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Warpmancer © Nicholas Woode-Smith 2017

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Gangs of Galis

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This book is protected under the copyright laws of the Republic of South Africa. Any reproduction or other unauthorized use of the material or artwork herein is prohibited.

This book respects property rights and allows owners of the book to lend and give copies at their leisure. It does, however, prohibit reproduction of the book for commercial purposes. Reproducing it is strictly prohibited.

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Disclaimer: The persons, places, things, and otherwise animate or inanimate objects mentioned in this novel are, for the most part, figments of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to anything or anyone living or dead is coincidental and unintended by the author.

Gangs of Galis

By

Nicholas Woode-Smith

Gangs of Galis is a short story set in the Warpmancer Universe. Visit: http://nicholaswoodesmith.com/ for more stories and novels set in this epic science fiction world.

A pale red light flickered. Its audible click-click and hiss melded with the flashing of its sanguine illumination upon the broken concrete. Red sand seeped through cracks in the badly maintained ground. The light, while pale, still managed to enhance the hue of blood, steadily spreading across the tarmac, staining Michel Fulken’s white dress shirt as he lay, splayed like a shrivelled insect, in one of the many alleys of Galis City.

Danny Marzio took a drag from his cigarette and then grimaced. He blew out the acrid smoke and tossed the cigarette into the growing crimson puddle. Galis hadn’t received a shipment from the Grengen tobacco plantations in months. The lab-grown stuff was all there was left, but it didn’t come close to the real thing.

Zito Gorlea clicked his tongue in disgust as the cigarette was extinguished in the blood.

‘That necessary, Don? Best be honouring the dead.’

‘Best way to honour the dead is not to make so many of them,’ Danny responded, surveying the scene.

Zito stared blankly at his boss. He was sweating. The rotund man with the balding pate always looked nervous, but his colleagues knew that was never the case. Despite the moisture on his brow and beneath his pits, Zito Gorlea was as unfeeling as a syn.

Bullet casings were scattered around the area. 9mm. Locally sourced metal. Non-Corporate. Galis smiths.

Danny lifted one of the scattered shells and sniffed it. Gunpowder. Not a Trooper killing, then.

The uppity self-appointed law enforcement had been known to eliminate criminals like Michel Fulken before. It could still just as well be them. They would have had the motivation. Michel had been the one leaking the Trooper patrol schedules. He was a professional spy, one of the best. But even the best slipped up eventually. And, even so the Trooper’s mainly used carbon and CC-rounds, many of the new recruits had to utilise Galisian-smithed weapons, and cheap Galisian rounds. This could be a Trooper killing – but Danny doubted that.

It was messy, but effective. Michel’s blood and bits were strewn around the alley, a chunk of brain stuck to the aluminium door to Michel’s home. A splinter of lead had split off and hit the red light, damaging it. Troopers, even the new recruits, had better aim. They didn’t spray. They summarily executed. A single-shot to the head. Sometimes, they even had a trial. This wasn’t an execution. This was an assassination – and the Trooper Order were not fond of such dishonourable acts.

Michel was face down in his juices, two holes in the head and five in the back.

‘Neighbours say they heard rapid-fire, boss,’ Zito added, hands in his pockets as he looked around, bored.

‘Probably a Scorpion?’

‘Yep,’ Zito agreed, uninterested. He preferred using guns to discussing them.

Danny stood and took in the whole picture. Capo dead. His link to the informers in the Troopers – gone. Danny rubbed his chin.

His link. Not everyone else’s.

‘It’s hot out, boss. Can we get back to the ‘butcher’?’

Danny didn’t reply, but he did withdraw his fedora to wipe his forehead.

Troopers couldn’t have known about Michel, but the informers did. And disloyalty was an informer’s business. Raise the bid, and the snitch will cross the floor.

‘Zito, we’re going for a drive.’

Zito grinned.

‘We blasting tonight, boss?’

Danny laughed. ‘When are we not?’

Despite his nonchalant jovialness, Danny was not pleased. Blasting was never what he wanted to do. But he was good at it. So, despite other preferences, Danny kicked down the door of the only informant he knew – Mac “Machine Gun” Corvette. While Michel had maintained the cover of his snitches well, Danny had happened across Mac’s identity after a run-in with a corporation who had wanted him dead.

As the scrap-metal door fell off its hinges, a bullet drove itself into the doorframe, clinking and ricocheting off the steel-frame into the concrete floor. Danny fired once, hitting the assailant in the leg. Zito followed through, tackling the gunman to the ground.

