Chapter 4: THE GANG RESURGES
Frank Morgan had always been fascinated by the occult since before he could remember. He had devoured the books of H.P. Lovecraft, Dennis Wheatley, Algernon Blackwood, Rudolf Steiner and Anton Lavey. He had always suspected there was an arcane door that secret knowledge would help him open and then walk through. He attended séance after séance seeking an authentic medium. He had taken college courses on the occult and delved into parts of the city where the occult was regarded as fact. And now he had done it. He had found and consorted with a gifted psychic who was an authentic medium and taught him how to conjure ancient spirits to seek their counsel and guidance in business and life. The psychic bequeathed him with a panel that became a window to distant events as they were happening. She taught him how to activate it with his mind. Frank had become a conjurer and was serving a malevolent and powerful dark spirit, a spirit he had never seen, who would ask for his help from time to time.
He had witnessed the massacre at MADISON MANUFACTURING and the strange, terrifying creature who had dispatched an entire gang of dangerous criminals in a matter of moments. His gang. For now, a major source of income was gone and he would have to figure out how to get it back.
He picked up his phone and dialed Raymond Chang. It rang eight times and went to voice mail. Chang’s voice mail played. “This is Raymond, Leave a message.” Then the beep.
“Raymond. This is Frank Morgan. I want to talk to you about a business proposition. We have an opening at the Sikonalski group. I think you’re the man for the job.” He hung up and waited.
Five minutes later Morgan’s cell phone rang. He looked at the caller ID. It was Chang. He answered.
“This is Raymond Chang.”
“First thing you’re going to have to learn is to answer on my first call. When I call, it’s important that I reach you.”
“There are a few things that take precedence over answering my cell: bathing, taking a shit and fucking. Otherwise I’m there for you.”
“Fair enough. Reason I called. The Sikonalski gang is no more. They’re all dead. Their job is available. Interested?”
“Sure. Where’s my 450K Sikonalski took from me? I want that back.”
“That’s mine for now. You’re on probation. Now if you decide to join me and do the job right 450K is chump change. I’m talking 1.5 million in a month if you deliver.”
“How am I gonna build the business up if I’ve got no seed money?”
“I’ll provide the seeds. You provide the sprouts.”
That fucker Sikonalski had stolen my stash. Somebody killed him and his gang and now Morgan was offering me his job, Chang thought. Need to do this delicately. The punks Dell hired to take them out were worse than useless. Have to make sure Morgan never knows. He picked up his phone and dialed up Jerry Jaworski, one of the few people who walked out of the Chattanooga Avenue massacre.
“Jerry. I need to meet with you. The fuckers who killed Marcus, Brad and Cindy are dead and their boss wants me to take his place. Can I count on you?”
He hung up and waited. Five minutes later his phone rang.
“Sup,” Chang said.
“Is this legit?” Jerry said.
“Big man down his team. We have a chance to move in and make a major score. He said $1.5 million in a month.”
“What about our stash?”
“He says that’s his. Same as the other fucker. He’s offering three times as much in a month. I think we should do it. He’s gonna fuck us up if we don’t.”
“You think we can really trust him?”
“Not really. But we can’t afford to appear not to.”
Frank’s phone rang. He looked at the Caller ID: Dominic Dorigo, his main contact with the syndicate. He pressed answer.
“Frankie! How you doin buddy? We gotta get together soon and break open a couple a bottles of wine! “
“What do you have in mind?”
“You know. The usual. Caymus, Kosta-Brown, Marcassin, Schrader.”
“Come over tonight. Say 7:30. We’ll grill some steaks and drink some wine. You can stay in the guest room so you don’t have to worry about Detroit’s finest.”
“Sounds great Dominic.”
“So it’s set. I’ll see you tonight.”
“Great. There’s something I want to talk about.”
“Same here. See you tonight.”
They hung up.
Stephen Richards was feeling exhilarated. He was paragliding from one of the abandoned towers of Detroit. He maneuvered through the canyons of the city, headed down to his friends and customers and pulled up for a landing. There were a great many whoops as he glided home across the pavement
“Fucking awesome, Steve!” Darrel exclaimed.
“Right on! Who wants to go into a tower?” he shouted.
The whoops of approval drowned out the naysayers.
“Then it’s settled! We’re going to explore that tower!”
“Yeah!” the cry rose up. “Yeah! Let’s kick ass!”
“As part of our tour of abandoned Detroit, we’re going to explore some of the art-deco masterpieces that have inhabited the city since the 20s.
The group was touring as Abandoned Detroit Tours. They were staying in abandoned buildings around the city, trying to find the most memorable sites to be had.
“Do you see that tower over there?” Stephen cried, pointing to the Bradbury Tower.
“Yeah!” The group roared. “Let’s take it.”
“Yeah! Let’s go!” said Stephen.
