Jump to content
HGM

MAXimum Load

Recommended Posts

GM

Some Dark Alleyway
Southside, Freedom City, New Jersey

Saturday November 14th, 2015

9:20 PM

 

Matthew Rivera was taking the evening to visit old haunts.  Something that might've been more uneventful had the youth's past been less colorful.  Matthew noticed that someone had been following him for a minute and a half.  Rounding the corner into a dark alleyway he found himself face to face with two assailants.

 

Neither appeared like hardened criminals.  In fact they barely looked older than Matthew.  The male on the left looked as if he was cut from a marble statue.  His physique not unlike that of a professional bodybuilder.  His friend shakily held a knife out towards Matthew.  The knife wielding youth looked slightly malnourished, possibly contributing as to why he couldn't keep his hand straight.

 

"Give us all your money.  Give it to us, or I'll cut you!"  The wiry lad threatened.

 

"Oh, and your shoes.  That jacket looks nice too.  Listen to him punk.  C'mon hurry up, we ain't got all day."  The musclebound mugger added with a hint of desperation in his voice.

Share this post


Link to post

Matt was visibly nonplussed, frowning at the pair like he wasn't quite sure what to do with the information he was being given. This kind of thing was exactly why he tried to always have a dog or two around, besides the good company - people didn't mess with a guy with a big dog. He'd gotten too used to not having to have his guard up.

 

"Man," he derided, holding up the corner of his jacket so they could see how worn the lining had gotten, "you look at my jacket and my old shoes and you think I've got money? You're outta your minds. ....not sure I'd give you my wallet if there was anything in it, anyway," the young man added, scowling. "Barely holdin' onto that knife; looks like you can't decide whether to stab me or throw it at me."

Share this post


Link to post

GM

 

Both muggers were quite visibly shocked by the boy's indifference.  At the same time, Matt could hear what sounded like a metal can crashing on the ground.  As if someone else was startled by his reaction.  "Sh-shut up.  I'll stab you man.  Right in the-come on.  I dont' want to do this.  Give us something worth something if you know what's good for you."

 

"Listen to him.  Give us something we can sell, or we'll make you pay for wasting our time!  Now cough it up."  The burly boy was practically screaming his demand.  The sharp mood swings and excitability made for  volatile atmosphere.  He extended his hand out expectantly.  Quite confident that Matt would 'know what's good for him.'  

 

It was clear that neither boy believed that Matt was completely bereft of valuables.  Or at least refused to believe it.

Share this post


Link to post

"If you don't wanna, then don't." Matt's eyes flicked sideways at the noise, but he tried to not let it show - he knew the third guy was around, but where? All his nose would tell him is that someone threw out some fish a while ago; unhelpful. If these two were supposed to be the intimidating team it didn't speak well for the third one, but he didn't like taking that risk.

 

"Look, man, the only thing you've got that I don't is the shakes," he shrugged, shoving his hands in his pockets with a little more bravado than he felt without knowing what was up with his would-be muggers. You never knew, in this town. "I've done this before, it kinda sucks for everyone, how 'bout we skip it? Besides, it takes, what, three of you to mug some kid from the Fens? C'mon."

Share this post


Link to post

GM

 

The lanky kid dropped his knife.  Practically throwing it on the ground.  "Screw this I'm out of here!  This kid's nuts.  Let's go Clara!"  He called out while running away.  The musclebound youth who was clearly not named Clara guffawed.  Before his face became flushed.  Completely snapping as he charged for Matt.  The sound of metal being knocked over from behind served as a temporary distraction.  Clearly identifying in which direction 'Clara' had been hiding in.

 

If the musclebound youth were attacking some average bystander this temporary distraction would have been the point he would have caused some serious damage.  But, Matt was anything but average no stranger to getting into scrapes.  It took minimal effort for Matt to lean his back.  Completely avoiding the mugger's fist.  The kid was breathing hard after a single thrown punch.  But it was clear by the expression on his face that he had no intention of stopping.

Share this post


Link to post

"Nope, just one of you then," Matt observed; he slid a foot back to keep his balance, pivoting out from under the muscle-bound fist to drive a strictly mundane fist of his own into the youth's ribs. It was...less effective than hoped.

