Gaming Dealer Job Description, Duties and Jobs - Part 1

A thousand words wasn't enough? Here's five thousand.

List acquired here.
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Weekend Reader: Two Haralabos Voulgaris Gambling Stories From The Past. (Very long).

[Note to this sub: Here are two gambling stories involving Haralabos Voulgaris. Two things you should know. 1) I originally wrote this for a completely different, anonymous audience and not for all the wonderful "Shoe Fitness Architects", "Pizza Delivery Engineers", Overnight Security Enforcers, and DMV Workers that I've gotten the pleasure of meeting on here during my time on /billsimmons. Instead, it will seem like I'm talking to a room full of strangers, and for the first time. So if you read something that you've already seen me say on this sub, you know the reason. I also sound “different” in this.
2) It's long. You've been warned, I don't want to hear shit about it being so damn long. Think of this as a throwback to the Page 2 days, when you knew a guy was going to take a huge, extended shit because he just printed out Simmons' latest article and ran into the bathroom. You know, the “glory days”.
If you read this on Friday, you can save this for your afternoon work shit. Read it on your phone though, because it's got a short YouTube clip in it that helps tell the story.
If you read it over the weekend, I suggest smoking a bowl beforehand, especially to our Canadian friends up North. Doesn't have to be Top Shelf, just something to buzz you going in.
That's it. Enjoy.
The recent news of the Dallas Mavericks hiring Haralabos Voulgaris as Director of Quantitative Research and Development recently blew my mind. I knew it was Bob's goal to be an NBA GM, and this job isn't quite on the GM level, but I still can't believe he's made it onto a real NBA organization. I still think of him mostly from his early 2000's poker and sports betting days, and I never imagined he'd be able to hold down a real job someday. I didn't think anyone from the gambling world ever could.
I was heavily into sports gambling and poker at the same time as Bob was ascending as a sports gambling force, from the late 80's until well into the 2000's. I didn't know Haralabos well, yet I heard about or saw him all the time. This pretty much describes all relationships in gambling to be honest. But I did make sure to hear all the stories about Haralabos back then, because they always made the gossip rounds and were usually funny.
I'm here to share two of Haralabos' famous gambling stories, to give you a little insight into the man. If you are an Old School gambler, you've already heard them. But they are now 15 years old, and I couldn't find a good telling already on the Internet, so new people might get a kick out of these. Sources are at the bottom of this post.
People need to understand that, back then (early 2000s), Bob was best known for two things: betting the NBA, and being a smart ass trash talker at the poker tables. Bob was a world class needler that people highly resented because he had “Fuck You” kinds of money and he sure lorded that fact over everybody. He found everyone in the gambling world incredibly stupid compared to himself, and wasn't afraid to let people know it. I guess that's not much different than his Twitter in 2018, except he's learned to be more polite about it.
It was amusing being in a poker room with Bob in it, unless you were the focus of his remarks. He did not have any boundaries and was merciless, and really went after people “Micheal Jordan style” with the ferocity of his put-downs. Asked to describe him, I'd say 98% of players back then would call him an “arrogant dickhead” (including me at that time), while 2% would say “really sharp guy who doesn't tolerate fools” (including me now). We would all agree that he could be hilarious.
With that set-up, here are two Haralabos Voulgaris gambling stories that let's you know what he was like back in the early 2000's.
Story #1
My favorite Haralabob story, which long time 2+2ers have already heard about and whose legend has grown over the years, is the infamous Freddy Deeb story. If you know it, you are already nodding your head. But hopefully it's new to you. It's a classic.
Freddy Deeb was a rich business man from Lebanon, but a lot of people thought he was Egyptian (close enough for poker players). “Fast Freddy” was a decent if unspectacular poker player who pre-dated the poker boom. So Freddy was a legit and well known regular even before TV got involved with the game, and parlayed that “real, genuine poker player” label into appearances on TV when the poker boom happened. He had strong credibility.
Freddy is probably most famously remembered for being accused of “Going South” by Johnny Chan on an episode of High Stakes Poker. Freddy handled that accusation in typical Freddy fashion – making a big deal about this small joke insulting his integrity, aggressively confronting everyone about it and challenging them to heads-up poker matches to prove his manhood. The dude could be a hothead. (“Going South”, which was more commonly called “rat-holing”, is when a player sneaks high denomination chips off the table undetected after winning a big pot, so he has no possibility of losing them back in a later big hand. It's a unethical way to play “hit and run” if you win big quickly, without the “running” part being as obvious as picking up and leaving immediately.)
The two things you needed to know about Freddy: 1) He was short. I mean really short, like 5'1” or less. Not to play Freud too much, but you can probably guess that the reason he spent all his time in poker rooms was because of this physical limitation. Poker attracted the social rejects like no other activity in the 1990's, and welcomed the physically and mentally defective in droves. It was a haven almost exclusively for nerds and losers, before TV made it cool for everyone to play No Limit Texas Hold'em, The Cadillac of Gambling Games (so hip!).
2) Stemming from #1, Freddy could have a short temper. If you are jumping straight into a “Napoleon Complex” accusation for Freddy, well, in this case you're the heavy favorite. Freddy was a quiet, nice guy for 90% of the time he played. But Freddy was quick to act like a gangster you didn't want to fuck with if you ever gave him the chance, with that persistent shoulder chip that will never go away. Everyone let him play gangster without comment as long as he still had a bankroll to gamble with.
Here is a YouTube video that illustrates both points perfectly. Watch the whole thing to the end for maximum comedy – it's fucking hilarious:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqwQiIy1b48
Here's Freddy acting like a super tough guy, and – in the moment - you can believe it too. Until the camera pulls back and shows the other players at the table, and then you get a height perspective of the whole scene. It's unreal funny at that point. Gus Hansen sitting next to him looks like Yao Ming by comparison.
So when this first HBob story happens, poker is just about to really take off. My guess is that it was around 2003-4, so the hype around poker was growing fast but still not close to the peak yet. The first Season of the World Poker Tour (WPT) had already aired, and it was a cultural phenomenon. Poker players were speculating already that WPT tournament champions were going to be as famous as top professional athletes, and with the same kind of ultra-lucrative sponsorship opportunities and endorsement deals. A very common topic at the table was how much getting to the final table at a televised WPT event was worth in fame, above and beyond any of the listed prize money. Perhaps a few million? It was a crazy time, and being on TV was all anyone cared about back then. Seems a bit silly now.
Freddy had been on TV a few times with some respectable runs in some bigger tournaments. The WPT and ESPN featured him in a few “flavor of the game” clips during their early poker broadcasts, and that seemed like a pretty big deal, especially to Freddy. TV Poker was grooming narratives and trying to create presentable, relatable stars in the poker world and weren't above adding in some artificial flavor to an otherwise unremarkable cast of characters.
Being a legit long time poker player was enough for Freddy to get some screen time – the TV producers could take it from there. I think the narrative was along the lines of how anyone – all ages, ethnicity, shapes and sizes could find a home in the poker world, and Freddy exemplified all that. It all went directly to Freddy's head, and he was not alone during this time.
Anyway, the story goes like this. Haralabos is playing in a very juicy high stakes poker game in a California casino, most likely the Commerce. The game was already full with 9 players, which is the max in most California rooms.
Haralabos himself was very new to poker at this time. He dabbled previously, but only started playing for big stakes in the past year or two because of the huge influx of new poker players, who watched the WPT on television and flooded into casinos, chasing riches. Thus there was easy money to be made. Before then, of course, he was focused on his NBA gambling. He was very near the height of his powers as an NBA sports bettor, and known pretty damn well in the sports betting world, if not the general public yet. Far more people in poker knew about Bob than he knew about them, though. He was just starting to get serious about playing poker. Bob knew about some of the bigger poker names he gambled with betting sports together in the past, but knew almost none of the newly (and artificially) created TV “poker stars” that ESPN / WPT had chosen to promote.
So Freddy walks into the Commerce one day and sees the high stakes poker table, and eyes the line up. Freddy knows this “Main Game” is incredibly juicy, and wants in – immediately. He calls the floorman over and insists they create an extra space at the table for him and for the game to be played 10-handed. 10-handed was actually the common number of players in Las Vegas poker tables at the time, and Freddy was usually based there. Freddy is sort of 'big timing' the floorman, reminding him how much he's played there over the years, how much rake he's given that casino, and how all these new poker players want to play with someone like himself, a big-shot, old school, now famous poker player.
There is nothing that poker players like more than poker room drama (except maybe comped food), so this commotion has drawn the attention of every table within earshot. Everyone near by was focusing on the Main Game with Haralabos in it. Drawn from many accounts, here is a recreation of what happened:
Freddy (accented, slightly broken English)(to Floorman): Johnny, there's no board. Just put me in big blind right now and we can play with ten.
Floorman Johnny: Table's not big enough for ten, Freddy. This isn't Vegas. Our players will object. Everyone wants their space.
Freddy: Just ask then. If there are objections then Freddy will wait. But no one will object! C'mon Johnny, how much action I give to you? Freddy is “action player”. Everyone wants to play with Freddy. They see me, they know “That's Freddy” and they want to play.
[Yes, Freddy was talking about himself in the Third Person. What can I say?]
Floorman Johnny (reluctantly, to Main Game): Guys, Freddy wants to sit and play 10-handed. There is no board an he doesn't want to wait around for nothing. Any objections?
Haralabos (immediately): I object. Who the fuck is this guy? [To Freddy] Buddy, you're not special. What makes you think you control this game? If more people come, then you can start a “Must-Move” game and play in that. Otherwise, wait your fucking turn like everyone else. Ok, buddy? [To Floorman, incredulous] What the fuck?
Freddy (heated at Haralabos): Listen, buddy. Everyone here know Freddy. Floorman. Dealer. Players. All know Freddy, love Freddy. Who the fuck are you? In Vegas, Freddy wants a game, the manager come running to help Freddy! They bring in best table to start new game for Freddy! They get best dealer on break to come deal! They bring in new chips, new cards for Freddy! They bring special chair for Freddy to sit in!
Haralabos: Oh yeah, Freddy? Is it a high chair?
A thunderclap of uproarious laughter rang out from all who were listening in, perhaps fifty people or more, all rubberneckers from other tables drawn in by the drama. There was no denying the spontaneity, no denying the reason, and certainly no denying the focus of who the laughter was directed at. Fast Freddy, all five feet zero inches of him, with the hair-trigger anger and never lacking words, was truly stunned and humiliated into silence. His eyes became squinted and his face was stuck in a wince of pain, his whole head turning as red as a stubborn, two-week old pimple that just wouldn't pop. He rocked back and forth as if recovering from a physical punch, not knowing what to do as a second, smaller wave of laughter began because it was just that funny, and now the story was being instantly re-told.
The few that were present and could actually feel sympathy quickly stifled their laughter, feeling the guilt of knowing the guy just got hit in his most sensitive area in front of a very large audience, and was truly wounded. They were hoping Freddy would finally say something, anything, to show that he wasn't completely crushed inside, that he wasn't as hurt as he seemed. Instead, Freddy walked away silently, his decades of “bluster armor” built protecting his sensitivity about his height laid on the ground, smashed.
Souls are crushed all the time in poker rooms. You think you've seen it all, and you just grow immune. But this one stood out, as almost a warning. You just don't want to get into a verbal war with Haralabob.
There is an addendum to this story.
A year or so later, and strictly by chance, Freddy and Haralabos found themselves at the same table during a big tournament. Neither man had forgotten their previous encounter (how could they?). By this time, poker was being covered in real-time by a fleet of new poker reporters and journalists, and, by all accounts, Haralabos was riding Freddy hard that day, with verbal put-downs and jokes at Freddy's expense non-stop. Freddy tried to play it cool, knowing he was no verbal match for HBob.
Until this happened. There was a Random Guy sitting directly on Freddy's left hand side who was new, didn't know anyone at the table (or their past history with each other) and who politely told Freddy this (recreation):
Random Guy (to Freddy): Hey man. You need to protect your cards better. I can see your hole cards flash sometimes when you look. I saw you had paint last hand. You need to learn to peek without flashing.
Freddy: Buddy, do you know who I am? I'm playing this game since before you were born! I win more money this year than you will have in your whole life! They ask me to write new poker book, that is kind of player I am! Buddy, I'm writing now, next time I see you I bring you a signed copy of my poker book!
Haralabos: Next time you should bring a phone book instead so you can sit on it and see your cards better.
Well, Freddy was playing it cool with HBob until then, but that last comment instantly set him off. Again, by the written accounts of the poker reporters live blogging the event, Freddy shot straight up out of his chair (though you probably couldn't tell...) and challenged HBob to a fist fight, screaming expletives at him and demanding a duel. Haralabob just sat in his chair laughing, saying he didn't want to go outside and fight Freddy because he didn't want to get arrested for child abuse.
Famous poker player Daniel Negreanu witnessed this incident live, and blogged about it at the time. I remember that he thought that Freddy would be a decent favorite in a fight between Freddy and Haralabos. But I have my doubts about that. Negreanu disliked Haralobob personally, like many poker players who ever faced him at that time, because HBob could be so vicious. So he was biased in his fight assessment, IMHO.
HBob was not a figher at all - more of a jester than a knight – but I thought he could always just stiff-arm Freddy by the forehead and then Freddy would be left with that cartoon 'swinging of the arms trying to reach him' thing while HBob could just jab him with his other arm. I would have made Haralabos the -200 favorite.
Story #2
This happened in the early 2000's, during Season 3 of the World Poker Tour, just a year or so after Story #1.
Haralabos had played in one of the WPT's big televised tournaments and made the Final Table. Not only that, but he ultimately came in Second Place, meaning he was going to get a LOT of TV time, which, again, most players thought was worth more than the actual prize money. Poker by now was white hot in America and was bringing so many people instant overnight fame. Players were resorting to obnoxious table antics and hyper displays of “personality” just to get a few seconds of screen time. Everyone was trying to create a “brand”.
Not to belabor the point, but before television made poker cool and respectable, it was filled with 95% scumbags and degenerates with almost no white-collar, working professionals. But TV poker didn't want to portray that sordid image. In the very early days, the WPT actually had a “dress code” for appearing on the televised Final Table, where a sports jacket and collared shirts were required and would be provided for you if you didn't own them yourself (in other words, for everyone).
Even the long time “Old School” gamblers were cleaned up and presented as daring adventurers instead of leather-assed angle-shooters they (we) really were. Known broke degenerates like T.J. Cloutier was turned into worshiped, heroic figures instantly, romanticized by television producers as sharp equity traders who practiced at the table instead of on Wall Street. The reality was that guys like Cloutier were hanging around poker rooms mostly to shamelessly beg recent winners for a buy-in, or even just a meal.
Under this ethos of “cleaning up poker players' images”, players were allowed to manufacture any kind of image they wanted if they were going to be on the WPT TV show. Producers for the WPT would ask each finalist for a biography, but did absolutely no fact or background checking at all intentionally, mostly out of fear of what they might find if they actually did do so. So with all that in mind, here is the official bio for Haralabos that appeared on the WPT website before his televised event, almost certainly written by HBob himself:
"Haralabos Voulgaris is a 29-year-old professional sports bettor from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. This poker tyro brings a lot more to his first WPT final table than meets the eye. He is a playwright, holds a degree in philosophy, and his goals reach far beyond the green felt. His plans for the next 5 years include learning to play the piano, to have one of his plays performed on Broadway, and to win a WPT title."
I'm not sure how much of this was an inside joke, how much was just the pressure to appear white-collar in order to attract advertisers (remember, poker players were all thinking about future endorsement deals at this time), and how much of this was HBob's ego run amuck.
BUT COME ON! “Playwright”? Has Haralabos ever gone to a play yet, even in 2018? But that wasn't enough; he wanted to have one of his many, many written plays performed on Broadway very soon, because that's how dedicated he was to this art form! Just remember, this is the guy who widely known throughout the poker world for using his mastery of language to mercilessly torture midgets and other unfortunates at the poker table. Not exactly Tennessee Williams. Add in the piano lessons and the PhD in philosophy (philosophy!), and the fact that the WPT didn't bat an eye in putting this up as his bio, and the unintentional comedy is off the charts.
Haralabos claimed to friends at the time that it was mostly a joke, but as we will now see, he seemed to really care about this false image.
As you probably well know, there is a gap between when the WPT Final Table was played, and when the show based off of it is actually aired. By the time Haralabos' episode was about to air, he was staying as a guest in the house of a former poker pro named Paul Phillips, who only the most dedicated and old players will remember. (Paul Phillips won 2 WPT titles in the very early seasons, took the prize money, and pretty much disappeared from poker, going on to live a “normal” life. One of the few gambling success stories, IMHO).
Well, Paul was a practical joker himself, and he had found a way to hack his DVR and change the description of recorded programs, including Bob's WPT episode. Knowing that Haralabos was coming back soon to watch it, Paul changed the description on the DVR to fuck with him. The original show description was something like this:
“Six new players vie for the title of Champion of the LA Poker Classic Tournament. Players include movie star John Smith, astronaut Mark Hunt, playwright Haralabos Volgaris, undercover international spy Chris Jenkins, the crown prince of Wakanda Jerome Jones, and the inventor of the Internet Joe “Man Tits” Mande.“
Obviously the other names and titles were made up by me, but you get the picture. Anyway, Paul made one small adjustment, knowing Haralabos would see it:
“Six new players vie for the title of Champion of the LA Poker Classic Tournament. Players include movie star John Smith, astronaut Mark Hunt, uptight playwright Haralabos Volgaris, undercover international spy Chris Jenkins, the crown prince of Wakanda Jerome Jones, and the inventor of the Internet Joe “Man Tits” Mande.“
Paul then waited for Haralabos to return so they could watch the episode together, leaving up the modified description of “uptight playwright” on the TV and making sure HBob was in the room alone for a few minutes before starting the show, so he had no choice but to stare at the phony description.
Bob noticed it immediately. According to Paul, HBob started to get really worried, thinking that the show was going to portray him in a terrible light and edit him to look dumb and foolish, just because of that one word “uptight” in the description. Before even starting the show, HBob was already making excuses, telling Paul that he forgot they kept his microphone on at all times, and he said some critical things about the WPT's production crew, and now they were getting their revenge by calling him uptight. He kept bringing up ways he might have acted uptight during the Final Table and was pre-rationalizing them for Paul, who was enjoying it all.
This went on for the first 15 minutes or so of the show, with Haralabos worrying and moaning non-stop about being called “uptight” and wondering how they were going to edit him to look that way, until Paul finally let him off the hook. According to Paul, Haralabos didn't believe it was a practical joke and kept worrying and griping longer, until he saw for himself that it was just a standard WPT show with no unfair editing involved.
I'm not going to put too much on Haralabos for being so worried about his portrayal. Players really did believe that a good edit was the difference between a lucrative endorsement deal with Budweiser or Nike and getting nothing. The sky seemed to be the limit. BUT... the notion that Bob was just playing an inside joke and didn't really care about being known as a “playwright, piano player, and philosopher” didn't quite match up with his defensive and concerned attitude that day.
Sources:
Source for Story #1: This is a very famous poker story that was talked about amoung players live and on 2+2 (the dominant, high-traffic poker forum back then and perhaps now) a lot when it happened. You can find snippets and references on twoplustwo.com. I'm sure other long time and knowledgeable players will verify hearing a version of this story before.
An account of it was given by Haralabos himself on the podcast “Big Poker Sundays” which he used to co-host with Scott Huff, but has long since disappeared. It was a part of Poker Road Radio, which was run by Barry Greenstein's asshole son before closing. As this story is now close to 15 years old and poker media is on life support, many previous accounts from blogs and recording are now gone, and thus a lot of it had to be reconstructed from memory. Part of the reason I'm re-telling it is because it was gradually being lost in time, and that is a motive to re-tell it now, for a new generation.
Source for Story #2: I got the exact WPT description of Bob's bio from the 2+2 Archive (http://archives1.twoplustwo.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=5504109&page=0&fpart=all&vc=1). The story of the altered DVR description and Paul Phillips came from the memory of Paul's old blog on LiveJournal (“extempore”), which has long been deleted, and from my own correspondence with Paul Phillips at the time (we were pretty good “online friends” before the invention of Social Media. Anyone remember r.g.p. on Usenet?). Again, unfortunately memory had to play a large role.
I by no means want to pretend Haralabos and I were close. I knew about him and tracked him more than most poker players due to my sports betting background, but Bob was just one of a hundred different and strange characters in the gambling world that you'd recognize daily, none of whom you'd want to spend a lot of time with. We had some mutual friends, that's about it.
Both stories were written under the Geneva Convention rules, which explicitly states that all gambling stories worldwide may contain up to 15% of exaggerations in order to make the story more entertaining or dramatic and still be called “truthful”. Like all good gambling stories should be told. But the core elements are as faithful a retelling as I could make it, including the WPT description, and the key dialogue by Bob that was quoted the most at that time. It's the dates and locations I'm least sure about.
submitted by mcribgaming to billsimmons [link] [comments]

