The Dresden Files: Beckitt City
Log Entry Four - Smoke on the Waterfront
A lot happened after the apartment fight.
First of all, Soryn struck a bargain with a dryad named Phoebe in Hannigan Park for her to steer people clear of one specific clearing in exchange for our group making sure that no one chopped away any more of her forest. Within that clearing, Soryn had sculpted a headquarters out of the inside of a gigantic boulder, with Phoebe veiling the entrance.
Later, we ended up having to deal with another bunch of RCVs in a housing development in Hightown. Along with the usual bloodsucking bat monsters, we got the completely unwelcome surprise of two Black Courts working with them – or maybe it’s more appropriate to say that the RCVs were working for them.
Anyway, we ended the problem and once again found ourselves burning down a building full of weird and untranslatable dark ritual stuff. On the bright side, Soryn had managed to work off his side of a demon deal, so drinks were had.
Drinks were then interrupted by the appearance of Lane’s guardian – er, “supervising” – angel.
Y’see, near the end of our little skirmish with the BCVs and RCVs, Lane threw out this fire he’d never had before. It hurt the sumbitches a whole lot more than his usual stuff, and pretty much wiped one off the face of the earth. So when we got back to HQ, he got a visit from one of Heaven’s agents explaining the rules and regulations for using his new toy – soulfire.
Lane got another toy later that week, the first time Phoebe made Soryn live up to his side of their deal. Some White Court jackass named Kane Raith had recently bought up a corner of the park, and had started development on a building of some kind. After stalling that by having our resident spellcasters hex the shit out of the workers’ equipment, we paid Mr. Raith a visit at his nightclub in the Red Light District, Siren.
Things got heated.
Pro tip: don’t try speaking reason to a lust vampire with absolutely no self control. Instead, skip all that and get right to the threatening. Doing that would’ve saved us some time. After we realized our error, Soryn and Lane readjusted his attitude towards us by employing some gravitational and aquatic force. Lane seemed pretty stoked that he learned how to use more than one element, an excitement that was not shared by the aforementioned vampiric douchenozzle.
We left not just with a promise to leave the forest the hell alone, but with the deed to the patch of land he had already messed up. It ended up being put in my name, for some reason.
After that, we heard about an issue with the Glau River on the south side of the city. Apparently the river had frozen, but only in certain places. To be exact, the ice went straight for a docked freighter and pushed it onto land, destroying part of the dock itself.
We tracked the ice to a small cove on the south side of the river, where we found one very pissed off Winter fae who made us a deal. Something was wrong about the cargo ships that had been coming in recently, and she wanted it to stop. If we busted up some of the docks and got to the bottom of what was going on, she would be at our disposal for supernaturally quick transportation along the waters within her domain.
So of course we went to the docks that night.
There were a shit ton more guards than there should have been, and they were way too heavily armed for your garden variety night crew. They all seemed particularly keen on making sure nothing got near one of the warehouses, so we focused on that one.
Drath managed to knock one of the guards out and sneak us into the warehouse’s north entrance. He threw up a veil wall once we realized how many people were in there.
What we were looking at pissed every single one of us off to our fucking core.
There were Mob goons standing guard over a couple dozen cages with people in them. To be more specific, each cage had someone in it who could be described as a supernatural being. There were weres, changelings, practitioners, you name it. This was where all of the recent kidnapping victims had ended up, and we could only imagine how many more had been shipped out or shipped in by those freighters.
We didn’t waste any time discussing what we had to do; we just attacked.
At a certain distance, assault rifles start losing the advantage they normally grant to whoever uses them. Funnily enough, this is also the distance where it becomes very easy to stab the ever loving shit out of whatever bigoted piece of garbage you’re currently focused on. It’s also the range required to slice a gun out of someone’s hand with a longsword, as Lane would be quick to point out. And to top it off, it turns out that there is no distance where a boulder flying at someone is not a good tactic.
There were three people of note who had a hand in the atrocities committed in that warehouse. One was Nathan Talbot, a not-so-favored son of the boss of the Mob chapter up in Montreal. He was there to parlay with the Mob boss of Beckitt and see about altering the terms of the deal between the two chapters. Another was Denny Hart, the mayor of Beckitt City who apparently had his nose in way more of the criminal underworld than everyone had believed.
The last was Seamus Flanagan, a man who more than twenty years ago I would have called my brother.
