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Chapter I

Hell's Kitchen- June 11, 1931


William Killian, "Billy" to his closest friends, entered the kitchen of his modest home to the smells of freshly brewed coffee and frying bacon. He crossed to where his wife, Patricia, was getting ready to crack eggs over a skillet and kissed her on the cheek before pouring himself a cup of coffee and taking a seat at the kitchen table. His wife had already set the morning paper on the table, and he picked it up and unfolded it to the front page. As he read the lead story, he sipped at his coffee and said, "The coffee tastes great today, Patty."

Without turning from the stove she replied, "Thanks. Anything interesting in the paper today?"

William took a long pull from his coffee mug before setting it down and answering, "Trouble down in Texas. Could be that another war is shaping up down there. Can you believe that?"

"Just terrible.", she muttered. "How do you want your eggs?"

"How do I always want my eggs?"

Patricia set about cooking and William got back to his paper. He had just finished reading the main article, war would come any day now if you believed what the reporter was saying, when his wife set a plate covered with two eggs over easy and a pile of bacon down in front of him. He popped some of the bacon into his mouth while he waited for Patricia to bring him some toast so that he could get to his favorite part- dunking the toast into the egg yolks. While he set about the task of simultaneously eating, drinking his coffee and reading the paper, Patricia returned to the stove and had soon set down two more plates, though these held scrambled eggs and not quite as much bacon as her husband's.

She disappeared for a moment and William heard her calling their two children to the table. The sound of running feet could immediately be heard and William smiled as his daughter, Anne, and son, Patrick, came barreling into the kitchen and took their seats at the table. Once her children had started eating, Patricia poured herself a cup of coffee and sat down across from her husband at the table. Only after she was sure that her family had eaten their fill would she fix a plate for herself.

The quiet family breakfast was interrupted by the sound of the doorbell. Patricia started to rise from her seat, but William tossed his paper down and motioned for her to stay seated. "It's for me. I've got to go out for awhile, but I should be home for dinner."

William stood and picked up his sport coat from where it hung on the back of his chair. As he was pulling it on he heard his son ask,"Are we still going to the Yankee game tomorrow, Dad?"

William smiled and answered, "I promised didn't I?"

"Where are we sitting?"

"Where do you think? Front row behind the home dugout, just like always."

Patrick beamed a smile at him and went back to his breakfast. William rounded the table and kissed his wife on the cheek before walking out of the kitchen and toward the front door. He opened it to find two men in suits not quite as fine as his own waiting for him on his front step. The larger of the two nodded to him respectfully and said, "The car's out front."

William grabbed his favorite fedora from the rack by the door and stepped outside. As he moved down the walkway, one of the men walked several steps in front, his head constantly turning to the left and right. The other stayed behind William, but was surveying the area in much the same manner. When they reached the car, a heavily customized black Cadillac V16, the lead man opened the door and William climbed into the back seat. His companions climbed in after him and, after they were settled in, the driver turned and asked over his shoulder, "Where to?"

"The Morgue, for starters.", answered William. As the car pulled away from the curb, he looked through the window as watched as the neighborhood slowly came to life. He looked on as men and women emerged from their homes and began trudging off for another day of work and smiled. They were his people, and this was his neighborhood. And he was going to make damned sure that it stayed that way.
 
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robou

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Perhaps "Billy" isn't quite the kind family man he at first appears... anyways, a Great start that leaves me wanting to learn more of what is going on ;)
 

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robou said:
Perhaps "Billy" isn't quite the kind family man he at first appears... anyways, a Great start that leaves me wanting to learn more of what is going on ;)
Thanks, I was wondering if anyone at all was interested in the story. I am basing this AAR on a very boring game that I played as the US. Any major events from the game will be revealed through the characters, but the AAR is mostly about them and not the game, specifically Billy. I have a couple more updates just about ready to go, including one for later today. After that, I suppose I'll see if I've gotten people to read. The next update should reveal a bit more about what's going on with Billy.
 

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Well I love it already and we've barely got past the usual breakfast. :D

Looking forward to more and seeing who the real Billy is.
 

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Chapter II

Hell's Kitchen- June 11, 1931


After a short drive, the car came to a stop outside a of run-down looking two story building. The bottom floor was occupied by a bar run by a big Irish fellow named John Lonergan. Though the bar's actual name was Lonergan's, it was better known to it's patrons as "The Morgue". It was a joke of sorts from the early days of the Volstead Act when good liquor was hard to come by and the spirits being served at Lonergan's had been declared fit only to be used as embalming fluid by more than one thirsty man. Of course, to Billy's recollection, the quality of drink at Lonergan's had never been all that good, Volstead Act or no.