[Super & Real] Chapter One Part Two

Fortunately, for him, the cities along the Alton stretch of the Mississippi River had one thing in abundance: riverboat casinos. He found one and parked. What game would give him the greatest advantage? He guessed he would start with blackjack, just because it was the one with the rules he remembered the best. The security guard didn’t even card him. His goatee seemed to be proof enough of age. Two stops he made first: the ATM, and then the cage. He got a hundred dollars in casino chips.
He wandered past the slot machines and found the blackjack table. It was early enough in the day that he was the only one sitting at the table. Knowing what he knew about security cameras and goons wandering the floor, he made a deliberate show of sitting down with his hands above the table and placed his palms flat. This was to provide a visual record, if accused of cheating, that not once did he have his hands below the table, eliminating the possibility of using a card counting device. The dealer, a man in his mid-forties, regarded him. “Hello, sir, this is blackjack,” the man introduced. “How much would you like to bet?”
Manfred set down fifty dollars in chips. The dealer handed him two cards, face up, a three, and a seven. Before the dealer could pull out his own cards, Manny quietly used his see-through vision. The dealer was going to get a nine and a six. The dealer put one of his cards face up and the other face down. The dealer was in a better position than him now, closer to twenty-one. The next card was a seven. “Hit,” he told the dealer. Now he was at seventeen, forcing the dealer to hit to try and beat him. He saw, however, the dealer’s next card and had to force himself not to smile. It was a jack, worth ten, putting the dealer at twenty-five, a bust.
“Good job,” the dealer said. “Table pays two to one, so you get a hundred.” He handed Manny a hundred-dollar chip. Manny put down the new chip with the fifty and went another round. The dealer was going to get a seven and a queen: seventeen. Manny looked at his cards to come. He could get a two, a five, an eight, and a three. He would beat the dealer again. The dealer whistled. “Two in a row, that’s something.” He looked further ahead. The dealer would have a nine, and a queen, putting him at nineteen. Meanwhile, he could get a six, a two, a king, and an ace. He would lose either way. He pulled his chips aside and bet fifty before going another round. The cards were dealt. “Ah, I guess no one can win ‘em all.”
“I’m still in the positive, so, I’m going to keep going,” Manny replied.
The dealer shrugged. “Sure.”
This went on for a while. He would bet big when he knew he would win, and bet small when he knew he would lose. He had to stay under some amount just over eleven hundred dollars, because above that, he’d have to fill out a tax form. Maybe he’d do that at another casino, but right now, he had to maximize his starting bet at another casino. After nine hundred dollars, he stepped aside. After cashing his chips in, he pocketed the money and headed out to his car. He put the money in the middle compartment. He stared at it. Two weeks’ pay after taxes still fell short of what he had. He drove off, headed another ten or so miles to another casino. The Mississippi River had several of these to choose from.
Sitting down at another blackjack table, he sat across from another dealer, and at least two other people sat here. Normally, it would be hard to consider how far ahead to look at the cards, but somehow, her brain was smarter than his. The other people noticed his incredible luck, and he tried to minimize it by placing more on losing bets. After quite a bit of winning, some eleven thousand dollars, security approached and asked him to leave. He went to the main cage, cashed out, and was handed a form.
“Your Social Security card and Driver’s License, sir?” the cashier asked.
He opened his wallet and produced them. “Death and taxes,” he joked, handing them over. He filled out the form, and handed it back. An uncomfortable few minutes passed. “I’d like my winnings in a check, please, minus a thousand in cash, if you could.”
The cashier smiled, returning his identification. “Certainly, sir,” he said. A few minutes later, and he had a check in his pocket and more cash in his wallet. He also had a security escort to his car. He drove off and didn’t stop until he got to a branch of his bank, some four miles away. Shutting the engine off, he realized his heart was pounding.
He leaned back in his chair. A ragged breath escaped. He had to remind himself nothing was coming after him. He had gotten away with it. Obviously, he figured, otherwise security would’ve pulled him aside then and there. He went up to the ATM and deposited the check. He doubted he could handle explaining things to a live person. He could scarcely believe that almost half a year’s money had entered his possession. Starting the car again, a thought occurred to him.
Assuming this is real, he realized, it would be absurd to believe it would only happen to him. He’d gotten so mentally high from the winnings, and so distracted by the possibility of insanity, that the basic hadn’t even struck him until this point. After all, he’d unlocked more evidence: the likelihood of him hallucinating turning into another person was high. However, for the insanity option to be the truth, now, he’d have to have somehow beaten the incredible odds of casino blackjack consistently enough to have won almost twelve thousand dollars. Also, he realized he’d only been in the close, Alton casino. He’d never been in this other one. So, he would’ve had to hallucinate something he’d never seen before, in significant detail. So far, he’d made a lot of money, and assuming this wasn’t a giant hallucination, he could make more. But what bothered him is the fact that, he knew what would happen next.
He’d read enough comics to know that, should he decide to use his powers, he’d be pulled into a situation he had little control of. It rattled him, knowing that, if enough people developed powers like his, society could very well collapse. He’d read plenty of comics and even some novels, and almost all of them had the same message: society can’t handle these things. The last thing he wanted was for the world to turn into Sengoku-era Japan, with local leaders fighting wars with each other. Another disturbing thought was, he could turn into Capacitor. Michelle Delanter was a very powerful super. She had the standard flying brick power set, and fought godlike beings before. In the comics, there had been a great deal of fights she’d been in. Unfortunately, her defining characteristic was that she always had an enemy to fight, many of which were more powerful than her. Obviously, he knew, in those stories, she always won. This wasn’t a story; this was life. He had no guarantees of winning. There were no mentors to teach him how to fight as a super. He had no one to help him learn.
This was new territory. He sighed and shook his head. “Dammit,” he thought out loud. He started the car. He felt the weight of possible events to come pushing down on him. If only he could wish it away, he believed. Then a mental image flashed through his mind. Some super out of a young adult novel obliterating the entire city and its surroundings. The old him would’ve been a victim, swept away like a sandcastle, no way to fight back. Now, he might find himself having to do battle, but he wouldn’t be a helpless victim. In fact, it might turn out to be his only tool to survive.
He returned home. If trouble would come to him sooner or later, he would be prepared. He had to know how complex her powers were and to what degree they worked.
One of the first things he tested was her intelligence. Was she as smart as him? Was she smarter than him? He had to know. In college, he’d completed calculus one with a ‘B’ and that utterly thrilled him. Once he found out he wouldn’t have to complete calculus two he almost danced a jig. Now, he dug around the internet until he came across a year two calculus primer. Since it’d been almost a decade, and his math skills were rusty, he began reading through the descriptions. The websites had various levels of descriptiveness, so if he came across one that didn’t seem technical enough, he found one that was.
After twenty minutes of reading, his mind snapped back to self-awareness. Suddenly, he became aware the math fascinated him. As far as he knew, it never occurred to him that math could fascinate anyone. More importantly, not once had any of the topics that bewildered him even remotely troubled her. The wiki for Furious Thunder indicated that all the versions of her possessed some degree of enhanced intellect, most being a four out of seven—with two being an average person. The latest incarnation, however, had been upgraded to a five—marked by the descriptor, “high genius.”
“She possessed an intellect much higher than the common man,” he read, “even before becoming enhanced. Afterward, however, her brilliance was brought to nigh-superhuman levels. Although not as smart as beings such as Psi-Storm, she can outsmart many of the cleverest enemies.”
Clicking back to the tab with the math instruction, he clicked on a video of a woman explaining some of the history of calculus. I don’t know if I’d wear that, he thought.
At once he hit the spacebar, pausing the video, and leaning back in his chair.
He’d just imagined himself, in her form, wearing the woman’s clothes, and found himself not enjoying that idea. He’d analyzed what he would look like in Capacitor form, dressed like that, and it bothered him. He’d judged her clothes. That thought caught him by surprise.
I’ve never cared about fashion or how clothes look, he thought.
A gasp almost escaped his mouth. The answer immediately presented itself. When I’m physically her, he realized, specifically, the brain, she has a different gender identity than I do. It would have been confusing if he didn’t currently have the intelligence to understand it. As far as he could tell, even though the brain was the seat of consciousness, there was no break in awareness. Granted, he had to admit, it had only been a few days. Still, it was no Jekyll & Hyde; there were no two people. There was just one person, with two different forms. It’s like two different word processors on the same computer, he realized. They have different features, but they share the same basic essence.
It occurred to him that he’d shifted some excess weight to her form. Even though he did it to make his clothes fit her, it triggered the same body image issues he had as a guy, but worse. Still, at the very least, it made it convenient that his large pants fit her.
His pants had slid down. He stood there and pulled his pants back up. A thumb and index finger slid into the gap where previously, it had been snug. Standing up, he pushed the chair aside and backed up. His male form re-emerged as he shifted back to normal, even transferring his excess weight back. Checking the waist of the pants, he coughed and shook his head. Somehow, in less than twenty-four hours, her enhanced body burned through enough fat to make his pants loose.
Shifting back into her form, he clasped his hands over his face, breathed in and out, and sat down on his bed. This would be one hell of a learning curve.
submitted by alegonz to redditserials [link] [comments]