 

He at least used the momentum to hop away a bit, putting a couple feet between him and his mugger - and resisting the urge to call in reinforcements immediately. Escalating had a way of going bad when you didn't know what you were up against; for all he knew, the idiot had a gun. Or worse. "I know you're hungry, man," he said, shaking his punching hand, "I've been hungry too. Hell, I'm still hungry. But what've you been eating, bricks?"

Share this post


Link to post

GM

 

"You got a smart mouth.  You don't know what this rush is like.  Ain't nobody going to take away all this power from me.  You should've given me your stuff, now I'll just have to take it. I need another hit."  The large mugger took another swing.  This one more telegraphed than the last.  Making it just as easy for Matt to get out of the way.

 

"Gah.  Stay still you little punk!"  The mugger yelled out in frustration.  It was clear that such alleyway confrontations were not normal fare for Matt's assailant.  Despite barely attacking, the musclebound mugger was starting to show signs of fatigue.  Labored breathing that one wouldn't attribute to someone who maintained any semblance of an exercise routine.

Share this post


Link to post

Aw, hell, he was on something. That never went well. It explained the desperation, though, and the stamina; Matt just had to hope against hope that the physique was a coincidence and the fool was on something nice, and normal...and not something that gave street punks six-packs.

 

He really didn't think he was that lucky. "Nope," he insisted, sliding sideways out of a punch that may as well have had a neon sign attached to it. "Standing still seems like a bad plan. You're like twice my size. Not gonna die today, man - dying sucks. Trust me." 

 

Matt's advantage, without his four-legged friends or using powers, was that he'd always been the underdog. The scrappy kid in the wrong end of town, getting into trouble. He knew the dance: duck, harry, wait for that opening...and there, when his opponent moved a little too slowly, foot just an inch too heavy. Instead of dancing away like he had been, Matt stepped straight into the boy, moving past the reach of his punches and driving an elbow into the kid's nose.

 

"There," he scowled, stepping sideways just in case, "another hit for you. You coulda asked - it ain't worth much, but I'll give 'em out if I've gotta. The hell did they put you on, anyway? What hook did you let someone stick in you?"

Share this post


Link to post

GM

 

*CRACK*

 

Matt suddenly felt a sharp jolt of pain on the side of his head.  His ears making the connection his eyes had yet to catch as the stone hit the ground.  Someone hit him with a rock.  "LET GO OF HIM, YOU JERK!"  A feminine voice shouted.  Out of his peripheral, Matt was able to catch a petite girl, barely breaking 90 lbs shakily shouting in his direction.

 

The male mugger for his part was laughing between wheezes.  Blood running down his face from when Matt's elbow connected.  "Big...mistake.  If I wasn't running low on Max.  I'd show you.  Little punk."  His concussed rambling wasn't without information.  Up close and personal, Matt was able to catch a quick glance of the track marks on the big guy's arms.  Pretty much confirming he didn't get that size by eating his vegetables and saying his prayers.

Share this post


Link to post

"Wha--"

 

Matt grimaced, holding the side of his head as he turned to glare at the girl. "You people tried to mug me, and I'm the jerk?? I didn't even start this fight!"

 

"And Max?" he added, glaring at the mugger as he rubbed his head. "What're you, stupid? That crap kills people, man. Burns you out, wrecks your body." He spat, gesturing at the mugger's physique with a scowl that bordered on disappointed. "What good is all that when your heart gives out? I'm not dealin' with a bunch of you idiots dying in alleys and hospitals 'cos you got too lazy to go hit the gym for a while, or whatever. Where'd you get it?"

Share this post


Link to post

GM

 

"Hey, you don't know what it's like!"  She defended.  "Between the Southside C's and all the new guys moving in on this block.  You gotta do what you gotta do to make it here."  Clara crossed her arms defiantly.

 

"And the rush.  Oh man, you don't know what this feels like.  It's like a runner's high that never stops."  The boy protested.  His voice cutting off when the twip of a police car's siren came near.  Apparently someone heard the very loud scuffle and mugging attempt and seemed fit to call the police.  And luckily, or unlucky depending on how you looked at it, a patrol car was near enough to make little time in heading towards the alley.  "But, I ain't no snitch.  I'm not telling you who gave it to me."

 

"Mischa.  We got it from some Russian guy named Mischa.  Big guy he hangs around malls and stuff.  Sometimes he even lets us sleep in his apartment if we buy enough...it's nice."

Share this post


Link to post

"....nah," Matt countered, sparing half a glance toward the sirens...though he didn't seem keen on taking his eyes off his would-be muggers. "Nah, I know what it's like. You're either with 'em or you're in their way, right? And if they don't single you out then you're just caught in the middle of some territory grab or whatever. Whoever wins, nobody wins."

 

He scowled, shoving his hands in his pockets. "Not gonna lie: not a big fan of the police, myself. How 'bout you tell me where I can find Mischa, and we all just walk away before we've gotta answer a bunch of stupid questions? Your runner's high's gonna last as long as the Max does, and then it's gonna kill your stupid butt, and I'm not dealing with that today."

Share this post


Link to post

GM

 

"Yeah...that's exactly it.  Wait, you serious?  You'll let us go just like that, even after my brother tried to beat you up?"  The girl called out surprise.  Nearing the pair warily and giving Matt a once over.  Taking a moment to measure if she could trust the offer put on the table.

 

"Clara don't you tell him nothing.  Just give me a sec and I'll throttle him."  The male mugger shouted.  While staring up at the wall.  Starting to show some issue with maintaining a level of focus.

 

"Alright, almost on the border to the Boardwalk.  Regency Apartments, he owns the building.  Mischa owns a lot of buildings.  But, he only lives in the Regency.  The Boardwalk is safe y'know.  Only the big shots live there.  So being one zip code away keeps him a little safer."  Clara admitted.

Share this post


Link to post

Something about that apparently struck Matt as pretty funny; the corners of his lips curled up despite his mood and he issued a couple barks of involuntary laughter. "Safe?"

 

The shadows in the alley grew dark, even for the advancing hour, like they were trying to crawl up the walls and shut out the light. Matt didn't seem to notice, nor did he seem to notice when something started stalking its way out from the now-black shade of a dumpster. "Nowhere's safe," he insisted, cocking his bitter grin to the side as the dog stepped out behind him - it seemed unnatural, somehow, until the shadows retreated and the light hit it, but even then it was big: probably heavier than the girl, with thick fur dark as coal and keen yellows eyes watching them with interest. "Some're safer'n others, but life's pretty cruel. You pick a fight with some kid in crappy clothes, say, and how'd that go for you?"

 

The boy turned his back, dog following him out of the alley as he realized how close that siren had come while he showboated. "Get your friend outta here, and do somethin' better with your lives. Make better choices, or something, I don't care. I'm gonna go take a stroll toward Boardwalk."

Share this post


Link to post

GM

 

The girl stared at Matt for a moment opened her mouth, and then quickly shut it.  Either rethinking what she was going to say, or the more likely option judging by the dilation in her pupils she forgot what she was going to say when a canine like figured appeared out of nowhere.  Either way, there was little time for questioning as patrol car neared.  The pair slinking off to escape notice.  Creating some distance off his own, Matt was able to catch sight of a confused police officer with his flashlight.  Staring into what must have been an empty alleyway.

 

The "walk" to the boardwalk went without interruption.  Regency, seemed to be an apartment complex catering to the moderately wealthy.  At least judging by the number of covettes, porsches, and bmw's sitting in the parking lot.  The amenities included a heated pool, requiring keycard access by tenants, and a tennis court.  Essentially it was a nice place to live.

 

The Intercom system had ten marked buttons.  Missing from it was annotation for the tenant who lived in apartment 0 (or ten rather).  No doubt belonging to Mischa, as his name was left absent from any other apartment listed on the intercom. Assuming he didn't give the kids a false name that was.

