On the long list of things that Johnny does not discuss is what he would do if anyone touched Susan or his sister the way Sonny did Carly. It's with that in mind that he chooses the people who will work for Jason in this new organization. They are not good men, but they are men without a history of hurting the weak. A few have a history of attacking would be predators in prison, a fact that makes them all the more valuable to him. It's been a bloody few weeks, and there will be a bloody day or two ahead. But the war is essentially over. Phone calls to members of the commission reach new voices, mostly ones he recognizes from sitting outside meetings waiting for the bosses to finish. Jason's plan has things in an uproar of epic proportions, but at least it appears to be working. There won't be a lot of old men left at this rate, and he's already envisioning a shortage of fresh manpower in the months to come.
But a clean sweep means no more old skeletons left to rise up and strike back at them. That thought carries Johnny all the way to the door of the meeting. It's not until he's standing behind Jason that it really hits him what they've done over the last few weeks. The room is full of young men, all dressed much more casually than the suits he's used to seeing. Jason's jacket and lack of necktie fit right in.
"Sonny's dead. So is Moreno. Their territories are mine." Jason looks around the room, "I see some other changes have happened. I assume we're all happy to handle our own business?"
"Absolutely." There's a chorus of voices echoing that first sound of agreement. Johnny can't help but be amused; new bosses always need time to cement what they have, so no one is going to be tempting fate by being greedy.
One of the few older men in the room shifts nervously, clearly upset at being surrounded by so many unfamiliar faces. He's a rep from a small family on the periphery of things, and clearly knows he's been sent instead of the actual boss just in case this was yet another hit. "What assurances are there that we can go back to business as normal?"
Jason stares at him coldly, "What does that mean?"
The man looks at Jason for a long moment, then Luke interjects "If you're wondering about him signing off on your death warrant just say so. I don't think you're on the list, but I can certainly add your name."
"I know who you are Luke Spencer. Don't try to scare me." The man looks at the ceiling, clearly frustrated "We are all over the press. Undertakers are so busy they're turning away business. I want that to stop. At this rate they'll be piling up bodies in the streets instead of cemeteries."
Jason looks at Johnny and Luke, then back at the man. "My house is clean. I suggest you make sure yours is too and then things should settle down."
It's not the answer the man wants, but it's one he has to accept. Technically the commission exists for just this purpose. Sonny was a mess, and Moreno's attacks on him were acceptable because he was doing business in all the wrong ways. But Moreno was a moron with no concept of acceptable losses. Jason stepping in to take over after Sonny and Moreno self-destructed all over each other makes perfect sense. The fact that he's not the only former enforcer at the table is a clue that the wisest men in the room will take to heart. The same men they send out to destroy others can destroy them.
Johnny tunes out the rest of the very short conversation. Other than assurances of loyalty, no one really has anything important to say. It's almost anticlimactic after all the preparations they made. The men Jason has helped move up are all business. There are no ego driven pronouncements, no ass kissing, just a calm acceptance of this new regime. They have seen the mistakes of their ex bosses and no one is in a hurry to repeat them.
Jason demands that Johnny has relayed are so simple, and remarkably similar to those of the other new bosses. They all want to do business without getting embroiled in petty squabbles that end in bloodshed. And the idea that the law is their only common enemy is appealing. For now the territory lines are all clearly drawn. And if there is a need to expand…well…there are any number of targets that aren't in Port Charles.
Amazingly, they actually leave without having to kill anyone. Luke looks almost disappointed, but Johnny just checks the meeting off his mental to-do list. As the car glides back into traffic, Johnny says "Did you talk to Carly about Susan?"
"A little bit." Jason looks uncomfortable, "Carly swears she doesn't need it. That everyone is too scared of me to mess with her. But she's still having nightmares so she agreed to at least meet her."
"That's a start." Johnny poured himself a drink, "All the new guys have been checked out. I did like you wanted, and imported new talent from places that aren't Sonny's old neighborhood. Some are from mine though; a few are from out West. And I think I have a line on Faison's boat. Did you find any pirates yet Luke? "
"I've got some lines out." Luke looks hard at Johnny, "Where do you think he is?"
"In a few days he'll be here in Port Charles." Johnny looks sidelong at Jason, "It's possible I found a few of Faison's boys mixed in with our new applicants. I sent them back."
"Back where? Faison is a demon from Hell." Luke snapped.
"That's where I sent them." Johnny grinned, "I'm sure by the third or fourth one he figured out that I wasn't playing."
Luke covered his face with his hands, "One born psychopath in my life is enough. Really it is; why do I know so many more than I need?"
Jason looked at him and laughed, "Who else would put up with you? Besides, you know you want to get your hands on Faison. Johnny just gave you a present."
Luke rolled his eyes, "Thank you Johnny. Now, what are we going to do when they show up?"
"Your pirates are going to be between his boat and the harbor. We don't want the Coast Guard to interfere after all. Jason gets Lucky, my guys take care of their route out, you and I kill Faison, his minions, and anyone else we see who isn't us. Scuttle the boat, go home, and wait for Helena." Johnny took a sip of his drink, "When she shows up we put a bullet in her brain too."
"Might need to find where she stores it first." Luke said with a laugh, "I keep telling you she's not human."
"Well we'll find out. They can't be found in Port Charles though; Carly will have my head if I mess up her latest plan." Jason rubbed the bridge of his nose, "I have to stand in front of cameras and give people money a lot in the next few weeks."
"Wait, Carly has a plan that you're going along with that involves giving money to people that aren't her?" Luke leaned forward, "Did Hell freeze over and you fucks forget to tell me about it?"
"It's a good plan." Johnny grimaced as he said it, "I know I can't believe I'm saying that either. But she noticed that Jason scares people. They knew Sonny was a criminal, but all the charity shit made them feel better about it. She figures Jason could use the same treatment."
Luke blinked several times, "Caroline had a good idea. That helps Jason. And other people…I…this…I think I'm having a stroke."
"If you don't Bennie will." Jason grinned, "Carly gave him a list of places she wants us to give money too, and he almost passed out."
"For a guy who just turned my spendthrift niece loose with a mission and a bank account you're remarkably calm." Luke looked at Johnny knowingly, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
Johnny laughed, "He's been downright placid all day. Real laid back yesterday too. Wonder why?"
Jason's face reddened, "My family's home, business is good, and there's no way Carly's plan can get her in trouble. Can't I just be happy?"
"Sure. If that's what we're calling it now." Luke pulled out three cigars, "We should celebrate this momentous occasion. And then batten down the hatches because clearly all Hell is going to break loose."