1. Meeting in Progress

Sonny Forelli took a drag on his Cuban cigar. Everything was finally working out the way he needed it to.

"So, you see? We'll set the cops on the fucking phony, next thing he'll know – the mayor's terriers are all over him waving the "You got busted for murder!" chitties. We won't waste our men. We just got out of that, huh, scrape with the Yardies. Maybe the next time we'll just try to ally with the Purple Nines, but I have a very certain feeling that this will be all for the bastards."

Another occupant of the room coughed somberly and dryly. He was a forty-year-old with asthma and a dislike for blood, which he received after a major turf war with the Colombian Cartel broke out in Shoreside Vale and he was the initiator and a performer of one too many drive-bys. On one fateful night, as he and a couple more gangsters were preparing for one more shooting session, the vehicle was blown up by the rivals with the others inside it. At that moment, he was smoking his last pack of cigarettes in a nearby alley, his hands sweating with horror at what might happen – and what did. It was a very fortunate coincidence that he has taken his sub-machine gun from the car, and at very last he has actually managed to fight his way out of the, as it turned out, Yakuza ambush.

As those thoughts continued going vaguely through the asthmatic's head, Sonny continued:

"...Yeah, and if he knows what's good for him, he will rig it, I guarantee you people."

Yet another inhabitant of the room interrupted the Mafiosi:
"Yes, but Sonny, we still have the problem with the Diablos."

"Damn it, I know. Will you stop pissing me off? At least, I am trying to decide what to do," replied Sonny. "Quite unlike you."

The asthmatic suddenly bolted upright.

"Er, er, boss, Tommy Vercetti is out of prison early, um, for fine conduct! I accidentally forgot to inform you about it, boss!"

For a moment the Mafiosi's face was a mask of rage. However, that lasted only a moment, before his expression became completely cold and featureless again.

"Are you quite serious?"
"Yes, boss."

Sonny took another drag. The day was turning out to be worse than he has imagined.

"Tommy Vercetti... Huh! Shit," said the gangster. "Didn't think they'd ever let him out."

"He kept his head down, helps people forget," explained the asthmatic.

Sonny shook his head, and slammed his fist on the table.

"People will remember soon enough, when they see him walking down the streets of their neighborhoods," he said. "It will be bad for business."

The asthmatic has just noticed the corpse on the hook in the freezing-room and felt like being sick. Very much like being sick, in fact.

"Well, what are we gonna do, Sonny?" asked the interrupter.

"We treat him like an old friend and keep him busy out of town. OK?" Sonny started to clear the matters up. "We been talking about expanding down South, right? Vice City is twenty-four carat gold these days. The Colombians, the Mexicans, hell, even those Cuban refugees are cutting themselves a piece of some nice action."

"But it's all drugs, Sonny," raised his voice the asthmatic. "None of the families will touch that shit!"

"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?"

"Yes, yes, but..."

Sonny waved him into silence.

"Who's our contact down there?"
"Ken Rosenberg, schmuck of a lawyer," the asthmatic mumbled miserably. "How's he gonna hold Vercetti's leash?"

"We don't need him to. We just set him loose in Vice City; we give him a little cash to get started. OK?" explained the Mafiosi. "Give it a few months. Then we go down, pay him a little visit, right? See how he's doing. All perfectly logical, people. All perfectly logical."

"Can we go already, boss?"

"Yes, all right. Go."

The three gangsters walked out of the back room of the Saint Mark's Bistro into its kitchen. They continued their way up the stairs and into the café area itself, and out the door.