Things undoubtedly looked grim. Facing danger both financial and physical, the Lackadaisy speakeasy was up against some hard to swallow odds. But, nonetheless, everything always seemed to end up okay in the end, at least. That kept everyone alive, out of jail, and paid. But, now things were getting a bit tougher.
The anti-alcohol sentiment was being emphasized more than ever, with bootleggers under plenty of stress. Federal agents and police officers were patrolling more and more invasively than ever before. And, so many were being arrested and fined that it was more financially sensible to close shop than continue for plenty of speakeasies. This was when it was more important than ever for Mitzi May to run a tight ship. Unfortunately, that was always a tough ask when she was dealing with her team of gangsters.
"—so that's why I was wonderin' if you had any ideas on how to make things a bit more… streamlined?"
"Well… first thing I'd suggest—"
"Mitzi, have you seen Freckle?" Rocky asked, having just burst into a conversation between Mitzi and Wick, a more frequent occurrence than usual during the recently rocky periods the speakeasy had been facing.
"He was unloadin' the shipment last time I heard him," said Mitzi.
"I promised his mother I'd bring him home before it got too late." Rocky paused. "It's about eleven, right?"
"It's almost midnight, I'm afraid," Wick replied.
"Damned daylight savings. Well, I better go get him then, or I'll be putting myself in grievous danger!" Rocky shouted back, as he began to pace towards the tunnels.
"Daylight savings was weeks ago, honey!" Mitzi said, loudly.
Rocky took long strides as he walked down the tunnels towards the garage where Freckle was supposed to be. It was chilly and rather damp down in the tunnels, but, granted, it always was. He hummed to himself as he continued, stepping in an occasional puddle of water. Once he'd made it to the staircase that led up into the garage, he opened the hatch above it and called out into the room, "Freckle!"
The room had within it Zib and the titular Freckle, the latter deep inside the back of a truck, with the wall lined with many boxes, stacked up on top of one another. Freckle, upon being shouted at flinched and nearly dropped a crate he was struggling to lift. "Yeah?" he asked, straining himself as he poked his head out from the back of the truck, crate still in his hands.
"Your mother awaits! We oughta get you back before she up and storms here herself!"
"What time is it?" He handed the crate to Zib, standing on the ground, hands outstretched.
Freckle squatted down, grabbing another crate from inside the truck, and sighed. "Zib, is it alright if I—"
"Sure, go ahead," Zib began, before receiving the box Freckle just grabbed and tensing up, "I'll deal with what's left."
"Alright, let's go." Freckle hopped down and grabbed his hat, sitting on one of the boxes against the wall.
"You're doin' the next shipment, Rocky!" Zib shouted, pulling himself into the back of the truck, "If there is a next one," he mumbled to himself.
"Okay!" Rocky replied, before turning to Freckle, "Alright then, we're off."
The two left the garage, walking through a light drizzling of rain to their car, parked on the side of the road in front of the café. The sky looked rather overcast, the moon blearily shining through the clouds. After quickly settling into the car, Rocky began to pilot the car on its course back home. The streets were rather quiet, and some calm conversation between the two relatives kept the serene mood as they drove back home. Upon arriving, the car was parked, the two exited, and Rocky took the lead. Shushing Freckle, he carefully opened the door and tried to make his way in quietly. After about five steps in, it seemed he was in the clear, and the two parted ways as they readied themselves for sleep.
While many, including the aforementioned McMurrays and Rickaby, were beginning to sleep, a few were preparing for a few long hours ahead of them. And that included Mordecai, currently within the office of Asa, who was preparing him for a second assault.
"I just warned her about this, and yet she's still gonna act all ambitious and try to work back to where they were. What's with her?" Asa said, smoking a cigar.
"So what do you want me to do?" Mordecai asked, adjusting his glasses.
"Well, they just took a shipment intended for us, basically spitting in my face after I tried to stop them. I tried my best to let her know that she should stop, right? Were we not stern enough?"
"I was plenty stern."
"So, she's threatening business now, and with the feds trying to lock everything down, I can't deal with her messiness right now. Take out the whole operation. Destroy things, steal anything left, break someone's damn legs if you have to, anything to shut it down. I want this to be their last night in business if you can manage it."
"Great, and you don't mind if the Savoys come along with you?"
"I do mind; they're hardly—"
"Well, seeing as you have no grievances, go ahead and get yourselves over there as soon as possible."
Mordecai sighed. "Fine then. Where might they be?"
"Probably gloating or scaring the other patrons, gambling, perhaps. They were down there last time I checked."
Mordecai nodded, turned, and left the office, heading, begrudgingly, to his partners in crime. If everything went as planned, which, of course it would with Mordecai in charge, he would be able to finally be able to put the Lackadaisy behind him. Sure, he still felt a small tinge of nostalgic longing for the old days, but he wasn't going to sacrifice his mostly comfortable position for a long shot at reliving the past. Not to mention, it was more dangerous than ever to be putting up with them. It was in everyone's best interest for them to go under, even if they didn't quite realize it yet. So, it would just have to be.
This would be easy enough.