Oliver sat down in his office. He was a freelance detective; he took the bad guys down when everyone else was scared to. Which explains the pile of requests littering his desk. He only did the ones that really spoke to him. He would work through the other boring ones until something of interest came along. And it did.

"Dear Detective.
I have a request for you. My brother has gone missing a few days ago. The police seem pretty shady about this one. They just looked over his house before calling it quits. I have my doubts about their integrity on this one. He was in debt to the mafia. I fear something bad has happened to him. I will give you more details if you except this job. Just call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx."

Oliver was very interested in this one. Him and the mafia haven't tangoed in awhile and he missed being on their hit list. He smirked and called in his assistant James. He reminded Oliver of a dog, always happy to please the master. He came scurrying in giving a small salute. Oliver ignored it and told him they had a job. He looked excited enough. Oliver called the people to get their address. After that he grabbed his jacket and left for their destination.

Oliver slid into the driver's seat of their '41 DeSoto as James finished reading the letter.
"Jeez, this is some exciting stuff, boss!" said James with a thrilled look on his face.
"Calm down, kid. This is serious business," said Oliver, giving James a stern look. "This is the first real case we've had in months, and I don't want you to screw it up like last time."
"Yeah, okay boss."

They drove in silence until they reached the address they had recieved. It was a small, old-looking house with a single garage. The curtains were drawn shut on the windows, and there was no light from inside the house.
"Nobody home?" asked James. The investigators got out of the car and walked up to the front step. Oliver knocked on the door. He could hear shuffling inside but no reply.

He knocked again and called out "This is detective Oliver Knight and my assistant James Cranston. We called earlier." He heard more shuffling and then various clicks as the many locks on the door were undone. Finally the door opened and a small woman poked her head out, looked around suspiciously, and muttered "Come in quickly!" James gave Oliver a worried look, and reluctantly followed the woman inside.

The room was almost pitch-black. The lady turned on a lamp, and they followed her into the living room. She peeked out the curtains cautiously as Oliver and James took a seat on the old couch, then took her own seat in the rocking chair across from them. She was a downright mess. It was clear she hadn't slept or bathed in several days, and her eyes were those of a paranoid's, constantly darting around expecting a hit man to jump out of the closet and bump her off. The house wasn't in any better of a condition with papers scattered across the floor and dirty dishes littering the coffee table in the middle of the room. One half-eaten sandwhich had grown particularly bad, turning a color Oliver had never seen on food before.

"Er, you okay, babe?" asked James, but she ignored him.
"My name is Stephanie Quillian, and a few days ago my poor brother, Eddie, went missin'. At first, I thought he was just out drinking, like he always does, but I haven't seen him and he hasn't been to his house since I last saw him, Friday night."

Oliver pulled out his notebook and began darting down the dame's story. "And where did you go Friday night, Ms. Quillian?"
"We went to Lucky's Pub, down on 5th street. We always go there."
"Did Eddie do or say anything out of the ordinary that night?"
"He was a total wreck! Kept talkin' about how he really screwed up with the wrong people this time, but he wouldn't give me any details. I did catch the name 'Bubba Sisney', but I don't know who that is. I know he got into bad stuff sometimes, but I have no idea what this is about."
"Does Eddie have any friends that we could talk to, maybe learn more about what dirt he's been getting into?"
"Of course. Well there's-" She was interupted by the sound of glass shattering and machine gun fire as bullets crashed through the window.

"Get down!" yelled Oliver. James grabbed Stephanie and they hit the floor. Bullets flew above them, tearing into the couch that they had been sitting at. Stephanie was screaming and grabbing her left ear, blood pouring onto the dirty carpet. James ripped off the end of his sleeve and used it to try and staunch the bleeding. After what seemed like days the bullets finally stopped. Oliver looked out the window just in time to see two black Cadillacs with darkened windows drive off.

Oliver left James to take care of the Dame. She was only shot in the ear after all; that wouldn't kill her. What would kill her was Bubba Sisney, leader of the mafia. If her brother was on their bad side their whole family was at stake. He had to get them to a safe house before it was too late.
"Hey Stephanie I need the names and addresses to your family closest to your brother. It looks like he was in deep with them," Oliver tells her. He lights a cigarette to calm himself down. It had been awhile since they saw a shoot and run like that.
Stephanie stared at him with wide eyes before nodding. "The only other person besides me is our little brother Joseph. He lives in a apartment down town," She says shakily.

