The Don

The inside of the casino was an overwhelming thing to behold. A giant crowded room with decorative murals on the walls with luxurious chandeliers hanging from the ridiculously high ceiling and with fancy carpets covering the floor of the establishment. It was filled with various people of mostly higher class from what I could tell, and they were all gathered in bundles around these big tables and machines and spinning discs and whatnot. But as magnificent as gambling on this scale should have seemed to someone like me, I was disappointed in a way; I lacked the warm homely feeling of being possibly shanked at a moment’s notice. Gambling shouldn’t be a bunch of old rich geezers, be it rats or otherwise, betting on a spinning ball whilst discussing their latest investments. It was supposed to be base, almost primal, with rules being there only to incentivize those craftier of us to break them without being caught, and even being caught was a source of amusement: a bar fight might ensue, some minor bloodshed, chases, bribes, but ultimately sweet random chaos would ensue. With the security in this place, getting caught would probably result in a swift and organized arrest and possible quiet execution if the crime lord here anything like what Squeakly said. But there was no more time to waste, I had stuff to do here. My main goal was to find the recipe, but with that many guards and with the size of this place, that would probably be impossible on my own. I stood out too much to infiltrate anything and the establishment seemed way better organized that the handful of banquets and parties I have managed to sneak into disguised as a servant or a guest. So my best option was to find the crime boss here and strike some sort of a deal with him. Unfortunately all the exits out of the gambling area were guarded by at least two armed bouncers and I don’t think going to one of the bouncer rats in here and saying “Bring me to your boss, I’ve heard he is a really nice guy” would do me much good here, no, I needed to be much more subtler that that. A thought occurred to me: This casino was organized and clean, but it was still supposed to be a den of a crime lord, so everything around me was probably a facade maintained to hide all the sinister dealings hidden underneath. I mingled into the crowd for some time, but not to watch the games, I wanted to know who goes in and out of the deeper parts of the casino and whether there is any pattern. I was gathering info for about an hour and some oddities became apparent to me. The only people going in and out of the doors were bouncers and waiters. This led me to the conclusions that there was either another secret entrance to this building, or the more criminal dealings such as smuggling were done elsewhere, but that wasn’t of any use to me at the moment and I kept more focus on the employees of the casino. The bouncers usually only entered the gambling area, and they would either change guard with the other bouncers or they would whisper them something, there were only occasional interactions with the patrons and those were mostly accusations of cheating or some practical problems. However there was something fishy going on around the servers, and that’s where I thought I would strike. The servers would mostly come in from what I assumed was the kitchen and brought all kinds of delicacies to the paying patrons, and on their way back, they would go to the bartender and take the empty bottles, glasses, wooden wine cases, and casks he had behind his counter, however that’s where the things started getting strange, as some individuals sometimes entered the casino with a wooden wine case in their hands, they would go to the bartender and they would ask for their cases to be filled. The Bartender would then take them behind his counter, where he would seemingly fill them up with bottles, but one couldn’t see what was going on behind the counter and would give them a case back. However what if it was no longer the same case, or at least its contents were not what they seemed to be. This interaction is what I would exploit, this was my way in. Faking an expression of urgency, I quickly strolled towards the bartender, who looked at my human features with visible confusion. “Anything I can do for you…miss?” he asked. I looked him deep in the eyes and said with a grave tone: “The supplier didn’t show up, I don’t know whether he bailed or something, but he wasn’t there.” The bartender was taken aback by this statement, yet he still tried to keep up his veil of ignorance: “Excuse me miss, I have absolutely no idea what you are rambling about, I…” I grabbed him by the collar and tried to look as intense and menacing as possible: “Do I look like I have the time or attitude to play these games. Since you obviously don’t want to let me in, then tell the bad news to the boss yourself. It was a ruse, five armed mercenaries were waiting for me there instead of the supplier, tell him that…” It seemed my spiel worked, for the bartender was visibly sweating right now and he interrupted me in the middle of my fake story: “All right, all right, I will get you in, just keep your voice down, we need some discretion here, we can’t risk people overhearing these sorts of things. He then called a nearby bouncer and told him to escort me to the boss. So the first part of my plan worked to perfection, but I realized one thing now, I didn’t really have a plan for the actual meeting with the crime lord, and the door at the end of the corridor that surely led to his chambers was getting nearer and nearer. I was not a good fighter and I would have no chance against the bouncer leading me now, so now I had to reap what I had sowed. We reached the door my brutish companion opened it for me. at least I would be killed by a gentleman, I thought. I entered into a very antique room of cherry wood. It was filled with many paintings, sculptures and other valuables. In the back of the room stood a magnificent desk behind which sat a well groomed white mouse with the largest tail I had ever seen, wearing a very fine suit indeed. It was maybe his looks or his posture, but he emanated a certain aura of respect and uneasiness and there was certainly intense conviction and strong will in his glare. Impossible as it may seem, I was for once unable to say anything. Behind the crime lord stood two giant rat bodyguards, at least 6 and a half feet tall (but since we were in a shrunken world it was hard to tell) who eyes me silently with a menacing look. The silence was broken by the shaking voice of the bouncer: B…b..boss, this weird creature said that she had some trouble during an exchange and the supplier bailed, she will fill you in on the details.” the boss turned in his chair, so his back was towards me, and said to his bodyguards: “She is not one of ours and she is obviously well versed enough in our craft, that she found a way in here regardless. Give her five seconds to explain herself and then shoot her unless I give you a direct command not to.” He then turned once again towards me:” You better start talking fast miss, for I am not in the mood for pleasantries.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *