After helping a man get away from the charity that was supposed to help him, Jack and his team find Top-Hat Santa in trouble again.
We were sitting in a van watching an apartment building. Well some of us were watching the building. TC was watching Jimmy tossing a flashbang from hand to hand almost juggling it. Not long after I hired Jimmy, he accidentally set off a flashbang in a surveillance car being used to watch a target. Ted lost some hearing in his left ear, and the flashbang set the car on fire. The result was that Ted doesn’t go into the field unless he has too. Or wants too. I wouldn’t stop him. Mid toss TC caught the flashbang. She said, “I’ll make you eat this if you toss it again.” She then let it drop into his hand. The flashbang suddenly became a priceless fragile egg-like object to be protected and stored safely.
I run a specialty security service. For the most part, we are mercenaries. If you want security guards, we can help you find google and look them up. If you need the kind of help that comes with gunfire and bad guys crying, then call us. If you are a bad guy, then don’t call. About a week ago we got a call from an apartment manager who thinks one of his tenants is dealing drugs from his apartment. While this wasn’t our usual type of job, a video he sent brought back memories. A man came into the building then back out. He was tall and thin wearing a red and white top hat. It’s top hat Santa.
On a job a while back we met a drug addict hired by a twisted evil charity who used this man as bait. But that is another story. His name is Larry. He was or is addicted to heroin. We had helped him find a treatment center and even paid for the treatment. Seeing him was a little disheartening. I had to know more so we took the job. After a few days of watching Larry finally came back. Just like before he went into the building them back out. We followed him. It wasn’t hard to follow a 6’ 9” guy in a red top hat. He went down the street and into an alley. As we watched I noticed another car was also following him. An old Monti Carlo from the 80s in a low rider style so low it was almost scraping the surface of the road. It had a limo tint on the windows that was supposedly illegal. I guess when you’re a criminal you don’t care about the law. The car came to a stop, and three guys got out with shotguns. Larry was about to have a bad day. We went to move in, and that is when all hell broke loose.
We could hear gunfire and not just shotguns, true automatic fire. Using a small drone, we went to do a little recon. In the alley, we saw the three would be killers’ dead. In fact, almost cut in half. There were four men with what looked like old Thompson submachine guns and Larry with a colt 1911. Larry went from addict to killer. We pulled the drone away and went back to regroup. Too many questions and not enough answers. The next day we sent Jimmy disguised as a cable guy to place some cameras around the block. We would gather information on the situation. We also took up residence in the apartment next to the suspect tenant. Using the fancy thermal camera and some slightly illegal bugging devices we put the tenant under a microscope. The result was surprising.
The Tenant was a guy named Barry. He was Larry’s twin brother. After nearly dying of a drug overdose, he was housebound. Barry had a stroke from the drugs. His brother would stop by and check up on him. Larry was part of a neighborhood watch program, but not one any city would approve of. They were killing anyone caught dealing drugs in their neighborhood. Personally, I have a no help drug dealer policy, but I also don’t want to see good people do bad things. It’s also nice to see Larry is still clean. We need to help them or stop them. I guess my only real job here is to tell the client he was wrong. In the morning, I went to the job we helped Larry get. Before his days on heroin, he was on his way to becoming a top-notch mechanic. He hurt his back and went from legal painkillers to the big H. People have a hard time giving a guy like Larry a break. Ex-convicts, addicts, and people with mental health issues are unfortunately left out of society. So, for people like this, the non-violent and abandoned I opened a workshop. A little something for everyone with one part making furniture, another part operates a landscaping service. Larry works in a part that restores cars for sale. Some classics, but most are basic runners for people who can’t afford new.
I met him in an unused office. After the usual greetings, I showed him a video we made of what he and his friends were doing. I could see on his face he thought it was all over. His second chance was dead. I said, “I told you back then as long as your drug-free you have a place here.” I also told him I can understand why he is doing this. His brother won’t be able to have a second chance like he did. I asked him, “what will bring you satisfaction and end this. Because you know this has to end.” He said he wanted to set fear in the local dealers. They weren’t killing all the dealers just the ones that used violence on the streets. He wants them to be afraid to sell in his neighborhood. I asked him, “have you ever watched the old television show The Green Hornet?” I explained how in the show’s hero was a newspaper owner that pretended to be a criminal mastermind. He would use this image to infiltrate gangs and take them down. What we could do is make up a new gang. One so over-the-top the others will stay away.
We started with a concept. After a couple of ideas, we set on a Russian gang. Most of us could pass better as Russians rather than Chinese or Hispanic. We designed some tags for marking our territory and the look of our gang. With all that we sent out some street artists a.k.a. Taggers to spread our tag. The next day I rented ten black Chevy Suburbans. With every white guy in my employment, we drove around Larry’s neighborhood. Everyone was told to slow down as they approached every known dealer. We also applied for a liquor license for a bar in the neighborhood. A Russian bar. Not some themed bar out of Disney. One real classy joint.
Three weeks later something unusual happened. After we opened Klassnyy our Russian bar about three other Russian themed stores opened. The bar’s name means Classy. The money coming into the neighborhood was changing everything. The streets slowly were cleaned up. Abandoned buildings and rundown apartments were being renovated. A new vibe throughout. We planned to intimidate the dealers out, but what ended up happening was we priced them out. By the end of the year, the bar was very profitable. The only trouble was I didn’t get to use my fake Russian accent. Ok, maybe that’s not a bad thing. Do svidaniya!
These are short stories I wrote. Some are connected to the larger books I am working on others are just for the fun of story telling.
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