A FEW CASUALTIES SO WHAT

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Chapter 3

The time was 9 a.m. Pone yawned, stretched, and shook his head as he rolled off his king sized bed.

He arrived at his fortress of solitude around four-thirty and even then, Mister Sandman wasn’t doing his

job. He didn’t want to get hooked on sleeping pills, in fact he tried to keep his body from being

dependent on any type of medicine. Unfortunately, some supplements were needed to combat old age.

Not that he needed it, but he went to the fridge and took out his half-empty can of Chock Full Of Nuts.

It wasn’t the taste of the coffee that intrigued him, but just thought the name was cool. Four scoops in a

filter, tap water, and let the black Proctor Silex do the rest. He didn’t like the taste of the French roast

flavored brew, but it became a morning ritual. He sat at his mid rectangular butcher board table with

coffee teasing his nostrils. He leaned on the table in deep thought. The Great Meteor created a world of

confusion; the science nerds tried to make sense of things, but still left people scratching their heads. A

rip in the time fabric they said caused the past to merge with the present, bringing prohibition back

from the dead and breathing new life into the future. A future in which most people thought they would

be traveling in air cars like that cartoon, the JESTSONS.

Instead, there were no ray guns, beam me up Scotty, or anything science fiction. People drove cars

with tires, and gas fueled except that now cars are also charged up literally by electricity and the people

who owned them bitched when cars parked in those spaces were not EV models or charging period.

People still died of natural causes, disease, bullets sharp blades, and animal attacks. The difference in

today’s world is that, the Prohibition came back in full effect. Gangster style language from the 1940′s

and a dress code: pin stripe suits, fedoras, conservative dresses for women, and the Tommy-gun which

Pone used himself. They even brought back the classic cars from the fifties, sixties, and up. All built

with state of the art engines used in modern vehicles of the present. People had to decide whether to be

Probono or Hip-Hoppers. Hip-Hoppers were the modern gangsters and didn’t like the rivalry the

Probonos brought to them. Gang wars and drive-by shootings were all too real. The hoppers didn’t use

Tommy-guns, AK-47 were part of their tools, and they drove vehicles from the seventies to separate

them from their rivals. The dress code for the Hip-Hoppers was the God I wish it went out of style

saggy, baggy clothes dropping off their asses showing off their fruit of the looms. Pone in the eyes

many look more like a Probono, but he only prefers their choice of weapon and the smart

look over the unkempt dress code of Hip-Hoppers. He had killed too many on both sides to be a

member of either and therefore considered an enemy. Now he had to play peacekeeper because some

heartless fool took out a couple of kids with a bright future. Damn, life was cruel. Pone wasn’t a father

and never thought of being one, but he couldn’t imagine what a parent goes through when losing a

child. Overtime, he believed you stop crying, but around home, a reminder brought pain to the heart.

Pone didn’t care for the Probonos or the Hip-Hoppers, but the kids didn’t deserve to pay for the sins

of their fathers. The person who caused such a tragedy really wanted to hit home. He still thought the

RPD should be handling the job, but a song lyric came to mind what are you good for absolutely

nothing. The police were not keystone cops, but the joke around town is that when you say hide the

women and children you’d probably find the RPD with them. An exaggerated expression, but used

quite often. The police had their purpose such as handling basic crimes like bank robbery, mugging,

and helping the fire department, and they had a good leader in Captain Bolden a throw-back to the ball

busting days when coppers waged war on crime at all cost, but he had little support from Mayor

Winslow who rarely made public appearances and who could blame him. Organized crime ruled once

again, and those who stood against them usually ended up dead. Besides, most politicians were in the

back pocket of mobsters. Some citizens didn’t look forward to going to the polls because they were

tired of electing some bonehead with colorful dialogue only not to deliver on his promise, Winslow

was safe for now. The police also stayed in the background hoping the gangs would cancel each other

out. Pone didn’t want good police officers putting their lives in danger, they had families, and most of

them were green when it came to dealing with organize crime. Red made the right move getting him

involved. He dealt with both gangs, and his background gave him an upper hand on the matter at

hand. He was the city’s Troubleshooter, and he’d stop a potential war to save innocents who would

only end up in the cross-fire. The mayor was afraid the two crime families would blame one another

for perhaps a friendly fire, but then again, why would they use kids to make a point. Again Pone

didn’t care for them, but he would do this for the kids because they deserved justice.

It was time to get to work, call his contacts in the East and West side to set up a not so last

supper at Nadine. Pone was not in the mood for talking. Thank God for texting. The smell of coffee

captured his attention. He saw that it was ready, add fat free french vanilla and it was good to go. The

Pinball ring tone of his cell got his attention. He picked that particular tone because of the woman

who raised him. Sheila Green introduced him to the pinball machine. She said it was the rave before

Nintendo, PlayStation, and X-box. He checked the screen of his cell. Red. She must have news

about the boy.

“What’s the deal?” asked Pone.

“And a good morning to you too, kind sir.”

Pone sipped his coffee. “That depends on the news.”

Red sighed. “The kid was DOA.”

“Damn!”

“It’s not your fault.”

“His death won’t be in vain.”

“What are you going to do, Pony?′

Pone needed to hear Red called him Pony. It usually brought comfort to his troubled heart.

“What I do best,”

“You be careful.”

“I’ve reached out to my contacts, they’re usually prompt. You and the deputy mayor clear

your calendar, the meeting will be at Nadine.”

“Bye, Pony.”

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