It was Monday morning and my rough weekend was about to spill over into being a rough week. I say rough weekend, it was all my own fault. The Buzz team had worked late on Friday so Aldo took us all for a drink that night in celebration of his first publication as editor. That was heavy. Then Saturday came, which consisted of day drinking that went into the night drinking with some gang members. ’It’s fine’ I thought ’Tomorrow I can just sleep it all off’. Wrong. My buddy Exodus called me up saying we had to go out and celebrate. What we were celebrated I couldn’t tell you, but it was Monday morning now and by 10AM I was already on my fourth coffee. But I would soon what something stronger than a coffee. As I felt myself drifting off, slowly laying my head on the desk my phone rang, jolting me awake.
“Anyone wanna take this call! Could be a nice Monday morning lead?!” I screamed across the office hoping, praying, someone would take this for me.
“Great. Fuck you very much guys! I’ll remember this”, I yelled as I heard JJJameson chuckling from his desk around the corner. I dragged my hand down my face as I picked up the receiver.
“Listen, I’m sure whatever story you have about Aunt Jessica having an affair is important to you but it’s Monday morni-“
“Shut up and listen maggot”
“Their ETA is a couple of minutes or so. Get everyone safe or at least get them ready” ordered the voice down the phone. A voice, and way of talking, I recognised.
“Just get ready, I'll call you back” he ordered as the line went dead. For those who don’t know iCoastie was a Buzz writer, always delving into the opinions of the communicating, what they thought of certain parts of our illegal organisations. He also was involved in those organisations in quite a big way, being the boss of the 23rd Gunslingers Company [23GC]. It was a crew that was formed of some life long friends and also some ex-servicemen, iCoastie included. The name actually can from the nickname given to the Military Police unit Coastie was part of. Because of the ex-military background, they ran a tight unit and were always prepared as I had just found out.
I quickly opened the bottom drawer of my desk where I kept a loaded Colt, stuffed it down the back of my slacks and covered it with my untucked shirt. Before I could shout out to everyone about iCoastie’s call the door smashed open and in walked two men. They both were loaded to the teeth with ammunition and guns, also with their faces covered with bandanas. Everyone stood there in silence. Aldo walked out of his office and stared at them, seemingly in confusion and also rage. A war between groups was normal. People who were at war writing for the Buzz was normal. But bringing it to the Buzz offices, was not normal.
“Listen up! We want don’t want any trouble. We just have one question. Where the fuck are Nazgul (another member of 23GC who worked for the Buzz) and iCoastie? That’s all we want to know?!”... Noone replied. “Where are they!” He screamed.
“Who shall I say is calling?” I said with a sense of sarcasm but I also wanted to know the answer. One of the guys turned to him and looked me up and down. He paced over to me and pinned me by the throat up against the wall.
“Funny guy huh? Make people laugh with your articles. How funny will you be with your brains splattered over the walls?!” ’Leave it. Leave it. Shut up. Don’t say anything. Bite your damn tongue if you have to just don’t open your mou-‘
“We were talking the other day about redecorating, could be a nice shade of red no?” I stupidly replied. ’You’re dumb. Like painfully dumb. And I was right to think that, ‘painfully dumb’, cause hit me with a gut punch that nearly crippled me.
“Leave him alone jackass!” Called Aldo to my rescue. Both gunmen turned to face him and I used this opportunity to do an even more stupid thing. Pull my gun out. I placed it under his chin pointing diagonally upwards to come out the top of his skull. He went to turn back to me when he felt the cold metal on his skin but as he did I pushed up firmly. “No, no” I whispered. “Get your shit everyone.” I very politely ordered. At the Buzz, there shouldn’t be violence. We are a place of using our words not our actions. But, if called upon, action will be taken. Everyone returned to their desk and opened their bottom drawers, and pulled out whatever their choice of handgun was. Apart from Anonymity. Oh no. He returned with two Browning Automatic Rifles, don’t ask.
“Right then. We just have one question. Who the fuck are you?”
“That’s doesn’t matter. What matters, for your safety, is you let us go.” Replied the gunman.
“For our safety yeah?!” I chuckled. The phone on my desk then rang. Aldo walked over a picked it up.
He listened in silence and passed me the handset. ’Surely whatever it is can’t be that important’ I thought to myself.
“It’s Coastie. Let them go B. You don’t need to get involved in this battle. It’s not yours to fight.”
“You sure?!” Puzzled by his request, I asked.
“Never been surer. Stay on the call. Let them go. Then grab a pen. I haven’t got long but you need to get this.” He insisted.
“Ok. You two. Fuck off.”
They both stared at me.
“You heard the man” ordered Aldo, “Get the fuck out of my office. NOW!” The walls shook as Aldo exploded with rage flung himself in the direction of the gunman, their reaction was to run out the building quicker than they came in. We all slumped into our chairs taking a moment to digest what just happened. ’Oh shit, Coastie!’
“Coastie you there?! They’ve gone!”
"Yeah I'm here, but won't have long now. You ready for this?"
"I've got a pen. Go!"
