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In the year 1986, crime in America is at an all-time high. Criminals, drugs, and guns flow into the country from everywhere in the world, and the gateway to it all is the coastal paradise, Heat City. On the neon-soaked streets of this beating heart of scum and villany, you can get whatever you want -- if you can pay the price.

You are Johnny the thug, and ever since you agreed to take one small job for the Bratva, your life has gone sideways. One thing led to another as you made enemies of one half of the city's underworld, then the other half. With the help of some new friends -- Alex the enforcer, Nick the thief, and the Yamada family -- you went all-in and led a daring heist on the Triad's skyscraper fortress, Dragon's Nest. It went great until you got shot and fell off the roof, twenty-five stories down.

With luck or fate on your side, and the help of your friends, you survived to tell the tale. But you haven't forgotten that someone out there has been playing games with you, pitting the city's criminal syndicates against each other with you caught in the middle. You're going to find out who it is, and make them pay.
>>
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>>2465234

Updates: http://twitter.com/ravenkingquests

Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Thug%20Quest

Discord: https://discord.gg/3HegtNU
>>
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>>2465234
>>2465238

Radio: Dynasty -- Do Me Right
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMUzAJPRIKY

The late summer sun is high in the clear blue sky, and the day is hot as hell, even with the car windows down. You're in your Lincoln Continental, cruising along the Sunset Beach strip, listening to the radio and checking out the beach babes in swimsuits or exercise gear. Truly the modern, sexually liberated world of the 1980s is a magnificent time, you think as you watch a trio of girls in tight shorts and tied-off shirts rollerskate past.

Out here in the land of rich tourists and media moguls and beach bunnies, everything looks glamorous and fun. All these people have to concern themselves with are their diets, their exercise schedules, their salon appointments, their guest lists. Out here, everything is free and easy.

They would have no idea that just across the bay, beyond the glittering towers of Central and Castle Green, are some of the worst neighborhoods in America. That the city is spiralling out of control in a crime war.

You wonder idly how many of these people you're driving past have ever seen a dead body. Much less killed someone. Do they know what kind of blood is spilled in dark alleys, over the drugs they use to fuel their beautiful parties?

Soon enough you'll get back to business. You want to keep up the pressure on the Triads. Keep them reeling. Don't give them a chance to breathe. That said, it takes a day or two to plan these things, and you can't be killing gangsters 24/7. Can't, and don't want to. As much as you've come to enjoy cutting through punks, fucking up these scumbags who think they're hot shit, sometimes it's good to just go for a drive. Enjoy the sun and the beach and the girls. It's a nice day.

What else will you do today? You have a busy evening ahead, socially that is, but for now you've got some time to kill. You'll get back to grinding the Triads into dust tomorrow.

Choose 1 or 2:
>Car dealership
>Edna's gun store
>Tailor
>Armorer
>Housewares at the mall
>Neighborhood bar
>Russian bar
>Fancy bar
>Ken's house
>Your place
>Write-in
>>
>>2465291
>Tailor
>Armorer
>>
>>2465291
>Tailor
>Ken's house
I need me some Ken. Best Boy Ryuji too, if he's there.
>>
>>2465291
>Tailor
>Ken's House
Suit shopping with Ken and Ryuji is a go.
>>
>>2465291
>Tailor
>fancy bar

take ken and ryuji to a fancy bar
>>
>>2465291
>>Ken's house
>>
>>2465234
I've missed this, it's been a while
>>
>>2465234
I love your quests, they're always well written. Thank you
>>
>>2465295
>>2465299
>>2465313
>>2465355
>>2465443

First you swing by the tailor's place to get yourself a new suit. These double breasted suits with big shoulders people are calling "power suits" are in these days, from what you see in the clubs and on television. And you need the big shoulders anyway. So you get one of those measured up.

The tailor is an eccentric Italian man called Benito you've been visiting on Cat's recommendation. He talks a lot and makes broad, flamboyant gestures when his hands are free, and sometimes when they aren't. According to him he's a big deal, a very big deal, very exclusive, and is only fitting you because you're in favor with "Miss Catherine". You don't know about all that. But looking at the results in the mirror, you have to admit he knows how to make a damn fine suit.

Choose suit color:
>Navy blue
>Charcoal grey
>Dark black
>Slightly darker black

(Continued)
>>
>>2465469

Ken's new place is a bit out of your way, but you haven't seen the old man in a while, so you decide to head up to Snake River and see what he's up to. You cross town, drive through a few winding suburban roads, and pull into the driveway of a small but comfortable-sized home with a little lawn and garden out front. Ken answers the door and invites you inside. "Can I get you something to drink?" he asks. "Or is it too early in the day for that?"

"Never too early," you say, following him down the hall into the kitchen. "Nice place. Shame you had to ditch your old house, what with Kojiro and all. But this is, uh. Nice."

"Thank you," Ken says. He takes out three glasses from the cupboard. Wait, three? You look around and realize you're not alone in the room.

An Asian girl is sitting at the kitchen table. She's got a beautiful face that you recognize after a moment. The girl with the fox mask. What was her name? Akane, that was it. You almost forgot about her. Ken was meant to be keeping her prisoner, but there she is just sitting there, no ropes or anything. Near her is a door to the patio that looks like it's unlocked. You get the feeling that maybe the situation has evolved from prisoner and warden.

Akane is watching you with a guarded expression. Makes sense. Last time you saw her you were hitting her in the face with an orange in a sock. She probably hasn't got the greatest opinion of you.

Ken:
>Ask politely about their living situation
>Ask him what the hell he's doing letting one of Kojiro's captains walk around free
>Talk about work
>Talk about something casual
>Write-in
Akane:
>Ask politely about their living situation
>Ask where she stands on the inevitable showdown between you and her boss
>Mind your own business
>Write-in
>>
>>2465469
>Navy blue
Blue and red.

>>2465477
>Ask politely about their living situation
>Talk about something casual

>Mind your own business
>>
>>2465469
>>Slightly darker black
>Ask him what the hell he's doing letting one of Kojiro's captains walk around free

Ken bro what the fuck

>Mind your own business.
>>
>>2465480
That was unclear. I'm not asking for blue and red, I'm saying blue and red go together, since I assume we'll be murdering people in this suit.
>>
>>2465477
Suit
>Slightly darker black
Ken
>Ask politely about their living situation
Akane
>Mind your own business
>>
>>2465480
>>2465481
>>2465486

You smooth down your dark suit -- Benito called it "obsidian" which apparently means "slightly darker black". You accept a glass of some imported Japanese beer from Ken and take a sip, trying to think of how to say this. "I can't help but notice," you start, with a meaningful glance at Akane. "That in addition to moving houses, other parts of your living situation have changed too."

"Why, yes," Ken says. "Akane has been a most welcome houseguest."

"Guest, huh? Is that what she is now?"

"Indeed. After some conversation we were able to come to an agreement. In exchange for her good behavior she enjoys such modest hospitality as I can provide. Sometimes she helps me out around the house. It's quite nice to have help when you have as many old injuries as I do."

"Hmm." You take a sip of beer. "Just what do you mean by hospitality?"

"Guests are under the protection of their host," Ken says. "If anyone were to assault or harm one of my guests, I should consider it unkindly."

"Look --" You glance at Akane. Dammit, these word games aren't your thing. What the hell is Ken thinking? How does he think he can trust this girl? "Can we have some privacy here?"

Akane rolls her eyes and leaves the room.

"Dammit, Ken, what the hell are you doing? Just letting one of Kojiro's captains walk around free? How do you know she won't go straight to him with all our info? She knows where you live, where I live, and probably lots more."

"She has given me her word of honor," Ken says.

"And that's enough to you?"

"Yes." Ken meets your stare with his own quiet strength, an unmoveable mountain. "She is not like the others. For her there is a chance to become something else. Something better."

>All right
>I don't know about this, but if you say so
>You should have asked me first
>This is putting us in danger
>You're not thinking straight when it comes to her
>I can't let this happen. She has to be locked up -- or gone
>Write-in
>>
>>2465604
>I don't know about this, but if you say so
I trust Ken.
>>
>>2465604
>I don't know about this, but if you say so
>You should have asked me first.
>>
>>2465604
>>I don't know about this, but if you say so
>>
>>2465604
So glad to see you're back at this!
>>
>>2465604
>>I don't know about this, but if you say so
I love you guys but sometimes you stress me out.
>>
>>2465466
>>2465653

Thanks anons, it's good to be back.

>>2465604
>>2465614
>>2465623
>>2465652
>>2465661


"I don't know about this," you say. "It seems dicey to me. I don't trust her. But I do trust you, Ken, so if you say it's all right, then I guess it's all right."

"It will be," Ken says. "Some people just need a little faith. I can tell when someone has a good heart, even if they hide it well."

"Yeah? How about me?" you ask him. "Do I secretly have a good heart?"

"Oh my, no," Ken says, smiling. "Would you like another glass?"

Soon enough you're on your way back east into Central, the city's downtown hub. You drive slowly down the street looking for parking until you realize the purpose of the uniformed guys out front of these ritzy places. You roll your Lincoln up to the front of your destination, get out, and when a gawky teenager approaches, you hand him the keys. He takes them while staring agog at the bullet holes in your car's trunk.

"Hunting accident," you tell him.

You take a moment look at the expansive doors, the elaborate decor, the glittering sign in cursive script. "La Vierge," it says. A fancy restaurant for fancy people.

