I entered the Dojo and looked around, not sure if I was in a Gym or Mr. Miyagi's house. The place was all oriental and shit, and a little old Asian dude was standing watching a couple of white dudes dancing. Well, not exactly dancing, but they weren't fighting, just bobbing back and forth on they feet, every so often one would do a slow motion kick or strike and the other would block it in slow motion too, then they go back to bobbing back and forth.
"Hey yo what up with Slow and Mo?" I asked the little old Asian dude who was watching them, walking up beside him. He didn't say anything, so I turned around and asked again, but he just kept on watching the two dudes.
"Hey? HELLO! You speak English? What's up with the white boys?" I asked, and he made a little,"hrrmmm," noise low in the back of his throat but just kept on watching them.
"Yo, the name's CJ," I said, but he still didn't say nothing,"My girl Katie told me to come around here, said I should check this place out..... Katie? KATIE! You know, Katie?"
"I know Katie," he said at last, his voice kind of low and gravelly like you hear in all those Kung Fu movies,"You do not."
"Oh hell yes I do!" I laughed,"Know her REAL well, y'know what I'm saying! She's my girl."
"What.. is her last... name?" he asked, still staring straight ahead at the two white boys who weren't paying any attention to me either.
"Her last.... I....." I said, caught by surprise,"I... well, shit."
"No room in class, class all full," he grunted at me, still not looking,"Two best students sparring, no time for you."
"Those crackers the best you got?" I asked him.
"Top students this year," he said back,"Go away now, no time for you."
"Well shit, guess I'll just make time then," I said, cracking my knuckles and moving towards the two white boys. You bet your ass that NOW they were paying attention to me.
"So," he said as his two boys lay on their backs moaning and whining like bitches, and now he was finally looking at me,"You wish to become a warrior!"
"Hells yes," I nodded,"Show me some of that Kung Fu shit."
"Very well," he said,"I will show you.... kung fu... shit."
And he did.
How fucking embarrassing, beaten down by an old man.
"Now," he told me, standing over me as I lay on my back feeling like an idiot,"Now you are ready to learn."
By the time I left the Dojo it was a little after 1 in the morning and I was tired, sore, stretched out.... and hyped up by what I had learnt. That little old dude could move, and when he told you to do the same you fucking listened. I drove on back to the garage to park my car, then walked up the street to the little place on the corner I was renting out. Cesar and Kendl had picked up a place of their own, each of us using a little bit of the money Truth had left us to secure our rent for at least the next couple of months, by which point the garage would be up and running and we could maybe start thinking about buying places.... legitimately, this time. On the way home I couldn't help throwing a few spin kicks, showing off, enjoying myself. San Fierro was a hell of a town, I didn't know if I'd feel at home here for awhile, but I certainly felt welcome.
I figured after my date with Katie tomorrow when I got a chance to show off my new moves, I'd feel even more welcome.
She looked even better than I remembered, waiting outside for me when I pulled up to her place in Paradiso that would have had a nice view over the ocean if a fog hadn't rolled in past the Gant Bridge in the morning and stuck around throughout the day. She slid in to the passenger side of the Primo and I asked her where she wanted to go, and she told me about a nice little diner just down the road.
"Drive slowly though, baby," she told me,"I don't wanna crash."
"It's cool," I told her, and started to back up when some asshole almost sideswiped us, going by too fast,"Ahhh shit, that idio-"
I stopped, looking over at Katie who was biting her lower lip and squeezing her thighs together. For a second I thought she was frightened, but then....
"Oh God, that was soooo close," she moaned, then gave me a little grin,"But drive slow baby, I don't wanna crash."
"O.... kay," I said, and backed out onto the street and turned the corner, heading down to the diner.
"What you do, girl?" I asked her,"You work nights?"
"I'm a nurse," she told me,"Healing is my life's passion, I have to help hurt and dying people, have to be close to them, close to their pain..."
The more she talked about hurt and dying people, the quicker her breath was getting. I took my eyes off of the road for a second to look over at her, saw she was sliding her hand down over that tight little waist of hers.
Shit, another crazy one?
We pulled up to the diner and headed in, and I changed the subject to the Dojo, and we shared jokes and laughs at some of the shit the Master Sensei pulled. As I cracked wise and she giggled, lowering her head and looking up at me with those pretty slanted eyes of hers, I forgot all about that weird shit in the Primo on the way here and started thinking more about what she'd be like in bed.... hell, or just in the backseat of the Primo.
