Four chapters in one day? BAM! Done! That’s it until Tuesday, Mammonites, that’s your whole Memorial Day Weekend load.
Need to catch up? Download the whole deal right here. And hey, thanks for reading.
Jamal Coddell was getting sick of taking shit. He knew the Spic was a big shot, but a man had his limits. First, the guy makes fun of his ride. Fuckin’ Navigator was absolute cherry – got them bad-ass spinners set him back a couple Gs, got that flame-flake paintjob, be black you look at it one way, be red you look another. Shit, every mother fucker in the hood knew his damn ride. They be some primo young meat, down by the high school, he cruise by in the afternoon, they be giving him the deep-throat treatment just so they can roll on up at home in Jamal’s sled.
And the first fuckin’ words out this Spic’s mouth when Jamal’s pulls up? Wants to know if this is some fucking joke.
Big Boy run the west side crew, call him Big Boy ‘cause that mother be like six and a half feet tall, weigh 300 easy. Big Boy been shot four, maybe five times Jamal knew about, always come back from it like he Moby Fuckin’ Dick or something, and speaking of Moby Dick, any of the neighborhood gash that gone for a ride on that meat, they was spoiled forever, Big Boy having baby mamas all over the west side.
So Big Boy jingle him on his cell, it only be like one in the afternoon, Jamal not even all the way up yet, tell him grab Horse, grab Tee Ball get his ass down to this lot over by Greektown. Fucking white man land, just about in the damn Loop. Jamal scoop them boys up, he see Big Boy there, standing next to some Mercedes, older spic guy with him, another spic guy hanging back. And that’s when the first Spic, big Pancho Villa looking mother fucker, starts in on him over his ride. Turns out they want to follow some dick, need to talk to the guy, guess the guy maybe might be strapped, might have some muscle with him, and the Spic, he be worried Jamal’s ride gonna stick out.
“Not a lot to choose from,” said Big Boy. “Not like you said this was some covert shit.”
Spic looking disgusted. “OK, here’s how we work this. Big Boy, you take your three guys in your damn ghetto ride. Word I got, this guy we looking for, he’s down at Washington and Wells. Get in around there, but hang back a bit so we don’t spook him with this fucking pussy wagon. Miko and I get in close in the Mercedes. Miko will stay in touch with you, we get rolling, tell you when it’s time to roll up. I tell you when, you guys cut him off in front, we cut him off in back. No fucking shooting ‘less I start it. Need a word with this dick.”
Big Boy just nodded, turned to Jamal and his boys, and they rolled.
Martino had been Tony Corsco’s wheel man for better than ten years, watching for tails just part of the job. Not that this one was that hard to spot. Seen the tricked out Navigator roll past the garage while the bitch was fucking up his day. Caught a glimpse of it cutting down a side street while they was working their way down to the Drive. Mercedes been with them a while, too, pretty generic cream colored C-class. Maybe a problem maybe not, except Martino was keeping it at the limit, so pretty much everyone on the Drive is blowing his fucking doors off, except this Mercedes that’s hanging maybe a quarter mile back. And now, way back on the left, there’s the damn Navigator again. Maybe this Hardin fuck got some back up, not like he needed with that hard-ass bitch of his. Or maybe they’re all about to get dipped in shit. And that Navigator? That was a Schwartzer ride, Tony having more and more trouble with them animals over the years, fucking bucks jacked up on shit half the time, thinking with their dicks. Either way, Tony’s was his guy. Tony needed to know. So Martino spoke up.
“Them guys tailing us, they yours?”
Hardin turned and looked out the back. Shit. Too fucking busy leaning on Corsco, to check my six, Hardin thought.
“The Mercedes and the Navigator?” Hardin asked.
“Boss?” the driver said. Like he needed Corsco’s permission to answer the fucking question.
Hardin smacked the driver on the back of the head with the barrel hard enough to make an impression, “I’m your fucking boss right now, you dumb fuck.”
“Yeah, OK,” the guy said. “Them two.”
“How long?” Hardin asked.
“Seen the Navigator back when we was parked, but it just rolled up again. Mercedes been with us all the way on the Drive, anyhow.”
Hardin took one of his phones from his pocket. Wrong one. Dug out the other and hit speed dail.