You have to pause to steel your nerve. Walking into one of these places is, in its own way, worse than walking into one of these gangbanger hideouts.

(Continued)
>>
>>2465723

Taking a deep breath, you walk in through the doors and tell the maitre d you're expected. He only looks at you with moderate scorn and snobbishness, so maybe your suit is decent after all.

You are led past the city's elite to a table near the back, a good table, secluded but with enough space. Catherine is already there.

"Thank you, Louis," she says to the maitre d, who gives a slight bow and leaves.

You clear your throat, feeling awkward in a place like this, dressed like this, around people like this. "Hey, Cat," you say with forced casualness.

Cat gives you one of those smiles, the ones where you can't think straight. "Hello, Johnny. Sit down, won't you? I've already ordered wine for us. A certain vintage I've been meaning to try. I hope you don't mind."

"Not me," you say, sitting down across from her. "I'm sure it's fine stuff." You open the menu and take a look. You can't even pronounce anything in here. What do these people eat, anyway? Bird guts or something?

"I like your suit," Cat says. "One of Benito's, I believe?"

"Yep. Man makes a fine suit, even if he does talk a lot."

"That he does," Cat says, smiling, then goes back to studying her menu. The silence stretches for a few moments, and you try to think of what to say.

>Ask if she needs help with anything
>Ask what her plans are after you're done with the Triads
>See how the blonde pickpocket is doing in her employ
>Talk about the job tomorrow
>Talk about the crew
>Talk about the twins
>Just talk about something casual, don't get into work stuff.
>Ask her opinion on something, or someone. (Say what)
>Write-in
>>
>>2465731
>>See how the blonde pickpocket is doing in her employ
Oh yeah that was a thing that happened
>Ask if she needs help with anything
>>
>>2465731
>Ask if she needs help with anything
>Ask what her plans are after you're done with the Triads
>>
>>2465623
Backing
>>
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>>2465731
>Ask what her plans are after you're done with the Triads
>Talk about the twins

Ask about her feelings Re: Adoption or if she wants to have our children.
>>
>>2465731
>Ask if she needs help with anything
>Ask what her plans are after you're done with the Triads
>>
>>2465734
>>2465736
>>2465741
>>2465744

"So how are you doing with your operation and all?" you ask Cat. "Need help with anything?"

"As a matter of fact, I did have something in mind," Cat says, still looking at her menu. "It's not directly related to our goal, but will advance my aims and, therefore, yours."

"That simple, huh?"

Cat looks up, shuts her menu, and smiles. "That simple. We'll discuss it later. Any idea of what you'd like to eat?"

You still can't read any of this. "You decide," you tell her. "Did you hear from that blonde girl? The pickpocket?"

"I did, actually. She called me up and said a certain large man with scars had told her she could find work. You were right. Her talents were wasted on simple purse-snatching. I've got much greater things in mind for her."

"What's her name, anyway?"

"She calls herself Carol," Cat says. "Who knows what her real name is."

A waiter arrives to pour your wine and take your orders. Catherine gets you both something with a french name.

"I'm not sure when I can get around to this other thing," you tell her. "Soon we'll be ready to bury the hatchet on the Triads. We're close."

"I understand you're a busy man," Cat says. "Use your discretion."

"Speaking of finishing things with our Chinese friends, what about afterwards? We've got to deal with the Yakuza, of course, and Ivan, but you seem like you've got more than one iron in the fire, right? What do you have planned?"

"Planned?" Catherine says. "Why, we move in, of course. Power and wealth will be ready for the taking. The Z trade, the docks, everything they've controlled. Everyone in the city will want a piece. But we'll be ready to take the largest for ourselves." She leans closer. Her eyes shine with excitement. "Think of it, Johnny. Think of what we could do together."

>I like power
>I like wealth
>I like both of those things
>I'm just a simple man, but I'm happy to support you
>I don't know about this, for either of us
>Write-in
>>
>>2465809
>I'm just a simple man, but I'm happy to support you
I mean, we won't say no to money, exactly.
>>
>>2465809
>>I'm just a simple man, but I'm happy to support you

Too much power or wealth makes me uneasy. I just want to fix up the garage at the house.
>>
>>2465814
On second thoughts, changing to
>I like wealth
We've seen and experienced first hand what wealth can get us. Power's still something Johnny probably doesn't want anymore, but money isn't so bad.

Sorry for the tie, Raven.
>>
>>2465809
>I'm just a simple man, but I'm happy to support you

"But some extra cash is always nice."
>>
>>2465809
>I'm just a simple man, but I'm happy to support you
>>
>>2465809
>>I'm just a simple man, but I'm happy to support you
>>
>>2465809
>>2465819
>>2465832
>>2465839
>>2465848
>>2465856

"I don't know, Cat," you say. You scratch at one of your scars, thinking. "I like having some extra cash around and all. The house. The garage. The cars and guns. It's good. A lot better than being dirt poor, let me tell you. But I'm not sure I want to be in charge of anything. I'm just a simple man. I just want to live my own life."

Cat watches you alertly as you talk, not revealing anything.

You continue, saying, "But I'm happy to support you. I can tell you've got big plans. You've got the smarts to make them and the will to see them through. Whatever I can do help, just let me know. You've always done right by me. I'm glad to continue our -- uh -- relationship."

Cat laughs gently. She raises her glass, looking you in the eyes. "To our relationship, then." You touch your glass to hers with a clink. Then you down some of the wine. Too fruity for your taste. But not bad. Not bad at all, actually.

The food looks ridiculous, but tastes incredible, an explosion of unfamiliar spices and textures in your mouth. Cat teases you in between business talk, at one point holding out her fork with a bite of her meal on it, a smug smile on her face as she watches you bite on it. You drink another glass of wine to hide your embarassment.

You leave the dinner in a state of confusion. Cat's ambitions, her plans, her smile, the melody in her voice. The fancy dinner, the fancy people in their fancy outfits all looking aside, pretending not to notice you. The strange but delicious food and strong wine. It's not the first time you've stepped into that world. But it's still weird.

(Continued)
>>
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>>2465872

Back to the Marsh, and back home. You pull into your driveway. Alex is already there, sitting on the hood of her car with a cigarette burning in her mouth. "Hey," she says as you approach. "Thanks for having me over. I, uh, wanted to talk about the plan for tomorrow."

You take a moment to think about it and realize she was hoping to hang out, she's just having a hard time admitting it. "Sure," you say. "We can talk about the plan."

She sniffs your breath. "Are you drunk?"

"Y -- I mean -- of course not. I would never drink and drive, that would be irresponsible. Haven't you seen those tv commercials?"

"Right," she says wryly, getting up and following you inside.

"Going to lecture me on drinking the night before a job?" you ask her.

"Actually, I was going to ask if you wanted to keep going," Alex says. "I could use a stiff drink myself. And I know you've got some whiskey stashed around here."

"My kind of lady," you say. "Top shelf next to the fridge. Get me a glass, will you? I've got to check in on my roommates."

>Check Roxie's room
>Check the twins' room
>Check the backyard for gators
>>
>>2465881
>>Check Roxie's room
>>Check the twins' room
Just do a quick sweep to see that the Twins aren't dead, Roxie hasn't punched through a wall, stuff like that
>>
>>2465881
>Check Roxie's room
>Check the twins' room
>Check the backyard for gators
Especially the gators, don't want to have the Twins wrestling a gator by themselves
>>
>>2465881
>Check the backyard for gators
What was the name? Mister Fluffybumpins?
>>
>>2465881
>>Check Roxie's room
>>Check the twins' room
>>Check the backyard for gators

Patrol for potential cockblocking
>>
>>2465881
>>2465884
>>2465889
>>2465891
>>2465906

First you check the backyard for gators. What the hell was that name the twins gave to the creature? Mister Fluffybumpkins? Scruffylumpkins? Whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be around. You watch the pond for a few moments, vigilant for any signs, but see nothing. No wildlife attacks tonight, maybe.

You check on the twins' room. The two girls are stretched out on the bed, still in their clothes, sleeping soundly. One of them snores loudly, while the other breathes quietly. The blanket is on the floor next to their dirty shoes. You pick it up the blanket and lay it over them, tucking it in. Before you go, you watch them sleep for a moment. They look peaceful. Innocent. Like ordinary girls. You'd never guess they were bloodthirsty little maniacs.

You knock on Roxie's door, and the response is a crashing sound, as though something was knocked over onto the floor. "Roxie? Are you all right?" You can see a light is on in the room. Cautiously, you open the door and peek inside. "Uhh -- Roxie?"

Roxie is lying on the floor in a t-shirt and panties and nothing else, laughing and giggling. When she hears you, she lurches up to her feet and stumbles to the door. "Johnny! Hehe, come in, come in!" She grabs your hand and drags you off-balance and into the room with her. "I need to, I need to tell you about this -- hold on -- woaahh --" She tips off balance, spins around, barely rights herself. She grins at you and grabs at your shoulders. You see her pupils are gigantic.

"What if," Roxie says, determined, concentrating hard. "What if what if -- we were all like those things -- the crawly bug things -- they wrap themselves alllll up -- and then they -- they fly away right? Woosh! Woohoo! Hahaha!" Roxie pushes herself away from you and spins around gracefully, her arms outstretched, her colorful hair flying. Then she trips and falls onto the bed. She giggles and snorts with laughter.

"You're high as fuck," you say. You note the folded paper on the dresser, half-full of a dried substance, a chunk of violet-black resin. You see a the broken lamp on the floor. You also see Roxie's shapely legs twisting and intertwining on the bed, but you try not to think about that.

