Book One • Summer

The room stank of mosquito repellent and dust, the beginning of summer's heat beating through the windows of the building. It was a messy space, littered with the clutter of busy people - yet nobody had came here for real work in years. Nothing legal, anyway. The old music playing on a nearby portable radio reflected this idea, the concept of a time both easily remembered and far away. A time when this neighborhood wasn't a quickly gentrifying sewer. A time when this place was more than a laundry used for dirty bills.

The slow tick of a running printing press could be heard behind a wall, the voices operating it speaking Spanish and chattering with Cuban slang. There was an immediate contrast between the workers and the two men in the office, white guys wearing summer clothes and sunglasses, grim faced. They weren't from here. They hadn't said anything for what seemed like hours, the two of them staring at the ground in silence as the air become tighter around them.

"I'm sorry," one said. His voice was guttural yet nervous, simultaneously worried and threatening, with a light accent that could be placed somewhere in Eastern Europe. He motioned his head up, his tired face, his sandy hair, his pockmarks and sunken eyes that flickered. His uncertain gaze that regularly focused on other parts of the room. "I… I understand this is touchy subject. I do. But it is necessary precaution."

"Bullshit." The other sneered. He, on the other hand, was younger. Late twenties or early thirties, slim faced, with a shaved head and unruly facial hair. His voice was unaccented, American, somewhat nasally and well pronounced, much different than the man seated in front of him. He sat there, wearing a Mambas cap, a pair of gold Rimmers sunglasses, and an exasperated, gnarled expression. "You know..." he grunted. "You know I, just... I don't want to. I don't want to. There has to be, like, someone else. Anyone else."

"No." The other replied quickly. "Extinguish the flame before the fire spreads. You are just going to relay communications, A. I get you have a history, but that's exactly what we need. You have leverage. You have people. We both know that. I would go myself, but you know our situation here is not exactly flexible, especially with those degenerates from Tampa o-"

"Okay," A said, begrudged. He stood up and turned away, defeated, walking towards the door before coming to a sudden stop.

"Just... I'll call you, Mak. We can talk about this... later, alright?"
"Okay, alright. Just, please... do not disappoint me."


Rimmers - Ray Bans
Vice City Mambas - Miami Dolphins