‘Apologies for not phoning ahead, dear Mac.’

Danny sauntered towards the struggling man as he bled on his plastic-fibre carpet. Danny didn’t pity him. The blood would wash out.

‘Grako! Skiting grako! Get off me!’ the man swore, wincing at the bullet in his leg.

Danny squatted beside him, as Zito grunted.

‘That’s no language to use… wait…’

Danny looked closer. The man was a thug. Thick muscles. Tattoos. Green-dyed mohawk.

‘You ain’t Mac!’

‘Who the vok is Mac? Get off me, grako!’

Danny indicated to Zito to stand up. Zito grunted again, but stood up with a feigned struggle, lifting the man’s gun with him, pocketing it.

Danny offered a hand. The mohawked man sneered and lifted himself up, wincing as he pulled himself up onto a nearby couch.

‘Zito, clean him up.’

The fat man rolled his eyes and drew out a small first aid kit.

‘Now, tell me. What you doing in Mac’s apartment?’

‘This ‘ere is my place,’ he replied, eyes angry but voice calm.

Danny glanced around the room. The man hissed as Zito used a tool to pull out the bullet and stitch the wound.

It was a clean room – Spartan, except for the couch. Grey walls. No artwork. A single, barred, window. There was a table and two chairs. Another door, to the right of the entrance.

‘What’s through there?’ Danny asked, indicating to the door with his thumb.

‘Bathroom,’ the thug replied, a little too fast.

Danny raised his eye brow.

‘Zito, didn’t you need to go to the bathroom?’

Zito grinned and drew his gun.

The thug balked but noticed Danny’s gun pointed straight at him. Danny smiled and brought his fingers to his lips.

Zito sidled to the door, taking cover by the side. His hand drifted to the handle…

‘Mac!’

The door burst open. The thug pounced. Danny fired as he jumped to his feet. The thug fell to the ground. Mac came speeding out of the bathroom towards the exit, meeting the butt of Danny’s gun along the way. He fell to the floor with a harsh crunch and oomph.

‘Well, well, Mac. First, you snitch on your handler,’ Danny squatted, staring the man in his eyes as he blinked away the inevitable concussion. ‘And then try to get your boss killed.’

‘D-d-don! I didn’t know it was you. I swear.’

‘Swearing is bad, Mac. Your bodyguard did too much of it and look at him now.’

Mac gulped. A bloody lump was forming on his forehead.

‘Michel’s dead.’ Danny was no longer smiling.

‘R-r-really?’ Mac stuttered. ‘No wonder he didn’t make the meet.’

‘What meet?’

‘Michel was arranging meet-ups with all the informants. Said some changes were gonna be made.’

‘Do you know what these changes were?’

‘No…no. I went to meet him two hours ago. He didn’t show. When I left the meeting place, a car started tailing me. Spooked me. So, I hired this guy…’

He indicated the corpse.

‘…for protection. Come on, Don. I ain’t a bad snitch. I’m just a snitch – but I snitch for you. I don’t know what’s going on. Really.’

‘But you do know some of the other informers?’

‘I’m not supposed to…’

‘Spare the pretence.’

Mac sighed. ‘Yeah. I know a guy. But he’s not one of us. He’s Galis Blade.’

‘That mercenary crew? How they afford an informer?’

‘Blades been raking in notes, boss,’ Zito interjected. ‘They know what they’re doing.’

Mac nodded. ‘This guy I know has been their link to the patrol schedules. They need the info to fulfil operations for their clients.’

‘We aren’t on bad terms with the Blades,’ Danny thought, aloud. ‘Let’s go pay them a visit.’

‘That wise, boss?’ Zito was concerned, but didn’t show it.

Danny turned and grinned. ‘The Blades are professionals. I’m a professional. This is just business.’

‘If you say so, boss.’

Danny hated and loved this city. He hated what it was. Its dirt. Its lack of class. The greyness. He hated the desperation that could be smelt in the form of sweat, blood and faeces. He hated how everything in this city had to be a firefight. He hated that Zito glorified the ‘blasting’ that had become their nightly routine. While not adverse to killing – Danny had done too much of it already for it to affect him anymore – he did see it as a waste. Why kill the denizens of this glorified slum when you could charge them? Why rob them when you could sell to them?

