1 `Georgy´ McDown

In the hot streets of Kurkayan, uptown area, many people were either on their way back home or to the big factories in the north of the city. It was crammed and there was more than one pickpocket around who tried to get some cash from the bypassing people.

The uptown area was near the docks in the south, while the shantytown took up the east and west side of Kurkayan. The southern archipelagos had great opportunities for adventurous merchants or even normal citizens. In this new world you could find land rich of resources and easily become a wealthy man, but as the saying goes: `With great opportunity comes great risk. ´

Most of the people had their dreams shattered and were stuck with working for those, who had struck it rich. The steel-factories and iron- and coalmines were the biggest employers on the islands and most of the poorer residents were working for them. The standards for workplace security weren't high and people often died in accidents.

Those factories were a very big producer of the smog which had Kurkayan firmly in its grip. As most of the workers weren't rich enough to get themselves a better living standard, only making four to six silver pounds a week, they tried to drink away their sorrows.

But after a drunken mob of workers had lynched a whole city of the big merchants and corporation owners, the governors of the different empires prohibited the production and sale of alcoholic products in all of the southern archipelagos. This was the environment in which crime could easily get a foothold and make money of even the lowest of the workers.

In exactly this uptown area, two 17-year-old boys in short sleaved white shirts, brown trousers with braces and flat caps stood at a street corner waiting for someone. They had their flat caps pulled deep in their faces so that one couldn't see their features. Both were silent and sober, feeling exited inside.

One of the boy's was Fredrick called Fred or Freddy by his friends. The other boy was Georg called Georgy by everyone in the neighborhood. Both had known each other since they were seven years old. Their families had similar background, with their parents coming to the southern archipelagos as children together with their grandparents.

They came together from the big northern plains to try and get rich, only to end up as cheap workforce for the factories. They had many uncles, aunts and cousins all over the islands around the city of Kurkayan.

Fred and Georgy had just entered the age of making money and as both of them were young, they didn't want to work for the factories. As they had thought about what to do now, Fred's 28-year-old brother Charlie had spoken to them.

He had said: `Yo, ye boys. Me got ye an employment if ye can shut yer traps for some dosh. ´

Both Fred and Georgy were clear about what kind of employment Charlie meant. In Kurkayan there were more than one group of criminals who made and sold moonshine. Charlie was one of the officers of the McVirgen group, a group of criminals under the McVirgen clan, who were one of the `Big Three´ of the greater Kurkayan area.

So now here they stood, the sun shining on their caps as they waited for someone to pick them up. They were getting jittery and Fred was about to say something but at that moment a stranger in a noticeable white suit came out of the alley behind them and beckoned them to follow him. They were both silent and followed the man through a tight system of alleys and open backyards.

Some time later they ended up in the eastern shantytown, where the police had given up their duty a long time ago. As the sun was sinking behind the horizon, they reached their destination. The red-light district was big and many bars sported some of the moonshine in their backrooms. Here the police had regular raids to bust some of the members and drinkers of the moonshine business.

Their destination was a bar called `Virgin Island´ even if you certainly couldn't discover any virgin among the employees. The boys blushed when they saw the girls in revealing clothes who were bringing the drinks to the guests. They followed the man in the suit through the bustling bar and through a door on which a `only employees´ sign was nailed. The following corridor had five other doors. In front of the last door stood a man as big as a cabinet, under his armpit was a holster with a revolver.

The man in white took off his hat and hung it on his belt, before nodding to the giant. As the big man knocked on the door, Fred and Georgy followed the example of the man in the suit and took off their caps to cram them into their pockets.

They heard a bell like laughter, before the door was opened by a charming lady who looked at the man in the suit, before her smile turned ugly: `Xavier´ she said coldly before walking away quickly. Xavier didn't spare her any glance and instead walked in front of the boys before saying: `Boss, these are the boys you told me to bring. ´ Inside was Charlie with a cigar in his mouth. He nodded and said: `Thanks Xavier, leave me lone wit em. ´

After the door was closed from outside, he stood up and headed for a drawer before beginning to speak: `So ye decided to get yerself tis job? ´

`Ye…yes. ´ both of them said while being exited for what kind of job it would be.

`Good, very good, can't be no hesitant wit tis kind o' work. ´ Charlie opened the first drawer and took something out, before closing it again and walking to his writing desk. He stood besides it and slammed a revolver together with six bullets and a knife on it. Then he took a paper from the desk and gave it to Fred: `On dis is a time for t'morrow, an address where you'll getim and an address were the goddess will getim. Understood? ´ Both boys gulped and nodded hurriedly.

On one side they were exited on the other scared. `Good. In the second address is a paper on which is what you're gonna do to im, OK? ´ Both Fred and Georgy nodded furiously before they could change their minds and chicken out. `Dis good, Georgy ye take the roarin six aye? And Freddy ye take the knife and the keys aye? ´

The boys stumbled to the desk and took the things. Georgy took the revolver and tucked it under his waistband, while the bullets were stuffed into his left pocket. Fred took the knife sheath and clipped it to his braces. Charlie fished a key out of his pockets and gave it to Fred before telling them: `Gon be better if ye take a potato sack and gettit over is head. Kay? ´ Both nodded stiffly.

`After that better bind im wit a good rope. Good. Get out er. ´ After that the boys hurried home and avoided the police which was patrolling uptown in the eve and at night.

The next day in the afternoon they hurried to a specific street corner, were they were waiting for their target to appear. Not long after they saw a man, whose appearance was like their targets', pass by them and going into the alley.

They inconspicuously followed him and, after he took the way they were described, confirmed themselves that he was their target. Fred took a little jute sack out of his pocket and ran straight after the man. Georgy followed him with a rope.

