“Seriously, man! I don’t know anything about a Nidhogg! I don’t even know what that is!”
Loathe as I was to admit defeat, I had to consider that the thug was telling the truth. The thugs in this city were loyal to their bosses, but that loyalty had its limits. And usually those limits where right around the time a masked vigilante hangs them off the side of a building.
“Really Gary? So you mean to tell me the heroin you peddle on the streets just magically appears?” I ask the two-bit drug dealer. “You not answering my questions is making my arms tired.”
The thug continued to panic. “Look, I get my stuff from a guy named Eduardo. I don’t know where he gets it, I swear! I always figured it was some South American cartel or something. I’m just a nobody, man. I don’t know anything. Please, man, pull me up. I’ll do whatever you want.”
“That’s the problem, Gary,” I told him. “You aren’t a nobody. A nobody doesn’t inject poison into the veins of his clients. A nobody doesn’t ruin lives.”
“Come on, man!” Gary asked, now sobbing openly. “I don’t know what else I can do for you!”
“Where can I find this Eduardo?” I demand.
“He operates out of the back room of The Dirty Tango, over on 48th.”
I knew the place: seedy little club, filled with miscreants. That doesn’t surprise me. It looks like I have my next stop on the Vigilant criminal bar crawl.
“See, was that so hard?” I ask Gary. He shakes his head back and forth. “I’m glad we could have this chat. I’d stay and catch up some more, but I know you can’t hang around any longer.”
Gary’s eyes went even wider than they’d been before. “But, but, they said you don’t kill people, man! Don’t do this! You don’t kill people! That’s what everyone says!”
“Gary, we’re barely one story up,” I told the dealer. “There’s no way a fall from this height is going to kill you. Break your legs maybe, but definitely not kill you. Just remember to tuck and roll as you hit the ground and you’ll be fine.”
Gary tries to plead with me one more time but I’ve already let go and the dealer plunges to the ground with a scream and a thud. Leaving one more dealer for the police isn’t going to change anything. He’ll be back on the streets before the week is out. Hopefully he’ll tell his friends about me, teach his friends to fear me. Who knows, maybe he will even retire. I make a mental note to check up on him in a few weeks.
I’ve never been to The Dirty Tango, but I know the neighborhood and I know the type. It will be filled with undesirables. I get chills thinking about a frontal assault on the place. It would certainly be a thrill, but also a potential strategic disaster. I’d be outnumbered at least twenty to one, and most would certainly be packing heat.
If I was going to take down the next rung up on the ladder, I’d have to approach this situation creatively. Going in as Vigilant was a nonstarter. I had to go into the club undercover, as myself.