GEN X - Part 3 - O'Sheas

In desperation I started to explain the situation to Belli, he had no choice but to listen, after all he still needed me alive. The trace, the spoof, the conversation with Teo, I laid it all on the table. It didn't take too much explaining before my gracious host was coming round to my way of thinking.

"Belli, if I had put the worm in your system there's no way in hell you would have found me. My code would have picked your bones clean before you even knew what hit you. I've been framed. In fact its worse that that, I've been framed by a god damn script kiddie."

Belli's body language changed from that of a psychotic gun-wielding criminal to a desperate and broken man.

"Ok Gen, I'm listening"

"Right, first of all get the damn goon squad off me and I'll nuke your little problem. Then you owe me. You help me get the slime that bought my one way ticket."

Belli really didn't care whether he owed me or not he just wanted the damage repaired. This put me a reasonable position to come out of this situation with my worthless hide intact. Three minutes later the cascading worm was history and I believe I almost saw Belli smile for a brief second.

"Now, Belli, my fat friend you've gotta keep your end of the deal."

"Ok, what do you need from me?"

"Firepower, anybody who's crazy enough to risk pissing you off just to frame me has to be either insane or well connected. As I'm neither that's where you come in."

"Keep talking."

"I was meant to meet Teo at O'Sheas' at 6pm. I would like a .50 calibre guardian angel watching my back when I turn up fashionably late, if you know what I mean."

Belli reached under his desk and pulled out a kevlar vest.

"You might wanna take this with you. Just in case it all gets a little hot."

Armoured up I made my way to O'Sheas with my new companion. Apparently his name was Lance. He wasn't quite what I imagined an assassin to look like. He was in his mid 40's with a rapidly receding hairline and a beer belly. He looked like somebody?s brother and seemed far too natural in his brown loafers and pinstripes. As we approached O'Sheas' Lance made his way up to the overpass. Just as he entered the dim stairwell he turned and for the first time since I'd met him, he spoke.

"Don't worry about trying to signalling me if you?re in trouble. Chances are I'll know before you. That, or you'll be dead already."

Fired up on that confidence booster I headed to the bar door. I looked at my watch, it was 6:17. Fashionably late. The adrenaline was starting to burn a path through my veins and I wiped the sweat from my palms. As I strolled into the poorly lit bar, a million visions of what was about to happen played through in my mind in a split second. None of which seemed to end in my favour.

"Nobody likes you, you're gonna lose." I mumbled to myself as I cut a path into the smokey half light. Just as I was about to reach the bar a familiar voice called me from a corner booth.

"Gen, you're late. I didn't think you were going to make it."

I instantly thought of a hundred witty replies but none of them would leave my lips.

"Hi Teo, it's been a freaky afternoon. Where's that damn drink?"

As I turned to face Teo I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. It was like seeing a ghost, all be it a beautiful blond one. It was my ex-client, the nice dead lady, who evidently wasn't.

"Ahh yes, the famous Mr Gen. How splendid of you to join us." She had a voice as smooth as velvet but you knew there were razor blades hidden beneath.

"Don't I know you from somewhere?"

"I don't believe so. I'm Tara, Tara Cazanetti"

The name alone shot spasms of fear down my spine. Tara Cazanetti, wife to Logan Cazanetti. Head of the biggest crime family in Europe and Belli's main rival. He was also a total recluse. Nobody had seen hide nor hair of him for 3 years. There was a slightly uncomfortable silence as she smiled at me in a way which scared the shit out of me.

"Gen, I'm surprised you turned up. We were sure you'd be otherwise disposed at Belli's pleasure by now."

How did she know about Belli... It was then that it all started to fall into place. This was just a simple case of slime versus slime and I was the scapegoat.

"Ok, wait a minute. Now let me take a stab at this. Your husband puts out a contract on Belli which Teo takes up. Teo, you rat bastard son of bitch, you placed the cascading worm in Belli's system, having the perfect allibi in me. That's why you got me to force a connection to cover your tracks. Belli takes his loss of earnings out on me just before he goes out of business. I'm out of the way along with your husbands biggest rival."

Tara slowly clapped in that oh-so-clich?d but undeniably evil way.

"Very good Gen. But now I'm afraid, just like in the movies, you know too much and... oh I'm sure you know how the rest of how this line goes."

Twice in the same day. I was starting to get used to being threatened with death. I stared into her cold eyes as she raised the gun to my chest. This was going to be interesting.

It all happened so fast. The shot, a moment?s tranquillity followed by the realisation of what happened. Lance's round had hit her square in the chest. The resultant force sent her backwards through a table. Everything was happening in slow motion, I was half expecting the ghost of John Woo to yell cut. Doors were opening and scum were oozing into the bar and all receiving much-deserved bullets. I was like a thing possessed, firing at anything that moved. Lance's aim was impeccable and hoods of all shapes and sizes that were pulling guns and knives and pointy sticks were dropping like flies. Within seconds I heard the un-welcome click that follows an empty mag. I dived behind a row of seating to reload only to come face to face with Teo. Before I was able to react he pushed his gun into my chest and fired. The pain was like being punched with a hot iron. I reeled backwards and lay sprawled out on the floor. He calmly walked over and stood over me, checking if I was still living. Just as I was getting ready to check-out, a bullet hit the bench behind him startling him and giving me the split second I needed. I took my chance. I pulled the other gun from within my coat and pointed it towards him. He turned to face me just in time to hear me utter the last words he would hear.

"You shot me, I can't believe you actually shot me."

Teo's face dropped and his eyes glazed over. I pulled the trigger and he slumped to the floor. An expanding pool of blood formed under his lifeless body. Then silence, for what seemed like an eternity.

I wearily stood up and pulled the vest off. The plates had been dented inwards and the bruising was already starting to show. It hurt like hell. My eyes panned round the room, there had to be at least 20 dead bodies including Teo and Tara. Jesus, Tara. I walked over to her body. She starred up at me with that vacant stare that only the recently deceased are capable of. She was dead all right. I mean everybody else was dead too but she was dead. She, who until recently was Logan Cazanetti's beloved wife. My world had just turned into shit. It was about then that I started wishing I'd not bothered with vest. I stood there motionless for a minute or two. It wasn't shock; I just wasn't sure exactly what the correct procedure was in this kind of situation. I grabbed the only surviving bottle of whisky from behind the bar and took a swig. Luckily I was interrupted by the bar door flying open otherwise I would have just sat there getting drunk until you guys arrived. Lance casually strolled in and surveyed his handiwork.

"Sorry about the last shot but I figured you'd want to take that guy out."

There was an overly uncomfortable silence in the room. Lance took a quick look round, obviously ensuring that every one was horizontal.

"We should get out of here. It doesn't pay to hang around bloodbaths for too long."

I was in no position to argue and with that we made our way out. Lance turned off the lights and slammed the door. It was a full stop to the bloody sentence that we had written all over the walls of O'Sheas. Just as we hit the overpass at 53rd a black limo sped round the corner. The passenger side window opened and before Lance could get to his gun he was shot in the face. Blood spewed from his skull and I was showered in brain. I don't know if you've ever seen a person take a head shot, but it's incredible how much brain matter and bone fragments one little head can contain. I was stunned for a second, the limo slowed and the rear door opened. Two large arms burst out of the darkness of the open door and dragged me into the back seat.

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