The Fixer From Boston – Chapter Ten

The Fixer From Boston – Chapter Ten

Friday 17th April 1925 – Driving Around Atlantic City:

05:00am – Drawing Out Wiseacre’s Men

The air is crisp and cold. A steady but persistent wind drives its way across the grey coastal landscape forcing the Fixer’s crew to button up their collars and turn their backs on the icy and clammy light of day that is beginning to filter through the patchy clouds fleeing over the horizon and into the darkness of a night that is moving to more restful zones. But here, a cluster of Homburgs and Fedoras are busy debating what to do next between sporadically emitting streams of grey-white cigarette smoke into the air that are immediately caught by the wind and rapidly dissipate.
MaGee suggests getting “Butcher Boy” to call in to Wiseacre and Wiseacre’s Men, to tell them that two of his boys have gone crazy.

“They seen that freak in the truck! We need more money for this – you ain’t payin us enough for this shit!”

And lure them out to us. Evening the odds and giving us inconspicuous means of transport into Wiseacre’s mansion… Details and locations are discussed.

Go back to the docks and see of the “Nawab’s” crews car is still there? What about “The Beauregarde”?

05:00apm.. under the cover of darkness we can head back into town and meet the steam crane at the harbor. We decide to skip the Loser. In the back of the van is Butcher Boy and Father Jericho and the priest is losing it big time. And I’m not talking his virginity. I’m talking marbles. He needs something to calm down. Laudanum? Opium? Hooch? Chloroform?

Pasadyne - 1920s Sedative
Pasadyne – 1920s Sedative

We try to think of somewhere for the meet. At the harbor? Quiet warehouse? Vacant lot? We find a place North West of Atlantic City’s main area, along the Beach Thoroughfare.

Butcher Boy is smart and seems to be on the level when MaGee briefs him that we want to draw out Wiseacre’s Men. We drive to the Loser to check if the Nawab’s crews car is there. It is. There’s nobody else about. Ed and Morello go to the car while MacNifey keeps the motor running. Ed tries to start the car while Morello opens the trunk. Ed starts the engine and we’re ready to go. It’s an Alpha Romeo from Italy. Nice motor. We’re near to Longport. The opportunity presents itself and we get some shut eye. About four hours. We’re at an abandoned warehouse by the “Beach Thoroughfare” on the inland water side of the island – the North Westewrn outskirts of the town – a derelict warehouse. Halfway between Wiseacre’s and the dock. MaGee and Butcher Boy, accompanied by Ed.

Butcher Boy makes the call, closely listened to by MaGee who nods approvingly:

Butcher Boy: “That thing freaked out the guys! We want more money! This is a monster! I want more money! One bag of useless gold dust is no good to us! We want folding green! You tell Wiseacre 500 bucks or some other Carney gets the goods!”

The guy’s a natural. Shoulda been on the stage.

He tells Wiseacre’s men where the van is and tells them to come at 18:00pm in the evening when the heat’s died down. Or he shoots the freak… MaGee tries to purchase dynamite but the upstanding citizen that can sell it won’t be sweet-talked… Que sera…

The fixers’ weapons are retrieved from the Beauregarde – the crew gets a bit wet doing it but the weapons are quickly stripped and cleaned – and dried. The crew is now ready for action and ready for Wiseacre’s Men. The trap is set.

MacNifey with a tommy gun in the truck. Covered in tarpaulin with two eyeholes and a slit for his Thompson. Having trouble drying out the spare ones…

The Fixers From Boston
The Fixers From Boston

Morello has set a number of traps and alarms around the building. Butcher Boy will open the gate for Wiseacre’s Men. MaGee is in the other vehicle pretending that he was one of the spooked guys. Father Jericho has been sedated and is in a backroom. Ed is on the roof and Morello is behind a door. A Motorcycle goes by the warehouse. Tries not to be too obvious. But the Fixers know when they’re being scoped.

MaGee: “Butcher boy. It’s time to play.”

Butcher Boy calls out at the gate:

Buther Boy: “Who’s there?”

No reply.

