Las Venturas Municipal Impoundment Lot, Spinybed, Las Venturas, Clarence County, Robada
09:19, April 3rd, 2013
"Eu te disse, ele não comprar qualquer porra de uvas!" shouted the man down the telephone. The Afro-Brazilian man, with the tight black ponytail, moustache and grimy-looking boiler suit, in the even grimier-looking office-in-a-glorified-shed at the vehicle Pound. Much like Tobias' bedroom, it had those slits of light coming in through the blinds, except these served the highlight the dust in the air, getting spun about by the fan attached to the ceiling.
As he was busying himself with that, Tobias and Ivan Bytchkov opened the mostly-transparent door on the opposite end of the 'office' and strolled in confidently, confidence being in strange abundance as they got to work that day. As they walked right up to the desk, the man on the phone tried to hurry up his conversation, but seemed no less annoyed with whatever it was he was talking about.
"Eu tinha os meus meninos olhando para ele, não uma vez que eles vêem uma única uva! Por que diabos você está me perguntando sobre uvas, de qualquer maneira? Esqueça as malditas uvas! Bom dia!" He finished, slamming the phone down on the receiver. Finally, he looked up and changed his expression and tone to a much more affable one. "Gentlemen, my apologies! Don't mind that little... altercation. Angry motorists who think they can park in the middle of the road, shit like that. How can I help you?"
Tobias moved his arm forward as if he was about to begin gesturing as he spoke, but Ivan managed to stop him with a counter-gesture: one index finger raised in his direction, followed by him making some more gestures which Tobias translated as 'let me do the talking'. So it was agreed: Ivan would do the talking.
"Hello, my main man. We need to talk to the boss, Mr. Vasco Vargas. Where is he?"
The man at the desk chuckled. "Well, 'my main man', you're looking at him."
"Wait, you're Vasco Vargas?" Ivan said, surprised. Tobias and Vargas simply looked on, also in surprise, at how Ivan could be surprised by this. "I was kind of expecting you to be-"
"...White?" Vargas finished it for him.
"Well... yeah. N-n-now don't get me wrong, I-I'm not being racist or anything, I have nothing against black people! In fact, I fucking love black people! You guys, you're like... my homies! We're all homies here, right? We all grew up in the 'hood, and had to pop caps in asses to get ahead, right? Oh shit, um... ignore all that, I- wait, except for the first part! About me not being racist! I'm the most... non-racist man in the world!"
Meanwhile, Tobias was busy facepalming in embarrassment at Ivan's sheer awkwardness.
"Look, amigo, just forget about it. It's cool." Vargas responded, less out of forgiveness and more out of a willingness to prevent the panicking Russian man from embarrassing himself any further.
"We're lookin' for a motor that was impounded 'ere last night. A Pegassi Infernus, black/red paint, golden trim." Tobias spoke up, impatiently.
"Y-yeah, what he said." Ivan affirmed.
"Well... you certainly look and act like the sort that would own a distinctive ride like that." Vargas shot back at Ivan, as he surveyed his rather gaudy attire. It was obvious he was getting suspicious of the unlikely duo already, if his slightly tense tone and furrowed brow were any indication.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Nada, nada..." He played innocent, seemingly absorbing Ivan's suspicion and flung it back at him. "Can I just ask, though, how did you know my name already?"
"Uh... well, I was about to say, you're very well-known around these parts."
"I am? For what?"
"For inf- for being a pillar of the community."
"Haha... I wish, amigo. What's your name?"
"Iva-" he began, before being nudged on the shoulder by Tobias. A de facto criminal giving out their real name to a known police informant; not very professional at all. Neither was making up an alias on the spot, but it had to do. "Erm... Ivor Baddic."
"I see... how 'bout you?" The sceptical Brazilian asked again, looking at Tobias. He wasn't much better.
"...An Englishman who looks like an Arab, and a Russian whose suit matches the paint job on his 400K-dollar supercar... not something I see every day. Well, amigos, I have the car you're looking for. Come with me."
Sure enough, the extremely untrustworthy (for a criminal, that is) impoundment boss feigned a friendly smile as he lead them out the splintered wooden door on his side of the office. The three of them soon found themselves back out in the hot, blinding sun, on the other side of the metal boom barrier that (theoretically) prevented vehicles from just bursting in. The smell from the industrial district of Spinybed filled their nostrils again, causing Ivan to discreetly cringe. Tobias also cringed, but for different reasons, the smell reminding him of desert battlefields. He proved much better at hiding it than the urbanised, wealthy Ivan.
"The car you're lookin' for is on the far side of the Pound, in Lot D. All the way over there." Vargas pointed to their right, in the direction of the large, dusty field of assorted automobiles, fenced off with chickenwire. "I would show you myself, but, uh... I have to make a phone call."
"Oookay, well, good luck with that, homie!"
"Si... and good luck to you, amigos." Vargas said, not without a slight hint of malevolent intent towards the two... or benevolent intent, if one was to look at it from a different point of view. He simply walked back into his office and very gently, closed the door behind him. By the time that was finished, Tobias had already walked about ten paces towards the objective, while Ivan was still standing there like a lemon.
"Toby! Toby..." Ivan pleaded him to stop for a moment, as he jogged over to him; not a great image from a person with his physique.
"Listen, man..." He sort-of whispered. "We need to get out of here, that guy's onto us already! He's going to call the fucking cops on our ass!"
"No, we need those bloody tapes. You an' me ain't goin' anywhere 'till we 'ave 'em." Tobias declared, beginning his path to his destination.
