Chapter Two - Former Treacherous SwineMature

Gonzalez relaxed upon his prison bed. Being someone in the know made the police extra polite to him. The luxury had indeed not ended! If he played his cards right, he could be out that following day. He had enough money in his account to disappear to Las Venturas away from Cortez. He knew The Colonel must be getting suspicious of his business dealings with Diaz. But soon, perhaps even that afternoon, he’d be free of them both.

A shadowy figure stepped past his cell. Gonzalez sat up expectantly, as the person stopped and turned to face them.

“Yes, officer” Gonzalez’s voice was still heavy from the night of drinking. His glee was unmistakable however. “I am ready to talk, yes?”

The shadowy figure made a movement. “Yes” He replied. His voice was of Central American tones. “That is what we were afraid of”.

And, in one shot, Gonzalez was no more. The report echoed around the empty chambers, as the figure left calmly. Due to the diminished police force, it took a while for him to even be identified. Such was a natural occurrence in Vice Point.

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Jack Blake had a busy morning. First, was the report regarding the incident at the pier and then, he had to deal with the aftermath of the Gonzalez assassination. The fact a hitman disguised as an officer was able to penetrate the Police Station was a huge PR disaster and it did little to help the meagre morale of the force.

Though his main focus was the Vance Family, Jack was also interested in the supposed cultural attaché Juan Cortez. It was no secret in the underworld he was considered a big deal though there was little no evidence he’d ever gotten his hands dirty.

Jack sat back and looked out the window just adjacent of his desk. With the Weazel News team prowling throughout the building and the report on the Pier bust, he could use a drive to clear his head. The Detectives on the Gonzalez case were out chasing some ‘leads’ while the remaining cops were either on patrol or dealing with the press. His own captain had took sick leave due to the stress; his blood pressure had been a concern for his doctor.

With no leads on the Vance Family, he decided to review the CCTV of the Gonzalez murder. Sadly, the bad quality of the tape had left almost nothing to go on. However, the accent of the man had struck him. It reminded him of Juan Cortez’s own accent; Central American... perhaps Panama or Costa Rica. He shrugged his shoulders; his captain wasn’t in work and he had little else to do.

He knew Cortez would be hosting one of his many yacht parties, but getting in without an invite would never be a problem.

**************************************************

One short drive in his dark blue Cheetah and Jack Blake was in Ocean Bay Marina. The parking lot was packed with cars of expensive design; evidently Cortez was throwing yet another lavish party. Jack parked with some difficulty and walked down the pier to Cortez’s yacht. He walked aboard before being stopped by two security guards in black suits.

“What do you want?” Asked the larger of the two men. He had a rat-like face lined with mistrust.

“I’d like to ask Juan Cortez some questions” Jack responded without missing a beat.

“Says who, copper?” Said the second man who was shorter yet more intimidating.

Jack raised his badge. “The Tin Man”

They conferred for a moment and reluctantly let him aboard. Evidently, they knew any bad press would affect Cortez and his State visit. Besides, Cortez was confident enough in his immunity to allow any police officer to come sniffing around.

Jack walked onto the yacht and looked around at the celebrities and assorted rich types. He saw Love Fist vocalist Jezz Torrent being fawned over by two ‘fans’. He then noticed Pastor Richards; the supposed ‘saviour’ guilty of tax evasion. His growing influence had unnerved Jack; he reminded him of Jim Jones.

However, he saw his man. Colonel Juan Cortez was standing alone by starboard with a glass of champagne. Jack made a beeline for him, despite attracting more stares from his henchmen.

“Ah, Detective Blake” Began Cortez, slowly turning to face him. “To what do I owe this great pleasure?”

Jack refused a drink from a bus boy and kept his focus on Cortez. It was an aimless lead, but a lead nonetheless. Maybe he’ll let slip something.

“I’m guessing you’ve heard the news about Gonzalez. Is this a party in celebration of him?” Jack replied, consciously aware he’d attracted the attention of more of Cortez’s men.

“Such dark humour, Detective. I assure you this has naught to do with the passing of my dear friend. I do my mourning in private, if you understand”

Jack nodded. He felt it was foolish to come here due to the heavy, omnipresent protection of his hired hands. But his gut instinct knew there had to be something. He pressed on, knowing he had nothing to lose.

“So, you had nothing to do with an assailant who had an accent similar to yours then?”

Cortez fell silent. He gave his half-empty glass to the passing waiter and took a step closer to Jack.

“Ah, is this what you call ethnic profiling? I assure you, I’m here for good relations between our two great countries. Not to be a part of some rampant speculation”

Jack pulled out a cigar and lit it. He took one breath and exhaled a harsh cloud of smoke.

“Now, we both know you had something to do with Gonzalez. You pretty much just told me so “He considered his cigar and exhaled once more. “So why don’t you drop this goodwill bullshit and tell me why you whacked your own man?”

Cortez laughed. It wasn’t a pleasant sound, rather the conversation filler of a man with more dangerous ideas.

“Such raw anger for such a detective of the law. I’d love to continue talking but I must make myself available for my next guest Please, help yourself to champagne and feel free to look around. I’m sure nothing on my yacht will implicate me in any false scenario” He gestured to an imposing looking man in a blue Hawaiian shirt.

Jack Blake locked eyes with Tommy Vercetti and in an instant; Tommy took off back to the parking lot. Jack followed in hot pursuit; he wasn’t going to lose this lead no matter what.

 

Author’s Note: The mission ‘The Party’ takes a different turn. Jack Blake has openly accused Cortez of murder and thus, this has some butterflies for his future. As per the game, Tommy Vercetti visits Cortez after being told by Ken Rosenberg about some possible leads regarding the failed drug deal. With Tommy being chased (he has no weapons to fight with; in the game it was unlikely the player did at this point either) he doesn’t meet Cortez or Mercedes this soon). Plus, did anyone get ‘The Last Action Hero’ reference?

The End

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