The clue had sent me to a nicer change of scenery, one of the finest hotels in Central City and the finest mob owned. The two other mafia members decided to keep things to their yachts while moving in contraband brought in from the harbor. I made sure to change clothes before walking in there, my outfit catching attention as I walked to one of the booths in the hotel bar. This was definitely a better bar than the last one I went to. For one, everything was crafted with a nice elegant cloth over soft cushions that were easy on the back and supported by exquisite wood work.
Then there were the choices which were five hundred more than the gang member's bar. I ordered a whiskey without the rocks, the outside was cold enough. If stares could bore through you then I'd be more holy than the Pope. With the eyes of Sal's cronies glaring down at me, I drank my whiskey, enjoying the way it went down my throat until a hand tapped on the table. I looked up to see Sal the man himself glaring at me with his vulture like eyes. There was no crime in what I was doing so I had no problem with him being there. My biggest problem was the shady individual sitting at a table with a briefcase right next to his right leg.
"You've got interesting company, is he supposed to be an arms dealer," I asked as I pointed at the man. He was very pale with slightly smoothed back black hair and dressed in a black vest with striped black pants and a white dress shirt.
"He's just a customer, but my biggest problem is you," said Sal as he snapped one of his fingers and one his cronies grabbed me by the arm. You'd think someone with a lot of money and a lot of human resources would be smart enough to know that I could claim self-defense if I ever had to explain why I beat up his entire crew.
I pulled the goons hands forward bringing him right into a punch that knocked him back and with a carefully placed foot, pushed the table up on the ones who tried to grab for me over the table. Most people gasped in surprise as the fight broke out, but others were rushing to join in, some, surprisingly enough, were on my side. That all good except Sal would probably be bringing out guns soon from the van and I was hoping that I could bring him in on those charges but instead he started running off to one his panic rooms.
I moved my way through the brawl and left the rest of the trash to the capable hands of the citizens of Central City. A shot rang out over the crowd and I turned around to see that one of the goons had been packing a pistol with him. Picking up one of the circular trays off a room service cart, I threw acquired discus. After years of throwing sewer lids I became accustomed to Frisbee throwing. After seeing the gun fly out of the thugs hand I ran off towards the direction that Sal ran into. That was my mistake of the night, rushing into the lion's den without watching where I was going. It was no wonder that I was knocked out by someone lurking in the corner.
By the time I had woken up I was being tied to the chair right next to a large grey van that was slightly scratched and sprayed with graphitti. The van was probably overlooked because it looked like it didn't run anymore and was just left there while Sal claimed that no one would pick it up. I looked up to stare at the big looking thug in a white tank top to show off his muscles obviously an indication that the bat in his hand was for a purpose and I wasn't going to like that purpose, not one bit.
"So you're the Spirit," said the greasy tank as he started to swing the bat in his hand like a kid at baseball practice. His hair was greased back and was styled into one of the poofy 50's styles. "I envy that name. The name's Frank Viola. I'll be the one beating you up."
"Viola, does that mean you play instruments," I asked and in return my face is introduced to a wooden bat, but I couldn't blame him. The joke wasn't that funny. The first strike is on the side of my face, nearly cracking my teeth and breaking my jaw. The second is on the back of the head, a typical mistake because I didn't feel the next one. I feel the one on my shoulder and the one on my stomach.
"You're as tough as I expected you to be," said Frank as he stopped to wipe the sweat off his brow and then tossed the cloth down to the floor. "I'll be back to finish you off after I get a beer. Stay here."
As bruised and beaten as I was, it was still a mistake to leave me alone like that. It was difficult but after shifting a bit in my ropes I started to slip into a good position to get at the knot. While whoever tied had definitely known what they were doing, it was still no Gorgon's Knot. Plus with the chair being an old one, the right amount of pressure caused the back to give away easily as I pushed forward and out of my bindings. Slowly I climbed to my feet and walked over to the van to take a look. After peering inside I could see that I had found what I was looking for.
The sound of movement to my left told me that Frank was coming back from his beer, probably ran into Sal who chewed him out for not looking after me. Out of the shadows of the area between the first garage light and the doorway light appeared one of the other goons coming to check on how I was doing or finish me off. I never found out which one since I knocked him out to make sure he didn't run off to tell the others. The crowbar that I had found next to the van had been one of my lucky breaks. I slowly snuck past one of the guards who was peering into the maid's dressing room and then decided to perform a civic duty and hit him on the back of the neck with the crowbar.
The first thing I noticed as I entered Sal's panic room was that it had its own bar, something that seemed as redundant as hell, but then again, if you got it, flaunt it. Frank was sitting at the bar, just as promised, with a few of his friends all finely dressed and a bar tender who was dressed like a butler. The things you could buy with a few thousand dollars. From the way Frank pushed himself from the table I could see that he was definitely not pleased with me being loose or that I was holding the weapon this time around.
"Christ, how did you get out," stammered Frank as he started to pick up the bat that he left on the counter, obviously so that if I was found he could dispose of it easily before the police found it for evidence.
"I got tired of waiting so I thought we could just finish it here," I said before lunging at the group of goons, my crowbar going out first to knock a few on the head real hard.
"You just made a big mistake," said one of those thugs who was lucky enough not to be caught in the attack.
He reached into his coat but I kicked him onto the counter of the bar and gave him a good punch in the throat to take away his breath. That gave me enough time to counter the big behemoth who tried to ram me from the side, but I used the back area of the bottom of my heel to guide him off course into the wall. When the other thug finally got his breathe and was about to pull out a gun, but I had expected that and before he could pull it out, I delivered an uppercut that was followed by a hook. The man dropped like a sack of stones. That left only Frank to deal with.
"Biggest pain in my ass this whole day," cursed the thug as he charged at me with his bat and took a powerful swing that actually dented my crowbar when I blocked with it.
"Now I'm a pain in your stomach," I barked as I brought a foot up to his abdomen and kicked him back.
I didn't give him time to recover as I started to pound him into oblivion, starting with a fist to his jaw, another to his nose, then I knocked him on his right so hard that he spun around down the bar counter. He looked dazed and bruised, but he was still up and he'd probably shake it off if I gave him time to recover so I gave him a kick to his stomach so strong that he was knocked off his feet. Finally Frank was knocked out and his nose was bleeding pretty badly.
"I'm sure the police can have that nose fixed," I said as I walked onto the main building where Sal himself was sitting. "Now it's your turn Sal."
As I opened the door I first caught the smell of blood mixing with the lingering smell of released bowels, the common smell of murder. Then I saw Sal sitting in his chair with his throat cut and bits of shaving cream on his face. Someone was posing as a barber and then cut his throat, either someone hired by a rival family or a violent vigilante who had a harsh since of justice. I looked out of the open window to see a figure walking past a corner. It was a brief glimpse but I could see that it was the same shady character that I had seen down at the bar. The irony of it all was that Sal had called him unimportant. You were wrong Salvatorre, he was more important than me. At least one positive thing came out of your mistake; the gangs won't be getting any of your guns anymore.