Ivan followed him, reluctantly, stopping constantly but moving forward awkwardly whenever Tobias wouldn't follow suit; that is to say, every time. "But... b-but if the police find out what we're doing..."
"Relax, mate. Juri's on watch outside, inn'e?"
"Well... yeah, but-"
"Look, mate. Just fuckin' bribe 'em. That's what you usually do, yeah? If all else fails, we kill 'em. Well, I kill 'em."
"But you can't just kill cops, man!"
"Sure you can. They're mortal humans like you an' me."
"I didn't mean it like that, I meant... gah, fuck, we are fucked... fucked, fucked, fucked..."
"Just calm down, shut yer cakehole an' follow me. He wouldn't 'ave figured us out if you 'adn't acted like you knew who he was when you shouldn't."
The pair of them had this little conversation regarding their imminent fates as they wandered down the Pound, through the heat waves radiating above the dusty ground. They passed all manner of vehicles, ranging from ancient, beaten-up Sabres and plain-as-you-can-get Staniers to tiny, modern Dilletantes and dirty Burrito vans (as in, the van known as a Burrito, not vans carrying the Mexican food, also known as a Burrito). Some of the cars were in pristine condition, probably left in parking lot of one of the Strip's casinos by drunken tourists. Others, including an Asterope with an extremely crumpled front end, were... less so. Also probably the work of drunken tourists, who, some would observe, make up over half of Las Venturas' population on any given day.
As they wandered closer to Lot D, indicated by a tiny sign on a post, Tobias slowed down to allow himself time to sniffle and rub his eyes again. It was then, as he raised his head to the sky following his eye rub, he noticed something that should be a meteorological impossibility.
He couldn't look directly at the sun, even with sunglasses, but he could see it in his peripheral vision. The sun had a pair of large black spots with smaller white spots inside them, in the same place eyes would be on a human face. The sun's 'face' bore a wary squint, as if to say it was watching the assassin. And sure enough, it was, as Tobias found out when he raised his hand and began slowly moving it from side to side; the Sun's 'pupils' were following it.
"The sun's pretty suspicious of you, isn't it?" Ivan suddenly spoke up.
Tobias looked back down at the Russian, who was now standing still also. But there was something else wrong with the situation, besides the fact that Ivan appeared to be aware of the Sun's eyes. That 'something else' was the oversized Praying Mantis sitting on Ivan's shoulder, almost as big as his head.
Tobias didn't say anything, for he had experienced this sort of thing before; saying something would make him sound like a maniac... well, more of a maniac. Instead, he slammed his eyes shut and tried to zone out for a moment. He succeeded; the result of which being a rather brief but very colourful disco-floor-type pattern flashing all over his vision, finishing off with a light, almost electrical sensation. When he opened his eyes again, the Mantis had disappeared.
"...Could you repeat that?" He asked Ivan, still visibly trying to highlight reality.
"I said, 'are you okay, man?'" Ivan replied, one hundred percent genuinely.
Tobias glanced back up at the sun; sure enough, the 'eyes' had disappeared too. "...Flashback..." He muttered to himself. "Yeah, I'm good. Let's just get this shit done."
"Ooookay, if you say so... I would ask what a 'flashback' is, but honestly, I don't want to know." The pair of them began the final leg of their walk into Lot D, and began scanning the area for Ivan's beloved car. They almost reached the fence at the very end of the Pound when Ivan looked over to the path on his left. "Holy shit, there it is!" Then he began running.
"Aggghhhh... oh shit, oh shit!" He panicked, as he got a closer look at his red, black and gold Infernus. As he implied, it was quite a bit different from before. As Tobias walked in to get a closer look himself, he noticed the battered front of the vehicle; one half of the front bumper mangled, the lights and windscreen smashed, both door mirrors missing, and a rather large paint scratch stretching across the entire car. "Bozhe moy... the fuck did he do to you, girl? You poor thing..." He lamented, as he almost stroked the scratched part on the bonnet, as if he was trying to comfort an injured human, instead of an inanimate automobile. He quickly turned back to Tobias to emphasize his extreme displeasure. "That fucking psycho... just ruins everything! Killed fifty-three good men, stole the Emerald, and now... he damaged my car! The fucking cheek! Y'know what, people like Trevor Phillips are the reason we can't have nice things in this world!"
"Right... please tell me I'm having another flashback..." Tobias said to himself, not bothering to hide it from Ivan. "It's just a car, mate."
Ivan seemed to completely ignore Tobias as he continued to inspect the damage done to his beloved car in a rather melancholy fashion. Tobias did get a response, though...
"Yes, you are having another flashback, no it's not just a car, and yes the sun was more than a little bit suspicious of you!" A voice with what resembled a light Brummie accent spoke up behind Tobias. He turned back, as anyone would, but there was no-one. No police officers or muggers or hippies wishing to lecture him. He only saw three vehicles; a dirty blue Ruiner muscle car, an even dirtier white Bobcat pickup, and an only slightly dirty brown Emperor sedan.
Tobias duly turned back, only to have the mysterious voice start up again. "Oi, listen, will you? Yes, I know you're annoyed because you drank too much coffee right after your last trip and you didn't think you'd have to work today, but for the love of all that is holy, you must listen!"
The assassin, bothered and still watching Ivan inspect his car, turned back once again, and saw yet another thing that should, by all means, be impossible. The blue Ruiner he saw was blinking over its lights, another thing that shouldn't have eyes having eyes. Not to mention it was fidgeting around a bit, by itself, like it was trying to get settled in an uncomfortable seat. "Y'know what you need, Toby? You need more power, like me. I have all the power! Then perhaps you wouldn't worry so much about not fitting your place in life!" The Ruiner said. Yes, the car was talking to him, using its grille as a mouth.
