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The Flop (IC)


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The limo pulled up to the rather large apartment building with a mousy squeek of the brakes. The apartment building itself almost seemed to loom over the vehicle in a menacing way, as if the building itself might be a mugger demanding the limo's wallet. To Jackie, the place seemed perfect.

Jackie opened his door and stepped out, lighting yet another cigar and taking a look around. "Yeah, this'll do just fine," Jackie turned to Breakdown and asked "What do you think?"

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Jackie motioned for Breakdown to follow him, then walked up to the building, looking at the seedy fellows on the balcony just above him.

"Excuse me," Jackie yelled. "Might any of you be drug-dealers or mobsters? See, I'm looking to wallop some information out of you and I wanna make sure I got the right people before I get my boots on."

Jackie winked at Breakdown.

One particularly dirty bruiser with a large scowl and even larger amount of tattoos stood up, nostrils flairing. "You know where you are man? You in The Fens. We straight pop guys like you. Take your boyfriend and step out before we decide to mess up dat suit you're wearin!"

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Eddie lifted off the ground quietly. He floated straight up to the balcony and set down on the railing. "He man, calm down. I've been in this part of town before, and I know what usually goes down. But my friend and I are just looking for some information. If you know who we are looking for then there should be no reason to fight about it."

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The seedy looking individuals all sucked in a breath as they saw Breakdown float up to them. After making several calming gestures and using soothing words, the thugs visibly relax.

"Yeah we may know sometin', but it's gonna cost ya."

River Rat throws up a money clip, this one merely silver, inside it were several hundred dollar bills.

"That action should get yer lips flappin'." Jackie looked up at the guy, continuing to give a hostile, almost predatorial smile. I love the good cop, bad cop routine, Jackie thought to himself.

The thug counted the money, licking his lips almost lecherously. "Yeah alright, you didn't hear it from me but I hear that some of them Italian jokers are holed up about a mile from here, they ain't big time, but they got a few connections. Me and my boys don't mess with those fools, too old school."

Jackie nodded and asked for specific directions. After the thug put them on the right track, he and his "boys" left to go and spend their new coin. Jackie shook his head... You'd think that they would save some of that for rent, but, I guess glass houses and all that noise...

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That was easier than I thought it would be. Maybe I'm getting better at this.

Breakdown relaxed when the thugs didn't give him any more resistance. "See that wasn't so hard." He said after they had given the directions. He then backflipped off the fire escape and floated back down to the ground.

"Alright then. Ready when you are. Let's go get those guys." In the back of his mind Breakdown made a mental note about where these thugs lived so that he could come back for more information if he needed to. Building contacts was never a bad idea in this business. That was one thing he learned from a few of the big time heroes.

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Twenty minutes later, Breakdown and River Rat were standing in front of what looked to be an old restaraunt, long since gutted and out of business. The doors were boarded up but the main entrance, but the entrance to the basement was uncommonly clean for The Fens.

River Rat looks to Breakdown and motions for him to take the lead. "Let's see if your charm can win these guys over kid. I got your back." Seeming to not believe they'll get lucky a second time, Jackie pulls out his sap and gets a grim look upon his face.

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Suprisingly the basement to the restaraunt was very clean and well lit. Sitting at one of the corner tables were four men, dressed to the nines in suits and fedoras. The left wall had been converted into a bar, where a mousy young man was pouring drinks. The four men at the table were playing poker, Texas Hold'em to be exact. There was a large mound of dirty money sitting on the table along with a few personal possessions, obviously stolen at one point in time. There was a lady's engagement ring, a pair of pearl earrings and two or three gold watches. There was a taller, bulkier man standing beside the well dressed player farthest from the door. His hand immediately went to the inside of his jacket, where a telling bulge showed a shoulder harness with a firearm of some make. The man at the table quickly put a hand on the man's arm, restraining him. He spoke, his eyes cold and intelligent. "What are you twos doin' here. This ain't none of your concern. I do not wish to get blood all over my clean floor so if you'd be kind enough to egress with your hands up I won't be forced to let Bruce here plug you and ruin my night."

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"Hey now, let's all be reasonable here." Breakdown put his hands up like asked but he did not make any move towards the requested 'egress'. "I just thought it might be fun to come down here and see what 'yous guys' was up to. I'm not looking to start trouble. Lets all relax and we can talk a bit."

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River Rat notices that the good cop technique isn't going as well as planned and moves to pull Breakdown back a bit. The Obvious leader smiles a wolfish smile and shakes his head. "I'm afraid the only information I'm gonna give you is your estimated time of death. Boys, bring me their tongues!"