Billy's companions exited the car first and held the door while he climbed out. While he tugged his coat back into order, one of his men opened the door to the bar and patiently waited for Billy to walk inside. At this early hour the bar held only a few patrons, most likely men who had passed out at their tables the night before. They were big, rough looking men hardened from a life of back breaking labor on the docks or the rail yards. Most of them were bigger than Billy and no doubt more dangerous with their fists than he, but their eyes held nothing but respect as they watched him walk to the side of the bar and up a flight of stairs to the second floor.

Once on the second floor, Billy pulled a key from his pocket and unlocked a door to a series of private rooms. The first room was set up as kind of a lounge. It had comfortable chairs, a radio, and a small bar stocked with spirits much finer than were being served downstairs. Adjacent to it was what Billy liked to think of as a conference room that held a long table surrounded by chairs. The last room was Billy's office and was it there that he headed while his men flopped into chairs in the lounge. Billy shrugged off his sport coat and hung it, along with his hat, on a peg near the door before seating himself behind the desk. He looked around and gave a small sigh. He had a similar, but much nicer set up in a more ritzy part of Manhattan above his Empire Club, and it was from there that he usually preferred to run his affairs. For the time being, though, it was just plain safer to operate from inside Hell's Kitchen and so here he would stay until things cooled down a bit.

Billy had just come to the annoyed realization that he had left his newspaper at home when he became aware of the sound of a ringing telephone in the other room. By the time that he had left his office and entered the lounge area, the phone had already been answered by one of his men, Joe Burke. Joe and Billy had been friends for decades, having grown up together on the streets and there were few men that Billy trusted as much, and none that he trusted more. After a moment, Joe offered Billy the phone and said, "It's Owney."

Billy took the phone and said, "Owney, it's good to hear from you. We haven't seen you in awhile, why don't you come over for dinner sometime?"

"I'd like that, Billy.", came the reply in the distinctive Yorkshire accent that would have told Billy who was on the phone if Joe hadn't. "However, I am not making this call for personal reasons. We have to talk about what happened last night."

Billy, knowing full well what was being referred to, put all the innocence that he could muster into his voice as he asked, "What happened last night?"

An exasperated sigh came over the line and Owney replied, "Don't play innocent with me, Billy. You started some big trouble."

"Seems to me like there was already trouble.", responded Billy with a very definite edge to his voice.

"I'm being serious here, Billy. Those men are in the hospital, one of them got his skull crushed in. You know that they're gonna want payback."

"For what? Tell your new friends that they're lucky that their boys didn't end up in the river. Those are my docks, Owney. That's how it is, and that's how it's gonna stay."

"Billy, you know that the Combine decided-"

Billy cut him off by angrily shouting, "Screw the Combine! I don't take orders from them! You tell the Combine and their new friends that Hell's Kitchen belongs to the Irish, and that the next time anyone comes here trying to say different, they'll have more to worry about than a busted skull!"

Owney gave a long, mournful sigh and said, "I can see that you're not of a mind to reasonable right now. I'll call again later on after you've had a chance to completely think the situation over."

"I've done all the thinking that I need to."

"I'm truly sorry to hear that, Billy.", replied Owney before hanging up.

Billy set the receiver down, dropped himself into a nearby chair and began to massage his temples. Silence reigned in the room until Joe finally said, "That Owney is turning into one real bastard. Who's side is he on anyway?"

"He's on the side of his bank account, Joe.", replied Billy. "There's a lot of men who seem to be thinking more with their billfolds than their hearts these days."

"He's a damn traitor if you ask me.", grumbled Joe.

Billy smiled at his old friend. Joe was fiercely loyal and took it as a personal affront whenever anyone went against Billy. For Owney, Joe was beginning to build up a special hatred. Owney was, despite having actually been born in England, a fellow Irishman and he and Billy had known him since they were teenagers, had even run in the same crew with him for awhile. For Owney to side against Billy now was, therefore, a supreme betrayal in his mind. Billy, for his part, knew that Owney was just trying to be practical and would likely do all that he could to support him. Still though, it never hurt to be cautious. To Joe he said, "Get the word out to the boys that big trouble could be on the way. I want everyone to keep a sharp eye out and to go armed at all times."
 