Years of training myself to smile and hold it all in, undone by two of the dumbest words I could have deserved getting shitcanned for.

I needed to rant, like a lot, because you guys are probably the only place that would understand, even though I'm not a server, not at this job. I'm pretty close to one, if you replace food with money and restaurant with casino in the job description it uses the same wording. Instead, I handle money. I have my own section with my own regulars, with a cash bank on me and I cater to their whims and desires, instead of more diet coke and ranch, it's more five dollar bills. So I hope I'm allowed to post here.
We all have those days where everything is just going wrong. Just fucking absolutely shitshow wrong.
I have been at my job for two years and I have put up with being called all sorts of names, racial slurs, not tipped on purpose because it's in a casino and they already "paid their fair share", having my body picked apart by drunk strangers, catcalled, anything that anyone in a server or server like position experiences.
You know that meme that was going around, the "I want to speak to the manager haircut" one? This one. Let that sink into your brain, imagine Kate plus Eight but fifteen years in the future. The kind of woman who calls your boss saying "I don't want her to get fired, but..."
We have a promotion where a kind of big jackpot goes off randomly, and guest get a free play bonus if they have a club card. The only people not eligible are those who don't use their card, and people in bonuses on the slot machines need to have their free play put on manually. It's a tiny amount, $25, and it's not a bonus you can cash out, so it's use it or lose it.
Mrs CanISeeYourManager flips the fuck out on me before I can even explain that she'd get her stupid free play within the hour, and demands I open her slot machine to "prove" she had her club card. (Because that makes sense.)
I told her all the shit you're supposed to say to people who feel scammed out of their portion of free shit, that she'll get it in an hour, but she wouldn't have it. Her husband comes over and they start ranting in tandem. So I take a deep breath, hold up my hand to cut them off and tell them that if they are going to yell, I would not be helping them and that they can go to the service counter for further help. Then I walk away. I hear them shouting after me, but I know I will say something that will get me into trouble if I continue to deal with them.
Half an hour goes by, I have cooled off, I'm still running around like a gotdam chicken with my head cut off from this jackpot, and she approaches me. I tell her that I will not be dealing with her, I am busy with another hundred guests who have enough respect not to yell at me, and that she needs to see the service counter for further services. This, I am well within my rights as an employee of this establishment to say. We know we don't have to put up with shit from anybody.
She started with the volume again, screaming about how sorry she felt for my section because I suck at my job, how horrible my service is, that she is a GOOD CHRISTIAN-- at this point my brain stops working and I just react. I roll my eyes and said the two little words that sealed my fate: "Bite me."
Yes, bite me. I showed enough restraint not to tell her to go fuck herself with the American Challenge, although at this point, I wish I had.
I waved her off and went to break.
Four hours later, I learned, as I was being escorted off of the grounds, that she raised enough hell to get to my boss's boss's boss. I have been suspended, my license is on hold with my casino credentials. She was adamant about not wanting me fired, which we all knows mean she wanted to see me burn.
I will find out tomorrow what Mrs CISYManager wrote about me in a statement she submitted to my boss. (No, I'm not fucking kidding, she wrote and submitted a statement over the words "bite me".) I can only imagine it actually says that I physically assaulted her, killed her puppy and shit on her front porch. I only hope she doesn't do this at Chuck E Cheese when her precious grandbabies get "cheated" out of their extra game tickets because they suck at whack-a-mole.
I know I was unprofessional, but a write up should have sufficed, you know? Anyone who's ever been to a casino knows that you'll hear stuff that would make the saltiest sailor cover his ears at a craps table, straight from the dealers mouths.
Y'all wanna make me feel better with your worst guest stories? Or truly magnificent worth getting fired for moments? I was supposed to work tonight, and believe it or not, I love my job and now I can't set foot on the property until the investigation (over the words "bite me") is over. Seriously.
submitted by peachbot to TalesFromYourServer [link] [comments]

I'm a casino security guard (AMA, but I can't guarantee an answer)

I work in a casino up in Black Hawk, Colorado. Still fairly new on the job, so I don't know everything, but because of the nature of my position, I get to see a significant amount of what goes on both on the floor and behind the scenes.
I sign off on a lot of gaming (i.e. money-related) paperwork, and I handle more on top of that. So I have a grasp on the general flow of money from the floor to the cage and back again, but even if I was allowed to, I couldn't give more than a general description of the cash flow, since I only see the paperwork from my shift, and only part of that, since I'm only one of several people in my position.
I also handle a lot of money. Some nights, I can easily be involved in the transportation of high 6-figure to low 7-figure sums in both cash and chips. A single set of table fills can top $70,000 in chips, and a cart full of BV cans (the things that your money goes into when you put it into a machine) can be worth several hundred thousand.
Finally, as the title states, I can't answer every question you may throw at me. I'll try to explain why I can't answer a given question, but in general, anything specific about finances, money-handling procedures, etc. won't get answered. Additionally, there may be some delay, since I work full time, have a 12-hour course load, and am currently in the middle of a move.
And now, a few fun facts that you may not know if you haven't worked in the industry:
submitted by arcang3l to IAmA [link] [comments]

Found this Essay I wrote from a while back

Had to write a descriptive essay back when I was in school and just came across it again. Disclaimer: the featured hand is the cliche climax where the villian gets there on the river but the essay is mainly for descriptive purposes-not high level poker content lol. If you read it, hope you enjoy.
Commerce Casino
"All in", that moment in poker when you put your entire stack on the line. I'm sitting at an oval table resembling a horse track with nine other degenerates all trying to do the same thing: win big. Beads of sweat start to form on my forehead, my mouth gets dryer as the rate of my heartbeat increases to a rapid gallop. I can feel blood pulsing and beating in my temples like war drums, but why? With the first three cards shown, I have the best hand at the moment. The sucker at the end of the table called my all in bet but his hand needs to improve in order to beat mine. With two cards to come, the gentleman, if he's worthy of that title, given the fact that he's already had two warnings from the staff about patting a waitress' rear, seems confident that he'll get lucky and his card will come. He needs a diamond. Around me there is table banter: A couple of Asian men looking like they just got off of work, talking to one another about poker strategy, or something else, I couldn’t tell. Young online gambling prodigies crunching numbers and blabbing about odds and statistics. Apparently, the likelihood of my opponent catching the card he needs to best me is roughly thirty five percent. There's always a frail old man at the table who sits expressionless and is almost a bigger distraction than the actual loudmouthed players themselves. You almost feel guilty about taking his money but, in an environment like this, there’s no room for that. Around me people are ordering drinks, drunkenly spilling on themselves, the table, and other players. Overly confident Middle Eastern business men singing aloud to themselves as if they think no one is around. And that's just my table, one of fifty-four in a crowded side room of the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles.
The casino is built into a Crown Plaza Hotel located in the industrial area of Commerce, California. The décor does not have direction, there is a Greek-style fountain in the front of the building and you are greeted by Sphinxes in the lobby. The carpets attempt to be elegant with its green Renaissance era floral pattern but it only comes off as desperate; the same desperation that ninety percent of these gamblers experience on a day to day basis. There is a subtle smell of cigarette smoke baked into the walls that has almost dissipated from the days when it was still legal to smoke indoors. That doesn’t bother me because when I play poker, I smoke. In order to maintain this degenerate image I project, in order to sell the experienced poker player persona, I need to have another vice to compliment my gambling. I don’t drink when I play, so smoking will do. Along the path to my table, I walk through the casino hearing cheers of joy and cries of anguish as players gamble with their paychecks and rent money. The shuffling of chips in the players’ hands sounds like rain falling into an aluminum gutter, trickling down the drain over and over again. To my right at the bar, waitresses are serving drinks with fake smiles to entice greater tips from hopeful men.
The next card is a spade. There is a skip in the powerful beat in my heart as I feel that I’ve dodged a bullet, but the relief is short-lived since there’s another card to come. I sense my opponent at the other end of the table experience the same skip in his rhythm but for a different reason. His disappointment is followed by the distressed pleas to the Poker Gods, “One time! One time!”. As he prays for his card to come, I quietly pray that it doesn’t.
I pass a lone security guard sitting in his booth overlooking part of the room, he’s not paying attention, going through the motions of his mundane job. I’m just short of twenty one years old and have a baby face to boot but he doesn’t notice. I’ve been coming here for the past three years and the jolt of adrenaline of possibly getting caught when I step into this building has worn off. It used to be exciting, something new; my main distraction in my “game” was looking over my shoulder to see if someone was “radio-ing me in”, but that doesn’t cross my mind anymore and soon won’t be an issue at all. In order to get a table, I navigate my way through a sea of passing players to put my name on the waitlist, trying not to clip their shoulders with mine. The room has a subtle odor of an old cafeteria but is overpowered by the countless bodies sitting at tables.
Playing poker in a casino this size is a germophobe’s worst nightmare. Hundreds of players touching the same chips, same cards, coughing, sneezing, eating, wiping their hands across their nose; the Purell stations at each entrance are staring at you with a grin, mocking you because even they can’t sanitize what’s breeding in the room. This is my haven because this is where I hope to make it big and become a professional poker player. This is the lifestyle I desire, the big life, like you see on TV. I envy those guys, living in the Las Vegas suites, playing poker day in and day out, partying in the best clubs, traveling to other countries to increase the size of their bank roll. The filth, cheap décor, and childish thrills are just stepping stones along the path to poker stardom.
My name is called and I once again find my way through a multitude of players to my table. I empty my wallet by taking out five crisp one hundred dollar bills and give it to the chip runner who confirms “five hundred on seat three”, as he’s been trained to do. Hands come and go as I get into my groove and zone out on the dark green felt table. After playing for a few hours, I notice that same dark green felt under all of my finger nails from the excessive shuffling of chips and mindless activity that my hands perform on the table. It’s all part of the charm. The hand of the night is dealt and I’m all in, with only one card left to come, I’m in great position to take down a very large pot. Both my opponent and I are staring intensely down at the table where the previous cards have been laid out, waiting for the last one to drop. The dealer with robotic discipline taps the felt twice with his hand signifying that he is about to place the final card on the table. The casino is empty. All noise and background chatter ceases and it’s just me, the “gentleman” at the end of the table, and a hand turning the last card over. I am off my seat leaning over the table in hopes to be the first to see the card come.
Nausea tickles my stomach as a bright red seven of diamonds is exposed. I drop back into my seat, disgusted about what has unfolded. My mind is racing with confusion, disbelief, and denial as I stare at the seven that has always been my lucky number. Celebrations at the end of the table erupt as I sit to think about what has been stolen from me. This entire rollercoaster of emotions has happened in less than twenty seconds and I am left exhausted. I get up to go relieve myself with a cigarette so I can torture myself by reliving the moment and trying to determine what I could have done differently. With each drag, my mouth fills with a foul yellow smoke that is thick and bitter. I’m still shaking from the abrupt anti-climax and the cigarette is only a temporary fix. I could go back inside, make one last withdrawal and win it back, easy, but my better judgment kicks in and I call it a night. The ride home empty handed is lonely and seems longer than the time it took to arrive. There’s always tomorrow.
Walking into the casino today, five years later, recalling the major wins and crippling losses, is very enlightening. I think about how young I am today at twenty five and it’s comical how much younger I was back then. Going with my best friend is for pure enjoyment, I am not trying to be the professional degenerate poker player I once sought out to be. But, being there now has a dullness to it that it never had five years ago. The inside continues to be renovated, eliminating that shoddy charm it used to have. With updated electronics and a new kitchen, it can almost pass for a place that people would want to go even if they didn’t gamble. Just as a bitter-sweet sense of nostalgia settles over me, I sit down at a table and hear the sound of all the chips around me and begin to shuffle them myself.
submitted by Gnarzz to poker [link] [comments]

