Staunton Island Courthouse, Liberty City 1971
There was pandemonium outside the courthouse. A mob of people, held back by a number of riot police pushed and shoved in an attempt to get to the suspect, who was flanked by a number of policemen brandishing nightsticks. As he was guided through towards the doors of the courthouse, the mass took their turns to aim profanities and insults in his direction. One man actually broke through and went to take a swing, but just as quickly, two policemen collected the man in a bone-crushing crash tackle, pinning him to the floor.
Inside, the courthouse was packed to the brim. The people in this room were much more civilized, but there were still murmurs as he was escorted in. The man's hood was removed, and he was settled down next to his legal representatives.
"Order in the court!" shouted the judge, slamming his mallet and bringing the room to silence.
As Tommy Vercetti's hood was removed, he gazed quickly around the room. He immediately located the man he was looking for: Sonny Forelli.
The entire case was a no-doubter. There was a large number of witnesses ready to provide evidence that Tommy Vercetti had murdered at least one of the twelve dead men. It was all about the sentencing: whether he got life, or whether he got something less than that. And there was one other factor: whether Vercetti would turn in the Mafia he had worked for, or stay silent and have his loyalty rewarded.
Marco's Bistro, Liberty City 1986
Sonny Forelli idly leaned on his chair in Marco's Bistro, taking a swig of beer. He was grinning, trash-talking and winning: a large pile of poker chips sat in front of him. He upped the stakes once more.
But as Sonny drank, the door into the room knocked, and Sonny called the man in. It was one of his informants. The Forelli Don waved him over and the informant stood and whispered something into his ear. Sonny nodded a couple of times and then widened his eyes in shock. Shaking his head in disbelief, he dismissed the man and turned to his fellow henchmen.
"Tommy Vercetti…huh!" he exclaimed. "Shit! Didn't think they'd ever let him out…"
"He kept his head down, helped people forget," one of his henchmen replied with a shrug.
"People will remember soon enough. When they see him walking down the streets of their neighbourhoods. It will be bad for business."
"Well, what are we going to do, Sonny?" the henchmen asked, scratching his head as he tried to pick a hand to play.
Sonny mused thoughtfully. He hadn't expected the need to deal with his old hatchet man again, considering that he had originally gotten forty years. But he wasn't worried: he'd been looking for someone to take up on a plan he'd been thinking out for a while.
"We treat him like an old friend, and keep him busy out of town. OK?"
Knowing that his henchmen would agree with him, Sonny continued on.
"We've been talking about expanding south, right? Vice City is twenty-four carat gold these days. The Colombians, the Mexicans, hell, even the Cuban refugees are cutting themselves a piece of some nice action."
He was right. Vice City had become a gold mine in the drugs trade-there was no better destination for the illegal drugs to be offloaded into the country by the shipload, especially with a large number of easily-manipulated dock officials. And Sonny saw an entry into the city: only two years ago, the Mendez Brothers, two of Vice City's most powerful drug kingpins, had been killed in a bloody turf war. In the same turf war, the Sharks street gang had lost much of the influence they had in the same drugs business. That left plenty for the Forelli family to take.
"But it's all drugs, Sonny. None of the families will touch that shit!" protested the second henchman.
Sonny grinned before replying with a shake of his head.
"Times are changing. The families can't keep their backs turned while our enemies reap the rewards. So we send someone down to do the dirty work for us…and cut ourselves a nice quiet slice, OK?"
By now, the Forelli's boss mind was deep-set on the idea. He stood up and paced around the room.
"Who's our contact down there?" Sonny asked.
"Ken Rosenberg, schmuck of a lawyer…" snorted the henchman derisively. "But how's he going to hold Vercetti's leash?"
"We don't need to. We just set him loose in Vice City; we give him a little cash to get started, okay? Give it a few months, then we go down, pay him a little visit, right? See how he's doing."
In Sonny's mind, all that meant was heading down there and watching the cash roll in.
