weren’t for the fact that we all happened to be here. What do ya say when the gal wakes up we disappear with the liquor and split the profits three ways?”

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Axel, still quite fucked up from the whole experience, hobbled over to where Ronda was still parked. He slid Betty onto her roof, then leaned back against the bullet ridden vehicle. Before he addressed Franky's concerns he brought out a cigarette from his usual silver tin, lit it then tucked the tin away again. He took one of the longest and slowest drags he's ever had from the lucky strikes cigarette, then replied.

"You know what? Axel said as he caught a glimpse of Tony man handling one of the cops, and before taking another puff. "That sounds like a mighty fine plan to me." he continued whilst exhaling as his words mixed with the smoke of the cigarette.

The remaining guy Axel brought with him, Handy Andy as he called him, had truly lived up to his name. He made his way over to where Axel was and on queue Axel removed his cigarette tin and handed it over. Ronda, his black Marmon was also gone beyond repair. She added to the deaths of Leg's and the other fella who Axel was yet to find a name for. He definitely had one, yet was too new to the outfit that Axel hadn't caught wind of it or was able to give him a nickname.

As the duo shared a silent moment over the lucky strikes cigarettes, Axel chuckled, realizing the brand of the smokes kind of resembled what he experienced here. He kept puffing away, thinking he'd have to join another vehicle that was still operating to make it out before any more cars rolled in. He didn't jump on that thought right away though, and simply puffed on, enjoying the light mood brought on by the tobacco stick.

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Fate groggily came to, staring at the roof of her car for a few moments before realizing she was laying on half off a dead man and lost her proverbial shit. In an ugly, painful display of utter horror, she backpedals out of the backseat and inadvertently slides down the other half of Leon like a kiddie on a playground slide before landing in the dirt. Looking up at the others, she's forced to admit her horse has placed last in this race. Maybe they'd take pity on her if she dropped some intel.

"Well that went well," she says, trying for humor. "Big shipment coming in next week from Detroit. Three trucks, unconfirmed rumors of false barrels tossed in the mix, full of guns and ammo. Some genius out there used to rig them somehow, from what I gather. Either way, the whiskey was prime.

"Ya'll wanna try it again?" 

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