Marching through the long halls of their headquarters near the San Francisco bay, Jia walks in front of her crew with Jillian and Darin flanking her on either side. The rest of the group’s further back. They don’t run but they walk with precision. It isn’t often the boss wants to see them and everyone’s on edge. Things have been going well on all fronts recently though so Jia hopes this is a good meeting. The Five Tails have stopped invading. Her contact within the group’s spilling secrets almost daily. Sales are up. Maybe she’s finally risen to the level she needs to.
Reaching a doorway, Jillian and Jia are allowed to pass but the rest of her crew is required to wait outside. They’re led into what seems like a conference room, richly adorned with red and gold. The table looks expensive as do each of the chairs. The one at the head of the table’s the fanciest of all. Dark red leather with gold trim, it looks more like a throne than a chair. Jillian and Jia are seated at the far end of the table from the throne. Sitting a little further up are a few men including Tommy, the man who handled Jia’s initiation and who she regularly reports to. He nods at her and she nods back but nothing’s said.
They all sit in silence for a few minutes, staring at each other. Jillian briefed Jia on this part. The leader of the gang always shows up late and they’re all monitored the entire time they sit here. One wrong word or phrase and he may decide to expel you from the group, or worse. He has a short fuse for anything but obedience.
The door slams open and a tall middle aged man with long wavy hair wearing a red shirt, open down to his navel, as well as a pair of red pants, walks in. He’s flanked by two men who are both nearly seven feet tall. They both have giant grins on their faces; they take long strides, pausing between each step to avoid walking faster than their leader. The leader has thin lips which are pursed in a look betraying almost nothing. He walks up to Jillian and puts a hand on her shoulder. “How is the child? I hope you’re both well.”
She bows her head. “Of course Vizier. I’ve been very well treated. I’m working on training my replacement so you’ll still be as well protected as you should be when the time comes.”
He nods, pacing back and forth in place, and turns to face Jia. “I’m confident you’ll still be able to serve in some capacity. Is this her?” Jillian looks down and nods. “I’ve heard impressive things about you girl. Our enemies run from you. Of course that mostly just pushes them into our other territories but I like your ambition.” Jia nods, keeping her head down.
He walks to the front of the table. His two massive companions pull the giant chair out and he sits in it. “This is going to be the start of our biggest plan yet. It will effect our entire crew but it is of a very… sensitive nature. Only those I trust can be involved. Those I want as my personal protection need to be in on it though and now that I trust our replacement for Jillian we can get going. I believe most of you are familiar with the plan but we’ll run through the basics for those who are unaware. We’re going to poison the city’s water supply.”
Bile rises in Jia’s chest and she has to force it back down. Did she hear correctly? She wants to react but most of the people at the table don’t budge. A few share glances but even those are brief. She catches Jillian’s eye and tries to get a sense of how much she knew. Not wanting to arouse suspicion the glance has to be quick but she can put the pieces together from it. From the start Jillian’s told her that she couldn’t reveal the plan because there was too much risk and she knew Jia couldn’t hide this knowledge. She knew.
“It really won’t be that difficult. Most of the city uses one main water treatment plant. We take it over and slip our poison into the supply. Most people it will just make very sick but it will kill some if not treated. Good news for our people, we have an antidote which they’ll be given. Which we’ll gladly provide it to the rest of the city as well in exchange for a hell of a lot of money.”
This is too big. This is something to go to the police with. They may not believe it but she has to try. If she goes to them and they don’t believe her though, this is a done deal. A group as powerful as the Delux Gang has people in the police force. Her cover will be blown. Can she do more here, among them?
“The poison’s being supplied at a meetup in two days. I’ll handle that with some of my more loyal lieutenants. Then we’ll be ready to go. First, I want us to close some loose ends. New girl, you’ve been managing the girlfriend of the Five Tails’ leader, correct?” It takes her a moment to realize he’s talking to her but when she does she nods. “Good, good. She’s a liability at this point. Get one last meeting with her, somewhere private. See if she has any more information to pass on. Then take her out of the picture.”
Her eyes go wide. She searches for an excuse, something which will get her out of this. Nothing comes to mind. She squeezes her eyes shut and nods.