"Well, that's an original answer." The Emperor suddenly came to life just like the Ruiner and spoke to 'him', in a much more refined, almost posh voice. "You know sometimes you need other things, like... handling and traction control... and comfort, you unsophisticated oaf."
"Yes, and sometimes you need to have a sense of direction and not go off in the wrong lane because your wheel isn't fitted on properly because you were too busy sniffing your polished engine to notice." The Ruiner retorted.
"That was not my fault, that was the mechanic. His tools were no good. And let's not forget the time you stalled when going up a hill and went down in smoke because you were too obsessed with 'poweeeeeer!'"
Just as the ever-increasingly delirious Tobias had been expecting, the Bobcat in between the two bickering cars finally came to life, this one speaking with a younger and more authentic Brummie accent. "Guys, guys! Can we please not argue, and just move on? We only have a few minutes before Toby here snaps back to his senses!"
"Alright, alright, moving on..." The Ruiner said, irritated. "Toby, there are too many people in your world that are trying to hammer in their petty codes and morals, and I'm afraid, I really am, that you're going to crack, but you're better than that! There's no-one out there like you, you only need more power! Power, man, power!"
"What are you talking about, man?" Said the Emperor. "Nobody's trying to hammer in any codes to his head, he's doing just fine. Nobody's stupid enough to waste their time trying to understand him, it's a futile effort. If he vies for more power, he'll try and become an... emperor or something he's not. That's not his place."
"I know just what you need to do!" Said the Bobcat, definitively. "Your problem is that moron, that former friend of yours in Kuwait. He's still out there, and he's going to poke away at your thick skull until he's dead, and no-one can help, they'd betray you, too. The only reason people don't constantly betray you is because you walk out on them, first. That's what you did to Huang Lee, and have you heard anything about him since then? Of course not!"
Tobias was, needless to say, quite offended that this hallucination of a talking pickup truck was questioning his loyalty (while, paradoxically, also praising him for walking out on his employers). But, again, from past experience, he knew that talking to back to it would hardly help matters. That didn't stop him from almost breaking his silence this one time to shut it up, tell it that it's not real and so it doesn't really mean anything... of course, that never did any good in his early years of taking Acid, anyway. He remembered, retro Hippies in the eighties and nineties often told him about how Acid changed the way they see the world, permanently. Tobias was no exception. He knew this, but he embraced it, at the time; after all, even he knew he was never the most mentally stable person in the world. As his resistance grew, his willingness to embrace shrank, but he would never be able to undo the early stages; not that he'd want to.
"Tobias, my man, what the fuck are you doing? I need your help!" Tobias could hear Ivan speaking in a slightly distorted tone, as if he was talking over radio.
"Oh, cock, the rozzers are coming! You'd better scarper! From all these people..." The Emperor concluded the speech of the three cars. Tobias found himself blacking out his own vision to take a brief visit to the disco floor realm again, slamming his eyes shut and watching his 'vision'. When he opened them again, he found himself facing back at Ivan, the latter grasping his shoulders.
"Tobias, say something, homeboy!" Ivan said again, now with his normal tone of voice.
Tobias blinked a few times to try getting back into reality properly this time. He briefly looked back over his shoulder, and to his relief, the three cars had reverted back to their inanimate state.
"Smartass! Listen, Juri called while you were zoned out, he says the police are here, a whole van of them, with body armour and fucking dogs! They sent two officers to scout ahead, we better make this quick!"
Tobias didn't verbally respond to Ivan's urging, instead opting to simply turn around and get to it. While he was busying himself listening to figments of his drug-addled mind, Ivan had opened up the driver's door to his car... or ripped it off, apparently, since the butterfly door was disconnected and on the dusty ground.
"Can you believe it?! That fucker... she's falling apart, man! Look at her! The door, it just... gah! You'd better make that little hockey-playing, maple-syrup-chugging, inferiority-complex-to-these-great-United-States-shit suffer for this transgression!" Ivan went off, sounding quite a bit angrier than usual; something that would tend to happen once in a blue moon, as they say.
"Really, Ivan. It's just a car. Count yourself lucky you're still alive." Tobias tried to inject some sense into him as he walked over and stuck his head down under the steering wheel, noticing a plate on the floor. The screws that would've been in the corners of the plate were instead lying next to it, courtesy of the screwdriver Ivan had retrieved from the glovebox. However, the plate was still there, evidently quite tightly stuck in since Ivan couldn't muster the strength necessary to pull it out.
"No, Tobias, it's not 'just a car'! You don't understand how important this fucking car is to me! When I hit it big, when my wife left me, this car was there for me, so I didn't get lonely at the top like all those other rich assholes! She may be Italian-made, but she is America's gift to me! And... now look at her! I can only hope he didn't... do... things to her, as well! Arrrrrrggghhhh, fucking Canadians!"
All Tobias did was sigh with disgust, trying his best to ignore Ivan's rather unusual relationship with his car as he grabbed the small handle on the side of the plate and applied all the force he could muster to his forearms. It took him about twenty seconds of applied strength, contorting his face into a reddened, screwed-up grimace, until he finally pulled the plate out with a 'snap'. His face returning to normal, he tossed the plate out into the path and surveyed the device concealed underneath; a set of simple controls, like those on an old tape player.
