GRAND THEFT AUTO: STREET LIFE

I bet you would have no idea who I was, but back in Liberty, I was king, I ruled the streets, I could take down a man in front of a cop without him even noticing. I could mug somebody while strolling casually past and they wouldn't even realize it. But once I hit the streets of Vice, it all changed...

CHAPTER 1: HEADING HOME

Vice City, 1994, Apartment 3M, Beachview Apartments...

I took to my usual position that day, lying back on my bed, Tommy Vercetti being the only person who ever called me these days, my life was boring as fucking hell. But there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn't complain about my life at the time though, I was pretty much a made man, Vercetti had given me hundreds of thousands of dollars for working for him, but it was all dirty money. Total bullshit.

Glancing across at my bedside table I opened the top drawer and pulled out a sleek, black, Desert Eagle .50AE Automatic Pistol. I knew my fair share about guns, which is good if you're a gangster like me.

The phone rang, I walked over and picked up, and expecting Tommy's voice on the other end of the line, but it wasn't him, which was kind of interesting from my point of view, like I said, he was the only one who really ever called me. Somehow I knew the voice; he was somebody I knew from back in Liberty City, an old friend, Carl Johnson.

"Hey homie, how you been hangin', man? I reckon it's time we meet up again, like old times, huh?" Came his regular black voice.

"CJ? CJ, is that you?" I asked through the hard-line.

"Yeah, of course it's me!"

"How you been, Carl?" I replied ecstatically, we hadn't seen or heard from each other in about three years.

"Look, I'm doin' fine, but I'm gonna cut right to the chase, here, okay?"

"Go ahead" CJ took the conversation from there, telling me about how he'd wanted meto come back to San Andreas, to his new place in Las Venturas, I remembered living in the state of SA, I was born and raised in San Fierro, until I got thrown out by my parents.

"So you gonna come, or what?"

"I'll get my stuff together" I murmured back into the line, he hung up on the other end, I placed the receiver back, grabbed my pistol and coat, threw the keys to the apartment in my pocket after locking the place up and headed across the city, I knew this would not be much to Tommy's liking, me picking up and leaving like this, but he didn't need to know, and as far I was concerned, I was happy that he didn't.

I took a taxi down there, when I got out at the front of the terminal I casually walked inside, the driver shouted at me from his car. I never paid the poor bastard; the airport was practically deserted aside from the people who gave passengers their tickets. The driver opened his door and trudged over to me, shouting his head off at me. He got too close and a bullet made its way into his gut. My pistol. My hand. His death.

I walked in casually, as if nothing had happened, the pistol now sheathed beneath my shirt and belt.

"Can I book a flight to Las Venturas, San Andreas please?" I asked, putting on a suave and charming voice to the ticket-lady.

"Of course, the next flight is in 45 minutes, at 11AM sir" she told me.

"Uhh, thanks, I'll just sit here for a while" I mumbled, taking a seat while I waited, it seemed like forever. It was as boring as it was at home. Not that that was unusual, boredom seemed to follow me all over the place.

Around 5 minutes before my flight I turned and headed up the escalator to board the plane, when a patrol car drove past and noticed the capped taxi driver, I felt my stomach churn. The two officers bolted out of their doors and over to the body, running into the terminal, aside from the ticket-servers, I was the only person there.

"Nobody move!" the cop's voice echoed throughout the huge terminal. He buzzed some other cops in from his radio; soon they noticed me up the top, trying to get to the plane as fast as I could, they rushed up the escalator, "Freeze!" I turned around to face them.

"Is there a problem, officers?"

"Hands up!" one shouted. I casually went to put my hands up but grabbed the gun from the back of my belt, I popped two in the chest of the first officer then a third in the other, almost tripping over a pot plant I ran off down the hall and onto the plane, which was just about to take off. I had perfect timing, I was free. Farewell Vice City.

The flight was long and uneventful, as most usually are. The plane touched down in Las Venturas International, I was back in SA, all I had to do from there was find Carl. It was at that moment I realized I didn't bring much money with me, with the change left in my wallet I'd be lucky to get a cab to drive me two meters. Let alone to where-ever Carl was. Strolling around the airport for a while, I realized it was getting me nowhere; I ended up finding another cabbie parked around the back of the carpark with the driver standing on the other side of it taking a smoke break. He was leant right up against the car, if I tried to steal it, he'd notice and probably call the cops, I already left one airport dealing with them, and I didn't want them being my welcoming committee.

I strolled casually up to the driver. He grunted at me, "What do you want, kid?" I glanced back at him, trying to act like I was slightly shocked.

"I'm not allowed to hang around a carpark with a cab-driver?"

"Well not with me you ain't, now I'm on my break, so beat it" grabbing my pistol from my belt, "Give me your keys, your car, and get your ass the fuck away from here, prick!" I threatened, he pulled a Mac11 from inside his vest, "Oh come on" the cab-driver taunted back.

"What's a more powerful weapon, one for show, or-" I cracked my gun across his skull "One that actually does damage?" to my haste, I shoved his body in the trunk, took the keys from his pocket and sped off.

While I continued to drive, I punched in the number that CJ had called me from before I left on my cell phone.

"Yo, this is CJ"

"Hey CJ, I just landed"

"So you get in from the airport, okay then?" I muttered a 'yes' in reply.

"Well where are you now, huh? You sound like you're on the freeway or somethin'!"

"Yeah, well... I am, I stole a cab, the driver's in the trunk, I bashed his skull in pretty bad"

"Haha!" he laughed back into the phone "You still got it, man! Hey look, I'm gonna give you the directions to the place where we can meet up, aight?"

"Cool" he continued to give me directions for a few minutes before the conversation ended, seems the place I was looking for was on the LV Strip. Some kind of casino, name had something to do with four Dragons, sounded like a strange place to meet a guy like CJ, but he told me to meet him there.

My taxi had taken a bit of a beating by the time I had arrived, but that was soon well taken care of, CJ was already standing outside the casino in a black pimp suit waiting for me outside a nice looking gold Infernus.

"Wassup, homie!" CJ put the traditional friendly hug on me "Welcome back to SA, James!"

"Yeah, good to be back, wow, I can hardly remember the last time I was in Venturas" I gazed around at the massive casinos and the fancy sports cars driving past, tourists all over the place and people walking around in expensive looking clothes.

CJ made his way into the passenger side of the Infernus, "Hop in, let's see if you still the driver you were in Liberty"

"Aren't you a little worried I'll bash this thing? I mean, look what I did to the taxi"

"Ahh who cares, we're headed out to the desert, you know where to go, homie?" he implied.

"I think I can manage" I clambered in and I took the driving from there.

Around 20 minutes later, we were cruising the dusty areas around Las Venturas, "So where are we headed, anyway, Carl?"

"Where do you think? We goin' to Grove Street, man... my old place, gonna see ol' Sweet"