"Yup!" she says, and laughs again.

"All right, well, have a good night," you say. "Try not to hurt yourself. Or break anything else."

"Wait wait wait!" Roxie pushes herself up and weaves over to you. She grabs onto your hand again and looks up at you eagerly. "Do some Z with me, Johnny my good pal. C'mon, It'll be fun. I promise. Super fun."

>Well, it does look like fun ...
>Some other time, sure, but I've got a job tomorrow.
>It's not my thing.
>This isn't good for you.
>Write-in.
>>
>>2465908
>It's not my thing.
Absolutely fucking not.
>>
>>2465908
>It's not my thing
>>
>>2465908
>>It's not my thing.
Sorry, but I'm more of a weed guy
>>
>>2465908
>Roxie's shapely legs twisting and intertwining on the bed
>Do Roxie instead
>>
>>2465908
>>It's not my thing.
>>
>>2465908
>Well, it does look like fun ...
>>
>>2465908
>>2465911
>>2465913
>>2465916
>>2465924

You pull yourself free of Roxie's strong grip as gently as you can. "It's not my thing," you say patiently, holding her wrists to stop her from flailing around. "I don't mind drinking or smoking sometimes, but I don't like to get that fucked up. I've tried stuff like it and it didn't take."

She takes some convincing. It helps when she loses interest, her attention caught by imaginary flying objects. You leave her to her drug-fueled distractions, reminding her to not break anything else, although you're not sure if she hears you.

Alex is sitting on the living room couch, one glass of whiskey in her hand, another on the coffee table, next to the bottle. "Everything all right? Heard something crash."

"Roxie's having a good time," you say. "I might need to replace the guest room furniture. Again."

"Still can't believe you let her stay here."

"She needed help," you say. "She was broke and had nowhere to go."

"And now?" Alex asks. "She paid her debts with the casino ship job. So she could leave at any time, right?"

"Uh -- good question."

"Did this even occur to you until I brought it up?"

No. "Uhhh -- yes?"

Alex sighs and leans back on the couch. "You like collecting strays, I guess. Dangerous ones."

"I know she's dangerous," you say. "I just need to make sure she stays pointed in the right direction. That's what you do for me, right?"

"Something like that. " She allows herself a small smile. Then she downs the whiskey glass and grimaces. "All right, we should talk about the plan before we get shitfaced."

"Right," you agree. "Nick has our transportation ready for us. How he know this guy, I have no idea, but he seems to be on the level. So all we have to do is head out there, kill a bunch of Triads, and then head back. Easy."

"It might get more complicated," Alex says.

"That's what I have you for, right?"

She sighs and pours herself another glass.

(Continued)
>>
>>2465948

You pick up the television remote and scroll through channels until you find the one you want.

"Cartoons again?" Alex asks.

You shrug, watching the colorful robots slam into each other. "I like it. It's so weird, it makes even my life look normal, you know?"

You and Alex spend the rest of the evening putting away the bottle of whiskey and watching the surreal and fascinating depths of late night television. Several drinks in, a loosened-up Alex says, "Tell me something about yourself, tough guy. Who is this mysterious Johnny, the man who came from nowhere to shake the foundations of Heat City?"

"Only if you tell me something first," you say.

"That's not how it works," she says, leaning over to slug you on the shoulder.

"It was your idea, so if you want me to play ball, you have to start."

"All right, fine," she says, settling back with a measured gaze. "What do you want to know?"

>Why are you helping me? I mean really.
>How did you get into this life? You're smart. You could be anything.
>Do you have a family back where you're from?
>What do you think our chances are of surviving all this?
>Ever thought about settling down, maybe moving out west?
>Write-in.
>>
>>2465950
>How did you get into this life? You're smart. You could be anything.
>>
>>2465950
>>How did you get into this life? You're smart. You could be anything.
Johnny's not stupid but he thinks he is
>>
>>2465950
>Why are you helping me? I mean really.
>>
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(That was last update for tonight, I'll be back tomorrow)
>>
>>2465950
>Ever thought about settling down, maybe moving out west?

Honestly, Alex is the best chance of a long term relationship. Which sucks because Cat is best girl.
>>
>>2465950
>Do you have a family back where you're from?
>>
>>2465948
>How did you get into this life? You're smart. You could be anything.
>>
>>2465950
>Ever thought about settling down, maybe moving out west?
>>
>>2465950
>Do you have a family back where you're from?
>>
>>2465950
>How did you get into this life? You're smart. You could be anything.
Seems reasonable.
>>
>>2465950
>>Do you have a family back where you're from?
>>
>>2465950
>How did you get into this life? You're smart. You could be anything.
>Do you have a family back where you're from?
>>
>>2465950
>>Ever thought about settling down, maybe moving out west?
>>
>>2465950
>>2465956
>>2465962
>>2466055
>>2466169
>>2466640

"How did you get into this life?" you ask Alex. "You're smart, you're disciplined, you're attractive, you could be anything. It's the 1980s, being a woman doesn't stop you anymore. You could've become a doctor or a lawyer or something, right? At least sat at a desk in an office somewhere and answered phones and shit. Instead here you are. The land of wild beasts, where it's kill or be killed. Why?"

"How, or why?"

"I don't know -- both?"

Alex takes a few moments to answer, looking into space to gather her thoughts. "I guess you could say I was born into it. I grew up learning to shoot. My father thought all his kids should know how to shoot every kind of firearm from a Colt single-action to an M2. Even his daughter." She pauses to take a drink from her glass, remembering. "I paid attention. I learned well. When some things went down and I needed a job, I fell back on what I knew. I had the right contacts, I could shoot, so I tried it. And it worked. Just ... kept doing it ever since. Now I don't know how to do anything else."

"I guess that's how it works," you say. "Life's only long enough to get good at one thing. We just fucked up and chose the wrong thing."

Alex nods. "No argument here."

"You never thought about taking your money, going back to school, getting a degree and a job and shit? A regular life?"

"I've thought about it," she admits. "But here I am. I don't know, Johnny. Maybe I'm just stupid."

"Maybe. Either way, I'm glad you're here."

"Thanks." Alex doesn't meet your eyes, but you can see her smiling.

Something occurs to you. "What kind of father teaches his kids to shoot an M2? A hunting rifle I could understand. But that's an anti-vehicle weapon. Was he teaching you to blast halftrack transports or something?"

"Oh no. It's your turn, tough guy." Alex pauses to put two cigarettes in her mouth, light them both, and hand you one. "I broke a rule and talked about myself," she says, exhaling smoke. "So you better come through on your end."

"What do you want to hear about?" you ask, taking the cigarette, trying not to think about Alex's lips around it.

"Why don't you tell me the same thing?" Alex asks, leaning back against the couch. "How'd you get into all this? How'd you go from being an ordinary, innocent little boy growing up in Heat City to the Triad Terror?"

"They're not seriously calling me that, are they?"

Alex shrugs. "Let's hope they come up with something better."

You think back on the past. At the time it all happened, your younger years seemed ordinary. Looking back, not so much. Which part of it should you tell her about?

>I was always a troublemaker.
>I tried to do the right thing for someone, and it went wrong.
>I got desperate and did something stupid.
>I fell in with a bad crowd.
>Write-in.
>>
>>2467557
>I was always a troublemaker.
We don't need an excuse.
>>
>>2467557
>>I was always a troublemaker.
>>
>>2467557
>>I got desperate and did something stupid.
>>
>>2467557
>I tried to do the right thing for someone, and it went wrong.
>>
>>2467557
>I tried to do the right thing for someone, and it went wrong.
>>
>>2467557
>I tried to do the right thing for someone, and it went wrong.
>>
>>2467557
>>I tried to do the right thing for someone, and it went wrong.
Reason I got put in the box and shipped off to 'Nam in the first place, actually.
>>
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>>2467557
>>2467589
>>2467604
>>2467616
>>2467654

"Well, I was always a troublemaker. A rough and tumble sorts, people said if they were nice, or other things if they weren't. Didn't need an excuse to fight. But there's one time I did something, and I think that's when it all started to get bad. Ironic cause I was trying to do something good for change." You take a drag of the cigarette. "Tried to do the right thing for someone, and it went wrong."

"What happened?" Alex asks.

"There was this party. In high school. I think it was a football thing. I played ball in those days, by which I mean I stood in front of the guys on the other team and they smashed into me and fell down, which apparently counts as playing ball. Anyway." You think back, remembering. "I was at the party. There were these two guys. A girl. She was pinned down. Screaming. I saw them tear her clothes. I wasn't going to let it happen. I just -- I just wanted to get him off her." You sigh, seeing it all again. "Turns out I threw him a little too hard. The kid made it. He didn't walk or talk so good after that, but he made it. Problem was, he wasn't just some kid. His dad was somebody. He wanted blood. My blood. And when he said he'd go after my family--"

You pause to collect yourself. "I gave up. I signed whatever his suits put in front of me. And I was eighteen. Justice system was free to try me as an adult, a violent criminal. No slap on the wrist for little Johnny. Judge gave me a choice between the big box or Vietnam. I chose Vietnam."

You see Alex's unspoken question. "You want to ask me, do I think I made the right choice? Saving that girl? Choosing Vietnam? I don't know. I sure as hell asked myself that question a lot while humping the pig through that jungle. Still don't have an answer."

""Humping the pig"?" Alex asks, caught off guard.