"I figured it would be more convenient if you could just listen to the-" before Ivan could finish his sentence, he looked behind himself briefly, catching sight of a pair of beige-uniformed LVPD officers walking down the path they had arrived on. One of them was a white man with a red (orange) crew cut, the other was a shorter East Asian-looking woman with a tight ponytail. "Oh fuck, the cops!" He frantically whispered. "You stay here, Toby, I'll go talk to them. Remember, you don't kill cops, you buy them."
The male police officer could be heard conversating as he and his colleague approached the duo's position. "...And so the guy said to me 'how the fuck did you know that I detonated that bomb when I was nowhere near it, and why do you care, because literally nobody got hurt!' and I was about to stun him again, when it hit me... how did we know that? Either there was some mystery eyewitness who knew the guy and ran to the station to tell us right away, or we're hiring fucking wizards!"
"Yeah, that is some weird shit, ain't it? Y'know what else is weird? How we just let that other asshole off with a disproportionately tiny bribe after he crushed an entire parking lot with a fucking Haul Truck!" Replied his female colleague.
"The chief let that pass? Jesus Christ, I knew we were corrupt, but not that corrupt! And I thought the bastards in Los Santos had it bad... maybe if we arrest the motherfucker responsible for last night's massacre, we could make it up to the taxpayers... wait a second, is that..."
The male police officer just noticed the leg of Ivan's distinctive attire pass into the main path, followed shortly by the rest of him; there was no doubt in the officer's mind now.
"Hey, Ivan, my Ruskie pal! What are you doing here?"
"...Officer Boson?" Ivan muttered to himself in disbelief, as he frantically power-walked over to him to whisper, equally frantically, to his face "Shut up, shut up, shut up! You and... what's-her-name over there..."
"Yeah, whatever, you two need to leave right now, and take your armed squad and your dogs with you!"
"Wh... why? Didn't you tell us about your arrangement the other day, at the station? You know, the one with-" Officer Boson said, disconcertingly loudly.
"Be fucking quiet! First, I never said you'd be involved, and second, that guy I told you about, that Limey, he's right around the corner, and if he finds out-"
"Oi!" Tobias shouted out, having predictably managed to overhear Boson's admittance to knowing Ivan for some reason. "You know that copper, mate? What bloody arrangement?!"
"Nothing! I don't know what he's talking about! I was never at the station, I never even met this bastard, who the fuck is he? I don't know, 'cause I've never met him!" Ivan shouted back to him, to save face.
"Nishi, hang back here." Boson said to his female colleague.
"Sure thing." She confidently replied.
"You still haven't told us what's going on here..." Boson brought the conversation back to Ivan, as he wandered over to Tobias' location, Ivan still trying (and failing) to stop him. "Wait a second..." He said, spotting Ivan's beloved Infernus. "That's your car... the same car we saw fleeing from the bloodbath last night! Holy shit, I didn't even notice until now! The fuck's going on!?"
"Now, I know this looks bad, but I can explain..."
"Ivan, come over 'ere, I finally got this bloody thing to work." Tobias called over, still with most of his body sticking awkwardly inside the car.
"Alright! Look, Boson, I'll explain later, you need to go, now! Go on, away with you! Otvali!" Ivan panicked and spluttered out as he made his way over to Tobias, eventually turning his back to him. Boson promptly ignored Ivan's request and followed him over.
Meanwhile, Tobias pressed the marked 'play' button on the in-built tape player on Ivan's 'black box', which proceeded to unleash the very distinctive growls of Trevor Phillips, in crackled eighties-era quality.
"Grrrrrrgggggghhhh, fucking Rascalov! Thinks he can fuck me over, huh? Well, I'll write him a fucking complaint letter!" From the way he said it, he was quite obviously clenching his teeth together. This was soon followed by the sound of a phone being dialed.
"Aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrggggghhhh!" He apparently screamed down his phone in bloodlust. "Ron! Ronald Jakowski! The deal with those Russians was a fucking set-up! A member of the Rascalov dynasty was behind it, the brother of that glasses-wearing asshole that fucked me over in 2007! Did you know it was a Rascalov!? Because if you did, when I get back to Sandy Shores, I will shove a fucking bullet in your penis! Anyway, I murdered fifty-three of their goons, so I feel... much... better! And I've taken a worthless piece of green garbage for a souvenir! Now go out and get me a fucking Pizza for when I get back! Good Pizza, none of that store-bought shit! ...I don't care if there's no Pizza places in town, fucking drive to LS if you have to! You have plenty of time, it'll take hours for me to get back! If I starve tonight, it's penis-bullets for you! Now I've gotta abandon this car... huh? ...Ah, plain Mozzarella, no fancy bullshit!"
With that, Tobias stopped the recording, having gotten the lead he needed. "Sandy Shores... well, now we know where the bugger is. Ivan, could you look up a bloke called Ronald Jakowski?"
"'Scuse me for interrupting, but who's 'the bugger'?" Officer Boson... interrupted.
"Well, um..." Ivan began to answer, seeing an opportunity to get the heat off him. "...Y-you see, that guy on the recording, that was Trevor Phillips. He's the Canadian asshole who murdered all my... I mean, those other Russian guys at the Old Strip last night. He's the guy you're looking for, not me."
"Trevor Phillips... holy shit, Ivan, you've really stumbled upon something here!" Boson complimented him, conveniently forgetting about Ivan's warnings. He showed even more disregard for his warnings as he whipped out a notepad-and-pen from his belt. "Where'd you say he was, again? Sandy Shores? That's across the border in San Andreas, some shithole in the desert, infested by Meth-addicted rednecks. And who was the guy he was talking to? We're going to have some fun with this prick!"