Share this post


Link to post

Matt...really wished he'd thought this one through a little better. He was used to thugs that hung out in alleys and abandoned tenements; even then, he tried to not meet them on their turf. It wasn't likely to end well. Still, was it better or worse than having to know every time some fool overdosed or had their body finally give up on them? He'd had to explain the whole "you're dead" thing to a couple of ODs already, and it sucked both times. Something like this, kids his age?

 

"I guess we should have some kinda clever plan," he opined, glancing down at his dog.

 

The dog shrugged - an out-of-place gesture from a quadruped, but distinctly a shrug none the less.

 

"....yeah, okay. Hey, Mischa!" he called out, casually pushing the intercom button with one thumb and trying to not look too out of place. "Met some new friends today, said I could find some interesting stuff here."

Share this post


Link to post

GM

 

Matt didn't get an answer for almost a minute.  It seemed all but certain that no one was home.  Until the intercom buzzed back.  "Who sent you?"  A voice responded.  The tone flat, with a clearly slavic accent on the other hand.  

 

It seemed that the boy and his dog weren't the only ones taking precautions that night.  It stood to reason that when your clientele tended to have the strength to push a car uphill by their lonesome you kept an eye over your shoulder.  To speak nothing of competition in that line of business.  Or avoiding the prying eyes of one's neighbors.  Whatever the motivation it seemed this Mischa wanted to know who gave a potential customer his address.

Share this post


Link to post

"Didn't get your guy's name," Matt answered truthfully; his assailant had, after all, been somewhat less than forthcoming. "Dude tried to mug me in an alley, but we...came to an understanding. Figured it was worth seeing the guy who could get someone like me that kinda stuff."

 

Also not technically a lie, but his dog rolled its eyes in as dramatic a fashion as it could manage. This was, as it turned out, fairly dramatic. "Look, man, c'mon - you can let me in or I can wait out here all day buzzin' you. I've got time."

Share this post


Link to post

GM

 

There was a loud buzz on the door signifying the gate was unlocked.  After climbing five flights of stairs, Matt found himself on the top floor of the apartment complex.  The short walk to Mischa's unmarked apartment was closed by the loud sound of a lock latching.  On the other side of the door was an overweight middle aged man.  A slight frost on the side of his hair further sign of aging.

 

"In.  In.  My medicine, best on the street. Ninety percent Manaka extract.  American medicine only eighty."  Mischa spat on the ground in mock disgust.  "Slovakia is best, yes."  The large man held the door open so the boy and his dog could enter.  Not so much as questioning the presence of the canine companion.

 

The apartment looked like the pages of a magazine catalog.  Mischa's tastes clearly focused on imitating the appearance of those better off.  Buying the cheapest collections from relatively high end retailers.

Share this post


Link to post

"Ninety percent?" Matt asked, trying to sound impressed. The dog had taken a sniff of air and sneezed, and Matt echoed the sentiment. He wasn't a chemist, but going from 80% of something that got people addicted and risked killing them to 90% of something that got people addicted and risked killing them didn't sound like much of an improvement to him.

 

At least the place seemed pretty unsecured - he wished he'd just called up more dogs and come in force, but as long as he was still playing the fool maybe he could follow this trash up the chain. "Surprised you haven't got into trouble, man, comin' in and selling better stuff. I'd be afraid of buying or selling like that and pissing off the local gangs - must have a pretty good supply, too, to live this nice."

Share this post


Link to post

GM

 

"Very dangerous business.  Crazy guy is going round killing loyal customers.  My supplier doesn't like trouble."  Mischa spit on the ground.  Keeping his body behind the wide open door as the boy and dog made their way inside.  "Six guys dead.  Sad world we live in.  Is okay I hire someone to follow repeat customers.  He lets me know when leetle rats get lippy, and takes care of them."

 

"Now business.  How much would you like?"  As Mischa spoke he kept the door wide open.  His hand gripping tighter as he finished speaking.  Making the fact that he was going to slam it shut obvious.  What was less clear was why make a production out of it.  At least until the door was sent flying.  Revealing the firearm Mischa was holding in his other hand.  