"It's an expression. Not an actual pig. Never mind. A few years later I wound up in prison for something entirely different that was a scumbag move I've got no excuses for. I've stolen and killed for shit reasons. Lots of people are dead because I'm an asshole. So it does't even matter in the end. I'd probably be fucked up no matter what."

"Here's to being fucked up," Alex says, raising her glass. "No matter what."

You both clink glasses, down the whiskey, and set them back on the table. Alex refills them.

"Shouldn't be you saying something responsible about drinking too much before a job?"

"Shut up and drink this," Alex says, handing you a glass.

(Continued)
>>
>>2467684

Late that night you awaken in darkness, the room lit only by the television playing a muted infomercial. Your head is fuzzy. You realize you're still on the couch. Must have fell asleep. You feel a warm, soft shape move against your body, adjusting itself, and realize that Alex is leaning up against you. Her eyes are closed and her mouth is hanging slightly open, breathing softly. Asleep, or passed out. A rare moment of vulnerability for your steadfast companion.

What woke you up, though? The headache? Alex? Maybe you just need to piss. But -- no. There's something else. You wait, barely breathing. Listening.

Something is wrong.

Choose 1 or 2:
>Look around the house.
>Check the front yard.
>Check the back yard.
>Go look at the security camera feed
>Wake up Alex
>Get a gun
>Check on Roxie
>Check on the twins
>Call someone (say who)
>Write-in
>>
>>2467685
>>Go look at the security camera feed
>>Wake up Alex
Fuuuuuuuuuck
>>
>>2467685
>Get a gun
>Wake up Alex
>>
>>2467685
>Wake up Alex
>Check on the Twins
Because Roxie can handle herself, high on Z or not. The Twins, however...
>>
>>2467685
>Wake up Alex
>Go look at the security camera feed
>>
>>2467685
>>Wake up Alex
>>Get a gun
>>
>>2467685
>Call someone (say who)

The cops. We are a law abiding citizen.

> Get your gun
>>
>>2467714
I mean it could be the cops.
>>
>>2467723
Yeah but we could call wossisname. The spook.

Besides if it was the cops then we're fucked hard.
>>
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>>2467685
>>2467687
>>2467689
>>2467691
>>2467692
>>2467709
>>2467714

You take the sleeping Alex by the shoulders and gently but firmly shake her awake. She groggily comes to, swimming up to consciousness. "Johnny? What--" She looks down at herself, snuggled up against you, and her eyes go wide. She immediately bolts to sitting upright, embarassed.

You tell her, quietly, "Look, stay cool, but I've got a bad feeling. Something's wrong. I don't know what."

Alex blinks a few times, still embarassed, then snaps into business mode. "Did -- did you hear something? See something?"

"I just know."

Alex looks at you a moment, then nods. "Okay. What now?"

"First, this." You reach under the coffee table and grab both of the guns you have stashed under there, handing Alex a Glock 17 pistol and keeping a double-barrel sawed-off shotgun for yourself. Alex takes the gun with one hand while rubbing sleep out of her eyes with the other. "Then--"

The light you left on in the front hall goes out.

Alex whispers, "Shit." Both of you get behind the couch, crouched on the ground. She asks, "Could it be someone we know?"

"Everyone staying here is already here," you whisper back. "Anyone else would ring the damn bell."

Alex considers, nods, and readies both hands on the pistol.

You have pretty good night vision, but that TV and the damn infomercial is ruining it. Should've turned that off first. All the same, you can just barely make out two silhouettes, men, creeping down the front hall towards the living room.

>Blast them
>Raise your gun and tell them to freeze
>Sneak up on them and take them down with your fists
>Wait and watch, get a better read on the situation.
>Take Alex, try to sneak away to go get Roxie and the twins.
>Send Alex to get them while you deal with these guys.
>Write-in
>>
>>2467737
>Blast them
Punks shouldn't have surprised us in our own home, whoever they are.
>>
>>2467737
>>Blast them
>>
>>2467737
>Sneak up on them and take them down with your fists
TOO SUBTLE FOR YOU, PUNKS
>>
>>2467737
>>Wait and watch, get a better read on the situation.
>Send Alex to get them while you deal with these guys.
>Sneak up on them and take them down with your fists
>>
>>2467737
>Sneak up on them and take them down with your fists
>>
>>2467737
>Sneak up on them and take them down with your fists
>>
>>2467752
>>2467770
>>2467781
>>2467782

You motion to Alex to stay where she is. Quiet as you can, staying to the shadows, you take the other door leading out of the room and follow the hallway around, hoping to get the drop on these guys from behind and take them out quietly ...

>Roll 1d10. Just the first one counts.

1-3: Whoops.
4-6: You take them down, but it's loud.
7-10: You take them down, and it's quiet.
>>
Rolled 10 (1d10)

>>2467788
Here's a ten. You're welcome.
>>
>>2467789
Damn.
>>
Rolled 5 (1d10)

>>2467788
>>
>>2467789

>Here's a ten. You're welcome.
>Rolled 10 (1d10)
>>
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>>2467789
>>
>>2467788
>>2467789

The twins have conveniently left a baseball bat by the front hall, the wood stained by old blood that never quite washed off. Shifting the gun to your left hand, you pick up the bat in your right, feeling the well-worn tape on the grip. You're sure they won't mind if you borrow it for a little while.

Silently stepping up behind the two men, still shrouded in darkness, you swing the bat forehand, smashing one in the face, then backhand and whack the other in the back of the head. They topple to the ground, knocked out. Looks like you took them out without even getting too much blood all over your carpet. Just some teeth and skull fragments, which are easier to get out. Nice.

You grab one of them and haul him over onto his back. Looking at his face, you don't recognize him. Broken nose, bad shave. He looks white, his friend is darker. Both wearing slacks, obnoxious shirts. Cubans, if you had to guess. You rifle the guy's coat, finding nothing, then check his gun. Beretta M9 pistol, a newer gun, solid choice for tactical situations.

Bad coat. Good gun. You turn to Alex, who's approaching, and say, "Bounty hunters?"

"Probably," she says. "Think it was just them?"

You look at each other. Both of you know it wasn't.

You hear a girl's scream from the guest rooms. "Shit -- the twins! Roxie! We've got to help them." Handing the M9 to Alex, giving her two pistols, you grab up the baseball bat and ready your sawed-off shotgun. "No time to lose. This stuff will have to do. Let's go."

With Alex at your side, you hurry through the house towards the guest room, dreading what you'll find there.
>>
(More tomorrow!)
>>
>>2467814
>You hear a girl's scream from the guest rooms. "Shit -- the twins! Roxie!
Oh the poor poor bastards
>>
>>2467814
> Looking at his face, you don't recognize him. Broken nose, bad shave.

I mean, we DID just smash said face in.
>>
>>2467814
>"Shit -- the twins! Roxie! We've got to help them."
Oh crap, we’ve got to hurry, or we’re going to be cleaning the bloodstains and chunks of hired gun out of the carpets and walls for days.
>>
Sorry I wasn't able to update yesterday fellas. I should be home in about 4 hours, and can start working on the next post shortly after.
>>
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>>2467814

You pause at the entrance to the guest wing and take a few moments to read the situation. From the footsteps you can hear, the glints of light on metal in the darkness outside, you figure the hit squad is spread out in groups of two and three, some in the guest wing hallways, some still outside in the yard.

They're not bad, all things considered. Probably experienced criminals from the Cuban prisons, guests of your country courtesy of the communist government. But you and Alex have your night-fighting skills and teamwork honed to an edge at this point. Silent, coordinated, and lethal, you take a trio of guys outside the twins' room, you clonking one on the head with the baseball bat while Alex knifes another. Then you grab the third in a choke from behind and hold him steady in front of you while Alex stabs him.

"Try not to get too much blood on the carpet, all right?" you tell Alex as you lay the second body on the ground in a way you hope will cause the least amount of staining.

"If I didn't know better, I'd say you were getting domestic," Alex says, wiping her knife off.

"Just trying to be a responsible home owner." The door to the twins' room is slightly ajar. You cautiously push it open. "Girls? Hello?"

Adeline and Madison have one of the hitmen on the ground. They've tied his hands and tipped over the dresser onto his legs. One of the girls sits on his chest with a knife while the other leans against the bed looking on.

"Hi, Mister Johnny," the twin standing up says. "You got an asshole infestation in your house."

"That I do, little miss," you say. "You got that one handled?"

"Sure do," says the twin with the knife. "I just gotta decide where to start cutting. What do you think, Mister Johnny? Eyes? Fingers?"

"It's no fair," complains the other twin. "You got the last one."

"Bullshit, you got the last one!"

"He died in like two seconds, that doesn't even count!"

The guy on the ground makes a terrified plea to you. "Senor, ayudame, por favor. Please help. Please!"

"You know the great thing about hitmen?" you say to Alex.

"What's that?"

"No matter what happens to them, you don't feel bad."

You think of what to say to the twins. Maybe one of the guys you hit with a bat is still alive, with brains relatively unscrambled, and can answer questions later. But maybe you should keep this one alive to be sure. You tell them:

>Do what you want with him.
>Don't kill him yet.
>Tie him down and come help us clear the house.
>Write-in
>>
>>2471278
>Do what you want with him.
Kids will be kids.
>>
>>2471278
>>Don't kill him yet.
>But feel free to cut anywhere non-vital so he'll be inclined to talk.
>>
>>2471278
>Don't kill him yet.
Adorable murder machines
>>
>>2471278
>>Don't kill him yet.
would like to know who sent these fuckers
>>
>>2471278
>Tie him down and come help us clear the house.