And that is what Danny loved about Galis. The potential. In every grey window, Danny saw a red light. Above every dingy drinking hole, a neon sign, trucks filled with pleasure drugs and booze. Real tobacco, real narcotics. Danny hated what this city was – a warzone – but loved what he knew he could make out of it. A business. A utopia of vice, pleasure and credits. Without a city charter or council like in Dead Stone, there was nobody to stop him from turning this shanty sea into his dream.

But no empire, of glitz or grit, was easy. The Marzio Mafia, his gang, dressed in the manner of his dream. From a small crew of fedora and suit wearing gunslingers, he had grown his business. While the Troopers failed to protect the people in the outer districts, the Marzios reigned supreme, protecting businesses, households and communities – at a price. Marzio turf was safe. But it wasn’t good enough. Danny didn’t want to own Galis – far from it – but he wanted to make Galis suitable for profit. Keeping the psychos in line was part of the job.

Losing employees was never good for any business. Losing a Capo, a trusted officer, was disastrous. As such, Danny was forced to partake in what he hated, but was so damn good at. With Zito, born killer that he was, he went blasting. When a crew spited a client, Danny put a bullet through their noggin. When some hoods tried to sling drugs in his alleys, they either joined up or found themselves in a highway ditch. He hated all of this, but even so, he did it all with a smile.

Zito turned right. Danny jumped up in his seat as they hit a bump in the road. Two hooligans were illuminated by the headlights and ran into the alley.

‘How’s that associate of yours doing,’ Danny asked of Zito.

‘Passed his test. Blew that scab’s head off.’

Danny nodded. Zito didn’t continue. That was the end of the conversation.

They pulled up by Galis Blade turf. While most of the gangs of Galis maintained control over a wide area, tormenting or ‘protecting’ its residents, the Galis Blades conservatively utilised only a single compound. Despite not being as large as Marzio turf, however, Danny was impressed by the Blades’ fortress. Ten-metre high steel-enforced concrete walls. Guard towers and kill holes at every strategic location. Only a single noticeable gate. A dried-out canal as a moat. This mercenary group could be so much more. Danny was relieved that they didn’t want that.

They pulled up by the bridge to the fortress. A man wearing a leather jacket with Kevlar padding leaned in.

‘The Don himself? You wanting to play dress up with us, then? Sorry, sport, but we don’t have time for kiddie games.’

‘Charming. Jherad, right? You did a job for us awhile back. Despite your mouth, you did a good job.’

Danny nodded, then continued.

‘Here for information.’

Jherad scratched his head with a sheathed knife.

‘Well, can’t hurt. Come right in.’

Danny smiled in thanks, as the gates opened and Zito drove right in. Past the walls and fortress, the compound opened into its own community. Men and women in similar uniforms to Jherad were socialising and working, even at this late hour. Zito parked in an indicated bay, in front of some Blades who were playing cards. They didn’t reach for their guns. They felt safe behind their walls.

One of the players looked at Danny and voicelessly indicated the door behind him. Through the door, Danny found the leader of the Galis Blades – Immondo Jefferson.

The man had light chocolate skin, short-spiky hair and a well-shaved face. He turned as the door opened and grinned.

‘Don! Got a job for us?’

‘Always, Immondo. But later. Here for information.’

Zito leaned against the wall as Immondo indicated for Danny to take one of the two seats.

‘Forgive the lack of pleasantries, Immondo. You know me. I’d love to chat, but things are pressing.’

‘No worries, Donny-don. This is Galis, eh? No time for pleasantries. What ya need?’

‘My snitch-master is dead. Only snitch of his I know only knows one of your snitches. Not making accusations, but need to fish at any pond I can.’

‘Don’t think Troopers did it?’

Danny shook his head. ‘Too messy. And doesn’t make sense. Troopers would have interrogated him somewhere else. There wasn’t any sign of struggle. It was an assassination.’

Immondo nodded. ‘Gang killing. Got to be. This is odd, though. Only gangs who’d want a piece of you don’t have informants – that we know of. They rely on our information to dodge patrols.’

Danny looked him in the eyes.

Immondo laughed, but then looked serious, meeting Danny’s gaze.

‘The Blades don’t want any piece of your empire…’

‘Business.’

‘Whatever. We’re running a tight operation. You’re a good client, but you might not always be. Got to have our own connections. But we aren’t going to go around killing your guys. We make too much credit from you. We are in different businesses, Donny-don. You don’t skite in our canals, we don’t skite in yours.’

‘But,’ Danny whispered, all semblance of a smile gone, ‘there’s always room to grow. And skiting in someone else’s pond may be risked when the reward is great.’