 

The gun looked as if it belonged in an elementary school talent show.  It was an ugly looking clearly jury rigged contraption.  But, that didn't stop Grim from diving out of the way.  Just in time to avoid the crimsom colored heat beam that burnt a couch cushion to a crisp.  "Eh Leetle rat.  You no kill Mischa with a knife.  Mischa is forever."

Share this post


Link to post

"Aw, for--"

Matt wasn't necessarily thankful for why he had good reflexes when faced with a firearm (though he did wish the term was a bit less literal, in this case), but he was grateful for having them as he dove to the side. "I'm not a psycho knife-wielder, you stupid-- oh, forget it. FANG!"

 

Mischa, faced with two moving targets, had made the cardinal sin of not keeping an eye on both. Matt's dog was less than intimidated by the contraption the drug peddler wielded, but it was extraordinarily and obviously displeased, fangs bared and hackles raised. At Matt's call it charged the man, snarling and snapping....

 

....only to wheel off at the last second, Matt having followed suit to come up from the side. With Mischa distracted he grabbed the man's wrist and twisted, wrenching the gun away and pushing off to get a few steps' distance. "I don't kill people," he insisted, baring teeth of his own as he glared at Mischa in disgust. The dog seemed to echo the sentiment, issuing a low growl as it paced in front of the door...and between the Slovokian and freedom. "Great. That's just...now I have to deal with you and I have to go deal with some murdering psychopath. And maybe whatever he's leaving behind. This day sucks."

Share this post


Link to post

GM

 

Mischa holwed in pain as his wrist was released.  Suddenly more attentive to the threat a sharp pair of fangs posed on his flesh.  "Deal?  I can make deal.  I'm valuable, you don't have to hurt me.  You want drugs?  I'll make drugs."  The large man pleaded.   

 

"Leetle kids who didn't get monies from you in that alleyway are probably going to be killed.  Small loss.  But, you and I can go into business.  You keep me safe, I'll tell you about beeger fish?  Lucky Lenny in Stop N Flash Washing.  Launders more than just shirts, eh, eh."  

 

The overweight man was practically grovelling.  Attempting to convince Matt to either work with him or focus on some other would be criminal. 

Share this post


Link to post

Matt put a hand over the bridge of his nose, closing his eyes in a pained grimace as he listened to Mischa debase himself. "No, man, I don't care about-- okay, y'know what, no. Let's start this over. Iiiiii," he said, speaking loudly and slowly as if to a child, "am here, to stooooop youuuuu. No more drugs. I am shutting you down. I don't want to deal with that crap being on the streets, and the 'leetle kids' made it my problem. No more drugs. No business. Not for you, not for me, not for anybody, okay?"

 

He opened his eyes again, scowling; the dog growled again, echoing an unspoken sentiment the two appeared to be sharing. "Also: nobody's going to kill the 'leetle kids'. And hey, you're out of business but I'm apparently going to stop your psycho knife dude, too, so...that's a thing. Tell me whatever you know about him, or I'll...I dunno."

 

He glanced down at the unfamiliar weapon in his hands, poking at it until he accidentally brushed the trigger and sent an incendiary blast into the nearest vase, rendering it nothing more than shards and ashes. Matt seemed as surprised as anyone, but after a moment of wide-eyed silence he shrugged and rolled with it. ".....yeah, sure, okay. Or I'll do more of that, to all this crap you own."

Share this post


Link to post

GM

 

"Okay, okay, okay.  No need to have the how you say itchy tricky finger."  Mischa replied with his hands in the air in defeat.  "No one knows what he looks like.  He kills you when no one is around.  If you sell Max he pretends to be a client , shows up at your house and kills you there.  Carves some crazy cult symbol on your chest.  If you want buy.  He pretends to sell to you, Lucky Lenny says he probably waits until the user has completely used up the effects of Max.  Kill the rabbit when its tired, eh."

 

"No one knows how he finds us.  Or how he finds our customers.  He is like ghost.  Is why I hire people to follow my customers and clean up any problems.  Too many people talk nowadays."  Mischa stated without a hint of irony as the frightened man continued to drone.  "He even killed one of my suppliers.  I make my own batch.  Bossman likes it that way.  But, have to outsource ingredients.  Manaka is very heavily regulated."

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...