Colonel Cortez's Yacht, The Following Evening

"I am ashamed to admit that one of the causes of our mutual problem appears to have been the loose tongue of a man I used to trust," said Cortez. "Are you sure you want no lobster?"

Tommy winced at the thought of eating one of those bug-eyed mucous-piles. "No. Thanks."

"Your loss, my friend," Cortez accepted as he tore off a claw. "As I was saying, I have been carrying Gonzales for years, but now his incompetence has reached new heights. Of course, he has been dealt with."

"Fired?" Tommy prompted, knowing the answer.

"Yes," replied Cortez. "With a chainsaw."

Tommy chuckled as he accepted a salmon dish in lieu of his refused lobster.

"Although, I must appear to mourn his passing and conduct business as usual," Cortez continued.

"This isn't getting me any closer to my money," said Tommy with his usual level of patience. Cortez put down his silverware and adopted a deep frown.

"Tommy you must understand," he implored. "You are not in Liberty anymore. Here we do things differently. I will continue with my enquiries, I assure you." He picked his cutlery back up and began cracking the shell. "Now, please, I insist. Have at least a bite of lobster. "

Tommy reluctantly obliged. "On second thought," he said as he swallowed, "I'll take the lobster." The chef grunted in annoyance as he returned to the kitchen.

Ken Rosenberg's Office, After Dinner

"Tommy!" called out Rosenberg as the man in question opened the door. "Any progress? No, wait. Tell me later. I have someone to introduce you to. I believe you met at the party?" He gestured toward the cowboy who had laughed at BJ Smith on the yacht.

"Not in person," said Tommy. "Pleased to meet you."

"Likewise," growled the cowboy. "Name's Avery Carrington. I understand you boys are having money problems?"

Tommy shrugged. "You could say that."

"Avery has a proposition," said Rosenberg.

"Really…." mumbled Tommy. "Don't we have more important things on our mind?"

Ken threw up his hands in frustration. "Oh, that old crap! Look, you said you were on it, and by that I mean Juan Cortez was on it, so we've got things covered! Meanwhile, I'm stretched like a wire and I'd like to think that if I'm dead within the week, at least I didn't die poor. It doesn't-"

"Now just calm down, both of you!" barked Avery. "You help me, and I promise you any greaseballs giving you a hard time will be taking a loooong dirt nap."

"Fair enough," agreed Tommy. "But what do you want?"

Spand Express Depot, The Following Morning

Outrage was today's theme, it seemed, at the SpandEx depot. A strike for some damn violation of human rights or another had inconveniently put a halt to Tommy's little arsonistic plans. Avery Carrington, it turned out, was looking at some prime real estate. The only problem with this land happened to be the pesky owners of this small package delivery business. The plan was simple: Sneak onto the premises disguised as a worker, and blow the fuck out of every single truck. It was bulletproof except for the unprecedented strike. However, there were times for giving up, and that happened to fall under "never" when Tommy Vercetti was involved. He pushed his way through the crowd, picked a particularly sizeable rock from the gravelly road, and chucked it through the fence, right into the face of an unsuspecting security guard.

The effect was instantaneous. Rocks pelted the guards as every other striking employee took Tommy's lead. Eventually, as predicted, the gates flew open and the guards threw themselves into the rioting crowd brandishing nightsticks. One guard chose Tommy as his victim; a big mistake. Tommy deftly dodged the stick and grabbed the wrist, snapping it just as he had Leo's. The guard howled in pain, dropping his nightstick and grabbing a pistol out of his holster with his remaining hand. Tommy was ready; he snatched up the nightstick and gave the gun-hand a good *thwack* and oddly literally disarming the guard. Tommy then bent over and relieved the man of his firearm, discharging a round each into his legs.

The rioting continued unchecked. True to its nature, the Vice City news team arrived on the scene long before any police. The reporters gazed in awe at the bloodshed, and were quite annoyed indeed when the sound of police sirens cut short their award-winning speeches. The cops grinned as they poured out of the squad cars, drawing their weapons and dashing for the rioting crowd…


Tommy was a firm believer and practitioner in enjoying one's work. As such, he naturally whistled a tune as he strode across the parking lot, dragging heavy fuel barrels into place. Luckily for him, all the SpandEx delivery trucks were clustered into three main areas. After setting the last barrel into place, he picked up a small container of gasoline and began to create a small trail from one barreled truck cluster to another. The process complete and repeated, and a triangle formed, Tommy created one final trail, just long enough to afford him an adequate escape route. Holding his breath, he lit up a match and dropped it. He then turned heel and ran, sprinting to the gate. He had just reached it when-


Explosions rippled the air behind Tommy, and the crowd scattered, police, rioters and all, the cameras taking special care not to miss a second of the action. Tommy nearly knocked over the camera in his hurry to evacuate the area. "Sorry," he said to the cameraman on live television, and he was off.