Morello starts pointing to the main gate, he has heard a snap of metal as the chain, locking the gate, is cut. The gate is flung open and the crony makes a hash of it. Not very stealthy. The gate smacks into him and his tommy gun is dropped. Ed fires his Mondragon and hits! The goon drops, his constitution fails him. Butcher Boy flings a knife but misses his target. Suddenly he is hit by a mystery sniper and just about manages to stay on his feet. The motorcycle e is coming back at speed… One of Wiseacre’s Men pulls off a miraculous maneuver and roars into the yard, aiming to run into Butcher Boy. The driver of the motorcycle is shot dead by Butcher Boy and catapulted into the air by his momentum. Ed picks off another guy on the other side of the street, hiding by the docks edge! It goes quiet but there must be more of them… MaGee calls over and gives Butcher Boy first aid and fails to do more than staunch the flow of blood.

Butcher Boy is put behind the cover of the Nawab’s Crews car. Is that someone climbing over the wall? It’s about 7′ feet high. Ed is worried about it being a decoy and turns to look the other way. A shot suddenly rings out, Small caliber! and the sand bags used as cover save Ed. It was a guy with a pistol crawling across the roof towards Ed. He was quiet despite the difficult conditions. MaGee uses the car door for cover to shoot a goon climbing over the wall. The goon doesn’t make it any further and his head now features a large hole courtesy of MaGee. Ed tries to shoot another attacker but misses. Morello hears another of Wiseacre’s Men trying to climb over the wall by the main gate and rushes over quitely while catching the eye of Ed and MaGee. One of Wiseacre’s Men appears at the top of the wall pistol in hand. Both Morello, now by the main wall, and MaGee go to fire. Morello shots first and Wiseacre’s Man falls back.

However, Morello failed to hear another of Wiseacre’s Men and fails to aviod the rifle shot at him through the gap in the main gate: A serious injury. MacNifey, having removed the tarpaulin, fires through the cabin window of the truck and hits Morello’s attacker, killing him instantly.

MacNifey's Tommy Gun
MacNifey’s Tommy Gun

Morello is in a bad way. Ed shoots another of Wiseacre’s Men on the roof, and slumps onto the tiles, bleeding out. MaGee and Macnifey shut the gate. A chance to catch breath… MaGee is unable to do more than staunch Morello’s bleeding. Macnifey grabs a wing mirror from the van and uses it to look up and down the street. Suddenly an expertly fired shot from ground level, another of Wiseacre’s Men somewhere across the street pings through the narrowest of gaps in the gate, MacNifey feels the warmth of the bullet as it passes his face and compacts into the brickwork. Ed sees the muzzle flash and returns fire, hitting his target with a serious but non-fatal wound. MacNifey takes cover and Ed fires again, killing him!

Screeching car tires can be heard – they’ve had enough. Ed calmly takes a potshot from the roof and hits the driver: A bullet through the head kills him instantly – blood spraying in all directions – and the car careens into the water!

MaGee: “Cover me Macnifey!”

He looks into the mirror and looks through the gate. Looks like there is nobody around. Macnifey covers him as he looks out of the gate. It’s clear.

Morello then shouts:

Morello: “Witch!, Witch!, Witch! Sea witch!!! She’s wailing!”

Ed shoots, at range, and hits the Sea Witch with a deadly shot sending her sliding into the water in a film of claret. Ed’s on a lucky streak – let’s hope it don’t run out anytime too soon. MaGee and MacNifey pull the bodies into the yard from the street. A couple of tommy guns are salvaged containing a 30 round drum each, plus some pistols, two bolt action rifles and rope. The bodies are searched thoroughly. A set of Car keys are found, a blackjack and a knife. Eight of Wiseacre’s Men are now accounted for plus a deep one (the Sea Witch).

What now? MaGee suggests calling Wiseacre and telling him we’ve got the Deep One Idol but no one really is in the mood to make a snap decision so soon after the gunfight that nearly saw the crew reduced to fewer VIP members.