Immondo enhanced his glare, hand slowly drifting to his front chest holster.

The door burst open. Immondo and Danny spun their heads to the new arrival. Zito yawned and gave the young man a glance.

‘Commander! Spymaster’s dead…’

He saw that they were not alone.

‘Uh, um… sorry, Commander.’

Immondo waved him out. As the door closed, he stood up and walked towards a liquor cabinet. He started to pour some cheap brandy. He spilled a glob onto the table top. Danny didn’t flinch as the Blades’ boss tossed the glass at the wall, letting the glass collect in a shining pile on the floor.

‘Well, well, Immondo. Please accept my apology. It seems we’re both victims here.’

Face red, and through gritted teeth, Immondo replied, bottle in hand.

‘It seems so, Don. It may also seem that we may need to work together in this. Someone is skiting in our canals, and I like clean canals.’

A joint espionage operation between the Marzios and Galis Blades ensued. Nothing like it had ever occurred in Galis City before. Business faltered. Many a made-man and associate found themselves at the end of Trooper justice due to the lack of informers. But investigation found that the Troopers had not, indeed, had anything to do with the killings. They were just as surprised as the rest of Galis’ underworld. Rather, a rat stationed within the Troopers knew a little too much. The question was, whose rat?

Galis was home to many gangs of varying power, style and creed. What the investigation found was that the ones who had spymasters, no longer did. It was the same story every time. An individual, identity meant to be a secret, was gunned down in one of the many alleys. Sometimes, a car was reported speeding away. Other times, a cloaked figure. Never anything substantive.

With the unknown, came uncertainty. With uncertainty, came fear. With fear, came violence. The gangs of Galis found themselves in a war more brutal than anything they had ever experienced before. But this wasn’t over resources, or markets, or turf – it was over suspicion. In Galis, very few thought before they acted. The Galis Blades and the Marzios were two of the few who did. But the rest of the mob were not helping this process, as both gangs had to defend their borders with lead, which further heated up the conflict.

‘Don,’ Mac gave a nervous bow. Danny waved him in.

He sat in the back room of the ‘butcher’ – his headquarters. The room was cool and classy. Red-velvet. Mozar leather. Artwork. Books. It was a room that exuded wealth and culture. Danny, despite his profession, was erudite. He wanted people to know it.

‘I found one of Michel’s informants…’

‘What did he say?’

‘Nothing. Dead in a canal.’

Danny pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes to fight off a headache.

‘Anything else?’

Mac shrugged. ‘Was told to tell you that business is getting tougher. Troopers aren’t the problem no more. Syliths, the gang, not the insect, are encroaching on our turf. We lost an entire block a few hours ago. Three made-men dead. Capo got out.’

‘I know, Mac. Last thing I want, or wanted, was a war. Didn’t even want an empire. Too unwieldy. I just wanted to sell hookers and crank. Was that too much to ask?’

Mac snorted.

‘Finding the murderer isn’t even the problem no more. Ain’t it, Don? Could just as well blame it on someone else. Just need to get them vowls to stop eating each other.’

Mac turned to leave when Danny jumped up, his rare wooden chair falling to the ground.

‘Mac! That’s brilliant.’

‘What is?’

‘A scapegoat,’ Danny muttered to himself. ‘That’s what we need. Michel is dead. Isn’t coming back, no matter if we catch his killer. What matters is stopping this damn war.’

Mac stood, silent.

‘Get a car around, Mac. I need to see Immondo.’

‘Right-o boss.’

Danny waited inside the domed hall in the Corporate District of Galis City. The glass ceiling let in the natural light of Extos III, the star which this planet revolved around, while stopping its heat. This was a conference centre for inter-company deals, rentable by any party. It was nestled in the shining corporate district, a zone which existed long before the refugees came flooding in from Red Sand. Here, the Troopers actually held power. And that is why Danny chose this location. No gang, no matter how tough, would risk a war with the Troopers. There would be peace here, for now.

The Marzios and Blades had sent out missives and gossip-mongers around the city. The message was the same for everyone. The Don had found the real culprit of the informant killings. He wanted to expose them in front of the entire underworld. It was made clear that any gang who didn’t attend would be seen as guilty.

No matter how drug-fuelled, insane or arrogant, all the underworld bosses knew they couldn’t risk not being at this meeting. As such, a myriad of vehicles lined the street outside the domed conference building. Galis Blades arrived in an armoured car, Purgers walked, Syliths in buggies. Tens more of cars arrived, bearing leaders of gangs that Danny had never even heard of. The entirety of this gargantuan city’s underworld was at his fingertips.