The Innocence Gambit [Noir Contest]

My headache pounded as hard as the rain against the window. I’d been trying to sleep through my hangover, but the sound of sirens outside my apartment kept me from the sweet bliss of hibernation.
It was a small studio apartment, not more than an average room and a walled off toilet on the side. I didn’t need much more, though. It was just a place to rest off a bender once in awhile.
A knock at the door, I ignored it. Anyone worth a damn in this city had a key, the others could wait until I was sobered up. Another knock, “Take the hint, buddy. Whatever you want to sell, I ain’t buying.”
“Mr. Wesseli, we know you’re in there.” A man’s voice called from the other side. “Open the door. This is the police.”
I mumbled to myself a list of expletives. “Hold on. Let me get some pants on.” My eyes opened briefly, “never mind. Apparently, I’m still wearing them.”
My right knee ached as I limped to the door to greet my guests. Detective Sugahara and a couple of cadets I didn’t recognize. “May we come in?”
“What do you want, Tomeo?” He hated when I used his first name. I figured being on a first name basis was one of the perks of being on the other side of the law for so long. “If Rico sent you here, he was mistaken. I’ve cleaned up my act, see?” I waved him into the cramped room.
“It smells like shit in here.”
“Gotta have something to feed the pigs.”
“Where were you Friday night?”
“Saw my girlfriend, went for a drink or two, then you woke me up.”
“You went for a drink?” the detective wrote something in a small notepad, “for three days?”
“I was thirsty.”
“Get a coat, we’re going to try this again at the station.”
I limped along as Detective Sugahara walked me through the halls of the police station, to a small interrogation room. I saw the adjoined viewing room was empty. ‘Tomeo doesn’t want our conversation to be seen,’ I thought. Inside the room was a metal table, its legs bolted to the ground. On the table, I saw a manila folder with paperwork spilling out, and a full ashtray. My heartbeat steadied, realizing I wasn’t the only suspect. Two fold-out chairs sat at opposite ends of the table, lit by a single fixture in the middle of the room.
“Take a seat.” Detective Sugahara said, shoving me. He sat and picked up the folder. “I’d ask you where you were last Friday night, but I’ve already got a good idea,” he withdrew a photograph and tossed it onto the table in front of me.
My wrists strained against the handcuffs as I looked at the gruesome picture. “You’ve got the wrong guy,” I told him.
“My sources say otherwise, Mr. Wesseli.” I’ve got two eyewitnesses say a man matching your description entered Norah Trezza’s apartment building at 8:05pm. On Friday night.”
“Circumstantial.”
“The same two witnesses have you coming out of the apartment two hours later, looking scared and running north to 5th street.”
“Only more proof of my innocence, Tomeo,” I laughed, trying to ease the tension in my throat, “I don’t run for shit. Maybe you’ve noticed my limp? Went to the docks at night to... um... think. Saw some shit I shouldn’t have,” I winced, remembering the old pain, “Took a knife to the knee cap. A piece of it is still in there, makes getting through a metal detector a son of a bitch.”
“What’s your point, Windsor?”
“Point is, I wasn’t a snitch then, and I ain’t a snitch now.”
“Not gonna snitch, eh?” Sugahara mind seemed to be in overdrive. I stared at the picture on the table while he lit a smoke. “So you do know something,” he blew the smoke in my face and leaned forward. “What do you know about Norah?”
I knew Norah. She was the nurse that patched up my knee. I saw her again a year later and we’d hit it off. My brain was fogged but I remembered entering her apartment that night. She said she had to tell me something important. I swallowed hard, my mouth dry with dehydration and regret.
“Jesus, man. Are you still drunk? I asked you a question.”
“Never heard of her,” I lied, “Can I go now?” I hated the act, the mask I had to put on. There was nothing I could do to help Norah though, I had to try to help myself. ‘If I clear my name, maybe that will bring her closure,’ my thoughts wandered. I’d never truly loved her, my heart belonged to another.
The detective pulled out another photograph and tossed it onto the other. “If you don’t know Norah Trezza, then why was there a picture of you in her apartment?”
“Wow.”
“What is it, realizing that we’ve got you?” He took another drag and leaned back against the chair.
“It’s just.”
“Spit it out, dirtbag. I ain’t got all day.”
“I’m really fucking photogenic,” I smirked. “Can I keep this?”
Sugahara landed a right cross against my cheek, sending me off the chair. I blacked out and began dreaming about Norah. Remembering. It had been warm in her apartment. She kissed me when I entered. I remembered her looking at me with fear behind her big brown eyes. I remembered feeling anger, like I’d been betrayed, then nothing.
I woke up half an hour later with my headache worse than before, a bruised jaw and a little hole where I could have sworn a tooth had been. I was lying on the floor of a jail cell, nursing my blue swollen wrists for another hour before the detective came back to see me. A bandage covered his right fist. “You’re free to go,” he exhaled slowly, choosing his words carefully.
I limped behind him through the main floor. I felt like every officer was watching, hoping that I’d do something stupid. Tomeo opened the front door and ushered me outside, into the wind and rain. I turned around, caught him watching me. “Detective, you never answered my question.”
He walked down the entrance steps to me, hands stuffed inside his double-breasted trench coat. “What question was that, Windsor?”
“Can I have the picture?”
He laughed, looking around the busy street. “Too many witnesses, Windsor.” He said, leaning in so that only I could hear him. “But mark my words, Wesseli, this only ends one way. With you behind bars, or dead.”
He walked back into the police station. “Good chat, old friend.”
“Yeah, let’s do it again real soon. Don’t leave town.”
I knew I couldn’t go home. Tomeo surely had the place bugged by then, and at least one plain clothed officer dispatched to follow me. First, I knew I had to lose any tales, then I needed to figure out how to clear my name. I wasn’t innocent, no one was in this shit town, but I wasn’t going to go down for a crime I hadn’t committed. I needed help.
For an hour I limped through dark alleys, taking shortcuts through restaurants until I was sure no one was following me. Along the way, I’d pickpocketed enough cash to hail a cab. “Where to?” asked the cabbie, with a slight German accent.
I rattled my drenched hat onto cab floor. “42nd and Hazel,” I told him.
The cabbie shook his head. “You know we don’t go past 30th. Too dangerous.”
I pulled out someone’s wallet. “An extra fifty for your trouble. I’m not gonna walk.”
We rode in silence. The gray sky seemed to darken with every block we drove. Homeless people huddled on the street corners, warming their hands over garbage can fires. The familiar sound of gunfire rang out in the distance, but no police sirens could be heard. Cops rarely had the courage to show their faces on this side of town.
Before I had a chance to thank the cabbie for the ride he was gone. Mist rose up from the sewer grates around me, spreading over the wet, cracked concrete. I looked up at my destination, a five-story apartment building. A fire escape obscured its old Gothic architecture. I thought for a moment about all the times I’d had to use the fire escape to get out of a bad situation.
Inside, the lobby was empty. There was a wall of mailboxes to my right, half smashed and hanging open. Worthless paper strung on the floor. Anything of value was unsurprisingly missing.
I didn’t trust elevators, but my knee was begging me to avoid the stairs, so I hit the button and waited.
“Didn’t expect to see your face in these parts, Wesseli.”
There was only one woman in the city that could sneak up on me, “I could say the same to you, Zena.” I turned around. Zena’s ginger hair cascaded over her exposed shoulders. Her snug black dress flowed over supple curves. Little was left to the imagination, but it set my mind afire. She carried a small black purse in one black gloved hand. In the other she held a cigarette holder to her mouth and puffed, making little white rings in the air between us.
“It’s Mrs. Kristof now,”
“Say it ain’t so. You married?” my jealousy was obvious, the elevator door opened. “I never thought I’d see the day.” She followed me in, taking another pull from the half-lit cigarette as she did. The tip of the holder stained red from her lipstick.
‘Lucky lipstick.’ I thought to myself.
“What floor?” She asked, “I’ll push the button for you.”
She always did know how to push my buttons. We’d gone together for a time, in the early days. Small scams mostly. She’d distract the casino dealers while I’d swap in loaded dice. Or she’d take a business man to bed and conveniently leave the place unlocked for me. I’d like to think we’d still be together if it weren’t for me pushing her away. She always thought we could have a life together, but I knew better. Zena was too good for the likes of me, and I let her know it.
“Take me to the top, Mrs. Kristof.”
“You must be here to see Mr. Mannsfeld.”
“You know him?”
The door opened, and she stepped out. I fought the urge to watch her body glide through every sultry step, I failed. The elevator doors began to close, breaking my trance. When I made it into the hall, she was already closing another door behind her. I followed, stopping at the door. A placard on the door read, ‘Franz Mannsfeld - Private Investigator.’
My hand raised to knock but before I could, Zena opened it. “Mr. Mannsfeld will see you now,” she winked at me like we were back at the casino, about to con a foreign dignitary.
“Thank you, my dear,” I stepped inside the dusty room. The sound of thunder erupted outside. “Mr. Mannsfeld, I’m Windsor Wesseli and I need your assistance.”
“Straight and to the point, I like that.” The man was younger than I’d expected, in his early twenties if I had to assume. My instinct was to turn and walk out, figuring his reputation must be pomp and circumstance. He rose from his seat and pointed to the chair across from his desk. “Have a seat and tell me all about it.”
I told him about being picked up on by the police, being accused of murder in the first. The victim, Norah Trezza. Even Tomeo Sugahara, the detective that questioned me. I also told him about the photograph of me that they claimed was at the scene of the crime. All the while, Mr. Mannsfeld sat in his chair, chewing on an unlit cigar and spitting bits of paper and tobacco onto the floor.
“What didn’t you tell Mr. Sugahara?” he asked after I had finished getting him up to speed.
“What do you mean? I didn’t tell him anything because I don’t know anything.”
“Well let me tell you something, Mr. Wesseli,” He stood up, red-faced with anger. “I don’t work for free, and I don’t work with liars.”
“I’m not lying, I didn’t kill that girl, I swear!”
“Yeah, but you’re hiding something from me.” He walked across the room, Zena had picked up his trench coat and hat, waiting for him. “If you want my help then I need to know the truth.”
“What makes you think I’m hiding something?” I asked, my jaw slacked with confusion.
“Same way I know you and Zena here were lovers.” He stared into my eyes. “I’m neither blind nor stupid. And you wouldn’t be hiring me if I was, so out with it!” It was then that I knew that his smooth skin displayed a lack of years, not of skill.
“I knew the woman.” I blurted out, reaching into my jacket’s breast pocket for a cigarette.
“What woman,” he pointed to Zeta. “Her? We already established that.” The private investigator began chomping on his cigar again. He spat another wad onto the floor and said. “You can’t smoke in here.”
“Norah Trezza. I knew her before she died. What do you mean I can’t smoke in here?” I watched him pull out a cigarette case and hand one to his assistant. “But you’ll let her?”
“I didn’t say she couldn’t. Smoking is a privilege of the employee and the employer. You are neither. Since I haven’t taken the case yet, you may not smoke in my office.”
“Please, Mr. Mannsfeld. I don’t know who else to ask for help. Sooner or later the cops are going to realize that the photograph isn’t the only thing that ties me to the room.”
The young man stood up and went to the door where he collected his hat and trench coat. “I’ll do some digging, no promises. I’ll let you know the day after tomorrow if I’m on the case,” then he left.
“That went well,” Zena said.
“Why are you here?” I asked, lighting up my cigarette. “This is the wrong part of town for a doll like you to be on.”
Zena rubbed her purse, “Don’t worry about me. I can get along on my own now.”
“Still packing the old .38? Good girl.” I mocked, patting her ass as I walked out the door. “A lot of creeps out there.”
“I know, I dated one of them.”
I knew I couldn’t go home, so I decided to do some investigating of my own. A few blocks up, on 39th I knocked on Rico Doublon’s door. “Who is it?” he yelled from the other side.
