It will take a long time for the city to notice the good I am doing, it took the criminals about two weeks to notice that I was interfering with their business.
I had been doing this for about two months, going out every other night to areas that I kept hearing about on the scanner. Areas that should have been cleaned up years ago but had been written off as no longer worth spending our tax dollars on. Who cares that hundreds of families can not afford to move out of these slums, the rent is too cheap to pass up when moving would mean quadrupling what they pay for half the amount of space.
The first big name to really take notice that I was fucking up his income was a guy simply referred to as “The Spaniard”, one of his pit bosses happened to be around when I was explaining to his corner workers that St. Louis street was now a drug free zone. My aunt’s old metal baseball bat was (and is) an amazing teacher for lessons like these, to thick-headed crew members that had trouble understanding my point. I need to make a point here, (a line in the sand if you will) that I will always give these people a chance to walk away from it. To move to another corner, to go back to the bosses and tell them what happened, whatever they need to do to not have to become a human baseball. I am not a monster like their bosses are, I forgive them for what they do. A lot of them have no choice in the matter, and are only doing it to stay alive. The first few weeks I did not quite realize this, and I was taking out my anger on pawns rather than the kings/queens of the board. Sure I managed to get one of the really small working crews out of the area, but they were only at it because they knew they could get away with it because of the bigger crews. It served as a message in retrospect, to get the attention of the bigger names, and boy did I get the attention of the bigger names.
Everyone knew about The Spaniard and his crew including the cops, but what could they do when all they knew (assumed) was that he was Spanish? How do you find a guy in a city of millions with no date of birth, no physical description, not even a vague notion of who he is. Nobody was even sure it was a guy for a long time, we simply referred to him as male out of pure guess-work. This guy had at least four full neighbourhoods with dealers on every corner, running round the clock. Not to mention every shop keeper of corner stores was under his thumb to turn a blind eye or lose “protection” status. I had to do a lot of recon work before I really understood just how big this operation was. I spent days in filthy clothes, shoes with holes in them and glass stuck in the soles (a trick I learned from watching way too many cop TV shows) from walking on broken vials. For the first few days I watched and figured out where the drugs were stored (idiots barely made an effort to keep it hidden) and how many guards there were on watch at any given time. Early in the morning there was only one, later in the day and into the night there was always two or three. Morning was going to be my best shot at getting in there without a big scene, I needed to get in and out clean. The last thing I wanted or needed was a dozen angry dealers with hand guns charging in after me, I had seen their aim and I was just as likely to get a bullet to the brain as I was to catch one in my toe. So it would have to be early morning, take out one guard and deal with the one inside before he can run away with the stash. I was going to take that stash, it was going to be a present to the police department and a message to the Spaniard.
It was around five AM, I can not really be sure because who the hell is fully functional at that time of morning. And there I was huddled under a piece of cardboard and a dirty old blanket covering me, so that nobody would see that I had my mask and weapons with me. The plan seemed simple enough at the time, I would take my time in walking around the building the stash was in. Circle from the side that the guard never seemed to face, hell why would he there was a twelve-foot wall back there and a small ravine on the other side. No one in their right mind would try to come from down there and over the wall, which is probably a good summation of my state of mind, because it was the first place I thought of. As I scaled the wall inch by inch covered in mud from slipping one time too many in the ravine, my heart started to race. This was not just a low-level thug selling a few vials on a corner anymore, I was about to break into a stash house and make off with a few thousand (at least) dollars worth of drugs. I sat at the top of the wall for a moment to try to calm down a bit, I closed my eyes and took one last breath before I went down. I slid down the wall without much trouble, I hunched over and made my way along the wall towards the front entrance. Peeking around the corner, the guard was staring off at nothing as he always did so now was my chance. I double checked that my mask was actually on, gripped my bat so hard that I might have broken a blood vessel and rounded the corner.
You might be surprised at how quickly a two hundred pound guy goes down when a metal baseball bat connects with his head. The noise is also disgusting (I really need a new weapon of choice) and I had to stop for a moment and shake it off. I grabbed his hand gun immediately, thinking it would do a lot better to scare the guy inside as well as leaving him unarmed if he somehow woke up soon. I held the gun high and slowly opened the door, nobody in sight in the main room. My first thought was that maybe they had out smarted me and this was a decoy stash house, in which case I was absolutely fucked because this risk was for nothing and they would tighten security even more. My fears quickly disappeared as a short skinny guy came out of the back room with a can of beer in his hand, his eyes fell to me fairly quickly and the beer dropped out of his hand as he yelled “SHIT don’t shoot! I’m just a fuckin’ baby sitter for this shit! They didn’t even give me a gun!” he hits his knee’s fast with his hands on his head. Poor guy must have been terrified, clearly they had never actually had someone break into the stash before. I spoke quietly and told him to show me where the stash was, he got up slowly and took me to the back room. This is where the trouble came in, christ there must have been three hundred pounds of that stuff on the ground in there. I did not even remember to bring a way to carry it out for fucks sake. God I was stupid those first few weeks.
I had to think fast, there was a garbage bag in the corner and I had the guy empty it out and throw as much as he could into it. Which was not a lot, but it would have to do. Anything was enough at this point, just something to get attention on this. There was a lantern in the corner and a small generator, my eyes scanned quickly for the gas canister they must be using to fuel it. Bingo! Under a table was my ticket, I had the guy cover the room in gas (much to his dismay, he must have thought I was going to burn him alive with it) before telling him he was leaving with me. Luckily I still had a lighter in my pocket, I moved towards the door before setting the room ablaze. I had the guy lay face down next to the unconscious guard before I made my escape, I was three blocks away before turning back to notice a rather large cloud of black smoke in the early morning sky.
The headlines that afternoon had a picture of a burning abandoned apartment unit, followed by a picture of the police chief looking baffled at fifty pounds of cocaine sitting on the departments doorstep with spray paint on the wall that read “More where this came from” with the address of the stash house I had burned. This was big, the city knew I was here, the police knew I was here, and whether I realized it or not the Spaniard knew, and he was pissed.