“You mark my words! I’m a fessas I am! The Patre will have me an’ my buddies out o’ here affore we can get transferred tah Marble Palace lock-up! How was we to know that there’d be a stinkin’ Mahid there! It was just a party fer some old fart’s gettin’ married!
‘Course we had ta show the lot of uppity shop-keepers, ‘n food-making café’s an’ wine bars that they couldn’t tell los Familias NO! They need tah pay up their protection money nice and quiet and nobody gets hurt. Nobody’s business gets turned away. Nobody gets careless with torches.
“You know. Wave a pot of cooking fuel around and one little torch and people in the city get as excited as an old lady whose underskirts are afire. Or her yappy dog… I done that. Forzak. So excited. It’s like you farted in the new Regent’s face… ‘course He, Whose Hands are Bare only for Two Years, ‘s a good enough warrior tah kill yah all His ownself. Like the Wool Hair ‘fore Him… ah…An’ nobody says Him who snots Sparks were goin’ tah be there, neither.”
“Patre he say… ‘you an’ Bubas an’ Jubo an’ yer boys go pay another visit tah that uppity Fig asshole. Catered party so’s no Immortal stickin’ his nose in and I don’ believe that fessas mercenary’s that good, more talk ‘n show with them brass beads an’ fake swords an’ fancy foreign whore o’ his… set a small fire or two, blame ‘t partiers. Smash thet fancy-ass mirror worth more’n my house… who does they think they is? Patre he say… Fig owner’ll pay up fast enough.
“Tell ‘im his women ain’t any safer ‘n his bizness. Tell ‘im his pukin’, stinkin’ grandbabies ‘ll ‘get lost’ on the way tah them weird-ass wagon schools. Fig pays us… eve’ybody pays up. Bizness ‘ll be real good.”
“Jubo an’ I… we goin’ tah have us a real good time… they jumped us from behind last time. Smashed us both with chairs, put ‘em ‘cross our necks and sat down till the Sereniteers came. Thet was ‘the Gate Division’ an’ Patre had us out same night. He’s got good pockets, Patre has an’ he don’ like anyone messin’ with his boys… those Sereniteers who’ere dumb enough to arrest us got jumped by a couple of ‘thieves’ and got messed up some just next night. Interestin’ coincidence huh? Say, hev I seed you before? Nah? Let me tell yah. Some lock-up the Marble Palace ‘ll be. Fancier ‘n any I been in. I won’ be in here much longer, Patre, heh, him and me are tight, yah know? Even if I’m a fik-up, says he, he’ll look after me.”
“So Jubo an’ I… well we an’ the boys got a little likkered up first and I was goin’ take a rock tah thet forzak mirror and we make like we’re robbin’ the joint…But they won’ keep still! Huie got a crossbow and got his-self clipped with the edge of a table somehow and goes down. An’ the whole lot of em… Dyers. An’ faibalitiskai we’re surrounded by forzakin’ idiots on skates whippin’ all over t’ forzak patio thing an’ then somebody grabs wooden plates and they’re hurlin’ ‘em like faib disks – ‘s how I got thet bruise I tell yah though I ducked right quick – even t’ old gimp’s on skates… worth more’n my sword an’ I stole it from the best…an me boys ‘r going down an’ some Dyer whips by and jams a drum down over Jubo’s head an’ Serin Fancy Ass-Boy Spark-Shitter gets up and he’s on skates so’s I can’t take the underground rEward fer assassinatin’ his ass and his fake Mahid… there’s just the one… he’s got his kit, that dang blowgun ‘o his and hit’s lights out…”
“An’ I tell yah! Patre ‘ll have me out ‘o here before they can truth drug me… Heh, yeh got a rope. Yeah looks like shirt rags… she’ll give way ‘fore one good pull. An’ there’s no window tah bust bars and climb out… hey… wait… you…HEL-- ggggkkk….”
“… suspect was found deceased, suspended in his cell, from a rope apparently made from the rags of his shirt. Death was ruled to be a suicide to escape truth drugging. Sereniteers Parkalas Marn and Hineas Lodas were reprimanded and suspended without pay for an eight-day, for not keeping a close enough watch on the suspect pre-drugging.”
“One suspect survived his cell to be truth-drugged, and it appears that there is a developed network of underground villains calling themselves the Families, mostly made up of okas and fessas thieves with senior officers who are solas and a disenfranchised Aitzas whom they call ‘Father’, along with more than one foreigner who might be a new-sworn citizen of Arko.
“They are focusing mostly on the importation of seriously addictive drugs and their use in the snatching and control of children for child brothels, extortion, theft, arson, illegal excision of seven-year olds, assassination and the violent assault, maiming and murder of citizens in the course of hair theft. It is unknown at this point if the assassins in the city are working for the Families voluntarily, or are under duress and fighting them.
“The Familias appear to have acquired the unregulated and underground child brothels in the city and in Anoseth, at least. Suspect knew very little other than this. His specialty was extortion threats and arson.”