Out past Coal Town and on the other side of the railway yards is the Outskirts. Almost a city of its own its filled with cheap flop houses, abandoned buildings, and the lowest street life in the city. The police only occasionally sweep the Outskirts when things become too violent or when the vice starts to leak over the railroad tracks into "respectable" neighborhoods.
"THAT SCUMBAG CHEATED ME!"
Charlie ducked beneath her blackjack table, praying fervently for the bouncers to come and eject the rowdy patron. Drunk, raging gamblers were common in the Suicide Kings Casino. Charlie knew better than to cross them- most of the gang members who blew their ill-acquired cash in the games of luck were twice her size, and she didn't want to get hospitalized. There was no way that her meagre pay from her croupier job would cover the exorbitant hospital bills in the Canyon.
She peeked up from behind her table, catching a glimpse of the gambler. He belonged to the Fabbrocino family, no doubt. They were always renowned for spending their paychecks hard and fast. Charlie straightened her tie nervously. Where were the bouncers? Usually, Security Chief Jacobi was here to deal with the situation by now. No one had arrived, and the gang member had begun to overturn tables and throw glasses in wanton directions. The patrons of the casino were beginning to panic. That was bad. For Charlie, no patrons meant no pay, and no pay meant she had to scrounge for handouts again.
"I knew I shouldn't have spent everything on that theatre trip..." she muttered to herself, frustrated.
"Hoods here ain't got no ambition! Ain't got no jive! Look at em', Jack! Wastin' coin at the turn of the dice while suckin' on the bottle like their momma's tit. An' I bet you be askin' any of these so called hoods, and they be tellin' ya how bad they be, how much they own this town. Hell, who do they think they are? Me?"
A dull twang sent shock waves through the now emptier alleyway as Patrick "Mutt" Le'Kels haphazardly tossed a grime covered baseball bat into the various piles of trash insulating the alley's walls. He reached under his driver's cap, removing an unlit cigar, flicking his wrist to produce his unpolished brass lighter. The flame that ignited illuminated his surroundings, the ground around him littered with the battered and beaten bodies of three so called "Professional Muggers". He bent over, searching their barely breathing bodies for chicken scratch, which turn out to be less than he wished. A bald head popped out of the rubbish, steamed glasses wiped clean by his sweaty fingers. It was Jack O'Fallon, a bag of nerves that had been following Patrick since he got off the airship from Boston.
"B..b..Boss, we don't have much more money than these guys you just showed the stars to, ya know? What you gonna do?"
Patrick puffed on the stogie situated in the side of his mouth, his teeth glaring as he offered a devious smile to Jack. He pulled on his suspenders, letting them snap back against his chest, while gesturing with a nod of his head to the Suicide Kings Arcade that was just in view from their particular position.
"I'm gonna go create some capital by doubling the investments these proper gentlemen be so generous to be offerin' to us. If ya wanna stay in the garbage an' make nice with the rest o' ya rat bastard family at their swiss cheese dinner, then I'll come back for ya."
Patrick tossed the cigar and made a quick beeline to the casino, eyes widening as he watched some game of chance junkie being dragged out by his belt. Another wannabe big shot hoping to get his name out there by screaming it on the top of his lungs. Patrick adjusted his driver's cap and tugged at the tuff of facial hair hanging off his chin.
"Alright now...Who wants my money?"
*spits blood, teeth, and swears in equal volume*
"You're gonna be sucking your meals from the bottom of the Bay as soon as Mr. DiLauro hears about this. Just you wait..."
Jacobi slides from the back office with a broad under his arm just in time to see the confetti of cards and chips choking the air.
"What the...," he mumbles. "Just one second babe. Gotta take out the garbage."
With practiced ease, he removes a leather bound spring from his belt and saps the mook at the center of the shitstorm.
"Mother f**ker," he spits from the back of his throat, "What did I tell you last time?"
The mook swings a limp and drunken slap towards Jacobi's massive frame. "Thash scumbug stoled my money."
"You pay to play. We ain't running church bingo here. Now go pick up those tables before I break your hands off."
The drunk headed for the door, pride left in the casino pit, and Jacobi chases him out.
The lone trumpet player on the riser starts a fresh tune, signaling the "all clear" for the staff to get things back together before someone important sees the mess.
"What the hell is in the air tonight?"