“I’m on the Drive, southbound, a mile south of McCormick place,” he said. “How long?”
“Ten minutes,” said Foucalt
“Better if it were faster,” Hardin said.
“This is why you Americans can never keep your women,” said Foucalt. “Faster, always faster.”
Then Corsco’s phone rang. Corsco looked at Lynch, raising his eyebrows.
“You know who it is?” Lynch asked. Corsco help up the phone so Lynch could see the screen. Hernandez.
“OK,” Lynch said. “Answer it.”
Miko barked into his cell, telling the Navigator to back off. He had told them to catch up, but to hang a few hundred yards behind their car. The puta had pulled up almost next to them.
“Fuck,” Hernandez said. “Gotta figure they seen that. I’m gonna call the prick.”
“Yes?” Corsco said.
“You and me gotta have words,” Hernandez said. “And we gotta have ‘em in person. And we gotta have ‘em now.”
“Not very collegial,” replied Corsco.
“Fuck that,” Hernandez said. “I got a pile a troops on your ass right now. You get your guinea ass up the next exit and you pull over or we’re just gonna take your ass out right here.” Hernandez hung up.
Lynch had his head next to the phone, heard the conversation.
“This thing bullet proof?” he asked.
“Yeah,” said the driver. “I mean, you know, stop a pistol round and all. Don’t know what they’re packing.”
“Windows too?” Hardin asked.
The driver nodded.
“Run flats. Good at speed, supposedly, get you twenty miles or so.”
Hardin was on the driver’s side, which meant he and Wilson couldn’t bring their guns to bear at the same time.
“OK, Tony,” said Hardin. “You and me, we’re gonna change places. I’m still thinking on what I should do about your trying to kill me. You do something makes me think you see this as your chance to make a play, that’s gonna make my mind up about that right there.”
Corsco just nodded. Lynch climbed over Corsco while Corsco slid across to the driver’s side.
“Now drift over to the far left lane and slow down,” said Hardin.
The driver eased off the gas and changed lanes.
Cosco’s phone rang again.
“Leave it,” said Hardin.
“Dumb fucking guinea son of a bitch!” Hernandez shouted. Corsco was moving out of the exit lane and slowing down. He dialed Corsco’s phone again, but Corsco didn’t answer.
“He wants to play? That what he wants? I’ll fucking play,” said Hernandez. “Tell that stupid nigger to get right up on his ass.”
Miko called the man driving the truck.
Hardin saw the SUV coming up hard. Too soon.
“Punch it,” he told the driver. Corsco must have dropped a ton on the thing, because even with the armor, it shot forward fast enough to push Hardin back in his seat. The Navigator began to fall back, just a little, but the Mercedes shot up, closing on the right.
Hardin could see Wilson’s jaw clenching as she watched the side mirror, saw the Mercedes closing. That had to be Hernandez. He wouldn’t be in the Navigator, driving around in some tricked out thing, just asking to be profiled by a bored cop.
“We can’t take him yet,” Hardin said to Wilson.
“I know,” said Wilson.
“Too soon,” Hardin said.
“I know,” said Wilson.
“Doesn’t mean we can’t fuck him up a little,” said Hardin.
“I know,” said Wilson.
“Just hang with them,” said Hernandez. “Further south we get, quieter it’s gonna be.”
“And tell that dumb fuck to move up.”
“Probably spent all of his money on the paint,” said Miko. “None on the engine.”
The Caddy was eating up the road at 90 without a complaint.
“Good thing the budget is such a mess,” said Corsco. “Police department is already understaffed. Not much left for traffic enforcement.”
“Shut up,” said Hardin.
Hardin’s cell rang.
“The elaborate Lincoln and the Mercedes, I assume,” said Foucalt.
“Yeah,” said Hardin.
“When?” asked Foucalt.
“When I get the Mercedes next to me.”
“OK,” said Foucalt. “You are fortunate I am such a skilled operator. This won’t be easy with one hand.”
Lynch snapped the phone shut.
“Who the fuck is this?” Jamal asked. Another car had come up fast and was hanging in his blind spot.
“Back him off!” Big Boy shouted at him.