“Windsor Wesseli, let me in.”
“Listen, Windsor. I don’t want any trouble, man. You’ve got some serious heat on you right now and I can’t be associating with that type. I hope you understand.”
“I understand that you don’t want your friends to know you’ve been spilling secrets to the cops for the better part of a decade. I understand that you don’t want the cops to know you’ve been warning the crooks about what they’re up to, either.”
The door swung open. “Get the fuck inside and shut the fuck up.” He led me into the living room and sat on the couch. “You know, you’ve got a way of ruining people’s day.”
“It’s one of my specialties,” I walked into the kitchen. I grabbed a loose bottle of old whiskey from the counter and took a swig. “What have the pig's been saying about me, Rico?”
“It’s not what they’re saying, Windsor. It’s what they’re not saying that matters.”
“How do you mean?” I asked. I took the bottle with me into the living room. “They haven’t been asking about me?”
“What kind of shit did you step in, Windsor?”
“It’s been a long day. Tell me what I need to know and I’ll be out of your hair.”
“Alright, alright alright, those sick fucks are out for you, Windsor. They mean fucking business too, man,” He took a few deep breaths and continued, “They weren’t just asking about you. They were asking about your family, your friends. Tomeo was relentless, asking about everything under the fucking sun.”
“Sugahara was here?” I asked.
“Yeah, man. He was the one asking most of the questions.”
“About Norah Trezza?”
“Who the fuck is Nora Trezza?”
“Interesting. They asked about everything except what they’re investigating me for.” I took another swig from the bottle. “What did you tell them?”
“You know me, man. I’m always playing both sides. I told them enough to get them off my back, nothing more.”
“Did you tell them about Zena?”
“Sure, man. They didn’t seem interested, though. You two haven’t been a thing in a long time.” He grabbed a cigarette from the coffee table in front of him and lit it. “What surprised me was how many times he asked about Dutch. Like they didn’t know he’s dead.”
I closed my eyes, “Dutch? You’re sure?”
“Crazy, right? We all saw the obituary. You’re brother’s been dead almost two years, and now the police want to ask him about you. Fucking ignorant sons of bitches.”
“All of our lives may be in danger, Rico. Including yours.”
“From the cops? I can handle the cops. I scratch their back, they scratch mine. It’s in their best interest to keep me around.”
“Yeah, their best interest. Not mine.” I smashed the bottle of whiskey over his head. “I guess it is true what they say. Snitches get stitches. That’s for dragging Zena into this.”
I left the apartment, headed back below the 30th street line, civilization. The rain was letting up, I could see that the morning sun was about to rise. A neon vacancy taunted me just across the street as I meandered along the road. I wanted to clear my name but knew I couldn’t do it with the fog of sleep deprivation distracting me.
Inside, the clerk asked for my name. I grabbed one of the wallets I’d borrowed the day before and rattled off the name on the driver’s license. Five hours later I woke up in my hotel room, still clothed a little buzzed. I felt as though I’d missed something important, a clue that could help me, but I couldn’t place it. ‘Why would the cops want to talk to Dutch?’
It was almost noon, I hadn’t eaten in almost two days. I picked myself up from the bed and headed out again. Outside, it had started raining again. Big globs of water, falling heavily on everything. The kind of rain that could soak you to the bone in an instant. I walked to the nearest diner to get some food. Ahead, I saw Detective Sugahara walk inside. ‘Just my luck,’ I thought as he opened the door, letting a woman in before him.
I followed as they were seated at a booth. They’d just brought the menu’s to their faces when I sat next to the woman. She shrieked when I jabbed her side with the driver’s license I’d stolen. “Quiet or the lady gets it in the ribs,” I warned them.
Tomeo looked up from his menu, then back. “Windsor. I didn’t expect to see you on my day off. To what do we owe the pleasure?” He said calmly. “Have you met my wife, Le?”
“This isn’t a joke, Tomeo. I want answers.”
“I tell you what you want to hear, you let my wife go, Is that it?”
“Someone is framing me for a crime I didn’t commit.”
“We’re just doing our jobs, buddy. The evidence points to you, so we’re investigating.” His hands were steady and deliberate, he took a glass of water to his mouth. “If we had enough to convict you yet, we wouldn’t have let you go.”
“You were asking about Dutch. Why?”
“Our records aren’t always the most up to date, Windsor. We didn’t know he had died. Sorry for your loss.”
I dug the card into Le’s side harder, I was beginning to fear it would bend and the ruse would be up. Tomeo was always armed, he probably had a gun to my crotch under the table that second. Le winced in fear.
“If you so much as cut a thread on her shirt, I will end you here at the table,” He stared into my eyes, unflinching, “You understand?”
“What do I have to do to prove my innocence?” I asked.
“Our only other suspect was Dutch, with him out of the picture I’m afraid you’ll have to provide solid proof. Otherwise, we’ll throw everything we’ve got on you just to see what sticks.” He took another drink of water, “This isn’t a game, kid. Norah died and someone’s going to pay for that.”
I thought for a moment, trying to gauge the importance of these clues. “Why was Dutch a suspect?”
“We might not have good records, but we do have a lot of character witnesses that say Dutch was Norah’s ex.”
“Lovers?” I lost my breath like I’d been punched in the gut. “Who told you that?”
“Zena Kristof”
I stood up, let the driver’s license fall onto the table, and walked out the door.
Sugahara followed me out the door. “Windsor!”
I turned, “yes detective?”
“Anyone lays a finger on my wife, they get a bullet through their head. I’m not sure you did it, but that won’t mean shit if I have to put you down.”
“Understood.”
He went back into the diner, muttering something about a “fucking prick.”
My stomach was in knots, I’d lost my appetite. ‘What does Zena have to do with this?’ My knee ached, but I didn’t have any more cash to bribe a taxi with. That was soon remedied with a finger in the shape of a gun through my jacket’s pocket. I was a terrible actor, but on these streets, people don’t expect a bluff. I had cash enough to get me to Mr. Mannsfeld.
When I arrived the rain had settled to a drizzle, but the wind had picked up. Every drop felt like a slap in the face. That part of town reeked of desperation, beggars asking each other for change. I looked up at the top floor, to Mr. Mannsfeld’s office. There I saw the one shining a beacon of hope the town had left, Zena stood there, looking out.
I waved awkwardly, not knowing if she noticed me. She was on a high enough floor that I saw the glass break before I could hear it. The same could not be said for the sound she made when she hit the ground. I shielded my eyes, “Oh God, Zena! Not you,” my feet fumbled to get to her. Mangled flesh in a ripped dress was all that remained. I looked into her open eyes, but they didn’t look back.
“Windsor? What happened?” Mr. Mannsfeld asked, huddling up to the scene. His face was aghast at the sight.
“She’s dead,” I mumbled through stinging tears. “She fell out your window.”
“Impossible. The window is double paned, even with a running start she’d bounce off,” he sighed in resignation, “No, this was murder.”
“Does that mean-”
“The perpetrator may still be inside.” He stood up and rushed to the door.
A crowd had formed around the body; paying respects or looking for anything on her they could scavenge. It would be hours before an ambulance would make it to the scene, a fact of life for those that lived in the area.
I followed Mannsfeld, figuring that if the killer was still inside, they might also be responsible for Norah’s murder. “I can’t climb the stairs with my knee like this,” I told him.
“Yes, that does present a problem. I’ll take the stairs, you go up in the elevator and see what you can find.”
The elevator was on the top floor, taking precious seconds to drop. When it opened, I could see a figure standing there with a large black hood obscuring his face. He was a tall, formidable presence, unmoving. Then in a burst of speed, he’d laid me on the floor and ran out. I struggled to regain my footing and chase after him, but he’d already escaped.
Inside Mannsfeld’s office, his desk was laid over on its side. Little shards of glass strewn on the floor. Her purse on the ground by the door. The snub-nosed .38 lay in the middle of the room. I’d given it to her as a birthday gift for protection. Mannsfeld was examining his upturned desk. “Don’t touch anything, Mr. Wesseli.”
“In case it’s a clue?” I asked.
“No,” He said, “I’ve cataloged everything in my mind already. You have an uncanny ability, though, so I’d rather you stay and keep to yourself while I sort this out.”
“Uncanny ability?”
“To fuck things up.” He heaved the desk back onto its legs and examined it more, “Replacing the window and desk will be added to your bill.”
“You’re on the case?”
“You ask a lot of questions, Wesseli. Of course, I’m on the case.” He sighed, “The person responsible for Zena’s murder is almost certainly also involved in the death of Norah Trezza.” He found a matchbox on the floor, picked it up and lit the cigar he’d been chewing on. “I’d bet my life on it.”
“You said that Zena couldn’t have run through the window. What happened here then?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” Mannsfeld watched my blank expression and realized that it wasn’t. “It was a man, over six feet tall. He’d been snooping around my desk. Here, see these markings?” he waved at me to come to his side of the desk. “This lock has been smashed by a blunt instrument.”
I could see the indentations in the drawers locks. “Crude.”
“Yes, good observation. This was not the work of a trained locksmith.”
“So Zena must have come into the office while he was searching your files.”
“When doesn’t matter. The only thing of import is that she did. They must have startled each other because she drew her weapon, and he flipped the desk in defense.” Mannsfeld got up and ran to the revolver on the floor. “She fired two shots. One round went through the window, and the other lodged into the underside of the desk.” He picked up the gun and opened the chamber, revealing two spent shells. “The bullet through the window was enough to weaken it.”
“When I arrived, she was standing at the window, alone.”
“There was a struggle, definitely. He disarmed her and threw her against the desk. When she regained her footing, he pushed her out.”
“Do you have any idea who did this?”
“That’s actually why I’d been away from the office. I was chasing a lead in your case. One name is repeated consistently, and surprisingly to me, it isn’t yours.”
“Dutch.”
“Yes. For an apparently dead man, he’s been busy.”
“Are you telling me he’s alive?” My mind flooded with our last words, the smell of gunpowder. My jaw clenched tight, “Keep Zena safe,” I murmured.
“What was that? I couldn’t hear you.”
“The last thing Dutch said. He’d been shot, was bleeding out. I held him close, listening to every labored breath. I expected him to say he was sorry for getting us into that situation, instead he looked into my eyes and said ‘keep Zena safe.’ So I did. The next time I saw her, I broke things off clean. She was safer without me, I was dangerous.
“So you saw him die? Felt his pulse?”
“I watched his chest stop moving, his eyes go blank. Is that dead enough?”
Mannsfeld looked out the broken window. “Apparently not. If he was still alive, hypothetically, where would he be?”
I rubbed my forehead and thought, “Fuck if I know, the sun’s about to fall so he’d be halfway to soapy-eyed at the bar by now.”
“Good, that’s a start. Which bar?” he was visibly excited, in direct contrast to my sullen stance.
“Are you fucking serious? There’s no way, even if he was still alive. He wouldn’t be stupid enough to go back to our old hangout.”
“All I said was that it’s a start. And he may very well be that stupid. After all, he is your brother.”
I briefly considered throwing him out the window for insulting me, but I didn't want to further desecrate Zena’s body. If I wanted to clear my name, I knew I’d have to swallow my pride and go along with him, so I answered, “We used to meet up at the Black Dog pub on Myrtle street.”
Mannsfeld spat his cigar and stomped it on the floor. “I’m parked out back.”
Once inside his black sedan Mannsfeld began, “She was a good assistant, hard to find that kind of talent in this part of town.”
I hadn’t come to grips with her being gone yet, the situation had rendered me numb. “She was one of a kind.” I stared out the passenger side window, at the dirty forgotten city. Garbage fires lit the sidewalks instead of lamp posts. ‘If you don’t harden up, the city will break you like it did all those hapless fucks,’ my brother used to tell me.