As they drew near, the alley turned wider and ended into a big street of the downtown area. Fast as lightning Fred caught up to the man and hauled the jute sack over his head. Georgy wrapped the rope around the arms and tied the man's hands and feet together. As their prey tried to scream, Georgy hit him in the head with his fist. The scream was just a whisper.

Both of them took the man on their shoulders and carried him to a building deeper in the alley. Fred took out the key and opened an apartment door. After they entered, they closed the door and dropped their victim on a tarp in the middle of the room.

Georgy took up a piece of paper from the floor and read through its contents. His hand trembled slightly as he grabbed the neck of the man and forced him to kneel on the ground. He gave the letter to Fred, before he took the jute sack off the man's head and sat down in front of the him. He let the revolver glide to his knee, took out a bullet and loaded the revolver. The middle-aged man in front of him trembled slightly while tears came out of his eyes.

Fred left the room and Georgy sighed, before he spoke to the man: `I shall give you a message as per the Heads arrangements: ` You just really shouldn't have talked to the police `neach-brathaidh´. Your family won't receive any harm. The goddess punishment is upon you. So yeah, if you want to confess yours sins, just pray to the goddess. The `ùrnaigh mu dheireadh´ should do. ´

After that the man trembled once more before starting to pray: `a 'bhan-dia uile-chumhachdach...´ After two minutes he ended his prayer while sobbing. Georgy raised the gun...the gunshot rang through the alley.

Fred, who was standing outside and looking up and down the street, flinched. Shortly after, Georgy left the building and threw up on the street. They left the revolver, knife and everything else in the building and locked the door. Then they left, drew their caps deep in their faces and ran down the streets of uptown to reach their homes.

In a nearby restaurant Officer Hibin sat on his chair waiting for his informant to arrive. After the last mass raid in the dock area he was eager to bust more of the criminal's operations. He waited and waited and gave up in the end. Something was fishy here.

The next morning Hibin was just entering the station, as he saw some officers hectically putting on their uniforms. He wondered what was going on so he asked a familiar officer: `They found a body at the dock area, one of the informants. Your informant! ´ Hibin was getting cold. His informant, that news hit him hard. He cursed. Now he got no clues about the underground operations anymore.

Four months later:

Georgy didn't know when he slept peacefully the last time. Since his first hit he had had eight more. Every time it was the same: Charlie gave him location and how they looked, he'd go there, wait for them and get them into a prepared room, either an apartment, or a car. They'd struggle, he'd tell them the message and shoot them.

Every night he prayed to the goddess and every Churchday he'd go to church and confess to the priestess all his sins. Fred hadn't done a second hit with him and they only saw each other in church where Fred looked at him like the murderer he was.

His nine hits had been mostly traitors and informants, but one had been an officer of one of the other of the `Big Three´. The hits gave him around 320 silver pounds each and he had bought a black suit which matched Xavier's white one.

After the third hit, Xavier was his new partner and he had gotten his own revolver. In the beginning his family asked him about his work situation but after a time they knew not to ask anymore.

He bought presents for his little siblings and his parents. When he wasn't taking on hits, he'd look over one of the operations: moonshine, prostitution or smuggling.

Today would be his tenth hit and they had already abducted the target. They drove to the docks and parked in front of a warehouse. Xavier took the man out of the trunk and brought him to the door, while Georgy kept cave. He stood outside and looked around before hearing a gunshot from behind and waiting for Xavier to come out.

What he didn't hear, were the hurried steps that ran away from behind a near warehouse: a witness who had seen them. He ended his day as always, driving away and than splitting up to go home after receiving the money.

At home everything was normal and the big family came together to eat their dinner. But before his parents who seemed agitated could warn him, his big brother came through the door.

They never liked each other and his brother had gone to the police to be an inspector of high rank. Today was the first time in five months that Jim came to visit his parents and he had written them to prepare them for his visit.

When he saw little Georgy, he was first surprised by his expensive suit. Then he narrowed his eyes. He was working for the homicide division and had seen many of the hitman of big clan-gangs in similar attire.

The feeling his brother gave him was much more mature than anyone could normally get in five months. Georgy felt his brothers gaze and decided to ignore it.

The next morning Georgy had breakfast and decided to look after his boss Charlie to see how he was doing. As he walked through the street, a cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth, the neighbours greeted and waved at him. He nodded and acknowledged them.

While walking into the slums he had a bad feeling but pressed on. After reaching the bar someone stood behind the door and grabbed onto his shoulders, while another hauled a jute sack over his head and took the gun out of his waistband.

He felt how he was brought outside and into a car. The motor was started and he felt, that there were other people around him in the back. The next second, he got hit on the head hard and lost consciousness.

When he awoke the first thing, he saw was light and the shadow of a female. Without having control over his mouth, he muttered: `ban-dia´

`No, but not far from it. ´ He got up and felt his hands bound behind his back. Beside him there were Charlie and Xavier in the same situation as he was. He looked up and saw the woman who had spoken: `Priestess, what are you doing her? ´

`Oh, believe in me, I don't want to be here too, but after you confessed that you killed my best officer, I really had to come myself. ´ `Huh? Oh, so it's like that. ´ said Georgy while laughing bitterly. He felt the muzzle of a revolver against his scalp and sighed. `Can you spare my family? ´

`It were you three not your families who planed and did it after all. ´ Georgy was relieved. He heard one gunshot on each his sides and after that while praying for his family everything suddenly went black.

The next day the police received a report about three dead bodies that were found at the docks. They quickly identified the three as suspected members of a branch of the McVirgen group which was active in the last months. Charlie `Lee´ McBurma, Xavier `White´ Kilamoor and the suspect of more than five murder cases Georg `Georgy´ McDown. The murders were soon filed, since no suspects were found.

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