"Alright Kid you stay here with her, and I will go and get the brother. You have a gun, so you better be prepared to use it if I don't come back in time. Hey Dame be a gal and write the address down. James here will protect you."
James seemed a little scared, but it soon turned into determination. That was what Oliver liked about this kid. After getting the address he left them and headed for the apartment.

-Apartment 17-

Joseph poured the contents of the gym bag onto the floor, spreading dirt and bones across the already musty carpet. The skull of the corpse he had dug up stared back at him and made his stomach churn. He had went to the cemetary the same night he had learned of his brother Eddie's fate.

His buddy Mike had told him that Ol' Bubba was looking to take them all out, even Stephanie. Digging up that poor body was one of the worst things he's had to do, and he's sure he is going to hell for it, but if that crime boss wanted a dead body Joseph was going to make sure it wasn't his.

Joseph knew it was probably his fault Eddie died. After all, it was his plan and Eddie never wanted to go through with it. Now his sister's life was on the line, but he wasn't going to let anything happen to her. They were going to skip town and leave all of this nasty business behind them.

Joseph grabbed the bucket in the corner of the room and spread their contents over the floor, furniture, and the corpse. The bucket contained a home-made mixture of his own design that was sure to turn this place into a bon fire. Joseph used his lighter to set up a cigarette and placed the unlit end near the lighter fluid. It would burn down slowly and give him enough to get out of there.

The young man gave a regretful look over his shoulder as he shut the front door behind him and started his new life.

Ten minutes later Oliver arrived at the burning appartment building. Fire fighters had already began to arrive, so he wouldn't be able to scout the place out. He shook his head tiredly and drove off. He had seen it all before, and there was one thing he was sure of: Joseph hadn't died in that fire.

Oliver sat in Stephanie's driveway. How was he going to tell her that her brother Joseph was most likely the one who put them both in trouble? If Joseph cared at all about his sister he would come for her. Him and James would just have to wait. He glanced once more at the street before he exited the car. He hurried up to the door and didn't bother knocking before going inside.
He expected to see James and Stephanie standing there waiting for him, but instead he was greeted by James tied up and gagged on a small kitchen chair. Oliver was too late. Again. It was really starting to piss him off.

He walked over to James and pulled out his pocket knife opening it with a click. He dragged it against the rope watching them fall to the ground. James stood up rubbing his wrists and turned towards him sheepishly.
"Sorry boss bu-" James starts to say before Oliver interrupts him.
"I already know what happened kid. Joseph torched his place and came to get Stephanie. We need to find them, convince the kid that we are here to help and not hurt. But first I need to head back to the office and make some phone calls."

The blue '41 DeSoto sped down the road back to the office, when suddenly Oliver realized they were surrounded by black Cadillacs.
"Um, boss..."
"Yeah, James, I know," said Oliver with a snarl.

Three shots rang out, accomponied with three bullet holes in the DeSoto's windshield. Oliver looked in his side mirror to see that the driver of the car behind them had stuck his head out the window and was carrying a large revolver in his left hand.

"Grab hold of the wheel," ordered Oliver has he removed his Colt m1911 pistol out of the holster around his waist.

The goon behind them fired again. "You should've just minded your own business, Knight!" the man shouted. Oliver replied by placing a bullet between the driver's eyes. The car swerved into the opposite lane slamming into a few cars before finally plowing into a building. Another Cadillac immediatly took its place and the barrage of bullets continued.

Oliver took back control of the wheel and increased speed. He expertly shifted in an out of traffic, but there was no getting away from the gang members. Suddenly, at a four-way stop ahead, three of the black Mafia cars pulled out in front of the DeSoto.

Oliver slammed on the brakes and turned the steering wheel hard to the left, stopping just in time to avoid a collision.

The black Cadillacs formed a circle around the freelance detectives. The drivers and passengers began exiting their vehicles, each carrying a tommy gun.

Oliver and James exchanged worried glances.