“Where’s the body?”
“What?” I was shaken from my thoughts, “What body?”
“Your brother’s, where did you bury him?”
“I didn’t. The cops were on their way, there was no time to move the body.”
“Not even a funeral?”
“The old crew held a vigil in his honor, had a moment of silence. It was touching, but no we didn’t have a funeral per se.”
“Interesting,” Mannsfeld parked on the side of the road and stepped out, “let’s have a drink.”
Inside the pub, the smoke was thick, oppressive. Jazz played on the speaker in slow soft tones under the sound of conversations. No one looked up at the newcomers walking in from the rain, it was one of the things I loved about the place.
We took a seat in one of the quiet corners and looked around. “Recognize anyone?”
“Hard to say, but I don’t think so.”
A leggy black waitress stopped by and asked for our orders. “Two double whiskeys from the well, neat please.” Mannsfeld brandished a stack of money and a picture. “Also, have you seen this man around?”
The woman’s beautiful face turned bleak, nervous. “He hasn’t been around in a while.”
My eyes widened, “How long ago, exactly?” I nearly shouted.
“Exactly since he came in here asking about some asshole brother of his. He raised hell, causing a big scene. He ain’t allowed back here until he pays for the damages,” she pointed behind us at a head-shaped indentation in the wall.
“Please be a bit more specific for my slow friend here,” Mannsfeld said with a sly grin.
“However long that’s been there, is the last time any of us have seen him. Two, maybe three weeks. Anyway, is there anything else I can get for you two?”
“That will be all for now. Keep the change.” He handed her a twenty.
“So Dutch is alive,” I shifted in my chair, “what does it mean? Why didn’t he contact me?”
“I deal in the world of intentions, the definitions of which are never absolute. If I had to guess, I’d say he didn’t contact you because he either didn’t want to or couldn’t.”
The waitress arrived with our drinks, and Mannsfeld thanked her with a slap on her ass.
“Thanks for narrowing it.” I took my shot, it burned its way into my empty stomach. Out of instinct, I pulled out my cigarettes and lit one up. The smoke soothed the burning in my throat. “We’ve got confirmation that he’s alive, where does that leave us? How do we find a ghost?”
Behind me, a tall bald man with a long handlebar mustache interrupted. “Word has it you two are looking for Dutch.” He cracked his knuckles menacingly to try and intimidate us. I looked back at Mannsfeld and could see that it was working. “I can tell you where he is, for the right price.”
“I’ll give you the rest of this stack of cash for an address. Half now, the other after I confirm you’re not fucking with me.”
I gave him a puzzled look, “we’re bribing people now? I guess times haven’t changed since I left the business.”
“Oh don’t worry, Windsor. I’ll just add it to your bill after I’ve solved the case.”
Soon we were back in Mannsfeld’s car, driving to an abandoned building in an all but abandoned part of town. The moon peaked briefly through the clouds as we drove, only to be replaced by more wind and rain. The car’s heater couldn’t keep up with the dew collecting on the side windows. My words broke the long silence, “I haven’t been here in a long time.”
“It’s not high on my list of vacations spots, either.”
“This is where it happened. Where we left him for dead.” I sank into the chair and lit another smoke. “I wonder if he’ll be there.”
“Only one way to find out, I suppose.” Mannsfeld slowed to a stop across the street. He parked and looked out. “He might be watching, we should circle around, see if we can find a way in without being spotted.”
I stayed in the car for a moment, settling my heartbeat. ‘What am I going to say to him?’ I asked myself but had no answer. ‘Is he going to kill me?’ I probably deserved it.
Mannsfeld tapped the glass, interrupting my thoughts. “If you don’t get out of the car I’m adding a rental fee to your bill.”
We traveled through the dark pelting rain to the side of the large warehouse, staying in the shadows to not be seen. One of the trailer dock roll up doors was open. Mannsfeld decided it was as good an entrance as any, stopping just before and peeking his head in.
“See anything?” I whispered.
“Not yet, it’s dark. But I think I see movement.” His hot breath added to the growing mist outside. “There’s a crate inside, we’ll get a better view from there.”
Before I’d had a chance to argue, he was already gone. I watched his low shadow as he made his way to the pallet and ducked behind it. Looking back at me, he waved for me to follow.
Inside, the noise of the rain was amplified by the tin roof of the building. My eyes adapted to the darkness, but couldn’t penetrate the deep shadows.
I heard a voice, “You were tough to find, Dutch.”
Mannsfeld patted me on the back, letting me know he’d heard it as well. We peered over the wooden crate, saw two figures standing around what looked like an enormous duffel bag.
“That was kind of the point, Detective Sugahara,” I didn’t recognize Dutch’s voice, it had become deep, harsh, “what do you want?”
“My reputation precedes me, I see.”
“You’ve been busy. Knocking heads and asking questions you shouldn’t ask. Even if I was dead, by now I’d know your name.”
“Then you know why I’m here.”
“A fool’s errand.” He lit a cigarette, illuminating their faces for the first time. He’d aged, his hair was white, but it was definitely Dutch. “You’re trying close the Trezzo case.”
“I don’t take kindly to an innocent woman being murdered in my district.”
“The innocent die every day and you cops do nothing about it. Crime is everywhere, anyone without a gun gets the knife. Norah was no different, and she wasn’t innocent. Nobody associated with Windsor is innocent.”
“You’d have us believe that, wouldn’t you? Pinning that young woman’s murder on your own brother.”
“No brother of mine would leave me to die. A brother wouldn’t let the pigs have me. Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep a fake name straight when you’re pumped up on morphine? To know a cop is posted outside your hospital room door, just waiting for you to get well enough to go to jail?”
“That’s all in the past, Dutch. We’ve got your prints all over her apartment, your blood was on her dress.”
“She deserved it, Norah turned on me. We were a team, and she went and fell in love with the mark.”
“The mark was your brother, Windsor?” Sugahara unsnapped the revolver on his belt. “You were doing a long con, was that it?”
“Something like that. She was supposed to buddy up to the guy, gain his trust. Find out where he hid the loot.” He began pacing around the duffel bag. Sugahara kept his distance, one hand on his gun. “We were gonna plant some drugs and send him off to kiddy jail, teach him a lesson.”
“But she fell in love with him.”
“I warned her that he was dangerous, but it was too late. I could see it in her eyes.”
Dutch reached for the duffel bag between them. Sugahara jumped back, pulled out his revolver and pointed it. “Stay back. I don’t want to shoot you, but I will.”
“She wasn’t supposed to fall in love with the mark, detective. After everything we’d been through, nursing me back to health, helping me make a new life. My new life was supposed to be with her.” He stood back up, leaving the bag on the floor. “And she chose that scum bag instead? It’s not fucking fair!”
“Life isn’t fair, Dutch. You know that.” Sugahara’s weapon was still pointed at Dutch. “Especially in this town. Seem’s like no one gets a fair shake.”
“Well, I’m changing the rules. Windsor took everything from me. My life, my woman. So I’m taking every fucking thing from him. How lenient do you think your detective buddies will be when they find your body with a confession note stuffed in your throat?”
“About as lenient as my bullet’s going to be when it goes through your fucking skull. Dutch Wesseli, you’re under arrest.”
“See, that’s where you’re wrong Detective. You’re going to arrest Windsor Wesseli for the murders of Norah Trezza and Zena Kristof, “He bent and patted the duffel bag. “That is if you want your wife to live. What was her name again?”
“You fucking monster. What did you do to Le?”
“Do what I say and we all get out of here alive. Now put the gun on the ground and kick it to me.”
Sugahara hesitated but did what he was told.
On the other side of the crate, Mannsfeld whispered in my ear, “I think this is the time we intervene or leave.” He sounded sickly like he’d just eaten a hundred bullets. “We can’t stay here and do nothing.”
He was right, I couldn’t let Dutch ruin any more lives. I stepped out of the shadows, “Dutch. You keep bringing everyone into this, but your problem isn’t with them. Let them go and you can have me.”
“Detective, arrest that man or I’ll shoot your wife in the chest and leave her to die like he left me.”
I put my hands in the air, walked slowly towards them. “Let’s not do anything hasty, now. I’ll go with the detective peacefully.”
Dutch waved his gun, gesturing for Sugahara to arrest me. “You’ve got plenty of evidence to book him.” He laughed, his malice towards me was palpable. “I’m sure you’re used to telling white lies to get the job done, you don’t make detective if you haven’t worked the beat, and there ain’t any clean cops on the beat.”
“You’re right about that,” Sugahara admitted. He reached into his jacket and pulled out another pistol. Dutch jumped, a flash of light illuminated the dusty warehouse for a second, then faded back into darkness. In the burst of light I could see Sugahara’s eyes widen, he fell to the floor.
“I warned you, detective.” Dutch bent and unzipped the bag, revealing a sleeping Le. He pulled a vial from his pocket and put it under her nose. She woke with a startled gasp. “Go be with your husband.”
“Tomeo? Oh no, what have you done?” She screamed and crawled to his limp body.
“What now?” I asked.
“Now we end this.” He walked around me like a shark circling its prey. “An eye for an eye, a life for a life.”
Mannsfeld stepped out, his hands in the air, “That’s not quite right, though. A life for a life? By my count, you’ve committed three murders, in an attempt to frame your brother.”
“Jesus, Windsor. How many others are hiding back there? You want all that blood on your hands?”
“We haven’t been formally introduced. My name is Mannsfeld, a private detective.” He straightened his jacket and stood tall. “As I was saying. Even if you were to count your own near death, which I do not, by your standards you’ve already more than evened the score.”
“You little shit. I’m going to paint the walls with your blood.”
“Back off, Mannsfeld. I’ve got this.” I tried to reassure him. “The rain can’t last forever. Sooner or later, the sun will rise.”
“Windsor, we’re going to end this here and now, but I have one more thing to tell you before we do.”
I puffed up my chest like my big brother had taught me. “What is it, Dutch. I ain’t got all night.”
“That guy was wrong. It wasn’t three murders. Technically, it was four, Norah was pregnant.” Lightning and thunder rumbled outside, showing my brothers maniacal grin.
I leaped onto him. His gun fired into the air as I tackled him to the ground. “You sick fuck!” I said between blows. He took hit after hit to the face, staring at me, taunting me. My fist raised high, and he grabbed it in his palm, twisting. I winced in pain as he pushed me to my back.
“I wanna know, brother. What would you have named that little boy or girl?” He hit me, breaking my nose. He picked up my head and smashed it into the ground. I lost my sight for a second. “If it was a boy, maybe you’d have named him Dutch after his uncle?” His elbow landed hard on my chest.
“That’s enough, Dutch. He’s not coherent enough to feel anything you do now.” Mannsfeld interrupted.
Dutch lifted himself off of me. “It will never be enough. Not until he’s dead.” He kicked me in my side. I turned, coughing blood onto the floor.
The room lit up with another thunderous bang. Dutch fell beside me.
“I told him I’d put the bullet through his skull,” Detective Sugahara said with a short breath. “Why do the bad guys never listen?”
Mannsfeld crouched beside me, extending his hand to help me up. “I’m going to call an ambulance for Sugahara. Would you like to tag along?”
“And make the same mistake I made the first time? Not a chance in hell. I’m staying until the coroner puts a god damned tag on his toe.”
“That’s too bad.” Mannsfeld patted me on the back. “I’m on the lookout for a new assistant.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
“Yeah, you could work off the ridiculously large bill I’m going to be sending you.”
“Don’t make me laugh,” I sighed, my body woozy with pain, “You must not check your mail. I fired you yesterday.”
Mannsfeld chuckled, “You can’t fire me, I never took the job formally.” He turned toward the bay door. “Think you’ll be ready to start in two weeks?”
I looked at Detective Sugahara. “Think I’ll be in jail in two weeks?”
“There’s a good chance,” he smiled, “but it won’t be for this."
submitted by smileydooby to libraryofshadows [link] [comments]