We were driving through the mist and she was giggling over a story about a fat student who shit his pants in class one day after trying a high kick when I made the mistake of turning on the radio. The Primo was tuned to Radio Los Santos and it was just as I turned the corner towards her house that I heard it.
"YO YO THIS IS OG LOC SAYING KEEP IT TUNED TO RADIO LOS SANTOS, GANGSTA!"
"LOC!" I shouted, surprised enough to swerve the car, making Katie give out a little squeal of delight.
"Oh Carl, you're crazy I looove it!" she moaned.
"OG Loc!" I shouted again, pulling into her driveway and turning off the radio,"What the fuck!?"
"Yeah," Katie said, grinning,"OG Loc, more like OG Joke."
"You've heard of him?" I asked her, not believing it.
"Yeah, he hit it big about two weeks ago," she said, looking confused when I didn't react to her running her fingers up my arm,"He's terrible, but the production on his music is really high and people say his rhymes are like Madd Dogg before he went too commercial."
"Madd Dogg.... oh that fucking asshole, are you kidding me?" I said, shaking my head, not believing it,"Fucker actually went and made it, how the fuck he do that?"
"His Manager is Melvin Harris," Katie said, maybe trying to impress me,"He's new to the music scene but people think he's going to be big too, if he can make a success out of OG Loc who knows what he could do with a real musician?"
"Melv.... Big Smoke?" I said, not really talking to her,"I... shit... I gotta go Katie, sorry."
"Oh," she said, sounding surprised,"You don't want... coffee?"
"Nah nah," I said, not even really hearing what she was saying,"I'll see you again some day soon okay baby."
"Yeah.... okay, I guess," she said, sounding disappointed, and got out of the Primo, standing in the mist watching me drive away, not understanding what the fuck my problem was.
I drove down the street, pushing the Primo faster, pissed off, punching the steering wheel.... Smoke hadn't just helped kill my Moms, he hadn't just set up me and Sweet to take a fall, hadn't just betrayed the family and pushed drugs into Santos.... now he'd taken my dream and turned Loc into a success.
"Fuck you, fat man, fuck you!" I shouted,"You fucking rat fuck, FUCK YOU!"
All my good thoughts and feelings had gone out the window, all that bullshit Truth has spun about The Universe was just that, bullshit. Fuck fuck fuck, I couldn't feel any worse, things couldn't get any worse.
So of course, they did.
"How the fuck you know I'm in Fierro," I said, pissed.
"Ways and means, my friend," chuckled Tenpenny, and instantly I knew.
"Catalina," I said, and Tenpenny was quiet for a second, then laughed low and slow down the line.
"That was one pissed off chica, Carl," he said,"Meanspirited bitch with a grudge... she's going to go far."
"As long as it's far away from me," I grunted... the bitch dropped a dime on me? Shit, you didn't snitch on someone no matter how much you hated them, that was the code of the streets,"Fierro's fucked up, I can honestly say I wish you was here."
"Great," laughed Tenpenny, not listening to me at all,"Now, you got the present for that friend of mine, right... you know, the one trying to get me and old Officer Pulaski into trouble?"
"Yeah," I said, thinking about The Mothership sitting in the storage garage, the back filled up with weed.... and about Tenpenny himself, who fucking dropped the dime on me and Truth back on his farm... maybe thinking I'd be gone by then and maybe thinking to swoop us both up and deal with this "friend" of his some other way.
"Why don't you put that up in his car," suggested Tenpenny, sounding pleased with himself,"And give We Tip a call."
"Hey, motherfucker!" I shouted, remembering that stupid Government Tip hotline set up in the early 80s that we used to prank call from payphones,"The code of the streets is that I don't snitch! I don't give a fuck if it kills you, me, my brother.... street cats don't call no cops!"
"Carl," said Tenpenny, like what he had to say would change my mind,"He's a DA."
"Oh yeah?" I said, quiet for a second,"Well where I go' find him?"
"He's at the Vank Hoff Hotel in the Financial," Tenpenny told me.
"Oh for sure," I grinned, hanging up on Tenpenny before he'd have a chance to say anything else. At the moment I was feeling petty and small minded, way more so than nerds like Berkley and Zero could be. Sure I was doing a job for Tenpenny, but I was getting that weed out of my garage in the process AND taking down some District Attorney asshole as well. That would make me feel better, I fucking knew it.