Frank pulled up into Dominic’s driveway on Arden Park. The home had once been owned by the founder of K-Mart, but due to the urban blight that was Detroit, Dominic bought it for a song: 6 bedrooms, $125,000. An old styled mansion from the 30s. At its heyday it was worth 3.5 million dollars. Dorigo made quite a killing.
Morgan walked to the front door and rang the bell. It sounded like chimes.
Tony Califano, Dominic’s enforcer opened the door.
“Come on in Frank. Dominic’s in the kitchen.”
Frank felt a little uneasy seeing Tony. It didn’t necessarily mean anything, but Tony’s presence meant this was going to be a serious meeting.
The big front room was sumptuously decorated. To the right were leather sofa sectionals with an enormous glass-topped leather ottoman/coffee table with end tables and chairs. To the left was an enormous dining room with a long mahogany table and chairs. The walls were filled with photos of family in elaborate gold leaf frames. There were several dramatic landscape paintings. At the rear of the room was a reproduction of Rain in an Oak Forest by Ivan Shishkin depicting a couple walking with an umbrella during a light rain. Depicting soft light with luminous highlights and deep greenery. The wall to the left was adorned by a reproduction of The Heart of the Andes by Frederic Edwin Church, a lovely scene of mountains and forest with a waterfall at the center, a grave marker and snow-capped peaks in the distance.
Frank followed Tony through the door into the kitchen and family room. Tony picked up a wine glass filled with white wine.
“Hey Frank! Grab yourself a glass,” Dominic said as he was trimming six enormous New York steaks. He had a glass of red next to him.
“Hi Frank,” Paula Dorigo said. “Good to see you.” She was making a salad, a glass of white wine at her side. The aroma of potatoes baking in the oven was intoxicating.
“What’ve you got?”
“Just what you see.”
There were open bottles of Marcassin Chardonnay, Pahlmeyer Chardonnay, Kosta-Browne Pinot Noir, Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon and Schrader Cabernet Sauvignon. Frank grabbed a Riedel Burgundy glass and poured himself a modestly large pour of the Marcassin. He swirled it in his glass and put his nose into it. He detected aromas of lemon, lime, apple, pear, caramel and buttered popcorn. He took a sip.
“Wow. That’s really delicious. Deeply concentrated with a thick, viscous mouth feel, complex flavors and a long finish. I’ve heard this stuff was great. I could never find it. You always bring out the good stuff Dominic.”
“You gonna drink, may as well drink great wine.”
“Here, here honey,” Paula said raising her glass in a toast.
Frank clinked glasses with the other three, took another sip and relaxed a bit.
The kitchen had a huge granite topped island in the middle of the room with dual sinks in it. There were granite topped counters on the other three walls. There was a large Wolf Range oven and stove and a stainless steel Sub Zero refrigerator freezer as well as another set of dual sinks.
The kids, Peter, Francesca and Dino were in the family room opposite the kitchen. They were streaming “Cow & Chicken” from the Cartoon Network on the 90 inch LCD monitor on the wall.
“Check out these steaks Frank.”
Frank walked over to the cutting board where Dominic was working. The steaks were 2 inches thick and exceptionally well-marbled.
“USDA Prime, baby,” Dominic exclaimed.
“How do you prepare them?”
“I got a special rub I made. Kosher salt, smoked paprika, lemon zest, black pepper, cayenne and thyme all mixed together. I rub both sides with it and rub both sides with crushed garlic. Douse it with red wine and olive oil. Come out back with me.”
Frank followed Dominic out the back door and onto the patio. There was a large gas grill built into brick and granite. There was a wet bar and a refrigerator and a smoker. There was a large patio table that was set with seven places.
“Here’s the grill. It’s hooked up to the natural gas. I can cook on it 365 days a year under the awning.”
He turned on the gas and pressed ignite for each burner in turn.
“Six burners in total. I’ll preheat it to 700 degrees. Throw the steaks on for two minutes a side then turn all the burners off but the two outer ones, turn them to low and 2 more minutes: perfection.
“What did you want to talk to me about Dominic?”
“The Sikonolski deal. Tough break for us both. Have any ideas to replace that income?”
“Turns out the dealers Sikonalski hit could be poised to move into their shoes. This guy Sikonalski spared, Raymond Chang, has his own supply lines into Asia. He’s been bringing in primo smack from suppliers in Cambodia. He’s got a coke network set up too. Some of the same guys we use. Some we didn’t know about.”
“Good news. Let’s hope these guys are smarter than Sikonalski. He was a hot head and some of the psychos he had in his crew gave crime a bad name. Made us all look bad. Still, they made us a lot of money.”
“You got that right. Here’s to new beginnings,” Morgan said tipping his glass at Dominic. They clinked glasses and took a sip.
“This is the life, Frank. Great wine, great food, family and friends.”