On a dry and hot autumn afternoon in Reno, Clive our gumshoe like , Max-Paynish Anti-hero was minding his own business driving back to his small inconveniently located Office above a sex shop on South Virginia Street. It was the only thing he can find at the finances he can provide,
So as he was going back to the office to edit some photos he took on his camera, he received a phone call from Ramirez, a thug that worked for “Fat Boy” Pintolo, they called him Pintolo after the shoes he always wore, he was a trekker that loved going up for walks in the Sierra Mountains with someone that needed to disappear and come down without them. It was pretty odd for a big guy his size to actually enjoy exercise…he was Fat, not Obese, not chubby, downright in your face FAT. Not your stereotypical dapper type mobster. Gotti and Castellano, these people were movie material, he was more of the real deal.
Ramirez told him that he had till midnight to pay the 200 Gs he owed. He could barely come up with 50 of that, he thought of paying them that to buy time. Instead of letting them know he was short at the drop at midnight, he decided to test the waters with Ramirez on the phone.
“I Can come up with 50 tonight, I’ll bring up the rest within the next couple of weeks, keep the vig running on what I still owe”
Now that is something pretty scary for someone to hear, even Clive who has lived most of his life within such circles. He knows it isn’t anything personal, his life will be nothing but a precedent for Pintolos Business…bail out on paying and an example will be made of you. The only reason Ramirez was generous enough to give Clive the so called head start was mere courtesy. Crooks respected people like Clive, Professional, Respectful and all action no talk…But hey, A Mans gotta make a living no?
Clive decided he would make a dash for it, and wire the 50 Gs he had to Ramirez’s pawn shop down in Spanish Springs. He really tried to make Reno work for him, cause he was good at it…but unfortunately for him, it wasn’t his loaf of bread. He will have to make it elsewhere. That’s if he made it alive out of his debacle with Pintolo.
As he parked his banged up brown Impala in front of the Sex Shop. Meeks the landlord popped out of nowhere as he always does. He reminded him of the evil landlord Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Not that he is a Jim Carrey fan, but he liked people who didn’t let courtesy get in the way of achieving their legitimate needs. Meeks was a real Jew when it came to money…he would haunt Clive everywhere when the rent was due. There was one month where he actually popped up while Clive was having an after work drink at a shabby neighbourhood bar and told the bar tender not to pour him any drinks cause Clive should be paying his rent. Like I said…a Real Motherfucker.
Meeks put it quite clear to Clive, if he doesn’t pay the rent by tomorrow morning, he is going to call his lawyer and serve him with an eviction notice. Clive just went back into his car and drove off to the nearest highway…this town is useless he thought…
Clive had no idea where to go, he literally had no place to go so he decided to leave it up to Fate. Although Clive hated not being in control –probably just like anyone whos a take charge type of person- He really had no other choice. He just wished that if anyone comes after him, that his movements wouldn’t be predictable enough…that’s why his best shot was to leave it to Fate…I mean, can you get any less predictable?
He Stopped at a roadhouse 4 hours later when his car was running out of Gas and looked into his wallet…7 Dollars…He put his car into park in a convenient parking spot by the Roadhouse and shut off the engine for his very last time with this car. Good Riddance. He spent an hour or so scouring the cars coming into the Roadhouse. Most of them were trucks and motorcycles, he couldn’t drive either. He was looking for something economic, Japanese or Korean so that it can cover more distance with the gas in it..he had no money to fill it up.
He hitched a ride with a trucker headed for Vegas carrying Fish, he simply introduced himself as Bob…a Builder looking for jobs in Vegas, with the Casinos popping up there like HIV in Africa, it seemed like a sensible thing to claim you are going to Vegas for Construction Works. The trucker was a man of amicable demeanour, and they sang along to The Future by Leonard Cohen together when it randomly popped up on the radio.
“When they Said…Repent…Repent..I wonder What they Meant”
Truth of the fact is, he knew what they meant…and just like most people who try, circumstances didn’t really help because its always realized a little too late. Theres nothing more convincing than a Mobster wanting to trade in your life for 200K to make you wish you just worked at a DVD store. Problem is, you only have 2 hours now to do it…its almost 10 pm.
