Philip Bruce received a phone call from Donovan Cross. Cross wanted Phlip to meet with a known and wealthy retired San Josean drug runner named Luis Batista who was living in Wellstone City with his two sons, the eldest, Tomas who was recently gunned down in cold blood and his fiancé, Cammie Scott, who then mysteriously disappeared after.
The meeting with Batista was set up at an abandoned warehouse Batista owned in the Battery. There, Philip met with Luis Batista, his youngest son Manny and several of Batista’s henchmen.
Before the meeting began, Jason Martin arrived, also hired by the Brothers Cross to ensure the safe delivery of Cammie Scott, whom Luis Batista cared about, or at least wanted to know if she was connected in any way to his son’s murder.
Jason Martin spoke with a British accent.
Batista offered Philip and Jason $100,000 each with an added bonus of $50,000 for the safe return of Tomas’ fiancé and information leading to whomever murdered his Tomas. Batista gave Philip a copy of the police report connected to Tomas’ murder.
The report indicated that after a night out with his friends, Tomas was shot down by men in a black van at approximately 1:30 a.m. in the parking lot. His keys were in his hand when found, and it is probable that he was heading for his car when killed. Based on bullet hits to the body, vehicle, and surrounding pavement, at least thirty shots were fired, all apparently 9 mm shells, probably submachine guns. Tomas was hit twelve times. It was likely that he died almost immediately from five wounds to the thorax and abdomen. Officers were on scene within three minutes. There was one witness to the shooting, a known street prostitute named Wanda Tione (address given as The Blue Bayou Hotel in The Warrens), who gave her statement to the officers on scene, and later to the homicide detectives.
Included in the folder is a card with Batista’s phone number, and a card with Cammie Scott’s address, 217 Calleti St., Little Italy. Batista said he didn’t trust the police to fully investigate his son’s murder, so he turned to the Brothers Cross for help.
When Batista and the others left, Marcus Graecus arrived.
“I know you are investigating the death of Batista’s son," Graecus said. “Don’t ask how I know, that’s my little secret. Now, here’s the deal, I want to help you out. I’ve been following the Batista’s around for years trying to get something on the old man or that little creepo Manny. So far, nada. Zip. Scumbags are influential and careful.”
“Now Tomas, he was a good kid. Watching the family also gave me a chance to watch Tommy, and let me tell you, he was a good man. He didn’t deserve to die like that. He wasn’t a dirtbag like his old man or his kid brother. It’s not fair that Tomas should be the one to die so young. So, I’m going to help you out if I can, off the books. For Tommy. I have a man, an informant on the street, who may know something. He’s poking around. If he finds something, I’ll give you a call.”
Philip was still unsure why Graecus would be willing to help out the son of a known kingpin, but he was thankful for the information.
After Agent Graecus left, Philip and Jason drove to Cammie’s apartment in Jason’s car.
Cammie’s apartment was a small but neat one bedroom apartment on the second floor, with off-street parking connected to the back alley way. The apartment was filled with the normal stuff of a mid-20’s woman, TV, DVD, stereo, and tons of clothing. One of the dressers was half knocked in a clear sigh of struggle. They also found an empty syringe with a few drops of clear liquid in it lying on the floor next to a cell phone with a rundown battery.
The cell phone’’s last text was from Manny Batista. sent at 1:20 a.m., the night of the murder. The text read, "Something happened to Tomas. I’m coming over.”
“The message was sent ten minutes before Tomas was gun downed,” Philip said. “How did he know something happened to his brother before he was shot?”
“You suspect Manny of being involved,” Jason asked.
“Maybe he had a thing for Cammie,” Philip said. “Could be he was jealous of his older brother, who Luis was proud of from what he said at the meeting. It’s a good reason to take out a sibling. A typical Cain and Abel story.”
“Where to next?” Jason asked.
“I know someone who can analyze the liquid in this syringe,” Philip said. “We can also drop by Wanda Tione’s place.”
As the two were driving away from Cammie’s apartment, both Philip and Jason spotted a blue van tailing them.
A vehicle chase ensued.
The van’s passenger shot at Jason’s car with an AK-47. Philip, in the passenger seat returned fire. At one point in the chase, the gunmen severely damaged Jason’s Aston Martin forcing Jason to lose control of the car and come to a stop near an intersection. Three men got out of the van and opened fire on Philip and Jason who returned fire using the disabled vehicle as cover.
After a fierce gunfight with neither Philip nor Jason getting shot, the three men from the van lay dead on the street.
Philip and Jason immediately left the scene.
“What about your car,” Philip asked. “Won’t the police trace it back to you?”
“All identifications on the vehicle can’t be traced,” Jason said with confidence. Jason immediately got on his cell phone to contact his handler who would have a new car ready for Jason at an arranged place.
On foot, the two made their way to where another car would be waiting for them.
Philip couldn’t help but wonder about the well-armed men who were clearly trying to kill them both.
Someone doesn’t want us investigating Tomas’ death, Philip thought. His instincts told him Manny Batista was behind the attack. Philip trusted his instincts, which had kept him alive during his time in the military.
But even a hunch still needed proof. Philip vowed to find all the proof he would need to put a stop to Manny Batista.