Hiroshi Morishita arrived at Haven nightclub around 10, handing the keys of his dark silver Maserati to an admiring valet standing by the curb as he made his way inside. Two members of his gang, Johnny Ogata and Ken, were already there, waiting for him at a private booth and surrounded by a handful of beautiful, but disposable, women. Hiroshi took a seat next to Ken and across from Johnny.
“Alright ladies, get lost for a while.” Ken told the women, who shrugged and sauntered off obediently. Now it was just the three of them.
“You have news about Victor?” Hiroshi asked in perfect English. Victor was another member of their gang, who hadn’t been heard from in almost a week.
“Well,” Johnny replied. “We’ve been asking around everywhere—”
“Everywhere.” Ken added emphatically.
“— and we finally got someone to talk. Stingray’s got him, plans on ransoming him back to us.”
Stingray was a small-time gangster. Hiroshi could only wonder how he planned to kidnap one of the Akutagawa-kai clan of the Yakuza and live to tell the tale.
“Seems he has a death wish.” He told his men.
“I even know where they’ve got him,” Johnny added. “But we have to move quick, before he finds out he’s been sold out.”
Hiroshi nodded. “Alright then, let’s go get Victor.”
The three of them drove out to Stingray’s run-down waterfront property, which still had signs up showing that it had been a freight depot at one time.
“Wait here.” said Hiroshi, taking his katana from the trunk of the Maserati.
He cut them off with a gesture of his hand. “But if you hear gunshots, come quickly.”
Hiroshi used Obfuscate to approach the building unnoticed – ready for a fight, but hoping it wouldn’t come to that.
Meanwhile, Lemar Isaiah Jackson, a former cop who left the force after his Embrace with Internal Affairs all over his ass, was meeting his former partner, Ronnie Marks, in some greasy spoon diner in the SoMa district.
“Fuck Lemar,” Ronnie told him. “I be callin’ your motherfuckin’ ass all damn day!”
“I’m here now, ain’t I? What up, Ronnie?”
“I’m askin’ for your help, dawg. You see, I been workin’ some business on the side… you know how it is. Buyin’ these guns from a guy named Yang and flippin’ ‘em on the street, right? A brother’s gotta live, I don’t got to tell you none a that.”
Lemar tilted his head back and nodded. “Sure as shit can’t live on a cop’s salary.”
“Right? ‘Cept now Yang tells me he got jacked, doesn’t have those guns he was gonna deliver or the money I paid him.”
“Shit, Ron, you paid up front? You got to be smarter than that, dawg.”
“I know, I know. But look, I’m gonna get these guns back, and my bills. I want you to be my partner on this. Just like old times. 50/50 on the proceeds.”
“Who’s this motherfuckin’ Yang, anyways?”
“Shit, he’s a’ight, I guess. I mean, this bullshit not withstandin’. Been doin’ some business with him for a few weeks.”
“Give him a call, tell him we’s on our way.”
Lemar and Ronnie drove out to Yang’s place, a single story house that stank of mothballs and cigarettes. Something about the man rubbed Lemar the wrong way – and he didn’t try to hide it.
“I don’t trust this guy, Ronnie.”
“Look,” said Yang, nervously. “… Okay, I know who they are. But they work for Kozlov.”
Evgeni Kozlov was Russian mafia.
“I’m thinkin’ we start with his fingers.” growled Lemar.
“Keep talkin’, Yang.” said Ronnie. “My nigga here ain’t as patient as I am.”
“I’m not stupid,” Yang continued. “They spoke Russian. The Russians work for Kozlov. If you aren’t stupid, you’ll forget all about it.”
Lemar gestured to Ronnie. “Does this motherfucka here look like a professor?”
Yang gave them both a hard look. “Very well. I always put tracking microchips in my gun cases. If they’re still using them, I can tell you were they are.”
“That’s more fuckin’ like it, Jackie Chan.”