Grand Theft Auto 3: Familiar Territories
Chapter 4: The Package
Two months later…
Images and sounds flooded Claude's head. Two whole months he'd been waiting for a perfect moment to strike back and every single night since that day, he'd slept for little under two hours.
He was asleep now, drifting through a dream land of pain and fear. He could see himself being thrown off that cliff, he remembered that gut wrenching feeling that he'd let himself down. He remembered that fear he felt when he felt his lungs begin to collapse inside his chest. Then he imagined what 8-Ball was doing that night.
He saw him wandering around the apartment; a half drunken beer can probably attached to his hand.
"Where are you, Claude?" he imagined.
Then perhaps two or three cars would pull up outside. The headlights would shine through the window. 8-Ball would look out the window and see men coming towards the hideout. 8-Ball would probably grab that AK-47 that's on the rack above the door. He'd pull the door open and maybe, just maybe he'd get one or two of them. They'd fire back and he'd be dead. The men in the suits would dose the place in petrol and set it on fire, making sure they got the hell out of there before anyone came to the scene.
Claude began to sweat. Not that hot sweat, the cold sweat. The kind that's bad and slowly creeps over your body before you start to cry out. He threw his covers off and leapt out of bed, panting.
All he could hear was "Where are you, Claude?" Though not meaning to, it sounded as if it was all Claude's fault. He paced the empty apartment that overlooked the streets of Staunton Island and he began to think…
"Now it was time. My wounds are healed and I've had enough nightmares... It's not my fault. It's not my fault…It's not…" he said and fell asleep again.
Three hours later, Claude woke up. Three hours wasn't a sufficient time for any normal person, but for Claude it was bliss.
He got up and approached his cupboard. The only outfits he had were the ripped suit he wore that night or an old jacket and jeans. He sighed in disbelief and chose the street outfit.
Claude reached under his bed and grabbed the handle of a trunk. He let out a groan at the sheer weight of the thing as he heaved it out from underneath the bed and dropped it on the bed. The bed creaked and groaned, probably about to collapse.
Claude opened it and smiled at his collection. Forty-three different weapons were in this trunk, no wonder it was so damn heavy. He picked out two 9mm's out, checked the clips and put them in his jacket. As he did this, he heard a thud against his front door. He picked out a Desert Eagle and held it in front of him as he quietly stepped towards the door.
He snuck up along side it and peered through the peep-hole. There was nothing there but the filthy streets of Staunton Island. Still hiding out of the door's path, he reached over and turned the handle. He threw the door open and waited for something to happen. Nothing, not a thing. Maybe it was nothing. He peered around the door frame and spotted a parcel on his doorstep.
A little early for post wasn't it? The clock on Claude's wall said '12:10'
Claude scooped it up and closed the door, letting his gun fall to his side. He holstered it in his trouser pocket. The parcel wasn't very heavy but there was something sliding around in there whenever Claude moved. It was in one of those brown cardboard boxes that parcels usually come in. It had no stamps or an address. It simply said "Claude". He opened it.
Inside was an envelope, a blank envelope. He picked it out, revealing a phone underneath. He picked the phone out as well and tossed the box onto the couch. Claude opened the envelope and pulled out the folded piece of paper inside. On the paper was a number.
Claude stared blankly.
"What the…?" he thought.
He turned and looked out of his ragged curtains to see if anyone was out there. The street was deserted with the exception of one or two cars driving past. But then again why wouldn't it be at this time in the morning. He crumpled up the envelope and tossed it away. He looked at the phone and then at the paper. Claude started punching in the numbers.
The phone was answered immediately. Laughing was heard on the other end.
"You're pretty good kid. God knows how you survived that, but you did" the voice laughed.
"YOU!" Claude screamed at the voice.
"You showed some real talent getting yourself out of that, my boy, but you can't escape everything" Leone said.
"…What do you mean?"
"What I mean is that all good things must come to an end. I can't afford to have scum like you around"
"Deal with it" Claude said blatantly.
Leone started laughing again.
"Say Claude, in my hand there is a remote. It's a big black remote with buttons on it, you know-"
"Get to the point!"
"Very well. I wonder what happens when I push this button. I'll have to find out…Say, Claude, what time is it?"
Claude glanced up at his clock.
He stopped short. The clock on his wall now read '12:08' and it was decreasing.
Laughing started up again from the other end of the phone as Claude dropped it and sprinted for his bedroom window. He spotted a shotgun in the box and grabbed it as he ran.
Behind him the clock let out a long beep. Claude dived, arms first through his bedroom window. Not two seconds later, his entire apartment let out a huge rumble and exploded. Claude was given extra push from the explosion and was thrown forwards, landing on his arms twenty feet from the building.
The force of the explosion tossed unsuspecting cars a full fifty feet in the air and threw glass and debris all across the street. The same street was then clouded by masses of black smoke and flame.
Claude gasped and he crawled further away from the building, resting against his wall. Screams began to echo through the smoke and flame as people rushed to the scene.
Using the shotgun for leverage, he stood up. He hobbled towards a small wall and clambered over. Sirens were coming. With his record, he couldn't be seen at the scene of a bomb site. That would arouse suspicion.
Claude was in shock. He was covered in dirt and was bleeding for various points around his body and he was pretty sure he had a concussion. The street was waiting for him up ahead.
"Come on, Claude! Get the hell outta here!" he could hear himself say.
Despite all the beer he drank throughout his life, Claude had never succumbed to a state of drunkenness, but what he felt now was pretty damn close. His legs felt like they'd been beaten with a sledgehammer and his head was pounding something awful. He stumbled into the panicked street and his legs gave way for reasons he couldn't explain.
All around him were the shocked citizens of Liberty City, being forced back towards him by the growing police response at the scene. Claude forced himself to his feet and ran out onto the road, flailing his shotgun above his head. He began to run at a taxi, but legs had other plans. They made him fall again and he threw up on the road.
Up ahead, a car was coming. He forced himself up again and aimed the shotgun at the car. He fired at the windshield. He didn't care if the driver was a man or a woman, that's just how he was. The glass exploded in a shower all over the street as the bullets ripped through them. The driver's head's had the same fate as the glass as it was torn apart and blown all over the car.
The driver's body fell on the steering wheel and the car swerved towards a lamppost. It connected and the car stopped. Claude stumbled towards it and yanked the door open, letting blood spill out onto the road. He grabbed the arm of the dead driver and pulled them out of the car. Claude tossed the shotgun onto the passenger seat.
He himself then got in and threw the car into reverse, the tires screeching and screaming as he did so. He stopped for a minute…
"How am I supposed to drive if I can barely fucking stand?" he thought, but tossed the thought aside.
It didn't matter if he could hardly drive, he had to, he needed to, it was time to get some revenge.