GEN X - Part 4 - The Itallian Job

I landed rather un-gracefully in the seat, as I raised my head a hand thrust out of the darkness and handed me a cloth.

"Gen, be a good chap and wipe yourself off. I really would prefer not to get blood on the leather. It's hell to wash off."

A face leaned forward, slightly illuminated by the glow of a big fat Cuban cigar. It was a face that I instantly recognised. It was the face of the man I was hired to find.

"Gen, calm down... I know, I know. You're worried about Tara aren't you? Believe me, I know it wasn't your fault. However..." Suddenly a big right hand flew out of the darkness and slapped me hard across the jaw. "You killed a lot of my associates, and that damaged my business. In fact you may never get on my good side again."

I wiped the blood from the side of mouth with the back of my hand. For the first time since waking up this morning I really thought that I was about to meet my maker. There was no way I was going to worm my way out of this one.

"But, I am a reasonable fellow. I also understand that you didn't exactly have much of a choice. I used you and foolishly I underestimated you. A mistake I won't make again. I intend to rectify that situation right now. Gen, I want to hire you."

The light switched on and the monster of a man in a long black trench coat put his cigar down and extended his right hand. "Do we have a deal?"

"Who the hell are you?" I spluttered as I nervously put my hand into his.

"Logan Cazanetti. You can call me..." A wry smile crept across his face as he pondered the next line. "Mr Cazanetti. Lets head back to my office so we can discuss the terms of your contract."

The ride took about 30 minutes. The east district was always gridlocked this time night. All the real people on their way home to their suburban heaven. To their real partners and real families. People like me don't have families... only next of kin. At least the trip gave me time to think, or should I say analise. I was starting to piece together this insipid little puzzle and I didn't like the way the pieces were starting to fit. But there was still one thing that puzzled me. Why would Tara hire me to find her own husband... and more importantly how could she be dead twice. Something just wasn't adding up. The only problem was I wouldn't have time to find the answers. Logan briefed me on what he wanted. A substantial payment would be made on completion. I just wasn't sure I was going to be alive to collect. I grabbed some equipment at his office and I was escorted to Belli's. The job was simple enough, feed Belli a load of shit about O'Sheas and get Logan full access to Belli's private net. Ok, so it was a weasels work but it was good pay and by the time I was through I was going to need one hell of a drink.

When I got to Belli's it was like a goddamn hoods convention. Every five-time loser from here to docklands was in audience. Something big was going down and once again I seemed to have stumbled right into the middle of it.

"Ahh Gen, so glad you could join us. No lance?"

"Lance is dead, they're all dead. Everybody is dead"

Belli turned to his audience and laughed. "Prey tell, who is everybody?"

"Everyone who was in that place. We turned the whole place into slaughter yard. And she was there." Belli's face echoed the confusion of the rest of the room. "Tara, Tara Cazzanetti." Belli's face contorted into a big uncomfortable smile.

"Gen, you mean to tell me that you killed my rivals wife?"

"I guess so"

"Then I 'guess' you've just earned a bonus." His audience laughed. "I thought tanking her and getting her to hire you to find Logan was a stroke of genius. But you killing the real deal... it's inspired. Logan's going to hunt you till the ends of the earth, he's gotta be screaming for blood. How d'ya fancy earning a bit more cash... as bait."

So Belli cloned Tara then she hired me to find 'her' husband. Now this was all starting to add up, Tara had only died once and it was at O'Sheas. But like many of lifes great puzzles this answered question only leads to more unanswered ones. I turned my back on Belli and his audience for a few seconds. Belli wanted me to stick my neck into the noose, little did he realise it was already there. I was about to turn back to face Belli and give him my answer, and possibly the finger, when the lift doors at the end of room opened. The whole room about faced, pulled out whatever firepower they had and pointed it towards the lift. There was fire and smoke bellowing from the lift. The whole interior showed the scars of small arms fire and what looked like grenade damage. Silently a shadow appeared to stumble from the flames. I'm not sure who pulled the trigger first but within nanoseconds everyone was plastering the lift with everything they had. When the clouds of smoke and debris cleared the badly dismembered body of one of the doorman slumped into a bloody heap in the corner of lift. A couple of goons went to inspect their handiwork. I had a pretty good idea of what was coming and got myself into the far corner of the room. I crouched next to a patch panel and pulled the hardware I got from Logan from my coat. I quickly got access to the switches and piggybacked a transceiver to the backbone. My fingers worked fast and I was so wrapped up in the task that I almost didn't hear the first gunshots.

I think the east windows went first, I remember seeing zip lines flash past followed closely behind by black figures. A hail of bullets rained in dropping half of Belli's mob then and there. The South window assault had started by this time. Heavily armoured, gun toting assault forces were streaming into the room like a cloud of locusts devouring everything in their path. There was about 30 seconds of screaming and gunfire, two of my least favourite things. Several rounds flew my way ricocheting of the racking I was kneeling in front of. I looked feverishly over my shoulder to see the second lift arrive. The room was pretty much wall to wall corpses with only Belli and a few of his mob left behind whatever cover they could find. The two teams that crashed the party were converged at the lifts and were using suppressive fire to hold Belli and his boys where they were. The lift doors opened and another team of blacked out, gun wielding killing machines fanned out to join in the fun. One slightly more diminutive figure walked out of the lift and calmly made its way to the front of the small army that had now amassed at the lift. The firing had pretty much stopped by this time but the odd round still found it's was across the two lines. The shadowy figure seemed un-phased by these exchanges and in a smooth but husky tone told her team to cease-fire. I instantly recognised the voice.

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