As he was busy endangering his life, Tobias got to work being the reason why he was endangering his life. He unbuttoned the top half of his shirt to retrieve his concealed Heavy Pistol, before taking out a suppressor from his pocket and attaching it to the barrel. With Boson still gleefully going on about how screwed Trevor was, Tobias practically slithered out of the car, regaining his a professional standing posture, swivelling round and pointing his pistol directly at Boson's forehead.
Ivan held back in surprise as Tobias pressed the suppressor against the police officer's head, as Boson was 'pushed' backwards onto the dusty path, with Tobias walking forward. "Woah, woah... woah... easy, easy. There's no need for this." He attempted to reason with him, but to no avail.
"You say anythin' about Mr. Phillips to yer colleagues, mate, and we'll find out if any o' these cars can fit a corpse in the boot. Is there anyone with you?"
"Um... y-yeah, there is... Officer Nishidake, she's around the corner."
"Call the bird over 'ere."
"Uh... Nishi! Nishi, come over here right now! It's important!"
"Ivan, get yer gun out. Don't fuck around."
Ivan looked as if he was about to object, but found himself hesitantly slipping his gun, a gold-plated Pistol, out from under his red jacket anyways. Meanwhile, the crunching of shoes against the dusty terrain could be heard as 'Nishi' came around the corner. As soon as she saw her colleague at gunpoint, she raised her own pistol, to which Ivan raised his, creating a little Mexican Stand-off.
"Shit! You, put the gun down, right now! We're police, you can't fuck with us! Put it down and maybe we'll let both of you off with a week in a shit-stained cell!" She, quite hot-headedly, tried to get them to back down.
"I fuck with whoever interferes with my work." A completely unfazed Tobias replied, not concerned with the threats of arrest or even summary execution from the police. "Now, Nishidake, here's what's gonna 'appen. You call yer mates over by the entrance an' tell 'em to piss off. If you say anythin' other than what I told you, or you try runnin' for it, yer mate 'ere won't eat a doughnut again. 'Cause 'e'll be dead."
"Nishi, d-don't listen to this prick, ...h-he's a fucking psychopath! He'll kill me anyway, and he'll kill you, too!" Boson resisted, his resistance met with additional pressure applied directly to his forehead.
This situation continued, completely unresolved for a painstaking two minutes, Nishi and Boson sweating with fear, Tobias' face still flat and cold, his gun still imprinting a pink circle on Boson's forehead. Ivan, meanwhile, also shaking and sweating with fear (and the heat, to a lesser extent), retrieved his phone with his free hand and attempted to call Juri. But after three attempts, he got no response.
"Toby, Juri's not answering, I think the cops got him."
"Eh?" Tobias answered, very briefly letting his guard down as he cocked his head to his left slightly, leaving Nishi mostly out of his vision for a moment. Unfortunately, it was all the time she needed to make a dash back out onto the main path, leaving clouds of dust in her wake. This very obvious getaway immediately alerted Tobias, as he pulled the trigger on his pistol before Boson had the opportunity to react as well, not even looking him directly in the eye as he did so. The suppressed gunshot caused him to drop dead immediately, landing on his back; neither Tobias nor Ivan could 'admire' the damage done as the view was blocked by the front of his head, the only indication of his death being the large pool of blood that formed on the dusty ground, and they had no time or reason to turn his corpse over.
In fact, the pool of blood hadn't even formed by the time Tobias had made his way over to the path to deal with Officer Nishi. She was quite fast on her feet, since the dust clouds she had created were still thick as Tobias barely caught sight of her as she took cover on the other side of the row of cars; he tried to shoot her in the leg before she could get behind them, but to no effect besides making sparks fly off the car she was hiding behind.
"All units, move in, move in! I got an officer down, repeat, officer down! I need some fucking backup!" Nishi screamed down her walkie-talkie as she took cover. Unfortunately, in Tobias' mind, the combination of her hot-headedness, faith in the law's invincibility and failure to acknowledge the giant gaps underneath the cars filling the Pound as an exposure of inexperience. He quickly got into a prone position, essentially 'falling' down onto his front only to stop the fall with his hands, and looked down the Red Dot Sight on his modded pistol.
Sure enough, she was still anticipating being shot from the end of the row of vehicles, completely unaware as Tobias shot her in the foot, eliciting a pained scream and a fall to the ground, backwards, remaining behind the row. For the fraction of a second she was still capable-of-survival while completely on the ground, she looked as if she would request mercy on Tobias' part, before he shot her again, in the heart. It didn't kill her instantly, but the shock rendered her unconscious, and judging from her very own pool of blood, she would be dead in minutes, Tobias observed.
Tobias got back onto his feet, dusted his hands down and looked back to Ivan... only to instead see an patch of empty dirt were he was previously standing. Looking to the left, back at the Infernus, he witnessed Ivan in the driver's seat as he frantically tried to hot-wire his beloved automobile.
"C'mon, c'mon... don't hang me out to dry..." he muttered to himself in somewhat off-putting fashion.
Tobias held his gun down and jogged over to him. "We're gonna 'ave a problem if you don't get a move on." He informed Ivan, in an attempt to kick him out of his irrational love for his car. This attempt was unsuccessful.
"Nyet! I refuse to leave without her!"
"Yer a fuckin' muppet, you know that?"