He got off at the intersection of Interstate 15 and 515 , he didn’t want to end up in the hands of a union worker who had mob ties. Pintolo would hear of it in a matter of minutes, and would probably hire some crazy Chinaman with gambling debts to take Clive out, and in case you have never been to Vegas, Crazy Chinamen in Debt are PLENTY over there.
“I need a Car” he thought, best bet was a Casino Parking Lot where he’d pose as a valet..a high roller would tip close to 200 $ in a major casino and drop the keys to the first person giving him attention, And Yellow Ferrari man with a belly couldn’t have been a better pick. I think I wrote about Lamborghinis before…But Ferraris are different…even ask Jeremy Clarkson if you don’t believe me..the only problems with Ferraris is when you try to honk…it sounds so gay…but hey, who is being picky when you are planning your Great Escape? He tried taking care of logistics before Leaving Las Vegas ( Telephone, food, hygiene etc..) almost everything was taken care of, but then came a tricky question..Phonebooth or Cellular? Phonebooth would do for now…he talked to Sutherland, an old friend from the war ( here I mean Iraq and not Vietnam…this isn’t the 90’s anymore) to explain the shit he’s got himself into. Sutherland offered willingness to help but how can Clive go all the way to New York in a Yellow Ferrari and 200 Dollars? Sutherland gave him the number of someone reliable in Vegas…His name was Fonzy, Clive also got an address just in case Fonzy didn’t pick up the phone.
He gave Fonzy’s place a shot and was surprised to find a pretty woman opening the Door..her name was Knatalya..apparently Fonzy is dead…and Knatalya was his niece..she was a Blackjack Dealer at Bill’s Gambling Hall ( A lame Casino in-front of Caesar’s Palace) and she preferred being called Knat
“Like the Bug..” Clive Joked
“No…that’s Gnat, not Knat” She shot back
“Whatever, now you got me all tongue tied..”
Clive realized he cant run forever…but what can he do? Where can he come up with 200 Thousand Dollars?
“In Vegas…are You kidding?”
I know that’s what you are thinking as well, but believe me when you are in trouble, the most obvious solution sometimes escapes you like Harry Houdini. Knat being a sucker for adventure and tall mysterious men decided to tag along and help him…Doing a Casino needs Two..when you come to think of it, anything that works needs two…it brings balance..and there’s two of everything, but that’s not our story here and now.
Five minutes away from where Fonzy used to live, a couple of Police Cruisers swerved into the rear view, sirens blaring and lights flashing.. about time Yellow Ferrari man reported his car stolen. He knew the police cruisers were beefed up under the hood, and outrunning them would be easy game, but he knew it wouldn’t be long before the Pursuit Police cars would be up against him…either in the form of a black and white Corvette or Charger.. He recalled the days when he used to Drive a Dodge Charger for the Law, back in Montana…He was one of two police chasers in the State. He knew all the tricks, but basically you can never outrun the law, you were simply going to have to take it off road, or Intrastate, but then you would get state police involved and that makes it real big..you will either end up behind bars, riddled with bullets, or crashing…or…all three. He took it up back on Interstate 515 to give himself leeway for speed, the street cruisers followed him like flies to a carcass. He realized it was the wrong move when he saw police lights flashing in front of him as well as behind him.
He stopped at the Roadblock, got out of the car hands behind his head and hit the ground on his knees.
Upon his release he shot for Bill’s Gambling Hall where Knat worked. He decided not to work the place so that Knat doesn’t lose her job, she argued otherwise saying if the loot was big enough she doesn’t need to work again, plus shes an insider there so its better to work this joint than anywhere else.
She made sense,
On with it…
Between the both of them, all the angles were figured out..all but the fact that Ramirez was already spreading word to all the town’s Chinamen how Pintolo is willing to pay big money for whomever would “Keep Clive Alive”
GTA 6 is out on November 6th and Thank You all for making this blog what it is