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Running Scared

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Peters switched off the engine and climbed out of his car. He breathed the smog filled, humid air of the L.A. street air into his lungs. The café looked dirty and dilapidated. Wooden boards covered one of the windows, the walls were covered in graffiti, the street stank of urine and three of the letters on the neon sign above the entrance were broken. It was meant to read "El Diablo's". The name was a cliché but in its heyday about ten year's back, it had been one of the hippest places in this part of town. Now it was a scum-hole and the classiest people who came to it were hookers, their pimps and drug pushers. And of course, Enrique Gonzales, the arms dealer, Thorne's arms dealer.

Peters pushed open the metal door and stepped inside. The interior was dark and filled with smoke. If any of the lights inside worked, (which they probably didn't), they weren't on. The type of Latin music heard in elevators was coming weakly out of the speakers. There were four people in the café. A man with a pissed off look on his face sat in one of the booths, waiting for someone (probably one of his hookers, Peters thought to himself). There was the bartender, a large man with a big moustache and a filthy apron. He was pulling the wallet out of the pocket of the passed out drunk at the bar. And sitting next to the drunk was the owner of this shithole, Enrique Gonzales.

He was a thin, clean-shaven Latino in his thirties with a long head of hair greased back with an oily gel. A scar ran under his left eye, a souvenir from a fight with a competitor. He was smoking a cigarette and taking deep drags from it. A glass of Tequila sat in front of him.

"Hey Enrique," Tony said as he walked up next to him at the bar, "long time no see."

"Fuck off Peters, I ain't got no time for you".

"Hey that's no way to treat an old friend, and I think you have got something to tell me".

"And what in the hell could that be, pig?"

"I want you to tell me where a friend of mine is, Alan Thorne."

"I don't know what the fuck you're talking about man."

"Sure you do," Peters said casually keeping a smile on his face, "you deal weapons to him all the time, handguns, rifles, even some of that Off-World crap, so cut the bullshit and tell me where he is."

"Okay, I'll tell you. But first come have a drink with me amigo. On the house okay? Tequila?"

"Suits me."

"Okay. Sanchez!" he called to the bartender. The big man turned around to face them. "This man wants a drink! Give it to him."

Peters saw the gleaming look in Gonzales's eyes and recognized the signal, he slammed his fist into Sanchez's nose before the bartender had even got the sawn-off shotgun out at him. The large man toppled to his knees, his face covered in blood. He gave out a loud moaning sound, completely caught off guard by this gringo. Enrique on the other hand, had leaped off his chair and was sprinting for the back door. Peters thought fast, he picked up one of the wooden barstools lying on the floor and threw it with extreme force at the back of the fleeing figure. It hit hard with a bang. And he fell with a scream of pain to the floor. He lay there quivering in pain and groaning.

Peters walked past the other two patrons of the café, who were completely uninterested due to booze or a desire to stay the fuck away from all this. When he got to the crumpled figure on the floor, he rolled it over onto its front and kneeled over it.

"You shouldn't have done that Enrique", Peters said to him in a much more serious and generally pissed off tone of voice. "Because you did that I'm gonna have to do this". He pulled his gun out his coat and slammed it across the man's face with a thud. Gonzales made another yelp. "Now would you like to tell me where Thorne is, you cocksucking prick?"

"Okay, okay, just don't hurt me no more, all right?"

"Where is he staying?"

"He's staying in some-"

"Sanchez! Get the fuck away from that gun!" Peters interrupted without even looking behind him. The large man with the broken nose backed away into the corner. "You were saying," he said returning to his calm tone of voice.

"It's an apartment block, uptown. I'll give you the address, here." Enrique pulled a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket and handed it to him. Sweat covered the man's forehead and mixed with the blood from the slap of the gun.

Peters studied the note, and after a second he looked up at Enrique. "Gracias Amigo," he smiled as he got up and walked towards the door.

"No Problem!" gasped the arms dealer "if you want anything…anything, I will help!"

"Why thank you Enrique that's very nice to know". He stopped next to the bar and reached inside his coat. Sanchez cringed and held his hands in front of his face, expecting the worst. Peters pulled out his wallet and left 10 Chinyen on the bar. "See you later Sanchez." He said as he walked out the café. Sanchez did not start breathing again until he heard the car drive away.

"God damn, you're worse than me now, if Bryant ever saw the shit you do on assignment..."



Option 1 - Peters talks to Thorne

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Date: 2002-09-17 22:15