To make a long story short, Seamus and I led a group of young people back then who defied a coven of practitioners who tried to completely take over our home. My ability to see the future had just started to kick in, but seeing as how every single person I knew hated those with powers, I kept it to myself. I used my “gift” to intercept our enemies, and eventually we managed to kill all but one of them. However, we couldn’t completely stop the ritual they were setting off. As far as I know, we kept them from accessing the power it could’ve given them, but they still succeeded in tearing the Veil to shreds. Our failure that night still resonates through this city, even after all this time.
But what happened after is the reason I only came back after over two decades.
I didn’t know that my power couldn’t change the balance of destiny. No matter what I see, and no matter what I do, people die. The only difference I can make is helping to determine who those people are. So when I got a vision of Seamus dying, I acted on instinct and saved his life, as well as the lives of three of our men.
Meaning that four people had to die.
The last remaining member of the Coven made sure that those deaths hit us at home. He burned our families to cinders, balancing the ledger in a worst way possible. I realized my mistake, and tried to explain what had happened to Seamus.
His reaction was to break my nose and one of my legs before I kicked him in the groin and fled.
So when we saw the city’s rumored Mob boss walk out of a corner office in the warehouse, my heart sank to see that my friend had taken his anger and hatred and turned it on everyone he saw as being less than human.
He fought hard enough that one wrong move would have ended in my death.
It was only with Lane, Soryn, and I concentrating all of our efforts on beating him (using the age old tactic of hitting him in the nuts every chance that we got) that we finally managed to knock his crazy ass out.
In order to achieve that, Lane was forced to burn off both of his legs at the knee.
After the rest of the fuckers had either been beaten or ran, we let their prisoners out of their cages. That was the night we met some good friends. Marcus Cooper, who leads a Sanctuary for any practitioners with no place to call home. John Little, a beast of a man who could kill you with one hit, and that’s before he turns into a grizzly bear. Alphonse Jackson, a changeling who is defined by his absolute kindness and generosity, rather than his giant blood. And Jamie, a telekinetic teenager who is one of the calmest people I have ever met, and that’s including some Tibetan monks I stayed with back in the 90s.
We also saw what pure evil looked like that night. One of the offices was….I suppose they would have called it an examination room. I called it a torture and execution chamber. They cut and sawed away at supernaturals until they tried to save themselves with their powers, then murdered them. The three “doctors” – if anyone could call them that – pleaded with us and made up bullshit excuses for the horrors they had done.
We closed the door behind us as we left John to deal with them in whatever way he chose.
No one spoke up in their defense when we all heard their screams. A bear kills quickly, except when it wants you to suffer.
We helped the prisoners get into the city proper and then Soryn and Lane leveled the entire warehouse so that no one would ever know what had happened.
After we were threw at the warehouse, we collected a pickup truck that had been left behind by some of the goons and took Seamus, Nathan, and Denny to our HQ for a “little chat”. We started with Seamus.
We didn’t make a whole lot of headway figuring out his plans until we were tracked down by a representative of the White Court in Beckitt, a “fixer” by the name of Alistair Blackthorne. Belonging to the Malvora house, he was able to scare Seamus into talking, with his only request being that after we were done, he was allowed to kill Seamus and take his body as proof to his superiors that he had completed the mission they had given him.
After gleaning all we could from Seamus regarding his systematic capture, experimentation, and murder of any supernaturally inclined people he could find, we let Alistair do his duty and he went on his way.
Nathan Talbot and Denny Hart both saw all of this and, upon being seated in front of us, immediately admitted that they were aware of some, but not all, of Seamus’s atrocities. As a sign of good faith that he was in no way similarly bigoted, Nathan offered to continue the shipping and transport deal that he had with Seamus at a reduced price with us. Mayor Hart was gracious enough to agree to look the other way, as was his arrangement with all of the criminal organizations in the city.
Before I could interject that we had no intention of continuing the Mob’s business, Lane and Soryn starting talking about how likely it was that without some outside influence, the Mob would just return to doing exactly the same things. They then discussed how the remnants could be persuaded to follow them, and who could be taken seriously by the career criminals, seeing as how they had nothing in common with us.
And then they turned to me, a person who had actually run a group of what were now leaders in the Irish Mob. A person who had just taken down the previous leader in a fight. A person who was undoubtedly a much easier person to get along with, and who could be reasonably expected not to murder his employees like Seamus had done on several occasions.
And that’s how I became a mob boss.