"I don't have time for details so here is what we know. The State Line Mob [SLM] are the attackers. But they are shooting on false information. One of their guys called Smudgey did a bit of headhunting the other day and took out two of our underground members without realising. One was a banker friend of ours and a hired gun. We were going to retaliate by taking them out but thought better of wasting the resources because who knows if we might have actually needed it. It just so happen that Smudgey must have pissed off someone else with the shooting as he wound up dead. One of our members wasn't happy with the lack of action and the fact that we didn't do the shooting, so disrupted the funeral. A little bit of shouting, a bit of pissing, that sort of stuff. SLM took that as us taking responsibility for the hit. With that as justification, they are now attacking us."
"Damn Coastie do you need any he-"
"I'm not finished" He interrupted. "We think they have about five shooters as some of our guys have already fallen but we have taken down 3 of them so far. And we will keep going."
"Now give me the phone!" I heard a voice yell in the background of wherever Coastie was. "Give me the damn pho- Hello?! Hello, you still there Mr. baron?!"
"Yep still here. Who's this?"
"It's Syco. I'm the funeral pisser. All this shooting doesn't matter. If you write one thing it's this. SLM is not who they say they are."
"Syco..." I heard Coastie say in the background as if to stop him.
"Shut up man. I'm tired of this shit." Syco said back at him. "Baron. It's Death Valley [DV]. SLM is DV. That's your fucking story. The council of DV and SLM had decided to allow their members to be meat shields without any prior knowledge they would be attacking us, cause come on they know we are going to shoot back, hard and fast. The death and losses of members were fully disregarded. We are standing strong and at a disadvantage, we will take them down." 'What the hell?! How could he know this?!' Before I could even get a question in there was a loud explosion on the line, then shouting and a lot of shooting. After a few minutes, it went to silence, then people talking and walking around, then someone picked up the handset.
"Hello?" I asked.
"Oh dear... Hello again..." They replied. My heart sank as I fell back into my chair. It was the gunman that came into the Buzz offices earlier. The ones Coastie had told us to let go. "You are right by the way baron, brain splattered on the wall is a nice shade of red." And with he hung up. So yeah, a rough weekend into the beginning of a rough fucking week.
A few days went by and we were still coming to terms with what had happened. 23GC had done well with their counter-attacking of SLM. They had wiped most of their members from their spots but they didn't all drop, keeping SLM up and able to continue. 23GC on the other hand weren't so lucky, they took so much damage they had to give up their enterprises and get out of town for a while. It was now Thursday morning and as I approached I saw an envelope I hadn't seen for a very long time. Little grey in cool with a large black DV stamped on the front. We were told about SLM potentially being DV but not had any confirmation or any word from them. But could this all change now? I slowly opened the envelope and pulled out the letter. It read-
23rd has never been a target of ours. We never had any issues with them. The underboss sycoblast pissed on our members grave his name was "smudgey"
We didn't like that and decided to shoot them. We went on to restock by melting cars and buying bullets from bullet factories. After a few days, we had enough to do a full wipe, and so we did.
We expected to die a long time before this shooting. We had already shot but we all miraculously survived. We were waiting to get shot so we could go back UG. Then they pissed on one of our graves and it was reason enough for us to shoot.
Back in the day, you had to watch out who you say anything to unless you wanted to go to war with each other. you had to keep your members under control in the forums. It was all about showing respect.
We want to bring the game back to those days.
It should be all about crew wars, the criminal world really did improve a lot and it actually feels a lot more like back in those days that we all loved.
23rd did an awesome job on shooting back at us! The bad part is that they went all out and acted really salty and butthurt on the streets about it.
It was just fun for us though we expected to die somehow we are still alive. They all went UG. Let's hope they take revenge soon.
If they kept talking in the street and trolling like kids and pissing on peoples graves, eventually someone else will shoot them for it, this time it was us.
Kind Regards Death Valley
Shit. Well that is confirmation if you ever need it. I quickly grbbed my old notebook to see if I had any contacts still from DV. One number still there and in use. Valiant (who was now going by the name StromShadow). He was a big player in the DV crew. Lets give him a call.
The phone rang a few times then was picked up somewhat confusingly,
"Yeah erm hello?" Said the man on the other end.
"Is this Valiant?" I enquired.
"Who the fuck wants to know?!" I got in reply. I always get these ominous phonecalls myself but was never on this end of them. Was quick a good feeling after all these years.
"The Buzz. We got your letter, but have some more questions."
"Damn Spicy you've still got my number?! HA! Well listen, you know we don't normally do it this way, but because of the balls you've got to call me, you got one question. Shot." He said. Man one question?!?!? Erm think... OK OK.
"Right, if SLM as DV why the secrecy and who really knew it was you?" I hoped he would answer it fully and give me something worth it.
"That's two questions... But I'll give it to you. We created SLM to recruit new members and keep our current members enjoying having a spot, doing what we usually do plus having fun, gambling and socializing a little, to keep them interested all the time not only the underground stuff. FilthyAnimal named it and he was the one who picked up the spot and it was just perfect for us all. And actually, not everyone knew in the spot. We made it to recruit new members mainly then filter them and pick the ones who we feel deserved to be moved to the next level. Then the shooting somehow helped us to get to know the members better as we decided to expose ourselves and change the name to Death Valley so that led to a huge discussion with the new members and actually helped positively and everyone just accepted the situation and has a share in the rebuilding process. OK? We good? Bye."
And with that, he hung up. I tried calling back but it was now a deadline. Typical. I guessed that probably wasn't the last time I would be talking to DV now I'm back at the Buzz but it was probably gonna be the last time I had the upper hand.