Night On The Town: Part One

The name's Midou. Midou Ban. I do things for money. Me and my colleague Amano Ginji can be your best friends or your worst nightmares.

It depends what we're getting paid for, what got took, and what needs getting back.

But anyhow.

It was late that night when we hit the Honky-Tonk. Now I realise you guys may not know what the Honky-Tonk is, so I'll tell you. It's the best damn bar in Chicago. This isn't a pretty town, and it isn't a nice town, and with Prohibition riding our backs like a wild stallion that's just been branded, it's the worst of all; it's a sober town. The Honky-Tonk does something about this.

Now the guy who runs the Honky-Tonk's called Paul. He's been around a while. Some people say that he's a hardassed son of a bitch who made his money in drugs and porn. Me, I don't know about that, but I know he lets us run a tab, and that's all that bothers me. So that evening, when me and Ginji blew into the Honky-Tonk, we weren't expecting anything unusual.

Fat chance.

So there we were, sitting at the bar, with this cutie called Natsumi serving our drinks. She's Paul's main gun-moll, and carries a piece the size of which you would not believe if I were to pay you. I'd got my martini, and Ginji had got his lemonade --

-- look, he doesn't drink the hard stuff. Bad things happen when he drinks the hard stuff. Trust me on this one.

-- so anyhow, I'd just got my martini, and I was busy sticking the skewer into the bar, when trouble walks in.

Trouble in this case had heels that'd give a lift to a monk who'd been twenty years in a cloister, hips that swayed like greased lightning, breasts that'd make a politician turn honest, and blonde hair from here to here. Her name was Hevn. We knew her. She was the biggest dealmaker in town. You could usually find her doing the hootchie-cootchie at one of the nightclubs down the road, but she had a bad habit of turning up when you least wanted to see her.

Problem was, though, this dame always had money behind her. And money talks. And when money talks, we walk the walk.

"Oh, boys," she fluted, voice as melodic as a cat in heat. "I've got a job for you . . ."

Now, normally I'd trust her about as far as I could throw her on a day when I hadn't had any booze, but my partner's a trusting sort of guy. He was already giving her his seat and paying for her drink. So I figured I might as well ask about it.

"Talk," I grunted. "What's the deal?"

She took out a cigarette, and rolled it between her lips before letting Paul light it, sending a coil of smoke to go dancing with the angels. Her breasts brushed the bar top as she leaned forward to me. "Well, Ban," she said, white skin pale as snow in the bar lights, "I've got a friend who's got a friend who needs something got back. And he can pay for it."

"So who's the friend?" I asked, figuring I'd find out some more first.

She took a sip of her gin, pink tongue flickering out over those red lips for a moment. "My friend -- doesn't have a name. But he pays."

"He pays?" Ginji asked.

"He pays a lot," Hevn confirmed. She blew some more smoke. "There's this box. It's been taken from him. He wants it back. Other people want it too. He's prepared to pay a lot to make sure he's the one who gets it."

"And what's in the box?" I asked.

"The Lost Ark of the Covenant," Hevn answered. She sucked on her cigarette. "You get it back, Ban, you can write your own cheque."

I downed my martini. "Deal. The GetBackers are on the case!"