Gotta keep someone to interrogate.
>>
>>2471278
>>2471320
>>2471328
>>2471330

"Don't kill him yet," you tell the twins. "I want to know who sent these fuckers."

"That'll be the Triads," Alex says. "They have an open bounty on us. Last I heard your head was worth a hell of a lot of money. Half price for me or crazy-eyes. Kind of annoyed about that, to be honest."

"I'm sorry they want to kill me more than you," you say to Alex, then turn back to the twins. "Anyway, I still want to keep one of these guys alive, so don't kill him, okay? That said, feel free to cut anywhere non-vital so he'll be inclined to talk."

"We will," the twins say in unison.

"Oh, right." You raise the bloodstained bat. "I borrowed this. I hope you don't mind. Now keep your heads down in here while me and Alex are going out to clear out the rest of these punks. Stay safe, you adorable murder machines." You shift the bat to free up a hand so you can ruffle the sitting twin's hair.

Heading over to Roxie's room, before you even get up to the door you hear thumping and crashing from inside. In the hallway a man is lying on the carpet, his skull caved in, a head-sized dent and blood splatter on the wall nearby. Inside the room, you can hear Roxie laughing maniacally. A man screams in terror before the sound is cut off by another loud thump, and the door shakes in its frame.

"Maybe we should leave her alone," Alex suggests.

"Good idea," you say. "She might not appreciate being interrupted."

"That just leaves the guys outside. Maybe six. What's your call?"

>Let's flank them and hunt them down outside
>Let's wait for them to come in and ambush them as they do
>Let's go get bigger guns
>Write-in
>>
>>2471433
>Let's go get bigger guns
>>
>>2471433
>Let's flank them and hunt them down outside
>>
>>2471433
>Let's go get bigger guns
>>
>>2471433
>Let's flank them and hunt them down outside
All stealthy-like. Because we are TOO SUBTLE for these guys.
>>
>>2471433
>Let's flank them and hunt them down outside
>>
>>2471433
>Let's flank them and hunt them down outside

We haven't made enough noise for them to know that we are aware of them yet.
>>
>>2471502
>>2471536
>>2471538

>Let's flank them and hunt them down outside

Calling this before it ties again ...
>>
>>2471433
>>2471541

"Let's go on a little hunting trip," you say to Alex. "Head down the hall there and take the side door outside. I'll double back to the patio doors. We'll hit them in the crossfire."

Heading back to the living room, muted infomercials still playing on the big television, you cautiously approach the sliding glass doors leading outside and take a look out into the darkness. You can just make out the shapes of two guys nearby, looking your way, probably waiting for a sign from the guys who came in the front door, wondering what the hell is going on in there. Nearby, another three guys are getting ready to break into guest room window. One of them shatters the glass with the butt of an submachine gun, and another shines a flashlight inside.

You give it another few seconds for Alex to get in position, then hit the lights. The outdoor lighting switches on, illuminating the patio in tasteful night-time ambiance, easily enough to see your assailants. You raise your sawed-off shotgun to somewhere near the closest guy -- beautiful thing about these guns is you barely have to aim -- and pull the trigger, rewarded with a loud boom and seeing the guy fall backwards with his shirt shredded and bloodied. The sliding glass doors shatter into a heap of glass. You turn and fire your second shot, blasting the other guy.

The surviving hitmen turn to blast at you with SMGs set to automatic fire. You duck back behind cover, dodging the return fire of automatic SMGs. The sound of pistol fire joins the fray, Alex firing from the other side. While she keeps them busy, you rip open a box of shotgun shells, pop the gun breech, and load another two shells. When one of the hitmen runs through the empty space where the shattered door used to be, hoping to catch you off guard, you're ready for him and pull both triggers, unloading both shells into his chest.

You listen for more gunshots or shouting, and hear nothing. You peek outside and don't see anything. After a few minutes of waiting and holding your breath, you see Alex appear from the shadows. "Looks clear," she calls out.

Looking around, it seems like the hitmen didn't cause that much damage -- until you realize the big television screen has a pair of bullet holes in it. You mutter some oaths under your breath.

The twins appear at the hallway to the guest room. "We're doing playing with that man." "Can we come outside yet?"

"Sure, I think we're done here," you say to them. "Can you two help Auntie Alex deal with the bodies and clean up the blood? Uncle Johnny is going to see if any of these punks are still alive. And then we're going to have a nice talk."

"Can we watch?" "Can we help?" the twins ask eagerly.

"First the bodies," you tell them sternly. "It's no good to leave dead folks lying around in your own home. No, no. You take them out to the swamp and feed them to the gators."

(Continued)
>>
>>2471566

You look back towards the front hall. You're about to go see if that first guy you smacked with a baseball bat is alive and has enough of his teeth left to talk. However, looking past him, at the window that leads to the front yard, you see lights. To be specific, you see red and blue flashing lights. A polite but firm knock sounds at the door. A man's voice says, "Police!"

Fuck.

>Answer the door for the cops and act polite.
>Act threateningly.
>Kill them.
>Don't answer.
>Write-in
>>
>>2471574
>Answer the door for the cops and act polite.
>Evening officer, noise complaints?
>>
>>2471576
This.
>>
>>2471574
>Answer the door for the cops and act polite.
No good doing anything else
>>
>>2471576
Yeah, probably best bet.
>Answer the door for the cops and act polite.
>>
>>2471576
Too good Supporting
>>
>>2471574
>Answer the door for the cops and act polite.
>>
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>>2471574
>>2471576
>>2471580
>>2471582
>>2471585
>>2471599
>>2471636

You head to the door, hoping to talk your way out of this. Even so, you reload the shotgun and keep it hidden behind the door as you open it with the other hand. An ordinary-looking guy stands there in a cop uniform. He touches his hat's brim. "Evening, sir."

"Evening, officer," you say to him. "Noise complaints?"

"That's right, sir. Afraid a few of the neighbors called into the station. Something about, ah, gunfire. Firearm discharge on private property is, of course, legal within Heat City limits. But there's laws about noise, 'specially at this time of night."

"Sorry about that, sir," you tell him with a straight face. "Got some friends from the country in town. They were real eager to try out some of my collection."

"Maybe wait for daybreak next time," he says. "Folks around here don't mind a bit of shooting, just not at three in the morning."

"I'll keep that in mind," you say.

The cop leans past you to look at something. You glance backwards and realize the outstretched arm of one of the knocked-out guys is lying in the hallway, clearly visible. You look back to the cop, a polite smile still on your face, and ready your grip on the hidden shotgun.

"You having a party in there, sir?" asks the cop.

"Yep."

"With your friends. From the country."

"Yep."

"Hmm." The cop's eyes wander over to the door. He looks right about where you've been hiding the shotgun this whole time. Then he looks back to you. The moment stretches out. Then he says, "Think you can keep it down a little? You and your, ah, friends from the country."

"I'll have a word with them, officer," you say. "I'm sure they'll be real quiet for the rest of the night."

The cop slowly nods, then touches his hat brim again. "All right, sir. Have a good evening." He takes a few steps backwards, still watching you -- probably trying to figure out if you're about to put a bullet in his back -- then turns and walks back to his car.

You let out a sigh of relief and shut the door. Either he's too stupid to get what happened in here, or too smart to die over it.

(Continued)
>>
>>2471646

You hear a groan come from the guy on the ground, so you head over there and squat down next to him. "Hey pal. Tonight you made the biggest mistake of your life. And I know that for sure, because you aren't gonna live long enough to make a bigger one."

You grab the hitman by one ankle and drag him over to the living room, where you sit down on the couch and take a look at the bottle of whiskey. It's almost empty, but there's enough left for one glass, which you pour yourself. You drink half of it, then get back up and stand over the bloodied hitman. You try to figure out just what it is you want to know, and what you're going to do to this poor bastard to find out.

>Who hired you?
>Who told you where to find me?
>What else do you know?
>Write-in
>>
>>2471653
>>Who told you where to find me?
We live in the middle of bumfuck, some literally who's shouldn't know where we are.
>>
>>2471653
>Who told you where to find me?
>>
>>2471653
>What else do you know?

Who else was hired for this? Was there a timeline? Who gave you our address? Was anyone else targeted?

> Note - have Alex call our friends to warn them.
>>
>>2471653
>>2471656
>>2471657
>>2471663

The hitman is slowly regaining consciousness. Before he gets any ideas, grab a roll of duct tape, tear off a piece, and wrap the guy's hands up behind his back. Then you sit next to him with your whiskey glass in one hand and the bloody baseball bat in the other. You take a moment to savor the feeling. Like you said earlier to Alex. The great thing about hitmen is you can do whatever you want to them and not feel bad.

You say, "All right, pal. Here's how it is. You're not leaving this house alive. We both know that. You tried to kill me and fucked up, and now I'm gonna kill you. Nothing you can do to change that. However." You take a moment to light a cigarette, take a drag, and then hold it real close to his eye, close enough to see the amber reflection in there. "If you fuck around with me, if you bullshit me, I'll make it hurt. I'll drag you through hell. Then when I get bored I'll hand you over to the twins. They like to hurt people even more than I do." You pause to take another drag from your cigarette. "Now. I've already got a pretty good idea who hired you. With an open bounty on my head, it doesn't take much guesswork. What I really want to know is how you found me. I live in a fucking plantation house out in the middle of nowhere. How the hell did you know to track me down here?"