‘This going to work?’ Danny heard Zito mutter.

‘Come on, Zito,’ Danny grinned. ‘It’s me.’

Zito snorted. In amusement or doubt, Danny didn’t know.

The leaders filed in, corporate security scanning them for weaponry. Many of them balked at the treatment, but none left because of it. After half an hour, the corporate security team had to bring in reinforcements to carry the confiscated weapons to safety.

The gangs sorted themselves by alliance, forming a mish-mash of different colours and uniforms. Immondo sat next to Danny. Corporate security guarded the entrances with sub-machine guns.

As the final leader sat down, Danny left his seat and stood at the podium in the centre of the gallery.

He smiled, took in a deep breath and spoke.

‘Friends, enemies, gangsters – I’ve gathered you all here today to solve our mutual problem.’

‘Get a move on!’ a gangster from one of the south-side gangs shouted.

Danny ignored him, and continued.

‘These past weeks, our city and our enterprises have been burnt to the ground, by one another. With our informants dead, we have lost our eyes and ears. Troopers pick us off. We kill what’s left. All this accomplishes is the death of our mutual interests.’

‘Mutual?’ a man in the front row spat. ‘Galis ain’t big enough for all of us. Can’t be mutual. We not gonna share.’

Danny gave a fake smile.

‘Au contraire, dear Sylith. We can. Business is not a zero-sum game. We can all do business in this city. None of us is big enough to control it all. There is no reason to fight over it. If we stick to our borders, we all profit.’

‘Easy for you to say,’ the same man interrupted. ‘You got an entire district…’

‘Which means nothing while we fight. None of us can conduct business as long as we’re bombing each other. With this war, Sylith, none of us profit.’

‘What do you propose?’ Immondo asked, on cue.

‘I propose that we form a Board.’

‘Like those suits down in Titan City? We ain’t corporates!’ a voice came from the backrow.

‘Not a government. A Board to ensure negotiation, peaceful allocation of turf and aid us all in this industry we call crime. We rob blindly. We step on each other’s toes. We intrude because we don’t know who owns what. With this formal body, we can ensure that we all maximise our potential profit. None of us are going to be empires if we keep destroying one another. What we all can be, however, are businesses. Together, with the Galisian Racketeering Board, we can ensure the future of crime in Galis City.’

The room erupted in shouts. Some of the gangs who were in agreement started arguing with those who were not. Danny put his hand up to halt the agitated corporate guards.

Then the Sylith in front boomed.

‘But that is not why we are here!’

The room silenced.

‘Yes, observant Sylith. And thank you for getting us back on point. We are here to discuss our mutual enemy. An enemy which investigation has shown to be in this room.

Muttering. Danny raised his hand to silence the crowd.

‘Fancy that you’d encourage this topic, Sylith.’

Danny stared the man in the eyes. He didn’t flinch.

‘Marzio turf is right by your headquarters, is it not?’

‘What of it?’

‘It was always a shame you couldn’t expand. A shame that a gang with dreams of empire had to live next to such a colossus. A shame that could easily be rectified with a bullet in the right man’s head. But why stop there? Galis needs an emperor, doesn’t it? And all these pesky gangs in your way. And bullets are so cheap on Zona Nox…’

‘What are you getting at?’ The Sylith still wasn’t catching on.

‘Syliths didn’t lose their spymaster. The rest of us did. That is a little bit suspicious. With only you able to dodge patrols, the rest of us would be dead by a Trooper carbon round. Why do the dirty work when the tin-men can do it for you?’

The Sylith and his cronies jumped. ‘This is an outrage! Syliths do our own fighting.’

‘Tell that to the gallery.’

The Sylith leader turned, sweating. Some of his neighbours began advancing towards him. He reached for his jacket, and as Danny had planned, pulled out a gun that he had managed to ‘sneak’ past the security.

Corporate guards opened fire. The bullets rended the Sylith leader and his cronies. Danny didn’t flinch as blood splattered on his face and clean shirt.

As the bullets stopped, Danny continued.

‘With our enemy gone, we can have peace. I now convene the first meeting of the Galis Racketeering Board.’

There were no objections.

No one dared to oppose the Marzio Mafia as they left the dome. Most of the gangs who noticed the Corporate guards take off their armour to reveal Marzio colours didn’t raise a ruckus. But some gangs did resist their annexation. Danny eliminated them. The rest filed in. No Trooper patrol happened by. Danny had their blessing. Uppity, honourable, just – the Troopers were still subservient to credits.