Liberty City Peniterary, Staunton Island, Liberty City
Tommy Vercetti woke up in a daze in his small cell in Liberty City Peniterary. He had barely even taken notice of his gloomy surroundings that he had been acquainted to for the last fifteen years when he remembered. Today's the day, he thought. Fifteen years of his life spent, serving time for someone else's gain. Now he was finally free-for now, only on parole. A few more years of toeing the line and he'd be able to settle in as perhaps just another common person. He dressed in his dull orange overalls, knowing today would be the last time he wore them, and waited for the warden to unlock the door.
Half an hour later, Tommy was waiting impatiently as his parole officer scribbled down the last details on his paperwork before signing off with a flourish
"All right, Mr. Vercetti, you're done. Remember, you've got a progress check in a month, so don't forget, or we'll have to drag you back here."
"Whatever." Tommy grumbled, pulling his newly-issued Hawaiian T-shirt over his head.
"Watch yourself in the real-world, Mr. Vercetti, don't go killing any more people!" shouted the officer cheekily as Tommy pushed through the exit doors.
"Yeah, as if I will." Tommy snarled back as he stormed outside, a free man for the first time in fifteen years.
It was early-morning on Staunton Island, Liberty City. So far so good for Tommy as he strolled down the street. No stares. No pointed fingers and whispering. Liberty City hadn't changed much after fifteen years: Tommy noticed the same police cars, the same taxis, a few different buildings here and there, and recognised several car models…a Moonbeam, a Pony, a Blista Compact among the familiar sights. Then Tommy's heart skipped a few beats as he watched a dark-brown Sentinel round the corner.
Tommy was quietly wishing that it would pass right by him, but it ended up slowing to a stop right next to him. Before Tommy could move a muscle, a dark-haired man holding a Colt .45 pistol emerged. There was a second man sitting in the driver's seat.
"You Vercetti?" the man asked.
"Yes." Tommy replied, glaring at the man.
"I'm Harry, and that guy there is Lee, we work for Sonny. You remember Sonny, right?" he asked.
"Yeah." Tommy replied distantly.
"Come on, get in." Lee offered.
Realising that he didn't have much of a choice, Tommy entered the vehicle and slumped into the backseat. He was furious with himself for moving right into the Mafia's clutches moments after his emancipation. All he wanted was to be in control of his own life, but that hope seemed bleak as the Sentinel drove off..
"So what's this all about?" he asked, wanting to get straight to the point.
"Well, Sonny wants you to do one last job, a drug deal down in Florida. He said that afterwards, he'd give you enough cash to set up somewhere. Are you up to it?" Harry asked.
Tommy's mind immediately moved towards rejecting the offer, but then he thought about it. One more job? He wanted to live a normal life, having wasted so many years in jail, nearly half his life so far. But he had no money. One more job couldn't possibly hurt.
"Where about in Florida? And why me anyway?" he asked.
"Vice City. Nice and warm, sunshine 24/7. I can't imagine you've had much of it over the last fifteen years. And Sonny says if we get this drug deal done, he'll let send down some more support and let you run the show."
Grinning, Harry turned from the passenger seat to face Tommy.
"So, you in?"
Tommy thought for a moment, while the two mobsters awaited his answer expectantly. Slowly, his head worked into a nodding motion.
"Well, now that's settled, we should probably head for the airport. Our flight's in a couple of hours, I think." Lee said, as he began accelerating the car.
"What, we're not going to meet Sonny?" Tommy asked.
"Nah, he already sorted out all the details. We've got the cash in the back; Sonny's booked us rooms in a hotel near our Vice City contact. The deal's sometime in the evening, we want to get it done with before any complications arise."
"Fine by me."
With that, the Admiral turned and drove off.
"I have received information of a drug deal between some out-of-towners that is to take place in the open area next to the Viceport Boatyard at sunset. One of my clients has wished for this deal to be eradicated. I want you to ambush both sides and seize any assets they leave behind. Good luck, Mr. Teal."