"I -- I not know --"

You slam the guy's head down onto the coffee table and watch him bounce off. "For fuck's sake, what did I just say? If you bullshit me, I'll make it hurt!"

The guy coughs and spits blood. "Please, man, I not know! We get pictures!"

"Pictures?"

The guy nods weakly. "My cousin Carlos, he, he get pictures in mailbox. They show you. They show house. We know you have price, big price. Carlos, he get idea. I try to stop him, but--" The guy sighs and hangs his head. "Stupid. Ay dios mio."

"Where's this cousin Carlos of yours now?"

The guy points with his head towards the front hall, and the other guy you smacked with a bat.

"Hmmm." You head to the front hall and rifle through the guy's jacket. You find an envelope and look inside. Sure enough, there's black-and-white photos of your house. One of you exiting your car in the driveway. "Fuck."

You should warn your friends in case they're being targeted as well. Alex and the twins are busy with the bodies, so you'll call them yourself. First of all, though, you'd better figure out what to do with this punk here.

>Ask him something else
>Keep him tied up in the basement
>Blast him and dump him in the swamp with the others
>Let him go, and tell him to to spread the story of what happened when someone tried to take you down
>Give him to the twins, tell them to do what they want
>Write-in
>>
>>2471683
>>Blast him and dump him in the swamp with the others
>>
>>2471683
>Blast him and dump him in the swamp with the others
He was forthright enough. Let's keep our word.
>>
>>2471683
>Ask him something else
Ask him who else Carlos has "pictures" of.
Ask him if he and Carlos work for anybody.
then
>Blast him and dump him in the swamp with the others
>>
>>2471683
>Let him go, and tell him to to spread the story of what happened when someone tried to take you down
This, but don't let him leave unscathed. Maybe a finger? Or an ear? Or an eye?
>>
>>2471683
>Ask him something else
Ask him if there were any other photos and who of.
>Blast him and dump him in the swamp with the others.
Ideally, in the leg, so that it gets the gators going.
>>
>>2471683
>>Blast him and dump him in the swamp with the others
>>
>>2471683
>Blast him and dump him in the swamp with the others
>>
>>2471701
> Ideally, in the leg, so that it gets the gators going.

Nah man. We made a deal. Quick death for information.
>>
>>2471707
At least let him pray a short prayer, and then use a silencer to dispose him.
>>
>>2471683
>>2471689
>>2471692
>>2471693
>>2471701
>>2471703
>>2471705
>>2471708


You flip through the photos, looking for anyone else. There's one of Alex, walking towards your house, her car in the driveway. There's one of Roxie vomiting into your front garden. Nobody else. "Were there any other photos?" you ask the hitman. "Or just these?"

"J-just those, man. Just you and the girls."

"All right." You think about shooting the guy in the leg, letting him bleed, getting the gators stirred up. But no. A deal's a deal. You get around behind him and point the shotgun at the back of his head. "You religious?" The guy nods. "All right, go on. Say what you need to say."

The hitman closes his eyes and starts whispering something. Probably the Lord's Prayer in Spanish. You let him get to the part where he says "amen" and pull the trigger right after, turning his head into chunks.

"Aw, man!" you say, realizing the mess you just made. "My coffee table!" That stain's never gonna come out. Fucking hell. Being a home owner is tough.

You head over to the phone to check in with the team. The first person you call is Cat, both wanting her sharp mind's advice, and dreading that somehow she's been kidnapped for a third time. But no. She answers the phone, sleepy-voiced but unharmed. "A Cuban hit squad, you say?" she asks after waking up a bit.

"Yeah. Had pictures of my place. Not sure how."

"It could be a private detective, or corrupt law enforcement passing over surveillance. Even an enterprising citizen who merely got lucky." Cat yawns, then says, "What do you want to do about tomorrow? Will you go ahead with the hit against the Triads, or delay it?"

>Go ahead with the job tomorrow. Getting to the Triad Dragon and killing him is the best way to stop this bounty anyway.
>Arrange a team meeting tomorrow to discuss the situation.
>Delay the job, fortify the house, lay low here for a few days.
>Go buy a new place, lay low there for a few days.
>Write-in
>>
>>2471717
>Go ahead with the job tomorrow. Getting to the Triad Dragon and killing him is the best way to stop this bounty anyway.
>>
>>2471717
>>Go ahead with the job tomorrow. Getting to the Triad Dragon and killing him is the best way to stop this bounty anyway.
>>
>>2471717
>Go ahead with the job tomorrow. Getting to the Triad Dragon and killing him is the best way to stop this bounty anyway.

Best defense.
>>
>>2471717
>>2471720
>>2471724
>>2471752

"Assuming the girls are up for it, we'll go ahead with the job," you tell Cat. "Best defense is a good offense."

"Splendid," she says. "Do tell me if you need anything else, won't you dear?"

Calling around to the rest of the team -- Zero, Ryuji, Ken, Nick, Kaz -- they all answer. They're less than thrilled about being woken up, but they're not being attacked by hit squads. So that's good. You hang up the phone and think a moment. So only your house is vulnerable. That's a shame. You really like this house. It's not often you find an old plantation mansion you can fix up into a real home for yourself. Even less often that mansion has backyard access to a huge swamp for convenient body disposal.

You head outside, where Alex and the twins are loading the bodies of the hitman squad onto a hand-cart. "Everyone else seems all right," you say. "I told Cat we'd go ahead with the job tomorrow."

Alex sighs. "No rest for the wicked, huh?" She grunts as she hauls a burly corpse up onto the cart. "What about Roxie?"

"I'm not sure," you admit. "She was high as a kite earlier. From what I've seen, a serious Z trip has a serious crash at the end. We might need to get Ryuji or Kaz to back us up instead."

"Oooh!" "Oooh!" The twins run over to you and grab onto you, one to each wrist, shaking your arms excitedly. "Let us come!" "Let us do a job!" "We wanna fight!" "We wanna come along!" "Please, Mister Johnny!" "We've been good!" "Super good!"

You think about it. Alex and yourself will be taking point on this job anyway. The third person was just a tagalong for backup. It might be okay to bring the twins instead. Does your conscience allow you to put them in danger? If it was any other fourteen year old girls, you'd say hell no. These two, though, you just saw torturing a Cuban ex-con hitman. What could you ask them to do that they haven't already done?

The twins look up at you with innocent eyes.

>Okay.
>Not until you're older.
>Not until you've trained more.
>Absolutely not.
>Write-in
>>
>>2471767
>Okay
As long as they're just the backup, then it'll be good for them to get more experience with how we work so that they aren't blindsided if/when they join us for real.

Age isn't the limiting factor here, it's skill and experience.
>>
>>2471767
>>Okay.
..... fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.

goddamn puppy eyes fuckin soft i am too old for this bullshit
>>
>>2471717
>Go ahead with the job tomorrow. Getting to the Triad Dragon and killing him is the best way to stop this bounty anyway.
>>
>>2471767
>>2471770
>>2471781

"You're just the backup," you tell the girls firmly. "Me and Alex are in charge. This is just for you to get experience--"

"He means okay!" The twins envelop you in a hug from both sides. "Hooray!" "You're the best, Mister Johnny!"

"I'm too soft on you little rascals, " you say, trying to look grumpy but failing to stop an insistent smile.

Alex says, "You sure about this?"

"It should be all right. You and me are on "gun and driver" duty anyway, like usual. We just need a third as reserve. These two need to get used to how we work when -- I mean, if -- they join us. As long as they behave themselves, I think it'll be all right."

"I don't know ..."

"Come on, didn't you tell me you were shooting a gun as a kid? You turned out fine, right?"

"I skipped over the bad parts of that story, Johnny. I'm not a good example." Alex bites her lip, thinking, then raises her hands as if giving up. "All right, fine. They can come."

"Yayyyy!" The twins run over to Alex, grab her hands, and dance around her in a circle, spinning her around in place. "We're going on a mission with Miss Alex!" "With Mister Johnny!" "Hooray!" They tug a dizzied Alex over to you, and before either of you know it, the twins have all four of you tied up together in a group hug. You and Alex are pressed together by the girls' fierce hugs. Both of you meet the other's eyes, only a short distance away. You smile despite yourselves, and put your arms around the twins.

The first light of early dawn rises over your weird, happy little family.
>>
>>2471790
Continued this weekend!
>>
>>2471767
This is a bad decision
>Okay.
>>
I missed you RK.
>>
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>>2471790
>>2471791


Radio: Lynyrd Skynrd -- Swamp Music
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPU_7DEwPuM

The hot and muggy wind blows the stench of the swamp into your face as the airboat cruises forward over the murky water. Your ears are filled with the droning of the engine and the great fan spinning behind you. You steer the airboat through the narrow, wandering paths between the mangrove trees, across hidden lakes and secluded algae-infested ponds, further into the vast network of interconnected marshlands and swamps collectively known as Greenglade.

Somewhere in this swamp is a base the Triads have been using to run Z. According to Cat's sources, they use airboats to ferry the stuff across Greenglade, evading any police patrols, and transfer it to more inconspicuous transport to bring it into Heat City. This base of theirs is the transfer point. And you're going to blow it up.

Until you get there, you can just enjoy your airboat ride in the sun and the breeze. Or at least as much as this festering, stinking, bug-ridden swamp will let you. Supposedly some people, hillbillies that is, actually live out here. Used to run moonshine and guns before the Triads showed up and shut that down. Imagine living in this. Unbelieveable. If you don't get eaten by a gator on this job, it'll be because the flies ate you first. Anytime you slow down they swarm in. Not much of a chance to enjoy the scenery.