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robou

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Gang wars in the docks? :eek: This could get nasty... lets hope Billy can keep it covered up from his wife; unless she already knows, or big trouble could be heading his way via a rolling pin :p But in all seriousness, it doesn't look good for Billy :(
 

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Hardraade: ..."Get the word out to the boys that big trouble could be on the way. I want everyone to keep a sharp eye out and to go armed at all times."

i'm IN ! ! :cool:
 

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robou: I think that it's safe to say that things will likely get very nasty. Billy's wife has a general idea of what he's about, but not the whole picture. Billy's situation is difficult. Stay tuned for how it all plays out.

GhostWriter: Good to have you on board.
 

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Chapter III

The Bronx- June 12, 1931


It was a wonderful day to take in a ballgame. Though the sun was shining brightly, the temperature was comfortable and, best of all, the Yankees were winning. Lefty Gomez was on the mound and had just racked up his fifth strikeout when Billy felt Patrick tug on his sleeve. He turned his attention from the game and looked over at his son who pointed to a nearby vendor and asked, "Can we get some hot dogs, Dad?"

Billy nodded and raised two fingers to signal the vendor who promptly moved in their direction and handed over two hot dogs. Billy handed the man a five, telling him to keep the change, and passed one of the hot dogs over to his son. Patrick immediately began to devour the treat and Billy put an arm around his shoulder and smiled. He was glad that he was able to enjoy this moment with Patrick. Chances were that he was going to be a very busy man soon and wouldn't have a lot of time for such activities. Joe had actually pressured him to cancel the trip to the game, fearing that it wasn't safe in the wake of Owney's phone call, but Billy had promised his son that they would go to the game and he was a man who kept his promises. Besides, he seriously doubted that things had gone so far that his enemies would attack him while he was with his son.

Patrick made the hot dog disappear in record time and asked his Father, "Do you think that the players will be signing autographs after the game?"

"I don't know. Maybe."

"I hope they do. I'm gonna get the Babe's autograph, and Gehrig's too."

Out on the field, Lefty had retired the side and the Yankees were trotting to the dugout. Telling his son to stay where he was, Billy got up and walked to the edge of the wall separating the playing field from the seats and called out to a policeman standing nearby. The officer turned in the direction of the voice and walked over to the wall when he recognized Billy. The two men shook hands and Billy said, "How you doing, Ryan?"

Officer Stephen Ryan, a seventeen year veteran of the NYPD, shrugged his shoulders and replied, "About the same as usual. At least it's not too hot today."

Billy nodded and asked, "How's the family?"

"They're good, thanks for asking. We got that gift you sent. We appreciate it, but it really wasn't necessary."

"Come on now, Ryan. We're friends ain't we?"

"Yeah, Billy. Of course."

"Well, when one of my friend's kids gets his confirmation, I find it necessary to send a gift. Listen, I was wondering if you could do me a favor."

Ryan held his hands out wide and said, "Sure, Billy. Whatever you need."

"Could you stick your head into the dugout and maybe get the guys to sign a ball for Pat?"

Ryan nodded and immediately set off toward the Yankee dugout. He returned several minutes later with a ball covered with signatures. He handed it up to Billy who thanked him and returned to his seat. When he handed the ball over to Pat, his son's eyes filled with amazement and he exclaimed, "I can't believe it! Dad, how did you do that?"

Billy laughed and replied, "Let's just say that your old man knows a few people."

Night had fallen by the time that the game finished. The Yankees won and they had gotten to see the Babe hit a home run. You really couldn't ask for more. As Billy and Pat exited the stadium and entered the parking lot, Pat began looking around and said, "I can't see the car."

Billy bent down and lifted Pat up onto his shoulders. He slowly turned in a circle and asked, "How about now?"

Pat laughed and pointed to the left. They made slow but steady progress toward the car and were almost there when Billy heard Pat say, "Hey, it's Uncle Joe!"

Billy looked through the crowd and saw that Joe was indeed standing next to his car. With him and sitting in an idling car were four of Billy's men. Alarm shot through him, something must have happened for them to be here waiting for him like this. When he reached them, he took Pat from his shoulders and set him down. Joe leaned in close and whispered, "We had a problem down near the docks a little bit ago. It's under control, but you should come down. One of the guys can drive Pat home."

Billy nodded and knelt down. He took his son by the shoulders and said, "Something has come up and I have to take care of it. This man is going to drive you home. Tell your Mother that I'll be home as soon as I can and give her and your sister a kiss for me."

"Aw, come on. I'll kiss Mom, but not Anne."

"You'll do as you're told, young man. Understood?"

