[size=9](The following is a continuation of West End Dissatisfaction )
[/size]The Core, Terminus.
Terminus. The biggest city on the surface of planet Rhy?Din was built, and then expanded on, from what was known as The Lift
? a gigantic Space Elevator directly in the center of the city. The Lift was designed to transport material to and from the surface, making Terminus a ?port city? that connected into space, and living up to the definition of its name as ?an end of a travel route.? The elevator cable was made of super reinforced carbon nanotubes, capable of transporting thousands of tons in one trip, and each trip was roughly eleven minutes travel time. The elevator connected at the other end to an anchor in space, Gateway Station II; which was a multi-level, multi-docking space station for interstellar craft.
From The Lift, the city continually expanded outward from this receiving point. This area became the downtown section of the city known as The Core
, and where the wealthiest of citizens chose to take up residence. Bocca Felice
was a genuine Italian restaurant just on the cusp of the outermost part of The Core, before the neighborhood started to fade into the central district. It was known for having a well thought out menu, good selection of authentic Italian food, and for abiding by the traditional
Italian timetable. The restaurant was open for a brunch until early lunch and then closed for riposo
, or siesta ? a period of the day meant for those to rest. It would close until roughly four-thirty in the afternoon, when it would it open its doors for the dinner crowd and would stay open fairly late.
A black town car with tinted windows pulled up in front of Bocca Felice. Without haste, the rear door closest to the curb opened up, and a man dressed in a sharp Italian suit made his exit. Black slacks, shoes and jacket accompanied a white dress shirt, black tie and sleek black sunglasses. Turning back into the car he leaned in and spoke into the back seat.
?Stay here,? he said calmly. ?If anything, I?ll call for you.?
With two taps of his hand on the metallic roof of the car he closed the door behind him. They were reassuring pats, letting the occupants inside know that everything was going to be okay, especially since he was going in alone.
?Lofaszt!? A voice exclaimed from behind him.
Liam turned around to see a man smiling ear to ear at him from in front of the doorway. He was shorter than Liam, about five-foot-five, skinny and of Hungarian-Japanese descent. He was sporting a Fu Manchu mustache, steely-dark eyes and a longer style black trench coat, with a large brimmed fedora. Pulling one last drag off of his cigarette, he threw it to the ground and stomped it out before approaching Liam.
?Monsier Owens, desu ka?!?
It was cityspeak
, a mish mash of words and expressions from Spanish, French, Chinese, German, Hungarian and Japanese: the result of having so many affluent cultures frequenting the area. It was a street language, spoken heavily in the Outer Ring of Terminus, and those that weren?t fluent at it stuck out like sore thumbs. Liam Owens however, was no sore thumb.
?Como estai kana Mault?? Liam responded.
Eduardo Malt. Soldier and professional hitman for the Terminus Syndicate. Short in stature, but what he lacked in size he made up for in lethality. He was a dangerous man. Quick to smile, quick to put a bullet in someone and not think twice about it.
?Good, good.? Mault replied, offering Liam a handshake and a smile, while he continued talking in Cityspeak. He was standing guard, for all intents and purposes, outside of the restaurant. Keeping a watchful eye for anyone that approached the establishment. After the two shook hands, he opened the front door and stepped to the side so that Liam could enter.
When Liam passed through the entrance he was met by another soldier, Gino Capriotti. He was also dressed in a suit that complimented Liam?s own choice of attire. He was much larger than Gault, clearing six-foot-three and built like a brick **** house. Clearly ?muscle? for the organization.
?Liam, Come stai?? Whereas Gault spoke Cityspeak, Gino was fluent in Italian.
?Sto bene, e tu?? And Liam had no problem with that Language either.
?Very good, thank you.? Gino replied and continued in Italian. ?Lips has been expecting you. Right this way.?
With a firm nod, Gino led Liam through the empty restaurant while Liam removed his sunglasses. It was very elegantly decorated, there were tables for two, four and much larger parties. Each had a pristine white tablecloth, sparkling silverware, immaculately clear glasses and dark wooden chairs. There was also a neat, triangular folded napkin placed delicately over each plate in the table setting. Soft Italian music was piped in through the establishment and a gigantic saltwater fish-tank was placed in the middle, separating one part of the Bocca Felice from the other.
As the two men rounded the fish-tank, there were two more individuals at a far table that was all the way in the back of the restaurant. They looked up and made eyes with Liam and one of the men stood to leave. Gino waved his hand, finishing his escort and having taken Liam to where he had been requested. As Liam continued his approach to the table, Gino departed with the other man, leaving the the two remaining men alone for their private meeting. Luciano ?Lips? Palladino
, Caporegime for the Terminus Syndicate
, stood up from his seat and opened his arms to welcome his Lieutenant ? Liam Owens. He was about the same height as Liam, although he was older and much wider in stature, probably from eating his fair share of Spaghetti and marinara. He had dark hair, graying on the sides, clean shaven, and quite large lips that almost formed into the shape of a natural frown. One would easily see how he earned the monicker ?Lips?, a name which he seemed to embrace rather easily.
?Liam, Liam, good to see ya,? he said, wrapping his arms around the man. Liam hugged him back, both of the men patting one another on the back to further masculinize their greeting.
?Good to see you too Cap,? Liam offered back with a bit of a smile.
