Chinatown Beat
quietly watching the neighborhood fill with Fukienese businesses.
    The Yee Bot or "Twenty-eight" spot was a local hangout of the Fuk Ching gang, located on what was technically a Fuk Ching street-that is the Fuk Benevolent Association was located nearby, its entrance fronted by matching larger-than-life Foo dogs.
    The Fuk Chings claimed to have thousands of members everywhere, bristling with heavy-duty weaponry and itching to do battle. On this particular end of East Broadway, however, they had only thirty-nine members, mostly Ian jai, busted boys who were the remnants of splinter gangs affiliated with the Benevolent Association's darker elements-gambling, drugs, nightclubs and prostitution. Rumor was the gang had split violently over profits.
    Lucky remembered the "Twenty-eight" had big gates up front, knew lots of heavy-duty protection was there. The Fuk Chings had started frisking patrons with electronic wands, believed they could stop weapons from getting in and challenging them. So far they had been right.
    But Lucky knew the tiny backyards between the tenements, where the rain gutters emptied out, were used for storage of cleaning materials. He knew the backyard, the backdoor, was the way in.
    Ghost spies had brought back a diagram.
    The "house," nerve center of the gambling operation, was located in a recessed room halfway down a long hall. It was protected on both sides. All of the house action, cash and dealers, came out of that big room, which could be isolated by electric rollup gates that slid up into the ceiling. Everything in the joint was stacked toward the front. Lucky saw it all with wicked clarity: the backdoor was the way in.
    Lucky crossed the rooftop, scaled a short wall and dropped onto the adjacent rooftop landing below. He was confronted by a brick wall, reached in back of it and found a niche behind it. He felt around, started taking loose bricks out. Another niche. More bricks came out. Then he touched it, a bundle wrapped in plastic. He unwrapped it, revealing his favorite weapon, the Cyborg Bullpup, a nasty nine-shot twelve-gauge shotgun made up like the hi-tech tactical-assault something the SWAT guys used. It had a black-rubber stock and a top handle, black all over with front and back grips, ventilated shroud, the works.
    Lucky racked it, triggered and re-racked it, in love with the sound of metal sliding and catching. Shotguns couldn't be traced, and besides, he had filed off all the serial numbers, smooth as porcelain. The Cyborg weighed ten pounds, heavy to carry, but he had it on an elastic shoulder sling that kept the monster tight to his side, under the white smock he wore, his right hand, his gun hand, inside on the trigger.
    The Mossberg 590 Cyborg Bullpup. Cost him two hundred, a steal. Bought it off some Haitian junkie who said it was used in a drug war in Washington Heights, wanted to dump it, probably had bodies on it. Lucky bought it anyway, knowing he'd never leave a trace on it. Use it, discard it. One time only and that time had come. The rest of his mad-dog crazies had cheap ninemillimeter pistols they could pop and drop. Throwaways.
    For ammunition, Lucky liked the Remington SPs; multi-range shot shells, it said on the box. Ten plastic shotgun shells filled with buffered, copper-plated shot. Keep out of reach of children, Lucky read with a grin. He liked the SPs because each shot shell contained different size shot, some smaller pellets to scatter the field, flush 'em out, then larger pellets to bring them down while delivering optimum energy and penetration at longer ranges, the box said. Yeah, thought Lucky, settle them motherfuckers quick. People didn't like to argue with a shotgun.
    Lucky's war party carried no identification. Should they ever be caught or killed, they didn't want anything leading back to the Ghost Legion. This way, they'd divvy up the loot among themselves, instead of with the entire gang, twelve ways being a lot bigger than seventy-seven, plus a percentage

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