Pat looked extremely unhappy, but he nodded and climbed into the car. Billy watched the car as it drove away for awhile before he and Joe got into the idling vehicle and set out for the docks. Joe quickly began filling him in, "We caught a couple of guys down at the warehouse. From the stuff they had with them, it looks like that meant to burn it down." Billy didn't need to be told which warehouse Joe was referring to, despite the fact that he owned several. Only one would be worth the trouble of attacking. Billy had associates who moved liquor across the Canadian border. From there it traveled downstate until it could be put on the Hudson River. The shipment then came right to the docks that Billy controlled and was stored in a nearby warehouse until it could be sold. Billy had gotten a shipment recently and there was a lot of money sitting in that warehouse right now. Losing that shipment would have been a severe financial loss as well as a problem for future business. He had customers that depended on that liquor and who would get it from someone else if he didn't deliver. There would then be the chance that they wouldn't want to use Billy as a supplier anymore, which would mean that Billy would have to go to the trouble of roughing people up and breaking windows and the like. It was, needless to say, a relief to hear that the arson attempt had been foiled.

Joe continued, "I put extra patrols around our main assets and they spotted a couple of guys trying to sneak into the warehouse. They put up a bit of a fight, but our guys were able to catch them. We tied them up and figured that we'd better see how you wanted to handle it."

Billy thought a moment and asked, "What about the Brewery?" Billy had his own brewery near the warehouse which provided all of Hell's Kitchen with illicit beer, and was his biggest money-maker.

Joe replied, "I've got guys watching it, and everything seems alright. Of course, those guys had a lot of stuff on them. Could be that that planned to make another stop after the warehouse."

About a half an hour later, Billy stood in front of the two men in question. They were tied to chairs and looked like they had been in a serious scrap. Billy leaned in close to them and asked, "Who sent you here?"

They remained silent and Joe said, "Even if they don't say, we know damn well who sent them. Mangano." The name of Billy's main adversary came out of Joe's mouth like a curse. Billy looked over at him for a moment before turning his attention back to his captives and asking, "What the hell made you two idiots think that you could come into my territory and get away with trying torch one of my buildings?" Without waiting for a response he continued, "Tell me who gave you the order and it will save us all a lot of trouble."

The men continued to maintain their silence, looking up at Billy with expressions of defiance. Billy shook his head, they weren't going to say a single word to him unless he tortured them first, and maybe even not then. Joe was right though, they had to be Mangano's men. Mangano seemed to be under the impression that he could push Billy out of Hell's Kitchen, and Billy decided it was time to send him a strong message to the contrary. He turned his back on the captives and said to Joe, "Kill them and dump the bodies uptown for their friends to find."
 

robou

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Yikes, Billy is taking a hard line against them... but I suppose it was their mistake. Something tells me that the situation is about to get a lot more sticky than two men being killed :(
 

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I got this one recommended to me. What can I say? Irishmen, New York (and even Hell's Kitchen itself!) and the 30's -- you've got me hooked.
 

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robou: We can hardly expect Billy's opponents to be overly thrilled with the "message" that he sent them. Expect things to go from bad to worse.

Snugglie: Glad that you like it so far. The next update is coming soon.
 

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Chapter IV

Hell's Kitchen- June 13, 1931


Billy was having lunch in his office above The Morgue when Joe opened the door and told him, "Owney's here and he says that he wants to talk to you."

Billy nodded and gestured for his guest to be sent in. He cleared his desk of the remains of his lunch and was wiping his mouth with a napkin when Owney Madden walked into his office. Billy extended his hand in greeting, but Owney sat down across the desk from him without taking it. Billy shrugged, then took his own seat and asked, "What can I do for you, Owney?"

Owney frowned and steepled his fingers under his chin before responding, "You can tell me what happened to this old friend of mine. You see, I used to know a guy named Bill Killian and he was probably one of the most clever men that I ever met. He certainly wasn't the kind of guy that would, let's say, kill two of Mangano's men and then not even bother to disappear the bodies."

Billy, in no mood for games, answered him directly, "Those two came into my territory and tried to torch one of my buildings."

"You didn't have to kill them, Billy."

"Mangano needed to be sent a message."

Owney shook his head and said with a sigh, "Well, he got it. He's practically foaming at the mouth right now, and saying that he wants blood as payback. You want to guess whose blood he's talking about?"

"He started all of this. I've always let everyone else operate in peace, never tried to muscle in on anybody. If he had stayed out of Hell's Kitchen, none of this ever would have happened. I don't go looking for any trouble, but this is my territory and I'll fight anyone who tries to take it from me."

