“Those look like cases, Sammy.”
Jefe excelled at stating the obvious. But it was the way he’d spice it up with added menace that too it from “dumb” to “dangerous.
Things were spiraling out of control. Jefe had taken the precaution of pointing a gun at Sam’s head. Sam’s boys had their weapons trained on him. Jefe’s men had their guns aiming for Eddie and Allan.
“Those look like you’re going to be leaving. You thinking of going up, Sammy?”
Sam was doing every conciliatory move he could remember. “Jefe, this really isn’t how it looks. Just put the guns down and we can talk about this.”
“You think you’re good enough to go up there?” Jefe screamed as he came advanced on Sam, who retreated the same distance. The others moved around, keeping a close aim. “This is MY ELEVATOR! You’re not going up there!”
“Jefe. Please. This is all a mistake. You need to listen to-”
“I need to put you down like the stinking dog you are. You would be NOTHING without me. NOTHING. I made you.”
Sam fought his anger and memories of being the punching bag for people he now owned.
“Jefe.” He stopped, took a breath and tried again. “You do not understand what is happening here because you are not a part of it. Go home, Jefe.”
Jefe spat out a mirthless laugh. Looked away for a fraction of a second. “Fuck this, you’re a dead man.”
“Jefe, Jefe, Jefe. Why do you think we’d take you. You were a failure the first time round; You have let this young man run rings around you. Really. You’re not worth setting on fire so I wouldn’t have to piss on you to put you out.”
All eyes shot round to the figure approaching. The man who recruited Sam.
“Not helping,” said Sam.
“But all I need to do is put a bullet in this piece of shit and your plans are fucked.” Jefe laughed.
“Not really. That still take Samuel out of circulation. The Tow goes back to being useless, and you go back to being a failed criminal, constantly in fear of your crown being taken. The normal order returns.”
Jefe turned his gun on the newcomer.
“Well, Samuel. This is exciting, isn’t it. Don’t forget, now. Only one can ride The Elevator, so let’s hurry this along, shall we?”
Eddie turned to his friend, “What did he say?”
“No – fuck you. What did he say?”
“I said only one-”
A shot rang out. The ground at the newcomer’s feet exploded. “I wasn’t talking to you,” growled Eddie. “What, Sam, did that piece of shit mean about only one person being able to ride The Elevator.”
“That you’d be staying behind. I’d be the only one going up.”
Sam lowered his hands, slipping one into his pocket.
“So, what, Sam? You were just going to leave us?”
“In a manner of speaking.”
In his pocket, Sam found the small transmitter.
“A manner of speaking?” Eddie was screaming now.
Sam nodded, flicking off the safety catch. Eddie winked and Sam pressed the button.
Eddie’s car exploded, lifting into the air. The shock wave pushed Jefe’s the the floor, their weapons tumbling away from them. Eddie and Allan shimmered out of sight.
Sam pulled his revolver and swung round.
Sam’s guest had a compact gun pointing at Jefe. Jefe had two guns, one pointing at Sam, the other at his guest. Sam had his gun out, but he wasn’t about to announce which side he was on.
“It looks like you were right. You know, I never did get your name.”
His guest shrugged.
“This is very exciting.”