Alex is playing navigator in the seat next to you. "I think we're close!" she shouts over the din of the fan and engine. "Let's shut it down and do our weapons check!"

Agreeing, you cut the engine and let the airboat drift for a bit while you get out of the driver's seat and head to the cargo area to get your gear from the box. The twins are sitting next to it, trying to tuck as much of themselves into their sweaters as possible to hide from the flies. "Are we there, Mister Johnny?" "Are we going?" "Is it happening?"

"Soon, girls," you tell them. "Soon. First we need to weapons check. Make sure everything's clean and ready and loaded. If you do this long enough, you'll see people die because they skipped over this. Their gun jams at the wrong time, and they pay for it. Never skip weapons check."

The twins nod solemnly, taking in every word.

"Remember, you two are just backup on this," you tell them. "I don't want to see you go charging off on your own. Keep your heads down, watch what me and Alex are doing, and follow our lead. If you do something stupid, I'll have to reconsider whether this was a good idea."

"It was--" "--a good idea." "We're ready." "Always weapons check." "Don't do something stupid." "Follow you and Alex." "We got it."

"All right, good." You nod, satisfied, and turn to open your weapons container.

(Continued)
>>
>>2479534

What did you bring to unleash death and destruction today? The M16 you definitely left at home -- after that year in Vietnam, you'd have to be an idiot to take that plastic piece of shit into yet another wetland. No, you needed something rugged and reliable.

Choose primary weapon for this job:

>AK-74 assault rifle
>Ruger-14 hunting rifle
>Mossberg 500 shotgun
>M79 grenade launcher

Alex gets down beside you and checks over her own weapons. "They're gonna have perimeter guards," she says. "I'm thinking we can either park the boat and try to sneak and take them out, or drive straight in and blast them before they know we're coming. Also, maybe you could drop me off and we could hit them from two sides. We'd catch them in a crossfire, good for us, but if one of us got pinned down in might be trouble."

How will you approach the Triad swamp base?

>Sneak in and stealth takedown the perimeter guards
>Drive straight in and start blasting
>Hit them from two sides
>Get a look at the situation first
>Write-in
>>
>>2479544
>>Hit them from two sides
>>
>>2479544
>Hit them from two sides
>>
>>2479544
>AK-74 assault rifle
>>
>>2479544
>Ruger-14 hunting rifle
>Get a look at the situation first
>>
>>2479559
Pretty silly to suggest going in without a weapon? We're even checking for it after all

New Vote:
>AK-74 assault rifle
>Hit them from two sides
>>
>>2479544
>>Ruger-14 hunting rifle
>Hit them from two sides
>>
>>2479544
>M79 grenade launcher
>Drive straight in and start blasting
Sometimes the direct way is the best way
>>
>>2479544
>AK-74 assault rifle
>Hit them from two sides
>>
>>2479544
>>2479551
>>2479567
>>2479575
>>2479577
>>2479669

"I like the idea of hitting them from two sides," you say. "Let's split up and flank them. As for these two, hmm -- why don't we take one twin each?"

Alex looks at the girls, dubious. "I don't know. Will they actually help, or just get in our way?"

"I'm sure it'll be fine," you say confidently, looking from one twin to the other. "These two have practiced hard. They're not going to mess it up by fucking around now when it comes down to it. Right?" you add with a little emphasis.

"Right," they both say.

Alex shrugs. "All right, I'll give it a shot. Drop us off on the east side. We'll give you ten minutes, or until the shooting starts."

"You got it." Having satisfied yourself that your AK is loaded and ready, you pull the sling over your shoulder, get back up into the driver's seat, and rev up the airboat fan again. You follow Alex's directions as she studies the map provided by Cat's contact, passing through mangrove territory and into something approaching proper islands.

Eventually you drop her off where she tells you to. One of the twins tosses you a salute before hopping over the side with Alex, and the two of them disappear into the bush.

"I'm excited!" says the remaining twin. "This is getting intense! But it's weird doing something without her. Don't spend a lot of time apart, really. We usually stick together. We've had to."

"Hey, I get it. Someone's got to watch your back out there. A twin is a good person to do just that." You pat her on the head. "But don't worry about it. Right now, you've got me. As long as you stick with me, Madison, you'll be fine."

"I'm Adeline," she tells you.

"Mmm -- no, you're definitely Madison."

She holds out for a moment, then grins. "You got me."

You turn the airboat around and head back, aiming to end up around the opposite side of the Triad base. Once you get there, you'll hit them hard, causing enough of a distraction for Alex to start picking them off while they're focused on you.

What should you tell this little rascal to do?

>Get out your revolver and start shooting when I do
>Throw these tear gas canisters wherever you see more than one of them
>Keep a lookout for anyone sneaking up or getting the drop on us
>Just keep your head down
>Write-in
>>
>>2479717
>>Keep a lookout for anyone sneaking up or getting the drop on us
>>
>>2479717
>Keep a lookout for anyone sneaking up or getting the drop on us
>"Don't be afraid to try and pick them off, just tell me first."
>>
>>2479727
Supporting
>>
>>2479717
>>2479721
>>2479727
>>2479765


Madison climbs up into the seat next to you and kicks her legs eagerly as you drive the airboat slowly through the swamp.

"Your job is to keep a lookout for anyone who's sneaking up on us," you tell her. "I need you to be the eyes in the back of my head. You get me?"

She nods. "I get you."

"You checked over your Detective Special? Clean and loaded?"

"Yep!"

"Good. Don't be afraid to try and pick one of them off you see a good shot. The most important thing is to not get shot yourself, but the best way to do that is to shoot the other guy first. Just tell me first."

"Got it."

Through the trees you can see a motley collection of large decaying swamp shacks, several of them clustered together, with boardwalks joining them. The decor is what you'd expect from swamp folks, Confederate flags and all, but the Asian fellas standing guard with AK-47s don't look much like swamp folks to you. "All right, we're going in." You get your rifle ready. "Follow me, stay close, and do as I do."

You set out across the mud, staying low. Madison trails behind you, her small sneakers easily fitting into the big footprints left by your boots. When you find a muddy hill with a big solid-looking tree stump on top that can cover both of you, with a good vantage point of the shacks, you get up behind it on one side and indicate for Madison to take the other. Here you take advantage of the good view to scope out the situation.

Choose 2:
>What can you take advantage of?
>What should you be careful of?
>How many of them are there, and where are they?
>Who's in charge here?
>What's the best escape route?
>Write-in
>>
>>2479854

>How many of them are there, and where are they?
>What's the best escape route?
>>
>>2479854
>How many of them are there, and where are they?
>What's the best escape route?
>>
>>2479854
>What should you be careful of?
>How many of them are there, and where are they?
>>
>>2479854
>>2479898
>>2479913
>>2479923

You take a moment to figure out just how many Triad drug runners you're dealing with. With how many you can see standing guard, how many you see walking around inside the shacks, and a pair of airboats parked at the dock, you're thinking there's probably around fifteen guys, maybe more. Decent amount to take on just two gunmen.

For a moment you hestitate, thinking this through. You've got the element of surprise, and good cover where you're hard to spot, and you'll have them caught from both sides once Alex joins in. But maybe you should figure out your escape route, just in case. The airboat you left behind is probably the best way, unless you want to swim back to Heat City. But you couldn't just leave Alex behind, so you'd have to try and circle around to pick her up. Damn. Maybe you should have thought of that before you split up.

Nothing to do about it now except hope you're a better shot.

You look down at Madison. She sets her mouth in a firm line, attempting to look as serious as possible, and nods. With her ready, you raise the AK, aiming at the Triad standing guard who looks like he's the best shot, and get ready to fire.

>Roll 1d10
1-3: Shit happens
4-6: You force the Triads to take cover in their shacks
7+: You hit the Triads bad, killing several in the first volley
>>
Rolled 7 (1d10)

>>2479986
>>
Rolled 8 (1d10)

>>2479986
What could go wrong
>>
Rolled 6 (1d10)

>>2479986
>>
>>2479986
>>2479999

You squeeze the trigger, breaking the quiet stillness of birds and flowing water with the loud reports of gunpowder. The gun kicks against your shoulder. The Triad guard goes down. You quickly switch aim to the guy next to him, looking with a puzzled expression as his fallen comrade, and nail him with a burst as well. A third guy who sees this shouts the alarm before you blast him as well. The remaining Triads all grab up their weapons and run to take up position, but Alex starts firing as well from wherever she's hidden in the swamp, hitting several of them in the back. The drug runners turn back and forth, not knowing where they're under attack from, and in the confusion you and Alex wreak havoc.

Madison watches this happen with wide eyes. "Stay on the lookout," you growl at her as you pause to eject your magazine and ram in a fresh one. She blinks, startled, and nods rapidly. She scans the area, then raises her small revolver and fires off a single shot.

"Don't just fire once," you tell her as you raise the AK back to your shoulder and start to aim. "Keep shooting until you know for sure you've got the bastard!"

She fires off several more shots, then breaks into a grin. "I got him! Right in the kisser!"

"That's my girl!" you tell her between bursts of your AK.