?How ya doin? kid?? Lips asked, pulling back and taking Liam?s face into the palm of his hands, patting his cheeks gently. Clearly, more of an Italian greeting.
?Tired, but good.?
?I could imagine.? He responded with a smile. ?Please, please take a seat.? Motioning towards the empty seat next to him. Liam responded, opening his suit jacket and pulled up a chair.
?So, you made the news last night.?
made the news?? Liam asked, surprised.
?Well not you,? Lips leaned over, picking up a copy of the Rhy?Din post and plopping it in front of Liam. ?But, yanno.?
Liam leaned forward and looked down at the headline. Suspects of West End Prostitution Ring Found Dead.
?Cops are goin? crazy lookin? for suspects. They don?t know who did it, but they?re lookin?.? Lips explained with amusement. He had been the one to authorize the hit. Due to the nature and the circumstances, Liam had to make sure the chain of command was aware of the steps that were necessary. The three men were all in police custody, it was a risky situation, but it was well worth the reward.
Liam scanned over the article, thumbing through the pages as Palladino spoke to him. From everything that he read, the Police and the Watch didn?t have any leads. The bodies weren?t even discovered until almost daylight, well after they had made their exit. All good signs.
?You did good kid, you did real good.?
?Couldn?t have them yappin?. These guys knew a little too much for their own good.? Liam replied.
?Exactly. That?s my point. You made a good call,? Leaning back towards his paperwork, Lips pulled out a small manila envelope from underneath the pile and slid it over towards Liam. ?Here?s your taste. The assets were liquidated before the fuzz could get their hands on them.?
Liam?s payment for the job. He knew by now that Luciano already received his cut, and a tribute had already been sent up to the head of the organization. It was the way things worked in his profession.
?Thanks Cap,? Liam?s hand moved over and took the envelope, slipping it into his jacket.
?So tell me more about this new girl. Kerry? Kayla??
.? Liam responded with a bit of a smile.
?Yeah, yeah, Kayleigh. That?s it.?
?She?s a good girl-?
?You collared her?? Lips asked, taking a sips of his drink. That question came fairly quickly.
?Liam Owens took a collar for himself? Say it aint so!? Palladino replied in jest.
?She wanted it. So I gave her what she wanted.?
?You charmer you!? Lips said, holding his drink out with his hand as he spoke, chortling a bit.
?She?s a Nephilim.? Liam smirked.
?And a Shadow Hunter.?
?Yer tellin? me you collared a Nephilim Shadow Hunter?? Lips asked, completely taken aback by it. ?How the hell did you manage that??
?Some Angels, Cap, are Dark Angel?s
. They just hafta be shown the way.?
?So, keepin? her as yer pet??
?She?s the one who performed the hit.? Liam replied, a vicious grin displayed across his face.
?You gotta be kiddin? me!? Palladino?s eyes widened, chuckling harder now. ?So that?s how you got it done??
?Well, she had to prove herself to me Lips, and completely give herself to me. This was the perfect opportunity. I took out the electricity and she did the rest.? Liam leaned into the table a bit before he continued. ?When I gave her the job, there weren?t any questions asked. Well ? one. Just when I wanted it done.?
The look of delight was lit up all over the Captain?s face. The pleasure he was taking in his Lieutenant?s report was better than he had imagined when he called him on the phone earlier that morning.
?When I found out that she was a Shadowhunter I asked her about her skills, asked her if she could be an assassin. It was the perfect transition. Gifts given from the good lord himself, and all? all for our benefit.?
The smile on Liam?s face equally matched his boss. The two men were basking in their moment. Lips leaned in then, lowering his tone just a bit.
?Yer a good earner Liam. I know you?ve heard that before, but yer always lookin? out and ya always make the right moves.? Lips paused for a moment to pour a drink for himself first and then his Luietenant. ?And look, the boss has been kickin? around the idea again of takin? in an underboss. If that?s true, he?s obviously gonna promote one of the Captains. Now, I can?t say who?ll get it for sure, but I?m tellin? you dis, If I get the slot, outta all of my Lieutenants, I could see you makin? the move up the ladder.?
Liam had his own crew, a few soldiers and a few associates. However, he operated under Palladino who was the Captain of the Terminus region of the Terminus Syndicate. He had started out as a hitman when he was younger, then moved into the drug trade and then his main moneymaker -- slavery. When he proved himself, over time, he had been promoted to Lieutenant under Palladino.
There were two other Caporegime?s. One for the Stars End Sector and the other for Rhy?Din City. The Terminus Syndicate was incepted after three of the major crime organizations on the planet agreed to put their differences aside and combine their power and influence to increase business, profit and revenue. Some of the old influences remained but as it stood now, the Syndicate had operated efficiently in the shadows for over twenty years. There were rumors that the head Crime Boss was a Hutt but that information was a secret to anyone outside of the organization.
?Well, if that all pans out, I?d appreciate the opportunity.? Liam said, matching the tone of the conversation.
?This conversation doesn?t leave this table though.? Lips replied, tapping his index finger into the tablecloth firmly. ?I don?t need Briggs
gettin? the wrong idea.?
?Nah, of course not. I know you called this closed door meetin?, and I know why they?re not here.?
?Good Liam,? Lips took another sip of his drink now. ?Good. So, when do I get to meet this Kayleigh??
?She?s outside in the car with Vinny.?
?Well, send ?er in! I?d like to meet this... miracle woman that Liam Owens acquired.?