It was crazy but it was their only option for now. Jack was placing a huge amount of trust in Tommy; but then again, shielding a wanted man did inhibit his ability to go undercover. He couldn’t ask the police; harbouring a known ex-con would result in him getting laughed out the precinct. Worse, they’d have no problem turning him over to the Forelli’s if enough money was passed under the table.
Jack’s captain however, was a fair man. He allowed Jack the freedom the other officers refused. He knew Jack got things done; no matter how destructive he was. God knows, with the rise in crime, he needed at least one decent cop even if he was a real Jack Howitzer.
But he couldn’t be relied on for such a mission that Jack had planned. He went to the only man who served as a trustworthy ally for Tommy: Juan Cortez. Jack was doing this on gut instinct alone; he didn’t trust Cortez though the man was known to be charitable to those who are useful to him.
Jack sighed as Tommy gazed listlessly out of the window. There had been a rare period of peace since the hit at Leaf Links and they were sure to enjoy. As Jack drove towards the Ocean Bay Marina, he knew these troubles were only just beginning.
Cortez greeted them with a pleasant smile; the hostility from their first meeting seemingly forgotten. Tommy spoke harshly; his words laced with cynicism. He’d lost his lawyer, the drugs and now there was a price on his head. Cortez nodded politely as he listened; Jack leaned on the railings of the yacht and spied the crystal blue of the sea. The conversation had stilled when Tommy spoke his piece as Cortez decided to await Jack’s reasoning for returning.
“Nice view. Should be, with all the money you get from your people” Began Jack. Cortez however, remained pleasant and still. Jack could have easily complimented him. “Anyway, I need your assistance. Tommy here” He gestured to him, before pulling out a cigar and lighting it nonchalantly. “He’s attracting too much attention. One of my own sources sold me down the line because of this guy. If I’m to go about my business, then I’ll need you to take him off my hands.”
Tommy sighed angrily and folded his arms. But he said nothing and let Jack continue.
“However, I can’t get him over to the airport without attracting attention. And I ain’t gonna turn him in to the cops; I mean, come on! He’ll be out before I know it. Then Sonny will have him capped.”
Cortez considered him for a moment. Officers of the law were never meant to be trusted; however if he became a thorn in the side of the Forelli’s then he could exploit that. He nodded once, sipping on his scotch with a strange serenity.
“I believe I can help. My men can have a helicopter sent out to escort Thomas to the airport. My sources tell me the Vance Family will have no reason to be hostile. Now,” He looked over to Tommy. “I can have a ticket arranged for anywhere you desire.”
“San Andreas. Las Venturas to be exact.” He said bluntly. The further away the better.
An hour had passed as Tommy and Jack spoke out of earshot of Cortez. It had been a risky plan from Jack but what other option did they have? The families’ trust issues had been something begging to be exploited but if it backfired then even Jack could get caught in the comedown.
“Remember” Jack spoke as Cortez phoned several of his men in quick succession. “You’re to find Salvatore Leone. As you know, he hates your guys but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind stabbing Sonny with his back turned.”
“No shit” Tommy collapsed into a seat. “But the only thing I really have to go on is the whole anti-H vibe of the Leone’s. None of those families will touch the stuff even if it means their enemies get a bigger cut.”
“If I know Salvatore then he’ll be pissed Sonny is profiting more than anything else. He’ll want to come over and see how Sonny is doing and have perhaps set up his own operations.”
“Way of the families: being a fucking hypocrite!”
Jack almost laughed. “Pretty much, man. But having them both profit off the same source is gonna cause friction. Hopefully, I can get involved before it spills over onto innocents and maybe, take both of them down.”
Tommy sat up suddenly. He never once trusted a cop in his life and now one depended on him for something important.
“Just one thing, Jack. What makes you think I’m not gonna sell you down the line and disappear?”
Jack did laugh this time. “Because without me, you’d be dead. You wasn’t gonna play Rambo and take over this city alone, you know.”
Tommy doubted him very much but didn’t respond.
A black helicopter circled the yacht and landed smoothly. Tommy left with two of Cortez’s men; Jack watched them leave. He knew he couldn’t trust Tommy and yet, he was his only deep link to the criminal underworld. However, as Cortez readied himself to retreat to his chambers, Jack decided to ask him one more question.
“So, Cortez” Jack had disposed of his cigar by throwing it off the side. “Why did you help us?”
After a moment’s pause, Cortez took one look at Jack and responded. “I am unnerved by the Forelli presence as are you. I am not on good terms with many in Liberty, I’m sure you understand.”
“So you want me to wipe out these mobsters so you can go about your business risk-free, huh?”
“Such anger. Perhaps you could use that on the men currently making your life difficult?”
With that, Cortez descended to his room while Jack took that as his cue to leave. It was time to visit some old friends in Downtown.
Author's Note: Didn’t expect that, eh? It may seem unlikely Jack would make a deal with Cortez but remember: he’s in a city of corrupt cops and politicians. In that scenario, it’s understandable to get your hands a little dirty. Jack is a good, honest cop but he’s not stupid. Just remember for Cortez; it would be of no inconvenience if his rivals were all knocked down a few pegs. He can’t pull strings like he used to thanks to the Forelli influence (they even made Kent Paul sell out Jack).
Yes, San Andreas will be featured. If only Las Venturas (I won’t feature San Fierro and Los Santos if they don’t suit the story). Tommy’s off to hopefully meet Salvatore Leone; Don of the Leone family. It’ll provide an interesting contrast to the Forelli’s. I might even feature some familiar faces.
I know it seems farfetched Tommy would do this for Jack but remember this: he’s fuelled by revenge and Jack too, shares the same goal of taking the Forelli’s down. Even if Jack has to take down the others alone.