The makeshift bar suddenly breaks into motion, all the thugs sit up, knocking the table over to provide their boss with cover, the barkeep squeeks and hides behind the bar and the thugs go for their guns. River Rat groans. "I knew tonight was goin' too well. Let's just hope our luck lasts and we don't end up with bullets where our brains used to be."

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Jackie dives for cover behind a nearby table, laughing gallantly. "Come on boys, let's at least fight fair!"

Just then the already structurally unsound ceiling topples down onto the three lesser thugs, crumpling them into unconciousness. A bleary eyed vagrant peers up from the pile, obviously being the weight that caused the cave in.

Jackie pumps his arm into the air. "Buy that man another round!"

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The Big burly bruiser snarled a challenge, obviously engraged by Breakdown's taunt. The bruiser charges Breakdown, taking awild swing at Breakdown's head and connects viciously on his temple.

The gang leader pulls out an old fashioned hand cannon, probably a .44 and levels a shot into Jackie's chest.

Jackie staggers back a step, coughing out a breath,his eyes clear and anger enters his eyes for the first time. His lip curls and he spits on the ground. "That the best you got fella? I think yer outta yer league." Jackie says derisively.

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Stars flew across Breakdown's vision. He wouldn't be needing a new clock this christmas... He just got his cleaned! The impact to the side of his head threw his head off to the side. He paused for just a second before looking back up at the gangster's body guard in front of him.

"That the best you got fella? I think yer outta yer league." Jackie says derisively.

Breakdown cracked his knuckles threateningly. "I agree. You are in for a world of hurt!"

He suddenly made a fake dance step to the left before throwing his weight to his right foot and putting everything he had behind a solid uppercut that caught the thug right underneath the chin!

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The gang leader spat a curse, exasperated and dropped the gun, holding up his hands.

"Okay, ya got me, now what is it you want? Ask quickly cuz I might just decide to be taken in."

Jackie smiles at him and walks up to him, sap in hand. "We heard you might have information on mob activity in the area. Maybe you can tell me who your boss is and how I can reach him? If you're not feeling divulgeatory my friend can always sock you like he did your pet gorilla." River Rat makes a lazy motion towards Breakdown and smiles disarmingly.

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Breakdown quickly tapped one of his iPods to switch the song he was listening to. He projected the song so that the gang boss could hear, and the angelic voice of Ronnie James Dio rang out across the room:

"Two eyes from the east

It's the angel or the beast

And the answer lies between

The good and bad"

Breakdown cracked his knuckles and stared at the gang leader

I could play good cop bad cop all day long, this is kinda fun! he thought.

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The gang leader trembled visibly. He licked his lips and looked around. "Alright alright, listen, I take my orders from Joey Castillo, but he takes his orders from Tom Carlotte. He's lookin to make a name for himself. He figures takin' control of The Fens is the first step. He keeps sayin that the other mob bosses are like "Thebens after the fall of Phillip, and he will be the Alexander to take back Macedonia." I have no idea what he's talkin' about, but he sounds crazy, so we listen so we don't get dead." The man relaxed and lowered his eyes. "That's all I know, can I go now?"

Jackie smiled and looked over to Breakdown. "I think we're done here, what about you partner? You got any questions?"

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River Rat looked shocked. "Let him go? Oh heavens no. We're not gonna let him go, we're gonna hand him over to the police. Go ahead and call them."

The thug sputtered "But, I told you everything I know!"

"Oh and I appreciate it, but you are a criminal, and vile, and you smell bad. You need a delousing." With that Jackie tied the man's hands with a spare bar rag and set him in a chair. Then tied him to the chair and blindfolded him.

"There, he should keep for the police that way."

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Breakdown simply nodded and pulled out his cell phone and dialed the number for the police. I should really keep these guys on speed dial... he thought to himself. After he left an anonymous tip about where the police could find a few prominent gang members tied up, he turned to River Rat and said, "Alright, the cops are on their way. Now lets get out of here and follow up on that lead."

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Jackie shook his head and headed for the door.

"Actually I don't plan on hitting this portion of the lead up tonight. Mobsters everywhere, even their informants, are tight enough to warn each other about heroes snooping around. We go in there tonight and I promise there will be an army of gooninis and goombas to fight through. Let's let them wait a couple days, let them think they're okay. Then we hit them, fast and hard."

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"Hmm. You have a point. You also seem like you've got more experience infiltrating gangs than I do. But I would love to learn." Breakdown said to his companion as they put distance between themselves and where the cops would soon be showing up. "When you want to follow up with this make sure you contact me." He was ready with his phone number in case River Rat would want to receive it. "I also have the habit of constantly monitoring this obscure radio station." He provided a frequency "It's dead most of the time, so I have no problem tuning into it while doing other things. If you want to get directly into my head you can contact me there."

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