No one ready to make a snap decision? Not quite. Ed purposefully takes out his pistol, checks the barrel and walks casually over to Butcher Boy. The pervert sicko that hadn’t even earned a real name has outlived his usefulness and the injury is something that makes him a liability. He’s groaning and bleeding heavily as Ed’s polished boots stop close to his head. A single mechanical discharge from the pistol’s chamber silences Butcher Boy’s sadistic cravings as the black pool of blood around his head rapidly expands. Ed puts the weapon back into the holster concealed beneath his coat:

Ed: “One of these mugs is still breathing. Maybe he’ll sing before he flies?”

One of Wiseacre’s Men sent to spring the trap may indeed yield some information, but only once he’s regained his consciousness. Farther Jericho seems to be sleeping peacefully for a change. No more crazy mumbling and muttering. A closer look reveals that Wiseacre’s Men are dressed for combat, soft sneaky shoes and dark/khaki coloured clothes.

We find the other car (the one that didn’t go into the water). There’s a first aid kit in the trunk and the car keys found on one of the goons will open and start it. It is spacious and fast – just what “The Fixer Crew” needs. We wipe the prints off the other vehicles and siphon off the gas before putting the bodies in the truck and torching it.

The Arsenal
The Arsenal

Once he regains consciousness the last of Wiseacre’s Men spills whatever he has:

Wiseacre’s Man: “Most of our boys are in the bunkhouse. There are more of us but you got the cream of the crop. Wiseacre has recently been expecting trouble by the looks of things…”

A great time to strike but Morello will need to recover from his serious injury and we guess it will take about a week before he is ready for combat.

Ed: “Who else has he brought in?”

Wiseacre’s Man: “He keeps a guest room ready. But it is just him, his butler and his squeeze. She’s a looker, of course, big eyes and all that. Redhead. I saw the dame who got beat up. She was crying. Saying they killed her old man. We don’t do that. Not our line of business. Wiseacre is worried about some guy called Sloane being on his case. At the house they have a few guys and they have tommy guns but those guys don’t know how to use pea-shooters, just a bunch of amateurs and clowns.”

MaGee is worried that things have got too hot for us in Atlantic City. And with the time required for Morello to recover, better to cut our losses and seek the safety of obscurity we can find in Boston.

Wiseacre’s Man: “There’s a lot of singing at night at the mansion. Real soothing and nice. Hey buddy, whatever you got planned for me, just indulge me on this one thing that’s been bugging me: When we took the injured girl were you watching us? Ahhh… now it figures. Wiseacre is losing it. He has a temper and is the kind of guy that will get you killed. Will Wiseacre kill me if I go back to him now? Probably. I need a hospital but somewhere far away from here. I know a quack – good top guy. He can help you too. He’s off the official books. Got struck off I heard? But he’s good.”

In exchange for his life, the Fixers take up his suggestion. The doctor is able to help Morello but the injury is not healed very noticeably. Pain killers are provided plus replacement dressings.

A lot of thinking needs to be done. And there may not be enough time even for that. Hit Wiseacre while he’s angry and confused and weak? Could give us some interesting leverage in controlling liquid traffic into and out of Atlantic City and for sure there would be buyers prepared to pay big bucks in Boston, New York or Chicago for those lifelines. The highest bidder wins? It’s an attractive prospect and could set us up for good.

Retirement even.

Atlantic City Massacre
Atlantic City Massacre

On the other hand, things are getting hot. And this fire hasn’t just got the cops interested. We’re talking fucking fish-men, Deep Ones, and all kinds of freaks that have some other kind of agenda that we just can’t understand. Maybe MaGee’s right. Maybe we should cut our losses and get out of this mess before things get too much out of hand. The Cherry almost got popped, but it could just have easily have been any one, or even all of us, on the wrong end of a bullet. Or worse. And every time I close my eyes, even just to blink, all I see are those fucking fish-man eyes looking back at me. Like right into my soul. And I hear music. Nice music but it ain’t like nothing human but I know what its saying. There ain’t no words, but there is a message. It’s like I can feel myself going under the sea, and I’m sleepy. And it is time to sleep. And the salty water is filling up my lungs. And I don’t care.

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