The Triad gang is getting wiped out, but enough of them are alive and coherent to put together a plan. The survivors grab up several duffel bags and haul ass to their airboats. You cut down some of them as they run, but four guys manage to make it to the airboats, two to a boat, and they start to rev up the engines. You fire at them, but the bulky fan on back of the crafts protect them. "Shit, they're gonna escape," you growl. "That's gotta be a few hundred grand of drugs and cash they're carrying. Can't let them get away with it. Back to the boat, Maddy!"

You run off back to the airboat, Madison following close behind. While you run, you think about whether to delay your pursuit to swing around and pick up Alex and Adeline, or leave them behind to clean up any assholes left in the shacks there. You can't afford to waste time and maybe let these guys get away with their drugs and money. The others will be fine -- that is, unless the Triads have left some kind of nasty surprise for them. You probably don't need their help -- that is, unless the Triads are actually luring you into some kind of trap.

"Are we gonna go after them?" asks Madison.

>"You drive, I'll shoot."
>"I'll drive, you shoot."
>Stay to finish off things here with Alex and Adeline
>Write-in
>>
>>2480038
>"You drive, I'll shoot."
What could possibly go wrong?
>>
>>2480038
>>"I'll drive, you shoot."
>>
>>2480038
>"You drive, I'll shoot."
>>
>>2480038
>"You drive, I'll shoot."
They are okay at driving, I think. And this might be hard for her. No offense Mad.
>>
>>2480038
>>2480040
>>2480062
>>2480133
>>2480135

As you jump onto the airboat, you tell Madison, "You drive, I'll shoot. No, wait -- you probably can't drive an airboat. I'll drive, you shoot. No, wait -- you probably can't hit anything with that snubnose. Uhhh --" You stop to try and think about it. Madison waits a moment, then seeing your hestitation, jumps into the driver's chair, revs the engine, and takes off. You fall off your feet at the sudden motion, landing on the floor of the airboat.

Wincing and rubbing your hip, you get up to your feet, this time hanging on and bracing against the motion of the boat. You haven't crashed yet so maybe this was the right way to do it. Madison is hardly an expert driver but what she lacks in experience she makes up for with instinct and enthusiasm.

The airboat speeds across lakes and algae ponds, through mangrove trails and marshland weeds, chasing after the fleeing Triads, just visible ahead of you. Sometimes cash will escape from their hastily packed duffel bags, and your path will take you through clouds of twenty dollar bills fluttering in midair like paper butterflies.

Wind pushing you and whipping your jacket back, you make your way to the front of the airboat and taking up a firing position. Whenever the Triad boats get close enough, you unload. You spend most of your rifle ammo doing it, but you manage to damage their engines, forcing them to slow down. "Get me alongside them!" You call out to Madison.

Throwing your empty AK aside, you reach into the weapons box and pull out your viking axe. Holding it in your left hand, you draw your M1911 pistol with your right, and hold both at the ready with one foot on the gunwale. This must be what pirates felt like, you think with a heady thrill as the airboat skims along the water. Sword and hatchet, ready to board an enemy craft, to fight or die on the open sea. Well, the Greenglade isn't exactly the open sea, but close enough.

Madison pulls the craft up to the Triad airboats, and at the right moment, you leap across the gap and into the middle of the runners, shouting and swinging your axe.

>Roll 1d10

1-3: Shit happens
4-6: You take control of the airboats and kill or drive the Triads off, but take a hit doing so.
7-10: You take control and are just fine.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d10)

>>2480155
Channel the Viking, Johnny.
>>
>>2480155

Nuffle Please..
>>
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>>2480155
>>2480158

You cut and hew, slicing apart one gangster and planting your axe in the chest of another. Pausing to fire your M1911 at the second boat, you then wrench the axe free and hack at the third guy in your boat. You hit him, but not before he gets off a burst from his AK. The shots nail you in the vest, an impact that drives the wind from your lungs. You stagger, but even out of breath you still manage to push forward and chop the axe down into the guy's head, right between the eyes.

You look over at the second boat. Everyone there is either already dead or has bailed out into the water. You see two guys swimming for the mangroves. You might go after them except you can't fucking breathe! Falling to one knee, your vision flashing, lungs refusing to work, you thump yourself a couple times in the chest trying to restart things. Finally air rushes in again, and you stand up, massaging your ribs where the bullets lodged in your vest.

"You all right, Mister Johnny?" calls out Madison. She's driven the airboat around in a circle and come back to pull up alongside you.

"I'm fine, Mad," you call out to her in a ragged voice. "Nice driving."

"Thanks!"

"You just stay there while I deal with all this drug shit." You look down at the duffel bags in the bottom of the boat. Looks like some of it is unprocessed black lotus, and the rest is cash. Last time you were fighting over a Triad supply of Z you told Roxie to burn the stuff, but then you didn't really have time to stick around and loot the place. You could just take the cash, but you could also take the Z as well. See if there's anyone you could sell it to for a decent price. Cat might know someone. Drugs are bad and all, but after this much murder and mayhem, it doesn't make much sense to draw a line there, right?

Seems like you've got a few minutes to think about it this time, so that's good. You can take your time and decide. You finished up this group that was trying to run away, and Alex and Adeline should be finishing things up back at the shacks by now. You'll get back in Madison's boat, taking the cash -- and maybe the drugs -- back over there with you. Blow the place to kingdom come. And then head back to Heat City. You should have just enough time for some cartoons and a six-pack before bed. This is turning out to be a pretty good day.

(Continued)
>>
>>2480180

You turn back to Madison and open your mouth to start talking when something hits you. An explosion of brightness and pain strikes you in the side of the forehead.

You fall to the bottom of the boat below the gunwale, instinctively knowing that you've been shot even before you hear the crack of the gunshot ring out over the suddenly silent marshlands.

"Get down!" you call out to Madison through the haze of blood and pain. You touch your fingers to your forehead, and they come away bloody. Well, your brains are all still in one piece, so that's all right. It stings like a bitch, and it's already getting hard to see with the blood dripping into your eye, but you're still alive.

Another scar for the collection.

From the delay of the gunshot, that came from a long distance away and nearly took your head off. It was only turning around to talk to the girl at just the right second that happened to save your life. Damn fine shot.

You can't see too well from down here, but it looks like Madison's taken cover in her own boat as well. You call out to her, "Maddy? You okay?"

"Yeah, Johnny. Are you?"

"Just barely, but yeah. Listen to me: take your hat off, put it on a stick or something, and then hold it up a little, just above the edge of the boat."

You see the girl's baseball cap begin to rise up above the gunwale just before a bullet strikes it, tearing a serious hole. You hear Madison shriek a little as she drops the hat.

Okay, so you're in an airboat in the middle of the swamp, with no rifle ammo, an M1911, and an axe. Your only backup is a fourteen year old girl. And you're pinned down by an expert sniper, who could be hiding in any direction, anywhere in the swamp.

This day is getting worse fast.
>>
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>>2480185

To be continued!

That's all for Thug Quest 30, anons. Hope you enjoyed yourself, and I'll see you in the next thread, where we battle a mysterious sniper in the thickest parts of the Florida swamp.
>>
>>2480185
>who could be hiding in any direction, anywhere in the swamp.
Technically we already have a direction thanks to the hat and, judging by the shot sound/bullet hit, it's pretty far away.
Say what you will, there's nobody who can make those headshots without being set up somewhere. Or alone.
Getting out of the boat will be tricky, maybe pull another hat trick and jump out while he's retargeting? Use the armor as a shield?
>>
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>>2480187
I fucking love this quest, every damn episode!
>>
>>2480247
> Assuming the Sniper isn't moving between multiple positions

Man, we need to start bringing a flare gun with codes for the different types of problems.

Red means it''s a trap. Green means come get me. Yellow means "Sniper". That sort of stuff.
>>
>>2480402
True but with how far he is he won't move too far, certainly not more than 30º to either side, its too much ground to cover and reliably cover us
Good idea on the flares tho
>>
>>2480406
I mean. I don't know if radios are feasible in this time period.
>>
>>2480406
Oooh! AN/PRC-68 walkie-talkie was developed in 1976 and distributed to the Marines in 1980!

So we probably COULD get some big bulky two way radios for a shit ton of cash!
>>
>>2480402
He immediatly shoot at the cap so it seems like he was waiting for a move rather than going around
Also why not getting some two-way radio?
>>
>>2480553
Because handheld two-way radios weren't really accessible until 1980, but flares have been around forever.
>>
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>>2480555
I mean, it doesn't need to be handheld
>>
>>2480581
Maybe we can get a AN/PRC-77 as a vietnam surplus
>>
>>2480581
Unacceptably big.
>>
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>>2471790
>The first light of early dawn rises over your weird, happy little family.
>>
>>2480187
So backwards Chinese destruction juju thing huh? neat
>>
Reminder that is Water that is sniping the fuck out of us. We're in a fucking swamp, literally 100% unironically in this bitch's element.
>>
>>2484657
Water... or Wood? Remember that Wood's the sniper, while Water is the specops gal.
Here's hoping we don't fight two elements at once.
>>
Oi, where's 15? I can't find it in the archives and I don't want to skip it cause this shit is great.
>>
Oh hey, nevermind, I found it on .moe.
>>
>>2485624
there's a link on the second post, how did you miss that?
>>
>>2485630
Thread 15 isn't on suptg and the link at the beginning of 16 is for b-stats which is blocked for me for some reason. Probably one of my adblockers or something, at least it got me the OP number for 15.
>>
Just caught up, amazing quest, Raven. Doesn't run too often though, huh, that sucks cause it's really good.




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