"It's not your territory anymore.", said Owney in a tired voice. "The Combine agreed to leave the street level rackets in New York to the Italians. Hell's Kitchen is Mangano's now."

Billy jumped from his chair and shouted, "I don't give a damn about any deals that you and your partners set up with that Sicilian trash! I've lived here all my life, Owney. I've been fighting for these streets since I was a kid. Matter of fact, I seem to remember you fighting right next to me. Well, I'm not gonna stop now just because the Combine says so. If you and the rest of the Combine want to pull up stakes and cut out, that's your business."

Owney, anger creeping into his voice, stood as well and responded, "Don't you speak to me that way, Billy! I've been doing all that I can for you in this, and-"

"All that you can?", interrupted Billy. "Let's be straight here. You sold me out, Owney. Me and Legs and all the rest. Tell me, how much did those Italians pay you to turn your back on your own people?"

By the time that Billy had finished, Owney's face was a deep red and he was quivering with rage. Through a great effort, he was able to calm himself and say in an even voice, "That's not fair, Billy. Now you listen to me and listen good. Despite what you might think, I have been trying to give you whatever support I can. After what's happened, though, there's not much that I can do for you. I might be able to get Mangano to sit down with you and work out an arrangement, but that would be a longshot."

"I won't be going to any meetings with Mangano unless he's agreeing to stay out of Hell's Kitchen.", said Billy.

"I came here to let you know that I'm trying to arrange a peaceful conclusion to this, but if I can't and Mangano decides to come after you, you won't be getting any support from the Combine. You'll be alone."

"Don't waste your time, Owney. There's no way that I'm going to give up my territory or agree to any kind of peace as long as he's trying to take it from me. You go and tell Mangano to come if he's coming. I'll be ready."

Owney gave a sad shake of his head and left the office without another word. He crossed the lounge and went down the stairs. Spotting Joe having a drink over at the bar, he walked over to him and said, "You've got to talk some sense into him, Joe."

"Billy knows what he's doing.", he replied without turning.

"You know that this is all going to end badly for you if he keeps this up, how can you support him?"

Joe finished his drink and set the glass down on the bar. Tuning to face Owney he replied, "Billy is like a brother to me and I owe everything to him. Where he goes, I follow."

"Mark my words then, Joe. The way things are going, you'll be following him to the grave before long."
 
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robou

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As much as I have to respect the efforts of Owney, I think even he knows his efforts are going to have no effect. This looks bad...
 

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Billy's getting in deep, and I wonder if the luck of the Irish will follow him to the other side. Owney's proposition was reasonable, but given Billy's dismissal of it I don't think there will be another peaceful solution: this will get nasty.
 

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robou: Owney definitely doubts that he can stop what is about to happen. Still, with the Combine(the organization that he represents) having decided to effectively wash their hands of Billy in the event of a war, Owney knows that Billy's life could depend on his efforts.

Snugglie: Well, would the story be as much fun if things didn't get nasty? ;)
 

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Oh my, I absolutely love this.. :D Not only are you portraying an angle, rarely seen in AARs.. (at least the ones I've read), but you do it with your usual mastery of the pen, so to speak.. :) You can count on me to continue posting, for as long as you do, in here.. ;)

Now, along with Godfather and A Godfather's Story, this might just become one of the greatest 'gangster' stories, I've had the chance to experience..
No matter what, the beginning is nothing short of excelent.. :)

Now let's see Hell's Fury unleashed in the 'Kitchen'..
 

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Sep 30, 2006
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Doge Robert said:
Oh my, I absolutely love this.. :D Not only are you portraying an angle, rarely seen in AARs.. (at least the ones I've read), but you do it with your usual mastery of the pen, so to speak.. :) You can count on me to continue posting, for as long as you do, in here.. ;)

Now, along with Godfather and A Godfather's Story, this might just become one of the greatest 'gangster' stories, I've had the chance to experience..
No matter what, the beginning is nothing short of excelent.. :)

Now let's see Hell's Fury unleashed in the 'Kitchen'..

I'm glad to see you can be added to what appears to be the rather short list of readers for this one. The next update will go up tomorrow.
 
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Doge Robert

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Sep 5, 2007
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Woohoo.. :D

And no worries really.. I'm sure, as the story progresses, people will begin to come along.. I am not entirely certain, but I think a lot of people only join AARs, which have either got a specific author or which have gone above 10 or so pages.. I am not sure, but I've seen it from time to time.. As soon as the story reaches a certain stage, quite a few new readers suddenly pop in..

Apart from that, I will do whatever I can to advertise this story.. It is simply too good to be missed.. :)