69th St. Diner. Liberty City. March 9th, 2008.
"Open the fucking register!"
A man with a Serbian accent pointed a gun at some waitress. Just some sleazy bimbo I've known since elementary, but I don't have an issue saving her life, not to mention, my paycheck. I watched as Maya slowly opened the register, when I kicked the man to the ground and pulled a gun out of my apron.
"Don't you fucking dare."
I had obviously stunned the guy. Not many sixteen-year-old waitresses pack a pistol. Maybe it's the 5'2 stature, maybe it's the voice, maybe it's the fact that I'm stil supposed to be in high school, but people just wouldn't expect me to be one of them.
But this city has a way of changing people. You get swept up in the money, in the mafia, in the drugs, in the glamorization of an early death. You do what you can to survive, and you're never gonna be successful on the right side of the law.
Tayler Kibbutz. Wanted for grand theft auto, armed robbery and probably a couple more things.
Daughter of Brucie Kibbutz. Over enthusiastic, steroid infused, self-prolaimed genetically different Brucie Kibbutz. He doesn't even know I was born, but I guess he never really had a way to. But I knew him. I actually knew him well.
I failed to realize who I was pinning down, but hey. Whatever.
"Hand over the gun."
"Get off me, you crazy bitch!"
"I said hand over the fucking gun, unless you want me to do some real damage. Nobody needs to get hurt here." I took my knee off his head and lifted his face so he was looking me in the eye as he handed me the gun. Maya ran out the back two minutes ago. And at 3AM, the restaurant is never really completely staffed.
"Now, what's your name?" I asked sweetly.
"No it's not, what's your name?"
"It's fucking Jimmy!"
I sighed. Some people just can't tell the truth.
I put my gun to his forehead. "This is the last time I'm asking your name, before I just shoot you and look at your ID." I said calmly.
"Niko Bellic! My name is Niko Bellic!"
I immediately got off and held out a hand. I knew this guy looked familliar.
"Tayler. Tayler Kibbutz. I believe you're friends with my Dad, right?"
He hesitantly shook my hand before asking, "Brucie has a kid?"
"Not that he knows of, and we're gonna keep it that way, aren't we, Nicky?"
He never answered. He laid there thinking for a second, I'm pretty sure, then pushed me right off. I hit my head on the side of the counter and immediately blacked out, and when I woke up, he was obviously gone, and I was in an empty car in front of the diner. It got bright out. And it was my car. Maya probably came back and put me there, but I can't believe I just let that guy get away.
And for a year and a half, I forgot about it.
Then I was eighteen. Brucie, who I'd only known as a business associate, started associating with me a lot more. And I didn't know if that was due to Niko, or whether he just figured giving me more jobs was in order since I became legal, but I wasn't doing too bad for myself. Over 600,000 dollars in the bank. I wasn't broke by no means.
"Tay. Here's the deal."
I groaned. It was mornings like this where I just wanted to get out of bed and smash my cell phone against a wall. 8AM, and already Brucie was calling me to go on some suicide mission? Isn't 8AM a little too early to want someone killed? Too much.
Well, I guess not.
"I want you to go down to the Burger Shot in Westdyke and talk to my friend Nicky, he'll tell you what he needs you to make happen. Don't let me down, T.C.!"
Did I mention, he thinks my last name is Catalano? Brucie thinks I ran away from home two years ago, started messing around with the wrong people, got a little bit of money and holed myself up in Alderney just for somewhere to sleep. If he ever knew...
I pulled myself out of bed and looked in the mirror for a split second, before I realized - this Nicky guy I was supposed to be working with, it's not like I'm ever going to see him again. Why put in the effort? It's too early for this shit.
Jumped down the stairs, hotwired some car I found on the street, and I was good to go.
Where the fuck is she, she better act a lot older than her age to be doing this shit." I thought to myself, standing outside and trying not to make eye contact with the police officer casually standing by the door.
A shiny Super GT pulled up, and at first, I didn't really pay attention. Not until the girl Brucie described walked out. His daughter. My mind flashed back to that night I tried to rob some diner and almost got my ass handed to me by a midget. Great.
"What am I here for?" she asked. "And do I know you?"
"No. I just need you to help watch over a meeting my friend Patrick has with the Messinas in Chinatown."
She looked skeptical after I said we'd never met, but she accepted it.
"I'm Tayler. And you couldn't look over one little meeting by yourself?" she smirked.
"There's over twenty of the Messinas, and one of Patrick. It's better safe than sorry."
She nodded, and got back into her car, in the passenger's seat. Which was probably good, with everyone on my ass, I trust myself to drive more than this kid.
"So, Patrick, is he Irish?" I asked, pulling a bulletproof vest out of my bag and putting it on.
"I know of a few Patricks."
"McReary ring a bell?"
"Wait, is he Kate's brother, Kate McReary?"
"Yes, how do you know Kate?" Niko got a little defensive.
"Oh, doesn't matter. I seen her around a couple times, my mom used to see her at church."
The rest of the drive there was pretty much silent and awkward. I hated this. You know - seeing someone you were almost certain you know, but you don't quite remember how. I probably just saw him on the street or something, but it was still bugging me.
"This is it. Follow me."
We climbed the stairs up some shitty little restaurant with an apartment block on top of it. I hated Chinatown. It always smelled funny and it's just so cramped. I just really do not like Chinatown.
"If things start going wrong, shoot everyone but the guy in the black hoodie."
I sat for four or five minutes, until I saw some big guy push the guy Nicky told me about. I took the first shot. Patrick dived behind a car and the Messinas started shooting at him. I watched one guy after another fall to the ground after headshot after headshot. I had to give Nicky credit, he was even better than me - and I had a steady aim. Sure, he looked like he was somewhere in his 30s, but I've got a steady hand and quick reflexes.
A bullet whizzed right by my cheek. Another skimmed my jacket.
"I'm getting out of here. Bail!" I yelled, hoping he'd follow. Just because I was willing to go out and kill someone else didn't mean I was willing to be shot in the process.
Shit. If she's leaving, Packie's fucked. I can't take the rest of these bastards without help.