[HIRING] Hard Rock Casino Vancouver Career Fair (April 13th 5pm to 9pm), All Positions Needed!!

We're hosting Casting Calls (Career Fair for all positions) on:
Thursday April 13th from 5pm to 8pm at Asylum at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver on 2080 United Boulevard (Please enter through the main entrance of the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver and check in with a member of the HR Team)
Bring your current resume and the contact information of 2 professional references.
Let us know what position you're interested in and why (see job postings / descriptions, on our Careers page).
https://www.hardrockcasinovancouver.com/careers/
Be prepared - interviews may be conducted on site!
Since the party never stops at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, candidates must be ready and willing to work a flexible schedule, including evenings, weekends, holidays and graveyards. The hours of work will be based on guest and business needs.
Positions Available: - Commis Chefs/Demi Chefs/Line Cooks/Chef de Partie/Dishwashers - Bussers/Food Runners - Buffet Servers/Host - Ushers - Count Team - Guest Service Supervisors - Guest Service Rep. - Card Dealers - Storekeeper - Security Officers - F&B Shift Supervisor
submitted by HardRockCasinoV to VancouverJobs [link] [comments]

Broker 2.0

Broke Jason Starling
Age:40
Physical appearance: He seems like the kind of man that in his youth was built like a brick that is slowly going to seed. He wears a black suite and bowler hat. He wears a white stylized mask that contrast his black suit, it wraps around his head that is designed to mimic his facial expressions.Unmasked
Mentality: He is generally a chipper, polite, and congenial business figure. His image is fashioned to be practical, the model of a affluence and control while not being too gaudy.He is intelligent and a bit pedantic in his habit to correct his minions to present themselves properly. Outwardly, he is the Ward Cleaver of the Villainous underworld. Be it a quirk of his genes, upbringing or too many runs through the machine Jason is a sociopath with a code. He may seem like the nicest guy around but he is cold and calculating. He is the type that if it suited his purposes or you got in his way he would shoot you with a smile and then go out to dinner. Of course this does not mean he kills people willy nilly, that wouldn't be practical. Due to his days in the military he is highly regimented in style. You generally cannot tell through his chipper demeanor but he has a streak of fatalism due to his immune disorder that leaves him crippled. He has a slight is obsession with finding new skilled individuals for his archive.
Backstory:Jason was the son of the town mechanic in a small Connecticut town. He was the golden boy of his class, mvp of his High School football team with high rankings in his schools ROTC. He even got his application to Yale accepted. Unfortunately his scholarship was not enough so he joined the military to pay for college. Oddly enough, he triggered in college due to the despair of not being the smartest most talented person in the room. He change his majors to Comp Sci and Psychology to suit his knew knowledge base and continued schooling as he built his first BCI device.
He spent to majority of his 20's going from active duty to school. After gaining his first degree, he traveled the world for a while in the military. The use of his tech gave him the skills required to rise in the ranks pretty quickly. He was chosen for many special ops missions that allowed him to meet unique parahumans and then kill them. In his off time, he continued his studies and slowly perfected his devices by studying people's brains. He kept his status, as a tinker low key given his earlier prototype was more portable. They had less long-term benefits but had more drawbacks which may attribute to some of his mental instabilities now. Eventually constant pressures and a run in with a biokinetic left him with a mysterious illness that left him unfit for combat. After that incident, he could not undertake too much strenuous activities without feeling intense pain or provoking coughing fits that brought up blood. Having to find a new way to make a living, he perfected his device and the persona of the broker was developed. He started his business with a handful of students that he brainwashed to help him. They in turn were used to kidnap some of the greatest minds of the school so they could be copied and sold to create award winning Business, law and med students. He was especially interested in copying and training medical professionals to improve his chances of finding a cure for his affliction.
When his illegitimate business dealings started getting too much attention, he pulled up stakes moving to various cities out west. For a while, he worked out of a RV following leads toward skilled individuals and expanding his connections in the process. He made his fortune by "teaching" skills for a high price or asking for an annual percentage of their annual incomes. Eventually he began to manipulate minds enough during the training process to implement some brainwashing techniques to make people feel like they need him even more. During this time he also used his connections to build up his Alias of Dr. Starling, Psychiatrist and traveling consultant.
During his cross-country tour, he added a small army of accountants, financial managers, and lawyers to his loose organization to handle the money and keep his organization "clean". He trained guards with the skills he obtained in the military to protect his holding and eventually started loaning out soldiers to the highest bidder. At this point, he began also selling the services of the trained individuals in his organizations or those indebted to him. Eventually he set up more permanent roots in Las Vegas, the nature of his business practices mixing well with its subtle cape underground. Maybe one of the biggest feathers in his cap was his alias getting a nice contract with PRT/Protectorate to occasionally be put on the psychologist rotation.
His business became quite profitable in Vegas. He spent many years there until one idiot had to screw it all up. He had undergone his process too many times, went off the rails and killed a major official. With his lawyers and a few "trained" PRT officers in his pocket, no official has ever been able to pin anything on him. With the heat on, he was forced to pull up roots again and headed back East to set up shop in the big apple. This is where it begins, He has reconnected with his Brain trust and bought a few properties in NYC to train and maintain his work. If you need mercs/thugs he's your man. If you're injured and need a night surgeon, he is but a call away. Find yourself under the eye of the law, a friendly face can show up to shoo away cops with talk of law. Having yourself mysteriously in the possession of money you should not have? Someone can be bought to perform an magic act with the wealth. The Broker serves as a liaison of services of all kinds and if you are really desperate, one of his "Dealers" may contact you with a proposition of improving your life with new abilities.
Resources: Due to his business, connections and tithes from magnates of industry money has never been a problem for The Broke. He is exceedingly wealthy but most of his money is not consolidated leaving him to only be able to draw up toprying eyes or have to use IRS contacts. He can draw more but it often takes time to gather it quietly from his various accounts. He lives with in a highly fortified Bunker. Has bought various properties around the city,but has centralized in the southern end of NYC where he makes use shipyards to move products. Brain trust a couple warehouses that he uses as staging grounds for skill training and soldier training, a couple safe houses, several empty offices used by minions (One being fullt stocked for surgery) and legitimate business fronts.He has begun work on a more consolidated secret base that does not require as much work for hiding his work. Keep Several unmarked vans and a semi trailer for his minions. Drives a Crown Vic for every day use and is driven around in a modified limo as the Broker. Before his cutting infastructure in LAs Vegas he was rated in the billions but, With Tinker tech maintance,starting up infastructure in NYC, and slew of soldiers and other men he pays to keep the company running he is current only rated at 500 mill with room to grow.
The Brain Trust: is the nickname the Broker jokingly gives for the meeting of his mundane 9 lieutenants. (Merc, Lawyer, Medic, Accountant, Manager, Reporter, Officer,Bureaucrat , admin) They go by other psuedonyms but I'll go over that later) The Broker, The Merc(managing maintaining and keeping his company covert and protected) , The Lawyer (Keeps the broker out of jail and mananges the lawrers kept to grease the palms to make the company on the level) , The Accountant(manages finances and underlings that deal with money) , the Medic (Brokers personal doc and manages his fleet of doctors and surgeons), The Manager (Deals with athletes, musicians and actors that used his services. Tends to telecommute), The Reporter (media relations, makes sure the right palms are greased to keep Broker out of limelight and deals with the dealers that find potential clients), Officer (His connection with the PRT and law enforcement) ,Bureaucrat (Helps deal with the slow wheels of governmental systems)
A stint in the pod can range from upwards of $1000 to several million based on a number of factors. Some factors include; choice of skill,Level of expertise, time spent inside and the level of involvement on the Brokers Part. For instance uploading a doctorate level program and having the Broker watching all the way would be extremely expensive. It's worth it though given having the Broker subsede the operation cuts down on negative side-effects. The Broker offers a reduction program that involves added favors and a percentage of all revenue.
Alignment: Villian, Affable Evil. I mean part of his evils include maaking sure there are competent doctor, lawyers,police and politicians. Will work with heroes but his less than reputable businesses and his ring of hired mercenaries tend to give people a bitter taste in their mouths.
Equipment/Weaponry: (Even though most cannot decipher his coding without his powers, he is paranoid about intrusions and tends to leave his tech as closed systems.)
Keeps a few guns and knives in concealed holsters about his body, Many burner phones(which conveniently have no gps),
Devices shown below in comments.
Specializations: (Can vary sometimes given time) Neurology, Psychology,Compter engineering, Military Training Special Ops (know his way around a gun and knows urban warfare quite well.),Makes a mean creme brule along with other baked goods, Can beat a lie detector and can withstand most forms of advanced interrogation techniques. Knows several forms of mixedmartial arts but cannot use it due to illness.
Versatility:He is creative as any other tinker.
Power: TinkeThinker, Skill Broker, Mind Hacker
Broker is a Tinker that specializes in creating machines that directly interface with human minds. With the exception of the few mobile interface devices that only give basic commands, most of his devices that can effect long lasting changes are large immobile devices. Part of his ability involves the creation, understanding and manipulation of a specialized computer language that emulates the neural transmissions and impulses of the human mind. When it comes to understanding this code he can work it with a supernatural level speed, acuity being able to multitask around many processes in the coding process. It takes about an hour minimum of sifting through the code of a neural map to parse out individual skills and information he wants. He can translate memories and other impulses from the code but that takes at least a week due to the individualized nature of them it. Generally, an individual is placed into one of his PODs, which begins by synchronizing with the subject's brain patterns and begins to make a current copy of the neural pathways of the subject's brain. From there it is all coding, running programs or a little bit of both.
Once a neural map is formed & The Broker has had time to work with it, future attempts to manipulate that mind become faster and simpler. It does not help that manipulation makes minds more pliable during the 24 hr period after the bath. Part of this occurs due to the slightly rejuvenating properties of his devices which increase neural plasticity during the span the devices are in operation(IE. Treat brains like the sponge of a toddlers brain). The Neural chips/bands were actually developed as a means of counteracting some of the after effects.. Running a skill program on someone that already knows the information or has had that program before acts to reduce the amount of time required to stay inside the POD. Due to this if a POD detects one of the markers left by use of a skill The Broker has routines built into the POD to simply run maintenance subroutines as a means of a refresher course for the subject.
People tend to wake up from their time in the chair feeling as if they had the best sleep of their life. Subjects generally do not recognize the side effects neuro-tinkering given the effects happen within their own brains. Its like how someone that is crazy doesn't generally wake up one day and realize they are mad. Minor changes from less emotionally damaging experiences lead to fewer negative drawbacks. Extensive changes from severe skills or repeated changes tend to lead to minor memory loss, Altered emotional responses,mental disorders and ability to empathies(Overlapping programs can leave remnants) The Broker can mitigate "some" of these negative drawbacks by taking a more direct hand in the coding process along with the programs running(he's able to find where that misplaced "zero" is within the lines of code.)
Given his ability to manipulate memories and other impulses, The broker has a tendency to underly subroutines for minor memory loss (mostly just directed toward experiences related being works on) and possible brain washing.
Ultimately it should be noted here that he uses his abilities to create skilled minions that are either loyal or indebted to him or at least connected to him in some way. He uses theses skills to be the ultimate guy that knows a guy.
Example:A crew of Assie Mc Doucebag's The non-capes are tired of always being everyone's punching bag. Their displeasure is noted by one of the Brokers dealers and they are made a proposition to undergo the procedure. They remember the dealer wore a hat, had a huge grin but not much else. 48 hours later they can't exactly remember how it happened but now they found that they can either shoot a sniper rifle or know how to strip a assault rifle and put it back together like no one's business, recite military protocol to the letter and kick complete ass. They don't understand how it happened but they thank the lawyer that explained the contract none the less. All they had to do was give a tithe to the trust and come when one of their favors were called. Oddly enough a week later, they found themselves agreeing to work off their debt by going on retainer. They were outfitted with the latest gear, given helmets that make them feel all tingly inside before taken to an abandoned warehouse where a scary man yelled at them to train more..A month later they are called to deal with a nuisance by the name of Regent. While going against his men the weirdo kept twitching his fingers causing the helmet to buzz. No matter a bullet to the head effects everyone the same.
(Even though most cannot decipher his coding without his powers, he is paranoid about intrusions and tends to leave his tech as closed systems.) Keeps a few guns and knives in concealed holsters about his body, Many burner phones(which conveniently have no gps)
Name Description Cost Upkeep Life w/o upkeep