Jamal jinked the Navigator left, the heavy vehicle rocking on its suspension, but the Fusion simply drifted right, moving into his blind spot on the other side.
“What are they doing up there?” Big Boy asked. The Caddy had slowed. The Mercedes was drawing even.
“When I tell you, get both of these windows down,” Hardin said. “You got me?”
The driver nodded.
“Either of you fucks gets some idea this is your chance, you’re gonna die in this car, and I don’t care if I go with you,” Wilson, her teeth bared. “You better fucking believe me.”
“Actually,” said Corsco, “I do.”
The Mercedes was almost even and moving up.
“NOW!” shouted Lynch.
“I’m gonna shoot that fucker’s wheels out,” said Hernandez. “Get me even.”
Miko goosed the Mercedes and it started drawing up. He hit the down button for Hernandez’s window.
Just then, both passenger windows on the Caddy went down, Lynch in the back, a gun in each hand, squeezing off a flurry of shots, the first one smacking into Hernandez door, Hernendez ducking back inside, the rest of them going into the rear tire. Wilson was in the front, firing at the front tire. Hernandez held his head down below the wndow line, holding his pistol up, firing at random at the Caddy.
The Mercedes slewed left, the shredded tires biting in, Miko correcting right, just trying to keep it straight, but could feel the car trying to flip. Only chance was to let it go left, turn toward the damaged tires, slow it down before they caught and he rolled it. The Caddy now far past, the cement divider coming up, Miko turning the car to take it at an angle, the Mercedes crunching in, grinding along the wall.
He looked back. Hernandez had not had his belt on, had been bounced around a bit.
“Jefe,” Miko said. “There is an exit just ahead. We have to go, before the police arrive.”
A grunt from Hernandez, a nod. Miko couldn’t open the door on his side, crawled out the passenger door, yanked the back side door open, helped Hernandez from the car, Hernandez starting to snap out of it. They wound through the traffic, made their way up the ramp, Miko pushing Hernandez as hard as they could. Distance. They needed distance.
“See that, you dumb ass Spic!” Jamal shouted when he saw the Mercedes getting lit up. “Who’s fucking ride is a joke now!”
“Watch it!” Big Boy shouting at him
Foucalt had his window down, the MP5 braced on the driver’s side window sill. Hernandez they needed alive, but Hernandez was not in the truck. The truck was at its top end, he could tell by the way it labored. He had a little more. He mashed the accelerator down, saw the back passenger side window on the Navigator start to slide down. Too late. The MP5 was on full auto. He squeezed the trigger, adjusting as he saw the rounds biting a little low into the door, stitching the line up through the back window, through the passenger side window, the Navigator suddenly swerving hard left, the right side wheels biting as they turned perpendicular to their momentum, the truck rolling, rolling.
Jamal was surprised he wasn’t in pain, but he could tell he was hurt bad, like his brain and his eyes was the only thing on him that worked, the rest of him feeling like a big limp dick. Turned his head just a touch. There was the pain, but just in his neck, like nothin’ was going through. Thought of all the brothers he seen in them wheel chairs, take a bullet, they spines fucked, fucking pissing in plastic bags and shit, hoping that wasn’t gonna be him.
Big Boy had ended up in the front, most all his face gone, top of his head gone, only way Jamal knowed it was him was he didn’t have nobody else in the car that size. Didn’t look like Big Boy was coming back from this one.
Then something going on, like he was being crammed into some tube or something, all his vision going gray on the edges, squeezing in tighter and tighter ‘till there was just this little dot, like that cheap ass TV his grandma had had when he was real little, way that thing went when you turned it off.
Didn’t think nothing after that.
“Next exit,” Hardin told the driver.
They pulled to the top of the ramp, down the street.
“Park it,” Hardin said.
The driver pulled to the curb.
Foucalt drove up and stopped beside the Caddy. Hardin and Wilson got out.
“Are we through?” asked Corsco. “With our business?”
“I’ll let you know,” said Hardin.
As they walked around the back of the Caddy toward Focault’s car, Wilson noticed the three holes toward the bottom of the rear quarter panel just behind the back tire. A small dribble of blood came from one of the holes.
“Looks like they should have armored up the trunk, too,” she said.