Avery Carrington's Stretch Limo

"Mighty fine job you did there," growled Avery as he sipped his scotch on the rocks. "Mighty fine indeed. And such sad news about Spand Express. Why, They'll go bankrupt. As a philanthropist such as myself, I would feel it my duty to buy the land off the owners so they can put food on their tables."

"Sounds good to me," said Tommy. "And will you keep your end of the deal?"

Avery chuckled. "Straight to business with you. I like that. Well, you have my personal assurance that as long as I draw breath, you will."

"At least as far as the mob are concerned."

"Son, you do me another favor soon and I'll not only give you protection from every little nasty bastard in the city, I'll make you my business partner."

"Looking forward to that. You got any of that scotch for me?"
"Oh goodness, where are my manners?" Avery said as he went to mix Tommy another.

Tommy sat back in his seat. "I've got to say, I'm not sure the real estate business is for me."

"It is when you play by my rules," retorted Avery. "That's just a taste of what's to come. I've employed many fine cats to do what needs to be done with this market. Take that construction zone across the street for example. A couple months back, that was going to be an office building. Unfortunately, it conflicted with my business interests, namely that land, so I enlisted the help of a man who went by the name of Zero. He halted that construction so fast I swear I didn't have time to blink. Know how he did it?"

Tommy shrugged. "Magic?"

"Miniature models. Tiny little miniature helicopters that carried bombs into the office building. It was like something out of a cartoon- I'll never get over it! And now, in place of an office building, we're building another office building! But, y'know, it'll be mine.

On that note, Leo's phone rang. Tommy pushed the end button; he didn't feel much like informing yet another caller of his tragic demise at the time. But within a few seconds the phone rang again. Reluctantly, he answered "Hello?"

"Tommy!" The voice was all too familiar. Sonny Forelli had somehow discovered the number to Tommy's new phone.

Marco's Bistro, Liberty City

Sonny sat back in his seat, eagerly anticipating the bout of threatening he was about to unleash. Threatening was his favorite pastime.

"How's the tan?" he said in mock joviality.

"I don't have a tan," came the exasperated reply of a man awaiting the line he was setting up.

"Well, I don't have my money either, so I've got to thinking," said Sonny in a low hiss, "What are you doing there, Tommy?"

"I'm getting you the money, Sonny."

"I know you are." Sonny took a sip of wine. "I just couldn't help but worry. You see, I have this problem in my life with unreliable people. My management of the Forelli organization is superb, you ever notice that? Now as you know, I head the most powerful family in all of New Liberty. We have the place by the balls. And yet, I have a whole mountain of enemies threatening my peace of mind and hairline. I got Leones, Sindaccos, Vincenzos, Spaghettios, Fuckwits, hell. Even the Ancelottis over in Old Liberty want a piece of me. Do you know why?"

He waited for a reply. After nearly a minute, Tommy seemed to have broken down and played along with Sonny's game. "Why, Sonny?"

"Unreliable people, Tommy. I have a problem with unreliable people. If everyone I staffed were reliable, we'd control the entire city. But yet, only half. Half, Tommy. Because of unreliable people. Don't be an unreliable person, Tommy. Unreliable people don't tend to live long enough to clean up their own messes, if you get my meaning."

The line went silent for a long while, until: "Is that it?"

"My money," said Sonny. "I'll have it soon, correct?"

"…as soon as humanly possible."

"Well, problem solved!" Sonny lit up with positive sarcasm. "I do enjoy our conversations, Tommy. I'll keep in touch. Oh, and next time you kill my old business associates, don't be so arrogant to think I won't remember their numbers."

Avery's Limo

The line clicked dead, and Tommy suppressed the urge to throw the phone as he had at the hotel. Instead he excused himself and opened the door.

"Good to have your company," growled Avery. "And you don't need to worry about that greasy sonofabitch as long as you stay in my good books. See you 'round, Vercetti."