The POD The POD is the size of an overstuffed laziboy recliner in the shape of a bean sprout. When open an individual lays down in the chair with a breathing tube, fluid drip and specially fitted neural helmet attached so that they can breathe when the pod is closed and filled with gel. Within the Pod the target is put under . The POD begins by making a neural map of individuals inside and send this information to the Archive for storage and processing. Once this is done the Broker can run one of his skill programs to "Teach" knowledge to those inside. This is done by having the POD continually projecting the program through the subjects neural connections until natural connection form around them. He can actively code resulting in more personalized alteration but doing such takes much longer than stated. Due to a safety measure only one full skill program can be run at a time running more than one during a single session requires sacrifices in what is learned. In this case the subject learns percentages set when the program is executed. A session in the POD can last 8 to 48 hrs based on the amount of information learned. The POD can be used to alter the neural network in various ways it just often takes longer. Broker can alter memories, affections, personalities, create anthema's, phobias, or even break the mental aspects of addiction. Based on the level of alteration it can take up to a week of coding an a week within the POD. (He favors minor changes and short term memory removal which can be done within the time it takes to run a program). For best results the Broker is required to monitor a program as it runs so that any errors or mental "snarls" can be fixed. Especially without the Broker catching any major error that cause mental issues Disorders begin to accrue with repeated use. Certain programs that involve downloading traumas and mental stresses like Military, Criminal, and some medicals tend to cause more disorders than most.During the process Broker likes to remove short term memories to protect his holdings and inlay various brainwashing programs(or implant neural chips). $10 mill 1 mill 6 months, few days if not maintained by Broker
Archive The Archive is the supercomputer that the Broker built to be able to store & process the information obtained from the PODs, Neural chips, and other BCI Devices. It facilitates the transfer of information in and out of the PODs and bands. The Neuro maps from the PODs are stored within his network, where it can then be translated by the Broker into usable code. From copying all these Neural maps Broker has been able to develop skill programs that have allowed the Broker to speed up the coding process greatly. These Programs can then be implemented into the other individual's neuromaps. Programs generally include things like general skills, knowledge bases, professions and the like. Another reason he does not advertise this is that he tends cause memory loss to protect his holdings and implants subtle suggestions and brainwashing techniques into those that enter the POD. The Archive serves as the central terminal that connects all his devices together. Broker tend to keep at least 2 hidden Blackboxes that store backups of the information in case of theft or Archive failure. 5 mill 1 mill 1 year
BCI Band Headband device translates neural impulses and brain chemistry in a ways that allow him wirelessly interface with compatible devices. Given this periphery allows for manipulation at the speed of thought it provides control far greater than your common periphery. He only created a couple, the main one being integrated into his mask. Connected devices are mainly the archive, which in turn allows him access to connected devices like neural chips and electronics with a blood barrier device installed. In the case of the one in the mask information is displayed on the HUD. The device monitors the wearers mental activity making use of safeguards to protect against outside influences effecting his mental state and displaying Red Flags if there are any gross control attempts. 1 mill $25,000 1 year
Morpheus Band a special larger type of BCI Band made to be worn while sleeping. The band promotes a deep restful sleep while producing a lucid dream state. In that state he can access his systems. He more or less uses it to as time to Code, keep an eye on his security systems, Neural chips, or other business holdings. 1 mill 50,000 6 months
Neuro Chip The chip constantly monitors neurological functioning of those that it is connected to. This information acts as Bluetooth to bloodbarrier ports transferring information stored back to the archive. It is through this collected information that the chip is able get a baseline for average neurological activity. It is through this that whenever the chip detects external alteration that cannot be immediately classified a red flag is sent to the server and making the subject aware by way of a trained cue. On it's own the chip gives subjects minor increased resistance to the effects of a masters influence. When active with a command code the chip is continuously refreshing the neural pathways with the command, which increases the inherent resistance to influence. The resistance can be selectively increased if Broker has been able to collect data from individuals that have been affected by a master's influence. He is then able to code in ways to counteract the effect. This way the resistance starts out as minor but the more a master uses their power on those with chips the better the resistance. The Chip alters pathways while worn to and can effect brain Imbalances (Broker uses it on himself to cure chronic depression which keeps his mental state even). The Chip naturally degrades after a year but can be kept functioning by way of a concoction. Normally they are allowed to degrade but some individuals like the soldier like the added protection. $100 chip/$800 Band $100 month to year
The Blood Barrier The Blood Barrier is the infrastructure for the Brokers Wireless Neural Network. The network is made up of Transmitters and Spiders. Transmitters are placed in various places about the city that the Brain trust owns to increase the range of the signal. Spiders are interface devices that hook up to normal devices to be included in the network. Both acts as a firewall to prevent access to his systems even though his devices OS runs on the programming language he created with his Powers. The Barrier is used to connect his mobile chips and bands to the archive terminal. $300 and $3 mill $100 and $5,000 6 months
Strobe Ball Either used as a grenade or in the crystalline handle of his cane. It interrupts neural activity via interacting with the optical nerve. When activated it begins emanating pulses of light in exact pattern to cause those that see it to seize. It can cause a petite seizue within 50 feet in those that do not cover their eyes.effects last for 1 minute after removal of strobe source. The strobe has a max battery life of 5 minutes before deactivating to recharge. $300 $50 2 months
Ghost Box Box the size of an old Brief case. Device release infra sound in a general 40-50 foot radius area on average but can be increased to the area of of your average warehouse or 4 story building. This sound interacts with the brain to produce minor feelings of Dread, Paranoia and general creepiness . These feelings increase based on exposure time and proximity to the box. Device requires power source like a generator to function properly. Given The Broker developed this to help conceal various operations special hearing aids have been developed to cancel out the effect. $3,000 $600 1 months
Zero stick Low amperage taser stick that does not do any real lasting damage to targets. It interacts with the nervous system of the subject in a way that cause a form of short term epilepsy when struck with the stick for up to 3 seconds. Targets fall unconscious for upwards of 1 hour. If one wakes up in that time symptoms include lethargy, short-term memory loss, blurred vision & Dry mouth. This Device was created by the Broker to help in kidnapping people to be scanned in the PODs. $300 $25 Month
Costume Underneath his fine tailored suit he wears a costume made of hi-tech nano-weave designed to protect him from stabbings, arms fire,and minor explosives. In addition to that it include synthetic muscular aids that give him full range of movement and give off the illusion of a much more muscular form. The artificial muscles respond to his BCI band. 5 mill 1 mill year
Mask protect his face from direct arms fire, filter air containments, and alters his voice. The lens display a HUD giving Broker information from his archive about things he sees in his environment. It uses face recognition to give information from his archive is related to people he meets. It is navigated by use of his neural bands and eye movement. 3 mill 9,000 year
Beholder Armor Armor Connects directly to the hosts Neural chip and nervous system. Cameras and Microphones have been integrated into the Class V armor which improve the hosts senses and give a defence against Strangers whose powers only work on bio targets. The Armor has the Brokers more offensive tech integrated into the system as well. O stick in the gloves, Strobes in the helmet. More directionally focus ghost box located in the belt. The helmet contains much of the same software as the Brokers own Mask. 5 mill 9,000 year
Skill category hrs
Special Forces Military 24
Seals Military 24
Marines Military 24
Military Engineer Military 24
Sniper Military 16
Demolitions Military 14
Bomb disposal Security 8
PRT officer Security 16
Fire fighter Security 10
CIA Security 24
Police Security 16
PI Security 18
Surveillance/Security specialist Security 24
bomb squad Security 12
Hostage negotiation Security 12
Cryptography Security 20
Interrogation Security 18
Forensic scientist Security 18
German Language 10
Russian Language 10
Arabic Language 10
Chinese Language 10
French Language 10
Spanish Language 10
Japanese Language 10
Italian Language 10
morse Language 8
Orthopaedic Medicine 24
Krav Maga Fighting 14
Muay Thai Fighting 14
Aikido Fighting 14
Kenjutsu Fighting 12
Sambo Fighting 14
SCARS (Military) Fighting 14
Boxing Fighting 14
Fencing Fighting 10
Markmanship Fighting 14
Karate Fighting 14
Judo Fighting 14
Jujitsu Fighting 14
Carpentry Skilled 8
Plumbing Skilled 8
Electrician Skilled 14
Mechanic Skilled 16
Welder Skilled 8
Locksmith Skilled 8
Cooking Skilled 18
Survivalist Skilled 20
Architect Skilled 20
Teacher Skilles 18
Computer Imaging Skilles 18
Construction Skilled 14
Bartender Skilled 14
Brewing Skilled 14
Textiles Skilled 10
Metallurgy Skilled 10
Agricultural Science 20
Psychology Science 24
Biology Science 18
Botany Science 18
Computer science Science 24
Mechanical engineering Science 24
Electrical engineering Science 24
Civil Engineering Science 20
Industrial Engineer Science 20
Mining Engineer Science 20
Weapons Engineer Science 20
Chemistry Science 24
Anatomy Science 20
Cardiology Science 24
Genetics Science 20
Immunology Science 24
Criminology/Forensics Science 24
Curators/Antiquarian Science 24
Archaeology Science 24
Cartography Science 24
Judge Government 24
Micro expression read language 24
Politician Government 24
SSI admin Government 24
IRS official Government 24
children & family services Government 14
CDC Government 24
DMV Government 16
Inspector General Government 24
Health & Saftey Government 16
Customs official Government 16
Bureau of Consular Affairs agent Government 18
Safe cracker Crime 16
Burglar Crime 18
Stalking/Tailing Crime 20
Forgery Crime 20
Grifter Crime 20
Gambling Crime 20
hacking Crime 24
Impersonation Crime 20
Lip reading Crime 24
Slieght of hand Crime 14
Assassin Crime 24
Hotwirering Crime 8
Cleaner Crime 20
Smuggling Crime 18
Courtesan Crime 10
Urban invisibility/low radar Crime 14
Doctor Medical 20
Surgeon Medical 24
Plastic Surgeon Medical 24
Pharmacology Medical 20
Neurology Medical 24
Kinesiology Medical 18
Animal Husbandry Medical 12
Veterinarian Medical 12
Toxicology Medical 20
Radiation Technology Medical 20
Psycho-Therapy Medical 24
Psychobiology Medical 20
Paramedic Medical 20
Pathology Medical 20
Lawyer Legal 24
Cape Legal 16
Tax Legal 18
contract Legal 18
Accountant Finance 20
Stock Broker Finance 24
Marketing Manager Finance 20
Investment Banker Finance 20
Card games Finance 20
Gambler Finance 16
Casino operations Finance 16
Statistics Finance 24
Economics Finance 16
History Knowledge 24
Social studies Knowledge 16
Art Knowledge 18
Cape Theory Knowledge 14
Cape Culture Knowledge 14
English Knowledge 18
Mathematics Knowledge 20
Mnemonic theory Knowledge 24
Administration Knowledge 18
Arms Knowledge 16
Car Driver 16
Chopper Driver 18
plane Driver 18
ship Driver 16
barge Driver 18
Drawing Arts 10
make-up artist Arts 18
Writer Arts 20
Sing Arts 16
Act Arts 18
Photography Arts 18
Dance Arts 10
Instrument Arts 24
Gymnastics/Acrobatics Arts 10
Freeerunning Arts 24
Journalism Media 16
Tv production Media 16
Audio/Visual tech Media 12
Editor Media 16
Business Management Orgazational 20
Entrepreneurship Orgazational 24
Organization Orgazational 8
Salesman Orgazational 12
Advertising Orgazational 16
Public Speaking Orgazational 16
Name Code Skill Desc.
*Silvia Barrows CIA, Military Engineer, Administrative,Mixed Martial, burglary, Special: (Beholder Armor) Barrows is The Brokers Liason to the City as well as his personal assistant. Barrows has been outfitted with the Completed Beholder Armor to allow her to compete with other Parahuman.
*Shaun Reyes CIA . CIA, computer engineer, hacking,Surveilence, Urban invis (The guy called in when you need someone tailed or investigated)
*Mr. Malone DriveBody Gaurd/aid Car, Marines, Administrative,Sambo, burglary Malone is usually at the Brokers side, acting as Bodyguard, chauffeur and personal assistant.
*Warren Hayes Cop: police, Forensic scientist/comp sci 50% (LAPD desk jockey, good for contaminating evidence)
*Dr. Cassandra R. Fagan. The Chemist Pharmacology, chemistry, Botany. Runs a few mundane drug production operations around the city. Broker tends to give him loyal lab techs.
*Niko Rosendahl The fence Salesman, grifter, marksman, Admin The Russians, Twins that specialize in the trade of art, artifacts and some arms dealing on the side. Have connection to Coyote.Niko acts as auctioneer and face of the family business.Broker tends to supply them with muscle.
*Maria Rosendahl, The Archivist: Curator, art, history,Arms The Russians, Twins that specialize in the trade of art, artifacts and some arms dealing on the side. Have connection to Coyote. Maria's job is to authenticate any items that come into their possession.Broker tends to supply them with muscle.
*Samuel, Coyote Marine, Smuggler,Forgery,Customs,barge, car, salesman, Survivalist Smuggler that can get anything in or out of the country without people knowing. Part of his arms operations have been slowed recently with the fall of Curetus. but is still able to get a steay supply in. Works with the twins Archivist and Fence. Sometimes works with Identity to smuggle people in and out)
* Little Rock ??? GrifteAkido ,Cards, casino op, gambling Runs a casino on reservation land.
*Smith Hitman Special(Mental map),Special(Sleeper trigger) Assassin, Sniper, pharmacology50%, x% MMA, Arms, Make-up artist Indivual imprinted with someones mental map(or use the person to begin with) along with the skills of assassination then set them loose to kill a assigned target.
*Misc N/a The Auditors: Comp sci/hacking 50%,forgery/grifter 50%, Irs/inspector gen/health Saftey/childfamily. The most frightening words for anyone using government money. Plants within the the inspector generals office, health dept , public saftey,and of child and family services. Not used often but good to be a thorn in the side of the Prt or anything else for that matter when they start sticking their nose where it does not belong.)
*Misc N/a Identity. Comp sci/hacking 50%,forgery/grifter 50%, Dmv/ConsulaSsi Plants in the office of Consular Affairs, SSI & DMV. Connection to coyote, Admin and Bureaucrat.Used to create new identities or erase an old one.)
*Misc N/a Body Double. Special:Broker behaviors. Individual with same bodytype as the broker that underwent extensive plastic surgery to appear like the broker.At least 2 are kept in hiding in case of need, like appearences where he knows the situation is dangerous. Each one has a special chip that allows for a greater degree of control. The Broker has sent 1 such Body double to the new city to expand. (This one in particular the Broker went to lengths to find a minor thinker that with the help of his tech could match up to his ability to process information.)
*Mics N/a Crazy/Tabula Special:bacon and eggs Those that have had their eggs scrambled by the machine easily manipulated and controled by the Neuro chips.Tend to act like space cases or individuals with severe mental disorders. Good for creating a distraction or one off events..
*Misc N/a 0 Company. Special Force/Marine,1 Fighting, Combat Engineesnipe Bomb disposal Under sgt. Cardosa the Zeroes are the fighting force that the Broker uses against most external threats.
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