For the gangs of Galis, they knew that it was too late to resist. This city would be under Marzio control – for better or worse.

Danny had never wanted this type of empire, but it was a means to an end. The gangs would comply. Soon, they would even come to accept the rule of the Board. Even now, many a smaller gang had joined the Marzios, solidifying his control over the entire slum district.

‘This was a good day,’ Danny smiled, sincerely, as his driver drove in a convoy of black cars back to the butcher. Along the highway, previously alight with open warfare, Danny was pleased to see no smoke on the horizon.

The sun was sinking as they took an off-ramp into the Poor District. Much of the convoy had arrived much earlier to ensure that the district would be defended against reprisals. Danny had arrived at a much more leisurely pace. This was his city now. He wanted to admire it. It would be changing soon. Might as well take in a last look. This war that had lasted so long, the pointless conflict, was over. There would be empire now. Danny’s empire. It wasn’t exactly what he wanted, but Danny was an optimist. You compromised. This was a comfortable compromise for him. So what if he was an emperor? It didn’t matter as long as he was also a businessman. Danny imagined red lights flickering. They seemed so real.

It was getting dark as they turned into the butchery’s street. Danny jolted in his seat as the driver hastily braked. Black cars were arranged around the street haphazardly.

‘Skite,’ Danny swore, a rare feat.

He unbuckled and left his seat. A crowd was assembled around the building. Most were fellow gang members. Many had been at the dome. He was able to pass through, easily. He almost gagged at the sight on the other side.

Zito Gorlea, who had been sent out to secure the turf hours before, was impaled on the butchery sign. Where once a sign of a spitted pig was hung, the enforcer was dripping his guts onto the sandy street below.

The steel door behind him was wide open. Danny entered, side-stepping the dripping blood and entrails.

The butcher who manned the counter had met a similar fate. He was nailed to the wall, hand-length nails splaying him like an artwork. In his chest, written in his blood, was a rising sun.

Danny choked down some bile, holding his mouth for good measure.

He left the noxious room and surveyed the crowd. Black-suits. Wide eyes. Sweat. Not mere perspiration, like Zito. Nervous sweat. His empire. His business. The red lights began to fade.

‘M-men,’ Danny stuttered, quietly, and then spoke clearly. ‘Reinforce the turf. We’re going to war.’

In the days afterwards, Danny gave up on the red lights. The Rising Sun, a warlord from the bandit town of Red City, had sabotaged the Galisian underworld. In their fear and suspicion of one another, they had allowed themselves to fall. The south-side fell in days. The gangs who didn’t join the Zenites, found themselves hanging by their entrails.

Danny realised that the war that had blighted Galis for so long before, was not really war. It was business. With the Zenites, things changed. The Zenites didn’t care about credits. They made enough taxing the entire south-side. The Rising Sun wanted an empire. Not a glitzy, casino and vice filled enterprise, but a blood-soaked nation to dominate. Danny could not compete with that.

The Galisian Racketeering Board still functioned. It established organised black markets for thieves, unions for whores, and even a court of territorial disputes. The latter became irrelevant, however, as all the gangs that survived the Zenites joined with the Marzios, excluding the Purgers of Filth, who decided to fight their own crusade. The Galisian Blades changed sides, depending on the bid. Nobody could accuse them of treachery. They were the best, and you paid for the best.

Galis was a divided city. Marzios in the north, Purgers in the east, and Zenites controlling the south. The Troopers could do nothing as alien invaders, once again, began harassing their borders. It was up to the gangs of Galis to protect the city, from thugs, from psychos, from themselves.

Danny gave up on the red lights. He had to settle for barred, tinted windows. He could ignore this from his armoured office inside the butchery, but whenever he left, and examined the dusty, decrepit street of his home, he was reminded of how much he hated this city.

If you enjoyed this short story and want to see what happens to Danny, check out Fall of Zona Nox.

When a world is about to fall, can a criminal be mankind’s only hope?

James is a master thief in the gang-dominated Galis City, crime-ridden capital of the frontier world of Zona Nox. Warfare and poverty have made all Zonians hard, but are they prepared for what is to come?

Under siege, the iron will of humanity has stood strong, but even iron eventually bends.

Forced to join the Troopers, a galactic alliance of human soldiers, James is thrust into defending Zona Nox. But as the conflict continues, James realises that this war is not as simple as it may seem.

With everything at stake, can James save his world?


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