On the way over to the Vank Hoff, though, I started thinking... what next? So the DA was at the hotel, I could hardly get three tons of weed into his hotel room... hell I didn't even know if he'd checked in yet, so what the fuck was I going to do? It's not like I could go up to the front desk and ask if the DA was in without raising all kinds of red flags. But when as I pulled up across the street from the hotel, I saw the answer to all my problems in a stupid red vest and little black bowtie.
A car pulled up and the driver got out, tossing his keys to the valet who rushed up into the car and drove it around the corner, to where the underground parking would be. I followed after, driving down into the garage before the security door could close back down, watching as the valet parked over in a far corner of the garage.
I dropped the knocked out valet into the back of the car he'd valeted and headed back up to the hotel, walking up and joining the other valets.
"Ahhh," said the tallest, oldest looking valet - some skinny lean white asshole with a terrible goatee who looked down his nose at me and sniffed the air before saying,"Ah, you mutht be the new boy.... get in line."
"I'm C-" I started.
"I could give two thitth," he lisped,"Jutht thtand in line and wait your turn, and don't even think about trying to pick up any of the big tipperth. We make motht of our money from tips and a good valet can clear four figureth eathy each week if he knowth to keep hith mouth thhut and do hith job."
"Oh gee okay boss," I said, putting on my best "broke down nigga" voice,"How do I know which are the big tippers so I don't get in your way, I don't wanna step on any toes on my first day."
"For Godth thake," he sighed, rolling his eyes,"Thave me from idiotth, jutht keep out of my way, ethpecially if you thee a blue Merit - thatth the D.A's car, he'th getting here thoon and he alwayth tipth big."
"Suckering suckatash," I said under my breath.
"What?" he asked, sounding pissed.
"Here comes a nice looking Stallion," I said, pointing at a car pulling into the entrance,"All yours, Boss."
He sighed and rolled his eyes and sent the other valet to take it, and the two of us stood there in our stupid uniforms waiting for people to give their car keys to us - complete strangers - simply because we had red vests on..... I was starting to get an idea, something to pull after I'd done Tenpenny's dirty work for him.
On the sidewalk just outside the entrance to the hotel, a group of drunken guys in suits bumped into another group just as drunk, and they began arguing and pushing and shoving each other.
"Thothe athholeth alwayth pull thith thit," said the valet, then called out,"MITHTER THIMONTHON! MITHTER THIMONTHON THEY'RE BACK!"
A potbellied old dude in an immaculate red suit stepped out through the hotel doors frowning, looked at the drunken brawl and then over at the Head Valet.
"Goddammit, Cecil, it's Simonson, Simonson!" he shouted,"I'll call Security."
"Yo name is Cecil?" I asked.
"It doethn't matter what my name ith," he muttered.
"Yeah... but Cecil? With your lis-"
"I don't have a lithp!" he shouted.
"Thorry," I said.
"I'll let that thlide for now," he grumbled, then turned to look down the corner of the hotel,"Where the hell ith Thteve? And Thean thhould have been back ten minuteth ago."
Holy shit, did they just hire people with S names to fuck with this dude? Well he was an assho-
I stopped, noticing a blue Merit pulling up into the entrance, and Cecil was looking in the other direction. I moved on over to the car and nodded at who I guessed had to be the District Attorney, who handed me the key and slid a twenty into my pocket, giving me a little friendly slap on the cheek. Shit, now I almost felt bad about what I was going to do.
"Where the hell have you been?" Cecil demanded, walking up to me as I headed up the ramp,"The District Attorney will be down in a few minuteth for hith car, where the hell are the keyth... if you've put a dent in it I thwear I'll-"
"Chill, Cecil," I told him, handing over the keys,"You ever think of getting out of the valet game and selling seashells by the sea shore?"
"Fuck you," he yelled, snatching the keys out of my hand,"I'll thee to it you never work valet again."
"I'll try not to cry," I laughed, and moved on up the ramp and out towards the hotel entrance.
Well there you go then, Mr. D.A, you just got the police in yo' face for no reason, got drugs planted on you, beaten by the police in plain view of everyone and carted away to be thrown in jail just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Congratulations, you just found out what it like to be a nigga.