Code 99: Miami
Unashamed Vigilante - The A-Train Story, Excerpt 1
I know what you want to know about, so I’ll just get right to it. Let’s clear the air about 2019 right now.
My instincts started tingling a good year before it all actually happened. The SME changed a lot, made the world weird, but it was still the world I knew. Even after I expressed, the world still made sense, up until the summer of 2019.
Everyone talks about the Hotline Miami case now, about how it was one of the breakout SME-related media event of the century, but back then it was just a goon hitting other goons with a chunk of pipe, or with a bat. We didn’t have the luxury of hindsight. Of course, it ended up being a lot more complex, as you’ll read starting in chapter 2, but we all know the sad story of Richard Watts and how the Russian mob essentially psychologically tortured and blackmailed him into being their hitman. All I can tell is my side of it.
From my point of view, Hotline Miami was where things really got weird. It was the first major case we solved as a unit, and it really ripped the drywall off the studs and showed me all the roaches living in the walls. After what happened, I don’t know how the others feel about convincing Watts to talk, but I know it was the right thing. They started scattering after that.
It wasn’t just the Russians. This gets lost a lot, in the talk about everything, but we worked with the FBI and the ATF to take down a branch of the Trafficante family that had expansion on their minds. The Vetroni family was the first organized outfit I ever saw that didn’t mind having mutants around, and the arrests of Jason Vetroni and his crew, after the raid out on Okeechobee Road, started a snowball rolling for the rest of the Miami mob. By the time the Vetroni family had been arraigned, at least three more criminal informants had been added to the rolls of the HCIU and the FBI. Testimony from those cases solves murders to this day.
The Copy-Paste murders were the catalyst. A mutant serial killer. Ctrl-C really sparked tinder that grew into the fire. After the murders, it was hard for regular people to trust expressives. Copy-Paste served as a visceral reminder that some of us could just treat them like ragdolls. It reminded them we were dangerous.
And that’s before the MDPD royally fucked up the investigation.
But we’ll talk about that. My opinions on the matter are, somewhat famously, a matter of public record. Right now, that’s the world I lived in before it all happened.