Ivan was too busy concentrating, frantically, as usual, as he continued to mutter to himself. Before Tobias could make another attempt to get him going, he heard the barking of a dog in the distance. He looked back, popping his head over the top of the car behind him to take a look at the entrance, and sure enough, he could barely make out a trio of police officers, accompanied by two dogs resembling German Shepherds, standing and planning out their sweep of the Pound.
Tobias stopped to think. He could just go over to them and shoot them all dead, simple as, but unless he wanted to hang around all day, fighting off waves and waves of coppers who attacked with increasing ferocity and resources the more of them were mowed down until his own inevitable demise, he'd have to find a different means. The infinitely more convenient alternative meant getting rid of them in such a way that they'd be unable to call in backup. This meant splitting them up and killing them separately, ensuring that none of the remaining officers would know of their colleagues' unceremonious death.
Leaving Ivan to whatever fate he expected to get by just sitting where he was, Tobias made his way to the path on the other end of their row; the one they had not yet trodden on. Crouching down to sneak along the side of the cars, he forward-rolled across another dirt track to reach the previous row of cars, and took cover behind a dirty Burrito van. Looking over to his left, in the eastern lot of the Pound, he noticed a black Stratum estate car/station wagon, which looked to be in pristine condition; he guessed that the car alarm would still work.
His guesses were proven true when he raised his pistol again and 'swooped' out of cover briefly to take a shot at the Stratum's windows. As soon as the bullet shattered the glass, the high-pitched alarm went off, which almost immediately created a rather unpleasant sound when combined with the ferocious barking of dogs as their attention was drawn to the loud noise. Taking a close look through the windows on the van's back doors, out through the windscreen, he could barely make out the bobbing heads of the three police officers moving in the general direction of the blaring alarm; seemingly being savvy enough to avoid splitting up.
By the time they arrived at the vehicle in question, however, one of them seemed to assume that Tobias was an idiot who wanted to kill them all at the same time, failing to see his own idiocy when he split off from his two colleagues and headed down to the end of the path Tobias happened to be taking cover next to. As the officer, armed with a pump shotgun, walked right past the Tobias' cover-van, Tobias thwacked him in the face with his hand, grabbed his gun and used it to swing him around behind the van, smashing his face into the back door and creating a dent. To finish him off, he quickly took his pistol to the back of the ever-so-momentarily silenced officer's head and silenced him permanently. By means of a splattering bits of his face on the sides of the van's back windows as most of his head ended up smashing through it, resting there awkwardly.
Unfortunately, Tobias had failed to take notice of the police dog that decided to follow this particular officer's lead, for some reason, and by now was rushing at Tobias' back, pattering along quite loudly and leaving slobber on the ground in its wake. Naturally, something making this much noise could not go unnoticed; Tobias was barely able to turn around and get off three shots aimed vaguely in the dog's general direction, as it pounced wildly at his face. At least one of the shots connected, since the dog's lifeless body proceeded to smack him in the face and send him smashing into the back of the van, just as the officer had done before him.
It seemed too much noise had been made, as by the time Tobias had recovered from that bump to the head, another officer was heading his way. He already knew that if this one found the bodies, he'd have reason to call for backup. The dead officer was thankfully already in an ideal position to be hidden; all Tobias did was grab the corpse by the feet and tipped the entire body into the back of the van, via the smashed window. As for the dead dog, that had to be haphazardly thrown into the back by the collar. Problem was, this caused the van to rock about, giving the approaching officer even more warning that somebody was there.
In order to delay his impending detection, he sprinted over to the car next in line and got into a prone position using the same fast-drop method as before, grabbing the bottom of the car and sliding himself under, for he would surely be detected under the van.
As he saw the officer leave a trail of dust clouds as he finally reached Tobias' former location, he grabbed hold of the van's underside and slid himself over. He waited, pre-emptively grabbing the van's front bumper, being forced to retract his grip and suck on his finger for a moment after accidentally touching the searing hot metal of the van's license plate. As he heard the noise of glass being shuffled around in the back of the Burrito, he grabbed the bumper again, this time making sure only to touch the insulated plastic, and pulled himself out into a crouching position.
The second officer had just noticed the two corpses that Tobias had hid in the back and, like most non-assassins, found himself rather shocked, leaving him wide open for attack. As Tobias was back on his feet, now on the other side of the van's windscreen, he simply head-shot the distracted cop. The bullet went right through the windscreen and burst his eye, creating a miniature blood fountain, and also forced him to spin 180 degrees before dropping dead, which only made things messier.
It seemed that by this time, the third and last surviving (human) member of the search team decided to try something new; when he looked over and saw his colleague drop dead in front of the van, he decided not to call for backup; Tobias had anticipated coming across a particularly cocky officer who wouldn't call for backup, but he had to make sure. On the other hand, this officer was armed with a sub machine gun, and decided to be smarter about dealing with Tobias than the other two were, simply shooting his weapon at Tobias were he stood.
Tobias had to crouch down and bound along at fast pace in-between the cars as sparks went flying above him, courtesy of the bulletholes the third officer was leaving in the cars. He even made a few more car alarms go off from all the damage he was doing. But Tobias knew from his own military experience that automatic weapons don't tend to last long when fired full auto, and sure enough, the shooting abruptly stopped by the time Tobias had gotten halfway down the row.
He took cover behind another car and did his usual routine and swooping round to shoot the guy in the head... only this time, nothing came out of his gun's barrel. The only sound his gun made when he pulled the trigger was that horrible 'click' sound.
"...Shit!" Tobias quite rightly muttered to himself as he realised that he didn't think to bring any extra ammunition with him to the Pound; he may be a professional, but sometimes being a good professional will get to someone's head.
To make matters worse for him, he neglected to take notice of what happened to the other police dog; the last he saw it, it went off to investigate the far end of the Stratum's lot by itself. But now he knew exactly where it was; it was running right up to his position, too low to get hit by its master's bullets, and as Tobias was fumbling about searching for extra ammo, the dog stuck itself into Tobias' hiding place and clamped its jaw down on his leg, hard. If that didn't sound painful enough for him, it happened to be the same leg that got shot the night before, the leg that he was supposed to be taking care of. It was this extra pain boost, combined with the fact that this particular dog may as well have been on steroids, that effectively immobilized the assassin as the dog dragged him out into the dusty path.
The remaining police officer seized his opportunity and ran over to Tobias as he thrashed about in his agony, attempting to pull the clingy canine off of his leg. Before he could go through with the whole 'you are under arrest' routine, his quadrupedal partner was shot, three times, seemingly from out of nowhere, and wound up being nothing more than a weight on top of Tobias' chest. The officer looked to his left, and lo and behold, Ivan Bytchkov stood there, shaking as usual, his gold-plated Pistol smoking. It seemed clear to everyone involved that Ivan had been mingling with local law enforcement for some reason, so instead of arresting Ivan on the spot, the officer turned to him, distressed, and said:
"...What the fuck, Ivan?! You have any idea how many pounds of Coke that dog has ingested in his line of work!? You little shit, I thought we had a deal!"
This had the unfortunate side-effect of distracting the officer from the still-moving Tobias, who threw the dog's dead body off his now-slightly-bloodied shirt and forced his right fist directly into the back of the officer's right ankle. This burst of pain allowed Tobias to reach up to the officer's belt and grab his standard-issue Stun Gun; a much more routine police tool, but effective nonetheless. Tobias pulled the trigger, sending a jolt of electricity into the officer's thigh, which quite quickly reduced him to a twitching, spasming mess, bashed against the car in front from the shock, and now laying on the ground... twitching and spasming.
"...Oi, come 'ere and give me a fuckin' hand!" Tobias yelled out as he tried to force himself up to his feet. Ivan duly came rushing over, grabbing Tobias' arm and pulling him back up. As he was doing this, Tobias managed to grab the officer's dropped SMG, and once he had literally regained his standing, he went about making mincemeat of the spasming officer's head, by means of filling it with several SMG bullets. Three seconds later, Tobias stood in a slightly crooked stance, as he and Ivan looked at the bloody mess the former had created on the ground, easily surpassing the previous killings that day.
"T... To-Tobias, what did I fucking tell you, man?! You don't kill cops, you buy them!" Ivan chided him.
"Fuck off, mate. I knew that already!" It was at this point that Tobias' bottled-up sense of superiority over the common man began to manifest itself. Lugging his damaged leg along like it had a ball-and-chain attached to it, he began a little tirade.
"...But I didn't 'ave a fuckin' choice! If I didn't kill that Boson bloke, he'd 'ave spilled the beans about Trevor's location, and we'd be fucked up the Khyber! An' let me tell you, mate, this is nothin'! 'Ow many coppers has Trevor Phillips killed? Or Tommy Vangelico, or... what's-his-name, that Serb who you keep goin' on about, 'ow many coppers did they kill, dozens, 'undreds? I'm a fuckin' Angel compared to them! Plus, when I do 'ave to kill coppers, I don't run amok, shooting everything in sight while standin' out in the open like Jack-fuckin'-Howitzer! I'm a fuckin' professional! The fuckin' professional! You, on the other 'and, is a white-collar prick with a fetish for his fuckin' motor! I've been puttin' up with your shit because of my consummate professionalism! But who the fuck d'you think you are, tellin' me how to do my job?! Go fuck a duck!"
The pair of them stood in silence for nearly two minutes as Ivan processed this sudden outburst, the last thing he expected from such a previously stoic person as Tobias. He tried to say something, but the words effectively got stuck in his mouth. Then that classic warning sound filled the air, the sound of police sirens.
"...Thank yer for savin' my fuckin' life. Now, shall we get goin'?" Tobias finally said, in a drastic mood whiplash. Not that he had changed his tone at all, it was still extremely aggressive. As most would probably do when talking to a trained assassin, Ivan agreed to Tobias' suggestion and began to sprint his way back over to Vargas' office, leaving more clouds of dust in his wake. Tobias would have done the same, if it wasn't for his damaged leg, forcing him to limp along to the door, once he had grabbed his empty pistol and placed it back in his holster, since both his hands were already full.
As he was limping, he noticed Ivan beginning to flail in exhaustion, and it looked as if he fell over when he finally burst through the door to the office; to be expected, given his weight.
By the time Tobias had got back to the office, he saw something he was hoping he wouldn't see. He was seriously hoping he wouldn't see it.
"Checkmate, amigo!" Vargas yelled at him, as he was using the shiny-faced Ivan as a human shield, his collar in one hand and a sawed-off shotgun pointed at his head in another. "Now, here's how it's gonna down... you sit tight and wait for the polícia, and I won't have to blow la idiota racista Russo's head into chunks of bloody dog food!"
Tobias could only stand in a crooked stance still, but nonetheless tried his best to look ready, aiming both the stun gun and the submachine gun at Vargas. Even though he'd just told Ivan, in no uncertain terms, that he didn't really like him that much, he couldn't risk him getting killed, since he was such a good friend and important asset of Vitali's. His arse was on the line as much as Ivan's.
"Fuck's sakes, mate, you gonna speak English or Portuguese?! Make up yer fuckin' mind!" Tobias heckled, perhaps trying to goad him into exposing his head more.
"Brazilians speak Portuguese?! I-I thought they spoke Spanish!" Ivan managed to splutter out, perhaps trying to lighten up his situation. Not that he was joking.
"Cale a boca!" Vargas bellowed out in response. "You do not judge me! I know your type, with your 'apples and pears', and your fuckin' 'berkeley hunts'! Fucking gibberish! Hopefully when you're in prison, they'll teach you proper English when you're not getting made to be someone's cadela! Hahahahagh!"
"The bloody 'ell's a 'cadela'?"
Before Vargas could answer that question in some fashion, however, he was rendered silent by means of his mouth, vocal chord, throat, tongue and everything else necessary for talking was suddenly reduced to a chunky red paste, along with the rest of his head. Courtesy of a loud shotgun blast from the other side of the entrance door, right next to Vargas and Ivan, the bits of flesh, skull, brains and an eyeball were soon covering the floor next to him, decorated with blood and shattered glass. Meanwhile, as the rest of Vargas' body fell over, he took the still-breathing Ivan with him to the floor, too exhausted and disoriented to release him from the now-cold grip of the Pound owner.
As Tobias slowly lowered his weapons and Ivan got up to his feet, grunting, the door, reduced to a wooden frame that swings back and forth with some bits of broken glass attached to it, was kicked open. In stepped Juri Karamazov the sharp-dressed wrestling champ, no worse for wear, and holding a giant semi-automatic Assault Shotgun, still smoking from that blast he made.
"Agh... Juri! W-what the fuck was that, man?!" Ivan asked.
"I shot the bad guy." He replied in a deep voice, his accent even stronger than any of the other Russians Tobias had interacted with lately.
"What?! Well... really, I thought we were the bad guys! No, you two, you're the bad guys, I'm the grey guy, the morally ambiguous guy!" Ivan began thoughtlessly rattling off. "W...w-why the fuck am I even saying this, Juri, you... auuuugggghhh, you got... blood and shit all over my fuckin' suit!" He lamented, his priorities skewed, as he began delicately trying to flick off a bit of skull on his shoulder.
"Woulda gotten blood an' shit on it either way, mate." Tobias pointed out.
"Oh, shut up! You two, you do not realised that now we're even more fucked than we were before! I didn't even think it was possible! Shit, as if Trevor and Jaroslavich wasn't enough, with Vargas' head decorating this office, and a whole squad of pigs on permanent vacation outside, we're gonna have the fuckin' Po-Po on our case, too! And I have a reckless meathead jock and an asshole psychopath to help me! And just to add insult to injury, I've been forced to leave my car behind, and my suit is ruined! Great, just... fuckin' grrrrrrrrrrrreat! Just when I though it couldn't get worse, it gets fuckin' worse, don't it?! What is up my fuckin' luck?! W-was I Stalin in a past life or some crazy shit like that?!"
"Don't take this personally, mate." Tobias finally interrupted him as he raised his stolen Stun Gun and sent a jolt of electricity into the panicking, ranting, mood-swinging wreck of a man in front of him. Sure enough, this made him start wriggling about on the floor, the only thing coming out of his mouth being "Hhnnnnnggggnnnrrrrgggrgrhhnnnth!" and similar noises.
"Let's go, Juri." Tobias requested of the big guy, as he heard the police sirens getting louder. Limping along with his borrowed weapons, he pushed the door out of his way as he walked out into the sun once again, now back on the other side of the boom barrier and out into the street, at long last. Looking back to see Juri behind him, with the incapacitated Ivan slung over his shoulder. As he limped across the street, he noticed a Police Transporter Van parked in front of his Feltzer. As he limped even closer, he noticed a dead police officer sticking out the back doors of the van, the remains of his head wedged in between the doors, a large chunk of it smeared around the edges.
"The fuck 'appened to this copper?" Tobias questioned Juri, who was now making his way back to his Zion in front of the Transporter.
"Politsiya think they restrain me. They learn hard way, they cannot restrain Juri Karamazov." He answered as he tossed Ivan in the back seat of his car.
Tobias imitated his actions somewhat, opening up his Feltzer's driver door and tossing his borrowed weapons into the passenger seat. As he prepared to get in, he shouted out to Juri "Oi, mate, when Ivan gets 'is brain back, remind 'im to look up a Ronald Jakowski. Ronald. Jakowski. Remember that."
Juri simply nodded in response as he got into his car and drove off down the road like a maniac, leaving smoke and tire tracks at his parking space, possibly in an attempt to divert the police's attention from Tobias as he went his about his task. Tobias followed suit, carefully sliding himself into his driver's seat and slamming the door shut, starting the car and doing a quick U-turn, before he began to fiddle about with his SatNav, setting himself a course for Sandy Shores.
Soon afterward, the bright red line made its appearance, and Tobias fiddled about with the on-board tech some more, setting up a wireless link to his phone so he could make a quick, convenient call to his boss.
"Vy dostigli Vitali Rascalov. Pozhaluysta, pozvonite mne, kogda ya ne zanyat uluchsheniya mirovoy ekonomiki." the recorded voice of Vitali spoke up on speaker phone as soon as the ten-second dialing time limit was up.
"Vitali, mate. It's Tobias. Trevor Phillips is in Sandy Shores. I'm on my way there now. I'll be back when he's dead, and I'll 'ave the emerald. Of this I assure yer."